Check out this design (My first build)

I'm designing my first computer. This is what I want out of it:

1. As future proof as possible. I want it to be able to handle the games and applications of 3-4 years from now. Also, I definitely want the parts to last long.

2. Price. Probably under $1k, hopefully under $900.

3. Performance. I want it to be able to handle the newest games, as well as games in the future with medium-high settings.

4. Upgradeability. If I don't upgrade for a couple years, would I still be able to upgrade it without changing loads of parts?

5. Overclockability. I probably wont overclock it until at least the mobo's warranty is gone, but I want it to overclock somewhat.

Here is what I have so far:

Aspire X-Cruiser $85

Sunbeam Chromatic Windmill $32

NEC DVD Burner $35

LG DVD-ROM Drive $20

Western Digital Caviar SATA 3 Gb $75

Corsair XMS2 2gb DDR2-800 $164

ASUS M2N-E Mobo $97

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ AM2 $300

Radeon X800XL $132

Total: $940

I'm not sure about the power supply that comes with the case. How do you know how many watts each component needs and stuff? Also, I definitely don't want that power supply to destroy my other components. I can buy that same case for less without the power supply, but it's not much cheaper.

The panel thing is so that if anything fails or goes wrong, I wont end up with burnt components.

I don't really know much about DVD burners and drives, so I just picked out some cheap ones with decent ratings.

I also wasn't very sure about the HDD. Would you recommend something else?

I picked out cheap RAM because I heard that it doesn't really matter how fast the RAM is, but just how much you have.

Also, how would I find out if the RAM and Mobo match up? I tried the Corsair site but it doesn't seem like the compatability search thing works.

I'm waiting for the price of the X2 to drop before I start buying, so that should really cut down the price of my system, or should I get a 2.4 GHz one?
20 answers Last reply
More about check design build
  1. Shoot! Forgot to add the OS. Add another, what?, $150 for Media Center Edition?
  2. Oh yeah, and do I need more fans? And do I need to buy cables or do they come with the parts?
  3. Everything looks pretty good, with a few changes. I would suggest removing the DVD-ROM drive unless you really need dual opticals - nice to have, but not all that useful. Exchange the dual core CPU for a single core - at this price point you can afford to wait for new CPUs and their price drops and upgrade it when your budget allows.

    Go for a 7600GT instead of the Radeon - you'll appreciate it, and while you'll be able to use HDR and AA at the same time with the Radeon, it won't have the power to drive both - the advantage is lost. Plus, the 7600GT is just faster.

    See how the Aspire PSU works. If it works, great. You just saved money. If not, then buy a new PSU, probably an Antec or a Hiper would be best.

    Good choice on RAM - Corsair XMS is teh r0x0r.

    Forget Windows MCE. Go with XP Pro. Unless you plan on doing something with a TV tuner, forget it. Or, to save money for now get the Vista Beta and buy Windows XP when your budget allows. Or Linux... ...

    Looks good, enjoy your system.
  4. yes, i agree with him
  5. Quote:
    I'm not sure about the power supply that comes with the case. How do you know how many watts each component needs and stuff?

    I used the PSU guide at

    Scroll down, it gives you a table to calculate how much watage you need.

    For my first build, the Case/PSU combo, I had to buy a adapter, since the Power supply had only 20 pins, and the motherboard needed 24. For my second build, I bought the PSU seperatly, it had a 20/24 connector, so that It can work on a variety of ATX boards.

    I recomend buying the PSU seperate, because of my experince with my first build, and ive been told these power supplys tend to be low wattage, and not have enough power to power a modern system.
  6. Quote:
    I would suggest removing the DVD-ROM drive unless you really need dual opticals

    So DVD burners come with readers? That's what I thought originally until I read the specs of the burners.

    Exchange the dual core CPU for a single core

    First of all, the x2's are suppose to be cut in price by 50%, so why not buy dual core. Also, I do not plan on upgrading my CPU until I have to, so I think I'd better stick to something more future-proof.

    Go for a 7600GT

    The thing is, I'm not a hard-core gamer. The only game I have that can't be run on my current nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 (which really really sucks) is Counter STrike Source. Also, wont Windows Vista require a whole new generation of graphics cards that support Direct x 10? So wouldn't it be better to stick with a cheaper one and upgrade later? The graphics card is the only thing I plan on upgrading regularly. In fact, I thought about dropping down to a Radeon x800 for $73.

    See how the Aspire PSU works

    What I'm worried about is that a crappy PSU will become unstable and send surges of electricity through my other components, destroying them. Or, in a more extreme incident, the PSU will blow up. So can I really afford to see how the Aspire PSU works?

    get the Vista Beta

    Will Vista Beta be able to run all applications normally? Will I be able to use it as if it were a normal OS? I think getting the Beta would be a good idea because I want Windows Vista, but I don't want to wait for it. Also, the Vista Beta ends June 2007. By then, I would be able to get Vista for a decent price, right?

    Thanx for the advice.

    Oh, and would there be any bottlenecking in my system? It will run at its full potential, right?
  7. About the power supply, how do I know if it has enough connectors for all my devices?
  8. Your video card might bottleneck the CPU. That's why I suggest a single core now. Yes, the prices will drop on them in July, but you never said when you were going to buy the parts. If you wait until then, you'll save enough money on the CPU to buy Windows or a better part.

