View Full Version : Building a new PC

19th October 2004, 06:26 PM
So here's the deal. I want to build a new PC for myself but the catch is, I have to build one for my wife as well. I made her a promise that it will run the Sims2 on it. Looking back that may have been a mistake but hey, it's nothing a little time and money won't handle.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd make a thread here where those of you who are smarter with computers than I am can help me out in my quest to choose some quality parts for the 2 new machines that I'll be building. Woo... hoo.

I've been surfing Newegg a bit and have come across some parts that I think might fit my needs. Basically, I want to make 2 nice gaming rigs that will also run basic things like the internet and Office well. I'll just link the items that I've found below...

Some things that I'm not sure about what I should be looking for would be the power supply, case, memory and anything else that I'm probably missing. Also, do you think I should spring the extra cash to get those neater cables that are pre-wrapped or should I just tape them up with chafe tape that I can get from work? I'm also not sure whether or not I should get an ATI 9800 or the new nVidia 6800 GT. Since that'll probably be one of the last things I get for these boxes, I'm not too worried about that right now.

I'd appreciate any help on this, since to be honest, I'm not very smart when it comes to things like this. Also, if any of that stuff that I've put up there isn't compatible with something else that I want to get then can you let me know about it, or maybe offer an alternative approach? These are going to be my first home-made PCs built by me, so I want them to be awesome, but I'll settle for "workable."

EDIT: I'll just add things here as I find them I think. It'll help me compile a list of crap that I'm looking at putting into the box.

Power Supplies:
510W PSU (http://www.pcpowercooling.com/about/index_whatnew510.htm)

1- Lian Li Black (http://www.infotechnow.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=2182)
2- Lian Li Silver (http://www.infotechnow.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=1432)
3- Lian Li Black with composite face (http://www.infotechnow.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=2183)
4- Thermaltake Case (http://www.infotechnow.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=2185)
5- CoolerMaster WaveMaster Case (Black but also in silver) (http://www.infotechnow.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=1906)
6- Coolermaster Centurion (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?DEPA=0&description=11-119-056&ATT=Cases+Computer+Cases&CMP=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r)

ASUS Mobo (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=13-131-492&DEPA=0)
Gigabyte Mobo (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=13-128-232&DEPA=0)

Hard Drives:
Hard Drive (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-129&depa=0)
Other hard drive (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-162&depa=0)

CPU (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=19-116-145&depa=1)

Video Cards:
Video Card (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-102-361&depa=1)

19th October 2004, 07:14 PM
When looking to build a new box I like to look over the Ars Buyer's Guide. (http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer.ars) I normally take a look at either the Budget Box (http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/system-09-21-2004.ars/2) or the Hot Rod Box (http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/system-09-21-2004.ars/3).

19th October 2004, 08:21 PM
I remember finding this guide: http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/ pretty helpful when I put my pc together.

also www.pricewatch.com is as good as newegg for finding hardware.

19th October 2004, 08:30 PM
Ben's Bargains (http://www.bensbargains.net/) and Slickdeals (http://www.slickdeals.net/) are good places to find cheap stuff. Also I know you are looking to build the system on your own but I figured I should mention Cyberpower (http://cyberpowersystem.com), they have suprisingly cheap prices and every person I know who has bought a system from them raves about the quality of the system and their experiance.

20th October 2004, 05:21 PM
Hard drives with large storage capacities and short warrantys are a bad idea because if your drive takes a shit with 200 gigs worth of stuff on it, you will be pissed. Stick with a smaller hard drive and possibly a second hard drive for games. As for graphics you should stick with ATI because I've found them to be more reliable and better bang for my buck.

20th October 2004, 05:28 PM
yes Cyber Power is awesome... and ive never liked nVIDIA's video cards

and go with some 512 DDR RAM... it might be a tad more expensive but you can run everything with that kinda power...

20th October 2004, 07:54 PM
Well for RAM, I'm looking at starting out with a 1GB stick per box. For video cards, I'll probably stick ATI in both machines. I was thinking that it'd be easier for me to build them both the same, but now I'm thinking about making hers just a little less powerful for now, but with room to upgrade. For example, if I get the same mobo for both boxes, but juice mine up with 1GB of RAM, a faster processor, and a slightly better video card, while putting in 512MB of RAM on hers with a slightly slower CPU and a video card with 128MB onboard RAM, that might cut costs for me a bit while making it easier for me to upgrade both mine and hers with ease.

20th October 2004, 08:30 PM
actually you may want to keep them both with the 2.66Ghz because youre not gonna cut THAT much money from the processor at lower grades unless you were planning to drop it alot... and besides from newegg youre getting a free beach towel... who could pass up a deal like that???

also try www.infotechnow.com for some decent prices...

20th October 2004, 10:35 PM
coincidental, but if you pick up the november issue of maximum pc, their big thing for the month is 'build your own pc'
it has a 21 step by step process for putting together your custom rig.
they even list components for high-end, midrange, low-end systems.
if you dont want to shell out an entire $8.99 + tax, hit me up and ill .. do something to get you the information.

21st October 2004, 09:44 AM
Well I'll be a seamonkey's uncle caught wearin' a dress on prom night, that's some awesome info dom. I'm definately going to be picking up this months' issue of Maximum PC, and no this isn't a shameless plug for said magazine.


25th October 2004, 02:15 PM
also it would probabley be good to have more then one ati port in your computer u never know what else ur going to need, i had to put one into my bored and it works very well.

25th October 2004, 02:35 PM
also it would probabley be good to have more then one ati port in your computer u never know what else ur going to need, i had to put one into my bored and it works very well.
What do you mean by an "ati port?"

