New system advice


D

Dave

Thanks for your response. I am not wedded to ASUS and will be happy to
look at Intel boards.

I would be interested to hear opinions of various power supplies with
regard to the reliability or various manufacturers and the total output
I should consider.

Thanks
Ken K

At least you are smart enough to ask about power supplies. Your system should be fine with 500W or better, assuming a couple of things:
1) Just ONE video card (no SLI or crossfire)
2) A good brand of power supply
Trend is to buy huge power supplies lately, but you really don't need anything larger than 600W unless you are running two VERY powerful video cards. For most systems, even high-end, 500W will do fine.

There are good brands, good brands that put out real duds sometimes, and then there is trash. In general, it's hard to go wrong if you pick something by Silverstone, Enermax or Seasonic. OCZ and Fortron are some other good ones. But there are others. Figure on spending about a hundred bucks or more on the power supply, although there are some bargains to be had for less than that. Post here with the exact model number and price if you aren't sure. -Dave
 
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K

Ken

I have not built a system for at least 4 years and have not kept up on
developments, but I would like a faster system.

The use: Photoshop, video media, (plus low-end apps like excel, word,
etc.) I am not clear where home media is going but I would like the
system to be able to function as a media server as well as for a server
for storage for my home LAN with 3 users and lots of videos and music.
I do teleradiology from home from time to time, so I will have a minimum
of 2 GB of RAM, probably 4. I intend to run XP Pro, not Vista. I don't
do any gaming.

I have had good luck with brands like Antec (full tower case), ASUS mb's
and Intel chips. My present system is a P4 cpu with an ASUS board, 2GB
RAM, 1.25T storage (add-in SATA card), DVD burner, etc.

I think the Core Duo chip is probably a good price point for me--the
8600 (?). I have used ASUS boards, which have been very reliable for me
over the past decade; I have never used a Gigabit board but I am willing
to look at them if they are as reliable. The power supply in my present
tower is the original one that came with the Antec case, so it is at
least 4 years old, but I am willing to consider a higher-end supply. I
expect to use most of the same hdds that I use presently (5 plus a SATA
mobile rack for hot-swapping drives for video storage.

I would like to keep the price under $1200 or so, which should not be a
problem. I also would like some suggestions about where to purchase
components online.

What other info can I provide to help obtain advice here? Or are there
other sites where I might consider posting?

Thanks
Ken K
 
D

Dave

Ken said:
I have not built a system for at least 4 years and have not kept up on
developments, but I would like a faster system.

The use: Photoshop, video media, (plus low-end apps like excel, word,
etc.) I am not clear where home media is going but I would like the
system to be able to function as a media server as well as for a server
for storage for my home LAN with 3 users and lots of videos and music. I
do teleradiology from home from time to time, so I will have a minimum of
2 GB of RAM, probably 4. I intend to run XP Pro, not Vista. I don't do
any gaming.

I have had good luck with brands like Antec (full tower case), ASUS mb's
and Intel chips. My present system is a P4 cpu with an ASUS board, 2GB
RAM, 1.25T storage (add-in SATA card), DVD burner, etc.

I think the Core Duo chip is probably a good price point for me--the 8600
(?). I

(snip)

I'd suggest you start with:
SILVERSTONE ST50EF-PLUS 92/newegg (should be good for a one video
card system, regardless of video card, and regardless of number of hard
drives!)
Intel BOXDP35DPM LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX 109/newegg

And Go from there. I'm not crazy at all about Asus mainboards, but if you
prefer Intel chips, Intel brand motherboards are a better brand than just
about anything, including Asus. I'd say that even if I didn't have a low
opinion of Asus. You will NEED a new power supply. In the unlikely event
that your old power supply could handle your new rig, running new hardware
with an older power supply is just plain dangerous. Don't do it.

CPU and video card are your personal preference, but I'd say budget minimum
$200 for each. Let's say $500 there.

You can bring this in under $1200, no problem. :) -Dave
 
K

Ken

Dave said:
(snip)

I'd suggest you start with:
SILVERSTONE ST50EF-PLUS 92/newegg (should be good for a one video
card system, regardless of video card, and regardless of number of hard
drives!)
Intel BOXDP35DPM LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX 109/newegg

And Go from there. I'm not crazy at all about Asus mainboards, but if
you prefer Intel chips, Intel brand motherboards are a better brand than
just about anything, including Asus. I'd say that even if I didn't have
a low opinion of Asus. You will NEED a new power supply. In the
unlikely event that your old power supply could handle your new rig,
running new hardware with an older power supply is just plain
dangerous. Don't do it.

