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Gerbil In Training
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2002 7:00 pm

Sat Feb 02, 2002 11:52 am

This is my first build and would like comments on the components I have picked so far, and any issues with these.

CPU: Athlon XP 1700 “boxed” w/F & HS
Motherboard: ASUS A7V266-E (chips set VIA KT266A)
Hard Drive: Maxtor Diamond Max Plus D740X 40GB
(have IBM 40GB & will install too)
Memory: 256MB CAS2.5 PC2100 DDR
Case: Antech SX830 w/300W PS
CDRW: Have HP 9100 series
Graphics card: ? suggestions

Thanks, Bob
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: San Francisco

Sat Feb 02, 2002 1:20 pm

For a graphics card, it really depends on how much your willing to spend and what you plan on doing with this card.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: combo on 2002-02-03 03:17 ]</font>
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Sat Feb 02, 2002 10:31 pm

Opinions? Everybody has one...

I like the AthlonXP 1700+. It's a great bang for the buck. I bought the OEM chip with an Alpha PAL-8045 heatsink. This giant heatsink is a bit tedious to install but it provides good cooling even when equipped with a low-rpm (QUIET) 80mm fan. If you're not going to overclock, then the AMD heatsink should be fine, particularly considering the good ventilation in the case that you've selected.

I also like the VIA KT266A chipset featured on the ASUS A7V266-E. ASUS has a reputation for quality and stability. I bought the SOYO board with the KT266A chipset because it was one of the first available in November. The C-Media 8738 sound included on the ASUS board is decent (much better than the nasty VIA PC97 audio on some motherboards). My second PC uses an ASUS motherboard (AMD 760 chipset). While the hardware itself is good and BIOS and driver updates appear on the ASUS website, I have been very disappointed by the lack of response from ASUS tech support. They don't answer e-mails, they don't answer questions in the newsgroups (though other ASUS customers can usually help) and they don't reply to questions posted on their message boards at the ASUS site. Given the profanity and anti-ASUS comments frequently posted there, I doubt that anyone from ASUS even reads those message boards on their own web-site. That's not very good customer relations, IMO. Your mileage may vary.

40GB 7200rpm IDE drives have been the sweet spot in $ per gigabyte until just recently. It looks like the 60GB drives are a better deal now. I had an IBM 75GXP that died after less than a year, but I haven't (knock wood) had any trouble yet with the newer 60GXP drives.

You'll want 256MB of RAM for WinXP or Win2K. While PC2100 was dirt cheap a couple of months ago, I bought 512MB. Photoshop is about the only software that I use that really needs that much (and more) memory.

I really like the Antec performance series cases. I've got an SX1030B (same as the SX830, except with a door over the drive bays). Antec power supplies have a good reputation.

I don't know much about the HP CD-RW drives except that they don't use BURN-proof, which is a really nifty feature on Plextor and even some of the affordable Lite-On drives. Based on an experience with a Phillips CD-RW without BURN-proof, you should follow the directions to put the CD-RW on the opposite IDE controller from the source drive (usually your C: hard-drive) and make certain that DMA is enabled.

What do you want to do with the graphics card? For gaming, the GeForce3 Ti200 cards provide a lot of performance for under $200. For video, the new ATI AIW 7500 makes your PC do a pretty good imitation of a TiVo unit. If 3D gaming isn't a priority, then almost any video card will do. If you must have the latest thing, then the new NVidia GeForce4 parts will be out next week. You might at least wait for them to appear for your consideration and to drive down the prices of the older stuff.

You didn't mention it, but I'll volunteer that the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical is a good mouse. It has 5 buttons (the last two are useful for going back a page and forward a page when web-browsing). It's smaller than the more expensive Intellimouse Explorer (therefore more comfortable, IMO), and it can be used comfortably with either hand. The optical pickup doesn't get dirty (there are no rollers to clean), and the USB interface is handy.

Just remember that free advice is frequently worth what you pay for it. :wink:
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Mon Feb 04, 2002 7:20 pm

Good day. Your setup seems appropriate, but I've had experience with HP CD-R/W's and very strongly advise against them. The bundled software is horribly bloated, won't read from a network, and forces you through about 10 screen before you start choosing files; Plextor 12x10x36 are in the $150's nowadays, perform within 10% of most 24x CD-R's I've seen, and have that wonderful burn-proof feature mentioned above.

If you'd like a clear upgrade path for future applications and aren't concerned about OC'ing too much, the Tyan TigerMP or MSI ??? (AMD 760MPX chipset) dual-processor boards would leave you the option of a new computer next year for the price of one or two processors. Tyan has been very stable and reasonably responsive (BIOS upgrades are common, clearly defined, etc. and they have answered e-mails quickly).

Tyan TigerMP - 2x1.2 Athlon MP - Adaptec 16160 U160 SCSI/Seagate Barracuda 19 GB - IBM 40 GB IDE - 1024 Crucal PC2100 ECC DDR - ATI All-in-wonder Rage 124 - Zip 100 - Plextor 12/8/32x CD-R/RW - Pinnacle DV IEEE-1394 - Iiyama VisionMaster Pro 450

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nrobison on 2002-02-04 18:24 ]</font>
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Mon Feb 04, 2002 10:32 pm

I'd recommend getting a Plextor or a Lite-on CDRW drive instead of that HP. Lite-ons come with NERO which is a much superior product then the Easy CD Creator that the Plextor comes budled with (at least when I bought mine). So I would check what software actually comes with the CDRW drive before buying it.

Other then that, I think your selections look pretty reasonable. Although I personally would go with an ABIT board instead of the ASUS. (But that's just personal preference.)
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Location: Somewhere in downstate IL

Thu Feb 07, 2002 7:09 pm

I have to agree on the Lite-on burner. I got one over christmas break, and it renewed my cd burning fetish. The 24X models run about $75, and nero is pretty sweet. I haven't had any problems aside from some funky errors on audio cd's, but just today I realized that was from my DVD drive ripping them incorrectly, not the burner.

I would also recommend the GF3TI200. If I weren't in college and convicted about spending my money properly, I would have one right now.
Gerbil In Training
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2002 7:00 pm

Fri Feb 08, 2002 9:13 am

I would personally suggest going with the Antec SX840 case. 300W is medicore for Athlon CPUs. Get the 400W version just to be safe and assure yourself of future upgrades. Also I do recommend a GeForce 3 Ti200. I just finally dropped one in yesterday and it is AMAZING. To give you an idea of my upgrade...I had:

Celeron 500
Abit BH-6 Mobo
TNT2 Ultra 32Mb
40Gb ATA/100 Drive
3DMarks2001 = ~600

My new upgrade this week before GF3Ti200:

Athlon XP 1800+
Soyo Dragon+ (2BA1)
256Mb DDR 2100
TNT2 Ultra
40Gb ATA/100 Drive
3DMarks2001 = ~2600

After GF3Ti200 w/o O/C'ing:
3DMarks2001 = ~6900

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