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Old 10-17-2005, 04:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building my 1st computer - kinda long - some questions

This is the first computer I am building, and have a couple of questions on things.

So this computer is going to serve a couple of purposes:
1) basic college workstation (papers, presentations, databases, research, net surfing)
2) gaming machine (ut2k4, hopefully in the future ut2k7, other less system extensive games)
3) digital recorder (I'm hopefully doing a couple of local tv appearances this year, and want to see about recording these and making a dvd for my mom since I'm a couple of states away)
4) basic video editing (same reason as 3, also for a few video projects for classes)

Here is the setup I was looking at.

Case: NZXT GUARDIAN GRN Green SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400 WATT PS2 ATX 12V Power Supply - Retail

Floppy: SAMSUNG Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP - OEM

Harddrive: Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L200R0 200GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA133 Hard Drive - OEM

Tv Tuner: Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150 PCI Interface WinTV-PVR-150 - Retail

Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-NX66T128D Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

Sound Card: Turtle Beach RIVIERA 6 (5.1) Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

Memory: CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model VS1GBKIT400 - Retail

OS: Microsoft Windows XP HOME Edition With Service Pack 2 - OEM

DVD Burner: LITE-ON Black IDE DVD Burner Model SOHW-1693S Black - Retail

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3000BPBOX - Retail

Motherboard: Foxconn NF4UK8AA-8EKRS Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Monitor, Speakers, Keyboard: I'm going to get these locally. Probably just a 17"crt, some 2.1 or 5.1 speakers, and a normal multimedia keyboard.

I know I need to get more fans for the case since it only comes with two - ideally, how many should I have?

Along the line of 'cooling', I had heard about the 'artic silver compound' - what is this stuff, and should I get it/is it worth its price?

Are there any compatability issues that I might be missing here? Will this setup be able to do what I want to do with it?

Should I upgrade to Windows Pro XP instead of Home edition? I work on a college dorm lan, and I know Pro has more security than Home edition (if I remember right), so is the extra price of XP worth it? Also, I was thinking of possibly building a second system over the coming years as I upgrade this one (with upgraded parts that are now 'left over') - would I be able to install this OS on two computers, or would I eventually have to buy a second copy?

If anyone has any experience with TV tuners, should I stick with the Hauppauge prv150 or go with Kworld Video Magician? Those were the two main ones I was choosing between.

Is the video card sufficient, or should I maybe get a lesser one right now and upgrade it later? Or is it ok for what I want?

Should I dish out the extra $20 or $30 for one of the bays that has a temperature gauge and fan control - are they worth it?

I really like the look of the case that I chose and it had some good reviews - the only thing I wonder about is: is it possible to cut off the lcd's? I live in a somewhat small room, and don't know if I much want a spotlight on at night.

Finally, is the AMD athlon 64 venice 3000 a good choice - or should I maybe go with a 3200 or 3500? I was thinking to maybe presently have this setup, and in a year or two upgrade to a dual processor if/when prices go down. I'm not yet sure if I want to overclock - I've never done that before. Should I get a new CPU fan?

I was trying to keep my price under $1000, but I think I'll probably go a bit over, which is fine, so long as it doesn't go over $1150. I'm expecting the monitor, keyboard/mouse, and speakers to be between 150 and 200 when I get them locally, and all of this stuff I have listed here is on newegg.com for about 950 with shipping.

Anyway, thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read all of this, and thanks for any advice you may give.

-Michael
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ok well here since you play UT2004 then you can go with a little less card I got this one SAPPHIRE 100120L Radeon X300SE HyperMemory 128MB Hyper Memory(32MB VRAM on board) DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
It runs UT2004 Great but I would say get the dfi Lanparty Ultra-D http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813136152 and corsair really is kinda overrated these work fine http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820218062 Now onto the cooling if you are going to do overclocking you might want aroun 2 120 mm fans (MIN) 4 would be really great http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835118115 this heatsink would be great and now the reason I chose the Vid card is that UT2007 might require more of a higer card for max performance now the 3200+ might also be in the equation. Thank you for your time hopefull we can get this to work!
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1: A branded PSU is a better idea than one bundled with a case. A bad PSU can wreck your whole system so don't risk it.
2: Foxconn doesn't have the best reputation. DFI gets great reviews and I'm partial to Gigabyte.

