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It all started with the LG GGC-H20L drive on Black Friday...


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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 07 2008 - 02:39 AM

The only thing I bought myself on Black Friday was a LG GGC-H20L drive from Fry's. This drive is an older drive, and it reads Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, and burns all DVD recordable media and does Lightscribing as well. It was $90. I figure I'd snap one up as the newer version doesn't have the HD DVD playback capability anymore.

The next thing you know, PC-upgradeitis rears its ugly head (since my current PC is about 6 years old, just one northbridge QTES fan from biting the dust), and I'm ordering PC parts left and right for the past week after spending some time doing web research on different components.

But, it's been a fun diversion for the past week or so.

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 $180+T Microcenter (almost went with the Q6600 for the same price, but it runs hotter with 65nm tech vs. 45nm for the Q9300, but more overclockable possibilities, but my motherboard selection should allow me to push 500 on the FSB if I want to juice up the Q9300 over 3GHz+, even if its multiplier is locked at 7.5)

Case - Antec 1200 $120 Newegg

Video - EVGA 512-P3-N874-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ HMDI $180 ($20) ZipZoomFly

PSU - Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W $70 ($35) Newegg

DVD - LG GGC-H20L $90+T Fry's

RAM - OCZ Platinum 2x2GB PC2 8500 1066MHz $50 ($30) Newegg

MB - Gigabyte GA-EP45 UD3P $126 ($20) Newegg

3.5" Floppy (black) + Card Reader combo $25 Newegg

HSF - Xigmatek HDT-1283 $28 ($10) Directron

The amounts in () are the rebates amounts I'm on the hook for if the rebates go south.

I still need to pick up some SATA hard drives, probably 3-4 1TB HDs for storage, and perhaps 1-2 500GB HDs for bootup, all 32MB cache, 7200rpm.

Also need 1-2 more case fans as well.

Later I'll decide on tuner cards if I want to go in that direction.
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#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 09 2008 - 05:56 AM

I got lucky at Fry's and picked up two 120mm Antec Tricool fans for $7 each (normally $15).

I just ordered two 500GB hard drives from newegg @$75 (Western Digital Caviar Black, 7200rpm, 32MB cache), one for Vista Ultimate 64-bit, one for XP 64-bit, and I may just keep their partition images on the other's hard drive (image the Vista partition to the XP HD, and vice-versa), and maybe also have the images on an external hard drive for safe-keeping.

Also got two 1TB hard drives (also Western Digital Caviar Black, 7200rpm, 32MB cache) from zipzoomfly ($120, which was $10 cheaper than newegg) for data storage, etc. Early next year, I'll probably get some external 1TB HDs for backups, after I pay off the credit card bill for this PC I'm building. I scaled back from my initial 3-4 1TB HDs after seeing the bills pile up on my credit card. Heh.

So, now I'm just waiting on the HSF, and the hard drives to arrive.
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#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 11 2008 - 08:18 AM

Crazy, good luck with it! I'm personally past building my own, it just isnt worth the hassle any more, but I know that there is a certain satisfaction in it!

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#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 13 2008 - 05:28 PM

After a lot of vacillating, I ended up swapping out my choice of the Q9300 for the CPU, and went with the E8400. After reading more and more comparisons and reviews of the 3 CPUs I was interested in, I took inventory of what I'd be doing with the new PC, and in the end, the apps I might benefit from using a quad-core didn't outweigh the overclock capabilties of the E8400 in my everyday use, so I jumped off the quad-core bandwagon and hopped on the dual-core bandwagon this time.
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#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted December 13 2008 - 09:44 PM

Are you building it more for use as an HTPC or a general use PC? Are you going to plug it into your Panasonic? I am like Sam and just don't think its worth the time and effort anymore when you can go get a pre-built that will do what you want it to for less money.

If you end up getting tuner cards go for the Hauppauge HVR 2250. It is their new dual digital tuner that is very nice. If you use Media Center you are going to be limited to 4 tuners but if you use Sage the number of tuners is unlimited. I really like the EPG with Media Center and with two HTPCs in the house with 4 tuners I don't have to miss any show.

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#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 14 2008 - 04:26 PM

What can I say, I'm a DIY-kind of guy. That being said, this will probably be my last PC I personally build, hoping it'll last another 6 years for me. This PC will be mainly a general use PC with HT possibilities. But I may dabble in a dual-tuner card for recording purposes, but my issue is getting an antenna signal or a cable signal run to my current PC location (nowhere near my cable or antenna connection point in the house).
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#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 21 2008 - 03:15 AM

Just for your perusal, photos of the new PC:

My new DIY PC - a set on Flickr
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#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted December 22 2008 - 11:11 PM

Pat:

Looks great. How do you hook up HDMI with this card?

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 23 2008 - 05:18 AM

I have to register my video card with EVGA and then beg them to send me the DVI-to-HDMI adapter.
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#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Vern Dias

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Posted December 24 2008 - 02:39 AM

Patrick, you were doing great up until the Vista64 bit part..... I would recommend you use Vista32 to avoid problems with the signed driver requirements of Vista64.

