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starcraft.man
July 26th, 2007, 03:25 AM
Hey there folks. My old rig doesn't cut it any more (surprisingly it lasted me 5 years with only a graphics card upgrade :)) for gaming, so I'm building a new one. I've had lots of problems with OEMs/Manufacturers (I should have learned my lesson a while ago) and with my last issue with Dell I give up. So I'm building it up from nadda, that way I know I won't get screwed. I got a large budget (I don't buy often at all) and really wanna get the best I can for my needs. I need a bit of help on some parts though I'm not an expert on all of this, rest I know so please comment with any thoughts/suggestions, especially with anything to do with compatibility with Ubuntu.

Just a few notes on the top, concerning the box as a whole. Motherboard (if you suggest another) has to have the following: SATA 3.0 support, integrated sound, GBLAN, 1394, PCI-E16, at least 2PCI slots. It doesn't have to have SLI or CrossFire, and I am trying to avoid nforce due to issues I've heard of (and even had trouble on my Dell with nforce before it went DOA). Now on with list, feel free to suggest things that are better or comment on issues. Oh and anything in blue I'm not very certain on.

CPU:Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB

Motherboard: ASUS P5KC ATX LGA775 P35 DDR3 DDR2 1333FSB 2PCI-E16 PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard

CPU Heatsinks: Zalman CNPS9500 LED Copper CPU Heat Sink 92MM Fan 1350-2600RPM 18-27.5DBA W/ Blue LED

RAM: Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB 4X1GB PC2-8500 DDR2-1066 CL5-5-5-9 Dual Channel Memory Kit

Video Card: 8800 GTX/Ultra (still looking at reviews for model/makes, I'll figure this one out on my own I think)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower Gamer Case 900 ATX 9 Drive Bay No PS Top USB2.0 1394 Audio

Power Supply: Silverstone Strider ST1000 1000W Modular Power Supply ATX 20/24PIN 135MM Fan High Efficiency Black

Sound Card: None. Less someone really thinks I need one, the mobos integrated sound seems good enough for me.

HDD: 2X Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive

DVD Drives: 2X Samsung SH-S203B Black SATA DVD+RW 20X8X16 DVD-RW 20X6X16 DL 18X/12X INT DVD Writer

Floppy: Sony Black 1.44MB 3.5IN Floppy Drive

Speakers: Klipsch Promedia 2.1 THX Computer Speaker System 160W RMS

Screen: Samsung SyncMaster 226BW 22IN Widescreen LCD Black 1680X1050 3000:1 2MS VGA DVI-D HDCP
(ya, I know it has evil HDCP... like my card. I will be of course not using either's "protection". I found an awesome price though and it is really awesome.)

Keyboard and Mice: Got that covered already.

That's my parts fetching list, feel free to critique. My biggest worry is what's in blue. The compatibility between the Motherboard, Case and PS. I've had trouble with my last two rigs in this respect and I know these are important, I definitely want a case with lots of space (hate being squished between cables and cards).

One bonus thing I'd like to know about is hard drives. Is a raptor from WD really worth the price their charging? The performance increase doesn't seem that much, I'm leaning more toward getting a regular single platter drive from my OS and main files. Oh and one more bonus question, reviews of the 500 GB class drives seems fairly split between Hitachi Deskstar, Seagate Baracudas and WD, do you guys have a preference? Most people I know personally swear by WD, so I was thinking of going with that.

Edited: Q6600 instead.

Frak
July 26th, 2007, 03:29 AM
Looks good, exept, I would use a water cooler instead of a copper sync. Lets you pull more fps without overheating.

igknighted
July 26th, 2007, 03:31 AM
Go with the Q6600, the performance difference is very minimal, but the 6600 is a LOT cheaper last I checked. Look in the "I'm building a CPU" thread from yesterday for a benchmark comparison. Also, I am a big fan of the nForce 680i chipset for the intel chips, so you might want to look at those if the mobo isn't set in stone yet.

Finally, instead of the raptor, why not buy two HD's and run a raid0 array with data striping. It would boost speed more than a raptor at (probably) a lower price. You could get more disks and use raid5 for redundancy as well, but for a desktop that might be over the top.

Ralob
July 26th, 2007, 03:31 AM
personally, I would stick with seagate for the HD just because of their 5 year warranty. Plus they are putting out their .11 drives shortly. but if performance is worth the price difference then go for the raptor. but to me, it just seems unnecessary. :popcorn:

starcraft.man
July 26th, 2007, 03:33 AM
Looks good, except, I would use a water cooler instead of a copper sync. Lets you pull more fps without overheating.

Got one you'd recommend? Picked the Zalman cuz it seemed to get some of the highest scores in review sites I was visiting.

starcraft.man
July 26th, 2007, 03:42 AM
Go with the Q6600, the performance difference is very minimal, but the 6600 is a LOT cheaper last I checked. Look in the "I'm building a CPU" thread from yesterday for a benchmark comparison. Also, I am a big fan of the nForce 680i chipset for the intel chips, so you might want to look at those if the mobo isn't set in stone yet.

