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Thread: need help bulding a pc from scratch




  1. #1
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    Default need help bulding a pc from scratch

    okay im new at all this but i have done alot of research, im looking to spend $3000 on my new computer. i want two top of hte line dvd burners, amd processor, sata hard drives, and atleast a gig of ram, a pci tv tuner card. I had all of the research on a floppy but since xp somehow dosent like a formated 98 floppy even though i stuck the floppy in a xp machine to get the files off, i no longer have it and will retrive the info again in the next few days. but im open for any suggestions i have no clue as to a video card and i would like to have surround sound speakers as part of the 3 grand. im goign to be hooking my cable line (coaxile/antenna/whatever) to the tv tuner pci card so i need to ahve that connection. i want a wireless remote on the speakers. I want this to be a really good gaming pc with alot of multimedia features.
    some parts off the top of my head:
    msi neo2 platinum motherboard
    amd 3800+
    2 maxtor maxline 3 300gb hard drives (sata)
    aver media pc 550 ultra tv tuner pci card

    Ill have the more detailed stuff in a few days thanks for hte help in advance
    Last edited by sjones; 10-02-2004 at 03:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    I'm just going to assume that's $3000 U.S. Most of this stuff will be applicable even if it's not.

    Well, there are some nice X800 Pros that have all the features of an AIW, but if you're getting a TV tuner card, that would be silly...
    I'll give you some basic choices. In the end, you may have to look at some benchmarks, because the card you get should be dependant on the games you play. I suggest you read some Anandtech articles. Make sure any articles you read came out after the cards
    eVGA GeForce 6800 GT - Comes free with Doom 3, awesome performance, not as overpriced as it could be.
    Celestica X800 Pro - Good performance, relatively cheap, some AIW features. Not quite as agood as a 6800 for most games, though. Again, read some articles yourself.
    PowerColor X800 Pro - Good performance, very expensive, lots of great multimedia features, like you wanted, although those are very redundant with a TV tuner card.
    If you wanted to spend more and get a GeForce 6800 Ultra or X800 XT, you'll have to find some that are in stock. Personally, I wouldn't want them anyway because it's a lot more money for not much better performance. That said, on your budget, they're acceptable choices.

    An Athlon 64 3800 and MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum are very good choices. But with a $3000 budget, you can probably fit the FX-53 in there without problems.

    The HDD is kind of excessive for this... I'd suggest you get three 200GB 7200RPM SATA drives as they will have the same amount of space, but will provide more speed (if you set everything up right) and cost less.

    I'd suggest at least a 480W PSU from Thermaltake or Antec. Something over 500W might no be excessive, especially if you get a GeForce 6800 video card instead of a Radeon X800 Pro (they use more power, especially the Ultras).

    The case should something you like, although there are some designed to be very nice for cooling (mostly from Thermaltake), which I would suggest for overclocking.

    If you aren't going to be overclock, this Corsair would be ideal RAM. Otherwise, this Crucial would be better for overclocking and has great stock performance anyway. Get two sticks or four, depending on how much money you have left. WIth a budget of $3000, I'd get four for 2GB.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    I'd suggest at least a 480W PSU from Thermaltake or Antec. Something over 500W might no be excessive, especially if you get a GeForce 6800 video card instead of a Radeon X800 Pro (they use more power, especially the Ultras).
    Go with the Thermaltake. That MSI board doesn't like the Antec PSU for some reason. I recently finished testing it and it would lock up the system with the Antec PSU installed. Changed it out with a 480w Thermaltake unit and it worked fine.

