TechSpot

Case questions, new computer question (sorry if this isnt the right place to post)

By nosgothhunter
Sep 22, 2005
  1. Hi :)
    Well im going in to get a pc built for me in a few days time but the problem is this. The cases they have in there look really old fashioned! (bad spelling) and just plane yukky! Soo i have decided to buy my own case off of e-bay. So my questions are this :)

    1: Are all the cases the same? please say they are! other wise im screwed and damned to live my hole life with a really horrible tower :(..

    2: THis is a really stuiped question but please..dont laugh.. if i went to dell.com and brought a computer..then i went to a smallish shop in town (which are very cheap) Do you think that the little shop would be cheaper? Just the computer i want off of dell is like £1,800. yet im only aming to pay £1,500 - £1,600. (with monitor) This would be for a good gaming computer. So which is it?:)

    3: is it possible to get a great gaming computer for £1,500?

    thanks for any help you can give :) - from Adam-knox :)
     
  2. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,851

    1. No. Well not technically speaking. But the one used in the majority of motherboards today (I mean a large majority) is the ATX form factor. If you could prvide the mobo. name and model I (or someone) can tell you for sure. But its almost definitly an ATX.

    2.Normally local shops cant compete with big retailers. I have found you will be paying more for the same "specs." at a local shop But take into acount that most PC shops use higher quality parts. ANd not to mention you have someone to actually talk to, instad of a phone number.

    3. You bet. If you would like us to help you pick out parts, just say the word, its not as hrad as you think, and will save a lot of money.

    Hope this helps

    Sean

    BTW-excuse any bad spelling, its late and i just got off work :eek:
     
  3. nosgothhunter

    nosgothhunter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Thanks for your reply :) gee you guys are nice on here compared to other Message boards!

    Ah oh well Ill Ask if they have a catalog or something or just jazz it up with stickers lol

    See i went to college to study computers for 2 years! One of the courses i took was ,hardware and pc building' this ran for two years and i swear i didnt get my hands on one peice of hardware! We just learnt Binary and what the peices are called! To me thats ok to learn but you dont need it when building computers (the binary i mean) So Im really lost pon hardware. I do understand the main gist of it for example the processing speeds, Hard ware sizes, 7800GTX graphic card is the best lol (well thats what i was told)

    See the only trouble i have is the guy in the shop, he talks in tech talk and bombards you with figures and stuff which i dont understand. So i do actuly need a list just to go in and say "look this is what i want, how much?" lol I know what i want but not what the hardware is called and whats the best make :( So thats a very kind offer lol And im going to take you up on it :) Which forum is best to post a mesage in? See i have a list right here in front of me so i just kinda need some one to say what parts to ask for and stuff :)

    So any one fancy helping?? :) If you help i will name a new harddrive in my computer after you lol

    P.s I know what you mean :/ its 5am so my spellings the same:)
     
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    I've found I can't beat dell on price on their cheapest models, but I can beat them in the mid range and high range, plus I'd be using better quality parts.

    You might want to tell us what you want to do with the pc(you say gaming, but what type of games, rts, fps, etc, and would you do anything else, like video editing, etc?), and we could help you decide what you need, then you could take the list to the pc shop, or build it yourself if you like.
     
  5. nosgothhunter

    nosgothhunter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Hi :)
    Yep thats what kind of got me worried, the cheap dell models are pretty good! £400 for a computer better than the one i have now (£800 brought price)

    I would like to build it my self!! lol but i dont think i have the knowlege. i borrowed books and stuf about it but it seems way to hard :( shame i would of liked doing it. Unless its easy to put togeather and once i get all the parts its just a screw togeather job :)

    Ok Umm here is the list :) thanks very much

    Things I will be doing with the computer.


    Playing games
    I normally play games like Unreal tournament so defiantly FPS, Strategy games like Command and conquer, Age of mythology. Online games like Matrix online, city of heroes RPG? Just every type of game really…games with out freezing lol hate that! So I want it to be a no freeze zone!

    Video Editing
    I would actually like to edit videos quite a lot Home movies and just making random videos from ripped DVD’s.

    Image editing
    When I say image editing I don’t mean really deep high powered programs. I mean I use Paint shop por 9 now on this slow-ish computer and im quite happy with this.

