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Greetings,Ok, I admit it...I need help.I am currently looking to upgrade my computer from my non-Flightsim computer currently (AMD Athlon 500 MHz, 384 MB RAM) to a newer computer that I'll either build myself or buy bare bones. Have searched the internet high and low, but I am starting to get confused.Here are the things I know that I'll want in my new computer:AMD XP 1800+ to 2100+DDR RAMI've looked at motherboards.org for advice regarding motherboards, and I have a general idea about motherboards, but I know nothing about cases and I admit I'm still confused about the mainboards.I'm fairly technically savvy, but please help out someone that has never done this before...any advice (sites, where to shop, what you have in your computer and why it works so well, etc.) would be greatly appreciated. I'll definately owe you one...Thank you all in advance for your help...Chris

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Guest SD Sim

Hi Chris,Let me give you one very important bit of advice. Search this forum (or the MSFS general discussion forum) for Elrond Elvish using author as the query restriction. Elrond has posted a plethora of information regarding computer set-ups. From the affordable to the elaborate. As for a motherboard, I'm partial to ASUS, but there are plenty of good manufacturers out there. Make sure the version you choose supports the version of memory you select (PC2100 and PC2700 are the most common). I personally have the ASUS A7V333 with PC2700 memory. This set up is relatively cheap, and I've been very happy with it's performance thus far. I can't seem to display complete http links tonight on this forum, or I would post a number of good links to posts by Elrond and others that would help you out further. However, if you can provide a little more information about how much your willing to spend, I can help you out further. Then you can run my recommendation on this forum and see if others concur.

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David,Thank you for your timely and relevant reply. It is people like you that make the sim community great!I plan on spending about $500 or so for a case (w/ power supply), a motherboard with processor, and a floppy drive. I may also thrown in a DVD-ROM drive and a CD-RW drive as well, as my current system is falling apart on me me almost on a daily basis (I can't use the CD or floppy drive...both have gone bad). That'll cost a few extra bucks, but that's ok. (If the wife doesn't kill me first) About the only things I'll salvage off the old computer are the hard drives, modem, graphics card and network card.I went to motherboards.org and got their recommendations, and they highly recommend MSI and Abit. I just want to make an informed decision, so I don't melt the processor or something like that :) I'm not trying to build the next computer to power the whole space program. I'm just looking for a fair compromise between performance and value (if there is one).Thanks again for all of your help and I'll be looking for his posts...Chris

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Guest SD Sim

Hi Chris,I've got my http addresses back. Look at this post from Elrond to get you started. There's more out there. I'll see what I can dig up tomorrow. Have fun :-) [http://ftp.avsim.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=1123&forum=DCForumID8&archive=]Edit - Almost forgot. The ASUS mainboard that I use for the AMD XP is designed to shut down the computer if the cpu overheats. I believe this is software driven (although I'm not positive), and it may be available on a number of mainboards (something you'll want to look into further). While not the same as the hardware protection for the Pentium cpu, it's still a form of protection. For $500 you can set yourself up with a pretty nice system. I will pass on one warning - many others here have encountered problems with the via chipset, although I have had no problems with mine. As such, you might want to consider a different chipset such as SiS.

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Guest PaulL01

If you are going to go with a KT333 chipset mainboard you my want to put it off as the much better KT400 will be out soon; but if like me you cant wait there is a comparison of 18 of the KT333 MotherBoards over at Tomshardware.com , I suggest you take a look as some boards clearly are better than others.As for the recommendation of checking the AMD site for officialy recommended boards; dont even bother as it is sadly out of date.And as per the sugestions to look up Elronds input, I couldn't agree more as Elrond doesn't try to hype anything and tries to steer you in the right direction as far as the future goes.Paul

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Guest SD Sim

Hi Chris,Here is one recommendation for a do it yourself project-Mainbaord: ASUS A7S333 $64CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1800+ $105CPU HS/fan: A1110 Volcano 5 $6Memory: SAMSUNG 512MB PC2700 $114Case/Fan: Enermax 350w EG365P-VE $48These prices are without shipping, for a grand total of $337 (US). This will leave you some reasonable pocket change to pick up a few extras like a CD drive. You'll also want a few more basics that I probably forgot to add, such as extra housing fans to keep that Athlon cool. For $50 more you can pick up the A7V333 that I have, but I'm not sure all the extra bells and whistles (such as ATA133 HD support and USB2.0) are worth it considering that there will be new memory/cpu formats available this fall.See this post for Elronds most recent recommendation:[http://ftp.avsim.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=3750&forum=DCForumID8&archive=]Have fun :-)

