Help me build my computer: Update



It’s pretty impressive all the information I have learned in the last few days, I’ve been reading benchmarks and comparing left right and center. So with all the information that I have been presented with, and the current list of prices of parts from the guy I’ll be buying from, I have a greater understanding of what my system will be… Here is my update, its riddled with questions. If you are able to make it through the long post and reply, I thank you in advance. Your combined knowlage and expertise has assited me greatly so far, I am looking forward to upcoming replys…

I have come to a solid decision on my processor. I’m gonna go with the AMD Barton XP 3000+ Mainly beacuse I can get the 3000 for the same price as a P4 2.4 800mhz fsb and hyper threading. I did alot of comparrison on the two chips, and they are both high performers, I believe the Barton has more potential for overclocking, plus its the exact same price as the over priced Intel chip. So its only logical, to choose the barton.

Running the AMD Barton 3000 Xp chip, I’ve run into some problems in choosing a motherboard. My parts supplier has informed me to go with the ASUS boards, cause he can get them well priced and they are also quite good. However, I am unsure with what ASUS motherboard to use with my Processor. A contributing factor in choosing the board is, “on board sound” I have heard many good things about it, is it better then a Sound card? is it worth the extra money to pay for the sound card?

The barton runs @ 400 MHZ FSB, from what I have learned in my orginal “Help me build my computer thread” I learned that I should run PC3200 Ram. Is this a wise decision? As for amount of ram, I’m choosing 512 Megs, (dual channel 2x 256 sticks) I know for now that’s all I will need, I won’t be doing hardcore video editing or anything like that, just playing around. So I dont see the need to put a gig of ram. Plus the cost of good ram is high.

[Video Card & Sound Card]
For video card, I’m undecided. With my video card I want to be able to play Half Life 2, and Cs Condtion zero and maybe a few other games with out severe quality loss, just general good picture. In the beginning I was aiming towards a nVidia card, but from looking at benchmarks the aTi cards seem to peform well. I know I will need TV Out. Cause I will no doubt want to run video to my TV. So maybe some more opinions on video cards would be greatly apperciated.
Sound card, again. Do I use the onboard sound that comes with the motherboard (if so equiped), or do I use a sound card?

[Hard Drive]
Hard drive will be, a western digital 120 GIG 7200 ATA drive w/ 8 meg buffer. I can get a killer price on it, 117 Canadian shipped. I can’t aruge with that. They have been reviewed quite highly, and they are very strong performers.

[On to the drives]
I have opted to go with 2 drives, a DVD rom drive and CD Writer drive. I’m not quite sure on my reasoning but that is what I’ve decided on. I was considering the DVD Writer, but they are just still too expensive. I will remain in the shawdows on those drives till they drop in price.

  • [ DVD Rom ] -
    I want my DVD Rom to have a fast DVD Read speed, with a fast CD Rom speed. This drive may be used for audio extraction. I want a reliable good brand drive. The DVD rom will also be used for possible backing up of games I will purchase. Mainly games with newer copy protections. I tend to ruin my CDs I purchase, so having the ability to back up my games is a priority.

Here is what I found:
Toshiba SD-M1712
ATAPI Half-Height

It’s a toshiba, so it’s a good brand name, with good support and updates for drivers etc. It has a 16X DVD Read speed, and a 48X CD rom read speed. For backing up purposes, I know Elaborate Bytes has always recommended using toshiba drives for image creation, while using Clone CD. Can I expect better reads with toshiba drives on all applications for cd writing, or is it just Clone CD + Toshiba = good reads. Is this a good drive?

  • [ CD Writer ] -
    I want a CD Writer that is new high tech, high speed write and read. A good brand name, and good support. I wish it to be a well known drive, bells and whistles are a bonus.

Here is what I have found:
Plextor Premium

Its generally known the plextor drives are great, there is alot of controversy between the plextor people and the liteon people about who makes the better drive. To be honest I’m not quite sure who to believe. Do you think this is a good drive to meet my goals, do you have any suggestions for a different writer? A liteon example would be great, cause I know plextor and liteon both make great drives.

General question: Assuming I get those drives which one would you use for Audio Extraction?

Well folks, if your reading this last stuff, that means you’ve made it through my entire post. And for this I thank you, I hope I don’t have too many spelling mistakes and I hope my grammar is acceptable. If you have anyquestions for me please just reply. If you would like to help me on my new computer, you can reach me Again all comments and suggestions are welcome.


