Where is the best place to buy a computer?

I am looking to buy or build a computer. I am keen to get one with dual processors - probably AMD (cheaper). I was at the place under the Song Jiang bridge the other day - (Guang Hua ?) - but it’s mad down there. Is there somewhere else where you don’t have to fight with the masses to do your shopping ?

Do any of you techies have an opinion on whether two processors are better than one ? I run a lot of apps at once, and the bottleneck always seems to be the processor.

Dual processors for sure. But don’t think it’s going to be cheaper going AMD. First, you’ll need MP processors…which are pricy and almost no one seems to have. And a dual Athlon board will probably run at least $6,000NT. In addition, alot of people have claimed the chipsets for dual Athlon motherboards seem to be a flakey.

My system is a Gigabyte GA-6VTXD board. It cost $4,000NT. Two 1 Ghz, P-3s. $3,300NT each. One good thing about the Gigabyte board is that it uses SDRAM. Put in 1 Gig of RAM and Bob’s your uncle. You’ll find that an SMP box is MUCH more smooth and stable particularly if you’re running graphics programs like Photoshop. I deal with 50-70MB image files all the time and my system NEVER chokes.


If you can’t stand the crowd then there are a lot of shops nearby that aren’t nearly as bad. The whole of Ba De Street to the West of Guang Hua is filled with computer shops at similar prices. There’s also at least one underground complex of small shops which is much quieter than Guang Hua. Also, if you walk south down SongJiang Rd. (on the west side) there are more shops there (and another underground 3 floor complex).

The other obvious alternative is ‘Nova’ which is on ChungHsiao W. Road across the road from the ShinKong skyscraper. It’s very similar to Guang Hua but not quite as manic. The prices are usually slightly higher there - but unlike Guang Hua it is sometimes possible to haggle prices down a little.

Thanks for the help guys. I’ll have a look at some dual Pentium boards then. Cost is not the No.1 concern - stability is. Are P3 boards better than P4 ?

Sorry but I haven’t seen any dual P4 boards. And Intel manufactured SMP boards (running Xeon CPUs) usually run $15,000NT+ here.

First of all, I would not to bother with two processors. Unless you’re doing video editing or outrageous Photoshop, you won’t see a difference.

Secondly, they’re not exactly a walk in the park to set up. You have to install the 2nd CPU add in pack for Win2k/XP Pro in order to get it to work correctly.

Thirdly, if you go AMD (unlikely), you’ll have a personal heater. :shock:

At this point, your bottleneck is most likely not your CPU(unless you’re under 600Mhz). It’s going to be your hard disk or your ram. 512MB and a ATA100 7200RPM hard disk will speed up a lot of stuff.

You might want to dig around on
for more information on dual-processor machines. I seem to remember them having an article going into how to cut some of the jumpers on Athlon XP chips to enable multiprocessing (the chips are the same as the MP ones, but have some circuits bridged so that they can’t function in a multiprocessor system).

It would also be a good idea to check in their forums on whether the procedure still applies to the newer chips.

As of now, there’s no such thing as dual P4 boards. That’s why all the multi-CPU servers you see in the market run P3 chips.

I agree with the previous poster on the need of dual CPU. The P4s today are so mad fast that the need for dual CPU is just not there unless you are always sending stuff to the CPU to process (video editing, big photoshop files or crazy 3D processing in real time). The next time you run many apps, run your Task Manager and see if the CPU is even at 20% utilization… More RAM is the key to allow multi-apps run smoothly.

Would you guys recommend a single P4 CPU over a single AMD CPU ? Is a P4 set-up worth the extra lolly ?


Tell us why you think you need a fast CPU. What are you going to do with this computer? If it is just games and surfing a decent P4 computer will do.

If you tell us your needs then we can recommend a more suitable computer spec for you.

Just running lots of programs at once. Perhaps my old machine was just so old that any modern machine would be able to cope with what I want to do. It was just that every time I opened more than about five big programs the CPU was just running at 100% and everything was sloooow.

These P4 machines do seem to be very high spec - but the P4 is a couple of grand more than say an AMD 2200 XP.

I do intend to play around with images and small video files from my digital camera, though. But nothing like editing high quality video. Once I can make the decision to go for either Pentium or AMD, then the rest of it is just a matter of how much I can afford. I do want to get a good board and CPU though, as all the rest can be upgraded if necessary.

Does your hard disk thrash about when its gets slow ? That’s a good sign that more memory would speed it up. And working with big images does take up a lot of memory

Before you buy the computer, make sure you find a review about the motherboard from users to find out if it is stable or not.

Thanks chaps.

Pretty much any large brand motherboard these days is “stable”. I’ve used Soltek, Biostar, ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte. Never had a problem. The people who complain about “instability” are usually the ones trying to overclock their CPUs.

Now that we have an idea for what you want to do. I recommend the following:
-KT400 AMD Motherboard (USB 2.0, Firewire on board, ATA133)
-Any recent CPU - I run a Duron 1.3 and my CPU load never gets above 30%
-A large heatsink-fan unit - I personally prefer quiet ones because some can sound like a hair dryer
-512MB+ PC2100 or 2700 RAM (Choose a name brand like Transcend)
-ATA 133 hard disk (Seagate and Western Digital are know to be more quiet)
-350W power supply to power the sucker (Seventeam, Antec or other big brand)

I strongly encourage you put this together with a friend who has put one together recently. With CPUs these days, screw up putting on the fan and watch it go up in smoke.

Another possible reason why your computer was running slow was that it was loaded down with stuff like RealPlayer agent, WinAmp agent, Bonzi buddy, hotbar, and all other sorts of evil programs like that. You’ll simply have to watch out. I’ve seen very high-spec systems completely loaded down by those things.

Yeah, Bonzi Buddy hotbar and realplayer are loaded with lots of garbage. I use adaware and search and destroy to keep them off my system. Realplayer is more difficult, I edit and change the file names for programs like realscheduler and realevent that run when I don’t want them to. So far I haven’t had problems, but they are annoying.


I was just down in Guanghua and checked out the shop I always deal with. Right now they have 7 dual processor board models in stock, 3 Xeons, 2 AMDs and 2 P3s. They’re located at:

AMD vs. Intel is a religious war. Personally, I vote for AMD. However, I am forced to admit that the current speed queens are Intel’s chips.

If you need an ultra-fast machine, go for Intel. If you want an affordably quick machine, AMD wins.

is pretty good about rating CPUs and boards, especially for stability. Here are the recent chip reviews for AMD:
and for Intel:
They do cross-comparisons, so you can see which ones work fastest on what benchmarks.

Here is their latest AMD board roundup (for NVidia2 chipsets, which are the current leaders AFAIK):
However, these are single-processor boards (I’m not sure if you’re still wanting a dual-proc or not).

BTW, there is (at least in the U.S.) little or no cost difference between a 5400rpm drive and a 7200rpm. The 7200 should have a performance edge for you if you’re overloading your machine’s memory. But with 512MB of RAM costing around US$45 to US$80, it’s hard to imagine running out of RAM nowadays.

I hope this was of some help!

Last week I went to Guanghua I looked under the bridge and the whole place was closed. All the other stores in the area are open. Even the ATM’s are open but all the used bookshops, VCD shops and computer shops…???

Anyone know about this?

Did you go on a Tuesday? They’re closed every other Tuesday under the bridge.