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Looking at building a barebone kit, is this alright?


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#1
conroy66

conroy66

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Hello,
I'm looking to build a new barebones kit and I am a complete amateur. I was hoping to get my foot in the door by building a kit and eventually upgrading/building from there and gaining knowledge and experience along the way. What I'm wondering is if this kit is any good for an amateur:

http://www.tigerdire...mp;sku=B69-1141

The specs and prices in CAD are below:

Intel DP55WB Motherboard - Qty: 1 $119.97

Intel Core i5 750 Processor - Qty: 1 $213.97

OCZ PC3-10666 Platinum RAM - Qty: 1 $112.97

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS Hard Drive - Qty: 1 $94.97

XFX Radeon HD 4670 1GB PCIe 2.0 Video Card - Qty: 1 $74.97

Ultra X-Blaster ATX Blk Mid-T Case - Qty: 1 $59.97

Ultra LSP650 650-Watt Power Supply - Qty: 1 $69.97

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64BIT - OEM DVD - Qty: 1 $114.97

LG GH22NS50 DVD Writer OEM - Qty: 1 $36.00

Ultra Retractable Cord RJ-11 Modem Cable - Qty: 1 $.49

My main concern is that I'm going to purchase this kit, and just struggle putting it together and getting it running. I've been reading some of the reviews and after reading mixed things I am specifically wondering about a few things. Are all the parts compatible with one another? I read at one point that the RAM is not compatible with the MOBO. From what I can see everything looks fine, but as I said I'm an amateur. If I manage to follow an online guide and get it together alright, am I going to have a hard time configuring BIOS to get it running? Finally if I get everything working and Windows 7 installed, will I get constant BSODs due to drivers being outdated/not compatible with 7? Any help would be appreciated, and thanks in advance!
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#2
SRX660

SRX660

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The basic BIOS setup for the motherboard will usually be a easy to install and run system. It's just not modded for best performance. It looks like the ram is good for this system. The only thing i don't like is the Ultra Power supply. While they are Ok PS's they are lower middle of the road PS's compared to others. You should do some reading here. I use the Ultra PS's in a lot of my cheap builds for customers and have not had a failure in any of them. My Gamer customers will not buy them simply because they do have a few power issues when maxing out a computer for gaming.

http://www.jonnyguru...=...ory&reid=71

and

http://www.jonnyguru.com/index.php

SRX660
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#3
conroy66

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Thanks for the input, I had no idea a power supply was THAT important, I thought 'power is power' as per the articles. You mentioned you use them in cheaper builds and they work fine, so the included power supply would then be alright at least for a few months until I can afford an upgrade, correct? I don't game heavily but I do like to play one or two on occasion (looking at Mass Effect 2 currently)... would the power supply still be safe to play games on lower settings? As I said I can upgrade in a few months, just the current purchase of the kit itself and the monitor, etc. is pretty much going to exhaust my cash for a few months.

Also, what did you mean by best performance? Well I'm not overly nitpicky I'm hoping it'll at least perform better then a prebuilt machine from say, BestBuy after the initial configuration, or at least that's what I've heard, would you be able to confirm?

Thanks a lot!
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#4
conroy66

conroy66

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Also, while reviewing the parts, I notice that the video card is PCI Express 2.0, but I don't see any of that on the motherboard. I see a PCI Express x1, and a PCI Express x16 slot, but no 2.0. Will that still connect properly? And also, with the DVD drive being OEM, will it have cable to connect it? I asked the store, and they said everything needed is included, but I'm always afraid I missed something. Wow, I sound paranoid.

Thanks again
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#5
SRX660

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According to intel it is PCI-E 2.0

Intel® Desktop Board DP55WB
Expansion capabilities

* One PCI Express 2.0 x 16 bus connector
* Two PCI Express 2.0 x 1 connectors
* One PCI Conventional bus connector

Usually when you buy a barebones kit from Tiger direct you get the SATA cables included with the motherboard.

