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  1. #1
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    Building a kick Asimov Comp...

    Hey I know this is mainly a programming site, but i couldnt find a good pc help forum. Heres the deal. I got 1000 dollars to spend on a comp. I know im not very experienced at the hardware aspect of comp, but hey that is why I am here. So anyway, I want to build this comp. Dell and all of the those companies give u a bunch of junk that u really dont want or need. This comp will mainly be for graphics design and playing some kick ***, memory chugging, sound blasting games. Ok so what do i need? For 1 i want a flat screen, killer speakers, definetly a killer sound card, and a really good graphics card. Well there you go, work your magic. Thx in advance for any help that u provide.

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    jkd
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    Sound blaster Audigy and ATI Radeon 9700 should be in your list of things to get if you want the best graphics and best sound. Aren't Soundblaster Audigy 2's out?

    As for speakers, nothing beats Klipsch Promedia 5.1's, but they are like $400 shipped. Logitech's THX-certified, 400 watt Dolby Digital setup (the Z-560), which is $150 shipped from www.newegg.com (what I have), and perfectly fine for shaking floors, blowing ear drums, and excellent sound quality.

  • #3
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    Well if you want to do graphics design you don't want to use a flat screen monitor. Colors differ between flat screen and regular CRT monitors.

    I'm assuming you also meant Gateway in the list of "all those companies." I bought a $2,000 Gateway and it didn't have junk in it. All name brand top of the line hardware.
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  • #4
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    www.alienware.com do pretty good deals, tho i never bought one because i live in france and they dont deliver here
    photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

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    For the graphics card, think GForce!!! Don't even consider the alternatives. Stay away from ATI like a plague. ATI Radeon is the Ebola virus of video cards! It costs a fortune and don't give you nearly the power you get with some Korean/Japanese no-name GF card! I got a Radeon DDR 64mb video in/out and an Abit GF2MX400 SDRAM 64mb video out only. The ATI should be faster, faster RAM and more then twice the price, but not the wildest dreams of the ATI CEO! Not by a long shot. The ABit card totally rox BTW. Oh, they are both on Asus mobos (A7A266 and A7V266) and the CPUs are close in speed (TBird1.4 & XP1700@1.47ghz.)

    Now speakers, IMO, chuck em! Don't even bother if you own a quality sterio system. Goto Radio Shack and get the sterio earphone mini-plug to Sterio RCA adapter wire and plug your computer straight into your sterio! Most sterio system sound is unrivaled by any computer speakers remotely comparable in price to your sterio speakers. Back in 1992 I got for $130 I got two BIG techniques speakers hooked to a $200 receiver with $40 wiring (makes a surprizingly noticable differance) and am still using the same stuff. It sounds much better then any computer speakers and I got a sterio out of it too.

    As for mobo, I been loyal to Asus, the boards are supposed to be rock solid, but the A7A266 I have seems to work more stable with DDR ram then SDRam (it takes both.) With DDR the board never crashed, with SDram it has, although rarely.

    Pentium is a waste of money, AMD works for me. You can't really tell much a difference between an XP1700 and 1800, it is a lot of hype, get the most within budget, don't spend more, you are better off puting it to the RAM fund.

    7200 RPM HDs are VERY important. Also, making sure each hard drive is seperate on it's own channel (only one hard drive per wire, even though you can put two slave & master.) This means if you got 3 or more HDs, buy an ATA100 or ATA133 PCI card for $50 or less, you will notice the difference moving files between the drives and using C: progs to open D: files.

    I like HUGE cases, I have an Antec SX1240 and an InWin IW-Q500. The Antec is much better quality built, but harder to change drives (the removable cages are much harder to work with then traditional screws) less practical and twice the price of the InWin. The InWin is not really good quality, the power buttons stick on mine and another I have used, the mobo tray rattled until I stuck a flattened rubber band to fill a gap under it.

