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Which one is worth it?


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#1
cageX5

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Ok...so after a wild week of computer shopping (visiting different stores, researching different brands, getting rejected for credit ) It's come down to 2 systems at the one store that gave me a credit limit, and I can't decide between the 2. I only know a bit on computers, so maybe you guys and girls could help shed some light?

SYSTEM #1:

Athlon 64 3200+ processor
1 GB Ram
160 GB hard drive
16x DVD burner
128MB GeForce graphics card
Windows XP

SYSTEM #2:

Pentium 4 520J
512 MB ram
160 GB hard drive
16x DVD burner/ CD-Rom
128MB Radeon graphics card
TV tuner w/PVR and Remote
All-in-one media design (S-video for PS2/XBOX hookups, Digital Camera dock)
Windows XP Media Centre 2005

System 2 is about $70 cheaper as well ($900 to $830). Is the better computer worth more than the extra features?

I've also considered option 3, building my own system. I have really no experience in building comps though, so would i be better off with a "pre-fab" system?
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#2
gerryf

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You would be better off building your own, yes.

It is not too difficult.

As for the two listed. I would want more information--which videocard exactly (there is more to a videocard than how much memory and the brand of GPU....the specific chip makes a WORLD of difference.

Also, what is the intended use? By this, I mean at its most intense?

Games? Video editing? Database crunching?
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#3
Digerati

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Don't let anyone give you advice like that unless they do what Gerry did:

Also, what is the intended use? By this, I mean at its most intense?

Games? Video editing? Database crunching?

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Edited by bill_bright, 18 April 2005 - 09:11 AM.

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#4
lt b0ngo

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By the look of it System 2 is dessigned for home entertainment and System 2 is an alrounder. The athlon processor does mean that it will work with the next windows OS. But i would go with system 3 because then you can configure it to your own personal needs.
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#5
flashbax

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plus if you build your own system. You can choose the parts you put in and dont have to use the expensive parts until you have got the cash. I do this a lot just make do with the half decent stuff nothing to crappy. Then when you have got the cash to splash, you also then have a back up-spare to fall back on.
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#6
jacobusmatthew

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if you are interested in building your PC I have some very basic tutorials you can read (not about assembly just about purchasing parts)

I dont want to write something huge if your not going to use it.

Also these are mainly gaming rigs so if your not into games nevermind.

Go Here for a specific configuration.

Go here for some general info

Please note these are for gaming rigs so if you want to build or buy your machine for a different purpose im sure me or someone else here can help you out.

Matt :tazz:
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#7
cageX5

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I'm definately interested in building a PC, as it seems like the cheaper option. But not being experienced in that, i don't know if i want to try and fail, wasting a few hundred dollars if i do something wrong while building and bust it. ;)

I'm mainly going to be using it for internet, school work, multitasking, and media (i.e. TV playback, PVR, CD and dVDs etc..) and some mid-level gaming. I wanted the Athlon 64 processor though so i can have a long-term computer (one that will last several years without needing a major upgrade)

I found an Athlon 64 at Future Shop (The Canadian version of the Best Buy chain) for 700 that i'm considering, but i'll read those tutorials and troll the Boards tonight to look into this some more. Building a computer seems like a complicated task :tazz:

Edited by cageX5, 18 April 2005 - 06:53 PM.

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#8
Doby

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Building a computer is somewhat complicated but I would encourage any one who will take the time to read up on it to build thier own. The key here is time, read the totorials, ask questions, then proceed when you are comfortable.

You will not only get a better computer but knowledge you will gain will be priceless plus the fact that you will know every part in it you will never again hesitate to do a upgrade all without taking it to the shop.

Rick
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#9
jacobusmatthew

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Maybe other people disagree but i always thought that intel was your best bet for lifespan........the thing that attracts people to AMD is that they have very high performance levels at lower prices and are more designed for the overclocker.........AMD makes very good processors but there lifespan is slightly less than
Intel's......however it is your choice so go with what you want...........I would not recomend purchasing a PC from a store for 2 reasons
1. it generally costs more
2. its generally out of date and not what you could be getting for the same money online

If you truly are interested in building your own computer i could whip up a little basic guidline kinda thing............give me a budget and a few preffered system specs.........u may want to find some one in your area with computer building knowledge (if available) to help you otherwise just ask away........one thing i have learned from building PC's is if you are afraid you might break it or think you've done something wrong you didn't do your homework..........as for the choices you listed..........if your going to buy from a retailer get a Dell Hp Gateway or something like that.............also another option is to get a Barebones kit.....these usually come with warrantys and are gauranteed to work with the components they come with..........normally you need to get a CD drive a Hard Drive and A video board..............some barebones come with there others may require even more.....let me know what you think..........

