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 Post subject: Newbie attempts to build 1st system pls advice
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 10:20 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
UPDATED Dec 6
-------------------

OK. I have purchased some parts but still uncertain on others.

AMD64 3200+ (90nm)
mobo?
1GB Samsung PC3200
Samsung SpinPoint 80GB SATA (Nidec motor)
Video Card?
HSF?
PSU?

I still have no idea about mobo, but and leaning for Asus A8V Dlx. HSF I will probably get that new Zalman 120mm one, but not sure if Asus has any clearance issue. For PSU I am thinking Seasonic Super Silencer 460 or 400. Can someone suggest some video card for me? I don't play games. I want DVI. Better no fan. 128mb, do watch dvd movies.

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

I am planning to build a new system myself. As this is my 1st attempt, I am quite worry about it. Pls advise on parts and proceduces.

First off parts.

I really have no idea what I should get. I will use it for MS office work, web surfing, and watching dvd movie. I don't have any games.

At first I want a P4 because I know something about it; I know nothing about AMD. However, now I change my mind to AMD64 because I know P4 S478 will soon be replaced by S775. Getting S478 now will only limits future upgrade to faster cpu. On the other hand AMD64 S939 is new and will stay for sometime. It runs cooler than P4. Note I don't intend to o/c. I know getting A64 is overkill, but I think S939 should serve me for couple of years. BTW, I try to build a quiet pc. Anyway, parts I am considering/already purchased are:

Lian-Li PC65B - (purchased second hand $130CAD, Can it consider as a quiet case?)

Case fan - (this case has 4 80mm fan spaces, 2 front, 1 back and 1 top. Fans I have now is SlienX 28cfm, 14dba. Is SlienX fans really the quietest available? Panaflo L1A 120MM for HSF Thermalright XP120)

AMD64 3200+ Wincester 90nm Retail - (purchased brand new $200CAD)

Arctic Silver 5 (I want it even if I don't o/c.)

PC3200 DDR400 - (how much ram and single or dual channel?)

Motherboard - (I am considering Ausu A8V Dlx. However, after reading lots of horror stories on winchester not able to boot and XP SP2 problem, I am not sure)

HSF - (although I don't plan to o/c, I want to get Thermalright XP120 or
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu, given there is no clearance issue with mobo)

HD - (I am leaning for Samsung SpinPoint SATA 80G. Very quiet)

Video card - (I don't know about this. Ati card seems to target gamers which I am not. I do have a nice LCD so a card with DVI be nice.)

Sound card - (depends on what mobo I am getting with onboard sound. I also have SB Live 5.1 if I want.)

PSU - (No idea here. I guess anything 400w or more)

Am I missing any parts? I don't think so..

Now questions on the procedure of installing and configuring parts.

I don't think I'll have any problem installing the hardware except mounting the mobo onto the mobo plate. Lian-Li supplies with their special mounting nuts and I think they are metal. The parts list doesn't mention any plastic spacers/aluminum studs. Can I just mount the board directly onto those nuts w/o shorting it? Anyone with Lain-Li case know what I am talking about?

Now assuming I plug in everything correctly, what is the next step I should do? When and how should I flash bios if one is available? I read some manual that you have to config IRQ. What is that and how? When and should I format hd, install OS. Pls advise as I really have no idea what to do next?

Sorry for the long post and TIA for your advice.


Last edited by jtcb on Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 2:08 pm
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Location: in the kitchen stirring the pot (Ohio, USA)
Based on your listed usage I say buy an Apple and be happy.

Otherwise as a newbie unless the ASUS A8V motherboard has the 1004 bios, avoid it.
Look at the MSI K8N Neo 2 Platinum. Excellent reviews.

The manual supplied with the motherboard will answer many of your questions and allay most of your fears.

