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advice on a system purchase...

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z4mat
advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 11, 2005 at 4:57:22 pm

Hi,

I was hoping Ed or the Video Guys could let me know if the following system would do the job. I use Vegas and DVDA as my main editing apps on my ancient P4 1.8 PC.

I plan on two 19" LCD's, but haven't decided which ones yet.

I have gotten lot's of good info from both the Video Guys site and Ed from Tantus Computers and if the customs guys and taxman weren't so ruthless regarding purchases from the US brought into Canada, I would love to support you guys. But thankfully, you still offer great advice to all!

Intel Pentium-D 840 Dual Core w/Thermaltake SilentTower Copper Base w/Dual Fan
P5AD2-E Premium http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket775/p5ad2-e-p/overview.htm
or ASUS P5WD2 Premium M/B http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket775/p5wd2-p/overview.htm
2GB Dual-Channel DDR2-400
Cooler Master Centurion 530 case (unsure of PS yet, at least 450W?)
nVidia QuadroFX 1300 or QuadroFX 540 (about $650CDN difference)
Plextor PX-716A DVD Burner
Western Digital WD360GD 36.7GB HD 10000rpm 8MB SATA
2 X Western Digital WD3200JD 320GB 8MB SATA
Microsoft Windows XP Pro

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Cheers,

Tony


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Evan Newsome
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 11, 2005 at 7:52:09 pm

Why the P5AD2-E? Wouldn't you want to purchase the latest MOBO with the newest chipset? (unless your software is known to be not compatible)

P5WD2 seems the better choice and I am pretty sure it has SATAII so you can purchase the SATAII Hard Drives.

Maybe Ed can tell me why someone would buy a 10000 RPM HD SATA verses a 7200 RPM SATAII HD???

Why DDR2-400 Ram speed and not faster, like 667 (or 533 for the other MOBO)?

Oh, I'd get a 480W Power Supply or higher and i would verify it is good enough to maintain a stable voltage. Usually what you pay for is what you get except for some of those MOD power supplies which your paying for glowing lights and fancy finish metal casing. (look for technical reviews to pick one)

My 2 cents, that is only worth 1/2 cents.
Lee

PS I assume Vegas and DVDA will utilize a dual core CPU. But I would buy a dual MOBO w/ 2 Xeon 3.2GHz 800Mhz CPUs (or 2 P4 640) before I would get an Pentuim D 840. (but that is me)


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z4mat
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 11, 2005 at 9:09:37 pm

Thanks for the 2 cents!

The motherboard I originally chose was the P5WD2 but the northbridge/southbridge deal confuses me a bit so I thought I would throw out a second choice.

I followed the Tantus Computer site recomendations for the hard drives, and CPU. I should look into sataII though.

As to memory, shouldn't the memory be 1/2 the FSB of the MB? For the P5WD2, can I get the DDR2-667 speed?

So, the system would be like this so far...

Intel Pentium-D 840 Dual Core w/Thermaltake SilentTower Copper Base w/Dual Fan
ASUS P5WD2 Premium M/B http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket775/p5wd2-p/overview.htm
2GB Dual-Channel DDR2-667
Cooler Master Centurion 530 case (unsure of PS yet, at least 480W?)
nVidia QuadroFX 1300 or QuadroFX 540 (about $650CDN difference)
Plextor PX-716A DVD Burner
1x Western Digital Caviar SE 120gb SATA2 7200rpm 8mb 8.9ms hard drive
2x Western Digital Caviar SE 250gb SATA2 7200rpm 8mb 8.9ms hard drive
Microsoft Windows XP Pro

So far the above system with the QuadroFX 1300 is just within my budget.

I looked into the SATAII drives and the throughput is double that of SATA and the connectors are supposedly better made so they don't come loose as easy.

If I drop the storage a little (320 to 250GB) I can stay in the same price range as well.

Cheers,

Tony

edit: changed hard drives...


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tantuscomputers
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 15, 2005 at 11:36:14 pm

Sorry about the delay - I was out for a few days!

One thing is that the P5AD2 is a 925x chipset and is not compatible with dual core chips. Scratch that.

As far as the 10K vs. 7200RPM drives, there is a whole thread on this on these forums.

Power supply : My recommendation is to pay attention to quality over wattage. My recommendation is an Antec Truepower, or better if you can afford it a PC Power and Cooling supply. These are PFC supplies and for the system you spec'ed a 550W Antec or 460W PCPC supply will do it. You can even go less with either of those supplies.

Memory : Yes, you should be matching your memory speed to the chip as you stated. If they are not synched, there is almost no performance gain... Don't get any crazy gamer memory - get basic DDR2-400 that will work with your board. Check the motherboard recommendations - basic Micron / Samsung / Infineon.


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z4mat
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 16, 2005 at 12:06:43 am

Thanks for the response Ed.

I will be ordering my system in the next day or so and it will look like this unless you tell me otherwise...

