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This is my first time building a PC and of course I wanted to get it right, I've been looking at parts for a while now but still don't know too much about computer pricing, performance or compatibility so I'm asking for help to make sure I have everything right. My biggest problem is that I have just under $1000 to work with including delivery so keep that in mind.

 

I was aiming for a PC with dual core cable of reaching 3Ghz OC'd on the factory cooling as I do tend to run a few things like games, music, instant messengers, mozilla, ventrilo, fraps and a few other programs. I don't have any idea when it comes to motherboards and how they will effect much outside of overclocking and what they support but want it to manage what I need. Since I do game whenever possible and do a bit of photoshop and such RAM is needed but depending on whether I should get Vista or stick to XP I'm not sure how much I need. As for graphics cards as I said before I am a gamer and would like as best as I could afford. I don't intend on burning DVD's or CD's but do want to be able to read both for playing movies, music and games. I don't need a large hard drive as I keep my computer fairly clean so 160GB fits more than everything I have. For a case I just need something cheap and efficient that isn't an eyesore, I don't need the fancy lights or 20 fans or a tower.

 

I need a computer cable of playing games like Cod4, F.E.A.R. and Quake4 but still run tasks in the background. I only have a 19 inch screen so I generally play in 1024x768 if that helps.

 

This is what I have so far, prices from Scorptec:

 

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E5200 (2.5Ghz/2MB/800FSB/EMT64/XD/Dual Core) - $119

 

Mobo: Asus P5Q-PRO Express Gate, S775, P45, DDR2, FSB1600, PCIE, RAID, GBLAN, 2x1394a, ATX - $199

 

RAM: Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 2GB (2x XMS2 1GB) Twin2X PC-6400 DDR2 RAM, 2x240-pin DIMMs, Unbuffered, 5-5-5-18 - $69

 

Video: Gigabyte GV-NX96T512H GF9600GT, 512MB, DDR3, PCIE2.0, DSUB, 2xDVI, HDTV, HDCP - $159

 

Optical: Lite-On SOHC-5236V-Black Combo Drive, 52x32x52 CDRW & 16x DVDROM, Black in Retail Box - $49

 

Storage: Seagate ST3160815AS Baracuda 7200.10 160GB SATAII 300, 7200rpm, 8mb Buffer, NCQ - $59

 

Case: Thermaltake VD2430BNS Matrix Black Case with 430W PSU - $109

 

Total Cost: $763

 

Any input would be awesome.

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psu in that case is nasty

id spend less on the mb and more on other parts

320g and 640g hdd are also faster for load times 640g is best value\performance

 

E7200 $147 or E8400 $208

G-B EP45-DS3 $148

4G Kit-800(2x2G) Transcend $78

512M 4850 Generic $189

W.D.SATA 320G $64 or Samsung SATA 640G $85

20x SATA Pioneer 215 $29

NSK6580 $135 case comes with antec 430w

 

$790-872

 

prices are from msy which should be ok if they have a store near you

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Hey mate,

 

I can recommend IT Estate 33 dollar flat rate courier charge with fastway, which is a really good service.

 

 

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS4P $198

 

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3GHz/45nm/1333FSB/6M) LGA775 $179

 

(Bundled) Power Supply 650W Coolermaster eXtreme $99

 

5.25" SATA DVD Burner/Rw Pioneer DVR-216BK Black $36

 

4GB Kit (2x2048MB) PC6400 800MHz GeiL Ultra 5-5-5-15 $99

 

9800GT 512MB Galaxy $159

 

Coolermaster Centurion RC-690KWN (see through) no PSU Black $110

 

 

Total: 880 + 30 for postage. Way under a grand, and it's a phat system.

 

Edit: Ops forgot HDD.. There's a Samsung 500gb drive for 74..

ALSO: staticice helps find what you should be paying for your items :)

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Thanks for the fast responses, living on the border of NSW and Vic I don't see a MSY shop too close by do they deliver or only pickup?

 

Both the systems look pretty solid for a fair prices, I won't be actually buying it for another few weeks when HSC exams are over so I don't have it as a distraction also doubles as a reward for finishing HSC ;P If waiting lowers 4-5weeks prices could change or I could save up some more before then.

 

Hard to decide what to go with, both have more than enough room to store all my music/games/work and plenty of power with similar boards, you both had 4GB RAM which is more than enough I think but would it be worth it to move to vista with either of those builds?

 

I like the Centurion, looks pretty sweet and the separate power supply would allow future upgrades.

