Parts list madness

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MetaJoke
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Parts list madness

Postby MetaJoke » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:22 pm UTC

well, as my laptop has started to become unreliable, I'm faced with either fixing it or replacing it. Since this is now a four year old laptop, spending over a hundred doesn't make too much sense.

I'm also dieing for an upgrade- 4 years using this system- 1.5 ghz proc, 736 mb ram, 80 gb hd...

Well, now that a relative has offered to pay for a new comp for xmas, i'm looking at building one. Pretty sure I can, have upgraded ram, swapped hd's, etc.(course, all of this on much older systems) Just worried about grounding and hooking up the power supply....

While I think I could set up a box, I'm not sure i can select the best, most cost-effective parts so I thought I might post what I'm looking at here and get some feedback

I've been given a rough budget of $600, although I'm not so strapped for cash i can't toss a little money of my own here and there, in addition to paying shipping costs. I've got access to a monitor (CRT..ick) and peripherals, so I'm only looking at the box right now.

Now, since I've been on this laptop for years, it's been some time since I've been able to game on a computer. Mainly looking at just upgrading from my laptop, doing schoolwork and media stuff- finally being able to store all my movies/ music without having to periodically delete older stuff. I'm thinking of building a box that will work fine for that, but have the ability to upgrade it to a light-medium gaming setup in the future when I do have the disposable income.

Anyway, Parts list I've got now:
Hard Drive ~$100
Proccessor ~$140
Motherboard~$130
Memory~$75
Case~$160 (minus $25 rebate, if i can get it. I've had problems with rebates before)

I'm a noob, and wouldn't be suprised if I overlooked some compatibility issue.. And I'm not sure if their might be a better deal if i got a mobo/cpu combo... :? Some help please?

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Axman
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby Axman » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:34 pm UTC

I'd spend less on that RAM. It's for Intel and AMD chipsets, anyway (although it will work with NVIDIA) you're only paying for features you won't use. Just get two gigs of regular DDR2-800.

You WILL need a video card, unless you get a motherboard with onboard video. I suggest you replace the board you have with any AMD 690V board (not only are they cheaper, they're as much as 10% faster than the aging nForce chipsets) and I personally recommend this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128056

Then you can get a Micro-ATX case, which are very, very cool.

MetaJoke
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby MetaJoke » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:24 pm UTC

Taking the motherboard you recommended.. saves $50. Would this memory work out better? It'd save another 20..

Okay, and so I'm not guessing, what kind of PSU should I be looking for? Power supply is still a bit of a mystery to me.

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Larson
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby Larson » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:38 pm UTC

MetaJoke wrote:Okay, and so I'm not guessing, what kind of PSU should I be looking for? Power supply is still a bit of a mystery to me.

That case you have on your list comes with a power supply that should work. It is a bit of an off brand and it only has a single +12V rail, but it should power the system.

Like Axman said, if you go with the motherboard he suggested then you have the option of getting a microATX case. Not only will a microATX case be smaller, it will be cheaper. A note about that current case: it will be bright and most likely loud. It might look cool, but if you need function on a budget then it's not the way to go. Also, how will you feel about those lights in 2 years? (I'm not poking fun at your taste, but I've purchased many flashy cases I've later come to dislike)

Even after the rebate, $135 is a cost that can be avoided for a good case and power supply.

Cases to consider:
(with power supplies)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811144162 - A case of the same brand but a little more functional. Any one of the X-QPACK series from Apevia would work as well, lots of colors/windows to choose from. I've seen this case in action and its decent, as well as quite portable. Comes with a 420watt PSU that will at least run the system. - $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811144138 - Apevia X-QPACK2, same kind of case with a slightly better power supply. Some people like the cube design, some don't. - $89.99

(without power supplies)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811112099 - Lian Li, all aluminum contruction, lightweight, one of the finest case manufacturers - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119088 - Cooler Master, good brand, simple clean case - $49.99

A few things to consider about power supplies:
Most of the power supplies on the market will power your system, plain and simple. As long as they are the correct type and meet the minimum power requirements, they will at least "work".

Beyond that it is a matter of how long the power supply will stay working, and the quality of power it produces (dirty/inconsistent power effects the entire system, both its stability and its life). I've seen cheap power supplies run for years without issue, and good power supplies explode 2 weeks after they are installed. Overall though, a respectable brand (Antec, Cooler Master, Silverstone, BFG, etc) will last longer, run more efficient, produce cleaner power, and have the reputation/warranty of some company behind it.

Always do your research if you have any questions about a specific power supply, as the chances that someone else has it and has reviewed it are high.

MetaJoke
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby MetaJoke » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:03 am UTC

well, the case wasn't so much because I was all 'ZOMG 1337!'. I just have a strong aversion to normal, boxy towers. And that one came with a power supply. I'd been glancing at microatx cases since it was recommended, but I wanted to make sure I knew what kind of PSU.. Just hoped 500w would be enough. Cube cases wouldn't be so bad, I suppose.

And yeah, I realized what I completely spaced earlier- Going to need a dvd drive, but it's not really that hard to select one. Still should have been on my parts-price list.

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Larson
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby Larson » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:11 am UTC

MetaJoke wrote:well, the case wasn't so much because I was all 'ZOMG 1337!'. I just have a strong aversion to normal, boxy towers. And that one came with a power supply. I'd been glancing at microatx cases since it was recommended, but I wanted to make sure I knew what kind of PSU.. Just hoped 500w would be enough. Cube cases wouldn't be so bad, I suppose.

And yeah, I realized what I completely spaced earlier- Going to need a dvd drive, but it's not really that hard to select one. Still should have been on my parts-price list.

If you like the case, then it's settled :)

500watts should be enough hands down, but it's more a matter of quality, finish, and how fat the rails are (the +12v, +5v, etc on the side of the power supply). A 34amp +12v is a pretty strong rail, so it should be okay.

Just about any name brand DVD/RW+ should definitely do it. Most of them will read and write just about any/all common formats (aside from HD/Bluray :lol:). A $30-40 unit should do the trick, bonus if it's serialATA.

MetaJoke
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby MetaJoke » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am UTC

I think I'll go with the X-QPACK2. cube case is better then the boxy tower look.

I have a question for when I have more money. I haven't had much experience with displays, beyond standard setups. But when I get a video card for this, I'm going to want to move up. The question is dual screen or widescreen? I've never used a setup with more then one monitor, but since I have a habit of multitasking several things at once, I'd imagine it would make things easier to organize (all work related windows on one side, all social/fun on the other or so)... course that's more expensive then getting a single widescreen, and since I've had no experience with such setups, don't know if it would really be worth it.

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Larson
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby Larson » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:30 am UTC

You have the right idea as far as widescreen vs. dual monitors. It's just a matter of what fits you best, and I'm a huge fan of dual screens. Most any graphics card you buy will be able to support more than one monitor, and the functionality of such is unbeatable.

There are a few other random threads that touch on this issue, with the usual pros and cons.

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sethicus
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby sethicus » Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:36 am UTC

I have to suggest Lian-li cases. They are just WIN. They are some of the most solid cases I've ever dealt with, and if everything works out how I plan, I will be getting the larger version of the case below for an OSX server.

This is my personal favorite:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112058

It also comes in brushed aluminum.
Compromise: Lowering my standards so you can meet them.

MetaJoke
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby MetaJoke » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:10 am UTC

Yeah, but price is a factor here, and I'm coming pretty close to my limit. Besides, if it doesn't fall apart out of nowhere, it should be fine. Don't plan on putting it through a lot of abuse. And any money I do get to keep will be saved to eventually get a graphics card.

MetaJoke
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby MetaJoke » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:55 pm UTC

Yes, It's been about a month, but thought i'd revive this thread rather then create a new one for a related issue.

