Monday, May 09, 2005

The Perfect Computer

Here's some more info on the computer I'm building. Please note, the computer parts have just been ordered. I have not received all the parts and thus will not begin building the computer until all components are received. I expect to start in the next week or so. Now here are the parts I selected and the reasons why...

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 512K 90nm (939) CPU

I decided to go with the AMD chipset mainly due to the upgrade path the 939 chipset provides. Most of the applications I currently use will not take advantage of the 64-bit performance. But, when spending the kind of money I'm spending on this computer I do want the widest upgrade path available. Plus, my Wealth-lab software does not take advantage of Intel's Hyperthreading but does take advantage of AMD's memory controller being built-on to the board. Also, if you're going to choose AMD...might as well go with the hottest chipset which is the 939. That's where everything is going.

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum SLI Motherboard

It really was a toss up between this board and an ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe nForce4. And to be honest, I went with the MSI because it was available. Currently, most of the online stores were out of the ASUS boards. No doubt, there seemed to be a feeling out there in the building community that MSI is the better board. And the more reliable. But, from what I could really couldn't go wrong with either. Like I said in the previous post...I don't give a rat's a*s about SLI...but if you want the latest and greatest bells & whistles you've got to go with the SLI boards. Especially since I will utilize the built-in RAID controllers.

2 GB (2pcs 1GB) DDR (400) PC-3200 Corsair (TWINX2048-3200PT)

There's no doubt that the most important purchase for my system was memory. Because my applications use lots of it. I spend more time waiting for simulations to run mainly due to memory and hard-drive bottlenecks in the current system. So, I decided to go with 2 GB's and chose memory designed for large memory arrays. Hoping this will improve the speed and more importantly allow me to work with larger data sets in my trading simulations.

Western Digital Caviar RE WD 1600SD 160GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive

I chose this hard-drive mainly because of Western Digital's reputation and also because the RE version of this drive means it's built for high duty cycle environments. I almost chose the 10,000 RPM drive but decided against mainly due to some reliability issues I have read about. I'll probably purchase another one of these RE drives and RAID 0 them. And then I hope by that time the reliability issues of the 10,000 RPM drives will be worked out and I'll purchase one of those for my system drive. Then I'll have my applications running on the 10,000 RPM drive and store my data on the RAID 0. That should be FAST!!!!! Could it be overkill for what I'm doing? Maybe...but who cares.

XFX GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB DDR3/PCI-E/TV-OUT/DVI

Okay, okay, this graphics card is way to much muscle for my needs. But, since I spend large quantities of time sitting in front of the computer I wanted dual-DVI hookups for two LCD monitors. And truth be told, this was the cheapest dual-DVI graphics card I could find.

Antec Performance TX1088AMG SOHO File Server 480W Power Supply

I went with this case for two reasons. 1) The power supply was included and its one heck of a power supply. The True Power II that is built to handle SATA and PCI-E. 2) The case has capacity for expansion and fans galore. From the reviews the case has good airflow to keep things cool during those high power all-night simulation runs.

Dell UltraSharp 1905FP 19-inch Flat Panel Monitor

I went with this monitor mainly because its the one everyone has at my dayjob. So, I knew it performed well. Plus, Dell was having a 40% off sale and so I couldn't refuse. If I wouldn't have chosen this bad boy I probably would have gone with the Acer AL1912B 19" 16ms LCD Monitor. Don't have any experience with this monitor but the reviews were pretty good.

Lite-On SOHW-1673 16X8X16-DVD-RW/48X24X48-CD-RW Black
Didn't want to spend too much on the CD/DVD burner...and this received some great reviews from the builder community. Nuff said.

NEC FD1231H-302 Black 1.44MB

Floppy drive mainly to install SATA RAID.

Best Data 56FW-92 56kbps Modem
Well, gotta have a phone modem for backup purposes on your Internet Connection and this modem by Best Data fits the bill. If your Internet provider supports v.92 standards you should connect and download faster. Whether this is the case...I cannot comment...since I haven't tested it out yet.

That's pretty much my purchases. I did pick up a few more fans for my case but overall that was it. I'll use my current keyboard and mouse and install Windows XP Pro. Just a few more words about computer parts shopping. If you're really interested in going this route check out the product reviews over at Then after you decide on your for the best price between,, and of course And don't forget to include shipping costs in your comparison.

I'll post a follow-up on this project once I get the system built, tested, and run a few simulations. Wish me luck!

Later Trades,


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