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David,Alright...you sold me :)First, are you aware of a site that could assemble all of these components for me in one nice, tidy kit that I could get and then just install the extras (CD Drive, hard disks, etc). or...is it better to assemble them myself? I'm not afraid to do so, although I am a little leery, just because I've never doen it before.Second, where should I go and buy all of this stuff? Any recommendations?Third, I have always heard that more power is better (like Capt'n Kirk said...more power Scotty!) and that you need a good heatsink and cooling fan. I just want to make sure that I'm cool (or the processor is, at least...)Thank you all so much for your help. If you're ever in Florida, drop me a line and I'll by you a beer (or soda, if you're under 21) here in Gainesville...Chris

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Guest SD Sim

>David, >>Alright...you sold me :) Yikes, I'm flattered, but I would highly encourage you to get a second opinion. I'm learning more, but I have a long way to go. I would suspect that one of the more knowledgeable members will stop by soon (Max or Elrond to name two). See what they think first.>First, are you aware of a site that could assemble all of >these components for me in one nice, tidy kit that I could >get and then just install the extras (CD Drive, hard disks, >etc). or...is it better to assemble them myself? I'm not >afraid to do so, although I am a little leery, just because >I've never doen it before. There are computer shops that sell all the components and will assemble them for you. This is not a bad route to go your first time. Look in your local yellow pages to see if there is such a retailer in your area. Personally, I think that assembling the computer is half the fun, and it's really not that hard. The one thing you have to be cognizant of is electrostatic discharge. This could fry your brand new components. You can buy the necessary equipment to neutralize any electrostatic build-up (a wrist band that connects to a mat). I think the most difficult task in building a computer is correctly mounting the heat sink on the CPU (which is a little trickier with the AMD versus the Pentium)>Second, where should I go and buy all of this stuff? Any >recommendations? I like pricewatch [http://www.pricewatch.com/newhomepage.htm]. They have a comprehensive list of mail-order suppliers. I intend to go this route when I build my next computer, but unfortunately I have no current working experience. I do know that you have to be careful, because not all dealers are the same as far as reputation goes. Do a little homework here.>Third, I have always heard that more power is better (like >Capt'n Kirk said...more power Scotty!) and that you need a >good heatsink and cooling fan. I just want to make sure that >I'm cool (or the processor is, at least...) You are correct, you need a good power supply. 300W should be sufficient, and 350W (my suggestion) should give you a little more than you need. As for cpu cooling, again you are absolutely correct. The cooler the better (particularly if you ever plan to overclock the processor). Here my recomendation is pretty weak. There are so many to choose from. In essence, the heat sink is a big metal block with a fan on top. I would think that most should be about the same, with perhaps the biggest difference being noise. But again, see if there are other opinions on this matter. Certainly you can go to extremes with something like a water cooled system, which will probably keep your CPU near room temperature under the heaviest of loads.>Thank you all so much for your help. If you're ever in >Florida, drop me a line and I'll by you a beer (or soda, if >you're under 21) here in Gainesville... :-lol :-lol :-lol . Oh to be 21 again. I turn the big four-oh next year :-). I very occassionally (closer to rarely) find my way to Florida on business. If I do, however, I will be happy to share a beer :-beerchug

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David,Thank you for all of you help...once again. As a 29-year old graduate student at the University of Florida, I have come to recognize the value of approparite and relevant help and many--but not all--people in this forum have contributed to my experience in a positive way.Hopefully I will find the occasion to help you...and I look forward to that opportunity. Please feel free to continue to contribute to this thread, and hopefully other will see value in what everyone here has said.And finally, to all the others in the forum that have contributed to this thread, I thank you as well--except that I am dismayed at one particular person's perception, but I respect that we all have our own opinion.Regards,Chris

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