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Another n00b's First Build: Any Suggestions?

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May 12, 2008 4:31:59 PM

I've been in the market for a new computer for, well, years now and I'm finally ready to empty my thin college wallet and get one! I haven't overclocked before, but why not start now? After reading Tom's $500 pc article, I decided to base my build off that and change up a bit. I don't game, because the integrated graphics and Celeron 340 on this machine are piss-poor; but I'd like to get back into the gaming scene a bit. Anyway, here's what I chose:


Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 - $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L - $107
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Gold (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 - $52 (-$20MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB OEM - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OKGEAR 24" SATA II Cable Model GC24AKM12 - $9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX PVT88SFDF4 8800GS 384MB - $130 (-$30MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NSK4480B ATX Tower + Ea-380 Higheff PSU - $79
http://www.provantage.com/antec-nsk4480b~7ANT9004.htm


All total (prices include shipping): $572
Newegg taxes to TN addresses :(  so the total would come to $608

I have 32-bit XP, mouse, keyboard, speakers, DVD-rom, and monitor already -- is there anything I'm missing? Since the Barracuda is OEM it doesn't come with cables, do I only need the one (or do I also need some sort of power cable as well)?

Thank you for your time.

More about : n00b build suggestions

May 12, 2008 4:43:48 PM

Actually, the motherboard is retail and comes with SATA cables. You can use one of those. The PSU should have the power plugs you'd need, so your actually good to go without buying a SATA cable.

You look to have a very nice budget gaming build there. Should be able to handle current games quite nicely. I don't think I would change anything else other then dropping the SATA cable.
May 12, 2008 4:44:09 PM

No need to buy a SATA cable, that motherboard comes with one. Does that power supply have SATA power connectors? If not, then you'll need a molex/sata adapter
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May 12, 2008 4:56:23 PM

You can buy mine for $500 ahaha!
Anyway i would first go with the,

Mobo - EVGA 680i = $179.99

other than that looks good Hope this Helps,thanks!




May 12, 2008 5:11:09 PM

I'd replace the motherboard with this, supposedly the replacement to the board you listed (but without solid capacitors):

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

And then use the extra money to upgrade your graphics card. You want to switch to an 8800GT if you can afford it, like this:

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

or the XFX for a few dollars more. This would turn your PC into a beast.

If not, then this 9600GT is only a little more than the card you listed after rebate and should be marginally better:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 12, 2008 5:12:32 PM

It seems that the GA-P35-DS3L has been replaced by the GA-EP35-DS3L which has taken over the $90 price point that the GA-P35-DS3L used to occupy. You could switch to the GA-EP35-DS3L board instead and save $17.

That PSU should be fine. According to Antec's site it has 2x sata connectors.
http://www.antec.com/connectors.php?ProdID=94482&SetZon...

Edit: Good points Narhwale. It sounds like he's really trying to stick to budget, but springing the few extra $ (maybe from what is saved on the motherboard) for the 9600GT would probably be well worth it.
May 12, 2008 5:15:14 PM

If you are looking to OC then I would suggest an aftermarket cpu cooler. Will set you back about $30-$50.
May 12, 2008 5:16:29 PM

Zerk said:
You can buy mine for $500 ahaha!
Anyway i would first go with the,

Mobo - EVGA 680i = $179.99

other than that looks good Hope this Helps,thanks!


Why would anyone ever go with an SLI mobo on a budget build?

Go with the better Intel chipset for half the price with the $90 P35.
May 12, 2008 6:58:54 PM

narhwale said:
I'd replace the motherboard with this, supposedly the replacement to the board you listed (but without solid capacitors):

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

And then use the extra money to upgrade your graphics card. You want to switch to an 8800GT if you can afford it, like this:

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

or the XFX for a few dollars more. This would turn your PC into a beast.

If not, then this 9600GT is only a little more than the card you listed after rebate and should be marginally better:

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

I like the price of that 9600GT, as it's only a little more than the one I was looking at, but the charts don't seem to have it listed yet :??: . Also, I want to be sure that the PSU could handle it.

The GA-EP35-DS3L you suggest looks great, and it comes with a SATA cable as well. Do you know if it has similar overclocking abilities to the solid capacitor model?

Thanks for your input, guys!
May 12, 2008 7:25:15 PM

bravesirrobin said:

The GA-EP35-DS3L you suggest looks great, and it comes with a SATA cable as well. Do you know if it has similar overclocking abilities to the solid capacitor model?



It's a Gigabyte :)  gel capacitors for them are a thing of the past, yea. ...you may find still be able to find them on some of their super-economy boards. Anywho, unless you're looking to overclock into the stratosphere you should have plenty of headroom for a decent overclock.
May 12, 2008 7:28:35 PM

bravesirrobin said:
I like the price of that 9600GT, as it's only a little more than the one I was looking at, but the charts don't seem to have it listed yet :??: . Also, I want to be sure that the PSU could handle it.

The GA-EP35-DS3L you suggest looks great, and it comes with a SATA cable as well. Do you know if it has similar overclocking abilities to the solid capacitor model?

Thanks for your input, guys!


Check out Tom's "The Best Graphics Cards for the Money (May 08)" edition to see where the 9600GT falls in comparison to the 8800GS. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card,1923....

The 9600GT requires 26A on the 12V circuit. The EarthWatts 380 Provides a combines 27A on its 2 12V lines. I guess the answer is, yes it probably can power the 9600GT but you're cutting it very very close. I wouldn't be comfortable doing it.

I'm not sure on the overclocking capabilities of the new EP35 model. I'd imagine it would work fine for a mild overclock.
May 12, 2008 8:59:08 PM

No, I'm not looking for eye-popping overclocks... like I said, I haven't done it before so I'd just like to tweak and fiddle with the BIOS options and get some experience. I guess I meant to ask if the $90 model has comparable overclocking features in the BIOS as the other?

I'll probably stick with the 8800GS for the sake of the power supply. 26A is cutting it a bit too close for my comfort, and I've heard that multiple rails (may) lose 1-2A when combining them. Or something to that effect.

Cheers, I'll be putting in my order after I get off work (it will be tomorrow morning by then) so I'll be checking back here between now and then. :D 
May 12, 2008 9:50:36 PM

The Gigabyte boards are poplular for offering a lot of bang for the buck. I can't speak to the bios of the board in question, tried to find you a review, but no luck, the board's pretty new.

Separate note. I have a habit, perhaps its bad, of buying at least slightly more than I think I need. In your case that might be X38. Not pushing you in that direction, but a motherboard might not be a bad item to get a little more than you think you need.

May 13, 2008 9:42:46 AM

Those are indeed some sweet looking boards, but I fear that it's just out of my budget. Anyway, I saw some new reviews on The Egg for the mobo I'm looking at, and it seems to have some overclocking capability. Not a ton, but it sounds like it will be enough for my purposes.

I'm placing my order now, and I suspect that I'll need to come back here to get some help putting it all together in a few days! Yay!
!