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Old 08-29-02, 09:01 AM   #1
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Default P4 Purchasing Help

I understand this isnt' the best place to ask, but I'm sure some of you have worked with P4 systems. HardOCP is too complicated as I've never touched a P4 before in any way. Overclockers.com also is too narrowed, relating all boards to overclocking. But I'm looking around to price a new core for this system. I have a few statements and questions.
  • RDRAM vs DDR - I understand that RDRAM is more expensive & has a higher bandwith attached. However, I've read conflicting reports saying that DDR is overall better, yet others saying that RDRAM is better. Which is best and why?
  • 400Mhz vs 533Mhz - Obviously higher = better in most cases. I've read that the 533 chips aren't much faster, and also read that they are. Which is correct and why? I've read that the 2.26B (533Mhz) P4 is really a good bang for the buck at this time. I've also read that the 1.6A and the 1.8A versions are remarkable overclockers and shouldn't be overlooked.
  • Chipsets Available - 533/400MHz system bus: Intel® 850 chipset family, 845E and 845G chipsets
    400MHz system bus: Intel® 845GL and 845 chipsets. Straight from Intel's site. Do any have any other advantages over the others, speaking from a user point of view of course?
  • Motherboard Manufacturers - What's the difference in performance between VIA, GigaByte, Intel, Soyo etc? Is it just features, and brand name and nothing more? Or are there very different speed issues & stability issues with any boards on the market?
I'm not interested in overclocking unless the 1.6/1.8A is considered. I'm looking for more sound responses than "Abit Rulez!!". I've searched and read, but mostly, the results are just opinions. Are there are defined sources online that state which are best, why they're the best, and anything else?

I'm not interested in hearing "AMD is better" because I frankly don't care. I am looking for a Pentium4 system because I've had intel since the beginning, the difference in performance between the two companies is nill (only price). I also just built an AMD1700 system for a friend. Chip DOA. Read many reports of heat issues at high speeds as well on AMD systems. Granted, this might also happen with Intel chips, but I've read less about them happening. In the end, I'm looking for information regarding the Pentium4 class systems, boards, and results. There are just TOO MANY boards on the market and it scares me. I don't want to dish out my hard-earned dough to make a bad decision (no AMD/Intel jokes here heehee). I'm just looking to replace this Celeron 566@953 With something a little faster.

Any help you could give would be appreciated, as I virtually know nothing at this point. Thanks a bunch!!
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Last edited by ExitWound; 08-29-02 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 08-29-02, 09:36 AM   #2
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Well....before I try explaining things......let us know where your interest is....
( ie: are you going to overclock? What CPU are you going to buy? etc... )

All these factors will dictate how we answer your questions...
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Old 08-29-02, 09:44 AM   #3
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I'm not sure. If I'm to buy a P4 1.6/1.8A chip, I will definitely overclock the badboy. I don't need to overclock the thing to the max. I'd say overclocking is NOT a necessity, but if a board/chip can do it, I may think about it. I don't know which chip I'm going to buy. I thought your input would help in deciding that.
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Old 08-29-02, 09:50 AM   #4
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Well if u are looking for the best bang for buck then get the SiS645 or 648 chipset(supports DDR400 unofficially).
I bought a 1.8A (400Bus) and all i had to do was run the fsb at 533 and presto it now runs at 2.4Ghz with stability.
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Old 08-31-02, 03:31 PM   #5
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If you are an overclocking enthusiast, the Pentium 4 Northwood 533 FSB processors are the best. I wouldn't bother with the 400 FSB ones.

As for motherboard chipsets, the P4 is most stable with the Intel variety, but the SiS ones are great too as most users report and for overclocking you want to get one with the SiS 645DX or SiS 648 chipset.

I would go with DDR, its fast, cheap, and future proof, benchmark wise SiS 645DX based systems are just as fast and even faster than 850E RDRAM systems in game benchmarks.

Motherboard manufacturers I like are Asus, Abit, and Microstar. Gigabyte and Soyo are alright too but benchmarks show their boards to be a tad slower than the rest.

Here are some good boards:
SiS 645DX: Asus P4S533-E, MSI 645E Max2
SiS 648: Asus P4S8X (has AGP 8X)
Intel 845E: Asus P4B533, Abit BD7

Make sure you have a hefty power supply (350+) with the extra ATX 12v connector for P4 processors.

