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Thread: Build My Own PC

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    Default Build My Own PC

    Anybody here built a PC and/or fairly knowledgeable about such things? Thinking of doing it myself, and been doing quite a bit of research. Looking for as many opinions and info as possible.

    Here's a post I made on another forum if anybody is interested:

    So the computer is for heavy duty photo editing, large baches at a time. My wife has started doing a photography business part-time, and it's going very well, to say the Latitude is overloaded would be an understatement. We have stacks of DVDs of pics, USB sticks, and it takes forever for her to edit pics (typical shoot is around 500 shots). She's doing very well and gets a couple hundred dollars a session, so it will be a worthy investment.

    So here's my thinking:

    - I want a solid state drive for the OS, programs, etc., and a huge HD for file storage, with ability to expand HD storage if needed. I've heard solid state has come a long way with TRIM technology

    - I think having lots of RAM will go a long way towards helping the editing go much faster

    - I have no idea what to do with video card. We won't game at all on this thing, but there will be heavy photo and possibly some video editing.

    - Audio card doesn't need to be anything special. We use ITunes, and might hook up something with a sub, certainly no 7.1 surround or anything like that.

    - I'm still confused with the case, I understand how this stuff fits together, but getting a case that it all works with confuses the hell out of me.

    =======================================

    Here's what's in my newegg cart so far:

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G - Retail

    GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366 Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930 - Retail

    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

    Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA Model BDR-205BKS - OEM

    Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2R5 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Retail

    Obviously, I'm running into some major $$$ and I'm still missing some things. The above is almost 1900, and I want to keep it under 3K (but could go more if needed), and I need EVERYTHING because all we have are laptops right now. So monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.

    I'm still missing audio and vid cards, case, power supply, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, and I'm sure something(s) else.

    BTW, this is my first build

    Is the motherboard overkill (I want to be able to run 12GB RAM)? All the systems I price out on Dell, HP, and certainly Apple that even come close are well over 3K and none have the solid state drive.

    Any and all help is appreciated!!!

    Post #2

    Oh yea, for audio, the motherboard has on board:

    Onboard Audio
    Audio Chipset Realtek ALC889A
    Audio Channels 8 Channels

    Is that sufficient for just listening to itunes with a couple component speakers with a sub?

    I also need wireless networking for this, how should I handle that?

    thanks again!

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    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    my biggest concern with doing something like that would be making sure all the parts work together. Don't know how much of a problem that is these days, but back in the '98 days it was worth considering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    my biggest concern with doing something like that would be making sure all the parts work together. Don't know how much of a problem that is these days, but back in the '98 days it was worth considering.
    That's part of the reason I'm looking for help. I know the CPU and motherboard are fine. The motherboard has 6 connections for the ram, and plenty of sata ports, so I think I'm fine on all that, it has the correct connector for the solid state drive. But an expert to look over everything and help me with the video card, and whether I need an audio card, what case to buy would help. I think I know what power supply I'll need.

    I posted on a couple "Build you own PC" forums, but I know there's a few around here that can geek out too

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    12gb of Ram...are you planning a mission to mars?!...lol

    good idea going with a solid state drive for the OS far more reliable.
    as for the internal sound....should be fine for basic listening purposes just plug in a basic 2.1 (2 speakers and a sub) and you'll be fine.
    as for a decient graphics card...i have an Nvidia 9800gt card in mine and its great for Photo editing and you can even play some pretty good games on it too, i have a spare one kicking around (thought this one had fried, got a new one under warranty, turned out to be a corrupt OS!..but i got to keep the old one)...im sure we could find a way of getting it to you if you needed it, although with the spec you have quoted it would be a shame to compromise on your Graphics card mines a 512mb card i know you can get them at 1gb+
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    First, 12GB is overkill unless you're gonna be gaming. 8GB is more than enough, you would probably not even have trouble with 4GB.

    Second, why the SSD? If your reason is for quick booting, then its valid, but as far as reliability, they pan out about the same over time. Beyond that, SSD pricing will drop quite remarkably over the next year. IF you really want an SSD, go for 40 or 60 GB - don't overkill it at these prices. It will store the O/S and software, no need to overdo it at current pricing.

