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First Time Buying Custom Build - Help.

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August 2, 2009 3:50:58 AM

Hey all New to the forum and would love some input and feedback. I am looking to buy a new computer build, as opposed to buying the parts and doing it myself since i have a limited amount of money , and can't really afford anything to go wrong. I put this together at avadirect, which i've heard good things about at reseller ratings.com and the BBB. Here is a list of what i've put together and would love some imput, suggestions, feedback, anything else you can think of to help me. This is at the high end of my budget. I will be using the computer for gaming, watching movies, internet, music. I am looking for feedback on avadirect, should i use quad or duo core? Are these parts compatiable etc. Thanks all. Much Appr.

PC BAREBONE, Core™2 CrossFire™ DDR2 Performance Barebone Kit $1084.80

# COOLER MASTER, Elite 335 Black Mid Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, Steel

# CORSAIR, CMPSU-650TX TX Series Power Supply, 650W, 80 PLUS®,
24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, SLI Ready

# ASUS, P5Q Pro Turbo, LGA775, Intel® P45, 1600MHz FSB, DDR2-1300
16GB /4, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 3.0 Gb/s RAID 5 /7, HDA, GbLAN, FW /2, ATX, Retail

# INTEL, Core™ 2 Quad Q8200 Quad-Core 2.33GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache, 45nm, 95W, EM64T EIST XD, Retail
# ARCTIC COOLING, Freezer 7 Pro Quiet CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink, Socket 775, Ceramic Bearing, Retail

# KINGSTON, 4GB (2 x 2GB) HyperX PC2-8500 DDR2 1066MHz CL5 (5-5-5-15) 2.2V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC

# XFX, Radeon™ HD 4890 850MHz, 1GB GDDR5 3900MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI /2, HDTV-Out, Retail

# WESTERN DIGITAL, 640GB WD Caviar® SE16 (WD6400AAKS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200-RPM, 16MB cache

# LITE-ON, iHDP118 Black 18x48x DVD-ROM Drive, IDE, OEM

# SAMSUNG, TS-H552U Beige 16x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, EIDE/ATAPI, Retail

# ROSEWILL, RCR-IM5001 Black/Silver 75-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive w/ 3 USB 2.0 and eSATA ports, 3.5" Bay, SATA, USB 2.0

# CREATIVE, Sound Blaster® Audigy® SE, 7.1 channels, 24-bit, 96KHz, PCI, OEM

# ANTEC, 120mm TriCool Case Fan, Red LED
# MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Home Basic Edition 64-bit w/ SP1, OEM

# WARRANTY, Assembled and Tested (1 Year Parts, Lifetime Labor Warranty) Total price 1084$. Plus 66 shipping. Thanks again.
August 2, 2009 4:18:36 AM

Dont get the audigy SE, its not a great sound card, the onboard sound is higher quality as it is HDA. What resolution monitor are you going to be using? Unless its 1920x1200 that 4890 is overkill.

Another thing i just spotted, get 1 SATA optical drive, not 1 IDE and 1 EIDE.

And if you build it yourself that system would cost about 800, and as long as you check with a forum like this before ordering your parts the chances of something going wrong are slim and the chances of them being expensive are very very slim.
August 2, 2009 4:26:02 AM

Thanks for the tips. That will save me a few bucks. Im not sure what resolution since im short on cash , the monitor upgrade will have to come later. The one i have now is 1024x768 but will deff upgrade it in the next few months since its only 15 inch. Probably something like 1680x900 or 1680x1050.
Related resources
August 2, 2009 4:29:39 AM

Wow okay then, drop down to a 4850, it will be bottlenecked heavily by the CPU until you upgrade your monitor but it will handle 1680x1050 quite well and save you quite a bit, it will also allow you to swap the PSU out for an Antec EA500, it can handle a 4850 easily and runs quite efficiently and quietly. That should save you even more.

Get the 1GB one by XFX that they offer, XFX comes with a cooler to exhaust heat out the back and a double lifetime warranty(for you and whoever you sell it to)
August 2, 2009 4:37:58 AM

lol from your reply is 1680x1050 a crap rez? How would the 4850 handle games like command and conquer 3, COD 4/5 , crysis, Wow etc.. I've never had a nice computer and really want to get something that kicks ass for time to come. Thanks for all your help.
August 2, 2009 4:38:30 AM

Here is another system from AVADirect that gives you a chipset that isn't EOL, like the LGA775 Socket.

