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Comments/Suggestions requested on Intel Pentium 4 system configuration

Discussion in 'Intel' started by Q.R.Akhtar, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. Q.R.Akhtar

    Q.R.Akhtar Guest

    Hi fellows!

    I am going to purchase a new Computer and I consider it necessary to
    discuss it with the concerned people like you, who can provide good

    Being a Computer Engineer, I have made this configuration after doing
    some useful searching on the web about various aspects.

    Kindly provide some comments/suggestions about this configuration and
    more importantly...
    ...please mention your experience with these devices and other
    software/hardware related issues(if any).

    I will be thankful to all of you who help.!!

    ==== >>>>> List of components <<<< ======

    1) Intel Pentium 4 2.8 "E" GHz with "Hyperthreading (HT)
    sSpec# >>> "SL79K"
    1MB L2 cache
    800MHz FSB
    90nm process (fabrication) technology:
    Socket type >>> 478 pin PPGA
    Stepping >>> C0

    2) Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with Hyperthreading (HT) technology:::
    sSpec# >>> "SL7E3"
    1MB L2 cache
    800MHz FSB
    90nm process (fabrication) technology:
    Socket type >>> 478 pin PPGA
    Stepping >>> D0

    3) Intel® Desktop Board D865GBF (Intel® 865G Chipset)
    [This board comes in 3 models. Kindly ask which model they have]

    D865GBF Models :
    ""D865GBFLK"": [Video+ Audio+ Gibabit LAN ] built in
    ""D865GBFL"": [Video+ Audio+10/100 LAN ] built in
    ""D865GBF"": [Video, Audio ] built in. NO LAN

    URL>>> http://www.intel.com/design/motherbd/bf/index.htm?iid=ipp_browse+motherbd_d865gbf&

    4) Kingston 256MB 400MHz DDR PC3200 (DIMM 3-3-3)
    Part Number >>> "KVR400X64C3A/256"

    4a) Kingston 512MB 400MHz DDR PC3200 (DIMM 3-3-3)
    Part Number >>> "KVR400X64C3A/512"

    For "dual channel memory" usage (to give high data-rate/performance),
    Kingston also offers memory in a "pair"/"Kit". Part number for the
    memory "kit" ends with "K2".

    4b) 512MB ""Kit"" 400MHz DDR PC3200 DIMM 3-3-3
    Part Number >>> KVR400X64C3A"K2"/512
    (this kit contains 2 pieces of 256 MB each )

    5)Thermally advantaged ATX casing for this system .

    6) 17'' flatron Monitor (Viewsonic, Phillips, LG)

    7) CD-RW (Samsung, Sony)

    8) 80GB hard disk "baracoda" 7200 RPM

    OR 9) 80GB hard disk (serial ATA).


    The configuration is based upon some mandatory features which I
    Following are those mandatory features for my system.

    Mandatory features:

    Processor features:
    Pentium 4 with HyperThreading "HT"
    => This implies the Processor FSB of 800MHz

    1MB of L2 Cache.

    Motherboard features
    800Mhz system bus.

    support for "dual-channel" "400Mhz" DDR RAM.

    Integrated Video (Intel Extreme Graphics 2)

    Integrated Audio

    2 Parallel IDE (ATA) interfaces

    1 or more Serial ATA interfaces

    4 or more PCI slots

    1 AGP slot
    Q.R.Akhtar, Sep 5, 2004
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  2. Q.R.Akhtar

    MyndPhlyp Guest

    <disclaimer> The following is all IMO. </disclaimer>

    Looks like a good start. I can offer several suggestions.


    Consider eliminating the video and audio from the motherboard, depending on
    your future outlook for growth. These integrated devices do tend to keep the
    overall cost down, but may not provide you with the quality you desire.
    Integrated LAN is okay. See the D875PBZ.

    Northwood (0.13 micron) versus Prescott (0.09 micron) is open to debate. I
    prefer the Northwood for lower heat and its proven durability under

    2.8 vs. 3.0 - the 2.8 yields better performance-per-dollar (but I bought the
    3.0 anyway).

    If 1 MB L2 cache is an absolute must, you'll have to go with Prescott. The
    Northwood is 512 KB L2.


    Kingston 512's are okay, but also look at with names like Buffalo and
    Viking. Don't bother with the 256 MB sticks. The 1 GB sticks are too
    expensive. Get a pair of 512 MB sticks (preferably ECC) and run them dual
    channel. While ECC does jack up the price a tad and lowers the throughput
    somewhat, it does wonders for stability. Buffalo 512 MB ECC PC3200
    (DD4333-E512) is roughly $112/stick.


    If you plan on beating the tar out of the processor, a thermally advantaged
    chassis is a must (along with perhaps an upgrade from the stock retail
    heatsink and fan). The Chenbro PC61166 works out nicely for me. ($48) It
    will take a 120mm fan on the back and a 92mm on the front. (It usually ships
    with a 92mm on the back and nothing on the front. No power supply either.)
    The front side audio, USB and Firewire jacks might be of some use depending
    on your final motherboard and audio configuration. If you think you'll need
    an exotic heatsink, look over Zalman's line - the 7000A Al/Cu will work out
    fine for the 2.8 GHz processor.

    Hard Drives

    Go with pure SATA - a pair of them running in RAID 1, or even RAID 0 if you
    do regular backups of your valuable data. The throughput on SATA is better
    than IDE/EIDE. If you don't want to muck around with the Win2K (and earlier,
    but I'm not sure about XP) limitations on disk size (max 137 GB), buy into
    the 120 GB drives. The larger drives give you a marginally better
    dollar-per-byte ratio. Don't let the 137 GB size thing scare you off though;
    it can be worked around in many cases. Hitachi 120 GB SATA 7200 RPM
    (HDS722512VLSA80) is around $90.

