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Making A List

Reader How Tos: A System To Convert VHS and 8 mm Tape To DVD
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So, now I had enough information to make my list of the perfect computer for me. And here it is.

Hardware Description Est Cost
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-8IHXP, Intel Pentium 4, 478PIN, 533 MB/s FSB, Intel 850E Chipset, Ultra ATA133 ATX, 1xAGP(4X), 6xPCI, 1xCNR, 4xRIMM, RAID, USB 2.0, LAN, CT5880 Audio $169.00
CPU Pentium 4 2.26 GHz, 533 MHz FSB, 512 kB cache, 478 pin $253.87
Ram 512 MB RDRAM, 2 x 256 MB, RDRAM, Kingston 533 MHz, 32 ns, PC1066 2x $279.88
Hard Drive Maxtor EIDE 5400RPM UDMA ATA/133, 160 GB, 3.5LP 2x $470.00
Video Card MSI G4 G4TI4200-TD 128 MB 4XAGP DDR W/TV & DVI OUT $179.00
Monitor Sony SDMM81/B TFT LCD 18.0 in 28mm 1280x1024 85 Hz $788.45
OS Windows 2000 Pro w/SP #2 $145.00
Software Windows Office 2000 (English) $299.00
Case Irwin J508 ATX Server Tower $63.00
Video Capture Pinnacle Studio Deluxe digital & analog video Editing w/Studio 7 & Express $248.95
DVD Burner PIONEER DVD/CD re-writable drive DVR-104 4.7 GB $308.00
Speakers Cyber Acoustics CA-3770 3PC 44W Speaker System $68.56
Tape Backup Seagate 20 GB/40 GB HORNET40 EIDE INT TRAVAN $338.89
Backup Tape Seagate 20 GB/40 GB TRAVAN TR5/NS20 3-PK $144.68
Floppy Drive Sony SKU A00695 $12.90
Mouse Microsoft IntelliMouse $17.00
Keyboard Microsoft Office Keyboard $25.00
Shipping $157.02
Total: $3968.20

Pricing The System

I used Tom's Hardware Guide's Shopping Comparison to judge pricing. In each case, www.Mwave.com popped up as having some of the best prices.

Buying The System

Early Tuesday afternoon, July 30, I called Mwave.com's 1-800 number and asked Rafael if it would be better to e-mail, fax, or phone my list in to him. He said that since I was already on the phone, he would take my order then and there. I relayed my list to him, but told him that I was not sure which case I wanted, especially since Mwave.com offered so many. He looked over my list and noted that I had an ATX motherboard, four 3.5" drives and one 5.25" drive. I told him I was going to add another 3.5" drive as a boot disk, and another 5.25" drive as a read-only DVD drive. From that list he concluded that I would be happy with the Irwin J508 ATX Server Tower. It could handle four 5.25" drives and five 3.5" drives. And, because it was a server tower case, it also came with a 300-watt power supply. Very nice. Thank you, Rafael. I told Rafael to ship it second-day air so that I would have it by Friday. That would allow me to put it together over the weekend.

Sure enough, the whole system arrived on Friday via FedEx, and in four large boxes. A quick inventory revealed one of the boxes contained the Sony LCD monitor. Another had the Irwin case. The remaining two boxes had all of the other parts that would form the heart and soul of my computer. I could hardly contain my excitement the rest of that day at the prospect of assembling such an awesome computing machine. But I would have to wait until first thing Saturday morning. After all, I am a happily, newly married man with familial duties that ALWAYS come first. The computer could wait.

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