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Strommer
09-12-2010, 05:33 PM
My old mobo died so it is time to upgrade :thumbs:

Here are my thoughts at the moment:


* ASUS. Possibly Gigabyte, but prefer ASUS.


* Not for gaming.


* Video encoding & editing. Photoshop. Sound editing.
Home use, not professional / business.


* Graphics - not sure. If a mobo has onboard graphics does this automatically mean that a graphics card cannot be added? I have always been a fan of separate graphic cards but some of the onboard graphics have 1.7 Gb allocated (if enough RAM). Yes I know that the processing speed of the graphics unit (or card) is more important, but even so I would not want an onboard unit to have only (e.g.) 256 Mb allocated.


* CPU - not Celeron, Sempron or other cheapie
i3 or i5 ??, AMD possibly...


* OS - Win XP - I can reinstall what I had on the old P4, or use a sealed, legit WinXP disk that I bought awhile ago and never used. Do mobo's these days take XP?? I would rather not have to spend the extra $$ on Win7, or take the chance of programs not working on Win7.


USB 3 - not absolutely necessary but seems a good thing to have if possible.


WIFI and Bluetooth - Several of the ASUS mb's I looked at on PriceSpy do not have WIFI or Bluetooth - is this the norm for desktop mobos? It would be nice not to bother with dongles.


Firewire - I suppose. Is this standard these days?


HD capability - at least 3 HD's. I guess this is standard for most mobos?


Price - the big question. Mobo + CPU + RAM - all for $400 - $500??? I don't know... I could pay more but if it gets near what a laptop costs then I may as well dump the desktop idea.

Link to PriceSpy mobos (http://pricespy.co.nz/category.php?k=1320)


Thanks.

Speedy Gonzales
09-12-2010, 05:54 PM
You'll probably want 64 bit, if you want to do video encoding / editing. So, that'll rule XP out. Altho, a 64 bit program may also help (which maybe expensive)

Firewire is standard on quite a few gigabyte mobos (and AMD mobos). And on the more expensive Intel mobos. Cant see why you cant add 5-6 hdd's, if you really want to (if the mobo has that many SATA ports).

The graphics, depends if the mobo has the slot/s for a separate card / or cards. Read the specs before you buy the mobo

Cant say I've seen a lot of mobos with onboard BT (the only thing BT would be useful for is cellphones, headphones, or something like that). Since its range isnt that long.

The more expensive mobos may have WIFI. But that alone may cost $400-500

Strommer
10-12-2010, 07:33 AM
Thanks for the info Speedy. I will pass on 64 bit as I want XP and am not after blazing fast speed for video work (I have coped OK with the old P4 speed so anything faster will be just fine). If the new mobo does not have Bluetooth and WIFI, that will be OK as long as the price is right.


The main concerns I have are:

1. Will the new mb take Win XP? Do all mb's take XP? I have looked at the specs of various mobos but do not see anything about what OS they will accept.

2. Will the option of a graphics card (over onboard graphics) ensure faster video, sound and photography editing? It seeks to me that the speed of the cpu, and the specs of the chipset and various parameters of a mobo will be more important than the graphics card/onboard capability. Is this correct? Ideally I would want to save $$ by getting a mobo with onboard graphics but with the option of adding a graphics card later.

3. Are Gigabyte mobos as good as ASUS ?

pctek
10-12-2010, 08:12 AM
* Graphics - not sure. If a mobo has onboard graphics does this automatically mean that a graphics card cannot be added?


* CPU - not Celeron, Sempron or other cheapie
i3 or i5 ??, AMD possibly...


HD capability - at least 3 HD's. I guess this is standard for most mobos?
.

With the motherboard it needs to have Onboard + a PCIE slot. That way you can add a card later if you want. Most ASUS onboard GPU ones do, but check first.

CPU, you need to decide if you're having AMD or Intel.


HDD, there are usually 4 sata slots on basic boards, ATX more.

3 drives? Why? I have one.
You can get up to a 2TB drive now so space is not an issue really.

Unless you just want separate drives........

autechre
10-12-2010, 09:03 AM
AFAIK pretty much all motherboards still support XP.
The only problem you'll have with the 32-bit version is a memory limit of ~3.25GB.
Are you editing HD video or standard-def? If HD, i'd really recommend going Win7 64bit & as much RAM as you can get :D

As for brand of mobo, Gigabyte & Asus are usually at the top of the heap. Personally, I prefer Gigabyte over Asus. The last few i've had have been rock-solid.

Cellux
10-12-2010, 09:12 AM
>nearly 2011
>wants xp

Is there a specific reason as to why you'd rather be using XP than 7?

Most programs that work for vista work for 7.

Also, if you get 7 pro, you can get XP mode and stick the XP programs you need in a virtual environment.
* http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/reviews/2010/01/windows-xp-mode.ars

- First paragraph of "Virtualizing the problem"


With Windows 7, however, Redmond has provided a solution to the problem: Windows XP Mode. Windows XP Mode uses virtualization technology to let applications running on a virtualized copy of Windows XP show up in the Windows 7 Start menu and on the Windows 7 desktop.

