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Old 10-10-2008, 05:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First build, lots of questions

Hi everyone, I'm looking at putting together my first PC and I have a fair few questions.
Here is the tentative parts list I've put together (sorry for no links):

CPU: e8400
GPU: HD4850 (quite possibly the ICEQ4 turbo one, I like it)
Motherboard: ASUS P5QL-Pro
Hard drive: Western Digital 640GB 16MB cache
RAM: No clue, looking at 2GB as 4GB is a little expensive for me
Case: Coolermaster 690
Power Supply: Corsair 450VX

I live in New Zealand, so all of this is a bit more expensive than you might expect. Currently looking to be about $1250 NZ shipped, which is a little over budget (was looking at $1000) but I can deal with it. I have all the peripherals I need already.

Can anyone suggest a decent NZ site to source these parts from? I'd prefer to get them all from one site.

As I'm new to this, I have a lot of questions about my parts too. Will this power supply be sufficient for this rig? I think 450W is a bit on the low side but it does have a single 12V rail at 33A, and even the 550W in the same series is significantly more expensive.

As for the motherboard I have picked, does anyone have any experience with it? I hear it's not terrific for overclocking, but I wouldn't really want to push the CPU above 3.6GHz for quite a while I think. Can anyone suggest a better board in the same price range with similar features? My budget is really pushed to the limit currently, and it seems that you can't get biostar boards here in NZ.
Also, when you buy a motherboard, do they generally come with all the cables you'll need? SATA, PCI-E connectors etc?

With regards to RAM, I'm happy with running 2GB for the moment, as I'll likely be running xp for a while. I don't particularly want to overclock this much, but I'd prefer to buy quality stuff. Are the lower priced ranges from good brands, like Corsair ValueRAM, any good? Also, I'm worried I may have issues with matching up the FSB and RAM speed, but this can be solved with overclocking of the RAM or changing the FSB ratio, right?

I'm pretty happy with my choice of CPU, GPU and case. I'll be buying the retail box for the e8400, unless i can find an aftermarket cooler that's cheap enough to fit in my budget if I buy an OEM e8400 (which comes with no heatsink/fan if I'm not mistaken). As I said before, I'm fine with overclocking up to 3.6GHz, I hear you can do this on stock voltages, but I'm doubting it's possible with a stock cooler?

For the GPU, I really like the look of the ICEQ4 Turbo, and although it is expensive, the only ones that are significantly cheaper are OEM packages, and I don't really want to get one of those.

The case, I've picked because I like the look, the features, and the price. I have one problem with it though, and that is the size of it.
My current case is something like 170mm wide, 380mm tall and 420mm deep; but the Coolermaster is (W)213 X (H)482 x (D)524.5, which seems excessively large. Is this the actual size of the case, or the entire boxed package? Assuming it's the actual size, will I need all this room? I've never put together a PC before so is this a standard size for a gaming case?

Edit: Can anyone suggest to me a decent DVD drive with writing capabilities? I have no idea which ones are any good. I'd prefer to spend a minimum on it though

The main purpose of this build will be for gaming on my 22" monitor (1680x1050) at preferably the highest available settings for current/future games (excluding Crysis).

Thanks in advance for any help, and any suggestions for parts are gladly accepted, my list is only tentative.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

In my opinion. Spend the money. Get the good gear and you will be happier even a year down the line. If you want to play games at high detail then you will have to spend the cash. Sure, you can cut corners here and there, overclock the processor etc. but you cannot miss out on the fundamental basics needed for a fast system (reliable motherboard, memory and good cooler etc.)

I recommend:
-Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R motherboard
-4gb of good memory, Corsair, Crucial Ballistix Tracers or OCZ XReapers
-A standard HD4850 (Sapphire?) will do, although for 22" a HD4870 might be advisable
-I have an like the OCZ Vendetta II but the Xigmatek S1283 is roughly equivalent
-That Corsair 550VX supply is good, reliable and really not that expensive when you consider that a dodgy supply could damage all of your components!
-That hard drive is a good one, also look at the Samsung F1 1TB Hard Drives

If you decide to get a cheaper board and memory, forget overclocking and buy a faster processor

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

Thanks for the suggestions, but I tried pricing up a build with those parts and it came out at around $1450, which is just more than I am willing to spend. A 4870 is just way out of my budget at the moment (I'm a student with very little income).

I might be able to spring a little for a better motherboard, as that's something that I know it's very hard to upgrade later on. Do you think I should just buy some cheap RAM for the moment, and not overclock until I can afford some better stuff?

Also, I'm not sure if you meant the 450VX I picked was good, or if I should go for the 550VX instead.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

[QUOTE=The Zune Guy;1479453]-That Corsair 550VX supply is good, reliable and really not that expensive when you consider that a dodgy supply could damage all of your components!
QUOTE]

Amen to that, repaired two systems this weekend, on one everything was fried except the HDD on the other on only the mobo and psu....One i know originated from teh PSU the other...i suspect it was the psu but couldn't confirm.

The 450vx will run that system but the 550 will leave you room to upgrade.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

Ok, I seem to have found a place I can get these parts a bit cheaper, so it means that I can afford to get a GA-EP45-DS3 motherboard along with 2x1GB Crucial BALLISTIX DDR2 PC2-6400.

That would make the new parts list:
CPU: e8400
GPU: HD4850 (quite possibly the ICEQ4 turbo one, I like it)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3
Hard drive: Western Digital 640GB 16MB cache
RAM: 2x1GB Crucial BALLISTIX DDR2 PC2-6400
Case: Coolermaster 690
Power Supply: Corsair 450VX

How is that looking? I know 4GB was recommended, but I don't know if I can afford that. Can I buy another 2x1GB kit later? I hear having 4 memory sticks can affect overclocking.
I don't think that I will be upgrading this rig (apart from perhaps more RAM, extra cooling) at all, I'll probably end up building another when I need to upgrade (as Nehalem and Deneb are coming out).

Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

vista ultimate ran very smoothly on my pent d with 2 gigs back in last week. the ony thing that was kindve chopy was crysis. and that was at 30fps excecpt when going into a new area
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

I meant I was going with 2GB cause I wouldn't have 64bit, not because Vista is resource hungry.

Does anybody have any more comments/answers to my other questions? Specifically about the size of the case, it seems really huge.

Edit: I picked the GA-EP45-DS3 because it seems the GA-EP45-DS3R is out of stock, will this be significantly different?

Edit2: What's the difference between Crucial Ballistix and Crucial Ballistix Tracers? I've picked the regular Ballistix for the moment (which seem to have better reviews) but I think I could go for the Tracers if they are much better.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

tracers have the led's and thats about it, at one stage they were still double sided chips and the non tracers werent but now they both are. so they wont overclock all too well unless u picked up old stock from somewhere and they are still double sided.

the ds3 version does not support raid, you wont need that anyway, R stands for raid.

if u haven't bought the rest yet i rec this.
e8400/e7200
4850
450vx
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build, lots of questions

Double sided RAM overlocks better? That's not too bad a setback. Only overclocking of RAM I'd want is to match up with FSB (assuming I'm not mistaken on the mechanics of how that works).

I'm planning on buying this in a few days time, so any other suggestions before I go for it?
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