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first build, suggestions please


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#1
p1989at

p1989at

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Hey everyone I'm planning on building my first PC over winter break. I'm trying to keep the total cost around $800. With that said I want it to be able to play newer games like Far Cry 2 or Fallout3 on decent settings. Here's what I'm thinking about.

Monitor: Acer 17" $130
http://www.newegg.co.....k=Acer x173WB

Case: Rosewill ATX Mid tower $30
http://www.newegg.co...p;Tpk=R330-P-BK

PSU: OCZ Stealth Xstream 500w ATX $60
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817341012

RAM: OCZ Reaper (2x1GB) 240-pin SDRAM DDR2 800 (pc2 6400) dual channel $46
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820227231

CPU: AMD Athlon 64x2 6000 3.0GHz 2x1mdL2 cache dual-core $92
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103233

Heatsink: Zalman CNPS 7500 $30
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835118035

Mobo: Asus M2N-SLI AM2 NVIDIA nForce 560 SLI mcp ATX $87
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131246

DVD drive: LITE-ON 20x SATA $24
http://www.newegg.co.....ON iHAS120-04

Hard Drive: Segate Barracuda 250GB 7200rpm SATA $50
http://www.newegg.co...Tpk=ST3250310AS

Video Card: MSI GeForce 9800GT $120
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127381

OS: windows xp home edition $89
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16832116056

total: $758 (not including mouse+keyboard)

I think these are pretty good parts for my budget. I am concerned about the RAM. Its a little on the cheap side. Should I Upgrade?
Also, I figured i'd save some money and get xp home edition for now and wait for Windows 7 to come out. So I'm trying to figure out the difference between the retail version and the system builders-OEM version. Why is OEM cheaper?

Any suggestions about this build would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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#2
charge06

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OEM comes comes with very little. OEm Xp will just come in a cardboard envelope with the key.

Another example, an OEM dvd drive or hdd will come with just the drive sealed in anti-static bag and bubble wrapped. retail comes in a box with the other materials.
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#3
skyhintack

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Hello p1989at! I'm glad you've taken the challenge to build your own computer! :)

First, to answer your question about OEM. Just so you know, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Things that are OEM are usually much more inexpensive because they aren't marked-up in retail versions, and they usually don't come with manuals or cables. In your case, the OS doesn't come with any support, but most usuers don't contact Microsoft for support anyways, and the hard drive is just shipped in bubble wrap as a hard drive; no cables or manuals. But, a hard drive is self-explanitory, you install it into the case and plug in the cables.

Secondly, as Windows 7 (or Windows Se7en) is only in Beta stages and will take a bit longer before it comes out, there's no knowing on what the future will bring. By the time it is released, some parts may be incompatible or they might not meet the requirements. But, we won't know for a while, so I wouldn't count on expecting to be able to easily (without problems) being able to buy Windows 7 in the near future and install it on a machine that only has a budget of $800.

And Finally, your wish list. These are my suggestions, but take them as you'd like:

Grand Total: $831.94

If your budget doesn't have much to spare, take a few things to give yourself a boost, but leave yourself $25-75 for cooling improvements/upgrades just incase your computer doesn't happen to be cool enough.

~Sky :)
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#4
wannabe1

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Hello p1989at...

You assembled a pretty good build and skyhintack also added some good suggestions. Hope you don't mind if I put in my two bits worth, too...

One of the biggest differences between a retail version OS and an OEM version is in the licensing. A retail version is licensed to the purchaser and can be installed on any machine they own so long as it is only installed on one machine at any given time. An OEM version is licensed to the machine...it lives and dies with that hardware. I'd recommend you get a retail version of whatever OS you decide on.

skyhintack was correct in telling you that one of the most important components of any build is the power supply. However, for the same price as the one he suggested, you can get the Corsair TX750W which is one of the cleanest and most stable PSU's I've ever tested. Review

I've also tested the OCZ Reaper RAM modules and found them to be of very high quality and very tweakable. I'd go with them over the G.Skill, but they are both very good modules. Corsair Dominator series modules might also be worth a look...I use them almost exclusively in my builds.

The CPU cooler is another area I differ in opinion on. I've never been a big believer in removing heat from the processor by blowing it onto the system board...just seems like it defeats the purpose. The Zalman 9500 series coolers will remove the heat every bit as well, but will direct it towards the back of the case rather than back onto the motherboard.

Those changes wouldn't hit the budget too hard and would likely give you a little stronger system.

wannabe1
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#5
p1989at

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Thanks a million for the advice everyone. I'm gonna have to do more research on the ASRock motherboard. I've never heard of ASRock before and don't know how good their reputation is. I think I might stick with the OCZ RAM but i'll definitely take a look into the HIS video card and a different psu.
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