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First new system - UPDATE!

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August 17, 2008 10:31:19 PM

If you missed my wacky computer adventure, I decided on buying from:

http://www.cpl.net.au/greenguide/20080814-web.pdf

because i live in Australia (feel free to look through and tell me if there are any better deals).

My brother needed a computer, and he found their prebuilt computers to be cheaper than dell or hp.

What i realized was that they have very loose builds; i can substitute pretty much anything on the list for something else, and they'll build it for $35. My budget has gone up a bit, but that's because it includes OS, keyboard/mouse, and monitor.

Note that this thread is no longer about strict budget cuts, but a place for people to explain things to me about different parts/models/you know.

So here is the current idea for a build:

Intel E8400 3.0G 6MB 1333 775 $188
Asus P5Q SE $125
Kingston 4GB PC6400 Twin $99
400GB WD KS WD4000KS 16MB SATAII $79
Sapphire 512MB HD4850 $215
Pioneer 215 Black sata $28
Coolermaster Centurion V 460W $109
19" Monitor $199
Logitech Newtouch 200 USB $19
Logitech MX400 $35
System Assemble 35-50% Discount Price $35
Windows Vista Home Basic oem $115

TOTAL: $1286



MY MAIN QUESTIONS:

(by looking at the price list above) How do i know what speed the ram is, and what speed do i need?

Is twin 2 sticks and single 1 stick?

The Asus p5q se is $125 based on the P45 chipset, while the pk5 epu is $111 based on the P35 chipset.
I would like to get the p5q se (Asus express gate sounds very useful), but what other differences are there? What do you guys think?

I was recommended to get an Antec three hundred ($85) and Earthwatts 500 ($95), but i noticed on their prebuilt models (look under Xtreme Gamer PC or something), they use a Coolermaster Centurion V with a 460w power supply ($109 all up). If this works for their systems, why won't it work for mine?

There are some different Radeon HD 4850's at about the same price (eg. Powercolor, Sapphire, etc). Which should i get and why?

Apparently there are different revisions of the e8400. If i decide to overclock (in the future), do i need a certain revision? (this is not a primary concern).

Thanks guys.

More about : system update

August 18, 2008 12:19:51 AM

You have a very good start. But you need to tell us more about what you plan to do with computer - if gaming what particular games - and what your budget is. You seem to be allocating funds well - putting money on performance.

The CPU and mobo are excellent. The GPU model is also excellent for its budget range.

The PSU is not. You need another. PSU importance if often under-rated. I did not see your case and PSU combination on the list but I would not go with the PSU. The case is not bad - but I would hope you can do better. I did not see a single case or PSU on your list that I would go with. Lets see if you get some other options for where to shop.

The only decent PSU that comes with a case, that I know of, is the Antec Earthwatts 500w PSU - which is also a good stand alone purchase. Check this site out for an idea of the range in qualities of PSUs - go to the "Old List" - I have not seen it updated yet. With the parts you are selecting so far - you don't need a tier 1 PSU but should shoot for tier 2 (preferable) or tier 3. Note that manufacturers have different models with different quality ratings.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...

or look at this list of specific suggested PSUs

http://www.jonnyguru.com//forums/showthread.php?t=1460

Kingston makes decent but not great RAM. Did you either go to the Giga-byte.com site to confirm it is or use the Kingston.com memory calculator? Kingston makes several models of RAM so you should try to find out the specific model. The make ValuRam that is fairly dependable but not the RAM they guaranteee to work with specific mobos. Do you plan to overclock? This makes a big difference in what memory you might want.

I know nothing about that particular DVD but it is in the price range you probably want and Pioneer is a respected brand (also keep in mind they make several models at different quality levels and yours is probably cheaper). I would be comfortable getting it as I am not that picky about it. But should at least check the speeds if possible to make sure they match the latest in that price range.

For the sound card, suggest trying the onboard audio to see if you really need it unless you have a specific reason for getting it.

The keyboard seems cheap in price. That is one item you should check hands on to make sure it has the right feel for you.

