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Old 01-27-2011, 12:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Laptop didn't last through college, need help building 1st computer!

I got my HP tx2 for college, thinking that it will at least last me through if not longer. However, it died last Friday, being only 2 years old. The warranty ran out, I do some checking, it is a CPU problem, so I didn't even attempt to let HP fix it, it will probably cost around the same to build a new computer.
*off topic* I start ripping parts out, hard drive first, to recover my school work. I really want to reuse the touch screen somehow, but don't know how...

Since I only work part time in college, I don't have a real job, and can't afford a very high performance computer. For now, I think I just want to spend around $500 on it for initial start up, just to get it running so I can do some homework. I will upgrade more parts into it later.

I am not a hard core gamer, but I am an engineering student. So I need to do 3D modeling and CAD work in many occasions. I also like to do graphics stuffs with Photoshop, sometime edit videos, do some computer game design... so in conclusion, I don't need a very high ended system. But at least one that will not lag too badly when I try to work.

I know $500 is not a lot, so here's what I have in mind for now. Will probably add more RAM and maybe a dedicated graphic card later. Since I have never built a computer before, I am not sure if all the parts are compatible with each other. I check as hard as I can, but I am just not sure, since I am not really a hardware person. One of the thing is that my motherboard required a 8 pin power supply, heard some people complain that their psu only have 4 pin... and I don't know where to look to see how many pin the psu I choose have.

If you guys can help me, make some comments and suggestions, that will be great.
*I only have a usb keyboard and usb mouse in my dorm, is it true that motherboards initially don't support usb and network?

Case:
Newegg.com - RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WY Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Motherboard:
Newegg.com - ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU:
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

RAM x 1:
Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBRL

Power Supply:
Newegg.com - RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-530SS 530W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular LED Power Supply

Card Reader:
Newegg.com - Koutech IO-RCM621 All-in-one USB 2.0 3.5" USB 2.0 Front Panel Multi-format Card Reader with USB 2.0 Port

DVD Burner:
Newegg.com - ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - CD / DVD Burners

Hard Drive:
Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SATA ii cable (for DVD drive and HDD?) x 3 :
Newegg.com - XION 18" SATA II Cable Model XON-SATA1818_BL

For OS, I got the Windows 7 ultimate upgrade disk from my school for $15. But I need to initially have some kind of Windows install first, right?
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop didn't last through college, need help building 1st computer!

You don't need to have Windows initially installed. Just boot up with the CD in the CD-ROM and install Windows right then and there.

For your first time, you picked out a pretty solid system. AND it should all work together. With a little more RAM and a good GPU, I think that should be able to handle most, if not all, modern games.

The only thing I would question is your PSU. You'll probably want to upgrade that when you get a dedicated GPU. There are a couple good brands to go with. Corsair is one of them. I've had an OCZ 700W for over 2 years now and have used it on 2 different setups.

This one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817341018
^ $10 off promo code until 1/31.

They still sell it!
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop didn't last through college, need help building 1st computer!

if youre planning on photoshop and cad, then you should keep the better cpu and get by with a cheaper gpu, as those programs dont really need a video card. what games are you playing? if youre laptop graphics were all that you needed to game then theres no need to splurge on a high-end video card right now.

also, the motherboard comes with 2 sata cables.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Laptop didn't last through college, need help building 1st computer!

I'd do the 500W of Mikes: Newegg.com - Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

just remember, the green versions don't have the wall to computer cord
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Laptop didn't last through college, need help building 1st computer!

Maybe it was just in my head but I've had both 16MB and 32MB cache HDD and noticed a difference going to 32.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Laptop didn't last through college, need help building 1st computer!

Yes...... I think Mike was showing a more economic choice...
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