    Don't know what the problem is, but let Antec get it fixed before using their power supplies in a Socket 939 setup.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    Forgot about that... I'd say this would be perfect for you, although you can probably get a Xaser case that comes with it for not a whole lot, in which case get the case and don't bother buying the PSU separately.
    Last edited by Darthtanion; 10-03-2004 at 07:11 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    I wasnt planing on staying up this late agian but all well here we go, would it be a good idea to get gig sticks of ram instead of 512 if not why, and yes it is us currency. im cautious of the power supply its at newegg but that is extremly cheap. is a cordless keyboard/mouse a good idea when gaming? ill will have the monitor where my tv is on my dressor (too late for this) and it will be used as my tv, plus it will be my computer for gaming, in the end i will want 3 dvd burners, and 1 cd/dvd drive, but im goign for two burners and the drive for now. Plus i was looking at amd's own bench marks and the 3800 was not much worse then the fx's so i figured that was the route i should go. I need help in finding speakers though, i have no clue as to how i should go about this. the mboard has onboard 8ch but other then that im not for sure.
    and has anyone ever saw memory actually melt in the computer cuz if not there would be no need for a heatsink on the memory if there was a lifetime warranty. and no i will not be overclocking. i dont want the monitor to be any smaller then my tv now so thats why the 19". which type or raid should i run the hard drives in, im unsure about that, i plan on putting alot of shows onto a hard drive then burn them onto a dvd thats why i wanted the extra space, i wanted the 300gb becuase it will take up less space and will leave me with 2 open sata connections instead of just teh one with your setup. also is it a good idea to buy the heat sink and fan that comes standard with the processor or go out an bye seperate ones, i know my case comes with 4 fans. I wanted xp media center edition but you can not buy that version without buying a whole system as far as i know of cuz that is what i would rather have.
    parts in short that i have thought i was goign to buy
    jetway 19" lcd monitor--------$400
    sony floppy drive--------$10
    MGE supercharger 600W power supply--------$48
    aspire x-navigator black blue atx mid tower case and 450 watt power supply---$92 (power supply will be sold)
    xp pro and xp office---------$80
    logitech cordless mx duo usb ps/2 104 keys mouse/keyboard combo---$65
    2--nec 16x double layer dvd+-rw drive, best out that i have found,-----$158
    samsung 52x32x52x cdrw combo drive, dosent read dvd+ (bad)---$42 (possibly replace for one that reads all dvd formats)
    pdp system ddr memory pc3200, nonecc, unbuffered,---$164
    msi neo2 platinum socket 939, dual lan, 4gig max memory------$139
    2--maxtor maxline 3 300gb 7200rpm---$440
    amd 3800+ sck 939 with heatsink and fan----$628
    aver media ultra tv media center pci 550 tv/fm tuner pvr----$101.99
    as you can see i have no video card picked out or speakers picked out, the speakers i want to have a wireless remote (its all about the wireless), and sound pretty good. this is all the components i had picked out before i sent the orginal message and this took some time to pick out. the above prices are the cheapest available. the amd with heatsink and fan is $628 without $622. AND if possible i would like not to have to spend the whole 3 grand. only if possible though i dont want to loose any quality becuase of that.

    thanks for the fast reply i would provide links to all of the above products if asked.


    almost forgot something, will it hurt the performance of the video card if i was runnign the mutli media features from the video card that is something im worried about. i have cable at home so i need the coaxil connection. and my internet is also through our cable company.
    the total: $2276
    Last edited by sjones; 10-03-2004 at 01:04 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    I've never seen GB sticks rated with 2-2-2 timings nor ones capable of running at 2-2-2 timings. Three or four sticks of 512MB would probably provide as much RAM as you'd need and would perform better than sticks of 1GB. That said, using 1GB sticks gives you room a lot more RAM, even though it's unlikely you'll find a use for it.

    I douct you'll find a much better PSU that isn't Antec, Antec being out of the question. Thermaltake makes some of the most affordable PSU, while still keeping them high-quality. The one you picked out is probably much worse, in fact. Hell, it's only $44 for a 600W PSU. Something has to be wrong with it...

    A wireless keyboard is fine, but I've had bad experiences with wireless mice. The new Logitech MX1000 might be the only exception I would make for a wirelss mouse to be used with gaming. Darthtanion claims it's quite good. If you get a wirelss mouse, that's the one. The keyboard can be purchased seperately.

    The 300GB drives are fine if you actualyl will have use for the rest of the SATA ports. I just feel that they are a waste of money, personally (although the extra cache is very helpful in some situations).

    There's no reason to buy a heatsink for memory if you aren't overclocking (even then, you had best be doing heavy overclocking, not that they do much anyway), but the kind of high quality RAM you'll want (the Corsair I linked to) will probably include it anyway. You won't find stuff of the same quality that costs less due to lack of a heat sink, so don't worry about it.

    same applies with the processor. At the most, a $10-$20 heat sink with some Arctic Silver 5 would be good for the processor life. If you aren't overclocking (although you may change your mind later on that... for the video card, if nothing else), then hardware life due to heat is really your only major issue. Even with the stock stuff, though, you'll probably upgrade before anything dies... With a case with good airflow (which I believe yours has), it probably won't be a problem at all. That said, pretty good cooling can be had for cheap, and that Arctic Silver 5 has a lot of uses (pretty much any processor core... put it on your video card for extra cooling, if you want).

    Don't run RAID. Simple. RAID 0 is pointless, and RAID 1 will just reduce performance and provide some reliability you probably won't need. If you were to use RAID, a PATA PCI controller card with maybe four to eight regular IDE HDDs on it running RAID 5 would be better. That could mean a lot of space, and very nice reliability. You also only lose the space from one drive (regardless of how large the array is), while you'll lose a lot more from the RAID options available on a desktop board. Basically, you probably don't need RAID and probably never will.

    XP media center is a waste of money; it provides nothing desirable and lots of features that are undesirable. It has no place in any PC, a multimedia being no exception.

