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FINALLY finished with build...just need stamp of approval.

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October 14, 2008 2:02:43 AM

I've been asking a lot of questions around here and I think I've finally got the build I want. I just wanted to get a final stamp of approval before I place my order.

http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.a...
Tower Case: Antec Nine Hundred
Power Supplies: Corsair 550W
Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro
Processor: Intel Quad-Core Q9550
CPU Coolers: No upgrade (I don't think I need any upgrade here? I don't plan on doing any OC)
Memory: G.Skill 8GB
Video Card: Evga 9800 GTX+
SATA Hard Drive: WD 1TB Caviar Black
Storage Subsystem Config: RAID, No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
DVD RW Drive: Samsung S223 with Lightscribe
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

Total price: ~$1600

How does it look? This is the first time I've ever designed a computer. Just last week, I had no idea what half of this stuff was so I'm really new to all this. That's why I want to get one last opinion before I submit my order. Are the brands all compatible with each other? Is the power supply powerful enough? Do I need a cool fan upgrade? Is the motherboard good enough for this system? Is G.Skill a good brand for memory? Is the tower case good enough (does it even matter)?

One more thing..I plan on buying a TV tuner card and installing it myself. I've never done anything like that before so I just wanted to make there is a slot for it in this computer I've designed?

I've really appreciated all the help I've gotten so far on this forum. Everyone has been such a big help to me. I would have never been able to design this without all your input so thank you!

More about : finally finished build stamp approval

October 14, 2008 2:17:39 AM

$10 more buys you a Visiontek HD 4850. It's a faster card and has a great warranty. It also gives you the ability to add a second card later when/if needed, because your P5Q Pro supports two HD 4850 cards (Crossfire) but doesn't support two 9800GTX+ cards (SLI). Also, spend an extra $21 and get the Corsair CMPSU-750TX instead of the 550W version. That will support your second video card/TV tuner/lots of hard disks better than a 550W. You've only picked one disk, but so did I at first, and now I have 5. Those TV recordings tend to fill up the room faster than you'd think. Add a couple of WD6400AAKS disks, but get them from newegg because they're cheaper there.

You don't really need 8 GB of RAM if it's just for gaming and recording TV. But then, with RAM so cheap and Vista consuming so much, it might be worth it. You decide.

You're right, you don't need a CPU cooler. The one that comes with the Q9550 will do all right.

No worries, if you get a PCI tuner you'll have two slots for it on that P5Q Pro.


Anonymous
October 14, 2008 2:18:30 AM

Uh get the 4850 instead of the 9800

its cheaper and generally is about equal to it in performance

if your not overclocking get a antec 300... or even just a p180 for silence

you don't need raid... just one disk.... also get a WD 640 GB one as its pretty good, has storage capacity and is fast

I don't know what the Ava direct.com thing is for... but I wouldn't think your build would cost 1600 w/o it...

PSU is enough

About the TV tuner card... sure you'll have plenty of slots... but do A LOT of research on tv tuner cards before you buy... i here a lot are complete crap, and have constant driver issues, so make sure you do a lot of research on an acceptable one if you do decide to go that route

EDIT: how come whenever i respond to a new thread... by the time i reply theres always another response -.- hehe
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October 14, 2008 2:20:15 AM

I dont know about the rest of ?s but i do know the antec 900 is one of the best cases out there and yes i dose matter
October 14, 2008 2:26:11 AM

musiclvr86 said:
Are the brands all compatible with each other? Is the power supply powerful enough? Do I need a cool fan upgrade? Is the motherboard good enough for this system? Is G.Skill a good brand for memory? Is the tower case good enough (does it even matter)?

One more thing..I plan on buying a TV tuner card and installing it myself. I've never done anything like that before so I just wanted to make there is a slot for it in this computer I've designed?


Yes, they are all compatible. The only problem is if you are very interested in games and want a second card, like I wrote above. You can fix that with a HD 4850 or HD 4870.
The HD 4870 is faster but more expensive.

