Building my first computer, just have some questions. :)

Hello all, I'm pretty much new to the community. I'm going to school for web design, and decided it was time to move from my Dell Inspiron 1525 to a desktop made just for me. I've done a little research, but by no means am I hardware literate. I know the difference between the hardware, but I don't know the compatibility whatsoever. So, this is why I'm here; asking you all to help me build my cheap, decent computer.

Approximate Purchase Date: 02/07/2010 (Hopefully!)

Budget Range: $600 max

System Usage from Most to Least Important: adobe cs5 (more than 2 programs able to run at once), general multitasking with dual screens, browsing internet, Netflix..

Parts Not Required: keyboard(maybe), mouse(maybe), monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: – I’m open to other sites if they have great prices though,

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: Not a big deal, I just want good performance for a decent price.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not. (Barely know what that

Monitor Resolution: dual monitors - 1440x900

Additional Comments: I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know I’m tired of overpaying for pre-built computers. The assembling isn’t the hard part for me; it is not knowing the compatibility of the hardware.

The hardware I'm including isn't required, but I do have a preference for an Intel Processor.

Computer Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan $54.99

Processor: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I5750 $204.99

DVD Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $25.97

Hard Drive: I'd want around 1tb, preferably 7200rpm. I found a couple that I liked on newegg, which one do you think I should stick with? (Or show me one you think I should go with besides these?

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

HITACHI Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 (0F12117) 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Video card: This is a pretty important one for me as well; mainly because I want a decent video card. I've looked at a few and researched them, let me know what you think please. From what I understand the two that I chose are pretty decent and they compete with one another pretty well; that makes me even more unsure. The Sapphire is cheaper though.

PowerColor AX5570 1GBD3-H Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card (I've got to be a girl and say that I really like how this one is red.. lol)

SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Low Profile Ready Video Card

Motherboard: I have no clue. I don't even know what's compatible with the hardware I've already selected.

Power Supply: No clue, again. I don't know exactly how much power I need, but I don't know if I should overdo it.

RAM: I'm not sure what's compatible.

Another question: Do the cables come with the products or do I have to buy them separately?

I think that's all of the parts I need? Not sure. I'm very open to suggestions; as I really don't know what I'm doing. (Sorry for saying it again, lol) Please let me know what you think would be best for me.
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  1. 1090T + Gigabyte 880G $235
    and for your uses HD 4250 can also do dual displays

    Items off egg $253


    Optional 60GB Sandforce based SSD for OS/Boot drive $105AR

    $593AR will optional taken up
  2. Best answer
    First off, motherboards will usually come with some number of sata cables.

    Here are my thoughts.

    1) The rosewill case is cheap, and will do the job. The Antec 300 is probably cheaper and better.
    But, let me suggest the lian li PC Q11R case for a bit more. The quality is outstanding, and the R indicates a red color. The color is stunning; it is not painted, but a red anodized aluminum. I have that color in a V351 case, and I love it. Trust me, pay a bit more for it, and you will not regret it. You will see and touch it every day. $100.

    2) Since the lian li case is a mini-ITX case which is very small, it takes a smaller motherboard. I have the ECS H55 motherboard in a backup pc, and It has been working well. You will find that mini-itx motherboards will be cheaper, but they have all you will need. $50.

    3) 4gb of ram is the minimum you should use, but since ram is cheap, and you will be multitasking, I suggest 8gb. Get a 2 x 4gb kit.
    There is no need to get faster ram, lower timings, or fancy heat spreaders. Any such benefits are not noticeable. Here is a G.skil basic kit. $80

    4) The video cards you referenced will work, but they are barely suitable for gaming. I suggest something stronger. Read this article:,2834.html
    For gaming, the graphics card is much more important than the cpu. Get a good one. How about this EVGA GTS450? $130.

    5) The power supply requirement is mostly determined by the graphics configuration. Antec makes quality units, and you do not need anything very strong for a GTS450. Here is an earthwatts 380 that will do the job. $45.

    6) The WD caviar black 1tb is a good drive, and it performs a bit better than most. At $90.

    7) The Asus burner @ $25 is OK also.

    Adding in the i5-750 @ 210, that totals up to about $730. That is slightly over your budget.

    I would suggest the following changes:

    a) Substitute a i3-550 for the i5-750. It will be $130, and probably be superior for your use. That will save you $80. The clock rate is higher(3.2 vs 2.66). It has two cores, plus hyperthreading. Few games or apps can use more than two cores. The 32nm technology will also run cooler. There is also the capability to use the integrated graphics on the H55 motherboard. I would suggest deferring the purchase of the discrete gaming card, allowing you to better assess your needs. The integrated graphics will run your two monitors just fine, and can play some non-action games like civ2 just fine. I do this on my backup PC with a G6950.

    b) The samsung 1tb drive is $25 cheaper, and should still do the job, :

    These two changes will let you come close to your $600 budget.

    c) Lastly, try to find an extra $100 or so in your budget for a SSD for the OS. It will make everything feel so much faster.
    The Intel X25-V 40gb drive will hold the OS(about 13gb) and some apps. Watch the market, it is very competitive, and Intel is rumored to launch gen3 drives in a couple of months which will reduce the price per gb. For convenience, though, I would get one now and not look back.
    You will be very pleased with a SSD

    ----------------good luck--------------
  3. Thank you both for your thoughts! I've decided what I'm going to do now. :)
  4. lahlahlahliz said:
    Thank you both for your thoughts! I've decided what I'm going to do now. :)

    And that is .....?
  5. Best answer selected by lahlahlahliz.
  6. I didn't really follow either of your advice because of the circumstances that I'm dealing with. I had a friend that builds computers make sure that everything is compatible.

    If you'd like I can post my final build list?
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