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Building a PC - Would like Recommendations

Posted on 2004-11-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hello:
I'm building a new PC from scratch.  I already have some parts, and would like to get some advice on the other parts that I should buy.

So far I have the following parts:
1)      ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard
2)      AMD Athlon 2700+ AXDA2700DKV3D chip
3)      Thermaltake Slim Volcano 10+ CPU Cooler
4)      Thermaltake Smart Case Fan 2 + LED Light
5)      Vantec Spectrum Fan Card SP-FC70-BL
6)      Thermaltake TrueLight Memory Heat Spreader
7)      Mitsumi FA404 series Internal USB2.0 Flash Media + Floppy Drive
8)      Lite-On Internal 52X32X52X + 16X CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive
9)      Sapphire RADEON R7000 64M DDR AGP VGA / TVO Graphics Card
10)      Aspire X-NAVIGATOR ATXA9NW/450 Case with 450W power supply

I still need to get memory, either a 1GB kit or a 2GB kit.  I also want to get 2 Western Digital Raptor 36.7 GB Hard Drives setup in a RAID 1 format for my OS and other major apps, and 2 Western Digital RAID Edition Serial ATA 250 GB Hard Drives also setup in a RAID 1 format used for minor apps and multimedia files such as MP3, WMA, OPP, and MPEG4.  In addition to that I want a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 Sound Card.  Eventually I want to upgrade my video card to possibly the RADEON 9800 All-In-Wonder or something similar, as well as a multi-format DVD burner.

I want to partition the Raptor drives so that I can have 3 different OS installed – Windows 98 SE, Windows XP Professional, and the latest version of Linux.  I want to have a system that can run a SQL Server database with MS Access as the client.  I want my system to also play clear crisp audio tracks as well as near perfect picture quality on DVD playback.  Lastly, I want my system to be able to handle high demanding video games – not necessarily graphic intense, but definitely handle intense data processing.

Any suggestions on what products I should add to the ones I already have to achieve the system that I want would be greatly appreciated.  As well as any other ideas that allow me to have the ultimate multimedia PC that will also allow me to have a high performance in database applications and multi-tasking.


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Question by:oraclexview
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LVL 88

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by:rindi
ID: 12645102
Get a more powerfull Powersupply.
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by:improveyourpc
improveyourpc earned 150 total points
ID: 12645190
oraclexview,

It all looks fine, 450W should be plenty for your PS, to make sure here is a link to a power supply wattage calculator

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

"The Wattages listed are maximum peak wattages for each component. The total amount this calculator figures is for all devices running at peak utilization. It is important to bear in mind that this amount will never be reached under typical operation. However we feel that this tool will give you a better idea of how much power your system will need. After all when it comes to power, having too large of a power supply is never a bad thing! It is important to note that power listings for some video cards are only estimates: the video card industry rarely reveal how much power their cards are drawing"

The only thing I would suggest is buying a video card with a bit more memory, especially if you want to play the latest games. Go for at least a 128 or 256Mb graphics card.
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by:improveyourpc
ID: 12645212
By the way, NICE case!
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by:rajeev_nice
rajeev_nice earned 525 total points
ID: 12647028
for higher I/o thruput.. I wud suggest u to go for Hardware RAID Controller rather than XP's s.w RAID. Also.. more the drives the better will be the performace of the RAID (Disk Striping) so try adding smaller but more Hard drives for better I/o. Also try to put these HDD to diff Controllers.

I assue from ur ID that u wud install Oracle and/or SQL Server. Oracle suggests to have 6 HDD exclusively for Oracle for gud performance. :) it will help u play some I/o intensive games as well but ensure that the AGP does not become a bottleneck.


Rajeev


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by:oraclexview
ID: 12647201
Thanks for the power supply wattage calculator link improveyourpc.  That does give me a better idea roughly of how much power each item will draw.  Does anyone know of a more precise and accurate way that I can find out exactly how much power is consumed by each item, for the purpose of buying the right power supply and finding out exactly how much electricity is being used.  I still gotta pay that electric bill every month.
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by:improveyourpc
ID: 12648807
oraclexview,
Your welcome! If you look at the manufacturer's website or the actual box the product came in (i.e. - video card, audio card), between those two you should be able to find the power draw specs. If you are way under 450W after you add up all of your parts, I wouldn't be too concerned, like the note from the Wattage Calculator page stated "The total amount this calculator figures is for all devices running at peak utilization. It is important to bear in mind that this amount will never be reached under typical operation" A 450W power supply should be plenty.
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by:stockhes
stockhes earned 150 total points
ID: 12649699

