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With P5 and AMD 64 Around the Corner, Is This A Good Time to Build A New Computer?

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With P5 and AMD 64 Around the Corner, Is This A Good Time to Build A New Computer?

Old 07-15-03, 01:49 PM
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With P5 and AMD 64 Around the Corner, Is This A Good Time to Build A New Computer?

Getting ready to sell old P3/350 while I have a buyer, and build a P4 2.4. But, is this a good time to buy with the new processors only weeks or months away? Would hate to buy a P4 2.4 chip right now, only to see that I could buy a 2.8 or 3.0 for the same price in September.
Old 07-15-03, 02:14 PM
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It's always been like this for years. Something better is always around the corner.
Old 07-15-03, 03:42 PM
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I had a AMD 450 for 3 years and I just upgraded to P4 2.6g hz. I bought a Dell 4550 off of Ebay for $750. In another 2 years I will upgrade to a P5 or whatever.

I am very happy with the new system:

1. Picture open 10x faster (I do Digital Wedding photos)
2. Edit video and create DVDs
3. Web
4. MS Apps
5. Kids Games

I have yet to play any 3D games, but I am sure they will be great.
Old 07-15-03, 04:42 PM
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Prices will definitely keep dropping. That is fortunately how the tech progress seems to work. If you can wait I would. On the other hand if like me you are using a Celeron 300a you might want to consider upgrading. I would if I could afford it.
Old 07-15-03, 07:50 PM
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Thanks guys. Been building my own computers for 10 years, but haven't been looking at the industry for at least 3 years. I feel like a foreigner!

Read a million reviews of people with an Asus P4P800-D and the 2.4c saying they were able to overclock it with stability to 3.0+. Guess that's the way I'm going and this will be the first time I have ever clocked any of my Asus mobos. Sad, I know. Asus is Taiwanese for "easy to overclock", right?

To Iron Giant, I have decided to go with

Asus P4800-Deluxe
Intel 2.4 800-MHz
512 MB XMS CL2.0 400MHz Corsair w/Platinum Heat Strip
Blu Series 3 Case (go to colorcase.com to see -- worth a look!)

... all for $486, shipped.

(Using old CDRW, floppy, and video card until I can beef those up too.)

I think I spent twice as much building my P3/350 w/ 128MB RAM. Crazy how this industry works!

Thanks all for the help.
Old 07-16-03, 05:06 AM
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For some reason whenever a new generation of CPU's come out, it's never a very long lived platform. When Pentium Pro came out, debuting Intel's P6 core on the Socket 8 platform, it was quickly superceded by Pentium II (Deschutes?) and the Slot 1 platform (which was itself later supplanted by Socket 370). Athlon came out with Slot A (basically, identical to Slot 1), but soon followed Intel's lead and switched the Athlon back to a socket platform (Thunderbird). And most recently, when the first P4 came out it used the Socket 423 platform and then was quickly supplanted by Socket 478.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that if you buy a computer based on a brand new generation of CPU's, you're not likely to have much of an upgrade path in a year or two. For example, if you had waited until Athlons started using Socket 370, most boards only required a BIOS flash to upgrade to the newer (Palomino) Athlons that were well over 1GHz, whereas those who jumped on the Slot A Athlons when they first came out could only upgrade to a maximum of 1GHz.
Old 07-16-03, 06:59 AM
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It really depends these days. Since you can get a brand new PC from Dell for like $400-600, it might not be worth it to build your own PC. Of course this is assuming you're not a super hardcore gamer that needs the best video card. Building a computer might be cheaper or more expensive depending on your tastes, but keep in mind that companies like Dell offer customer service which is useful for people who don't know how to resolve computer problems....
Old 07-16-03, 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by mvc
Since you can get a brand new PC from Dell for like $400-600...
I just took a look at the Dell website, but the cheapest computer they have is $499. For $499, its a 2.2 Celeron, with 128 MB memory.


For the same price, I'm getting a CPU that's easy to overclock to 3+, 4x the memory that's 2-3x faster, and an FSB that's 2x faster. I'm not getting a monitor, mouse, modem (useless), ... but I already have all of that.

Can you recommend one that I'm not seeing? If you strip something down, you can get a new anything for $400-$600.
Old 07-16-03, 10:10 AM
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I'd personally build one over buying a cheap Dell... simply because Dell uses custom parts making upgrades a tad more difficult.
Old 07-16-03, 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by Wolf Husky
I just took a look at the Dell website, but the cheapest computer they have is $499. For $499, its a 2.2 Celeron, with 128 MB memory.
Yes, it's a 2.2C, but it also comes with a 15" LCD monitor - don't think that's included in your price:

Now Shipped FREE! DellSB - Dimension 2400 2.2Ghz Celeron Desktop with 128MB DDR SDRAM, 40GB HD for $449 after Rebate with FREE 15" LCD Monitor! (Posted by: Apex)
This one ends TODAY folks, and they just decided to thrown in free shipping on it too! Dell is giving out a free Dell E151FP 15" LCD panel upgrade on their Dimension desktops until tonight, 7/16/03. There`s a $50 rebate too (also expiring tonight, 7/16/03). If you consider this LCD is normally $329 or so, $449 is not too shabby for the entire thing.

via www.gotapex.com - but be sure to use DVDTalk's referral link if you plan on buying from Dell.
Old 07-16-03, 03:18 PM
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Thanks! I didn't bother to take note that the monitor was an LCD. All I saw was 15" and thought "trash." Even still, a 15" LCD is useless to me, except to resell if I were to buy the package.

