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First Time Choosing Parts!


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#1 theparade

theparade

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 08:18 PM

I've been using my family's computer for a long time now, and I want to get my own computer and place it in my own room. (Yes I'm young, 14 ) I live in Canada, and since you can get cheaper computers + better performing computers by building your own, I plan to build my own computer. Not exactly build though, I know that NCIX.com will build the computer for you (if you pay $25, seems good). I don't have the time to learn to build a computer, have no room for error and if for only $25 I can save the hassle it's worth it in my opinion. The only other place from Canada that sells parts online is tigerdirect.ca (but not building), and their prices are very similar.

Current Setup:
Sony VAIO VGC-RB50
Intel Pentium 4 Processor 640 (3.2 GHz)
FSB - 800MHz
512MB of PC-3200 400MHz DDR SDRAM
250GB 7200RPM Serial ATA™ HDD
15 inch ViewSonic LCD Screen

What I don't like:

I find that it is slow, sluggish and I want a faster computer for loading all my applications. Memory capacity is good enough for my needs. Screen I would like to be bigger, it's just too small.

Random Question:
My dad has told me to save my documents and all my stuff to the D drive, what is the point of this? He said it has something to do with all program files on C and if their is a virus, he can just reboot C or something?

Uses:

Mostly making word documents
Browsing forums + going on websites
Research, homework
Gaming (Free games, just on weekends when I have time)
Lots of security programs (I'm currently running Comodo Firewall, AVG Free, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware)
Music (All of the time when I'm on the computer)

Budget:
I'm not paying for it, but the lower the better.

I'm planning on getting some speakers with it too, anything with a subwoofer and two speakers is the most I will need. Operating system? I have no idea what 32-bit or 64-bit means.

Note: I want the desktop to be Wi-Fi, because I'm planning on keeping the computer I'm currently using (the VAIO). Should I just get the USB Plug-ins and just plug it in? The router I'm using is a 802.11g.

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:42 PM

Let's see, where to begin...

The decision to save documents to D:, along with almost all other data such as music and video you want to keep, is a smart move. If C: fails in some way, your data will be protected. But that doesn't mean that D: won't eventually fail either. Remember, most hard drives fail in five to ten years.

Now on to the 32-bit and 64-bit issue. Put simply, this determines how much RAM (along with certain instruction sets and registers within the processor) is used. In a 32-bit environment, you are limited to using a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. With 64-bit, you can use far, far more than that. Also, programs written for a 64-bit system will perform far better than a 32-bit program will since it has more resources available. There is a catch, your PC has to be 64-bit capable along with your operating system. Windows, Mac, and Linux all have 64-bit variants available. Each OS handles 64-bit differently. In Windows, the user can use 1 TB of RAM, have backwards compatibility for 32-bit programs, and several security features. If you're interested in 64-bit, I suggest you read this Wikipedia article.

PC's are expensive and the costs balloon quickly. Therefore, I will post some suggested specs for you. Since you're choosing to go with NCIX, I will limit my choices to those offered by that company. Also, I'm not sure if you're using their system configurator, which would save some time albeit restrict available hardware. For the CPU, I suggest an Intel Core 2 processor. If you want to future-proof yourself go for a quad core. For your motherboard, a 780i or 750i-based board would be good. For memory, get Corsair or Kingston branded memory. If you want 64-bit, get at least 4 GB of RAM. A sound card is a personal choice, if you listen to music all the time, get one. I don't like Creative-branded cards, I would go for an Asus Xonar card. Your graphics card should be a GeForce 9 or better, I suggest a GeForce 9600 GSO. Or, if you prefer ATI/AMD, an HD 4850. For a power supply, get a brand such as Corsair or Silverstone, at least 550-watts. The size of your hard drive is based on how much you need, Western Digital and Seagate make excellent drives. These are just some suggestions...

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