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Old 04-08-2008, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New computer questions

Hello all. My first post here

I'm going to get a new computer in the next week or two. I was thinking of building, but my last attempt back in '02 left me with an $800 paperweight. I had to return multiple parts and the thing was never stable. The price difference between buying and building this time is about $200. In my opinion, worth having it built. I am using Cyberpowerpc.com for this build...

X-Cruiser Mid-tower case
Coolermaster 600W eXtreme power psu
Intel core 2 duo E8400 cpu
Intel certified CPU fan
Asus P5N-E nForce 650i SLI chipset
2 GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 RAM (Mushkin or major brand)
EVGA Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT 512 MB video card
320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200rpm HDD
20x DVD/CD R/RW optical drive
PMPO Speakers
Logitech keyboard and mouse
12 in 1 flash media reader/writer
Professional Wiring
Opti-UPS SS1200 voltage stabilizer
MS Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit OS

Price: $1068 + tax

This will be a gaming computer. The main games I am playing for now are City of Heroes/Villians, Call of Duty 4, Civ 4, Medieval 2 Total War, and I have preordered Age of Conan. The monitor will be a 22" widescreen at 1680x1050.
I expect this computer to run games that come out in the next year or two at medium or better settings without AA. I typically buy a new computer every 2-3 years, depending on game releases and their requirements.

Questions:

1. The Nvidia 9800GTX costs about $100 more than the 8800GT. Do you think that it will have a significantly longer usefulness to justify the higher price, or are people just paying to have their games look a little better? Does anyone know when the 9800GT is coming out?

2. The cost of another 2 GB of ram through Cyberpower is $100. I am planning on buying 4 GB (2x2GB) from Newegg and adding it myself. I will get 240 pin PC 6400 DDR2/800 ram, but I noticed latencies listed on the ram at newegg. I don't know the latencies of the Cyberpower ram. Will those affect the computers ability to use it? Can I have different voltages running to the 2 different pairs of ram? Will the motherboard recognize the ram and adjust itself? How do you even access BIOS to check? I'm such a noob

3. Should I spent the extra $30 or so to move up to the Asus P5N-D motherboard? I have no plans to SLI. Are there other features that make this board significantly better?

4. I am not getting an after-market cpu cooler, but I might start dabbling in OCing. Will I be able to get the factory cooler off the cpu in a year or so in order to add an after-market cpu cooler? Of the cpu coolers they have, I am considering the Thermaltake V1. It that decent for modest OCing? Will OCing a dual core cpu even matter in a couple of years? I figure in 2-3 years most new games will be made to utilize quad-cores, and I will be buying again.

5. I apologize for the lengthy post, but I have tried to be as thorough as possible. It's not the physical building of the machine that scares me, it's the troubleshooting, drivers, and knowing if a part is bad part that are the problems. So, other than "Build it yourself", any suggestions?
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

Welcome to Tech-Forums!!!

You shouldn't be afraid to build your own, because that's what this forum is mostly about. We've turned newbies into tech-savvy members. I would definitely recommend building again.

But to answer your questions:
1. The 9800GTX should last longer, but the 8800GT is just right for that 22" monitor you'll be playing games on. Besides, in 3-4 months, the 9900 series will launch. Not sure if there will be a 9800GT.

2. You're planning to add 4GB onto the 2GB of RAM, that you already picked? Are you going to really be using 6GB of RAM? Unless, you're an intense video/graphic designer or editor, I doubt you'll be able to use all of it. 2GB is more than enough for any gaming machine.

What are the RAM modules that Cyberpower is offering? Just look them up in newegg, and you'll find the latencies to them. You can't run different settings of voltages to different sets of RAM. They have to run together.

To access the BIOS, varies amongst motherboards. F1 or DEL at the post screen, are the most common buttons pressed, to get into the BIOS. Check with your motherboard manual.

3. If you're not going to SLI, why not just choose a motherboard with one PCIe slot? Look into getting a P35 chipset motherboard, because they're awesome overclockers.

4. Yes, you can take off the stock cooler after a year. It's not like the heatsink is superglued to the CPU. What other coolers do they offer?

5. As I said before, don't be afraid to build your own computer, if you've done a little before. Just ask us, and we'll help you. Even through the troubleshooting.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

agreed with b1gapl, and if you're set on buying the PC from Cyberpower, you can buy the main Case, PSU, Mobo, CPU Cooler assembled from them and buy the rest of Newegg (Video Card, Speakers, RAM, Keyboard and Mouse, Hard Drive and Optical Drives) and that can save you some decent amount of cash and add them to your rig when you get them (most people who don't want to build PC's are afraid on the assembling the Cooler, Mobo, PSU and the case together) maybe that should kill some of your fears
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

Just buy from newegg......if you can't get it to work, ship everything back.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

If you can use a screwdriver you can build a computer. You may have had a bad experience in '02, but you didn't have us to help you along.