    Power supply - I have a top o' the line system right now, powered by a 430W Thermaltake P/S (TR430). It is cheap, and more than sufficient - even has power for PCI-E. More than 500W without gaming is overkill. I mostly game and the 430 with a GEForce 9600gt is more than sufficient.

    Audio. With current motherboards, the onboard audio should be more than sufficient for your needs, unless you are recording.

    Case. Your motherboard is ATX, so your case needs to be an ATX form factor case. It comes down to screw alignment on the case itself, but honestly, the key here is having enough room for all your parts. At this point it doesn't look like you have a ton of equipment, so you would want to look at the number of drive bays on the case (hard drives, SSD enclosure, DVD burner). Also consider maintenance and cases fans. If you have the room for a bigger case, consider it now. Room for expansion is a good thing. I picked up a good size case for $30. If you look around, you may do well. Do you have a Microcenter near you?

    Processor. Personally I am avoiding Intel at this time for AMD. I was able to pick up a quad-core processor for very small bones, and a well-matching motherboard with all the bells and whistles. This is really a personal preference now, but I feel the pricing edge goes to AMD at this point.

    HD. You may want to consider the 1.5TB Barracuda pricing. I have several HDs in my case, I would likely consider two 1TBs over one 1.5TBs. I picked up the 1TB for $80 locally - that is the regular price. How much are you looking at for the 1.5?

    I build all the PCs for my family, and have done so for friends as well. I would be glad to help you out. Feel free to email or PM me if you like.
    I swear, it's like I'm playin' cards with my brother's kids or somethin'. You nerve-wrackin' sons-a-bitches.

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    I built about a dozen of them a few years back, was the only way to go back then... but technology has changed and its not nearly as price affective anymore.

    Here is the site that helped me the most.

    www.virtualdr.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    12gb of Ram...are you planning a mission to mars?!...lol
    LMFAO

    Dude, go for it if you can afford it (if extra RAM for you is like a bag of fries). But it's definitely an overkill. I edit tons of pictures (not hundreds at a time, but tons) and I usually have both Adobe Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 running and I only have 2GB.

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    On my "current" list (it changes every few minutes ) I've decided to go with 6GB of RAM.

    Seems like the SSD is where I'm struggling. No doubt the prices will come down, but she's really ready for a new computer, and adding one later to run the OS could be a PITA. With the new technology Windows 7 has added for SSD, if your building a computer to run Win7, just seems like it's the way to go. I've decided that 120GB is too big, so I'm looking at more along the lines of 40-60GB. There are so many models, and the latest from Intel are twice as fast as the current model, but twice as much. The 64GB is about $730 online just itself. I think I'm gonna go with a 60GB "older" model and upgrade later if needed.

    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3667

    Thanks for the offer Tommy, but I'm getting a pretty good deal on a Radeon 5670 1GB, so I'm gonna roll with that.

    I really appreciate the offer Pat, I'm gonna try to tackle it myself, but we'll see how it goes Either way, if I manage to get it running, you can come check it out, or fix it if need be

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    No sweat, keep us posted.

    Ironically, I rebuilt my PC just a couple weeks ago. I went from dual core to quad core (not much software really supports multi-core right now except photo, such as CS4). I was heavily contemplating an SSD, but the sales guys at Microcenter pretty much talked me out of if (they actually lost sales in doing so, but I appreciated their honesty). That's where the info on the SSD price drops came from. I saw some vids on youtube of a system booting and shutting down with a SSD for the O/S. I thought my system was tweaked.....like 7 seconds to an operable state.

    Still, I'll wait for the price drop.

    In any case, check out Microcenter for the SSD, even the older ones. The prices are more in the 1-200 dollar range. Me? I typically leave my PC on, so I would loose quite a bit of the value in having the SSD for the O/S and software.
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    One other thing - unless you're gonna be gaming, many of the new boards have sufficient video onboard to handle photos quite well. You might consider waiting to see if the onboard vid handles your needs before you dump another 100 or more buck in it. Just a thought.

    Oh, and if you need someone to run to Microcenter for you, all I (and my wife) need is a good excuse. Really. No kidding. We love that place.
    I swear, it's like I'm playin' cards with my brother's kids or somethin'. You nerve-wrackin' sons-a-bitches.

