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#181659 - 11/03/07 06:04 AM PC Component Advice Wanted
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I'm planning on building myself a new PC within the next two months. I'm building it around one of the new 45nm Intel processors. My best friend works for Intel, so he gets nice a discount on the CPUs (but no discount on motherboards, unfortunately). Unfortunately, he can only buy one of any model of processor, and he'd already bought a Q6600 for someone else. I took this as a sign to go for the high-end, and with 45nm supposedly hitting this month, I figured I may as well do it right.

I'll start with the parts I've decided on. The power supply on my current computer died last weekend, and I just upgraded it to a Corsair VX450W, which I like the look of a lot. I also got a new case to go with it, since I was hoping to make it quieter. I got the Antec P182, which I also like a lot. It was very easy to migrate my motherboard over, and I'm impressed with how far cases have come since the last time I built a computer. I also replaced the optical drive with a DVD burner, since it previously had a read-only DVD drive, and the new drive was only $30. I also replaced the video card, since my old card was getting very glitchy. I'm going to pass this computer on to someone else, so it was important for me to get it working well. Anyway, I said all of that to say that I really like the Antec P182, so I'll most likely get another one for my new system, and I like the Corsair power supply, so maybe I'll get the 550w model for the new system. I'll get an SATA version of the DVD drive, too.

What I need recommendations on are the motherboard, video card, and hard drive. I'm looking for solid Media Center functionality. I'll be running 64-bit Windows Vista Ultimate. I'm also wondering who is running a version of Linux along with Vista. Is that working out all right? I've never used any Linux, but I thought I may want to try, just to see what it's like. The motherboard should have built-in gigabit ethernet, which seems to be a common feature anymore, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. As far as the video card, I don't want to spend a ton on one. Sub-$200, definitely, though sub-$150 is better. I won't do much gaming on my computer, at least not yet. I'm wanting to see what happens with display interfaces. That's also why I'm not upgrading my really crappy 17" CRT monitor that I got free from work. For hard drive, I was looking at a 250GB Seagate Barracuda. I store all of my media and documents on an external drive, so I don't need my main drive to be that huge. However, I would like speedy and quiet, so if you have a recommendation, I'm all ears.

I'm thinking I'll get 4 gigs of RAM. That should be plenty, right? Anyone have brand/type to recommend for my planned system? Should I really be looking at DDR3 to match with the 45nm processor? It's such a jump in price.

Anyway, I've droned on long enough. If you have opinions, I'm eager to hear them. Thank you for your time!
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#181661 - 11/03/07 07:04 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
spaceloaf Offline
regular

Registered: 11/03/07
Posts: 6
Loc: Portland, OR
Hi CV, I just built my system a couple months ago (I also got an Intel hook-up), so I still have a bit of knowledge floating around my skull.

If you don't care about overclocking, I can recommend Intel's own D975XBX2 (aka "Bad-Ax 2") motherboard for almost guaranteed compatibility. If you're serious about using your PC as a media center, you can get the version that comes with on-board 7.1 sound (complete with digital outputs). Plus it has gigabit ethernet and plenty of SATA ports. But it uses PCIe instead of AGP, so you might be limited in how cheap of a video card you can get.

A warning note about Vista is that the sound stack for Vista has been completely changed from XP. As a result, pretty much all sound cards are having major driver/compatibility issues. So if you were planning on using a card instead of using on-board sound, I highly recommend doing some serious research first.

As for RAM, I'm using a pair of 1G Crucial Ballistix (BL2KIT12864AA804) in dual channel mode (which actually seems to be perfectly adequate for Vista 32-bit). I stressed tested it all night with Memtest and had no errors, so I think it's reliable enough. But if you don't mind spending a little more, Kingston memory has just about a 100% compatibility rate with Intel mobos (Intel uses it in-house to validate their high-end systems).

I would also recommend staying away from DDR3. The compatibility problems with DDR2 memory is bad enough. I don't expect DDR3 to gain mainstream support until next year when the successor to the Core 2 Duo comes out. In the mean time, I don't expect DDR3 to make a big amount of difference since the Core 2 Duo (even 45nm) was not really designed to take advantage of that kind of bandwidth.

