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Semi-new build

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March 3, 2010 5:49:10 AM

I just did a semi-new build for myself & have a few questions.

First, the semi-new build:
MSI 785GM-E51 mobo ~ New
AMD Athlon II X3 435 CPU ~ New
Kingston 2x2GB DDR3 1600 memory ~ New
WDC 250GB SHD ~ reused (planning to upgade)
LiteOn DVD-RW ODD ~ reused
LG SuperMulti ODD ~ reused
ColorsIt 500W PSU ~reused

Here are the qustions:
1. I want to get a MCR, but on the MSI Test Items page>USB Drives, all I find compatible is a SSK USB1.1 CardReader. Is this true, or will the RocketFish MCR work?

2. Right now I'm using the ATI onboard graphics, but for later what card is compatible w/my board? Do I have to get the same (4200)/will a better one still work fine? And will both work together or not?

3. If I want to watch & record TV, what exactly do I need? I have the FiOS screwed into my modem-router & that Ethernetted to my comfuser.
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I am also planning to get a new 500GB SATA HD for 7 soon & wondered what others have to say about these choices:

1. WD Caviar Black
2. WD Caviar Blue
3. WD Caviar Green
4. Seagate Momentus
5. Seagate Barracuda

More about : semi build

March 3, 2010 6:55:32 AM

1. A Rocketfish reader will work.
2. Any PCIe, PCIe x1, or PCIe 2.0 card will work. However, only PCIe 2.0 cards are recommended, as the other two are based on old tech are have greater limitations. The HD 4200 is necessarily an onboard GPU; they don't retail as discrete graphics cards. And you typically want a more powerful graphics card is you buy a discrete card, because the discrete card will replace the onboard GPU; it won't work in conjunction with it.
3. A TV tuner and a relatively large HDD. Read this:
http://www.hdtvtunerinfo.com/hdtunerheplfulhints.html

I wouldn't recommend any WD atm, save the most recent 2TB offering. At 500GB, you want to look at a Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12 model.

On a side note, DDR3 1600 RAM is primarily useful if you plan on overclocking your CPU. If not, DDR3 1333 is a much better choice, in terms of value.
Also, consider getting a new PSU. ColorsIt is not a brand known for quality. If it blows (an occurrence more common with older PSUs), it could take the whole system with it. Just a thought. And if you decide to get a new one, the recommended brands are Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and OCZ.
March 3, 2010 12:22:23 PM

For discrete and IGP to work together there is this function on 780/785/790GX called Hybrid Crossfire. This is when a low end discrete such as the HD 3450 combines with the integrated video for better performance. Any higher end discrete would disable the IGP and the system defaults to the discrete GPU. Suffice to say for a HTPC,office/net or non gaming rig stick to the integrated HD 4200 but for gaming and if u had to fork out for a discrete a HD 4670/9600GT (dun waste time on anything lower end) or better depending on resolution/settings/games
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March 3, 2010 3:16:19 PM

Thank you for the recommendations.

I don't do too much high-end gaming, but the HD4670 does look to be a good buy. Are there any discrete PCIe cards that also double as TV tuner card? I only have 1 PCIe Gen2 x16 slot, 1 PCIe Express x1 slot & 2 PCI slots (3.3v/5v PCI bus interface support); all of which are free atm.

Actually, this PSU has lasted me for quite some time (a little over 2yrs.) w/o problem, but I have been contemplating getting a new one; probably an Antec.
March 4, 2010 9:30:41 AM

Ya an 80+ certified PSU with healthy amps on the 12V rails for your set up goes a long way ensuring peace of mind hehe
!