AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Been doing a lot of searching and reading fo recommended hardware type of posts, and seeing lots of opinions. Thought I'd seek just a couple more, specifically around the 2 red marked quesions below. This is my first PC to build...worked with PCs since 1979, but first one to build myself.:)


Been reading Toms Hardware Guide, and the Dec 2003 Processor comparison, left me feeling like I should go with the AMD Athlon 2600+


With further reading, I am planning on going with the Gigabyte 7NNXP motherboard . A little pricey, but good reviews, apparently good for overclocking, and lots of on-board components. ( Other recommendations around say to get as much on the board as you can).


That much being said, I had almost went for an AMD Athlon 64 3000+, but reading Toms Guide, it's performance wasn't that great, and is considerably more expensive (229 vs. 107).

Question 1:

I am wanting something I can grow with...is the 64 worth the difference, even if down the road?


Other thing I am working on now is the memory. I am considering overclocking this system (not sure I'll really need to, but I usually end up pushing my systems...with this being my first HTPC, don't know if I'll do that or not, but want to be prepared).


Reading here seems to say that the Corsair memory, while a little more expensive, is great to go with, especially if overclocking.

Question 2:

The question isn't so much about what brand (I will use a name brand) but what speed. I was looking at the Corsair DDR400 512 MB chip . Should I spend the money to go with that chip? Is it even the right chip?:eek: (Like I said, my first build).


Thanks for your thoughts. Great forum, and group.


Roger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
Can you wait till March 29th ? ;) Seriously, especially if you want future proofing... 64-bit is still a ways off, and Athlon would be the current choice if you want that. Itanium 2 seems dedicated to 64-bit only, though it can run 32-bit.


Gigabyte makes a top rated mobo, they shoud list the recommended RAM at their site for their mobo... My personal pick is:


Asus P4C800-E Deluxe $179.00 KnowledgeMicro/Yahoo


CORSAIR (Winbond) CMX256A-3500C2 – 512MB DDR433 PC3500 (x2) $152.00 ZipZoomFly/Yahoo

CORSAIR (Winbond) CMX512-3500C2 – 512MB DDR433 PC3500 (x2) $282.00 Memory Labs/Yahoo

Kingston (Hynix) KVR400X64C3A/256 – 256MB DDR400 PC3200 (x2) $84.58 KnowledgeMicro/Yahoo

Kingston (Hynix) KVR400X64C3A/512 – 512MB DDR400 PC3200 (x2) $145.64 KnowledgeMicro/Yahoo

Kingston (Mosel) KVR400X72C3A/256 – 256MB DDR400 PC3200 ECC (x2) $98.64 KnowledgeMicro/Yahoo

Kingston (Mosel) KVR400X72C3A/512 – 512MB DDR400 PC3200 ECC (x2) $188.00 New Egg/Yahoo


ECC RAM is not really needed unless you want 2-4GB of RAM and/or mission critical stuff... If you want to overclock, Corsair (which also uses Winbond chips) is a super choice. I am waiting till at least March 29th, they will be adding so many features to the mobo - especially for HTPC's! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
If you are looking for a platform with support down the road, Socket 754 will receive support up to Athlon 64 3700+ and then it will support Athlon XP "Paris" after that, which is a 256k L2, 32bit only version of K8 with on-chip memory controller.


To get the absolute best prices on chips, check http://www.pricewatch.com. You will see the Athlon XP 2700+ listed for $105 and the Athlon 64 3000+ for $211.


Here is a link to a story on 64bit technology for what it's worth:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.c...id=1466&page=1


BTW: I would go for a Athlon 64 3000+ because it will smoke an Athlon XP 3200+ in most Apps., all games, and definitely in multimedia.

Asus K8T800A Would be the mobo I would go with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Ewingr,


I don't post around here much, but I've been following Tom's Hardware, [H]ArdOCP, Anandtech, etc. for about 3 years now.


In my opinion, the best "future proof" hardware is a mid level setup that you can throw out in 6 months to a year. For instance, the 2500 Barton is about $22 cheaper than the 2600. The price scales up considerably from there....


