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Newbie. Need some help...Q&A

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August 26, 2009 4:46:00 PM

I know I'm supposed to have a big worksheet/layout on here. But I honestly dont know where to begin.

This is hopefully going to basically be a Q&A thread. I know some and I know I can use the wonderful Google, but Id rather hear from real people sitting at their real (hopefully built) computers.
Please dont bash me and try to tell me that Im not ready for the build because I know I am not ready to build or even order parts yet. Right now I am looking for some (up to date) answers about a few products and a few aspects of building a new computer.

1. What is the significance of hyper threading when looking for a processor. Since I have started looking for parts (CPUs first) I have told myself I would go with Core2Duo and I was looking anywhere from the 8200 to the 8400/8500. I see there is no hyperthreading in any of these.

I currently have an hp xw8200 Workstation with dual 3.2Ghz procs with hyperthreading and I have 4GB of ram. this thing is not as awesome as someone told me it would be...it bogs down with just 2-3 programs open. which leads me to my next question.

2. OS...? I want Vista...jsut because its supposedly a lot better now. But Im not sure about it because its 64bit. Im currently running 64bit XP on my hp and ive been told that could be one of the reasons its slowing down and freezing up...??

3. Ive also looked into Linux a bit. I want to be able to COMPLETELY customize this computer...hardware and software/OS...would this be too hard to learn?? ive never even touched into linux at all...just learned enough that its ridiculously customizable...?

Any Comments Welcome.

Thank you.

More about : newbie

August 26, 2009 4:47:32 PM

As far as Dollar amount...that is yet to be determined...but imi looking to spend maybe 400-600??
And this will not happen for at least a few months(3-4).
August 26, 2009 5:00:10 PM

in 3-4 months socket 775 will be dead and buried
Related resources
August 26, 2009 5:02:06 PM

wow...good answer...
so this i5 stuff is what to get?
or should i not even bother until intel decides what socket is going to not "be dead and buried"??
August 26, 2009 5:03:39 PM

Hyper threading doubles the number of logical cores, useful if you are running a lot of programs, not very useful if you are only running 3 or 4 single threaded programs as most are.

What type of work are you doing on the HP workstation? 4GB of ram is likely insufficient, however xp 64 was know to have some issues. What type of work are you going to be using this system for?

The dual core xeons you are using are based on old hyper threaded P4s, any modern quad would greatly out perform them, especially an i7 build.
August 26, 2009 5:08:09 PM

hunter315 said:
Hyper threading doubles the number of logical cores, useful if you are running a lot of programs, not very useful if you are only running 3 or 4 single threaded programs as most are.

What type of work are you doing on the HP workstation? 4GB of ram is likely insufficient, however xp 64 was know to have some issues. What type of work are you going to be using this system for?

The dual core xeons you are using are based on old hyper threaded P4s, any modern quad would greatly out perform them, especially an i7 build.


Im doing mostly browsing, listening to music, some games, and watchign movies..

Im going to do a lot of photoshop work, browsing, and gaming (very minimal)

And how is the 4GB of ram insufficient? I thought 4GB was on the higher end of the spectrum. I know its able to have 16 but I thought 4 was still pretty good.
August 26, 2009 5:08:44 PM

you could wait for the i5 but i believe it will be a bit pricy and socket 775 has been round a long time but it jus cant take any more refinement but you could still get socket 775 parts will be cheap but costs will rise a lot in a yr due to none being produced anymore and demand for repair parts rises. have you considered amd by any chance good bang for buck and with a lot of life in the am3 socket it is an alternative on a budget
August 26, 2009 5:09:39 PM

In terms of OS and windows. Windows 7 will be released at the end of October and everyone is saying it is nice, and if you buy Vista right now, you get a "free" upgrade to Windows 7 (most of the time), so Vista is sorta on the way out. Also, 64-bit is the way to go, and i have read that XP-64 was not as spectacular as Vista or Windows 7. Also, a 32-bit system will only be able to use up to 4GB of RAM (and its actually less), however a 64-Bit system is not that limited, and most people will be going with 6GB, but also, with your budget, 4GB will probably be what you end up with, but at least with a 64-bit system you can expand and upgrade as you have extra money to spend on the system.
August 26, 2009 5:11:44 PM

I ahve never owned AMD...jjust thought id stick to what i have been using...


This quote taken from another site about the i5 & i7 debacle...?

"I thought i5 wouldn't have a northbridge because it would be fully intergrated into the cpu thus why i5 is mainstream...i7 has a northbridge for overclocking and thus why I heard the rumor from a reputable source that core i5 wouldn't overclock because all the multipliers/controllers were intergrated and locked inside the cpu. Intel would save money not having to produce a northbridge on every motherboard for i5 making it a more afordable and cost effective platform since the mainstream market isn't going to be overclocking their processors. I'm pretty sure i7 is the performance chip."

