Proposed upgrade - replacing mobo and ram and adding a sata drive

Discussion in 'Abit' started by Ian, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Ian

    Ian Guest

    I could raeally use a seasoned eye cast over this situation please.

    I'm looking at maybe going with this board found here:

    Item:Abit IC7 "Canterwood" (Socket 478) Motherboard (MB-031-AB)

    I am not very likely to overclock (probably), but do want to have 2Gb
    memory as I render stuff a lot and end up with some fairly large image
    files too at times.

    I also use a a flight sim (micro flight) so I want it to be as good as
    it can be, short of overclocking. I also use Photoshop quite bit and
    other similar media creation tools.

    I may opt to further cool and quieten quite a bit, as time passes.

    I have a P4 2.8 Northwood

    I also have a leadtek A350XTTDH

    So with that all in mind, would this memory be ok?
    Item:Crucial 1GB (2x512MB) DDR PC3200 Ballistix Dual Channel Kit (MY-033-CR)

    or could I get away with this?
    Crucial 1GB DDR PC3200 CAS3.0 Dual Channel Kit (2x512MB) (MY-037-CR)

    Would I just order two of each, or should I warn the supplier they ALL
    have to match? Do I have to keep an eye on which pair goes together
    (since they'd all look the same once the packs are opened!)

    I'm just a bit concerned not to hold it all back by falsley undespeccing
    at this point and I have to say current ram situation as just a bit
    bewildering, due to people calling the same thing by different
    descriptions, for no readily discennable reason.

    I may try a WD raptor sata for a boot drive just to see what I think of
    sata, as I've never had one before. I mostly use larger WD 8Mb buffer
    IDE drives.

    Any contrindications on this system?

    I'm not quite sure who will supply them yet, but these are the items I'm
    looking at so far.

    Many thanks for any pointers you may be able to offer.
    Ian, Feb 19, 2005
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  2. The IC7-G and IC7 Max3 both offer significant performance and functionality
    boosts over the vanilla IC7, at moderate cost increments. One presumes
    you've already identified the IC7 as the product that best fits your needs
    but if not, it's worth weighing up the options.
    If you're definitely not going to overclock, you may as well get an Intel
    D875PB or whatever they do at the moment. The USP of most Abit boards is
    stable overclockability!
    Why are you so allergic to overclocking? It's not like it'll make you go
    blind or anything. It's an easy/cheap way of getting (often considerable)
    performance boosts, and provided you do it sensibly there's no downside.
    Seeing as you are using the PC for a couple of performance-specific
    applications, refusing the extra speed on some ill-grounded principle seems
    a little short-sighted.
    If you keep your processor at default speed, there will be no need for
    additional cooling, although there are quieter options than the retail Intel
    heatsink, presuming that's what you're using.
    Is that an 800HT or 533MHz part? Your choice of memory is dictated by this
    so we need to know before being able to offer any pointed advice.
    Don't know, see comment about processor above. The Ballistix will run at
    tighter timings than the regular Crucial stuff which will give you a little
    more memory bandwidth, but as to whether you go for PC3200 or something else
    depends on the front side bus speed your CPU runs at, and how much you want
    to limit your options overclocking-wise.
    No. All this "matched pair" spiel the memory manufacturers like to befuddle
    you with is bollocks. In actuality, all it usually means is that they pick
    the next two DIMMs off the production line and stick 'em in a packet. This
    is possible as the performance of memory (especially from top tier
    manufacturers like Crucial) is extremely consistent anyway, so it doesn't
    matter which two (or four) sticks you put together, they're gonna work fine.

    If you want 2GB of memory now, you'd be better off with a pair of gig DIMMs
    than four 512's, although this reduces your options somewhat, and may prove
    more expensive.
    Quite. Which is why you might be better off building in some
    overclockability right now, just in case the thought of an instant, free 25%
    performance boost in a few weeks/months time sounds enticing.
    Buying a Raptor will show you what Raptors are like, not what the SATA
    interface is like. These drives are very quick, but are really designed as
    low-cost server drives than desktop products. When you look at the overall
    price per gigabyte/performance/available space equation, a fast, big, modern
    7200rpm drive can easily look a more attractive option.