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Fong Kai case (thanks silentpcreview), A8V Deluxe board AMD 3500+ (winchester), Radeon 9700 Pro, Zulman 7000b alcu, 120mm exhaust fan - Nexus, SilenX iXtherma 350w psu, SpeedFan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 2:23 am
Posts: 749
Location: The Netherlands
Assuming you're not convinced to get a Mac, here are some random thoughts based on your post:
  • 64 isn't overkill any more than a P4 would be;
  • S775 is out already;
  • don't spend too much on the latest and greatest if Office, surfing & dvd watching is all you do: a P3 could handle that;
  • SilenX lie about dB ratings;
  • a low-end video card with DVI should do; DVI is not a cost-raising item. Get one without a fan;
  • start out with on board sound: you can always upgrade later;
  • read the recommended psu section (spcr);
  • same for the cpu heatsink/fan section (spcr);
  • yes, you can mount the mobo directly on those stands, thousands have done it before;
  • put everything together, power on, insert Windows CD and follow instructions, it'll do a hdd format and everything.
That Lian Li can become a quiet case, but isn't out of the box, you'll need to do some modifications. Some quick wins are to replace and undervolt the case fans, soft-mount them (important in an alu case), use only one intake fan (since you only have one hdd) and remove the top fan. More advanced but not terribly difficult mods would be to cut out the back fan guard, duct the top blowhole as a psu duct and suspend the harddisk.

Just some thoughts, hope they get you started. Most things about building your machine can be found online, so you probably won't need SPCR for that part. It's the noise that starts to bug you as soon as you're done building it that you'll make you come back though :) GL on your build.

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I: E5200 OC, Ninja II, Gigabyte P45, ATi HD4850 w/ S1, Raptor + Samsung disks in Quiet Drive, Enermax Modu82+ 425W, Lian Li V1000, 2x Nexus 120 PWM
II: A64 3000+, Ninja, DFI nForce3, headless, Samsung disks suspended, Enermax Pro82+ 385W, Antec 3000B padded & dampened, 2x Nexus 120 B&W


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:21 am
Posts: 363
Location: Houston, TX, USA
RAM: With your intended use, you could probably get away with 256 MB RAM. I would suggest 512 MB, though, since newer programs always seem to get bigger and bigger. (BTW, to see how much RAM you are using right now in WinXP, right-click on the taskbar, go to Task Manager --> Performace tab --> PF usage.) The Socket 939 CPU can run in single channel or dual channel memory modes, but the performance rating (3200+) assumes dual channel. Single channel does work, but it is slower. For dual channel, buy 2x256 MB RAMs, preferably of the same type, and install them according to your motherboard manual.

Graphics card: The ATI graphics cards that you hear about are for gamers, but they have a lot of lower line graphics cards for total non-gamers like you. Take a look at something like the Radeon 9200SE, for example. They are often fanless, come with DVI, and are very inexpensive.

Power supply: You can probably get away with less than 400W. Heck, I have an Athlon XP 3000+ and Radeon 9800XT running on an Enermax 380W power supply, and that system was running on an older model Enermax 330W before I upgraded the power supply because of noise. Factor in that you will have a lesser graphics card, and you will probably be looking at 350W or possibly less. You just want to make sure you get a decent quality power supply. Most of the ones reviewed here are good quality.

Flashing a BIOS: Usually you do this if the motherboard manufacturer fixes some sort of bug or makes some sort of enhancement. If you can find some release notes for the BIOS, it is often worth reading those to see if it is worth the trouble. If you see no reason to update the BIOS, then do not bother. The process usually involves loading the BIOS file onto a floppy, rebooting the computer, and running a utility to load the BIOS. Some manufacturers have Windows programs that will do this for you. It varies from company to company, so it usually pays to read their exact directions.

Configuring IRQs: The days of having to configure IRQs are long gone, thankfully. This used to be a big deal in the days of ISA cards, when two cards using the same IRQ would lock up the entire computer. With the advent of PCI cards, however, sharing IRQs is now allowed, so IRQ configuration is mainly a thing of the past. There used to be some issues due to buggy hardware or drivers with some PCI cards, but PCI has been long around so long now that I see no excuse for that.

Installing Windows: Set the BIOS to boot directly from the Windows XP CD-ROM. This will lead you through a setup program, part of which includes partitioning and formatting the hard drive. Just follow the directions and let it go. Since you are using an SATA hard drive, I do not know if the SATA drivers will come included in the WinXP CD. If the installation fails because it cannot find an SATA driver, there is an option at the very beginning of setup that says "press F6 to load 3rd party SCSI or RAID drivers", or something like that. At this point, you will hit F6 and insert a floppy with the SATA drivers. Again, this is only if Windows cannot find the SATA drivers on its own.

Once you have installed Windows: If your WinXP already comes with SP2, then this will help a lot, as it will save you the trouble of downloading and installing a bunch of updates. The motherboard will probably comes with some sort of driver CD. It is not always 100% up to date, but it should be enough to get you started.

Hope this helps. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:58 am
Posts: 104
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Thanks guys. I'll be getting an oem hd so there won't be any software or os.

