Building a new computer

Computers, gadgets, etc. Music/audio-related discussions should be posted in Audio Technology.
User avatar
Xenu
Sellout
Posts: 2209
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 8:15 pm

Building a new computer

Postby Xenu » Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:03 pm

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.
-------------
"Fuckin' Koreans" - Reno 911

User avatar
dudelsack
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:51 pm

Postby dudelsack » Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:35 pm

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.

User avatar
dudelsack
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:51 pm

Postby dudelsack » Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:39 pm

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.

User avatar
lukpac
Top Dog and Sellout
Posts: 4585
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Postby lukpac » Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:43 pm

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.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

User avatar
Patrick M
Posts: 1714
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 6:33 pm
Location: LukPac Land

Postby Patrick M » Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:33 pm

Chuck thinks that I look to good to be a computer geek. I think that I know too much about interface design, css, xhtml, php, asp, perl, and ia (too name a few things) to not be one.

User avatar
Xenu
Sellout
Posts: 2209
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 8:15 pm

Postby Xenu » Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:52 pm

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
-------------

"Fuckin' Koreans" - Reno 911

Phil Elliott
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 3:26 pm

Postby Phil Elliott » Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:48 am

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.
"If you knew what I was thinking you'd BE me."

Stretcher Case
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:24 am

Postby Stretcher Case » Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:54 am

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.
ALHAJI ADAMU IDRIS IS NOT HAPPY THAT YOU DEMANDED HIS PASSPORT.