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Need help deciding which platform for sisters PC

Last response: in CPUs
December 22, 2002 4:24:35 AM

Hi I am upgrading my sisters PC and am unsure of what platform to go with? Athlon(Nforce 2) or Pentium(845PE). Here is what I have got so far tell me what you think. I will be over clocking the P4 PC. What are my chances of reaching a 133 MHz bus with an 1.8A GHz chip(stock HSF)? Also the P4 retail fan is quiet but I find the Athlon a tad loud so can anyone suggest a HSF for an Athlon that is quieter?

Athlon PC:
Motherboard – Asus A7N8X Deluxe (Nvidia Nforce 2)
$219 CDN $141 US

Processor – AMD Athlon XP 2100(retail)
$165 CDN $106 US

Memory – 2 sticks of 256 MB(DDR400) KingMax
$256 CDN $165 US

Hard Drive – 7200 RPM Maxtor 60 GB
$134 CDN $86 US

CD-RW – LiteON 52x24x52x
$103 CDN $66 US

Total: $877 CDN $565 US

Pentium 4 PC:
Motherboard – Asus P4PE (845PE
$238 CDN $153 US

Processor – P4 1.8A GHz(retail)
$239 CDN $154 US

Memory – 1 stick of 512 MB(DDR333) KingMax
$218 CDN $140 US

Hard Drive – 7200 RPM Maxtor 60 GB
$134 CDN $86 US

CD-RW – LiteON 52x24x52x
$103 CDN $66 US

Total: $932 CDN $600 US

As you can see the prices are pretty similar. If I overcloack the P4 will it surpass the performance of the Athlon (P4 2394GHz vs. AMD 2100+ rating) I am guessing it does. What about the two boards it seems features are similar except the Intel one having gigabit LAN?

Thx for all your suggestions.

The only thing i know...

is that i know nothing at all.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by peter21 on 12/22/02 01:39 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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December 22, 2002 4:42:52 AM

Please tell us what your sister will need it for, I really dont think she will notice the performance difference between the AXP, the stock P4 or the overclocked P4. So why overclock it ? And why not throw in an even cheaper AXP 1800+ or something ? Plenty fast you know...

Also, I would think twice about overclocking a system for someone else. You void the warranty, risk the Northwood Sudden Death Syndrome for getting extra performance she (I presume) wont need or wont notice.

Lastly, forget about the DDR400. Just stick to DDR33, as the performance difference is really zero (sometimes its even slower, due to higher CAS rating), and DDR400 isnt an approved standard yet.

So, save a few $$$ by getting a slower (but still damn fast) cpu, normal DDR333 memory, and invest what you saved in things she *will* notice, like a better monitor, a nice mouse, or a stylish black case/monitor/keyboard combo

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
December 22, 2002 4:51:38 AM

they DO make "DDR400" or 433 that have cas2 ratings
it's ddr333 with the best quality chips, overclocked, but those are the specs nonetheless
<A HREF="" target="_new">see here</A> for ddr with these specs. i'm just saying it doens't HAVE to have a worse CL
i agree with you about her system though, unless she does high performance stuff


<A HREF="" target="_new">mubla otohp eht ni ecaf ruoy teg</A>
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December 22, 2002 7:21:20 AM

Thx for all your replies, she is a Civil Engineer Student and the most demanding software she uses is Autocad, you are right she wouldn't notice the difference between a 1800+ or a 2100+ but there only $35 CDN in difference so i said why not.

I will be running that RAM at 333 i just wanted those 400 sticks for a future upgrade to Barton. Also this RAM will run CAS2 at 333 and Cas2.5 at 400.

Any autocad user who can tell me if 512MB of RAM is enough?
What i am wondering is although 512MB of RAM is plenty, i heard the files in Autocad can get pretty big do you think she would need more RAM? If i get two sticks of 256MB and i want to upgrade later i either put in a another stick of ram loosing dual ddr or remove those two sticks for two sticks of 512MB and losing lots of cash.

By the way im leaning towards the Athlon setup does anyone know a HSF that is quiter than the one that comes with retail athlon, i find it too loud, i'd love to find something that would match my stock P3 fan??

Thx for an suggestions.

The only thing i know...

is that i know nothing at all.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by peter21 on 12/22/02 04:32 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 22, 2002 10:14:21 AM

For AUTOCAD the Athlon is the ONLY possibility. Autocad hits on the FPU and the P4`s FPU is not at all suitable. If you tried a P4 for AUTOCAD you will see it will absolutly crawl along compared to the Athlon. At least on some of the older versions I have here. I dont have the latest.
December 22, 2002 10:56:38 AM

yeah i'd take the Athlon Setup...

well 512mb is Good im sure... but 1 GB would really do the trick
But there's no need to buy 1 gb at once... save up for a nice little upgrade down the road a few months

This Community is like a Second Family!!
December 22, 2002 2:27:34 PM

the fan that comes in the retail package of the athlon isnt that loud to me it is quieter than most of the fans i have heard
December 22, 2002 3:35:00 PM

Thx for all the replies everyone, the only problem i see with getting only 512MB now is i would get to sticks of 256 to take advantage of Dual DDR but if i bought 512 stick later on to upgrade then i would lose the Dual DDR option and some performance. 2 sticks of 256 and one stick of 512.