What operating system will you use?
August 18, 2008 5:10:45 AM

The case is actually not so hot. Try to find one that has one or two intake fans in the front. Antec 300 is a good budget choice.
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August 18, 2008 6:56:12 AM

Yeah, wasnt sure about the case, but i was trying to cut costs any way i could (I think i'm about $150 over budget, which is $1000). Remember the budget includes mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc.

The reason i was going to get a sound card is because i do a lot of recording and audio editing, but i reckon i'd be better off using my old computer for that until i save up for a decent sound card anyway.

Also, i have an LG USB dvd burner, can i just not get a dvd drive and use the usb one? If not, will a cd drive do? Really, the USB one is fine.

I am going to be using this computer for gaming and audio production, but i figure i'll want a quality recording sound card build by audio companies rather than a consumer sound card from computer companies, so i'll save up and buy that later. That really just leaves gaming, and i'd like this computer to last for a long time (i'd be disappointed if it couldn't play crysis, even on low settings wouldn't bother me).

anyway, i found another (and probably the only big) australian retailer, it's www.cpl.net.au .

they seem to have a more exhaustive range of products, but prices may be a few dollars more (haven't checked). If possible i'd like to get everything from one store, just so there's the option of them building it for me (I don't know much and wouldn't want to screw with $1000 of equipment, but if worse came to worse i have a friend who builds his own computers).

here's their parts list: http://cpl.net.au/greenguide/20080814-web.pdf

this may be a big task, but if someone could help choose an ADEQUATE (thats all) PSU, Case, etc. that'd be great. Really, the only things I'm set on are:

Radeon HD 4850
4GB Ram
E8400 processor
MX400 mouse (or something else quite good)

that's it. Anywhere else that costs can be cut would be great. So i ask all of you, if you have the time, to help me search through these parts lists and find suitable parts. If you cant be bothered (i completely understand), then some vague tips such as how powerful my PSU needs to be would be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou, all, i know it's kind of a lot to ask.
August 18, 2008 7:03:30 AM

They have the Antec 300 for $85. Get that.

Antec Earthwatts 500 for $95. get that.

If you need to cut corners downgrade to E7200 CPU.
August 18, 2008 7:44:15 AM

right, thanks.

First off i forgot to ask, do i need a network card or is that intergrated with the mobo?

Anyways this is what i saw...

CPL Parts:

CPU: Intel E8400 $199
Motherboard: GA-EP45-DS3L $129
HDD: Seagate 320GB SATA AS $79
RAM: Kingston 4GB 5300/6400 Twin $99
Sound Card: Intergrated
Optical Drive: (if i need one) Liteon CD-RW+DVD $25
LCD Monitor: EITHER: 19" Asus VW193D OR 19" Samsung 943NWX OR 19" Viewsonic VA1926W - all $199
Casing: Antec Three Hundred $85
PSU: Antec Basiq 500W $79 (do i need the Earthwatts 500 for $95?)
Mouse: Logitech Lx6 $29
Keyboard: Something cheap, i think their cheapest is $19 but
i can always get a keyboard somewhere else, it's not internal.
PCI-E GFX Card: Powercolor Radeon HD 4850 $209

TOTAL: $1151
BUDGET: $1000
NEEDS TO BE CUT: $151

Ideas for cutting cost:

- take out DVD drive? $ - 25
(I'd feel more comfortable with at least a CD/DVD drive internally though...)
- buy seperate keyboard later? $ - 19
(very possible)

any more ideas?

Thanks guys, really appreciate the help.
August 18, 2008 8:03:54 AM

The CPU can be cut down to a E7200.
You do not need a network card.
The P5K EPU is $111 and will work nicely.
You need the Earthwatts, not the basiq.
You need an optical drive.
Get the Kingston PC 6400 twin for $55 now, buy more later.
August 18, 2008 8:14:56 AM

hey mate i live in aus as well :)  i would recommend a coolermaster RC-690 it owns the antec 300 in features and looks :) 
August 18, 2008 8:21:13 AM

EDIT: About the RC-690, it does look cooler, and for only $3 more i am considering it (the main selling point is the firewire input). However, does it keep cool as well as the antec three hundred? Because right now that is the primary concern.

