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First-Time-Builder Needs Advice/Suggestions/Tips


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#1
n0ng33k

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Hello all, you may or may not know me from my various computer virus and performance issues :) in other parts of these Forums, but here I am, and I'm planning to build a new computer, after much pursuasion from my buddies to not go with Alienware.

I will be obtaining these parts over the course of the next few months, I realise that the prices will most likely change.

In no particular order:

SYSTEM TOTAL: ~$963.13
MAIL-IN REBATE SAVINGS:~$90.00
TOTAL: ~$873.13


--> Case: $47.73

Coolermaster Elite RC-330 ATX

http://www.ncix.com/...re=COOLERMASTER



--> Power Supply: $109.99 ($89.99 after MIR)

Corsair TX650W 650W ATX 12V 52A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan

http://www.ncix.com/...CustomerReviews



--> Motherboard: $155.88

ASUS P5Q Pro ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E16 Crossfire 3PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN eSATA Motherboard

http://www.ncix.com/...anufacture=ASUS



--> CPU: $169.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core Processor LGA775 3.0GHZ Wolfdale 1333FSB 6MB

http://www.ncix.com/...mp;promoid=1042



--> RAM: $99.99 ($69.99 after MIR)

OCZ Platinum XTC PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-800 CL5-4-4-15 DDR2 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit

http://www.ncix.com/...CustomerReviews



--> Video Card: $122.83 ($92.83 after MIR)

EVGA E-GEFORCE 8600GT 540MHZ 512MB 1.4GHZ DDR2 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDTV Out DIRECTX10 Video Card

http://www.ncix.com/...anufacture=eVGA



--> Hard drive: $57.72

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive OEM

http://www.ncix.com/...facture=Seagate



--> Sound card: $54.99 (Considering removal/replacement due to reviews)

Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Audio 24BIT Sound Card 7.1 PCI-E X1 OEM

http://www.ncix.com/.....Creative Labs


--> Operating system: $89.95

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

http://www.ncix.com/...cture=Microsoft


--> DVD Drive: $32.90

LG GSA-H55L DVD+RW 20X8X16 DVD-RW 20X6X16 DL 10X Lightscribe DVD Writer IDE 2MB Black OEM W/ SW

http://www.ncix.com/.....G Electronics


--> CPU Heatsink: $27.16

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro LGA775 2500RPM 45CFM

http://www.ncix.com/.....rctic Cooling


Am I missing anything crucial? Should anything be switched out for performance/compatibility issues? Any bottlenecking? I'm really new to this so-called "computer-building" so any tips and pointers would be extremely appreciated!

Edited by n0ng33k, 14 August 2008 - 09:28 AM.

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#2
jt1990

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I don't see anything for RAM. I would look at either 1 or 2 GB, depending on what you're using the system for. I'm running XP Home on 2 GB in my laptop and it runs pretty sweet. Here's some good RAM, 2 GB, $49.99 after a rebate.

EDIT: Oops! :) Missed that...

Edited by jt1990, 14 August 2008 - 09:24 AM.

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#3
n0ng33k

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RAM is indeed there, under CPU. I'll bold the text for the individual items so it's easier to spot.
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#4
kamille316

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Is there a specific reason you went with the ASUS P5Q-Pro? It's not a bad board but you can get Gigabyte EP45-DS3L for around $100, however I believe the ASUS one is good for overclocking, don't quote me on that though. The ASUS is usually on sale for about $135 and you can also pricematch (I usually use Tigerdirect and especially Direct Canada for pricematching).

Are you going to overclock? If so then I suggest a better heatsink like the Xigmatek with Arctic Cooling MX-2 (OCZ Freeze is special order only).

Are you an intense gamer? If so what kind of games are you going to play? The 8600GT is not a great performer, I would, at the very least suggest the 8800GT which can be had around $100 after MIR. I suggest you watch out for the sales because there's quite a few good ones there (currently, the 8800GT is on sale, limited quantity, for $105.99 after a $30 MIR).

I also suggest you go with Mushkin RAM as you'll also get the best customer support with that company. MushkinGreg is one of the manufacturer support guy that frequent the NCIX forum and helps if there's a problem.

