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Proposed System for General Applications and Gaming
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=14725
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Author:  Abel Wingnut [ Sat Jul 31, 2004 5:57 am ]
Post subject:  Proposed System for General Applications and Gaming

So I've got about $900 to spend, a 19" monitor, a CD-RW drive, and three adequate hard drives that I can plug into this system:

Case: Lian Li PC-6070A
PSU: Channel Well 420 W, at least I think so. Not too sure, but the stats jibe well with the rest of the system.
Processor: AMD 64 3000+
Motherboard: MSI K8N Neo Platinum
Memory: 512 MB Stick of OCZ DDR PC-3700 Enhanced Bandwidth
Video Card: MSI ATI 128 MB 9800 Pro
CPU Cooler: Either the Thermalright SLK948U or the XP120; depends on reviews

Do you think I'm using that money wisely? If not, what's wrong, and how would you go about fixing it?

Author:  greeef [ Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:02 am ]
Post subject: 

Personally i dont upgrade regularly - i think buying 64bit at the moment is jumping on the bandwagon early and as such you'll be forced to upgrade later.

Secondly, perhaps you'd be better off with 1Gb of somewhat more budget pc3200 ram, a lot of apps and games like the gig nowadays.

Thirdly, if you arent too worried about clock speeds of your grpahics card and again you dont upgrade too often, consider a 256mb graphics card. I regret byuing 128mb already and i dont even need the extra video memory yet.

griff

Author:  MikeC [ Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:21 am ]
Post subject: 

greeef --

Few people are forced to buy anything, it's usually a conscious choice, no one has a gun at one's head... but enthusiasts upgrade constantly. My advice to anyone who's wanting something now for a need now is just to get it unless there's a price drop scheduled in less than a month. If you wait for the best technology, you'll wait forever. For every new product on the market, there's already one in development which will make it obsolete in 6 mos. :lol:

So I'd say for for it, Abel Wingnut... but of your choices, assuming you want to make quiet system:

Case: Lian Li PC-6070A -- expensive & not v. good. You will have to work hard to improve airflow & reduce panel vibration. There are better choices. Check case reviews on SPCR main site.
PSU: Channel Well 420W -- don't even touch it with a 10 ft pole. PoS. Get one from the RecommendedPSU list.
Video Card: MSI ATI 128 MB 9800 Pro -- you will want a VGA Silencer or similar for this.

Author:  Dos_Junkie [ Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:04 am ]
Post subject: 

Why did you choose pc3700 ram when your mobo can only support pc3200??? look at it:

mobo specs said RAM: 400/333/266mhz
ram specs said speed: 466mhz.

so in ecsence, you're paying extra $$ for 66mhz you can't use.

Author:  greeef [ Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:15 am ]
Post subject: 

Absolutely agree Mike, enthusiasts who do upgrade regularly are reporting great results with 64 bit athlons.

My point is that if you don't upgrade more than once a year, we're going to see some major developments with the 64 bit mobos, with PCI express coming in and possibly BTX. Things are about to change quite drastically and i think if one is making a new system atm built to last, an XP platform is far cheaper and will maintain it's resale value for longer.

I'm not telling everyone 64 bit is rubbish, or to wait and not upgrade at all, just pointing out a high perfromance system can still be had for copnsiderably less money than 64 bit, and that when it becomes mainstream, it will be a more competitive upgrade path.

If you want the fastest machine available, by all means 64bit is the best idea. But bang for the buck, an mobilexp based system is definitely the way to go.

Thanks for listening!

griff

Author:  Abel Wingnut [ Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:32 am ]
Post subject: 

Dos_Junkie wrote:
Why did you choose pc3700 ram when your mobo can only support pc3200??? look at it:

mobo specs said RAM: 400/333/266mhz
ram specs said speed: 466mhz.

so in ecsence, you're paying extra $$ for 66mhz you can't use.


Damn, didn't even notice that. Thanks a lot.

