Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

First time custom PC need advice!

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
January 30, 2013 10:27:12 PM

Hi guys! So I've been planning to build my own custom P.C for a while but being a rookie that I am it seems that I am having more questions and troubles than solutions!

So couple of things that it probably won't help but just to give an idea of what kind of situation that I am in;

I currently use Dell XPS 430 ( for system details, http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/uk/en/ukdhs... )
and I am on a very tight budget here too, so I was wondering what parts of my old Dell XPS430 can I re-use? As far as I understand their motherboards are usually custom built and etc.

So the main components that I am/already have got are as follows;

Components that I already have

PSU: XFX Pro 750W Core Edition '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply

GPU:Asus HD 7770 2GB dual fan 1020 MHz OC - this one I bought seeing as it was relatively cheap and was on sale :p 

Components that I will get
CPU: AMD Bulldozer FX-4 Quad Core 4170 4.20GHz

Motherboard: Gigabyte 78LMT-USB3 AMD 760G (Socket AM3+) DDR3 Motherboard

RAM: 4GB DDR3 1333MHz Single Channel

Case: Zalman Z9 Midi Tower Case - Black (ATX, M-ATX, 7 Expansion Slots, Supports Bottom PSU Installation, Upto 7 System Fans, Tool Free HDD Installation)

O.K, so here are the actual questions :p 

1.) Will my GPU work with the Motherboard that I am getting? Along with everything else?
2.) As I mentioned briefly which parts of my Dell could I use instead of spending extra money? Such as optical drive, is it possible that I could use my optical drive from Dell onto the new PC?
3.) Is it possible that I wouldn't have to spend extra money buying that RAM and use the old one instead? (As far as I understand they are both dual channel use DDR3 and are both 4GB RAM.
4.) What other components would I need? (Keep in mind I will be using the same monitor) Such as soundcard, do I need one?
5.) Is the case I am getting big enough for all the components to fit?

Thanks guys, I know I have a lot of questions and the text seem to be long but any form of help would be appreciated!

More about : time custom advice

a b V Motherboard
January 30, 2013 10:48:38 PM

1. Yes
2. You can use the old optical drive
3. Yes you can. (see my explanation part)
5. Yes
Okay, so you can use a lot of stuff from your old computer. You can even reuse the old hard drive as long as it's SATA II or SATA III. As long as it's DDR3 1333mhz or 1600mhz then you can use it. For gaming 4-8gb won't make much of a difference as 8 to 16gb won't affect your gameplay much. (by like 5fps) The stuff to focus on would be the CPU and the Motherboard. I would recommend a Intel i3 3220 and a ASrock H77M motherboard with this build.
a b V Motherboard
January 30, 2013 10:49:10 PM

You should be able to keep memory and drives from the Dell system, the gpu should work with the motherboard, the Zalman case should be sufficient for your components, and you don't need a separate soundcard (onboard sound is almost always sufficient)
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
January 30, 2013 10:55:43 PM

The reason I recommend the i3 3220 is that it uses WAY less power and produces around the same performance a 4300/4170 would. The motherboard I have chosen is a solid and popular choice that many people get. The reason that I said IF the ram is ddr3 is because I did not see what ram came with your computer. Make sure it's DDR3 and the speed should be 1333mhz or 1600mhz, if there is 2 sticks then great because that means it's a dual channel kit. The HDD you MIGHT be able to reuse, make sure it is a SATA hard drive and not a IDE one. How do you tell? You look at the 2 plugs on your hard drive. There should be a thin cable usually red or black or blue and not a thin ribbon cable. SATA is the new standard and there are 3 revisions of it. SATA, SATA II, and SATA III. They are all back/forwards compatible but might suffer some lower speeds but should still perform well.

IDE cable: http://pc-level.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ide-cabl...
SATA cable: http://www.buildeasypc.com/pics/sata_cable.jpg

A sound card is usually unnecessary because on board audio has come so far these days. I don't think you need to upgrade your case as you COULD fit everything inside of it, I do not see any problems with the current DELL case. Just to be sure could you please post a picture of the PC internals? So that I can see what stuff is in there and the room you have to work with.
a b V Motherboard
January 30, 2013 10:57:45 PM

1.) Yes that GPU will work with any motherboard with PCI-E 2.0 or 3.0 x16 slot.
2.) The only thing you should be able to use would be the DVD drive and hard drive.
3.) Normally I'd say just buy a good 8GB memory kit and not have to upgrade in the future. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... But I can't find any of the specs on your old computer so I'm not sure if it's the right memory or not.
4.) You won't need a dedicated sound card, the onboard chip in current motherboards are more than good enough. The only thing you are missing is a copy of windows. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q0PT3I/?tag=pcpapi-20
5.) Yes that case is fine.