The power supply is OK, but leaves no room for the second card, especially with tuner and several hard disks. Get the 750W version, it will solve everything nicely. You do know it won't consume more than the 550W version, right? It's just that a 750W PSU can deliver 750W, if necessary, without getting damaged. A 550W PSU can't.

You don't need a fan upgrade.

Excellent motherboard. I especially like the 8 SATA ports. That will help if you end up adding lots of hard disks.

Yes G.Skill is a good brand.

Yes the Antec 900 is a very good case. Yes it matters because advanced video cards and tv tuners can get hot, and you want a case with excellent cooling. The Antec 900 will do very well here.

October 14, 2008 2:31:22 AM

Quote:

About the TV tuner card... sure you'll have plenty of slots... but do A LOT of research on tv tuner cards before you buy... i here a lot are complete crap, and have constant driver issues, so make sure you do a lot of research on an acceptable one if you do decide to go that route

EDIT: how come whenever i respond to a new thread... by the time i reply theres always another response -.- hehe



Sorry, I'll type slower next time :) 

True about the TV tuner. I like my Hauppauge PVR-150. If the OP is into high-def TV I have no idea but the PVR-150 won't do. And BTW, if he's into high-def he will definitely need lots of hard disks. What does that take, 10 GB for an hour of recording?

One more thing, there are dual TV tuners like PVR-500 that can record two shows at the same time, or record one while you watch another. I used to think that's overkill, but these days my favorite shows (NCIS and House) are both on Tuesday at 8 p.m. in my area :( 



October 14, 2008 3:29:52 AM

The build is fine. The only thing is, you should go with a 4850 since you chose a crossfire board. This will allow you to add another 4850 down the road for more performance. You don't need the cooling upgrade unless you plan to overclock. The Antec 900 will provide plenty of ventilation to keep the system cool.
October 14, 2008 4:37:36 AM

Quote:

About the TV tuner card... sure you'll have plenty of slots... but do A LOT of research on tv tuner cards before you buy... i here a lot are complete crap, and have constant driver issues, so make sure you do a lot of research on an acceptable one if you do decide to go that route

Indeed totally agree. Windows media center is better at controlling my pinnacle cards then the software that came with them (I have a PCI version for the desktop and a USB version for the laptop). They both have their quirks: The USB tuner has to be unplugged and replugged after a while or else it misses shows and the PCI card's software (don't have media center on my Desktop) has to be reset after 5-80 minutes of use (really random sometimes it is fine other times needs resetting often).

aevm is on to something with the dual tuners in a card, something I wish I had (even though I have two cards).
October 14, 2008 4:50:00 AM

Oh and go with the 4850. Based on the ava direct link I take you will be buying from them?

October 14, 2008 1:10:50 PM

Sorry, I should have mentioned in my first post that I don't do gaming.

I upgraded to the Corsair 750TX. But since I don't game, should I still get the 4850 instead of the 9800gtx+? I highly doubt I'll be adding another card since I don't even know why I would need to. Is it mainly just if you're a gamer?

Oh, and I added another 500 GB drive since I'm going to be doing a lot of recording. BTW, since I brought up the TV tuner cards, does anyone have any suggestions for a hi-def card?

Thanks again for all the help and suggestions!
October 14, 2008 1:44:08 PM

If you don't game then both the HD 4850 and 9800GTX+ are overkill. They'd just cost more, waste electricity, and produce heat. Consider something like Sapphire HD 4670 or XFX 8600GT instead. The 750TX PSU is overkill too. You could get the 550W Corsair or the Silencer 610W instead. Sorry about the flip-flopping, but you had that 9800GTX+ in your original post and I thought you were a gamer. Yes, two high-end cards (in Crossfire or SLI) only make sense for a gamer. Some non-gamers also use two cards, but not high-end cards, just so they can use 3 or 4 monitors. (Normally a card supports two monitors, so the third monitor needs a second card to power it.)

