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Old 05-05-2004, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation My turn to build - one step at a time. (long post)

********Overview of Entire Thread********
Post 1 - Overview and Identifying the Want/Need
Post 2 - Motherboard

Computer Type: Namely gaming and web surfing (downloading too)
********End Overview********

Ok, by the end of the summer, (hopefully sooner) I want to be able to put together my own compy. I've built a couple of computers before, but they were a mild success compared to what I am looking for. I'm going to take this step-by-step to make sure I cover everything. All of the other steps depend on the step one, so step one will be done first.

I look forward to getting help from all of you.

Step One - Identifying the Want/Need

Ok, it were my choice, I'd have 10 computers, each with its own purpose. The reason I don't, is becaue of the budget. So, the first thing I need to keep in mind is money. I am an independent business owner getting my feet off the ground. This will be a personal computer. Business activity on this computer will be no more than spreadsheets and documents. I'm not running any business software other than the basic "office" products.

Which leads me to my first point: What I have.

I have a monitor that will survive another few years. It's not flat panel, but I don't care. It works, and a working monitor means I'm saving money by not buying one. I also have a mouse (optical, scroll wheel and side buttons) that is awesome and keyboard that works. I may change keyboards, but I know the feel and the options that I want there, so I don't really need any help with that. I have an OS (Microsoft Windows XP Professional) and office products (Microsoft Office XP). I also am considered an employee for Purdue University, so whenever a new Microsoft OS or similar product is released, I can get it CHEAP. So that's not an issue. I also have McAfee Virus Scan 2004. I plan on using Zone Alarm (Free version) firewall, and Ad-Aware 6.0 ( for my spyware removal. I'll be using Yahoo toolbar for popup blocker and convienance. By the way, if anyone has suggestions as to what software I should switch, please let me know. I won't switch OS, however. All other options I am very openminded to. (What can I say, I get my OS cheap!

Overview: Have mouse, keyboard, monitor, OS, office products, McAfee Virus Scan 2004, video card (I'll have to check which one it is) other misc software.

The rest of the need assessment:[list=a][*]Motherboard (details below)[*]Hard Drive (details below)[*]DVD Read/Write[*]CD-RW (FAST)[*]Custom Case (Wahoo Computers) (details below)[*]3 1/2 Floppy[*]Processor (AMD?)[/list=a]

Update: Graphics card is: nVidia GeForce FX 5200

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Old 05-05-2004, 03:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Post 2 - Motherboard

What I want for a motherboard is as follows:
Gigabyte, Asus, Abit (I have heard are the best, correct me if I'm wrong)
Onboard sound
Onboard LAN (10/100/1000 Preferred)
DDR Ram supported (1 GB minimum, 1 GB will suffice)
AMD Athlon XP (probably)
Minimum 4 USB (1.0 I think - the flat ones) - 2 in front, 2 in back MINIMUM
A good L2 cache, good MHz speed

Please post your opinion and thoughts. I appreciate it greatly!

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Old 05-05-2004, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As far as a mobo goes... i always stick with Asus... they are great quality, a good price and have some great features.

If you will be gaming i do not recommend using the onboard audio (if the mobo you chooses has this) I would buy something like an audigy 2 and disable the onboard with the jumper.

Am not sure of any model numbers though as I built this PC over a year and a half ago so my mobo is now considered old!

As far as Hard drives go... I have an IBM DeskStar 120GXP which is nice... though i know some people refer to these as the "deathstar" though I dont know why I got mine at a great price (especially for the speed of the drive) and so far have had no probs with it... so I would recommend this drive... though somepeople prefer maxtor or Quantum!

Pioneer make a great dvd read/write drive which is 8x write (fastest out at the mo) and does both + and - r/rw... the unit is the 107 ... i'm gonna get one myself soon!

CDRW... my 48x samsung drive was cheap and is very reliable, if you got the newer version you would have no problems!

I know nothing about cases... a case is a case to me... i dont go for fancy lights and dancing coke cans inside my case!

A 3/12inch floppy... these are dirt cheap, so its not really a big issue.. just pick a decent one up for barely any money at all!

Processor... AMD all the way... you may want to consider one of the new AMD64 processors or go for a high end Athlon XP!!!!

The only other recommendation i have is that you use firefox to surf the net... its so much better than IE (except for a few stubborn websites) See my Sig for details.... just had to get that in...

