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Thread: Looking for Advice from a 1st Timer...New Build!




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    First I want to say great forum. Glad I stumbled across it.

    It's been about 3 years since my last computer purchase and it's certainly time to upgrade. I have wanted to build my own PC for a few years now so figured now would be as good a time as any.

    I am looking to build something around 1,000 USD. In do some gaming but not much. Alot of my PC time is being spent on my family's website, new baby boy :) almost 6 months old, family pictures and videos. Plus a lot of time surfing the web.

    I would love recommendations from any and all on all parts. I am somewhat partial to AMD but not sold totally. Not decided yet whether I want to venture into 64 bit or wait.

    Also any trade talk out there as to new upgrades to come out in the next month that might knock some prices down?

    Anyway thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully reply :) Any info is good info.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Brazil
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    If you donít intend to use this computer for 3D applications I suggest that you stick with an Intel processor (a Prescott one would be better), as they seem to faster with video and audio edition, also there is no need for the fastest video card so you can pick something like a Radeon 9600XT or AIW make sure you get a future proof motherboard with at least one PCI express slot, donít forget that you need at least 512Mb DDR 400, and a 120gb HD as video eats a lot of space.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Sunderland, England
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    if you want an AMD then you should get an athlon 64 and a socket 939 motherboard (sorry i dont know which ones are good)
    get a cheap graphics card, a 9600 can be had for about $100(ish) and will do well for the next few years.
    if your doing video editing you may want to get 1gb of memory and run a RAID0 hard drive array. i would run 2x80GB RAID0 with the data backed up onto another drive of about 160GB.
    dont get a prescott P4 as they arent as fast as the northwood.
    if you plan alot of vid editing it may be worth looking at the p4.
    dont worry about pci express. it wont matter for a while yet.
    do you plan overclocking at all?
    <img src="http://gfx.statgfx.com/old/folding.cgi?&username=metallicat666&teamid=33272&t rans=yes&.jpg" alt="www.Statgfx.com" />

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    metallicat666, I probably won't be overclocking as this is a first time thing for me, but ya never know. Thanks for the info so far guys, hope I can get some more to come in!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Sunderland, England
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    as you arent going to be overclocking get 1GB of PC3200 with cas2 timings.
    get either an a64 or p4 northwood (do not get a prescott)
    get the fastest processor you can afford
    <img src="http://gfx.statgfx.com/old/folding.cgi?&username=metallicat666&teamid=33272&t rans=yes&.jpg" alt="www.Statgfx.com" />

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Fincastle, IN, USA
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    Definately don't get a Prescott. Those things are a waste!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Minnesota, United States
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    Assuming drives (optical and hard disc), monitor, and such can be removed and reused in this...

    If you want the most upgrading potential out of the machine:
    Athlon 64 3500
    Socket 939 Motherboard (choose one based on what features you will want)
    512MB (256MB x 2) PC3200 RAM CAS latency 2
    Radeon 9600

    That will handle games okay and will be incredibly fast for a family PC. If you don't play any games with highly graphical features (first-person shooters, mainly) get the cheapest AGP card you can find that supports 32 bit color and use the extra money to get 1GB of RAM.

    To get more bang-for-buck, but greatly restrict upgrading potential:
    Athlon 64 3700
    Socket 754 motherboard (again, choose based on features)
    Radeon 9600
    512MB (256MBx2) PC3200 RAM

    That's probably streching the budget enough that getting a crappier video card would only save money, rather than allowing room for more RAM or something else.

    If you wanted something that would have great bang-for-buck and play virtually any game you would ever want:

    Athlon 64 3400
    Socket 754 motherboard (ditto)
    Radeon 9800
    1GB PC3200 (512MB x 2) RAM

    That will be almost as good as the other systems, and even better in many applications because of the GB of RAM. The video card ensures you can play any game comfortably without going insane on the budget.

    In the event that you do need new drives or something, downgrade the video and/or RAM from that last system to pay for them. CD drives and flopy should be pretty much no-brainer (just go for the faster CD drive you can find). With hard drives, getting a 120GB SATA drive (make sure the motherboard comes with SATA) from Western Digital, Maxtor, or Seagate would be good. If you don't need that much space, getting a 10000RPM 74GB Raptor from Western Digital would be smart. If you don't need 120GB and would rather put the money towards RAM or the video card, getting an 80 GB SATA drive is fine, too. Probably smartest if the other ones involve getting rid of the RAM. One GB of RAM will help speed more than a faster or bigger HDD. You could also try to fit two 80GBs in for a RAID array, as mentioned...

    All three of those systems should fit your budget just fine.

    I wouldn't get a P4 system unless I did a lot of video encoding (not watching videos; making them). However, I am kind of an AMD fan. In Intel's defense, this would be good, too:
    Pentium 4 3.4C (Northwood)
    Socket 478 motherboard (again with the features.... but make sure it supports 800MHz FSB)
    1GB PC3200 RAM
    Radeon 9800 Pro (again, replace with other stuff if necessary)

    But under no circumstance should you get a Pentium 4 with a Prescott core. It is a huge waste of money compared to virutally every other CPU on the market.

    Don't worry about the fact that Athlon 64s are 64-bit. Unless you run Windows XP 64 bit, which is still in beta, it will be just like any 32-bit processor (except that they're more powerful than most). There's no experimenting necessary. It will work just fine (wuite well, actually).

    That's my :2cents:
    Personally, I would probably go for the Athlon 64 3500 system, but there are good reasons to get the others.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NY
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    Since it doens look to me like your going to be doing much gaming then the Athlon 64 3500 that Yawgm0th mentioned would be good. And I would go with a cheaper video card and with the money you saved buy more ram.

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