Speedy Gonzales
10-12-2010, 09:15 AM
I dont think it matters WHAT videocard you get. The only reason you need one is so you see something on a screen. You may think twice, once you find out how long it can take editing / doing video work on 32 bit. Nvidia cards support CUDA. Which can speed things up when you deal with video (if the program supports it that is). Unless you're superman, or something, a separate videocard wont make the video, sound, or photo editing any faster.

SolMiester
10-12-2010, 09:51 AM
Yeah, have to say Im a bit confused with the XP O/S statement, MS is dropping support anon and Windows 7 on a modern board and CPU runs rings around XP....
If you arent gaming, I would go for an AMD X4 or X6 with 4-8GB and x64 W7 and a dedicated sound card if editing sound files.
Here's a nice AMD combo with ASUS mainboard (USB3) 4GB RAM and the X6!! $600

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=13137

inphinity
10-12-2010, 09:56 AM
Given a budget of only $500, I would personally go with
AMD Athlon II X4 640 ~$160
Asus M4A87TD EVO ~ $180
Corsair XMS3 2x2GB DDR3-1333 ~ $120
~~ $460

I honestly do not believe you can get an equivalent-performing Intel package in the same price range. You'd have to go with something like an i3-540 and, honestly, for true multithreaded applications (as most good media editing applications are) - it will get TROUNCED by the genuine quad-core. You'd have to look at the i5-661 for comparable multi-threaded performance, and thats about $280. And if you are happy to splooge up the extra $120-odd, go with a Phenom II x6.

But don't use WinXP. If you're gonna stick with WinXP, don't even bother upgrading your PC, honestly.

utopian201
10-12-2010, 10:16 AM
They need to upgrade because their mobo died.

How long can you wait? In early January, Intel will release their second generation i7,5,3 processors. This means either a price drop for anything you get now, or you can get the newer processors for the same price as now.

I agree with speedy - use integrated graphics for now, since GPU can only accelerate encoding in specific circumstances. The new integrated graphics are about the same speed as a low end discrete graphics card (radeon 5450) - except its 'free'

Strommer
10-12-2010, 10:28 AM
Thanks for all of the replies. I don't want to be sorry with a purchase made from misconceptions or ignorance, so your feedback is appreciated.



With the motherboard it needs to have Onboard + a PCIE slot. That way you can add a card later if you want. Most ASUS onboard GPU ones do, but check first.

CPU, you need to decide if you're having AMD or Intel.

3 drives? Why? I have one.
You can get up to a 2TB drive now so space is not an issue really.

.


I guess the choice of AMD or Intel will come down to price (mb + cpu). Since I am not after a top end gaming system, I would think it will not matter if I go with AMD or Intel.

Multiple HDs - so that I can access my old HDs if needed.



AFAIK pretty much all motherboards still support XP.
The only problem you'll have with the 32-bit version is a memory limit of ~3.25GB.
Are you editing HD video or standard-def? If HD, i'd really recommend going Win7 64bit & as much RAM as you can get :D

As for brand of mobo, Gigabyte & Asus are usually at the top of the heap. Personally, I prefer Gigabyte over Asus. The last few i've had have been rock-solid.

Question about 32 and 64 bit: The laptop I am using now is SWMBO's new Toshiba. When I set it up, I was given the option of either 32 or 64, so I wonder if this is standard with any Win7 set up? That is, if a mb is rated at 64 bit, will I be able to choose either 32 or 64? The reason I ask is that I would like to stay with XP to save $$, but in the future I may want to go with windows and 64bit. BTW, I am assuming that WinXP will not do 64 bit - correct?






Is there a specific reason as to why you'd rather be using XP than 7?

Also, if you get 7 pro, you can get XP mode and stick the XP programs you need in a virtual environment.


Mainly I want to stick with XP to save $$. Also, from what I have heard Win7's XP virtualization can be fiddly and does not work 100%. The laptop I am using now has Win7 and I like it, but XP is also OK.




I dont think it matters WHAT videocard you get. The only reason you need one is so you see something on a screen. You may think twice, once you find out how long it can take editing / doing video work on 32 bit. Nvidia cards support CUDA. Which can speed things up when you deal with video (if the program supports it that is). Unless you're superman, or something, a separate videocard wont make the video, sound, or photo editing any faster.

I don't know if it will be possible, but ideally I would like to get a mobo that I can run XP on, and then opt for 64 bit (Win7) later if I want it. Unless XP can run 64 bit?? At the moment I would be happy with anything faster than the video editing speed of my old P4, but in the future I guess it would be good to have the option of going with 64 bit.





AFAIK pretty much all motherboards still support XP.
The only problem you'll have with the 32-bit version is a memory limit of ~3.25GB.
Are you editing HD video or standard-def? If HD, i'd really recommend going Win7 64bit & as much RAM as you can get :D

As for brand of mobo, Gigabyte & Asus are usually at the top of the heap. Personally, I prefer Gigabyte over Asus. The last few i've had have been rock-solid.


