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Last post Author Topic: Please help me build my new computer, DC!  (Read 105659 times)

mouser

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2008, 07:43:24 PM »
regarding case -- you really have to make a decision about whether you want to build a quiet pc.  if so you're going to have to scour the newegg reviews for each component to look for comments about fan noise for each piece, and expect to pay a little more for each component with a fan.

4wd

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2008, 08:41:02 PM »
I have an ASROCK motherboard which I bought cheap to replace the lost board (I suspect ASROCK is just a division of ASUS) and so far no problems.

AsRock are a division of ASUS, their aim is more towards the budget end of the market with ASUS "taking care"(!) of the high-end sector.

AsRock implement technologies usually before they hit mainstream integration, (eg. they were the first with eSATA ports), and use a variety of North/South bridges, not just nVidia/Intel/AMD, (eg. the ULi chipset on my old 939SLI32-eSATA2 outclassed nVidia's comparative chipset in terms of memory transfer rate - unfortunately nVidia bought out ULi, so another innovative product bites the dust).

So after saying they inhabit the cheap end of the market, I can also say that out of all the motherboards I have used, (low-end PCChips, high EPoX, mid-range Gigabyte, ANY ASUS), that the two AsRock motherboards I currently have, (a K7S41GX and 939SLI32-eSATA2), neither have given me any trouble at all over the last 2-3 years.

However, that said, I and all my friends currently run GigaByte motherboards in both high-end, (DQ6 series), and mid-range and apart from a few idiosyncrasies they've proven to be very stable and reliable - far ahead of ASUS motherboards.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2008, 11:17:15 PM »
regarding case -- you really have to make a decision about whether you want to build a quiet pc.  if so you're going to have to scour the newegg reviews for each component to look for comments about fan noise for each piece, and expect to pay a little more for each component with a fan.
Well, I am a little concerned about noise, but my main concern is keeping the components cooled effectively.  I will give up noise to prevent damage, or even be on the slightly conservative side.  I don't plan on overclocking or doing anything really serious, so I'm not anticipating many noise issues.  My current desktop would probably be on the loud side, and I probably don't have a good sense of what's loud and what's quiet.  By work pc (a Dell) is pretty silent comparatively.

So, can I keep my pc cooled properly and still have it relatively silent?  I'll pay for it to a certain point.

f0dder

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2008, 01:51:41 AM »
So, can I keep my pc cooled properly and still have it relatively silent?  I'll pay for it to a certain point.
If you don't need super-high-end components, sure - since you don't need gaming, you can very likely get away with a passively cooled GPU. In my experience, GPU fans are some of the most noisy components of PCs today.

Passively cooled GPU + decent PSU = "teh win". Most boxed intel coolers I've had for the last many machines have been nice and silent, but you can always go hunt for an aftermarket cooler if you want it really silent (although most of them focus on extreme cooling and not noise).
- carpe noctem

tomos

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2008, 05:34:43 AM »
at least:
make sure whatever case you get can take all 120mm fans - I have one 80mm fan in mine that unfortunately is very noisy & cant be replaced with larger or removed
Tom

Lashiec

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2008, 10:57:14 AM »
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?

Actually, it's pretty common in high-end cases, though they use partitioned cooling zones. A good example of this is the Antec P182.

Precisely by what you say in the first point, it's a better idea to have the PSU in the bottom. With the PSU on top, normally you have to expel not only the heat produced by it, but also the heat that raises from the CPU, and possibly from the GPU, and let's leave aside the heated air that is circulating around the case. You have a hot spot there, and for example, in my computer, when it's idle the only 'hot' zone in the entire case is the PSU. With the PSU in the bottom, even if the heat raises from there, it's minimal because the PSU is closed tight, and has no vents, so the only heat you get is the one that heats the air that is floating around the top part of the PSU. All in all, it's more efficient, and if you isolate the PSU zone you get even better results.