Finally, instead of the raptor, why not buy two HD's and run a raid0 array with data striping. It would boost speed more than a raptor at (probably) a lower price. You could get more disks and use raid5 for redundancy as well, but for a desktop that might be over the top.

Ya, your right on Q6600 guess was looking a bit too high. The extra .26 won't do much.

Is RAID hard to set up, and how well will that work with Ubuntu? I did see quite a bit about striping, and it did seem to be a good solution... *goes off to look into it*

Frak
July 26th, 2007, 03:46 AM
Got one you'd recommend? Picked the Zalman cuz it seemed to get some of the highest scores in review sites I was visiting.
I recommend the CoolIT Freezone CPU Cooler from coolitsystems.com.
Its about $300, but its very efficient.

Frak
July 26th, 2007, 03:48 AM
Ya, your right on Q6600 guess was looking a bit too high. The extra .26 won't do much.

Is RAID hard to set up, and how well will that work with Ubuntu? I did see quite a bit about striping, and it did seem to be a good solution... *goes off to look into it*
IMHO, get a hardware controlled RAID, and get a Motherboard with a BIOS that supports control through the BIOS. Some nVidia chipsets can do it.

starcraft.man
July 26th, 2007, 04:12 AM
I recommend the CoolIT Freezone CPU Cooler from coolitsystems.com.
Its about $300, but its very efficient.

Geez, a bit pricey.... I thought that the Q6600 was kinda cool anyway, I'll look around >.>.


IMHO, get a hardware controlled RAID, and get a Motherboard with a BIOS that supports control through the BIOS. Some nVidia chipsets can do it.

Hmmm, wasn't really looking into that on the mobos, I'll have to go check some over.

Sayers
July 26th, 2007, 04:14 AM
Looks good, exept, I would use a water cooler instead of a copper sync. Lets you pull more fps without overheating.

Water cooling is a fad. It may be popular against the "pseudo-nerds" it's really over rated.

Spr0k3t
July 26th, 2007, 06:34 AM
With all the problems I've had with ASUS, I'd look into a different motherboard. If you want a board you can overclock, check into some of the SLI Foxconn boards. If you aren't into over clocking and just want something you can build and forget, I'd recommend checking the Intel boards... extremely stable from my experience. The Zalman cooler is damn good btw... I'm using the exact same in two of my systems. I've also got the Tt CL-P0114 120mm (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106061) with a Silverstone FM123 120mm (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835220022) used in place of the Tt fan. The only problem I see with the Zalman, you can't replace the fan without replacing the entire heat sync. The problem with the Tt cooler, watch your space by the heat pipes, it can cause some problems to DDR slots on some motherboards.

Mike'sHardLinux
July 26th, 2007, 06:57 AM
Water cooling is a fad. It may be popular against the "pseudo-nerds" it's really over rated.

I totally agree with Sayers!!!!

Plus, the "benefits" of water cooling are often not based on fact. For example, many people say water cooling is quieter. In most cases, this is actually NOT true. Most water cooler systems have 2 noise generating components: the fan blowing on the heater core AND the coolant pump. SOME systems only have the pump, but most have both. Of course, a standard air system has the fan, but no pump. I've worked with water cooling systems where the pump alone generated enough noise that I would not consider the system to be quiet.

Since water cooling was mentioned with regards to pulling more fps, you're obviously talking about over-clocking. In this case you have to ask yourself if the extra risk (of over-clocking) and the extra $$ spent ($300!!!) (and the extra effort of hooking up a water system) is really worth a few fps....maybe it is for some people; maybe it depends on just how many more fps you really can get.

I would recommend to stay with a good quality heatsink/fan as you have already chosen.

LookTJ
July 26th, 2007, 07:02 AM
Why do you need a floppy drive? floppies are outdated. Don't you need a mic for a desktop?

Frak
July 26th, 2007, 07:28 AM
Well I never have to worry about overheating, I think its quiet, and I had the money and time.

mips
July 26th, 2007, 08:43 AM
I would get a bigger screen (at least 24") with higher resolution.

I would also get a Lite-on DVD drive. Dunno what mechanism samsung uses.

Ralob
July 26th, 2007, 07:17 PM
Also, a good SATA burner is the LG H62NK which is the SATA equivalent of the IDE GSA H42N (great burner).

Also Lite-Ons are really good scanners and readers. But burn quality is not as great as LG, Pioneer, or Samsung. At least in my experience. However, Lite-On also have a great community with a lot of mods and firmware hacks so...

igknighted
July 26th, 2007, 07:52 PM
I would get a bigger screen (at least 24") with higher resolution.

I would also get a Lite-on DVD drive. Dunno what mechanism samsung uses.

I've got a samsung... absolutely love it. Best DVD writer I've had (out of 3 or 4)

jeffc313
July 26th, 2007, 08:02 PM
get a pioneer dvr 111-d as your dvd drive. Best burner out there (at least for backups of games which consoles are very picky) plays nicely with linux as well

starcraft.man
July 26th, 2007, 08:56 PM
Why do you need a floppy drive? floppies are outdated. Don't you need a mic for a desktop?

Call me an old nut, I like em. Plus, it makes installing sata drivers for xp easier.


I would get a bigger screen (at least 24") with higher resolution.

