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In Need of PC Construction Direction

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Anonymous
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January 22, 2002 11:50:14 PM

After the tentative research that I have completed up to this point, I have nearly reached a state of consumate resolution on my decision to build a PC from individual components. But, I still have many questions before I will be confident enough to begin the process, and most importantly, spend the money.

First and foremost, let me give a general rundown of the compenents that I will be aiming to attain.
budget is approximately $2000 USD
Athlon XP 1800+ // SOYO K7v-Dragon+ Socket A DDR // 512MB DDR 266mhz CAS2.5 (maximum), single dimm // 1.44mb 3.5 floppy drive// 80 gyg 7200rpm hard drive// ATI AGP Radeon 8500 64mb DDR TV/DVI // 16x DVD-ROM // Creative Labs Sound Blaster Platinum sound card // 56 k modem // 250 meg internal zip drive // Full tower w/300w power supply // 19" bulky monitor-flat glass (ex: viewsonic g90f) // windows XP pro

If there are any screaming compatibility issues or reasons for alternative selections with the equipment I mentioned, I would really appreciate a warning.

Also, I noticed at one website the spec of ATA 100 was on the SOYO K7V Dragon+ board and the hard drive I was looking into was a maxtor ATA 133.. does this difference mean that the ATA 133 will not acheive it's full speed on the mainboard, is there a compatibility issue? have I been duped by a typo?

My primary question is one of security and function. How confident can I be with purchasing all components from low price vendors via the internet? I have an acquaintance who built a system buying parts from a wealth of vendors quoted on pricewatch.com with little to no background checking, and his system turned out golden. And another friend gave warning that RAM is an extremely sensitive component and mail order just isn't a safe bet for such orders. I'm wondering if I can simply begin making purchases from the lowest bidders listed on pricegrabber and pricewatch.com and snap/plug the system together like an erector set with confidence.

issuing the most humble supplication

the layman

1/22/2002 addition

I would be using the system for: graphics editing, games and then to a lower degree - sound editing. all at an "enthusiast" level of course. i would not be planning on overclocking until the prospect of buying a new system was in view, but of course id want all components to run at the top recomended level of productivity.

1/23/2002 4:10 PST addition

the 56k modem, i feel, is just a bit of a necessity just in case i find myself without broadband access. I may exclude the purchase. the Soyou K7V Dragon+ has integrated 10/100 network adapter as well as integrated sound with optical outs. This is a bit of a curiosity for me. Many enthusiasts I've talked to decry an integrated anything so I'm wondering if it would be in my best interests to opt for proven, quality periphials and dissable the integrated features. I was thinking more along the lines of using the integrated sound/networking to get a feel for the function before making any periphial purchases of the same type.

I'll probably hold off on the 250 meg internal zip drive until I'm sure it would be a big benefit to me. I already have a decent HP CD-RW that I'll be moving from the 6 year old pc i'm using.

And I was also curious about oem vs retail. I was told that oem was basicaly barebones items where retail included a lot of extras. Are there some components that I should buy retail versions of and others that i may as well save through OEM? I noticed that the SOYO board had two separate components that looked to be fairly necessary to take advantage of all the board functions: including the sound optical outputs, smart card reader, usb ports, not to mention manuals and documentation I would need to rely on.

In response to the idea of buying two 40 gyg drives and using the RAID 0 option - i really have no idea, I'm completely uninformed. If it can be proven much faster, a better value, and not extremely difficult or a incompatibility monster I would opt for the method.

Last of all I am still not sure about which memory I should buy. I want the 512 to last me for a while. But it seems like it would be a waste to fill up the slots with low MB chips when ultimately I'd be using 1024 meg DDR's in a matter of years. I also read that max speed is achieved through identical ram chips, though I am not sure of the legitimacy of this. A single 512 dimm of the quality i'm looking for would be around $160.. i could probably get three 256's for $180. Might this be a better value even though I'd ultimately discarding them for DIMMs with a higher memory value? I really need some additional advice in way of memory. I was thinking that 512 mb would be an ample amount for at least a year.

More about : construction direction

January 23, 2002 12:02:21 AM

You seem to have left out the heatsink, fan, and thermal paste.

Tell me, what do you plan to use the computer for (i.e. Games, video editing, programming)? Do you plan to overclock?

The Maxtor ATA 133 HDD will run fine, but only at ATA 100 with that motherboard. This won’t cause you any problems; in fact you probably wouldn't notice the difference. ATA 133 is more marketing hype than an actual useful feature since hard drives don't seem to be able to use that extra bandwidth anyway.