CPU and video card are your personal preference, but I'd say budget
minimum $200 for each. Let's say $500 there.

You can bring this in under $1200, no problem. :) -Dav


Thanks for your response. I am not wedded to ASUS and will be happy to
look at Intel boards.

I would be interested to hear opinions of various power supplies with
regard to the reliability or various manufacturers and the total output
I should consider.

Thanks
Ken K
 
K

Ken

Dave said:
At least you are smart enough to ask about power supplies. Your system should be fine with 500W or better, assuming a couple of things:
1) Just ONE video card (no SLI or crossfire)
2) A good brand of power supply
Trend is to buy huge power supplies lately, but you really don't need anything larger than 600W unless you are running two VERY powerful video cards. For most systems, even high-end, 500W will do fine.

There are good brands, good brands that put out real duds sometimes, and then there is trash. In general, it's hard to go wrong if you pick something by Silverstone, Enermax or Seasonic. OCZ and Fortron are some other good ones. But there are others. Figure on spending about a hundred bucks or more on the power supply, although there are some bargains to be had for less than that. Post here with the exact model number and price if you aren't sure. -Dave

Thanks, Dave.

I had heard horror stories 15 years ago when I first began building
systems, so I have no problem spending money on a good one. I even
purchased a PC Power and Cooling unit once, but that was a bit pricey.
My Antec Truepower (I think) has been reliable for the past 4 years,
but, then again, I use an APC backup system with line conditioning.

I don't need a high-end video card--in fact, that will be the next
question: I only need a decent card for video editing (I use my LCD TV
for viewing, although I may purchase a TV card for capture and playback.
What should I look at without needing a couple of slots and a huge
radiator for cooling???!!!

Thanks
Ken K
 
D

Dave

Thanks, Dave.
I had heard horror stories 15 years ago when I first began building
systems, so I have no problem spending money on a good one. I even
purchased a PC Power and Cooling unit once, but that was a bit pricey.
My Antec Truepower (I think) has been reliable for the past 4 years,
but, then again, I use an APC backup system with line conditioning.

I don't need a high-end video card--in fact, that will be the next
question: I only need a decent card for video editing (I use my LCD TV
for viewing, although I may purchase a TV card for capture and playback.
What should I look at without needing a couple of slots and a huge
radiator for cooling???!!!

Thanks
Ken K


Well some builders swear by VIVO. There must be a reason, but I haven't
found it. But then I don't do video editing. Even then, I would think that
the quality of the TV card would be more important. Make sure that it (TV
card) can be used as a DVR, and includes good DVR software, AND has HD or at
least ATSC tuners built in.

For video card, you need 512MB of RAM. My preference is for passively
cooled as this lowers the SOUND level of the computer system. But I don't
play games and I don't care about the size of the heatsink, as long as there
is no fan. :) If I was building your system, I'd probably go for one of
the following:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130334
It's a gamer's card, fairly recent. But it will also make a decent card for
video editing. And at about 150 bucks, it's a real bargain. Good brand
too! -Dave
 
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K

Ken

Fitz said the following on 4/8/2008 7:46 AM:
I agree with the previous poster about the power supply. I have built 3
systems recently using the Corsair HX series (both 520 and 620). Three
12V rails at 18 amps per rail, modular cables, quiet. Excellent reviews
from various sites. I've read that it is made for Corsair by Seasonic.
The also have a less expensive 500W with only one 12V rail, but it's
rated at 41 amps.

The GeForce 9600 512MB card is good, and reasonably priced. I'm partial
to the BFG brand because of the lifetime warranty (which I have tested!)
and the 24/7 product support (not from somewhere in Asia after holding
for 30 min, but in the US from someone who actually knows the product).

Fitz

Fitz,

If you have a few minutes to explain the value of multiple rails and how
they affect performance, I would be grateful for the information.

Thanks
Ken K
 
K

Ken

Fitz said:
Both the HX520 and HX620 have modular cable systems, so you only have to
connect what you need. The VX series are permanent cables, so what you
don't use you have to bundle up and find a place for. It a bit easier to
work with the modular systems, but has no effect on performance.
Depending of the case you get, you need to make sure your power supply
has sufficient length cables for you connections. Cases like the Antec
P180 are large, and the power supply mounts in the bottom of the case.

Fitz

Are the Corsair cables of sufficient length for the larger cases?
 
K

Ken

Dave said:
At least you are smart enough to ask about power supplies. Your system should be fine with 500W or better, assuming a couple of things:
1) Just ONE video card (no SLI or crossfire)
2) A good brand of power supply
Trend is to buy huge power supplies lately, but you really don't need anything larger than 600W unless you are running two VERY powerful video cards. For most systems, even high-end, 500W will do fine.