Presently I am using standard def video, not high definition. But in the future surely I will go high def, along with most else. As I have said above, if it is possible I would like to get a mobo so as to run XP now and then have the option to go with Win7 / 64 bit in the future. I would start with 2G RAM with XP, and then up it to at least 4G with Win7.

I will have a look at Gigabyte mobos and compare the cost with ASUS, as well as comparing the price of Intel and AMD cpu's.

Cellux
10-12-2010, 10:41 AM
Unless XP can run 64 bit??

XP Pro does have a 64 bit version, but it's known to be very buggy and isn't supported by a lot of hardware manufacturers, so it'll be difficult to find working drivers for pretty much any hardware.

Edit: Booyah, Masterton! :P

pctek
10-12-2010, 10:43 AM
Hmm.

" if you get 7 pro, you can get XP mode and stick the XP programs you need in a virtual
Default Re: Help me choose a mb & cpu

and
I dont think it matters WHAT videocard you get. The only reason you need one is so you see something on a screen. "


XP Mode isn't as good as it's made out to be. I tried it and the things I wanted it for still don't work even with it. Waste of time.


As for Graphics Crads, you don't get one to view things. That's what onboard GPUs are for/

Graphics cards are for Gaming.

Or those other non-gaming ones for high-end graphics type things.

Otherwise use onboard.

Cellux
10-12-2010, 10:46 AM
XP Mode isn't as good as it's made out to be. I tried it and the things I wanted it for still don't work even with it. Waste of time.
It's worked with a Casio Calculater software I was working with where it had to recognize and work with the plugged in calculater. It would be a good idea to research about the specific program if Strommer was thinking of going 7.



As for Graphics Crads, you don't get one to view things. That's what onboard GPUs are for/

Graphics cards are for Gaming.

Or those other non-gaming ones for high-end graphics type things.

Otherwise use onboard.
I agree with this.

Strommer
10-12-2010, 10:49 AM
:thumbs: Hey - thanks everyone for the replies - fantastic to get all this info. :thumbs:



Yeah, have to say Im a bit confused with the XP O/S statement, MS is dropping support anon and Windows 7 on a modern board and CPU runs rings around XP....
If you arent gaming, I would go for an AMD X4 or X6 with 4-8GB and x64 W7 and a dedicated sound card if editing sound files.
Here's a nice AMD combo with ASUS mainboard (USB3) 4GB RAM and the X6!! $600

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=13137

Thanks for the mobo-cpu suggestion. Looks good. I assume that I can run XP on it now, then sometime in the future switch over to Win7.

Everyone here is suggesting that I go for Win7... OK, I just had a look at PriceSpy and see that Win7 is only about $150, not as expensive as I had thought. If Win7 on a modern mobo really does run rings around XP (I assume you mean processing speed and not the bells and whistles), then maybe I will go Win7. I will first see if a few of my old programs will work on SWMBO's new Win7 laptop that I am using now - I know that Win7 has XP virtualization but I am not sure how fiddly and time consuming it would be to start the virtualization process every time I want to use a program.




Given a budget of only $500, I would personally go with
AMD Athlon II X4 640 ~$160
Asus M4A87TD EVO ~ $180
Corsair XMS3 2x2GB DDR3-1333 ~ $120
~~ $460

I honestly do not believe you can get an equivalent-performing Intel package in the same price range. You'd have to go with something like an i3-540 and, honestly, for true multithreaded applications (as most good media editing applications are) - it will get TROUNCED by the genuine quad-core. You'd have to look at the i5-661 for comparable multi-threaded performance, and thats about $280. And if you are happy to splooge up the extra $120-odd, go with a Phenom II x6.

But don't use WinXP. If you're gonna stick with WinXP, don't even bother upgrading your PC, honestly.


I can go higher than $500. I don't mind spending more $$ if the experts here on PF1 convince me that it is logical to do so. The thing is, I am not going to use the new system for games, and even the video and sound editing that I do is not done every day, so I don't need the highest spec blazing fast system. But I don't want a cheapie under spec system either.

Thanks for the suggestion of AMD, ASUS, and RAM. It gives me something to start with. If I could do it for around $500, the extra cost of Win7 will be easier to accept.





They need to upgrade because their mobo died.

How long can you wait? In early January, Intel will release their second generation i7,5,3 processors. This means either a price drop for anything you get now, or you can get the newer processors for the same price as now.

I agree with speedy - use integrated graphics for now, since GPU can only accelerate encoding in specific circumstances. The new integrated graphics are about the same speed as a low end discrete graphics card (radeon 5450) - except its 'free'


I guess that I can wait, but if it means picking up a bargain for 1st generation processors, then it may make sense to buy now. For my needs it seems to me that I do not need the highest spec cpu. In fact, I don't know if I need anything better than an i3 - would there be an advantage to get an i5 or i7 (or AMD equivalent) since I am not using the system for games? I am not knowledgeable about cpu's, other than I know to avoid cheapies like Celeron.

