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This opic will be meant to keep you up to date on any hardware news that I can find. Some of you may already now this, but this topic is meant for those who may have seen or heard reviews and may have questions about it. I also will put links to articles so that you can read the whole article.

This thread can also be used if you plan to buy a new computer and you want more info on particular parts.

I will see how this thread goes and if it ain't appreciated, I'll delete it again. Enjoy !

(btw, feel free to add reviews and links as you find them).

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If you plan to buy something new, you might want to consider a motherboard with the brand new Sis648 chipset. The new chipset supports AGP 8x (the only one currently as far as I can tell) and also has the capability for DDR400 memory. This new motherboard has also 2 ATA serial interfaces, next to the conventional IDE interfaces !!

Check out the full atricle with tests here.

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great...but how much is it? and how do i install it...

It depends on what brand of motherboard you buy. Remember, SiS is a chipset manufacturer, their chips are used by other companies, like Asus, A-bit, Chaintech and Epox for example.

And how you install it ? Well just like any other mainboard. If you want to use all features, you have to buy the compatible parts as well: DDR400 memory, ATA 133 drives, a videocard that is capable of running AGP8x, a processor with and FBS of 533Mhz (which is an Intel processor, cause AMD is not able to deliver this).

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Considering the fact that the boards I mentioned are brand new, they will be expensive.

What you should get is a hard question for me to answer. You already mentioned that you're low on cash. You might want to consider just upgrading your current system with parts that you can use in a new computer (like a GeForce 4 card). I do not remember what you currently have, but I found out that if you shop a bit, you can find some good stuff for a good price !

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Thats sorta whut i meant...i Like my ATI Ragy 128 Fury Xpert 1800Xpert 2000 , all i want is a better proccesor, and more ram...thats whut i want to know about...

Also, my motherboard is kind of old, the area that the grafix card goes is backed up so only older modules like mine can fit in it...

And, if i get a different proccesor, my Mhz will be upgraded as well, right?

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Yes, if you upgrade your processor, your Mhz (or Ghz :)) will increase.

An small overview if you want to change your motherboard and processor:

AMD processors, cheaper then Intel and especially the lower models are faster then an Intel. If you choose an AMD, an 1600 or 1800 would be a good choice.

As for Intel, their processors will cost you more. However, some of their models have an FSB (Front Side Bus) of 533Mhz (simply said, the transfer of data), which makes them faster then the AMD competitors, which operate on FSB of 266Mhz. If you choose an Intel with FBS of 533Mhz, be sure to look for a motherboard that supports it ! Currently two processor models of Intel have an FSB of 533Mhz, that's the 2.2Ghz and the 2.4Ghz.

As for a current chipset on a mainboard, I would go for any mainboard that has the Intel 845G chipset (which would mean you'd choose for an Intel processor). It gives you good performance, for a fair price. If you follow this link you'll find 16 of those mainboards in a test setup.

This link will take you to a test setup for AMD mainboards.

As for ram, if you follow the above options, you may want to choose for DDR333 modules.

I hope it helped you a bit..

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I'm planning on buying (and bulding) a new system in the comming days. I'd thought I share with you what I'm about to buy and explain why I choose these parts. On forhand I will tell you that I'm an Asus, soundblaster and Intel fan.

Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.4Mhz, FSB of 533Mhz.

As said, I'm an Intel fan and Intel processors have never let me down, while my experience with AMD is somewhat troubled. I could choose for the 2.5Ghz model, but the gain is not worth the price difference.

RAM: 1Gig of PC1066 RIMMS (533Mhz).

I choose PC1066 Rambus memory due to it's performance. Together with the use of the P4 (533Mhz), nothing beats the performance of Rambus (although DDR400 memory comes close, but to few boards support it as of now). One could go for PC800 modules, but that'll take away the advantage of the 533Mhz FSB. PC800 runs at a FSB of 400Mhz (4 times 100 and PC1066 4 times 133Mhz)

Motherboard: Asus P4T533

Again, I'm an Asus fan due to experience. Also Asus has never let me down, so why change ? Gigabyte has a slightly better board concerning performance, but like I said, I won't leave Asus due to my experince with this brand. On some tests, the Asus board is better, but in most cases, Gigabyte had the lead. This Asus board btw is the only one that delivers support for 32bit Rdram support, while all others deliver 16 bit (meaning, the 32 bit can run on single modules, while the others need to have pairs of mudules).

Harddrive: 2 Maxtor 40gig's, 7200rpm and UDMA133

Good drive and low on noise. The reason I didn't take 60Gig drives is because of the defrag. Larger drives take ages to defrag and quit frankly, I can use that time for different things ;)

Video card: Asus v8460 Ultra GeForce Ti4600, 128mb

I already hear some of you scream "other brands perform better !". True, but only on lower resolutions ! On higher resolutions, the Asus is taking the lead over all. And I'm not buying and buidling my new comp to play games at lower resolutions ;).

