Building A New PC - HCPC Ready


Active Member

I'm concidering building a new PC. Whilst it won't initially be used for HCPC use, I would like to eventually use part time for video capture / editing - e.g burning DVDs and such.

I therefore need to make sure that anything I buy is HCPC ready. The main components would be as follows:

Suntek TH631 PC case.
Asus P4S8X motherboard with onboard LAN, Firewire and 6 channel Audio/SPDIF.
Radeon 9700 Pro graphics card
Pentium IV, 2.8G processor.

Are there any problems I should expect with these components - especially the PC case??

Also what sort of cooling fan would be recommended for the P-IV - preferably one that does not sound like Concorde's engines!

Components such as DVD burners and video capture cards will come later, so are not of immediate concern.


Standard Member
I've got that motherboard and it's been very stable over the two weeks I've been using it. The onboard sound works ok, supporting eax (so it shouldn't be a bottleneck during games). I havent tried the analogue outs (using the spdif out) and I don't know if the spdif out will accept a DD/DTS pass-through.

I'm using a HSF that I bought from The heatsink is fairly ordinary, with a 60mm Papst fan on top. It's rated at 27db so isn't totally silent but way better than on most pc's I've owned/used.

I'm thinking of replacing the fan with an 80mm Papst (@12 or 19dB) and using a 60 to 80mm adaptor to make it fit. If your case is big enough the Zalman flower cooler would be worth considering, but the 80mm fan via adaptor would fit in almost all cases. You could just buy an 80mm heatsink, but to my knowledge they are only a few models which are all expensive.

You can also buy heatsinks to replace the fan on a graphics card. For the Radeon 9700 I would have thought the Zalman heat-pipe model would be needed instead of their basic one because it is a powerful GPU (therefore runs hot). Apparently these can't be used in a desktop chassis and won't fit in some smaller cases.

The power supply can be the noisiest component in a PC. I've got an Enermax whisper 350W model which is meant to be one of the quietest available but it could do with being a bit quieter. It has loads of spare molex connectors on it, which is enough trying to fit in a normal midi case so I wouldn't use one in a small case.


Couple of things:

The Rad 9700 Pro is INCOMPATIBLE with 8x AGP MBs.

This is the case at present ATI have admitted this (saying it's actually the 8x AGP implementation of the MB manufacturers).

In the US ATI are RMA'ing any cards having probs with 8x AGP boards & replacing them with newer revision boards (V 1.3 being the newer 1.1 the problem boards).

Even if running an 4x AGP board now, advised to get a Rev. 1.3 in case of future upgrades.

Also, the 9700 needs a very good PSU. 350w is minimum IMO.

The HS of the 9700 isn't easily replaced either due to a shim around the GPU which is higher than the GPU. Some mods to HS are required to ensure propper contact with the GPU.

I'm holding off on the 9700 ATM, until I'm sure Rev. 1.3 boards are available here - considering the Hercules which isn't released yet.

ATI don't support ANY 9700s here either, so don't think they'll RMA one for you.


Active Member
Do you know if the AGP 8x problems with the Radeon 9700 also apply to the Sapphire version of this card: Sapphire 9700 Atlantis Pro??

This is the specific version I was concidering, and indeed one of the primary reasons for concidering this card is due to its claimed support for AGP 8x which I would have assumed would match nicely the motherboard I'm concidering!


Yep, the Sapphire is included - at the moment it's a "made by ATI" card, just rebadged by Sapphire.

Sapphire's customer care is in Taiwan.

Read this for a start.

Loads more threads about this, a good one at Rade 3D. I'll find the link later if you want.


Active Member
Yikes! Have just spent many hours reading the link at and the stuff thats at Rage 3D.

The bottom line is that if I want a Radeon 9700 pro with an AGP8X motherboard, I'd better make very sure its the 1.3 version or I'll be very sorry!

It almost sounds like I'd be better off buying an old cheapy throwaway card just to use for a few months till things settle down!

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