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Last post Author Topic: Please help me build my new computer, DC!  (Read 105795 times)

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #100 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...
screenshot_20081219133956.png
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

Lashiec

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #101 on: December 19, 2008, 05:26:11 PM »
The Cosmos is an excellent case, and one of my personal favourites. But I think you can get away with a cheaper case that is still silent, like the Sonata cranioscopical and mouser mentioned, which is built to achieve that. The Antec Solo also has sound dampening material IIRC. In any case, the choice of the cooling components also helps here.

One plus of the Cosmos though, is that is quite roomy, and is built to keep components as cool as possible, as the result of its enthusiast-oriented nature. I don't think you'll have much problems with temps, not getting a fancy GPU, but perhaps you will appreciate the space if you plan to have many drives and swap them often.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 08:09:21 PM by Lashiec »

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #102 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]

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #103 on: December 19, 2008, 06:04:19 PM »
AnandTech just posted their Holiday 2008 Display Guide.
http://www.anandtech.../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?

f0dder

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #104 on: December 19, 2008, 06:09:26 PM »
superboyac: in my opinion you only need one raptor drive (unless you're going to set up a RAID MIRROR for data safety (and remember that mirror is a supplement to, not a substitute for, backups)). If you go for a 150gb velociraptor, you have more than enough space for OS + programs + documents, and you can use whatever other drive for bulk data storage. Other drives are plenty fast as well these days, and some of the larger drives beat the original raptors in term of sustained data transfer rate (although not seek time).

With a decent case that reduces vibrations, the 10k rpm of the raptors is not a problem at all. The only time they make some noise is when the read/write heads move a lot, which should only happen on badly fragmented partitions, or when you do multiple I/O streams on a single drive. And even then, it's a relatively pleasant click/clack noise that, although slightly loud, isn't annoying like the high-pitched rotation whine you can usually hear from drives (but which I, strangely enough, don't hear from the raptors... perhaps the 10k rpm noise is too high-pitched? Or my case dampened enough?).
- carpe noctem

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #105 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]

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #106 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:

steeladept

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #107 on: December 19, 2008, 07:19:51 PM »
Another thing I always get (a quirk of mine) is one of those tabletop surge protectors that have switches for each plug.,,,

Man I love those things!  It is so nice to have the switches at a reasonable reach instead of on each device.  One thing you may wish to look at, though, if you turn them off alot is something like this Smart Strip LCG3 Energy Saving Power Strip with Autoswitching Technology.  It is a great little way to save electricity.  I have thought of making my own switch plate that has one of these leading to a switched receptacle for each receptacle available.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #108 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.cablesunl...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.pcpartsco...om/pocewifasupr.html

This one's not bad either:
http://www.cables4co...nter_with_Modem.html
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 07:34:02 PM by superboyac »

cranioscopical

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #109 on: December 19, 2008, 07:43:05 PM »
cranioscopical link=topic=16186.msg143009#msg143009 date=1229718764]
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?

The front fans are optional, and I think you'd want those for the increased airflow over your HDDs.
With those and the main case fan I think you'd be fine.
Depends a bit on your CPU and graphics card(s).
I deliberately chose a cool-running video card for my box and the cpu also runs a lot cooler than previous ones.

Others have talked about hanging back from the bleeding edge.
Mine is the first machine I've ever had that's not on the bleeding edge.
It was an excellent decision for a few of reasons.
  • Cost: looking back, my previous machine ran me >$7K Canadian and the current one was about half that.
  • Reliability: more importantly, I've had a lot less trouble with this box.
  • Reality: the bleeding edge is the bleeding edge only for a few months

(If costs begin to matter to you, keep in mind that the Antec Sonata 550 case comes with its own perfectly adequate power supply. Perhaps some of the other cases at which you're looking also offer this, I don't know.)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 07:57:14 PM by cranioscopical »

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #110 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.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #111 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.

cranioscopical

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #112 on: December 19, 2008, 07:59:57 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.
Sorry, I was revising my post at the moment when you read it.

Look again, in case I misled you. Puns-'R-Us

steeladept

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #113 on: December 19, 2008, 08:12:06 PM »
That's a cool strip, steeladept, but I really want the switches! 

I know what you mean.  I got one of those for my parents and I really wish I had gotten one too.  But with things like those strips available, it is looking more and more like I will be building my own to have all the features I want in it   :-\

steeladept

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #114 on: December 19, 2008, 08:15:17 PM »
Actually, from what I have read, you may well be fine just using on board video.  If you are trying to save cash, you may at very least want to wait to see if you really need a video card or if the on board video will due.

**EDIT**
Never mind.  Just reread the specs on the Mobo.  It would be fine IF it had on board video  :-[
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 08:17:16 PM by steeladept »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #115 on: December 20, 2008, 04:16:37 AM »
If you aren't gaming why not buy a motherboard with integrated graphics? There are plenty out there with something like dual a head GeForce 7300 built in. I was sceptical about this after the first motherboard I ever had came with integrated Intel graphics and wasn't great but the ASRock board I bought has a Geforce 7050 built in and it is fine (even with a couple of silly games I play).

The advantages are that it doesn't need yet another fan whirring, you can still use DVI and they don't generally waste as much RAM if you are using a 32 bit OS. From what I have seen it runs cooler to and leaves the whole case less cluttered.

What are the advantages of adding and extra graphics card if you aren't going to be pushing it?

40hz

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #116 on: December 20, 2008, 10:42:51 AM »
What are the advantages of adding and extra graphics card if you aren't going to be pushing it?

I can't speak for everybody, but a lot of pro/semi-pro music apps (especially software samplers and resynthesis functions) perform more reliably when they can hog as much of the CPU as possible. Anything you can do to take some of the load off the CPU is a good strategy to follow.

----------------------
If you're looking to save some money, maybe there are components you already have from your last machine that might be pressed into service for your new build? That way you could apportion your money where it is most needed, and mark your recycled components for an upgrade down the road.

Obviously, you'll not want to recycle to the point of where you're adversely affecting performance - but you can always delay getting a new mouse, keyboard, DC/DVD-RW, etc. if you can get by with your current stuff. Put the saved money into a faster chip, more RAM, or a better graphics card.

Extremetech just did an article describing such a Franken-PC:

(BTW: it uses the Gigabyte EP45-UD3P I mentioned in an earlier post! :Thmbsup:)

http://www.extremete...TRSS02129TX1K0000532

Quote
Build a Multimedia PC From Spare Parts
December 18, 2008  -By Joel Durham Jr.

Robin's "new" computer is actually built of old parts and new. Basically, I raided my office, dismantled several testbeds and one production machine, and built up a pretty darn decent computer for my sister—Frankenstein style.

For instance, I pulled her system's CPU out of a testbed and placed it in a little antistatic box about six months ago. I unearthed it while cleaning out my shop a few weeks ago. The case and power supply were inspired by the most recent Bang for the Buck build. The storage peripherals were chillin' on a shelf.

Robin owes me big for basing the computer on the recently reviewed Gigabyte EP45-UD3P (only my second perfect score review since I began working for ExtremeTech).

tomos

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #117 on: December 20, 2008, 01:23:51 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?

The LCD thread - I think the very best "summary" of what's out there monitor-wise  ;)
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
Tom

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #118 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.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #119 on: December 20, 2008, 01:31:32 PM »
The LCD thread - I think the very best "summary" of what's out there monitor-wise  ;)
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.

40hz

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #120 on: December 20, 2008, 01:41:04 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.

Wow! Where where you back when I was building custom workstations and servers? ;D

Quote
Those bang for the buck articles are good, I'm reading them right now...how much do you hate all the multi-page articles? 

I despise them. That's why I always go down to the bottom of the page and hit the little "Print" button to reformat the articles to one page. (Unfortunately, you lose the graphics and photos when you do that so it still sucks. :down:)

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #121 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]
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 02:17:38 PM by superboyac »

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #122 on: December 20, 2008, 02:17:08 PM »
Wow! Where where you back when I was building custom workstations and servers? ;D
I can afford them, but it doesn't mean I'll spend it.  I'm still a cheapskate!

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #123 on: December 22, 2008, 04:24:35 PM »
I've updated for my sound card selection.  This is probably the only uncommon piece of my system.  Since I record music from my piano, I need a special sound card that has certain low-latency abilities, called ASIO.  These are normally only available on pro-level sound cards (although regular cards have the ability nowadays to some degree).  Anyway, since my current sound card is still the current budget model of the M-Audio brand, I'm just going to keep it.  But I'm adding that Mackie Big Knob as my mixer/router.

My normal windows audio will run through the motherboard sound.  If, for some reason, that is inadequate, I'll get an additional board, like a Turtle Beach or something, which is what I have in my current computer (or I'll just transfer that one over).  I'm not going to be using any multiple speaker setup anytime soon (like 7.1 surround), so I don't need anything fancy.  Currently, I use my keyboard amp (Roland) for all audio from my computer, 1 speaker.  I don't need much else for now.  In about 3 years, I'll get a better setup.

[Click here to return to first post and see updated system components & price]

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #124 on: December 22, 2008, 04:26:42 PM »
Now, I need help choosing a graphics card.

I currently have an ATI 9600XT, it's fine.  I'm looking, as usual, for a bang for the buck card here.  I'm not a gamer, but I'd like something decent.  I don't know if I need anything special for supporting two monitors, but if so, please consider that.  I don't know anything about graphics cards.

Also, maybe tv input would be nice, in case I live somewhere with cable in the room.