Hi oraclexview

there is a new ATX standard coming up where PSU's shall be able more amps on the 12 volt rail and even to split the 12volt in a separate rail for the CPU.

http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/ATX12V%20PSDG2.01.pdf

12 volt users in a modern pc: CPU, Molex powered GFX, drives and fans

To save power:

in my 3200+ the difference between full load and idle is 50 watts measured on the power intake.

That requires S2 bus disconnect enabled on motherboard, which by default is disabled

it also lowers your cpu temp at least 10 degrees celcius when idle

If you don't have that option in bios there is software to deal with it

I can help you find it , if interested
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Author Comment

by:oraclexview
ID: 12650880
For the most part, I was sure that the included power supply would be adequate for my needs - at least for the time being.  My main concern is in making sure that I have the best parts.  Not necessarily the latest and greatest, but the parts with a balance in quality and value for what I need.

So far input from improveyourpc, rajeev_nice, and stockhes have been quite helpful.  I curious about the idea of having many smaller hard drives versus a few very large hard drives.  I did research, if I’m correct, that each hard drive should be on a different controller even though a lot of controllers support two hard drives.  So the case I have supports up to between 7 and 9 hard drives.  If I wanted to take advantage of all these slots, are there any other parts I would need to achieve this?  Also, I’m learning Oracle and SQL Server, so for now, most of my database applications will be setup on a workstation level, but eventually I will be testing out and implementing more enterprise applications.  I noticed that rajeev_nice stated that Oracle suggest 6 hard drives exclusively for efficient GUD performance - I never new this.  Is this what I should do, or is this overkill?

Stockhes, I’m definitely interested in setting up an efficient usage of power, an I want to minimize as much waste as possible.

Based on how in depth this gets, I may need to increase the points
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by:Dr-IP
ID: 12651006
I myself would go with an Athlon 64 instead since the cost of the system will only be slightly higher, and 64 bit Windows will be here very soon. I can’t say it will be a must have, but it wouldn’t hurt to have it as an option since it won’t cost a lot more. As for 2 gigs of RAM, I’d pass on that one, sometimes an extra gig will give a very slight improvement on game load times, but it’s so slight and so rare, it’s not worth it. Put the money on faster drives instead, the return is not only more noticeable, it is also more consistent since almost everything loads faster.    
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rajeev_nice earned 525 total points
ID: 12662383
one IDE Controller normally has two channels and each channel can have upto 2 drives.. so once controller can support 4 HDD. with one on board, if uadd one more controller, I am sure with total 8 HDD ur PC wud beat any entry level server on I/O benchmarks if u RAID them right. Putting more than 8 HDD will surely be a overkill... as u r building a PC not a Storage server. The idea is that u can use cpl of HD for Database using RAID, cpl of HD for ur Games and other apps and 1 big HD for backups or drive images. so total of 4-5 HDs wud do the trick plus u wud like to have a DVD Reader/Burner and/or CD Reader/burner and they will also need one IDE connector each.

Secondly, the prices and specs for the components wud differ from location to location and as such all the gud brands match the performace benchmarks. So try to get the branded components which suits ur budget. These components get obsolete very quickly and faster compnents replace them.. and I can assure it is quite imppossible to keep ur PC latest unless ur dad is a millionaire.

Do a little research on http://shopping.yahoo.com it gives u a gud comaprison as well and select the compnents based on performace, availability,, support and prive all factors put together.

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Author Comment

by:oraclexview
ID: 12742236
Well, I guess that is all the comments and advice I'm going to get for this question thread.  Thank you everyone that contributed your ideas and knowledge.  The only true way to grow is through the sharing of knowledge.

So it’s time to divvy up the points.  There are 3 people that were quite helpful.  First, I’m giving 175 points to rajeev_nice due to the advice on hard drives and setting up a RAID system, which is what I’m mostly concerned with at this point since that’s the main component that I have left to buy and decide how I want to approach setting it up. I’m giving both improveyourpc and stockhes 50 points each for their advice mostly on power.

Thank you all.  I do appreciate the advice.
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