Good luck choosing and building your system!
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Whether your going amd or intel its not big. I reccomend intel for your situation because they run windows a lot better in my opinion. Amd is the way to go for gaming. I reccomend if your going to be using onboard sound it will work. Thats what i use> as far as drives. Any floppy will basically do, the good cd drives out there are lite on. They will make your dvd rom and cdrw. Unless you just go with 1 dvdrw. Harddrive i have always used westerndigital, i heard seagate is good. Seagate makes fast 15k rpm hard drives. Where i like westerns 10k rpm raptor hard drives. But a regular 7200rpm drive will be perfect for you. Again with the processor, its all in your budget by the fastest you have the money for basically. Cases i prefer antec cases if your in and out swapping parts and on the inside alot like me, then they are good with the door, and easy slide out drives and they really set up clean inside. Going to be your best bet for around 100bucks. And you can find them at
P4 2.26 ghz, Intel d850emv2 mobo, 768mb of pc800, sony 4x dvd-rw, teac burner, nvidia ti4600 graphics, enermax 330watt ps
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SOny vaio 2.66 ht ghz modded into raidmax case with green cold cathodes.
P4 2.8ghz HT, 512mb ddr, Intel KD865gbfl, onboard video, raidmax case, blue cathodes, round ide, loomed wires, 4x dvd burner, wd sata 80gb hard drive
Intel d865perl, 2.8ghz northwood, antec sonata, wd caviar 20gb, Corsair 512mbx1 for now. 380watt psu, ati 9600, dvdrom cdrw floppy in black too match case
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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First off, you OWNED in UT huh? But anyways...

A nice new processor like an AMD Athlon 64-bit should be good for games and would have absolutely no problems loading Excel or Word any slower than a Pentium.

If you like playing games I would definitely recommend a sound card - onboard sound just isn't good enough anymore.

Exactly what graphics card have you got?
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Old 05-09-2004, 03:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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onboard sounds actually works great, the 6 channel chips can provide more than enough sound quality to suite most people, now the bad thing is it can take away power from your mobo, we need things as fast as possible, so that's why a lot of us prefer to use a pci sound card instead. Also, the audigy 2's are great for high definition sounds, like i'm in a hallway and things actually have that echo, yea...
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Old 05-14-2004, 05:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd get a Gigabyte motherboard personally, they have gigabit
ethernet, are inexpensive, and very good quality.

I'd get Seagate drives because they are also inexpensive, very good quality, and are the quietest 7200RPM drives ever.

I like Athlon 64's over P4's and P4's over Athlon XP's
Athlon 64's outperform P4's, can process 64-bit, and are little more in price - although the P4EE is more than double the Athlon 64 3400+
P4's outperform Athlon XP's, although Athlon's are cheaper, price isn't as much of an issue to some people.
Athlon XP's perform great, are inexpensive and are perfect for entry-level or budget PC's

I like Radeon 9*00's and x*00's better than Nvidia 5*00's and 6*00's because they perform better at about the same price

case: any case you want, but make sure the power supply isn't going to crap out on you - check what type of power supply you have and make sure it isn't a no-brand.
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Old 05-23-2004, 04:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Ah! Sorry, I'm back

Ok, I'm back. I was moving from the dorms to an apartment and they took forever to hook up my DSL.

Anyway, back to the mobo, I think I'm going with a combo. ASUS or Gigabyte is fine. I've updated my specifications, and if anyone can find me this within my price range, I would be extremely pleased.

MOBO Combo
Gigabyte/Asus with AMD Athlon 64 2800 CPU
Onboard LAN (10/100 or better)
Onboard sound should suffice
USB 2.0 (2 in front, 2 in back minimum)
1 GB+ DDR RAM capable
approx. $300 +/-

I'll look up my video card type when I get my hands on it again.

I'm using Firefox and I do indeed enjoy it thus far.

As far as the rest of the computer, I'm probably going with a generic floppy drive, Cricual or Kingston DDR RAM 512MB or 1 GB. My Hard drive will probably be Maxtor 60 GB 7200 RPM 8MB cache. Case, undecided, but I do like that website -- very nice cases and seemingly reasonable prices. I won't have to mod much, which is awesome. I'll probably go with an affordable 56x CD-ROM and a friend told me I could get a NEC 1100A DVD-RW for about $75 or less - not too shabby.

Whatcha think?
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Old 05-23-2004, 09:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Motherboard

If you want power, and the ability to upgrade for a long time, get a Gigabyte. My only other recommended board is Abit, however Gigabyte has the most powerful board out in the market.
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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By the way, I found out my video card is.

nVidia GeForce FX 5200

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