(original message)

Right...those are all great ideas, but i'm hesitant about cutting down the CPU or RAM...I'm fairly sure i won't cut down the CPU...I mean, it's 500mhz difference (and i hear that the e8400 overclocks better, which i might do in the future).

RAM is something i might end up doing, but still not sure. I guess it really just depends on how many RAM slots my computer would have (and how can you tell?). If it has 4 then i can just add on a 4GB kit without wasting the 2GB already installed right?

Also, are there any concerns on overheating with the 300 case holding a 4850, amongst other things? Will i need to also purchase fans or do they come with the case?

Also can you help with choosing between the 3 monitors listed? Thanks for all this.

CPU: Intel E8400 $199
Motherboard: Asus P5K-EPU $111
HDD: Seagate 320GB SATA AS $79
RAM: Kingston 4GB 5300/6400 Twin $99
Sound Card: Intergrated
Optical Drive: (if i need one) Liteon CD-RW+DVD $25
LCD Monitor: EITHER: 19" Asus VW193D OR 19" Samsung 943NWX OR 19" Viewsonic VA1926W - all $199
Casing: Antec Three Hundred $85
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 500 $95
PCI-E GFX Card: Powercolor Radeon HD 4850 $209

TOTAL: $1101
BUDGET: $1000
NEEDS TO BE CUT: $101

EXTRAS BOUGHT LATER (don't affect price):

Mouse: Logitech Lx6 $29
Keyboard: Something cheap, i think their cheapest is $19 but
i can always get a keyboard somewhere else, it's not internal.
August 18, 2008 8:22:48 AM

maybe just an 8800GT instead of a 4850? :S
August 18, 2008 8:24:58 AM

and btw have a look at shopbot.com.au it compares like hundreds of aus computer stores....

pccasegear is a nice site to go around finding new products and stoof, umart is convenient if you live in brisbane and apart from that idk..

personally for news i go to tomshardware and techreport, for browsing products i go to pccasegear.com and to compare prices/buy i go to shopbot.com.au :) 

hope that helped :D 
August 18, 2008 8:32:19 AM

The 300 was chosen for air flow and room. It was a deliberate choice :) 
it comes with two 120mm fans, you can add more later if you like.

I have cut everything I can. I have no opinions on the monitors, they are really similar. Viewsonic has the best rep of course.

Your only other option would be the video card. This is the part that would degrade performance most in games.
August 18, 2008 8:32:40 AM

Honestly i think the ATI cards are taking over now, and i've had problems with nvidia in the past (but i know that's not a reason to buy things).

I looked at shopbot and it is great at finding the cheapest prices, but of all my components there isn't one that has all or most of them; and the postage costs from all of them might make it more expensive, not to mention trouble.

pccasegear is more expensive so i didn't give it much of a look...

don't think i'm disregarding your ideas, i really do appreciate any help i can get at the moment.
August 18, 2008 10:07:09 AM

ok so far i think i might just be able to squeeze this much above the budget, but if not reducing the ram to the 2GB Kingston 6400 Twin should be enough.

So now it's not so much a question of pricing, I just need a few people to confirm that with only these parts (+ mouse and keyboard obviously) that this computer will work well for some years.

Can people confirm? Temp alright? Space in case? I don't really know these things, that's why i need this great community's help.
August 18, 2008 10:32:01 AM

Kingston memory is very plain, no fancy heatspreaders or anything, but it generally works well and is compatible.

Either case, the Antec or Coolermaster, will be fine for you.

Just verify that your CPU is retail so that you get a CPU cooler with it.
August 20, 2008 9:02:27 AM

Updated first post. If you cbf reading it all:

MY MAIN QUESTIONS:

(by looking at the price list above) How do i know what speed the ram is, and what speed do i need?

