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stingerhs
04-18-2007, 11:58 AM
for those of you that don't know, i'm slowly building a new computer over the next couple of months, and i've already started with the two basic components: the case and motherboard.

the mobo is an Asus M2N-SLi (AM2 Socket and Nvidia 570SLi FSB), and the case is an Antec P180 Mid-Tower ATX.

the planned components are:
2 Western Digital Raptor HD's (150GB) in a RAID 0 array
1 Seagate HD (500GB) to serve as a backup (or serve as the third drive in a RAID 0+1 array. i haven't made up my mind yet. ;) )
1 DVD burner (probably not Blu-ray or HD-DVD compatible unless prices come down)
1 Antec 500W PSU
2 Kingston Memory Modules (1GB each)
1 Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS (320MB model)
1 AMD Athlon64 X2 6000+ processor
1 SoundBlaster X-Fi w/ the 5.25" Front Bay

since i don't have to worry so much about current prices (i am buying this stuff pretty much one component every two or three weeks), i'm curious as to what your opinions are about the planned setup.

in particular, i'm wondering about the RAID 0+1 vs RAID 0 and just incrementally backing up the data on the 500GB HD. will i get any performance difference between the two setups, and will it affect me wanting to partition the 500GB HD so i can run Windows and Linux on a single computer.

also, i was wondering if there might be a better solution regarding the Athlon 6000+ instead of the FX-62. the FX-62 is more expensive, but the only differences between the two is the memory controller clock (DDR2-800 on the FX-62 vs. DDR2-725 on the 6000+) and the clockspeed (2800Mhz on the FX-62 vs. 3000Mhz on the 6000+). what difference will that make in performance, if any at all??

anyways, i might have some more questions as the build progresses, so just let me know. :)

tk102
04-18-2007, 12:13 PM
As I understand, RAID 0 is slightly faster performance than RAID 0+1 but obviously it doesn't have the safety net. Why RAID 0+1 and not RAID 5? You'd only need 3 disks instead of 4 and you get the safety net and the performance.

stingerhs
04-18-2007, 12:34 PM
that's true. i didn't think about that, but how would that affect partions, if at all??

i'm just a n00b when it comes to RAID, and i've hardly ever seen a RAID array up at work (much less a computer that uses more than one HD).

and, thanks for the help. :D

tk102
04-18-2007, 12:37 PM
I'm a n00b too stingerhs! But here's a great guide that I found that lists the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the Single and Nested RAID levels.

http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref/hdd/perf/raid/levels/single.html

Astrotoy7
04-18-2007, 12:49 PM
lolz...I may be asking a silly question, but is this on XP or Vista :)

*I dont think you should worry about the FX-62 personally. Qliveur will probably be able to give you better details, but Im sure you could stably overclock x2 5xxx to get some great performance. I havent seen a game atm that stretches even a 4800. provided you have sufficient RAM and a decent grafix card. Multimedia/editing apps sure, but not games.

*Are you planning on a quad core upgrade ? It seems AM2 platforms with a BIOS upgrade will be able to run the "AM3" quads, and this support DDR3. Socket F quads are a different story of course(but I'd say are initially targeted at the server market)

*Will you be installing 32bit or 64bit OS ?? Sure, driver issues etc - but eventually I think with Quad Core + DDR3 + DX10 + Blu Ray(capacity) we will go beyond the 3/1 GB limitation of x86. Not much has been shown about what Vista can do with 4GB, or if its any different to XP. I have seen setups that "see" 4GB and "use" 3.2 max.

*FYI Nvidia has new 158.18 Betas including lots of improvements for 8800 support in Vista :)

*Why not wait til mid year and get a better gfx card at a cheaper rate. When AMD/ATI releases its DX10 range, prices will drop even on the higher end ones. Im not chnaging over as Ive found my 7950GX2 is still capable of doing quite well, currently only outstripped by the 8800 768MB GTX. When there are a bunch of DX10 games that I need DX10 for, I'll be ready for the switch :)

*The p180s are nice enough cases. Im a small form factor fan though. I think the ultimate smaller case is the Thermaltake lanbox. Its large enough to fit an SLI setup and has great ventilation properties. You can even get a handle for it so you can cart it around. Its a great feature if you are in the habit of transporting your pc. Im definitely planning on upgrading eventually, but am happy enough with my 'q-pack' case atm.

*RAID setups are only really handy if you chug over alot of data *frequently*. I see them most commonly emplyed in business setups and media servers(built a couple myself). If your not churning data that frequently (ie. GBs on a daily basis) then using a great program like Acronis True Image for the incremental backups is just as good. Acronis can also handle your dual boot configs (But Im sure you already know all that!!)

*Fans ? Otehr cooling measures ??

*Other mods ?? LCD VFDs etc ?? The thermaltake hardcano is a gret bit of kit if you are temp conscious !!

good luck ! post pics :)

Im still chugging along on my build. Just added a skull decal. Havent got that LED case badge thingy yet or the LCD VFD(not available yet). Im also really interested in converting my dvd drive to dual slot entry notebook drives, but cannot for the life of me find a bezel kit in this country!!! :(

astro

stingerhs
04-18-2007, 01:05 PM
I'm a n00b too stingerhs! But here's a great guide that I found that lists the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the Single and Nested RAID levels.good info. hmm, i guess i can run 3 Raptors in a RAID 5. lets see, total storage capacity would come out to 300GB, so that's pretty darn good for what i want.

and i think i found the answer to my question about partitions with a RAID array: since the array is handled outside of the file system and the OS (its all handled through the RAID controller), a RAID 5 array would function entirely as one HD, and thus it can be partitioned as you would a single HD.

