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Choosing Parts [13 Jun 2007|08:47am]

I wrote this up for bored_to_life, but figured I'd repost it for anyone looking for advice. If you're reading this way after I've actually posted it, know that some of the technologies I say you should be sure to get, may no longer be the best.

Choosing Parts...Collapse )
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Time to annoy all you people that actually know something... [13 Jun 2007|03:34am]

I think the last time I had any part in building a computer was about seven years ago, and I have relatively no memory of it so at this point it's really not going to help me much...

I'm building a computer to be used for gaming, animation, photography/photoshop. Actually, it's for everything.

I have people that are happy to help me put it together, but as far as the actual shopping goes, no one's been much help at all.

My two main problems are as follows-

1. I don't know what all I need. I have rough ideas as far as what I'd like for RAM and a hard drive. I know I'll need video and sound cards and a motherboard and whatnots, but I really don't know- what all goes in the computer.

2. I know nothing about brands, and what is reliable and what isn't.
Price is less of an issue than quality, as I am settling for this over a $1600 laptop, and I know it's possible to make a darned sexy machine for around $900.

I'm looking to spend in the area of $1,000
I really shouldn't go over about $1,200, but I pretty much live at the computer, and if more than that is what it takes to make a machine that will make me happy, then it's worth it to me.

So far, this is what I (kind of?) know-

-I want about a 300 gig hard drive.
I am not a person that tends to take up a lot of space. I don't have a large music collection, I don't keep a lot of movies, and I don't use way too many programs.
I have been using a shitty five-year-old laptop for a year, and haven't taken up more than 20 gigs (though, it's been difficult).

I have heared Western Digital is okay, and I was looking at these two- I can't tell the difference between them-


- I want more than two gigs of RAM.
Four seems to be a lot, and I don't think I'd run anything that would use more than three.
Would it be possible to use one stick of 1gig and one stick of 2gig?
I'm under the impression that it very much is, but I can't seem to find a way to buy it like that.
And again, I have no idea as to what brands are best.

- Video card...
No ideas here.
Basically if I can run Oblivion I'll be a happy girl, but I'd like a good quality, decent video card. If it stays in the $200 or less range that'd be just spiffy. If not, that's what I have a job for.

Motherboard and sound card are also huge grey areas for me.
And I'd love to get a CD/DVD combo drive, but it appears that Newegg only has a couple and they're apparently shitty.
So brands and products for that would be kind of nice too...

I am pretty sure I'm getting this case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129155

... Uuumm yeah, I think that's about it.... Thanks in advance, sorry for any extreme st
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New Video Card? [25 Sep 2006|08:33am]

I built my own comupter which has an Asus kv8-SE motherboard, AMD Atheleron 64 3200+, 74GB Western Digital Raptor(10k), 1 Stick of 512 Mb DDR 400 Mhz of Ram(can hold another), I have 128mb ATI Radeon 9600 agp card.. and therein probably lies where my problem is. I think my computer is too fast for the graphics card. If anyone has an opinions on this, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm going out to buy a new graphics card, preferrebly Nvidia and notably higher than the one I have. Here's the issue I was having:

When playing WOW, the computer freezes at certain times, and then I think my computer's defensive mode restart's the computer to protect it. Once I even got the blue screen saying it was having problems with the driver for the graphics card. I've updated the drivers and heard that this particular graphics card has problems and people are still having issues with it.

Now.. if I get the new card, what MB should I get? and what brand's are good?
1 comment|post comment

[29 Aug 2006|11:21am]

Here's an interesting technical question for those of you who are into this stuff.

System Specs:
FIC Mainboard K8-800T
Running newest bios (from 10/12/2004)

I have two RAID controllers in my system.

One is the onboard RAID0 controlling two RAPTOR74GB SATA drives. This is my boot set and it boots just fine on it's own.
The second is a SIL3114 add-on card supporting RAID5, which I have set up on four 250GB SATA drives for data storage.

When the SIL3114 card was set to RAID0 , the machine would load the SIL card first, account for all the drives in RAID0, then load the onboard RAID chip and account for all of the drives, boot from that system and all was well.

Today, I decided to change the SIL's setup from RAID0 to RAID5, as I wanted redundancy.

The card now reads RAID5 in the setup from the SIL card but doesn't load the board-based RAID0. Upon rebooting, it loads the SIL RAID, then goes to boot from it and fails. There is one jumper one the SIL card (I was hoping this would be to disable boot-from-RAID) that I can't find identification for and when jumped, doesn't look like it makes a bit of difference. It never does load the onboard RAID now.

