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400 bucks and now what ?

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November 12, 2002 8:16:05 PM

Hi everybody,
I have a budget of 400 dollars as of November 12th and would like to upgrade the following components in my system (P3 600)
- Motherboard
- CPU and
- Memory
After reading a bit here I thought about the AOpen AX4G Pro, a P4 2.0A and 512 MB PC2700.
I preferrably play games (any kind) and surf (of course). I will later upgrade my video card to a Ti4600 or Radeon 9700.
Any suggestions from gamer's experience what is best to do with the 400 bucks ?
Advice is very welcome !

More about : 400 bucks

November 12, 2002 8:45:56 PM

AMD XP 2000+ processor (Retail) $95 at newEgg.com
Albatron KX400-8X motherboard $82 at newEgg.com
Crucial 256MB DDR333 memory $95 at newEgg.com
Leadtek Ti 4200 Graphics Card $136 at newEgg.com (can upgrade now with this setup)

You may have to reinstall your operating system after changing motherboards if you keep the same hard drive. Probable Power Supply and Case upgrade also. Your next upgrade will probably be to Barton XP 3000+ and a NV30 graphics card (price should have gone down considerably by that time) about 2H 2003. Boy I wish I had people to recommend me parts when I bought my first computer! :smile:

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
November 12, 2002 8:51:07 PM

Ok, first of al, scrap the idea of getting a Pentium. Get an AMD. Since you are limited to 400$. AMD's are cheaper, so you can invest the money you save into something else, like the graphics card, or a fancy motherboard.

I dont know the prices for other countries, so if you can get a Radeon 9700, do it. Its the fastest thing around. Here, a 9700 would cost me more than 400 bucks itself.
Related resources
November 12, 2002 9:20:42 PM

Doing the video card later is a good move as nvidia will release a new card soon bringing down prices of the ti4600 and 9700.

Most likely you'll end up with the best price/performance from an AMD system. I configured a decent Intel system as well for comparasion.

------
AMD

Mobo: ALBATRON KX400+ PRO (333 FSB, USB 2.0, 6-ch sound, other goodies) $85 shipped at newegg.com

MEM: Well I don't think 256 is quite enough, so I'd get 512MB Kingston PC2700 (DDR 333) for $150 shipped at googlegear.com.

And finally the CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (1.73GHz) Retail for $100 shipped also from googlegear.com

$335
-----

Intel

Mobo: MSI 845E MAX (USB 2, audio, great overclock board) $100 shipped at tcwo.com (Thompsons Computer Warehouse)

MEM: Again, 256 isn't enough in my opinion so I'd get 512MB Corsair PC3200 (DDR 400) for $181 shipped at googlegear.com

And finally the CPU. Unfortunatly you're left with $120 at this point :(  Just enough money for a Pentium 4 1.6GHz retail $120 shipped from googlegear.com

$400
---------

With either systems you'd be well off from where you are now. Honestly the Athlon system is a smarter choice since it costs less and the 2100+ will perform better than the P4 1.6. However with both boards you can easily upgrade the chip later to a faster Athlon such as the newer 2600+ or a Pentium 2.0GHz+.
November 12, 2002 9:31:40 PM

Quote:
Well I don't think 256 is quite enough

For some 256MB is not enough but my computer has:
XP1700+
64MB PC133 Memory
64MB PC100 Memory

I'm able to play UT 2003, Madden 2003 and Age of Mythology without a problem. Just playing devil's advocate of course. :wink:

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
November 13, 2002 1:09:28 AM

You poor soul. I have 1024MB of PC2100 and a 1.5GB pagefile and find myself low on resources ocassionally. Hehe.. maybe it's cause I use vmware and multitask to much.

"I can't promise perfection but I'll give it a fair shot and hope that it doesn't take away from the sponteneity and good humour of the forum, which I really enjoy." - <b>WingDing</b>
November 13, 2002 1:24:08 AM

One of my sticks died so I'm down to 256MB of PC2100 right now and it sucks. There's a noticable difference in loading speeds as well as doing "basic" multitasking. The fact that it has to access the pagefile, KILLS performance.

It really really sucks to have too little memory. You just don't know the difference.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 13, 2002 1:30:17 AM

Quote:
You poor soul. I have 1024MB of PC2100 and a 1.5GB pagefile and find myself low on resources ocassionally. Hehe.. maybe it's cause I use vmware and multitask to much.

