Building A New System. Shopping for Parts On The Net. Please Help

By Jdilla ยท 10 replies
Feb 22, 2005
  1. ill be honest, this is the first time that ive decided to start building my custom built computer. Can Someone please Tell me What should I start Buying First, Mind you Im Trying To Stay From the $850-$1,000 Budget.
    First Let me ask this
    "Should I buy The Processor First or Last?" i ask this because it seems that this is the part in the computer that its constantly changing and upgrading. besides i dont have all the money now so i now its going to take me around 1-2 months to gather all the parts. But my Pick right now is this intel pentium 4 3.0GHz with hyper threading/ processor $199.99 from is there someplace cheaper, it seems like tigerdirect sells it with the retail box so im pretty sure the heatsink come with it.
    Can Someone tell me what Mobo would that processor fit in nicely with?
    A maxtor 200Gb ATA Hard drive is what im planning to put in for storage. i found it at for $105.00. what does re-furbished mean? and is it a good idea to buy a re-furbished hd?
  2. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    The first question you have to ask yourself is what you want the computer
    to do ? Do you want to paly games, General internet use ,Graphics( such as corel autocad ) Do you want to buy all the latest greatest stuff becuse there going to be a change comming soon..

    If you have to buy one peice at a time I would start with the motherboard pick out the best one every board has different features than go from there go to some sites and do some checking about the best board for the amount of money. So good boards are made buy Asus, MSI, Gigabyte ,DFi lan party board very nice with a intel chipset..

    YOu actually have in back of your mind you want a Intel chipset ( this choice is yours ) Have you looked at the AMD 64 bit chips buy chance?

    Once you make a choice build from the ground up kinda of like building a house you start with the land, the next thing you do is make a plan what am I going to put here this is basically the same thing ..

    I hope this helped you some

    remember when it comes power supply time do not be cheap this a very over looked part of a computer.

    Also do not buy refurbished anything buy new .
  3. pizzada

    pizzada TS Booster Posts: 72

    I might just add one thing to 'tbrunts' post...

    You might consider saving your $$ until you have enough to get everything at once..(at least everything to get it up and usable)..why ?

    Because prices for PC parts are continuualy dropping as new stuff comes in (I've seen the Athlon processor that Im looking at drop twice in price in the past two weeks..)

    BTW, an AMD socket 939 MotherBoard just came out for $70 at NewEgg, that runs a new AMD64 Athlon, with DUAL CHannel memory, which will be fairly future proofed, for about the same as an AthlonXP/socket A MoBoard combo...Timing can be key when on a budget ((as most of us are... :grinthumb ))
  4. Jdilla

    Jdilla TS Rookie Topic Starter

    guys, thanks for the feedback.tbrunt3, so you are saying to start with the going to look into whats the best motherboard, but than again im still undecided on what cpu to go with. ive heard great feedback on the pentium 4 processor that im looking to buy. its a 3.0MGHz. currently i have a amd athlon xp 2800 processor, and sometimes it lags with programs like adobe illustrator or adobephotoshop cs running. I would love to play Games on my Computer, i have this Video Card in mind, people have said that they've gotten to play doom 3 with it, the video card specs are as followed:
    Jayson nVIDIA Geforce fx 5200 $81.99
    128 mb of ddr, dual vga pci, max resolution 2048x1536@60HZ
    for memory im thinking of this:
    PQI POWER Series 184-Pin 1GB ECC REG DDR PC-3200, Model MD441GROE
    Manufacturer: PQI
    Speed: DDR400(PC3200)
    Type: 184-Pin DDR SDRAM
    Error Checking: ECC
    Registered/Unbuffered: Registered
    Cas Latency: 3
    Support Voltage: 2.5V
    Bandwidth: 3.2GB/s
    Organization: 128M x 72 -Bi t
    Features:1.20" low profile
    Warranty: Lifetime
    is that anygood? currently im with 512Mb
    amd 64 is another good choice for a processor but depending wich one falls in price first is the one that ill end up getting. doesnt really worry me since they are both great processors.
  5. tbrunt3

    tbrunt3 TS Rookie Posts: 313

    I go with a nivida gforce fx 5800 up avoid the 5700 one .. And try to get a nvida card made buy BFG OR PNY both real good Nvidia card makers as well as Aopen and Asus and Leadteck... YOu can also look in to a ATI card.
  6. Jdilla

    Jdilla TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for your advice :wave:
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Do NOT buy registered memory (also known as ECC). A lot of mobos cannot even handle it and you are spending over the top.

    Select your motherboard first, based on the processor you want. Then check at what types of memory fit best for your mobo. They give you solid advise online for free, within seconds. Their prices also compare favourable and they give you life-long warranty.
  8. ripken204

    ripken204 TS Rookie Posts: 139

    go for the motherboard first, get an ASUS
    then case, make sure motherboard will fit it
    then processor
    then a good heatsink if ur guna be gamining, zalman
    then a vid card, ide say the nvidia 6600gt with ur $
    then power supply, antec is my favorite
    then hard drive
    then ram
    then fans
    and then the cd/dvd drive
  9. Rosebud

    Rosebud TS Rookie

    Also, pay attention to the "Thermal Paste/Grease" you're using between the processor and heatsink.
    I prefer Arctic Silver and I get it from
    I've seen it make a difference of 6 to 8 degrees Centigrade and that's significant.
  10. milky

    milky TS Enthusiast Posts: 85


    I would definitely recommend an ASUS mobo. They are hands down the best mobo manufacturer. and like my fellow guinness fan said, is a great site to check what memory you need. DO NOT SETTLE FOR CHEAP MEMORY! To find the best prices on the net for computer parts, goto
    If you are going with a 3.0GHz processor, I would not get less than (3) 512MB PC3200 memory chips for a total of 1536MB of RAM minimum.
    If you are not looking to do any major audio work, get an Asus mobo with intergrated soundcard. It will be more than enough for the average user's audio needs. and save you some money too.
    Do not take the importance of a good power supply for granted either.
    I wouldn't go with anything other than Enermax Power.
    Sounds like you want to build a high end computer with a lot of peripherals, so you should get at least 375Watts. If you can afford it though, go with 450-500W.
    Plextor takes the cake as far as CD/DVD drives go.
    Video cards are not my thing since my gaming is limited to PS2, but the gamers i've talked to on the internet seem to prefer the nvidia 6600gt (if you will be gaming, you definitely want more than the 128MB card you talked about above.
    Hard Drive - go to a gaming forum and you will see some profiles of users with some very expensive HD by manufacturers you may not have even heard of, but otherwise make sure you go with 7200RPM, 8MB cache
  11. knuckleball

    knuckleball TS Rookie Posts: 60

    i have built like 3 or 4 in the last few months, all brand new good parts, i got great deals between ebay and
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