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Newbie alert: pls help decide

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November 10, 2002 4:05:41 AM

Hiya guys,
Its been 3yrs since i assembled my last PC
and its been a while since I looked at the latest components available. I would really appreciate if you guys could help me out deciding on the configuration.

Usage: I will be using the computer for listening to music, watching dvds and playing games.
These are some of the requirements I have in mind
1) Im on budget and looking for a value for money PC.
2) Low noise : preferably something with less fans and works as quitely as possible.
3) CPU : AMD or Intel?
4) RAM : confused...there seem to be too many type of RAMs available now.
5) MainBoard : Looking for onboard firewire, usb 2.0 and LAN adapters.
6) HDD : which 80 GB drive to buy?

thanx for your replies
RawHit
November 10, 2002 4:23:49 AM

Since you listed as money being #1 importance, I'm gonna say get an Athlon... something like an XP1800+ is dirt cheap and performs very well. Unfortunately, this kinda violates your second criteria... low fan noise. Athlons are going to be more noisy than P4's. You could go with a Celeron, but I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy!

As for RAM, you'll want good quality DDR, probably go with PC2700 as a good price/value point. I've had pretty good luck using generic memory, but I've also used nice Corsair XMS and paying a little extra for good quality memory can eliminate a lot of worry about stability.

As far as boards go, for the money, I think MSI makes a pretty darn good board. They have a KT4V-L model that has everything you want except firewire, and you can get a card for that. This board also has poor quality on-board sound, but if you're a gamer, you'll probably be buying a good sound card separately. You can buy this board for about $95.

Finally, the hard drive. Without a doubt in my mind, I'd recommend the Western Digital 7200 RPM Special Edition drive with 8 meg cache. You can get that drive for about $110 and it still carries the 3 year warranty.

Scout
700 Mflops in SETI!
November 10, 2002 5:04:50 AM

Scout, thanx for the reply.
Can the casing help reduce the noise of the Athlon based systems?
Also upgradability would be nice as I spent about USD 3000 for my previous PC which has already become ancient by current standards :eek: 
onboard sound is not important as I have a decent sound card <A HREF="http://www.terratec.net/products/6fire/6fire_details.ht..." target="_new"> Terratec DMX 6 Fire </A> in my present system.
But a good onboard graphics card would be great.
cheers
RawHit :smile:
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November 10, 2002 2:21:33 PM

If he decides to go AXP, he may get his hand on one of the downbinned AXP Thoroughbred, smaller gate lenght=less heat. I suggest using a huge all cooper heat sink with a low RMP fan like the <A HREF="http://cybercoolerinc.com/p-20000ac.html" target="_new">P-20000AC</A>. Undervolting is also a good way to reduce heat and sability can be maintained by testing the CPU with a program like <A HREF="http://www.mersenne.org" target="_new">Prime95</A>.

Fok Speling Misstake
a c 159 à CPUs
November 10, 2002 7:15:49 PM

I'm not recommending against an amd setup, but for a few dollars more, I'd check out the albatron px845 pev pro with the retail boxed 1.8a. It should run at 2400-2600 easily. The two can be had for about $240 shipped at newegg. It has everything you require except firewire. Anandtech reviewed this board on 10/7 (3 way 845pe shootout). Another possibility is the asus nvidia board a7n266-vm and xp1600. Those two will run you about $130-140. For amd, get pc2100 memory, and for a p4 setup, pc2700 is the best performance/value. I run my generic pc2100 at 2.7 volts with the 4:5 ratio for pc2700 speed.
November 10, 2002 8:20:27 PM

AMD make just as much noise as intel, its just that people just keep using whiney little 60mm fans.
Do yourself a favour and get a XP1600+ and a Heatsink with a decent sized 80mm fan. Something like the volcano 7 or 9 should do nicely.

Onboard graphics? Good? Seems to me the only solution you should be looking for is a Nforce2 motherboard. Built in sound, lan, graphics and high performance to boot.

Upgradeability wise the current P4 socket 478 has more life span, but socket 462 should still be around in a years time, just probably not cutting edge anymore :smile:
Hell, upgradability is a bit of an urban legend.
Sure most motherboards will still be usable in a years time, but they will lack support for the most modern ram types, newest peripherals, and may have compatibility problems with the latest CPU's.

<b>LHGPooBaa + Evil Hamster Sidekick: Serving Toms Hardware community for 2 years as of the 11th of November</b>
November 10, 2002 10:42:44 PM

Onboard graphics?
*shudder*
Please tell me you have no intention of running games or doing any 3D rendering etc. If you are, then you should seriously rethink onboard graphics and hook yourself up with a nice GeForce 4 Ti4200 or even a Radeon 9000
November 10, 2002 10:53:33 PM

Remember 3D rendering is not equal to 3D modeling. Rendering (Ray Tracing) uses only the processor thusly the graphics system is not as important. Modeling often uses the graphics system depending on the selected level of detail.

