Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Criticism required. (For a new system)

Tags:
Last response: in CPUs
Share
June 29, 2002 12:18:27 PM

I'll keep the introduction brief. Here's a chance for some of you to display your fathomless, infallible knowledge. I'm putting together my first system, with perhaps the following components. Recommendations, advice, warnings and criticisms would be highly appreciated. (Budget is in the vicinity of roughly $2000 AUD, which is approximately $1000 USD)


AMD XP 2000 MHz Thoroughbred processor.

ASUS A7V333 motherboard. (With Audio, DDR333, and USB 2.0. / Without RAID or IEEE-1394)

1 x 512 MB Crucial DDR PC2700 CL 2.5 RAM . (Or is this available in CL 2?)

ASUS 128 MB GeForce 4 Ti 4400 Graphics Card. (V8440)

80 GB 7200 RPM Western Digital HDD with 8 MB cache.

Asus CRW-4012A (48x40x12 CD Burner. Is there a different model worth considering?)

-Any specific recommendations or advice for the following items would be appreciated-

17" Monitor.

Speakers.

Power supply.

Keyboard.

Suitable case.

Heatsink and fan(s).

1.44 FDD.

If you can't say something negative in regards to the proposed system, you're not being critical enough. ;)  On a largely irrelevant note, can each of these components come in black? (Well, I'll be attending LANs regularly, it would be nice to have a better looking system than everyone else) Lastly - are there any relatively cheap, internal modems which work adequately under Windows XP?
June 29, 2002 12:39:47 PM

Well here is wut i think,
-do not just be happy w/ a "suitable case", grab a decent case for this powerful rig that you build like a mod or aluminum case. they r far better @ coolin solution than "suitable case".
-great choice of asus mobo, vid card and cd-burner. mind you that asus vid card isn't cheap @ll tho, but they r rock solid reliable tough and fast.
-get a good power supply, recommend at least 400w
-make sure you get a monitor that supports as many refresh rates as possible @ max res. that would make your gamin experience more pleasant
-if you are not "dried" yet in your pocket, get altec 641 speakers. 200 us approx.
June 29, 2002 1:55:31 PM

Ok, this may be kinda hard to get a complete system under $1000USD. So here it is:

I dunno where you're getting the XP2000+ thoroughbred though....

AMD Athlon XP 1800+/266 FSB PROCESSOR CPU - RETAIL - $108
EPOX 8K3A KT333CE DDR333 - RETAIL - $89
Samsung Original DDR333 PC-2700 512mb CAS2.5 - $150
CHIEFTEC Server Chasis (Mini-Mid Tower) Model DH-01W - $34
SUNON 92x92x25mm, Ballbearing - $7
ENERMAX EG365P-VE(FM). 350W Power supply for AMD K7 & Pentium4 - $49
Lite On 40X12X48 CDRW Model: RTL40125S-Retail - $70
VOYETRA TURTLE BEACH SANTA CRUZ - $59
SONY 1.44MB 3.5 INCH INTERNAL FDD DRIVE - $8
MAXTOR 60GB 7200RPM Model - $88
GAINWARD/CARDEXPERT GeForce 4 Ti 4200, 4ns, 128MB DDR, Power Pack Golden Sample - $173
VIEWSONIC 17" E70f PerfectFlat CRT MONITOR - $152
Microsoft 114 keys (10 internet Hot Keys) Internet Keyboard PS/2 - $17
Microsoft Optical Wheel Mouse PS/2 & USB - $16
Creative Modem Blaster V.92 PCI 56k Modem - $19

Total: $1039USD

That's as low as I could get it using some quality parts. With black casing and everything, you'd be looking at another $50... so I dunno what you want. I had to replace some of the parts you suggested cause there's no way you'll get that under $1000USD. Wait a sec, I just checked that using a currency converter, it's acutally only about $1800AUD... I dunno, you'll probably have to pay tax on that anyways. Also I didn't add speakers, it depends onwhat quality you want.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
Related resources
June 29, 2002 3:55:47 PM

Thanks, both of you, for such quick replies.

I was specifically waiting for your response Chuck, you're always helpful. ;) 

Anyway, the above budget was only a relatively rough guide to save people recommending components vastly in excess of the amount I'm willing to spend.

I think I'll remain with the A7V333 for now though, due to the 6 channel on board sound. (Is anyone familiar with this feature? I'd like to know what most people think of it, in comparison to a proper sound card. If it's poor, I'll go with Epox)

I looked up the ViewSonic 17" E70F, and due to curiosity, also glanced at the E70Fb, which appears to be exactly what I want. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I hadn't actually noticed that Crucial doesn't yet produce 512 MB sticks of 2700 RAM. Samsung sounds like a viable alternative.

Is a 350W power supply more than sufficient though Chuck (or anyone else)? I'm completely ignorant when it comes to this area.

Anyway, it's nearing 2 am, I won't be posting again for quite some time. (It would be nice to wake up to a few pages of advice though) ;) 
June 29, 2002 4:40:42 PM

Quote:
I was specifically waiting for your response Chuck, you're always helpful. ;) 

I don't get it. You just signed in today. How do you know me? Oh well, maybe my reputation travels far and wide in this land!! :wink:

Quote:
I think I'll remain with the A7V333 for now though, due to the 6 channel on board sound. (Is anyone familiar with this feature? I'd like to know what most people think of it, in comparison to a proper sound card. If it's poor, I'll go with Epox)

I looked up a couple reviews and they say the sound is excellent. So take out the Turtle Beach sound card. Seems like it has excellent overclocking features also. Good board.

Quote:
I looked up the ViewSonic 17" E70F, and due to curiosity, also glanced at the E70Fb, which appears to be exactly what I want. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

No problem. I've not had any personal experiences with ViewSonic monitors, but they seem to be pretty good. Hmm.... flat-screens are a lot better than conventional screens if you ask me. I have a 17" normal CRT and 2 19" Trinitrons. The Trinitrons just blow the 17" away. But that's just one man's opinion.

Quote:
I hadn't actually noticed that Crucial doesn't yet produce 512 MB sticks of 2700 RAM. Samsung sounds like a viable alternative.

