Whats up everyone just signed up im going to attempt to build my own comp 1st time

By Supalude
Dec 23, 2004
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  1. If any one has any tips give away
    i have a P4P800-VM ASUS mother board
    with a Pentium 4 3.2ghz
    im going for a gamming computer so any tips would help
    thanks!!!!!!!
  2. MarcFOnline

    MarcFOnline Newcomer, in training Posts: 84

    I just built myself a 3GHz Prescott-based machine, so I'd be more than happy to share a few thoughts...

    I'd say the main thing I found when building -- especially with gaming in mind -- is the one key phrase: keep it cool.

    Of course, you don't want a terribly loud system either, so allow me to recommend a few options. I'm guessing that at the moment you just have the stock heat sink that came with your processor. I'd recommend checking out the Zalman 7000B-AlCu, and go ahead and get yourself some Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound.

    If you've already mounted the heat sink on your processor, no worries -- just get yourself some Q-Tips and isopropyl alcohol, and it should be easy enough to clean your processor off enough so you can dab on a bit of the Arctic Silver and mount a new heat sink. (For full details on usage of the thermal compound and CPU/heat sink cleaning, click here.)

    Also, go for a cool-looking case with plenty of fans and fan bays, and at LEAST a 450W power supply. My new rig is built in the case I used for my old Celeron system, so although it's been ok for case temps thanks to my new double-fan power supply and Thermaltake case fan, I'm wishing I had bought a new translucent case so I could see all my internal LED fans in their full glory.

    Since you're a gamer, I'm sure you already know this, but the two biggest things not to skimp on are your sound and video. I notice your motherboard (the P4P800VM) has onboard sound and video, but I recommend upgrading to separate sound and video cards since you want a gaming PC. You don't have to do it right away, but I feel fairly confident that you'll be glad down the road if you upgrade those sooner rather than later.

    For sound, definitely go for a Sound Blaster Audigy, and I highly recommend a good set of Cambridge SoundWorks speakers. (I'm very happy with my FourPointSurround FPS2000 digital speakers -- they're an older model, but for about $80 you really can't find anything better.)

    As far as video is concerned, whether you go for ATI or NVidia is really up to you. I've used both graphics systems and have been very happy. (Right now I have a Radeon 9550 card and it performs well.) As far as memory is concerned, a 128MB card is fine for performance, but if you want to hold on to the card for a while, get a 256MB model.

    Which reminds me -- if you plan to ever upgrade your video, you might want to consider a motherboard with PCI Express capability, and buy a PCI Express video card rather than an AGP one. I know that motherboards with that technology are just starting to show up, but AGP boards are on their way out, so you'll be glad if you ever decide to upgrade. Just a thought.

    The rest of the components (RAM, hard drive, CD and DVD drives) are really up to your preference. I will say that Corsair memory has always been reliable for me, and Maxtor is my hard drive manufacturer of choice. As for a hard drive bus, I've had issues with Serial ATA, but I'm sure I'm an exception to the rule, so whether you get S-ATA or P-ATA is your choice. Finally, if you do plan to get a DVD burner (comes in handy for backups!), be sure to get a dual layer drive, since they have a much higher capacity, greater compatability, and should become obsolete much later than single-layer drives.

    As for a place to buy all this stuff, I really have to recommend ZipZoomFly. They have a great selection of parts, their prices are very low, and just about everything ships for free with FedEx 2-Day shipping. All the stuff I've bought from them has arrived well-packed (assuming you don't mind a few million packing peanuts) and in great condition. I've only received one thing from them that didn't work, and that was a dud keyboard in my Logitech Cordless Desktop. However, I got an RMA number and shipped it back, and within a week I had a fully functioning keyboard. No complaints here!

    Phew! That should be it for now... hope it helps. Good luck and happy building!
  3. Supalude

    Supalude Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thank you for all the information Marc i definatly will take all the info you gave me and use it
    i appreciate all of your help
    right now what i have is a western digital 250GB hard drive
    kingston memory 512 mb
    sonic dvd/rom/cd
    compusa floppy drive
    a x-infinity gamming case comes with 350watts power
    2 blue led fans and room for 3 more
    windows XP home w/service pack2
    it's up and running right now the whole thing glows bule its pretty cool im investing in a good graphics card right now and some speakers
    thank you for the info agian!!!!
    one more question i have a temp reading on the front of my case what is a good temp that it should read out so it dosent over heat i had it on for a lil bit and it stayed at 78degrees
  4. MarcFOnline

    MarcFOnline Newcomer, in training Posts: 84

    It's no problem-- glad to be of help! Sounds like you've got a great-looking rig.

    As for your temperature, it depends if that's in Celsius or Fahrenheit. I'm guessing that reading of 78 degrees is in Fahrenheit, in which case it's probably the temperature inside your case. (That's the same as your motherboard temperature.) A good case/motherboard reading is in the 75-95 F (23-35 C) range. In your case, that looks great.

    As for your processor, since you have a 3.2GHz P4 (probably Prescott), it'll run fairly hot, so don't be alarmed if it hits 150 degrees F (about 65 C) under a full load. The Prescott is rated to do fine at anything up to around 70 C, so I wouldn't worry if it idles somewhere between 40 and 55 C. (Mine idles at 50/51 and peaks out in the mid-60s.)

    Enjoy your new computer!
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