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Building the Perfect PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Building the System

Figure 5-1 shows the major components of the Kick-Ass LAN Party PC. The Intel D875PBZ motherboard is in front of the Antec Super LANBOY case. Top row, left to right, are the Logitech Rumblepad game controller, the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card, and the Antec TrueControl 550 power supply, with the Logitech Cordless MX Duo and the Plextor PX-708A DVD burner immediately beneath them. Center are the Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 hard drive and the ATi RADEON 9800 XT video adapter, with various LED fans and cables in front. The Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor and the Crucial PC3200 memory modules are not shown.

Note

We planned to build this system two ways, using a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS in one version and a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz in the other. That would have allowed us to compare the two side by side for features, audio quality, and compatibility. But when we started to build the system, we couldn’t find the Audigy 2 card. Robert says the card was misplaced (note the passive voice). Barbara says Robert lost it (note the very active voice). To promote domestic tranquility, Robert went for Plan B, blaming our younger border collie, Malcolm, who has been spotted in the past carrying around optical drives and other PC components in his mouth. We haven’t found his cache yet.

We weren’t about to buy another Audigy 2 ZS, so we built only the version with the Turtle Beach sound card. The Santa Cruz is an oldie but a goodie. The sound quality is superb, better than ...

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