PDA

View Full Version : Computer folks: is this worth it?



nieh
03-30-2006, 07:39 AM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=2109023&sku=M450-1020%20D

It's only $100 but it doubles in price by tomorrow. My friend pointed out that the motherboard has built in sound/video stuff. Would that be worth using or should I install the cards I already have in my current computer? They're pretty old, so they're not very good. Also, the memory expansion says:

The Matrix P4M800 provides 2 DIMM sockets using 184-pin DDR with a total capacity of up to 2GB. You can install DDR 266/333/400MHz Memory.

It doesn't come with RAM and my current computer doesn't have DDR-RAM (I don't remember the name of the stuff it actually is). Does this motherboard only support DDR RAM or would I probably be able to use the stuff I currently have?

offspringrammsteinfan
03-30-2006, 08:24 AM
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=2109023&sku=M450-1020%20D

It's only $100 but it doubles in price by tomorrow. My friend pointed out that the motherboard has built in sound/video stuff. Would that be worth using or should I install the cards I already have in my current computer? They're pretty old, so they're not very good. Also, the memory expansion says:

The Matrix P4M800 provides 2 DIMM sockets using 184-pin DDR with a total capacity of up to 2GB. You can install DDR 266/333/400MHz Memory.

It doesn't come with RAM and my current computer doesn't have DDR-RAM (I don't remember the name of the stuff it actually is). Does this motherboard only support DDR RAM or would I probably be able to use the stuff I currently have?

You can expect such a bad computer for that kind of money, so yeah it's worth the money you have to pay for it but the computer isn't really a good thing..

nieh
03-30-2006, 08:58 AM
2.93 ghz Intel Celeron processor, a motherboard (which I don't really know much about) and a case. That seems well worth $100 to me, but I don't want to get it and find out that the motherboard's a piece of shit. I'm assuming (unless someone tells me otherwise) that the built-in audio/video stuff is shit because the built-in audio thing I have in my current motherboard is shit. If that stuff sucks then it will have to be compatible with the stuff I already have (which is slightly dated), otherwise I'll have to wait a while until I can afford to buy other stuff.

And it's not the whole computer. No hard drive, no cd/dvd drives, whatever. Just a case, motherboard and a processor.

notoriousdoc
03-30-2006, 10:50 AM
That sounds worth while if you ask me. How much is the mailing cost though?

punker
03-30-2006, 11:08 AM
you must have sdr-ram, so if you buy this motherboard you will have to buy ram too, ddr is 184 pins and the sdr is 164

rlplaymaker
03-30-2006, 11:10 AM
i sell computers....celeron is a piece of shit, its worth the money theyre askin, but dont buy it

nieh
03-30-2006, 11:15 AM
What specifically is the problem with Celeron? Do they break or are they slow by comparison with other things? I currently have a 1ghz...Athalon I think. So even a shitty 2.9ghz is a lot, lot better than what I have now.

nieh
03-30-2006, 11:17 AM
you must have sdr-ram, so if you buy this motherboard you will have to buy ram too, ddr is 184 pins and the sdr is 164

The SDR ram can't fit in DDR slots? I know it wouldn't work the other way around but...

I haven't updated my computer in like 4-5 years, so I'm not up to date with hardware like I at least kind of was back in the day.

rlplaymaker
03-30-2006, 11:20 AM
well it really depends on what kinda stuff the computer will be used for. if ur just gonna run office programs and surf the web and stuff like that....celerons fine. But in terms of buying a computer thatll last, run! the new software thats gonna be comin out with vista will rip that thing apart.......besides i dont like intel, im an AMD guy

nieh
03-30-2006, 11:28 AM
I'm generally an AMD guy as well, but I don't think it'll matter much to me if it's only 3 times faster than my current computer instead of like...3.1 times faster. I don't use my computer too much for gaming and stuff, the main reason I want to update it now is just so I can run Reason and not have it crash 5 seconds into the demo song.

HornyPope
03-30-2006, 11:40 AM
For a 100$ it's a sweet of a deal but know that this is a very low-end components. Both the fsb and the cpu cache are a quarter of what you can typically find on the market, albeit for a heftier price. The onboard AGP is garbage (as it it is the case with most vcard) so expect to buy a new one. Not sure about the sound card, however.
You also have only 4 usb ports and 2 ram slots so it's up to you to decide whether it's enough based on how you intend to use it. For the ram, for example, it's clearly not a lot but if you going to buy new ram, which you must given that you don't have ddram (no, sdram wouldn't fit- the number of pins is completly different) then perhaps it's not a problem since you'll know in advance and can simply buy two sticks 512mb.

Also i'm not overly impressed with the ventilation of the case but if you keep one side open it won't be a problem. Also there is no way to tell how reliable is your generic power supply unit.

