Choosing parts for new computer

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rainbrain
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Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:51 pm UTC

Hello, I am building a computer for the first time. I've got a few questions.

info:
Intel
Using computer for gaming and media production. (3d Max, photoshop, flash, etc etc)
I plan on overclocking.
dual monitors

motherboard, which one?

link

the motherboard is the piece i am the most unsure about, since there's so many -.-, and it has tons of attributes. So go ahead and suggest others.

I Plan on getting on getting this CPU:

link

And as for graphic cards, which one?:

link

I've been going though tons of stuff in the past week, so the attributes of these components should tell you what i generally want.
Any help would be highly appreciated. Also, please elaborate on your suggestions so I am able to understand it thoroughly. Thank you.


Long URLs can cause scroll bars. Changed to links.
Last edited by rainbrain on Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:48 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Choosing parts for new com.

Postby BumpInTheNight » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:23 am UTC

I'll offer a few semi-vague things you'll want to take into account without trying to pigeon hole any particular hardware.

1. To help reduce the vast motherboard selection process I'd recommend stick to ones that support DDR2 rather then DDR3, the price vs performance is just not worth while except for the most hardcore of applications.

2. Since you've picked a wolfdale as your CPU (wise choice, I l0ve my own) you'll be looking at either Nvidia or Intel based chipset motherboards, the only real reason to pick an Nvidia one would be if you plan on using multiple Nvidia video cards, and that's an extreme situation where the ratio of performance/cost is again very steep so not usually worthwhile. Essentially if you have no ambition of multiple video cards you can safely ignore any boards that feature multiple PCIE slots, though they also tend to be in the 'sweet overclocker' catagory often enough too so I wouldn't completely snub them as a choice.

3. Since you intend to overclock I'd go read some reviews at places like tom's hardware or guru3d to get an idea of which chipsets and specific boards work out the best for that purpose. From what I understand and have read about the X48 intel chipsets work best for that in this family while sticking to the above two criteria, as I use an nvidia board I unfortunately don't have any personal recommendations. Another narrower is to ensure the board selected supports the 1600FSB or at least alludes to being able to reach there, that's an instant indicator its at least trying to be an overclock capable one.

4. One thing I will sincerely suggest as you intend to use it as both gaming and media creation is to get two hard drives in a raid-0 configuration to drastically speed up the process of general program loading and the arduous disk-based tasks like video manipulation and the massive files associated with that. This would also mean to ensure that any board you pick also has raid capability built into the HDD controllers but that's almost a given at this point, almost.

Hopefully this helps narrow down your choices, though I'm certain you'll see very specific motherboard recommendations posted in this thread too.

Ed & offtopic general question to everyone: Why on earth is the L word filter-owned to haate? :P

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Re: Choosing parts for new com.

Postby Berengal » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:23 am UTC

Lesbian?
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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby rainbrain » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:14 am UTC

I forgot to say that, from the advice and explanation of a friend, I plan on setting up a Hybrid HDD system. I still don't completely understand the concept, but I believe I first use the SSHD as the main drive, install the OS and all the programs onto the SSHD, and then install the HDD as a slave drive, this way I will have very fast program start up, etc. I would highly appreciate if someone could take time from their day to give me an explanation about the process itself, and how I would go about doing so. Of course, I planned on researching it 'till I figured it out myself, but it would make it a lot easier :P

2. I was going for P45 simply on a recommendation. I plan on using 1 video card(probably gonna be a 9800 GFX+ or a 200 series card), however, I wanted to have at two PCI express x16 2.0 slots to have room for expansion if I ever want or need it. SLI would be nice too, again, if I ever want it in the future. btw, crossfire=SLI?? anyways, should I switch to a NVidia motherboard then?

I read some reviews on NEWEGG on the lvl 9 and 10 generation nvidia videocards, and some of them were saying that the card was HUGE, and it needed multiple slots. Does this mean that a big card takes up multiple PCI slots? If so, where does it say on the spec list, cause I didn't see it. maybe it meant space in the case, idk...

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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby BumpInTheNight » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:05 am UTC

SLI and Crossfire are each company's proprietary method of yah doubling or tripling up the cards and yup if you want to do that with Nvidia cards you'll be needing an Nvidia chipset if you're going to use a wolfdale CPU (the newest intel chipsets for the i7s can do both multi-card setups, finally). If that's the idea I can then home in on specifically suggesting a board with the 750i chipset. Evga makes a beautiful one, here's a link.

The meatier video cards take up 'two slots' which is to say they're extra wide, however all that usually means is they sit on top of some never used PCI slot, any board worth its salt has placed the PCIE cards in such a fashion as they won't interfere with each other even if its the super fatties like the 200 series. The length though of these big-ass cards is something to think about when deciding what case you want to use to store this computer in as well as what's on the far end of the motherboard in terms of SATA ports for instance that might be 'sat' on and rendered useless by these big cards. The board I mentioned above corrects for this by putting the sata ports on their side for instance.

