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First build in 5 years, please critique

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December 27, 2006 11:52:13 PM

This will be my second built computer. Built my first one (an AMD one) in late 2001.
I don't intend to overclock. I don't intend to have two GPUs at any point. I might want to get a DX10 card later though to replace the 7600GT.
I don't do competitive gaming but I do like some 3D games (like KOTOR) and who knows what is around the corner. The main idea is to make a computer that will be good for general purpose solo gaming, Photoshop, etc. for another 5 years.


Questions are:

1. Does this generally look OK?
2. Which of the 3 cases should I get? I can't find the Onyx case on Xion's website, is it new?
3. Should I get a bigger power supply in case I want to get a DX10 card later?
4. What is the deal with right-angle SATA cables? Do I need them?

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M sharing L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail $317.00

MB:
ASUS P5B-E Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $150.99

Memory:
Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory - Retail $139.99
Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory - Retail $139.99

GPU:
eVGA 256-P2-N615-TX GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail $129.99

HDD:
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $79.99

DVD and CD burner:
PLEXTOR Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 10X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache SATA DVD Burner With White bezel,AUTOSTRATEGY,PoweRec - Retail $105.99

DVD-ROM:
SONY Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s - OEM $18.99

PSU:
ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT ATX12V 500W Power Supply 90V~265V (Auto Adjusted) UL, cUL, TUV, CB - Retail $104.99

Floppy: (do I need one with XP?)
NEC Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Model FD1231H-302 - OEM 6.25

OS:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional with SP2 - Retail $279.99

Security software:
KASPERSKY lab Kaspersky Internet Security 6.0 - Retail $64.99

Case:
COOLER MASTER Mystique 631 RC-631-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail 95.99
OR
XION II XON-101 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450W Power Supply - Retail $64.99
OR
XION Onyx XON-301 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Stylish LED Power switch and unique 140mm Green LED Fan - Retail $69.99
( from http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... - can't find this product on Xion's page! http://www.xionusa.com/product-main.html )

Thanks in advance!

chuft

More about : build years critique

December 28, 2006 12:10:59 AM

Quote:
Looks nice.

You don't need a floppy anymore. You can do everything you need through USB drives, or Windows, like flashing BIOS.

Don't buy the retail XP. Find an OEM version, and save yourself over $150.


Thanks.

I was reading in the NewEgg reviews that the OEM XP will only work on one machine after activation but the retail one can be installed on more than one (like if you upgrade, or build a new machine, ruin your first one while building it etc.).

Not sure what to think about Vista, are people going to it right away or waiting I wonder.
December 28, 2006 12:33:42 AM

I've reactivated,registered,whatever you call it,a couple of times after
upgrading or reinstalling.It's an $85 oem version.
Related resources
December 28, 2006 12:34:56 AM

Your Right DOnt Buy XP.... Download It For Free! LOL
December 28, 2006 2:45:26 PM

Someone on another forum said this about floppies and SATA drives:

Quote:
When you boot off the CD, XP doesn't have any SATA drivers, so you need to insert the drivers on a floppy (not a CD, or a usbdrive, or ..) in order for the SATA drive to be seen by the install process.


which, if true, makes me surprised that people would build without a floppy drive.


Quote:
I've reactivated,registered,whatever you call it,a couple of times after
upgrading or reinstalling.It's an $85 oem version.


I wonder if it's because you bought it before Sep. 2005.

