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Need a New Desktop


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#1 tiz_68

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:26 AM

Hey guys, I'm in need of some help and advice. Recently my computer crapped out on me. It is an old Dell XPS 400 I bought years ago. Here are her specs.

Intel Pentium D 3.00GHz
2GB memory DDR2
Nvidia Gefore 6800
Windows XP

I need advice on getting a new computer. Any advice you may have will be greatly appreciated and very helpful. I'm not even sure where to really start looking. What are the best places to find quality desktops at a decent price? Should I build or buy an already put together machine? These are some of the questions I have.

The computer would be used for school and the occasional gaming. I play/will play things like Red Orchestra 2 (when it comes out), L4D2, EP2, Fear 1 and 2, Portal 2, Modern warfare 2 and hopefully 3 when it is out, Battlefield BC2 and Battlefield 3 when it is released as well, Brothers in Arms, Black Ops, and things of that sort. They don't have to be played on all high settings, but the higher the better. I don't want it to be all low settings or lagging out too much. I will be playing at a resolution of 1280x1024.

Now the problem is I'm short on money so my budget is around $500-$800, the cheaper the better beings I start school at the end of this month. I know that makes this all the more difficult.

I don't know too much about building computers, but I think that might be my best option. If not then please give me some other suggestions. After posting in another forum this is a suggested build that someone recommended to me. I just wanted to post it here and get a second opinion.

LG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS70 OEM - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136238
$18.49
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136238

NZXT Beta Series CS-NT-BETA-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811146055
-$10.00 Instant
$49.99
$39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146055

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
-$5.00 Instant
$64.99
$59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185

ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Item #: N82E16813131767
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131767

XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Item #: N82E16814150506
-$15.00 Instant
$30.00 Mail-in Rebate
$194.99
$179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150506

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231277
$35.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103808
$119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116986
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986

XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
69.99
$20 mail in rebate
49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207013

Subtotal after rebates is $674.41. All items from newegg.com.
Mostly I just want to know if everything is compatible with each other and if the price is good for what I'll be getting. Is there anything I'm missing that needs to be added to this list? And how well do you think this computer will run the games I have listed above? Is any of this overkill and would it benefit me to downgrade any of these specs to achieve the same goal for less money? If so what do you suggest?

Sorry for all the questions, and questions that you might think to be common sense or just plain stupid haha. I'm very new to this and would greatly appreciate any and all advice you can give me. Thank you so much for your time and help, and especially for being patient with me through this haha. I hope I covered everything. If you have any questions or need to know something then please feel free to ask me. I will answer any questions you have. Thanks again!!

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#2 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:42 AM

1) That DVD burner is 22X. Here's a 24X one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
2) Good case, but it only comes with one fan. You should have two at minimum. Buy yourself some more fans. Front and side fans should be intake while rear and top fans should be exhaust. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103022
3) Good hard drive
4) Good motherboard
5) Good RAM
6) The new AMD FX series will be out soon. If you can wait that long, I recommend you do.
7) Good OS.
8) Go with a different PSU. Since you're a gamer, it would be better to get one which supports crossfire whether or not you actually use it. It's cheaper and more practical to add a second card than to replace it when that time comes. Here's a great one currently on sale: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371049

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 August 2011 - 08:42 AM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

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#3 tiz_68

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:02 AM

Thanks Rainbowsix! I appreciate that advice! How well do you think this system will run that list of games? And how difficult do you think it will be for a first timer to put this together?

#4 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:26 AM

It should be easy to build as long as you follow the instructions for your hardware. Just make sure to avoid ESD. It takes a large amount of static for you to feel it, but a small amount can destroy your hardware.

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 August 2011 - 09:28 AM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

CompTIA A+ certified
Stringfellow Electronics

#5 tiz_68

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:51 AM

Ok thanks! So how well do you think this set up will run those games?

#6 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:52 PM

I can't speak for the exact performance, but it should run them well with high-quality settings and anti-aliasing. Performance may suffer if you force certain features in the AMD Vision engine control center such as tessellation and anisotropic filtering.

Edit:
Make sure you don't install the fans backwards. The fans usually have an arrow to indicate the airflow direction.
Don't forget to use the brass standoffs. If you don't use them, you won't see or hear anything. Forgetting them (or placing one in the wrong location) might even destroy your motherboard.
With the front panel connectors, the positive side is marked with an arrow.
If you are using the stock heatsink, you don't need thermal compound.

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 August 2011 - 01:03 PM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

CompTIA A+ certified
Stringfellow Electronics

#7 tiz_68

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 03:50 PM

Thank you so much Rainbowsix for all your help! I really do appreciate it!

#8 killerx525

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:32 PM

Some of the games mentioned are not released yet, so we don't have the game system requirements but chances are that it should be similiar to the previous series of the game.

Edited by killerx525, 07 August 2011 - 04:33 PM.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#9 tiz_68

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 06:02 PM

Yeah I'm sure if it runs those games well enough the new ones will be similar. What do you think about upgrading to 16GB of RAM? Two 8GB sticks. Would that be overkill? Or is it a wise investment for future games?

#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:05 PM

I don't think you can get 8GB sticks yet, and 8GB of RAM is more than enough for gaming. If you can wait until late September for the new FX CPU's to come out, that would be the best thing to do.

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#11 tiz_68

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:34 PM

Kk thank you! So upgrading from 4 to 8GB would be a smart thing or would the original 4GB be good enough for what I need?

#12 killerx525

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:08 AM

A single 4GB of ram should be enough for gaming. By having a single stick 4GB of ram, that will leave you a option to upgrade to 8GB of ram in the future if needed.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:51 PM

8GB of RAM is only really necessary if you leave tons of windows or tabs open, use data intensive applications like CAD or databases, or do video or photo editing. Very few games have 64-bit executables to take advantage of 4GB or more of RAM.

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#14 killerx525

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 04:41 PM

And that is why there should be a ram upgrade option.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#15 tiz_68

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 05:38 PM

K thank you guys so much for all the help! I really do appreciate it all! Do you know of any good videos or set of instrctions to help a new builder put this together. I'll be attempting this myself. I found a few good videos on YouTube that were pretty helpful.




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