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Old 01-13-2007, 11:10 AM   #1
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Default Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Hello everyone. I've been wanting to build a new computer for a while and have been doing some research but still have a few questions. The computer will be almost completely for gaming/internet browsing. I want to be able to play current and upcoming games (Company of Heroes, Spore, Halo3) at a decent speed. I don't need to or want to play any games at 3000x4000 resolution with maxed out graphics, but I don't want to have to play on the lowest graphics settings at 5fps. I'm planning on the computer costing, very roughly $600 + the cost of a decent video card. I'm hoping once I get everything I won't have to upgrade any part for at least 2 years (hopefully). First, the specs on the computer I plan to build.

Hard Drive: 160GB internal SATA Seagate HD. Specs include "7200 RPM, 8MB Cache, 3.5-inch Drive" Was originally $110, but bought it on sale for $50 at CompUSA. But if it turns out to be a lemon I can always return it, or better yet, sell it on ebay for over $50 and make a profit.
RAM: Currently have 1GB DDR2 SDRAM (not sure what speed it's running at 400/667/etc) from a company called "Kingston". I'm almost positive it's dual channel. Bought it, maybe, 6 months ago. The guy at Circuit City told me that Kingston makes really good quality ram.
CPU/Processor: Was thinking about getting a core 2 duo E6300 ($190 from newegg.com) but then I noticed core 2 duo E6400 ($220 from newegg.com) was only about $30 more. Is there a noticeable difference between the two? Should I even get a dual core? I don't really multi-task a lot but two cores might help with playing one game faster. It also says it comes with a heat sink and a fan. Does that mean I won't need to buy a cooling fan for the computer? That'd be great if I didn't have to buy another fan, but I'm worried that since it's free it might be cheap-y and not as powerful as other fans and therefore not able to keep my computer cool enough. I don't want to have my new computer melt because I didn't buy a $50 fan.
Motherboard: ATX, SLI, LGA 775. It supports DDR2 ram (all the way up to 8GB ). It says its compatible with the core 2 duo (and quad-core if I ever want to upgrade). Its got 2 PCI slots, one PCI-E x16, one PCI-E x1. I can use my SATA HD with it also. But I'm a little confused with the LAN/internet. On my current computer I have a cord that goes into a slot saying "Ethernet", this new motherboard has an "RJ 45 Gigabit LAN port". Does the difference matter? Will I have to get an adapter? Should I look for a new Motherboard?
Tower Case: Been looking at some at Microcenter and online. Haven't decided yet. I'm making sure they are all ATX compatible (and they have cool clear side panels ). I saw some good ones in the $50 to $100 range with a power supply included. Most are between 400 and 500 watt supplies. Is my motherboard/CPU/(any new video card I get) going to need more juice than this?
Graphics card: Not planning on getting a new card anytime soon. My old card is a little outdated. Its an ATI Radeon 9250 256MB, PCI (okay, really outdated). When I do buy it though (PCI-E of course) I'll be looking in the $150-$200/$250 price range.
CD/DVD Drive: No idea whatsoever lol. I just need something to read and write CDs and DVDs (DVD-RW,DVD+RW,whatever). Is a DVD/CD combo cheaper or more expensive than getting them separate.

Please let me know if one of these things on this list isn't incompatible with another item. Is there any place (online/store) that has these items on sale? Also, is it a good time to build a new computer? I know that windows vista is coming out at the end of the month with DX10 and nice gaming capabilities. And I think I will wait till a little bit after that to buy my computer and vista. I'm worried that two weeks after I buy my new computer Intel/AMD/etc will release a new generation of CPUs/Motherboards/etc sending the prices of all older models to really low prices. If any new, revolutionary hardware is coming out relatively soon I'd rather wait till it drives prices down so I could save some money or pay they same amount of money and get a much more powerful computer. Is there new technology I should wait for that will send prices down? If you have read this much, bravo. I'd really appreciate any and all help and would be glad to answer questions. Thanks so much in advance guys.

EDIT: here are some links for some items I want to get
CPU/Processor
Motherboard
Hard Drive (already bought, but I can still return it for about 2 more weeks or sell it on ebay if its crappy)
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Welcome to the forums!

That hard drive should be great, I wouldn't worry about it.

The guy at Circuit City was right, Kingston is pretty good RAM. Try to find out the speed of it, but if you can't, I'd buy something new because it's probably not that fast. Go for 1-2 GB of DDR2-800 by a decent quality manufacturer.

I would go for the E6400. There's gonna be a difference, and it's only $30 more. Definitely go dual core. All the new games coming out are going to support or even eventually require dual core, so it's a must. As for the stock heatsink / fan, it should be fine unless you want to overclock.

