Author Topic: Thinking of building... questions about hardware...  (Read 1302 times)

Offline Llhweiir

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Thinking of building... questions about hardware...
« on: May 24, 2009, 06:09 AM »
Thinking of building my first set... and am a little eager to build a machine that performs well...

Question 1:  Should I start with builing one of those cheap kits - in order to get some experience? Is it worth spending 200 US$ on a trial-and-error-machine - or shoudl I go straight ahead to a more potent machine?

Question 2:  i7 or Intel Core2 Quad? The i7 is a bit more expensive, but is the cost worth it?

Questrion 3: I am thinking of useing two drives - one for OS and and primary pgms (office and such) and a second for data storage. Should I go for a SSD or a small 10K RPM-drive for the primary drive?

Offline Mark H

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Re: Thinking of building... questions about hardware...
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 09:50 AM »
What do you want it to do and how much do you want to spend? The Core2 Quad is a very fast processor that will do everything most people want. The i7 is a much faster processor, but requires a more expensive motherboard. A typical i7 system will run a couple of hundred dollars more than a core2 Quad system, but you may never notice the speed in everyday actions - even games.

Very few programs can use the quad processors now, so unless you have some of those programs, a Core2Duo will work nicely for less money.

Mark H
Enjoy the nature that is around you rather than destroying it.

Offline Llhweiir

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Re: Thinking of building... questions about hardware...
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 10:42 AM »
Good idea - I will look around for a used system to start poking around into...

Basicly I want a computer that can run in circles around my current one - P4 3,4Ghz with 3GB of RAM and a 256 MB 3D-card. The games I play doesn't demand any fancy stuff - mostly Civ3, Silent Hunter 2 and 3, Dawn of War etc...

The fastest Duo in my local store costs 30% less than the cheapest i7. Perhaps that is enough after all... :-)

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Thinking of building... questions about hardware...
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2009, 11:26 AM »
One way of approaching this is to find a currently marketed computer that suits your needs, and then build it yourself.

However, don't build it part-for-part. Instead, carefully select an equivalent motherboard, RAM, video card, CPU, etc, so that you end up with a quality, well-built system.

Unless you are looking for ultra-performance, or the latest-and-greatest, avoid 10k RPM drives and SSD drives. You will get excellent performance from ordinary drives without the extra expense. Same advice for the CPU

For a high-performance system, with great value for your $$$, concentrate on the following:

1. A decent case, with good cooling
2. A quality motherboard (Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI, etc.)
3. A high-quality PSU (shop carefully and DON'T skimp here)
4. Sufficient RAM for the appropriate OS
5. At least a 9600GT video card, with at least 512MB RAM
6. All your drives, including optical, should be SATA
7. Get the best CPU that fits within your budget
8. Don't waste money on fancy cables, LEDs, etc.

Make sure that you clearly understand how to properly assemble the heat sink/fan (HSF) to the CPU, with the proper amount of thermal paste. This is a critical step. It isn't something to be scared of, but it will bite you if not done properly.

Shop carefully and take your time. In the end, you'll be glad that you did. There's a great sense of pride that goes with building your own system, and you'll probably never buy pre-built again.
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline Bill

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Re: Thinking of building... questions about hardware...
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2009, 12:16 PM »
Scuzzy is too modest to suggest this but look in this forum for the system upgrade Scuzzy did a couple of months ago.  A good system and not too expensive.  I would add to his comment about a "good case"
-my preference is 2 120mm fans for cooling and you can avoid extra expense by passing on the fancy side windows and external decorations.  Antec, and Chieftan are worth looking at.

Bill
Antec 3700 | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz | 4 GB (4x1GB) DDR2 PC 5300 Kingston RAM | Antec NeoPower 550W | eVGA GeForce 9500GT 1GB 128 bit PCI Express 2.0 | Intel SSD X25-M 80GB | VelociRaptor 150GB | WD 80GB 7200rpm |Samsung 22x SATA Burner |Windows 7 32-bit

Offline Mark H

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Re: Thinking of building... questions about hardware...
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 01:24 PM »
Basicly I want a computer that can run in circles around my current one - P4 3,4Ghz with 3GB of RAM and a 256 MB 3D-card. The games I play doesn't demand any fancy stuff - mostly Civ3, Silent Hunter 2 and 3, Dawn of War etc...

Any of the core2duo CPUs will blow your P4 away in speed.

Mark H
Enjoy the nature that is around you rather than destroying it.

Offline Llhweiir

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Re: Thinking of building... questions about hardware...
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 02:57 PM »

Any of the core2duo CPUs will blow your P4 away in speed.

Mark H

You have convinced me - a Duo is probably the best choice at present.