As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Help Tendoboy build his first computer.

tendoboy101tendoboy101 Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Games and Technology
Well I'm looking at taking the big leap into creating my own PC, taking off my pre-made system training wheels. I looked through the H/A guide for advice, and pretty much stole Talonrazors computer specs, making a few changes. Before I click "order" from new egg I have a few questions as far as compatibility goes. Will this system work well/ be compatible?

power source - corsair 620 watt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139002

ram - CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145590

monitor - SAMSUNG 906BW Black 19" 2 ms
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145590

video card - EVGA 640-P2-N825-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130080

processor - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115003

hard drive - Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148140

case - Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

motherboard - ASUS P5B-E LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131070

I know I still need to pick up a cd/dvd drive (I was told SATA drives are better than IDE) and eventually a backup HDD. I have a guy I know that's going to build it/ teach me how to do it once parts come in, and I was told everything looks good as far as compatibility goes but to double check. As far as my feeble knowledge goes it looks ok. Any glaring errors?

I know of the price drop coming April 22nd on and will be waiting until then for the processor, I just have a few random questions.

Windows vista, 32 bit or 64 bit? I have gathered 64 offers increased speed and security, but less compatibility with older games. Is the speed and security worth the compatibility loss?

And the graphics card, I decided to look at getting the 640mb of the gts, as the benchmarks I looked at appeared higher than the smaller card. However, I'm not entirely sure what the benchmarks are other than "hey this bar goes farther than that one." Is it worth the extra hundred bucks? I can't really afford to wait until the q3 price drops, but is this going to be a decent beast for awhile, and easily upgradable in the future?

tendoboy101 on

Posts

  • Options
    bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D:bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D: Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Don't buy 1 hard drive buy 4 which total up to 320 GB and hook them up in Raid5 Serial ATA trust me it will be much faster.

    Especially with how cheap hard drives are going today I would strongly do this.

    bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D: on
  • Options
    ClipseClipse Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Don't buy 1 hard drive buy 4 which total up to 320 GB and hook them up in Raid5 Serial ATA trust me it will be much faster.

    Especially with how cheap hard drives are going today I would strongly do this.

    Wow, where to start. First off, 4 80gb drives in RAID 5 would mean that only 3 were used for storage, so he'd have 240gb of hard drive space instead of 320. Secondly, the motherboard's raid controller is hybrid, meaning you get all the irritating driver problems of hardware raid combined with the practically non-existent speed advantage of software raid. Thirdly, he's paying $85 for a 320gb hard drive, your solution would have him paying (going by NewEgg's prices) $172.

    I'd suggest taking a look at motherboards with nForce6 chipsets - I believe they're better than the Intel 965 chipset. You can probably find an nForce 650i motherboard in the same price range, and it will support SLI in case you wish to go that route in the future. Also, for the love of god, get a different case! That thing is ugly. As far as the video card goes, I'm not really sure what you mean by "easily upgradeable"... the only real upgrade you can do is add a second (identical) card for SLI, in which case this isn't any easier or harder than the 320mb model. At any rate, I'd probably stick with the 640mb if I were you - 320mb is already cutting it close for the highest resolution textures in some games, and I assume you don't want to have to go to medium texture settings in 6 months or a year.

    Clipse on
  • Options
    bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D:bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D: Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Clipse wrote: »
    Don't buy 1 hard drive buy 4 which total up to 320 GB and hook them up in Raid5 Serial ATA trust me it will be much faster.

    Especially with how cheap hard drives are going today I would strongly do this.

    Wow, where to start. First off, 4 80gb drives in RAID 5 would mean that only 3 were used for storage, so he'd have 240gb of hard drive space instead of 320. Secondly, the motherboard's raid controller is hybrid, meaning you get all the irritating driver problems of hardware raid combined with the practically non-existent speed advantage of software raid. Thirdly, he's paying $85 for a 320gb hard drive, your solution would have him paying (going by NewEgg's prices) $172.

