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Thread: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?




  1. #1
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    Default Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    I'm building a new system for someone $250 (US) range or under for a CPU and mainboard. Looking at pricewatch.com it looks like I could easily stick a 3.0 ghz pentium 4 CPU in it with a Intel 865pe chipset mainboard.

    Is this a good route to go today or can I get more bang for the buck?

    I'm thinking of sticking this card in the system http://bestbargainpc.com/saatira98vic.html and I want the machine to be able to run all of todays P.C. video games at a high setting flawlessly.


    One more question.
    Is A Prescott CPU better than the standard 800Mhz bus based P4 CPU's?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    Not sure of american prices, but an athlon 64 3000 or 3200 on either a socket 754 or 939 mainboard would probably be a better choice. If u go with the 939 + a Winchester athlon 64, you can also probably overclock pretty high (that was 1 of the last strengths of Northwood P4 + 856PE IMO).

    Edit: Prescott is also 800mhz FSB. And no, its not really a better choice than a northwood. Also you may want to consider a more powerful video card, i.e. geforce 6600GT or 6800GT depending on your budget
    Last edited by sr4470; 11-28-2004 at 01:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    Go AMD for gaming. So get a AMD Athlon 64 3000+ and a MSi K8N neo2 platinum or an ABIT AV8 if you really need to stay in budjet.

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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    Quote Originally Posted by sr4470
    Not sure of american prices, but an athlon 64 3000 or 3200 on either a socket 754 or 939 mainboard would probably be a better choice. If u go with the 939 + a Winchester athlon 64, you can also probably overclock pretty high (that was 1 of the last strengths of Northwood P4 + 856PE IMO).

    Edit: Prescott is also 800mhz FSB. And no, its not really a better choice than a northwood
    The Athlon 64 3000 socket 754 or 939 pin is a cheaper CPU (Around $140). If I went with a A64 3200, I would have a choice between getting a 939 pin 90nm or non 90nm CPU around $180 which is compareable to the P4 3Ghz for price. Which is best 90nm or not?

    I'm guessing the 939 CPU would be perfered over the 754 pin CPU but what is the best board for this CPU?

    Since I havent built an AMD CPU based system to this date what do I need for cooling and a power supply versus the intel based systems? Anything else and is there any compatability issues with todays video games?
    Last edited by Spongebob; 11-28-2004 at 01:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    Well over here, the 3000 and 3200 s754\939 versions are very close in price, and a 939 board is moderately more expensive than 754 (in US dollars, a difference of $45). The 939 is probably a better choice if you have the money, and the 90nm versions are what you want (if you have decent case cooling, a bit of arctic silver 5, and a good HSF such as the thermaltake venus 12, along with fast ram, you can overclock quite far). The MSI K8N Neo Platinum is an ideal board (Neo2 for socket 939). I would probably go with the Abit AV8 also, if on a tight budget.
    Last edited by sr4470; 11-28-2004 at 01:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    Quote Originally Posted by KoolDrew
    Go AMD for gaming. So get a AMD Athlon 64 3000+ and a MSi K8N neo2 platinum or an ABIT AV8 if you really need to stay in budjet.

    Not much difference in price for those 2 boards. Is there any good sub $100 boards for that CPU? Also do I need a 64 bit operating system? What advantages do I gain with 64 bit?


    What about this setup? CPU+fan= http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...103-486&depa=0

    Mainboard= http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...131-512&depa=0

    Also that CpU only clocks at 2Ghz, that seems slow for todays most demanding games like Half-life 2 which is recommending atleast a 2.4 ghz CPU. I know a P4 3ghz CPU (clocking at 3ghz) with an ATI Radeon 9800 non-pro card pushes this game and any others almost to the max, will I get the same results from this AMD CPU based system?
    Last edited by Spongebob; 11-28-2004 at 01:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    Gigabyte do both 754 and 939 boards for under $100, not recommended if you plan to overclock though.

    Edit: 64 bit is irrelevant for the time being, and the current strength of athlon 64 is its performance in a 32bit environment i.e. windows xp. I cant see any applications that would benefit from a switch to windows xp 64.
    Last edited by sr4470; 11-28-2004 at 01:37 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebob
    I'm building a new system for someone $250 (US) range or under for a CPU and mainboard. Looking at pricewatch.com
    There's the first problem... Don't look at www.pricewatch.com. Half the links there don't work, half the time the prices aren't really anything to right home about, and 90% it leads you to an unreliable site. Either buy used at eBay or new at Newegg. If the prices are considerably cheaper than Newegg, then there's probably a catch. There are a few other decent online retailers, but I'd advise you just stick with Newegg for the best possible service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebob
    it looks like I could easily stick a 3.0 ghz pentium 4 CPU in it with a Intel 865pe chipset mainboard.