For video cards, if you're thinking about getting a Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive for your PC, I would recommend nVidia's GeForce 8600 ($150). It has full H.264 decode acceleration in hardware, and will enable to you to decode hi-def video streams with ease. If you're a gamer, you'd be a fool not to get the brand new GeForce 8800 GT. It's ludicrously overpowered for the price ($200-250). By contrast, I bought my 8800 GTS just 2 months ago for $300, and the 8800 GT just slaughters it in every benchmark (I'm almost kind of pissed at nVidia now).

If you care about the amount of noise your PC makes, I'd stay away from older video cards like the GeForce 7 series. The new 8 series are significantly quieter. Even my "high-performance" GeForfce 8800 GTS is virtually silent.

I'm got a Corsair HX520W power supply which has been rock solid and completely quiet so far. Combined with a P180 case, you can't even tell if my PC is on most of the time.

I also got a free Western Digital 160G drive that is silent, but it didn't come with a box so I'm not exactly sure what model it is. Seagate Barracudas are supposed to be extremely quiet as well.

Let's see, I think that covers everything. One other word of advice, I don't recommend waiting to "see what happens with display devices." Personally, I think HDMI is a crap format that is already becoming obsolete. I recommend either sticking with DVI and getting something good now (any HDMI signal can be converted to DVI) or being prepared to wait a long time. HDMI is not going anywhere, and the successor to HDMI is quite a ways off still.

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#181668 - 11/03/07 09:54 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: spaceloaf]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
I highly recommend one of these rather than a home-built machine. Works from -20C to +80C, has a rated mean time between failure of 40 years and nothing will stop it short of a nuclear explosion. No moving parts whatsoever to worry about. It even has redundant fail-over supplies.

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#181678 - 11/03/07 11:29 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Mojo]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
I think spaceloaf covered it quite nicely. I'm looking at a Gigabyte mobo myself, but only because of cost. And I'm not seriously looking. ;\)

I really like my Corsair HX520W. Seems quite capable.

I also like my x1950Pro. Last generation, but it seems plenty fast, and it was a good price. That said, if I was buying now, I'd get the 8800GT.
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#181682 - 11/03/07 12:52 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I actually had the Corsair HX520W in my cart at newegg.com, since I was trying to figure out an estimate. I'm glad to hear that people like it. Thanks for the heads-up on the 8800.

I was planning on just using onboard audio, so I guess that should let me sidestep the audio issues.

Thanks, spaceloaf and Ken! And Mojo, I'll have to read more about that product to really know what it does. \:\)
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#181687 - 11/03/07 01:07 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Does anyone have recommendations on specific cards based on the 8800GT/GTS? Can I pretty much not go wrong? All of the 8800GT cards seem to be out of stock at newegg.com. Ha ha. I guess they're popular?
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#181701 - 11/03/07 03:39 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Also, this may be a stupid question, as it's been a while since I've cobbled together a system, but I also ordered an OEM version of Windows XP Professional with the case and power supply I just got for my current computer. I have no idea where my old Windows disc disappeared to, and it was only the Home edition, anyway. I wanted to do a clean install of Windows XP for the person who takes this computer off my hands. Only, I have no idea where the product key is. On the back of the booklet it says "The Certificate of Authenticity label has been removed by your PC manufacturer and should be attached to your PC." I assume that's what the product key is printed on, right? Is there something I don't know? Surely I don't need to be a Microsoft OEM Partner in order to install a single license, do I? Am I stuck paying more for the retail copy, or did they actually neglect to include a product key? I have an email in to Newegg.com, too, but I figured someone here would be able to answer faster. Thanks!
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#181702 - 11/03/07 03:47 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
I don't think you want the GTS. That's an older card, and actually slower than the GT in certain operations. The GT just came out a couple of days ago, which is probably why supply is constrained. That, and all the tech sites are saying to buy that card.
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#181709 - 11/03/07 05:19 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
spaceloaf Offline
regular

Registered: 11/03/07
Posts: 6
Loc: Portland, OR
nVidia has pretty good reference designs, so the only differences between brands are the amount of memory, the clock settings, and the cooling solution. These scale exactly as you would expect though (e.g. higher clocked cards cost slightly more, perform slightly faster, and run hotter). There are no cases where one brand's slower card will out-perform another brand's faster card, so you really get what you pay for in that respect.

