*my apologies if this is in the wrong section, I've seen other people post sys. spec's here, and there's no board thread for new systems*
Okay, I fell out of the loop a few years back, and didn't pay much attention to what was happening computerwise except for vidcards. And my how it has changed!! Anywho, I've spent the last few weeks reading and absorbing as much info as possible, which has inadvertantly burned my braincells out completely. So I have a few questions maybe some of you could answer before my brain decides to go AWOL on me. I'm a gamer, that's it, This system will be loaded with nothing but games (lots of em), 3Dmax, PS Elements, Ontrack Sys. Suite 4.0, and that's about it. Oh, because of the size and speeds that everything is running at, I won't be over clocking anything. Atleast not for a few years down the road when I feel like I have too.
This is the system I'm looking at building, I have the Q's following (they're the one's with OR items):
Antec Performance Plus 1080AMG w/430 watt PS
Intel P4 3.0c 800FSB
2x Corsair PC3500 512 (CMX512A-3500C2)
Western Digital 1200JB 8mb cache IDE drive - OR Seagate ST3120023AS 120GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA
Panasonic 1.44 FD
Plextor PX-W4824TA/SW 48x24x48 CDRW Int. w/software *
Liteon LTD163 16x Dvd w/Power DvD * - OR Liteon LTC48161H 48x24x48x CD-RW/16x DVD COMBO DRIVE (Internal)
ATi Radeon 9800 pro 128
SB Audigy2 Plat (Int) - OR Onboard Sound
Creative Labs Inspire 6.1 6600 7 piece speaker set - OR Altec Lansing 5100 5.1 6 Piece Speaker System
MS Multi. Keyboard
MS Intellimouse Optical
WinXP Pro - OR Win2K Pro
Now for the Q's!
WD IDE vrs Seagate S-ATA:
As you can see, I have only 1 HDD up there, I'm not planning on doing a raid set-up with this system until a few years down the road (I'll likely just grab a new Grantsdale mobo, and HDD's when I do) So I'm not too conscerned about the Promise RAID controller and ICH5 CSA controller. Now obviously an S-ATA drive is faster then an IDE drive, but is the speed gain worth the extra 30 - 50 dollars at the present moment?
CD-RW & DVD vrs Combo Drive:
I'd save about 100 dollars Canadian if I went with the Combo drive. But I've heard of a lot of issues about them conking out (not the Liteon par-say, just combo-drives in general), bad reads/burns, etc. My gut feeling is saying stay away from them, are my guts correct?
Sound Card vrs Onboard Sound:
Everything I can tell so far, onboard sound now-a-days is pretty damned good. Is the SB Aud. 2 Plat. going to take enough load off the CPU to be a worthwhile purchase?
Altec's will be a crisper sound then the C. Labs. I guess the real thing is.. 6 speakers or 7 speakers, 6 speakers or 7 speakers hmm....
If I go XP pro, I'll be tweaking it to high heaven to get back the performance loss from the "added" eye candy. I know W2kPro does not support hyperthreading. I won't mind taking the time towards messing around with XP Pro to speed it up and stabilize it, IF, hyperthreading and the OS itself will increase/be better for game performance. If HT won't do a thing for me, I'll scoop up W2K Pro. Thoughts and feelings between the two?
It looks real good to me man you have good instincts, listen to them.
Do you really need a DVD burner? If so go for it.
As far as the mobo goes excellent choice, Asus is the best.
As far as the sound issue goes the 6 channel digital onboard sound is fine, i use it and the sound quality is excellent and i see no system performance degredation at all.
As far as the hard drive goes, serial ata will give you higher sustained transfer rates, the western digital 10,000 rpm drive is king atm, i prefer seagate personally, but there is no denying the speed of the western digital.
As far as the OS goes, even though i can barely stand to say this because i hate XP, the added performance of the hyperthreading is worth the move to XP Pro.
You're right about the sound issue. I'll not be grabbing the Aud 2. yet. If I absolutely need it, I'll pick it up later on down the road.
