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#115495 - 11/10/05 01:43 AM Re: Building a new computer
Haoleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 1488
Loc: Maine
I like seagate myself. Just had a WD take a dump on me, and have heard that they arent the best around. We get a ton of older computers in my shop and most of them have either fujitsu or maxtor drives. Some WD's. Seagates i think are the best and that seems to be something everyone i am around agrees on. Not to mention seagate now carries a 5 year warranty. Which, if the WD had that i would have gotten a new one.


Edited by Haoleb (11/10/05 01:45 AM)
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#115496 - 11/10/05 01:51 AM Re: Building a new computer
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
Yeah, I tend to go with Western Digital or Seagate. But I've had every brand of drive crash on me--that's a hard drive. It will happen.
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#115497 - 11/10/05 10:04 AM Re: Building a new computer
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
Spiff, the GeForce's major advantage is the SLI technology where you could link two cards together to run at the same time. From the specs I have seen at Tom's Hardware, the results are impressive. The Radeons have been slow to adapt this technology and their version is quite dissapointing from what I read. You can buy a $179 GeForce 6800 now and upgrade with another GeForce 6800 down the road (at which time the card will definately be less than $179) instead of buying the new $250 card and get almost the same performance.

It's too bad Roger won't budge on the AMD thing. I have been using AMDs for 6 years now and I never look back.

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#115498 - 11/10/05 12:26 PM Re: Building a new computer
LightninJoe Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 558
Loc: Portland, OR
Yes make sure to get a good PS. An extra $50 to $75 is worth it for a gaming rig. It will ensure a good, well-regulated supply of clean power to the system. As far as cases look for a tool-less design with a slide- or swing-out MoBo tray. Any "P4" capable ATX/ATX2 PS will fit in an ATX case.
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#115499 - 11/10/05 12:52 PM Re: Building a new computer
LightninJoe Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 558
Loc: Portland, OR
I've had extremely bad luck with Maxtor drives. I have replaced countless drives during my time in the industry but Maxtor has by far the highest failure rate amongst desktop IDE/SATA drives in my experience. As far as SLI I'm not so sure of the current cost/benefit ratio. I would leave it to the early adopters to work out the kinks and pay the high prices. The motherboards with 2 16x PCIe slots and the proper firmware are expensive. 2 SLI-capable cards (and not all PCIe cards will do SLI) are expensive. High frame rates are impressive but after around 70fps the human eye can no longer discern a difference. Ray-tracing, fill rates, etc are more important in presenting that "real-life" look. Plus if you're on a budget it's just out of the queston anyway. As far as AMD/Intel: I was an Intel-ite for 6 years before moving onto a less stressful environment. There's nothing actually wrong with their procs and they are as stable as they come. AMD also makes a great product. I won't recommend either proc over the other. The on-chip memory controller of the AMD vs. the Northbridge-based MCH of the Intel design is less of an issue with single-proc machines. It becomes an issue with multi-proc systems where say 4 Intel procs will be using the same MCH, causing a bottleneck, while the 4 AMD procs will be using their individual on-chip MC's. On the one hand you have the price/performance benefit of the AMD (although the price part is narrowing slowly but surely as AMD realizes it can't continue to undervalue it's chips). And the chances of an unstable/incompatible system is getting to be slimmer and slimmer as time goes on and the chipset makers' products mature. On the other hand if you use an Intel proc and a quality motherboard based on an Intel chipset you are almost guaranteed a rock-solid platform. But you get a less efficient chip (for now; my buddies in Hillsboro tell me the next-generation chips are looking like world-beaters). So blah blah AMD/Intel this or that. It's not like you'll end up with a POS because you are "forced" to go kicking and screaming down the Intel path.
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#115500 - 11/10/05 02:01 PM Re: Building a new computer
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Thanks again for all the info. That Tom's Hardware site is a godsend.

With all the horror stories regarding the Maxtor drive, that's off the list.

I'll look into a MB that supports SLI with an Intel based system. If it's not outrageously priced I'll go that route, and try to find a GeForce card that won't also break the bank.

Future proofing is pretty dang tough with PC's. Every time I've ever wanted to upgrade my PC, I end up pretty much building a new computer. For example...the last upgrade I wanted to do was simply buy a faster CPU. But alas, my motherboard, though P4 based, couldn't take the faster CPU, so I had to get a new MB and processor. OK fine. Oh, wait, the new motherboard doesn't use the same RAM as my last one. OK...new MB, new CPU, and new RAM. Sucks.




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#115501 - 11/10/05 02:06 PM Re: Building a new computer
hopkinj4 Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 82
Loc: Atlanta, Ga
Actually, http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20050525/index.html is a really great read. Its very interesting... running an intel pentium m can be quite fast.

Direct link to charts http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20050525/pentium4-10.html
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#115502 - 11/10/05 06:14 PM Re: Building a new computer
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
OK...another question.

What's the difference between the Intel 3.0Ghz P4 530j processor and the Intel 3.0Ghz P4 630 processor?

I see on newegg that the 630 has a 2Mb L2 cache (whatever that is) vs the 530j having only 1Mb, but never the less, the 530j gets a better customer rating.

???


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#115503 - 11/10/05 06:48 PM Re: Building a new computer
LightninJoe Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 558
Loc: Portland, OR
The 630 also has the 64-bit extensions. The 2MB cache can make a big difference. I would put more credence in the HW websites listed earlier than online customer ratings on these types of sites.
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#115504 - 11/10/05 06:57 PM Re: Building a new computer
LightninJoe Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 558
Loc: Portland, OR
As far as the 64-bit thing goes, you can completely ignore that as a reason to buy or not buy any processor at this time. The extensions do not add appreciably to the price. The difference in the price of the procs you list above is mostly bacause of the 2MB L2 cache. Full-speed cache memory is expensive. As far as the 64-bit extensions (AMD64, x86-64, EMT64- they're all the same thing. You will not use them in the near future. There is almost no software available for home use on Windows XP 64bit (which in hard to find). Now of course if you want to use Linux you have some options. Most games are not among those options. All of the 64-bit consumer processers run just fine in 32 bit mode. So essentially just ignore the 64-bit line when comparing processors for now.
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