I dont know exactly what this is saying but it looks to me like the i5's are going to be crappier than the i7 and less customizable...?
And AMD isnt out of the picture I just havent heard much about them good or bad....
August 26, 2009 5:12:59 PM

jared51182 said:
In terms of OS and windows. Windows 7 will be released at the end of October and everyone is saying it is nice, and if you buy Vista right now, you get a "free" upgrade to Windows 7 (most of the time), so Vista is sorta on the way out. Also, 64-bit is the way to go, and i have read that XP-64 was not as spectacular as Vista or Windows 7. Also, a 32-bit system will only be able to use up to 4GB of RAM (and its actually less), however a 64-Bit system is not that limited, and most people will be going with 6GB, but also, with your budget, 4GB will probably be what you end up with, but at least with a 64-bit system you can expand and upgrade as you have extra money to spend on the system.

Ive heard that only a fraction of the stuff (software and such) has compatibility with 64...? Or is that just with XP64?
August 26, 2009 5:17:32 PM

I haven't heard very many complaints yet about Windows 7 64-bit, but I could be wrong. Others may be able to weigh in on this, but I am pretty sure there shouldn't be any issues. The Release Candidate for Win7 has been out for a nice long time, and you are looking to purchase a couple months after the official release, so things should be fairly well locked down by then.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that the 64-bit OS shouldn't affect installation and running of the majority of programs. Also, as Hunter said, XP-64 had had a number of reported issues, but 64-bit has been out for a while now, for developers to work with.
August 26, 2009 5:18:06 PM

based on current trends 32bit os is slowly dying out with more demanding 64bit software doing rounds and 4 gigs ram becoming a standard
August 26, 2009 5:19:55 PM

xp had a crappy 64 bit vista 64 bit was an improvement but win7 64 bit will give better performance then any windows ever
August 26, 2009 5:21:34 PM

Question 1). C2D's actually, the LGA 775 Socket family is phased out or"is going to be" meaning, that particular socket isn't being future proofed, isn't making anymore cpu's.

hyper-threading: CPU's that make one physical CPU appear as two logical CPUs. It uses additional registers to overlap two instruction streams in order to achieve an approximate 30% gain in performance. Multithreaded applications take advantage of the Hyper-Threaded hardware.

Question 2). I don't see how a windows software can slow down your system unless you have spyware problems or to many downloaded softwares on a small HDD. Vista 64bit is a pretty descent window's and you can now buy it with the windows 7 upgrade.

Question 3). Stick with vista, my friend had vista and went to linux, after finding out it sucked he had a difficult time getting windows re installed.


Now, not knowing what this computer is for, i'd still prefer a neat am3 build. AM3 has began to spread into mid ranged builds aswell as high ranged build and still is able to be future upgradable.





Wow, I was going to be the first one to post then all a sudden theres like 7 infront of me already.
August 26, 2009 5:24:29 PM

:o  we should learn to type faster
August 26, 2009 5:24:47 PM

For photoshop work you can sometimes over stress 4GB of ram, especially in the dual processor setup as they both only have access to 2GBs which is on the lower end of the spectrum.

Without windows you can get a high end AMD quad core for about 1000, for about 1200 you can get an i7 with hyperthreading.

The only issue with 64 bit windows is that you have to find 64 bit drivers, all modern programs are compatible with it, ancient 16 bit programs are not but few people use them. The 64 bit windows 7 RC hasnt given me any compatibility issues at all, even with some of my older programs.

The i5 is designed to be cheaper and more mainstream than the i7 which was supposed to be a server processor not a desktop processor, so yes the i5 will be a poorer performing i7 but it will also cost less.
August 26, 2009 5:28:34 PM

obsidian86 said:
:o  we should learn to type faster



I'm sure I can type fast enough, I just got caught up in work.
August 26, 2009 5:32:20 PM

sorry..im on break at work and i saw that ppl were ACTUALLY responding...so i thought id get as much outa ya as i could while i was on break and hopefully you were still logged on....

if I were to have a 500 dollar budget....what could I get....?

I only want 2GB RAM...dont aask why...but jsut to start with...I ahve everything but the computer itself...monitor, seakers, and such I have...i just neede the computer...

thanks...back to work..
August 26, 2009 5:32:44 PM

oh, and no HD...i can get em cheap from a guy...lol
August 26, 2009 5:34:20 PM

I am using the 64bit Win7 RC. All but one (an obsolete photo manager) of my programs run on it, including some older ones that didn't work under 32bit XP. It uses the Vista 64bit drivers, and so far I haven't had any trouble finding them for my hardware (video cards, mice, keyboard, a couple of printers.
Depending on what hardware you already have, a budget of $400-$600 almost definitely means AMD. Fortunately, you'll be able to build a surprisingly decent little machine, especially since it sounds like your priority is not the latest and greatest games ("...'some' games..."). What games did you have in mind? Knowing what video card you will need to get playable framerates will establish pretty well what's left for other components.
The last place to go cheap is the PSU. There are, fortunately, some good, inexpensive ones (e.g. Antec Earthwatts), but cheap ones are usually overrated pieces of fecal matter that self-destruct under load, possibly taking other parts with them.


