My first self-built PC (opinions and suggestions wanted)

By Gundam04 ยท 29 replies
Jun 28, 2006
  1. Hello, I'm new to building PCs, but since I've grown a distaste for factory built models I've decided to build my own. I just want some opinions and suggestions as to what I need. Here's a list of what I've got. (some of these parts I've seen used in other messages and decided to incorporate them.







    I think I may use my old CD/DVD drives and HDDs. Do I need anything else?
  2. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    whats your budget, b/c if you want to spare a few bucks go for the Athlon 64 3500+, you will also need a display and Keyboard/Mouse combo. Does the mobo have integrated sound, or else you need a soundcard, also will need USB and Firewire cards. plus optional components like a media card reader, floppy, etc... I hope you included WinXP in there Home will be about $100, and Pro will be about $200, I highly recomed WinXP Pro, b/c of improved reliability and stability, and a File Encrypting System (FES) plus wheres your HD???? go for at least a 250GB drive or dual 100GB for improved system performance Western Digital makes a good 250GB drive for about $150.00 very inexpensive its only ATA but its one of the fastest drives out there 2day. are you going to be using stock cooling or Water cooling, water is awesome b/c its silent ut it gonna cost you.

    Other Than That, looks pretty good to me, have fun building her

    ps. since this is your first custom build, get a hold of an old PC and take it apart several times and re-assemble for practice.

    one other thing, i cant stress enough, ALWAYS GROUND YOURSELF EVERYTIME YOU TOUCH THE CASE WHILE ASSEMBLING THE PC, or you could fry your new parts

    Good Luck
  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    I can tell you did your homework. That looks like a very solid system. Great choices on the parts! It is also very upgradable so it should last you for some time to come.
  4. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 716

    Very nice system,

    I would use dual 200gb hard drives for system speed,

    except for that, solid system.


  5. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Good idea, don't invest to much in the graphic card, but the CPU, RAM etc. Save up for you DX10 card. I like the ram you picked out, real High quilty. Nice system if I do say so myself. :rolleyes:
  6. Tedster

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

    I don''t recommend Asus at all. Their boards are very finicky about components - especially RAM.

    I have had 2 MSI boards that work and one Asus that I could never get to work.
  7. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    I too have had nothing but problems with Asus in the past, however they have a very good reputation.

    every motherboard maker has good and bad boards, so I think it's more important to consider the model itself, not just the manufacturer.

    I would tend to think that tedster and myself just got unlucky, because you hear far more good things about Asus than you hear bad things. just my 2 cents ;)
  8. Gundam04

    Gundam04 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I will remember to where the anti-static wristbands. I work with a lot of computer gurus, and they all gave me tips and advice. I don't need a new keyboard/mouse as of the moment since the one I'm using works fine. There's an HD TV that I was going to buy and use as my monitor. Also the there was an EVGA board I was looking at that was about $50 more than the Asus.

    Right now I can go 1 of two routes with my video card.
    1) I could take my Radeon 9200 out of the machine I'm using and wait for the DX10 cards


    2: I could buy this 7600 and replace it down the road (if needed).

    Either way I've been convinced not to buy two 7600Gts for SLI. As far as processor goes I could go with my 9200 Radeon and put the money I'd use on the 7600 towards getting an even better processor. I do want dual core though.
  9. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    why are you gonna spen a couple thousand dollars on a HDTV get yourself a nice Flat Panel, like the new Dell 24" UltraSharp monitor, have it myself, and its sweet, it even has 4 powered USB 2.0 ports and has either VGA and DVI inputs.

    Just a helpful Tip
  10. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    What OS are you going with?

    If you dont want to spend any money get Linux its not as great as windows, but its free

    go with XP Pro for optimal performance
  11. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Unfortunetly Gundam04 option 1 will not work with the mobo you have selected. The ATI 9200's are AGP and the ASUS mobo you are looking at (good board btw) only has PCI-e slots available. For the price, I would stay with the card you have chosen and upgrade in a year or two when DX10 cards are more necessary.
  12. Gundam04

    Gundam04 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well the TV I was looking at was only $1000. If I buy a monitor or TV I want it to double as the other...if that makes sense. The other reason for this is I can hook up my PS3 (when I get it...) to the TV, which has HDMI on it, and still have the TV work as a monitor rather then buying them seperately and spending even more $.

