Just about ready to buy...

The magic smoke.

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scrovak
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Just about ready to buy...

Postby scrovak » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:09 am UTC

You may remember my previous post in this thread, about being in the market for a new 'puter. Well, here's my list (thanks so much for Mosc to help me put it together), and I want to know if anyone knows of any discounts, or similar but cheaper products to bring down the total cost to (closer to $500).

Case

Hard Drive

Mother Board

Graffics Card

Power Supply

RAM

Dual Core processor

Extra fan

Would this make a better power supply? (cheaper, but just as reliable? I mean, it does have better airflow, with two 80mm fans as opposed to a single 120mm)

Well?

I knwo I left out the magic smoke, but I'm sure I can get Geek Squad to install it :-P
Last edited by scrovak on Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:50 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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BumpInTheNight
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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby BumpInTheNight » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:32 am UTC

Wouldn't be able to label each of the links would you by chance? Makes it harder to scrutinize otherwise... :) Also the only magic smoke I've ever known geek squad to install is up the arse of people as they try to convince them they have 'the wrong OS' installed and need to buy 'the right one' at a hefty markup. ;)

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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby Carnildo » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:47 am UTC

The power supply is seriously overkill, but that's typical for builds these days. You could try looking for one in the 400W-500W range to save a bit of money.

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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby scrovak » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:54 am UTC

Updated original post, added a secondary power supply, cheaper and better air flow!
MrGee wrote:I would never eat a person. Have you seen the conditions they're raised in?
kapojinha wrote:You're amazing, which is why I'm going to marry you.

Angua wrote:coordinated baby attacks

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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:00 pm UTC

Are you planning on using XP or Vista? If the latter, upgrade to 2x2GB worth of RAM.

(For future reference, it's generally more useful to post in your previous thread, rather than in a new one; a lot of information (such as which OS you're planning to run) is harder to find now.)
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scrovak
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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby scrovak » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

Ahhh, sorry. I want to run XP, actually, but I have the feeling I'll have trouble finding it. Didn't they stop producing that OS? And if I can't get my hands on a copy, I guess I'll have to (sigh) go Vista.

On a similar note, my current build has a 250GB drive I wanna keep, turn into an external for music and such. Because it hosts my current OS and everything, what's the best way to pull it out and put it in an external case, then plug it in and use it, without losing any of the documents, music, videos, etc. I currently have on it?

Also, Mzy, I currently have 2X1GB in this machine. Woudl it be worth it to run 4X1GB or should I upgrade to the 2X2GB?
MrGee wrote:I would never eat a person. Have you seen the conditions they're raised in?
kapojinha wrote:You're amazing, which is why I'm going to marry you.

Angua wrote:coordinated baby attacks

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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby felixalias » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:13 pm UTC

You could probably move your power supply down to a 600-650W (reliable brand, of course). I certainly wouldn't try to use a 400W power supply with a 4870, that's asking for trouble (and a system that crashes after a few minutes of gameplay).

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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby scrovak » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:16 pm UTC

And here's a link to the old thread viewtopic.php?f=36&t=32487&p=1273050&hilit=scrovak#p1273050

I like MOSC's idea about setting up a RAID0, but I think I'd like to have my 250GB set up as an external, buy the 750, then around Christmas, or when i have a little extra money floating around, get another 750 and set up a 1.5TB RAID0. Eventually, I'd like to get the extra 750 drive in the summer, so around Christmas, I can get a third 750GB drive, and set up a 1.5TB RAID5. Would that be a decent Idea, or should I stick with the RAID0 for what I'm looking for (which is primarily gaming, with some photo/video editing software)?
MrGee wrote:I would never eat a person. Have you seen the conditions they're raised in?
kapojinha wrote:You're amazing, which is why I'm going to marry you.

Angua wrote:coordinated baby attacks

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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

scrovak wrote:Also, Mzy, I currently have 2X1GB in this machine. Woudl it be worth it to run 4X1GB or should I upgrade to the 2X2GB?

There's a good chance your current RAM won't work with the new PC, so check that out before you assume you can reuse it. While personally I prefer keeping the option open to upgrade to 8 GB (which requires 4x2GB), I don't really think you'll be needing more than 4GB for the coming three years (so 4x1GB should do).

Anyone disagree?
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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby elminster » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:53 am UTC

Things you should note about using you're old ram:
4x1GB sticks reduce the maximum overclock you can get compared to 2x2gb. Some boards won't be able to do 1066mhz with 4x1gb, but most will do 4x1gb at 800mhz. Check specs and reviews for that.
Check the speeds and latency of the ram sticks, Ideally you should use the same sticks (By default it runs at the slowest sticks speed). This matters more for max overclocks.
While 4GBs with worthwhile getting (Since it's cheap at the moment), an upgrade to 8GBs won't do all that much more depending on what you using it for.

About the harddisks: You should select the 640GB or 1TB models if you want the best performance. Reason is, they're made drives with 334gb or 320gb platters rather than 250gb platters for 750gb drives. Higher density = Lower latency and faster reads. Hence the 640GB WD drives outperform the 750GB drives. The 640GB and 1TB drives for the WD blue and black (Black models are marginally faster over blue) and Samsung F1 series are excellent drives in terms of performance.

Raid0 is a very good way to increase performance, the motherboard supports it as well. If you want extra performance, one way of doing it is what they call "short stroking". Basically you partition off the first portion of the drive(s) for OS and applications. The reason why this works is, the tracks around the outside of the disk are longer, so per revolution it covers more data and per distance of head moment it can access more. This reduces latency and increases sequential read speeds.

So, for example, 1x WD6401AALS has around 90-97mb/s sequential read and around 12ms random access latency. 2x WD6401AALS in raid 0 will have around 175-190mb/s sequential read and a similar 12-13ms random access latency (Tiny bit increased). If you took the first 300GB for applications/OS, you could get a sequential read speed of around 205-225mb/s and latency of around 9ms. This is exceptional considering the new 300gb velociraptors have around 100mb/s reads and around 7-7.5ms latency. However, for comparison, the WD7500AAKS (Blue model) and black model have closer 80mb/s average reads and a tiny bit higher latency.

Also note: The new seagate drives (7200.11 series) are failing quite quickly at the moment, due to firmware issues. They are excellent drives in terms of speed (In fact the highest 7200rpm drives overall) and decent latency, but there are many stories on the web of drives failing within a week. Seagate have said they will replace and help recover data from failed harddisks though. Google something like [7200.11 failure] to see what I mean. Saying that, not all drives are failing, just ones with (supposedly) firmware issues.

Powersupply: You'll want around a 550W PSU or something above. ATI recommend a 500w minimum for a system with a 4870. 120mm fan is better as they will be much quieter with similar airflow. Don't be tempted by dirt cheap models as they have a much higher failure rate and don't provide as stable power.
Last edited by elminster on Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:05 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Just about ready to buy...

Postby mosc » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:50 am UTC

I usually recommend RAID1 not RAID0. Hard drives are huge these days. You generally don't need all that space. RAID1 delivers similar read performance to RAID0 with full data redundancy. That means it's a win win if you can sacrifice the space.
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