View Full Version : New Machine

02-17-2003, 10:40 AM
It's finally time for a new machine so I thought I would ask for some input.

1. First of all, should I go with the ECC RAM over the regular DDR? It doesn't seem that much different in price.

2. Has anyone had any experience with the Xeon processors. Would they make that much difference then the regular P4's with the 512 cache and 533 front side bus?

3. The Quadro 4 900 video card is like $681 on the dell workstation page I was looking at. Would I be better off just going with the GeForce 4 128 card for much cheaper.

4. I was looking at the Dell workstations but I was wondering if anyone knew of a cheaper source for new workstations?

Thanks for any input.

02-17-2003, 11:47 AM
1. I would personally forgo the ECC RAM and just get the DDR
2. Not sure. I would check blanos.com and look at render times.
3. I think you would get similar performance from the cheaper TI 4x00. I turned my GF 3 TI 500 into a Quadro, and could see a "slight" difference, but not enough to make me worry about it.
4. I'm a big fan of building my own. Not necesarily cheaper, but you get to pick every single component that goes in. And it is really very easy to do.

02-17-2003, 01:26 PM
Thanks Matt. Yeah, I think I'm personally leaning towards building my own. I hate all the extra crap they send with your computer.

02-17-2003, 01:38 PM
And speaking of which Matt, I've replaced components in my computer before, but I've never built a system from scratch. I guess my big thing is, I've looked on pricewatch.com for parts before but I guess my thing is, I'm always afraid one thing I buy won't be compatible with another thing. I'm just not sure what memory goes with what motherborad and all that.

02-17-2003, 02:31 PM
When it comes to mother boards, I swear by tccomputers.com (now part of Insight). When looking at the motherboard specs, it should specify the type of memory used. If not, call them, and they can tell you what type to get. The reason I buy from TC is they will assemble the cpu/heatsink/mobo and do a burn in. Most failures occur within 24hrs of applying current, so this saves you the hastle of returning a DOA. They then give you a good (1 year now, I think) warranty. You will pay a little more from them, but I have never had to return a motherboard I bought from them, versus the 5 or more I HAVE had to return to other vendors. No sh*t, at least 5! :rolleyes:

With P4s, it's all pretty simple for building a machine, if you go with Xeons (dual, anyway), there are special power supply requirements. If you go with dual Xeon's by chance, you might want to buy a pre-built system.

02-17-2003, 07:05 PM
Thanks Matt for the info. I'll check that out.

I don't think it'll be a dual Xeon. I wish. I don't quite think I have that in the budget.:)

02-19-2003, 08:41 PM
Check out Boxx they have good prices and fast machines. Also Polywell is supposed to be pretty good.



02-20-2003, 02:33 AM
Hello Hrgiger,

I havnt had any experience with the xeon processors, but I have had my share of building my own systems. It is really enjoyable and you have the opportunity to get the exact parts that you like. Sorta like a component stereo.

I would start by choosing the processor you want, either it be intel or amd. That will help you choose a motherboard. I think one of the best brands to get is Asus and they currently have some highly apprasied mb's for the p4 like the asus P4G8X

here is a link to it: http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket478/p4g8x/overview.htm

and here is a great asus board for amd processors::


These mb's use ddr 333 and 400 <which is pc2700 and i think pc3200 >. And they have built in audio and lan, which is nice cause it leaves open more pci slots for other things.

For ram I would also suggest Corsair. It costs a little more but it has wonderful performance.

As for your other components...

I would also suggest a speady seagate hd, they too cost a little more but are far better than the cheaper ones ..ie.. western digital and maxtor. And they do have ones that use serial ata, which is a relatively new technology, and will give you even better performance.

Add a cd burner/dvd burner and floppy drive and you are pretty much set.

Oh, I almost forgot the video card. I have read that there are not many optimizations for lw and the workstation cards like a quadro, so one might just be better off with a gaming card like the geforce4 4600 or the geforcefx when it comes out, which should be shortly.

I hope that this helps. If you have any questions feel free to write back.


02-20-2003, 02:38 AM
Also, if you are looking to just purchase a pc, alienware sells workstation pc's too.

here is another link for ya::


02-20-2003, 03:12 AM
Just remembered,

You will probably want a large ps at least 350 watts and it should have an atx12v connector if you plan on using a pentium4. I suggest antec power supplies.

02-20-2003, 08:28 AM
Does anyone have any knowledge on these guys?


02-20-2003, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I should have mentioned that I have an extremely limited budget.

I ended up getting a system from Dell for around $1,000. After adding up all the individual components, it wouldn't really have saved me much money to build the system myself and I savied myself the hassle. I know it's pretty easy but I'd hate to get something and either fry it myself or have to have something reshipped and go through all that.

I ended up getting a P4 2.4GHZ(533 FSB), 512MB of RAM (I will buy more RAM myself, it's cheaper), and a GeForce 4 card. I figured I'd just take the card that comes with it and see how that performs before I shell out big $ for a nice graphics card. Considering that I'm currently using a 850MHz PIII (133 FSB) it should be a nice upgrade for me. I figure by getting a cheaper system, I can buy another one next year. It seems like such a waste of money to spend 2, 3 or even 4 thousand + on a workstation when that same computer a year from now will be not even worth half that much. Moore's law, you gotta hate it and love it at the same time. ;)

02-20-2003, 02:11 PM
Yep, if you're on a tight budget, building your own isn't the way to go. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to build a machine as cheap as you can buy one.

02-23-2003, 05:59 AM
yeah well, my machine is also due for a serious update. Thanks to the info here. I wana get a dual proccesor Xenon but how much do the mother boards cost? i guess its out of my price range!


02-23-2003, 12:51 PM
They're pretty damn expensive. What do you have now Epita?

02-24-2003, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by Epita
yeah well, my machine is also due for a serious update. Thanks to the info here. I wana get a dual proccesor Xenon but how much do the mother boards cost? i guess its out of my price range!



I was looking at dual xeon boards just last week and if my memory serves me correctly they are around 200-500usd. It is kinda a turn off when you could go for a dual amd and save lots of cash.

If you want to do some searching of your own, check-out


You should be able to find some deals there if you know what you are looking for.

02-24-2003, 04:32 PM
thankyou, well i have a Athlon 850, no frills. so you can see that its a little old. Any difference in AMD duals or intel Duals, which gives bigger bangs per buck??


02-25-2003, 12:41 AM
Hello Epita,

Well, off the top of my head I believe that the xeon duals have a faster bus spead, it is 533mhz and the current amd mp's use 266mhz.

Over all you will spend more for the intel setup and I think that the performance to cost ratio is probably not worth it. I personally am saving to get a dual amd system. But, do some reading for yourself. I have not looked much into the intel systems cause at the moment I like AMD:)

I have found the following site to have helpfull reviews::


I hope this helps.