so here iam today, i want to get a pc running for about 300-400 bucks. i figured i could just get another ATX board so i wont have to replace the case. i never actually built a pc before but i pretty much know what plugs into where. the only thing that really concerns me is installing a new processor, ive seen alot of people saying how hard that is. so if anyone can help me out and tell me what the best value is for my dollar would be much appreciated. im looking for these specs
ATX mobo with PCI-E slot
400-500 W power (for high end graphic cards in the future)
4 slots for ddr2 ram? i currently have ddr sdram but i might as well upgrade right?
and a decent hard drive, min 350 GB
im assuming i can salvage whatevers left in my emachines for parts i wont have to buy and i hope my hard drive is ok still so i wont have to buy a new OS to install on the new HDD.
when it comes to processors im in the dark, whats better Intel- AMD i dont know. id like to be around 2.7 Ghz or higher though. and on newegg when you buy the mobo/cpu bundles are they pre installed?
let me know if im missing anything etc etc any help is appreciated thanks
GHz dont really matter that much anymore nowadays. As long as you get something like a Core 2 Duo E7400 or above, you're in the clear for some serious performance gain. $400 should be more than enough to get you a very decent upgrade. You can probably reuse your DVD burner and case, but just make sure your case supports regular ATX motherboards too, and not just MicroATX. You should double check that before you make a decision on a motherboard. Here's what I would recommend:Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
- $120GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L
- $100Corsair 4GB DDR2
- $47OCZ 550W power supply
- $50 after rebateWD 500GB Caviar Blue
You didn't mention whether you need a video card or not. But in the original post there are many choices for the price you might be looking for. Definitely go with Intel CPU right now, AMD is still a viable alternative, but you are paying less for less performance, so it really balances out as not much benefits can been seen.
I have never actually overclocked my CPU before, but I am planning on doing it for this next build. However, I also tend to leave my PC on all day, so I want stability and low temperatures.
Would it be worth it to buy a 3rd party CPU cooler for a E8400 or Q9400?
A 3rd party CPU fans will help, especially if you live in hotter areas. And most 3rd party coolers can perform much better than the stock cooler. I might have put a few choices in the original post, depending on your budget. OC'ing probably will come later on, in a year or so, when you find out you might want to squeeze some more power to run the newest games more smoothly. With a Q9400, you dont need to OC now, but the option will be there and ready for you to tweak for when you need it. I leave my PC on all day too, so I opted for a high performance air cooler for my setup.