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$641/£350 Budget: Mobo/Ram/HD/CPU Advice Wanted

By mrchu · 12 replies
Jun 16, 2004
  1. Hello all, I have a budget of $641/£350 ... ok the extra $1 I guess doesn't matter...anyway I already have an Audigy ZS Platinum Pro 2, and a Radeon 9700 Pro, CDRW and DVDRW, Case etc... but I'm looking to upgrade my motherboard, RAM, Hard Drive and Procesor ...I'm currently at 1024 cheap ddr memory, p4 2.4ghz and a 7200rpm 160 gig HD....but I will discard does anyone have any recommendations on this budget for hardware to buy? I could stretch the budget to a new case if anyone has any particular OC advice...also I'm interested in venturing into Ahtlon64 territory and S-ATA ...but only if the benefit would be apparent enough...

    I play games, into sequencing and music creation as a hobby (so its not paramount), listen to music, and do the general PC useage... I guess the main area to focus on would be games peformance...thanks very much for reading, any and all advice from the hardware Guru's is muchly appreciated!

  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

  3. mrchu

    mrchu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    wow thanks!
    since im in the uk the cheapest i can find the athlon64 3000 retail is £156.16 at to the US price of £122!!

    anyone in the UK have any recommendations for where to buy hardware?
  4. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    £136.75 for the 3000+ or £114.95 for the 2800+.

    Try to PM Arris & ask him where he got his Athlon64.
  6. mrchu

    mrchu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 42

    ok, thanks very much, all the feedback has been great!
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,722   +376 is where I got mine.
    Just a note, you could have filled in your location information in your profile. Upon first reading your thread I thought "Ok, so your budget is $X/£Y but where is he going to be buying the kit from as the actual price difference is quite noticable". Luckily you point out that your in the UK.

    I'd get parts from

    MSI K8N NEO Platinum Edition S754 nForce3 250GB
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 120GB IDE ATA/100 8MB cache 7200RPM
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 2.0 GHz Socket 754, 512 KB cache, BOXED
    Total £304.80

    They generally have the cheapest prices.
    If your not bothered about shipping costs you can source parts from several retailers but I generally prefer getting them all from one as usually the single delivery charge outweighs the price differential between prices on other sites.

    I'm currently running 2x512mb OCZ EL-DDR PC3500 (so a little overclocking headroom) both purchased from as they had the cheapest prices for OCZ ram that I could find in the UK. Decent prices on the other ram that they stock too.

    Since you have DDR400 compliant ram then I'd stick with that first and only change it if you find that it won't take any overclocking. For a performance system you'd want to spend more than the £50 left of your budget on ram.
  8. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 271

    i'd hold off for a couple of months. i read a couple previews on lga775 and 915/925 chipsets this morning. they look to be quite promising. i'd wait at least until the final release of the chipsets and the maturity of ddr2. you system is pretty good as it is now
  9. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 271


    since the Athlon64 has the memory controller built in, it is not sensitive to CAS latencies as the Pentium4 is. Buying HyperX ram will not increase performance and simply is a waste of money. You should be able to reuse your existing ram. But like i said, your system is still quite new and i'd wait a little
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    It is actually quite the contrary, AMD chips have always been more sensitive to lower latencies then high bandwidth. Moving the controller onboard has allowed to lower the latencies even more & the DualChannel parts can combine both (high bandwidth & low latencies).

    One thing I'm wondering is when you say :
    Does that mean you allready have a P4 2.4ghz ? I thought you meant that was the setup you were planning on buying. If you allready have that system, there's no immediate "need" to upgrade.

    But all in all, it is your money & do with it as you please.;)
  11. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    I think with an A64 system you really need 1gig of decent LL ram - 512 is just too much of a bottleneck on such a high end machine.

    Just my 2 cents

  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    The amount of Ram you should install depends only on the activity you will have on that system, not the CPU.

    No use putting 1GB of Ram if you're into casual gaming, surfing, word editing, music playing, etc. Especially with memory prices going up, buy what you need.
  13. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Yes. I have 2GB of RAM (only DDR333 though) in my machine now and I it's rare that I use 1GB of it. Either it's being completely used (rendering large chunks of video) or it's below half. I'm using around 600MB now, but day to day with gaming it's around 400.

    In response to Steg and Didou, as a general rule of thumb I would say with most people if you're going to need even over 768MB than you'll know how much you're going to. Other than that, I would say 512MB is a standard, even for semi-high end machines like an Athlon64

    Memory is nice because it's very easily upgradeable, if you have an extra RAM slot you can just add some without having to replace anything.

    But since you're "into sequencing and music creation as a hobby" than I would reccomend you keep your 1GB of memory as it is. Do you know the speed? PC2700 would be the best, since it's "cheap" I doubt it's PC3200, but anything below PC2700 you may want to consider upgrading.
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