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Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

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Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Old 02-10-11, 07:48 AM
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Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Hi All:

I am looking to build a PC to replace a 4 year old Dell dinosaur. I'm trying to keep the spend to about $500- already have a DVD burner, decent video card and O/S.

I am considering either an Athlon II X4 640 or Phenom II X2 560 BE. I'm not a hard core game enthusiast (more surfing, business applications, light gaming), but do want to buy something that will last a few years. I'm aware the Phenom extra cores may be un-lockable on the BE, but not using that as a major deciding factor. These chips seem to be the "sweet spot" at the moment to get maximum bang for the buck.

On the motherboard front, I want to stay with a good name such as Asus, MSI or Gigabyte. 4 Gig memory is all I anticipate installing.

Hard drive, likely to go with Seagate or WD- doesn't seem to be much difference these days. Hitachi seem to be well priced but I have heard DOA horror stories about some of their consumer level drives.

I've also read that any case will do, but to splurge on a good P/S. Would 450 watts be adequate for a non-gaming rig?

I would welcome any feedback/brand/model or alternative recommendations you might have. I have built many PC's in the past (going back to the '80's), but the technology is evolving so quickly that I wanted to get the insight of experts who are current with whats in the market today.

Best regards

Greg aka Thespian68
Old 02-10-11, 07:57 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

On Sale at newegg today:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboB...t=Combo.591896
Old 02-10-11, 08:37 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by parrotheads4 View Post
I appreciate the tip, looks like a decent package. I will probably go to MicroCenter however, as its right around the corner for me. I noticed they have some decent pricing on AMD processors, and have combo deals right now where they throw the MB in for free or a minimal cost ($10).
Old 02-10-11, 08:40 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

I'm no expert, but Seagate is the brand almost everybody warned me to stay away from.
Old 02-10-11, 11:05 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

read the reviews on egg, there are a lot of rma's on this Seagate drive.

MC will probably be the best deal for mb/cpu combo.

psu, 450W is plenty. even 350 is adequate for a non-gaming system. for a gaming rig, the psu needed would be dependent on the card you are getting. the important thing is to get a quality psu. antec and corsair (excluding their cx line) are decent quality psus and both offer low end psus for a reasonable price when on sale.

there is a sale on ram at Newegg now:
http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/4674...er-20-mir-more

psu's go on sale often as well, check out Slickdeals or Fatwallet. for $50ish on sale, you can get a decent quality psu.

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 02-10-11 at 11:38 AM.
Old 02-10-11, 12:19 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

I am also in need of a new pc, my HP Pavilion stopped working Sunday night. Itís not the power supply or any peripherals or ram issue. So I am assuming itís a motherboard issue. Since its almost 5 years old, I figure its more cost effect to just buy a new system then replace the motherboard of this one.

Here is what I looking for:

barebones system preferably with HDMI out but not a deal breaker.
Not a gamer, but heavily into hidef video.
Do not need a hard drive, optical drive, keyboard, mouse, speakers, or monitor.
I obviously would prefer to have a nice fast system that will last at least as long as my old one, but again wonít be gaming or anything too demanding so donít need top of the line. Want the most bang for my buck
I want to just plug my current esata hard drive into the new system and go.

My budget is between 300-400 including any shipping charges.

Any recommendations based on what I am looking for?
Old 02-10-11, 01:43 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by Unclejosh View Post
I am also in need of a new pc, my HP Pavilion stopped working Sunday night. Itís not the power supply or any peripherals or ram issue. So I am assuming itís a motherboard issue. Since its almost 5 years old, I figure its more cost effect to just buy a new system then replace the motherboard of this one.

Here is what I looking for:

barebones system preferably with HDMI out but not a deal breaker.
Not a gamer, but heavily into hidef video.
Do not need a hard drive, optical drive, keyboard, mouse, speakers, or monitor.
I obviously would prefer to have a nice fast system that will last at least as long as my old one, but again wonít be gaming or anything too demanding so donít need top of the line. Want the most bang for my buck
I want to just plug my current esata hard drive into the new system and go.

My budget is between 300-400 including any shipping charges.

