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View Full Version : Building a new computer - advice please


JeremyGritton
05-15-2005, 11:01 AM
Hi guys,

I am planning to put together a new computer for doing 3d work at home.

I was thinking about a 3.4 or 3.6 Ghz Pentium 4. If you have suggestions for a good motherboard to get, and even what ram I should get, please post them here!

I'm not insanely knowledgeable on the hardware side of things so all tips would be great. I have mainly been looking at the CPU/mobo combinations on Pricewatch.com

If you see something there that you think would be really good, let me know!

Thanks

Kristian Joensen
05-15-2005, 01:19 PM
Why not get a Athlon 64 ?

Jeff
05-15-2005, 02:10 PM
I hear 3D rending machines require lots of RAM. Get at least 1.5 GB. Also don't go for a Radeon or Geforce series gaming card. Go for a professional 3D card which can handle AutoCAD and stuff like that. Not sure whether ATI or nVidia sells those.

DudeMiester
05-15-2005, 02:30 PM
Or get a 6800GT and convert it to a Quadro FX 4000. As for RAM get 2GB, 2x1GB modules so dual channel works. Something with decent performance too, like 3-2-2-6 timings. Athlon64 of course, a 3700 San Deigo would work well, it has 1MB of cache and an improved memory controller. Also make sure you run the ram at 1T command rate, and bank interleaving enabled, for best performance. You'll also definitly want a PCIe Nforce 4 based mobo, the DFI NForce 4 Ultra-D would work well here. If you can afford it get SLI. Also, you will want to get at least a 430W PSU, and make sure it has a 24pin mobo connector.

Gatinater
05-15-2005, 06:38 PM
AMDs and Pentiums are both nice processors. Same with Nvidia and Radeon.

Make sure you get a good motherboard though. A good processor Will perform like crap without a good motherboard.

Don't even give sempron a chance. A few friends at work went the cheap way and got a sempron figuring it would be fine for work. The truth is that Semprons are so bad that it's nightmare trying to multitask between two web pages or run the word processor.

And it would be much cheaper to buy four 512MB Moduals.

JeremyGritton
05-16-2005, 05:46 PM
Hi everyone

Well I ended up getting a 3.4 Ghz Pentium 4 & a Gigabyte motherboard. I also got 2 sticks of Kingston 1GB DDR 400 ram

Based on what I was reaiding online every thing should work together, although this will be an adventure, I only ever built a computer once with my friends help... And that was years ago

I also picked up a couple 19" LCD monitors from Dell

The rest of the stuff I'm ripping out of my old computer

Thanks

Kristian Joensen
05-17-2005, 10:41 AM
Why Pentium ?

avatar_58
05-17-2005, 11:02 AM
Cyrenius said:
I also picked up a couple 19" LCD monitors from Dell




Digital or Analog? What is the timing on it (ms)?

Did you visit the motherboard website to make sure that exact type of chip can fit (pins, etc) ?

Joonas
05-17-2005, 02:52 PM
Kristian Joensen said:
Why Pentium ?



Why being a fanatic? http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Kristian Joensen
05-17-2005, 03:43 PM
The computer I use on these forum including writing that is a Pentium 4.

Ronald McDonald
05-17-2005, 04:36 PM
Joonas said:

Kristian Joensen said:
Why Pentium ?



Why being a fanatic? http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif



AMD64 > P4 in almost al ways.

It's faster, produces less heat and uses less power.
It's also cheaper and ready for the 64bit processing future.

Enough reasons for any reasonable man to choose AMD over Pentium.

DudeMiester
05-17-2005, 05:10 PM
Pentium 4 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/doh.gif
Athlon 64 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

TerminX
05-17-2005, 05:56 PM
DudeMiester said:
Or get a 6800GT and convert it to a Quadro FX 4000.


Why do you keep telling people to do this? Unless someone is doing extensive 3d modeling, this is a really stupid idea. I get better performance as a 6800 GT with 4x AA and 8x AF with all optimizations disabled via NVIDIA driver control panel than I do as a softmodded Quadro with 4x AA and only 4x AF. It's pretty sad.

This is in an OpenGL game, by the way (UT2004 with OpenGL renderer selected).

Kristian Joensen
05-17-2005, 06:15 PM
Cyrenius said:
Hi guys,

I am planning to put together a new computer for doing 3d work at home.




TerminX said:

DudeMiester said:
Or get a 6800GT and convert it to a Quadro FX 4000.


Why do you keep telling people to do this? Unless someone is doing extensive 3d modeling, this is a really stupid idea.



