I'm a 19yo student from the UK who has recently developed a passion for computers. I want to build my own PC for the first time and have learnt a fair bit in researching what that entails but I now need your help with the specifics - there's much I still don't know.
I currently run Windows XP on a few-year-old Compaq Presario mainly used for basic home computing tasks: online surfing, word processing, watching movies, playing flash games online etc. I want to build a PC for the customisability and ease of future upgrades too but most importantly just so I can advance up the learning curve. I am going to uni in a few months and the PC I am looking to build is intended to be fairly high end, although certainly not top-of-the-range. I want to be able to play fairly recent games on the new build and generally have it performing pretty fast - enough so to be considered reasonably future-proofed so that I only need to upgrade the odd part once in a while and have it last me a decent number of years. The budget I have for this is around £1000 but this is relatively flexible; I don't mind spending more if necessary as long as it is worthwhile - the key for me is value for money.
So the following is a list of the ideas and thoughts I am considering at the moment and hope you will be able to offer your ideas on:
I am thinking of the Coolermaster Mystique 632S. It is a sturdy model with 2 120mm fans - adequate cooling - with slots for liquid cooling if I wish to upgrade to it in the future, and I personally like the design. I don't really need much from my case other than a door to cover the front so this will probably suffice but does anybody have any experience with this - or similar 632 model - or have any opinions on either?
Based on the long term aspect of my build and the recent price drop in CPUs, I'm considering a choice between Q6600 vs E6850. As I asked in this topic, I am unsure which would be the best choice in CPU. The Million Dollar Question offers some good information on this particularly on its graph but the way I see it is which is the better of 2 choices:
OPTION 1: Q6600 is better because it already performs better in multi-threaded applications and pretty soon more and more applications will be optimised for quad-core so if I'm going to buy a CPU now I might as well go for one that will be ready for the future
OPTION 2: E6850 is better because it performs best in more 'everyday' tasks and is great for gaming today. It should not be difficult to opt for a motherboard which supports this AND quad-core allowing for a simple upgrade when the technology for it has matured.
I seem to change my mind daily with a different person's reasoning, however I am currently swaying towards option 2 and I may perhaps even go for a lower dual-core model as the higher 1333 FSB on the E6850 seems to be having a marginal effect in the tests I have seen and so another CPU which will fulfill my needs would save me money thus allowing me to make a big upgrade to quad-core in the future. What would you do?
I was originally intending to opt for an Nvidia 8800GTS which my understanding is that it provides great graphics in DX9 but is only Ok for DX10 which would have suited me as I won't be playing the VERY LATEST DX10 games any time soon and probably won't have Vista initially either. However I am now considering saving my money on this a little and going for a slightly older graphics card which will also give me good support for DX9 which I will need and that will mean I can go for a good, strong upgrade to a high-end DX10 card in the future when both drivers and games are ready to make full use of it. Is this a good decision or not?
Also I'm not sure but I believe I read somewhere that the 7600GT or the 8600GT would be good for me if I did follow through with this. What do you think? Can you suggest an alternative?
I started by posting a question about this here. I would like to go for 2GB of good quality RAM as this would be essential for me as I eventually want to be able to run Vista on this machine and would also like the option for some overclocking potential some day. The only point of reference I have is this incomplete review of some big brand products of PC2-6400 RAM. There is much I don't understand about RAM such as which FSB to go for, PC2 -6400, -8000, -8500, CAS numbers and the like. No idea where to start with this one.
I build up a large catalogue of photos, music and movies so I want to have around 500GB of storage space. I am currently having difficulty deciding between Samsung Spinpoint T166-HD501LJ recommended by a recent Computer Shopper review and Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD5000YS recommended by Tom's Hardware. Someone also suggested to my that it may be a better idea to opt for 2 x 250GB drives - 1 to handle OS and applications and 1 for documents, files and media or perhaps I could achieve this by simply partitioning a single 500GB drive? I do not know which would be better and welcome opinions on this.
MOBO, PSU and PERIPHERALS
I will work out what I need from my motherboard and PSU once I have calibrated the rest of my list of parts. I also intend to add a DVD-RW drive as well as a media drive bay later but these are less important right now.
I will start off with a Linux system most likely to be Ubuntu as it is a good free choice and I want to gain more familiarity with Linux. However, I do intend to eventually run a dual boot with Windows (XP if not Vista).
So this is where I am now. Please let me know how I am doing, where I am right and wrong and offer your thoughts on how to proceed.
Edited by benny269, 03 August 2007 - 07:09 PM.