TechSpot

rig recommendations?

By StormBringer
Jul 7, 2002
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  1. I am about to build a new rig, mainly because my best friend just upgraded and his is now a little faster than mine :(

    His rig is 1900+ and 1536MB PC2700 DDR.

    I want to know what you all think on CPU and mobo, I want to use more RAM than I currently have (1536MB pc2100 DDR)

    Price isn't much of a concern but I'd like to keep it under $2000 if possible. The boss(my wife) doesn't want me to spend more than that and the couch is really uncomfortable.

    Oh, here is what I'm thinking on

    CPU?
    Mobo?
    RAM?(Crucial probably)
    SB Audigy Platinum
    GF4 ti4600(not sure which manufacturer yet)
    2x 100BG Maxtor HDD
    CDRW(not sure probably Lite-On)
    DVD(not sure, thinking on a DVDRW)
    21" Monitor(probably Sceptre)
  2. PHATMAN5050

    PHATMAN5050 TS Rookie Posts: 645

    For us to 'build' you a new rig, we're gonna need to know what your gonna use it for! Gaming? Video Editing? What kind of internet connection do you have? (Broadband/Dialup)

    What in the...why would u need a cdrw AND a dvdrw? Get a DVD Rom, and a DVDRW so that you can copy dvds if youd like. Of course they would be home video dvds or ones that you owned. :p What do you favor? Pentium or AMD, that's really what it comes down to. In this thread here they talk about the chips and some of the motherboards. I would suggest an ABIT board as that is what i have and i'm very pleased with it. :D

    512mb of ram is a good number, but if you need to compensate for something you may need to go bigger. :grinthumb Just kidding you of course.
  3. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 868

    Why in all hell would you need more than 1.5GB worth of ram??? I have 512 running XP Pro and I think its plenty. I can't think of anything that would use that much RAM, unless your running a ramdisk and doing some intense video editing.

    And as Phatman says, you can't just say I want a new computer, build it for me! We need some specifics. Also, do a search and I'm sure they're many other threads on this subject. Everyone has there own likes and dislikes i.e. Intel vs. AMD, Maxtor vs. IBM, etc. etc. I'm sure you have your own.

    As far as mobos, ASUS and ABIT are good brands, I personally own an ABIT and am very happy with it. SOYO seem to be releasing some quality boards with lots of goodies like USB 2.0, Firewire, etc., and the EPOX boards are great for overclocking. So its all perspective.

    About video cards, you can't go wrong with Gainward, VisionTek, LeadTek, among others. Its all a matter of what extras you want.

    And just on a side note, if you have plenty of money why not get a LCD monitor, like a 17" one or something?
  4. psychoff

    psychoff TS Rookie Posts: 21

    like the others said, specify what you want. i'd definetly go for top manufaturers like they also said. for ram i'd really recommend corasir, because although it's expensive memory their sticks are really high quality and great performers; or xtremeddr, a new company that takes samsung sticks and tests them for performance and quality. samsung sticks are already great and these guys provide extra assurance. for video card i'd suggest the gainward for ti 4600's. these cards have gotten the praise of many reviewers. for mobo i'd hardly try anything but abit, asus or soyo. i've owned two soyo boards and they're top quality and have loads of features.
  5. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    OK first off, I don't want you to build it for me. Secondly, why are you guys getting an attitude? I simply wanted opinions based on "real world" experience with some newer hardware components.

    The uses of my machines range from occasional gaming, to Video editing and 3D graphics and animation.

    I gave a few examples of things I'm currently looking at but haven't decided on. The DVDRW and CDRW wouldn't both go in the machine, if I decide not to get the DVDRW then I'd simply get a DVD. I guess I should have been a little more clear on what I wanted. I just want to know a good motherboard(not from reviews, from experience or reports from users) that will support large amounts of RAM and has USB 2.0. I'm looking at getting an Athlon 2200+ but I keep hearing that the new P4s are better, though I've heard bad things about them and DDR.

    I like ABIT and Asus boards and VIA chipsets.

    I don't need suggestions for modems as I already have a couple of extra 56k USRs sitting around and there is little chance of broadband anytime soon.

    As for monitors, I hate LCDs there is something about them that gives me a headache, besides the ghosting and dead pixels problems.

    As for the RAM, I can sometimes use all but a few MB of my RAM when editing Video or when rendering complex animation scenes.

