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New PC I'm thinking about building!


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#1 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 01:24 PM

Ok, so I'm starting college this fall (University of Pittsburgh  :w00t: ) and I figured I would get a new computer. So I searched and found a nice Alienware for, eh, we'll call it $2000 all told. My mom says thats too much (I actually agree but shhh don't tell her  :w00t: ) so I did some looking around, and found if I buy all the parts, I can get it for about $1300...actually, its slightly better. So I was wondering if you had any recommendations about the components (or anything at all!), so I'll just list the parts:I'm doing all my shopping at Newegg (i'll link to each component):
  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+ [link]
  • ASUS K8V SE Deluxe K8T800 Chipset Motherboard [link]
  • 1024 MB Corsair DDR PC-3200 RAM [link]
  • Albatron nVIDIA GeForce FX5600 Video Card [link]
  • Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive (2 of these, mmm RAID 0) [link]
  • Lite-On 52X32X52 CD-RW Drive [link]
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy ES PCI Sound Card [link]
  • Samsung 950B 19" CRT Monitor [link]
  • Logitech Optical Desktop PS/2 [link]
  • ASPIRE X-Pider Silver Aluminum Case with 420W Power Supply [link]
  • Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM [link]
  • Arctic Cooling CPU Cooler [link]
Ok thats it. I've just been thinking about the case...and I was wondering if its ok or not, I know little about cases.What do you all think? Oh, and would building it myself be extremely difficult? Thats another thing my mom is worried about, that I'll spend this $1300 and not be able to build it, then I'm stuck with it and no PC.Neil

#2 OFFLINE   Stryder

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 01:33 PM

If I were you I would substitute the CD-RW for a dvd burner. Most of them also burn cdr/cdrw at very decent speeds now a days. And there are many quality ones for under a $100. You just can't beat the storage capacity of 4.7gb on a single disk.As far as building, it is really not that hard. Just take your time. If you ever put together a model car or airplane or a computer desk....putting together a PC is easier.

#3 OFFLINE   jar92380

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 01:38 PM

thats going to be a tight machine.  Why not get a 21 inch rather than the 19 inch? It would be cheaper to get just a dvd +- r or rw but its always handy to have a second driveJames

#4 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 02:03 PM

Also consider getting a TV card or Inno3d Personal Cinema FX 5600 card.

#5 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 02:47 PM

Well, I don't think upgrading to a 21 inch monitor is worth it, too expensive. As for DVD burners, I don't think I need one that bad...but it would be nice. There are always upgrades though  :w00t: TV Card...hmm, I don't think I'd need one of them, I'm alright with the graphics card I have.Thanks for the suggestions though :)Neil

#6 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 04:47 PM

Neil...Are you planning on running linux? I read somewhere that Asus does not help linux developers at all. Linux may not run well on the board.
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#7 OFFLINE   epp_b

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 05:06 PM

Woo!  Are you planning on controlling NASA rockets with that machine?  :P That thing will breathe fire :whistling: These parts all look good to me.

#8 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 05:53 PM

ross549, on Jul 22 2004, 04:45 PM, said:

Neil...Are you planning on running linux? I read somewhere that Asus does not help linux developers at all. Linux may not run well on the board.
Where'd you hear that? I've had no trouble installing Linux on ASUS boards except perhaps the nForce chipset; but that's Nvidia's problem. ASUS also has Linux drivers for audio, chipset, and networking.

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#9 OFFLINE   b2cm

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 06:15 PM

Quote

Oh, and would building it myself be extremely difficult?
Asus has good documentation, and the manual would would walk you through the process. Just take the time to read it before you actually put the parts together. If in doubt, just post here.Before you decide, browse around for reviews/benchmarking comparing SiS, Nvidia and Via chips for AMD64. Other than ASUS, MSI and Epox are good mainboard makers. They also have good documentation.

#10 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 10:18 PM

:) Sounds good, since ASUS also makes ASRock and I have run Fedora1 and Mandrake 9.2 on it without any noticeable problems it should work. As far as building, do it CAREFULLY, I speak from experience, very careful installing the ram sticks and setting the CPU in the socket. One other item, is your  cpu cooling fan AMD approved for that 64 CPU??? Other than that ,,, go for it.
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#11 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 11:10 PM

Hm, I think I'm changing my fan to This one, as its on the list as AMD approved, thanks longgone, I didn't even think to look at that (I looked at motherboard while I was there, the one I picked is on the list :) ).Also, NewEgg apparently dropped the 3200+ I was looking at...so I've switched to this one [a 3200+ with just 512MB L2 Cache, as opposed to the previous 1MB L2 cache]

