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Old 2007-04-06, 17:19   Link #1
Tiberium Wolf
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Cool Building a new pc. Need opinions!

Some of the links are not from the site of the shop that I am going to buy.

CPU

*Intel Core 2 Duo (Conroe) E6400 225.00EUR

I think it comes with a fan...


Motherboard

*Gigabyte GA-965P-DS4 168.00EUR


Asus P5B 133.00EUR

Asus P5B Deluxe 186.00EUR


I think the gigabyte one has more than enough. Asus P5B Deluxe seems to have a lot more but I don't think I'll ever use up all those slots.


Video Card

*ASUS X1950 PRO 256MB DDR3 PCI-e 187.50EUR

Powercolor X1950Pro 256MB DDR3 PCI-e 179.50EUR
Gigabyte X1950Pro 256MB DDR3 PCI-e 192.00EUR
Sapphire X1950 PRO 256MB 214.00EUR
Powercolor X1950Pro 512MB DDR3 PCI-e 224.90EUR
Club3D 7950GT 512MB PCI-e 254.00EUR

Asus one seems to have more pixel pipelines plus the core speed seems a bit higher. BTW, I have never stepped in the ATI
world. I don't think I want to spend extra € to buy the Nvidia one.


Memory

*GSkill 2x1Gb NQ CL5 DDR2 800 186.00EUR


OEM Memória 1Gb DDR2 800MHz 69.50EUR
GSkill 2x1Gb NQ CL5 DDR2 800 186.00EUR
GSkill 2x1Gb NR CL5 DDR2 800 234.00EUR
GSkill 2x1Gb HZ CL4 DDR2 800 261.00EUR

Crap... I could not find out what's the difference between the gskill ones except the latency.


Power supply


Now what? I don't understand shit about this. What do I need?


Case

*3RSystem R202Li Branco 41.50EUR


Cheapest with a led display.


Optical Drive



Hmm... sincerely I don't care about this. Any NEC drive will do.


Hard Drive

No help needed here. Going for Seagate as always.
Spending 180 to 200 Euros.

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.infosom.net/catalog/index.php?cPath=62


I am going to buy my stuff from a store nearby from where I live. If I got any trouble in a component I'll just drop there and complain. The site is the one above. It's in portuguese but it's simple enough for other ppl to understand.


I just need other ppl opinions about the components I am going to buy. The ones with * is the one I am intending to buy unless I chance my mind.

THE BUDGET IS 1200 EUROS


BTW, I haven't bought a new PC for 4 years now. I don't even know how to place these new components together. If I ask the shop they will probably charge me big. I can't buy every new part just for the sake of knowing how. I am not rich. How to put together the CPU with the MB is the most important one.




I think this set up will let me play smoothly C&C3 and SupCom.
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Old 2007-04-06, 19:07   Link #2
WanderingKnight
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One word of experience about Asus... incompatibility. Lots of it. Grab the Gigabyte motherboard, it's much better than Asus.
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Old 2007-04-06, 22:57   Link #3
Ledgem
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Ooh, I love threads like this! It's almost as good a going shopping for yourself.

Before I can evaluate your components, there's a big thing you left out: what do you use your computer for? What do you see yourself doing with it in the future? The tasks you want to do make a difference; some motherboards have very few SATA slots (if you need a lot of storage and want to use your system as a server), others have few RAM slots/limited RAM support (important if you want to do 3D rendering), etc.

As for piecing everything together, I think it's pretty easy. Installing the CPU to the motherboard can be scary, just because you don't want to risk breaking anything. I think what's worse is getting the heatsink on. In my case, I scraped off the default thermal paste and put on some Arctic silver. I had no idea if I'd put on too much or too little, or if it had spread right, and worse, you need to let it settle in for a day or so of activity before it reaches optimum operation (in other words, until you can tell whether you messed up or not). Overall, not so bad though.
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Old 2007-04-07, 00:28   Link #4
Tiberium Wolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Ooh, I love threads like this! It's almost as good a going shopping for yourself.

