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Building a PC for Junior/Senior Project (AMD Based)

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March 20, 2010 6:27:49 PM

Hey, I'm a Junior at AC Reynolds High in NC and we are starting out Junior Project this semester. To graduate you have to pass your Senior Project and you are allowed to build off of your Junior Project

So for my Junior/Senior Project I'm going to build a computer.

I'd like to keep the price under $1000 not including a monitor.

Here is the list so far:
Cooler Master Elite 310 Case w/ Window
AMD Athlon II X4 Propus 630 2.8ghz Quad Core
MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 Motherboard
or
MSI NF980-G65 AM3 Motherboard

This is where I'm stuck... I don't know if I want to go Nvidia or ATI for the Graphics.

I'm leaning toward Nvidia because they support CUDA which from what I know helps in Video/Photo editing.

If I go Nvidia I'm going to use the discrete graphics and save up for a better GPU.

If I go ATI I'm going to have to get a GPU right off the bat and I'll have to get a mid-low range GPU to stay within my budget.

No matter which one I go with I want to in time upgrade to an SLI or Crossfire set-up.

So the first question of many is do you think I should go with Nvidia or ATI?

Thanks in advance,
Nicholas
March 21, 2010 7:49:14 PM

Dear Nicholas,

Welcome to Tom's Hardware's Newbuild Forum!

You may have "bitten off" a little more than you thought, with this project and I am fairly certain that you will lean much more than you intended to, while here, if you should decide to "follow through", with us.

I am going to give you a few HUGE tips, right up front, that will have a significant effect on your final build, your final grade, and your ultimate cost savings. LISTEN TO US ... We have rankings (below our avitars) and this is a fairly good indicator of technical trustwothiness (fairly).

1) Jump through our hoops! We did not design our process for our own benefit. We designed our process for your ultimate satisfaction and if you do this OUR WAY, you will end up with the best possible final system performance, and at the lowest possible cost.

2) You must fill out the "How to ask" form, at the top of this forum's main page.
... The purpose of this form is to help us get to know you, your uses, your budget, and your long term prospects (technically and financially) for upgrades-migration.
... We need to know who you are ... right now and in five years, to serve you best.

3) Be a good student (and a wise man) by reading the "Boot Problems" sticky thread, also "stuck" to the top of these threads, on this main "New Build" page. ...
... If you read this OUTSTaNDING document, just BEFORE you build, you will be WAY ahead.

4) Ask any questions you like, no matter how "stupid" ... we need entertainment, too.

5) USE WIKIPEDIA ! : You will be amazed ! It is like an enormous university text on all computer/communications/media topics ... WHEN-EVER you run into terms you are not familiar with, enter them into WIKI's search box ... a few examples ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_AM3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCIe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_channel

6) Keep a Diary of your PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with this process ... just an informal notebook and log ... INFORMAL and free-form ... no grammar ... just your thoughts ... surprises ... questions to research ... even your feelings (frustration, anger, delight, whatever) ... as feelings are part of the process and affect it ...

7) Everybody "thinks" they know something about computers. MOST people (most technicians!) THINK they know a lot more than they actually do ... this ubiquitous fault leads to false assumptions and poor logic ... It is OK to be wrong ... that proves you actually learned something ... In this line of work, the obnoxious "ass", that you can't stand, is often "right"... which is annoying in it's self. I make it a point to listen carefully, even when I think "they" are wrong ... There is always someone "better", and they are not always that likeable. Bow to seniority.

8) Please remember that our ONLY reason for being here is to help you get what you need (exactly), and at the lowest possible cost to you ... taste, quality, priorities ... all your choice. We don't get paid and we aren't selling anything but philosophy and logic ... it can be fun to watch us argue with each other ! ... The better we can know you and your personality, the better we gan serve you. Be open and share your thoughts and your train of logic with this community.

Welcome aboard !

= Alvin Smith =
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