1st Computer Build: Comment on my Proposed System & Power Needs


M

Matthew Lechner

I've posted this info. on my web page, in case this message comes out
poorly formatted, it can be viewed there
(http://home.cwru.edu/~mel/computer/computer.htm). Thanks for
reading!

I am building my 1st computer. I want to use components reliable and
affordable, I'm not necessarily interested in having the latest
technology. I will use the computer for Internet access, word
processing, digital photography, and perhaps in the future digital
video / audio editing. I'm not interested in overclocking.

The components that I've chosen below price out between $500 and $600
plus the cost of a case and power supply. I've listed what I'm
planning to buy and the power requirements as I understand them.

3.3V 5V
12V
Motherboard Epox 8RDA3+ 3A* 2A* 0.3A*
Processor AMD Athlon 2600+ Barton core
7.12A
Memory Crucial 512MB DDR PC2700 8A*
Hard Drive Seagate ST380023AS, 80GB 7200rpm
2.2A
Video Card Asus 7100 PRO 64MB, 4x AGP 15A*
CD-RW Drive Liteon CDRW 52x32x52 1.2A
0.8A
Floppy Drive Samsung 1.44" 0.8A*
PSU Fans (2) ???
0.5A*
HD Fan (1) Vantec HDC-502A
0.25A*
CPU Fan (1) incl. w/ Athlon 2600+
0.25A*
Keyboard generic
0.25A*
Mouse generic
0.25A*
USB2.0 Device ex.: digital camera 0.5A*
Firewire Device ex.: MiniDV / iPOD 1.6A*
LAN 10/100 card (incl. w/ mobo) RealTek RTL8201 1.2A*

Max Current Totals 19.2A 14.6A
11.42A
Max Power Totals 63.36W 73W
137W

* - Not based on actual specification, but from general guidelines
found on Web for type of component.

Questions:
1. Power needs. I was able to obtain actual values for some of the
power requirements from product specs; others, I went with some
general values from articles I read online. Does anything in the table
I created seem way off? Am I missing any component that would require
power?

2. Power supply. Assuming the table is correct, what power supply
would you recommend? I am looking at an Antec Solution Series SL350
(350W). This says it provides 330W max (my computer requires about
275W across the 3 rails) and 230W across 3.3V & 5V rails (my computer
requires about 137W). Also, for each rail, this PSU allows for 28A on
3.3V rail, 35A on 5V rail, and 16A on 12V rail. Does this allow enough
headroom for my computer?

3. Video card. The video card I've chosen is fairly old technology,
AGP 4x, and the Epox mobo is an 8x AGP slot. I don't think I have use
for much more than this, though. And I'm not interested in spending
much more than $50 on a card. Do you have any other suggestions?

4. Memory. I'm planning on using a single 512MB memory. I know I could
go dual channel with 2 256MB, but my feeling is that I might upgrade
to 1GB in the future by adding another 512MB. Using dual 256MB would
limit my expandability. Your thoughts?

5. Fans / Cooling. Would you recommend any more fans beyond CPU fan,
PSU fans, and hard drive fan?

Any other thoughts you have about these components is welcome.
Thanks!!!
Matt
 
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?

????

You are doing fine.
You have only one CD-RW drive, that means you can not deal with DVD, it is a
good idea to add a DVD CD-ROM, ~$40, I found it is very handy to have two CD
drives on my PC for doing CD copy task.
The basic rule of power supply is the bigger the better, you can choose any
350W or up, for future expansion.
You may consider to add an UPS to protect your new PC.
 
C

Cosmo Kramer

I've posted this info. on my web page, in case this message comes out
poorly formatted, it can be viewed there
(http://home.cwru.edu/~mel/computer/computer.htm). Thanks for
reading!

I am building my 1st computer. I want to use components reliable and
affordable, I'm not necessarily interested in having the latest
technology. I will use the computer for Internet access, word
processing, digital photography, and perhaps in the future digital
video / audio editing. I'm not interested in overclocking.

The components that I've chosen below price out between $500 and $600
plus the cost of a case and power supply. I've listed what I'm
planning to buy and the power requirements as I understand them.

