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


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#241 darthbudge

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 01:33 AM

I purchased my PC! :whee:

http://secure.newegg...Number=14384448

I purchased all the parts on that list, for a total of $830.92. Plus it came with free copies of CoD: WaW, Terminator: Salvation and Acronis True Image.

Just curious though, are there any other cables and stuff that I should buy? Like say, IDE cables, SATA cables, power cables and so on?


#242 SOSTrooper

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:59 AM

Just curious though, are there any other cables and stuff that I should buy? Like say, IDE cables, SATA cables, power cables and so on?


Nope, those all come with the motherboard. So you're all set basically. Have fun waiting for the parts to arrive :)

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#243 Panda Wizardry

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 03:04 PM

An article from PC mag showing you how to build an AMD system. Thought it might be helpful for someone out there.

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#244 SOSTrooper

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:13 AM

An article from PC mag showing you how to build an AMD system. Thought it might be helpful for someone out there.


Step 8 and Step 9 in that article made a crucial mistake. The stock AMD Phenom fan comes with a pre-applied thermal pad on the contact area. There is no need to add extra thermal paste to the CPU. Doing so will actually decrease the heat conductivity (not to mention the paste spilling over the CPU) and causing the CPU to rise in temperature faster. Thermal paste is really only for 3rd party CPU fans, where the bottom has no pre-applied thermal pad.

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#245 HowStern

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:34 PM

^Yeah even a good amount of 3rd party fans will come pre-applied as well now. The arctic cooler freezer pro comes with their mx-1 paste pre-applied. :)
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#246 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:39 PM

i updated my media center PC build because some items are out of stock and im actually thinking about buying it for my living room.

the main differences, it has 2gb rather than 4gb ram. the bdrom now just reads and has not cd/dvd writing capabilities, and a wireless keyboard and mouse have been added to the wishlist. the price $50 less than my original build and (i think) just as well suited for movies, music and very light gaming.

http://secure.newegg...tNumber=9098954

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#247 sotc1988

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 12:55 AM

I know this thread wasn't made exactly for this but I figure it's appropriate nonetheless. Anyways, my little brother wants to get a pc laptop for his first year of college and he has a budget of $1000. He's looking for something with a good size screen but nothing massive and capable for gaming. If anybody knows a recommendation I'd be glad to hear it.

#248 darthbudge

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 01:11 AM

Well, I got almost all of my parts today and have them all set up now. All I have to do is put in the graphics card when it comes tomorrow.

I really, really hope I have everything installed correctly and I won't have to go back and fix things. There is only one thing that I think I may have screwed up on. When I was installing the CPU Fan, I had to adjust it a few times, so a little bit of thermal paste stuck to the top of the CPU. Would that hurt anything? It wasn't off of the CPU but for only a second or two.


#249 HowStern

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 01:57 AM

^No, you're fine :) that's where the thermal paste goes :)
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#250 SOSTrooper

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 02:35 AM

I know this thread wasn't made exactly for this but I figure it's appropriate nonetheless. Anyways, my little brother wants to get a pc laptop for his first year of college and he has a budget of $1000. He's looking for something with a good size screen but nothing massive and capable for gaming. If anybody knows a recommendation I'd be glad to hear it.


Amazingly, I think Best Buy has what you're looking for...

Product Features

* Intel® Centrino® 2 processor technology with interrelated Intel® Core™2 Duo processor P7350
Intel® PM45 chipset, 802.11b/g/n network connection and extended battery life capability.
* 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 memory
* Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
* 15.6" WXGA widescreen LED display
With a 1366 x 768 resolution brings your movies and games to life.
* 320GB SATA hard drive (7200 rpm)
* NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M graphics
With 1GB of dedicated DDR3 graphics memory for powerful graphic performance. Azalia audio chip with built-in stereo speakers; HDMI output.
* Built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam
Makes it easy to send video mail to family and friends.
* 8-in-1 media reader
* 1 IEEE 1394 port and 4 high-speed USB 2.0 ports
* Built-in 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN with RJ-45 connector
* Illuminated keyboard
* Weighs 7.3 lbs. and measures just 1.6" thin
* Good battery life
Of up to 2 hours and 7 minutes.
* Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system
With Service Pack 1 (SP1) preinstalled for a stable operating platform.



Well, the resolution for the screen kinda sucks, but the graphic card is where it is at.

