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Last post Author Topic: nudone's new pc  (Read 25587 times)

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2005, 05:30:48 PM »
i see your point Black Mamba about the sound card and money saving ideas. but saving money isn't the main thing this time around. the asus a8n motherboard is something i arrived at because of the good reviews i read, i won't be using the sli dual graphics card option - not for a long while anyway.

if i was a big overclocker then i'd consider the DFI board - maybe it's something i can play with if i buy one in a few months after becoming bored with the asus a8n.

soundcard choice is kind of artificial for me: i do play games when i get chance, but the X-Fi card choice was mainly because of the front audio connectors panel that comes with it. i want to be able to plug various audi leads in and out on the front of the case.

i've also read that the new creative labs cards make mp3s sound amazing. i do listen to a lot of music on the pc but i'm actually sceptical that this creative labs hardware method (the crystalizer) will sound any better than the winamp plugin 'izotope ozone' which is what i currently use. so, again, maybe the X-Fi card is the wrong choice.

i'm intending to use this new pc for music creation, using cubase sx and various other programs and plugins. so really i want a sound card with low latency and good audio cable connections. i ought to be getting a more dedicated audio recording sound card i guess but maybe this would be limiting in other ways.

the X-Fi seemed like a happy medium or simply it just seemed like an easy choice for me. it offers all i need to a degree. if the latency on it wasn't any good then i'd get another dedicated music production card when the time came (i don't think i'll be making any music for a few months yet). M-Audio will certainly be on the list to look at.

Carol Haynes

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2005, 05:42:29 PM »
Some of the ATI graphics cards have dual monitor graphics as standard, and from what I have read the ATI monitor management software is excellent.

I have to agree with others on the Creative Soundcard options ... I am using an Audigy 2 ZX Platinum with 7.1 speakers and whilst it is OK it has never totally lived up to expectations. It is also frustrating that Creative drivers are always so bloated and often quite buggy. Add to that the somewhat limited ASIO drivers supplied and if I was buying again I would look elsewhere - particularly if you really are in to music, there are much better cards out there. Plus Creative cards are just as expensive as some of the more professional studio products.

Check out some of the cards on http://www.etcetera....+Cards+-&class=0 for some professional quality offerings.

mouser

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2005, 05:57:14 PM »
many (most?) ati and nvidia cards now come "dual-headed" to drive 2 monitors simultaneously.

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2005, 06:03:42 PM »
the dual SLI card system isn't really aimed at providing a means of using dual monitors. it's quite the opposite you may be surprised to hear.

with SLI you use two cards to combine into one. so both cards link together and provide output to one monitor - this is for games and nothing more (maybe 3d applications can use it - i don't know).

the idea is to provide greater frame rates with games running at very high resolutions.

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2005, 06:10:56 PM »
brotherS, sorry, i've just noticed you've got a Zalman Resorvator (the image was off my screen so i didn't see it before).

what are your thoughts on the Resorvator - it looks like you've got an extra pump or did that come with it?

if/when i go water cooled then i'll be looking into getting the Zalman kit but i've read bad things about the pump making a noise after a short time.

brotherS

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2005, 02:45:14 PM »
brotherS, sorry, i've just noticed you've got a Zalman Resorvator (the image was off my screen so i didn't see it before).

what are your thoughts on the Resorvator - it looks like you've got an extra pump or did that come with it?

if/when i go water cooled then i'll be looking into getting the Zalman kit but i've read bad things about the pump making a noise after a short time.
Err, check the URL of that image and my words there:

Quote
I'd get one ASAP if I had the cash right now :)

I can't afford that beauty right now :) And as I stated more to the top, I won't buy water-cooling either ;)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2005, 02:46:55 PM by brotherS »

Rover

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2005, 07:35:07 PM »
Wow, so many items to comment on... where to start? :)

Water cooling?  No.  Bad idea.

Seagate SATA Drives are a great way to go for quiet drives.  Go learn a lot about RAID to understand the impacts of what you'll be doing.  SATA RAID is a great solution for desktop systems.  RAID 0+1 (aka RAID 10)  is probably your best best for speed.  RAID 5 is good for safety and READ speed, but takes a hit on writes.  I did a stint as a DB2 DBA and IBM's information for DB performance suggests using as many spindles (drives) as needed to make sure that every the heads have just enough time to be in place for their turn to read data.  To do that you need to calculate transfer rates, seek rates, block sizes and a bunch of stuff like that.  You can spend weeks testing for optimum performance.  Or you can use RAID 0+1 :)

SCSI is not going away... in the server world at least.  Currently SATA drives are not being built to quality spec to be used in a serious environment.  They're great for you and me to use on our systems, but when downtime and failure are not an option, you almost always use SCSI.  Check the drive specs and you'll see a difference in RPMs, bearing types, MTBF and stuff like that.