I would also get a Lite-on DVD drive. Dunno what mechanism samsung uses.

Uhhhh, I have mixed feelings about going bigger. 24 inch almost looks like a TV screen, and my desk isn't that big. The LCD I picked seems to fit nice and snug (measured my space) and have great contrast and response time, which is what I was aiming for.


I've got a samsung... absolutely love it. Best DVD writer I've had (out of 3 or 4)

Yup, I've had good experience with Samsung too, pioneer as well but less impressed. I dunno if it's just a fluke but my experience with LG drives has been horrible... I worked in the IT section of my college part time and they replaced some of their old cd/dvd reader drives that clunked out after 3 years with LGs and 75% died in the first 4 months. They weren't from the same batch/model either... I'm sticking to samsung I think.

Anyway, here is my updated spec sheet for approval and comment again. I went over and looked for new motherboards and changed my case/psu.

CPU:Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB

Motherboard: ASUS P5K DELUXE/WIFI-AP ATX LGA775 P35 DDR2 1333FSB 2PCI-E16 3PCI 2PCI-E1 SATA2 Sound 1394 Motherboard

- I did some more reasearch on RAID for striping and found the mobo I picked originally had very poor support (only two of the SATA, one very inconvenient). This one seems much better sporting the newest Intel ICH9R. As a bonus it also seems to be much better for enthusiasts based on reviews I've seen, and has the extra bonus of integrated wifi. The only negative I really have with this board is it is DDR2 (first one supported DDR3) only. That doesn't seem to bother me, DDR3 seems too new to use seriously yet and the boards are first gen too so I'll just get a new board when I move to that.

CPU Heatsinks: Zalman CNPS9500 LED Copper CPU Heat Sink 92MM Fan 1350-2600RPM 18-27.5DBA W/ Blue LED

RAM: Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB 4X1GB PC2-8500 DDR2-1066 CL5-5-5-9 Dual Channel Memory Kit

Video Card: 8800 GTX/Ultra (still deciding... will make up my mind when I buy based on budget)

Case: Thermaltake VA8000 Armor Super Tower Case Black 10X5.25 2X3.5 6X3.5INT W/ Window
(bigger and seemed to get better overall reviews than the 900)

Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W ATX12V V2.2 20/24PIN Crossfire Power Supply 140MM Active PFC Modular (did a bit of looking and this one seems to match the case a bit better and had higher reviews)

Sound Card: None. Less someone really thinks I need one, the mobos integrated sound seems good enough for me.

HDD:
2X Western Digital Caviar SE 160GB SATA2 7200RPM 8.9MS 8MB Hard Drive - For RAID 0 Striping, found for a really good price.
2X Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive

DVD Drives: 2X Samsung SH-S203B Black SATA DVD+RW 20X8X16 DVD-RW 20X6X16 DL 18X/12X INT DVD Writer

Floppy: Sony Black 1.44MB 3.5IN Floppy Drive

Speakers: Klipsch Promedia 2.1 THX Computer Speaker System 160W RMS

Screen: Samsung SyncMaster 226BW 22IN Widescreen LCD Black 1680X1050 3000:1 2MS VGA DVI-D HDCP
(ya, I know it has evil HDCP... like my card. I will be of course not using either's "protection". I found an awesome price though and it is really awesome.)

Keyboard and Mice: Got that covered already.

That's it. New comments now, especially on the mobo please. Everything else I really am happy with. Two other boards that seemed to be comparable and worth looking at were these:

Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 ATX LGA775 P35 1333FSB 2PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard
Foxconn P35A ATX LGA775 P35 DDR2 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 RAID Sound GBLAN Crossfire Motherboard

I'd really like to make sure the mobo was top notch and of course compatible with linux (do most of my work now in Ubuntu :)).

Frak
July 26th, 2007, 11:40 PM
Change your motherboard to something like a Foxconn, ASUS motherboards aren't known for playing nice with Linux.

starcraft.man
July 27th, 2007, 12:43 AM
Change your motherboard to something like a Foxconn, ASUS motherboards aren't known for playing nice with Linux.

Ummm, why exactly? I was figuring it would be fairly well supported given it's Intel chip based rather than nforce. The most bothersome thing seems to be the wifi, but I guess it would just not work in linux.

I was looking at foxconn (per your suggestion) but their selection seems very limited, only one p35 based board. It does seem to have everything I want though... I'll peak at reviews.

Would you recommend this one? (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24917&vpn=P35A&manufacture=Foxconn%20Group)

Edit: Just a thought but am I irrationally avoiding the nforce chipsets, like the 680i? People gotten them to work well with Ubuntu?

oolunchbox
July 27th, 2007, 12:50 AM
I just got an Antec P180B case and i absolutely love it. It's enormous and damn near silent. Comes with 3 variable speed 120mm fans with room for 2 more.

distroman
July 27th, 2007, 01:57 AM
Why not go for a zalman 9700 should be a bit more quiet with the 110 mm fan?
It's a nice case you found, still silverstone (tj09) and lian-li's is some of the coolest cases I have had my hands on.

