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Some Questions Before I Build


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#1 .bLah

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:36 PM

The computer I have now is an old office pc, Compaq EVO. Sadly, the best computer I have ever had.
I want a computer that can play Counter strike source and Battlefield 2+ at a good resolution, medium+ settings and a good fps.
Budget: 600$ maybe 700$

Here is what I have in mind so far.
Case Cooler Master
PSU 700w
Motherboard Micro ATX Intel LGA 775
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz LGA 775
Memory 2x1GB DDR2 Dual Channel
Video Card ASUS GeForce 8400GS 512mb RAM PCI-E x16
SATA 250GB HDD
DVD-ROM Drive
Subtotal: $596.92
Windows XP

Should I buy a better fan for the case?
Would this system be good for just Counter Strike and Battlefield 2142, maybe COD4/GTA4?

** I have been looking and I cant find any good motherboards with 2 PATA/IDE slots. The reason I want 2 is because I have a 250GB PATA HDD in my current computer and I would like to reuse it rather then buy an SATA and have to transfer 200+GB of stuff.
Is it possible to hook a HDD and DVD-ROM through one IDE cable into the same slot? Atleast until I could afford another HDD. I was thinking of reusing my HDD and buying this Motherboard instead, which would bring me to a subtotal of $576.93 and save me the trouble of installing windows and transferring all my stuff.

Another idea..
Is it possible to "recycle" my current GeForce4 MX 4000 (PCI) and add it to my newly built system as a secondary? Would that help at all? Maybe for the extra ram or something, or should I just trash the thing along with my system?
Once I get more money I plan to buy two new 19"+ LCD's and dual monitor, maybe a nice HDTV. For now i will just be using this big old Compaq monitor.


Building my own computer has been a little dream of mine for quite some time now and I want to make sure everything will go together good and not give me any problems. At the very least I want to be able to play Battlefield 2 with enjoyable graphics and fps.

Edited by .bLah, 18 May 2008 - 01:39 PM.


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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 04:46 PM

You can use two devices on a single IDE cable. I did it, but the one thing I had to do was put my hard drive in the top hard drive bay, and my DVD drive near the bottom of the Optical Drive bays. This was so the two connections could reach both devices.

I'm pretty sure you won't be able to use your old graphics card in your computer. You might be able to, but it's not going to boost performance at all. Also, the 8400gs is not a card for playing games. It's an entry level card for people looking for budget HD playback and dual-screen capabilities. I would suggest getting a card like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814150294 . $130 might seem like a lot, but it has a 30$ mail-in rebate. It also comes with Call of Duty 4 for free (that normally costs $40-$50), which is an extremely fun game. It will be able to play Counter-Strike and any of the Battlefields on all high settings with no lag. It will also be better for some future games.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 .bLah

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 08:16 PM

Thank you Sterling. I don't know much about video cards so I figured anything is better then the crap I got now. I will definitely get the one you suggested for the mail-in rebate, dual hookups and I have been dieing to try COD4 on PC. (xbox just isn't for me :huh:) :thumbsup:

I have changed some items on my list and I think its perfect for my budget. I just need someone experienced to confirm the compatibility of everything. I would hate to buy it and have to send stuff back. Also, will a 550w PSU be enough to support everything, could I possibly use a lower wattage so I could get my subtotal+shipping sum under 600$.

ATX Mid Tower
Intel LGA 775 ATX Motherboard
550w ATX SLI PSU
Intel Core2 Duo LGA 775 CPU
2x1GB Dual Channel 240Pin DDR2 Memory
XFX Nvidia GeForce 8800GS GPU PCI-E 2.0 x16
24" 3-Connector IDE Cable
DVD-ROM Drive
Subtotal: $575.42

I think everything would work well together but I'm not 100% sure.


One more question..
I been looking at some guides for putting a computer together and most of them say you need an ESD Bracelet. I know what this is but I don't have one and I'm not sure where to find one. I've never used one in the past when upgrading memory or adding cards and never ran into any problems.
What are the chances of shocking anything if I'm extremely careful and make sure to touch the case or something metal before touching the computer? Could I put this computer together without one if I'm cautious or is it extremely necessary to use a bracelet?

Thank you for any replies. :huh:

#4 Sterling14

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 09:14 PM

Ya I forgot to mention in my previous post that a 700 Watt power supply would be overkill for you. You could get away with a high quality 450 Watt probably. That 550 Watt looks really nice though, and you'll always have some extra juice in it for upgrades.

Also, I am wondering why you're buying another IDE cable? Does it have more space in between the two connectors to go into your hard drive and DVD drive? Thats good if that's the reason because the cable in the picture for your motherboard look like they are right next to each other.

Lastly, you should probably use an anti-static bracelet, but I've built my own computer, along with building my friends and never had a problem. I've been inside many computers to upgrade memory and other things, and have never broken anything (well at least not due to static, lol). Just touch something metal every now and then, and to be on the safe side, it's better not to stand on carpet or wear staticky clothing.

Lastly, I have a tip that you may or may not already know. A major mistake I made while first building my computer was that I didn't put the copper stand-offs in between the case and motherboard. This keeps the metal of the case from rubbing against the motherboard and causing the motherboard to short. This ended up frying my motherboard, but good thing Newegg is so good about returns :thumbsup: . You'll know what I'm talking about when you see them mixed in with the bag of screws you get with your case.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#5 Lucky23

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 10:22 PM

Hi looks like a a good build but i have a few suggestions.

I would step up on the power supply because its really important to have a good clean power.