The multiple drive thing is common tactic, you just have two drives with one serving as the 'master' drive where the OS or at least the boot sector lives and then you have a second drive for all the data. It makes things much tidier when you want to blow away the OS but would rather not lose any of your files. But I'd recommend against the SSD drives for now, way too expensive for too small of a capacity and while impressive seek-times (reading dozens of tiny files) the over-all 'bandwidth' (moving or reading large files) of them is pretty comparable to regular drives. For cheaper you could invest in a pair of identical 'regular' drives and do that raid 0 thing I'd mentioned and just make two partitions to accomplish the same goals as above but with a higher over all speed. Raid-0 means as far as the operating system is concerned it only sees one 'magical' hard drive, the advantage is the data is written in 'stripes' that are split between the drives and thus increasing the speed a whole lot as you've got both reading and writing at the same time. So when it comes to installing the operating system you'd partition this magic drive into two chunks, one for your operating system and the other for your data. This is how I have my own computer's HDDs setup, mind you there are four of them all in a raid 0 array so its disgustingly fast. ;) Just to give you some numbers imagine the situation where you are copying a folder containing a ripped dvd between the two partitions, with just one HDD I was moving those files at 90MB/sec, when I had a 2xraid0 it was bumped up to 160MB/sec, now with my 4xraid0 I'm throwing files around at 320MB/sec! Those rates apply to loading things like games, crunching movies in an editor and anything else that's doing a lot of disk work. Its sweet, I recommend it to anyone.

If you've got any more questions feel free to fire away, I'm a bored PC hobbiest who lurks these threads for precisely this sort of topic. ;)

Another general ED: Okay, who's 'gently caressing' the text f1lter?! This is getting a tad annoying. :P

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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby phillipsjk » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:30 am UTC

I'm disappointed. I thought you were building some kind of mechanical computer great for adding, but severely limited for multiplication.

Gah! I should have known it was just the word-filter!
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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby rainbrain » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:46 am UTC

Awesome, thanks, this is a lot better than computing.net -.-

Since your offering, ima try to learn everything that has elluded me xD
I'll post a few questions about specs I don't understand, some may be trivial, but I want to know what they all mean D:

Motherboard

SATA 3Gb/s I know what sata is, basically, but, there's like, 6 or 8 of them in each, what are they, partitions? or what?

audio channels

Channel Supported

audio out, I know want it is, but there is like, three of em, if I what to connect to the tele, which ones do I want?

Onboard USB

south bridge, I know what it is, but, which one is better than the rest.

GPU

Memory Interface

OpenGL

HDMI

DVI, do I just have to make sure that it has two of these, and I am good for dual monitor?

Dual-Link DVI Supported, or maybe this is it...

Thanks.

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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby MoonBuggy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:54 am UTC

rainbrain wrote:SATA 3Gb/s I know what sata is, basically, but, there's like, 6 or 8 of them in each, what are they, partitions? or what?
When it says there are 6 or however many SATA connections, that just means how many physical plugs there are on the board. You'll need one per drive, so for 2 HDDs and a DVD burner, for example, you'll need 3.

Partitioning is a separate matter. It's a way of making a single physical drive appear as multiple drives to the computer. RAID, on the other hand, is a way of making multiple physical drives appear as one. It seems counterintuitive, but if you've got two 500GB drives in RAID0 you'll get the performance advantages - you'll then probably want to partition down the RAID if you want to keep OS/programmes separate from data. Note that partitioning has no impact on performance, it's just for convenience.

Also, if using RAID0 (well, anyway actually, but especially with 0), whatever you do back up your data. Drives fail sometimes - if you've got a RAID0 setup then the failure of one drive takes all the data with it. Two drives = twice the chance of failure. Full backups are a necessity for any system at pretty much any time, but especially important if you're artificially increasing the odds of data loss.

rainbrain wrote:audio out, I know want it is, but there is like, three of em, if I what to connect to the tele, which ones do I want?
I may have missed something, but why would you want the audio output from you PC coming through the TV?

rainbrain wrote:HDMI
It's basically DVI, but with added DRM and the ability to carry digital audio. If you've got a nice monitor and intend to play Blu-Ray discs you might need it, much as I hate to say it, because of the restrictions.

rainbrain wrote:DVI, do I just have to make sure that it has two of these, and I am good for dual monitor?
Yes.

