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Building up a new computer, needs advices


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Hey guys,

my brother decided to build a new comp.

I'll say "we" instead of "he" because even though he would keep it for him, I intend to use it. :D

edit : € means EURO, and it's pretty nice with current € vs. $ rates.

edit2: forgot the use of the computer : light gaming, lots of forums, website designing and coding, VMWare, 7zip and maybe maths.

So here are the preliminary specs we agree on, of course, the cheaper, the better. :)

  • GPU : Sapphire Radeon X1600 Pro @ 150€
    -> we play games but not that much
  • RAM : 2GB DDR2 Samsung : PC4200 or PC5300 or PC5400, same price (67€) but I wonder what frequancy would be the best, does the FSB matter ?
    -> 2GB is just nicer, it will be needed for Vista (if...) and I need it now to run 6 VMs simultaneously :P
  • Mouse : good old trusty Logitech Click! Optical Mouse @ few euros
  • Keyboard : probably a PS/2 one : USB one are just unusable because of weird keys dispositions, missing keys.... and much more expensive (+30€ !) We just want a keyboard that lets you type. :wacko:

Now, uncertain ones :

  • Hard Drive : a 250GB SATA, max 80€, which one ?
    SATA1 or SATA2 ?
  • LCD screen : 17", 1280x1024
    We need advices on good screens; as I said, we play but not that much, I read and write a lot, as does my brother. Also, there will certainly be a window behind the screen, see the pic:
    Here is a list of possible screens.
  • Case and alim, euh, no idea.
  • DVD Writer : there are so many I can't decide.

And last, the components we arguee on. :P

  • I told him about Tom's Hardware DIY 4GHz dual-processor and he wanted it (Pentium4 D805 OCed@3.4GHz, aircooled so he can't reach 4GHz) and now I think a Core 2 Duo @1,86GHz - 195€ would be better because it is faster, cooler (so it does not need a high ventirad which would cost some money therefore we save some money on this and also it needs less power)
    A P4D 805 costs 110€.
  • MOBO : he found a Gigabyte GA-8i915P Duo Pro - 105€.
    I think this is not the best and not necessarily the cheaper. What do you think ?
    Also I think both core 2 duo and P4 D805 run on socket 775.

Many thanks for your time and your comments.

Edited by Camarade_Tux
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Respecfually speaking the speed of the Motherboards FSB determines what processer you can buy, and the choice of processer determins your Memory speed.

SATA transfers at a max of 150 mb/s

SATA2 transfers at a max of 300 mb/s

- officially it may not reach that speed

As for the Core2 processers, i would wait about 3-6 months until until releases their new chipsets for the processers.

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Ok, let me start from the beginning.

When comes to desire or the need to build a new computer. The first thing that is needed to do is define it's officialy daily use. Gaming/lite gaming, Office, General use, etc. Once you have decided that, then comes the money part. The general overall amount of money you are able or willing to spend on this project.

Once you have decided, it time to investgate the endless choices of computer componets and abilites of these componests. If you are a lite gamer, the most important thing to balance is high speed/graphics and cooling.

When it comes to cooling your new monster, a few choices are out their, fans, silent and water cooling. Each has it strong points and weak points, a great understanding of the choice may and may not be needed.

One of the most overlooked part of cooling is airflow for cooling which includes cable location and size, fans and most of all the Case size.

Once you have decided these factors then you should start making the list of parts you need to fill this case:

Power supply



and so on.

But remember each part has specific requirements that must be meet. Such as Intel Based Boards require specific Powersupply needs and Nvidia video cards have specific requirements for powersupply as well.

The powersupply you choose will also define your limits to your monster or little monster. Respecfully todays lite gaming needs, i would recommend a 500 watt power supply, if you are a gamer or multi-componet freak then a 550 or high is recommended.

When it comes to fill your needs for this monster, the motherboard is the deciding factor for your processer, memory, videocard, and accessories you will have.

There is more to this little guide, so i return later to edit it.

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First off , Scrap the X1600 they are garbage, you can get a 7300GT or 7600GT for either cheaper or the same price that will outperform it.

With Intel it is best to have ram with tight timings instead of high freq,

Case is kinda a preferance, theres plenty out there Lian Li , Coolermaster, Thermaltake etc etc. thermaltake tend to be the cheaper of the 3 but they do have 4 nice cases. Soprano ( only downside is its steel not alu) Tsunami ( tends to be very popular ) Armor and Armor jnr ( Pricey but have extremely good airflow)

As for processor id say dont bother with the 805 now , the conroes and allendales are here now, a recent test has shown the E6300 Allendale killing off a X2 3800 even at stock of 1.8Ghz, at 2.5Ghz overclocked on air it comfortably gave it a kicking in every benchmark and totally obliterated the X2 in Super PI. Should be very good for multitasking.