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#251 ChernobylCow

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 05:08 AM

I'm going to order tomorrow or the next day. CoffeeEdge put together a build based off of his $400 one and we landed at around $612 before an optical drive and a OEM copy of Windows XP. Let me know what you guys think. I splurged a bit and upgraded the case to the Cooler Master Mystique. I want something that looks liked I wanted to build my own PC and not like I'm just a cheapass 8-).

Impressions, comments?

(hmm seems like the video card rebate expires today.)


Edit: Well I am debating a purchase of Windows XP Home OEM or a Windows Vista (preferably a copy that has the free upgrade to windows 7). I've never ran Vista before and am kinda intimidated to because of all the bad things I've heard.

Anyone have a current pros n cons of XP vs Vista for new builds? I've always liked XP and never had any problems but man it is dated. If I get Vista any recommendations on which copy?

Edit 2: Also it's the end of the month and it seems $36 of rebates will end at 7/31 which is today. No big deal but I was wondering how often they attach new rebates to these various products? that's a kinda up in the air question but I'm sure someone has some sort of 'impression' of how this works.

Edited by ChernobylCow, 31 July 2009 - 06:40 PM.


#252 darthbudge

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:39 PM

Well, this is my second post from my new machine and it is working great. I haven't had any problems yet.

My GTX 260 barely fit inside of my Centurion 5 case, and that is with my HDD to the lowest HDD bay slot. I am so glad it did though.

EDIT:

Ok, so my CPU's idle temp is about 42c and the temperature after playing Crysis for about 2 hours was like 52c-55c. Is that reasonable/normal?

EDIT 2:

Since I made that last edit, I have just been installing Steam Backups and browsing the web, and currently EasyTune6 is telling me that my CPU is running about 55c... I am getting worried about temps here since I would prefer them to be in the 40s if possible.

Edited by darthbudge, 31 July 2009 - 04:02 PM.



#253 darthbudge

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 04:46 PM

Well I went ahead and purchased a third party heatsink and some Arctic Silver, since I want my rig to run a little cooler.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835233029


#254 Psionic Jinx

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:41 PM

I see your case has an 80mm front fan. Can you buy a 120 and fit it in there? Same as the back fan, might want to upgrade it if it isn't moving too much air. I tend to toss the stock fans for ones that I like. I don't know how yours are though.

Arctic Silver and a non stock heatsink are always a good investment though. Is it just your cpu that's temps are going high or is it your video card also?

#255 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:49 PM

I'm going to order tomorrow or the next day. CoffeeEdge put together a build based off of his $400 one and we landed at around $612 before an optical drive and a OEM copy of Windows XP. Let me know what you guys think. I splurged a bit and upgraded the case to the Cooler Master Mystique. I want something that looks liked I wanted to build my own PC and not like I'm just a cheapass 8-).

Impressions, comments?

(hmm seems like the video card rebate expires today.)


Edit: Well I am debating a purchase of Windows XP Home OEM or a Windows Vista (preferably a copy that has the free upgrade to windows 7). I've never ran Vista before and am kinda intimidated to because of all the bad things I've heard.

Anyone have a current pros n cons of XP vs Vista for new builds? I've always liked XP and never had any problems but man it is dated. If I get Vista any recommendations on which copy?

Edit 2: Also it's the end of the month and it seems $36 of rebates will end at 7/31 which is today. No big deal but I was wondering how often they attach new rebates to these various products? that's a kinda up in the air question but I'm sure someone has some sort of 'impression' of how this works.


vista has a bad rap because of its rough start out of the gate. it runs very well now, and i prefer it over xp hands down. ive been running it on two computers with no complaints, havent had problems with hardware or games. if you can get a vista with a free windows 7 upgrade i say go for it.

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#256 darthbudge

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:55 PM

I see your case has an 80mm front fan. Can you buy a 120 and fit it in there? Same as the back fan, might want to upgrade it if it isn't moving too much air. I tend to toss the stock fans for ones that I like. I don't know how yours are though.

Arctic Silver and a non stock heatsink are always a good investment though. Is it just your cpu that's temps are going high or is it your video card also?


I replaced the back fan with a nice Antec one. I don't think I could fit a 120mm fan in the front, it is a really tight fit. The GPU was running a little hot, but not too terribly hot.

The CPU is running about 50c idle, 62c while gaming and about 75c at max when running a Prime95 test.


#257 HowStern

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:04 PM

You could turn off the smart CPU fan control option if your BIOS has one. That might help.