rainbrain wrote:Dual-Link DVI Supported, or maybe this is it...
Dual-link DVI is a standard for each single DVI port; it's related to how much data you can send through the port at any one time. Not relevant unless you have a huge monitor - you need it for resolutions above 1920x1200, so only really important if you have/are planning on getting a 30" screen.
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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby BumpInTheNight » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:28 am UTC

Kew I shall try to cover the ones Moonbuggy didn't get to.

audio channels - you'll commonly see markings like 2, 2.1, 5.1 and even 7.1. What the first number indicates is how many speakers it'll provide for, the .1 indicates it has a separate bass channel for the sub woofer. So for instance a 2.1 system is just a left/right pair and a sub, meanwhile a 7.1 would be a front left/right, a center, a 'beside you' pair, a pair behind you and a subwoofer. With an HDMI to TV situation its very simple and its just up to what ever your tv's audio setup can support, otherwise its depending on how many speakers are in your TV/home theatre setup vs sound card's channels so just run the appropriate cables between the sound card and the tv/amp/whatever. If its just a TV all by itself I'd run the front pair output to it and call it a day.

Onboard USB - There are rear USB ports on pretty much all motherboards and additionally there are one or two 'add-on' ports somewhere else on the motherboard that you can connect either USB ports built into your computer case (like ones on the front etc) or use a PCI card slot for more if you need them, motherboards usually come with at least one. The same logic applies to firewire ports.

south bridge - directly tied to the chipset really and how good it is really comes down to how well you can overclock the thing but even that is pretty unimportant as it controls the 'slower' stuff like HDD controllers, sound card and PCI ports. The north bridge is the one people focus on as it governs your PCIE (video) and ram. It really just comes down to again how well they overclock and that's upto the board manufacturer and any wild cooling methods you dream up that might be superior. For instance my current board (asus striker 2E, 790i ultra chipset) has a liquid cooling block as its default cooler, which would make it awesome if I actually used liquid cooling at this point. :P

Memory Interface - How effectively it can make use of its ram. Despite two cards having say 512mb of ram, the one that has it clocked higher and with a higher interface will own the other one on that particular front. It comes in more particular importance when you start climbing up the resolutions into the high end like 1920x1200, 2650x1600 or what I run at 3840x1024.

OpenGL - 3d graphics tools that make game programmer's lives easier, the higher the revision the more neat things its capable of doing. Its not something you really need to pay attention to unless you're facing a really new game on a system with a pretty dated video card. Put it this way by the time that is a concern on whether a video card will support a game, typically the card's raw horsepower couldn't do it any ways.

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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby rainbrain » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

MoonBuggy wrote:
rainbrain wrote:audio out, I know want it is, but there is like, three of em, if I what to connect to the tele, which ones do I want?
I may have missed something, but why would you want the audio output from you PC coming through the TV?


The port that lets you connect the TV to your computer, you know, so you can see the screen of your computer on your tele.


hmm, I'm reading that Nvidia motherboards are usually less stable, and more buggy than the P45 boards, but is a must have for SLI users(like you said). But, I'd rather save my self the frustration, this is my first build after all. I think I'll stick with the P45 and a single Video card. Going by what you said above, I have no real reason to pick the Nvidia chipset anymore, right?

Question 1. I've read that I need to Sync the FSB and the RAM speed, is there anything else I need to sync up?
Question 2. What brand of Video card is recommended for my purposes? I know what specs I want, but I usually end up with 5-10 cards that are all mostly the same but are different brands.
lookie this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010380048%201305520548%20106792634%201068340784%201369844342%204802&name=Top%20Sellers
question 3. XP or Vista?
Also, a power search on NEWEGG yielded this lone Motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128358

Looks pretty sweet no?
Last edited by rainbrain on Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:35 am UTC, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Choosing parts for new com.

Postby psykx » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:12 pm UTC

Berengal wrote:Lesbian?

Because then you don't get laid?

edit: I've just re-read this it's not supposed to be directed at berengal but reference the same joke. sigh
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Re: Choosing parts for new superabacus

Postby Mzyxptlk » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

rainbrain wrote:Question 1. I've read that I need to Sync the FSB and the RAM speed, is there anything else I need to sync up?

No need for that, as far as I know.

rainbrain wrote:Question 2. What brand of Video card is recommended for my purposes? I know what specs I want, but I usually end up with 5-10 cards that are all mostly the same but are different brands.
lookie this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010380048%201305520548%20106792634%201068340784%201369844342%204802&name=Top%20Sellers

I don't think you can make a bad choice from that lot.

rainbrain wrote:question 3. XP or Vista?

I've been using Vista64 for 4 months and and I will never go back to XP.

rainbrain wrote:Also, a power search on NEWEGG yielded this lone Motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128358

Looks pretty sweet no?