AMD Barton XP 3000+

Sounds good to me , if it’s gonna be a good gaming system , i doubt you can go wrong with that little fella.

ASUS boards

AsusTek has been quite good over the years , but in methods of overclocking stuff they’ve been passed by MSI and some weird unknown brands. AsusTek does have one of the most rock stable boards in the world , but do your research very very well. When i used to have an Amd Athlon 900 (old core) i had to replace the a7V (classic) motherboard THREE times before i found a stable one.

is it worth the extra money to pay for the sound card?

I think so yes. My current board (MSI K7N2) has on board sound , but it is no better than my current sound card (Philips) and the external card doesn’t eat up that much resources.

PC3200 Ram

If it’s possible , please purchase good quality memory modules and make sure you can stress test them for a while without voiding the warranty. I’ve had horrible experience with unbranded modules.

For video card, I’m undecided

nVidia is busy putting the Cg language system inside their current boards and if Half Life 2 and Doom 3 are to support these (i’m not sure yet) , you can bet they will run smoother than ATI models. Remember , smoother… not necessarily meaning better image quality and/or more frames per second. Don’t kill me if nVidia turns to other plans and/or ATI comes up with a killer card though :slight_smile:

western digital 120 GIG 7200 ATA drive w/ 8 meg buffer

Sounds very good to me

Toshiba SD-M1712

With the new cracked firmware you can rip dvd’s in less than 10 minutes. It’s a killer drive and it practically reads anything. Highly recommend it.


Excellent , very good warranty and support. They’re still the king of quality despite being more expensive than LiteOns

General question: Assuming I get those drives which one would you use for Audio Extraction?

Plextools does a pretty good job nowadays.

Would it be possible you can put prices next to your shopping list. I’m curious how much the system is gonna cost.


Yes, once I have finalized all my parts, I will post all the parts (at cost) and then what it ends up costing me. The way it works is, I pay for everything @ cost then give hte guy 100 bucks for getting it all in for me. I save a huge huge huge amount of money. When I have everything finalized the option for people to buy the exact same system as me is possible, we can all get together and get a group buy I would imagine, save maybe 100 bucks, by the way all my prices are in canadain funds. So any americans on the board could take advantage of it quite well.


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Disclaimer
[B] I believe the Barton has more potential for overclocking, plus its the exact same price as the over priced Intel chip. So its only logical, to choose the barton.


Well that’s not quit true. The 2.4Ghz 800 FSB from Intel can reach easy the 3.0Ghz. So if it’s about the same price I would go for the Intel and overclock it to at least 3.0Ghz.

ASUS motherboards are fine, I own myself.
MSI is also a very good choice (as Mr. Belvedere already stated).

I would go for a ATI Radeon Pro, but I don’t know what your budget is. If it’s high go for the 9800 or otherwise the 9700 or 9600 (Pro versions I mean).

Soundcard onboard is not bad, but I would buy definitly another soundcard.

HD/RAM = good. You don’t need a WD Raptor or PC4000.

Overall a good system, but I would go for the Intel.
If you don’t like overclocking, then the AMD is fine.


If you don’t like overclocking, then the AMD is fine

I’m sorry, but that’s just rubbish. I have been overclocking every AMD CPU I have ever had in the last 5 years (which is about 12) from between 25 and 35% increase in stock clock speeds - and what is more I have done so without any difficulty whatsoever.

If AMD chips are so inferior, why are the requirements to play most games rated lower for AMD based systems than Intel based systems?

Give me an Athlon XP 3200 and a Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card and I could wipe the floor with anything Intel/Nvidia could cook up.

Anyway, its a matter of preference I suppose. But the bottom line is both Intel and AMD chips are eminently overclockable, on the right motherboard. Which chip is faster is another debate entirely - and one I don’t have the energy or patience to get into here.



I didn’t say AMD’s aren’t overclockable!!

I said, if he doesn’t want to overclock the AMD is his best choice when he has to decide between the PIV 2,4Ghz 800FSB and the AMD Barton 3000+.

Read carefully before you post. :wink:


No hard feelings - but all the same, that is still just your view. It’s certainly not my experience.