Before I can evaluate your components, there's a big thing you left out: what do you use your computer for? What do you see yourself doing with it in the future? The tasks you want to do make a difference; some motherboards have very few SATA slots (if you need a lot of storage and want to use your system as a server), others have few RAM slots/limited RAM support (important if you want to do 3D rendering), etc.

As for piecing everything together, I think it's pretty easy. Installing the CPU to the motherboard can be scary, just because you don't want to risk breaking anything. I think what's worse is getting the heatsink on. In my case, I scraped off the default thermal paste and put on some Arctic silver. I had no idea if I'd put on too much or too little, or if it had spread right, and worse, you need to let it settle in for a day or so of activity before it reaches optimum operation (in other words, until you can tell whether you messed up or not). Overall, not so bad though.



About the sata slots, the gigabyte one has 8. I think 8 is more than enough. It's not like I am going to buy a lot of HDD.

About the cpu issue all i know if the p3 and the athlon xp 2200 that I got and it simply was too attach to the mb and that's it. You talk about thermal paste... well I rather not go that way. :P

About the video card. Last time I didn't inform well and I was in a hurry to get 1 and so I bought the GF4 MX. Piece of crap that didn't have pixel shader and so I couldn't play a lot of games. It's not like I play the game with max settings. As long as it has some reasonable setting so that it wont look bad and it wont drag either. That's why I am going to 2G of ram too.

Anyway no 3D rendering here. Mostly games and anime. For anime I can be sure that it wont drag with those high definitions like with my current PC.
To be honest what is making me buy a new PC is that I can't play all h264 encodes. There for I need a new PC.
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Old 2007-04-07, 01:05   Link #5
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
Anyway no 3D rendering here. Mostly games and anime.
Well, if you're playing games, then your PC will be rendering 3D. Unless the only thing you want to play are ero-games, of course
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Old 2007-04-07, 01:44   Link #6
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Actually, I have the ASUS P5B motherboard which I bought for my core 2 duo computer. It works really well, in my opinion. Good simple overclocking options (if that's your thing) and it even has the built in wireless node (which is neat, if not a bit useless).

I also have a nvidia 7900 GT and 2 GB corsair RAM. With that combo and the core 2 duo, it's VERY fast. Even plays Supreme Commander at max resolution pretty decently (and that game can slow down ANYTHING). Watching 1280x720 h.264 encoded anime takes about 25% of my CPU. Encoding 1280x720 h.264 takes only 3 hours .
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Old 2007-04-07, 01:48   Link #7
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- CPU: you might want to wait a few weeks for the E6420 to replace the E6400. The E6420 has 2 Mb L2 cache more than the E6400 (2 Mb vs 4 Mb).

- I second the comment about the Asus boards. I have a Asus P5B myself and I'm not very happy with it. IDE support is pretty crappy, and most optical drives are still IDE. For example until they put out a new version of the driver, I was not able to burn new DVD-rewritable discs, as some IDE command was broken.

- Make sure you go for at least 2 Gb of RAM if you want to play SupCom.

- You might want to spent some cash on making the system quiet. In that case, you might want to pick another CPU fan, and go with a quiet powersupply. You might also want to replace the fans in the case.
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Old 2007-04-07, 01:51   Link #8
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Well, if you're playing games, then your PC will be rendering 3D. Unless the only thing you want to play are ero-games, of course
I suppose this is a mnemonic problem. The rendering you are refering to (for games), is usually done in the memory of the graphics card (3D acceleration, uses a subset of rendering techniques that a typical software renderer uses... usually such techniques that are very easy to parallelize and are naturally fast. This rendering is usually done on the GPU). In contrast the software rendering is done on the CPU and uses large amounts of RAM (depends on image size to render, and z-depth).
I suppose 3D modeller based software rendering was meant in conjunction with the RAM size.

(On a sidenote... with the introduction of DX10 many of these software renderers can do large parts of the work in the shaders of the graphics card... they could even do that on DX9 or 8, but the shaders there are too restrictive... a today widely used approach is e.g. drawing quite realistic shadows with shaders).
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Old 2007-04-07, 02:13   Link #9
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberium Wolf View Post
About the cpu issue all i know if the p3 and the athlon xp 2200 that I got and it simply was too attach to the mb and that's it. You talk about thermal paste... well I rather not go that way. :P
Well, if you're doing it bare-bones style, after you seat the CPU onto the motherboard you'll have to lock on the CPU cooler. It's pretty easy. As I said, most OEM CPU coolers come with a thermal pad that melts onto the processor, so you don't need to worry about applying thermal paste. You just set the HSF (heatsink + fan) and lock it into the motherboard - it's just a matter of lining it up and, depending on your board, pushing down a lever to lock it on or what have you. It doesn't sound like you were planning on it, but if you ever want to overclock or if you find yourself pushing your CPU hard for long periods at a time, you may want to consider upgrading the HSF and using thermal paste.

A word of advice on the power supply - get a quality brand on that one. Don't go cheap. System stability aside, a crappy PSU can take out your entire hardware supply when it goes. I had a friend who had it happen to him; lost his motherboard and a hard drive when his PSU popped. I think I or someone else asked about what the quality PSU brands were; I can't remember them off the top of my head, but I believe Fortron was mentioned (and that's what I went with for mine). And if you can, try to calculate the power draw so that you can determine the appropriate power rating your PSU should have. (I'm not totally sure how to do this, so I can't guide you there.)

Otherwise, I think that for your needs it looks like it'll be a nice system! As GHDPro mentioned, there was due to be some major processor releasing going on by Intel in the month of April, and it was supposedly going to drive prices way down by AMD and I believe some of Intel's processors, too. There's no need to set your sights higher, but if it pays to wait a little while for savings and you're not too eager, why not?
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Old 2007-04-07, 02:37   Link #10
Tiberium Wolf
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I noticed in descriptions of the power suplies:

6 x Molex
2 x SATA
1 x 6-Pin-Server

What are those?

Normally u have 2 for motherboard, that is 1 for intel boards and 1 for amd. Then u have for floppy disks and finally the 4pin for hdd and optical drives. Do sata HDD use other power supply cables?

From the site I gave you ppl, can anyone tell me which ones you would chose from the list?
http://www.infosom.net/catalog/index.php?cPath=62_34
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Old 2007-04-07, 06:13   Link #11
Specto
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I am sorry I can't recommend a power supply from that site as I do not speak the language (Spanish?).
However I do not recognise any of the brand names there and so would not be buying any of those myself.
I could point you to "example" power supplies that I might use however I am in the UK and so we may use a different mains voltage to whatever you do. If this is the case you will need to check with the manufacturer that the power supply will work on your mains voltage.

You will want an ATX 2.2 form factor compliant power supply. Recommended power supply manufacturers include Antec and Enermax. Check various forums on the internet for guides - there are loads.


Connectors:
- The 24 pin connector - Goes onto the motherboard - sometimes this is split into a "20-pin" and an additional 4-pin 12v connector. The FAQs on Antec's site explain some of this so have a browse. Wikipedia is also your friend in this respect.

- Molex connectors are the "old style" 4 pin connectors which feed power to the CD from drive and (some non SATA hard drives). You will need at least one of them and it never hurts to have more as some (of the better) manufactures provide a "convertor" to turn a molex connector into a SATA connector.

- SATA Connectors are a new "slimline" connector that are used to power most modern SATA hard drives. You will require one per hard drive.

Note: Some hard drives have sockets for both a Molex AND a SATA connector. If this is the case ensure that you only connecto either a molex OR a SATA lead as you can damage the drive otherwise!


There is guide to choosing a power supply (PSU) here
and you can use the Power Supply Wattage calculator to figure out roughly what wattage you will need. Be sure to get one that supplies slightly more than it recommends to cope with future upgrades and excessive spikes in usage. With power supplies they are much more efficient and last longer if you are not pushing them at their maximum rating all the time. If the calculator doesn't list the exact equipment you have then pick the most modern but power hungry they have as a guide.
I would guess you will be wanting around 450+ watts but you really need to do use the calculator. Also, check to see if the CPU and graphics card manufacturers have any minimum wattage recomendations.

