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First Time Builder, suggestions welcome

Last response: in Systems
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March 21, 2008 8:58:35 AM

My birthday is coming up soon and over the last week or so, I've been desinging a PC for gaming, school, and general use. I've been planning to spend 1000$ or less on it and this is what I came up with so far.

Ram: A-Data 4GB DDR2 800 (78$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211188

Motherboard: Gigabyte DS3L (97$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059

PSU: Apevia 500W (40$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817148027

Case: Xion Stacker (66$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811208026

HDD: Western Digital 500GB (100$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

DVD burner: Samsung (30$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154

GPU: GeForce 9600 GT (172$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127332

CPU: E3110/E8400 (about 240$)

OS: Vista Premium 64bit (100$)

Total shipped cost: 923$ w/o rebates


I've read about the E8400 being overclocked to 3.6 GHz with the stock HSF and I want to try it, but I'll be satisfied with a lesser overclock.

So what do you guys think of this build? Any suggestions or comments would be welcome.
March 21, 2008 10:59:01 AM

Perfect. Swap the PSU out for a Corsair/Earthwatts/Fortron/Sparkle 450W+.

3.6ghz is a given. A monkey can do it.
March 21, 2008 1:52:44 PM

might as well get 8gb of ram.

you might want to consider a laptop or a uATX system in one of those handled cubes. I've got much more crap than that in mine, and you'll love the extra room and mobility when youre moving into a dorm room

You might as well get a case with an included PSU if your looking at an Apevia. I'd bet your system would work fine with 350 watts.

At your price point, you might be able to a comperable system with better components by going AMD.

maybe this MoBo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
this fairly low power CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

in this case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

its more, but a cheap case, especialy if you have to move it or like to mess with your system, is a mistake.
the Qpacks look like they might need to modded for more airflow, but otherwise should be OK, and then use the included PSU.

even with the weaker CPU I suggest, the CPU is still up to your graphics. the 780g is compatible with AM2+ chips (I don't suggest the heavily flawed phenom, but maybe in the future).
OBG is a nice backup, or for multiple screens

Just think, you'll get your rebate checks just in time for Christmas. and in the mean time, you can impress the "hippy wannabe" chicks with your energy efficient computer.
Related resources
March 21, 2008 2:17:04 PM

You have done your homework. Lunyone has a great $1000 build from a couple days ago:
Here's Lunyone's
CPU - $250
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad-Core Processor 2.4GHz, 1066FSB, LGA775, 8MB cache Retail ***Free Shipping***
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] Code=80864

Mobo - $98 - $30 MIR = $68!! One of the best budget p35 mobo's out there.
ABIT IP35-E LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813127031

GPU - $277 - $30 MIR = $307!! You can upgrade within 90 days using the "Step Up" program, if you want to get the latest GPU. Limited Lifetime Warranty!
EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130325

PSU - $120 - $20 MIR = $100!!! One of the best PSU's you can get in this price range. Has plenty of connections for your upgrade needs! Has 5 yr. warranty too!
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139005

Memory - $107 - $15 MIR = $92!! Cheap and fast CAS 4 DDR2. Allows you to upgrade to 8gb's later, if you like.
Patriot Viper 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820220293

HD - $100!! You'll enjoy the extra space. If you need more, just buy more now or just buy another HD later.
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136073

DVD Burner - $29 shipped!! This is the retail version, so you can view/burn DVD's, because the software is included!
PHILIPS 2-Tone 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827248008

Case - $57 shipped! One of the better budget cases out there. Currently there aren't any really good steals, so this is what I found. I'd go for a Antec 900 or Cooler Master 690 case, if they were on sale. They usually are around $60-70 when they are on sale, so consider those when they hit the sales rack!
COOLER MASTER CAC-T05-UB Centurion 5 Mid Tower Case (Blue) Retail
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] ode=141783

Total ~$1,023 - $95 MIR's = $928!!! Not bad for under $1k. You can obviously find better deals if you go hunting for them, but these are from reputable online vendors, so take that into consideration. Newegg seems to have the best customer service, but doesn't always have a good price on things, so shop around before you purchase.


March 21, 2008 2:33:50 PM

^Agreed. To save cost switch the PSU to a 550VX and then up the motherboard to a P35-DS3L (imo, P35-DS3x boards OC better than the IP35s). You can also stick with 2*1GB for now. Newegg has Crucial Ballastix for $32 after MIR.
March 21, 2008 3:23:09 PM

Looks like a good plan with one exception:
The Aspire(apevia) psu is a tier 5 unit on this list: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
Look for a tier 3 or better unit, even if it might cost a bit more. The Corsair 450vx http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $70 actually has more 12v amps, and is more efficient. Shop around fot the psu. Buy.com often has them for less. If $40 must be your budget for a psu, look at Fortron(FSP) Perhaps a unit like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It actually has more useful power than the apevia 500w unit.

Shopping tip for Vista:
1) Do you qualify for an academic price?
2) The upgrade versions are cheaper than the oem versions. They are retail versions, which gives you support, and can be installed with a legitimate two step procedure. The upgrade version is 32 bit, but for $10, microsoft will send you the 64 bit dvd. I saw this on sale at costco the other day for $85.
March 21, 2008 3:25:51 PM

^ :lol:  on the Retail. You have to spend ages trying to solve a problem via "no" customer service. The best way to solve problems is via Forums and the Net.
March 21, 2008 3:49:05 PM

On service, my experience with Microsoft support has been good. I had problems activating vista, and my call went to India. They were curteous, helpful, knowledgeable, and solved my problem. If there was any issue at all, I had to listen carefully because the Indian accent is a bit different. On a previous occasion, a support call for ONECARE LIVE to India was handled well also.

I would agree that forums and the internet are also a good way to learn and solve problems.
March 22, 2008 1:10:01 AM

Thanks for the help guys. I'll ditch the Apevia.
March 22, 2008 1:54:55 AM

You really don't need 4GB of ram, but it looks like you're getting a good price, and since you're ditching the Apevia, everything else looks good for a budget.
March 22, 2008 11:18:58 AM

When i was in college, i got **** from ibm even tho i didn't ask for it. They knew what i was studying. *shudders* also, i could get discounts on select software. os'es were one of them. last i heard, ms is givin' away software to college students.
!