    Richard Hopkins
    Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
    (replace nospam with pipex in reply address)

    The UK's leading technology reseller
    Richard Hopkins, Feb 19, 2005
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  3. Ian

    Ian Guest

    Indeed and since I wrote that this morning I have indeed noted that the
    extra features of the -g advance Max2 fit my needs een better and for
    only a very modest difference. So I'm strongly drawn to that one now I
    know that. I'm trying to keep the budget about right and I have 3 other
    machines taht need attention too. I was not planning an upgrade right
    now but rather later in this year. However doing one now more or less
    makes sense given the rest of the situation.
    I can't say that, and never would, I've been there before with a very
    mild OC and it was fine. It's possible I'd go there again but not all
    that likely.
    No thanks, I'm not all that convinced about the newer stuff just yet.
    I'm not a fan of the neat and in summer this room gets uncomforatable
    enough to disrupt my throughput at times, so I'm not too inclined to go
    there. This is another thing which leaves me a little less inclined to
    OC as it will lead to more heat, and that's the opposite direct to the
    one I would prefer!
    Well yes, but it also means I've never had a major snafu using abit kit
    as I have not lately OC'd it, I must confess I was about to try an Intel
    board, and the particular one I wanted I missed the boat on. Abit was my
    fallback this time. (the last 4 have been ABit, I really was just
    curious about what another brand might be like!)
    Only the heat, but that's an allergy to heat. I've done the OC thing and
    I'm not particualrly "viewed" one way or another about it.
    Brought me out in a smallish rash of spots last time though :O)
    Not apart from heat and rashes no! ;O)
    I am that. But I'm not closed minded, however if this presscott business
    does not get sorted out (more heat I do not need!) Then I may have to
    make this board last a little longer than the present one (BD7-II).

    Just so you know that I am prepared to go there a ilttle if the right
    situation arrived, I have for the last week been eyeing up the
    possibility of a pentium-m 1.7 in the DFI desktop board that is about.
    It would require to OC the bus on that, but the heat issue would remain
    a small one in that particular case as far as I have been able to
    discover. The concept appears to revolve around unblocking the bandwidth
    to gets a less "strapped down" performance, and apprently they do make
    for a fair resulting system, although ulimately I suspect it's no full
    blown substitute. All this on a HSF which has a 40mm fan, and is not at
    risk for being pushed somewhat! I suspect it's not worth going there
    just now, but it was interesting stuff for all that. This was being
    considered as a bolt hole while the presscott thing got developed
    either to a solution of a disaster.

    If the prescott thing does not resolve nicely then I may be forced to OC
    this proposed system, and you'd be the first place I'd seek advice on
    doing so at that time for sure!

    I'd not want to go back to AMD in a great hurry either. I don't see it
    as an option for me.
    Well more or less, but I was thinking of seeing if I could get it
    quieter by paring it down a little further.
    It is, and it was those other solutions I was pondering, but there's no
    rush as such, I can taker time over that once I have a sytem here to
    tinker with in that way.
    It's only 7 months old now so I am fully reluctant to change that at
    this time. Upgraded from the old 1.8a last summer. With hindsight, that
    was perhaps fairly bad tinming really! ;O)
    Well I don't want to limit it if I can afford to help out, but there can
    be a vast enough difference to make one sensible and the other
    prohibitive. It's not like I'm looking at current tech here, I'm looking
    to get the best out of the recent tech instead. I'm just trying to give
    it every reasonable chance to behave itself, as well as this one has so far.
    I was starting to wonder about that, seemed quite flaky as the
    implication is that their quality control is not up to being all that
    consistent. I mean if they can cause so much failuire so easily, but
    still make stuff that's said to be a gazzillion times faster then
    someone is quite possibly stretching a point somewhare in all that I
    must presume.

