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Old 10-18-2008, 05:18 AM
Sean Darby
 
Default Update on Building My First Computer

I recently found out there's an AMD chipset, which supports ATI's
Crossfire, though doesn't support NVIDIA's SLI... so I'm guessing I need
a motherboard with the NVIDIA chipset so I can use NVIDIA/SLI, though am
not sure how I can tell if the motherboard also supports AMD...
unless... it says "AM2+" on it?

What are the similarities/differences between AMD's 9950 and 9850?
Someone recently suggested considering their 9850 instead of their 9950.

In any case, this first build of mine is for gaming (though hopefully
capable of upgrading for better gaming later) and for producing music
(definitely - hopefully - capable of lots of upgrades later).

I'm gradually narrowing things down.

Here's an update to the list...

If anybody could chime in on sections that include more than one version
of the similar-type component, I'd be grateful.



CPU:

"AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 140W
Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103285
($169.00)

or

"AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition
Processor - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103291
($184.99)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Motherboard:

"ASUS M3A78-T AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131331
($149.99)
("Unleash 140W Phenom Performance, DDR3 1333 Sideport Memory")

or

"ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...A79-T%20Deluxe
($188.99)
("AMD 790FX/SB750, Quad PCIe x16, Ideal OC platform")

NOTE: I believe these are Crossfire/ATI. I am getting NVIDIA. Is there
an equivalent to these AMD boards, perhaps even asus, that's has the
nvidia chipset?


__________________________________________________ ______________________

RAM:

"Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820104043
($78.99)

or

"Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual
Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820134641
($60.49)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Hard Drives:

"Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148274
($129.99)
~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
"Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148274
($129.99)

or

"Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148274
($129.99)
~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
"Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...20500gb%20SATA
($69.99)

or

"Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148274
($129.99)
~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
"Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136149
($64.99)
~~~~~ ...in addition to... ~~~~~
"Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136149
($64.99)

or

Another arrangement of 2, 3, or more hard drives ranging from 1.5 TB to
2+ TB costing hopefully no more (hopefully less) than $260 (2TB) or $195
(1.5TB).


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Case:

I have absolutely no idea.
Looking for: full tower (ATX), something clear and glowy, with good air
circulation, is solid/stable, functions well.
A non-clear option: Someone had mentioned Antec 900 is very quiet, I
like that (especially for music), though I'd still love to have a clear.
($ price range, not sure atm.)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

PSU:

"CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80
PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=corsair%20750
($119.99)
(Price goes up by 10% after 10/22.)

or

"PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified
(Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
Power Supply - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817703009
($144.99)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

GPU:

"EVGA 512-P3-N873-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express
2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130376
($189.99)
($159.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate, available up to 11/5, with special
savings on AMD CPU combo, ends 11/5)

or

"XFX PVT98FYDBU GeForce 9800 GTX Black Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI
Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150297
($189.99)
(Black Edition overclocked at 760MHz)

or

"EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI
Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130339
($159.99)

or

"XFX PVT98GYDLU GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150316
($129.99)
($109.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
(Free Call of Duty 4 included, while supplies last.)

or

"MSI N260GTX-T2D896 OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express
2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127361
($239.99)
(Free Rainbow 6 Vegas2 game w/ purchase, limited offer.)
(A GTX260 might be out of my current price range; it depends on what
other components I get.)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Audio:

Internal:

"ASUS Xonar D2 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Ultra Fidelity
Sound Card with Complete Dolby/DTS Sound Technologies - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...s%20Xonar%20D2
($179.99)
($149.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate)

or

Something totally different, effective for gaming purposes only.
($ price range, not sure atm.)

~~~~~ ...in addition to internal for gaming, getting external for music
production... ~~~~~

External:

Something from M-Audio, Emu, RME, or similar (not sure).
I'd like to get something like that Yamaha mixer that doubles as sound
card, though am not sure model #.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

DVD:

All of the DVD burners seem to be right around $25 or $26, I don't know
if it really matters which one to get? I won't be getting bluray just
yet.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

LCD Monitor:

I really don't know about this yet... I'm still working on the "guts"
inside the computer case. I am interested in at least 22" and of course
as inexpensive (but good quality) as possible. I would also like to have
at least 1680x1050 resolution.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Keyboard:

"RAZER Lycosa RZ03-00180100 Black 104 Normal Keys 7 Function Keys USB
Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ing%20Keyboard
($84.99)
(That's odd, it was only $79.99 the other day.)

or

Another keyboard if someone knows of a good one (without the attached
gaming pad).