There are good brands, good brands that put out real duds sometimes, and then there is trash. In general, it's hard to go wrong if you pick something by Silverstone, Enermax or Seasonic. OCZ and Fortron are some other good ones. But there are others. Figure on spending about a hundred bucks or more on the power supply, although there are some bargains to be had for less than that. Post here with the exact model number and price if you aren't sure. -Dave

Do most of the power supplies have long cables to work in the larger
cases from Antec and Silverstone?
 
K

Ken

Fitz said the following on 4/11/2008 11:16 AM:
Yes. I've put the HX series in the Antec P180 and Nine Hundred cases,
and the Coolermaster CM690. The 550VX I've only put in a Thermaltake M9,
but I don't think you would have a problem with it in a larger case. The
longest reach is the 4 pin 12V ATX connector located behind the rear I/O
panel at the top of the motherboard.

Fitz
Fitz,

I saw a review of the Antec 180 on youtube. The way the PS cables exit
the lower chamber, they seem to come out adjacent to the last PCI slot
and even with a short card, it seemed to be a problem, possibly not
allowing use of the last PCI slot position. Have you found this to be a
problem in your systems?

Thanks
Ken K
 
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K

Ken

Dave said:
(snip)

I'd suggest you start with:
SILVERSTONE ST50EF-PLUS 92/newegg (should be good for a one video
card system, regardless of video card, and regardless of number of hard
drives!)
Intel BOXDP35DPM LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX 109/newegg

And Go from there. I'm not crazy at all about Asus mainboards, but if
you prefer Intel chips, Intel brand motherboards are a better brand than
just about anything, including Asus. I'd say that even if I didn't have
a low opinion of Asus. You will NEED a new power supply. In the
unlikely event that your old power supply could handle your new rig,
running new hardware with an older power supply is just plain
dangerous. Don't do it.

CPU and video card are your personal preference, but I'd say budget
minimum $200 for each. Let's say $500 there.

You can bring this in under $1200, no problem. :) -Dave

Dave,

Any thoughts about memory for the Intel? Manufacturer? Which speed?

KK
 
K

Ken

Dave said:
(snip)

I'd suggest you start with:
SILVERSTONE ST50EF-PLUS 92/newegg (should be good for a one video
card system, regardless of video card, and regardless of number of hard
drives!)
Intel BOXDP35DPM LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX 109/newegg

And Go from there. I'm not crazy at all about Asus mainboards, but if
you prefer Intel chips, Intel brand motherboards are a better brand than
just about anything, including Asus. I'd say that even if I didn't have
a low opinion of Asus. You will NEED a new power supply. In the
unlikely event that your old power supply could handle your new rig,
running new hardware with an older power supply is just plain
dangerous. Don't do it.

CPU and video card are your personal preference, but I'd say budget
minimum $200 for each. Let's say $500 there.

You can bring this in under $1200, no problem. :) -Dave

Dave,

Any thoughts about memory for the Intel board with Core 2 Duo processor?
Manufacturer? Which speed?

KK
 
D

DevilsPGD

I saw a review of the Antec 180 on youtube. The way the PS cables exit
the lower chamber, they seem to come out adjacent to the last PCI slot
and even with a short card, it seemed to be a problem, possibly not
allowing use of the last PCI slot position. Have you found this to be a
problem in your systems?

I've had an Antec P180 for many moons now, and not had any difficulty, I
ran the 12V 4-pin P4 connector along the bottom of the case and then up
the back of the case.

I had a medium length full height card (SB Live! of some sort) in there
for most of my ownership of this case, although Creative's inability to
come up with functional Vista drivers has finally cured me of the desire
to have a second sound card in my system.
 
D

Dave

Wow! I had always thought that Mushkin memory was too expensive. this
is a steal. How much memory will WinXP recognize?

(If there is no limit, I would consider 8 GB. I have heard too many
negative things about Vista, so I am sticking with XP)

Don't know how much XP will recognize, but I'd suggest you start with $40 worth (2GB if you buy that Mushkin kit). My reasoning is, while I ran XP ONLY, it ran just fine with 1GB. Now I'm triple-booting Vista, XP and various linux distros with 2GB RAM. Vista runs great if all your hardware is fully Vista compatible, AND, Vista maxes out, performance wise, at exactly 1.5GB of RAM. In other words, throwing more RAM at Vista, past 1.5GB, won't help. And I don't think it really helps XP either (past about 1GB or so), unless you are running some specific application that is a real memory hog.
I know you aren't interested in Vista. But Vista is RUMORED to be more of a resource hog than XP is, and Vista with Aero runs just fine with 2GB. FWIW I think Vista runs just as well as XP did. But then the system it's running on was built (by me) specifically for Vista. I designed it for Vista, knowing that it would then run XP and linux just fine. :)