Samsung RAM is one of the best kinds you can buy. Even the Corsair XMS series DDR RAM seems to be just hand picked Samsung RAM. Plus the Samsung RAM is cheap. You should get it to run at CAS2 no prob.

Quote:
Is a 350W power supply more than sufficient though Chuck (or anyone else)? I'm completely ignorant when it comes to this area.

I'm not exactly knowledgable in this area either, but I can tell you this. Right now I'm running a P4 1.4GHz, 256MB PC800 RDRAM, R8500LE 128MB, Network card, sound card, 40GB HDD, a Canaon USB scanner, keyboard/mouse, and a CD-ROM all on a 250W generic PSU. I think the 350W Enermax is enough for that system. I also chose that cause the 431W one was a bit more expensive, although it'll probably give you peace of mind that you don't have to worry about adding too many peripherals.

Quote:
Anyway, it's nearing 2 am, I won't be posting again for quite some time. (It would be nice to wake up to a few pages of advice though) ;) 

Hmmm.... looks like you live on the other side of the world... (I live in Canada and you posted this at 12:55PM) Well hope this reply helps.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 29, 2002 5:55:44 PM

Quite clearly, I've not yet made the journey upstairs to bed. (It's rather hard to tear oneself away from the Internet after such a long absence due to exams)

Quote:
I don't get it. You just signed in today. How do you know me? Oh well, maybe my reputation travels far and wide in this land!!

It does indeed. Well, that and I've also been visiting the forums here on occasion for the past few weeks.

Quote:
I looked up a couple reviews and they say the sound is excellent. So take out the Turtle Beach sound card. Seems like it has excellent overclocking features also. Good board.

Unfortunately, none of my friends have yet tried on board sound, so it's nice to see it comes somewhat recommended.

Quote:
I think the 350W Enermax is enough for that system.

I think you're probably right, hence it has now been added to my list of "rather certain components for purchase". Which, thanks to your input, is nearing completion. All that now needs to be added, is a good, but not overly expensive, black case, and black speakers.

But, is the "Vantec's Stealth Fan 92x92x25mm Fan, 2-Ballbearing, (SF9225L)" better than the Sunon variety? I don't mind paying a slightly higher amount for a fan, if it results in a decrease in noise.

Any and all advice on heatsinks would also be appreciated, if you've not yet tired of providing information. I know less of them than I do of power supplies, unfortunately. I'm not even sure if they're an item to be bought individually. (Well, with a 19.2k connection,it takes a while to find decent information, and this is the very first system I've actually had to piece together) ;) 

Thanks again.
June 29, 2002 6:55:20 PM

Quote:
(Well, with a 19.2k connection,it takes a while to find decent information, and this is the very first system I've actually had to piece together)

Fortunately for me I got ADSL, not too bad good enough to surf pretty quickly. You just keep them questions coming and I'll see what I can do. I mean why else am I here for? :wink:

Ok since it seems you're intent on a good black case and 350W PSU, here's what I suggest.

ANTEC PLUS660B w/ 330W TruePower PSU - $111
Even though that's 330W, it still should be enough for your system and it's a great looking case.

On the other hand you could get a larger case. It's almost exactly like the black Alienware case. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=11-125-11..." target="_new">Here's</A> a picture. That one's $70 with a 420W PSU and 2 case fans. Now you could go for an even cooler one.. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=11-125-12..." target="_new">Here's</A> it's picture. This one's $95. It also has 2 fans and a 420W PSU, but it also has the window... *slobber*

Quote:
But, is the "Vantec's Stealth Fan 92x92x25mm Fan, 2-Ballbearing, (SF9225L)" better than the Sunon variety? I don't mind paying a slightly higher amount for a fan, if it results in a decrease in noise.
Quote:


Yes this fan would be quieter than the Sunon one, but it also doesn't push as much air through your case. I'd say if you get the server chassis, use the 2 fans there. The fans in that case is the Sunon. They're supposedly pretty quiet and also move around quite a bit of air. The Sunon goes at 2600RPM letting it move 48.5CFM (Cubic Feet/Minute) or air. The Vantec goes at 1750RPM moving only 28CFM of air. I dunno what you'd prefer. I'd say the Sunon are fine, they are pretty quiet and move plenty of air. I mean at a LAN party, you won't even hear them probably over other people talking...

As for a HSF for your CPU, you don't need one unless you want to do some serious overclocking.

Just realized something. I'm gonna try and make a Intel P4 system that you could use and overclock pretty easily to 133FSB and most like close to 166MHz FSB giving you either 2.1GHz or 2.66GHz. Those both'll easily outperfom your AMD system.

P4 1.6A Retail - $140 (get it now or they'll be gone. Intel's discontinuing them)
ABIT IT7 MAX IEEE1394, USB 2.0, on-board sound and LAN, RAID - $152
512MB Samsung PC2700 $150
Chieftec Server Chasis Model DX-01BD-420W - $70
Lite-On 32x12x40 CD-RW Black - $67
Gainward GF4 Ti4200 128MB 4ns RAM - $173
Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical Keyboard and Mouse Black/Silver Bundle Retail - $79
ViewSonic 17" E70FB - $169
Intel V.92 56K Modem - $10
3.5" Mitsumi Floppy Drive Black - $11
Maxtor 60GB 7200RPM HDD - $88

For a total of $1109USD. That's slightly under $2000AUD. Now for the speakers, do you want a 3 piece (2 satellites and a subwoofer) or what?

Hope the second choice doesn't screw you up... Just another idea. Overclocking - Intel, non-overclocking - AMD. Depends on your favor.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 11:27:18 AM

Thanks for your further input, and apologies for this rather wordy response. I hope you can be bothered reading it.

Quote:
Fortunately for me I got ADSL, not too bad good enough to surf pretty quickly.

I intend to acquire a broadband connection in the not too distant future. I need a decent computer first. (I'm currently stuck using a relatively old, borrowed, Celeron laptop, with so many faults that I can't really play games via the Internet anyway, regardless of the connection speed. I won't even be able to play Warcraft III, which I pre-ordered, untill my system arrives!) ;) 

However, I might need to mention - I'll be purchasing the components in Australia, not via the Internet. So availability may perhaps be something to consider. (I'll be querying a large number of suppliers though)

I'm not overly intent on a entirely black system. I wouldn't sacrifice a significant amount of money or features in order to achieve my desired appearance. However, if it's plausible without too much trouble, then it's most certainly what I'd prefer.