    There have been some compatibility issues with Vista beta, but it's free. And if it goes wrong, replace it with something that works.

    There's little chance that your PSU will blow up - Aspire makes OK, not great, but OK power supplies. If you want more safety and a better power supply, get an Antec that comes with a PSU. Their PSUs are really good, even the low-wattage ones.

    And how would the front panel keep things from burning out? Explain that.
  9. If one of your goals is building a relatively future proof PC, then that video card would be your weakest link. The x800 series all use shader model 2.0, whereas most other video cards made now support shader model 3.0 . The Nvidia 7600GT would be a good choice as it supports the newer shader model. If you must have HDR and AA and shader model 3 support, the X1800GTO might be a good choice.

    Good luck with your build.
  10. Avoid the X1800GTO too. Sure, it can run HDR and AA at the same time, but the system won't be able to drive acceptable framerates with both turned on - the advantage is lost unless you're using an X1900 or higher with a system that can back it up.
  11. I think I overstressed how important my budget was. I'm not the one paying for the parts, my parents are (and it will be a family computer), but it still is important for me to keep the price down.

    Ok, so I guess I'm getting the 7600 GT. But, will it be able to run Windows Vista (not beta) when it comes out? I thought Vista will need Directx 10 to run. On newegg there are many 7600 GT's to choose from. Do you have a recommendation on which one to buy?

    If you wait until then, you'll save enough money on the CPU to buy Windows or a better part.

    Yeah, I'm definitely waiting till then.

    And how would the front panel keep things from burning out? Explain that.

    If a fan stops or a part overheats, the front panel will flash and beep so I can turn it off in time.
    *Plus, it looks cool, especially for that case. (Shhhhhhhh... I need a good excuse for my parents) But really, do you not think it will help?

    And can someone answer my previous questions?
    So DVD burners come with readers? That's what I thought originally until I read the specs of the burners.

    Oh yeah, and do I need more fans? And do I need to buy cables or do they come with the parts?
  12. And a few more things:

    I read that the Athlon 64 X2 is not very overclockable, going up to 2.4-2.5 GHz. Then should I drop that Asus and go for one of the cheaper brands that will overclock just a little?

    Because the 64 x2 is 64-bit capable, I want a system that will work on 64 bit, so do I need to buy a specific mobo or something that supports 64 bit?
  13. If it's a family computer, you probably won't be overclocking. And even if you will, a 500MHz boost is a lot. And your experience may be different from others'. Up until recently, Asus boards were never great at overclocking, but now they are. After the A8N32-SLI, they got really good. So don't worry. The one I ordered (M2N-SLI deluxe) should be very good at it. And since the chipsets between those two boards are similar, you should have no problems. Wait a while before you overclock, make sure everything is stable.

    Why do you want to overclock if you're worried about your power supply exploding? OC'ing won't help your power supply work better.

    It couldn't hurt to put the front panel in, but it might not help either. And if this is your first build, it might only complicate things. I started my first (complete) build last night and some of it was pretty confusing. I finished most of it in about 4 hours, but there's a lot of parts and cables to deal with tonight. And those extra lights on the panel will only draw more power.

    Yes, a DVD burner can read DVDs. What company would make a burner that can't read what it burns? That would just be silly.

    You don't need a motherboard that supports 64-bit. The motherboard supports the CPU that supports the 64-bit OS and applications. You may have heard about bad driver support for 64-bit, which there is. Avoid going 64-bit until driver support gets a lot better. I predict that the final version of Vista will bring excellent 64-bit support, simply because it will become the new standard.

    Vista does not require DX10. Most newer games will require it, however. I repeat, you do not need a DX10 video card to use Vista, only DX9.

    Hope that clears things up.
  14. I'm not worrying about the power anymore because I think I'll get the no-power supply-included version of the Aspire X-Cruiser. This is the power supply I plan on getting:

    Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply

    About the OCing. I'm not going to OC until I need to. For example, if applications in the future get more demanding. I'll wait until at least the Mobo warranty is out.

    On newegg there are several 7600 GT's that vary in price. Which one should I get?
  15. There isn't really a difference. I like eVGA because of their warranties, free copies of HL2 Episode 1 and Hitman: Blood Money, and their Step Up program. If within 90 days you manage to save up more money, you can trade your current card in for a new model, and just pay the difference. My 7900GT is a KO edition eVGA.
  16. Ok, so after a few modifications I think I have come up with viable system.

    Aspire X-Cruiser $70

    NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Silver IDE Model ND-3550A $35

    Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600YD 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $75

    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400 $164

    ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard $97

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ AM2 $300 (Drop to $200 July 24?)

    GeForce 7600 GT $140

    Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply $64

    Windows Vista Beta: $10

    Total: $987
    If x2 drops to $200: $887
    With tax and shipping: Just over $900
  17. Uh...Vista Beta is just need a blank DVD and the burner to burn the downloaded image...
  18. I don't have a DVD burner.
  19. Set up your computer as normal, install Linux, download the .iso image, burn it to a dvd from linux, then install Vista. Get a Linux friend to help you if you need it. Ubuntu is easy to setup and needs almost no configuration. Also comes with .iso burning tool.
  20. Last day to download is in like 2 weeks, but remember I'm waiting until after July 24 to build.
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