thanks for the link, tk. :Dlolz...I may be asking a silly question, but is this on XP or Vistathe plan is to get Vista Ultimate on down the road. if i build it right away (albeit unlikely), i'll install Linux on a partition first.*I dont think you should worry about the FX-62 personally. Qliveur will probably be able to give you better details, but Im sure you could stably overclock x2 5xxx to get some great performance. I havent seen a game atm that stretches even a 4800. provided you have sufficient RAM and a decent grafix card. Multimedia/editing apps sure, but not games.and hence why i'm mostly interested in the 6000+. it currently offers fairly similar performance to the FX-62, but it also comes in at about $100 cheaper. and overclocking with my new mobo shouldn't be an issue. ;)*Are you planning on a quad core upgrade ? It seems AM2 platforms with a BIOS upgrade will be able to run the "AM3" quads, and this support DDR3. Socket F quads are a different story of course(but I'd say are initially targeted at the server market)it depends on two factors: when these chips get launched, and how much they'll cost. if they're cheap enough and provide better performance than the duel-core 6000+, then i'll take that route. otherwise, i'm sticking to my gameplan for the time being.*Will you be installing 32bit or 64bit OS ?? Sure, driver issues etc - but eventually I think with Quad Core + DDR3 + DX10 + Blu Ray(capacity) we will go beyond the 3/1 GB limitation of x86. Not much has been shown about what Vista can do with 4GB, or if its any different to XP. I have seen setups that "see" 4GB and "use" 3.2 max.more than likely, i'll be going for the 64-bit install. since my timeframe to install Vista probably won't be until July or August, driver issues aren't the biggest concern for me at the moment.*FYI Nvidia has new 158.18 Betas including lots of improvements for 8800 support in Vistagood to know that they're finally getting on the ball to fix their Vista drivers. i've heard that its been a nightmare for some users with Nvidia video driver conflicts.*Why not wait til mid year and get a better gfx card at a cheaper rate. When AMD/ATI releases its DX10 range, prices will drop even on the higher end ones.that's exactly what i'm doing. right now, i'm planning on getting the hard drives, the memory, the sound card, and the DVD burner well before i decide on a video card or a processor. ;)*The p180s are nice enough cases. Im a small form factor fan though. I think the ultimate smaller case is the Thermaltake lanbox. Its large enough to fit an SLI setup and has great ventilation properties. You can even get a handle for it so you can cart it around. Its a great feature if you are in the habit of transporting your pc. Im definitely planning on upgrading eventually, but am happy enough with my 'q-pack' case atm.well, since i already have the mobo installed in the case itself (i'll post pics later), i don't really want to go and change it now. i guess i could sell it off to someone, but then again, portability isn't a major concern for me. so, small form factor is also not very important. ;)*RAID setups are only really handy if you chug over alot of data *frequently*. I see them most commonly emplyed in business setups and media servers(built a couple myself). If your not churning data that frequently (ie. GBs on a daily basis) then using a great program like Acronis True Image for the incremental backups is just as good. Acronis can also handle your dual boot configs (But Im sure you already know all that!!)well, when you're talking about games that can run through 5-8GB of data in a matter of a couple of hours (Oblivion and Medieval II: Total War are great examples of this trend), having a RAID array can improve load times and even hitching due to retrieving data on the HD. its not going to be a drastic change, but it does help. and i'll have to look into Acronis since i want a duel-boot system, and i wouldn't mind having a good program for backups.*Fans ? Otehr cooling measures ??the case comes with 3 120mm fans that already move a ton of air around. it also has expansion capabilty with a specialized fan mount in front of the main HD bay. i'll post some picks to show you what i mean. i also already have a very nice CPU cooler that was bundled with the mobo, and i plan on using it.*Other mods ?? LCD VFDs etc ?? The thermaltake hardcano is a gret bit of kit if you are temp conscious !!i'm very heavily considering an LED display that shows the various temps on the devices in the system as well as a fan controller (perhaps there's something out there that combines this??). i'm also considering setting up a custom wire routing system using conduit pipes from the local hardware store. i'm considering getting some form of lights inside the case, but i'll make up my mind there way on down the road (more like after everything is installed and running ;) ).Im still chugging along on my build. Just added a skull decal. Havent got that LED case badge thingy yet or the LCD VFD(not available yet). Im also really interested in converting my dvd drive to dual slot entry notebook drives, but cannot for the life of me find a bezel kit in this country!!!

astrowell, i'll be looking forward to seeing your compy when its done. good luck with getting it the way you want it. :)

Astrotoy7
04-19-2007, 12:42 AM
@stinger - I still recommend incremental backups for your example. Even though game proggies pour *through* data, the new data they lay down is minimal.ie. save files, config files, log files etc. This type of stuff can be captured in an incremental backup of a particular directory, which you can shedule a program like acronis to do at whatever interval you like.

As mentioned, with RAID - the setups Ive seen it involved with are really to deal with high volume redundancies. ie. business context of course, or in the case of media servers several GBs of new material per day. I record an average of 6-12gb of HDTV a day. Half gets deleted after watching, the other half I need to compress to keep. Even doing this Im still running out of space on my (combined total) 1.05TB HDD in my media centre pc. I simply dont have the spare drives to implement mirroring, but it would be a nice idea. Striping may give you performance edge, but its failsafes are a worry - if one drive dies, your data may be corrupted or gone. Ive resisted setting up my home server for this very reason. It'd be great if I had all the drives, but I dont :( Instead, im using a second simple specd pc and a good ole JBOD setup. My brain does like the idea of compartmentalising my data and restricting things to certain drives!!

This second PC runs xp pro, and is connected to my media cetre pc running vista ultimate via gigabit Lan, I often forget that second pc is lurking in the cabinet as it all works so well.

I'll probably give windows home server a try one day, just for curiousities sake. Ive noticed theyve recently put up a CTP trial... I'll make a new thread for those interested.

Running an x2 6000+, 2GB(min) RAM and with an 8800, the amount of hitching you will see will ne negligible. If you are really keen on quicker load times, a 10,000RPM HDD is costly, but gibes you definite gaions in that area. Either that or 4GB+ RAM on a 64 Bit OS will equally kick as much a$$ without the costly HDD upgrade.

mtfbwya :p

Q
04-19-2007, 07:17 AM
RAM should definitely be the next thing that you buy. DDR2 prices have tanked and are supposed to bottom out sometime in May. You can expect to find 2GB kits of DDR2-667 and even DDR2-800 for around $100.00 right now. Definitely a buyer's market at the moment. 4GB for ~$200.00. INSANE!

If I were you, I'd go as cheaply as possible on the CPU and get get the X2 3600+ Brisbane for ~$70.00 and O/C it as high as it will go. People are getting terrific O/Cs out of that chip. You can use the money that you'll save to put towards that K8L upgrade that I know you'll want to get ASAP. K8L's price should actually become reasonable soon after it's launch because it will have to compete with Penryn early next year. I see a major price war on the horizon between these two architectures.

You might want to check out other's opinions of Antec PSU's before you buy one. I've read many horror stories about them dying on people.

Good choices on the case and graphics card. You might want to keep an eye open for a good deal on the 640MB 8800GTS, however, as the extra VRAM could could prove useful later on with DX10 games.

Creative Labs soundcards are being dumped by e-tailers ATM, because for now they have no Vista support. I'm sure that they will soon, though, so it would probably be a safe buy as well as cheap.

I don't know much of anything about RAIDs either, but I do remember reading somewhere recently that RAID0's performance advantage is practically negligible with today's drives and therefore not worth the cost of the extra drive.

Good luck with the new build!:)

Astrotoy7
04-19-2007, 01:07 PM
great post Q, as always :)

@stinger...sounds like some food for thought. Are you going to go wait for K8L and go for more VRAM, or stick with the x2 6000+ and the 320MB 8800.

decisions !

I definitely had quads in mind when I chose to limit my current cpt to the X2 5000+ I'll eventually plug that into a rejigged media center pc, or simply sell it. Either way, it was definitely bought as an interim measure.

let us know what you decide ;)

mtfbwya

stingerhs
04-19-2007, 02:48 PM
well, i'll have to put some more thought into it, obviously. since the CPU and the video card are going to be the last things that i buy (and that probably won't happen until May or possibly even June), i'm just going to watch those markets and pick accordingly on down the road.

as for hard drives, well, i've been giving it some thought, and i think that i'll wait just a bit before i settle on that decision. what i'm wanting to get next is RAM and the PSU. so, that's probably what i'm going to end up getting.

about the PSU, has anybody used a PSU with modular cables?? i've never worked with one, and so i don't know if this is a bonus or not.

and thanks for the help thus far. :)

Darth333
04-19-2007, 03:34 PM
about the PSU, has anybody used a PSU with modular cables?? i've never worked with one, and so i don't know if this is a bonus or not.

I did have a modular Antec PSU in the past. Never had any problems with it (in fact my last 3 PSUs have been Antec and I've been quite happy with them: very efficient and stable). Given the location of the PSU in the P180 case (I have the same case) it could come in handy as you use only the cables that you really need. I currently have an Antec Trio 650W (no modular cables) installed in that case and I fear the day I will have to open the case to change something as the PSU cables fit in very thightly. Still it is a very good case as long as you aren't planning to take your comp with you to lan parties as it weights a ton.

As for buying a quad core PSU, I don't think it is worth it at this time if the primary use of your PC is gaming. It will just cost you additional $ for no real benefit. By the time game start taking advantage of quad cores, yours will likely be out of date. I prefer to buy a cheaper mid range CPU (Intel's core 2 Duo overclock very well - I recently made the change from AMD to an E6600 and I love it) and change it more often than a super CPU that will give me top performance during a brief period of time (and even then I'll barely see any difference) but that will get outdated almost as fast. At the end I get better overall performance at a lower price.

Q
04-19-2007, 08:50 PM
@D3:

I used to think the same thing about quad-cores until a couple of important factors reared their heads and changed my mind. The first was the appearance of a certain game called Supreme Commander that natively takes advantage of multi-core CPUs, including quad-core. It is just the first of what I believe will be many multi-threaded games that are coming soon, and its performance is significantly improved when played on a quad-core machine.

The second was the first glimpse of Intel's price index for Quarters 2 and 3 of 2007. Apparently, we will see the price of the Q6600 (with the same clock speed and multiplier as your E6600 but with 4 cores) drop to $266.00 in August, making quad-core far more affordable a lot sooner than I ever thought it would be.

This appears to be Intel's initial reaction to the launch of K8L at about the same time because Penryn won't be available until late 2007 or early 2008. It could also be viewed as an indicator of what a Conroe-killing powerhouse K8L is going to be, because Intel believes that it's going to have to drastically slash prices on their flagship quads in order to stay competitive until Penryn is released.

