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Planning a new computer


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#1
UV_Power

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Hey everyone,

I am building a new computer. I want 2.4GHz (or higher :tazz: ) Pentium 4 to which I will be running mostly office applications and art design programs (like Photoshop, Maya, etc...)

I have looked at numerous CPUs and mobos ;) , but I am still unsure about what I should go with. I need suggestions for a good CPU & mobo for a non-gaming P4 computer that is easy to upgrade in the future. Thanks! ;)

Edited by UV_Power, 08 June 2005 - 04:22 PM.

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#2
greyknight17

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I haven't built one myself (not yet at least :tazz:), but Asus is a great brand. I see you have it listed actually in your signature there. Also for Pentium, I would go with Athlon if you want to save some money. But if you like Pentium, then stick with the PIV like you said earlier.

Since you are into graphics, get a graphic card for this new computer. AGP or the new PCI Express are most desirable.

Is speed and backups very important? If so, you might want to look into having a RAID setup. Make sure the motherboard supports RAID, otherwise you will need to buy a RAID controller card.

RAM is also a crucial component here since you are dealing with graphics. At least 1GB, more will be better. I haven't researched much about this, but you might want to take a look at the dual channel ram setups. This is where you will have (usually) 4 memory banks for two pairs of ram. If you use 1GB for one slot, you have to pair another 1GB with another slot. I think this works faster, but you may have to research this more to make sure.

Basically these are most important if you ask me:

- RAM
- CPU
- Graphics Card

The higher the speed/capacity, the better. For the graphics card, try to go with a 128MB or 256MB one (if you can afford it). Good brands are nVidia and ATI. Either brands will do a great job for you.
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#3
hacp

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How much are you willing to spend? Overclock or no? DDR2 or DDR?

Edited by hacp, 08 June 2005 - 05:54 PM.

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#4
UV_Power

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I wanna find a good balance of performance vs. money. In other words: "Not top of the line, and not super expensive."

I am willing to spend as little as $400 (preferred :tazz: ) but as much as $800 (not so preferred ;)) for the whole computer.

The only thing I am planning to overclock is the video card and "possibly" the CPU....

And DDR is fine...


Thanks for all the advice greyknight17. I think I will look into a RAID setup. And Asus certainly sounds like the way to go.
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#5
hacp

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However, with DDR, you won't be able to upgrade that well in the future as i think the dual core processors and all other future intel processors are going to be ddr2.
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#6
hacp

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Mobo-$110
ABIT AG8 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 915P ATX Intel Motherboard
Ram-$85
TwinMOS 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM System Memory
(You can go 512 mb, will take 40 dollars of the price)
Video card-$170
CHAINTECH SE6600G Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI-Express x16 Video Card
Processor- $170
intel Pentium 4 520 Prescott 800MHz FSB 2.8 Ghz

Thats 515 dollars not including power supply/hard drive/cd drive/case. WHen you add all those up, you should be getting around 200-250 dollars. Adds up to 800 with shipping. Does not include Monitor,keyboard, mouse, and operating system.

Alternatives
If you are looking for more budgeting is this for this
video card-60$
SAPPHIRE 100110 Radeon X300SE HyperMemory 256MB 128-bit DDR HyperMemory 64-bit 128MB Onboard VRAM DDR PCI-Express x16 Video Card

and this for the processor- $105
intel Celeron D 335J 533MHz 2.8 Ghz



You should be able to overclock the processor pretty well with the Ram/mobo.

This all fits into your budget. However, if you want future upgradability, then go for ddr2 memory because that is intel's future.

More upgradable comp
Mobo-$150
ABIT AA8XE Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 925XE ATX Intel Motherboard
processor- $105
intel Celeron D 335J 533MHz 2.8 Ghz
video card-$60
SAPPHIRE 100110 Radeon X300SE HyperMemory 256MB
Ram-$50
GeIL Value 512MB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4300)
All this is 380. But we still need some essentials.

80 Gb hard drives go for 60 bucks, power supply goes for around 70-80, Optical drive goes for 50 and case goes for 30. Those stuff will add up to 220 dollars.

380+220=600. Add the operating system(90) and a monitor (lcd is 200) and you will get a computer that costs around 900 dollars. If you supply your own keyboard/mouse/operating system, then you can keep the price to as low as 600.

Edited by hacp, 08 June 2005 - 10:35 PM.

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#7
audioboy

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I gotta jump in here. two important things to point out.
1- celeron processors lack multimedia acceleration, so if you are looking to do photoshop etc, that you listed, celeron is not a good choice. it will do the stuff, be be very slow about it. if you want intel, definitely go P4.

2- intel is difficult to overclock. the CPU mulitplier is locked, so all you can tweak is the FSB. it can be done, its just a little more difficult.

3- uvpower doesnt seem to be going for top of the line here. it seems he is going for a midpower machine, which is a great way to buy, as the pricing in that range is usually pretty good.

ah, guess I had more than two. If your looking at intel, I would suggest looking at the 2.8-3 GHz prescott processors, they have the hyperthreading. definitely get a board that supports dual channel ram kits, to maximize your FSB.

here is good starting point bundle. add ram, hsf, everything else you will need.

I really like this deal. all quality components, room to upgrade the CPU. just add a hsf and your good.

hope that helps some!
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#8
hacp

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Problem is that he gave a budget.

Also, about the cpu multiplier thing, the only new processors that support changing multipliers are top of the line VERY EXPENSIVE ones. Currently, the athlon 64 line requires tweaking of the HTT to overclock, same as with the intel based pentium 4s.

With your suggestions, he would def go over budget, which you need to take into account. Also, celeron D is not that bad of a processor. It's about the same power as the sempron 2800. The parts I suggested defenetly gives him room to overclock if he wants to. Abit is known to offer overclocking made easy.
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#9
warriorscot

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You can alter the multiplier on an amd 64 , its locked upwards but you can lower it. You know for that money you could get a very nice venice sytem which by all accounts will overclock very well.
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#10
UV_Power

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However, with DDR, you won't be able to upgrade that well in the future as i think the dual core processors and all other future intel processors are going to be ddr2.

I didn't know that. Maybe I should be giving more thought towards DDR2...



We seem to be getting sidetracked with this CPU overclocking debate. Let's just say I won't be overclocking the CPU.

I like your setup hacp, although I'd have to disagree with you on the video card. Chaintech has ALOT of work to do to get their cards running stable. Plus, they have a higher DOA rate (at least from what I have heard) than almost all other companies. I was thinking more Asus, eVGA, or maybe even XFX (if I'm feeling lucky ;) )...

And, I agree with audioboy. I am certainly going P4. :tazz:

Tell me what you think of this combo (without the upgrades). The problem is that it's has an AGP instead of a PCI-x, which i guess I am OK with. ;) The mobo I am looking at is the P4V88, not the PT800-CE...
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#11
hacp

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Scrap that, I'm going to assume you won't be upgrading.

Edited by hacp, 09 June 2005 - 04:44 PM.

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#12
audioboy

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that combo would work. it leaves lots of room for upgrades.
the possible downsides-
its using a socket 478. thats the older intel socket, it will be around for a while, but dont know how long. socket 775 is the new intel way (also slighty more expensive).
that chip doesnt have hyperthreading. looks like the mobo will support it, so you could upgrade to a faster processor with HT later.
that chip only has a 533 FSB. I would suggest getting the 800 FSB, to support the current ram standard of PC3200. everything runs through the FSB, so maximizing speed there is important.

that said, it would make for a reasonable, upgradeable, low priced start. the AMD chips can be done in a similar fashion, getting something older now, and upgrading in the future.

remember to get a dual channel ram kit, again to maximize FSB speed.
it might be worth checking out some barebones kits, which can include mobo, cpu, ram, case, and psu. the site you linked had some, tiger direct (which I had linked) has some as well.

if your going to be moving CD drives, etc. from your old system, its a good way to save some money.
remember you will need a floppy drive to install SATA drivers!

DDR2 is the ram of the future, but not much supports it now, and with the type of system your looking to build, I wouldnt worry about it. DDR ram will be available for a long long time.
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#13
UV_Power

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OK, thanks. Your advice has helped me out greatly. I will continue my search for the best combo.

If I have any other questions, I will know where to ask them. ;)

EDIT: What do you think of this one? (it's a little pricey but I like it... :tazz: )

Edited by UV_Power, 09 June 2005 - 08:26 PM.

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#14
hacp

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Doesn't look like theres any ht support on that cpu. Not sure though.
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#15
audioboy

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hacp is correct, no HT on that pcu. HT cpu's will be referred to as prescott. I think there is a 2.8 with it, otherwise your looking at the 3ghz and up.

take another look at the links I posted earlier, they will get you HT, and the first one is slightly cheaper then your current link.
remember with the second one I posted, after you add the HSF, its about $400. thats your mobo, cpu, ram, and hsf.
add a video card, case, and psu, your there. you would be looking at about $600 total, assuming you dont need to buy a CD drive or floppy. if you need those, add another $50 (roughly).

we can tweak things depending on how tight your budget is. and as is always the case with computer stuff, wait a few weeks, the prices will drop again...
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