Personally, I have a XFX card, and I was also considering EVGA, but I doubt you can go wrong here. As kcarlile said, make sure you're getting a GT rather than a GTS if you can find it. The GT is the more powerful card and it's cheaper (Anandtech said that nVidia was "cannibalizing their own line" by releasing the GT like this).

Sounds like newegg screwed up, but I've never bought Windows from them, so I don't know.

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#181711 - 11/03/07 05:30 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: spaceloaf]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Thanks for clarifying on the GT/GTS. I will definitely look at getting the GT. Thanks!
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#181735 - 11/03/07 09:16 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Haoleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 1488
Loc: Maine
when you order OEM versions of software it is cheaper because it doesnt come in all the fancy packaging. As far as i understand it anyway. You should have the sticker or whatever for it though somewhere unless you threw it out! Yikes. If not just look on the internet. ;\)
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#181762 - 11/03/07 10:53 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Haoleb]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I haven't thrown anything out, and the booklet that the COA label should have been on was sealed in a padded envelope. I think I must have just been unlucky.
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#181779 - 11/04/07 12:15 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
doormat Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 395
Loc: Cold Lake, AB
 Originally Posted By: CV
On the back of the booklet it says "The Certificate of Authenticity label has been removed by your PC manufacturer and should be attached to your PC." I assume that's what the product key is printed on, right?


Yes, the product key is on that label which would either be on the computer (OEM is normally for install on new computers) or the back of the booklet - on top of where it says "...has been removed...". If it is not on the case you got, on the book, or the envelope/sleeve for the cd you may be SOL (for that particular product key) until newegg gets back to you.
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#181784 - 11/04/07 12:19 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: doormat]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Yeah, it wasn't on any of those. The case actually came in a separate shipment, but I still looked on that anyway. Ha ha.
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#181987 - 11/05/07 09:48 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
I am coming in late so I think you have all the good advice you need. Curious to know if you will be over clocking or just running everything as is. Over-clocking requires a lot of additional planning, depending on how far you want to go with it.
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#181990 - 11/05/07 11:00 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Murph]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I won't be overclocking. I'm not that daring.
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#182779 - 11/10/07 05:32 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Does anyone know what the best eSATA controller card to get might be? I'm looking at this one:

SIIG SC-SAE212-S2 PCI Express x1 SATA II Controller Card

I'm planning on getting a Western Digital My Book Premium ES 500GB hard drive as my external drive, and it can use eSATA or USB 2.0. I figured I may as well have eSATA capability for best performance at home, then use the USB 2.0 connection when I take the drive elsewhere. Motherboards with built-in eSATA seem to be very rare. Anyway, if anyone else knows of a better controller card, I'd love to know about it. Thanks!
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#183939 - 11/15/07 11:59 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Oooh, so today I got the first piece of my new computer:

Antec P182 SE Advanced Super Mid Tower Case

I know, I already mentioned having the P182, but that's part of the computer I'll be passing on to someone else. I WAS just going to get another of the same, but then my friend pointed out the SE version of the case, which uses steel instead of just aluminum and has a mirror finish. Oh, and a flexible snakelight on the interior, which I'm sure won't really come in handy.

I'm fairly excited, even though the computer will come together slowly. My friend at Intel says they're estimating it'll be around a month before he can get me the CPU, so in the meantime, I'll work on other pieces.

This is the wishlist I'm working from:

Newegg.com wishlist

Does anyone have strong opinions about these pieces? I'm still undecided on video card. 8800GT still seems like the way to go from a price/performance perspective, though the ATI HD3870 is appealing, too, in its own ways.
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#183945 - 11/16/07 12:36 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
The HD3870, if it stays at its current price is the way to go on price/performance from what I've read. The 8800GT is the way to go on performance.
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#183947 - 11/16/07 12:39 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I obviously didn't look into it very deeply. I saw people throwing around a figure of $350 for the HD3870, but I didn't look to see how old that info was. I know I saw $150-$250 somewhere else.
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#183956 - 11/16/07 01:40 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
The HD3870 should be $219. The 8800GTs are theoretically $249, but they're really pushing $300 at this point, because of the huge demand.
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#183957 - 11/16/07 01:42 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I guess I'll be going with the HD3870. Ha ha. And if I really need a little extra, I'll Crossfire down the road.
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#183972 - 11/16/07 12:13 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
I've thought the same thing, but what I've read is that Crossfire really isn't worth it. Just get a new video card...
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#183986 - 11/16/07 12:58 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
The 8800GTs are sold out everywhere because they are a mid priced card that is pushing speeds up there with the 600 to 800 dollar cards. It's a much better card for the money if you can spare the extra 50$ or so.

Dollar for dollar, you can't beat it. It's like buying Axioms!!

Experimenting with dual cards gave me improved but limitedly improved results in all but the most taxing of 3d loads. Start with the 800GTs and then when you decide that you need to try make Crysis look even more pretty you can consider adding a second card. Although I understand there is no PC/video system in the consumer realm yet that will play the game smoothly at it's highest settings so....
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#183990 - 11/16/07 01:02 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Murph]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
Sigh. I really want to play Crysis, but I've got a 1950Pro. Which was a really good card when I got it in January!
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#183991 - 11/16/07 01:03 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Murph]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
Forgot to leave a link so you can determine for yourself if the GT is worth a few extra bucks. It's a 15 page review so the link sends you to the conclusions on the last page...

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/29/geforce_8800_gt/page15.html
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#183994 - 11/16/07 01:05 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Murph]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Gawd, you guys just leave me breathless. Geektastic.

\:D
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#183995 - 11/16/07 01:05 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Murph]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
Check out the techreport.com reviews on both the 8800GT and the 3870. That might tell you if it's worthwhile to put in the extra money and wait your turn...
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#184004 - 11/16/07 01:11 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
Also a good review. Now you are making me want to buy another card!!

Stupid money, Thinks it shouldn't grow on trees!
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#184005 - 11/16/07 01:13 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I forget where I was looking at the 3DMark06 comparison, but while the 8800GT was consistently on top, it wasn't by a lot, and the person was noting that the 3870 looked better to them. What I'd really like to hear about is if the 3870, at 55nm, actually uses less power, and it would be nice to know who has the quietest fan.
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#184021 - 11/16/07 01:48 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Okay, I read the techreport.com review on the 3870, and I think I'll go that route. I wasn't planning on REALLY getting into PC gaming, anyway.
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#184023 - 11/16/07 01:52 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
If you're not REALLY getting into PC gaming, why get a 3870?
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#184325 - 11/17/07 12:02 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Because it's not a bad price, I'll inevitably want to play a few games, and HD video performance.
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#201617 - 03/24/08 12:28 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Hey, I finally got the processor through my friend. I put off the motherboard, memory, and video card purchases until now. I'm still leaning toward the 3870 for the video card. I've been reading through reviews, but I'm still not finding everything. Does anyone know a lot about replacing stock fans on video cards? I want to make it as quiet and effective as possible.

Also, I imagine I'll be going DDR2 for memory. I'll probably go with 4 gigs. I'm going to be using Vista Ultimate 64-bit. Do you think it could be worth it to get 8 gigs? It's not like DDR2 memory is outrageously expensive, like DDR3 still is.

Also, if anyone has any insight on eSATA, I'm all ears. It seems like going with a DDR2 board I probably won't be able to get onboard eSATA. Information about eSATA cards seems to be scarce.

I'd love updated recommendations now that I have the processor and can finally finish my computer in the next month. I'm researching on my own, but it's hard to find all of the information I want.

Thanks for any and all help!
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#201621 - 03/24/08 01:39 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
For all your silent computing needs check here
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#201622 - 03/24/08 01:53 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: fredk]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Ahh, I go to that site, but I've never bothered with the forums. Thanks for the tip.
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#201678 - 03/24/08 02:16 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
If you want as quiet and effective as possible, water cooling is a fun project. Definitely the quietest solution and it is very effective if you buy good gear. Glowing blue or green water tubes gets you the ladies too. ;\) Well, Ok maybe not.