In other words, and this is just me, I don't even THINK anymore about whether it's going to be worth a crap in a few months. I buy what's a good value at the time of purchase and move on. I guarantee in 6 months some new feature will have been added that will make it the must have item. You're never going to get there unless you spend huge bucks so you can be on top of the game for the next few months, only to be smacked down shortly thereafter...


Honestly, my opinion is if you think this thing is going to be "future proof" in 6 months, you are deluding yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
Yup! Pricewatch is a great site too for hardware and software. MAKE SURE the seller has a good reputation. eBay is great too (if the seller is honest).


Also, don't take a high rated site just for it's rating. Upon further investigation a Yahoo 5-star site (a few years back) had the street/suite# address busted for drugs (and I bet identity theft too)! eBay scammers can do the same thing and falsely "pump" their rating...


Lowest price does not mean the best deal (like beating the competition by 1 cent to a few $$$), stores can also hit you with expensive shipping charges. Make sure the item is IN STOCK as well. ;)


PS - Trick414 - agreed! ;) E.g. going past the 2.8-3.0 GHz P4 the price REALLY JUMPS!


However after "March 29th" prices will plateau off or DROP on the current new stuff as well. IMO, this time around I would get the "new stuff" as so much is being added to the PC or "HTPC" platform. This extra $$$ also is just for the mobo (and CPU, RAM if you wish), not revamping the whole ATX case.


But rule #1 still applies, if it is that much more I WON'T BUY IT. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ray JR: I presume you were joking about March 29th. The new Intel would be several hundred $, I presume. You then mentioned your preference for the ASUS Mobo, and listed several memories. Is that for the ASUS, the Gigabyte, or both? Also, I'm a little confused by your last statement in your last post. Are you saying you would spend maybe $100 for the 64? But then you mention the extra $ for mobo and case, etc.


Fact is, my original question on memory is: what speed of memory should I buy? If I want to overclock? I think I read a thread that if you want to overclock, buy faster memory...but can't find it again.


I'm sorta getting the opinion from the replies so far that for 100-150 more, I should just stay with the 2600+.


Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
Ewingr,


Go with PC3200 or PC3500 if it is not too much more. The max FSB OC in my experience is 217mhz or PC3500.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
dguns - Thanks.


All: BTW...frankly, I have a yearning to choose an Intel processor, mainly due to the compatibility argument. But having done a lot of reading the past couple weeks, I chose this processor because:


- Good rating on Toms Hardware guide, including speed

- Lots and lots of talk on this board about considerations around heat

- Have read quite a bit that the AMD AThlons run a lot cooler than the Intel


Roger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Ewingr
Ray JR: I presume you were joking about March 29th. The new Intel would be several hundred $, I presume. You then mentioned your preference for the ASUS Mobo, and listed several memories. Is that for the ASUS, the Gigabyte, or both? Also, I'm a little confused by your last statement in your last post. Are you saying you would spend maybe $100 for the 64? But then you mention the extra $ for mobo and case, etc.


Fact is, my original question on memory is: what speed of memory should I buy? If I want to overclock? I think I read a thread that if you want to overclock, buy faster memory...but can't find it again.


I'm sorta getting the opinion from the replies so far that for 100-150 more, I should just stay with the 2600+.


Thanks
Well, the Azailia audio built in the mobo could eliminate the need for a sound card (also it's purported to support hi-rez audio). But if it's several hundred $ I'd have to wait (prefer the i915P or i925X mobo)...


I'd guess the RAM listed should be fine with the GigaByte, I listed different choices for RAM as I didn't know your preferences. My personal choice is Kingston (Hynix) KVR400X64C3A/512 – 512MB DDR400 PC3200 (x2). I want little or no overclocking and some stability but a GB of RAM as I do some home 3-D CAD (computer drafting) as well.


Here's the official page for the GA-7NNXP


PS - I found recommended Kingston memory - http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/conf...submit1=Search

AHHH - here's the info you need for Corsair -
http://www.corsairmicro.com/corsair/...te-Jul2003.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Quote:
Well, the Azailia audio built in the mobo could eliminate the need for a sound card (also it's purported to support hi-rez audio).
That's good news...I just put up another post about all the cards I'm considering. Looks like lots of video type cards. I'm going nuts. :eek:

Quote:
But if it's several hundred $ I'd have to wait (prefer the i915P or i925X mobo)...
I'm not sure I'm following here...are you talking about the motherboard? It came in at $162.