So basicly, if money is a real issue for you and you just want to get a working box to surf the net and perform basic office operations then it's as fit as any pc. But I would obviously recommend investing a little more for double the performance and reliability. But i'm not all up to date on the prices so I can't tell you exactly how much more you'd have to invest.

Edit: You can instal another 4 usb ports actually, but your case doesn't support it so it's a moot point.
And the soundcard seems all right from what I gather. At least it uses a good codec so I hope i'm not wrong in assuming that it's rather decent.

Oh and your LAN card is somewhat limited so don't expect to run like a network of like 6 computers. But im sure you don't.

nieh
03-30-2006, 11:56 AM
I'll check out a few other things after I get home from work tonight to see if I can find anything else that's decent and still cheap. I have no problem with the # of USB slots (my current one only has two) and I've never had it explained to me exactly what the cache and FSB are when it comes to processors. I naturally assumed "higher numbers = better" but I never understood why.

I can deal with getting this and waiting a couple weeks to buy RAM to go with it especially considering I know I'll need more RAM than I have (128megs) to run Reason reasonably (lolz). I'll need to check what current sound/video cards I have when I get home so I can see if they're compatible. I don't see why they wouldn't be though, it's not like they completely changed the standard PCI slot or something in the last few years (did they?).

I have a LAN card as well, so if the one built-in isn't any good then I'll just install that as well.

HornyPope
03-30-2006, 12:12 PM
In a nutshel, fsb is the speed of transfering data between your cpu and your motherboard and the amount of cache is basicly how much data it can hold in its personal bank. Higher numbers naturally mean faster speed though i'm not sure of the proportions between. You could easily look it up online if you wanted, but typically the more affected applications are the ones that are the heaviest on the ram. Like it would make a big difference for high-end games and heavy image rendering but outside of that it barely matters. For instance, it doesn't (or barely, dunno exactly) affects how fast you seek files on your computer and open new Explorer windows.

As for waiting for the ram, know that your pc will not work without the DDRam. period. Yeah... just making sure you got that one.

as for video card, any AGP card will work (no need for pci). just get any radeon for a 100$ and you'll be set. or an ATI, whatever.

HornyPope
03-30-2006, 12:15 PM
Also if you have an extra 80$ to spend I would recommend getting the raptor drive since your motherboard supports serial ATA and using your older HDs for merely storage.

edit: the reason why I say it is because I suspect that mostly a computer to you is for accessing and browsing for stuff on your hard drive and internet, and for that a good hard drive will is all that you need. So it's a well worth investement. The rest of the components could be the generic low-end crap you just showed since it doesn't matter all that much.

nieh
03-30-2006, 12:26 PM
Ok, that all makes sense then. That's actually why people used to tell me AMD was better than Intel, because even if they had the same speed processor, AMD would let more information in at a time than Intel would, so it would get more complicated stuff done faster. Not sure if that's still the case with the more recent chips.


As for waiting for the ram, know that your pc will not work without the DDRam. period. Yeah... just making sure you got that one.

Ha. I'm not that dense. I meant I could order the thing today (as the rebate goes away tomorrow) and use my current computer for the next couple weeks until I can afford to get RAM for the new one.

And I don't think I have much need for a new hard drive. Not right away anyway. And what's special about the Raptor drive? I hate doing my own research on computer stuff =/

HornyPope
03-30-2006, 12:29 PM
Eh, I edited too late.

the reason why I say it (why I support a raptor drive) is because I suspect that mostly a computer to you is for accessing and browsing for stuff on your hard drive and internet, and for that a good hard drive will is all that you need. So it's a well worth investement. The rest of the components could be the generic low-end crap you just showed since it doesn't matter all that much.

A raptor drive is nearly twice as fast as your standard IDE so for various disk-related functions it'll really help you a lot.

anywhoo, going now. you're on your own.

nieh
03-30-2006, 01:00 PM
Maybe I'll check it out, but if I decide to get one it'll be one of the last things I get.

Only...2 hours til I get to go home then I gotta dig around and see if there's any better options out there.

nieh
03-30-2006, 08:33 PM
Ordered! Thank you for your help everyone.
I'm gonna be so poor for the next week.

nieh
05-10-2006, 06:41 AM
Ok, so the stuff showed up about a month ago, but I never bothered doing anything with it until just last night cause I didn't have RAM. Anyways, I opened all the boxes last night and apparently the case was a bit broken. It's been over 30 days since I ordered it so I can't send it back to them for an exchange. So I got crazy glue and fixed the little bits that were broken. After a couple hours I had everything all put together, I plugged it in, hit power...and it doesn't start. I unhooked the power and went back in and fiddle around with some of the wires, thinking maybe I hooked them up backwards or something. I ended up un-hooking everything from the power supply and quick hooking it up to the one I have from my current computer and it turns on just fine. So....will my old power supply be sufficient? The one they sent me is 400 watts, the one I already have is 300.

