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Thread: making a new pc - here are the specs, help!

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    making a new pc - here are the specs, help!

    ok so, im making this new pc, my budget is £2000. (yes thats right, im rich and i laugh at you lot ) well not really, ive been saving up for a long time for this. i hope this topic belongs to this forum to begin with.

    here is my current rig which i intend to sell to a friend to make a little more dosh.

    AMD Athlon XP 2400+ @ 2.0 GHz
    mobo: Asus A7V333
    Crucial 512MB DDR pc2100
    9.5GB Fujitsu 5400rpm
    80GB Samsung 7200rpm
    Asus Geforce 4 TI4200
    Soundblaster Audigy 2
    Daewoo 15" monitor

    this system was good on the day of purchase 2 years ago lol but was already out of date within 24 hours considering how fast technology moves forward, tho i was happy with it

    what i'm considering spending my cash on is this setup:

    cpu: AMD athlon PR3200+ (barton)
    mobo: Abit NF7-S V2.0
    RAM: Corsair XMS-XL 3200
    GFX: ATI Radeon 9800pro 128MB
    HDD: 250GB Western Digital SATA
    Case: chenbro Xpider gaming bomb
    soundcard: M-Audio Revolution 7.1
    speakers: Logitech Z680 5.1
    power supply: Antec 500W
    monitor: Samsung 19" 172X or 19" Iiyama ProLite E481S (HELP!!)(would love to get my hands on a Hercules Prophetview Pro 920 but they are discontinued )

    im not trying to showcase anything here, i seriously need help lol.
    my first question is this:

    how much of an improvement am i getting when comapring the two different setups that you see?

    secondly: i would have really liked to have gone 64 bit, but everyone insists that its not the right time to do so, which is why i have opted for the highest performing Athlon XP cpu that is out at the moment.I''m not into overclocking since i dont know much about such things and am not that keen on doing so either, tho i can always sway into it.

    i would like to mainly use the pc for making music and playing games. any comments are most welcome. cheers

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    Asking silly questions menthel's Avatar
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    Then wait a little while and get a 939 ath64! It won't be that long and then the new graphics cards won't be quite as 'rare' and expensive. I think with all of that on the horizon it would be silly to buy what is in essence a dead end technologically speaking. With all of that money available you could build something that would only really need upgrading in 2-3 years.
    Not around too often!

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    how long do i have to wait before the 64 bit era really begins? and can someone guide me to some info on what the athlon FX's are all about?

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    Originally Athlon FX-51's were basically Opteron chips but at a higher speed grade and rebranded for gamers. What this means is that:

    1) They required a socket 940 board
    2) They have dual channel memory
    3) Require ECC Memory (more expensive and slower)
    4) They have 1mb L2 cache


    AMD 64's Used a socket 754 board, didnt have dual channel memory. Early ones had 1mb L2 cache but this dropped down to 512kb in later models.

    The Reason people are waiting for socket 939 is that it delivers dual channel memory to regular Amd64, and it doesn't have to be ECC RAM anymore, just plain old pc3200 RAM (this benefit also applies to socket 939 fx-53's). This leaves Athlon FX's only distinguishing feature on sckt939 that 1mb L2 cache. And you were wondering why recent amd 64's have dropped to 512kb L2 cache..... lol . AMD is desperate to distinguish its products. ~most tests show that that extra cache doesnt really make that much difference.


    SO Socket 939 is what you want because its the socket of the future, right?. BUT WAIT!. The Story's not over yet cos at the end of the year / Q1 2005 AMD is going to move over to DDR2 666mhz and PCI Express! Cue another upgrade....

    And of course everyones waiting for amd to go 90nm....Which should mean higher speeds and good overclocking. AMD claims it will be doing properly by the end of the year.. but like intel, their first 90nm chips will proberly be not much faster....

    Then in late 2005 they're going multicore... this is in part in response to poor 90nm performance.

    Meanwhile socket 754 is not going away, simply going to be repositioned as the budget choice with single chanel RAM.

    What it comes down to is that in a year AMD's will be DDR2 666 / 800mhz, PCI-E, 90nm cpus and maybe going multicore. Although you'll be able to drop a new CPU into ur mobo for an upgrade, your RAM and your AGP graphics card slot are now obselete...


    There are 3 ways of playing it.

    1. Stick it out with socket A for a year and wait for the all the new technologies to sort themselves out. This is why mobile 2500s have been so popular as they are keeping socket A competative, as they can be overclocked from 1800mhz to 2500mhz pretty easy. Totally Obselete in a year.

    2. Get socket 754 now and you'll have some cheap upgrades in the future (90nm chips) as it's being repositioned as budget over the next 6 months. RAM and AGP/PCI cards obselete in a year.

    3. Get Socket 939. This has the advantage of being the fastest and will keep you happy for a long while, but consider that in a year it will be obselete, just like everything else. (standards wise, not speed wise).

