Need help/advice building 1st computer from scratch

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by mixwell, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    okay first off I wanted to say that I'm using my cousin's screen name since registration is closed. This has nothing to do with him, and I'm posting this here because I heard the community is very helpful and friendly.

    Any ways I've been wanting to build a new computer for quite some time now. I still have my p3 450 from like 5-6 years ago and it's starting to really get... well it's starting to become real slow. I've built a computer before, but that was when I built this one and that was with one of my other cousins who's a computer networker. I'm planning to build this computer for gaming, school and possibly the major I'm currently working towards in college (computer graphics designer). I don't exactly know very much about computers, but I do know a fair ammount. Installing parts like a modem, RAM, vid card are things I've done before, and things I'm sure I can still do.

    I have a somewhat general idea on what parts I want to put in my computer, but some of the small things get me confused. I don't know how well some parts work with others as I try to read reviews on parts that seem to get good reviews. Not sure what the differences on many different parts are either. I guess I'll break it down on what parts I kinda know I want.

    Case and power supply wise I'm not sure what I want at all. I know a good case and power supply is important, especially if you plan on OCing. I don't plan to OC right away, but possible in the future when I learn more about computers. I heard 350 watts is good for a power supply. My question is what would happen if I decide to get more? will that fry my computer? Or will that just make my electricity bill higher? Case wise I have no idea at all on what to get. I know you should get one with good ventalation. I really don't need anything fancy like those see through ones with lights. Just something basic that will keep my whole computer well ventalated and make it run well.

    CPU and Mobo wise, I heard Barton for AMD CPU is good? Asus for mobo I also heard is supposingly the best. As for speed wise, I know I want to get atleast a 2500. I'm not sure if it is worth getting any higher though compared to price differences. I mean I do want it to be able to last me 2-3 years at least before I may decide to upgrade. Who knows, I may become a computer enthusiast where I may upgrade every year or so =X

    memory I hear Kingston is good or Corsair. Though I've heard for corsair, there are many different types, ranging in many different prices? Again I know getting good memory is good, so I'd rather get a named brand one. I do want 1 gig in RAM.

    HD I know WD or Maxtor are supposingly good choices. I'm not sure about other brands though. I've been advised to get a small HD and stick just the OS on there and get a bigger one for all of my other things. Not sure what that really does, but I'm guessing it lets my computer run faster? As for size of my HD, I think 80 gigs or more should do me good. I'll probably buy whatever good deal I may find when I start looking into it more.

    Video Card I want a Radeon 9600 or higher. I have no idea what the difference are, but I know ATI ones are supposingly the best? They do seem pretty expensive too. I heard Sapphire is good too. I'm just not sure if I should get the 9600, 9700 or 9800 series. Yeah some people say you can OC it, but I have no idea on how to do that, unless someone wanna teach me? :big grin:

    Some people say floppies have no use anymore and you should get a zip drive, but aren't there different size zip drives? like (I have no idea what sizes are zip drives) a 50 mb zip drive and only accept 50 mb disks? I think it was something like that when I tried to use one at school a few years back. I don't remember =X But yeah, if a disk drive really is better, I'll get one too. I'll still stick in a floppy just because they are cheap, and I may need it for school still in the future.

    CDRW I have no idea at all. What brand/company to get I don't know. I don't need the fastest one, but a good and reliable one.

    Same goes with DVD-RW. I wasn't planning on getting one, but I know it will do me good in the future when they start taking over. Again, don't know which brand/company or speed I should get.

    Some people say you should get a sound card, but I've never bought a sound card before, so I have no idea on how to buy one. I've always used the stock on that is built onto the Mobo, so I'm use to the regular sounds it produces. Can anyone recommend a good/decent one if it makes a big difference? I do listen to quite a few MP3s and such on my computer, and may start watching DVDs on my computer once it's built. I think my sound on my computer sounds pretty okay as it is now on my current computer, but I'm just not sure if it will sound any much better with a better sound card.



    I think that covers all parts that I want. I plan on using my old speakers, monitor, mouse and keyboard as they still work fine to my liking.

    As for building my computer, that is still a problem, but I've printed out the whole guide they have on www.pcmech.com where they tell you how to build a computer on your own. I haven't finished reading it yet, and only have started reading the first chapter or two. I'm hoping that will teach me enough to be able to safely put my computer together with nothing breaking.

    I plan to buy all of my computer parts on www.newegg.com as I think they have free shipping on all parts bought by them? Even if they are a little more expensive than other sites, the free shipping should cover it. Plus it's more of a convience for me to do it all on one site.

    Ummm that is all I could think of for now. Sorry if my spelling errors and grammical errors in this post. Thanks in advance for all reponses/advices that are left behind. Any little helps!
     
  2. Leb_CRX

    Leb_CRX OT's resident terrorist

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    I had a big post ready and I got a call at work and erased it :wtc: if no one else replies to you tonight i'll write you a big post when I get home
     
  3. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    I've also posted this in the main forum of OT, but I don't seem to be getting any detailed replies. I have no idea what models are good and what most specs mean on certain peices of hardware, so I kinda need someone to explain to me what they are and why they may or may not be good. I'm still looking a bit online on different parts on newegg and reading reviews here and there while I'm studying for my Macroecon midterm :o

    any input really is helpful!
     
