1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Calling you hardware experts

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Stuart Wright, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,809
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,529
    Not strictly speaking a HCPC issue.
    What's the best MB + processor combi for a stable and very quick PC these days?
    Would consider a dual processor machine if the price/performance rato is right.
    Ta.
     
  2. SeaneyC

    SeaneyC
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,000
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Reading, Berkshire
    Ratings:
    +54
    Not really an expert, but i've heard good things about the ASUS Nforce 2 boards, and there's an athlon 1700xp+ chip that overclocks to extremely high speeds (2.3 or 2.4Ghz) with not even a hint of falling over, if it's price/performance you're after.

    The new Intel chipset with the 3.06GHz hyperthreading P4 also seems to be a well recommended setup, but i've not really looked into it, as it's just ludicrously expensive for my budget (my htpc cost £420 with everything)
     
  3. jitter

    jitter
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yeah I use a Abit NF7 n-force series 2 motherboard, since I didn't care much for the Asus boards I've used in builds before.
    Have to say I'm impressed.
    Using a new oem 2500 barton chip and utilising the dual ram access.... very fast. Reasonable too..especially compared to the Intel gear.
    Chip speed isn't the b'all & end all in performance measurement. Intel chips run higher mhz cos they dont get as many calcs done per cycle as amd's do, so it's all relative.
     
  4. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    2,773
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Laindon Essex
    Ratings:
    +96
    Best bang for your buck IMHO (cos i've just upgraded) is the new Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro nForce2 @ approx 95 quid
    SPECS HERE
    & a Barton cored 2500+ AMD XP CPU @ approx 77 quid also i put in 1 gig of PC3200 DDR ram @ 120 quid
    Be aware also that this mobo needs the supplementary 12volt connector so you could be forking out for a PSU as well.
    Quick system & future proofed for....about..... 2 weeks :D
    HTH.
    Tim.
     
  5. HMHB

    HMHB
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2001
    Messages:
    25,513
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Ratings:
    +3,850
    If it's stability you're after I would go the Intel route. Toms Hardware Guide or www.motherboards.org are both worth checking out for hardware reviews.
     
  6. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,809
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,529
    Thanks, guys.
    Last time I upgraded (maybe 18 months ago) it was using a Gigabyte MB as recommended by Tom's Hardware. I currently have a 2.4 gig machine.
    I must admit I've got some catching up to so on the technical front as I'm lost when it comes to bus speeds, hyperthreading and dual ram.
    Happy to spend 150 ish on the MB and 200 ish on the processor.
    Thx.
     
  7. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Messages:
    677
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Tarporley
    Ratings:
    +11
    Stuart,

    Why do you want more than 2.4ghz for a HCPC? This is more than capable of running DScaler with TOmsmocomp/strangebob whatever it's called today, or indeed ffdshow.

    Steve
     
  8. GrahamC

    GrahamC
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Messages:
    2,258
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Morecambe, U.K.
    Ratings:
    +67
    Forget O/C if the main criteria is stability, it just brings another variable into the equation. Intel has the best record for sorted chipsets and you could get a new Springdale mainboard and a higher clocked P4 processor for your price range. AMD is still about 25% cheaper as a combo at this time but the XP processor line is just about at an end. You could wait until Sept/Oct for AMD new line of processors which will be expensive or stop gap with an XP, with the Intel route being able to grow for a couple of years yet. Choices ay! :confused:
     
  9. JohnS

    JohnS
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2000
    Messages:
    2,580
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Herne Bay, Kent
    Ratings:
    +33
    Stuart, I take it theis is not for your HTPC but your desktop? If you're already running a 2.4ghz on a 533 bus then I'd wait a little longer untill the 3.0ghz 800fsb hyperthreading chips come down a little further, I dont think you'll notice much difference with anything inbetween for most of what you do unless its lots of 3D rendering.
     
  10. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,809
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,529
    It's not for a HCPC (which is why I put that it's not a HCPC issue in my initial post).
    I will typically be simultaneously running Outlook, 4 or 5 instances of IE6, 3 instances of explorer, FTP software, HotMetalPro, Quark Express, Painshop Pro, Norton Internet Securiy & Winamp.
    With the regular inclusion of GIF animating software, 3D graphics creating software, Power DVD, Telnet software, Battlefield 1942, Image viewing software... and the list goes on. You get the idea.
     
  11. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Messages:
    677
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Tarporley
    Ratings:
    +11
    D'oh :blush: Must read properly!!
     
  12. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    abit nf7-s v2, xp1700+ and coolermaster x-dream heatsink is the cheapest, quickest rig i think anybody can throw together.


    should be good for at least 2.2ghz and wil cost around £165 for those parts.
     
  13. HMHB

    HMHB
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2001
    Messages:
    25,513
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Ratings:
    +3,850
    Nvidia are about to (or maybe just have) release the nForce3 Pro chipset which is 64-bit and will accomodate the new Opteron 64 bit AMD processors. I'd be interested to see the speed and stability of these also.
     