75 seems awfully high but different CPUs have different thresholds. I would grab an arctic cooler freezer pro or something. It will come with pre-applied paste. MX-1 I believe which is supposedly one step up from their arctic silver line.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835186134

I have the AMD version on my phenom ii and I'm overclocked by 600mhz and at full load it is 40c idle it is about 25-30c
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#258 SOSTrooper

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:30 PM

I'm going to order tomorrow or the next day. CoffeeEdge put together a build based off of his $400 one and we landed at around $612 before an optical drive and a OEM copy of Windows XP. Let me know what you guys think. I splurged a bit and upgraded the case to the Cooler Master Mystique. I want something that looks liked I wanted to build my own PC and not like I'm just a cheapass 8-).

Impressions, comments?

(hmm seems like the video card rebate expires today.)

Edit 2: Also it's the end of the month and it seems $36 of rebates will end at 7/31 which is today. No big deal but I was wondering how often they attach new rebates to these various products? that's a kinda up in the air question but I'm sure someone has some sort of 'impression' of how this works.


Fixed link to your wishlist.

The setup looks good, though the weakest spot in your setup is the motherboard. Being a budget micro ATX board really do limit your upgradability in the future. In your particular situation, the GTX 260 will block off at least 1 SATA port. So say in the future you plan to have 2 optical drives and 2 hard drives, then that might be a problem. Both the CPU and video card are impressive choices for the price, though. If I were you I will probably downgrade the E7500 to an E7400 for a $30 saving, and use that cash toward a more decent GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L motherboard ($90). Other than that, the build looks good and ready to rock some games.

As for rebates, it seems like an ongoing thing for many parts, so even if they end, another one probably pops up that will last for a month, and rinse and repeat. Even if and when the rebate seems to be gone completely, you can always find another GTX 260 for similar price on newegg.

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#259 ChernobylCow

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:54 AM

So say in the future you plan to have 2 optical drives and 2 hard drives, then that might be a problem.


I ordered already but thanks for your response. Luckily, I don't believe this will be an issue for me. I just don't see myself getting another harddrive in the future (I have 2 externals total 500gb) and I'm just going to buy the cheapest Samsung DVD drive. Thanks for your analysis.

I also bought Vista Home Premium 64 bit (came with free upgrade to Windows 7 and free release client) so it'll be my first system on Vista.

#260 MillerTime2523

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:25 PM

Hey guys, I'm thinking about building a (CAG friendly) HTPC.

I'm thinking in the 400 to 500 range before ram, hard drive, disc drive, and case.

If anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be awesome. Thanks!

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#261 SOSTrooper

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:12 PM

Hey guys, I'm thinking about building a (CAG friendly) HTPC.

I'm thinking in the 400 to 500 range before ram, hard drive, disc drive, and case.

If anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be awesome. Thanks!


Well, we would like to know which case you have in mind that you want or already have, because based on that we can recommend either 1) ATX or micro ATX motherboards, 2) low profile or regular video cards, and 3) power supply or no power supply. Until you provide more information I can't make a recommendation.

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#262 MillerTime2523

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:05 PM

Oh, I didn't know the case mattered on the build. It doesn't matter to me. I'd like an HTPC case, but after checking newegg and seeing the 100+ dollar price point on all of them, I'd just say anything that looks okay and is on the cheap. I'd really like to get a case like the HTPC ones, but I'd like to focus more on the tech than the looks. I'd appreciate if you could point out both a cheap case to use for the time being then an HTPC case that would be compatible if I chose to upgrade in the future. Thanks!

#263 heydonovan

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 12:09 AM

Okay, let's do this! I need a new computer for College, and if I knew how, I would list the specs of my current computer right here. Let's just say...it's very outdated, as well as every other computer in my household. The latest computer I have is from the 6th grade. I don't really know exactly what to say, in order to help myself further, in terms of building it. I know I want "new" technology, such as SATA, Modular PSU's, SD HDD, etc. I wont be using it for gaming, I have 360/PS3/Wii for that. I do hardcore multi-tasking, such as Internet Explorer/Firefox/Opera/Chrome all open, with atleast 100+ tabs. I am a frequent user of VMWare's products, so I assume more than...8GB of RAM will be required? I would also like to hook up my computer, to a TV (don't have one at the moment), so I can watch videos on the bigscreen. Is that enough information? I guess a sleek, modern, quiet business computer would describe my wants.

