New PC advice

Hi Folks,

I’m looking for a new PC to primarily do MP3 encoding, DVD backups, and general desktop usage. I’ve been looking at the new BTX form factor with the Intel D820 processor. What would you recommend for a processor / MB with the tasks I’m looking to do? AMD 64 or Intel? Let me know what you think.


AMD Athlon 64 3000+ ((E6 stepping) Venice) and a SiS756 based mainboard would be more than enough for your needs (IMO).

Thanks Dizzy,

I’m considering AMD, the Intel system I’m looking at is the D820 and the Intel D945GCZLR Mainboard. It seems to have decent reviews, a little pricey, but solid.

For Encoding and Ripping, do I really need a dual core processor or would a regular 64 bit be just as good?

If you want to do everything as fast as possible, the dual core chills WILL be the way to go. Will? Yes. For now, not too many programs really use the dual core possibilities well. As these chips are quite expensive, you might want to think again wether or not go dual core. Of course, the future is dual core. So if you want to spend somewhat more money and have a system that will last somewhat longer, a dual core chip is a good way to go.

Anyhow… for your application, both AMD and Intel CPUs would work fine. AMD CPUs are as rock solid as the Intel ones. As long as you get a good mainboard with a decent chipset, you will be just fine. As the current AMD CPUs beat the Intel’s current models at about anything (including price), I wouldn’t recommend going for Intel. It’s like spending more money for less and there’s little point in that.

For what the mainboard is concerned… if you are aren’t into anything special like overclocking or tweaking every setting to the last bit, I think that most mainboards will suit you. Personally I’d stick with either NVidia or Via chipset based boards. From what I read in reviews, for most people, Ati and the modern SiS chipsets are good to. I didn’t try any Ati based board myself yet so I really can’t judge that well. For what SiS is concerned… I wouldn’t go with them. Although it seems they got a lot better compared to their chipsets from a few years ago, I just had too many bad experiences with them to really trust them.

Oh and if you decide to go Intel… I’d recommend Intel chipsets, they are really good. The NVidia ones are nice too, but when it comes to stability, they can’t beat the Intel ones.

AMD Athlon 64x2 3800+ 2x 512 KB/400/939

nForce4-SLI GigaByte K8N-SLI sound, lan, serialATA, raid, firewire, PCI-Pxpress, SLI-Ready, socket 939 (medium price)
nForce4-SLI Asus A8N-SLI sound, lan, serialATA, raid, firewire, PCI-Express, SLI-Ready, socket 939 (more expensive)

2x DDR 512MB PC3200 (PC400) Kingston CL2.5

2x 200.0/300.0 Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L200S0 7200rpm, 16MB cache, SATA, NCQ

rest whatever :stuck_out_tongue:

i think ;]

Thanks for the replies so far everyone!

I’ve been getting quoted for a BTX case / internals as well so that is bumping the price up as well. I would like to get AMD, but I do have an Intel vendor who is offering a 3yr pts/lab on the system and I do trust them. As I can’t seem to find a good local vendor for AMD as of yet, I’m not sure I’ll go that route. I’ve heard that AMD MB’s are less stable as well. Is there any truth to that? How much will I end up paying for the Intel more that AMD? Like 100-150 on average?

About zero encoding tools make use of SMP (decently) and why would he need an X2 CPU to encode MP3s in the first place (there’s quite a price jump). As for chipsets nVidias nForce series has had more bugs than SiS so I wouldn’t go with them (I’m also not a fan of 3rd party soloutions but that’s another story). As for stability they’re equal, you can although get bad motherboards for either Intel or AMD.

Why would you go for BTX? BTX has been on the market for quite some time, but it’s still hardly used. Personally I wonder if BTX will ever become common. The cooling solutions we have for ATX seem to suffice so there’s isn’t that much point on going for BTX I’d say.

The story about AMD systems being unstable is just nonsense. Many Intel fanboys and shops tell that story, but it’s just nonsense. There’s (technically) nothing wrong with products of both brands (I’m not saying that there’s no difference between products and brands).

I have been told that this will be good for down the road as this is the new standard to come. As well as going with the dual core, it will be eventually mainstream when apps support it as well. Would you say I’m being proactive now? I know the same AMD dual core processors are alot more money at the time being.

Is there anyone pro-Intel out there anymore lol?

