Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

First time builder, need parts suggestions.


  • Please log in to reply

#1
L.Martofel

L.Martofel

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
Ok, as you've surmised by my topic, this is my first time building a computer, so be gentle!

Anyway, I've already bought some minor components (I've got a case and a hard drive so far, but I'll get more into the specs and what I'm looking to do with them in a bit).

What I want to be able to have is a multitasking computer, that doesn't have too much trouble with rendering video for burning DVDs (my current P4 takes about 3 hours to burn 2 hours of video onto dvd using nero), that doesn't bog down with HD video (I get stuttering now when trying to watch 720p), can handle music editing software (currently using Sonar 7 Cakewalk Producer edition-cpu bogs down when I have a lot of tracks), and can play the occasional game (no Crysis for me!).

Granted, the computer I'm planning on building will be taking the place of my old Dell workhorse, which has served me well for about 6 years now, but is way too outdated to be able to upgrade anymore. I will be cannibalizing it for parts, though, once I get the new one built. I plan on reusing my DVD burning drive, and possibly wiping the 160GB HD on it and using it for only the OS and programs.

I'd like the new computer to be built around this CPU:

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb

What I already have:

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HD (Got it on sale at Best Buy for like $80!)

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Now, as far as mobo's go, I wouldn't mind one that has onboard video, as long as it could handle HD video. I also want the option to upgrade by adding a video card (only if necessary) with an HDMI output, as I eventually plan on getting a big HDTV and using this PC as a media center as well as an all around computer. So, if the mobo has an HDMI output, that would be a plus, if not necessary at the moment. I'm looking to spend about $200-250 on one. One more thing to add, I may try to overclock, so if the mobo has good overclocking capabilities, it would be a plus as well.

Don't know much about DDR3 RAM, or if I need it for what I'm looking to do, so if it's unnecessary for what I need, then that should help with the price on the mobo, and the RAM.

Speaking of RAM, I am planning on eventually getting Windows 7, and I'd like to see what the big deal is about running it in 64 bit mode, so I would need at least 4GB of RAM, right? Do I need some serious heavy duty RAM, or can I go with value RAM (like Kingston?) How would that affect my system?

I'm also going to need suggestions on a power supply. I wouldn't have the foggiest idea on how many watts I would have to go for, and how to go about figuring that out.

I plan on using the stock cooler that comes with the AMD Phenom chip until I decide to overclock. I doubt when I do that I'd OC it enough to warrant water cooling.

All of your suggestions are welcome, and thanks for the help!!


*edited to add..

I also have an M-Audio Delta 1010 that will be needing a PCI slot, which I use for recording music. Not sure if that would affect anything, but I still want a mobo with built in sound if possible, but be able to set the clock speeds to the Delta 1010 for recording.

Edited by L.Martofel, 03 August 2009 - 08:43 PM.

  • 0

Advertisements


#2
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
Hello L.Martofel...

You've come to the right place....and may become a victim of information overload.

I like you choice for a case. I build in a lot of Antec 900s and 900 IIs. Great airflow, good looks, and they are easy to build in and get a clean looking build. Surprising quiet for as many large fans as these cases use.

ASUS makes some boards that work very well with the Phenom II X4 chips. I like the M4N82 Deluxe. It uses DDR2 RAM and is dual channel capable. It does not have integrated video, but is set up to accommodate up to 3 PCIe cards in SLI. It also has 2 PCI slots to handle your recording hardware...though it does have a very adequate integrated sound capability. The M4N82 Deluxe is also very easy to OC.

Don't skimp on RAM. The savings you realize in buying a "value grade" module as opposed to a "premium grade" module is not worth the loss in performance, reliability, and tweakability. There are good modules available from several manufacturers at very reasonable prices. I prefer Corsair Dominator series or OCZ Reaper series modules. Either would perform well with the ASUS board above.

You'll need a video card or two with the M4N82 Deluxe. I've found that EVGA makes some good cards at reasonable prices. I've used a lot of 9600GT and 9800GT cards and found them to perform very well and offer rock solid reliability. While these cards are not the choice of hardcore gamers, they have great performance for the price.