Am I missing something here ?

TerminX
05-17-2005, 06:34 PM
Kristian Joensen said:

Cyrenius said:
Hi guys,

I am planning to put together a new computer for doing 3d work at home.




TerminX said:

DudeMiester said:
Or get a 6800GT and convert it to a Quadro FX 4000.


Why do you keep telling people to do this? Unless someone is doing extensive 3d modeling, this is a really stupid idea.



Am I missing something here ?


No, but I missed that part of his post. D'oh. My mistake. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/doh.gif I thought he was recommending it to a gamer again.

Drazula
05-17-2005, 07:50 PM
Cyrenius,

I unconditionally recommend a socket 775 motherboard with the Intel 915 chipset (the 925s are overpriced). One of the best is the ASUS P5GD1.

Good luck.

avatar_58
05-18-2005, 01:22 PM
/\


Cyrenius said:
Hi everyone

Well I ended up getting a 3.4 Ghz Pentium 4 & a Gigabyte motherboard. I also got 2 sticks of Kingston 1GB DDR 400 ram





Too late Draz http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

JeremyGritton
05-18-2005, 05:02 PM
Well the only reason I went with Pentium & not AMD is that my last 3 computers have been pentiums, and they've served me pretty well

Also the one time I built a computer (with help) it was a pentium so I figure I'm a little more familiar with it...

Dr. Kill
05-19-2005, 08:52 PM
DudeMiester said:
Pentium 4 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/doh.gif
Athlon 64 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif



Pentium 4 2.8 gig > Pentium 2 350mhz in old computer, so to hell with athlon. I don't care.

Kevin Wolff
05-19-2005, 09:38 PM
Dr. Kill said:

DudeMiester said:
Pentium 4 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/doh.gif
Athlon 64 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif



Pentium 4 2.8 gig > Pentium 2 350mhz in old computer, so to hell with athlon. I don't care.


Heh. I feel much the same way, but replace the 350 with 500. I could always buy Arctic Silver if the heat becomes too much for me.

DudeMiester
05-19-2005, 10:11 PM
Dr. Kill said:

DudeMiester said:
Pentium 4 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/doh.gif
Athlon 64 == http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif



Pentium 4 2.8 gig > Pentium 2 350mhz in old computer, so to hell with athlon. I don't care.



You can get a Venice core Athlon64 3000, which is faster and cheaper then your P4 2.8Ghz. That's why you should care, because it affects your bottom line.

avatar_58
05-19-2005, 10:30 PM
DudeMiester said:
You can get a Venice core Athlon64 3000, which is faster and cheaper then your P4 2.8Ghz. That's why you should care, because it affects your bottom line.




But it doesn't come with a shiny "Intel" sticker!!! http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mryuck.gif

*touches AMD64FX sticker*

Dr. Kill
05-20-2005, 06:23 PM
I only ever had an Intel processor, and I know they are good... Intel just sucks at making video cards (swears at built in intel graphics card!), I know this because Tyler knows this. Plus, I already have an Intel processor, don't need another one, nor do I have the money. If I did have the money, I would buy something I WANT. I don't care if my pc's performance isn't quite as good, I'll just end up getting another in a few years anyway.

Phayzon
05-20-2005, 09:55 PM
Ronald McDonald said:

Joonas said:

Kristian Joensen said:
Why Pentium ?



Why being a fanatic? http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif



AMD64 > P4 in almost al ways.

It's faster, produces less heat and uses less power.
It's also cheaper and ready for the 64bit processing future.

Enough reasons for any reasonable man to choose AMD over Pentium.



Even though id love to see Intel go out of business and its owner rot in hell, i have to disagree. P4s are MUCH faster than any A64. Speed isnt everthing, thats one of about three things that Intel has that AMD doesnt, AMD has the other 4997 characteristics beat.

Kevin Wolff
05-20-2005, 10:45 PM
4s are MUCH faster than any A64.


Still using MHz and GHz, aren't we?

Night Hacker
05-20-2005, 11:32 PM
Phayzon said:
Even though id love to see Intel go out of business and its owner rot in hell, i have to disagree. P4s are MUCH faster than any A64. Speed isnt everthing, thats one of about three things that Intel has that AMD doesnt, AMD has the other 4997 characteristics beat.



Wow, you just proved how ignorant you are on the subject. Congrats. Heheheh...

Jeff
05-21-2005, 12:09 AM
If you want something that will fry eggs on it, get an Intel. If you want something which will save money on your electricity bill and be fast, get an Athlon 64. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

My 2 cents. Not trying to start a war.

