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Old 02-02-2007, 01:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need input selecting parts for my first build

I need some help deciding on the last components of my first build.

But first, some background on my PC needs. I'm a student and will only be using this for word processing, web surfing, watching movies, and some moderate gaming, so I will only need a single core and I already have that picked out.

I don't know much about building a PC and don't have much time (studying, classes, work) to research all of this, so please be patient. I've looked at this forum and a few others, along with some sites, and am keeping a list of useful pages, so I'm learning :bald:

Anyway, I do want a 'fast' PC, though, even if most of what I will use it for won't necessarily require it (I hate slow computers). I plan on using this PC for the next few years, and at some point might also like to overclock it. I don't know much about which components (motherboard and memory) and brands/models are best for OCing and which are compatible with which, so that's why I only have a few things picked out and need help finishing the list.

Budget is around $1,500 USD. If it goes over by a hundred or so then that's okay, but preferably close to that. Orders will be from Newegg. Also, I already have a mouse, keyboard, and monitor (speakers not important; I use headphones).

I'll go ahead and first list the components I have picked out (with some comments underneath). For some of those things that I still need I kind of have an idea about but am unsure of which brand, exact model, etc.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 -- $319.99

PSU: Fortron 400W -- $41.99
I'll go with what I read in TriEclipse's thread.

Case: Antec P180B -- $129.99
I don't want a fancy case with l33t-seeming LEDs and crazy-*** windows in the side panels. (Also, while reading the Newegg reviews of the Fortron PSU above, one mentioned that the cables are somewhat longer than other PSUs', which would come in handy regarding the cable management for the P180B ... can someone confirm this? If not I won't worry about it.)

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 250 GB -- $74.99 each
I would like to set up two of these in some RAID config, probably 0. I need some input on this matter, too, as I plan on backing up a lot of DVDs, and am wondering if 2x250 GB will be enough. Should I go with 2x500GB or add some more 250s on, say 4x250 GB? (If I understand RAID 0 correctly, the more disks in the array (though not too many) the faster the overall read/write speed, i.e. data would be read/written seemingly faster in, say, a 4x250 GB array than in a 2x250 GB array?)

I'll need a RAID controller, too, right?

Mobo: ???
So here's the first component I don't know about. I tried finding some threads by other people with the same CPU who also might want to overclock it, and one thread recommended some DFI board. I went to Newegg but couldn't find the exact one mentioned in that thread (DFI LanParty Ultra-D). What would you guys recommend that would be good for OCing and supports s939 and dual channel memory? (Also, I doesn't need to support SLI/Crossfire; I have no interest in wasting money!)

Memory: ???
All I know is I will need DDR2 RAM, and I'd like to run it in dual channel. One easy thing here, though: I won't be doing any OCing for some while (at least not until this summer) so this doesn't need to necessarily be RAM that is both suitable for OCing and compatible with whichever Mobo you guys recommend. So, you can go ahead and point me to some basic RAM and I'll just sell it later, or you can go ahead and recommend some RAM for OCing and I'll go ahead and buy it now. Either way.

Video Card: ??? (nVidia, maybe some 7900 or 7950 one)
Alright, gaming.

The gaming will mostly be older games such as some Half-Life mods and Tribes 2, but also some N64 emulating. Nothing too major, however, I will probably buy Half-Life 2 at some point, maybe also BF 2142.

I would like to get as good a GPU as possible with what is left with my budget and that will be possible to play those last two games reasonably well. I think the GeForce 7900s/7950s should be able to handle those... Thoughts/recommendations?

Optical Drive: ???
Meh, I just need something to read and burn DVDs.

Floppy Drive: ???
Yeah, I could use one.

The floppy and optical drive I can probably figure out on my own, but I'm open to any suggestions.

OS: Windows XP
I need to check if my uni offers student discounts on it, so I won't add the price yet. I won't be going with Vista -- I've been using Win2000 until the beginning of last December when my PC died.I won't upgrade further until I absolutely need to.

Hmm... okay, so just under a thousand bucks so far. Oh, yeah, some AS5, too, so add ~$5-6.

Alright, it's late. I'll go ahead and post this, and if I forgot something, let me know. I'll check back in between classes and such.

Collin
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i'm still a newbie so dont really take my word for it..but the Intel core2duo is better than the athlon 64 u posted. as well as you can do a combo of the core2duo e6300 + a stable motherboard (i think intel is good at OCing?) plus its only 187.00 on newegg
also you are missing an optical drive? as well as a monitor and etc (unless if ur gonna use the ones u have now)
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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since i'm at school newegg andtigerdirect web sites are locked out so i can only recommend sites and u need to fidn the deal i'm talking bout

