What P4 system would you build?
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Thread: What P4 system would you build?

  1. #1
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    What P4 system would you build?

    For the best "bang for the buck" system based on the P4 and Northwood, what motherboard/CPU combo would you build?

    Which CPU is overclocking the best right ow? The 1.6 sounds mighty good.....

    Post your recommendations here please. I have a buddy with an old Asus A7V/700 Duron combo that is looking to move to the P4 side. I told him the P4 is not a bad choice, not my personal choice, but it is a good choice with the overclocking results I've seen lately. He currently has the following parts:

    Asus GeForce2
    WDD HDD 7200rpm 40GB
    Philips Sound card
    Zoom 56k v.92 PCI modem
    Creative DVD
    Misc. other parts.....

    Also, what heatsink would you go with?

    Thanks for the info guys!

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  2. #2
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    With a name like mine?

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  3. #3
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    From the way it looks the 2.0A is pretty good mixed with ASUS's i815 chipset right now. The performance is not steller though, but works.

    I personnally would go with the AthlonXP at .13 micron in a few months. The 200+ should be resonably priced (especially compared to the P4) and should overclcok into the 2Ghz range. This shopuld take on a P4 at 2.6Ghz with RDRAM (or 2.8Ghz with DDR). Plus VIA is claming a nice 5-15% boost in performance with their KT333 chipset just using the 266Mhz DDR and more with DDR333. I'm skeptical about those kind of numbers, but they usually give about a 5% boost with every new chipset (which is very good).

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  4. #4
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    KT333 sucks from the reviews I've read. It performs better at 133mhz FSB than it does when set at 166mhz FSB. Hopefully, they can work this out by time for mainlining.

    I would have to say go with a 1.6A chip. These can usually clock to 2.4ghz or so on air. As for the board, I don't know. For best performance at stock speeds, I would say RDRAM. However, I'm not 100% sure of the overclockability of RDRAM, so at bus speeds in excess of 150mhz I would recommend DDR. Please no one flame me over this, just tell me if I'm wrong because I really don't know.

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  5. #5
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    Oops, I ment the KT33A, but it sounds like the KT333 might not ever see the light of day becasue of this. According to the Inquirer the KT333A will be launched this month (20th I think). There is also something about a KT33CE and KT400 (which I think is probably the same thing).

    The KT333 did not boost anything and support for the chipset wained befor it was even released. They quickly finished the KT333A chipset and delayed the KT333 launch a bit. The KT333A is supposed to be MUCH better, even when running DDR266. None are "officially" supporting 166Mhz bus. This is probably because AMD does not want to release a new bus speed for their Athlons yet. The boards will likely run it just fine and overclockers will go nuts.

    I think the new cored Athlons will be good overclockers. The currant cores hit 1.67Ghz and the average die shrink that was made on most CPUs in the last 5 years or so yeilded about a 40% increase in speed. That would put that AthlonXP at 2.2Ghz or 2800+. They are expecting to have the Baton core out with SOI technology for this speed, but it is likely not neccisary, but it will increase yeilds at those speeds. Now IBM says SOI can increase speeds by 40%, but I think 20% is more likely. But if the top speed of the Thuroughbread is more like 2800+, then the Barton will top out closer to 3400+. That would be 2.6Ghz for the Barton.

    Now also figure that at least a 10% overclock to the top and you will likely see the Thuroughbread hitting 2.4Ghz and the Barton hitting almost 2.9Ghz. That would be pretty impressive. Also that means you would likely be able to plop a 2000+ Thuroughbread into a KT333A board and bump the bus speed up to 166Mhz for some very nice perfromance and a very possible 2500+ or 2.07Ghz without resorting to water cooling at all. the 2200+ at 166Mhz bus would be at 2.25Ghz and a 2750+ rating. This might need water cooling with early revisions, but later cores will likely do it with air.