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    How's their prices compare with newegg? I was thinking of ordering most components, (except monitor, possibly SSD if I can find it cheaper) on there.

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    My brother has used www.jncs.com before and he has been happy...

    I had to call them when I was building one and they were helpful...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Metalhead View Post
    I built about a dozen of them a few years back, was the only way to go back then... but technology has changed and its not nearly as price affective anymore.

    Here is the site that helped me the most.

    www.virtualdr.com
    No doubt. Seems like if your wanting a computer to surf the net, email, etc., you can get a computer for next to nothing. When you start looking at higher end components, you can still see quite a bit of difference.

    Seems like the Dells we've owned have been good overall, just always a little something, like the DVD drive craps out, or the power supply, etc. Hoping getting good brand stuff this thing will last a while.

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    SSD drives are not worth the price to performance ratio. The money you are paying for them isn't worth the performance boost you're going to get out of them.

    Are you building a windows machine? The OS isn't reliable to begin with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yerfdog View Post
    First, 12GB is overkill unless you're gonna be gaming. 8GB is more than enough, you would probably not even have trouble with 4GB.

    Second, why the SSD? If your reason is for quick booting, then its valid, but as far as reliability, they pan out about the same over time. Beyond that, SSD pricing will drop quite remarkably over the next year. IF you really want an SSD, go for 40 or 60 GB - don't overkill it at these prices. It will store the O/S and software, no need to overdo it at current pricing.

    Power supply - I have a top o' the line system right now, powered by a 430W Thermaltake P/S (TR430). It is cheap, and more than sufficient - even has power for PCI-E. More than 500W without gaming is overkill. I mostly game and the 430 with a GEForce 9600gt is more than sufficient.

    Audio. With current motherboards, the onboard audio should be more than sufficient for your needs, unless you are recording.

    Case. Your motherboard is ATX, so your case needs to be an ATX form factor case. It comes down to screw alignment on the case itself, but honestly, the key here is having enough room for all your parts. At this point it doesn't look like you have a ton of equipment, so you would want to look at the number of drive bays on the case (hard drives, SSD enclosure, DVD burner). Also consider maintenance and cases fans. If you have the room for a bigger case, consider it now. Room for expansion is a good thing. I picked up a good size case for $30. If you look around, you may do well. Do you have a Microcenter near you?

    Processor. Personally I am avoiding Intel at this time for AMD. I was able to pick up a quad-core processor for very small bones, and a well-matching motherboard with all the bells and whistles. This is really a personal preference now, but I feel the pricing edge goes to AMD at this point.

    HD. You may want to consider the 1.5TB Barracuda pricing. I have several HDs in my case, I would likely consider two 1TBs over one 1.5TBs. I picked up the 1TB for $80 locally - that is the regular price. How much are you looking at for the 1.5?

    I build all the PCs for my family, and have done so for friends as well. I would be glad to help you out. Feel free to email or PM me if you like.
    Yerfdog has hit it right on the head. Almost exactly what I was going to type. The big thing about SSD's to remember is that they have a limited number of writes. While it may take a while to get to it. Windows is always writing to the swap file. And it looks like this motherboard has dual channel memory, which means your memory sticks have to be installed in pairs. It still is looking like 4GB is still the 'sweet spot' as far as memory goes. More than that and you could actually see some performance loss from trying to manage all the memory.

    Quote Originally Posted by xaminer View Post
    SSD drives are not worth the price to performance ratio. The money you are paying for them isn't worth the performance boost you're going to get out of them.

    Are you building a windows machine? The OS isn't reliable to begin with.
    Dude I agree with you on the SSD issue, but Windows 7 is the shit. Microsoft finally did one right. It's rock solid, people are going to find exploits in everything.

    Rebel good luck with your build. Here's my advice. Get a case big enough for at least 3 to 4 harddrives with at least a 500w power supply. Your board with accept 6 SATA devices, so I'd get a 500GB for my OS and programs. 2 - 1TB drives for storage, 2 optical drives for disc to disc burning. 2 - 2GB ddr3 memory sticks. The best video card you can afford, and a nice 22 in flat panel widescreen display.
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