Your experience would be welcome

We are building two new systems for private use. Emphasis is on game play, on-line gaming. We had intended to buy a MB bundle, INTEL P4 (478) 1.6gHz with DDR RAM (184 pins).
Recently I heard that if going with P4, DDR was not a good choice as it doesn't use it efficiently. I just want a good, fast and smooth PC. The AMD K6 did not impress me much, so am leaning toward the P4. Any advice before we spend a lot of money x 2???? Thanks
27 answers Last reply
More about your experience welcome
  1. Unless money is no object, the athlon xp offers the best value over the P4, but not by much. I say that because many people are having good luck overclocking the 1.6a (mine is running at 2.2 gigs) but there are no guarantees that you will be able to run it this high. If you don't want to overclock, I would recommend an xp 1700 or 1800 with 256 megs of pc2100 non-ecc, combined with a kt333 or kt266a chipset board. You'll get many different opinions on which board is the best. I would just choose the one with the features you want (such as raid, ata 133, usb 2.0, 6 channel sound, etc.). The most popular brands are asus, abit, shuttle, soyo, and msi. I use the sis 645 board with my P4, but some people still prefer rambus for overall performance. You might want to read Tom's article on the sis 645dx, which may start showing up in 3-4 weeks.
  2. I have a 1.6A, Abit TH7II-RAID and 2x 256MB of Samsung double-sided RDRAM. I'm currently at 155MHz FSB, brining my P4 to a hair under 2.5GHz. This was a very easy overclock, perfectly stable, and I haven't hit the ceiling yet (though I'm happy with where I am). The RAM is running at 3/4 speed, putting it at PC930.

    CPU - ~$140
    Mobo - ~$150
    RAM - $170

    Not the cheapest combo out there, but great performance.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
    Don't step in the sarcasm!
  3. AMD K6? Wow, that's like, back in the Pentium 2 days. What you'd be interested in for an AMD system is the XP. Unlike these speed at any cost guys, I'm going to tell you that a reasonable choice for ease of settup and stability would be the ECS K7S5A motherboard and the XP1800+. Fast, cheap, and reliable. Pair that up with Crucial PC2100 and live a long and simple life.

    Just use a good power supply, too many people think that using an inexpensive motherboard is a good excuse to use a cheap power supply-there IS NO excuse for using a cheap power supply.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  4. Thanks so much, you guys are great! Now we have some new avenues to explore and find the best prices. I did plan on going with the housebrand ATX PSU 400 W cause it's cheap, lol. Case I'm wanting to get from ATX colorcases, want to add the ATI Radeon 8500 or even better the GeFORCE4 Ti 4600, pricey as it is.
    We had thought to go with Creative's Audigy X-gamer or Annhiliator <sp>, we both have Sound Blaster Pro's now, never had problem. Start up usually comes up with some IRQ conflict, though... hmmm.
    So what about DDR?
    And yes, I'm still running AMD K6, been waiting to save up and new technology, lol. Now money is there, but I want to make the right choices, until I had done some research and figured what might be good, then talked to some ppl and got all kinds of remarks. My squad mates all said your board and expertise is highly valued..... so there.
    Thanks again and keep it coming, by Friday I'll be ordering parts.
  5. OK, check out <A HREF="" target="_new">THIS POST</A> first.
    Now, about motherboards:
    The ECS K7S5A is the BEST VALUE in motherboards, performing within 5% of the top, having great stability and compatability when properly assembled.

    The Leadtek Winfast 7350KDA uses the same SiS 735 chipset, but includes several overclocking features that most of us find very handy! It also outperforms the ECS K7S5A slightly. But if you're not going to use the overclocking features, your better value is on the K7S5A.

    The onboard sound is almost worthless for those boards, but, comprised of a less than $3 chip, is nearly free. Disable it and use a soundcard.

    The Iwill XP333 is a top-notch ALi chipset board, within 3% of the top performaing boards, but again with super stability and compatability. And the onboard sound is actually fairly good, using the same chip as some midpriced soundcards! This board is also available in a -R version with onboard RAID and UDMA133, using a separate onboard RAID controller.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  6. man...i really like the xp333, and i wouldnt mind having that over the k7s5a, even though this thing works great....despite the lack of overclocking features...
    and yeah, if your powersupply isnt putting out the correct ammounts...and the power coming out is dirty....then you will have some problems with this board.


