Spring 2005: CPUs, basic badges and memory
Basic badges: the key is the socket (or is it the graph?)
In case of the basic badges, it seems easy to say what the ideal thing is: one with a socket (Socket) for microprocessor as modern as possible, that is to say:
... Avoiding in the possible thing the Socket 478 (for Intel, completely desfasado, only advisable for overclocking and, in such a case, perhaps second-hand), Socket 754 (for AMD, still with certain validity but only for mikes of average scale) and, of course, the Socket A (Athlon XP and most of the Sempron, valid for office computerization and Internet but already not advisable for other uses).
Nevertheless, the question of the graphic card complicates the things. Or, more exactly, the question of the graphic groove, his connector. We are in full transition of the AGP 8x to the PCI Express x16, and although the yield difference is and it will be for the long time void (we leave the explanation for another moment, but it is like that: 0 %, niente), the topic of what models stays they will make of the future with connector AGP 8x if we think to update it.
I suspect that for one year or two will be sufficiently AGP offer 8x like so that it is not a problem, but I cannot assure it. Of course, also it will be able to come to eBay or another second-hand channel and remains of stock, where there is no doubt that it will find cards AGP 8x that presently cost more than 450 euros (approximately 600 $) for the half or less, during muuuchos years.
A glance to eBay (world version, of course) allows to verify that, for example, they still sell to themselves every week hundreds of graphic cards PCI (yes, normal PCI, not Express; and well modern someone, like GeForce FX5500 256 MB) although the AGP appeared almost 9 years ago; but there are the people who flees of these channels as of the pest, thing that I do not share by no means but that it is necessary to accept, the fear is free (The fear kills the mind. The fear is the small death that he leads to the entire destruction. I will confront my fear. I will allow to happen on me and across me... well, we leave Dune for another moment).
Memory: do not worry, scarcely it will be able to choose
As for the memory, the options are even more restricted than in the basic badges. The AMD Athlon 64 has the integrated memory controler, winning in speed but forcing that the memory is of the only type (since it does not depend already on the chipset): DDR-SDRAM (also known like "DDR").
Generally, happiness DDR-SDRAM will be DDR-400; and even if his mike only needs DDR-333, I recommend to him to spend a little more and to choose it of 400, scarcely he will suppose price difference. To be able to be, guaranteed for CAS=2, but not necessary (only if it glides to optimize a little playing with the BIOS and/or overclockear).
As for the Intel, the new chipset models for badges Socket 775 impose, "for nostril", the use of memory DDR2 (with different voltage and patillaje, ergo incompatible with the DDR), well DDR2-400 ó DDR2-533 (be necessary or not, we recommend the last one, skylight). And it is a sorrow, because the DDR2 has major enough latency (forget of CAS=2; rather CAS=4, even that of CAS=3 will cost him an extra one), what makes her more expensive, without being in practice more rapid. It is already known, everything Intel can be of quality, but it tends to have a certain sobrecoste that sometimes is not very well-taken...
... The biggest advantage of the DDR2 is perhaps his low voltage, but that matters in the portable ones, not in the PCs of office; it seems that this memory has come a little late, AMD does not use it now because he would not suppose an increase of significant yield (but yes it would force them to change the controler of memory integrated into the CPU) and it is possible that it does not use it in the future either, going on straight to the DDR3 or another most novel option. All this almost looks like a decaffeinated repetition of the sad adventure of Intel with the memory Rambus, in the origins of the Pentium 4...
As for size, nobody should raise less than 512 MB; in office environments it can be even more of the necessary thing, but the price is low and it is worth it. It would not recommend to happen to 1 GB, it is very difficult to go so far as to saturate 512 MB with the only application, even if it is a question of a game 3D seriously or of video codification, and remember that a memory excess does not serve AS ANYTHING... but well, the price is low, you will see.
To end, a consideration: if the controler of memory of the chipset of his motherboard (or of the mike, if it is a question of an Athlon 64) admits "double channel" (dual channel), it is advisable that makes use of the small increase of yield that this supposes, installing the modules for couples. If it goes for 1 GB 512 MB (2 modules ) it will never have to extend in the life (for when it is necessary, the whole PC will be to pull), but if he decides on 512 MB 256 MB (2 modules ) and uses the PC for complex tasks, perhaps some day wants to install more memory, and bear in mind that the badges stretch to work between bad and regular with 4 modules (they even warn it in the manual)...
... The solution would happen for installing now 2 quality modules (if it is DDR, guaranteed for CAS=2, of marks known to insure itself of being able to obtain in a time another 2 identical or better modules), or for coming undone in his moment of this memory (selling it in eBay, for example), without using never again of 2 modules. And, of course, if his chipset or mike do not offer dual channel, install the only module, to have more options at the time of be updating later.