All said though , I didn't bother on my last PC. I just made sure there was lots of airflow. It's not quiet at all but noise wasn't a concern for it's application.

Those forums are great for help in choosing components. A bit of overkill sometimes though. Tom's Hardware Guide is another very informative sight that I like.

Regarding RAM, doubling your memory will get you much better results than waiting for faster RAM. You mentioned you are not a high end gamer so your biggest concern in RAM is in making the hard drive do as little as possible.

I'm really behind the times though so I'm mostly just commenting here to relive my PC glory days. Kinda like an old man talking about his 409 big block to a group of kids racing tricked out four bangers.


Edited by Murph (03/24/08 02:25 PM)
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#201687 - 03/24/08 02:57 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
jakewash Offline
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Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I have a side bar utility on my Vista box and it monitors amount of Ram used. I never see it go much above 900mb and runs mostly in the 600-800mb range. 2-4Gb should be more than enough for a HTPC.

Water coolers are nice but there is still a fan that can make noise just like regular CPU coolers, it is just the fan/radiator is now remotely located. The water coolers are more effective for overclocking.

I went with a fanless power supply to help keep the noise down on one of my recent builds. The other build had a large 120mm fan on the P/S, both boxes are running the same cpu cooler, I think they make the same amount of noise, about as much as a laptop when the fans are kicked in.
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#201704 - 03/24/08 05:51 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: fredk]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana


If you haven’t already I found this thread very helpful when building my HTPC last year.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940972

Lots of info without even having to post and risk getting flamed. ;\)

 Quote:

If you want as quiet and effective as possible, water cooling is a fun project. Definitely the quietest solution and it is very effective if you buy good gear. Glowing blue or green water tubes gets you the ladies too.


This might also be fun but I think he already bought the case:

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php
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#201719 - 03/25/08 12:17 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: grunt]
CV Online   confused
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Yeah, I already have everything except the motherboard, memory, and video card. When I was talking about getting something effective and quiet for cooling, I was only talking about the video card. It just seems like the stock fans for those aren't as great as they could be. I'm going to try the stock fan with the CPU. Intel included a note saying they'd been listening to customer feedback about their fans, so I want to see how good it is.

Liquid cooling scares me too much. It seems like too much work, and then there's still the noise of the pumps. Why can't all chips run cool enough to only need heat sinks?
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#201749 - 03/25/08 09:38 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Murph Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
True enough Jason. I had converted my water cooling system to passive cooling by lengthening my external pipes and attaching two in floor heating pipe radiators. One to the input side of the loop and one to the output. I wouldn't recommend it for heavy over-clockers but it worked nicely for me. The water pump noise was not noticeable at all in that room. For me the PC was almost silent except for the hard drive. It was older and easily heard.

It took some tweaking to hook the radiators effectively to the smaller pipes.

In hind site, the whole thing was ridiculous. I just wanted to make a totally silent PC. I would have succeeded if I could have found a quiet hard drive at a price I was willing to spend at the time.

I understand your fears. Adding water into a PC does seem foolish but I was impressed with how everything fit together. Not even a hint of a leak in two years.
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#201820 - 03/25/08 02:04 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
Because they'd be really, really slow.
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#203354 - 04/07/08 02:34 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
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Well, I ended up getting the Asus P5E motherboard, 8 gigs of G.Skill DDR2 1066 memory, Sapphire HD 3870 video card, and an eSATA card. I should have it all running by next weekend.

Now I need to start looking at monitors. Does anyone know of good sites that test a wide range of monitors? I think I'll be looking for a 24" widescreen, or in that ballpark.
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#203382 - 04/07/08 10:10 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
Should be a great machine.
What CPU did you go with, or did you already mention that further back. I'm both lazy and forgetful.
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#203398 - 04/07/08 11:57 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Murph]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
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Registered: 07/20/06
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Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I got the Core 2 Extreme 3 GHz QX9650. I had to take advantage of my friend who works for Intel.
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#203502 - 04/08/08 09:37 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
DanielBMe Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Toronto - ON
It might be a little late for this but I thought I'd post it here anyhow.

