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Help me put together a new PC

Old 01-04-04, 05:08 PM
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Help me put together a new PC

My desktop machine is about 4 years old, and I'm looking to replace it. Video and photo editing are high on the list of tasks it has to do, though it'll also see a fair bit of Internet/word processing use.

So, this is what I'm looking at (prices from NewEgg):
Abit IS7 mobo ($100)
P4/2.6C ($174)
Kingston 512MB PC3200 RAM x2 ($162)
Hitachi 80GB 7200rpm SATA drive ($80)

I'll be adding a second, larger hard drive later on for data.

Video card is up in the air. A Matrox P650 or P750 would be great for the photo editing, but how is gaming performance? (I play Age of Mythology and similar games.) Maybe a better choice would be a Sapphire/ATI Radeon 9600XT/128MB ($170).

I just got a DVD+/-RW drive that will go in this machine. I don't intend to get a floppy.

Case recommendations? Obviously I don't need anything too big.

Am I missing anything?
Old 01-04-04, 07:45 PM
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http://forums.anandtech.com/


I would post the same thing here.
Old 01-06-04, 07:51 AM
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I have some suggestions. Why get the 865 chipset when the 875 is available? You seem to keep your computers for a while so at least get just below top-of-the-line.

I'd definitely recommend picking up a floppy drive, you need it to install the SATA drivers for that hard drive as well as other drivers.

Also, as for the hard drive, if you are going to be doing video/photo editing, I would recommend a faster hard drive. Such as the WD Raptor (just an example).
Here is a link to the manufacturer's website: http://store.westerndigital.com/product.asp?sku=1496302

I'd get this one and then get a large 7200RPM 8MB drive for storage.

And I'm pretty sure the Matrox would be more than adaquate for Age of Mythology.
Old 01-06-04, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the comments, alex4bball. What's the difference between the 865 and 875? The way I picked the motherboard was with sharkyextreme's buyer guide, then I looked on Abit's site and found the IS7 (same product line, better feature set). The Abit IC7 looks ok, but no LAN and an additional $25 makes me want to know what the difference in the chipset is!

Drivers come on floppy disks still? Well, maybe I'll pick one up then.

For my applications, hard drive speed isn't as important as you might think.
- When Photoshopping, (ideally) everything stays in RAM, which means you don't use the hard disk. 1GB of RAM will easily satisfy any needs the 15MB files from my digicam may create and--in general--I'll be ok with the 100-150MB scanns of slides I work with. (Provided I keep the histories few and layers fewer!) In the end, the hard drive should come into play only when reading or writing the file. A fast(er) drive for the Photoshop swap file always makes sense, but $150 would be better spent on another gig of RAM to further eliminate swapping needs.
- For video editing, keeping a timeline in memory is no big deal--it's only a few kB. A faster hard drive won't speed up video playback or encoding (the CPU is always the bottleneck when encoding), so that also negates the need for something faster.

I though the Matrox card would be good for AOM, but the more I read the more unsure I am. zuffy, where are you? Don't you have one of the Matrox cards I mention?

Where on the east coast are you?
Old 01-06-04, 09:20 AM
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My mistake, the IC7-G (MAX 2) is what I meant to recommend. It comes with Gigabit LAN, I believe.

Yes they still come on floppies, can you believe it? I was originally not going to get a floppy until I realized its still a necessity if building your own machine.

Thanks for that info, I'm glad I didn't get the faster hard drive now. I got a Kingston 1GB kit; DDR400 PC3200 RAM with coolers on them.

