Building PC. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jeff Jacobson, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I am planning to build a computer and need some advice.


    What computer needs to be able to do
    [*]Basic stuff (E-mail, word processing, etc.)[*]Capture & Edit Video[/list] Questions
    [*]What kind of case and power supply do you recommend? I don't care what the case looks like.[*]

    What voltage power supply is needed?




    The manual for the motherboard I'm planning to get says,
    "Make sure that your ATX 12V power supply can provide 8A on the +12V lead
    and at least 1A on the +5-volt standby lead (+5VSB).
    The minimum recommended wattage is 300W, or 350W for a fully configured system.
    The system may become unstable or may not boot up if the power supply is inadequate."




    Does this mean that I only need a 350W power supply?


    [*]Does anyone have any experience with the parts I've selected? What are your experiences (good or bad)?[/list]
    Parts I plan to get
    Motherboard


    A7N8X-E Deluxe Motherboard:
    $119 (newegg.com)



    Processor


    Athlon XP 2500+ Processor (1.83GHz, 512KB, 333MHz, Socket A) $90 (newegg.com)



    Memory


    From Motherboard specs:

    - 3 x 184-pin DIMM Sockets support max. 3GB PC3200/PC2700/PC2100/PC1600 non-ECC DDR SDRAM memory

    - Dual Channel Memory Architecture




    Already Have: One Kingston 256MB PC2100 memory module




    OS


    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition w/Service Pack 1 (OEM): $91 (newegg.com)



    Video + Video Capture



    ATI AIW RADEON 9600PRO Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, FM/CATV/VIVO, 8X AGP -RETAIL


    $217.00 (newegg.com)





    Hard Drive


    Western Digital 120GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model WD1200JD, OEM Drive Only $105 (newegg)



    DVD-Writer


    Lite On DVD-RW/+RW Drive, Model LDW-811S, Retail $142.00 (newegg.com)



    Other
    Monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. from old computer will be used.
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I like your format, easy to follow. [​IMG] Here are some concerns I have:

    - At least 512mb is recommended for any DV editing machine. A 512mb PC3200 stick of Crucial is $93.

    - I'm not too familiar with ATi's AIW cards. Can you *only* capture with a codec they provide, like mpeg-2? If not I'd recommend capturing in lossless huffyuv to a big fat harddrive. If so, I'd look elsewhere for a vidcap card.

    - 2 harddrives: a 20-40gb to store your OS, music, documents, and other files. The other one 120gb+ to hold your video files. If you edit a lot you'll need to defrag the 2nd HD much more often than the other.

    - The PSU is one of most unappreciated components of a PC, next to the memory. If it crashes it's most likely the cause of one of these two. Be sure to go with a name brand such as Fortron/Sparkle, Enermax, Antec. I like this one.

    How long are the videos you plan to make? Home movies on DVD?
     
  3. MorganT

    MorganT Auditioning

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    Motherboard and Processor: This is a great combo. Another motherboard to consider is the Abit NF7-S. That processor gives you the most bang for the buck.

    Memory: With your processor, to get the best performance you need to run it at 333mhz or PC2700 memory. Also, nForce2 motherboards(yours) have a feature called dual channel that helps performance a little bit. In order to run dual channel, you need 2 identical sticks of RAM.

    Video: The 9600 Pro will be more than adequate for a basic setup and will run most current games fine as well. Not sure about the AIW features though.

    HD: If you have the money, I would get 2 identical hard drives and run them in RAID0. That will give you great performance.

    DVD Writer: Can't go wrong with LiteOn.

    PSU: You really need AT LEAST 350w, I suggest AT LEAST 400w. Go to a website called buyxtremegear and go to power supplies. Then scroll down and find the 420w Turbolink PSU for $20. Don't let the price fool you, its an awesome power supply. It has 18a on the 12v rail, 2 cooling fans, and I have used them many times.
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The AIW Catalyst/MMC software will allow you to specify different codecs (so it's possible to capture AVI with the Huffyuv lossless compression). I did this with an older AIW card and the updated MMC 8.7 software from ATI on my older PC.
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    It is all too easy to buy a power supply with your new case. 400 watts minimum is what I'd recommend too. (I have a 450)

    As for advise, I'm taking the easy route. Remember that you need at least one fan on the bottom of the front to suck the cool air in. Inside the machine, where the heat is produced, it will naturally rise to the top and hopefully be sucked out the back.