    Thanks for making that point, appreciated.
    I've not had a moment's cause complaint since I swithed over to using
    their stuff to the exclusion of all else.
    I was strugglihng to imagine thier stuff not working out fine.
    Are we talking their regular not matched types here? I am sort of hoping
    so! I saw somewhre recently, but no way to confirm it, that some have
    seen better results with only two slots populated, slightly faster or
    less taxing to the system or something? Ring any bells with you?

    Well here's the thing, given it's 2.8 533, then how much is realistic? I
    guess 3.0 is close enough to be easy, but how far could it co in the
    hands of a true disciple of clock? Further I am sure, but not all that
    I don't understand that, is it going to hide features from me or
    something? I was mostly hoping to see how quick it seemed on boot since
    that's always a chore, and about tider cables for better airflow and
    there fore quieter ways to cool it all.
    I was hoping so.
    Which also sees them with a 2 year longer waranty, and I quite value
    that in some small part.
    Well in some ways, but I've got a load of them and I'm curious to see
    what the future holds. I could go for the regualr sata one near that
    size and save perhaps £30 and still not know anythign more about how I
    might like the future if sata ever happens to become the future.

    I'm keen to find out what sort of speed you think I maight get out of
    this lot in view of the changed mobo and firmer details on the CPU. How
    far could that be pushed and at what price in memory terms?

    Thanks very much for the thoughts so far; been enlightening.
    Ian, Feb 19, 2005
  4. You can overclock a Northwood by quite significant percentages without doing
    much to its overall heat output, so if thermal issues are your main concern,
    you can rest a little easier.
    Intel branded boards are pretty boring, although it's significant that
    recently they've started to launch models with a few trick features in an
    attempt to grab some of the enthusiast market. They're invariably competent,
    reliable designs, but they're a bit boring to be honest, especially in
    comparison to Abit's stuff.
    As mentioned, with your current CPU I wouldn't get too preoccupied with
    that. Sure, if you want to wring every last hertz out of it, it'll get a bit
    warm, but you can take them a long way without incurring those sorts of
    Are you sure it was the overclock? ;-)
    Unfortunately that's not changing anytime soon. Prescott is a big mistake
    and Intel have learned their lessons, but it doesn't alter the current
    I've built a couple of small form factor P-M systems based on the AOpen 855
    chipset board over the last few weeks, and they're tremendous little
    systems. They obviously can't compete with a quick Pentium 4 for video
    encoding and similar tasks, but you can make a very capable general purpose
    PC. The big downside of course is the cost of the CPU (and to a lesser
    extent the board).
    The power consumption of the P-M relative to its performance is unreal. If
    you really want a cool 'n' quiet system and are prepared to put up with the
    cost and slight performance consequences, this could be an option.
    Prescott is, and always will be, a power-hungry, hot running CPU. If you
    want to stick with Socket 478, your options would either be overclocking
    your current CPU, or trying to find an HT Northwood and sticking that in.
    Could have cake and eat it. An effective, quiet heatsink like, for example,
    the Zalman CNPS7000 would probably get you to get another 5-600MHz for a net
    reduction in noise, and no noticeable difference in heat dissipation into
    your room.
    Noted. Shame in some ways, as the quicker bus and hyperthreading would helps
    the overall performance a lot, but on the other hand the 533MHz bus makes
    your memory choice a little easier/cheaper.
    Probably. As mentioned, buying "matched pair/designed for dual channel/etc."
    memory is *not* a requirement for proper/stable operation. If you're talking
    Crucial or one of the other top level brands, you should be fine just
    getting two 1GB sticks.

