View Full Version : Updating my computer
Hey guys, need you to work your magic on my computer. I have a $700 limit, but it's not hard capped. If you need to go a bit over, because it really makes a big difference to do so, go ahead.
I'm looking for the biggest bang for my buck. Here's my current computer info:
Pentinum 4 1.5 ghz
1.12 gb SDRAM
Nvidia GeForce 3 64mb
I'm not sure what my motherboard is, but it was "high end" when 1.5 ghz was the fastest you could go. So to put simply, it's not much. It's only 4X so I'd need a new one anyway as I assume all the graphic cards recommended to me will be 8X.
I already have 200 GB HD, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM so I'm set there.
From what I understand, 2.8ghz is the "best bang for your buck" these days. and the price jump from 2.8 to something higher is very high. I'm looking for that type of thing for my Motherboard, Graphic Card, and CPU. Even if there's money left over from the 700, I don't want to make a purchasure that is not quite worth it.
One thing I don't understand though is, my RAM is SDRAM, and most motherboards nowdays are DDR. Does that mean my SDRAM wont work on them, and I need to buy DDR? Ah well, I'm sure you guys know what's best. Any help would be appreciated.
01-03-04, 03:31 PM
Yeah, any motherboard you will buy now-a-days worth its weight in salt will be using DDR, not SDRAM.
Kingston has a deal for 512 DDR PC3200, which is the fastest it goes right now, for $60. You can't do a whole lot better then that.
512 is enough for most people, but at that price you might as well buy 2 sticks
Oh yeah, for other upgrades I suggest:
Kingston 512 DDR PC3200 $60
Radeon 9800 pro $298.00
Asus A7V8X Delux $118.99
AMD XP Barton 3000+ (2.16ghz) $205.00 (retail, w/ fan/heatsink)
Total = $638 from www.newegg.com
It will roxor your boxors. If you want a little more bang you can upgrade the processor to the XP Barton 3200+, but it's considerably more.
Radeon comes with a voucher to download your free copy of Half-Life 2. Edited by: Bondori Zafiro at: 1/3/04 3:45 pm
01-03-04, 03:52 PM
IntelŪ PentiumŪ 4 Processor 2.6GHz, 800MHz FSB, Socket 478 Retail $173.50
Kingston HyperX KHX3200K2/1G 1GB Kit DDR400 PC3200 Memory w/Heat Spreader Retail $250.00
Asus P4P800 Deluxe i865PE P4 800FSB Skt478 DDR ATX Motherboard w/Audio, LAN, RAID/Serial ATA Retail $126.99
550.00$, add a video card:
ATI Radeon 9700 PRO AGP 8X 128MB DDR Video Card w/TV-Out, DVI & CRT $206.00
All with free shipping through zipzoomfly.com (formerly googlegear). This machine will keep you gaming for quite some time. Yes your sdram will be useless in this box. You might want to wait a week or so and see what happens with the price on the CPU. I've seen 2.8Ghz going for 200.00 or so, however you won't ever be able to tell the difference between a 2.6 and a 2.8 anyhow.
art Edited by: artor beash at: 1/3/04 3:56 pm
Do you have a preference for either AMD or Intel?
What I'd suggest is a processor, motherboard and memory upgrade and keep the GeForce3 until March or April, when ATi and nVidia should be announcing their next generation on graphics cards (the R420 from ATi and NV40 from nVidia). The GeForce3 should still be able to offer reasonably decent performance in games, and you may find that the new card from ATi and/or nVidia is worth the wait.
I'm a bit not too confident of doing AMD. I know a little bit of Intel stuff, so I'd like to stick with what I know as opposed to going a whole new route with AMD. But that is a great deal on DDR, thanks for the heads up. I'll probably buy that unless I am convinced otherwise.