I quite like the DX-01BD. But what does "Server Chasis (Workstation Tower)" signify, anything in particular? Is the power supply a decent one? Does the brand matter terribly much? What of front and back USB ports? The official product page wasn't incredibly helpful.

How much CFM is required for the system I described? There's a vast number of variables to consider, I know, so I'll endevour to accurately describe a few: I intend on using it to play games at LANs and the like, for hours at a time, I also intend on leaving it on for extended periods, (Downloading over night, and so on. Noise is a substantial factor here) it's not overly hot in Melbourne most of the time though.

Quote:
As for a HSF for your CPU, you don't need one unless you want to do some serious overclocking.

I don't wish to do any overclocking for the time being. I'll wait untill a set of casusally sufficient conditions arise to do so. (Which hopefully won't be for quite a few months) If this requires a HSF to be purchased at such a time, then that's not a problem. Are you quite sure I won't require one for regular use at the moment though? (I don't mean to imply you might be wrong, but confirmation would cause a cessation of worrying) ;) 

Anyway, my above remark implies a response to your final comment. I'll be sticking with AMD. Besides, a friend of mine made a comment to the effect of, "If you buy an Intel system.. I'll disown you." ;) 

What do you think of the "BLACK ORtek MCK-800 Multimedia Keyboard. PS2. Built-in 16 Multimedia hot keys (6 Programmable keys)"? It doesn't actually specify that it's complient with Windows XP, which I intend on using. But it's still reasonably appealing.

In regards to the speakers - I honestly don't know. I've never used a 3 piece system. This is, primarily, a system for games, with only on board sound, so I'd like something quite decent, which isn't overly expensive. I don't demand the ultimate sound experience, but a little more than the old "PC speaker" noises. ;)  With the rough budget and everything else considered, what would you personally recommend?

Quote:
Hope the second choice doesn't screw you up... Just another idea.

That's why I'm here. All ideas are appreciated. :) 

(On another note, I decided many, many months ago, on a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer. It's not black, I know, nor is it cheap, but it's quite perfect for my needs)

I suppose I should post my 'updated' list of system specifications, in order for you, (Chuck), or anyone else to comment on. As this has been immensely helpful already. :)  (Thanks again)


AMD XP 2000 MHz Thoroughbred processor. (The exact clock speed isn't really import)

ASUS A7V333 motherboard. (With Audio, DDR333, and USB 2.0. / Without RAID or IEEE-1394)

1 x 512MB Samsung Original PC-2700 CAS Latency 2.5 RAM

ASUS 128 MB GeForce 4 Ti 4400 Graphics Card. - V8440 (Prices in my area have a negligible difference between the 4200 and 4400)

80 GB 7200 RPM Western Digital HDD with 8 MB cache. - WD800JB (A little more expensive, but I don't plan on upgrading soon)

Asus 48x40x12 CD Burner. - CRW-4012A (Or the black Lite On RTL40125S)

ViewSonic Black 17" PerfectFlat CRT Monitor. - E70fb

Chieftec Server Chasis black case, with 2 Sunon fans, and 420W power supply, - Model DX-10BD-420W

Sony Black 1.44 MB 3.5" FDD. - MPF920

BLACK ORtek Multimedia Keyboard, PS2. - MCK-800

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer.

Speakers still required. (We've come quite a distance though)
June 30, 2002 1:15:21 PM

Quote:
I quite like the DX-01BD. But what does "Server Chasis (Workstation Tower)" signify, anything in particular? Is the power supply a decent one? Does the brand matter terribly much? What of front and back USB ports? The official product page wasn't incredibly helpful.

Well, Chieftec is a pretty big case maker for a lot of OEM and retail sellers. For example the Antec SX040B is basically exactly the same as the Chieftec case. I found a review of the SX1040B <A HREF="http://www.elektrik-sheep.com/reviews/antec/sx1040B.sht..." target="_new">here</A>. It looks good with only one fault(plastic bending). It doesn't come with front USB ports unfortunately. Also it's 30 some lbs (pounds) so carrying it around to LAN parties may be a problem. It's not really overly large. It's something like 20" high, 18" deep and 8" wide. By looking at it, it seemed a lot bigger. I measured my mid-tower case and it's 16" high, 16" deep and 7" wide, so really not much bigger... Looks like a nice case though.

I also took a look at the Antec cases. First off you could get a Antec PLUS1080B for ~$115. I guess you'll be paying for a 3 year warranty (since the plastic was kinda dying on the reviewer's case and he could get replacement parts for it) and also it comes with 2USB and 1 FireWire ports in the front and a side fan. I also has a higher quality 430W Ante TruePower PSU. I dunno if the warranty/USB/FireWire/PSU/fan is worth the $40, but you think about it.

Quote:
How much CFM is required for the system I described? There's a vast number of variables to consider, I know, so I'll endevour to accurately describe a few: I intend on using it to play games at LANs and the like, for hours at a time, I also intend on leaving it on for extended periods, (Downloading over night, and so on. Noise is a substantial factor here) it's not overly hot in Melbourne most of the time though.

Hmm... I'd say just get one more fan. Since there are two outtake fans at the back, one HDD fan, and one intake at the front, I think just the 2 outakes and the 1 intake would be fine. Go out and get one of those Sunon 80mm fans.

Quote:
I don't wish to do any overclocking for the time being. I'll wait untill a set of casusally sufficient conditions arise to do so. (Which hopefully won't be for quite a few months) If this requires a HSF to be purchased at such a time, then that's not a problem. Are you quite sure I won't require one for regular use at the moment though? (I don't mean to imply you might be wrong, but confirmation would cause a cessation of worrying) ;) 

Well you see, if you're getting the Retail box, then it comes with a HSF (HeatSink Fan). The stock HSF is enough unless you overclock.

Quote:
Anyway, my above remark implies a response to your final comment. I'll be sticking with AMD. Besides, a friend of mine made a comment to the effect of, "If you buy an Intel system.. I'll disown you." ;) 

Hmmmm.... That's not very nice. Tell him that I was gonna buy a P4 system this summer. They're great systems if you're gonna overclock. Oh well, whatever you prefer.

