Can we just chain Loyd Case to a chair and make him answer our questions all day?
I'm looking at upgrading my system. I'm going to keep my monitor, keyboard, mouse, cdrom, and Audigy 2 but everything else will be new. The primary use of this machine is gaming and I would like it to be relatively quiet. This is what I'm considering:
P4 3.0 GHz w/ Hyperthreading
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro OEM
Seagate 80GB Barracuda SATA HD
Zalman 7000 Cu heatsink
Antec Sonata Case
The above comes to just under $1100 on Multiwave (with the exception of the heatsink which they do not carry). Any suggestions about changes or modifications would be greatly appreciated.
Can we just chain Loyd Case to a chair and make him answer our questions all day?
You may want to consider a second hard drive to boost performance.
I've considered it but will I see that much difference in gaming? 80 GB is all I need and pairing it with another drive would add another $100 to the total which I don't mind if the gain is significant.You may want to consider a second hard drive to boost performance.
Personally, I'd go with a Western Digital SATA drive and a Vantec Aeroflow heatsink. Otherwise, it looks great.Originally Posted by Kevin Grey
I wouldn't call it significant, but it can make a NOTICEABLE difference for all sorts of things:
Windows boot up
Anything involving loading large amounts of data (loading levels in games, for example).
Also, a second drive allows you to separate your information from your programs; IE, putting windows and program files on drive C, and putting your MP3s, word documents, etc onto drive D. That way, if you ever need to reformat, you back up your necessary program files directories to D, reformat C:, and do a fresh install of windows, and your normal documents are still sitting on D.
Another little niggle - The Sonata is a nice case, but the hard drive bays are layed out poorly; the fan mounts BEHIND them, between them and the motherboard, instead of against the front of the case. In addition, the rear fan is typically going to be an exhale fan, since you wouldn't want to draw air from right next to the power supply exhaust. As a result, you not only have negative case pressure (bad), but overall extremely poor airflow, and I have no idea why so many reviewers let it slip. It's quiet out of the box, so fucking what? You can add a few fans to a good case and not only be quieter but cooler.
Oh yeah, and what're you using for RAM?
Anyways, if I had money to spend, I would get the following parts.
$92 Athlon 2500+ Barton Retail
$170 Chaintech 7NJS-Zenith Ultra Specs
$325 FIC A98P RADEON 9800 Pro 128MB (Retail)
$65 Boot/Windows/Program Drive (WD 40GB 8MB 7200RPM WD400JB)
$114 Data Drive (WD 120GB 8MB 7200RPM SATA WD1200JD)
$26 Evercase Mid-Tower ATX (Black) Specs
$249 Kingston HyperX 1GB PC3200 CAS-2 DDRRAM Specs
$29 Thermalright SLK-800 Specs
$27 3 (Three) 80x25mm Vantec Stealth Fans (27CFM @21dBA) Specs
$50 Estimated S&H&Tax
$1150 Grand Total
Now, look for a moment at what you're getting and giving by going with this setup.
- Slower CPU
- Slightly louder case/fans
- No Hyperthreading
+ A motherboard that's so full-featured it's almost disgusting
+ Two hard drives, for much better speed and ease of use
+ Twice the capacity of the other setup
+ MUCH cooler system temperature
The fan layout is simple; have the side blowhole and the front be intakes, have the rear fan and the power supply be exhaust fans. The side and front will be taking in 54 CF of air per minute, and the exhausts should only evacuate slightly less than that, giving you case pressure that is slightly on the positive side (a good thing).
Anyways, this is what I'd do. Hope you don't take my recommendation to be high criticism; this is simply the path I'd go myself if I had the money and were planning on doing what you do.
What you have here is a system designed to overclock. That's fine as far as it goes, but that doesn't seem to be what Kevin is looking for. And given his choice of cases, I think "quiet" was more important to him. Your system won't be a "little louder", it's going to sound vaguely like a 737 in the distance.Originally Posted by Machfive
Thanks for the info Machfive but Lloyd was right in his assessment of me. I don't usually mess with overclocking because by the time I think I need to I'm ready to upgrade. I used to love getting into all of the bios/driver settings and tweaking all day but unfortunately these days I'm just looking for a fast, stable, and quiet system.
But are the Serial ATA ports on their own on the N Force 2 or are they sharing bandwidth with the PCI slots? Does that make a difference? I know the P4 boards are supposed to have serial ata on their own channels.
Bingo.Originally Posted by awdougherty
The SATA ports on the Nforce2 boards are PCI parts, so do use PCI for transferring data.
The Intel 875/865 both have SATA integrated into the I/O controller, don't use PCI at all.
No need to overclock. I think people exaggerate the necessity of a top-of-the-line CPU; the performance difference between both CPUs with the same videocard is going to be in the 5% range, and the benefits of that setup as far as feature-density far overweigh that, IMO.Originally Posted by Kevin Grey
Like I said, I prefer the 2 hard drive option to the point of choosing a less-powerful system to one that has that. I've found it's made lots of things much faster and easier, and wouldn't go back to a single drive any sooner than I'd go back to a single monitor.
I agree which is why I always buy the second fastest CPU on the market because the markup isn't worth it- hence the 3.0 vice 3.2 Ghz. I currently have an XP 2000+ so going up to a 2500 just isn't enough of a jump for me.No need to overclock. I think people exaggerate the necessity of a top-of-the-line CPU; the performance difference between both CPUs with the same videocard is going to be in the 5% range, and the benefits of that setup as far as feature-density far overweigh that, IMO.
I used to do the two hard drive thing for the reasons you outlined. Then I found that when I reformatted C: that even if all of my other programs were on the other drive I had to reinstall everything anyway to reestablish all of the registry links. For people with a large number of documents, movies, music etc I can see how the separate drive is appealing. For myself all I need is a CDRom to back up my game saves, MS Money files, email etc.Like I said, I prefer the 2 hard drive option to the point of choosing a less-powerful system to one that has that. I've found it's made lots of things much faster and easier, and wouldn't go back to a single drive any sooner than I'd go back to a single monitor.
Ah. Yeah, I've got 1 gig left on an 80 gig drive, and that's just my data files. ;)
I keep my windows on the C: drive, Program files on D:, and data on E:.
When I reinstall, yeah, I still gotta reinstall the programs, but I do it over their previous directories, so all my settings stay intact, which is often more than a hassle than the install process.
But crap, if you can fit your data onto a single CD, more power to ya. I hope and pray some day a removeable media comes along that allows me to back up my photoshop files and MP3's in one fell swoop like that. :/
Good luck with the system!
You've already gotten some good advice... Just to chime in on a few parts...
My two systems here are an Athlon (Barton) 2500 and a P4 3.06GHz with Hyperthreading. My Barton does fine for my media rig, and it was darn cheap for the performance, but I'd definitely suggest the HT P4 for day-to-day computing and gaming.
I have a Seagate 7200.7 drive (parallel ATA version) and it's SILENT. I can't hear seeks or the general whine. Sweet. There's nothing wrong with going SATA if you're not paying a premium -- "future insurance" -- but there are very, very few motherboard that offer any real performance boost with SATA due to the way the add-on SATA chips are interfaced. Until SATA ends up in the chipset, it's not going to offer a real performance boost. The Biostar iDEQ 200N that's holding the Seagate supports SATA, but I went with parallel since the 160GB Seagate parallel drive had a three-year warranty, while the 160GB SATA Seagate inexplicably had only a one-year warranty.
I recently moved my P4 rig's guts to an Antec Sonata. VERY quiet. Not silent, but about 1/4 the sound level of my old Antec case.