Any recommendations based on what I am looking for?
win7 oem $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-754-_-Product
4gb ddr3 $26ar http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/4674...er-20-mir-more
case+psu $75

x4 640+ msi 785GT-E63(has hd graphics, esata, hdmi) $106 (optional, 1055t+mobo $180, but pushing budget) @ MC http://www.microcenter.com/specials/...ndlePROMO.html
Old 02-10-11, 03:27 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
win7 oem $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-754-_-Product
4gb ddr3 $26ar http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/4674...er-20-mir-more
case+psu $75

x4 640+ msi 785GT-E63(has hd graphics, esata, hdmi) $106 (optional, 1055t+mobo $180, but pushing budget) @ MC http://www.microcenter.com/specials/...ndlePROMO.html
Thanks for the response.

I dont need an OS either. I am planning on using my current window7 os in the new system unless that is a problem i dont know about.

Also is there any site or company that will build it so i can just install my hd, opticals, video cards and go? I am not comfortable building from scratch.
Old 02-10-11, 03:42 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by Unclejosh View Post
Thanks for the response.

I dont need an OS either. I am planning on using my current window7 os in the new system unless that is a problem i dont know about.
if you bought a standalone copy of windows 7, then it should not be a problem. if it was a copy that came pre-installed on a computer, then it might have problems.

if you already had windows, i'd get the 1055t, that should last you a while. the SB i5's are better, but cpu+mobo would run you prob over $100 more.
Old 02-11-11, 07:04 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

350w Antec for 18.99 after rebate:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-17371003-L03B
Old 02-13-11, 10:04 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
win7 oem $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-754-_-Product
4gb ddr3 $26ar http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/4674...er-20-mir-more
case+psu $75

x4 640+ msi 785GT-E63(has hd graphics, esata, hdmi) $106 (optional, 1055t+mobo $180, but pushing budget) @ MC http://www.microcenter.com/specials/...ndlePROMO.html
According to the specs on the microcenter site, that mother board uses DDR2 memory but you put ddr3 memory above. Which is correct? Also any recommendations on a case?
Old 02-13-11, 10:05 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by starman9000 View Post
good deal. thanks. will that work with that motherboard from microcenter?
Old 02-13-11, 10:21 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by Unclejosh View Post
According to the specs on the microcenter site, that mother board uses DDR2 memory but you put ddr3 memory above. Which is correct? Also any recommendations on a case?
you are right! MC does offer ddr3 boards bundled as well.
Old 02-13-11, 03:54 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Ok, here is what i have so far:

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0334812

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0332148

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0334041

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0208611

That comes out to $290 and I can pick it all up tomorrow night.

Since that board uses DDR-2, I will just salvage the 8gb I already have from my old system.

How does that look? Anything else I may need to put everything together? Have never built before.
Old 02-13-11, 07:24 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

You may not need the thermal grease. I am not sure about AMD processors, but all of the Intel Core2 Duo and Quad processors I have purchased over the past couple of years have come with the heatsink/fan assembly "pre-greased". I personally would pick up an additional case fan as well, since the case only includes a single rear one.
Old 02-13-11, 10:21 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

the Logisys psu is a bit iffy. other than that, looks fine. as printerati said, you don't need thermal grease, i've bought several amd chips, and they all came with thermal compound on the hsf.
Old 02-13-11, 11:21 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by printerati View Post
You may not need the thermal grease. I am not sure about AMD processors, but all of the Intel Core2 Duo and Quad processors I have purchased over the past couple of years have come with the heatsink/fan assembly "pre-greased". I personally would pick up an additional case fan as well, since the case only includes a single rear one.

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
the Logisys psu is a bit iffy. other than that, looks fine. as printerati said, you don't need thermal grease, i've bought several amd chips, and they all came with thermal compound on the hsf.

Thanks for the heads up on the grease.

From the microcenter options for cases http://www.microcenter.com/search/se...prt=NewProduct which is the best choice for my needs/budget?
Old 02-14-11, 07:53 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

I have never been a fan of Micro Center's case selection since most of them look pretty obnoxious, but I suppose I would go with the Thermaltake V3 (which I have not used, but Newegg reviews are generally positive) and pair it with this Cooler Master 460W power supply (which I have used in a build similar to yours, using only onboard video and no additional video card, and it's been rock solid).