32 bit operating systems will not utilize a full 4 GB of RAM, though you can install 4 GB and run with it...Windows just won't use it all. A 64 bit OS, however will see the whole 4 GB and more. Nearly all the problems 64 bit systems have had in the past have been eliminated and they are now very well supported. I prefer the 64 bit system hands down. You do not need to install 4 GB of RAM to run in 64 bit...but you can. I have 8 GB installed in both my main machines and am posting this from a 64 bit Windows 7 platform.

Power supplies are something you'll likely get a lot of feedback on. I like Corsair PSUs. and never install anything less than 750W. The Corsair PSUs are quiet, cool, and powerful. Very little noise or ripple and the 12v rail is solid as a rock. I've never had a problem with these PSUs...they are real performers.

That should give you enough to chew on until you get a few more replies.

wannabe1
  • 0

#3
edge2022

edge2022

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,117 posts
The Phenom 2 X4 940 is a good CPU, and works well if you want to overclock it. You should be able to easily push it up to around 3.7Ghz... AMD's black edition CPUs have an unlocked multiplier, which is very useful to an overclocker.

The Antec 900 is a solid case with plenty of cooling power. It works perfectly for your needs... you could have also gone with the Antec 1200: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811129043
It's more expensive though, and you don't need it since you already have a 900.

For a PSU, Corsair is the brand to trust. Anywhere from 750-850W should do for you.
http://www.newegg.co.......=701 - 800W
http://www.newegg.co.......=801 - 900W
Or if you plan to make some really big motherboard or CPU upgrades, you can go with Corsair's best 1000W: http://www.newegg.co.....k=corsair psu

You got your hard drive at a great price! :)

For a mobo, I would also recommend the M4N82 Deluxe, or you can try Asus' Crosshair Formula 3: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131392
Supports 2-way CrossfireX, and comes with a very nice sound card. The sound card goes into a PCI-E slot, leaving you with one open PCI expansion slot for your card. If you are going with the Crosshair Formula though, you will have to choose another CPU (AM3)... Phenom 2 X4 955 BE: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103674
This CPU can easily be overclocked to 4Ghz without worrying at all about heat.

You will also have to get DDR3 RAM with the Crosshair board. It is a little faster than DDR2, but not by that much. Corsair, Patriot, OCZ, Crucial, and Kingston make some good RAM. Look for RAM with low CAS latencies.

This is an awesome card: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814129113
NVIDIA makes some good ones too... you can try a 9800 GTX+.
Somewhere down the road, you can pick up another one of those cards, and run them in CrossfireX.
  • 0

#4
L.Martofel

L.Martofel

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
Thanks guys, for the suggestions!!

@wannabe1...I really dig the stuff you suggested. I was reading up on the M4N82 Deluxe, and one of the issues that most people had with it was with using 1066 DDR2 RAM with it. Something about:

"*Due to AMD CPU limitation, DDR2 1066 is supported by AM3/AM2+ CPU for one DIMM per channel only"

which I saw later on that it could be remedied with a BIOS fix. Now, I've never really futzed around with much BIOS settings other than when working on other folks computers to change the mobo to boot from the optical drive instead of the hard drive first, or to go into my own computer to turn hyper threading on. In a nutshell, I've never worked with a BIOS that wasn't from a box computer (mainly Dell or Gateway). I don't think it'd be too tough to figure out, since I'm a literature nut when it comes to tech (at the ripe age of 8, I was the one in the family programming the VCR-not to toot my own horn..but, you know :) ). Anyhow, any extra input on the matter would be most beneficial and appreciated.

As far as the rest of the stuff regarding the board, seems like most people either complained about where the SATA ports connect, (remedied by connecting the wires BEFORE installing in the case), or the lack of more SATA ports. I've thought about RAIDing this box, but that's for later, or instead of doing that, maybe I'll be lazy and get a DROBO (or if I get really ambitious, a DROBO farm...loaded to the top with videos, so I'll never have to think about getting cable again!!)

I think this pay I'll definitely be picking up the OCZ Reaper RAM pack that you suggested. Can't beat it, since with the mail in rebate, I'll only be paying ~ $43.

