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  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - link

    That's not true, Evan:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?desc...

    5900XT for $175. ;) Of course, that's still $28 more than the cheapest 9600XT cards, so people may or may not want to take that route. Really, though, I know some people that wouldn't touch ATI cards. (They're all Linux geeks, though. Heheh...)

    Also, on the case, the Antec SLK3700-BQE cases kick some serious ass, depending on your taste. Very quiet. I repeat: VERY quiet! The 120mm fan that comes with the case is near-silent, as is the power supply. Yeah, it's more expensive, at $75, but that power supply is going to be hard to beat for the price. Most Antec 350W PS cost at least $40, if not $50.

    And hell, let's be honest: pre-modded cases with a window on the side are okay for some, but others really prefer a classy look. Matching the silver case with beige parts looks tacky, as does the window. Gamers might thing it's cool, but many prefer a silent case that doesn't scream "LOOK AT ME!" (Yes, I'm 30+ now, so I no longer need a cool looking car or computer to feel good about myself.)
    Reply
  • Evan Lieb - Sunday, April 25, 2004 - link

    Grishnakh, you cannot find 5900XT's for lower than $180. 9800 Pro cards can be had for $196. The difference in performance and IQ is worth the extra cost of the 9800 Pro. The 9600 Pro is considerably less than both, though performs noticeably slower. Problem is, we don't want to recommend video cards in the $200 range when lots of mid-range users will not need more power than a 9600 Pro.

    Also, the 2.8C is 20-30% faster than the 2800+, though closer to 20% in most instances. The "C" stands for 800MHz FSB in the U.S. by the way, I'm not sure what it stands for in your country.

    Ballistics, yes, guides are not recommended for fanboys. ;)
    Reply
  • Grishnakh - Saturday, April 24, 2004 - link

    This "Midrange" is going to high
    Yes, Athlon XP 2800+ + 9600 Pro + 512MB seems reasonable..., however, C/P is low
    Additionally, if you partially change VGA alternatively to 9800 Pro for $196...or, tell you the truth.. In Taiwan, an Aopen Aeolus GFFX5900XT... is just $150

    "ATI has either led or has had a clear lead over NVIDIA in terms of performance and price" seem cannot be applied on 5900XT vs 9600Pro/XT

    Anyway, finally it would under 1000 with
    Athlon XP 2800+ + FX5900XT even R9800Pro...the cost is midrange... but the performance is topping...
    Exclude GF6800, Even Athlon 64 3400+ with 9800XT hardly yield a 30% performance boost in general.

    This is still a good guidance, especially for general public, however, there is 2 untruth in this article.

    1. P4 2.8CG did not as 20%~30% fast as 2800+...
    Do you know which CPU in P4 CG line is 20%~30% slower than P4 2.8CG...the answer is NO... because there are no P4 2.3CG or P4 2.0CG.
    An Athlon XP 2800+ is clocked in 2.083G...Even P4 2.4CG just slower than that...Is P4 2.4CG slower 20~30% than P4 2.8G?
    So, Yes, Athlon XP 2800+ is slower, but only about 10%

    2. FX5900XT, especially Aopen, providing a extremely low price for this...
    You just deliberately ignore the truth that the best buy in following three card.
    9800Pro in $200/ 5900XT in $150 / 9600Pro in $125
    Obviously, the answer is NVIDIA 5900XT.. neither 9800Pro nor 9600Pro
    Reply
  • Grishnakh - Saturday, April 24, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • Ballistics - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Oops! AMD was processor of choice. :)

    I commented on last months mid-range system and was not happy that nVidia did not even get a mention. I jumped to the vid card section only to be once again surprised that nVidia is being portrayed as having inferior video cards compared to ATI.

    The FX5900XT is TWICE as fast as the 9600XT in most every benchmark. Does it cost twice as much???? NOOOOOOO! $189 shipped!!

