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Newbie here, building first PC.

By gniewszew ยท 11 replies
Jul 22, 2005
  1. Hi, while I've owned many pre-built PC's, the only real time I got to go into the case was putting in new graphic cards and ram. Now I'm ready to build myself a machine, suitable for gaming for now that can hopefully handle UT2k7 by the time that comes out. I've done some research, and picked out some hardware to the best of my abilities using zipzoomfly which has free 2nd day shipping (the whole reason I want to get everything from there, already gotten parts from them before). One thing worth mentioning, I want to utilize the 64 bit processing for future support with 64 bit operating systems, dual processors, and the SLI technology though only one card for now.

    So here I go listing everything I want to get, sorted by cost (my budget is $2,000):

    $525.00 AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Processor Socket 939
    Picked this processor since it was the cheapest X2 they have, looks like it comes with a heatsink/fan, and set to be the most expensive part.

    $269.95 Acer AL1912B 19in Flat Panel LCD Monitor
    Pretty much the cheapest LCD 19" monitor, I cant really afford a super nice one.

    $259.99 MSI NX6800-TD256E GeForce 6800 PCI Express 256MB DDR Video Card
    This I'm not sure about, alot of the GPU's I want to pick were not in stock and I really want to stick with zipzoomfly. I will probably want to pick something else, but at the very least, is this one SLI compatable?

    $339.99 MSI NX6800GTX-T2D256E GeForce 6800GT PCI Express 256MB DDR3 Video Card
    Feels like my system needs this despite the extra cost.

    $158.99 Coolermaster STC-T01 CM Stacker Aluminum Full Tower Case
    Most of the full-tower cases I wanted were out of stock, so I kept looking at the more costly ones and ended up on this one. The review I read showed it has very good ventilation which is what I want bigtime, in addition to lots of space. For me, bigger is better in this case.

    $155.00 Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6B300S0 300GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive
    I'm not familiar with the whole SATA and IDE stuff, so I picked this hoping it will work with the motherboard. I want to start with one big HD, and then later upgrade with lots more with similar storage capacity (yes, I want to be able to store lots eventually). Maybe there is a better choice, or perhaps this wont work with what I selected?

    $164.99 MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI nForce4 SLI Athlon 64(FX) Skt939 DDR ATX Motherboard
    Not sure what to say about this, seems like a good choice. Has onboard ethernet ports and a sound card to save PCI slots. And it has the SLI that I want to take advantage of in the future.

    $92.30 Corsair VS1GB400C3 1GB DDR400 PC3200
    $92.30 Corsair VS1GB400C3 1GB DDR400 PC3200
    Not sure on my choice of ram, I want at least 2gb to start with, these should work right?

    $89.99 MGE XG Vortec 600W Power Supply
    This thing could be a problem. I read reviews that were all very positive and satisfactory, but the mobo I picked says my power source needs ATX 2.0 support. I dont know what that is, and google has been giving me a hard time figuring this one out, though it may be related to a 24 pin connection? This powersource has a 20 to 24 pin converter, I think called ATX to BTX, with no mention of ATX 2.0. Will this work with the motherboard? The case I picked has some kind of setup to handle 2 PSU's so I hope to add in a second one in the future of similar power, but I dont know if this one will even work so I need some real help with this one.
    *EDIT* Got this in response from MGE support just now: "ATX 2.0 basically has a 24 pin power for the motherboard instead of 20 pin connector. The Vortec 600 has a 20 pin power BUT comes with a 24 pin adaptor so it will work with a bigger range of motherboards."
    So I guess this power source will work, based on the reviews I'm hoping it will be ok despite the cost.

    $109.99 Antec TruePower 2.0 TP-II 550 550W Power Supply
    Decided against a stupid risk with the previous PSU. Someday I'll upgrade to a dual PSU in some form as I become power hungry and start adding more stuff. Long as this is enough to power everything I got now with an appropriate amount of leeway, I'm happy.

    $51.99 RealWorld 350XL-BK Sicuro 2.1 Gaming Speaker
    Just some 2.1 speakers

    $38.99 Logitech MX518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse
    Should be a good gaming mouse, nothing special

    $38.95 Liteon SOHC-5236K DVD 16x + CD-RW 52x32x52 Combo Drive
    Just some random drive I chose based on price that I'm expecting to read CD's for installing my OS. Is this the right one to connect with the mobo or do I need a different one?

    $14.99 Chaintech AudioExcel AV512A C-Media 8738-6Ch Sound Card
    The cheapest sound card I can find, I need this second one for seperate sound for my teamspeak/ventrillo on the headset.

    $13.50 Sony FD MPF920Z161/131 1.44MB 3.5in Floppy Disk Drive
    Cheap floppy drive so I can use boot disks or whatnot.

    $13.50 BenQ P010 Standard Keyboard
    Just a random black keyboard, dont need anything fancy.

    $2,080.43 total with what I have chosen, which is just over my budget now. I could really use some help making sure everything will work together. Like that PSU I dont know about. And perhaps some advice if it would be smarter to pick something else over another due to cost vs performance. I dont really have alot of room to go higher cost since thats at my budget, but perhaps there are better choices such as lowering cost in one thing and going up in another. What would be the biggest bottlenecks I'm looking at right now?

    I may also order a few extra case fans, I dont have any current plans to OC, but that could very easily change. I'm thinking I would like to order all my parts either late today or tomarrow, so I dont have much time to fiddle around with the list, but I do want to make sure I'm not screwing something up before ordering as well as any choices I can make that would be smarter.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

    Added email quote I recieved from MGE about the PSU I selected.
    Changed GPU, increasing overall cost to $2,060.43
    Changed PSU, increased overall cost to $2,080.43, hopefully I dont talk myself into going any higher at this time, I have plenty of time to do that in upgrades.
  2. gniewszew

    gniewszew TS Rookie Topic Starter

    One other question I have, with the case being as big as it is, will I have to worry about cable length from the PSU to things like the hard drive if they are sitting somewhere like near the bottom of the case? Are there extentions I may need to consider?
  3. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Hello! Welcome to TechSpot

    I'm runnin sata as primary w/ XP pro...a little sticky on install but worth it!
    Though I wish I'd gotten 10,000rpm

    From what I can tell, Yes

    Looks like you did good research..I'm certain others here will help pick out
    incompatabilties and even better hardware for less $$'s
    TS has a very good buyers guide on the Home page that may prove useful..
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    This psu is atx2.0(dual 12v rails), and should be acceptable.

    If your cables aren't long enough, you can get a cable splitter, and that will add length to your molexes.

    If you order cables, you can get them extra long, like 24" or more.

    That should be a good rig, and last a long time. You clearly did your research on the parts, they're almost all top notch.

    I can see converting a 24 pin psu to 20 pin, but I doubt that a 20 pin converted to 24 pin is the same as a true 24 pin. IMHO.
    The "psu thread" above lists mge as "unscrupulous" (i.e. bad, junk, etc).
  5. gniewszew

    gniewszew TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That PSU does look more reliable, though bit less watt. Hopefully having to put it together with the rest of the hardware, combined with having to read the the manuals, will get me to understand what EVEREST is telling me in terms of Voltage Values :)

    I'm looking at a more satisfactory vid card:
    $339.99 MSI NX6800GTX-T2D256E GeForce 6800GT PCI Express 256MB DDR3 Video Card

    It will put me a bit over my budget, but I think the extra little bit will be worth it. Of course every 6800 Ultra PCI-E was out of stock, but those ran over 400 anyways so it would only cost more. If a few months from now I can nab the same 6800GT for a SLI hookup for cheap, should all work out I hope. Been hearing mixed opinions on SLI, but I've been a follower of Nvidia so hopefully it turns out to be some beautiful thing.

    Is it strange to be paying more for the CPU and GPU individually, then the Monitor? Just seems strange, though I dont have much choice there due to spacing.
  6. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    GeForce 6800GT PCI Express 256MB
    That should be a very good chioce. ;)
    I'm running a GeForce 6800GT oc agp 256MB and it rawks!
    good thing to get 600w psu.....stable!
  7. gniewszew

    gniewszew TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Would you recommend the 600w I had listed over the 550w vnf4ultra put in as a recommendation? I know the power is the one thing I dont want to skimp on, and I dont mean cost by that, just raw power my machine will hopefully be delivering as I put in more stuff. Over the span of, lets say, 2 years I see myself buying 3 more hard drives similar in size to the first, and at least a dvd burner dunno what else. Maybe extra case mod kind of stuff that end up powering through USB ports so I would imagine that sucks in from the PSU. Heck knows what else could come out, things like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD (wish they would unify a standard) I may end up with, or more likely I'll have access to those through the xbox 360 and playstation 3, heck knows.

    The main reason I was drawn to the case is the review says it supports two of them PSU's so if 550w or 600w isnt enough I could add one more in.
    http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?cid=22&id=1121&pg=4 (near the bottom)
    They even have a picture of the Y cable to join them together, but counting the pins it looks like it's 20 pin. Perhaps to use that I have to plug in the PSU into one of those with a 20 pin, and stick an adapter to 24 pin (ATX 2.0 if I'm correct) on the end to go into the motherboard? Might mean I would want to have a 20 pin type PSU to plug into the Y cable and take the adapter it comes with and add that to the end, which would hopefully work with a second PSU when added into the future? Or is this a whole new level of risk? 1200w does sound nice!
  8. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    without a question....didn't catch that in his post....
    this IS a whole new level of risk!
    YES 1200w does sound nice!
    I've been running dual psu's for a couple of months.
    Works great..I use the smaller wattage for fan and such..
    we have a good thread HERE
  9. gniewszew

    gniewszew TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the link, looks to me like the case simply offers a way to mount a second PSU comfortably in there, and connect it so it will jumpstart both with the power button to boot your PC. I'm very glad I read that thread about the added risks. If I run 2 equally "high" PSU's like 600w or 550w, perhaps it would be better to not just make one run all the fans, but add in something critical that would simply lock up the computer if it crashed, so if the PSU with the fans dies, the system cant boot up till it's replaced. At least in my theory!
  10. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Yes this allows a measure of safety and balances the load for both psu's.
    I'm hyper critical of my system since I've choosen my setup.
    I'm always on guard watchin the fans...I have good cut off temps
    set in bios...I only went this way ti make use of older psu's
  11. gniewszew

    gniewszew TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I feel satisfied right now, bit over my planned limit but it's ok and I dont want to sacrifice anything to drop the price. Only thing I can think of, based on response, is the HD speed but it shouldnt be an issue for me. Thats the one part I will gladly want capacity over speed, and being at 2g memory and able to go to 4g, things like virtual memory shouldnt be too much of an issue (I hope?). I dont know how slow the HD's in my other computers are (pre-built hunk-o-junks) but I have one USB 2.0 external HD that copies files fast enough for downloading to and installing from. That is, after I installed the USB 2.0 drivers on my machine, prior to that it was running ungodly bang-your-head-on-the-wall slow.

    I still have some other "little" costs I'm not counting twords the fee, like mousepad, compressed air can thingy, anti static wrist guard that I sure as heck wont touch anything without, and probably some kind of cables that I wont know I need till I start putting things together unless everything I need is literally there.

    Well, I'm going to sleep on this, I appreciate the input I've recieved so far.
  12. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

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