Kevin Wolff
05-21-2005, 01:09 AM
If you want something that will fry eggs on it, get an Intel.


Ever read the old classic "How to fry an egg on an Athlon XP"? The P4 always ran cooler than that, and then Intel stumbled with Prescott, and fixed part of it with the P4 6x0 series.

The AMD people sure seem happy to bash Intel for heat, when their own bits were just as bad a few years back.

Jeff
05-21-2005, 01:17 AM
Didn't know that about their new line of processors.

Combat Chuck
05-21-2005, 02:18 AM
Night Hacker said:

Phayzon said:
Even though id love to see Intel go out of business and its owner rot in hell, i have to disagree. P4s are MUCH faster than any A64. Speed isnt everthing, thats one of about three things that Intel has that AMD doesnt, AMD has the other 4997 characteristics beat.



Wow, you just proved how ignorant you are on the subject. Congrats. Heheheh...


The scary thing is, this post is relatively informed compared to his posts on Linux.

DudeMiester
05-21-2005, 02:57 PM
I have one of those bloody hot Athlon-XPs. Damn thing runs at 50C idle and that's with a Thermaltake Volcano 12. With the stock it would idle at 60C and get up to 68C on load.

Phayzon
05-21-2005, 03:06 PM
DudeMiester said:
I have one of those bloody hot Athlon-XPs. Damn thing runs at 50C idle and that's with a Thermaltake Volcano 12. With the stock it would idle at 60C and get up to 68C on load.



50C Idle!? Mine under load with a cheap little heatsink and fan never got hotter than 40C

JeremyGritton
05-22-2005, 03:23 AM
Just an update - I got it up and running! http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Only took a long, determined, 15 hour day. Although the sound card still isn't installed, will do that tomorrow along with as many program installations I can handle.

My computer has been running at 28C, although I haven't really done much with it yet. Just installed a few things.

For now, sleep http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

JeremyGritton
05-22-2005, 10:48 AM
Hi guys; another question for you...

I have the dual monitors set up and working. Everything is fine except that it wants to open dialog boxes in the direct middle of the two screens, so it's half on display a and half on display b.

I tried looking in the nview display properties to find the option to fix this, but no luck so far. Does anone know what setting I need to check to keep windows popping up on one display or the other?

Thanks

Night Hacker
05-22-2005, 01:06 PM
DudeMiester said:
I have one of those bloody hot Athlon-XPs. Damn thing runs at 50C idle and that's with a Thermaltake Volcano 12. With the stock it would idle at 60C and get up to 68C on load.



Sounds to me like you need some arctic silver or something similar. I had a similar problem when I first got my XP. It ran blazingly hot even with a very good fan. Turned out the "technician" that installed it didn't put any grease on it. Sounds to me like yours has some but either it isn't very good or was improperly applied.

My XP runs under 50C overclocked. It usually doesn't get any worse than 55C under heavy loads (again, overclocked).

DudeMiester
05-22-2005, 02:09 PM
I have artic silver 5. Don't worry it's not the installation, it's just bloody hot! Remember I have a Palimino core, which is the first and worst Athlon-XP core ever.

As for nView, I have the 76.45 drivers, and there are options for dialog box repositioning. nView Properties->Windows tab->Dialog Box Repositioning.

Laplacian
05-23-2005, 02:26 PM
Kevin Wolff said:

If you want something that will fry eggs on it, get an Intel.


Ever read the old classic "How to fry an egg on an Athlon XP"? The P4 always ran cooler than that, and then Intel stumbled with Prescott, and fixed part of it with the P4 6x0 series.

The AMD people sure seem happy to bash Intel for heat, when their own bits were just as bad a few years back.



Ahh...thank you. Been wanting to say something like that for a while, but resisted. With the exception of the Prescotts (and only the non-6xx series, really) AMD has usually made the hotter chips, and by a larger margin.

Lets not go overboard here. If Intel rates the operating temps as higher for their new chips, that means they're designed to work at those temps. Lets not pretend to know better than the engineers that designed them.

It seems like some AMD users around here are a little insecure about their brand and find it necessary to attack Intel (unprovoked)...

Jeff
05-23-2005, 09:14 PM
Maybe it's the type of Athlon chip. The old XP chips cooked (65-68 C under heavy load), compared to my new Athlon 64 chip, which runs like a cold glass of Pepsi. Mmmm. About 26 C when I boot it up in the morning, and usually 35-38 C under heavy load. I use a Zalman 7000 Cu cooler, with some Arctic Silver (whatever, thermal paste).

