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Need to build new PC, need your expertise......


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#1
JK27

JK27

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Hi,
I am needing to build a new PC since my Dell Dimension 8400 decided to die on me after only 18 months. It wasn't a sudden death, it had been on its deathbed since day one. Anyway, I'm tired of dealing with companies so I figured that I could build a better, more reliable PC for less money. I sent my Dell back and now am looking around for system parts, and that's where I'm having trouble. I want to build an awesome system, BETTER THAN MY DELL, and COSTING CONSIDERABLY LESS than the 2220.85 that I paid for the Dell. I haven't even been able to decide on a case yet. I prefer black, nothing fancy, but good quality. No doors on front! I'm pretty competent about building the PC, just very indecisive about parts. I don't know what to trust or what would be the best combination and most current, "best" right now. Like I said, I want to build a BETTER and LESS EXPENSIVE if possible....Any one that can suggest part brands, specific type, model numbers, anything would be great, as I said, haven't even picked out case yet. My Dell 8400 was an ATX Mid Tower, Correct???????? I'm looking for something about the same size.
I mainly will use my new PC for college work, internet surfing, and DEFINATELY MOVIES!!!! Thanks in advance.

This is what I had in the Dell...
Dell Dimension 8400,P4 Processor 560(3.6GHz)w/HT & 1MB cache
1 GB DDR2 SDRAM at 533 MHZ
19 in Flat Panel Display
256 MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 GTO Graphics Card
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
Win XP Home
Intel Pro 1000 Integrated Nic card
DVD DL (Still have)
Want DVD w/LightScribe
SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS PCI w/Dolby Dig EX, 7.1 ch.THX cert
5.1 surround sound
(plus all other common items)
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#2
jrm20

jrm20

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Hi,
I am needing to build a new PC since my Dell Dimension 8400 decided to die on me after only 18 months. It wasn't a sudden death, it had been on its deathbed since day one. Anyway, I'm tired of dealing with companies so I figured that I could build a better, more reliable PC for less money. I sent my Dell back and now am looking around for system parts, and that's where I'm having trouble. I want to build an awesome system, BETTER THAN MY DELL, and COSTING CONSIDERABLY LESS than the 2220.85 that I paid for the Dell. I haven't even been able to decide on a case yet. I prefer black, nothing fancy, but good quality. No doors on front! I'm pretty competent about building the PC, just very indecisive about parts. I don't know what to trust or what would be the best combination and most current, "best" right now. Like I said, I want to build a BETTER and LESS EXPENSIVE if possible....Any one that can suggest part brands, specific type, model numbers, anything would be great, as I said, haven't even picked out case yet. My Dell 8400 was an ATX Mid Tower, Correct???????? I'm looking for something about the same size.
I mainly will use my new PC for college work, internet surfing, and DEFINATELY MOVIES!!!! Thanks in advance.

This is what I had in the Dell...
Dell Dimension 8400,P4 Processor 560(3.6GHz)w/HT & 1MB cache
1 GB DDR2 SDRAM at 533 MHZ
19 in Flat Panel Display
256 MB Nvidia GeForce 6800 GTO Graphics Card
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
Win XP Home
Intel Pro 1000 Integrated Nic card
DVD DL (Still have)
Want DVD w/LightScribe
SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS PCI w/Dolby Dig EX, 7.1 ch.THX cert
5.1 surround sound
(plus all other common items)



Are you wanting to build it yourslef or you do want a good reputable company to put it together for you but you can customized and pick the parts/hardware that you want on it with a good price tag?

If you want a custom pc that is greatly priced and not overpriced like other manufacturers goto http://www.cyberpowe...com/Default.asp


If you want to build a custom pc yourself goto www.newegg.com they have the best overall selection/price and shipping around on the net and very reliable. The best site.


