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Choosing what to buy, tips please?


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#1 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:20 PM

Hey,
Before now I've been able to put together computers using parts, in school and at home. But I've never sat down and bought the parts so I'm wondering what I'll need?

What I want is;
Something cheap that will last atleast a year or two.
Room to add more RAM in the future.
A good fan system.


Where do I go about looking for stuff? Do I just find a processor and build around it or what?

I live in the UK so if you have a good place to buy stuff that'd be awesome :thumbsup:

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:03 PM

Step One: Decide how much money you want to expend.

Step Two: Based on the amount of dough you are willing to part with...determine what you really need. New motherboard...yes. New CPU...yes. New RAM...depends on what you have now and what you decide you want for the next year or so. New PSU...maybe not necessary, but a good value. New case...depends on what you have now and what you decide you want for the next year. And so on...

Then...go window shopping at a website like Newegg.com and also Tiger Direct. Not that you are going to buy...but to get an idea of what may be available, what's being pushed as today's latest/greatest...what's available that was the latest/greatest from a year or two ago that has pretty good prices today and exceeds the value/performance of your current system.

Most importantly...don't decide quickly. Read about the items you think you are interested in, paying attention to comments which seem to be unbiased.

I can tell you this...I don't know how it is in the U.K., but here in the U.S., there are lots of good values from those who don't treat buying a system in the same manner that they go to the grocery store to decide what treat they are going to buy (ice cream or cake, why not both, etc.). Develop reasons that you want the components that you settle on...something a lot more substantial than "my friend told me this is a good system, he's got one."

It's a little work, but the end product will be a system you like using for the next year or so.

It's also important to remember that you only intend to have it for that time period...you are not marrying it, "it's not 'til death do us part" :huh:. It's definitely "'til I decide to divorce this system", knowing that you will :huh:. How else do these component manufacturers and system manufacturers make any money :thumbsup: ?

Anyway, those are my suggestions.

After all that...you then have to find a comparable vendor in the U.K. where "fair value" is not synonymous with "let me sell you some compoenents that will help me make my budgeted sales for this quarter B).

A computer is a personal choice for anyone who builds...treat it that way and get what you deem best. You are the person who has to be happy with it. Trust yourself to make the right decisions, for the right reasons...after you do some research.

Then...after you think you've decided...run it by the group here.

That's not the way that I would do it...I would not run it by anyone because I think I know enough to do what should be done (now I do, I didn't always). But it's the method/approach I would suggest to any builder without experience researching, selecting, etc.

Louis

#3 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 06:09 PM

Would this work? Is anything missing? Etc.
What I know is missing (and don't need these pointing out); Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, OS.


Mobo;
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
175.84.
(link is http://www.kikatek.com/product_info.php?pr...;source=froogle)

Processor;
Intel Core I7 2.66GHz Processor
110.
(link is http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q...0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p)

RAM;
DIMM 240-pin, 1333 MHz, 4GB (2X2GB)
59
(link is http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?h...0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p)

Hard-drive;
Seagate Barracuda 500GB Internal HD - 300 MDps - 7200 RPM
27
(link is http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q...0CA0Q8wIwATgA#p)

Case;
Black and silver, 2XUSB 2.0, no PSU, ATX compatible.
20
(http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150284?utm_s...medium=products)

PSU;
600 watt (too much?) OCZ StealthXStream.
49
(url=http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=PSU&hl=en&cid=1841721063482288764&ei=J_puTMTfC4nwwAWN5MCDDg&sa=title&ved=0CBMQ8wIwAjgA&os=tech-specs#techSpecSect0)

Dvd RW;
Sony Optiarc AD-7241s
13
(http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalogq=...0CA0Q8wIwATgA#p)

Edited by VaudeVillianVeteran, 20 August 2010 - 06:17 PM.


#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 06:45 PM

You need the operating system (You already know that) and a graphics card. Also, what are you going to be using a system for? Unless you're building a high-end gaming rig, you may have more than you need or can change some parts around to make it less expensive. Keep in mind that Intel will be replacing Socket LGA 1366 with Socket LGA 2011 and CPU's for those two sockets are not backwards compatible. Therefore, your motherboard is nearing the end of its lifespan in terms of compatibility with upcoming CPU's.

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#5 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 06:47 PM

What other motherboard would you reccomend, and processor to go with it?

Could I have a too powerfull PSU?