    ------------------
    AthlonXP 1600+ @1.5Ghz
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  6. #6
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    Darn,
    what kind of a question is that?? A P4 system, yech!

    Notice that no-one so far has even mentioned a P4 solution...... gotta love the way the HWC people just ignore the post topic.....lol

    Ok, a P4 system hmmm.

    Well you know my preferance for motherboards (i.e. Asus, Asus and more Asus). Given that this friend already has an Asus motherboard and graphics card, at a guess he/she would probably be inclined to go for another one. I would look at either a P4T-E (850 chipset) or the P4S333 (645 chipset). At the moment, much though I cringe to recommend it, I would say the P4T-E is the better option, paired with some RDRAM, although in overclocking terms the P4S333 may be a better option. I don't personally have any experience with either motehrboard, so I can't vouch for reliability or overclockability.

    As a stab in the dark, I would get a 1.6 or 1.8 Ghz Northwood, and pair it with an P4T-E and 512MB RDRAM. That should give a significant performance boost over the Duron 700, although at an unfortunately high cost (don't forget the cost of a new PSU).

    Personally I wouldn't go for a P4, I would flash the BIOS on the A7V and strap a 1.2 or 1.3 Ghz Duron to it (or a 1.4 Ghz T-bird), and use the money saved to get a GeForce 3 or 4 card, some extra RAM, another HDD and a RAID controller. Oh, and probably a Taisol heatsink, although to be honest there are better choices out there for cooling - but then again the Duron won't overclock much.

    My A7V isn't dead yet, and I certainly wouldn't see a P4 as an "upgrade" to it.... I figure that I will probably be able to upgrade one more time before I need to replace the A7V, probably to a 1.4, 1.5 or 1.6 Ghz Duron (I started with a Duron 600, I currently have a Duron 1 Ghz). Not bad for an 18 month old motherboard!

    Hope that helps (probably not, but asking for a P4 system at HWC is like asking for a cat in a dog house...... )

    Fallguy

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the opinions guys.

    Fallguy - Hey man, whats up? Hope all is going well with you. How is that Duron 1.0Ghz doing for you? I'm on my new/old system at the moment. It is my (new) ECS K7S5A mobo paired with my (old) Duron 700 running at 930 (7x133) with (new) WinXP and (old) GeForce2 MX! It runs pretty good for an 15 month old chip! It's my spare! My main is undergoing upgrades and clean up. You know me, I'm an Abit guy and I've ordered an Abit KR7A-RAID for my 256mb of Cricial DDR. My old Abit KT7-RAID is going strong, but needs to be upgraded. It's not even the "A" version so it was time for a move. Newegg has the KR7A-R for a reasonable price and after much thought about other boards, I decided to stay with the Abit. I may get it together and let my buddy play with it and see if I can get him to go with something similar instead of the P4. I think the P4 1.6A/Northwood combo is a decent choice because of the overclocking ability, but I still prefer the AMD set up. I've got an idea of what to go with for the P4, and it is an Asus solution (Asus P4B266-C i845 Motherboard ) but we are going to wait a little while to play with my new Abit before we jump....

    I'll post soon with any info on the KR7A upgrade. It will be a little while as I'm still deciding on parts and such. Not to long, but a little while.

    ------------------
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  8. #8
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    well...i just built a sys for my uncle...its a 1.8a p4 and a abit (bd-7 i think) its the ddr 845d board....the board is awsome...it's got cool diagnostics stuff on it plus you can "fix" the pci to 33mhz or 37.5mhz..whoohoo that rocks....512 meg ddr and 60 gig ibm drive it's really fast...with the sony 16x cdr and enermax sweet case...it was like 950ish with shipping....

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by AMDnut:
    Thanks for the opinions guys.

