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  1. #1

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    Computer parts - input needed

    Okay, here's the skinny:

    It's long past the time when I ought to be replacing my computer. But I've been holding out a little. My current computer is a barebones system with pieces from an even older computer.

    I'm currently running 933 mHz, 40 gig hard drive, and a dvd-rom/cd rw drive. The sound and video are integrated in the barebones system's motherboard. So basically, what we have is me building a computer almost from scratch.

    I want a sweet system that will last me a few years, run photoshop and several instances of iE simultaneously, and be able to handle video decently enough for streaming video off the net, RCT2, and hopefully some day video editing software.

    My soundcard doesn't have to be amazing, but it has to be decent enough to avoid the popping that I sometimes get when listening to game audio while running other stuff (granted, that could be a memory problem)

    Here's the tough part: I'm trying to do this for between $500 and $700, definitely under $1000. I figure the best way at this point is to just buy one part at a time.

    Now, ordinarily, I'd have made the hard drive the very last thing, but I found this great deal and seeing as how I'm filling up my computer very quickly with photos and video, this is something I could actually use now if need be (though I'd probably hold off, I remember what a pain it was reprogramming a hard drive to move from one computer to another w/out erasing it).

    For the people who know pricing and speeds, does this look like a good hard drive for my eventual system, and does the price look like a good deal?

    http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3492233

    Then I have questions about CPUs and memory. Which is the better type of RAM, the PC3200 or DDR Ram? In other words, for future upgradability, which type should I be getting now? How about CPUs? I know pretty much how things work for Intel with the Pentium Chips, but I never know how the AMD chips compare. What is the Pentium 4 equivalent in AMD? Which is superior? Which chips are the consumer-level crud to be avoided?

    Also, if anyone knows of any better places on the web to buy components (because I know there's cheaper than Fry's out there), I'd really appreciate some links to them!

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  2. #2

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    Jump on that drive deal, it's a good one. The only concern would be if you had an older system because anything older than XP SP1 or 2k SP3 can't format the full 200GB. But since you'll be going with a new system, I assume you'll be using a recent enough OS.

  3. #3

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    As far as places to buy stuff, Goonie, there's Micro Center at the 55 and Edinger.

    Also, online, there's Newegg...they're pretty good on prices.

    Now, components. I've always built my own PCs, with the exception of 2 of the 6 I've owned over the years. Spend the money if you can and get name-brand components. About the only non-name brand items you want to get are floppy drives (if you still use em) and network cards.

    The hard drive in your link is an excellent choice - Maxtor is a great brand of HDs and getting 200GB for less than $100 is also an excellent price.

    Creative is the standard in Sound Cards, and I highly recommend them. I have an Audigy LS and I love it - works flawlessly and beautifully.

    Ever since the Pentium III CPUs I've stuck with Intel. If you want to run PS and other stuff simultaneously I'd go with a P4 3.0 Ghz or higher.

    A GB of memory also will not hurt and will speed up things quite a bit. PC3200 memory I believe is DDR memory but don't quote me on that. PC3200 will be quite fast for what you're doing and should be fine.

    A new processor means a new motherboard...A few names to drop are ASUS (I've owned 3 of their boards and am very happy with this company), Shuttle, and Abit.

    Also, a good link for info is Tom's Hardware
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    Re: Computer parts - input needed


  5. #5

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon
    Ahh, forgot about that one.

    TigerDirect is pretty good too. www.tigerdirect.com
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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    Okay, looks like I'll probably get it. It's $10 more to buy it in the store than online, but by the time you account for shipping, it's basically the same. Instant Gratification wins out.

    I won't be able to use it right away because I'm currently running Win98SE, and from what you guys say, sounds like it can't use all the drive space.

    What do you think of the idea of eventually slaving my current hard drive to my new one in the new computer? Or vice versa? I store so much in the way of photos and media clips (sound and video) that I'm thinking things would go faster if those were stored separately, am I right about that?

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    Goonie...

    You CAN use all the space on the new HD, you will just have to partition it into smaller pieces that WIN98SE can handle. That means that you'd probably have to split it into 6 'drives' of about 32GB each. (I think that's right...)

    Also, the newer drives can push information much faster than the older ones, but your motherboard has to support it. A new MB will increase the info flow quite a bit for you. To be honest, I'd get the drive but wouldn't use it until you got your new system together.

    Just me, tho.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    That's cool, thanks. Yeah, I'll probably hold out on the new drive. As I said before, it's such a pain to deal with it recognizing a new motherboard, that I'd rather just hold on to it. Glad to hear it's a good deal though!