One other option might be the Cooler Master Elite 310 with included 420W power supply, but if the Newegg reviews are any indication, you are taking your chances on the power supply with this one, too. One review even suggests it isn't a Cooler Master power supply, which I find hard to believe, but...?

Last edited by printerati; 02-14-11 at 08:01 AM.
Old 02-14-11, 09:26 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by printerati View Post
I have never been a fan of Micro Center's case selection since most of them look pretty obnoxious, but I suppose I would go with the Thermaltake V3 (which I have not used, but Newegg reviews are generally positive) and pair it with this Cooler Master 460W power supply (which I have used in a build similar to yours, using only onboard video and no additional video card, and it's been rock solid).

One other option might be the Cooler Master Elite 310 with included 420W power supply, but if the Newegg reviews are any indication, you are taking your chances on the power supply with this one, too. One review even suggests it isn't a Cooler Master power supply, which I find hard to believe, but...?

Thanks again for the help, any (hopefully final) advice on an additonal fan as you recommended earlier?

http://www.microcenter.com/search/se...rt=NewProduct&
Old 02-14-11, 09:49 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

The Thermaltake V3 case has pre-existing bays for 120 mm fans, so I would just add one at the front. Fan noise doesn't really get to me since I work in a room with 10+ servers, so I generally don't spend the extra money on nicer "quieter" models. You might as well get a blue LED one that matches the fan that comes with the case.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0326677

A quieter (and slower) model: http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0335869
Old 02-14-11, 10:52 AM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Originally Posted by printerati View Post
The Thermaltake V3 case has pre-existing bays for 120 mm fans, so I would just add one at the front. Fan noise doesn't really get to me since I work in a room with 10+ servers, so I generally don't spend the extra money on nicer "quieter" models. You might as well get a blue LED one that matches the fan that comes with the case.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0326677

A quieter (and slower) model: http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0335869

That's great, thanks so much!
Old 02-14-11, 01:25 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

ok, everything is ordered and will pick up tonight after work. Hopefully I will be able to put it all together correctly.

Thanks again for all the help.

Last edited by Unclejosh; 02-14-11 at 01:28 PM. Reason: I can't spell...
Old 02-15-11, 03:15 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

got every hooked up, but I canít get the faceplate for the back panel flush to the motherboard. I clipped it in place on the case, but it wonít get flush and bulges out due to the metal "springy things" around each hole. Any thoughts on what I am doing wrong?
Old 02-15-11, 03:40 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

are you using the faceplate supplied with the mobo? if so, sometimes, you can bend the metal spring things a bit to get it to fit.
Old 02-15-11, 08:55 PM
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Re: Building a PC- Looking for some guidance

Update: I purchased the components I wanted this weekend at MicroCenter and spent a few hours Saturday afternoon building the box

AMD Athlon II X4 640 Processor $95
ASUS M4N68T-M V2 Motherboard FREE
2 X 2 Gig of Patriot Extreme DDR3-1333 Memory $30 (after $30 MIR)
Antec Three Hundred Case $53
PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK 2 500 Watt P/S $60
Samsung LightScribe 22X DVD Burner $22
ASUS ATI Radeon 5450 512Meg Video Card $20 (after $20 MIR)
Maxtor 200 Gig HD, 7200 RPM, 8M Cache (older drive I had kicking around)

Total Cost: $280

MicroCenter threw in the motherboard with the processor purchase, so that was a nice plus. Its a basic motherboard, but I wasn't looking for high end features, and it does support overclocking (I have my system set at 7% overclock). All in all, for what I do, this system will fit the bill nicely. The ASUS card does also have an HDMI out (VGA/DVI as well) so if I migrate this to an HTPC I'll be ready to go. I'll also likely grab a 500GB-1TB drive this weekend to round out the system, although the 4 year old Maxtor/Seagate drive is holding up fine so far.

I'm very impressed with the Antec case...2 built in tri-speed Antec fans, ability to add 3 more, and the built in bay to stash cabling is great for airflow. Its a nice quality case, lots of drive bays, and came with a pile of thumbscrews for easy mounting of drives. The PC Power and Cooling P/S is also nice..bottom mounted...piles of connectors to support pretty much any component...and quality leads sheathed in nylon material. At $60 I couldn't pass on it. Quiet as well.

Thanks all for the guidance and advice above. I'm happy to answer any questions I can about my purchase.

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