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Building From a BareBones System

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February 5, 2003 6:45:14 PM

I'm interested in building my own PC from parts off my current PC, as well as new parts. I've installed upgrades myself, so I've got some idea what I'm doing. I'm not sure about some of these parts but here's what I'm looking at:

From previous upgrades to my current system, I already have:
Maxtor 30gb HDD Fireball ATA/133
Liteon 56x CD-Rom
Liteon 52x24x52 CD-RW
Radeon 7000 32MB AGP Video Card
512 MB SDRAM PC133 7.5NS 168pin DIMM CL3
3.5 floppy
Windows ME OS with XP Home Edition Upgrade

Here's what I'm looking at buying:
Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 2.2GHz Processor Socket 478 512KB Cache, Intel D845WNL motherboard, 256MB PC133 SDRAM Barebone System Kit
http://www.googlegear.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
I've picked the SDRAM so I can utilize the 512 MB RAM that I already have.

Iomega HD10250ATP 250MB IDE Internal Zip Drive
U.S. Robotics 3094 56K Internal Fax Modem PCI w/Voice (I live in a rural area no cable modems for me!)

What I'm not sure about, is the cooling fan for this system.
I'm hoping someone has an opinion for a fan that will fit this system. I'm also sure these parts come without cables, but I figure I'll use the ones out of my current system. Any opinions on this system?
February 5, 2003 7:21:12 PM

I would <b>highly</b> recommend <b>not</b> reusing your RAM in this case. PC133 (especially CAS3) would <b>severely</b> hinder a Pentium 4. You would be <i>much</i> better off with a motherboard using an 845PE chipset and pairing that with CAS2 PC2700.

Further, you would be considerably better off using a Pentium 4<b>b</b> 2.26GHz with a 533MHz front side bus. The P4 2.2 that you have selected has only a 400MHz front side bus. (However, if you <i>do</i> get an SDRAM motherboard and re-use your PC133, then you really might as well just stick with the 2.2/400, as your RAM will <i>never</i> be able to feed even the 400MHz FSB, not to mention a full out 533MHz FSB.)

The IOmega ZIP drives are fun, but do you think that you will even use it when you have a rewritable CD drive? I don't see much point to them in light of CDRW technology these days.

The modem looks good at least. :) 

As for what 'fan', do you mean extra case fans, or the CPU's heat sink/fan combo? If the latter, just get a retail CPU because it will come with a heat sink that will be perfectly fine.


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February 6, 2003 1:59:32 PM

Ok
How does this one sound:

Googlegear IBB220-P4S: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 2.2GHz, Asus P4S533 MB, 256MB DDR333 Memory Barebone System Kit
http://www.googlegear.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

I'm not that up to date with most of the technical stuff, so I'm not really sure what the difference between the RAM and front side bus is.
I guess what I'm looking for is the simple process of adding to a system that already has the CPU and motherboard and case together. In other words, the ease of a Bare Bones Kit. I've spent money on upgrades that I want to use, but I want to upgrade the Processor and RAM. My current can only support 512MB RAM.
The fan I'm refering to is the cooling fan, the heatsink and fan is included with the CPU.

Makes sense about the zip drive...strike that one off the list.
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February 6, 2003 4:06:37 PM

It sounds considerably better. Still, for your money, you're really paying through the teeth for that barebones system. If you think that it's worth spending more money to go with a barebones system because it's a little easier, then go ahead.

Personally, I think you'd be <b>much</b> better off taking some time to research and learn before you buy anything. No offense, but you clearly don't know much about what you're purchasing. If it were me, I'd feel a little hesitant to spend almost five hundred bucks on anything that I don't know inside and out. But again, that's really your call.

Personally, I'd really suggest just waiting on purchasing and taking the time to research and learn. Then when you know the differences between a front side bus, SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, and RDRAM and can tell the differences between a P4 Celeron, a P4 Willamette, and a P4 Northwood or the difference between a 400MHz FSB, and a 533MHz FSB, <b>then</b> decide what parts you want. And I'd even then suggest that when you know that much about the hardware, order the parts individually (instead of in a barebones) and put the computer together yourself. It seems daunting at first, but I think if you tried it and followed the instructions that come with the parts, you'd find it a lot easier and more rewarding than you could imagine. And you'd save money and be assured of getting quality parts.

For example, the barebones system that you're looking at doesn't even give the manufacturer of the memory or any real information about it. It'll probably work, but it could be slow. You just don't know. Where as if you buy the parts seperately, then you can pick exactly the parts that you want and know exactly what they're capable of.

I briefly looked at newegg (which is just as good as googlegear) and found the following components:
Antec SLK1600 mini tower case with 300W power supply = $48
Retail Albatron PX845PEV PRO Intel 845PE motherboard = $85
Retail Intel Pentium 4 2.4B with 533MHz FSB = $193
512MB stick of Corsair XMS PC2700 CAS2 RAM = $159
total = $485
It would perform better than your barebones selection from googlegear, and cost practically the same, and these parts are ones that I'd personally trust. But it would mean that you'd have to assemble it yourself. It seems daunting, but systems today <i>are</i> getting a lot easier to assemble.

Again though, it's really your call. The barebones system that you chose this time isn't <i>that</i> bad. It's just not really <i>that</i> good either. It's more like mediocre, but passable. You couldn't use your old RAM, but then you really shouldn't be trying to anyway. It'd certainly be better than no upgrade at all.

Or you could take your time to learn more and build it entirely yourself, and in the end do much better for yourself. The choice is really yours. You know which I'd recommend.

And either way: Good luck and always make sure to ground yourself properly when working on your computer. :) 


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February 6, 2003 4:34:57 PM

I always stand on the ground when I work on my computer.

<font color=red>The solution may be obvious, but I can't see it for the smoke coming off my processor.</font color=red>
!