Author Topic: Parental Unit  (Read 975 times)

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Parental Unit
« on: Dec 15, 2004, 09:43 PM »
Alas, the time has come to replace my dad's Quantex computer, which is a Pentium !!!/450, running Windows 98 (first edition).

Originally, I planned to build him one at his place (in another state) during Christmas week, but the timing uncertainties have caused me to reconsider, and simply buy him a complete system. (I know, I know -  BOOOO!)

The good news is that we don't have to settle for preconfigured off-the-2-years-old-shelf crap, and we don't have to pay Falcon Northwest prices. At MWave, you can pick any parts from their catalog, and for $80 they will build it for you, including installation of OS and drivers.  Here is what I chose:

ANTEC SLK3700BQE MID TOWER W/SLK350 350W (PENTIUM 4 READY) ATX POWER SUPPLY + EXTRA 120mm FAN(CLEAR)         $81.50

EPOX EP-8KDA3+ BUNDLE W/ COOLING FAN (socket 754)

AMD ATHLON 64 2800+

CRUCIAL 512MB DDR400         $304.00

HITACHI 160GB 13G0254/14R9463 SERIAL ATA 8MB 7200PRM (Bare drive)    $89.90

AOPEN FX5500DV 128MB DDR 8XAGP W/TV&DVI          $68.00     

NEC ND-3500A 16X/16 BLACK DUAL LAYER DVD REWRITABLE DRIVE W/SW (White box)         $65.00

ACTIONTEC 56K V.90/V92 PCI PRO INTERNAL DATA/FAX WIN MODEM (Retail)     $30.52

MITUSMI 1.44 FLOPPY (Bare drive-black color)18" FDD ROUND CABLE         $12.90

LOGITECH BUNDLE: OPTICAL DESKTOP KEYBOARD W/WHEEL MOUSE (Black) (White box)          $19.99

LOGITECH X-230 3-PC 2.1 32WATTS SPEAKER SYSTEM (Black) (White box)         $33.97

PRINCETON 17"/17V SENERGY 714 .26 1280X1024 THIN BEZEL DVI-I          $294.66     

CABLES TO GO 2M DVI-D DIGITAL VIDEO CABLE DUAL LINK M/F EXTENSION    $19.29         
Microsoft Windows XP Home (OEM)     $78.00    
      
Microsoft Office 2003 Basic S55-00066(DSP)Word/Excel/Outlook     $159.00
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Carskick

  • Master Poaster
  • ****
  • Posts: 2485
  • Shelby, one of my cats.
    • James Kirk's Photos
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #1 on: Dec 16, 2004, 08:10 AM »
All looks good except for the power supply. While it is an Antec, 350 watts might be pushing it for a Athlon 64 system. It would likely work, but it wouldn't leave much room for upgrading. At least the video card isn't a power hog. Check which rails are getting what power.
Athlon64 X2 3800+ Machester@2.45Ghz, 4x1GB A-DATA PC3200@204(2.5-3-3-6), XFX 8800GT, ASUS A8N5X NF4, Antec 300 case, Antec EarthWatts 650w, 640GB 16MB and 200GB 8MB 7200RPM SATA WD HDDs, NEC3540, NEC3550, Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate<br />Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/Carskick

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #2 on: Dec 16, 2004, 11:29 AM »
Eh, we'll see. I think the low-mid range video card and single hard drive will leave us with enough room that a quality 350W PSU is sufficient.

This system will be used primarily for office-type tasks, and perhaps some photo editing, so it is probably over-specified.

You are right about limited upgradability, but since the only change we made to his 5.5 year old Quantex was to add some memory last year, I figure upgradability isn't a high priority.

However, if we need to add another module of memory in a few years, there is room, and we don't miss anything with just one module right now, since socket 754 does not support dual channel.

A few things I had some uncertainty about:

MWave does not specify what heatsink/fan they are providing. We don't plan any overclocking, so that's not an issue, but it would be good if it's a retail HSF.

I've never heard these speakers, and am going by word of mouth that Logitech is making some decent speakers these days. This particular set is rather low end, so I don't expect extrordinary sound, but it needs to have something connected.

