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Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

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  • Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

    OK, so once again, I haven't been following hardware trends and I'm looking to upgrade while ignorant. I'm sure I could do a bit of research to figure out exactly what I want, but I know that some of you LOVE sharing your opinion, and that you might think of some things that I haven't.

    My preference is for AMD over Intel.

    I have a STRONG preference for Nvidia over ATI. In fact, you'll have to work really hard to talk me into putting an ATI card in my machine. As far as I'm concerned, they've lost my business indefinitely.

    The last time I built a PC, I was talked into buying a cutting edge machine. It was great. But that was about 6 years ago. It's getting a bit long in the tooth, even though it hasn't failed to run anything I've asked it to do. It struggles with L4D2, however, and I'd like to have a decent machine when the next game comes out that I do want that will bring her to her knees...

    My philosophy going forward is going to go back to what I should have stuck with: I want the most bang for my buck. I want last years cutting edge stuff. When I pay a premium to buy a cutting edge PC, it's able to last 6 years, sure. But if I were able to upgrade one major component every year, with a year-old component, I might never be unable to play the latest game.

    So, mindful of the ability to upgrade in the future, what should I buy to get the most bang for my buck? I'm looking to spend under $900 to bring me into this decade.
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  • #2
    Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

    If you are struggling with L4D2 then your PC has gotten pretty long in the tooth.

    Are you continuing with your current case/monitor/keyboard/hardrive etc?
    Does a LAN speed matter?
    Are you including the Operating system as part of the cost?
    Vendor preference? I'm partial to NewEgg and will most likely do a list through them.
    Any optional requirements like number of USB ports, wireless capabilities, overclocking (I don't bother myself)?

    Just want to make sure I'm working with the following list of parts only:
    Power supply
    Motherboard
    RAM
    CPU
    Hard drive
    Video card
    Sound card (maybe)
    Case (depending on your answer)

    I will probably not spend as much on a video card assuming a second card purchase in a couple years. I have always bought that way since they are released so fast that putting up with 10 less frames for two years means a noticeable upgrade two years later.
    |TG-6th|Snooggums

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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    • #3
      Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

      I'm going to be getting a new case, but I think that cases are either good or bad, and within those two categories it's just a matter of cosmetic preference to choose one... I'll take suggestions, though!

      Mostly, I want suggestions on the parts you've listed. I'm pleased with my sound card, but I think a new motherboard will necessitate a new sound card. I think I'm going to end up using a HDD that I already have, but I will be needing a new external HDD (larger than 1TB) for the Acer Revo 3610 that I plan on getting for my living room.

      I'm concerned with my ignorance over the latest advances and future plans for the mainboard, CPU, RAM, and graphics. Right now, I'm using a mainboard that has AGP and PCI slots.

      Oh, and I'm also partial to NewEgg, so a NewEgg list is perfect!
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      • #4
        Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

        You ought to have a strong preference for Intel over AMD at this point. AMD owns ATI now. Though my opinion is that long running brand loyalty in computer technology doesn't really make any sense, since it all changes so quickly. ATI cards, for the moment, command better performance/price than Nvidia cards. For the moment, Intel CPUs are far superior to AMD CPUs.

        I've recently put together a new computer for myself (start of the school year) and I spent about what you're looking for. I've always been of the notion to get the best performance for the price - I suppose mostly since I'm a student - and that means looking mostly at mid-end stuff. I'll put together a Newegg list for you.

        Also, a new motherboard won't necessitate a new soundcard. I presume it's got a PCI interface.

        A new HD might be a good idea, since yours is 6 years old already - fairly old for a mechanical component that you've never serviced. You wouldn't want that to suddenly stop working.

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        • #5
          Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

          ATI has taken my money and given me crap on three different occasions now. I'm simply not inclined to give them my business ever again.

          The HDD was one of the few upgrades that I made to this PC. My motherboard has both EIDE and SATA connections, and I upgraded from one to the other about a year after SATA came out...

          Are there still PCI connectors on MB's? I thought PCI-Express had replaced them?
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          • #6
            Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

            There are still PCI connectors. What's your email Cing? I can't seem to get the Newegg list to be publicly viewable.

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            • #7
              Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

              GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3L LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
              $124.99 -$30.00 Instant $94.99

              Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
              $199.99

              CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1333C9A G - Retail
              $109.99 -$30.00 Instant $79.99

              OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
              $129.99 -$40.00 Instant $89.99

              MSI N250GTS Twin Frozr 1G GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Retail
              $139.99 -$5.00 Instant $134.99

              Subtotal: $599.95
              --------------------------------------
              That's $600. So you've got $300 left in your budget for a case, monitor, Win7, DVD/CD burner, and keyboard & mouse. I take it some of these you might already have anyway.

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              • #8
                Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                Honestly I'd spend some more on the GPU, the G92 core has been around way too long, GTS250 = 9800GTX+ which is almost the same as an 8800GTS. I would say at least a GTX260.
                Reapator, overlord of ponies

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                • #9
                  Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                  The GTX260 just isn't that good of a buy right now, at almost $200 on Newegg. You might as well get a 5770, but Cing doesn't want ATI. The thought is to grab a 250GTS now and upgrade to whatever's mid-level next year or at the end of the year.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                    Below is what I did a month or so ago. I really love the case. I am very happy with it so far. You might also want to look at SSD drives.

                    Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D Deluxe P55 1366

                    Graphic Card: XFX Radeon HD 5870 1GB PCIe DDR5

                    Monitor: Dell 2407WFP-HC

                    DVD: LG GH22NS50 22XDVD-RW SATA

                    Sound: onboard

                    Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC

                    CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core

                    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Silent 1156 CLP0552 92mm CPU Cooler For Intel Socket LGA1156

                    Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX8GX3M4A1600C9

                    Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

                    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

                    OS: Win7 Home Preium 64
                    The Old Guy
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                    • #11
                      Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                      Originally posted by sordavie View Post
                      The GTX260 just isn't that good of a buy right now, at almost $200 on Newegg. You might as well get a 5770, but Cing doesn't want ATI. The thought is to grab a 250GTS now and upgrade to whatever's mid-level next year or at the end of the year.
                      And I like this thought. This 250GTS is probably amazingly fast compared to my current card, and I'll be able to get something even faster than the GTX260 for less money in a year...

                      Originally posted by kin3 View Post
                      You might also want to look at SSD drives.
                      OK, so I kinda looked at these when I was buying my netbook and I decided that they weren't worth the money, but clue me in. Why would I want a 60gig SSD in my main machine? For OS only? It's supposed to be an incredible increase in speed compared to a HDD? I've always had my main drive be the big hard drive on which I install all programs. I've never installed programs to secondary drives. Is it fairly painless? Or should I get a SSD large enough to handle all of my installed programs?
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                      • #12
                        Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                        I have to agree with this budget I wouldn't consider one small SSD. Windows7 for TRIM and and a SATA3 motherboard are requirements for my next build and the reason I'm putting it off until next year both of which I would want for SSD and would have two mid size drives RAIDed. The other thing to consider is whether you want to chase bad money with good. I've always been a Nvidia guy but if I had to buy a new card today for a new build I'd be compelled to consider the 5770 Juniper ATI card (you pick the manufacturer) or the 5850 which means I wouldn't need another card when the next generation comes out.
                        Forewarned is Forearmed




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                        • #13
                          Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                          OK, so I would be interested in purchasing an OS. Any reason not to go with the 64 bit OS? Why would I want anything more than the Home edition? I know with XP, if you didn't go Pro, you missed out on some networking capability. With Win7, it looks like I'm only missing out on Windows XP Mode, Domain Join, back up to a home or business network, BitLocker, and 35 languages. Is Domain Join something that I would likely miss? I'm definitely not going to be using it to connect to anything at work, so it would only be for something I set up at home or something that TG sets up?

                          Originally posted by LpBronco View Post
                          The other thing to consider is whether you want to chase bad money with good. I've always been a Nvidia guy but if I had to buy a new card today for a new build I'd be compelled to consider the 5770 Juniper ATI card (you pick the manufacturer) or the 5850 which means I wouldn't need another card when the next generation comes out.
                          OK, the value of an ATI card over a Nvidia card would have to be really drastic, and you'd have to assure me that they've gotten their driver issues sorted. I was talked into buying an AIW Radeon 9800 back in the day, after someone here at TG assured me that their drivers were now rock solid and that you couldn't beat their graphics with a stick. Well, the drivers didn't work and I had to use some cobbled together third party solution to make it work in my machine. I said I'd never go back, but just for giggles, why would you go with the ATI card? What does it have that Nvidia doesn't?
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                          • #14
                            Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                            OK, so after hearing others talk about current graphics cards not fitting in certain cases, I'm going to seek recommendations on a case, too.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Going to build a new PC with my tax refund. Suggestions?

                              Antec 902 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-058-_-Product - It has solid reviews, should fit most cards.

                              Azza Solano - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-004-_-Product - Similar to the above, also they have the red version. This is also a full tower.

                              Antec 1200 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129043 - Full Tower

                              CoolerMaster HAF 932 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-160-_-Product - Full Tower.

                              CoolerMaster HAF 922 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119197 - Mid Tower.

                              CoolerMaster Storm Sniper - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119194 - Mid Tower.


                              Also, if your wanting to spend a little money, the Corsair Obsidian 800D is a beast of a computer case. It's solid, and the reviews are off the charts, but it comes in at almost $300.00 at most places. It offers a super classy design, with tons of space, and massive amounts of wire management potential, with all the grommets it offers. It also offers good amounts of hot-swap bays too. It's huge though.

                              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...39001&Tpk=800d

                              There are some to look up, they are all super solid cases.

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