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Please help me build my new computer, DC!

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Modified 1-12-2009, 10:09pm
ITEMBRANDMODELPRICESTOREMotherboardGigabyteGA-EP45-UD3P$136.99 *NeweggCPUIntelQ9400$259.99 *NeweggMonitorBenQG2400WD (x2)$610.17NCIXUSMain Hard DriveWestern Digital300 GB VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS$248.96NeweggStorage Hard DriveWestern DigitalCaviar Black WD1001FALS (1 TB)$119.99 *NeweggBackup Hard Drive #1Western DigitalCaviar Black WD1001FALS (1 TB)$119.99 *NeweggBackup Hard Drive #2Western DigitalCaviar Black WD1001FALS (1 TB)$119.99 *NeweggExternal HD EnclosureGranite DigitaleSATA Hot-Swap 1 Drive$85.64Granite DigitalRAMCorsairDominator 4GB (2 x 2GB) (PC2 8500)$97.00 *NeweggGraphics CardATISAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 512MB$194.99 *NeweggAudio Mixing BoardMackieBig Knob$310Sam Ash (in-store purchase)Pro Audio CardM-AudioAudiophile 2496$0(reuse from my old pc)CaseCooler MasterCosmos (1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP)$181.48ProvantageMouseLogitechMX 1100$58.49 **Buy.comKeyboardLogitechWave$42.29 **Buy.comDVD/CD BurnerNEC3500?$0(reuse from my old pc)56k PCI Modem(I don't know)(I don't know)$0(reuse from my old pc)Power SupplyHiperHPU-5B680$127.77Xoxide*Newegg bulk order, shipping+tax = $95.93
** bulk order, shipping+tax = $10.52

Real Total:$2820.19Rebates:$65.00Adjusted Total:$2755.19
I trust the opinions on this board more so than anyone, so I would love it if you people could help me build my new pc.  I get a new computer once every 5-7 years, and I don't keep up with hardware in the meantime, so I need a lot of help.  For this thread, as it goes along, I will update this first post with the hardware I have chosen (like mouser does with his software updates).  Thanks in advance!

I started a similar thread earlier about this, but this is the official one now.  I just finished a hectic year with work and school, so now I have time to do this.

Carol Haynes:
From recent experience my suggestion is don't go for bleeding edge technology ... get something you know is going to be solid and stable.

Bleeding edge stuff doesn't really make any sense (unless you have a real need for what it potentially offers) - far better to have a marginally slower and less whizzo system that is stable and lasts a few years than a high spec system that causes problems.

The other thing to consider is that whatever you build it will be out of date within the month it was built so it isn't worth spending a fortune!

Sorry I am speaking from a slightly bitter point here - I just had to send an ASUS motherboard back under warranty. It was two years old with a three year warranty - what did the warranty mean? After two years the original supplier cannot replace the board but they offered a refund and since it was two years old they only offered 33% of the value of the board. It has cost me a fair amount of money in postage and a lot of frustration, expensive international phone calls and I have come out with it without a motherboard and not much money.

ASUS were particularly useless - they offer a 3 year warranty but as far as they are concerned customers can only work with the dealer they made the purchase from. They won't get involved in the argument even if the supplier is talking rubbish. The one thing I know is that ASUS have replacement boards in stock (they told me they keep stocks for this reason) and my supplier ( won't obtain a replacement from ASUS to supply me.

Lesson learned:

* don't buy expensive motherboards (and then I don't have to worry about the warranty)
* don't buy from ASUS (the warranty process is hopeless and the boards are not made to a good standard - I have had three of these boards and they have all developed faults)
* don't buy from --- their RMA system sucks (especially as you cannot speak to anyone dealing with RMAs it all has to be done via webnotes which they only half read), they don't honour warranties properly and they get things wrong (like sending me a wrong replacement board which I am still waiting for a refund on the return postage)

First decision should be, do you want a laptop or desktop.  No point discussing building if you realize you need a laptop.

Second, assuming you want a desktop -- i don't know much about cpus, but i do know that having 2 monitors can make all the difference in the world in terms of productivity.  so the first thing i'd do is budget for 2 good 21" lcds.

i agree with carol's point about avoiding "bleeding edge" -- the prices are premium and the risks are highest.  go for one notch down -- something that's been out long enough for them to work out the bugs.

as for avoiding asus -- my view is that all motherboard manufacturers are horrible.  it's too bad you have to choose to buy from one of them.

Carol Haynes:
I suppose I am still bleeding from my experience of bleeding edge 'flagship' ASUS tosh.

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.


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