Also taking a bit of a gamble on the LCD. Princeton is not a brand name I'd usually go for, but since brands mean very little in the LCD world, and the reviews and specifications look decent (16 ms, analog + DVI input) we'll try it. It ticks me off that NewEgg has it for $215 after rebate right now - they were out of stock when I ordered.
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Carskick

  • Master Poaster
  • ****
  • Posts: 2485
  • Shelby, one of my cats.
    • James Kirk's Photos
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #3 on: Dec 16, 2004, 04:35 PM »
Well hopefully if the 350watt PSU turns out to be too weak, they would give you a refund and install a new one. HP is getting away with 300 watt PSUs in their Athlon 64 systems, so you should be able to get away with 350watts.

I wanted to upgrade to a pair of logitech speakers that were surround, normally $100, but $50 at Sams, so I bought them, but Mom made me return them because she didn't like them all over my desk. They sounded pretty good, but the sub was a little boomy and not very deep. I personal thought my Altec Lansings that I'm back to sound a little better, but the sub doesn't have as much umph. The ones I have now are normal $40, but I got them at Sams for $20. Unless you want the speakers for great audio, they should be better than average computer speakers.
Athlon64 X2 3800+ Machester@2.45Ghz, 4x1GB A-DATA PC3200@204(2.5-3-3-6), XFX 8800GT, ASUS A8N5X NF4, Antec 300 case, Antec EarthWatts 650w, 640GB 16MB and 200GB 8MB 7200RPM SATA WD HDDs, NEC3540, NEC3550, Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate<br />Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/Carskick

Offline slaxorz

  • Poaster
  • **
  • Posts: 362
  • Whatever you are, be a good one.
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #4 on: Dec 16, 2004, 08:37 PM »
A 350 watt psu will be perfectly fine. I run an antec truepower psu with 2 80gb WD 8mb cache 7200rpm hds with a amd athlon xp 3200+ and a 9600xt card and it runs perfectly fine i also have 2 optical drives and a gig of ram so its not a wimpy machine.  As for logitech speakers so far maximum pc magazine says that logitechs are pretty much the best of the best right now so no problems there.

http://www.maximumpc.com/reviews/speakers/review_2004-01-15a.html

http://www.maximumpc.com/reviews/speakers/review_2004-01-02.html

Offline scuzzy

  • Forum Cop
  • Administrator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4584
  • Caveat Empty: Beware of jesters
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #5 on: Dec 17, 2004, 10:48 AM »
Too bad you couldn't be there to build it yourself. If he lived in Colorado, I could build it on your behalf, and on your dime.  :)

Anyway, sounds like you did the next best thing. What about all the software that goes with peripherals such as the DVD? Is that pre-loaded? Virus/spyware/firewall protection? How does that work?
« Last Edit: Dec 17, 2004, 10:49 AM by scuzzy »
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 2004, 06:01 AM »
Thanks for the offer. I live closer to him than Colorado. Well, not by much.

Good questions. They are supposed to pre-load the OS and drivers - not sure about MS Office. I am flying up there today, and the computer arrives on Tuesday, so we shall see.

There will almost certainly be loose ends for me to tie up before everything is ready. For instance, printer drivers, AV software, etc.
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #7 on: Feb 10, 2005, 06:55 AM »
I am curious as to the outcome with your effort and your opinion of the Mwave build.
Could you share the end of this story?
Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #8 on: Feb 10, 2005, 04:34 PM »
I'm sorry, I forgot about this thread. I'll scan in some photos this weekend, and finish up the story.

The short version is that we are quite satisfied with the purchase.  :)
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #9 on: Feb 12, 2005, 03:18 PM »
The system came on a Saturday (it was scheduled for the following Tuesday 8)) well packaged in 3 boxes - one for the case and leftover retail accessories and boxes, one for the speakers, and one for the monitor.

OK, here is the Antec SLK3700BQE case, a nice understated design that looks good in this room. It has a small "M" logo case sticker, nothing garish. The Windows XP product key is taped to the top front edge. There are two external USB ports.

To the right, you can see the old Quantex computer. To the left, are the new Logitech keyboard and optical mouse, and the old Altec-Lansing speakers in the background (under the spray can).

