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Looking to build new Intel pc with xmas money.

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Looking to build new Intel pc with xmas money.

Old 12-25-03, 11:27 PM
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Looking to build new Intel pc with xmas money.

For xmas I was given a couple hundred dollars in cash and giftcards to build a new computer. I definitely want to go Intel, but not sure on memory or motherboard. Any suggestions?

Here is what I have already:
Antec 1080AMG w/ 430 true power
ATI Radeon 9800(can still return and exchange)
Maxtor 160gb 7200 rpm w/8mb cache and Ultra ATA133 pci card
Maxtor 80gb 7200rpm
Lite-on 16x DVD
Viewsonic 21 inch P815
Microsoft Keyboard
Microsoft Intellimouse

Looking at:
Audigy 2 zs
Intel P4 2.4c (minimum)
2x512 of pc3500(minimum)
motherboard...need suggestions
will need a burner also.
Old 12-25-03, 11:48 PM
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I went with the Abit IC7-MAX3, but the IC7-G a good bargain if funds are tight. You just miss out on the 4 extra SATA connections, and the neato looking OTES cooling for the power capacitors. For the time being, I'm relying on the soundcard capabilities on the motherboard.

I also picked up a Intel P4 2.6c (800MHz FSB with hyperthreading, and seems to hit 3.3x easily with overclock to 250MHz x 4, normally it's 200MHz x 4).

I took advantage of a deal on Kingston HyperX 512MB(x2 for 1GB total) PC3200 Cas 2 RAM.

Also deals on the Liteon 411S (and lately the 451S) DVD burner drives have hovered around $80-$90 after MIR.
Old 12-27-03, 09:53 PM
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I am in the process of building a new desktop myself. I'm not sure how much you are looking to spend overall but the Abit IC7-MAX3 is a nice mobo but a little bit on the expensive side. I was considering it myself but I decided the IC7-G is just fine (it still includes Serial ATA). But it looks as if you won't be needing it anyhow.

Is there a reason why you have that current hard drive setup (160 and 80gig)?

The rest of the setup looks very nice. Although I'd consider getting the Intel 2.6Ghz with 800Mhz FSB over the 2.4. As for the memory, you won't be able to use the PC3500 in that mobo, only accept DDR400 which is PC3200 RAM.

As for the burner, what are you looking for, CD or DVD capabilities?
Old 12-27-03, 09:54 PM
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Patman: You almost picked the exact same configuration I did. How is everything working out for you? And what are the rest of the components you are using? I'm talking about everything, please include the CPU heatsink/fan, case fans, etc.
Old 12-28-03, 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by alex4bball
I am in the process of building a new desktop myself. I'm not sure how much you are looking to spend overall but the Abit IC7-MAX3 is a nice mobo but a little bit on the expensive side. I was considering it myself but I decided the IC7-G is just fine (it still includes Serial ATA). But it looks as if you won't be needing it anyhow.

Is there a reason why you have that current hard drive setup (160 and 80gig)?

The rest of the setup looks very nice. Although I'd consider getting the Intel 2.6Ghz with 800Mhz FSB over the 2.4. As for the memory, you won't be able to use the PC3500 in that mobo, only accept DDR400 which is PC3200 RAM.

As for the burner, what are you looking for, CD or DVD capabilities?
I only have the harddrive setup because of picking them up from various deals. I still have a 60 and a 40 also sitting in my closet I believe.

Yeah I was probably going to end up going with the 2.6 or 2.8, I just haven't made my mind up. What is the differance between the IC7-G and Max 3?

As far as the burner right now I am looking primarily for CD, no need for DVD just yet.
Old 12-28-03, 06:42 PM
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For the hard drives...you should consider Serial ATA drives.

