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4451  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 20, 2008, 02:10:45 PM
Well, after reading that LCD thread, I think it's clear to me that the BenQ G2400WD is the monitor to get.  It's around $300, which is almost half the cost of the "next level"monitors in that category.  It's ranked higher than my Dell 2408 and still $200 cheaper.  I could even get two of them.  Or one BenQ and another Dell, I don't know.  Nice one Carol...you recommended the BenQ earlier!

I've updated my list to two BenQ's:
[Click here to return to first post and see updated system components & price]
4452  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 20, 2008, 01:31:32 PM
The LCD thread - I think the very best "summary" of what's out there monitor-wise  Wink
scroll down to the second post (he says it's in the process of being updated but it's always being updated - if you unsure/want help, register & make a post there - they very helpful
Wow, tomos, thanks.  That is one seriously nice thread.
4453  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 20, 2008, 01:28:26 PM
Let's not focus on cutting costs quite yet.  The truth is, I can afford it no matter what.  So let's get all nice, premium parts for now, and if I feel uncomfortable with it at the end, we'll discuss cutting costs.

For now, I don't plan on cutting anything.  I still want a decent graphics card and all that.

Those bang for the buck articles are good, I'm reading them right now...how much do you hate all the multi-page articles?  So annoying.
4454  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 07:54:46 PM
Going back to the Granite Digital hard drive enclosures:

Instead of two external enclosures, I'm going to get one internal and one external.  I keep two drives of backup material.  One is stored in my computer (at home) and the other is stored elsewhere (parents' house, whatever).  So I only need one external drive.  So it will be cleaner and reduce clutter if I have the other one inside the case.
4455  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 07:52:21 PM
Thanks cranio.  I don't overclock and I don't know what graphics card I'm getting.  But if I don't need  extra fans, I won't get them.
4456  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 07:27:22 PM
That's a cool strip, steeladept, but I really want the switches!  I found this one:
http://www.cablesunlimite...ual3.aspx?groupcode=I0902
But it's kind of expensive.  I have a feeling if I go to Fry's tomorrow, they may have some cheap ones in the corner somewhere.

Ah!  This is the one I'm looking for.  It's sold out, but there has to be a store that has these somwehere:
http://www.pcpartscollection.com/pocewifasupr.html

This one's not bad either:
http://www.cables4compute...er_Center_with_Modem.html
4457  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 06:45:54 PM
Another thing I always get (a quirk of mine) is one of those tabletop surge protectors that have switches for each plug.  Usually there are 5 switches and one master switch.  It's not the surge protection I care about so much as the switches.  I use it to turn off my monitor and speakers primarily.  Everything is kept on for the most part.  Does anyone still make these?  My last ones were called Memorex Power Center, and Kensington MasterPiece Plus.  I'm trying to find a good picture, but I can't.  Kind of like this:
4458  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 06:29:12 PM
I agree fodder, just a few minutes ago I was calculating my os+programs size and what I think will be a good safety factor and I don't get close to 150gb.  Right now, it's <40 gb and I don't think I'll be able to add much more.  My documents and data are all on other drives.  So, great!  That's one cost reduction!

[Click here to return to first post and see updated system components & price]
4459  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 06:04:19 PM
AnandTech just posted their Holiday 2008 Display Guide.
http://www.anandtech.com/...uides/showdoc.aspx?i=3480
I've found this website's reviews to be reliable.
Thanks, 40hz, I spent over an hour today reading anandtech's monitor guides and suggestions.  It seems like the 24" Dell 2408 is a very good choice.  Fortunately, that's the same one I use at work so I'm quite familiar with it!  Now, it's pretty expensive at darn near $700, so what do I do?  I definitely will not pay for two of them at $1400, but do I go with one 24", or two 21" like mouser suggested?  I must admit, the 24" is nice at work, but practically speaking, the only time I actually feel like I need it is when I'm using Autocad (which I won't use at home) or when I'm watching HD videos (again, I don't plan on spending a lot of time watching movies and shows in front of my computer).  If anything, if I'm going to watch something for a long time, it's going to be on my coach in front of the tv.  So, two 21" may very well be the right choice for me.

Does that make sense?  Mouser?
4460  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 05:55:49 PM
Thanks Lashiec, I will consider all you said.  In the end, I will look at the price and if it really turns out to be too much, I'll start cutting things off that I truly don't need.  In this case, it's a matter of $60 between the Cosmos and the Antec, so we'll see.  For now, I'm going to put the Cosmos in my list.