    I was looking at my son's case the other day. It has a great layout, except for the air distribution. He had to shut down several times last summer when it overloaded. His solution was to cut a hole in one side of the case to mount another exhaust fan. YUCK!

    Of course, if you live in an air conditioned place, then ignore this mess! [​IMG]

    Glenn
     
  6. eric_thr

    eric_thr Extra

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    excellent processor and mobo combination of price/performance. Check out this case and power supply if you are not concerned with looks.

    Great Case

    Has plenty of room, great for cooling, and comes with one of the best power supplies antec true power 430W.

    I would definitely suggest getting as much RAM as you can afford. I think 1GB of 2700 would be better than 512MB of 3200.
     
  7. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Is the power supply very difficult to install? (The last computer I built, the power supply was already installed in the case.) Would it be cheaper to buy the PSU and case separately, or a case with a PSU already included?



    So would I get better performance with PC2700 than with PC3200 with this processor? Or would it make a difference?
     
  8. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    If you're planning on outputting your home movies to DVD, output them to DV Tape instead.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Installing a power supply requires making some connections to the case's front panel (power on, LED lights, etc), and screwing the power supply into the pre-fab spot in the case.
     
  10. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Why is that?

    I was thinking about getting this case. What do you think?

    If that case is no good, what about this one or this one?
     
  11. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    The price difference between PC2700 and PC3200 is minimal. I'd go ahead and get the PC3200 since it'll run at 400mhz.
     
  12. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    It would be best if you could see the inside of the cases to see where the fan(s) are positioned to keep the insides cool.

    I did go all out. Click on the W8500.

    http://www.addtronics.com

    You can put 5 in the front, one on the side and four on the back. (I have a 450w PS to handle them) - but I don't get overheating problems.

    Glenn
     
  13. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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  14. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Jeff as long as its ATX and can hold 2 HDs you'll be fine. The one you're linking to looks great. As an aside I never thought those plexi-windows were all that useful, and I love the quietness my old Fong Kai 603 provides.
     
  15. MorganT

    MorganT Auditioning

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    Actually, although it sounds weird, it will degrade the performance running the memory faster than the processor's FSB. Ideally, you want a 1:1 ratio.
     
  16. DaveB

    DaveB Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm currently using a system similar to what you're thinking of putting together, and let me say the video capture/edit has been excellent:

    AthlonXP 2500+ (barton)
    Abit NF7-S v2.0
    AIW Radeon 9700 Pro
    2x512 PC2700 @ 333Mhz in Dual Channel mode
    Maxtor 7200RPM 120GB SATA 150 w/ 8MB cache
    TDK DVD+R/RW
    Thermaltake 480W Purepower PSU
    case is the large Antec listed by eric_thr


    MorganT is correct, you will get performance gains with your memory clocked at 333 rather than 400 Mhz, even if you have PC3200 (with your processor anyway).

    I have been pleased with 1GB RAM, but if you do a lot more video editing than I do, you may want to go with 2 sticks of 1 GB instead. I use Corsair XMS TwinX modules for rock-solid stablility in dual channel, awesome performance, and the best customer service/warranty on the planet.

    I use a 60GB partition for video capture and editing, which has been just the right amount for me. You may want to use 2 HD's in a RAID array, but if you use just one you may want to consider creating a large partition on that drive for video. Contrary to what I've read on the internet, I got better performance after partioning my drive!

    The Lite-On drive is an excellent choice.

    Don't have any resevations about the All-in-Wonder. I've used other capture cards, and don't feel any have come close to the AIW in terms of features + quality.

    Hope any of this helps.

    David

    EDIT: added bit about Radeon
     
  17. eric_thr

    eric_thr Extra

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    Those are higher end power supplies, for $115 for the Antec you are getting a $70+ power supply.

    Be careful with the lower quality power supplies, check out this this link , very good info especially if you want to upgrade to a 9800 which takes its own power connection.
     
  18. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    This is easily handled by running the FSB at 400mhz also. [​IMG] If you want to run the FSB at 333mhz, then just run the memory the same. With the minimal difference in price between PC2700 and PC3200, I don't see the sense in buying PC2700.
     
  19. MorganT

    MorganT Auditioning

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    Good point, I guess if you want to overclock or upgrade to a 400FSB system, go ahead and get the PC3200.
     
  20. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    That sounds easy.



    Thanks for all the info, everyone.
     

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