Building a new computer, Need some input

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Gamerhomie

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Joined
Mar 5, 2005
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113
Hello everyone. My friend and I have been talking for the past week about getting a new PC for him. Right now, he has a decent one and can play Morrowind fine. But this is where everything starts to come into play. He wants to get World of Warcraft, but the only way his parents will let him is if he gets his own computer. Well, I suggested he build his own, and I know he doesn't know too much about computers, so my other friend and I are going to help him build his own. The thing is, none of us know everything about all the current technology, and we've never built a computer before. I want to get some advice from a lot of members to see what they think. But onto what's what.

So, he wants a computer now for World of Warcraft. He also wants to be able to play Oblivion when it comes out sometime by the end of this year (hopefully). We've been talking, and we've decided on a few key factors. We will build a pretty good custom PC right now, and then he will upgrade what's needed to be upgraded by the time Oblivion comes out (video card, maybe RAM, etc...).

Finally, here's what I'm thinking:

- Some big case with a lot of slots
- Power Supply - 400W
- Motherboard - AMD 64 (don't know whats the difference between all the 64's)
- AGP and PCIe ports - (don't know the difference, except that pcie is for newer cards)
- Processor - At least a 3.0 Ghz (around 3.5)
- Front Side Bus - (don't know what a front side bus is, how much should it have?)
- A fan - (if thats enough)
- A few usb ports, and an Ethernet port - (he wants a wireless router to run his connection form the basement to his room)
- A GB of RAM - (are 2 512MB sticks better than a 1GB stick?)
- 80 GB hard drive
- A dvd rom, at least a cd burner, if not a dvd burner

There is more (like the monitor and the accessories), but we'll decide that later on. The above is what we'll get, or even better, with suggestions.

The above would be good to run games now, but will it be enough to run games half a year from now? (Like Oblivion, just a guess) I would think to upgrade the video card at least.

What do you guys think?
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
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7,235
Motherboard - AMD 64 (don't know whats the difference between all the 64's) (just remember when your going to 64 bit you can potentially have probs running 32 bit things on there)

AGP and PCIe ports - (don't know the difference, except that pcie is for newer cards) (I would recommend PCIE as AGP is only one way communication at any givent time when PCIE is true back and fourth communication).

Front Side Bus - (don't know what a front side bus is, how much should it have?) Most decient systems I have seen have a bus speed of 800.

- A few usb ports, and an Ethernet port - (he wants a wireless router to run his connection form the basement to his room) technically he doesn't need an ethernet port what he'll need is an add on Wireless card. All formalities thought because most MB's these days come with an integrated ethernet card as well.

- A GB of RAM - (are 2 512MB sticks better than a 1GB stick?) 6 of one half dozen of the other i have not heard of more ram slots being used by memory degrading memory performance just don't mix and match memory stay same brand if you can and the rest base on price differences.

- A dvd rom, at least a cd burner, if not a dvd burner - Go with a DVD burner they are dirt cheap (about 45 bucks) online and they will do it all play cds, play dvds, burn cds, and burn dvd's. No need to buy one with less features for like 30 bucks to just upgrade due to lack of planning.

As far as the HDD size isn't as imporatant as the cache and the rpm and access time.

90% of failaing hardware when it comes to game playing is the supported video cards.... case and point in the last 3 years I have had to upgrade my video cards 3 times to play the games I want but have yet to have to upgrade the rest of my system (of course this next go around I have to upgrade everything to 64 bit and all the rest of that).
 

Gamerhomie

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
113
The budget for his computer would be around $1,000 to $1,500. Somethnig around there.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
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13,404
Gamerhomie said:
Hello everyone. My friend and I have been talking for the past week about getting a new PC for him. Right now, he has a decent one and can play Morrowind fine. But this is where everything starts to come into play. He wants to get World of Warcraft, but the only way his parents will let him is if he gets his own computer. Well, I suggested he build his own, and I know he doesn't know too much about computers, so my other friend and I are going to help him build his own. The thing is, none of us know everything about all the current technology, and we've never built a computer before. I want to get some advice from a lot of members to see what they think. But onto what's what.

So, he wants a computer now for World of Warcraft. He also wants to be able to play Oblivion when it comes out sometime by the end of this year (hopefully). We've been talking, and we've decided on a few key factors. We will build a pretty good custom PC right now, and then he will upgrade what's needed to be upgraded by the time Oblivion comes out (video card, maybe RAM, etc...).

Finally, here's what I'm thinking:

- Some big case with a lot of slots

dont go for flash, look for quality, toolless drive bays, etc. I like Antec, Thermaltake
- Power Supply - 400W

Make it a quality one Antec, Enermax
- Motherboard - AMD 64 (don't know whats the difference between all the 64's)

go with 939 pin type
- AGP and PCIe ports - (don't know the difference, except that pcie is for newer cards)

cant get both, go with PCI-E type
- Processor - At least a 3.0 Ghz (around 3.5)

Go with AMD 64 3500+
- Front Side Bus - (don't know what a front side bus is, how much should it have?)
Dont worry about it
- A fan - (if thats enough)
120mm out the back, case side door ducted intake is nice feature, Panaflo are good fans

- A few usb ports, and an Ethernet port - (he wants a wireless router to run his connection form the basement to his room)

not an issue with todays components
- A GB of RAM - (are 2 512MB sticks better than a 1GB stick?)
not a big difference at least DDR400
- 80 GB hard drive

at least, games take a lot of space
- A dvd rom, at least a cd burner, if not a dvd burner

There is more (like the monitor and the accessories), but we'll decide that later on. The above is what we'll get, or even better, with suggestions.

The above would be good to run games now, but will it be enough to run games half a year from now? (Like Oblivion, just a guess) I would think to upgrade the video card at least.

What do you guys think?
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2004
Messages
355
no amd cpu goes up to 3ghz+ without being overclocked! the fasted clocked amd cpu i've heard of is 2.8ghz (sombody confirm please)

yes, get pcie port, as agp is nearing it's end (brings a tear to my eye when i say that:p)

you MAY want a hard drive bigger than 80gb, but dont go way over, as too much is just as bad as too little. (i.e. access times etc) get 8mb of cache or more on your hard drive, with a spin speed of 7200 rpm or more (no less than 7200rpm, as the next speed down which is 5400rpm is about 33% slower)

the fsb speed varies from cpu to cpu and motherboard to motherboard, but most intel systems now are either 800mhz fsb or 1066mhz fsb (sombody confirm please?)

and as far as i know, the only game that has trouble with 64bit cpus is sid meiers alpha centauri (1998) but there is a patch out to fix that (ive run wolfenstein 3d, doom 1and2 and duke nukem 3d (plus a whole load of other games about the same age) with no problems whatsoever.)

as for the cpu, go for an amd athlon 64, as most if not all intel cpus are very ineficient, run VERY hot (so hot infact, that given a few months on the stock cooling they WILL 'self destruct' as it were) and eat up a whole load of power. i'd go for a 'venice' core amd athlon 64 3000+ it's quite cheap, has more than enough power to tear through any game out at the moment, and it can overclock VERY well (i havent seen or heard of one that wont o/c past 3500+ clockspeed!)so you have the flexibility there to customize if you want to (and when you get the experience to do it)

2 ram sticks over 1 stick? there is no tangible difference in performance IF you get a matching pair of dual channel ram (most dual channel ram sticks come in pairs anyway) and try not to mix and match different speeds or makes if you know what's good for you! corsair makes very nice ram, as do kingston and geil. i'd go for ddr 400 (any faster and the cpu/motherboard may not be able to cope, leaving you with a pc that potentially will not boot)

all motherboards (other than the 'quid-a-dozen' cheapass makes about) have a fair few usb ports and mabye a pair of firewire ports. all motherboards also have at least 1 10/100 ethernet port (gigabit aka 10/100/1000 ethernet is nice, but not really needed) i'd go for one by either asus or dfi.
 

Gamerhomie

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
113
Took a little while for an update, but here it is, compiled by some of you guys, my friend, and I. I put in more choices for some parts only because I wasn't sure which one to choose and I want your opinion. Now, it's more of the mix and match stage, and I tried to look at it as much as I could, seeing if everything will go together. So i want some opinions now.

CASE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811162011 $53.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811105107 $89.00

MOTHERBOARD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813180070 $94.50

PROCESSOR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103533 $267.00

RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820141423 $94.49
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145440 $82.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145450 $133.43

DVD-BURNER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827152039 $38.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827106966 $47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827106988 $44.00

VIDEO CARD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127150 $156.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814122206 $179.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130220 $144.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814125124 $85.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102326 $88.00

SOUND CARD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829102178 $71.00

SOUND SYSTEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836117125 $38.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836121118 $54.99

HARDDRIVE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148015 $56.00

ETHERNET CARD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833180004 $5.00

WIRELESS ROUTER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833124010 $46.99

WIRELESS PCI ADAPTER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833124115 $39.99

OPERATING SYSTEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102034 $149.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102153 $149.95

WIRELESS KEYBOARD & MOUSE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16823126168 $24.95

17' LCD MONITOR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824116357 $209.99

Keep in mind these things:

This is supposed to be a full setup, so hes not borrowing anything from any other computer. I tried to get everything he needs, so if I left something out, tell me.

Also, I think he should get a decent card to have Morrowind and World of Warcraft run, then upgrade to a very good card when Oblivion comes out.

There is only one thing I'm concerned about, and that is the motherboard not matching the back of the cases, for all the ports.

Is Windows x64 Edition worth getting, or should he get XP Professional?
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
140
My suggestion is go with an AMD 64 3000+ processor or higher (AMD 64 is the CPU not he mother board btw). This CPU would require a socket 754 mother board. Be sure to get a good CPU fan. No need to overheat and fry the CPU to save $10.

I like the gforce FX series video cards. Get at least 128Mb, 256 if you can afford to. They are all AGP I think but not sure.

512Mb DDR PC3200 RAM should run just about any game at minimum requirements. 1Gb would be best.

And when uying parts DO NOT buy anything from a cheap manufactuerer, like PCChips, if you do you are asking for a headache. Comes from personal experience. Asus and Chaintech are decent brands.

Good luck and happy building.
 

Gamerhomie

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
113
If I'm going to get the Asus, then I'm thinking I should get one of the bundle pack combo processors that are listed right under the motherboard.

So, here is another updated list, narrowed down. Is this it? Should he get this setup:

CASE
Antec $124.00

MOTHERBOARD
Asus $160.99

PROCESSOR
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ $545.00

RAM
Corsair 1GB (2x512MB) $82.99

VIDEO CARD
Leadtek PX6600 GT $164.00

DVD-BURNER
Lite-On $47.99

SOUND CARD
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 $71.00

SPEAKERS
Logitech 5.1 $54.99

HARDDRIVE
Seagate $56.00

WIRELESS ROUTER
Linksys $46.99

WIRELESS PCI ADAPTER
Linksys $39.99

WIRELESS KEYBOARD & MOUSE
Logitech $24.95

MONITOR
Viewsonic 17' LCD $209.99

OPERATING SYSTEM
Windows XP Professional w/SP2 $145.95
 

crjdriver

Moderator
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
43,045
FWIW I have built systems with the asus a8v deluxe and the soltek board you have selected. My personal favorite is the soltek. It is more stable than the asus board. If I work hard at it, I can make the asus boards lock-up or freeze. I have never been able to make the soltek nf4 do that [and I have really tried]
 
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