Recursion - I curse then I recurse again and again
November 11, 2002 3:56:19 AM

Lord_Drake, at the moment I cant afford to invest in dedicated graphics card. I guess at a later point of time I will buy a good agp 8x card.
BTW guys i'm in singapore now and these are the <A HREF="http://www.hardwarezone.com/priceguide/control.hwz?coun..." target="_new"> mainboards </A> available locally. So which one should i go for? Some of them do support both firewire and USB 2.0
Since the prices mentioned are in Sing $ the USD prices will be approx half of it.
is it better to buy a KT400 mainboard?
also are the ATA 133 HDDs actually better in performance or shud stick with ATA 100 drives.
thanks a bunch for your input
RawHit
November 11, 2002 6:55:26 AM

How much is your budget? How serious a gamer are you?

"Just the facts ma'am"
November 11, 2002 7:17:31 AM

gaming is not a high priority for me. i play games occasionaly only.
Budget...hmmm...dont have a fixed budget, lets say about
USD 500 for mainboard + cpu + RAM + HDD. Some of the components will be taken from my existing PC (audio card, dvd drive, View Sonic 17" monitor, optical mouse etc)
cheers
RawHit
November 11, 2002 10:08:07 AM

My recommendations:

Athlon XP 1800+ retail (comes with HSF)
MSI KT4V-L or MSI KT3 Ultra2 mobo
Samsung/Kingston 512or 256 MB PC2700 CL2.5 DDR Ram
Western Digital 80 GB 7200 rpm, ATA-100, 8 MB cache HDD

KT400 has zero benefit over KT333. KT3 Ultra2 and KT4V-L prices are very close, so can buy any one out of them. BTW, KT3 Ultra2 comes with USB 2.0 (optional feature)

ATA-133 has no advantage over ATA-100.

How much you can spend for a graphics card? If you can wait for nForce2, wait. Otherwise buy a very cheap graphics card now (any brand TNT2 M64) and later buy a decent graphics card.

Let us know <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/community/modules.php?na..." target="_new"> What File compression format you use? </A>
November 11, 2002 3:12:24 PM

take the new asus A7N8X theres a revieuw on this site

costs 195€

and put in 256 mb of CAS 2 memory

cpu is your choice the above is not very cheap but gives you A LOT of room to grow (tests shows that with 2800+ and quality ddr this chipset outperforms Piv 2.8 with pc 1066)
so theres the room to grow

greetz

wim
November 11, 2002 4:01:46 PM

Hi rawhit. The advice given was good stuff. You were asking about the KT400 chipset.... STAY AWAY FROM IT. They haven't worked out the bugs yet.(lots of bugs) Go with the KT333. On eother thing that I wanted to add. Yes, get a 1700+ or 1800+ AMD with a Volcano 7+ heatsink and fan. The fan speed is adjustable so you can controll the noise. Also, stay away from onboard video if you can. Good luck with ou new computer.

Hang in there. It can only get better!
March 14, 2009 7:23:54 PM

Scout said:
Since you listed as money being #1 importance, I'm gonna say get an Athlon... something like an XP1800+ is dirt cheap and performs very well. Unfortunately, this kinda violates your second criteria... low fan noise. Athlons are going to be more noisy than P4's. You could go with a Celeron, but I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy!

As for RAM, you'll want good quality DDR, probably go with PC2700 as a good price/value point. I've had pretty good luck using generic memory, but I've also used nice Corsair XMS and paying a little extra for good quality memory can eliminate a lot of worry about stability.

As far as boards go, for the money, I think MSI makes a pretty darn good board. They have a KT4V-L model that has everything you want except firewire, and you can get a card for that. This board also has poor quality on-board sound, but if you're a gamer, you'll probably be buying a good sound card separately. You can buy this board for about $95.

Finally, the hard drive. Without a doubt in my mind, I'd recommend the Western Digital 7200 RPM Special Edition drive with 8 meg cache. You can get that drive for about $110 and it still carries the 3 year warranty.

Scout
700 Mflops in SETI!



Hello - I have the KT4V-L that I'm attempting to upgrade the ram in - trying to add a 1 gig PC2700 DDR SDRAM 333 - has an XP1800+ chip...what settings do I need to change in bios to make this work...tried adding it to 1st or 3rd slot and cpu restarts with errors, everytime...remove it and it works fine. Using 2 x 256 PC2700 mem sticks now. Thanks!
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