    I wasn't looking for detailed instruction on building the machine or what to use, I just wanted some opinions on what is good and what isn't from some of you who work with newer hardware on a regular basis. Much of the work I do is stripping down old machines and using the parts to upgrade even older machines. It has been almost two years since I closed my shop and a lot has changed in that time.
  6. PHATMAN5050

    PHATMAN5050 TS Rookie Posts: 645

    whoa, settle my man. I wasn't meaning to give you attitude, but it is helpful to know what you'll be using the computer for before deciding what components to buy. If all you use your computer for is the internet, and you just want to upgrade because u want a better computer, then i would tell you to buy different things. Also, depending on what you need, different motherboards will be needed. Maybe you need one with built-in firewire or something of the sort...
  7. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    Let's try this again....

    I use my system for occasional gaming, 3D animation and graphics, video editing, and productivity apps.

    I just want to know in your experiences, how the motherboards stack up? Mostly Asus and ABIT (I prefer AMD) that would suit my needs. I need USB 2.0, firewire unless I have to do a trade off for one or the other. I can add a firewire card like I have now. I'm not going to use RAID, I am still debating on whether to go with a dual CPU system but most likely will since most of my apps support it. I also would like to double my RAM (currently 1536MB)

    Something like this is what I need:

    Dual CPU
    DDR(mentioned above as much as possible supported)
    PCI Slots-5
    AGP-1
    USB 2.0
    Firewire(only if I can have both, not holding my breath though)



    I am familiar with building and designing a system's specs, I ran my own shop for six years. The fact that my current job doesn't allow me much access to new hardware is why I'm asking your opinions, as I don't have much faith in reviews because they are done on lab systems, I want to know how these things do in the real world. I'm not interested in benchmarks, I want to know what kinds of problems there are, things you find out from using them.
  8. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 1,595

    For 3GB of ram, you are most likely going to be buying some 1 GB RAM sticks - And let me tell you, those are NOT cheap, no matter what you buy. Even the bottom of the barrel 1gb sticks are $250+ each, if you want quality, you're gonna have to pay for it.


    You will not NEED so much ram for many years to come, might as well wait until you DO need it so that you are buying a board/ram that are new then.
  9. psychoff

    psychoff TS Rookie Posts: 21

    ok... i think you can find a good board with all those features but the only thing i think won't be possible is dual cpus. for a single cpu abit's at7 would perfectly fit your bill since that mobo was practically made for guys like you that do a little bit of everything on their pc. a friend of mine has one of those and i got a chance to use it for a while and seemed to be a fine board. the problem with dual cpu boards is that they're mostly made for servers and such and it'll probably be impossible to find a board with all the stuff you mentioned. unless of course you add the usb 2.0 and firewire via pci cards. if i find any dually boards with features i'll quickly post.
  10. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

    Stormbringer,

    3.5 Gig DDR & dual Athlon MP's good enough?

    http://www.tcwo.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_prod.html?p_prodid=2205

    Save the firewire card. :D

    Corsair does have an excellent reputation for their memory. :cool:

    This board has 32bit/64bit PCI slots @33mhz *&* 66mhz both! You should be aware that PCI & USB speeds are moving up to the next level. This board is ready for that, but tech support at Asus can better explain it than I. ;)

    That leaves ya ~$1500 (after board & 1 CPU & 1Gig RAM). I've seen the Ti 4200 128mb for ~$179 @ 'Best Buy' ... $1300 & change, now. :grinthumb

    HTH,

    Quick thought: If you get the Ti4200 & put it in the AGP slot, you could get a MX420 & put it in the PCI slot (64bit & 66mhz) & there is a software program (Riva Tuner) that can enable Quadra card abilities in the MX420 for CAD & such. Run seperate monitors for each card or simply switch displays thru 'Control Panel' or 'Device Manager'. I *think* ya could, anyway. :rolleyes:
  11. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 868

    Sorry if I came off harsh, but you have to understand where we're coming from. The first post would have been much better if you had specified that you use your comp for video editin and animation. That makes things totally different as you know because your looking at a dualie now, which is probably best for animation and editing purposes.

    Also, I suppose you do need a good bit of ram to do that kind of thing, although I wouldn't know because I haven't. I apologize if I insulted you on this subject.

