Couple of questions about building a PC

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posted on Sep, 18 2009 @ 01:17 PM
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I had posted awhile back about my desktop getting fried and know there are some really smart people here when it comes to computers so I'm hoping for some advice here. I've been contemplating building a new desktop myself to replace the one that died. Figure if I build it myself I can get it how I want it without (hopefully) spending thousands, and I can scavenge some parts from the dead PC that I think are still working. (Of course if they're toasted too I'll have to replace them anyway, but it's worth a try I think.) I'm hoping to keep my total under $500.

Before the desktop died on me, I had upgraded the RAM, video card and power supply, so I have some basic working knowledge of how to replace parts at least and I've found a few sites that give instructions with pictures on when to put what in where. I also found these two builds for gaming PC's that are around my budget:


NeoGaf
US GAF's ULTIMATE $550 GAMING RIG.

Motherboard (MSI 790X Crossfire) + Processor (Phenom ii X4 945 3ghz) + GPU (MSI 4890 1GB OC edition) Combo (This combo isn't available anymore, but I left it in because it's part of their build)
HDD (WD CAVIAR BLUE 640GB SATA)
DVD (Samsung 22X DVDRW)
Case (Coolermaster Elite 330 e)
PSU (OCZ 500W Modular 80+)
RAM (OCZ 4GB DDR2 800)




MaximumPC
Motherboard MSI P43 Neo3-F LGA 775
CPU Intel Pentium E5200
Videocard Powercolor AX4870 512MB
RAM Crucial 2GB DDR2/800
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS
Optical Drive Samsung SH-S223F
Case + Power Supply Rosewill TU-155 II 500 Black


I can salvage the case and disc drives from the old desktop, so that'll save some money. I've also read in several places that the AMD processors are just as good as the Intel ones and are cheaper. If I do build one, it'll be used for some gaming in addition to the typical everyday computing stuff. Unfortunately for me I know next to nothing about motherboards or processors, and it's been awhile since I paid much attention to graphic cards and those seem to be improved on every day.

I'm not looking to build one with the absolute best parts, which is why I searched for and found these $500 builds, but I do want to make sure that I'm not buying parts that won't run recently released games on at least medium settings. And I should be able to upgrade it later on at any rate if I need/want to.

Would either of these builds be better than the other? Or is there a different option that I should consider instead? Any help is greatly appreciated. I want to make sure I do it right the first time so I'm not having buyer's remorse as soon as I get it started up.




posted on Sep, 18 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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i have a nvidia 9500gt,it runs all of the newest newest games on 1024x768 with 2x antisampling,but u be sure to get something a little better,my video cards was like 100$ in bulgaria..cheap country ,cheap pc parts xexe XD
2g ram is good but go for 4g,i hear ram is cheap in ur countryes xD
2core processor will do u fine,but still get something with 2.8 speed atleast XD
for my next pc thats going to be like BATMAN,im going to invest in a flash memory hard disk,u know like usb sticks,,,that never get disk errors..couse its cooool and reliable,be sure to write me when u need to put windows and software and such,ill help wit advices



posted on Sep, 18 2009 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by Jenna
 


It would be useful to know what parts do you already have that you could use again with the new PC?

Do You have DDR2 Ram?

How many watts the PSU? - does it have 1 8pin + 1 6pin for power-demanding GFX/videocards?

What GFX/video card did you buy?


Usually it's the motherbord that fries or get easy broken, and your cpu could still be OK!

But I understand if you would like to upgrade to a better cpu/M-board and GFX/videocard - but please tell what stuff you have now - model nr: & Name of parts.

To see if you could scavenge some old parts like Ram, PSU etc?



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by Chevalerous
 


I'm not 100% certain that they still work (as far as I know only the motherboard and hard drive were fried), but I have an ATI Radeon 9250 PCI graphic card, a 350w Antec power supply, a 3.5 floppy drive, and two cd/dvd disc drives (one is a cd burner as well). I don't have a screw driver handy to pop the drives out for model numbers right now, but I can get them if needed. The case is from a Dell 2400 but I don't know if it's a mid-size tower or a full size. Definitely not a mini though.