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Music Keyboard:

Probably something (only 1 or 2 octaves) by M-Audio.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Gaming Pad:

"BELKIN F8GFPC200 N52TE Tournament Edition - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ment%20Edition.
($69.99)

or

Another one, similar to it, if a better deal is available.
(I do like that it is separate from the keyboard.)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Mouse:

"RAZER RZ01-00020200 Red 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1600 dpi
Diamondback Precision Gaming Salamander Mouse - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826153029
($39.99)

or

Another one if better deal. (There appear to be multiple possibilities
by Razer.)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Speakers:
"Logitech Z-5500 505 Watts 5.1 Speaker - Retail"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...itech%20Z-5500
($252.99)
($212.99 after $40.00 Mail-In Rebate)
(Combo savings with Viewsonic [19"] monitor, ends 10/31.)

or

Something more affordable for gaming purposes. I won't be using these
with music production. I'll have an entirely dedicated set of speakers
and gear for that.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Mic:

Labtec Verse 333 PC Microphone.
$9.99 (tigerdirect.com)
(I think I'll hold off on something like this until I know if I'm
getting a monitor with built-in cam+mic.)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Headset:

"TRITTON TRI-AI712 4 x 3.5mm Circumaural AX 51 - Gaming Headset"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...TRITTON%20AX51
($69.99)

or

"Creative FATAL1TY 3.5mm gold-plated Circumaural Gaming Headset"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826158051
($49.99)
(Special savings, ends 10/31.)

or

"TekNmotion TM-PSX100A 3.5mm/ USB Circumaural Pulsewave / Pulsar SX PC
Gaming Headphone"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826289001
($54.99)


__________________________________________________ ______________________

UPS:

I have no idea.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

LAN:

I'm guessing it's completely okay to use the one integrated into the
motherboard. I doubt it's really necessary to get a special "gaming
network card".


__________________________________________________ ______________________

WLAN:

I really don't know about this yet. It does need to be compatible with
Unix and Linux.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Wireless Router:

I might put this on hold and stick with the old wireless router, for now
at least. I'll probably get a really nice Linksys when I get a new one.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Cable Modem:

I really don't know about this yet... I'm still working on the "guts"
inside the computer case.


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Coolers:

Ditto, I really don't know about this yet... and I should probably
figure this out soon, since coolers are some of the most important parts
of the "guts" inside a computer case. RAM coolers, lots of fans, thermal
paste, who knows what else. I'll still look into those 2 links provided
in an earlier reply (to cooling and silencing computers).



__________________________________________________ ______________________

Computer Desk Chair:

I think I'll just go ahead and get one at the local furniture store at a
decent price (for now).


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Computer Desk:

Ditto, I'll probably pick up a desk/table locally. I don't know what to
get though, yet I'd really like either a very basic computer desk or a
pretty fancy computer "table".

I'll probably get a laptop stand with it, like the "Allsop Metal Art"
brand "corner monitor/notebook stand".


__________________________________________________ ______________________


__________________________________________________ ______________________

Here are some other comments for some components:

CPU:
I'm not sure what the difference is in prices with "OEM" and "Retail".
As I said before, I honestly like both Intel and AMD, though I want AMD
with my first computer. I'll get something from the i7 series in the
future, if they're not phasing it out by that point in time. Though, by
that point in time the new AMD will most likely look pretty tasty.

Case:
I removed my original option from the list because it had too many
negative reviews. I'd love to have an all-clear case with some pretty
glowing lights. If there is a similar case that has more clear parts to
it than just one side panel, that could be pretty neat too.

PSU:
I'm still a little unfamiliar with power supplies, though have gained a
slightly better understanding this past week. With the current rig I'm
assuming 750W is enough, and that having a little breathing room is
good. I know having too little power is very bad, though don't know if
it's possible to have too much.



Here are some questions that hopefully some people can help with:

Motherboard:
There's a plethora of motherboards that might work with my CPU.
I'd like to be able to upgrade components later, for example, AMD's
Agena after it has been out for a while.
How do I select the right motherboard?

RAM:
Should I get the HyperX or the normal?
Should I go ECC or non-ECC?

Hard Drive:
Is there a difference in compatibility with motherboard between a SATA
and SATA-II hard drive?

Case:
What could I consider getting?
(Trying to find something "mostly clear", some "glowy stuff", good air
circulation, solid/stable, and functions well.)

GPU:
How do I know if the GPU has at least "Shader Model 3.0 capable Video
card, Direct X 9c, 256 MB RAM"? (Some of the requirements for the game
I'm testing.)
How many GPUs do I need so I can use 3 LCD monitors at once?
(Only using 1 monitor this year, will have 3 next year.)

Audio:
What could I get away with as an affordable internal sound card for
gaming?
What could I use for an external music production audio device/interface
that would perhaps be similar a Yamaha mixer "plus external soundcard"?

Speakers:
I'll have a dedicated set of speakers/gear for music production. What is
a good set of 5.1 speakers for gaming that isn't as expensive as the
Z-5500 ($250) speakers?

