Thanks for all your very helpful replies.
First a clarification - I was not looking to buy unbranded/ bargain-basement RAM, I generally end up with one of the usual suspects - Corsair, Kingston, Transcend... not exactly premium brands but hopefully not the bottom of the barrel either, all of them have a mention in the pdf 4wd linked to. And I try to go for extended warranties for RAM whenever possible, coz it not something that can be 'fixed'.
I'm running my current P4 box with 2GB (mostly wasted) but I wouldn't dream of going for anything below for a newer machine. My hardware knowledge is very basic (if that) and I'm too chicken to overclock anything which is why I'm looking for something that's running faster than average out of the box. Lashiec, wouldn't it make sense to try and go for a stick running faster than 800 MHz, guess what I'm asking is, what's the usual bottleneck on most newer systems
. I know that's too loose a question but since most of you are running multi-core systems, where would you say your system bottlenecks, if that's a word.
No PC speakers here, the sound is hooked into a Sony component system (stereo). I may be going in for a home theatre next year so I guess I'll postpone the sound card decision till then. My onboard sound is really clear even with the current box so I guess it makes sense to focus on the system performance rather than accessories right now.
The Velociraptor is looking really good and I think I'll spring for one. But that brings up a question - on my current setup I have the system and program files on separate (physical) 7200 RPM disks.
How do I set up the drives on the new box? Assuming D: = Program files
1. Two separate Velociraptors for C: and D: - ideal, but would put a big dent in my budget.
2. Run both C: and D: off the Velociraptor
3. C: Velociraptor + something running at 10000 RPM, a regular Raptor or one of Lashiec's recommendations [Samsung Spinpoint F1 or the Western Digital Caviar SE16] for D:
4. Run D: off a 1TB @ 7200RPM - give cost+space preference over performance coz the performance hit is going to be minimal (?).
Left to my own devices (that's a terrible pun!
) I'd probably go for #3 - regular 10000 RPM for the program files. I have an idea of the Velociraptor prices but if there's a more than superficial drop, I'm really tempted to go with #1. Dang, even #4 sounds good considering I can always go for an SSD down the line and use that as primary and shift the Veloci to D:
Assuming a limited budget, which scenario would you go for?
I'm not much of a gamer and since I got the PSP I just find it so much more convenient than PC gaming with all its associated headaches. Still, I wouldn't want to miss out on the newer stuff - so the GPU will be the last choice made, shaped mainly by what's left of the budget.
cranioscopical, Asus is obviously a front-runner but I've had a really bad experience with my current Asus mobo (shorted cable modem + Bluetooth dongle, thanks to a screwed up USB port - both devices very new and both (thankfully) covered by warranties. Also their service was really slow - took me two weeks to get my mobo back coz they had to courier it to another city. It's reported to be bad even at present so I'm trying to steer clear of Asus. BTW, I replaced my mother's slightly older mobo with a second-hand Intel some time back and was seriously impressed with it - everything from the BIOS features (considering it's a dated board) to the thorough online help system (complete specs, diagrams) was simply brilliant.