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Old 03-22-2002, 11:06 AM   #1
Texas25RS
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Default Building a computer (Suggestions?)

All right.... I am currently sourcing parts to build me a new puter... currently I have a 300mhz AMDK6-2 w/ 256megs of ram.... this computer served my every need until I got a CD burner and now even less with a video camera.

I would like to run at least a 1700+ (1.47mhz?) AMD Athlon with at least 512megs of RAM....

I know much of nothing about mother boards and hardware.

I am looking to spend about $1000 tops for the computer alone (no monitor or anything else).

Where are some places to go to get hardware for GOOD prices? Anything online? What should I be looking for in a motherboard? In general, what all should I be doing since I know pretty much the level of computer I am looking to build.

WIN98SE, WINXP, or WIN2000? I have used 98SE for so long and have had so few probles with it... I am a little leary of trying something new.

Casey
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:08 AM   #2
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:11 AM   #3
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www.pricewatch.com

You will find prices on anything you need.

Xp has too many bugs in it, don't use it! Quite a few drivers are not compatible with this software. winblows 2k is probably gonna be your best best.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:12 AM   #4
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Good choices.... definitely go to pricewatch.com

CPU - Make sure to get the CPU, heat sink and fan

Motherboard - Abit or ASUS jumperless motherboards, try to get one that supports DDR RAM

RAM - PC2100 would be good if your board will support it, don't worry too much about getting "top of the line" ram, just get some with a lifetime warranty (virtually all of it)

HDD - Western Digital or IBM , 7200RPM if possible - AVOID MAXTOR!!

www.abit-usa.com
www.asus.com

What else are you looking for? Video card? Peripherals? All the other crap (if you need it, like NIC, modem, etc.) is dirt cheap.

EDIT: Oh yea, on OS go Win2000, definitely the most stable. I wouldn't go with XP yet, if ever. You can get W2K (I just ordered it a few days ago) for like $150 (or free if you're inclined to go that route )
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:13 AM   #5
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Athlon with DDR ram, 512 is plenty

Nice big hard drive. Decide if you care about having a fast hard drive or a big one more.

Most expensive Nvidia 3d/graphics card you can afford. Unless gaming is not your thing at all, then get a cheaper nvidia car or ATI card.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:14 AM   #6
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oh, and as a developer, I HIGHLY reccomend Windows 2000.

Windows XP is funky and has Nazi registration crap in it. It has no advantages of Windows 2000.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:18 AM   #7
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Use Fujitsu HD's, they are quiet, fast, and run 17 degrees C cooler. Also use Ultra 160 SCSI, IDE blows ass. Get an Adaptec RAID controller if possible, run 7 disks in a RAID-5 config and never lose data, period. Dual Xeon 2.2GHz with 4GB RDRAM, Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti4600 video, Pioneer DVD-R/RW (burn movies!)...

Work computers rock.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xio
Use Fujitsu HD's, they are quiet, fast, and run 17 degrees C cooler. Also use Ultra 160 SCSI, IDE blows ass. Get an Adaptec RAID controller if possible, run 7 disks in a RAID-5 config and never lose data, period. Dual Xeon 2.2GHz with 4GB RDRAM, Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti4600 video, Pioneer DVD-R/RW (burn movies!)...

Work computers rock.
Still no new machine for me.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by orionf


Still no new machine for me.
me either
but my P500 that I built 4 years ago is still fast enough

the geforce 2 helps a lot
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:22 AM   #10
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I am definitely NOT into gaming.... My computer has always been a work horse for me.... but with this video stuff, I know I want at least a 64meg video card.... I hate delays in the video...

Also... I am wanting to go the LEGAL route on all software.... call it respect or whatever, but the people who make it did so for money...

Okay...

1700+Athlon(check), motherboard (check), 512megs DDR(check), decent 64meg nVidia graphics(check), WIN2000(check)....

Sound card? MOre than just a Sound Blaster 16.... so what to get?

