Tagged: Computer building

The Secret Lives of Computer Stores

Since I moved to London, I’ve been searching for a good computer shop.  Oh sure there’s tons of computer stores here, but most of them have a middling selection, tiny little cramped shops, and really crappy staff.  I’ve gotten a lot out of Mega Computer, they’re good guys, have a great website (which is always up to date with their stock), and they built my most recent Media Center when my motherboard got fried.  Still sometimes I like to wander around a store and see what they’ve got. Continue Reading

Still confused.

This week I picked up my new motherboard, a KT3 Ultra. I’ve been basing everything on buying the MSI K7T266a, because I didn’t think I’d be able to find the KT3 at retail for another few months since it was only officially released at the end of February. However, on Friday before Axxess, I popped in to Canada Computers, saw that they had the K7T266a for $193, and checked out a new store called PC Periphrials. They are the only store I’ve seen with the KT3, so I picked it up. However since I hadn’t read enough on RAM and stuff like that for the KT3, I figured I’d hold off on buying the processor and ram until I figure out a little more. So I’ve read most of the manual (which is really well written), placed everything in my case by eye, and am almost ready to commit to my processor (an AMD 1700+ XP) and some RAM, my only confusion is do I go with the 266, or the 333? I can only find one type of 333, and it’s the same price as the 266…but I don’t know the company, so I don’t know how good it will be.

The worst part about all of this is how long my computer could be out of commision for…it could be a very scary process indeed!

Tonight is WrestleMania at the Skydome. Joachim, Jeff and I are going to the Paramount to watch the show, which means we’ll get to see it with commentary and the like. Should be way fun. Hopefully a lot more fun than Axxess was ($40.00 to go and stand in lines to possibly see wrestlers…wooo, what fun that was! At least we got to see Funaki and The Hurricane wrestle a short match, and got to listen to William Regal berate the crowd a bit).

Yet another VIA KT333 Motherboard Review

Yet another VIA KT333 Motherboard Review this time from Tom’s Hardware Guide.

I checked with Canada Computer, and they told me that they don’t have pricing for this motherboard yet, so I’ll just have to wait a little while longer. I’m not buying anything for another month or so anyway, so I can wait. This is a great looking motherboard though, with some really sweet little details like the 6 USB ports (I don’t even need my hub anymore which currently supports my mouse, iPAQ, Sidewinder Joystick, and soon my printer), Dolby Digital Optical outs, and RAID support. Very nice stuff.

Void your Warranty – Raid Tutorial

Void your Warranty – Raid Tutorial

I’m learning so much researching this system that I’m building. I’m definately going to write up a nice long article on how I built my system and house it somewhere on Tales…this is a great article on the benefits of RAID, and how you go about setting up a RAID system.

I think I’m going to go with RAID 1 on the new system, with a second 40Gig HD, if I can find a second 40 gig Fujitsu hard drive that is.

KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard

KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard

This is the motherboard I’m getting…it’s one of only two MoBo’s on the market with USB 2.0, and is just a little bettter than the K7T266 Pro2-RU which I originally wanted to put in the system. The K7T266 is only $203, .

I’m still going to go with an Athalon XP 1700+ which has dropped to $212, and 256 RAM is down to $140. Hopefully by Mid March when I’m ready to build this system everything will drop another fifty bucks or so.

Speaking of building the system, there’s a great article on building a PC on GameSpot.com, has an awesome article called “How to Build a PC” which is a great little guide on all of the little things you need to do to build a new PC.

AMD Motherboard roundup

AMD Motherboard roundup

The choices have narrowed down, and I’ve decided to go with a microstar motherboard. This will be my first upgrade where I’m totally going for bleeding edge power rather than last year’s models.

My new PC will be an AMD Athalon XP 1700 processor (which is rated higher than the Intel P4 2.0 gHZ processor according to an AnandTech report).

The motherboard I’m looking at is a Microstar K7T266 Pro2-RU (some of it’s sexy specs include: 1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots, 1 CNR slot, USB 2.0 (one of only two motherboards on the market supporting it), Promise PDC20265R RAID support, and an onboard Avance Logic ALC201A AC97 CODEC audio card). I’m going to pick up 256mb of DDRAM (which is around $120.00 now), a couple of case fans, a kick ass CPU fan, and some rounded floppy drive and IDE cables. I already have a really nice looking case, and a new floppy drive sitting in it.

All I have to do now is pull out my hard drive, video card, CDRW, DVD Drive, Ethernet Card, DVD Decoder Board, and Firewire card from my old PC and put them into the new one.

With the old PC, I’m going to add my spare CDR Drive, spare hard drive, and my Banshee video card before I sell it off. It’s still a great PC (Celeron 600 with an Abit BH6 Motherboard 512 RAM, a 4x2x12 Ricoh CDRW, 6.4 Gig Fujitsu HD, and a 16MB 3dfx Banshee Voodoo card), and is awesome for everything except video editing.

This whole new upgrade will end up costing me about $800.00, but that includes the new CDR and the firewire card I bought in November, and the new 40 gig HD I bought in August. Not bad at all for as much power as this thing will have.