[Click here to return to first post and see updated system components & price]
4461  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder on: December 19, 2008, 05:52:10 PM
I like it.  I'm going to change to this for my new computer.  You're right, it's not worth the hassle to do what I am doing.  And I'm much busier now, I need to consider which anal tendencies are worth indulging in and which are not.  Productivity is key, but good organization is very important also.  You have a good system.  If I commit to it, I will feature it on my website.
4462  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder on: December 19, 2008, 03:59:20 PM
  • C:\Program Files <--- here is the folder used by all normal installer programs
  • C:\ProgramFiles <--- i created this for any programs that DONT have installers, which i create manually; this helps me easily identify programs which i manually "installed" and keep them distinct from programs with their own installers, and has been a great help
  • C:\Programs <--- some old programs have installers and dont like long paths with spaces, i created this directory for those.
mouser, I have a question.  In the PorgramFiles directory, do you only put programs there that do not come with an installer?  Like, you just drop the files there?  Then, anything with an exe installer goes to the default "Program Files" directory?


That's interesting.  It's almost what I do.  The difference is that anything I install, whether it has an installer or not, goes into a directory called "PROGRAMS".  Now, anything that needs to get installed automatically without my knowledge or control, goes into the default directory.  Stuff like Flash plugins that never ask you where you want to put it.  But I also let MS Office go there also.  Now, I'm realizing this method of mine is not very consistent or systematic, so I may change to yours.  I just wanted to clarify first, however.

Also, do you adjust the subdirectory that programs go into?  I'm talking about when programs have a structure like:
"company/suite/program/version"
That normally bugs the hell out of me, so I'll rename it to one directory.  but it's hard do sometimes with companies like Adobe who have very weird directory setups.  I prefer having "C:/program files/program" and that's it.  A company like ACDSEE has this:
Program Files\ACD Systems\ACDSee Pro\2.5

So do you leave all that alone, or do you adjust it?
4463  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 03:45:23 PM
Check out this case, it's probably overkill for me, but still.  I love the emphasis on silence, but I also like the screwless design.  $190?  Hmmm, might be too much for my needs...
[attachimg=1]
Quote
Superior Silent Environment:
> Soundproof materials applied to build a quiet environment
> Sound barrier design reduces vibration for silent operation

Thermal Solution:
> Dual bottom air intakes to enhance airflow and reduce system noise
> Six aluminum detachable HDD modules with ventilation holes for optimized cooling performance
> Side removable VGA cooling tunnel to advance thermal airflow

Tool-free User-friendliness:
> Patented finger pressing buttons for quickly maintaining or upgrading 5.25” drive devices
> Tool-free design for opening side panel conveniently

Cable Management
> Separate HDD modules make it easy to organize cable direction
> Cable management system for better cable routing and neatness
4464  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 03:25:29 PM
Typically, a case of mine will be VERY dusty after 6 months in service.
This one looked virtually as clean as the day it went into service.
I was amazed.
Most air enters through a front-panel side grid, passes through a filter, through 2 front fans, across the HDDs and on into the case.
The front-panel filters sure needed cleaning, but they've been doing a great job of filtering, and the mobo and chip temperatures stay nice and low.
cranio, given the hardware I'm getting (in the first post of this thread), do you think I will need additional fans?  Or will the fans in the Antec case be enough?
4465  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 03:22:18 PM
mouser, quick hard drive question.  Since you recommended the WD Raptors, what is your opinion on their noise level.  Also, you said get two of them.  Is that to double my storage space?  Or do you RAID them somehow?
4466  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 03:21:12 PM
mouser, cranio,
THe ANtec sounds real good also.  Maybe I will get that!
4467  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 03:20:21 PM
Interesting, over the last two years or so I've found the exact opposite: Seagate are loud, suck power and run hot; Western Digital are quiet, use less power and run cooler.
...
OK, for me, I think the choice is going to come down to WD or Seagate.  Last night, I read for quite a while all I could about these two drives and I am now even more confused then ever.  For both companies, there are a lot of people saying the exact opposite things.  There's no trend in opinion, seriously!!  I'm reading mostly about the current 1 TB offerings by both companies, the WD Caviar Black 1 TB, and the Seagate 7200.11 1 TB.

Some WD owners say the drives are loud.  Some say they are quiet.  Same for Seagate.  One thing for sure seems to be that the 1.5 TB Seagate's are breaking down a lot.  So I will avoid those.

Another thing I care about is warranty.  Well, Seagate will be moving to 3-year warranty in a couple of weeks, so that 5-year is gone.  That used to be the decision-maker for me, that's usually my most important factor.  So, that leaves WD drives and their 5-year warranty.  But there's a weird thing with WD:  apparently the retail box you buy says 3-year warranty, but the website says 5.  It seems like some people have inquired about this and WD responded by saying 5-year is the correct warranty.  But there's something weird going on there.  Still, if WD is the only one with 5-year warranty, I'll get that regardless of noise.

Now, if it turns out that everyone has 3-year warranties, then I'm going to go with the quietest one that doesn't have a valid trend of breaking down (like the 1.5 TB Seagates).  I don't know which one.
4468  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 19, 2008, 03:09:04 PM
Maybe you can tell us more about how you use your pc, what kind of programs you run, gaming or not, and what you really care...etc, so I can give you a suggestion depending on your needs.
It looks like you care about your data and harddrives, doesn't it?
Good point.  Here's a list:

--I don't play any games.  Last 3-4 years, I have not played a single real game on my computer (besides minesweeper for a few minutes or something).  In the following 3-4 years, I see myself playing even less.

--The bulk of my work involves normal things like internet browsing, email, file management, MS Office stuff, listening to music, website management.  So mostly business-related work 80% of the time.

--Very seldom, I may use Autocad on my home computer.  But Autocad doesn't need any special hardware requirements, at least not the way I use it.

--I do a lot of audio work.  I record my music, I listen to music, I have loads of music files.  THe most intense application here is probably my music recording software.  THe key components for this are a pro-level sound card, a fast hard drive, lots of RAM, etc.  That being said, I am able to do everything I want with my current computer which is 7-years old.  So any hardware I get now will probably be more than enough.

--I don't do much with video or image editing.  I photoshop something occasionally.  I'll split or join videos less occasionally.  That's about it.

--I'll often watch a movie or tv show on my computer.  But again, I don't think that's anything that requires hardware out of the norm.

--Finally, yes, data backup is crucial for me.  I care about it more than anything.  I have LOTS of files and I never ever want to lose them.  That is why the hard drives are so many.

So, I use my computer quite heavily and extensively, but I'm not a gamer and I don't do heavy graphics or video editing.  So I don't think I need very special hardware.  I just want great quality, affordable hardware.  I don't mean a $500 system affordable, but more like $2000 system affordable.
4469  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 18, 2008, 07:05:32 PM
i have 4 21" samsung lcd monitors (204b) and have recommended them for a couple of years.  Very affordable and attractive. 

However recently two of the four have developed problems both with stuck pixels and with very long warmup issues has stopped me from doing so.   so right now i would not recommend samsung lcds.
Is there a website somewhere that does reliable reviews of monitors?
4470  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 18, 2008, 06:15:28 PM
steeladept, thank you so much!  I really appreciate the comments above and will carefully consider them.
4471  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 18, 2008, 04:02:12 PM
Actually, I need to get a somewhat "pro" level audio card anyway for my piano.  There's a key feature called ASIO that I need.  I currently use a M-Audio 2496 card.  I'm thinking I should move that card into the new computer, it's still the current model and I don't need anything else.  And I don't think I'll need it on the old computer.  That will save me a little money.
4472  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 18, 2008, 03:36:24 PM
I need help choosing monitors.  I think two 24" is too much, but I'm not sure.  I don't know what brand is good.  I also don't know how much to expect to pay.  By the way, this system is turning out to be REALLY expensive.
4473  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 18, 2008, 03:16:43 PM
mouser: if you get an over-dimensioned PSU, it's not going to run at very high efficiency, and will thus waste power. It's better to get a PSU that's "a bit beyond" what you need (so you run at something like 80% capacity when under full load), and of course go for a PSU that can deliver stable voltages at that watt consumption.

I went for a 750W PSU for my system, which I kinda regret - it's way overkill.
Well, my first PSU on my current computer simultaneously ruined my graphics card and monitor because it was undersized.  So I got one that is probably way overkill.  I have a lot of things connected to my computer.  5 hard drives, 8 usb slots at least, the regular motherboard/chip/ram etc, midi, 2 monitors.  I know when I used the calculator above, I totally overestimated everything.  So I don't know.  Maybe I'll go lower than 750W, but I'd want to be on the safe side (like mouser said).  I'll do the calc again when I've picked all my parts.
4474  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 18, 2008, 12:02:51 PM
I have found this PSU calculator to be very handy for that. Make sure you check it out, especially with the amount of different components you're already considering.
Thanks!  I did a quick calc, not knowing what all the items were.  I came up with 703 W.
4475  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC! on: December 18, 2008, 11:57:35 AM
Dude, you are pretty talented.  When I'm done building my pc, I'm going to write an article for it on my website, and I'm using that picture.  Thanks!
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