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Old December 20, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Default Suggest RAM / HDD / Cooling to finish my UnDELLify build?

Hi all,

I've started to gather parts to put together my first PC that isn't Dell / HP / IBM related. For now, the computer is working from parts scavenged from my old Dell Dimension 9200, but I plan to take advantage of Boxing Day sales to get hard drives, better RAM, and better cooling. Buying for a computer without a crippled BIOS/mobo/PSU is unfamiliar territory for me, so could I have some advice in finishing this build?

Here's what I have so far; I am not changing what I have bolded. I already have all of the parts I listed.
  • Case: Coolermaster 330 ATX, with included 120mm fan as intake, LOUD 80mm fan as exhaust
  • Motherboard: Asus M3A78-T
  • CPU: AMD Phenom 9950 BE (125W version)
  • GPU: Diamond Radeon 4850
  • PSU: Seasonic M12 600W
  • DVD-RW: Some scavenged DVD+RW DL drive; the IDE cable is messing up the interior of my case :)
  • CPU cooler: Stock!
  • RAM: 2x 1GB cheapo Patriot PC2-5300
  • Hard drive: a 2.5" hard drive from my laptop...
This computer will be used for gaming (I got the awful habit of buying games with the intention of making my hardware cry), CPU folding, programming, and Virtual Machines. I'll dual boot Vista Business x64 and Linux x64.

I try to OC any computer that I happen to have Windows admin rights on (including a small form factor PresHOT in my school's computer lab), so it's INEVITABLE that I'll be overclocking this rig.

Anyway, my questions are the following:
  • MEMORY: What would be a good 4 GB kit to buy for this computer? I regularly work with virtual machines that take 768-2048 MB chunks of memory to run, so yes I need more than 2 GB. I heard before that ASUS motherboards like certain brands of RAM. Is this true?
  • HDD: I'd like a decently speedy disk but I don't need too much space. Are there any fast HDDs with 250-400 GB capacity? The closest thing I can find is the 500GB WD Caviar black, because I think V-Raptors are too expensive.
  • CPU Cooler: Can you recommend a CPU cooler for the Phenom 9950?
  • Misc fans: My new rig right now is LOUD! Currently my ear is 60cm from my old computer and 3 metres from the new one, and the new one is still noticeably louder. I know the main culprit is the crazy loud & cheap 80mm exhaust fan. Can you suggest something less annoying to the ears?
Anyway, while I'm waiting to complete the computer, I'll stability-test what I have with SMP folding
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Old December 20, 2008, 08:10 PM
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Well Hard drive, my choice would be two of these Western Digital 640GB. NCIX.com - Buy Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM 3YR MFR Warranty - WD6400AAKS In Canada. (don't look at the price, Pricematch+ncix = win win)
As for cooling I don't want to comment useless stuff and since I'm not very familiar with the Phenom and the heat they produce, so I'll others to suggest, but you could always visit Top 5 Intel & AMD Heatsinks on Frostytech .. best place for information on most heatsinks.

Hard drive that was just a suggestion, it all depends on your budget and how big of a hard drive you require offcourse.
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Old December 21, 2008, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I might try that price match.
Oops! Forgot to add my budget because I already half-built the machine. I'd like HDD to be less than $150, memory to be less than $200, and all cooling to be less than $80. That should leave room for stuff that's good quality but not exotic.
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