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1st Home Built PC Advice

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February 23, 2011 2:22:18 AM

Hey guys I've never built my own computer before but I've done some upgrades to them and I was wondering how difficult it actually is to do the whole home build project. Things I've done are add network card, replace video card, upgrade ram and upgrade dvd burner. Do you think i'd have a hard time building my own with this knowledge and a little help? :)  Like many on here I'm looking to upgrade my computer for starcraft 2 because even on the lowest settings I can't play in any game that isnt a 1v1 due to lag issues. Here is my template:

Approximate Purchase Date: This month or next


Budget Range:~500


System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, possibly using some CAD software such as solidworks


Parts Not Required: Im willing to take any parts out of my current system that can be reused. Parts:
Monitor: Using a dynex 720p tv at the moment using the internal speakers or a headset for sound
Keyboard: Cheap Dynex one(is it worth upgrading?)
Mouse: Razer lachesis
Memory: 4 1gb 240-pin DIMM DDR II (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) I believe 2 these ram and the other 2 are the original dell.
Video Card:GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
I don't know about the rest of the parts but if anyone knows a good way to look them up they are the standard parts that came with a dell dimension 8400 series.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any site I will use. I've bought from newegg in the past


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: Anything that you recommend :) 


Overclocking: I've never overclocked before but I would be willing to if you recommend it and guide me.


SLI or Crossfire: I dont know enough to answer this so maybe

Monitor Resolution: I'm not certain the resolutions but looking up a dynex tv it says the max resolution is 1366 x 768. Would it be better off to use a monitor?

Additional Comments: I really appreciate the help thank you.

More about : 1st home built advice

a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2011 10:19:59 AM

Okay here is what I'd consider:
CPU/GPU combo
$207 - $30 MIRc = $177!!! Plenty of CPU power and decent GPU for the $!!!
AMD Athlon II x3 455 & HIS 5770 1 GB GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo
$90 shipped!! SATA 6 GB's, USB 3.0, 2 x 16 PCI-e slots (8 x 8 for dual GPU's)!!!
ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
$50 shipped! Decent RAM at a Decent price!
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
$35 shipped! 30A on the 12v rail (good for GPU power mainly)!!
Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
$60 shipped!! Good case w/5 Case Fans!!! Hard to beat this at this price!
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
$60 shipped!! One of the faster mechanical HD's out there! You can get a bit slower 1TB HD if you like in this price range too.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner
$23 shipped!!
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $525 - $30 MIRc = $495!!! Pretty good system for ~$500 shipped!!

Edit: I forgot to mention that you could build just about any computer out there, since you've already replaced several computer components. The key to building a computer is getting the correct parts to put together. Like if you buy an AMD CPU, you get an AMD mobo that fits the CPU. If you buy a mobo that supports DDR3 RAM than you get DDR3 RAM that works, etc.
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February 23, 2011 11:23:27 AM

I don't know much about component level parts but is the ddr3 noticeably faster than the same amount of ddr2 memory would be? I only say that cuz i'd hate to not use 4gb of memory that i already have and just be out the money for it. Is there any market for reselling any of these parts to make back some of my money?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2011 12:06:29 PM

The DDR3 might be a bit faster than the DDR2, but you can always sell the DDR2 RAM on ebay or craigslist if you like. I could recommend a DDR2 based mobo, so you can save some on the RAM, but in the longer run I think you'd be better off getting a mobo with DDR3 right now, since DDR2 is on it's way out the door. DDR2 RAM is more expensive than DDR3 right now, so you might be able to get a good return on your current DDR2 RAM on ebay or craigslist (not sure, but would make sense to me). DDR2 is going for about $80 for 4 x 1 gb RAM sets, so I'm betting you could get close to $30-40 for your set, which would almost buy you a 2 x 2 GB set of DDR3 right now :) 
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February 23, 2011 1:23:23 PM

Thanks that is a good idea I'll see what I can get for it. Do you think my old video card would be worth selling as well? I don't really have a need for keeping this old computer in tact if I'm building the new one so I'd like to use it to supplement the cost of the new one as much as possible :)  I can understand upgrading for the newer technology though
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February 23, 2011 6:59:29 PM

Also what else would I need for to make it operational? Is there any specific tools I would need to do the install? I can get a free copy of windows 7 through my school is that the only software necessary to get up and running? Do you think it would be worthwhile for me to purchase another set up ram considering it is so cheap and max out the ram right now? Thanks so much for the help
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Best solution

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2011 7:04:28 PM

You could also check out my 450$ build, That'd give you more CPU power and pretty much the same performance in the HDD with the Samsung F3 500gb.

Change the PSU in my 450$ build to an Antec Neo Eco 520w, 40$ right now on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

At that resolution the card I suggested is good enough, so no worries.
Share
February 23, 2011 8:20:32 PM

It is not hard at all to build a pc. My first PC build was at 13 and it is still running 5 years later. Look around and parts and if you want the most bang for the buck i would go Amd something around the X3 450(the best value card-ranked by passmark) and i wouldn't try to get a DDR2 board because DDR3 is faster and cheaper. and make sure you are always grounded and post your build results we'll feel good on the inside
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2011 6:14:52 AM

aznshinobi said:
You could also check out my 450$ build, That'd give you more CPU power and pretty much the same performance in the HDD with the Samsung F3 500gb.