    Is this a good route to go today or can I get more bang for the buck?
    As has been said, Athlon 64 is the way to go. I'd say it's the way to go for almost any system at all price ranges, with video encoding and other applications that use almost entirely clock speed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebob
    I'm thinking of sticking this card in the system
    http://bestbargainpc.com/saatira98vic.html and I want the machine to be able to run all of todays P.C. video games at a high setting flawlessly.
    That's a 128-bit 9800 Pro, according to the listed specs, which just isn't that great for gaming. For gaming machines, you don't want to skimp on the video card, because it's the most important part, usually. If you threw that card into an Athlon 64 machine my 2GHz P4 would outperform it in most games (well, most highly-graphical ones anyway) because I'm using an overclocked 256-bit 9800 Pro. The cheapest I would go with would be a Sapphire 9800 Pro off Newegg for around $190. I'd say it's worth the extra to get a GeForce 6800 (I'd recommend the eVGA or Leadtek, Leadtek having about the best stock cooldin and the eVGA comes with a free copy of FarCry, assumign the person getting it doesn't have it).

    One more question.
    Is A Prescott CPU better than the standard 800Mhz bus based P4 CPU's?[/QUOTE]
    Rarely. Price is really what you should consider when getting an 800MHz p4 at this point, not the core. The Prescott runs hotter, but can take more. But I'd say we've already established that that's irreleveant.

    If you're looking at a bang-for-buck A64 system that isn't upgradable past an Athlon 64 3700 (2.4Ghz with 1MB L2 cache), socket 754 is the way to go, and the motherboard I would recommend is the Chaintech VNF3-250. It's one of the cheapest boards there is for socket 754, and I wouldn't really consider the ones that are cheaper. Anyway, the Chaintech will perform right up there with more expensive boards and overclock just as well, if it needs to.

    The retail 3000 you chose is fine. It will perform great in games. Overclocking would be a different story, but it's fine on it's own.

    As for Windows XP 64-bit, there is a free beta you can download from Microsoft, but gaming is the major area where it has problems. It has similar or even better peformance in other areas (much better in some areas that I doubt are relevant here), but the drivers for both nVidia and ATI cards simply aren't good enough to get decent gaming performance, or at least they weren't last time I looked.

    If you actually want this system to have upgradability, I'd wait until socket 939 boards with PCI-E and SLI hit Newegg (they should in early December) and get a PCI-E 6600GT. That way, to upgrade the video card, you just get another 6600GT of the exact same model and eventaully move up to a different card altogether, and the CPU will have quite a few options for upgrading down the road.
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 11-28-2004 at 02:48 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    I didn't realize there was a difference in bit rates on the Radeon 9800 video cards, glad you pointed that out. Would my ATI Radeon 9800 nonpro that I have in this system only be 128 bit also? Its awfully old but gets the job done on higher settings without anything at all being overclocked but ofcoarse I feel half of that has to do with the CPU and mainboard combo power also.

    I'm basicall looking at cost effective system that'll pull todays games at high settings. I know if I stick my Radeon 9800 nonpro card into one of my P4 2.4 Ghz systems, video games take a big dive in performance compared to the system with a P4 3.0ghz system with an MSI 865PE Neo2 board in it.

    I think I could get the same CPU I have and a cut down version of the board at Newegg within my $250 price range for the combo but I built this system over a year ago and for the price I feel I could do better for the person I'm building the system for since hearing AMD gets you more bang for the buck on this forum. But if that video card is going to suck in an AMD system then I'd probably stick with what I know works well even though I'd like to shave cost as much as possible and go the AMD way since the customer is price conservative.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Whats the best CPU mainboard combo today?

    newegg 4 lyfe. How the hell do you build a fast comp for 250? Case----40, proc----100.....mobo 50.....harddrive 80.......vid card 0 if integrated, then add to mobo cost, or like 150...already thats over budget you dont' even got a case or shipping or tax if in cali!? You insane foo?
    Case: Thermaltake Xaser III // Power Supply: Thermaltake Butterfly 480w // Motherboard: Chaintech 9CJS Zenith // Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 C // Heatsink: Vantec Aeroflow // Video Card: Asus 9600 XT // Harddrive: Western Digital Raptor 36.7 GB // DVD Burner: Pioneer DVR-A06 // Soundcard: Audigy 2 // Speakers: Logitech Z-680's

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