Looks like a really sweet rig congrats :D

Frak
July 27th, 2007, 01:58 AM
Ummm, why exactly? I was figuring it would be fairly well supported given it's Intel chip based rather than nforce. The most bothersome thing seems to be the wifi, but I guess it would just not work in linux.

I was looking at foxconn (per your suggestion) but their selection seems very limited, only one p35 based board. It does seem to have everything I want though... I'll peak at reviews.

Would you recommend this one? (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24917&vpn=P35A&manufacture=Foxconn%20Group)

Edit: Just a thought but am I irrationally avoiding the nforce chipsets, like the 680i? People gotten them to work well with Ubuntu?


If its based off an Intel chipset, it should be OK.
I just like nForce based chipsets, I haven't had a problem with them yet.

igknighted
July 27th, 2007, 02:14 AM
Ummm, why exactly? I was figuring it would be fairly well supported given it's Intel chip based rather than nforce. The most bothersome thing seems to be the wifi, but I guess it would just not work in linux.

I was looking at foxconn (per your suggestion) but their selection seems very limited, only one p35 based board. It does seem to have everything I want though... I'll peak at reviews.

Would you recommend this one? (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24917&vpn=P35A&manufacture=Foxconn%20Group)

Edit: Just a thought but am I irrationally avoiding the nforce chipsets, like the 680i? People gotten them to work well with Ubuntu?

I have a nForce 550 mobo and i LOVE it. I just built my brother a system with a Q6600 and a nForce680i mobo... let me go boot the liveCD and I'll edit this post with the result.

EDIT: Ok, just booted a Kubuntu Feisty Live CD on my brothers PC (Q6600, nForce 680i mobo, 2gb ram, nvidia 8600gt and everything was recognized perfectly, even the resolution on the 21" widescreen. Sound worked, both ethernet jacks were recognized, no special boot options were needed. I give it 100% approval.

starcraft.man
July 27th, 2007, 02:50 AM
I have a nForce 550 mobo and i LOVE it. I just built my brother a system with a Q6600 and a nForce680i mobo... let me go boot the liveCD and I'll edit this post with the result.

EDIT: Ok, just booted a Kubuntu Feisty Live CD on my brothers PC (Q6600, nForce 680i mobo, 2gb ram, nvidia 8600gt and everything was recognized perfectly, even the resolution on the 21" widescreen. Sound worked, both ethernet jacks were recognized, no special boot options were needed. I give it 100% approval.

Hmmm, interesting. I tried Ubuntu on the 590i of a friend and the networking and HAL failed to load. Maybe I'll have to look at the nForce a bit more... Which make btw? Hows the overclocking on the 680 with the Q6600? Oh and how well is RAID support, easy to do striping? I guess I'll go look at some more hardware sites to figure this out... decisions decisions...


Why not go for a zalman 9700 should be a bit more quiet with the 110 mm fan?
It's a nice case you found, still silverstone (tj09) and lian-li's is some of the coolest cases I have had my hands on.

Looks like a really sweet rig congrats

Ya, I just saw that NCIX was stocked with the 9700, it's a bit bigger I'll have to check if it fits the board I pick at the end.

Compucore
July 27th, 2007, 02:57 AM
Raid is fairly easy to work with. I had used several servers that I was tinkering around with and they are easy to go through. Are you planning to go Rais o, 1, or raid 5?

Compucore



Ya, your right on Q6600 guess was looking a bit too high. The extra .26 won't do much.

Is RAID hard to set up, and how well will that work with Ubuntu? I did see quite a bit about striping, and it did seem to be a good solution... *goes off to look into it*

starcraft.man
July 27th, 2007, 03:10 AM
Raid is fairly easy to work with. I had used several servers that I was tinkering around with and they are easy to go through. Are you planning to go Rais o, 1, or raid 5?

Compucore

Was planning to RAID 0 the two 160 Western Digital Drives together for striping. Then just use the other two as simply giant storage drives. I store huge volumes of data, I will fill them fast :p.

Oh and there is one more question, I just noticed the two small drives I found have no NCQ, the two other large drives have NCQ. Will that cause any trouble if the mobo directly supports NCQ? If it doesn't? Does it just not use the NCQ functionality or can it cause problems with the drive if it's expecting NCQ and doesn't find it on the mobo?

igknighted
July 27th, 2007, 03:26 AM
Hmmm, interesting. I tried Ubuntu on the 590i of a friend and the networking and HAL failed to load. Maybe I'll have to look at the nForce a bit more... Which make btw? Hows the overclocking on the 680 with the Q6600? Oh and how well is RAID support, easy to do striping? I guess I'll go look at some more hardware sites to figure this out... decisions decisions...

Haven't tried RAID so I cannot help you there. My brother just likes to game and is going to uni next year so I built a comp for him (he paid lol). He's not really even a power user, just a user who likes high end apps and needs a comp to last 5 years or so. The 680i (as far as I can tell) is the top tweaking board out there for the high end intel chips. The model I got is by XFX, the manual just say XFX nForce 680i SLI Motherboard. No other versioning is apparent. Hope this helps.

EDIT: As far as the RAID goes, if you don't need to use both 500GB drives as storage you might want to have one mirror (RAID 1) the other. With that much data I would want redundancy just in case a drive went on me.

