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Building My Bro's Dorm Rig... Comments/Suggestions Wanted...

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dark_15

Drunken Master JNCIE Senior
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Hey Everyone...

I am building a rig for my brother as a laaaaate graduation/birthday present. He wants it to be in the 1500-2000 dollar range (preferably closer to the 1500 :))

His uses...
Accounting Software
Some Games (BF 1942, SOF2, Far Cry, possibly UT 2k4) (not at uber resolutions though)
Music (Playback, Ripping/Encoding, Burning Discs)
Word Processing (and Excel too :))
IM/Email

He wants it to be portable, small, but NOT a laptop...
This is NOT going to be OC'D - but it needs to be stable for the above uses
So here's what I pulled up:

Mobo / Case - Shuttle XPC - Model SN85G4V2

RAM - Corsair Value Select 1GB PC-3200

CPU - AMD Athlon 64 2800+


Graphics Card - ATI RADEON 9800 PRO Video Card

Floppy Disk Drive - SONY Floppy Drive - Model MPF920

Hard Drive - Hitachi 120GB - Model HDS722512VLSA80

CD-RW/DVD-ROM - Samsung 52x DVD/CD-RW - Model SM-352NENB

Monitor - HITACHI 17" LCD Monitor - Model CML175SXWB

Speakers - Logitech Z-680 5.1 Speakers

Mouse/Keyboard - Microsoft Keyboard & Optical Mouse w/ Wheel

Floppy Drive Cable - Unincom Round Floppy Drive Cable(10 in.)

Digital Audio Cable - StarTech.com Optical Audio Cable (15 ft.)


--EDIT--

Killed floppy drive idea...

switched to this:
NEC External USB Floppy Disk Model UF0002S-102

Total Price (with internal floppy): $1807.24
Total Price (with external floppy): $1826


1) Am I missing anything? It's been a late night and I want to make sure I don't need anything else before I put this order on.

2)He wants this machine to last 3-5 years before a new pc/major upgrade... should I add/remove components?

3)Am I overkilling anything?

Thanx Guys!!!!
 
Last edited:

Yuriman

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
The OCFORUMS
Thats like a slightly faster version of my pc. It works great too! Too bad there is no floppy bay for that floppy drive.

I recomend getting a Sata hard drive to save space, but if you do you will need to update the bios first. It doesnt work right with the stock one. Then just set the floppy drive on top of the pc to install sata drivers when you install xp, and remove it afterwards.
 
OP
dark_15

dark_15

Drunken Master JNCIE Senior
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Yuriman said:
Thats like a slightly faster version of my pc. It works great too! Too bad there is no floppy bay for that floppy drive.

I recomend getting a Sata hard drive to save space, but if you do you will need to update the bios first. It doesnt work right with the stock one. Then just set the floppy drive on top of the pc to install sata drivers when you install xp, and remove it afterwards.

Thanx... the HDD I included was a SATA drive... if worse comes to worse I'll just tack on a usb floppy drive... I know he will need a floppy for all of his late papers... lol

And one more question if oyu don't mind... are the speakers maybe an overkill... or are they truly worth it?

--EDIT--

Killed floppy drive idea...

switched to this:
NEC External USB Floppy Disk Model UF0002S-102
 

FTC

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Barcelona, Spain
Hi,

I instead recommend going for PATA drive. At least at this side of the pond they are around 15% cheaper (for the exact same model), and the only benefit you get with SATA is a thinner cable... which does not matter that much at the end (specially if not overclocking).... and at the cost of ending up (and paying for) with another 'layer' sata-pata bridge in the hdd.

And also recommend going for a DVDRW... these can be had for as cheap as 60-70 bucks, and your bro. will surely appreciate that when backing up stuff.

Regards
FTC
 

donny_paycheck

Inactive Super Quad Mod
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
How do those XPCs handle the newer graphics cards?

They draw a lot of power and generate a lot of heat for the small PSU and cooling capacities of the flex ATX cases.

Just curious, since I'm thinking about building one as a LAN box.
 
OP
dark_15

dark_15

Drunken Master JNCIE Senior
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
FTC - Thanx for the input... i'll keep it mind... the only thing is I'm going to have to teach him how to use the DVD-Burner to create backups... but who knows? It may be good for him.

