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Looking to build my first pc

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by thebarksalebunch, Feb 10, 2007.

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  1. thebarksalebunch

    thebarksalebunch Thread Starter

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    Can anyone give me an idea on how to build a pc on my own? Is it really less expensive? Are there any particular brands I should look for? I'd like to have a high-performance pc, for once. One that I don't have to worry about noise, heat, drag, etc. Also, I'd like to run high-end graphics, as well as have as much security as possible on the net.

    I've read a couple of tutorials that give this as a checklist for building a pc:
    1. case
    2. hard drive
    3. cd/dvd-rom
    4. processor
    5. motherboard
    6. memory (RAM) modules
    7. power supply
    8. video/sound card
    9. keyboard/mouse
    10. drive cables
    11. motherboard spacers
    12. screws
    13. power cords
    14. CPU cooling system
    15. operating system (XP, Media Center, vista)

    But I'm afraid some of the tutorials I'm reading are outdated. Can anyone tell me about RAID 1/RAID 0? Also, what type of cooling systems should I use??

    Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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    Right...
    10,11,12,13,14 should come with what you buy, cables will come with retail drives, spacers with the case, screws come with about everything, CPU cooling, if you buy a retail CPU a heatsink and fan will come with it.
     
  3. telegramsam

    telegramsam

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    It's less expensive to build your own high end/gaming machines. It is not less expensive to build budget boxes.

    Why would you need a RAID setup? You won't get a noticeable performance boost over SATA 3.0. The data loss danger far outweighs the benefit of having a RAID setup on a home machine. Just get a Seagate 7200.10 SATA drive. You can get those up to 750GB, and add more later if you want.

    Cooling with stock HSF's and case fans is sufficient if you aren't going to overclock the machine. My best cooling recommendation is front 120mm intake fan and rear 120mm exhaust fan.

    Your biggest concerns with gaming machines are: Getting a high quality power supply that is capable of running the high quality video card you have to get. Cooling is important as well, but you don't really need to go to liquid cooling or anything if you leave the hardware at stock speeds and voltages.

    Net security is your deal. Hardware has little to do with it, aside from having a decent quality firewall router if you have high speed internet. Keeping your machine free of spyware/malware, keeping Windows up to date, and running a real-time virus scanner at all times are necessary.
     
  4. Enbee

    Enbee

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    ok... a lot of good questions. I will answer a few for you... then maybe some more experienced than i, can answer the rest.

    yes... it definitely can be less expensive to build, but it also depends on what you put in.
    case - you want a case that is going to give you good air circulation. don't go with a cheap, low-end case, cause that is all you'll get. less than $40 is pretty "cheap" unless it's on special.
    hard drive - there are several brands.... people have their favorites. mine is Western Digital - - - - if you are using it for high end graphics, as you mentioned, then you want plenty of space. A decent size hard drive could be anywhere from 150 gigs on up. You will need to figure out how much space you want.
    cd/dvd rom - yes, at least one. and depends on what you need it for
    motherboard and processor - yes you need both. i don't think i'll recommend for now, as my experience is limited in this area

    before i go on and on.... yes, you need almost everything on the list above. you might want to take a little time and do some reading on the above components to get an idea of what they are and how they work. if you go to google.com and do a search for 'how to build a pc' .. you will find tons of information. i would start there.

    good luck .... and have fun!
     
  5. loserOlimbs

    loserOlimbs

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    Well, you won't see a difference in performance between SATA 150 and SATA 300, but RAID 0 over SATA anything by itself there is a benefit. Almost as good is just making sure your drive supports NCQ, almost as fast as RAID 0, almost.
     
  6. telegramsam

    telegramsam

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    Let's just say that for a home gaming or performance machine SATA drives are easy, quick, reliable, and less expensive than a pair of Raptors.
     
  7. thebarksalebunch

    thebarksalebunch Thread Starter

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    okay, let's see if I understand everyone.

    RAID 1/0 is unneeded and expensive with a high-end SATA? Or would it be worth it to put the extra cash into doing that?

    As far as the Western Digital hard drives, they were highly rated on Newegg, but I noticed that there were major problems when there were problems. Does this happen often?

    the case generally comes with fans, so as long as I pick up one with 2-120mm fans, that would be enough cooling? I've been looking into Lian Li cases, as they seem to be high rated on Newegg.

    As far as a high quality power supply, does anyone have any specific suggestions?

    Now, as for the security question, that's a big one for me. I've tried Norton and McAfee, and neither have caught everything, of course. But I have an ex who is a hacker and loves putting spyware on my machines. I've caught it twice with McAfee, while Norton didn't have a clue. Does anyone have any suggestions on that?

    I realize that these are really open-ended questions. Call me clueless. ;) I'm in the process of changing my major from psychology to information systems technology with a specialization in IT security. (mainly because I'm sick of dealing with all the spyware, etc.) Hopefully, it won't be long before I can figure more of this out for myself.

    I just want to thank all of you for your answers and help. If I figure out what I want to buy, can I ask you guys your opinions before buying?
     
  8. telegramsam

    telegramsam

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    First of all, how does your ex get ahold of your machine in the first place? Get a firewall router and close all the ports on it and set a good password for security. Shut off remote access completely. Virus scanners catch KNOWN viruses or ones that copy known viruses. I use AVG Free, and I haven't been hit yet. Spyware and viruses are two different things. You need Spybot, CWShredder, Adaware and Hijack This to keep those under control. Also, if you have static IP (check with your ISP), change it. If it's dynamic, leave it alone. Don't send any email or have any electronic correspondence with this ex.

    The difference with RAID vs. SATA is that right now, your dollars per GB are maximized with 320 to 500 GB SATA. If you have enough data to fill one of those, then you might want to consider RAID. Right now, however, the majority of users can fit everything easily onto a 120GB drive. So the point is doing RAID is a complication that you don't necessarily need. If you don't have it, you aren't going to miss it. SATA drives these days are very quick. Western Digital makes good hard drives. Be careful with reviews on Newegg--you have no idea who they are, what skill level they possess, and if anything they are saying is even remotely true. Every manufacturer has DOA hard drives. That can be freight damage as easily as it can be just a bad drive. My personal preference is Seagate 7200.10, but don't be afraid of the WD. Those are the only two manufacturers I would recommend at the moment.

    Rather than spend the money to get a pair of drives and do RAID, do yourself a huge favor and get an external drive for backups.

    As far as fans and cases are concerned, Lian Li are excellent cases. If you get a high end case like that, don't worry about cooling just yet. If they have a pair of 120's, that should be more than enough. Fans can be added later, and you don't have a huge heat producing machine there. A Lian Li with a 120 front and 120 rear would be an excellent choice. Cable management is every bit as important as fans and fan placement. Bundle and secure your cables the best you can using velcro straps, preferably (so they can be removed and re-set easily).

    And yes, please do post a list with links to what you're looking at and we'll look for any problems.
     
  9. thebarksalebunch

    thebarksalebunch Thread Starter

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    I've had 2 separate programs on my machine. One is RemoteSpy, the other is (I forget the name) but it is supposed to be for keeping up with what goes on with a website. For example, say I have a personal website for my home business, and I want to keep up with traffic and who accesses what, I could install this on my computer at home and keep up with the servers that run my site. He has told me that he can hack into computers and when I mentioned some of the above things, he got this strange smile on his face and put his head down. Other than that, I can't prove that he's doing it. I have Sygate firewall and I installed spybot and cwshredder, and I already had hjt. Not sure if my IP is static, but I can check that tomorrow with the ISP. As far as not having email contact with him, I'd like to do that, but I'm required by our court agreement for him to have contact via email with my daughters. I guess I could access the emails through the library or something.

    Sounds as if SATA is good enough for me right now. I've got 200G right now, and I'm using about half that. I found one that I'm looking at for the new system:
    Maxtor Maxline Pro 500
    500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0G/Sec OEM
    Does this sound like a good hd? Have you heard anything about Maxtor?

    The external drive sounds like a good idea. I hear of a lot of people who store all of their docs and music files, that sort of thing, into an external, rather than the internal drive.

    Thanks so much for all your help. I appreciate it a lot.
     
  10. telegramsam

    telegramsam

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    Well, then the best you're going to be able to do is get yourself a good firewall router. Changing your IP if you're doing web service from a home machine isn't going to work well for you. And if you're corresponding via email, he'll get your IP easily enough.

    Contact with your kids is more important than worrying about spyware, but if he can plant that, he can do a lot of other malicious things. Read up on port security, watch your router log for DOS attacks and repeated hits from the same IP. If he's any good, you won't be able to track him that way, but if he's not that good, he'll leave himself exposed and your ISP will nail him. Use a good virus scanner and run the spyware programs daily. That's probably going to be as good as you can do...

    The number one concern is password security. Use long and very cryptic passwords.

    Maxtor hasn't earned a good reputation lately. I'd stick with Seagate, actually. Look at the ES series, those are server duty models. They have a five year warranty and a good track record.. With your security issues, I'd highly recommend an external drive for backups. Back up to it and unplug it from your machine when you're not actually using it.
     
  11. thebarksalebunch

    thebarksalebunch Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your patience and advice. I don't know of many places that I could have gone with all of these questions. I will be careful and be sure that I come back here when I have my specs on the new computer lined out.
     
  12. thebarksalebunch

    thebarksalebunch Thread Starter

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    Oh, and I forgot to mention. I don't run a webpage, my ex does. That's why I figure that spyware was probably from him. That program can be flipped around and used to spy on people, and it's one that it would make sense for him to have. But anyway...

    Thanks again. See you soon back here with specs!
     
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