There is a guide to building a pc on Tom's Hardware - although I have not read it myself, a quick glance through indicates it takes you step by step. Part 3 covers the assembly
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
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Old 2007-04-07, 06:59   Link #12
Tiberium Wolf
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Cool short guides. I seem to never be able to find what I want in Tom's Hardware site. It's a mess.

Anyway thx for those links. Pity the Power Supply Wattage calculator is outdated.




I noticed also that in some video cards specs they are saying that it is DX9 compliant or DX10 compliant... Hmmm... should I take this in consideration?
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Old 2007-04-07, 08:03   Link #13
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberium Wolf View Post
Cool short guides. I seem to never be able to find what I want in Tom's Hardware site. It's a mess.

Anyway thx for those links. Pity the Power Supply Wattage calculator is outdated.




I noticed also that in some video cards specs they are saying that it is DX9 compliant or DX10 compliant... Hmmm... should I take this in consideration?
At the moment I'ld be more concerned about HDCP support then DX10 (because DX10 hardware these days, is not powerful enough to do things well DX10 is meant for, thats like the first DX9 cards, or first DX7... on the long run they were totally outperformed by its successors)
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Old 2007-04-07, 10:37   Link #14
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I heard the E4300 as a low budget solution isn't bad at all; and that the quad core Q6600 is going to have its bulk price lowered by 70% for 2007 Q3 to $266 per 1000, according to Chinese site HKEPC Hardware. It should have an impact on other products of the lineup... Well, wait at least till the 22nd.
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Old 2007-04-08, 01:26   Link #15
Ledgem
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Note for the power supplies also that if you have more components than there are connectors, you can buy a power splitter. The defaults are the Y cables (it plugs into a molex connector and has two other molex ends that can then power two drives); I have also seen a splitter with three ends, and I bought a 7-connector expander off of eBay. You have to be careful, though. If I connected every single end of that splitter to something like a hard drive, I'd probably overload my PSU. I just use it to power a system fan, a CD drive that's barely used, and two hard drives. Again, calculating voltages is probably the best way to be safe. (I'm not being safe - don't follow my lead!)

Regarding HDCP and DX10, I don't even think it's worth worrying about either. Isn't there something about how every now and then, something in the HDCP standard changes, making all current "HDCP capable" hardware next to useless? I mean, it can play with other HDCP hardware made during its time, but not with newer HDCP devices? I could be wrong, but that was my understanding.

Worry about DX10 only if you have or are planning to upgrade to Vista. DX10 is thinking pretty far ahead... I think DX10 cards will cost much more than DX9 cards and, as Jinto Lin said, they're probably underpowered for what they'd be expected to do. If you're thinking you'd need a DX10 card in the future, maybe downgrade your current graphics card slightly in anticipation of upgrading it in the nearer future (1-2 years), when the offerings for DX10 cards are better.

I'd worry more about the graphics outlets. I use a dual monitor setup with two LCDs, one of which is old and only has a HD15 connector. A lot of the newer cards only have two DVI ports. I know there are converters, and maybe I could still use my old LCD with one of those... but you have to be careful. I've heard something about different DVI port types and how one of them doesn't allow you to use converters that way? Not really sure about that, but something to be aware of and maybe look further into.
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Old 2007-04-08, 02:33   Link #16
Tiberium Wolf
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The max I am going to use is 3 HDD and 1 DVD burner. Never knew that splitters existed.

My LCD doesn't have a DVI port. I should have paid attention to it when I exchanged for another brand when the 1st one I bough was defective. I knew there was converters but I didn't know that some didn't allow them. Better take notice of this when buying then.
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Old 2007-04-11, 08:30   Link #17
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Hmm... I don't seem to be able to find any info in good about some cards not allowing DVI to VGA converters.
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Old 2007-04-11, 13:00   Link #18
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I've never heard of a monitor/video card that doesn't support an DVI-VGA convertion, but I can be wrong. I can tell from experience that even old and outdated Monitors will run on DVI through an adapter. I say this because when I bought a computer for my grandmother, I got her a 15'' LCD screen that was like, from the beginning of time - really crappy.