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?desc...
    Reply
  • Ballistics - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Evan,

    Some people despise ATI and their buggy drivers. Some people will not build an AMD box. Why not try and reach out to everyone by offering an Intel and AMD solution, as well as an ATI and nVidia solution? The GeForce FX5900XT runs CIRCLES around the paltry 9600. I beleive that it has the best price:performance ratio.

    BTW AMD and nVidia rule!!

    It's OK to be a fanboy, unless you are writing for the masses.... If you are a fanboy, and write for the masses, at least have the courage to identify yourself as a fanboy! :P
    Reply
  • IceVoltageccs - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Evan the Antec SLK3700 is Sonatas little brother which is one the the best mid-towers in the market it is a very easy case to build with that has a great ps. (and a three year warrenty)Also the AMD Athlon 64 2800+ is avable in retail packages for around $184.00 add that with a Asus K8V Basic for $100.00 and you have a great system for the same price of the p4 2.8 sys you have. Reply
  • IceVoltageccs - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • Evan Lieb - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    yanon, we didn't recommend the CaseEdge's PSU for this guide. And the SLK3700 is actually $35 more than the CaseEdge, while offering absolutely nothing useful for a mid-range system.
    Reply
  • yanon - Friday, April 23, 2004 - link

    I don't know why they keep on recommend that $40 CaseEdge case with a cheapo powersupply. For $20 more, one can get an Antec SLK3700 with a 350 Watt Antec powersupply. Most likely a user can reuse (unless manufacturers decided to switch away from ATX) a computer if he/she decided to do major upgrades on the computer 2 to 3 years from now. Thus, spending a little more on a computer is well worth it. Reply
  • GoatHerderEd - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    some how I posted twice. interesting. sorry. Reply
  • GoatHerderEd - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    9- WTF did you just copy and paste a newegg site? You think you could have at least edited so it would not take nearly that room. And we dont need anything past the total like the shipping info and other links. Reply
  • GoatHerderEd - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    9- WTF did you just copy and paste a newegg site? You think you could have at least edited so it would not take nearly that room. And we dont need anything past the total like the shipping info and other links. Reply
  • Fr0zeN2 - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    With the recent post of AOpen's nforce2 board with an agp/pci lock that works, I was pretty confident that I'd see the a64 2800+ here somewhere. Sure the half-meg cache hurts, but it can't hurt beyond the 200mhz premium that AMD has put on the upcomin Newcastle (also with half a meg), which you can compensate for by OCing anyway. Sure, the XP 2800+ is half the price, but it's also half the performance =/ Reply
  • jensend - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    7- Motherboards these days are generally good for at most one cpu generation (if they don't get cut off in the middle of the generation because newer processors with the same core require a higher bus speed).

    Trying to organize the guides around tasks rather than performance/budget level would be counterproductive for two reasons:

    1. Half of those tasks are undemanding enough that few noticeable differences can be seen between most machines of the past 6 years.

    2. In the range of machines these guides look at there are very few ways in which task-specific performance deviates from overall system performance enough to make a noticeable difference, and most of them are obvious (eg the importance of graphics cards for gaming tasks).
    Reply
  • wolverinski - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link


    Hey DIYs,
    for one thousand shipped to the door. Matching colors (beige), Antec case (two fans and 350W PS), faster performance than a nForce2/Athlon system, great overclocking potential and future HT upgrade. Don't hear much about the 865P dual channel chipset. For the price hard to beat!




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    SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9600PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "ATLANTIS RADEON 9600PRO" -RETAIL
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    Reply
  • lupis42 - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    While I personally am a computer enthusiast, and gamer, I am also a broke student, and so I tend to try and get 18 months worth of gaming performance out of a system, and I rarely have to put out any mony for displays, kb&mouse, speakers, etc. I've so far managed to get a good track record in gaming performance by spending 1800$, once every 2 to 3 years, but my last effort was slightly mistimed, and stuff is starting to kill my current gaming rig. Ergo, I was wondering, can we get a proposed system for gamers looking to maximize their time in the sweet spot, that is, not overkill hardware when they buy it, but that remains sufficient for over a year?

    Also, given that I still manage email, browsing, etc with no noticable difficulty from an 800Mhz Athalon, and that the only upgrades it has recieved in its 4 year life are 256MB of RAM, and an old 4 gig HD when it's origional (40 gig) died, I wonder what might be found that could replace this system for comparable performance, but with minimal power requirements, and as little waste heat, noise, and wasted space as possible, cheaply. The need for newer and faster hardware to run MS Word on is rediculous. Why not newer more efficient hardware instead?

    I seem to have made this alot longer than I intended to, so ill go ahead and throw in the gist here:
    Firstly, how about giving an estimate of a guide systems usable life, and what it will be usable for across that time?

    Secondly, given that the midrange system seems to be underkill for gaming even 6 months from now, and is kinda overkill for desktop work, and not designed around workstation requirements, what is it for? For that matter, the high end machine also seems to be so totally generic that it's not incredibly useful. More specialized guides might be a better handle on this issue, for example, Budget guide, Gamers guide, Overclocking guide, Multimeda guide, or something. Since I suspect that end uses have a higher impact on most Anand readers than pure performance anyway, when they go to build systems.


    Reply
  • aerobook2002 - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    I suggest you include comments in your systems’ buyer’s guides regarding the system’s upgrade-ability. I personally am interested to know if the recommended motherboards will operate the next generation of CPU’s. So 2-3 years from now when the P4 EE is ~$200 instead of ~$800(?) will my mother board run it? I.E., the ASUS P4P800 Deluxe runs the P4 Northwood and Prescott but will it run the Extreme Edition or whatever is next? Dito for the AMD products (will the AN7 board run the Athlon 64 CPU?). I realize I may have to upgrade other hardware as well, like the RAM.

    Additionally, it would be informative to state what the systems would be best suited for, i.e. surfing & e-mail, office application, moderate gaming, video editing (what I’m interested in), etc. Or maybe you could just orient the system for a specific task i.e. video editing, gaming, office application, e-mail, etc.

    I am enjoying the ‘Systems Buyers Guides” very much, keep up the good work.
    Reply
  • skiboysteve - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    i concur with 5 Reply
  • Corsairpro - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    #4

    You obviously don't have budget constraints then. To me low end is free - $400, mid is $400-1000, performance is 1000-1500, and overkill is 1500+

    There are infact computer enthusiasts who are poor.
    Reply
  • SKiller - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    #3 Close, I was thinking the A64 2800+ at $170.

    Also, why is a midrange system <$1000?
    To me low end ~ $500-$1000, mid range ~ $1000-$1750, and high end ~ $1750-$2500.
    Reply
  • KillaKilla - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    Unfortunately you can't edit posts ala the forums...


    Another suggestion: putting in the alternatives in the summary, this way we see what they would cost, all together.


    Also, why is the 2.8C recommended over, say, the Athlon 64 3000+? While only about $50 more, it offers a very noticable gain in performance and compatability (the A64, unlike i86, will run future 64 bit OSes and apps).Check the forums, a 2.8C is almost never recomended, except posibly for OCing... and even that may cahnge with the release of the Nforce 3 with working PCI/AGP lock.
    Reply
  • KillaKilla - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    I dont get the order of impertance, really, they should replace 'midrange' with 'performance'

    Most people who come here would probobly not get the midrange system for email, webbrowsing, wrod processing, etc. (reliability minded things).

    They'd probobly want a bang for buck machine that can play most current games at high settings and future games at medium to low settings.
    Reply
  • mlittl3 - Thursday, April 22, 2004 - link

    If would be nice if you guys benchmarked these recommended systems. A nice comparison using the usually benchmark tests comparing the entry, mid, high and overclocked systems would show how much bang for your buck you get.

    If its a matter of time, then some simple logical way of showing that these systems are worth the money other than just looking up prices and giving us technical specs.

    An example might be tomshardware.com's fbucks that they used in their VGA charts III article. Total benchmark score divided by price or something like that.

    Just a thought.
    Reply

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