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  • Taking the leap... first PC build

    Just curious to get some feedback from those who know.

    This will be my first scratch-built PC. I've already had some initial guidance from Apophis on this. I'm basing mine on his recent build, namely to take advantage of the OC'd P4 CPU discussed in this thread.

    Anyway... my budget isn't as tall as Apo's... I'm aiming to keep this under $1000 (+ shipping if need be). The mobo is the biggest investment here... I can/will max it out over time rather than right now.

    Right... so, the parts from Newegg (I'd link to the wishlist but can't figure it out ):
    Case - XCLIO 3060BK Black/Silver Chassis: 0.6 mm SECC ; Frontpanel: ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower
    Mobo - ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX
    CPU - Intel Pentium D 805 Smithfield 533MHz FSB LGA 775 Dual Core
    RAM - CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System
    Vid - SAPPHIRE 100146L Radeon X1600XT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFire
    HD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 SATA NCQ 3Gb/s ST3160812AS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
    Liquid Cooling - KINGWIN Aquastar AS-3000 Multi-Color LED Light AquaStar
    Other Parts - a CD/DVD drive, a 120mm case fan, and a Win XP disk (all I have is the bundled OEM version for my current Dell... I assume it won't work on a custom job?).

    This all comes to just under $1000.

    Stuff I'm cannibalizing from my no-longer-stock Dell...
    - Additional CD/DVD drive and a 160gb Seagate hard disk
    - SB Audigy Gamer 5.1 PCI sound card (not astonishing, but it'll take some resource load off the integrated sound)
    - Antec 430w PSU

    I think that's all. Anything stand out as a big no-no, or things I'd be advised to reconsider? I'm aware that there might be some more impressive options performance-wise, but I'd likely have to tradeoff with something else. I plan to gradually upgrade individual components as I go, (more RAM, more powerful video card, etc), but I figure this will get me well on my way (considering that I'm currently on a 4yo Dell that's been maxed out in the upgrades).





  • #2
    Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

    You might want to measure your current PSU to ensure that it's ATX. Dell and Gateway used to have proprietary case and PSU sizes.

    And watercooling? You planning on overclocking? I'm just thinking that first time PC builder and overclocking don't mix. But I don't know, perhaps you're ready to jump into this with both feet?
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    • #3
      Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

      Funny... this Antec (which was a necessary upgrade for a vid card upgrade) *doesn't* fit the Dell case. It's sitting on top instead. I'll check the specs again, but I expect it's ATX friendly.

      And as for OCing... I'm not jumping *immediately* into that tweak just yet. But considering the flexibility of the CPU/mobo combo, it seemed like the most long-legged bang for da buck out of the gate. The article talking about the OC performance is a good start, and I'm sure I can pick Apo's brain on how to do it since he did the exact same thing with the exact same combo.

      It's a 2.6ghz chip... 0.2ghz faster than my Dell. Even w/o the overclock, it's going to be a better performer if only because of the newer generation and the dual-core. When I do get around to OC'ing, I intend to bump it up fractionally, rather than max it out (3.6ghz is supposed to be quite stable, and plenty powerful for my needs... but it can go up to 4.1+ in the hands of a real wiz). I want to get more performance, but at the lowest risk and cost. Seems to be the chip to start with.




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      • #4
        Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

        the Antec will be standard ATX size unless it's a microATX, and if it's too big to fit in the dell it deffinantly isn't ;)
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        • #5
          Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

          Checked specs... it's ATX.

          The bad fit in the Dell case was with the screw holes. I've just been too lazy to drill out the Dell mount. ;)




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          • #6
            Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

            I built mine with AMD cpu for 1K with a EVGA7900GTCO videocard and 2 GB ram. I say drop the liquid cooling and go with more ram or a better videocard.
            Slow is Smooth. Smooth is Fast!

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            • #7
              Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

              I think you'd be served very well by spending an additional $100 or so on the video card, stepping to a 7900GT or X1800XT depending on your preference. I'd also try to put 2GB of memory in there.

              Maybe you could cut $100 off the motherboard cost and put it into the video card?
              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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              • #8
                Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                Originally posted by CingularDuality
                You might want to measure your current PSU to ensure that it's ATX. Dell and Gateway used to have proprietary case and PSU sizes.

                And watercooling? You planning on overclocking? I'm just thinking that first time PC builder and overclocking don't mix. But I don't know, perhaps you're ready to jump into this with both feet?

                I buit my first pc back in 04' and I studied overclocking quite abit, and its the first thing I did. Its really fun to build something, makes you feel really good after you build it, and it boots up and works.

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                • #9
                  Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                  Originally posted by xTYBALTx
                  I think you'd be served very well by spending an additional $100 or so on the video card, stepping to a 7900GT or X1800XT depending on your preference. I'd also try to put 2GB of memory in there.

                  Maybe you could cut $100 off the motherboard cost and put it into the video card?
                  That's the last thing I would do. I replace video cards more frequently than I do motherboards, I want my motherboard to be a solid backbone for my machine until I am ready to replace the whole thing, skimping on the motherboard is like skimping on the whole machine. My recent machine was built with probably the best motherboard I could find, with enough flexibility to keep me going far beyond the point where my video card is outdated.

                  I do agree with the 2GB of memory though.

                  Additionally, I would stay away from plastic cases, look for something metal. Plastic doesn't carry heat as efficiently as metal and as such will contribute to higher ambient temperatures.
                  Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                    I'm in complete agreement on the mobo. That alone determines how much you can upgrade into the future. So yeah, no skimping there.

                    Sadly, that particular board is out of stock seemingly everywhere w/ no restock date listed. :icon_mad: I'm considering the next best thing in order to start building ASAP. Sadly, still researching to find a suitable substitute.

                    I will look into doubling the RAM. I wanted to, but it jumps the price up more than I want. So I might skip the water cooling for now. I don't have to OC immediately anyway. I could incrementally do so also, keeping it within a temp range that the stock cooling can manage.

                    EDIT: As for the plastic case, I agree re: heat... I'm really just enamored with the 250mm fan. I haven't found a metal case that offers the same. I'll have to keep looking, or just drop the big fan idea.




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                    • #11
                      Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                      Originally posted by Mirfee
                      I'm in complete agreement on the mobo. That alone determines how much you can upgrade into the future. So yeah, no skimping there.

                      Sadly, that particular board is out of stock seemingly everywhere w/ no restock date listed. :icon_mad: I'm considering the next best thing in order to start building ASAP. Sadly, still researching to find a suitable substitute.

                      I will look into doubling the RAM. I wanted to, but it jumps the price up more than I want. So I might skip the water cooling for now. I don't have to OC immediately anyway. I could incrementally do so also, keeping it within a temp range that the stock cooling can manage.
                      You'll find the 2.6GHz 64 bit dual core CPU is quite a bit faster than a normal 32 bit 2.6GHz P4, so that desire to OC might not be there for a while until you really want to eek out more power from the CPU.

                      You might want to check www.sparco.com to see if they have the motherboard, they usually stock quite a lot of inventory.
                      Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                        Originally posted by Apophis
                        You'll find the 2.6GHz 64 bit dual core CPU is quite a bit faster than a normal 32 bit 2.6GHz P4, so that desire to OC might not be there for a while until you really want to eek out more power from the CPU.
                        This has been my assumption, and why I'm not impatient to OC.

                        No matter what, this new system, even at 2.6GHz, will run circles around my upgraded (though outdated) Dell.




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                        • #13
                          Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                          Originally posted by Apophis
                          That's the last thing I would do. I replace video cards more frequently than I do motherboards, I want my motherboard to be a solid backbone for my machine until I am ready to replace the whole thing, skimping on the motherboard is like skimping on the whole machine. My recent machine was built with probably the best motherboard I could find, with enough flexibility to keep me going far beyond the point where my video card is outdated.
                          You can get a more than capable motherboard for $100 less. Spending $100-140 on a motherboard is certainly not "skimping." I don't see how someone justify putting an X1600XT in a $1000 computer. That's like putting a V6 in a Corvette.
                          A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                          "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                            Originally posted by xTYBALTx
                            That's like putting a V6 in a Corvette.
                            I disagree with the analogy, but it's really beside the point. :row__681:

                            I'm sticking with the mobo... it's the *best* option with the *most* features for my money. I am building the rig around it for future flexibility. Lesser priced options forced compromises that I didn't want to make on such a vital component.

                            The x1600xt *is* less than I'd like... it was a compromise anyway. So I'm upping to the x1800xt. I'm sticking with the 256vram version... what I've read doesn't justify the extra $$$ for 512 based on *my own* performance tastes/needs.

                            I'm also upping the system ram to 2gb. Again, it's my preference, but I was compromising for $$$.

                            In order to get these two increased components, I'm dumping anything that I can't cannibalize from my Dell (the CD/DVD and the HD) which saves me ~$100. I can make do with the older gear on that level and incrementally upgrade them as funds allow. Also, I've decided *not* to OC now (but likely will later on) so no liquid cooling saves me another $100.

                            Still managing to stay on the mark for $1000 limit.




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                            • #15
                              Re: Taking the leap... first PC build

                              Perfect. I think you'll be quite pleased with the changes you've made. You may also be surprised at how well that chip overclocks on stock air. :]
                              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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