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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


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#151 Schmackledorf

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:15 AM

I freaking love you for making this. I'm building a computer for the first time here and have never had much experience in this area, so I've been incredibly worried about picking up parts that sucked and wouldn't perform as well as I'd hope or were just too expensive. This helps me cut through the masses of parts out there. That tutorial about actually assembling the computer is going to be incredibly helpful as well. You = win.

#152 ChernobylCow

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 01:12 AM

1) CoffeeEdge's E5200 + 4830 Build (updated 06/05/2009)

Alright, I'm thinking of going with this build. It's at $420 right now. Anyone care to make any comments on it? CoffeeEdge got some good comments in other threads but not sure how old it was. Can I expect it to last long? And if I am worried about "lifespan" what would be the one thing I should considering spending more. Thanks guys.


-also how well will it perform on the following games (not necessarily at the maximum settings)
-Fallout 3
-Team Fortress 2/Left 4 Dead
-Bioshock

Edited by ChernobylCow, 03 July 2009 - 01:36 AM.
added games


#153 shinryuu

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 01:44 AM

My friend wants to know what he can build with an $800 budget for a gaming desktop. Anyone have suggestions?
:-#

#154 HowStern

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 01:45 AM

Hmm if yuo want to be able to go a little longer without upgrading you could spend $12 more and get this cpu
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819116091

it's 2.8ghz instead of 2.5ghz

and then maybe spend 40 dollars more and get this video card
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814150394

so about 60 more $$
also you will need a dvd drive if you don't have one. I don't see one in that build.


@shinryu: this is what I just built

http://secure.newegg...tNumber=8815514

The cost of vista or windows 7 brings it to just under $800.

$762 to be exactish.

The combination of that cpu and motherboard is perfect. it allows you to unlock the cpu's 4th core in the bios and the cpu is a black edition so the multiplier is unlocked which lets you overclock with just a click of the mouse.
"Squeezing a guys jolly roger with your hey nani-nani means dollars" -Howard Stern to Jessica Hahn

#155 SOSTrooper

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 06:01 AM

1) CoffeeEdge's E5200 + 4830 Build (updated 06/05/2009)

Alright, I'm thinking of going with this build. It's at $420 right now. Anyone care to make any comments on it? CoffeeEdge got some good comments in other threads but not sure how old it was. Can I expect it to last long? And if I am worried about "lifespan" what would be the one thing I should considering spending more. Thanks guys.


-also how well will it perform on the following games (not necessarily at the maximum settings)
-Fallout 3
-Team Fortress 2/Left 4 Dead
-Bioshock


I made some edit to that build just now, seeing that the Radeon 4850 is about the same price as the 4830 and performs better, I replaced the 4830 with it. With rebates, you're sitting at $10 above the $400 mark, not counting the DVD burner and shipping. The system is not going to be very 'future proof' to be honest. It is a $400 gaming PC, a budget PC so to speak. The system will run those 3 games you've listed perfectly at 1680x1050 and med to high details. But say about a year or a year down the road, this $400 PC will truly show its age, and may warrant an upgrade by then. The upgradability of the motherboard is average; you'll still be able to replace it with a quad core CPU like Q9400 without problems, and adding a better video card such as GTX 285 can also be done, but you won't be doing any Intel i7 processor or the upcoming i5 processor.


also you will need a dvd drive if you don't have one. I don't see one in that build.



Good catch. I intentionally left out the DVD burners in all of the builds because when they go out of stock (and that's very often), the build list becomes glitchy. But hopefully people will know and can add an optical drive themselves.

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#156 HowStern

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 02:52 PM

^yeah :( Can't believe how often newegg goes out of stock on those. I had to order mine from zipzoomfly which was $3 more expensive except had a $15 rebate :) So the total came to $20 ($7 cheaper than newegg, it was a samsung with lightscribe..cheapest one in stock). But their shipping times are very slow compared to newegg.
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#157 HotShotX

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:17 PM

I'm considering building a new PC with an emphasis on HD Video recording and editing using the XBox 360 and Sony Vegas Pro 8.0. I don't PC game a whole lot except Diablo II (and SC2 and D3 when they come out), and Grifball / Halo 3 eat up most of my gaming time. Aside from that, my current Desktop is used for Anime viewing on the HDTV.

What recommendations does the CAG community have towards this goal?