The main thing is making sure everything will work together. once you get that settled, it is simply putting it together and ironing out any kinks. And then you get to tweak it and make it scream.

Ain't nothing better.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

I HAVE been considering another build attempt. One problem right off the bat is that several mobos state they will support E8400 Wolfdale chips with a BIOS update. How would that work? Would you just type stuff into BIOS?

As far as the ram from Cyberpower, they don't specify which type. Just says Mushkin or major brand. They do offer Corsair Value Select. I tried to find it on Newegg but was unsuccessful. Also, I figured it was only another $30 for an extra 2 GB, so what the heck. 6 is better than 4, and if they were incompatible, I could trash the Cyberpower ram and go with my newegg 4 GB.

I did put together a build-it-myself list:

Intel Core 2 duo E8400 cpu
EVGA nForce 650i Ultra ATX mobo although I am open to a P35 recommendation
G. Skill 4 GB (2x2GB) 240 pin DDR2/800 PC6400 ram
EVGA GeForce 8800GT 512 MB GPU
Corsair CMPSU-520HX ATX 12V 520W Power supply
Seagate Barracuda 72000.10 250GB 7200rpm SATA HDD
Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit OS
Not sure about what case to use. Wanted to spend around $60. Was leaning toward the Apevia X-Cruiser.

I already have the other components from old computers but was only paying a few bucks for each of them on Cyberpower. I figured it never hurts to have backups just in case...
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

Get a P35 chipset motherboard, if you want to overclock. P35s are better than 650i at overclocking. A suggestion would be the Gigabyte P35-DS3L. As for the E8400 compatibility, check the manufacturer's website. The P35-DS3L is already Wolfdale compliant.

6GB is not better than 4GB, unless you're into intense graphics applications(CAD/rendering/design). And gaming/multitasking isn't enough to take even 2GB.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

You might want to look into EVGA's step up program. Basically if you get an EVGA card now and a new card comes out in less than 90 days you can pay the difference to upgrade. Does it matter if a new card comes out? Not really sure on that. You can find the details on EVGA's site if you're interested.

Can someone here do him a favor and see how much that same build (or close to it) would cost using Newegg?

If its an extra $50 then its not really a big deal whether or not he uses cyberpowerpc.com. If it turns out to be a couple hundred.....

Also you should make the obvious choice of getting the cheapest ram possible if you intend to do this and then go buy extra ram. Take that $30 savings from picking the cheapest type on. Now 2x2gb of ddr2 ram is about $70. Instead you could spend $100 on a really good pair of 1gb ram modules (2x1gb). You really won't need any more than 2gb.

Wow I checked the reviews for his mobo choice on newegg. Definitely some of the worst reviews I've seen for a motherboard. Same for the "upgrade", really bad reviews. All sorts of technical problems as well as general design complaints. If you're worried about getting burned again that is probably not a good choice. In the end I think its just better to get it separately. You might as well buy it pre-built if you're getting it from a site like this.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakaggo View Post

Can someone here do him a favor and see how much that same build (or close to it) would cost using Newegg?

Case - NZXT Alpha Black
Processor - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 OEM
Motherboard - Gigabyte P35-DS3L
Memory - 2 x 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800
Graphics cards - EVGA 8800GT 512MB
Power supply - Corsair 550VX
Hard drive - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320GB
Optical drive - Samsung 20X SATA DVD Burner
Heatsink - Xigmatek HDT-S1283
Keyboard - Microsoft Keyboard & Mouse
Speakers - Logitech X-230 2.1
OS - Vista Home Premium 64bit OEM
Card Reader - Rosewill 52 in 1

Total is $1,065.87 not including shipping.

The price difference isn't big, but the parts that I've picked, are higher quality. Plus, it includes a quad core, and aftermarket cooling. He can save some more money, by getting the Q6600 from frys.com:
FRYS.com | Intel


Quote:
Wow I checked the reviews for his mobo choice on newegg. Definitely some of the worst reviews I've seen for a motherboard. Same for the "upgrade", really bad reviews. All sorts of technical problems as well as general design complaints. If you're worried about getting burned again that is probably not a good choice. In the end I think its just better to get it separately. You might as well buy it pre-built if you're getting it from a site like this.
I have the 650i SLI, and it's not a bad motherboard. Which reviews are calling it bad? I've read good reviews on it. And the reason it may not have good reviews, is because it's a little hard to work with. But once you know the ins and outs, it's actually a very good motherboard.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New computer questions

Don't be afraid to build your own. I just recently built my first rig last weekend and it only took me a day to put together while taking my time. You can read my post about it here Got all my parts and will be building my first ever rig!

I just did plenty of research by reading these forums and everyone here is very helpful. Don't rush anything. Mine fired right up and is working flawlessly. I am even begining to dabble a bit in OC'ing it.

Plus, I have learned a ton from building my own and have a better understanding of computers in general.
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