The $1500 PC Thread

Thirteenth wrote:
Placed an order for parts of a new PC recently, but instead of getting a core 2 duo as a processor, I got this. Did I make a mistake?

Yes

Oh Christ yes. Return!

Will do!

Browsing through Newegg, I found something from the Core 2 series with similar price. I heard that it's in bad form to just look at the clock speed to determine performance, but not much else. So what am I gaining from switching to this?

EDIT: And that's the one linked by GG.

Well, it will probably work, but yes, it was a mistake. The Core2 Duos are MUCH better, particularly if you overclock them. It's fairly normal to get them up to 3Ghz, which would be like a 4.5 to 5Ghz version of the processor you just bought.

I think you want the 4300, overclocked to a 266Mhz bus speed, for best price/performance/safety ratio. You can almost always go higher than 266, but all those chips are actually designed to run at that speed. The 4300 series is just artificially limited to 200 instead. Bumping to 266 increases speed by a third for free, and going higher is usually quite easy.

What about the new ones with 4mb of cache? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115015

Edit: link fixed

Thanks for the advice Malor. Overclocking will be an adventure though, since I've never actually done it before.

It shouldn't be too hard. On my Intel-chipset ASUS P5B, it was literally just changing two things. First, I bumped the front side bus from 266 to 300. That raised the memory speed above the rated 800Mhz, which I didn't think it would do... it's cheap memory that runs well at 1.8v, unlike most performance RAM. (important for this specific board.) So I dropped the memory speed to 750 off a drop-down menu of available choices. Pretty darn simple. It might even work at the higher speeds, I just didn't want to risk it.

Renji, your link is a little messed up... you got an extra http// in there somewhere. The 4mb of cache is a big deal, but that chip runs on a low multiplier off a 266Mhz bus. That means it's just not going to overclock much; if you bump from 266 to 300 like I did, you'll end up at 2ghz. The lower-cache model starts at 200, so if you bring it up the 266 it's designed to work at, it'll be at 2.4ghz... and that's not really even an overclock. Bump it to 300, the same actual overclock as the 6320, and you're at 2.7Ghz. Only half the cache, but I guarantee you that a 35% clockrate boost will matter more than the cache will.... and the chip's $70 cheaper to boot.

Cache can matter a lot in certain circumstances, and if your budget covers going to the higher clock speeds with the cache included, I'd definitely go that way, but right now that 4300 is still looking damn sweet for those who want performance on a budget.

I should start looking at AMD again too, they've cut prices enough that they're pretty attractive. Now that we're starting to transition to 64-bit, those chips are likely to be better. I don't like the design choices in this Intel chipset much... it doesn't handle large memory amounts well at all.

Renji wrote:
What about the new ones with 4mb of cache? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115015

Yes I should update my original post.. 100% get the 4mb Low End Core 2's

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Malor wrote:
It shouldn't be too hard. On my Intel-chipset ASUS P5B, it was literally just changing two things. First, I bumped the front side bus from 266 to 300. That raised the memory speed above the rated 800Mhz, which I didn't think it would do... it's cheap memory that runs well at 1.8v, unlike most performance RAM. (important for this specific board.) So I dropped the memory speed to 750 off a drop-down menu of available choices. Pretty darn simple. It might even work at the higher speeds, I just didn't want to risk it.

That sounds great! Especially since the motherboard you're using is the one I ordered. There has been some complaints from Neweggs users about how the P5B's USB ports can malfunction once in a while so I a bit worried, but hopefully it's been working out for you?

So my knowledge of overclocking is pretty barebones; am i interpreting this right? Will it be easier to overclock the e6320 than the e6420?

Guru, I don't think buying the 4mb cache version would be good for overclocking at all. You OC those chips by raising the FSB, which means they need a high multiplier to get very high. The one you linked starts on a 266 bus with a low multiplier, instead of 200 with a higher one, so I think it would be a very bad choice.

As I said above, you can get the 200Mhz bus version to 2.7Ghz with a very small real overclock, where the 4mb version is going to go only to 2Ghz with the same OC. And there's no way that 2mb more cache is going to be as good as 35% more clock speed.

Found this link saying good things about overclocking the 6420.

First of all we decided to find out what frequency our test Core 2 Duo E6420 will support without any Vcore adjustment. This processor runs at the nominal Vcore of 1.325V, which is the maximum possible setting by specifications.

In this case the maximum FSB frequency when the CPU remained stable equaled 370MHz. In other words, this CPU can run stably at 2.96GHz without raising its Vcore, which is a 40% increase above the nominal speed.

The second experiment was performed with the same CPU working at 1.6V Vcore. Core 2 Duo processors are known to be very tolerant to processor voltage increase, which leads to significant improvement of their overclocking potential. And this time, it was no exception: we could push the FSB frequency to 465MHz.

As a result, the overclocked CPU was working stably at 3.72GHz, which is 75% higher than the nominal. This is very good and impressive result, which makes Core 2 Duo E6420 a very attractive choice for overclockers.

Wow, that is impressive.

