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Last post Author Topic: Please help me build my new computer, DC!  (Read 105784 times)

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2008, 01:26:36 PM »
OK, so I'll get Corsair RAM.  I don't know which CPU I'm getting yet, so I don't know if I want 3x2GB RAM, or just one 4GB RAM.  Mayb I'll get the Intel COre Quad.  I have to check out the prices.

It would be helpful if you also tell us what you will use the computer for, whether it would be just surfing the Internet and working with it, or if you're also going to game with it, or do some other more exotic things, like graphics or video editing.
I use my computer mainly for office related work (email, calendars, documents, internet).  The most intensive thing I do with it is probably my music, which is why I'm getting a pro sound card.  Some of my music software requires a lot of RAM, and some require decent hard drives for large samples.  But if my current computer can handle it, I'm sure anything now will be more than enough.  I also do very minor photo and video editing occasionally.  Nothing crazy.  Clipping, cropping, splitting/joining videos, that's about it.  I don't play any games, so video card is not a huge issue for me.  I do watch videos and would like HD compatibility.  But one extreme thing I do is install A LOT of software.  Lots of little tools (like over 100) such as FARR and stuff.  They're small but they add up.  I also listen to music constantly on my computer and that seems to use a lot of processing power.  I do a lot of audio editing.
Also, have in mind that Seagate will no longer offer a 5-year warranty in HDDs starting January 2009, so buy fast!
That sucks!!  I loved that 5-year warranty.  OK, then I guess WD is the drive to get.  Lashiec recommends WD, I also have had no problems in the past with them.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2008, 01:28:29 PM »
EXTERNAL ENCLOSURE - IMHO the absolute best are made by Granite Digital. Moderately pricey, but very well made. http://www.granitedigital.com/
I like those Granite Digital enclosures, very nice.  One question, those removable trays:  do you have to screw the hard drives in the tray, or do you just simply place it in?

40hz

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2008, 02:12:34 PM »
I like those Granite Digital enclosures, very nice.  One question, those removable trays:  do you have to screw the hard drives in the tray, or do you just simply place it in?

The ones I have use 4 screws to mount the drives to the trays.

BTW: You can download full user manuals for many of their products.

http://www.granitedi...nloadliterature.aspx

cranioscopical

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2008, 02:31:26 PM »
OK, then I guess WD is the drive to get.  Lashiec recommends WD, I also have had no problems in the past with them.
FWIW, I've had a  total of 3WD SATAs fail in two machines in the past year.
None was more than a year old. Two came from the same batch (can tell by serial #s).
In the year prior to that I had one fail within a week of installation.

This may never be your problem, and plenty of others like WDs (as did I up until recently).
Speaking for myself, I can't see buying another for a good long time.

None of these drives went into machines that had anything other than quality components.
The machines were built by different people.

Just in case you're thinking (as I well might reading the above) that I'm doing something stupid that trashes HDs, I'd  never had an HD failure since HDs first became available to individual consumers, apart from one dodgy IBM SCSI drive during the time when IBM was having some real trouble getting decent drives out of the door.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, just passing on one person's experience. I'm sure there are plenty of issues about any and every drive on the market if you dig around.  If you do choose WDs, I hope that you find yours to be trouble-free hardware.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2008, 03:40:19 PM »
Arrgh, cranio!  What are you doing to me?!

OK, my top, top priority for hard drives is warranty years.  I will get whichever has a longer warranty, 5 years preferably.  If they are the same, then I'll consider other factors.  So, right now, I know some enterprise Seagates and WD drives have 5 year warranties so I'll choose among those.

Cloq

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2008, 06:01:56 PM »
I just bought this case from Newegg.

CoolerMaster CM 690

mouser

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2008, 06:03:49 PM »
nice looking case cloq, and nice to see that it's not super insanely expensive the way cases seem to be these days.

f0dder

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2008, 06:10:31 PM »
Every harddisk producer has had some bad batches - some have had more than others, though (IBM DeathStar series, a lot of maxtors that overheated, ...). The brand I've personally had the least problems with is WD. I've only had single of them fail on me, and that was in a cramped case that had an ambient temperature of 50+ Celsius :). Oh, and their raptor drives supposedly have pretty low defect rate.

As for CPU, it sounds like just about anything on the market right now will fit your needs, so there's not much use in waiting for the i7 to go down in price. On the other hand, there's not that big a price difference between a 2.66GHz core2quad and a 2.66GHz i7 (which is also quad... but has HyperThreading, 8meg cache instead of 6meg, and integrated memory controller. Hmm.)

EDIT: forgot to say, I've learned that you should always have an intake fan (80mm or 120mm) directly in front of your harddrives. Keeps them colder (dropped a maxtor drive by ~20 Celsius), and I'm pretty certain that keeps them alive longer. At least I haven't had a drive crash since I started cooling them down.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 06:18:05 PM by f0dder »

Cloq

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2008, 06:10:54 PM »
Thanks!

Did you notice.. no screws needed for cards or drives!!  :-*

Actually ordered it a couple days ago.. and UPS is here delivering it!

Cloq

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2008, 06:14:30 PM »
Ah.. easy cleaning case fans 120mm. The blade unit pops out for easy cleaning.

magnetic-barometric 120mm case fans

mouser

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2008, 06:15:54 PM »
some meta advice:

don't buy a single piece of hardware without looking on newegg for its rating by other reviewers and reading some of their comments.
in particular, look for comments about noise.

app103

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2008, 06:22:19 PM »
some meta advice:

don't buy a single piece of hardware without looking on newegg for its rating by other reviewers and reading some of their comments.
in particular, look for comments about noise.

I agree with mouser 100%. Even if you are not going to purchase it from Newegg, the site should be one of your first/last stops during the research phase.

Cloq

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2008, 06:23:06 PM »
Memory: Corsair isn't the cheapest but is good and comes with a lifetime no quibble warranty.

YIKES!~

I had the exact opposite experience with their warranty department. In March I had purchased 4 GB DDR2 Dominator line RAM and both sticks went bad on me.

Bleeping Tech refused to create an RMA till I tried every timing under the sun in my BIOS advanced memory settings. Long story short, I ended up telling them that they had lost a good customer with their horrible support.

I went back to Crucial memory.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2008, 06:35:56 PM »
some meta advice:

don't buy a single piece of hardware without looking on newegg for its rating by other reviewers and reading some of their comments.
in particular, look for comments about noise.
Yes, in the past, I have always read newegg reviews for my hard drives.  But I will do it for the other items as well.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2008, 06:37:57 PM »
Hmm...Corsair or not?!  I think for now I'll get Corsair.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2008, 06:40:54 PM »
That is rather a sad experience. I had a bad stick once and they exchanged it within 3 days with no questions asked. I just told them I set the system to default (conservative) settings and ran MEMTEST+ and it came up a nuumber of errors. They said sorry and replaced it instantly.

I have to say I like Crucial memory too and their lifetime return policy is also excellent (and easy to use). The only reason I suggest Corsair is that Crucial's memory is never able to be pushed as hard as Corsair's. Plus the Corsair sticks had nice cooling built in whereas most Crucial stuff is just bare chips (unless you pay megabucks).

mouser

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2008, 06:46:31 PM »
wouldn't it be useful if a group of 3-5 people built machines at same time with same parts?  ie get together in groups of 3-5 and come up with the components together and all buy at same time.. then at least you could share experiences, settings, troubleshooting, etc.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2008, 06:50:35 PM »
wouldn't it be useful if a group of 3-5 people built machines at same time with same parts?  ie get together in groups of 3-5 and come up with the components together and all buy at same time.. then at least you could share experiences, settings, troubleshooting, etc.
That would be fun!  Who else needs a new machine?  This looks like it's going to be my most expensive machine I've bought yet.  But I'm also making more money than before.  Also, I'm really getting top-notch products from the beginning with good research (you guys!).

PS I've updated the first post, and I've added a running total price at the bottom.

Shades

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2008, 07:02:54 PM »
@ f0dder:
Every drive here is placed just after one 120mm or two 80 mm intake fans and have their own harddisk cooler screwed onto the bottom.

A silent PC is not workable here. It is either turned off or literally burned up.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2008, 07:06:23 PM »
Power Supply question:
How much watts do I need?  I know I'm an electrical engineer, but I have no idea how much I need.  I currently have a PSU from PC Power & Supply, who make elite-quality units.  I want to get another one from them.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2008, 07:09:07 PM »
I just bought this case from Newegg.

CoolerMaster CM 690
That looks like an awesome case.  I'm going to go with it unless I come across something better.  Thanks!

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #46 on: December 16, 2008, 07:18:05 PM »
So far, I think I'll get the Logitech MX Revolution Mouse combo keyboard.  I've been fascinated with that mouse since it came out.  I hope it's nice!

mouser

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #47 on: December 16, 2008, 07:19:58 PM »
regarding your mouse selection, see here:
http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=10688.0

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #48 on: December 16, 2008, 07:35:32 PM »
I just bought this case from Newegg.

CoolerMaster CM 690
That looks like an awesome case.  I'm going to go with it unless I come across something better.  Thanks!

Is it me or is it a bit odd to have the power supply at the bottom of the case under the motherboard? Two things strike me:

  • first heat rises so the PSU will add to mobo heat (OK with a cood PSU and a decent fan it shouldn't be a big problem but it is an odd placement)
  • second all the cables to connect to the motherboard are likely to have to cross the motherboard and this will disrupt air flow and hence cooling. It is to be hoped that the DVD power cables are long enough to stretch that far - but generally the ATX power socket is towards the top of the board or the right of the board so the thick cable is likely to be in the way of any air flow from front to rear fans????

What do others think?

Cloq

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2008, 07:39:46 PM »
I just bought this case from Newegg.

CoolerMaster CM 690
That looks like an awesome case.  I'm going to go with it unless I come across something better.  Thanks!

Is it me or is it a bit odd to have the power supply at the bottom of the case under the motherboard? Two things strike me:

BTX form factor standard (or a variation I think).
NM .. still ATX. Can I go hide now? ah well still good reading at Toms.

Wiki BTX

Tom's Hardware - Much better explanation
BTX - Tom's Hardware

Corsair -  Yes did the memtest+ and gave tech the result. I think I was just dealing with a PITA tech with zero customer experience. :(
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 07:53:07 PM by Cloq »