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Looking to build

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February 16, 2011 1:21:55 PM

Hello,
As much as I have studied everything I can get my hands on, I still

seem to fall short of understanding a lot of things associated with

computer components (threading???). I am confused about what to buy. I

want to build a good computer primarily for gaming (Crysis). We also

would like to download TV shows,movies and music from time to

time.After a lot of research, I know I want the AMD2 Phenom 2, x4, 965

Black Edition. My problem is the motherboard.I am interested in memory

coolers and an aggressive CPU cooler, so I would like a motherboard

that will allow any configuration while allowing free access to slots.

I want the freedom to add additional components like hard drives and

graphics cards without too much trouble. While I dont wish to pay a

small fortune for a motherboard, If its one that will last me awhile,

perform the tasks I need it to and be flexible for future upgrades, I

don't mind paying a bit more. I will be running XP home.

More about : build

a c 435 V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 5:31:14 PM

You need to set a firm budget first; you can build a basic system for about $600 plus the operating system; forget about water cooling or other exotic stuff for a first build. I also recommend you buy the case and video card used on craigslist; and get a new name brand power supply. Budget about $75 for that. Cheap power supplies can cause alot of headaches. You may also get lucky and get a sealed version of windows for a discount. Windows xp may run about $40; windows 7 about $80 up; I recommend windows 7 pro; you may find a sealed one for $100.
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a b V Motherboard
February 16, 2011 6:35:35 PM

I found that Cooler Master 690 Advanced II is a superb mid sized case. That is a good start. The board....ASUS. I say that because they are known to be reliable, solid built and the firm has a good support network. Less of them fail compared to the other big board maker....that says a lot. Get a big high quality PSU.....don't scrimp on this or you may have issues later. Any of the gold rated big name PSU's will do it, like Antec, Corsair, etc. Google this and you'll see the good ones. RAM is often very over done by young people. Check the motherboards QVL and buy RAm that is one that list. Kingston is the most dependable RAM made and the stats and return rates back that up. I know most guys want the C brand but I want RAM that won't need to be returned. I would never buy an AMD CPU but many do. Intel sets the standard and they outperform anything that the competition makes. Sure they cost a bit more but anything worth buying isn't cheap. Buy Windows 7 Pro 64 bit version. Also, and this is a big one./...buy an SSD for your boot drive. The performance boost this brings to a system is simply staggering. Yes it adds to the cost but it is worth it. You seem to be very concerned about cooling and while this is important, it can also be overdone. If you buy a decent case with good fans in it, cooling isn't the big problem it can be. Get an after market CPU cooler (like the Cooler Master 212+) but I'd pass on the RAM cooler.....you don't need to OC the heck out of a system to play Crysis. Besides, the more you OC, the sooner you'll be buying a another computer. Unless you have unlimited resources, you will want to watch this closely. The big thing for gaming is get a top end GPU. I got an ASUS 6950 for less than $300 and it plays Crysis in HD without any struggle. And I don't OC either.

Good luck with your build and have fun picking the pieces for it.
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February 17, 2011 4:00:10 AM

Thank You for your response,
A couple of questions. Ive read a lot of gamers prefer XP or even windows 98 because they take less to run, freeing up resources for gaming. Is this true? Also, I have never heard of an SSD for boot drive. I'm comfortable trying new things but need some basics and directions, so any website you could recommend would be great. When reading the descriptions for motherboards theres a lot of information to go through,and its hard to tell what things are really important. Northbridge, Southbridge,RAID,Firewire,Serial ATA Headers etc. its confusing as heck to try to figure out what all these are then compare enough reviews to make an informed decision. I just want to be able to play any game, plug in whatever component I want, (thats compatible of course), and have it work consistently, not struggle to keep up, and not just up and die on me one day for no reason. I don't think I want to jump into over clocking right now, but I may in the future. I agree with your other picks for PSU, GPU and Ram. Thanks.
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a c 435 V Motherboard
February 17, 2011 10:30:39 AM

Ssd can come later; it's a luxury you can live without. I like directx 10 graphics with windows 7, but xp will take up less space. As far as longevity, you can't predict this. I never recommend an expensive board; spending more won't get you better quality. Specific batches of board models turn out good, some not so durable. Some warranties aren't honored in certain countries; you may want to research this before you select a brand of board.
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February 17, 2011 9:18:36 PM

I still don't know which motherboard to choose. I'm looking at Asus crosshair lV formula. There are also a couple of high end Gigabyte and an MSI that (I think) was suppose to have a board is capable of supporting a great deal of expansion. I read an article on RAID and still don't completely get it but I guess thats suppose to be important. Does anyone know about these things? I have a desktop now that I cant do much of anything with, and I don't want another one like it.
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Best solution

a b V Motherboard
February 25, 2011 12:57:39 AM

Scout65 said:
I still don't know which motherboard to choose. I'm looking at Asus crosshair lV formula. There are also a couple of high end Gigabyte and an MSI that (I think) was suppose to have a board is capable of supporting a great deal of expansion. I read an article on RAID and still don't completely get it but I guess thats suppose to be important. Does anyone know about these things? I have a desktop now that I cant do much of anything with, and I don't want another one like it.



ASUS is the biggest and most successful motherboard out there in the world. They make very good boards but there are no guarantees they are best for you. Only you can decide that. Look at the various web sites, compare features and decide. As long as you stick with the big ones (mostly ASUS and Gigabyte), you should be fine. The support is there from both companies so if you have issues, they can be solved.

I don't suggest you even consider RAID. If is fast but so would an SSD and will give you less issues, cost and headaches to setup and operate. I noticed your comment that you have never heard of SSD before. Perhaps you should read about them on the OCZ site, Corsair, Kingston and even Intel and see what they say about theirs. As Maximum PC magazine said in one of their issues, "an SSD really kicks a$$". They have no moving parts like a hard drive does so they are silent and most of all, extremely fast. Hard drives are the biggest bottleneck in a computer today and an SSD goes a long way to fixing that issue. You will still want an HDD for storing files, pictures, videos and such but a 1T HDD from WD costs around $75. I got a 120GB SSD from OCZ for less than $200. No regrets, they rock.

I don't know anything about AMD stuff other than the fact that "they are the other guy". :D  They don't come close to Intel for speed, winning head to head tests and so on but they certainly are inexpensive. They are also fine for gaming if that is what you want one for.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

EDIT: Forgot to mention about operating systems. You mention XP and such. Don't go there. Windows 7 is hands down the best operating system ever devised by Microsoft. If works very well, they got the bugs out and it is great to work with. Some even go as far as saying it is as good as Apple's Snow Leopard OS but I wouldn't know. Remember, old OS don't get any support form Microsoft so security issues, bugs and so on don't get fixed. Besides that, I don't know if you can even buy those oldies anymore. So, get Win 7 and load the 64 bit version. It is better than the 32 bit version and the bonus is that it will recognize more than 3.2GB of RAM.
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February 25, 2011 1:30:09 AM

Best answer selected by Scout65.
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February 25, 2011 1:38:25 AM

Thanks Eagle Eye. It looks like I should do some more research . Perhaps I will give windows 7 a new look as well. Its not something I want to rush into as I may keep this computer a really long time, and I want to be satisfied with it. Appreciate your comment.
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