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First PC build

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December 11, 2010 2:52:34 PM

I am about to build my first PC (though I've installed memory, drives, etc). I plan to partially scavenge parts from an old Gateway that's finally died. I'm trying to be cheap but also get a pretty powerful machine. I'll use it for multi-track music production (Sony Vegas & Sound Forge) and a little bit of photo editing (Photoshop).

Have I overlooked any important considerations?
Is there a way to go cheaper, or something better for similar price?

Scavenged parts:
- mid tower atx size case with 2 fans & usb/firewire connections
- 2 dvd/cd optical drives
- HIPRO power supply rated 305W max
- mouse, keyboard, monitor

Not sure if I should scavenge:
- Sound Blaster Audigy II Rev 2 sound card
- nVidia 6600 GT PCI-E graphics card
- big heat sink with a lot of copper colored fins

Proposed new parts (w/NewEgg prices):
- AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core CPU ($180)
- ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard ($145)
- Kingston ValueRAM 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 memory ($55)
- Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s internal drive ($75)
- SYBA IEEE 1394a FireWire PCI Card with Internal 9-pin Header Model SD-VIA-FW1E1H ($8)

More questions:
- How bad an idea is it to scavenge the old 305W power supply?
- Is there any point in using the old nVidia card, since mobo has onboard video?
- Is there any point in using the old Sound Blaster card since mobo has onboard sound?
- Do I need to buy a new heat sink, or is the old one likely to work?
- What else should I have considered that I don't even realize?

Thanks for any advice!

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a b B Homebuilt system
December 11, 2010 3:23:54 PM
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I wouldnt use a PSU from an old OEM system to power a modern system, older systems were much heavier on the 3.3 and 5V rails, and weak on the 12V rail, modern systems are the reverse. I would pick up a new unit like the Corsair 550VX or the Seasonic S12II, they are both good values and it depends on the day which one is cheaper, getting a 550w will give you plenty of space to add in a graphics card if you determine you need it.

I would leave out the 6600GT but i would try with and without the old sound card, if it was good in its day it may still be better than the onboard, they arent great but they are about the same level as a low end discrete sound card, so the Audigy II may sound better.

The heatsink likely has no heatpipes, and isnt going to be nearly as effective as a modern one so i would leave that. The new CPU as long as it isnt an OEM one will come with a heatsink, if you want a better one you can pick up a hyper 212+ for about 30 off of newegg.
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December 16, 2010 3:37:35 PM

Best answer selected by noisician.
December 16, 2010 3:37:56 PM

Thanks for the input!
!