OK guys, I can't take it anymore, I need a new computer, and the reason I haven't ordered the parts to build one is based mostly on fear.
I'm afraid I won't know how to put it together (I never built a computer before).
I'm afraid I will buy something incompatible.
I'm afraid I will invest too much money on the wrong thing and be a cheap skate on something more important.
But it is time to take the plunge, I can't wait any more. But I need your help to make sure I am getting the right stuff.
My current computer needs are… well for crying out loud look at my signature and that should show you why I need a new computer desperately!
But seriously, I'm not looking for a gaming machine, just something with modern speed and power. But I really want to build a computer that one day can be progressively updated, and eventually become a reasonable gaming machine.
I currently have $270 in the bank, and currently no income, and I need at least $5 in the bank to keep my account open. So, I got $265 to spend and not a penny more. Plus I want to have enough money left over incase I need something like a SATA cable, or IDE converter, or some other little thing I didn't count on needing. You know how it is, there's always something you didn't figure into the budget.
With that said, here's my build.
Motherboard: ASRock ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail
$79.99 + $7.92 Shipping ($87.91 total)
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz -retail $57.00 free shipping
RAM: Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $22.99 Free Shipping
Total so far= 167.90
The CPU says "retail" and says it comes with heat sink and fan. I assume it comes with thermal compound too?
But my biggest problem is figuring out which PSU I need!
Let me list what I will be plugging into this, to give you an idea of how much wattage I'll need.
1 IDE Hard Drive @ 5,400 RPM
1 IDE Hard Drive @ 7,200 RPM
1 SATA Hard Drive @ 10,000 RPM (That 74GB Western Digital raptor thing – haven't bought it yet, but will be the first thing I buy after I put this together)
1 SATA DVD/CD Drive
1 Floppy Drive
Keyboard & Mouse
A few case fans
There are other things I will plug into my computer, I doubt they actually draw any power from the PSU, but I'll list them anyway:
Cable modem, printer, CRT monitor, headphones, microphone.
I got my eye on this one Thermaltake 430W ATX12V –Retail
$40.99 Free Shipping ($10 mail in rebate)
But there are two others that I am considering:
hec 485W ATX12V -No Power Cord – OEM
$19.99 Free Shipping
Rosewill 550W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply – Retail
$44.99 free shipping
The HEC has the advantage of being $21 cheaper, but has no power chord (I suppose I could use the one from this computer?). The $10 mail in rebate from Thermaltake is something I'm not counting in the price; there is always that chance of getting jipped out of the rebate somehow, and the fact it could take months to get it. The main thing that scares me about the HEC is that I've never heard of them in all the time I was studying PSU's, so I don't know how reputable they are.
The advantage of the Rosewill is an additional 120 watts for $4 more. However, I've heard Thermaltake is a really top name company in PSU's, and Rosewill is pretty new but I've heard a lot of positive reviews about them. And they make a lot of other products that have gotten some pretty good reviews.
But the real issue is, watts are only a part of the equation of what makes a good PSU. And PSU's are by far the most difficult part of my hardware studies over the past few months, so I rather give up on trying to figure it all out.
However, neither of those three PSU's might be what I am looking for. Maybe you guys could suggest a better bang for my buck and needs.
I plan on eventually adding a few other things to my computer, so I might need something even more powerful. I plan on adding sometime in the next year:
A dedicated video card, probably an ATI Radeon HD 3000 series to do a hybrid crossfire.
A high end webcam (or low end camcorder)
A fan controller
Adding two more RAM modules
So with those enhancements, which PSU should I go with?