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View Full Version : What PC buy for OpenGL development and gamming???



Sansus
05-11-2001, 02:52 AM
Hi,
I want to upgrade my obsolete Pentium 200MMX but I don't know what PC I should buy. The components that I thought I could buy are the following:
- Processor: AMD Athlon at 1,33 Ghz
- Motherboard: AMD 760 with DDR support.
- 128 Mb of DDR-SDRAM
- Sound Blaster Live
- Kyro 2 or GeForce 2 Pro

What do you think about this??
What graphic card I could buy? A Kyro 2 or a GeForce 2??? Why?

Thanx.

P.D.: Excuse my english http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/wink.gif

ffish
05-11-2001, 03:09 AM
I'd say a Kyro 2 for value for money, a GeForce2 (or 3 http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif ) for performance. It looks like you're building a performance system so I'd go for the GeForce option.

I've got the following in mine:
AMD T-Bird 1200MHz
512MB PC133 RAM
Abit KT-7 RAID MoBo
Asus GeForce2 GTS 64MB
... various other stuff from my old system.

and it works great - handles just about anything you can throw at it (I'd love a GeForce3 though http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif )

Hope that helps.

ET3D
05-11-2001, 03:27 AM
I don't think that the "OpenGL coding: advanced" forum is the right place to ask this question, but I'll tell you what I think, from a developer point of view.

Get the GeForce. Any GeForce. It should be a more stable OpenGL platform, NVIDIA has a very good developer site, and if you're writing not just to yourself, then you'll have a card that many other people have (unlike the Kryo), and will be able to address them better. It doesn't matter if you get a GeForce2 MX 200 that is several times slower than the Kryo 2, it should still be better for development (but of course, I don't recommend the MX 200). If I'd buy anything other than a GeForce it would be a Radeon, not a Kryo 2 (again, developer's, point of view).

Get more RAM! 128MB is nothing. It's a minimum for gaming these days. And these games are optimized, and you're not running an IDE while playing them, which you do when developing. Get 256MB minimum!

If you want to save money anywhere (for example to pay for more RAM), do it on the CPU and things around it (like MB chipsets and DDR RAM). A fast CPU never hurts, but IMO, you'll gain more (for development) by more RAM, and, if at all possible, a GeForce3 (since it will allow you to program a lot of interesting effects not possible with the GeForce2). The GeForce3 will of course also be nice for games http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by ET3D (edited 05-11-2001).]

Tim Stirling
05-12-2001, 01:01 AM
I agree, a lot more ram is needed. Soon I will build my own system and I am thinking of 512MB DDR cas-2 pC2100 ram in 2 chips. I wouldn't bother with more than 512MB because that would be a waste and you don't need that much yet, in the future you could upgrade to get more ram when it is a lot cheaper i.e add in a ne 1 gig chip in a few years. What is very important is a good mother board I have seen reports of duron 800 out performing tbird 1.2 GHz because of the MoBo. Don't go for the highest spec CPU because they can be twice as much just for an extra 10% performance which aint worth it because by next month it will be outdated anyway.

Any one seen the P4 1.7 GHz , I expect it still pretty slow compared to a 1.2 AMD but once you get to those clock speeds it should be getting quite good. I might go for a 1.0 AXIA Tbird these can reach speeds > 1.65 GHz with a decent MoBo and fan with some luck.

GFX cards: you can either go for a high end Geforce 3 or go for a cheap Kyro 2 and later upgrade to a half price GeForce 3.

Tim

HFAFiend
05-12-2001, 07:34 AM
I run 384mb of cas-2 ram, and that is about the most that adds performance for most of my game-dev (and game-playing) efforts...256 is the min. i would go though.

Korval
05-12-2001, 07:51 AM
That brings up an interesting question. What constitutes a good motherboard, exactly? Could you name some good chipsets or chipsets to avoid?

jwatte
05-12-2001, 09:13 AM
Do not THINK of saving money on the chipset. If you're not getting DDR memory for yourself today, you're fooling yourself. A 1 GHz machine with 266 MHz DDR memory will typically run rings around a 1.33 GHz machine with PC133 RAM.

Also, I agree that 128 MB is skimpy. If you go to pricewatch.com you'll see that 256 MB DDR memory is about $80. Well worth it -- get 512 if you don't mind spending $160.

If you want to save money on the graphics card, get a GF2MX, or possibly an AGP Radeon. If you want best performance for the money, get the GF2Pro. If you get the Radeon, make sure it's the version WITH hardware T&L, as they've now diluted the "Radeon" name with non-HT&L products.

ET3D
05-12-2001, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by jwatte:
Do not THINK of saving money on the chipset. If you're not getting DDR memory for yourself today, you're fooling yourself. A 1 GHz machine with 266 MHz DDR memory will typically run rings around a 1.33 GHz machine with PC133 RAM.

Also, I agree that 128 MB is skimpy. If you go to pricewatch.com you'll see that 256 MB DDR memory is about $80. Well worth it -- get 512 if you don't mind spending $160.

If you want to save money on the graphics card, get a GF2MX, or possibly an AGP Radeon. If you want best performance for the money, get the GF2Pro. If you get the Radeon, make sure it's the version WITH hardware T&L, as they've now diluted the "Radeon" name with non-HT&L products.

I haven't seen any CPU that "run rings" with DDR compared to SDR. All benchmarks I saw show a CPU with the fastest DDR chipset to perform less than 10% faster than with a KT133A. If you can show me any benchmark to prove otherwise, I'll be grateful.

On the other hand, I saw more than a 10% difference when using different graphics cards. That's why I suggested that the CPU and DDR selection is less important than the other components.

Zeno
05-12-2001, 06:23 PM
I'm with ET3D on this one. I have seen only marginal improvements with DDR memory. I'd LIKE for it to be much faster, but unfortunately it isn't.

-- Zeno

Korval
05-12-2001, 09:26 PM
Are those gaming benchmarks or regular PC application benchmarks (like, for instance, running Visual Studio's debugger)? I wouldn't expect a game, which tries to minimize memory use by off-loading much of the memory hogging stuff to AGP or even Video RAM, to speed up too much. But a regular application might benifit from lessening main-memory bottlenecks.

However, my original question remains, which are the better chipsets? Any particular brandnames of motherboards/chipsets I should look into?

heeb
05-13-2001, 12:37 AM
Korval. Its a while since I bought my MoBo but I can recommend Abit as a manufacturer. I think all their boards come with soft switch so theres no messing about with jumpers and all have pretty good support for overclocking.

Deiussum
05-13-2001, 05:47 AM
I've been researching motherboards to build a new system myself. A good resource is the message boards on http://www.tomshardware.com. There are a lot of knowledgeable people there. (Kind of like there are a lot of very knowledgeable OpengL people here.) http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif

From what I've read there, one of the best motherboards for performance is the MSI K7 Master, which has an AMD 761 chipset. This is probably the board I'll be getting when I get around to building a new system in a month or so.

Tim Stirling
05-13-2001, 08:38 AM
The I-Will KK266-R is a very good board, aparently it is the best MoBo for overclocking with 1.0 AXIA TBirds hitting nearly 1.7GHz on it. The Abit KT7A is also very good, again especialy for overclocking- there is a raid version available for a little more. The older Abit KT7 is almost as good and is good value for money.

DDR Mem: one of the major problems with pc hardware si that the memory isn't fast enough and DDR supposedly should solve this by running twice as fast. However it is disapointing in tests achieving only about + 10%. People always try to overcock the FSB because they know that is the bottleneck and is why we went from 66->100->133->150(just about available)->266. Shame that it doen't actualy perform so well. If yopu can get a DDR board cheap and it is a good quality board then it is worth it I think because good DDr ram is as cheap as normal high quality ram in some places. I suggest haveing a look at an overclocking site for reviews of MoBo etc. www.overclockers.co.uk (http://www.overclockers.co.uk) is a good site.

HFAFiend
05-13-2001, 11:47 AM
I have built 3 systems with the KT7A-RAID (abit) with cpu's between 650 (duron overclocked to 935 http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif ) 1ghz and 1.33ghz. All three have been awesome systems, and work as well or better than some similar systems I've seen. Also, one runs a Radeon and one runs a GeForce2 (and one's a server) but both run great. The KT7A-RAID is for sure my favroite mobo.