Guide to building an HTPC from AVS Forums

Guide to building an HPTC
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#205272 - 04/23/08 11:50 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: DanielBMe]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
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All right, so I'm considering this monitor:

Samsung SyncMaster 245T 24" LCD Monitor - Amazon.com

Anyone have any input or other recommendations?
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#205276 - 04/24/08 12:02 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
Looks decent. Samsung tends to be a good brand.
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#205281 - 04/24/08 01:58 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
CV Online   confused
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But is it CV good? Ha ha.
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#205282 - 04/24/08 02:54 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
I have a Dell 2408wfp. It's great, but it needs some bugs worked out of it. I have the A00 revision, I'm waiting for the A01 revision.

2 problems:

1) Reds come through a little to vibrant
2) The sharpness of the monitor can only be set at (0, 25, 50, 75, 100). 50 is too sharp (a little color around text) and 25 is too fuzzy. The A02 revision will increment sharpness by 10 rather than 25.

I have a 20" widescreen monitor going vertical next to my 24" going horizontal. It's oodles of screen space, I love it.

The Dell has a PLETHORA of inputs, and is HDCP complient so Blue Ray and HD material can be viewed on it.

1080p material is oogletastic on it, it looks AWESOME. The colors are way better Samsung 245T...i've seen reviews point to this... like here (referring to the 2407wfp instead...this is the older 24" from dell) http://www.behardware.com/articles/680-2/lcd-24-iiyama-b2403ws-samsung-245t.html

I would buy it now from Dell...they have a $100 off coupon. When A02 comes out just swap it with the replacement warrenty.

People are "up and up" about the issue over at hardforum ( here ). Most people have absolutely no idea what they are talking about there, especially on that thread in the beginning (RGB rainbow effects are complete bullcrap...etc.) The only two real issues with the monitor are the ones that I noted previously. Most other 24" have way more setbacks in the image quality department than this Dell 2408wfp does.

My desk right now:



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#205284 - 04/24/08 02:58 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
CV Online   confused
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Thanks for the reply, Dan. I'll look into it.
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#205285 - 04/24/08 03:19 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
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Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
By the way, I have that keyboard.
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#205332 - 04/24/08 12:18 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Dan, that's geektastic!
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#205333 - 04/24/08 12:27 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: tomtuttle]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17742
Loc: NoVA
I also have that keyboard, times 2!
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#205343 - 04/24/08 01:00 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Ken.C]
pmbuko Offline
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Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16259
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia

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#205346 - 04/24/08 01:06 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: pmbuko]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6380
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
I can speakz LOLcat!!!1!1one!!!
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#205388 - 04/24/08 05:46 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: tomtuttle]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Dan, that's geektastic!


I'll take that as a compliment :-).
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#205409 - 04/24/08 06:55 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Absolutely! \:\)
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#205411 - 04/24/08 07:38 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Dan, you're not even out of school yet. How can you afford all that gear?

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#205417 - 04/24/08 08:43 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Mojo]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7395
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
 Originally Posted By: Mojo
Dan, you're not even out of school yet. How can you afford all that gear?


He's using his financial aid checks. It'll be alright until his last semester when Dan realizes he's out of funds. \:o
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#205452 - 04/24/08 11:18 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Mojo]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
 Originally Posted By: Mojo
Dan, you're not even out of school yet. How can you afford all that gear?


I work at my school as an IT guy and save money. Birthday money helps too... My parents are nice enough to give me a good boost with college stuff.

I don't have a girlfriend, so I've probably saved a few (thousand) bucks with that financial investment of restraint. Wow, the premise of calling my single status a smart financial investment is pretty sad.

I'm a freelance web designer, so that gives me a good chunk of change when I have the time to do it.

In my eyes, the extra monitor was a necessity...partially. If you're doing any type of programming or web development and you don't have two monitors, you'll quickly go insane flipping through windows. At least I do. So, business cost :).



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#205453 - 04/24/08 11:37 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
bump? This thread says page 4 of 3....I broke the thread!