As for that motherboard, it should be fine. Asus is an excellent motherboard manufacturer. RJ45 and Ethernet ports are the same thing.

Well, first of all, I would buy a new power supply. Assuming you want a DirectX10 graphics card to play all the latest games, you're going to need at least 500 watts. Unless you want to overclock, the case doesn't really matter all that much. IMO, as long as it looks cool, it's good.

Graphics. Well, if you want to play Spore in all it's glory, you'll need a DirectX10 graphics card. Look around for some screenshots of a game called Crysis and you'll find out what I'm talking about. Anyway, I would definitely wait for a new graphics card. There are only 2 DirectX 10 graphics cards out right now, and they cost a LOT! (the cheapest one out now is $400) In a few months, more models should be released, and prices will drop.
By the way, Halo 3 probably isn't coming out for PC for a few more years, assuming it follows the trend of Halo 2. Hell, Halo 2 isn't even out for PC yet!

For the disk drive, just pick up something for 20 bucks at the store. LG, Lite-on, Sony, and Samsung are good brands.


Whew. Newegg is easily the best place to buy computer parts online. They are simply amazing. I think it's a pretty good time to build a computer. Prices are dropping like crazy, and it'll be good to have a fresh new build for Vista. There isn't anything too amazing coming out soon, with the exception of DX10 graphics cards.
Anyway, thank YOU for having a nice organized post. It makes it a lot easier to help people that way
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Sounds good. You shouldn't wait. What usually happens is you keep "waiting" two more weeks for the newest technology. Just buy.

The case. DO NOT get a power supply included with the case, it will die on you. Buy a seperate power supply. At your setup, around 550 watts will be good. Edit: Try to get a PSU with SLI since your board enables it, you might get it in the future. Also get one with a Dual +12V Rail.

The difference between E6400 and E6300 isn't a huge amount, as shown by price. But, if you have the money, its worth it.

For the RAM, Kingston is a good company. If it isn't DDR2-800 though, you'll be losing some performance/
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Okay thanks for the advice guys. I think I'm gonna go with everything I have right now and also get a more powerful power supply with my case. Like Freestyler105 said, DX10 is coming soon so I will wait a while to buy a new graphics card. My old one will do in the mean time. I'm going to wait a while to get more RAM though because it's fairly expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexF1224
Try to get a PSU with SLI since your board enables it, you might get it in the future. Also get one with a Dual +12V Rail.
Not sure what SLI or Dual +12V Rails are but I will do more research and look into getting that.

I think I am actually going to wait two weeks because finals are coming up the week after next and I won't be able to study if I have a computer asking for me to play games on it.
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Ha, I know what you're saying about finals.

SLI is linking two graphics cards together for more performance. Power supplies that are SLI certified can handle the extra load of having two graphics cards.

The 12 volt rail is basically the part of the power supply that powers the graphics card (and some other things). Because of this, if the power supply has dual 12 volt rails, it can power the graphics card better. This is also why buying from a reputable PSU manufacturer is important - cheap brands usually skimp out on the 12 volt rail, which makes the thing very unreliable.
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Old 01-13-2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Looks like you are on a pretty tight budget, so let me suggest you to go in the way of the P965 chipset instead of the nvidia ones. The P965 chipsets cost just a tad more than the old nvidia ones, but they give better performance.
Gigabyte S3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128017
Basically, this board doesnt have as many bells and whistles like its DS3 bretheren, but in turn, it gives you a cheaper price.
BIOSTAR 965PT: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813138037
Very good solid board with excellent overclocking potential. Lots of people have gotten their E6400s to rougly 3.4Ghz with this motherboard and the (D)S3 by Gigabyte.

If you want to take it up a notch on the price scale, i would recommend the P5B-Deluxe or the ABIT QuadGT.
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Just one more question. I want to get windows Vista but I'd like to wait till they fix a few of the bugs that are no doubt in there. On newegg.com I can apparently buy Windows XP MCE by itself then get windows Vista for free (+S&H) when it comes out. This seems really suspicious to me and I think there has to be a catch. Will I be upgrading to the real thing or will it be some bootleg copy or a trial version?

Link and Details
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

its the real deal. Newegg can not sell illegal copies of software or they will be busted.
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

u say you want a SLI board, but the one you originally supplied us only has one pci-express 16x slot. unless you told us wrong, it is not SLI capable.
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Old 01-13-2007, 08:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Building a new pc for 1st time. Is this setup good? Should I wait to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by celegorm
u say you want a SLI board, but the one you originally supplied us only has one pci-express 16x slot. unless you told us wrong, it is not SLI capable.
Seriously? That might be a typo on the website because it says its has SLI two times. ASUS P5N-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
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