PC BAREBONE, Phenom™ II X4 CrossFireX™ DDR3-1333 Performance Barebone Kit Total Cost: $1067.36
* COOLER MASTER, Elite 335 Black Mid Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, Steel
* CORSAIR, CMPSU-650TX TX Series Power Supply, 650W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, SLI Ready
* GIGABYTE, GA-MA790XT-UD4P (rev. 1.0), AM3, AMD 790X, DDR3-1666 (O.C.) 16GB /4, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 3.0 Gb/s RAID 5 /8, HDA, GbLAN, FW /3, ATX, Retail
* AMD, Phenom™ II X3 720 Triple-Core 2.8GHz, AM3, HT 4000MHz, 3x 512KB L2 + 6MB L3 cache, 95W, 45nm, Black Edition, Retail
* XIGMATEK, H.D.T. HDT-S1283 CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink, Socket 775/754/939/940/AM2, 120mm Fan, Copper/Aluminum, Retail
* ARCTIC SILVER, Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound, Polysynthetic Silver
* OCZ, 4GB (2 x 2GB) Platinum Edition PC3-10666 DDR3 1333MHz CL (7-7-7-20) 1.8V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
* SAPPHIRE, Radeon™ HD 4850 625MHz, 1GB GDDR3 1986MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, VGA+DVI, HDMI, Retail
* WESTERN DIGITAL, 640GB WD Caviar® SE16 (WD6400AAKS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200-RPM, 16MB cache
* SAMSUNG, Super-WriteMaster™ SH-S223B Black 22x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, OEM
* ROSEWILL, RCR-IM5001 Black/Silver 75-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive w/ 3 USB 2.0 and eSATA ports, 3.5" Bay, SATA, USB 2.0
* MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition SP1, w/ Free Windows 7 Upgrade Coupon, OEM
* WARRANTY, Assembled and Tested (1 Year Parts, Lifetime Labor Warranty)
August 2, 2009 4:41:14 AM

That's a horrible deal and a horrible system to put it frankly. Here's some of the problems with the current build you have: DDR2, socket 775, 4890, IDE, Sound Card, and Vista Basic.
I would recommend something like this which would superior, cheaper, more balanced, and more fun for you.
CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOBO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ODD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now that's a real system! Hope this helps you out!
August 2, 2009 4:44:17 AM

The wow was at the 1024x768 on a 15" screen. 1680x1050 is moderately high, its higher than the monitor i am currently running can support. The 4850 should be able to handle those easily, i can run crysis on high at 1280x1024 at a constant 60 FPS with my 4850 so you should still have playable framerates even if you up the resolution a bit.

I would take tecmo's build over the one you listed, but i would still go for the xfx card for the dual slot cooler, and save a bit by dropping down to an EA500 but that should bring you down a bit and it will give you upgrade options for the future while performing better than the Q8400.
August 2, 2009 4:45:23 AM

Thank you for your direct reply and frankness, that really helps me out. I will give that system a look and price it out. Really appreciate all the help guys thanks a lot.
August 2, 2009 4:47:31 AM

dca22 said:
Thank you for your direct reply and frankness, that really helps me out. I will give that system a look and price it out. Really appreciate all the help guys thanks a lot.


That's what we're here for :) 
August 2, 2009 5:03:23 AM
August 3, 2009 2:35:01 AM

Thanks tecmo i got my eye on the ava build u posted.. thanks for your help
August 5, 2009 9:18:29 PM

dca22,


I just wanted to extend some information to you. I noticed that you were configuring your system in the barebone section, which only offers a 1-year warranty. You can configure almost the exact same options, in one of our desktop configurators with a 3-year warranty, for close to the same price!