This of course is serving to make the initial choice of whose architecture to adopt all the more difficult, as I believe that you really couldn't go wrong with either one at this point.

Astrotoy7
04-20-2007, 04:12 AM
.....I recently made the change from AMD to an E6600 and I love it....

*15,000 jobless souls scream in pain* :(

C'mon D333..if there was ever anyone to 'fight for the little guy' I imagined it would be you !! Ah well....

The more I learn about C2D, their impressive benchmarking numbers are merely that.

Contextual performance outside bechmarking counters ....well that's a different story. Performance and thermal properties over prolonged high end use??

Out of all my 'power gamer' friends that have resisted my earbashing and got a C2D, I am still yet to see any of their C2Ds fare as well after 8 hours Lan-ing.

My X2 5000 is idling at 27C now, I was playing Dark Messiah earlier.... after 60 minutes - never went over 33C....on stock fan plus one 12cm fan *in a small form case*.

Q is on the money with K8L....now that vista is here, once drivers and the like have settled in, true power gaming is going to come full circle. The consoles will look like a joke(if they dont already)

Throw a blu-ray drive in a PC, 64 bit OS, stable drivers with DX10 hardware, Quad CPU and 4GB+ DDR3 and you are going to have one powerhouse of a gaming rig. This type of setup is oh so close now hardware wise - we just need the gaming devs to catch up !!

and no one here has even mentioned the K10 'Barcelona' CPUs.... I'd better let Q explain that -- he does it with much less fanboy excitement bias than I do :)

mtfbwya

Q
04-21-2007, 01:10 AM
I must admit that all the different names for AMD's next architecture have been a bit confusing. AFAIK, K10 is the correct name for this new architecture, but K8L still seems to be thrown around a lot. It might be less confusing if I used the codenames of the new cores.

Barcelona is the codename for the new Opteron for the server market. It's natively quad-core, meaning that it isn't two dual-core processors sandwiched together like Intel's Cloverton quad. While there's no hard proof that this will be a more efficient setup, I can't see why it wouldn't be, since there should be less of an internal bottleneck between individual cores.

Agena is the codename for the new Athlon 64 X4 for the desktop market.

Kuma will be the dual-core variant for desktops.

What really got me excited about this architecture was reading that the width of its execution pipeline is doubled from beginning to end compared to that of the present K8, from 64 to 128 bits. Not even Penryn, Intel's successor to Conroe can match that throughput, being 128 bits wide in just a few key areas, meaning that K10 may be more scalable and have a longer lifetime at the technological forefront than Penryn.

This might explain why Penryn is due to be succeeded by Nehalem at the end of 2008, only a year after the realease of Penryn. Incidentally, Nehalem will finally feature an on-chip memory controller, which as we all know AMD's CPUs have sported for a couple of years now, since the first Athlon64.

Astrotoy7
04-21-2007, 03:53 AM
nice work Q. Thanks for the details :)

It took me a while to get around the sockets for the new AMD quads:
AM2: like we currently have now
AM2+:existing AM2 boards that have had a bios uopgrade(described as an 'interconnect upgrade' by some) allowing them to run the new quad CPUs and (IIRC) DDR3 RAM
AM3:Native Quad core and DDR3 out the box, but NOT backwards compatible with AM2 CPUs.
Socket F: Different socket type entirely

Codenames are becoming hilarious in the IT world. Its like the old days in the medical profession - where conditions were named after who first catalogued. Luckily this has since changed. What is even worse, is that they change through different stages of development.

I am moreso familiar with MS codenames - here' some to keep an eye out for :
Fiji: Vista SP1, but with a focus on Media components. SP1 Will be Fiji+More is my understanding...
Nemo>Orbit: Windows LiveTV
Pika(My favourite): Windows Media extenders. Standalone devices that allow you to spread media center functionality around the house without extra PCs. The 360 already does this(at a greater cost of course)
Vienna: early codename for the next OS. Heard weird things about it.. I guess 128bit OS are an inevitability ??

* * *

whilst Im here - I might as put up a recent pic of my build. Got a skull decal which I think looks nifty enough....Still accumulating cash to get the TV tuner, LCD VFD(really hanging for that!). Im also seriously considering getting a single or dual slot load bezel kit, that allows you to mount one or two slimline drives into one 5.25 bay. I love the slot load look :) Unfortunately, there seems to be absolutely nowehere to but them here, and no one OS who's willing to send one here(Oz)...

if anyone of you living in the US would like to help old uncle Astro with this, please PM me !! ...it'd be much appreciated >> As a rewardm I can arrange a meeting with George Lucas, and a day touring Skywalker Ranch, ILM and Lucasarts**

dual slot dvd bezel kit
http://www.case-mod.com/images/cid06116301a_LG.jpg

*arrgh!* shiver me timbers....that be a 7950 GX2 !! *squawk* !!
http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/5848/decalsz4.jpg

mtfbwya












**actual reward may differ significantly from one mentioned in aforementioned post. No responsibility for this discrepancy is accepted by LFN or its subsdiaries. To file a writ of complaint, please contact your local Senator or Witch Doctor.

Q
04-22-2007, 08:59 AM
I'm wondering how much of a real-world performance advantage DDR3 will have over DDR2. I know that it will run at higher clock speeds (as high as 1600MHZ effective, 800MHZ actual) and draw less power, but I wonder if latency will be increased in the same way that DDR2 has increased latency when compared with DDR.

From what I have read, there isn't much of a performance increase when a Socket AM2 A64 using DDR2 is compared to a Socket 939 A64 using DDR. I think that this has something to do with the increased latency of DDR2. I'm kind of hoping for the same thing with K10, so that people won't feel the need to rush out and buy a new M/B and memory to replace what they bought just a year ago.