If you are unsure about the video card, then I would go with an ATI. I've heard if you can get your hand on a 9500 Pro, that's a great vid card. Check that out!
Old 01-06-04, 10:07 PM
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The IS7 is $100, the IC7-G MAX 2 is $170. Why do I want to spend the extra $70? What does it buy me?
Old 01-06-04, 11:33 PM
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I'd go with the Athlon 64 3000+, but that's just me
Old 01-07-04, 09:59 AM
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I just did a build but I'm a big fan of AMD processors so I used an AMD 2600+ with an Asus A7N8X deluxe mobo and 512 mb Crucial DDR with a WD 120 and older WD 60 gig drives. I also needed to use a floppy drive in the machine, as much as I hated to, in order to use a Promise card and load the drivers.
Old 01-07-04, 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by danw
The IS7 is $100, the IC7-G MAX 2 is $170. Why do I want to spend the extra $70? What does it buy me?
Where are you getting your prices?
Old 01-07-04, 01:17 PM
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The Abit IS7 MB is based on the slightly older 865 chipset, while the IC7 series is based on the newer 875 chipset, and has the newer PAT feature (Performance Acceleration Technology), and the IC7 will handle the newer Prescott Intel chips, while the IS7 will not. A google search will yield differences between the 2 class of motherboard by Abit. Whether those differences are worth the $70 is up to you.
Old 01-07-04, 03:26 PM
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I found the prices at newegg.

I've done some reading on the differences of the two chipsets. What I gather is that the 875 is a little better on paper, but in the real world the performance gains are negligible. The big difference I see is the upgrade option the 875 offers (and 865 does not). I figured I was just missing something as to why I'd want the 875.
Old 01-07-04, 04:55 PM
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Look at the dell small business page. You can get a 400SC server with 2.8G P4 800FSB, 128MB ram (get more), CD-Rom, 40GB 7200rpm hd, floppy, nice case for $378 After $100 rebate.

1- It doesn't come with an OS
2- You need a better video card
3- It has an AGP slot
4- Read the FAQ link for other questions
5- Offer Ends today Jan 7th

400SC FAQs
http://www.aaltonen.us/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8
Old 01-07-04, 09:47 PM
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the 400sc is a very solid machine for the price. i got one myself a while back.
Old 01-27-04, 09:22 AM
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Yesterday the FedEx man dropped off the processor so last night I put my machine together:

- Antec Sonata case
- Abit IS7 mobo with a P4 2.6c
- 1 GB of Corsair ValueSelect RAM
- Visiontek Radeon 9600 XT
- Hitachi 7k250 80 GB SATA hard drive
- Mitsumi 7-in-1/floppy (a very nifty device)

Pulled from the old machine:
- DVD+/-RW
- WD 200 GB SE drive (for data)
- Maxtor 160 GB DiamonMax 9 (I think?) (for backups)

I also decided to get a new keyboard (Microsoft Natural Multimedia) and set of speakers (Creative's L3500).

I got Windows XP Home w/SP1 installed and went to bed. I didn't need the floppy drive to install the SATA drivers. Woo-hoo!
Old 01-27-04, 09:56 AM
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I had to replace my old machine (a P4 1.5Ghz, built almost three years ago!) this weekend as the motherboard died. Some of my components are very similar to yours!

Abit IC7-Max 3 motherboard
P4 3.0Ghz CPU (currently o/c'ing it to 3.2 but I'm going higher!)
1GB Mushkin PC3200 RAM (skimped here - should have got PC3500)
Radeon 9700 Pro video card
2 x SATA Hitachi 80GB drives in RAID0
ATA 120GB Western Digital HD (from the old machine)
NEC-2500A DVD+-R/W drive (from the old machine)
Soundblaster 5.1 Live (from the old machine)
Antec Sonata case (love it!)

My old machine didn't have a floppy the whole time and I never missed it.

The final components (the SATA drives) arrive today. The rest of the machine is up and running now with an old 40GB HD in it; it's even a 5400rpm drive so it looks really sad with the rest of the system so new!

Fun this isn't it I hadn't looked into "modern" PC components for a couple of years so I had a lot of reading to do. Didn't take too long though, there's some great resources out there (Anandtech being my favorite). And Newegg is such an awesome place!
Old 01-27-04, 03:01 PM
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You should check out the Dell outlet deals.
For $460 shipped I picked up:
Dell 4600 2.6GHz HT 800FSB
256MB 400MHz Ram
40GB 7200rpm
16x dvd
15"LCD

Swaping out from my other computer some parts, getting some more memory and I'll have a great machine for a little over $500 with 15" LCD. (Maybe I"ll run dual monitors?)

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