Buying a new system – do these specs seem OK?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Bob Movies, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. Bob Movies

    Bob Movies Stunt Coordinator

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    I’m buying a new PC after 4 years of using the same system, so I was a bit out of date on the new gear and have been doing a lot of reading to catch up. Here’s the system I’m putting together:

    Gigabyte 7VAXP Motherboard
    AMD XP 2600+ CPU
    Antek SLK 2600 Case with 300 Watt Power Supply
    1GB PC3200 DDR RAM
    80GB Western Digital HD with 8MB buffer
    16x LG DVD-ROM
    52x24x52 LG CD-RW
    GeForce 4 MX 440 with AGP 8X (64 MB, S-video out)

    Monitor: NEC MS 97F 19inch

    The price before tax is about $1200 Canadian - does this seem too high?

    Can anyone see any major problems, or components that could be swapped out for something better? I’m putting this together on a pretty tight budget, so most things have been chosen for price and performance I unfortunately don’t have the money to go over the top!

    I’m going to be using the system for typing / internet /etc. with some light video editing. The motherboard has firewire and usb2 onboard, which is nice.

    I’d appreciate any comments, or suggestions for better parts.

    Bob
     
  2. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    The only thing I would suggest is to get a better video card if at all possible. The radeon 9500 is a fine choice for a reasonable price. Unless you don't play any games or need 3d for anything. In which case you could go even cheaper on the video card.
     
  3. Mark Giles

    Mark Giles Second Unit

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    I think everything looks good how you have it. I do everything that you say your gonna be doing including light video editing and I also have 2 x 80G WD Harddrives with 8 meg cache setup on Raid 0, (Which your motherboard supports). I thought I would be just doing simple editing but I found myself doing more and more as time went on. If your doing just light video editing. Another Harddrive might not be worth it but there is a noticable difference in the time saved with the second HD when editing video and things of that nature. If you can find another item at a cheaper price the maybe u can squeeze that other HD in your budget. Its easy to setup too...let me know if you need help[​IMG]
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Looks good. I'd also recommend changing the video card.

    For slightly more (about $79US vs. $40 or so on the card you have) you can get the GeforceFX5200.. a directX9 card.

    Preferrably, you'd get a Radeon 9500/9600 type card.. but it's all in a matter of what you're going to do with it.
     
  5. Bob Movies

    Bob Movies Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the comments guys, it's good to know that I'm on the right track.

    As far as the video card goes, I don't play any computer games, so I don't think it will be a big deal. I like the S-Video out though, so I can output video to VHS (no $$$ for a DVD burner yet). Still, I don't want to get something that won't last, since I want to put this system together right. Do you think a better video card is worth the upfront investment?

    Mark, would you recommend 2x80 GB HD's set up in a Raid 0 setup instead of one 120 GB drive?

    Also, I've found a shop that's selling some used Samsung 950P monitors for $119 Canadian each. It's a good monitor, and they've got a money back / return policy, so I think I'll try it out. Is there any reason that I should stay away from getting a used monitor?

    Bob
     
  6. Mark Giles

    Mark Giles Second Unit

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    Definitely get 2 HD's to get the full benefit or raid 0. Although I read somewhere you can use one harddrive, I don't see the point since it's pulling an instruction off of each drive at the same time and you can't do this at the same time with one harddrive. I have 2 motherboards that I have used raid 0 on(abit/iwill) and both say minimum hd's for raid 0 is 2. I'm very impressed with the performance of the raid 0 setup. My Windows Xp installations are super fast and I'm doing a lot more editing because of the speed.

    Your on the right track with the 8 meg cache.
     
  7. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    One minor comment though, looking it over:

    7VAXP motherboard is KT-400. You are far better off going with Nvidia Nforce2/Nforce2 Ultra chipset boards then you are to go with Via KT400 boards at this point. Several Nvidia Nforce boards are cheaper then the 7VAXP or close, and your overall performance and driver base will be better.

    Just a comment [​IMG]
     
  8. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Do you really need 1GB of RAM? You could shave off $100 US by dropping to 512MB and I doubt you'd notice any difference.
     
