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How much will Bus Clock 100 mHz & Radeon 7500 limit graphics ?

Posted on 2003-10-27
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How much will Bus Clock 100 mH & Radeon 7500 limit graphics ?

I’m on the verge of buying the following :

Operating System                                  System Model
Windows XP Home Edition (build 2600)                sonbook
Processor                                                    Main Circuit Board
  2.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4                            Board: BIOSTAR Group M7SXD
  8 kilobyte primary memory cache                        Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
  512 kilobyte secondary memory cache             BIOS: Award  6.00 PG 04/23/2002
                                                                      Memory Modules          
Drives                                                    256 Megabytes Installed Memory
 40.02 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity           Slot 'A0' has 256 MB
 35.94 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space                 Slot 'A1' is Empty
                                                                          Slot 'A2' is Empty
                                                                          Slot 'A3' is Empty

SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-232B [CD-ROM drive]
SAMSUNG DVD-ROM SD-616T [CD-ROM drive]
Lecteur de disquettes [Floppy drive]

ST340810A [Hard drive] (40.02 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 5FB92VK6, rev 3.99, SMART Status: Healthy            

Local Drive Volumes
   c: (on drive 0)      40.02 GB      35.94 GB free                  
            
RADEON 7500 / RADEON 7500LE [Display adapter]
 
I’ll be using it with a 21’’ Sun monitor to run AutoCAD, Viz, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, StudioMAX etc.

I’m sure this system isn’t ideal, but at least I’d like to know the potential ‘bottlenecks’ before I lay out my bucks, and also what reasonable possibilities there would be to make changes later. Here are some specific questions.

1.
To what extent will Windows XP Home Edition be a limiting factor compared with others OS’s ?

2.
Does the ‘Bus Clock : 100 megahertz’ refer to the FSB ?
 If so, how much is that going to affect the effective use of RAM and/or CPU ?
How costly and tricky would it be to upgrade the mobo to PC 333 and why would I do that ! ! ? ?  :)  
What would I need to use RAMBUS, which I understand is ideal ( ?) for these apps. ?

3.
 How can I tell what type of RAM (SDRAM ? DDRAM ?) is installed ?
What would be best ?
Can I add RAM (one stick at a time) in 256 MB increments up to 1G or (Heaven forbid !) could I even put in 4x512 sticks ! ?

4.
My old computer has a NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64/Model 64 Pro with 32MB.
Would this be better than the Radeon 7500 ?

5. Any other comments would be much appreciated !

Thanks,

Pete

PS. Yeh, Alberta, it's more than I was even looking for! Cost 500-600 euros including monitor and printer.
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Question by:ParisPete
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by:ParisPete
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Oooops!

Sorry the formatting went askew - not unexpected!  ;-)

Pete
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Luc Franken earned 120 total points
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1)
> To what extent will Windows XP Home Edition be a limiting factor compared with others OS’s ?
XP needs a much more powerfull computer to run smoothly compared to win2k (win98 will be even faster, but I think you should use win2k) I saw you are going to use 256Mb of internal memmory, wich is a big bottleneck, winXP uses 128Mb just for running, so you'll only have 128Mb free to use.

2)
> Does the ‘Bus Clock : 100 megahertz’ refer to the FSB ?
yes it does.
> If so, how much is that going to affect the effective use of RAM and/or CPU ?
33% more speed if you use 133 Mhz FSB (this gives you an overall speedup of your system)
> How costly and tricky would it be to upgrade the mobo to PC 333 and why would I do that ! ! ? ?
Your motherboard already supports that, you'll need another processor.
> What would I need to use RAMBUS, which I understand is ideal ( ?) for these apps. ?
Get a motherboard that supports RAMBUS memmory (note that RAMBUS is much more expensive)

3)
> How can I tell what type of RAM (SDRAM ? DDRAM ?) is installed ?
You can take a look at the sticks, or use a program like AIDA32 => http://www.aida32.hu/aida32.php to indentify them for you.
> Can I add RAM (one stick at a time) in 256 MB increments up to 1G or (Heaven forbid !) could I even put in 4x512 sticks ! ?
Yep, all possible.

4)
> Would this be better than the Radeon 7500 ?
No, the Radeon is much faster.

5) I think I've covered all I wanted to say.

LucF



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by:radomirthegreat
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What you need is another motherboard that will support DDR ram.  If you absolutely must get Intel... OK, but you seem to have little money.  A 2GHz P4 isn't that fast as compared to an Athlon XP.  The difference between Athlon XP CPUs and P4s shows at about the P4@2.6GHz and up.  Before that, it's kind of hard to tell.

what you are planning to buy:

DDR can be identified by little notches on the pin side of the ram.  Take it out, flip it over, and count the notches.  If there's one notch, then you have DDR.  If there are two, you have SDR.  Because of different voltages and speeds, there is a definite distinction between SDR, DDR, and RAMBUS.  So far, DDR has RAMBUS floored.  If you want a P4 on a different motherboard, get DDR, unless you're getting a 423 pin P4, in which case RAMBUS is the best you can get.  It's not slow, but it's more expensive and a bit slower than PC-3200 (and 3500, 3700, 4000, and 4200) ram.

other Intel setup:

P4@2GHz, 478 pin 400MHz FSB
P4B Asus board
PC-3200 ram
Radeon 9200 SE ($46+S&H for a 64MB version; $5 more for a 128MB version @ newegg.com) or the 7500
about $150 extra, by my calculations

AMD setup:

Athlon XP 2500+ Barton 333MHz FSB
nForce board
PC-2700 ram is DDR333, but you could get PC-3200 to allow for upgrading
Radeon 9200 SE or the 7500
about $100 extra, by my calculations

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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by:ParisPete
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Thanks for getting the ball rolling Luc and Radomir.

