View Full Version : Trying to help a friend - cheat system setup

03-13-05, 11:00 PM
Alright guys, I'm trying to figure out a way to help out my friend.

He needs a system, but cheap. Super cheap...

This is what I'm thinking.

I'm building a new system and that'll leave me with my current system that I could hand over to my friend. I've got a AMD Athlon XP 1700 on a MSI KT3 Ultra 2 with a Geforce 4 4200.
I was thinking of switching out the cpu and video card with something new to speed it up.

- AMD Athlon XP 3000+ "Barton", 333MHz FSB for 126.00
- Leadtek nVIDIA GeForce 6600 Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-Bit for 150.00

Both from newegg.com. I'm sure there are lower prices from different manufacturers, but this is basicly what I'm thinking as a good upgrade and turn it over to him. He mainly uses it to play World of Warcraft, so I'm thinking these upgrades will run WoW perfectly and hold up for awhile.

I need some suggestions on this if it would be worth it.

-- jolt

03-14-05, 01:58 AM
I would consider this as a processor:


Up the FSB to 166MHz and choose an adequate multiplier. These are 35watt processors, so they will use your old HSF fine, and overclock probably up to 2.4GHz without running warmer than an AXP 3200+, but you may want to keep it lower to play it safe.

It's cheaper, cooler, and probably better overclocking potential, if that matters. The only problem is if you are happy to sell an 'overclocked' system. But in reality, if you don't overclock the RAM of the motherboard, then there is little risk if any when running a reasonable overclock (not going over 1.65v, stock XP voltage). Basically this is just a hand picked barton. They are all made at the same place through the same process. I'm doubtful that a 3000+ could run at such low power while maintaining a decent clock speed, so I would say the XP-M 2200+ has more potential. So, it should be able to run at the same clock speeds at a lower voltage. Just read the newegg reviews, everyone seems to be reaching 3000+ type speeds at a lower voltage.

If you aren't that confident then go with an XP-M 2400+, just get one of the 35w ones. I don't want to sound like I'm all pro-overclocking, but the reality is that these XP-M's are the better chips with the better potential over any other Athlon XP's.

More importantly, I would have to advise going with an 9800Pro over a 6600NU.


80MHz faster core and over twice the memory bandwidth (the 6600's major bottleneck). Sure, it's $19 more, but You would be looking at very close to twice the performance by my guess.

03-14-05, 10:38 AM
Thanks for bring up those good points. I didn't think of the ATI's much, I just don't keep up on what they are doing.

I'm shying away from handing over an oc'ed system to my friend. He's a smart guy, but he knows squat about computers. Rather give him something running at stock speeds. That is why I went to the max that the mobo could run. I might still go with the 3000, but I'm looking at that cpu you posted. That isn't a bad idea.

As for the video card, that is a decent idea as well. I think I might go with that selection as I've seen it perform well in benchmarks against 6600 GT versions. Didn't win, but still turned out some decent fps at good resolutions.

Keep the suggestions coming guys. This is helping out alot.

-- jolt

03-14-05, 12:10 PM
Hmm... I say get the 2400M, and bump it a bit. Nothing crazy but a minor increase should NOT have serious adverse affects.

I have the LeadTek 6600 GT and it runs VERY nice with a slight overclock (1.07GB mem, 575MHz core). Yes, it is 128bit mem throughput but it is DirectX 9c hardware compliant and is a current model. The 9800 is a great card and from what I understand, has less compatibility issues than the brand spankin new 6600GT (also better picture quality) but I attest this to new drivers and software developers not yet coding for the new GPU.

It is cheaper, newer, and faster in a number of benchmarks. If you goal here is cheap and something that will last awhile, then I say get the 6600GT, but that's just my opinion.

What exactly will this guy be using the PC for? If it's not gaming then why bother with a mid-level vid card and beefing up the CPU?

03-15-05, 07:55 AM
The 6600Gt is a better card than the 9800Pro, but the 6600 (what he was considering) is quite a deal slower. It has half the memory bandwidth of the 6600GT and almost 1/3rd that of the 9800Pro. The 9800Pro is definitely worth the extra money!

03-15-05, 10:03 AM
Yah, as i'm reading reviews on the 6600 non-GT. It is apparent it lacks performance.

As for the choices on the video card, it is to be able to run the various game he has smoothly and at high resoltuion. I was looking for maxing out the ability of the mobo to be able to provide him a good stable performance for WoW mainly.

