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Old 12-04-2005, 03:51 PM   #1
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Lightbulb New Computer...

Hi there everyone, new to these forums, and just stumbled upon them while doing some research. I really don't want to build another computer again, as I've been out of the loop for a while. I have some money, and I'd like to give Monarch Computers a try, as I've heard a great deal of positive things about the company. It will be a custom configuration.

I will be ordering a new custom system from Monarch within the next few days here, but I wanted to get some advice/feedback, bounce around ideas, etc. Basically, I've never splurged this much for a computer, and more often than not just 'settled' in the past. I have some money sitting around, so I'd like to get a really nice configuration going for once.

This is what I most likely will be going with, but I have some questions as well :

Case - Lian-Li PC-V1000A (love these, nice airflow, elegant)
$188.00

PSU - Antec True Power 550W (seems pretty solid)
$84.99

Motherboards : This is where I'm going back and forth the most. I want something really stable, with decent overclocking ability (for down the road), cooling, etc. I understand that the n4Force chipset is having issues with active armor and the personal firewall. I'm hoping that Monarch doesn't load those when updating drivers, software, etc.? The three I was looking at are Abit AN8 SLI, Asus AN8 SLI Premium, and the Abit Fatality (sorry, I'm no overclocking guru, so DFI isn't all that appealing to me). The thing is, Monarch doesn't have the Abit Fatality as an option listed in their custom configurations, but does sell it on their site. So, can you just talk with someone and go piece by piece with them? I really would like to get the Fatality, but if that's not something they can do with their custom configurations, then I need to think about this more. I guess if they couldn't do the Fatality in my configuration, I would probably go with the Asus Premium (although I cringe when reading some of the multiple horror stories, I'm sure with some fabrication...some not).

CPU - Amd 64 4000+ (No, I don't want dual-core. I'll wait until it becomes more mainstream, plus, I mostly just game extensively with occasional movie watching and music downloads. I usually do one thing or the other, I don't need to do all of them at the same time.)
$344.00 - Retail, ShinEtsu TG $14.99

RAM - Patriot 2GB DDR (400) 3200 (2pcs x 1GB). Anyone have a set of these? They looked good to me. Heard great things about Patriot, despite never having owned any.
$249.00

Hard Drives : WD 74GB Raptor and a Seagate 250 GB Barracuda. I want to use the Raptor for booting the OS, games, etc., and use the Seagate as a storage drive for pictures, mpegs, mp3's, etc. Obviously I won't be using a RAID config., but will I be able to designate the Raptor to do the specific tasks I want, such as loading the OS, games?
$166.63 & $124.00

DVD-RW - BenQ DW160 (2) - I want to burn some movies, thus why I want two of them. Do I even need two? Like say for example, I want to burn a DVD that I have and give my brother a copy.
$102.00

Floppy - Mitsumi 1.44MB (In case of having to do a fresh OS install, or do I not even need it?)
$20.00

Sound Card - X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 (read great things about it)
$113.62

Video Card - XFX 7800 GTX (gotta love a the double lifetime warranty!)
$495.00

OS - Windows XP Pro. w/ SP2
$150.00

Warranty - 3 Year Plus+ (Seems like a great deal)
$99.00

Misc.:
Norton AntiVirus 06' - $46.00
Keyboard - I-Rocks X-Slim Luminescent - $30.00
Mouse - Logitech MX510 - $29.00
Speakers - Klipsh ProMedia THX 2.1 - $134.99

Total comes out to $2,640.21

Two other things that I'm considering :

A wireless router. I have one that I'm using already, but it's not wireless and looking at the cable going from my room to my Dad's office is horrible. You can only conceal so much. Does anyone have some recommendations here? My room from the office is about 10-12 feet with walls inbetween. Would I need a wireless card for the comp. and then another new (wireless) router?

A new monitor. Originally, I had the Viewsonic 19" VP930B in this configuration. It's $500.00. I've done my homework on these, and this seems to be one of the best LCD's in the 19" range, as well, excellent for gamers. THe Viewsonic 19" VX924 is really nice as well, but if I had to pick between the two, the VP930B would be my choice. I'm considering getting a widescreen as well, like a Dell 2005FPW, Gateway, etc. I'm still undecided, as I haven't seen any of them firsthand, and would like to see them first before purchasing. Maybe I'll wait, or just get impulsive and grab one. My question would be, do you think that the Viewsonic VP930B would be on par with one of the widescreens? It would be nice to just get everything from Monarch, and not have to go to another outlet. Get everything in one fell swoop! I'll decide at the last minute more likely than not. If I do get that Viewsonic VP930B, then my total will be around $3,100. Just about where my limit was, so it would work out as I planned beforehand. ($3,250 was what I set my budget for).

Sorry for the long post, but I like to cover all my bases, and make informative selections when plunking down this kind of coin. I'm really excited about this, as I'm coming from an antiquated Pent. 1.3, 384 RAM, etc. dinosaur. This will be like night and day to me. I'm looking forward to doing business with Monarch. Would love to garner everyone's thoughts, criticisms, tweaks, etc. If anyone has a similar system, even better, let me hear from you.