Intererestly enough, if I remove the SIL Raid drives from the SIL Bios and leave them as non-RAID stand alone drives, it auto-boots the board-RAID just fine. On the same token, if I take the Sil-RAID card out of the machine, it also boots the Board-RAID just fine. Strangely, if I make the Sil drives RAID0 (the way they worked before), the machine WILL NOT load the onboard controller anymore.

So, here's my question...

How do I get my system to boot from the board raid first? Or, alternatively, how do I tell the Sil RAID card not to allow booting and to simply be a SATA RAID5 data drive?

Any help you guys might have would be useful.
Crossposted to thequestionclub
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[28 Aug 2006|10:44pm]

Some useful links I used while picking parts.

VGA Charts - Comparable Video Card Benchmarks
CPU Charts - Comparable CPU Benchmarks

PriceWatch (not as good as it used to be, but useful)

Because my current computer is really noisy, I put a little bit of time into reasearching quiet fans and such. Silent PC Review came in handy for that. There's a forum sticky that goes over the basics, but there are specific reviews available, too.

I thought I could come up with more links than this. It's a start.
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[27 Aug 2006|11:27pm]

Well this is still pretty dead, mostly because I don't have much time to advertise or anything. I did finally get around to preparing for some PC building of my own. I just ordered the following, all from NewEgg except the case which is coming from RadioShack (and was a really good deal).

Case and PSUAntec P150RadioShack
CPUAMD Athlon64 X2 4200+ AM2NewEgg
MotherboardMSI K9N Neo-FNewEgg
MemoryCorsair XMS DDR2 800 2x512MB 4-4-4-12NewEgg
Video CardMSI nVidia Geforce 7900GT 256MBNewEgg
HarddriveWD 250GB SATA2NewEgg
DVD BurnerNEC 3550ANewEgg
CPU HeatsinkZalman CNPS9500NewEgg

I actually ordered the wrong memory and the wrong DVD burner (just faceplate color, but... you know...) so I e-mailed them. Hope it's soon enough I can get it changed.
3 comments|post comment

[17 Jul 2006|05:59pm]

hopefully this community is still active.

i'm building a computer from some old parts and new ones that i've bought. it's gone smoothly so far, but i've ran into quite a hitch. the specs are....

amd 64 3000+ processor
abit socket 939 motherboard
powmax 450 watt power supply and case
768 gigs of ram
dvd-r drive
cd-rw drive
one 40 gig hard drive (from an older computer, containing files and boot info for winxp)
one 160 gig drive, containing only music and video files that i'm willing to lose
EVGA e-GeForce 6200 graphics card, 256mb ram
cheap crt monitor

basically, i plug everything in and turn it on, and 9 times out of 10 i don't get a image on my monitor. i've got the graphics card installed right and everything, but i rarely get a picture of the bios. and when i do, i can't figure out how to allow the bios to boot from my IDE device, so i can boot from the winxp reinstall cd.

any ideas as to why this kind of stuff happens?
4 comments|post comment

[18 Mar 2006|08:28am]

Hi. I have a question about upgrading rather than building. I'm trying to figure out if I need more RAM or a faster processor. It's sort of a troubleshooting question. Do you accept these sorts of questions?
If, so, I posted the problem here:
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[12 Mar 2006|07:26pm]

Sorry that this isn't really related to PC building, but I didn't know where else I could look for this.

My friends were disassembling some computers last year, and I pulled this one piece off of one of them, and I want to buy more, because it's really beautiful, and I was just wondering what it's called, if that's possible, and where I might find one.

I just realized how annoying this post must be, really sorry.

this is the partCollapse )

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[23 Dec 2005|09:03am]

I found this link on slashdot to a list of top 10 weirdest pc mods. Why not a list of coolest mods instead of weirdest? I dunno. Anyway --- my vote for no. 1 (coolest) would have been for no. 9 or no. 10.
1 comment|post comment

Almost Done... [19 Dec 2005|09:24pm]

I am almost done my own PC build. I still have to upgrade the RAM. Then I plan to change out the stock CPU block and PSU with quieter models. If anyone want's to see pictures of it, you can check out the "worklog" here
2 comments|post comment

Yeah. [13 Dec 2005|09:49pm]

I feel like I'm the only one posting topics in here. ha.

Well, I got myself an eBay account. Now, I'm going to take my chances and buy in-expensive computer parts to tinker with.

Thanks for the Linux stuff.

Hey, if you wouldn't mind sharing, do any of you have AIM screenames?
1 comment|post comment

Old School Compaq for Project [09 Dec 2005|10:13pm]

Well, I knew about this old computer sitting in my friend's grandfather little TV/Electronics repair shop. Well, today, I decided to go give the little setup a look. It's fair enough, 200 bucks for a total setup, tower, monitor, mouse, keyboard and speakers. I'm going to buy it, and do some stuff to it.