Before continuing, I should perhaps explain my situation a little more, it’s change a bit in 24 hours. The computer in question belongs to a good friend who is leaving France in 10 days due to family health reasons.

It seems like an opportunity to help him out and finally move on from my P1 233MMX 192 MB ! At this point I’ve basically deccided I’m going to buy the P4 2G 256MB mentioned. So, I’m trying to establish if it will perform my graphics work reasonably well .

Luc ‘s Comments

1. OK, so I’ll probably want to increase RAM to at least 512MB right away, regardless of what type to take advantage of the faster processor and compensate for the ‘gas-guzzling’ WinXP. Right ?

2. The mobo has a Bus Clock of 100 Mhz – therefore to get the ‘33% more speed if you use 133 Mhz FSB’ which you mention I’d have to change the mobo. Right ?

I’m wondering because you then said, re PC 333, ‘Your motherboard already supports that, you'll need another processor.’ I guess I’m mixing up FSB and PC XXX – I thought they were the same or related. Can someone explain a little more ?
Also, why would that require another processor ?

3. I checked out (on the Net) the specs for the mobo (BIOSTAR M7SXD)  and this
is what I got:

Biostar M7SXD P4 M/B Socket 478 SiS® (645 Chipset)
SiS 645/961
Socket 478
Intel® Pentium® 4 processor
400MHz system interface speed
2 x 168-pin SDRAM DIMM , 2 x 184-pin DDR 333 SDRAM DIMM
Maximum 2GB
PC2700/2100/1600

The Belarc Profile for my friend's machine doesn't specifically say that it's a ' Socket 478 SiS® (645 Chipset)' - is there more than one type of Biostar M7SXD P4 M/B?

From a review I read I understand this to say there are ‘two 168 pin SDRAM sockets to max of 1G and two DDR SDRAM sockets to a max of 2G and you can’t use SDRAM and DDR at the same time.’ This seems to suggest that I can’t actually add RAM ones stick at a time to fill all the slots. I’m quite confused here, because from what the ‘specs’ said it sounds like the only way to get 2G is to use one two 1G modules of DDR in the appropriate DDR sockets. I think I’m missing the point here ! ! ? ? :(

4. So, the Radeon 7500 with 64 Mb is much faster than the NVIDIA TNT 2 64 with 32 Mb. Phew ! Even I can understand that – I think !

Radomir’s comments.
1. ‘If you absolutely must get Intel ……’ C’est la vie … such is life ! It’s not a perfect world yet, Radomir ! :))  For the moment I think I’m stuck with it.

2. ‘What you need is another motherboard that will support DDR ram’. I guess this supports my sense of confusion, mentioned in 3 above. Do you think I’m misreading the specs. I got on-line for the mobo ?

3. The Radeon 9200 SE 128MB version sounds good and not too expensive. Maybe later. Do you think the P4 2G processor will be able to do its stuff well enough to process the renderings from a Radeon 9200 ? (Assuming I get more RAM of course ?)

Finally, there are a number of EXPANSION SLOTs
5 x PCI
1 x AGP
1 x ACR
1 x CNR
How can I make use of the AGP or check if it's already being used?
and what are the ACR and CNR slots for?

Looking forward to further comments from one and all !

Pete
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by:Luc Franken
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> and compensate for the ‘gas-guzzling’ WinXP. Right ?
Yep
> which you mention I’d have to change the mobo. Right ?
Nope, your motherboard already supports 133 Mhz, your CPU should support that FSB also to take advantage of the higher FSB otherwise your motherboard will run at only 100Mhz
> I guess I’m mixing up FSB and PC XXX
They are related, but not in the way you thought it to be.
PC 133/266  run on a 133 Mhz FSB (or lower) the PC 266 module is DDR ram (double data rate so 2x FSB speed)
PC 100/200 run on a 100 Mhz FSB (or lower) the PC 200 module is DDR ram.....
PC 166(rare)/333 run on a 166 Mhz FSB etc.
Hope you understand now.
>  is there more than one type of Biostar M7SXD P4 M/B?
not that I know of.
>  I’m quite confused here, because from what the ‘specs’ said it sounds like the only way to get 2G ....
That's right, you can't mix up SD and DDR ram (normal and double data rate)
Your motherboard supports up to 1Gb of SD or 2Gb of DDR ram (both modules use the same slot)

> How can I make use of the AGP or check if it's already being used?
A AGP card can only be used by a videocard, so you can be sure it's not used by anything else.
> and what are the ACR and CNR slots for?
Those slots are for special made modems (not used very often)

Hope this helps you a little more.

LucF
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by:ParisPete
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The comments to date are really helpful. To go a little further…

1.        ‘your motherboard already supports 133 Mhz’

OK, but I’m curious as to why the belarc Profile indicates ‘Bus Clock 100 megahertz’ ?
Does it mean that the current RAM is PC 100 ?

2. ‘your CPU should support that FSB’

How can I check what the CPU supports ?


3.       PC 133/266 run on a 133 Mhz FSB (or lower) the PC 266 module is DDR ram (double data rate so 2x FSB speed)

So if I install DDR ram it should be PC133, meaning really PC266 ?

4.      you can't mix up SD and DDR ram (normal and double data rate)

OK

5. Your motherboard supports up to 1Gb of SD or 2Gb of DDR ram (both modules use the same slot)

OK – I think !  There are 4 sockets – 2 for 168 pin modules and 2 for 184 pin modules. I can install 1 to 4 sticks sequentially starting with socket 1, using 168 pin sticks in the first two sockets, then 184 pin sticks in sockets 3 and 4. As long as I install all SDR or all DDR it’s OK..

Does that mean that 256MB is the max for the SDR modules, whereas the DDR modules can be up to 512MB ?