    The Corsair I picked out will simply perform better than the PDP you picked out. It also costs less... If it's the 1GB module, then that's the POS value RAM. Value RAM has no place in a high-end gaming machine. You don't want that stuff. That's all there is too it.

    I haven't heard of video cards performing any better when they don't have multimedia features such as TV-out, but maybe Darthtanion or someone else has. I'm sure you'll be perfectly happy whether you get the expensive AIWish card, or a cheaper X800 Pro/GeForce 6800 GT and the TV tuner, or even both it and the TV tuner.

    Also, do you really need MS Office? I really doubt you'll make use of the features it has that OpenOffice has, and OpenOffice is much cheaper (costing precisely nothing). Although I have to wonder how you are getting those prices... Unless it's an upgrade version of XP Pro or something. or you get a bonus for students deal (which greatly reduces cost), it's really unlikely that you're buying that from a very unrelable site. Online purchasing doesn't do much to lower the cost of software, except that you can buy OEM copies, which still cost way more than you're looking at.

    Someone else will have to comment on the drives as I've never much followed DVD drives or really removable media of any kind. The same applies to the monitor. All I can tell you is to look for something with over 1600X1200 mac resolution and at least 72HTz refresh rate. If it's 19'' and meets those specs, I doubt you'll complain, but I'm not positive... Don't know about speakers, either. Did you want surround sound since the motherboard supports 8-channel surround sounds (if I remember)?

    The floppy drive... No, I'm just kidding. I can't see anything wrong with it, except you could probably get something just as good for $1-$3 less...

    Also, what retailer(s) are you looking at purchasing the hardware from? None of them have the reliability of Newegg, and most of them or unusably unreliable. And, those aren't the best prices on everything (the PDP RAM, for one). Sure, the 3800 may cost a couple dollars more at Newegg, but I would easily pay that for the gain in relability, and a cheapskate.

    In any case, I think you should be able to make this under $300 without any problems. Even if you through in the FX53 instead of the 3800 (which improves performance over the 3800 as much as the 3800 improves performance over the 3500, in most cases) along with an X800XT PE or something, you could still be under your budget.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    for starters im goign to list off the sites where i found the products:
    psu: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...167-010&depa=1
    case: http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...144-084&depa=1
    monitor: http://store.yahoo.com/tonyh/je19lcsicowi.html
    floppy: http://store.yahoo.com/maxcooler/mitd31435flo.html
    xp and office: http://www.qualityoemsoft.biz/?campaign_id=21012
    keyboard/mouse: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...126-124&depa=1
    dvd/cd burner: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...152-030&depa=1
    cd/dvd read: http://store.yahoo.com/uricom-com/sam48cdw1dvd.html
    ram: http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...220-030&depa=1
    mboard: http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduc...130-468&depa=1
    harddrive: http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...tCode=100719-1
    amd: http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...ctCode=80721-R
    tvtuner: http://www.securemart.com/cgi-bin/fu...ls=&mv_stock=y

    more questions, why do i need the timings 2-2-2 for the ram, i have no experience overclocking and have had no interest in it becuase of hte fact that ive heard that it shortens the life of the component you overclock and i dont want to kill it before its time. and if possible give me a good suggestion of an antec psu and a thermal take psu. whats so good about the wireless mouse you showed me, and show me a good keybord to use for that. is wireless the way to go with gaming or should i buy a different wired keyboard/mouse just for the gaming. and im the type of person who like to know why if you cant already tell. i still personally like the 300gb hard drives unless you can prove to me that there isnt a use for them, or that it is a waist for money.
    There's no reason to buy a heatsink for memory if you aren't overclocking (even then, you had best be doing heavy overclocking, not that they do much anyway)
    what did you mean by that statement, "you had best be doing some heavy overclocking, not that they do much anyway"
    can you possibly point me out to a good heat sink for the cpu, and why would i want to overclock the video card, i thought that in sata you had to use raid, im guessing im wrong there, and what about raid 0+1, and what should i run then if i dont use raid, run it just normal or something. and the xp and office deal looked nice so i figured that should be the route i go, xp itself it just $50, and im not completely for sure but i think that xp is not an upgrade version. and yes i wanted surround sound, and im curious to know if the motherboard supports 8 ch can it also support 5.1 ch or 6.1 or 7.1 just curious. and if you can find me a floppy drive thats as good as quality as the sony point me to it, cuz i knew that sony was a good brand name so i figured that would be a smart choice. from the research i have done, i thought that the fx53 was better but not a whole lot, and i thought the 3800 was alot better then the 3500, but i could be mistaken, and im sure youve done this alot more then i have so ill probably take your word for it. and actually after i buy the speakers and the video card i wont have alot left of the $3000, unless im finding stuff that is quite a bit higher then i thougt, the first place i checked was newegg on stuff then i found the product i wanted went to froogle and looked for teh same product cheaper. if there are other things that are higher let me know and point me to where they are cheaper. thanks for the help.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    also, i helped somebody install a radeon i think 64mb into a computer not to long ago and it showed up the option of turning the tv/multimedia devices on or off saying that with them off it would increase performance. thats where i got that idea at. this computer will be one that i try and keep going for a long time so im not looking at it in the thoughts of me replacing stuff really often ill go to the limit of the motehrboard and that be it. cuz the computer im on now is basically a piece of junk with no agp port and a slot for only one hard drive. so it wont hurt me too bad if i have too replace this computer im going to build with another better one in a few years. but, i like the options of the tv tuner i picked out, the only thing it lacks is an auido video (you knwo the yellow, red, and white cable, name slipped my mind), connector, which ill do without, but it would be a nice bonus. teh monitor i picked out is an sxga (which i heard was the best), with a resolution of 1280x1024. I also would like a lifetime antivirus subscription, have any good ideas, im sick of reduing norton.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    RAM with 2-2-2 timings will be much faster. With a system this fast, you're hurting yourself by not getting good RAM. Getting a 1GB module like you have chosen is a bad idea unless you actually have use for 4GB of RAM (which you don't), because 1GB modules can't run at good timings. If you want to read more on RAM timings, try this.