So which video card do you suggest me getting? I'll probably get a low end one, something below 9700.

Will I notice a huge difference for dual channel vs single channel? Those name brand kits are expensive. I might just get 2 sticks. But how do I know if they are identical?

For PSU I am thinking the Seasonic Silencer 400W.

So what you are saying is that configuring IRQ is now done automatically or I have to do it myself?

I am still undecide on the mobo. I want to make sure the mobo able to fit the Thermalright XP120. I also want to get one that won't limit me from upgrading to a faster cpu like 4000+ in the future.

Should I consider getting a mobo with PCI Express. What is the main differences? Speed? Price?

I know I can't keep up-to-date with technology. I can't afford to upgrade often so I might as well try to get the best out of this build.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:07 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX, USA
If you are not into gaming at all, get a low end card like a Radeon 9200SE. It is fanless, supports DVI, and has very good DVD decoding features.

There will be maybe a 5%-10% difference between single channel and dual channel RAM. Look at it this way. The S754 A64 2800+ and S939 A64 3000+ run at the same clockspeed and have the same cache configuration. The rating difference comes from running the 3000+ in dual channel mode instead of the single channel mode that the 2800+ uses.

As long as you use PCI cards and AGP cards only, configuring IRQs is now totally automatic.

The first Athlon 64 motherboards with PCI Express should be coming out this month. Those will probably be expensive high end models. Given another month, more affordable PCI-E motherboards for Athlon 64 should become available.

PCI-E can transfer data more efficiently than the current PCI/AGP. For what it sounds you will be doing, it will probably not make that much of a difference to you. Keep in mind that there is also a PCI-E connector that is supposed to eventually replace the current PCI connector. If you are not the type that adds new expansion cards all the time, though, then this may also not matter.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 11:33 pm 
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of course go dual channel.. you do not need top of the line memory. get heatsinks for them.. and losta dual channel mem kits are only 5 to 20 dollars more then buyng single sticks separately.. they are packaged for dual cuz they suppose to be tested. u'll be happy with ur setup for years. and dun go with like 3rd generation videocards like a 9200 which cost basically as much as a 9600.. that'll jus cripple ur system. it'll be a waste. i looked around and read silenx statements on their fans and powersupplies.. their logic and website looks kinda dubious. i'll have to read the reviews.. well get a fan controller.. its only 28cfm..

PCI-e is like agp8x now.. no difference in performance but later on, graphics and software will make use of its big bandwidth. also pci-e supply more power to graphics card.

I saw a review on a lian case and i think they use square holes in motheboard tray and they use some sortta retainer which still isolated the motherboard and held it on tight.. probably better then screws.. go to lian-li website (overpriced cases. lol).. well..mb retaining holes are isolated so it would be k to screw it down right on metal unless its not centered then ur mb is fried or u have wait for fuse to reset itself. i would not be reckles and do that though.

i don't get this silent obsession i see with harddrives. if ur case suk or ur drivecage suk then u'd prob have the problem with noisy hd's. which isn't good for ur hd anyways.

to get u started put everything together. follow guidelines to deal with static electricity and stuff.. make sure everything is connected right.. triple check this.. ide cable in right way. power cords.. no lose wires.. fans for cpu in.. etc. then all u have to do is power on ur system.. go to the bios menu and check ur system.. configure it.. then jus install windows. do not flash bios until everything is working. remember read the reason they have the bios update before flashing.. u might not need to.

the gigabyte rocket cooler is good and quiet as a hsf. oh and with ur system.. dun jus use one fan like one of the guys said.. jus use as much but dun run them full power and check the air coming out of ur computer.. the air that comes out of my computer is breezy cool.. my case temps are around 28-30 no matter the load. ambient is probably like 26 or so. there are lots of ways to make ur computer quiet that are cheap..

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=) rocks become pebbles. everything becomes silent.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:27 am 
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Zyrin wrote:
i don't get this silent obsession i see with harddrives. if ur case suk or ur drivecage suk then u'd prob have the problem with noisy hd's. which isn't good for ur hd anyways.


Then maybe you need to figure out who you're giving out advice to, if you can't even hear the difference between a Raptor and hard drives that are actually quiet.

