Help with new build...upgradeability a must.

So the Toshiba laptop i've been using for the past 3 years decided to die on me, and my newest desktop is a 5 year old Dell with a pentium 4 2.0 ghz and a ti 4200, so I'm planning on upgrading to a new system. Will primarily be used for the typical gaming/web browsing/ basic work, but must also be able to use engineering applications such autoCAD. I need everything except for speakers and printer (even a monitor, mouse, keyboard). I've upgraded computers before but have never actually built one from scratch, so any help is appreciated.

Features I want:
Upgradeability (assume I need a good mobo and PSU for this?)
potential for overclocking in the future (though not immediately)
good (doesn't need to be top of the line though, just enough to have most games on high settings at 1280x1024 for the next year or 2) gaming performance
lots (2 gb+) of ram for engineering applications

Features I don't need:
Vista (will wait)
SLI (its pointless except for huge monitors...I only want a 19-21 inch LCD)
sound card (I can't tell the difference, not a huge audiophile)
Huge Hard Drive (200+ gb should be fine for me)
Flashy Case (i hate the see through lightup cases, they are too gaudy for me....i'd rather have something that was better functionally (heat/space) and/or cheaper)

My budget is around 1500 dollars, but I can go up from that if you really think it will improve the quality of my comp drastically. Thanks for the help.
19 answers Last reply
More about help build upgradeability must
  1. board: gigabyte ds3

    cpu: core 2 e6300/e6400/e6600, whatever fits your budget, they're all good value. note that on april 22 the e6600 comes down to e6400 price.

    graphics: 8800gts 320mb or 700gs ko. 7900gs would be all you need for now, but that'd be pretty wimpy a year from now

    ram: g.skill ddr2-800, or mushkin/corsair/ocz/kingston/patriot/geil. but g.skill seems to have very good value

    psu: something by silverstone, seasonic, fsp group, pc p&c, corsair, antec. seasonic s12 is a nice psu

    hard drive: seagate perpendicular recording, in whatever size pleases you

  2. Are gigabyte mobos reliable? i've heard some bad things about them in the past, but this was a couple of years ago, so things could have changed.

    Also I think i'm going to go with this case:

    You can get a package deal with this power supply:

    Not sure if this is such a great deal (80 bucks for only 500 watts?).
  3. LMAO, nice pink case, not gaudy at all :lol: And yes, Gigabyte mobos for C2D systems are GREAT. Extremely reliable, very affordable, stable, overclock great, and are proven winners.....alot of people around here have them and are rightly impressed.

    NEU, get the Centurion 534 instead.....rotated hard drive (better for cabling and space) and dual side panel vents, much better and basically the same price.

    That PSU....meh. There are better options for the price.

    You got $1500. Here's a great setup for that:

    -Centurion 534 (can't remember if it comes with intake/exhaust fan. If not, make sure you buy 2 x 120mm fans)
    -6300 CPU
    -Arctic Freezer Pro 775 heatsink
    -Gigabyte 965P-DS3
    -OCZ GameXstream 600w PSU
    -2 gigs G.Skill DDR2-800 for a moderate OC. If you want to go more hardcore, you'll need something better
    -EVGA 8800GTS 320mb (it'll last you quite awhile)
    -Samsung SH-S182 DVD/RW (quiet for a DVD drive)
    -Seagate Barracuda 320gb 7200.10 w/ 16mb cache hard drive
    -Arctic Silver Ceramique thermal paste

    That's a great setup for what you need and it'll come under $1500 no problem. And if you can spend a bit more, you'll even have enough left over for a new 19" 1280x1024 LCD ;)
  4. you might want to take a quick look at this case before deciding

    quickly adding
    not to crontradict Skyguy 'cus his advice is great....
  5. The PSU has a low rating, unless budget dictates buying it, don't
  6. After reading up a bit about power supplies, realized that the PS is crap. Only 14 Amps on each of the +12 Volt rails. Will probably mostly stick with skyguy's recommendations, although i'm probably going to wait a month or two for the intel pricedrops and possibly R600. Usually an Nvidia guy but I want to see what AMD is bringing to the table before I buy. I want to buy a qaulity 19" LCD as well, if possible included in that 1500 budget. If doing that would really compromise my build qaulity I can go up a little.
  7. i'm also a little bit confused about which ram modules will work with that mobo. Does the timing need to be atleast 5-5-5 and above?
  8. No. It can be 4-x-x-x, whatever the RAM is rated for.

    HOWEVER, almost all RAM will be at 5-5-5-15 when you first load BIOS. From what I understand, this is because it is the standard for all RAM modules and C2D, to ensure compatiblility and that the board will boot, since some RAM is 1.8v, some is 2.0v, etc. To get any RAM to boot, manufacturers make the boards default to 5-5-5-15. You just have to go into BIOS and manually set it to whatever your RAM is rated for. So change it to 4-5-4-15, or 5-5-5-10, or whatever your RAM is. Piece of cake. But alot of people don't realize RAM defaults to alot of people come here and post " WTH? I paid for 4-x-x-x and my mobo says it's 5-5-5-15!!!". Not to worry, it's SUPPOSED to do that. Just change it to whatever it's rated for and that's all. No biggie.

