My system seems to fall under the mid-range category according to PC Gamer Mag and several other related mags and websites. Now from the years of research, time, money, and computers I've built or helped build, I have learned quite a few things about what works for me and what defintely doesn't work for me
My current system specs...
Pentium 4 @ 3.0 Ghz w/ HT and Stock Cooling + normal thermal paste
1 Gig (2 x 512mb modules) of Dual Channel DDR400 RAM
Gigabyte Mobo (fits up to 3.4 P4 with HT, onboard 7.1 sound, gigabyte lan, agp 8x/4x, and some other stuff)
Sapphire Radeon 9600xt with 256mb of vram on AGP 8x
Sound Blaster Audigy LS 5.1 Sound Card (PCI)
2 Floppy Drives (a black sony and a white mitsumi)
Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM
Lite-On 12x DVD+/-RW DL (Dual Layer supported)
4 Channel Vantec Fan Contoller (very handy but annoying blue leds)
Thermaltake (Tt) 480 Watt PSU (black and gold, and has 2 fans, one sucks from inside and the other vents to the rear outside)
Raidmax Black/Black case with 7 mounted case fans total (all 80mm, 4 front, 1 side top of cpu, and 2 rear)
Samsung 2nd gen 15" LCD Monitor
$3 black/silver two tone keyboard
$10 2nd generation 3 button scroll wheel logitech optical mouse
Logitech 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers (i think it's the Z-650 model)
^ right before they changed the model on these and the design (new design sucks..satelites aren't as good)
Now originally I was planning on having 2 Gigs of dual channel "high-performance" RAM, but ran into a money costing problem. Before this I had never dealth with Gigabyte mobos, I have dealt with their video cards, and they were reliable like 50% of the time. So after consulting with several other "geeks" (close friends) on whether or not to use GIgabyte, I went ahead and used it. Now this is where the fun began. I wasn't able to get my system to stop rebooting after POST or after logging into Windows XP. So I ran through the list of various problems it could be. That took me 3 weeks of heavy troubleshooting. I got frustrated and contacted GIgabyte support. Found out that the mobo shipped with a outdated bios, so I updated the bios. Now my ram either wouldn't work or couldn't dual channel. Found out that the 2 pairs I had bought were defective (Corsair go figure). So I bought a 3rd pair and a pair of kingston xtreme (still can't get to boot with). Have heard good things about kingston ram since I ventured into computers. All in all, personally GIgabyte would be my second choice at best for a mobo. So to sum of this paragraph...
1) Had to use proprietory (not high performance) ram. Problems booting with Corsair and Kingston ram.
2) Wasted $300+ in shipping costs trying to get the ram and mobo to work.
3) Ended up with most of what I wanted, but disappointed by intel...
A little explanation on the last one. My first cpu was a intel pentium 1, second a celery (celeron), and then amd, and now back to intel. The pentium 4s are extremely hot. I mean running half-life 2 or doom 3, with stock cooling and basic thermal paste has caused my p4 to go from 45C to 59C (sometimes beyond the 60C mark). Now mind you I have enough fans to make my PC fly...but not cool my cpu.
I am now almost broke and won't be upgrading this thing for a long time. College is draining me dry...
But two things I've learned while researching for parts for this rebuild, building it, and now using/torture testing it. I'm not going back to intel unless I have to (heat issues are very annoying and costly) and I will use whatever ram or part that gets the job done. Screw the "performance" parts, not enough of a boost for me.
EDIT: forgot to mention the 3rd pair of corsair ram is also defective (too late for returns) and i still don't know if the kingston ram will work or not.
Edited by - Andan on 12/11/2005 3:18:23 AM