Building a new computer, componets choice, need help! Thanks!

By thefighter · 31 replies
Aug 15, 2005
  1. I've been browsing the net, trying to find the correct components to put together my new computer. But I cant find the right componets! Its a right struggle, heres a basic guideline of what I want/need:


    1024MB+ RAM

    160GB+ Hard Drive

    256MB+ Graphics Card

    Processor with more than 3GHz preferably 4ghz


    Combo CD/RW & DVD/RW

    Creative Labs SoundBlaster Sound Card

    Floppy Drive

    I'm so confused with what Motherboard or processor I should get. My processor at the moment is a AMD Athlon 64 3500+ which is 2.21Ghz, but ive seen one's from Intel about them being 4Ghz, and then I read that AMD do speed rating different.

    Its all very complicated, and I would like someone to help me and explain, so I can understand, and see if its worth to buy one or build one.

    Thank you all very much in advance!


    By the way, I am from the United Kingdom. Which might cause some problems for people commenting, but all comments are welcome anyway!!! Thanks!
  2. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    this spec means little, because amd cpus all run under 3ghz but yield far superior performance to thier intel competitors running at the same clock speeds.

    you should start out by stating what tasks you will be using the computer for, and what kind of performance you are looking for.

    even if you choose not to build yoursel one, i strongly advise that you DO NOT buy a mass-manufactured (oem) computer. instead, i reccomend that you get a custom build. these can be had from just about any pc repair shop, technician, and some large stores as well.
  3. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I have no idea what this means, can you explain it in a little more detail? Whats a clock speed? How do they get better performance? Of course, I want either a AMD or Intel, but I dont know which one, and whats an affordable price!

    Just general using, like, internet etc. And then a bit of photoshop, web site design, maybe some games, and eventually when I get round to it, programming. Also, I might try some new methods ive seen online, about having Mac, Linux and Windows multibooting.

    Why do you reccommend this? I've only had 2 previous computers before, both from But I do not fancy, being tied down. I like more freedom, instead of having to do a custom build from other models.

    Thanks for your help so far zephead!

  4. C_Conqueror

    C_Conqueror TS Rookie Posts: 140

    I think that the processor that you have now will do just fine.
  5. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Nah, im getting a new computer, for myself, instead of sharing. Thats why Im asking around about all this.

  6. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    if you need a whole new system, you have a few options. the first is getting yourself an amd sempron box. the parts totals for a nice computer at the time of this writing are $300 (box only without software). this will handle your internet and light applications fine, and you'll be able to enjoy acceptable performance in photoshop. but don't try playing farcry or any other high-end games, as you will be wasting your time and money.

    the second option is that you get yourself the real deal - a new amd athlon 64 and build a performance system around that. you'll probably end up paying more than twice as much as for a sempron system, but then again you'll be able to handle heavier apps speedily. there was a time when i'd reccomend a p4, but the a64s have gotten so damn cheap and powerful (among other advantages) in the months since.

    unless you really plan on doing serious gaming, an inexpensive AMD sempron based machine would suffice. your call.
  7. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    So what makes a AMD so much better than a P4?

    Does anybody else have any idea's for the rest of the hardware I listed please? I have quite a tight time limit. And places I can buy them from?

    I wish there was a site, where you could just go onto, and fill in a rough PC specification, and it gives you back, the best system possible for the specification you require and the best compatibility. It would make building a computer so much easier!!!

  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Personal recommendation:
    ASUS A8N-E Socket 939
    Any 939 Athlon 64 processor
    ATi Radeon 9800Pro
    1 Gig of pretty much any ram (184 pin) depending on how much you want to spend
    Any 16x dvdr drive, they are so cheap now
    You won't need a soundcard or network card because the motherboard has them built in, and unlike a few years ago, onboard sound is quite good now.
    You'll need a case too, thats all up to you though, whether you want a fancy one or not.
    I'd toss in 1 or 2 80 or 120mm case fans depending on what your case will hold.
  9. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Okay, so how much would that cost roughly?

    And they are built in you say? So I dont need a sound card? And the network card is what I need for putting my internet connection on two computers is'nt it?

    Thanks for all your help so far!


    Edit: Mucked up the quotes
  10. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Check out
    They have a section Upgrades/Bundles and they also can build a PC for you.
    Very good value for money there.
  11. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Seems pretty good. I shall keep my eye on it, and look around.

    Im still not sure what components exactly that I need though. My rough guideline specification is above, but can anyone actually help me choose an actual specific component?

    Please, I still need help.

  12. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Get a similar PC to what you have now, AMD64 with Socket939 rather than Socket754.
    A 3500 is pretty fast, and comparable to an Intel at 3.5GHz. But a 3000 willl do fine, you can always update in a year or 2.

    SNGX1275 gave you a pretty good allround recommendation.
  13. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    RBS I think your missunderstanding, the spec that I posted on my first post, was the specification that I want.

    The computer I am on at the moment doesn't have that amount of specification!!!

    So whats the best affordable Processor? Because I don't understand then differences between AMD and Intel!

