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Sugestions for new built for picture scanning/music

Last response: in Systems
August 28, 2008 9:18:34 PM

First of all, thanks for all of you who are such a resource for those of us trying to built our own systems for our unique situation. i have built several systems in the past, but am really confused about newer boards and their respective strengths and weaknesses.

My goal is to use this system to scan all of our current family picture albums and convert then to a digital images. I also want to keep all of my music as a digital MP3 as well. My hope would be a system to have a Raid set up to automatically backup the primary drive, as well as a 1TB drive to use to save all the music and images as above. I would love to keep costs reasonable (below 750) , and also have it be able to manage a 24in monitor. Probably prefer Intel, but if AMD provides more bang for the buck, I'll go there. So far I was planning on an Antec Sonata III case, Samsung Monitor, LG Sata Dvd's, WDC 500gb X2 for RAid, with a 1Tb as backup, memory, CPU, and motherboard are still in flux, as well as PCI video card.

Thanks again for any and all suggestions.

August 28, 2008 9:37:42 PM

1tb drives are about $200 and 500 gb drives are $75 or so. so that is around $350. just for the hdd drives. which would leave you $400 for everything else?

does the $750 include the monitor?

are you using the computer for anything else? any gaming or anything? how about video and video editing or just photos?
August 28, 2008 9:43:38 PM

right now 1tb drives are over priced. so on a budget build i would stay away from that. 4x500gb drives in raid 10 would be great for you but performance would be suspect without a RAID controller so the $50 you save would be eaten up plus some with the controller. I think if you really want to use HDD for back up then a compromise on size is in order. WD 640gb is $85 and about the best price per gb you are going to find. 2 of those would be $170 (one for back up. You could RAID1 to do this). That would save you $180 from the above hdd drive choices but you would have 640gb total space instead of 1tb. If you want a TB of space along with everything else then you are probably going to need more $$.

even so that leaves $530 for ram, cpu, mobo, gpu, dvd drive, case, psu and maybe but hopefull not monitor? :)  :) 
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August 28, 2008 10:10:25 PM

that's still $300 for 2 out of a $750 budget. my rec is to cut down on that and add drive later if fills the 640gb.
August 28, 2008 10:34:14 PM

ok here is a beakdown. hopefully you have a monitor or we need to cut back. :) 

ram - $69 (after mail in rebate, excellent deal) mushkin 1.8v ddr2 800 2x2gb

cpu - $120 e7200 dual core

hdd - $170 2x wd 640gb

Mobo - $85 Gigabyte p35 (by the way there is combo deal for $240 that pairs this with an e8400 that is a huge step up in cpu but for $35 more is a great deal)

GPU - $60 Sapphire HD 3650 512mb

Case/Psu - $99 Antex Sonata III with antec earthwatts 500w power supply

more power then you need but will allow you to upgrade and really a great deal for $99.

dvd drive: $34 lg dvd rom

total: $637 if you upgrade cpu with combo deal then $672.

That doesn't fit monitor so would have to do some slicing to fit that in. but quite honestly if you are getting a 24inch monitor you are spending more than we could make left over anyhow. if you already have the 24 inch monitor i would suggest the better cpu option and the maybe using the extra $80 to get you to $750 on a better gpu to drive that monitor. The HD 3870 is around $140 which would be the $60 already put toward gpu + left over. that would be a pretty nice computer that you could use for quite some time. the other option is to cut down on $$ spent toward hard drives
August 28, 2008 11:04:48 PM

from what i understood, you want the monitor within the price you specified. a good 24" monitor would eat up most of that $750 budget. you might want to consider either getting a smaller monitor or increasing your budget.
August 28, 2008 11:15:59 PM

the op also mentioned samsung so you are talking $400 - $640 depending on which 24" he chose (or $2200 for the led backlit one :)  :) )

so hopefully that isn't included. if it is that would be a struggle. even 19" samsung lcd is around $200 ($160+ for other brands) i think. so if that is the route he wants to go will have to drop down a whole lot of components.
August 28, 2008 11:19:02 PM

that being said you can do a computer for $550 and spend the rest on a monitor. this one i put up there is probaby beefier then you need but should meet your needs for a good long time. Also if we are dropping down expect a whole lot less hdd space because that will have to drop down. Basically if you take my setup and don't do e8400 and knock off one hdd then the total is $552. But don't let us know if you need $400 out of that for the 24". doesn't make a lot of sense to build a $350 one. go get a pre-built. :)  :) 
August 28, 2008 11:23:24 PM

My hope would be a system to have a Raid set up to automatically backup the primary drive, as well as a 1TB drive to use to save all the music and images as above.
I know a RAID1 setup sounds like a good idea (and it is) but it can also lead you into assuming you've done enough to keep your family picture albums safe. If you also plan to have the 1TB storage drive inside the same PC case you could lose everything if someone just picked up the PC and ran off with it, or if it was destroyed in a fire/disaster/act of HomerSimpson, etc. Making the storage drive an External drive that you store in a fire resistant security container/safe is a good next step. Beyond that you'll want to arrange off-site storage for a copy of your files. It used to be just a few DVDs in the mail would take care of that but these days with digital video plus the digital pictures we're using extra HDDs that we pass around between family members to have a fairly robust backup strategy.
August 29, 2008 3:27:07 AM

Thanks for all the replys. Is a quad core better for speed and flexability for the scanning/music ripping aspects of the computer, or does a duo core do just as well?

Doesn't raid allow for automatic backup, or should I just continue my habit of manually backing up important files/downloads frequently. (I lost my entire 4 year Quicken file because of a hard drive failure, so I know about frequent backups).

Monitor wise, I want to have better size to view things as I age and my visual acuity lessens. A 25 inch Samsung was only 450 @ Frys yesterday, and I was not including that in my budget. Because of the size of the monitor, do I need a more powerful PCI video card, or do the lower generation cards provide equal resolution of images (mostly pictures, not gaming) for that size screen??

Thanks again for the advice.

August 29, 2008 5:06:57 AM

that is great you don't need the monitor included. quadcore can help if you are doing multiple programs at the same time. but on a budget like yours the higher clock rate of the dual core will probably be more beneficial. if you want to consider the quadcore the q6600 is a great one. but part of the reason it is great is its overclock potential but you didn't say anything about being interested in that.

personally i would do the set up i gave you but since it was under budget use that money to upgrade your gpu. the 3870 should work nice for you. and to move up another level (4850) would be $50 more dollars so i think too much and i don't think you need that much gpu anyhow. this set up should allow you do what you need. scanning and music ripping will all work great.

RAID 1 takes two drives of like size and mirrors them. so they both have the same thing. if the drives aren't the same size it will only use the amount of room of the smallest size. the better the controller the less impact it has on the speed. the point made above is that it only protects you from a hard drive failure. it doesn't protect you from a fire, theft, etc. So if this is stuff that is very important to you and your family it may make more sense to get an external hdd and periodically back up your stuff to that and then keep that drive in a fire proof lock box with other important stuff. but you are correct that raid1 does mirror the drive so basically if you have 2 640gb drives your total hdd space is 640gb and what is on one drive is also on the other.