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My first full build

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January 10, 2010 1:04:07 PM

My son wants a PC for his birthday and he has earned it. I don't want to go over $400. here's what I came up with after some limited research.
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx?Sub...

We already have a 500GHz hard drive, a half decent CD/DVD burner, a CD/dvd rom drive and an Evga gs9500gt 1 ghz
will this make a good gaming PC and should I change anything that will still keep us under budget.
Thanks I know I will get good advice here, I always do.

More about : full build

January 10, 2010 1:08:36 PM

Link shows empty cart

What is he planning on using this PC for? If gaming is the main reason you may want to beef up the power with a new card. Look at 4850, 4870 models.
January 10, 2010 1:12:16 PM

Please excuse my spell checker I know it's GB not GHz
I did intentionally leave some upgradability in the system. he can earn that later. ;) 
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January 10, 2010 1:14:08 PM

Gaming is the goal but budget is the limit. he can upgrade later.
January 10, 2010 1:17:55 PM

Good idea since you are planning on spending enough already. He will be able to play what is out now but the performance will motivate him to upgrade soon.

Well, the link is still showing an empty cart. Can't really inform you much further until you inform us. List the parts and I will check them out.
January 10, 2010 1:27:35 PM



heres what I was thinking
January 10, 2010 1:34:10 PM

Hmm..

It could be much better for a few extra dollars. Swap the motherboard with Gigabyte's UD3P AM3 motherboard and select an Athlon II processor. Should cost you ~$45 more but it would be worth it.

This RAM will cost you just as much and is 2GB.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 10, 2010 9:57:59 PM

My shopping list 2.0

January 10, 2010 10:27:08 PM

Rosewill is not noted for quality psu's.
Consider anything from Corsair, Antec instead.

Shopping tips for Vista:
1) Do you qualify for an academic license?
If so, you can get windows-7 at a discounted price. About $30, I think.
2) Look for an upgrade version of home premium instead of OEM.
Upgrade is a retail version which gives you support from microsoft, unlike OEM(AKA system builder),
and allows a more hassel-free ability to transfer the os to a different pc(motherboard).
You get both 32 bit and 64 bit DVD's.

There is a legitimate two step instalation process to install an upgrade version
You install windows-7 from the cd, but do not initially enter the product code or activate.
After it installs, you have a fully functional OS for 30 days.
Step 2 is to insert the dvd again, while running Windows and then do an upgrade.
This time, enter your product code, and activate.
After activation. you may delete the initial version which is named windows.old.

A cpu cooler will come with a retail cpu. It will be adequate.
January 11, 2010 9:16:23 AM

thanks for the info but this is not an upgrade it's a new system. even if we were to upgrade the PC he has it would be going from Xp home. The only vista in the house is in my laptop.
The CPU on the first cart didn't specified having a cooler but in the new and improved cart I changed out the CPU following BohleyK's advice and that one did list a cooler on the contents.
thanks
January 11, 2010 1:10:34 PM

smokey14 said:
thanks for the info but this is not an upgrade it's a new system. even if we were to upgrade the PC he has it would be going from Xp home. The only vista in the house is in my laptop.
The CPU on the first cart didn't specified having a cooler but in the new and improved cart I changed out the CPU following BohleyK's advice and that one did list a cooler on the contents.
thanks

An upgrade version can be used on a new PC. Reread the directions above; it has some advantages.
January 11, 2010 5:49:22 PM

1) Do you qualify for an academic license?
How do I find out if I/he is qualified?

If so, you can get windows-7 at a discounted price. About $30, I think.
2) Look for an upgrade version of home premium instead of OEM.
Upgrade is a retail version which gives you support from microsoft, unlike OEM(AKA system builder),
Were would I look for an upgraded version?

allows a more hassel-free ability to transfer the os to a different pc(motherboard).
Does that mean we would use his old Xp home license with the upgrade? if so can we still use the xp on the old pc?
Sorry for all the follow up questions but now you have my attention.


January 11, 2010 6:10:34 PM

smokey14 said:
1) Do you qualify for an academic license?
How do I find out if I/he is qualified?

If so, you can get windows-7 at a discounted price. About $30, I think.
2) Look for an upgrade version of home premium instead of OEM.
Upgrade is a retail version which gives you support from microsoft, unlike OEM(AKA system builder),
Were would I look for an upgraded version?

allows a more hassel-free ability to transfer the os to a different pc(motherboard).
Does that mean we would use his old Xp home license with the upgrade? if so can we still use the xp on the old pc?
Sorry for all the follow up questions but now you have my attention.


Here is a link to see if he is eligible:
http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/software/windows...

The upgrade package looks like the retail package, except that it has a "upgrade" on the upper left part of the package. Here is a link to it :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is usually priced about the same as OEM.