I could have gone for the new Ati 9700, but the first cards that will come out, ill not have the real potential of the card enabled. I'll explain: The Ati 9700 has all features of DirectX 9, but DrectX 9 won't be out for a several months anyway. And only if DirectX is available, game makers will be able to make games that use DirectX 9 featrues. Also, the Ati 9700 is capable to have 256mb of memory onboard. Unfortunately, the are only going to be shipped with 128mb for the time being. Also, this cards supports AGP 8x, but almost no motherboard supports AGP 8x (obviously, the future boards will).

So I decided to go for the Geforce 4 Ti4600, which is an excellent card and will bring pleasure for the months coming. When AGP 8x and Directx 9 comes out (and game developers have adapted) I might change my mind, but by then, there will be other cards available next to the Ati 9700 :)

Sound card: Soundblaster Platinum Audigy EX

Obviously I prefer Soundblaster above anything. Reason is that Sounblaster cards have NEVER let me down. I also tried thier technical support and I have to say, it was excellent. When I sent them an e-mail, I had a reply the same day ! It continued untill my "made" up problem was solved. I will not trade Soundblaster for any other company, even if it was only for their support

CDROM and CD rewritable: Aopen 52 speed cdrom and Plextor (40x12x40) rewriter

CDrom is just a choise. I already have an Aopen and I'm content with it The Plextor rewriter because it's an excellent drive and offers burnproof (like some others also do these days). I'm used to plextor cd rewriters and like with so many choises, why change if they haven't let you down ;).

I haven't chosen for a DVD, due to the fact that I think DVD belongs in your stereo and not in your computer (same with TV out and in options).

Monitor: Iiyama 17" HM703UT

This monitor cause it has a diamondtron tube, which I like a lot. Further more the dotpitch is 0.25 and offers a resolution up to 1600x1200. I realise it ain't all that, but the quality of Iilyama is excellent. I already have two Iiyama monitors and are a bit of age, but the quality is still good.

Next to the above, there's also a logitech cordless desktop (mouse and keyboard), which I already have a set of. It works great and no complaints so far. An Intel UTP NIC (10/100mbit). I might change the NIC to an Realtek, but haven't decided yet.

As for the OS, it's going to be XP, although I haven't decided yet between the home and the office edition.

I hope some of you may have had some use of this info, if not, too bad ;D

I will work on a video card explanation in the coming days to explain a bit more about the differences (or at least try to :)).

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Some news on video cards as promised. I didn't review the cards myself, but took the information from several articles and added my opinion.

1) Martox Parhelia-512

This brand new card seems promising at first hand, but lookingat details, the FPS freak may be disapointed. There are two versions coming of this card:

Bulk, 128mb DDR ram, Chipset frequency 200Mhz, memory clock 250Mhz. Retail, 128mb DDR ram, Chipset frequency 220Mhz, memory clock 275Mhz.

To give you a comparison on the clock ratings, Nvidia Ti4600 has a Chipset frequency of 300Mhz and memory clock of 650Mhz.

The Matrox is able to run AGP 8x though, which the Nvidia Ti4600 can't (AGP 4x max). The Matrox will not overtake the Nvidia, but it's said that it will have a better image quality (please do not confuse with FPS). The FPS (Framerate Per Second) is lower then most GeForce 4 cards.

If you want to see some tests where the Matrox is compared to ATi R8500 and GeForce 4 Ti4600, please follow this link.

2) ATi R9700

This new ATi card looks and seems to be promising. This card has new features and currently beats the GeForce 4 Ti4600 in most tests. New features are AGP 8x ready, DirectX 9.0 features ready. In tests from Ati, it supposingly shows that the Ati scores on some official benchmarks twice the amout of points compared to the Geforce Ti 4600, which sounds promising !

There's also a down side (at least in my opinion). The card is capable of running 256mb of ram, but (unfortunately) ATi ships the first cards only with 128Mb. Although tests may sound promising, DirectX 9.0 isn't out yet, therefor no games will make use of it's features. Another thing is that there are currently no motherboard chipsets that support AGP 8x (well, not yet). Now some of you will say[/i "heck, what are you talking about, it's coming !" right you are, but do you think the compitition will sit back and relax and wait for what's coming ? By the time these features are out and able to be used, the for now promising ATi will have compitition.

Next to that, ATi isn't well known for it's driver support, which is unfortunately.

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Sounds identical to my system except i am using the PC800 RDRAM and my monitor is a 19" Compaq 900T with res up to 1600 X 1200 and dotpitch of .24Nyar would you consider it a Better idea to hook my computer up to my 60" Widescreen HDTV or just for me to upgrade to a 21" monitor? Which would look better?

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Sounds identical to my system except i am using the PC800 RDRAM and my monitor is a 19" Compaq 900T with res up to 1600 X 1200 and dotpitch of .24

Nyar would you consider it a Better idea to hook my computer up to my 60" Widescreen HDTV or just for me to upgrade to a 21" monitor? Which would look better?

About the processor, I might aim higher. I've learned from my hardware supplier that they will get the 2.8Ghz in one or two months. I've decided to wait for that one and then buy all of the above. A 3Ghz is also comming at the end of the year, but can't wait that long and the price difference won't be worth the extra speed :)

About teh monitor, to be honest, I do not know. However, upgrading from a 19" to a 21" doesn't seem that usefull. If you already have the wide screen, I would go for that option.

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