I’m still a little uncertain in this area because of the following info. I found :

‘’Upgrade Configuration for Biostar Model: M7SXD
System Memory
Standard Memory: 0 MB (removable)
Maximum Memory: 1.0 GB (SDRAM)/2.0 GB (DDR)
Memory Expansion: 4 sockets = 2 168-pin SDRAM sockets + 2 184-pin DDR SDRAM sockets ‘’

I thought it was saying that the sockets are dedicated in pairs as SDRAM or as DDR SDRAM. If we can clarify this I think we’re nearly home !


6. AGP card can only be used by a videocard

So the RADEON 7500 card should be in this slot ?

Thanks again for all the input.

Pete




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by:Luc Franken
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I think I made a mistake (sorry)
This is the manual of your motherboard => ftp://ftp.biostar-usa.com/manuals/M7SXD/M7SXDmanual.pdf
At Chapter 1, I see your motherboard can have a max FSB of 400 Mhz (4x 100Mhz), so it can't run at 533 Mhz (4x133Mhz) so a processor that normally runs at a 133 Mhz motherboard will be running about 25% slower on this motherboard.

This is a list of supported memmory for your system => http://www.kahlon.com/rn35043_Biostar_M7SXD.html

>So if I install DDR ram it should be PC133, meaning really PC266 ?
You won't be able to find any DDR PC133 memmory, it's DDR266.

>5. You won't be able to do this, I'm sorry

>So the RADEON 7500 card should be in this slot ?
Yep, as far as I know there are'nt any PCI Radeon 7500 cards, they should all be for AGP

LucF



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by:Luc Franken
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One more thing to add, the maximum cpu speed your motherboard can handle is 2.2Ghz So you won't be able to upgrade much later on, please consider buying another motherboard.

LucF
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by:radomirthegreat
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Because of differing voltages and speeds, your motherboard will not start up with both ram sticks installed.  You may only have up to two 168 pin 512 sticks or 2 184 pin 1024 sticks.

A Radeon 9200 SE is slower than my non-ultra GeForceFX 5200.  Its GPU, I believe is about 200-250, and the ram is clocked at 333MHz.  This is absolutely nothing for a P4@2GHz.  As a matter of fact, a 2GHz P4 will take the Radeon 9200 SE to its maximum fill rate and still have plenty more power.  If you want a card whose fill rate will not be maxed out by a P4, get someting like a GeForceFX 5900 Ultra or a Radeon 9800 Ultimate.

All P4 PCs with Radeon 7500 cards should be cooled very well.  This is because the 7500 will reach its fill rate all too often, therefore reaching temperatures of about 60C.

The reason I suggested another motherboard is because I'm not very fond of dual memory boards.  I have one, and I'm pretty satisfied.  However, it's not in my main PC, since such boards have different settings which make them just a bit slower than other boards that only support one type of ram.

CPU FSB support:

Socket 478 P4 CPUs from 1.4-2.4A - 400MHz
Socket 478 P4 CPUs from 2.4B-2.2.53 - 533MHz
Socket 478 P4 CPUs from 2.4C-3.2 - 800MHz

AGP slot:  It's at the top, it's brown, and it's about the length of a PCI slot, which is white.
Except for AGP and PCI, you don't need other slots.  Those others are failed attempts at new interfaces.  Because they provided nothing new, few modems and ethernet cards were made for them.  Because driver support for the other slots' hardware still exists today, the slots are produced for the select few who tried to get into the new craze.

I disapprove of the use of DDR333 in P4 systems.  What is its use?  All you need is DDR200, DDR266, and DDR400.  This is because P4s only have 400, 533, and 800MHz FSBs.  The only thing DDR333 can do well is provide overclocking features.  You can take a 2.4A P4 to 3GHz with a very evil FSB.

I am so sorry about the lack of organization; I just threw out ideas as they came along.

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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by:ParisPete
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Hi Guys (and Gals?)

It seems to be making sense, so I'm probably misunderstanding something!

Have I got this right? 4 sockets x 100 = 400 MHz refers to the speed of the mobo (even if they are different types of scokets) and PC100, PC133 etc refers to the speed of the RAM based, more or less, on  MHz. This type of designation may be applied to SDRAM and DDRAM.

On the other hand, DDRAM speeds are also (usually ?) expressed in GB/sec, so PC2100 is about 2GB/sec.

LucF - checking the Biostar manual was great. I downloaded it.
You said ‘‘FSB of 400 Mhz (4x 100Mhz), so it can't run at 533 Mhz (4x133Mhz) so a processor that normally runs at a 133 Mhz motherboard will be running about 25% slower on this motherboard.’’

So if I install DDR 200, DDR 266 or DDR 400 they will all perform the same – ie at the lowest 200MHz because that’s all the board runs at. (400 / 4 = 100 x 2 = 200 …… the ‘x2’ because it’s DDRAM not SDRAM) Is that right ?

If so P2100 or P2700 would perform the same as P1600, (which I gather is now obsolete.)

Radomir:
‘’..a 2GHz P4 will take the Radeon 9200 SE to its maximum fill rate and still have plenty more power’’
OK.

 ‘’All you need is DDR200, DDR266, and DDR400.’’
So this is also known as PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200 ? ?

Thanks a lot for your efforts on this. I’m about ready to allocate points once I get the feedback.

One final thing. As of this afternoon the proposed deal with ’Buddy’ is off – so now I’m ‘free’ to pursue whatever I want, including AMD Radomir !
I don’t know if this is fair at this stage, but I’ll ask anyway. If you think you’ve already earned your points (AND YOU DEFINITELY HAVE ! !) just say so and I’ll do another question. (Still have 110 points left in my account)

What would you suggest I do with about $650 US ? As you know I want a machine that will handle graphics, so the secondary stuff (tower, power, modem, CD-R/W etc) isn't so important. I think I’d like to get a mobo which could take a CPU upgrade, rather than spend it on the most expensive CPU right now.
I figure on maybe 512MB DDRAM, a pretty good (but not ultra) graphics card and basic OS with maybe word suite.