Thanks for the info!

My NEC MultiSync XV17 is a beast! 30 lbs or so, but it is still as good as the day I bought it, 8 years ago. I hold it more valuable than any 15".

Actually, that brings up an interesting question. Any of you guys using 15" monitors out there and happy with them? I feel like 17" is too small, and will buy a 19" in future. I really can't imagine going from a 17" to a 15" so I'm wondering how many of you out there still use a 15" happily.
Old 07-16-03, 10:55 PM
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I couldn't imagine going down to a 15" - I was on a 17" CRT for 5 years and got a new 17" Viewsonic LCD for my graduation present - I love it. Working at 1152xwhatever was nice, but 1280x1024 is beautiful...

Of course, I wouldn't mind a 21" LCD or another 17" since my ATI 9500 Pro supports dual monitors.
Old 07-17-03, 02:51 PM
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I think 17 inch is too small. Both my work and my home computer monitor are 19 inches. I used to work on a machine with a 21-inch monitor, which was super sweet.
Old 07-17-03, 05:36 PM
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I heard LCDs are lousy for gaming, something to do with the refresh rate. My 5 year old 15" NEC has never been a problem, but I'm thinking of getting something larger, 18" maybe. should i be worried, since I game quite a bit?
Old 07-17-03, 06:45 PM
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I'm always hesitant of the first generation of anything, so I would rather have a PC with a stable P4 or Athlon XP chip and chipset (Nforce2 or Intel 865PE) than a "cutting edge" P5 or clawhammer.
Old 07-18-03, 10:41 AM
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There's always something better just around the corner, if you don't buy slash build because of this you'll never get a new computer.
Old 07-18-03, 04:05 PM
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I know that the tech industry is always changing, with something faster, bigger, cooler always in the future.

I think what I was trying to get at was that we are getting ready to see a BIG change. Over the last year, 2-3 GHz has been the thing. 6 months ago, the 2.4 chip was priced close to what it is now, right? Being on the edge of a big, new change, we could see the price of a 2.4 drop 50% over the next 3 months.

I think that's what I was trying to get at, but you guys are right. We never have the fastest, so I might as well buy the 2.4 right now at the best price I can find rather than wait a few months hoping to buy the 2.8 for the same price as today's 2.4. After all, what is the real difference between a 2.4 and 2.8? 5%?
Old 07-18-03, 04:59 PM
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I would love to build a new system but I can't justify it.

Athlon Thunderbird 1.3Ghz(pre-XP rating, I wonder what Pentium it is supposed to be equivalent to?) with a 200Mhz FSB(I am thinking about unlocking the processor and kicking the FSB up to 266Mhz).

Iwill KK266 mobo

1Gigabyte PC 133 sdram

GeForce 3 Ti200(64MB) video card

Soundblaster 5.1 sound card

Pioneer DVR-104

And an Asus 52x cd burner

Running Windows XP Pro and Mandrake 9.1.


I can't justify building a new one because of cost and also, inspite of the P4 3Ghz cpu's and the high end AMD cpu's, my pc still does everything I need it too. It will run the newest games(Unreal II, Medal Of Honor) without a problem. I'm really lusting to build a new one, but as I said.......

How much longer do you think my current machine will hold out before I really have to build a new one? I like to game and also edit video.
Old 07-18-03, 09:18 PM
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THG places the TB 1.3 just above a P3 1.2.
Old 07-18-03, 10:17 PM
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Originally posted by Wolf Husky
I just took a look at the Dell website, but the cheapest computer they have is $499. For $499, its a 2.2 Celeron, with 128 MB memory.


For the same price, I'm getting a CPU that's easy to overclock to 3+, 4x the memory that's 2-3x faster, and an FSB that's 2x faster. I'm not getting a monitor, mouse, modem (useless), ... but I already have all of that.

Can you recommend one that I'm not seeing? If you strip something down, you can get a new anything for $400-$600.
it depends on what you're looking for. if you're looking for a good basic computer, then a dell 4600 would be good. it has upgradability and is affordable (especially when they have a good deal). you only bought a CPU/mobo/ram/case, whereas a Dell is a fully operational machine. plus, they warranty the unit. just to give you a taste, they had a p4 2.8c /w 800fsb & ht, 256mb dual channel ddr, r9800, and office xp for just over $550 a few weeks back. heck, the r9800 and p4 2.8c should run you around $500 alone. that's something that i'd buy if i was looking for a computer myself. dell uses quality stuff (not top of the line, but still good). i've compared the build of dells to that of hp and compaq and IMO, dell is a much better build. and not only that, but it includes an os, which i'm hesitant to buy when i put together my own machine.

bottom line is if you want a good computer for average uses, then a dell will do fine. if you're looking for high end stuff, you're better putting it together yourself.

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