  9. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    I would replace the Gigabyte 7VAXP Motherboard with something running an Nforce2 chipset like these.

    MSI-K7N2
    Asus A7N8X
    Abit NF7-S

    Make sure that you get 2 Sticks of Ram to run on these boards to that you take advantage of the Dual Channel Memory. If you want 1GB get 2 matching 512mb chips. I also think that you could save a little money and go with (2) 256mb chips which would give you 512MB. Spend the money that you save on a better video card. The Gforce4 MX chips are not much more then a Gforce 2GTS card. Go for the new 5600 as said above or one of the 9000 series from ATI for less then $50 more.

    Other then that everything you have looks good. Note that you could also save some money by going with a less expensive case.

    KyleS
     
  10. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I agree with what Kyle said. And, I would add, for not much more than price of a DVD-ROM and a 52x CD-RW, you could pick up a DVD burner of some sort. They're commonly available at about $100-$175 now, OEM.
     
  11. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    If you're going to get a better video card, the max I would go is the radeon 9500. Upon reflection I would also recommend an nForce2 based solution- I have used the Asus A7N8X and the Gigabyte 7NNXP, which in your case I would get the 7N400. If you get an nforce2 board, make sure to get two sticks of ram however much you end up with to take advantage of the dual channel memory controller architecture.
     
  12. C. Stewart Weaver

    C. Stewart Weaver Auditioning

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    Bob,

    How about this setup:

    Shuttle XPC SN41G2 system $295.00
    Athlon XP 2500+ Barton processor $92.00
    NEC (Black) DVD +/- Recorder $154.99
    512 (2 STICKS) OCZ 333 Ram $110.00
    Western Digital 120 SE Hard Drive $110.00

    Total $761.99 US/$1055.19 CN

    The Shuttle XPC system uses the nVidia nForce2 chipset, which offers 2 integrated GForce-4 MX video ports, USB 2, onboard digital audio, Firewire, Nic, and dual channel ram support. And, the motherboard has 8X AGP, and a single PCI slot for expansion.

    Plus, the Athlon Barton core chip offers 512K onboard system cache, as opposed to 256K for the 2600+ chip. Should work better for video editing.

    I found everything at Newegg.com. Check it out.

    Hope this helps,

    Stimpy
     
  13. Bob Movies

    Bob Movies Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Everyone,

    I got my system today! Thanks to the help from this forum, this is what I ended up buying:

    Asus A7N8X-Deluxe Motherboard
    AMD XP 2600+ CPU
    Antek SLK 2600 Case with 300 Watt Power Supply
    1GB Kingston PC3200 DDR RAM
    120GB Western Digital HD with 8MB buffer
    52x24x52+16x DVD/CD-RW Combo Lite-On Drive
    GeForce 4 MX 440 with AGP 8X (64 MB, S-video out)
    Microsoft Natural Multimedia Keyboard
    Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0

    Samsung 950P 19" monitor (used)

    Total price was 1100 Canadian. I'm very happy with the system, and I can't wait to set it up tonight!

    In addition, I was very impressed with Antec and their customer service. The two front USB ports on my case are USB 1.1, so I called to see how much it would cost to order an upgrade. They sent it to me free of charge! What great service.

    Thanks again for all the help, especially the tip about the Nforce 2 chipset!
     
  14. Chris Dias

    Chris Dias Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Bob,

    Congrats on the new system. Can I ask where you got it from? I'm sort of in the market for a new PC right now and I'm just starting to browse around. I'm also on just about the same budget as you. (was that 1100 before or after tax).

    thanks,
    Chris
     
  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Good system! However, for up-and-coming games like Half-Life 2, Halo, Doom3, etc, consider upgrading to a Geforce FX 5600 or ATI Radeon 9500 or better.

    I hope you got 2 sticks of 512MB RAM for a total of 1 GB...slight speed boost with the dual-channel architecture of the nforce2 chipset.

    Hook up that PC to a DD5.1 digital receiver and you'll be amazed by the sound of the nforce audio. [​IMG]
     

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