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Building PC - Need lot's of help

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May 3, 2011 11:25:55 PM

Remember, three months until I decide on the entire layout, so I'm open to all suggestions.
[INTRODUCTION]
Spoiler
Alright so I use to be a complete computer geek until I lost interest in computers, and well, know I'm interested again. You see, there's this guy, who is kind of a rip off, who plans on building my next PC for me. He also charges extra for shipping/labor, when I know I can get things free shipping/inexpensive shipping and of course labor would be free if I did it.

So please, help me get back into computers, so that I can save a lot of money. From what I heard building a PC is as easy as LEGO, and configuring the BIOS, well, not so easy but hopefully you guys can help me with that.

This is what I'm looking for:
Spoiler

Chassis/case
-Decent looking+functional and not cheap / -(whatever recommended)
Power supply
-Silent'ish, the one I have sounds like an airplane sometimes
CD drive
-Basic / (whatever recommended)
DVD drive
-Basic / (whatever recommended)
Hard Drive
-250GB - 1TB
RAM
-minimum 2GB, 3GB if possible, 4GB preferred
Motherboard
-whatever works well with the CPU
CPU
-Runs smoothly with the graphics card / -(whatever recommended)
-(whatever recommended)
Thermal paste
-(whatever recommended)
Hard drive cable/CD+DVD drive cable/any other cable(s)
-(whatever recommended)
Graphics card
-Can play games like Fallout NV, Crysis (1), LFD2, etc
Sound card
-if needed, whatever recommend
Monitor
-small, I prefer small, as in "15 range (flat screen- I can get one for around $50)
Keyboard/Mouse
-i would like a high quality gaming mouse/keyboard
Operating system
-windows XP professional, because I have older programs/older games, which run better on XP (and it's really inexpensive). However i can never find it for sale on reliable websites such as newegg, so otherwise windows 7


Approximate Purchase Date: Within 2-3 months
Budget Range: 300 range, 400 max from top to bottom
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Hardcore basic gaming, casual gaming, surfing internet
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com and any other reliable trustworthy websites that offer inexpensive products
Country of Origin: Canada
Parts Preferences: Anything recommended, that lasts+works
Overclocking: ?
SLI or Crossfire: ?
Monitor Resolution: ?

Additional Comments:
I'm leaning towards two different types of computer(s). One, that right off the bat has a nice graphics card, processor etc, allowing me to play some decent games, however will suffer with low RAM etc. Or the other, which will not have any fancy graphics card or processor etc (will have integrated most likely), just simple ones for basic gaming so that I can upgrade later on, however it will have very high RAM, Hard drive, etc to make up for.

Remember this is my first build and I've been away from computers for awhile so I may ask silly questions but please be understanding and answer them to the best of your ability.

If you have any other questions that will help you help me, please feel free to ask.

Silly questions not yet answered:

Spoiler
-What is Overclocking?
-What is SLI or Crossfire?
-Monitor resolution? Is that screen resolution?
-What exactly is a CD/DVD burner and is it necessary?

More about : building lot

May 4, 2011 12:31:07 AM

Keep in mind that most of these links are from Microcenter (sorry, but newegg is blocked on my work computer), but still, I really don't see how you don't think you're not asking for much. Most of the parts in this build are subpar, or worse, and you're still over budget. To make things worse, I really wouldn't ever recommend this build, simply because the compatability if these parts is questionable. That being said, a $400 budget is very unlikely to get you a decent system; especially if you're building it yourself.

In order to really meet the budget, you'd have to reconsider your CPU. Basically, any build revolves around the mobo/CPU. However, if you don't have an OS on your hands already, then expect to be paying $500+. Not even prebuilt systems with i3 CPUs are that cheap.

Honestly, with your budget, you're better off buying a prebuilt system that is AMD-based, such as an Athlon X2 CPU.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-s5743w/16472509
But still, you'd be over budget if you were to buy your keyboard and mouse.

Dell: http://www.dell.com/us/p/desktops#facets=51805~0~812581...
Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/browse/Computers/Desktop-Compute...

Case: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $25
PSU: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $38
DVD (can read CD, too): http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $25
HDD: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $50
mobo: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $75
RAM options: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $50 4GB, single module
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $50, two modules
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $28, two modules
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $22, one module
CPU: http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.phtml?... $100
HSF: use stock
Thermal paste: use stock
Cabling: use what's provided with devices
GPU: Use onboard VGA, unless you're willing to increase your budget higher than $400
Sound: Use onboard sound chipset, unless you're willing to increase your budget higher than $400.
Monitor: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml... $90
Keyboard/mouse: get your preferred choices for $75
OS: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Windows-Home-FULL-VERSI... you might actually be saving money if you buy Windows 7

Edit: even with these questionable parts, I've got you at ~$388 without any RAM or OS. If you're not too concerned with quality, perhaps you could go to newegg and find a mobo/CPU combo, or price out the cheapest two parts, based on the i3. Then select the cheapest parts for the rest of your build . Keep the GPU and Sound Card out of your build. Now, when you get your total, see where you stand in your budget. From there, we can explore options to increase the quality of your build.

Alternatively, base your build around AMD, as they are cheaper parts, typically.
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May 4, 2011 2:17:13 AM

I'm so sorry for being difficult and asking for too much :( .

Also I didn't specifically want something i3. In all honestly, I just want a $400 max top to bottom build that can play the games listed even at low detail (games like fallout NV). Like I said I know little about computers now so it's all up to you guys to give me a build :S.