Look good to me.
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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:38 pm UTC

I've heard some bad things about vista, mainly the interface. Doesn't it question you on every single thing you do?

So far I've chosen:

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale

GPU: XFX GX260NADBF GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition

Finally I'm getting somewhere, next I think I'll choose the hard drive.
If I'm going to use the RAID 0 configuration, do I buy two separate Hard drives? I guess if i want around 400-500 gigabytes, then ill be getting each with about 200 or 250 gigabytes.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby felixalias » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:31 pm UTC

If you use a RAID 0 configuration, the goal is for improved speed, not extra storage - you want two (or more, if you are REALLY going for extra speed :P) similarly sized drives (personally I'd go for two identical WD Caviar Black drives, or VelociRaptors if you can afford em). Basically, you'd have something like 2 500gb drives, showing up as a single 500gb drive with somewhere close to double the throughput of a single drive.

edit - Sorry, was wrong, it's RAID 1 where drives are mirrored. RAID 0 combines the storage capacity.
Last edited by felixalias on Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:33 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:04 am UTC

ooo I see, I figured I would get the total amount of storage of the two, but that makes sense, thanks for the recommendations.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:10 am UTC

NOTE: Raid 0 means you get all the combined storage of the drives minus a small fraction, so 2x500=990ish. Its raid 1 (mirrored) where you only get one drive's worth, and that's because that raid was designed for redundant fail safety rather then speed.

Heya, what I'd initially done when shopping for a new batch of hard drives was consult Tom's hardware's list 'o drives. They keep it pretty up to date and it actually pits all of them against each other in realistic tests of all kinds of extremes:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/3.5- ... ks,24.html

Now I'd really only bother with the first two(average read & write), that'll give you an idea of the speed of those and give you a relatively accurate idea of what they all cost. The 10K RPM drives are of course uber, but I've never found their price/performance ratio decent enough to bother, especially when raid-0 was going to be in play any ways. You'll notice for instance the little 320GB seagate barracudas pretty much live not only the top five despite being a 7200RPM drive, but they'll usually be found in 2nd or sometimes even 1rst place. Between its ranking and it costing 50$ american each...this is why I own four of them at this point for a total single 1220GB drive @300+MB/sec as far as windows is concerned.

Btw back on that Nvidia vs Intel chipset vs stability thing, I've personally not found any stability problems per say with Nvidia chipsets but the Intel do have a knack for overclocking slightly higher on average. The intels also tend to cost less and yah unless you have specific goals of SLI I'd go with one of those P45 boards, the one you listed is a good looking one indeed.

Since you intend to overclock the wolfdale I'd recommend to look at after-market heatsinks too, you can pull off a 4ghz clock with even the stock intel heatsink but the temperatures are uncomfortable (60-70 degrees). I've had great success with a zalman 9700 and recently with my newest computer the Thermalright U120E tower sink (2lbs of savage steel), example results being my 4.2ghz wolfdale sits at 35 idle and 46 under load.

If you want to read up on them, this is a brutally detailed three part series on again tom's hardware where they took something like 30 heatsinks and put them to the test, ranging from the defaults, to aftermarket air & water based:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu ... ,1784.html
(there are links to part 1 & 2 just a wee bit down on that page)

Since you've picked your motherboard you'll want to play it safe when deciding on the ram itself and pick from the manufacturer's qualified list for that board, which is here:
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/Mem ... 5-ud3p.pdf

As mentioned above, ram vs CPU FSB parity isn't critical but faster ram is always a nice thing so aim for like 1200mhz capable stuff. I'd suggest just pick a set that matches your desires and price and then just ensure after wards its on that list. If you're going with Vista 64 (also my favourite OS so far) go for gold with 4GB worth.

Sorry about the delay in my response, I was involuntarily delayed by someone else's bizzare concept of a vacation, sure hope they enjoyed the 'trip.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:54 am UTC

Well, according to the list, I should get this:
http://shop.kingston.com/partsinfo.asp?ktcpartno=KHX9600D2/1G&bannersource=pricegrabber&promo=prcgrbr

thing is, I couldn't even find the patriot that was listed, and neither of them were even listed in newegg or tiger, or nearly anywhere else. wtf

Kingston KHX9600D2/1G
PATRIOT PVS22G9600ELK

I was gonna buy in pairs, but these are only 1GB, so i suppose ill get 4...