If you want really, really quiet, though, consider a Biostar iDEQ Small Form Factor PC. Sounds like you're only going to need one PCI slot and the AGP anyway, and you're only running one hard and one optical drive... Mine sits about five feet from my desk and I can only hear it after an extended gaming session, when the fan control speeds up a bit and I hear a mild hum that's still quieter even than my Sonata. SFF isn't for everyone -- I couldn't use it for my main rig since I have four hard drives :) -- but it sounds like it'd be fine for what you're doing.
Also, I used to buy from Multiwave, but I'd suggest you check out NewEgg.com. Better prices, great service. I've switched to them for 90% of my hardware stuff.
Oh, and the iDEQ will hold two hard drives -- it has a SATA RAID controller -- if you omit the floppy. Mine is my first floppyless system.
Denny, I priced identical systems between MWave and Newegg and MWave was cheaper. I did buy my heatsink from Newegg and my RAM direct from Kingston. I've ordered every major upgrade from Multiwave since '98 and have always had excellent service and their prices have always been just as low as Newegg's on everything I've bought. In fact I went ahead and put my order in a few hours ago and just got the email that the system shipped. I'm not complaining about Newegg of course, since everything I've ordered from them has always been great too.
I went Serial ATA not specifically for a performance boost but simply since I figured if I'm buying a new harddrive there's no reason not to since they aren't any more expensive.
For what it's worth, mwave has a host of complaints against them with the BBB, and sites like resellerratings.com will show newegg in a much more positive light.
The kingston hyper-x memory is the bomb though. I got two 512mb sticks for my recent upgrade, rather than get a 1 gb stick, because the board that I got supports dual-channel memory access (asus nforce 2 deluxe - a7m8x or something like that)
Up until 2001, I'd ordered over 10K in computer components with nary a problem through Mwave. I can't imagine they've gone that downhill since I switched to NewEgg.
Or maybe they have. It would surprise me though.
I've never had anything but great service with MWave and this most recent order was no exception. All of the parts I ordered yesterday arrived this afternoon. As long as there prices remain low I will continue to order with them.
The store I used to work at had to sue MWave to get some products we ordered (they refunded the money before it went to trial), but that was back in 2000.
If you got your stuff at a good price, that's really all that matters.
OK - I don't have any personal experience with MWAVE, but I tend to check out ratings sites before buying online, and their ratings were not the greatest. If they have served all of you well, then by all means, go for it.
I'm thinking of upgrading my hardrive on one of my computers because it starts up funny. I would also like to have Windows XP on that computer, which has 98SE on it right now. Can I buy a hardrive with XP already installed and just swap them out, or do I have to buy a hardrive and install it myself? I guess what I am really asking is whether or not XP will autodetect the hardware around it or if the OS has to be installed after the hardrive is installed.
XP will do its best to autodetect the hardware. I however, haven't seen "XP-pre-installed" hard drives being sold before. Its not hard to install XP at all. Put in the CD, boot the PC, off you go.Originally Posted by Robert Sharp
Plus if you buy a hard drive you can get an OEM version of XP, which saves you a few bucks.Originally Posted by XPav
Any comments on a good motherboard to go raid 0 with? (Or raid 1, for that matter.)
So I can get XP with the hard drive, you are saying? It will just be in disk form, but at a discount when compared to buying it separately? That's a good deal. I thought OEMs only came with whole systems...Originally Posted by Tim Elhajj
Go to NewEgg.com and look at their software selection. You'll see they have OEM version of XP Pro for much cheaper than retail versions.
And it's neat, because Microsoft's requirements say that the OEM version must be sold with hardware.
So buy ONE case screw, and you're all set. Seriously. It's a beautiful thing.
Yep, that's the ticket.Originally Posted by Robert Sharp
I am sure there are rules about which parts qualify you for an OEM copy, but I donít know them very well. I suppose some vendors flout the rule, too. But if you're going to buy a disk anyhow and you need the OS, you ought to get OEM.