Now what about monitors? LCD displays hurt my eyes... so flat panels are out. I have a 15" now and it is fine, but I have been craving like a 17" or 19".... Are there brands to avoid at all costs? .25 dotch pitch good enough? (I am living waaay behind on the times here...)...

Thanks again,
Casey
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Texas25RS
I am definitely NOT into gaming.... My computer has always been a work horse for me.... but with this video stuff, I know I want at least a 64meg video card.... I hate delays in the video...
GeForce4 Ti4400
Quote:


Also... I am wanting to go the LEGAL route on all software.... call it respect or whatever, but the people who make it did so for money...
Kewl

Quote:

Okay...

1700+Athlon(check), motherboard (check), 512megs DDR(check), decent 64meg nVidia graphics(check), WIN2000(check)....

Sound card? MOre than just a Sound Blaster 16.... so what to get?

Good question... fellas? Soundblaster LIVE! Platinum 5.1?

Quote:


Now what about monitors? LCD displays hurt my eyes... so flat panels are out. I have a 15" now and it is fine, but I have been craving like a 17" or 19".... Are there brands to avoid at all costs? .25 dotch pitch good enough? (I am living waaay behind on the times here...)...

Thanks again,
Casey
I'd look for a used one or refurbished (Fry's etc). I can't think of any in particular to avoid, just look for a warranty

.25 dot pitch is OK, but remember, if you're getting it for graphics, might as well go better.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Sound card? MOre than just a Sound Blaster 16.... so what to get?
There are so many soundcards out there now..it's hard to make the right choice. Go to www.pcworld.com
I'm sure that they have a soundcard test in there somwhere.

What was the other site that did alot of tests? http://www.tomshardware.com/
Best place for tests..which motherboard, etc..
I used it alot when I was a PC tech at Nasa.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:32 AM   #13
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So many different motherboards? Am I looking for an Athlon XP, MP, or what?
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:33 AM   #14
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I like www.anandtech.com

Very very informative, thorough and consistent.

BTW, shouldn't this thread be deleted? It's not Subaru-related.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by gryphon
I like www.anandtech.com

Very very informative, thorough and consistent.

BTW, shouldn't this thread be deleted? It's not Subaru-related.
No it is not related, but it is VERY useful.... delete this after a few days let me collect some info first.... thanks.

Casey
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:39 AM   #16
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A 19" Viewsonic PF790 is an excellent monitor (thats what I have). It has won awards in the past, and I see more and more of these monitors in professional environments.
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Old 03-22-2002, 12:29 PM   #17
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a 64 meg video card would be a waste of time.
that memory is used to hold textures.
if your not gaming, your not holding any textures.
and your frame buffer is never going to be that big.


Quote:
Originally posted by Texas25RS
I am definitely NOT into gaming.... My computer has always been a work horse for me.... but with this video stuff, I know I want at least a 64meg video card.... I hate delays in the video...

Also... I am wanting to go the LEGAL route on all software.... call it respect or whatever, but the people who make it did so for money...

Okay...

1700+Athlon(check), motherboard (check), 512megs DDR(check), decent 64meg nVidia graphics(check), WIN2000(check)....

Sound card? MOre than just a Sound Blaster 16.... so what to get?

Now what about monitors? LCD displays hurt my eyes... so flat panels are out. I have a 15" now and it is fine, but I have been craving like a 17" or 19".... Are there brands to avoid at all costs? .25 dotch pitch good enough? (I am living waaay behind on the times here...)...

Thanks again,
Casey
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Old 03-22-2002, 12:36 PM   #18
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I got the w3rd on soundcards, as I run www.3dai.com

Oh, and I think XP would be better for video editing and stuff because of the stronger multimedia capabilities. I haven't had any major problems with XP. I think the disk access is faster than 2K as well.

If you aren't into gaming, don't get a Geforce4. No point. It does no mpeg video encoding acceleration, and the mpeg decode has stuff to be desired. ATI Radeon 8500DV. End of story.