Edit...looks like itself when I posted again...the forums must have balked at my investment concept.
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#205464 - 04/25/08 12:52 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
CV Online   confused
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Registered: 07/20/06
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Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I think I'm going to copy you, Dan, and go for M22s instead of Audiobytes for my computer. At some point. After I get a new computer desk, perhaps.
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#205467 - 04/25/08 01:51 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
danmagicman7 Offline
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Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Wise choice \:\)

Make sure you get a big desk, they take up space. It's best to have them as far apart as you can to get a good sound stage. The receiver takes up most of my desk depth wise, so it is good to have a deep desk as well.

I always thought it would be nice to have a smaller desk, then have speaker stands to each side for ultimate flexibility. However, I don't think i could find one deep enough to fit the receiver on it and still have room for other things.

Also, I like having the sub right under the desk. After a while i get used to it as a foot/leg rest. Anywhere else and the bass seems distant to me.
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#205468 - 04/25/08 01:56 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
CV Online   confused
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shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
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I figured maybe speaker stands. We'll see after I decide on a desk. I think that may take ONE YEAR. But yeah, if I decide to go with dual monitors at some point, I'd run out of room on the desk, that's for sure.
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#205496 - 04/25/08 11:44 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Charles,

Consider how far you need to sit away from the M22s in order to have a good sound-stage. When I had them at my place, they were spaced 8 feet apart and I was 8 feet away (ie. the golden triangle). I don't know how they would sound if they were say 3 feet apart and you were three feet away. Also, stands are likely an excellent idea. You'd hate to hear the M22s acoustically coupling to your desk. You should talk to someone at Axiom that is knowledgeable about all of this before you make such a move.

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#205499 - 04/25/08 11:55 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: Mojo]
CV Online   confused
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Registered: 07/20/06
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I'll definitely put more effort into the thought process when I get closer to upgrading my computer's audio. I figured I could get more flexibility by getting normal bookshelf speakers and a cheap receiver, but I may still opt for the Audiobytes due to price and convenience.
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#205565 - 04/26/08 12:29 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Yea, you can't see from the desk, but they are back quite a ways on the side.

However, consider this. Even though the positioning won't be optimal for a M22 stereo setup, the M22's will be better than any other speakers.
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#205566 - 04/26/08 12:31 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
By the way, Dan, I ordered the 2408WFP this morning. I'm impatient, so I opted for overnight shipping for $24. Unfortunately, their estimated ship date is May 1st, so fat lot of good being impatient does me.
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#205592 - 04/26/08 01:49 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Nice...3-5 day shipping got it to me in exactly 2 days. I ordered Sunday, it was waiting for me on Monday. However, I'm only a hop and a skip away from the distribution center.

Congrats :-)

You'll want to go to apple.com/trailers and treat yourself to 1080p trailers. It's great.

Look on the back and tell me what revision you get...I have an A00. You may or may not have the problem where there's a little sparkly "edge" to text if you look closely.

When you get your mointor, immediately set it to the "Graphics" Color setting mode and Custom (R,G,B) mode. Every other setting is pure crap IMO.

Wait patiently for the A02 revision...and we'll be good \:D


Edited by danmagicman7 (04/26/08 01:52 PM)

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#205719 - 04/27/08 07:32 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
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Registered: 07/20/06
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Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I'll let you know the revision, and thanks for the tip on mode settings.

I emailed Dell to tell them their processing time for a monitor order was ridiculous. Today I got an email saying my monitor has been shipped. Of course it hasn't, but it's at least had the label affixed, and it's ready to go out tomorrow, so I'll get it Tuesday. Much better than shipping Thursday for delivery Friday. I can't wait.
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#205756 - 04/28/08 12:57 AM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Also, what's up with having to get the shipment status through Dell's site? It doesn't give me a tracking number or even what courier was used. I have to log in there in order to see shipment updates.
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#205815 - 04/28/08 02:04 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Interesting...I got a DHL Tracking number right away. Hmm... that must mean they are sending it to me. :-) I called Dell and notified them of the address change right after you posted that you pulled the trigger. Sorry.
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#205816 - 04/28/08 02:12 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
What, you weren't satisfied with the commission?!
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#205957 - 04/29/08 01:35 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: danmagicman7]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Dan, it's the A00.
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#206823 - 05/03/08 09:29 PM Re: PC Component Advice Wanted [Re: CV]
CV Online   confused
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Anyone have leads on GREAT places to buy computer desks from?
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