Need New PC recommendations/info

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Dan, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Dan

    Dave C. Guest

    I disagree, do you forget about AMD budget line of Cpu's?
    No, I did not forget about them. If you are building on a tight budget, AMD
    is clearly the better choice. But for the average system, a celeron or
    sempron (new duron) is usually not considered.

    At the low end and high end, AMD is a better value. But if you research
    CAREFULLY, you will find that mid-level performance systems are about the
    same price to build. If anything, Intel systems are a tad cheaper to build
    in that sweet spot that most builders aim for, sometimes referred to as
    "best bang for buck". -Dave
    Dave C., Jan 19, 2005
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  2. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    Don't use pricewatch. I know the format is convenient but it's unrealiable
    for pricing information. Half the companies that sell there practice bait-
    n-switch (advertising errors) or put their products in the wrong category

    I like, but there are others.
    Mac Cool, Jan 19, 2005
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  3. Dan

    kony Guest

    Let's not forget though that the Original WIndows CD and/or
    restore CDs are not needed for the buyer to legally use the
    installed Windows. License is not tied to media, system
    must have the Certificate of authenticity though. Ebay may
    not care, they can be fickle.
    kony, Jan 19, 2005
  4. Dan

    kony Guest

    No, that's just plain incorrect.
    For $200, _today_ you can get at most a Prescott 3.0 GHz, if
    you are a seasoned 'netizen. In a shop, people are paying
    $260 after shop markup. At older software, a $100 Athlon XP
    Barton is faster. At newer softare (possible excluding
    video editing with newer apps, but not necessarily) the
    Athlon 64 3400+ (currently just under $200 mark) is faster.
    Actually even the A64 3200+ is faster.

    However, you seem to be a bit confused about what "high end"
    system means too. P4 uses significantly more power.
    Requires more expensive heatsink for quiet operation.
    Requires more expensive power supply, another fan per same
    ambient case temps. That may be $40 right there, maybe even
    for power supply alone as higher amperage 12V PSU are
    disproportionately higher priced.

    So we have $40, plus considering that A64 3200 is closer
    performance, it can be had for $167. Already a $77 dollar
    difference for a slower P4 that only costs $200.
    kony, Jan 19, 2005
  5. Dan

    CBFalconer Guest

    I think, if you really peruse the EULA, you will find you violated
    it. You are not supposed to pass on anything, just buy more. Your
    customer MAY find his copy destroyed, because the EULA gives MS the
    right to insist on an upgrade (at the customers expense) at any
    time and the right to remove anything they deem improper.

    Always remember, the sole purpose of Windoze is to enrich
    MicroShaft at every twist and turn.
    CBFalconer, Jan 19, 2005
  6. Dan

    kony Guest

    What exactly do you mean by "You are not supposed to pass on
    anything, just buy more." ?

    It would seem everything is in order if the WinXP was either
    retail version or OEM sold with hardware that remained with
    that system, providing either way the COA (certificate of
    authenticity) stays with the system.

    The WinME on the other hand, is a writeoff, can't be used at
    all (at least according to typical OEM EULA).

    Real question though is if the buyer even benefitted.
    733MHz system isn't slow but it's going to be slower running
    XP that ME, at least after all the junk in ME is disabled to
    the point where it's just a slightly newer version of
    Win98SE. Over and over I hear how people found Win9x
    instable. Must be a different win9x, because I can set up a
    box with stable drivers and stable apps and it crashes so
    seldom it's not worth mentioning. It "might" not run for 8
    months' uptime, but for typical use, > $100 saved is a good
    deal for someone buying a system like P733 which isn't worth
    but a couple hundred if that.
    kony, Jan 20, 2005
  7. Dan

    Dave C. Guest

    I have done so already. My most recent build, I was looking at a P4 3.0
    versus a Athlon 64 3000. At the time, the two processors were identical in
    price, and identical in performance, with the AMD chip being faster at some
    certain tasks and the P4 being faster at others. Then I looked at cost of
    motherboards. Well-equipped ones were about thirty bucks more for the AMD
    chip. All other parts were identical. See, I planned out both complete
    systems on paper first, as I really didn't care which chip I used (AMD or
    Intel, whatever). I went into the project thinking that the AMD would be
    much cheaper. I was more than a little surprised to learn that not only was
    the AMD system not cheaper at all, but that the Intel system could be made
    for a little less money, without even putting any extraordinary effort into
    it. It came down to selection of mainboards . . . there were LOTS more
    chipsets and manufacturers putting out socket 478 mainboards at the time.
    More mainboards, more competition, lower prices on similarly equipped

