Intel's 845G and 850E chipsets had just been introduced to the market and were only on three motherboards (Intel, ASUS and Gigabyte). Shuttle had also just introduced the SIS-648 chipset on their motherboard. The Intel motherboard (D850EMV2L) had a 533 MB/s FSB, whereas the other two 850E motherboards (Gigabyte and ASUS) offered 1066 MB/s FSB. The three 850E motherboards used RDRAM; the SIS-648 used SDRAM. Tom's Hardware Guide testing showed that the Shuttle motherboard with the SIS-648 kept up with the 850E/RDRAM motherboards, but I could not find the Shuttle motherboard for sale anywhere on the web yet. One of the nice things the Shuttle motherboard offered was on-board IEEE-1394 (Firewire) support along with USB 2.0, among other things.
I chose the Gigabyte GA-8IHXP based on what I had read on the Tom's Hardware Guide web site, and on the number of items it offered (1066 FSB, LAN, USB 2.0, on-board audio, etc), but also on one very important item: RAID. Not only did this motherboard support ATA-33/66/100, but it also had a Promise 20276 chip on-board to support ATA-133 and RAID. In essence, the board could support EIGHT IDE drives! I liked that a lot! And as you will see later, it makes it easy to configure a nice, large, fast hard disk.
The Other Stuff
I chose the Intel Pentium 4 2.6 GHz because it was the slowest Pentium 4 with a 533 MB/s FSB. And it was $100 cheaper than the 2.53 GHz version.
I decided to go with 512 MB of main memory because I thought that would be more than enough to process video. Just a gut feeling.
I chose the MSI G4Ti4200 video card solely because Tom's Hardware Guide used it in a couple of their tests.
I had always wanted an 18" LCD monitor. But I do love the 15" monitor on my Dell laptop. I decided on the Sony only because of its reputation in the video industry.
I wanted a three-piece speaker system with a subwoofer. Around 50 watts would be nice. And it must have volume, bass and treble control on the front of one of the small speakers. The Cyber Acoustics CA-3770 was perfect for me, and reasonably priced, too.
The last major item I needed was a tape backup device. I had a Seagate 10/20 GB tape drive in my Dell, and, so far, was pleased with the device. (Although, in all honesty, I have never had to restore my system from one of them.) So I bought the updated Seagate 20/40 GB tape drive for my new system.