Graphics - I will stick with integrated, with the option of adding a card later if necessary (who knows, I may someday turn into a gamer...).

Strommer
10-12-2010, 11:05 AM
XP Mode isn't as good as it's made out to be. ...


... It would be a good idea to research about the specific program if Strommer was thinking of going 7.




I will see if (my ;) version of) Photoshop CS3 works OK on this Win7 laptop I am using now. Otherwise I will have to use GIMP which I suppose I could get used to... There may be another program or two to test. Yesterday I was set on sticking to WinXP but now reading all the comments, I am warming to Win7. :)


To clarify: Win7 Home Premium does NOT have XP virtualization?
So it is an extra $50 or so to get Win7 Pro if I want XP virtualization?





Booyah, Masterton! :P

Beaut day today. :banana I gotta get off the laptop and outside!!!

Hey, are you any good at putting in new mobos? Just asking... :lol:
I have done one mobo job previously so I should be OK, but just in case...

SolMiester
10-12-2010, 11:40 AM
Dont worry about XP Mode...there are heaps of Virtualisation programs out there that will run XP in a virtual bubble for you on your Windows 7 pc....Personally, I use free VMWare Player! So just get the cheap Premium version....
If you put XP and Windows 7 (x86 version) on the same modern PC with 4gb ram, the W7 machine would be quicker....If you go x64, You can rise the RAM to 8-12GB, which is where 7 really takes off. With such a big memory cache, 7 will fill it with super-fetch files and it really does feel quicker...RAM is cheap!

inphinity
10-12-2010, 02:50 PM
I have Photoshop CS3 & CS5 both working fine in a Win7 Home Premium x64 machine.

As for which CPUs to go for - an Athlon II or above will be fine. I'd go with a genuine quad-core, as the video/sound editing apps usually take good advantage of this. The X4 640 will give you very similar performance in most such applications as the i5-660 which is about $120 more.

If you were gaming, or looking at high-end (i.e. i7s) it may be a different story, but for multi-threaded applications in the low- and mid-range I believe that the AMD options offer the best bang for buck.

Strommer
11-12-2010, 08:02 AM
The AMD option appeals to me (as outlined by inphinity below).

Some questions:

CPU - The Phenom II x6 cost around $100 - $200 more than the Athlon II x4. I can spend the extra $$ if it would be really worth it. If I was gaming I guess that the hex core would be an advantage, but is the Phenom really that much faster than the quad (for video encoding, etc)? Would there be any disadvantages with the Phenom, such as running hot and requiring extra cooling? Which Phenom - Black Edition?


Mobo - [ M4A87TD specs here (http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?e=600018) ]

What are the onboard graphic specs? There is no graphics card slot, but as has already be discussed, a graphics card would not be an advantage for my uses.

Would an AGP slot be useful (or is this outdated technology)?

It does not have eSATA - I thought eSATA was for faster HD data transfer rate.?

It does not have Firewire - is Firewire for faster data transfer using an external HD?

There is no 'video out'. If I wanted to send video to our (LCD HD) TV, would Video Out be useful?

There is no "Support for integrated graphics in CPU" - is this even available on mb's?

Manufacturer warranty = 3 year :thumbs:

USB 3 :thumbs:


I could spend more on a mobo, if necessary... but have not looked at what more expensive boards would offer.


RAM - I take it that 4Gb is minimum running 64 bit. If 6 or 8 Gb would make a noticeable difference, I will go with that.


>>:thanks


Given a budget of only $500, I would personally go with
AMD Athlon II X4 640 ~$160
Asus M4A87TD EVO ~ $180
Corsair XMS3 2x2GB DDR3-1333 ~ $120
~~ $460

I honestly do not believe you can get an equivalent-performing Intel package in the same price range. You'd have to go with something like an i3-540 and, honestly, for true multithreaded applications (as most good media editing applications are) - it will get TROUNCED by the genuine quad-core. You'd have to look at the i5-661 for comparable multi-threaded performance, and thats about $280. And if you are happy to splooge up the extra $120-odd, go with a Phenom II x6.

But don't use WinXP. If you're gonna stick with WinXP, don't even bother upgrading your PC, honestly.


...
...
If you were gaming, or looking at high-end (i.e. i7s) it may be a different story, but for multi-threaded applications in the low- and mid-range I believe that the AMD options offer the best bang for buck.

Speedy Gonzales
11-12-2010, 08:19 AM
AGP is outdated, and I doubt you'll see an AGP port on more recent mobos.

Only advantage of Esata (or one of them), you can plug a hdd in from the outside). If you want Esata just buy a case with it on, or get a bracket, so you can connect it from the back.

The case, I've got here has Esata. on the front. I havent used it yet tho. I have to get a Esata SATA cable (which looks like its keyed differently to a normal SATA cable). ie: A normal SATA cable wont fit.

