OT a little: help with PC rig for photoshop use

SM
Posted By
Stuart_McCoy
Apr 1, 2004
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569
Replies
13
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Closed
Dave,

I just bought some new hardware for myself from zipzoomfly.com. Intel listed them as an online store and they had reasonable prices. For ~$850 I got a P4 2.8GHz Prescott, Intel 875 chipset motherboard, 1GHz DDR400 RAM, 160GB Serial ATA drive and a new power supply. Im finally replacing my aging dual Xeon PII 450 system and bumping my RAM up by 256 MB.

Pete,

Look at Anandtech.com <http://www.anandtech.com> for more reasonable benchmarks and discussion. They do list gaming benchmarks but they don’t focus on them and they realize that gaming benchmarks aren’t the end-all-be-all of CPU performance. In fact, the reason I looked at the P4 2.8GHz Prescott CPU was because of the article comparing P4 3.0 GHz CPUs (the Northwood, Prescott and Northwood Extreme Edition CPUs). The Prescott CPUs performed lower, though about as well as the Northwood, even though it’s a newer CPU design but on workststion performance tasks it really shined.

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Mick_Murphy
Apr 1, 2004
Pete

You will probably notice very little real-life difference between PC2700 and PC3200 in terms of speed. I’ve tried both with an Athlon 3000 400 FSB and the speed difference with PS isn’t worth talking about. I’ve got a 2800 Barton 333FSB with 1G of 3200 at the moment which is marginally slower than the 3000 but again the difference in PS performance is not worth consideration (less than 5%).

The 2800 is matched in most and beaten in some tasks by my P2.4 hyperthreaded laptop which has 1 Gb of 266 Mhz RAM. I don’t know if this is due to the hyperthreading but it leaves the Athlon behind on some processor-intensive tasks like Lens Blur.

I’ve also had some serious heating problems with the Athlons with two damaged processors. Fortunately the dealer has swapped them out for me with no hassle.

The conclusion: it’s a nice machine but I wish I’d gone for a P2.8 or higher really.
DM
dave_milbut
Apr 2, 2004
I’ve tried both with an Athlon 3000 400 FSB

not the same as an 800 FSB. Not sure what the diff in speed would be, but my GUESS would be fairly significant on large operations. Especially since the pc3200 (400 mhz) is matched to the 800 & 400 fsb (but might not be as noticable at 400 mhz).

way to go stuart. that’s about what i paid for mine with the 865 (same processor and hard drive). that’s the diff a couple of months make. i hear the 875 rocks.
SM
Stuart_McCoy
Apr 2, 2004
Dave,

The Inte 875 motherboard I got was Prescott ready which meant I could get the 2.8GHz Prescott CPU instead of the 3.0GHz Northwood but I’d be a little ahead with the SSE3 instruction set. I also forgot to add that part of that $850 price included a 128MB GeForce 5200 video card. Not bad for a motherboard, CPU, power supply, 160GB hard drive, video card and 1GB RAM.
DM
dave_milbut
Apr 2, 2004
ah, i got the 2.8c northwood. my system was bare bones case, board, memory and cpu only for 750. i added on the hard drive, cd-rw/dvd combo (brought it up to 1100 w/shipping) and screaming new (from compusa) ati aiw 9700 pro 8x agp (400). you GOTTA take advantage of the 8x if the 5200 doesn’t use it. The WWII games I play FLY!!!
P
PixelPete17
Apr 2, 2004
Thanks you guys. I’m still in indecisive-budget-bumbling jumbo-justification mode…lol…but keep hearing conclusive and credible comments about the benefits of a fast P4 over the Athlon units. If I can get my research and budget together, I’m gonna try to put together a good P4 system that is both fast and upgradeable.

Now…could someone could give me basic rundown of the the different techno-nomenclatures…Northwood?…Prescott?…I’ve heard of em but don’t knwo the detail of their meaning?