I just opened the case so I could type that out and have somehow managed to lose a 256mb Ram stick. There were two but now I only have one, so that's a bit odd.. The one I have left is only DDR, so it'll need replaced as well but as cheap as it is now compared to a few years ago I don't mind.

Edit: Realized I didn't answer the question about the pins. Only one bundle of wires coming from the power supply is labeled (it's for the mother board), but I don't see any that would fit on anything with 8 pins. There is one that'll fit on 6 pins that says PCI E on it though so I'm assuming that one would be used for the graphic card. It would be easier to tell you if the shop I took it to when I couldn't fix it hadn't unplugged everything and left all the wires hanging inside the case.

[edit on 19-9-2009 by Jenna]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by Stillalive
 


Sounds like a plan to me. I managed to get Windows 7 preordered for half price and some change because I'm a student. (Would have been cheaper if I hadn't ordered the disc and had just gotten the download but I'm weird like that.) So that'll be the system I put on the desktop once it's put together. Much cheaper than Vista, and it sounds like it's a better OS from what I've read online so far. Here's hoping it is since I already bought it!



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by Jenna
 


OK! Jenna! You have a Dell-specific system so I'm going to be honest here, don't get me wrong because I have a few Dell PC's here at the office and they are working great as my workstations! but!...

Since Dell uses a lot of their own stuff when they are building their PC's - like special motherboards connectors, different pins on the chords/fan cables etc - because of this, they are also sometimes difficult to upgrade if you want to do the upgrades yourself and buy parts from (for example) Newegg etc.

I have tinkered with a few of my own Dell's long time ago when I tried to upgrade some of them on my own, and there were some problems with compatibility, drivers, plugs from my new parts that didn't fit etc!

Dell's are often fine as long as you are using their stuff - for example: last week I ordered a new more powerful PSU from Dell for one of my old 2003 Dell Pentium 4 3.0 GHz PC that I still use for office work/mail/surf etc.

And that was no problems at all, I just slapped the new PSU into the case and at the same time I took some leftover DDR Ram sticks and upgraded my memory to 3GB. But I use this one only for office work.

But if you want to build a new "Gaming PC" with "good deal price parts" from Newegg for example, and to save you from problems & headaches with "compatibility issueses" and "driver problems" "not enough space for Graphic card in the case" etc! - I would advice you to build a new PC with a new cheap case from scratch!

The PC that you have now, you could convert later to a surf/office PC if you take the time to search for new cheap parts on the net, there are sites with very nice prices for Dell related parts in the U.S.

So if I were you I would save that ATI Radeon 9250 PCI graphic card and the 350w Antec power supply for an future office/surf PC.


If you want a PC for gaming that last for a while before another upgrade again, I would advice you to buy at least the ATI 4850 or 4870 videocard for smoother gaming - but that also depends on which games you're playing and how big monitor-screen and how big resolution you're playing with of course!


OK! here are some alternatives:

XFX HD-485X-ZDFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit - Double Lifetime Manufacture Warranty
www.newegg.com...

EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3
www.newegg.com...


Do you play World of Warcraft kind of games or heavy action games as Crysis & Far Cry 2 - COD 4 - boy games?


For the more heavy stuff I'll list a few more powerful & expensive cards:


ASUS EAH4870 DK/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4870 Dark Knight 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
www.newegg.com...

HIS H487FM1GH Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
www.newegg.com...

SAPPHIRE 100279-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
www.newegg.com...

XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
www.newegg.com...


This is basically a good cpu & mother board for the budget gamer with good price/performace for the newer DDR3 Memory/Ram (Most Modern Ram - new generation)
www.newegg.com...

This DDR3 RAM was listed on the Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P motherboard's support list
www.newegg.com...


CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS - Voted Best Power Supply Manufacturer by Custom PC 2008 ($79.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
www.newegg.com...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 ($54.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate)
www.newegg.com...


Hard drive - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB
www.newegg.com...


A good ventilated case - COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black:
www.newegg.com...

With all the cheaper alternatives that I've listed here it will cost you: $ 565 from Newegg, with the mail in rebate I think - but the shipping is an additional cost.

Maybe there are cheaper and better places to buy from in the U.S?

You said you had the disc-drives so they are not included - but do you know If they are SATA discs or Parallel ATA (PATA) ?