Sayers
July 27th, 2007, 03:30 AM
Buy one from me ;p. I throughly test my computers before I ship them for... 48 hours! They are made to be ready to use out-of-the-box, Drivers, Java, Flash, Support, Etc.

starcraft.man
July 27th, 2007, 03:38 AM
Buy one from me ;p. I throughly test my computers before I ship them for... 48 hours! They are made to be ready to use out-of-the-box, Drivers, Java, Flash, Support, Etc.

LOL! Call me old fashioned but I feel liked building, not to mention I know places to get some of these parts very cheap :). Oh and your USA, won't that be costly on shipping a whole tower up here across the border?

Thanks for the help igknighted, I'm gonna look into the mobos. I guess I'll have to do a bit more looking over reviews especially nforce vs p35 chipsets. Off I go... oh and anyone got the answer to my NCQ question?

hod139
July 27th, 2007, 03:59 AM
I've always placed good faith in the ars technica recommendations.
http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/guide-200706.ars

Spr0k3t
July 27th, 2007, 04:45 AM
Change your motherboard to something like a Foxconn, ASUS motherboards aren't known for playing nice with Linux.

Foxconn boards are indeed solid and usually used as the blueprint for the nforce chipsets. However, the lower end consumer Foxconn boards are only marginally better than ASUS. I have 8 systems which use Foxconn... like a tank they are.

maniacmusician
July 27th, 2007, 05:18 AM
if you're questioning your choice of board, my favorite board out there right now is the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6. It's pretty high end and pricey, but it's good. If you're skimping on cash, you could go for its low-cost brother, the GA-965P-DS3. Other than that, it doesn't look too bad. Some comments;

Water cooling seems to be a bit of a hassle and not worth the risks and annoyances for the minimal advantages that it gives you. I'd rather opt for a better air cooling system. Besides, modern (intel) processors are quite cool to begin with, so there's less need for intense cooling, unless you're going to massively overclock.

About your monitor; I JUST bought the exact same model. I have it sitting on my bedroom floor, but I haven't hooked it up yet. I'm waiting until I get my new hard drive (which should be tomorrow, hopefully), and reinstall (with Gutsy instead of Feisty this time). But I really can't wait to use this monitor. If I remember, I'll post back here letting you know how it was. If I forget and you still want to know, give me a PM or something.

Western Digital is usually my choice for hard drives as well. However, this time around, I went for a Samsung SpinPoint T (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152052) instead. I've heard a lot of good things about it, and wanted to give it a try. I'll be adding it to 2x320GB WD drives.

The RAM looks decent as well.

As for the processor; I'm not sure that a quad-core is really that great of an investment right now, but I guess it comes down to personal opinion there. I'd wait 3 or 4 years before buying a quad core myself (and I probably will). But you're probably dead seat on that anyways :)

good luck and enjoy.

starcraft.man
July 27th, 2007, 02:43 PM
if you're questioning your choice of board, my favorite board out there right now is the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6. It's pretty high end and pricey, but it's good. If you're skimping on cash, you could go for its low-cost brother, the GA-965P-DS3. Other than that, it doesn't look too bad. Some comments;


Ya, I was looking at those a bit too... though the newer p35 models. Still looking, I got time since I'm only buying on monday. Will post back if I change my mind


Water cooling seems to be a bit of a hassle and not worth the risks and annoyances for the minimal advantages that it gives you. I'd rather opt for a better air cooling system. Besides, modern (intel) processors are quite cool to begin with, so there's less need for intense cooling, unless you're going to massively overclock.
Can't argue, I looked around at the water cooling systems and can't believe how much some cost... sticking to the zalman, hope it fits my mobo it's a bit big.


About your monitor; I JUST bought the exact same model. I have it sitting on my bedroom floor, but I haven't hooked it up yet. I'm waiting until I get my new hard drive (which should be tomorrow, hopefully), and reinstall (with Gutsy instead of Feisty this time). But I really can't wait to use this monitor. If I remember, I'll post back here letting you know how it was. If I forget and you still want to know, give me a PM or something.

Yay, great. I'd love to have first hand account. Oh and did you check it for being an S panel? That's the only negative I read over the net... they had shortages and outsourced to make up, the non-s panels don't seem to be as good or require tweaking to get colors right.

compiledkernel
July 27th, 2007, 03:39 PM
For a Core2 board -- http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Core2Duo/G33/C2SBA+.cfm

For AMD - http://www.uabit.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=48&page=1&model=322&model=322

Yes, Im an Abit fan, and though I think that fatal1ty is a hothead, the board they make for him is pretty good one to consider.

Sayers
July 27th, 2007, 03:41 PM
LOL! Call me old fashioned but I feel liked building, not to mention I know places to get some of these parts very cheap :). Oh and your USA, won't that be costly on shipping a whole tower up here across the border?

Thanks for the help igknighted, I'm gonna look into the mobos. I guess I'll have to do a bit more looking over reviews especially nforce vs p35 chipsets. Off I go... oh and anyone got the answer to my NCQ question?

yes I am USA only shipping not because of shipping costs but because of PSU's :D

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 01:20 AM
okay, so I got the monitor and have been playing around with it a little. I really love it so far. It's huge, for one thing. 22" isn't a lot to some people, but I've never had a widescreen this big, and it's just great.