Monitors: I wanna get two, gaming, media production, any suggestions?

also, if there's anything to say about monitors or mouses, speakers, and anything else i didn't mention, go ahead and say it. Things i should avoid, look for, what have you.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:37 am UTC

Hrm, didn't notice how small the upper selection was for the ram on that board. Keep in mind this isn't a 'set in stone' you must use only ram listed there thing, I'd just kindly ignore it or if you do pick a set then try just doing a google against both the board and the ram and see if there is any overwhelming evidence of incompatibility. The chances of them not working well together are quite rare really, but its just always a pain if you happen to find that one mix that doesn't work. For instance Anandtech did a review on this board and they used a Gskill kit that isn't listed but well seems to have worked out fine for them. Btw that review is here and covers what a wolfdale can reach on it:
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3508&p=6

For monitors there are tons of options, I've had great luck with LG as a brand with no dead pixels among any of the 5 currently in use around my place and they are just work horses. The oldest of them (going on 5 years now) is just as bright and vibrant as the three new ones purchased since it. Specifications wise the resolution is always the first thing to cut down the list of options, for a wide screen for instance I wouldn't settle for anything that couldn't display at 1920x1200 (the same league as a 1080P TV). If you're getting two though you could probably let that slide unless you're avidly into HD video, it really just depends on the amount of cash you're willing to drop into them. I spent a grand on my last monitor layout but its a rather extreme scenario: 3x19" non-wide LCDs + a little box that makes your computer think they are just a big and really wide monitor...gaming is glorious and regular desktop activities are transformed into an evil genius control-room'esque experience. That monitor array is specifically why I will probably only buy SLI capable motherboards, it takes a lot of graphics horsies to make it run smooth.

For other peripherals I've had excellent success with logitech products, I love their wireless desktops (the RF kind, not blue tooth though as its terrible for that) and I also have a gross 5.1 sound system through them along with the G25 wheel system & some joystick I can't remember. They just make solid hardware.

Something to bring up is the case you intend to put the computer into, its been mentioned about how the length of the video cards makes it sensitive to what's immediately to the right of the motherboard but beyond that you want good air flow. Many cases feature a side panel fan that's aimed at the PCI/E card area and I'm a big fan of ensuring that's one of the key things looked for. Apart from that its always nice having an intake fan somewhere in the lower front and an output fan at the upper/back area.

Oh right and the power supply, always a debatable on qualities. Suffice to say that a 600ish watt would cover that system and just throwing a number out there is perhaps to try and stick to ones worth about 60$ as that should keep the crap quality ones as being too cheap and avoid getting ripped off. These guys do a lot of power supply reviews, see if they recommend anything that appeals to you:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/power_supplies/

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:16 am UTC

This is what I'm getting so far:


GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (2)

LG W1952TQ-TF Black 19" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail (2)

XFX GX260NADBF GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Logitech X-540 70 watts 5.1 Speaker - Retail

Logitech 920-000325 Black USB Wired Ergonomics Wave Keyboard - Retail

Logitech G5 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Laser Mouse - Retail

Lemme see, unless im mistaken, which I probably am, all I am missing is a DVD burner, the OS, a modem, case, and the power supply. no printer. Any criticism or advice on my current build?

I read that a dvd burner will allow me to play cd's, dvd's, burn cd's, and burn dvd's, so its all I really need.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:55 pm UTC

So far its lookin good, in terms of monitor I'm thinking 19" wide screens are a little 'small', I'm sorry I forgot to mention refresh rate as well but you picked one with 2ms so that's about as good as they get (and again one of those things I'd ignore anything that doesn't have). Let's see if we can get anything larger for that value range:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824005119
LG 20", higher resolution of 1650x1050 and only 10$ more each.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824116096
Viewsonic 22", 1650x1050 and again only 10$ more. That extra 3" would translate to much larger screens for sure.

Viewsonic is another brand I'd trust and since they all feature a nice long 3 year manufacturer warranty its pretty much assured they don't expect these guys to die cheaply. If you can find better deals from another place or a local shop go for it though for sure, monitors have kind of a static price range that sales tend to push around and that's it. They're about the only part of a computer that doesn't depreciate in value faster then a car and as such its accepted that when you buy one its typically to serve you over several computers so its okay to lay down the dollars on them.

For DVD burners pretty much any 30$ jobbie will do all the tasks you mentioned, its standard issue that one can burn, read & write both CDs and DVDs. Even bluray burners are typically backwards compatible the whole way. There is a feature on burners called litescribe which lets you use the burner's laser to engrave text onto the label side and it usually adds 5-10$s onto the price if you're into that kinda of thing. If you're into acquiring games from less then legal sources a burner that can burn dual-layer DVDs might also make more sense to you and if so that's also usually adding another 5-10$ onto the price. Bottom line though is these days in terms of which burner to buy the most important feature is ensuring its face plate colour will match the front of the case you pick. ;) ED: the interface they hook into matters, SATA vs IDE and you'll want an SATA one.