Motherboard :
CPU :
DDRAM :
OS :
CD-R/W :
DVD-R :
Floppy R/W :
??
??

I checked out some Dell computer on-line but they don't tell you much about the specific mobo etc.

Once again, thanks so much for your efforts.

Regards,

Pete
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by:Luc Franken
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>4 sockets x 100 = 400 MHz refers to the speed of the mobo
The amount of sockets don't matter, it's just something used these days, called Quad pumped, same as with an 2x 4x or 8x AGP port, they found a way to put more data trough the same bus. Today Quad pumped is the standard.

>So if I install DDR 200, DDR 266 or DDR 400 they will all perform the same
Yes, you're right about this.

>so now I’m ‘free’ to pursue whatever I want, including AMD
I suggest with P4 if you can affort it, but if you want to go cheaper, it's the best choice. Make sure you get a good motherboard, like an ASUS/ABIT or wichever is an "A"-grade seller, and don't be cheap on this part of your computer, it should last the longest.
For the OS I still prefer win2k as it still is more stable and faster than winXP
For your videocard, any recent card is better than the TNT2 card you have at the moment. Just depends on the amount of money you want to spent, but you should be looking for a GF4 Ti4200 (or higher) or an ATI Radeon 8500 (or higher) for real good performance.
And for the memmory: with 512Mb you should do great for a while.

LucF
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by:radomirthegreat
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Oh, good!  An active question!  I love these!  I really do!

SDR DIMMs are Single Data Rate Dual Input/Output Memory Modules.  For every operation (Hz), they process one data.  PC-133 ram sends out 133 million data every second.

DDR DIMMs are the above, but Dual...  For every operation (Hz), they process two data.  DDR266 is like SDR133(PC-133) ram in that it performs at the same speed, but twice as much.  I know that's confusing, so I'll build on that.  If you understand this, skip the marked off area to continue reading about other things.

---------------------------

1 memory cycle is kind of like a wave in that it has an rise and a fall.  In fourth grade, I actually learned the scientific terms for those, but I don't think it's that important.  Anyway, SDR133 ram processes 133 million operations per second.  Several operations may be performed in a cycle or something; please understand there is a definite distinction, and that operations are parts of cycles.  DDR266 ram processes data and sends/receives it on the rise and fall of a wave, rather than once per wave.  So, SDR133 and DDR266 actually have the same amount of cycles/waves and such, but DDR266 processes more.  It's kind of like SDR working like this: - - - - whereas DDR works like this = = = =.  This is one of the reasons why there are two different slots.

---------------------------

$650 on a Dell would get you very little.  Please argue with me on that, since I'm interested.

Recommended parts and other stuff to go along with that:

Case:
If you buy a case that's too cheap, you should look at a picture of it with its innards exposed, or at least the backside.  Please make sure that the power supply is perpendicular to the motherboard platform.  Therefore, you can make sure that the power supply will not be mounted over the motherboard, but rather at the top of the case and away from everything else.  You should make sure of that because the power supply really shouldn't be placed over the CPU.  Usually, that shouldn't be a problem, but you must consider the locations of the fans inside and whatnot.  Cases with power supplies mounted parallel to the motherboard platform may (read: should) have heat dissipation problems.
What not to get:
http://www.aaronix.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/70
What to get:
http://www.aaronix.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/540

Motherboard:
I am going to leave Intel to everyone else.  There's too much to do with AMD, and I haven't done much with Intel as of late.  So, get a motherboard with a 333 or 400MHz FSB.  Even though the new Athlon64 CPUs came out, there are no budget CPUs that will go on their boards.  Also, the boards are far too expensive.  I would like to recommend that you get something like a 266MHz FSB motherboard with a cheap CPU so that you can throw out/sell both when you get enough money for an Atlon64.  I have a Shuttle AK32E.  At first, I had problems with this.  If you set it up correctly, it might not turn on.  In this case, try turning it on with the CMOS jumper put on RESET.  It'll run fine.  It supports both types of ram so that you can upgrade to DDR and use some SDR now.  Because you can easily adjust memory settings to stuff like CL2 and then overclock by 1-2MHz of FSB speed, you can get speeds that equal amazing motherboards on some tests.  Because I cannot find any more of these boards, I figured I might as well look for the AK32A, which is pretty much the AK32E without a "cool blue" PCB (board color).  I looked at the specs, and I couldn't find any differences.
http://www.accubyte.com/applications/search/itemdetails.asp?sku=SH-AK32&sc=pg

CPU & ram:
Go to www.portatech.com.  That site has an extensive amount of options for CPU and ram ordering and such.  You should get a Socket A CPU with a 266MHz FSB.  The site has a memory configurator, so you'll be fine.

CD, DVD, and floppy drives really don't need much thought.  It's speed and your need for quality put together that make your decision.  Get something dependable.  DVD+R drives cannot burn DVD-Rs, which are more compatible with stand-alone DVD players.  CD burners don't really matter.  I have some Digital Research drive, and I can burn a CD in two minutes, which is just as fast as any other 52× CD-RW drive.

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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by:Luc Franken
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>Oh, good!  An active question!  I love these!  I really do!
Join the club! At least this is a question that's worth its points, not another "my cd-rom drive doesn't open => have you tried to push the button yet?"

LucF
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by:radomirthegreat
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I didn't mean that...  Has it happened?   Another way to open the CD-ROM drive would be to right-click on it in the My Computer window and select "eject".

I basically dislike questions that come to a dead standstill more than really redundant ones.
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by:Luc Franken
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Ok, I get your point and totally agree with you radomir.
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by:ParisPete
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Thanks for the clarification on 400MHz., LucF. Am I being cynical in thinking that ‘’Quad pumped’’ sounds more like marketing terminology than real TekTok ! ! ? ?