Here's with the left cover removed. They didn't do the best job of routing the power supply cables to minimize airflow disruption (partially EPoX's fault for their idiotic main power plug location), but at least everything is zip-tied securely. When it arrived, the yellow floppy cable plug was dislodged from the drive, but that was easy to fix.

You can't see it in the photo, but there is an extra case fan in front, in addition to the standard 120mm case fan in the back. It is still nice and quiet.

Here is a better view of the mobo after pushing the power cable out of the way. The HSF appears to be a retail model, since we got AMD's retail "PIB" literature included.

I initially had trouble getting a monitor signal using the DVI connection on the video card, and was starting to worry that we had a bad card, but after a good 20 minutes of trial and error with the monitor inputs, it worked.  ::) The Princeton monitor is ok - not the fanciest Samsung available, but it doesn't appear to have any stuck pixels or other defects, and it is a good value. This photo doesn't do it justice, since I compressed it before poasting. It has basic swivel and height adjustment, and DVI input.

To the left of the monitor, you can see one of the old Altec-Lansing satellite speakers, and one of the new Logitech satellite speakers. The new Princeton monitor takes up a *lot* less space than the hulking 19" Quantex CRT monitor to the left. Also, I bought the wrong DVI cable, but didn't need it anyway, because the Princeton monitor comes with a DVI cable - a very nice plus!

The system came with Windows XP Home preinstalled, with all system drivers, Nero 6, and a handful of other trivial programs. MS Office was not installed.

Overall, I think MWave did a great job, especially considering the cost is the normal price of the parts on their website, plus an $80 build fee.
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #10 on: Feb 12, 2005, 08:31 PM »
Thanks, for following up.Neon.
It's interesting the Black 3700 has the HD frame oriented like the Sonata but the Bronze version of the 3700 has the HD frame in the more traditional, front to back orientation.
Also curious that I am about to replace the same model  Q - P111 450, same case, with the Bronze 3700.

Bill

Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit

Offline Chandler

  • Universal Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4069
    • Quantex Zone
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #11 on: Feb 17, 2005, 10:03 AM »
Thanks, for following up.Neon.
It's interesting the Black 3700 has the HD frame oriented like the Sonata but the Bronze version of the 3700 has the HD frame in the more traditional, front to back orientation.
Also curious that I am about to replace the same model  Q - P111 450, same case, with the Bronze 3700.

Bill


If you don't need the PSU then the Antec SLK3000B is a cheaper option, and is basically the same case.

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #12 on: Feb 17, 2005, 10:14 AM »
Thanks, Chandler.  I already have the 3700 case.  Newegg had it on sale for $64.00 and free shipping a month or so ago.  It's patiently waiting for the "guts" to go on sale or the budget to improve.

Bill
Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit

Offline Carskick

  • Master Poaster
  • ****
  • Posts: 2485
  • Shelby, one of my cats.
    • James Kirk's Photos
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #13 on: Apr 08, 2005, 03:47 PM »
I am glad it all worked out for you. Also, I was wrong above when I was saying 350 watts was pushing it for an Athlon 64 system. It was at the time when I was hearing the Athlon 64 required 420watts, which is a complete misconception, and I appologize.  At work, the computer I am typing on now is an HP with a wimpy 250watt, but is running an Athlon 64 3200+ and an Nvidia FX5500 without problem. The A64 power requirements aren't much different than that of the final Athlon XPs.
Athlon64 X2 3800+ Machester@2.45Ghz, 4x1GB A-DATA PC3200@204(2.5-3-3-6), XFX 8800GT, ASUS A8N5X NF4, Antec 300 case, Antec EarthWatts 650w, 640GB 16MB and 200GB 8MB 7200RPM SATA WD HDDs, NEC3540, NEC3550, Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate<br />Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/Carskick

Offline Bill

  • Global Moderator
  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
Re:Parental Unit
« Reply #14 on: Apr 08, 2005, 03:54 PM »
Cars,
I wouldn't worry about it.  Many misconceptions about PSU requirements were floating around.  If a major seller like HP can use a 250 you can bet they are pretty certain its adequet, not great but enough to run the A64s.

Good of you to acknowledge the comment though.

Bill

Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit