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 Post subject: Building a new computer
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:03 pm 
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Sellout
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Hey all,

I consider myself to be a fairly computer savvy guy, but I have one major weakness: I'm not a hardware person. I don't know from fitting things together.

I'm planning on tackling this phobia head-on by attempting to build an "ubercomputer," essentially a combination of the two desktops I've been using for the past four years. I'd basically be purchasing a mobo/processor, ram, and a case; hard disks, sound cards, video cards, etc. are all accounted for, and would come from my old comp.

Here's the problem. How can I determine what case is "right for me?" It needs to be able to fit four HDs (maybe slightly less if I get really canny) and two optical drives, at the very least. So I know it has to be big...but how big? And how the heck do I then decide what sort of motherboard fits in the case?

I realize this is all very basic, but this is all of the stuff that's been...well, pre-decided for me up until now.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:35 pm 
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I don't know what's on the market right now, but it sounds like you need a slightly bigger version of what I have for my linux box, which is this:
http://store.digital-orange.com/dhslk2650bqe.html

Except mine has a window cut in the side, which was a cool idea at the time, heh...

Anyway, I have room for two HDDs in the 3.5 bay, along with a floppy drive. I have a DVD+RW and a CD-R for optical drives, and two extra 5.25" bays (so I suppose this would fit what you have, if you got adapters for the hard drives...not a lot of extra space, though).
HTH.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:39 pm 
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http://www.electronicsoutfitter.com/sto ... anboy.html

This (Super Lanboy) would be a good choice, too. My case is the LANBOY style of the previously posted case, which means it is theoretically more resistant to being transported (rubberized grommets...screw storage)...and it comes with a carry strap, which is actually useful if you're moving all the damn time like me over the last 3 years.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:43 pm 
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Top Dog and Sellout
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Four hard drives? What the fuck for?

I rarely buy stuff these days, but I've built enough machines to know my way around them. Cases that let the motherboard slide out are nice.

You could get the one my best friend has. I think it's about 3 feet tall, and has room for about 4 or 5 5.25" external drives, plus two (or three?) 3.5" external drives plus room for a few more hard drives. It's pretty nuts.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:33 pm 
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811127060

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:52 pm 
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I think cases may be the sort of thing to go through in person. That said, thanks for all of the help on that front.

Now with regard to motherboards...duh? By virtue of being a Dell consumer, I've only ever had to deal with things that had Intel chipsets and processors. I have the feeling, however, that it might be the time to switch to AMD. If so, what chipset should I go with? I've heard mixed things about Via...

-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:48 am 
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It's been a while since I quit selling these, but the place I worked for was building AMD systems for musicians, using ASUS boards, with either a SIS chipset (these used to be flaky but are now generally recommended by high-end soundcard manufacturers - cheap too), or an NVidia NForce chipset. The NForce stuff is more popular nowadays, so should be a safe bet.

Via chipsets were always a pain to work with ... you had to disable everything you weren't going to use to get the things glitch free - and even then, you had to be careful with your choice of audio card. The SIS and NForce chipsets are nowhere near as fussy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:54 am 
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I guess I usually go with the herd by reading AnandTech. Looks like MSI and DFI make a good NForce4 board for AMD 64. I highly recommend AMD, as you get far more punch for the $$$. Definitely the favored CPU for the DIYer.

Not sure of all the permutations on the AMD 3200. Venice, Newcastle, and Winchester are all similarly priced. All have 512K of L2 cache. You might want to do some reading to figure out what will work best for your needs.

In system building I start with the CPU, then the motherboard, then memory, then video, then hard drive, then associated peripherals (DVD burner, etc.) Oh yeah, and I seem to be re-using the same old craptacular case.

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