In light of this, would it be better to go for less, but better memory, or more, but worse memory?

Author:  Dos_Junkie [ Sat Jul 31, 2004 9:50 am ]
Post subject: 

generally, unless you're doing some high end processing, you'll probally never need more than 512. The system I'm on has a single 512 Geil stick PC3200 and my WinBar application only shows it sucking 403mb with UT2k4 running at full. I'd go for dual channel pc3200. I don't know brands all that well, so ask around.

Author:  ONEshot [ Sun Aug 01, 2004 4:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

I would agree with waiting on the AMD64.

I'm an Intel guy, to be sure, but there are just some certain facts that you can't ignore:

The 3.2 ghz Intel whupps the shit out of the 3200+.

You cannot compare the AMD64 to anything that Intel has out right now, that's for sure. But that's like comparing pc3200 to pc2700. Once intel comes out with their 64 byte version, it's going to kick the crap out of AMD's, just like the 3.XX's kick the crap out of the XPs.

I'd suggest waiting for like 2 months. I think you'll regret it once you see the new Intel 64 byte.

Author:  wumpus [ Sun Aug 01, 2004 6:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

What's with all the horribly bad advice?

1) Yes, 1gb is noticeably better than 512mb, unless all you use your computer for is surfing the web and reading email. The effects of a larger disk cache can be very large-- memory is about 1000x faster than your hard drive; every trip to the hard drive is a terrible penalty. Try exiting that 402mb game, dos_junkie, and watch your hard drive go ballistic..

2) Intel vs. AMD, no question for SILENT PC ENTHUSIASTS the Athlon64 is a far better choice. It's faster than the P4 across the board-- gaming, general apps, pretty much everything except for video encoding. And it generates a lot less heat while providing that great performance, too!

Author:  Abel Wingnut [ Sun Aug 01, 2004 7:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

wumpus wrote:
What's with all the horribly bad advice?

1) Yes, 1gb is noticeably better than 512mb, unless all you use your computer for is surfing the web and reading email. The effects of a larger disk cache can be very large-- memory is about 1000x faster than your hard drive; every trip to the hard drive is a terrible penalty. Try exiting that 402mb game, dos_junkie, and watch your hard drive go ballistic..

2) Intel vs. AMD, no question for SILENT PC ENTHUSIASTS the Athlon64 is a far better choice. It's faster than the P4 across the board-- gaming, general apps, pretty much everything except for video encoding. And it generates a lot less heat while providing that great performance, too!


I expect to be able to play HL2, Rome: Total War, and Doom 3 with this system. I'm choosing between 1024 MB of a generic stick of PC 3200, or 512 MB of the Corsair 3200XL, which is supposed to be amazingly fast.

I hope it works.

Author:  ONEshot [ Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wumpus:

I think you completely missed my point.

The AMD64's beat out any P4 right now, but in a few months, the Pentium64 will be out as well, so I just suggested that he waits until he comes out.

I say this because the Pentium64 is going to be way better than the AMD64. Few reasons: 1. The people at Intel have seen what people think about the AMD, and can therefore fix the already known problems with 64byte CPUs. 2. The people at Intel ... make better chips. :)

So in recap: YOU CANNOT COMPARE the AMD64 to the P4. That's apples and oranges. But when the Pentium64 comes out, it's going to blow the AMD64 out of the water, I think.

Author:  wumpus [ Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

That's nice, but in the here and now, the A64 is the best choice. Particularly for members of this forum.

I wouldn't sweat the fancy memory; it's almost never worth it, unless you're planning to do a lot of extreme FSB overclocking. There's absolutely no question in my mind that you are better off with 1gb of vanilla memory than you would be with 512mb of "xtreme turbo hyper edition" memory.

I also second Mike's recommendation that you get the VGA Silencer to install on your video card. Great product, and dirt cheap too.