Corsair 550 80+ cert.

Also I would get the EVGA 8800GS rather then the XFX do to the fact that the EVGA has an adjustable fan speed on the heatsink as where the XFX version does not. This means the fan on the XFX version is running at 100% all the time and if you read the reviews a lot of people are getting bothered by it.

One other thing about the EVGA is that i sent in the rebate and received my $30 back within a month after i sent it. Fastest rebate i ever received.

EVGA 8800GS


As for the RAM i would look at these there the same price and have better timmings.

I have this
Gskill

Mushkin

I would go with either of these. There a good brand, have faster timings, and there set to run at 1.8volts. Whats good about this is that the DS3L is set by default to run the RAM at 1.8volts so with this RAM your new build should post no problem.

It will post fine with the Adata ram also but for the same price i think these will be better choices. Plus the mushkin has a mail in rebate so its even cheaper.

Edited by Lucky23, 18 May 2008 - 10:35 PM.

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

#6 Lucky23

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 11:02 PM

Also the motherboard you chose is really good, i have the same one. One thing though there is a know issue with the drivers for the LAN and the onboard Audio. First thing do NOT install the drivers from the CD that comes with the board because there out dated. I personally am not using one driver from Gigabyte on my system in my sig. If you feel like playing around with it and getting the onboard audio and LAN to work properly then make sure you use the drivers off www.giga-byte.com. I tried the drivers off the web site and it worked at first but they ended up getting crupt while i was updating windows XP from SP2 to SP3 and both audio and LAN stoped working. It also caused the computer windows to freeze after i opened them such as explorer and other programs. I ended up just starting over and reinstalling windows xp. The second time around i installed a LAN card into my PCI slot which XP provided drivers for and i also bought a Sound blaster SE sound card and installed the drivers for that from the driver cd that came with it. After i did that everything worked 100%.

But once again DO NOT install drivers from cd that come with motherboard the motherboard will work just fine without any drivers from gigabyte.

Here is the sound card that i bought.

Sound Blaster SE
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 .bLah

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 11:58 AM

Sterling:
Yeah, the IDE cable is just so I can be sure I will have a long enough cable with 3 connectors. I cant really make out how long the one in the motherboard picture is or even if it has 3 or 2 connectors.


Lucky:
I have heard its bad to go with a cheap psu but I'm hoping I can get away with this one. I do plan on upgrading it later on but for now I hope this one will hold up for me.
I've also heard lots of good things about EVGA and if it wasn't for the free COD4 that comes with that XFX I would get an EVGA. I'm not to worried about fan noise as long as its reasonable and gets the job done. :huh:
I will take your suggestion on the memory and go with the Mushkin for the better Timing (not sure what that is :huh:) and its cheaper with the MIR.
As for the LAN and Audio drivers.. I've got a wireless PCI card in this computer that I plan on re-using and if needed I have a fairly new ethernet PCI card in an old computer that I can use. The Audio drivers I could probably find and get that working hopefully.

Thank you both very much for your help. :thumbsup:
P.S. Forgot to mention this before, I'm trying to keep the subtotal of everything plus the S&H under 600$ that way I can take out a "loan" from my mom and get this much sooner. B)

One last question. When I do get everything together, will the OS on my HDD work normally if I uninstall all the drivers? I wont need to reformat once I switch the hdd from this computer to the new one will I? I have lots of stuff on my HDD and no backup solutions.

#8 Sterling14

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 03:32 PM

The power supply you chose isn't bad .blah, but the one Lucky23 posted is 80+ certified which means it has better power efficiency.

I think XFX is a good brand. My friend has an XFX graphics card and it runs really well, and my motherboard is an XFX (ya that was probably a risky move), but it works just as good as it should, if not better. From reviews, it does say the fan is quite loud, but if you don't have the computer sitting on your desk, it probably won't be that bad.

That G.skill ram is probably the best ram for the money.

When I built my computer, I reused my Windows XP disc, and my hard drive from my old computer. I didn't have to reformat my hard drive, but I had to reinstall windows. A few of my programs and games didn't work anymore, but all my music , pictures, and other files were still on it. You might want to back up some of your really important files first, just in case.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#9 Lucky23

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:15 PM

Lucky:
I have heard its bad to go with a cheap psu but I'm hoping I can get away with this one. I do plan on upgrading it later on but for now I hope this one will hold up for me.
I've also heard lots of good things about EVGA and if it wasn't for the free COD4 that comes with that XFX I would get an EVGA. I'm not to worried about fan noise as long as its reasonable and gets the job done. :thumbsup:
I will take your suggestion on the memory and go with the Mushkin for the better Timing (not sure what that is :huh:) and its cheaper with the MIR.
As for the LAN and Audio drivers.. I've got a wireless PCI card in this computer that I plan on re-using and if needed I have a fairly new ethernet PCI card in an old computer that I can use. The Audio drivers I could probably find and get that working hopefully.



No problem just wanted to warn you ahead of time in case you didnt know.
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

#10 Sneakycyber

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:21 PM

Inexpensive back up solution you can E-mail txt files to your self depending on your mail box limits you can do quite a few. You can borrow some HDD space from a friend and install your HD in their computer and offload all your music to their computer. You could borrow a DVD RW drive or a CD rw drive and back up files to cd.

Edit: Its very important you back up your files before you install the new components. Very few people get away with out having to format or reinstall windows. Depending on how precious your files are I wouldn't risk it.

Edited by Sneakycyber, 19 May 2008 - 05:22 PM.

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