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A build I've been working on


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So, I've gotten the go ahead from my financial department, that being mi madri lol, that we've the funds for a new computer. She wanted to go out and buy one from Best Buy, but I convinced her I could get a lot more bang for the buck by building one myself. I've taken an A+ course and passed with fly colors so I know my way around a computer fairly decently. I had a string of bad luck when we were selecting our parts for the build during the course, coming down with the flue for a few days and I missed everything wouldn't ya'know? But anyway, back on subject. I wanted to make sure everything was compatible with everything. I've giving it the once over and the twice over and I'm still not really sure on a few things. Don't want to have to tell Mom that this and this need to be ordered to complete the build lol. I designed the build around what I wanted it to do, and started with the MoBo. So here's my list of hardware for the build:

I used Tiger Direct for these two because NewEgg didn't have them, and it was a really nice deal in my eyes, plus I liked the case. Fits my personal style as well as features an on board temp gauge.

Forgot to mention the Power supply is bundled with the case XD

The Case

The GPU unit

Now the stuff I was able to get on NewEgg:




Now for some less important stuff, but still wanted it for the build especially the fans:

Blue LED 120mm Fan

120mm Fan, non LED

DVD burner


Also, a note... Not sure, but I think I'll have all my cables and that. The MoBo comes with a few of the necessities. Feel free to critique if you want, I'd be glad to hear your comments. I'm going to get Vista Home Premium for the OS 64x

Edited by Ophan
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The case looks like something that would appeal to an 14 year old without taste, but it got a good price.

The graphics card is a mid-range one, and a decent price too. I believe it will be "good enough", and be able to play many games alright. Note that the Geforce 9600 is nothing but a renamed Geforce 8600, yes Nvidia are shady. You could get an ATI Radeon 4670 at a better price, I believes it performs better. Check some benchmarks.

Memory is very cheap these days. So cheap that you might even want to go with 4 gb RAM, just because you can. DDR2 is a good choice because of it is very cheap, and pretty much as good performance as DDR3 which is very much more expensive. PC6400 is good, they're good price at it, and faster do not provide so much more benefit. You can ignore the "SLI-ready" though, as its just some bs marketing.

ASUS is a popular brand of motherboards with a good reputation. I've never used the Nvidia chipset though, and would probably go with an Intel chipset instead. The motherboard is not expensive, it usual price, but it looks a bit pricey when compared to your other components. The onboard audio is a Realtek ALC883, mine is a newer Realtek ALC888 and I bought my motherboard a year ago, for about the same price. The motherboard you picked do have RAID support though.

Your CPU is a low-end, since it carries the Pentium name, while the non-budget are named Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad. It does use modern 45nm technology, which is good. It is cheap. MY choice when I built my computer was the Core 2 Duo though.

I would avoid the Seagate harddisk, since the Barracuda 7200.11 series is known crash.

The DVD burner is cheap. It appears to be IDE (ATA), and I would pick a SATA burner just cuz I am a geek.

But it really doesn't matter.

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Welcome Ophan to the forum,

Let's redo that list completely shall we?

This is going to sound a bit negative but I will give you a better advice on what is Hot and what is Not; you got it, your system is "Not" so here's why:

For an INTEL based system use an INTEL chipset, there were rumors that nVidia was going to leave the chipset market for other CPU makers, like VIA did some time ago, so for that reason I would stay away from nVidia. Also nVidia fights against ATI and they hardly can keep up, it's like Intel staying ahead of AMD as well.

The case looks good but I can tell you that it's flimsy with an ugly (but that is personal) design and a useless display in front; it also includes a PSU that isn't up to the standards of a modern PSU so please go for a something else. You don't want you screen going black after half a year or even less. It could be even worse; the PSU taking out your hard disk, motherboard and some other components as well.

The Video Card isn't the best buy either, go with a ATI HD4670 or HD4850, those beat and slap around the nVidia card by price AND performance. Check out the benchmarks on the net.