Last edited by mr_oh_so_ice; 08-31-02 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 08-31-02, 05:27 PM   #6
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Rambus offers alot more bandwith then DDR but DDR offers lower latency then RDRAM. DDR is good for the Athlon which has low latency cache so needs low latency memory to work well.
RDRAM is good for the Pentium 4 which has high latency cache but offers extreme bandwith to overcome this.

CAS latency in DDR is not effected with the pentium 4 the diffrence from CL2/2/2 & CL2.5/3/3 is only 40mb/s which is nothing then you are pulling more then 3GB/s.

There is a chipset coming out not sure when (I don't think it's springdale) which will support dual DDR now from what i have seen it's a killer 2x sticks of PC2100 was running only slightly behind PC1066! So for future proffing i would say go with DDR lthough there is a SIS board which supports RDRAM but intel will no longer be making any more Rambus boards so keep this in mind.

Also from what i have seen the 645DX w/ PC2700 is about the same speed as PC800.

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Old 09-02-02, 01:39 AM   #7
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Hey, I am buying a Pentium 4 2.26 ghz with 533 Fsb. I am coupling that with a Via VPSD P4PB 400 and a gig of PC3200 DDR. All that should come out to like $350 for me. It isn't bad at all, and from what I have seen, the 2.26 ghz with 533 Fsb overclocks very well and and if there are motherboards that come out with DDR2 support before November then I will not buy the P4Pb 400. I have to also buy an NV30, thats gonna kill. But still, by November prices should be that much lower, so hey, I'm set.
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Old 09-02-02, 07:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by |TX|-LORD-EX-BU
Hey, I am buying a Pentium 4 2.26 ghz with 533 Fsb. I am coupling that with a Via VPSD P4PB 400 and a gig of PC3200 DDR. All that should come out to like $350 for me. It isn't bad at all, and from what I have seen, the 2.26 ghz with 533 Fsb overclocks very well and and if there are motherboards that come out with DDR2 support before November then I will not buy the P4Pb 400. I have to also buy an NV30, thats gonna kill. But still, by November prices should be that much lower, so hey, I'm set.
VIA with an Intel CPU? In my opinion this is a dangerous coupling. I've never known VIA to be a good mix with Intel PI, PII, PIII, Celeron, or P4. Results are often buggy, and pricewise you can actually save more money goin with the more reliable and highly recommended SIS chipsets.

I recommend any of the SIS based boards made by Asus, reviews seem to really love them and they make great overclockers.

DDR vs RDRAM? If intel isn't making RDRAM boards anymore than that shure makes me nervous. I'd go DDR then.
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Old 09-02-02, 04:48 PM   #9
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If I were going to build an Intel rig, I'd take a board with the SiS chipset instead of Intel or VIA. I've personally had it with VIA chipsets alltogether, and SiS has taken the performance & stability crown from Intel for the time being.

I haven't looked but if a board based on the SiS 648DX chipset is $40-60 cheaper than any Intel chipset, snag that SiS and use the savings towards a 256MB stick of quality DDR.
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Old 09-02-02, 09:18 PM   #10
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out of curiosity, have you checked the prices for the 2.53 P4? I did - and ended up with a 2.53 GHz that was cheaper than the 2.4 GHz - I got it in a barebones system from mwave for $265. stick with intel chipsets for intel chips and you come out with fewer problems overall. Asus and Gigabyte are consistently rated as the "best" boards, with Abit always hanging in there. Asus is a bit overpriced but a "sure thing" (like intel). Rambus ram will maximize your P4... as long as you get the fastest rambus you can afford and at least a 2.53 GHz processor. good luck.
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Old 09-03-02, 01:22 AM   #11
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I've never really had any problems with VIA, and they have, in my opinion, the fastest chipsets out there for P4s, so I will stick to that. Oh yeah, thanks for the heads of on the 2.53 ghz P4 price, I think I will get a 2.53 ghz instead of a 2.26. Thanks!
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Old 09-05-02, 11:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by |TX|-LORD-EX-BU
I've never really had any problems with VIA, and they have, in my opinion, the fastest chipsets out there for P4s, so I will stick to that. Oh yeah, thanks for the heads of on the 2.53 ghz P4 price, I think I will get a 2.53 ghz instead of a 2.26. Thanks!
any links that show this?

i would get a mobo with the SiS 648 chipset, or wait for Intel's 845G
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