UPS:
I don't know... but this is important. Illinois power is so horrible
that it has damaged my rather expensive power amp to my stereo system. I
won't be using it again until I replace the fuse, which won't be until I
get a couple surge protectors and UPS-type items. I'll use a UPS on the
computer set-up, though probably only a protector on the entertainment
system. What could I get for both?

"Bonus" questions:
What are some AMD-based motherboards (supporting Phenom) that have the
nvidia chipset?
For 1 year from now, how could one use 3 monitors with an AMD
motherboard and nvidia?
Top brands for various kinds of coolers?
Regarding monitors, is 8000:1 and 4000:1 stuff basically the quality of
the contrast between brights and darks?
Silly question... UPS... the U = uninterrupted, right? (I used to think
it was "universal.")
Do 5.1 headphones/headsets literally (physically) exist? (Bizarre!)
Are 120mm fans less noisy and/or more effective than 80mm fans?
What's the difference (or is one better) between (ASUS) 790FX and 790GX?

Thank you everybody very much!

On Sun, 2008-10-12 at 12:24 -0500, Sean Darby wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I will soon be building my very first computer, am looking forward to
> it, though am also curious about a few things pertaining to hardware
> selection, compatibility, and quality of product. Before I insert the
> details of various computer components I have been looking at (currently
> with totals between about $1,300 and $1,600) I thought I would go ahead
> and open up a discussion on the subject.
>
> The primary purpose of the new computer:
> Music & Gaming.
>
> The secondary purpose:
> TV/movies/multimedia.
>
> Regarding gaming:
> I was invited to privately test a game that is in alpha/beta/etc. stages
> of production and it requires more computer muscle than what I currently
> have. I'm not much of a computer gamer, though this one is the
> exception, it's a must have/must play (at least for me, personally).
>
> Regarding music:
> I am a professional musician and require the ability to record out of my
> music lesson studio. Any functions that would benefit my music
> instruction would be great, too. I teach guitar, bass guitar, drumset,
> and percussion.
>
> The tv, movies, and other multimedia functions should be pretty easy,
> though I might need a few hardware components with special features if I
> want to ever hook the computer up to a tv (or perhaps hdtv) in the
> future. Some nice DVD rip/burn functions would be nice, though that can
> probably work fine with the appropriate software. Those are only a
> couple aspects of that purpose in the computer, otherwise I can simply
> watch the tv shows and movies on my computer as I do now.
>
> For gaming, I am looking into a few obvious things - nice graphics/video
> card for example, perhaps a "gaming pad" so I don't stress my normal
> keyboard out. I've heard NVIDIA is crossplatform but ATI is not.
>
> For music, I am looking into similar - nice audio/sound card for
> example, perhaps an external sound module to bridge the sound card to
> any additional external components (boards or instruments). I've heard
> mixed opinions on Sound Blaster, and am unfamiliar with other options.
>
> For tv/etc., I'm guessing I'll need s-video capability, though am not
> sure what else.
>
> The game will be running on Windows Vista, everything else will be
> Linux/Unix (specifically Ubuntu Studio, OpenBSD, and a "floating" 3rd
> *nix (partition reserved for different distros/flavors/etc.).
>
> The short-term goal is to have a computer immediately ready for gaming
> that also includes the basic components for producing music.
>
> The long-term goal is to maintain the gaming component requirements but
> mostly to add to the music producing aspect of the computer. I hope to
> eventually have a true home studio for use with teaching music lessons,
> composing music, and especially recording music.
>
> I am also going for a 64-bit, quad core. I have details available of
> what I've looked at so far but thought I'd introduce this subject and
> ask a question first.
>
> Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations on computer
> components that would work with the above?
>
> Thank you!
>
> Sean
>
>
>
>
>


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Old 10-18-2008, 09:35 AM
Gustin Johnson
 
Default Update on Building My First Computer

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1


Sean Darby wrote:
> I recently found out there's an AMD chipset, which supports ATI's
> Crossfire, though doesn't support NVIDIA's SLI... so I'm guessing I need
> a motherboard with the NVIDIA chipset so I can use NVIDIA/SLI, though am
> not sure how I can tell if the motherboard also supports AMD...
> unless... it says "AM2+" on it?
>
> What are the similarities/differences between AMD's 9950 and 9850?
> Someone recently suggested considering their 9850 instead of their 9950.
>
> In any case, this first build of mine is for gaming (though hopefully
> capable of upgrading for better gaming later) and for producing music
> (definitely - hopefully - capable of lots of upgrades later).
>
> I'm gradually narrowing things down.
>
> Here's an update to the list...

There has been a similar discussion on the 64Studio mailing list. A
couple of us have had a lot of problems with AM2 (and AM2+) series
motherboards. I have personally wrestled with 4 different chipsets all
supporting this platform (not for just a DAW). I am back to Intel now.

Of course, you are free to make your own choice.
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