Building my own computer for the first time ever...


C

cristianangelin

Hi there.

So... My old computer is pretty gone and I need a new one. Thought that
this time I will build my own computer since all my earlier ones have
been "off-the-shelf" systems which basically are impossible to upgrade.

Anyway! I have been browsing TigerDirect and think I have compiled a
list of all the stuff I need.
Could anyone who have built computers before check my list and see if I
have forgotten anything? Is it a good configuration? Any suggestions?


Here is the list of stuff I thought I'd buy (notice that I do have a
fairly new graphics card and sound card already which is why they are
not on the list)

1 - MBM-D945P-830 :: Intel D945PVSLKR Intel Socket 775 ATX Motherboard
and an Intel Pentium D 830 3.0GHz Processor

2 - C283-1082 :: Cooler Master Cavalier 1 - Silver ATX Mid-Tower Case
with Fron USB, Firewire and Audio Ports and 380-Watt Power Supply

3 - TSD-250JD :: Western Digital / Caviar SE / 250GB / 7200 / 8MB /
SATA-150 / Hard Drive

4 - C13-6040 :: Corsair Value Select Dual Channel 2048MB PC4200 DDR2
Memory (2 x 1024MB)

5 - M450-9000 :: Mach Speed - SK-9521 - 10/100/1000 Gigabit PCI
Ethernet Adapter

6 - TC3G-2028 :: Intel / Socket 775 / Intel Prescott 3.4Ghz / Ball
Bearing / Copper Core / CPU Cooling Fan

7 - M17-5635 :: Microsoft Windows XP Home Upgrade Serv. Pack 2

8 - L12-1052 :: Lite-on SOHD-16P9S / 16x DVD-ROM / 48x CD-ROM / Black /
Internal / Drive

9 - N27-1878 :: NEC ND3540A / 16x8x16x DVD+RW / 16x6x16x DVD-RW / 8x
DVD+R DL / 6x DVD-R DL / 48x32x48x CD-RW / Black / Dual Layer / OEM DVD
Burner with Nero Software

Thanks for any advice to a "builder novice".

Cristian
 
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T

Thomas Jespersen

1 - MBM-D945P-830 :: Intel D945PVSLKR Intel Socket 775 ATX Motherboard
and an Intel Pentium D 830 3.0GHz Processor

Intel is a good brand, you will probably get a very stable system with a
Intel motherboard, but don't expect a lot of tweaking and overclocking
settings if that is what you want. I don't know much of Intel motherboards
as I have an Athlon 64 system, but make sure your motherboard works with
the Processor you picked.
2 - C283-1082 :: Cooler Master Cavalier 1 - Silver ATX Mid-Tower Case
with Fron USB, Firewire and Audio Ports and 380-Watt Power Supply

Cooler Master is a good brand, I would probably get a bigger PSU though
(400+ Watts).
3 - TSD-250JD :: Western Digital / Caviar SE / 250GB / 7200 / 8MB /
SATA-150 / Hard Drive

Fine I guess. I know not much of which harddrives are best today.
4 - C13-6040 :: Corsair Value Select Dual Channel 2048MB PC4200 DDR2
Memory (2 x 1024MB)

Corsair is a good brand, again, if you wish to overclock you should
probably not get their value ram, but if you don't wish to overclock your
choice seems solid to me.
5 - M450-9000 :: Mach Speed - SK-9521 - 10/100/1000 Gigabit PCI
Ethernet Adapter

I am sure your motherboard already got a gigabit ethernet adapter. Check it
out, that would make this part obsolete, unless you have special demands
for two adapters.
6 - TC3G-2028 :: Intel / Socket 775 / Intel Prescott 3.4Ghz / Ball
Bearing / Copper Core / CPU Cooling Fan

If you buy a boxed processor and not an OEM version, you get a decent
cooler in the box as well.
7 - M17-5635 :: Microsoft Windows XP Home Upgrade Serv. Pack 2

This seems to be an upgrade version, make sure you already have Win95/98/ME
original before you buy it, or purchase a full version if you don't.
8 - L12-1052 :: Lite-on SOHD-16P9S / 16x DVD-ROM / 48x CD-ROM / Black /
Internal / Drive

LiteOn I heard good about, but have no first hand experience.
9 - N27-1878 :: NEC ND3540A / 16x8x16x DVD+RW / 16x6x16x DVD-RW / 8x
DVD+R DL / 6x DVD-R DL / 48x32x48x CD-RW / Black / Dual Layer / OEM DVD
Burner with Nero Software

I have a NEC3520A and it is a good and solid drive.