Well an amd am2 system would be fine for you if you are just wanting to watch dvd movies and still be able to play games every now and then well. The am2 cpu's are generally better than the pentium 4 chips all together but soon the intel conroe is coming out and it will be the better chip. The Intel conroe even beats amd's fx-62 chip and the amd fx-62 is a chip priced at over $1,000.. Pretty much the intel Conroe will dominate all of amd's chips at the time of the intel conroe's release.. Look it up on google if you want to read more about it. It should be out anytime. I would try and get the Intel conroe processor in your pc but if you dont want to wait the amd am2 processors are better than any pentium 4 chip. Soon intel is getting rid of the intel pentium 4 chip all together.. Intel hasnt been known for being the better gaming processor but its all changing when the Intel conroe is available for desktops.. They have alot better performance in games and pretty much everything else than any amd chip currently on the market.


SO, if you buy right now go for the am2 by amd if you wait a month or two go for the Intel Conroe processor..

For a motherboard I would stay away from ASUS, because awhile back they tried to rush out some of their motherboards and alot of people had problems with dead motherboards and since then I really dont like them even alittle bit now..

For a good motherboard brand look at the MSI,Gigabyte,DFI or Abit. Any of those are solid dependable motherboards. They have different lines to select from like cheaper to more expensive. I would try and get a motherboard over $100 and you will be fine. I dont much like cheap motherboards but that is up to you.
Some people think that $200 is too much for a mobo and yeah I can see that but If you stay around $100-$150 you will have a great mobo with alot of technology and support..

For memory you should have a minimum of 1 gig of ram. I would suggest 2gb of ram if you are really into computers and like video editing or video making. If you want to play high end games I also suggest 2gb of ram for memory.. On memory I suggest Corsair they are the #1 leader in memory and they are better than pretty much all other memory..

For a powersupply you need to get a reliable brand from Thermaltake,antec,OCZ,Forton force,Ultra or something similar. Dont get a cheap case with an included cheap powersupply. If you get a cheap powersupply you can run into problems because cheap powersupplies dont have enough juice or voltage on your 12volt rails.. On the bargan or cheap powersupplies even if it says 500watts for example it does not necessarily mean it has 500watts. Usually the cheap powersupplies like if it said 500watts it would be more on the lines of 300watts.. You gotta watch out for those. The cheap psu's are not worth the cheap price and I totally suggest staying away from them.. Get a good brand with TRUE power.

For a video card just pick out something around what you had before on the dell or maybe alittle bit better than the 6800gto. You arent a hardcore gamer but I will go ahead and tell you that by the end of the year to the first of the new year their will be a new directx architecture called directx 10. Directx 10 will only work on directx 10 video cards and you have to have the new operating system to use it. Directx 10 will not work on any of the current video cards at all.. If you want to play a newer dx10 game coming out next year your dx9 video card will play it yes but, it will be forced to run in dx9 mode and you wont get all of the eye candy and performance. In otherwords the graphics wont be half as nice and you will be missing out alittle because dx10 is suppost to be like 8x faster than dx9 is..

For a harddrive get a 3gb/sec harddrive with 16mb cache. serial ata 3.0gb/s is what its called. I like western digital drives the best but you pick what you want..

For a case there is many to choose from, just dont get a cheapo case. Try to get a case with a couple of case fans to help cool your pc. If it doesnt come with some fans then buy some case fans..

For the cpu fan, the included stock fan is fine for you.

the other stuff like dvd/cd drives its not hard to pick those out at all..
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#3
JK27

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Thanks for the info. I will start browsing for parts then. Can you recommend a specific Corsair set of ram, power supply (500w? or will I need higher?), and video card? Thanks!
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#4
jrm20

jrm20

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Thanks for the info. I will start browsing for parts then. Can you recommend a specific Corsair set of ram, power supply (500w? or will I need higher?), and video card? Thanks!



So did you decide that you wanted to build the pc yourself then?


Since its ddr2 memory you cant get the corsair valueselect ram which is cheaper but the xms ram is alot better and that would be perfect for your pc.

A good solid amd am2 motherboard would be this Abit. http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813127236 Its all you would need and is really a stable board and has much more quality than any dell pc would have..

The am2 motherboards take the ddr2 800 standard memory, thats what I would put into it since you are not overclocking.


2gb of the corsair xms memory- get something along the lines of this if you need 2gb of ram..
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820145034

1gb of the corsair xms memory- its a dual channel kit and the price is pretty cheap..
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820145566


A 500watt true power powersupply will be fine. Make shure its a 24 pin power supply.