"Ignorance is bliss, but I tend to get screwed over."
January 23, 2002 6:18:00 AM

He does not plan to overclock, he should use the retail heatsink and the included TIM, this will validate his warantee and give him adequate cooling, and be cheaper as well.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 23, 2002 6:26:19 AM

I dont like the no name generic 300w PSU in your setup. Throw it out, and buy a decent PSU, preferably an Enermax 350W or more

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
January 23, 2002 7:26:50 AM

pricewatch.com has the lowest prices on the net IMO, also try newegg.com
i think alot of people would agree those are the places to go to save u some serious $$$
January 23, 2002 3:08:30 PM

Athlon XP 1800+ - Good choice, you can go down to a 1600+ if you want to save some cash. Performance difference would be negligible. If the extra money is no big deal, then leave the 1800+

Soyo Dragon+ - Good board, my VP (Vice President) just bought one. Heard good things about it, too bad the PCI slots are purple.

512MB PC2100 - Get two 256MB sticks of Crucial, unless you're planning on maxing out the RAM on your board in the near future. Two sticks will be faster than just one, due to interleaving.

1.44MB 3.5 FDD - This is the most overlooked part of any system. And for good reason, let's move on :wink:

80GB HDD - This is your personal preference. If you don't have a brand preference, I'd recommend Maxtor or IBM. Both are about the same price.

Ati Radeon 8500 - I just bought one myself.

16x DVD-ROM - Might I suggest the Pioneer 106s? $70 at Newegg, slotload. Great drive.

Creative Labs SB Platinum - Eeewww...I hate all Creative products (except for their speakers, those are ok). I'd recommend either the Hercules Game Theater XP (what I have), or the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz (never met someone who had one and didn't like it).

56k Modem - No broadband to go with your new computer?

250MB internal ZIP drive - Not much to say here...

Full tower w/ 300w PSU - I agree with the others, get a good quality PSU. I recently bought an Enermax 431w. You don't need that much, but make sure it's decent quality so it won't die on you in two months.

19" aperture grille monitor - There's a nice Viewsonic (970pf, maybe?) that's around $300 or a little more.

XP Pro - Good choice, been using it since it came out, and I love it. Make sure you don't listen to anyone that hasn't actually used it on their main computer for any length of time. Too many people have a bad taste in their mouth because of all the talk of activation. I've never talked to anyone that had any bad experience with activation (most people just disable it).

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 23, 2002 9:21:24 PM

Yep, agreed. The extra 133MHz isn't worth the cost. In fact I don't really think any of the other CPUs in the XP series gives as much value as the 1600.

The HDD is big. Might it not be a better idea to go with two 40GBs and a RAID 0 option?

How's the Radeon 8500 doin?

The ZIP 250 isn't an option, unless you plan to swap disks about with other ZIP users (inter-department stuff usually), and therfore a CD-RW would be a better solution. Cheaper too.

:cool: <b><font color=blue>The Cisco Kid</font color=blue></b> :cool:
January 23, 2002 9:26:27 PM

Haven't even touched my computer in a week, and won't for another week or so. I'm rather busy.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
January 23, 2002 9:43:01 PM

Lets see.

1. ive met a number of people who have had problems with the soyo brand, one who got two dud motherboards in a row! go for a different brand like MSI abit or the like. check out toms mega kt266a roundup.

2. 512mb @ cas2.5? hmm... i would have thought that 2 x 256mb @ cas2 would be better and easier to find, not to mention better performance. crucial brand by prefrence.

3. zip drive... nah, not unless u allready have them. i reccomend you get a CD-RW drive. a 12 speed with burnproof is ludicrously cheap nowerdays. can go faster if u have the $$$. much better than a zip overall. Ricoh by prefrence.

4. i have a Maxtor drive, just got it last week. i too am running the ata-133 drive on ata-100. no problems. a nice product.

5. last thing... i reccomend a better powersupply. Enermax or Toptower. enermax are the best in the busness. 300W or better. u wont regret it.

cheers.

The lack of thermal protection on Athlon's is cunning way to stop morons from using AMD. :) 
January 23, 2002 9:59:13 PM

Quote:
XP Pro - Good choice, been using it since it came out, and I love it. Make sure you don't listen to anyone that hasn't actually used it on their main computer for any length of time. Too many people have a bad taste in their mouth because of all the talk of activation. I've never talked to anyone that had any bad experience with activation (most people just disable it).



XP is god, and only 1337 hax0rs like me and burger can "disable" activation. ;-)


In all seriousness, I hear it is painless and quick, and all buyers MUST activate, unless you crack it, but I dont know of any cracks.(I have a corporate version, activation free.)

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
No Overclock+stock hsf=GOOD!
!