help a rookie built a PC - please!

Eric_L

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OK, I'm down to the last few steps. Before I press the 'checkout' button I thought I'd place my shopping cart here in case I'm making a complete NOOB error.

I've already bought the case, power supply (400w) fans and Vid Card (radeon aiw 9800 pro)

Here's the rest:

ASUS P4P800 Deluxe mobo $145.99
Intel Pentium 2.4 w' hyperthreading : $177.00 retail version
Pioneer DVR-105BK-OEM DVDr $222.00
Asus SPDIF interface $14.99
2 18" Vantec Round ATA 66/100/133 cable 3-connector $7.49 ea
Seagate 120GB SATA Hardrive Barracuda: $137
GEIL 2X512MB PC-3200 400MHZ Dual DDR RAM $215
TOTAL $926.96

A few questions - One; I've looked EVERWHERE for a DVD recorder Slot Drive. Do they exist?
Two; RAID. Still not sure what that can do for me. You say it has something to do with using two hard drives. Would it be worthwhile to get two smaller drives rather than the 120? I'm more interested in speed than space. I haven't even maxed out my old 20gig yet! Is RAID that much faster? Is it difficult to use? Will it WOW my friends and make the hot chicks want me?

Also, will I need to buy thermal paste/grease? I think I have all the other tools I'll need.

I am eager and terrified. Kinda like the feeling when standing in line for a really mean rollercoaster.

I just hope I don't puke.

Thanks for all of your advice
 

Duane R

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As far as the Hard drive issue goes, the ultimate speed would be a pair of WD Raptors Serial ATA (36GB) in a RAID 0 setup. A few people over at the AsusBoards forums are running these. They say they can install XP Pro in 8-10 minutes flat!
 

John_Berger

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in case I'm making a complete NOOB error
Contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with being a newbie. We were all newbies at one point, even those f**king morons who act like they knew their stuff before even coming out of the womb. Even if you make a mistake, you learn and move on.
 

Isaac K

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1) I don't believe a DVD recorder slot drive exists.
2)Honestly you don't need RAID unless you have some extra money to burn and are an extreme power user. As long as that Seagate drive has an 8MB cache and is 7200 RPMs you'll be fine.
 

MikeAlletto

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I just hope I don't puke.
Hehehe...you'll be fine. I was nervous when I built my new PC, but the benefit is you bought exactly what YOU wanted. Just go slow and follow the mb instructions for the jumpers and pins and you'll be fine.
 

LeeHuff

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I would actually recommend the Seagate's 8MB Cache drive over Western Digital's 8MB Cache drives. Seagates have always had a great reputation for being quiet and dependable drives. I think you definetely have chosen the better drive in this case.

You should be fine on the thermal paste unless you plan on overclocking.

I would try to pick out a different brand of ram. Geil doesn't have a good track record from what I've heard. If you're not going to overclock, then I would look into Crucial's ram. Most stable on the market. If you are going to overclock, then Cosair is usually the best choice.

I would also recommend you pick up a sound card, and not use the onboard sound. This is even more crucial if you're going to be using a nice set of speakers or headphones w/ amp. I would recommend the MAudio Revolution if you won't be gaming, and if you will, then Creatives Audigy 2 is a good choice.

Other then that, you should be very happy with your new setup.
 

Eric_L

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Hmm, it seems the first 7 or so posts to this thread have disappeared. Anyone know where they went?

There was some useful info there that I wanted to review. I never expected it to disappear....

Just an fyi - on the first post I mentioned that this will be a multi-purpose pc, but 80% will be split evenly between gameing and Home Theater. (8'X6' screen, DLP projector and 5.1 surround with 15" Velodyne sub!!)

The other times it will be editing family movies (15%) and 5% a MIDI music-keyboard recorder/sequencer. Of course there will be web surfing and other generic uses at times.

It is the games and the movies I am most concerned with. I want my 5.1 to sound good and my games to play well. I'm tired of getting my arse whooped because my framerate falls to 5 online. I deserve better and can afford it!
 

MikeAlletto

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then I would look into Crucial's ram. Most stable on the market. If you are going to overclock, then Cosair is usually the best choice.
With these new 800Mhz bus motherboards crucial memory is having some problems and not ranking very high. Then again a lot of the memory makers are currently having some problems. It'll all be sorted out with bios updates though. I spec'd a pc this week using an MSI mb and cosair low latency matched paired pc3200 modules. I'm not gonna buy till sept/oct time frame though. Eric what from the past posts were you looking for? If I posted them I can probably remember what they were.

I'm also starting to think about just going with a sound card and turning off the onboard sound when I build the new pc also. Initially I was going to try it and see what it would be like but an audigy 2 is only $112 or so. The mb I was going to use couldn't pass the 5.1 through the optical output, only the analog, but the audigy 2 can (if I read it correctly).
 

Eric_L

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If I have to get a soundcard I was thinking of any of the following:

Audigy 2 - $110
M-Audio Revolution 7 $100
Terratec DMX 6-fire $185 here
M-Audio Audiophile 2496 $150

I'm a bit uncertain about which to choose. The Audigy is best for games I am certain, but I think it lags in music and movie playback. The M-Audio is good for music and movie, but lags in games. I think the DMX 6-fire excels at playback and is in the middle of the road on games.

I'm really not sure about the audiophile at all. Maybe someone else knows?
 

Dalila

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You are correct.

The MAudio is better at music, the Audigy 2 at gaming...So it's a choice you have to make.

As for memory. Corsair or Mushkin.
 

