Please report all spam threads, posts and suspicious members. We receive spam notifications and will take immediate action!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    Well, I'm finally read to set money toward a computer. I considered some pre-made ones from Best Buy/Dell but I was told a self made computer is what I should really go for if I want the best performance. But alas, I know nothing about them (Aside form the basics of the basics). I asked my friends lots of questions, since most made computers for themselves. But like me, they're freshmenís in college, so they're not really the best possible source of information to base my "dream machine" off of. I'd be best off going to an online area where a lot of people get together and talk about computers non-stop, I. E. here. So far, from the information I've retrieved from my friends, I now know quite a bit more.

    The type of machine I'm going for is a Gaming Machine. I've never had a nice gaming computer (Closest is my family computer). I'd also like to have some good storage area and good ability to work with Photoshop (I plan to do a lot of that along with gaming). So far, with help, research and links from my friends, I have this so far. My budget is sort of big, at the very, very most $1,400-$1,500 (possibly higher, but even $1,500 is a bit much for my income). But I still would like to get a nice deal price wise with some excellent performance and simply, of course, I don't want to pay a great deal of money nor too much. As for what I list here, feel free to comment, point out Pros/Cons or just recommend something else that's better/better for it's price.

    Case: I really like it, just design and overall. I know quite well it's a server chassis, and that's partly the reason I like it. So far the design, color and size are nice too. It also has six fans that come with it and a lot of places for extra components. Anyways, what do you think?

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-144-017&depa=0

    Motherboard: As it is there is a debate on which motherboard is the best between two of friends. So far one looks like it has everything the other has and more. Here they are:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-131-478&depa=0

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-130-458&depa=0

    Processor: I've been directed toward these two, a 3200 and a 3000. There's about a $40 price difference and not that much of a difference in performance. I'm not sure which to get though, or if I should even get either:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-394&depa=1

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-391&depa=1

    RAM: Well, I want to go for 1GB in ram as a starter. I'm a bit power hungry in this area. From what I've been told, you can never have too much RAM, providing your computer can handle it, of course. I was also told Corsair is the best brand in RAM, so I looked into it. Here's one I found that was pretty cheap, but I don't know why it's so cheap compared to another one with the same amount:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-145-450&depa=1 "That's the cheapest good RAM for corsair", is what I've been told.

    Hard Drive: Western Digital. That's what I hear is the best brand for hard drives. I'd to go for a 200 gig (I'm also a bit power hungry in that area, I don't quite know why) but that might be overkill. I do intend to go for another, alternate hard drive to keep safe my valuable data. I also hear you need a SCSI motherboard or Raid card for you to access the whole 200 gigabytes, otherwise it only recognizes 137. But the ASUS motherboard above says it has an onboard Raid with it. So it should recognize the full bit of memory, right? I also hear a retail version of the hard drives that are over 140 come with cards that let's you read your full memory. But here, listed, there is a cheaper one at NewEgg.com:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-162&depa=0

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-129&depa=0

    Heat Sink: Even with those six fans I hear I need a heat sink regardless. I've been reccomended two, one I've been told is overkill and the other just right:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=35-103-152&depa=1

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=35-109-011&depa=1

    CD/DVD Burner Drives: I've been told having more than one drive is a bit useless (Unless copying data from CD to CD) since you really only need one all purpose drive. I might get another later on... but for starters this one seems pretty good:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=27-151-051&depa=0

    Video Card: I've been told to get the video card last. I also notice that video cards tend to become very, very expensive. I was told about a top of the line $400 card. But wow is that a lot of money. It may be worth it...but still. I don't know too much about video cards, though. I was directed toward one but I also hear some bad things directed toward it simply because it's a third party piece of equipment. Here it is, if you wish to take a look:

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-145-072&depa=1

    So far that's everything, aside from basics like a mouse/keyboard/monitor, that I need. If I forgot to include something please let me know and other misc. Oh, and thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,525

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    Why are you building a PC based on the nearly obsolete socket A platform when there are the modern s754/s939 platforms to choose from?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    Don't worry about RAID or SCSI.

    Basically, almost your entire design is behind the times. Spending $1500 on an Athlon XP system is rediculous, as is most of the hardware choices. That said, you still managed to choose qulity hardware that will work, even though it's really not worth the money you'd be paying.

    Try this:
    MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
    That's just about the most feature-rich, high-performing motherboard you can get, and it isn't too badly-priced with that in mind. It's probably the only one worth strongly considering, in your situation.
    Athlon 64 3500
    This will easily beat the Athlon XP 3200 or 3000 in any test or real-world situation. Any Athlon 64 will beat them in most, if not all situations, especially gaming. That's why those two processors are alsmot never worth considering.
    OCZ EL Platinum Revision 2 512MB x 2
    You actually did choose pretty good RAM, but this is pretty much the best thing you can get if you aren't overclocking. At this point, I've assume you don't know much about overclocking and weren't considering it. More on that later.
    ViewSonic P95F+B 19" PerfectFlat CRT Monitor
    With high resolutions, refresh rates, and a nice big screen, this ought to be great for gaming. Not a horrible price, either.
    GeForce 6800
    Don't skimp out on the video card; it's arguably the most important piece of hardware for gaming. This thing will be easily more than twice as powerful than what you chose, which wasn't a good choice even at that level of video cards.
    Seagate 200GB SATA
    Western Digital, Maxtor, and Seagate make hard drives of almost identical quality. Seagate has a five-year warranty on drives; Maxtor has a one-year or a three year; Western Digital has a one-year or three-year. Therefor, almost always get Seagate.
    Raidmax Black ten-bay Case
    Unless you are really picky about having a nice-looking case, or intend to overclock (again, getting to that), there's no reason in getting an expensive case and a bunch of fans. The one you chose has a power supply insuffient for this system if overclocked, anyway.
    Thermaltake 480W Silent Purepower PSU
    This will easily be enough for this system, overclocked or not.

    The DVD/CD-RW you chose should be fine. The processor comes with a heat sink and should be fine if you don't overclock. About that...

    When you overclock your system, you increase the speed of the processor and (usually) RAM over their default values. This requires a few things that normally you might not need: For starters, you'll usually need a better PSU. In you case, I'd say about $10 or so more for a PSU with active PFC or possibly even one with higher wattage. You'll also want good RAM. I've already recommended high-quality RAM, so your set in that area (altohugh I'll recommend something else if you want to overclock, it just won't cost any more). You'll need better cooling. This means a nice heatsink/fan for your processor, which will be about $30 or $40. On top of that, you'll probably want a case with nice airflow and some extra case fans, which is another $40-$100, although that case isn't bad on its own. You'll also need some Arctic Silver 5 thermalk compound, but that's fairly inexpensive at a mere $12. But you may be unaware of the risks and disadvantages...
    It voids your CPU's warranty, and possibly your RAM's and motherboard's as well. It reduces the life of some hardware significantly, mainly the CPU. It can potentially destroy hardware (mainly the processor, again) if you screw up. That said, you can overclock safely and even without increasing the overall price. To do that, a fe wchanges would be made:

    The RAM becomes: Crucial ballistix PC3200 x2. It's actually cheaper, but the OCZ is better if you aren't going to overclock.
    The CPU becomes Athlon 64 3000 - OEM
    Much cheaper, quite a bit slower, and no heatsink/fan or 3-year warranty. Overclocking will make that irrelevant.
    Get some Arctic Silver 5
    It's a thermal compound that goes between the CPU and heatsink. It's a must-have for any overclocker.
    The PSU becomes Thermaltake 560W Silent PurePower
    Thermaltake SilentBoost for the CPU. That should allow for a pretty nice overclock.
    Two to four case fans like this would be nice. This one is fairly quiet and inexpensive, but still move a good amount of air. Just put one in the back as exaust and the rest in the front as intake, if you get them.

    Using these changes and overclocking, you will actually get better performance than with the first design at about the same price (possibly less). But if you don't think the disadvanteges are worth it or you don't think you'd be capable of doing it (though we could help you), then just get the system without overclocking in mind, meaing don't bother with extra cooling things such as case fans.

    For keyboad and mouse, I'd need to know if you have any wireless preference or if you're unwilling to spend more than $20 or $30 on a mouse (some of the higher-quality ones range from $45 to $75).
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 10-31-2004 at 03:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    Very nice, I like it. The new case is very nice too, a good sleek design. Although, my friends tell me (You'll probably read "...so and so told me..." a lot) that I should, at the very least, have 3 fans and a heat sink. They say I seriously need it, but I still don't really know. Either way, the only reason I liked the case I showed you was because it was big and had lots of expansion room. Even though I wasn't actually intending to make a server I thought the idea of having a big, flashing, electronic box was nice for when people visited. But with the set up you showed me I now really rather save the money for performance than spend it on needless aesthetic values.

    Also, thatís a nice processor. When I first made my decision to build a computer I knew I wanted a 3500 but decided to go lower because of price reasons. This is still a bit pricey, but it does come with a heatsink and fan which makes it worth it. Though many say in the reviews to get a better heatsink. Later on Iíll probably switch a better one in, but do you have any good ones in mind?

    As for the mouse/keyboard thing. The idea of a wireless mouse is nice. I'd probably start out with a bare necessity mouse/keyboard (I think I have a set stored in the garage) and moving up later (since the machine itself will probably be a big portion of my paychecks). So feel free to list any good mouse/keyboard options that are $20-$30 or even higher, but $75 is on the pricey side for me.

    On the topic of overclocking, the only thing Iíve been informed about on it is that it will make your computer perform better at the high cost of causing a premature death on the processor. Other than what you told me now thatís all I knew about it. Everyone told me it was risky and really not worth it. If overclocking would kill any parts in the computer making me buy more Iíd rather have something that would last longer. So I guess Iíll go with the first set up. Maybe when I feel more comfortable and know a lot more about what Iím doing Iíll go with an overclocking system.

    Lastly, any more bits of knowledge I should know about that are important?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    489

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    I suggest overclocking and as it will die earlier it might last 7 years instead of 10 while overclocking and I highly doubt you will be using this CPU for anywhere near 7 years so overclocking is not a problem. It just takes pateints and using common sense. Just follow directions in many guides and ask any questions you ahve here and you will be fine. Many times the people that burn out their CPUs the cause is most likely the user being stupid and not using common sense. Just overclock slowly and thouroughly test for stability and watch your temps

    The heatsink Yaweg suggested is fine but the absolute best is the Thermalright XP-90. Actually the only HSF that is better then Thermalrights XP-90 is its own much larger XP-120.

    And as for mouse and keybnoard I personally do not like wireless mice because of many reasons so a Logitech MX510 would be great for a mouse and as for keyboard check out the Logitech Elite

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    I would actually recommend a wired keyboard and mouse, or at least a wired mouse. in my experience, many of them have problems in games, which is a big problem. The only one I would consider personally is the Logitech MX1000 (that's $75) because it uses different techonology than optical mice. However, if you think you won't have problem with it, the Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse package would be best.

    As for overclocking, it really depends how far you do it. Some light overclocking of the processor might not seriously reduce life span, but anything big will cut it in half, if not more than that. The kind of overclocking I was talking about could mean reducing it by more than half. For some lighter overclocking, just throw some Arctic Silver 5 on that CPU and switch to that Crucial RAM. Later on, you can get some case fans or a secondary HSF, but I'd stick with a cheaper one (the Thermaltake will get you about as far as you're going to go on air anyway). The only real reason not to do this is the risk of destroying your processor and having no warranty, but I'm betting you can handle it without damaging anything.

    Regarding your friends, I'm not convinced they have any idea what they're talking about. If they were letting you get a socket motherboard in a $1500 system, they certainly don't. You don't need any heatsink other than the retail one (you do need a heatsink), and you don't need any case fans (usually). If you want to do any extreme overclocking or anything big, you'd need a seperate HSF and fans. My machine has one case fan, but didn't initially nor did it need it, and the stock cooler. It's never had anything remotely resembling stability problems from heat, even after I overclocked my 9800 Pro.

    I've actually heard the Thermalright has some problems fitting on the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum, otherwise I might have recommended it. It's not that it's impossible, but it requires you to remove something from the board. If only I could remember what... It's pretty much unecessary, though. A K8 Silent Boost or something of similar power will get you as far as you're going to go without running more voltage through the processor than is good for lifespan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    Alright. All the information provided really helped me understand a little more about computers along with realizing how insignificant some of the other hardware is that I was probably going to get. I'm a bit hesitant about overclocking right now and I intend to research the subject before I actually make a decision to go for it. And I do intend to research since I hardly know anything now, especially if I want to upgrade my computer later on. Just so I know what Iím doing before I decide to try it.

    And NewEgg seems to be very, very popular. And I don't doubt their quality products and in shipping service, but is it the best site to get the best quality and price? Just curious.

    As for my final question, probably: That, to conserve space for later installment of RAM, I should get a 1GB stick instead of two 512s so I don't have to toss any out the door later on since I do intend to max our my RAM at some point. Though I think I can sell/handy down the old sticks to my brother for when/if he gets a job and wants to get a computer started. But he still brought up a valuable point. I have a funny feeling having a 1GB has it's downsides too. But then again, this is why message boards exist, to ask questions. What do you think?

    Lastly, thanks. I showed this set up to one of my friends already (It's early morning right now, for us at least) and he liked it, especially the motherboard.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    489

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    And NewEgg seems to be very, very popular. And I don't doubt their quality products and in shipping service, but is it the best site to get the best quality and price? Just curious.
    Newegg definetely is one of the bests. They ship fast and have extremely good support. You may eb able to fine cheaper prices through http://pricewatch.com and http://pricegrabber.com though

    As for my final question, probably: That, to conserve space for later installment of RAM, I should get a 1GB stick instead of two 512s so I don't have to toss any out the door later on since I do intend to max our my RAM at some point. Though I think I can sell/handy down the old sticks to my brother for when/if he gets a job and wants to get a computer started. But he still brought up a valuable point. I have a funny feeling having a 1GB has it's downsides too. But then again, this is why message boards exist, to ask questions. What do you think?
    Anything over 1GB as of now is overkill and if you get a mobo that supports dual channel then running 2x512mb will perform a bit better. There is a point when more RAM does not improve performance and I doubt you will need any more then 1GB. The onyl way I woudl see if someone did need more is if they ran a server.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    Don't get a GB stick of RAM. The timings are so terrible that it would seriously reduce performance. If you ever want 2GB of RAMs, and by then you'll probably want a different motherboard (we're talking years in the future here), you can get more 512MB stick of RAM. The board has room for 4 DIMMs, so you don't need to think about 1GB modules.

    I almost never use any service other than Newegg. It it means spending a few dollars more for a better service occasionally (but usually Newegg has good prices), it's worth it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: My very first crack at this "building your computer" thing. Please help.

    I just came across some information that may be important. That Windows does not currently have an OS that can support a 64 bit processor. I'm just wondering if this is true and if it is I may be a little screwed, since I am not very familiar with any other OS. Any information on this?

    Also, in regards to overclocking. As it is if ran normally the slower CPU would be worthless compared to the better CPU. But if overclocked then the slower CPU would become even better than the other, better CPU, but at the cost of a very short life span. But say I were to overclock the slower one just enough to equal the better CPU. How much of a life span would it have then and would it be worth it overall? (Money wise/performance wise)



    Last edited by Robo Sol; 11-01-2004 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Another question

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •