First time building a computer. 34 replies

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Vic the Trader

I'm too cool to Post

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13th January 2009

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#1 10 years ago

This will be my first time building a computer, just looking for a little confirmation and criticism. The main task will be video and sound editing (big time in the future with a new camera, new sound card, a few upgrades, and dual screen monitors), but for now I am buying with intentions of gaming (Fallout 3/CoD 4 Online).....I guess mastering Photoshop CS4 as well. I read tons of guides on the web including the one on this site and I figure I'm pretty much ready to build. I have this old computer that I am gonna disassemble and put back together before I build this my new one, hopefully that will give me some familiarity with the insides. The plan is to follow various instruction guides on the web and put all the parts together step by step. Here are my orders. Motherboard Asus M3A78-T Motherboard - AMD 790GX, Socket AM2+, ATX, Audio, CrossFireX, PCI Express 2.0, Gigabit LAN, SPDIF, USB 2.0, Serial ATA, RAID, eSATA, HDMI at TigerDirect.com The main thing I noticed on this motherboard is that in the Motherboard is clearly shown with Firewire, but for some reason it doesn't say that in the name. Does what is said in the name really matter? CPU AMD Phenom 9500 Processor HD9500WCGDBOX - 2.20GHz, 4 x 512KB Cache, 1800MHz (3600 MTs) FSB, Agena, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket AM2+, Processor with Fan at TigerDirect.com I decided to go with the AMD X4 because it isn't too much more expensive than the AMD X2's, which was my first choice. This CPU has a fan included, but how can I tell if it has a heatsink? Video Card EVGA GeForce 9800 GT Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV 512-P3-N975-AR at TigerDirect.com I am assuming this card is fairly good with 512 MB of RAM and a 256-Bit Interface. PSU Ultra LS500 Lifetime Series 500W Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, PCI-Express at TigerDirect.com The Video Card is SLI Ready, but before I try to add two monitors I will probably need to upgrade the PSU to a SLI certified PSU. RAM Corsair Dual Channel TWINX 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB) TWIN2X4096-6400C5 at TigerDirect.com I think this is a strikingly good deal for the money, and as far as I can tell the Motherboard supports it. Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB Hard Drive - 7200RPM, 32MB, SATA-300, OEM ST3500320AS at TigerDirect.com It was this site that convinced me to go for the 32-Bit HHD instead of the 16-Bit HDD. DVD/CD Drive Lite-ON IHAS422-08 DVD Burner - 22X DVD+R, 22X DVD-R, 8X DVD+R9, 8X DVD-R9, 12X DVD-RAM, 8X DVD+RW, DVD-RW 6X, SATA at TigerDirect.com This component of the computer I know least about. I would pretty much just like to read and burn CD's, MP Three Disks, and DVD's with Nero. Will this suffice? Case Apevia X-Jupiter Jr.G Type ATX Mid-Tower Case - Black, Clear Side, Front USB and Firewire Ports X-JPJGT-BK at TigerDirect.com One problem I have with this case is it says it has front USB and Firewire Ports but doesn't show a visible picture of them on the page. It also doesn't show a legit Power switch, so I'm not sure about this case. Reviews are good, though. Are the two 120mm Fans listed there considered 'case fans'? Any other cooling methods I should take? This is pretty much it, along with a few big anti-static bags and the ESD strap for ESD prevention. All together with shipping charges it will be about 785$. Please do let me know if I am overlooking something or if there might be problems with hardware working together.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#2 10 years ago

Not a bad looking build at all.

If you're looking into quad-core though, I recommend Intel, their processors are dominating AMD's at this point. Of course, this also means a compatible motherboard.

Also, if you can afford it, get the 512MB GTX 260 instead of the 9800GT. If you're going to SLI eventually as you say, it'll be much more rewarding.

You said you were going to make sure your PSU is SLI compatible before getting dual monitors...you don't need two SLI video cards to run dual displays. Most video cards have multiple outputs. My single 8800GT has VGA and DVI outputs, and I run dual-displays just fine, with different resolutions and everything. So don't think you need a second graphics card just for dual-displays, although it is still a very nice thing to have.