Parallel ATA (PATA) is the older plugs and looks like this:
en.wikipedia.org...

Serial ATA (SATA) is the newer smaller plugs:
en.wikipedia.org...

Ciao!

[edit on 19-9-2009 by Chevalerous]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by Chevalerous
 


I bought the Dell back in 2004 before I knew how badly Dell's suck when it comes to game-playing. Which is why I ended up upgrading the power supply, graphics card, and ram. Had a heck of a time finding a better graphics card that would work with it and then spent two days talking to tech support at both Dell and ATI figuring out how to disable the darn onboard graphics. I was about to pull my hair out when I finally fixed it, so I have no problem not using anything from Dell.


I figured I'd probably have to start from scratch, so I did some looking on my own last night on newegg and came up with a list that put me under $500 before shipping and without the disc drives. I'll post it up at the bottom of this post so you can take a look at tell me what you think.

As far as games go, I've never played WOW. (Too cheap to pay a monthly fee just to play a game!) Not too good at COD4 but I can kick some supermutant tail in Fallout 3. I'm more into the rpg type games (Oblivion, Morrowind, Fable 1 & 2, etc) but I also play Mercenaries 2 and rented Wet when it came out last week. And I went and pre-ordered Dragon Age Origins the other day. All of these are on the Xbox360. I like the "boy" games, they're more fun.


I checked the cables for the disc drives and they're the PATA version. I'm guessing those'll have to be replaced since the plugs are outdated?

I hadn't looked at the links for your suggestions till I started typing so I wouldn't forget any thoughts I had about them, and going through them quite a few are the same things I had put on my list last night just from different companies. Makes me wonder which of us is psychic.
So I think what I'll do is link up the ones I had wishlisted last night and you can tell me what difference there is between them and the ones you linked to if there is any.

Once I get settled on which parts I'm getting I'm going to shop around for the best prices on everything, but all my links are to newegg. It was the easiest place for me to navigate since I was kinda guessing at what parts I would need.

ASUS M4A77TD Pro AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor

Athena Power AP-P4ATX55FEC Continuous 550W @ 40°C EPS12V Ver. 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Nickel Coating PS2 ATX v2.2/ EPS12V Power Supply

EVGA 01G-P3-1155-TR GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

AIDMAX Hurricane ATX-248WB Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

I don't mind spending more on the graphics card if I need to because I don't want to have to upgrade it for awhile. And I realize that a few of the parts I just linked to probably won't come with the necessary cords to hook them up since they're open box but I'm fine with that since cords are cheap.

What's the difference between the AMD Athelon II and AMD Phenom II processors? The motherboards are pretty much the same thing from different companies I think, so the difference between what I had wishlisted and what you linked to would be in the processor.

Edit: Spaced out my links to eliminate the wall of blue text effect.


[edit on 19-9-2009 by Jenna]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 08:05 AM
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Hi again!

Great! I just saw that you had posted this! I will come back later tonight and read it through once more since I'm now in a rush to a birthday dinner! and I'm already late!


OK! a few words for now!

I wouldn't take a chance to buy an open box motherboard - too risky! :shk: (could if you're unlucky have hidden damages from static electricity) you never know how it been handled by the former buyer or persons at the vending place/shop - but that's just me being my paranoid self!


For any other stuff, Videocards, etc! I wouldn't mind to buy open boxes! but never mother-boards!

Asus are doing great boards and other stuff - but they have terrible support if anything is broken or goes wrong - their website for bios, updates etc are very slow! - they never answered my questions on their support forum etc!

Yes! I have had terrible experiences with Asus! but don't let that scare you because I'm still buying Asus stuff & motherboards, but now I at least know what to expect if anything goes wrong.

So I would therefore regarding MY experiences with Asus support - in this case between these two boards, maybe buy the Gigabyte motherboard instead - if I were to build a PC for the first time.

Or buy a ASUS board that never has been open to be on the safe side!

There are not so big differences though! Gigabyte has only ONE PCI-express slot while Asus has two (2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (*blue@ x16 mode, black@ x4 mode - only important if you want crossfire - two of the same videocards) which I don't like because of the heat involved with two videocards.

