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1st time build-please help with components b4 my head explodes

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Anonymous
June 30, 2008 8:54:10 PM

I've decided it's time to replace my 6 year old gateway (2.2 ghz Pentium 4, XPPro, 2 gb ram) which is really starting to groan since I've started video editing. My cpu runs at 99% for 6-8 hours & precludes me from doing anything else.

I do a lot of multitasking, tend to have 4 or 5 programs (large spreadsheets, word processors, browsers, charts, etc) open at once & flip betweeen them and, as I said, video editing/dvd burning.

My budget is fairly loose. I don't mind increasing it a little to get better parts/quality or decreasing it for the same or better quality.

I've been reading on the forum for a couple weeks to get ideas as I haven't kept up with the technology at all. I've not built a computer before but have replaced most of the parts except the mobo & cpu.

The following are my very tenative choices, feel free to rip these apart & change them. Prices from Newegg.

CPU:
Intel core 2 quad q9450-$330
I've read quad is best for video/multi tasking. Only 2.66 Ghz? My 6 year old Pentium 4 is 2.2 ghz, guess the improvements are in other areas. This makes me want to try overclocking.

MOBO:
ASUS p5q pro lga 775 intel p45 atx intel-$150
Very confused, not sure on this at all. Will not be doing dual video cards but want fast/uptodate board with good features & oc ability. Also need floppy & com port (I can hear the groans now).

RAM:
Patriot viper 2x2Gb 240 pin ddr2 sdram ddr2 800-$88
I've read good things about this but Asus' qualified vendor list has only 1 listing for Patriot 2gb/ddr2/800 which sez you can only use 1 stick of this in 1 of the four slots (single channel only). Not sure what this is about. I guess decide on the mobo 1st then research ram that is best for it.

HARD DRIVES:
WD caviar se16 750 gb 7200 rpm sata-$260 (2, for data)
WD caviar se16 500 gb 7200 rpm sata-$80 (for op systems)

VIDEO CARD:
Visiontek 900241 radeon hd 4850 512mb-$200
Maybe overkill. I want an uptodate/fast board

MONITOR:
Not sure. I currently have a very old 16" which is adequate but will need another one as I plan to run this new machine separately, at least at first. Maybe a 20-22". Any recommendations?

DVD BURNERS:
LG 20x dvd burner sata model gh20ns10-$50 (2)
Bought an LG & Pioneer for my gateway & love the LG (ide tho, different model). What about using ide burners with sata hard drives, any drawbacks/problems with that?

POWER SUPPLY:
Corsair cmpsu-750tx 750w atx12v-$180
Again, maybe overkill but rather too much than too little is what I'm thinking.

CASE:
Raidmax smilodon atx-612wb black 1mm seccc steel atx midtower with foldout mobo-$90
Not sure on this, I like the fold out mobo tray idea tho. Also have in mind Coolermaster rc-690 or Antec p-182? I do want a 3.5 external bay & need something thats very roomy, easy to work with & has good cooling as I may try moderate overclocking.

OP SYSTEM:
Not sure on this either, I suppose I should grit my teeth & get Vista tho I'm perfectly happy with XPPro. 32 vs 64 bit is another tough decision. I lean towards 64 to make use of more memory (maybe get 8gb) but have no experience with 64 bit systems. Particularly concerned with software compatability. What is the rule here, does 32 bit software absolutely not work in a 64 bit system or is it a case of some will, some won't, hit or miss? I'm definitely not going to replace all my 32 bit software.
Since I used to be a bit of a system junkie, I might also dual boot xppro, in that case I suppose 64 bit vista would be the way to go.

KEYBOARD & RODENT:
I've always used ps2, maybe time to go wireless? Whats needed for that?

Tentative total so far (w/o monitor, keyboard, mouse, op system)-$1428
June 30, 2008 9:30:52 PM

For the CPU, save yourself some money and get the Q6600 and overclock it. Btw, the difference between the pentium 4 and the processor that you picked is that the P4 is a single core processor while the Q6600/Q9450 are quad cores, so it's almost 4 times the power(if you want to think of it that way).

The P45 mobo is a good choice, I have a P35 and it runs well.

You may want to get more RAM for video editing but it's not a necessity.

HD looks good.

Video card looks good.