One thing I would change though is the CPU, that's the last gen and the newer gen FX series CPU's are much better. You can choose the either the 4 or 6 series and be around the same price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 30, 2013 11:27:04 PM

completelyrandomname said:
The reason I recommend the i3 3220 is that it uses WAY less power and produces around the same performance a 4300/4170 would. The motherboard I have chosen is a solid and popular choice that many people get. The reason that I said IF the ram is ddr3 is because I did not see what ram came with your computer. Make sure it's DDR3 and the speed should be 1333mhz or 1600mhz, if there is 2 sticks then great because that means it's a dual channel kit. The HDD you MIGHT be able to reuse, make sure it is a SATA hard drive and not a IDE one. How do you tell? You look at the 2 plugs on your hard drive. There should be a thin cable usually red or black or blue and not a thin ribbon cable. SATA is the new standard and there are 3 revisions of it. SATA, SATA II, and SATA III. They are all back/forwards compatible but might suffer some lower speeds but should still perform well.

IDE cable: http://pc-level.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ide-cabl...
SATA cable: http://www.buildeasypc.com/pics/sata_cable.jpg

A sound card is usually unnecessary because on board audio has come so far these days. I don't think you need to upgrade your case as you COULD fit everything inside of it, I do not see any problems with the current DELL case. Just to be sure could you please post a picture of the PC internals? So that I can see what stuff is in there and the room you have to work with.


If it wasn't for the custom made Dell PSU I would've had enough space I think, but unfortunately at the back of the case where the PSU goes in there's no space for the switch (O/I on/off) which the PSU my friend gave me has, and it also seems that the PSU needs to be fit sideways? All in all it seems that unfortunately due to the PSU I'd need a new case which sucks T^T I assume it's because Dell makes their own custom cases too.

As for the memory the speed seems to be 4096MB (4X1024) 1067MHZ DDR3 DU according to Dell, would that mean I need to get a new RAM?

Thank you so much for such detailed and quick response, but I thought if I was going to get an AMD product, I should get rest of the components from AMD, is that wrong to assume?

For example; you recommended that I should get intel i3 with AMD motherboard and GPU, do they work well together and etc?

As for the selection of motherboard, it just seemed cheap (as I mentioned I am working with tight budget) and I don't really want to completely overhaul my P.C , just want a cheap way to slightly upgrade my P.C so it can last for another good 2-3 years :) 

As far as gaming goes, I don't intend to hit maximum settings on current generation games, I just want to actually play them without looking at teared textures and such! Hehe!

Seems that my HDD is SATA cable! Thank you for easy-to-compare... comparison..? I guess? :p 
January 30, 2013 11:30:04 PM

andrewcarr said:
1.) Yes that GPU will work with any motherboard with PCI-E 2.0 or 3.0 x16 slot.
2.) The only thing you should be able to use would be the DVD drive and hard drive.
3.) Normally I'd say just buy a good 8GB memory kit and not have to upgrade in the future. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... But I can't find any of the specs on your old computer so I'm not sure if it's the right memory or not.
4.) You won't need a dedicated sound card, the onboard chip in current motherboards are more than good enough. The only thing you are missing is a copy of windows. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Q0PT3I/?tag=pcpapi-20
5.) Yes that case is fine.

One thing I would change though is the CPU, that's the last gen and the newer gen FX series CPU's are much better. You can choose the either the 4 or 6 series and be around the same price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


As for the lack of RAM and CPU, it's because I am... you know... poor :p  it just seems that the CPU is good enough for it to last couple of years? o.o am I wrong to think that? I don't intend to completely overhaul my P.C, just wanted to upgrade it slightly and last for another 2-3 years before I completely upgrade my P.C :) 
a b V Motherboard
January 30, 2013 11:43:08 PM

I still highly advise getting the better parts so you have them if you don't plan on upgrading for a while, why not spend an extra $20 (on the CPU at least) and get something significantly better.
a b V Motherboard
January 30, 2013 11:45:13 PM

I do not recall recommending a INTEL cpu with an AMD motherboard. In fact those will NOT work because Intel goes with Intel and the same for AMD. What I suggested works great. Great, you can use your old Hard Drive! 1046mhz DDR3 ram?? I have never heard of that, I suggest you buy a cheap 8gb kit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It wasn't very long ago when 1gb DDR1 ram was like $100 if I recall correctly.
January 31, 2013 12:09:32 AM

completelyrandomname said:
I do not recall recommending a INTEL cpu with an AMD motherboard. In fact those will NOT work because Intel goes with Intel and the same for AMD. What I suggested works great. Great, you can use your old Hard Drive! 1046mhz DDR3 ram?? I have never heard of that, I suggest you buy a cheap 8gb kit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It wasn't very long ago when 1gb DDR1 ram was like $100 if I recall correctly.


Ah, my bad! I guess I should have elaborated myself bit more clearly, what I was asking was if I were to get the same motherboard instead of your recommendation but instead use the CPU you recommended would it work :p  but it looks like you answered the questions already! I guess as for the RAM Dell uses custom build I suppose :/ 

But either way thank you very much for your suggestions and answers I appreciate it :) 
a b V Motherboard
January 31, 2013 12:43:40 AM

No problem man :p 
Good day. (you know what? I'm gonna start saying good day at the end of all my posts lol)
!