    I'd suggest taking a look at motherboards with nForce6 chipsets - I believe they're better than the Intel 965 chipset. You can probably find an nForce 650i motherboard in the same price range, and it will support SLI in case you wish to go that route in the future. Also, for the love of god, get a different case! That thing is ugly. As far as the video card goes, I'm not really sure what you mean by "easily upgradeable"... the only real upgrade you can do is add a second (identical) card for SLI, in which case this isn't any easier or harder than the 320mb model. At any rate, I'd probably stick with the 640mb if I were you - 320mb is already cutting it close for the highest resolution textures in some games, and I assume you don't want to have to go to medium texture settings in 6 months or a year.


    Yes, 240 GBs are only used for storage, but the point is you have that extra 80 left for parity, and you gain incredible speed when loading stuff off the drives. For only 85 bucks more? Seems to me like it's worth it. To me, I view this as a case of "Spend extra money here to gain twice as much there."

    But hell, it's his budget.

    and the case is fine

    compke2.png

    bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D: on
  • Options
    SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I would imagine that since it's the first computer he's building, he'd like to keep things simple. RAID arrays don't really fall into that category.

    It's the kind of thing that could easily be added later if so desired.

    SageinaRage on
    sig.gif
  • Options
    ClipseClipse Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Yes, 240 GBs are only used for storage, but the point is you have that extra 80 left for parity, and you gain incredible speed when loading stuff off the drives. For only 85 bucks more? Seems to me like it's worth it. To me, I view this as a case of "Spend extra money here to gain twice as much there."

    But hell, it's his budget.

    Apparently I wasn't straightforward enough when I slammed hybrid raid's performance in my first post, so let me make it perfectly clear: if you use raid 5 with an onboard controller, the performance gain versus jbod is negligible at best. If you actually want a serious performance gain from raid - especially any sort of raid with redundancy - you pretty much have to go for a hardware controller, which means yet another increase in price on top of the already doubled hard drive costs. In terms of gaming performance, which is what I assume the OP is going for, the money would be better spent on RAM and/or stepping up to the 8800GTX.

    Clipse on
  • Options
    tendoboy101tendoboy101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Wow thanks for the replies :) I'll keep the idea of linked HDD's in mind for the future, but as this is my first foray into building I'm going to keep it simple. And I'm going to be dissapointed if the case comes without appendages and such. Other than looking into that different motherboard, everything else look ok? What Vista version should I look at then?

    tendoboy101 on
  • Options
    bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D:bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D: Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Clipse wrote: »
    Yes, 240 GBs are only used for storage, but the point is you have that extra 80 left for parity, and you gain incredible speed when loading stuff off the drives. For only 85 bucks more? Seems to me like it's worth it. To me, I view this as a case of "Spend extra money here to gain twice as much there."

    But hell, it's his budget.

    Apparently I wasn't straightforward enough when I slammed hybrid raid's performance in my first post, so let me make it perfectly clear: if you use raid 5 with an onboard controller, the performance gain versus jbod is negligible at best. If you actually want a serious performance gain from raid - especially any sort of raid with redundancy - you pretty much have to go for a hardware controller, which means yet another increase in price on top of the already doubled hard drive costs. In terms of gaming performance, which is what I assume the OP is going for, the money would be better spent on RAM and/or stepping up to the 8800GTX.

    He's got a lot of RAM, but RAM can always come later.

    Hard drives will be a bit trickier.

    In general it's not even good to put all your eggs into one basket when it comes to hard drives. If his 320 gb drive fails that's the end. If a drive in his RAID5 fails he hasn't completely lost all his money.

    bLAdeOfTheMorTaL D: on
  • Options
    tendoboy101tendoboy101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Clipse wrote: »
    Yes, 240 GBs are only used for storage, but the point is you have that extra 80 left for parity, and you gain incredible speed when loading stuff off the drives. For only 85 bucks more? Seems to me like it's worth it. To me, I view this as a case of "Spend extra money here to gain twice as much there."

    But hell, it's his budget.