It would be extremely helpful if you list a few graphics cards/processors that are perfect for what I'm looking for, and I can check newegg for combo deals. I have no idea what kind of graphics card, or processor I should be looking for.

Let's start from scratch, tell me what you think I need, list a bunch of things in the range that I need, then we can work from there. It's pointless for me to suggest things like CPU because clearly I don't know what I'm doing. Also please post some things in newegg if possible, I really like newegg. Thanks!

[EDIT] UPDATE;

So far here's what I got;

• Chassis/case
[NOT DECIDED]
• Power supply
350W $30
• CD drive
CD/DVD Burner $20
• DVD drive
DVD ROM? $15
• Hard Drive
-250GB $37
• RAM
-2GB $19
• Motherboard
[UNDECIDED]
• CPU
[UNDECIDED]
• Thermal paste
...
• Hard drive cable
...
• CD/DVD drive cable
...
• Any other cable(s)
...
• Graphics card
HD Radeon 5450 $50
• Sound card
...
• Monitor
$50
• Keyboard/Mouse
$26
• Operating system
I can get windows XP free, or very cheap.

Total; $247, still need chassis, motherboard, CPU, sound card/cables if possible.
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May 4, 2011 3:37:32 AM

Wait, what exactly is a CD/DVD burner? I don't even burn things, but do I still need it? Besides I think you need special software for CD/DVD burners like Nero if I'm not mistaken.
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May 4, 2011 9:26:25 PM

I would wait a few months and see what the amd llano Apu are like. Wikipedia says they will start being released june/july. I doubt the dual core variants will be that expensive. Since its an apu, you wouldn't have to buy a graphics card. You don't need a sound card. On-board audio is more than sufficient. Thermal paste usually comes with the cpu I think. Good luck finding a stylish case for under $50.

Optical drives are so cheap that you won't save any money buy getting rid of the burner. Windows can burn files to discs and its not hard to burn something like an audio cd with windows media player.
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May 4, 2011 10:40:53 PM

dgriffs said:
I would wait a few months and see what the amd llano Apu are like. Wikipedia says they will start being released june/july. I doubt the dual core variants will be that expensive. Since its an apu, you wouldn't have to buy a graphics card. You don't need a sound card. On-board audio is more than sufficient. Thermal paste usually comes with the cpu I think. Good luck finding a stylish case for under $50.

Optical drives are so cheap that you won't save any money buy getting rid of the burner. Windows can burn files to discs and its not hard to burn something like an audio cd with windows media player.


So you're suggesting, a dual core is what kind of processor I need for the graphics card I have?

So since on the apu I don't need to buy a graphics card, does that mean it will be integrated? Usually integrated graphics cards are not very high performance.

I did, actually, a coolmaster I think it was called, very good looking very stylish (I think it was on sale) lots of room to apparently. Very close to $50.

Thanks for the feedback.
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May 4, 2011 10:44:17 PM

Well Honestly, you could check out my build guide for $450. Though my build doesn't include peripherals which would prove to be a problem. But tell me what you think.

The Integrated is VERY weak, I highly doubt it will play those games at low. Maybe basic apps but not gaming at all. The 5450 wouldn't handle gaming either. It's more of an HTPC card.
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May 4, 2011 10:59:42 PM

Really? I've heard many people say they can run MW2 max detail, play crysis etc on that card. It's meant for basic gaming, like what I do, but it can still play those games, which is exactly what I want. It least from what I've heard, but I could be wrong.

Define "gaming". I play crossfire, and minecraft. That is gaming, but even an e-machines can play those. I may play crysis, but it would be normal setting or lower, and I wouldn't be playing it all the time.

Thanks for the feedback.
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May 4, 2011 11:04:28 PM

These are the two possible options for a computer that I'm getting;

-inegraded, all-in-one cheap components, that can ONLY play games like crossfire, however because of the cheap graphical and "performance" components, it will have 1-2TB, 4+ GB of RAM etc.

-graphics card, processor mobo etc that runs games fairly well, basic games very well with the graphics card, however low 250-500GB hard drive, low 2GBish RAM, etc.

[REMEMBER I HAVEN'T OFFICIALLY DECIDED THE ENTIRE LAYOUT OF THE PC AND I SITLL HAVE 3 MONTHS SO NO RUSH I WILL TAKE ALL SUGGESTIONS]
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May 4, 2011 11:23:17 PM

AznShinobi that guide looks really helpful but I'm really busy I don't have time to read all of that maybe just the basics.
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May 5, 2011 12:17:42 AM

^ You just need to read the $450 guide really.

Can you stretch your budget? or does it have to be below 400$
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May 5, 2011 1:28:03 AM

A 15" monitor will probably have a low resolution. And the apu stuff isn't terrible. Take a look at the current intel 3000 graphics stuff. I'm reading a review that says its on par with the 5470 which would be faster than the 5450. The amd fusion stuff releasing in the summer should have even better graphics capabilities. Though I would agree apus aren't really intended for 3d gaming. I would recommend that 5570. It would probably be worth the extra money.
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May 5, 2011 3:26:24 AM

The Intel 3000 is in the K series though. The 2000 HD is in the i3 2100. It's definitely not very good. If you want something good, as dgriffs said, the APU's in the Fusions will be good on the die graphics.
Refer here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/AMD-llano-husky-apu-ra...

The 6450 is a really big improvement over the 5450, beats out the 220 GT and close to the 5550. So the 6550 in the higher end Llano's should prove to be able to beat the 430 GT and maybe even the 5570.
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