Cant say I've used FW for external hdd's. I usually use the FW on this (not onboard tho, its a PCI card), to transfer video from a DV camera. I had a mobo (AMD) with onboard firewire, but it refused to work

If you want to use it on a HD TV, if its got HDMI, get a videocard (or get a mobo with HDMI on it)

If you mean HD Integrated graphics (when you say Support for integrated graphics in CPU). The CPU / and the mobo support this.

But, (I think), this applies to Intel mobo's / CPU's not AMD. And you have to make sure you get the right CPU. Since, not all Intel CPU's support it

plod
11-12-2010, 06:53 PM
I will see if (my ;) version of) Photoshop CS3 works OK on this Win7 laptop I am using now. Otherwise I will have to use GIMP which I suppose I could get used to... There may be another program or two to test. Yesterday I was set on sticking to WinXP but now reading all the comments, I am warming to Win7. :)


To clarify: Win7 Home Premium does NOT have XP virtualization?
So it is an extra $50 or so to get Win7 Pro if I want XP virtualization?





Beaut day today. :banana I gotta get off the laptop and outside!!!

Hey, are you any good at putting in new mobos? Just asking... :lol:
I have done one mobo job previously so I should be OK, but just in case...
There is always Suns virtual box. http://www.virtualbox.org/. Its free, and then you don't need the more expensive version of win7

inphinity
11-12-2010, 08:04 PM
Mobo - [ M4A87TD specs here (http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?e=600018) ]

What are the onboard graphic specs? There is no graphics card slot, but as has already be discussed, a graphics card would not be an advantage for my uses.

There is a graphics card slot - there are actuall 2 PCIe x-16 slots (though one runs in x4 mode if you're trying to SLI/Xfire). There is no onboard graphics.

Apologies, I hadn't spotted where you were after onboard graphics.

The M4A88TD-M EVO (http://pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=MBDAS54974), however, has a Radeon 4250 onboard, and is otherwise very similar to the M4A87TD EVO, except it is mATX formfactor, so you get only 1 PCI-e x16 slot and 2 PCI-e x1 slots - neither of which is likely to matter for your purposes. They're very similar pricing.

AGP is dead and buried and has been so for many years.

Both those boards DO have an eSATA 3Gbps port.

Both DO have a FireWire 400 port.

No AMD CPU supports integrated graphics at the moment, so no AMD platform motherboard will either.

The integrated Radeon in the M4A88 supports DVI, VGA and HDMI outputs, so if your TV supports any of these you should be able to connect to it via that.

4GB RAM is fine. If the images/videos you're dealing with are reasonably large, 8GB may well give you noticable performance benefits, but is not a necessity.

Strommer
12-12-2010, 09:43 AM
There is a graphics card slot - there are actuall 2 PCIe x-16 slots (though one runs in x4 mode if you're trying to SLI/Xfire). There is no onboard graphics.

Apologies, I hadn't spotted where you were after onboard graphics.

If I get a mb without onboard graphics then how cheap is a decent low-end graphics card? It is not for gaming.



The M4A88TD-M EVO (http://pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=MBDAS54974), however, has a Radeon 4250 onboard, and is otherwise very similar to the M4A87TD EVO, except it is mATX formfactor, so you get only 1 PCI-e x16 slot and 2 PCI-e x1 slots - neither of which is likely to matter for your purposes. They're very similar pricing.


What sort of things are put into PCI slots? In my old P4 system there is a TV+Radio plug-in so could I use that in the new system? I don't mind paying a bit more for an inexpensive graphics card in the larger mb that has extra slots - I don't want to regret not having extra PCI-e slots sometime in the future.



Both those boards DO have an eSATA 3Gbps port.

Both DO have a FireWire 400 port.

I must have misread the specs. It is good to know fw and eSATA are there.



No AMD CPU supports integrated graphics at the moment, so no AMD platform motherboard will either.

The integrated Radeon in the M4A88 supports DVI, VGA and HDMI outputs, so if your TV supports any of these you should be able to connect to it via that.

Our new TV has HDMI and probably DVI, VGA. At the moment there is no plan to connect the desktop to the TV (will use SWMBO's laptop), but I would like to 'future proof' the new system (e.g. if wireless video becomes viable).



4GB RAM is fine. If the images/videos you're dealing with are reasonably large, 8GB may well give you noticable performance benefits, but is not a necessity.

With RAM so cheap it would be nice to have 8Gb, even if just for the psychological :rolleyes: value. On this thread Solmiester says "If you go x64, You can rise the RAM to 8-12GB, which is where 7 really takes off. With such a big memory cache, 7 will fill it with super-fetch files and it really does feel quicker...RAM is cheap! ".

I plan to order the new mb and cpu tomorrow. If you or other PF1ers have other suggestions, please post - thanks. I'll look at a few other Gigabyte mb's on PriceSpy.

Presently it is a choice between M4A88TD-M EVO and
M4A87TD EVO (with a graphics card).

