Educate me please....

I have been scouring the forum and there is a ton of good info. Unfortunately, it has confused me to no end. So please help me out.

I built PC's years ago and want to build a new computer system this summer.
I want it be a P4. I wont be overclocking.

What is the best mobo for the P4? Best memory (DDR or RDRAM)?
Does the mobo support USB 2.0?

ATA or SCSI? I'm ont interested in raid. Just want a great gaming system.

Video card? I currently have a voodoo5 5500 w/ 64 MB RAM.
ATI Radeon or Nvidia? Best quality for games and DVD's.

I have a SB Live and will use it in this comp.

Please bear with me. I would appreciate any input.

I don't have a pithy signature
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  1. This question will have many different answers, as everyone has their own opinion. Some like DDR over RDRAM, some like one special video card over another etc.

    And even though I usually recommend AMD systems, because I can usually afford them much more easily, I love dreaming of a PHAT ASS Pentium 4 system. Soooo here are my suggestions - If I were building a new Pentium 4 system and not overclocking I would get the 2.26GHz chip with 533 FSB, which you can get new retail for about $239 or less. As for the motherboard, I'd get the ASUS P4T533-C which supports 533MHz RDRAM, which makes sense as it would match the Pentium 4's memory bandwidth. This is a solid board, with the Intel i850E chipset which features built in LAN, Audio, 4 USB 2.0 ports and has 5 PCI ports, this is in my opinion the best, highest performing P4 board which you can score for about $169. It uses ATA 100/133, no SCSI. Personally I think SCSI is difficult and a pain in the arse, and boards that offer it right now don't have as good of performance as ATA solutions because ATA is more main stream and motherboard manufacturers pack more into ATA boards. Unless you're crunching some heavy numbers or use hard drive intensive software ATA is the way to go, and for the best performing ATA drive I'd recommend the Western Digital WD1000JB/1200JB , which are 7200RPM ATA100 drives with 8MB of cache over the traditional 2MB which gives it very impressive performance ratings. The 100GB model runs about $135 / the 120GB for $175. The board will work well with your SB Live, simply diable the on-board sound in BIOS. Since RDRAM offers the highest bandwidth available and your new 2.26GHz chip will love all the badwidth it can get + your lovely new board supports RDRAM 1066 (533MHz) I'd go with 256MB (or more $$$ depending) of good quality (Kingston, etc) 1066 RDRAM for about $145.
    As for video, personally I'd recommend a GeForce3 TI 500 or GeForce4 Ti 4200 or better, cash depending. These cards will have decent support for next gen-games, and offer overall great performance. The GeForce3 ti 500 & GF4 ti 4200 run almost at the same price (G3 $130 / G4 $145 <-- which is what I'd get) When buying I suggest getting only new items, used $hit on eBay sometimes is just that. I recommend if you do use eBay for good deals make sure you buy new stuff from someone with a good feedback rating. Also is a great place to check multiple online vendors for the best price on new items.

    You haven't built a PC in a while, but nothing has really changed. You'll be fine. If you're not OC'ing the retail cooler Intel gives you will be fine for the CPU. This system is honestly cream of the crop, you could get a Pentium 4 system / 400FSB chip and a DDR 400 solution for cheaper, but it won't offer the raw performance of the setup I outlined. This is what I would do if I were building a system and wanted it to last for a few years before upgrading, aside from maybe a video card. Even the Geforce4's will probably need upgrading to run the games that come out, not this Christmas, but next Christmas in 2003. But seeing that you have a Voodoo5, I'm doubting you're deep into games --- so a video card upgrade might not even be needed until you're ready for your Pentium 5 :o)
  2. Hey N,

    Nice Post!

    Peace Out.............tile

    god knows your entire system setup & he would answer your questions if he could just stop laughing
  3. Ninja -
    That was a great post. So, say someone wants a similar system but wishes to get into over clocking? would you recommend a different board? Would you wait for the ASUS P4T533?

  4. OMG! That is exactly the kind of post I was looking for. Sweet job nja469. Thanks allot.


    I don't have a pithy signature
  5. Even if I were overclocking I'd get exact same everything, the chip is the best priced P4 w/ 533FSB and the board is actually designed for overclocking. I would however get a better cooling solution, maybe a volcano 7+ and I would make sure the RDRAM is name brand, high-quality stuff to be able to handle the increased FSB. Other than that the board is beyond capable of overclocking and the p4 northwoods overclock like a dream. You should be able to do a very decent OC without increasing its 1.5 voltage. Possibly a slight bump in voltage, no higher than 1.75 as I'm hearing that can fry p4's.

    And Joe, you're welcome and enjoy that sucker >:)

    "Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one"
  6. I agree with nja on everything except one thing.
    I don't know about you, but in this part of the world (Canada), one has to pay a huge premium to get his hands on a WD 120Gb W/8Mb cache. If you're not in to video editing, you won't even ever get close to half that amount. So I suggest you go with a 40 or 60 Gb drive about 60% cheaper. Prices are bound to come down eventually. Then you could buy that huge capacity drive for half the money and you'll end up with a dedicated drive for video editing, which is a huge benefit.
    But then, that's only a suggestion!
    Good luck!

    <font color=red>Floppy disk?!? What the heck's a floppy disk?!?</font color=red>
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