I have a samsung 22" monitor and it's very nice,it's big, and it has a very clear picture. There are cheaper brands than Samsung but it is very good quality.

DVD drive looks good.

PSU may be a bit overkill, I would get the PC Power & Cooling 610W PSU. I have it and it works very well.

Out of the cases you chose I would pick the Antec P182, my friend has it and it's very nice, lots of room to work with and it has good airflow.

For the OS I got 64bit Vista Home Premium, it's very nice and I've had no problems with it, you can use 32bit programs on it and you can have 8GB on RAM on it, while the 32bit vista only uses 3.5GB.

For the keyboard and mouse, wireless is nice to keep the cables out of the way but if you do get wireless be sure to keep spare batteries around because they can die at the worst moments (like in the middle of a CoD4 online game -.-)and that's why I still use usb/ps2 mouse and keyboard.
June 30, 2008 10:10:26 PM

Good job on the build. Frankly i'd stick with the Q9450. Faster at stock than the Q6600. Use a popular brand of RAM that Asus recommends for that board, 4-4-4-12 latency probably. Going the full 8GB a good idea for video editing with the Vista 64 bit OS. Power supply can be any good quality 550w or larger. Corsair or the PC Power and Cooling 610 are great choices.
Keyboard and mouse wireless is nice, the sending unit just plugs into a USB port. Keep a stock of batteries on hand. On the monitor i went to a big box store and looked and compared different monitors side by side. Picked the one i wanted, bought it and had them open the box, set it up and check for any problems, then brought the puppy home. My final pick was a 22" LG L227wtg. Still happy with it.
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June 30, 2008 11:24:25 PM

Good start. Your needs are one of the most appropriate for a quad that I have seen.

What is your time frame?
Intel is supposed to have some price reductions july 22. You could get a Q9550 for about the same price.
If you can wait until the end of the year, Nehalem will be out, and it will have a massive capacity to multitask.

To verify memory compatibility, go to the memory vendor's site, and run their configurator. Specify your motherboard, and the configurator will list compatible memory parts. I know that corsair and kingston have configurators. For multitaksing, you will want to hold all the running jobs in memory without interference. For that, plan on 8gb. DDR2 memory is so cheap, these days. With 8gb, you will want a 64 bit operating system. I suggest Vista home premium, unless there are some essential features of ultimate that you need. Go to the vista web site to see a detail of the differences. There aren't many. Drivers are not an issue with any new standard parts. 32 bit programs work well in vista. About the only thing that won't work are old 16 bit dos programs, or programs that alter the internal workings of windows.

If you are going to get a new dvd burner, get a sata unit. The cabling is so much cleaner. The samsung 203b is a good unit.

Remember that you can always get a pci add-in card to handle com ports and those type of devices. You can get usb floppy readers too. Don't exclude a mobo if a cheap add-in card can supply the feature.

I don't much like wireless mice. They seem slower, and you have to keep them charged. For a keyboard or mouse, go to your local computer store and handle the candidates. Your personal preferences rule here.

A case is also a personal thing. Almost any midsize or larger will do. Get one that visually appeals to you. Read the reviews.

If you are multitasking, you will want a lot of display real estate. I would look for a good quality 1920x1200 monitor. This is usually a 24 inch monitor. I recently read a glowing review of a SOYO 26" monitor, available at staples for $379.99 http://www.officemax.com/omax/catalog/sku.jsp?skuId=216... I would go see it. Your 4850 vga card can handle a second monitor, and I highly recommend one.

---good luck---
Anonymous
July 1, 2008 12:34:11 AM

Thanks for the responses. That helps a lot.

Time frame, I could probably wait a month but not end of year. I would be a little leery of nehalam being so new & expect it would be real expensive for a while.

I'll look into the q9550. Which of the 3 cpu's is the best/fastest overclocker & at what point do I need to worry about 3rd party cooling solutions?
July 1, 2008 3:05:19 AM

A quad of the Q9450 class will probably not need overclocking for your work. I think you will run out of hard drive speed before you run out of cpu power. For serious work, I would avoid overclocking. For a hobby or games, perhaps.

Regardless, I recommend installing an oem cooler up front. It is best done with the mobo outside of the case, and you don't want to disturb your system once it is in production. A tower type cooler with a slow turning 120mm fan will keep your system cooler and quieter. The stock cooler does the job, but it can get noisy.
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