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CPU's? Motherboards? Video cards? Talk about it here.

Postby bill on Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:19 pm

For comparison have you looked at any of the Samsung models? I know you're looking for a 19 inch but my 17 inch 730B looks real good and generally speaking I haven't read anything bad about Samsung LCDs.

Have you accumulated the rest of your parts yet? I was going to build a X2 computer but I decided to wait a few weeks and see if the AM2 release drives down the price a little.
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Postby Ian on Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:54 pm

bill wrote:Have you accumulated the rest of your parts yet? I was going to build a X2 computer but I decided to wait a few weeks and see if the AM2 release drives down the price a little.


No, I was waiting for a few more manufacturers to release their motherboards. The selection is very limited right now.

I haven't used any of Samsung's LCD's. I'll have to try to find some decent reviews and see if you can game on them.
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Postby LoneWolf on Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:43 pm

Ian wrote:Can anyone recommend a good 19" LCD? I'm thinking about ordering a Dell 1907FP like I have at work.


The Dell is the one I'd go with. I'm still second-guessing myself, could have gotten the 1905 (or perhaps 1907) for $255 on sale a month ago, and didn't pull the trigger. I have two 1905's here at work, and they're great panels.

Then again, I have a Samsung 19" CRT at home which does a great job, and I ended up needing the money later for something else. It does 1280x1024@85Hz and 1600x1200@75Hz (I can push it to 85, though that's beyond spec) so I may just keep it until it dies.

P.S. It's hard to find a bad display with Samsung's name on it. They've had a history of both great CRT's and LCD's. The one reason Dell would win for me is that if you watch carefully you can find killer deals.
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Postby Alektron on Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:17 pm

It looks like the top motherboard companies are offering AM2 boards now: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Epox, etc. The only challenge is that I need to find someone to buy my used components to help subsidize the new system. I'll probably wait at least several months more, though.

On the topic of the monitor, I like my ViewSonic VP930b (19 inch), 170degree viewing angle V/H, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 3 year manuf. warranty. http://www.viewsonic.com/products/deskt ... es/vp930b/
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Postby Ian on Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:42 pm

I'm waiting now for more video card manufacturers to support HDMI/HDCP.
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Postby Ian on Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:45 pm

Ack.. I'm waiting until July.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20060612A1001.html

The sources indicated that AMD will cut the prices for four models in its Athlon 64 single-core CPU series by 20-30% in mid June. On July 24, AMD will reduce the prices for its Athlon 64x2 dual-core CPUs by 25-50%, and its low-end single-core Sempron series will see a 10-15% cut in prices, according to the sources.
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Postby Ian on Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:43 pm

Ack.. I talked to my Dell rep today. The Dell 1907FP doesn't support HDCP. If I want that, I have to step up to the 2007FPW which is like $150 more than the 1907FP. Grr..
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Postby bill on Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:30 pm

Ian wrote:Ack.. I'm waiting until July.

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20060612A1001.html

The sources indicated that AMD will cut the prices for four models in its Athlon 64 single-core CPU series by 20-30% in mid June. On July 24, AMD will reduce the prices for its Athlon 64x2 dual-core CPUs by 25-50%, and its low-end single-core Sempron series will see a 10-15% cut in prices, according to the sources.


LOL,

I should have waited a couple more days for the news to trickle out.. After you posted the links for Vista (thanks) on Thursday I changed my mind and ordered a x2 3800 from NewEgg even though I was going to wait #-o :D . Oh well, I'll enjoy the upgrade regardless.

If you decide to go 939 you might want to check out the Epox 9NPA+ SLI. It has a nice boot option (escape key) that lets you boot off of any of the drives on the main board.
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Postby Alektron on Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:58 pm

Ian, thanks for the heads-up about the possibility of reduced pricing for AMD processors. It gives me a better idea of what to expect to pay so I can aim for the right price range.

Regarding the HDMI video card output, I think you would only benefit from that if (1) you are going to output to a widescreen TV, or (2) view protected content (needing the HDCP key on the HDMI transmitter chipset). The DVI works well enough for image quality for monitors, right? Anyway, is there such a thing as a video card that has an HDMI output (yet)? I haven't done any thorough search at this point, but I see only DVI and 3 color analog HDTV outputs.

