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Old 03-18-2006, 05:36 AM   #1
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Default Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

Am I right in thinking that it's a lot smarter to NOT get a machine with integrated video and audio? I would think that's just common sense. I've never had it and I don't think I want it, but I wanted opinions first.

And here is what I am thinking about doing, any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

Been thinking about just getting a new, barebones machine. I don't do much of anything other than email, surf, read, play streaming music, watch the occasional google or youtube video. I am not a gamer and I do not use my home computer for work related issues. I just want good sound, non-jerky video and good resolution, fast program response and the ability to run a few programs at once without the machine throwing up or freaking out because I asked it to do too much. And of course, overall response time from clicking on something to it opening or doing what I ask it to do is important. The shortest lag time, the better.

I can get into this base unit for under 300 bucks, it's a build, not a brand name:

AMD Athlon 64 3200 (2.0 ghz 512 KB L2 cache)
64 bit
512 MB DDR 400 memory
10/100 lan
SATA Raid 0,1
PCie 16x x 1 x ( does anybody know what this is?!)
Nvidia GeForce6 100 video
8 ch stereo
350 watt power supply.

I think that's a pretty good machine for the price. Hah! I just noticed there is nothing listed about a hard drive or OS.....huh. Guess I should ask about that eh?


Right now my current machine is:

Intel Pentium II, 333 MHz (5 x 67)
256 MB (SDRAM)
ATI Technologies, Inc. 3D RAGE PRO AGP 2X (8 MB)
HP vs15 flat panel monitor
Creative SB PCI128 (Ensoniq ES5880) Sound Card
Intel(r) 82371AB/EB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller
Maxtor 40 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100
IOMEGA ZIP 100
SONY CD-RW CRX230ED (52x/32x/52x CD-RW)
Linksys 10/100 fast ethernet PCI card
3.5 floppy

It gets the job done, but it's a little slow. It can't handle some online games and videos and such, and Norton Auto Protect slows it down to molasses, so I disable that from background running.......otherwise, it gets by. I guess I am satisfied with it, but it never hurts to better one's self or one's computer.

What do you think?

Thanks!
Ryan
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

Uumm..for what you want to do, an Intel Pentuim 4 would be best, even a celeron.

So what I suggest is...

Intel Pentuim 4/Celeron
1GB DDR 400 ram
Simple 128mb video card
100GB SATA hard drive
Just use onboard sound...


Something has just come into my head, that everyone will KILL me for...

Consider a DELL! - But a half decent one...tney very cheap, very good onboard sound, but onboard video, but you could upgrade with the AGP slot...

Whats your price limit?
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

As a rule, integrated is not a good choice. For an integrated video card, you'll end up using your actual system memory (Probably about 128MB/512MB) for that integrated video - and without a doubt, it's not very good.

The build you're thinking of is very good - an AMD64 3200+ will definitely provide you with the better experience you've been aiming for. For the things you do, and if you're not a gamer, there should really not be an issue with integrated aside from it using some of your RAM - but you're also used to 256MB SD, so for what you do with the system, this should not really be an issue. Integrated audio takes CPU clock cycles and for the most part, is nothing that one could call amazing, but like I said - for what you do, this should also not be an issue. I have seen many systems with integrated audio and they do just fine - and they're for gaming. But the performance hungry user will not use integrated audio - and the gamer/graphics designer is not going to use integrated video.

HDD and OS, definitely - also, the PCI-E/PCIe is just one PCI-E (PCI Express) slot for a video card that is PCI-E, not compatible with AGP video cards, but this would make your choices for upgrading video there. In general terms, the 16X is the speed for the BUS on that PCI-E. Like AGP, there was AGP4X and AGP8X, etc, and not really something you'll need to be concerned with.

To be honest, if you're pretty satisfied with the PII 333MHz - you'll be ecstatic with the new build regardless. You not only have an excellent CPU powering that new build - but double the RAM (And DDR). I would assume that your integrated audio may even be better than the sound card - but again, it's not an area I excel at for knowledge and I apologize - but because it's a sound card, you would be open to using it on your new build if the integrated audio wasn't to your liking. And the integrated video is going to be better than the old video of that computer.

