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Building a computer (+ pics of yours)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I really need a new computer and I was thinking about building my own. So I looked to Newegg's DIY combos and will probably get one of those. However, I want to make sure I have all the necessary things. Let's say I get this (haven't really decided). The only thing I would need to add is an HDD, optical drive(I would want one), and Windows 7 right? I believe the CPU comes with a cooling fan, and I don't plan on overclocking, so stock should be fine. Would I need some thermal paste? I also would imagine all cables are included with the Case and MOBO. Also, aren't all drivers installed with W7 via internet connection?

 

I apologize for my choppy sentence fluency, basically I'm looking for advice and things to keep in mind for building my first computer.

 

And so this thread isn't too boring feel free to post pics of your battle stationpopcorn.gif

post #2 of 27

You are correct on what you would need to add; drivers will come from the device manufacturer's in general though (Windows Update can technically perform this duty, although it's usually quicker to just snag the drivers directly). There will also be CDs/DVDs included with the hardware with drivers - usually outdated by the time they arrive in your hands, but they can be useful in getting everything up and running (especially if you lack an Internet connection, or an always-on connection).

 

If you've got some time to kill, you might give a TechReport System Guide a looking over, might be able to piece something together from that for around the same money. What you've found is not "bad" though (however it may be entirely unsuited to your specific applications; without knowing what your end-goal is, that's hard to judge) - seems like they've just simplified the shopping process (years and years ago, "build kits" were usually plagued with low quality components that could ultimately ruin an otherwise good package). 

 

Oh, and of course remember things like a keyboard, monitor, headphones, etc.

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 27
I haven't built a computer since I got into audio, so I'm rusty about the latest by several years.

My advice, however, is to invest in a good case and power supply. Everything else is more or less disposable after a couple of years. My Linux box hasn't been fooled with since 2005 or so, but the CoolerMaster WaveMaster case and PCP&C power supply will work with whatever I upgrade to. Maybe I will after the first of the year. I'm still running a 2.0GHz Athlon64. It still works, but maybe it's time for something newer.
post #4 of 27

Check out newegg for some videos and help

 

No pics from me, mine just looks like a dell with a entire swap of the internals.

 

No soundcard though, always though they were useless.

 

Tips:

More Ram the better, see what your OS will handle. I'm running 64bit W7 and I can run 8gb of ram

Intel is a waste of money

I've never had good luck with CoolMaster anything

Get at least 2Tb of HD if your music collection is digital. I'm up to about 8TB as it is. 6TB is music.

Videocard at least. Nothing fancy if you're not going to be gaming. But it does help.

Best to go Mac if your a Audiophile, but I like windows better.

Don't waste money on a expensive case. Waste of money.

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilkoolaidman View Post

I really need a new computer and I was thinking about building my own. So I looked to Newegg's DIY combos and will probably get one of those. However, I want to make sure I have all the necessary things. Let's say I get this (haven't really decided). The only thing I would need to add is an HDD, optical drive(I would want one), and Windows 7 right? I believe the CPU comes with a cooling fan, and I don't plan on overclocking, so stock should be fine. Would I need some thermal paste? I also would imagine all cables are included with the Case and MOBO. Also, aren't all drivers installed with W7 via internet connection?

 

I apologize for my choppy sentence fluency, basically I'm looking for advice and things to keep in mind for building my first computer.

 

And so this thread isn't too boring feel free to post pics of your battle stationpopcorn.gif


I just built a PC a couple months ago, DIY kit from Tiger Direct. They have some nice systems, complete with case, mobo, HDD and optical drives, etc. Add an OS and you're there. Assembly isn't difficult at all, but do be careful of ESD.

 

This is the kit I bought: (Not sure what your budget/purpose is, but I wanted a PC that would be useful for several years.This thing is a beast, amazingly fast.)

 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=692378&CatId=333

 

I doubled the RAM to 16GB. I built this system to allow me to edit HD video, so the more RAM the better. I also went with 64 bit Windows 7 Pro.

 

pic:

 

IMAG0403-L.jpg

 

This system is liquid cooled, but these days that isn't really any more difficult than installing a stock CPU fan. (I do plan on overclocking this when I get the time to tinker with it) I would recommend buying some thermal paste - the stock Intel fan had way too much thermal paste applied. (I was also less than impressed by Intel's CPU mounting system - getting good contact between the heatsink and CPU was kind of dicey, IMO at least). Clean off the old paste and apply this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/DIAMOND-CARAT-GRAM-THERMAL-COMPOUND/dp/B0042IEVD8/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1315566400&sr=8-22

 

Stuff is awesome, much better cooling than the stock paste. With the same cooling system, I was able to drop the CPU temp at full load by 10 degrees C.

 


On the system you're looking at, I would double the RAM. Get W7 64-bit. The video card is pretty good (I have the same card), but it's not the best for serious gaming. I'm a casual gamer, so it's fine for my purposes. The power supply should be fine for that system (I have the Corsair 750 watt model).
 

 

post #6 of 27

Stock cooling will do, but an aftermarket one will keep your CPU cooler. The stock ones aren't exactly ice cold. Also, check how many fans does the case have. IMO 3 is the minimum. The motherboard seems fine, if you changed your mind and decided to go with another system, make sure the motherboard has the B3 chips on it. B2 has a problem with SATA II. I don't see anything missing right now. What are you using this system for ?


Edited by Parall3l - 9/9/11 at 5:05am
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parall3l View Post

Stock cooling will do, but an aftermarket one will keep your CPU cooler. The stock ones aren't exactly ice cold. Also, check how many fans does the case have. IMO 3 is the minimum. The motherboard seems fine, if you changed your mind and decided to go with another system, make sure the motherboard has the B3 chips on it. B2 has a problem with SATA II. I don't see anything missing right now. What are you using this system for ?


I definitely agree with the stock cooling comment. On my system, I saw full-load CPU temps pushing 80 C, using the stock Intel fan. With the aftermarket cooler, it rarely hits 60 C.

 

post #8 of 27

I've never had a problem with stock coolers as long as thermal paste is properly applied, but yes, even an inexpensive aftermarket cooler will bring down core temps.

I prefer aluminum cases for their light weight. The Corsair TX750 is a helluva nice PSU and if you shop around you should be able to get one for $80-$100.

 

With all that said, the last time I went to build a new computer, I found a refurbed Gateway for $500 that was better than I could have built for the same money.

post #9 of 27

I don't think it's necessary to spend this much even for normal purposes (and certainly no need for an aftermarket CPU cooler if he's not going to overclock anyway..). You can get a decent system that will do the same (I'm guessing OP, unless you want to do a lot of gaming/video editing) for about 200$ less. But then, I'm really budget-conscious. Also depends on how long you want the system to last.

Case is ok, although a better one is more aesthetically pleasing and may provide better airflow and cable management. If you'd go along with my suggestions for building a really budget-conscious system (only for casual gaming/no video editing) that will do things just as well, I'd say: mobo: switch to AMD Athlon II x4 or lower end Phenom II x4, don't invest in USB 3.0 and SATA 3, so a card around the 100$ price point should do it; graphics card should be fine, although I'm not up to date with graphics cards, you might get a better performance with 2GB VRAM depending on the resolution of the monitor you're using; no need to go for a 650 Watt PSU unless you're considering dual graphics cards, around 500 Watt is more than enough from a reputable company! (Corsair is good), even 450W might still scrape it if you choose a low-power consumption graphics card; also 8GB of RAM are recommended.

Most of the extra cost comes from the new technologies which only would make sense to invest in if you constantly maintain and upgrade your system or use the latest technology, which would run your budget to over $1000 to be worthwhile or if you are into overclocking, for which good and stable technology is necessary.

 

EDIT: it's important that the mobo can match the CPU specification-wise (to avoid bottlenecking), I find this is the most difficult part in researching a new system, then you have to find a matching graphics card (matching CPU performance), then pick PSU and RAM accordingly. If you don't want to research, then the combo you listed will of course also do it's job.


Edited by feNcheL - 9/9/11 at 10:49am
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilkoolaidman View Post

I really need a new computer and I was thinking about building my own. So I looked to Newegg's DIY combos and will probably get one of those. However, I want to make sure I have all the necessary things. Let's say I get this (haven't really decided). The only thing I would need to add is an HDD, optical drive(I would want one), and Windows 7 right? I believe the CPU comes with a cooling fan, and I don't plan on overclocking, so stock should be fine. Would I need some thermal paste? I also would imagine all cables are included with the Case and MOBO. Also, aren't all drivers installed with W7 via internet connection?

 

I apologize for my choppy sentence fluency, basically I'm looking for advice and things to keep in mind for building my first computer.

 

And so this thread isn't too boring feel free to post pics of your battle stationpopcorn.gif




In my humble opinion, this rig is not as balanced as I feel it should be

I think for the RAM, 1333MHz DDR3 should be used instead, since 1600MHz RAMs do not really have a visible performance increase over the 1333MHz ones.

With the RAM lowered down to 1333MHz, the Graphics Card should be replaced with a GeForce GTX560Ti, one of the bang for buck cards today.

 

If I assume your budget here is $700...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.693504

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139398

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131389

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151095

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112238

 

AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE + MSI 970A-G45

2x4GB Kingston 1333MHz DDR3

Powercolor HD6950 1GB
Seasonic M12-II 620W

Lancool K58

 

I dropped the processor slightly in favour of the graphics card

PSU and Casing are from reputable companies, PSU is 80 PLUS Bronze and should be fine for most uses, Lancool casings are well built and are easy to install for most users

 

if you can find a better deal get a i5-2400, perhaps along with a P67 motherboard, and that should be fine for most uses

 

As for my setup,

 

Image0227.jpg

 

To be honest a pretty poor setup, I should have gone for a Phenom II x4 955 + an ATX mobo and HD5770 (or even 5850) but instead gone for a i5-750 +HD5750

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks for all the help (this is why I love Head-Fi). As for my needs, they're pretty general. I don't currently game on my computer, so the ability for it to do so is not necessary. But If I can get one within my price range that can, I guess having the option would be nice. Also, I'm under the assumption that you need a GPU unless the MOBO has on-board graphics. Is this true?

 

Someone also mentioned getting a Mac, and I have looked at the Mac mini, but I realize that the lack of an optical drive would be annoying (yes I know you can buy external). And I'm sure that I would find that some of my favorite software wouldn't be compatible with OSX. Of course, I could install windows, but then I could've just gone with windows in the first place. However, I do use iTunes and most of my music is in ALAC.

 

As far as my current situation, I'm coming from a Laptop with a 1.6GHz Celeron M and XP, so just about anything I would get today would be an upgrade. It runs fairly smoothly (mainly because it's maxed out with a whopping 2GB of RAM) but I definitely notice its limits.

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilkoolaidman View Post

Wow, thanks for all the help (this is why I love Head-Fi). As for my needs, they're pretty general. I don't currently game on my computer, so the ability for it to do so is not necessary. But If I can get one within my price range that can, I guess having the option would be nice. Also, I'm under the assumption that you need a GPU unless the MOBO has on-board graphics. Is this true?

 

Someone also mentioned getting a Mac, and I have looked at the Mac mini, but I realize that the lack of an optical drive would be annoying (yes I know you can buy external). And I'm sure that I would find that some of my favorite software wouldn't be compatible with OSX. Of course, I could install windows, but then I could've just gone with windows in the first place. However, I do use iTunes and most of my music is in ALAC.

 

As far as my current situation, I'm coming from a Laptop with a 1.6GHz Celeron M and XP, so just about anything I would get today would be an upgrade. It runs fairly smoothly (mainly because it's maxed out with a whopping 2GB of RAM) but I definitely notice its limits.



I think they all have video outs. I've got one with twin HDMI. But then I have a video card. It's still smart to get a cheapy video card to throw in.

 

Wow, I've got your laptop in my receiver. biggrin.gif I USED to have one before.

 

Really, if you'd like another laptop, anything will do. You don't have to build one. You'll lose about $100-150 in process, but it's a little nicer to have a complete laptop.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilkoolaidman View Post

 Also, I'm under the assumption that you need a GPU unless the MOBO has on-board graphics. Is this true?

 

With the sandy bridge line of CPUs (i5, i3, i7 2xxx, socket 1155) You'll need a motherboard with a Z or H chipset for the graphics chip integrated onto the CPU to work. (P67 is out of the question) 

post #14 of 27
ohhhhhhh yea, check out my sexy beast

pcdirt.jpg

hot isn't it? i know you guys are totally jelly right now.
Edited by RexAeterna - 9/10/11 at 5:23pm
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parall3l View Post



With the sandy bridge line of CPUs (i5, i3, i7 2xxx, socket 1155) You'll need a motherboard with a Z or H chipset for the graphics chip integrated onto the CPU to work. (P67 is out of the question) 



Cool thanks



Quote:
Originally Posted by RexAeterna View Post

ohhhhhhh yea, check out my sexy beast

pcdirt.jpg

hot isn't it? i know you guys are totally jelly right now.


I opened my mom's computer recently (Dell dimension 3000) and it pretty much looked like this. Not as bad, but there were some very large dust bunnies.

 

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