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Old 11-20-04, 09:42 PM   #1
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Help me build a new desktop

I'm finally going to build a new desktop. Primary use will be for Half Life 2, and other games that come along, as well as Photoshop and other digital camera related stuff. My plan is to probably get something in January when I'm finished with my Firefighter I class (I'm getting paid to take the class, thank you FEMA ), and so my budget will be around $1500, though the lower, the better. This will be an entirely new system, all they way down to a new mouse and keyboard. My old system will probably be handed down to my mom, or perhaps sold.

Video: I'm currently looking at the NVidia 6600GT. A while back when I thought I might have a new desktop by now, I was looking at the 9800 Pro, but those seem to be few and far between now at Newegg, the 6600GT is cheaper, and it looks like it delivers much better performance.

CPU: Should I look at the Athlon 64, or the Pentium 4?

Monitor: LCD, probably 17"

Motherboard: ??

RAM: Probably a gig of ?? (Was looking at Crucial just because that's what my current system has)

Sound: Probably an older SB Audigy, definitely something under $100. I do want 5.1 support and good sound quality, but don't need a whole lot of other bells and whisles

Case: Don't really need anything wild, no flashing LED's or neon or clear windows in the side of the case. Simple, clean, black, and quiet is what I'm looking for. I love the desigs of the Lian-Li cases, but they're expensive. The Antec Sonta looks pretty good, but still sort of pricey at $99.

Storage: HD, 80 gigs. Whats a good brand? Optical, combo drive with dual layer DVD burning capability. Though I can also burn CD's with my laptop, so I could just go with a plain DVD-ROM until the dual layer burners get faster and dual layer media is cheaper.

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Old 11-22-04, 08:22 AM   #2
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If you're serious about Photoshop, I wouldn't buy an nVidia video card. They don't create very linear output or pure colors. An ATI card would be a much better choice.

As well, I'd have two hard drives. Putting Photoshop's scratch disk on another physical drive is the best way to speed up performance (assuming you work with larger-than-RAM files).
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Old 11-22-04, 09:44 AM   #3
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definately go for a amd64. almost all newer motherboards (decent ones anyways) offer you raid options. get two identical drives, and setup stripe raid to speed up performance. as for sound cards, if you're not a big gamer/movie person, try to go with the onboard audio. i've heard nforce3 (or is it 4) mobos have 7.1 audio (soundstorm) onboard. that should be cheaper then getting a seperate soundcard. don't go with cordless keyboard/mobo cuz you're doing graphic editing/gaming. i hate it when batteries run out on mine. sonata is a very nice case, i have it. i would also go with an ati card instead of an nvidia one, but thats just my preference (like amd over intel)
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Old 11-22-04, 10:03 PM   #4
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i would probably pass on the raid thing if I were you. There have been several tests released lately that prove RAID at the desktop level is a moot point, and striping increases the risk of data loss. If you need 2 drives to do scratch files in photoshop then go for a second drive if you
feel the need for it. Otherwise, just stick with a single large drive, and make sure you have an optical drive to back up your important files.

at least thats my 2 cents worth. Athlon 64 would be an excellent choice. Go with the nforce 4 chipset if possible.
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Old 11-24-04, 08:53 AM   #5
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I have settled on the Athlon 64, but no NForce 4 boards seem to be available yet, so that's forcing me to wait (which I guess is a good thing). I'm planning on just sticking with a single IDE drive. Don't really have any interest or need to use RAID. Haven't settled on a video card, we'll see what's in the $200 range in January. But probably the NVidia 6600GT or Radeon x700Pro.

PSN: bdshort
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Old 11-24-04, 02:42 PM   #6
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If your really into game and LCD would not refresh fast enough.

Get a 19" CRT.

I'd look at Dell's outlet site for a Dimension XPS Gen 3 machine. - click home, then dell outlet
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