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Old 07-29-2005, 03:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, new to the forum here. Thought I'd try a tech forum to get the most useful info. I am looking to start building a computer piece by piece with what extra money I have per paycheck. I'm looking for something that can handle just about any game and also perform all types of multi-media tasks. I have a limited knowledge of software and some hardware components but not enough. I'm just curious what are some good motherboards, video cards, sound cards, and I'm also interested in learning about RAM and the differences between the types. Just about anything you can teach me I'll learn it and appreciate it. Thanks for your help.

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Old 07-29-2005, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What are you going to be doing more, gaming or video encoding/decoding sort of work?

For gaming, on a reasonable good budget e.g. around $950 mark
CPU: AMD 64 3200 venice
Motherboard: DFI lanparty SLI-D
GPU: 6800gt
RAM:1gb OCZ platinum rev. 2
hdd: seagate or W.D. with the required amount of memory
DVD burner
A nice case
PSU: Antec, OCZ, Thermaltake or PC power and cooling are the top PSU manufacturers.

If you want a PC more for applications, than get a intel CPU with em64 for Vista when it comes out. ASUS is very good for intels, but not so good for AMD. You will need to get DDR2 ram as well.


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Old 07-29-2005, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, I'll mainly be doing gaming. I like to burn the occasional CD/DVD or some data discs and what not. I do a lot of online gaming, all multiplayer stuff. I'm looking for mainly information on different components. I can look up the CPU you just told me but I don't know anything about what it does. I'm just trying to learn some of the aspects of different components and such. I have a way to get the hardware a little bit cheaper, I just want to know what is good and also what makes it good. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 07-29-2005, 03:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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if you really do want a system "that can handle just about any game and also perform all types of multi-media tasks." i have a feeling you are going to have to spend a little more than "what extra money I have per paycheck." (although i suppose that depends on how big your paycheck is )

also it might not be such a great idea to build a computer with "a limited knowledge of software and some hardware components."

also i am prety sure that it says in the posting rules somewhere that you should research before starting a thread. you are right about one thing though these forums are a great source of info.

you can ask me anything you need to know (if i know the answer or not is a different matter)

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"Get your money and let's go to court!" - Craig Mudie, MS
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Old 07-30-2005, 04:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What makes AMD good? AMD uses a different archetecture than Intel, meaning a processor with say 2ghz (the 3200) can easily beat Intel at gaming due to AMD having shorter skinnier pipelines meaning it can do more instructions per clock. AMD has also done away with the slow front side bus, and replaced it with hypertransport which is on the cpu (the memory controller is on the CPU as well) where as the FSB is on the motherboard. The memory controller being on the CPU also means that dual channel ram has alot more bandwidth, 6.4gb/s rather than having 3.2gb/s when being in single channel.

DFI lanparty are good because the amount of overclocking options in the BIOS, which means you can get a higher overclock, and alot more stable overclocks. They are also a very stable board, and not too expensive.

Nvidia supports something called pixel shader model 3 on their 6 series cards, which is the main reason for choosing their cards. PSM3 will be used in the next games due to being alot more efficient than PSM2 which ATI went too early on, and the game developers didn't use it. With a ATI card, you would have to run a PSM3 game in direct X 8, which does not support PSM3, and so you will not be getting your money's worth of eye candy.

The OCZ platinum rev. 2 are great overclocking ram, which use Samsung TCCD, but now use Samsung TCC5 for the intergrated circuits. They use Brainpower printed circuit boards, which are the best avaliable. The TCC5's can be good, but there are some that are not so good pick out of the bunch. If you have the money, than G. Skill uses TCCD's and brainpower CB.

Seagate and western digital have been known as the best two, and it is what ever you prefer really. They are both extremly reliable, fast and quiet. Although W.D. is known to be more reliable, and seagate has been more quiet. But they are still both as good as each other. (I chose seagate.) Sata is a better interface than the conventional IDE - which uses big cables, which effect air flow. Although IDE has lower bandwidth than SATA, hdd do not use it all. They use about 75mb/s (IDE has 133mb/s max, and SATA has 150 SATAII has 300) SATA has the advantage with the interface, meaning it can pull ahead there. Also, when putting 2hdd in RAID on IDE, you have to put it on the same cable, which means that it has to share the bandwidth, and only one hdd can operate at one time, which is bad. With SATA, they have their own cable, with dedicated bandwidth, and they can work at the same time.

The PSU is very important, and you do not want to put a cheap one in your PC, as if it goes, it can take out your hardware with a voltage spike. When they go, it fill also give you a fright, as there will be a blinding flash, and pouring out alot of smoke. Cheap PSU's do not give out their rated wattage, or AMP's on the lines, meaning it will effect stability, and the performance of the parts. The voltages will not stay at the required volts for the line. E.g. the 12v will fluctuate to dangerously below that or above that. A good PSU will be very reliable, so will not die on you. When it does die, it is more likley to just die a quiet death, and not take out your PC. The AMPS will be nice and high. The wattage is done in a real life enviroment, where it is at a room temperature, and is an average and not a peak. The fluctuation will be kept at a minimal.

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Old 07-30-2005, 09:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This belongs in the Building forum.

Moving it there.

Antec 300 Illusion / Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W / ASUS GeForce GTX 960 GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5
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Old 07-30-2005, 11:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can defenetly do all the things you want to do with a cheap computer. Heck, I don't feel restricted at all when I play games on an old computer of mine (2.0 Northwood 1GB ram MX420 Video card). It sounds like you should take a look at my 650 guide, which is 600 this week!

As for the processor, many people here will reccomend the AMD Athlon 64 processors, especially the 3000+ Venice. They reccomend this because it is currently a very good buy, performing at the same pace as the Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHZ processors, BUT costing around 20-50 dollars less depending on where you buy your processors. The AMD 64 Processors are good processors for gaming, and also good for everyday activity. Although Intel has this thing called Hyperthreading that will help useres multitask better, many people who do "multitask" just have a few windows open like 5 tabs in firefox, a java game, and probably 2 or 3 pop ups. The AMD 64 will handle that no problem. However if you truely want to multitask for less money, I would suggest that you look into the Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHZ processors. These processors multitask pretty well, and will allow you to play games also, since most games depend alot on the video card. They overclock pretty well too.

Here is more information about AMD and Intel processors and how they work. The first one is about the prescott, and the 2nd one is the Opteron(which is 99% like the AMD 64)

As for the ram, there are many types of ram out there. One main feature of the ram is the timings. These are the X-X-X-X numbers you see when you look at the ram. Some ram will have numbers like 2.5-3-3-7, and others might have numbers like 2-2-2-5. These numbers reflect how much time information takes to travel between the ram. The lower the number, the better. So 2-2-2-5 is better than 2.5-3-3-7 because 2 is lower than 2.5, 2 is lower than 3, 2 is lower than 3 and 5 is lower than 7. Another measure of ram is how high the FSB is. The FSB of the ram is just the DDR XXX number divided by 2. So if you purchase DDR400 memory, you will have memory that will run at 200 FSB. The higher the FSB, the better. SO memory that run at 166 FSB will be worse than memory that run at 200FSB. Some memory sticks can run past their stated FSB, because they were made very well. You can learn more about memory in this link.

As for the Video card, there are three things that matter when you look at the video card. The first one is pipelines. The 2nd one is Memory FSB, and the 3rd one is core MHZ. All these matter in different ways, but I have very limited knowledge of how they work. If you check anandtech, you might be able to find more in deph articles.

6600GT PCI-E for sale/Trade. Check the FS/FT forums on tech-forums for details.
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