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Building My First PC

By bigjoe5412 ยท 39 replies
May 17, 2009
  1. Hi, I'm about to try to build my first PC. I'll be using it for browsing the web, watching vids, doing work and some video editing. I will not be gaming at all so this isn't a concern. I would like to have dual monitors with the option of hooking up HDMI to my big plasma when i want to watch blu ray and would also like to have 8gigs of memory. Hard drive listed right now is 640GB but i could go much smaller, whatever is good. My budget is 500ish, but spending less would be great. Plan on buying from Newegg and already have 2 monitors, keyboard, mouse, and OS (plan on upgrading to 64bit Win7 when it comes out as well).

    Since this is my first time ALL advice would be appreciated. Thanks!


    GIGABYTE GA-EG45M-UD2H LGA 775 Intel G45 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80580Q8400 - Retail

    CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail
    $46.99 x 2 = $93.98

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

    HEC 6K28BBX585 Black 0.8mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case 585W Power Supply - Retail

    Total: $543.94

    plan on using external dvd/cd drive at first then getting a blu ray drive later on.
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    Is there a reason why you're not considering the ATX spec in the P45 chipset?
    Many, many people are very happy with this board; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128359

    You would also have to change the case. ATX is nice, you can plug more s*** into it. (should the inspiration strike).

    Granted, with your choice you don't have the expense of a separate video card.
  3. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    if im hearing you right... one of the reasons i picked that mobo was because it has hdmi, dvi, and d-sub out, but that one u posted didn't. trying to save cash by not getting a separate vid card. or is that stupid?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    No, it doesn't have onboard video, I edited my prior post to reflect that. I would like to suggest a board with onboard video in the ATX size though. The capabilities for expansion are much greater.

    No, it's no stupid to try to save money by getting onboard video. Do it all the time myself, well sometimes.
  5. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    id be willing to swap out that motherboard for a different one w/o onboard video and a video card if that expense would be equal to what i already have any ideas?
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    No, I don't think that's do-able. But, if you would reflect on why you've chosen a quad core CPU, I could suggest another (E7400) to offset some of the cost.

    Another question, why do you feel the need for 8GB of RAM?

    What OS are you planning to install?
  7. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    i would change the case and psu most definitely. rule of thumb dont use psu that come with cases unless its some antec cases.
  8. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so you are saying i should ditch that CPU and go with an e7400 instead? i went with that quad core cause it looked cheap for the quad core's and thought it would be better in the long run so my comp doesn't get outdated. I'm a noob tho so maybe that is retarded.

    8gigs of ram because i figured i would max it out for a 64bit machine... again is this dumb?

    and OS... i plan on installing vista for now, then windows7 once that comes out.
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    He did mention video editing on his first post, though I don't know how much more effective the quad is, personally I get the idea he isn't going to do too much.

    So what OS are you getting? There is no garanty microsoft will make upgrading cheaper than buying a new Os.

    Good question, I certainly don't at the moment.

    Yes, or switch to an antec case.
  10. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    a) figured the quad core would be better for doing a lot of **** at once and it wasn't that much more than the duo. if this is wrong then which processor would you recommend.

    b) i already have a copy of vista floating around, then im going to install windows7... I am really not concerned about the OS i will be able to do this.

    c) again just thought 8gigs of RAM would be more effectively used a 64bit OS than 4 gigs but if this is wrong then ill gladly only purchase 4gigs.

    d) dont know anything about cases, that one had good reviews, 585watts, and looked nice haha.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    The rule of thumb is that every computer gets outdated, sadly, sooner rather than later. If Intel has their way, every LGA775 socket macnine will be obsolete, and quite soon.
    Dumb no! Perhaps a bit impractical, at least with respect to cost. You can do a lot of computin' with 4 Gigs. Buy more later.

