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Building my first PC(need help)

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July 9, 2009 9:35:10 PM

Hello, this is my first time posting to this website and my first time building a pc. I'm not really sure which thread this should go under but here goes. I've learned alot from this book i've been reading but its pretty outdated. I want to try and get different opinions so building this doesn't turn into a disaster. All I have right now is the case and the psu but I've decided which cpu I want. I also have an idea on the motherboard but i'm not sold on it yet. I have it listed but I don't have all the specs on it right now. The computer i'm building is mainly for gaming and internet surfing but I'm trying to make it budget safe with plenty of room for upgrades. Any advice/suggestion/recommendation/comment/help would be greatly appreciated.

Case:
Midtower ATX Case(Black)
Steel
2 front mounted USB ports
Mic in
Headphone in
7 expansion slots
4 5.25" external drive bays
2 3.5" external drive bays
4 3.5" internal drive bays

PSU:
Okia 450W psu

CPU:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.7 GHz
FSB 2000 MHZ HT

Motherboard:
Asus M3A78
AM2
AMD 770
ATX form factor

RAM:
As for RAM, I'm planning on getting 2-3GB. I've heard that getting a brand name Module is better than getting the standard. Is there any brand name RAM thats compatible that you would recommend?

HD:
Is there anything important I should be looking at when I look for a HD besides size and rpm. Is there any recommendations on which HD would suit my system?

Network Card:
I need to find a network card that allows for wireless connectivity through a D-Link Wireless Router.

Video/Graphics Card:
I don't need a beast graphics card since most of the games I'll be playing are MMO games. It would be cool to find a graphics card that allows for Dual Monitors.

Sound Card:
I'm looking for a sound card that supports 5.0 or 5.1 that would be compatible with my motherboard/cpu combo

TV Tuner Card:
I've been playing with the idea for some time. I read a website review awhile back about the idea of having a computer that you could watch tv on. But I'm not sure if it work on this particular system.

Cooling System:
I've heard some good things about Liquid cooling but I'm not sure if I should go with that or stick with fans.What would you recommend?

More about : building

July 9, 2009 10:11:35 PM

I see you already have a PSU, Be aware that while it is adequate in size for your current build, it muight not accommodate expansion in the future. Most reviewers recommend that a builder go with a larger size - even 550w to 600w - to accomodate expansion, because its power will decline over time, and its failure can devastate other parts. For these reasons they also recommend going with a highly regarded make and model - which yours is not. That being said - yours is large enough to handle the current load.

I would also recommend an Intel CPU over the older model AMD one you selected that, along with the AMD slotted motherboard also limit you to AMD upgrades with the same slot unless you also change out the mobo and then probably also the memory.

What is your budget? AMD is generally recommended as having the best price/performance ratio for low end computers, but I recommend you take a quick look at these builds before sticking wity your AMD selection:

THG $600 gaming system (with portable case @ $90 but can easily substitute mid tower for less)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-2-overclock,23...

0509 ExtremeTech $800 Killer Gaming PC

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2347620,00.a...

I could only find the 780 model of your mobo rather than the 770, but it has 8 channel onboard sound. In your apparent price range, it is probably best to go with the onboard sound, if the 770 has it, and invest your money in other components.

The choice of video card is highly sensitive to your choice to use one or two monitors. For a basic card with only one monitor and only basic gaming, I recommend the following (although you can find basic cards with much less power for about $20 less - again we really need to know your budget)

HIS Hightech H467QT512P Radeon HD 4670 IceQ Turbo ($70)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a card to use with two monitors:

EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 ($110 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You may be able to find cards for less that handle two monitors but might run into limitations on the size of monitors you can use. If even want to allow for 2 monitors in the future though I would not go with a smaller card.


You can watch TV video shows on you system over the Internet using your browser. To connect cable or antennae (the latter not recommend because of generally poor picture quality), you need to purchase a tuner card - approximately $50 to $100 for good ones although you might find a decent one on sale for less.

Your system is not even close to the power required for liquid cooling and it would be a huge waste of money. Long before you can consider this you should be considering upgrading that CPU.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2009 4:43:47 AM

Here are some of my thoughts:
1) Okia is a tier 5 psu on this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
Can you return/exchange it? A PSU is the last place you want to cut corners.
Good units come from Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, and PC P&C. There are others.

2) On Ram, get 4gb in a 2x2gb kit. Ram is cheap. Not enough ram is a real performance drag. Do not spend more for faster ram or better timings. It will make 1-2% difference only. Not worth it to me.

3) Virtually all modern video cards can drive dual monitors. For a gaming system, the video card is the most important component. Get the best one you feel comfortable buying. Here is a list of some good current ones:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-pric...
Once you pick your video card, you can size the psu.

4) Don't bother with a sound card. Any modern motherboard will have good 5.1 or better HD sound built in. You could always add one later.

5) A TV tuner card is no big deal. Use vista or windows-7 home premium and you get the media center application. It works great.

6) Don't think about liquid cooling, particularly for a first time build. Air cooling, particularly a replacement for the stock cooler is fine for all except the record seeking overclockers.

7) Download and read the manuals for your case and motherboard.

---good luck---
!