TechSpot

Need help on building own PC

By Beanbag
Nov 11, 2007
  1. Well, it's my first time building a PC which will be used for gaming, and I'm not really sure where to start. All I know is that I'll be needing:
    * CPU
    * Motherboard
    * Memory
    * Hard Drive
    * Video Card
    * Computer Case
    * Power Supply (this is the item which I am very unsure about)
    * CD/DVD Drive
    * Sound Card (just needs to be "average")

    I suppose my budget would be about USD$900 ($1300 SGD where I live) and I guess it could be stretched a little.

    CPU: I heard AMD is good for gaming but with the new Intel Core 2 Quad, I'm not very sure..the Q6600 looks quite impressive and I'm currently eyeing it. Also, I hear that the CPU limits the type of mobo suitable for it.

    Motherboard: Okay, this is the part I'm very unclear on. Basically I understand it's a place where you chuck the processor, RAM and where you connect the sound card and graphics card (please correct me if I'm wrong). Well I'm not sure what differentiates mobos from each other so please help!!

    Memory: I suppose this would be relatively cheap compared to the rest of the parts. I'm thinking a Corsair Dominator 2gb RAM kit, but if you have any other suggestions please tell me:)

    Hard Drive: I just need a large storage device (like perhaps 300GB?), I don't think this will have a huge impact on the performance (please correct if wrong).

    Video Card: I'm pretty set on the 8800 GT, from what I've heard it gives great bang for its buck. Please post if you have other suggestions.

    Computer Case: I'm not too sure about this. I won't be needing a really good one, just a normal case with adequate ventilation would be fine. Please recommend.

    PSU: No idea, but I think it should be determined by the CPU/GPU? Please explain..

    CD/DVD Drive: Any generic one would do but I'm not sure which..

    Sound Card: Can anyone suggest a low-cost one, I'm quite sure sound cards aren't really important to performance?

    So please recommend/suggest any parts you come upon, I live in Singapore and therefore would probably need a worldwide retailer (although it limits my choices a lot). Thank you very much for viewing my thread.
     
  2. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 109

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129024

    This is a nice Antec case with an Earthwatts 500 watt PSU. Excellent combo, would be perfect for your system. Has 12cm fan. $150 shipped is also a good deal. One of the benefits of a nicer Antec case like that is that it is easier to put your system together. They are also quieter than many cases, especially when using the larger 12cm fans.
     
  3. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Looks good!..but unfortunately Newegg only delivers to the US and Puerto Rico so I'm still looking for a worldwide retailer. Thanks though:)
     
  4. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 4,048

    Sounds like you are pretty much set soon as you find a good retailer. Just a couple of things you may want to consider:

    When getting mother board - check what its maximum ram is - 2GB or 4GB usually. Check what speed of Ram is supported as well.

    Consider throwing in a 2nd high speed Hard Drive, pretty inexpensive and you can use it in a number of ways.

    And from the sounds of it you are going to need at least 500W PSU, though I have heard that the new Intel chips eat a lot less power, you dont want to get all this nice equipment just to short it on power.
     
  5. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 109

  6. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Yes, I'll make sure to get adequate power supply for my system. But, how would I know how much RAM the motherboard supports? A second high speed hard drive sounds good (if its within my budget!).

    However, I'm finding it rather hard to find a good retailer that ships worldwide! Pretty much all the online retailers I read about here ship to the US/UK...and those that don't seem rather shady.

    Thanks though:)

    EDIT: Oops, you must have posted just before I was typing out the words above. Okay, so I typed in my ZIP into the TigerDirect website to find out how much the shipping cost is. Thing is, are there ever duplicate ZIP codes? Like, someone in the US/UK/another country might have the same ZIP and TigerDirect might think I'm referring to that address instead? Sorry, I'm not that knowledgeable on this stuff. :X The bare-bone kits look great! However I'm looking for a relatively cheap one with at least a Core 2 or Quad processor. Or if you could recommend any others it would be great. Thanks alot
     
  7. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 109

    I would contact TigerDirect to see what the issue is.

    I also am aware of these guys:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Here's an excellent build I recommend.
    Asus P5K Motherboard - Intel P35, ATX, Socket 775, Audio, CrossFire Ready, PCI Express, Gigabit LAN, S/PDIF, USB 2.0 & Firewire, Serial ATA, RAID - $159.99
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor - 2.40GHz, 8MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB, Kentsfield, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket 775, BX80562Q6600, Processor with Fan - $299.99
    Crucial Ballistix Dual Channel 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz EPP Memory (2x 1024MB) - $109.99
    EVGA GeForce 8800 GT Superclocked Video Card - FREE Enemy Territory: Quake Wars PC Game, 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, Dual DVI, HDTV, Video Card - $299.99
    Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB Hard Drive - 7200, 8MB, SATA-300, OEM - $74.99
    Lite-On LH-20A1S SuperAllwrite SATA OEM DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R Burn, 16x DVD±R Read, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 48x32x CD-R/RW, No Software - $32.99
    ThermalTake / PurePower W0129RU / 600-Watt / ATX 2.2 / 120mm Fan / SATA-Ready / PCI-E Ready / Active PFC / Power Supply - $89.99
    Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Channel Sound Card - $29.99
    Cooler Master Elite 330 Black ATX Mid-Tower Case with Front USB and Audio Ports - $39.99
    Thermaltake 120mm Ball Bearing Case Fan - $8.99 x2

    Grand Total = $1155.9 and with shipping, it should be within your stipulated budget. All parts will work together well and are of the best possible quality. I recommended the case fans because they push a lot of air and are relatively quiet and inexpensive for the price. The RAM I chose will overclock very easily to 1066MHz so you can have your CPU FSB and the RAM at the same speed to give you maximum performance. The PSU supplies enough power to all the components and is of good quality too. Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)

    @technicalfury42, isn't ebuyer Europe-exclusive?
     