I have always believed that if one could achieve 1GB of RAM that would allow that one to disable the page file. In that case, your system would not be constantly writing to a mechanical data storage system. Do non-server computers really use that much memory.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
November 13, 2002 1:34:33 AM

Well, it's not really used as a server. I've disabled my page file before and there are just some programs that won't run with out it. I guess is just really depends on the person. I think I'd be ok with 4GB of memory. I mean heck if you have it why not use it. The more memory I have the more stuff I tend to run at once. Oh and vmware kills your resources pretty quick.

"I can't promise perfection but I'll give it a fair shot and hope that it doesn't take away from the sponteneity and good humour of the forum, which I really enjoy." - <b>WingDing</b>
November 13, 2002 1:37:52 AM

Quote:
One of my sticks died so I'm down to 256MB

I thought I killed one of my memory modules by overclocking (increased to 143MHz FSB/143MHz memory). For short while, I had 64MB of memory available. It caused constant jitters in every game I played. I went in the bios and set fsb/memory back to 133MHz/133MHz respectively. Still, the memory wasn't recognized. I then reset the BIOS and behold, the memory module was back again. That is, now I have 128MB of memory again. I guess it's worth a try in your case if you haven't already tried it.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
November 13, 2002 2:34:51 AM

...Boy I wish I had people to recommend me parts when I bought my first computer!...

Hihi, in "my time" I was the one doing the recommendations, but with family, work and low budget things sligthly change. An the net has evolved so much that this is a pretty neat thing to do. I answer questions about SQL on other boards... :-))
To all: Thanks for the help, I guess the results is to get half a gig of memory plus the best available (for the price) AMD CPU. Albatron seems to be a pretty good board as I understand.
Thanks again !!!

---------------------------------
Famous last words:
I am only trying to have fun...
November 13, 2002 3:13:52 AM

Athlon XP 2000+ retail $95
Leadtek Winfast K7NCR18D (nForce2 bsed) $115
2 sticks x 256 MB = 512 MB PC2700 CL2.0 DDR from any good brand

You have to spend little more for nForce2 mobo, but it worths. nForce2 is faster more stable than KT400.

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November 13, 2002 3:49:59 AM

i agree spitfire, i like the nforce2 better
grammar note: it worths = it's worth it ;-)
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2002 4:41:47 AM

Great choices! I see a couple of morons, er, trolls are doing whatever they can to change your mind, but $400 is kind of slim. Here's my suggstion:
Gigabyte GA-8SG667 $94 newegg.com
Pentium 4 2.4B $195 newegg.com
OCZ DDRAM 256MB PC-3200 400Mhz CL-2 $96

Use what's left for shipping!


<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2002 4:44:18 AM

Oh, BTW, don't believe the liars in here about future upgrades, AMD Athlon CPU's are a dead end for upgrades, the socket they use is being replaced in a few month leaving you with no upgrade options next time.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
November 13, 2002 4:56:34 AM

Probably something for the overclocking area, so take this with a grain of salt.

AquaStealth 3/8 Kit $75
Black Ice Pro Upgrade $19
Nforce2 $115
ddr 2700 cas 2 $98
1700+ Tbred A $60

$367 to $465 depending on 1 or 2 sticks of ram.

Attempt to run at 11x166=1826

Not responsible for this advice or myself

Edit: By going from a 25w processor to a 70w processor, none of the above advice is going to work. Find enough money for an Antec True380(420) for $75-$78 or possible lesser 350w to 450w powers supply for $30-$50.

Recursion - I curse then I recurse again and again<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Schmide on 11/12/02 11:15 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 13, 2002 2:54:46 PM

I second your opinion

GOD I WISH WE HAD THOSE PRICES IN EUROPE CANT FIND A 2.4 FOR LESS THAN 250€

Remember the time You used 20Mb harddrives
November 13, 2002 4:44:19 PM

Quote:
Oh, BTW, don't believe the liars in here about future upgrades, AMD Athlon CPU's are a dead end for upgrades, the socket they use is being replaced in a few month leaving you with no upgrade options next time.


P4's upgrade path is not better than Athlon XP upgrade path. Prescott will use same Socket 478 but will require chipset and motherboard that supports 667 MHz FSB and Dual Channel DDR333.