Now on to your sizable list of questions.

Fans= as many as it takes to keep your system cool and not leave you deaf.

Arctic Silver= definately

Compatibility= looks alright to me

OS= Home has a cap on the number of computers it can network with; keep that in mind. 1 OS liscence per computer is the rule I think.

TV tuner= not my area

GPU= The 6600GT is a great card. I managed mid to high settings on the one I used to have. I would buy from EVGA though as they have a trade in program if you buy it then decide to upgrade.

Temp gage= I wouldn't. If you decide you want one later you can get it then, but you will probably have enough to worry about getting the rest of it to work at the begining.

LCD's = You can probably just unplug the lights from the PSU, or remove them from the case entirely. Some cases do have on/off switches.

3000= If you have extra money when you get done, get some better quality RAM instead of processor upgrades. That Valueselect stuff drasticaly reduces your overclocking potential. (trust me on that)
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Old 10-17-2005, 07:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think your build can be a little cheaper just keep looking at newegg they have specials running every day
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Alright, so I was thinking about replacing the power supply then with this one from Rosewill - I had heard good things about Rosewill.

Rosewill Value RV400S ATX 400W Power Supply - Retail

And since I got two pieces of advice that the motherboard I chose was not the best, so how about this one from DFI:

DFI nF4 Ultra-Infinity Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

This thermal grease:

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

And for a CPU fan:

GIGABYTE GH-ED821-LC 94 mm Ball Blue LED Light Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail

The memory, I'm still not sure what I want - my Price went up about 75 with this new stuff, so I don't know if I should get more expenisve memory yet... Though maybe this one:

GeIL Value 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model GE1GB3200BDC - Retail

or this one:

Patriot Signature Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model PSD1G400KH - Retail

What do you think?
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Old 10-18-2005, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ok if you don't wanna listen to me ask people that own that ram like me it is the best out there Cpu fan try to get a zalman and for a PSU get either a OCZ OR Thermaltake both are great!
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I apologize, and meant no disrespect grimreaper23; I had thought it was just another brand you were listing as an alternate to corsair - I did not know if it was one that you had experience with or whatnot. I've also been looking at the reviews on the site and they claimed that memory is not good for overclocking (should I choose to try that). Doing more research in ram still, but I'm kinda looking at these now, since they seem to have pretty good reviews:
OCZ Performance Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model OCZ4001024PFDC-K - Retail


Would the motherboard I listed be alright for what I want? It is a DFI like a couple of you had said would be better.

I'm really just reaching my budget already and am seeking to find cheaper alternatives if possible. That is kinda the problem with the cpu fan - I can't really afford to spend 50+ for a cpu fan right now. The one that I had listed seemed compatible and appeared to have good reviews backing it, and is almost $40 cheaper than the the zalman one. I think the actual cheapest zalman one I found was $31 or so

For the PSU, what should I be looking for exactly - I'm not entirely too sure there. I was really hoping to stick to around 30 or 40 for the psu if possible - quieter would be better, but I don't know what all I should be looking for, other than at least 400w rating. Again, I was going off of good reviews and had heard some good things about rosewill.


EDIT: hmmm... looking at the site, it seems the harddrive I was interested in is now out of stock. This may be a dumb question, but what is the difference between a serial ata150 and a ide ultra ata133? The ide ultra ata133 was the one I had chosen which is now out of stock, but is the serial ata150 is in stock - is there any significant difference I should know about, or would it serve just as well? Also, should I try to go with a 16mb cache or 8mb cache? Is there any noticable difference there?

Here is the one I am looking at:
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L200S0 200GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
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Old 10-19-2005, 01:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Feel free to post links to the items you are referring to, it will help eliminate any confusion on our part.

