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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:30 pm 
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Just a comment. Aren't those 850W and 1200W power supplies complete overkill? The 750w quad could power every machine there. Sorry if this was already mentioned, I didn't read through everything.

And it would be a very useful addition if you linked to all the parts on newegg or some other site. This is pushing it, but linking to a review for each produce would be a really nice touch.

It just seems to me that with a little expansion of this guide such as a $500 pc listing and the inclusion of alternate choices for certain parts (ie nvidia chipset mobos, both ati and nvidia graphics cards), it could be a much bigger help to people. There are so many people coming in here asking for the same thing and you have the ability here to answer 80% of their questions.


Last edited by qa9b on Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:36 pm 
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In most situations, yes. But the same concept applies to a QX9650 and other components. Treat these as categorical outlines, and tweak to personal preference/needs.

Regarding power supplies specifically, I recommend getting acquainted with both AMD/ATI's CrossFire certified list, and NVIDIA's SLI certified list.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:40 pm 
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Sorry, I added more to that post.

Regardless, I can see how a $1000 CPU will benefit you, but hardly how a $250 psu could provide anything that a pcp&c 750w couldn't. I understand the customization aspect of this whole thing, I'm just saying that we should try to help out the less informed by giving them a few choices for each part and help them evaluate on their own where each builds' price/performance ratio lies.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:51 pm 
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qa9b wrote:
1) And it would be a very useful addition if you linked to all the parts on newegg or some other site.

2)It just seems to me that with a little expansion of this guide...

3) Regardless, I can see how a $1000 CPU will benefit you, but hardly how a $250 psu could provide anything that a pcp&c 750w couldn't. I understand the customization aspect of this whole thing, I'm just saying that we should try to help out the less informed by giving them a few choices for each part and help them evaluate on their own where each builds' price/performance ratio lies.

I've considered it, but Newegg often changes their links, which would result in more upkeep - a clickable Wish List might be an option. I'm also a proponent of price shopping rather than sticking with one vendor (there's pros and cons to each method), and who has the lowest price today may not tomorrow.

2) It's on my to-do list!

3) It all depends on the the specific setup, and how much future-proofing a user is looking for. A 750W power supply is plenty for today's setups, but tomorrow's videocards aren't getting any more power friendly. And on the ultra high end, we're shifting towards dual GPUs on a single card, and setups sporting 2-4 of those cards. Finally, you have each company's (AMD and NVIDIA) certified PSU list. Granted these aren't all inclusive, but for a pair of 8800 Ultra videocards, you won't find anything smaller than 860W, or 1100W for a tri-card setup.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:50 am 
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Wanted to say thanks for this thread. I took your budget system specs, tweaked them a bit, and couldn't be happier with my new unit!

Case: Antec Sonata III 500
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R
Proc: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe
HSF: Rosewill RCX-Z775-LX
Compound: Arctic Silver 5
Memory: OCZ OCZ2N1066SR2GK x 2
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST3250410AS x 2
DVD: LITE-ON LH-20A1L-05
Video Card: XFX PVT84JUDD3
OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit

All bought through Newegg.com, total cost: $1,170. Total assembly time about 1 hour.

This is my first system build and it couldn't have been easier. Everything was truly plug and play. I'm finally free of Dell. Thanks so much!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:00 am 
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dhvrm wrote:
This is my first system build and it couldn't have been easier. Everything was truly plug and play. I'm finally free of Dell. Thanks so much!
W00t! It's always great to hear stories of someone's first build, particularly when it means breaking free from proprietary bulk OEMs.

Enjoy your custom build, and welcome to the foruml :)


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 Post subject: What about displays?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:37 am 
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In all of these guides I have read so far, no one covers one of the most important components, your display! I am in the market for replacing my Sony 21" CRT with an LCD (24" minimum) but can find nothing on here about what to look for. Forget about searching the web site for past reviews as it is a bear to find anything as the new site is just as bad as the old when looking up best of the best and hardware and such as it just brings up reviews, when it should give you their take on what is the best hardware in each category. I do remember reading a an article a while ago about most 24" LCD not being 8 bit but rather 6 bit, any comment on which ones naively support 8 bit?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:03 pm 
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im shopping for 24incher too..

ive done pretty much all u've done too, browse maxpc site BotB reviews etc..
i've narrowed my choices down to either any 24inch Dell, Samsung, or Hp.

