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Author Topic: Am I forgetting something? (Building a Computer)
Dagonee
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Here's what I'm buying:

LIAN LI PC-G50B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
ASUS EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M GeForce 8800GTX GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card
SILVERSTONE DA750 ATX12V / EPS12V 750W Power Supply
Patriot 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model PSD21G8002 X 4
ASUS P5N-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600
Microsoft Windows XP Home Sp2b 1pk w/Upgrade Coupon for Vista - OEM

I have DVD+RW, mouse, keyboard, monitor, and speakers.

Am I forgetting anything, or will this make a complete system?

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Alcon
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Check to make sure the case/motherboard has all the various outputs you need (usb, firewire, etc) if not get a pci card with any you're missing.
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erosomniac
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That's all the basics.

Other possibles:
-Floppy drive, in case you ever need one
-Media drive (SD, CF, etc.)

The video card you're getting is really beefy: what do you use it for? Most things I can think of that would require that much video memory would also benefit greatly from 2 gigs of RAM, rather than 1.

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Dagonee
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Case has these on the front: USB2.0 x 2, 1394X1, EARX1,MICX1.

Mother board supports those and has 2 PS/2, l LPT, 4 USB, 1 1394, 1x CoaxialS/PDIF (which I don't know what it is - I assume it's digital audio), and 3 audio ports.

So that's good. (I assume you're not actually interested in the details, but I made the list to keep track so I'm keeping it as a record of what I've confirmed. [Smile] )

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Dagonee
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quote:
Floppy drive, in case you ever need one
Have one, might or might not install it.

quote:
Media drive (SD, CF, etc.)
Will hold out for now, just because everything we use them for plugs in via USB. The case is crazy-easy to open and work with, so I'm not worried about adding later.

quote:
The video card you're getting is really beefy: what do you use it for? Most things I can think of that would require that much video memory would also benefit greatly from 2 gigs of RAM, rather than 1.
Short answer: nothing right now, but I never want to replace it while the machine is running. I can add a second if I ever need to via SLI, and past that the memory and chip should be the throttle point. I'm thinking of dropping down to the 388, but I wanted to price it at the max configuration first.

I have 4 gigs of ram in the list (the x 4 is all the way at the end.

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Lupus
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if you were to give the computer to me for a while, I'd be happy to tell you how I like it. [Smile]
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anti_maven
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Mmmm, *wipes drool from chin*

I think that should just abut do it. BTW, isn't this the minimum spec for Vista? [Wink]

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Dagonee
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I ordered the parts. Supposedly the motherboard and power supply come with all the needed connectors, so that should do it. Hopefully I'll have it built by Saturday night.

Thanks for double-checking this for me!

And Vista won't go on this any time before SP1 comes out, and likely not even then.

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Lisa
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Power cord.
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TheTick
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The power supply probably comes with the cord, albeit usually a short one. The processor you are getting, it's a retail one with the HSF, right? Even so, you may want to upgrade from the retail HSF to something with a bit more cooling prowess, especially if you are overclocking.
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Bokonon
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XP may or may not have issues with the 4GB of RAM, from what I've read. I assume you'll go to Vista fairly soon [EDIT: nevermind], but there its been an ongoing issue of getting decent nvidia drivers (though I read within the last couple days it may be mostly resolved with the latest drivers). Also, do you want a quality sound card, or just going to go with the on-board solution?

That is a nice box, Dag. [Smile] My current box is more modest:

Antec SLK3800B Case with stock PSU
ePoX EP-9NPA+Ultra nForce4 Board
Socket 939 AMD Athlon XP 64 x2 4400+
2x standard Crucial RAM (PC3200)
Seagate 250GB Barracuda 7200RPM SATA HDD
On-board sound (yeah, I'm cheap [Smile] )
X800GTO2, with all the pipelines unlocked

In the next 6-12 months, I'm looking at adding a beefier PSU (Seasonic brand), a new video card (Probably the 8800GTX, maybe ATI's DirectX 10 card), and Vista (likely Ultimate since I need parts of the Business addition for work, and parts of Home for personal stuff). I will also add some more RAM too.

