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Building my first computer

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August 25, 2010 11:16:28 PM

Hey my laptop went belly up and so I am deciding to build my own computer, I know a decent amount about computers and things but am not as up to date on some of the hardware.

So my question is what are the specs i should shoot for on a computer that will be used for college, (word, excel) as well as gaming. (want a mother board that can have multiple (up to 4) harddrives if possible) because i plan to slowly add to this computer as i get the money but the 1000 for now is for a good functioning computer.

Prefer to be under 1000 but if its close its not a big deal.

I was looking at the Phenom ii x4 965 from AMD but was also being told to get intel by some friends. What are the thoughts?

I want a pretty cool looking case with a window on the side, currently leaning toward getting one out of the Thermaltake Armor+ series but need to decide wether it will be a full tower or a mid tower.

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August 25, 2010 11:28:09 PM

If you look at my System build thread theres an excellent $1000 build for you, although the toms hardware $1000 system beats it in gaming, this one will be easier to upgrade in future, and will kick butt in certain things(threaded apps)
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August 26, 2010 9:56:26 AM

Alright so I am thinking I want to go with a AMD Phenom ii x4 965 as my processor but I do not know what motherboard to get with it, currently I plan on buying a single Radeon 5770 but in the future would like to buy another and put it in crossfire so the motherboard would need to support that, and I want to be able to put in DDR3 1600 RAM.
Any thoughts on what motherboard to grab and the RAM to pair with it? Help is greatly appreciated
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 12:05:41 PM

Intel will be more expensive, but you'll get better performance. That said, there's nothing wrong with AMD's higher end multicores (I have a triple core and it works very well for what you'd do).

The X4 series uses an AM3 socket, and pretty much any motherboard with multiple PCI-Express x16 slots will be able to do XFire. I would go to Newegg.com and check the motherboard section and use the advanced search that lets you filter by CPU manuf., socket, how many PCI-E slots, etc. Don't over filter (like using RAM speed), because not all of the specs of every part are in there, so you automatically filter them out.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 3:57:15 PM

are you overclocking if you are go for an amd 955, yes intel builds perform better but right now an amd build will be a better buy as intel are changing their sockets so there will be no more cpus made for lga 1156 and 1366, however socket am3 will support the new bulldozer cpus that are coming out(i think im not 100% sure), but if you are not going to upgrade the cpu i would go for an i5 760 build with a gtx 460 1gb graphics card, it is the best gpu price vs performance in my opinion, take a look at this website it might help you choose your cpu and gpu http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/172?vs=180
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August 26, 2010 5:28:52 PM

I am not totally sure, if i had the money i would probably go with intel but even without overclocking it appears the phenom ii x4 965 still outperforms the i5 and in gaming even the i7 920. I havent decided I would overclock it but if I can I will, the big price difference for the tiny difference in performance is the problem I am having with intel. If i was to buy a AMD processer I could then buy a much better graphics card for my budget (have to buy a keyboard and a moniter in that $1000).

And ya i would like a motherboard/processer combo that can be upgraded at some point
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August 26, 2010 5:44:01 PM

if i were to go with the AMD phenom ii x4 965 I can upgrade from the Radeon 5770 to the Radeon 5850 and I think that would be a huge help in the gaming department
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2010 12:25:19 PM

tcraig said:
I am not totally sure, if i had the money i would probably go with intel but even without overclocking it appears the phenom ii x4 965 still outperforms the i5 and in gaming even the i7 920. I havent decided I would overclock it but if I can I will, the big price difference for the tiny difference in performance is the problem I am having with intel. If i was to buy a AMD processer I could then buy a much better graphics card for my budget (have to buy a keyboard and a moniter in that $1000).

And ya i would like a motherboard/processer combo that can be upgraded at some point


i dont get where you get that the amd is cpu is better http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=109 but right now i would also go with an amd build as you would have a better upgrade path, a 5850 is perfect, but if you are overclocking go for a 955 as the 965 is the same chip
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