Possible max. upgrade with current P4 mobos: P4 Northwood upto 3.2 GHz
Possible max. upgrade with current Athlon mobos : Athlon XP "Barton" 3000+ and faster.

Remember i850, i845D and i845 owners, can they run current 533 MHz FSB P4's on their mobo, since Intel is using same socket? And what about Intel's move from Socket 423 to Socket 478? Who knows that Intel would not change the socket?

Currently AXP is better choice unless anybody has the money to buy PC1066 RDRAM and seriouly thinks about overclocking. Now AXP 2400+ is not a bad choice for overclocking. 20% to 25% overclocking is possible with air cooling.

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November 13, 2002 5:16:45 PM

Quote:
Oh, BTW, don't believe the liars in here about future upgrades, AMD Athlon CPU's are a dead end for upgrades, the socket they use is being replaced in a few month leaving you with no upgrade options next time.

I read this post several times and still can't understand your motivation behind saying this. Don't you think a XP 2000+ to Barton XP 3000+ is a worthwhile upgrade for 2H 2003? Isn't Barton socket A also? I know you probably have a good reason for saying this, but could you go into further detail about this because the last thing I wan't to do is give out bad info.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
November 13, 2002 6:07:35 PM

Hmmmm, I understand your concern about the upgrade path. I personally don't think that for someone like me this is the most critical question though. By the time I will have more budget to 'upgrade', the standards I get right now will be outdated by the time I am ready to upgrade. Look at the P4 power supply for instance. I would have to get a new one if I get a P4 (or maybe I am wrong in thinking that way).
The last time I upgraded was from a P2 300 to a P3 600 on an Asus P2B. Big deal...and when I got the Asus board I really thought: Wow, this is going to be good for the next n years (n=[1,3]). So I guess I will invest for this upgrade based on AMD just to avoid the power supply.

How about the nForce2/KT400 question ? Any more comments on that ? Stability is preffered.

---------------------------------
Famous last words:
I am only trying to have fun...
November 13, 2002 6:24:09 PM

Quote:
How about the nForce2/KT400 question ?

I sense you are starting to loosen up a bit on your previous $400 limit - understandable considering all the good information given here from all posters. In my original post, I wanted to get you below $400 along with a good graphics card. So I chose a VIA board. The nForce2 motherboards that I find now, from Asus and Leadtek, are all above $115. If you can afford it, go for the Leadtek nForce2 board. use two memory modules to take advantage of the dual memory controllers. Say, two 256MB DDR333 (DDR400 if you can get a good deal on it) memory modules. Cheers!

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
November 13, 2002 6:29:45 PM

The XP and P4 use about the same amount of power 55w-80w. Unless you're going for a Duron processor you're going to have the same quandary.

To <font color=blue>be behind</font color=blue> in <font color=white>one's</font color=white> <font color=green>hindsight</font color=green> is <font color=blue>but</font color=blue> a <font color=red>retrospection</font color=red> in <font color=white>one's</font color=white> <font color=blue>backward</font color=blue> <font color=purple>vision.</font color=purple>
November 13, 2002 6:39:23 PM

why? ok so he's going with amd but if budget's the question he won't buy the 2600+ (for optimal use of the 333mhz fsb) and when putting in two ddr 333 modules you'll have a memory bandwidth of 5.2GB on a processor that can only use 2,2gb of that, so say one strip of ram

secondly when talking in this perspective the kt333 is a good alternative caus it also provides 333fsb support and again all athlons below 2600+ that are available now run at 266fsb ....

yadayadayda

for best performance take the gigabyte 8sg667 with PIV and ddr 400


Remember the time You used 20Mb harddrives
November 13, 2002 7:31:32 PM

Good points, but he said stability is prefered. I've seen many times when Crashman has said that VIA is not very stable. Nvidia is better in my opinion. I built my younger brother a nForce1 system, no problems whatsover. I have a via board and I had many problems that couldn't be solved by the average user.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2002 7:31:52 PM

Hmm, and the PIII would end at 1GHz. Intel has a way of keeping an old processor line up in smaller amounts to cater to their customers needs. Hopefully most of these "overclockers" boards will also work OK with the Prescott.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2002 7:40:22 PM

Actually these nForce2 boards look like your best deal! Assuming of course that you would like to run an AMD CPU now.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2002 7:44:49 PM