    With a 533MHz CPU, PC3200 will be fine and will have plenty of overclocking
    headroom. The Ballistix stuff may run slightly tighter timings, but again if
    you're not after every last ounce of performance and would prefer to leave a
    few quid in your pocket, the regular line stuff should do you fine.
    In general you'll be able to overclock the memory subsystem slightly further
    with only two of the four slots populated, so this is where the "extra"
    performance can come from. However, if the clock speeds, timings and so-on
    are equal, there shouldn't be a significant difference in performance
    between two sticks and four.
    Difficult to say, as they're all different, and how much time/effort you
    want to spend playing with the thing to establish where the limits are. 3.0
    should be a no-brainer. If I had to throw a dart, it'd probably end up
    somewhere between 3.2 and 3.4.
    That's a bit of a moot point, as if you stick the thing in a vat of liquid
    nitrogen and run a load of volts through it, chances are it'll go a very
    long way, but those sorts of figures aren't really applicable to your
    proposed usage and practical considerations.
    The 533MHz bus speed doesn't in itself have a significant effect on the
    CPU's overclockability. You'd expect your average 2.8 to overclock to
    similar core speeds as an average 2.8C. The difference is that the 2.8C will
    be running a much faster front-side (and probably memory) bus. These
    increases give the performance of the whole system a big kick, by allowing
    the information to run between the memory and CPU so much quicker.
    Not quite. The Serial-ATA interface all by itself doesn't significantly
    impact hard disk performance. (The Raptor, and the vast majority of other
    SATA drives are actually parallel designs with onboard SATA bridge chips!).
    Thus, what I was saying, is that if you do buy a Raptor, whatever
    conclusions you draw will be a result of the performance of the drive
    itself, rather than any extra zip brought by the SATA interface itself.
    Windows XP does take its time booting, and little that can be done about
    that unfortunately. I suspect that if this is your main motivation behind
    buying one of these drives, you may be disappointed, as you are unlikely to
    notice a "night and day" difference.
    The IC7-G comes with a Serillel converter, so you can connect at least one
    of your existing disks via Serial. Should help out with some of the cabling.
    Thing is that the very latest 7200rpm drives are *also* very quick. As the
    storage density has gone up, so has the read/write performance. The latest
    100GB/platter drives from HitIBM and WD benchmark amazingly close to the
    36GB/platter Raptors, while offering several times the capacity, as well as,
    in many cases, less noise/heat.
    That's also a bit of a moot point as most of the better 7200rpm drives come
    with three year warranties, you just need to make sure you buy the right
    Get a Serial ATA drive by all means, but think carefully about the
    Raptor/something else question.
    SATA *is* the future, no question of that, and it is a neater/better
    connection method than parallel. It has additonal advantages on a board like
    the IC7-G anyway, as the Intel SATA-RAID controller bypasses the PCI bus,
    which eases congestion and gives you another performance boost, although
    it's more noticeable when you're using a RAID 0 array.
    PC3200 of some description will be fine with that CPU. As for likely
    overclocking, as mentioned above it is somewhat a case of throwing darts at
    a piece of paper, but anywhere between 3.2 and 3.4 shouldn't be considered
    unrealistic before you get into the law of diminishing returns with heat.
    May go further if it's a good one.

    Richard Hopkins
    Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
    (replace nospam with pipex in reply address)