-Bok

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Dagonee
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I have many cords if the included one is too short. I may also buy power protection/UPS for this.

The processor comes with HSF. If I decide to overclock, I will buy more heavy-duty cooling capability - maybe even liquid cooled.

But I'm not close to needing that yet.

My upgrade options are overclock, replace processor, double the RAM, add another video card, buy a new computer. The order will depend on where the bottlenecks arise in use.

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Primal Curve
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S/PDIF = Sony/Phillips Digital InterFace

Yes, it's Audio.

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Dagonee
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quote:
XP may or may not have issues with the 4GB of RAM, from what I've read.
I just did a quick search - it seems it'll only recognize 3 gb. I guess I'll have to look into Vista sooner than I thought if I want to get the use of the memory.

quote:
Also, do you want a quality sound card, or just going to go with the on-board solution?
On-board for now. I'll be using 2.1 speakers for a while, so that's the sound quality bottleneck.

I went with a good framework using part of our tax refund. The rest has to come from monthly budget, so I'll look into better speakers, better sound, HD or blueray writeable drive, and such like later.

quote:
In the next 6-12 months, I'm looking at adding a beefier PSU (Seasonic brand), a new video card (Probably the 8800GTX, maybe ATI's DirectX 10 card), and Vista (likely Ultimate since I need parts of the Business addition for work, and parts of Home for personal stuff). I will also add some more RAM too.
It's fun working with desktops again. For years I only used laptops, where expansion and modification is basically limited to ram and hard drive size.
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TheTick
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I just pieced together a system over the past few months, and fired it up for the first time last night.

ECS N4ST-A9 Socket 939 Mobo
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (using this Thermaltake cooler)
2 x 512mb GEiL pc3200 modules
250gb SATA HD
Onboard Sound
580w PS

The video card is forthcoming, trying to decide if I hold out for the mid-range 8xxx series from nvidia. I tossed in my old Geforce 3 and blazed away in Counterstrike, temp gauge barely budged (idle at 33C, highest I've seen is 35C). [Evil]

quote:
It's fun working with desktops again. For years I only used laptops, where expansion and modification is basically limited to ram and hard drive size.
First real build I've done in a while, too. It is fun, especially since it'll mean Jen and I will be able to play NWN2 together. [Wink]
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Bokonon
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I just got a fancier new 2.1 set for my computer, using some bonus money and holiday gift cards. I don't need anything more for my computer, because I tend to not play FPses, and I don't have the space to set up a complicated setup.

I feel like in the last year or so, it's begun to be more worthwhile to build your own system again. For a while, even on the desktop side, it wasn't really worth it, financially.

-Bok

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Dagonee
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I saved over $750, and there was only one system I found that was only that much higher. Most were $1,000 - $1,500 more.

Many of them included additional features I didn't want or need, but only the $750 more one had all the features this one has.

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Bokonon
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Were'd you order from, newegg? Mwave, TigerDirect? Local shop?

-Bok

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Dagonee
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Newegg. The $750 one was a local shop and included assembly. I could have saved more by buying some components at NewEgg, some at Tiger, etc., but not enough to make it worth breaking up the purchase.
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Bokonon
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I use MWave to put together the case, PSU, motherboard, and CPU. I hate dealing with CPUs, I feel like I'm going to snap them in half when I install a new one. I am also paranoid that I didn't apply the thermal paste right. Still, I just put a new CPU in last month (the dual core).

-Bok

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Nato
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
And Vista won't go on this any time before SP1 comes out, and likely not even then.

Good thing, I've heard some horror stories about the OEM version of Vista. :/

The 4gb ram decision was a good one. I'm very glad I went with 2gb on my XP system, and I hear 4gb will be the sweet spot for Vista.

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kwsni
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Make sure the motherboard will fit in the case.

This is a big one.

Ni!

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lem
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quote:
I just did a quick search - it seems it'll only recognize 3 gb. I guess I'll have to look into Vista sooner than I thought if I want to get the use of the memory.
I have a very similar system. Best buy had a Geforece 7900 for dirt cheap--it was a mega sale. I bought that to update my integrated video. I was shopping around online for a good card. I was thinking of waiting till the cheap 8000 series hit the market, but then I saw I could get the 7900 for about $100.