Is twin 2 sticks and single 1 stick?

The Asus p5q se is $125 based on the P45 chipset, while the pk5 epu is $111 based on the P35 chipset.
I would like to get the p5q se (Asus express gate sounds very useful), but what other differences are there? What do you guys think?

I was recommended to get an Antec three hundred ($85) and Earthwatts 500 ($95), but i noticed on their prebuilt models (look under Xtreme Gamer PC or something), they use a Coolermaster Centurion V with a 460w power supply ($109 all up). If this works for their systems, why won't it work for mine?

There are some different Radeon HD 4850's at about the same price (eg. Powercolor, Sapphire, etc). Which should i get and why?

Apparently there are different revisions of the e8400. If i decide to overclock (in the future), do i need a certain revision? (this is not a primary concern).

Thanks guys.
August 20, 2008 10:16:51 AM

oh btw to ur earlier question i missed sorry, lol. RC-690 has 7 fan slots. need i say more about its superior cooling to the three hundred?
August 20, 2008 11:17:17 AM

yes but then wouldn't i need fans? I don't want to buy more fans, especially if i could just buy a case that was naturally cooler.
August 20, 2008 10:21:10 PM

just posting because...um...no one has answered my questions yet...
August 21, 2008 3:04:25 AM

Jaseman said:
Updated first post. If you cbf reading it all:

MY MAIN QUESTIONS:

(by looking at the price list above) How do i know what speed the ram is, and what speed do i need?


You want 800MHz RAM - sometimes referred to as "6400" as in your listing above


Jaseman said:
Is twin 2 sticks and single 1 stick?

Twin sticks is whatever the manufacturer says it is. It is not a standard term - but I would ASSUME it means two sticks. Is single 1 stick? Duh - I would say that is a good guess.

Jaseman said:
The Asus p5q se is $125 based on the P45 chipset, while the pk5 epu is $111 based on the P35 chipset.
I would like to get the p5q se (Asus express gate sounds very useful), but what other differences are there? What do you guys think?

The P45 is a newer, better board with twin 2.0 PCIe slots, but not full bandwidth. What other differences? Go to the manufacturers site and compare the two.

Jaseman said:
I was recommended to get an Antec three hundred ($85) and Earthwatts 500 ($95), but i noticed on their prebuilt models (look under Xtreme Gamer PC or something), they use a Coolermaster Centurion V with a 460w power supply ($109 all up). If this works for their systems, why won't it work for mine?


It will work for you. Get it if you want. Bit the Antec is a better case and the Earthwatts a much better power supply. Care must be taken in getting a lower quality power supply. It may work the majority of the time but sometimes it won't, and sometimes it will go bad and destroy other components. HOw often? I have no idea and I doubt that anybody else does.

Jaseman said:
There are some different Radeon HD 4850's at about the same price (eg. Powercolor, Sapphire, etc). Which should i get and why?


The cards are generally all the same unless they say OC or overclock. I have seen one with 1GB of memory but most come with 512MB. The come with some minor differences in features and games included. The best brands, generally speaking and personal opinion, are :

BFG, EVGA, and XFX, followed maybe by ASUS, MSI, and Sapphire.


Jaseman said:
Apparently there are different revisions of the e8400. If i decide to overclock (in the future), do i need a certain revision? (this is not a primary concern).


Revsions are something that happens overtime and usually you have no control over it - you get what the supplier has. I am not away of any signficant differences in the e8400 revsions. There is a difference between OEM and retail units though - the retail units come with the heatsink and manufactureres warranty.

You are expecting much more handholding than the average new builder - and have already received much more. You start off at a disadvantage because of your different supplies. People have made suggestions and you can take or leave them - but you keep trying to split hairs. You need to make some decisions and go with it. If not able to do that maybe you are not ready to build your own.
August 22, 2008 8:37:54 AM

yea man the RC-690 comes with 3 fans stock with an extra 4 slots if you feel like an antarctic overclocking fest
!