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Thread: Ready to buy... comments please!




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    28

    Wink Ready to buy... comments please!

    I've read through a lot of info on the net and at this site, particularly in this forum. Based on the info I have and the money I want to spend, how's this for a purchase (@ Monarch):

    Case: 100260 - NO PS - Antec Super LANBoy Aluminum Mid T $88.00
    Power Supply: 100578 - PS 460W - Enermax 465P-VE-24P Whisper PS $88.00
    Motherboards: Abit AV8 K8T800 Audio/Gb-LAN/IEEE/USB/SAT $119.00
    Processor: 120467 - AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 512K (939)(Retail Box w/Fan) $369.00
    Memory: 140428 - DDR (400) 3200 - 512 MB Corsair $169.00
    Hard Drive: 150131 - IDE - Western Digital (WD1200JB SE) 120 G $89.00
    CD/DVD-ROM: None
    CD-RW/DVD-RW: DVD-RW - Lite On SOHW-812S 8x/4x-DVD+-RW/ $75.00
    Floppy Drive: Mitsumi 7-in-1 USB Card-Reader/Smart-Medi $40.00
    Operating System: - Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition w/CD an $89.00
    Far Cry Promotion: FREE Full DVD Version of Far Cry - $0
    Sales Tax: $0.00
    Estimated Shipping: $27.50
    Total: $1,152.50
    A solid purchase? I'm not interested in the new Express boards coming out, and I went with the 939 board because A) the A64s drastically came down in price a day or two ago and B) I want the best upgrade possibilities for the future.

    I already have a card, a monitor (Viewsonic 22" P220F) and speakers. Any other observations about my planned purchase from the natives here?
    WinME
    1.0 GHz Athlon AMD T-Bird 650-1.2G
    Gigabyte 761-686B 7DX REV. F1vb MC
    AMD 761 Chipset
    Hercules GeforcePro 64MB Det. 32.80
    2x256 MB Crucial DDR PC2100
    40 Gig HD
    250 MB Iomega Zip
    Creative Soundblaster Live Value
    Viewsonic 22" P220f 1600x1200@85Hz
    Earthlink Cable 768/128 kbps

    FSB 2x101 MHz
    AGP Bus 4x67 MHz
    PCI Bus 1/3x34 MHz
    LPC/ISA Bus 1/4x9 MHz (VIA)

    Temps: Board 25.4C, CPU 52C
    ------------------------------------------
    SiSoft ALU: 2824 MIPS, FPU 1467 MFLOPS
    3DMark2001: 3702

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    489

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    It looks like a good sytem to me. excpet i would go for the OEM version of the processor and buy something liek a volcano 12 or soemthing. You will also need some arctic silver 5 then

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    I read somewhere in a comparison review that the A64's stock fan is pretty quiet and works well.
    WinME
    1.0 GHz Athlon AMD T-Bird 650-1.2G
    Gigabyte 761-686B 7DX REV. F1vb MC
    AMD 761 Chipset
    Hercules GeforcePro 64MB Det. 32.80
    2x256 MB Crucial DDR PC2100
    40 Gig HD
    250 MB Iomega Zip
    Creative Soundblaster Live Value
    Viewsonic 22" P220f 1600x1200@85Hz
    Earthlink Cable 768/128 kbps

    FSB 2x101 MHz
    AGP Bus 4x67 MHz
    PCI Bus 1/3x34 MHz
    LPC/ISA Bus 1/4x9 MHz (VIA)

    Temps: Board 25.4C, CPU 52C
    ------------------------------------------
    SiSoft ALU: 2824 MIPS, FPU 1467 MFLOPS
    3DMark2001: 3702

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Sunderland, England
    Posts
    529

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    if you can find the cash for windows xp pro it would be a better option than xp home which has less admin tools.
    also what graphics card do you have? youll probs want a pretty good card unless your not a gamer
    <img src="http://gfx.statgfx.com/old/folding.cgi?&username=metallicat666&teamid=33272&t rans=yes&.jpg" alt="www.Statgfx.com" />

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    BTW, here's the cooling solutions roundup for the Athlon 64:
    http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=get...18&articID=135

    My future rig will be a home desktop, so I doubt I have any use for admin tools of WinXP Pro. As for the card, I'm sticking with the 9600 Pro I have for now. I'll upgrade to a better one after awhile - I'm in no rush as I don't have to have all the best settings ASAP in games.