You mention modem, like dialup? Unless you have specific situations that will call for a dialup modem I've found they have just kinda gone the way of the dodo. I haven't personally had a modem in any of my computers for going on 15 years now. If you need one though then all good get something with 56K capability and sits in a PCI slot. US robotics from what I understand is still an excellent brand for them, oh right key attribute is to avoid any of them that are 'software based' or known as 'winmodems' as they vampire CPU cycles to operate as they don't have full brains like a real modem does.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:37 pm UTC

So if I get a blue ray player, it will play CD/DVD, burn CD/DVD, AND play blue ray movies? If so I'm getting that, also the light scribe thing.

atm I have cox cable, so it'll be a modem for that. Cable modem. Last time I got a linksys modem, cause I heard they were good, but I was having a lot of problems with it. When the Cox guy came over, he said its better to buy a modem that's supplied by Cox for great compatibility. Maybe that's just a gimmick to get you to buy their stuff, but so far I've had no problems with the Motorola modem they sold me, so that's good.

I wanted to get that 22", but what do you say about the cons in the reviews, it doesn't have a 'great' score either.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:04 pm UTC

rainbrain wrote:So if I get a blue ray player, it will play CD/DVD, burn CD/DVD, AND play blue ray movies? If so I'm getting that, also the light scribe thing.

atm I have cox cable, so it'll be a modem for that. Cable modem. Last time I got a linksys modem, cause I heard they were good, but I was having a lot of problems with it. When the Cox guy came over, he said its better to buy a modem that's supplied by Cox for great compatibility. Maybe that's just a gimmick to get you to buy their stuff, but so far I've had no problems with the Motorola modem they sold me, so that's good.

I wanted to get that 22", but what do you say about the cons in the reviews, it doesn't have a 'great' score either.


Hrmph upon you pointing out the reviews, seeing a 50/50 split between 5 stars and 'the rest' would initially put me in doubt, however if you factor in the amount of people who'd buy them and not bother to review as it 'just worked' it makes it a little more comfy. This might though lead you to a situation where you'll want to buy the monitors from a local shop as if there are any problems its far simpler to just return to them rather then dealing with shipping monitors back & forth. I tend to buy things like monitors & TVs in person for just that sort of situation, much faster turn around if there are any problems discovered. Plus you get to actually test it in the store under reasonable circumstances or at least get shown a demo model.

Indeed a blu-ray optical drive can play and/or for bigger bucks even burn them but unless you've got a 1920x1080 resolution monitor or a big HDTV you want to hook them into I'd say wait a year and they'll price drop like stones just as DVD & CD burners went as they were adopted into the mainstream. Besides its easy enough to have both a DVD burner and a blu-ray in the system down the road, multiple optical drives is never an issue so long as you have enough SATA ports which that board does.

Price wise we're looking at 350-400$ for a blu-ray burner +regular duties, 100$ for a bluray reader + full DVD/CD read/burn capabilities, or 30$ for DVD/CD read/burn. In a year I bet the BR burners will be under 100$, and until the BR discs themselves cost less then 10$ each I wouldn't consider it economical.

For the cable modem just keep using the one you've currently got, if you need multiple computers talking through it just invest in a router instead. You only need one cable modem per household, with a Cable->Modem->Router->All your computers as a chain. There are btw such things as bad cable modems but as far as compatibility go its either they completely work together or they fail entirely, there's no real half and half.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:25 pm UTC

which items is it recommended I buy the warranty?

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:33 pm UTC

rainbrain wrote:which items is it recommended I buy the warranty?


Pretty much any computer part will have a manufacturer's warranty built in which between that and 'dead on arrival' situations that any decent store should cover is all you really need I've found. I'd stick to those, store-based warranties can come with all kinds of ugly sides and just end up costing you more for nothing.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

This is probably a dumb question, but, I don't see anywhere on this page how many bits the OS is.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116511

brb for a while, I have to read up on picking the power supply, also I have a mid term in 2 days I haven't studied for -.-

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:01 am UTC

rainbrain wrote:This is probably a dumb question, but, I don't see anywhere on this page how many bits the OS is.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116511

brb for a while, I have to read up on picking the power supply, also I have a mid term in 2 days I haven't studied for -.-


I'm under the usual thought train that unless it explicitly states its one of the 64bit variety that it'll be the 32bit version. On that note though microsoft has a little known access where you can upon supplying your CD key for an existing version of the OS get them to send you a CD/DVD containing the alternative one. Ala buy the 32bit and then through this link get them to send you a 64bit DVD (that'll work with your key). I've never used it so I'm not sure if its strictly a Vista thing, but its nice they offer it. On the odd chance it isn't, really all your getting out of the 64bit editions is access to the last 700ish MB of ram out of your 4GB and with XP it doesn't need that much in the first place so you could get by without.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/1 ... fault.mspx

If you could avoid buying an OS until windows 7 though, I think that's going to be the one I'd pay money for these days.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:13 am UTC

rainbrain wrote:I've heard some bad things about vista, mainly the interface. Doesn't it question you on every single thing you do?

By default, pretty much, yes. That said, you can both turn it off completely and get it to be much less intrusive.
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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:14 am UTC

woo windows 7, supposed to come out mid 2009 isn't it? Ug, don't know if i can wait that long. I have the OS disk for the current computer, If i use it on my new computer, will it work? I've reinstalled the OS a couple of times in the past and it's always worked.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:28 am UTC

If you have a normal install disk, then yes, you should be able to install it on any computer.

P.S. The Release Candidate of Windows 7 is scheduled to come out on the 10th of April.
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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:55 am UTC

Well, I've calculated that i need about 715watts. This includes OC cost, and just a bit exaggeration added just in case. I found this supply:

ENERMAX INFINITI EIN720AWT 720W ATX12V/ EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply
link

One thing that I'm wondering about is that, in the specs, it says 9 sata ports, does that mean i need 9? If it does i guess ill need another one.

Now i just need a case and fans. I was recommended to frozencpu.com to get fans and cases by a friend. Since I'm overclocking, I'm assuming I'll need to replace the fan's that come with my cpu/gpu. What brands are recommended and, for my intel core duo wolfdale and my XFX GeForce GTX 260, what specs are recommended? I could also get a case with a fan on it. oh, and i could get heat sinks too i guess.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby theorigamist » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:21 am UTC

rainbrain wrote:One thing that I'm wondering about is that, in the specs, it says 9 sata ports, does that mean i need 9? If it does i guess ill need another one.


That means it provides power to up to 9 SATA devices, not that it takes up 9 SATA ports. But that power supply seems overpriced.

You can save over $100 getting this power supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817139006. It's averaging 5-stars with over 700 reviews. Somebody more knowledgeable than me might want to comment about the single 12V rail vs. multiple 12V rails. But in the research I did before buying my computer, it doesn't really seem to make a difference until you are looking at +1000W supplies.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:31 am UTC

unfortunately, neither the power connect nor the PCIe conneter will work for me, i need a 24 pin power connector, and a 2x6 pCIe connector.

a power supply with 700-800 watts, a 24 pin, 2x6 pin, it seems these are my only two choices:
link

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:47 am UTC

rainbrain wrote:unfortunately, neither the power connect nor the PCIe conneter will work for me, i need a 24 pin power connector, and a 2x6 pCIe connector.


No worries the one he pointed out does that (20+4 is same deal just dividable for backward compatibility). That corsair's 4 PCIE connectors is over kill as you only need two but the power supply itself is likely very good and not a terrible price at all. Just to also throw this out there though is that the video card will likely come with one or two converters so you can take a pair of IDE or SATA power connectors and use them as a PCIE one instead, that's how I power one of my 8800GTXes as my PSU only has two PCIE connectors.

For cooling the CPU I still recommend this big bastard here and get a scythe 120mm fan for it too:
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/5387/ ... =c14s52b34

It in my opinion won the tom's hardware Heatsink comparison and despite its intimidating size it wasn't that hard to install it (just do it *before* you've mounted the motherboard into the case). Really though with a dualcore you don't even need a fan for it, but I just got one any ways more to avoid all the constant bitching and complaining various elements of the computer tend to do if it doesn't detect a CPU fan is in place.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

o, i c. taking the 20+4 pin count into consideration, and excluding the ones with low ratings, since they were too many and too similar, I came up with these three. One question, is it the same for the PCI-E connector? Would a 2x6 connection work on a 2x6+2? To tell the truth, I have no idea which one to choose of those three, although they have small differences and advantages, nothing really stands out that makes me want to choose it. Maybe I can choose based on brand, what do you guys think?

Hmm, I'm either going to choose a 1200 rpm fan or a 1800 rpm fan. Since I'm gonna overclock is it necc. to get the 1800 rpm fan? OR would I be fine with the 1200. I read that the 1800 would be good for overclocking...but I want someone to tell me otherwise so i can get the quieter one xD. Hmm, it looks like the fluid dynamic fans can get me 1400 RPM at bout 14 db, though i remember a friend of mine saying something negative about those fans, can't really remember.

Alright, now to choose a case ±-.-±

Ps. I ended up procrastinating and only studied the night before my midterm, up till 4, exam at 8, fricking aced it! :D or at least I'm pretty sure I did.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:51 pm UTC

rainbrain wrote:o, i c. taking the 20+4 pin count into consideration, and excluding the ones with low ratings, since they were too many and too similar, I came up with these three. One question, is it the same for the PCI-E connector? Would a 2x6 connection work on a 2x6+2? To tell the truth, I have no idea which one to choose of those three, although they have small differences and advantages, nothing really stands out that makes me want to choose it. Maybe I can choose based on brand, what do you guys think?