Being that you mentioned seeing many poorly cut case holes, as you mentioned in another thread, in these forums, it is a surprise to me that you've learned nothing about other people's hearing sensitivities. If you've read enough threads in here to see many poorly modded cases (what's it matter anyway when most people's holes are cut in places that light never shines and eyes never set upon?), that should likely mean you've read plenty of threads in here in general (unless all you did was skim and look at the pretty pictures, or ignore threads with no pictures). There's an entire forum dedicated to silencing storage and hard drives--did you not read anything in there?!?

What's this poor guy going to do when he gets that Raptor in and tries, failingly, to achieve the level of silence he seeks due to it? There are members of SPCR who obviously A) live in areas of lower ambient noise and/or B) have higher hearing sensitivities to either the higher frequency noise of the Raptor and/or the higher noise volume of the Raptor in general in comparison to yourself. Looking at all the difficulty our members have had in achieving satsifactory silence with Raptors, you should know better!

Instead, you don't, "get the silent obsession," with harddrives?!? Do you, "get the silent obsession," with anything else? What's your baseline acceptable noise level, 40dBA?!? This isn't about obsession, son, it's about avoiding the problem in the first place; instead of taking a loud, hot drive and trying, likely in vain, to get it quiet enough to satisfy, you start off with a quiet drive that's much closer to the baseline noise level you seek to achieve and then perform the basic mods to achieve greater silence, which normally involve simply suspending the drive in a location with sufficient air flow to cool the drive.

Finally, read his actual post, for crying out loud...

jtcb wrote:
I will use it for MS office work, web surfing, and watching dvd movie. I don't have any games.


He doesn't have any games for which level loading will be quicker with a Raptor. Web surfing and MS Office will hardly be noticeable in performance difference between even a 4200rpm notebook drive and a 7200rpm desktop drive. You're telling me he should give himself hell to do trying to silence a Raptor just so Windows boots 5 seconds faster and Word pops up on the screen 2 seconds sooner?!? He doesn't have anywhere else to gain from the Raptor, and many places where sacrifices will be made. Your advice is just plain bad on that front.

-Ed

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:26 am 
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I have a samsung 80 Gb for over 4 yrs now and also their 160Gb. the 80 GB was top of the lines for its respective platform. My ears are very senstive, I'd say. and you do not have to have good hearing to be sensitive to high frequency noise or low frequency noise. You can also convince urself mentally of what sounds good and you would not be sick.

I'm sure u've seen the benchmarks for the raptor. MS Office can get video or graphic intensive esp if u don't know ur way around. and its random seek speeds in searching and opening video files is great too. With computers and technological capabilities today, you should not limit urself like someone would a couple years ago. What if his DVD watching experiences leads to something else? Are we becoming more sensitive to everything? only reason for silence is the issue of inefficiency from going too fast.

I jus used the word, obsession, expressively in a blissful manner. Sorry, i didn't mean it offensively. Obsession is a term of perspective anyways. Suspending the drives like i've seen some do on this forum is not for every environment or circumstance. hardrives would be the last thing i'd try to quiet. I'd first dampen whatever the computer sits on and structurally make my computer more solid before suspending the harddrive but seems like there hasn't been any problems with suspending a harddrive, so experiment i guess. its all very interesting. Has anyone tried putting a raptor or server drive into one of those isolation boxes? I need to look around the forum more.. yes.

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=) rocks become pebbles. everything becomes silent.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:52 pm 
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Zyrin wrote:
I have a samsung 80 Gb for over 4 yrs now and also their 160Gb. the 80 GB was top of the lines for its respective platform. My ears are very senstive, I'd say. and you do not have to have good hearing to be sensitive to high frequency noise or low frequency noise. You can also convince urself mentally of what sounds good and you would not be sick.


The Samsung Spinpoint series that are so highly rated here at SPCR have only been available since about July of 2003. The 80GB Samsung you are familiar with is an earlier model of drive that wasn't nearly as quiet as the newer SP series.

Zyrin wrote:
hardrives would be the last thing i'd try to quiet.


To each, their own I suppose, but when I first started trying to quiet down my PC's, I noticed that the HDDs (IBM 60 & 75GXP's, Maxtor DiamondMax & D740's, Quantum Fireballs) made some of the most annoying noise in the entire system. Their loud whining and loud, crunchy seeks bugged me just as much as a noisy PSU or CPU fan, and even if they weren't the first things I went after, they were certainly near the top of the list.

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Music Server: Intel DH77EB + i3-3220, 2xSamsung 2TB F4, Pico PSU, Fractal Define Mini, 2xScythe Fans @250 rpm.


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