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Old September 13th, 2005, 04:51 PM   #1
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What would you change on this PC?

I have a buddy of mine who builds PC's. I dont know anything about the insides of a computer so he gave me a list of parts he will use unless I want to change something. I basically want this PC for editing of my personal projects at home. If you guys have any recommendations I would really appreciate it.


CPU - NewEgg.com AMD64 3000 w Fan $146.00
Motherboard - NewEgg.com BIOSTAR NF4UL-A9 Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra $85.00
Ram - New Egg.com Rosewill 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 $86.00
Ram - New Egg.com Rosewill 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 $86.00
Floppy - Floppy $10.00
HDD1 SATA - NewEgg.com Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JD 160GB $90.00
HDD2 SATA - NewEgg.com Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JD 160GB $90.00
DVD Burners - NewEgg.com NEC Model ND-3540A $45.00
Videocard - New Egg.com PCIe SAPPHIRE 100121 Radeon X700 128MB $102.00
Speakers - NewEgg.com CREATIVE Inspire T3000 29 Watts 2.1 Speaker $45.00
Soundcard - NewEgg.com CHAINTECH AV-710 7.1 $27.00
Case - NewEgg.com ASPIRE ATXB3KL/420 Beige Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 420W Power Supply $62.00
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Old September 13th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #2
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First, and most importantly, what is your budget?
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Old September 13th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #3
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$1300 is about the tops. I figure I can get a lot more bang for the buck with someone building the PC than from buying one at a store, cause I know $1300 wouldnt go that far at B&H.

Besides the editing I would use little bit of AE and a little photoshop, but not much. I wouldnt be playing any high end computer games on it.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 07:18 PM   #4
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Brandon: What editing software do you plan on using?

2- Now there are things I don't like about Dell (India tech support supposedly, overpriced upgrades, proprietary-ness, bloatware, no Windows CD, limited upgrade paths), BUT:

You may be able to get a really nice deal on an editing system from them. Pay your friend to install upgrades into the Dell. This route may actually be cheaper than building your own computer (unless you overclock or pirate Windows [that is ILLEGAL]).
dell.com --> small business --> outrageous deals --> Dell Inspiron 9100

If you must get a custom-built computer:
Quote:
Ram - New Egg.com Rosewill 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 $86.00
Get a newer VENICE core AMD64, I believe it can handle 4 double-sided/banked sticks of memory. Then get the cheaper 512MB sticks of RAM.

Consider getting a faster CPU- this will speed up rendering, the main performance bottleneck.

Hard drives: More space would be nice.
If price is a big concern, wait out for those rebate deals on hard drives. I'm hearing about a lot of good ones for US residents. Check hot deals sites for your country.

Quote:
Videocard - New Egg.com PCIe SAPPHIRE 100121 Radeon X700 128MB $102.00
A cheaper Nvidia card may be a better idea.
Why Nvidia: I'm not sure, but for the gaming lines the Nvidia cards may be a lot less crippled than ATI at openGL acceleration (which some programs can kind of take advantage of). I may be wrong here though.
Why go cheaper: If openGL acceleration is not an issue then just get a dual monitor video card.

Quote:
Speakers - NewEgg.com CREATIVE Inspire T3000 29 Watts 2.1 Speaker $45.00
If you're serious about audio, you might as well get better speakers (which will outlast the computer). But otherwise, I don't think it'll be a big deal.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 12:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Murphy
I have a buddy of mine who builds PC's. I dont know anything about the insides of a computer so he gave me a list of parts he will use unless I want to change something. I basically want this PC for editing of my personal projects at home. If you guys have any recommendations I would really appreciate it.