This is an antec 550 watt powersupply which is all you would need for now and future upgrades if needed.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817103931

You really dont have to have 550watts but its nice to have the the quality and price is nice.. I would buy that powersupply with this system. You dont need over 550watts..


So I guess your set, just pick out the rest of the system..

HINT** when you are building a pc always pick out the motherboard first then you pick out the rest of the hardware that will fit or work with it that is compatable.. :whistling:
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#5
jrm20

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For a video card I need to know what all you will be doing.. If its for doing what you were before with your old system then a video card like you had will be fine.. Just look for a pci express 16X video card..
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#6
JK27

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Thanks for the info. You're very helpful. You're making it alot easier to decide on parts. By the way, sorry I missed it before, but yes, I am going to build it myself. After all the trouble with Dell I think it's better that way. I've almost compiled my list completely. Once I do I will post it. Just shopping around a bit more. Still looking for a case.....hard to decide. Don't really want anything to flashy, and doors seem to be a major complaint among ratings. Most likely will go with a plain black, just want to make sure I get proper fan coverage. Picking a processor is a bit tricky since you said prices will be cut soon. I'm in college full time so I will need it fairly quick, but if I can save a bunch in the long run, it may be better to wait? I saw these two processors online, what would you do? Wait? Select something else for this system?
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor - Retail

link
358.99

OR

AMD Athlon 64 FX62 Windsor 2000MHz HT Socket AM2 Processor Model ADAFX62CSBOX – Retail

link
1199.00 (extremely high prices, not likely candidate, but didn't see much to choose from)

I will get back to looking for video cards. As far as that goes, I will be doing basically what I was doing before. Alot of college work, alot of internet surfing (clips etc.), and ALOT of MOVIE stuff. What would be the best card for that.....still the GeForce 6800GTO or something better?

Thanks again for all your help. I really appreciate it.
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#7
jrm20

jrm20

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Thanks for the info. You're very helpful. You're making it alot easier to decide on parts. By the way, sorry I missed it before, but yes, I am going to build it myself. After all the trouble with Dell I think it's better that way. I've almost compiled my list completely. Once I do I will post it. Just shopping around a bit more. Still looking for a case.....hard to decide. Don't really want anything to flashy, and doors seem to be a major complaint among ratings. Most likely will go with a plain black, just want to make sure I get proper fan coverage. Picking a processor is a bit tricky since you said prices will be cut soon. I'm in college full time so I will need it fairly quick, but if I can save a bunch in the long run, it may be better to wait? I saw these two processors online, what would you do? Wait? Select something else for this system?
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor - Retail

link
358.99

OR

AMD Athlon 64 FX62 Windsor 2000MHz HT Socket AM2 Processor Model ADAFX62CSBOX – Retail

link
1199.00 (extremely high prices, not likely candidate, but didn't see much to choose from)

I will get back to looking for video cards. As far as that goes, I will be doing basically what I was doing before. Alot of college work, alot of internet surfing (clips etc.), and ALOT of MOVIE stuff. What would be the best card for that.....still the GeForce 6800GTO or something better?

Thanks again for all your help. I really appreciate it.


You dont really have to wait, get the am2 cpu if you need a pc now.

Edited by jrm20, 05 July 2006 - 08:46 PM.

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#8
jrm20

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http://www.newegg.co...SubCategory=343

their is a link to the am2 cpu's..


Decide wether or not you need dual core or if you want to stick with single core on the processor.

Edited by jrm20, 05 July 2006 - 08:34 PM.

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#9
JK27

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http://www.newegg.co...SubCategory=343

their is a link to the am2 cpu's..


Decide wether or not you need dual core or if you want to stick with single core on the processor.


I'm still getting those two processors as am2 cpu's??????????
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#10
JK27

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what's the difference between single and dual core? One better than the other? How will I know which one I need?
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#11
jrm20

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Yeah all of those you listed above will fit. I was having problems loading the site and the pages wouldnt load. They took 5mins to load the page..