3.3V 5V
12V
Motherboard Epox 8RDA3+ 3A* 2A* 0.3A*
Processor AMD Athlon 2600+ Barton core
7.12A
Memory Crucial 512MB DDR PC2700 8A*
Hard Drive Seagate ST380023AS, 80GB 7200rpm
2.2A
Video Card Asus 7100 PRO 64MB, 4x AGP 15A*
CD-RW Drive Liteon CDRW 52x32x52 1.2A
0.8A
Floppy Drive Samsung 1.44" 0.8A*
PSU Fans (2) ???
0.5A*
HD Fan (1) Vantec HDC-502A
0.25A*
CPU Fan (1) incl. w/ Athlon 2600+
0.25A*
Keyboard generic
0.25A*
Mouse generic
0.25A*
USB2.0 Device ex.: digital camera 0.5A*
Firewire Device ex.: MiniDV / iPOD 1.6A*
LAN 10/100 card (incl. w/ mobo) RealTek RTL8201 1.2A*

Max Current Totals 19.2A 14.6A
11.42A
Max Power Totals 63.36W 73W
137W

* - Not based on actual specification, but from general guidelines
found on Web for type of component.

Questions:
1. Power needs. I was able to obtain actual values for some of the
power requirements from product specs; others, I went with some
general values from articles I read online. Does anything in the table
I created seem way off? Am I missing any component that would require
power?

2. Power supply. Assuming the table is correct, what power supply
would you recommend? I am looking at an Antec Solution Series SL350
(350W). This says it provides 330W max (my computer requires about
275W across the 3 rails) and 230W across 3.3V & 5V rails (my computer
requires about 137W). Also, for each rail, this PSU allows for 28A on
3.3V rail, 35A on 5V rail, and 16A on 12V rail. Does this allow enough
headroom for my computer?

3. Video card. The video card I've chosen is fairly old technology,
AGP 4x, and the Epox mobo is an 8x AGP slot. I don't think I have use
for much more than this, though. And I'm not interested in spending
much more than $50 on a card. Do you have any other suggestions?

4. Memory. I'm planning on using a single 512MB memory. I know I could
go dual channel with 2 256MB, but my feeling is that I might upgrade
to 1GB in the future by adding another 512MB. Using dual 256MB would
limit my expandability. Your thoughts?

5. Fans / Cooling. Would you recommend any more fans beyond CPU fan,
PSU fans, and hard drive fan?

Any other thoughts you have about these components is welcome.
Thanks!!!
Matt


Just out of curiosity, why if you are thinking of possibly expanding to 1gb
of memory are you not willing to spend more on the video card? If you are
planning on doing much work with your digital camera or MiniDV, you will
almost have to spend more than $50 on a video card. Also, though it is nice,
you don't really need 1 gb memory. I have 1gb memory, and even while doing
stuff in Photoshop, I almost never go over 350 mb of useage. However, if
you are going to do video editing, the 1gb of memory would be helpful, and
in that case your $50 video card would hold you back. I would recommend
anything in the ATI video cards from the 9200 on up. You can get a Radeon
9200 128mb ATI video card for as little as $59.99 at zipzoomfly.com (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produ...&SortBy=C&Brand=&startRecord=90&endRecord=120)
 
A

Andy

SNIP
Just out of curiosity, why if you are thinking of possibly expanding to 1gb
of memory are you not willing to spend more on the video card? If you are
planning on doing much work with your digital camera or MiniDV, you will
almost have to spend more than $50 on a video card. Also, though it is nice,
you don't really need 1 gb memory. I have 1gb memory, and even while doing
stuff in Photoshop, I almost never go over 350 mb of useage. However, if
you are going to do video editing, the 1gb of memory would be helpful, and
in that case your $50 video card would hold you back. I would recommend
anything in the ATI video cards from the 9200 on up. You can get a Radeon
9200 128mb ATI video card for as little as $59.99 at zipzoomfly.com (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produ...&SortBy=C&Brand=&startRecord=90&endRecord=120)

Why would his video card hold him back when doing video editing ?. This is
2D work and the 3D capabilities are not relevant.

I agree if he wants to play games it could be worth upgrading otherwise
spend the money on better things like a quiet CPU fan or a bigger monitor.

I know 3 Professional Video Editors all of whom use Matrox cards (both AGP
and RTX) Matrox are great for some things but 3D is not one of them.

Also 1GB of RAM makes a substantial difference to the printing speeds of
large pics in Photoshop. (Hence the reason I have just gone from 512 to
1GB).
 