    I believe about the only dualie boards you'll find worth anything will come from either Asus or Abit. Check out their websites and see what they have. I'm not sure if Soyo makes dualie, but I haven't seen any, but if they do then they'll have all the extras you want. Also, the ram sticks will cost you as you probably know, and Corsair is a very good brand as others have suggested. I would get the ones with the black coolers on the side.

    I understand about the LCD's, I personally do have one because of money issues, so I was wondering what your stance was on the matter. You might have to wait a bit for USB 2.0 in the mobos, but then again maybe not.

    Sorry again if I offended you.
     
  12. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 868

    Here's a new review from Tom's Hardware, comparing 10 new P4 boards and is definitely worth a look:

    http://www4.tomshardware.com/mainboard/02q3/020708/index.html

    The winners are the usual, Abit, Asus, and Gigabyte. They have all the newest features and the article has plenty of benchmarks as usual with Tom's articles.
  13. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    Thanks for the info guys, I'm having a hard time finding dual mobos for socket A that also have 4 DDR slots. The only 4 DDR slot boards I've found are single CPU and have RAID. I would also like 6 PCI slots (be prepared)

    I really want to stick with Crucial RAM because I have a very good relationship with them. They are very friendly and the few times I have had a problem, they have resolved it immediately. As far as I know they(Crucial) don't have 1GB DDR modules(I haven't called them but I have looked) I think I should be ok with 2GB of DDR so I'll go with four sticks of 512MB if I can find an appropriate board for my needs.

    I already have a DVD/CDRW, it is a Toshiba 16/12/10/40, though I don't know how good it is, I traded a friend a HDD for it. It is still in the box. I'm going to hook it up and see how it works and I may use it. I also have a 19" monitor I can use for a second display, it is something called Aquaview(dunno got it in a trade as well) I have it hooked to an old machine and it looks very good.

    I also have most of the basic components I'll need, fans, cables, PSU, keyboard, mouse, etc...
  14. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

    Stormbringer,

    Click on the link: 4 DDR slots & 5 PCI. Dual slot A CPU's. So it doesn't have 1 PCI slot ... ???

    You can run your 4x512 unbuffered memory or 3.5Gig of buffered.

    There's 3 other boards on that site from $211 to $261 that offer the same capabilities: 2 Gigabytes & an MSI.

    Finding a 6 slot PCI w/AGP in a dual CPU is going to be real hard in an ATX form factor, I do believe.

    Good luck,
  15. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    Sorry JAV, the link wouldn't work for me yesterday, it works now. Looks like just about what I'm looking for.
  16. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268

    3GB Of Ram...

    oh my storm,

    i think that's unneccessary, might as well make full use of you money to buy better speaker system to pair with your new audigy for better gaming pleasure...
  17. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Apart from AGP bus, Tyan Thunder i7500 might be something you'd like. Dual Xeons, up to 12GB DDR, PCI-X, SCSI, Gigabit Ethernet, ..
  18. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    Re: 3GB Of Ram...

    Not necessary? maybe but it will speed up graphics and video work by a large margin. Seeing as I'm not an avid gamer, I don't see the need to build a gaming system.
  19. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Uh I don't follow here. The ASUS A7M266-D, the MSI K7D Master, the Tyan Tiger MP all have 4 DDR Slots. I don't think there's any Dual CPU MainBoard for socket A with only 3 DDR slots.

    Most of these boards ( if not all ) have 4 33mhz PCI slots & 2 66mhz PCI slots & come with a PCI USB 2.0 card due the USB bug in the AMD 762 southbridge. Almost all PCI cards are 33mhz so you are left with 4 or even 3 slots to share between all your devices.
  20. Nick

    Nick TS Rookie Posts: 216

    Why would you need dual cpus? They are only used for servers.
  21. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 1,145

    Dual processors are also used for graphics & animation work.
  22. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268

    Re: Re: 3GB Of Ram...

    Why not spend more on a quality and high-end motherboard..it's it like the "spinal cord" of the pc?
  23. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    So, in your opinion, that mobo is junk? I'm just asking because if you have experience with it and it is no good, I'll look elsewhere.

    I was under the impression that that mobo was "quality" and pretty high end.
  24. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 868

    I think your mobo is fine. I think all he meant by saying that is that your mobo doesn't have all the newest bells and whisles like the newest ones do.

    Also, its not a 333 board so the memory won't run at its fastest if you have memory faster than PC2100. Sounds to me like you should go for a dual mobo for what you want to do, granted you have the money and all. You won't find all the newest gadgets on them, but they do the job.
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