    Fallguy - Hey man, whats up? Hope all is going well with you. How is that Duron 1.0Ghz doing for you? I'm on my new/old system at the moment. It is my (new) ECS K7S5A mobo paired with my (old) Duron 700 running at 930 (7x133) with (new) WinXP and (old) GeForce2 MX! It runs pretty good for an 15 month old chip! It's my spare! My main is undergoing upgrades and clean up. You know me, I'm an Abit guy and I've ordered an Abit KR7A-RAID for my 256mb of Cricial DDR. My old Abit KT7-RAID is going strong, but needs to be upgraded. It's not even the "A" version so it was time for a move. Newegg has the KR7A-R for a reasonable price and after much thought about other boards, I decided to stay with the Abit. I may get it together and let my buddy play with it and see if I can get him to go with something similar instead of the P4. I think the P4 1.6A/Northwood combo is a decent choice because of the overclocking ability, but I still prefer the AMD set up. I've got an idea of what to go with for the P4, and it is an Asus solution (Asus P4B266-C i845 Motherboard ) but we are going to wait a little while to play with my new Abit before we jump....

    I'll post soon with any info on the KR7A upgrade. It will be a little while as I'm still deciding on parts and such. Not to long, but a little while.

    Hey AMDNut!
    Well I guessed, from your name, that you personally wouldn't be speccing a P4 system.......lol

    The 1G Duron is doing pretty well, its the IBM HDD (with bad sectors, and some seriously unhealthy sounding noises) and the outdated Diamond Viper II that is the main problems with the system. The memory performance I get with this board/chip combo is pretty amazing (for SDRAM), and even beats out some KT133A boards.

    I would take the Duron system down for repairs, but I run Genome@Home on it 24/7 and I don't like the idea of losing the time it would take for me to afford a new HDD and graphics card (and the chances are its gonna be paired to an old TNT2 M64 once the Viper croaks, which it is very close to!).

    I may even relegate the Duron to my second PC, and build a completely new system in the next few months. I was thinking dual Athlon, paired with Win 2K, but the cost is gonna be painful. My ideal system is as follows:

    Asus A7M266-D
    2x Athlon MP 1.2 Ghz
    512MB DDR RAM
    2x 5400RPM HDDs (anyone but IBM, lol) in Raid mode (set up to be redundant, so I don't keep losing data, grrrr )
    A DVD/CD-RW.
    A GeForce 3 Ti200 (Or Radeon 8500LE, I ain't fussy). Or maybe a Radeon AIW.
    A nice large full tower case with plenty of space to tweak and add things, and a 400 Watt PSU.

    Unfortunately I figure that lot is going to set me back an awful lot...... but hey I can dream. And yes, I know there are more powerful systems out there, but I want a QUIET system this time, not bleeding edge overclocked components and screaming fans...... I guess I'm mellowing in my old age, lol

    Fallguy

  10. #10
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    why are you going with 5400rpm drives??? IBM's 60GXP series 7200rpm drives are good and reliable.. and if your going to have dual proc's there's no point in having slow HD's.. they'll be the bottleneck of your system..

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  11. #11
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    Heh,
    it is an IBM 60GXP that is slowly dying on me as we speak........... forgive me if I don't jump to buy another one.

    Nope, 5400RPM may be slower, but I'd rather have a HDD that actually lasts.

    Fallguy

  12. #12
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    Fallguy - I can understand your situation. Your specs sound great, but I've heard a rumour the 1.4MP's are unlocked (sshhhh, it's a secret!) so you may want to look into that if you jump soon. Sounds like a large outlay of cash. Do a little at a time, if you can take the pain of waiting!

    I would look into the new Maxtor drives. Mine (I have 3 in this system) have been cooking fine since November of 2000. Some people don't like them, but the Diamondmax line has treated me very well the last 2 years. Mine are 7200rpm drives, but your idea of 5400rpm drives in a RAID 0+1 would be plenty fast and reliable as well. As for a case, I would look at the Antec SX1040 SOHO server case with the 400 watt Antec PS. It works very good and has tons of features. They can be found for around $100US which isn't bad since it includes the PS.