    Apparently I wasn't straightforward enough when I slammed hybrid raid's performance in my first post, so let me make it perfectly clear: if you use raid 5 with an onboard controller, the performance gain versus jbod is negligible at best. If you actually want a serious performance gain from raid - especially any sort of raid with redundancy - you pretty much have to go for a hardware controller, which means yet another increase in price on top of the already doubled hard drive costs. In terms of gaming performance, which is what I assume the OP is going for, the money would be better spent on RAM and/or stepping up to the 8800GTX.

    He's got a lot of RAM, but RAM can always come later.

    Hard drives will be a bit trickier.

    In general it's not even good to put all your eggs into one basket when it comes to hard drives. If his 320 gb drive fails that's the end. If a drive in his RAID5 fails he hasn't completely lost all his money.

    The single drive is temporary until I obtain some more funding. I'll be snagging a back up this fall sometime. I know all to well the devestation of single hard drive failure :(

    tendoboy101 on
  • Options
    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    So as usual I'll link you to the TAFCT* in the Help/Advice section. For what it is worth the general suggestion is for intel 965 motherboards and unless you plan to overclock there is not much benefit from faster ram as opposed to more ram.

    Finally, I recently built a system not too different than what you are looking at. Here is the list of what I bought. So far no problems and I'm very happy with it.

    *Twice and Future Computer Thread

    lowlylowlycook on
    steam_sig.png
    (Please do not gift. My game bank is already full.)
  • Options
    tendoboy101tendoboy101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    So as usual I'll link you to the TAFCT* in the Help/Advice section. For what it is worth the general suggestion is for intel 965 motherboards and unless you plan to overclock there is not much benefit from faster ram as opposed to more ram.

    Finally, I recently built a system not too different than what you are looking at. Here is the list of what I bought. So far no problems and I'm very happy with it.

    *Twice and Future Computer Thread

    Not planning on overclocking this, at least not until I read more up on it. Am I ok with the cooling fans inside the case if I dont plan on overclocking, or should I look at an extra? I also see you snagged 32 bit vista, is that the way to go right now? I'm already worried about compatibility issues with old games, and I hear while faster, 64 causes even more.

    tendoboy101 on
  • Options
    SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    From what I understand, if you're worried about compatibility, you should just use xp. Now, if you don't have an install disk from your last computer, then I guess you might want to go ahead and get vista, but I would put it off if you can.

    SageinaRage on
    sig.gif
  • Options
    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    So as usual I'll link you to the TAFCT* in the Help/Advice section. For what it is worth the general suggestion is for intel 965 motherboards and unless you plan to overclock there is not much benefit from faster ram as opposed to more ram.

    Finally, I recently built a system not too different than what you are looking at. Here is the list of what I bought. So far no problems and I'm very happy with it.

    *Twice and Future Computer Thread

    Not planning on overclocking this, at least not until I read more up on it. Am I ok with the cooling fans inside the case if I dont plan on overclocking, or should I look at an extra? I also see you snagged 32 bit vista, is that the way to go right now? I'm already worried about compatibility issues with old games, and I hear while faster, 64 causes even more.

    After first putting the computer together I had problems with the connection between cpu and the heatsink. Due to some incompetence, I had to go to radioshack and pick up some thermal paste and redo the whole thing. Since then, no problems at all with the stock cooling.

    I had hear that the 64 bit version was a bit flakier and that the only real reason to get it was if you wanted more than 2GB of ram. But I really should have done more research into it before buying so I'd not really take that as gospel. The truely sensible thing to do would be to get XP and wait a bit on Vista. But I decided that would be too simple.

    lowlylowlycook on
    steam_sig.png
    (Please do not gift. My game bank is already full.)
  • Options
    tendoboy101tendoboy101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    From what I understand, if you're worried about compatibility, you should just use xp. Now, if you don't have an install disk from your last computer, then I guess you might want to go ahead and get vista, but I would put it off if you can.

    I have an XP install disc from my current dell laptop. Would I be able to use that disc on the new computer, or would it deactivate the laptop? Compatibility isn't a MAJOR issue with me, It'd just be nice to have as much on one computer as I can. I won't be trashing the laptop, so any XP only software will just live on that.

    tendoboy101 on
  • Options
    SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    From what I understand, if you're worried about compatibility, you should just use xp. Now, if you don't have an install disk from your last computer, then I guess you might want to go ahead and get vista, but I would put it off if you can.

