Amd System Purchase

cshaun

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Hi

I'm about to purchase a brand spanken new system, what a load of fun :cool: . I've read through all the latest Toms Hardware reviews and articles. And come to the decision on what system I will buy. This is what I'm planning on purchasing from an online store in New Zealand called <A HREF="http://www.cybernation.co.nz" target="_new">http://www.cybernation.co.nz</A>
Price vs Performance is what I'm after... Value

<font color=red>EDIT: Prices are in NZ$, NZ$1 = US$0.50. Prices exc tax.</font color=red>

<pre>Component Price
Duron 600Mhz (w/o fan) Processor $155.00
Therman Orb Fan $35.00
Chaintech MotherBoard $245.00
128Mb Nova 133Mhz SDRam $195.00
Quantum LCT15 30GB HardDrive (actually 28.0GB) $333.00
PowerColor GeForce 2 MX (7ns RAM) 32MB SDRam $260.00
SBLive! Sound Card $130.00
Generic Middle Tower w/ 250W PSU Case $72.00
PC Works FourPointSurround FPS1500 Speaker $220.00
Auriga 17CF 0.27dp Monitor (17 inch) $395.00
Mouse ??? Infrared with wheel PS2/USB? $55.00
Keyboard ??? Natural shape with rest PS2/USB? $65.00
TOTAL $NZ exc GST $2,160.00
</pre><p>Now there are quite a few other options available... Most of the stuff I've selected is because I believe it to be the best "bang" for my buck. I am however usure of quality and performance of some of this hardware. You geniuses/brains/geeks and others got any comments or words of wisdom for me. It's MUCH appreciated, and I thank you in advance.

Shaun




<font color=red>EDIT: Additional info (also posted later below)</font color=red>

Sorry guys forgot the exchange... NZ$1=US$0.50 --> So divide by 2.

I also have to pay a 12.5% goods and service tax on the total bringing it to NZ$2,430.00 or US$1,215.00

Interesting comments...

I'm likely to get a discount from the company (www.cybernations.co.nz) for buying all the hardware from them. So I don't really want to buy the pieces from too many different places. They said they will assemble the system for me aswell - no charge. I'm reluctant to do this myself as I'm worried about CPU jumpers/settings. Though I do install all my own hardware as I get it. Just if they stuff it up, then I don't have to pay for it :smile: .

Man it's just not fair computer gear is much more expensive in NZ... Ordering from the US and I have to pay huge postage. And plus the NZ$ is REALLY crap at the moment.

<font color=red>Other 133mhz SDRam they offer:</font color=red>
<pre>Legend 128MB NZ$222 (exc tax)
Century 128MB NZ$265 (exc tax)</pre><p>(is it worth the extra for better quality? What's so good about Crucial?)

<font color=red>Other 17 inch monitors offered:</font color=red>
<pre>Philips 107S 0.28dp NZ$450 (exc tax)
ViewSonic M70 0.27dp NZ$545 (exc tax)
Hansol 710A 0.28dp NZ$435 (exc tax)</pre><p>
<font color=red>DDR GeForce 2 MX</font color=red>
<pre>PowerColor GeForce 2 GTS 32MB DDR - NZ$500 (exc tax)</pre><p>(Is it worth paying double for DDR? I think not...?)

<font color=red>Hard Drive issue</font color=red>
I can also get a 20Gig 5400rpm (Seagate/Quantum/Fujitsu) Hard Drive for NZ$290 (exc tax). Other 30Gig HDD cost upwards of NZ$430 (exc tax). That's why I thought I'd go for the Quantum.

At present I'm using a 10Gig Maxtor and 1.2Gig Quantum with no problems. Though I've stuffed up 2 HDD before with FDISK! Damit...

<font color=red>Case - there are so many options</font color=red>
I just wanted something reasonalble big.
Cases with a 300W power supply seem to cost a lot MORE!? Do I need 300W?
The page with all the cases is <A HREF="http://www.cybernation.co.nz/cases.htm" target="_new">http://www.cybernation.co.nz/cases.htm</A>


Ok so maybe I'll go with the Philips 17inch? (I'm using a Philips 15inch now and I like the quality) But should I rather get a "better" 20Gig HDD for for NZ$40 less and loose 10gig???? And Memory wow I never knew it mattered so much? Wouldn't they be more or less the same???

Thanx for help!
Shaun
 
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Commentary follows:

I just bought a Duron 600mhz too.

You might be able to find that case cheaper somewhere else... mine is a midtower with 250 watt power supply, and it was only like $30. Good quality too.

$395 for a 17in monitor? Yikes. I have a 19in that was less than that.