Matt :tazz:
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#10
Digerati

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I have never heard of a lifespan issue with AMD and I am sure AMD would have issues with that statement. Since my oldest SETI cruncher is a K5 running at a whopping 116.7 MHz and it has been running since 1995 - I can't complain. Although AMD does accomodate overclockers better than Intel, that does not mean they have to be overclocked.

I would not worry about the lifespan of any processor - you will not have your PC that long for it to just wear out.
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#11
cageX5

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actually what i meant by 'lifespan' was that if 2-3 years down the road everything started going 64-bit then i would have to upgrade my P4 processor...

But i guess that could be solved by getting a 600-series Prescott instead. They're about the same price as the Athlon 64's.

Does anyone have links to good places fro barebones kits? I've seen them on eBay before, that might be an option. Although if i took apart my current comp to build my new one, then i probably wouldn't need a case, power supply, and casefan.

Basically my budget is $500-1000 CDN ($400-800 US). I'd like to be in the lower end of that price range, but i'd pay a little more to get what i want:

*Pentium 4 600-series or Athlon 64 processor
*At least 512 MB ram
*at least 64mb video card (preferably 128 or 256)
* a decent sized hard drive (120gb and over. 200-250 would be ideal)
*DVD-RW (this is a must for me :tazz: . The new LightScribe ones look neat, but a regualr one would do too)

besides that, pretty basic stuff. I don't need anything overly 'tricked-out'. Just that'll get me through Uni and handle a lot of media/multitasking and some gaming (Sims 2 would probably be the most powerful game I run).
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#12
Digerati

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actually what i meant by 'lifespan' was that if 2-3 years down the road everything started going 64-bit then i would have to upgrade my P4 processor...

But i guess that could be solved by getting a 600-series Prescott instead. They're about the same price as the Athlon 64's.

Does anyone have links to good places fro barebones kits? I've seen them on eBay before, that might be an option. Although if i took apart my current comp to build my new one, then i probably wouldn't need a case, power supply, and casefan.

Basically my budget is $500-1000 CDN ($400-800 US). I'd like to be in the lower end of that price range, but i'd pay a little more to get what i want:

*Pentium 4 600-series or Athlon 64 processor
*At least 512 MB ram
*at least 64mb video card (preferably 128 or 256)
* a decent sized hard drive (120gb and over. 200-250 would be ideal)
*DVD-RW (this is a must for me  :tazz: . The new LightScribe ones look neat, but a regualr one would do too)

besides that, pretty basic stuff. I don't need anything overly 'tricked-out'. Just that'll get me through Uni and handle a lot of media/multitasking and some gaming (Sims 2 would probably be the most powerful game I run).

View Post

Don't worry about 64bit making everything today obsolete - ain't gonna happen any time soon - for that to happen, Windows 64 would have to be PROVEN stable - just for starters - then MS Office, anti-virus, EVERY thing would have to be ported to 64 bit - it will take a decade or more before that happens - it will cost all industries too much - they don't need to when 32 bit apps run just fine. It will be a long time before 64 bit only applications are the norm.

The gaming industry will be driving this - watch them. In the meantime, if you are not into the latest and greatest 3D animated games, serious CAD, or video imagry, don't worry about 64-bit compatibility.
***
You were smart to set a budget and determine your needs before jumping out there. That tells me you have an ounce or two of common sense and so I have no doubt you will be able to build your system yourself.


That said, if 64bit capability, when it becomes available in a program you want, is important, AMD64s make choice. They are here, they are compatible with current stuff, and they are affordable.

Here's a couple things to consider. Pretty lights don't make the computer faster or better. In fact, they draw power and add heat, after a week or two they are boring and the computer gets stuck back in it's hole so lights end up being a waste of money.

If you are going to use the computer as a tool to conduct your personal and work related business, finances, school papers, email, Google, and maybe an occational DVD or photo management, you want a good reliable workhorse with the flexibility to last for years. If your computer is just a toy, add pretty lights.

