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Trying to put together a custom PC

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October 19, 2010 8:48:59 PM

I just dont want to buy things that arent compatible. Im trying to build a computer that wont break the bank ($500-$600 is what I would like if it was up to me), and that I can play starcraft2 on max settings, along with download and manage music, media, etc... I have an idea of what i really want to be included. JSYK, this is all from scratch, I have no monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc.. But I dont really care if that stuff is included. I do wonder if it is smarter to buy a tv instead of a monitor, as it seems cheaper. Or will that make me have less quality picture?

Anyhow. Heres what I am thinking... please someone who knows, let me hear your advise.

*I want the Nvidia Geforce GTX460 for a video card
*Im thinking the Phenom II x4 920 or 940 (think 2.8ghz is plenty? which should i do, id like to save money, but if the $25 bucks or so gets me alot more quality, then so be it)
*I dont know much for picking a motherboard. I figured I would get a combo (I think I seen it for like $200-$225). But I just dont know much about picking motherboards.
*Im thinking 4gb of RAM would be plenty for me. Once again, I look at pricewatch.com and there are soo many different things to choose from, I dont know what is the best for what i want, or whats the best deal.
*For a hard drive, Id like 500gb even though i probably could use less, it just seems like you can get it so cheap these days. But I dont know if i need DDr2 or DDR3, etc.. I just dont know about that stuff much, unfortunatly.
*also, a 22X DVD RW will work for me, and those seem cheap enough. I think like $25.
*As for a case, I dont know, I want something that is cheap, but can fit the video card i want, and will be cool enough. I dont know if I need extra fans, etc..
*Also, I want advise on what power source to get.

But these are the basic things Im thinking. Can anyone point me in the right direction. Does what I want go together well? The video card, the quad core, 4gb RAM, and 500gb Hard drive, those are the most important things to me. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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October 19, 2010 10:53:15 PM

I put this together for a good solid cheap computer with gaming ability.

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October 19, 2010 10:57:31 PM

Forgot the dvd drive, I saw an open box on newegg for 15 bucks, the other day.
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Anonymous
October 19, 2010 11:10:01 PM

Thats a pretty solid build for that price ^^
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Best solution

October 20, 2010 4:54:39 AM

Quote:
Thats a pretty solid build for that price ^^

Well, a maximum budget of $600 for the whole setup and expectation to play SC2 at max settings is pretty tricky. I'll try to break down the details. ;) 

@OP: My opinion (in accordance to the question order):

1. Why the 460? It is a good GPU for a reasonable price, but ATi's offering isn't so bad with usually lower prices. Even Intel loving AMD hating fanboys use ATi's (which is now AMDs graphic department) GPUs. You might wanna consider researching through reviews and benchmarks before you made up your mind.

2. For gaming, first hand user says that an X3 is on par with the X4 counterpart. But since you're planning on multitasking, might as well go for the X4. 2.8GHz is fine for standard usage.

3. Since you're planning on going for a single GPU configuration, don't bother considering those 2 GPU slotted motherboards. It's a waste of money IMO. Motherboards (assuming the base specification is the same) have little impact to performance, it's more of a compatibility issue. Focus on the GPU and CPU first, before you start choosing a certain motherboard.

4. RAMs are basically the same despite the brand. 4GB is fine. But don't use a 32 bit Windows XP OS, since it's stuck to 3GB, which makes the extra 1 GB a waste. Pay attention to the speed and latency (which the others might have a better technical explanation for this :p  ). This is directly connected to that above motherboard compatibility issue. Don't buy a DDR3 RAM for a DDR2 supporting mobo. It's a common novice mistake. Don't worry, everybody's been there. No one's born a genius in terms of PC knowledge. :D 

5. Where I live, a DVD-RW is only $17. You might wanna do some price research.

6. A 500GB SATA HDD will be good enough, considering your target budget.

7. A middle ATX Tower would be enough for that Fermi. The cooling issue however, I'll let the others answer that. It's because my undervolted "green" rig is only using a rear exhaust fan. The idle temp is only 30 degrees. So, multiple fans aren't part of my preference. :D 

8.. As for the PSU, I'd reckon a 500-550W PSU from a reputable manufacturer (Corsair, Cooler Master, Seasonic) with 80+ efficiency and active PFC should be sufficient. But maybe the others have a better insight on this issue.