All help is welcome, and thanks so much for the help thus far. 🙂

Pete
DM
dave_milbut
Apr 2, 2004
the best thing about the intel board/chip is the stability. this is the first intel system i’ve ever had and the only one i’ve ever gotten to sleep (and then wake up!) successfully. everything is just so well designed!

northwood is the last generation of p4, prescott is the new one. i’ve got a northwood.

<http://indigo.intel.com/mbsg/>
AP
Alpha_Papa
Apr 2, 2004
The GeForce 5600 is just being replaced by the 5700 and the 5900 by the 5950 so the prices of the former cards should be coming down (and they are fine performers) – hence I’d go that path in the interim when shopping (the 5900 and 5950 come 256MB and share technology with the 5700. The Nvidia site is better explaining this than me.

As for P4’s now, why go 2.8 when you can go 3.0 for the same price? From my reading, the 2.8 Prescott slightly underperforms against the Prescott 3.0 but there is no benefit going Prescott 3.2.

I can’t understand why 2GB Ram would underperform btw – but it may be a factor of the motherboard – not just the P4 chip.

Hey Dave – let me know if I can introduce ya to WW2 turn based action. I do some work for a mob at the forefront 😉

Adam.
DM
dave_milbut
Apr 2, 2004
let me know if I can introduce ya to WW2 turn based action.

huh wa? 🙂 if you want to email me you can reach me at aikodude at yahoo dot com.
SM
Stuart_McCoy
Apr 2, 2004
Dave,

The 5200 is an AGP 8x card and the few games I do play on my PC should really fly now. I have an XBOX for playing games and there’s a rumor that a version of Call of Duty is going to be released for the XBOX but I thought the PC game rocked so I might buy it now that I have a PC that can handle it. Mostly I play games like Dungeon Siege though and I’m looking forward to see what the game looks like with all the bells and whistles turned on.

Alpha,

The 2.8GHz Prescott I got was about $40 cheaper than the 3.0GHz Northwood but the big difference is with the Prescott containing the newer SSE3 instruction set (Northwood uses SSE2). Once apps like Photoshop start taking advantage of them I’ll already be ahead of the game here. Plus, the Northwood CPUs only marginally beat out the Prescott CPUs in game performance and this was only by a few frames or a few points better in the benchmarks translating to little discernible difference in reality. However, the Prescott did shine when multimedia apps used the SSE3 instruction set and those marginal differences in game performance were more than made up for here.
P
PixelPete17
Apr 2, 2004
Well now I’m REALLY OT, lol, but if you want a copy of Call of Duty let me know…I’ll sell you mine for a good price as finished it and don’t play multiplayer CoD. If you’re interested just give me an e-mail address and I’ll contact you with the heading: CALL OF DUTY CAllING. 🙂 heh

I don’t like posting my e-mail address publicly so I don’t post it in forums. I have plenty of ebay feedback. 🙂

Thanks for the added help you guys…sounds like the 2.8C is the ticket, but I’ve gotta do more research on the motherboard/ram slowdown issue..

Fun stuff, 🙂

Arty
MM
Mick_Murphy
Apr 2, 2004
There have been a number of reports here about problems with 2 Gb of dual-channel DDR RAM with P4s. The dual-channel bit is signficant. I wonder if this was universal in the benchmark tests implying that it might be a more widespread problem. I expect you will be ok with your existing RAM but you won’t get the full performance. Whether you will notice this is another question.
DM
dave_milbut
Apr 2, 2004
Call of Duty

Eeeeexcellent!

Dungeon Siege

just recently finished the 1st Neverwinter Nights. It looks AWESOME with everything cranked up and runs with nary a stutter.

as finished it and don’t play multiplayer CoD.

you’re missing the biggest and best part of the game.
P
PixelPete17
Apr 2, 2004
as finished it and don’t play multiplayer CoD.

"you’re missing the biggest and best part of the game."

Not to me….I play other FPS that are far more tactical and challenging IMO. 🙂 Far Cry is next I suppose, if I ever get some free time and a working pc again lol.

Pete

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