|MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS|
|In The Lab
Build Your Own PC Chapter 2: Storage and Video
by chris & rob
|Chris: Where were we on building that dream system? Oh yeah: "Oooh, and its
even got onboard RAID support for extra data security!"
Most of the on-board RAID controllers support mirrored drives as well as striping. We want mirrored drives for the redundant backup feature. With the price of hard drives still dropping, this makes a good investment when working with those huge digital video files. Let's see, we're going to want a pair of matched IDE, or better yet, a pair of the newer high-speed Serial ATA (SATA) drives, probably in the 160 to 200GB range at least. (See this month's tech term for more about Serial ATA)
Rob: Well the bigger, the better, and SATA is the ideal choice for speed-intensive applications like video editing, and gaming. Let's get two Maxtor 200GB SATA drives.
Chris: Those will do fine. We will also want to add some sort of DVD-recordable drive for backing up the critical files and the Operating System once we have the basic installation complete and software installed. I'd recommend the BUSlink 4x Dual Format DVD+-RW Drive so we don't have to worry about what format we need to burn. (Last month's issue explains the differences in DVD formats)
Rob: That should do it for data storage, but what about a wiz-bang video card for gaming and video editing?
Chris: For a strong gaming system, you will want a high-performance video card with 64 to 128MB of onboard RAM and good 3D rendering capability... did you have a particular card in mind?
Rob: Most 3D games will run great with a Radeon 9800 XT AGP video card and 256MB of SDRAM is more than enough video memory.
Chris: To do DVD and video editing, we are going to need some sort of capture card and/or a 1394 data port. There are a couple of video cards with digital input, but that usually means a trade-off with the computer video features.
Rob: We shouldn't compromise the 3D video card for video capture features so
let's go with a Firewire card like the SIIG
FireWire 300 card. It's got (1) Firewire 400 and (2) Firewire 800
ports to connect devices like portable hard disks, DV camcorders, and
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