Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

26 12 2008

Sorry I’ve been away for so long. It’s been a crazy week or so, between working on a couple videos for the church, as well as of course, Christmas with my wife’s family, my brothers/brother’s wives and kids/mom/dad, my extended family, and of course, my own wife and kids!

But now I’m back, and (SO VERY) happy to say that I’m going to be building a new computer. I’m super excited for the opportunity (thanks mostly to my mom and dad for providing my most requested gift, Fry’s gift cards, and some other Christmas fundage!)

My New Computer (Man, I miss the Apple IIe days)

My New Computer (Man, I miss the Apple IIe days)


So, OtakuDad needs your help!  Let’s build the best rig (my) money can buy! (Details on specifications/requirements after the jump!)

A couple things to keep in mind:

Total budget is about $700. A couple years ago that wouldn’t have gotten anything significant, but places like Fry’s and Newegg make it possible to make a nice gaming rig/editing computer for that cost.

Secondly: Please don’t suggest based upon what you’ve heard…I’m totally open to suggestions that are from what you’ve used, (or things to stay away from), but any advice given from a third-person perspective will be ignored…just saying.

Finally, I’m happy to put together anything. I’ve got some experience with all of this and built a couple computers now. So no piece of hardware is too intimidating (Although I’m not looking to water-cool yet. I’m a little scared of that, admittedly!)

Okay, so that given, here’s what I’m wanting (if possible):

1) At least 500GB of hard drive space (the faster the drives, the better, for video editing). I’d also prefer this be in two drives, but cost is the major factor here. I’d like to run a RAID array, but I’m happy to keep it simple for now, and upgrade later. But the 500GB is pretty much a floor here.

2) Need to have at least 4GB of (fast?) RAM, but if I can get my hands on cheap Vista 64-bit, I’m glad to go higher!

3) I’ve got one existing 250GB hard drive full of archive video, and it’s an IDE drive. I’m fine with buying an IDE-SATA adapter, but if I can get a good motherboard that handles both, that’s optimal. Of course, the motherboard will depend on the processor I can get…I’m happy with performances by Gigabyte in the past, but I’m open to any mobo you recommend, except MSI (they’re good and cheap, but they offer no support in English, practically, nor do they often update their firmware so if there’s an issue, it can take a while to get it fixed…

3) Which brings us to processor. This is where I need the most advice. I want something that will handle video editing/rendering and gaming well… I’m in love with the new Intel Core i7 chips, but that would blow my entire budget, so that’s a pipe dream…What I need to know is should I get a dual core or a quad-core? I know quad-core on paper looks better for most functions (especially the editing/rendering stuff) but I’ve also heard that I can save a lot of money and get practically the same performance from a high-end dual-core chip…Need your experiences, especially if you’re in the know!!! (Also, I’m partial to Intel, but I’d go AMD with the right argument (which is not “Intel sux, man…U ned to get off teh Intel, n00b!”) KTHXBYE.)

4) Okay, so we’ve talked hard drives, motherboard, and processor. Which pretty much leaves the graphics card. I would again, love the high-end stuff, but I just need something decent that will run DirectX 10 (I’m thinking Vista, now), and run games well. The editing doesn’t need something monster, but I definitely want to be able to play newer games with this thing…Advice on companies/cards would be great!

5) I’m going to of course need accessories too. So while cables/fans will likely be chosen by myself at Newegg.com, I’ll want advice on whether you think a Blu-Ray drive is worth it now, or if I should stick with DVD-RW+/- right now…

5) Finally, a case to put it all into. I don’t care much about the aesthetics. I more want a computer with good airflow and space for upgrades. Of course, if I can get that with other cool stuff, sweet. But having my computer glow an epic blue is a perk, not a need. 🙂

Finally, if there’s room in the budget (which, it probably won’t be), I would like to upgrade from my CRT to an LCD monitor, preferably at least 21″. Again, advice is good! I’ve had good experience (but also warnings against, for shorter life-span) with HANNS-G, but I don’t know about other cheaper brands. If there’s one you have and highly recommend, let me know!

Okay, so that’s cool. Computer to be built. I’m aiming for a January 2009 release. I’ll add some photos of the process, if you’re interested. Also, those of you who haven’t built a computer before, if you’d like to have me put up a photo/text tutorial on building your own PC. I’d be happy to put that up (and I know for my first rig-build, that would have helped a lot). Just let me know in the comments.

Merry Christmas, and I hope all of you had a great one, and I wish you all the best in 2009!!!

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