As for the second point, yes, you're right there. You need longer cables to reach some places, and to not disrupt the air flow you have to some cable routing. Perhaps that's why as lately some cases are designed to let the cables to be routed behind the motherboard tray. Cables are usually long enough, but there's always the odd PSU that is not, and you need extenders.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #56 on: December 17, 2008, 12:24:54 PM »
Thanks Lashiec, that's helpful information.  What's your opinion on the Cooler Master case I've chosen?  I like the brand, I think they make well-built products.  The case supports up to 7 120mm fans.

cranioscopical

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #57 on: December 17, 2008, 01:56:49 PM »
The case supports up to 7 120mm fans.
My goodness!  You'll have to tether it to the desktop or it'll be hovering at the ceiling  ;D


40hz

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #58 on: December 17, 2008, 02:12:41 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!

One minor consideration:

If you're going to go with removable drive trays (like I always do); and you're getting a case that has a shield/door over the external drive bays - then be sure to to get drive trays that won't interfere with it. Look for basic trays with handles that fold flush.

Some of the fancier drive trays project out a bit and can block the doors on some cases.

Of course, why bother with a tricked-out drive tray (with all those blingy readouts and lights) if you're just going to cover it up, right? ;D

Cases: I have liked every Cooler Master product I have ever purchased. Their cases are excellent.

For quiet, I like the Antec Sonata series. They have some annoyances, but nothing I would consider showstopping. The biggest problem is the price. Maybe it's because they're marketed more towards media center builders than the tech crowd. Still, I haven't found anything that comes quieter straight out of the box. Just my :two:
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 02:25:13 PM by 40hz »

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #59 on: December 17, 2008, 04:00:23 PM »
If you're going to go with removable drive trays (like I always do); and you're getting a case that has a shield/door over the external drive bays - then be sure to to get drive trays that won't interfere with it. Look for basic trays with handles that fold flush.
Hmm, I don't know if I'm going to keep my backup enclosures internally or externally.  On one hand, it's nice to have the portability.  On the other hand, I never really take them anywhere (besides keeping one drive in a different location).  So having them internal would keep things neat.  Still, I'm leaning towards two external esata enclosures for now.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #60 on: December 17, 2008, 04:21:30 PM »
I'm still looking for advice on monitors.  Two questions:
--two 24" widescreens, or two 21" normal screens?

--Any brand/model suggestions?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #61 on: December 17, 2008, 04:34:34 PM »
I have bought a couple of 24" BenQ monitors. Cheap and cheerful and no bad spots. The current models support Analogue, DVI and HDMI interfaces. I have been very impressed.

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #62 on: December 17, 2008, 04:46:23 PM »
I have bought a couple of 24" BenQ monitors. Cheap and cheerful and no bad spots. The current models support Analogue, DVI and HDMI interfaces. I have been very impressed.
Thanks Carol!

40hz

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #63 on: December 17, 2008, 07:27:30 PM »
The case supports up to 7 120mm fans.
My goodness!  You'll have to tether it to the desktop or it'll be hovering at the ceiling  ;D



Maybe you could hitch up a few helium balloons to it and pilot it around the room with the fans via remote? Talk about the ultimate in zero-footprint design!

Superboy.jpg

Just be sure you enter it into one of those ultimate mod contests. You just might win back your investment!

 8)

cranioscopical

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #64 on: December 17, 2008, 08:43:28 PM »
Maybe you could hitch up a few helium balloons to it and pilot it around the room

I'm a big fan of yours, 40hz!


40hz

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #65 on: December 17, 2008, 10:41:38 PM »
On a more serious note, Extremetech just did a review of the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P mobo.

It costs $150, and it offers exceptional value. (Newegg has it for $137. Check out the 170 reviews posted  too!)

Quote
http://www.extremete...,2845,2335930,00.asp

For a $150 motherboard, the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P packs a lot of value. With one of the most comprehensive rear-panel I/O risers available, incredibly inclusive overclocking controls, and the new Ultra Durable 3 system for added piece of mind, it's quite a bit of mobo for the money.

It might lack some of the bells and whistles that those $400 and $500 boards offer, such as three X16 slots and audio hardware, but this LGA775 based beast is nonetheless a killer board for a midlevel or even an enthusiast computer system.

Most interesting is the conclusion. Extremetech never gives anything a perfect score. They did this board.