Intel Core 2 Duo e4300(highly overclockable)
Fortron 400W
Antec P180B(if u like it so much)
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250 GB( buy 3 or 4 and put them in RAID 0 or RAID 5, or RAID 0~1)
Intel BLKD946GZISSL (quite fine for overclocking that overclockable CPU and memory)
OCZ Gold DDR2-800 RAM (highly overclockable)
Zalman CNPS-9500
Geforce 7900 GT

those are fine parts, but u can get cheaper ones, but these are more bang for the buck...... but u should wait til march for buyign these parts, by then lots more DX10 cards will work fine and will be quite affordable......
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For the graphics, I would just recomend a 7900GTX or 7900GT because, directX10 just came out and all of the cards will have to be replaced within 2 years, so dont spend a lot of money on a card, unless it already hass DX10.
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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lol if you can get a hold of a 7900gtx they are expensive as ****

e6300
gigabyte ds3
2gb gskill ddr2 800 (newegg has a set for like 190 bucks)
WD 250GB hdd
Fortron 450watt
either a 7900gt or x1950xr
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by turboxchaz
i'm still a newbie so dont really take my word for it..but the Intel core2duo is better than the athlon 64 u posted
...
also you are missing an optical drive? as well as a monitor and etc (unless if ur gonna use the ones u have now)
Yeah, as I said I don't need a dual-core.

Optical drive, that's one thing I forgot. I'll edit my original post.

As for the monitor and such, as I said in the first post, I already have those, but I will upgrade them later.

Quote:
Originally posted by vernong1992
u should wait til march for buyign these parts, by then lots more DX10 cards will work fine and will be quite affordable......
Quote:
Originally posted by nicholasp7
For the graphics, I would just recomend a 7900GTX or 7900GT because, directX10 just came out and all of the cards will have to be replaced within 2 years, so dont spend a lot of money on a card, unless it already hass DX10.
I'll probably go with one of those two then. As for waiting a little to get a DX10 card, I'm not planning on upgrading anytime soon after building this. Chances are it'll be at least a year before I do so.

Quote:
Originally posted by vernong1992
Western Digital Caviar SE16 250 GB( buy 3 or 4 and put them in RAID 0 or RAID 5, or RAID 0~1)
Alright, I'll do that. Four it is.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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if i may suggest, unless you have already purchased...
an amd opteron 165 dual core cpu. it is socket 939 also (although i do suggest getting am2 socket for future upgrade ability...those opteron's are a different class, i.e. not 165, 170, etc. and a little more expensive). it can be overclocked to the fx-57 speed, rather easily. and it costs half as much. it will game just as well, plus you will have dual core when you decide you did want dual core after all.
trust me, dude...when you start running three or four apps and have ten web pages open it will make a difference.
just a suggestion.
dfi are good boards from what i know.
my abit board is good too.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I most likely won't be purchasing until sometime next week.

Hmm... Well that's now got me thinking about the optys. The lower price sounds good, too. Alright, so it will be either the FX-57 or an Opteron, but I'm still hesitant to opt for the opty over the sandy. Part of it being what I read on the second page of this thread...

(Obviously I am nowhere close to knowing enough about OCing to do it anytime soon after building this rig, but I do intend to delve into the subject -- once I no longer need to use the crowded computer labs for browsing the relevant sites!)
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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that thread is right, tho. you will probably be able to overclock the fx to a higher speed. but probably a negligible difference. i.e. 3.0ghz opty vs 3.2ish fx...? of course if you are going for high clock speed, no difference is negligible, haha.
i'm just thinking dual core ability. but i think you will be able to squeeze out a 1 ghz+ oc. out of the opty. you just gotta know the secrets (and keep your fingers crossed for a good chip, lol), get a good psu and a good aftermarket hsf. you should have no trouble reaching at least 2.8+ with the opty.
also, read the first page of that thread...about the thermal limits of the fx cpu...
overclocking is fun. let us know if we can help.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks like dual-core ability is what it comes down to then. What you said about "running three or four apps and [having] ten web pages open" is what keeps sticking in my head now. I'm trying to think back to when my last PC was still working wondering if I ever did that much at once... having ten or more web pages open, that I do regularly, and background apps are usually just MS Word and/or Excel... I always close all apps when watching a movie or playing a game...

I think I'll probably go with the sandy, but will think it over until early next week anyway. If I change my mind I'll wait to order until reading up on the optys.

Awesome, thanks for the suggestion, nagasama

I'll leave it at that for now, and will just add a couple other parts I've added in the meantime.

Floppy drive: SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5" -- $7.99
It's just a floppy drive... I'm not too worried about this part.

Video card: EVGA 512-P2-N635-AR Geforce 7950GT KO 512MB -- $254.99
I see there is also the same card available with 256 RAM that costs $40 less... I'm guessing the extra memory on the first one doesn't have much of an impact, but $40 isn't too much...

Mobo (for FX-57): DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard -- $149.99
I looked at the other DFI mobos (will check out Abit's and Asus' later) and wasn't sure about the placement of the RAM slots vis a vis the CPU location and the effect on cooling, but this one doesn't have that.

I'll check out some mobos for the opterons tonight.
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