Planning on building new budget system. Heres what i got so far

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NickSo, May 20, 2002.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    EDIT: Im thinking of a AMD K7 Thunderbird™ 950MHz w/200Mhz rather than the duron, coz my friend says the Tbird is faster, and its only $4 more
    Hey y'all, so, im (finally) planning on replacing my faithful Pentium 166MHz with a new budget system.
    My system is mainly gonna be surfing the web, word processing, but also some light gaming (really wanna play Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault) and maybe some ameteur video/audio editing.
    There is what i have so far, all prices are in canadian:
    $95 AMD® K7 Duron 1.2 GHz OEM
    $92 ECS K7S5A SIS735 Chipset Socket A, 1 AGP4x, 5 PCI, Onboard AC97 Sound & NIC , ATA-100
    $119 IBM Deskstar 40GB 2M Cache HD
    $72 Aopen GeForce2 MX-200 32MB AGP w/TV Retail
    $62 18" (320K) ATX case w/300 watt power supply (four 5.25" bays)
    $42 128 DDR Ram
    -------
    Before Taxes: $482
    After Taxes: $550
    I didn't include a burner because i have a burner that i can use right now (Mitsumi 4x4x24x), but I'll probably try to buy a newer, faster one.
    The cheapest i can come up with while still making it quite adequate is basically the same but different processor ($75 AMD® K7 Duron 1.0 GHz OEM) and ram ($35 SDRam). I will save about $30 after taxes, but with 200 less MHz and slower ram.
    So, whaddya think? Its definitely an upgrade from my P166! (almost 10x faster :p))
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Get a Geforce2 GTS rather than an MX. I just sold my Elsa Gladiac 32mb DDR for $57 on ebay.
     
  3. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Stepping up from a Duron to a Thuderbird can't be that much more.
     
  4. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    I have that same motherboard. Basically untouchable for the price.

    An Athlon is roughly 10% faster than a Duron *on some things*. Most times you probably won't notice a difference, but for pure processing power for 4 bucks more, certainly get the Athlon.

    One thing about what cpu to get is that motherboard doesn't overclock well at all, so if you plan ahead you might be able to overclock a slower chip better/easier because of the multiplier. There is another bios you can try on the mb, and there is a software method of overclocking it better, but those can cause problems, too. As it sits, (unless they changed the factory bios recently, I haven't kept up on those things), the only way to overclock it is to change the front-bus speed from 100mhz to 133mhz or 150mhz.

    At the time I got mine, I just wanted a cheap Duron for it, and a 750mhz would overclock to 1gig (with a 133 front-bus) if it would overclock. But the higher percentage to overclock that way without fussing with things such as the multiplier on the chip itself was to use a 700mhz and shoot for [email protected] front-bus. And it worked great. Pretty much any 600-800mhz Duron will overclock to the 900-950 range, so trying for the 1gig overclock was iffier than shooting for 933. Didn't even have to raise the voltage on mine. It'd probably do over a gig easy if I raised the voltage.

    So, if you are thinking ahead to overclocking at all, the multiplier of the chip you choose can play a big part in whether you can overclock or not with that motherboard.

    Only other thing is, I'd get 256 megs of ram from the start. I got 256 of DDR from crucial.com at the time for like $45 shipped or so. That was before the big price hike again. But, Crucial is a good brand, and their website was as cheap or cheaper than any other place I looked at, so make sure to check out prices there. 128 megs of ram just isn't enough nowadays. I'm not sure if something like Windows XP can even run decent with only 128 megs. I use Windows 2000, myself.
     
  5. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Keep the Duron.

    Bump the RAM to 256MB if at all possible (SDRAM or DDR, doesn't matter).

    The Geforce2 MX200 is the poorest performer out of all comparable budget cards. Do yourself a favor and get either a regular Geforce2 GTS, or a low-end Radeon DDR. In the US, both these cards go for less than $60 USD.
     
  6. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    Nick, where are you getting the 128 chip of DDR Ram for $42? Man, I'm lucky if I can find 128 of SDRam for that price.
     
