Could someone take a moment to give me advice?

I'm trying to put together a new PC, but I've lost touch with current technology. I've been browsing around and I've come up with a partial shopping list. Could you have a look and take some time to answer my questions? I will be putting this system together in the next week. I cannot wait for a manufacturer to release the next best component. Thanks much.

Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2100. This seems to be the best available today? Yes?

Motherboard: Open for suggestions here. Asus has been good to me in the past. Want a reliable and stable chipset. It needs to have RAID capability.

Graphics: I'm considering the ATI 8500 all-in-wonder RADEON DV. I like the built in TV tuner. Very convenient. However, I'm willing to split these features apart if there is a much better card out there that doesn't have a tuner built in.

Hard Drive: What's fastest EIDE drive these days? I want a bunch of storage. Going to be doing some video editing.

Monitor: Looking at the NEC FP1375X.

DVD/CD-ROM: Clueless here. Is write-able DVDs a standard yet? What DVD player should I get?

Sound card: Something by Creative Labs (never been fond of those guys) or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz?

RAM: ECC, DDR, RD.. Oh my. What is this stuff? Someone please tell me what will work best with a motherboard that supports the Athlon XP.

Question on RAID: I see many boards are offering chipsets that support RAID for EIDE drives. Do any of these RAID configurations offer the capability of having a parity disk? Don't like the idea of losing a bunch of data because 1 of 3 drives failed. Also, how is EIDE RAID for running your Desktop OS and read/write access to data? Will there be a noticeable performance increase?

Basically, I'm trying to build the best PC that can be had today for Video and Gaming. I really appreciate your advice.

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  1. For the Motherboard seen as how your getting an Atlhon XP 2100+ money cant be that big a problem so i would reccomend the Soyo Dragon+. It has RAID for you as well as a whole bunch of other features. See the toms hardware review, my frienbd has this Motherboad and has no problems

    <b>What was that!</b> :eek:
  2. Whew! Nice wee list of issues there. Also a nice system brewing. I'll assume you're not going to overclock with my suggestions.

    Processor: XP range is what you're after all right. The 2100 however may be very expensive for the gain in MHz over the 2000. Here's a quick list of the CPUs, Speed, price, and price per MHz (tax & delivery). British prices I know, but they give you an idea.

    1500 - 1333MHz - £108.10 - £0.081
    1600 - 1400MHz - £103.39 - £0.074
    1700 - 1466MHz - £106.30 - £0.073
    1800 - 1533MHz - £113.47 - £0.074
    1900 - 1600MHz - £154.30 - £0.096
    2000 - 1666MHz - £198.99 - £0.119
    2100 - 1733MHz - No price yet. Bound to be in the 250 region.

    As you can see, the price increases for the 1900 & the 2000 don't justify the gain in MHz. If price isn't an issue go for it, but I would recommend the 1800. The 1700 has best bang per buck, but for £7 you get 66MHz. Who's caring.

    Motherboard: One I really fancy, and have seen good reviews for is the Gigabyte GA-7DXR+. It has onboard RAID (0, 1 0+1), ATA/133 drive support, Dual BIOS, excellent onboard sound. I'll let you find out for yourself. <A HREF="" target="_new">Link</A>

    Graphics: The 8500 is an excellent choice. I use ATI myself with no complaints. I do believe however, the new Geforce 4 is slightly faster. Check out THG hompage for reviews.

    Hard Drive: For ATA/133 go for the Maxtor D740X drives. Available in 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 GB sizes, you're spoiled for choice.

    Monitor: Not my thing. Hope somone else answers this bit.

    DVD/CD-ROM: Standard OEMs are DVD + CD-RW. High end OEMs may have DVD writers. If you're into it go for it. I personally have a Master CD-ROM for general use, a Master CD-RW. My DVD-ROM is slaved to my CD-ROM, as I rarely would need to use both at once. I have a Yamaha CRW2100E (161040) CD-RW and its sweet. There are newer versions to be had. Check out the CD Writer section for ideas. My CD-ROM & DVD are standard LG models. Nothing fancy, but they're solid.

    Sound Card: Go with Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. Its a better card than Creative. I'm learning FB. :smile:

    RAM: For the mobo/CPU above, you want some DDR RAM. PC-2100 is the standard stuff, but if someone can mention any good reason for PC-2400 or higher, post it. Get quality RAM from Crucial (micron), Kingston etc. Make sure is has a low CAS latency (CAS 2.5 etc.) as this increases performance. Not sure your OS, so I would go with 512MB for W9x, or 1GB for W2K.

    RAID Question: Most support RAID 0 (striping) which combines the capacity of 2-4 drives (most mobos only have room for 4 drive RAID) and also combines the buffer. This is the best performance for lowest cost option, but lacks redundancy.

    RAID 1 (mirroring) which takes 2 drives. One is a complete copy of the other. This set-up is slower, but gives you full redundancy.

    RAID 0+1 (striping + miroring) combining the best of both above, this takes 4 drives. Two are RAID 0, two are a mirror. Performance & redundancy. Definitely a good, if expensive way to do things. I'm guessing here, as no one has confirmed this to me, but if your array is greater than 127GB, then you have to have it in an NTFS file format.

    The performance gain in RAID 0 is small but its there. I reckon its worth it. You're not only combining the drive capacity, but also the buffers, so 2 x drives = 4MB buffer. If money is no issue to you, go for RAID 0+1, and use 60GB or larger drives.

    One last point (if you're still awake), have you considered dual CPUs? Heavy video apps may like a dual set-up. If so consider the Athlon MP+ 1900s. Expensive, but it would be worth it if you use them.

    <b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
  3. Oh.. The OS will be Win2K. Does anyone actually like Windows XP? Yuck. Bill Gates gives me the willys. I'm not much interested in over-clocking either. I want a system that is as stable as possible.

    Can you do dual processors with Athlon XP 2100s?
  4. I run WinXP with Themes turned off. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy Windows XP. It's generally more compatible than Windows 2000. I also like the extra folder customization features, remote desktop, and may of the other new features of Windows XP.

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  5. Remote Desktop is amazing... i use XP pro, i haven't had a problem at all...

    I was gonng get the Xp2100+ with the Soyo+ an excellent choice..but since im not ordering till the end of gonna get the highest T-bred with what ever the best Mobo is out at that time.. i guess by then the chipset would be Kt400a? Well when i finally get my system i will Run 3Dmark and let you guys know the outcome. I've learned so much in the past few months i've been hear...i wanna thank Amd Man, Fatburger, and the rest of you guys for giving me great advice..Thanks All..

    Once you go AMD, You never Go back!!
  6. No problem. Glad to help. :smile:

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  7. Apparently XPs can do it, but MPs & MP+s are designed for the SMP stuff. Go with them if that's your interest.

    <b><font color=blue>~ Whew! Finished...Now all I need is a Cyrix badge ~ </font color=blue> :wink: </b>
  8. <A HREF="" target="_new">I posted this awhile back</A> about a good video editing rig, it should come in handy.

    My response is breif and vague because the info you provided is too!
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