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Building my own pc: first timer

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February 2, 2007 6:42:10 PM

Hi,

I'm trying to build my first PC from scratch and i needed some opinions. I've narrowed the list down to:


Motherboard: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe

Processor: AMD Athlon64 X2 Socket AM2 3800+

Hard-Drive: Seagate BARRACUDA 320GB 7200RPM

RAM: Kingston DDR2 667Mhz 1GB

Graphics Card: Point of View 7600GS 256MB SLI DDR2

Case: 3R System R310 Silver

Monitor: BenQ 19'' FP91G+


This is my choice at the moment. I have some questions though:

1 - What's better, 1GB RAM module or 2 modules 512MB each? 'Cause i've read about dual channel memory would be better but i don't really know. In terms of slots available 1GB's better, but is it worth it to buy 512MB x 2 ?

2 - Do processors come with a cooler/fan? Or do i have to buy one? If so, how can i know which one to buy?

3 - If you noticed i don't have a PSU yet, because i have no idea which one to choose. I know there are some brands I should avoid, but don't really know much about it. What would you recommend for a good PSU for this system? price around 80€..

4 - Must i be concerned about physical incompatibilities between the Mobo and the case? Or are they standardized?

5 - Hard-drive: Seagate, WD, Samsung or Maxtor?

6 - Monitor: Sony, LG or Samsung? Is the difference between analog (VGA) and digital output (DVI) worth the difference of 30~40 €?

7 - Any other issue i should be aware of when building my own pc?

Thank you

More about : building timer

February 2, 2007 6:54:10 PM

Where u buying from
Why Amd
Whats your budget
February 2, 2007 8:00:05 PM

1) the better choice is the 2x512 // you will still have 2 slots free for upgrading the memory later... unless you plan to go beyond 3gb of memory? but this seems like a middle-weight build

2)If it says OEM, it does not come with a fan and you have to buy one // which one should you buy? Well, that depends if you are trying to overclock like crazy (get something like a tuniq 120 or zalman 9500/9700 - $50-$60 US) overclock a little bit (Artic freezer 64 -$30 US)

3) i'm must admit i don't know too much about PSU's - but 550w by a name you recognize should be more than enough

4) Yes, motherboard sizes and cases are standardized

5)I like seagate they are reliable and good performers, i have a WD that has been running for 4+ years no problem, and i had a maxtor that crapped out on me. so for what its worth....

6) monitor - my major criteria for monitor is the dpi usually .264 per inch the smaller the number the better (it deals with picture sharpness) also compare the refresh rates, the faster the refresh the less "ghosting" you will notice (ghosting is bad m'kay)

7) umm - make sure you have all drivers or a backup computer in case you can't get stuff to work
Related resources
February 2, 2007 8:09:09 PM

1 - get the 2 x 512mb for the dual channel, though you may be able to run w/ one you take a slight performance hit on the memory bandwidth. Usually it is only $10 or so more to get a matched pair. Really you can probably narrow down your selections like non-sli mobo if you dont' do SLI. If you are thinking of SLI using those cards don't - just get a single 7950gt same cost, better performance. The Asus M2N-E is much cheaper an d can do the job, maybe you can apply the $ to a 2gig (2x1gb) ddr2-800 like OZC gold.

2 - yes get a retail box CPU it comes w/ a heatsink. Personally I prefer to get OEM / better performing heatsink and AS5, but the retail one is just fine. Most times I do a build I scrape off the "thermal pad" and put on the AS5 it helps out a couple of degrees.

3 - for a single 7600gs / X2-3800 basic system that is about 215w at max so any psu that has +12v(combined)@18A should work, personally I would put that at the 80% load max and shoot for a 23A unit it will last for a long time. If you consider upgrade maybe put it at 50% a 36A unit should be able to handle a cpu / gpu upgrade with ease. With that budget you may be able to get something like this Cooler Master igreen 500w since it puts out +12@33A and at that price you cant' beat this unit's efficiency.

4 - is it this case? 3Rsystem R310 Air Kahn? Interesting PSU placement... should work out fine

5 - I prefer the WD as of late since they are quiet and run cool, I think I picked up a 500gb for $150usd recently. Seagate would be my next choice since they have a 5year warranty, the samsungs I have used vibrate a bit more than I like. I have not used a Maxtor since I have seen a rash of RMAs on the D540x 80gb's we use on the job in the last few years but it maybe just that specific model not sure...

6 - Some analog connections get fuzzy over 1600x1200 it is card / monitor dependant, I would go w/ DVI if you are getting a large display just to be on the safe side.