    I just badly need to update my 4 1/2 year old machine... 1.0 Ghz Athlon/Win ME. It's served me well and since I'll only upgrade once every four years or so, I'm getting the system above now and will gradually add more RAM/better video card down the line.
    WinME
    1.0 GHz Athlon AMD T-Bird 650-1.2G
    Gigabyte 761-686B 7DX REV. F1vb MC
    AMD 761 Chipset
    Hercules GeforcePro 64MB Det. 32.80
    2x256 MB Crucial DDR PC2100
    40 Gig HD
    250 MB Iomega Zip
    Creative Soundblaster Live Value
    Viewsonic 22" P220f 1600x1200@85Hz
    Earthlink Cable 768/128 kbps

    FSB 2x101 MHz
    AGP Bus 4x67 MHz
    PCI Bus 1/3x34 MHz
    LPC/ISA Bus 1/4x9 MHz (VIA)

    Temps: Board 25.4C, CPU 52C
    ------------------------------------------
    SiSoft ALU: 2824 MIPS, FPU 1467 MFLOPS
    3DMark2001: 3702

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    Your 9600 Pro is fine if gaming is only kind of a side thing you do. A Radeon 9800 Pro or better would be nice, but it's not really necessary if this isn't mainly for gaming.

    If your not overclocking, the stock heat sink\fan is just fine. If you do OC, you'll certainly want something better along with some PC3500 RAM.

    The memory may need to change, though. You don't want a 512MB stick, and certainly not for that price. Look for either a pack of two 256MB sticks (for dual channel, which socket 939 supports) or just get the same stick twice. I would recommend Newegg.com. Look for something with low timings (6-2-2-2 or 7-3-3-2 would be best, the order of the numbers may be switched around). $169 is too much if you're not going to overclock, and 512MB sticks (which is what I'm assuming that is) tend to have worse timings (but you can get good timings on them).

    Unless there's something particularly cool about the case that you think is worth it, $88 is way too much for a case with no PSU. You can get a nice Raidmax for about $25. There are plenty of nice cases that don't cost $88, but you may, of course, want to look for something that has the proper ports for your motherboard (the motherbaord will fit, don't worry, but the case might not have openings and such for everything that comes with the motherboard).

    Again, $88 is way too much for a power supply. For example, here's a 480W Thermaltake PSU. Thermaltake makes quality PSUs that are pretty cheap, too. You can cut corners even more by getting a smaller PSU as you would have to use a lot of devices (and a more powerful video card) to ever use more than 400W.

    Windows XP Home will be just fine if you don't understand or care what the extras are. There's more customization available and there are lots of networking features, but I doubt you'll ever use any of them if you don't already know what they are. If it saves you a few bucks, then just go with Home.

    BTW, you don't have a copy of Windows 98\98SE lying around, do you? It's really a much better operating system than Windows ME and it would be worth the time to replace ME with it on that system of yours.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    Thanks for the response.

    I never understood the insults of Win ME. It's been very solid for me for all 4.5 years. All my games and programs work fine, and I can usually have the system hovering at 92% free memory.

    Anyway, I also re-thought the memory issue, so I got a cheaper brand and decided to get the dual version (2.5,3,3,7 @ 2.6 volts). Here's what I've switched to (still haven't hit the purchase button though):

    Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard PS-2 $29.00
    Logitech MX 510 Optical Mouse (USB / PS2) $51.00
    Cases: NO PS - Antec Super LANBoy Aluminum Mid T $88.00
    Power Supply: PS 460W - Enermax Whisper EG465P-VE(FC) $73.00
    Case Fan: 120mm - Thermaltake 120mm Ball Bearing $19.00
    Motherboards: Abit AV8 K8T800 Audio/Gb-LAN/IEEE/USB/SAT $119.00
    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 512K (939) (Retail Box) $369.00
    Memory: DDR (400) 3200 - 1 GB (2 pcs 512) OCZ $195.00
    Hard Drive: IDE - Western Digital (WD1200JB SE) 120 G $89.00
    CD-RW/DVD-RW: Lite-On SOHW-1213S 4x-DVD+-RW/12 $99.00
    Floppy Drive: Mitsumi 7-in-1 USB Card-Reader/Smart-Medi $40.00
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition w/CD $89.00
    Far Cry Promotion: 270846 - FREE Full DVD Version of Far Cry

    Subtotal with your selected options: $1,260.00
    The memory specs are detailed here:
    http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3982378

    I changed a few things (cheaper PS, extra fan, added keyboard & mouse... I don't want cordless). BTW, I like the case for some reason, and I don't plan to overclock anything since you mentioned it.. So am I set to make a purchase?
    WinME
    1.0 GHz Athlon AMD T-Bird 650-1.2G
    Gigabyte 761-686B 7DX REV. F1vb MC
    AMD 761 Chipset
    Hercules GeforcePro 64MB Det. 32.80
    2x256 MB Crucial DDR PC2100
    40 Gig HD
    250 MB Iomega Zip
    Creative Soundblaster Live Value
    Viewsonic 22" P220f 1600x1200@85Hz
    Earthlink Cable 768/128 kbps

    FSB 2x101 MHz
    AGP Bus 4x67 MHz
    PCI Bus 1/3x34 MHz
    LPC/ISA Bus 1/4x9 MHz (VIA)

    Temps: Board 25.4C, CPU 52C
    ------------------------------------------
    SiSoft ALU: 2824 MIPS, FPU 1467 MFLOPS
    3DMark2001: 3702

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    $196 is a little much for RAM with 3-3-2.5 timings. I'd suggest something cheaper, such as this.

    Regardless of which you get, you'll want to change the tRAS (the big number) to about 8 as both come with tRAS that's lower than it should be. You should also see if the memory will run at CAS 2. Since you're not really overclocking you should be able to run the RAM with lower CAS latency.

    You could still go a bit cheaper with the PSU. The one I linked to is only $55 and will likely be overkill.

    Also, I forgot about the HDD. There's no reason to get IDE when you can get a faster SATA drive for around the same price. Here's a SATA Maxtor(my preference, although WD is goot too) and [url=http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-151&depa=0]Western Digital for not much more.

    Also, I may have to retract my previous statement regarding your video card. Well, kind of. I'll just say that you should strongly consider upgrading or at least overclocking it as it may really struggle with FarCry, at least at stock speeds. It'll be playable, but to really get it to look good a 9800 Pro or better would be in line. Just something to consider for the future.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    Keep in mind the $196 for the RAM is for the dual RAM - 2x512MB for 1 Gig.

    What's the difference between IDE and SETA?

    As for the graphic card, I'm not one to care about the highest settings or AA or AF too much. I'll be happy with this placeholder card until the next major card release, after which I'll let it drop in price before picking one up. I'll be fine.
    WinME
    1.0 GHz Athlon AMD T-Bird 650-1.2G
    Gigabyte 761-686B 7DX REV. F1vb MC
    AMD 761 Chipset
    Hercules GeforcePro 64MB Det. 32.80
    2x256 MB Crucial DDR PC2100
    40 Gig HD
    250 MB Iomega Zip
    Creative Soundblaster Live Value
    Viewsonic 22" P220f 1600x1200@85Hz
    Earthlink Cable 768/128 kbps

    FSB 2x101 MHz
    AGP Bus 4x67 MHz
    PCI Bus 1/3x34 MHz
    LPC/ISA Bus 1/4x9 MHz (VIA)

    Temps: Board 25.4C, CPU 52C
    ------------------------------------------
    SiSoft ALU: 2824 MIPS, FPU 1467 MFLOPS
    3DMark2001: 3702

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: Ready to buy... comments please!

    You just get two sticks of the RAM I found and it's almost $30 cheaper while still providing dual channel. You don't have to get a pack of two; you can just get the same stick twice.

    Serial ATA is just a different interface from IDE (or Parallel ATA). Basically, it's faster at almost no additional cost with no drawbacks.

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