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Building a Computer for the First Time Please Adivise Me

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June 29, 2008 5:52:44 PM
June 29, 2008 6:30:45 PM

Motherboard is a waste of money for a variety of reasons. Unless you're planning on SLI, don't bother. Get an ASUS P5K EPU, great board with lots of features and 45nm support which makes your system a little more "future proof".

Even though I normally lean toward nVidia, it should be noted that ATI's Radeon 4850 is easily comparable to the 9800GTX and is even better depending upon who you ask, so you could easily buy two of those and put them on Crossfire, which the Asus P5K supports.

If you want advice, list your budget. Give an exact price, and then say how much you are willing to deviate from that price if there are good upgrade options.

That 250gb HDD is woefully small and has only 8mb of cache. There is a Seagate Barracuda with 500gb storage and 32mb of cache (much, much better performance) for $84.99:

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

And there is also a Western Digital HDD with 16mb of cache and 640gb of space for $94.99. Depending on need for space and speed, both are great upgrades over the woeful 8mb 250gb you were looking at.

The 2x2gb sticks of ram is a great idea, but the Vista 64-bit is a waste without 8gb, and in addition, 64-bit OSs have notoriously had difficulty with compatibility, with Vista 64 being no exception. That means, you'd be hard pressed to find drivers that work on it. And with Vista 32-bit, you can see 3.5 of your 4gb of RAM anyways. For that extra 512mb you'd see in Vista 64, it would be wasted because 64-bit has a larger footprint.

Confused? Bottom line is, get 32-bit, 64-bit will be a waste.

Great CPU, good case choice. Here's my recommended updated list:

Asus P5K EPU: $119.99
4gb (2x2gb) G. SKILL DDR2 800 RAM with 5-5-5-15 timings stock (better than your Corsair which is more expensive): 83.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

--Or you can get DDR2 1000 for $1 more, and still $2 less than your Corsair, which your ASUS P5k would support, also with 5-5-5-15 stock timings--

Intel Q6600: $199.99
Coolermaster PSU $79.99
Video Card: HIS ATI Radeon 4850: $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(((Same DVD drive)))
Seagate Barracuda 500GB with 32mb cache: 84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(((Same case will do fine)))
OS Vista 32-bit: $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Price: $817.93
vs
Your Total Price: $1037.42

Unless I made a serious miscalculation (add it up yourself) I saved you over $200 while making your system far more powerful. I'm actually kind of proud of myself. Hope this information helped!
June 29, 2008 6:46:10 PM

I would stay with 64bit Vista if I were you, I've had it for awhile with absolutely no problems and there's the option to upgrade to 8GB. I have 4GB of RAM and Vista 64bit runs fine.
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June 29, 2008 6:58:06 PM

The 64-bit has a larger memory address, so it takes up more space for the programs it is running. Don't bother getting 64-bit just to detect the 512mb ram which will be wasted anyways.

Driver support lacking, issues of PatchGuard, no support for pre-32 bit, buffer overflow protection causing problems...

But the choice, of course, is ultimately up to you.
June 29, 2008 7:01:50 PM

It's ur first pc build?

1. take ur time
2. read the forums for common mistakes while building pc's,
screwing mobo directly to case and other...

after installing everything download core temp
and check the temps to see if ur cpu and cool have been properly installed.

and stick to the manualls :p 
June 29, 2008 8:02:43 PM

The parts you posted should work fine, with no changes.
That said, I do have some preferences.

If your intended use is heavy multitasking, then the quad is good, although I like the 45nm parts better because they run cooler.
If your intended use is gaming, then I would take the higher clock speed of the E8400 for the same price.

The 9800GTX is fine, but a 9800GTX+ variant should appear in a week or so that will be using 55nm parts and should be better. I would get the EVGA card to preserve your option to use their "step-up" program if a much better card should show up within 90 days. The radeon 4850 is now getting good reviews at that price point also.

The P35 motherboards now have stable bios'es. I prefer them, unless you want to do high overclocking. The Gigabyte DS3L and DS3R boards are good.

A good quality PSU is important. Coolermaster is not highly regarded on this list:http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10... I would look for a unit from seasonic, corsair, PC P&C, and maybe fortron or Antec on a lower budget. This is not the place to go cheap. Even the corsair 450vx http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... should do the job. Buy.com sometimes has the corsair units at very good prices.

