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Thread: I need to build a new system.. Help!




  1. #1
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    Ok.... I still run a p2 400 on an asus p2b mobo. I want to build another system but have not been following this stuff for quite a while so would love some opinions on what I should go after. I am on a budget right now so best bang for buck is what I'm after. I was thinking a p4 1.6 with an asus board. Which asus boards would go well. Also I am seeing alot of audio on board.. is this worth a crap or should I not want it onboard? The main purpose of this comp is graphics work such as photoshop and illustrator. I dont game and I dont really want to overclock. Just want a reliable comp... processor, mobo, video, ram, etc. Opinions?? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Since your main goal is stability over performance, stick with an Intel chipset. They are notorious for being nearly unkillable.

    Motherboard really comes down to personal choice. I'd look for something with the Intel i845D chipset and get yourself about 512MB of DDR memory. Processors will depend on where the "Sweet-Spot" is at the moment. I haven't kept up with Intel processors, but you'll see a drastic increase at some point. Just get the one right below that point for the best bang for the buck.

    As for video, since gaming isn't in your plans, look at a Matrox board. They tend to produce better 2d graphics than nVidia, and are priced reasonably close. Just make sure that you can get drivers for the OS you plan on running. Matrox isn't the best when it comes to driver support, but when they get a good set out there, they tend to work well.

    Good luck! :D
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  3. #3
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    OK, If i were going for a nice cheap, yet effective system, I'd have to go an Athlon XP.. but if you can handle that slightly higher price then go for the P4 like Darth said.

  4. #4
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    P4 1.7's & 1.8's are not significantly more than than 1.6's, I had a system built about 2 wks. ago & the big price jump came at 1.9GHz - you may want to check if that is still the case.

    If you like Asus boards look at the P4B266 - it's a good i845D Mb w/DDR Ram support
    The P4S333 is worth looking at too, it's an SIS chipset - you won't notice the perfromance difference & it's about a third cheaper.

    For a video card Matrox is good, or ATi has good 2D IQ as well - but if you go ATi get a real retail ATi manuafactured card, some of the third party mfg'd cards don't have anywhere near the same quality.:thumb:

  5. #5
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    Hey there Raj!

    If u want stability/speed/bucks worth - choose this (I have the same). And it works flawlessly!!

    P4 1,7 GHz
    Mobo MSI 845D Ultra A-RU (raid and DDR- memory)
    Get a good PSU like Enermax 350W
    PC2100 DDR memory
    If u want raid (handles 8 IDE drives) shop around for 2 identical hard dics (i.e. WD or Maxtor DiamondMax D740X)
    Graphics card: Gainward GeForce3 Ti/500 TV

    You can't go wrong, but I guess a lot of specs fulfill that too.
    Crusader

  6. #6
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    From my (extensive) experience with Intel CPU/Chipset products, the best solution would probably be a motherboard from Intel themselves. Despite the fact you can't overclock them, they are designed to take a beatin' and keep on tickin'. Their model based on the i845D chipset should fit the bill, and when combined with a Pentium 4 this would make an awesome Photoshop machine. Just make sure that your plug-ins are SSE2 compatible :thumb:

    For the video, I would suggest something from ATi instead of Matrox. The high-end ATi products have the same excellent 2D quality of the Matrox, but have exponentially higher 3D performance, so if you want to dabble in applications such as Lightwave at a later stage you can :)

    Good Luck! :bounce:
    What came first - Insanity or Society?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayline
    Hey there Raj!

    If u want stability/speed/bucks worth - choose this (I have the same). And it works flawlessly!!
    I don't know where you guys get off on this Intel = stability school of thought. That may have been true up through very early Athlon days, but that was over 2 years ago. I've been running Athlon's exclusively since they first broke the GHz barrier and I'll put the stability of my systems up against anyones.

    With my opinion (yes, we all have one) on the debateble portion of your statement out of the way........SPEED AND $$'s worth? Where do you come off pushing Intel for THAT? Yes, clock for clock they are priced nearly the same. HOWEVER, if you know anything about HOW Intel gets those clock speeds (VERY long pipelines), then you would know that all clocks are not created equally. In ANY comparrison that I have seen, the Athlon XP far surpasses the P4 at the same clock speed, and tho I don't like the new naming convention, AMD has been proven to be erring on the conservative side with the XXXX+ speeds. But don't take my word for this, rajjneef.