    So onto chips and motherboards.... I want a good board, but I probably don't need a ridiculous one. Problem is, I never really know what constitutes a good one or a bad one, and the prices vary from $40 to $400. I know "chipset" refers to what kind of chip you're going to use, but I don't know how to REALLY use that information to make a decision. SHould I plan on buying the CPU before the motherboard so I get the right one? What do you think of motherboards with integrated CPUs?

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    Heh. Don't get me started on MBs with integrated ANYTHING.

    But, I will tell you what I know. My favorite manufacturer of motherboards is ASUS. They've consistently made fantastic motherboards that have been rock solid.

    Actually, 'chipset' refers to the chips on the motherboard that handle the motherboards operation. Check for the newest version - Intel makes a lot of the current MB chipsets.

    I currently own an ASUS P4P800se - it's a motherboard that supports all the current Intel CPUs, has a fast chipset, built-in audio (which is pretty good even for built-in, but I have a Creative Audigy LS) and built-in networking (which I use and also works fine).

    It's a moderately priced motherboard that works great for me, and I do a lot of gaming and PS-ing and CPU-intensive stuff. I've never had a problem with it.

    If that's not your cup of tea, then I'd look for a motherboard that supports at least a 3.0Ghz processor and at least a GB of memory. Try to get as little stuff built-in as possible if you can. Network cards and sound cards are not too pricey nowadays. And check any customer reviews on any model you have an eye on.

    One other thing to think about - with a new motherboard can come new power requirements. I'd also plan to spend a little on a newer, beefier power supply if you can. Maybe not necessary, but if your current PS is a few years old, it's a good idea.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    I'll need a new everything. Again, I'm going from a barebones to a real computer. So I need a new case and everything. That does beg the question though: many cases come with power supplies. So I need to know if they're sufficient for the comp. I'm building. I think part of my problems with my current "shoebox", as I call it, has to do with overheating.

    What is a sufficient power supply? I'm guessing anyting that comes with extraneous LEDs is designed for gamers and probably sufficient, but that's a stupid way to shop, LOL. So what's the minimum voltage etc. I should be looking at?

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  11. #11

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    It's not so much voltage as it is amps.

    You want to get a decent PS with decent voltage/amps. A good balance pricewise I think is 400-450 watts with ~18 amps output at 12v. Don't go less than 16 amps for ANY PS that you get. You really get what you pay for in the PS area so I'd spend the money on a good PS and a good MB and Processor and you could skimp a little in the other areas if needed.

    This would be a good one.

    Also, get a nice case that supports a few decent sized fans. 120mm if you can, 80mm at the smallest.

    Try to get about 3 fans in it if you can...the more air you have moving throught the case the easier it is to keep the temp down and lessen overheating problems.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    So then, this is a good deal?

    It's a really sweet looking case, the reviews say it's cool and quiet, and it comes with a 450w power supply.

    Unless there's a specific reason not to, my thought was I'd probably buy a case that comes with power supply, but obviously only if it meets the standards you set out.

    Or how about this one? The dragon's a bit much, but kinda cool. 480W power supply, but fewer fans by the looks of it.
    Last edited by Morrigoon; 07-11-2005 at 12:12 PM.

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  13. #13

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    I'm also working on a new computer, so good timing. I recently bought that same Maxtor drive at the Fry's in Anaheim, and I am very happy with it.

    I'd also say, on the MoBo combo, look for one's bundeled with each other (no intergration!, then you can't upgrade!).

    It's good to note that the more LED's and lights you've got in a case, means the more light you've got on at night. I love the look of the dragon (friend bought it for his built computer a few weeks ago, and with the better power supply built in, it's worth the difference.

    And RCT2? *******, I can get RCT2 to run on about anything. Go for RCT3 (& Soaked!). After all, you are building a new computer. Get yourself one of a few month's ago's biggest and baddest video cards (and wait for a bit, because ATI & nVidia are about to release their latest models, which natuarally drop the pices on the older ones).
    -Monorail Man

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed

    Good to know on the Maxtor drive. I like those two computer cases I linked too though, so now I'm torn as to what to buy first (can't do it all at once). The hard drive's a great deal (considering 40 gig are going for $50), but at the same time, I can theoretically start on a new computer with my old hd, but then again, a case should probably not be my first priority.

    Ugh, now I wanna go "shopping" (eg buy something) and I don't know which to go for.

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  15. #15

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    Re: Computer parts - input needed



    The tale of the tape on the Xion II is that at +12v you have 18A - that's good.

    I also like the design of the case. I have a nice case (Silverstone Temjin Black) with a toolless design that I can remove the side panel without unscrewing anything and also can mount and remove drives without screws. There's no power supply that comes with it, tho.

    Here's what it looks like.
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