    I have an XP install disc from my current dell laptop. Would I be able to use that disc on the new computer, or would it deactivate the laptop? Compatibility isn't a MAJOR issue with me, It'd just be nice to have as much on one computer as I can. I won't be trashing the laptop, so any XP only software will just live on that.

    It won't deactivate the laptop, it just won't let you use that key to install on the desktop. If you're not TOO worried about compatibility, then I guess you might as well go ahead with vista - it'll just be a while before all the quirks are sorted out.

    SageinaRage on
    sig.gif
  • Options
    scootchscootch Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    buy a smaller single platter hard-driver, it will be faster.
    you don't need 320gb, atleast I don't think you would.

    correct me if I'm wrong but if you lose one drive in a raid you lose everything, right? I don't think the speed advantages are worth it.
    shit, if you want speed just buy a 10k rpm drive or a scsi card and hd.

    save $100 and get 8800GTS 320mb vid card. most games will only see single digit fps improvement with the 640mb version... hell with the money you save you can get a bigger monitor.

    scootch on
    TF2 stats
    PSN: super_emu
    Xbox360 Gamertag: Emuchop
  • Options
    Captain KCaptain K Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Read these pages for info about RAID, if you really care:



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels



    and/or just listen to the following: for a home gaming PC, there's just no real reason to use a RAID. If your goal is to increase performance, it's a waste of money that could be better spent somewhere else. $80, or $200, or whatever the amount is--buy yourself a better processor, or a better video card, or more RAM. Putting $X into any of these options will give you a hugely better performance increase than setting up a RAID.

    Captain K on
  • Options
    tendoboy101tendoboy101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Captain K wrote: »
    Read these pages for info about RAID, if you really care:



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels



    and/or just listen to the following: for a home gaming PC, there's just no real reason to use a RAID. If your goal is to increase performance, it's a waste of money that could be better spent somewhere else. $80, or $200, or whatever the amount is--buy yourself a better processor, or a better video card, or more RAM. Putting $X into any of these options will give you a hugely better performance increase than setting up a RAID.

    Thanks K. I read through those and decided just to stick with the single HDD for now, snagging a back up when I get more money this fall. This has all been a learning experiance for me so I don't want to go all crazy, and my budget is stressed as it is.
    scootch wrote: »
    buy a smaller single platter hard-driver, it will be faster.
    you don't need 320gb, atleast I don't think you would.

    correct me if I'm wrong but if you lose one drive in a raid you lose everything, right? I don't think the speed advantages are worth it.
    shit, if you want speed just buy a 10k rpm drive or a scsi card and hd.

    save $100 and get 8800GTS 320mb vid card. most games will only see single digit fps improvement with the 640mb version... hell with the money you save you can get a bigger monitor.

    After reading that Scootch I went and looked at more benchmarks and saw most of the fairly large differences I saw were due to screen resolutions my monitor doesn't even support, so I'll be going with the 320mb version of the card. I figure once dx10 games are the norm in a year or two I can upgrade to a more powerful dx10 card at a reasonable price, and since it's EVGA I may even be able to use the step up program if prices drop in the next three months.

    So it looks like I'll be going with the posted build, save for the graphics card change and a copy of vista 32bit. Thanks alot for the help G & T!

    tendoboy101 on
  • Options
    scootchscootch Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    good luck.. I just ordered my new comp recently.. should have it by monday. it's the most my I've spent on computer. and I'm already running into problems. my heatsink/fan came broken and am communicating with newegg. I'm having hard time explaining why my fans came broken like that since there are no visible damage to the box. I hope they don't think I broke it :(

    scootch on
    TF2 stats
    PSN: super_emu
    Xbox360 Gamertag: Emuchop
  • Options
    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    compke2.png

    Disembodio?! Is that you?!
    I wonder how many people will get this reference

    TheSonicRetard on
Sign In or Register to comment.