RayL Jr...I really appreciate your feedback. I think I'll pack it in for tonight. I'll hit the keyboard first thing in the morning (holiday for me tomorrow:D )


Thanks

Roger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
Ewingr,


The Nforce2 board that you are considering has Nvidia MCP-T Soundstorm audio. It is highly praised on these boards for its unique ability to encode Dolby Digital real-time. There are no external cards available that are capable of doing this. With this board, you would enjoy the best on-board sound available. Some have considered this platform for this feature alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
I had Asus A7N8X-L for a few months and my Cable picture quality through bt878/DScaler degraded significantly. With Epox 8RDA3G replacement, nearly noise-free picture showed up again. Since DVD playback was the same on these two, the only explanation is that Epox board has cleaner pci voltage regulation.


Barton 2500+ has to be the choice with nforce2 board. It shares same fabrication process with its big brothers up to 3200+ and several cases I know all go up to 3200 easily.


My HTPC running ffdshow resize to 1024x768 using sinc, spline or lanczos is awesome with DVD playback.


Look hard for 9600 Non Pro/128-bit memory width/NO FAN. I consider myself lucky to buy an ELSA 960FX. With Fast Write enabled both in mainboard BIOS and display properties, sinc algorithm finally runs smoothly.


Paired Quality DDR400 is the way to go. Dual Channel speeds up the system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
Ewingr, the "mobo" I was referring to were the new Intel's coming out, Azailia audio is in those - not the Gigabyte Athlon.


BTW, my 2nd PC is running Windows 98SE, which I got "whole" from ABS Computers in Oct., 1999 for $1250 (450MHz PIII CPU, 128MB RAM). Good thing I "overdid" the RAM. ;) The only things I've added are a 3Com HARDWARE dial-up modem and new power supply. I do have the software and config. really "clean and tweaked" - it runs like a top with no glitches whatsoever. So PC's don't have to get old really fast, and Bill G. just announced support for '98 till 2006! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Quote:
Barton 2500+ has to be the choice with nforce2 board. It shares same fabrication process with its big brothers up to 3200+ and several cases I know all go up to 3200 easily.
Dpeng: Are you saying that I should use the Barton 2500+ instead of the 2600+ I have decided on? I'm presuming not...it is a Barton chip, but 2600 instead of 2500.

Quote:
My HTPC running ffdshow resize to 1024x768 using sinc, spline or lanczos is awesome with DVD
I haven't focused on ffdshow yet, and don't recall reading about sinc, spline or lanczos yet. I guess I need to start reading on those to see what they are. I have another post out here asking about video cards...I'm really confused on that front. Reading so much, I have it all jumbled together.

Quote:
Look hard for 9600 Non Pro/128-bit memory width/NO FAN. I consider myself lucky to buy an ELSA 960FX. With Fast Write enabled both in mainboard BIOS and display properties, sinc algorithm finally runs smoothly.
I presume you are speaking of Video cards here. The 9600 is a Radeon, right? There seems to be a lot of controversy on the Radeon cards...at a minimum their drivers must be problematic. Not sure I want to fight drivers on something I want to watch TV through. My family will shoot me if I'm tweaking with that all the time. Is the Elsa hard to find?


All this being said, I see a couple recommendations on speed of memory:

Quote:
Paired Quality DDR400 is the way to go. Dual Channel speeds up the system.
and
Quote:
Go with PC3200 or PC3500 if it is not too much more. The max FSB OC in my experience is 217mhz or PC3500.
Both sound like logical recommendations. I'll look at both, check price, and flip a coin.


Thanks

Roger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
LOL Roger! Not enough confused yet? ;-)


YES! I am saying Barton 2500 and 2600 are essentially same. The motherboard will take care of the FSB frequency and multiplier as high as your barton can bear. My Barton 2500 is running 200MHz multiplied by 11. That equals to xp3200+ rating.


