1500, going to OC, media use. Check out the blueprint!

Ok, here goes nothing. This will be a first time build…a massive step from my low-end Compaq that really got me into computers. The purpose of the computer is to be a machine that will play media and be used for internet surfing and stuff basic like word processing. I know a few friends that are pc illiterate mostly, but have alienware computers. Rich kids that get everything given to them. Then there is me. From the ghetto, but still alive! Friends love the FPS games and I would like to eventually get into them. Call of Duty 4 was fun as hell. I will learn to overclock.

Im on a budget (duh). If U were spending a 1.5 grand roughly and wanted a comp. Then do you think this is a reasonable machine? And do you forsee any trouble being this is a first time build? If I just follow the instructions with the mobo, will I likely be fine? What happens if I put it all together and I cant get it to work. How do you know what could be wrong? Do you have any links to good sites on like a flow chart to first time pc setup? If I really am screwed, will the geek squad be able to help?? Lol. Basically, how much would it cost to have someone get the thing up and running? I hope I don’t have to resort to this..

A big thanks goes out to any and all replies. As much as I would like answers to all my questions, feel free to just answer what you know or have time to. This is a big project and I am not trying to pawn off the work onto your hands. I have done a lot of research to get to this point. Many hours and I have learned a lot. I am starting to get to a time crunch and I am ready to buy. I don’t want to make a costly mistake.

Without any further rambling, here is the stuff (the numbers at the end of the listed components are prices shipped from newegg):

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor - Retail 210
Is newegg selling the g0 revisions now?

EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 240
For future upgrade potential including processor…until nahlem is released

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM 60

OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2N10662GK - Retail 46

DVD Burner:
Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model DVR-215DBK - OEM 38

NZXT Zero Black/Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail 120

Power Supply:
Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version Power Supply - Retail 130
I really would like 1000w for upgrade potential, but this is so much cheaper and I may upgrade later on.

Op System:
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit English 1pk for System Builders DSP OEI DVD - OEM 100
I don’t want 64bit and I know vista will be hard to get used to. I want Vista because I do think it is headed towards the future.

CPU Cooler:
OCZ OCZTVEND2 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail 58
I heard this fits with my mobo which is really crammed for room. Do you know if this comes with thermal grease?

Thermal Grease:
OCZ OCZTFRZTC Freeze Extreme Thermal Conductivity Compound – Retail 13

A random Memory Card Reader:
I will find one I want, I am just not real excited about this part and I shouldn’t have trouble with this.

A few questions:
1) I have heard that the mobo needs and ide hard drive for setup…is my sata choice an option? Is my optical drive have to be ide for setup too? I heard sata was better?
2) The memory I chose was cheap cuz a sale. Is 1066 really a wash? Like I heard 800 oc is just as good. Do you think that 1066m might overclock higher? Anyway, the board can handle 1200 and I would likely upgrade the memory eventually. I would take this crud out and but 4 gigs of better stuff. If I plan on never having more than 4, than should I upgrade to 2x2 or 4x1?

Notes: I will build the comp and then buy a graphics card. I might eventually do sli. I will eventually buy a sound card also. I will initially be using a 17in monitor, but I will upgrade quickly to 24in widescreen with graphics card. I have a keyboard n laser mouse.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I really do appreciate all the help and support I can get. I want to learn how a computer works and I think this custom build will give me quite a learning experience. I just hope it is not a painful one!

- Hypnotico
10 answers Last reply
More about 1500 media check blueprint
  1. Well, I recently helped complete n00bs build new rigs, so just the fact that you know that there are such things as memory, and processors, etc virtually guarantees that you'll be able to set things up properly as long as you're patient and careful.

    As for the build, I think you should look a lot at the recent reviews of AMD's 4800 graphics cards before you jump into an NVIDIA upgrade path. Also, The P45 chip-based boards are likely to offer as good or better performance but with additional support for a CrossfireX upgrade path instead. Right now it looks cheaper and better. 2x4850 easily challenges a single 280GTX.