It's quality is really fabulous. Everything's very sharp and good looking. I don't really have much to compare it to.Some of the colors seem to be a bit off; for example, on this forum, the color used in the boxes around the usernames and headers (with the curved corners) looks a little washed out. I'm sure this is a configuration problem, but I don't really know how to fix it. I'll probably stumble on it sooner or later, but it doesn't bother me very much. I think it may be some gamma setting, where I need to increase the red or something. *shrug* I'm not very good with colors, so if you figure it out before I do, let me know :)

I haven't noticed any defects yet. there's no light bleeding from anywhere, even when it's pitch black. I don't play games or anything, so I can't be of much help in that area, but from everything I've read, that's supposed to be flawless as well (no ghosting or anything).

If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them.

starcraft.man
August 1st, 2007, 01:56 AM
okay, so I got the monitor and have been playing around with it a little. I really love it so far. It's huge, for one thing. 22" isn't a lot to some people, but I've never had a widescreen this big, and it's just great.

It's quality is really fabulous. Everything's very sharp and good looking. I don't really have much to compare it to.Some of the colors seem to be a bit off; for example, on this forum, the color used in the boxes around the usernames and headers (with the curved corners) looks a little washed out. I'm sure this is a configuration problem, but I don't really know how to fix it. I'll probably stumble on it sooner or later, but it doesn't bother me very much. I think it may be some gamma setting, where I need to increase the red or something. *shrug* I'm not very good with colors, so if you figure it out before I do, let me know :)

I haven't noticed any defects yet. there's no light bleeding from anywhere, even when it's pitch black. I don't play games or anything, so I can't be of much help in that area, but from everything I've read, that's supposed to be flawless as well (no ghosting or anything).

If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them.

Sounds good, I'm pretty sure the gaming response is great it is rated at 2ms and thats heck of a lot better than my 8ms screen. I have heard quite a few complaints about the default configuration of color on this, easy to fix. Follow the instructions of **** Goenya on newegg reviews of the product. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001096) I'm not sure if you need Windows to use the profile but it should explain best ways to fix the colors.

I'll be picking this up then soon. Thanks a lot to everyone who helped, I've picked a mobo and gonna be ordering/getting my parts this week so I should have my new rig by some time next week probably.

Oh and one extra thing, you might want to check the panel there are now apparently 4 variants S (Samsung) A (AU Optronics) and two Cs. Some say there are huge varieties between them others say after configuring it's negligible, hope the color is better after the profile fix.

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 03:20 AM
the back of my monitor doesn't have any markings like the ones described by the customer review on newegg. I have a "Model: [korean/japanese/chinese characters] 226BW" and no indications of S, A, or C. Not even a (R). I'll try the profile and see if it does anything.

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 05:58 AM
I haven't tried the profile yet, but some more weird info. I'm guessing that once Samsung felt the force of this huge controversy regarding their monitors, they removed all markings that distinguished these different panels from each other. For example, I don't have the markings on the back panel.

In addition, at this link, read the section on distinguishing the different models: http://www.behardware.com/articles/667-1/samsung-226bw-a-and-s-series-the-verdict.html Take note of the special "Service Function" menu that they describe. I checked my service menu, and guess what? The panel info field is not there. So I don't really know what version I have, or what's going on about this now. Really weird. I'm going to keep reading around.

edit: I've found out a little bit more. Even though I don't have the Panel Info, I do have the Checksum. From what I've read (which is basically a couple hundred posts across various forums so far), the Checksum corresponds with a certain Panel. So by logical deduction, I now know what the following checksums mean:


A Panel: EB3E
S Panel: FBC6
C Panel: D313
My Panel: C329
I have no idea what mine is at the moment, still looking around.


edit: the profile fix described is for Windows only. I dont know if there's a way to do it on Linux, I'll check after I probe around a little more about the general situation of things.

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 07:27 AM
A recap of all the info so far, and some new stuff
Samsung originally came out with the high quality S panels, which they sent to reviewers and customers initially. These are excellent, and anyone who has one is blessed.

Soon after, they started throwing A Panels into the mix. These are manufactured by AU Optronics. What happened was Samsung hired them as contractors. They gave them some parts, specific instructions and told them to get building. The A panels suffer from several defects, the most noticable of which is a bluish tint and some light bleeding.

After this fiasco, instead of addressing the problem, Samsung started shipping a third breed of panels; the C Panels. These are manufactured by Chimei, most likely on the same terms as the A panels. The defects on these are not as bad as on the A, but the quality is still nowhere near the original S panel. Upon further reading, I've discovered that C panels are not always better than the A panels; often, they are worse. Though the color offset is generally similar or better than the A panel's, the rest of it is worse.

The C panels have a mismanaged RTA, which is the feature that's supposed to deliver the promised 2ms. Behardware says "This results in going beyond colors, which translates on the screen to a bright or dark halo around moving objects as if they were highlighted. Not everyone will notice this, but to some this effect is unbearable. If this is the case, there is only one solution. Go into the OSD and manually deactivate the RTA function. Some prefer a little more remenance to this white halo and it all depends on your eyes." If you're planning to play games on this...you may have problems.