Cant go wrong with any of those from my judgements.
i just make sure to keep an eye out for 'hdcp 1080 reso'..the other stuff about contrast ratio blabla etc Displaymate results, these 3 brands have always had excellent results. :D


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 Post subject: Ideal 24" display?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:36 am 
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I would like to third that request for a recommendation on a 24" monitor. The "Best of the Best" lists a 20" and a 30", around $150 and $1500 respectively. The 20" is on the small side for my desires, and the Gateway is just way out of my short term price range. Does anything stand out in the $400-800 category? Or am I doomed to purchase a 2.5k machine now, and stick with my old DELL 17" CRT until I save enough for the Gateway 30"? Though by the time I save up the money I'll likely find the Gateway in the bargain bin.

Woa...I need to pay more attention to post dates...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:26 am 
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... LG%2024%22
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824014173
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824001263

And the Dell 2408 is a nice screen as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:29 am 
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Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:36 am 
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I will be starting my first "complete" pc build here shortly, been subscribed to maxpc for years except for 2009..

hopefully i can find a rig suited to me, im sure you guys can help heh.



ima be doin graphic stuff, gimp mainly..

and gaming. anyways ill wait a few weeks before i ask any serious questions...'

just got laid off in january, the free time has me all motivated to do the stuff i loved when i was younger. like gaming and graphic design etc..


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 Post subject: Mainboards and CPUs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:13 am 
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The motherboard (also commonly referred to as mainboard or mobo), is the one peice of hardware that connects to everything else. It's important to know what sort of things a mainboard has.

The most obvious is the the CPU socket. This is where the CPU goes. There are PGA and LGA sockets. Currently, Socket AM2 is used for AMD Sempron, Athlon and Phenom series CPUs. It's a PGA socket because the pins are on the CPU and they plug into the mainboard. Intel on the other hand uses both LGA 775 and LGA 1366 sockets for their systems. LGA simply means that the pins are on the mainboard instead of the CPU. Socket LGA 775 is for later Pentium 4 and Celeron CPUs, and was used exclusively for the Pentium D, Core, and Core2 series CPUs. LGA 1366 is used exclusively for Intel's Core i7 CPUs.

The next most obvious attribute to any mainboard is the chipset. The chipset is the one chip that manages everyhing on the mainboard. There are two pieces to the chipset: the northbridge and southbridge. The Northbridge handles the front-side-bus (FSB) which is the communication channel between the CPU and the memory, and also controls the expansion slots, like AGP, PCIe, PCIx, and PCI. When applicable, the northbridge also manages the onboard video on mainboards that have them. The Southbridge manages the chips that control the ethernet, USB, firewire, and driver controllers. Some mid-range boards and up have two drive controllers for more SATA ports and USB ports. AMD, Intel, Nvidia, SiS and VIA all make chipsets for common desktop mainboards. The SiS and VIA chipsets are usually found on cheaper boards, but in many cases, they work just fine for most basic uses. They don't overclock, they usually don't have any special features, and they almost always have integrated graphics. Intel and AMD also have some simpler chipsets.

Some chipsets are just more popular than others. Since they control the major aspects of the mainboard, they often have to be taken into consideration when choosing a mainboard. It's quite common today for a mainboard to have the ability for dual video cards. These technologies are called SLI from Nvidia and Crossfire from ATI. To use these technologies, a mainboard would need at least 2 16x PCIe slots, and a chipset that supports it. Intel 965, 975, P35, P45, X38, X48, X58 chipsets all support ATI's Crossfire technology, as do AMD 780 and 790 series chipsets. If you're looking for SLI, your only options are Nvidia's 590 SLI, 680i, 780i, 790i, and Intel X58 chipests. Intel's P45 chips are very popular for the Core2 crowd, while X58 is the only options for Core i7 adopters. For AMD, a lot of power-house rigs are using 790 series chipsets, while many building budget gaming rigs, or HTPCs are using AMD's 780 chipset. The 780G is one of the most popular due to it's low-power design and it's excellent performance for onboard video. I've heard it can do HD-DVD/BluRay playback.

There are several different types of expansion slots that can be found on a mainboard, but only a few actually show up in common consumer boards. PCIe slots are specified by the number of data lanes they utilize. For a graphics card, you'd more than likely be using a 16X PCIe slot. 4x and 8x PCIe slots are more common on Server and Workstation type boards, but they can be found. These are most often for RAID controllers. 1x PCIe slots are common, but the cards the use them aren't. It's gotten much better over the least few years, but the only type of card you'll find for 1x PCIe slots are a handful of sound cards, the occasional basic video card, and USB/Firewire cards.

