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My 1st Build - Need Suggestions & new to TechSpot

By judicious ยท 83 replies
Nov 27, 2007
  1. Hi All!

    I'm new to eggXpert and I want to build a PC. I noticed most of my chick friends never built a PC, so I figured I would do something out of the norm and build one for myself. Also, because my little generic PC is acting up.

    Should I go with the Intel or AMD desktop?

    Any idea which AMD board to choose?


    ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor

    DDR2 800
    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory


    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

    ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor

    DDR2 800
    A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

    ZALMAN CNPS 9500 AM2 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink

    ZEROtherm BTF90 92mm Silent UFO CPU Cooler


    XP PRO SP2

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive


    Mid-Tower Case / 500W Power Supply / Front Firewire, USB and Audio jacks / Quick Release Side Panel

    When looking for durable quality and unparalleled ease of use, look no further than the Ultra Gladiator. The Gladiator supports AT, baby AT, ATX and micro ATX motherboards and features 1mm thick high grade steel. The Gladiator has 10 drive bays. Four tool-free 5.25" drive bays, one external 3.5" bay and five internal 3.5" bays. PCI and AGP cards can be installed and secured to their slots without tools. Components can be kept cool by installing a pair of 120MM fans to the front and rear fan mounts. Gladiator even includes an Intel TAC compliant CPU duct and VGA vent.

    V-Series 500 Watt Power Supply: 1 x 20/24 Pin Motherboard, 1 x 4 Pin + 12V Motherboard Connectors, 8 x 4 Pin Molex, 1 x PCI-E, 2 x SATA, 2 x Floppy
    Form Factor: Mid-Tower Case
    Material: High Grade Steel
    4 x External 5.25" Bays
    1 x 3.5" External
    5 x External 3.5" Bays
    7 Standard Expansion Slots
    2 x 120mm Case Fan Mounts
    Quick Release Side Panel
    Easy access front panel: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Firewire, 1 x headphone, 1 x Microphone
    Approximate Unit Dimensions: 19.5" (D) x 7.5" (W) x 17" (H)

    Video Card
    EVGA 512-P2-N747-LR GeForce 8500GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

    Any comments are greatly appreciated!
  2. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    Personally I would go with the AMD build. I have the second motherboard you chose there and I can say that it works great. The first one is pretty much just like the second except it got the wireless. Always I plus I suppose. :)
    I got some of the A-Data memory also but ended up getting some better ones later.


    I have these, very nice. Definitely go with 2 gigs.
    You will not need the heatsink and fan because the CPU already comes with it, which will suit you just fine if you don't plan to overclock very much. Also it voids the warrenty if you use a different heatsink and fan than what comes with the CPU. Very nice choice of CPU btw. Hard drive looks good. I will let someone else help you with your PSU. In my signature though there is a link to a website that lists the good and bad PSUs. As for the graphics card I would go for the 8600GT or GTS. I don't know how much you game but this card can play most games that are out. Cases are user preference. Just get something that you like and has lots of fans. :)
  3. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Thanks for replying! I actually did take a look at the 8600 for the graphics card. I'm not a heavy gamer, but I do play. I would LIKE to start buying more games to play if I had a better graphics card, but mainly I am a crazy multitasker and I use photoshop all the time. I also play a lot of videos and music as well.

    Thanks a bunch!
  4. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    I just realized that the processor doesn't include a cooling device...so i guess i have to get one...hmmm
  5. there's an intel e6750 that has fan and heatsink included. it can be found here at newegg:

    with the graphics card, i might suggest getting the 256mb version of the latest ATI Radeon card. for the price, it'll offer very near top of the line performance. the major difference is that it's twice as expensive. but well worth the price. it will greatly assist with photoshop applications. and if you plan on buying more games to play, then you'll need some pretty powerful stuff to run it in it's full glory. you're already going all out with the processor. but processors aren't everything.'

    speaking of which, i might suggest sticking to the conroe. not only does it give more bang for the buck, but you'll find a LOT more full ATX motherboards that are very stable, and won't break on you within 5 minutes of turning on the computer. a lot of the AMD boards tend to have weird problems.

    i too am an AMD fan boy. but i know when their stuff is beaten. and looking at the benchmarks and the price, the AMD's are all below the performance of the conroe. and since it's in the same price-range as the top AMD processors, it's almost obvious what your choice should be. same price, better performance, better quality, go with intel.

    everything else looks fantastic though. you certainly did your homework.

    for the power supply...i know of one particular brand that will give you high efficiency, high quality, and high voltage. it's called the antec Neo HE 550 watt psu. that thing will EASILY power a system like this, and leave some headroom too, just in case you want to add something.

    the case i'm looking into which is selling fairly well is a Cooler Master RC 690 KKN1-GP ATX mid tower. it comes with 3 120mm fans built in, and it has room for SEVEN if you should choose to go that far. 3 120mm fans...that's already pretty good. it's also very inexpensive. about 70 dollars. pretty cheap considering the other stuff out there.

    good luck with the build. send us pictures of it? :3
  6. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    thanks! i'm guessing the Intel mobo is fine. Anyone know about the GeForce 8800GTS?

    I'll look more into the cases. I want to find something roomy and yet small. Yea, ironic, I know....

  7. you're absolutely right. that motherboard is in fact very good indeed. i'm building an intel comp myself actually. and the p35 was the motherboard i was looking at until i noticed some of the slots it has. i have a dvd drive and 2 hard drives that use PATA connectors. and being that i have 3, and the motherboard only has one slot, that's a bit of problem. so i upgraded my build motherboard to the nForce 650i SLI motherboard. same processor, more PATA connections on the board for all my drives....but it's a good 50 bucks more....ouch...

    as for the GTS...the unfortunate thing with the GTS is, it is bloody expensive, and not the best card to buy. the versions that it comes in are 320mb and 640mb. then you have the Ultra which is 768mb. and that's getting well into the 500 dollar range.

    instead, go with the savior. it's the latest flagship graphics chip of Nvidia's. the 8800GT. that thing comes in 256, and 512mb variants. the 256 costs about 200. and the 512 (the best one), anywhere between 240 and 310 dollars depending on where you look.

    the 8800gt is the best in terms of power, performance, and cost. it performs RIGHT IN BETWEEN the 8800gts 640mb, and ultra 768mb. for that price, with that performance, it's no wonder they're selling like hot cakes. in fact, almost everywhere you look, they're out of stock. BUT, i know that amazon.com still has a few in stock. i'd get one of THOSE if you're looking into the 8800 series.

    that thing has the best bang for the buck. and it's a great card to overclock. in fact, some people clocked it well enough that it did better than the 768mb. which is pretty amazing in itself.

    i suggested the ati 3870 because of price and performance. it's decent, but not as great as the 8800gt. since it is starting to look like it might not matter so much, then i'd suggest the gt instead. that GT has been on my wishlist for a while. and will continue to be until i find the money to get one for myself.

    get over to amazon fast or they'll be all gone for a while. nvidia's actually having trouble keeping up with the demand.

    hell...if you're up to it cash wise...might as well go with two GTs, and get the sli board i'm getting. then you're computer will be unstoppable for years to come.
  8. provoke.bpk

    provoke.bpk TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Best damned motherboard there is. I've been running it for 2 months, and I love it. I would suggest going with the AMD build.
  9. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    it's been tough to decide if I want to go with the Intel build or AMD build. I've done some research and I still can't decide. From what I'm understanding, Intel is better with performance and better in the long term. Though, AMD is relatively cheap.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz for $179


    Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz for $194

    I want something that will last for a long while and if I want to updated I can just upgrade the processor.

    I can see why it's out of stock now. Actually the ati 3870 is not too bad. Price is 'almost' similar, like you said, depends where I'm buying it from.

    Thanks again!
  10. you've got a real knack for this. you're right. amd is cheaper, but intel is better quality. amd requires more wattage, and higher ghz for the same performance as an intel of a smaller ghz.

    so you'll be getting better performance and quality out of the intel, as well as saving on your electricity bill. intel generally requires far less power in terms of wattage than your average amd processor.

    also, that conroe is actually 5 bucks cheaper. you get that 5 bucks shaved off right away. ORIGINAL price was 194.99. but anyway...nit picking.

    what you're buying right now will in fact last for a good 10 years. you can customize any part of the build to keep up with the times that you want. that's the beauty of these parts and doing it yourself. this goes for both the AMD and the intel builds...in fact, for ANY build like this. everything is so up to date, the formats will remain similar for years, and you can just buy the successors.

    so no matter what you pick, you're golden for a WHILE.

    i can't decide for you. i can only show you the pros and cons. and if you want high performance, intel is the way to go if you have the cash for it. AMD has decent products. but they're more for the budget builder.

    it's up to you. it's your dollar, and your opinion.

    high quality
    uses less power

    pretty fast
    good quality.

    for all the fanboys of amd, that's unfortunately the way it shapes up. all we have right now is loyalty. amd just doesn't have it where it counts yet. they have to get their act together.
  11. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    thanks! i think that definitely help clear some things for me. Now I have to find a good video card. I'm quite tempted to purchase the 8600 just because it's cheaper and I don't game as much. Does the HD capability really matter?

    Also, does the mobo manual instruct how to set up the BIOS? I read a lot about how important setting up the BIOS will be. I don't know too much about overclocking and don't really know how to approach it. Any way on how I can go about that? I'll hunt for more info about it.

    Thanks for all the great suggestions! :D
  12. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    A friend of mine has the 8600GTS and he played crysis on medium settings I think. Heck I played crysis with my rig. :D
    But anyway, if you want the 8600 then go for it. Its not a bad card and will play pretty much anything right now, right now is the key words. Later on I am sure that it won't but that won't be for a while now I would say. As for the bios, I did my first build back in june or july, can't remember. But I didn't do a thing with the bios. I just left em be. I don't know how much you are willing to spend but look at the intel q6600 CPU. Its probably a little less than $100 more than the other one you have picked out. I would love to build a rig with this sucker in there. Either way Intel or AMD they are both good builds you had so it really dosn't matter which one. I chose AMD when I built mine was because they were cheaper but next time if I have more money I am definitely putting a q6600 in there. Good luck with it.
    AMD is catching up with intel though. :)
  13. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    thanks again for the reply!

    Is it true that when it comes to Hard Drive and DVD Drives it doesn't really 'matter' what 'brand' it is? As long as they have the right input/output to plug in the board and have standard features (DVD drive that is), then that's pretty much it, correct?

    Correct me if I am wrong, there's no more variation between buffered and unbuffered Ram?

    For my current PC (generic little thing), I didn't even noticed I bought an unbuffered RAM until I received it in the mail. Luckily, I used CPU-Z and found out my old RAM was an unbuffered RAM as well, so no biggie.

    Thanks again!
  14. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    I do have a drive peference. I like Western Digital and Seagate. I've never had a WD hard drive that failed on me, and Seagate drives have a five year warranty. Stay away from Fujitsu and Maxtor drives as they aren't very reliable.

    There are two basic types of hard drives. The older technology still in use today is IDE or ATA. They have a forty pin connector on the back of the drive and are connected to the motherboard with a wide ribbon cable. The newer technology is SATA. They have a much thinner data cable and operate at faster speeds than most of the old ATA drives and have become the standard drive. You need to make sure to match the drive input/output interface with drive input/output interface on the motherboard. All new motherboards come with at least two SATA headers for hard drives and an additional ATA header for older hard drives or newer optical drives. There are newer SATA optical drives but I've never used one before, so I can't really comment on them. There are two flavors of SATA drive 150Mb/s and SATA2 at 3.0Gb/s.

    Not all optical drives are created equal. I have a Sony DVD burner that is supposed to burn dual layer DVD disks, but all the reviews I've read say the DL disks burned on the drive are unreadable. I've never actually tried to burn a dual layer disk with the drive because the blanks are to expensive. There are many DL burners that do a good job of burning dual layer disks.

    So what does all this crap mean? Buy a SATA2 3.0Gb/s hard drive to go along with your new motherboard. If you're going to buy a dvd burner make sure you read it's reviews first to see if it's any good.

    There still is buffered and unbuffered ram. Buffered ram usually ends up in servers and is more reliable than unbuffered ram.

    "Registered or buffered RAM has a built-in buffer that stores the data before it is transferred to the hardware memory controller. It increases the reliability of the RAM enormously. Even so, most of the RAM used in personal computers is unbuffered, and works reliably enough in that role."

  15. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Thanks again for the responses.

    So I was thinking today, Core Duo 2.66ghz or Quad at 2.4ghz, then I realized it's almost like, 2005 Honda EX or 2007 Honda DX.......Always costs more for the newer things or at least almost the same price.

    Quad or Core Duo? Maybe since I'm on a budget, a Core, or are they quite similar to the point I should ge the Quad just because in the long term it's better?

    Thanks again!
  16. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    A quad core is better in the long run, and it is about $50.00 more than a similarly clocked dual core.
  17. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    I just thought about the OS. I noticed there are OEM and some do not have COA...should I get OEM with COA?

  18. if you get a regular Retail version then you'll have fewer problems in terms of whether you can move that copy of the OS to another machine. if it's stuck to the machine, then it'll be illegal to transfer that OS. so you'd have to buy a new license. with retail, you just remove it completely from one computer, and install it in the next.

    as for the quad core....it's more performance. better in the long run. a Q6600 is the core to get. but as you said, this is a budget build. i'm also on a strict budget, so the e6750 will give me plenty of performance until i should decide to buy the q6600 later, or one of the other quads available if they go down in price. perhaps you might consider doing the same.
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Nice build. :)
    There's only three changes I recommend:
    First, get this mobo instead of the Abit one. It has support for DDR2 and DDR3 RAM, so you can use DDR3 if you want to later. Also, it's about the same price, so it's a much better deal IMO.
    The second change would be the case and PSU combo. I'd highly recommend this one. It looks pretty good, comes with an excellent quality PSU and has more case fans than your first choice. It's also cheaper, for an extra bonus.
    The last change would be the video card. Get this one instead of the 8500GT. It's for the same price, but offers much better performance.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
  20. resu

    resu TS Rookie Posts: 172

    thought id jump in to this build .. lol :D
    what are you gonna use this machine for on the whole? i know you said you like to multi task but what are the apps that your gonna be using the most because theres no point in buying a tank to kill an ant.. :)
    the 6400 cpu wise is prolly the best all-rounder imo. fair enough you can get a intel quad core chip but if you want a quad then id suggest waiting until the real quad cores have been released and there is more of a choice because then you'll see a significant drop in prices.

    if you want to play games then i suggest 8800gts yes its pricey but its powerful and will also keep you in good stead with new game releases for a few years to come :) my personal preference is nvidia as altho the prices are higher, games look better and graphics programs like architecture 2008 and 3ds max and so i believe you get what you pay for. renders with nvidia cards seem to look so much better than ATi cards.

    if your just gonna use photoshop then the gfx card isnt really much of an issue as its RAM and Processing power that you need

    with regards to XP licensing etc OEM license registers to your motherboard .. if that goes wrong then you have to re-register with microsoft.
    in my experience altho MS dont have to and could just get me to buy a whole new license they havent .. they have just said ok, because these thinsg happen and if you can prove you own the license then they're pretty cool with it all.

    well thats my opinion on your build
    at the end of the day its your choice (as with everything),and no doubt this will be your last build. ;)

    good luck and enjoy it
  21. resu

    resu TS Rookie Posts: 172

    sry to post again but just read this ... urm what id do is go for the duo .. as i said in my previous post :) id wait until there is more choice in the quad market
    more choice = lower prices :D
  22. Kaleid

    Kaleid TS Rookie Posts: 33

    I'm in a bit of a hurry so I'll make some quick recommedations.

    Skip the 7200.10 hdd and go for the 7200.11 instead. It's faster (especially multitasking) and runs quieter. Temps might also be better.

    Get a good PSU. A corsair HX520 or HX620 or a Seasonic S12 II for efficient quiet grade A power.
  23. judicious

    judicious TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    i definitely agree with the price drop, so i will wait...patiently...lol,:rolleyes:

    I'm curious..for the video card, what is the big difference between 256mb and 512mb? Is that the speed it runs on the mobo? I'm still learning about hardware components..

    How do people notice if the northbridge or southbridge is weak?

    To answer some of the previous post, mainly, I will be using photoshop on this computer. I WOULD ideally like to purchase more games, I do have one and I play it sometimes. I'll be watching all my DVDs and shows on this computer as well. I multi task like crazy, I'll have a show up and use photoshop at the same time, along with other IE up and AIM.

    Thanks again!
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    The amount of RAM on your card indicates the amount of textures it can store so they can be processed faster. 256MB and 512MB are standard today. As for your requirements, you'd be quite okay with the E6750, since it's fast enough for Photoshop and any game you'd want to play on it. Plus, the 8600GT I recommended will allow you to watch HD videos without loading the CPU too much, hence allowing you to multitask even when you're running an HD video. In the end, the choice is yours. :)
  25. not that i don't want it, but...you certainly thank us quite a lot. ^^;;

    its nice to know we're getting the thanks we deserve....but at the end of every post? maybe its a bit much. i'm not sure about the rest of you guys. but...i'm just more than happy to help. so...no thanks be needed. i'm satisfied knowing that the person is getting a high quality piece of equipment that they can be happy with.

    as for the question about the north and southbridges....i think i'm going to hop on that and wait for someone else to answer...because i honestly haven't the faintest about that. my knowledge only extends so far...so....please explain it to me too! hehe.

    and...rage, i could be wrong, but i think judicious might go with an 8800gt. maybe i did miss something and she's sticking with the lower priced cards...but...yeah. that 8800 would definitely be more than enough for those purposes as well. correct?..

    actually, y'know what? lets leave it at this: get the 8800 if you can afford it. and if not, get the 8600 as it is a very high performer as well.

    i' d say that's fair.
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