The only thing i know...

is that i know nothing at all.
December 22, 2002 4:09:19 PM

I have the basic nforce2 board. I also bought 1MB of OCZ E.L.(4.5ns) cas/cl 2 ram for my board. I don't have all the parts yet, but when I get it all together I'll have some benchmarks for everyone. The RAM is expensive(380 US) but I wanted the best available for the future. I'm also sticking with my AXP 1700(overclocked to 1900+) Also at work we use Dell's with RDRAM and Autocad and Mechanical Desktop with 512MB. I'd have to admit, that there is no noticeable difference between the two. I'm sure there is a speed difference but it's negliable. Autocad is FPU dependent, so an AXP will be a better bet for that type of work, but that's only one aspect. I'm sure she'll use it for all types of other things as well.
It's basically a budget deal, get the most for what you have to spend. A good amount of RAM, vid card, fast HD and CPU are the key components. Right now unless you're talking 2.5Ghz and above, it's really hard to say which way is the best to go(at high speeds, P4's are it). Anything lower it's a roll of the dice. If cad work is her main concern, I'd push for AXP's.

:cool: Save heating costs on your home, overclock your PC!!! :cool:
December 22, 2002 10:15:16 PM

No CAD work isn't what she will be using the most its just what i thought was the most demanding software she used. She uses CAD for some of her work, the rest of the time its the standard Word Processing, Email etc..

I am leaning towards the P4 now for a few reasons, one if i get the P4 i can put one stick of 512MB so i have another 2 slots two upgrade in the future(with the Nforce2 i would use two slots right away so i can use Duall-DDR option), Stock Fan of P4 is quieter than Athlon, and i hav been hearing stories about the A7N8X board having a flaky BIOS right now, and this machine has to be 100% stable.

The only thing i know...

is that i know nothing at all.
December 22, 2002 10:49:01 PM

Well the EPOX 8RDA+ is an NForce2 board and it is supposed to be 100% stable. And even for just word processing AMD will be better still. It will be less sluggish when you have a lot of stuff running in multitasking. Plus if it is only word processing 512megs of ram will be more than enough. By the time 1gig is needed that machine will be obselete anyway. 512meg is only just becoming standard now. Plus you get MUCH more bang per buck for an AMD as well. Plus with a NForce 2 board you will be able to upgrade to the barton Athlon when it comes out. The current P4 is at its limit before they make massive changes to chipsets for it. If you want to upgrade the P4 you will need to nearly intstanly replace the motherboard. But the NForce2 should be suitable for another year or so.
December 23, 2002 1:28:49 AM

good points made by ck2amv... your upgrading possibilities with an amd system is alot better.. also the price compared to p4 is cheaper

This Community is like a Second Family!!
December 23, 2002 6:03:53 AM

""And even for just word processing AMD will be better still.""

Please, don't make peepel laugh, hahaha.

And please, don't make people laugh too much, what kind of an upgrade she will need with 2 Gz CPU if she only needs PC for basic type of work? That CPU will be more than she'll ever need for near 100 years to come for word processing.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
December 23, 2002 6:20:21 AM

I coul'd not hold it, sorry, hehehe, "better CPU for word processing"", gggg, and we are talking past 1 GHZ, hahaha...

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
December 23, 2002 7:25:50 PM

I don't "beleive that", I've seing it with my own izes, and not just on one sistem, heh.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
December 23, 2002 7:58:53 PM

If you go Athlon just get one stick of (3200 or 3500) 512 MB CAS2 RAM. If she needs more get another stick of 512. That will save you some money in the short run and leave room for upgrading. Get the CAS2 whatever you do though. But you aren't required to have two sticks in the nForce board. The dual channel might do some good if she is using 3D capabilities of AutoCAD (hahahahaha). Sorry for the laughter. The 3D capabilities in AutoCAD stink. Anyway.....

I am a mechanical engineer and run CAD software, AutoCAD and Solidworks. 512 MB is where you want to start. Any less doesn't make sense. You also want to be sure your operating system is setup to take advantage of the memory. Some operating systems like Win98 can not allocate more than 128 MB to the program. AutoCAD is a dog when it comes to system resources so don't do less than 512 MB.

I built an A7N8X Deluxe w/ XP 2700+ w/ 512MB CAS2 3200 DDR RAM. I installed SolidWorks 2003 but I haven't had much of a chance to put it through it's paces yet. Seems to be no problem with the system and CAD software so far. I won't be putting AutoCAD on it though. I will post a message later when I have done more work with the system and SolidWorks and let you know how system stability goes.

<font color=red>The solution may be obvious, but I can't see it for the smoke coming off my processor.</font color=red>
December 23, 2002 10:37:39 PM

For the cooler, what about the Zalman CU6000? i've built an AMD 2100+ for a friend, with that cooler, and it cools well for almost no noise at all :-)

Just keep in mind that it only cools XP's till 2400+, so if it's a faster cpu, then you'll have to watch for someting else, otherwise, use this one, very effective, and very silent, just... a bit more expensive, but at least the comp won't sound like a turbo - jet :-)

at last i only will add one thing, unless she doesn't have to move the comp and take it to many places as i do, i would take the XP

in my case, due to the fact that i move many times my comp for concerts and dj acts, i've chosen the pentium, as you never know what would happen, but that's b/c i need that safety, but as i've read that the comp will stay at home and not move much, then you can go for Athlon (then i even recommand it, as it's cheaper, and at least as good as intel

Enosi and I....