One of my goals in the next build is for a QUIET system. I'm considering -maybe- a video card without a fan, such as the card Tom's Hardware wrote about called Gigabyte NX76T (SilentPipe). http://www17.tomshardware.com/2006/06/0 ... ard_quiet/ Plus, with my Enermax Liberty PS, the system ought to be low noise. I guess I'll still be stuck with chassis fans to keep the innards cool. Quiet, Cool, Cheap, Reliable, Powerful, and Low Power. Is that too much to ask for? :lol:
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Postby Ian on Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:03 pm

Video cards with HDMI/HDCP are coming out soon. I'd rather not buy another monitor and video card in 6 months just so that I can play protected BR and HD discs at a decent resolution. Not that I'll be watching a lot of movies on it, but it would be nice to have a system that can do it for reviewing BR and HD drives.
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Postby Alektron on Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:34 pm

I'm checking with the graphics card companies about this topic. There's very little information available concerning Blu-ray compatibility.
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Postby Alektron on Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:10 pm

I have collected some information to my questions.

Early this week I contacted Albatron, Asus, BFG, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Nvidia, Pioneer, Samsung, Sapphire, and XFX.

Albatron, EVGA, Samsung, and Sapphire haven't responded yet.

Most responses attempted to dodge the questions, indicating the respondents didn't know their stuff. Pioneer was the most embarrasing, as their email response told me to call a phone number, and the woman answering had no idea at all. Nvidia was the most responsive and most helpful, as expected. They said that the HDCP has been integrated into the Geforce series since 6600 GPU, but that it's been a bonding option all this time. Only with the 7950 is the feature there by default. It's up to the graphics card manufacturer to choose an Nvidia GPU with the HDCP enabled. If they do so, the card can output a high definition signal through the DVI cable to the monitor.

Hello,


1. HDCP support is GPU bond option and a card manufacturing option. This has been supported since the GeForce 6600 GPU.

2. Yes, if the card manufacturer included HDCP support in their design via DVI or HDMI.

3. I'll clarify for full resolution Blu-ray / HD-DVD playback today on a PC (well soon) you will need the following.

A. Graphics card with HDCP enabled DVI or HDMI.

B. A Blu-Ray / HD-DVD optical disc drive that is AACS enabled.

C. AACS certified Multimedia software Decoder / Player capable of H.264 and MPEG-2 Blu-ray / HD-DVD movie playback.


Best regards,
NVIDIA


Obviously, if you buy a 7950 (upwards of five hundred US dollars), you'll have no graphics inhibitions. You can still buy into Blu-ray viewing capability at a lower price; an example of a product the explicitly supports HDCP is the MSI 7600GT. http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_sp ... &class=vga There are probably some other manufacturer's models available, but you need to check the specs to be sure. My understanding is that if it has PureVideo, it can play Blu-ray movies from the DVI port. But nobody told me that exactly. I concluded it from the following:

Enabling consumers to play HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc movies on a PC, NVIDIA PureVideo HD consists of select NVIDIA GPUs (certain NVIDIA GeForce 6-series GPUs, all NVIDIA GeForce 7-series GPUs, and nForce 6150 motherboards), PureVideo HD software, and content security management. These components are designed to meet the HDCP specification and offer HDMI/DVI compliance. (Other products, such as monitors and display devices may need to be also designed to meet the HDCP specification to view content at full HD resolution.)

http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_31318.html

Theoretically, you have to have a HDCP enabled monitor to watch a Blu-ray movie, but I don't know if the content protection mechanism is enabled at this time. To be future proof, you would be well off to buy an LCD monitor with that capability.

My plan is to buy a Geforce 7 series, or possibly a 6 series with a quiet cooling (no fan) approach.
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Postby Ian on Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:55 pm

I'm thinking twice about that Dell 1907. We ordered about 115 of them and on about 1/4, the bezels were popping off along the right. Even if we pop it back on, there is a noticable bulge there.
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Postby Ian on Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:42 pm

Are Western Digital's Raptor drives still the fastest SATA drives around? They seem to be SATA 150 only though?

