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First Time Build - Noob Questions

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December 10, 2008 11:03:21 PM

I want to start building my first PC sometime around Christmas. I've looked through some tutorials on the internet and it all looks fairly easy(except the BIOS stuff - may have trouble there), but I've got some questions that will probably sound pretty stupid. One thing im worried about is not having a warranty. I'm also only looking to spend around 800-1000 on the comp itself as I want to get new gaming keyboard, mouse and probably a 226bw samsung monitor. Also, a big thing for me is that this computer is going to have to last me awhile - like 4 years or more - so I need it to be upgradeable into the foreseeable future.

From what I've read I think I want to go with a Q6600 for the cpu and hopefully I can overclock it to 3.0 - 3.2. I think I want to go the SLI route for mobo \ video card. Probably go with 2x2gb RAM.

Can you guys suggest a good cheap mobo that will be EASY for me to OC the q6600 on. Should also have atleast 2 way sli, built in ethernet?(hopefully even wireless?) and id like to be fairly future friendly.

Can I pretty much expect any build/mobo configuration I decide on to fit into any case? And can I stick to pc6400 ram and still overclock the q6600? - I don't really understand the RAM timing stuff.

Now onto sound. If I can I'd like to stay cheap in this category. Im thinking el cheapo speakers(for now) and onboard sound with a good quality headset. Is that going to be half as disappointing as it sounds?

I'd also like to be able to play any game out now. What video card should I be thinking about.

Also, where do you guys shop for parts? Seems like everyone quotes newegg here. By the time you pay shipping on all these parts is it really any cheaper than buying pre-built?

Need Help. Thanks.
December 11, 2008 12:51:52 AM

After reading some more it seems like people think crossfire is the way to go. What do you guys think?
December 11, 2008 1:14:26 AM

these answers are out of order, but i hope it helps


if ur new, dont overclock, its not even worth the trouble, especially not for a cpu as good as the one you have picked out

your waranties will be on the individual parts

crossfire is a better option in my opinion because you can go with a cheaper motherboard

i'ld suggest the asus p5e delux for a board, asus usually includes overclocking utilities where u dont have to touch the bios, but i still dont recomend it for someone with your experience level, it also has onboard ethernet

as for sound, most any mobo you're going to be looking at has on board sound, and its usually very good, the board i suggested has 7.1 channel onboard

video card depends on your price range, hd 4850 or 4870 are the two i would suggest for what you're thinking of, if money isnt a concern, go for the hd 4870x2

it is cheaper than pre-built, and newegg is your best bet for parts

RAM timings dont matter so much, i'ld go with 4 gb ddr2 1066, lower timings are better

as long as your case has a form factor of atx then it'll fit, but make sure that u get a mid tower or a full tower or else your graphics card may or may not fit, and spend more than $50 on a case, its worth it

last of all, i know u didnt ask but if its ur first time u will, make sure once ur done building that u install all your drivers for your mobo and gfx card
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December 11, 2008 2:06:55 PM

Ok i went through and made a parts list. Let me know what you think.

I'd like to cut the cost.

Also I would like a mobo with onboard wireless. It would save me a lot of hassle and would save me from having to buy a 100ft ethernet cord. Or i guess I could get a wireless pci card?

Let me know where I can make better decisions as well.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pzmvVIkr6PMvSzsO...

Thanks.
December 11, 2008 3:06:15 PM

for your wireless problem, there are now USB wireless thingers that work wonders (my brother bought one last week, easy to install and gives more positional liberty since you can move it around more).

As for the rest of the build, OC a q6600 to 3.2ghz is super easy so you shouldn't have to worry there. I'd personally recommend the newer 45nm (q9550 comes to mind) since it produces less heat and shows great OC capabilities (up to 4ghz on air usually).

The thermal compound that comes with a custom heatsink/fan is usually good enough for mainstream folks. That's an extra 6$ in your pockets.

I suggest getting a p5q motherboard based on the p45 chipset (overclocks nicely, cheaper, same performance or more in single video card mode, equivalent or 5% difference in crossfire mode).

For the video card, go for an hd4870 if you want it to last you 4 years (add a second one or get a new one in 2-3 years if you feel like you need it).

For keyboard/mouse, consider a g5 mouse and a saitek v2 keyboard. They might be less expensive and are just as good. It comes down to your own preference and you might want to try it in store to see what they feel like (I hear some mice are really small).

I recommend the wd 640gig hdd (faster than the 500gig version).

For the case, an antec 300 or 900 could potentially save you lots of money for the same visual impact.

good luck!
December 11, 2008 4:08:38 PM

build looks good - if you have a microcenter near you i suggest you look at their website, they have an online catalog that shows some really good deals they are having this coming weekend.

cooler - you should be def going for the xigmatic s1823 and be sure to get the retention bracket. Overclocking is really easy on that board. There are hundreds of very good tutorials and videos to show you how to do it properly.

If you planning to crossfire the 4850 then that board is overkill. go for the asus p5q pro.
onboard wireless is pointless just go get a usb wireless card. They are cheap and work GREAT. On board wireless just means one more possible part that can fail and result in rma'ing your entire baord.

as for dvd drives just get what ever is available at a good price. you want to get two go for it great. Money is a little tight right now. then get one to start with and when you get a little extra cash grab another.

hard drive. Get the westdern digital 640gb black drive. its like 10 bucks more but its lots more space and a hell of a lot faster too. ITS DEF WORTH THE EXTRA CASH!

the 4850 gpu is great but saphire doesnt have the best track record. I would suggest visiontek, they have a lifetime warranty on the card, trust me that can be a big help.

Also dont be afraid to wait another week or so to pull the trigger on buying some of the parts newegg might run another sweet holiday deal. Also keep an eye out for free shipping that is also a big help.

One more thing, i notice that you didnt list an os. you need to get vista home premium 64 bit in order to realize the full potential of this system
December 11, 2008 4:09:32 PM

Cool thanks for the heads up on the case and mobo. Looks like ill save some cash.

Forgot to put vista on there. I should get the 64-bit version correct? I'm having trouble finding it on newegg.
December 11, 2008 4:31:06 PM

ahh OK the "for system builders" was bothering me.

Ill try to digest the rest of this after work.
December 11, 2008 8:59:46 PM

CPU q6600 quad core 2.4ghz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 189.99

Mobo asus p5q-e p45 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 144.99

memory patriot extreme 2x2gb 1066mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 48.99

PSU corsair CMPSU-650TX 650w http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 79.99

optical drive samsung dual layer yadda yadda http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 22.99

GPU sapphire hd4850 512mb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 159.99
Will probably go with a different manufacturer

case antec 900 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 109.99

HD WD5001AALS 500gb sata 32mb cache http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 74.99
Will probably get the 640gb model.

Vista 99.99


OK, that is the list for now. Am I missing anything? Is everything compatible?

Do monitors usually come with HDMI cables? and is that the way I should hook it up?

Thanks for all the help.
December 12, 2008 4:15:32 PM

hdmi vs dvi is the same for video. The difference is that hdmi can pipe audio signal as well (so if you hook your ps3/xbox360 to your monitor). So short answer, you don't need hdmi cables to hook your monitor to your video card.
!