    NOW, looking at pricewatch, it looks like the mid-range processors favor AMD
    by about forty to sixty bucks. But add in the ~30 extra bucks you will need
    for the mainboard, and it's about equal. Or to put it in perspective . . .
    if you spent several hundred on computer parts, are you going to really
    claim that (~10 to ~30 bucks less) is much cheaper? -Dave
    Dave C., Jan 20, 2005
  8. Dan

    Dave C. Guest

    No, that's just plain incorrect.
    OK, you are half right. When I built recently (NOTE: when I built),
    mid-range processors were identical in price, talking AMD vs. Intel. Now,
    the mid-range AMD processors are cheaper, no doubt about it. But, you do
    not need a more expensive power supply for Intel. That is plain crap. If
    you choose the RIGHT power supply, it will work for either chip. So there
    is no price difference there. You also don't need any extraordinary cooling
    for a P4 system, either for processor or case. All components can be
    identical for either system (AMD or Intel), save for the obvious difference
    of the CPU cooler. But the CPU cooler can be had cheaply for either chip.
    Also, there is less selection of Athlon64 mainboards, so better bargains can
    be found in the P4 mainboards. (competition does that) So the extra money
    you pay for an Intel CPU -can- be partially recovered from the money you
    save buying the motherboard.

    As for performance, I have done extensive research on AMD vs. Intel. I have
    found that they are equal:
    (and note I back up my conclusions with links to numbers posted by
    well-regarded experts who agree with me)

    Gaming: OpenGL: The Intel chips are much faster
    Gaming: DX8: The AMD chips are faster, no doubt about it
    Gaming: DX9: It's virtually a tie, as the AMD chips are two to three
    TENTHS of a percentage point faster than Intel.
    So on the gaming benchmarks, that's one win for Intel, one win for AMD and
    one tie.

    Business Applications: Office Applications: Intel blows AMD away
    Business Applications: Internet Content Creation: Intel blows AMD away
    Business Applications: Overall: Intel blows AMD away

    Video Encoding: This one is so lopsided, AMD should have thrown in the
    towel before entering the ring. Intel wins by a landslide.

    Audio Encoding: Again, Intel wins by a landslide

    Synthetic Benchmarks: (PC Mark 2004): Here, Intel blows AMD away on both
    *CPU* and memory benchmarks

    The following is an article on the Athlon 64 2800+. But more interesting
    the benchmarks included in the article are a GREAT comparison of the 3.2GHz
    processors with the Athlon64 3200+. In this article, these two processors
    pretty evenly matched, with Intel being faster on some benchmarks, and AMD
    being faster on others.

    Now lets look at what Sharky Extreme has to report in their article about
    3.4GHz Prescott processor. This one has benchmarks that are a great
    of the 3.4GHz Intel chips with the Athlon64 3400+. Here, you have to be
    as Sharky doesn't organize their charts in order of fastest to slowest. And
    some charts, LOWER scores are better. But if you read all the benchmarks,
    will again notice that the two chips are pretty evenly matched, with AMD
    on some and Intel faster on others.
    Dave C., Jan 20, 2005
  9. Dan

    JAD Guest

    BANG FOR THE BUCK you know unless that's tattooed on your ass, your not
    REALLY a AMD salesman. The best 'BANG' is a perfect name for AMD.
    JAD, Jan 20, 2005
  10. Don't apologize, you're right, but Linux really isn't for anyone who just
    wants to stick the cd in tray, install the OS and have it just "work". You
    should also make it clear that Linux is not a free copy of Windows.

    I know we've been through all that (and then some) since forever, so let's
    avoid a "WinLin" debate. But, if you are a student, there are literally
    hundreds of educational and scientific programs that will pretty much do
    your homework for you, and above all, there is no such thing as a virus.

    Of course, there is such an animal as pay software for Linux, but that is
    mostly corporate stuff.

    I am writing this with KNode, and my OS is Mandrake-10.1. But I have a
    couple of Windows machines on the network as well, so I have to get them
    all to play nice. It isn't for everyone, but it is my personal choice.

    You can request a free live cd of Ubuntu here:

    This will run on your cdrom without changing your system at all, and will
    give you a feel of how things work in Linux.

    Michael Hearne, Jan 20, 2005
  11. Dan

    Al Smith Guest

    I think, if you really peruse the EULA, you will find you violated
    I've been lurking in the "" group
    and the Microsoft flunkies are nuts on this subject, so I've
    absorbed a bit of information.

