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Questions about first ever PC Build

Hey everyone, Im a 14 year old trying to figure out how to build my own custom PC.

Let me start out by saying, I know a bit about computers, and I dont want to buy an overpriced mac or a dell, because frankly, they just want you're money.
The main focus of this build is to create a computer that will do heavy gaming.
I've already picked out all of my parts, and its come out to a total of about $900 after taxes.

Store: TigerDirect (Located in Canada)

1. I want to buy a motherboard that comes bundled with an intel i3 530 processor.
...BUT does it support PCI-E 2.0? The video card I want to buy is PCI-E 2.0, but it doesnt specify whether it does or not, and if it doesn't support 2.0, will the PCI-E 2.0 video card still work okay with it?

2. How big of a PSU should I get? (Wattage)
Heres all of the components I will be getting...

i. Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Black Case (Has a total of 4 fans)
ii. OCZ PC3-10666 Platinum RAM - 4GB, 2x2GB, 1333MHz, DDR3, Low Voltage, Dual Channel
iii. Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H Motherboard
iv. Intel Core i3 530 Processor (iii & iv come in a bundle as mentioned above)
v. Seagate ST3250318AS Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 250GB, 7200, 8MB, SATA-300
vi. XFX GeForce 9800 GT 512MB PCIe Video Card and Call Of Duty 4 Video Game Bundle - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, (2) Dual Link DVI, HDTV, VGA Support (1.3 lbs)
vii. Lite-On IHAS124-04 Internal DVD Writer - DVD+R 24X, DVD-R 24X, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6X, DVD+R DL 8X, SATA (OEM) (1.6 lbs)

3. Should I buy an aftermarket heatsink to replace the stock intel one?

4. If I take my sound card out of this current 9 year old dell Im using to post this with, is it; the same, better than, or worse than the onboard sound outputs?

Thanks for any help that anyone gives me, and Im sorry if I posted in the wrong section, I have many different types of questions.

14 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. One more thing, should I get the intel i3 530 processor and gigabyte mobo, or this:

    The Intel Pentium Dual Core E6500 Processor, and the ASUS mobo?
  2. NVM, the first suggest mobo with the i3 beats the pentium duo by a lot.
    I looked it up haha, but please I still need help with the above questions
  3. 1. Yes, virtually any motherboard built today is PCIe 2.0. Even if not, a PCIe 2.0 card will work in an old PCIe 1.0 slot because the technology is backwards compatibility. You should only notice a performance hit with the really high-end cards.

    2. Anything over 500W should be more than enough. Probably even a little less would be plenty, but this also gives you room to upgrade to a DX11 card like the 5770 later if you choose ... the card you picked is OK for now but not great. Also, if you have a large monitor (1600 pixels and up), you will benefit from a video card with 1GB of RAM.

    3. Probably. Intel stock heatsinks are usually shite. Pretty much anything with heatpipes will do better.

    4. You don't really NEED a sound card anymore these days unless you're doing some really heavy-duty stuff like sound editing, or you have an insane sound system set up. For general use and gaming, most people will hardly notice any difference with a sound card or without. A 9-year old card I can't really speak to, but I don't really see much positive to it. Perhaps someone more familiar can answer it definitively.
  4. yuor cpu + mobo combo is fine... as for the psu get a 500 or 600 W from any branded company...

    after market cooler ?? i don't think the core i3 requires it... it overclocks pretty well with the stock cooler itself...

    about the graphics card - are u buying it brand new ?? if yes i'd suggest an ati 5770 which i think performs better than the 9800gt...
  5. OMFG you guys are the best, I chose a small mid tower case, and shaved down $740 to $691, and thats with a 700watt PSU ahaha!
    I have extra money for a better heatsink, one 200mm red led fan, AND games (If i cant find a decent keygen)

    BTW can I use my dads copy of xp on my system? He has installed it onto about 4 other computers, and I know you have to register it, but can you use your copy as many times as you want??
  6. i think the video card is really good for me, I have a 20" crt monitor, so its not that big of a deal, and I used to play on a shitty 256mb passively cooled nvidia card (over 9 years old)
  7. I want to ask one more thing, if there is any better card for the SAME PRICE OR LESS card than the 9800gt, please tell me... if it is ATI what difference is there really between ati and nvidia?

    I only chose nvidia because its the only other brand of card I had.
  8. haha sorry for posting again, so soon, I dont know anything about overclocking, except that you do it from the bios, and that you need a custom heatsink...

    my question is, if the i3 processor is locked which it is, how exactly do i overclock?
    Since I'm gonna buy a better heatsink anyways I'd like to know...

    OH yeah, am i okay with 500 watts, or should i go with 550 or 600 to stay on the safe side?
  9. okay i promise this is my last question, can I used a dvi to vga converter so that I can use my 20" crt monitor which is vga on my 9800gt which is dvi?
  10. ninelivesproductions said:
    okay i promise this is my last question, can I used a dvi to vga converter so that I can use my 20" crt monitor which is vga on my 9800gt which is dvi?

    Yes. I have DVI -> VGA converters on all my cards to I can use my old KVM switch.

    Be a little careful about the power supply. There's a lot of junk masquerading as power supplies out there. What brands do you have available?

    Overclocking - it you push your CPU as far as you can without increasing the core voltage, you probably won't need an after market cooler.

    i3/i5 - Can't help there. I don't upgrade until I need to ("need" being defined as wanting to do something that I can't with my present systems).
  11. Best answer
    In the price range of ~$100 where you're at for video cards, the HD4850 should be a significant improvement over the 9800GT. GTS 250 would be the rough equivalent on the Nvidia side, though you'll probably have to pay more or settle for a 512MB version. Here's a convenient ranking if that helps:,2569-6.html

    As far as overclocking goes, the huge majority of it is going to be about making adjustments to get to a stable point (speed, temperature and system stability-wise) for your individual system. Outcomes can vary from one setup to another, and even from chip to chip in identical systems. To answer two of your questions on a very basic level:

    1. You do not absolutely need a better heatsink to do do overclocking, but if it were my machine I would. Of course, I don't like Intel's stock coolers, so I'd probably have a third-party heatsink anyway.

    2. If the multiplier is locked on a chip, the way to overclock is by increasing the FSB. Increase the FSB enough and you'll eventually need to increase the core voltage too. In many cases, you'll also need to keep an eye on your RAM speed and adjust it accordingly as well in order to get a stable system ... but now we're getting to the point where it's better if you just read one of the detailed guides in the overclocking forum instead of relying on what we can say in a few sentences in this thread.
  12. Best answer selected by NineLivesProductions.
  13. I was playing some CSS on my Dads 9500gt and it was beautiful!

    I asked some people about all of this stuff and someone suggested going to, so I went and saved 100 bucks! and I get a 650watt psu!
  14. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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