    I think that PC2 800 ram is probably just fine, and you should just get 4GB to start out with - no sense in waiting since it's already really cheap!

    Your power supply can supply more power than any two reasonable cards will need! I think you could probably pull two 4870 cards with that and a pretty good OC on your CPU. A 1000W PSU is only necessary for... well... nothing, considering that two 280GTXs in SLi can pull about 1200W by themselves.

    Also, you might as well drop the extra bit of cash for a WD6400AAKS. I'm quite happy with mine and I think lots of others are as well.

    I think there are probably better CPU coolers for less as well... somebody else will likely know more about that than me.

    Oh, and Newegg only sells the G0 versions of the Q6600 to my knowledge. You may want to consider the cooler-running 45nm Intel CPUs though. My Q9450 runs at full 4-core load at the same temperature that my old P4 2.8GHz idled :)

    Incidentally, Vista has one and only one thing going for it: DX10 - and that's not much.

    Also, I hope you realize that a 24" monitor is going to smash your budget to pieces...
  2. Oh, and if you build your rig, and then buy a graphics card, you won't be able to see if the thing even POSTs, because that chipset doesn't have any onboard graphics... So, I suggest getting the graphics card at the same time as the rest of your build.
  3. It's hard to believe you live in the 'ghetto' with a 1.5K budget without GPU.

    Asus P5Q - Screw SLI, get 4850 or 4870, or wait for 4870 X2 and 4850 X2. You can CF them.

    As for thermal grease, get Arctic Silver 5 or MX-2. If you don't OC, don't get a HSF, the stock is fine. If you plan to OC at all, get a ACF7P for mild OC, easy install, low $27 price.

    Get a 64-bit OS and 4GB RAM, I'd skip a sound card entirely with 64-bit. I have a X-Fi XtremeGamer on 32-bit Vista Home Premium. The drivers are sexy but I can't vouch for 64-bit. It's a good improvement over GA-P35-DS3L onboard 7.1 audio. EAX support using alchemy is good.

    For case, look at Coolermaster RC-690, Antec Nine Hundred, Antec Three Hundred. ExtremeTech has a review on it, they fit a 10.5" 9800GX2 into it, and you can still fit a hard drive into the slot behind it.
  4. Get a 4850 and CF them, the boards we are talking about don't have onboard video. DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 2T 2.2v Crucial Ballistix will be fine. Mushkin has lower voltage ones too, 2.0v-2.1v. WD6400AAKS is a good performer. For PSU, you should be fine with a 650W for CF. Go Antec/Corsair/PCP&C for PSU. Remember the +12v rail(s) has to have enough amps on it for your video card you choose. You can get a same quality DVD burner 20X that's about $10-15 cheaper. 20X is good for installing games fast, but the fastest reliable DVD RW can only be burned at 16X unless the DVD has some feature to burn it at over rated speed.
  5. Thanks so much for the response! Wow, so fast! You must type fast and think fast!!

    I will look into the p45 chipsets some. I honestly dont know of anything outside of nvidia really. My friends have nvidia, and that is what got me on that path. I have heard ati will be releasing some good stuff soon too. (or maybe they have recently) But any high-end cards are out of the question at the very moment. For a while there, i thought ATI was really losing it, but i know they have released some ones that i see in some benchmark stuff here at Toms. You dont think ATI will be going under? :)

    I hear what you are saying about the ram, but the mobo i chose initially there is capable of ddr2 1200. I was thinking about winging it and then when the price drops on that stuff jumping in and buying 4 gigs.

    For the power supply, i think im settled on that 750 watt one then! I know that all the stuff i buy will get outdated and over time i may want some more horse power. I dont have a problem with doing upgrades here and there as the need arises.

