Need Advice on Building a PC

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by syko5150, Apr 27, 2010.

Apr 27, 2010

Need Advice on Building a PC by syko5150 at 6:37 PM (3,184 Views / 0 Likes) 45 replies

  1. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    I'm planning on building my Fiancee a PC this will be my first time doing this so i could use all the help i can get.
    OK to start this computer will be used mainly for Web Browsing,Music & Movies.She also plays games but they don't require a powerful PC.I don't have a budget limit for doing this but i also don't want to spend more then i have to so if anyone could help me find the right parts and a really good website/book that has good step by step instructions on building a PC it would be greatly appreciated.


    Edit:This is the current set up please let me know if everything sounds good

    Case:Cooler Master Elite ($39.99)
    Motherboard:ASUS M4N68T-M AM3($49.99)
    CPU:AMD Athlon II X2 250 3.0GHz ($64.99)
    RAM:G.SKILL 4GB DDR3 PC3 10600 ($109.99)
    Power:Cooler Master Elite 460 ($39.99)
    HDD:1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 ($89.99)
    DVD Drive:Asus DVD-E818A6T ($16.99)
    OS:Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for System Builders ($99.99)
    Total Including Tax/Shipping:$583.13(i haven't purchased yet thats just the final price)
     


  2. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I use CustomPC magazine as my guide to finding the best parts, but they're UK based. You could try playing around with the PC designer at www.lambda-tek.com - I think they deliver worldwide, but I'm not sure.

    Building PCs is not hard at all. You just get the parts, and put them together. Start with the case, then put the power supply in, followed by the motherboard. With those in place, it's very straightforward to attached the CPU (taking care to get it the right way round), the heatsink, the RAM, the graphics (if they're not integrated), the DVD drive and as many hard drives as you think you need. EDIT: The only tool I tend to need is my favourite green handled +head screwdriver, and maybe a bottle of water should I get thirsty.

    Choosing the parts is a little more tricky. People can go on and on forever debating which parts are best for certain purposes. You just need to make it clear to yourself - how much power you need in a computer, and how much you're willing to spend on it. If it's a computer just for multimedia, then a laptop might be preferable. If either you or your fiancée will be playing big games, then getting a capable laptop would become pricey so you should probably look for decent parts in a PC.

    To give a general idea, a Core i3 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and an ATI HD5770 graphics card will be all you need to play most games on the market. A Core i7 with a HD5870 would cost you a fair amount more, but would reward you with a powerful system that won't need upgrading for around 3-7 years. Something I do recommend however (if budget really is no problem for you) is to consider getting a Solid State Drive to load Windows from (such as the Vertex 120 for just under £300). They're very expensive, but they very fast and half the time it takes for Windows to load, as well as make programs and applications become very "snappy", which again means quickly loading. You can also use a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 (around £60) to store music, videos, pictures and other large quantities of data (there are other HDDs, but the F3 is the best in the market)

    If you like, when it comes down to building the machine, I can always walk you through the process step by step on Windows Live Messenger. It shouldn't take more than a couple hours to build it, and then a couple more hours to install Windows.
     
  3. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    well when it comes to the actual part buying i plan on using Newegg.com and yes i know they don't deliver to Japan but my dad lives in the US so i plan to use his address and just have him ship me everything after he receives it all.when i say she plays games they're games that use prehistoric system requirements like Maple Story and games like that so there wont be any modern games played on it.I don't have a budget limit like stated but i don't really want to put anything extra into it...my current computer that i'm using right now is pretty capable but my main goal is to keep her from bugging me to let her download music/movies or go on facebook/myspace all day long on my computer.As for laptops i want to stay away from laptops for her shes already broken the last 3 that i've bought her(over the last 5 years or so).
     
  4. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    3 in 5 years... that sounds just like the sister of one of my neighbours...

    Since it'll be a base system, you can go for the cheaper parts, since anything on the market these days will be able to play MapleStory. I would still say look for a Core i3 system, but there are a fair number of decent AMD chips that perform well and are a bit cheaper.

    Just to give an idea, here's the CustomPC specs for their "Budget" PC (which looks for good parts at the lower price ranges):

    Case: Silverstone PS02B Precision
    Motherboard: GA-H55M-UD2H
    CPU: Intel Core i3-530 (2.93Ghz)
    RAM: Corsair XMS PC3-10666 (2x2GB kit) EDIT: corrected a typo - thanks for pointing it out ;p
    GFX: Sapphire HD5770 1GB
    Cooling: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2
    Power: Corsair CX400W
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (320GB for £35)
    DVD: Samsung SH-D162D
    Total Price: £583

    I don't think the HDD will be big enough for her is she downloads music/movies as much as you make it seem, so I'd recommend the 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 mentioned in my previous post. Also the DVD drive listed can only read DVDs, whilst DVD writers these days are only around £4 more expensive. The CPU and GFX card listed will make up the main processing power of the machine and, going by your description, will be all she needs for a long time.

    I've not mentioned anything about monitors, keyboards, mice or Windows yet, but I assume anything would work for them.