CPU - NewEgg.com AMD64 3000 w Fan $146.00
Motherboard - NewEgg.com BIOSTAR NF4UL-A9 Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra $85.00
Ram - New Egg.com Rosewill 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 $86.00
Ram - New Egg.com Rosewill 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 $86.00
Floppy - Floppy $10.00
HDD1 SATA - NewEgg.com Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JD 160GB $90.00
HDD2 SATA - NewEgg.com Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JD 160GB $90.00
DVD Burners - NewEgg.com NEC Model ND-3540A $45.00
Videocard - New Egg.com PCIe SAPPHIRE 100121 Radeon X700 128MB $102.00
Speakers - NewEgg.com CREATIVE Inspire T3000 29 Watts 2.1 Speaker $45.00
Soundcard - NewEgg.com CHAINTECH AV-710 7.1 $27.00
Case - NewEgg.com ASPIRE ATXB3KL/420 Beige Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 420W Power Supply $62.00
Man, I would spring for a better power supply, rather than just getting one with a case. As far as video cards are concerned, I'm a fan of ATI's performace, but I've only owned reference cards (the ones actually manufactured by ATI, not 3rd party - i.e. sapphire, eVGA, BFG, whatever). If you can possibly afford it, getting the bottom line 64 X2 (dual core) would probably boost your performance. That will also bring up the price of your mobo a bit (I'd say get an Asus) - probably by about 30 USD or so.

I can't say enough about RAM. Rosewill is not a bad brand, but again, if you can spring for crucial or corsair, I think you're sitting in a better boat.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 04:57 AM   #6
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The only thing I would change on the advice you are getting is if you are planning to use Pinnacle software. Then stick with the ATI card.

If you drop to 1GB, you can use that to afford more processor, which will do most of the work.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 10:21 AM   #7
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The others here have pretty much covered everything. I definitely agree with the comment about the power supply. Most likely the one included with the case is some off-brand one that may not be able to come near the advertised wattage. The power supply is one of the most overlooked, yet critical components in a computer. If you don't have a good one you are just setting yourself up for trouble. I'd recommend getting one made by a reputable company like PC Power and Cooling.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #8
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go intel, so many programs still have problems with AMD.
take a very stable mother board (ASUS P4C800-E deluxe is a good deal)
you will have plenty IDE and SATA connector.
buy a soundblaster audigy delux (with the media bay).
it is cheap, does 5.1, has a very reliable firewire socket too.
take a cheap nvidia with 128mb RAM , dual screen capability.
chipset 5200 or 5700 is ok.
take liteon DVD burner, best ratio for price quality.
use really good RAM, like CORSAIR low latency (2x512 is OK) but if your budget allows (2x1gig).
use a good power supply (450W minimum) like the one made by ThermalTake, Enermax or ANTEC.
they provide usually lot of connector including sata power
Go for SATA drives (except for the system , i recommend a 60 gig IDE)
you can take 2x200 gig mounted in MIRROR raid, so no problem for your data.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 09:54 PM   #9
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In line...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois
go intel, so many programs still have problems with AMD.

Hi Giroud, this is no longer true and most NLE vendors have certified AMD hardware.

buy a soundblaster audigy delux (with the media bay).
it is cheap, does 5.1, has a very reliable firewire socket too.
take a cheap nvidia with 128mb RAM , dual screen capability.

Make sure you get an Audigy2 over a regular Audigy. It will avoid a few of issues

use a good power supply (450W minimum) like the one made by ThermalTake, Enermax or ANTEC.

The PC Power and Cooling wins. Seasonic has gotten some good press lately. Also Fortron and Sparkle.

Go for SATA drives (except for the system , i recommend a 60 gig IDE)
you can take 2x200 gig mounted in MIRROR raid, so no problem for your data.

SATA's only advantage is cable size. The bus is not the issue, the drive rates are. With Queuing, SATA II can be faster, but far between on support for at least another year.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
use really good RAM, like CORSAIR low latency (2x512 is OK) but if your budget allows (2x1gig).
Tests show that for the most part, paying extra for low-latency RAM is a waste of money. I made the mistake of doing this and found out later it didn't make much difference, especially for the price premium.

See the articles linked below for more details:
Fast RAM Provides Low Value
Does RAM Latency Matter?

