Help an idiot build a computer

Hey guys, looking to upgrade from my current PC to something a little speedier. Currently have a pentium d 820, 2gb ram. I don't really follow computer hardware much so I really need you guys to tell me what is fast, cheap, and works well. I have put a few together before so I am not going to be completly lost.

I'm hoping to spend around $700-850, but could stretch the budget to $1000 if need be. (Please take into account I'm from Ontario, Canada so everything is more expensive up here, any recommendations as to where specific components can be gottem the cheapest up here is apprecated as well.)

What I want/need...

I don't game pretty much at all (not on Pc-more of an xbox person) (solitare and minesweeper not included) but I am in college and multitask like crazy. (i.e. I research, watch/stream movies, burn cds, listen to itunes, download etc. all at the same time.)

That being said my current PC has an 8800gt in it that while may be ancient tech to most of you guy serves my needs pretty well and could/will be used in the new rig.

I need this desktop to get me through the next 3 years with minimal upgrades as I am headed to law school in the fall.

Processor: quad core of some sort. Amd X4 and X6 especially seem tempting at the price. But am open to i5 or i7 as well, as long as I can stay in the budget. (Note: I do know what overclocking is and how it works but have absolutly zero interest in doing it, so saying buy X and get it to a zillion ghz on air does nothing for me)

Ram: at least 4gb, preferrabily 6 gb of ddr3 (Which speed is the current price int? 1600?)

Hdd: This is a deal breaker for me. I need at least 1.5TB, but the more the merrier. Maybe a 1tb sata 3 primary for speed and a 1tb sata2 secondary?) Maybe a single 1.5tb primary?

Power supply: Don't care really as long as suffiencent for my needs, maybe a 500w or better for possible upgradeability) Also, no cheap case/psu combo's as I've had horrible luck with these no-name power supply deals.

Mobo: Again, don't really care but I've always had great experiences with asus. At least 6 usb ports! (Would be awesome if it could have sata3, usb3, esata) Doesn't need to have onboard graphics but if it does an hdmi port would be cool)

Case: This is going to sound silly but I would prefer either a really small (like lanbox sized if these would stay cool with an 8800 and quad) or a full tower case. Reasons: A really small case would be my first choice as it will fit on top of my desk in residence, is really moveable, and takes up no space.) If a small case won't work/ too expenisive whatever then if I have to be burdened(find room for) a mid size case I would rather have the extra bit of room to work with a full-size. Hopefully the case will allow for some cable organization and look kinda cool. (If full size, some ports or a card reader on the top/front would be nice, obviously not in a mini)

Dvd burner: Don't need reccomendations but take about $30 out of the budget

Wireless: These desktop needs either a mobo with built in wireless or a pci wireless card. Recommendations on a reasonably priced one that has good range etc. would be awesome.

Reccomend cooling if you specify a processor that doesn't come with a fan, and a fan or 2, 3 whatever for the case if needed. (Some heatpaste as well) (Would be amazingly awesome if this coomputer could be somewhat quiet, not whisper quiet obviosly, but not like a vacuum is on in the room, as it will be right beside my bed, is left on 24/7, and loud computers piss off girls sleeping over : )
Will run windows 7 pro that I get for free from school (With payment of tuition!)

Thanks guys,
Chris
11 answers Last reply
More about help idiot build computer
  1. Canadacomputers.com gets you the best for the least

    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition 329.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4_64&item_id=030521
    Or AMD Phenom II X4 955 179.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4_64&item_id=027383


    Motherboard
    Asus M4A87TD EVO 109.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_340&item_id=031172

    RAM
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1333MHz 4GB (2x2GB) 107.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=24_311_312_611&item_id=026155

    Hard Drive
    2X Seagate Barracuda (ST31000528AS) 7200.12 SATA 3.0Gb/s 1000GB 32MB Cache 69.99 (X2)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=15_210_212&item_id=021907

    PSU
    OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Power Supply (OCZ600MXSP) 64.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=33_443&item_id=019983

    Case
    NZXT Gamma Classic Series Black Steel Mid Tower 29.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=6_112&item_id=026868

    Cooling (You dont need a aftermarket cooler if not overclocking but..........)
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 35.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=8_129&item_id=025125

    Thermal Paste (Cooler comes with some but it is crap)
    Arctic Silver Matrix 4.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=8_128&item_id=026846
  2. Oh, If you really want onboard HDMI and eSATA
    Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 129.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_340&item_id=031170

    also what do you need the wireless card to be B? G? N?
  3. I feel if one is willing to learn OC down the road, the 1055T is a far bang for buck chip than a 1090T
  4. At the OP, I wouldn't be too concerned about SATA 3 unless you plan to use an SSD (that supports SATA 3). Mechanical drives are no where close to saturating SATA 2. It has become a check box feature (just like every new feature), but for most people is meaningless. Just look at how anxious Intel is to support it in their chipsets. Intel would have rushed to get out a chipset if they thought lots of people wanted the feature. Intel has left the market to third party chipmakers to provide this feature to early adopters. As for USB 3 though, I think Intel is making a mistake. This feature is long overdue. External storage has suffered performance wise because of being limited to USB 2.