Crispy Critters
05-23-2005, 09:37 PM
65-68 is a tad high. Average for a case with inadiquate air flow. At load, it will get up to around the lower 50's with decent cooling, and even that is a little much.

Night Hacker
05-23-2005, 11:38 PM
DudeMiester said:
I have artic silver 5. Don't worry it's not the installation, it's just bloody hot! Remember I have a Palimino core, which is the first and worst Athlon-XP core ever.

As for nView, I have the 76.45 drivers, and there are options for dialog box repositioning. nView Properties->Windows tab->Dialog Box Repositioning.



Ah, okay. Only the early XPs were hot like that. My 1700+ uses the Thoroughbred core.

The XP cpus were designed to handle up to 110C so even if the temp is in the 60's it isn't really a problem. I know, mine reached 110C when it was first installed, there was no grease on it! heh, thankfully the motherboard shutdown automatically and no damage was done. {kisses motherboard}

I'm sticking with the officially released (non-beta) drivers for a bit. Currently at 71.89. I'm having zero problems with them so why rock the boat right? http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

There was an interesting article in 2002 in Tom's Hardware when the XPs new 2200+ based on the, at the time, new Thoroughbred core, it's a good read, very educational as they also talk about the P4 etc... http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20020610/

DudeMiester
05-24-2005, 03:19 AM
Well I haven't had any problems with these drivers either, generally speaking Nvidia betas are very good.

Night Hacker
05-24-2005, 10:33 AM
True, I have never had any problems with nVidia drivers ever, which is part of the reason why I stick with their cards. Good support is more important to me and nVidia is really on the ball with their drivers.

DudeMiester
05-24-2005, 01:29 PM
Yeah, but just don't ever email the nvidia tech support with a question. They're a bunch of arrogent pricks, with zero respect for the cusomter.

SgtFly
05-24-2005, 06:33 PM
It's said that AMD is better for gaming and Intel for Media work. At the speeds noways I think the whole arguments a moot point.
Except for the heat issues which I don't thinks a problem with proper cooling, memory and vid are the most important.

8IronBob
05-24-2005, 08:54 PM
SgtFly said:
It's said that AMD is better for gaming and Intel for Media work. At the speeds noways I think the whole arguments a moot point.
Except for the heat issues which I don't thinks a problem with proper cooling, memory and vid are the most important.



Well, I have seen MCE-based PCs that are AMD 64 powered, so you can't say that AMD's processors aren't good for watching some TV on your PC, viewing photos, or listening to your CDs, or watching DVDs, either. So, media AND gaming are stronger with AMD, from how I understand, especially the AMD 64s, the XPs are good, but they're only 32-bit processors, so multitasking is a little more strenuous, plus AMD's sort of starting to shy away from the Athlon XPs, the 64s are becoming more of the norm, they're far more improved with their cooling power.

Can't really say much about the Sempron, only that it's good enough to outperform the Celeron and the like. We just have to keep watching what AMD does in the near future. If you could afford it (you probably won't), go all the way to the 3800+ or 4000+. This'll keep you way, way ahead in the long haul. Expect the dual-core AMD 64s to start with about the AMD 64 4400+ or whatever the next models are going to be. I hope to see something happening soon, just wait for Microsoft's 64-bit Win XP to become more of a standard before we see what happens.

DudeMiester
05-24-2005, 09:40 PM
Actually a CPU's 32-bit or 64-bit-ness doesn't affect multitasking. It does affect programs that require lots of memory (excess of 2GB), and programs that use algorithms that can be better optimised with the addition registers of AMD64 (e.g. CineBench which gets a ~40% boost). So for some programs that have been compiled and optimised for AMD64 you will see speed ups with that particular program. Otherwise, the difference is near 0.

TerminX
05-24-2005, 10:01 PM
DudeMiester said:
Yeah, but just don't ever email the nvidia tech support with a question. They're a bunch of arrogent pricks, with zero respect for the cusomter.


It can't be any worse than the time ATI broke the SetDeviceGammaRamp API call and didn't fix it for four months. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

DudeMiester
05-25-2005, 12:24 PM
It's not that the drivers are fine, it's when they email you with a question. In my case, I asked why they sold the DVD encoder drivers as extra when I've just paid like $670CDN on a video card, their reply was "Thank you for telling us how to run our own business. Goodbye." the ******s.

g-dog
05-25-2005, 05:51 PM
^^^
Wow....I would have ripped the card outta my system, enclosed a "F - * - * - *" reply to tech support...and make sure their boss/dept head got a copy of their email reply. I would have enclosed a copy of my return receipt (to whereever I got it from) too. *Shocking, really.

