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A new computer!

Discussion in 'Techie Discussion' started by Exoshear, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Exoshear

    Exoshear Fledgling Freddie

    Okay, I've had the same PC system for about 3 years now, upgraded a few things on it. But I feel it's time to start from scratch with something new and more powerful. :)

    I looked for all the parts which I think would do the job. I got a quick price list from Ebuyer (Mainly because I've had good dealings with them in the past and they sell good stuff dirt cheap).

    Here's what I came up with...

    JNC 4JA H7650 Grey Type 2 ATX Midi Tower Case 300w PSU Front USB Firewire & Audio
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=49481
    £16.44

    QTEC 400 Watt PSU P4 ready Twin Fan Retail Boxed
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=51095
    £14.81

    MSI K7N2 Delta-L SKT A 8xAGP DDR400 Nforce2 6ch Sound LAN USB 2.0 Motherboard
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=48751#pinfo
    £54.64

    AMD Athlon XP3000 333FSB 512 L2 Cache Barton Retail Boxed Inc Heatsink & Fan with 3year Warranty
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=46511#pinfo
    £61.21

    XFX GeForce Fx5600XT 128MB DDR AGP 8x DVI TV-Out + Game Pad Retail Box
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=56624
    £80.19

    Kingston 256 DDR400 PC3200 Cl3 Memory Module -- 4 of this
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=49292
    £31.37 X 3 = £125.48

    Pioneer 4x DVD DUAL R/RW IDE BURNER - OEM
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=49638
    £85.19

    Samsung 16x48 IDE DVD-ROM Drive - Retail Box
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=48395
    £25.67

    Ebuyer 10/100 Network Card with w/wake on Lan - Retail Box
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=31095
    £2.85

    Alps 1.44 Silver Floppy Drive 3.5 Inch Internal - OEM
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=55687
    £5.68

    Total cost for all items - £472.12

    Is there anything I could add/change to make it a better system? I'd also like to know if it's a good deal I'm getting for that price, or if I could get it anywhere cheaper:}

    The only thing I'm not too sure about is the Proccessor and Video Card.

    Missing off the list is an LCD monitor, because I have no clue about those. What's a good one to get for a "reasonable" pirce?
    I've also missed off Hard Drives, mainly because I'll be putting one of the HDD's in my current PC into the new one. I may even network them both when I get the new one, but I'll cross that path later. ;)

    Any help would be great.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Tom

    Tom FH is my second home

    I'd get a better case, something a bit quieter perhaps?
     
  3. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi Exoshear

    The following is just off the top of my head, so forgive the lack of detail, or if I've missed anything. Anyway, as Tom has suggested, you may want to change the case; and perhaps, if possible, try and opt for one without a bundled power supply and save a little money (although, admittedly, it would probably be a little).

    Just a few other observations. Firstly, you've sadly misquoted your CPU price by around £90 less than it is should be. Secondly, have you priced up 2x512Mb RAM instead of 4x256Mb? If there's only a little difference in price, then you may receive slightly better performance buy purchasing 2x512Mb (you can often purchase two sticks bunded together too, thus saving money). As for the graphics, I'd probably go for either: nVidia 5700 Ultra, nVidia 5900 SE/XT or ATI 9600 XT. They all cost more than the 5600XT, but as mainstream cards the performance gain would be substantial, to say the least.

    You could probably drop the network card, as the motherboard includes a perfectly capable integrated solution (so too with the sound, so don't really worry about adding a soundcard). You may also want to drop the floppy drive unless you know you're going to need it (same with the separate DVD-ROM drive).

    Sorry for making so many comments, you're on the right track, though! As for LCD monitors, that's really a whole topic in itself. First, make sure an LCD is for you, as CRTs do have many benefits. As a rule of thumb, however, you'd want at a minimum a 15" display, which would probably cost somewhere in the region of £150-250, depending on the quality of the model. 17" models usually cost significantly more, so it depends on your budget. Keep in mind resolutions at this level are generally limited to 1024x768 and 1280x1024, respectively. Also, look out for the reponse time rating, which ought to be no higher than 25ms if you're going to be using the system for gaming, DVD playback etc.

    Kind Regards
     
  4. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    I'd seriously consider a S754 based system over the AthlonXP, buying a machine now based on a chipset which is over 18 months with zero upgrade path I'd consider a poor move. If you can get yourself an Athlon64 machine then you'll at least be able to drop a new chip onto the board in 8-12 months time.

    Xav
     
  5. Exoshear

    Exoshear Fledgling Freddie

    Wasn't too sure about the case. I'll probably go to Maplins for that (They normally have good ones).

    "Firstly, you've sadly misquoted your CPU price by around £90 less than it is should be."

    I did? Woops, my bad. ^^;

    "Secondly, have you priced up 2x512Mb RAM instead of 4x256Mb? If there's only a little difference in price,
    then you may receive slightly better performance buy purchasing 2x512Mb"


    Seems like a good enough idea. Also that way, I could put more RAM in if I require it in the future (Which I probably won't, but it's always now the space is there).

