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SATA, SLI, RAID... so much to choose from, HELP.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I hate to admit this... but I have reverted back to newbie state, and I AM LOST. The last computer I bought was a 2.2Ghz Pentium 4 Gateway, fully loaded (at the time) and for a while I had the best. I've had it for a couple years now and pretty much ignored all the new stuff coming out. (its hard to enjoy what you have when every 2 days something better comes along ). Now I finally have the means and the dough to build my dream machine, but there are so many new standards and technologies that I swear I'm going CROSS EYED.

Question one: I'm thinking of buying the ASUS A8N Premium SLI mobo. Now I've read about SATA vs. IDE, and also that the board itself has more than one controller. I've also read about different RAID configs... SO, can you have ide AND sata devices? I know you can get DVD burners and other devices in SATA, I for one want TWO optical drives on the machine... should I have ONLY SATA drives? How many can I have at once, and how should I have these configured? So much for the days of IDE master/slave

Question two: Right now I have 2 ATI cards on my computer with 4 monitors connected.... its delicious. I want to get matching nVidia GTX cards and connect thru SLI... will I be able to connect 4 monitors with this configuration and still enjoy the benefits?

Question three: What kind of power supply should I get? probably around the 500 or 600w range, right? I already bought the case, its a ThermalTake Armor Black tower... its gorgeous. The power supply goes in sideways... so a fancy fan and grill at the top of the PSU probably will be useless. I see a lot of PSU's like that, all I want is power and all the connections I need (SATA, SLI, etc).

So what do you guru's of the mod world think? I have a ton of questions, but those are the ones keeping me up at night.

I appreciate all your input.
and THANKS.

CW
post #2 of 6
1. I have ASUS A8N and im running 2 IDE MAXTOR HD'S which i've had for five years and 1 SATA Seagate. Also i have 2 IDE cdrw/dvdrw's. No problems at all.
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Q6600 G0 Asus Striker Extreme Geforce 8800 GTX OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4X1GB DDR2 @ 850MHZ RAM 
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
36 Raptor,500 Segate,250 Segate Asus 7 RC 19" Viewsonic VX922 
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Viewsonic KU709 Xion 800W Coolermaster Cosmos Razer Death Adder 
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post #3 of 6
You can have as many devices as the board will support. Most today have 4 sata or more and 2 or 4 IDE. SLI is the combining of 2 video cards to make 1 display...combining the power of both into one. You could run 4 monitors but not in SLI.
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Busa's Opti
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel E6700 P5W DH Deluxe Wifi BFG 7800gtx 2g pc6400 4-4-4-12 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x WD 74G raptors in raid0 NEC 3520 winXP sp2 Dell 24" widescreen LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Z board w/bf2 keyset Zeus 650sli+450 dual booting UFO Opti1203 blk/UV blue logitech G7 
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Xtrack "ripper" 
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Question one: I'm thinking of buying the ASUS A8N Premium SLI mobo. Now I've read about SATA vs. IDE, and also that the board itself has more than one controller. I've also read about different RAID configs... SO, can you have ide AND sata devices? I know you can get DVD burners and other devices in SATA, I for one want TWO optical drives on the machine... should I have ONLY SATA drives? How many can I have at once, and how should I have these configured? So much for the days of IDE master/slave
Yes there is more than one controller, but that is for SATA only, the SIL drivers and the Nvidia drivers. If you want two optical drives then go with all SATAs, but you can always pick up another IDE cable and put IDE drives in as well to use as back up.

Quote:
Question two: Right now I have 2 ATI cards on my computer with 4 monitors connected.... its delicious. I want to get matching nVidia GTX cards and connect thru SLI... will I be able to connect 4 monitors with this configuration and still enjoy the benefits?
Sure.

Quote:
Question three: What kind of power supply should I get? probably around the 500 or 600w range, right? I already bought the case, its a ThermalTake Armor Black tower... its gorgeous. The power supply goes in sideways... so a fancy fan and grill at the top of the PSU probably will be useless. I see a lot of PSU's like that, all I want is power and all the connections I need (SATA, SLI, etc).
Yes, stick to power supplies by antec, enermax, PC power and cooling, and OCZ.
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My System
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Athlon 64 3700+ @ 3.0 DFI lan P UT Ultra-D Win XP Pro liquidvideo 17" LCD 
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a wal mart one truepower 2 550W Sunbeam Transformer razer diamondback 
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post #5 of 6
I went with the PC Power and Cooling 510 SLI PSU because it
1: Actualy has twice the amps of other 500w+ PSUs, being an industrial PSU modded to fit into a PC.
2: Has enough conectors for a full SLI rig witghout have to mess with adapters and legacy conections.
3: Was the only PSU besides the Antech 480 to pass the 60w sag and 100w spike torture tests with 0 (!!!!!!!) fluctuations on any of the rails. Nothing can get to your computer through it. You dont even need to plug into a breaker strip with this thing.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
WOW... the power of the web. Thanks so much for all the feedback. Well here are some of the other specs I'm thinking of, any comments will be welcome:
ASUS A8N Premium SLI
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+
2GB DDR Ram
2 x nVidia 7800GTX SLI
Creative X-Fi Platinum
...
I was thinking for Ram maybe Corsair... although I'm trying to buy all the parts locally (at stores) and I can't seem to find Corsair other than on the web.

What Graphics card do you guys suggest? there's eVga, MSI, etc etc... ?

I want two fast drives in Raid 0, I was thinking two 74G Raptors... I'm dying to see those 15k RPM in action... and maybe a 3rd larger drive.

Anyway, suggestions are welcome.

and thanks again for your responses.

CW
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