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UtwigMU
11th July 2005, 05:14
I'm building a websurfer budget oriented rig for a friend from partially new and partially used components:

I have settled on all components (Abit NF7-S/Sempron 2400+/512MB/120GB Seagate S/Nec/Toshiba) except graphic card and maybe better case.

Initially I'll be getting him a 22" used CRT (120$) but he will definitely upgrade to LCD latter in the future. He won't do any gaming. For driving the 22" CRT used G400 for 25$ would have been sufficient, however I'd like to have DVI for latter upgrade to LCD.

Requirements:
- cheap
- 3D performance not important (Longhorn ready cards will be dirt cheap when Longhorn comes out)
- high quality analog output
- stable drivers
- DVI, possibly dual with capability of 1600x1200 (used G550 = out)
- prefferably new although if used meets dual DVI, then used is also good

So far I'm looking at powered by Ati R9250 128MB dvi/tvout for $65/54€ and MSI GF6200 DVI AGP for $115/92€

What would be your recommendations?

Gurm
11th July 2005, 05:30
Although 3D isn't that important, be aware that an R9250 is really a Radeon 8500 in disguide - a card from 2001.

Nowhere
11th July 2005, 05:35
If you think your card is too old Gurm, get rid of your problems and send it to me. :p

UtwigMU
11th July 2005, 07:47
Requirements:
- display windowsXP desktop (I have Intergraph PII 400 rig with Millennium II AGP under my desk that does that just fine and it's 97 card)
- display movies (anything with 16-32MB of RAM and hardware overlay does that)
- nice 1600x1200 analog
- does DVI at 1600x1200 (single as he'll have one monitor, I was mainly thinking of used GF4 Ti of dual DVI variety by Asus or Gainward for dual DVI) - so far R9250 does that

Hell, he'll even be able to play HL2 on it :). The only problem is I prefer nVidia over Ati (prefer Matrox above nVidia for nongaming nonbudget rigs) but 6200 is too expensive and 5xxx and 4xxx series is gone from retail by now.

RichL
11th July 2005, 08:56
I'd go with a 9250, even if it is a rebadged 8500 (my 9250/128 is slightly slower than my 8500le/64 actually).

Kurt
11th July 2005, 09:02
9550?

Nowhere
11th July 2005, 09:17
Yep, Sapphire 9550 (can you get better 2D from ATI?) is here for 55€...

Gurm
11th July 2005, 09:32
I _love_ my original 8500 DDR/64. It's a miracle board, especially since I upgraded the BIOS to the most stable/best version for the 8500's core.

But I just wanted him to be aware. :)

GNEP
11th July 2005, 09:45
I'm assuming that it's because you are re-using an existing mobo that you haven't considered integrated graphics?

UtwigMU
11th July 2005, 09:59
Well the Abit NF7-S can be had for 10.000 SIT / 42€ from a friend who always includes everything (screws, cables, receipts,...) and is still under warranty for 1 year. I also had no problems getting warranty on stuff bought from said friend in the past (HDD, motherboard).

One motherboard that is put in budget mall, etc... rigs is EPOX 8KMM3I-X KM400 +VGA+SB+LAN for 54 Euros. I don't like Epox (bad caps with 8RDA3 NF2 series) nor VIA chipsets, Asrock, MSI, Gigabyte,... SiS 748 boards are gone out of channel (here they don't stock stuff for long due to small market). Also the integrated graphics comes without DVI and IMHO won't be good for clear analog output at 1600x1200. Another point is that NF7-S comes with soundstorm and optical out (he has optical in audio).

Basically all good integrated socketA motherboards are gone (correct me if I'm wrong), S754 is also a dead end and he would be getting a Sempron without 64-bit due to budget constraints. A64 on S939 is again too expensive.

He needs a rig for websurfing, office, watching movies, A PIII @ 500MHz would be sufficient, provided it had 512MB and quickish HDD.