Radomir, good, clear explanation and illustration re. the diff. between SDRAM and DDRAM. (who says you can’t draw with a keyboard !)  
Would this analaogy apply too : It’s kinda like a tidal power station. SDRAM works only as the tide is rising, whereas DDRAM produces power on both the rising and falling tides (only they’re not producing power – but they are doing a number of different tasks or operations during each fall and/or rise of the tide).

However, is the "133 million OPERATIONS PER SECOND" (for SDRAM133) a constant ? ie. In terms of the processing accomplished or required, are all operations equal ?

If so, do the the 133 million OPERATIONS PER SECOND equate to one cycle ?

If that is the case, then I suppose that the "SEVERAL OPERATIONS (that) may be performed in a cycle" are not the same as the "133 million OPERATIONS PER SECOND" but are more like a connected series of OPS/sec which each carry out some task or action ?

{I seem to recall something about flips or flops ? ? mega-flops, maybe, -ops could be operations per second, or am I having StarTrek flashabcks !}



Back to the practical stuff. I inadvertently overlooked the good system suggestions you gave earlier, Radomir. Sorry – can’t imagine how I could have missed it ! Anyway, from those and LucF’s recommendations I think this is was what I should be looking for :

CASE:
As you said, Radomir. You didn’t mention power-supply. Is 300W enough ? Do I need to go 350W ?

MOTHERBOARD :
I didn’t realize it but from what you’ve both said I take it that mobo’s are processor specific as regards Intel/AMD (and of course the actual processors they support).

In terms of upgrading, are there boards which support DDRAM and RAMBUS ? (I’m almost hoping there aren’t so it’ll make choosing easier !)

AMD 333 or 400MHz FSB
       MSI K7N2 Delta-L (Is this the same as MSI nForce2 ? Aparently it has the n\force2 Ultra 400 chipset and supports AMD 400 MHz CPU’s, DDR 400 and AGP8x)

Intel setup
        P4P 800 (Is this similar to the P4B Asus you mentioned ? I couldn’t locate one)
        OR MSI 865 perhaps ? ?

CPU :
As you suggested - P4@2GHz, 478 pin 400MHz FSB or Athlon XP 2500+ Barton 333MHz FSB (sorry, I can’t resist – who or what is Barton ?)

"You should get a Socket A CPU with a 266MHz FSB"
 I assume the above CPU’s are Socket A ?
And you’re suggesting at least 266MHz FSB ?

RAM :
Again, as you recommended – 512 MB of PC-2700 (DDR333) or PC-3200 (DDR400)


GRAPHICS CARD :
Radeon 8500
Radeon 9200 SE 128MB
GeForceFX 5200
GF4 Ti4200

OS :
LucF prefers Win 2K – it’s more expensive than WinXP

DRIVES :
40+G  (Maxtor 7200 or WD DMA/100 or …… I guess most of the brand names ar OK)

"CD, DVD, and floppy drives really don't need much thought"
OK - Right.

I’m still checking out some of the sites you mentioned. Thanks for those.


BUY NEW or BUILD ? ?

"$650 on a Dell would get you very little. Please argue with me on that, since I'm interested."

I guess I can’t – at this stage.
For 599 + 117 tax =716 Euros they offer :
WinXP - Home
Intel 1845-GV
Intel Extreme Graphics card
Norton A-V
P4 2.2G 512Kb
256MB DDR
80 G Ultra d 7200
CD-RW 48x/24x/48x
DVD ROM 16x + MPEG 2
Floppy – USB – Sound
Keyboard – Mouse
Works 7 – Paint shop Pro 7.06 – Image Expert
{This is if I turn down the warranty, no monitor etc}

I plan to send out some spec/ sheets and see what reaction I get.
I’m wondering if it’s even worthwhile putting the bits together – I’ve changed the RAM on my old machine and I can read, but I don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time with a steep learning curve – valuable time which I could spend  ……….. talking to you Guys ! !  : -)

Finally (have I used that word before?) if I do decide to put it together, with or without help, any thoughts about using second hand stuff? There seem to be some pretty good deals. Obviously there’s a risk factor and no warranty – and I wouldn’t do that for the mobo (too key to the whole setup) or the drives (cheap enough not to be worth the risk)

Well, I sure hope you meant it when you said "An active question! I love these! I really do!" and "Join the club!" I hate to think of the amount of time you’ve spent on this. It’s probably illegal according to site protocol, but I ain’t gonna read that right now! Suffice to say I really appreciate it – you’re both very generous.

To paraphrase Matthew 24:14, I think "the end is coming." Not before time, eh ?

Kind regards,

Pete



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> Am I being cynical in thinking that ‘’Quad pumped’’ sounds more like marketing terminology than real TekTok ! ! ? ?
Sort of... I thought the same, but it really does speed up your system. (I don't really know how they do it, it must have something to do with a bigger bus witdh)

>If so, do the the 133 million OPERATIONS PER SECOND equate to one cycle ?
Yep, so if you use a 100 Mhz FSB this memmory chip will only be processing 100 million oper. per sec.

>I seem to recall something about flips or flops ?
flops: Floating point operations per second (so you're not having having StarTrek flashbacks) but this is not about the memmory, it's about the amount of floating point operations the cpu can do per second (calculations)

>Is 300W enough ? Do I need to go 350W
It all depends on how many things you want to use (or how much you want to upgrade before you get another computer) like adding harddisks, cd/dvd, cdr/dvdr, also most videocards really use a lot of power. I always suggest 400W or higher.

>I can’t resist – who or what is Barton ?)
that's the model of the AMD chip, they give names to them to identify them more easy.