  7. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Richard: A-power.com has a 128 stick of DDR ram for $42.
    Hmm, a 256 stick of DDR is only $23 more, maybe i can pay for the difference myself (i dont wanna be like gouging my parents for money for a new PC).
    Hmm, though the 1.2GHz Duron sounds more impressive, i think ill take the extra performance for $4 from the 950MHz Athlon.
    I've taken a look at video cards, the Geforce2GTS cost too much more (friend says its $50 more), and its discontinued. Some ATI Radeon cards i see that are in my price range are "ATI Radeon 7000 64MB AGP4X OEM aka Radeon VE" ($79), or a "ATI Radeon VE Dual head DDR 32MB" ($89). This is also for some video editing, not only gaming. And even gaming, im not a hardcore gamer, and dont expect framerates over like 60fps.
    EDIT: After reasearching a bit, i think the Radeon 7000 (Radeon VE) 64MB agp will be a good one (ATI website has a pic and it looks like its got Svideo out too [​IMG]).
    So, the ram i will consider upgrading to 256,
    the processor i might as well spoend $4 and get the Athlon 950 UNLESS somebody strongly disagrees,
    and the video card result is still unknown.
    I wont be buying in the next week or so, i got about a month, so feel free to suggest other parts.
    Ohyeah, i don't really feel the need to overclock it, so i just need a good value, stable mobo.
     
  8. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    You're friend is wrong about the GF2 GTS costing $50 more. Check ebay. And just because it's discontinued doesn't mean it's less powerful than an MX.

    But I see you're about to go with a Radeon which isn't a bad choice. I have a Radeon 7500 but miss my Gladiac. What they say about 32mb DDR is the point of diminishing returns for gaming is true. I see very little change in performance.
     
  9. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Nick, just so you know, I build a lot of computers for friends and myself (I just built my cousin a computer with a Tyan Tiger mobo, dual AMD XP 1900+ chips, FOP HSFs, an 80 gig Maxtor HD, antec case, 400PSU, 512 megs of ECC registered DDR, SB Live! and GeForce 4 Ti4400 for $1100, shipped, after taxes), and I did a quick search, and I think I can build a similar system, but with the following changes:
    Instead of the Duron/Thunderbird, a 1600+ XP chip which is ~1.33ghz, better case and power supply, GeForce 2 and 256 megs of Crucial DDR
    All, for about $400, with shipping and taxes...so you might want to do a little more searching, or PM me. [​IMG]
     
  10. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Joe: Thanks for the offer. Just to clarify, is that $400 USD Flat with shipping and taxes included in the $400 price already? Hmm, not bad, but a tad bit overpriced, though i could consider it. Yathink you could knock of a couple bucks if i built it myself? :p) Ill PM you.
    I just wanna be able to play like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Counterstrike at a playable framerate (30-60fps), while having brisk performance in word processing, internet, mp3, and other programs.
    So far, the specs for my PC are:
    $99 AMD K7 Thunderbird 950MHz w/200Mhz FSB OEM (Socket A)
    $89 ECS K7S5A SIS735 Chipset Socket A, 1 AGP4x, 5 PCI, Onboard AC97 Sound & NIC , ATA-100
    $119 IBM Deskstar 40GB 2M Cache HD
    $79 ATI Radeon 7000 64MB AGP4X OEM
    $62 18" (320K) ATX case w/300 watt power supply (four 5.25" bays)
    $65 256DDRRam
     
  11. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Wait, I'm confused...I was just offering that I could build the exact system you had posted, but better, for $125-150 less...

    But hey, do what you want. ^_^
     
  12. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Oh, i think you misunderstood, my prices i have up there is in CANADIAN, not US. So after the conversion, its more expensive. [​IMG]
    OOhh, another question... I heard that SDRam is like obsolete, and is much slower than DDR on video cards. Both the Geforce2MX and the ATI Radeon VE is SDRam. The ATI Radeon VE Dual Head DDR 32M is DDR Ram. Should i go for the 64MB of SDRam in the Radeon VE (7000) or the 32MB DDR in the Dual Head one?
    Link to ATI's site for the Dual head Radeon VE: http://www.ati.com/products/pc/radeonve/index.html
     
  13. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    I must have missed where the choice was a 1.2 Duron or a 950 Athlon. In that case, I'd probably take the Duron because it should be faster in more situations. The Athlon might be faster for some things, but overall I think the Duron would be the faster choice.

