New machine specs ???

By DigitAlex · 26 replies
Apr 2, 2003
  1. Okay guys I'm thinking about building a new machine since my Duron 1000 gets too slow for some stuff...

    I'm not that rich cuz I'm still sudying (last year though), so I would have at most 550 / 600 € budget for it.

    I thought about buying this stuff :

    121 € - mainboard abit NF7-S
    117 € - cpu amd XP 2200
    79 € - mem ddr-2100 512mb Kingston
    156 € - Asus Geforce-4 V9180 MX440 VideoSuite 64mb 2xDVDI/2XVGA/tv out /video-in AGP8X
    29 € - Taisol CGK760172/CGK760098 cooler
    44 € - 350W PSU + Case (crap)

    = Total ~550 €

    I don't mind bying a new HDD / CD burner / Kbd / Mouse, because I already have enough of this stuff now :p

    What do you guys think about this kind of config ?

    Note that I'll be moving from a Duron 1000 / ECS K7S5A Mobo / 256 DDR 2100 / GF2 MX/400 64MB DDR...
  2. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Hmm...get a quality PSU like Enermax if you can afford to shelf a little bit more(less headaches durin future upgrades). Hmm....are you going to keep your current pc? Hmm...Geforce 4 MX440, why not try something ATI like the RADEON series?
  3. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 516   +12

    Instead of a GeForce 4 MX 440, why not get a GeForce 4 MX460; faster yet not much more expensive :grinthumb !
  4. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    It was just some ideas with some products available in the comp shop i'm used to buy at...
  5. Malladine

    Malladine TS Rookie Posts: 20

    Excellent mb and cpu, good ram but I'd avoid the geforce 4 mx 440.

    I'm not sure on the euro price, but a radeon 9000 pro (128mb) costs around $90-100 and is better than the geforce 4 mx 440. Beyond that, the geforce 3 TI 500 is a step up by a significant amount and costs around $100-110. Even the Radeon 9500 PRO is "only" $170 and is arguably the 3rd best GPU available.

    So, i'd definately rethink the GPU but everything else is fine. Except i'd recommend reading this before deciding on a power supply.

    ~ Malladine
  6. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Okay I looked at what was available at my favourite shop and I found these three cards :

    116 € - Ati-sapphire Radeon 9000 128mb Atlantis ddr tv/dvi
    129 € - Ati-sapphire Radeon 9000-Pro 128mb Atlantis ddr tv/dvi
    112 € - Ati-sapphire Radeon 9100 128mb Atlantis ddr tv/dvi

    What's the main difference ? Are they any good ? Is the 9100 better than the 9000-Pro ?
    The thing that was cool with the GF4 was that there was 2 VGA outputs !!! Are there any ATI cards with such stuff ?
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    All those cards come with DVI connections and DVI to VGA adapters so they all have 2 VGA outputs in essence.
    I think I would go with the 9000 Pro over the 9100. Both are basically a slightly updated 8500. Personally I'd try and rework my budget to get a 9500 so that you have DirectX 9 compatibility for the future. Really it depends how often you change hardware as DirectX 9 games are quite a long time away yet ;)
  8. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    I read some reviews and Radeon 9100 is the best one, but there is however very strange benchmark stats on some sites.

    look at this one, 8500 comes out to have better results than 9100 ???

    This one explains the 8500 series were renamed into 9100, how come 8500 has better results if it's the same ???

    This one shows it to be the best :

    BTW, could any mod move this thread to the Video section plz ;)
  9. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Moved ;)
    I'd go with the 9100 over the 8500, simply because they will have made some change. Probably find more detailed information about differences over at Rage3d forums.
  10. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Damn I only had the time to click on "Post reply" .... wow Arris, were you sitting and waitin' for me to poke you ? heeheh

    Thanx for the info !

    I plan to buy this new machine in about a month or so, and I don't think I'll make any major upgrades for at least one year.

    So, the choice left is between 9000 Pro 9100 and 9500 ?

    Okay for the DVI thing, I'm just too dumb about that since I never had a card with DVI output. Thx
  11. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    BTW, what do you think about the other stuff besides the GFX card ?
    Do you agree with the other posts?
  12. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Well, I agree with the other hardware choices, but I'd have to say that I'd keep my eye on the price of the Athlon XP Barton cores (2500+), I think they will probably be at a more affordable price in a couple of months when you come to buy the system. Also by then the 9600 and 9200 cards from ATI will be out. I've not seen much information about these, particularly the 9200. But the 9500 Pro / 9600 battle seems to be quite a close one. From what I remember the 9600 has a slightly higher clock but has been cut down from the 8 pipelines that the 9500 Pro has to 4. So the performance that it gains from a higher clock speed, it loses in its cut down number of pipelines.

    With these being released soon the older cards including the 9500 Pro should drop in price a bit. Therefore the only change to what your looking at getting just now that I would make would be:

    mainboard abit NF7-S
    cpu amd XP 2500+ (Barton) depending on how prices drop
    mem ddr-2100 512mb Kingston
    video Sapphire ATI 9500 Pro hopefully at reduced prices
    Taisol CGK760172/CGK760098 cooler (might have to revise for Barton)
    350W PSU (Enermax, Antec etc)+ Case (crap)
  13. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Ati-point of view Radeon 9500 64mb tv/dvi ddram box(point of view) 207.00 €
    Ati-point of view Radeon 9500-Pro 128mb agp8x tv/dvi ddram box 256.00 €

    it's damn too expensive for me ... I bought my GF2 for 99E one year ago and I'm fine with that, so I think even a 9100/9000 will be enough

    another weird thing :
    Ati-point of view Radeon 9000 Pro 64mb 275mhz tv/crt/dvi ddr box 127.00 €
    Ati-sapphire Radeon 9000-Pro 128mb Atlantis ddr tv/dvi bulk 129.00 €
    Is it because of the speed ? one has 128 while the other only 64 ...