The main difference between the IC7-G and the Max 3 is the ATX configuration, the Max 3 eliminates the serial and parallel ports in place of a fan. The other difference, is the number of available Serial ATA ports. That's about everything. Below is a link to their website if you want any more details:

http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/comparison.php

As for the CD burner, I would recommend the Lite-On. You can get their 52X speed model for $39.00 shipped from NewEgg.com.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...talog=5&depa=1
Old 12-28-03, 10:20 PM
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Yeah that is the actual burner I am looking at. My biggest decision so far has been trying to narrow down the motherboard.
Old 12-29-03, 07:36 AM
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I know what you mean, it took me a long while to figure out all of the components I wanted. The major brands of mobos I looked at where:

Asus, Giga-byte, Abit, and Soyo

My final decision was the Abit IC7-G. I just liked the configuration of the board, layout, and price. It is mainly personal preference. Although, you must look at what you plan to do, as far as applications, overclocking, etc.
Old 12-29-03, 11:18 AM
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Currently, my new PC has the following:

Case: Aspire Alien case: 6 fans built-in (2 in the front, 2 in the back, 1 on top, 1 on the side), see-through side window, with 5 external 5.25" drive bays and 2 external 3.5" drive bays, and 5 internal 3.5" drive bays (I don't recommend using the round IDE cables for the internal drive bays due to room constraints on the side window panel, and I wound up using the old fashion flat IDE cable to connect IDE HDs for the time being). Comes with 420W power supply. Color - lime green.

MB: Abit IC7-MAX3

CPU: Intel 2.6c (800 FSB, will overclock one of these days...)

Heatsink/Fan: Using stock Intel Retail CPU heatsink/fan.

RAM: Kingston HyperX PC3200 512MB (times 2 for 1GB of RAM running in dual channel configuration)

Video Card: ATI Radeon 9600 128MB

DVD-ROM drive: cheap Mad Dog 16X DVD drive (mainly for offloading any non-burning DVD workload from the burner drive)

DVD Burner drive: Liteon 451S

Floppy drive: old Teac 3.5" floppy drive

NIC: using onboard GB LAN NIC

Audio: using onboard audio

Modem: Cheapo Best Data V.92 56K modem (strictly for backup online access if/when cable modem goes down)

Hard drives:

Maxtor 120GB 8MB cache 7200RPM SATA hard drive (will get another for backup purposes)

Maxtor 160GB 8MB cache 7200RPM ATA100 (times 2 running in RAID 0 XP dynamic mode for the time being)

Will buy:

Highpoint RAID100 card for hardware RAID 0/1 to run the two 160GB IDE hard drives (why not SATA HD in the first place? Mainly due to cost of SATA hard drives vs. IDE hard drives at the current time)

And some TV tuner card eventually.
Old 12-29-03, 02:00 PM
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Sounds like one helluva machine. Take some pictures of it! I'd like to see this lime green machine. I placed an order for a Maxtor 120GB 8MB cache 7200RPM SATA hard drive. How are they? As far as speed and noise is concerned.
Old 12-29-03, 08:33 PM
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I don't find the SATA HD to be any more or less noisy than the IDE ATA version.

Today, as a test, I ghosted my Maxtor 120GB SATA HD with a Maxtor 120GB ATA133 HD (using a Highpoint Rockethead100 to convert it to use SATA), and I didn't find any speed differences between the 2 HDs when I booted either one of them up (of course, I didn't run any hard drive disk speed tests on either, just normal operating mode, which is the more important test for me).

Now my quandary is this:

Do I back up my main SATA boot drive with a cheaper (P)ATA HD and using the SATA converter? Or do I just suck it up and buy an identical SATA HD and be done with it (which would mean paying a little more up front, around $30-$50 more) because the deals can be had on the (P)ATA HD each week.

The other thing that I wish I knew was whether or not Maxtor or Western Digital 120GB had the same amount of sectors on them or if the WD had more sectors (which would allow me to ghost the Maxtor onto it without any problems, otherwise, if the WD had less sectors, I couldn't ghost the entire HD from the original Maxtor to the WD backup HD).

I have a WD 120GB still sealed in the box ($60 after rebates), but I don't want to install it and find out the sector count is less than a Maxtor HD. The Maxtor sector count was the same for either the SATA version or the (P)ATA version.
Old 12-29-03, 09:37 PM
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To be safe I would return it and just get the identical drive and be done with it. I've also read reviews and it looks like the Maxtor is now taking the lead.