    " go for either: nVidia 5700 Ultra, nVidia 5900 SE/XT or ATI 9600 XT.
    They all cost more than the 5600XT,"


    Wasn't to upto speed on the latest graphic cards. Figure I'll go with the nVidia 5900 SE/XT (If it has a TV-out).

    "You could probably drop the network card, as the motherboard includes a perfectly capable integrated solution (so too with the sound, so don't really worry about adding a soundcard). You may also want to drop the floppy drive unless you know you're going to need it (same with the separate DVD-ROM drive)."

    Network card dropped off the list, save a bit of money:}

    I'll need the floppy drive for transporting work from college and back. The DVD-ROM drive is there, because if not, I wouldnt be able to copy CD's or DVD's without messing about. :)

    "Sorry for making so many comments, you're on the right track, though!"

    Hehe, it's okay. I need as many comments as I can get so I don't waste money on the new PC.

    I did a bit of research on the monitors after my first post. They're a little too pricey at the moment, figure I'll give that a miss and stick with my current one for a while. :)

    Cheers for your help guys! Much appreciated. :)
     
  6. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    I think this is the first time I've ever had to do this Jonts fella, but that board is nForce2, thus only 3 dimm slots, only 2 of which can be used in dual-channel operation.

    *cringes*

    Xav
     
  7. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    With regards to a screen, get yourself the NEC 1760X panel when you can afford it, at 17" with 1280x1024 native you'll not find a finer panel and it's only ~£350 - it'll do you for the next couple of years without problem.
     
  8. Exoshear

    Exoshear Fledgling Freddie

    Yeah, I cringed when I figured out the mistake I made! :eek:

    64mb proccessor.. Hrm, not given much thought to those and them being the way of the future.

    The only thing that I hear about them that puts me off is program compatablity, how can I be sure most of my current stuff runs on it? Or will it and I'm reading the wrong stuff (As usual).
     
  9. TheJkWhoSaysNi

    TheJkWhoSaysNi One of Freddy's beloved

    Current stuff will run on a 64-bit processor, however in my opinion it's not worth buying one...yet. There is not much that can actually make use of it and the prices are high. I am waiting until most stuff comes in a 64bit flavour before I buy one, they will also be a lot cheaper then too.
     
  10. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    64-bit cpus such as the Athlon64 and Athlon64FX are able to run in 32-bit modes with no compatibility issues whatsoever... At any length there's no 64-bit OS out there, which means you're going to be running in 32-bits for the while with 64-bit capability when the time comes.

    At 2.2Ghz, my Athlon64FX-51 is significantly quicker than a 3.2Ghz P4 with HT and leaps and bounds ahead of the AthlonXP 3200+.

    Put it this way, the Athlon64 is the future of the processor family you're considering, and getting an Athlon64 board with a 3000+ processor is going to give you a decent upgrade path, which nForce2, this late in the day, won't.

    Xav
     
  11. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    hehe, give over Xavier, I make mistakes all the time, so don't worry about pointing them out! I was posting very close to midnight, so I'm allowed one oversight in my haste :) hehe.

    Anyway, back on topic, I agree with with Xavier that going with a 64-bit solution would probably the most prudent course of action. I've just done a very quick check and you can pick up an nForce3-based motherboard and an AMD Athlon64 3000+ (admittedly with the scaled down features) for only a little more than the cost of an nForce2-based motherboard and a regular AMD Athlon 3000+, which isn't bad at all. Or, of course, you have the original Athlon64 3200+ chip if you're willing to spend even more.

    Good luck with whatever you decide :)

    Kind Regards
     
  12. throdgrain

    throdgrain FH is my second home

    AMD Athlon XP3000 333FSB 512 L2 Cache Barton Retail Boxed Inc Heatsink & Fan with 3year Warranty
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...uid=46511#pinfo
    £61.21


    Lol Ill have two then please :)

    Actually Im goingto buy one of these shortly, but i think the best price Ive seen is around £150.
     
  13. Exoshear

    Exoshear Fledgling Freddie

    Around £543.47 for the chip alone! That's almost as much as the system there!! Bloody hell.

    Sadly, I'm not made of money and my pockets aren't endless at the moment (I'm just a lowly student who's saving for his first car at the moment).

    Guess I'll have to wait for this new computer if I'm going the 64bit route. :)
     
  14. Ch3tan

    Ch3tan I aer teh win!!

  15. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    That's the athlon64 fx, we didn't suggest that - as jonty said we're suggesting the athlon 64 which with an nforce3 board will cost marginally more than the spec you're currently considering.

    Xav
     
  16. RandomBastard

    RandomBastard Can't get enough of FH

    Dag nammit the athlon64 is quite affordable now.

    Im not happy! Considering i just bought a new chip (Athlon XP) and mobo at the beginning of the semester!