Watching TV on your new box?  I just bought an ATI X600 All-in-wonder.  I'm a lot disappointed in it's performance.  They have a know problem with dual and/or hyper-threading processors.  They're working on it, but I really expected much better performance out of my PCI-X card than my old AGP Version.  Not seeing it.  Either way, I like ATI over Hauppague (sp?).

Dual monitors... I just went dual head too.  I'm not in love yet.  I gave up a really nice 21" monitor (1600x1200 true color @ 85Hz) and went to dual 17" Acer monitors (1280x1024 true color @75 Hz).  Although my screen real estate should be much larger, it just doesn't feel bigger. 

Finally, you should google for "every OS sucks" and watch _Three dead trolls in a baggie_ perform their smash hit.  I found it several years ago and recently rediscovered it.  It's amazing how true comedy can be.

PS:  Get a couple of Gigs of DDR2 RAM at least.  With stuff like the VMWare player around, you might find your RAM needs going up a lot.  DDR2 is a nice boost in speed. :)
Insert Brilliant Sig line here

Hirudin

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2005, 02:02:30 AM »
I'm not a speed reader, so this post is being made having only read to the pic of the 24" monitor with Friends on it.
Sorry if something I say is repeating or something...


I can see you're thinking about silence. I can say that SilenX make some very silent fans! I have ~4 80mm fans in my case and I can barely hear it. I leave my comp on pretty much at all times and even though it's touching my mattress, it doesn't bother me while sleeping. The downside is they are expensive (I think mine were about $14 each...).

I don't know how well it cools, but mineral oil apparently doesn't conduct electricity. It's sold by the gallon at feed stores. I'd guess it's around $12 a gallon.

As for RAID, the only experience I've had with it (when IDE RAID was very new) was bad. I had 2 40gb drives and lost all the data on both. It's possible I could have got the data back, but I didn't feel like screwing with it at the time.

[edit]Oh yeah, one more thing. I think the chipset fan in my comp is very noisy. It's the smallest fan in there and I think it's the loudest. As someone mentioned above, passive cooling on the chipset is the way to go.

Also, for the video card you may just bite the bullet and completely disregard the built in cooling and purchase an after market video card cooler. That way you can get the card you want and the silence you want without having to comprimize. I must say that I haven't ever used an after market video card cooler, but I'd be willing to bet a quality after market cooler would be better than what comes on the card.[/edit]
« Last Edit: December 19, 2005, 02:09:26 AM by Hirudin »

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2005, 06:15:13 AM »
thanks all for the comments and advice.

i've now bought all the hardware, here's the list for all you geeks:

Antec P180 SPCR Advanced Super Midi Tower Case - No PSU (Black) (CA-049-AN)
Seasonic S12 600W Silent ATX2.0 Power Supply (CA-002-SS)
Asus A8N-SLi Premium nForce4 SLi (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-111-AS)
Corsair 2GB DDR XMS3500LL Pro TwinX (2x1GB) CAS2 (MY-093-CS)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+ (Socket 939) - Retail (ADA4800CDBOX) (CP-129-AM)
Akasa AK-183-L2B Ultra Quiet 120mm Fan - 3 pin (FG-024-AK)
ThermalRight SI-120 (Socket 754/939/478) Heatsink (HS-023-TR)
Plextor PX-740A 16x16 Dual Layer DVD±RW ReWriter - (Beige) Retail (CD-031-PL)
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS Edition - Retail (SC-032-CL)
XFX GeForce 7800GTX Extreme Edition 256MB GDDR3 VIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (PVT70F-UDE7) (GX-057-XF)
Zalman VF700-CU Quiet Copper VGA Cooler (HS-013-ZA)
TWO OF Western Digital Raptor 74GB WD740GD 10,000RPM SATA 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-015-WD)
TWO OF OcUK Silentmaxx Aluminium Hard Drive Enclosure (HS-000-OK)
Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C 250GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (HD-018-SA)
Saitek PZ30AU Eclipse Illuminated Keyboard (KB-015-SK)

(total cost so far, about £2200.00.)

