Building Computer w/ $1500

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by The Internet, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. The Internet

    The Internet New Member

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    Alright, so the HD on my 3 year old laptop died and instead of replacing it (just yet), I'm going to build a new desktop. I got a $1500 computer scholarship to do so. Here's the system that I'm thinking about assembling so far:

    CASE: POWMAX Black/Silver Mid Tower ATX Case with 400W Power Supply, Side Window & handle, Model "CP0327PL-4" -RETAIL $32.00

    MOBO: SOLTEK "SL-K8AN2E-GR" NVIDIA nForce3 250 Chipset Motherboard For AMD Socket 754 CPU -RETAIL $99.00 (first time I'm not going with ASUS, but I've heard good things about the board - plus it looks sweet)
    VID CARD: ATI RADEON 9800 PRO Video Card, 256MB DDR, 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP -RETAIL $266.00

    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+, 512k L2 Cache, The Only 64-bit Windows Compatible Processor - Retail $218.00

    RAM: Geil Ultra Series Value Dual Channel 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 w/ Blue Heatspreader - Retail $193.00

    HD: Western Digital 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model WD2500JD, OEM Drive Only $171.49

    BURNER: Plextor 12X DVD+/-RW Drive, Model PX-712A Black, Retail $140.00

    SPEAKERS: ALTEC LANSING VS3151 5.1 Black Speaker System -RETAIL $68.49

    EXTRAS:
    Win XP Pro (OEM), case, fans and Norton System Works (OEM)

    TOTAL = $1364.95


    Have I made any bad decisions? If you guys have any suggestions (keeping in mind that I don't want to exceed $1500 by too much) I would greatly appreciate them. :hs:

    EDIT: I'm buying all of this from New Egg. I already have a monitor. If you guys have suggestions for a better mobo/cpu combo in particular that would be great.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2004
  2. Scoob_13

    Scoob_13 Anything is possible, but the odds are astronomica

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    I would suggest simply replacing the hard drive in your laptop, wait 4 months, and then build a system using the 939 chipset so that you can utilize PCI-X. If you're worried about finding a PCI-X video card that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, the 939 chipsets support both AGP and PCI-X and the first boards to come out will definitely have both.

    In the long run, you'll come out ahead because of expandability. And, you can save up some more money so that you can get a decent case, better video card, and some better ram.
     
  3. maczter

    maczter Life is trying things to see if they work.

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    :werd:

    laptop hard drives are cheap and you can still use the laptop even after you build the new machine.
     
  4. Jibba Jabba

    Jibba Jabba Guest

    Just to make sure, if I were to buy this motherboard right now:

    ASUS "A8V Deluxe Wi-Fi" K8T800 Pro Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 939 CPU -RETAIL

    I would have PCI-X support and I could get a good PCI-X card several months from now?
     
  5. Scoob_13

    Scoob_13 Anything is possible, but the odds are astronomica

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    Sorry, I should have been more specific and stated that the "939 chipsets that utilize PCI-X technology" would be a better use of funds.

    Currently there are no 939 chipsets that support PCI-X - the K8T890 with the VT8251 SouthBridge, which is coming out in a little bit (couple of months or so) will support PCI-X for video usage as well as for other devices.

    The K8T800 is an awesome chipset - but is inherently limited in its ability to endure the changes in the industry.

    (Below) K8T800
    [​IMG]

    (Below) K8T890
    [​IMG]


    I would suggest holding out for a few months if it is at all possible - we're pretty much on a "brink" of a hardware evolution. This is one of the reasons why I disagree with people that are purchasing computers for running Doom3 - they're buying the most expensive hardware now, when in a few months it will be, comparatively, a waste of money to what they could have had for the same amount.
     
  6. The Internet

    The Internet New Member

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    Point taken (nice chipset btw). :cool:

    However, even if I were to wait for a mobo that supports PCI Express (16X), won't I have to wait several years for a video card that can take advantage of the bus? I was under the impression that the AGP 8X bus has not been taxed yet (in fact, far from it). So the first generation of PCI Express video cards will not only fail to take advantage of the PCI Express bus, but they will also not even have the capability to theoretically use the AGP 8X bus to its max. It seems like it will be almost 2-3 years down the line before I can truely take advantage of the PCI Express interface. And unless PCI Express mobos use a seperate, dedicated 16X pipeline for graphics then AGP 8X might even be preferable over the next several years :dunno:

    I might be totally wrong though. I havn't been keeping up lately to be honest.

    Thanks for the feedback so far. :boink:
     
  7. Scoob_13

    Scoob_13 Anything is possible, but the odds are astronomica

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    There are 16-lane PCI-X cards on the market already - NVidia and ATI are readying versions that use their latest chipsets.

    Basically, they have to wait until the boards are out there before they can ship stuff for them. Also, yeah, you might have to wait a while to fully utilize the PCI-X, however the boards will still have AGP on them - meaning you can continue to use what's extremely popular now until the pricing comes down on the first "high power" PCI-X versions.
     
  8. Jibba Jabba

    Jibba Jabba Guest

    Socket 939 itself doesn't impress me. Benchmark tests have shown, that with the Athlon 64's on-die memory controller, dual channel memory capability (Socket 939) only gives a 3% or less performance increase over single channel memory (Socket 754). Also, the difference between a 512 kb cache and a 1 mb cache for Athlon 64s is comparitively miniscule.

    The difference for Intel systems, however, is very noticable in both respects. To me this seems like the result of competition between AMD and Intel: Intel announces dual channel memory and AMD follows suit; the same with 1mb L2 cache (it matters so much more for Intel CPUs). However, Intel's inferior architecture is the only one that really benefits. Dual channel memory is mostly a marketing gimmick so far for AMD (in my opinion).

    I dunno if I would wait for PCI Express if I were you. For one thing, Socket 939 Athlon 64 chips are quite a bit more expensive than their Socket 754 counterparts. Chances are you will be paying more for a Socket 939/PCI Express compatible board several months from now with only marginal performance increases over what you could buy today. As far as I can tell, the lowest priced Socket 939 is the Athlon 64 3500+ which retails for around $350. The $3800+ is $650. You can get a Socket 754 3000+ for around $175 and then overclock it to 2.4 GHz, no sweat (or 3200+ for $215). :hs:

    Unless I'm missing something, Socket 939 really hasn't proven itself superior enough to justify the price increase and PCI Express is a long ways from being broken in :dunno:
     

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