When I moved my X850XT from mine to hers, the monitor worked flawlessly with the adapter. But again, I'm no hardware expert, so I could be wrong. Maybe that's the reason you're not getting good information on this topic?

And I do agree that DX10 is, as of now, overkill. Last time I checked, the only cards on the market that had a DX10 support were the GeForce 8800 series. ATI's just a few tiny inches of making the R600 release, but they'll probably be as - or even more - expensive as the 8800s. So, the rule of the thumb is... get a Mobo with a PCIe 16x and a low-profile video card that suits your needs, especially if you're not doing a lot of heavy gaming. Just then, when you're ready to either go with Vista or play DX10-required games, get a DX10 compliant.

Heck, as far as I know, the only game out there that requires DX10 to work is Supreme Commander ( again, correct me if I'm wrong. It's been three weeks since I last checked the hardware scene, and since we're in a time of heavy transition... ), so you might not need it for a few years more.

And like other users suggested, don't go cheap on your power supply. The whole rig depends on it, and poor supply can cause pretty nasty stability issues and even smoke everything inside it. Try getting one with at least one 12v-Rail and 8-pin CPU connector, although, for the C2D, that's not required. And try getting one with some sort of cooling system. These new PSUs are hot as hell. Even more so if you're going 600W+.

But for some of the prices you're putting out there, you can get yourself a pretty nice PC with 1.2k euros. That comes to be what, around 1620 USD, considering the Euro at 1.3475? It's around what I put down on mine, if you take out the extended warranties, shipping, 19'' monitor and an OEM XP Pro copy. ( With free Vista upgrade ).

Just as a basis, here's what I'm running:

EVGA 680i A1 SLI Motherboard
Core2 Duo - E6400 @ 2.13 ghz
Patriot Extreme 2GB low latency @ 800mhz
Seagate 320GB HD + Maxtor 320GB HD @ 7200RPM
EVGA Nvidia GeForce 8800GTS
Samsung DVD +- R/RW
Zalman CNP9500 Cooler with Artic Silver 5 thermal compound.
And a few other thingies such as thermal monitor (useless, but looks cool), card-reader and 3 case-fans.

I'm planning on using EVGA's Step-Up program to trade my 8800GTS in for a GTX and just pay the difference. My friend at school has almost the exact same rig as I do, and he's getting almost 3dMark scores with 3k points over mine.
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Old 2007-04-11, 15:12   Link #19
Tiberium Wolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Shinohara View Post
I've never heard of a monitor/video card that doesn't support an DVI-VGA convertion, but I can be wrong. I can tell from experience that even old and outdated Monitors will run on DVI through an adapter. I say this because when I bought a computer for my grandmother, I got her a 15'' LCD screen that was like, from the beginning of time - really crappy.

When I moved my X850XT from mine to hers, the monitor worked flawlessly with the adapter. But again, I'm no hardware expert, so I could be wrong. Maybe that's the reason you're not getting good information on this topic?

And I do agree that DX10 is, as of now, overkill. Last time I checked, the only cards on the market that had a DX10 support were the GeForce 8800 series. ATI's just a few tiny inches of making the R600 release, but they'll probably be as - or even more - expensive as the 8800s. So, the rule of the thumb is... get a Mobo with a PCIe 16x and a low-profile video card that suits your needs, especially if you're not doing a lot of heavy gaming. Just then, when you're ready to either go with Vista or play DX10-required games, get a DX10 compliant.

Heck, as far as I know, the only game out there that requires DX10 to work is Supreme Commander ( again, correct me if I'm wrong. It's been three weeks since I last checked the hardware scene, and since we're in a time of heavy transition... ), so you might not need it for a few years more.

And like other users suggested, don't go cheap on your power supply. The whole rig depends on it, and poor supply can cause pretty nasty stability issues and even smoke everything inside it. Try getting one with at least one 12v-Rail and 8-pin CPU connector, although, for the C2D, that's not required. And try getting one with some sort of cooling system. These new PSUs are hot as hell. Even more so if you're going 600W+.