LG isn't making quality optical drives these days, and I must say that back in 1999 they were the best but these days you are better off buying a Samsung.

Seagate has messed up big time with their firmware leaving tons of people with lost data and a "seabrick" that is useless until you flash it or send it back to Seagate for replacement; again, Google will show you a lot of info on this :) .

Now, the good part; Let's start to get the parts together for a serious system:

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


120 USD

SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail


100 USD

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM


70 USD

Antec NSK6580B Black 0.8mm cold-rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430 Watts 80 PLUS Power Supply - Retail


100 USD

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail


73 USD

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM


24 USD

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


53 USD

540 USD in total. I'll be back soon to finish my story ;) .

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puntoMX raises some good points.

The Gigabyte motherboard he suggest is cheaper. Gigabyte does also have a good reputation. It features the on-board Realtek ALC889A which is newer than the old 883 on yours. It also features optical S/PDIF out.

The graphics card he suggest is same price, but I believe the ATI Radeon is better performance than the deceptively named Geforce 9600.

The WD disk is twice the disk space, and a nice 16 mb cache.

The Antec case is more expensive, but it looks much prettier. It got a 80 PLUS power supply, so hopefully that is good.

The Samsung DVD is nice, its 22x speed. Though, I am a geek and would go for SATA.

The memory picked by puntoMX is slightly more expensive, but its twice the size, and also PC 8500 so it is faster.

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Yeah, all valid points. Lol, I'm still new. Thank you very much for the suggestions. I'll review and take a more indepth look. Perhaps even go with the build Punto pointed out. It looks pretty solid, and backed by your experiences. Again, thank you.

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The Samsung DVD is nice, its 22x speed. Though, I am a geek and would go for SATA.
Well, the reason why I picked the PATA drive; the board still has one PATA port plus you would free up a SATA port for future use.

nVidia is just pushing to hard with their products to keep up with ATI, not only with their motherboard chipsets but also with their video cards, a good example is their renaming stratigy of older products. Sure they go to a lower production process (eg. from 65 to 55m) but that's still no reason in my eyes to rename a hip completely. Don't get me wrong, they made perfect chipsets over the years and their first nForce and TNT chipset are still in my mind and I loved the 6100/410 and nForce3 chipset for the AMD Sempron 754 and nForce4 for the 939 CPUs, sure for overclocking :) . The 8600 and 9600 were right priced some time ago but AMD slapped them hard.

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Tarun sold it for me, I'm going with what you suggested Punto. I really just wanted something I could at least upgrade. The computer I'm sitting on now is one of the Gateway E-2600s for businesses. Micro BTX board =\ And one of them Mini-Desktop cases that you can't fit most anything in these days. What it really needs is a GPU... but nothing would fit. I never tried looking for myself though, I asked around a bit and each one of them said it was hopeless and anything I could get wouldn't be worth the money.

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Tarun forgot to say that he has a gateway computer with a BTX board as well, and a not to easy on the components 915 Intel chipset. Also I had to make sure that the video card wasn't too long and that the 12cm fan from the PSU pointed down. He got some nice deals on those parts and it was the best he could do with that machine.

Now, we are talking about a video card, but for what purpose are you going to use one? What screen will be hooked up?

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I just got a 19" Widescreen 720p screen. So, DVI is what I'll be using, and the card you selected fit so I didn't have any real complaints about it. I'm not a "Hard Core" gamer, but I would like to play World of Warcraft at more than 15 to 20 FPS with all the settings on the lowest. I'd also like to dip into Fallout 3 and sort of expand my horizons. I'd also use it for little side projects like Video editing, but nothing too intensive. I don't have or don't speculate using anything other than Window's Movie Maker for that, and that runs just peachy on the machine I have now. Which would be this It's definitely not a horrible computer, just no upgradability at this point, and I'm really starting to get into this sort of thing.

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I'd also like to dip into Fallout 3 and sort of expand my horizons

The HD4830 will pull that game on max. without AA, you could consider it's bigger brother; the HD 4850 with 512MB.

If possible, use Vista 64bits so you can get the best out of your hardware :) .

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Yeah, It's all going to get ordered today =D Got Vista Home Premium 64x shipping with the build. I don't really need all the fancy features of Ultimate or I'd definitely hit up that route.

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Just got to dig into it just now.

As of 12:09 AM Central time I'm loading Vista on to it and going to run some benchmarks after that :)

It was getting kind of late, so I decided to call it a night after getting the Gigabyte CD drivers done. =3 Today we're running smoothly the cpu temp on max load held stable at 52ºC for around 5 minutes before I got antsy and had to tinker with more stuff xD

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Sounds good.

I like the hardware suggested by puntMX, with only one proviso:

If the motherboard and CPU are kept the same,

what RAM is recommended for use in countries that G.SKIL is not available?


Any brand, that is 2-4 gb and PC6400 or faster.

Corsair Memory is a popular choice.

I would go with 4 gb of PC6400. Maybe faster than PC6400 if there were a good price.

But it really don't matter all that much of details such as CAS and RAS latency, etc unless you intend to overclock.

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I overclocked the CPU to 3.0Ghz, Gigabytes bios made it easy peasy xD Could probably push it up higher, it's still running cool and stable. It's a pretty good CPU. Not to mention the with the stock cooler. =D

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With a better cooler it can hit 4 GHz without problems, just give it more voltage :) . But, A E5200 CPU works great at 3GHz without setting voltages higher. The "Auto" settings on the motherboard are working as they should unlike older motherboard where "Auto" were more "Default" settings.

Good you like the setup ;) .

@ James_A,

Just pick any brand these days and you will find that there are just a few brands of chips, but they do pick them by timings and speed at for example Mushkin. I would just keep it normal and look for a nice deal, anything that doesn't need over 2.1volts and doesn't have higher timings than 5-5-5-15 would be recommended. Also, go for 4GB, when you have a 32Bit OS So you would not fill all your banks with 2 of 1GB and 2 of 512MB. Remember that a 32bit OS can't address the full 4GB although Vista will show in system specs that the board has 4GB available.

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Thanks for the additional info.

I've gone for Crucial (Ballistix), Corsair or OCZ (Gold or Platinum) in the past depending on what was available on special offer. Prices for these are so close that 4-4-4-12 can sometimes come at the same price as 5-5-5-15. I think only the "value" ranges go slower than 5-5-5-15. Round here ValueRAM is sometimes CAS 5 sometimes CAS 6.

I've not really tried much over-volting, but a Biostar mobo I used a couple of months ago came already over-volted at 1.95V for the default setting.

Both Mushkin and G.SKIL are actually available in the UK if you know where to look (not at any of the big suppliers, for instance), but at a considerable markup (e.g. 50% more) over the other brands.

I understand the 4Gb limit, but may still have to fill all four slots, because 4x1Gb is once again both a lot easier to obtain and cheaper than 2x2Gb.

That E5200 performance is impressive, not far behind an E7300: 95% of the performance but at 60% of the price (depending on exactly what is being measured, of course). P45 chipset and E5200 makes a lot more sense than some people think.


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I was talking to one of the tech guys I know about overclocking my GPU and Processor and he told me to hold off on Overclocking the Processor and the GPU till I got a better PSU, any thoughts on that PMX?

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I figured it was, but I just wanted to make sure.

As sure as it can be, like James already pointed out, that PSU has plenty of power unless you go with double or triple video cards ;) .

Just be careful with the voltages you put on the components, don't go much higher than 1.4v on the CPU. Gigabyte recovers nicely from bad BIOS setting so not much can go wrong, just take it step by step. Now! Tweak that baby :) .*

* Always on your own risk, we at Lunarsoft don't want to be hold responsible.

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