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First Computer Build


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#1 jazzman831

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 08:54 PM

Much as the title suggests, I will be building a new computer within the next two months but I've never done it before. I have done a LOT of research over the last couple weeks, and I certainly feel like a pro... but I figured I'd ask anyways ;) I'm pretty sure that everything plays nice together, but I don't know anything about brand names or reputations or anything.

The list can be found here: https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishli...+suggestions%3F

I will mostly be using it for general web surfing, etc, but I will be doing some gaming as well. Usually I stick to older games, but I need something which can play GHIII (specs here -- I've already purchased this game and my laptop won't play it :thumbsup:) and Assassin's Creed (specs [url="http://"http://pc.ign.com/articles/858/858284p1.html"]here[/url]). I don't think I'll do any OC'ing, and I'd like to keep it relatively ugradeable.

Groundwork:
*MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-MA69G-S3H AM2 AMD 690G HDMI ATX AMD
*CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ 2.8GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core (OEM, no cooler)
*CPU Cooler: ARCTIC COOLING ALPINE 7 92mm
*RAM: Transcend 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
*Gfx: MSI NX8600GT-T2D512E OC GeForce 8600GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI
*HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE WD400JD 40GB 7200 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s (OEM)
*HDD: SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD321KJ 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (OEM)
*PSU: RAIDMAX Hybrid 2 RX-530SS ATX12V / EPS12V 530W

Other Goodies:
*Case: Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-BA Black Steel ATX Full Tower
*Case fan: Rosewill RFA120L-R 120mm 4 Red LEDs LED Case Fan
*Fan Control (reviews say that the case gets loud and the lights are bright!): Sunbeam RHK-EX-BA Rheobus-Extreme
*Card reader (for digital camera and PDA): SABRENT CRW-UINB 65-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA
*Optical: HP 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black IDE Model dvd1040i

Thanks in advance! You guys give great advice!
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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:02 AM

The only problem I could see is the graphics card not being powerful enough. I have both guitar hero 3 and assassins creed on my computer, and I have an ATI X1900Gt. The X1900GT is just about as good as the 8600GT, maybe even a tad better. I can only play those games on lower settings. If you are looking to go cheap and still want some power, you might want to look into the 8800GS.

Here is a great XFX 8800GS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814150275 . It is only 130$ and has a 30$ mail in rebate.

Also, looking through the 8800GT's, I found this gigabyte card for 150$ and 20$ mail in rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814125089 . It's only the 256mb version, but it is better then the 8800GS. It's also overclocked.

These are just some suggestions, you might not like them, but I figure for only a few more dollars you could get a much better graphics card.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 garmanma

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:47 PM

Don't forget a tube of Arctic Silver thermal compound
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

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#4 jazzman831

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:00 PM

<snip>
These are just some suggestions, you might not like them, but I figure for only a few more dollars you could get a much better graphics card.

No, thank you for the advice. I need as much as I can get!

I had actually gone back and forth on the card already. The comments on Newegg suggest that the 8800 is the way to go, with 8600 being second place, and honestly I don't really know the difference.

If I go with the 8800 that you linked to, I would need a new mobo (because the one I chose doesn't not have PCIe 2.0 x16). This actually makes the 8800 cheaper, because this mobo looks good (BIOSTAR TA770) and is $7 cheaper than the one I had already spec'ed.

Though if I do get that mobo, then I might need a new PSU. Newegg shows a 24-pin and an 8-pin power, but my PSU only has one extra 4-pin as far as I can tell. (Strangely, though, I downloaded the manual from Biostar's website, and the manual says and shows a picture of a 4-pin...). So if I then have to replace the PSU, I might end up getting the upgraded card for free!

Time to go do some more iterations....

Don't forget a tube of Arctic Silver thermal compound

YES Thank you! Ha ha that would be fun to have all my parts in and then realize I still need to go to the store. Do'h!
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#5 Sterling14

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 07:19 AM

PCIex16 and PCIe 2.0 are interchangeable. They are the same slot, but 2.0 runs a little faster. You can put a 2.0 card in a X16 slot and vice versa. That board you have already chosen can use PCIe 2.0 cards.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#6 Lucky23

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 12:08 PM

Yea i would definatly go with the 8800GS. I have it and its a great card and also for the price theres nothing else in that price range worth buying. If your planning on having two hard drives i would just spend the extra couple of bucks and make them both 3.0gbs SATA II instead of one 1.5gbs and one 3.0gbs.

Even if you were going to go with an 8600GT this would be the one to go with

8600GT

For the RAM i would go with this. Its rated well and comes with heatsinks

G Skill 6400
Centurion 5 Case~GA-P35-DS3L Rev2.0~E6550~EVGA 8800GS~3GB GSkill~Cooler Master 650 PRO~Seagate 320GB SATA II~ 2 ASUS 20X Burners~Sound Blaster Audigy SE~ZeroTherm CF900~Acer 22" P221W

#7 jazzman831

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 01:14 PM

PCIex16 and PCIe 2.0 are interchangeable.