I did pick up this for archiving MP3.. err data:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822148140
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Postby Justin42 on Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:15 pm

I wouldn't worry about SATA-150... the WD1500 Raptors are still the fastest SATA drives out.

http://www.storagereview.com/articles/leaderboard.html
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Postby Ian on Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:37 pm

Justin42 wrote:I wouldn't worry about SATA-150... the WD1500 Raptors are still the fastest SATA drives out.


Yeah, if I remember right, most SATA drives dont' saturate SATA150.. let alone SATA300.
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Postby LoneWolf on Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:44 am

Ian wrote:
Justin42 wrote:I wouldn't worry about SATA-150... the WD1500 Raptors are still the fastest SATA drives out.


Yeah, if I remember right, most SATA drives dont' saturate SATA150.. let alone SATA300.


Yeah, it's just like the UltraATA spec...no matter what the theoretical max. transfer rate is, mechanical limitations (speed of heads/platters) mean that it will be a long time before we ever see that.

Raptors are the fastest, but pricey and sometimes hot/noisy, so check the thermal and acoustic specs. I'd probably look at the new Seagate 7200.10 drives; you can get great speed, far better capacity than Raptors, low noise, and five-year warranty standard, for a good price. If you do get the Raptors, the new 150GB models are more advanced than their predecessors.
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Postby Ian on Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:31 am

LoneWolf wrote:Raptors are the fastest, but pricey and sometimes hot/noisy, so check the thermal and acoustic specs. I'd probably look at the new Seagate 7200.10 drives; you can get great speed, far better capacity than Raptors, low noise, and five-year warranty standard, for a good price.


That's what I just bought for general storage. Maybe I'll buy another.
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Postby Ian on Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:39 pm

Alright, I ordered my case today. Now I just need to order the CPU, motherboard, memory and videocard.

Right now, I'm thinking about getting an X2 4600 and the M2N-SLI Deluxe. I thought about getting a 590 based motherboard but its not really worth the money considering all the benchmarks I've seen don't show that it adds any performance.

So that comes down to video card and memory. I'm thinking about getting an nVidia 7900GT based card. The question is which one?

Also, what about memory? The motherboard supposedly supports DDR2 800. Is it worth getting the 800 rated stuff or will 667 and 533 work?
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Postby LoneWolf on Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:03 pm

Although I'm a huge AMD fan, if I were starting from scratch I'd have to take a long hard look at the Intel Core 2 Duo. Even the cheapest one seems incredibly fast, and power consumption is quite low as well.

Most 7900GT's are alike. I'd check for two things --the fine print in the warranty (some cards claim lifetime warranty, and then get really picky about what a "lifetime" is) and I'd check on a forum for how people's RMA process was handled in case your card goes bad. Some companies have a far better record for smooth RMA's than others.
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Postby Ian on Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:55 pm

The Core 2 Duo is too expensive and its sold out all over the place. Not to mention, I've waited long enough. I'm sick of playing my games at low res. :D
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Postby LoneWolf on Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:33 am

Ian wrote:The Core 2 Duo is too expensive and its sold out all over the place. Not to mention, I've waited long enough. I'm sick of playing my games at low res. :D


Of course, I must admit, with recent price drops the Athlon 64 X2 4600+ has become pretty appealing. :D
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Postby Ian on Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:11 pm

I think I narrowed my video card down to the

MSI NX7900GT-VT2D256E HD

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127218

It's overclocked out of the box and supports HDCP.

Does anyone know anything about these "recertified" eVGA cards that are being sold all over?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130050

For $202, I thought about picking up two and running them in SLI.
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Postby LoneWolf on Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:25 pm

Ian wrote:The Core 2 Duo is too expensive and its sold out all over the place. Not to mention, I've waited long enough. I'm sick of playing my games at low res. :D


I changed my mind again after reading this:

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/int ... 00_review/

This mid-speed Core 2 Duo (still available at eWiz last I knew, though one-per-customer) beat out pretty much everything except AMD's top-level Athlon64 FX, and requires very modest air-cooling since it runs so much cooler than the P4's. If I was going all new, I'd have a hard time not choosing it, it costs what an Athlon 64 X2 3800+ did just three months ago.

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=E6400BOX&c=pw
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Postby Ian on Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:26 pm

I've one into one snag with my new system. My old USB Agfa scanner does not want to work with it. It shows up and the drivers are installed correctly but I get communication errors. I hear some of the older nVidia chipsets had USB issues like this.
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