Looking to build a new "box" and seeking suggestions.
I am in the process of planning out a new system and turning my current box into a nice replacement for my girlfriend's PIII 500 box. This post may get a tad long so if you stick through it I thank you very much.
Intel PIII 733
384 Megs of PC133 RAM (128 OEM, 256 Crucial)
Matrox Millenium G400 32 meg vid card
Sound Blaster Live! Value
20 gig IBM HD (not sure if it's 7,200 or 10,000 rpm)
Plus the floppy, cd rom, cdrw and a 100 meg zip drive.
Running Win ME
Questions regarding this system:
I have reached the highest processor available for this board according to my manual. Is it possible to obtain updated jumper placements from Asus to accomadate faster processors or am I at my limit?
If I am at my limit then overclocking could be an opton I'm willing to experiment with. If I was to overclock (this would be my first shot at it btw) what can I reasonably expect out of a PIII 733 while maintaining stability? Also any links you could provide to websites for "newbie" overclockers would help a ton.
Obviously my video card is aging. I love my Matrox, great price, excellent driver support and has been rock solid for me over the year and a half that I've owned it. How do the current crop of Matrox cards stack up against the "big guns" G force and Radeon?
What's the major differences between OEM and name brand RAM, I am guessing higher quality but is there a significant performance difference for the extra $ you pay?
Now on to the new box. I am at the beggining stages here. I have been considering going to a DDR Mobo. I plan to stick with Asus barring any major problems with their latest products that I may be unaware of. Any advice on what models of Asus DDR boards I should look into?
Power supply: How high should I go? I am unaware of what the demands are on a high end DDR system for power.
Cables: I have heard of/seen some really cool rounded cables around. They seem like they would really help inside the case as far as not obstructing airflow. Where can I look to research these things!
Cooling is something I haven't looked into much so any and all information on this subject is more than welcome . I have always just used the stock heatsink/fan combo that came with my processors. I have never added extra fans to my system mostly because the need never arose to my knowledge. I saw an interesting product at a computer show last weekend it was a cd rom sized box that fit into a cd rom bay on your case and contained 2 fans that connected via a pass through cable. Looked shoddy to me, has anyone tried any products like this?
Re: Looking to build a new "box" and seeking suggestions.
As far as your rounded cables go, you can find them at any good online dealer. www.directron.comwww.gamepc.com many, many others. After I tried making my own rounded cables, I decided it's worth the extra money to buy guarenteed, quality pre-made cables.
As far as OEM vs. Name brand RAM....I dont know of any OEM RAM....most of the name brands ship with the OEM's like Dell, HP, IBM, Compaq, etc, etc. But Crucial is about your best bet...OCZ is great for overcloking....Kingston is another popular brand. All will do the job.
As far as power supply, get as high as you can afford.
I'd say a "typical" new system consisting of a 1Ghz Processor or higher, 1 7200 rpm hard drive, DVD/CD drive, CDRW drive, floppy, sound card, high end video card, (GeForce 2 or higher or equivalent) NIC and modem, you'd want at least 300 watt. Get 350 or more if you can afford it. Personally, I think power supplies are very cheap for the wattage, and since the power supply is the life of your computer....dont be cheap in that aspect.
as far as cooling goes....www.google.com is your friend. Search up on it, and use the search function here....there's many topics about it.
But your stock HSF should suffice if you dont overclock. AMD's HSF are quite adequate. I'd want at least 1 additional case fan...most like an exhaust fan. I have 3 case fans now, 1 intake, 2 exhaust. seems to do the job. That CD ROM sized box you saw at the computer show....thats probably a CD ROM cooler or hard drive cooler. I dont use them, so I dont know exactly. personally I dont think they would be worth the $20-30 I've seen them selling for.
The video card u are using is fine unless u really like to play games. Matrox vid cards are known for their desktop abilities and have one of the best 2d's in the business. if u want to be able to play newer games coming out at descent frame rates u might want to consider the Gf3's and the Radeon 8500's. If u want pure speed and frame rate go with GF3, if u want good frame rates but might want to get into video editing go with radeon 8500's.
Since u want to stick with asus which way are u wanting to go intel or amd? if u want to go with AMD I would go with either of the following boards. Asus A7V266-E with the KT266a chipset or the A7N266 with the Nforce chipset from nvidia. I think either of these will be great choices for ya. They both use ddr ram and have very efficient chipsets. Then get yourself a nice XP1900 to pop in there and u will be flying. If u still want intel someone else will have to give you some ideas there as im not that up to speed on the intel products.
Stick with crucial ram u cant go wrong any way in that area.
AMD wise, like drdoug said with the PSU get all u can afford. 300w min and 350w min recommended.
AMD systems make alot of heat so consider a good quality case with good air flow. i would say atleast 3 fans would be fine. 2 exhaust and 1 intake.
The rounded cables are nice but arent necessary.
HSF's are very important to amd's. if price isnt much of an object go with one of these two.
Swiftech MCX462 or the Alpha Pal8045. Both of those come with 80mm fans and run at low rpm's, but move as much air as any of the 60mm fans that are much louder. I would say that those two are the best in the business but will set up back about $50-$60. If u aren't going to get into O/c'ing then you will not really need to get one of those pricey coolers.
u could go witht he Thermaltake Vulcan 7 which still has a quiet 80mm fan and it has RPM adjustments for about $25
Just stay away from anything with a 7k Rpm 60mm fan as it will cause u to go deaf and Drive u Loopy(no pun intended).
O/C'ing Questions u will have to answer for yourself as i will not lead u down that path b/c its an addiction and can be hazardous to your pc's health. So do some Google.com seaches and read up on it for yourself and then decide if its for you or not.