#12 OFFLINE   Specmon

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 11:24 PM

What do you intend to use the machine for?  Do you REALLY need it so hot?You could save a couple hundred dollars by backing off just a little bit here and there.If your mother nixes this $1300 configuration, I'll show you how to do this almost as nice   for under a $1000.But go for it in any case.  Once you get your first build under your belt, you'll never look back.  Putting a machine together is not hard, and getting to select the hardware you want instead of getting whatever overstock the retail builder has in his warehouse is a nice plus.What you give up when you build a machine for a $1000 instead of buying a retail build for $1300 is having someone to call and hold your hand if you have trouble. (That's what we are here for. :D   :P  :) ) and if you DO have a problem, $300 buys a LOT of tech support.Your hardware looks pretty good, but I also suggest the DVD burner instead.  It includes the CD-R function and can be had for under $50 these days.I like your original fan better.  More airflow and MUCH quieter.

#13 OFFLINE   pc-tecky

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 11:30 PM

It would certainly be worth it to dump the cd-rw and the dvd with the dvd burner. MicroCenter has 8x DVD+/-RW drives for $80 and for $120 you can get dual layer dvd +/- burners.  I would also go for the TV card as well unless you already have a TV, VCR, and a DVD player going. It'll give you other things to do without the extra bulk (well, you might still need that VCR??). Hmm, I would presume that the flat panel LCD is out of budget? I would think they are more energy efficient and lighter (but you don't want it to walk away either).Also consider silent and quiet components. You won't want one that makes a lot of racket and noise because of the fans should you sleep with it on in the same roomor while trying to work.Have you thought about a notebook instead?----Whoops, forgot you wanted it all at one place. Keep in mind that more L2 cache will make for a faster machine. And always custom build it yourself to save money (i.e., they ship the components). Last I checked, modern CPUs only go in one way and any other way will destroy several components of the system. If the CPU doesn't nicely fall into place and is flush to the socket, chances are it's in the wrong way.A well built system will handle tomorrow's technology, such as my PII-450MHz which burned the Fedora Core 2 DVD iso quite nicely at 4x in an 8x DVD+/-RW drive.  I'm still amazed with that.

Edited by pc-tecky, 22 July 2004 - 11:55 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 12:05 AM

pc-tecky, on Jul 22 2004, 11:28 PM, said:

It would certainly be worth it to dump the cd-rw and the dvd with the dvd burner. MicroCenter has 8x DVD+-RW drives for $80 and for $120 you can get dual layer dvd +- burners.  I would also go for the TV card as well unless you already have a TV, VCR, and a DVD player going. It'll give you other things to do without the extra bulk (well, you might still need that VCR??). Hmm, I would presume that the flat panel LCD is out of budget? I would think they are more energy efficient and lighter (but you don't want it to walk away either).Also consider silent and quiet components. You won't want one that makes a lot of racket and noise because of the fans if you leave it on most of the time while trying to work.Have you thought about a notebook instead?----Whoops, forgot you wanted it all at one place. Keep in mind that more L2 cache will make for a faster machine. And always custom build it yourself to save money. Last I checked, CPUs only go in one way and any other way will destroy the system.
Hmm...I think the DVD burner will be a worthwile upgrade down the line, but for now, I'd rather go with what I have and have two optical drives.As for the notebook.......eh, they're too expensive, I can get a lot more in a desktop at the same pricepoint.Again with the LCD, they're nice, but I actually prefer the CRTs, and for the same cost of a 15 inch LCD (more or less), I can get the 19 inch CRT.I wanted the 3200+ with 1MB L2 cache, and indeed had that originally, but Newegg seems to have dropped it (maybe out of stock?)..I know I can shop around, but this one (with the 512MB) seems to be quite alright.Basically this system looks toward the future: Its got a nice processor (mmm, 64bit...), its got 1 GB of RAM (you can never have too much of that  :D ) and the other stuff is pretty good. Remember, the most intensive thing I do on a PC is listen to MP3s while surfing the web (and nowadays chatting on IRC/Gaim)....no video editing, no really intensive games....nothing of the kind. Of course, its for college, so I'll probably be doing some papers on it, but whats an office suite?  :) Oh, I forgot to mention my OS choice...I will be using Win XP Pro (I get it free) and of course Slack 10.0

#15 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 12:10 AM

Specmon, on Jul 22 2004, 11:22 PM, said:

