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)
PSU - Antec True Power 550W (seems pretty solid)
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.
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.
Floppy - Mitsumi 1.44MB (In case of having to do a fresh OS install, or do I not even need it?)
Sound Card - X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 (read great things about it)
Video Card - XFX 7800 GTX (gotta love a the double lifetime warranty!)
OS - Windows XP Pro. w/ SP2
Warranty - 3 Year Plus+ (Seems like a great deal)
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,