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Hi there, am trying to decide on a good combination of Processor, 'board and RAM for my new computer :-)
I want an AMD, but there are so many of them! Whats the difference between an Athlon 64 Clawhammer 3000, an Athlon 64 Venice 3000 and a Sempron 3200!?
More importantly, if I want a decent Radeon videocard (say, 9800 or X800?! again, too many numbers!) and 512mb of RAM (ASUS?) whats my best combination so there is no disparity? How many Mhz of RAM do I need!?
alright, i'll try to help you here:
You've got a lot going on in that statment, so i'll just start from the top.
On a not-so-sliding scale:
Semperon: basicaly a gimped clawhammer. VERY different, but same idea.
-NO 64BIT memory extentions,
-Basic Budget Processor.
-Old generation of AMD64,
-DOES support 64BIT memory extentions,
-Very powerful overall.
-Identical to Clawhammer, SAVE FOR:
-New manufacturing process, drops overall temperatures, and required amperages. (lower power)
-Better for overclocking than the Clawhammer.
All the above chips run with a 200MHz stock bus:
SO: for any of the above, Generic PC3200-DDR-400MHz RAM will function correctly. the more you pay for the ram, the better the overclocking ability/higher performance. (BASICALY, don't pay too much, or your looking at very little gains. don't look at any "Low Latency RAM", as it will almost always cost you double, for a 2-5% performance increase.)
I've always stuck with ASUS for home machines. they've treated me well, they last, they are very stable, but slightly more expensive.
depending on what price/performance ratio you were looking at, (how much ram, how fast a processor...) the boards will vary. my best suggestion: head to a local computer store, and ask.
Tell them what Processor your looking at, and what kind of videocard you were interested in, and they can show you a selection of boards.
Between the models, you see features like:
multi channel Audio, on-board video, (which chances are you DON'T want), maybe a built-in wireless network card? all kinds of stuff.
As for chipsets ON the boards: there's really only 4 (if your looking at an AMD system):
NVIDIA: Fast, but less reliable. these boards tend to have strange problems, like random lockups, overheating, ETC..
***now, these arent issues you'll run into daily, or anything, maybe like once or twice a year.
VIA: vary stable, but 2-5% slower performance in gaming.
SIS: budget, rather slow, rather hot, basicaly: budget
ATI: pretty uncommon, but very comparable to NVIDIA. usualy add some strange features, like lots of Hard drive support, or low power boards.
These REALLY depend on what kind of games your playing. most games released in the last year, tend to favor high ticket cards, like the X800/X850, or the NVIDIA 6800/7800 lines.
If your looking to stick to ATI cards, the best bang for the buck, tends to be around the $250-$300 mark.
if your looking for 60FPS at 1600X1200 resolutions of your 21" monitor, your going to have to spend the dough on an ATI X850 (~$550) or even an NVIDIA 7800GTX (~$750)
but if your looking for a comfortable 1024X768 Rez, at like 30-40FPS on a 17-19" monitor, i'd look at something like the low end of the ATI X800, or the Plain NVIDIA 6800.
Aside from that, you should be good to go!
Good to see the comunity is getting used.. thanks for the post!