Malor wrote:
Guru, I don't think buying the 4mb cache version would be good for overclocking at all. You OC those chips by raising the FSB, which means they need a high multiplier to get very high. The one you linked starts on a 266 bus with a low multiplier, instead of 200 with a higher one, so I think it would be a very bad choice.

As I said above, you can get the 200Mhz bus version to 2.7Ghz with a very small real overclock, where the 4mb version is going to go only to 2Ghz with the same OC. And there's no way that 2mb more cache is going to be as good as 35% more clock speed.

I dont usually factor in overclocking to much in my buying purchase recommendations.. since most people dont overclock.

To me ultimately Stability (and running as cool as possible) > Overclocking.

Oh, for the most part, I do too.... it's just that, in this case, with this particular chip line, an overclock is a pretty smart thing to do. They're all designed to run at 266Mhz, but some are artificially hobbled down to 200... so you buy one the 200 chips, clock it up to 266, and voila! Free speed, and entirely safe, since they're all coming off the same lines.

The 4MB one you link to starts on the fast bus, so you have to run up into risky territory... the speed boost is no longer free. That's a normal overclock, with the attendant risks... the 200->266 boost is safe and free. I've never heard of it not working.

That link of taking those up to 3.something... wow. That's insane.

Trigger pulled. I went with the Asus 650i MB you recommended, Guru. Seems like 680i is just a way to spend more money now, without any real performance benefits. And i got the e6420, not planning to overclock it a ton, just a little to make my bargain hunter inside feel a little better. My total cost came out to around $1250 with rebates, not too shabby. Last rig i built was 5 years ago.

Woo hoo! Thursday off, and a box o new computer parts a coming!

Never fails, i order and the next day they announce a price drop. Ah well, at least it's not til July.

Quad core Q6600 $266? Holy Schnikes!

jonnypolite wrote:
Never fails, i order and the next day they announce a price drop. Ah well, at least it's not til July.

Quad core Q6600 $266? Holy Schnikes!

I'd get in touch with whoever you ordered from, see if it's not too late to change it around a little.

Nah, i'm good:) I want a new system now, can't get that price til July. And by the time you can really take advantage of the quads, i'm betting the 8 cores will be that price. Can't wait to see what i can do with the 6420 to get some play out of it.

Would a decent 500W p/s drive that list well enough? My build I'm purchasing is pretty much exactly like that.

Looking at this case/power supply here -- LINK

Nvm I think I'm going to go with this case and the 600W p/s.

Stalker and BF2142 here I come!

I've read the review on HardOCP about the eVGA 650i Ultra mobo but does anyone have any first hand experience with the board? I'm seriously considering putting a system together with it. I'm not interested in SLI/Crossfire so I won't need a dual video card capable motherboard and this looks like a very capable motherboard for an extremely reasonable price.

New computer woohoo! Eventually returned the Pentium D and got an e6400 instead. ATI x1950 Pro, 2GB RAM. I think I'll be good for a while :D.

Ok, this seems like a stupid question, but i can't seem to find a consistent answer (and i'm too lazy/untrusting to call ASUS tech support). On the ASUS P5N-E motherboard, do i install the 2 DDR2 ram sticks a.) in the same color slots or b.) in the same channel slot (a vs. b)? The manual is not so clear.

Ok, this seems like a stupid question, but i can't seem to find a consistent answer (and i'm too lazy/untrusting to call ASUS tech support). On the ASUS P5N-E motherboard, do i install the 2 DDR2 ram sticks a.) in the same color slots or b.) in the same channel slot (a vs. b)? The manual is not so clear.

HAHA

I was asking that same thing to Edwin on X-fire Thursday. Here is a wiki but it is tough to read as well. At the moment I think I have my 2 gig in the "A" bank which does not match color. Edwin said at BIOS the memory should say dual channel but it flies by so darn quick I can't tell. I plan on swapping them out this weekend and testing it further along with trying to do a bit of overclocking on my new chip.:)

LINK

Thanks for the link. I ended up swapping them into the same color, and i noticed on booting that it now says Dual Channel. Guess it makes sense, since the manual refers to one pair of different colors as Channel A, and the second pair as Channel B. Put em in the same color slot? You got Dual Channel!

Some benchmarks i've run in the 24 hours since i got my new e6420 and Asus PN5e built, with the geforce 8800 gts (320mb):

Out of the gate, stock memory speeds and stock processor clock speed, i got a 3dmark06 score of 7900. I reset the memory speeds to 4-4-4-12, tweaked the gts8800 to 600/900, and bumped the FSB to 416.5, and that gave me a 3dmark score of 11200. The proc temp has risen at rest about 10 degrees c, to about 45. So far, no hint of instability (fingers crossed). The CPU speed went from 2.13 Ghz to 3.33 Ghz. I'm going to see how she holds up, but so far i'm pretty impressed with how well it all came together.

Thanks again Guru, for the recommendations:)

and bumped the FSB to 416.5

An overclock that large would make me very, very nervous.

So far, so good! Ran Orthos overnight with no problems. I've read quite a few threads where people are taking it up to close to 500, but that's more than i care to try for sure.

Did you use a program to tweak or just the BIOS jonny?