E6300 + gigabyte GA-965p-DS3 M/B combo has tested to be very good.


Hope this helps

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Thanks a lot. I'm not done yet but it already looks much better.

I decided to drop X1600. It's more expensive and less performant than a 7600GS or GT.

I found out that Asus is making nice 7600 cards without fan, only passive cooling. There's even a Extreme N7600GS TOP Silent 512 which is OCed by Asus and which seems to be really fast. However I don't know if I'll take that, I still have to check the prices (7600GS is around 120/130€ whereas 7600GS is aroung 160/170€).

One nice thing with 7300 and 7600 cards is they don't need an additionnal power supply. :)

I checked the timing for the RAM I found. PC4200 is 4-4-4-12 but I couldn't find the ones for PC5300 and PC5400.

I'll keep on searching.

As for the hard drive, I prefer SAT-II not because of higher transfer rates but because of new features such as NCQ (imho SATA-I had no interest).

WD drives are more expensive but I still have to check that.

Also, I'm really wondering if it is worth having 16MB cache on the HD; I have 2GB RAM.

.... 30 minutes later :P

The cheaper Maxtor drive seems to have some problems, so I took it out and realized all 250GB SATA-II drives are 77€ +/- 2€; really no difference.

I think I'll take that one : WD SE 16

Also, I don't think I'll take a Plextor : too expensive.

... never thought I would spend so much time on this!

And you both already helped a lot. :)

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Dont get a 7600GS, The 7300GT with DDR3 Memory will beat it hands down and is cheaper.

As for ram, try looking for OCZ, Corsair, Kingston,Crucial, G Skill, Mushkin as they tend to be the best of the bunch.

OCZ does a 2GB PC5300 and PC5400 kit with 4-4-4-12 timings,

As for NCQ, its only really useful in a server environment when you have ALOt of different processes trying to access the HDD.

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make sure you put blinds up to keep people from seeing this wonderful new machine :P

but anyway, it sounds like one heck of a computer your going to be building, make sure you post some pics ;)

cheers :w00t:

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@Scubar, I could not find any 7300GS with DDR3. Any link or benchmark ?

Also, OCZ memory is definitely too expensive : +50% compared to the Samsung which is still reliable.

For NCQ, this was mainly an example. In fact, I think SATA-1 was only a new connector. SATA-2 brings some new features and techs and it would be silly not to have them considering that there is absolutely no price difference between SATA-1 and SATA-2 drives.

PS : I'm currenty in holidays so I have plenty of times to take photos. ;)

The only thing I hope is I'll convince my brother Core 2 Duo is the only possibility.

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Bad news : I was about to convince my brother to get the Core 2 Duo and finally he said no. :o

He told this would be sufficient for him for the next 3 or even 4 years, since he needed no CPU power and doesn't intend to play all the most recent games. *arghhh*

The idea behind P4 D805 was Tom's Hardware article.

However, according to what he said, there is no need to overclock the processor, so no watercooling, I should even find a cheaper CPU.

So I'm thinking about an A64 3000+ Venice, single core, 78€.

Could you advise me a nice mobo ?

Do you think this CPU with a 7600GT could be a limiting factor when it comes to games ?

As for the PSU, I still don't really know : I thought it should be the last thing to be found because of SATA connectors, power needed by CPU/GPU... (btw, would 400W be enough for 7600GT, A64 3000+, one HD)

Also, I haven't been able to find any benchmark, adding to my confusion.

Last, a DVD burner is needed. And I am wondering : is LG, BenQ or ASUS reliable for such peripherals or should I rather take a Sony or a Philips ?

Enough bad news. :(:angry:

I found a 17" 1280x1024@75Hz TFT screen, 13ms, at 142€ : BenQ T705.

Sober design, high luminosity and contrast, mostly good user feedbacks.

Should fit nicely with the window (at sunrise the light comes directly in the room and at sunset, it is reflected by a really white building).

I decided to take Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 : better price, better performance (source TH).

What do you think about this GF7600GT @166€ then?

Again do you think a CPU such as a A64 3000+ Venice could limitate framerate in games ?

Edited by Camarade_Tux
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The 805 Overclocking guide is very cool but not really advised, those guys are pros n have some expsensive cooling systems, Did you see the heat it gives off and power consumption when overclocked ? it was very high, The cpu should be good enough for the 7600GT to use its full potential,

DVD burner , Plextor or Lite-On would be my choice, Sony and philips are good too so should do fine. I would rather have the 805 over the venice but if ur tight on budget then it would do fine too. They overclock well.

Edited by Scubar
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