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Old 11-22-2010, 09:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First Time Build, Looking for Advice

Hello, tech newbie here.

I recently decided that it's become necessary to move up to a better system. My current PC is an HP Pavilion a350n - specs listed on the link aside from the power supply, which is 250w, and the replaced RAM, which is 2G. I've considered upgrading it to fit my needs, but it's quite the relic compared to what's out there today. I'd have to deal with a motherboard that only supports AGP, and the power supply would have to be replaced as well... and it just seems to be a waste of money.

So, I've decided to take the first step away from the manufacturers and build one myself. (No more OEMs, wooo! :P)

I'm looking to make a mid-range machine with a focus on reliability and longevity. My current system has lasted me 8 years, so I'm hoping I can put together a model that will do the same - or at least come close - without a major batch of replacements. As such, I'm not interested in overclocking or anything of the sort, as that would reduce the life expectancy of the parts (I would assume).

My current budget is $850 USD. I'm reluctant, but willing, to push this up to $1000, but only in the case of parts that are absolutely necessary (i.e. better quality motherboard, processor, PSU, etc.) I'm trying to stay close to my needs with a decent amount of space to upgrade in the far future, if I should choose to do so.

Here's what I have so far (tentative with Black Friday sales coming up):

My biggest concerns would have to be the motherboard and graphics card.

Does the mobo seem adequate in way of space for future upgrades years ahead? It seems that the mobo changes the PCI-E x16 slot to x8 if USB 3.0 or SATA3 is used. Should I be concerned about this?

Also, I picked the graphics card because it seemed to be a good model for the price, and I've heard Nvidia cards are better for gaming. I mostly play MMOs, and very few are graphics-intensive to the point where I would need a truly high-end card. However, is there a better model I could select for around the same price?

Suggestions are greatly appreciated. As a reminder, I'm only looking to switch out parts in case of performance issues, or if I'll drastically increase the bang for my buck.

P.S.: How do you all get the titles from Newegg in your links automatically? Is it the Trackback field? *scratches head*
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Build, Looking for Advice

Alright...it looks like most of your picks are good but I will make some suggestions.
I never really liked ASUS, they make great boards but I have always liked EVGA.
As for the GFX card good pick...I love Nvidia they have always been great. More members will come on and try to tell you to go ATI but I encourage you to stick with EVGA and Nvidia, especially at that price.
You don't really need that much RAM but for the price that is good. I paid 150 for 6GB of G.Skill but it is triple channel as yours is Dual.
Good picks on the case, all should fit.

Do you already have an OS? This would be my suggestion.
Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems

Also you may want a few of these for the case.
Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER SickleFlow 120 R4-L2R-20AR-R1 120mm Silent operation Red LED case fan

That is all I can give you unless you have more questions in the future.
Hope this helps a little bit.
Remember stay with Nvidia and REMEMBER YOUR CABLE MANAGMENT haha.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Build, Looking for Advice

Mm hmm, I plan on picking up that version of Windows 7 too. I'm hoping there will be a discount on it in the coming days, though I don't know if there are ever sales on OS'es. We shall see.

Oh, and I forgot to mention one important thing in my OP. I'm also trying to keep the system quiet - a little noise is okay, as long as it isn't noticeable over the speakers.

If you own that fan model, would you say that they're quiet? The red LEDs would be a nice touch with the monitor I have, but the few reviews claiming that they're actually loud is making me wonder about them.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Build, Looking for Advice

Asus generally have a terrible build quality.

I don't know what they do but it doesn't stand up through the test of time - a la 6 months!!
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Build, Looking for Advice

Well, a friend of mine has them in the HAF 932 and as long as they are on the lowest RPM then they are almost dead silent. The R4's I own personally and they are very quiet. They shouldn't be noticeable over the speakers and say you turn all the fans half way up then it should still be quiet.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Build, Looking for Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbtooloo View Post
Asus generally have a terrible build quality.

I don't know what they do but it doesn't stand up through the test of time - a la 6 months!!
Finally someone that agrees with me. haha
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Build, Looking for Advice

Considering swapping the case out with this.

Thermaltake V9 BlacX Edition with Docking Station (NewEgg Exclusive) SECC / Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Thoughts? Does the HAF 912 beat this in quality?
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