Edit: Saw that after I wrote this. My GeForce is still doing good, it can run FFXI and the newer games so I'm in no rush. It's really mostly the motherboard, memory and cpu I am looking to upgrade. I might wait until then to buy it, but I'd like to hear some ideas. Thanks for the help guys. Edited by: Stalkyr Weaksoul at: 1/3/04 4:52 pm
01-03-04, 05:10 PM
The RAM quoted above is pretty slow...That would be the reason for the price. I'm not saying it's sub-par, just saying that if you plan on overclocking or running the RAM timings faster that particular deal will not run aggresive timings. If you are just a normal everyday PC user and use it to occasionally game...Nothing wrong with it. If you plan on doing any OC'ing or aggresive preformance settings you'll definately run into issues. Just a FYI.
I'm not an overclocker or agressive gamer. I don't play games very often. I just want my games to have run very smoothly and be visually appealing.
Right now with regards to the P4 there's a bit of uncertainty (and since I'm considering upgrading from my Northwood 1.6A I've been following the rumours). There's probably about an 90% certainty that the existing top tier P4 motherboards from manufacturers such as Asus, Abit, Gigabyte, and MSI will in fact support the Prescott even though their technical specs are not exactly what Intel states is required (the boards were overbuilt for the Northwood, allowing them to cope with the extra power needed by the Prescott).
Additionally, there are rumours of a low multiplier, 133mhz fsb (533mhz effective) Prescot processor. If Intel releases something like a 2.26 or 2.4Ghz Prescott running on a 133mhz fsb, it would be an excellent candidate for the overclocking community (a 2.4Ghz, 133mhz fsb Prescott would clock to 3.6Ghz on a 200mhz fsb if it can get that high). Intel has had the 300mhz Celeron, the 700mhz P3, the Northwood P4 1.6A, and the 2.4Ghz P4C, which are all inductees in the "Great Overclocking Processors Hall of Fame", and a low front side bus Prescott would be a great candidate for Intel's next inductee.
But if you were to buy a processor tomorrow, then the 2.6C or 2.8C would be the best choice, depending on whether you figure the extra 200mhz is worth the 2.8C's price premium.
As for memory, looking at Newegg the 2x512mb of Level 2 Mushkin PC3500 memory (rated to 2-2-2 at 219mhz) is high quality memory, and at $283 (newegg) it's not that much more than the HyperX PC3200.
01-03-04, 06:18 PM
I've always had issues with Mushkin memory...Nothing physically wrong with it. They do quite a bit of SPD chipping to get the RAM where they want it. As memory serves me, Mushkin doesn't actually manufacture any memory at all. They simply make SPD chips to control the speeds that a BIOS will auto detect at. They do a ton of publishing that the RAM they release is superior, which I don't know much about since I personally don't use it. I do have reservations about a company that doesn't own a fab plant equiped to make memory chips. It's probably just me being particular about manually adjusting my RAM. As not all systems are created equal, my settings may not work in two seperate systems with the same hardware, it simply depends on the individual chips on the memory PCB. Mushkin sets them very low latency via the SPD chip and I can't help but guess that there might be issues with an overclocked system where you don't lock the RAM/AGP ports away from the FSB and want sync timing between the RAM and FSB. I'd be curious if anyone out there has used it extensively and could post a note about how it works in an OC box, non sync FSB.
Last I heard Mushkin PC3500 L2 Black used Winbond's BH5 chips (it probably means nothing to those not following memory, but Winbond struck gold with their BH5 chips), and they said they had stockpiled enough B chips to use in their memory until early 2004.
AnandTech did a review of several sticks a while ago and Mushkin's PC3500 L2 Black came out on top. Since Stalkyr mentioned that he won't be overclocking much, the best performance at 200mhz would be the most important factor in determining which is the fastest memory for his setup.
Then again, I just use Samsung PC2700 running at PC2100 speed and my games work fine, so if 8 or 9/10th performance potential is fine, a pair of Cas 2.5 PC3200 sticks would be a lot less expensive (under $150usd probably). It's a matter of how much one wants to spend and where one wants to spend it. Will the $100 be put to better use on faster memory, faster processor, better motherboard, or a more powerful graphics card? It's up to the buyer to decide.