Astrotoy7
04-22-2007, 02:21 PM
Just out of curiousity....

How about on a 64 bit OS Q? If you're churning 4GB+ efficiently on a x64 setup, it's gotta help ? Or will it case of it only being advantageous with a mainbaord designed to maximise it ?

interesting point indeed...

mtfbwya

Q
04-28-2007, 07:38 PM
As far as Antec PSUs go, from what I've seen on JonnyGURU's site (http://www.jonnyguru.com/review_details.php?id=12&page_num=3) and the various forums that I frequent, they're fine as long as you don't run them at even close to their maximum rated load. If you do, they'll pop their fuzes and the PSU is ruined, because the fuze is soldered in and can not be replaced, at least not easily, requiring an RMA.

As far as modularity goes, you'll want a PSU with as many individual plugs and their corresponding cables as possible; the more the better. Some PSU's have more than others. That way you'll only have to deal with the cables that you need, and none that you don't, which is the whole point of a modular PSU in the first place.

@Astro: I'll wait until the whole 64-bit Vista driver/software support issue is resolved before I venture giving a positive comment on it. Until then I'd probably recommend getting 3GB of RAM and sticking with 32-bit for now.;)

stingerhs
05-23-2007, 01:39 PM
time for an update.

the hardware that is now installed:
2 150 GB SATA WD Raptor HD's
1 500 GB SATA WD Caviar HD
1 LiteOn DVD burner with LightScribe disc labeling
1 Antec Tri-Cool 120mm case fan (w/ Red LED)
1 Antec 550W Neo HE PSU w/ modular cabling (http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews/neoHE550%20review/index.htm)

on order:
4 512 MB DDR-800 Kingston HyperX Memory (designed for 4-4-12 timings)
1 AeroCool Gatewatch-BK Fan Controller and temp monitor w/ LCD display
some extra cables

parts i don't have:
CPU
Video Card
Sound Card

so far, so good. :D

Jae Onasi
05-23-2007, 02:35 PM
Good heavens. I'm not sure what to do with 120 GB HD, much less...*Jae counts on fingers* 800GB.

ChAiNz.2da
05-23-2007, 04:06 PM
Good heavens. I'm not sure what to do with 120 GB HD, much less...*Jae counts on fingers* 800GB.
Try with 4 terra's. Video is a merciless B***. ;)

I have 4tb at home and well over 22tb at work on a fiber Xsans raid.. but anywho..

--------------

stingerhs, my gawd man, that's a nice PSU.. plus with the 'efficient' cooing making output over the listed 550w (610w I believe) and 3 12v rails.. niiiice.

Most are happy for 2, but if you ever decide on an SLI setup you still have a spare 12v while giving the 2 cards it's each rail. (I'm jealous... and windowshopping now.. hehehe)...

Any more thoughts on what soundcard you're steering towards? I'm interested on opinions myself as I'm looking for my annual to bi-annual upgrade session :rolleyes:

I currently running the Creative GigaWorks THX S750 Speakers so I need a 7.1 setup capable card... but while the speakers are Creative, I'm toying with the idea of "betraying" the brand and try a different card manufacturer (7.1 support granted)...

Anyone else run a card that's not Creative Labs and are happy with the results?

urluckyday
05-23-2007, 05:47 PM
Terras...uhh...runs and hides with 80 gig HD...

remember when gigs were huge...lol...yea me neither...

stingerhs
05-23-2007, 11:39 PM
Good heavens. I'm not sure what to do with 120 GB HD, much less...*Jae counts on fingers* 800GB.well, it won't be entirely 800GB of storage. i'll be partitioning off 300GB on the 500GB unit to use as a backup for the two 150GB Raptors since they'll be running in RAID 0 which decreases reliability at the expense of speed. the other 200 GB will be used for my Kubuntu installation (Vista will be running on the RAID 0 drives).Any more thoughts on what soundcard you're steering towards? I'm interested on opinions myself as I'm looking for my annual to bi-annual upgrade sessioni'm more than likely getting the X-Fi Gamer or the X-Fi Fatal1ty mostly due to the 24-bit Equalizer and the ability to simulate hundreds of channels across any of the traditional setups (stereo, 5.1, 7.1, etc). my friend had me install one of those cards on a system that i built for him, and it is almost unbelievable at how fantastic the sound positioning and sound quality is when compared to a basic 7.1 setup.

the only thing that i'm not sure about is spending the extra $50 on the Fatal1ty card over the Gamer card just so you can have 64MB of dedicated audio memory (its the only real difference between the two. there are others, but its nothing significant).

and one thing that i wanted to ask anybody: is LightScribe a handy feature?? i honestly wasn't paying much attention when i bought it since LiteOn is usually a reliable brand and the merchant had it priced at $25. i've never used LightScribe, so if anybody could enlighten me, i'd appreciate it. ;)

Astrotoy7
05-24-2007, 05:48 AM
Good heavens. I'm not sure what to do with 120 GB HD, much less...*Jae counts on fingers* 800GB.

aw Jae :) thats is so cute ! I use a 120gb mini HDD as a flash drive :D

Im with chainz. Ive got media center pc with 1TB. That got crammed full and so I built a rig for use as a server with 2.25TB, running windows home server beta. I have to admit, I am really impressed with WHS - especially its centralised backup function for all PCs on the network !!