Intel Pentium-D 830 Dual Core ($275 CDN difference from the 840)
w/Thermaltake SilentTower Copper Base w/Dual Fan
ASUS P5WD2 Premium M/B
2GB Dual-Channel DDR2-400 (Kingston or Corsair)
Aspire X-Navigator Aluminum Case-Black/Silver ATXA8NW-AL/500
ATI Radeon X850XT Platinum 256MB DDR3 PCI-Express w/TV & DVI-I Sapphire
Plextor PX-716A DVD Burner
1x Western Digital Caviar SE 120gb SATA2 7200rpm 8mb 8.9ms hard drive
2x Western Digital Caviar SE 250gb SATA2 7200rpm 8mb 8.9ms hard drive
Microsoft Windows XP Pro

I decided to go with the ATI card after reading lot's of the posts here and the software I currently use (Vegas) doesn't utilize the video card anyways.

As to 10,000 over 7,200 for the hard drive, I searched the forum and saw a few posts, but nothing concerning the SATA 2 7200 drives. Would a 10,000 RPM SATA drive still outperform a 7200 SATA 2 drive as the boot drive? If Ed say's so, then I will change my boot drive back to a 36 GB Raptor.

There is also a $300 CDN difference between the ATI 850 and the 800 video card. Do you think there would be a noticable difference to me? I will also be using this machine for all photoshop projects and web design with Dreamweaver.

I have gotten lot's of good information from a lot of posts here on this site. Thanks.

Cheers,

Tony


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Matt Gray
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 16, 2005 at 3:29:53 pm

While I had to do a lot of questioning and research, the video card I selected was the Connect 3D Radeon X850XT with 256MB of GDDR3 and dual DVI. It's the sister company of ATI, from what I've read. Check it out on Tigerdirect.com and it explains its relation to ATI AND it's $250 off... so it's just $350 right now. The video card is VERY important to me so I did a ton of homework before coming to this conclusion. It's worth checking out.

Secondly, why the Plextor? Is it SATA? In my opinion, the only DVD drive worth getting right now is the Sony DRU800A since it does both DL formats. I found that one at Newegg.com for $84.

Just putting in my $.2 ...but what do I know?


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z4mat
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 16, 2005 at 4:30:38 pm

I think I may go with the ATI 800 card. Do you think the 850 would be worth the extra cash? Converting those Tiger Direct prices to Canadian and paying the customs boys takes any savings away.

I've had Sony DVD burners in the past and they haven't been too bad at all. I have always been under the impression that Plextor drives are the tops though. It isn't the SATA version.

I have wondered if the burner or DVD blanks has anything to do with compatibility amongst DVD players. I have been using some cheapy BENQ DVD-R's for testing purposes and notice some pixelation when played on different players. My $49 DVD player plays the discs fine but my $200 Sony player shows some pixelation. Some machines can only play a few minutes of video then they freeze. Some Memorex DVD-R's I've burned display some of the same issues. It may be my PC isn't fast enough to prepare and burn the files though, hence the new PC coming soon.

So, I want the best burner I can reasonably afford right now. The Plextor is $168CDN and I have to find the right DVD blanks as well. Any suggestions?

Cheers,

Tony


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Matt Gray
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 16, 2005 at 4:48:55 pm

Oh, I didn't realize you were in Canada.

I don't see a problem with the ATI card you have in mind if it's cheaper overall to purchase in-country. I was just mentioning the one I found because it's very cheap for what it is. But I have the luxury of buying in the US.

Same with the DVD writer, I suppose. I haven't come across anything negative about Plextor but the only time I looked at them was when I was considering SATA DVD drives. I currently have an off-brand +R/-R writer that I've used in heavy volume and it's been great. I only burn on Verbatim DVD+R or -Rs because that's what I buy at Sams Club for cheap.

I have a great Sony DVD/VCR combo that plays both +R/-R formats and my discs play great with no pixelation problems. Sometimes I see small glitches on discs I play on an Xbox though.

I would assume you're just fine with what you've selected, I was just offering the price alternatives. AND that the Sony DRU800A will burn for +DL and -DL formats, which is RARE.


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z4mat
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 18, 2005 at 10:39:35 pm

Hi All,

Anyone have any thoughts on the following question... Would a 10,000 RPM SATA drive (WD Raptor) outperform a 7200 SATA 2 drive as the boot drive?

My gut reaction is it will and since I am ordering this system tomorrow morning, I think I will go with the Raptor.

Cheers,

Tony


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tantuscomputers
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 19, 2005 at 12:14:24 am

z4mat: Hi All,

Anyone have any thoughts on the following question... Would a 10,000 RPM SATA drive (WD Raptor) outperform a 7200 SATA 2 drive as the boot drive?

My gut reaction is it will and since I am ordering this system tomorrow morning, I think I will go with the Raptor.

Cheers,

Tony



Yes. Higher RPM means lower seek times means the OS and software will be able to run faster. Keep nothing else on that drive.


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z4mat
Re: advice on a system purchase...
on Aug 19, 2005 at 12:56:42 am

Thanks Ed for your posts in this thread and others, I've learned alot and feel very good about my future PC.

Cheers,

Tony


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