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first time PC builder - help please


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#1
malabo

malabo

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hi,
im new to building PCs and am seeking help. Ive been working with a friend for the past week working out compatibility problems. I just like to be 100% positive that this will work when I buy everything so could someone look over the parts im planning to buy. Id need to know of any suggestions/ problems that there are.
thanks in advance.

list of components:
(http://www.buy.com/p.../205887511.html) motherboard
(http://www.geeks.com...2037-SK&cat=CAS) computer case
(http://www.geeks.com...86-DO-R&cpc=SCH) CD-ROM Drive
(http://www.geeks.com...828AS-R&cpc=SCH) HDD
(http://www.amazon.co...TF8&me=&seller=) RAM
(http://www.geeks.com...S8768-8&cat=SND) sound card

is there a fan on the PSU and CPU? I see there is one in the picture of the PSU, but not sure about the CPU. and on this topic, do I needmore fans to go with?
basically, is there anything I need or anything wrong?

much thanks,
malabo
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#2
sewildman50

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*edit* oops never seen an integrated CPU before.

Based on the picture, I would say that the fan comes with the board. However, it also appears that they have a heatsink for passive cooling of the processor also.

I'm also not sure what you plan to use this PC for but it would not be equipped to handle much in the way of new software/ applications. Using my work computer as an example (which I use primarily for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, web browsing), it has support for up to 1333 front side bus with the Core 2 Duo and 2GB DDR2 Ram @ 800MHz). Working for a government funded agency, we certainly don't break the bank on our computers. However, when we buy we make sure that we do so economically but with as much room for expansion as possible.

Basically, your motherboard is extremely outdated before it even leaves the warehouse, and because the processor is soldered into the motherboard there is zero opportunity to upgrade. This appears to be the general trend for all of your components listed, except for the case and the hard drive, which could stand to have a little bit bigger capacity for today's standards. I'd say 250gb is a good start.

I would assume from the looks of the components you've chosen that you are either on a tight budget OR you don't want to break the bank on your first delve into PC building. If it's the former, I would take the time to save a bit more money and build yourself a system that will be decent right now and easily upgradable later as the current higher end components become cheaper. If you were to put a number out there that is within your budget and explain specifically what you intend to use the PC for, there's a lot of people who would be able to get you the most bang for your buck.

Just my opinion. Of course, feel free to say "Sit on it, Potsie."

Edited by sewildman50, 26 June 2008 - 06:41 PM.

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#3
sewildman50

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OK, so I took a few minutes to look into what you could get as an alternative to the components you chose.

Check these out:

Foxconn G31MX-K LGA 775 $57.99
Intel Celeron Dual Core 1.6GHz 800 FSB $49.99
Video - Integrated $0
Audio - Integrated 6-Channel $0
Computer Case w/ 500W PS Temp LCD, LED Fans, MID BLK $31.95
Lite-On CD Burner $16.99
HITACHI Deskstar 7K160 7200 RPM 8mb Cache SATA $34.99
CORSAIR XMS2 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) $19.99

The total cost of your build without shipping is $161.62 (also not sure if you noticed that the seller is currently out of the CD-ROM you intend to purchase).
The total cost of the components I've listed above is $211.90. For a mere $50.28 cents more, you have a lot more versatility and upgradability. The advantages of my build over yours include:

Upgradable processor to Intel Quad-Core with Overclocking, or at least Core 2 Duo at 1066 FSB without overclocking vs. no processor upgradability.
160GB SATA Hard Drive vs. 100GB SATA Hard Drive
Case with 500watt power supply, 2 LED case fans, Temperature LCD vs Case with 400watt power supply, no case fans, no LCD temp
CD Burner vs. just CD-ROM
1GB Corsair RAM with heat spreader vs 512 Crucial RAM without heat spreader

My set-up, of course, is not top of the line stuff (customer reviews for that board are average), but it at least shows you what is possible for just a little bit more than what you intend to pay. Also, the components I found were all at Newegg.com. You may want to check this out but shipping may be lower with the more items you have shipped from them at the same time. The case is the only thing not from Newegg. I found it on eBay. It's the same maker for the case I have right now for my AMD build. The 450 watt PSU that came with the case is still running strong after three years.