    I did notice the AGP issue...may as well go with the new card anyway... AS for OS I'm going with Windows XP (either PRO or Home which ever is cheaper...).

    May need a new HDD too...
  13. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    Well XP home is usually cheaper, but as i said XP Pro offers more features for just a slightly higher price, for example the Encryptin File System (EFS) and remote desktop
  14. Gundam04

    Gundam04 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ABout how much space will Windows XP Prof. take up? Do I have to format whatever HDD it's going on?
  15. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    I have never had any problems with ASUS boards nor do I know anyone who has had problems. I know 3 people who have them not including myself and they all run fine. Even my friend's brand new M2N32-SLI Deluxe...
  16. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    Fore a full list of XP Pro requirements go here:

    and you dont have to format the HD, you could do a simple upgrade if your running windows 98 or later on that HD, but it is strongly recomended that you do perform a what MS calls a "clean" install, this process, completetly formats HD and then installs XP Pro on it. its been known to cause problems if installling over an already existing windows version.

    and it says 128MB RAM, you want about 512MB to really let it run good. and it says 1.5GB of space, you want to let it use as much as possible, it XP has enough room to really stretch its legs, it will significantly speed up your system

  17. Gundam04

    Gundam04 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well see, The HD I was planning on bringing over does not have Windows loaded on it. It just has things like my music, Film Project and games.

    Here's my next concern, I currently have a 2.8 Intel Pentium 4. Will I recieve a big boost performance wise in games like Half-Life 2 or atleast something noticable?

    Should I get this processor:
    or this

    Which is the best value for my dollar?
  18. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    a 3800+ will offer a noticable performace boost over a 2.8GHz P4

    best value for dollar? that's a tough one. it would suggest you wait for prices to come down a bit more before buying a $632 processor (the 4800+ toledo) I could never justify spending that much money on a CPU alone.

    if you're looking for gaming performance, than you should be spending more money on your video card and less on the processor. in most games the video card will have a much more noticable effect of gaming performance than the CPU will.
  19. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    yes the AMD Athlon64 is a major improvement over the intel P4, plus its 64bit so its already prepped for future apps.

    and since the HD that ur using as the windows HD does not have any windows OS, buy an OEM version from newegg, zipzoomfly, or tiger direct. an OEM version of winXP pro will run ou about $100.00 or somewhere around there.
  20. Tashammer

    Tashammer TS Rookie

    and you could consider chopping down Windows by removing all the unnecessary stuff that it tends to install. Next, try adding the applications you want via a silent install. Burn it all to a cd.
  21. Gundam04

    Gundam04 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Any suggestions for a mobo since the one I wanted is out of stock? has to be socket 939 and AMDX2 compatible as well as compatible with the above parts?
  22. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

  23. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    i noticed that you were going to buy an SLI board. was this just coincidence or did you plan on going SLI in the future?

    If you have no intention of going SLI, then I could suggest the board I have now. The Abit KN8-Ultra. it's good quality and only $88. it is also available in an SLI version for a little bit more if you need it. I'm not saying that they are the absolute best, but Abit is my personal favorite brand (this is the 3rd Abit I have owned and I have never had a problem with any of them, as opposed to my 2 defective Asus mobos)

    cheers :wave:
  24. Gundam04

    Gundam04 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was planning on going SLI until I heard about the DX10 cards. I'll wait till later to get two cards.
  25. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    yeah, it is frustrating to know that an expensive video card purchased today will not support the new DX10 games coming out soon :( I too am planning on waiting for DX10 to buy a video card upgrade, but I probably won't. playing games on an x550 is very painful and I don't know how much more I can take :haha:

    Like I said, I really like my Abit KN8-Ultra. the Abit KN8-SLI is pretty much the same thing but with two PCI-E x16 slots and the nForce4-SLI chipset. The AN8-SLI is abit's higher end board (I don't know what it has or does that the KN8-SLI doesn't, but it must do something better ;))

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