Quote:
What do you think of the "BLACK ORtek MCK-800 Multimedia Keyboard. PS2. Built-in 16 Multimedia hot keys (6 Programmable keys)"? It doesn't actually specify that it's complient with Windows XP, which I intend on using. But it's still reasonably appealing.

Oh... I don't think you should worry about that. Looks quite nice acutally.

Quote:
In regards to the speakers - I honestly don't know. I've never used a 3 piece system. This is, primarily, a system for games, with only on board sound, so I'd like something quite decent, which isn't overly expensive. I don't demand the ultimate sound experience, but a little more than the old "PC speaker" noises. ;)  With the rough budget and everything else considered, what would you personally recommend?

Well there was this nice set of speakers... Since you'll be going to LAN parties, I don't think you'll want to lug around a huge subwoofer and 5 speakers.. so a 3 piece should be fine. I'll see if I can dig it up... Hmmmm. Well I found them.... I actually found quite a few. There's the Altec Lansing 4100, is acutally 5 speakers. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=36-113-12..." target="_new">Here's</A> a pic. If that's not what you want, here's some more: Altec Lansing 2100 which is practically the same as the 4100 in look, except it's less powerful (sound). There's also the Altec Lansing ATP3. Go <A HREF="http://www.alteclansing.com" target="_new">here</A> for the official Altec Lansing wesite. The 4100 is ~$95, the 2100 about $60 and the ATP3 is about $50.

Those specs are gonna cost you quite a bit over $2000AUD if you ask me. But that's fine. If you can aford it, it'll be a great system. Good luck

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Chuck232 on 06/30/02 01:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 30, 2002 4:01:19 PM

Let me see, I'm gonna take a look at how much this would all cost.

Quote:
AMD XP 2000 MHz Thoroughbred processor
Quote:


As I said, I have no clue where you're gonna get a XP2000 Thoroughbred. I haven't even seem them around. Well anyways say it costs the same as a XP2000+ Palomino

XP2000+ Retail box - $160
ASUS A7V333 - $120
512MB Samsung PC2700 DDR333 RAM - $150
ASUS GF4 Ti4400 V8440 - $239 (You sure you want ASUS, usually they're a bit more expensive than the average)
80GB WD w/ 8MB cache - $117
Lite-On 32x12x40 Black - $67 (I suggest this. Lite-Ons are supposed to be really good and it's black. I mean I'd usually never burn CDs at 40x anyways. I find it usually messes up. 24x is probably even good enough.)
ViewSonic E70Fb - $169
Chieftec Model DX-10BD-420W - $70
Sony Black 3.5" - $15
Ortek Keyboard MCK-800 - $12
MS Intellimouse Explorer - $37
Altec Lansing ATP3 - $54

For: $1210. That's a bit more, but there's some pretty high quality components and it's BLACK!!! Next computer I get has gotta be black too. They just look soo cool.

I found 2 reviews. One of the ATP3 and one for the 2100. I'll let you decide. I just skimmed over them so... here you go:

<A HREF="http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/ATP3/ATP3.html" target="_new">ATP3</A>
<A HREF="http://www.3dvelocity.com/reviews/al2100/2100.htm" target="_new">2100 series</A>

Hope they help a bit. The 2100 is about $10 more.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 6:45:41 PM

Well, it seems you're doing as much, if not more, research for this system than I am. (It's highly appreciated of course)

Quote:
Also it's 30 some lbs (pounds) so carrying it around to LAN parties may be a problem.

Weight's not a concern. I can usually manage to get driven anywhere I wish to go. Besides, I wear weighted clothing by choice, for the physical benefits, so the prospect of carrying heavy computer components around isn't a deterrent against purchasing them. :) 

Quote:
Those specs are gonna cost you quite a bit over $2000AUD if you ask me. But that's fine. If you can aford it, it'll be a great system.

I think you're right there. It's not a cause for concern though, because I don't really have a budget to adhere to. My parents are willing to spend around $2000 (AUD) on a system for me, which is why I used that figure for a rough guide. However, seeing I as want something (nearly) perfect, I'll be quite happy to put in a few hundred dollars of my own money as well.

Quote:
(You sure you want ASUS, usually they're a bit more expensive than the average)

Not according to prices in my area, strangely enough. When I begin asking for quotes, I'll be sure to query them on different brands, and unless they differ in price substantially, I'll choose ASUS.

Quote:
(I suggest this. Lite-Ons are supposed to be really good and it's black. I mean I'd usually never burn CDs at 40x anyways. I find it usually messes up. 24x is probably even good enough.)

Ah, but the case I seek to acquire actually 'hides' any unattractive non-black components, which is why I like it so much. :)  But I've read a review of the ASUS burner, and apparently there were no problems when burning at the maximum speed. (Which, on average, wasn't 40x, if I recall correctly. But it's nearly 5 am, and I'm quite tired, so my recollection, not to mention articulation, may be a little scathed)

I've actually decided to purchase a slightly more expensive monitor. (I don't need to explain the benefits, I'm sure) I'm currently researching the following models:

Princeton 19" 1280x1024 85Hz, model - EO900F-BLK - $281, a brief summary can be found <A HREF="http://www.princetongraphics.com/Products/Pages/Current..." target="_new"> here. </A>
And the Princeton Ultra 90B, 19" 1280x1024 85Hz, which appears relatively similar to the one above, but with a few extra features. Perhaps you can find a substantial difference which would give reason to favour one over the other <A HREF="http://www.princetongraphics.com/Products/Pages/Legacy/..." target="_new"> here. </A> Their max resolutions are both 1600x1200.

There doesn't seem to be a massive amount of difference between the two, but at least there's a specific forum to post questions on this topic. I'll cut and paste the above paragraph in there shortly. (There really should be a "Complete Systems" forum)

As for the speakers, well, I'll continue reading up on them.
June 30, 2002 7:16:06 PM

Ok, I'm sure you want to stay in shape, that extra 30lbs shouldn't be problem then, ok.