Just get the fastest memory the motherboard you choose supports (i.e., like PC2-5300, which is different from the latency), from a reputable manufacturer like Crucial.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 08:45 AM   #11
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I did my own tests of memory latency/timings, and they make no difference for video rendering. As in, less than one percent (I couldn't tell it apart from experimental error).

The higher-speed RAM (i.e. PC2-5300 instead of PC2-3200) does make your computer a few percent faster, but only if your computer runs that RAM at that higher speed.
For AMD platform, don't get DDR2 RAM because the motherboard/chipsets/CPU don't use that kind of RAM. Get PC3200 DDR RAM. Dont get anything higher than PC3200, because that's wasting your money.

IMO brand doesn't matter... although a cheaper no-name/generic brand may indicate a higher chance the stick has a manufacturing defect. Although Corsair/Kingston/Mushkin/Crucial is only a few bucks more expensive than the cheapest stuff.

2- Power supply: If you're on a budget, I think the power supply you want to run will work fine. It's not like your computer is sucking up a lot of wattage (it'll probably use <200W loaded). High-end video cards and a large number of hard drives (and a Pentium D processor) would suck up lots of power, so you'd have to be careful about the real maximum wattage of the power supply.

Anyways, you could test your power supply by running prime95 + Motherboard Monitor (or equivalent, like your motherboard manufacturer's temperature monitoring utility).
Or you can measure things manually with a volt meter (watch out for ESD/static when working inside the case).

Sound blaster: I'm not a fan of sound blaster, since one of their older products had crappy drivers that would make your computer crash (get a blue screen of death) every several hours. Very difficult to troubleshoot if you didn't know about it, and very frustrating.
If sound is really important, get something better like a Maudio Revolution or Mobilepre.
If not, the chaintech should probably be ok. With $45 speakers I don't think you'd notice the difference from a more expensive card.
The Sound blaster is good if you primarily game.

3- Why not get a Dell and throw in upgrades? It'll probably be cheaper. (Do throw in the dual core upgrade though.)

Just adding to the peanut gallery here.... (everyone in this thread has a different opinion)
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Old September 16th, 2005, 08:57 AM   #12
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I agree with Glenn on the memory.

Glenn, "Sound Blaster" and Audigy 2 are two different beasts. The Audigy 2 has been flawless. BUT, the M-Audio solutions are better than the Audigy 2. The Audigy 4 is better than the 2, but I have not seen a head to head comparison with the M-Audio solutions. X-Fi is still not available and is the next generation Creative Labs offering.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 09:08 AM   #13
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Brandon, if you are interested in good sound you can get an excellent pair of Klipsch ProMedia speakers for about $100. See here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1775431,00.asp
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Old September 16th, 2005, 09:20 AM   #14
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the problem with most people with computer equipment is when you talk about some material , they start to compare with other ones on numbers that have nothing to do whith the ones that make your choice.

RAM. I am not speaking about performance. but taking CORSAIR (or CRUCIAL it is the same) and low latency models will give you stability.
when pushing gigabytes of video it is very important.
cheap ram sucks, and as soon you will start to compress video or encode mpeg2 you will understand why.

SATA, same concept. who care about performance of SATA or IDE when drives will any way not even reach 60% of their bandwith.
Simply SATA is the future (or the present) while IDE is obsolete.

Power supply. Once again, you can find a 500W power supply for 40$, while an Enermax will cost you over 100. The difference ? you can't feel it but your computer will. Less aborted DVD burning, more stability, no cheap chinese capacitor that leaks after 3 months.

computer specialist building computer for over 20 years now.
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Old September 16th, 2005, 12:23 PM   #15
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Other memory to consider, Mushkin and OCZ. I have not seen any complaints about Rosewill memory, but their PSUs have received a few bad posts.

Just because SATA and SATA-II are 'the future', PATA is not obsolete. In fact, the superior solution would be SCSI and iSCSI (appearing soon), but that would not meet the OPs low cost requirement. PATA drives are usually $10USD or more cheaper than the equivalent SATA part. Superior in SATA is the cabling, but only if you ignore the fact that the cables are easily dislodged (except the WD custom cable).
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