Some other info: My motherboard has two spots where you can plug in the power supply, a 20-pin thing and a 4-pin thing. The new power supply doesn't have a 20-pin plug so I had to use the 4-pin one. The old one does have a 20-pin one and that worked fine. Could that be why the new one isn't working?

Endymion
05-10-2006, 08:21 AM
Some other info: My motherboard has two spots where you can plug in the power supply, a 20-pin thing and a 4-pin thing. The new power supply doesn't have a 20-pin plug so I had to use the 4-pin one. The old one does have a 20-pin one and that worked fine. Could that be why the new one isn't working?
you need both. you should have the 20 pin, it's the 4 pin that's not on all power supplies...

nieh
05-10-2006, 09:22 AM
you need both. you should have the 20 pin, it's the 4 pin that's not on all power supplies...

I'm not sure if my old one has the 4-pin plug, I'll have to check when I get back home. The computer started with only the 20-pin one plugged in though, should I still hook it up with both? The new one has a plug that's about 22 or 24...just a little bigger than the 20-pin spot on the motherboard, unless I'm stupid and missing something..

Also, will it run fine with just 300 watts or will I need more than that?

Endymion
05-10-2006, 10:10 AM
the motherboard manual should say what to do... i *think* you can just stick it in and leave four pins hanging. i've only had to deal with that once, so i don't remember for sure, but check your manual.

Idiot
05-10-2006, 10:51 AM
Good, but Celeron processor... :-/

Rag Doll
05-10-2006, 03:48 PM
so THAT'S where you've been =(

nieh
05-10-2006, 03:51 PM
the motherboard manual should say what to do... i *think* you can just stick it in and leave four pins hanging. i've only had to deal with that once, so i don't remember for sure, but check your manual.

Thank you. I'll probably get everything working when I get back home tonight.


so THAT'S where you've been =(

No, I've been at work. I'm stuck here til 8 because Kelcey didn't show up.

Rag Doll
05-10-2006, 03:56 PM
I meant not coming back last night. Leaving me allllllll aloooooones. Anyway. I'm going to ghettobrook now. Thought I'd share. Good luck with your computer! And let me know if you cant get it working.

nieh
05-11-2006, 06:14 PM
Ok, I got the power supply issue figured out (yay!). Apparently on that 24-pin plug I mentioned, 4 of the pins on one end of it could be taken off, leaving it as a 20-pin one and I didn't notice until last night. But now I have a new problem. When I start it, it will load like normal, it'll get to the windows loading screen and after a couple seconds it will go to a blue screen (not the traditional blue screen of death) and the following error:


Stop: 0x0000007B (0xEB81B84C, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000) INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure it is property configured and terminated. Run Chkdsk /F to check for hard drive corruption and then resart your computer.

Refer to your Getting Started manual for more information on troubleshooting Stop errors.

See, I would do what they said but...windows won't start, so I can't. And it's Windows 2000 Professional Edition so I can't boot it into DOS first because there is no DOS. Any help? Or does this look to be an issue with the HD itself?

HornyPope
05-11-2006, 08:14 PM
If it starts going already to the windows screen then it means that you're physical drive is fine. It's probably a windows instalation problem. Format c:/ or re-instal windows (preferably the latter because it could be a NTFS error, unless you want to save your data).
Also check in BIOS what's your boot drive set up. Could be maybe that you're booting from a wrong drive.

nieh
05-12-2006, 06:23 AM
I can re-install windows without having to reformat and lose everything? I don't have a cd with windows on it though, I'll have to get one from a friend and see if I can get that working tonight.

HornyPope
05-12-2006, 09:08 AM
It's possible with XP. I'm not sure if it's possible on win2000. I know you can at least try and repair the current instalation. Simply insert the disk in the cd rom and boot it and one of the options will offer you the "repair" option.

What you can also do is install windows on a new partition, boot it from that new partition, back up your date on the old partition, then format the old partition and re-instal windows.

But first make sure this isn't an error that can be fixed in BIOS, namely that you're boot drive is set correctly. It can happen that you're default boot drive is pointing at a corrupted windows instalation on another hard drive.

nieh
05-12-2006, 02:57 PM
I actually don't have a windows cd that I can find. Mine was a bootleg copy and I haven't seen it in a couple years. I'll see if I can download it on a friend's computer and if not I'll probably have to borrow a copy of XP from them instead.

nieh
05-22-2006, 06:42 AM
So I got it all working last night and it's very yay. Thanks for the help you guys.