  9. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    Rage_3K_Moiz's build looks very good, although i would say that with an OEM dvd drive you will need to get a sata cable for it as it won't come with one

    the case should come with a pack of screws that you will be able to screw it in with along with other bits and bobs too, unless it's one of the screwless ones

    i just wish i could afford that pc :D

    i use ebuyer all the time and i think it is a europe only site as well, it might be uk only but i'm not 100% on that ;)
     
  10. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Hey, guys, thanks a lot! Especially Rage_3K_Moiz. Just a question: are the prices on TigerDirect quoted in USD or another currency? Thanks very much

    And that DVD drive, are you sure I will have to get a SATA cable? If so, where do I get them?
     
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Glad to be able to help mate. :)
    TigerDirect.com's prices are in USD. Also, a SATA cable can be found at any local computer hardware store in your area. If you can't find one, order it from TigerDirect. A $5-$6 cable will do nicely.
     
     
  12. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Hey, I've been reading thru some reviews from the links you provided, and the motherboard seems to have some issues with several customers. Do you think I may have similar problems? Or will I have to update the BIOS (I'm not even sure what that means though)? Other than that the mobo seems fine.

    The Quad processor looks simply fantastic, I'll have to get that.

    RAM looks great as well!

    The GPU looks awesome, I can't wait to compare it to my laughable ATi Hypermemory card..

    The HDD looks fine. But, looking at a description, it says "Important Note: OEM hard drives do not include cables, software, or hardware (screws, brackets, etc.). Full manufacturer's warranty applies." Does this mean I'll have to get the little parts myself?

    DVD Burner- not sure but looks pretty good to me. Although I don't burn DVDs I guess it'll be handy for my family if they need to do so.

    I'm not sure about the PSU but from the review and my basic knowledge that says anything at least 500W is good, it should suit the system well.

    The tower casing looks remarkable, but may I ask, which drive bays do the HDD, DVD drive and Video card go in?

    Sound card- reviews say its good, gives bang for buck, so why not?

    Case Fan- well, I think I'll only be needing one of these, but I don't have any idea where they go! Maybe in a drive bay? Although I do suppose the system would be needing a load of airflow..

    Thanks Rage_3K_Moiz, you've been a great help to me so far. Cheers to all of you too:)
     
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    The bad reviews for the mobo are only so because it comes with two SATA ports only, which is not a big deal if you're not going to use more than one HDD. As for your question about the HDD, yes, you'll have to buy the cable yourself. The same SATA cable you buy for the DVD drive will also work fine with the HDD.
    If this is your first time assembling your PC, read this excellent article on the same.
     
  14. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Great, man, thanks for the link as well! Just a question: since this will not come with any software/whatsoever, what should be the first thing that I must do? Should I install the OS of my choice (XP Home Edition) first or something else?

    And, if I intend to connect to a network with a LAN cable for internet, will I need to install a network card? Again, thanks for all the help!:)
     
  15. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 109

    CD/DVD drives are 5.25" wide
    Hard drives are 3.5" wide

    They go in the correspondingly sized slots.

    Video cards install on the motherboard in the PCI-E slot, and do not go into a slot on the case (so to speak).

    The first thing to do after your system is assembled and boots would be to make any necessary changes to the BIOS. Then, yes, you would install your O/S.

    For the fans, they are very simple to install. There will be a spot on the case with 4 holes at each of the four corners where the fan would go. Called a fan mount. Simply installing the 4 screws, 1 in each corner, and then plugging the fan into power is all it takes. It is about a 1-2 minute job to install a fan.

    If you have a friend or family member that has worked on PCs, or better, built one before, it would be wise to see if they would help you through your first build.
     
  16. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Sorry, but what do you mean by make any necessary changes to the BIOS? Thanks for replying
     
  17. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 109

    Your CPU ought to be auto-detected, and so should your RAM. The order of your boot-drives should be concluded correctly, but you may want to change it.

    i.e. boot to CD first, then disk1, then disk 2, etc.

    You would need to manually adjust ram timings if they are not auto-detected to the manufacturer specifics, but that's not necessary to do.

    Your CPU should be detected OK, but it is wise to make sure it is set to the proper frequency.

    Your motherboard should also have a hardware monitoring page, where you can ensure your temperatures are within reason before stressing it under load by installing your OS. If the temps are high, you probably didn't put your heatsink fan on properly.

    There are minor electable changes that can also be made regarding Q-Fan/Smart-Fan, power savings, certain RAM settings (1T vs 2T) etc., which you can do at anytime, but I generally go through the list before I get started with the OS.

    If you're using RAID you may need to make sure your RAID card is enabled, or vice-versa if you're not.

    Mostly minor things, except for checking out the temperatures.
     
  18. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Wow..that's a lot. Perhaps I'll really have to get a friend's help, I don't dare risk damaging anything. I had no idea you had to do all these things before installing the OS. Is there a list of all those things anywhere on the net? Or does it depend the computer's own specifics? Also, will I have to get a network adapter if I want to connect to a home network?? Thank you for all the help
     
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    The motherboard has onboard LAN so you won't need a network card.
     
  20. Beanbag

    Beanbag TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Great! Thanks very much. I owe you guys a LOT:)
     
  21. technicalfury42

    technicalfury42 Banned Posts: 109

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