I would also suggest you go with this Pioneer DVD-drive as this is SATA instead of IDE, easier to install and just overall better. It is usually on sale as well. If you want Lightscribe, I can suggest something else.

Hard drives are getting cheaper and cheaper (Seagate 1000GB is on sale for ~$129 now) so I think that 500GB would be affordable for you by the time you buy your parts.

Is there a specific reason for going with XP Home? Security isn't very good with that one and I would at least suggest XP Pro, however Vista Home Premium is about $100 on sale now so if you're willing to try Vista, that's the one I recommend.

For the soundcard, I suggest trying on-board audio first and if you don't like it then buy a soundcard, it would be a waste of money if you can't tell the difference between the on-board and the sound card.

Also don't forget that NCIX always have their new sales up every Wednesday night (7:00pm PST I believe), also I suggest saving up all your money and then buy them all at once so you can save some money, I can guarantee you that by the time you're ready to buy, most of the products will be lower in price.

Hope that helps.
Kamille
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#5
n0ng33k

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Wow! Thanks for that super detailed reply! (Sorry for random-seeming answers, I don't know how to quote certain sentences)

I think I'll switch out my planned MoBo to the Gigabyte one, it seems to have more features and supports...kinda ugly though :)

I do not plan to overclock for computer lifespan reasons.

I do game a lot, and when I do...it gets intense. The games I play for now are Counter-Strike Source and Warcraft 3, therefore I found no need for an 8800GT, however I'll look into switching it out because of the MIR, as well as for future games that get more and more realistic and power-hungry, the 8600 will quickly become old (I'm assuming)

Mushkin RAM was actually my second choice, but thanks to you :) I'll switch out my OCZ for some Mushkinzzz.

I will stay with XP as long as possible as Vista, or so I'm told, consumes many unnecessary resources, and therefore slows down your game. I will look into getting XP Pro.

Thank you for your very detailed reply! Now my only concern is putting it together without breaking anything! :)

EDIT: Are there any overheating issues to be aware of? I don't want to put this together just for it to melt into a hunk of metal and plastic. I'm also looking for a sleek computer case that does a great job cooling the inside of your computer, any suggestions?

Edited by n0ng33k, 14 August 2008 - 09:57 AM.

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#6
kamille316

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I do game a lot, and when I do...it gets intense. The games I play for now are Counter-Strike Source and Warcraft 3, therefore I found no need for an 8800GT, however I'll look into switching it out because of the MIR, as well as for future games that get more and more realistic and power-hungry, the 8600 will quickly become old (I'm assuming)

The 8800GT will be a better investment for you in case you want to try some newer games as 8600GT is not that good for games.

Mushkin RAM was actually my second choice, but thanks to you :) I'll switch out my OCZ for some Mushkinzzz.

If you visit the NCIX forum, you will notice that most people recommend Mushkin, they make good RAM and also great customer support. Most threads about RAMs, you will notice MushkinGreg posting and helping.

Thank you for your very detailed reply! Now my only concern is putting it together without breaking anything! :)

As long as you follow the manuals included in your parts, building should be easy. Ensure you ground yourself first and make sure all connections are connected thoroughly. If you encounter any problems or any questions, feel free to ask as we have very knowledgeable techs in this forum.

EDIT: Are there any overheating issues to be aware of? I don't want to put this together just for it to melt into a hunk of metal and plastic. I'm also looking for a sleek computer case that does a great job cooling the inside of your computer, any suggestions?

As long as you do everything right and your nose is working properly :), this shouldn't happen, just watch out inside your case once you've turn it on, if you see sparks, smoke or smell something weird then turn it off right away. Your case seems a little small, I suggest something like the Coolermaster 690, Antec 900, Antec 300, Antec P182.

Kamille

Edited by kamille316, 14 August 2008 - 10:11 AM.