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yer im in northern vic and have to get everything via post so id give msy a miss then

most the parts i listed dont cost much more from umart but they have charged me over $50 post in the past it all adds up but it should still be under $1k for the box

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"NSK6580 $135 case comes with antec 430w" - I honestly don't know much about power requirements of computers but the higher range things tend to have a higher power consumption, would the 430w be enough to power the pc with room for overclocking without me having to go out and buy one with a higher rating?

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"NSK6580 $135 case comes with antec 430w" - I honestly don't know much about power requirements of computers but the higher range things tend to have a higher power consumption, would the 430w be enough to power the pc with room for overclocking without me having to go out and buy one with a higher rating?

yer the 430w should only be put under ~50% load with that pc i guess which is ideal for best efficiency and cool\quiet operation

the psu only uses what the pc draws from it + ~20% extra due to the psu being ~80% efficient when its over ~20% load

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You don't have to get 4GBs of ram, you could go with 2 GBs save a bit and get some nice tight timing stuff, although it won't make a huge difference, it's still nice to have. :P

 

Asus have a nice PSU calculator here

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Awesome, my pc at the moment is kinda of aged but stays fairly quiet and cool since its working at close to max capacity all the time (which isn't hard to do) it runs well. I've heard and read a bit about Vista being a noticeable user of processing and memory but would it really make that much of a difference for the system if it had those resources available?

 

Thanks for the PSU calc link, I can play around with options now to get a rough idea.

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Dasa's build is what I suggest you look at.

 

The Antec case is a good choice, and it has a very good PSU. CoolerMaster PSUs do not have a very good reputation, as they overspecify their rated power.

 

Here's what I would be getting if I was building for myself with similar goals to you:

 

CPU: Intel Q6600 ~$220

MB: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 or Asus P5Q ~$150

RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 (any brand) ~$80

GPU: ATI HD4850 512MB ~$210

HDD: WD 640GB SATA ~$90

DVD: Pioneer DVR-216BK ~$35

CASE: Antec Sonata III w/ 500W PSU ~$175

HSF: Noctua NH-U12P ~$80

 

Total: ~$1040

 

The Noctua CPU cooler is optional. It's worth getting if you want to overclock, or if you like your system to run nice and quiet as it comes with a lovely, quiet 120mm fan.

 

You could also of course elect to drop back to a 320GB HDD to save a few extra dollars.

 

You'd probably also find that the GA-EP45-DS3L (L = Lite) or the P43 chipset equivs like the GA-EP43-DS3 and Asus P5QL boards would be perfectly adequate for your needs, also, and will shave a little bit more off the total cost.

 

Enjoy your build when you get to it, and good luck on your HSC.

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Or

 

CPU: Intel E8400 or E8500 (Because your gaming and wont notice using photoshop) $208 or $226

MB: GA-EP45-DS3L ~$138 (awesome board, you could go all out and get the DS4P ($182) if you want which is better)

RAM: 2GB G.Skill PQ ~$54 2GB because windows only see's 3GB so 4 is a waste unless your on 64Bit or a Server OS. so dont waste your cash if you are on a 32Bit OS. Save for it later.

GPU: 512M 4850 Generic ~$189 (or for a bit extra the 4870 $335)

HDD: WD 640GB SATA ~$90

DVD: Pioneer DVR-216BK ~$35

CASE: Coolermaster RC690 - $95 from normal computer outlets

 

skip the Cooler if you aint overclocking for a nice -80

 

Setup one: Options: E8400 + GA-EP45-DS3L + 4850 With HDD etc = $809

Setup Two: Options: E8500 + GA-EP45-DS4P + 4870 With HDD etc = $1017

 

Both setups will tear all those games a new arsehole.

 

EDIT: Also, the only reason to upgrade to Vista that I see is DX10 which is realy nice I must say, but.... Dont think its REALY worth it. all up. But time will tell there. Id stick with XP (Or a modified version of XP/Server2003) for the best performance all round. And your games will still look sexy as hell.