Well, I've gotten all the parts for my comp. Ended up with the gigabyte motherboard suggested, and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103773 for a processor.

Only problem, when I tried to put on the stock heatsink- it doesn't fit. One side, the side with the lever on it, fits the clip perfectly, and the lever turns and locks it. the other side is too high to reach the clip. It's got some flexibility (appears to be mounted on a spring), but as long as it will go, it will not fit around the clip- there's still a smidgen of a height difference. I'm rather nervous about this.

Now, the heatsink does fit everyhwhere else perfect. the one clip holds it on, it's centered over the proc. and i can pick the board up via the heatsink (probably not the best idea, but i was just trying to see how firmly it was on there. ) So... i'm tempted to think this should be alright as long as i don't jostle the box alot and possibly dislodge it.

Um, anyone got any comments/suggestions/ help?

I'm hesitant to try to pull the sink off again, because it came with the termal grease preapplied- and if i have to pull it off/reattache it, don't I have to remove all the grease and apply more? ...and there are *no* electronic stores around here that sell thermal grease, so i'd have to pay s&h online, and wait another two-three days (plus the weekend)...

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tinyterror
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby tinyterror » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:25 pm UTC

Heat sink levers are going to be tight. The metal bar that goes through the sink will flex a little bit if you have to push it down for the clip to reach. Also make sure the lever on the unclipped part is released so that you have some slack on the clip.

It might help to post a picture of the problem.

MetaJoke
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby MetaJoke » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:56 pm UTC

Well, after i butted heads with it for something like two hours and made little to no progress, room mate came in and did it quickly- but he's got nimble fingers, or something... Oh well. Least I didn't have to return anything

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Larson
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby Larson » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:53 am UTC

Mounting heatsinks used to be a lot more nerve wracking when the bare cores were exposed. I've since gotten over the amount of pressure it takes to attach a lot of different heatsinks.

Good to hear you got it though. 8)

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tinyterror
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby tinyterror » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:00 pm UTC

Oh yeah, the dreaded crunch of death back in the old coppermine and athlon XP days. Great design decision guys, lets make everything as fragile as possible and require force to be used at the same time.

Stupid engineers.

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b.i.o
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby b.i.o » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:42 pm UTC

Sounds kind of like the heatsink attachment on my old Dell, except in reverse. Oh yeah, lets make it so it's impossible to twist the heatsink to break the seal between it and the processor. Lets also make it impossible to release the lever holding the processor in place while the heatsink is on so that the processor gets ripped out everytime you try to take the heatsink out, since it's not physically possible to separate them without breaking the heatsink mount. Great design decision guys :roll:.

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tinyterror
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby tinyterror » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:45 pm UTC

Silver2Falcon wrote:Sounds kind of like the heatsink attachment on my old Dell, except in reverse. Oh yeah, lets make it so it's impossible to twist the heatsink to break the seal between it and the processor. Lets also make it impossible to release the lever holding the processor in place while the heatsink is on so that the processor gets ripped out everytime you try to take the heatsink out, since it's not physically possible to separate them without breaking the heatsink mount. Great design decision guys :roll:.



Ugh, having the CPU getting ripped out of the ZIF socket by the hardened thermal paste on the CPU is the worst. Bent pins are the best case scenario when that happens :(

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Larson
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Re: Parts list madness

Postby Larson » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:46 pm UTC

Silver2Falcon wrote:Sounds kind of like the heatsink attachment on my old Dell, except in reverse. Oh yeah, lets make it so it's impossible to twist the heatsink to break the seal between it and the processor. Lets also make it impossible to release the lever holding the processor in place while the heatsink is on so that the processor gets ripped out everytime you try to take the heatsink out, since it's not physically possible to separate them without breaking the heatsink mount. Great design decision guys :roll:.

Quoted for truth. A lot of that tough separation is just old thermal paste. I've pulled CPUs out of ZIF sockets because of ancient paste, more like glue in some cases.


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