    I already gave you a suggestion for a PSU. This Thermaltake should do the job. I wouldn't touch the PSU you found. Too cheap, and it doesn't even have an efficiency rating.

    That mouse... It's the first of it's kind, basically. You'll have to read more about it on your own. It's much more powerful than an optical mouse (this is a laser mouse, not an optical). This would be a good keyboard, but keyboards are always a personal preference. It's like I said, a wireless keyboard shouldn't have problems, but I wouldn't try to game with a wirelss mouse, except maybe the MX1000.

    The 300GB hard drives are fine, like I said. You can use your money more effeciently by getting more drives with less space, but you do limit your maximum possible space. You can save yourself a few bucks and get smaller drives, or you can give yourself more future upgrading space at a fairly small price.

    I was saying RAM sinks or a waste of money. To seriously consider buying one would require you to be doing some very heavy overclocking, because they do almost nothing.

    Overclocking does reduce life space, although usually not enough to matter, especially with good cooling. What overclocking does is make your hardware faster than it is out-of-the-box. For example, an Athlon 64 2800 comes at 1.8GHz, but it could be overclocked to, say, over 2GHz without spending any extra money on cooling or something. The catch is that overclocking voids your warranty for processors (not always for video cards and RAM, though) and will reduce life span if the hardware is running too hot (again, one of the reasons for third-party cooling). With a little bit of money thrown into cooling ($20 - $50), the overclockability of your hardware is greatly increased.

    The only good reason to get a different CPU cooler would be so you can overclock it more or to give it a longer lifespan. If you aren't going to be overclocking, don't bother. If you decide too, or want to be prepared for the event that you do want to, I'd suggest a Thermaltake Venus 12 for a cooler along with Arctic Silver 5 as the thermal compound. You should probably do more research on your own regarding good coolers, though.

    Just as with the CPU, you can overclock the GPU, or video card. This will make games run better (meaming with a higher numbr of frames per second).

    SATA doesn't need RAID. Just run the drive normally and don't worry about the RAID features.

    I guess your software site looks real, but I don't know. I just can't believe that can pull a profit by selling XP Pro for $50.

    There's nothing wrong with the floppy drive, but I would either get it from Newegg or a local store as it will be more reliable, and possibly cheaper.

    The 3800 is fine, but the FX-53 would be even better. Whatever you feel the need to spend your money on is fine. I wouldn't spend money on the FX-53, personally.

    The monitor has to change. It has a maximum resolution of 1280x1024, but you'll be running all of your games at 1600x1200 or higher. I would also recommend a CRT, for a number of reasons. Higher refresh rate, less cost... An LCD is fine if you want one (and space is the only real reason IMO), but getting an LCD with such a crappy maximum resolution is out of the question for a gaming system.

    I can't help you with sound as it's not an area of technology I've followed much. I do think you'll be happy with the sound on that motherboard, though.

    Newegg, ZipZoomFly, and Yahoo are fairly reliable, but I don't know about that securemart.com site. Unless someone else can speak for the reliability of it, I wouldn't get anything from it.

    Edit: You won't have to replace this computer for a very long time. The RAM will probably remain useful for years, as will the motherboard. You can always upgrade the CPU and video card along the way. I can't see you replacing the actual motherboard until PCI Express becomes useful for graphics or you have need of a PCI-E device.
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 10-04-2004 at 01:35 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: need help bulding a pc from scratch

    whats the big difference between lcd and ctr anyway cuz ctr is alot better but i heard the picture on lcd was better but i cant tell the differnce. cuz id personally wouldnt mind the ctr.

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