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Go all out and out for a 1st build or keep it modest.

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August 15, 2008 2:12:59 AM

Hey first post,

I'd like to go and build myself a computer, I would love to build a top end machine for playing first person shooters and watching HD movies on and I have a distate for PCs that don't move quickly. But looking at top end components I'm looking at top end prices. So do you guys think that it's madness for a first build, to spend a few thousand(I'm thinking €3000 euro mark maybe more maybe less although its likely to eventually go more) on components and with no experience in the area, try and build a computer out of them. Or should I reign it in a bit and go for a more mid range system costing roughly half what I'm expecting my ideal build to cost me.

My ultimate fear is to end up with a €3000+ paper weight. I'm not an idiot and think I could do this with enough research behind me. But I have a niggling feeling I might be going over board for a first time out.

Any thoughts?

More about : 1st build modest

August 15, 2008 2:30:16 AM

You said it 3000 paper weight. Most first time builders overlook a few things. Build a cheap one, then sell it and build your own.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2008 2:36:38 AM

I've helped a couple of people from Europe in the past months, and they usually got something very nice for less than 1500 euros.

Which country are you in?
What's the URL of the store where you're going to order the parts?
Are you doing anything that would prefer a quad CPU (video encoding, Photoshop, work in general, programming, server stuff, Flight Simulator?
Do you like cases with lights or without?
Do you need a monitor too in that budget? Speakers?

Just to get things started, I suggest you look at something like this:

Q9450 or E8500 (depending on the answer about the quad)
X48 motherboard (P5E Deluxe, GA-X48-DS4, etc.)
HD 4870 card (one for now, another later, or both now)
Corsair or PC Power & Cooling 750W
WD 640GB disks, 2 at least
SATA burner
RC-690 or Antec 1200 or NZXT Tempest case
Some 24" monitor, preferably Samsung
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August 15, 2008 2:36:53 AM

^ agreed, if you have a family member or friend looking for a modest build subsidize them with a couple hundred euros to get experience. Then after that you can go for the big guns (and the Nehalem might be out by then with the new socket and motherboards)
August 15, 2008 3:43:03 AM

aevm said:
I've helped a couple of people from Europe in the past months, and they usually got something very nice for less than 1500 euros.

Which country are you in?
What's the URL of the store where you're going to order the parts?
Are you doing anything that would prefer a quad CPU (video encoding, Photoshop, work in general, programming, server stuff, Flight Simulator?
Do you like cases with lights or without?
Do you need a monitor too in that budget? Speakers?

Just to get things started, I suggest you look at something like this:

Q9450 or E8500 (depending on the answer about the quad)
X48 motherboard (P5E Deluxe, GA-X48-DS4, etc.)
HD 4870 card (one for now, another later, or both now)
Corsair or PC Power & Cooling 750W
WD 640GB disks, 2 at least
SATA burner
RC-690 or Antec 1200 or NZXT Tempest case
Some 24" monitor, preferably Samsung


I'm in Ireland www.dabs.ie looks like the place to go for gear.

As for stuff needing quad core...I'm not too sure, still on the research aspect. Really just playing modern FPS and looking at movies (preferably HD) I'd like to store movies on the computer rather than messing with discs (Although from what I've read HD movies can use 25-50gigs of space I don't know how true it is, again still researching) Outside of that its really microsoft office and Internet.

The case doesn't really need bells or whistles, I really don't like the idea of cases with doors on the front it seems to be form over functionality. Lights and stuff don't appeal to me too much either (I prefer to look at the screen instead of the box) although having lights wouldn't really sway me one way or the other.

What I was thinking was taking speakers monitors and other peripherals from other computers and upgrade them as the money builds back up.

What I was looking at so far and really this isn't an actual proposed list. I just pulled it together to give me an idea of what a collection of higher end components would cost. (In some cases I just picked stuff at random)

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz 12M Cache S775 1333MHZ
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4YCV&Sear...

Sapphire Technology Radeon HD4870x2 2GB GDDR5 PCIE 2XDVI 700/900MHZ
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=576S&Cate...

Asustek S775 INTEL X48 ATX AUDIO LAN
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=50N7&Cate...

Kingston KTC 4GB Kit
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4P2R&Cate...

Akasa Eclipse 62 PC EATX Midi Tower Case - Black
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=3KD0&Cate...

Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W ATX 12V 2.2 EPS
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=53Q4&Cate...

Samsung 1TB 7200RPM 32MB S300 3.5"
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4ZTT&Cate...

LG Electronics Blu-Ray Re-Writer/HD DVD-ROM SATA Black Kit
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4TRB&Cate...

Akasa 120mm Crystal Blue case Fan - Blue LED
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=3035&Cate...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Prem SP1
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=502F&Cate...

That all runs at €2000 then on top of that there has to be keyboard mouse monitor speakers of decent quality and some other odds and ends (card reader/usb hub maybe more hardrives remote control possibly tv card etc again nothing finalised). This isn't THEE list, just something I pulled together to give me a very rough idea of total price and maybe give you guys an idea of where I'm coming from.



August 15, 2008 4:41:28 AM

yeeah man either way i say save some cash an just go for a q6600, x38/48mb, 4850, 4 gb ram, sata hd, and u ll have a pretty fly rig.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2008 4:50:00 AM

Q9450 - excellent choice, very future proof.

HD 4870X2 - wow, I'm jealous :) 

Rampage Formula X48 - it's good, but the GA-X48-DS4 is good too and 50 euros less.
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=53WW&SearchType=1&SearchTerms=X48&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=0

RAM, no. That one is "Designed for Sun Blade X8420 Server Module." You want something for PCs. Here's an example:
Corsair DDR2-800 2x2GB, 80 euros.
http://www.dabs.ie/ProductView.aspx?Quicklinx=4PDN&CategorySelectedId=11025&PageMode=1&NavigationKey=11025&InMerch=1

That Akasa case looks nice. I'm not sure if it can hold big cards like the HD 4870x2. If you want, look at this CM 690 too:
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4QYN&SearchType=1&SearchTerms=690&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=0 It's cheaper, has 3 fans, room for 4 more, and can fit any video card.

Vista - get the 64-bit version, or you'll be in enormous trouble because the video card has a lot of RAM and it hides a lot of the system RAM address space. Also, OEM is cheaper.
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=5088&SearchType=1&SearchTerms=Vista+Home&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=50310

HDD: Spinpoint F1 1TB. Very good disk, one of the fastest. I'd normally prefer the WD 640GB, but that one is not available at dabs.ie.

Now, based on that 1200W PSU and the X48 MB, I'm guessing you want to add a second HD 4870X2 later. If that's true, this build is fine. If it's not true, and you're staying with a single HD 4870X2, you can downsize the motherboard to Asus P5Q Pro (save 115 euros compared to the Rampage Formula) and the PSU to Corsair 750W (save 112 euros).

http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=542S&SearchType=1&SearchTerms=P5Q+Pro&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=0
http://www.dabs.ie/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4RYB&SearchType=1&SearchTerms=750W&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=0
August 23, 2008 7:40:10 PM

Thanks for the help so far guys. So do you think something like the build above including some of the modifications suggest would be too extravagant for a first build or should I crack on regardless?
a b B Homebuilt system
August 24, 2008 10:11:23 PM

It is extravagant, yes. Tell you what: a second HD 4870 X2 won't really be worth the extra cost of the 1200W PSU/X48 MB/second card. That is, the 3rd and 4th GPU only help significantly in some games (like CoD4). If you downsize to a 750W or 850W PSU and a P5Q or P5Q Pro and a single 4870X2 then it will be better bang for the buck.

August 25, 2008 12:37:15 AM

Your specs sound fine, except I'd go for Win XP Pro instead of the Vista Home Premiium. I've used both and XP is definitely the quicker OS at this time. Buy an OEM copy of XP and wait for the new Windows 7, or whatever they finally decide on.

If your set on Vista, get an OEM copy of Ultimate, and if you're going to use the 32 bit version of either OS, you only need 2 gig of memory. 4 gig gains you nothing with the 32 bit OS's.

I've got XP and Vista Ultimate in a dual-boot setup and usually wind up using XP. SP1 has helped some on Vista, but it's still not as quick as XP. Besides, if you upgrade to a Nehalem system in the near future, you're going to need DDR3, so you might want to look into a board that uses that now. And if you do go with DDR3, get at least 1600 mhx or even 2000 mhz memory. It will be worth it.
!