Jump to content

Building a Desktop


Recommended Posts

I have a thread running on a laptop I should get (http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?showtopic=50758), but thinking about it more, I have become open to the possibility of building my own desktop machine instead. The price would surely be much cheaper and the gaming capabilities would be much better. Well, the fact that I move relatively frequently is a damper, but perhaps I could manage it somehow. The loss of occassional mobility when not moving, but merely when I want to take my computer with me somewhere would be annoying, of course, but still... the prices are supposedly substantially better for desktop PCs. I am still undecided on whether to get a notebook or a desktop, but I have at least begun considering the latter as a possibility.

 

I have never built a computer on my own from its component parts before, but from what I hear it is not that hard. There might even be some online guides to help me along if I decide to go that route. However, I do not know of any reputable websites where I could order the components cheaply and wouldn't know what components to get anyway. Does anybody have any suggestions in this regard?

 

Note 1: I don't have any hardware components for a desktop at all, not even a monitor, a keybor or a mouse.

Note 2: I can get either Windows XP or Windows Vista in either 32 bit or 64 bit version for a very good price, so that should not factor into the price of the computer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three points to start you up with:

 

1. Buy a good case.

2. Buy a good PSU (power unit).

3. Buy a good motherboard.

 

Spend most of your budget on those three and you're set for a number of years. The case is something you will (almost) never have to change if you get a really good one. Spend whatever it takes to get what you want. The PSU is important because it needs to be future proof. Calculate (roughly) what you think you will need and add 100W on top of that and you'll be fine, even with later upgrades. The motherboard.. the more money you spend on it, the more future proof it'll be. It's pretty difficult to find the best there is, but again try to plan ahead. Will you need FireWire? Will you need eSATA? Will you need 1Gbit LAN? Will you need DDR3 slots? Stuff like that.

 

My recommendations (personal preference only):

 

Case: Antec P182 computer case

PSU: Antec Truepower Quattro 850W

Motherboard: MSI X48C Platinum

 

The reasoning behind these three parts is simple. The Antec case is of good build quality, has lots of room and looks pretty. The Antec PSU is strong enough to support whatever you want to throw into the case and Newegg had a $30 rebate on those two Antec items together. The motherboard is a little more of a longshot. I've heard good things about MSI, but the reviews on Newegg disagrees. But the board has everything you need except built-in WiFi. It supports both DDR2 (which is what you're getting now) and DDR3 (which is what you're getting a year from now) and it's a performance beast. It also supports Crossfire (ATI multi-GPU) but not SLI (Nvidia equivalent). But right now ATI leads Nvidia in every way so that's more of a pro than a con.

 

After that it's easy. Just buy whatever you can afford. The ATI Radeon 4870 1GB is excellent, for example. Samsung makes good screens. Keyboards can be had for like $10.. A mouse is best bought in a store since you want to feel it before buying it.

 

Good luck!

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three points to start you up with:

 

1. Buy a good case.

2. Buy a good PSU (power unit).

3. Buy a good motherboard.

 

Spend most of your budget on those three and you're set for a number of years. The case is something you will (almost) never have to change if you get a really good one. Spend whatever it takes to get what you want. The PSU is important because it needs to be future proof. Calculate (roughly) what you think you will need and add 100W on top of that and you'll be fine, even with later upgrades. The motherboard.. the more money you spend on it, the more future proof it'll be. It's pretty difficult to find the best there is, but again try to plan ahead. Will you need FireWire? Will you need eSATA? Will you need 1Gbit LAN? Will you need DDR3 slots? Stuff like that.