Western Digital and Seagate are the two favored hard drive manufacturers. Maxtor has mixed reviews for the most part.

Antec also gets good reviews on the PSU side. Rosewill is newegg's personal brand I think. I haven't had any problems with the 300w one that I installed in one of our offsite computers, but it is an older system and not overly demanding.

The DFI motherboard you listed looks fine to me.

List of parts I think you are refering to with a few of my recommendations
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811146004 case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16821103203 floppy
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813136163 mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116625 tv-tuner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125156 video
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817153007 PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835100007 AS5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103537 CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16837102153 Windows XP PRO
http://www.newegg.com/product/Produc...82E16827106989 DVD-RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148021 IDE hd
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829118103 sound card
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820146028 RAM 512: very overclockable
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820218062 Twinmos ram suggested earlier
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Total $985.00 + S&H

I would suggest not getting a heatsink until later. You are getting a retail CPU and they come with a heatsink. However, you wonÂ’t be able to overclock as well with stock cooling.

To shave off more if you also get rid of the sound card and get a cheaper TV- tuner. Your motherboard has onboard sound that is sufficient for the most part.

A smaller capacity hdd is also an option. An 80 GB SATA 150 drive, which is a much faster drive, is about $20-$40 less.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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tajahem is right about most of the items I listed -

Case: NZXT GUARDIAN GRN Green SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400 WATT PS2 ATX 12V Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811146004

Floppy: SAMSUNG Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16821103203

Tv Tuner: Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150 PCI Interface WinTV-PVR-150 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116625

Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-NX66T128D Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125156

Sound Card: Turtle Beach RIVIERA 6 (5.1) Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829118103

DVD Burner: LITE-ON Black IDE DVD Burner Model SOHW-1693S Black - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/Produc...82E16827106989

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3000BPBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103537

Motherboard: DFI nF4 Ultra-Infinity Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813136163

Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835100007

-----------
All of those parts add up to $623.40, $663.11 after $39.71 shipping

Power Supply: About 400 watts should be sufficient, right? I'm kinda in a toss up between these two right now:
Rosewill Value RV400S ATX 400W Power Supply 100-120 VRMS or 200-240 VRMS switch-selectable CSA, CB, TUV, FCC, UL - Retail (
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16817182011 ) or this one
Thermaltake Silent PurePower TT-420AD(DUAL FAN) 420W Power Supply - Retail ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817153006 )

Hard Drive: I'm still a bit unsure about what to get here - I have realized that I don't know that much about hard drives - is there possibly a link I could go to to learn more about it? But I am kinda leaning more toward that one that tajahem had posted (Seagate Barracude 7200 160gb ide ultra ata100: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148021 )... I know this might sound like a question I should already know the answer to if I am planning on building a computer, but could I go with a smaller 80gb hd like tajahem suggested and later on add a second or third one on - would they all have to be the same size/type? The case I chose has 3 internal 3.5" bays. Are there any special connections I would need? I'm thinking maybe to get one of these right now (Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST380817AS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148040 ) and maybe get another one sometime in the spring.

Memory: I think I've narrowed this down to two choices:
The Twinmos Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820218062
OR OCZ Performance Series: http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16820227031
is OCZ a reliable brand?


OS: I'm still leaning a bit more toward Windows XP Home Edition - is the extra $50 justified for Professional?

Heat Sink: If you guys think I can get away without getting one just yet, then that might help a bit.

I'm probably in a few months (probably closer to february or march) going to make another order for more stuff : another dvd burner or combo drive, or possibly a lightscribe burner, poss. another hard drive, one of the temperature gauges, and the heatsink/fan if I don't already have it, maybe also a hard drive fan as well.

-Michael
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have an 80GB Western Digital IDE drive and a 160GB WD SATA drive in my comp. You only need matching hard drives for certain types of RAID.

If you want to do a lot of LAN gaming, Pro would be the better idea.

My suggestions.
Thermaltake
80 SATA hd
OCZ ram if you can afford it.
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