Thanks in advance,

Snow
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: New Computer...

OMG, what a system and all for that wonderful price. Looks really good. Ok, the monitor. I just bought a 19" Viewsonic VX922 monitor. Yes, they are the new ones and rated the "fastest LCD in the world" right now. They OWN. No ghosting whatsoever. CRT quality all the way. You won't be dissapointed. Get this one over the VX924. I thought about that one being cheaper, but the VX922 is newer and faster response time at 2ms!!!!!

For the motherboard, the Fatal1ty is also a good OCing motherboard and rated up there with the DFI motherboard. Are you planning on SLing it? If so, this is a better motherboard. Alvino pointed this out the other day with some SLi questions and this OWNS:

ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131568

Pure 16x on each video channel!!! I don't know about the nforce4 issue, but I have the latest drivers and everything works just peachy.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Computer...

Looks excellent! The Fatality one is useless, even you want to overclock. The OTES and RAMFlow fans just add noise, and I saw a motherboard round-up in Custom PC where it was BELOW the Abit AX8, which costs 50 less. Get the Asus A8N-SLI Premium, you will not regret it. The Viewsonic monitors are all excellent, so whatever you choose your onto a winner. They have upgraded a few from 16ms to 8ms recently, so make sure you get the 8ms when you buy it.

Change the hard drives to Samsung Spinpoints - faster than the Raptor, as their SATA 2, and cheaper. The best one is probably the Samsung SpinPoint P120S SP2504C, which also comes as the SP2004C, the first being 250GB, and the second being 200GB. Get two of the 250GB, and you get 500GB of faster, quieter space at a cheaper price!

Don't bother with the floppy drive - you can always get one for $10 down the nearest PC store if you really need one, or borrow one, etc. Get a Plextor too! Their way faster!
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: New Computer...

I notice you mentioned that you don't want dual core as of yet. Here's news I just read up. Dual core by the end of 2006 will be mainstream with more than 70% of households owning them. It's predicted, but that's pretty good news regarding dual core. I would settle for the Athlon 64 4400+ Toledo X2. But if the single core is what you want, the San Diego 4000+ is very nice too for the price. Again, that CPU is what I would consider if going single core. The FX are just too expensive.

Patriot RAMs are very reliable. Since you don't plan on OCing, these are great set of RAMs. Get them in dual channel. Other RAM to consider are Corsair XMS, OCZ Gold or Platinum Series, and Geil ONE performance RAM.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Computer...

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Yeah, I had also looked at the specs on VX922, looks really, really nice. Decisions! Decisions!

So, you both would recommend the Asus A8N32-SLI and the Asus A8N Premium? That's good to hear. They seem like stable boards, with nice specs.

Prosser, those Samsung HDD's are faster than the Raptors? Man, if that's the case, AND they're cheaper...then I'm sold. I don't know if they sell them there though, hopefully they do.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Computer...

Yes, I read that as well TRD. My reasoning on holding off on the dual core was that people are having some hiccups with the dual core in apps, and most of the games of today don't support it as of yet (have to set the affinity to only using one core). Understandably it's future-proofing your system, but I just think by the time that I go that route bigger and better ones will be available. I just figured that within a year or a year and half, I could pick a new dual core processor, and another twinned video card. Yeah, the 4000+ seemed like a nice price to me, since everyone is jumping on dual core.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: New Computer...

I'm staring point blank right now as I am typing this on my new VX922. Whew, baby. The back of this monitor is pretty slick. Viewsonic made two hidden panels so you can stick the power cable and the monitor DVI or RGB cable in it without the messy look on the backside. The panel covers it up nicely and it's got cable guards so it only goes straight down for a clean look. So clean. For a 19", this is the best. I considered a Samsung 19" (forgot what model number, but it's very similar to this one), and the one you mentioned above, the VX924. It was hard to make a decision too because there were several of us that were looking for great gaming LCDs. The VX922 has got to be the best choice.

I play all my new games at max resolution and AA turned on. Boy, it's running flawless. I paid over $500 for this one, but it's damn good.

That Asus motherboard I pointed out is the only motherboard that supports full 16x on each PCI-e x16 channel so theoritcally in SLi, you're running 32x!!! I hope. It's new and integrated with the South Bridge to control this speed increase. Other motherboards only go @ 8x in SLi mode. Single PCI-e x16, will go at 16x of course. The Raptor drives are 10,000RPMs which is fast for SATA.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: New Computer...

Wow, that new Asus mobo looks really sweet, TRD. I seriously need to consider that! Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: New Computer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRDCorolla
I play all my new games at max resolution and AA turned on. Boy, it's running flawless. I paid over $500 for this one, but it's damn good.
That's to do with your graphics card - you could do the same on any monitor

The Samsung I pointed out is faster than the Raptor, and because it doesn't spin as fast its much much quieter! It's also got triple the space for the money
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: New Computer...

holy **** that just plain OWNAGE! wish i was as rich as u :|
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