    As far as the hd. I know the one i chose was not real big for compacity. I have a seagate now and it has been flawless. I was thinking i could add another in the future and try a raid or use it for storage and buy a velocirapter down the road. I also dont need much memory. I constantly back what i want up with an external or burn onto dvds.

    The cpu cooler i chose supposedly is one of the better ones from the limited information that i have found. I mean better in terms of what fits the mobo. If i find a p45 then i would scrap that cooler choice.

    I was planning the 6600 because it is so cheap right now. I want that Q9450, i have for a while, but i just dont think i need it. The mobo i chose originally is capable of using that 45nm processor, so i thought i could upgrade later on if i dont ditch what i got a year from now when nahelem comes out.

    I know, vista really doesnt have much and it sounds like such a resource hog. I'm not happy with Microsoft, but whatcha gunna do. I figure it is new, so hopefully it will get better. I mean like how it works with updates and such.

    Thanks for the heads up with the 24in monitor cost. I have looked into it and found one i want for 510$, i am waiting on it. Computer unit first, big monitor later.

    Thanks again for the help!

    - Hypnotico
  6. Vista is good. It's performance is the same as DX9. It's requirements are higher that's all, mostly RAM.
  7. (My last response was directed to zipz0p.)


    Thanks for giving me some more stuff to work with!

    I am not rich, but I make my ends meet. :) Think about the money one saves eating out of the dumpster! j/k lol

    Actually, I was hoping with graphics down the road to be under that 1.5G budget. It seems that graphics cards lose value so fast!

    Why the hate towards sli? Is it cuz nividia hasn’t really been releasing anything truly astounding even though they could be?

    I will be overclocking. I want the processor 6600 at 3ghz at least.

    Im scared as hell of 64-bit. I really don’t like compatibility issues. I just want the thing to run. My friend has 64-bit vista, and god, you should hear him. Lol. Good thing my phone has mute so he cant hear me laugh! His problem is he doenst know enough about computers to change the OS. He wanted my help, but I don’t even know if he has what he needs to get everything running if he bought vista 32. I am new to setting up a pc, so it would be a disaster. I know 64bit has more ram capability, and some people like the OS, but I don’t think I feel it.

    I have heard great things about the Antec 900. My fear: I think it is midsize. Will this thing be able to house what I got with enough room? Like I was thinking a roomier case might make the install easier and I wont have to worry about stuff rubbing. Like a graphics card being too long.. I will have to look into the other cases you mention! Thanks for the suggestions. I should have mentioned, that I was really not sold on the case I listed. A guy I knew had it from a pc he bought from cyberpowerpc.com. I does have good airflow. The case is cheaply made, and that bothers me some. I go real easy on my stuff though. Only the keyboard and mouse take a beating.

    Thanks to you and zipz0p I had a bit of an eye-opener! I thought all boards had onboard graphics! Holy cow! It would have been a shocker trying to set the thing up! Stuff like this is the reason why I posted on the forum before buying!!

    I will look into all the components you listed on the 2nd post you made. It is late and I got to do some work in the morning, but I will scope it out and see what I think! The comment about the 12volt rail amps was very informative to me. I wasnt really getting that rail stuff and I have to learn some about that.


    - Hypnotico
  8. With the help of those who posted, here is my revised system plan!

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - OEM 195
    Just found out the OEM version doesn’t include the fan and heatsink I wont be needing. So Im saving a few bux here.

    ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail 150
    I looked into this one and it seems like this new board is like a dream. Latest north and south bridges, can use latest ddr2 ram, latest intel processors, board is really energy efficient too. I guess im on a crossfire type of path instead of sli. The price of the board is awesome. My only concern is if I should wait a second for the release of the new ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus II Formula mobo that has xfi sound and some crazy heat dissipating stuff built on it. The board probably is supposed to have a msrp of $289. Seems a bit high to me. It might be ddr3 too. Aside from the premium sound, im not sure that I would gain much. Check out the info on it: http://usa.asus.com/news_show.aspx?id=11877

    Hard Drive:
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM 60
    Still sold on this small hd. I might do a raid in the future or use it for storage and buy an enthusiast one down the road.

    This has got me kind of confused. I am still wondering that as I plan to do 32-bit, would it be better to have 4 1 gigs, or 2 2gigs? In the past I heard that 4 1 gigs would work better(faster).
    My other concern is speed. The mobo I have now is said to have a standard of ddr2 1200. Will there be initial setup complications of using ddr2 800? If I buy good quality ddr2 800, will I be able to overclock it close to 1200 realistically? Would I be best off buying junky ddr2 800 and waiting for the price of ddr2 1200 to come down as it gets more popular? Do you think there would be much of a performance gain going to ddr2 1200? Will this stuff overclock?
    A mess of questions!

    DVD Burner:
    Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model DVR-215DBK - OEM 38
    I read this can burn duel layer dvds -if I get into that. The price I listed is high because of shipping. I read that since it is OEM I will need a sata cable. Do you think this is true? I know mobo’s come with a lot of cables, do you think there might be a SATA one for this? Also, will I need to get one for the HD? The one I chose is OEM also.

    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail 142
    Initially I was worried about the mid-tower, but this case really looks nice and so many people are saying the best things about it. My only concern is if I were to upgrade to liquid cooling down the road and the case size probably wouldn’t accommodate that. The thing is, I would probably do a lot of things before liquid cooling and might save that for a nahelm to do this with.

    Power Supply:
    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply - Retail 120
    I really like the idea of 750 watts for the extra overhead. I may get into some serious graphics eventually. Of course 750 could be too weak for that… I could save $20 by going with a 650w. I have to think about this. I will be overclocking a lot eventually and I don’t want to be pushing the limit on the power supply.

    Op System:
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit English 1pk for System Builders DSP OEI DVD - OEM 100
    Realy not ready for 64-bit..

    CPU Cooler:
    I am looking into this one now. Going air cooled, but want one that can really kick some OC heat.

    Thermal Grease:
    (will depend on cooler choice. I lost the article but I might be able to find it. I read that certain metals work better with certain pastes. It could be a pile, but it made some sense.)

    A random Memory Card Reader:
    Still bumbling around with finding the one I want. This is not a big concern to me.

    Video Card :
    ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail 200
    -$30 because newegg has special for this and the mobo I chose!
    I am not completely sold on this card though. The 4870 is going to be around soon and I might grab one of those instead. I don’t think I want to do crossfire from the start. It will likely be a couple months or so before I may get into the games. I have a lot of stuff going on in my life in the near future. I have considered getting the 4850 and possibly junking it in a few months and doing a crossfire with some of the higher end stuff that may be available.

    So there you have it! Anymore input from those of you helping me or anyone else is greatly appreciated!

    - Hypnotico
  9. For your information p45 motherboards are not that good to crossfire. Read this http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1472/intel_p45_vs_x48_crossfire_performance/index.html

    Get 2x2 gb memory sticks and think for future upgrade.

    You may chose dual core e8400 processor, better than quad cores in most games.
  10. Georgy:
    Thanks for ur interest and comment. With my research, i had found that article. I concluded that the P45 issue with only one pci-e being x16 and the other x8, is for some (or probably most) P45s. The one I am considering seems like it has both slots working in x16. Here are the initial specs from newegg:

    ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    * CPU Type: Quad-core / Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo / Pentium
    * FSB: 1600/1333MHz
    * South Bridge: Intel ICH10R
    * Number of Memory Slots: 4×240pin
    * Memory Standard: DDR2 1200
    * Maximum Memory Supported: 8GB
    * Dual Channel Supported: Yes
    * PCI Express 2.0 x16: 2
    * Model #: P5Q Pro
    * Item #: N82E16813131299
    * Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

    Do you think that I am headed in the right direction or am i headed towards the trailer park?

    Everyone is free to comment!

    - Hypnotico
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