Help Building a Computer?

By mobkon
Dec 10, 2004
  1. Hey all, Im going to need to to build a computer, not just any normal computer. I need a computer basically as a backup storage device to all of my other video editing computers. Basically I need about a terabyte of storage or more. So about 4 or 5 250Gig HDs. I dont need anything fancy, just something that runs WinXP Pro. A motherboard with a good onboard sound, video, ethernet, and USB (maybe firewire?), ports is perfect. Any idea on the specific case I should go with, certain power supply, ram, fans, etc.? I DONT want the drives to be a RAID setup. I dont want this computer to go down on me, it needs to serve as the backup storage for all my editing computers in case one of THOSE goes down. Can someone just list the parts I should get or point me somewhere to help me out? Thanks alot!
  2. marcothy

    marcothy TS Rookie

    ASUS "P5AD2-E Premium" i925XE Chipset Motherboard For Intel LGA 775 CPU -$259
    - Specifications -

    Supported CPU: LGA775 Pentium 4 EE(HT) Processors
    Chipset: i925XE+ICH6R
    FSB: 1066/800MHz
    RAM: 4x DIMM Dual Channel DDR2 400/533 Intel PAT Max 4GB
    Slots: 1x PCI-E x16, 2x PCI-E x1, 3x PCI
    Ports: 2x PS/2, 1x LPT, 8x USB2.0(Rear 4), 1x RJ45, 1 x WLAN, 1x 1394, 2x S/PDIF Out, Audio Ports
    IDE: 1x ATA 100 by ICH6R, 2x ATA 133
    SATA/RAID: 4x SATA with Matrix RAID 0/1, 4x SATA with RAID 0/1/10/5 by Silicon Image 3114R
    Onboard Audio: C-Media 7.1 Ch
    Onboard LAN: 2x Marvell 88E8053 GbLAN, 1x 802.11g
    Onboard 1394: 1x 1394a, 2x 1394b
    Form Factor: ATX

    Cooler Master Silver/Black CM Stacker ATX Full Tower Case, Model "STC-T01-UWK" -$158.50

    - Specifications -

    Case Type: ATX Full Tower
    Color: Silver/Black
    Material: Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis
    Drive Bays: 5.25" x 7/0, 3.5" x 1/3 (external/internal)
    Expansion Slots: 7
    Front Ports: 6 x USB2.0, 1 x IEEE1934, 2 x Audio
    Power Supply: N/A
    Cooling System: 1 x 120mm front fan, 1 x 120mm rear fan, 1 x 80mm top fan
    Motherboard Compatibility: Extend ATX; ATX; BTX
    Dimensions: 23"x 9"x 21.2" (DxWxH)

    Model#: STC-T01-UWK
    Item#: N82E16811119039

    Maxtor 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, Model 6B250S0, OEM Drive Only $176.00

    - Specifications -

    Capacity: 250GB
    Average Seek Time: 9.0 ms
    Buffer: 16MB
    Rotational Speed: 7200 RPM
    Interface: Serial ATA 150
    Features: SATA II, -NCQ [Native Command Queuing]
    Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years
    Packaging: OEM Drive Only

    Model#: 6B250S0
    Item#: N82E16822144358

    The mother board will support up to 4 SATA connected drives, better for video editing than IDE or ATA drives. It also has onboard 7.1 Channel audio. For video, it carries a PCI Express slot (better than AGP 8x if you're unaware). You can find a card for less than $200 that would easily do the job.

    Maxtor is my brand of choice on high volume drives, and that one has a 16mb buffer. Better than most which have 8mb now.

    As for cases, I prefer Antec or Cooler Master. They range anywhere from 50-200 on price. If you go with Antec, their powersupplies that come with their cases are normally really good. Cooler Master I have dealt less with, but they tend to carry more 5.25 bays than most, and those are really good for installing internal Hard Drive heat sinks and coolers.

    Power Supply? Make sure your careful what you buy. High watts does not mean more power. I have seen 300w PS's that out do 550w PS's that were bad. Just make sure what you go with here is a trusted brand and highly reviewed.