    Wow, Newegg had XP 32 bit Home on sale last week (24 hours) for $69.95! Why I didn;t grab a half dozen of those I'll never tell you. As HK says, there is no "upgrade" from Vista available, unless you buy a retail version. Now, THAT would be stupid! Since OEM copies of Vista and Windows 7 together, would equal the retail price of Vista by itself.

    As to the 640GB HDD, a fine choice. Especially when you consider a 250GB is worth about $50.00.

    Whether you actually need a Quad core CPU is still uncertain. If you're going to render HD Video on any regular basis, go for the quad. If you're going to render 5 minutes every second Tuesday you can go with a dual core.

    It's entirely likely that that PSU might not even make 400 watts in controlled testing. As to the case itself, I have a MATX box. 2 HDD, 2 DVDs and it's full. I love it, but that's it's final configuration. Go with ATX.
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    I'm sure the E7400 could take everything you mentioned up there except video editing, while still staying in automatic power saving speeds, so if your not planning on doing extensive video editing, I think the dual core would be a better choice, even a cheaper $70 processor like the dual core Kuma.

    Yes, a 64 bit OS would certainly use 8gigs of RAM better than a 32 bit OS, but 8gigs of RAM will not be more effectively used by the user, as in, most of it will probably remain empty. So no, I don't think 8 gigs of RAM would be too helpful opening internet explorer.

    What do you do for work?

    EDIT; Ahh yes, what captain cranky said.
  13. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    im just saying that if i want to download a shitload of torrents, edit raw footage, use photoshop, all while being on IM surfing the web and listening to music. then i THOUGHT i should get a decent set up. but if u are saying that that can be handled by a cheaper processor then sign me up!!!!!!!!!!

    so changing out the quad core to the e7400, and bring RAM down from 8 to 4gigs, brought my cost down to $430 which is great, thank you guys for the comments. any others, specifically to a decent case & psu i should get?
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    Since you won't be needing a graphics card, your power supply can be a bit cheaper too. The Antec NSK 4480B II Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel for chassis durability Computer Case EarthWatts 380W Power Supply - Retail is a case with a good sturdy efficient powersupply. You can totaly chose the case if you want, but make sure you throw in a powersupply similar to the AE380. The case power supply you had above could work, but I don't think the quality and efficiency are as good.

    E7400 or E7500 would handle this fine.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    Can you really do all that at once? Effectively?
  16. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hell yeah!
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    Sign up for email from Newegg.

    Make a bookmark folder called "my new computer". bookmark your parts, then cycle through them frequently.

    Be patient, wait for the sales, but not so long that you sacrifice too much warranty time on the parts you already have.

    You can go with a dual or quad core CPU of your choosing. But, either way I'd go up 1 step in the PSU, to the Antec EA430. I have and respect 3 EA-380s, but if you think you might want to use a Nvidia GT9600 or better Video card eventually, there's a bit more security there. They've been on sale recently as low as $43.00. The quads draw 125 watts, the dual cores draw only 65 watts, Here's Antec's PSU calculator tool http://www.antec.outervision.com/ A decent case can be had for $30.00/ free shipping give or take. At least something to get you started.

    I checked and Newegg doesn't show a G45 Gigabyte board in ATX. So that leaves you with a decision. Any Nvidia 94 or 9500 Video card should have HDCP, but maybe not HDMI. You can adapt from DVI, but you need separate sound wiring.
  18. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    You mean 9600 gt? I got my AE 380 for about $20 during a sale, AND mail in rebate, it powers up my 9600 just fine, i'm even thinking of throwing in a friends 4850.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    Yes, a 380 will power a 9600GT with a dual core but probably not with a quad.

    Right, Antec does have a 3 year warranty.
  20. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    how about this board...
    with this video card...

    does that look okay? it has the hdmi support which is a feature im looking for to hook to my 50" tv when i want to, prefer not to convert dvi to hdmi and deal with extra wire for sound.
  21. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    The Asus P5Q is a great board, but I am worried about the open box, the product itself should be fine (slightly used maybe), but what I am most worried about is the cables, instructions, and other add ons that the open box version will not NECESSARILY cover.

    The 9400 is not too great of a card, look into the much more powerful SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail, or go with the cheaper and very viable HIS Hightech H465FS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    Say NO to Asus........

    I really think the little MSI video card is just what you're looking for.

    I'd stay away from the open box Asus mobo.

    Go for the board I picked out. It's ATX, has all the features you'll ever need, and I think there's a rebate at the moment, so basically, when the "smoke clears", the rig will only cost about $25.00 more than the MATX board with onboard video.

    You can go for the quad core art your discretion, Actual video encoding is one of the few places you can fully utilize a quad CPU.

    I recommend also that you stay away from the MATX case with PSU. For the rig you're planning, I would consider the Antec EA-430 minimum. That's in the comfort zone, and you won't have a really power hungry video card to feed. Sign up for Newegg's Emails. They run this PSU @ about $43.00 free shipping frequently. Many of the free PSUs that come with cases are "Saturday Night Specials" so to speak.

    If money is an issue, just go with 4 GB of RAM and install more when you have the money.

    Microcenter has been running the E7400 @ about $100.00, walk in only. So if you're near one, and you decide against the quad.......

    One thing I always recommend is never own a computer with only one HDD. I always build with a small system drive, and a larger drive for data files. My last build was a Seagate SATA 2 250GB system, and Seagate SATA 2 640GB storage "volume". I don't trust partitioning as much as I trust 2 drives, period.
  23. bigjoe5412

    bigjoe5412 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    New Rig

    alright so i tried to take your recommendations into consideration and be more sensible, and i came up with this. let me know what you think...

    does that mobo look good to you guys?
    same with the video card.
    basically any feedback is good.
    and as always if theres any place im spending too much let me know.

    GIGABYTE GZ-X5BPD-500 Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail

    Antec Basiq BP430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V Version 2.2 Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7400 - Retail

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,312   +3,567

    Well. I have one of the Gigabyte P45 UDR3 boards, so does everybody else, so that's a winner.

    The Video card has the HDMI, yes?

    I have the blue GSkill memory also, but only a 2GB kit. that board will pick it up with auto detect in BIOS and run it @ 1066 right off the bat, no sweat.

    I'm still not feeling that PSU. It's Antec's lowest line, and it's not on sale. Did you sign up for Newegg's email? They run the Antec EA-380 and EA-430 frequently.(either one would be less than $50.00) Maybe you'll luck out and it'll be there when you're ready to order.

    Here's a 400watt Corsair PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...GNEFL051909-_-PowerSupplies-_-LC3A-_-17139008
    It's $39.95 with this promo code; EMCLSMX24 $10.00 MIR, but no free shipping. Sorry. HelloKitty is considering buying this one.

    The Antec EA-380 is on sale, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371005 This is far from the best price I've seen on this unit. But, it will run your proposed system easily. I know because I have one in my EP45-UD3R / 9500GT system. It has free shipping ATM, so that brings the PSU situation in @ about 12 bucks cheaper.

    These Cooler Master "Centurion" cases are pretty nice also; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...GNEFL051909-_-ComputerCases-_-LC2B-_-11119068 It ships free with this promo code; EMCLSMX23

    Note; were you to switch to this case, AND they accept my promo codes, the free shipping would more than offset the price difference.

    Word of caution; They may or may not accept the promo codes if you're not on their Emailing list. Whatever you decide, enjoy!
  25. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    Yes, but the HIS is obviously more popular than the Saphire version, no doubt because of the large red text saying "Integrated with HDMI port and HDCP ready", or something similar, but the Saphire seems to carry that title now.

    You know, I just noticed the desktop graphics page contains ALL Saphire cards, containing a total of SEVEN price reduced Saphire 4870x2s, FIVE Saphire 4850x2, and a single 4870 on the first page alone!
    Second page has a single HIS 4890, seven XFX 4830s, and five MSI 4830s, and page three follows suite...I wonder if thats a mistake, seems to be the same cards.
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