Since price is a definite consideration for me (which is why I'm buying piece by piece), I'm going to go with the CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX, which, after mail in rebate comes up to $99. And don't think I'm not the type to send in for the mail in rebates!

As far as video cards go, I think I may go with the GeForce 9600, since I rarely game. My main interest is in having seamless HD video through my computer, as this computer may eventually become part of my entertainment center.



@edge2022...I really liked some of your suggestions, especially the mobo, but when we go that route, it pushes my price up a little higher than I'd like. The processor is only $30 higher, but when we start adding up the cost of the mobo, cpu, RAM especially, it starts to add up. I'm all for trying to future proof (or future avoid, which I think is more apt), as long as its within my financial constraints. If I can get almost identical performance and reliability for a lesser price, I'm going with the lesser price.

Anyhoo, none of my choices are really set in stone until I start buying. Even when I order the RAM this coming week, I still have other options for mobos/power supplies/video cards. I'm still open for more suggestions of value for my dollar. Tweakability is a plus.

Thanks again!!
  • 0

#5
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
ASUS boards come with the software to make BIOS updates a snap...practically does the flash by itself. Same for overclocking the CPU or bumping up the RAM voltage. It can all be accomplished from within the Windows interface.

That said, the BIOS Setup on these boards is about the best I've seen. If you want to do some real tweaking, there's just about nothing you can't adjust from there.

Good choice on the power supply...it's my favorite. I reviewed this PSU when it first came out if you're interested. TX750W Review
  • 0

#6
L.Martofel

L.Martofel

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
Shoot. Reading your review, the case I have makes this PS a bad choice, since the case has the PS at the bottom. [bleep]. What to do?
  • 0

#7
wannabe1

wannabe1

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 16,645 posts
Just take your time with the cabling. Even with the cables on the outside, it's not that difficult to get a clean build in the case you've chosen...and there's plenty of places to tuck cables away out of sight. I use that case and PSU combo a lot...it's worth the extra bit of hassle and will really perform. Even Modular PSU's will be a little more difficult to clean up in a bottom mount situation.

The alternative is to choose a case with a top mounted PSU.
  • 0

#8
L.Martofel

L.Martofel

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
Hmm...after doing some more googling regarding the case, seems you're right. It's a little hassle, but nothing that's not solvable. I've seen people cut holes in the mobo mounting plate and route the wiring through there (which may be a last resort for me), or just get creative with routing their wiring. So, I think I'll stick with that PSU for right now. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, right? And, if I do end up modding the case, then it becomes more my own creation!
  • 0

#9
edge2022

edge2022

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,117 posts
It's a little bit of extra effort, but it shouldn't hinder you from choosing a good PSU. Go with the Corsair 750W.

Asus provides very comprehensive manuals with their motherboards. BIOS updates are very easy... Asus boards come with EZFlash and CrashFree BIOS. EzFlash allows you to flash the BIOS using a USB drive, and CrashFree BIOS is to provide additional security so that you won't brick your BIOS (allows you to restore your BIOS if a flash goes bad).

You are right when you say that the prices add up fast. The M4N82 is more than enough if you don't do much gaming... I thought you would like the sound card that came with the Crosshair.

Everything looks good! Let us know how it turns out. :)
  • 0

#10
L.Martofel

L.Martofel

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
Hey guys, quick question...what do you guys think of the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P with the stuff I was thinking of using? I could definitely use the ~ $60 savings in comparison to the ASUS M4N82 Deluxe. Should I go with the Asus or the Gigabyte?
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
edge2022

edge2022

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,117 posts
I see no problem with that board... it will work really good.
Read this review: http://benchmarkrevi...i...8&Itemid=69
And read a couple of reviews on the M4N82 and decide which one is right for you. Are you planing to go for a multi-GPU setup?

What is your complete build?
  • 0

#12
L.Martofel

L.Martofel

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
This is the plan for the complete build:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb

Mobo: Asus M4N82 Deluxe or the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P

RAM: OCZ Reaper RAM pack

GPU: GeForce 9600GT(unless I can find something cheaper with HDTV connectivity, possibly by HDMI)

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB HD (already have this, but planning on getting another smaller HDD for OS and programs for ease of reinstalling the OS without losing data)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (already have this as well, and have started some minor mods for cable routing.)