    This might sound bad, but I also recommend a good Anti Virus program. In my observation over the last 8 years, people who use facebook/myspace/MSN/etc all day long are also the people most likely to click on any link passed under their nose and fill their computer with viruses, adbots, spambots, IM worms and so on.
     
  5. Raki

    Member Raki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You can use a P55 board if you use a external graphics card, since the H55 let's you use the internal
     
  6. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    @originality: for the RAM i'm only finding PC3-10666 is it the same thing?for the DVD drive i'm going to just go with a blu-ray drive will it be compatible with everything listed?i think the 1TB hard drive you mentioned will be best and i think i might just go ahead and get the SSD.For the monitor i'm just going to use a 42 Sharp Aquos and i have some keyboards/mice already.I know what you mean about the viruses and all that from those sites i got hit with a nasty one because of her clicking some link on myspace a while back but thanks to Rydian's sticky i was able to remove it completely.Also when it comes to getting Windows 7 do i buy the one that says for system builders? or do i just get like a full version?
     
  7. Cermage

    Member Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    very overkill for basic usage. you'd be gaming pretty comfortably pretty well on that system for the next couple years. its not something a non power user would/should be using. if i were syko, i'd take that system for myself [​IMG] Also ssd's aren't something i'd recommend to Regular users, yeah they're crazy, but once they fail, they fail. unlike hard drives where they slowly fail and for the most part you can nab whatever you need off them before they completely die. Stories are pretty common where someone would wake up one morning and their ssd just wouldn't read. at that point they'd have to completely rma their drive.

    you can get away with something like this
    [​IMG]

    comes to 430~ US if you do the mail in rebates. this should last a few years, you can grab another 2gb if you want, but your fiancee should be fine with what its got right now. if you want you can drop the quad and go for a x2 550 instead, should be able to get another $20 off, if you want to go even further, jump on a x2 240, another $20-30 off. If you want to go cheaper, you can drop the GT240 and go for a HD4550. which should dock off another $20-30.

    its still more than enough for pretty basic usage, you'll be playing older games with ease. Though in the end, it all depends on how much you're willing to spend and how long you want the system to last. with what i've quickly done up its a dirt cheap and should last a good 2-3 years before you'll want to upgrade again which shouldn't be more than $200.
     
  8. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    my current computer is better then this

    Motherboard:EVGA nForce 790i Ultra
    CPU:Intel Core2 Extreme Quad-Core 3.2GHz QX9770
    RAM:8GB 1600 MHz CORSAIR PC-12800 DDR3 SDRAM (4x2GB)
    GFX:Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX-280

    ok so you're saying i shouldn't go Originality's route because i'm paying for more then i have to?so what should be the main thing im looking for?obviously i'm going to need the 1TB hard drive if shes downloading a lot but is 2gb ram really all thats needed? or should i go the 4GB to play it safe?
     
  9. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    @syko: It is the PC3-10666. My mistake in trying to copy from the magazine.

    For Windows 7, either should work so long as you get a genuine key out of it. My guess (since I've never used the system builder version) is that the system builder version is designed for a one time install, whilst the full version is designed for installing and upgrading (say, upgrading from Vista). Since you're building a new system, you won't be upgrading, so the system builder version should suit you fine - but you should google it to make sure before you purchase.

    EDIT: You have a very nice computer too [​IMG] 2GB is plenty for a basic computer to run, though the more windows of Instant Messaging programs she uses and the more tabs in the internet she opens... 3GB will help the computer stay running comfortably. 4GB if she'll ever start photoshopping.

    @Cermage: You're right, my list is very overkill for a basic computer that only needs multimedia and low profile games. I only copied it out of the magazine to give ideas, although the advantage to getting a better PC now is that it will be that much longer until the need to upgrade comes up again.

    In the same light, your list gives him further ideas to consider before deciding on the parts most suitable for its purpose.
     
  10. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    ok so i've looked at the different Window 7 and it is indeed a 1 time install for the system builder edition but its also about 100$ cheaper then the full version and i would only be needing it for this computer anyway...ok so if i want to go the route of getting best quality for the cheapest amount what would be the best way to go?I've always been one of the ignorant people that would just pay whatever price for a computer without thinking about it and i know for fact i spent waaaay too much money on the computer im currently using.
     
  11. playallday

    Member playallday Group: GBAtemp Ghost

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  12. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Alright, let's work with the info we've got so far.

    CPU: Core i3 vs Athlon II X4. The Core i3 is slightly more expensive (~£90 compared to ~$100) and only dual core as opposed to quad, however is 300Mhz faster and around 30-40% more powerful. Between these two, I'd say Core i3 wins. However, the Athlon II X2 550 is a little over half the price, for a little over half the power of the i3. This will be enough for multimedia and low profile gaming, but doesn't give much room to stretch into more intensive tasks/multitasking. Fortunately the graphics does take some of this pressure away from the CPU, so the CPU isn't as important as it used to be.
    Motherboard: directly linked to the CPU. It's always either Intel or AMD, so your motherboard has to match. Motherboards rarely make much difference anyway in the budget range.