When you are recording HDTV, GBs of data get churned up... DVRMS(Microsoft Recorded TV Shows - an Mpeg2 format which are sometimes higher than DVD quality!) take up to 3gb per hour !!

If you record a high volume of stuff daily, its hard to stay on top of all the editing(snipping commericials out) and compression. Its a never ending process :)

Here's my specs for my mce rig and WHS Server(I use this as my sig at another forum)
http://img367.imageshack.us/img367/5831/amccgfda0.gif

@stinger.....lightscribe is a a gimmick IMO. You need to buy special lightscribe-able discs for them, which are more expensive. There not 100% vivid color either - more a washed out sepia ! Ive got a lightsvribe dvd that came with my last store bought pc. I got 5 free LS DVD-R discs. I only ever used one - for my sister in laws wedding dvd.... go figure.

What happened to good ole marker on discs!! For those keen on putting stuff like cover art etc, most discs are printable these days, you're better off doing that.

mtfbwya

stingerhs
05-28-2007, 01:39 AM
quick question about cable routing: is there a better way to route cables aside from using 200 zip ties?? the cables that came with my PSU are *way* too long, and i hate trying to use zip ties all over the place to route the cables effectively.

CLONECOMMANDER501
05-28-2007, 09:31 AM
Rubber bands may due. Atleast your cables work.

ChAiNz.2da
05-29-2007, 12:31 PM
quick question about cable routing: is there a better way to route cables aside from using 200 zip ties?? the cables that came with my PSU are *way* too long, and i hate trying to use zip ties all over the place to route the cables effectively.
I use strips of Velcro.

You can buy hook-n-loops on rolls (http://www.nextag.com/velcro-roll/search-html) that you can cut in to custom sized lengths. Plus when you go to re-route (as it's inevitable.. ;) ) it doesn't require scissors.. yet cursing is still recommended :swear:

You can buy velcro straps (http://www.buycableties.com/catalog/?cid=13) made just for cabling, but since I tend to customize everything, I like buying generic rolls so I can cut it to spec.

Darth333
05-29-2007, 01:54 PM
I use strips of Velcro.
Brilliant idea! I,ve never thought of using velcro :D I guess the next time I upgrade something, this is what I'll use. No more swearing when trying to remove the tape or the zip ties! :o

ChAiNz.2da
05-29-2007, 02:28 PM
No more swearing when trying to remove the tape or the zip ties! :o

hehehe.. but that's half the fun :lol: I'm just glad I don't have neighbors that like to complain :xp:

Yah, after battling with zip ties and suffering multiple cuts and scratches (those things are lethal after snipping the edges) I had had enough. Velcro is great because you can cut the length and width for a complete customizable job.

You can also get the sticky back kind if you want to line your component grid or inner case with "convenience" strips for any extra maneuvering to stash away cables. Especially when working on upgrades and you want the cables out of the way but not wanting to disconnect from psu. If you do use sticky back, keep it away from any heat generating source.. it makes the glue less-tacky and is liable to clog a fan if it peels off ;)

Best to not use it, use it only when the case is opened.. or if you're determined, superglue it :xp:

stingerhs
05-29-2007, 03:00 PM
what about cutting the cables to size and reconnecting them via connectors?? (http://www.buycableties.com/catalog/?cid=21)

for the record, this would only be for power cables only and not for data carrying lines. ;)

Astrotoy7
05-31-2007, 03:19 PM
you can do the cutting biz if you feel confident to stinger. You can also buy csutom shortform cables, but Im sure you knew that. This is what I really love about the shuttle barebones. each and every cable is measured and cut perfectly and has its own area to be run across.. Amazing cable management... Im really tempted to get rid of my 'skull rig' atm.... I 'll pull all the bits and plonk them into the SN27P2 as I'd originally planned.. Im more financial atm, so I should be able to handle it costwise...

smallform rocks yer socks!
http://www.zenha.net/2006images/20060612082556.jpg

I also use velcro ties to tie together all the cables at the back of our pcs. When I unplug them, all the plug ends are lumped together, saving me from straining and leaning into the cramped space behind my desk trying to fish things out to plug them back in:D

keep us up to date with the rig stinger...always very interesting to read :D

Jae Onasi
05-31-2007, 03:32 PM
Go to the local fabric/sewing shop (wal-mart has a fabric section usually) for velcro. You can get it in strips of whatever size you want (since they sell it by the yard) and different colors, and cut them to the size you need. Might be cheaper than buying it from the catalog, though those look all nice and neat-like.

ChAiNz.2da
05-31-2007, 03:37 PM
Go to the local fabric/sewing shop (wal-mart has a fabric section usually) for velcro. You can get it in strips of whatever size you want (since they sell it by the yard) and different colors, and cut them to the size you need. Might be cheaper than buying it from the catalog, though those look all nice and neat-like.
Definitely a good idea! :thumbsup:

I posted pics mainly to show what the box looks like when you go Wal-Mart'ing... but since I live just down the road from a fabric store (I love living in the middle of the city.. hehehe) I might just take your advice Jae. Would indeed save me a bundle.. and time.