7 - I usually stage the build, put the bare-bones together first (case / psu / mobo / cpu / mem / gpu only) then connect the power-on switch and give it a test fire. Maybe assemble the cpu / mem / mobo outside of the case (while properly grounded of course) since it looks a bit cramped to work in, then put in the psu, maybe clean up the wiring a bit then drop the mobo, put the gpu in and you are good to go for your first power-on test. If you don't get a post / bios screen it is easier to troubleshoot at this part believe me...
February 2, 2007 8:23:04 PM

Quote:
Hi,

I'm trying to build my first PC from scratch and i needed some opinions. I've narrowed the list down to:


Motherboard: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe

Processor: AMD Athlon64 X2 Socket AM2 3800+

Hard-Drive: Seagate BARRACUDA 320GB 7200RPM

RAM: Kingston DDR2 667Mhz 1GB

Graphics Card: Point of View 7600GS 256MB SLI DDR2

Case: 3R System R310 Silver

Monitor: BenQ 19'' FP91G+


Motherboard: No.
Processor: Hell no.
Hard-Drive: Ehh...
Ram: El-oh-el.
Graphics Card: Sigh...
Case: Uh, never even heard of them?
Monitor: Anyone who doesn't go with the Hanns G Widescreen is an idiot.

That out of the way. AMD sucks buddy, especially if you're investing enough to go dual core.

If you're that light on cash, get this set up.
Newegg $645 budget

You can swap out the 7900GS for a 7600GT or get an X1900GT.

Avoid AMD unless you only have like $400 to spend on a PC, and in that situation you'd be going Socket 939, not Socket AM2.

Once you hit the point where you have enough to spend $100+ on a processor, you're better off going LGA 775.
February 2, 2007 8:33:21 PM

@ namelessCM

my guess is that he is quoting euro's on his prices because he is not in the US :lol: 

which means intel processors are probably retarded expensive
February 2, 2007 8:48:42 PM

"Monitor: Anyone who doesn't go with the Hanns G Widescreen is an idiot."


Idiotic statement.

Ignore.
February 2, 2007 8:50:46 PM

Quote:
"Monitor: Anyone who doesn't go with the Hanns G Widescreen is an idiot."


Idiotic statement.

Ignore.


You should probably learn what you're talking about. I guess you fall into the category I was talking about.

For the same price Viewsonic's monitors go for, HannsG offers the same size, same contrast ratio, better QUALITY and much lower response time.

Most review sites agree- HannsG is just better for the money.

Just because you know a lot about PC Hardware doesn't mean you know JACK about consumer electronics. Get out of this playground kid, it's for big kids only.
February 2, 2007 8:50:58 PM

Where are you located?

What is your budget?
February 2, 2007 8:53:57 PM

http://www.3rsys.com/english/products/view.asp?navi=cas...

Looks very interesting especially the location of psu. Cools quite well.

1 - IMO, it's best to go dual channel whenever possible unless there are only 2 memory slots. There's no point to get 4 gigs if you're running 32-bit windows which sees up to 3.5gb ram.

2 - Retail (boxed) cpus come with heatsink & fan & LONGER warranty. 1 - 3 years. OEM (no box) cpus come with nothing & a very short warranty. Say 3 months.

3 - Take a look at what psu's to get & avoid here:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...

4 - ATX mobo fits ATX case. MATX fits MATX.

5 - Seagate 7200.10 if available.

6 - Samsung seems popular. DVI is preferred if the video supports it.

7 - Build the barebone: mobo, cpu, ram & video outside the case on a cardboard/magazine/book. If it works, put it in the case.
February 2, 2007 8:55:43 PM

You clearly about an inch short of a total retard.

There plenty of good monitor solutions, your idiotic blanket fan boy statement doesn't help anyone out.

I don't know a whole lot about PC Hardware, neither do i claim to.

Funny you should mention the "playground" and being a "big kid" because that's EXACTLY where i'd expect to find you
February 2, 2007 9:01:43 PM

Quote:
You clearly about an inch short of a total retard.

There plenty of good monitor solutions, your idiotic blanket fan boy statement doesn't help anyone out.

I don't know a whole lot about PC Hardware, neither do i claim to.

Funny you should mention the "playground" and being a "big kid" because that's EXACTLY where i'd expect to find you


You must either be on the ground or sitting on a kid's chair since wit seems to go right over your head.

First of all, if you're on a budget, there's no reason to go with an LCD other than HannsG. It's only $180 and offers some of the best features an LCD can have.

But since you're incapable of proving your arguments, you just insult because you're mad someone else knows more about monitors than you do, I'll do the hard work of proving you wrong and making you get out of my face.