    If you buy a retail copy, you can sell it by itself, or you can
    transfer it to a new computer as often as you like, as long as you
    don't install copies on other computers, or sell copies. The idea
    is that it can be transferred, but it can't legally be multiplied,
    even by the original owner. This doesn't mean you can't make
    backups -- you just can't install a backup copy on a second machine.

    The OEM version is a completely different kettle of fish. It is
    attached at the hip to the computer with which it was sold. You
    can sell that computer with the OEM version installed, and its CD,
    but you cannot legally transfer it to any other computer, and you
    cannot sell the OEM version by itself (since it would be installed
    on another computer). People with OEM versions run into trouble
    when they upgrade their system so much that Microsoft considers it
    a different computer.

    Anyway, my point was, if you already own Windows, and you buy a
    computer with Windows installed, you are paying what is known as
    the "Microsoft tax" and that is a good reason to roll your own system.
    Al Smith, Jan 20, 2005
  12. Dan

    kony Guest

    Actually it is a fact that P4 uses more power,
    and it is a fact that power supplies are priced based on
    capacity, on average. Maybe you get luck and find a sale,
    or maybe you always buy more than you need, but that doesn't
    change things... anyone can pay more for more.

    Except that this "right power supply" has to be higher
    capacity to support the P4! If you're not factoring for
    this, you're either making the AMD buyer pay too much in the
    cost comparison, or the P4 system has lower power margins.

    Not extraordinary, simply MORE. Again, indisputable facts.
    P4 creates more heat. It IS necesary to have more airflow
    to remove that heat for the case to stay at same internal
    ambient temp. Likewise if someone doesn't always want to
    hear their heatsink, it takes a beefier heatsink to keep the
    P4 at same temp.

    So your justifying the price parity by making the margins on
    other parts in the P4 system thinner, to offset the cost of
    the P4. It doesn't work like that, you seem to be
    describing a low-end P4 system with a disproportionately
    priced CPU in it.
    If you don't care about noise, or again, if you're putting
    together a low-end P4 box with an expensive CPU in it.
    Better bargains if you buy junk P4 board. Again it seems
    you're building junk low end but overspending on a CPU.

    If I go to a popular website, say Newegg, and pick a popular
    manufacturer, let's use Gigabyte. Their lowest cost, full
    sized Athon 64/939 board is $85.

    Now onto Gigabyte for Intel, lowest cost LGA or S478 in a
    full sized board is $82/$82. Hmm, you're right it's $3
    Hardly. Athlon64 is faster at most games.

    You mean only at specific apps. If someone wants those
    performance gains they have to spend hundreds if not
    thousands of dollars on new software. That $200 CPU isn't
    so cheap anymore. Perhaps this is where you're going wrong,
    not realizing that people and/or business don't generally
    jump on the all-new-software bandwagon just because Tom's
    Hardware et al benchmarked with it.

    So how much do we add to the cost of the CPU for that
    software? I don't recall ever hearing of anyone claiming to
    use it.
    Why am I getting the feeling you're an Intel shill?
    Of course apps with P4 optimizations in them will be faster
    on P4, particularly synthetic ones.

    This is the overall trend.P4 has been in the market longer,
    MUCH longer. Apps, particularly when benchmarks use the
    newest ones, paint a disproportionate picture. Even moreso
    with AMD being the underdog, which do you think receives
    priority when it comes to optimization development?
    Granted, that is one argument FOR buying Intel, but only if
    you pay the money for those new apps.

    Fairly even match according to charts, but remember that @
    $200, it's the P4 3.0GHz or the Athlon 64 3400+ to be
    compared... even if we ignore the other factors of heat and
    power (and higher cost to run the P4 box but that diverges
    too much from the main issue(s).
    kony, Jan 20, 2005
  13. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    Just read the EULA before posting nonsense. OEM licenses stay with the
    machine, independantly bought copies are transferable but cannot be
    installed on more than one machine at a time. What you are referring to is
    charities distributing computers with Windows preloaded that they did not
    have licenses for. It's called stealing. Just because a charity does it,
    doesn't negate the law and it doesn't make MS the bad guy. They have a
    legal requirement to protect their rights.
    Mac Cool, Jan 20, 2005
  14. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    I am well trained. Been using MS Windows for many years and it is vastly
    superior to all alternatives. Don't blame your deficiencies on MS.
    Mac Cool, Jan 20, 2005
  15. Dan

    Mac Cool Guest

    If they don't have a license, they can't be sold with an operating
    system. It doesn't matter if a charity does it. Educate yourself, all
    companies have a legal obligation to protect their rights or they can
    lose them.
    Why indeed? Much more fun to make up junk and claim ignorance.
    Mac Cool, Jan 20, 2005
  16. Dan