Are the prices that high because you added shipping to each? I mean, $260 for a GF2-MX card... yikes. You can find them for less than $100 in some places. For $260 you could get a GF2 64meg.

Check out <A HREF="http://www.pricewatch.com" target="_new">pricewatch</A> for some GOOD prices.
 

machow

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Maybe he should have added NZ before the $ sign...

Smart guys are not smart; they only see things in different perspective.
1st <b>ENTHUSIAST</b>!
 
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Don't buy that monitor! Look for one capable of 100 Hz refresh rate in 1024x768 resolution. Flat screen wouldn't hurt too. Consider such models as: CTX PR711, Iiyama Vision Master Pro 410, MAG 796FD, Samsung 700IFT and 700NF, ViewSonic PF77 and PF775. I use MAG myself. 100 Hz makes a difference, your eyes will be grateful :O)
 
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I for myself would wait a while until DDR SDRAM hits the street in quantities. The price for DDR SDRAM is only a little more expensive but Duron and TBird take great advantage of it.
Second, spend more money for your monitor. You will have it for a very long time (believe me) and my eyes are very precious for me. Nokia, Eizo and Sony are very good producers of monitors!
For SDRAM go to crucial.com and buy micron RAM it's the fastest.
The rest is okay.

Leywalker
 
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Nice system! I'd only like to say, that i live in a student hostel for EE (electirc engineers) so we have lots of different hardware, and based uppon our expirinces qunatum harddrives reliability is the worst around. Several years ago low end seagates seemed to be the ethalons of "[-peep-] HDD", but in the last year or so tides changed... of all defect hard drives we have around here (mostly low end-lct just like urz, is really low cost technology) 70-80% are quantum, where EX-s mostly die from overheating, ST-s have a defective chip on the pcb, SE-s (i had one which [-peep-] up) just suck... and lct's have the fastest bad sector development rate i ever saw. Of course this is my expirience, but provided the large sample i get to see, i think generalizing in this case is not that bad... I would rather go for IBM deskstar 5400rpm series, hence it's got the highest data density of all (cheaper) drives around, and hence has performance levels near that of the ("world's fastest ide") 7200 rpm GXP family. Our expiriences with IBM drives have so far been very positive, they are very fast, and reliable too. So far we only had problems with a defective bunch of 15GB DJNA series drives last year... And even those died within guarantee time... Thought the info could help somewhat-and oh i'd stick with MT (micron) RAM too, it's very good.
 
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Ah, ic... what's the exchange rate? 3 NZ dollars to 1 US dollar?
 

Bubba

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I also think you should get the crucial ram.
And I believe you will have some problems if you don't get at least a 300W powersupply. Try to find a case that has a powersupply that is on the AMD approved list. And if possible make sure it is on both the Duron 600 approved list and the T-bird 1.2GHz list so that there will be no problems upgrading in a year or so.
I can't really comment on how good of a deal you are getting without the exchange rate to US $$$$.
 

cshaun

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Sorry guys forgot the exchange... NZ$1=US$0.50 --> So divide by 2.

I also have to pay a 12.5% goods and service tax on the total bringing it to NZ$2,430.00 or US$1,215.00

Interesting comments...

I'm likely to get a discount from the company (www.cybernations.co.nz) for buying all the hardware from them. So I don't really want to buy the pieces from too many different places. They said they will assemble the system for me aswell - no charge. I'm reluctant to do this myself as I'm worried about CPU jumpers/settings. Though I do install all my own hardware as I get it. Just if they stuff it up, then I don't have to pay for it :smile: .

Man it's just not fair computer gear is much more expensive in NZ... Ordering from the US and I have to pay huge postage. And plus the NZ$ is REALLY crap at the moment.

<font color=red>Other 133mhz SDRam they offer:</font color=red>
<pre>Legend 128MB NZ$222 (exc tax)
Century 128MB NZ$265 (exc tax)</pre><p>(is it worth the extra for better quality? What's so good about Crucial?)

<font color=red>Other 17 inch monitors offered:</font color=red>
<pre>Philips 107S 0.28dp NZ$450 (exc tax)
ViewSonic M70 0.27dp NZ$545 (exc tax)
Hansol 710A 0.28dp NZ$435 (exc tax)</pre><p><font color=red>DDR GeForce 2 MX</font color=red>
<pre>PowerColor GeForce 2 GTS 32MB DDR - NZ$500 (exc tax)</pre><p>(Is it worth paying double for DDR? I think not...?)