BenQ Stats-
550:1 Contrast Ratio
8ms response time
250 cd/m2 brightness
4:3 aspect ratio
$220 retail USD price

HannsG stats-
700:1 Contrast Ratio
5ms response time
300 cd/m2 brightness
4:3 aspect ratio
$179 retail USD price

HannsG widescreen stats-
700:1 Contrast Ratio
5ms response time
300 cd/m2 brightness
16:10 aspect ratio (1440 x 900)
$184 retail USD price

Find a monitor that offers those stats at 19" for a better price, and even better, find a monitor that offers those stats at 19" widescreen for anywhere within $50 of the cost. Viewsonic had to release a 5ms widescreen just because of how popular the HannsG was when it was released. Quality over quanitity, yet HannsG has both.

I double dog dare you, doofus.
February 2, 2007 9:08:09 PM

ok i'm from Portugal and my budget is ~850€ (about 1107$)

i don't know about u in USA but i hardly managed to stay under this budget here in Portugal with the configuration specified :S

i've decided to give AMD a shot just because it's cheaper than Intel. i thought AMD in dual core was as good as intel is. am i wrong?

i couldn't see the set up u mentioned because i don't have an account in newegg.com and it seems only americans are allowed..
February 2, 2007 9:11:42 PM

Quote:
ok i'm from Portugal and my budget is ~850€ (about 1107$)

i don't know about u in USA but i hardly managed to stay under this budget here in Portugal with the configuration specified :S

i've decided to give AMD a shot just because it's cheaper than Intel. i thought AMD in dual core was as good as intel is. am i wrong?

i couldn't see the set up u mentioned because i don't have an account in newegg.com and it seems only americans are allowed..


Try to find these parts. You'll save money and get better performance.

ABIT AB9
Intel Pentium D 820 or Intel Pentium D 805
PQI Turbo 1 GB
Viewsonic Q19WB

You'll save money buying these parts and get much better quality.

The AMD dual core doesn't perform as well as Intel dual core, and if you buy a Pentium D 805, you'll out perform an AMD X2 3800+ for about the same price over-all, but later on you can upgrade to a Core 2 Duo which is the best processor on the market right now.

With the money saved you can probably get a better graphics card too. Try to get either an X850XT, X800GTO2, 7600GT or an X1800GTO.
February 3, 2007 10:38:07 AM

I guess the reason people think intel is more expensive than amd is that they're comparing oranges to apples. 65nm C2D isn't equal to 90/65nm AMD X2. c2d e6300 is a bit faster than X2 5000+ at stock speeds.

NamelessMC is correct. C2D has a longer life in that a typical C2D board can support 775 single, dual & quad cores. i.e. P965 chipset. AM2 will be old when AM3 comes out.

Post a link to your online store. We'd take a look.
February 3, 2007 10:45:39 AM

1. You just assumed he was in the US - he isn't you big mouthed little turd.

2. Your blanket statement about the monitor was nothing more than an adolescent showing off his toys.


"The only Power supplies worth buying are made by PC Power and Cooling"

Another one of you classic fanboy nonsense quotes. There are at least 10 good quality PSU brands.That just about sums your attitude up. You make ridiculous blanket statements based on what you have bought yourself, and everything else on sale is shit.

I didn't actually say you were wrong about the Benq, but you made it sound as if it was the only Monitor in the world worth buying.

Grow up child.
February 3, 2007 2:04:49 PM

ok right now i'm very confused. AMD or Intel...AMD or Intel..AMD or Intel...

i was told AMD has better performance than Intel for the same price. i know that i shouldn't blindly trust all opinions, because ultimately that's what they really are: opinions. However, performance isn't based on opinions, so i presume it would be possible to really know what's best, AMD or Intel.

That said, i can actually go for an Intel processor for about the same price as an AMD, trusting the Pentium D 805 or better performs as well (or better) as the AMD 64 bit dual core AM2 socket processor.

I can actually get:

- INTEL Pentium D 925 3.0 GHz Socket 775 Dual Core BOX (123,5€ or ~160$ - more than acceptable)

- INTEL Pentium D 935 3.2 GHz Socket 775 Dual Core BOX (144€ or 188$ - worth the price difference?)

- INTEL Pentium D 945 3.4 GHz Socket 775 Dual Core BOX (166€ or 216$ - i'd have to struggle the budget to buy this one, but it's worth it i'll think about it..)

I found these on a Portuguese website vendor. I reckon you guys don't really know Portuguese, but there's another site which is translated to english: http://www.pixmania.com

The problem now is to choose a motherboard suitable for this Intel socket 775, with SATA II support, DDR2 and so on..

SLI? Should i invest in an SLI supported motherboard (even though i'd probably won't buy an SLI graphics card just yet)?