About, XP OEM, I was referring to comments like this:

Quote:
Essentially, the RETAIL Version has become the Cadillac, and the OEM Version has become…..uh…….well, do not buy it unless you intend not to change hardware for any reason (and then start praying you never have to)! The extra $100 cost for the RETAIL Version has suddenly become a good investment in something you can continue to use for life. That can no longer be said of the OEM Version (purchases starting in Sept. 2005) which you will now have to throw in the trash can along with that failed motherboard, or processor, or whatever else Microsoft has on their list of hardware changes they no longer support. Microsoft has seriously degraded support of their OEM Version software. And the full details of this important degradation are not advertised with the customary pre-sale product literature, nor have I been able to find them on the Microsoft Customer Support website. Even the agents of Microsoft, at Microsoft Customer Support, could not direct me to anyplace on the website


More such comments can be found here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustratingReview.asp?item...

scroll down to comments from 2/27/2006 and before.
December 31, 2006 7:04:33 PM

Quote:
Someone on another forum said this about floppies and SATA drives:When you boot off the CD, XP doesn't have any SATA drivers, so you need to insert the drivers on a floppy (not a CD, or a usbdrive, or ..) in order for the SATA drive to be seen by the install process.

That's a misnomer - It's a matter of RAID drivers and if you need to boot from the RAID controller then you need to hit F6 during the very beginning to allow the loading of RAID drivers from a floppy diskette.

Quote:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustratingReview.asp?item...
scroll down to comments from 2/27/2006 and before.

It only takes reading the first few comments to realize that most of the folks posting their opinions there are imbeci, er, I mean, have no hope of ever becoming industry professionals. Take the commentary with a shaker of salt.

-Brad
January 1, 2007 12:05:51 AM

Quote:

That's a misnomer - It's a matter of RAID drivers and if you need to boot from the RAID controller then you need to hit F6 during the very beginning to allow the loading of RAID drivers from a floppy diskette.


So if I am not using RAID, just one SATA HDD, I can install XP from a SATA optical drive, right?

Quote:

It only takes reading the first few comments to realize that most of the folks posting their opinions there are imbeci, er, I mean, have no hope of ever becoming industry professionals. Take the commentary with a shaker of salt.

-Brad


I have found the same information elsewhere, for example:

Quote:
The license for a retail version of Windows XP is in perpetuity. You get to use Windows XP forever, if you choose.

But Microsoft recognises that machines do get upgraded. If, following the activation after setup, you do not need to contact the activation center for 120 days (any changes you make during this time being seen as acceptable when the system boots), then the sheet is swept clean and you can start again using the current hardware as the new baseline to make more changes.

If you get a new computer, you are entitled to remove Windows XP from the one that is being junked, and install the same Windows XP on the new machine — but you will have to do the reactivation by a voice call and explain (unless, as was just mentioned, 120 days have passed since the activation was last performed).

Microsoft has said that if it ever becomes not worthwhile for them to keep this activation system going, they will take steps to allow users to disable it.

OEM versions
Restrictions of specific license types may limit the foregoing. OEM versions of Windows XP are licensed together with the hardware with which they are purchased, as an entity, and such a copy may not be moved to a different computer.

There are two versions of OEM Windows XP systems. One can be purchased separately, with qualifying subsidiary hardware, and installed with that hardware to an existing machine, to which it becomes bound. The software may be reinstalled and reactivated indefinitely as with a retail system as long as it is still on the original machine. It may not be transferred to a different computer. It is activated as described above, but if it were installed to hardware seen as not substantially the same, the activation would be refused as falling outside the license.

In the other OEM form, the system is provided pre-installed by a major supplier.....


http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.php
January 1, 2007 5:46:29 AM

Quote:
So if I am not using RAID, just one SATA HDD, I can install XP from a SATA optical drive, right?

Correct. No problem. This is all about RAID systems and since there's no such thing as RAID installation media, the install source point is not an issue.

The issue with RAID drivers in Windows NT, 2K, 2K3 and XP is that you can only load RAID drivers from diskette, along with that annoying routine of having to pre-empt the scan for fixed media controllers using F6 so that the RAID controller drivers can be the first ones loaded, to get Windows to install on a RAID partition successfully.

And this is why you pretty much won't see servers delivered without floppies unless they're designed to use PXE -based imaging infrastructures where a network boot can deliver the OS image with the necessary drivers already in place.


I pretty much thought OEM Windows always was like that. Makes sense really, after all, what part of OEM don't people understand?? Thanks for pointing out the info though!

-Brad
!