New System - Opinions requested

Hello, I am a new registered user here, but I've been lurking around reading for a while now, trying to decide what I needed/wanted for a new computer. This will be my first computer and I was hoping to get some expert opinions on what I should do. Also, I am a college student with rather limited funds (~$900-$950), so I can't spend $500 on a video card alone. Gaming isn't my big thing, but I've got a lot of school software and video editing I can use the ram for. But here is what I'm looking at so far:

Inwin Q500 Case w/ 300W PS ($90)
Abit K7V-Raid ($150) or ASUS A7V ($140)
AMD T-Bird 900 Mhz ($200)
Micron 256MB pc133 ($140)
IBM DESKSTAR 75GXP 45.0GB ($175)
Leadtek GeForce DDR 32mb ($140)
SB Live! Value ($40 from local vendor)
Creative Labs ACS-33 Speakers ($30 from local vendor)

That puts me around $975-$1000, so I was hoping to get that down a bit. Is there another full-tower 300W case around for cheaper than the Inwin?

The Abit MB I'm not completely sold on either. I don't know for sure if I need the Raid setup (don't even know what it really is for), but the 6th PC slot would be real handy, and I think I saw that the K7V without Raid doesn't have an ATA-100 controller, is that true? I would like to have that for the hard drive. Also, how much difference is there really in performance for me when I rarely play games? Would it be much help for the video editing, or should I just save the $$$ and get the GeForce2?

Right now I'm running a HP Pavilion (it's about to get thrown out my third story window) w/ K6-2 333; 64MB ram; 6GB hard drive; ATI All-In-Wonder 8mb, and that's about all I care to know about it right now.

I already have a DVD drive and CD-rewriter I'm planning on transferring, as well as a decoder card if necessary, plus i have a friend who said he'd give me his extra floppy drive, so I think the above is all I need.

Can i get some feedback/opinions/advice on anything I've said here? Thanks in advance
5 answers Last reply
More about system opinions requested
  1. Nice. I can't advise on the case (cos I live in a different continent), but maybe if you went for a DDR Athlon board (AMD760) and 128MB DDR RAM you'd get better performance. You could reduce the hard drive size to, say, 40GB, and even go to 800MHz T-Bird and overclock to 840MHz (extremely conservative, so don't worry about the life of the chip). Also, make sure you get a decent heatsink and fan for that chip, plus spend a few quid (oops, dollars) on an antistatic wristband.
  2. First of all, the Abit RAID board rocks. The regular KT7 does have ATA 100 support...I'm 95% sure on that. If you plan to do video editing, and you have the RAID board, I would highly suggest possibly doing 2 smaller IBM drives in RAID. The IBM 30 gigs are under $130 a piece now, and the 15 or 20 gigs are cheaper yet. The RAID will almost cut large file transfer times in half (Awesome for image files). Game play doesn't really improve from RAID except for level loading and such, but the video editing would benefit bigtime. I have the Q500 case and love it. I love the room inside and the 12 bays. I am not sure if you can get a full tower for much cheaper. Hopefully someone out there can help you out there. But I can speak for the Q500 and say it rocks. My bro bought one after I got mine. Can't beat the room and power, only problem is the front power switch is kind of flaky, but no big deal.

    "Water-Cooled CPU Runner"
  3. I've been considering going with the 760 chipset to utilize the DDR but I'm getting rather upset with my computer I have now, and I don't think I can wait much longer. I've been waiting to hear some reviews of a 760 MB, but I haven't found one yet. And the fact that the first motherboards released probably won't be as stable as the Abit or ASUS, until they release the 2nd or 3rd revision. If they were to come out in the next week, I'd probably go the DDR way, but truthfully I'm not sure I would notice the extra performance it would offer... As I say that, I think I just talked myself into the GeForce2 video card as well, unless the DDR GeForce is substantially better.
  4. One more question. Since I probably won't be doing very much overclocking, do I need to invest in some extra case fans and what kind of heatsink fan should I look for? Is the golden orb an "overclocker's" fan?
  5. I know what you are saying about the DDR boards. I am anxiously waiting for them too. Although I am running a measly K6-3 400, I built it myself so it still runs well. I am going to try to hold out for Micron's DDR chipset offering. Sounds awesome. tom had some reviews of the AMD 760 proto board. I just bought an Asus V7700 GF2 card to help hold me over. It rocks. GF2 cards are way better than GF DDR. A bit more $$$ though. My Asus was $223 with video in/out. Out of curiousity, what you running now? You might be able to do a minor overhaul to hold you over. I know I plan to use the time to save up for the upgrade. My K6-3 400 actually runs modern games fine. Just got Mechwarrior 4 and have no problems.

    "Water-Cooled CPU Runner"
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