Most mainboards follow a simple rule that any consumer must remember: You get what you pay for. If you want more of this, or more that, you'll probably find it on the more expensive boards. Basic boards will usually have onboard video (along with nearly everything else), a single 16x PCIe slot, single 1x PCIe slot, a couple legacy PCI slots, 2 to 4 SATA ports, 1 IDE channel, 1 Floppy port, 2 DIMM slots for memory, and the usual assortment of power plugs. The features get better the more expensive you get, although only up to a certain point. For AM2 or LGA 775, more than $150 and more than $250 for LGA 1366 boards, and your extra money starts to lose it's worth fast. A few more lights and SATA ports isn't very worth an extra $50 to most people.

Mainboard brands also have important roles to play. Some brands are just better than others. This isn't a definitive "who's crap and who's not" list, but I'm going by the general consensus. ASUS, Gigabyte, EVGA, MSI, Intel and DFI are respected makers in the mainboard industry. On the lower end of the totem pole, you'll find Asrock, Biostar, Foxconn, Jetway, PCChips, and ECS. The cheaper boards will try to lure you with impressive prices, but remember: you get what you pay for.

As for CPUs, Intel and AMD have brought us a great selection. Intel holds the performance crown and has since their Core2 chips came on the market. AMD still makes one helluva chip and offer some great bang-for-your-buck deals.

AMD chips are most common for the basic builds, or for someone's who's on a tight budget. For a basic computer, AMD's most popular chip is their Athlon X2 4850e. This dual core CPU has a clock speed for 2.5GHz, 512Kb L2 cache per core, and is very efficient in terms of power usage. It's often paired with an AMD 780G-based mainboard. This chip is perfect for a small home-server and low-end High Definition HTPC setups too.

For the power-user on a tight budget's AMD's new PhenomII 920 and 940 make excellent quad-core CPUs for the price. They beat out Intel's Q6600 in benchmarks and will run most games just fine.

There are more recommendations for Intel CPUs because you'll get better performance with Intel, in nearly every type of build. AMD has some great prices, which is why I nominated them for a good basic build. For most situations, an Intel setup will be much better performing.

For a mid-range CPU that both power users and gamers can appreciate is Intel's Core2 Duo E8xxx series. The E8400 and E8500 are very similar in both price and specs. Their higher clock speed and extra 6Mb L2 cache is a big help for gaming, and their incredibly fast in most other tasks. They're also a great deal at around $170 currently.

For the high-end few holds barred, rig, Intel's Core i7 CPUs should be a no-brainer, the Core i7 920 in particular. The 920 is a very impressive overclocker, isn't overly warm so it's not a pain to keep cool, and give the faster 940 and 965EE chips a good run for their money. If need or like to have your rig doing a lot, all the time, then a quad-core is a good choice. And for quad-cores, you can't do better than an Intel Core i7. They can be a bit on the expensive side, but most of the cost is in the mainboards and the fact that they only utilize DDR3 RAM, which isn't nearly as cheap as DDR2.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:33 am 
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Sub $5000 monster (PC Only, all other gear tops at $6500):

CPU Intel Core i7 965 $1,000
CPU Cooler CoolIT Domino A.L.C. $80
Motherboard ASUS Rampage Extreme II $400
Memory OCZ Platinum 3x2GB DDR3-1600 $110
Graphics eVGA GeForce 285 x2 $710
Sound Card Integrated $0
Hard Drive – SSD Intel X25 160GB x2 $1,380
Hard drive Seagate 7200.11 1.5TB $130
Optical drive Plextor PX-B310SA $180
Case Thermaltake Element S $120
Power Supply Corsair TX850 $130
Operating System Vista Home Premium 64-bit $100
Monitor Dell UltraSharp 3008WFP $1,400
Speakers Creative Gigaworks T3 $250
Keyboard Logitech G19 $200
Mouse Logitech G9x $90
Headset Logitech G35 $120

Total $6,400
Core System $4,340


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:37 am 
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Was the above just a exercise in "most expensive?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:52 am 
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Maggard wrote:
Was the above just a exercise in "most expensive?"
No, there was an article about it... the choices seemed logical and valid. So for those whom have $5k+ to spend.

SuperChip so far wins "most expensive" in my book. His "rig" would cost more than what I make in a year. :shock:


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 Post subject: not understand
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:49 am 
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do not understand


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:54 pm 
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I think that maybe the ram section is outdated now.. Since MaxPC has shown that with I7 cores timings and top end ram generate a bigger throughput..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Meh, this thread is dead. Pretty much, noone updates it anymore.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Thanks for posting this. I'm "getting back into the game" after a long while out. (Used to post as "BlueHat")


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