(still waiting for the Eizo 21" widescreen monitor to come back into stock.)

i'm half way through putting it all together - i have to keep taking a break to relieve the stress of it all. when it's all done i'll post a nice picture for you to look at.

the two raptor drives will be in raid 0 (striped) as i just wanted to feel the speed (they are inside the silentmaxx enclosures to keep them quiet). the third drive, the samsung spinpoint, will be used for storage and backup - i'll be doing regular backups of operating system and important files onto this drive and a networked drive so that's why i've not gone for raid 0+1 or 5 or any other variation.

the fans are relatively quiet (four 120mm fans, most on low spin) but i wouldn't call it a 'silent' system - oh well, i suppose that means i'll have to try water cooling sooner rather than later.

mouser

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2005, 06:17:09 AM »
wow sounds beautiful; looking forward to the pictures.

f0dder

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2005, 07:48:52 AM »
YOU BASTARD! :D :eusa_dance:

Congratulations, hope it's a real killer. You should take pics while you assemble it, always lovely to see those miniseries ^_^
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2005, 08:01:32 AM »
Don't be surprised if my next avatar is bright green ...

Don't forget your tube of ArcticSilver and a bottle of Isopropyl alcohol (the latter is a good mixer for pepping up the Christmas Punch ... not really)

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2005, 09:00:43 AM »
i'm finding any excuse not to carry on with building this new computer so here are a couple of photos.

i'll take a few more of the 'detail' inside when i've got that far - i've not even got the hard drives in yet...

award for the most 'over-the-top' packaging so far, goes to XFX for the 'X' shaped graphics card box - it may look nice on the shop shelf but i nearly came close to getting a hacksaw to open it.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2005, 09:06:06 AM by nudone »

Carol Haynes

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2005, 11:03:06 AM »
Unusual arrangement having the PSU at the bottom of the case - is there a reason for that design choice? I would have thought dust would be more of a problem and rising heat ??

All looks very pretty though ...

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2005, 01:15:20 PM »
i'll post some 'close-up' photos that will hopefully explain things better when it's all together properly - just spent the last 2 hours trying to get xp on the raid drives. yeah, real fun - like i really know what i'm doing.

don't really know why the psu is at the bottom. but it's in a seperate chamber to the motherboard. there is a 120mm high through put kind of fan in that bottom chamber so it's a bit like a wind tunnel - the case is meant to be very cool and very quiet. i haven't got the side panels on yet so i can't say for sure how quiet it is.

so far the loudest thing appears to be the fan on the graphics card - thankfully i have a 'super quiet' one to replace it with.

on with the building...

brotherS

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2005, 01:33:17 PM »
Looks good so far :)

I saw that case before - the separate PSU chamber is to not use pre-heated air (that was already flowing past all other components) to cool the PSU like in 'normal' cases.

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2005, 01:41:44 PM »
ah, that does make sense then brotherS.

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2005, 02:02:19 PM »
okay, call me lazy because i'm half sure you've already answered this question but i'll ask it again...

at the moment i've got a raid 0 striped array spanning 2 hard drives - each drive is 74 gig so the total is about 140 gig recognised as one partition.

i'd like to partition this setup without having to start at the very beginning whilst installing windows.

i'm much prefer to use a program like paritition magic or anything else that can successfully do it.

any views as what is best way to do it - i'd like to put another operating system onto this raid 0 arrangement - maybe have 3 or 4 operating systems on the raid 0 drive in total.

i would start experimenting myself but as it's taken so long to get windows on i'd prefer to have head start using someone advice (my new dvd drive wouldn't read my xp cd and the old cd drive that worked was a bit dodgy also).

thanks

Carol Haynes

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2005, 04:11:00 PM »
Which Operating systems do you want to install ?

If they are all Windows XP or 2000 there is no problem - just partition with Partition Magic and install to the partitions you want. Windows 2k/XP will install and automatically set up a multiboot system.

If you want to install Windows 98/ME (why ?) then that should be installed first

If you want to install Linux then I would suugest you install it last but leave some disk space free for the installation within the first 8 gigabytes or you may find it won't boot (not sure about the last Linux builds this may have been fixed now). You don't need to leave a lot of space, just enough for the OS to install, you can then have an extra partition for your user data and installed programs.

The reason I would leave Linux until last is that it will take over your multiboot setup. I have found in the past that ithe Linux bootmanager (Grub) will try to boot into Linux first and then offer the Windows boot system second. You can change this behaviour within Linux.