>LucF prefers Win 2K – it’s more expensive than WinXP
Nope, it's more expensive than WinXPhome (wich I think is the cripled little brother of the PRO version) but it costs the same as WinXP professional. I have several reasons to prefer win2k above winXP (some of them are personal)
1) The system resources WinXP uses (it needs 128Mb just for itself to run, so you already lost this before you even start using programs)
2) It's yet another program where the users are the BETA testers, just a week after it got in the shops there was already 53Mb of security updates available for winXP.
3) Added support for RAW-IP this makes this operating system perfect for hackers, because they will be able to succesfully spoof their IP adress. Also Bot's can be used by hackers to do a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service)
4) I really, really hate the Teletubbie look (I know you can disable this, but still...)

>DRIVES :
be sure to get 7200 rpm drives as they are faster than 5400 rpm

>Well, I sure hope you meant it when you said
Of course, why would I be typing this if I didn't

Hope this will get you some more information

LucF


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That analogy would also apply.

The 133 matches the FSB.  If the FSB goes down (it doesn't), then so would the ram's speed.  The 133 actually stands for the maximum throughput before the ram is considered overclocked.

A cycle is the MHz stuff... 133MHz is 133 million cycles per second.

A cycle has a few operations (1s and 0s go through and something).

I can't help you with the flops.  However, I think 10 gigaflops is something like 1000GHz.

www.amamax.com has great power supplies.  Although the manufacturers are not well-known, the PSUs are good.  I ordered a dual fan 460W PSU for $17.  The S&H is free.  Also for $17, you can get a 500W PSU with one fan.  Don't worry about the fan setup; PSUs work no matter how few/many fans there are.  If brand names are your thing, get an Enermax (that company just plopped onto the scene and tore through standards - or at least that's how it seems to me) or an Antec.

You are right about the motherboards.  Socket A is what Athlons use.  Socket 478 is what Pentiums use.  You may not want to look too much into an 800MHz FSB board for P4s if you only want a 2GHz CPU.  That's because a 2GHz P4 has a 400MHz FSB.  You could probably get a 2.26GHz P4 with a 533MHz FSB.  I like those!  They're great!  Actually, you could get a 2.4GHz P4 with an 800MHz FSB.  Here's a list:
Socket 478, of course
1.4-2.4A     400MHz
2.26-2.53   533MHz
2.4C-3.2     800MHz
There are varieties...  A means 400, B means 533, C means 800.  There.  Any confusion about a certain CPU without a letter specified on a site?  Look for the CPU on another site.
As for Athlons, I suggested getting a 266MHz FSB board and an XP 2400 or something so that you can sell that stuff and buy an Athlon64 when you get the chance.  If you don't care (you shouldn't until 2006-2007, and by then the 64s will be outdated, too), then get a 400MHz FSB nForce board.  One more thing about Barton CPUs:  Why do most people get 2500s?  They're only 1.833GHz CPUs!  Come on!  There are also 2600, 2700, 2800, and 3000 CPUs with 333MHz FSBs!  What is wrong?

Get one of the two middle cards (9200 or 5200).  They're both fully DX9-compatible, which is good to have in case some good DX9 stuff comes out.

If you get Win2K, you may not be able to run Nascar Heat and the Sims...  Humor me.

Go to a retail store to buy IDE hard drives.  They usually have good rebates.  In August, I got my 120GB hard drive for $100 after all rebates ($170 before).  My sister got an 80GB 7200rpm 8MB cache hdd for $60 after rebates ($110 before).  After typing the stuff about rebates, I realized you mentioined Euros...  Are you in Europe (how is it?  I miss Yugoslavia)?  Are there rebates available in Europe?

Second hand stuff: FLOPPY DRIVE!  CD-ROM drive for copying to the CD-RW drive?

Whether you read it or not, at least I can now copy and paste from here (my stuff only).

If you close this question, I'll be glad to continue participating to cover little things, as long as it's legal.  Basically, I don't think it would be right for you to award more points for something tiny.  How about the difference between round and flat IDE cables?  Lay down a flat IDE cable, then fold it down the middle.  Fold it again.  Fold it again.  You should now have several ridges that go from one end to the other.  Wrap the cable in sandwich wrapping paper or something.  There is "scruncy" material for this on the web, but it's not that important.  There's no difference!  You can save money!  Should you really open a question for that?  I guess.  Maybe you could further your knowledge on some aforementioned hardware, since I've recommended stuff I like and understand.

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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Any feedback?
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Hi LucF!

Absolutely, mon ami!  Unfortunately I've been sick and also trying to put together a package deal with a 'constructor'. Please rest assured your collective wisdom has been reviewed many times and I hope to have some specific feedback in 24 - 48 hours.

Kind regards,

Pete
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Ok, keep us informed. Hope you're healty now.
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Back again !

Thanks for your good wishes – yes, I’m much improved.  (‘Look who’s valking all by himself !’ – Fronk in Father of the Bride 2)

I re-read all that you wrote (3 or 4 times !) and looked for a system that seemed close.

So far I have two prices:

FIRST SYSTEM for 620 euros (near enough to 620$US, I guess) for the following :
Asrock (Asus) K7S8X révision 3 supports DDR 400 Mhz
AMD ATHLON XP 2600+
MSM 512 MO DDR PC 2700
Nvidia GeForce 5 FX5200 128 Mo DDR
Western Digital  UDMA 6 : ATA 120 Go: 7200 rpm
DVD : 16X/48X
GRAVEUR CD : 52X/24X/52X
Floppy
Medium tower 300 watts,
Will partition as required
Will pre-install OS etc,

I thought the whole thing looked pretty good until I realized that I was confusing K7S8X with A7N8X. Am I correct in thinking that the former is a much inferior board and probably not worth considering ? (He won’t change the board).
I haven’t been able to find out much about it even on the Asus site.

I guess the case and power supply could be OK (300W) I’d prefer 350 but I don’t envisage adding other drives etc.

The SECOND SYSTEM runs at 710 euros – about 100 more than I really wanted to pay, but maybe it’s worth it in the long run – or not. It seems to hinge on the mobo.