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  7. Quote:
    The ECS K7S5A is the BEST VALUE in motherboards, performing within 5% of the top, having great stability and compatability when properly assembled.

    Crash, are the latest ECS boards finally removing the tarnish from PCChips reputation?

    <i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
  8. I really like the ALi Magik chipset, especially in its rev C the XP333 uses. I have had the Asus A7A266 for almost a year and I really like it. I am looking forward to getting the XP333 (unfortunately it isnt quite available in India, at least I havent found one yet) so I would try the A7A266-E. One thing I like about the XP333 is that its officially validated for DD333, and has been overclocked to more than 200 MHz (DDR400) by a number of people. That makes it unofficially compliant with upcoming DDR400 too! why wait for KT333 and KT400 (although they look promising with their specs) (and no, there wont be any KT333A, but KT400A isnt ruled out). plus that CMedia 8738 sound chip, that a lot lot better than those crappy AC97 codecs. RAID and ATA/133 do make it a better option! A truely futuristic board!

    I see you are getting to accept the ECS/PcChips board with the K7S5A, or is this just an exception?


    <font color=red>Nothing is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
  9. I'm trying to choose between the 7350KDA and the XP333 myself.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  10. It is probably by accident that the K7S5A has turned out to be a fairly good board (based on a excellent chipset). I've had BX motherboards from PC-Chips that were garbage in spite of their great chipset.

    It's a nice board but lacks the overclocking features I want most.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  11. While PC-Chips generally makes a poor board, the K7S5A is the best board they've yet produced. Every company has at least one product that takes exception to their normal standard!

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  12. I have built 5 machines for people using the ECS K7S5A mobo, ranging from Duron 850 w/PC133 to XP2000 w/DDR266. I have not had a single issue with any of them. For the price, and the ability to upgrade, you cannot get a better deal than this board. Take reputation and throw it out the window; for $50, even if the thing is a POS (which I MORE than assure you it is NOT), you have spent next to nothing for it. I was also very skeptical about this board at first, but it is the best value/performance out there, guranteed. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this board. About the only thing negative I can say about these boards is that the BIOS is insultingly simple to use/setup, but this could also be viewed as a GOOD thing, heh.

    Simply a great board, as long as you use the money you save on the board towards quality parts: Infineon, Crucial RAM, and Enermax,Antec,Sparkle PSU. This board likes high quality RAM and PSU, so do not SKIMP in this area, because the board allows you to afford it. Extremely solid.
  13. I still think if the P4 had a good dual channel DDR solution, we would see that RAMBUS ram isn't worth the silicon it's made of.

    If Nvidia did it with Nforce, other can do it, it's just a matter of will. Or Intle and RAMBUS bullying other not to do it, i wouldn't be surprised.
  14. And I say if RDRAM had the same datapath that SDRAM does, we'd see that SDRAM wasn't worth the silicon it's made on.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
    Don't step in the sarcasm!
  15. Fat, that sounded a bit ignorant. It's a bandwidth thing, not a buswidth thing, if you benefit one with dual channel operation you should benefit the other similarly. PC1600 (SDRAM) and PC800 (RDRAM) have the same bandwidth. So dual channel PC1600 has the same bandwidth as dual channel PC800. Ignore the buswidth each module has and only look at the bandwidth, to do otherwise would be like comparing a Mac to a PC, apples to oranges, it's all part of the design. If the P4 gets the benefit of dual channel RDRAM it should also get the benefit of dual channel DDR SDRAM.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  16. I couldn't disagree more. Why should it be fair to compare two techologies, with the condition that one is allowed to take up four times as much space on the motherboard?

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
    Don't step in the sarcasm!
  17. Okay then, I've located the ECS K7S5A w SiS 735 for a mere $67.00. I'm thinking to put an AMD AthlonXP2000 w Heatsink/Fan 266 for $306.00 with it. (Even though someone had better tell me that AMD has improved since the K6, lol)
    Zat sound about right?
    I sure appreciate you input as I know just enough to be dangerous :-).Between Crashman's and your info this seems like a solid way to go. The PS from ATX at 400W is okay?
    And the cooling fan on the CPU is enough? The case I picked out (finally<g>) is the 0303 Neon at Check it out. I woulda liked to spring for an aluminum, but --- naaaa to spendy. Simple to use BIOS is a GOOD thing, btw!!
    My significant other still wants the P4, so we might end up building two different systems, everyone pix what they want. I'd just hate to see him cry when mine runs circles, hehehe. Either way this should be a vast improvement over our current POS's.
    And this setup will like DDR from what I see, I keep hearing that DDR really improves performance for gaming. (?) I fly on-line and when yer out in a Spitfire and your framerate starts to have strokes, you'll get shot.... and die....and that sux.
  18. The K7S5A and XP2000+ will work great.
    I still say that an overclocked 1.6A is the best price/performance currently, but you'll like your setup.

