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That Bad??Via CPU-Chipset

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October 15, 2002 2:39:42 PM

After reading Melty's tirade against AMD, and all of the responses,I noted one that said in effect, VIA cpu and chipsets in every home PC, who would want such a thing? Not anybodies flagwaver at this point, and severely constrained by budget limitations, I was actually looking at a VIA combo that is built on a VIA Apollo Pro 133A, with a Via C3 866mhz cpu &133 bus speed. Please bear in mind, I'm no gamer,(no time),no multimedia editor,and have very little money to spend. I'm fed up with the antiquated system I'm running, an old PII @233,hand built from about 3 trashed systems other people had given up on.All I want to do is be able to run some audio recording programs, like Pro Tools, play around with some low end photo editing,(stills, not video), and plink around with MS Office 2000. PC133 ram is good enough, I see no need to spend the extra bucks for DDR.A low end 64mb 2X AGP video card,an Audigy MP3+ sound card, an existing Phillips 12X8X32 CD-RW and 512 mb's of PC133 should round out this low buck project. I'd like to set up RAID, at some point in the future, with an Adaptec add-on card, and another Maxtor 7200 20gb HD, but don't even have the extra $120 that this will require. Could this el-cheapo system (board and CPU,under $100) be as incompetent as the one I've got? Stinging replies expected from Intel diehards,OH WELL.

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October 15, 2002 6:16:30 PM

Well for that budget or a bit more you can still get a decent Athlon system that would wipe the floor with the C3. Make no mistake, the C3 *sucks*. Its only attraction is power consumption, which is generally not a major consideration for desktops.

Even if you get the Athlon system, I would avoid a VIA chipset particularly if you get the Audigy sound card. SiS should be fine. VIA has the worst reputation for stability of any chipset company.

Ritesh

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ritesh_laud on 10/15/02 01:17 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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October 15, 2002 10:00:44 PM

Or you could buy a three-year-old PIII 500 system and get more performance for less money. And the Duron is cheaper than the C3, with about twice the performance. And SiS chipsets are cheaper than the crappy Apollo Pro, but without the bugs and crap performance. You could make a lot better purchasing decisions rather than throw your money away on VIA. But from what you said, you are the perfect candidate for a USED system.

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October 15, 2002 10:20:13 PM

By the way, TigerDirect was selling a limited quantity of Celeron 1.1GHz complete systems with 80GB hard drives, WinXP, and 256MB RAM, for $320 a couple weeks ago. They have these deals on a regular basis, if you sign up for their newsletter you can get in on the next one.

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October 16, 2002 12:07:53 PM

Thanks, believe it or not, TigerDirect is where I found the Via setup I was contemplating.Maybe the Via combo really is that bad. I've always operated on the assumption that, short of a monopolized market, ya tend to get whatcha pay for.And this setup is dirt cheap. I haven't posted here in about 5 mos, it was good to get a response that actually addressed my question.Again, thanks.
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October 16, 2002 12:33:52 PM

Normally I'd suggest an MSI 745 Ultra and an XP1600+, but with your SDRAM budget an ECS K7S5A (same price with both types of slots) is probably worth the risk.

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October 16, 2002 2:48:30 PM

Also, if your budget is so low, go for 256MB of RAM instead of 512 and Windows 2000 or even 98SE (no XP). You will save some cash in RAM and OS but ... I would really suggest to buy something that will last more, it's worth or, at least, buy a used system as Crashman has said before.

DIY: read, buy, test, learn, reward yourself!
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October 16, 2002 4:31:03 PM

Yes, they resell customer returns as "Refurbished" I believe, so he could even have a "new" 6 month old system for between $300 and $400.

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October 16, 2002 6:01:19 PM

Ok.... How's about an AMD 751 chipset and slot A Athlon 700?
Shuttle makes the board, 5 slots, AGP, sdram. I believe the reason it's so cheap is it's still ATA/66.I don't think that the ATA/66 will be that big of a deal, at least not for me and my needs. Will a RAID controller get around the 66 speed? Board,cpu and fan for $70, again, tiger direct.
October 16, 2002 6:40:13 PM

Since you already seem willing to endure Via chipsets how about a Suttle AK12A, KT133A mobo (refurb) and a Duron 850 both currently available at Newegg.com for $29 each, free shipping on both items. (Don't forget to get the latest BIOS or George Briese's PCI Latency patch to address the VIA 686B bug). You could even get an XP1600+ for $56 also currently free shipping at Newegg.com.

<b>I type sixty words per minute. Ten are spelled correctly.</b>
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October 16, 2002 7:42:17 PM

Cheap enough! What RAID controller? If you plan to add a RAID controller, it will operate at it's own speed. And there's not much performance difference between ATA66 and ATA100, or even ATA133.

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