If you play DVD through this HTPC, ffdshow resize funtion will further equals it to a US$10K standalone video scaler. I am not kidding!!


Your location shows nothing so I have no clue where you at? Maybe sitting next door? ;-) If you live in US, forget about Elsa and try to find a Sapphire instead. If you're lucky to find a card with 9600/128-bit/no fan, steal it right away, don't wait.


Drivers, be it ATI or NVidia, all have issues. I don't play game and 9600 paired with Catlyst 3.10 have no problem playing DVD discs or watching cable TV with Conexant 23881/DScaler 4.1.8. If you have a VCR with tuner and s-video/composite out, get Prolink XCapture card with no tuner. You'd be amazed.


DDR400 equals PC3200. PC3500/8= a bit less than DDR450.


You are lucky considering others who don't come to AVS forum before they buy things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
bt878 is 8-bit process. Philips SAA713x 9-bit. Conexant 2388x is 10-bit. They all priced closely so the logic is to get only 2388x like Leadtek tv2000xp Expert (Don't buy Deluxe edition, it's bt878 based) or if you have a jvc s-vhs vcr or similar, go get Prolink XCapture with no tuner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Hey there,


I would seem that you are a couple steps ahead of me, however, I appear to be following in your path. I stumbled onto this site by accident about 3 weeks ago and have been confused ever since. I can say I am glad I found it because I would have just gone off willy nilly otherwise.


I frankly haven't been able to decide on anything at this point. intel vs AMD video cards tuners dscaler yada yada yada.


I would love to keep in contact to see how things are going for you. The primary thing I would like to do with this HTPC is PVR and MP3 Jukebox. I currently have circa 1990 tv with an upgrade in the future but I want to have my HTPC ready for what ever Iget in the future.


In the end the PVR function and MP3 function of the HTPC have to be very very simple or my wife will have a fit and ill never get to do anything this nuts again.


If you have come to any amazing conclusions I would love to hear them :)


I hope things are going well


Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Quote:
I would love to keep in contact to see how things are going for you
Kajpkgeng


I added you to my buddy list. I'd love to keep in contact. (Haven't used buddy list yet...I presume it's for chat. But at least I can keep track of you.)


Amazing conclusions? No way. I have 'decided' time and again. I have one thread (maybe it's this one?) with "...my head's about to explode" in it. I think a lot of this stuff is somewhat subjective, everybody has their own preferences, experiences, and biases. And, if you have dealt with computers any, the interesting and frustrating thing is that two identical set up PCs can behave differently, or have different problems.


I'd love to actually be able to speak with someone for an hour. I have countless hours studying this, and I find myself getting dragged down different paths all the time. One of the problems is that I do see a general theme, such as dScaler being a good thing to do. But, then when I start looking at other components that seem to be a good recommendation, then dScaler doesn't work with them.


It seems like I need 10 PCI slots. For example, if I get an HD TV card, dScaler doesn't work with that. So I need a tuner card. Some recommend another card, which has been discontinued (I just opened another thread asking for substitute).


Sorry...I'm rambling...


I am about to decide to go simple, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Simple would be:


Same MOBO listed above


Same processor listed above (May get faster one, but am not a gamer, and want to balance budget against need.)


Some simple DVD drive


For playing DVD: Took serious look at xcard for DVDs. Came highly recommended...but isn't compatible with dScaler. Could use dScaler if add on a PMS PDI card, but that is almost $300, and uses another slot! So, according to the dScaler Site FAQ, I can play the DVD using dScaler through my video card. (KISS for now)


For Satellite Input: Now, I want to de-interlace that too. Can't pull that through the HD TV card (Not dScaler compatible), so, I'm trying to decide on a TV card. Winfast 2000/XP Xpert comes very highly recommend, is listed as compatible on dScaler site, but reading that site's linked to forum support, I see most people having problem with that. ARGH!!! Still looking.


That's were I'm at now. This is too long...quickly, I have decided on a Zalman fan; probably dVine.4 case; No PVR solution (can't put satellite through it...ARGH again!); and I am actually still debating between nVidia and ATI on the video card.


Signing off for now.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top