    I'll work my way around that, making sure I get a Motherboard that suites it (Any suggestions on motherboards, because there is'nt any brand names for them)

    And then I will try and get a Maxtor 200GB hard drive, with an ATI Radeon with 256MB, and Crucial 1.5GB of RAM (Or is there a cheaper company?) , a WinTV GO card and a Sony CDRW/DVDRW Combo.

    Please people, help me out here! Im really struggling! Ive posted in other threads trying to help people. Its like "I'll pat your back, if you'll pat mine" but nobody is really patting mine :'(

    Thank you all!!! Please keep helping!!!


    Edit: Spelling mistake...whoops! lol
  14. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Well, if you go with the motherboard that was recommended, you can decide which processor is best affordable here (
  15. Schweppes

    Schweppes TS Rookie

    Well first off all, how much money are you willing to spend?

    AMD processors are more better suited for games then Intel plus they're a little cheaper.

    ASUS motherboards are known for their quality and reliability, they also come with decent manuals.
    That motherboard the ASUS A8N-E Socket 939 is ~ $120
    939 is the newest socket I think.

    Your 256 mb ATi Radeon 9800 Pro is ~ $180.

    And 200GB is alot, are you sure your going to use it all? Remember you can always put another hard drive in there if you ever need the space.
  16. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    i'd reccomend a 6600gt over that r9800, people have been complaining about excessive heat buildup on said card.
  17. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Yes, I do suppose you are right Schweppes, 200GB is a bit too much. I will make it about 120GB. That should do me fine, for my purposes.

    Well, I dont really play games often, I have about 4, but I want a computer with power, because I am most likley to try out a multi-boot option, where I install Mac, Linux and Windows.

    So I should stick with an ASUS motherboard? They are the only motherboard manufactor that I have ever heard, because the computer buisness is so vast!

    I think my budget is about £700, which is about 1,266.81 USD according to a converter I just used,

    It might also, be worthwhile to buy from the US because, I have read in a computer magazine that It will probrably still be cheaper, even with tax! Can anybody shead light on that please?

    The GForce 6600? I think that is the card, that I have in this computer at the moment, lol. Well, I shall be carefull about the Radeon 9800 or other such cards. So whats the best value for money graphics card?

    Thanks for all your help so far guys! Especially Schweppes, because he made me realise 200GB is too much! lol

  18. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Like I said before, look at
    There is very little to fault this package for £ 680.- Components included:
    * 309484 - AMD Athlon 64 3700+ 2.2GHz Socket 939, 1MB, BOXED w/fan
    * 118737 - Corsair Value S. PC3200 DDR-DIMM 1024MB Kit w/two matched Value Select 512MB
    * 307837 - NorthQ Powersupply 4775 ATX 400W Silent, 140mm Fan, 12-17dBA, 20/24pin
    * 120050 - Samsung SpinPoint P80 160GB IDE ATA/133 8MB 7200RPM
    * 303412 - EPoX EP-9NDA3+, nForce3 Ultra,Socket-939 ATX, S-ATA, GbLAN, Firewire, DDR, AGP8X
    * 300357 - Cooler Master Centurion 1 Black Aluminium (Without PSU)
    * 308909 - PowerColor Radeon X800XL 256MB GDDR3 AGP8X, VIVO/DVI, Retail
    * 309415 - NEC ND 3540A - DVD±RW (±R DL) drive - IDE
  19. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I would avoid ASUS. I have heard nothing but trouble from them. I had one and it wasn't working either. There are many good MB manufactuers. MSI (Microstar), ABIT, SOYO, etc.... I have had 2 MSI boards and both were excellent.
  20. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Just to note, I currently have a MSI K8T Neo FISR and have and numerous problems with it. I've also found that MSI technical support is bad and their website is not very intuitive if not downright difficult to navigate.
  21. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Motherboards seem a hard choice. Is there no brand that clearly stands above the rest?

    Keep helpin' guys! Thanks!

  22. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    I'd have to disagree with this. I have had nothing but asus boards for the past 3 years, and have had only a positive experience. Their tech support is second to none, and they are the number one selling company for a good reason.

    I am not discrediting the fact that you have had a bad experience, just questioning your suggestion of avoiding the company all together.

    Asus, without a doubt, should be in your list of considerations when buying a motherboard.
  23. Noyz3001

    Noyz3001 TS Rookie

    Wait a minute... the guy who's going to "eventually get around to" programming doesn't know any of this for himself?

    And doesn't know what a CPU's clockspeed is?

    Just get a PSP and we'll all be safer.
  24. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    You've got to start somewhere.
  25. thefighter

    thefighter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    The fact that I am a hardware n00b, means I need to learn. My experience with computers is pretty good, but, will get better. Just because you happen to be further down the line (and also, probrably older than me) does not give you the right to discourage somebody learning.

    Okay, thats my rant done....

    Now, ive just looked up some stuff about Processors, and I was wondering if anybody can give me a clear cut answer, as to which AMD 64's support SSE3?

    My most probable tech spec is to be:

    ASUS Motherboard

    2 x Seagate 160GB Hard Drive

    AMD Athlon 64 3800+

    1GB DDR400

    ATI Radeon / Nvidia (Yet to be chossen, probrably Nvidia 6600)

    WinTV Go

    Sony CD/RW & DVD/RW Combo Drive

    Floppy Drive

    Any thoughts on this anyone?
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