First Time Building A PC

I put this under Homebuilt but I'm not sure if that's the correct place to put it so I'm moving it here. Here's the original topic:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before the end of July 31, 2010 (ASAP if possible)

BUDGET RANGE: $1700 Canadian - including taxes ($2000 only if necessary)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, movies, school, moderate multi-tasking (chatting, surfing, listening to music, downloading, etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, mouse and keyboard, operating system

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: and (1 website sells items cheaper than the other and vice versa, so I'll be buying it from the cheaper one. It's convenient too since both stores are like 15 minutes away from me)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel (it's all I know)


MONITOR RESOLUTION: I use my HDTV (52 inch) but will downgrade to my 32 inch HDTV

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: PC needs to be cool (temperatire-wise) and really quiet, I'm a "speed junkie", I want the PC to run as fast as possible, I don't need 1 TB of since I have a handful of external drives, upgradeability down the line (2+ years)
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  1. A little busy to do a build right now, just a quick note.

    There's really no difference in the process of building an AMD build vs. an Intel build. Processor A goes into Socket B. The end.

    At that budget, you should look at either an i5-750 with a P55 mobo or possibly consider an i7-930 & an X58 mobo. For graphics, ATI 5870/5970 or nVidia 470/480/470SLI. If you prefer cooler & quieter, ATI is probably the way to go.

    Also, thank you for posting in the suggested format, it really does help a lot.
  2. If you do a build a PC from scratch for me when you have the time, I would greatly appreciate it. If not, thanks for the reply.

    I will also keep in mind the items you have suggested. I will look into those 2 things but I'm more likely to lean towards whatever is newer, technology-wise.
  3. Best answer
    I see that you have another thread as well, just thought I'd post some options.

    2 builds follow, AMD & Intel. Except for the CPU/Mobo/RAM, they're the same. Both builds have the option to go to a dual-graphics card setup later, but start with just 1 relatively powerful graphics card. No CPU HSF included, as you indicated you don't plan to overclock.

    CPU - Phenom II X4 955 BE - $170
    Mobo - Gigabyte GA-890XA-UD3 - $140
    RAM - G.Skill ECO Series 1600 MHz CL7 4 GB kit - $115
    Subtotal: $425

    CPU - i7-930 - $315
    Mobo - Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R - $225
    RAM - Mushkin Blackline 1600 MHz CL7 6 GB kit - $200 - $30 MIR
    Subtotal: $740 ($710 after $30 MIR)

    Common components
    HDD - Seagate 7200.12 1 TB 7200 rpm drive - $63 ($4 more than the WD Caviar Black 500 GB drive)
    ODD - Samsung SATA DVD R/W drive - $25
    PSU - Antec TPQ-850 TruePower 80+ Bronze, Active PFC - $170 (slightly underpowered for 2x nVidia 480, more than enough for 2x ATI 5870) - may want to switch to a 950W PSU if you go with nVidia
    Case - HAF 922 - $100, or whatever fits your budget/aesthetics
    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $110
    Subtotal: $468

    And lastly, GPU.
    GPU - XFX ATI 5870 - $420
    EVGA GTX 480 - $500

    AMD - $1313 with 5870
    $1393 with GTX 480

    Intel - $1628 with 5870
    $1708 with GTX 480

    The AMD option leaves you with room to potentially get another graphics card, a motherboard with more features, or an SSD if you're interested.
  4. Yeah, sorry about having 2 threads. I wasn't sure if I posted it in the right place the first time so I posted it in another one, lol. You've also given me a lot of options with the things you have listed, which is great. You get the "best answer" award (people sure love that thng, lol) for this one thread. This way both of my threads will be closed and solved. Thanks again, and thanks for everyone who helped out!
  5. Best answer selected by EMP-Static.
  6. Feel free to continue asking questions in either thread or create a new one...whatever suits your fancy.

    I should point out that I just built a rig similar to the AMD/5870 option above. I went that route as I'm more interested in ATI's Eyefinity (3+ monitor gaming) than nVidia's 3D Vision (3D gaming). Additionally, Intel's current sockets are end-of-life, while AMD says they plan to at release at least one more processor that will work with the current socket. I wanted to leave my options open in case I find the Phenom II X4 lacking (which it isn't currently, but I like extra options).

    You could also go with an i5-750, P55 mobo, and 4 GB RAM as an Intel option, which would bring the cost down to somewhere between the AMD & i7-930 options.