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#158 Moxio

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:25 PM

What's your budget?

#159 HotShotX

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:30 PM

What's your budget?


Let's consider $600 the baseline for now. Alternative options include upgrading my current PC, but considering it's at least 3 years old, it'll be quite the overhaul, or maybe not.

Overall I want to record efficiently in 720p HD (I hear 1080p is rather pointless on the internet).

Desktop:

AMD Processor 2.0 Ghz
2 GB RAM
GeForce 7600 GS

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#160 SOSTrooper

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 07:27 PM

Let's consider $600 the baseline for now. Alternative options include upgrading my current PC, but considering it's at least 3 years old, it'll be quite the overhaul, or maybe not.

Overall I want to record efficiently in 720p HD (I hear 1080p is rather pointless on the internet).

Desktop:

AMD Processor 2.0 Ghz
2 GB RAM
GeForce 7600 GS

~HotShotX


You'll need to set aside $200 to get yourself an HD capture card. It allows you to record/capture HD video feeds.

Also you might be look for a quad core processor and at least 4GB of memory for editing and conversion of your videos. You can always add more memory later if you feel like you need more.

I made a simple build for you, it has no video card yet: Q9550 video editing build. As for case, you can just pick something you like, something like this will work. I don't recommend reusing your old case, simply because old cases tend to have worse airflow, and a good airflow is very important for new computer parts nowadays. As for video card, you can most likely get by with a lowly 4670 ($60) card, or if you want to be a bit of a high baller, you can go safe with a 4850 ($100) instead. Then of course, you can reuse your existing optical drive, or get a new one for around $25.

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#161 Draekon

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:30 PM

Another thing to keep in mind about that particular capture card is that you'll need component and/or hdmi cords (from monoprice of course) to go from your console to the PC that it resides in and then back out to the TV if I'm not wrong. That'll add in a little more towards the expense, more so if you go HDMI or get both. I know for me in particular I need 30 feet of HDMI to and from my computer, which will cost a significant amount.


I made a simple build for you, it has no video card yet: Q9550 video editing build. As for case, you can just pick something you like, something like this will work. I don't recommend reusing your old case, simply because old cases tend to have worse airflow, and a good airflow is very important for new computer parts nowadays. As for video card, you can most likely get by with a lowly 4670 ($60) card, or if you want to be a bit of a high baller, you can go safe with a 4850 ($100) instead. Then of course, you can reuse your existing optical drive, or get a new one for around $25.


He'll probably want something that can play Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 when they come out if my intuition serves me well. A 4850 will likely be able to run it on medium at least, but I'd also like to point out EVGA's 'Step Up' policy that may interest the stingy bastard of a CAG.

#162 ChernobylCow

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 11:36 PM

Thanks SOSTrooper for your comments:

So ideally I'd like to spend about $400ish dollars on a new pc from the ground up but I would like something that is still useful in 2-3 years. How much more would I have to spend? I am going to be primarily doing my gaming from now on w/ #1)Xbox 360 and #2) PS3 as a far backup. So I guess to keep price down I could make the rig less of a gaming one if that would help me allocate funds to make it more futureproof. I'm having trouble figuring out in my head what sacrifices I should make. Thanks again.

#163 HowStern

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 12:49 AM

I would spend more on a mobo and cpu and less on a video card since you are going to be primarily gaming on the 360 and ps3. This will help future proof the system without going overboard on cash. Maybe go with a microATX mobo with onboard video.
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#164 SOSTrooper

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 06:24 AM

Thanks SOSTrooper for your comments:

So ideally I'd like to spend about $400ish dollars on a new pc from the ground up but I would like something that is still useful in 2-3 years. How much more would I have to spend? I am going to be primarily doing my gaming from now on w/ #1)Xbox 360 and #2) PS3 as a far backup. So I guess to keep price down I could make the rig less of a gaming one if that would help me allocate funds to make it more futureproof. I'm having trouble figuring out in my head what sacrifices I should make. Thanks again.


It's very hard to have a future-proof computer if you're only allowed to spend $400 on it. With $400 you are buying yourself budget parts, and they could easily be obsolete (or at least, not able to run new games at a playable setting) in 2 years. If I were to allocate more money on a certain component to make the computer a bit more future-proof, it would have to be the motherboard. With a capable motherboard, you can easily replace/upgrade the CPU in the future, and you can easily add another video card for SLI or Crossfire setup to increase gaming performance. A CPU such as E5200 is still capable for today's applications; but in 2 years, probably not so much. By then, though, those quad core CPUs such as Q9550 and Q9650 will probably drop to the $100 - $150 range, which will be a very affordable upgrade.

This GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L is probably what I will recommend, but it does not support SLI or Crossfire, so only one video card can be installed. Something like this GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P, on the other hand, supports crossfiring two ATI Radeon cards. So if you get a 4850 now, in a year or so, you can get another 4850 and crossfire them to increase the gaming performance without having to completely replace the video card.

If you prefer having nVidia cards over ATI, then you might want to consider this EVGA 122-YW-E173-TR motherboard.

They're going to bring you over the $400 mark for sure, but the price to pay for future-proofing now will benefit you down the road.

.

He'll probably want something that can play Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 when they come out if my intuition serves me well. A 4850 will likely be able to run it on medium at least, but I'd also like to point out EVGA's 'Step Up' policy that may interest the stingy bastard of a CAG.


EVGA's step up program is a bit of a rip-off IMO. The step up price is ridiculously expensive, and you have to do it within 90 days of purchase of the hardware you want to 'step up'. So it's not going to be something you can do in 2 years.

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#165 Draekon

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 12:09 PM

If you were to futureproof it, wouldn't the idea be to go with a board that supports DDR3 memory? However the prices are still pretty high on those motherboards for a halfway decent one.



EVGA's step up program is a bit of a rip-off IMO. The step up price is ridiculously expensive, and you have to do it within 90 days of purchase of the hardware you want to 'step up'. So it's not going to be something you can do in 2 years.


Yeah, the main draw back is the three month time frame. I'm more or less surprised that he's trying to build one now as opposed to closer to the end of the year. Anyways, I'm just throwing out options.

#166 xcopy

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:13 PM

Thanks SOSTrooper for your comments:

So ideally I'd like to spend about $400ish dollars on a new pc from the ground up but I would like something that is still useful in 2-3 years. How much more would I have to spend? I am going to be primarily doing my gaming from now on w/ #1)Xbox 360 and #2) PS3 as a far backup. So I guess to keep price down I could make the rig less of a gaming one if that would help me allocate funds to make it more futureproof. I'm having trouble figuring out in my head what sacrifices I should make. Thanks again.


It's really hard to future proof any pc/laptop nowadays, since theres always something better coming out every six months or so.

Edited by xcopy, 04 July 2009 - 03:04 PM.

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#167 tssgery

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:55 PM

@shinryu: this is what I just built

http://secure.newegg...tNumber=8815514

The cost of vista or windows 7 brings it to just under $800.

$762 to be exactish.

The combination of that cpu and motherboard is perfect. it allows you to unlock the cpu's 4th core in the bios and the cpu is a black edition so the multiplier is unlocked which lets you overclock with just a click of the mouse.


nice build... I just used it as a basis for mine. It's all the same except I will be re-using a hard drive I have (750GB) and I swapped in a Phenom II X2 550 BE to save a little (I'm hoping I can still unlock the extra cores).

#168 SOSTrooper

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:47 PM

If you were to futureproof it, wouldn't the idea be to go with a board that supports DDR3 memory? However the prices are still pretty high on those motherboards for a halfway decent one.



DDR3 isn't much improvement over DDR2. In the real world, your naked eye and your brain is not going to see a difference between the 2. This site has a comparison between DDR2 and DDR3 using the same setup. While the DDR3 has slightly better performance under benchmark condition, it is not a DDR2 killer, nowhere near it. DDR2 is still going to hang around much longer, so there is no rush to jump on the DDR3 bandwagon just yet.

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#169 sotc1988

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 06:30 PM

Alright, so I've had my new build up and running for a week now (even though technically it's only been going full power for a few days due to a missing driver) and it is working beautifully. Thanks to everybody who suggested the parts, I see this machine lasting quite a while. Makes me wonder what the hell I'm still doing with an xbox, ps3, and a wii! Seriously I need to sell some of that shit. Anyways, thanks again to everybody for hardware and technical support.

#170 ChernobylCow

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 09:52 PM

So when people put together these builds I'm sure that "overclocking" is definitely considered with part choices. I am definitely willing to learn with tinkering with OC but how much could I expect to do with this build? Is OC a constant process or just like flipping a switch after making a few adjustments?