While the power supply would be fine for most people, what i see you doing here is building a closer to a gaming computer than just a "better but cheaper" home computer that most people want me to build for them. You are starting out with a $750 computer and going from there. I just don't trust the Ultra PS's enough to take a chance on frying one while gaming. Of course there are diagnostic programs that you can test your system at its limits. It's a good way to find the weakest point in your system. A lesser quality PS just lowers the basic limits you can go to. Here's what i usually start with, and then modify to the customer's wishes.

http://www.tigerdire...a...9&CatId=333

I add in a $30 Lite-on DVD-RW, and a $60 WD 500 Gig SATA HD, and Windows 7 OEM home($110). I just built one of these last week. I sold it for $470( my cost was $420). While i did not make much money off the computer, i usually make my money in servicing them. Most of my customers know that finding someone that can fix a computer in a day, or coming to their house to fix the computer, is worth the extra price of paying for a non-factory computer. Many are surprised at how the computer is much faster than the factory computers.

I also have a few people that only buy my personal computers when i decide to sell them. They know they are getting a much better computer at a drastically lower price. Since i usually build myself a new computer every 3 months or so, and i am never satisfied with building a basic computer, the customer gets the better deal. It also lets me keep up with the latest trends and hardware. My only problem is new hardware and software that just doesn't work well. I guess that why some people prefer to buy from me. I generally know whats good and what's not. It would be nice to have Dealers discount on parts but i do not want to "STEP UP" that far yet with my shop. Since i'm close to retiring i really don't want to spend all my time running a bigger business.

OK, off the ramble now, and back to your questions.

You ask about performance. Most motherboards come from the factory's set at their lowest setting so they do not get as many returns, and because most people just want a good running computer for a long time. These setting can be tweaked for better performance very easily. The i5 2.6 processor can be tweaked to 3.5 on some gigabyte MB's as shown here.

http://www.bit-tech....s-core-i5-750/5

Yes, some call it overclocking. I just call it adjusting for performance.

SRX660
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#6
conroy66

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Thanks for the suggestion, what of the processor in your starting kit though? I'm no expert at all, but I've heard the duo cores are now something of a dead technology compared to the quad cores/i series. If thats the case wouldn't I have to eventually purchase a new motherboard and processor (I know I will anyways, but wouldn't I have to purchase one sooner with a dead technology)?

Also, do you have any idea if Tigerdirect can swap/upgrade parts in a barebone? May be a stupid question, but I didn't find it in their FAQs. I've emailed them to find out, so it's not really a huge concern, just wondering if you knew.

Thanks again for your time
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#7
SRX660

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Yes, the dual cores are older technology, but they are still good on the cheap model computers i build. They will still last most people 2 or 3 years. Maybe by then even the i5's and i7's will be old teck. Personally i have a quad core , a i5 core(2.66) and 2 older dualcore computers running at my house right now. I can't tell any difference in the speed between any of them in normal everyday computing. I don't pay any attention to the magazines or the TV commercials Spouting to buy the latest, greatest computer hardware. It's all just a sales pitch to me. I don't mind running a dual core since i will probably sell it in the next 3 months or so. I have 2 computers that are over 2 years old simply because they still run good. They are a Compaq Pentium 90 Windows 3.1 computer with a huge 320 Megabyte HD, and a Toshiba Tecra 8000 windows 98 Pentium 233 laptop. The next oldest computer is a Compaq SR2011WM that i got rooked into letting someone trade me for a newer computer. After that my Quad core is the oldest computer.

Tiger direct does not usually swap parts in a barebones, you just add other items to your order. I tried a few months ago to swap motherboards in my quad core MSI computer barebones kit. They would not do that so i had to take the computer completely apart and find all the cheaper hardware i had replaced and put the barebones kit back together. I UPS'ed it back to them and they refunded my money on that kit. I bought the exact same kit again and then had to reassemble it with all my good parts again. I did not have to reinstall XP Pro again as the computer acted as if i never touched it. Exact same hardware works? EH! All that because one morning the computer would do nothing when i pushed the power button. I'm glad i have enough equipment around to test most of the hardware. It only took a half hour to figure it was the MB that died.

SRX660

Edited by SRX660, 08 February 2010 - 05:41 AM.

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#8
conroy66

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Thanks a lot for the help. I think I'm going to follow your advice and use the starting kit and go from there. Hopefully should have it in a couple weeks! Thanks for everything!
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