The on board sound chip and codec is slightly better on the gigabyte board.

And yes! I would buy the Phenom X3 before the one that you listed, to take advantage of these new faster DDR3 Rams - the newer architecture and the memory bandwidth for the DDR3 memory controller delivers better of processor-to-system bandwidth. The price/performance is quite good for this CPU (bang for the buck).

Simply, with this CPU you get more bang for the buck and slightly faster computer together with the new DDR3 memories in threaded computing - It also has better/more cache - 6MB of L3 cache to be shared to handle really heavy loads or large data sets. But all depends what you want your CPU for? - one extra or two extra cores could be good for multi-tasking and future games and applications, photoshop etc!

But the main difference between the older Athlon II X2 architecture and Phenom is that Phenom is a bit faster and have the newer and better architecture. The addition of the L3 cache is also the largest difference between the old and the new.

The differences are not THAT huge though!

Articles here:
www.pcper.com...
www.anandtech.com...

A few AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Reviews:

www.neoseeker.com...

www.pcper.com...

www.guru3d.com...

www.xbitlabs.com...


Another choice would be to buy any of these:

www.newegg.com...

www.newegg.com...

And I would invest in a good PSU - the one you listed is only efficient up to 40°C , you should buy one that manage 50°C because they have better components and stuff inside the PSU - and often more solid Japanese capacitors instead of inferior chinese cheap stuff. And it's more efficient to have a 80 PLUS Certified PSU.

I think this OCZ would be the better choice - it's also modular which means that you connect only the cables that you are using to the PSU - which gives less cable-clutter inside the case to hinder air circulation.

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W 80 PLUS Certified Modular $79.99 but $54.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate.
www.newegg.com...

This one you listed is perfect! - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB
www.newegg.com...

The OCZ Ram you listed I have to look more into - Is not as fast as 1333 or higher RAM so I'm not sure that they will take so much advantage of the new DDR3 standard and speeds together with the CPU? - these have speeds as the older DDR2's.

RAIDMAX Hurricane ATX-248WB Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - this case looks OK! be sure though that a longer newer videocard fits, and don't bump into the HDD-cage.

A guy in one Newegg review seems to fit his ATI 4890 into case so I guess it's OK! - but to be on the safe side - read the reviews on the net before buying!
www.newegg.com...


Please! I hope you remember to check on the internet looking for reviews etc - that could help a lot when you're buying new parts to see if there are some related problems and to see what other people think in general! - but you know this of course!


I hope that I didn't scare you away with all my opinions?



OK! Gotta run! I will come back and read more later!



[edit on 20-9-2009 by Chevalerous]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by Chevalerous
 


That's a good point about the open box motherboard. I hadn't even thought about possible damages from static electricity. Knowing my luck I'd get one that was damaged, so maybe I won't get one that's open box after all. I'm guessing it would be the same risk for the processor?

The alternative processors you listed look good, the only problem is my budget. Gotta keep it as close to $500 as possible. I'll keep a lookout for them in case I happen to find one cheaper somewhere.

I've been reading reviews during my spare time for the last three days. Don't want to buy something that's just going to be junk.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by Jenna
 


Hello again!

I have been thinking on something, if you buy the nice Phenom II X2 3.0Ghz Dual-Core CPU but skip going with DDR3 which is more expensive - you should save a few Dollar buying a mother-board for AM3 and DDR2 instead (because DDR2 is cheaper)

In this case It could be more important to buy a good graphic-card and a phenom II X2 for the performance.

So take a look at this:

ASUS M4A78 Plus AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard & OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 PSU - Combo price!

www.newegg.com...

CPU - AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache

www.newegg.com...

GFX-Card - EVGA 01G-P3-1155-TR GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0

www.newegg.com...

These Ram are good and cheap and they usually play well with most boards:

Memory Ram - A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

www.newegg.com...

HDD - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB

www.newegg.com...

Case - RAIDMAX Hurricane ATX-248WB Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

www.newegg.com...

The layout of this Asus mother-board I listed allows you to use ONE of your old Disc-drives with the PATA cable connected without having space-interference with the graphic card.

Subtotal: $528.94 without shipping.