    Power Supply

    You neglected to mention it in your shopping list. I like the 400W
    Silverstone SST-ST40F w/ PFC. Really quiet and good, clean, steady power
    with all the wire length and connectors you'll ever need. About $63.


    Samsung and Sony are generally good names, but don't overlook Lite-On.
    CD/DVD 52x32x52x16 combo drive (SOHC5232K) goes for around $33-$42.


    Sink your money here. If you are not happy with the screen, the rest of the
    system doesn't really matter. 19" (18" viewable) or better is my preferred
    minimum.) I don't care for the LCD monitors, and the plasma monitors are far
    too expensive. Old school still gives you the best return on your investment
    if you can afford the desk space.

    Video Card

    I've had good luck with the Chaintech FX5700LE 256MB AGP card. $109 last
    time I bought one.

    Audio Card

    Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS PCI. $88.49. It will handle just about anything you
    want to throw at it (except the occasional beer or pizza).

    Absolutely no problems at all with any of the hardware mentioned above under
    Win2K Pro and/or Server. Best of luck with your final configuration.
    MyndPhlyp, Sep 5, 2004
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  3. Q.R.Akhtar

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    1) Intel Pentium 4 2.8 "E" GHz with "Hyperthreading (HT)
    This doesn't look right. I believe #2 should be a Pentium 4 "Northwood"
    core, with 512K of L2 cache, on a 130nm fab process. The other one is a
    Pentium 4 "Prescott" core, with 1MB of L2, and 90nm fab process. My
    assumption is that all Pentium 4's with the "E" designation on the Ghz
    rating are Prescotts, but without them they are Northwoods. Someone can
    correct me if I'm wrong.

    Now, strangely enough, even though the newer Prescott has a bigger cache and
    more advanced process technology, benchmarks seem to show the older
    Northwoods are a few percentage points faster than the Prescotts at the same
    Ghz rating. There seems to be more inefficiency in the new Prescott core,
    and it really doesn't give you an advantage until you get to higher Ghz
    ratings, such as 3.4Ghz or more.

    Also you should consider *not* getting the Socket-478 Pentium 4 processors.
    These are now obsolete, they are being replaced by the LGA775 sockets. So if
    you ever want to upgrade to newer Pentium 4's in the future, you'll probably
    have to replace the motherboard too.
    Well, it's always good to get a LAN built-in, but Gigabit LAN is probably
    overkill for a home.
    Don't know what that means, it sounds like marketing to me.
    Just go with a regular 80GB IDE hard disk. Save the serial ATA for
    additional storage.
    Why are these "mandatory" features for you? Have you checked out the AMD
    Athlon 64 processors? Currently they are considered the overall performance
    leaders for desktops for most applications: office apps, games, etc. The
    Pentium 4's are still moderately faster for one very specific category of
    programs: video encoding programs (e.g. programs that rip and convert DVD's
    into video programs that you can store on your computer hard disk).

    Hyperthreading is also not necessary on the Athlon processors since they can
    execute programs much more efficiently than Pentium 4 processors.
    Why in the world do you want integrated video? That integrated graphics is
    not nearly good enough for most of today's games. Mind you, the integrated
    graphics makes it cheaper, since you won't have to pay for a graphics card.
    But if you're going to do any form of gaming, then you'll hate integrated

    Integrated audio is livable, but again, if you ever play games or maybe if
    you want to play DVD movies on your computer, then having a good
    multi-stream audio card is more desirable.
    Also Intel is phasing out the AGP slots, in favour of PCI-Express slots for
    graphics. These should be the standard for newer graphics within the next
    two years. This will be the case with both Intel and AMD systems too.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Sep 6, 2004
  4. Q.R.Akhtar

    MyndPhlyp Guest

    Both are 90nm Prescotts. You are right though about the "E" - it designates
    Prescott in the retail box sets (see the SL7E3 below). There doesn't appear
    to be a retail box option for the SL79K.

    It looks like the general rule on the SL codes is that a "7" is a Prescott
    and a "6" (i.e., SL6WJ) is a Northwood. (See the Master List below).

    Good catch though. All I looked at was the 1 MB L2 cache and instantly
    assumed Prescott.



    "Master" List
    MyndPhlyp, Sep 6, 2004
  5. Q.R.Akhtar

    Lance Guest

    What you should buy depends on what you'll be using the computer for and
    your budget. My needs included video/photo editing, reliability and a
    system I'd be satisfied with for 5 years instead of the 2-3 yrs I've
    been averaging in the past. I couldn't be more pleased with my system
    and hope you get the same satisfaction as I in building a system that's
    "just right."

    I will second MyndPhlyp's recommendation that you consider the D875PBZ
    motherboard and utilize the built-in SATA & RAID capability, the Lite-0n
    product line, other memory brands, and a larger CRT-type monitor.

    The Intel site was invaluable in helping with case and memory selection.
    Start here for components that Intel has tested with their motherboards:
    You're the computer engineer, but it looks to me that their test
    conditions are not gentle (eg, 95 degF ambient test temperature).

    If you're in the US, consider using www.newegg.com for components you
    can't find locally.

    In the end, I disregarded Intel's case recommendations because the
    Cooler Master Wave Master case just looked so dang cool. 2 Western
    Digital Raptor drives (10k rpm, RAID 0, WD brags about the MTBF), 1
    Maxtor 120GB (all my data goes here). 2x256MB Buffalo. Hitachi CM715 19"
    monitor (which I found in a hallway at work with a "Free" sign on it -
    OMG, it's a wonderful monitor).


    Q.R.Akhtar thought carefully and wrote on 9/5/2004 11:39 AM:
    Lance, Sep 6, 2004
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