You don't really need to beg for an adapter from DVI to HDMI. Cables are readily available with DVI on one end and HDMI on the other. Adapters, too.

Have a good Xmas.

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#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 24 2008 - 04:37 AM

I'm still sorting through the OS jungle. At least the HDMI adapter is a freebie from EVGA, so then the cabling would be straight HDMI, and I have a few extra HDMI cables, but I'm not even sure if I'll utilize it as a HTPC, perhaps fallback to a media center box with streamed media. Just mulling things over.
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#12 of 20 OFFLINE   PatWahlquist

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Posted December 25 2008 - 07:31 AM

Pat, I fell into the same trap: my CD/DVD burner went out a couple weeks ago when I tried to overburn a disc (which I'd advise anyone against!). Newegg had an OEM of the one you got for $100, but I knew I was at least looking at a new video card to utilize BD and HD-DVD. Turns out I'll need a new CPU and a motherboard as well. I'm also going to upgrade to Vista and I'll be able to pipe it HDMI to my Marantz projector. Thanks for the pics and info!

Pat
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#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 25 2008 - 05:11 PM

PatW, if you go with this motherboard that I selected (GA-EP45-UD3P), you may want to choose different RAM than what I ended up with, it seems Gigabyte and OCZ aren't always copacetic (like sometimes you may encounter situations where the RAM won't run in dual-channel mode on this motherboard), but I haven't run into issues yet.

Check out this webpage:

GIGABYTE - Product - Motherboard - Overview - GA-EP45-UD3P (rev. 1.0)

Then click the link on the right hand side: Memory Support List

for a list of "approved" RAM for this motherboard.

I'm just crossing my fingers that the RAM I bought works okay, and if it doesn't, I guess I'm out some $$$ and will go with the approved stuff if it comes to that.
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#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Diallo B

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Posted January 10 2009 - 01:15 PM

nice build.

i will be getting the same drive soon and will be going through the same upgrade process. however, mine will be a dedicated htpc to replace my current one which does 720p fine but chokes on 1080p content.
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#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted January 11 2009 - 02:47 AM

I haven't done much else in setting up this new PC due to my other recent events, but the CPU does run easily at its stock 3.0GHZ speed, so I still don't know if the RAM I got will be an issue when I overclock it.

I still can't get over how quiet the PC is when it's on, as my older PC is very loud (but I'm sort of used to it, like white noise).
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#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Stephen Orr

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Posted January 17 2009 - 01:56 PM

Patrick, I got the same drive for my birthday in December for my HTPC. Fortunately, I only felt the need to upgrade my video card, as my original upgraded card could not play Bluray discs without stuttering. All of my discs look amazing, and I can move my older Sony blu player into another room.

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted January 18 2009 - 03:17 AM

If anyone lives near a Fry's Electronics store, the same LG drive is on sale for $99 until Jan. 22nd. (It might be a YMMV depending on location as different areas get different sales items).
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#18 of 20 OFFLINE   bobbyg2

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Posted January 20 2009 - 06:31 AM

This happens with me too!

My 2-year-old graphics card finally kicked the bucket so I ordered a new one (the same one you ordered, EVGAs 9800GTX+), and now I can play Crysis. But I only have 1GB of RAM, which doesn't cut it anymore. So, I ordered another 3GB of RAM because Crysis is insane. But, my motherboard is only running my graphics card at PCE-e 1.0 8x mode, so I'm only getting 1/4 the power from it! Now I need a new mobo.
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#19 of 20 ONLINE   David Norman

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Posted January 31 2009 - 03:38 PM

Definitely a Local YMMV Deal, but one of my local Best Buy's had their BR only version of this drive (GBC-H20LI) on Clearance for $84 today. They even scanned a 10% coupon in addition so I got out for 75 ($80 OTD after tax).

Charlotte area -- the new Rea Road store listed in Blakeney (go south on 485 exit about 5 miles). Every other BB I dropped by today had it at the normal $109 price though I did get a price match/correction on the same LG I bought last week for $99. With a little luck that store jumped the gun on a Sunday sale some other folks can get decent deal.

LG - 16x Internal Blu-ray Disc/Double-Layer DVD±RW/CD-RW Drive - GBC-H20LI
 

 


#20 of 20 OFFLINE   sestamuch

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Posted February 01 2009 - 05:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyg2
This happens with me too!

My 2-year-old graphics card finally kicked the bucket so I ordered a new one (the same one you ordered, EVGAs 9800GTX+), and now I can play Crysis. But I only have 1GB of RAM, which doesn't cut it anymore. So, I ordered another 3GB of RAM because Crysis is insane. But, my motherboard is only running my graphics card at PCE-e 1.0 8x mode, so I'm only getting 1/4 the power from it! Now I need a new mobo.

Crysys is a pain in the butt since it can be pretty much an exception when it comes to performance even on high end cards (and that's not my kind of game anyway). I got it on newegg and prices are likely to start coming down in February.