    The UK's leading technology reseller
    Richard Hopkins, Feb 19, 2005
  5. Ian

    Ian Guest

    I'm more concerned with overall system than one particular area, but
    sure, heat is a significant issue. I like cooler an awful lot, but not
    at the expense of noise, and to a lesser extent pure speed. I had 11
    fans in the OC machine originally (some years back and that's the only
    way it was done then, largely) I sat next to that for a couple of years
    and I am now a lot deafer than I was. Who can say if that caused it, but
    I am no longer prepared to gamble with my health!
    I know, it's pretty mundane stuff by comparison; when I'm trying to get
    work done, I'd rather concentrate on that fully, instead of worry if a
    temp is possibly creeping up to where I'm not fully comfortable about
    it. At that point I'd happily settle for a bit boring. ;O)
    Welcome news.
    Well OK, but it's not top of my list, but neither is is something I
    would never tinker with just to find out a bit more about it all.
    I'm not a doctor Jim, who can say for sure! ;O)
    That was my take on it and I was not too happy frankly!
    No, sadly not, you can see why I am looking for a bolt hole in with to
    weather the storm, and then have to wait for prices of "the solution" to
    drop to the areas I am happy to fund!
    Very interesting indeed, I've seen it said that overall Aopen package is
    a little buggy, but there are not enough opinions out there at this time
    to see if that's a one off report or a more general finding. Any
    thoughts on that?
    I surely got that impression, was quite excited there until I found a
    coupe of issues that really soured the milk so to speak. Aopen bugginess
    was one, and the state of bios upgrade delivery for DFI was another, and
    especially when allied to overclockers trading terms for DFI stuff, they
    want you to send it back to Holland for even the slightest thing wrong
    (despite in some respect that being contrary to the spirit of consumer
    law and a possibly the unfair contracts act!) I could not find another
    source for those either. I'd have gone further down that road if it
    wasn't made just a bit too chancy by those two situations. Bear in mind
    that I also run and appreciate greatly and Epia M10000 and a CL10000,
    and am vastly impressed by how much punch those two tiddlers have! If it
    wasn't for floating point being a quite so disappointing I'd be in
    "everyday general machine heaven" about those!
    You're more or less describing how my overall system got to be like it
    is! ;O)
    It was impressive enough potentially to make me wonder whether to use it
    as a replacement for the two Epias or it almost having the right stuff
    to become a main desktop. I never did quite finish working that one out
    - amazingly impressive for it's spec.

    What price that bolt hole? ;O) Not cheap, but not extortionate given
    what it could have provided, and especially since I like quiet and
    cool!! Not paying that much in performance given I am happy on an Epia
    unless I need absolute muscle! The P4 stays unused until such times that
    I really need it!
    I'm still grinning over it a week later!
    I had hoped so, but the above "support and terms" issues seemed
    insurmountable. Since it depended on an OC to get around the main issue
    then it seemed like it was not that good a decision. Unless yo got some
    news for me on all that? ;O)
    Given the present state of play I can see little that might entice me to
    change (Pentium-m aside!).
    Yes, I can see me trying for the latter, but it would come at quite a
    price generally. At which point it's hotter than the Pentium-m solution
    but easily as expensive. Granted it'd be far more muscular to though.
    The value of a cake which can not be eaten is somewhat questionable I've
    always felt! ;O)
    Seems tempting, so I just checked that one out at zalmans site and top
    of their list of incompatible motherboards for it is the one I have
    selected! :O(
    Enough to be seriously worth chasing and hurting a little over? (this
    would cause me an entire system upgrade, which as luck would have it
    could be incorporated in to this situation quite easily, but would cost
    me my two beloved Epias, and finding space in the resultant system for
    the drive they are carrying too. The amount of research for this alone
    would not be insignificant too. I do have other things in my life here
    and there! ;O)
    I can be shallow enough to find that attractive over the above! :O)