I think i'll have to "go abroad", searching in foreign websites to check if the prices are lower (considering the shipping costs). I really liked newegg's prices...with the budget i have (~1000$) i'd get a really good computer if i could buy parts at those prices...

So one last thing: definitely Intel?
February 3, 2007 5:36:16 PM

Quote:
i was told AMD has better performance than Intel for the same price.

The answer to the question always depends on what the question is.

If you ask which company currently has the processor with the best performance the answer is Intel. AMD doesn't really have any answer yet to Intel's Core 2 architecture. If, as is more likely, you ask which company offers the best performance for a given price ... well, I don't know what the answer to that question is. It changes as quickly as processor prices change.

If you haven't already, I suggest you take a look at the Tom's Hardware interactive CPU charts. FWIW, here's one comparison between Pentium D 805 and an AMD X2. You can and should look at others. I suggest also comparing the other Pentium D CPUs you mentioned.

Buying a Pentium D just doesn't make a lot of sense these days. (Well, maybe it could make sense if you could get an 8O amazingly 8O good deal on that Pentium D :wink:) . If you're going to pick Intel over AMD you really should also pick Core 2 over Pentium D. Anything else is just a waste of money, IMO.

-john, the ostensibly clueless redundant legacy dinosaur
February 3, 2007 6:27:00 PM

Quote:
SLI? Should i invest in an SLI supported motherboard (even though i'd probably won't buy an SLI graphics card just yet)?


Why would you bother with an SLI mobo if you're not planning to use SLI? You're on a budget so why buy features you don't need? If you decide on C2D, you should be able to get the E4300 with a mobo like the Gigabyte 965P S3 and be happy with that.
February 3, 2007 7:15:00 PM

Maybe he just wants the option way later on. In any case, the Asus p5n-e (650i chipset) is a fairly solid contender and it's quite cheap (though not nearly as cheap as the s3.) At first, I had some heartache with it after trying it out compared to the p965 chipset but after I got everything settled, it's performing like a champ.

I'd personally say Intel c2d if you are looking at getting the best out of your money right now (considering some of the oc's you can potentially reach and how well they perform even at stock - if you are looking to the future, you can still keep with Intel or hope AMD lives up to their promise but everyone generally expects them to) - though that also depends on how prices are in your area.
February 4, 2007 12:43:00 PM

yes i'm planning to upgrade it later on...

so, having the option of Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 for 170€ (~221$), should i go for:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 AM2 3800+ (130€ - 170$)

or even:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 AM2 4200+ (170€ - 221$)

?

The E4300 isn't on the chart...
February 4, 2007 2:19:48 PM

E4300 = Overclocking and general merryment.

E6600 = Best Processor for mid range gaming bar non this puppy is fast.....

AMD64 = Good for seeing how many times you can get it to bounce on the pond in a skimming contest ;) 

AMD X2 (dual core) = Lowest performing range of dual core processors on the market. Get C2D you wont regret it.
February 4, 2007 8:49:22 PM

The point of getting a Pentium D 805 or 820 Smithfield is that they're cheap as hell, perform GOOD ENOUGH in games, but allow you to keep the option open of going Core2Duo when you have the money.

You could afford to get a Pentium D 805, a nice C2D motherboard (ASUS P5B or Gigabyte DS3) and a 7900GS and trust me, you'll be playing games on some nice frame-rates.

Sure an X2 3800 beats a D 805/820, but the best you can get after that X2 is the 5000 which gets stomped out by a 6300 from Intel.

The socket is what we're talking about, not the processor itself.

Malazand, you're an idiot.
Quote:
"The only Power supplies worth buying are made by PC Power and Cooling"


I didn't say that so..... You're dumb.
February 4, 2007 9:36:40 PM

The P5B is a good board, however the other one you listed is a micro ATX do you have a micro atx case? if you're on a tight budget go for a 1.8GHz E4300 + DS3 (unless you can get Biostar in your part of europe as its cheaper and will do the job) As for the Graphics card wait a few weeks when the 8600 ultra and others start coming out cards like X1950XT etc... will be dirt cheap!

Good luck man! ;) 
February 4, 2007 10:31:39 PM

Quote:
The point of getting a Pentium D 805 or 820 Smithfield is that they're cheap as hell, perform GOOD ENOUGH in games, but allow you to keep the option open of going Core2Duo when you have the money.

I suppose. I debated following a strategy something like that a month or so ago. Finally decided against it based on my gut feeling that however cheap the Pentium D might be at this moment, it still isn't nearly cheap enough. Just IMO, of course.

If I'm going to pick a processor on the criterion that it just be "good enough" to carry me until something better rolls out of the fab, I decided that the E4300 would be a better bet. But to each their own.

-the <insert assinine remarks about "space heaters" here> john
!