    Finally, the Phenom II X4/GTX 480 combination doesn't get a strong recommendation, as the recommended motherboard cannot do SLI (but it can do ATI's CrossFire).
  7. I'm definitely leaning towards the Intel i7 930 with the ATI 5870 since those are the only 2 brands I've dealt with in the past, but I'm very open to other options such as AMD and nVidia.

    On a side note, will my preferred combo (Intel/ATI) be able to handle this:

    -Microsoft Office programs all running at the same time (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc - yes I do need most, if not, all of them running at once for my Business program at school
    -Downloading music, movies, TV shows
    -Having an anti-virus in the background running
    -Having iTunes open (listening to music and syncing my iPhone, charging it, etc.)
    -Chatting and surfing the web with multiple windows/tabs open at once
    -Instead of quitting my game, I just minimized the window

    I'll be using a 32 inch HDTV mostly (using 52 inch right now until I get my new PC). My current PC can't seem to handle all of that at once, and I especially hate the lag time (it takes 10+ seconds to open iTunes!) and everything randomly crashes or slows down. My PC heats up and sounds like a 747 jumbo jet, it's ridiculous. I'm really disliking the lag time, it takes more than 3+ seconds for Internet Explorer to open. The bootup is slow as well.

    I want a PC that's cool and quiet that could handle all that... with a small budget like mine.

    EDIT: I'll be using Windows 7 32 bit (unfortunately - but will upgrade later on, maybe) so we can knock off the $110 off of that list =)
  8. Especially if you get the i7-930, get a 64-bit copy of Windows as soon as you can. Without it, you'll only be able to use 3-3.5 GB of the 6 GB of memory you've paid for.

    And any of the above builds would be able to handle the tasks you've described. The only really demanding Office application is Excel, and that's only if you're actually using it to crunch a lot of numbers.

    The biggest consumers of processing power are going to be games, heavy Excel use, and maybe antivirus (but most good modern ones don't really kill the processor as much as they used to).

    I frequently run a windowed game, watch netflix, have IM open, antivirus running, and about 20 firefox tabs (in addition to netflix). And my processor is only at about 25% load with all of that.

    To be clear, none of what it sounds like you're doing really calls for the i7-930, but it is a powerful processor that you might as well upgrade to if it's not restricting any of your other components.
  9. I'll definitely pick up the 64-bit copy then. I compared what you listed with the what the other guy listed on the other thread and I noticed, for the MOBO, you had the dual channel ddr 3 while he listed the tripple channel dd3. Are there any performance difference between the 2?

    MOBO Asus P6X58D-E $250:

    Instead of buying a new PC in 2-3+ years, would I be able to just add more RAM and another graphics card to increase performance (do that crossfire thing). By then, I'd only use it for everything else but gaming, but I would still prefer the lag to be non-existent and a cool, quiet, PC
  10. EMP-Static said:
    You get the "best answer" award (people sure love that thng, lol) for this one thread. This way both of my threads will be closed and solved. Thanks again, and thanks for everyone who helped out!

    lol, I really needed something good to look at for last night. I was having a hell of a time with customer support.

    Dual channel and triple channel ram is a way of being able to send more data from ram to the cpu at once. AMD only supports dual channel, while the new intel i7's support triple channel. Theoretically one is better than the other, but I believe results are hard to notice even between single and dual channel unless you are doing complex parallel processing type of things. If you look at the motherboards coldsleep has posted, you can see that the intel has six slots, while the amd has four, each with 2 different colors.

    The intel has 6Gb of ram because it uses 3 2 Gb sticks for triple channel, while the AMD has 4, because it uses 2 2Gb sticks for dual. Because of this, the intel will be somewhat faster, but more because of the extra memory than the difference between dual and triple channel.
  11. Excellent explanation by jrhill.

    In day-to-day usage, you're not going to see a noticeable difference between dual-channel and triple-channel.

    Since most programs (especially games) are still 32-bit, most games and office apps are not going to use more than 2-3 GB of memory (at most). In all likelihood, you're unlikely to max out 6 GB of RAM unless you're doing something with a 64-bit app such as an audio or photo editing program that can make use of large amounts of memory. (And even then, only when you're really pushing it.)
  12. Alright, thanks for the explanation. This will be my setup =)

    On a side note, my brother was thinking of investing on an iMac, but I convinced him otherwise after I showed him what you put together for me. He's got $1300 (including tax)

    He wants exactly what I want but for his budget of $1300. Also, would you like me to start a new thread so I can give you the award thingy? LOL

    EDIT: My brother's wanting to buy his PC tomorrow but he'll be getting his tax refund in less than a week so he's going to have about $1400 (including tax) to spend. Thanks again!
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