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Building my first system...

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Building my first system...

Old 12-28-01, 06:12 PM
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Building my first system...

I'm about to order the parts for my new computer. I'm definitely new at this, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Here are my specs so far:

Antec SX1040 w/ extra panaflo fan in front = $146
MSI K7N420 PRO nForce = $164
AMD Althon XP 1600+/266 FSB PROCESSOR CPU - RETAIL = $139
Gainward/Cardexpet GeForce 3 Ti200 = $165
2 x CRUCIAL MICRON 256MB 32x64 PC 2100 DDR = $136
Teac 1.44MB 3.5 Inch Floppy Drive = $9
Lite-On 16x DVD Model = $58
LITE-ON LTR-24102B-01 24x10x40 CDRW - RETAIL = $82
2 x MAXTOR EIDE HARD DRIVE MODEL # 6L040J2 40GB 7200RPM = $166
IBM EIDE HARD DRIVE 60GB 7200RPM = $112
PROMISE ULTRA133TX2 CONTROLLER CARD = $40
NIC and soundcard included in mobo

already have speakers and Sony G420

Total price = approx. $1275 w/ shipping


I know there are tons of debates about the mobo, video card, etc. I'm just wondering if this looks like a solid system. Are there any conflicts I should know about? I will be running Win XP Pro.

I want three hard drives, one for applications, one for storage, and one for backup. Don't I need that controller to use all of these IDE devices at once? Any advice on the hard drives would be appreciated. Heck, any advice period would be nice. I'm kind of intimidated about this whole build the computer thing, but I know it will help me in the long run.
Old 12-28-01, 06:38 PM
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That looks quite similar to a system I built not that long ago ... it should be fine. But then again, I know nothing about using add-on ide controllers, so no promises there. It was my first time, also ... but I had it up and running in under 90 minutes while watching tv and screwing around on the side.

If you have a little extra $$, i'd put down another $10 for a Pioneer DVD-Rom and $65 for a Soundblaster Audigy OEM. The DVD is just a preference, but the audigy will make a world of difference. Even mp3s that i've been listening to with a awe32/live for years were given a new breath of life when i played them on the audigy with the same speakers.

Also, make sure you understand how to work around the nforce memory bug or you'll be running with a limp.
Old 12-28-01, 06:42 PM
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Yeah, I just picked the liteon dvd because it was cheaper.

As far as the sound, I was planning on using the built in sound on the nforce. I will be running it to a DD receiver. If I did decide to get an audigy, I would probably get the Soyo Dragon+ instead of the nforce.
Old 12-28-01, 11:27 PM
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The only thing I wonder is why spend the extra dough on an nForce board if you're not going to use the onboard video? Does dual channel memory really bump performance that much?
Old 12-28-01, 11:38 PM
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I've read varying opinions regarding the VIA and it's stability. To my knowledge, the nforce is pretty stable.

There are tons of opinions out there, and I've finally just decided on this one. I know both boards are really good, but alas. The money really isn't that big of a deal though.

Another question:

I know the Maxtors can run ATA133, but I don't think the mobo has controllers that fast. If I use a Promise 133 controller, will it benefit?
Old 12-29-01, 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by Xanager
I know the Maxtors can run ATA133, but I don't think the mobo has controllers that fast. If I use a Promise 133 controller, will it benefit?
You likely wouldn't notice a difference between ATA100 and 133, so I would save the money on the controller card since the mobo supports ATA 100. You may also want to consider getting two larger hard drives and going with the MSI K7T266 PRO2-RU with onboard raid, set up a mirror set with the two hard drives, and you always have an up-to-date backup (but with half the space).
Old 12-29-01, 11:09 AM
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I thought about doing RAID, but I just can't justify the risks. I don't really understand the mirror set thing. I might reconsider if I just have to have three drives. That would save me the hassles of having to get a controller. Other than the hard drive things, does the rest of the system look alright?
Old 12-29-01, 11:41 AM
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new idea:

would it be better to drop the nforce, and get the soyo dragon+ w/ an audigy gamer? it would only be about $20 more.
Old 12-29-01, 03:44 PM
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raid can be set up 2 ways. first way is having 2 hard drives on the same controller. which most people do and have your dvd/cdrw or cd/cdrw or whatever combo on the second drive. so it depends on how you really wanna do it, and what you use the most. if you plan to add an ide controller card into the system for the 3rd hdd like you said, then if you plan to run a RAID setup you would wanna mirror the image to the 3rd hdd on the 2nd controller. whatever is on the add in card will be the slowest thing on the system as it has to use a pci slot which isnt as fast as being directly on the board itself.

for raid, you either mirror your hdd onto a 2nd hdd which is on the same controller. downfall is if the controller itself fails, you lose it all. 2nd option is to mirror your hdd onto a 2nd hdd which is on a different controller than hdd #1, so if the controller fails you still have all the info. this is the best option.

like i said, choose wisely on where you want your stuff to be placed.

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