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Computer build for a newbie - Hope you can help


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#1 mrmatt2

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 07:43 PM

My E-tower computer died, and I have rescued some components from it, that are still good & would like to reuse



What I have to reuse:

- Case: Etower Et2984

- ATA Hard drive ( 4 months old) Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJB 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ( was made master)

WDC WD800BB-22FJA0 IDE (2004) makes noise, reason for getting above - but worked 80 GB

- NEC Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner

- and one other cd burner..... :huh:

Mulitmedia card reader

I would like this to be a good home computer, but be pretty good with gaming as I am looking into playing games developed using the engine from DOOM3. So a good game/video card would be great :thumbsup: ( requiremnts, nvida-fx, geoforce 6800, ATI radeon 9800... not real high performers for today, willing to go better)

So I guess I need a motherboard that would accept the above HD's


Ok, it would be fun to say I have a couple grand $$ to build with, but where is the challenge with that?

My wife is wanting to have a spending limit of $400.00 ( can probably go up from that if necessary).

What would be suggested?

Is the case good enough? Is a case like any other case?

THANKS!!!!!!!!!


Matt

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:04 AM

Reusing components from an old PC is an economical, and responsible, thing to do. I did have some issues looking up the case so I cannot tell if it is any good. Reusing cases from OEM's can be problematic since some don't adhere to standards. If the case is a mid or full ATX tower, you may be alright. You might also want to consider getting SATA drives as IDE drives are slow and are quickly becoming obsolete and, if they are several years old, they can fail. Most hard drives last for about five years. Also, you may need to purchase Windows again if you do not own a retail copy. Thankfully, the Windows 7 RC is free and still going on so you will be able to put off buying an operating system for at least a little while. The only real problem I can see is the older PATA (IDE) drives. Most new motherboards only come with one or two connections for those. You can purchase an add-on card or an adapter if you want to reuse those drives on a new motherboard.

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel - You may not need this if your old case is a mid tower and follows the ATX standard. $50

Motherboard: ECS BLACK SERIES A790GXM-AD3 AM3 - This motherboard supports the latest AMD processors and DDR3 memory. Its got a newer chipset with two PCI-express X16 slots since you are a gamer. It can also handle 4 PATA (IDE) devices before you have to get an IDE to SATA adapter. $109 (Before $10 mail-in rebate)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz - This is a triple core processor meaning it has more power than a dual but less than a quad. This is also a Black Edition processor meaning it has an unlocked multiplier making overclocking very easy. However, if you really want to go quad, the Phenom II X4 810 is about $30 more but runs at a slower speed per core. The AMD Phenom II X4 945 runs at 3GHz and is quad core also, but is about $100 more than the 720. $139

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - This board uses DDR3 memory and this will do. Your PC can handle up to 32GB, but the manufacturer has tested it up to 8GB. You must have a 64-bit operating system to use 4GB or more of memory. $65

Total: $363

If you don't need a new case, or simply want a better graphics card, you can get the SAPPHIRE 100256L Radeon HD 4670 1GB for about $80. Make sure you have at least a 400W power supply, though I suggest 500W or more to have a bit more room to work with. If your old power supply isn't good enough (few budget OEM PC's are) the OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W will work.

Edited by DJBPace07, 19 June 2009 - 09:19 PM.

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#3 mrmatt2

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:48 PM

DJBP

THANKS for your time in replying!!!!!!!!!!!!,

I do want to reuse at least the one new hard drive, it does have a lot of info on it. Again it is just a few months old.

So I guess from what you are saying motherboards can have both sata and pata plugs.


I will look over your response in more detail, and let you know if I have any questions ( i'm sure I will actually).
Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your time - & I'll be back......

Thanks again

Matt

Edited by mrmatt2, 19 June 2009 - 07:51 PM.


#4 mrmatt2

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:01 PM

I am trying to understand how to determine if a case has ATX specs or not, read a few sites on ATX - still gathering an understanding, but so far the sites seem to be a little to wordy to get the idea across. I understand the ATX is a standard that other companies of other components have followed ( ATX motherboards) so as to fit well with other ATX spec components....


M

#5 mrmatt2

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:04 PM

I just looked at my power supply that came out of the etowers case, it has ATX on its label - does that guarantee the case it ATX compatible? - I'm guessing it is..............


IT does look exactly like this Posted Image

but without that kind of off switch........


https://ssl-proxy-updated.herokuapp.com/74f45436595797285891ba32da1b116b080f0f86/687474703a2f2f656e2e77696b6970656469612e6f72672f77696b692f46696c653a4154582d4e65747a7465696c2e6a7067/





obtained from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX

Edited by mrmatt2, 19 June 2009 - 08:13 PM.