I sold my Macbook to Goomba478, so when he sends the funds, that will be my budget. It will be about ~900. Keep in mind, I'm starting over with everything, new monitor, new mouse, new mouse-pad, keyboard, etc.
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#264 SOSTrooper

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:17 AM

Oh, I didn't know the case mattered on the build. It doesn't matter to me. I'd like an HTPC case, but after checking newegg and seeing the 100+ dollar price point on all of them, I'd just say anything that looks okay and is on the cheap. I'd really like to get a case like the HTPC ones, but I'd like to focus more on the tech than the looks. I'd appreciate if you could point out both a cheap case to use for the time being then an HTPC case that would be compatible if I chose to upgrade in the future. Thanks!


Here's a build that I did with AMD X3 processor and ATI 4870 video card for $700 after rebates and before an optical drive: Linky.

Here's something in the middle of the road, Intel E7400 with ATI 4850 video card for $600, including case and everything, just throw in an optical drive yourself: Linky.

Here's an ultra cheap build with Intel E5200 and ATI 4650 video card for $400 before an optical drive: Linky.

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#265 sotc1988

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:21 AM

Thanks for the laptop recommendation SOSTrooper. My brother really loves it and it handles games really well.

#266 SOSTrooper

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:37 AM

I sold my Macbook to Goomba478, so when he sends the funds, that will be my budget. It will be about ~900. Keep in mind, I'm starting over with everything, new monitor, new mouse, new mouse-pad, keyboard, etc.


Let's just set aside $250 or so for your monitor, mouse, keyboard, and whatever peripherals you need. So that brings your budget to about $650.

Here's a build in the range of $650 - $700 that I drew up that meets your requirement. The motherboard has a good onboard video, which will allow you to hook up to your monitor via DVI port, and to your TV via HDMI port. You won't need to buy a separate video card until you want to play intensive games (such as Crysis) on your computer.

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#267 MillerTime2523

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:46 PM

Here's a build that I did with AMD X3 processor and ATI 4870 video card for $700 after rebates and before an optical drive: Linky.

Here's something in the middle of the road, Intel E7400 with ATI 4850 video card for $600, including case and everything, just throw in an optical drive yourself: Linky.

Here's an ultra cheap build with Intel E5200 and ATI 4650 video card for $400 before an optical drive: Linky.

Would the $700 build be able to handle newer games and HD movies / videos without issue? I'm really interested in that, thanks for the reccomendation.

Also, are there any other parts you could reccomend as a nice addition to an HTPC system down the road? Such as a TV tuner or anything like that? If I'm going to spend the money on it I'd like to get the most out of it that i possibly can. Thanks!

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#268 HowStern

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 03:04 PM

^That graphics card in the $700 build is in the top 3 best single gpu cards. So, yes :)
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#269 SOSTrooper

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:43 PM

Also, are there any other parts you could reccomend as a nice addition to an HTPC system down the road? Such as a TV tuner or anything like that? If I'm going to spend the money on it I'd like to get the most out of it that i possibly can. Thanks!


If you want to record TV shows, you can definitely drop in a TV tuner such as this one. It comes with a remote and is a good balance between price and specs, and of course most importantly it is an ATSC tuner that supports DTV signal.

Other than that, I suppose if you don't have a PS3 or a standalone Blu-ray player, you can always drop a Blu-ray drive into your HTPC. But seeing you have a PSN screen name, you have a PS3, so I dont think you'll need a Blu-ray player. Though other people might find this a good alternative if they already have a decent computer and would like to get this drive instead of shelling out $400 on a PS3 or $150-$200 on a standalone player.

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#270 heydonovan

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:50 AM

Let's just set aside $250 or so for your monitor, mouse, keyboard, and whatever peripherals you need. So that brings your budget to about $650.

Here's a build in the range of $650 - $700 that I drew up that meets your requirement. The motherboard has a good onboard video, which will allow you to hook up to your monitor via DVI port, and to your TV via HDMI port. You won't need to buy a separate video card until you want to play intensive games (such as Crysis) on your computer.


What about the case? Also, MillerTime2523 asked you about another $700 build you made, is that better? I always seem to judge on pictures (I know, so retarded), and I noticed the motherboard had a combo PS/2 thingie on the back, WTF? Nobody uses those things anymore, I'm sure I could save money removing that (if you can order with parts removed). I wish I wasn't so retarded.
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