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#7
n0ng33k

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Alright, I've switched out the case, it seemed a bit small after I scrutinized the measurements. As for Video Cards, how does this one look?

http://www.ncix.com/...CustomerReviews
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#8
kamille316

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I usually go with EVGA, BFG and XFX because of their lifetime warranties and also great customer support. That Palit one is alright however I still suggest you watch out for the sales as you can get much cheaper video cards there.
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#9
n0ng33k

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I'll keep my eyes peeled for a good deal on an 8800GT instead of posting tons of links :) anyone? Thank you for all your help, and my system should be good to go.

Final question from me: How often to compatibility issues rise up? Are there any compatibility issues you can find in my build?

Thanks.
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#10
kamille316

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Everything seems to be compatible to me, you didn't really mention which computer case you're going with. Also, since you mentioned you're not overclocking, why did you choose to get an aftermarket cooler?
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#11
n0ng33k

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:) I plan to go with the CM690, lots of fan supports, and other slots and nifty ports etc. As for the cooling issue, I always thought that a heatsink was required, so I looked one up and added it at the last minute. If it's not, it'll save me a beautiful $30. Is a few fans on my case all I need to keep my computer cool?

Edited by n0ng33k, 14 August 2008 - 10:37 AM.

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#12
kamille316

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:) I plan to go with the CM690, lots of fan supports, and other slots and nifty ports etc. As for the cooling issue, I always thought that a heatsink was required, so I looked one up and added it at the last minute. If it's not, it'll save me a beautiful $30. Is a few fans on my case all I need to keep my computer cool?

The CM690 is a good case (I have it and I really like it, though it doesn't have a side window which is not a problem for me). All OEM CPU doesn't come with heatsink/fan, however you are buying a retail version and it comes with the stock heatsink/fan. The stock heatsink/fan should be adequate for your needs considering you are not overclocking. Even so, I have heard that the E8400 can go up to 3.2GHz with the stock heatsink.

The number of fans shouldn't matter much (as long as you have intake and exhaust fans) as long as your room temperature is good. I say this because the intake fans take the air from your room and circulate it inside your case, the exhaust fan takes the air inside your case and blow it out to your room. So you're basically just circulating the air inside your room to your case. I have mine set up like this.
Top: Exhaust: Noctua NF-P12-1300
Front: Intake: Stock Fan that came with the case
Bottom: Intake: Stock fan that came with the case
Back: Exhaust: Scythe S-FLEX™ S-FDB 120mm Quiet Fan
Side Window: Exhaust: Noctua NF-P12-1300

All this fans doesn't really help the temperature inside because my room temperature is always too high (think 25-30C) because my room's too small and my window is partially blocked :)

EDIT: When are you actually buying all this? If it is months from now, I suggest you post back here just in case there are some component that's better.

Edited by kamille316, 14 August 2008 - 11:03 AM.

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#13
n0ng33k

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Alright, thanks for the info. I have a rather large computer room with huge windows (get's annoying because of the light) so I don't think that heating should be an issue anymore.

Just regarding what you said about E8400's reaching 3.2GHz with a stock heatsink, what exactly does that mean? It sounds bad, but that my be just the phrasing. :)
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#14
kamille316

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Just regarding what you said about E8400's reaching 3.2GHz with a stock heatsink, what exactly does that mean? It sounds bad, but that my be just the phrasing. :)

Sorry about that, the E8400's speed is 3.0GHz, overclocking is increasing that speed to whatever it can handle, having the stock heatsink and overclocking the CPU, you would be able to reach 3.2GHz but with higher temperature (not much). When you overclock, it also increases the temperature of the CPU. I only mentioned this so that you get an idea on how the stock heatsink performs. If it can be used for overclocking then it should be good enough for just the stock speed (which is 3.0GHz).

Hope that makes sense.
Kamille
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#15
n0ng33k

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ALRIGHT! Thanks for allllll your help/tips, I think I'm ready to go! I'm so excited! I need to calm down! Please make me calm down!

Seriously though, thank you for your tips and help even though I already mentioned it. You replied so fast that this thread has 12 posts and 0 views :)

If you think I'm missing anything, feel free to add, but other than that, I think I'm all set!

Edited by n0ng33k, 14 August 2008 - 11:14 AM.

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