- Steve
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Old 03-22-2002, 01:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by LiquidIQ
I got the w3rd on soundcards, as I run www.3dai.com

Oh, and I think XP would be better for video editing and stuff because of the stronger multimedia capabilities. I haven't had any major problems with XP. I think the disk access is faster than 2K as well.

If you aren't into gaming, don't get a Geforce4. No point. It does no mpeg video encoding acceleration, and the mpeg decode has stuff to be desired. ATI Radeon 8500DV. End of story.

- Steve
XPs stronger multimedia capabilities are nothing but marketing hogwash, I do believe.

nothing about an OS should even be relevant to its multimedia capabilities.
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Old 03-22-2002, 02:28 PM   #20
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PM me and I'll take you to FRYS in austin. The prices are comperable to most online places they have everything in stock just about and you don't have to pay for shipping. Houston has a FRYS also somewhere...

I reccomend
Epoc 8k7a+ motherboard
Athlon 1800XP
512 Mushkin Ram


all can be had at Fry's
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Old 03-22-2002, 03:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmott
nothing about an OS should even be relevant to its multimedia capabilities.
Disk I/O, driver capability, stability, optimized kernel for SSE/3DNow/MMX etc.

That has to do with multimedia capabilities.

- Steve
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Old 03-22-2002, 03:08 PM   #22
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I have a GeForce 3 Ti 200 I'm getting rid of if you want it.
$100 (about $150 new)
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Old 03-22-2002, 03:34 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by LiquidIQ


Disk I/O, driver capability, stability, optimized kernel for SSE/3DNow/MMX etc.

That has to do with multimedia capabilities.

- Steve
im not aware of any disk I/O differences. But I may just be ignorant of them.

driver capability is worse if anything in XP

stability is the same at best in XP, in practice its worse.

Only kernel optimization differences I know of is XP has some athlon specfic ones that Win2k does not have, which IS a good thing.

thing to remember here:

windows 95/98/ME are all the same thing, with different stuff tacked on

windows NT/2000/XP are all the same thing, with different stuff tacked on.

Win2k is kinda a sweet spot, since directX is fully supported (its not on NT) XP is still kinda sketchy.

win2k, all the way!
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Old 03-22-2002, 03:43 PM   #24
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I use the recomendations from various sites (tom's hardware, hardocp, etc) and I really like Ars Technica's system guide. I built a variation of the Hot Rod box except I used an Antec SX630 case and re-use other existing hardware (sound card, NIC, etc.)
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Old 03-22-2002, 03:51 PM   #25
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XP is a bloated POS. The only thing it has going for it is hyperthreading and that only works with the prestonia p4 chips. IM an avid digital artist and frequently do digital video and sound editing. XP was a nightmare. It uses to many resources and the drivers are still a mixed bag.

If you want something stable , recoverable and tested go for win2k.

this really isnt the place for me to go into a rant about the technical aspects of nt/2k/xp but i think you will find yourself much less frustrated with win2k.

Do not buy a sound blaster sound card. the new audigy is a bunch of hype as well. It does not do true 24bit 96khz audio processing , and the noise reduction has been proven to be fake. I forget the url for the guy who did the comprenhensive test on it but ill dig around my links when i get to work. From what i remember it has 2 16bit processors and uses software to emulate the 24bit/ 96khz audio.

Also alot of SB cards have issues on VIA Chipset boards. Not everyone has the same issues, but they are definately an issue to be aware of. Ive built 16 systems in the past 3 months and 9 of them had issues with SB products.

The soyo dragon is a rock solid board with great onboard sound / nic. You might want to check some sites like...

http://www.hardocp.com
http://www.anandtech.com
http://www.2cpu.com
http://www.tomshardware.com
http://www.arstechnica.com
http://www.tweak3d.net

other than that you have some great advice here on the thread. The epox boards are great for the price.
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