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Old 04-17-2009, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building my first computer

I'm looking to build my own computer for the first time, and I have somewhat lacking knowledge as far as what to look for in terms of quality of components... I've done a bit of reading around here, but it seems that most of the builds I've read up on are either a little too powerful for my needs, not quite up there, or AMD-based... for some reason, I'm very fond of Intel.

I guess my questions are veering more towards recommendations regarding bottlenecks, as well as what components would outpace others in the build.


Processor:

I've decided on this processor (and build) based on the fact that I think i7 is a little extreme for what I'd want to use it for... I would like to be able to play games as new as Crysis (obviously not expecting benchmark-breaking results) and as far back as probably Doom 3... that's the last time I really did any PC gaming. Any suggestions regarding a different chip based on my needs would be appreciated!

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550

Motherboard:

This I'm still not decided on... I know little enough about motherboards, but this one seems to have both quality and brand loyalty of these forums.

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory:

Again, based on common recommendation, g-skill seems to be a good brand. 2x2GB is definitely the way to go here, but as far as latencies and frequencies, I honestly don't know which would be too much, too little, or just right for the processor. Any recommendations? (non g-skill is fine, too)

Video card:

I used to have some knowledge of the differences betwen nvidia and ATI, but not so much anymore. I could definitely use some recommendations here, as well. It does need to have DVI out for my monitor.



I already have a case and a hard drive. I do not have a power supply, and I suppose that would depend on the build I decide to go with.


Would someone be able to be of help?
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

What is your budget for this proposed build?
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

My budget for this would be ~750. If I could go less, that'd be great, but realistically the point is to spend a bit less than I would on an i7 build.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

If it's gaming, I would suggest saving money and using the E8400 duel core. It Overclocks well, and games aren't going to take advantage of the quad core.

For video, I'd go with the Radeon 4890 1GB. Imo, it's the best bang for buck right now. As well, the mother board you chose is crossfire ready, which means it can use two ATI cards together. It might be a good idea to get a 4890, and then as it outdates, get a second to increase performance.

You'll probably want about a 500watt power supply. That would leave some room for upgrading.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

Any particular reason for being against an AMD build? You could pack in a lot more with one as they are much less expensive. The Phenom II 940 quad is about $100 cheaper than the Q9550. I will admit that I prefer AMD, but this is purely looking at your budget.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

Not to mention the pII x3 720.

King of the high end budget build in my book.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

I know that a good while ago, AMD had a reputation for running much hotter than Intel chips, as well as experiencing a much shorter lifespan. When I think quality, I think Intel. I say this despite having an AMD-powered laptop.

If that is not the case, then I'd be more than willing to consider an AMD chip for my desktop. If I do, what are the functional differences between comparable generation AMD chips as far as gaming goes?


As an aside, I will be using this new PC as a work station, as well. I will be running an apache/php/mysql server, and using CS3 for image manipulation / flash production. I do not believe this would really impair my experience, however, as my current AMD dual core (1.81 ghz turion 64) driven laptop suffices on all development counts.
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

Operationally there is no difference. Heat will depend on the wattage of the chip, no matter where it comes from.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

Thank you very much for the help. I've got everything narrowed down to two options now, thanks to your suggestions and some further research.

SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

...vs...

SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

What would be suggested between these two? I'll go with the suggested one.


Also, I've looked into processors, as well, and Hefemeister, thank you very much for the suggestion. I believe I will indeed be going with the AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor.

Though I like the Intel Q9550 a bit better, the gains simply don't justify the cost, considering that for gaming this chip would be better to overclock, and for anything else, what I already have suffices... so there's really no need for overkill.



Considering the changes, is GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard still a solid motherboard for this build?


I want to get the best RAM (2x2GB) for the build. Is 4-4-4-12, 800MHz a better choice, or would something like 5-5-5-18 / 1066MHz provide better performance? The difference in price is negligible, so whatever would be better I'll go with.


Also, is a 500w PS still sufficient? (I can look up PS recommendations in existing threads if 500w is good).

Again, thanks very much for the assistance!
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building my first computer

I would go with the 4890 over the 4850 X2.

That motherboard is an Intel motherboard, so it won't work with the 720. Here's a good one:
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-MA780G-UD3H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

Pair it up with some good RAM:
Newegg.com - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
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Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB / Samsung 840 120GB / WD Black 750GB / WD Green 1TB
2x4GB DDR3 1600 - 2x2GB DDR3 1600
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