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First Build in a Long Time


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#1
RichieB16

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OK, so I built my last computer about 5 years ago...and that system is basically super old and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, I'm starting graduate school soon and can't build a really nice system. I'm trying to do a budget computer that can play first person shooter modern games (MOH: Airborne, Call of Duty 4, Crysis, ect...) decently. Not full sliders with awesome frame rates. I'd like a system that will play them at the medium (or slightly higher) quality level.

I don't have an exact cost in my head, but I was hoping to keep it under the $700 or amount...but I need a system that will be decent for a few years, so I'll just have to see where I end up cost wise.

Anyway, my current computer will be dismantled and I'm thinking about using a few of the parts out of it to keep costs down (hard drive and case), but I don't know if I'll be able to. I'm also hoping that I can use the same copy of Windows XP. I figure that since the hard drive is going to stay with the computer (at least thats the plan), that I will be able to reregister my current copy since it will only be running on one machine.

The hard drive I currently have is a Western Digital 250GB 7200rpm drive that does not have SATA capability. I don't know if thats a critical thing for computers to be used to run games, hopefully its not. I also hope that doesn't affect by ability to find a motherboard. So, please advise me on that. Also, the case I have was one of those package deals that came with a power supply. I would like to change out the power supply and use the same case, so hopefully the power supply it has (which I have no idea what it is) is the standard ATX size.

OK, so that was a lot. Here are the parts that I quickly selected as a preliminary sketch for this build. Please look at these and see if there are any suggestions. Also, please offer any suggestions that you might have to help make it more of a budget friendly project or get more for my dollar.

CPU: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103235

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131246
I don't know if this motherboard is a good choice. Please advise me on that, also will this work with my hard drive which does not have SATA capibility?

Video Card: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814130318
or
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814500019
I'm not sure if either of these cards are a better choice. From what I have seen the 8800GT is a better card and for $20 I thought it was the better of the two. But, I'm not sure.

RAM: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148076

Power Supply: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817371016
I have always been terrible about selecting a power supply. I just don't understand how to figure the power needs. This looks like a good one, but I don't know if its too big or too small.

Speakers: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16836121126
My old speakers are absolute junk and I need something to replace them.

I don't think I have missed anything critical, I plan on putting a DVD-RW in it, but I'll just grab one of those. Not too much to that.

Like I said, I want to use my non-SATA (can't remember what the old connectors are called) hard drive if possible. I picked this hard drive out: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148294 if I can't use it. But, thats a savings of $100 if I can. I also chose this case if I can't use my current one (which, as long as the power supply fits...it shouldn't be a problem): http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119077

How can I test if my current tower will fit a normal power supply? I have no reason to think that my current one is odd, but I have been told that those case/power supply combos can sometimes have odd supplies in them.

Again, any suggestions you can make in this process would be very helpful. Thanks!!!
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#2
RichieB16

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I could use any help with this that you guys would be willing to offer.
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#3
jt1990

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If you want a decent gaming system, it's my understanding that the Intel chips perform better (in general) then AMD. I don't really know that for a fact tho, since I'm only getting my first Intel Dual Core comp next week :)
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#4
RichieB16

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I know the Intel is considered a better gaming CPU, but I'm working with a really strict budget. So, I figure AMD is the way to go because it is cheaper.
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#5
jt1990

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Do you happen to know what size your old tower is? If it's an ATX tower it will fit either an ATX or MicroATX board, but if it's a MicroATX tower then it won't take an ATX board. Most standard cases (both ATX and mATX) take ATX PSU's. Unless you've got something weird like a Dell or HP where you physically *can't* fit a standard PSU in, it *should* work fine.
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#6
RichieB16

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My tower is an ATX tower. I was just worried that since it was a tower/power supply combo, that it might fit a weird sized power supply in it which would make it hard to upgrade. I'm not worried if the motherboard will fit in the case, that isn't an issue.

My concerns with the motherboard are the quality of the motherboard (I just wanted to make sure that its not crap in general) and its interface with the hard drive. Does this motherboard require a SATA hard drive or would an older drive be OK (I can't remember what the pre-SATA drive's were called). I would like to just use my current WD 250GB hard drive if I can and save the money.
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#7
jt1990

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You can probably put your old IDE hard drive in that computer. You will probably run into an issue with Windows, however. You'll at least have to reactivate it, if not reinstall it all together. I recently upgraded a hdd for a friend, and used a WD Data tool to copy *everything* off the old drive onto the new one, data, Windows, registry, etc. A couple weeks later, he came back in and we upgraded his CPU, RAM, mobo, and video card. I tried to put the new hdd that we had replaced in, but I had to repair install Windows to even get it to boot. Then the next week he was having so many problems with it we had to completely wipe and reinstall everything :-/
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#8
RichieB16

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Yeah, when ever I do anything like this I just wipe the whole hard drive and reinstall everything. It just seems to work better. I'll have to reactivate windows, but I shouldn't have a problem with that. If it doesn't work I'll just call Microsoft and have them help me (I've done that before).

Does the rest of the computer look OK? Specifically the power supply?

Also, heres another motherboard that I have been considering: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128090

Edited by RichieB16, 01 July 2008 - 07:56 AM.

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#9
jt1990

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With the 8800 GT graphics card, I would probably go to at least a 600W PSU, probably higher.
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#10
jst42day

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At Newegg you can get an Intel E4600 Core2 Duo cpu for $119.99 and build a system around that for about the same money as you want to spend.
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#11
RichieB16

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I actually may do that because that AMD processor just jumped $25. It was $87 and now its $112.
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#12
jt1990

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Yowch
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