Admiral
11th July 2005, 10:14
A 9250, 128mb (64 bits) should be enough.

edit: on the S754 side, the Asus K8S-MX (Sis 760GX) mobo is priced close to the Epox 8KMM3I, while the Sempron 2600+ S754 is actually cheaper than its socket A counterpart. At least that's how things are here. And I'm guessing socket A is more dead than 754, where you could put an Athlon 64 or Sempron with 64 bits later.

Gurm
11th July 2005, 10:15
He needs a rig for websurfing, office, watching movies, A PIII @ 500MHz would be sufficient, provided it had 512MB and quickish HDD.

Only if they're MPEG. ;)

XVid/DIVX require an obscene amount of processing power. I always used to list P3-500 as the make-or-break point for video, due to the fact that it's the first chip that could effectively render DVD's at fullscreen completely in software.

But that target has changed. Nowadays you need 1500+Mhz just to render XVid. My friend has a 1200, and can't watch the Family Guy episodes he pilfers from torrent sites, they need too much CPU power.

schmosef
11th July 2005, 10:19
have you told him he could solve his problem by sending his cpu to you?

UtwigMU
11th July 2005, 11:22
Admiral - thanks, that Asus (it's Asus, I prefer SiS over VIA, integrated...) board is interesting, I'll have a look into it.

spadnos
11th July 2005, 12:09
I _love_ my original 8500 DDR/64. It's a miracle board, especially since I upgraded the BIOS to the most stable/best version for the 8500's core.

But I just wanted him to be aware. :)Out of curiosity, what do you think is the most stable BIOS for this chip? I have an 8500DV in a machine that needs a bit of repair (was cannibalized to fix my wife's machine), but I'd appreciate the info for when I rebuild it.

Thanks
- Steve

Nowhere
11th July 2005, 12:18
Something's seriously wrong when it's not the latest...

Gurm
11th July 2005, 12:36
Out of curiosity, what do you think is the most stable BIOS for this chip? I have an 8500DV in a machine that needs a bit of repair (was cannibalized to fix my wife's machine), but I'd appreciate the info for when I rebuild it.

Thanks
- Steve

E-mail me. I'll dig mine up, or rip it off the card, or something. :)

Gurm
11th July 2005, 12:37
Something's seriously wrong when it's not the latest...

It's "sort of" the latest. It's the latest for an actual 8500, tweaked up with a few things that were intended for the newer cards like the DV/9200/9250/etc.

I flashed it on... oh, gotta be a year and a half ago? It's not direct-from-ATI, either they don't officially support BIOS updates. It's from a Gigabyte card + mods, or something.

Jon P. Inghram
11th July 2005, 12:54
As for ATI BIOS's... http://www.techpowerup.com/bios/

And be sure to turn UCWC off unless you want to corrupt the flash.

Nowhere
11th July 2005, 13:52
It's "sort of" the latest. It's the latest for an actual 8500, tweaked up with a few things that were intended for the newer cards like the DV/9200/9250/etc.

I flashed it on... oh, gotta be a year and a half ago? It's not direct-from-ATI, either they don't officially support BIOS updates. It's from a Gigabyte card + mods, or something.

Something's wrong when the best bios is not from the ones who've made the chip/card? :p

Gurm
11th July 2005, 13:57
Something's wrong when the best bios is not from the ones who've made the chip/card? :p

It is. Ok, here goes.

ATI's official stance is that there ARE no BIOS updates. Not that they don't support it, but that it doesn't happen. The BIOS that shipped with your card is the ONLY BIOS for that card.

This is one of the reasons their drivers are so big - they work around issues that SHOULD be addressed in the BIOS... in drivers.

Their OEM's, on the other hand, are nowhere near so vehement. Many make the flasher available for downloading, and post regular BIOS updates for their cards.

Now here comes the kicker - ALL BIOSes... come from ATI. The OEM's do VERY little to tweak them for their specific cards, beyond just turning on and off the features they did or didn't include, like TV-out or DVI or what have you.

So as a general rule, the BIOS for the "64MB Sapphire Radeon 8500 v2.7" is 100% compatible with a Powercolor Radeon, and superior to the v2.4 that shipped with that card.

Follow?

Nowhere
11th July 2005, 14:19
I see...

Not a problem for me since I can't buy ATI cards here :p