Any 7200rpm hard drive will be good, there are only minor differences in performance because of cache..etc.. . If you only need 250gb, then get that. If you might need more, then the extra capacity of a larger drive is a good buy up front. If you want to splurge a bit, consider the new WD 300gb velociraptor at $300. It is noticeably faster.

The corsair memory is good. C2D processors don't need anything faster. Only if you plan on high overclocks should you pay for faster speed.
The 2x2gb configuration preserves your option to go to 8gb.

For a new build, and your parts, vista 64 bit will not be a problem for drivers. The only category of programs that have trouble on 64 bit are old 16 bit dos programs. Vista was designed to utilize the large, cheap memory that we have today. Stick with Vista-64

Shopping tips for Vista:
1) Do you qualify for an academic license?
If so, you can get Vista at a discounted price.
2) Look for an upgrade version of home premium instead of OEM.
Upgrade is a retail version which gives you support from microsoft, unlike OEM,
and allows a more hassel-free ability to transfer the os to a different pc(motherboard).
For $10, microsoft will send you the 64 bit DVD.
I saw Vista home premium upgrade recently at Costco for $85, amazon for $89.
There is a legitimate two step instalation process to install an upgrade version
You install vista from the cd, but do not initially enter the product code.

just tell the install which version you bought, and do not activate.
After it installs, you have a fully functional vista for 30 days.
Step 2 is to insert the cd again, while running vista and then do an upgrade.
This time, enter your product code, and activate.
After activation. you may delete the initial version which is named windows.old.

If you get a retail or upgrade version, you will still be able to upgrade to ultimate later.

I would not buy a ide dvd burner today. Look at the Samsung 203B sata unit. Sata cabling is much easier, and the burner is even cheaper.

I like the Antec 900.

I would suggest installing an aftermarket cooler initially. They are not expensive, and will keep your cpu cooler with less noise. Look for a unit with a large 120mm slow turning fan. I like the tower units that direct the hot air out the back of the case. There are many, and any will do the job.

If you are buying a monitor, get the best you can afford. It is the most important thing you will touch on your computer every day. Better, yet, get two of them.
-------------------------------------------------------------
On how to do it:
1) download the manuals for the mobo and case in advance. Read them and understand what you need to do.
2) google for how to do it whith photos.
3) The only tricky part is installing the cpu cooler. The pushpins are notoriously fussy. Read the included intel instructions, and fuss with the cooler until you understand how they work. Install the cooler while the motherboard is still outside of the case. This is so you can look at the back side to verify that all 4 pins are properly inserted.

---good luck---
June 29, 2008 8:10:05 PM

I would get the P5Q-Pro or P5Q deluxe for motherboard instead of the P5K. The P5Q-Pro and P5Q deluxe are P45 chipsets where as the P5K is p35.
July 4, 2008 7:55:19 PM
July 4, 2008 8:29:10 PM

Write the part names, not just the links. You'll get answers from more people that way - most of us hate to click 10 links to see what you've picked.

Get the 64-bit Vista, not 32-bit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

SH-S203B/Antec900/550VX/G.Skill 2x2GB DDR2-800/Q6600 - good ideas. Maybe RC-690 instead of Antec 900 if you hate the lights.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB $85 - no. WD6400AAKS at 640GB for $95 is a better idea IMO.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218&Tpk=WD6400AAKS

GA-EP35-DS3L - no. I'd get a GA-EP43-DS3L instead. PCI-E 2.0 instead of 1, more SATA ports, higher fsb.

Graphic card: 9800GTX at $220: no. You can get a HD 4850 for $170, and it's a bit faster.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103060
http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-ati-radeon-hd-4850-review-force-3d--powercolor/11
July 4, 2008 8:48:51 PM

Thanks for the computer build and posting advice. Unless anything is wrong or anyone can make my build stronger by reducing the price or increasing it less than $100 this will be my final draft of my build and I will order mt parts today. Also if any thinks I need to buy extra cooling please also post that or anything else to ensure that my build will work.

DVD/CD/Burner
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model
SH-S203N - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphic Card
XFX PVT98FYDDU GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) XXX 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI
Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual
Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mother Board
GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard -
Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor
Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit English 1pk for
System Builders DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!