Processeur
AMD ATHLON XP 2600+  ( 2,08 Ghz ) , Bus 333 Mhz , 256Ko Cache                   109 Ventilateur                                                                                                     10

Carte Mère
A7N8X-X Nforce2 , AGP8X, Simple DDR 400Mhz ,  USB2.0, Audio 5.1, LAN, COP    84

Mémoire
DIMM DDRAM 512 Mo Norme PC2700 ( 333 Mhz )                                              85

Carte Graphique
Geforce FX5200 , 128Mo , AGP8X , Direct X9 , Sortie TV                                    89

Disque Dur
Disque Dur E-IDE 120 Go 7200trs Western Digital - 8Mo Cache                          122

Lecteur de DVD-ROM
Lecteur de DVD-ROM 16X SAMSUNG                                                                 38

Graveur CD-ROM
Graveur CD-ROM 52X 24X 52X  LG - OEM avec logiciel                                        45

Boitier
Antec LANBOY, ATX, Alim 350W, 4x5"1/4 + 4x3"1/2, USB Firewire Façade         118    
   
Lecteur de Disquette
3"1/2 , 1.44 Mo                                                                                             10    

Total                                                                                                           710
I can save 14 euros on the HD if I get 2Mb cache instead of 8 Mb. But is it a real saving??

Logiciel
WINDOWS XP Home Edition                                                                       95

LucF - I really find it hard to justify 149 for Win 2000 Pro. Maybe I should just get another Win 98 SE. What are the pros and cons?

Radomir : Whether you read it or not, at least I can now copy and paste from here (my stuff only).
Right ! As I said – it ;s all been read and re-read many times ! : )

How about the difference between round and flat IDE cables ?

Now THAT is what I call esoteric – real Guru stuff ! Maybe I’ll meditate on it during the holidays !

Looking forward to wrapping this up and star "playing"

Regards,

Pete

PS After 4 years I really like France. Lots to see and do and Paris traffic is like one giant Grand Prix (at times).  Don't know about Yugoslavia yet, but maybe one day!


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hmmz, my french isn't what it used to be, took me nearly 20 minutes to figure out some things.

The first system you mentioned has a 400 Mhz FSB
The second system you mentioned has a 333 Mhz FSB

The rest seems pretty much the same to me.. The motherboard... hmmz, yep, you're right. But as he won’t change the board, you could get to live with it. I think this is a very good price for this system.

>How about the difference between round and flat IDE cables ?
Nothing different exept for a better airflow inside your computer and it looks better, so no Guru stuff.

>I really find it hard to justify 149 for Win 2000 Pro.
Than go for winXP home, I'm not going to stop you from doing that ;-)

>Maybe I should just get another Win 98 SE.
Win 98 nowadays is sold for about the same price as XP home. You're choice ;-)

>What are the pros and cons?
There's support for winXP, they'll stop supporting and patching win98 soon, so if you really have to make the choice between win98 and winXP home, I'd say you go for winXP.

LucF

p.s. >After 4 years I really like France.
I do like France, but I hate it that most of the French people refuse to talk English
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I'm in my fourth year of French.  That's not too bad, but I think that, just by looking at the numbers, I could've figured out what the specs were...  Muahahahahahahahaha!

Please understand I'm not full of myself.  I'm quite kind and civilized.

Round IDE cables look cool.  My flat cables are wrapped in some strange wiry stuff that makes the cables just as good as round ones.

The FX 5200 is just like what I have.  It's not an Ultra card, so it's very slow (250/400, as opposed to the Ultra's 325/500).

The motherboards are just fine.  Get the first system, unless you don't know what the ram's manufacturer is.  I like Kingston, Corsair, Crucial, and Atlas Precision.  I have Atlas, and it's perfectly fine.  You can get it at www.portatech.com

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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Hi LucF and Radomir !

Decision Day !

First, I’ve decided to up the points for this question (I think I can do that) As I said before, you’ve both been so generous with your help and I’ve learned a lot.

As far as understanding the specs. In French, LucF, the biggest problem was probably my formatting – when I looked back I could barely read it myself. But if you need help to brush-up I’m sure radomirthemeek {just kidding, Radomir ! !   : )  I meant radomirthegreat } – could help, although if he hasn’t learned more than me during my four years ……….

To Business.

LucF :  ‘’ The first system you mentioned has a
The second system you mentioned has a 333 Mhz FSB’’
In fact after checking the specs on line I think the first motherboard, the K7S8X, is actually  333 Mhz FSB (although the guy says it ‘’supports DDR 400 Mhz’’ – but is ‘’supports’’ the same as actually doing the job ? ?)
whereas the second, the A7N8X-X, is 400 Mhz FSB according to ASUS specs.  If I’m wrong I’m ready to receive a failing grade.


Kind and civilized Radomir : (Sounds like a real nice TV show I remember….)

‘’Kingston, Corsair, Crucial, and Atlas Precision’’ Is this a Yugoslavian law firm ?
OK, I recognize the first three and will try to get  some memory like that.

So, I’ve decided to go with the second system, but cut back to an 80 GB/8 MB cache HD and save 30-40 bucks, probably drop the DVD reader for now, and maybe go for a slightly cheaper box. This should bring the price in around 610 or 620 plus Win2K or XP

So, naturally I’m going to split the points. I notice I picked up some extra points during the course of our discussion – ‘How did that happen ?’ Some I’ll add to this question and maybe some to post a new question on partitioning ( my new harddrive – not the copuntry ! !)

I'm going to submit this post then allocate the points


Thanks again – loads ! ! It’s been interesting, informative and fun.
Keep well.

Pete
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> but is ‘’supports’’ the same as actually doing the job ? ?)
no, you should look at the processor specs to see if the processor does the job, the motherboards FSB will adjust to the maximum the processor can support.