Mail in rebates:

$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate

So if you send in these rebates (which could take 6 weeks to get the money back) this Rig and set-up will cost: $478.94

Apparently! how hard I try, it doesn't matter! - It's over $500 before rebates again! :bnghd:


The cheaper alternatives on the other one I listed was $570 I think!



Maybe you could look for sales and good deals elsewhere to get the price down a bit, If you're not in a hurry - that is?

I think the Newegg combo deal I now listed expires 9/30/09.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by Chevalerous
 


I'm having the same problem trying to stay close to $500. A little bit over won't hurt, I just have to be careful not to let a little bit extra here and a little bit extra there add up too much.


Once I get the parts settled on I'm going to do some shopping around for prices. I have my laptop so it's not a major rush to get the parts and get it built or anything.

Do you know how good the Rosewill brand is when it comes to power supplies? I found this combo just a minute ago for a 600w power supply and case for $60. The majority of reviews on the power supply and the reviews for the case look pretty good, and if the case is crap I can always get a better one later on and just move everything. Basically you buy the case and get the power supply free.

If their power supplies are typically good, that would bring me to $501.95 (before any rebates I get for any of the parts) for everything except with the DDR3 ram and the Gigabyte motherboard. Or if I went with the Asus motherboard and DDR2 ram it would be 488.95. Before shipping of course on both totals. So if Rosewill typically makes good power supplies, it would probably be worth the extra $13 to go with the Gigabyte and DDR3 assuming I don't find everything cheaper somewhere besides newegg.

What do you think?



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 10:09 AM
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Hi Jenna!


Yeah! that's an awsome deal! - I think this is a great deal!

But you must check how much Ampere your new graphic card needs before deciding on this one, I saw that they recommend not going over 15A (Ampere) per rail - this psu has two 12v rails and the rails are rated at 19A.

I can't find Rosewill here in Europe because it's an American brand, so I don't know so much about them. But I think this one will be OK for your PC - it's maybe not that super efficient (72% according to sheet) and don't have the top notch & top-tier components/capacitors - but I think this one will be good enough and do just fine for your new PC - but we must check how much Ampere your new graphic card needs before buying - to be on the safe side!

The reviews seems OK as well!

And If the PSU would die (God forbid)
after 2 years of use, you could always look for another great deal on sale somewhere and replace it.

I'll come back here after work, and then explain how you easily can make some dust-filters for that case with some stretched black pantyhose!


No serious!
you'll need some dust-filters with that case because of the big mesh holes on the sides, but that's very cheap & simple to fix!

If you want to go with DDR3 I found these cheap A-DATA - this brand is known for playing nice with most motherboard, and they are very stable and very good if you're not into overclocking!

So these ones or the G-Skills I listed before would do just fine so I list these ones as an alternative, but I think the G-Skills were on the Gigabyte's manufacturer list? - I have to check again!

But I think the A-data will do fine!
www.newegg.com...


Now! take a look at the lowest mesh hole on the side panel of that case!

There I would like to put an additional quiet & cheap 120mm fan towards the graphic-card (to feed it with cold air) - the fan will cost 6-8 buck, and then for the outside of that fan on the side panel I would get one of these frame filters:

www.performance-pcs.com...

Easy to clean out the dust that the fan sucks in.

The mesh-hole above that one you could cover with a square/rectangle patch of stretched pantyhose and strong black tape on the inside of the side panel.

Only to replace when it gets too dirty! - and it's cheap as well!

Stretched pantyhose for filtering dusty air works great!

Ok! gotta run! I'll come back later!


TTYL!


[edit on 21-9-2009 by Chevalerous]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 11:04 AM
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Awesome! It's settled then. Now to do some hunting on prices. The case and power supply are definitely coming from newegg since I doubt I'll beat that deal anywhere else. I think I remember seeing the graphic card $20 cheaper somewhere else though so I'll have to hunt it down again.

Thanks a lot for all your help Chevalerous!

Both the A-Data and the G-Skill are on the list for supported RAM on the motherboards site, so I'll probably get whichever I can find the best deal on. And that is a really good idea about using panty hose as a filter. Being a girl I have plenty of those lying around I can cut up and use and I'm sure I have some electrical tape around here somewhere.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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Edit again: I just saw that one guy is running his Nvidia GTX 260 with this PSU so I guess there will be no problems whatsoever with your future card!

