•  JF
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Hi, I am thinking about building a new system.

It will be used for running multimedia applications including Macromedia Flash, Director, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator as well as Office apps.

I would also like to do a bit of Maya [3d app] on it but if this going to significantly increase the budget then I can do without.

I am currently using a:
1ghz Duron
384mb Ram
64mb gfx card

to do most of the above.

It runs ok but I've noticed it getting a bit slow of late and I've been using a different computer that is of a higher spec and find it easier to work on.

I have an IDE HD that I would like to reuse but the boards I see use SATA whilst my old drive is an ATA.
Is ATA finished with now?

I am in the UK too if that makes a difference.

So basically I am after:
ram (1gb would be nice)
HD 120GB+ (idealy so I can have two including my old one)
sound card
grafixs card
DVD writer

the quieter it would all run the better.

My budget is low - 300/400 GBP.

Thanks - Joe
With your lower budget I would go with an AMD set up. A socket 754 and an AMD64 2800. No less than 512MB RAM. Onboard sound will do OK, it's better than it used to be. DVD burners are fairly cheap these days.

IDE is not dead, but SATA drives are faster and more efficient than IDE. Optical drives are still IDE, there are some SATA drive but are costly.

For a vid card I wouldn't go under an ATi 9600 or nVidia 5500. There are cheaper cards, but not worth getting unless you are really strapped for cash.

I'm in the US so can't quote you any prices or where to purchase them. Jordan, our UK specialist should pop in soon . You might be able to afford a socet 939 system, much better upgrade path. But again, Jordan or another UK member would be able to get you some prices or where to look.
Talking of UK members here I am.


Those are the 2 sites I would suggest you look at especially overclockers. They have a great range of parts
  •  JF
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Overclockers have some bundles which look good.

Can you use older IDE drives on a SATA board as you can use IDE optical drives?

Which 9600 or 5600 would you recommend?



Would a 60 one be ok?
I think most still have IDE connectors as well so i don't see why not
  •  JF
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Thats handy.

Does anyone know about this board?

Biostar K8NHA Grand (Socket 754) - 56

Its got a good review:

It says is has:
Ultra ATA 2
Serial ATA 2
Does that mean it will take old IDE HDs?

Also - how does one find out what board is already in your PC?
  •  Jordan
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I'm not a Biostar fan. I'd rather have Asus, Abit, DFI etc.

It willl take up to 4 IDE drives whether they are HDs or optical drives as you can get 2 drives per cable.

Download CPU-Z and it will tell you your Motherboard and chipset.
  •  JF
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My old board I have in now is an Abit KT7A - do you know if that will support any CPUs that are out now?

This one.
Not any of the Socket 754 or 939 processors
  •  JF
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Oh well, back to the drawing board.