>As far as understanding the specs. In French
I'm going to work in France as a electricien next year in my holliday, there are a lot of english and dutch people buying houses there and repairing them. I'm going to stay there for 3 months. (Uzerche presque de Brive ;-) )

The memmory:
Get whatever you can afford, but don't be too stingy on this part, get reliable memmory and it should work as long as you need it.

>So, I’ve decided to go with the second system
Good thing about what you decided to drop for the moment, those things can always be replaced as prices drop.

>I notice I picked up some extra points during the course of our discussion – ‘How did that happen ?
If this really was a question: you get 5 question points a day so as this question is standing for 12 days now, you will have 75 extra question points.

>Thanks again – loads ! ! It’s been interesting, informative and fun.
you're welcome, and here I also want to thank radomirthegreat for giving information I didn't know.

LucF
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I got some Atlas Precision memory, since it was quite cheap (DDR400 cheap).  I spent $138.## on 512MBs of PC-3200 ram from portatech.com.  It has a copper heatsink!  Also, it is low-latency.  So, I can run that PC-3200 ram at a CAS latency of 2!

My PC just died, and it's giving warning beeps that tell me, as I have come to belive by a most horrendous accident, that there is no ram.  WELL!  Cheap!  Why don't you go with the first three brands?

Yugoslavian ram?  No.  Yugoslavians don't make ram!  They make a combination of ram, cherries, and garden hose extensions.  Yeah.

Thanks,
Radomir Jordanovic
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OK - I guess we're outta here!

Thanks again - maybe we can get together for coffee and croissant (and Yugoslavian cherry jam?) when either of you make it over here. email me. p.roney@free.fr

Keep checking your ones and zeroes!

Paris Pete

PS Want a buy a real nice P1 233MMX, Radomir, to replace your ailing whatever? Real cheap and just about an antique!  ;)

PPS Uzerche presque Brive. Right it's toward the atlantic coast, not too far from Nantes and Rennes. About 4 or 5 hours from Paris. Nothing to a Canadian, eh??
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I have a P1 233MMX on a dead motherboard, thank you.  My ailing whatever is a beautifly, extravagant Athlon XP 2000, 512MBs DDR, 120GB, 128MB GeForceFX powerhouse.  All I need, perhaps, is a new CPU, a new motherboard, or both.  Hmm... How much for the P1?
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I have a Celeron 266 for sale here, are you interested?? It's a Compaq DeskPro with 32Mb internal memmory, if you come to pick it up here, it's for free ;-)

btw. ParisPete, how much for your PI 233??

LucF
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I think I'll just rebuild my PC.  I'll get a top-of-the-line XP CPU with a 400MHz FSB and stop overclocking and messing with voltages.  There.  Oooh.  Your P233 can't touch that!  Oooh!  Excuse me.
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;-)
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So, you don't really want the old P233??  That's OK - my wife has claimed it as her personal property. Problem is - I still have to use it. Why? I got my new machine (details below) but they installed the French version of WinXP, assuring me it could be 'anglisized' - of course it can't, as I have discovered except for keyboard settings, lettering etc. MS's Dr International has confirmed that. So now I have to take it back and get them to chase up an English version and re-install. Anyway, it will eventually all be worth it - I hope.

Incidentally, for 588 Euros including tax I got:

AMD ATHLON XP 2600+  
A7N8X-X Nforce2 , AGP8X,
DDRAM 512 MB PC2700
Geforce FX5200 , 128Mo , AGP8X , Direct X9
Western Digital 120 Go 7200trs - 8Mo Cache                      
CD-RW 52/24/52
DVD-ROM 16/48
350W Box and fan
Floppy3"1/2

I paid an extra 14 euros for brand name memorey, and the box isn't top of the line but I'm happy - just wish my French was better.

Till the next crossing of our path .... best wishes and success in the real life.

Pete                                                                                    
 
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Sounds like a pretty nice machine to me. Exept for the French version of the OS and probably the keyboard, I assume you've gotten an AZERTY keyboard instead of a QWERTY.

Happy Computing once you get it back ;-)

LucF
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For future reference (so that I can have a few more pieces of input), all nVidia FX cards are 8×AGP and DX9.

You keep noting things like 128Mo instead of 128MB.  In English, it's megabytes, but what's the French name?  Megaobytes?
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Mon Cher Radomir!

You haven't allocated any points for this question, nor stated the degree of difficulty or urgency. Nevertheless, for old timessake, I'm going to answer it for free! (Plus - I ain't no Expert in either computers or French!!   : )

First the reason Mo and Ko slipped in instead of MB and KB is that I took the shortcut and pasted some of the specs. Now, to the really technical stuff:

As we all know, in English we have bits {0} or {1} and bytes. Eg {00101101}
This can occasionally lead to confusion because of the similarity in the names "bits, bites, boughts, boyts ...." !!

French has nicely avoided the problem by using "bits" and "octets" (abbreviated 'o') - octets being a group of eight, as in "He played third trombone in his school's octet".  Hence we have Go, Mo and Ko - also known as the three Stooges.

Now I see why you and Luc like this "thing" - there is more joy in giving than receiving!

Take care,

Pete
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=>Now I see why you and Luc like this "thing" - there is more joy in giving than receiving!<=
That's for sure!

Good luck..

LucF
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Oh, those would be bits, right?  Eight bits in one byte...

That's right - another question!  Please stop me whenever you see fit.
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Yup, Radomir - one bit = one octet.

So, I guess it's time to call it quits. No doubt I'll have more questions once I have the new machine up & running with the ENGLISH XP (Yes, they're going to install it for me.) Questions will likely more be associate with applications etc but.......you never know when the hardware bugs will strike!

Thanks to you both.

Regards,  

ParisPete
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I think you mean eight bits = one octet.

We'll see you around,

LucF
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Aaaaaaaagh!  Good grief Charlie Brown!

Of course you're right LucF. I should have quit while I was ahead with my first answer.

See you in Uzerche - maybe!

Pete
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;-) lol!
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