(I have a headach, its hard to think)

I'm just trying to give him the best performance as cheep as possible with the parts that I've got atm.

-- jolt

03-15-05, 01:02 PM
Whats his budget ? my friend had 1000$ i build him this , except monitor he got him self. Its mainly work box but case and PSU can be changed to better.

57.50 - Athenatech MicroATX Mid-Tower Case with 200W Power Supply (Silver/Blue), Model "A106"
102.50 - Plextor Serial ATA 12X DVD+/-RW Drive, Model PX-712SA/SW, Retail
8.00 - Alps Beige 3.5inch Floppy Disk Drive, Model
58.50 - Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
105.00 - Patriot Signature Series Dual Channel Kit 184-Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC3200
68.00 - GIGABYTE "GA-K8VM800M" VIA K8M800 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 754 CPU -RETAIL
120.49 - AMD Athlon 64 2800+, 512KB L2 Cache, 64-bit Processor - Retail
199.0 - GIGABYTE nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT Video Card, 128MB GDDR3, 128-Bit, DVI/TV-Out, AGP 8X, Model "GV-N66T128D" -RETAIL
33.99 - i-rocks KR-6810 X-SLIM EL(Electron luminescent) Keyboard USB 104 keys -RETAIL
24.50 - Microsoft Black IntelliMouse Optical Mouse -OEM

Product Total from www.newegg.com 777.48$
FedEx Express Saver - CA - 43.52$
Total (Tax Not Included) - 821.00$

Monitor not included yet.

03-17-05, 12:25 AM
Alright.... this what I've come up with. Let me know what you think.

Powmax Clear Blue Acrylic Micro-ATX Case - 53.00
WD Raptor 36 GB 10k RPM SATA HD (WD360GD) OEM - 122.00
Geil Value Series 184 Pin 512 DDR pc-3200 - 51.50
MSI "K8N Neo4-F" nForce 4 939 - 89.00
MGE Vigor 500 , 500w PS - 49.99
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ OEM - 180.00
EVGA GeForce 6600GT Video 128M GDDR3 - 179.00
Grand total : 725.00

I thought that wasn't too bad.

I figured I'd build what I want into mine and upgrade my old one later and just hand over what I've got now. It does much better than what he has, and still had room to upgrade. A month or two, I think the prices will be excellent for the AMD XP cpus.

-- jolt

03-17-05, 01:01 PM
I made the purchase this morning. What do you guys think

03-17-05, 02:28 PM
jolt, this is OT but your mars volta link is dead in your sig...

03-17-05, 06:55 PM
jolt, this is OT but your mars volta link is dead in your sig...

thanks... they changed the opening flash doohicky. Now it plays one of their songs and scrolls through all the Cities that they will be touring in. Kinda sad, since they arn't coming to Denver. Should of saw them when they were touring with Perfect Circle. Damn ticket prices. I had the money, but I didn't wish to pay that much. Not because of the bands, but because of the Stadium they were playing in. It sucks and will never go back. Oh well.

I'll fix it.. thanks
Feel free to throw in your two cents on the build. I'm figuring its alright since you didn't say much.

-- jolt

03-17-05, 07:56 PM
Is that for you or him? It certainly is different from what you originally specced if it's for him :p

03-18-05, 01:29 AM
Is that for you or him? It certainly is different from what you originally specced if it's for him :p

heh.. yeah. I changed directions. I needed to build myself a solid system that would last me awhile, but also handle upgrades in the near future. So I sank the money into my build and I'll clean up my current machine and hand it over. Prices drop some more, and in a month or two I'll pick up a new cpu and maybe a used video card for his. In another week I'll buy some ram for his computer to bump it up to a gig

thanks for your help btw. I have been having some serious decision making issues this time around. Wasn't up on the more recent stuff.
-- jolt

03-18-05, 01:31 AM
The 6600Gt is a better card than the 9800Pro, but the 6600 (what he was considering) is quite a deal slower. It has half the memory bandwidth of the 6600GT and almost 1/3rd that of the 9800Pro. The 9800Pro is definitely worth the extra money!

A 6600 Vanilla has a 64 bit memory bandwith??!!

03-19-05, 07:38 AM
No, only some do, but even the 128-bit ones only have 8GB/s memory bandwidth. The memory is half the speed of the GT (500MHz DDR).

03-19-05, 05:42 PM
I would go with a Moblie Barton 2500 and just overclock it since they do it so well with no problems for $76 and spend the saveings on a 6600GT since it will be faster than a plain 6600.