Hmm, I'm either going to choose a 1200 rpm fan or a 1800 rpm fan. Since I'm gonna overclock is it necc. to get the 1800 rpm fan? OR would I be fine with the 1200. I read that the 1800 would be good for overclocking...but I want someone to tell me otherwise so i can get the quieter one xD. Hmm, it looks like the fluid dynamic fans can get me 1400 RPM at bout 14 db, though i remember a friend of mine saying something negative about those fans, can't really remember.

Alright, now to choose a case ±-.-±

Ps. I ended up procrastinating and only studied the night before my midterm, up till 4, exam at 8, fricking aced it! :D or at least I'm pretty sure I did.


Of those three I'd go with the Corsair, they all look good but its just got a very lavish amount of connectors and that's a brand I'd implicitly trust. With case fans and even CPU fans as long as they're moving air and they're quiet that is usually good enough. Put it this way if the difference of 600RPM on a fan makes or breaks the over-clock there are other issues at play. I'd go with the 1200s, they're fine. Scythe is the brand I've trusted, they in my opinion have remained dead quiet in the year I've owned this batch of them. Over time as dust enters the picture its just a good idea to have a can of compressed air on hand, really easy to just blast out the guts and ensure a minimal amount makes it into the bearings of the fans and that does a lot towards the life span and noise levels produced.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:21 pm UTC

where exactly do I look in the specs of the case to see if it has slots for usb ports in the front? I mean, i understand the slots for harddrives, the slots for smaller things, like a dvd burner, but it only lists one thing concerning usb:
eg.
I/O Ports: USB 2.0 x 4
IEEE1394 x 1
E-SATA x 1
HD+AC97 Audio

I would think that this has to do with the onboard usb, however it doesn't mention anything else concerning the usb in the back. Hmm, maybe cases of the same form factor always have the same size slot for the ports in the back, and its the motherboard itself that decides how many things it can fit in the fixed size. And everything that is 'unboard' is in the front, and is listed in the case specs, where as the back isn't listed in the specs because it will fit as long as the form factor is correct. Am i right? If so I think I'm beginning to understand.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby BumpInTheNight » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:16 pm UTC

Ahh no worries the back panels are inter-changeable, as in there is a rectangular piece that comes with motherboards that fits into the universal slot where all the ports are. All that listing is saying is the case itself has front panel ports for those types of connectors and those would have cables leading out which would fit into ports on the motherboard.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:56 am UTC

is there certain brands that have many cases with 4x usb2.0 ports? I've been searching, and many, many cases usually have only 2 x usb 2.0 ports (a lot of the ones I loved only had 2...) but i noticed In Win had a couple that had 4, which leads me to believe certain brands tend to make 4. If so please list them. Thanks.

edit: now that I think about it, simply because my motherboard supports 4 doesn't mean I NEED to have 4. I mean, I can imagine someone needing them, but realistically I wont, not in the next few years. This is awesome news because now I can pick one of the bad ass cases I wanted :D

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby theorigamist » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:31 am UTC

I think you're thinking about the case USB ports incorrectly. When a case tells you how many USB ports it has, it's talking about USB ports on the front of the case. When you put a motherboard into a case, all the inputs/outputs of the motherboard stick out the back of the case. Like BumpInTheNight said, every case has a generic sized hole in the back for the motherboards input/output. The motherboard will come with a plate (called the I/O shield) which fits the generic hole in the case and is specifically made so that the inputs/outputs of the motherboard will fit through it.

In short, cases don't really "support" a certain number of USB ports. They just make some of them available on the front, and the rest will be on the back of the computer.

Also, when a motherboard says it supports up to X many extra USB ports, it's usually talking about something called USB headers. (Generally, among the motherboard specs are two things concerning USB: (1) how many are already available on the back input/outputs, and (2) how many USB headers there are.) USB headers are how USB devices connect to the motherboard. For example, if you needed more USB ports on the back of the computer, you can get a USB bracket which has 2 USB ports. The bracket sticks out the back of the computer case, and, internally, the bracket is connected to the motherboard via the USB header. A lot of other things, such as media card readers, can also use the USB headers on the motherboard if you want.

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Re: Choosing parts for new computer

Postby rainbrain » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:28 am UTC

yeah I already knew that, a few posts up I speculated that the specs listed on the case would be for the audio, firewire, sata, and usb ports on the front(excluding external/internal drives and fans of course.). But thanks for the lengthy explanation none the less. Helpful for a noob like me.


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