DudeMiester
05-25-2005, 07:31 PM
That the thing, nvidia isn't accountable. It's the actual card makers (e.g. BFG, ASUS, etc) that are responsible for handling returns and stuff. Nvidia makes all their money once they sell the chips to the hardware makers, and after that they don't give a damn.

Now as for BFG's support (the brand of my card), it's very very good. I asked them about it, and they said there was nothing they could do. Much better service from them.

Crispy Critters
05-25-2005, 08:36 PM
The XP cpus were designed to handle up to 110C so even if the temp is in the 60's it isn't really a problem. I know, mine reached 110C when it was first installed, there was no grease on it!



Um, do you mean fahrenheit? The AthlonXP processors max core temp is 85 degrees celcius. I doubt anything would run stable past 70 degrees.

Night Hacker
05-26-2005, 01:29 AM
Nope, it went up to 110C. I'm Canadian and that's the temp I pay attention to. The motherboard shut it down once it reached 110C. No damage. I was shocked, never seen a CPU get that hot. heh. But from what I understand they're rated for 110, which is what mine went to. When the system was turned on it STARTED at a temp of 85C, heh. It ran for about an hour before it reached 110C. That was WITH a Volcano running full speed.

Interestingly, once some grease was put on it stayed very cool without the fan running at all, I was amazed at how much more important putting thermal grease on is than the fan itself.

TerminX
05-26-2005, 01:34 AM
Night Hacker said:
Nope, it went up to 110C. I'm Canadian and that's the temp I pay attention to. The motherboard shut it down once it reached 110C. No damage. I was shocked, never seen a CPU get that hot. heh. But from what I understand they're rated for 110, which is what mine went to. When the system was turned on it STARTED at a temp of 85C, heh. It ran for about an hour before it reached 110C. That was WITH a Volcano running full speed.

Interestingly, once some grease was put on it stayed very cool without the fan running at all, I was amazed at how much more important putting thermal grease on is than the fan itself.


The max core temp for the XP ranges from 75-85 C, depending on revision. Anything higher can and will cause damage to the CPU.

Night Hacker
05-26-2005, 01:41 AM
Well mine went to 110C and it didn't damage it. heh. Guess I got lucky eh? http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif But I KNOW what temp my CPU reached, I'm not a newb. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

TerminX
05-26-2005, 01:42 AM
DudeMiester said:
It's not that the drivers are fine, it's when they email you with a question. In my case, I asked why they sold the DVD encoder drivers as extra when I've just paid like $670CDN on a video card, their reply was "Thank you for telling us how to run our own business. Goodbye." the ******s.


Do you still have that e-mail? Forward a copy to the e-mail address in my profile if you do. Thanks.


Night Hacker said:
Well mine went to 110C and it didn't damage it. heh. Guess I got lucky eh? http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif But I KNOW what temp my CPU reached, I'm not a newb. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif


Yeah, you got lucky. Leave it running at 110C for a day or so and we'll see how (un)lucky you really are. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Night Hacker
05-26-2005, 03:20 AM
No thanks. http://forums.3drealms.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif I couldn't leave it running that long if I wanted to, the motherboard automatically shuts off when it gets that hot thank God!!! Heh.

I just checked and it seems that the max AMD CPUs can tolerate is 85C on average, but there are a few that can go as high as 90 or even 100C. Depends on the CPU. There is a letter on your CPU (in the model number) which indicates what the max temp is. If it is "V" it is 85, it is is "S" it is 100 etc.. I may take the computer apart and check mine, I'm now curious what the max temp it was rated for, heh, I get the feeling it was 85.

Ah well, it runs around 50C (overclocked) give or take now so no complaints.

DudeMiester
05-26-2005, 01:35 PM
TerminX said:
Do you still have that e-mail? Forward a copy to the e-mail address in my profile if you do. Thanks.



Nope, I deleted it.

YicklePigeon
05-27-2005, 07:19 AM
Nighthacker/all: I had similar problems with my Athlon XP 3200+.

After going through 3 coolers (all of which got my Athlon to 60 celcius and beyond under full load)...which caused my system to be unstable and the dreaded BSOD in most games. UT2k4 wouldn't even run for very long before the system crashed, nor would Max Payne 2.

Now I have a Gigabyte Rocket Pro cooler - huge thing, but my Athlon doesn't go any higher than 48 celcius at high load for upto hours at a time (gaming as usual)!

At least, when it ran at 60 and above...I had central heating in the winter :}

Regards,

Yickle.