Speedy Gonzales
12-12-2010, 09:48 AM
You can put PCI tuners, firewire cards (I've got a PCI fw card in this). There's probably more you can put in a PCI slot.Nothing wrong with using onboard video, if its just for basic things. You could probably get a separate vid card for $80-100. Most mobos can go to 16 GB. But, 4 GB sticks arent easy to find (and probably not cheap). And if you decide to get 8 - 12 GB, make sure the mobo supports that much first.

Strommer
12-12-2010, 02:19 PM
You can put PCI tuners, firewire cards (I've got a PCI fw card in this). There's probably more you can put in a PCI slot.Nothing wrong with using onboard video, if its just for basic things.
...


Thanks Speedy.

The M4A88TD mobo that I am looking to get ( specs here (http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?e=609346)) has:

PCI Express x1 2 pc
PCI Express x16 1 pc
PCI slots 1 pc


What is the difference between the above 3 PCI's?
Which would I plug in my old PCI TV-Radio tuner?
Can a graphics card be added to one of these? [The mobo has onboard graphics.]

BTW, the specs listed on the PriceSpy page says it does not have a microphone input - but surely this must be a typo - I thought all mobo's would have mic inputs...?

...

Found this review (http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/motherboards/278761/asus-m4a88td-v-evo-usb3) for the mobo.

This seems to answer my question about the PCI slots (from the review article):

There's a good selection of slots on this board, including the usual four memory slots supporting up to 16GB of DDR3. If you want to add an external graphics card at some point, then there are two PCI-Express x16 with CrossFire support, though these are more likely to be used for adding other expansion cards. In addition, there's a single PCI-Express x1 slot as well. Three PCI slots are also provided for older cards.

inphinity
12-12-2010, 02:43 PM
PCI Express x1 2 pc
PCI Express x16 1 pc
PCI slots 1 pc


What is the difference between the above 3 PCI's?


A PCI-e x16 slot is for a graphics card.
PCI-e x1 slots are for addon cards.
PCI slots are the previous generation add-on slots, and have been superceded by PCI-e x1 but are often still included for compatibility with older cards.



Which would I plug in my old PCI TV-Radio tuner?


Assuming it's a PCI card, it would go in the PCI slot.



Can a graphics card be added to one of these? [The mobo has onboard graphics.]

Yes, a PCI-e graphics card can go in the PCI-e x16 slot.




BTW, the specs listed on the PriceSpy page says it does not have a microphone input - but surely this must be a typo - I thought all mobo's would have mic inputs...?


It has 8-channel audio, supporting 7.1 surround, and includes a mic-in.



Found this review (http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/motherboards/278761/asus-m4a88td-v-evo-usb3) for the mobo.


That's actually a review for an M4A88TD-V, not TD-M. They're the same chipset, but the -V is a full ATX board not mATX. The only practical difference is the -V has a second PCI-e x16 slot to support Xfire/SLI, and has 3 PCI and 1 PCI-e x1 slots, rather than 2 PCI-e x1 and 1 PCI slots. Other than the slot layout, features & functionality are nigh-on identical.

Strommer
12-12-2010, 02:57 PM
Good info inphinity - thanks.

Now my questions are:

Athlon or Phenom?

Quad or Hex core?

I see that Athlon's do not have an L3 cache and I wonder if that would make any difference for my purposes?

The prices are approx: $150 Athlon quad, $210 Phenom quad, $280 Phenom hex

Strommer
13-12-2010, 07:42 AM
What size of cpu fan - 120mm? Which brand is quiet, and good quality?


Presently this is on my hit list:

AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition ($210)

ASUS M4A88TD-M EVO/USB3 ($155)

Corsair 8Gb RAM ($120 + $120)

Comments welcome.

If you are new to this thread, this system is for video & sound editing, not for gaming.

inphinity
13-12-2010, 08:42 AM
What size of cpu fan - 120mm? Which brand is quiet, and good quality?


What's wrong with the HSF that comes with the 955?

SolMiester
13-12-2010, 08:49 AM
What size of cpu fan - 120mm? Which brand is quiet, and good quality?


Presently this is on my hit list:

AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition ($210)

ASUS M4A88TD-M EVO/USB3 ($155)

Corsair 8Gb RAM ($120 + $120)

Comments welcome.

If you are new to this thread, this system is for video & sound editing, not for gaming.

I dont really think you would notice the difference between 6 & 4 core unless you spend most of the time encoding...However the new Phemons do have a better turbo mode than the others, which means while only a few of the cores are used, the CPU will speed up a couple of bins for automatic clocking which will give a speed bump....For an extra $70, the turbo would be nice!
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/amd_talks_about_phenom_ii_x6%E2%80%99s_turbo_core


Nice mainboard and RAM....ya going well mate!

Strommer
13-12-2010, 10:04 AM
What's wrong with the HSF that comes with the 955?

I thought a fan had to be purchased separately. Now I see in the specs (http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?e=422706) that it comes with a fan but it does not state what brand. As long as it is quiet and good quality I will be happy.



