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Old 04-05-2004, 08:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Computer Setup

Greetings, this is my first post on these forums!

I am planning on building a new computer from scratch, and it will primarily be used for gaming. I have already researched some ready-made pc's (like Dell and Compaq), and I found that building your own is a much cheaper, and often better, option. Keep in mind that I am in Canada, so newegg.com isnt an option for parts (much to my dismay).

I haven't built my own computer before, so I have many questions with the setup of the computer, power supply, cooling, etc... (Some questions might be very simple so please excuse me!). Also, I need verification on the compatibility of the parts I have selected.

The current setup I am thinking of is as follows:
And for operating system I am looking at this:
Here are some questions that I have about the setup:

Case and Cooling
Will the case I have chosen work fine? I was unsure about it due to only one extra fan 'place' shown on the back of the case. I don't know much about cooling or how much is neccessary. There would be 4 fans running; one with the power supply, one with the processor, one built into the video card, and one extra fan. Will one extra fan be enough to keep the temperature down? Are the fans I have picked adequate enough? (I was also looking to keep the sound down so that was a factor in choosing those fans). Also, how do you determine which power supply will work for a new computer?

Video Card
I have heard alot of good reports about the 9800 pro, any concerns about it or is it a solid choice? Also, would it be beneficial to buy the 9800XT instead (that has 256 megs ram)?

Hard Drive
Are Maxtor and Seagate practically the same hard drives? Or does one run faster than the other. Also, is there any particular noise difference between the two?

Operating System
I didn't know what OEM stood for earlier, and still don't understand it fully. It was made by Microsoft for another company? Confusing.

Everything Else
Does everything else look fine?


Thanks in advance for any opinions and help!

Regards,
Infinite
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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IMHO, any well designed case should NOT need any extra fans, as long as there is enough airflow and you have good cooling for your processor. My friend runs a P4 3.0 Ghz with no case fans no problem. Temperature maxes at like 40-45 degrees Celsius.

There's not much of a difference between the Pro and XT, maybe 5-6 frames per second. But if you have the money, why not? However, PCI Express (to make AGP obsolete) is coming out soon and will need a whole new motherboard to run it. That's the main reason I'm holding off on upgrading, even though I need it bad.

Maxtor, Seagate, and Western Digital are all major hard drive manufacturers and any one is good. 99% of them run at 7,200 RPM, but Western Digital has broken through with the 10,000 RPM Raptor Drives, which would be beneficial to your system, especially in RAID 0. That is of course, if you have the extra $ to shell out, they are very expensive ($700 CDN for 2x 74 Gb Hard Drives).

You should not worry about OEM parts. The only difference between them and retail is that OEM doesn't usually come in a box. It's sold at a cheaper price, but usually has a different warranty. For software you're fine, but if you have the money buy retail for hardware because of warranty issues.

I'm not the best as far as compatability goes, so I'll leave that to someone else. However, if you're buying such a high-end computer, you may want to pick up a snazzy case just to make it look nice. Maybe add some lights and rounded cables and you're set. Nice job, hope I helped.

*P.S. Another good Canadian site is ncix.com, maybe a few dollars more expensive but they can build and test it for you for free if it's over $2,000, reducing any setup issues you may have (Just check all the problems people had in Hardware and Overclocking Forums).

Enjoy your stay here at Tech-Forums.

*P.P.S. I should become a moderator for this...wink wink, nudge, nudge...lol jks

*P.P.P.S. I think this is the longest post I've ever written.

*P.P.P.P.S. Just make it a biiiiittttt longer.......
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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as far as know, everything looks compatible. And, they all look like really good choices, too. I would say your choice on the 9800 pro is a good one. I'm pretty sure that the power supply that comes with your chosen case will be good. The only thing left is a monitor and speakers.
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here are some useful links as well:

http://www.bigfootcomputers.com/ (For modding)

http://www.tigerdirect.ca (Parts)

http://www.ncix.com/ (They'll build it for you)

http://www6.tomshardware.com/ (Product reviews)

http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/index.htm (Building a computer guide, somewhat outdated)
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for your replies BlindApex and Elbatrop!

Could you give me some more information on PCI Express? Like what is it, what it does better, and is there a certain release date for it. And when it comes out, will it cost major bucks (although im thinking the obvious answer is "it will cost a fortune").

Also about the case - there is a huge selection at tigerdirect.ca, but most of them are much too extravagent for me. And I think alot of the aluminum ones are just plain ugly, not to mention it would be a formidable task to find matching cd and disk drives for some of them. Besides, my monitor, speakers, mouse and keyboard are all white so I thought I'd continue with the theme :P. In regards to the cooling - could I get a second opinion (not that yours is wrong!) on whether I really need that extra fan or not?

I'll also look into the NCIX.com website, building it and testing it would be great. Although, eventually, I will have to learn to build computers on my own.

Many thanks for the help so far!!

Regards,
Infinite
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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PCI Express will basically do the AGP as AGP did to the PCI. Transfer speeds will be much greater, but someone else probably knows more than me.

By all means get the second fan, it's good to have the front fan intaking air into the case, and the rear one exhausting hot air from the case. This keeps the air flowing nicely. Other cases offer fans on the side to blow over the motherboard and expansion cards, as well as a top mounted fan exhausting air out of the case.

This is the setup I may be going with for my new computer:

Case: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...254&vpn=V2000A

Power Supply: http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...665&vpn=W00013

Of course this is a little more expensive, but looks cool and will last a LONG time. They are from a known company and both are high quality parts. The case comes with 7 fans (contradicting what I said earlier hehe), a 4 fan controller (for when you need the extra cooling or a quieter station), and a processor temperature probe w/ alarm with a LCD screen display, providing you quick reference to your CPU temps.

A word of caution however, about your power supply. Power supplies that come bundled with a case are generally lower quality, because there is no way you can get a 500 watt for 30 dollars. You will notice that the voltage will jump, definitely not good for a computer and its components. Now I'm not saying yours is bad, just be careful and read some reviews before you buy.
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You tricky editor!!

What I meant by extra fan was one vantec stealth fan that would sit at the back for exhaust . It's okay though. I'll try and look at some more cases, because with the one I've selected there isn't frontal air holes.

From the PC Guide:
Quote:
You should have an unobstructed air hole in the front of the case for a front-mounted case fan, with some method of air flow from the rear of the case as well.
Are there any highly recommended cases out there? And also, when i'm looking at cases, what power supply do I need?

Thanks again.

Regards,
Infinite
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is the setup I may be going with for my new computer:

Case: http://www.ncix.com/products/index....9254&vpn=V2000A

Power Supply: http://www.ncix.com/products/index....9665&vpn=W00013

Of course this is a little more expensive, but looks cool and will last a LONG time. They are from a known company and both are high quality parts. The case comes with 7 fans (contradicting what I said earlier hehe), a 4 fan controller (for when you need the extra cooling or a quieter station), and a processor temperature probe w/ alarm with a LCD screen display, providing you quick reference to your CPU temps.

*Copied from above, I edited just after you replied

However, with your current case and the extra fan you'll be fine.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks alot! Your advice was exactly what I was looking for.

I think I will go with the case that I found unless I find a better option. I don't really wanna be shelling out more money than I have to just for a case. If you say the case that I picked will be fine with the extra fan, then I believe you. Just needed some reassurance you see

Regards,
Infinite
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Okay, but don't buy it without a second opinion, if you already did then you'll still be fine, but I just don't want to be responsible just in case I missed something
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