I forgot about the Barton, mainly because I'm not sure about the when/if/how concerning the release. So many rumors, it will work on current boards, or maybe it won't. It will be released on time, or maybe it's being delayed, or maybe it's being cancelled in favor of a Clawhammer version. Then the news that the Clawhmmer has been scrapped, so the Barton is needed...or maybe not. With all these stories floating around, I've totally lost track of it all.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
November 13, 2002 8:06:15 PM

Quote:
I forgot about the Barton, mainly because I'm not sure about the when/if/how concerning the release. So many rumors, it will work on current boards, or maybe it won't. It will be released on time, or maybe it's being delayed, or maybe it's being cancelled in favor of a Clawhammer version. Then the news that the Clawhmmer has been scrapped, so the Barton is needed...or maybe not. With all these stories floating around, I've totally lost track of it all.

Agreed. A few days ago I was convinced that clawhammer would come out late Q3 2003 to Q4 2003. But, i just checked AMD's roadmap again, and behold, it says clawahmmer 1H 2003. What the...?!?!?!

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
November 13, 2002 9:59:12 PM

XPs can be unlocked to make them run with a lower multiplier and a higher FSB. With good memory and a good motherboard, he'll be able to run one on a 200MHz FSB at stock speed ( give or take a few MHz ) using the appropriate multiplier. A lower multiplier = more memory access per CPU clock = less reliance on cache to keep the pipeline full.

That's exactly what I did with my Duron 1GHz, I'm currently running it @ 1166 MHz ( 7.5 x 166MHz ) and I can feel the difference even if my PC2100 memory can't run 2/2/2/5 @ 166MHz. Can't wait to buy some good PC2700 but I'll have to wait after I purchase a bigger CRT because doing CAD on a 13 inch sounds terrible.

If he manage to get his hands on a lower binned Thoroughbreed, he'll be able to overclock it using air cooling.

Fok Speling Misstake
November 14, 2002 1:46:34 AM

Thanks to the help of all I figured the following:
Besides being $65 over the cap, any objections to this (based on googlegear) ?
--------------------------------------------------------
80163-R AMD Athlon XP 2100+ 1.73GHz $ 100
240272 Asus A7N8X Deluxe $ 145
80092 2* Corsair CMX256-3200C2 256MB $ 220
--------------------------------------------------------

This sounds like a stable, promising solution for the future, which compared to what I have right now will kick b*tt. And I can justify the higher cost as being part of my planned network upgrade (from 10 to 100...).


---------------------------------
Famous last words:
I am only trying to have fun...
November 14, 2002 3:01:33 AM

Good stuff. I still feel you need more RAM and with the board you'd be better with two mem chips so the nforce can run them as dual channel DDR. You could find stuff that is cheaper than corsair too, but if you go with that setup you'll still be a happy camper. I know you wanted a video card upgrade too, so you may just want to hold off a month if you can and invest in a nforce2 board w/ IGP (integrated graphics) which will be a Geforce 4 MX400 and when run in dual DDR mode it could offer you very decent performance and save you cash ? Just a thought! :o )

Personally I'm going with a different nforce2 board as the asus is said to have trouble with its design which makes installation of CPU coolers difficult, a 2600+ w/333FSB and two 256 modules and keeping my ti4200 OC'ed to 4600 for now.
November 14, 2002 5:18:04 AM

Quote:
I forgot about the Barton, mainly because I'm not sure about the when/if/how concerning the release. So many rumors, it will work on current boards, or maybe it won't


AMD should release Barton in 1Q of 2003. It should work on nForce2, KT400 and KT333 boards, since AMD is not changing the FSB of Barton. If AMD uses 400 MHz FSB for Barton, (I have never heard anywhere) nForce2 boards may be able to run them and provide required memory bandwidth without using DDR400 momery that FSB400 needs .

There is very little possibility that AMD will not release Barton. If Bartons see light, they AMD will make sure that they will work at least in nForce2 mobos.

Quote:
Hopefully most of these "overclockers" boards will also work OK with the Prescott.


Will Intel support it? NEVER. And you will always have much headaches to run a 667 MHz FSB processor in a 533 MHz FSB chipset. It will be almost impossible to run them in i850E mobos. i845G/E/PE/GE chipsets may work at 667 MHz FSB, but stability will be questionable. Prescott will be far away from its full performance in single channel DDR333 mobos. It's like putting a 400 MHz FSB P4 in a i845 SDRAM chipset mobo or something little better than it.

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!