Quote:
I think you're right there. It's not a cause for concern though, because I don't really have a budget to adhere to. My parents are willing to spend around $2000 (AUD) on a system for me, which is why I used that figure for a rough guide. However, seeing I as want something (nearly) perfect, I'll be quite happy to put in a few hundred dollars of my own money as well.

Hmmm... MMM... wish my parents would give me $2000.. I'd go out and get a new system right now! Oh well, I'll be getting on next year, with some *financial aide* from my parents too.

Quote:
Not according to prices in my area, strangely enough. When I begin asking for quotes, I'll be sure to query them on different brands, and unless they differ in price substantially, I'll choose ASUS.

Ok that's fine. It's just that ASUS cards here are usually a bit on the expensive side. Oh well, ASUS cards are pretty high quality.

Ok, it's fine. If you like that burnere go for it. I just read some reviews that Lite-Ons are some of the best burners you can get, but anyways...

Quote:
I've actually decided to purchase a slightly more expensive monitor. (I don't need to explain the benefits, I'm sure) I'm currently researching the following models:

I got meself 2 19" Trinitrons, one white and one black and I have to say, they're a great improvement over the 17". I'd suggest a Viewsonic G90Fb. It's a bit better than the Princewon I believe, at least by just looking at the specs. Also, I've never heard of Princeton before now, are they a reputable manufacturer? The Viewsonic G90Fb is aobut $270-280 depending on where you buy it.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 7:40:27 PM

Or he could do what's he's doing by getting <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">this</A>. It's $70 for a 420W PSU and a Chieftec case. Although the PSU may not be top quality Enermax or Antec, it'll do him fine.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 7:52:38 PM

Quote:
I'd suggest a Viewsonic G90Fb. It's a bit better than the Princewon I believe, at least by just looking at the specs.

Ironically, I stumbled across this Viewsonic model a short while ago, and I was quite impressed. (I actually edited the post I made in the monitor forum, to include it in a comparison with the Princetons) If it comes with your recommendation, then it certainly warrants my attention. ;)  (Well, it wasn't entirely a recommendation, but it was close)

Quote:
I've never heard of Princeton before now, are they a reputable manufacturer?

I have no idea, I'm relatively new to the 'hardware' side of computers. (But I'm quite enjoying learning about everything) I'd not heard of them untill I began searching for "black monitors" with 1280x1024 at 85Hz or more.

Quote:
Hmmm... MMM... wish my parents would give me $2000.. I'd go out and get a new system right now! Oh well, I'll be getting on next year, with some *financial aide* from my parents too.

Well, I've never been employed, and my parents haven't bought (or upgraded) a computer for roughly 10 years. Literally. My family still has an old, poor quality 486, which I was forced to continue using up untill roughly 1 year ago, when a borrowed Celeron laptop came into my possession. I think it's about time I had a decent computer. ;) 
June 30, 2002 8:16:01 PM

Quote:
Ironically, I stumbled across this Viewsonic model a short while ago, and I was quite impressed. (I actually edited the post I made in the monitor forum, to include it in a comparison with the Princetons) If it comes with your recommendation, then it certainly warrants my attention. ;)  (Well, it wasn't entirely a recommendation, but it was close)

Hey, just a tip, don't take my comments and opinions like you would trust a god... I mean I've never used all this hardware, I'm merely looking at reviews/specs and giving you my personal opinion. I'm sure anyone could do what I'm doing.

Quote:
I have no idea, I'm relatively new to the 'hardware' side of computers. (But I'm quite enjoying learning about everything) I'd not heard of them untill I began searching for "black monitors" with 1280x1024 at 85Hz or more.

At 1600x1200, the Viewsonic has a bit better refresh rate. It's very minimal, but Viewsonic is a pretty reputable monitor supplier. Good quality I hear. A pretty successful supplier in North America at least.

Quote:
Well, I've never been employed, and my parents haven't bought (or upgraded) a computer for roughly 10 years. Literally. My family still has an old, poor quality 486, which I was forced to continue using up untill roughly 1 year ago, when a borrowed Celeron laptop came into my possession. I think it's about time I had a decent computer. ;) 

I guess you could say I'm slightly spoiled with computers. We had a 386, then a P120, then in 1999 we got a PIII600E, then last September we got a P4 1.4GHz. I upgraded that system with a RadeonAIW at first, then a week ago I got a R8500LE 128MB, which I overclocked to 310/310 max. I put it down some as not to burn it out. Then I was gonna get a P4 this summer, but then my parents wouldn't fund any of it til next year, and I guess I don't need it anyways. I'm gonna wiat til Hammer and Prescott. WOOOT!!!!

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 8:38:08 PM

Quote:
Hey, just a tip, don't take my comments and opinions like you would trust a god... I mean I've never used all this hardware, I'm merely looking at reviews/specs and giving you my personal opinion. I'm sure anyone could do what I'm doing.

Yes, I know. That's what the ";)" was there for in my comment. But you're more familiar with hardware than I am at least, so it's nice to have confirmation on components. (Not to mention you have an infinitely faster Internet connection which allows you to find and devour a <i> vast </i> number of reviews, which makes your comments somewhat valid) :) 

Well, it nearly appears as if all my queries have been dealt with. All that remains to be demolished is the problem of which speakers to purchase.

That is, of course, unless a number of people recommend a large number of different monitors in my other thread, then I'll be forced to endure reading yet another immense pile of reviews.

But, may I ask - how many fans in total will I require? I know you went through this above, but I'm not 100% certain what you ment. Nor am I entirely sure about the heatsinks. Which items come with standard heatsinks and fans, and how many extra should I buy? (Going by the official sites, the Stealth fans appear, at least to me, a little better than the Sunon when comparing noise to CFM. Are there other decent brands?)

Sorry for going over that topic, but I'd like to be able to simply hand over a perfect list of specific components to a supplier, and not have any troubling omissions. (Especially in the areas I'm not acquainted with)
June 30, 2002 9:08:52 PM

Quote:
But, may I ask - how many fans in total will I require? I know you went through this above, but I'm not 100% certain what you ment. Nor am I entirely sure about the heatsinks. Which items come with standard heatsinks and fans, and how many extra should I buy? (Going by the official sites, the Stealth fans appear, at least to me, a little better than the Sunon when comparing noise to CFM. Are there other decent brands?)