    Dave C. Guest

    (major snippage)
    The P4 doesn't use THAT much more power. If you purchase the right power
    supply for an Athlon64 system, you can put that same exact power supply in a
    similar P4 system and it will work fine. A power supply does not need to be
    a higher capacity to support a P4. However, if your system uses (for
    example) exactly 300W maximum, only an idiot would actually buy a power
    supply rated at (for example) 300W maximum. So you ALWAYS buy a power
    supply that is bigger than you need. That is, unless you want to replace
    the power supply along with every upgrade you do to your computer. (not
    very smart)

    If a case is properly cooled, it will be properly cooled for either
    processor. And you don't need to spend a lot of money or have a really loud
    system to have it cooled properly. YES, you can throw a bazillion really
    loud fans into any system. But any computer (Athlon64 or P4) should need no
    more than one (quiet) case fan, along with the (quiet) power supply fans(s)
    to cool it PROPERLY. If you need more cooling than that, the reason you
    need more cooling has NOTHING to do with the CPU. For example, if you have
    (4) 10,000RPM hard drives, you might need some more case fans to keep that
    system cool.

    There are cheap, QUIET HSF solutions available for both CPUs. And yes, the
    performance of the two CPUs, Athlon 64 vs. P4, is identical. I've been
    called an Intel shill before. The truth is, I prefer AMD processors, and
    USUALLY build with AMD processors. But my most recent two builds were both
    P4. In the first P4 build, I was working on a very strict budget and found
    that the system I needed to build was actually cheaper to build (and thus I
    could keep it within budget) if I used a P4 3.0 Prescott. And no, I didn't
    use a cheapie mainboard, either . . . but Athlon64 mainboards -at the time-
    were really expensive in comparison to their socket 478 counterparts. That
    P4 system I built ended up being so fast and stable, it impressed the heck
    outta me, and I was comparing it to similar AMD systems. So for my next
    build, I deliberately chose the P4. My next build, I might (probably will)
    go the Athlon64 route.

    But I get so fricking tired of seeing people post that AMD is faster and
    cheaper than Intel, period. Why is it that if I repeat the opinion of many
    well-regarded experts, I am called a shill for that? If I'm a shill, what
    does that make tomshardware, anandtech and sharky extreme, for example? Are
    they all Intel shills, also? The facts are, Intel P4 systems are just as
    easy and cheap to build, and perform as well as Athlon64 systems. Yeah, at
    any specific moment, the -total- cost of a computer system might favor AMD
    by less than it costs to fill the gas tank on my compact car. But that's
    not always true, as processor prices are constantly changing. Just a few
    months ago, prices of mid-range processors were identical, and mainboards
    for the P4 were actually cheaper, making the P4 system (overall) cheaper to
    build. Right NOW, if you want a P4 system, it will cost you a tad more than
    an Athlon64 system. So little extra that you won't even notice, next to the
    total cost of the computer. -Dave
    Dave C., Jan 20, 2005
  17. Dan

    kony Guest

    One story I recall regarding the charities was that they had
    received the systems with windows installed, but had not
    received the CD, license, or other misc. included items.

    If that is the case, then it is more a matter of Microsoft
    attacking the charity because they can't locate the original
    owner. Since, as Microsoft states, the operating system is
    tied to the original/OEM system, then they can't declare
    that BOTH the original owner that retained the license, AND
    the charity running the operating system licensed to that
    box, are in the wrong. One or the other would have the
    right to use the OS, and in this case it would the charity.

    Problem then is PROVING the OS is licensed for that box.
    MS could know this based upon selling the licenses to the
    OEM, and that there is a unique key within the OS
    installation, but instead they'd rather just assume "you're
    not licensed unless you prove to us you are licensed"...
    which is a large part of why i dont' like the license at
    all... it should not be "guilty until proven innocent".