Great!

TTYL!


[edit on 21-9-2009 by Chevalerous]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 12:36 PM
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Yay!


I had just responded to your U2U and hadn't read your post before you edited it. Had me worried there for a few minutes!

All in all I'm paying $513 and some change after shipping. I found the motherboard, hard drive and processor for $219.73 at Superbiiz.com and found a $10 off coupon code on their site, plus it was free shipping. So $209.73 total for those. Ended up going with the OCZ memory to save $10 after checking to make sure it was supported on the motherboards website. Got the case/power supply combo, graphic card, and memory from Newegg.com for $303.67 after the combo and instant discounts and there's a $20 mail-in rebate on the card.

So really after I get the rebate back I'll have only paid $493 for everything unless I have to buy new disc drives. I'm pretty sure they still work, but I've looked around and I can get a new one for $20 so that's not too big of an issue if the ones I have are fried after all.

I'm getting excited now.



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:39 PM
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reply to post by Jenna
 


Yeah I forgot to check the Ampere of the PSU from Newegg and then suddenly remembered it could be important to take a look at those numbers.

And I was a little stressed out for the moment because the phone was ringing non-stop! and thereof the Panic U2U


But no worries! it will do just fine!

I'm glad I was able to help! and great to hear that you found nice deals for the parts!


And I think you can use at least one of your old IDE PATA disc-drives with the motherboard - they usually also include a flat cable with the board.

I'm going to give you some advices here that may will sound stupid and obvious, but could be useful to remember - here goes:


1. Take your time and read the "installing part" of the motherbord manual twice before you assemble or connect anything! since this is your first build. And as you said: there are also very good guides on the Internet to follow - this is an old You Tube video about Ram Memory, but there's a lot of videos around for every part. For example:

www.youtube.com...

RAM modules are also sensitive to static charges and should be handled carefully - hold them by the ends.

Remember to ground yourself by using an anti-static pad or wrist strap to discharge any static electricity - to be on the safe side, try to wear the wrist strap when you assemble your parts.

en.wikipedia.org...

Dual channel operation for the memory sticks are often color coded and usually written/pictured out in the m-board manual.

All current 32 bit MS consumer level operating systems have a 4 gig limit. That's how much RAM the OS can address due to it's own internal limitations. However, some of that 4 gig of addressing capability must be reserved for other devices (other than your system RAM) which also have RAM on them - RAM which also needs to be addressed by the OS, so the OS reserves a chunk of it's address space off the top for those devices so you will net about 3.25 gig of RAM (Most people end up with 3.2-3.4 GB usable RAM if they install 2x2GB in a box and run a 32-bit OS) - so don't worry if you only can read that after you booted up!

Sometimes there can be problems when installing 4GB Ram from start (mostly win 64bit) but if that occurs - try an install using only 1 stick of RAM and then add the other stick when everything is fine.


I think I read from Newegg? that on this PSU you now bought, there are 3 speed alternatives: Low - Auto - High

If so? don't use the Low speed position/alternative, to keep the internals & the componants of the PSU cold enough, use the Auto Speed alternative.

I think I read in the reviews that it comes with the position at Low by default - if so? please change it to auto for the best performance/quietness ratio.

So you could read those reviews to see if I'm right about that!? - or maybe I dreamt it?



2. this will sound very silly but never rub or place any parts against fabrics or carpeted floors
(I remember when my sister built her first computer on her carpeted floor and that motherboard unfortunately never fired up) I sadly laughed when she told me that she sat on the carpet because it was soo soft & fluffy!


She also used to vaccum the inside of her dusty PC which is a big no-no and not good, static charges can jump over and destroy the mother-board - so I explained that to her and told her to stop doing this


Vacuums cause static electric build up which in theory can damage electronics.

So if you want to clean the PC later - don't touch anything inside the computer with the nozzle of the vacuum - always keep a good distance from the parts and blow out the case with the canned air/compressed air and in the worst case use the vacuum to suck the dust bunnies out of the air - It's always better to use compressed air without the moist (but never spray very near or directly against m-boards components) and then after clean up the dust outside the PC instead.

en.wikipedia.org...

