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First build - Need lots of help and advice

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April 24, 2008 4:44:02 AM

First time build so any help or advice will be greatly appreciated. I dont know much about computers except the research I have done over the last few days.

Case: Apevia X-Jupiter G - BK....... $120 after rebate
I really really like the looks of this case, tired of boring generics
Fan: Apevia CF12 SL-UBL.......$7.50
Extra 120mm LED Fan to go in the top of the case
PSU: Apevia ATX-LCD750W ATX/12V EPS/12V....$100.00 after rebate
Figured same brand as case meant it might work best, no clue here as I am not sure how much power I need or what is good or not
Video Card: Asus EAH3870 Top/G/HTDI/512......$160 after rebate
I know this is highly debated. Seems alot say 8800GT is better but this card at only 160 bucks has Clock of 851 and MemClock of 2280 which supposedly means it is ALOT better than the standard 775/1125 that all the tests have going against the 8800GT
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0 LGA 775 65
W....$200

Heard this was really good and supports the PCIE 2.0 to best utilize the HD3870. Again no clue here, just heard this is good
Motherboard: No clue here, I dont understand all the different Chipsets, SLI ready, Crossfire ready etc etc etc. Need ALOT of help here
Audio: Again from what I have garnered I should just use the Audio thats on the Mobo as they are just as good as most audio cards. I have a SB Audigy 2 already if this isnt the case
RAM: GSkill 2gig (2 X 1gig) DDR2 800 (PC26400).....$47.00
No clue if this is right, but looked good
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 250GB........$65.00

Again any helpful advice or suggestions are greatly Appreciated.

More about : build lots advice

April 24, 2008 5:22:09 AM

Well... let's get started:

Case: Not much of an Apevia fan! Seems kinda cheap to me. I would opt for a case by Coolermaster, Antec, Lian-li, Zalman... or my favorite: Silverstone.

PSU: My favorite is the PCPC 750 silencer. However I like corsair modular's a bit due to the ability to removed excess cables. You shouldn't need much more than 600watt unless you are talking about running liquid cooling and multiple GPUs.

GPU: the 3870 is a great choice for a budget builder. However it is quickly being superseded by faster chips on the Nvidia side. I would consider a 9800GTX if you want high performance.

Proc: Couldn't have picked a better one IMO. If you want Quad go with Q9300... otherwise stick with E8400.

Mobo: Crossfire/SLI ambitions? If so look at the 780i/790i chipset for an Nvidia set up or X38/x48 for ATI set up. I would opt for 780i if you want Nvidia... Probably EVGA or ASUS. If you want Crossfire get the X48 Asus Rampage. So many good reviews for that sucker out there.

Memory: G.Skill has a steal of a deal on newegg for 2X2GB 1000mhz kit here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: Get the 7200.11 series. Great speeds!
April 24, 2008 8:27:21 AM

sirkato said:
Video Card: Asus EAH3870 Top/G/HTDI/512......$160 after rebate
I know this is highly debated. Seems alot say 8800GT is better but this card at only 160 bucks has Clock of 851 and MemClock of 2280 which supposedly means it is ALOT better than the standard 775/1125 that all the tests have going against the 8800GT


They only time comparing clock frequencies is valid is when you are comparing GPU's from the same family.Because they each have completely different architectures, comparing nVidia and ATI like this is like comparing apples and oranges. The comparison is meaningless.

For single cards, go with price vs. performance, power consumption, or even personal perference. Generally speaking, Crossfire will need two ATI cards and a motherboard with an Intel chipset. SLI will need two nVidia cards and an nVidia chipset.
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April 24, 2008 10:00:00 AM

Not a fan of Apevia, but choosing a case is heavily dependent on personal preference so I won't nitpick that component.

However, do not go with the Apevia power supply. If you're only going to be running the single video card, get a Corsair 550VX or a modular 520HX.

P35 motherboards are great value for the money. The most recommended are Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L (or GA-EP35-DS3R if you need RAID), Abit IP35-E / Pro, or Asus P5K-E. I have the first one and it's been working great. :) 

The E8400 is an excellent choice and is perfect for a pure gaming rig. Are you planning to overclock the machine at all?
April 24, 2008 3:28:56 PM

Sorry it was early in the morning after reading websites for like 8 hours when I first posted.

My goal with this system is to replace my old Dell (p4 with agp) with something that can be easily upgradeable in the future.

For right now budget is a concern so I am not going for the gusto but much more concerned with bang for the buck and ease of upgradability once the budget allows.

Use will be primarily MMORPG gaming but I cant stand not being able to play a game my friends play like right now I cant play CoD4. I have a generic plug and play monitor and typically run everything at 1024X768.

Recap:

Case: Apevia Jupiter (Think I am gonna stick with this cause I really like it)
PSU: Corsair 550 (will this be enough?)
CPU: E8400 (I might try the OCing but only if its very easy and safe)
MOBO: P35 (still not sure here, dont need the Xfire or SLI atm)
GPU: HD3870 (Single card only. I like this one for the price but am open to further discussion on it, and I still dont understand the Clock/Memclock stuff except Higher is better)
HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320GB
Memory: 2g enough or should I go with 4g ?
OS: Also wondering if its time to switch to Vista or Stick with XP.
Audio: I have a real nice Altec Lansing 5.1 Speaker system and wondering if I need Audio card or if the built in audio on Mobos is good enough.

Thanks again guys
April 24, 2008 4:44:52 PM

Unless you really like ATI, you'll probably want to switch your GPU as you can get better cards for the same amount of money. The cheapest 3870 I saw on Newegg was $150 after rebates... this eVGA 8800GT is $160 after rebates. Well worth the extra $10. The 9600GT you can get for even cheaper and performs just as well as the HD 3870 if not better.

2GB is usually enough. However, DDR2 ram is so cheap nowadays it doesn't hurt to jump for 4GB if your budget is willing. The G.skill memory hughyhunter linked to is a good set. I have the 2GB set myself.

OS is up to you. SP1 came out for Vista a little while ago, so it's not as bad as it used to be. Don't forget that Microsoft is going to stop selling XP this June, so you'll see fewer updates for it besides critical security updates. Unless you switch to Mac OS or Linux, you're likely to switch to Vista eventually. The only question is when...

A good quality 400W PSU could power this system. The Corsair 550VX will be plenty and give you the flexibility to upgrade in the future.

If i recall correctly, all of the P35 boards I listed have onboard 5.1 HD audio. Try it out first before you decide to get a discrete sound card since that's easily upgradable later.
April 24, 2008 7:50:55 PM

I agree with oushi...

I strongly recommend you go for 8800GT. It's much faster than the 3870. You have to get your mind away from clocks speeds. Like mentioned it only matters when you are comparing same architecture. AMD has different architecture than Nvidia.

If you want a very modern day or latest and greatest board the X48 might be a good option if budget allows. However the P35 has proven itself over and over. It's just a bit old that's all.

4GB on 32 bit OS will show it's advantages... and for the price you cant go wrong. Dont worry about soundcard like mentioned... you wont need it with today's mobo and the games you play.

If you are going to stick with the Case you want at least get a Corsiar PSU like oushi said. Those are great ones!
!