You'll probably want a better power supply as well, especially if you're going to have SLI video cards. Probably 700 Watts or thereabouts will do just fine.




jjz-

Software Engineer

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16th October 2008

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#3 10 years ago

If you are going with a whole new setup, you might as well go with an intel, as the other poster said. There is no real reason not to with the prices of the Q6600 and such, especially if you can get a live cashback deal. It would be just as cheap as going with an AMD build, and get you quite a bit more performance.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#4 10 years ago
jjz-;4767089If you are going with a whole new setup, you might as well go with an intel, as the other poster said. There is no real reason not to with the prices of the Q6600 and such, especially if you can get a live cashback deal. It would be just as cheap as going with an AMD build, and get you quite a bit more performance.

Indeed. If you can spend a bit more money, I would go for the Intel i7 processors. Better than the Core 2 quads, and whatever AMD can throw out.




kow_ciller

Gettin' hardware chilly

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16th June 2004

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#5 10 years ago

+1 for intel. Unless you want to go with Phenom II. Also, go with a Radeon 4850 instead of that 9800GT. Pay $10 more and you get into another performance bracket. You could also do Crossfire later on with that motherboard, not SLI. Besides that, if you are going with a first gen. Phenom you should get one that is a 9x50 model since they dont suffer from the eratta bug that the 9x00 processors suffered from. I would also get another PSU. Ultra makes decent high end stuff, but their low to mid range stuff is not to be trusted. I would suggest you spend the money and get a quality corsair unit. Also, I would say buy your things from newegg. Because chances are you will be charged Tax for buying from tigerdirect and newegg has customer service that is leaps and bounds better than tiger. If you watched their "pink friday" you would know what I mean.




*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

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18th April 2006

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#6 10 years ago

Again, go with Intel. I wouldn't go i7 just yet though. The processors are cheap, but the compatible motherboards and RAM are quite expensive, also, the current i7 processors on the market aren't gaming-grade, as they lack a large L2 cache that the Core 2 Quads have; you'll see a minimal increase.

A 260 is leaps ahead of a 9800GT, which, honestly, is not much better than an 8800GT, which is quite an average card at this point. If you can, get that. (though you may run into a bottleneck with a processor of ~2.0GHz; OCing will be needed.)

As everyone else has said, you might want to get a slightly better PSU. I'd say about 750W for a 260 SLI setup, but for one, 550 should be ok.

And, though I'm not American or Canadian, I have heard a lot of good things about Newegg over Tiger, so I'd give them a look.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#7 10 years ago

Newegg and TigerDirect are both good. It just depends on which one has better prices for what you want. When I bought my Logitech G15 and G9 from TigerDirect, it was over $40 less than the combined prices for the same items on Newegg, and the shipping difference was negligible.




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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1st January 2005

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#8 10 years ago
The_Daedalus;4767258...the current i7 processors on the market aren't gaming-grade, as they lack a large L2 cache that the Core 2 Quads have; you'll see a minimal increase.

That comment doesn't really tell the whole story. The only reason games are so reliant on L2 cache is due to the way they are currently written. The i7s stomp everything else when it comes to L3 cache, and with that and the Quick Path interconnects, there is less need for large L2 cache. Furthermore, their gaming speed will not be fully utilized until more games are threaded, which is another area i7s stomp everything else being capable of processing 8 threads simultaneously with the new improved HyperThreading.

It's not i7s being slow for their price or lacking "gaming grade" architecture that's the problem, it's the software needing to catch up to the technology. The same thing was true for dual core CPUs when they first debuted. That being said however, the next gen i7s will no doubt be even better with smaller die and more speed per watt, and perhaps even more cache. By then though the software will probably have adapted some and people will still say the speed increases are merely due to Intel changing the architecture.

It would put things in better perspective if people would look at the big picture when comparing i7 to Core 2 Quad. Even the way GPU drivers are written comes into play here. In some games it's best to disable HT with Nvidia cards on these i7s because Nvidia has yet to write drivers that utilize the i7s capabilities well. Going i7 and the expense of the platform it takes to support it is an investment, but it is one that will no doubt pay off better than the results currently show.




*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

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18th April 2006

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#9 10 years ago

I agree with you there; game developers do need to get their asses together in terms of how they code games, and how many cores they are optimized for. Having said that, we can't tell the game developers what to do (well we can, but they won't really listen. :p) we can however tell him the best processor to buy.




DarkKrucifix7

Geek on the Internets

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26th February 2007

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#10 10 years ago
Vic the Trader;4766990 Motherboard Asus M3A78-T Motherboard - AMD 790GX, Socket AM2+, ATX, Audio, CrossFireX, PCI Express 2.0, Gigabit LAN, SPDIF, USB 2.0, Serial ATA, RAID, eSATA, HDMI at TigerDirect.com The main thing I noticed on this motherboard is that in the Motherboard is clearly shown with Firewire, but for some reason it doesn't say that in the name. Does what is said in the name really matter?

Nice choice, ASUS is one of the top companies.

CPU AMD Phenom 9500 Processor HD9500WCGDBOX - 2.20GHz, 4 x 512KB Cache, 1800MHz (3600 MTs) FSB, Agena, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket AM2+, Processor with Fan at TigerDirect.com I decided to go with the AMD X4 because it isn't too much more expensive than the AMD X2's, which was my first choice. This CPU has a fan included, but how can I tell if it has a heatsink?

Stay away from the Phenom XX00 series, they have a "TLB bug", which may show up and cause bluescreens and annoyances.

All X3 or X4 XX50 and the Phenom II's have this issue corrected.

Video Card EVGA GeForce 9800 GT Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV 512-P3-N975-AR at TigerDirect.com I am assuming this card is fairly good with 512 MB of RAM and a 256-Bit Interface.

While this will work on your MB, you cannot SLi due to an AMD chipset.

However, crossfire will work with ATi Cards, if you plan to do that

PSU Ultra LS500 Lifetime Series 500W Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, PCI-Express at TigerDirect.com The Video Card is SLI Ready, but before I try to add two monitors I will probably need to upgrade the PSU to a SLI certified PSU.

I believe this will be fine.

RAM Corsair Dual Channel TWINX 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB) TWIN2X4096-6400C5 at TigerDirect.com I think this is a strikingly good deal for the money, and as far as I can tell the Motherboard supports it.

Corsair is another top brand, so no negatives here.

Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB Hard Drive - 7200RPM, 32MB, SATA-300, OEM ST3500320AS at TigerDirect.com It was this site that convinced me to go for the 32-Bit HHD instead of the 16-Bit HDD.

I'm uncertain what you will be storing, but should be more than enough.

DVD/CD Drive Lite-ON IHAS422-08 DVD Burner - 22X DVD+R, 22X DVD-R, 8X DVD+R9, 8X DVD-R9, 12X DVD-RAM, 8X DVD+RW, DVD-RW 6X, SATA at TigerDirect.com This component of the computer I know least about. I would pretty much just like to read and burn CD's, MP Three Disks, and DVD's with Nero. Will this suffice?

Fine for what you need it for.

Case Apevia X-Jupiter Jr.G Type ATX Mid-Tower Case - Black, Clear Side, Front USB and Firewire Ports X-JPJGT-BK at TigerDirect.com One problem I have with this case is it says it has front USB and Firewire Ports but doesn't show a visible picture of them on the page. It also doesn't show a legit Power switch, so I'm not sure about this case. Reviews are good, though. Are the two 120mm Fans listed there considered 'case fans'? Any other cooling methods I should take?

Don't know much about Apevia, but also appears to be a good choice.

The Power Switch is on the inside of the front door (next to the external 3.5" expansions), the USB/Firewire are on the top, along with 2 audio jacks. Newegg.com - APEVIA X-JUPITER-JR G-Type X-JPJGT-BK Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases < see pics

The 120mm fans are case fans. It shold be fine with that.