CPUs of the latest generations are stable enough. What varies a lot may be motherboard chipset vendor’s driver support. I personally haven’t had much trouble with SiS- or VIA-based motherboards, but most things regarding AMD’s instability were stories about VIA drivers actually whether they were real or not. These days, Nvidia makes a lot of motherboard chipsets for AMD processors, of course. Intel is still the largest chipset maker as well as the largest CPU maker.

As for BTX, well, it seemed to me it’s, I mean to have BTX instead of ATX, just as expensive as Dothan 533MHz FSB processors instead of more universal Prescott or Northwood. (And they are not sold yet here in South Korea.)

Intel announced BTX as the new standard quite some time ago (I guess it has been about 2 years?). Some BTX cases have been shown and some BTX hardware has become available. Intel predicted that by 2005, almost every new system would be using the BTX standard.
To be honest… I don’t know anybody with a BTX cased system. Many shops even don’t sell BTX hardware. As other form factors (microATX, all kind of barebones, miniITX etc) are becoming more popular and ATX seems to suffice for the standard systems, I think BTX is bound to fail. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I don’t see any point in getting it either. IF you choose for BTX, you will be limiting the number of choices you can have.

The dual core story is somewhat different. For now, the application for dual core CPUs is rather limited. If you buy a system with the right mainboard, it’s always possible to upgrade to a dual core CPU later on (unless you wait too long of course). I’d put it like this: for 2006, the application for dual core systems would be rather limited. If you plan to use your system longer than let’s say 2007, it might be wise to invest in a dual core solution, but if you exchange hardware every 18 months or so (or less), going for a single core solution wouldn’t be stupid.

Intel fans? Well there are enough Intel fans out there, but it’s a fact that AMD is becoming more popular by the day. And that’s quite logical: they offer more for a lower price and they’ve also found out what a powerful weapon marketing is.

at least here in germany you generally will find SiS-chipsets only on really cheap boards, SiS isn’t very popular here. this must have a reason :wink:

nVidia sells many chipsets for AMD, with currently unreached quality if compared to VIA - nevertheless, i personally prefer VIA chipsets, as they are more solid IMHO.
esp. the USB and IDE support are more stable on VIA than nVidia (if you believe all those magazines which compare these 2) - this opinion just comes from my own experience, so not technically proven :wink:

Hi Kenshin,

I’m not sure what you mean on that comment.

System I’ve came up with:

INTEL - DDR2 667 / M-BTX / D.C. / VIDEO / AUDIO / LAN / 4X SATA / 1394 / SPDIF / RAID 0,1,5 - D945GCZLR

INTEL 820 - 2.8GHZ / DUAL CORE / 1MB PER CORE / 800MHZ / EMT64 / LGA775 / BTX - BX80551PG2800FT

KINGSTON PC5400 512MB 667MHZ DDR2 - KVR667D2N5/512


Would this be something good to buy being proactive in terms of dual core, and BTX platform?

What I meant is that the trend is making the CPUs themselves run more efficiently instead of creating another standard for PC case and motherboard to have larger cooler and make the air flow more effectively to prevent CPU and motherboard get too hot. Latest Dothan processors like 730 are just as powerful as Pentium 4 3GHz but consume a lot less electricity and generate much less heat requiring much smaller and lower-RPM fan. BTX as I understand it was invented for betting cooling with something like Pentium 4 5GHz and 10GHz in mind.

Another example, latest Xeon processor:

Only 2.8GHz. I had nearly 2GHz 3-4 years ago. But now the 2.8GHz has dual 2.8GHz core and 4MB cache.

BTW, I don’t know what are available in North America or in Europe. To have BTX for me, there are very few products and combined cost of MB/CPU/case for BTX is too high.

Pic from

Some notebooks use SiS chipsets and even such notebooks cost US$1,000 per unit. I got a SiS-based Gigabyte motherboard for US$200 or so in 2003. Generally, SiS chipsets cost half of what Intel charges for equivalent chipsets but even Intel chipsets account for under 1/3 of motherboard prices so sometimes first-tier Taiwan motherboard makers use SiS chipsets for some of their most expensive and most-featured products. Intel’s main strength is their capacity to deliver to nearly any motherboard maker which none of the others can do. Price differences between SiS and VIA chipsets are nearly zero. ATi’s popular among notebook makers and Nvidia popular among AMD consumers, but Intel’s largest in both notebook and desktop. Personally haven’t had much trouble regarding Nvidia-based motherboards either but since so many Nforce motherboard users reported problems… well.

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