Actually I learned that on Wikipedia last night. I might end up switching mobos anyway. I think when I searched Newegg the first time I excluded anything without PCIe1.0 (silly me), and I like the cheaper board better.

I've been researching video cards all last night and this morning... I think it's going to come down to how much the MIR is (and how much money I actually have available to spend) when I finally decide to buy the thing.

The 1.5/3.0 hard drive selection is left over from the way I originally thought I wanted to build my computer. I initially want to have a small SATA and a large IDE... until I realized that the larger SATAs are cheaper! So I kept the small HD and upgraded the larger one and just never got around to changing the smaller one again. Hrm... this one looks good; it's twice the size, twice the speed... and two dollars cheaper. Almost makes me wonder though, if my "small" hard drive is 80 gigs, what's the point in having two? Should I skip the small one entirely?

As for the RAM, what's the difference between the two? I've heard/read the G.Skill all around, so it must be a pretty good brand?

Thanks again for all your help!! :thumbsup: I thought I knew a lot about computers until I actually decided to sit down and build one myself...
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#8 jazzman831

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:01 PM

I've made a couple changes, and I have a question:
*MoBo: After long deliberation I've decided to change to a BIOSTAR TA770 A2+ (found here)
*Gfx: I'm still deciding. I'm leaning towards the XFX GeForce 8800GS (here), but that will depend on what prices are next month
*HDD: I'm trading the 40gb WD for this Excelstor 80gb SATA II
*I might change the extra case fan, but that's not really important
*I'm also changing to this fan controller, but that's also not that important.

And my question is this: when I was looking back at my CPU cooler, I noticed that the one I wanted (this one) only supports up to 5000+ but my processor is a 5400+. If I'm not planning to overclock (at least not by a whole lot) and I have 5 case fans, one of which is close to or possibly on top of the CPU, will this cooler be ok?

Edit to add: One more thing I forgot about. I plan to use this as a DVD player, hooked up to my TV. Is there anything I need to know/worry about? Unfortunately I don't know anything about the TV I'll be using since, uh, I don't have it yet :thumbsup:

Edited by jazzman831, 21 April 2008 - 10:11 PM.

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#9 tg1911

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:46 PM

For a couple of extra dollars, I'd stick with one of the better known manufacturers of harddrives, like WD, or Seagate.

If the CPU cooler is rated up to a Athlon X2 5000+, I wouldn't use it on a 5400+.
It's rated up to a 5000, for a reason, that being it can't handle more.
Don't skimp on a CPU cooler.
It's not worth it, if you fry your processor.
It's better to over-cool, than under-cool, especially if you do any overclocking.
Get one that can do the job. :thumbsup:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#10 jazzman831

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:25 AM

Bah! I knew someone would say that. I guess it's a good thing I learn this now instead of a month (or so) from now when I couldn't figure out why my processor was so hot. Thanks tg!

I did some looking around and found this one by Xigmatek that looks pretty good and got good reviews.
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#11 Lucky23

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:52 AM

Also the evga version of the 8800gs has an adjustable fan as where the XFX version doesnt. The XFX fan runs at 100% all the time and according to the reviews it gets noisy thats why i switched to the evga version.
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#12 jazzman831

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 02:43 PM

Oooooh good to know. And of course it makes the decision just that much harder! :thumbsup:
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#13 tg1911

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:53 PM

I did some looking around and found this one by Xigmatek that looks pretty good and got good reviews.

Looks like it should do the job.
Might be a little noisy (35 dBA) at max RPM, though. :thumbsup:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#14 jazzman831

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:11 PM

Should the mobo control the fan speed? (There is a 4-pin header on the mobo... I just kinda assumed that this meant the software would handle it lol!) The case shouldn't have a problem keeping the internal temp down (what with 5 fans), so as long as I can control the speed, I wasn't too worried about noise.

The next model up is a bit quieter (120mm fan for better flows with lower sound), but the thing's so large even in my case I might only have an inch of clearance! Then after that... well let's say I'm already topping out my budget as it is.

Thanks again for all the help. I really know a lot more about computers than my silly questions make it seem!!
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#15 tg1911

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:42 PM

Yes, you can set it up in the BIOS, how the mobo will control the fan speeds.

I have my fans running at 100%, all the time.
With the case fans (2 x SCYTHE S-FLEX 120mm), and heatsink/fan (Asus Arctic Square), being so quiet, I barely hear them with the case on the desk, a foot away from me.
If the TV, or air conditioner is running, I don't hear them at all. :thumbsup:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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