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Here's a revised version of my soon to be comp:

 

 

CPU: Intel E8400 (I don't feel I need a quadcore and it's not far behind the E8500, and thats before OCing) $208

MB: GA-EP45-DS3L (I don't think I'll be using everything on the normal board so the lighter version should suffice) $138

RAM: 2x1GB DDR2 800mHz (No idea about brands when it comes to RAM) $50

GPU: MSI R4850 512M (Read about ATI's temps compared to MSI) $ 190

HDD: WDSATA 320G (I really don't even need that much room but it is fairly cheap) $64

DVD: Pioneer DVR-216BK (These read CD's and DVD's right, sorry for newbie type question?) $35

Case: Coolermaster Centurion RC-690KWN (see through) no PSU Black (Looks awesome and should still be in price range) $95

PSU: 520W Corsair HX-520 $130

 

Price Total (Coolmaster): $920

 

Price Total (Antec): $860

 

I'll keep XP then as I can live without DX10 and move down from the 4G of RAM. Kinda of torn about the Antec Sonata III since it comes with a PSU and could save me money to get a decent keyboard and mouse or using the Coolmaster. I would like to attempt OCing at least the CPU using stock cooling before looking at buying a cooler, this setup looks alot better than the first one but if someone wants to add something or enlighten me about what I have so far I would like to hear. With RAM is compatability an issue, will one brand be better than another on a board and if so is it noticeable?

 

All a learning experience for me so keep info coming ;)

 

Edited: Swapped the PSU to something more suitable and RAM, thanks for the info eckythump and Avliden.

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I would still go for the 4G of RAM, even if you do stick with a 32-bit OS for a while. It's so cheap that it's not a huge deal that you lose about 20%. It's also preferable to only have 2 sticks of RAM, rather than 4, and you should definitely aim to have 2 sticks to take advantage of dual-channel mode.

 

It's been the experience of many that 4 sticks of RAM results in a less stable system than using just 2 if you're over clocking. (It's not an issue if you're not overclocking.)

 

As for brands, anything will do. Transcend, A-DATA, Kingston, etc, they're all fine. It should set you back no more than $50 for a 2GB kit, or $85-90 for a 4GB kit.

 

The CM 690 is a great case. Couple it with something like a Corsair HX-520 or HX-620, or an Antec Earthwatts PSU and you'll be laughing. I'd be wary of the CM PSU that's bundled, though.

 

The Sonata III is a very nice case, and given it comes with a good quality PSU, it's still an option you should consider.

 

And it's good to see you opting for the DS3L. It's a very good board, and it only lacks things that most people don't use anyway, so it's good to see someone making a sensible purchase.

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Id have to agree with ecky there, if it where me id go for 4GB of ram just for the hell of it. But i'm sitting on 2GB now simply because of the money issue at the moment. Thats your call dude, but you will have a power house either way you go, seriously.

 

Brand name RAM isnt important unless your overclocking the RAM itself as far as I've noticed. They tend to include nice heat sinks etc. Only other plus with Brand name is that you will find not only 800 but 1066 kits which from what ive been told is good if your doing bullshit overclocking. But it seems your not so I think the cheapest set of 2GB sticks will do you fine.

 

As for the 690, I can +1 that, its an awesome case ONLY problem (which wasnt realy a problem) was that while installing the Motherboard it was a little snug getting it in past the cord management clips that run down the drive bay side of the case. (Btw, those things are very handy) and also the PSU(Power supply) mounting skrew holes didnt all line up, but I have 3 of the whatever it was amount in and its solid as a rock, so no problem realy. (Was installing a Corsair HX620 Massive +1 on that PSU aswell, definately look into the HX520 if you can, cant be much more than $100)

 

Other than that its an amazing case.

 

With regards to the motherboard it looks like you have your kit worked out. You will definately be happpy with that board.

Id say other than a few changes after the ram and PSU are sorted make your order.

 

(By the way the case I was playing with was my room mates beast.. I'm jealous. Fucking sexy as hell. Crysis runs.. yeah, it runs seriously, front to back, not a hitch Argh..)

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I'm fairly happy with this newer revised system but as for prices is there just one place I could obtain all the parts and get delivered at a discounted package or would I have to start looking around and get each part delivered separately? Before I start really looking around online I do have a friend working in a PC shop that make systems, build, test and do maintenance etc who can probably get everything and I only have to pay for delivery and price it cost the shop to buy, would it be worth going in and asking about that or is anything in soon-to-be-mine comp not available to a smaller business?

 

Asking alot and I will go in at least once before buying but I'm not sure how available everything is. Thanks for all the suggestions so far as it has cleared a lot up and taken your time which you didn't have to spend helping me : )

 

@Avliden

I just had a quick look at IT Estate for the PSU and didn't see the HX520 but if its out there somewhere I would get that instead, I'll update the revised list with prices now I know how much cheaper it is, thanks for the info.

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No worries, if your mate can get you a nice discount on the kit id go with him/her/it/cloud of noxious gas. Also enables you to go back whenever you like should you ever need to replace a buggered component (Let us just not think about that...)

