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help for choosing/building a PC

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September 18, 2002 7:46:10 PM

Help! I'm trying to decide what to put into a new PC that I'm trying to building around mid november for my birthday. Right now I have a T-bird 1GHz that I building 2 years ago. I was going to wait for the Hammer around end of the year, but seeing that's not going to happen, I guess I will have to go with Intel. I have a few questions I would like to ask you experts. :) 

I want to keep the price of the whole thing at around $1000. So far, this is what I have in mind.

P4-2.4 GHz, 400 or 533 FSB, = $200
Gigabyte GA-8IGX = $100
512 MB, GeIL, PC2700 DDR = $125
Western Digital, 100 Gig, 8mb buffer, = $130
CD-RW 40x12x48 (anybrand onsale) = $40
Raid max or Skyhawk aluminium case =$100
and....
Gainward 128mb TI4200 ($160) or ATI 9700 Pro ($337)
onboard AC97 sound ($0) or Audigy Gamer $75

I'm going to be using the PC most for gaming. I do plan to do some over clocking (especially if I opt for TI4200).

Questions:
(A) which version of the P4 2.4 should I get? the 400 or the 533? I heard 400 is more OC friendly, but how much can I reasonably expect to OC the CPU and still be stable, without using like liquid cooling.

(B) Any suggestion of a good CPU fan?

(C) which graphics board should I get? Is 9700 pro's DX9 and speed worth double the price? How easy and much can I OC the 9700?

(D) should I spend the extra money for the sound card? I mostly play games wearing earphones.

(E) any other suggestion how I can maximize performance without spending more? (ie. maybe I should go with TI4200 but buy a faster CPU)

Thanks in advance for helping a newbie. :) 

More about : choosing building

September 18, 2002 7:53:15 PM

Right now jus for saving cash pick up off of ebay a geforce gts it sounds dumb but save your cash for when the new G-Bomb drops which should be sometime near christmas or first quarter 2003 =)

BTW off ebay brand new Winfast Geforce 32mb GTS for about 20 bucks. Can't beat that. Hell the geforce ti4600 have gone half the price cause of the new mega ati beast. Ati ebay price = 280-300+ while the ti4600 brand new 120-180 not bad ati is puttin the hurt on nvidia but i can't wait till the new GF comes out =)
September 18, 2002 8:02:48 PM

Last I heard, the NV30 hasn't been taped down yet. So I have real doubt that it will be ready by Christmas. I have a orignial GF2MX, 1GHz T-bird, and 256mb RAM right now. Yeah, crowing around in Dungeon Siege at around 10-20 FPS. Yuck.

I wish I could wait for the Hammer and the NV30 to come out, but they both got delayed, a real bummer to me. I don't want to wait until some time next year as you can see that my old computer just doesn't cut it any more. Besides, my wife's computer (an old Athlon 500) kicked the bucket last month, so she needs a replacement soon. I was thinking about building mine, and passing my current one to her. So waiting until next year isn't an option for me.
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September 18, 2002 8:28:33 PM

(A)The newere 533s have a few extra tweeks. They don't get quite as much out of an OC, but they do pretty well overall. If you realy want to OC, check out the 2.26 at 533. It's cheeper and has a bit more headroom.

(B)I like some of the newer Thermaltake Volcanos (7 and 7+) and they mount for P4 and Athlon.

(C) It's worth double the price of a TI4200. It has pretty good OC room (Hard OCP got an OC of 378 core and 344 mem from 325 core and 310 mem, that's pretty nice), and fantasic looking visuals, speed, and quality. You can run pretty much any game out today in high res with FSAA and Ansio running with high FPS.

(D) If you use headphones, probably not. Try it without, and if you realy need better sound quality, then by the card. Most higher end MBs come with nicer sound cards built into them though, so you should be fine.

(E) Check out the Antec Performance series cases. My dad got one for $120 that had 2 front USB and 1 front Firewire, and a Truepower 430W Power supply. The case also comes with 2 case fans, and is easy tow work in. It won't help performance per say, but the PSU will keep your system stable under just about any condition on the hardware side, so you'll gain there.



If ignorance is bliss, then why is everyone so miserable?
September 18, 2002 9:40:54 PM

1. 533 FSB is ALWAYS better than 400
2. Consider the P4 1.8A (533MHz). Very easy to OC to about 2.4 gigs and save yourself at least $50. The standard fan and heatsink are more than adequate for this simple overclock.
3. Antec SX835II case with 350W PS, 2xfront USB ports and 1 front Firewire port, plus tons of room for other goodies. Currently about $85 at Fry's
4. I'd recommend skipping on the new ATI graphics card. Other than the very high price, it's just a little too new and unproven. I'd be more inclined to wait until NV30 arrives and then see what shakes up in the marketplace. The 9700 Pro will be a better understood card by then with a better price also. Go with the eBay suggestion for graphics for now. Many of the GF3 and 4 cards you see on eBay will be some reference design, no-name brand from China but the one I have in my kids computer has been excellent value. Besides, reference design GF cards are almost identical in terms of real-world performance. You'll save yourself at least $100-$250 here.
5. I have a GA-8IEXP and the onboard sound is very good. I'm glad I tried it out before buying an add-on sound card. Save yourself the $75 for now, besides, this is an exceptionally easy upgrade that can be performed at any point in the future.

Good luck.


Cheers,
JasonR

*** Whoa...I just figured out how to make my text <font color=blue> Red </font color=blue>, <font color=white> White </font color=white> and <font color=red> Blue </font color=red>...Cool !!! ***
September 19, 2002 2:26:03 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. :)  Maybe I should just wait for the NV30, and just use a cheap GF2 as a stop gap measure. Thanks everyone.
September 19, 2002 4:42:47 PM

Quote:
1. 533 FSB is ALWAYS better than 400

I hope you never plan on OCing, because if you buy a 4x133MHz FSB P4 and expect to OC it, you'll get no where near the OC you would get with a 4x100MHz version. The 4x100MHz FSB P4s are <b>much</b> better for the typical OCer because you will try to run them at a 4x133MHz FSB.

Quote:
2. Consider the P4 1.8A (533MHz). Very easy to OC to about 2.4 gigs and save yourself at least $50.

You don't have a clue, do you? The <b>A</b> designation marks it as a <b>4x100</b>MHz FSB P4. Which is exactly what you want to buy if you plan on OCing, because then when you change the FSB to 4x133Mhz, you end up with a 2.4GHz P4<b>B</b>.

Quote:
4. I'd recommend skipping on the new ATI graphics card. Other than the very high price, it's just a little too new and unproven. I'd be more inclined to wait until NV30 arrives and then see what shakes up in the marketplace. The 9700 Pro will be a better understood card by then with a better price also. Go with the eBay suggestion for graphics for now. Many of the GF3 and 4 cards you see on eBay will be some reference design, no-name brand from China but the one I have in my kids computer has been excellent value. Besides, reference design GF cards are almost identical in terms of real-world performance. You'll save yourself at least $100-$250 here.

minime is already considering a Gainward GeForce4 TI 4200 with 128MB for $160. I think it's a pretty good idea. The Radeon 9700Pro is probably not the wisest of choices at the moment (though so far there has been no word of it being a <i>bad</i> choice), but the GeForce4 is a good solid investment and hardly a bank breaker.

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