    Basically the thing to take away from this is that ur mobo, ram, and expansion cards will be obselete in a year no matter what you buy. 939 is very fast, but its also three times more expensive than socket A, twice that of socket 754, and ends up in the same boat.


    The best thing to do IMO is to make sure you get quality peripherals as these arent gonna go outta fashion. SO get that lush monitor, that huge SATA hard drive, good speakers and a good case, dual layer DVD, Quality wireless mouse and Keyboard.

    Then its up to how much money you have left as to what you get.

    All need : 1gig 3200 = £150/200, heatsink £25

    then:


    athlon xp: abit nf7-s £62 + 2500-m £65 = £130

    socket 754 : mobo £75 + A64 3000 £130 = £205

    socket 939 : Asus a8v £88 + A64 3500 £346 = £434

    Listed here with the best value chip. well the cheapest for 939. Prices from cpucity. As you can see 939 is expensive, and it isnt going to go down much as AMD want to keep it positioned high end as they slide 754 under it.

    I think its a toss up between mobile xp and soxket 754 value wise, as thats getting quite cheap now.....

    You said you're not an overclocker.....well mobile XP HAS to be overclocked really whereas AMD 64 performs well at stock and cant really be be overclocked that much....so i'd go with 754.

    see i had to come to a conclusion sooner or later didnt I ?

    Aha just re-read your post and noticed your budget. Well if you want to blow it all in one shot You can proberly get socket 939 with £2000 - might be tight though with good peripherals. See how it goes! You could get 754 and use the £200 you save to get a X800 XT....


    Hope this helps peeps some.

    funnel

    Intels in the same boat really - NEW socket just come out, 90nm chips are expensive, ddr2, pci-e, possibly going BTX, blah blah blah....
    Last edited by funnelhead; 24-06-2004 at 12:33 AM.
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    athlon XP's are dying.

    Get a 939 since your budget is 2000 pounds. And a X800pro or 6800GT at least. Also chenbro case? I'd prefer a Lian li or antec but its really up to you.

    I'd get the OCZ EB instead of the corsair XL, and why not stretch to a 20" LCD as 19" ones have the same maximum resolution as a 17".

    Basically just follow funnelhead's advice

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    The 19"iiyama prolite is an absolutely tippy top screen imo, very close in quality to a CRT. I trialled a couple at work wher they are used for graphical apps, not bad for gaming either, tho I still prefer a CRT.

    But Socket A is dead, S939 will do for now & a mobo with the via k8t800 pro chipset.
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    I also have the same problem deciding mate, but I was thinking of going to 754 and using a 3200 cpu.
    Main Rig: i2600k@4.3Ghz/ASUS P8P67 PRO/MSi GTX580/16GB Mushkin/HAF X/Noctua NH-D14

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    I would wait a while longer in the same position since your current hardware is still respectable IMO. New screen and a 9800pro will seem like a whole new PC and in six months I think alot of the emerging technology will have erm!.... emerged if you know what I mean.

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    It depends on what you want to do. You can wait for ever waiting for the 'right time' to buy. If you do plan to keep on upgrading though I would agree with Nakajima and get a nice case, something like a LianLi with removeable mobo tray and all that. I just sold a LianLi PC68 and wished I hadn't. Really nice to work with.

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    wow funnelhead, best reply ive had ever! lol and thanks to everyone for replying, makes things much more clear. I know i can afford the S939,and the A64's and im not boasting there lol. the money has been earned with hard work, believe me lol.

    my next question is this: i was told that i shouldnt go 64 bit since there is nothing available for it (yet). so with that in mind, how long do i have to wait before i do upgrade to a 64 bit system??? correct me if im wrong. maybe i should do a bit more research instead of reading other forums.

    see my whole dilemma is that i wanted it soon, as i am selling the current pc and need to make another straight away. i know technology is moving on and i know myself, that the socket A systems will soon be a thing of the past or as most of you put it: "obsolete"

    i dont know if i can wait until the end of 2005. Its ironic isnt it.... they say technology moves too fast...... well come on giddy up!

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    im writing again cuz i just realised a few things from re reading the above posts.

    considering that i have an AMD athlon 2500+ xp and the asus A7V333 with the crucial 512mb pc2100 RAM, what can i overclock my system to? at the moment it is running at 2.01GHz

    judging by what i saw in the bios, i could crank up the speed by an extra 500MHz but when restarting the pc the screen stayed blank, so obviously that was a no no lol. i dont think i can change the multipliers but i'll recheck. how important is the role of RAM in overclocking? sorry for the newbie questions, no harm in finding out or asking i guess.