Even though it is advertised as an upgrade, you don't need a previous OS, and microsoft does not ask for one. If one wanted to upgrade from a 32 bit OS to 64 bit windows-7, there is no way you can run the 64 bit upgrade on the old 32 bit os. That is why you need the two step install I described above. I had a problem doing such an upgrade in Vista, and called microsoft support(possible because upgrade is retail, oem is no support). They described the two step procedure to me, so I know it is supported. Microsoft mostly cares that you are using a legitimate copy.
January 11, 2010 7:31:28 PM

Well, since he is a High School student and I am not in college I don't think either one of us is qualified for the student discount. ( but I'll try a little harder tomorrow) should I still get the upgrade version rather than the builders version because of the support?

BTW since you mentioned Roswells poor track record for PSU's I took another look decided on a case and PSU from Antec. It was the case the I realy liked. that bumpped me just over $400 but should be worth it.

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 11, 2010 7:49:02 PM

smokey14 said:
Well, since he is a High School student and I am not in college I don't think either one of us is qualified for the student discount. ( but I'll try a little harder tomorrow) should I still get the upgrade version rather than the builders version because of the support?

BTW since you mentioned Roswells poor track record for PSU's I took another look decided on a case and PSU from Antec. It was the case the I realy liked. that bumpped me just over $400 but should be worth it.

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

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


I like the antec cases, and their psu's are reliable. For $10 more, you might consider the "illusion " model which comes with two extra front fans:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 11, 2010 9:03:08 PM

I think I'll stick with the case I picked. I like that it has washable filters and if I add much more $$ to this project I fear the rath of MOM will kill both my son and I.

I found a problem with a few of my choices after studding the specs of the mobo. I was going with (Gigabyte's UD3P AM3 motherboard) and was going with an Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz then I noticed that the Mobo only supports Phenom II X4 / Phenom II X3. unless I'm mistaken I should either pick a more expensive CPU or a different Mobo. the later seems more likely.
January 11, 2010 9:22:46 PM

One suggestion on the cases if you are not real paticular - look through the ones that have Free shipping (otherwise it will add about $15-$20 in the total so you can sometimes get a better case with free shipping for the same cost !

Also If you can afford to wait for $50 in rebates they have this Haf922 case with an OCZ 700W PSU for $149 +$10 shipping so $159 that has $50 in mail in rebates making the final cost only $110 delivered and you get a much better PSU and a case with some of the best cooling (1 -120mm fan and 2 200mm fans) - ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... ) for only a net cost of $5 more if you add the shipping on those 2 rosewill parts or $20 less than the Antecs - Of course you have to pay the $50 upfront and it takes awhile to get the refunds !

As far as the CPU you could get the Phenom II 550 for only $99 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) or one of the new Athlon II Quad cores like the propus 620 also $99 - ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) and it would get you much better performance for not that much more $ (if gaming is the main use I'd get the 550 but they are both comparable (the 550 is slightly better in games since it has the Level 3 cache where the Propus 620 does not but has the 2 extra cores
January 12, 2010 10:38:06 AM

geofelt said:
Here is a link to see if he is eligible:
http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/software/windows...

The upgrade package looks like the retail package, except that it has a "upgrade" on the upper left part of the package. Here is a link to it :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is usually priced about the same as OEM.

Even though it is advertised as an upgrade, you don't need a previous OS, and microsoft does not ask for one. If one wanted to upgrade from a 32 bit OS to 64 bit windows-7, there is no way you can run the 64 bit upgrade on the old 32 bit os. That is why you need the two step install I described above. I had a problem doing such an upgrade in Vista, and called microsoft support(possible because upgrade is retail, oem is no support). They described the two step procedure to me, so I know it is supported. Microsoft mostly cares that you are using a legitimate copy.



Ok I have more questions about " upgrade versions" like what the heck is an up grade version any way is it the same as the regular retail product and if so why is it cheaper. and what about the "any time upgrade version" what the heck doe's that mean? and why is that even cheaper?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
should I get one of thees for each of my pc's? the price is right.
I totally appreciate the help but now I have more questions than before.(guess that's a good thing :) 
thanks
January 12, 2010 10:48:57 AM

BohleyK said:
Hmm..

It could be much better for a few extra dollars. Swap the motherboard with Gigabyte's UD3P AM3 motherboard and select an Athlon II processor. Should cost you ~$45 more but it would be worth it.

This RAM will cost you just as much and is 2GB.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



A question about the Mobo you suggested. in the specs that newegg provides it sais it has an AM3 socket but it doesn't say that it supports Athlon II prossesors only Phenom II X3 and X4 am I missing something?

