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Old 11-06-2008, 11:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everyone! I'm getting ready to build my mother a new computer but i've been out of the computer world for a lil while and, of course, everything has completely changed.

I was wondering if I could get some advice from some of my old friends... so, here I am ^_^

I'd be really grateful for your help and guidance with this. I'm not afraid to do research and I need to get caught up in the computer world anyways.. but I just don't know where to start. I feel like I have a pile of Lego's and Mega Block in front of me, I know that I'm supposed to build a computer out of them but I don't have an instruction book... and... worse than that.... when I look into that pile, I can't even tell the difference between the Lego's and the Mega Blocks.


I'm not sure where to start but I've got some info that will get the ball rolling.

Its gonna run Vista Ultimate and ima get Office 2007 for her (time for word perfect be retired)

I know your first question is gonna be "whats your budget?". and my answer is "$1200 (not including vista and I don't need a keyboard, mouse or monitor.)".

Then your second question is gonna be "What is she gonna do with it?". to that, i'd have to answer with the following:
Direct answer: "She's gonna work with Word, Excel, browse the net and a few other misc tasks."
Informative answer: "If all I wanted her to do, was work in a word processor & browse the net, i'd buy a Dell or, heaven forbid, a mac. but I do have Adobe CS3 that I wanna load up on there, she wants to play around in Adobe Elements and I'd like to be able to load up a few games on there[like WOW and StarCraft II whenever that comes out] so, I need more that a crappy 'bundle buy' but I don't need 'the ultimate gaming machine' either (I'll build that for me later ^_^). somewhere in the middle would be good."

Here is a list of what I need to gather for this PC... I just need help finding the right brands, type's and models for what I'm looking for.

1) Case (don't really care about looks[simple and black will do, but it cannot have a drive cover])
2) PSU (Preferably not included with case, I need more power and a good brand... but whatever)
3) CPU (I hear Intel is the way to go at the moment [I've always been an AMD-girl m'self]. and when it comes to CPU's im still running on my old AMD Athlon XP 2400+, so, i've got not ideas here.)
4) Motherboard (I've got no idea what company is the big dog anymore -_-; [on-board sound and NIC are fine] I've always used MSI and ASUS... but... im easy)
5) RAM (Preferably 3Gigs. I've always liked Kingston but that's merely a side-note)
6) Optical Drive (all in one. do they even make single drives anymore?)
7) Video Card (I've always had EVGA and I like 'em... but if they're not as awesome as they were, I could go for a change)
8) HD (I would like 2, one for the OS[100gig ish] and another for data[200gig ish]. [I don't even know what is a good setup for the HD's anymore, I know we're not using IDE's anymore and sadly, I've got no experience with anything else. once you start talking SATA and RAID, you've lost me.)

I'd like to go OEM for everything I can, I don't need to pay for the books and the pretty box that i'll just throw away anyways.

Thank you in advance for your help. *^_^*

Ok, hereís my idea for the CPU.

Itís an Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
Newegg.com - Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

*) I picked it because I would like to build the machine to be a quad-core and apparently AMDís quad-coreís are currently a no-no.

*) I like the 6MB of L2 Cache ( I was noticing that AMDís quads didnít even come close to that)

*) I assume it has hyperthreading, even though it doesnít come right out and say it, because its all I can tell as the difference between these : Newegg.com - $200 - $300, 1333MHz, 2.5GHz - 2.99GHz, Core 2 Quad, Intel, Processors - Desktops, CPUs / Processors, Computer Hardware

Here are a few questions I have:

1) What does the ďQ9400" refer to? I noticed there was an ďE8600". What do the letters mean and what does the number reference?

2) I picked this CPU over the other one in the link above because it was only $20 more and it has hyperthreading(I assume). Would I be right in saying the following: ďNot only can this processor do 4 times as much as single-core processor, but it can also think about it twice as fast(per each core?)Ē

3) What is the LGA 775 95W? The only thing I can think of, is that itís a socket 775 and it uses 95Watts. Is this an accurate hypothesis?

4) Is this a good CPU to work with? How does it rate? What are your experiences or opinions?
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a PC for my mom

1) not sure, but i wanted to answer since quite a few people looked but no one ever gave you an answer.

3) yes socket 775, and it uses 95w at peak load, which is pretty good for a quad core. (helps your electric bill as opposed to the 125/140w variants

4) my opinion is that this processor is very good, especially for multitasking, Dual core CPUs are currently slightly better to use with most games, but that will change soon enough

-- in addition, AMD cpus are great, but intel has them beat in both overclocking potential, and gaming performance. Although at stock frequencies, the AMD processor is roughly equal to the performance of the intel processor.(with the exception of the l2 cache, which is going to make a small bonus in most applications, and a large bonus in math applications)
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ok, I found a site that answered Q1,
Intelģ Processor Numbers
I was not able however, to find out if this CPU actually DOES have hyperthreading.

I was just looking around at mobo's and there are so many options I got kinda lost.

Using Newegg's guided search, I get to about here before I lose where I'm needing to go:
Newegg.com - 1333/1066MHz, LGA 775, $100 - $200, Intel Motherboards, Motherboards, Computer Hardware

If I had to choose a mobo, it would be this:
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP35C-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Dynamic Energy Saver Ultra Durable II Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

should I keep looking? could you please tell me what else I need to look for in a mobo?
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a PC for my mom

That motherboard looks like a good one, the 780i and 790i motherboards are newer, im not sure if they are better but definitely newer=)


In a motherboard it depends on what you want to do, if overclocking isnt your plan, just try to find a stable motherboard with a good layout that will incorporate all of the hardware you plan to install.

