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Re: Advice - help on semi-budget PC

Ruel Smith

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      Sep 5th, 05, 7:42 PM
>I haven't built a computer since agbout 1999, and am out of the loop
> since I dropped out of computer science and am now going to grad school
> in bio-anthropology, so I'd like to ask for some advice from anyone
> who'd be willing. Trying to keep it around $1000.
> I'm about to build a new computer, and here is what I am planning on
> buying (prices vary, but for ease, I'm going to use
> MSI K8N Neo4/SLI nVidia nForce4 motherboard ($124)

Very nice. However, the newer GeForce 7800 series cards will not clear
capacitors on these motherboards from what I've read. This is only a concern
for you if you plan to upgrade at some future point.

> AMD 64 3000+ Venice 939 retail with fan ($146)
> [note: i understand that this is compatible with Dual Channel RAM and
> that previous CPUs from Athlon were I right in that?]

Possibly DDR2 compatible for future chipsets, as current chipsets don't
support it, but Athlon 64's have been dual channel capable for sometime.

> xFx GeForce 6600GT PCI-e 128MB ($149)
> [I don't know anything about the brands xFx, eVGA, etc... any
> recommendations? I've read that this one is pretty good. I'm also
> considering a 6800, but not sure if it's worth the price hike]

XFX is fine.

> Corsair Ram 400Mhz 32000 1GB of RAM {$100-140ish depending)
> [This refers back to my previous concern about Dual Channel and whether
> it is supported, so I'm unsure if I should buy the value version,
> another brand, or what...I know that I'd like 3200 400Mhz RAM of at
> least 1GB. Recommendations here would be very helpful.]

Good choice. If you don't plan to overclock, maybe Corsair's value line
would be best. I can't tell which line, XMS or ValueSelect that you've
chosen here.

> Maxtor 250GB Serial ATA150 16MB 7200RPM DiamondMax10 {$103.00 OEM}
> [This one was recommended on both arstechnica and Sharky Extreme Guides
> as well as resellerratings and newegg]

Based on long term dependability, I'd go Western Digital.

> HP 16x DVD +- burner in BLACK! ($85.99)
> [Probably more than I'd really like to spend, but LightScribe is just
> plain cool]
> Sony 16x DVD-ROM in black! {$22.99)
> [I just like having an extra drive, so that my fancy new computer can
> run the best new games (cough) like StarCraft without having to change
> discs...I like to call this my StarCraft drive.]
> Mitsumi FA404 Floppy 7 in 1 reader($21.00)
> CoolerMaster TAC-T01-E1C silver case ($129.50)
> [The only case I can find that doesn't want to make me vomit other than
> some of the Thermaltake cases]

All nice...

> Antec NeoPower 480W ($114.00)
> [MAJOR RECOMMENDATION NEEDED - I think this is probably way more than I
> need, it's more just a placeholder]

Sounds like a good Antec 350 watt PSU would be enough, but often a bigger
one is just $10 more or even nearly the same price, so use your own
judgement. Why not get an Antec case and PSU and use a little spray paint to
get creative so that you don't vomit? I highly recommend the Sonata and
Sonata II lines.

> Windows XP Pro OEM ($146.95)

You'll need XP Pro for any future use of a Athlon 64 X2, so it's a wise
choice if you plan to upgrade in the future. Otherwise, maybe XP Home would
be enough.

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