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First time system builder. Looking for some Advice/Suggestions

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August 17, 2008 9:59:08 PM

Well, A few months ago I decided it was time to replace my old gaming computer (4 years old, just ot up to cod4 or Far Cry 2 (main reason for the upgrade)). As you can imagine, I'm not exactly up-to-date with most newer hardware.

After kicking around configurations on HP's site, I realized how bad the deal I was getting was and decided to check out iBuyPower.
Same thing happened with them, I messed around and got a fairly decent computer set up, but realised (again) I could probably save some money building my own. (that and apparently IBP has some issues with properly assembling their comps...)

So now I'm researching parts (Based on the way IBP has their interface setup, to hopefully make sure I don't miss anything). and I think I have a pretty decent setup that's about at my budget ($1,700).
But I wanted to make sure I wouldn't have any compatibility issues, or asn't missing a (better/cheaper) deal. And of course, to make sure I have all the components I need. I'm buying everything from Newegg at the moment.

Here's my current setup. (Thanks AEVM and dirtmountain) I'm open to ANY suggestions.

Case
Antec 900
Motherboard eVGA 780i
Processor: Intel 2 Core Duo E8600 (3.33ghz)
Video Card: eVGA nVidia gtx280.
Ram: 4 gb (2x 2gb Corsair, 800mhz, ddr2)
Power Supply: Corsair 750tx (750w)
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar WD6400AAKS (640gb)
Disk Drive CD/RW DVD/RW Lite On LH-20A1L
Floppy Drive Samsung SFD321B
Operating System Vista Home Premium 64 bit
Network Card Gigabyte Gn-Wpo1

Second Question:
What tools and things will I likely need to assemble this thing?

Any thoughts/suggestions?
August 17, 2008 10:33:22 PM

Just some thoughts, the E8500 is only $190 at newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
while the E8600 is $275. That's a big jump for a small gain. The Q9550 is only $330 in case you had any thoughts for a quadcore.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Right now the ATI 4xxx series of GPUs (4850, 4870 and the 4870x2) seem to be at the sweet spot for price vs. performance. You shouldn't need an aftermarket cooler if you're not overclocking. Before you add a sound card you should test out the on board sound to see if it's necessary. Check some reviews of the nVidia chipset motherboards.
August 18, 2008 1:07:59 AM

+1 for the Q9550, it will last longer than a dual-core. Or a Q9450.

Windows, RAM, DVD - all good choices

HDD - the WD6400AAKS is a lot faster than the WD5000AAKS.

Make the PSU a Corsair 750TX, it's better quality, more powerful, $20 less, and has more PCI-E connectors.

The NZXT Apollo is not suitable for a high-end gaming machine IMO, with two fans. The Antec 900 is a lot better for it, and cheaper today at newegg after rebates and shipping. The NZXT Tempest is even nicer, IMO.

I don't think you really need a sound card or a network card. Modern motherboards can take care of those issues. I'd also dump the floppy drive and the Zalman cooler.

A 700W or 750W PSU only supports one GTX 280. This means you don't really need an expensive 780i SLI motherboard, because the PSU already prevents you from ever using SLI. Besides, motherboards with Intel chipsets get better reviews these days than those with nVidia chipsets.

Here are some combinations I'd prefer:
P5Q Pro + HD 4870 X2
(P5E Deluxe or GA-X48-DS4) + two HD 4870 cards
P5Q Pro + GTX 280
Related resources
August 18, 2008 6:35:14 PM

Wow, thanks for the help!

I chose the e8600 because I've heard most games can't use a Quad core effectively, and the e8600 is cheaper. I was planning on OC'ing at some point, but I guess I'll buy the fan when I decide to try it.

Amazing advice on the PSU and HDD, both better and cheaper products. Good call on the Antec too.

I need the Wireless Network card because my room is a ways away from the Router, and I don't have anywhere to plug it in. I'll take your advice on the sound card though.

As for the PSU and Gtx 280.
I plan on upgrading my system overtume, so when it strts getting older I planned to plug in a new PSU and another GTX 280. That's what I went with the 780i. I want to future proof this thing as much as possible.

(Can that intel motherboard do SLI?)


Second Question:
What tools and things will I need to put this together?
August 18, 2008 6:51:35 PM

No, Intel motherboards (i.e. X48) cannot do SLI. All right, for now you can get the eVGA 780i, one GTX 280, and a $100 750TX. Later, change the PSU to something with 1000W or more, add a second video card, and hopefully you'll get a good decent price for your 750TX.

Here's the list of PSUs certified by nVidia for two GTX 280 cards (open the third dropdown list)
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

Keep an eye on these models for example, and grab one when it goes on a big sale:

Corsair 1000HX, $240
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139007&Tpk=1000HX

Enermax Galaxy 1000W, $300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817194019&Tpk=Galaxy%2b1000W

Toughpower 1000W, $330
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153053



Tools and things:

Maybe a wrist strap, unless you promise to be careful to touch something big and metallic often. That discharges static electricity from your hands and prevents parts from getting fried.
Rubber glove or credit card - to spread the thermal paste
Screwdriver


August 18, 2008 6:55:38 PM

TYVM for the help!

What tools and things will I likely need to put this comp together.
EDIT: Saw your edit, thanks even more!


Last Question: Where could I go to find out how to put everythng together properly. Most of the sites I found just tell you the components you'll need, and are over 4-5 years old!
(I'm assuming most components will include manuals but I may be assuming wrong, so just to be safe.)
August 18, 2008 8:10:23 PM

This article may help:
http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/

or this:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/13671

If you want a video made by somebody who really knows this stuff:
http://www.amazon.com/Build-Mueller-Training-Upgrading-Repairing/dp/0789737752
or this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Upgrading-Repairing-PCs-18th/dp/0789736977

I have bought and read this last one (OK, I skipped some of the 1600 pages, LOL) and I found it very useful. Total overkill of course if you just want to build a PC every couple of years.

!