Well you'll probably need only 1 more fan for the case, since the case already comes wit 2. 2 for outtake and one for intake. If you're getting the Retail Box CPU, it comes with a HSF which is adequate for stock speeds(non-overclocking). The Vantec Stealth are quieter, but they don't push so mush air as the Sunon. Whatever your preference. If you do get the Vantec, put it in the front for intake. That way, the outakes will make a "low pressure" inside the case, which higher pressure air will try to get into, therefore making an intake fan a lot less needed than an outtake fan. (stuff I learned in science) I'd say get the Vantec and put it in the front and you'll be all set for fans.

No problem. I really actually enjoy helping people out. I dunno why, but it brings me joy. :eek: 

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 9:32:26 PM

Quote:
If you do get the Vantec, put it in the front for intake. That way, the outakes will make a "low pressure" inside the case, which higher pressure air will try to get into, therefore making an intake fan a lot less needed than an outtake fan.

That's precisely what I was planning to do. Especially seeing the front will be closer to me, whilst I'm using it, it would be preferable to have a quiet, but decent, fan there. Would the largest, 92x92x25mm, fit adequately? I don't particularly like the 'middle size' Stealth fan, it uses more power, makes more noise, has more RPM, and has a lower CFM.

Quote:
No problem. I really actually enjoy helping people out. I dunno why, but it brings me joy.

Yes, I thought you must. Which is certainly a good thing.

(I know this isn't a Philosophy or Psychology forum, but I can't resist adding the following) The unegotistical doesn't exist, it simply <i> can't. </i> Everyone is a psychological egotist - or rather - we all act to further our own interests. However, we can divide psychological egoism into two extremes: base and rational. (Most people fall somewhere inbetween) You, it seems, land well within the 'rational' category, which, Philosophically speaking, is vastly advantageous to you. (For reasons far too numerous to mention here, and I'd hate to bore everyone who took the time to reads this, more than I already have)

Perhaps I should mention - it's been rather advantageous to numerous people, myself included, across this forum. :) 
June 30, 2002 10:20:29 PM

Quote:
Would the largest, 92x92x25mm, fit adequately? I don't particularly like the 'middle size' Stealth fan, it uses more power, makes more noise, has more RPM, and has a lower CFM.

I think that only a 80x80mm fan will fit actually. Anyways, the 1dBA extra is nothing, you'd never notice a difference. 27CFM is quite good. So I think you're plan's pretty good, but get the 80x80mm fan, it'll be guarateed to fit.

Quote:
Yes, I thought you must. Which is certainly a good thing.

(I know this isn't a Philosophy or Psychology forum, but I can't resist adding the following) The unegotistical doesn't exist, it simply can't. Everyone is a psychological egotist - or rather - we all act to further our own interests. However, we can divide psychological egoism into two extremes: base and rational. (Most people fall somewhere inbetween) You, it seems, land well within the 'rational' category, which, Philosophically speaking, is vastly advantageous to you. (For reasons far too numerous to mention here, and I'd hate to bore everyone who took the time to reads this, more than I already have)

Perhaps I should mention - it's been rather advantageous to numerous people, myself included, across this forum. :) 

Hey, no prob. I dunno, I guess I really enjoy doing this cause I can't have some first hand experience working on a computer myself. I think helping others out, eases the "pain". I think that building my own computer next year will be one of the best times of my life. I try not to further myself here, I mean, what's the point. I try to be honest and tell people what I do and don't know. I sometimes feel responsible for some bad decisions I helped other make. for example there's a phill21 guy that I told to buy a R8500LE 128MB OEM, but the one he specified was a made by ATi card, which are pretty high quality. Instead he got shipped a Saphire card with 5ns RAM and ran at 250/200. He returned that and I told him to get a Gainward Ti4400, hopefully, it doesn't mess up again. I didn't really get the phycological part, but I'll guess it's a compliment and I think you for it.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 10:41:17 PM

Quote:
I think that only a 80x80mm fan will fit actually. Anyways, the 1dBA extra is nothing, you'd never notice a difference. 27CFM is quite good. So I think you're plan's pretty good, but get the 80x80mm fan, it'll be guarateed to fit.

Yes, I know there's not a large difference between the two, but it's just the theory which annoys me. (More power and more noise for less CFM) ;)  But I long ago developed a penchant for the Stealth fans, and hoped one day I'd have one or more in my own system, so I'll endure the theoretical misfortune.

Quote:
I think that building my own computer next year will be one of the best times of my life.

Well as I mentioned earlier, I've quite enjoyed learning about all the hardware, and I'm really looking forward to finally having my system built. I'm also in a good position now to help a friend purchase a decent system, although he's looking to spend perhaps half of what I am.

Quote:
I didn't really get the phycological part, but I'll guess it's a compliment and I think you for it.

To put it succinctly - yes, it was.

Anyway, are there any other black speakers of reasonable quality which you could recommend?
June 30, 2002 10:48:54 PM

Quote:
Yes, I know there's not a large difference between the two, but it's just the theory which annoys me. (More power and more noise for less CFM)

It's just that a larger fan needs less RPM to pump out the same amount of air and they do produce a lot less sound. Think about it. The bigger the fan, the more surface area there is to push air with, therefore, it doesn't need to be as fast.

Quote:
I'm also in a good position now to help a friend purchase a decent system, although he's looking to spend perhaps half of what I am.

I'm sure you're ready to suggest him some components. And plus, maybe you'll get some consultation fees :wink: :lol:  !

Quote:
Anyway, are there any other black speakers of reasonable quality which you could recommend?

Are you looking for something a bit cheaper or better wuality or what? You do realize, better quality=more money. I know a very nice 2.1 system, but it's pretty costly.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Chuck232 on 06/30/02 07:49 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 30, 2002 11:04:13 PM

Quote:
It's just that a larger fan needs less RPM to pump out the same amount of air and they do produce a lot less sound. Think about it. The bigger the fan, the more surface area there is to push air with, therefore, it doesn't need to be as fast.


Ah, but then look at the smallest size Stealth fan though. The middle sized one still uses up more power and is louder. (Although, the CFM is vastly superior, I know, and the extra noise wouldn't be noticed. Which is why I used 'theory') That's why I developed an attachment to the largest size though - lowest power consumption, slowest RPM, highest CFM, and equally lowest noise. Never mind, the SF8025 still sounds quite suitable.