    Media
    I do use my computer as a media centre as well, listening to music, watching dvd’s, ripping DVD’s, downloading music etc. So I do really want a DVD rewriter / CD rewriter.

    Random stuff
    I do normal every day things on the computer too like word processing, small database’s (Microsoft Access) surfing the internet and so on.



    Hardware I feel I would need
    This is just a few things I do really want.

    USB
    About 6-8 as I have a scanner, keyboard, printer, web cam, etc to plug in. At the moment I only have 4 which gets a bit annoying having to unplug one to use the other.

    RAM

    Has to be 1GB or more. I use AOL, which needs 128MB so that’s quite a drain if I’m playing online games.

    DVD- ROM / DVD RW / CD RW
    For ripping and creating dvd’s. Ive also heard some games need dvd-rom

    Hard drive
    Quite a big harddrive as I do have quite a lot of music and home movies. I mean I could live with 250GB but I would prefer a lot more, maybe double that.

    A video board
    So I can tape from my video too the computer (if this is possible)

    I think that’s about it. one and one more thing I would prefer it to be quite lol my kind of loud :/

    P.s sorry about my puntuation, its seriously not my strong point :)
     
  6. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Ok, here's a general suggestion of a rig.
    Cpu: amd 64 x2, one of the first 3 listed.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/AMD_64_X2.html

    Board: Gigabyte sli board. Top one.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Gigabyte_Socket_939.html
    OR
    Asus a8n sli deluxe, third down
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/ASUS_Socket_939.html
    OR
    Abit An8 sli, second down.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/ABIT_Socket_939.html

    Ram: corsair vs 1gb kit cas 2.5. Fifth one down.(or third down for 2gb)
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Corsair_Value_Select.html

    Video: Bfg 7800gtx OC, fourth one down.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/7800_Series.html

    Hd: seagate 250gb sata, quantity 2. Fifth down.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Seagate2.html

    Power supply: enermax sli. Second down.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Enermax_111.html

    That's a start, you'd need a dvd-rw, case, xp, monitor, key, mouse, etc still.

    So far, about 1100 pounds(inc. vat). I think you can get all that plus the dvd, case, xp, monitor(if you're conservative anyway), key, mouse, etc, for less than 1500.
     
  7. nosgothhunter

    nosgothhunter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    hello :)
    Thank you very much for the list. Ive just added it to the list :) filled in ALOT of gaps. I do have a question about the processor you have chosen tho:)
    See I have a Celeron Processor 2.GHZ at the moment and omg its so slow!! It can only play games which require about 400Hmz even then it Keeps freezing and stuff. So would a 2.2GHz AMD be any better? I heard I should go for at least 3.4Ghz :/ If I have this wrong I am so sorry just wana clear it in my head ya no?

    Also would any monitor work is any computer? Cause I guess I could use this monitor or something till I find a good deal?

    Is it true that two graphic cards will play games faster?

    Thanks once again this is my near enough finished List now :) All i need now in the money lol should have enough around december / January.

    RAM
    Corsair vs 1gb kit cas 2.5.

    Video
    Bfg 7800gtx OC

    Motherboard
    Gigabyte K8NXP-9 nForce4 Ultra (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-031-GI)

    Hard Drive
    Two Seagate 250gb sata.

    Power supply:
    enermax sli
     
  8. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,851

    While a 2ghz Intel CPU is slow, a 2.2ghz AMD cpu is not. Amds are much more efficent. Generally the number AMD gives to the CPU (3000+, 4000+ etc) are used to compare to the Intels.

    aka. a 3ghz Intel = a 3000+ AMD (for the most part)

    Depends on the monitor. There are two connectors used today, VGA( for CRT) and DVI (LCD) and most video cards have connectors for both, while some high end cards only support DVI
     
  9. nosgothhunter

    nosgothhunter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Ah i gtcha :)

    Ive just had a look on th website of the shop intown and it has a AMD3400+ processor 'AMD Atholon 64 Bit 3200+' for £145 So say one of them would be fine? and fast enough to run Every game? (processor wise)
    http://www.geminicomputers.co.uk/frame.htm

    As i think mine is a VGA (CRT) Ill just buy it in the same shop im sure he will say if the monitor i choose will work with it :)

    Any advice on Flat panal monitors? I was aiming to pay about £170 on a 16"+

    Btw just wana say thanks again :) your seriously filling in loads of gaps:)
     
  10. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Be sure you get a compatible cpu, there are amd64 socket 754 and amd64 socket 939 cpus, the 939 socket is newer and better.
    The reason I say this is I think the 3400+ would be a socket 754(older cpu), a 3200+ could be either. I think you should look for a amd64 socket 939 cpu of 2.2+ghz(equiv to intel 3.2ghz+), and look for a winchester or venice core version of the cpu, venice is newer.