    So put in whatever RAM you got, then manually set it BIOS, that's all it takes. No worries there bud :)
  9. I have to disagree with the thermal paste. Shin-Etsu is the best for air cooling.
  10. CPU - e4300/6300 - $170-180 or (E6600 for $320 recommended)

    MOBO - p965 - ds3 revision 3.3 boards - $130, no firewire 400 onboard though, 3 pcis

    MEM - 2x1GB Patriot Extreme DDR2 800 $200

    PSU - PC Power and Cooling 750W - $200 (Will have u set for whatever high end graphics coming out)

    Or if you wanna go cheap Rosewill 600W SLI Ready for $70. Hey I've done build with it and it's been running a single 8800GTX fine.

    Video - Geforce 8800GTS 320MB OC - $300, the Radeon 1950XTXs will serve you fine for a bit cheaper, although not DX10 compliant.

    Antec 900 Case - $130, pretty good case for a fair amount of money. Lots of holes for ventilation, but does get dusty.

    320MB Seagate Barracuda OEM ~ $90-100 blah, all you really need.

    DVD ~ $30-40

    This will give you some room for monitor and keyboard, etc..
  11. So i've been waiting and I finally am ready to buy. Here is my parts list so far. Am I missing anything (do I need a connector cable for the HD since its OEM?)

    I am still not too sure about this monitor...tell me what you think. Also should I go with a p35 Mobo now that its available? and if so, which mobo. Let me know if there are any stupid picks here.

    COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Model #: RC-534-KKN2-GP
    Item #: N82E16811119106

    GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Model #: GA-965P-DS3
    Item #: N82E16813128012
    $129.99 -$10.00 Instant $119.99 1

    EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
    Model #: 320-P2-N811-AR
    Item #: N82E16814130082

    OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply - Retail
    Model #: OCZ700GXSSLI
    Item #: N82E16817341002
    $149.99 -$10.00 Instant $139.99

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail
    Model #: BX80557E6600
    Item #: N82E16819115003


    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-2GBHK - Retail
    Model #: F2-6400CL4D-2GBHK
    Item #: N82E16820231114

    $144.99 -$40.00 Instant $104.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3400833AS 400GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Model #: ST3400833AS
    Item #: N82E16822148246
    $99.99 -$5.00 Instant $94.99

    ViewSonic Optiquest Series Q20WB Black 20" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
    Model #: Q20WB
    Item #: N82E16824116075
    $219.99 -$20.00 Instant $199.99

    LITE-ON 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model LH-18A1P-186 - Retail
    Model #: LH-18A1P-186
    Item #: N82E16827106043
    $29.99 $29.99

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
    Model #: ARCTIC SILVER 5
    Item #: N82E16835100007
    $5.99 $5.99 1

    ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
    Model #: ACFZ7-PRO
    Item #: N82E16835186134

    -80 mail in rebates
    $1,204.80 before shipping
  12. Make the drive a 7200.10. Other than that..........

    Bus Driver, MOVE THAT BUS!!!!!

    Pull the trigger man, looks like a pwner setup. Good job.

  13. I was gunna say go with a SATA DVD drive, but it's not like you'll see it in that case.

    Pull the trigger!!!

    Except maybe some more RAM for those apps.

    AND I THINK YOUR MOBO will come with a couple SATA cables.

    Might be worth an extra $10 after rebates? I've got one and it's pretty nice. Other than that it all looks good.
  15. will that moniter have ghosting
  16. Can't say I've had any ghosting issues personally, no.
  17. 6ms response shouldn't have any ghosting at all. Even 8ms usually doesn't.

    Most new monitors won't have ghosting issues......really, it's a thing of the past when response times were 12ms and 16ms. No reasonable monitors are anything more than 8ms nowadays, so ghosting has really become a non-issue for all intents and purposes.
  18. What do you think about the p35 for future upgradeability?
    I would like this system to last 3 or 4 years at least (with some upgrades if necessary)

    I also was wondering if 320 MB of Vram is enough to run games at medium/high settings at default res on a 20" monitor for the foreseeable future.
  19. Chipsets don't necessary ensure "futureproof" so to's always a Socket change that's the culprit. I doubt 775 is going anywhere, so it's a question of whether you want the ability to go with DDR3 in the future. Does DDR2 vs DDR3 make a huge difference? Not really. It's all about the graphics card for gaming, provided you have a decent CPU......which you will. RAM latency and even bandwidth is's GPU horsepower.

    In any event, 320gb of vRAM....who knows? Depends what upcoming games will require. Also depends how high you like to turn up the eye candy. 4x AA, 8AF, MSAA, etc, etc? Maybe not. 2x AA though? Should be ok.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Systems Product