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Old 05-20-2006, 07:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Building my first PC.

I am looking at shying from Dell's pre-built PCs and going for a custom built computer. I have a busy schedule and don't think that a top end gaming system would get the amount of use to justify those high prices. I do want something reliable that I can do my homework on as well as games on the weekend. My original goal was to spend about $1,000. However, the parts I have chosen so far have pretty well exceeded that goal. Here's a list of what I am deciding upon:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Dual Core Processor $297

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Dual Core Processor $357

I am thinking about these two processors. However, for my mid-range needs, maybe I shouldn't go with a dual core processor...

DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard $178

I know that this is a more higher end motherboard, but I want to assure myself that I will be able to upgrade in the future.

OCZ Performance Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory $100

Video Card
PNY VCG7600GXPB Geforce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card $170

MSI NX7600GT-T2D256E Geforce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card With Full Version Game Prince Of Persia 3 $166

I am wondering if the video cards I chose may be a little overkill for my needs.

Hard Drive
Maxtor MaxLine III 7V250F0 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $100

Optical Drive

There are so many out there. I am not really a big burner, but I would like to have the option. So just something basic.

Power Supply

What is a good one that will power my system?

ASPIRE X-CRUISER-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $70

Thermaltake SOPRANO VB1000BWS Black Steel/Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $80.00

The one thing I do want is a good looking case. I enjoy the look of the ASPIRE X-CRUISER, but wondering if it has any problems. Thermaltake seems like to be a pretty trustworthy company.

Speakers, Monitor, Mouse, and Keyboard

Depending on how much my system costs will depend on what I buy. I was planning on a Logitech mouse, keyboard, and speakers. Also a Dell monitor. How are the Dell speakers?

Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2 $90.00

Gonna stick with what I know.

So basically, how are these parts? Right now I have a Dell laptop with Celeron processor and Intell's integrated graphics. So pretty much anything I buy will be an improvement (at least I will be able to play Battlefield 1942 - can't now) . I am hoping that you guys can show me some cheaper parts so that I can make my computer affordable for me. If you can, include internet addresses.


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Old 05-20-2006, 10:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When you get a PSU, stick with major name brands. Antec, OCZ, Enermax. It'll be worth it in the long run.

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Old 05-20-2006, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I never have heard anything good about the cheap PSUs that come with cases. But how many watts will I need? Is there something else I should look for other than wattage?
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I allways think that around 550 is safe. depending on the stuff your running. For instance, as I understand it high-end video cards require a cable from the PSU but it's just a regular 4 pin i believe.

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Old 05-20-2006, 11:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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you dont need that top end motherboard, get and MSI K8n neo4-f, as for processor go with an Opteron 170 or 165, and for PSU get the Antec TruePowerII 550watt.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You want to really look at the amps on the 12v and then look at the wattage.

There are more good manufacturers than the ones listed below but they are smaller companies and usually cost more than them.

The DFI is often cheaper than some of the non high end mobo's like the neo4 (not saying it isn't high end either as it too is a great motherboard.)

It is really best to spend the money on the GPU over the CPU.

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Old 05-20-2006, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Okay, so for the CPU I found: AMD Opteron 165 Denmark 1000MHz HT 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939 Dual Core Processor $327 Is this right/how is it better? And for the PSU: Antec TruePower 2.0 TP2-550 EPS12V ATX12V 550W Power Supply 115/230 V UL, TUV, CB, FCC CLASS B, CUL $90 Looks good. For the motherboard I went with a MSI that costs about $20 more than the neo4: MSI K8N SLI-F Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard $97
Thanks for all the help so far guys.
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Old 05-20-2006, 05:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2000MHz HT Socket 939 Processor - Retail $135.00

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-K8N Pro-SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $98.99

What you chose is a pretty good deal. $100

eVGA Geforce 7600GS 256-P2-N541-TX Video Card - Retail $109.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 250GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $89.99

LG Beige IDE 16X DVD±R DVD Burner 5X DVD-RAM Write Model GSA-4167B BG - OEM $36.99

OCZ ModStream OCZ45012U 550W Power Supply - Retail $79.99

Choose whatever you like. I'll mark this as $80.

Logitech Cordless Desktop EX110 Black RF Wireless Keyboard - Retail $35.99

Logitech X-530 5.1 Speaker - Retail $54.99

LG L1920PQ Black-Silver 19" 8ms LCD Monitor - Retail $272.99
Not the greatest deal on the monitor, you may want to have a look at local computer shops to get a better deal.

TOTAL: $1015 plus tax, plus shipping.

I'll clarify a couple choices I made as well.

That motherboard is quite inexpensive, and still allows room for upgrades. I actually own this exact one.

The CPU had to go to a 3200 to get an LCD in the budget. If you wanted to spring for a couple extra bucks, I would get a 3800 X2.

eVGA is quite inexpensive, and decently reliable. I currently have an eVGA 6800GS, and have had no probs.

As mentioned previously, a good PSU is crucial. OCZ makes excellent PSUs, and ModStreams are really nice due to their modular design, which allows you to use only the cables that are required.

I have used this mouse/keyboard combo for everything, including gaming, and I like the overall quality and value of the set.

Intel E6750...........PSN: ELBATROP
XFX nForce 650i Ultra
Patriot PC2-6400 8GB (4x2GB)
eVGA 9800GT
36GB WD Raptor
120GB SG
Logitech X-530
Samsung SyncMaster 931c
Samsung SyncMaster 750s
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the list Elbatrop1. Those parts and hardware are very nice. I probably will spend the extra and go for the dual core. Besides, by the time I save up the money and find a slightly better deal monitor (I can't really complain about the LG - nice) it'll probably end being 1 grand. I'm still kinda shocked that I can get this nice of a computer for a little over a grand. Once I get the money I will probably post the list again and see if there is anything new that has come out or if there is a better deal. Thanks again guys.

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