25th October 2004, 04:20 PM
Your choice of power supply angers me. You should go for a 400W PS without the flashy lights and windows and shit, considering the power supply is WAY INSIDE the case. And I'd buy a less expensive case, but that's just my 'all go, no show' attitude.

25th October 2004, 05:02 PM
I see your point Hindu. At first I was just all about getting something that looks good with regards to a PSU but now that I actually think about it, I see that I need a reliable and powerful power supply. I've been thinking about a Turbo-Cool 510 from PC Power & Cooling, INC. or something along those lines.

But with the case though, I want it to look good with minimal work on my part. I'm lazy but I'd like for my box to look good. Besides, the Coolermaster cases not only look smooth but evidently keep everything nice and cool.

25th October 2004, 06:02 PM
I'm running a 350W PS and it has operated fine for over 3 years. It was one of those 30$ deals because I don't feel the need to spend unnecessary money on such a basic piece of computer hardware like a power supply or a case for that matter. I'd rather spend the money on a processor or video card with decent power and play games faster than the guy with the 200$ Xaser case with the fan controls and the clear side(both are worthless IMO).


That case is the shit. It is nice and roomy so you can easily assemble, it has a good power supply by a name brand, it is easy to take apart, and it has a modest price, making it an all-around good case.

25th October 2004, 06:16 PM
While the above is all true White_Hindu, some people are enthusiasts when it comes to their computers and like all the flashy cases and blinky lights. It's their prerogative if that's what they'd like to spend their money on. No need to get angry about it ;)

As for the Power supply I'd recommend getting a 450W just due to the fact that it will have a longer lifecycle than the smaller power supplies as processors and external cards go up in power usage over time. If you want to make it all flashy with lights, feel free to do so if you have the money.

25th October 2004, 06:24 PM
My case right now is an Enlight mid-tower that I tricked out. I recessed the drives back one screw and then put the faceplates back into the front of the case. I also disabled the LED lights in the front, so all I need now is a silent cooling solution and if I disable the LED on my NIC, when my case is fully assembled it will appear as though it is just an empty case. I think it's fun to mod my case like that, but once I start spending an inordinate amount of money on something as superficial as a CASE, I've gone too far. I've seen cases with custom paint jobs go onto the market at around $500. That's ridiculous if you ask me. A $40 case gets the job done perfectly and is in fact easier to carry than the 30 lb Thermaltake XaserIII.

25th October 2004, 07:23 PM
Well I don't want my case to be completely tricked out and with bells and whistles. I pretty much want a simple-looking case, maybe with a blue glow coming from it or have the front edges lined with a blue light strip. That's probably as far as I'd go with my box at this point though really. I'm mainly looking at black cases right now since I don't like how silver, white, or any of the other cases look. This Centurion 5 (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?DEPA=0&description=11-119-056&ATT=Cases+Computer+Cases&CMP=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r) is what I think I'll be going with. It's kinda simple but it's not really flashy at all. Nice, simple lines on it.

The reason why I want a PS with more than 350W is because I want to make sure I have enough power to throw whatever I want in there without worrying about whether or not my PS will kick out enough juice.

26th October 2004, 09:11 AM
What my friend did is buy a case very like the Antec I posted, but his was black and then he went to the local car audio/video emporium and picked up $5 worth of blue neon weatherstripping wire. It is a very thin wire that he strung through the front of the case, and the end result was a $5 case mod that gets the job done.

But I do think the case you posted looks pretty key.

And 3 years ago when I first made my computer I remember somewhere around 250W power supplys being the norm, so I got a 350W, overclocked my processor immediately after I got it to around 1400 mhz, added a hard drive(it could already power 1 hard drive and 2 disc drives), and I recently got a newer video card and I'm sure the PS is not going to run out of power any time soon.

26th October 2004, 02:49 PM
Yeah I really like that CM Centurion 5 case. It comes with a 350W PS but I still think I want something bigger just because PSU's don't cost that much money. I'd rather shell out a few extra bucks on a PS that I know won't have any trouble pumping out enough juice for my box.

Here are a few PS'es that I've been looking at getting:

Ultra-X PS (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=874745&Sku=ULT31554&SRCCODE=PRICEGRABBER&CMP=OTC-PRICEGRABBER) - I like this one because of the modular design for the cables, as well as the fact that I can use the neater-looking molded cables that come with it instead of your basic wire bundles that look just messy and scattered. I want the wires to look clean and neat inside my box with minimal clutter. Also, they glow so I can mount a small black light in the top of my tower and cut out a hole for the switch. Yay.

Turb-Cool510 (http://www.pcpowercooling.com/about/index_whatnew510.htm) - I like this one because it's a beefy 510W PS. Also, it was used in MaximumPC's 2004 Dream Machine, so if it can handle all the stuff they threw in there then there's no doubt it will handle anything I'll want to throw at it.

Well those are the only two PSU's that I'm seriously considering. The previous ones I posted were just flashy and nice to look at but I wasn't sure if any of them were what I was looking for aside from the power output. I really want something that will power two hard drives, two optical drives and probably an Iomega ZIP drive.

26th October 2004, 07:38 PM
coincidental, but if you pick up the november issue of maximum pc, their big thing for the month is 'build your own pc'
it has a 21 step by step process for putting together your custom rig.
they even list components for high-end, midrange, low-end systems.
if you dont want to shell out an entire $8.99 + tax, hit me up and ill .. do something to get you the information.
I went to their site and actually found that article online. It's a bit outdated, but the concepts are still the same and it is a serious help for those not too sure on what to do when building/buying computer stuff.