Sorry if you knew all this!

But always remember that most parts are sensitive to static charges!

And it's also not soo good leaving the computer standing on carpeted floors because of the dust build up, in that case it's better to have it standing on your desk.

3. It could be useful to place the motherboard on top of its anti-static wrap bag material on top of the motherboard box to protect the backside of the board until you screw it in.

When everything is assembled, try to bundle the cables as good as you can, so that they are not hindering the air-flow - you could use zip-ties for this. This procedure is more known as good cable-management


But don't bundle any HDD/Sata/Pata cables together with the cables from the PSU, it's better to keep those a little bit apart from the electricity to avoid interference in the HDD data stream.


You'll see! It's going to be easy-peasy! take your time and don't rush the build and you'll be fine!

So I wish you to have good luck while you're building your first PC from scratch, it's fun! And soon after you'll get the urge to build one more and do water-cooling!


And please tell us later here in the thread how it all went!

Have fun!



[edit on 22-9-2009 by Chevalerous]



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by Chevalerous
 


The U2U had me panicking too. I started searching for the info you needed and was already thinking about whether I was going to send it back and try to exchange it for a different one or if I was going to sell it to someone else and buy a different one.


My floors are all wood, so that'll help a bit with the static (no soft and fluffy carpets here!), and I never would have even thought to use a vacuum on it. Not because of static but because knowing my luck I'd end up breaking something off the motherboard.

The tracking codes were in my email this morning when I got up. I won't have the motherboard until Monday so I won't be able to put everything together till then. Windows 7 won't be released till October 22nd, but I know someone with a Windows XP disc so I can use that in the mean time.

If I understood everything I've read correctly, I'll still be able to get into the BIOS without an OS and be able to check that everything's working right?



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by Jenna
reply to post by Chevalerous
 


If I understood everything I've read correctly, I'll still be able to get into the BIOS without an OS and be able to check that everything's working right?


Yeah! It's one of the major function of the BIOS (Basic Input and Output System) which include conducting the: Power-On Self-Test (POST) during system startup.

The BIOS includes a BIOS setup program that allows the user to modify basic system configuration settings or activate certain system features

On my HTPC - on my Gigabyte M-ATX board It's like this:

Directly when you turn on the computer for the first time you directly press the Delete key during POST.

And before you get into the BIOS for the first time there may first be a small startup screen when the computer boots asking if you wanna Flash etc.

But you'll find all this info in the Gigabyte motherboard manual.


And according to my manual:

"The IDE connector supports up to two IDE devices such as hard drives and optical drives"

So you can apparently use both of your old drives if you have the cable that splits into two plugs for the drives - that's good news for you!

And I can't imagine that your board would be any different! - but all this will be written in your m-board manual to read.

Cheers!



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 11:33 AM
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Right on. I thought that was what I'd read about the BIOS. I've done so much reading about computers and computer parts the last few days it's all running together now though.


Once I get all my parts in and get it all put together I'll write up a post and tell you how it goes. Hopefully I won't short anything out and we won't have to troubleshoot!



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 10:41 PM
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Got the last of my parts in today. It took me over three hours to get everything in, mostly because I was moving pretty slowly and reading everything three times to make sure I understood what I was supposed to do next.

I was able to connect the disc drives from the old PC to the new motherboard, unfortunately I had already put the graphics card in and it was blocking the port so I had to take it back out to hook them up. The graphics card is a monster and I had to take off part of the back of the case to get it in and scraped up the back of my hand a bit in the process, but it fits.


The 3.5 drive won't fit in the slot, but that's not too big of a deal to me since I don't think I have anything left on a 3.5 disc that hasn't already been backed up on CD. Smashed a finger getting it out of the old PC, which hurts much worse than the scrape, so I'm wishing I hadn't bothered with it now.

I get everything hooked up and put in the case and dusted off all the peripherals from the old PC so they wouldn't be dusty when I plugged them. Get the keyboard and mouse hooked up no problem, but then go to plug in the monitor and it doesn't fit... Anywhere.


So it looks like I'll be buying a new monitor tomorrow unless I can find an adapter here in town for the old one. Not too much of a problem as long as I managed to get the rest of it hooked up right!




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