Things I see missing could be:

Floppy Drive - You need a floppy drive to install the SATA drivers during
the WinXP installation process unless you are an advanced user and wish to
make a "slipstreamed" WinXP cd (search google). Just buy a generic noname
floppy.

Sound Card - If you are just an ordinary user you could use the motherboard
soundcard (if it got one, most do), but if you are an avid gamer I
recommend you purchase a Creative Audigy 2 or Creative X-Fi soundcard.

Speakers - again, depending on your needs, you might do with a 2 speaker
setup or a surround system if you watch many movies or are a gamer.

Display - you might already have one from your old system. I recommend LCD,
I purchased a 19" BenQ LCD a few months ago, the best upgrade I have made
to my system this year!
 
C

Coby Smith

I know this is not what you want to hear, but I feel compelled to tell you
anyway. Get a total price of all your items you are buying, including
shipping and handling. Then go to Dell.com, customize your pc, and see how
much money you will save. I too just built my own computer when dell.com
actually had everything assembled that I wanted. HP also had one very
similar to what I finally got. All my items came from either tigerdirect.com
or newegg.com. By the time I was finished, I discovered that I could have
gotten the same MOBO features and cpu from dell.com for only $50 more.
Saving $50 was not worth the trouble I went through building my own
computer.

But if you are a hobbyist, go for it. That is certainly why I choose to
build my first one.

Now back to your original question. Your list is fine. You obviously have
the money, and the other poster before me adequately and specifically
responded to you so I have nothing else to add.
 
J

Jan Alter

I'm trying to figure out why you're purchasing an additional pci ethernet
card when the board already has one incorporated in it.

Further, unless you already have have a backup procedure I would include an
external USB/firewire drive into this event, with software for automation,
and consider strongly buying from another outfit other than Tiger Direct.
Mwave, Newegg, Fry's are just three companies that have a much better
fulfillment reputation.
 
J

jaster

Hi there.

So... My old computer is pretty gone and I need a new one. Thought that
this time I will build my own computer since all my earlier ones have been
"off-the-shelf" systems which basically are impossible to upgrade.

Anyway! I have been browsing TigerDirect and think I have compiled a list
of all the stuff I need.
Could anyone who have built computers before check my list and see if I
have forgotten anything? Is it a good configuration? Any suggestions?


Here is the list of stuff I thought I'd buy (notice that I do have a
fairly new graphics card and sound card already which is why they are not
on the list)

1 - MBM-D945P-830 :: Intel D945PVSLKR Intel Socket 775 ATX Motherboard and
an Intel Pentium D 830 3.0GHz Processor

2 - C283-1082 :: Cooler Master Cavalier 1 - Silver ATX Mid-Tower Case with
Fron USB, Firewire and Audio Ports and 380-Watt Power Supply

3 - TSD-250JD :: Western Digital / Caviar SE / 250GB / 7200 / 8MB /
SATA-150 / Hard Drive

4 - C13-6040 :: Corsair Value Select Dual Channel 2048MB PC4200 DDR2
Memory (2 x 1024MB)

5 - M450-9000 :: Mach Speed - SK-9521 - 10/100/1000 Gigabit PCI Ethernet
Adapter

6 - TC3G-2028 :: Intel / Socket 775 / Intel Prescott 3.4Ghz / Ball Bearing
/ Copper Core / CPU Cooling Fan

7 - M17-5635 :: Microsoft Windows XP Home Upgrade Serv. Pack 2

8 - L12-1052 :: Lite-on SOHD-16P9S / 16x DVD-ROM / 48x CD-ROM / Black /
Internal / Drive

9 - N27-1878 :: NEC ND3540A / 16x8x16x DVD+RW / 16x6x16x DVD-RW / 8x DVD+R
DL / 6x DVD-R DL / 48x32x48x CD-RW / Black / Dual Layer / OEM DVD Burner
with Nero Software

Thanks for any advice to a "builder novice".