    The cpus I listed were "dual core" amd64 X2 cpus, they have 2 cpus in one physical chip. It helps in multitasking, and some future games will utilize both cores to make the game run better.
    For now a single core is fine though.

    A card like a 7800gtx has 2 dvi connectors for connecting lcds, but almost all 7800gtx's include 1 or 2 dvi to vga adapters, so you can use it with a regular vga or with dvi or one dvi and one vga, your choice.
    I've heard viewsonic is good for flat panels, look for a low resonse time, like 8ms or 12ms, they work better for gaming.

    Hope this helps you.

    Edit: Here's a good flat panel. (it might be too much money though)
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/lcd17.html
    Viewsonic vp171b
     
  11. nosgothhunter

    nosgothhunter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Hi :)
    Right I have just collected all the information you have given me from the links you provided and I have worked out it will be about (with out the monitor) £1,366.20
    I have also added £20 for things like fans, wires e.t.c they may charge me :) Also added £50 for a sound card (I think it was sound blaster 7.1) something like that.

    The grand total with that Gorgeous monitor you sent me a link too lol The grand total will be 1662.89. I’m hoping as I’m buying a lot the guy might give me a discount or something.

    I think chances are ill keep this monitor until I can save up and buy the other monitor. Bit of a pain but oh well.

    Here is a list of the items I think ill get and also a price list of what is expected.


    Tower Case
    Unknown at this point

    O/S
    Xp

    Processor
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+
    Or
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+

    RAM
    Corsair vs 1gb kit cas 2.5.

    Video
    BFG GeForce 7800 GTX OC 256MB GDDR3 VIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-009-BG)

    Motherboard
    Gigabyte K8NXP-9 nForce4 Ultra (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard (MB-031-GI)

    Hard Drive
    Seagate 250gb sata.
    &
    Seagate 250gb sata.

    Power supply:
    enermax sli

    Other
    TV-Tuner or Video-Capture-Board for analogue capturing (where you can tape Video onto computer)

    DVD-ROM with DVD re-writer and CD re writer

    Case £100.00-
    Drives £50.00
    Graphics Card £352.44
    Hard Drive £170.00
    O/S £50.00
    Processor £220.00
    RAM x2 £160.00
    Sound Card £50.00
    Mother Board £117.44
    Wires,fans £20.00
    Power Supply £76.32
    Total £1,366.20


    Monitor £246.69
    Speakers £50.00

    Right, i feel a lot better now about buying this as I now know this computer will be fast enough to play all games on the market and also in the future :)


    Thanks very much for all your help once again :) its very much appreciated! Ive actually learnt more in two days about PC hardware than I did in my two year college I.T course. Lol
     
     
  12. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    For cases, it really depends on your idea of what looks good.
    For a nice looking case that's not too fancy, check out the top one here.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Antec_Cases.html

    Or, another case I like, the coolermaster wave master black(fifth down).
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Coolermaster_Cases_126.html

    Or there are lots of cases with windows, lights, etc out there, it's hard to recommend because it all depends on what a person likes.

    Also, you wouldn't need to get 2 1gb kits of ram, if you want 2gb, get a 2gb kit(2 1gb sticks). Third one down.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Corsair_Value_Select.html
    The reason is that you can put 4 memory sticks on the motherboard, but you'll get much faster performance if you have 2 sticks instead.

    The motherboard you chose, the gigabyte k8nxp-9 is a good one, the one above it, is also good. The top one can use two identical graphics cards for better performance, but with a card like a 7800gtx oc, I doubt you'd really ever need two cards.http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Gigabyte_Socket_939.html

    The motherboards also include 7.1 channel audio, so you wouldn't need a soundcard, but a sound card likely has better audio quality, so either way, some people get cards, while others are satisfied with the integrated sound.