Quote
Best Board in Years

We rarely give perfect scores. A product has to blow our socks off to get a perfect score.

The EP45-UD3P is simply a stunning, solid board full of features that comes at a fantastic price. It's a motherboard to seriously consider if you can't quite afford an X58-based board and a Core i7 CPU.

In fact, it might even be safe to say it's the only board to consider. We know what's going into our next build.

Product:    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Motherboard
Company:    Gigabyte

Price:    $150 street (Check prices)

Pros:    Near-perfection in hitting the sweet spot between price and performance;    lots of features for the price; incredibly reliable stability; tons of external I/O connectors; and lots more stuff to brag about.

Cons:    What cons?

Summary:    If you're not quite ready for DDR3 or Core i7, this is the motherboard. Simply amazing in every way.

I downloaded the U.S. manual, and now I'm even more impressed 8):

http://america.giga-...l_ga-ep45-ud3p_e.pdf

« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 10:47:15 PM by 40hz »

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #66 on: December 18, 2008, 12:16:18 AM »
Hey 40hz!  Where'd you get that drawing from?!  That's really cool!

On a more serious note, Extremetech just did a review of the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P mobo.

It costs $150, and it offers exceptional value. (Newegg has it for $137. Check out the 170 reviews posted  too!)
That sounds like a great board.  Thanks for the suggestion!  I'm putting it in my list (first post in the thread).  This is very helpful.  For me, choosing the motherboard is one of the more difficult components because I know so little about them.

The only thing that concerns me is few posts on newegg saying something about problems booting and slow booting, etc.  Not enough to turn me away at this point.  Hopefully, mine works fine.

[Click here to return to first post and see updated system components & price]
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 01:27:12 AM by superboyac »

city_zen

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #67 on: December 18, 2008, 08:37:14 AM »
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.

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.
 
I'll have what she's having

40hz

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2008, 10:35:21 AM »
Hey 40hz!  Where'd you get that drawing from?!  That's really cool!

Glad you liked it. If I had more time I would have done it up as an animated GIF. :)

The dirigible was adapted from a piece of clipart I had in my library.

(As you might have noticed from some of my other posts, I'm a big fan of Jules Verne and Steampunk. 8))

The tower PC was drawn and "antiqued" by me in Paint.NET along with the attaching diagonal cables to the dirigible.

The "Superboyac Aero" logo was also done in PaintNET. The typeface is called Magneto, and is available from The Font Bureau, Inc.

Total time was about 10 minutes - 5 to locate the clipart, and another 5 to do the rest. Which was just enough time for BSD to finish installing on my test machine! ;D

-----------------------------

Re:Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P

Yeah, it packs a lot of punch for the money. I'm as much impressed by what it doesn't include as I am by what it does. I'd actually have liked it even more if they didn't include the audio components.

Looks like they hit the sweet spot with this board. It's definitely on my shopping list for my next build. :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 11:23:34 AM by 40hz »

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #69 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!

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #70 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.

f0dder

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #71 on: December 18, 2008, 12:13:35 PM »
I'm as much impressed by what it doesn't include as I am by what it does. I'd actually have liked it even more if they didn't include the audio components.
Why? On-board audio is decent enough for casual use these days (I haven't bothered with soundcards for years). And in case you have an amplifier with optical (and thus digital) in, are you going to be able to hear any difference between onboard sound and a fancy addon board? :)

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.
That sounds over-dimensioned to me.

Q6600 overclocked from 2.4GHz to 3.0GHz, 4x2Gig DDR2-667 ram, 2x74gig 10k rpm raptors, intel PCI-e NIC, GF800/GT-512meg and two optical drives run at ~250W when maxxed out.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 12:15:38 PM by f0dder »

mouser

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #72 on: December 18, 2008, 12:31:43 PM »
f0dder is always right about these things, but there is also something to be said for getting a bigger psu than you think you need and better memory than you think you need.

and that reason has to do with how infuriatingly mysterious memory chip and psu problems can be.  it's one of those cases where it may be better to be safe than sorry.

f0dder

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #73 on: December 18, 2008, 12:58:34 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.
- carpe noctem

superboyac

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Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #74 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.