I dont really think you would notice the difference between 6 & 4 core unless you spend most of the time encoding...However the new Phemons do have a better turbo mode than the others, which means while only a few of the cores are used, the CPU will speed up a couple of bins for automatic clocking which will give a speed bump....For an extra $70, the turbo would be nice!
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/amd_talks_about_phenom_ii_x6%E2%80%99s_turbo_core



First I was set to get 6 core, and a Phenom, but reading various reviews it now looks like an Athlon 4 core will be about equivalent for video/sound/photo work. According to this review (http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Athlon_II_X4_645/7.html) the video encoding speeds, etc. for the Athlon 645 is excellent (sometimes better than Phenoms). It seems that Phenoms are more for gaming. The specs on Phenoms are impressive, however. Take note that my knowledge of cpu's is minimal, so if you PF1 experts say that a Phenom is the way for me, then OK; the extra cost is minimal, only $30 or so. I am not on a strict budget so I don't mind spending more, but as I do not need a blazing fast game machine it will not make sense to throw $$ away when not needed for my purpose.

?? Athlon II x4 645 (3.1 Ghz) ... or ... Phenom II x4 955 (3.2 Ghz) ??



Nice mainboard and RAM....ya going well mate!

:thumbs: My choices reflect the help I have been given on this thread. :thumbs:

Strommer
13-12-2010, 10:09 AM
If you arent gaming, I would go for an AMD X4 or X6 with 4-8GB and x64 W7 and a dedicated sound card if editing sound files.
...


This may well show my ignorance, but I thought sound cards were only for producing better sound quality to speakers. Would a sound card speed up the process for sound editing/encoding?

inphinity
13-12-2010, 10:22 AM
Athlon II x4 645 (3.1 Ghz) ... or ... Phenom II x4 955 (3.2 Ghz)

The Athlon II will do the job fine. The Phenom 955 will do it faster. This one really comes down to how much you care about performance - personally, I would go with the Phenom, it's only about $35 or so difference.

SolMiester
13-12-2010, 10:49 AM
This may well show my ignorance, but I thought sound cards were only for producing better sound quality to speakers. Would a sound card speed up the process for sound editing/encoding?

Here is a quick article that may help you decide...personally, Im no audiophile, so id rather spend the money on a better GPU, however.....
http://www.tested.com/news/integrated-vs-dedicated-sound-cards-whats-the-real-difference/569/

SolMiester
13-12-2010, 10:59 AM
[QUOTE=Strommer;975039

First I was set to get 6 core, and a Phenom, but reading various reviews it now looks like an Athlon 4 core will be about equivalent for video/sound/photo work. According to this review (http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/Athlon_II_X4_645/7.html) the video encoding speeds, etc. for the Athlon 645 is excellent (sometimes better than Phenoms). It seems that Phenoms are more for gaming. The specs on Phenoms are impressive, however. Take note that my knowledge of cpu's is minimal, so if you PF1 experts say that a Phenom is the way for me, then OK; the extra cost is minimal, only $30 or so. I am not on a strict budget so I don't mind spending more, but as I do not need a blazing fast game machine it will not make sense to throw $$ away when not needed for my purpose.

?? Athlon II x4 645 (3.1 Ghz) ... or ... Phenom II x4 955 (3.2 Ghz) ??




:thumbs: My choices reflect the help I have been given on this thread. :thumbs:[/QUOTE]

You have to look at the right benchmarks....

There is no Athlon X4 here, but here you can see the extra cores showing 33% increase over the X4 Phenom....which has 200mhz speed advantage....For me, the ole adage, get the best you can afford still rings true for PC building....

Strommer
13-12-2010, 04:52 PM
I have made the order, mostly from Computer Lounge.

Decided to go with the Phenom, and added a 1T Seagate, 32Mb.

:thanks Thanks everyone for your help. :thanks

BTW, it is possible that my old ASUS mobo died because I failed to do the routine twice-a-year cleaning - there was a great deal of dust in the cpu fan so maybe this created heat in the mobo.

Strommer
13-12-2010, 06:19 PM
PF1ers have recommended Computer Lounge, and I can see why...

I ordered the Corsair RAM, but after placing the order on Computer Lounge and making payment, Computer Lounge sent me an email 10 minutes later to inform me that it was out of stock - BUT that I could have the 4 Gb Corsair 'Vengeance' (http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=14160) for the same price! Well, maybe sometime I will play around with overclocking to take advantage of this supercharged RAM. :cool:

Agent_24
13-12-2010, 07:29 PM
The stock fan for your CPU will be OK but if it's anything like the one for my Phenom II 945 and you want decent cooling you should probably get something better.

inphinity
13-12-2010, 08:05 PM
The stock fan for your CPU will be OK but if it's anything like the one for my Phenom II 945 and you want decent cooling you should probably get something better.

Depends, I am using the stock AMD BE cooler that came with my 955, and with an ambient case temp of 38*C, it keeps the CPU at around 52*C under load, and thats clocked up from the factory 3.2GHz to 3.6GHz.

Boy am I itching to get my hands on a 970BE :/

Agent_24
13-12-2010, 08:14 PM
What is the stock 955 cooler like?