Cristian

I agree with the other responders. A customized Dell, HP comes with
warranty and installed software. Generally, its cheaper buy a whole
system than to build from components but many just like to home build.

No PCI-E video card mentioned but pick one that is also a good TV-out
nVidia 5500? or better.

I wouldn't bother with a floppy drive use USB drive instead plus you still
have your old PC.

You don't need the Lite-on DVD/CD-ROM if you're getting the NEC DVD-RW.

You don't need the Lan card because the m/b has an onboard gigabit lan.

You won't need a sound card the m/b has onboard 7.1 sound.

Buy boxed Intel CPU because with fan you also get a warranty that doesn't
come with OEM purchases.

Buy full XP Home but you should get Windows Media Center
instead of XP Home. This motherboard and cpu were designed for media
processing. Since you didn't care about video card but spec'd 2 DVDs, I
think you'll mostly use this for media computing rather than gaming.

Intel learned a lesson during the early PIII days and now it's
boards are upgradeable and I hope still rock solid.

Dropping the extra DVD, lan card and floppy reduces power requirements
from the psu so the 380-watt should be enough for your system and I think
the CoolerMaster is a fairly quiet case.
 
J

jaster

On Wed, 28 Dec 2005 08:53:49 -0800, cristianangelin thoughtfully wrote:
there.
So... My old computer is pretty gone and I need a new one. Thought that
this time I will build my own computer since all my earlier ones have been
"off-the-shelf" systems which basically are impossible to upgrade.

Anyway! I have been browsing TigerDirect and think I have compiled a list
of all the stuff I need.
Could anyone who have built computers before check my list and see if I
have forgotten anything? Is it a good configuration? Any suggestions?


Here is the list of stuff I thought I'd buy (notice that I do have a
fairly new graphics card and sound card already which is why they are not
on the list)

1 - MBM-D945P-830 :: Intel D945PVSLKR Intel Socket 775 ATX Motherboard and
an Intel Pentium D 830 3.0GHz Processor

2 - C283-1082 :: Cooler Master Cavalier 1 - Silver ATX Mid-Tower Case with
Fron USB, Firewire and Audio Ports and 380-Watt Power Supply

3 - TSD-250JD :: Western Digital / Caviar SE / 250GB / 7200 / 8MB /
SATA-150 / Hard Drive

4 - C13-6040 :: Corsair Value Select Dual Channel 2048MB PC4200 DDR2
Memory (2 x 1024MB)

5 - M450-9000 :: Mach Speed - SK-9521 - 10/100/1000 Gigabit PCI Ethernet
Adapter

6 - TC3G-2028 :: Intel / Socket 775 / Intel Prescott 3.4Ghz / Ball Bearing
/ Copper Core / CPU Cooling Fan

7 - M17-5635 :: Microsoft Windows XP Home Upgrade Serv. Pack 2

8 - L12-1052 :: Lite-on SOHD-16P9S / 16x DVD-ROM / 48x CD-ROM / Black /
Internal / Drive

9 - N27-1878 :: NEC ND3540A / 16x8x16x DVD+RW / 16x6x16x DVD-RW / 8x DVD+R
DL / 6x DVD-R DL / 48x32x48x CD-RW / Black / Dual Layer / OEM DVD Burner
with Nero Software

Thanks for any advice to a "builder novice".

Cristian



Sorry but after I looked up the case I saw this and other review which
makes this case undesireable. And I can't remember reading case reviews
where the reviews actually hated the case.

http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/cav1/index6.php

http://www.overclockersonline.com/?page=articles&num=225&pnum=6
 
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D

djs0302

jaster said:
Sorry but after I looked up the case I saw this and other review which
makes this case undesireable. And I can't remember reading case reviews
where the reviews actually hated the case.

http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/cav1/index6.php

http://www.overclockersonline.com/?page=articles&num=225&pnum=6


Bad reviews? There may have been some things about the case that the
reviewers didn't like but they seemed to based upon personal
preferences rather than actual flaws. Besides, I would never base my
purchase on just one or two reviews, good or bad.
 
T

Thomas Jespersen

I wouldn't bother with a floppy drive use USB drive instead plus you still
have your old PC.