Or just shop around this is what ive found after research;

Get yourself a *Nice* PSU, Motherboard and case. Once you have a base everything else falls into place.

 

Whoa, i'm a poet and I didn't even know it.

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That's the problem I had with IT Esate they don't have a huge amount of Cases or PSUs available..

 

I'd be more inclined to order everything in one go, from one place. Less stuffing around, and obviously you'll get everything at once, which avoids delays and wanting your computer _now_ related stress. :)

 

I did see the next model up of that Corsair at It Esate here. Albeit a little bit more expensive of course. You'd sure be future proofed though, if you wished to go cross-fire later on down the track, if you get an ATI card.

 

Generally the computer shop "friends" I know can't match prices from alot of the online stores for some reason. No reason not to see if your mates can't though.

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Well my friend I know would do his best since I have known him for over a year, we attended the same school for that time and I saw him nearly everyday so yeah he's not gonna sell my something crap or rip me off ; ) What I need to figure out is rough delivery costs and stuff and that'll be the hard part because all prices he tells me include that, I need to know those delivery prices for online and then I'll be able to do some sort of comparison for prices.

 

And does anyone have any objections if I changed my case from Coolermaster Centurion RC-690KWN to a Raidmax Ninja Case - Black for an extra roughy $5.

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It's 33 dollars flat rate from IT Estate afaik regardless of size, with a trusted insured courier company (fastway).

 

From my past experience, your mate will probably have to order from a couple of different places to get the parts you want, and may or may not be able to even match the large online retailers prices. As I said give it a shot, he may get better pricing then the guys I know. I'm interested to know. :)

 

Case is really personal preference tbh, go with what you think will be nice to work with (inside & out).

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Well decided against the Raidmax and I am still looking at cases, I might have too high standards since I am looking for a case with a PSU able to handle my setup + a little more and fans but guess I'll stick to what I already had posted in my revised system.

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I've got a Antec Sonata Plus 550.

 

I like it, it's extremely quiet even with all the fans on full ball, I've got 3 case fans inside it. It comes with a really good quality 550watt PSU as well, it was $200.

 

It all depends what sort of case you're after, if you want a flat out gaming case, have a look at the Antec Three Hundred

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After reading a fair few atomic articles and reading other people's ideas and thoughts about building a PC I've had thoughts about future proofing my computer since I was a fair bit under the $1000 mark it could be worth doing getting the most out of my build. Would quadcore be better to buy now or wait until they are supported by more programs and improve?

 

As I currently understand multicores is that at the moment nearly all programs only run off a single core, would that means each program running would have to be processed by 1 core or the other, what controls which program will be run on which core? A big question and if there is anyone that could answer that would be awesome or at least point me to something with an explanation.

 

With Graphics cards I have seen many reviews and as with RAM I don't see how brands change anything outside of the base technology offered by Nvidia and ATI what do companies like Leadtek, Gigabyte, Galaxy and MSI do that makes the cards so different in price?

 

And lastly with lots of benchmarks out there I can't find a best bang-for-buck GPU, with 3DMarks, temperatures, price, performance in games, power use and sound there is so much to consider when buying a card. What I am trying to find is a card that tested without a biased tester as benchmarks seem to vary from reviewer to reviewer. I was looking at a 9800 or a 4850 but then saw that 8800's managed to still perform well and they are a fair bit cheaper, buying a cheaper card means I could upgrade later to one of the better cards when they newer technology comes out, I'm looking for what other people bought or thought where good cards in terms of performance for price ignoring everything else.

 

Edit:

Alot of the information on the internet tends to be outdated when it comes to hardware since hardware updates so frequently it's hard to find up to date reviews and comparisons of cards so I am looking for help here.

 

Edit:

Maybe I should repost these questions under a different topic in CPU's and GPU's?

 

What I really wanted to know is that can dual cores say for example run an operating system on 1 core with a few other apps and another core be running something intensive like a game?

 

And if there was much of a difference in terms of performance in the 8800, 9500, 9600 and the 9800 series of GPU's?

I have been looking at getting one of these but the only performance ratings and data I have seen is for the GTX, overclocked versions and the SLI tests, I want to see single card GT tests so I can pick one for my system.

 

Or if noone can help there could anyone tell me which card is better in their opinion, I'm trying to not spend over $200 for a graphics card that will end up being outdated or replaced in the not so distant future?