I at least think the system I've suggested would continue to be relevant for two to three more years with strategic upgrades such as processor and RAM. There were lots of other Motherboards in the 50 to 60 dollar price range at newegg. Putting a little time in might find a hidden gem with lots of decent features, upgradability, and reliability. This is especially so if you find certain items on sale.
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#4
malabo

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yeah, I forgot to mention that this isnt going to be for overclocking, its more of a project to learn how to do this. I deffinatly would like to be able to upgrade it. I guess im not on a tight buget, but I'd like to keep prices minimal but I have elbow room too.

so I will definatly look at all the parts you shown here. just looking at them here, im tempted to buy them.

thanks,
malabo

BTW - what site would you say is the best to buy computer parts from?

Edited by malabo, 27 June 2008 - 11:19 AM.

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#5
sewildman50

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If you're in the US, then I think a lot of people go for Newegg, but I know there's TigerDirect.com as well. I'm in Canada and I usually buy from TigerDirect.ca, if I'm not buying from my local PC parts store. I like buying local because it means I don't pay the shipping charges.

If you are not on that tight of a budget, you wouldn't be breaking the bank to go with a motherboard even slightly more expensive than the Foxconn one I listed. Then you'd be getting into the range of the boards with better chipsets, features, stability, etc. I paid about $120 for my most recent board, but I've seen very good looking boards just in the 80 to 100 dollar range. Everybody has their preferences, but I usually look first at Asus boards. Gigabyte offers some decent boards in that price range as well. Give Newegg.com a search and by all means look at the customer ratings. Once you've setted on a few possibilities, you can do a web search and look for more comprehensive reviews and other customer ratings. It can be a bit painstaking but I find the more work I put into looking, the more happy I am with my purchase. Oh, I forgot, ask the members and tech advisors here as well. You'll probably get lots of great ideas.
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#6
malabo

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thanks,
I had a few questions about the parts you listed.

1- the RAM speed is DDR2 675 but the motherboard standard is DDR2 800. is this OK?
2- the motherboard says "certified for windows vista" - i was planning to try out linux. is this ok?
3- the system requirments for the CD burner is --- Pentium 4 1.3GHz or faster CPU and 128MB or higher RAM are required
HDD must have access time < 20ms with a minimum of 650MB free space . is it compatible with celeron?
4- not wanting to buy from E-bay, I found the same case at geeks.com http://www.geeks.com...=82-4HL&cpc=SCH . on e-bay it says its standardATX/microATX compatible but geeks just says ATX compatible. so will the motherboard fit?

i think ill have more Qs latter but this is as far as I got.
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#7
sewildman50

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1. When I checked out the specs on that motherboard at the Foxconn site, it said that the board will support DDR 667 and 800. The memory specs are misprinted. The corsair website says that product is "100% tested at 667MHz in high performance DDR2
motherboards." It's good to go.

2. Windows Vista requires a lot of resources, so when selling products, companies will test them out with vista and make sure that it will operate in a system with their product. Linux will be fine, I am sure.

3. The specs on the components I listed are more than enough for that CD burner. The requirements are Hard Drive access time less than 20ms and 650mb (less than a GB) of free space (the hitachi is 8.5 with 160GB), a P4 Processor 1.3ghz or faster (the Celeron is dual core at 1.6ghz, so the Celeron is fine), and 128mb of RAM or more (the Corsair is 1GB or 1000mb).