Single core means its one cpu. Dual core is where they stack another cpu ontop of the other and you actually have 2 cpu's.

Dual core helps in multi-tasking and it wont bog down hardly at all if any and thats with intensive programs going all at once..
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#12
JK27

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Yeah all of those you listed above will fit. I was having problems loading the site and the pages wouldnt load. They took 5mins to load the page..

Single core means its one cpu. Dual core is where they stack another cpu ontop of the other and you actually have 2 cpu's.

Dual core helps in multi-tasking and it wont bog down hardly at all if any and thats with intensive programs going all at once..


That makes sense. Thanks. I'm not sure which video card to pick. There's so many pci express 16x. When I ordered from Dell they told me I should get "the best one", unfortunatley, they based it on price. Is there a "perfect" video card for this system?

and

So, do you recommend the first cpu? The AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2000MHz HT 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor - Retail http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103747

or is there one that you think would be better for this system?
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#13
jrm20

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I mainly will use my new PC for college work, internet surfing, and DEFINATELY MOVIES!!!! Thanks in advance.



If that is all your going to be doing you could get by with a single core. The single cores are cheap.

I would stick with the dual core its just more technology and more future proof..

Look at these..

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103735


http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103747


The amd am2 3800+x2 would be fine for you and the 4200+ x2 would be even better. If I were you I wouldnt get over the 4200+ x2 because you dont really need a machine any faster..


The 3800+x2 is overal a great deal for what you are getting..

For example the 3800+ is equivalent to a pentium 4 3.8ghz would be, since we are looking at the dual cores that means its two processors so its really two 3800+ cpu's. :whistling:
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#14
JK27

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I mainly will use my new PC for college work, internet surfing, and DEFINATELY MOVIES!!!! Thanks in advance.



If that is all your going to be doing you could get by with a single core. The single cores are cheap.

I would stick with the dual core its just more technology and more future proof..

Look at these..

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103735


http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103747


The amd am2 3800+x2 would be fine for you and the 4200+ x2 would be even better. If I were you I wouldnt get over the 4200+ x2 because you dont really need a machine any faster..


The 3800+x2 is overal a great deal for what you are getting..

For example the 3800+ is equivalent to a pentium 4 3.8ghz would be, since we are looking at the dual cores that means its two processors so its really two 3800+ cpu's. :whistling:


I understand. Those prices are alot better too. :blink: Assuming that I get everything that we've talked about, which video card would be optimum? I DO watch alot of movies on it, edit movies, etc. I also DO like occassional games like the Half-Life games, etc.

Then all I have to really worry about it finding a case, I may have to look for that in the morning. \

Thanks again for helping me!

Edited by JK27, 05 July 2006 - 09:21 PM.

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#15
jrm20

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I mainly will use my new PC for college work, internet surfing, and DEFINATELY MOVIES!!!! Thanks in advance.



If that is all your going to be doing you could get by with a single core. The single cores are cheap.

I would stick with the dual core its just more technology and more future proof..

Look at these..

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103735


http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103747


The amd am2 3800+x2 would be fine for you and the 4200+ x2 would be even better. If I were you I wouldnt get over the 4200+ x2 because you dont really need a machine any faster..


The 3800+x2 is overal a great deal for what you are getting..

For example the 3800+ is equivalent to a pentium 4 3.8ghz would be, since we are looking at the dual cores that means its two processors so its really two 3800+ cpu's. :whistling:


I understand. Those prices are alot better too. :blink: Assuming that I get everything that we've talked about, which video card would be optimum? I DO watch alot of movies on it, edit movies, etc. I also DO like occassional games like the Half-Life games, etc.

Then all I have to really worry about it finding a case, I may have to look for that in the morning. \

Thanks again for helping me!



For a video card I found one that will work great for movies and you can play the current games aswell with no problems..

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814161016

I went with the ati on this because they do seem to have alittle better quality on movies than the nvidia does but im still a fan of nvidia.

The price is great also, and yes the better the video card it helps in movies. You dont need a video card any more powerful than this one because you dont need it. Dont get one any faster than around this unless you want to play the newest games at ultra or absolute maximum video settings..

This would be perfect for your pc..
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