What do you intend to use the machine for?  Do you REALLY need it so hot?You could save a couple hundred dollars by backing off just a little bit here and there.If your mother nixes this $1300 configuration, I'll show you how to do this almost as nice   for under a $1000.But go for it in any case.  Once you get your first build under your belt, you'll never look back.  Putting a machine together is not hard, and getting to select the hardware you want instead of getting whatever overstock the retail builder has in his warehouse is a nice plus.What you give up when you build a machine for a $1000 instead of buying a retail build for $1300 is having someone to call and hold your hand if you have trouble. (That's what we are here for. :D   :P  :) ) and if you DO have a problem, $300 buys a LOT of tech support.Your hardware looks pretty good, but I also suggest the DVD burner instead.  It includes the CD-R function and can be had for under $50 these days.I like your original fan better.  More airflow and MUCH quieter.
I don't really need such a nice machine, but again, I'm looking for this to last me 4 or so years, which this would do (at least two years).I looked for the original fan I had listed (on AMD's approved list) but didn't see it.Actually, now that I remember, since I switched processors from an OEM to a Retail version, it now includes its own heatsink/fan, so I don't even need the one I listed.

#16 OFFLINE   pc-tecky

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 12:38 AM

If you take care of that system, it'll last you for 6+ years. Build it right the first time, and upgrade memory and drives as needed and you won't go wrong. You'll find your needs will change over time as well.There was a P-75 running from 1995 (win 95 came out two months later) until about a year ago and still could be used for surfing and mail if it wasn't for the snail slow performance.

#17 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 12:44 AM

pc-tecky, on Jul 23 2004, 12:36 AM, said:

If you take care of that system, it'll last you for 6+ years. Build it right the first time, and upgrade memory and drives as needed and you won't go wrong. You'll find your needs will change over time as well.There was a P-75 running from 1995 (win 95 came out two months later) until about a year ago and still could be used for surfing and mail if it wasn't for the snail slow performance.
Thats just what my mom needs to hear  :) Her main opposition to this PC is that "it'll be obsolete in a year anyway" (actually, she might have said 6 months, but I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt)...despite my arguments to the contrary, she still believes it.

#18 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 01:19 AM

Ah, new information from the battle lines:This url seems to suggest (ok, scream  :) ) that Asus doesn't support Linux.They actually name my motherboard, which rather worries me.So I suppose I'm in the market for a new mobo...basically, it would be great if it had the same features as the Asus one (or someone here refuting that claim, that would work for me too :D )

#19 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 02:02 AM

Did a Google for Linux Marvell lan driver and it appears that ASUS uses the same ethernet controller on their P4R800-V Deluxe (Radeon IGP) and A7N8X-E Deluxe (Nvidia nforce 2-ST) motherboards. Both boards have Linux drivers for the Marvell Ethernet controller. I'd definitely try them if you got that board.

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#20 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 02:16 AM

Hm.I'm currently rethinking my entire setup here...I'll do some shopping around and see what I can come up with (thinking RAID1 over RAID0, more.....)

#21 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 10:46 AM

;) Just as an after thought, the two I have here I built and they have been running off and on for over 3 years now.   Also as an after thought to building, the next one I build for me is going to be dual CPU (providing they are still around), why you ask, because I want to be different and it will be dual AMD's
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#22 OFFLINE   GolfProRM

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 11:04 AM

Not going PCI Express?

#23 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 01:23 PM

A little more explantion on what I'm looking for now:I've decided to drop the two optical drives and just go with the DVD burner (EVERYONE suggested it, I figured it was time to listen B) ). Also, I'm thinking about using RAID1 instead of RAID0, as I don't want to lose any data (I figure thats more important than the performance gain). I'm probably going to go even cheaper on the video card, I don't really use it for much (though I might keep it where it is, haven't decided).So thats about it...I'm going to look around for better prices, maybe see if I can't turn those 80GB hard drives into 120 GB, or maybe a little more RAM, I don't know yet.Keep the suggestions coming though, I really appreciate the help!Neil

#24 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 03:18 PM

Alright here is the updated list:I think thats it...around $1050 or so...Although it seems like I'm missing something...

#25 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 03:23 PM

Hi Neil,Pure from the Linux side of things:I see that you had 2 SATA harddisks listed . . . now SATA is supported but only bearly . . and I do not know about Slack on SATA . . . . So I"d strongly suggest ATA.The Mobo . . sure you would be able to get additional drivers . . . but better buy a mobo that works out of the box . . without you having to tweak at each install or every Live CD you want to run  . . or beta you want to test.Also note that only Drake fedora and Suse have 64 bits versions at the moment . . but Slack will surely follow soon.B) Bruno




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