My computer only sees 3GB of ram. I have tried adding the switch in the boot.ini file. I have tried the registry trick. Nothing worked.

I am ok with it tho, my computer is blazing fast. I feel no need to go to vista any time soon.

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Kwea
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Dag...if you don't mind saying, what did this run you?
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Bokonon
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Kwea, I'd guess around $1700-$1800. Less if he goes for the next step down video card.

-Bok

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Dagonee
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Exactly, Bok. (I went with the full video card - probably a waste, but I'll run something to push it to the edge, just to see what it can do. [Smile] )
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Kwea
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I know a lot more about computers now than I did a few years ago, and will probably try to build my own (or create it and let someone else build it) next time around.

That's why i was interested. [Smile]

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Blayne Bradley
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*cries*

You could play Supreme commander at maxed settings =(


Vista on my machine runs fine, only Call of Duty doesnt work right so far. My only issue is that only having 1 gig of ram kinda sucks, 90% of it is being used if I play BF2, and around 80 for Supreme Commander at low settings.

Vista is supposed to be able to run 4 gigs of ram, which is nice since when I get 4GB I am going to play tose massive hacked maps in CIV4. Basically the map editor only supports a certain size, so you can hack it to force to be BIGGER so that imagine a world map that is nearly to scale, its huge, the problem is that it lags.... ALOT even early game because the map is so huge. Thats with 1 GB of ram, 4 GB of ram and it should play decently.

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Dagonee
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It's assembled (sides are still off until I know it works) and Windows XP install is formatting the drive now. 2% in 3 minutes, so I'm probably going to bed.
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Frisco
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If they have a device that can fit inside of an unused floppy port that will toast a grilled cheese sandwich, get one.

And how about a retina scanner?



You wouldn't want unauthorized users taking your sammiches, now, would you?

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Dagonee
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I put in an awesome detector instead. I figure that, unless Chuck Norris comes by, no one else will have high enough levels to get through.
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Frisco
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So it's to be merely for decorative purposes, is it?
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
It's assembled (sides are still off until I know it works) and Windows XP install is formatting the drive now. 2% in 3 minutes, so I'm probably going to bed.

Oh the foibles of youth. No ye not that quick format is just as good? [Big Grin] I only use the slow format if I really really really want to erase what's on the hard drive.
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Dagonee
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quote:
No ye not that quick format is just as good?
Now you tell me.

I had to pull out two of the memory sticks - it kept blue screening during installation. Windows XP is installed, and I'm trying to get the motherboard drivers running.

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rollainm
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Nice rig.

Just one suggestion:
4gb of ram will be overkill for any 32-bit operating system, Vista included. If you're going 64-bit then great, but I would not recommend it unless you need the system for something like video editing. 64-bit won't be mainstream for a long time, and you'll likely have major issues getting drivers and applications that will work.

I'd recommend going with a 2x1gb and 2x512mb config on the ram. This gives you 3gb at a cheaper price that can run dual channel.

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rollainm
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Oh, you already bought it. I guess I should probably read the whole thread, huh?
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Dagonee
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Turns out the presence of the RAM wasn't causing the instability. The return process was annoying (and expensive - 15% restock) enough that I decided to try the RAM one more time. I reseated it and ran Microsoft's memory test a couple of time.

Windows XP only sees 3.5 GB of physical memory, but the intermittent problems went away. So I'm wasting half a gb until I decide to go to Vista, but I'm not hurting the system any.

I have a good power supply, but is it worth it to get a UPS/power conditioner as well? We definitely get voltage drops in our house.

If one is recommended, does anyone have any suggestions? I don't need a long UPS. I'm more interested in orderly shutdown and well-conditioned power.

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Blayne Bradley
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yes its something thats nice to have, my friend Dano has a computer that with his UPS can stay on for about 5 minutes should the power go off, plenty of tme to save your work.
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Nighthawk
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Floppy drive? I haven't used a floppy in a decade.