Of course, at $40 for 2GB, if you want to toss in another two sticks for 4GB total, you aren't out much more. That is a REALLY good deal on RAM. Anything beyond 4GB would definitely be overkill though. I don't think XP would have a problem with it, but definitely stay at 4GB or below. -Dave
 
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K

Ken

DevilsPGD said:
I've had an Antec P180 for many moons now, and not had any difficulty, I
ran the 12V 4-pin P4 connector along the bottom of the case and then up
the back of the case.

I had a medium length full height card (SB Live! of some sort) in there
for most of my ownership of this case, although Creative's inability to
come up with functional Vista drivers has finally cured me of the desire
to have a second sound card in my system.

DevilsPGD,

So you had no problem with cable lengths from the PS to the mb. May I
ask which PS you are using?
 
K

Ken

Fitz said:
I don't use the lower PCI slot, but I don't think routing a cable to it
would be a problem. After seeing the review at Toms Hardware, I took a
couple pics of the inside of my case, and would email them to you if you
wanted to look at them. I think the review was somewhat misleading. The
author complained about the lack of instructions, but I found the case
to be pretty straight-forward. The "expert" failed to connect the Aux
12V 4 pin connector, couldn't figure out the problem and dismantled the
build to start over again (with tools borrowed from a some else's shop).
Once he figured out the problem, he also realized he had selected a
power supply that didn't even have the 4 pin connector. I'm sure the
motherboard instructions addressed this, but he apparently didn't read
them, so why he would complain about the lack of instructions for the
case is beyond me. The pic he took of the case with the assembled parts
didn't do it justice - it was a mess. I will say that with the separate
compartments for the power supply and the rest of the system, routing
and dressing the cables is time consuming and requires some effort, but
I was pleased with the result.

Keep in mind I'm not recommending the P180. I think it's a great case,
but there are lots of choices out there. The P180 provides lots of room
to work with, and great cooling. I only use the bottom hard drive cage,
and mounted the optional 120mm fan on the upper cage to blow over the
graphics card. Since the motherboard I'm using has onboard RAID,
Ethernet, plenty of USB ports, and 7.1 sound (that meets my needs), I
don't have any additional PCI cards installed. I'm only using one
GeForce 8800GTS, no SLI, which would obviously take up a lot more room.

Fitz

Thanks for the reply. I would, in fact, appreciate seeing the pictures.
Please email them to techie at thekrones dot com.

I would be interested to hear which other cases you might suggest I look
at. I want to have the capability of having a relative large number of
hard drives, which is why I like my older Antec Performance plus case,
which has 6 internal, 4 external 5 3/4" and 2 3 1/2. I want a cool case
environment without water cooling, and a quiet case. I am looking at an
Intel BOXDP35DPM LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX---nothing very trick for video
EVGA and a Core Duo processor.
EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

I am just using the system for video editing (home, not commercial),
Photoshop and Illustrator, and for basic excel, internet, etc. The
reason for the hard drives is for storage of videos, although I may use
my present Win2000 Antec, ASUS, P4, Win2K system as a server/storage
system, but I haven't decided. Ultimately, I would use the new system
as a server for home media, as well

Thanks for your input. I haven't followed hardware since I built my
system a number of years ago.

Ken K
 
K

Ken

Dave said:
Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. If I was building with
that mainboard right now, I would go with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146673

Good Brand, lifetime warranty, heat spreaders, cas4, $40 with rebate =
STEAL!!! -Dave
Wow! I had always thought that Mushkin memory was too expensive. this
is a steal. How much memory will WinXP recognize?

(If there is no limit, I would consider 8 GB. I have heard too many
negative things about Vista, so I am sticking with XP)
 
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K

Ken

DevilsPGD said the following on 4/12/2008 11:21 PM:
I've had an Antec P180 for many moons now, and not had any difficulty, I
ran the 12V 4-pin P4 connector along the bottom of the case and then up
the back of the case.

I had a medium length full height card (SB Live! of some sort) in there
for most of my ownership of this case, although Creative's inability to
come up with functional Vista drivers has finally cured me of the desire
to have a second sound card in my system.

Sounds like your power supply has cables that are certainly long enough.

Two questions, please:
1. Are you pleased with your 180 case?
2. What power supply are you using? Size?

Thanks
KenK
 
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