    So is it better to buy a 9000 Pro a 9100 or a 8500 (2 tex units) ?? Or wait for the 9200 (which will be more expensive) ?
  14. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Why do I have to buy an Enermax PSU ? I always kep the crappy PSUs bundled in the cases and never had any problems ...
  15. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Well just go with the crappy PSU. If you have stability issues, random reboots etc you will know what to replace. A lot of video card issues come from the amps supplied by the PSU being insufficient, and/or the signals on the 5v and 12v lines not being stable. I switched over from generic PSUs to Enermax a while back and now after having dealt with some PSU issues myself and read about a lot of peoples problems being related to cheap and nasty PSUs I would never go back. But if the case your buying comes with a PSU, or you have an old one that you can use, then there is no harm in trying the system with that. Don't initially buy a decent branded PSU if your trying to get by on a budget ;)

    I think the 8500 does provide best bang for the euro but I don't think its a huge difference so I'd be tempted just to get the newer 9000 cards. I built a system recently for a friend, 2100+ Pally, Asrock K7S8X 400DDR mobo, 256 DDR2700, 9000Pro 64mb. Performs some where between GF3 and GF4 levels. Certainly is better with AA and image quality than my old Asus v8200 GF3 was.
  16. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Okay, I see the PSU stuff.

    What about the very small difference in the price between the 64 and 128 Mb cards ?

    And which one is worth more, 9000 Pro 9100 or waiting for 9200 ?
    (because some are on promo ...)

    I'm not trying to buy the most crappy things, I'm just trying to keep as much money I can to live ;) Still a student, you know, and as I don't live with my parents any more ....

    If I was full of money I surely would by two or three 18" TFT monitors, a server, a T1 Inet access, a high quality projector, a house somewhere in the pacific islands and maybe even a private jet .... :p
  17. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Well 128mb would be useful as we are now starting to see textures larger than 64mbs used in games. So the less swapping from vram to system ram that is done, the more benefit to overall performance. Usually you find that the cards with more ram have slightly lower memory clocks, but to be honest with the 9000, 9100 and 9200 the difference between them and between 64 and 128mb versions will be unmeasurable. Personally I'd go with the cheapest deal on a 128mb Pro version of either the 9000, 9100 or 9200 (probably find 9000 128mb Pro best price).

    Also I was just reading a thread about the new revision of the NF7 that has just come out. Rev 2.0 is now out and features a revised southbridge with official support for 200fsb. Which means future upgradibility!

    Check out the ABIT NF7-S V 2.0 thread at for more info!
  18. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Okay, so as I understand a pro version of a lower card is better than a non pro version of an upper one ?
  19. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Well no. It gets confusing. For the 9000, 9100 and 9200 which have no major architectural changes between them the Pro of any of them will be better than the non-pro of any of them. If you step up to the 9500 non-pro you get a DirectX 9 compatible part. The 9500 Pro might be better than the 9600 Pro due to the cuts they have made to the features of the 9600 in comparison to the 9500, but the concept of the range is that the higher the number the better, and a pro version is inbetween the number and the next number.

    Ok. So just now we have a mix of versions but eventually the lineup of ati will be:
    • 9200
    • 9200 Pro (if one is released)
    • 9600
    • 9600 Pro
    • 9700 (probably will be phased out and replaced with 9800)
    • 9700 Pro (probably will be phased out and replaced with 9800 Pro)
    • 9800
    • 9800 Pro
    Not sure about memory configs but likely that only the 9200 might come in 64 and 128mb versions.

    Current list is
    • 9000, 9100
    • 9000 Pro 64mb, 9100 Pro 64mb
    • 9000 128mb, 9100 128mb
    • 9000 Pro 128mb, 9100 Pro 128mb
    • 9500
    • 9500 Pro
    • 9700
    • 9700 Pro
    Basically the Pros seem to be better yields of the cores and can be clocked a little higher for sale.
    Its debatible whether the 9000 128mb or 9000 Pro 64mb is a better performer. Its just my personal opinion that the 128mb non pro would be a slightly better option due to games needing more and more vram in the near future.
  20. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    okay i see the point ...

    thanx for all your time & help !!!
  21. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    Yeh i have to agree - an ATi card is the best way u could go for decent performance
    I would definatly look at an antec or similar case & PSU - SOOOO much better than the cheap run-of-the-mill crap
    IF u want a Barton 2500+ u will need to buy faster ram - no point running 266ram on a CPU with a 333FSB - as for cooling - buy a retail version (comes wif heatsink/fan) and add some coolermaster or similar thermal paste to the bottom - u cant go wrong
    hope that helps

  22. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Yep sure that if I buy a Barton some things will change.
    But as its price will be expensive, I'll see if it's worth doing it since it will increase the overall cost of the machine.
    Upgrading from a Duron 1GHz, I don't know if I'll really see any difference between the 2500+ and the 2200+, but my bank account surely will ;)
  23. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Damn I searched for the price of the Barton

    XP 2200+ is for 114€ here
    Barton 2500+ is for 195€ :( :( :(
  24. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    But the price may have come down in a month when you buy!
    Just my advice to keep an eye on the prices until you are buying.
  25. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 536

    I'll surely do !

    Same for GFX cards ? I finally decided to buy the 9000 Pro 128 Mb, so I think I should wait another month to see if FX and newer ATI cards come out so its price drops ... right heh ?

    /me is totally dumb, don't forget about it :p
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