You need a floppy to install the SATA drivers during the WinXP installation
process though (Press F6...), why on earth you can't select a cdrom instead
is beyond me.

I have just purchased a notebook with sata drive and no floppy, I had to
make a "slipstreamed" winxp installation-cd to get it going. The only
reason I could figure that out was because I googled a page which described
how to slipstream my specific drivers.
 
C

cristianangelin

Wow. Thanks everyone.

I did go to Dell.com and checked out what the same config would cost
me.
All in all it would cost me around $1150 (with shipping) to build it
but Dell would charge around $1600.

I already have a 256MB ATI Radeon card and a SoundBlaster card in my
old comp. so I am using those.

So I am dropping the LAN card and the DVD-ROM and instead adding a
floppy drive.

Regarding the case: I have been going back and forth on that one but in
the end this one seemed the best. The reviews I have read have been
good so... I am just wondering about the power supply when the graphic
and sound card is added?

Wow... I am kind of excited about building my first system but at the
same time a nervous. Don't want to mess up after paying all the money.
:)

Thanks again,
Cristian
 
J

Josh

Wow. Thanks everyone.

I did go to Dell.com and checked out what the same config would cost
me.
All in all it would cost me around $1150 (with shipping) to build it
but Dell would charge around $1600.

I already have a 256MB ATI Radeon card and a SoundBlaster card in my
old comp. so I am using those.

So I am dropping the LAN card and the DVD-ROM and instead adding a
floppy drive.

Regarding the case: I have been going back and forth on that one but in
the end this one seemed the best. The reviews I have read have been
good so... I am just wondering about the power supply when the graphic
and sound card is added?

Wow... I am kind of excited about building my first system but at the
same time a nervous. Don't want to mess up after paying all the money.
:)

Thanks again,
Cristian


Doesn't the Intel board you specified have PCIexpress video?

http://www.intel.com/design/motherbd/vs/vs_available.htm

I presume your ATI card "from your old computer" is AGP?

I am not familiar with the case you listed, but just for my .02 worth,
I've always loved Antec cases and power supplies.

Josh
 
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C

cristianangelin

It has PCI and PCI Express. The card I have use PCI so it should be
fine.

Thanks for the heads-up though...

Another question: What do you all think of OEM versions of Windows XP?
Is it better to buy a "real" Home edition than a OEM Pro?
 
J

Josh

It has PCI and PCI Express. The card I have use PCI so it should be
fine.

Thanks for the heads-up though...

Another question: What do you all think of OEM versions of Windows XP?
Is it better to buy a "real" Home edition than a OEM Pro?


I would buy XP Pro Retail over Home Retail or Pro-OEM

$188 for Pro upgrade (didnt' you spec "upgrade" earlier?)

Two different friends bought XP Pro OEM. The first one had problems
until he bought Retail and put it on. (Now, of course, had he simply
re-installed the OEM, that might have cured his problems also.)

Another one activated XP ok, but it failed validation. I won't get
into the "bypass validation" discussion.....but will speculate that a
retail wouldn't have failed in the first place. Seems to work fine,
but..........

Of course, I still have a bad taste in my mouth from some heavily
modified win95 oem's. (cough, Acer, cough) ...so I'm not un-biased.

Josh
 
J

Josh

It has PCI and PCI Express. The card I have use PCI so it should be
fine.

Thanks for the heads-up though...

Another question: What do you all think of OEM versions of Windows XP?
Is it better to buy a "real" Home edition than a OEM Pro?


Here is good google post on XP OEM:

http://tinyurl.com/anuoc

Josh
 
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J

jaster

It has PCI and PCI Express. The card I have use PCI so it should be fine.

Thanks for the heads-up though...

Another question: What do you all think of OEM versions of Windows XP? Is
it better to buy a "real" Home edition than a OEM Pro?

Thomas Jefferson corrected me about the need for a floppy drive but since
you're building a new PC why not use your current old floppy just to load
the SATA drives instead of a new floppy, although a new one is only $10.

But why on earth would you build a high end PC only to stick it with a PCI
video card? It will work but a 64bit media cpu, 7.1 audio,
gigabit lan with a PCI video card that only supports DX7? Will ATI
Win XP drivers still work for that card ?
 

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