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    Ah, Mrs. Peel! mike_w's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afghan_Soulja
    im writing again cuz i just realised a few things from re reading the above posts.

    considering that i have an AMD athlon 2500+ xp and the asus A7V333 with the crucial 512mb pc2100 RAM, what can i overclock my system to? at the moment it is running at 2.01GHz

    judging by what i saw in the bios, i could crank up the speed by an extra 500MHz but when restarting the pc the screen stayed blank, so obviously that was a no no lol. i dont think i can change the multipliers but i'll recheck. how important is the role of RAM in overclocking? sorry for the newbie questions, no harm in finding out or asking i guess.
    The CPU clockspeed is determined by the FSB times the muliplier. In AMD machines, its best to keep the RAM and FSB in sync, so if you can't overclock your RAM any more, you can't overclock your FSB any more - obviously a bad thing! So RAM is pretty important.

    I would have that thought that you could overclock a 2500+ (166x11) to 3200+ (200x11) speeds, assuming you have decent cooling. Make sure you raise the FSB slowly first of all (I'd say that the FSB makes more difference since it controls and so increases the speed of several parts of the PC, instead of the mutliplier ding just one), do it in small increments like 5mhz each time, and check temperatures and stability regularly. A good stability tester is Prime95 (easy to find on Google).

    Hope this helps

    Mike
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    goatboy funnelhead's Avatar
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    Glad you found it helpful A.S.

    It's true that there is no software that will take advantage of the 64-bit portion of amd-64's at the moment. However, even without that advantage they are still fast-as-you-like...and will only get better. If you had an nforce 2 board id recommend just pluging in a 2500-m and getting a new graphics card, but since your whole pc really is a bit long in the tooth, we need to get you going, without 'wasting' too much money on stuff that doesnt have doesnt have the longest of futures.

    My advice would be to get the best quality parts you can, then power them with a

    socket 754 /amd64 3000 / 512mb 3200 / 9800 pro , ~ £400

    rather than

    socket 939 / 3500 / 1gig 3200/ x800 xt ~ £900

    which are good parts but not overexpensive, as these are the bits that will be changing over the next year. Any money you have left over, stick that in a savings account for 12 - 18 months. Then when the whole lot sorts itself out, you'll have a bit of cash to spruce up your core componants and you'll still have your lovely case / monitor / HD etc....

    Just my opinion and im sure others will disagree but i think that gives you a very good pc now, and allows a upgrading to the new techs later without feeling too bad that you spend a shedload of money getting the bleeding edge right before the sword got thrown away. ( erm, sorry for that appalling metaphor )



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    Since you have a buyer for your old system who is keen to buy it now I can fully appreciate the need to buy a new system ASAP.

    From what I have read so far there is very little performance to be gained by choosing socket 939 over socket 754. I would therefore be more inclined to spend the money on an ATI x800 or Nvidia 6800 graphics card.

    CPU price jumps after the 64/3200+ so that would be my choice on a socket 754 of which there are quite a few to choose from. I would add an x800XT for a cool single slot and potentially silent solution pending zalman heat pipes or if linux is your thing then the 6800GT would do equally well.

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    your 'new' spec that you have given us in your first post wont even cost a grand, let alone 2...

    I rekon your CPU choice is a good one, as is the mobo so thats £200 gone
    Ram..well if you got the money to play with get a better make =) GIEL do some excellent stuff
    GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) PC4000 Golden Dragon CAS2.5 - £223

    GFX X800ultra - £300

    HDD fine but get a maxtor one =) £140

    Case...personal pref here but i like my new thermaltake tsunami so theres another £100

    Sound..u already got an audiogy2.. £0

    Speakers..again u have the cash so get some good uns...Pioneer DCS313 Amp+speakers... £223 from richer sounds

    PSU looks fine £80

    monitor...we;ll u should get a 21" CRT but meh u want **** tft so thats £500 wasted

    total == £1766

    plenty of spare change and a top PC to boot

    you could even go the A64 router and still have change from 2grand....

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    one thing i am REALLY going to have to disagre with spud1 on ( though all respect to ya spud) is buying well, quite alot of his choices actually.

    For a start i wouldnt spend money on one of the latest G cards as you'll want a PCI-E one in a year. a 9800 is £180 less than top of the range x800xt and will do you FINE for a year. Think what £180 will buy you in a year.....

    Second i really really woldnt spend loads of money getting srubbishrubbishrubbishrubbishy RAM for £230 as you cant overclock A64 much anyway, and pretty soon it'll all be DDR2 anyway. Get some decent 3200 for £150. Another £80 in the pot.

    I'd go for socket 754 as not much more than socket A and much better upgrade prospects... a 2800 is £120, 3000 is £135 and 3200 is £190 so id recommend the middle one...

    Maxtor hard drives ...... well they're not that fast and they're not that quiet .... ALthough they are releasing a new drive that has 16mb cache... that'll be good! Otherwise i'd recommend a Hitachi drive for performance or a seagate drive for quiet.
    see

    http://www.storagereview.com

    for more info on hard drives...

    If you can avoid buying a new sound card (ie onboard or old card) then thats good as you'll want onboard or pci-e sound in the future.

    lol i apologise if this is turning into the convincing wars, just reacting here.


    Just as long as you listen to the people at Hexus you'll be ok, we take care of our own....



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