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Old 07-28-2005, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building my first PC, any help would be appreciated

Hi everyone, I’m new here.

I am setting out to build my very first computer. This may not be a big deal to many of you, but to me, it’s a new project

I currently have a laptop (Dell 5150) that is 25 months old. It’s specs are Dell 5150/Intel P4 3.06GHz non-HT w/400mhz FSB/512MB ram/60GB 5400 rpm HD/1600x1200 UXGA 15inch screen/Radeon 6400(I think, I know nothing about video cards) 64MB 3-d card./9 cell battery that lasts 5 hours.

In reality, my laptop is still pretty powerful (I bought it when the P-4 3.06 Ghz chip first was released - it cost a fortune back then) However, the laptop runs hotter than hell, it frequently overheats and shuts off (I’m sending it back to dell soon to rectify the problem), and I’m getting sick of squinting at a 15 inch 1600x1200 screen. You say I could lower the res on the screen, but I paid $400 for that upgrade, and I love the sharpness of images on it and the ability to multi-task in side by side windows.

I originally planned to upgrade the laptop to 1GB of ram ($$ since both dimms are currently filled), buy a large external monitor, have a builtin-wireless card installed, add an external hardrive, etc.. However, I’m sick of using multiple USB hubs, I don’t want all kinds of external garbage (like the harddrive), etc...

I’ve always wanted to build a computer myself. I figured that now is the perfect time, seeing as I was going to spend $800 or so upgrading and buying new peripherals for my laptop, why not make a project out of this, learn something, and build a newer, faster, computer for a little more $.

So my budget is $1200. I want to build a system that is faster, cooler-running, and has a 19 inch LCD monitor. I do SOME gaming, but no FPS shooters or other high framerate super-graphic-intensive stuff. However, I do do some video editing, and I play some games like Age of Mythology that do require some graphic card oomph. Also, I do many tasks that require lots and lots of heavy programs open at once. My laptop sometimes slows down in this scenario. Also, I have about 10GB of photos, and almost 40gb of music. Essentially, I want to render my laptop simply as a note-taking and research device that I can carry with me to law school, and have my desktop be a RELIABLE media center.

Here are the parts I’ve compiled through lots and lots of research. I’ve attempted to do this with as little help as possible because I want to learn. Now I just need opinions. Thanks guys, sorry for the long novel of a story.

See below post for updated parts list


Will all these parts work together? Is there anything I need? Do I need a sound card? The mother board I picked has 5.1 audio built-in. However, this computer will be hooked up to my 5.1 surround system, so will the motherboard sound card be good enough? Also, again, for my uses, is the video card good enough? Thanks so much guys![
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Old 07-28-2005, 11:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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if ur not going to be gaming a lot and running heavy programs and video editing, intel would be the better choice.
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Old 07-28-2005, 01:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks good to me.

For AoM, that card, I believe that video card should be quite fine.

You'll also want to pick up a keyboard and mouse...you didn't say anything about having any. Seeing as how your 250 bucks away from you limit, you could pick up a nice bluetooth setup if you'd really like.
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by reggie_da_man
if ur not going to be gaming a lot and running heavy programs and video editing, intel would be the better choice.
so I hear. Intels are more expensive, though.

I had an old AMD Athlon 1.0Ghz HP laptop about 4.5 years ago when i started undergrad and University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Within a year the thing ran so hot it melted through TWO motherboards. My friend had the same one, and it also melted through a motherboard. We ended up just getting credit from Best Buy which I had to put toward another laptop.

None the less, for the price, i think the AMd is the best bet. I know Hyperthreading is good for multi-tasking, so I'm still considering it, but i just kind of also wanted to see how fast of a computer I could build reliably with as little money as possible.
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mak
Looks good to me.

For AoM, that card, I believe that video card should be quite fine.

You'll also want to pick up a keyboard and mouse...you didn't say anything about having any. Seeing as how your 250 bucks away from you limit, you could pick up a nice bluetooth setup if you'd really like.
Thanks for the response. I have a nice keyboard and mouse presently, but in the future I may go bluetooth or standard wireless.

Actually, I have a bluetooth 612MHz pocket PC - would a blue tooth keyboard work with that? Becuase that would be awesome!

Back on topic, though. I've been doing more research, and for $90 more, I can get an Ahtlon 64 3500+ w/1 Ghz FSB. Is this worth it?

And thanks for the help so far!
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Old 07-28-2005, 03:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, the extra $90 for that 3500 is money well spent. You get 1GHZ fsb as stated. And it is just an overall powerhouse of a processor.
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Old 07-29-2005, 10:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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bump
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Old 07-29-2005, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here;s my new parts list:

Monitor: Fuji 19inch 12ms LCD: $249
Ram: 1GB 1-dimm Crucial: $128
Hard Drive: Western Digital 250GB SATA150 7200rpm: $122
Motherboard: ECS RS480-M V1.0 Socket 939 ATI Radeon XPRESS 200 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail: $77
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor: $239
DVD Burner: NED IDE 8x DVD: $44
Case: Aspire Q-pack 420w power supply Micro ATX case

Total Cost: $941

I decided to drop the sound card and video card and use the motehrboard integrated ones until I can afford a quality video and sound card.

Will this system be upgradeable for years to come? What additional cooling accessories will I need? Thanks again guys - you have been lots of help!
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Old 07-29-2005, 10:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Also, Is Crucial ram any good? I'll be getting DDR400 3200 ram.

I've heard its nice RAM for the money, but I can get generic for like $30 cheaper for the 1GB.
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Old 07-29-2005, 02:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by VarLordahl
Also, Is Crucial ram any good? I'll be getting DDR400 3200 ram.

I've heard its nice RAM for the money, but I can get generic for like $30 cheaper for the 1GB.
Stick with Crucial, it's worth it
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