Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 02, 2016, 08:32:47 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Please help me build my new computer, DC!  (Read 105629 times)

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #75 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.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #76 on: December 18, 2008, 03:39:22 PM »
Why? On-board audio is decent enough for casual use these days

True. But I'm not a "casual" user, so I only speak for myself on that topic.  ;)

Not that my opinion much matters. Just about everything comes with built-in sound these days. As long as I can disable it in BIOS I won't complain. Too much... ;D

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #77 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.

steeladept

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,059
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #78 on: December 18, 2008, 05:54:47 PM »
A few things I learned as I built machines in the past (and/or fixed them):

1) Top notch Power Supply is a must.  Something like a SeaSonic or other high quality brand name.  There are really only two or three producers of Power Supplies, the rest get them from those sources and repackage them with their name (example - Corsair PS is made by SeaSonic).  When looking for them, look for the 80plus symbol for high efficiency.  If it is sized right for your system, those will be the quietest, most efficient PSU that can buy and that will save on electricity without sacrificing any performance.  For my system (4 HDD - 2 SATA, 2IDE; ATI Radion x800 series GPU; Gigabyte MB; 4GB memory, 2 Optical Drives, 2 Magnetic Drives, & Creative Live Platinum Sound Card), I got a 500 Watt PSU which was a little high, but the next size down in the series I looked at was 300 Watt and that was a bit low.  Given your specs, I would think a 500 - 700 Watt would be about the right size.  Note, the design of many PSUs do not allow for power output anywhere near the rated output.  Further research will find that many are actually 200 or 300 Watt Power Supplies using some sort of split rail mechanism and their marketing is saying each rail can carry the full wattage so it is 2 or 3 times the actual design spec.  If you are an EE, you will certainly understand the details more than I, so I just suggest you do your homework there.

2) HDD - Like many here I find I have to side with Seagate on this one.  I use the 7200.11 series and find them perfect for my needs.  My problem with WD is that they always made my systems sound like they belong on a runway.  In a datacenter that may not be bad, at home...

3) Sound - For people who don't know/care, I agree with integrated sound entirely.  I will go that route from now on.  When I bought my last card, onboard was just comming into it's own, so I got a card that had everything I liked.  Now I don't use any of it's extra features and have a $200 card that I could have used onboard sound to achieve.  Don't go for hype! ;)  You sound like you will use it, however, and know exactly what you want so I won't push the issue any longer.  The same can be said about video cards.  Just make sure you know what you will actually use, and then work from there.

4)  Memory - I agree that pretty much any brand name is good.  I like Crucial, personally, but have used Corsair, Geil, OCZ, Kensington, and probably several others I can't think of now.  The only one I ever had problems with was a single batch of Kensington and they responded promptly with good memory.

5) Monitors - Your biggest bane.  Sorry, like others I can't really help.  I have heard Samsung makes good ones, but I think most people just get what is available and stick with it for years and years. 

6) Motherboard are a bit more mysterious for me.  I find features I want then see what has them.  I find Gigabyte and Tyan seem to be consistently good boards for me (Of course I don't overclock either).  Though, I will admit that the last Tyan board that I have used is now over 10 years old.  I tend to find Gigabyte boards as consistently the best bang for the buck (so the earlier statement doesn't surprise me a bit). 

7) CPU is really a matter of taste and I tend to waffle back and forth on them.  AMD are generally cheaper and comparible, but Intel does some things to keep them in the running.  I use VMWare a lot, and AMD has been known to have some issues with virtualization so right now I am on more of an Intel kick.  Give it another two years and I will be back in AMD's court. ;)

8)  The key I find is that it isn't the individual components that matter as much as the way they work together (assuming quality components are used of course).  Look for key features, and make sure they all work together.  Computers and components are constantly becoming more and more commodity items, so you should look at what FEATURES you use that differentiate them then work around those.

Enough of my two cents...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 05:57:51 PM by steeladept »

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #79 on: December 18, 2008, 06:15:28 PM »
steeladept, thank you so much!  I really appreciate the comments above and will carefully consider them.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,405
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #80 on: December 18, 2008, 06:20:39 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.

Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #81 on: December 18, 2008, 06:50:45 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.

Looks pretty nice to me, and Coolermaster is a reputable maker as well. Just make me sure you don't install those 7 fans if you plan on having a silent computer ;D

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #82 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?

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,044
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #83 on: December 18, 2008, 07:09:12 PM »
I think two 24" is too much, but I'm not sure.  I don't know what brand is good. 

Why do you think 2 x 24" is too much? Usefulness will depend on how you have them set up, where you sit etc, but I'm not sure too much screen space is possible.

Brand. Always worth checking reviews, but in my experience very cheap, well reviewed models turn out to be very good (so long as the guarantee is equivalent to other brands anyway - I've never tried a monitor with less than 3 year cover). My latest was a DigiMate - very cheap but does exactly what I need and I'm very pleased with the quality. I would only buy models that have good user reviews though (assuming that the site you buy from has reliable reviews) - with cheap models it is easy to get poorly manufactured monitors with awful quality control. But for normal use, I still see no reason to pay more.

Not true for specialist uses though. For instance, if you are a keen photographer who will be wanting to calibrate your monitor so that you can see exactly what will be printed, you will have to select very carefully and expect to pay a much higher price; photographer friendly models are reducing in numbers too.

Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #84 on: December 18, 2008, 07:23:17 PM »
Is there a website somewhere that does reliable reviews of monitors?

X-bit labs do some roundups from time to time, and it used to be a reliable source. bit-tech also does comprehensive reviews once in a while.

Also, be sure to check nudone's monitor recommendations for ak_'s sucky new PC ;D. If you really have the money, high-end Dell monitors are widely regarded as excellent, but such quality demands some big bucks and I'm afraid that if you want two, the budget will rise through the roof.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,471
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #85 on: December 19, 2008, 02:46:35 AM »
2) HDD - Like many here I find I have to side with Seagate on this one.  I use the 7200.11 series and find them perfect for my needs.  My problem with WD is that they always made my systems sound like they belong on a runway.  In a datacenter that may not be bad, at home...

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.

Samsung is on par with WD but even quieter.

Most of my friends won't touch Seagate any more and any I have have been relegated to external cases where they're usually not turned on or given to family members who needed a quick capacity upgrade.

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #86 on: December 19, 2008, 03:19:56 AM »
Its interesting Seagate used to claim to be the quietest drives in the world but they acheived that by encasing the drive in acoustic damping materials which caused them to run alarmingly hot. I haven't used an internal Seagate drive for years (ever since I had a bad experience of them in a RAID setup where they ran at about 50% of the speed of a single drive) but have they got rid of the silly cladding now?

I have a number of Seagate external drives and they aren't particularly noisy (but they are far from silent).

akiecs

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #87 on: December 19, 2008, 07:17:04 AM »
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?

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #88 on: December 19, 2008, 01:04:18 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.

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.

steeladept

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,059
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #89 on: December 19, 2008, 02:21:49 PM »
2) HDD - Like many here I find I have to side with Seagate on this one.  I use the 7200.11 series and find them perfect for my needs.  My problem with WD is that they always made my systems sound like they belong on a runway.  In a datacenter that may not be bad, at home...

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.

Samsung is on par with WD but even quieter.

Most of my friends won't touch Seagate any more and any I have have been relegated to external cases where they're usually not turned on or given to family members who needed a quick capacity upgrade.
Okay, in all fairness, the last time I actually bought drives was in 2005, and those Seagates are more than a little quieter.  I can't say much about Seagate drives manufactured more recently.  I just figured the same family of drives would have similar characteristics.  I don't know if mine are because of the dampening that Carol talked about, but I do know that once in the case I don't hear them nearly as much as the WD drives.  Even at work we get a mishmash of drives - whatever HP gets cheapest that week - and the WD's all seem the loudest to me.  Of course they perform great, but I get annoyed by the constant whir from them spinning up.  The Maxtors that we get are okay for a while, but they tend to be the ones that break down the most.  I don't know if that is because of them having lower quality standards or if it is due to them being the most common on HP systems though, so don't read too much into that.  Seagates are not too common on HP's though and I don't recall any over the last year or so.  As for Samsung drives, they seem reasonable to me too, but I haven't had a chance to work with many of them.

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,366
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #90 on: December 19, 2008, 02:32:44 PM »
Re cases.

I have a Antec Sonata Plus 550
I chose it because it helps to minimize noise, which it does extremely well (sound-damping side panels, soft drive mounts etc).

This one's been in service since May.
The chip is an Intel quad core and the graphics card was especially chosen for a good compromise between silence and efficient cooling, so controlling temperature wasn't as big a challenge as in some others of my machines.
The discussion here prompted me to take a look inside.

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.




mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,405
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #91 on: December 19, 2008, 02:57:29 PM »
New case mentioned at electronista:

sonata.jpg

http://www.antec.com...?lan=us&id=15143

Quote
Elegantly Silent
The Sonata Elite expands Antec’s original Sonata design with even more silence and elegance. With 7 drive bays, 7 expansion slots, and 0.8mm cold rolled steel construction, the Sonata Elite has ample size and durability, while the vibration-reducing silicone grommets ensure the quietest possible operation. Side intake vent draws in air over the hard drives and into the case, while a quiet 120mm TriCool™ exhaust fan and 120mm rear slot exhaust blower form the optimum balance between silent operation and cooling power. The Sonata Elite also features convenient front mounted USB, eSATA, and HD audio ports. These cutting edge features combined with Sonata’s Quiet Computing™ reputation make this case a truly quiet legend.

price: about $130

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #92 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.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #93 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.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #94 on: December 19, 2008, 03:21:12 PM »
mouser, cranio,
THe ANtec sounds real good also.  Maybe I will get that!

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #95 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?

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #96 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?

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #97 on: December 19, 2008, 03:27:46 PM »
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.

I have quite a few WD Caviar drives and the noise levels vary. It isn't surprising that there is so much variation between users. Having said that it is probably true of all makes of drive to some extent - each device isn't (and cannot be) 100% identical in every respect - even if it is just the minutest difference in lubrication of bearings.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,405
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #98 on: December 19, 2008, 03:28:16 PM »
i don't use RAID.

you only really need one superfast one, for the operating system install, in my opinion.
but you could use another for your documents -- if you are working with big music files that might be wise.


mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,405
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Please help me build my new computer, DC!
« Reply #99 on: December 19, 2008, 03:29:35 PM »
anything that only really runs periodically (hard drive, cd) really don't concern me in terms of noise.
the annoying noises are all from fans (fans on case, motherboard, psu, graphics cards) that run constantly.  those are the ones you really have to be careful about what you buy.