Pentium 4 & Motherboard Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Darren Lewis, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Hi,

    A friend of mine wants some help putting together a new P4 system. Can someone explain what's the latest with the P4s?

    There seems to be different types - s423 s478 and Northwood. Which one to go for?

    Also what's a good P4 mobo? I've always thought Asus were the best, but it's been a year or so since I last looked at these things.

    Thanks.

    Darren.
     
  2. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Avoid Socket 423 as it's the older standard and will see no new products released based upon on it.
    The new 'A' or 'Northwood' chips (which I believe are the 1.6A, 2.0A and a higher one) are based on the new 0.13micron architecture and show a not-insignificant increase in performance. I think (not entirely sure) they're designed to run on the new 533mhz FSB motherboards, ideally with 1066mhz RD-RAM. If your friend isn't prepared to go the whole-hog, it's probably not worth going for the 'A' variety of P4. And if you want the best out of a P4, then RD-RAM will be require anyway. You can get DDR memory P4 mobos but they don't deliver the same level of performance. I'm sure I read somewhere about an SD-RAM P4 mobo. Avoid [​IMG]
    As for mobos, Asus are still right up there at the top of the tree, but Epox seem to be preferred for overclocking as they're generally more 'tweakable'. I read somewhere about a new killer Gigabyte board which looks promising. Personally, I would avoid the VIA chipset boards. They always seem to be prone to problems. Go for an Intel I845 or I850 chipset and enjoy the stability and the lack of external drivers [​IMG]
     
  3. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Yes as Rob stated stay away from the 423 Pin chips since they are almost obsolete, motherboards for them are hard to come by. I found one the other day for a friend who had a 1.6 423 PIN and the damn thing ran on PC133 memory WTF?
    Stick with the new 478 Pin or Northwood chips and if you can afford it as Rob stated go with the new 2.26, 2.4, or 2.53ghz chips running the new RDRAM 1066 memory. Besides the boards that Rob mentioned if you are not planning on overclocking Intel makes some of the most stable, feature rich boards on the market when it comes to the new chips at least until the other board manufactures get some released to compete.
    You can get DDR RAM motherboards and it certainly is a way that your friend can save money not only with the cost of the board being between 20-60 less but the memory will be about half the price or RDRAM. Performance will be less but how much does he want to spend? Best of luck [​IMG]
    KyleS
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    If you go with SDRAM you may as well save a lot more money and buy an older P3 system.
     
  5. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Woops Rob my bad I ment to say DDR Ram not SDRAM :b

    I was thinking about the other motherboard that I had to get for a friend that was a 423 PIN with PC133 SDRAM my Bad.

    KyleS
     
  6. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    I am not familiar with what's available in England, but here in the US, Intel 478 MBs are readily available and they are the D845 series of boards. I think these are all DDRs. The things that are relevant now is what kind of bundle do you want, do you want LAN onboard (usually indicated by D845???L) ? Graphics (denote by G, e.g. 478 series with graphics onboard will be a D845G??), so a graphics board with LAN option will be something like D845G??L. These days, just about all MBs have AC97 codec for audio bundled. Do you want USB 2.0 (I personally think it's worthwhile)? If you do, you are looking at something with "E", such as D845E??? or D845G??E.
    On the processor side, the A denotes 512K cache instead of 256K, so a P4 1.6A has 512K cache whereas a P4 1.6 has 256K.
    If you are not a gamer or "tweaker" (that likes to overclock, etc), Intel MB + processor are a good boring choice. Here in the US, I find that if you do boring computing, Dell is just about impossible to beat. I just ordered my third Dell machine in the 6 years, and every single time, I gone through the motion of the build it myself, (EBay and all), HP, Compaq, Gateway, IBM..., Brand X, but I always ended up with Dell, as they always ended up cheaper, and they just boringly works and works.

    My latest: P4 1.7G, 128MB 2100DDR RAM, 40G HD (7200), 10x/12x/40x CDRW, nVidia GeForce 2 MX4 64MB, SoundBlaster Live Value 5.1, WinXP Home, midtower with the usual KB, mouse, MS Works, junk. All for $570.00 with small change to spare, and that's including shipping and tax.
     
  7. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    This is almost as bad as HT. How much is he willing to spend and what is he going to use it for?

    I do agree with the 478 pin sets, but you should compare the prices of memory in differnt types too. As for chipsets, the 845 is good but the 850 is even better.

    Also, some mobo's have a CPU limitation of 1.7ghz, so if he plans on keeping it for awhile he should get one that goes up to at least 2.4ghz (BTW, Intel is working on their 10's -yes, that is 10ghz! Yikes!)

    Also, Intel has an 860 chipset out now. I am not positive but it looks like the newest feature is with 64 bit PCI slots. A 2nd slot is behind the first one, and cards are coming out that use both slots. Currently, very few momo's have any at all, but for PCI, that is the next step up.

    A friend of mine is dumping his 1.7ghz for a 2.4ghz chip right now, and we pass things down. I was going to get a new mobo and pass my 850 chipset down but I cannot find a P4 board with 64-bit PCI slots and a 4x AGP slot. I'm wondering now if Intel has one planned on their schedule for release soon.

    Oh, I don't know what he is doing exactly but with a P4 he MUST have a power supply that is P4 compliant.

    I hope this info has helped you - err him.

    Glenn
     
  8. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the help. I'm going to have a chat with him this weekend and decide on things.

    He's got an AMD K6-2 500Mhz (I think) on an Aopen motherboard with a 2Mb PCI graphics card routed through a Voodoo 2 3D card. He'll be using it for the usual Internet and word-processing, and some games (mainly football sims like the FIFA series). His budget is around £500 and he's hoping to salvage the harddrive (15Gb Seagate ?ATA66), CDROM, floppy KB, mouse and monitor and soundcard from the existing unit.

    I should think he could pick up a P4, mobo and ram, and a new graphics card for this budget. I'd forgotten about the power supply unit though. He may have to make do with an old AGP card I have lying around until his budget (or Christmas) allows for a new Geforce 4 or something similar?

    Darren.
     
  9. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    OK, rough price guide.

    2.0 Ghz P4 Northwood - £170-£190 for retail version with heatsink/fank

    Mobo - £100-£150 depending on brand and features

    RAM - PC800 RDRAM £85 for a 256mb stick. £120-£150 for PC1066.
     
  10. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    The Northwood Pentium 4's are .13 micron, but what Rob forgot to mention was that they have 512K L2 Cache, unlike the standard P4s which only have 256K. This brings their performance up with and sometimes beat the AMD Athlon XP. There is really no need to go for a RDRAM based system, unless your friend is a performance freak and has to have the highest out there. Just make sure the P4 you buy has 512K of L2 cache on it.
     
  11. Matej

    Matej Extra

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    Go with a northwood! they are faster have more cache and run cooler. if he can aford it go for it. 533mhz bus is nice but still carries a hefty premium. stick with rdram if at all possible.

    though slightly off topic...have you considered an Athlon solution? When building your own system they can be significantly cheaper without much of a loss in performance and are fully compatable. good luck!
     

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