Mobo/CPU/Memory Buying Tips! - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 07-13-2004, 07:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 722
Default Mobo/CPU/Memory Buying Tips!

Hello all!

I hope this helps, I try to give people good advice that has the best financial implications. Also I try to advise people to get hardware that can be upgraded later... but please keep in mind that this all revolves around the motherboard, if you motherboard doesn't support it then you can't get it

When buying a system the first thing I consider is the motherboard, I try and make sure it supports the most advanced technology, even if I can't afford the most advanced hardware to go into it right now - prices drop over time.

For example:

I might be able to afford a Asus A7N8X-E-Deluxe motherboard, Athlon XP3200+ *400MHz FSB* with Corsair TwinX DDR400 (PC3200) - kinda like my System 1 But this system cannot be upgraded, the Athlon XP3200+ processor is the flagship CPU of the Athlon XP#### model. Meaning that if you want to upgrade later you will need a new motherboard.

Things to consider

This is the time for patience, with PCI Express being released and Athlon 64-bit processors flying everywhere you really need to think about what you may want to buy in the future... sadly it is true that you can't just buy a system that will last 2-3 years, you usually need a few extra MHz to meet the "Minimum Requirements" for the latest game or to knock off minutes from encoding - this is where paying that few extra bucs for a up-to-date motherboard really pays off.

You shake the dust off your motherboard manual to find out that it supports DDR500, the latest Athlon 64-bit (which has hopefully dropped in price now that your system is a year or so old).

Originally bought system:
Asus A7N8X-E-Deluxe - nForce2 - 400 fsb x8 AGP + Gbit Lani + 6Ch Sound + SATA + 1394 + SATA-RAID
AMD Athlon XP 3200 + *400 FSB* Barton (2.20GHz)
512 Mb Corsair XMS, DDR400, PC3200LLPT, Latency 2

Limiting factors of this motherboard... fastest supported processor, with a maximum FSB speed of 400MHz.

"Thought about" system (Intel here comes Kangaroo!):
After a little bit of research it turns out that Intel based systems use the latest technology at the moment, so i'll try and get everything right - compatibility should be correct even though its my first attempt at making an Intel system.

Gigabyte GA-8GPNXP Duo, Supports LGA 775 for Pentium® 4 Processor, 800 / 533 MHz FSB, Dual Channel DDR2 533/400 ; Dual Channel DDR400/333 (2 DIMMs for DDR2, 4 DIMMs for DDR)
4 x Serial ATA connectors
2 x USB 2.0 connectors (4 ports by cable)
1 x FDD connector
1 x UltraDMA 100/66 IDE
2 x UltraDMA 133 IDE
2 x IEEE 1394b connectors (3 ports)

Bundle Software - had to add this
Norton Internet Security 2004
Norton Anti Virus™
Norton™ Personal Firewall
-Norton™ Privacy Control
-Norton™ Parental Control
-Norton™ Spam Alert
GIGABYTE Windows Utility Manager
Adobe Acrobat Reader

CPU: 520 Intel Pentium® 4 LGA 775 CPU (2.80 Ghz 800FSB) HT 1MB Cache
512 Mb Corsair XMS, DDR, PC3200C2PT, Cas 2

Sorry for all the spam

You can upgrade the CPU to 3.6GHz at the moment, you can also upgrade to DDR2, PCI-Express.

At the moment this particular Gigabyte motherboard has G.E.A.R (Gigabyte Enhanced AGP Riser) - which means you can still use AGP card.

The above system would cost you about the same as the "out-of-date" system but it is so upgradeable its scary.

[size=3.5]Think before you buy![/size]

[size=0.5]Full Aluminium ThermalTake Case
Asus A7N8X-E-Deluxe
AMD Athlon XP 3200+ *400 FSB* Barton (2.2GHz)
ThermalTake Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition Air Cooling
1024MB Corsair TwinX XMS 3200 (Dual Channel 2x512) 2-3-2-6
2x WD Raptors (10krpm 8MB Cache) 36.7GB using RAID -0
Video Logic SonicXplosion 5.1 Soundcard
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Old 07-13-2004, 09:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Actualy the first thing to considder is the CPU, no use looking for an Intell board if you are gonna put a AMD in it eh... If you have decided on either buying an AMD of Intell then you should considder the bus/mem speeds. Getting a 2500+ with a 333mhz bus would make DDR3200 quite expensive as the cheaper PC2700 would do aswell.(that is, if you're not going to overclock the system....) ofcource buying a faster mobo then ur proc can handle saves you buying a new one when it's time to upgrade, but bear in mind newer(read the newest) mobo's will drop in

As it goes for motherboards, i never buy state of the art stuff. Yeah having an FX-55 sounds cool and is REALLY hot(still doesn;t attract babes...better spent on a car :P), it's a pity you'll hafta live with 256mb ram and a geforce2 mx as you ran out of money :P

I rather go for a mid-range system, which can ALWAYS be upgraded no matter what, and it saves you loads of money. Instead of an 64 bit Xp3500+ you buy a 64bit XP2800+ saving you a couple of hundred bucks. BY christmas the 3500+ will comes free with every other package of butter @ the local supermarket as cheap as they will become by then

If you have money to spend, use it for a dual processor system(always l33t and & upgradable...) or X800 XT/ 6800 pro 3d card(yer gonna need with with HL2 & Doom3 :P) or a bunch of HDD's in a raid (5)0 configuration...

AthlonXp1800+ @ 1800Mhz(air)<br>Sapphire Radeon 9600XT 256 mb @ 570/684 (air)
<br>Gigabyte GA-7VAX KT400(Bus @ 175Mhz & AGP @ 70Mhz<br>
512Mb PC2700 DDR-Ram @ 350Mhz
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Old 07-13-2004, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 722

How would you upgrade (in a couple years) a MSI K7N2 motherboard that has 1.5GB (3x 512MB) DDR400 memory and a AMD Athlon XP 3200 + *400 FSB* Barton (2.2 GHz) with a 256MB Radeon X800 XT graphics card?

The point I am trying to make is that there is no point buying "old" technology. It all does revolve around your motherboard, your motherboard/chipset dictates the bandwidth of your CPU, hard drives, memory, AGP card and now PCI cards.
[size=0.5]Full Aluminium ThermalTake Case
Asus A7N8X-E-Deluxe
AMD Athlon XP 3200+ *400 FSB* Barton (2.2GHz)
ThermalTake Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition Air Cooling
1024MB Corsair TwinX XMS 3200 (Dual Channel 2x512) 2-3-2-6
2x WD Raptors (10krpm 8MB Cache) 36.7GB using RAID -0
Video Logic SonicXplosion 5.1 Soundcard
Kangaroo is offline  
Old 07-13-2004, 03:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 149

I'm going to build a 3500+ based system when socket 939 chipsets like the K8T890 come out , which support PCI Express . I'll get some memory like Corsair pc4000 PRO series and since you can lower the multipler on 939 Athlon 64s I'll be able to raise the FSB even more taking advantage of my good and well cooled memory .
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