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First build - suggestions?

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December 27, 2006 12:42:27 AM

I'm planning to build a computer soon for general use and gaming (mostly WoW). I was thinking of:

MSI K9N Neo-F Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+(65W) Windsor 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

BFG Tech BFGR76256GTOCE GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
(assuming it comes back in stock)

CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Antec Solution SLK1650B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

SAMSUNG SpinPoint P Series SP2004C 200GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Any suggestions? I'm on a flexible budget, so I can't add too much without reducing the cost elsewhere.

More about : build suggestions

December 27, 2006 1:52:47 AM

Seems pretty balanced and low cost, which I presume are your goals. About the power supply, you should have your total power draw (which you should have added up, including motherboard and memory) under 280 watts -- the 20% margin is a good practice. Also, consider what kind of graphics card you could upgrade to in the future. If you knew that in time you'd likely want a beastly powerful graphic upgrade, you'd have to have more than 350W then. On the other hand if you don't expect such ambitions, there will eventually be 8000 series cards on the low end in a year that will draw relatively low power compared to the 8800GS, though I won't hazard a guess at exactly how low. One way to guesstimate would be to compare the 7800 or 7900 (take an average) to the 7200 and 7300s (again an average), and multiply that ratio vs the current power draw of a 8800GS as a kind of educated guess.
December 27, 2006 3:30:06 PM

I was mostly trying for balanced and low cost. If I ought to have a 20% margin, the power supply does look pretty borderline - I get 294 W using the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator v2.0, so maybe I ought to look at switching to a 400-450W power supply to be safe and allow for expansion in the future to a nicer video card and more RAM. I know it's not the most exciting system ever to be built, but I really appreciate your taking the time to look at it.
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December 28, 2006 12:10:57 AM

wy. the reply re the 7200.10 hard drive is good advice, since those latest drives do have noticibly better performance, and a hard drive is the slowest part.
December 28, 2006 3:29:34 PM

A faster hard drive would definately be worth $15. Is it still relatively quiet? Most of the reviewers at Newegg seem to say yes, although I saw several who claimed they could hear if across the room (something I'm trying to avoid).
December 28, 2006 3:40:57 PM

there are a *lot* of 7200.10 drives, and you should expect them to be a little different from each other in that regard! Same for other brands. See they aren't all manufactuered in one plant, even for the same family of drives! So you read thru reviews or search thru for "noise" for several canidate drives (distinct model number) until you are satisfied it's a good choice. Finally, because the drives are made to be affordable there is indeed a portion, for each manufactuerer, that are noisy or have a problem, so there's always a possibility of having to do a return ("RMA"). I am picky, and have returned 2 drives out of 12 or so I've bought, but I think 5-10% is a good representation.
December 28, 2006 3:56:48 PM

Thanks! I hadn't realized you could return it for being too noisy. I'll definately go with one of those drives, then.
December 28, 2006 4:03:44 PM

check the return notes at the store or on-line store. My last exchange was direct to Seagate thru their warantee service (on website)
December 29, 2006 7:09:37 PM

In your opinion, would it be worth the extra cost to switch to Intel? I was thinking possibly:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

and

BIOSTAR 945P-A7A (8.0) Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945P ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

It will cost about $55 more for this combo than for the AMD I had in my initial post. Will I get $55+ worth of increased performance? I may do some mild overclocking, but won't be pushing the limits since I want a stable system.
December 29, 2006 7:13:39 PM

No.
December 29, 2006 7:19:55 PM

Dude, you can't say no w/o an explanation. :) 


Alle1123, what's your total budget? Or a max budget? I'm in a giving mood today. It's raining and slow at work today. Lemme know and I'll see what I can come up with.
December 29, 2006 7:36:03 PM

Thanks for the help. Right now I have it around $620, including Windows and a DVD writer. I could go up another $100 or so. I was given a video card, so I don't need that now (until directx10 cards are reasonable).
December 29, 2006 8:24:30 PM

Ok, I used your extra $100, and went a hair over that, but I'm close. This rig (IMO) will be better than the one you originally posted.

Microsoft Windows XP Home Sp2b 1pk w/Upgrade Coupon for Vista - OEM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail
BIOSTAR TForce965PT Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667
ePOWER ZU-500W ATX12V Ver. 2.01 PCIe 500W Power Supply
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel
NEC Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R

Whew, that took a while.

Total cost is $728.31 shipped thru Newegg.

Some will like my choice of PSUs, but I have one, and it works well. If this is too much, I have an AMD version up my sleeve, but for the price difference, I'd stick with the Intel. It's faster out of the box, and will OC like a dream if you decide to do so.
December 30, 2006 4:14:02 AM

dude, did you put in a video card?? or am I going blind?!?

btw, to answer your question, look at the Thread "Rules of Thumb etc

While the 6300 based system is not bad, he could get better value via AMD on this modest budget. It's about putting the money where it matters for gaming.
December 30, 2006 4:15:02 AM

Read the "Rules of Thumb" Thread nearby in this forum.
!