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Thread: Is now an "okay" time to build a new PC?

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    Is now an "okay" time to build a new PC?

    Well, I am considering getting a PC before November. Is there a good reason *not* to?

    How are prices typically during holiday seasons?
    On one hand, I think it might be more expensive, as people might be treating themselves then.
    On the other hand, stores might have special offers to entice people to treat themselves.
    So.. Which one is it? (I've never paid enough attention to this before).

    My only concern right now is that I will probably be getting something that'll provide me good price/performance ratio.
    Why is this a concern? Well, I've got the XP 2500+ in mind, but I also know the XP is reaching its "end". Meaning that I'll definitely need to change my motherboard next time I upgrade.

    Yet, the Althon64/FX is too expensive, and the later wouldn't be any more future proof from what I understand (940 pins to 939 pins later).

    EDIT: I am not entirely ruling P4 out either... But right now, I have a better idea of what to get if I go for an AMD system.

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    Well prices dont normally go up, its always down cause something new is coming out with the exception of ram (can never tell with that)
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    awful time.

    all the big OEMs (Dell et al) are buying up all the components you might want (LCDs, RAM), meaning price increases. NOW is the very worst time to buy - still reeling from PC sales spike 1 (back to school) & heading to sales spike 2 (christmas). February -> July are the best times to buy.

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    What's your current system? What will you be using your computer for?

    Answer the above two questions first, and you'll end up with more replies that'll be applicable to your situation.
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    actually memory is currently falling in price a little so if you time it right you will possibly be able to get something good pre-christmas but otherwise wait 'til after when there are bound to be sales and surplus stuff going cheap...
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    Yeah now's pretty much as good a time to buy as it ever is. After Christmans is generally better but not hugely so, just steer clear of July-September if you can.

    In terms of price to perf things have never been sweeter, esp with the o/c'ability of certain CPUs and gfx cards. Getting a £70 XP2500+ and achieving XP3200+ (£300+) is not something to be worried about. Bottom line is there is NO good long-term choice at the moment, whatever you buy you'll almost defintiely need to change the mobo for the CPUs due out next year. The new Intel ones are having problems and it seems unlikely the 3.4ghz+ ones will work in any existing mobo. SktA is reaching the end of the line but with XP3200+ it's no slouch and will remain the 'budget' option for some time to come. Athlon64 will be moving to 939pin next year, you'll get a good boost from Dual Channel with std RAM. Unless you plan to wait 12 months for Athlon64 Skt939 prices to come down get an AthlonXP now, great o/c'ability, price, perf and will still sell on well in 12 months time!

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    I think it'll take a while for socket A to go away - 64-bit AMD chips are going to stay high-end probably for at least another year i reckon. It took socket 7 a long time to die after Intel stopped doing socket 7...

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    Originally posted by Rod911
    What's your current system? What will you be using your computer for?

    Answer the above two questions first, and you'll end up with more replies that'll be applicable to your situation.
    I am currently using a very much obsolete P2 400. I think that makes the rest of the specification irrelevant... But here it is anyway: 256 PC100 RAM, GeForce2MX GFX card, 9.1GB Cheetah HD, 120GB WD HD (8MB Buffer - this will be moved to the new PC), SBLive! 5.1, SB64.

    Anyway, the most demanding, semi recent game is Warcraft3, and thats with all details off, and excluding maps where they throw 200+ monsters at you.

    What will I be using it for? Programming, report writing etc. (studies), music (MP3s/Monkey Audio), DVDs, web surfing... Pretty much what I do now.. And some gaming - which I haven't been able to do much of with my current rig

    Basically, I am pretty sure that I'll get a HUGE performance increase in any case.. Without even considering a 64/FX.
    Chances are, though, I won't be upgrading for another year, possibly longer (knowing my upgrade habbit ^^.

    Why upgrade now... Well, I've got a flatmate who needs a PC mostly to do some websurfing, writing report), and playing MP3s.
    I reckon that my PC would be adequate for that.

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    TooNice, can I suggest for price/performance ratio you look at the 'C' version (800MHz fsb) of the 2.4GHz P4. It is a very good overclocker and its cost has come down so much that you won't get hit with a large price cut in the future.

    From reading articles and forums like this, it appears that 3GHz is commonly possible at stock voltages.