    Gonna go with a water cooled case next I think, I have 17 fans (including Delta 8000RPM CPU fan) in my current unit (A7V266/XP1700) and it is too noisy. My machine has never crashed except when i fooled with things that made it crash (like running two incompatible ISAPI modules in IIS simultaneously.)

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    did you know that the 'new' Geforce 4 MX is actually an optimised Geforce 2? thats what packard bell, hewlet packad, compaq and other computer companies ship their machines with (+ the standard ugly cases for HP and Compaq)
    photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

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    jkd
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    Originally posted by Bawy
    For the graphics card, think GForce!!! Don't even consider the alternatives. Stay away from ATI like a plague. ATI Radeon is the Ebola virus of video cards!
    Too bad that the Radeon 9700 can be 4x faster than the fastest Geforce 4 Ti4600 in certain benchmarks. (4x FSAA and 8x AF enabled). And is always more than 1x faster in other tests.

    Maybe when the next generation Geforces come out nVidia might stand a chance of competing, but right now ATi is blowing everything away.

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    To every one that said ATI sucks, I will gladly bet you that a Radeon 9700Pro at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and 16xAF your GeForce4 will get stomped on.

    However I wouldn't look at the Radeon 9700 at that budget, unless all you really need is the box and not the monitor OS etc.

    Audigy plain flat out sucks, go read [H]|F's soundcard forum and look around


    You sure you want an LCD, they are not great for either grafix design or gamming...

    Here is what I would get:


    http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishLis...VIEW&ID=169466

    you still need a OS mouse and keyboard. The LCD is damn expensive. If you got a CRT instead you could shave it down to 1k pretty easily...
    Last edited by Thejavaman1; 10-14-2002 at 02:43 AM.

  • #9
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    I have a Radeon 9700 and have no complaints. My benchmarks for ut2k3 are always higher than the GeForce4 that I see posted in forums.I would stick with a CRT, IMO viewsonics are the best. You could always go with a pioneer plasma tv .

    If you are going to get the Radeon 9700 you need to get a decent system to get your $ worth.

    I have the new altec lansings speakers they sound pretty good. I just use the sound card that came with my mobo.

  • #10
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    If you need a benchmark to tell you it is good then you just wasted money, you should see a difference. I don't play games, so my needs may not be the same as yours, but I want refresh rates of at least 100hz @1024*768 that redraw the windows instantly when switching between programs even when the machine is drained of resources. The ATI does not do that, even with 64mb of DDR. The Abit does.

    Benchmarks are meaningless for real life computing where things like windows eye candy and stay resident programs that work at random will change performance and would not be tested in the benchmark. Sorta like overclocking, I remember an old post, everybody posted clock speed and seconds to open photoshop, time from click to open. The overclocked machines were no better, in fact, it sounded like a crapshoot actually.

    Same with a more recent post where I put up a PHP script that loops echos and clocks the time. Everyone had drasticly different results that were not as expected considering computer specs and PHP installations (module/CGI, version, etc.) A JSP version of the same script made things more confusing, meaning the same operations will work faster with one technology on one machine and slower on others (the JSP was always faster or tied to the PHP.)

    My point is, if you can't try it out, read the reviews and I would not rely too heavily on benchmarks. Rumours about benchmark companies being paid by various vendors to make the tests utilize strong points of the hardware don't help either...

    If you end up with a CRT, make sure you don't mind the two black lines that appear on many of them, or buy one of the very few models that don't have the lines...

  • #11
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    Originally posted by Bawy
    If you need a benchmark to tell you it is good then you just wasted money, you should see a difference. I don't play games, so my needs may not be the same as yours, but I want refresh rates of at least 100hz @1024*768 that redraw the windows instantly when switching between programs even when the machine is drained of resources. The ATI does not do that, even with 64mb of DDR. The Abit does.