As for case, that's totally personal preference. However, when it comes to PSUs, you definitely want to stick to the recommended list. I like the Fortron series personally for cheap and reliable, or Zalman for a bit more quality (and money).

Author:  QuaiBoy [ Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

The A64 is currently the best choice for gaming, OVERALL application speed, and heat. Only the Intel bandwagon would disagree (I have two AMD and two Intel systems, this statement is from experience).
The K8N Platinum is a great board, but consider a Zalman passive northbridge heatsink, as the stock heatsink is inadequate IME. From EXPERIENCE, this memory is a great match to the K8N (I have a pair) and is being offered at an excellent price.
Some great comments already for the rest of your system.

Best of Luck,
-Evan-

Author:  Jan Kivar [ Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:44 am ]
Post subject: 

ONEshot wrote:
So in recap: YOU CANNOT COMPARE the AMD64 to the P4. That's apples and oranges. But when the Pentium64 comes out, it's going to blow the AMD64 out of the water, I think.

Well, any of the Microsoft's products don't support 64-bit mode yet, so AMD is currently blowing Intel big time. I don't think going 64-bit would change much, as Intel has copied* their version from Intel. Intel is going to include similar versions of AMD's No-eXecute -bit and Cool 'n' Quiet to their E0 stepping of PIV. Cleverly named as XD-Bit and Thermal Monitoring 2. :lol:

* Not to generate flame war: AMD traded x86-64 extensions for SSE2 or something.

Oh, and MS pushed the 64-bit edition to 2005. Intel said that their 64-bit CPU comes out when MS has the OS, so....

Once again, I'm not picking a fight. Pentium M, where are thou... :D

Cheers,

Jan

Author:  frosty [ Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:18 am ]
Post subject: 

Not to add wood here, but we always have more probs with Intel pcs at work than AMD's :)


Btw what is PCI express?

Author:  swivelguy2 [ Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:36 am ]
Post subject: 

PCI express is the next expansion card technology that will soon start replacing AGP 8x. You can read all about it at Tom's Hardware.

Author:  Tobias [ Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Just wanted to add a few comments to this discussion. First off, AMD perform better at a givven price than Intel do and this computer is under a budget.

Second, I'd say go with 1Gb RAM, I wanted more when I played FarCry, since my 512MB wasn't enough, I had to use my HD for virtual memory. This is the only time I have experienced any need for more than 512, but I expect that to change as soon as I get my hands on DOOM3. DOOM3 could be set to use 512MB video-ram and I don't see those graficscards just yet. ergo - more ram is needed.

Lastly, I'd like to say buy now. At least here in Sweden an A64 3000+ is cheaper than an XP3200+ which makes the A64 the by far better choice for performance-systems (better performance cheaper). And since we are at the brink of alot of new standards I'd say this is the ideal time to buy, since the old standards are performing as good as they will ever be and the performance will be good enough to last a while. Enough time for the new standards to set and for prices to drop from their high levels at introduction.

Author:  Wedge [ Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

I just built a 2.8C with 512MB of Dual Channel Corsair CMX256A-3200C2, but after playing Doom 3 I'm wishing I had went for a gig of RAM instead.

Will the plain jane Crucial RAM mentioned above by QuaiBoy work in dual channel mode? The price is certainly affordable -- $85 per 512MB stick.

Author:  Tobias [ Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:57 am ]
Post subject: 

I know what you mean, I have a pagefile in excess of 730 MB while playing. I would surely like to double my RAM...

Author:  toonz [ Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:05 am ]
Post subject: 

I'm quite lucky. Last week I bought an Athlon 64 3200+, Gigabyte K8NSNXP and 2GB RAM.

The 2GB is REALLY nice when gaming! But I would CERTAINLY recommend 1GB over 512MB. You'll find 1GB of standard PC3200 RAM is easily better than 512MB Performance RAM. Especially with the A64's as the on-die memory controller makes the faster RAM virtually useless.

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