#6 Ryan Pianesi

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 08:57 PM

Well, if your going to make a good computer, i would advise you to do it the right way. check out Newegg

#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:03 AM

Newegg does not ship to the U.K., you will have to find a U.K. retailer who will, such as ebuyer. As for the previous question, your PSU choice is largely determined by the graphics card you want, however, the 600W unit will power all but the most powerful graphics cards on the market. You are going to be purchasing a mid-ATX case, keep in mind that in some of those cases, large graphics cards may not fit, and, if they do, should not be ran in a Crossfire or SLI configuration. Further continuing what I said in the previous post, Intel is replacing the LGA 1366 socket with the LGA 2011 socket, this means all motherboards and CPU's currently using the LGA 1366 socket, which includes the CPU you've chosen and motherboard, will be rendered obsolete. Further, the new LGA 2011 CPU's and motherboards will not be backwards compatible with the LGA 1366 parts out today, thus ending your future upgrade options.

You did not list what you are going to be doing with this PC, so it is difficult to determine what the best setup is for your case but here are a few suggestions for you, I will be replacing the CPU and motherboard as everything else will be compatible. To save cash and to keep upgrade routes open:

General home PC - One where basic tasks will be performed, no gaming, rendering, or anything else which might stress the system:

Motherboard: Asus M4A87TD/USB3 870 Socket AM3 - This is AMD's motherboard which takes AM3 CPU's and DDR3. Like most AMD 8-series chipsets, this one allows for SATA 6 and USB 3.0. This is a budget motherboard that does not have a graphics card built-in nor does it allow for Crossfire since it has only a single PCI-E X16 slot.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2GHz - This is a dual-core CPU which will handle all the standard computing tasks. It is also good for gaming in situations where you don't turn all visual settings on high. This is a Black Edition CPU which means its multiplier is unlocked, making overclocking very easy.

Budget gaming PC - This setup is for people who want a little more power for games, but generally don't need, or want, the hardware to run the latest games at their maximum graphics settings.

Motherboard: You can keep the one in the general home PC build as it will work well here too. The removal of SLI or Crossfire should not be much of a problem at this level since adding more cards increases costs.

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9GHz - The Athlon II series of CPU's can hold their own well. This budget quad-core CPU can handle most games at a reasonable level of quality. However, the Athlon II line, unlike the Phenom II, does not have L3 cache and L2 cache is limited, placed head-to-head with a Phenom II X2 clocked at 2.9 GHz., the Phenom II would win. However, if a quad-core optimized game or application is used against that Phenom II X2 CPU using the Athlon II X4, the Athlon would win as it has two more cores.

Mid range gaming PC - This is where the features of a motherboard start to come into play, also, your graphics card will be more heavily used, so you will need a good one to have decent framerates.

Motherboard: Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 880G - This has the same features as the above model, though with a few extras. This motherboard allows for Crossfire, though, it will not be as fast at doing Crossfire as a higher-end motherboard. It also comes with on-board video which should not be used in gaming. If you are making a general purpose PC and don't want to spend money on a powerful graphics card, this motherboard will do well in that situation since you don't need to buy a graphics card unless you want one.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Socket AM3 3.2 GHz - This is a very good CPU for gaming. It's quad core and operates at a high frequency, further, it is Black Edition so you can squeeze even more power out of it. If you are gaming at a reasonable resolution of 1280 x 1024 or greater, differences between CPU's are minor at this level as the graphics card plays a much greater role in framerates.

High end gaming PC or rendering - This should be considered if you want a high performance PC what will handle gaming and/or rendering. The graphics card will be heavily used and you may, later on, want to Crossfire graphics cards.

Motherboard: MSI 890FXA-GD70 890FX Socket AM3 - This 890FX line of AMD motherboards is their high-end. These offer high-speed Crossfire with two graphics cards and have an option for up to four. As this is a high-end motherboard it is designed for overclocking and other high stress situations. Like most in the AMD 8xx series, this also has USB 3.0 and SATA 6.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 Black Edition 1090T 3.2GHz - If all you are doing is gaming, the Phenom II X4 955 will be more than enough. However, if you are rendering or performing tasks which can use all six cores, this CPU will come in handy. It has an automatic overclock feature which increases the speed of three cores if the others are not active. It too is Black Edition and easily overclocked.

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#8 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 06:54 AM

Why is the quad-core 2.9GhZ faster than the dual-core 3.2GhZ, is the speed set for each core, or for all of them?

I will be using this PC for homework, office software, old games (late 90's, early 2000s'), possibly one or two new games depending on the specs and internet browsing.