By the time these C panels were released, everyone had caught onto this "scandal". The users were able to identify the monitors by the A/S/C markings on the back of their monitors and in the hidden service menu. There was general outrage and backlash against Samsung.

Update: A fourth type of panel has been revealed. This is also a "C" panel, but the manufacturer of this one is CPT...according to Behardware, CPT has an even worse reputation than CMO. There are no specific details about this so far, but I'll post them as I find them.

Update: Some users are reporting the existence of a D panel. No specific details on this yet. Update: Only one confirmed report of this. A user claimed that "Theres already a D panel appeared here in Philippines." If this is indeed true, it seems to be isolated to that part of the world, as I haven't encountered any other reports of this so far.

Distinguishing Between the Different Panels
At this point, Samsung realized that everyone had caught on, and once again, instead of fixing it, they screwed up again; they started stripping the info from the monitors. That's right; they started shipping them without the A/S/C markings, and the Panel Info line was removed from the service menu. This leaves only one way of identifying the panels; the Checksum in the service menu. Update: It seems that even the checksums are not reliable. There are far too many to keep track off, and not big enough of a pool to gather information from, at the moment. Here's what I know so far about the checksums:



A Panel: EB3E
S Panel: FBC6
C Panel(CMO): D313
C Panel(CPT):C52C
A Panel : D03D......Made in Slovakia (SESK)........Manufactured April, 2007
My Panel: C329.....Made in Tijuana, Mexico (SAMEX)......Manufactured July 2007.....Probably a C Panel

Yes, there seem to be multiple checksums for a given panel. I've found 2 for A so far. My theory is that there was a second revision of the A panel, which would be the one with the D03D checksum.

I've found another report of a user with a C329 panel, and he says that he has a C Panel. So mine is probably also a C Panel. Still reading around.

It is also thought that there may be a connection between the panel version and where it is manufactured. I've yet to confirm or deny this, but I wrote down all of the info I have, so if you want to pitch in with the search, that'd be fine. Update: I'd say that this connection does not exist. I've found other users with a C329 panel made in Slovakia, May 2007. I don't think there is a connection between locations, unless someone can point out that certain manufacturers have factories at these locations.

It also seems that if your monitor is devoid of any information (either on the back panel or in the hidden menu), then the only way to find out which one it truly is, is to open it up and check. Behardware tells you how: http://www.bcchardware.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4259&Itemid=40 Here are the model numbers for each known type so far, taken from a thread on hardforums:


S Panel: LTM220M1
A Panel: AU M220EW01
C Panel (CMO): CMO M220Z1
CPT Panel: ???


If your monitor is from Slovakia and manufactured in July 07, it's probably an S panel. Samsung has started putting the info back into the hidden menus, so you can check through there. It's only an S panel if 220M1 is in there somewhere.

What to do About the Problem
If you have an A or C panel, it's not the absolute end of the world. There are fixes available that will bring the quality of your monitor close to that of the S panel. It should be enough to satisfy most people. If you work with these professionally, you might want to return your A or C panel. Anyways, the fixes are not perfect, and are targeted towards Windows users. There have been some reports of people getting it to work on Linux, but I don't yet know how this was accomplished.

Keep in mind though, that even with the fixes, you're just gambling here. There are supposedly multiple revisions of each panel and C panels are sometimes better than A panels and sometimes worse. It all just depends on which screen you get. Remember, there are 2 C panels, CMO and CPT. Furthermore, there are at least multiple versions of CMO, some worse than others. I'd guess that newer 'revision' CMO panels are better. There is actually possible evidence of a fourth panel emerging (a D panel). I'll post more about it after I'm done reading.

Here are the fixes. If you have an A panel: http://www.behardware.com/articles/667-3/samsung-226bw-a-and-s-series-the-verdict.html

And if you have a C panel: http://www.andrewswihart.net/blog/review-samsung-226bw-lcd-c-panel

Samsung claims that they've stopped production of the A and C panels...but they denied their existence in the first place. And what about the CPT C panel, and the mysterious D panel? Samsung may just decide to keep shipping models without leaving any sort of identification as to what panel they're using.


I'll add more info as I get it. Sorry for hijacking your thread, but you were pretty much done with it, I think, and this is relevant. Plus, you're probably more than a little concerned about it, I hope.

Turboaaa2001
August 1st, 2007, 07:44 AM
I don't like water cooling due to maintenance. Granted air cooling requirs you to clean out dust every so often as well, but there are no leeks.

I over clock my Core 2 Duo from 2.13GHZ - 2.71GHZ with the stock cooler. I then used a Gigabyte GH-PDU22-SC EVR Sleeve CPU Cooler and knocked out 10* C on my CPU and 5* C for my system due to it's design. You have to have room for it but it's worth it. It's only $22 USD from http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835128012

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 09:49 AM
That's all I've got for now (I think it's quite a lot), and I'm pretty exhausted at this point from all the searching. It's really hard to figure this out. I know that I have a problem with colors on my monitor, but I'm half colorblind so I don't know wtf is going on with it. As for backlight bleed, I've tested it various times, and I seem to only see a little bit. I'm using a completely black screensaver, and I see a little bit around the edges, and some odd blots near the center. These don't affect me at all under normal viewing conditions, but they could be a bother if I was playing a dark game or watching a dark movie.

