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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
HI Folks,

I am new here and I must say it seems like there is a great group of folks here who are quite knowledgeable. I have decided to finally make the plunge and try to build a computer myself. I have some experience in some very basic upgrades...memory, video cards, sound cards, power supply. I imagine building one from scratch will definitely be more involved but after buying a book on how to build a pc and browsing the web it seems like something that is within my grasp. I am definitely on a budget so I need to keep it in the sub 1k range.There are a few things that I think I have decided on as far as what I am looking for.

1. At least one PCI-E 2.0 slot (preferably two)

2. DDR3 memory capability (at least 8gb max...preferably 16gb) although I could settle for DDR2 if it seems to make the most sense.

I would rather put the money into an up to date motherboard and processor and have room to expand in the future as my finances allow. I have an ATX case already and could reuse that. The power supply is pretty weak though...350w.. I'd like to save some money and just reuse the PATA Hard drive that has xp installed already if possible. Not sure if this would be difficult to use with a new motherboard ? Down the road I'd like to go with an SATA hard drive and Vista...but would be nice if I could get a way with XP professional for a while.

Would I be wise to insist on PCI-E 2.0 ? It just seems that eventually most video cards will end up there, and being a gamer, being able to play at high frame rates is a priority, so I want to try to keep as up to date as possible. Is PCI-E 2.0 much better than the current PCI-E ?

Am I being unrealistic as far as wanting these technologies with a sub 1k budget ? Would it be better to settle for a regular PCI-E x16 slot and some 1600mhz DDR2 and save some money?

In the immediate future I'd like the ability to play Age of Conan and Crysis at pretty high graphics. Any thoughts and/or recommendations on a motherboard and processor would be greatly appreciated :D I'd prefer a pretty smooth install...not sure if I am confident enough to flash a bios in order to get another CPU to work with the MoBo... (the idea scares the heck out of me!) So a MoBO and CPU that work together right off is what I am looking for :) Thanks a lot

-Steve
 

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1.(CPU)Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz - $200
2.(MOBO)ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA 750i - $150
3.(RAM)CORSAIR XMS2 2GB 2 x (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 - $100
4.(Video Card)EVGA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB PCI-E 2.0 - $210
5.(HD)Western Digital Caviar 400GB RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s - $ 70
6.(Optical)LITE-ON Black SATA DVD Burner - $30

Total:$760

Thats without knowing what kind of case you have, hope its full tower more room...Id suggest a 600watt or more for what you have plan 700w should be good.

The motherboard has a PATA slot for your old HD with windows on it,Also it has two pci-e 2.0 slots I provided a nice video card and u have extra slot for future upgrades.(2.0 offer a speed boost)

Also another note I gave you 4gb of ram,Depending on the bit version of windows it wont read all the ram...3.5gb or something the 64bit version of windows/vista will read all the memory.So theres no real point in giving you 8gb of ram unless you get 64bit version now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi Jeremy,

Thanks a lot for the reply. That was very helpful. I had been looking at that E8400 Wolfdale...it has received a lot of good feedback from what I have read... I hadn't seen that MoBo that you suggested... Thats a nice find! I love the 2 PCI-E 2.0 slots. I had been thinking about going with this setup-

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX All Solid Capacitor AMD Motherboard - Retail- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128081

and this for the processor

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core Processor - Retail- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103773

This looked like a good deal on a PSU-

Rosewill RX750-D-B ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91 750W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL,FCC,CSA,CB,CE,TUV,ROHS - Retail- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182069

And had been thinking about this videocard...is a bit less expensive runs at 600mhz core clock as opposed to 650mhz core clock on the one that you suggested-

XFX PVT88PYDF4 GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150252

Is that Video card that you suggested much better ? I'd probably go with the one that you suggested if you think it is much better than the one I linked.

What do you think of that motherboard and cpu combo ? I really like the combo that you picked out too. I was wondering if the 64 bit processor that I picked out would give me trouble when trying to run 32 bit applications and games ? I assume its backwards compatible..but not sure. I read something about running in two modes... "Long Mode" and "Legacy Mode" One for 64bit and one for 32 bit programs...sounds like it might be a bit of a hassle. So not sure if I should steer away from the 64 bit processors, although I would like to "future proof" the rig as much as possible. But I had read this on newegg

"The 64-bit design keeps you going now and into the future. The AMD64 technology is compatible with existing software and enables a seamless transition to the 64-bit applications of the future. This technology allows end users to take advantage of new innovations such as real-time encryption, more life-like games, accurate speech interfaces, cinema-quality graphic effects, and easy-to-use video and audio editing."

So maybe it would be fine ?
 
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