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I found this on another site after a few hours searching for answers to my own questions. This helps with the graphics cards anyway:

 

8500GT = 9400 series

8600GT = 9500 series

8800GT = IDENTICAL to 9800GT

8800GTS 512mb = 9800GTX & 9800GTX+ (9800GTX+ pulls away slightly)

8800GTX = 9800GTX (8800GTX wins with lots of AA or ultra high res, 9800GTX wins with more shading going on.)

 

Here's the link to the original post:

 

http://sudan.ubuntuforums.com/showthread.p...8091&page=2

 

Sorta clears things up for me except for the fact that where I am 8800's are very hard to find and the few left are more expensive than 9500 or the 9600's and I don't intend to run SLI or spend $300 for a graphics card.

 

Edit:

After looking for a bit longer I finally found something that sort of answers my question about how CPU's work these days, this is what I was kind of looking for in an explanation:

 

What Vista and XP and other operating systems out there do is play a round robin with the processor cores. This gives the effect of using all the cores (well not really effect, it actually does) but it won't use 100% of each core. If an app would normally use up 100% of a single core CPU and it is single threaded, the app will use up 50% of each core on a dual core and 25% of each core on a quad core and so forth. You can limit the app to a single core and it will use up 100% of that core and none of the second one if you want.

 

...Just to note how you tell an app to use a single core...

Open task manager, go to processes, right click a process, go to 'set affinity' and uncheck all but one core. It starts at core "0" then "1" etc... Unfortunately, Windows (XP and Vista) won't 'remember' this setting. There is software out there that'll force this - "set affinity" was one I believe, and there are others (maybe better?).

 

Setting it temporarily should be good enough for testing purposes.

 

As more systems have such hardware, more software will be "SMP" (symmetric multi-processing) aware, and will be designed to handle multiple cores.

Heres the link:

 

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r20589836-

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I've made 2 setups as of current using IT Estate for prices, they both are about what I had planned to spend so I'm pretty happy with what I have found and some extras worth saving for. I would have changed a few things but thats all that was offered on IT Estate at the time. Well here they are:

 

The first system is a little cheaper and with less room for over clocking but if prices aren't as good as the ones I've found then I should be able to at least afford this:

 

 

1st Setup

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L ~ $110

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3Ghz/45nm/1333FSB/6M) ~ $179

GPU: Gigabyte 9600GT 512MB PCI-e ~ $143

RAM: Kingston DDR2 2GB Kit 800Mhz ~ $60

HDD: Samsung 160GB SATA ~ $43

Optical: Pioneer DVD R/W DVR-216BK Black ~ $36

PSU: Coolmaster eXtreme 650W ~ $99

Case: Coolmaster Elite 330 ~$69

Delivery: $33

 

Total: $739 + $33

$772

 

 

2nd Setup

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L ~ $110

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz/65nm/1333FSB/6M) ~ $229

GPU: Galaxy 9800GTX+ 512MB PCI-e ~ $229

RAM: Corsair Performance DDR2 2GB Kit 800Mhz ~ $77

HDD: Seagate 160GB SATA ~ $54

Optical: Pioneer DVD R/W DVR-216BK Black ~ $36

PSU: Antec EarthWatts 500w ~ $0

Case: Antec Sonata III Black ~$189

Delivery: $33

 

Total: $924 + $33

$957

 

Peripherals

Speakers: Logitech 5.1 Subwoofer Speaker X-540 ~ $83

Keyboard: Logitech G15 ~ $85

Monitor: AOC 22" LCD WideScreen (5ms/3000:1/HDCP) ~ $210

Mouse: Razer Copperhead (2000DPI/1ms/USB2.0/Blue LED/7Button) ~ $69

 

Total: $447

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You're faffing about with overpriced RAM.

 

If you're buying from IT Estate, get either:

 

* DDR2 1GB 800Mhz Hynix - $20 (get 2)

* DDR2 2GB 800Mhz - Hynix/Kingston $37/$38 (get 2)

 

I'd personally go for a Q6600 CPU.

 

And depending on future plans, the case is up to you, but I would make it a choice between the Sonata III, which will serve you well providing your video card isn't too big, and providing you're not asking too much from the included PSU, or the CoolerMaster RC-690 + a PSU.

 

It you want to order everything from IT Estate, then I'd recommend you get something like the Antec EarthWatts 500W PSU, or a Antec TruePower 650W PSU rather than the CoolerMaster eXtreme.

 

Otherwise, just get a Corsair HX-520 or HX-620 from somewhere else and buy everything else at IT estate.

 

You could also look at umart as an online store option, their prices are good and they do stock Corsair PSus I believe.

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