Now, as long as they don't make fun of me when I start requesting different colors so I can "pimp" my 'puter :xp:

stingerhs
05-31-2007, 10:31 PM
well, i changed my mind when it comes to cutting cables thanks to my Dad's advice (he's an electrical engineer). basically, it boils down to the connectors being a point a failure in the system, plus the much, much higher amount of work it would take to get it all done right.

so, i've decided to just make use of wire wrap, zip ties (which is actually not so bad to handle with a good pair of wire cutters), and some electrical tape.

the wire wrap i got is a fairly hard blue plastic that is akin to the stuff you find in automotive applications. its good stuff that will help prevent EMI, limit some heat transfer, and it will help with airflow.

anyways, just some fyi. ;)

stingerhs
06-23-2007, 12:49 PM
time for an update:

on order:
Athlon X2 4600 (65W version)
Sound Blaster X-Fi Gamer

i would've gone for the Athlon 6000, but given that its only advantages are a higher clock speed and an extra 512Mb L2 cache, i figured that i can go ahead and save some money and overclock it to about the same speeds as the 6000+. besides, i have a great CPU cooler, so i'm not concerned with the extra heat. i did end up saving quite a bit of money through Newegg: $223 (6000) vs $113 (4600) plus an extra $35 savings for bundling the CPU with the sound card.

besides, the new Phenom processors won't be out till November (http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/32600/118/), so i don't have to worry about upgrading for quite a while to begin with.

so, all that's left is the video card and the OS. since i would like to start working with Vista at home, i'll probably go for Vista Ultimate and duel boot with Kubuntu. the video card is likely to be the new Radeon HD2900 XT since it supports more features than the GeForce 8800, and i'm looking for a more long-term graphics solution.

quick question, though: is there any major issues or differences with 32-bit vs 64-bit Vista versions at the moment???

stingerhs
07-08-2007, 04:25 PM
interesting on how nobody can give me details on the whole 32-bit vs 64-bit versions of Vista.... :dozey:

at any rate, i finally made a decision on the video card: MSI GeForce 8600GTS OC (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127280)

got a great deal on that one: $340 (including the mail-in rebate). and, for the record, i would've gotten an XFX or a BFG card, but they were more expensive, and MSI does have a good track record. plus, this MSI card is overclocked to 575Mhz vs 500 stock. a comparable XFX or BFG card would've been an extra $60-70 USD, even with Newegg.

i would've gone with the Radeon HD2900XT, but it doesn't offer any huge performance advantage over the slightly cheaper GF8600GTS. not to mention that the 2900XT would've taxed out my 550W PSU even with the low-wattage Athlon. even with the future benefits of using the 2900XT, i am using an SLi board, and that means that upgrading on down the road wouldn't be a huge issue.

and one final note of interest: i'm going to sell off the fan controller. its just too much hassle to route all that wiring everywhere when i can route everything much more simply to the motherboard and still control most of the fan speeds via the nice switches on the Antec fans.

at any rate, i'll have pics up here soon (as i promised earlier) so you can see how its going. till then....

Q
07-08-2007, 07:48 PM
@Stingerhs:

If I were buying a new OS, I would at first consider how much memory I was going to have in my machine. If it's 4GB (a realistic possibility given how cheap memory has been as of late) I'd go with 64-bit Vista regardless of any problems it's having right now, as these problems will more than likely be ironed out in time. As for it requiring signed drivers, well I guess you'll just have to be a little bit picky about what hardware/drivers you're going to install on your machine. Apparently the new games are going to take advantage of far more than 2GB (and 2 cores;)).

I must admit that I'm rather curious as to why you decided to get 4x512MB chips. 2x1GB kits are cheap as dirt right now (Newegg very recently had the Crucial DDR2-800 CL4 2x1GB kit on sale for $60.00. While I know that Kingston is your brand, Crucial is awesome stuff (Micron D9) and is compatible with the most M/Bs) and you'd still have 2 slots open to expand it in the future. As the glut in the market subsides, we're probably going to see fewer and fewer DDR2 deals, so if you're going to get 64-bit Vista, you may as well grab 4GB while it's so darn cheap.

On to the CPU. Since you're going to O/C it anyway, why not save even more money by buying the X2 3600+ Brisbane (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103046) and O/C it? From what I've read, you should be able to O/C it as high as you would the 4600+ and it's almost $40 less. Just make sure you get the Brisbane core (2x512kb cache) and not the Windsor (2x256kb cache).

As far as the 8800GTS goes: yes, I think that you're making the right decision in choosing it over the 2900XT for the very reason you stated (PSU requirements), but I know for a fact that both the Evga and BFG versions of this card have been sold for far cheaper than $440 (>$100) very recently, and this is likely to happen again soon, so you should hold off buying that MSI card for now. Heck, BestBuy.com (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8367199&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat107700050041&id=1177718060394) has the BFG model for cheaper than that right now, and had a deal where it could be pre-ordered for $316 just a couple of weeks ago. If you've already placed an order you should cancel it and wait a week or two for another one of these deals to come down the pike. I'm certain that we'll see more deals like this on this particular card as the price war between it and the 2900XT heats up. Just trying to save you a hundred bucks and get you a better warranty in the process.:)

stingerhs
07-08-2007, 11:27 PM
If I were buying a new OS, I would at first consider how much memory I was going to have in my machine. If it's 4GB (a realistic possibility given how cheap memory has been as of late) I'd go with 64-bit Vista regardless of any problems it's having right now, as these problems will more than likely be ironed out in time. As for it requiring signed drivers, well I guess you'll just have to be a little bit picky about what hardware/drivers you're going to install on your machine. Apparently the new games are going to take advantage of far more than 2GB (and 2 cores;)).i'm pretty much decided that i'll go with the 64-bit version of Vista since it can handle a lot more memory in addition to several other benefits, but my biggest thing was to see if anybody knew about compatibility/driver issues with 64-bit vs 32-bit.I must admit that I'm rather curious as to why you decided to get 4x512MB chips. 2x1GB kits are cheap as dirt right now (Newegg very recently had the Crucial DDR2-800 CL4 2x1GB kit on sale for $60.00. While I know that Kingston is your brand, Crucial is awesome stuff (Micron D9) and is compatible with the most M/Bs) and you'd still have 2 slots open to expand it in the future. As the glut in the market subsides, we're probably going to see fewer and fewer DDR2 deals, so if you're going to get 64-bit Vista, you may as well grab 4GB while it's so darn cheap.i certainly wouldn't mind doing so now, but when i bought the RAM earlier, it was slightly cheaper to get the 4x512MB vs 2x1GB. money has been rather tight from week to week, so that did play a large part in that decision.