But for some of the prices you're putting out there, you can get yourself a pretty nice PC with 1.2k euros. That comes to be what, around 1620 USD, considering the Euro at 1.3475? It's around what I put down on mine, if you take out the extended warranties, shipping, 19'' monitor and an OEM XP Pro copy. ( With free Vista upgrade ).

Just as a basis, here's what I'm running:

EVGA 680i A1 SLI Motherboard
Core2 Duo - E6400 @ 2.13 ghz
Patriot Extreme 2GB low latency @ 800mhz
Seagate 320GB HD + Maxtor 320GB HD @ 7200RPM
EVGA Nvidia GeForce 8800GTS
Samsung DVD +- R/RW
Zalman CNP9500 Cooler with Artic Silver 5 thermal compound.
And a few other thingies such as thermal monitor (useless, but looks cool), card-reader and 3 case-fans.

I'm planning on using EVGA's Step-Up program to trade my 8800GTS in for a GTX and just pay the difference. My friend at school has almost the exact same rig as I do, and he's getting almost 3dMark scores with 3k points over mine.


SC doesn't use DX 10.

BTW, I am going to buy from a local store coz it's easier to go there if a component has a problem.

"Try getting one with at least one 12v-Rail and 8-pin CPU connector" -> What do you mean by that? Is getting one with cooling system more expensive? Besides all psu I have seem only had fans. Like I said before I know shit of psu.
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Old 2007-04-11, 15:39   Link #20
Zero Shinohara
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Quote:
SC doesn't use DX 10.

BTW, I am going to buy from a local store coz it's easier to go there if a component has a problem.

"Try getting one with at least one 12v-Rail and 8-pin CPU connector" -> What do you mean by that? Is getting one with cooling system more expensive? Besides all psu I have seem only had fans. Like I said before I know shit of psu.
OH! It doesn't Holy crap, maybe I should do some research before saying stuff. Wait, it doesn't? Please wait while I go get myself a copy this instant.

Ehem.

Quote:
+12V: In modern PSUs, the most important voltage rail is the +12V rail which supplies power to components that draw the most amount of pozition current. These are usually the cpu, hard drives or other storage peripherals, cooling devices, and video cards. Current fluctuations will usually cause malfunction, hence the importance of a good +112V rail. As such, modern ATX 12V PSUs may have as many as five separate +12V rails. Like the 3.3V and 5V rails, each 12V rail has its own set of wires and connectors.
That's taken from Wikipedia, on +12V rails. So it's important stuff. I'm not an expert on PSUs as well, but it's something definitely worth taking a good look at.

And oh, don't get me wrong. When I said "Good PSU cooling" I really meant getting one with nice airflow. If yours has two or more fans, that's great. I personally don't know of any other way of cooling your PSU anyway, so air is still the best and cheapest option. I say this because my Grandma's PC doesn't have a fan in its PSU. It's only around 350W, and it's cheap, so I don't blame it.

But if you're looking to get yourself a 7950 or an X1950, you should get one with a higher wattage. I'd say that 800Watts is overkill for today's standards, but there're people that swear their system needs it, so I'll believe them on that. I'm running at 600W and think it might be too much. But when it comes to power supplies, it's always better to have more than less. I'd say a 500W should be more than enough for your system.

One of the things I don't like about my PSU is that it has only one internal CPU-exhaustion fan. It sucks in hot air coming directly from my CPU into the PSU, thus making it hotter. The 450W I had on my last one has three fans, so it's definitely in my "sweet" zone.

And I don't really blame you for wanting to buy from a local store. Since you said you never built a PC from scratch before, I'd recommend that. I hadn't either, but I took my chances and luckly encountered zero problems. I did have to RMA my motherboard to EVGA just so I could get a new revision that doesn't have an FSB cap at 1300Mhz for Quad-core CPUs. I do plan on upgrading soon, so that would be pretty disgraceful, you know. But besides that, everything went in smoothly. And boy, have I saved some money. The 8800 I bought at Newegg for 399-30 rebate is selling at Compusa for 450. Besides all the other components.

Just make sure you get some extended warranties on components like video card, motherboard and processor. They really can save lifes if you ever get into a problem.

Good luck on that
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