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New Build, Semi-expirienced builder. Need some input

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August 16, 2008 8:54:13 PM

So I am planning to build a new system to replace an old Dell (P4 2.0 Ghz, 768 MB RAM, 40GB HDD and a Nvidia GeForce 256). Here's a bit of a setup of what I'll be doing on it mostly.

I'm not trying to build anything over the top since I have other expenses to deal with. I mostly just surf a select few sites, listen/download music, download movies and TV shows (on a daily basis) and play WoW and CS:S and HL2 (and the next episode when it's released).

I'm looking for something to do those tasks, and do them fairly well. I don't really have any intention of playing anything at ridiculous resolutions like 1920. I at hoping to get a new monitor soon though, maybe a 20-24 inch widescreen so I'd like to be able to play WoW and CS:S and HL2 at the monitor's native resolution as well as view my movies and TV shows smoothly.

Here's the list of the components I plan to use:

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103255)
Motherboard: Foxconn A78AX-S (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186147)
RAM: Kingston DDR2 800 2GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134488)
Case: Antec Three-hundred (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042)
PSU: Antec Earthwatts EA500 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371007)
HDD: Segate 250GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262)
DVD: LG 22X DVD±R Burner (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136147)
Video: AMD Radeon HD 3850 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121219)

Comments greatly appreciated!
August 16, 2008 9:21:00 PM

You should be able to pick up an AMD 64 x 2 5000 Black Edition for about the same price or possibly less (saw one on eBay for $69 w/ free shipping).

You can set the mutiplier on the 5000 BE to 15 and it will run at 3.01 Ghz without having to change voltages. Mine runs smoothly and stays anywhere from 29 to 34 degrees
August 16, 2008 9:26:54 PM

looks like an good build for your needs. But I noticed that you said that you download Music, Movies, and TV Shows on a daily basis. This 500GB Seagate Is large so you can put alot of Media Files on this with out worrying about space and also it has a 32mb Cache so performance of your system will be better with this drive.


What is your Budget. If you tell us your budget we might be able to get you some better components like a better CPU or mobo.
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August 17, 2008 2:26:50 AM

Well, I'll have more than $1000 to spend, but I'd like to keep it cheap since WoW and HL2 don't really require much from your computer, and same goes for watching video and listening to music. Also, any extra money that I can save and spend on something else is always good.

@cmichael138: Yea, I know about the AMD Black Edition CPUs, but those don't come with a fan I think so I'd have to get one of those too and I would need some help getting one because I wouldn't know anything about that. I looked at the cooler guide that there is here at Tom's Hardware but those seem more aimed at people that are going to be overclocking a lot, and while I have no problem overclocking, I'd pretty much would need to be hand-walked through it.

@Joelg88: I did think about getting a bigger hard drive, but from what I've read around on forums and site, bigger hard drives have higher failure rates. I don't know how true that is but I figured I'd get one that is relatively large.

Basically, what I listed on here is like the bare minimum for me. The computer I'm upgrading from is fairly awful and the main reason I'm upgrading is because the power supply failed and messed up all the hard drives i had on the computer (3 40GB and 1 80GB drives) as well as fried the 9600 Pro I had.

I guess what I really want is something to get me started that I will be able to upgrade for a bit.

Also, is the power supply I'm planning on getting overkill for the system? I plan on getting it because Newegg usually has rebates for Antec power supplies when you get Antec cases, and since I was already planning on getting an Antec case I figured I would just pick up the rebates.

Thanks for the input. :) 
August 17, 2008 11:35:45 AM

Seems like a decent budget build. It's a good PSU but personally I would be more comfortable with a corsair 550 or the OCZ600XSX.
August 17, 2008 9:06:06 PM

Here's a question.

So we just bought a 42" Plasma HDTV and I was wondering what videocard would be good enough to play WoW and HL2 at a resolution of about 1600x1200, which is my monitor's resolution, as well as play video at 1080p and also fit in a case small enough for me to move from the office to the living room to watch movies and shows on the plasma.

Also, would I need to make any adjustments to the components? I'm already planning on getting a bigger hard drive (500GB or bigger).
August 19, 2008 8:18:15 PM

Ok, so I found a "small" case I like and changed a few things, like a 4850 instead of a 3850, a 500GB hard drive instead of a 250GB, a microATX board instead of a full ATX and a different power supply since the case doesn't come with a combo.

HIS HD 4850 Video Card

OCZ GameXtream 600W Power Supply

MSI microATX Motherboard

Western Digital Caviar GP 500GB Hard Drive

NZXT Rogue Crafted Series Case

I'll still be using the same CPU because it's good enough for me and it's low power, 2GB of RAM is also good enough (this RAM or this RAM, I'm not entirely sure if there will be any big difference), I might add another 2GB later if I decide to upgrade to Vista, and of course any decent DVD Burner.
August 19, 2008 10:38:46 PM

Seems like a pretty good pick. Be aware that the smaller case won't be that much lighter. It would be easier to transfer though, as long as it's not sitting on the floor.
August 21, 2008 8:14:35 PM

haha yea, actually, the nzxt rogue is heavier than the antec 300.

the nzxt rogue has a removable motherboard tray though, so it shouldn't be that much harder to work with.
!