    Anything else?
  3. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    Does it really "need" WIndows XP? IT takes up a bunch of HD space, and if it's just going to be to used for backing up Ghost images, it's not really going to need sound, etc. To be most effective, I'd just use a WIn98 comp with a decent processor and motherboard like the one suggested above. Cooling, case, etc wouldn't be that important. There's also the question of how you're backing up the files... Ghost, network copying, etc. WHich one is going to be ( primarily) used. If it doesn't need to run all the time, a cheap case with a decent PSU will suffice ( I've seen some for as low as 75CAD).
  4. marcothy

    marcothy TS Rookie

    I wouldn't go short on a case. Biggest things I would look at in your case is make sure it's aluminum....or at least just not plastic. Also, number of bays...fitting 4 hard drives into a tower can make it crowded, and if your like me, you don't want them to stack in tight. So just make sure there's plenty of space.

    I would stick with XP Pro if you plan on the computer being networked at all. Would guess though if you use this system to store your videos on it, then you will also be using it to do some work/editing-whether or not it's your main system. I just know it's not the best of ideas to swap media files back in forth to edit or use every time.
  5. mobkon

    mobkon TS Rookie Topic Starter

  6. MrDJ009

    MrDJ009 TS Rookie

    Not for the beginner

    I have built numerous PC's over the past 20+ years. To date all of my home systems have been built by me. My one question for you is: Are you sufficiently skilled to undertake your project. There are a lot of technical gotcha's that can trip you up if you haven't done your homework before undertaking the project. If you don't have the hands on skill I would suggest picking up and reading PC Upgrade Magazine if it's still published. It always had great illustrated how to articles.

    If you still are inclined to proceed I would suggest that you seriously consider beginning with a "barebones" kit. These units come partially assembled and require that you add some components to complete the system. These boxes always include the case, power supply and motherboard at a minimum. Most also include the keyboard, mouse, a CD-RW drive and well as other components. Sellers are always willing to add a processor and memory for a slight additional charge. All pre assembled.

    You must generally add a hard drive, video card, monitor, modem, OS and any other peripherals you want.

    I saw your Newegg list (I got my last two motherboards from them). Pricing seems to be on the high side. One great barebones deal that I just noticed in my mailbox from costs only $29.99, after rebates. You can't beat this price. Check it out at:
  7. KiKi

    KiKi TS Rookie


    I currently was about to get a system done up for me ... as I never have done this before ... I want the ASUS "P5AD2-E Premium and the CM Stacker Case, however, I've been told that the mobo won't fit in the case ... or something along the lines of that ... something to do with the back of the case and the mobo itself wit it's ports ...

    I'd really like some help on this as from searching I've seen a lot seem to use this mobo wit this case and I want to know if it worked out and how !

  8. MrDJ009

    MrDJ009 TS Rookie

    Where's the problem?

    How did you decide on this case/motherboard combo? What's your intended use for this machine? How did you determine that the ASUS board wouldn't fit since ATX compliant motherboards will generally always fit ATX compliant cases.

    The case you mention seems to be designed for a large network server with it's 11 external 5 1/4" drive bays. Expensive, too (US$160 at TigerDirect). You can find great ATX mid sized cases for a whole lot less (about US$50). These cases will generally support at least four 5 1/4" and two 3 1/2" external devices plus four internal 3 1/2" drives (more than enough for most of us). The case you prefer, however, would seems to be OK for just about any ATX MB you might want to install.

    The ASUS MB you like appears to be cutting edge technology, with a price tag to match. Some of the boards advanced features will come with a hidden price tag. Economical AGP graphics card support is discarded in favor of new PCI express slots. Check out prices for video cards that use this standard. Only one conventional IDE channel is provided, which is probably intended for DVD or CD-RW drives. RAID controllers, both IDE and SATA, are available for your hard drives. One neat feature of the board is built in 802.11g Wi-Fi. Nice if you use a wireless router. :)
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