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Thread: New System

  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    New System

    Looking at a HP computer which includes: INtel P4 1.7, 512 MB DDR RAM, 80 GB HD, DVD, CDRW, 17" Monitor 16.0" VIA what is your opinion on this system? Asking $1,200. Model # HP Pavillion 750 C

    Also, what type of RAMis the DDR?

    Thanks!
    lynndelap

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    Re: New System

    Hi
    DDR=Double Data Rate : the sort of RAM Pentium 4s need. Compared to SDR it is expensive, but the unit price (unless you're looing at 512Mb) is falling.

    Good specs, but monitor seems a bit on the small side, unless I'm mis-reading something.

    Rgds

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    Re: New System

    I must respectfully disagree on the price of DDR RAM. It is nearly equal to the price of normal RAM these days. I find mine at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.crucial.com/>Crucial</A> and a 256MB stick runs around 35 bucks USD. If you ask me, that's mucho cheapo. You will get slightly better performance in both types of SDRAM by using two sticks instead of one since the motherboard can address both at the same time. The alternative, using one stick of memory, allows you one memory call per clock cycle, and at the blazing rates of CPUs today that's not much - but a 50% increase? That you can see and feel.

    The other thing to consider is that DDR memory is appearing in a lot of AMD Athlon/Duron based motherboards, and Intel only recently cowed to market pressure - they previously required the exorbitantly proced RDRAM (also known as Rambus).

    DDR processes data at twice the rate of SDRAM, once on the rising cycle of the clock and once on the down-tick. If you can get a board that uses DDR, you will notice a difference. Only one that I know of supports both SDRAM and DDR SDRAM (but not both types at the same time). That is the ASUS A7A266, which I currently use and feel strongly is a turd. It scores poorly in benchmarks and reliability has been so-so. When shopping around, keep that in mind, because the memory types are NOT interchangeable.
    -Mark

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    Re: New System

    Thanks for all the info. It is really appreciated. I am more a software person, but have been "put" in the position of an IT here at work, now I get to work on all sytems, add mem, take care of the network, etc.
    lynndelap

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    Re: New System

    You know, as soon as I posted my little diatribeon memory, I caught myself thinking that for a pre-built Intel system, that was pretty cheap. I bet it has something to do with Rambus. It's a modern system and will run pretty much anything you throw at it. Before you dive though, <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.pricewatch.com>take a peek at PriceWatch</A>. I build my own systems and usually check here for good deals on all things hardware.

    Also spend some time thinking about what you want to do with the machine. Someone who plans to edit movies and do heavy graphic work, or play games, would want something with a lot of horsepower, but for standard media tasks like MP3s and digital photography, space on the hard drive ismore of a factor.
    -Mark

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    Re: New System

    Mark, what is the difference in the different types of DDR? Some are PC3200, PC3000, PC2700, all the way to PC1600 (I think). What do the different numerical designations mean?

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    Re: New System

    The numbers are the peak ratings for bandwidth. It's funny math to make you think that you are getting something really cool. For example, you know about 66, 100, and 133 MHz buses - or you do now if you didn't. Memory also runs at this speed. But that doesn't make for good marketing.... <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>....read on if you're interested.

    PC-133 SDR SDRAM has a theoretical peak data transfer rate of 1066 Megabytes/second (MB/s). In use it gets about 60 percent of that, some 638 MB/s.

    There are several speeds of DDR-SDRAM. One, PC1600 DDR-SDRAM, gets about 45 percent of the theoretical 1600 MB/s peak data transfer rate for a practical rate of 717 MB/s. PC1600 is legacy stuff: It's not really being made any longer. More common is PC2100, which gets practical data rates of about 37 percent for 798 MB/s. Thus PC1600 DDR-SDRAM is about 12 percent, PC2100 is some 25 percent faster, than PC-133 SDRAM.

    If your system is limited by memory speeds, this can be significant. Folks with big programs to compile or large image files will benefit most from faster memory. However, for many of us, memory transfer rates aren't the problem to begin with, and the only way you'll be able to tell which system is using DDR-SDRAM and which is using SDRAM is to run benchmarks.

    Hope that helps!! Simple rule: the faster the memory, the higher the number - but your motherboard's chipset must also support it.
    -Mark

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    Re: New System

    Thanks Mark, for what it's worth, the system I posted about here still has not shipped and I canceled the order. Read some other posts about PriceWatch and other sites and there seems to be a lot more options as to the boards, chipsets, and the supported ram, etc. I originally ordered the other system because I have lots of SDRAM, but it seems as you say, DDRAM is almost the same price now and thus the supported RAM type is a rather mute factor when buying a new system.

    If you had a favorite or recommended motherboard, which manufacturer would it be and why?

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    Re: New System

    I like Epox's 8KHA+ (there is a successor to this that runs faster DDR memory, the jury's out on that - I don't have one). ECS also has a reputation for good, solid boards that have what you need (read: not really for overclocking) and a nice price.

    Read reviews at some of the...ahem..."enthusiast sites" (read: overclockers). Try this Google search for starters. When you search Google, by the way, using the pipe | between search terms can help. It means "OR" - such as the link I provided. Use it to compare specific makes when you are getting close to a decision. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

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    Re: New System

    I like the depth on the PC1600 et al analysis, her is the quick and dirty.
    PC1600 runs at 100MHZ FSB doubles to be 200MHZ FSB
    PC2100 runs at 133MHZ FSB doubles to be 266MHZ FSB
    PC2700 runs at 166MHZ FSB doubles to be 333MHZ FSB

    Back to the original question. The price of the system seems a little high to me. I build my own systems but buy Dell for plants that the company I work for owns. We got P4 2.0Gig, 40 Gig 7200 RPM, CD-RW, CD-ROM, 16 Meg Video, 512 MB RAM9Turned out to be PC133 though) Optiplex G240 for the same price, with keyboard, mouse and 17" monitor. I built the same system (no reseller pricing) for $824.85 with out the monitor, and used PC2700 RAM, two ATA133 20 gig hard drives.

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