J

jeffc

Matthew Lechner said:
2. Power supply. Assuming the table is correct, what power supply
would you recommend? I am looking at an Antec Solution Series SL350
(350W). This says it provides 330W max (my computer requires about
275W across the 3 rails) and 230W across 3.3V & 5V rails (my computer
requires about 137W). Also, for each rail, this PSU allows for 28A on
3.3V rail, 35A on 5V rail, and 16A on 12V rail. Does this allow enough
headroom for my computer?

I would say that's plenty. They say to allow for 30%, for expansion or
whatever reason. On the other hand, you will rarely if ever actually be
drawing that max power because all elements won't be drawing all peak power
all at the same time.
4. Memory. I'm planning on using a single 512MB memory. I know I could
go dual channel with 2 256MB, but my feeling is that I might upgrade
to 1GB in the future by adding another 512MB. Using dual 256MB would
limit my expandability. Your thoughts?

Why do you say that?
5. Fans / Cooling. Would you recommend any more fans beyond CPU fan,
PSU fans, and hard drive fan?

I'd add a case fan in the front bottom blowing in.
 
C

Cosmo Kramer

SNIP

Why would his video card hold him back when doing video editing ?. This is
2D work and the 3D capabilities are not relevant.

I agree if he wants to play games it could be worth upgrading otherwise
spend the money on better things like a quiet CPU fan or a bigger monitor.

I know 3 Professional Video Editors all of whom use Matrox cards (both AGP
and RTX) Matrox are great for some things but 3D is not one of them.

Also 1GB of RAM makes a substantial difference to the printing speeds of
large pics in Photoshop. (Hence the reason I have just gone from 512 to
1GB).

Sorry, I might be speaking out of my ignorance (I am new to computer building),
but if the video card does not handle 2d then what does? Also, if it does
control 2d applications, would spending a little more on a better video card
not also mean better 2d performance? Mainly, I was just thinking that if
he was going to be doing things that would require 1 gb of memory, then more
than likely he would need a better video card. Having one without the other
does not seem to make sense to me.
 
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J

jeffc

Cosmo Kramer said:
Sorry, I might be speaking out of my ignorance (I am new to computer building),
but if the video card does not handle 2d then what does? Also, if it does
control 2d applications, would spending a little more on a better video card
not also mean better 2d performance?

He meant that expense in a video card goes into the 3D aspect. 2D is
considered so easy nowadays that performance really isn't much of an issue.
I'm no expert on the matter - just extrapolating from what I think he meant,
and based on what little I know I agree.
 
M

Matthew Lechner

jeffc said:
Why do you say that?

I guess "limit" isn't the right word. I mean that I might as well buy
a single piece of memory at 512MB now, even if that means I'm losing
out on Dual Channel Memory gains with 2 256MB modules, because I
foresee the possibility of buying more memory for up to 1GB total, and
I wouldn't have to scrap the 2 256MB modules to get there.

Thanks all for the responses. It sounds like I'm on the right track
with the power supply and components. It's good to know that the
snazziest graphics card isn't required for photo/video editing. And
I'll take into consideration the possible addition of a DVD-ROM drive
and an additional case fan when figuring out power supply needs.

Thanks!
Matt
 
A

Andy

jeffc said:
He meant that expense in a video card goes into the 3D aspect. 2D is
considered so easy nowadays that performance really isn't much of an issue.
I'm no expert on the matter - just extrapolating from what I think he meant,
and based on what little I know I agree.

All modern cards are great in 2D speed, you need to go back a long way
(several years) to see any real differences.

As you say all the extra money goes in to extra 3D abilities which are not
relevant to the needs that the OP stated.

To the Original Poster I still say Spend the money where it matters i.e.
screen quality, good mouse, nice keyboard, or extra RAM.

:)

Andy
 
J

jeffc

Matthew Lechner said:
I guess "limit" isn't the right word. I mean that I might as well buy
a single piece of memory at 512MB now, even if that means I'm losing
out on Dual Channel Memory gains with 2 256MB modules, because I
foresee the possibility of buying more memory for up to 1GB total, and
I wouldn't have to scrap the 2 256MB modules to get there.

Well how many RAM slots do you have? Why couldn't you just add 512M later?
 
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M

Matthew Lechner

I guess "limit" isn't the right word. I mean that I might as well buy
Well how many RAM slots do you have? Why couldn't you just add 512M later?


By golly, you've got the right idea. I do have 3 slots for memory, so
I might as well get 2 256MB modules. Thanks for persisting on this
issue until I got it through my thick skull.

Matt
 
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