And lots of memory is *never* overkill, at least until you hit the OS limit. I thought XP can go to 4Gb?

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Bokonon
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Nighthawk, only theoretically. The VM system apparently blocks out a GB (logical reserved space for the kernel?) so XP gets confused when you have that much.

-Bok

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Turns out the presence of the RAM wasn't causing the instability. The return process was annoying (and expensive - 15% restock) enough that I decided to try the RAM one more time. I reseated it and ran Microsoft's memory test a couple of time.

Windows XP only sees 3.5 GB of physical memory, but the intermittent problems went away. So I'm wasting half a gb until I decide to go to Vista, but I'm not hurting the system any.

I have a good power supply, but is it worth it to get a UPS/power conditioner as well? We definitely get voltage drops in our house.

If one is recommended, does anyone have any suggestions? I don't need a long UPS. I'm more interested in orderly shutdown and well-conditioned power.

With a computer that hungry, definitely get a UPS. Anything with a battery in it will protect you from dips and spikes, and you can get those for around 50 dollars (Don't order online, they're heavy as heck, so it's actually cheaper to buy at a store). If you have constant power *outages* or long brown-outs, I'd suggest something between 750-1000VA to give you time to shut down or finish what you're working on before shutting down. APC and Tripplite are pretty good brands to look for. APC's been making UPSes for...a really really long time.
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Dagonee
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Cool, thanks Boris.

Of course, having just gotten it working as I want, I now have a huge project at work for the next week, making game-playing time scarce.

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Dagonee
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Question regarding UPSs: Am I right in thinking I need one that has a wattage rating at least as high as my PSU? I haven't found any by APC or Tripplight for less than $150 at 750W.
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TheTick
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You can sometimes find APC's BX1500 at Costco/Sam's/BJ's type stores for pretty cheap. Keep an eye on sites like techbargains, as they find deals on 1000va + UPS's fairly regularly.

This Belkin might be a good choice, definitely second tier below APC, Tripp Lite and Liebert but usually solid.

edit: On the wattage rating, normally you can go lower (as few people with 'standard' loadouts get close to the max PSU load), but gamers with hardcore vid cards, dual core CPUs and the like are more prone to it, so at least that much is best.

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Bokonon
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Hey Dag, if you go for an APC, let me know. I have a connection there that may be able to give a discount.

-Bok

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Sterling
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It sounds like a great machine. My only worry would be that 250 GB is kind of on the low side these days, especially if you work with a lot of media files (and with an increasing amount of software shipping on DVD.) Are you bringing over a HD from an older system?

(Notably this is not difficult to fix later- a second drive can be added rather easily, USB drives are plenty fast for most storage purposes, and the prices of both internal and external drives are dropping rapidly.)

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Dagonee
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Bok, thanks. I'll look into this more and get back to you.

Sterling, right now, it's for playing one game, and that only takes 7 GB. [Smile]

When I need more space, I'll buy a couple of 500 GB and stripe them (I have RAID capability in the motherboard). The longer I wait, the cheaper it will be. I have SATA, so adding a new drive takes about 10 minutes. [Smile]

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Little_Doctor
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You forgot the computer-people colony. They need somewhere to live too! Besides, who else would eat all of your cookies?
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Boris
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Here you go... UPS power explaination.

Basically, what you need to remember is that even though you have a 750W power supply, you won't ever reach the point where your computer is actually requiring 750W of power to operate. The power supply will only pull as much current as it needs. I would guess that your setup will require somewhere between 400-500 actual watts. A 750VA UPS will certainly give you more time to play with in the event of an outage, if you can save 50 bucks or more buy dropping to 650, you should be pretty safe.

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Mr.Funny
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Bok, thanks. I'll look into this more and get back to you.

Sterling, right now, it's for playing one game, and that only takes 7 GB. [Smile]

When I need more space, I'll buy a couple of 500 GB and stripe them (I have RAID capability in the motherboard). The longer I wait, the cheaper it will be. I have SATA, so adding a new drive takes about 10 minutes. [Smile]

What game, Dag?
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