Quote:
Are you looking for something a bit cheaper or better wuality or what? You do realize, better quality=more money. I know a very nice 2.1 system, but it's pretty costly.


Neither higher quality or cheaper, specifically. I'd just like to have numerous options. The current price range and quality seems to be quite adequate. I don't wish to spend an excessive amount though, when I'm not going to have a special sound card. If you're not familiar with any other types, I can find them myself, you've helped immensely already.
June 30, 2002 11:10:02 PM

criticism huh?
ok...

your system sucks! its gonna be daggy, unreliable and BEIGE! :lol: 

just kidding.

tbred cpu is good.
mobo is ok, but personally u can find cheaper than asus with the same features (MSI or soyo)
WD drive excellent, got one myself
i would go for the leadtek ti 4400, better overclocking.
the best burner ive seen is the liton 48x12x48x.

and one last thing. get a decent case with good airflow and a QUALITY PSU. enermax 300W or greater.

<font color=green>Proud member of THG's</font color=green> <font color=blue>Den Of Thieves</font color=blue> :lol: 
June 30, 2002 11:10:22 PM

Ok found them. These are probably some of the best 2.1 speakers you can get. <A HREF="http://www.klipsch.com/index.asp?path=/products/index.a..." target="_new">Here's</A> the official spec sheet. Looks nice eh? Well guess the cost! $179USD!! That's like over $300AUD.
Here's a couple reviews anyways to get those saliva juices flowing:
<A HREF="http://www.ocaddiction.com/reviews/sound/klipsch2.1/" target="_new">1.</A>
<A HREF="http://www.exhardware.com/reviews.php?Id=61" target="_new">2.</A>

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
June 30, 2002 11:54:49 PM

Quote:
your system sucks! its gonna be daggy, unreliable and BEIGE!

It most certainly will not be beige! ;) 

Quote:
i would go for the leadtek ti 4400, better overclocking.

Recent prices listed in my area, show the Leadtek to be slightly more expensive than the ASUS, and isn't the Leadtek fan a little louder?

Quote:
the best burner ive seen is the liton 48x12x48x.

I've seen this mentioned a few times, does it perform better than the ASUS 4012A though?

Quote:
and one last thing. get a decent case with good airflow and a QUALITY PSU. enermax 300W or greater.

How do you actually tell, by descriptions or pictures, if a case has good air flow? And how much does a "quality psu" differ from a regular type?
July 1, 2002 12:25:58 AM

The LeadTek fans are a little louder, cause there's 2 and it really does a nice job of cooling it allowing for pretty substantial overclocks.

Lite-Ons are some of the best CD-RW. I've already told you this already. I'm pretty sure it outperforms just about everything. Plextors are also very good, but they're priced to suck you dry.

I think he just means get some good fans going to keep the air moving and a "quality PSU" is a bit more reliable. I'm pretty sure the 420W PSU will do you fine though. You can always pick up an Enermax 350W for ~$50.

Oh yeah, LGHPooBaa made a good point. You could get a MSI KT3 Ultra. It also has integrated audio, although I dunno how it compares to the ASUS one, probably not as good, since the ASUS one is top-of-the-line integrated audio. But I guess the MSI is only $77USD. Quite a bit less than the $120 for the ASUS A7V333.

BTW, have you decided what speakers to get? I was only kidding you on the Klipsch Promedia, they're a bit over my budget.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
July 1, 2002 12:30:34 AM

hehe
1. glad its not beige LOL
2. yes the leadtek is a bit louder, so i understand your concerns (yes im an auzzie too), so i too know what its like to pay for stuff!)
3. From all the reviews ive seen, and people
s reports its a very high quality burner. better than the 40x? maybe. faster? only a small amount.
gotta remember that write speeds vary accross the media, starting at around 16-18x then curving upwards to the max speed of you drive at the end of the media.

as for the last two topics... they are my favorite :) 
*lecture mode on!*
To get acceptable case airflow requires suprisingly little. you really dont need a dozen high speed fans that make your case hover lol
the key is unrestricted flow. u need somewhere for air to get in the front (or the sides) and a exit vent at the back.
take the example of a rear mounted 80mm casefan.
for best flow the ideal solution is to have the fan blowing out a big hole, maybe covered with a grill. nothing in the way. as you go down in case quality the vents tend to get cheaper and less efficient. the worst is the vent holes that are comprised of lots of small circular punched holes. very inneficient.
so what you should be looking for is a case with a relitavely unobstructed rear casefan vent hole (or two) and something similar for the front.
using a front fan can help, allthough if the airflow is unhindered it really shouldnt be needed. brand wise the aluminium cases are usually best (allthough costly). have a look at the designs of Lian Li, Enermax, Antec, and others. <A HREF="http://www.pcmarket.com.au" target="_new">http://www.pcmarket.com.au&lt;/A> has a wide range... plus most of them are definately NOT beige :wink:

next topic. powersupplies.
in my experience, the stated 'wattage' of a PSU is practically meaningless.
whats important is the sum wattage of rails and the maximum current able to be supplied on each. note: 'rail' = output voltage lines, 3.3v, 5v, 12v etc.
for example a 300W enermax unit has output figures that can BEAT a generic (crap) 350W PSU.
no wonder why so many people have computer stability issues when the manufacturer has cut corners by using a cheap psu.
If you want a quick way to test for PSU quality, look for:
1. appearance: proper fan grills, and a twin fan PSU.
2. leads: lots of long ones. cheap psu's typically have the bare minimum with no P4 connector.
3. weight: this is very telling. cheap PSU's can weigh as little as 500g (1pound). flimy crap. a decent psu should be 1kg or more. should feel 'solid'

*rant over*
two good brands that can be found in australia are toptower and enermax. for the average athlon system a 300W enermax should be sufficient. of course, i always reccomend a bit of overhead so the psu isnt working as hard, and allows for future upgrades.

<font color=green>Proud member of THG's</font color=green> <font color=blue>Den Of Thieves</font color=blue> :lol: 
July 1, 2002 12:44:27 AM

Hm...

Quote:
have a look at the designs of Lian Li, Enermax, Antec

I told him to get a Chieftec case, since they'r pratically Antecs. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?submit=manufa..." target="_new">Here's</A> the one I told him to get. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=11-125-11..." target="_new">Here's</A> the pics. If you look at the rails, the max output for this "generic" 420W PSU is about the same as an Antec TruePower 380W PSU, which is not too bad. I'm sure 380W equivalent is good enough especially since the PSU costs more than the case and PSU of the chieftec.

(I don't like it when people criticize my ideas.... :frown: j/k :wink: )

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
July 1, 2002 1:14:34 AM

what do u expect from a member of the den of thieves :wink:
hehe

<font color=green>Proud member of THG's</font color=green> <font color=blue>Den Of Thieves</font color=blue> :lol: 
July 1, 2002 11:42:50 AM

<b> Chuck: </b>

Quote:
Lite-Ons are some of the best CD-RW. I've already told you this already. I'm pretty sure it outperforms just about everything.

Yes, I'm quite sure that I'll either get a high speed Lite On or ASUS. Reviews for both have been quite good. I'll read up a little more on both, and make a decision.

Quote:
BTW, have you decided what speakers to get? I was only kidding you on the Klipsch Promedia, they're a bit over my budget.


No, not yet. I took a close look at my friend's speakers a few hours ago. They're quite good, but so old I don't think they're produced anymore. ;)  But I really don't want anything too expensive. Roughly $50 (USD) is the most I'm currently prepared to spend. Anything over that seems a little excessive for my needs.

The MSI board looks quite good though, it does state that it uses 6 channel audio, not 2 like the Epox. I'll read up a little more on the MSI.

[Edit] Actually, the performance of the MSI board is somewhat lacking, according to THG. ASUS still looks more attractive, despite the significantly higher pricing.

Quote:
If you look at the rails, the max output for this "generic" 420W PSU is about the same as an Antec TruePower 380W PSU, which is not too bad. I'm sure 380W equivalent is good enough

That's just about perfect. I was in conflict about whether to go for a 350W or 400W PSU before I began posting here.

<b> LHGPooBaa: </b>

Quote:
yes the leadtek is a bit louder, so i understand your concerns (yes im an auzzie too), so i too know what its like to pay for stuff!)

I did another quick check for G4 Ti 4400 cards, and the ASUS was substantially cheaper than the rest. Which is great, it's the brand I feel most comfortable with anyway.

Quote:
you really dont need a dozen high speed fans

Good, good. Did you take a look at the Chieftec case I currently plan on buying? Would 2 Sunon fans at the back suffice? Or would it be wise to add an extra Stealth fan, at the front? (I'm quite glad this is an area you specialise in. None of my friends have ever even bothered researching cooling or power supplies) The Lian Li cases are too expensive for me, at the moment, I'm afraid.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Winter on 07/01/02 09:50 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 1, 2002 12:39:35 PM

Well the Altec Lansing AVS500B is pretty good but not as powerful as the ATP3. They go for about the same price online. The ATP3 is about $0-5 more. The ATP3 seems to have better bass and a somewhat better sound, but with the AVS500, you get a sort of 3D gaming experience, with lacking bass, but pretty good overall too. So it depends what you want. Better sound quality or 3D gaming, it's that simple.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
July 1, 2002 4:49:28 PM

Thanks for everyone who helped contribute in any way. Well, here are the proposed final specs for anyone interested. Perhaps someone can give adequate reasoning on why other parts might possibly be better for the system. (I'd appreciate it)

AMD XP 2000+/266 FSB Thoroughbred processor. (With standard HSF) - $160

ASUS A7V333 motherboard. (With Audio, DDR333, and USB 2.0. / Without RAID or IEEE-1394) - $120

1 x 512MB Samsung Original PC-2700 CAS Latency 2.5 RAM - $150

ASUS 128 MB GeForce 4 Ti 4400 Graphics Card. - V8440 - $250

80 GB 7200 RPM Western Digital HDD with 8 MB cache. - WD800JB - $117

Either: ASUS 48x40x12 CD Burner. - CRW4012A - $71
Or: Black, Lite On 48x40x12 CD Burner. - RTL40125S - $82

Black ViewSonic 19" Monitor - G90fb - $265

Chieftec Server Chasis black case, with the standard 2 Sunon fans (for the back), and the 420W power supply, - Model DX-01BD-420W - $70

Black, Sony 1.44MB 3.5" Internal FDD - MPF920 - $15

Black, ORtek Multimedia Keyboard, PS2. - MCK-800 - $12

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer, USB connection, Version 3.0a+ and software. - $37

1 x Vantec Stealth Fan 80x80x25mm Fan, 2-Ballbearing. (For front intake) - SF8025L - $12

Black, Creative Labs Inspire 4.1 4400 Speaker system. - $48

The total comes to roughly: $1,330. (USD) Which converts roughly into $2,380. (AUD) Adding approximately 10%, (for tax and shipping) gives rise to the figure of $2,600 Australian Dollars.

More than adequate, all things considered?
July 1, 2002 7:38:40 PM

Hmmm.. there's this one guy that says the on board sound of the ASUS A7V333 isn't good. I say stick with it and if it's not good, then go out and get a sound card. Are you sure you'll be able to get a XP2000+ <b>Thoroghbred</b>? So I'm guessing you've decided on the Creative Inspire speakers huh? I'm thinking it's a good choice.

:smile: Falling down stairs saves time :smile:
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
July 1, 2002 8:00:15 PM

Quote:
If you can't say something negative in regards to the proposed system, you're not being critical enough. ;)  On a largely irrelevant note, can each of these components come in black? (Well, I'll be attending LANs regularly, it would be nice to have a better looking system than everyone else)

maybee you can use a wr paint spreader?


<i>if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy ...</i>
July 3, 2002 10:48:17 AM

Well, for those who're interested - I acquired a number of quotes today, ranging from the ridiculously expensive, to the absurdly inexpensive. Quite obviously, I'm going with the latter.

I'll be placing an order in tomorrow, most probably. A few items have been changed from the specifications above, but not much.

Thanks again, to everyone who contributed - my system will be vastly superior to what it would have otherwise been, if not for your suggestions. :smile:
!