I am not the most qualified to answer the question, because i dont have much intel experience, im more of an AMD guy.. but in my opinion* the gigabyte board you linked looks good.


i have always liked gigabyte boards, and never had any problems with them, just make sure it has what you need as far as functionality and expandability
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a PC for my mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seria View Post

1) Case (don't really care about looks[simple and black will do, but it cannot have a drive cover])
2) PSU (Preferably not included with case, I need more power and a good brand... but whatever)
3) CPU (I hear Intel is the way to go at the moment [I've always been an AMD-girl m'self]. and when it comes to CPU's im still running on my old AMD Athlon XP 2400+, so, i've got not ideas here.)
4) Motherboard (I've got no idea what company is the big dog anymore -_-; [on-board sound and NIC are fine] I've always used MSI and ASUS... but... im easy)
5) RAM (Preferably 3Gigs. I've always liked Kingston but that's merely a side-note)
6) Optical Drive (all in one. do they even make single drives anymore?)
7) Video Card (I've always had EVGA and I like 'em... but if they're not as awesome as they were, I could go for a change)
8) HD (I would like 2, one for the OS[100gig ish] and another for data[200gig ish]. [I don't even know what is a good setup for the HD's anymore, I know we're not using IDE's anymore and sadly, I've got no experience with anything else. once you start talking SATA and RAID, you've lost me.)

*^_^*
case + psu combo
Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$85 (click on the combo lists for -25 discount)

cpu fine

board fine

Ram
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
$65

optical
Sony NEC Optiarc Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVDĪR Burner
$24

video card
ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
$170

EVGA 512-P3-N879-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
$185 for nVida/ Evga flavor

Q = Quad core series
E = Dual core

2) yes

3)true

4) I don't have any experience with quads, but I've heard those newer models (Q9XXX) consumes less power, produce less heat, faster clock for clock than the older model (Q6XXX). Q6600 is still very popular among forums because of its price.
Q9400 also have 8x multi, as opposed to 9x multi on the q6600

this board seems to be popular
BIOSTAR TForce TP45HP LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

I have this board ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard personally, and I love, but word on the forums is Asus's quality has been shabby recently.

Mobo - look for what you need in ports, mostly, if you need like, usb ports, expansion slots (pci, pci-e)
single video card? or would you like to go dual video cards in the future?

forgot about hard drives, they have increased a lot in space, you can get a 500gb for $60 bucks shipped now
samsung, wd, and seagate are still the big players
just look for SATA 3.0 hard drives connect and go, they haven't changed, just different plug than IDE

if you aren't thinking about raid, just plug them in and forget it, they will appear as 2 physical drives, same as 2 partitions (C and D?)

raid 0 = splitting data one 2 drives, for faster performance
raid 1 = have 1 hard drive mirror the exact data on your other hard drive, in case of hard drive failure
raid 5 = ? not so sure, but supposedly provides more security than raid 1 for data backup

I don't think hyper threading is used anymore since the core architecture

okay, I've found this
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter.Cort View Post
lawl.

um raid is just like setting up a few drives to do different things. there are 4 main types of raid that you'd see as an end user.

raid 0- Stripe: makes for faster read times as the data is shared over the 2 drives.

raid 1- Mirror: drive one holds data, drive 2 is a direct clone of drive 1. drive one dies, drive 2 kicks in, saves your ***.

raid 5- Stripe with Parody: usually 5+ drives (3 at least) drives A, B, C, basically one drive is data, one drive is a mirror of the data drive and there's a third for extra backup

raid 10- Strip + Mirror: 4+ drives (in sets of 2) raid 0 plus a backup of each drive for mirroring.
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Old 11-08-2008, 03:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a PC for my mom

Thanks for the info guys ^_^
Here is what I quickly came up with for the HD's:

Here's the OS drive:
Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

and here's the data drive:
Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

I would liked that have found an OS drive with 16MB or even 32MB of cache with less than 100GB and < $50 but.. oh well.
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Old 11-08-2008, 03:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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why not just get 2 of those 320gb drives... for better GB/$ ratio

you can never have TOO MUCH storage right? :P

500Gb for same price
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If the computer were for me, I'd get 2 large HD's with 32MB of cache, but this is going to my mom computer, and even a 100GB HD is overkill for her.

That other HD is nice but its on a weekend sale and I'm still a lil ways out from actually purchasing this system ^_^

I was comparing the BioStar and Asus mobo's posted above and it looks like the Asus board can support faster RAM than the BioStar. I also noticed that the Asus has better onboard audio, so my mom will be happy listening to her Itunes. and I've never heard of BioStar before.

so for now, it looks at though that mobo is in the lead.

I was looking at both of those video cards and they both cost a lil too much for what my mom needs, I did however find one that is a decent price and still worth getting IMO

Newegg.com - EVGA 512-P3-N954-TR GeForce 9500 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

It was this board or one from Asus with similar specs, but it was an open box and had no reviews...so.... I picked this one, what do you think?
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a PC for my mom

yes the 9500 is decent, but the Radeon HD3850 is only 49.99 after rebate on newegg (79.99 before i believe...)

either way its <100$, and the radeon 3850 is going to far outperform the 9500gt
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a PC for my mom

9500gt will be more then enough if she is not gaming or the 3870 doesn't really matter either way
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