I'm back/System assessment

Well, I finally got it done.

New Stuff:
Asus P4C800
P4 2.8C
512MB OCZ PC3500
2 Seagate Cheetah 73GB 15,000 RPM SCSI 320 HDDs
Adaptec 2120S SCSI 320 RAID
Sony DRU-500AX DVD-everything
Pioneer 120S DVD-ROM

Old Stuff:
200GB 8MB cache WD HDD
120GB Maxtor
Hercules GTXP
Radeon 9700Pro
Klipsch Pro Media 5.1
Hitachi CM800 21" monitor
Brother MFC-8300 (laser printer, scanner, fax)

As you may or may not have read in some of my previous posts, I dislike money a great deal. Can't stand it. As soon as I get some I have to get rid of it. I sold a piece of property and was stuck with a whole lot of the nasty green stuff. One good way to get rid of a lot of it is to build a monster system. However, when I got done paying all my bills and my dear old Uncle Sam I wasn't left with as much as I thought.

Originally I wanted to have a RAID 5 or 10 but that would require an extra drive or two respectively. At $650 a pop I decided to stick with a RAID 0. I also wanted to get a 24" Sony monitor but that was $1800. So I nixed that. I wanted to get 1GB of RAM too. Financially that wasn't a problem. The problem is that I'm stupid and I ordered two 4 packs of 256MB DIMMS instead of one 2 pack 512MB. File that under "Duh". Oh well.

To make a long story just slightly longer, I got all the stuff over a week ago and suddenly everyone wanted a new pc or an upgrade! I haven't built a system in over a month, now all of a sudden everyone starts calling me. When I finally got around to it, I put everything together, loaded up all the drivers, did all the upgrades for Winblows, loaded up all my software, etc. without a hitch. No problems, right? You get the picture. After all that I come home from my real job and hit the power button. No POST. I hear fans but no POST. Frickin' dead board. So I scramble to get another one and tear everything out and replace it. Finally after almost two weeks I'm back in business. My assessment so far:

1. You could fry eggs on those Cheetahs. Surprisingly quiet but real hot.
2. I was hoping to see a big difference with the SCSI 320 RAID, however it doesn't appear to be significantly faster than an IDE arrangement. With the price of the drives and the RAID card it is definitely not worth it. Perhaps a dual channel card would have been better? Maybe if it were in a 64 bit slot?
3. Why the hell don't sites like THG or Anandtech mention that on page 2-17 of the P4C800 manual it states, "If installing the ATI 9500 or 9700 Pros Series VGA cards, use only the card version PN xxx-xxxxx-30 or later, for optimum performance and overclocking stability"? Well, take a guess as to which one I have. Of course I have an earlier model. It's running stable now but I had every intention of overclocking. If I had known about this beforehand, I probably wouldn't have bought the thing.
4. The Pioneer 120S is slot loading. I had a 106S but I wasn't sure if it would take all of the DVD formats (ie. -RW, +RW, etc.). Well, Pioneer changed the mechanism that sucks the CD in. Now it is much harder to push the damn thing in. You have to put your fingers along the edge of the disc and use the disc's tensile strength to load the thing in or it'll bend. Bad design. I don't like it. Why the hell did they change it?
5. I still can't get my printer to work. Perhaps it's the LPT 1 configuration. I haven't had time to play with it. If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears.
6. Hyperthreading: Good. It really works. Multitasking is much improved.

It's good to be back.

To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
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More about back system assessment
  1. Black_Cat, Lot of regrets posted there, I was hoping for fireworks and streamers, and a nice marching band salute for you, but a disapointment has come your way, any chance of sending back and upgrading, what you're not satisfied with?

    <b><font color=purple>Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.</font color=purple></b>
  2. Hey Ryan. I won't send anything back. I just wanted to report my initial assessment of my system and possibly get some feedback. I love to tinker especially with new stuff. I feel a sense of responsibility to let others in the THG community know what my experiences are with hardware that I've been exposed to.

    As long as this system is stable I'll hang on to it. I just spent entirely too much money on that system and wanted the THG community to know that the price:performance ratio of such a system is not great. Don't get me wrong, the system rocks but it does have some negatives.

    I won't send anything back because in the future I may get a board with a 64 bit PCI slot. Perhaps then I'll see significant improvement with regard to HDD performance. I haven't had time to try to overclock the system either, but I will tinker over the holiday weekend. I don't expect much because of that little paragraph about the 9700 PRO. That, above all, is what I'm most upset about. I haven't read a single review that mentions it.

    To start press any key. Where's the "any" key? --Homer Simpson.
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