 

My recommendations (personal preference only):

 

Case: Antec P182 computer case

PSU: Antec Truepower Quattro 850W

Motherboard: MSI X48C Platinum

 

The reasoning behind these three parts is simple. The Antec case is of good build quality, has lots of room and looks pretty. The Antec PSU is strong enough to support whatever you want to throw into the case and Newegg had a $30 rebate on those two Antec items together. The motherboard is a little more of a longshot. I've heard good things about MSI, but the reviews on Newegg disagrees. But the board has everything you need except built-in WiFi. It supports both DDR2 (which is what you're getting now) and DDR3 (which is what you're getting a year from now) and it's a performance beast. It also supports Crossfire (ATI multi-GPU) but not SLI (Nvidia equivalent). But right now ATI leads Nvidia in every way so that's more of a pro than a con.

 

That is very useful, thanks! To be honest, though, I have no clue whether I will need eSATA or Firewire (I guess that means I probably won't need it). The case and the PSU look great. As to the mother board, I read the Newegg reviews and it seems that it is potentially good, but has serious BIOS problems. It would probably be better to get a different one.

 

After that it's easy. Just buy whatever you can afford. The ATI Radeon 4870 1GB is excellent, for example. Samsung makes good screens. Keyboards can be had for like $10.. A mouse is best bought in a store since you want to feel it before buying it.

 

Well, it's not so easy considering I have never built a computer before. I don't know many of the basics that I should know, such as for example, whether I need to buy a cooling fan for the CPU or if it's already included with the CPU (or perhaps with the case)... or even what kind of CPU would be suitable for a gaming computer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

buy graphic card and cpu last, for they always change in price and update the most!

 

And get a good motherboard damnit! The better the motherboard the more upgradable it will be in the future :* MSI is a good name brand like Mreku suggested also Asus and Gigabyte are too.

Always outnumbered, never out gunned!

Unreal Tournament 2004 Handle:Enlight_2.0

Myspace Website!

My rig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The CPU usually comes with a fan. It's just that it also usually sucks. If you don't plan to do any overclocking and don't care about noise levels, it's probably fine, but it's usually better to get a proper fan.

 

As for what cpu to get, I'd recommend Intel E8200 or higher. Since you're going for a bit of longevity it might be worth looking at a quad core. Currently very few (if any) games take advantage of them that I know of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And Intels new Core i7 is being released in a few weeks, so dont go out and by an old-gen CPU and motherboard at the moment. The Ci7 is about 20% faster than the older C2 per clock cycle and core, but the major thing is that it doesnt have a front side bus, which means that the new motherboards being released now have a completely different configuration than the ones weve had the last ten years.

 

 

So, dont go and spend your money on hardware until the new stuff comes around.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but the major thing is that it doesnt have a front side bus, which means that the new motherboards being released now have a completely different configuration than the ones weve had the last ten years.
If you didn't use AMD, yes ;)

 

I agree a little waiting would be good to see if the Core i7 really does improveme performance for common applications, and if so, at what price (including Mobo and Ram, because these aren't going to be cheap for this CPU). Also, it may bring the prices of its predecessors and competitors down.

Edited by samm

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, I think waiting for the new tech might be a bit unnecessary, but that's just my opinion. Right now, only the 4870 in Crossfire and the 280 in SLI are CPU limited. That means that the CPU's right now is a step ahead of the GPU's, that there's still a lot of headroom in this generation of CPU's. Whenever a new generation is introduced, it's introduced at rip-off prices and the last gen becomes cheap as chips. Something to consider.

 

I assumed the budget and immediacy was of higher concern than having the latest tech. Besides, I personally think the leap from DDR2 to DDR3 is what's going to push performance in gaming forward more than a new family of CPU's. Just my guess though. Core 2 surprised me a lot, maybe the i7 can do the same? Intel claims it'll increase gaming by 50%..

 

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Intel-Claim...-i7-95015.shtml

 

I've never seen a CPU having such an impact on games though. Games are usually extremely dependant on the GPU.

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, it may bring the prices of its predecessors and competitors down.

that's the ultimate key, right there: current cpu prices will drop, which results in more bang for the same buck if you wait. it's these one-time jumps that you watch for if you want to save money while still sitting near the bleeding edge (the bleeding edge usually requires actual bleeding to afford, IMO).