As a special note, using TVs as PC monitors, especially for gaming, isn't a very good idea. Considerations include response time, refresh rate, contrast ratio, resolution, etc. Even with a standard 5ms response time and 1024 x 768 resolution of a dedicated PC monitor, you will still feel discontent and uncomfortable. Especially for the response time, at 5ms your eyes will be easily tired and you might feel nauseous and dizzy after a few hours (believe me on this one! :lol:  ). The better option is a 2ms and high resolution gaming PC monitor. But with a $600 budget, this might not be an option after all.

And as for your expectation for max settings for SC2, especially at high resolution, you might wanna lower it a little. I personally don't play heavy PC games, but from what I've heard, the requirement is quite high. A suggestion from the more experienced member here might be more suitable.

*** I just noticed how long my reply is :heink:  ***
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October 20, 2010 5:32:49 AM

^ Dude, I address it as plural: "Intel loving AMD hating fanboys". There are a few more members here with similar preferences besides you. Honestly... :ange: 

Good suggestion, by the way. :D 
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October 20, 2010 8:17:06 AM

Here's my choice:
CPU: Phenom II x4 920
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX460
RAM: g.skill DDR3 4Gb
HDD: Western Digital 500Gb (OS) and 1Tb for Storage (Music, Video, etc.)
DVD Writer: Liteon
CASE: HAF 912
PSU: 420W
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA770T-USB3
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October 26, 2010 5:43:38 PM

Very helpful everyone. Ive been actually checking out pricewatch.com alot, and Im thinking Phenom 2 x4 965 w/ this motherboard (Im just gonna copy the whole spec list on it) *ASRock M3A770DE*

**Mfr Part Number: M3A770DE
CPU: Socket AM3 Support AMD Phenom II X4 / X3 / X2 and Athlon II X4 / X3 / X2 processors; Supports Hyper-Transport 3.0 (HT 3.0) Technology; Supports AMD OverDrive with ACC feature (Advanced Clock Calibration); Supports Untied Overclocking Technology; FSB (5.2 GT/s)
Chipset: AMD 770 & SB710
Memory: 4x DDR3-2000/1600/1333/1066/800 DIMMs, Dual Channel, Non-ECC/Un-buffered, Upto 16GB
Slots: 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Slot(Supports ATI CrossFireX Technology); 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x1 Slot; 3x PCI Slots
IDE/SATA: 1x ATA-133 Channel; 4x SATA2 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 10 and JBOD
Audio: VIA VT1708S 7.1-Channel Premium Level High Definition Audio CODEC
LAN: Realtek RTL8111DL PCI-Express x1 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Ports: 10x USB 2.0 Ports (4 rear, 6 by headers); 2x eSATA2/USB connector; 1x Optical SPDIF Out; 1x Coaxial SPDIF Out; 2x PS/2 Ports; 1x RJ45 LAN Port; HD Audio I/O Jack
Power Connector: 1x 24pin main power, 1x 8pin CPU power
Form Factor: ATX , 12.0 x 8.2 inch / 30.5 x 20.8 cm


Im thinking I can allow a little more $$ in my budget (just a little). But you can get the CPU/Mother board Combo I stated above for like $228. So, unless any of you think this motherboard is no good for some reason, I think this is the one. (Once again, I still have not much knowledge on motherboards). And like damas said, not my biggest concern, I just want something compatible.

Now, as for the video card, will the GTX460 work with the motherboard I chose? I think im okay with the Nvidia Gefore card financially,as long as it works with the system Im building.

As for the Monitor advice, thanks, I will probably just go with a monitor (hopefully can find a good price on a 24" inch or so)

One last question, for $14 extra bucks, you can get a beefier looking CPU Fan with the combo. Is that a waste? Is the one that comes with it good enough? Or, when I buy a case, will it have all the cooling parts I need?

And for the power supply, I was thinking like 500W, so thats cool.

Now, Im starting to wonder more about overclocking. I dont know how it works, but it is basically making your processor run faster than it is set to normally, right? Is that hard to do? Or is that something to leave to a pro? How does that work, and is it worth it?
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October 26, 2010 5:47:22 PM

Best answer selected by NickCapolupo.
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October 26, 2010 5:48:24 PM

dEAne said:
Here's my choice:
CPU: Phenom II x4 920
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX460
RAM: g.skill DDR3 4Gb
HDD: Western Digital 500Gb (OS) and 1Tb for Storage (Music, Video, etc.)
DVD Writer: Liteon
CASE: HAF 912
PSU: 420W
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA770T-USB3




So, how much would your build cost? Looks pretty close to what Im thinking
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