    So since the two technologies seem to be tied together (out of convenience/coincidence not because of any technical reasons), if you get a motherboard that supports SATA 3, only do so if you are interested in USB 3. Or if you plan on getting a SSD in the future.
  5. batuchka said:
    I feel if one is willing to learn OC down the road, the 1055T is a far bang for buck chip than a 1090T


    IF he wants to learn to Over Clock he might have an easier time with the 1090T because of its unlocked multiplier.
    The 1055T is the better bang for the buck. But If he wants performance He should go with the 1090T
  6. Nah max out clocks about even across the board ^^
  7. batuchka said:
    Nah max out clocks about even across the board ^^

    Some one who is new to OC can just bump up the multiplier x2 and get an instant 400MHZ
    But if you take your time and learn how to do it properly and you get an aftermarket Cooler, yeah you can get both procs even
  8. (Note: I do know what overclocking is and how it works but have absolutly zero interest in doing it, so saying buy X and get it to a zillion ghz on air does nothing for me)

    I believe these were the OP's words. So a continued discussion of the merits of overclocking in his thread seems pointless to me.
  9. techgeek said:
    (Note: I do know what overclocking is and how it works but have absolutly zero interest in doing it, so saying buy X and get it to a zillion ghz on air does nothing for me)

    I believe these were the OP's words. So a continued discussion of the merits of overclocking in his thread seems pointless to me.


    lol point to Techgeek
  10. Hey guys, thought I was going to build the new rig awhile back, but I ended up off to europe for a couple of months and am just getting ready to order the stuff now. Here is what I came up with...


    Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB SATA2 3GBPS 64MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 49591 $119.76 $119.76

    ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 49597 $34.83 $34.83

    OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W ATX 20/24PIN SLI Ready Modular Cables 135mm Fan 80PLUS Power Supply
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 35456 $99.99 $99.99

    NZXT Beta Evo ATX Mid Tower Case 4X5.25 5X3.5INT No PS Front Audio USB Black
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 48086 $59.99 $59.99

    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 6 Core Processor 2.8GHZ Socket AM3 Retail Box
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 52066 $209.99 $209.99

    ASUS PCI-G31 Wireless Network Adapter 802.11G 54MBPS PCI
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 43639 $21.39 $21.39

    OCZ Gold OCZ3G1600LV4GK 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 CL 8-8-8-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 42868 $110.91 $110.91

    ASUS M4A87TD Evo AM3 DDR3 ATX AMD 870 SB850 2PCI-E16 PCI-E1 3PCI 6SATA 6GB/S USB3.0 Motherboard
    Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
    In Stock 52676 $120.75 $120.75

    Its all from ncix and I can get local pickup so I don't have to pay for shipping. Some of this stuff has a discount applied at checkout, but the general prices are up there. I'd like to pull the trigger tomorrow morning so would just like some last minute feedback on if everything I picked out looks alright/compatible and that I am not paying extra for any minimal performance gains/stuff I don't need. (also if you know of any sales/better prices (canadian) on anything let me know so I can save a few bucks.

    Thanks for all your help
  11. If you live in Ontario you really should Check out Canadacomputers.com They have Retail stores all around here.

    If purchased at a Canadacomputers This build would cost 30$ less up front (Not including 75$ worth of MIR's), so if you are in Ontario it is definitely worth checking this store out

    If you do not live in Ontario just do a Price match on some of the items (Price match can save you quite a bit with NCIX)

    here are the links

    Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB $109.99

    Asus DRW-24B1ST 24X DVD Writer $28.99

    OCZ ModXStream 700W $89.99 (Not Including $30.00 MIR)

    NZXT Beta EVO Classic Series Mid Tower $64.99 (Not Including $25.00 MIR)

    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T $219.99

    ASUS PCI-G31, Wireless G PCI Adapter $21.99

    OCZ DDR3 1600MHz Gold Edition 4GB $99.99 (Not Including $20.00 MIR)

    Asus M4A87TD EVO $109.99

    Total 745.92
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