There are other ways you could create a more solid build - around things such as gaming. You could improve the power supply and motherboard to some kind of nForce build, buy a PCI-E video card, double the memory - but if you're just using e-mail, reading, playing streamed music, and watching the occasional videos - believe me, that system will do precisely what you want at a price that seems rather comfortable. Although I don't know about the case or anything - other than that, for what you do, that computer should be more than enough.

For someone who isn't a gamer, you can also take a look at any of the Intel offerings for sure - and if you're thinking of something to do the tasks you mentioned with very little gaming involved, I see nothing bad about taking a look at some of the budget lines of processors - Sempron from AMD and Celeron D from Intel. An Intel processor benefits from some things that could be beneficial for you - and Hyper-Threading is one of them.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

Intels are way better for the things you want to do, to go with AMD would be stupid.

As for the intergrated video, in all the systems I have done that have onboard video, I have compensated for that - so if the person wants 1GB of ram - I would put a gig in, and then add another 128MB stick - its up to you though.

But consider a DELL with a RAM upgrade.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

Well if the price is right, the difference between getting them would probably be very little for him. If he can get the 3200+ at a competitive price - then he might as well go AMD. If he can get an Intel at the same or better - definitely go with the Intel. It's a tossed bag since either one is going to be a dramatic improvement to him - if we're talking the feel of the system where everyday tasks are concerned, like his own, I personally feel an Intel would be better - but if he chose AMD64, I'm not going to bully him into an Intel processor - it'd make me just as bad as those lurking AMD fanboys.

I second the Dell suggestion though - they have some decent builds at reasonable prices. For what he does - doubling the RAM should not be an issue. We're talking about someone who has been, overall, satisfied with 256MB SD RAM - so even 256MB might be just fine for him. Although I'd never recommend - since Windows XP uses nearly that much just booting up. I have known some 3.0GHz Celeron Ds to run fine with 256MB (And Windows XP) however, even with moderate Photoshop work. I guess it just depends on the user.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

Pshh...no way lol, the computer seems ok for him, because the CPU is crap..

Intels offer better clock speeds - which can be overclocked - AMD's have better cache's but lower speeds..

Intels have always been used for things like that - you look in any office, or school and I promise all of the computers will be DELL's or INTEL chips.

I wish this guy would reply!
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

what is your price range? if i were you, go with an intel. but if you can get an amd for cheaper, go for that. 512 mb of ram, with a pentium 4, or amd 3200, would definitely, definitely be a huge difference.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

Or evan push up to 768 or evan 1GB - once he gets used to 512mb - I bet you he will be back here asking how much more memory he should use lol.

Just thinking of the future for him..
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joxley1990
Pshh...no way lol, the computer seems ok for him, because the CPU is crap..

Intels offer better clock speeds - which can be overclocked - AMD's have better cache's but lower speeds..

Intels have always been used for things like that - you look in any office, or school and I promise all of the computers will be DELL's or INTEL chips.

I wish this guy would reply!
Well of course, but he seems decently satisfied so we gotta look at what he does. He gave us some things that he does with the computer - so I mean, even the AMD64 is too much probably. AMD's have lower clock speeds but this isn't what it's about - since even though it's clocked lower, the AMD does more work per cycle and is just as good (If not better) in benchmarks and real-time application than a Pentium 4 3.2GHz. And they can both be overclocked - at speeds that are comparable to their pipeline length.

Intels have always been used for things like that though, which is true. Both solutions can easily offer him what he needs at the same price - so I don't think it entirely matters which he goes with to be honest.

He's used to 256MB SD, so I don't think high RAM will be an issue for him - the upgrades in the system he showed are going to be enough to make him pleased with his purchase - regardless of which processor he uses.
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Old 03-18-2006, 03:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Upgrading system, and integrated video/audio or not?

if your happy with some things on your current pc eg: hdd, then why dont you buy some cheap parts and buy a computer to suit your needs and use old bits where required?
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