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How to spend money?

By Steg · 15 replies
Feb 27, 2003
  1. ok i have some cash to spend on some new pc bits....wot do i spend them on?
    current spec -

    XP 2100+
    Chaintech 7AIA5 mboro (VIA KT133a) wi/ 384megs pc133 ram
    3D Blaster GeForce3 Ti200
    Sound Blaster Live! 1024

    i can think of 3 ways to spend my money

    1) Chaintech Apogee 7VJD (VIA KT400) wi/ 512megs DDR 400 ram
    2) a 3D Blaster GeForce4 Ti 4600
    3) a cheaper mboro & ram and a GeForce4 Ti 4200

    wot do u people think?
    personally i like 1 - i can upgrade my grafix later - but i want 2 no wot u think is best


  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    The most bang for your buck would be the mobo and memory upgrade.
  3. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    That'll help most of all, you'll see a huge diffrence in speed, instead of just buying a Ti4600. Not to mention, wait for ATIs new card. Give some time for prices to drop and get that, or you'll be wanting a new video card again.:)
  4. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    You're running a huge bottleneck with an Athlon XP and SDRAM. Get the system board.

    Also, I would reccomend an nForce2 chipset if possible.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    nForce2 and get 333 ram, or if you want to overclock get 400. But the majority of benchmarks show little or now improvement in memory @ 400 over memory at 333 (due to CPU bandwidth being kinda limited by 266fsb).

    If you tell us exactly how much your considering spending (and in which country) we could see what the best combination of parts that you could get is ;)
  6. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 269

    im looking at spending £200 max - in the uk odviously
    im avoiding the nForce2 because they are more expensive and the VIA KT400 aparently outperforms it...

  7. Mr.Guvernment

    Mr.Guvernment TS Rookie Posts: 77

    forgot the vid card and cheap route - the mobo / ram combo would be best.
  8. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Vehementi has a nice point. You may want to upgrade to at least 512mb ram that is DDR instead of SDRAM. You will almost for sure have to upgrade your motherboard also to get the DDR ram unless you have seperate slots for SDRAM and DDR like some motherboards have. Get a motherboard that supports PC2700 DDR memory and get 512mb of PC2700.. that's the lower pricing way to go.. for a higher price way and lot better speed go with a motherboard that supports higher than PC2700 DDR ram and get some faster ram like say PC3200, PC3500, or even PC3700...

    Pricewatch.com lists 512mb DDR PC3700 at $120 which is an awesome price. I'm not really sure what motherboards support something as high as PC3700 though.
  9. Cucumber

    Cucumber TS Rookie Posts: 154

    Dunno who told you that buddy...but that is entirely wrong! I dont think anyone can argue that the KT400 is better than the Nforce2....

    £200 hmm....presuming your not an overclocker: www.komplett.co.uk

    -ASUS A7N8X Deluxe = £116
    -2xTwinMos PC2700 256mb Cl2 = £52.04

    Total = £168.59

    Leaving you with some change to buy the wife something nice;)
  10. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    The A7N8X Deluxe is an excellent recommendation. I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend at least 512MB DDR if you can afford it.
  11. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 269

    I was looking at RAM prices yesterday and i can get
    512meg DDR 400 CAS 3 Crucial RAM for £100
    Corsair XMS 512Mb DDR 400MHz PC3200 Cas 2 - with Heat Spreader for £120

    is it worth me spending the xtra £20 for the difference in CAS timings? will it make any difference?

  12. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    I would go that route if I were you.
  13. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Are we talking 512MB in both cases? If so, and if you are OCing or if you are a hardcore gamer, it might be worth it to you, if not then it probably won't make a big enough diffeerence.
  14. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    Steg, if you go with the A7N8X then remember that to get the performance boost from the dual channel memory feature of nForce2 you need two sticks of memory. So go with 2x256mb since your on a budget. I've got to say when I switched from 512mb generic PC2100 to 512mb OCZ EL-DDR PC3500 (as I had plans for overclocking that were spoiled by my video card not liking fsb overclocking), the difference in latencies and ram timings was quite visible to me in load times for games. For the extra £20, if you can get 2x256 for that price, its worth it.
  15. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 269

    Ok so if i go the route of buying the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe i need 2 mem sticks to use Dual Channel Memory - ok
    so i need 2x256Meg DDR 400 RAM
    SO the question is "Will CAS 2 be noticably faster than CAS 3?"
    i dont overclock RAM atall - just my vid card occasionly...
    if cas 3 IS going to be ANY faster then i will buy the Chaintech board because it is cheaper and comes with the rounded cables into the bargin! With the Asus being more xpensive and 2x256megs CAS 3 being £15 more it blows my budget
    so the options are
    Chaintech Board + 512megs DDR 400 CAS2
    Asus Board + 2x256megs DDR CAS 3
    your opions please......

    sorry if i waffled a bit

  16. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    I guess your pricing at www.scan.co.uk (since they include rounded IDEs)?
    Anyhow if your not overclocking then you could stick with DDR333 (PC2700) ram Cas 2 instead. Which would bring your overall cost down a bit. My friend has just ordered the (Asus budget range) Asrock K7S8X SiS746 333fsb DDR ATA133+USB2+5.1 Audio+Lan+8x AGP at £52. Tje only review I have found of it rates its performance on par with the KT400. So its an even cheaper alternative for you to consider, unless you really wanna stick to Chaintech. Also the Abit NF7 nForce2 board there is cheaper than the Chaintech KT400 board. I'd consider the best buy for a non overclocking system to be:

    Abit NF7-S £93 (gives you onboard audio between audigy and audigy2 quality)
    2 x Crucial DDR PC2700 • CL=2.5 • Unbuffered • Non-parity • 6ns • 2.5V • 32Meg x 64 ~£70

    = £163.

    64Mb ATI Radeon 9500 x8 AGP DDR/DVI/TV Out £115

    =£278 which is a little over budget.

    You could get one stick of ram now and another later.


    This would be the best performing system for the money in my opinion.
    If you don't want the Abit NF7-S with the nice onboard sound I'll let you know how my mate gets on with the AsRock board @ £52. That would allow you to get

    AsRock K7S8X 333fsb supporting 8XAGP SiS746FX 400DDR board £52
    64mb ATI Radeon 9500 £115
    512 DDR PC2700 • CL=2.5 £61

    =£228 (Plus delivery)
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