Donny - I have heard that higher end graphics cards would work fine with a shuttle... provided you don't OC the crap out of it... lol

[random question]Does anyone know if the X800 uses less power than a 9800 Pro?[/random question]
 

Yuriman

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
The OCFORUMS
Even with a 9700 and an athlon64, my 240w psu keeps all my rails within .1v. Remember that the agp slot is on the outside though, so you cant have a 2 slot cooler.

Im running raid in my xpc right now, if you take out the card reader it will fit. Its pretty tight tough, because one of my drives has a Pata-Sata adapter.
 
OP
dark_15

dark_15

Drunken Master JNCIE Senior
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
OK guys... new config...

Mobo / Case - Shuttle XPC - Model SN85G4V2

RAM - Corsair Value Select 1GB PC-3200

CPU - AMD Athlon 64 2800+


Graphics Card - ATI RADEON 9800 PRO Video Card (Sapphire)

NEC External USB Floppy Disk Model UF0002S-102

Hard Drive - Hitachi 120GB - Model HDS722512VLSA80

NEC 8X Black Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive, Model ND-2510A

Monitor - HITACHI 17" LCD Monitor - Model CML175SXWB

Speakers - Logitech Z-680 5.1 Speakers

Mouse/Keyboard - Microsoft Keyboard & Optical Mouse w/ Wheel

Digital Audio Cable - StarTech.com Optical Audio Cable (15 ft.)

Round IDE Cable (10 in.)


Total Price: $1852.98

-- EDIT --
I switched to a Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro... are they better?

Any Other Recommendations????

Yuriman - I thought the 9800 Pro was a single slot solution...
And I don't think he'll need RAID anytime soon (he probably does not know what RAID stands for anyways)

FTC - I forgot to address the PATA - call me lazy, but I didn't want hassle with setting jumpers... and in a few years, would PATA still be around?

Thanx for all of the input!
 
Last edited:
OP
dark_15

dark_15

Drunken Master JNCIE Senior
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Yuriman said:
Most 9800's are 1 slot, I was just mentioning it. Btw what jumper settings are you talking about?

The Little jumpers on the hard drive setting it to slave, master, cable select, etc.
 

daniel_dynasty

Member
Joined
May 12, 2004
okay you forgot a few little tiny things. sound card? with those speakers u will most likely want a audigy 2. cooling? heatsinks? i also reccomend one more thing. looking for used stuff is a great way to save money. this setup is kinda high priced... i can get the same performance and add in water cooling for the same or LOWER price. my computer plans are running around 1000-1200 dollars if i water cool it.
 
OP
dark_15

dark_15

Drunken Master JNCIE Senior
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Daniel - I am not a trustworthy person for used equipment/refurbs... so looking for used products is NOT an option. I was going to use the integrated audio because of the DTS encoding and Digital Audio in/out. According to several review sites, the audio quality is not seriously hampered by integrated audio. The shuttle also uses the I.C.E. technology to cool off the processor. I think the RAM will not be overheated since it will never be overclocked. The rounded and SATA cables will further prevent any serious restriction in airflow. The Graphics card has its own cooling solution... although I may buy some ramsinks and see if they fit. And how would you do watercooling in a shuttle? Remember, space is a large factor in here... the less external equipment needed, the better. I'd also would have to teach my brother how to care of a watercooling rig... and I'm not going to do that...

Greenman - Remember, this is going into a tiny dorm room. A 17" LCD takes up a lot less space than a 19" CRT. And it's a bit lighter too to carry from home to dorm. As for the A64, I needed something that would last longer than the current Athlons, which we be phased out in a few short years (much like everything else in computers :)). The other reasons why I chose the A64 is for NX technology (for when SP2 comes out), x86-64 (for whenever a decent 64-bit OS comes out), and lastly because that's the only type of processor the shuttle I chose works with it. The digital audio cable is for a simple connection between the PC and the speakers.

Jlin - see my reply to greenman - first few sentences...


--Edit--
I switched to a Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro... are they better?
 
Last edited:

WhatTheSchmidt

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
sapphire, yea thats what i got...good chance on a r360 core, more popular, save a bit of money, most likely overclock better too