    Benchmarks are meaningless for real life computing where things like windows eye candy and stay resident programs that work at random will change performance and would not be tested in the benchmark. Sorta like overclocking, I remember an old post, everybody posted clock speed and seconds to open photoshop, time from click to open. The overclocked machines were no better, in fact, it sounded like a crapshoot actually.

    Same with a more recent post where I put up a PHP script that loops echos and clocks the time. Everyone had drasticly different results that were not as expected considering computer specs and PHP installations (module/CGI, version, etc.) A JSP version of the same script made things more confusing, meaning the same operations will work faster with one technology on one machine and slower on others (the JSP was always faster or tied to the PHP.)

    My point is, if you can't try it out, read the reviews and I would not rely too heavily on benchmarks. Rumours about benchmark companies being paid by various vendors to make the tests utilize strong points of the hardware don't help either...

    If you end up with a CRT, make sure you don't mind the two black lines that appear on many of them, or buy one of the very few models that don't have the lines...
    you don't play game, then a maxator card would proablly be a better card for you. The radeon 9700pro has non of those prolbems that you mention.

    Also 3dmark is based on many of the same API's that modern games are based on, so yes it is a realisitic benchmark. About noticing the difference, you can tell when you have 4xAA and 16xAF on in a game and only loose about 1/3 of the FPS you had before withotu them on. A GF4 will easily loose half or more.

    3d gamers and overclockers are a different breed from people who don't play games or overclock, there is no such thing as overkill... (1.5k on cooling, I have seen, 6' tall cases, liquid that costs $100 a gallon to use for cooling, etc.)

  • #12
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    ATI 9700 is the gfx card to get, it kicks the GeForce4's ***. The problem with ATI was always drivers and now they seem to be getting that sorted, nVidia are just ripping people off at the moment.
    I have a Gf3 Ti500 running a CRT (with P4 1.8a @ 2.47/RDRAM) and a Ti4200 running a TFT (with 2.53 P4/DDR) so I'm not exactly bias either... the Ti500 needed cooling mods and DVI modification which is unacceptible for a card that cost 350. The DVI mod was especially necessary for use in Photoshop and other high detail 2D environments.

    A fast P4 - a Northwood B I'd suggest - with a i850e chippy and some PC1066 RDRAM should do nicely.

    Get a soundcard rather than using onboard as that's a) rubbish; and b) takes a bit of power from the cpu. Try to run it through a stereo rather than using PC speakers as they suck badly, 200W subwooferage is a must really

    Regarding Dell, Gateway etc... they use oem gear with generic motherboards. For longevity you need a brand board where bios updates are available as well as full bios settings and full chipset functionality (memory timings, fsb frequency etc etc) these are not accessible on most pre-built PC's.

    Javaman, Fluroinert costs ~$500 for half a litre

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    Originally posted by mouse

    A fast P4 - a Northwood B I'd suggest - with a i850e chippy and some PC1066 RDRAM should do nicely.
    Javaman, Fluroinert costs ~$500 for half a litre
    you could easilly spend $1000 just the mobo, ram and CPU with an RDRAM setup.

    I though that price seemed low, but the setup I really want in JCViggen's Dual promethia (1 for the CPU, 1 for the Radeon 9700Pro) setup...

  • #14
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    Anybody dropping a grand on just the CPU/Ram/Mobo of a personal computer that only needs the power for video games needs their head examined. Dang, give the excess cash burning holes in your pocket to charity or something! Those are the elements that will be completely worthless and outdated in just a year!

    Ram used to be worthwhile moving from box to box back in the EDO and early SDRam days, but not since DDR and Rambus, no longer.

    Spending money on cases, HDs, sound cards and other elements that you can get a few years out of is one thing, but just to blow bucks so you can have the best for about 36 hours, that is pure geekdom and wasteful. There is a definite 'bump' in price from the high end to the top end. I usually buy the high end just before the major price gap so I can get the power but not loose a fortune in depreciation. I got my XP1700 chip just days after they introduced XP1900. Got the A7V266 mobo just after they released the long awaited A7N, same story.


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