    The heatsink included with the retail AMD is fine, as long as you're not overclocking.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
    Don't step in the sarcasm!
  19. Er, how about because, when you buy a DIMM, you get 1 DIMM. When you buy a PAIR of DIMMS, you get a PAIR of DIMMS. Heck, their even about the same price! It would be ludicrous to compair traces on the motherboard!

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  20. If you are interested in a great Aluminum case that will last you for years to come, Lain Li makes one of the best cases around and can e purchased for around $110 (without the PSU)to take a look at a review, look at <A HREF="" target="_new"> Hardware Extreme</A>, to find a good place to buy, try <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>. If you do not want to spend that much, I suggest the Antex <A HREF="" target="_new">Preformance Series</A>. both of these make upgrading your system very easy, and all are good quality cases that will not dent or give your problems over the years that you will be using them.

    Antex power supplies are high quality and rank right up there with Enermax and Sparkle, since I have no experience with ATX case brand, I cannot recommend their Power supply to go with this Motherboard. I would make a safe bet and buy an antec 350 Watt case before buying an offbrand 400 W case, mainly because what the company may report as being 400 W may be peak wattage, and under normal circumstances, it may only be 300 W.

    If you are planning on spending 1000-1500 per computer, these cases should be in your budget range, with lots to spend on other stuff. Remember, if you are a computer builder, more than likely, you will use one case and go through contless Video, audio, and motherboards. treat youself now and get a case that can expand with your needs.

    If it works for you then don't fix it.
  21. Kewl. Found an Enermax PSU that will work. It's a 431W Whisper Switching Power Supply, seems to be right up our alley although more spendy. We can get two for $162.00 they usually retail at $139 a piece. <A HREF="" target="_new">Directron </A>. I'm pretty stoked, by Friday we'll order all the stuff and by about a week or so from now we can rock'n roll. At <A HREF="" target="_new"> ATX </A> you can even get color coordinated

    :eek: <font color=blue>Away, be gone - you demons of stupidity</font color=blue> :eek:
  22. I got the Enermax EG465P-VE FCA for $93 from Monarch Computer. I've seen the (FM) and (FC) models in the $80 range. I don't recall offhand what the differences are between the different models.
  23. So it's more logical to compare two semis with two cars, rather than two semis with four cars?

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
    Don't step in the sarcasm!
  24. Board space isnt much of an issue in most cases. I do NOT think it is unreasonable to compare dual channel with dual channel.

    Jesus saves, but Mario scores!!!
  25. It's more logical to compare two 24ft trucks that travel at 30MPH to two 12 ft trucks that travel at 60MPH, yes. And the latency, well, the smaller trucks have to be unloaded and loaded twice as much, anologous to Rmabus having a higher clock speed and much more latency.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  26. Fat, the amount of space the devices take isnt important, its the bandwidth thats important here. You know its almost the limit the frequencies on the motherboard running at, so the only way to increase their performance (I mean bytes per second)is to aggregate multiple channels. RDRAM being a serial device in nature needs continuity RIMMS to fill up the vacant slots, what the heck fill them up with real RIMMs! they will take just as much space anyway!

    As for multi-channel SDRAM (SDR as well as DDR) its just appropriate that they get the dual channel advantage too. Now thats a fair competition. And perhaps RDRAM, the former bandwidth champion would be blown away by this dual DDR platform!

    Latency is just a parameter of the memory technology thats important, but more important is the bandwidth it offers. Maybe thats why the industry adopted the bandwidth notation to indicate performance instead of frequency. Thats why you get PC800 RDRAM and not PC100, PC2100 DDR-SDRAM and not PC133!

    Besides, everybody is going for dual-processor systems, why not the same with memory? Dual channel memory for a dual processor system would be quite a system.


    <font color=red>Nothing is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
  27. Ok, let's do dual-channel DDR and 64-bit dual channel RDRAM. That would make the playing field completely even, and RDRAM would blow away DDR.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
    Don't step in the sarcasm!
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