 

i totally agree with mkreku's choice of case and PSU, btw. in fact, that's the case i want (i have an antec server at the moment). i'm not a huge fan of the modular supplies (i hate the one i have) simply because the danged cables end up being just as bad, if not worse, but it is feasible that certain configurations would work out rather slick (i just don't have one of those configurations). either way, antec supplies rule. not sure about the mobo for no other reason than i have no experience with MSI.

 

Besides, I personally think the leap from DDR2 to DDR3 is what's going to push performance in gaming forward more than a new family of CPU's. Just my guess though.

depends. cache technology is pretty solid and with proper pre-fetching*, most applications are typically not memory-bound. of course, it is application dependent and my experience is with a different type of application (not games). with a faster CPU, however, one that can outstrip cache speeds, that may change. hard to say. could be new processor technology coupled with faster CPUs is what pushes the performance.

 

taks

 

edit: not just pre-fetching, but the cache algorithms in general. if the algorithm has an average of a 99% hit rate, increasing memory speed won't change overall performance at all. the worse the cache algorithm performs, the more opportunity there is for memory to make a difference. cache algorithm efficiency is application dependent, however, and the types of applications i write often have high efficiencies. i'm not sure how efficient they would be for games.

Edited by taks

comrade taks... just because.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assumed the budget and immediacy was of higher concern than having the latest tech. Besides, I personally think the leap from DDR2 to DDR3 is what's going to push performance in gaming forward more than a new family of CPU's. Just my guess though. Core 2 surprised me a lot, maybe the i7 can do the same? Intel claims it'll increase gaming by 50%..

 

Yes, there is some immediacy to this, since my current laptop is becoming unreliable and might collapse permanently at any time. Budget is also important and the waiting for better hardware is more a question of the newer hardware driving down prices of current hardware than actually going for the newest CPU.

 

There is also the lingering issue of laptop versus desktop. A desktop wins on value for money, but a laptop does beat desktops on conveniance for me by a substantial margin (since I move around frequently) and I am also beginning to have some jitters regarding building a desktop on my own given that I have never done so before nor have I every observed anybody do it. As I said - still undecided... but I definitely do appreciate the help you guys have given me - it has made things clearer on how stuff works and what is worthwhile and will enable me to make a more informed decision on the matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

depends. cache technology is pretty solid and with proper pre-fetching*, most applications are typically not memory-bound. of course, it is application dependent and my experience is with a different type of application (not games). with a faster CPU, however, one that can outstrip cache speeds, that may change. hard to say. could be new processor technology coupled with faster CPUs is what pushes the performance.

 

taks

I was mostly thinking about the new three-channel DDR3 design (as opposed to the two-channel DDR2 we have now) and the way games have become focused on shuffling enormous amounts of data around (sandbox open-ended worlds) and how that needs more bandwidth than we have today. The CPU's of today can certainly shuffle as much as the bandwidth allows. It's all guesses, of course. But a pretty interesting article on both the i7 and DDR3 can be found here:

 

http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=3426

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was mostly thinking about the new three-channel DDR3 design (as opposed to the two-channel DDR2 we have now) and the way games have become focused on shuffling enormous amounts of data around (sandbox open-ended worlds) and how that needs more bandwidth than we have today. The CPU's of today can certainly shuffle as much as the bandwidth allows. It's all guesses, of course. But a pretty interesting article on both the i7 and DDR3 can be found here:

 

http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=3426

yeah, that's why i mentioned the application dependent thing. when an app shuffles data around a lot, cache misses go through the roof and memory bandwidth becomes an issue. in contrast, the stuff i do operates on data that resides in large, contiguous blocks of memory. as long as i get my pre-fetching set correctly, memory bandwidth is never an issue because the cache is hitting 99% efficiency (or something close to that).

 

i typically have worked with a cache that runs at 50% CPU speed, too... do the newer CPUs have full-speed caches? that would increase the miss rate.

 

taks

comrade taks... just because.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...