    I spoke to soon about my Abit board. The Northbridge fan bit the dust today, literally! The heatsink on the Northbridge was full of dust and gunk so it was binding up the fan, plus the fan bearings were going out. I put in a nice, quiet Evercool fan on it and all is well again. While I was inside, I put a new all copper, thin fin, Vantec 6035 heatsink on the CPU. That has dropped temps from where they were with the ALPHA. It has a 7000rpm fan on it as well so the noise is the same.... My Swiftech MCXC370 is on backorder so I'll have to wait a while for it. I'll do that with the KR7 upgrade.

    Have a good one!

    ------------------
    TBird 1.2 @ 1.3
    (2)128mb Crucial@CAS2
    Antec SX1030B
    ALPHA PAL6035 w/Delta
    Abit KT7-R
    (2)Diamondmax+ 7200rpm 30GB
    RAID Level0
    Prophet 2 MX 200/200
    HP9110i + Creative 52x
    Main DVD MM Rig:
    CoolerMaster Storm Scout
    AM3 Phenom II x4 955BE @ 3.6 ghz
    Corsair H50 Watercooling kit
    4.0 GB AData DDR3
    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P Mainboard
    Western Digital 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Samsung 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Western Digital 1.0TB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    LG 20x DVDRW-DL "SuperDrive"
    PNY GeForce 9800gt 1024mb w/Samsung 245BW 24" LCD
    Corsair 620w Modular Power Supply
    Logitech z-640 5.1's
    Logitech Wireless Mouse
    Win 7 Ultimate........

  13. #13
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    Wow,
    the 1.4's might be unlocked...... shame they need more cooling.

    My reasoning for getting the 1.2's (although it seems they aren't for sale much anymore) was that I believe they could run with very small fans and heatsinks, which would add alot to the quietness of the system. The 1G MPs supposedly can run without fans altogether.......... add a fanless graphics card and an open case, and a very quiet and slow PSU Fan, and thats my idea of blissful computing..........lol

    To be honest, I find that most modern HDD's are plenty fast, provided you set them up in NTFS. Given that even a full blown RAID system is still 1000 times slower than the system RAM, I'd rather make do with alot of RAM and a quiet cool running HDD than a faster but noisier and hotter HDD.

    I will admit I've heard alot of horror stories about the Abit KT7 range, and I am suprised your motherboard has lasted as long as it has. My A7V doesn't have a Northbridge fan, I'm not sure if this is really a disadvantage yet....... less fans = less noise!

    As for the Antec, I am kinda limited in what I buy by the fact that I am in the UK, and that I normally only buy from retail shops. I don't see this as much of a disadvantage, cos usually I can ask them to order in specific components if I need them, but it does cost more, and occasionally they can't find the bits I want (mainly the big stuff, like cases..... ).

    Anyway, sounds like you have a good idea of what your friend wants, although I wouldn't personally spec an 845 motherboard, Intels DDR (I assume its DDR!) implementation is not exactly blazingly fast.....

    Fallguy

  14. #14
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    The Pentium 4 1.6a .13 1600 mhz Norwood is selling for $141 at Googlegear. This usually overclocks to 2.2mhz or above. I bought this with Abit Th7-2, though I receive it next week. Rdram and ddr are at price parity. Rdram runs 800mhz verse best for ddr 333mhz at cas 2.5. The overclock potention of rdram800 is supposed to be 1066 to 1200mhz. Apparently the R&D cost to improve equipment needed to make the faster Rdram is no longer being passed on to the consumer hence tremendous drop in rdram pricing recently.

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  15. #15
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    I do know that Intel will be introducing a P4 at 2500 on a new motherboard, the 850E, in q2 of this year that runs on a newer faster rdram, 1066mhz. This P4 should be the overclocking champ at that time, even given conversion of athlons to .13 die size. I have read that the .13 conversion of Athlons leads to 30% faster speeds, mathematically less than the P4 @2500mhz given the Athlons dependence on DDR ram.

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