Change the PSU in my 450$ build to an Antec Neo Eco 520w, 40$ right now on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

At that resolution the card I suggested is good enough, so no worries.


I missed the 520W Antec PSU for $40!!! That's a good deal!!

As far as needing any more tools, all you really need is the parts of the computer and Windows OS (if that is what your installing on the system). You will need to make sure you keep all of your original driver discs when you open the boxes. This will help you install the drivers for each device easier. I usually use them first and than update the drivers later after you get things up and running.

I think 4 GB's of RAM right now is a good buy, even 8 GB's is good too, so if you want to get more RAM than do so. I'm not sure how much benefit you get with 8 GB's of RAM over 4 GB's of RAM for most things, but I'm sure there are some applications and maybe some games that might benefit with the more RAM.

You could sell your old 9500 gt GPU, but I wouldn't bet you'd get more than $20-30 for it, so I'd consider keeping it. This would allow you to have a back up GPU to test your current system or another system, if you run into problems later. It might also act as a temporary GPU, if/when you need to send back a GPU for repair/replacement.
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February 24, 2011 6:56:46 AM

For your question about what tools you'll need: Nothing more than a Phillips head screwdriver (or maybe a set of them if you want to be on the safe side). Just follow the new build guide here on Tom's, take it slowly if you're nervous, and just remember to try not to rub your fingers all over the components if you can.

EDIT: The Three Hundred only comes with two fans, and for the same price you can have the HAF 912, with the same basic fan layout. That's not to say the 300 is a bad case; I just prefer the HAF, and you may, too. Outside of the stylistic aspect, the HAF has more slots (meaning you can shove more crap in there!) and has the tool-less design for the drive bays (basically, all you do is snap on some rails to your components and slide them into the bay, no tools required). Personally, I'd take the HAF over the Antec any day.
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February 24, 2011 12:56:16 PM

In terms of difficulty, don't worry! I did my first build in 8th grade...I was in the hospital for a week and my parents felt sorry for me so they helped pay.

I put the system together in 45 minutes. It posted on the first boot, everything okay.

Woohoo nostalgia.

ASUS M2A-VM HDMI
1 GB (2x512) Kingston ValueRam (PC2-6400)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2 GHz
250GB Maxtor SATA II
Integrated graphics (ATI X1250; meh)
Ultra MicroFly case..pretty sure nobody's ever heard of it.
400w PSU
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February 24, 2011 1:07:18 PM

sulbien said:
Hey guys I've never built my own computer before but I've done some upgrades to them and I was wondering how difficult it actually is to do the whole home build project. Things I've done are add network card, replace video card, upgrade ram and upgrade dvd burner. Do you think i'd have a hard time building my own with this knowledge and a little help? :)  Like many on here I'm looking to upgrade my computer for starcraft 2 because even on the lowest settings I can't play in any game that isnt a 1v1 due to lag issues. Here is my template:

Approximate Purchase Date: This month or next


Budget Range:~500


System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, possibly using some CAD software such as solidworks


Parts Not Required: Im willing to take any parts out of my current system that can be reused. Parts:
Monitor: Using a dynex 720p tv at the moment using the internal speakers or a headset for sound
Keyboard: Cheap Dynex one(is it worth upgrading?)
Mouse: Razer lachesis
Memory: 4 1gb 240-pin DIMM DDR II (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) I believe 2 these ram and the other 2 are the original dell.
Video Card:GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
I don't know about the rest of the parts but if anyone knows a good way to look them up they are the standard parts that came with a dell dimension 8400 series.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any site I will use. I've bought from newegg in the past


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: Anything that you recommend :) 


Overclocking: I've never overclocked before but I would be willing to if you recommend it and guide me.


SLI or Crossfire: I dont know enough to answer this so maybe

Monitor Resolution: I'm not certain the resolutions but looking up a dynex tv it says the max resolution is 1366 x 768. Would it be better off to use a monitor?

Additional Comments: I really appreciate the help thank you.

Hi sulbien :hello:  ... I don't want to stop you from asking for advice,because that is part of the fun idea of learning ;)  ...But there is another part & that is the hard yards & hard yakka that every one should put into their learning period...You should also as well as asking for advice,check out what you have been told to see if it is correct & do a lot of studying up on the internet also as well as checking out prices of hardware...So start now :pt1cable:  ...
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 25, 2011 3:09:50 AM

wannaturnuptheheat said:
For your question about what tools you'll need: Nothing more than a Phillips head screwdriver (or maybe a set of them if you want to be on the safe side). Just follow the new build guide here on Tom's, take it slowly if you're nervous, and just remember to try not to rub your fingers all over the components if you can.

EDIT: The Three Hundred only comes with two fans, and for the same price you can have the HAF 912, with the same basic fan layout. That's not to say the 300 is a bad case; I just prefer the HAF, and you may, too. Outside of the stylistic aspect, the HAF has more slots (meaning you can shove more crap in there!) and has the tool-less design for the drive bays (basically, all you do is snap on some rails to your components and slide them into the bay, no tools required). Personally, I'd take the HAF over the Antec any day.

The Antec 300 "Illusion" that I linked, comes with 5 FANS!!! Please check out the specs on it before making uninformed statements. I do like the HAF 912 too, but for the amount of $ and the amount of fans, it's hard to beat a Antec 300 Illusion case for the $.
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March 7, 2011 12:43:23 AM

Best answer selected by sulbien.
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