    As for speakers, the speakers I have, logitech x530's, seem nice to me, and were a really good price. I'm sure they're not the best sound quality, but I have no complaints.

    For dvd burners, I've heard the nec 3540 is good.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/DVD_RW_Drives.html

    Another possibility, OcUk has prebuilt gaming systems, one is fairly close to the system specs you list, it's the "ultima sli" FS-005-OK It's the third from the last one.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/full_systems.html

    The model "verso" FS-012-OK is also similar, and it's a small form factor(shoe box sized) pc.
     
  13. nosgothhunter

    nosgothhunter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Hey sorry for the late reply :)

    Well ive now decided Ill have a go and build it my self :) I found a good PDF file on Shareza which explaines it well :) I think I will have a bit if trouble with setting the mother board settings, Backing a disk so I can reset the computer if any problems arise in a few years time and maybe with the harddrives too but apart from that all seems fairly straight forward :) I can always come on here and check out if there are any answers to any problems I have :)

    So will ANY case go with the mother board we picked out? I liked the ones u linked me too thought I saw some others on the same page which I preferred (sorry) lol Will I need a stronger power supply if I use any LED lights or fancy lights on the outside etc?

    Would you personally suggest I get the other one then, with the double graphic card slots?

    Ive just opened my computer up and I cant see a soundcard anywhere (meaning I must have a motherboard with a soundcard on it) and im more than happy with my sound which is a 5.1. So 7.1 will be fine :) thanks for that save a bit more money :)

    Do all dvd drives have DVD-ROM? Just I’ve heard that more and more games require DVD-ROM.

    I was very tempted by the first computer you showed me but after thinking hard about it I would really prefer building it my self, more satisfying by the end :) also now I have chosen all the stuff and I know it all works together its less daunting :) I do one a few questions (yet again)

    Where would be the best place to get the parts from (at a lowish price) Would E-BAY be a good place?

    Is building a computer a hard thing to do? From what the guide said its just like a slot in, screw in job :)

    P.s about the ram sorry I meant to put just buy one of them :) Though I cud always upgrade at a later date I suppose :)
     
  14. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner TS Rookie Posts: 149




    i have spent $1600 (AUD) and my comp werks great. SPECS:

    Thermaltake Armor case
    ASUS A8V Deluxe
    Lite-On DVD ROM (not included)
    x1 Maxtor 60GB IDE (not included)
    x1 ATI (and/or) Sapphire <-- Graphics by ATI?
    430watt power supply
    8 fans: 1 top 1 front 2 back 1 vid card 1 CPU 2 power supply
     
  15. nosgothhunter

    nosgothhunter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    omg 8 fans? I only got one in this computer lol well maybe two One on the processor and one on the power supply :/
     
  16. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    That's neat. I think you should be fine building, just take your time, don't force things too hard, and read the manuals. Also read some guides to get a mental picture before you start.
    Here's one, it's a little long.
    http://www.hardwarezone.com/guides/amd-socket939/

    Any ATX case(not Matx, micro atx), will work. It's really just preference of style, features, price, etc, so have your pick.

    Led's, cathodes, etc do take more power, here you can see what some stuff takes.
    http://www.extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp

    I'd suggest the Sli(double graphics) board if you think you might ever want to add a second identical video card. I don't know if you'd need more power than one 7800gtx in the near future though, it should last a long time(computer wise anyway).

    Dvd burners (dvd+/-rw's), can burn dvds, play dvd, burn cds, and play cds, so it can do it all basically.


    I'm not sure if I'd trust buying off ebay, especially if it's used. I've heard good things about overclockers.co.uk, but since I live in the US, I haven't used any Uk stores in pc purchases, so I can't really tell you. I think I've also heard of scan.

    I wouldn't say it's hard, when I built my first one, I had only one issue, and it was whether I should put thermal material on the heatsink of my cpu, and I didn't have to because the retail version of the amd64 has a thermal pad built into the heatsink.
    Some tips, put the cpu and ram on the board outside the case if you can and still get the board in the case, it makes it easier to install them. If your case has long enough front panel (led, buttons) wires, wire the front panel outside the case, where there's better lighting, and easier access. Install the psu before the mainboard.

    Good luck.
     
  17. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner TS Rookie Posts: 149




    i know someone who built his own case and he has 27 in it - i love fans - or water kits - or someother cool cooling system
     
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