  14. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    i think you should check the price first;) lol

    actually they are not that bad. currently 280 USD for the 1.4ghz opteron (around £167)
     
  15. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,809
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,529
    I'm looking for something more powerful than the 2.4 gig machine I currently use.
     
  16. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    spectre, im asuming you have a 2.4ghz p4? in which case, a 2.2ghz athlonXP will destroy it. Think performance closer to and pasing that of a 3.06ghz.
     
  17. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    What about the dual processor route for Stuart (and me!!), any recommendations?
     
  18. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    Stuart in your line of work (which is also mine) its gotta be SMP all the way baby.

    Once youve enjoyed running a whole bunch of apps at the same time with the load being nicely spread over 2 cpus you wont wanna go back.

    I currently have a dual AMD solution, AMD 760 MPX chipset and its the most stable thing I've ever used (and ive used alot of chipsets). MB was £160 (the MSI one). And for CPU if you dont mind voiding warranties, grab a pair of Barton XP 2500s, unlock them for MP, and then hardlock the multipliers to get a pair of Dual Athlon Barton MP 2800s (for about 70 quid per chip).

    The MPX is a little old now, and it looks like the Barton 2800 will be the upper limit of the platform. So if I were personally buying now I would probably wait for the new Dual Opteron stuff, as the Intel SMP systems are just way too expensive.
     
  19. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    i wouldnt. dual processor's rigs are better for server duties than anything else.

    games dont take advantage of them, any operating system other than winxp pro doesnt take advantage of them, and only a handfull of rendering programs will actually use them. Dual rigs are good if you want to fold, or run seti faster (by using two clients instead of one), but not much else.

    concidering what you want do do with it, dual cpu's will be a complete waste.
     
  20. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    James, what are you talking about? WinXP Pro, Windows 2000 (all types), NT4, Linux will all use SMP, all 3d renderers and video rendering apps worth their salt utilise SMP, programs like Photoshop (the bread and butter for us web designers) loves dual cpus.

    Games dont use SMP (effectively anyway) but i can play a game (on 1 cpu) and leave photoshop, dreamweaver, outlook and cuteftp all open and running and my game wont stutter at all. And anyway I should be working not playing games :)

    I don't know if you have used SMP systems much (and please ignore what i am about to say if this in fact the case) but from the sounds of your post it doesnt seem like it, and if that is the case, please dont post such negative comments about things you are not intimately familiar with.
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    of all the machines I use, my dual processor is bar far the best but it is far from the best spec'ed one. It JUST copes with everything with ease
     
  22. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    ouch. about the operating systems - i made a mistake. whoops, my bad. its xp pro that only supports "hyperthreading". hyperthreaded cpu's will run on 2k, but will not work correctly.

    i know full well that you can leave photoshop running while playing games. what good is that going to do on a htpc rig? none whatsoever.

    i know what its capable of, and what its not. But, from the intentions pf the original post, i would not recommend smp.
     
  23. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    James, read through the thread dude!
     
  24. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    i did.

    ok look it come down to personal preference. what he listed is besaically general use - a bit of everything. i wouldnt recommend smp for that. too much money for to little gain. if he was a hard-core encoder, picture-editor or somehting similar then yes. but overall a beter pc for that use can be made from a single cpu system.

    im sorry, but ive seen the benchmarks and i know the hardware. i believe a single xp1700 on an nf7-s is better suited for his requirements.
     
  25. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    Agreed, my (relatively) old Dual Athlon 2100 rig feels faster than my mates super-pimped-Athlon-3000-333FSB-Nforce-2-super-fast-ram, for the stuff I do.

    I have a dual monitor setup with loads of programs open and loads of windows. And when on the single CPU machine a particular non multi-threaded program might use 100% cpu time and leave me twiddling my thumbs, the same program will only use 50% on my SMP rig, leaving me free to keep working.
     
  26. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    13,809
    Products Owned:
    6
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +9,529
    James - it's not for a HCPC.
    Sweetmate - I upgraded from a dual processor machine to this.
    I think a dual processor is the way to go.

    And I'm thinking that if I wait for new technology we'd be 9+ months down the road before it's price becomes reasonable.

    I have to manipulate lots of huge images on a daily basis with many open in Photoshop at the same time.
    My machine also acts as the connection to Blueyonder 2 megabit through which other PCs connect.
    Graphics are a 9700 pro and OS is Win XP pro.
    This PC is the core tool for my business so everything has to be as quick and reliable as possible.
    I have lots of Quiet PC stuff in there aswell.

    I got 2 80 gig drives with the intention of mirroring using the on-board raid of the Gigabyte MB. But never managed to do it. So I have to Norton Ghost from time to time. I think I will upgrade these to 180s at the same time as they are 80% full.