Avoid WD's 500GB disks. Their 640GB disks are a lot faster in average read/write rates because they use newer technology (perpendicular magnetic recording) and have higher density platters. Seagate's 500GB disks are OK, but still slower than the 640GB from either WD or Seagate.

October 14, 2008 8:56:51 PM

Ok so the 8600GT is still a good card? I know I don't game but I still wanted a nice graphics card. That's why I was going for a mid-range one like the 9800. But I trust you if you say the 8600 is good enough for my purposes. You would recommend XFX over eVga?

I upgraded to the 640GB. I prefer to stick with WD because that's what I've always used and have never had problems with any of them.
October 14, 2008 9:08:11 PM

I'm using an 8600GT right now as I type. It's perfect if all you want is to use Office or Visual Studio, maybe even on two monitors. It's small, quiet, cool, doesn't consume much. No good in recent shooter games, but that's not a problem for you. It will play SimCity all right, for example.

eVGA or BFG are just fine, it's not just XFX. I just happened to see the XFX first in that list at avadirect. eVGA tends to be preferred on forums like this because they have a step-up program, but you don't care about that if you don't play games.
October 14, 2008 9:36:51 PM

I went to change it to the 8600 but there is the 8600GT and the 8600GTS. One has DDR2 and one has DDR3. The 9800 that I was going to get has GDDR3. What does DDR mean exactly?

Should I pay the extra $25 to get the one with DDR3?
October 15, 2008 1:48:12 AM

Tell you what, if you want more graphics power get the Sapphire HD 4670 512MB ($4 more than the 8600GTS) or an eVGA 9600GT ($38 more than the 8600GTS). Both are about twice as fast as the 8600GTS.

Some benchmarks:

9600GT more than twice as good as the 8600GTS:
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-q3-2008/Call-of-Duty-4-v1-6,745.html

HD 4670 and 9600GT almost tied:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/ati-radeon-hd-4670-review/9

Between 8600GT and 8600GTS - the GTS is faster. DDR3 is the next step after DDR2, consuming less and with greater bandwidth. Originally DDR stood for double data-rate, but it doesn't really make sense any more, what with DDR3 and GDDR5 and so on.

October 15, 2008 2:44:04 AM

My 2 cents: go with the 4670, has better multimedia output. If you wanted to run HDMI out of it with sound you could. I don't think you can with the 8600 not sure about the 9600.
October 15, 2008 5:14:00 AM

Cool, I think I'm gonna go with the 4670. What exactly does the HDMI mean though? Sorry for all the questions. You're probably getting annoyed by now lol. But I appreciate the help so much. I seriously couldn't have done this without the help from the people on this forum.
October 15, 2008 5:18:47 AM

Oh, and I can just go with the Corsair 550W power supply if I get the 4670, right?
October 15, 2008 2:29:32 PM

+1 for the 4670. ATI seems to be a better choice for multimedia at the moment. I use the computer in my signature as a HTPC and have gone from Nvida to ATI. ATI's picture quality while watching TV is better IMO.

I also recommend the Hauppauge HVR series of TV tuner cards. I personally use the HVR-1600 which is a PCI card. It looks like the HVR-1800 is essentially the same thing, just PCI-express. I also checked the Hauppauge website and saw a new tuner that caught my eye - the HVR-2250. It has two digital tuners which means you can watch one HD show while recording another. My HVR-1600 allows me to watch one show and record another, but one has to be in standard definition. :( 
October 15, 2008 3:36:43 PM

Umm, this is probably a stupid question: do HD tuners also record standard def TV?

October 15, 2008 4:38:05 PM

Yup, my HVR-1600 is a dual tuner. One tuner is digital and one is analog. I have the digital tuner hooked up to a roof-top antenna and the analog tuner hooked up to my Comcast cable. It all works great in Vista Media Center. I would love that dual digital tuner card mentioned above. Watching standard def after you're used to HD is painful. :) 
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