I want to do a case swap, take it out of this little tiny box it's in, and move it into a nice roomy case. It has no CD-R, so, it'll get one, I have one lying around from this old eMachines pc, given to me. I'll pop in a new hardrive, a 40 gig I suppose. Maybe a video and sound card. Not sure what else to do with it when I get it. Any suggestions? (Glad I've gotten out of my woes so quickly! ^_^)
9 comments|post comment

Damnit. [07 Dec 2005|01:57pm]

I've come to a very frustrating conclusion...

I don't think I'll ever build a computer again. I just don't have the money, or any cool friends who have loads of junk or old computers. Is it overly geeky to get depressed over a need to build a pc, and not having the ability? I really wish I could find things out in the world, like a store (Fuck micro center), that just has great deals, or a website that sold computer parts for fair prices...

5 comments|post comment

Howdy, all! [05 Dec 2005|08:25pm]

Just joined this group, so, here are the specs of my current PC.

Intel Celeron D 2.26GHz**
Biostar P4VMA-M ver. 7.3
512MB DDR400*
GeForce 6200 256MB AGP**
LG 52x24x52x CD-RW
30GB Seagate HDD***
AC'97 onboard audio**
-15cm red CCFL
-red EL accents
-side window with design.
-custom fangrill
-custom wireless mouse and KB
-5.1 surround speakers (Not till X-mas. -_0)

* Certain upgrade
**Possible upgrade
***Adding more to it
5 comments|post comment

My 'rig' [05 Dec 2005|02:04pm]

Well...I got the bright idea to build a pc about back in July. Here's how this one goes. I don't have the best memory in the world, so bear with me, I'm taking this off the top of my head...

Motherboard: ASRock, Socket 478...I'll get back with the specs...

Processor: Intel Celeron D 2.26 Ghz

Memory: 512 MB Corsair XMS Series SDRAM

Hardrives: 10 GB Western Digital pulled from an ancient Compaq, and a 80 GB SATA Western Digital storage drive.

Sound and Video: Can't even remember, cheap Office Max buys.

The rest of the hardware was ordered from Newegg

Oh, can't forget the case, 420 watt power supply, Aspire X-Infinity with glowing blue LED's

and furthermore, a Sony CD-RW drive and a FREE Lite-On DVD ROM drive, also a Sony floppy drive...

FREE Medion 17' CRT monitor, FREE old school Labtec speakers, and a Logitech keyboard, and Belkin mouse (not optical)

I think that just about covers it. If I missed any parts, just tell me.
3 comments|post comment

intro [02 Dec 2005|11:45pm]

Hi, I'm new here but just finished building my pc and wanted somewhere to talk about it.

I haven't gone to a 64 bit system yet and am in the process of migrating completely to linux. Except for games, I rarely boot into Windows any more. The system is dual boot though.

Here it is:

Biostar M7NCD (nVidia nForce 2 chipset, dual channel support)
AMD Athlon 3200+
1 GB ddr ram
XFX nVidia chipset GeForce 6800GT with 256 MB ddr3 ram
Audigy 2 sound card
Antec TruePower 2.0 psu
Thermaltake Tsunami Dream case
IBM P260 flat crt 21" monitor
2 comments|post comment

Hi [30 Nov 2005|08:11am]

I'm new to this community, obviously. I share a great interest in pc building. Unfortunantly for myself, I do not have the most money in the world. I was hooked on computers at an early age, and after completing my first computer build, I've been hooked since, and itching to finish another project. I've been strapped for cash, and hardware dosen't rain from the the sky, so, I'm in a tight spot. Well, hopefully this community will get more members, huh?
3 comments|post comment

[22 Nov 2005|10:12pm]

I changed the layout and made an icon. I need to update the user info and lay down some ground rules (advertising, etc.), but for now, I'm bored and want to post some content.

This is my planned build for a new gaming rig. The processor will be AMD and the Video Chipset and North Bridge will be nVidia. The rest really just depends on green.

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice
MSI K8N Neo4-F motherboard
ASUS EN6600GT Silencer - nVidia Geforce 6600GT 256MB
Corsair XMS 512MB PC3200 x 2
Seagate Barracuda 80GB 7200RPM Serial ATA 150

I'll throw in some quiet Zalman parts, too (power supply, cpu heatsink/fan, north bridge heatsink).

I was looking at this case and these fans, but really I'm clueless. I'd love someone to recommend a roomy mid tower case and/or some quiet yet effective case fans they like. How about DVD burners? Newegg keeps dropping the ones I add to my wishlist from stock.
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[22 Nov 2005|03:26pm]

[ mood | creative ]

I can't believe one of these didn't exist already. My first attempt at a community, and already it will have to wait... until I get home at least.

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