CUSTOM DESKTOP COMPUTER, Core™2 CrossFire™ DDR2 Performance Series System

COOLER MASTER, Elite 331 Black Mid Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, Steel
CORSAIR, CMPSU-650TX TX Series Power Supply, 650W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, SLI Ready
ASUS, P5Q Pro Turbo, LGA775, Intel® P45, 1600MHz FSB, DDR2-1300 16GB /4, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 3.0 Gb/s RAID 5 /7, HDA, GbLAN, FW /2, ATX, Retail
INTEL, Core™ 2 Quad Q8200 Quad-Core 2.33GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache, 45nm, 95W, EM64T EIST XD, Retail
ARCTIC COOLING, Freezer 7 Pro Quiet CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink, Socket 775, Ceramic Bearing, Retail
KINGSTON, 4GB (2 x 2GB) HyperX PC2-8500 DDR2 1066MHz CL5 (5-5-5-15) 2.2V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
XFX, Radeon™ HD 4890 850MHz, 1GB GDDR5 3900MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI /2, HDTV-Out, Retail
WESTERN DIGITAL, 500GB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD5001AALS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache
RAID, No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
LITE-ON, iHDS118 Black 18x48x DVD-ROM Drive, SATA, OEM
SONY, AD-7241S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, OEM
ROSEWILL, RCR-IM5001 Black/Silver 75-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive w/ 3 USB 2.0 and eSATA ports, 3.5" Bay, SATA, USB 2.0
MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition SP1, w/ Free Windows 7 Upgrade Coupon, OEM
WARRANTY, Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)
$1087.20

I changed some items:

Hard drive: Has double the amount of the SE16's cache (32MB), which will give you better performance.
Optical drives: Changed them to SATA, for better air cooling and connectivity.
Antec fan: Removed because it is simply not needed.

All in all, I think it's a better deal to configure your system under the "Performance Series System" configurator.

Should you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.


Kind Regards,

Joseph Mundy
joseph.mundy@avadirect.com
August 5, 2009 9:29:37 PM

Nice build Joesph...

I would still recommend going with an AM3 build at that price range. The LGA 775 is EOL and has no upgrade path, which the AM3 does. What can you come up with on a AM3 platform?
August 5, 2009 10:03:56 PM

Dude, buld it yourself and save the money. Tecmo's build is a good one. Only thing I would do is drop the aftermarket HSF unless you plan to OC. Its not that hard and you've got all these nice people here at Tom's to help. Plus there are guides all over the internet. Might even be able to save enough to get you a decent LCD monitor.

If you're bent on having it pre-built, check out Cyberpowerpc.com. Look at their free shipping models and configure. Those deals at avadirect don't look too good to me. Old tech at new prices.
August 5, 2009 10:11:43 PM

Just threw this config together on cyberpower:

•CAS: New! CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower Case with See-Thru Side Panel [-10]
•CASUPGRADE: NONE
•CS_FAN: Default case fans
•CPU: AMD Phenom™II X3 720 Black Edition Triple-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
•CD: (Special Price) LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive (BLACK COLOR)
•CD2: NONE
•FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)
•FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
•FREEGAME_VC02: None
•FREEBIE_RM: None
•FLOPPY: NONE
•FREEBIE_OS: None
•HDD: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
•HDD2: NONE
•IEEE_CARD: NONE
•KEYBOARD: NONE [-4]
•MOUSE: NONE [-3]
•MODEM: NONE
•MULTIVIEW: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
•MONITOR: NONE
•MONITOR2: NONE
•MOTHERBOARD: Asus M4A77TD PRO AM3 DDR3 AMD 770 Chipset CrossFireX Technology SATA RAID MB w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio
•MEMORY: 4GB (2GBx2) PC1333 DDR3 PC3 10666 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Dominator [+48])
•NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
•OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 [+104] (64-bit Edition)
•OS_UPGRADE: (Free Upgrade Coupon) Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium ($29-$29 Mail-In-Rebate = Free) [+29] (64-bit Edition)
•PRINTER: None
•PRINTER_CABLE: None
•POWERSUPPLY: Corsair Power Supplies [+66] (650 Watts CMPSU-650TX - Quad SLI Ready)
•RUSH: NO; READY TO SHIP IN 5~10 BUSINESS DAYS
•SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
•SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
•SPEAKERS: None [-5]
•TEMP: NONE
•TVRC: None
•USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
•USBHD: NONE
•VIDEO: ATI Radeon HD 4850 PCI-E 16X 1GB Video Card [+17] (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
•VIDEO2: None
•VIDEOCAMERA: NONE
•WNC: NONE
•_PRICE: (+867)

That price includes shipping and is better than the avadirect deal. You can find a decent 19 or 20" LCD for around the same or less than the $1,000 plus you'll spend at the other place.
!