August 26, 2009 5:40:17 PM

With the parts you already have and a $500 budget, you're probably looking at an AMD X3 720BE on a 790GX board with 4GB of RAM (a 2x2GB kit; little sense in just getting 2GB any more). What's your monitor's resolution?
August 26, 2009 5:43:10 PM

Just did this one for a guy in another thread


Rosewill MicroATX case $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lite on DVD burner $28
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

500GB Seagate 12 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

720/vista business $249
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Corsair 400CX $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4GB DDR2 800/Gigabyte 785g $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$527 before $20 MIR on the PSU

I really suggest 4GB of ram, it helps alot, since you dont need the hard drive i would suggest upping the PSU to an EA650, that will give you some head room to add in a discrete graphics card in the future.
August 26, 2009 5:47:59 PM

if you can stretch that budget too $700 i bet you could find something that would double the performance of what you currently got
August 26, 2009 5:48:23 PM

Don't really need to do that, the PSU can stay and will still run a 4850. Sapphire 4850 for $94 on newegg.
August 26, 2009 5:55:41 PM

Hunter's build looks decent. Without the hard drive, I'd try to fit a 4670 into the build, which can play a lot of games pretty well as long as the resolution isn't too high. Also, the Earthwatts 380W PSU is $40, but no rebate game to play.
August 26, 2009 5:57:34 PM

Here is a build from $400 to $600 without the HDD

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Lite On 24x dvd

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sapphire 4850

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
400cx PSU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
OCZ Reapers ddr3 1600 + evo Asus AM3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Vista 64-bit + x3 720 BE

$584.

Looking still for more combo's since I didnt put in a case.
August 26, 2009 6:07:19 PM

You can also get the 720BE in a combo with Vista Home Premium for $214.
August 26, 2009 6:08:42 PM




•CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
•MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
•RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
•HSF: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
•PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ... - Retail
•GPU: XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
•DVD: LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS50 - OEM
•Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
•Thermal Compound: Comes with heatsink.
build borrowed from tecmo it comes too $652
August 26, 2009 6:09:26 PM

should drop bout $20-$30 with combo's
August 26, 2009 6:11:12 PM

The OCZ RAM fullmetall linked needs 1.9V. The JEDEC standard is 1.5V.
August 26, 2009 7:18:37 PM

hunter315 said:
Just did this one for a guy in another thread


Rosewill MicroATX case $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lite on DVD burner $28
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

500GB Seagate 12 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

720/vista business $249
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Corsair 400CX $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4GB DDR2 800/Gigabyte 785g $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$527 before $20 MIR on the PSU

I really suggest 4GB of ram, it helps alot, since you dont need the hard drive i would suggest upping the PSU to an EA650, that will give you some head room to add in a discrete graphics card in the future.



so im spending half my build on VISTA....and the CPU...nvm...
August 26, 2009 7:19:54 PM

Onus said:
You can also get the 720BE in a combo with Vista Home Premium for $214.

giberish...???
August 26, 2009 7:50:51 PM

hunter315 said:
No, you are spending half your build on vista and your CPU in a combo. If you dont need the business features swap down to home premium, it saves you 35.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


yeah. sorry i didnt see that it was a combo...

ok, now im about to start all over with this thread...i know, you hate me. sorry.

When looking for a case to use, what are some pros cons. If I got with a more expensive CPU Mobo will i need a case with extra fans? Is it wortth it to get the fans and such? or can I buy something else?
August 26, 2009 8:00:29 PM

Get a case with decent airflow or the option to add more fans in the future if its running hot. The antec 300 comes with 2 to start with but you can add 3 more 120mm fans if you need them.

Pick one you like that has enough drive bays for your needs, a midtower ATX case is fine for most people, if you arent adding multiple graphics cards or doing a heavy overclock you wont need the added airflow of a full tower case.
August 26, 2009 8:18:32 PM

ok, power supply. im not sure what i want but i want the possibility of upgrading and possibly overclocking (after a while)

ive been told nothing under 500 and i should be fine....tru? fals?
August 26, 2009 8:22:36 PM

Definitely false. The 400cx works just aswell as a 500w. It's been benchmarked on 2 8800gts's(which is a good thing) at has the power. A 400cx is a Corsair PSU, Most all Corsairs are recommended as the Single rail psu's began to sale. it will easily run this system.
August 26, 2009 8:24:11 PM

Depends on the system. If you are starting with an IGP and want the option of upgrading to a low end GPU in the future a 400 or 450 would be fine, if you are starting with a 4850 and want the option to crossfire in the future 500 or 550 is what you want, for a 4870 get a 650, for a 4890 get a 750, all of those numbers assume its a good PSU, the corsair 400CX is stronger than some cheapo 500watts, you never want to skimp on the PSU, and if it has a little red voltage switch dont get it.
August 26, 2009 8:27:46 PM

A quality 380W-450W PSU beats a generic piece-o-crap "650W" PSU any day. Antec Earthwatts are good budget choices, at any of their available wattages. Other good manufacturers are Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, Enermax, and some OCZ. Look for one that has full range Active PFC (no little voltage switch) and is 80+ certified for efficiency.
We still don't know what "some games" means, or your monitor's resolution. This will determine how powerful a video card you need, and that determines the wattage of PSU you should get. In the absence of further details, an Earthwatts 500W or Truepower New 550W PSU would be pretty safe choices for a single video card. If you aren't likely to ever want anything stronger than an ATI 4830 or nVidia 9600GT, the Earthwatts 380W PSU is only $40 on Newegg right now.
August 26, 2009 9:08:09 PM

hunter315 said:
Depends on the system. If you are starting with an IGP and want the option of upgrading to a low end GPU in the future a 400 or 450 would be fine, if you are starting with a 4850 and want the option to crossfire in the future 500 or 550 is what you want, for a 4870 get a 650, for a 4890 get a 750, all of those numbers assume its a good PSU, the corsair 400CX is stronger than some cheapo 500watts, you never want to skimp on the PSU, and if it has a little red voltage switch dont get it.

and these numbers are...? GPUs? more info...?

im using this..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1920 x 1080

and some games means some FPS...CSS, Combat Arms, and possibly others. Idk...im not going to buy games until I have something decent to run them...

and
August 26, 2009 9:17:56 PM

the three digit numbers are the wattage ratings of the PSUs, the four digit ones are AMD GPUs. For 1920x1080 an HD 4870 or HD 4890 will let you play on high settings, in which case you will want a 650 watt or 750 watt PSU from corsair, antec, PC Power & Cooling, seasonic, or OCZ.
August 26, 2009 9:35:38 PM

the corsair power supplies ending in HX are modular, thats why they are usually more expensive. They are slightly different PSUs, same with the 520HX and 550VX, however the 750TX and 750HX are the same PSU with modular being the only difference.

Unlike most corsair power supplies the 620hx and 520hx are not single rail designs and require a bit of math to figure out the available power.
August 26, 2009 9:44:12 PM

hunter315 said:
the corsair power supplies ending in HX are modular, thats why they are usually more expensive. They are slightly different PSUs, same with the 520HX and 550VX, however the 750TX and 750HX are the same PSU with modular being the only difference.

Unlike most corsair power supplies the 620hx and 520hx are not single rail designs and require a bit of math to figure out the available power.

help?
what is the actual output on a modular? what is ""the math"?

ps will the prices for the 775socket go up?down? with i5 coming shortly?
i know the best is i7 but for "budget" sake...would i want to wait for i5 or go ahead and get the 775socket?
August 26, 2009 9:49:37 PM

99.9% of power supplies listed on newegg have the image you need shown. For multi rail power supplies try to find this image
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...
You see under the 3 12 volt rails it lists each one at 18 amps, if you exceed 18 amps on a single rail the power supply will automatically shut off, and under that it lists max combined wattage as 600 watts for the 3 12 volt rails, 600watts/12 volts=50 amps if you exceed 50 amps of combined load on all three of the rails it will turn off.

Just try to find that picture whenever you need to compare multirail PSUs, you want most of the available power on the 12 volt rails.
August 26, 2009 9:56:38 PM

thanks a lot for all your help today, im sure it will continue tomorrow ....after reading up all night on different probably random things.
August 26, 2009 10:48:28 PM

Your better off going with an amd build at this price point, since 775 support will be nonexistant very very soon.

Modular just means that the cables supplying power to your system can be detached or attached depending on how many your need, which makes the inside of your system look a bit cleaner. just click on some of the other pictures in the link that hunter provided.

If your planning to build your computer, you definitely do a bit more reading before taking the dive on buying anything, just remember we can always be here to help.
August 27, 2009 1:52:13 AM

Deceptive and not very good, the first one is sold out, second one is only a 32 off combo with a slow hard drive, third one is a decent combo but the seagate 11 series was known to have issues.
!