As for the DVD burner, I'll be using it. Both for personal Home Vids, and as a possible side business burning others Hi8mm, 8mm, DVC, and VHS vids to DvD for them (if all things work out to plan, I'll be able to do 8mm and 16mm reel-to-reel in a year or so. not sure about 35mm though). I won't know about the business venture for another couple of months down the road from now, and even if it only brings in 50 bucks a month, that's 600 more a year then I make right now.
I should have said this system will be used strictly for gaming, and quite possibly this.
I've been thinking since I posted this last night, and realized I forgot to mention this question.
What I forgot to add.
I'll be using 3 pull out drive bays for archiving on two 30 gig Quantum FB's (two drives which are kept stored in an unused case, bay in system is empty until swapping them out). I do this simply because I am horrible at putting CD's back into the proper jewel cases, let alone labelling them. So I use one for personal crap, and another for Drivers, DLD'd progams, save game files, etc, that I don't want to lose incase of HDD failure, Re-installs, critical crashes and what not. Should I even worry about going with a Raid set-up for backing sys. info, seeing as this system works for me (I save to these drives every month or so)?
Seeing as I'm likely not getting the SB Aud. 2 Plat now, I may aswell drop the money saved into grabbing a 3.2C CPU yes?
I personally have an external IEEE1394 / USB 2.0 combo drive, i love this thing i can take it anywhere, you can interface with any computer with win98 or higher and a USB or Firewire port WITHOUT installing any drivers, you can install up to a 250GB drive in it...you can imagine the possibilities, i use it for the same thing you do, and it just beats the hell out of having to change out hard drives all the time, you can get one online for about $79 shipped then just put any IDE hard drive you want into it.
I dunno about paying top dollar for a newly introduced CPU they drop in price too fast and you end up kicking yourself later. However it may be worth it in this case because of the new 0.09 micron process, and the improved hyperthreading, i was also thinking it supports DDR2 but i cant remember for sure, if you can afford it go for it.
> Now obviously an S-ATA drive is faster
> then an IDE drive, but is the speed gain
> worth the extra 30 - 50 dollars at the
> present moment?
The SATA drives are faster, very very marginally faster. The big bonus with SATA is future proofing the drive and also it's a cleaner cable situation. They presently imho are not worth the price increase, wait until your next computer upgrade/purchase to get them. Right now you are going to pay a premium for new technology that isn't much of an improvement... spend the extra money on getting a few more gb of storage in a standard ide situation .
I would highly recommend replacing the ms mouse with a logitech mx 500, it is hands down the best corded mouse on the market (The mx 700 is the best non-corded.) They really are just miles ahead of the other optical offerings.
Avoid combo drives for the time being
As far as I know the most compatible *good quality* dvd burner is the Sony DRU-500AX... it has had very good reviews everywhere I've seen it mentioned... it also has the benefit of burning just about any kind of dvd media (+ and -) I don't own one so I can't say much more.
Like the other poster, I would recommend a P4P800 Deluxe over the P4C800 Deluxe.
The system looks very good, these kind of choices are just gravy choices .
I spent some time looking up on that Sony drive, and I have a buddy that works in a Sony store. I'll give him a call, see what kind of a deal he can swing my way (going to pay him a visit next month anyways).
As for the mouse, I happen to be one of those unfortunate souls that were screwed over by the gods and made left handed. So the mx 500 is a no go. I tried for years to learn how to use a mouse in my right hand, and I can not do it.
As for the P4C vrs P4P - I debated it over for a while, and I'm comfortable with the cost of the P4C, so I'll stick with that.
I'm placing the order next Monday. My brother is moving to a new Province this weekend, so I'm giving him my current system as a Farewell/Grats on the new job/Housewarming gift. This way we can keep in contact via email etc (he's comp. illiterate, so it's much easier for him this way). I was kind of hoping to be able to wait a bit longer, but I wouldn't last a month, let alone 3+ months with out a system.