I say start with a good case. Antec is an example of fine case makers. Solid construction, 120mm fan options, no sharp edges, removable or side access drive bays, and more.

Then a top 450W - 550W power supply to ensure CLEAN solid power for now and future add ons. A top quality PS delivers cleaner power to the motherboard - that is important. But it also is quieter, better at helping cool the case, and I say again, quieter. Antec also shines there too. Enermax and Thermaltake too.

If you have a great case and power supply, they will last through 2 or 3 motherboard upgrades.

You don't have to get the best you can afford now, There are many budget boards with audio, video, LAN on-board. You can always disable the video and install your monster one a couple paychecks later. Then disable sound and upgrade your card.


www.mwave.com is where I send a lot of first time builders. They have a great "Motherboard Bundle" package. Most seller's bundles are the motherboard and CPU only. MWave's also includes RAM. There wizard lets you pick and choose motherboards, CPUs, and RAM and build your own bundle. This is great because you will only be offered to put compatible CPUs and RAM to a particular motherboard - it saves you having to guess which processor will work - it will list all those that do.

Also, or only $9.00USD more, they will mount the CPU and RAM onto the motherboard and TEST it! So not only do you know these three component work, you know they work together - not a bad warm fuzzy for only $9.

Now for the Canadians, I don't know if they ship or sell to there, but you can still use their Motherboard Bundle wizard find the motherboard/CPU/RAM combo you want, price it out (they are competitive to ZipZoomFly and NewEgg) to see how it fits in your budget - they have a huge selection of boards and good descriptions.

Getting a slightly slower CPU but a faster video card will usually yield better results.

Get a minimum of 512Mb of memory - 1Gb is better, anything over 1Gb is overkill. Dual Channel RAM and motherboard is better - for 1Gb dual, you will need 2 512Mb modules installed in designated motherboard slot.
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#13
Guest_AWizard_*

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Ok...so after a wild week of computer shopping (visiting different stores, researching different brands, getting rejected for credit ) It's come down to 2 systems at the one store that gave me a credit limit, and I can't decide between the 2. I only know a bit on computers, so maybe you guys and girls could help shed some light?

SYSTEM #1:

Athlon 64 3200+ processor
1 GB Ram
160 GB hard drive
16x DVD burner
128MB GeForce graphics card
Windows XP

SYSTEM #2:

Pentium 4 520J
512 MB ram
160 GB hard drive
16x DVD burner/ CD-Rom
128MB Radeon graphics card
TV tuner w/PVR and Remote
All-in-one media design (S-video for PS2/XBOX hookups, Digital Camera dock)
Windows XP Media Centre 2005

System 2 is about $70 cheaper as well ($900 to $830). Is the better computer worth more than the extra features?

I've also considered option 3, building my own system. I have really no experience in building comps though, so would i be better off with a "pre-fab" system?

View Post


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#14
Digerati

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Since you said you were into media/multitasking, I would go for system 2.

Since building custom PCs for clients is what I do, I build my own too. If building from scratch (that is, you have no existing parts to start with) you can not beat the prices from Dell, Gateway, or HP - individuals just do not have the purchasing power to buy 1,000,000 hard drives, for example, and get the volume discounts. But you can certainly build a better PC in ANY class.

Building your own allows you to pick a better power supply and a stronger case - almost always better than the store boughts.

Building your own is also a great way to learn. But, it is very easy to make a mistake, especially if you have no background in electronics, and mount the motherboard incorrectly, or zap a major component with static.

Building your own means if there is a problem, you have to fix it and you may have to go through several venders for replacement parts.

Buying from the big makers means only one number to call for all problems.

If you are considering building your own, I suggest you Google "building a computer" (use the quote marks to search the phrase) to get an idea of what you are getting into.
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#15
neilp4453

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yea, I hate amd for the sheer reason that every time I got an amd pc, it sucked. but yea, I think you should build your own pc. i am 16yrs old and I have built my own. all I have to do now is install my xp when I get it through the mail and boom I am done. Its not that difficult just teeny tiny steps but its fun. and most people here have knowledge about computers and I also had a little bit and I made one. and I would go wit intel, wow 64-bit. big deal, the next os will also support 32-bit since there will be different versions (from what I have read). so no biggie and I also researched and found out that there are few things that actually use the 64-bit processing as of now. everything is mostly 32-bit.
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