<font color=red>Hard Drive issue</font color=red>
I can also get a 20Gig 5400rpm (Seagate/Quantum/Fujitsu) Hard Drive for NZ$290 (exc tax). Other 30Gig HDD cost upwards of NZ$430 (exc tax). That's why I thought I'd go for the Quantum.

At present I'm using a 10Gig Maxtor and 1.2Gig Quantum with no problems. Though I've stuffed up 2 HDD before with FDISK! Damit...

<font color=red>Case - there are so many options</font color=red>
I just wanted something reasonalble big.
Cases with a 300W power supply seem to cost a lot MORE!? Do I need 300W?
The page with all the cases is <A HREF="http://www.cybernation.co.nz/cases.htm" target="_new">http://www.cybernation.co.nz/cases.htm</A>


Ok so maybe I'll go with the Philips 17inch? (I'm using a Philips 15inch now and I like the quality) But should I rather get a "better" 20Gig HDD for for NZ$40 less and loose 10gig???? And Memory wow I never knew it mattered so much? Wouldn't they be more or less the same???

Thanx for help!
Shaun
 
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The GF2 GTS has more of an advantage than just DDR memory. It also has TWICE the rendering pipelines.
 

cshaun

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Yes... mmm. I remember reading this too.

But I still don't believe that the DDR version is double the performance (while double the price...)

Shaun
 
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Well returning to the HDD issue: it's your choice, all i'm saying is that i have had bad expiriences in the last 1 1/2 years, quantums before that seemed fine. Of course the extra capacity is nice, so 30 gigs is tempting. I have heard that new seagate modells are reliable, but i wouldn't bet on it. (note: few years ago i saw a seagate that had a linear read of 5MB/s but wrote at 800KB/s, since then i lost my trust in seagate) Fujitsu - never got my hands on any. I think the most important question in your case is, do you get a 3 year warranty on the drive (the quantum factory warranty) in NZ ? Because in our country (Hungary) we don't get it from the retailers, and sending it back to the US, would cost more then the hassle is worth... The other question of course is: how are you going to use the drive: will it be in a rack-moved around getting lots of mechanical shock, will u use it in an enviroment with lot's of seeks, or are you going to use it with win 9x with plenty of RAM, where the hard drive has a "peaceful" lifespan. I think quantums are not very prone to mechanical shock, but some families hate lots of seeks. Quantum HDDs seem to be extremly sensitve their power supplies: a single spike in your power grid seems to ruin quantums very easily. And quantums tend to get hot. Cold isn't good for them either We had one lct that instantly died after being transported at -2C, and then being powered on when it was about 7-8C... But i've seen plenty of quantums live for years under average circumstances with good power supplies (and electirc companies). So if you don't put extreme strain on the drive then it shall suffice-but having the 3 year guarantee won't hurt.
 

cshaun

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Well it's fairly cold down here... So I don't really think heat will be a major problem. The computer would rarely be transported around - bumped/shaken/moved. It nourmally just be sitting there on my desk... As for power spikes I do believe that is NOT unknown of here in New Zealand... Well I'll have 128MB ram, and running win98, maybe ME. So maybe that is regarded as a "peaceful lifespan"? Though the computer would be on most of the day.

<font color=red>Seeks???</font color=red> Never heard of it? Or are you referring to seek time?

As I said I have had problems with HDDs myself though... One seemed to have died during a preformating (something wrong with the format and I believe I had to preformat). And another one died during scan disk, (the computer froze) and while trying to run scandisk again said there were some BIG errors and it could not continue. I tried using Fdisk to revive the thing, only to find this completely <font color=red>KILLED</font color=red> the damn thing!

So perhaps I do go for the quantum. Though it is suspisiously cheap... And on there site if you read the fine print they say they calculate their size based on 1MB being 1000000K, so therefore the HD is only really something like 28Gig. What a bunch of BASTEREDS I wasn't impressed with that "stunt".

Shaun
 
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Hi, me again... A seek is when the drive heads are mechanically moved above the spinning ferromagnetic platter, since this is mechanic, it needs a lot of time. The average time taken (mostly a so called third stroke, that is moving the head about 1/3 of it's total movement space) is mostly specified as seek time, and this is a very important performance indicator. A few years ago there was a pretty good article in Tom's storage division on HDD technology-if u like you can erad it to get a better understanding of the inner workings of hdds.
 
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I also live in such a matter, and I work in a local (it's known all over the country tho, have webshop), and we're selling alot of IBM and Fujitsu. My experience is that both these are really good, we have few coming back in our face. Maxtor however, isn't all that good in my opinion, same goes for Quantum. The new IBM GXP75 series is really a good choice, their not expensive at all when you think of the advantages you get. The 30 and 45gb versions are bestsellers here in Norway.
 

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