    I'm having the odd trouble spot with the 1gb I have. I'd quite like to
    see that go away.
    Hmm, if I went out and sought the HT northwood, then it'd be silly to
    hold that back too much, I'm guessing a pair of PC4000 1Gb ballisitx
    makes plenty sense, I don't really feel inclined to afford making any
    more sense than that though! You got to draw line somewhere, putting it
    there does not seem all that unreasonable! I guess that would allow a
    little playing around and then if prices got better a lot more playing
    around, since we don't know how long this "bolt hole" has to last.
    The cheaper spec crucial should be fine then? I'm inclined to think so
    myself, but it's always nice when another concurs that the risk is minimal.
    Yeah, it's not a matter of money in the strictest sense it's more about
    getting it generally right so that it does not upset the apple cart too
    badly if I get it a bit off optimal! Doing it twice isn't an option, and
    that is more about money!
    Thanks for clarifying that, helpful indeed!
    Mostly I need to be making things on the machine but a couple of days
    fiddling about and getting it all bedded down isn't out of the question.
    Hmm... not insignificant, but a faster chip will get there so much less
    painfully unless OC got a lot easier while I was away, and I guess that
    could have happened too!
    It's not happening my office! ;O)
    Hmmm. the 3.4C starts to look almost worth hunting down given what you
    say here? That'd represent a sizable bolt hole! ;O)
    Always in favour of that being the best it can.
    The WDs I got are 8.9 seek, these raptors are half that! Has to help
    little! I know about what makers tell you here, but in general it's got
    to be a bit better, and it's overall that counts for me since that what
    I have to live with day in day out, for too many hours a day!
    It was a change worth making then I suspect! Glad they made the change.
    I was hoping for tidy from the sata standard and little else.
    Well mostly as long as every part brings a little something that makes
    sense then generally I'm quite pleased. I got a couple or three WD120
    cavs and a 250Gb WD cav and they all seem fine, but you do get used to
    both size and speed pretty quick! It'd probably take "solid state" and
    lot's of it, before I grin at a storage device again! ;O)
    Wass that then?
    I'm off for a dig about to see what I can find out! This one seems to
    have slipped by me!

    AH, this is the old drives on new sockets thing I heard about some time
    ago? Must be I'm guessing.
    Had a feeling it might pan out that way! ;O)
    I'm after one smallish boot drive, and the fact that it's off the IDE
    suits me nicely too - seems an ideal move to be honest. Does not ahve to
    be the raptor cav would be fine, but for £30, I'd like to see what's
    going on with them. I bet they are noiser though, so it's not a done
    deal yet! ;O)
    I did! But these raptors got 5 years! Like I said, an extra two years!
    I got the "something else" already, this seems to leave the raptor left
    to be explored! ;O)
    I'm afraid you are right, I'm not completely sold on them though.
    Mostly, just a few petty little niggles on may part. Nothing major
    though. I get the impression the "standard" has just about started to
    settle out a bit though.
    Another little bit of good is brought to the party then! ;O)
    I can well imagine!
    Not sure whether to spend "enough to get the job done" or leave a bit of
    room for "further possibilites", hard to say what makes sense with this
    cpu, as it's just marginal by the looks of things, but with the 3.4c
    then more room to maneuver makes sense, with a moderate short term pain
    in paying for it of course.
    Hmm. lots to think about here.

    Thanks for the food for thought! Appreciated.
    Ian, Feb 20, 2005
  6. Yeah, I'm in a similar situation, I've built a setup that'll last until
    there's a hardware solution around that I really want to buy.
    Not IME. Haven't had reason to curse either system yet.
    The IC7? If it's on an "incompatible" list I would question the validity of
    the list. Are you sure it isn't a list of motherboards that *have* been
    found to fit? I've used a CNPS7000 on an IC7-G in the past, and I believe
    Tom G has as well. There aren't any installation or obstruction issues with
    it, the heatsink fits fine. No comment on the (larger) CNPS7700, as I
    haven't had one in my hand yet, but looking at pictures of it, I can't see
    that posing a problem either.
    Tricky to define. Provided your video encoder is multithreaded, HT alone
    could give you a worthwhile performance boost (IIRC 20-25%) in this specific
    application. Best bet would be to look for some of the comparison reviews
    between the HT and non-HT processors. Think AnandTech, Tom's Hardware and
    (Hard)OCP may have what you need.
    The way I'd look at that scenario would be that the bolthole you end up with
    is going to stay comfortable for that much longer.
    Yeah. Going for some quicker memory now will give you much better options in
    that regard.
    Given the relatively narrow price delta, that would probably be a good move.
    Provided, as mentioned, you stick with the 533MHz CPU, then the cheaper
    PC3200 will likely give you best bang for buck. If you want the option to go
    with an 800FSB CPU at a later date, the Ballistix PC4000 becomes the better
    choice, provided of course you stick with Crucial.
    To an extent it did with the Northwood, as it's a very consistent design.
    While you can expect the 3.2 and 3.4GHz parts to overclock to slightly
    higher overall core speeds than, say, a 2.4C, the optimal performance sweet
    spot still comes with the "slower" processors, as their lower multipliers
    really allow you to crank the FSB, and with it the memory bus. The P4
    thrives on high memory bandwidth, and that's the best way to get it.
    As mentioned, with the 3.4C you lose the ability to really push the FSB and
    memory buses, which starts to limit the overall system performance again. If
    I were in your shoes, wanting a totally "stress-free" overclock, and I'd
    already bought that PC4000, I'd probably try and find a 2.8C. Wind it up to
    240-245MHz FSB or so and you can maintain a synchronous memory bus with nice
    tight timings.
    Seek time is primarily significant when you've got lots of requests for
    information from different parts of the disk. In, say, a video encoding
    scenario, where you've got large sequential reads/writes, it's less of an
    That's the right attitude to take.
    Correct. Converter dongle. All that needs to be said!
    Let's put it this way. I've got six drives in this system, one of which is a
    Raptor. The only time I notice any of the others is when they "click" as
    they spin up or down according to power managment. The Raptor's whine is
    always audible, as are its seeks.

    If you want some more perspective on the hard disk question, just head over
    to, I'm sure you'll find something there to help your
    The only real problem I have is with the design of the plugs and sockets
    themselves. They should have been sturdier, and with a positive retention
    mechanism. I see most of the motherboard manufacturers are now using
    shrouded sockets, but the situation at the other end remains less than
    ideal. A piece of insulating tape wrapped around the plug and stuck to the
    drive looks a little gash, but it is practical! :-/

    Richard Hopkins
    Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
    (replace nospam with pipex in reply address)

    The UK's leading technology reseller
    Richard Hopkins, Feb 20, 2005
  7. Ian

    Ian Guest

    Not much fun when you've thought it all out and then the supply stream
    stalls like that is it? :O(
    Ah, that's good news, hard experience can be hard to come by on those!
    OOPS, my bad, I found out where I went wrong; I was looking at the 7700
    and that's a 120mm - was drawn to it like a moth to a flame as that'd be
    my natural choice beeing a quiet cooling devotee! Old habits eh! ;O)
    Yeah, it's far from straight forward when you get up to quite few
    things which need powere but in differing ways.
    Yes, it's finding one that's got some sort of future to it that's the
    trickiest I'm finding.

    I'm thinking that may be my final choice due to a couple of other things
    not quite panning out. This will be on the max 2 version board though,
    seems to cover my expected needs pretty well.
    Yes, it's hard to do an awful lot better in price/performance terms. Not
    quite as much potential for fun and games perhaps, but you can't get a
    coconut every time! ;O)
    Hmm.. I'd have a fair bit of reading up to do I suspect. Not adverse of
    course, but finding time might not be easy as I'd like in the next few
    I got needs for both at differnet times depending on what I am up to.
    Enhances those pleasant surprises when they do happen!
    Ah, might cool it there then and go for the non raptor one, looks good
    though, harder decision when it's curiosity driven! ;O)
    OK, I normally lurk at silent pc review! Change of scene might be
    interesting for a spell, thanks for the tip.
    Noted, and there's a few will sell you fixes, but I'm wondering if
    that's largely snake oil! ;O)
    That's a start I guess.
    Shall investigate further when hardware is to hand.

    Thanks as always, for the food for thought. More digging about to do now
    by the looks of all this. 15 hours straight reading yesterday, quite
    exhausting! I think I got it sorted mostly now though.
    Ian, Feb 21, 2005
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