LeeHuff

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I've heard TerraTec makes good cards, so you shouldn't have any problems with that choice. I've never heard of the Audigy 2 lagging on playback of movies and MP3's, but I could be mistaken.
 

Max Leung

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Don't forget that the audio from nforce1 or nforce2 motherboards are the best for gaming (and very good for DVD and mp3s). Of course, I know you bought an intel solution, so you're stuck with the more expensive audio add-on cards. Pity.


Still, an intel solution is good for beginners with the $$$, because you have a bit more leeway if you screw up...the heatsink can fall off on an Intel P4, and you'll still be able to boot (very slowly).
 

Duane R

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Yeah but how expensive are those things? 36GB 10k rpm sata drives aren't gonna be cheap, you might as well just get some scsi drives
You can get the Raptors from Newegg for $138 shipped (each) right now.
 

MikeAlletto

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You can get the Raptors from Newegg for $138 shipped (each) right now.
Or you can get a 120GB 7200 rpm sata drive for $133. Its a tradeoff of a lot more disc space or a faster rpm drive.
 

Eric_L

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AAAARGH!! I just found out that my Preordered AIW9800pro will not ship for 4-6 WEEKS!!!

So now I am wondering, just how much better IS the 9800 vs the 9700? I'd save about $200 if I caved and just bought the AIW9700pro from newegg.

I've already waited six weeks because the release of the AIW9800 was supposed to be SPRING. As of tomorrow, spring is history. What do you think? Should I wait or should I cave?

I'm not sure how much longer I can wait.

Also, I think I've decided to go with the SB Audigy2 Platinum. I like the variety of inputs available for ony $50 more. I have seen the Platinum EX, which appears two different ways; One as an external version of the Platinum, and the other as a the same thing as the platinum only black and more expensive. I'd sure like internal and black, but I'm not sure that is what I'd get with the EX.

Earlier I said it lags for hifi , I didn't mean in the latency sense, just in the 'not as good' sense. I suspect that the difference is so marginal as to be moot to my ears. I figure the support and compatibility will be best ther, plust the games!
 

LeeHuff

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Don't forget that the audio from nforce1 or nforce2 motherboards are the best for gaming (and very good for DVD and mp3s). Of course, I know you bought an intel solution, so you're stuck with the more expensive audio add-on cards. Pity.

Still, an intel solution is good for beginners with the $$$, because you have a bit more leeway if you screw up...the heatsink can fall off on an Intel P4, and you'll still be able to boot (very slowly).
First of all, I don't think either of these statements are accurate. Onboard audio is never going to be that great, no matter what platform or northbridge. The onboard sound with the NForce2 chipset will come nowhere near either of those three cards mentioned.

I really don't think Intel is a noob platform either. Some insane overclocks have been achieved on Intels. And by the looks of this PC, this guy wants the best, and as of right now, Intel has the best.
 

LeeHuff

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Eric, I highly doubt you will see a difference. The only time I could ever think of anyone being able to notice difference in performance is if you were running one of the next-gen games (Doom III for example) with AA and AF on. Otherwise, this card should work fine for you, plus you'll save yourself some money.

Another option would be to get a regular 9800 pro, and look into buying a seperate capture card for your video ins and outs. Of course, the Radeon is an easier choice overall.

Good Luck
 

Eric_L

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I thought about getting a regular 9800 pro, but the software package and RF remote are apealing yo me.

I think I'm going to heed your suggestion and go for the 9700. In a year or so I can get a 3g pentium and the 9800 AIW for what the difference is today. And that is only if I am having difficulties.

Not certain yet, I'll sleep on it.
 

Max Leung

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Onboard audio is never going to be that great, no matter what platform or northbridge. The onboard sound with the NForce2 chipset will come nowhere near either of those three cards mentioned.
Can I assume you never owned an nforce system?

The nforce audio is very very good. The reviews I've read that compared the Audigy and the nforce were very positive for the nforce (lower CPU usage, realtime digital audio encoding, more stable drivers, multichannel mixing just as good as the Audigy, without any traffic on the PCI bus, and negligible load on the system bus).

The only thing I would give an edge to the audigy 2 would be lower noise-floor in the analog outputs. But it's not an issue if you use the digital outputs to take advantage of the DD5.1 real-time encoding at 640kbps (DVD maxes out at 448kbps).

Having had a Soundblaster Live Platinum and struggled through the insane driver problems I had, I'd take the nforce any day over any soundblaster product.

Fair review of the nforce: http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/nForce/

A friend of mine who had an Audigy 1 returned it because of sound quality issues, although there was no way to tell if this was a driver issue or a faulty card at the time, as the card was from overseas.


BTW Eric, you probably won't see any difference between the 9700 and the 9800, at least with today's games.

I still stand by my statement that a P4 system is easier to put together than an AMD system. I did not in any way imply that Intel is inferior! Far from it. Easier != poor performer.
 

Eric_L

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Well, I've committed. I just pressed the 'send' key.

Ack!

I got everything on my list, except I swapped the geil memory for Corsair XMS extreme. It cost more (I'm not sure why) but I get EXCITED when I see EXTREME!

I cancelled my 9800 AIW card and got a 9700 AIW. I also forked out $50 more to get the Audigy2 platinum. I got a bit carried away and bought a Elluminx keyboard plus Office 02 pro.

All totaled I spent $2000, but that includes the $100 keyboard, the $300 Microsoft Software, Windows XE $97, $30 mouse and a few other sundries. I could have trimmed another $200 by downgrading a few things, but what the heck.

My case cost me an additional $200.

Please don't tell my wife!

I will sit and fret now until this thing is finally assembled and working. If it does not work I will sooo freak out.
 

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