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1st DIY and Self-Built Computer

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1st DIY and Self-Built Computer
on Jul 13, 2005 at 6:21:55 pm

I am having a friend of mine help me shop around and then build a video-editing system to replace my business-style laptop which, obviously, wasn't doing the job.

I just need some additional help on how to get the most bang for my buck. This will be a desktop in my dorm room, and plus, I'm not a heavy gamer, so I don't need a high-end video card, I am also not someone who plans on making feature-length films, 10-15 minute videos are probably going to be the highest I will do.

So far here is the system that I've come up with minus a soundcard, monitor, or memory since I need some help figuring out how I shoud go about buying it (which size sticks and how many) since I don't plan on overclocking my system.

Here is what I've come up with:


ASUS P4P800-E DELUXE Socket 478 Intel 865PE ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail


CPU - Intel Pentium 4 Prescott/Celeron
FSB - 800/533MHz
DDR Standard - DDR 400 (PC 3200)
Max Memory – 4GB
AGP Slots - 1x AGP 8X/4X


intel Pentium 4 2.53 Northwood 533MHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 478 Processor - Retail


Operating Frequency - 2.53GHz
FSB – 533 MHz
Cooling – Heatsink and Fan
Warranty – 3 Years


ATRIX 4in1 Combo CSCI-C8001-C43 Black/Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Prescott Version Power Supply – Retail


Power Supply - 480W Prescott Version
Fan – 1 80mm
Side Air Duct – Yes
Dimensions - 17.7" (H) x 7.63" (W) x 19.8" (D)

Internal HD:

Western Digital Caviar SE WD2000JD 200GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive – OEM


Capacity – 200 GB
Cache – 8 MB
RPM – 7200
Seek Time – 8.9 ms
Write Time – 10.9 ms
Interface – SATA150
Warranty - 3 Years

Graphics Card:

PNY VCQ450NVS-PB Quadro4 NVS50 64MB 64-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card – Retail


Memory Size – 64 MB
Open GL – Yes
Interface – AGP 4x/8x
Max Resolution - 2048x1536
GPU Chipset - Quadro NVS 50


Apollo FX5500 Geforce FX5500 256MB 128-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card – Retail


Memory Size – 256 MB
Memory Interface – 128-bit
Memory Clock – 400 MHz
Core Clock – 270 MHz
Interface – AGP 4x/8x
Max Resolution - 2048x1536
GPU Chipset - Geforce FX5500


Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 – OEM


CD/DVD Burner:



Total (w/o Sound Card, Memory, or Monitor) = $657

I'd like to stay under $800 or slightly above for the entire thing (including sound card, memory, and monitor) so any help would be appriciated to help me figure out what I will need without over-spending for a bunch of pomp and circumstance I won't be using.

If anyone has any comments on the parts I've picked out or suggestions on better items, I would REALLY be greatful. Thanks.

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Re: 1st DIY and Self-Built Computer
on Jul 14, 2005 at 8:39:11 pm

I feel like there is more than one questionable item on that list...I don't think you would be overall happy with the quality of that system..I wouldn't.

First of all.. why are you going with a socket 478 board - It's old technology, and it doesn't really look like you're saving any money. Get a Socket 775 board if you are going Intel. I would even suggest at this budget level to consider an AMD rig. I think you'll get more for your money at this level.

For all DIY'ers, I have a suggestion (this applies to you as well): Splurge on a nice case. Get a really high-quality case, and you'll end up re-using it after you clean it out for the next go-around. I'll be surprised if your CASE is obsolete in three years (although there is talk about other form factors).

Also, when buying a dirt-cheap $50 enclosure with an included power supply, you run the risk of buying a power supply that I can guarantee won't last you and could become a liability.

Get the Geforce card.

XP Media Center for a video editing setup? No. For your home theatre PC, yes. XP Home at least, please.

Memory for you : 2 x 512MB sticks of simple CAS 3 stuff. Get kingston or crucial direct. Don't buy cheap, no-name junk to save a buck.

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Re: 1st DIY and Self-Built Computer
on Jul 15, 2005 at 6:20:09 am

I'm getting some ideas from I used one of their basics (I think it started at 700) and added some things, this is what I came up with:

Case : X-BLADE Mid-Tower 450W W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display + FAN CONTROL (BLACK COLOR)
CPU : (939-pin) AMD Athlon64 3000+ CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
Mainboard : (939-pin Socket) ASUS A8V-E Deluxe VIA K8T890 Mainboard w/ LAN, USB2.0, IEEE, & AUDIO
Memory : 1024 MB (512MBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY (Corsair XMS High Performance Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
Hard Drive : Western Digital 200GB 7200RPM ATA 100 8MB Special Editon
Hard Drive 2 : NONE
Video Card 2 : NONE
Optical Drive : NONE
Optical Drive 2 : (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
Monitor & LCD : NONE
Sound : NEW!!! Creative Labs SB LIVE 24.bit 7.1
Price: $1088.00

This inlcudes Windows XP Home for $60... but it's still nearly $200 above my limit and about $300 - $400 above what I'd like to be paying for it. Any ideas on where I could change/cut some things out to make it a little more affordable? I could also check around to see how much the parts would cost buying them seperately... don't know how much that'll knock off, but it's worth a shot.

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Re: 1st DIY and Self-Built Computer
on Jul 15, 2005 at 11:34:12 pm

Does buyxg actually assemble that computer? I thought you were going to assemble this yourself?

I like this configuration better because you are using current technology. I'm still shakey on the enclosure though. My suggestion was geared along the lines of you choosing a truly high-quality case (maybe paying a bit extra for it) and choosing a separate high-quality power supply to go with it (you can buy direct from PC Power and Cooling -

Also, this price is probably high because you are getting everything at the same place. Get the memory from direct from crucial. Get MOST of your stuff from, separately, and assemble yourself - this is a DIY after all!

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Gary Bettan
Re: 1st DIY and Self-Built Computer
on Jul 16, 2005 at 1:55:19 am

Just a couple of comments:

1) We get almost all of our components for our DIY machines from either or

2) Don't get cheap memory!! If you have extra budget, go for 2GB - in the long run you won;t regret it!!

3) The case looks cool. I found more info and pix of it here

4) Ed from Tantus knows his stuff! He is an AMD expert. The guys at tantus make some really KICK-ASS high end NLE machines. Videoguys recommends them highly! check out their website


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Re: 1st DIY and Self-Built Computer
on Jul 16, 2005 at 5:03:19 pm

I appreciate the good word!

A quick note on the case : It does LOOK cool, but I've used and seen similar enclosures before. I can tell by the inside shots on that link that it is the same as a million other cheapy cases on the market, with a different external 'shell' for a different look.

When I mean invest in a quality case, I'm talking about spending around $100-$125 on the case alone. I say that this is a good investment, because you can RE-USE this component for your future computers. In three years, you'll rip out the innards, and probably keep drives, case and power supply. So, you'll get a better case NOW (better cooling, easier installation/upgrades/access, sturdier), and be able to take advantage of that investment LATER as well. My recommendation is something from a QUALITY case manufacturer like Lian-Li, Coolermaster, or Kingwin. I have personally used all of these cases in our own systems in our office and Lian-Li is the manufacturer that we use for every system that we've built for the past 8 months. We will soon be incorporating cased from Supermicro as well, but those are probably unnecessary for these applications and they are considerably more expensive.

Don't spend $40 on a case because it looks like a spider or some kind of crazy microwave, thinking that its a quality piece of hardware.

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