You can also alter the Linux boot system to include it within the Windows multiboot system, but I never found a way to install it successfully before Windows.

You may also want to consider using a boot manager (there is one included with Partition Magic, but there are better ones out there now) which shoul (at least in theory) allow you to install operating systems in any order but restrictions on OS placement on the Hard Disc will have to be observed (eg. Win98/ME has to be installed on a partition within 8Gb of the first block on the hard disc).

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2005, 05:12:21 PM »
a bit late to the party, oh well..

I've used 2 74s with a promise caching controller and 256mb dedicated cache and I must say, it seemed hardly worth it. without measuring anything, I didn't notice any significant performance gains. 74s are a bit 'ticky' too.
Anyone who poo poo'd water cooling, well it's pretty simple these days and a lot of fun. I can hear my mosfets whine now so one noise takes over from the others.
have a picture of real world water cooling, hehe!
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a180/jpfx/Image1.jpg
nudone's new pc
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mouser

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2005, 06:34:29 PM »
timely post that might be relevant?

"My PC Hell - The Fatal Flaw, and the Surprising Solution"

http://www.extremete...,1697,1903059,00.asp


nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2005, 01:37:33 AM »
thanks Carol, i thought you'd come to the rescue on that one - i'll give partition magic a go then. i'll only be putting other xp systems onto the new partitions so it sounds pretty simple to me. i've used a free boot manager in the past (xosl i think it is called(?)) which seemed pretty good to me - can't remember the exact details but the method i followed allowed me to install win98 on an area of the hard drive past the usual boundary limit (it was something you weren't meant to be able to do anyway but with xosl it worked fine).

jpfx, that is one mean looking setup. the definition of water cooling i'd say. i know what you mean about he raptors clicking away - i've got a couple of aluminium cases to put them in that should silence them but not got around to it yet.

unfortunately this is my first time using sata drives and first time with raid also so i've nothing to compare the raptors performance against. i'd appreciate if you could explain a little more as to why you were dissappointed with them. i've read in 'Custom PC' (UK magazine) that they don't see much point in using raid stripes compared with a good sata II drive and they didn't even bother to mention the raptors so i had big doubts about buying the raptors. in the end i just bought them to give me peace of mind otherwise i would be constantly wondering what they would have been like.

please let me know why you didn't rate the raptors anyway, it will be very useful information for my next pc build project.

thanks.

(not read the extreme-tech article yet mouser - going to in a minute.)

Carol Haynes

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2005, 04:46:40 AM »
thanks Carol, i thought you'd come to the rescue on that one - i'll give partition magic a go then. i'll only be putting other xp systems onto the new partitions so it sounds pretty simple to me. i've used a free boot manager in the past (xosl i think it is called(?)) which seemed pretty good to me - can't remember the exact details but the method i followed allowed me to install win98 on an area of the hard drive past the usual boundary limit (it was something you weren't meant to be able to do anyway but with xosl it worked fine).

If you are just using WindowsXP then I wouldn't bother with a separate boot manager - it can just make it harder to recover from problems in the future. Once you have all your bare installations completed and activated (be prepared for some phone calls to MS) don't forget to image your drive before you go any further - that way you can always get back to a bare system if you need to or recover single partitions.

nudone

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2005, 04:55:14 AM »
i've just been advised not to partition the raptor drives. simply because it would decrease the speed aspect that the raid 0 was meant to be designed for in the first place.

here's the thread http://forums.overcl...hread.php?t=17511887 that 'smids' showed me.

it seems convincing to me but i suppose the only way to find out is to test the different setups of partitioned and non partitioned raid 0 drives.

at the moment i really don't know what do to - it would be a waste to lose the performance of the raptor drives if this is what partitioning would do. but if partitioning has no detrimental effect then i'd prefer the partitioned setup.

????????????????

Carol Haynes

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Re: nudone's new pc
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2005, 05:02:26 AM »
Not convinced at all ... the same argument would apply to any partitioned drive.

If you want to install multiple OS's then partitioning will restrict head movements to a smaller area of the discs which should if anything improve access time.

If you store your data in a partition between the OS partitions you still restrict the area of the disc being accessed.

C - Windows 1
D - Data
E - Windows 2

Put your paging file and temp folders on a separate drive altogether if possible - if not have a fixed size pagefile (so that it doesn't get fragmented).