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Darren Garrison
February 25th 06, 12:01 AM
I built a new system 3 years ago and have been mostly content with my speed, so
haven't been looking for an upgrade. But recently my Athlon XP CPU died, and I
had to go to 4 local computer shops before I could find a replacement chip to
fit my existing socket 462 motherboard, and then had to settle for a much slower
Duron.

So now I'm forced to start looking for replacement hardware, but without a large
hardware budget. My current old motherboard is an Asus A7N8X Deluxe. I need
to reuse my current AGP video card, and my current PC2700 memory (so no SLi or
PCI express and no DDR2). I'm looking for a socket 939 mobo, I need on-board
sound, and at least one Firewire port (which I would have thought all boards
would have by now, but many don't have that listed). I need some hints as to
which current lower-priced motherboards will fit my current needs. I haven't
decided yet if I'll go the cheap route and put an Athlon 64 3000 or the more
expensive route and put an Athlon 64 x2 3800 (but either way it won't be one of
those new kilobuck FX-60s).

Andrew MacPherson
February 25th 06, 09:51 AM
(Darren Garrison) wrote:

http://www.asrock.com/product/product_939Dual-SATA2.htm

This seems to be well reviewed by websites and users, and it's
incredibly cheap given the flexibility it offers. No firewire that I can
see, but adding a PCI card's not going to strain the budget given the
price of the motherboard.

Andrew McP

PS Your memory speed might be a bit of a problem, but I'm not sure.
However even if it is I see no reason why you can't underclock whatever
CPU you buy until you can afford something faster. Memory's pretty cheap
now, after all.

philo
February 26th 06, 04:11 PM
Darren Garrison wrote:
> I built a new system 3 years ago and have been mostly content with my speed, so
> haven't been looking for an upgrade. But recently my Athlon XP CPU died, and I
> had to go to 4 local computer shops before I could find a replacement chip to
> fit my existing socket 462 motherboard, and then had to settle for a much slower
> Duron.
>

Well my girlfriend (who mostly does photoshop) just outgrew her XP2200
and I just built a new unit for her based on the AMD X2-3800.
If you do video editing or Photoshop the X2 , though more expensive
really does a nice job.

Although I usually buy from Newegg...I got most of the stuff for this
machine from Monarch Computer...
If you check them out, they have a very good selection of motherboards...
and I'm sure they'd have several with the specs you are looking for.

Since I already had some of the parts...
my total cost was under $1000

philo
February 26th 06, 07:16 PM
>
>
> I do some video and photo editing. And what is even more CPU intensive, I do
> some CG work on a hobby level, mostly using Maya. The reviews I've seen show
> that going to dual core does give something approaching a doubling of
> performance in render times. So I do have a practical reason for wanting to go
> in that direction (as opposed to probably the majority of current "mainstream"
> applications, which probably won't benifit too much from going dual-core). I
> had the computer render a test image last night that took around 8 hours to
> render on that 1Ghz Duron I had to downgrade to-- so even if I could afford an
> FX-60 I'd probably looking at something on the order of 1 hour per frame, maybe
> more.
>


Well then you will definately want to dual core AMD...

What I did with her old system (an XP-2200 with 1 gig of RAM) is look at
the system resources used while she was saving a large image file she
had edited.
The CPU usage was pegged at 100% for about 2 full minutes...
but the RAM usage was not maximized.


After the new machine was built (X2-3800 with 2 gigs of RAM)
performing a similar task...the CPU usage also shot up to 100%...
but for only about 8 seconds!
So the money was worth it.

Up until I built that machine I had been quite used to building machines
for next to nothing...by only using components that were slightly (to
extremely) obsolete...
so this was a new experience here.
Of course...if you have the money to spend...the FX-60 would be nice I'm
sure...but since you have to pay so much more for maybe not that much
improvement...I just could not justify going above the 3800.

Anyway I would have a look at Monarch Computer as they really do have a
good mobo selection. Also ...I opted to have them pre-install the cpu
and RAM and perform a burn-in test.
Even though I've probably built 500 machines by now...their cumulative
value is less than the one I just assembled...and I wanted the peace of
mind!

Cal Vanize
February 26th 06, 07:45 PM
Darren Garrison wrote:
>
>
> I do some video and photo editing. And what is even more CPU intensive, I do
> some CG work on a hobby level, mostly using Maya. The reviews I've seen show
> that going to dual core does give something approaching a doubling of
> performance in render times. So I do have a practical reason for wanting to go
> in that direction (as opposed to probably the majority of current "mainstream"
> applications, which probably won't benifit too much from going dual-core). I
> had the computer render a test image last night that took around 8 hours to
> render on that 1Ghz Duron I had to downgrade to-- so even if I could afford an
> FX-60 I'd probably looking at something on the order of 1 hour per frame, maybe
> more.
>


Even though you're doing CG as a hobby, you need all the horsepower you
can get. If ever there was a candidate for an overclocked Opteron
Denmark with 4gb of memory, you're the one.