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couple build questions


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#1
gator325

gator325

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after doing some research and trying to play Warcraft (in the past) and currently LOTRO with my old P4 Dell i have decided that i need a new PC and would like to build one. i have read many of the posts here about building a PC and they are very helpful - especially the ones for right around $1000 as i am not rich. couple questions: (i should note that i mainly use a computer to play games from time to time and browse the internet - i dont download music or movies very much so i believe my Western Digital EIDE 160G Caviar SE hard drive i just bought would suffice)

1. anyone heard of http://www.alienware.com/? a friend told me to check out their gaming systems... some of their lower end models go for slightly more than $1000. can i build my own for about $1000 that would perform better?

2. if i build i would need case, power supply, cpu, motherboard, disc drive, new RAM and operating system - i am not including a monitor, keyboard, mouse and hard drive (have the hard drive mentioned above) if i am going to spend a little more on one particular component would the best thing to do be buy a very good motherboard? my thinking is that if i had a quality motherboard i could always upgrade other components at a later date if needed. is this silly thinking? (i know technology changes all the time and want to know what the best choice would be.)

as i said i mainly will use this for gaming and internet - i will get a decent video card because i cannot stand having 3 frames per second while playing warcraft and lotro anymore lol. and anything will be an upgrade from my current system. any feedback would be helpful - especially about what you all think are considered the most important components for building a new pc. and what is the minimum power supply recommended and what is ideal?

thank you :)
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#2
kamille316

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Hi gator325,

1) I am not sure about alienware as I never look at it, maybe post the one you were looking at and we'll comment if its better than building your own? However, in most cases, if you want quality components, then building your own is more appropriate.

2) In my opinion, for the motherboard, it doesn't always have to be the best out there, you have to consider your budget and if you're going to use the extra features that expensive motherboards have. For example, if you buy an SLI motherboard, you have to think, will you be using SLI? Will you be using Nvidia cards? is there a need to have 2 video cards based on the games you play? If the answer to these questions are no, then buying an SLI motherboard would be a total waste of money as the extra features it has wouldn't benefit you.

If you already have some parts picked out for building your computer, it wouldn't hurt to post it here so we can all comment, if not then we're here to help you pick out part :)

Kamille

Edited by kamille316, 24 July 2008 - 10:59 AM.

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#3
gator325

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thanks for the reply kamille :)

i guess i was somewhat vague - even though my degree is in information systems i have not kept up to date with with technology like i used to - i did know quite a bit when windows 95 was out.. lol.

what is SLI motherboard? not sure what that means. i will research it. and not sure if i need Nvidia card or not. this is just a brand of video card? i doubt i would need two video cards since i get by with a crappy integrated one now.

i thought i read somewhere that some motherboards would let you upgrade to as much as 16GB of RAM while others were lower. i will not need that much but figured a better mother board would allow for such things in the future.

i have not picked anything specific out yet - going to start doing that the next few days. any recommendations would be great - i posted what i need for right around $1000 in the above post.

i am somewhat new to this so i apologize if i am vague or sound dumb. i am pretty sure i will build one rather than buy an assembled PC - the idea of putting it together myself and learning from that is the main reason :) like i said i have read several posts from people doing the same thing so i will have a general idea of what to buy but will take any suggestions.
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#4
kamille316

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The example I gave, is just to give you an idea about one type of motherboard.
SLI motherboard is a motherboard that has 2 PCI-Express port where you will be able to use 2 Nvidia cards, this however costs more (motherboard costs more and having 2 video cards is also expensive) and performance is only about ~20% higher than if you use one video card, it is not generally suggested especially with a tight budget. Crossfire motherboard is the same as SLI motherboard, only difference is that you have to use 2 ATI video cards.

i thought i read somewhere that some motherboards would let you upgrade to as much as 16GB of RAM while others were lower. i will not need that much but figured a better mother board would allow for such things in the future.

You are right, there are some motherboards that can support up to 16GB (however, at this time there is no need for that), I just purchased a motherboard for my brother and it comes with 6 SATA ports (good if you're intending to use multiple hard drives and dvd-drives) and can support up to 16GB of RAM, however it doesn't come with Firewire but I don't think he'll need that. This Gigabyte is the one I got him and fits his needs. You should take a look at the specifications of that motherboard and see if its missing a feature you want.

For picking out motherboard, you have to figure out now if you are going to overclock it or if you have experience in overclocking. Asus and Gigabyte is good if you're a beginner however if you've done it a lot of times, you can consider something like DFI brands as the BIOS comes with more options for overclocking.

No need to apologize as we all are new to something at one time. It is great to ask questions as you will learn a lot more by doing so and also the reason we are all here.

Kamille
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