    Video card memory... I did a ton of research on them months back, and as was already mentioned, there is diminishing returns with DDR memory as well as 64meg versus 32meg. DDR and 64megs seems to really help in the higher resolutions and 32-bit color, but you need to decide what you will play at. Up to 800x600, DDR and 64megs seems to be pretty much a waste of money.

    I have a 19" monitor, and it's rare I use anything above 1024x768 for games. With my Duron 933mhz and 3D Prophet SE (10% slower than regular 3D Prophet/Geforce 256 32meg sdram), at 1024x768 for Quake Arena, I get 38fps in 32-bit color and 57 in 16-bit color. A bit low, but still very playable at 16-bit. 800x600 adds another 20fps onto those numbers. If the games you mentioned aren't as fast-paced as Quake Arena, then even a lowly 32meg sdram card should work fine.
     
  14. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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    I'd recommend the GeForce4 MX 420 or 440 -- they shouldn't be much more than the GeForce2 MX (the 4MX series is a replacement for the 2MX/Ti series), and the performance will be noticeably better.

    The 4MX series will definitely perform better with Allied Assaut than the 2MX (or Radeon 7000).
     
  15. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    What im going to do, is ask the computer stores if they have any Geforce2GTS's in back or something, because they might have some and not advertise it. The geforce4 is too expensive for me, i know it seems like a little, but for me its alot. If they dont have the Geforce2GTS, then im going to go for the Radeon VE Dual head version (with 32MB DDR Ram). I can always sell and upgrade when i do get a job.
    Is an "athlon" different from a Thunderbird? Anyways, im uncertain, but I'm gonna go for the Thunderbird 950 (my friend says its got like more K2 cache or something). Ill read some reviews.
    Thanks guys. More comments/suggestions wanted! [​IMG]
     
  16. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Nick $92 for the ECS K7S5A is WAY too much... it should be around $65-$70 at most. I have a ECS K7S6A (w/ Athlon 2000+) and one of my friends has the board you are looking at... the are GREAT, stable boards [and cheap too!]. I would advise you to stay away from Durons and go with Athlons... that 950mhz T-bird seems fine (as long as you aren't gaming, then go up to something like an 1800+ or higher). That is my advise [​IMG]
     
  17. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    Rob,
    I think he is talking Canadian dollars, which would convert to about $60 US.
    [​IMG]
    NickSo,
    If you're interested in some reviews you canuse this link:
    http://www.ecs.com.tw/products/products.htm
    A box will probably come up asking if you want to download the Chinese character sets, just cancel it. You won't need them.
    You'll have to choose Socket A Motherboards on the left side of the page, then scroll down to the SIS boards on the page that comes up. Then click on the K7S5A and on the page that comes up there is a link in the upper right to reviews.
    Sorta round-about but couldn't get a direct link to post.
    Looks like a good choice.[​IMG]
     
  18. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Okay, i've decided on the 950 thunderbird over the Duron 1.2GHz.

    Now im still stuck on what video card to get. I dunno if ill be able to find a GF2GTS... here are some other ones im considering:

    Aopen GeForce2 MX400 64MB AGP Retail

    Aopen GeForce2 MX400-V 64MB AGP w/TV Retail

    ATI Radeon 7500 64MB SDR AGP4X OEM

    Argh, so confusing... So many different models of video cards, different ram, etcetc. I dont need a super fast one, but i wanna get a decent one where i can play MoH etc. at a playable framerate.

    Rob: But i am planning to play some games, but not hardcore, do you think the 950 will still suit me better than the 1.2 Duron?
     
  19. Joe Meissner

    Joe Meissner Stunt Coordinator

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    AMD Athlon XP 1600+ 1.4 GHz 266FSB $98.00
    ECS ECS K7S5A SiS735 Chipset PC2100 DDR (200/266)MHz ATX with Sound & Lan $60.25
    at www.unitedmicro.com they are out of ohio. go look at their prices. I buy all my pc parts from them and everything has been as advertised.
     
  20. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Joe: thanks, but i'm gonna stick to what i have since its cheaper. The XP 1600+ processor costs too much, and the mobo is about the same price after shipping and conversion.

    All i needa decide on now is what video card to get.
     

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