    Then there's the other school of thought, that the OS is
    only licensed if they have that certificate. Once upon a
    time they mostly distributed the certificate as a real
    certificate, but now a sticker on the case most often.
    That's great for keeping track of it, but becomes
    problematic if user changes cases but overall system remains
    same. If MS argues that the case is the system, so be it,
    but then some will want to build a different system in the

    The other problem is cleaning up. Often I've received old
    boxes from rather filthy places. Heavy smokers, gravel
    quarries, homes with multiple pets (pet hair), etc. Point
    being, easiest way to clean all that up is as little
    physical contact as possible, a leaf blower, water hose,
    etc, but one now has to be careful about damaging that paper
    sticker on the case.
    kony, Jan 20, 2005
  18. Dan

    kony Guest

    Pretty vague. Relatively speaking, it does use more power,
    enough that it can be a factor, particularly if one isn't
    buying (overbuying) larger PSU than the A64 box would need.
    Unfortunately you're wrong. Perhaps, as i already wrote,
    you're simply comparing situation when one spends more on
    the A64 power supply than needed. Perhaps you're stuck on a
    particular brand and that limitation means you, personally,
    would buy the same power supply for either. That is not the
    same as "needs same power". The difference is not large,
    but neither is the difference in power output from a median
    unit and a higher priced one... at least within the price
    differential I mentioned, which was $40 to account for
    power, heatsink, and a fan. Certainly if you want to
    compare a $150 PSU to a $20 one then there would be more

    Exactly why you either have to buy a larger PSU for that P4,
    OR accept a lower margin for it (closer to that "exactly
    (nnn)W" scenario you mention.

    Only if you don't know a lot about cooling. Having
    excessive airflow to handle "anything", means more wear on
    fans, dust buildup, and noise than necessary. Again, Intel
    changed case layout for BTX to address this, because their
    CPU was running hotter. It might be argued that there were
    other accomodations too, but that does not account for
    putting the CPU up in front of the intake which can even
    make the other parts run hotter.

    Reread what I wrote on this, it was something like "to have
    same ambient case temp". SURE, you certainly can use same
    number/rate/flow fans, and you won't remove as much heat,
    the P4 box WILL retain more. There is escaping this.

    It might be because you're ignoring all the factors, only
    choosing those which support your argument. When two CPUs
    have similar performance, it's generally those other factors
    that are to be considered... failing a specific use pattern
    by the user of apps that clearly benefits from one
    architecture over the other.

    With the heatsink similar issue- The P4 does produce more
    heat. Intel spec sheets AND real-world tests confirm this.
    Whether you can accept it or not, more heat requires more
    elaborate/expensive heatsink, and/or more airflow/noise.
    You can't just plop the same heatsink-fan (except it's
    mounting) on either and have same result, unless you're
    again overspending for the Athlon. I'm not suggesting one
    use crap parts for the athlon, rather that there is a
    correlation between heatsink performance and price, except
    those that just strap an obnoxiously loud fan on top, which
    only teenagers seem to like.
    Sure, when they first come out with boards they're pretty
    expensive. Intel boards were too at first. Even so, one
    can't look too far forward or backwards when it's an
    industry that changes technology and pricing so much.

    Well some people call Tom's Hardware the same, but more than
    anything I think they like to just make a spectacle, cause
    debate. Often being a shill can have to do with what one
    ignores, a testing or comparision methology that was already
    favoring one architecture over the other. Truth is, if
    Intel were selling Athlon 64 CPUs and AMD the P4, there are
    still plenty who would chose based on the company... and
    it's their money, they can do that but it's good to have ALL
    the facts too, not only benchmarks of new apps tuned for a
    P4. Again it's fine if they use those apps, otherwise the
    cost must be factored in too. Many people already have the
    software to do what they want.
    Jumping to that conclusion isn't helping your case.
    Sure, $50 here, $50 there, you're only looking at the CPU
    right now, but taken as a whole it adds up. You argue same
    cost or cheaper for Intel but now "les than it costs to fill
    th gas tank". You're making progress, but still, it IS a
    difference. Again, it has to be factored against user's
    needs, not just a website's benchmarks of (particular new
    I do notice the heat difference. I've been tweaking systems
    for heat management and low noise for several years. As for
    performance, I'm not arguing that nobody should get a p4,
    but rather that your initial claim of "p4 ... less
    expensive" is wrong.
    kony, Jan 20, 2005
  19. Dan

    Al Smith Guest

    Anyway, my point was, if you already own Windows, and you buy a
    What he said. :) Sure, you can avoid paying the Microsoft tax, if
    you jump through hoops like a trained seal to do so. You don't see
    many computers sold retail without Windows. They are hard to find,
    and offer a limited choice.
    Al Smith, Jan 20, 2005
  20. Dan

    Al Smith Guest

    Why should I read the EULA? I won't let Windows XP within a mile
    I wish I had your determination. I took a long look at Mandrake
    but finally upgraded to Windows XP. I feel like such a Micro-slut.
    On the plus side, I stuck with my oath to never pay Microsoft
    another dollar as long as I draw breath. I haven't violated that
    oath in six years, and counting.
    Al Smith, Jan 20, 2005
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