  4. Leb_CRX

    Leb_CRX OT's resident terrorist

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    for that I say your best bet is to go with a brand name case with a PSU comes with it, that way you are a bit cost effective, and you get good parts...instead of buyign the case then having to buy a brand name PSU...here's my recommandation(s)
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-129-120&depa=0
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-129-140&depa=0

    I pick antec cause IMO they have good quality, look nice, heavy as shit, but thats ok, I am a man not a sissy girl...and those comes with a power supply and not too costly

    best bang for the buck right now IMO is a 2500+ oc'ed to 3200, can be done easily with air cooling and no problems, IMO a good mobo is a NF7-S but an Asus will do just as well, if you have more money, upgrade, if your on a limited budget, as most of us are, those are more then enough

    in that case get 2*512MB ram, so that way you can run dual channel, also if you are going to OC get the pc3200, that way you can run the FSB At 200MHz with no headaches, IMO Kingston and corsair are not in the same league, Corsair is more of a performance ram, whereas Kingston is known as value ram...I personally haev Kingston but that is because they ran out of Crucial ram, and I didnt want to pay double for Corsair (expensive in Ottawa)

    This is a question where you ask 10 people yuo'll get 9 different answers, IMO maxtor has never let me down, some people have bad luck, soem have good. I vote get a Maxtor 7200RPM drive with 8MB buffer, backup a lot, and if after 1 year it hasen't crapped out, then go from there...size depends on your needs, IMO 120G is the best bang for buck right now, it's only a bit more expensive then 80G, but a lot cheaper then the 160

    Same as HD this is a question is gonna be 50/50, depends on how much gaming your gonna do, right now the best bang for buck IMO is 9800 pro, but that might be a little too expeisve for some people, I have that in my system, love it to DEATH. Nvidia VS ATI debate is old, just look at performance reviews for yourself and make a decision, but in temrs of money:performance, ATI kicks butt...and the 9800 PRO runs like a dream

    As far as I know floppy's dont work with ZIPS, but I cuold be wrong, GET A FLOPPY, it can't hurt, it's only like 20$, and who knows you may end up neededing it one day

    I got an LG 48*x*x (can't rmemeber) never had a problem, and my bro in law got an LG 52*x*x and he never had any problems, they are so cheap now that it really doesn't matter...maybe someone can shed more light abotu this

    Dont know about DVD-RW, dont really caer to :o

    Dont bother, if you got with a descent motherboard, you will most likely have a kick ass sound card on board, I nkow my NF7-S has everything I need and more, also has optical out, dolby support, etc...I am sure it's more then your gonna need unless your into audio editing and shit, but I know nothing about that


    :bigthumb:
    Good luck! let me know if that helps at all or not!
     
  5. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    what do you think of this case? Someone advised to maybe getting one of these http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=0&submit=Go&description=X-Dreamer,AT

    also, how strong of a PSU should I get? I may OC in the future, but not right away. Those cases look nice, but not sure which one I should get out of the ones you suggested. They seem pricey. Are they neccessary? I do want my comp to be cool and well ventalated, but don't know how to look out for good ones =X

    got more questions coming, but doing reading and researching while I look.
     
  6. Leb_CRX

    Leb_CRX OT's resident terrorist

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    I've never seen one of those cases upclose so I can't say. The main reason I said go antec is because it comes with a brand name PSU, antec's known for their PSU, and the quality of the case IMO is top notch, really really well done, gonna upgrade to one of them when I have some money...and also the two I posted, one comes with a 350, one comes with a 400...so more then enough

    as for PSU, get something 350/400 range, anything over that may be overkill, but it depends how far down the road you look...I am running an enermax 350 on my setup, which consists of a 2500 oc'ed to 3200, nf7-s mobo, 9800 pro, 2 cd drives, one hard drive, one floppy disk, two fans, and I have yet to have any problems, so IMO that's the least you want, anything over that is better, anything over 400 is overkill...get the first one I posted with the 350, http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-129-125&depa=0 , this one for example is one hell of a nice case, check the images and you'lls ee why, has great ventilation, the only thing it's missing IMO is a clear side, but thats no big deal, has front USB, firewire, etc...

    in the end, cases come down to personal choice, the one you find most appearling...they (the cases I posted) are not nessesary, and in the end may not prove any better then any other case, given that you're using a good PSU...the cases you linked the psu is 350, true, but it's generic, I wouldn't trust that in my PC, but I dont put just anything in my PC

    see my theory is if I was to buy one of the cases you listed for say 50$, I would end up buying a good PSU, for 75$ anyways, that's 125$...the antec still beats it

    for PSU I would trust the following:
    -enermax
    -antec
    -vantec

    but I am not an expert when it comes to PSUs, I only pass on what i've read all over the place, the ones that made the 'trust' list have made it because i've mainly heard only good come back from people using them
     
  7. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    Seriously? I mean I guess if you never left this forum you might get that impression... :rofl:
     
  8. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    *shrug* I've heard you guys are helpful, and so far I've been getting helpful advice from most of you :)

    To Leb_CRX: all 3 of those cases look nice. They seem to be almost all the same except size. Small, med and SOHO (tall I'm guessing?)