    Mind you the new chip was unintentional (the old one fryed) and the new mobo was becuase i was selling my shuttle and wanted upgradability in the form of new processors which my old KG7R didnt seem to want to support.

    *Starts saving for a Athlon64 system
     
  17. Exoshear

    Exoshear Fledgling Freddie

    Ah, sorry. My brain hasn't been in gear for the last week or so. The 2 weeks rest it has had has put it into compn00b mode. =/

    Cheers anyway!

    If it's only costing a bit more, looks like I should be able to get the new comp sooner than I thought. :)
     
  18. Exoshear

    Exoshear Fledgling Freddie

    Updated List

    Anodized Copper ATX PC Case
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Products/Module.asp?CartID=040101172524252&ModuleNo=37164&MR=N
    £49.99

    Gigabyte GA-k8NPRO SKT 754 Nforce 3 Sound GiG LAN 1394 USB 2.0 FSB800 SATA Retail Box
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=54503
    £89.97

    AMD Athlon 64 3000 (Socket 754) - Retail (CP-070-AM)
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/amd_64_bit.html
    £175.66

    Samsung 512 Pc3200 DDR400 184pinn Memory Module
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X3Jldmlld3M=&product_uid=52561
    £55.70 X 2 = £111.4

    Sapphire Radeon 9600XT 256MB DDR DVI-I TV-Out Lite Retail Box
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=55190
    £140.99

    Pioneer 4x DVD DUAL R/RW IDE BURNER - OEM
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=49638
    £85.19

    Samsung 16x48 IDE DVD-ROM Drive - Retail Box
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=48395
    £25.67

    Alps 1.44 Silver Floppy Drive 3.5 Inch Internal - OEM
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=55687
    £5.68

    Total Price = £634.56

    Updated and changed the spec, does this look better?:} Needs a fan for the base unit though.
     
  19. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Looking good, though I'd lose the Samsung drive.
     
  20. Gurnox

    Gurnox One of Freddy's beloved

    Exoshear. I think you have to weigh a few things up before you decide what you are going for:

    - How long do you have left at Uni?
    - Do you want to spend any more money on the machine while you are a poor and suffering student?

    If you've still got 2/3 years or so left at Uni and do not intend to spend any more money on it for that entire time, then go with an Athlon XP. They're cheaper than the Intel solution and still put in a pretty good performance.

    Your new spec. is good, but you're spending way more cash. You've not included a monitor so you'll need to add more for that too.

    Now, before I get flamed to bits by the others, consider this:

    Being a student means you have a pittance to live on. You are more concerned with things like food and, of course, beer than upgrading your machine. Assuming, Exoshear, that you're in the same situation, this makes the upgrade path requirement pretty redundant.

    By the time you stop being a student and start earning money there will, if we adhere to Moores' law, be a plethera of new technology out there. So the chances are, regardless of what you get now, you'll be wanting to upgrade the motherboard as well as the processor anyway.

    So, assuming you've got a long time left to study,do it cheap and do a bigger upgrade when you have the money.

    If you've only got a year or so left, follow Xaviers' advice and go Intel/Athlon 64.
     
  21. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    I'd ignore Gurnox's post Exorshear - heh, it doesn't sound like he actually read the thread as none of us have recommended *any* intel kit.

    Xav
     
  22. Gurnox

    Gurnox One of Freddy's beloved

    D'oh! Must still be hallucinating from last nights revelries..... :cheers:
     
  23. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    Indeed... or drink more...

    I'd go with Option #2 - there's 364 days left in 2004 to worry about hangovers and sobriety ;)
     
  24. Gurnox

    Gurnox One of Freddy's beloved

    Mmmmmm... That chilled bottle of Leffe I've got in the fridge DOES sound tempting :cool:
     
  25. dynamic^

    dynamic^ Guest

    Hmm id have kept the Samsung drive. Ive got that burner and its sooooo slow getting stuff off my burnt DVD's. Or maybe im just being impatient :)
     
  26. Gurnox

    Gurnox One of Freddy's beloved

    Maybe just replace it with a better one. I've found that Samsung kit can be a touch unreliable. Suppose it is only £25.00 though.
     
  27. Xavier

    Xavier Can't get enough of FH

    The point is he's got a DVD-rewriter in there, a seperate dvd-rom is pointless if you're on a budget.

    If you're having read problems on the same drive which burnt the dvd I'd check the manufacturers support forum, as it's generally an indication of poor media or a drive fault.

    Xav
     
  28. Gurnox

    Gurnox One of Freddy's beloved

    True.

    Looking back on his wish list, he's not got a PSU in there so he should probably be keeping the money aside to put toward that.
     
  29. .Wilier.

    .Wilier. One of Freddy's beloved

    Not quite true. If you look back at the origional wish list, there's a Qtec 400w jobbie in there, which frankly, for the money, are excellent.
     
  30. Gurnox

    Gurnox One of Freddy's beloved

    Ah, I was looking at his new one.
     

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