4. If the case is ATX and micro ATX compatible then the foxconn board will fit.

Having said all of that, now that I know that you are not necessarily constrained by a budget, why don't say the max you are willing to put into this build and I or someone else might be able to suggest some even better components. For example, the Celeron dual core is OK but the Core 2 Duo is even better. Core 2 Quad processors are pretty pricey right now so you may not want to chance that on your first build. If you're into gaming you might go the route of getting a motherboard without onboard video and spring for low to mid-range video card. Actually, I've seen some posts (here and elsewhere) where people say, "I have X amount of money to build a system, so can anyone suggest components for a gaming computer/ workstation pc/ etc." You'll usually get a lot of help. Just basically say the amount you want to spend and what you'd like to be able to do with it.

And, by all means, DO NOT take the suggestions I made, after a 20 minute search of the internet, as gospel.
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#8
malabo

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4. If the case is ATX and micro ATX compatible then the foxconn board will fit.


ok, well Ebay says its ATX and mATX compatible, yet geeks.com says only ATX compatible(it didnt necessarly say it wasent mATX compatible). so whats the deal? this is confusing.

---

I have another question:
for the CD Burner and HDD, how can I tell if it is good with everything? I think the PSU needs a SATA and a IDE connector, a SATA and IDE controller, and a SATA and IDE cable. does it have everything it needs?

---

as I said before, Id like to keep prices minimal for now. scince this is my first time doing this, id better play with less expensive stuff.

thanks for your help
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#9
sewildman50

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If you were building a micro ATX system you would need to make sure that the board is small enough to fit in it. Your case is ATX and you would be purchasing a micro ATX board so there's no problem. The micro ATX board is generally the same as ATX but is about three PCI slots shorter. Generally with ATX or mATX boards your concern should be with whether the screw holes line up. I don't anticipate this will be a problem with the Foxconn board.

The Foxconn motherboard has 4 serial ATA headers (you can connect up to 4 serial ATA hard drives to the motherboard) and the motherboard package comes with 1 serial ATA cable (to attach the hard drive to the motherboard) and 1 4-pin molex to serial-ATA adapter (meaning that if you don't have a power supply with a serial ATA power cable you can just use one of the standard 4-pin molex connectors with the provide adapter). So I'm not sure if the case you are looking at has the serial ATA power cable but, unless you plan to have more than one hard drive, it shouldn't be a problem either way. Even if there isn't a serial ATA power connector on your power supply and you wanted to install another hard drive you can just buy another SATA adapter for about 5 bucks. I actually just looked at the case you're looking to buy and it definitely has a SATA power connector, so you're good to go there.

Another item you may want to consider is purchasing thermal paste. Heatsinks on the CPU cooler, packaged with Intel and AMD processors, have a thermal pad already attached to facilitate heat transfer from the processor to the heatsink. However, if you should ever need to remove the CPU you would need to reapply thermal paste before reattaching the CPU fan. Again, not something that's immediately necessary but something you may need in the future.
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#10
malabo

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ok thanks,

ive been playing around with a few diffrent set-ups and I found this motherboard
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813157119 motherboard
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819116069 CPU

the FSB on the motherboars is 1333/1066MHz but the celeron CPU has FSB 800MHz

will this work?
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#11
sewildman50

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If you're unsure of this stuff, always check with the manufacturer's website. If the product info isn't there you can usually download the manual, which has more detailed information.

From the looks of things, 800 FSB would be supported. Check the link.

http://www.asrock.co...lfdale1333-D667
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#12
malabo

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heres my final build:
motherboard: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131275 ASUS P5K PRO
processor: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819116052 Intel pentium
CD Drive: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827106262 SATA 16x DVD-ROM/ 48x CD-ROM
Video Card: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814150286 GeForce 7300GT
RAM: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231143 1Gb DDR2 1066 RAM
Hard Drive:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136195 80GB SATA HDD
Computer Case: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811147001 w/ 400w PSU

and a 19' flat pannel monitor.

I beleive theres enough to keep the system cool. although I might try the thermal paste too.

well, thats pretty much it, im going to buy this stuff soon.
thanks for the help,
malabo
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#13
sewildman50

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No problem. Looks waaaaaaaay better than your initial build. Good luck with it. I'm sure you'll be back for (hopefully) a few minor issues getting things set up. There usually are.
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