    RAM: 2GB is the minimum, but RAM is fairly cheap so I see no reason not to stretch to 4GB if it'll help multi-taskers from slowing down.

    Graphics: This is where the most confusion comes. You can pick up a GeForce 9400 for £20 these days and it'll work. It can just about handle blu-ray and low profile games, but will lag when playing any of the more recent (read, last 3 years) games. I believe the GT 240 is a rebranded 9400 with a die shrink and a little tweaking of the specs (this has been argued in one of the other threads but I didn't pay attention to details), so it'll perform better - definitely good enough to handle all older games and some of the recent games at playable framerates. In this case, I would pick it over the HD5770, which is a lot more powerful at around £80 extra expense, but you don't really need the extra power (unless she suddenly starts taking up an interest in the newer games, which doesn't sound likely).

    Power: power is relative. You only need enough to power your system, so 400-500W power supplies will be ample. You may want to check which one has more drive connections though, should you look to upgrade in future. Oh, and stay away from unbranded/cheap power supplies - they tend to explode in every CustomPC group test.

    Hard Drive: I'd avoid WD drives. They're undeniably cheaper (by about £5), but every WD drive I currently own has died on me (including my external one that worked brilliantly until last week). Besides, CustomPC say the SpinPoint F3 are the best in a dying market (since people are turning to a new generation of HDDs with a new section size change to handle the increased speeds of SATA 6GB/s controllers) and only cost £5 more.

    Solid State Drive: my friend has been using the OCZ Vertex 120 since it came out and it has impressed me at every turn (as has the CPC reviews of it that came out a month later). They still have it as their top SSD. The only downside of SSD is performance degradation over time, which has since been fixed (for the most part) with new firmware for the SSDs and TRIM support in Windows 7. Word of advice: use a different computer to update SSD firmware before sticking it in a new machine and installing Windows on it, since some drives don't like updating itself when Windows is using it. EDIT: On the other hand, a computer will still work without one. It makes things faster, but costs a lot, so it's purely down to if you think making a computer feel "snappy" is worth the price of a fancy hard drive.

    Case: So long as it has at least one fan and plenty of room, any is fine. The bigger it is, the less annoying it is to put things inside, but also the more room it takes (obviously). I like my Antec Twelvehundred (which has a smaller 900 and 300 siblings), but it's huge. It also makes my legs get cold (since it's placed under my desk) when I use it.

    ...I think that's everything.
     
  13. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    i was looking at the WD hard drive that cermage posted at $99.99 and the Samsung Spinpoint F3 is $89.99 so 10$ cheaper.Now as far as buying a Blu-Ray drive are there any brands i should stay away from or any will do?
     
  14. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I'm afraid I don't know much about blu-ray, since the only blu-ray device I have is PS3, and even then I don't have any blu-ray movies. In this case, just look for reviews. You're bound to come across one or more reviews comparing between different makes/brands and saying which they think it better.
     
  15. Berthenk

    Member Berthenk Epitome of Awesomeness

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    Hmmm...
    Light gaming... and the rest is internet/chat/music, eh? Not too hard. [​IMG]

    A little AM3 setup will do. Have one right here, and it's good enough for me!
    [​IMG]


    4GB of RAM should be and is more than enough for the things that will be done on the computer. You can always go for less RAM to lower the price.
    A graphics card... let's see...
    Wait. Wut? Wouldn't the onboard one be good enough for what'll be hapening?
    Also, which resolution will she be using?

    Btw, uploading's really slow somehow, so I'll post a picture of the stuff in a bit...
    An other host did the job...
     
  16. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    i decided not to get a blu-ray drive i was going to buy one for 100$ but it said you have to buy a separate program to use the blu-ray feature which was an extra 100$ i was like forget it ill pay under 20$ for a normal DVD drive lol
     
  17. Berthenk

    Member Berthenk Epitome of Awesomeness

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    I would pirate Windows, and only because you can use that 100 bucks extra to spend on hardware.
    Do you know which games she is playing and or will play? That way we can define the graphics card.
    Also, there might be some problems with the RAM voltage and the motherboard RAM slots voltage. However, I'll be nice and look into that for you. [​IMG]

    Edit: major whooooops there! Motherboard only supports DDR2, so I'll find another one for you. Sorry for the trouble...
     
  18. playallday

    Member playallday Group: GBAtemp Ghost

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    By the way, that's about as top line for a computer as it comes right now! Not bad for $550 plus video cards. [​IMG]
     
  19. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    lol i got the RAM/motherboard from what you listed =P i dont mind spending the extra money to buy the legit copy of windows and as stated in my earlier posts she plays a lot of low end games like Maple Story but she watches a lot of movies and is always download/chatting/browsing simultaneously
     
  20. syko5150
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    Member syko5150 GBAtemp Syko!

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    i dont really want to buy anything used even if i have to pay a bit more id rather have everything unopened
     

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