I was hoping to stick with the Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz

Thanks

If any one can answer this question that would be helpfull. I'm still waiting to order the part for this build.
January 12, 2010 1:46:05 PM

smokey14 said:
Ok I have more questions about " upgrade versions" like what the heck is an up grade version any way is it the same as the regular retail product and if so why is it cheaper. and what about the "any time upgrade version" what the heck doe's that mean? and why is that even cheaper?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
should I get one of thees for each of my pc's? the price is right.
I totally appreciate the help but now I have more questions than before.(guess that's a good thing :) 
thanks

As far as I know, the physical dvd you get for every windows-7 product is exactly the same. There are two versions, a 32 bit bootable version, and a 64 bit bootable version.
The product code on each may be different, allowing activation of specific features.
The upgrade product codes only allow activation if the product was installed under control of an OS, either vista or windows-7.
The full retail product codes can be activated when they were installed from the bootable DVD.
The product codes for retail or upgrade give you access to microsoft support.
The OEM product codes allow activation when installed from the bootable DVD. It does not provide for any microsoft support. It is supposed to be tied to the motherboard forever, but in practice this restriction can be bypassed when you call microsoft for reactivation and explain that your motherboard had to be replaced, and assure them that the OS is not used on any other PC.

Once installed, you will be given in the control panel/systems an option to upgrade your version to a higher version for a fee. It is called anytime upgrade. I have not done this, but I imagine that after you pay the fee, a new product code will be sent to you. Upon entering this new key, the features of the upgrade will be unlocked.
It will be cheaper to get what you want up front than using this option.

As to the link you posted, it looks like it is tied to an upgrade from W7 basic to home premium. My guess is that it does not contain a DVD, and is just a new product code. It is applicable to oem PC's that might have been delivered with W7 basic installed. W7 basic is only available to oem builders, and third world countries as far as I know.

If you have several pc's that you might want to upgrade to W7, look into the family pack option. It was for sale for a while, and some copies may still be around for sale. It gives you 3 licenses for about $150.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&N=0&...
January 12, 2010 2:28:26 PM

smokey14 said:
Ok I have more questions about " upgrade versions" like what the heck is an up grade version any way is it the same as the regular retail product and if so why is it cheaper. and what about the "any time upgrade version" what the heck doe's that mean? and why is that even cheaper?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
should I get one of thees for each of my pc's? the price is right.
I totally appreciate the help but now I have more questions than before.(guess that's a good thing :) 
thanks


Upgrade versions are for systems that already have an old version of windows that you are upgrading to the new version - while the DVD is exactly the same legally you are only supposed to use it if you already own a copy of the older windows OS -that being said the actual DVD is the same as the full version so either can be used (in years passed the upgrade versions installer would scan the system and would stop installing with an error message if it did not find the windows folder already on the HDD (but users would work around that by just creating the folder-so it was kind of pointless) - Also since you normally want to do a clean install when going from one version to another for stability MS has pretty much gotten away from doing this check but they still sell the 2 versions for a different price as an incentive for users of the old versions to upgrade instead of just remaining on the older OS.

Once installed the 2 versions (upgrade and full) are identical also each version DVD actually has all of the various versions of the OS (ie. Home basic, Professional,Ultimate) it is just by using the serial # that the appropriate install is made (since all versions share the same basic files with the upper level versions just adding more files from the DVD that the basic version install skips - so the upgrade anytime version is just a new license # that will then pull additional files from your original install disk to make the upgraded version work (the only thing really needed from the box is the new validation serial so that it will be seen as an authentic copy by windows update) - so that can not be used to install the OS it is just for changing from the basic version to the home premium version.

Hope that helps clear it up a bit for you.
January 12, 2010 4:29:50 PM

thanks guys i think I may go ahead and find a family pack and do it right.
Any problem with installing win 7 on an older system that has xp home on it now, I mean if the system meets the min requirements for win 7?
January 12, 2010 4:41:02 PM

reposted
January 12, 2010 4:45:01 PM

smokey14 said:
thanks guys i think I may go ahead and find a family pack and do it right.
Any problem with installing win 7 on an older system that has xp home on it now, I mean if the system meets the min requirements for win 7?


Nope -other than if you have any older devices that may not have drivers in Win7 - I would suggest doing a fresh install by reformatting the HDD before doing the install instead of an upgrade install (just to be sure that there are no random problems from the old OS brought into the new system. (but that is just a personal preference !)
January 12, 2010 4:52:45 PM


Here are the parts I plan on using for this build. last chance to change my mind if you see any thing that won't work or something that might work better for less $$ let me know I'm ordering Thursday.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811156063

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128392

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817148041

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820146736

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103681

Again I still don't know if this Mobo and Prossesor will work togeather that's why I'm on hold for now.if that Mobo won't work I think I'll go with

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131603

January 13, 2010 10:33:01 AM

I just realized that none of those links work but what ever I decided on the ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770. it's the same exact board as the Gigabyte M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 except the Asus doe's say that it will take the Athon II and it has a 3 year warranty instead of a 1 year.
well thanks for everybody's help with this build I'm ready to order the parts and start building I'll keep every one up to date as I go. I'm sure I'll need more assistance later.
!