As for the noise, is it just regular or can it be too much and grind away? I'm hoping it's relatively mute.
Old 12-29-03, 10:20 PM
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The fan noise of the case pretty much drowns out the noise from the hard drive.
Old 12-30-03, 06:34 AM
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How loud is your case fan? You obviously can't have a completely silent machine but I was just hoping for something relatively quiet. The fans I purchased rate at 21dBA which is very close to a silent whisper. Will I be okay? (This is the first time I'm building a machine completely from scratch.)
Old 12-30-03, 09:45 AM
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Please remember that this is just coming from a guy who isn't all that concerned about fan noise, so I'm sort of used to it (6 fans and power supply fan), thus I'm not the right guy to ask about hard drive noise or fan noise. Perhaps I'll upgrade the fans as the year rolls on, but currently, the money for the PC parts is going to be spent elsewhere.

But, if the fans are quiet, then that's a good step in keeping the ambient noise level low, and I doubt if the hard drive noises will be all that bothersome.
Old 12-30-03, 10:02 AM
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Sounds good. My case is made out of Steel, I'm hoping that will help contain some of the noise. I figured I would be better off with Steel rather than Aluminum. Do you know anything about case materials?
Old 12-30-03, 11:00 AM
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Nah, one's heavier than the other.

I was shocked at how light my new aluminum PC case was, vs. my old steel server PC case from a couple of years ago.
Old 12-30-03, 12:34 PM
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Oh, great! I'm sitting here anxiously waiting for the case to come only to find out its going to be heavy. So you are telling me nothing is different between the two, just the weights? I'm sure Steel helps eliminate some rattle when compared to aluminum. I hope its not going to be too heavy when everything is said and done (all components inside).
Old 12-30-03, 01:54 PM
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The hard drives will help in weighting down the case. I haven't noticed any rattling from the new aluminum case so far.
Old 12-31-03, 06:59 AM
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Well my friend has an aluminum case and it seems to be pretty loud. He's running an AMD though. I'm not sure if that's what makes the difference or not.
Old 12-31-03, 08:21 AM
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I doubt the CPU is making it loud, but if he's got a lot of fans installed and running, well, there you go.
Old 12-31-03, 12:03 PM
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I think the major contender here is the PCI exhaust fan he has installed in his machine. The other case fans run at 21dBA and the heatsink/fan runs around 28dBA. I can't wait to build my machine, just hoping all the parts come in timely and aren't defective.
Old 01-02-04, 07:10 AM
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The parts of my computer are starting to come in. Just wondering, how long did it take you to build your computer from the case to putting in the final screw?

Is there any special way of installing the OS on an OEM hard drive [essentially blank] (will be using Windows XP Pro)?

Also, do you know of any apps that will test all the components of the computer to make sure all of the parts are working properly?
Old 01-02-04, 10:01 AM
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I think it took me around 2-3 hours to put it all together, but I've done so in the past, so, while I work slow, it's methodical, and nothing bit me in the butt after I hit the power on button.

You'll need to make sure the BIOS's boot order will boot first from the CD/DVD drive, and place the XP CD in the CD/DVD drive if you want to install XP from the CD. If you have any special (IDE/RAID/SCSI/etc) Controllers, be sure to hit "F6" at the start of the XP install phase (DOS-like blue screens will appear as the XP CD boots up) so that XP will ask you to load (via floppy disk) the drivers during the installation.

You might want to download "Sandra" (google it), and run some benchmarks on your system.
Old 01-02-04, 12:21 PM
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Nothing wrong with being thorough, especially with a process such as building a computer from the ground up. I plan on doing the same (taking 3+ hours).

I don't think I have any special controllers, I'm just using what's off the mobo (IDE for drives, SATA for HDD, etc).

So, just make sure the CD drive is the first in the boot list and install from there?

I'll have to check out "Sandra" (no pun intended, hehe). Know of any other system tests I can run. I want to get other results so I can compare.

Thanks for your help!

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