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So there I was...

Discussion in 'AMD Thunderbird' started by Hal Wilkerson, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. standing in the computer store, Caramel Latte' in hand, head tweaked
    to the side trying to understand what this 17 year old kid was tell me
    about the next generation of computers.

    It was all greek to me.

    And to think, at one time, I was that 17 year old kid. Wow. How time
    flies.

    So, my point is. I'm old school... I've gotten away from learning
    every minute spec of hardware from college, and basically become your
    typical power PC user. Well, until my desk-top finally gave up the
    ghost, after a new hard-drive, new ram, and still, (oh, but I'm so
    tempted) no real video card... so here I am, ready to get back in and
    learn some nitty gritty details about what to purchase. I think
    somewhere between this kid telling me about 512 caching on the AMD
    3200 and me contemplating my next purchase at Lowe's, I realized I was
    going to be taken if I didn't do a little research on the matter.

    So, being the 'old-school' computer geek, (back when my friends told
    me my 720mb hard drive would 'NEVER' run out of room) I decided I'd
    better check with the experts here on the NG's to see if I could chase
    down some expertise.

    Basically, I want an affordable Motherboard/CPU combo- I'd prefer a
    stand-alone video card and sound card, but it seems alot of the boards
    I'm looking at are combo. So if anyone has experience with these, let
    me know. It seems 2 of the last 5 computers I've owned had
    integrated, and while they worked fine, I've always had an aversion to
    them for some reason. Kind of like those TV/VCR combo's I suppose-
    they just don't seem right.

    So in doing some research on these cards, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA
    what any of the priorities should be when selecting a card. I'm
    thinking, PC 2700/DDR Ram is good, USB 2.0 is good, Firewire is good,
    but thats about all I know. Am I missing something? If so, please
    let me know. I want to buy a decent MB/CPU Combo, but I'd like to get
    some advice from some knowledgeable folks first. I posted here,
    because I'm interested in AMD. But if you can tell me why INTEL might
    be better than AMD, by all means, let me know. At anyrate, any help
    that can be extended would be greatly appreciated. I'm no idiot- I'm
    just a little behind on the CPU times. Thanks in advance-

    Hal W.
    Whidbey Island, WA
     
    Hal Wilkerson, Jun 25, 2003
    #1
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  2. a good price point on current AMD cpu's is
    XP2600 which also features the 333FSB... a fast board that wont break the
    bank A7N8X-X (asus built nforce 2 second revision) the onboard 6channel
    sound should do just fine...

    A medium to enthusiast video card would be the 9600pro from ATi look out for
    makers such as Sapphire & Powercolor for a good price point & quality. If
    you dont plan on playing all the new games... get a 9000pro/9200

    120gb HDD from any maker is a reasonable price point...
    8mb is a bonus *up from 2mb* Seagate have a quiet HDD but all major (maxtor,
    western digital) are much of the same performance.

    CDRW drives are VERY cheap and are worth the buy ...
    the LCD vs CRT debate still rages on... but a 19inch CRT is still great
    value for money... dont go for the most expensive... most tubes out there
    are great quality...
     
    James Paraskeva, Jun 25, 2003
    #2
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  3. Hal Wilkerson

    Ben Pope Guest

    Personally I'd go with a Barton core, thats the ones with the 512k of L2
    cache and start at the XP 2500+. Then there's the possibility of running
    the FSB and memory at 200MHz, DDR (400MHz effective, althought the clock is
    actually 200MHz). This will give you a nice boost in memory bandwidth over
    166MHz DDR, which is PC2700. PC3200 is the 200MHz stuff. Good quality RAM
    is always advantageous - Corsair, Mushkin, OCZ, Crucial are all pretty good.

    Now, the motherboard chipset to go for is the nForce2 - it's simply a very
    good chipset. The prefferred motherboards seem to be the MSI, the Asus
    A7N8X (Deluxe) and the Abit NFS-7(S). On the latter two yu'll want to get
    Rev 2.0 of the motherboard. The deluxe version of these boards has the
    nVidia SoundStorm built-in sound and is considered excellent, additionally
    you get all the bells and whistles such as USB 2.0, SATA, FireWire etc.

    SATA support might be useful, although I expect it to be quite some time
    before you can't get hold of a normal ATA drive - and currently SATA drives
    are no faster than normal ATA. (Think of it this way - same drive,
    different controller - it's the mechanics that are slow, not the
    electronics) with the noteable exception of the WD Raptor - but thats a SCSI
    drive with a SATA interface - it's 10 000 RPM and runs rings round most
    other, if not all other IDE drives out there.

    Intel MIGHT be better than AMD, but it all depends on what you want to do.
    Video editing seems to be where they shine most (Clock for Cloc... <ahem> PR
    rating :) There are a whole buch of technical reasons why - essentially it
    has to do with increased memory bandwidth and different architecture -
    wheareas AMD are on 400MHz effective with DDR, Intel are up to 800MHz with 2
    DDR controllers.

    Feel free to ask any specific questions.

    Ben
     
    Ben Pope, Jun 25, 2003
    #3
  4. a good price point on current AMD cpu's is
    Agreed. I would definately go with an Nforce2 board. They're the best.
    Onboard sound is a much smarter compromise than onboard video.
    I wouldn't steer away from Nvidia. I don't want to sound too much like an
    advertisement, but they're the best. They always keep their drivers
    top-notch, and they have the most trouble-free video cards on the market.
    I've always been partial to Maxtor myself, but there are plenty of quality
    makers.
    Exactly. I'm still using my Envision 19" that I bought for 50 bucks off of
    Half.com a year and a half ago. Also, it's generally a good idea to have
    two ROM drives. I tend to go with 1 DVD-ROM drive and 1 CDRW drive. One
    last word of advice : use the internet. I've built three computers off of
    parts purchased entirely from Ebay. You can save a ton of money by doing
    this. I haven't had one problem doing this, and I've bought everything off
    of there. CDRW's, processors, hard drives, video cards, cases, etc... The
    deals are out there.
     
    Mr. Brian Allen, Jun 25, 2003
    #4
  5. Thanks for the help gentlemen. This helps quite a bit in my search
    for a motherboard combo. I think I'm going to go with the Abit
    NF7-S... we'll see what kind of video card I end up with.
     
    Hal Wilkerson, Jun 28, 2003
    #5
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