The one for my 945 is quite small, no heatpipes or even copper insert.

inphinity
13-12-2010, 08:33 PM
What is the stock 955 cooler like?

The one for my 945 is quite small, no heatpipes or even copper insert.

Copper base with 4 copper heatpipes and then standard aluminium blades. I believe it was a new HSF that launched with the 955 (and included with later models). It's not the world's quietest (nor is it especially loud - about the same as any HSF with what looks to be an 80mm fan, though I haven't measured it), but it's really easy to install, and very effective. I played around with several options from Zalman, Thermalright etc and found the only way to get better performance or quieter was a supersized heatsink with a 120mm fan.

Don't get me wrong, there's better coolers out there, but the stock one with the 955 and above is just fine for stock speeds or slight OCing, as long as your case has reasonable airflow.

Also, I'm just using the thermal pad that came with the HSF. I suspect if I put some arctic silver on there I'd drop another ~3*C.

Agent_24
13-12-2010, 11:08 PM
Wish AMD had given me one of those for mine!

Mine is like this one: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Cooling-fans/auction-338923198.htm

Idle temperatures are OK (31C right now) but I've seen it hit 62C on load...

Strommer
14-12-2010, 08:10 AM
Wish AMD had given me one of those for mine!

Mine is like this one: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Cooling-fans/auction-338923198.htm

Idle temperatures are OK (31C right now) but I've seen it hit 62C on load...


How is that fan better than the stock AMD one? Larger heat sink?
There are no specs with that Trademe fan.


inphinity:
the stock one with the 955 and above is just fine for stock speeds or slight OCing, as long as your case has reasonable airflow.

There is no need for me to do any OCing, but I would like to install a fan on the case - I guess I will have to cut a large hole in the side of the case but that is OK - I want to avoid any possible overheating even though I won't be stressing the system at all. Any advice on a quiet fan to mount on the side panel?

The Phenom I ordered is the 955 Black Edition x4.
Mobo is the M4A88TD-M

SolMiester
14-12-2010, 08:18 AM
How is that fan better than the stock AMD one? Larger heat sink?
There are no specs with that Trademe fan.


inphinity:

There is no need for me to do any OCing, but I would like to install a fan on the case - I guess I will have to cut a large hole in the side of the case but that is OK - I want to avoid any possible overheating even though I won't be stressing the system at all. Any advice on a quiet fan to mount on the side panel?

The Phenom I ordered is the 955 Black Edition x4.
Mobo is the M4A88TD-M

Why do you think you need to install a fan in the side of the case?. What case do you current have. I dont recommend this as cases are built to create airflow from front and out the back, inserting a side fan will disrupt the airflow and may well degrade the existing flow!

Strommer
14-12-2010, 08:36 AM
Why do you think you need to install a fan in the side of the case?. What case do you current have. I dont recommend this as cases are built to create airflow from front and out the back, inserting a side fan will disrupt the airflow and may well degrade the existing flow!

Don't know specific model of case it is other than a 'tall tower' type.
Just thought a side fan would be a good idea but if it is going to disrupt the flow I will forget it. Maybe the new mobo will have a temperature sensor that can warn me of high a high temp...

More of a problem is dust (see my other thread (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=114693) about cleaning dust). The pc sits near floor level, carpet, living area of our home. For some reason this house is quite dusty even though we are not near a metal road or other source of dust. Shelves of my computer desk get a lot of dust. It would be good to put a filter screen over the vents somehow but it seems impractical. Guess I will have to do the regular 6 month dust job. I thought a side fan may reduce dust on the mobo...

Agent_24
14-12-2010, 09:56 AM
How is that fan better than the stock AMD one? Larger heat sink?
There are no specs with that Trademe fan.

That one IS the stock AMD one.
The same one that I have.

The 125 Watt CPUs have a much better heatsink with 4 heatpipes in it.

SolMiester
14-12-2010, 10:51 AM
Don't know specific model of case it is other than a 'tall tower' type.
Just thought a side fan would be a good idea but if it is going to disrupt the flow I will forget it. Maybe the new mobo will have a temperature sensor that can warn me of high a high temp...

More of a problem is dust (see my other thread (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?t=114693) about cleaning dust). The pc sits near floor level, carpet, living area of our home. For some reason this house is quite dusty even though we are not near a metal road or other source of dust. Shelves of my computer desk get a lot of dust. It would be good to put a filter screen over the vents somehow but it seems impractical. Guess I will have to do the regular 6 month dust job. I thought a side fan may reduce dust on the mobo...

Perhaps you should invest in a new case complete with dust filters....I actually had a look at mine the other day...I have a wind tunnel which grabs air from the front and passes it over the RAM and thru the CPU heast sink and cooling fan and out yet another fan at the rear....thats all good but the rest of the case is quite bad. I also have a Sandforce SSD ready to go in, however after working all day with servers and pc, im really just feeling a little lazy about the home pc, especially when the wife uses it more than me!!