New advice on customizing my new computer

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by TheSpartan117, May 26, 2007.

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  1. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    Hello everyone. I'm new here so you'll have to excuse me since I'm not used to this site yet. But see, here's the problem I need help with: I want to customize my own new comp since there's a store in town that lets you customize your own computer the way you want to but I don't know what specific hardware components to customize it with. Please advise. Thank you. :)
     
  2. daveid

    daveid Ancient Guru

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    umm.. be a little more specific..
    like, what do you use your computer for, is noise important, or appearance, etc.
     
  3. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    I would like to have something quiet yet efficient. Like, maybe an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, one of the newer ATI Graphics Cards and a decent motherboard with 1 PCI-Express Slot, 2 AGP Slots and 1 PCI Slot. I'm not entirely sure what I want yet but I think that's what I'm going to shoot for.
     
  4. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    1. What is the primary use of this computer? Gaming, Graphic Editing, Web Browsing, etc...
    2. What is the name of the retailer you'll be getting this from?
    3. How much money do you have to spend on it?
    4. Is this a prefab retailer? Is it one of those setups where you can select form a list what parts go in it or are you actually taking them a list of what you want and they are building it for you?
     

  5. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    Well.
    1. The primary use would be a mixture of Gaming/Homework.
    2. The retailer is Minco Technology Center.
    3. I don't exactly have the money right now to buy it, I'm just thinking ahead.
    4. I'm not exactly sure if they let you choose from a list or if you create your own list and you bring it to them and they build it.
     
  6. RTSAnime

    RTSAnime Master Guru

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    You want PCI Express and AGP? Why? And I only know of one board that supports it and its not even real AGP. There is no reason for AGP anymore. AGP is only for GPUs and if you have PCI Express then you might as well use that.
     
  7. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    Since your just getting an idea I'll go ahead and throw out some recommendations.

    PSU: Find out what they offer, write them down, and list/ask about it here. This is a very important part and not something that should be chosen lightly.

    Motherboard: I would see what is available to you and then ask here. Finding a motherboard that technically meets your needs is not always the best way to go. Many motherboards have issues with BIOS, failing components, bugs/glitches, heat issues, etc... Considering that everything plugs into the motherboard this is definitely an item you want to choose with care. In my experience no one manufacturer has proven to be "safe" as all have released the occasional "bomb" from time to time.

    CPU: Definitely go with a Core 2 Duo. I recommend one of the lower E4300 or E6300 models. Unless you have the cash to burn I wouldn't bother spending the extra money for the 4MB L2 Cache versions as the performance gain is minimal in gaming and general PC use. The extra 2MB cache really only shines in certain PC applications.

    RAM: I would go for 1GB minimum but recommend getting 2GB if you can afford it. Anymore than 2GB is overkill for most things right now. 1GB will ensure you have enough to get by and you will be very comfortable with 2GB. As far as manufacturers go Corsair, GeIL, mushkin, WINTEC, pqi, Patriot, OCZ, and Crucial are all very respectable and dependable.

    Note: Many people recommend G-Skill but I've had horrible luck with 7 of the 9 sticks I've gotten from them arriving DOA. If you check out the NewEgg customer reviews there is an average of about 1 out of every 4 sticks arriving DOA. Personally I would avoid them as there are many other more reliable manufacturers to choose from.

    Graphics Card: I would go with Nvidia but that is just a personal preference. Nvidia has just been on top of their game with their product lines the last year or two and I don't think you'll regret going with them. As far as card manufacturers go I highly recommend EVGA or BFGTech for their outstanding customer service and excellent lifetime warranties.

    Sound: Onboard sound will be fine for many but if you really want to get immersed in your games then I highly recommend buying a card. I don't think you can go wrong with a Creative Audigy2 or X-Fi XtremeGamer. Both are high quality cards that deliver awesome sound and fully support EAX which rocks nuts in games.

    Hard Drive: Hard drives are pretty easy to choose from. Just figure out how much space you need and pick from Seagate, Hitachi, Western Digital, or Maxtor. I would also choose from one of those manufacturers in the order listed above. I've had great success with Seagate and Hitachi in the past. I've only owned one WD and one Maxtor in the past and both have died very young.

    Case: The case but the case is something best chosen once you figure out what is going inside it. Depending on the rig you'll need a case that can accommodate it well. Some rigs puts out a lot of heat, some requires passive cooling, some require support of a BTX motherboard, some need side fans, etc...

    AGP vs PCI-E: AGP was used for graphics cards several years ago. AGP has since been phased out. PCI-E is what is used these days and graphics cards are now much faster thanks to the technology. I wouldn't bother looking for a board with an AGP slot unless your dead set on using an older graphics card.

    I think I covered everything here. If I have missed something you would like some advice or more information about please let me know :thumbup:.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
  8. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    Thanks again for the information. I very much appreciate it. I'm not necessarily the most computer literate person but I do not plenty about computers; not so much the hardware as it is the software. I wasn't particularly sure if I should go with a PCI-Express Slot or AGP Slot. I know PCI-Express is better but has there been any known issues with PCI-Express Slots and the graphics cards that go inside of them? Please advise again. Thanks. :pc1: :biggun: :vader: :rpg: :camo:
     
  9. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    There are always issues when it comes to computer hardware. However, there is nothing wrong with PCI-E that is worth noting. Other than hardware specific problems (Card X is incompatible or buggy with Motherboard Y) there are no known issues to my knowledge. I don't think there is a person on this forum that would recommend AGP to you over PCI-E. The massive support for PCI-E, community wise, alone should speak volumes.
     
  10. jazziam

    jazziam Maha Guru

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    Also, AGP cards are more expensive compared to PCIE (in most cases). The computer I built to my left was from the help of these guru's and reading reviews . If you gonna get ram, get a decent manufacturer, like Crucial =)
     

  11. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    Crucial is definitely on the high end of the spectrum as far as budget is concerned. If you don't plan on overclocking your RAM I think you would be much better off with a quality company that produces RAM that doesn't OC as well. A company like GeIL for instance :thumbup:
     
  12. jazziam

    jazziam Maha Guru

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    Agreed =)
     
  13. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I appreciate it. But there is still one problem I have. I don't know how to build my own computer or anything like that. Wouldn't building my own computer be more affordable budget-wise? If that's the case, is there any way I could find a website or place that you show me or teach me how to build my own computer? Please advise again. Thanks.
     
  14. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    If that's the case, is there any way I could find a website or place that could* show me or teach me how to build my own computer? Please advise again. Thanks.*
     
  15. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    It is definitely more affordable to build your own computer. There are of course more risks in building your own computer but as long as you are careful, patient, and pay attention to what you are doing, there is little room for error. I'm sure there are plenty of instructional videos available on the net, countless tutorials, and many people who would walk you through the process. A simple search on google will reveal many sources for videos and tutorials.

    Here is what I found with a quick google search, only examining the first few links.

    1) Build My Box: Complete Video Tutorial ($24.99)
    2) PCMechanic: Build Your Own PC
    3) How To Build Your Own PC Computer (YouTube)

    There are tons of videos on YouTube.com. I suggest searching there for free videos. If your willing to pay for super high quality instructions I would do some research and settle on a product like in my first link. If text and pictures are enough for you then some simple searching on google should provide you with more than enough reference material to get the job done. As always, if you have any doubts or questions please ask and do not make any assumptions :thumbup:.
     

  16. Ankit kukreti

    Ankit kukreti Ancient Guru

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    Yes that the way to go. It would be cheap and best ;). Buy different hardware components and then assemble it yourself or ask your friends or someone who has experience in it.
     
  17. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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  18. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    Thanks again everyone for being patient with me even and answering all my questions efficiently and thoroughly. Yes, I had a feeling building my own PC would be the more affordable and cheaper way to go. Do you guys have any reccomendations for motherboards? I'm looking for a motherboard with maybe 2 PCI Slots and 2 PCI-Express Slots. I'll see what I can find on newegg.com and other sites like that. Would you guys here be willing to help me find a good motherboard with those specifications or close to those specifications I gave above? That'd be great if you could. Thanks again for your knowledge and expertise.
     
  19. TheSpartan117

    TheSpartan117 Active Member

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    Mulsiphix, do you think you could explain what overclocking and the extra 4MB L2 Cache are? To be completely honest, I do not know what overclocking is at all nor do I know what the 4MB L2 Cache does. Do you think you could please clarify what these terms mean and what the L2 Cache does? Many thanks.
     
  20. garylouden

    garylouden Maha Guru

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    well i shall :D

    the 4mb of cache just means your pc will be able to access data faster thus making your pc alot more reponsive.

    overclocking you dont need to worry about, its when you increase clock speed to make your cpu run faster. like a C2D e6600 runs at 2.4ghz but some people can overclock them to 3ghz+

    dont worry about overclocking :D

    and yes Geil is a perfect ram manufacturer as they are cheap and reliable :D
     

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