and don't forget that i am planning on upgrading to a Phenom on down the road. when that happens, my DDR2 memory is going to get sold when i have to flash the BIOS. when that happens, i'll be switching to DDR3 at the same time. believe me, this system is all about mapping out a solid plan. if AMD wasn't so late to the game, it wouldn't be so difficult, but i'm just taking what's given to me at the moment and planning ahead as best as possible. ;)On to the CPU. Since you're going to O/C it anyway, why not save even more money by buying the X2 3600+ Brisbane (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103046) and O/C it? From what I've read, you should be able to O/C it as high as you would the 4600+ and it's almost $40 less. Just make sure you get the Brisbane core (2x512kb cache) and not the Windsor (2x256kb cache).my decision was simply based on the 4600 Windsor being cheaper than an equivalent Brisbane-based processor, and that the 4600 does give me slightly better overclocking headroom. as of now, its rather difficult for me to go back since i already have the processor installed.As far as the 8800GTS goes: yes, I think that you're making the right decision in choosing it over the 2900XT for the very reason you stated (PSU requirements), but I know for a fact that both the Evga and BFG versions of this card have been sold for far cheaper than $440 (>$100) very recently, and this is likely to happen again soon, so you should hold off buying that MSI card for now. Heck, BestBuy.com (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8367199&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat107700050041&id=1177718060394) has the BFG model for cheaper than that right now, and had a deal where it could be pre-ordered for $316 just a couple of weeks ago. If you've already placed an order you should cancel it and wait a week or two for another one of these deals to come down the pike. I'm certain that we'll see more deals like this on this particular card as the price war between it and the 2900XT heats up. Just trying to save you a hundred bucks and get you a better warranty in the process.:)too late. my card has already been charged, and the order cannot be canceled at this point. besides, i did the research in a multitude of locations (ZipZoomFly, NewEgg, Best Buy, CompUSA, Froogle, and TigerDirect), so its not like i didn't shop around for a good deal. again, MSI does have a solid reputation, so i'm not concerned about getting a bad card. ;)

i'm also in a bit of a rush to get my new system up and running soon, anyways. my old computer has been effectively "sold", and now i'm just simply waiting on the video card before i exchange the system for the cash. when that video card gets here, i have a lot of work on my hands to get that computer running since i'll have to set up the hard drives and install Kubuntu (that's going in before Windows since i don't have my Vista disc yet). not to mention that i'll have to make sure everything is working properly, and then i'll finally be able to come through on that deal for my old system.

i do appreciate the advise, however. thanks to everybody that offered to help. :D

stingerhs
07-13-2007, 05:28 PM
ok, so the computer is finished. final specs:

CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 4600 Windsor
Motherboard: Asus M2N-SLI with Nforce 570SLI Northbridge
Video Card: MSI NX8800GTS 640MB
RAM: 4x Kingston HyperX DDR-800 512MB with 4-4-4-12 timings
Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Gamer
Power Supply: Antec Neo HE 550W
Main Hard Drives: 2x Western Digital Raptor SATAII 10000RPM 150GB in RAID 0
Secondary Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SATAII 7200RPM 500GB
DVD-ROM: Lite-On DVD+RW/DVD-RW 20x with Lightscribe
Case: Antec P180 w/ 4x120mm case fans
Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows Vista x64 and Kubuntu Linux x64

i'll post some benchmarks later, but i can already tell you that the performance difference is huge. with the CPU bottleneck gone in addition to the more advanced video card, this system is much faster, even on higher graphics settings. i'll officially have to stamp this sytem as "Crysis Ready", and wait till the release. :D

stingerhs
08-05-2007, 07:18 PM
well, i promised some pics, so i finally got my hands on a camera and snapped a few.

outside view (http://a220.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/109/l_d770d91189dc3910adf586e0b0ec647b.jpg)
outside view 2 (http://a62.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/110/l_3c13ab8ce3ffa5fb5dda5aa7f8c20545.jpg)
case door open (http://a688.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/102/l_751882a8ef8b9e4cddd25a589643770f.jpg)
inside teh case (http://a763.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/77/l_d68a4c7dfd859539b3a356f1ca5a4f8a.jpg)
close up of teh hardware (http://a590.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/99/l_d20799896e47297c9a0ad34c9100e7ed.jpg)
without teh camera flash (http://a972.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/83/l_3a9adfd5f4e673a73124a6e89cdabd93.jpg)

anyways, the case still isn't quite done. i'm wanting to get the access panel painted with a design, and i have a friend that can do it for me. the problem is that she won't be in town till classes start back at the University; so, that's not going to get done for a while. till then, this compy still rocks. :D

Jae Onasi
08-06-2007, 01:33 AM
That is geeky-cool.
And you're only a super geek? I think you earned a few points with that baby. :D

Q
08-08-2007, 11:30 PM
@stingerhs:

Well, I feel stupid. For some reason I thought that you paid $440 for your 8800GTS 640MB. Guess I can't read.:(