    Check the benchmarks here (this is the content creation page since you mention Photoshop; however, read through all the mant benchmark pages): http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1595&p=5

    For Speed AND Value; I would highly recommend either the Shuttle AK31A Rev 3 or AK35GTR motherboard paired with the Retail 1700+ AthlonXP CPU. They would be $200/$233 respectively for the MB/CPU combo at Newegg.com

    To get the same level of performance in a P4 you'd be talking a 2.0 GHz cpu........which Intel only charges $324 for. Add the MSI 845D for $124 and you can get the combo for a paltry $448.....now THAT's value!

    That's my 2 cents.......



    Oh, BTW.....something else none of these Intel fans has mentioned yet, Intel keeps playing socket roulette with the P4 platform, so your future upgrade path may be a dead end.......but who cares about that?
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  8. #8
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    Well, I ain't going to debate on Intel vs AMD in particular, but the guy asked for a stable/reliable comp. with no particular overclocking abilities and for use with graphics work like Photoshop and Illustrator.
    I just know that AMD processors generally heat up more than Intel processors - and therefore need more cooling/fan arrangements. Doesn't take much time looking in these and other forums to confirm on that matter. Powerconsumption and noisecontrol are also part of a system.
    However you may be proven right about the socket item though - but I guess if u buy a system like he opted for - who's gonna need upgrading for a veeeeeeeeeeeeery long time anyway? Techies do - but I guess most of us are not in that cathegory.
    Crusader

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayline
    .......I guess if u buy a system like he opted for - who's gonna need upgrading for a veeeeeeeeeeeeery long time anyway? Techies do - but I guess most of us are not in that cathegory.
    Moore's law and my own experience would state otherwise;) .

    As for the Socket issue.....do you buy a car w/o considering it's resale value?

    Besides, If he WAS talking about OVERCLOCKING, I might agree with some of your positions. However, he expressedly is not and at this point in computing history, I myself have lost all interest in that black art as well. When you could get 200 MHz that was a 20% speed boost for the cost of a good HeatSinkFan unit, it was compelling.....especially when you saw a dramatic improvement in HalfLife or whatever you were running. Now IF you can get that same 200MHz (big if), it's only 14% (and more likely you will get less than that reliably with aircooling only unless you want to sit next to a Delta 7000 rpm lear jet all day.) Besides, you just don't see the same real world difference in your PC's "feel".

    Without bringing overclocking into the equation, I firmly believe an AMD will run AS reliably and quietly as a P4 (with the RETAIL boxed unit with AMD's HSF) Actually you may even find a quieter aftermarket fan.

    The ONLY area where I will give Intel there due with the P4 is that the integrated heat speader atop the cpu does make their part MUCH more durable form the casual builder....... nearly fool-proof. Unfortunately, it IS possible to damage the core when installing the HSF on an Athlon if you do it improperly. Again, the Retail version eliminates a lot of this concern as the installation procedure and design of the clip is more user-friendly.

    Lastly, I think because the AMD part is more often purchased by those intent on overclocking their PC's AND because AMD has been much more o/c-ing friendly by making this far easier to do than Intel: they have unfairly gained a reliabilty stigma due to failed o/c-ing methods. There are several reasons for this which are NOT the fault in any way of AMD other than designing an exposed core to facilitate cooling. MOST of the issues involving damaged cpu's involve:

    1) operator error in pushing their cpu too far beyond spec.
    2) Because they are o/c-ing, they buy aftermarket HSF's and install them improperly
    3) They do not properly install the HSF with the proper amount of thermal grease (either not enough or WAY too much.

    I am NOT Intel bashing by any stretch of the imagination. Both companies make good products from very different approaches. However; advising someone who has COST as one of their primary concerns to only consider an Intel cpu is like telling a like minded car shopper to ignore Toyota and only consider Lexus. That's my story and I'm sticking to it:)

  10. #10
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    First things first; I actually do buy my cars without considering resale value, lol.....- so you were right about that one :-)

    I also tend to agree about your opinions about the overclocking issue - some things should be left alone if you cannot do them right. No point for me to practice brain surgery being an engineer.

    And yes, the Intel system may be a bit more costy - but I still think choosing a comp. is a matter of taste.
    I actually seriously considered building an AMD system, but after reading at least 2 - 300 threads in forums I decided to build an Intel based computer. I have another computer which also is Intel based - and I thought that this time I'll try an Athlon - but however I chose Intel again.
    Crusader

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