    If you combine this with an Asus or Abit i865 chipset motherboard, both of which are excellent overclockers, and some good quality Dual channel RAM you have the makings of a very good core system at reasonable cost. Add, say, a Radeon 9600 Pro XT which will soon be available and you have a machine which, whilst not the fastest, will handle any applications or games you throw at at - and that's the point isn't it?

    Get one of the Cooler Master cases before they all go (e.g. Cooler Master Black Widow) which are half the price they were 18 months ago and you have the core of a crackin' P.C. without busting the bank!

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    I should have said, there's never a right time to buy but if a new top of the range product is set to be released then usually all the items further down the range wil go down in price, e.g. when the 3.06GHz P4 came out, the 2,8GHz dropped in price by over £200.- Now that's gonna hurt if you bought at the wrong time.

    The items I have mentioned do not have big price reductions in the near future.

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    Thanks. As you've read on the case forum, I am looking for a case as well.
    One thing I've been wondering is why the 110 cost TWICE as much as most CM cases. The Black Widow looks nice, but once I start putting my beige drives.... Not sure if it'll look as good (and I am too lazy to mod, so a door and pre-built window would be nice).

    I had the 9600Pro in mind. Is there a significant difference between them (Pro vs XT)? Also, whats the difference in price between a 9600XT and a 9700Pro (I remember some people pointing out a good deal on ebay).

    Oh yea... Cooler.. I guess with a P4, I can just stick with the stock cooling.
    What about for AMD CPUs? I don't want something too fancy/expensive (as chances are, I'll have to swap them on my next upgrade). Can someone suggest a good value (performance/noise/price) cooler for a XP2500+ ?
    Last edited by TooNice; 15-10-2003 at 07:14 PM.

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    For cooling a socket A cpu, I would recommend a cheap variable speed heatsink-fan. The CM xdream is decent if a bit loud, and the T/Take Volcano 9 or 11 are similar for cooling but quieter.

    There is quite a significant difference between the 9600pro and the new XT (Check the latest Hexus review), but you could also consider the new nvidia NV36 (Also mentioned in the XT review), as it seems a very good card. Expect the NV36 to be ~£25 more than the XT (~£150??).

    You could also consider the Geforce 4 ti4200 (~£60-£70), which may be a good stop-gap for a few months, should you find a game that it doesn't play as well as you want it. As you say you aren't a mega gamer, so you wont need dx9 right now, so the ti4200 would be very good for you at the moment.

    The 110 costs twice as much as the rest as it is twice as good The build quality is second to none and it has many handy features, such as a removable motherboard tray.

    Hope all that helps

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    i think u should get a shuttle sn45g, a 2500 barton, a 9600 XT, 2x256mb of twinmos 3200/3700 ram (thus running it dual channel) then ur 120gb WD JB SE...and erm ur set

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    Woah... Looking at Komplett, the P4 2400C is more than twice the price of the XP2500+.

    Does the P4 really clock THAT high (to warrant its price).

    Also, is the PowerColor Radeon 9600 PRO @ sub £100 a good deal?
    Last edited by TooNice; 15-10-2003 at 09:51 PM.

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    a 9600pro for under £100 is. Make sure the core speed is 400 and the mem speed is 600.

    You should be able to get the 2.4C to about 3.2Ghz ish from what I've seen of them. The P4 are good overclockers from what I've seen. Personally my 2.8 is at 3.5 with 1.58(actual) volts.

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    Limited budget?

    Get any nForce 2 or KT600 based motherboard. The deciding factor on which one to get will depend on what features you're looking for. There's plenty of sites that have done a "nForce2" or "KT600" round-up reviews so read up. Processor wise, you really can't go wrong with a AMD 2500+ paired up with a minimum 512MB of quality PC3200 RAM, then overclock it to 2.2Ghz which it 'should' reach (nothing is every guaranteed is oc'ing) .

    The vid card should be a 9600Pro. The XT has higher clock and memory speeds than the Pro, but doesn't really offer that much in terms of performance vs value. So your best bet is to get a Pro instead of an XT.
    Previous System
    ||3DMark01 - 18,533|3DMark03 - 6,501|Aqua Mark 3 - 43,912|[AthonXP 2500+@ 2.4Ghz - 12*200, Radeon 9800SE (unlocked) 440/369]||

    Current System
    ||3DMark01 - 30,949|3DMark03 - 18,122|3DMark05 - 8,483|3DMark06 - 4,222|||

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