    Between those 3, are there really any real difference? Like I said before, I really don't care on how the case looks so much, just keeping my computer cool and ventilated well. Quietness is kinda important too as I leave my computer on during the night. The thing about those 1st 2 cases I don't like about though is that small side pannel you have to open up? Or leave open? I like easy access and don't see the point in having one of those on (besides having a cleaner looking computer)

    would you recommend 350 or 400 PSU? I mean how long down the line will a 400 PSU be needed? Might as well just get one of those if it will be needed in a year or two because upgraded parts will push out more power.

    Thanks for helping me out BTW :)
     
  9. Leb_CRX

    Leb_CRX OT's resident terrorist

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    the differences would be the obvious ones, size, fans, etc. I mean if you look at the newegg page (which is not loading for me now :rant2:) it should have them listed. As far as ventilation, they alls upport one front intake and a rear intake so you should be fine in terms of ventilation. I say for the system I recommended up top, 350 name brand should be fine...I am not sure what you mean about the side panel, it's a standard case, comes off, and its' easy to put back on, also has a hatch which is an added bonus

    the case is all personal perference to be honest
     
  10. Leb_CRX

    Leb_CRX OT's resident terrorist

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    the differences would be the obvious ones, size, fans, etc. I mean if you look at the newegg page (which is not loading for me now :rant2: ) it should have them listed. As far as ventilation, they alls upport one front intake and a rear intake so you should be fine in terms of ventilation. I say for the system I recommended up top, 350 name brand should be fine...I am not sure what you mean about the side panel, it's a standard case, comes off, and its' easy to put back on, also has a hatch which is an added bonus.
     
  11. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    oops I didn't mean side pannel, but that front pannel part you have to flip open... seems to be annoying each time you want to put a CD in or something
     
  12. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    my cousin recommended this one to me... says is supposingly more quiet since there isn't such a big vent at the front of the computer, which will make the computer more quiet. Is it true? I do want a quiet computer, but it doesn't have to be that silent. My old case I have now is fine and it does have these smaller vents in the front. Not sure what kind of HD, but even if it is an crappier type of HD, It's still quiet enough where I have no problem having it in my room and sleeping.

    this case just seems kinda expensive.. http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=11-129-127&depa=0
     
  13. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    It's a little expensive, but it's pretty much the best in the business and comes with an awesome power supply.
     
  14. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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  15. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Yep, not a big difference. The Sonata is a little flashier and has a 30W bigger PSU. Either would be a good choice.
     
  16. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    the reviews seem to same that front pannel on the 350W is plastic and seems cheaply made. Like it's going to break off soon. Anyone know if those parts are possible to take off without damaging it? I juts don't like how I have to open that front pannel everytime I want to change a CD. Seems like a hassle just for a showy looking computer which I don't care about much at all.
     
  17. Leb_CRX

    Leb_CRX OT's resident terrorist

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  18. DwnRtPnoy

    DwnRtPnoy New Member

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    for the CPU...the Athlon 2500+ Mobile seems to be the new hotness with its guarantee of being unlocked and possessing a lower voltage than the desktop 2500+, so its easier to overclock. Theres a link i posted here awhile back that talks about it. I'll look for it.

    good luck...I've been thinking of building another CPU myself. :coold:

    edit: Here's the link. Granted the resolutions of the games are low, but it gives you an idea. http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q1/athlonxp-m-2500/index.x?pg=1
     
  19. Blazed Monkey

    Blazed Monkey It puts the lotion on its skin....

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    This is the computer I just got done building (read: I payed for it, a friend built it). It's built for gaming, ripping VHS home movies to DVD, and expandability (i.e. room for 7 Hard drives, 4GB of RAM, will support up to a 3.2Ghz processor). As far as gaming goes, I haven't run across a game yet that will slow it down, and I'm getting excellent framerates at max resolution and texturing. In retrospect, I should have done more research on the PCI capture card, it's not the best, but it will do for what I am using it for. The only thing that isn't on the list is a 500Watt power supply to replace the one that came in the case (sorry, I don't know what brand, the guy who built it ordered and installed it).


    http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishHistoryReview.asp?position=HISTORY&submit=VIEW&ID=652276
     
  20. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    To chime in, for DVD-RW's, unless you have a pressing need to burn more than 700mb per disc, i'd hold off until the dual layer DVD writers come out. (Probably sometime late this year or 2005)

    The dual layer burners will be able to do a straight copy of a DVD movie, fitting 8.5gb-9gb per disc, compared to 4.7gb with today's single layer burners. With what is out today, you have to compress a movie to make it fit on a DVD-RW.
     
  21. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    The more expensive Sonata case is insulated and designed to be very quiet. (At the expensive of not cooling quite as well.)

    i have several Antec cases with the door on them, including the cheaper one you pictured, and while i wouldn't bash them around, they've held up fine for several years of use.
     

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