#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 09:46 PM

You need to know the wattage of your power supply if you want to get a better graphics card. There should be a sticker on the unit listing the wattage. Almost all power supplies follow the ATX standard, but there several different variants of that standard. Home Theater PC's (HTPC's) are designed to small and compact, thus they are considered mini or micro-ATX. Most of the motherboards gamers use follow the standard ATX size. However, not all cases can handle a standard ATX motherboard. Obviously, a case designed for a mini-ATX motherboard cannot hold a standard ATX motherboard because of size constraints. My case (Silverstone Temjin TJ10), due to its large size can handle everything from a micro-ATX to an extended-ATX motherboard. Cases rated up to standard-ATX motherboard size are called mid-ATX, cases rated though the extended-ATX motherboard size are extended or Full-ATX cases. Unless your PC was built as a workstation or gaming PC, most computer manufacturers use mid-ATX cases. Normal users don't have to worry about the size of the case. Gamers, however, have to take it into consideration. Graphics cards, especially the high performance ones, are becoming huge. Thankfully, the HD 4670 is not that big (about 7 inches long, I think) so it should fit into most cases. An HD 4890, a more powerful card, is about 10.5 inches making it a very tight fit into some cases. Occasionally, the card will not fit into the case at all they are so big. That's why it is suggested for those cards you should have a full-ATX case, more so if you want two or more cards.

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#7 mrmatt2

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 08:33 AM

THanks again for the info!!


I'll learn some more around the topics you addressed, and I never knew one could make use of more than one graphic card at a time.......never heard of anyone having 2 - but that is why I'm a newbie!


Thanks!


Matt

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 01:51 PM

It has been possible to use two or more graphics cards for several years now. For Nvidia cards, it is called SLI and for ATI cards it is called Crossfire. Using these technologies, two cards can work almost like one really powerful card. Some motherboards allow up to four, though the performance increase is lowered with every card past the second. So, for example, with the second card the performance could increase 50%, with the third 25%, and the fourth 10%. Not all games can make use of SLI/Crossfire and those that do are able to take advantage of the additional cards in a number of ways. In order to use more than one card, you need to have two or more PCI-express X16 slots. You also need to know which technology your motherboard supports, the motherboard I chose in an earlier post allows for Crossfire. Next, you need have graphics cards that supports the technology, the HD 4670 I chose does. Crossfire is only available on ATI cards and SLI is available only on NVidia cards. Finally, you need to make sure your power supply has enough wattage to power two or more cards. For instance, the graphics card I selected above requires a 550W power supply or higher when used with Crossfire.

Wikipedia - ATI CrossFire
Wikipedia - Scalable Link Interface (SLI)
[H]ardOCP - 9800 GTX vs. SLI vs. 3-way SLI. vs. Quad SLI <<<Although it is SLI using NVidia cards, the same concept works the same on ATI cards.

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#9 Techiant

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:15 PM

For $400 you may be better off getting a new basic PC (no monitor). Then you could reuse monitor, HDD (as a second drive), and DVD burner.

#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:20 PM

Most of those lower cost PC's aren't that good to begin with and you can get better hardware choices if you just simply overhaul your current PC. Dell nor HP sells PC's at that price range that has the same higher performing hardware that is in my initial post. However, if you feel as though you have no idea what you're doing, buying an OEM PC may be preferable.

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#11 mrmatt2

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 09:23 PM

Bought all of the items you suggested, with the exception of the graphics card, got this instead

hRadeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP


- They had it for 15% off, with $10.00 rebate, and free shipping, so it brought it down a tad below the cost of the other graphics, not including shipping. I understand it is a better card.

So am waiting to receive the items, then will be in touch again.

I do not need a sound card? or is that part of the graphics card?

Also the power supply you suggested, do I need IDE adapters ( not sure what they are called) to be able to fit the power supply connector to my old HD, which is a PATA (IDE)


THanks for all of your help DJB!!!!!!!


Matt

#12 DJBPace07

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 09:56 PM

You're correct the Radeon HD 4850 is a better card spec wise, as you can see here. As for the sound, it is included on the motherboard. You only really need a dedicated sound card if you make music, have very good speakers/headphones, or are planning on using the computer in a home theater. I have a dedicated soundcard because of my heaphones...and my previous soundcard had issues. You do not need special IDE power adapters for your PATA devices, the box will contain all necessary plugs (4-pin molex) for for the drive. There are two plugs that go to your drives, one is for data (SATA or PATA) and the other is for power. Once you've connected everything, all you have to do is reinstall Windows and you're set.

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#13 mrmatt2

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 12:14 PM

Once again, thanks for your input, I would have responded back quicker, but suffered an injury to my back. Now that I'm up and around again, I'll be working on it!


Thanks again

Matt

#14 mrmatt2

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 02:44 PM

Hi,

First question,

hooking up the internal speaker from the case to the motherboard:
wire from case has 2 wires going to the clip, I know which is ground, & pos

The motherboard diagram shows 4 pins, ( though there are 3 pins on the board, thats ok, I get that)
pins are labeled as ( in the book)
1- VCC
2-Key
3-NC
4-Signal


which positive wire goes from the case to the pins above ( 1 or 4)
VCC means positive ( so I thought), but I would also think Signal would also be positive.

There is no indication on the MB which pin is #1 or any other. :thumbsup:

Thanks!

Matt

#15 DJBPace07

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 07:08 PM

The clip that has the speaker connection on it should only connect to the SPK pins in one way, depending on the case used. I cannot download the motherboard for your PC as the ECS website keeps giving me a 404 error nor can I find the exact model of your case online.

May help...

PCTechGuide - Front panel connectors

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