It's this build=> http://secure.newegg...Number=10287205

#171 HowStern

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 11:21 PM

nice build... I just used it as a basis for mine. It's all the same except I will be re-using a hard drive I have (750GB) and I swapped in a Phenom II X2 550 BE to save a little (I'm hoping I can still unlock the extra cores).


Nice! Yeah grab the latest BIOS off the gigabyte site.

http://www.gigabyte....?ProductID=3038

This F5 bios has the ability to set ACC to auto in M.I.T. to unlock disabled cores. You'll also be able to OC with no prob since it's a black edition CPU. :)

Newegg is nuts. 2 weeks ago when I ordered the phenom ii x3 720 it was the price the x2 550 is now. Must have been an instant savings thing.
I've also noticed sometimes zipfoomfly will have a better deal on somethings with rebates. Bing cashback can be used for both sites, too.

@Chernobyl: Overclocking is a set it and forget thing. You will just have to run a stress test after OCing to make sure it's stable. And use a good fan too. Preferably not the stock cpu fan.
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#172 ChernobylCow

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:29 AM

How do you guys feel about this case: COOLER MASTER Storm Scout Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower - $100

vs the cheaper:

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - $55

Coolermaster sounds good. Only thing it's lacking is customizable fan speeds.

#173 Moxio

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:34 AM

Save yourself $45 by controlling your fan speeds in the BIOS.

#174 xcopy

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:43 AM

How do you guys feel about this case: COOLER MASTER Storm Scout Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower - $100

vs the cheaper:

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - $55

Coolermaster sounds good. Only thing it's lacking is customizable fan speeds.



You should go with aluminum cases for better heat dissipation, both of those are steel.

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#175 Liquid 2

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:01 AM

The case itself should never get hot as long as he has good airflow though.

My steel case only ever gets warm to the touch, and that's only directly next to my PSU.

#176 xcopy

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:03 AM

The case itself should never get hot as long as he has good airflow though.

My steel case only ever gets warm to the touch, and that's only directly next to my PSU.


It'll also be lighter. :)

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#177 HowStern

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 01:06 AM

Put my build together today. It's running flawlessly. Overclocked my Phenom II X3 720 BE to 3.2ghz without having to touch voltage.

Ran OCCT for a half hour and finished stable with no errors.

But I need to do 2 things:

1)Update my mobo (ga-ma790x-ud4p) bios to F5. It says I can use a flash drive.
I have no floppy drive. I can't get the flash drive to work. Anyone have any clue? Ever flash bios with a flash drive? Specifically with a gigabyte board?

2)edit: fixed this 2nd problem.

Edited by HowStern, 09 July 2009 - 04:45 AM.

"Squeezing a guys jolly roger with your hey nani-nani means dollars" -Howard Stern to Jessica Hahn

#178 aihuman

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:22 AM

http://secure.newegg...Number=11243252Here's my build.I still need to add a computer case and a cd/dvd burner.Im still unsure about the power supply.650w seems like enough power,right?The graphics card needs minimum of 450w.

Edited by aihuman, 09 July 2009 - 09:37 AM.

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#179 aihuman

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:50 AM

Put my build together today. It's running flawlessly. Overclocked my Phenom II X3 720 BE to 3.2ghz without having to touch voltage.

Ran OCCT for a half hour and finished stable with no errors.

But I need to do 2 things:

1)Update my mobo (ga-ma790x-ud4p) bios to F5. It says I can use a flash drive.
I have no floppy drive. I can't get the flash drive to work. Anyone have any clue? Ever flash bios with a flash drive? Specifically with a gigabyte board?

2)edit: fixed this 2nd problem.


http://forums.tweakt...sh-guide-27576/
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#180 SOSTrooper

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 08:58 AM

https://secure.neweg...spx?ID=11243252
Here's my build.I still need to add a computer case and a cd/dvd burner.Im still unsure about the power supply.650w seems like enough power,right?The graphics card needs minimum of 450w.




Fixed link. The build looks good. That 650W will be perfect for you if later on you decide to add another 4870 video card for a crossfire setup. Case is more of a subjective preference, whatever that looks good to you at your price range. Antec, Cooler Master, Thermaltake all make affordable and durable cases.

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| XFX HD 5870 | Corsair HX750W PSU | Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 | Antec P180 v1.1 |