Edited by VaudeVillianVeteran, 21 August 2010 - 06:58 AM.


#9 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:44 PM

I've read up a bit more and I've narrowed it down to one choice with two different processors - the motherboard and processors where some of those you chose.

Mobo;
Asus M4A87TD/USB3 870 Socket AM3 8 Channel Audio ATX

Motherboard
73.23
(link is http://www.ebuyer.com/product/206152)

Processor;
AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9GHz 2MB Cache Socket AM3

Retail Box Processor.
76.87
(link is http://www.ebuyer.com/product/233973)
***OR***
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3
6MB Cache Retail Box Processor.
79.99
(link is http://www.ebuyer.com/product/198349)

RAM;
1333 MHz, 4GB (2X2GB)
58.87
(link is http://www.ebuyer.com/product/192049)

Hard-drive;
Seagate Barracuda 500GB Internal HD - 300 MDps - 7200 RPM
33.49
(link is http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158860?utm_source=googl

)

Case;
Black and silver, 2XUSB 2.0, no PSU, ATX compatible.
20
(Case link.)

PSU;
500 watt (too much?) Casecom POWER (silver).
16.98
(PSU link.)

Dvd RW;
Sony Optiarc DDU1678A-0B
10.99
(DVDRW link)

Graphics Card;
Asus HD 4350, 512mb DDR2, DVI, VGA, HDMI out.
29.91
(link is http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169294)

Total price - 243.47 WITHOUT PROCESSOR.
320.34 with AMD Athlon
323.46 with AMD Phenom.

I downgraded some of it to match what I actually need, little point in having a decent DVD RW if I'll only use it for burning files once in a blue moon and installing windows.
The graphics card doesn't need to be much good for what I plan on using it for so I downgraded it slightly,
Thoughts?

Edited by VaudeVillianVeteran, 21 August 2010 - 03:05 PM.


#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:53 PM

To answer your first question, a 2.9 GHz. quad core can be faster than a 3.2 GHz. dual core in situations where all four cores are used. Not all programs use the four cores, however, and if they are limited to two cores, the higher clock speed of the dual core CPU would be beneficial. It ultimately comes down to what you are using. If you play new games, chances are they may take advantage of four cores, as will many upcoming games. Programming for four cores is difficult and some game titles that have lower budgets may not have the cash on hand to do it, titles more than 18 months old likely are dual core optimized. Looking at the rest of your list, I would go for a Radeon 5-series graphics card if possible. The XFX HD 5450 512MB offers better performance, DirectX 11, lower power consumption, and less heat than its Radeon 4-series counterpart. 500W should be more than enough for this card, it also gives you a little extra headroom for additional components or upgrades further in the future.

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#11 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 04:05 PM

Thanks, so will everything fit inside the case?
I'm not sure what the term for the un-used USB ports that aren't accesible due to the way the case is laid out, but could I use any of those for,example, This?

#12 fueL

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 01:12 AM

Thanks, so will everything fit inside the case?
I'm not sure what the term for the un-used USB ports that aren't accesible due to the way the case is laid out, but could I use any of those for,example, This?


If you're speaking about "fitting" physically, then yes you should be fine. Your mobo, being an "ATX" and your case being an mid-ATX case make a good fit. If you for some reason had a Micro-ATX tower, and and ATX board then you would have obvious space issues.

Also for the future, the easiest way to find which type of PSU you need is to use newegg's calculator. Even if you don't buy from their website, you can still use the calculator. ( http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html )

I am not really sure what you mean by unused usb ports that aren't accessible, do you mean the ports on the front? If so, then yes, you can use any USB device in those ports, as long as you hook the connections up correctly to your motherboard.

#13 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 08:09 AM

I meant if the motherboard had 5 connections and the case had 4, could I use the inaccesible one (on the inside of the case) to use a USB device?

#14 tg1911

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 10:38 AM

I've never seen USB ports inside of a case before, unless you add them, like I did.
Usually the mobo has USB headers, which are different than USB ports.
I don't see any internal ports on the ASUS mobo you've linked to.
3 headers (Blue on your mobo), but no ports.

This is the one I added to my case.
I needed an additional header, for a card reader.
It comes with 3 headers, and 2 ports.
Posted Image

If you have internal ports, you can use them the same as external ports, but you may have problems with signal interference, due to it being inside the case.
I'm referring to the Wireless USB Adapter, that you linked to.
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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#15 VaudeVillianVeteran

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 12:50 PM

Okay thanks, that clears everything up :thumbsup:




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