I haven't tried any of the color profile fixes. Reasons are basically because 1) I don't use WIndows, and 2) I'm too tired to figure it out on linux. If you search google for something like "linux icc profiles", sans the quotes, you'd probably get some results.

I tried playing OpenArena on Linux, and it did seem to be a little weird (which is what makes me think I got a C panel). I don't know if it's just the fact that I'm really tired, or if it's really the monitor. But playing it made me really dizzy. I didn't see any ghosting (at least, I don't think so...), but if I concentrated on the screen, my head just started pulsing. I'll try again later and see how it is then.

Anyways, I guess the verdict is that it just depends on which version of the screen you got. and determining the version can be the hardest part. Sadly, I think I'm going to have to take apart my monitor tomorrow and figure out which one it really is.

If you can somehow check which panel you're buying, definitely do so. I've heard from people that had A and C panels, that with the right profiles and whatnot, they were definitely satisfied with their purchase. Others with A and C panels have said that their monitors are absolutely horrible and the ICC profiles did nothing for them (probably because their issues lay in backlight and RTA issues...most likely the earlier A and C models). So it just depends.

Well I think that covers everything to date. If you want to check up on my sources, I mainly used various articles from Behardware, some random posts from many boards, and this gigantic, mega-thread on hardforums (http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1144130), which probably contributed to my headache most of all. 109 pages is very, very long. I also had some PM conversations with some users going through this.

fjf
August 1st, 2007, 11:47 AM
The solution to those problems is easy: return the monitor. We shouldn't buy from companies that do that sort of thing. The LG L226WA seems to be also a very good one, and no problems have been reported about it.

starcraft.man
August 1st, 2007, 06:52 PM
Wow, didn't know it was that bad... I thought it was only 3 models. That just seems down right evil swapping in lower quality monitors and removing the identification to pass it off as a high quality S panel that got initial reviews.

I don't think I have time to deal with that, I'll probably buy another make like Viewsonic, always had nice quality from them.

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 07:16 PM
well, the 226BW is still the best in its class; and Samsung did say that they've stopped manufacturing of A and C panels. But if you're not buying from them on ethical grounds, I can understand that. It was a pretty horrible thing for them to do.

Frak
August 1st, 2007, 07:56 PM
I've always liked HP and Viewsonic monitors. My HP is detected correctly in all linux distro's I've tried (i.e. the resolution was correct, and it was listed in the hardware profile), and Viewsonic's have the best colors I've ever seen.

starcraft.man
August 1st, 2007, 08:13 PM
well, the 226BW is still the best in its class; and Samsung did say that they've stopped manufacturing of A and C panels. But if you're not buying from them on ethical grounds, I can understand that. It was a pretty horrible thing for them to do.

I know, spec wise if I was guaranteed an S panel it would most likely be best. But I don't think I want to take a crap shoot or wait until all the A C and other panels are out. I'm probably gonna go look at a few Acer and Viewsonic models at a local store near me and decide there. I really am annoyed at how they handled that screen production, that's just shady...

The AL2216 has gotten some nice reviews from the cursory glance I took, high reviews on newegg and a few other sale sites too. Viewsonic has a few 22inch models too so might look at those. Thanks for the warning again and best of luck with your monitor. Hopefully I can find a real nice one.

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 09:15 PM
It is definitely quite unfortunate, and I'll keep returning the f*cking thing until I get a good one.

By the way, I've found out by opening up the monitor that I have a C panel; the bad kind with the mismanaged RTA overdrive. That's actually a good thing, because now I have a reason to return it. An actual defect that affects gameplay. If I had an A panel, they might've just told me to screw off and be glad that I didn't get a C panel (a Samung support person actually had the nerve to say that to a customer; seriously. He said that the A panel wasn't that bad, and the customer should just be glad that they didn't get a C panel.). But yeah, I hope I can get an S panel now.

starcraft.man
August 1st, 2007, 09:37 PM
Best of luck to you with that. And ya, I despise talking to customer support now a days. It's gone far down hill from the old days, it's all but useless now.

maniacmusician
August 1st, 2007, 11:43 PM
Best of luck to you with that. And ya, I despise talking to customer support now a days. It's gone far down hill from the old days, it's all but useless now.
I was able to wear them down, and they agreed to refund it for me. They're going to credit it to my Dell Preferred Account, which sucks, because I don't want dell credit. So I'm going to have to haggle with them again to make them credit it to my card.

Extreme Coder
August 2nd, 2007, 12:36 AM
My .02 cents;

I recently bought an ASUS QuieTrack DVD Writer(with Lightscribe support), and I've been very pleased with it. It's very quiet(as its name implies :) ), and no coasters made so far.
And the Lightscribe software is available for Windows, Linux and OS X.
You might want to get one ;)

Wishing you the best of luck in your PC Building venture,
Ahmad Yasser :D