    Could you help me with details on how to do all the stuff you are talking about. It's somewhat gobbldygook to me. For example, I only today heard of 'barton' processors.

    I use Ebuyer for most of my stuff nowadays. Is that your recommended source?
     
  27. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    You didnt or else you wouldnt have said:


    Ok you've now given away how out of your water you are. The resposiveness and speed of using multiple content creation programs simultaneously cannot be benchmarked and benchmarks will only show you an artificial rating of "a machines speed in each application" (this is the key). In these kinds of benchmarks only the completely multi-threaded apps will favour the SMP system.

    The benefits of SMP in terms of price/performance ratio for this kind of usage are clear and unquestionable, if you have never actually used the hardware then how can you comment on it?

    As Intel push Hyper-threading, more and more apps will be multi threaded which also benefits SMP systems. An example: the new versions of both Windvd and Powerdvd are now multi-threaded. And more and more apps will follow.
     
  28. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    Stuart read these 2 articles:

    http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/articles.hwz?cid=2&aid=393

    and

    http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/articles.hwz?cid=2&aid=747&page=1

    If you currently have a P4 2.4, you might want to go for a dual Barton setup, to make it worth while. (as i said, 2500+ XP 333FSB Bartons running as 2800+ MP 266mhz chips (with a simple multiplier adjustment) should do it)

    The mod may look scary but all you need is some silver conductive paint (from here) and a steady hand. I did it with relative ease and im not that technical (although I am familiar with building PCs and so on). It may also be the case that the Gigabyte MB will accept non modified chips I will check for you. Also make sure that the gigabyte has an up-to-date bios for barton chips, I know mine does (the MSI K7D Master) but this doesnt have onboard raid, which you seem to want. It does have 2 66mhz pci slots (the long ones) if you want to go down that route and buy a separate raid card (usually better than onboard raid).

    Drop me an email if you want more info or any help.

    Oh and OEM Athlons come without heatsinks and fans, so you'll have to get a pair of heatsinks that arent too big for the board, I use Swiftechs and they dont cause any space issues on the board, and cool beautifully (low noise fans and 42C at load - i love low noise workstations!)

    P.S. Bartons are the new revision of the Athlon core, main difference is they have 512k of L2 cache instead of the 256k of a Thouroughbred (or the now discontinued Palamino).

    P.P.S I use Crucial ECC Registered Ram (i dont know what type of Ram you currently have) and although I've heard people say they've used non ecc ram in MPX systems I've never tried it myself so I dont know if it will compromise the stability. I run mine in full ecc mode (error detection, scrubbing and correction) and its rock solid. So if you choose the AMD MPX route you may need to visit Crucial for some nice 512MB ECC sticks :smashin:
     
  29. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    Oops forgot to mention shops:

    I usually use komplett for cpus :

    OEM Barton XP 2500 (1.83ghz actual clock speed)

    or the Retail version which comes with a stock cooler for only a couple of quid more. (if you dont want to spend money on a seperate cooler)

    These come with 11X multipliers (thus 11 x 166FSB gives you the 1.83 Ghz) so seeing as you would run them at a lower 133FSB on an MPX board, hardlocking the multiplier to 14 would run you a little over 1.83 but essentially this would be not be overclocked (compared to the chips original rated speed). If you were feeling a bit saucy, a multiplier of 16 would run them at 2.13ghz which is the actual clock speed of an Athlon MP 2800+ (thus you would be overclocking a fair bit) but most bartons will run that fast quite comfortably (ie with no increase in voltage and thus no significant temperature increase).

    If the modification stuff sounds daunting and you are willing to spend more money you can always buy the proper MP certified chips:
    the 2600 MP (Thoroughbred) is £166 and the 2800 MP (Barton) is £222. It's up to you and how adventurous you are feeling.

    And they also have the MSI MB for £142 if you decide you don't need the onboard raid of the gigabyte. I only suggest it as I personally know this board runs modified XP chips and bartons (with the latest bios) just fine. I can also tell you its a damn fine board as I have been doing all my work on one for the past year!

    Have a poke around 2CPU and AMDMB.com and particularly their forums for lots of SMP info and goodness!
     
  30. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    do you KNOW what hyperthreading is? its the simulation of two seperate cpu's on one die. that's right, ONE CPU. it's not smp, its called smt. remember its on a single cpu. currently, only the intel p4 800mhz fsb cpu's have it, and there isnt a p4 montherboard available that supports dual p4's

    Spectre it looks like dual is the way to go in your case. if you were more geared towards gaming then a single cpu is the way.

    sweetmate. i'm talking about overall performance. for example, i know that my xp1700 at 2.5ghz is faster that a barton 2500+. much faster infact. weather its faster than dual 2500+'s at certain taskes i donk think so.But, for the majority, yes. but now that spectre has said exactly what he wants to do with it, i am inclined to agree.
     

Share This Page

Loading...