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Old 10-07-2004, 12:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need advice on computer upgrade

Hello all. I'm currently shopping for a nice computer upgrade and would like some advice on which processor to get. I'm going to need a new mobo, memory, and CPU(s), and I'd like to keep the total cost of the upgrade south of $800. I'll post my current system specs at the bottom.

Let me say right now, I am not much of a PC gamer. I do play PC games sometimes, but for the most part, I'm console only. So please don't say anything like "Doom 3 goes about 10x faster on an AMD system!!" However, I do multitask a lot. As I type this, there are 30 items on my taskbar. Some people say Intel is better in this area. Also, I do a lot of computer programming. Which CPU would yield quicker compile times? Finally, I do do some occasional video encoding. I may be doing a lot more in the future. Which would function better?

The last forum I visited asking for advice recommended the idea of getting myself dual Opterons/Xeons because they're killer for multitasking. However I'm not convinced they're the best route due to the Xeon's heat output and the Opteron's need for ECC Regged memory. Also it would seem that there aren't many good motherboards that support them. But the biggest thing that's holding me back there is that I can't seem to find many benchmarks to show their performance against single CPUs.

If I do go with a single CPU, it will definately be either a Pentium 4 3.4GHz Prescott or an Athlon 64 3500+. As sweet as the numbers are, I just can't afford a P4 Extreme Edition or a Althon 64 FX. Also, after looking at some reviews, I'm really leaning away from the P4s due to their massive heat output/power consumtion.

So... anyone have any advice that would help me out in this area?

Current system specs:
CPU: Intel P4 1.7GHz
PSU: Antec 430w TruePower
Mobo: Abit TH7-RAID <---- ditching this
Mem: 512mb of RD-RAM <---- and this... ugh I now HATE rd-ram...
Hard Drives: 3 HDs, 380GB total. Windows drive is 60GB
Disk Drives: 1 Floppy, 1 CD-RW, 1 DVD-RW
Video Card: ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 AGP
Monitor: Gateway Vivitron 17"
Case: Don't know the form factor, but the case itself is about 17 x 18 x 7.5. My case is pretty crappy looking, so I'm thinking of getting another one anyway.

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Old 10-07-2004, 03:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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CPU: Athlon 64 3500+ (good choice)
Ram: 1gb DDR 400 dual channel mode (essential for multitasking)
Hard Disk: your current storage is pretty good, look into raid 0 also
optical: current optical is good
mobo: socket 939, get one with dual channel ddr 400, sata raid, gigabit ethernet and lotsa features.

your current psu is good

do you want to have a fresh start with a new case???


Core 2 Duo E6400, DFI Infinity 975X/G, 2x 512mb DDR2 667mhz, Albatron 7900gt, WD 200gb SATA, Samsung DVD-RW, Silverstone ST-50EF 500w PSU.
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Old 10-07-2004, 04:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A new case would be great. Some links to a few good ones would be appreciated =)

Also for the mobo I'm currently looking at the Asus A8V Dexule. I realize that 939 is a must. Comments?

Also, what exactly is RAID 0 and how would it be beneficial?
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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this is about the best case you can get for a PC, it is expensive, but the people who own it say it is worth every cent
althoug if you don't want to spend that much, an Antec 1000 plus view is a good case

the Athlon 64 3500+ is a better CPU than the P4 right now, because it processes 64-bit. although it doesn't outperform some P4's, that is only because of it running 32-bit applications, but when 64-bit kicks in, it will boost the performance by a lot

I recommend an eVGA 6800 GT video card, which will run doom 3, and run it well, also you will have it longer before upgrading again.

the Asus A8V Deluxe is about the most reliable board you can get right now for your athlon 64

this is the best performing PC3200 RAM available, which outperforms PC4000 memory
although XMS is less expensive, but still faster than most PC3200 memory
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Old 10-07-2004, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not too knowlegable about RAM. Explain the difference between the the first thing you linked to, XMS, and normal DDR. Also, how important is it to get DDR in pairs? I was hoping to get a single 1GB stick...
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Old 10-07-2004, 01:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The difference between the two modules are the build.

The 3200XL has latencies of 2-2-2-5, while the 3200C2 has latencies of 2-3-3-6 (2.5-3-3-6 on AMD).

Corsair XMS and XMS PRO are built to withstand extended amounts of heat, therefore they are intended for overclocking.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Still waiting for an answer: Does it make a difference if I get a single 1GB chip or two 512MB chips?
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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if you get a single 1gb stick not only will it cost way more, but you won't be able to run dual-channel
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah get 2 512 sticks it works alot faster and better
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Old 10-08-2004, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Contrary to what was said above, the Abit AV8 Third EYE is the best mobo out for the athlon 64.
Also he doesn't need a 6800gt, he said he didn't want people to tell him what the best thing for Doom3 would be. An ATI brand ATI Radeon 9800 Pro would serve you good.

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