Now, after reading the review on the PSU that I chose being used with the Antec case, if I were to put the PSU upside down (so that the fan would be on top since the PSU goes on the bottom of the case instead of the top), I lose more slack on my cabling and possibly could have a bit of ugliness as far as the cabling goes. I've found an awesome thread on another board that deals with modding the Antec case so that you can put the PSU right side up. All it takes is to cut a hole in the bottom of the case for the fan and using better feet for the case, which I'm planning to do. I might also do the case mod where I can put a 3rd fan in the front and put a slimline DVD burner/blu ray player in the front. That's going to be later on down the road though, since I don't have an HDCP compliant monitor or HDTV yet.


*EDITED TO ADD*

I noticed that if I do go with the Gigabyte board, that it also accommodates the AM3 socket which means I can get the AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz instead of the one I listed above. Here's Newegg's comparison between the two. I don't see much of a difference except for price. If you guys know anything that I don't in regards to the difference between the two, I'd appreciate your help! Keep in mind, I do want to try my hand at overclocking, and I do burn a lot of DVDs, and produce my own music. So, if anything, I need to be sure that I can encode video and audio rather quickly. Not top notch/can encode a full 3 hour dvd in 20 minutes type "fast", but good enough on a budget. If there really is no difference between the two, I'm gonna go with the one that's cheaper.

Edited by L.Martofel, 30 August 2009 - 10:45 AM.

  • 0

#13
edge2022

edge2022

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,117 posts
I just built a computer with a Corsair 650TX and a Cooler Master HAF 922M. The PSU is bottom mounted, but cable management didn't really pose a problem.

The only real differences between a 940 and a 945 is the socket and that the 940 is a Black Edition (very helpful if overclocking b/c it will have an unlocked CPU multiplier) The 940 has a slower HyperTransport speed, and a higher TDP. The M4N82 can support AM3 CPUs as well as the Gigabyte board. If you are not overclocking, the get the 945. If you plan to go SLI or CrossfireX, then choose an appropriate mobo and graphics card.
  • 0

#14
L.Martofel

L.Martofel

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts

I just built a computer with a Corsair 650TX and a Cooler Master HAF 922M. The PSU is bottom mounted, but cable management didn't really pose a problem.

The only real differences between a 940 and a 945 is the socket and that the 940 is a Black Edition (very helpful if overclocking b/c it will have an unlocked CPU multiplier) The 940 has a slower HyperTransport speed, and a higher TDP. The M4N82 can support AM3 CPUs as well as the Gigabyte board. If you are not overclocking, the get the 945. If you plan to go SLI or CrossfireX, then choose an appropriate mobo and graphics card.


I didn't know that the 945 was locked. That stinks. Oh well, an extra $20 it is then. Now, as far as going with the mobo, I'm not going SLI or CrossfireX, since I rarely (if ever) game. My main concern is just with video and audio rendering, since I record and burn music and dvds. So, you think I can go with the Gigabyte mobo? What do I stand to lose by going with the Gigabyte?
  • 0

#15
stettybet0

stettybet0

    Trusted Tech

  • Technician
  • 2,579 posts
A few things:

This Gigabyte board is nearly identical to the one you were looking at, except it has an HDMI port, which I believe you said you wanted. You won't "lose" anything by going with Gigabyte. They make terrific mid-range motherboards.

The 750W Corsair, while a terrific PSU, is overkill for this build. Going with a low-end video card (such as the 9600GT), or possibly no video card if you get a motherboard with built-in HDMI, means you won't need that much power. This 500W OCZ PSU will be more than capable, is much cheaper, and is modular, which will help your case look nice and tidy.

You say that you want to get another hard drive so that when you reinstall the OS, you won't lose data. You could just create a partition on the hard drive you already have (which basically makes it so that the system "sees" two hard drives).

Also, any particular reason AMD has been chosen for this build? Similarly-priced Intel CPUs will encode/render faster than the AMD CPUs you are looking at.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP