OT - Help me build my computer (need suggestions)

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by bstjnky, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. bstjnky

    bstjnky OTTC Member #2

    Nov 29, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    I have never built a computer, and am going to attempt doing so very soon. I bought a motherboard and processor from a friend for very cheap and would like some opinions on what some of you expert builders would do if you were in my shoes. I plan on playing some Half Life 2 and various other games, I will be using Photoshop and several other intensive programs (I do advertising work a lot). I also edit a lot of huge song files (100 mb on average). Here are the parts I have so far:

    Intel "BOXD915PBLL" 915P Chipset Motherboard For Intel LGA 775 CPU -RETAIL

    Model# BOXD915PBLL
    Item # N82E16813121230

    Supported CPU: LGA775 Pentium 4(HT) Processors
    Chipset: i915P
    FSB: 800/533MHz
    RAM: 4x DIMM Dual Channel DDR2 400/533 Max 4GB
    Slots: 1x PCI-Ex16, 2x PCI-Ex1, 4x PCI
    Ports: 2x PS/2, 1x LPT, 1x COM, 8x USB2.0(Rear 4), 1x IEEE1394, 1x RJ45, 2x S/PDIF Out, Audio Ports
    IDE: 1x ATA 100 up to 2 Devices
    SATA: 4x SATA with RAID 0/1/Matrix RAID
    Onboard Audio: Intel High Definition 8-channel
    Onboard LAN: Intel 82562EZ 10/100 Mbits
    Onboard 1394: 3 Ports
    Form Factor: ATX

    Intel LGA775 Pentium 4 550 3.4 GHz, 800MHz FSB, 1MB L2 Cache, Hyper Threading Technology - Retail

    Model# BX80547PG3400E
    Item # N82E16819116182
    Model: Intel Pentium 4 w/ Hyper Threading
    Core: Prescott
    Operating Frequency: 3.4GHz
    FSB: 800MHz
    Cache: L1/12K+16K; L2/1MB
    Voltage: 1.4V
    Process: 90 nm
    Socket: LGA 775
    Multimedia Instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3
    Warranty: 3-year MFG
    Packaging: Retail box (with Heatsink and Fan)
    Notice: This Processor Works with SocketT (LGA775) Motherboard ONLY!

    I'm thinking about this video card.

    Since my old computer used ATA hard drives (is there any way I can still use these?), I chose this hard

    RAM I plan on using.

    I really need advice on what type of case you guys would use, and what accessories such as extra fans or special items for reliablity I should get. I am also going to install a DVD writer and CD writer as well, but I have NO experience in deciding which ones are worth a shit and which ones arent. I'm sorry for such a noob post, but I don't wanna get fucked here spending so much money. I want good, reliable parts that will last a while. I guess what I'm asking from the experts is, if you had about $1000 to spend on RAM, video card, hard drive, case and dvd/cd burners - what would you buy??
  2. Toaster Oven

    Toaster Oven Guest

    At that price point, the Nvidia 6600GT is a much better choice. If you can wait a tad, I would go for the Radeon X800XL. It's twice as fast as a 6600GT (about equal to a 6800GT) with a MSRP of $299. The Nvidia 6800GT in comparison is ~$400 so the X800XL is definitely a sweet deal.

    If you want to use ATA hard drives, you'll need to pick up a PCI IDE HD card as your IDE port will be used up by your optical drives. They're fairly cheap, I like Promise here. That Seagate SATAII NCQ drive is nice. I'd go for the 120GB version for a tad more money.

    This RAM is a better choice.
    Cheaper, better timings, better performance, and will probably overclock farther. Obviously you won't be overclocking on your current mobo but it's nice to have the choice in the future.

    As far as a case goes, it depends on what you're looking for. If you plan on running lots of hard drives and want a case that will accomodate your needs in the future, then take a look at this case:
    Plenty of space and it's ATX and BTX compatible.

    For a DVD burner, this is probably the best at the moment:

    Also, for reliability purposes you should upgrade your CPU heatink+fan and make sure you have a quality PSU as well.
    Heatsink: http://store.yahoo.com/svcompucycle/xp-120-p4-21.html
    Adaptor for Socket 775: http://svc.com/lga775rm-21.html
    Fan: http://svc.com/panaflo120x38.html
    This is the best air cooling solution on the market and as a bonus it'll be quieter than the stock HSF. I'm not familiar with your mobo so I'd check to see if there is enough clearance for the heatsink. If no or you're not sure, the Thermalright XP-90 and Panaflo 92mm medium speed fan is also a good choice.

    As far as a PSU goes, it's hard to make a recommendation without knowing how many hard drives, PCI cards, etc you'll be running. If you're sticking with 3-4 HDs, this is a good choice:

    If you think you'll be running tons of HDs and want to future proof your system:

    The PSU is the root of your system so I'd advise you not to skimp out on this area.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2005
  3. DeathPenguin

    DeathPenguin Guest

    Actually, that board comes with a parallel ATA connector on it so he won't need that PCI card. That is assuming that he only has his PATA hard disk and CD/DVD drive.
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

    Sep 20, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Southern Oregon
    you should never daisy chain an ATA100/133 (UDMA5/6) device with a CD-rom (ATA/33).

    And I would recommend all new hard drives you purchase be serial ata.

    For video card, I'd say go with the 6600GT. Awsome card for the money (around $190)

    For memory, grab a 1GB kit of Corsair DDR2 533MHz (2x512). Awsome stuff.

    The P4 550 generates a LOT of heat. I know, because I have one :wiggle: So far the stock HSF is working okay. If you want something better, Zalman makes a recockulous 120mm version that I think is the CNPS-7700. Crazy fan... friggin huge.

    No matter what case you get, MAX out the fans. Can never have too many fans. The D915PBLL is an awsome board -- only surpassed by the D925XCVLK. It also supports full fan control where it can even turn the fans off if it's cool enough -- so the more fans the merrier. I am using a CMStacker on mine, and I love it. The Antec Sonata is a good choice if you want something smaller, as is the Lian Li 6070. The Lian Li is easily the quietest of the bunch. I would also recommend a Silverston TJ04 or TJ06. The Antec has a decent PSU, so just keep it. But if you get the other cases (no PSU included) definitely pick up a fortron or sparkle!

    For hard drives, I'd go with the Seagate SATA drives. Huge capacity, fast access, and awsome 5-year warranties. The Raptors are faster, but they're limited in size, and are cost-prohibitive, imo.

    For optical drives, I'd grab either a Pioneer 108 or NEC 3500A for your DVD+/-RW drive. They're both Double Layer, and support 16x burning. The NEC is a little faster on burning CD's, if you do a lot of that. Lite-On is my personal choice for a DVD-R/CD-RW drive as a secondary. Great value for the money. The best would be a Plextor, tho.

    Good Luck... Looks like a nice system coming into play.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
  5. Mikey D

    Mikey D New Member

    Oct 13, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Royal Oak, MI
    NEC ND3500A or 3250 for DVD/CD Burner

    Memory Corsair is also my pick.

    However i'd actually probably keep the stock retail CPU cooling, i have a Zalman 7700 all copper in my system. Works great but i have a 2.8 P4, buddy has an LGA chip and with the Zalman 7700 and Artic silver his temps were actually higher than the stock cooling.

    I love the SATA Segate drive you picked.

    Sucks in a way that these new boards only come with one IDE channel, you'll either be forced to daisy chain or buy PCI IDE card to not take a performance hit if you plan to use that old hard drive and DVD Burner. Or you can buy an SATA Plextor Burner and put your old hard drive on that IDE channel alone(assuming you don't want a DVD/CD reader)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005

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