Wednesday, February 23, 2005

harder than hardware

well that's it: i have now purchased all the hardware for my new computer. although i don't expect to actually have it all until early next week: most of it i ordered online. barry recommended i check out pricewatch and i did, though eventually i still bought most of it through newegg. newegg was not always the cheapest, but it was typically within a few bucks, and it carries more exclusive parts that are hard to find elsewhere.

here's what i'm getting. i bought everything from newegg unless otherwise noted. and all links are to manufacturer's website unless otherwise noted.
  • Soltek SL-K8TPro-754 motherboard. with purple accents and cables! have mercy, that's a pretty color. but honestly, i really did pick this board because anandtech had great things to say about the K8AN2E-GR and indeed about soltek in general. i almost got the K8AN2E-GR but because it lacks onboard IEEE-1394 i went for the higher-up SL-K8TPro-754 instead.
  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (socket 754). the athlon 64 is the obvious choice for most desktop systems. i picked the 3200+ because it seemed like the best compromise between price and performance.
  • CoolerMaster Cavalier-3 case (black). coolermaster is a very reputable brand. i really wanted a black case. this one seemed affordable.
  • Kingston ValueRAM PC3200 two sticks of 512MB each. i could've gotten it cheaper from a generic brand, but that's not necessarily a good idea with RAM.
  • NEC ND-3520A dvd burner. maximum pc highly recommended the ND-3500 (it's their current top-ranked burner) and i'm guessing the 3520 is the equivalent OEM model (if not the same model with a different model number).
  • NEC 1231H floppy drive. hell, it's $8 at newegg and it has a black bezel. i need a floppy drive, but don't really care any more about it.
  • Samsung 1213N 120GB hard drive. i decided to go ahead and get a new primary drive for the new machine. this seemed like a good choice. 8mb buffer size is important: much better than 2mb buffer.
  • M-Audio Delta 44 sound card. this is a "professional" soundcard, whereas creative/soundblaster cards are consumer-level. most computer retailers don't sell this stuff. i was all ready to place my newegg order this weekend, but they were out of stock of this card, with an ETA in-stock of 2/22. so i waited & was all ready to place my order yesterday... but it never came in. now newegg's ETA is 2/27. so today at lunch i went to downtown comics in castleton, and stopped by guitar center since it's right there. gc had a delta 44 in stock, so i bought it there.
  • ATI All-in-Wonder 9600XT video card. i went with another all-in-wonder card, since i really like its combination of 3d processing and tv capture capabilities. i was going to order this from newegg, but they raised the price yesterday! i would've bought it there for $190, but not for $207 (now it's back down to $199, but too late... and still $11 more than i paid). so i ordered it from ewiz instead.
  • Epson Stylus Photo R300 printer. i've wanted a printer from this product line ever since i learned about it, since it included built-in cd/dvd printing. no more messing with cd labels: i can print right on the disc face!

it'll be another week or more before i've received all the parts and the thing is actually assembled. but that's fine. now i can focus on something else for a few days.

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