I guess it depends as I said on your choice of equipment. I’ve had excellent overclocks on Athlon XP’s, including the 3000+ - and if you read around the web you will see that the numbers speak for themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Pentium well enough - I have used them before, but in terms of raw horse power Athlon has definitely become my first choice.

Of course it is about choices. :slight_smile: So I made mine and you made yours. :slight_smile: But I don’t know that implying one platform is better than another is all that useful, especially when many of the available numbers don’t bare that out.

The Athlon XP 3000 will give pretty much equivalent performance to a Pentium 3.0 GHZ (even though it produces less clock cycles) - and at significantly less cost than the Pentium chip, it is also a good bargain choice.

Personally though, if I had money burning a hole in my pocket, I would wait for the Athlon 64 motherboards and chips to be released in September (which have no real equivalent on the desktop from Intel. Yes I know there are Xeon chips, but those chips are not for mere mortals as their price puts them out of the reach of most ordinary users). At least that way you would have some insurance against a lot of changes that will happen in the future.

You’ve done well so far. Read as much as you can and make your choices from there. Listening to people like us with our own slant on things probably isn’t going to be very helpful.



@raid517, allright this is the last post I’m gonna spend on the subject (so it won’t be a yes/no/yes/no thread).

Disclaimer goes for the AMD Barton 3000+, because it’s faster then the PIV 2,4Ghz 800FSB, he says.

I’m saying that if he doesn’t mind overclocking, he also could go for the PIV, because these can easily go to >3Ghz.

Of course he can overclock the AMD Barton 3000+!! I never said he couldn’t, but with the 800FSB the PIV has more advantages when overclocking then the 3000+, as stated in many reviews around the web.

If he doesn’t want overclocking, the Barton is a good choice.

And I’m no Intel fanatic, but with these 2 procs in mind, the PIV would be my choice.

Disclaimer just has to get all the information he can, and then decide what’s it gonna be (let us know).

But it’s all a matter of opinion. And we just don’t agree at this point. It happens (and who cares really).


Both chips run @ 200FSB, AMDs is only double pumped, and intel’s is quad pumped. I’ve heard many success stories of people getting their 2.4C chips to 3.2+ at default VCore. I have no idea how the Barton 3000 OCs, but if you check cpudatabase I think you will find that the 2.4C OCs much better on average than the Barton. Go look for yourselves.

If you dont want to OC get the Barton. If you do I’d get the 2.4 and some premium ram, (3500/3700 rated) to match the high FSBs you will be running with the 2.4C.



I’m not really looking to overclock, but the 800mhz fsb on the 2.4 is an attractive atriubute. But I really think the bargin is in the barton, so unless you intel kids can convince me to go otherwise, I think my mind will stay solid on the barton. Im gonna run those drives, for sure, the cd writer excellent, then dvd reader is unreal, Ive never heard about the cracked firmware, that rips a DVD that fast. Thats sweet. So much incentive, as for the video card. I’ll keep you posted. Again, my large question is, what is the best performer ASUS motherboard for my barton 3000?


Ive never heard about the cracked firmware, that rips a DVD that fast. Thats sweet.

Here you may find it.

Give me an Athlon XP 3200 and a Radeon 9800 Pro graphics card and I could wipe the floor with anything Intel/Nvidia could cook up.

Really ? Wanna compete with a Dell 6600 with 4 Xeon 3 GHz and a nvidia Quadro FX1000 connected to it ? :bigsmile:

Competing issues aside , it does not really matter what you choose , as long as it’s been your choiche. It’s all in perspective what you do with your system.


Lol argreed. If its your choice then that’s good enough. I think the point I was making but didn’t make strongly enough was that it was for me also a matter of cost. And percieved performance gains I might get from an intel system were far outweighed by the difference in cost. I change my computer about 6 times a year, so cost comes into it quite a bit.

As for compeating against your workstation… Mmm I think I’ll skip on that one… :smiley: I’m not personally out to beat any records, just to get great performance for the kind of money I’m prepared to spend. For me AMD does this in spades.



Anyway a tip is if you are going to buy a 3000 XP, wait till September AMD will be looking to push their new 64 bit processor then, so hopefully you will see more price drops on their lesser cpus. AMD have pretty much staked their future on 64bit processing, so who knows, maybe they might be keen to get rid of their 32 bit stock.