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Computer newb seeks experienced help on FFXIV comp build.Follow

#1 Oct 29 2010 at 12:45 AM Rating: Good
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Hiya techies of zam!

I found out yesterday that my FAFSA is giving me some gil, and I plan on using up to $1500ish or so on a new comp. I would love to play FFXIV, preferably on as high a setting as I can, but I of course want it cheap as possible as well. This suggests I need to build my computer, but I'm rather new to that. Do I need any special tools other than maybe a screwdriver to open the case, and know which thing plugs in where? Is it terribly hard? I'm pretty good at reading directions, especially if it has pictures, and putting things together, but I'm not sure if I have the tools available to do such a thing.

As far as what I need to upgrade... Let's just say, everything. One thing I don't really need is speakers, as I always listen with headphones instead, but as those are starting to fall apart after 4 years along with my old comp, I need a good but fairly cheap pair of those as well. XD My current comp is a T5082 desktop PC from emachines, and uh... it's specs are sad. I don't think there's anything salvageable from it heh. I do have a Logitech classic keyboard 200 that plugs into a USB slot, as well as a Logitech M-UAE96 optical mouse that also plugs into a USB slot, which I'm assuming can be salvaged, since they're fairly new, if cheap. <_<; I also use a netgear WG111v3 wireless that plugs into a third USB slot.

I also have a monitor, but it's.... old. So old. And ugly. <,< My comp lists it as a Generic PnP Monitor, whatever that means. All I know is that it wasn't the best option back in like 2005 and it certainly isn't the best these days. I'm not asking for a dual monitor or anything, but something that looks a bit prettier might be nice.

So, if building a comp isn't too hard, what can be salvaged, and what needs to go? How good can I get for about $1500? I don't even think the case can be used from my old comp, it's not exactly designed with good airflow in mind for today's graphics cards. :x It also had a supercolony of dust bunnies before I recently mass murdered most of the population. Obviously I'd probably want a graphics card that's shown to be compatible with FFXIV, and preferably not the horror stories I hear about nvidia and final fantasy. (not saying their cards suck, but fire and ice are hard to get working with each other)
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#2 Oct 29 2010 at 7:14 AM Rating: Excellent
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As a possible starting point, check out this article, which will not only give you a basic hardware configuration to go from (though you'll want to modify it), but also a pictorial step-by-step that'll give you an idea of the process. You don't normally need much other than a screwdriver, and most things can't fit into the wrong slot/etc.

To fit a monitor and headphones in, you'll have to cut down on some of the goodies they used. First, you can get a perfectly solid case for a bit less, as they even said in the article. A plain black (with red LED fans) HAF 922 is $90 on Newegg. That'd take $50 off. Use something like an Antec 300 and you can shave even more off, as that'd be around $60, possibly $45-50 if you catch it on sale.

Second, nice as they are, I would say to drop the SSD and just use the basic HDD. That'll save $160 off what they list, which would be a fair chunk towards a good monitor. It'll also simplify your setup.

Third, I would buy an HD6870 instead of the GTX470 - it's a newer model that came out last week, outperforms the 5850 slightly, and costs $40 or so less than what they stated (about $239). The nVidia cards have issues with FFXI, or have been since the 400 series came out anyway.

Ideally you would want to overclock the i5-760, as they explain in the article.

Now, that all being said, the replacement for the 1156 platform is coming in Q1 2011. It won't make a nice system put together now any worse...but chances are bang for the buck will be a fair bit higher in a few months. You always have the "more for your money" argument for waiting when buying a PC, but this is one of those times where there's a known step up coming.


As for your other components...

I have these headphones which are pretty solid for the money. I guess it depends on what you mean by "fairly cheap" - but they're quality and will last.

Keyboard/mouse you can reuse, sure. That said, you obviously can't use your PC without 'em, so quality can make a real difference in your perception of the machine. Also, if you want to keep your old PC and use it for something, unless you've got some older input devices laying around, you may want to at least pick up some cheap ones so don't need to swap the ones you have back and forth. If you're ordering from Newegg or the like, you can buy whitebox versions of Logitech or MS peripherals for $10 or so.

Monitor depends. Personally, I'm picky, and have a degree in graphic design...so I don't buy TN panels (lower end panel type). For your budget, however, you'll probably want to look there. There are plenty around. I would suggest trying to either find some reviews of one, or go look at them in person at Best Buy or something before making a decision.

That said, you can fit a ~24" LCD in your budget, such as this. If you buy something with HDMI on it, as many monitors have now, you can use it as a screen for a PS3 or 360 as well.

Suggestions would drop $250 or so from the build, and add $290 (without extra KB/mouse), still giving you a bit of money to play with before hitting $1500. There are, of course, other options, but hopefully that'd give you an idea of what you'd be looking at with your needs/budget.

Edited, Oct 29th 2010 9:21am by Isiolia
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#3 Oct 29 2010 at 5:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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What I would reccommend doing witha $1500 budget on a build your own computer mission, is to get a very strong core setup, but leave some room for expansion. A nice 24" widescreen LCD monitor is going to eat about $300 out of that budget right away, so we'll assume $1,200 for the build. The things that are the most pain in the ass to change out are, in order: Case, Motherboard, Power Supply then CPU. everthing else is pretty interchangeable.

Of all the components you buy, chances are your case will be the one you have longest (10 years or more). So first you want to go with a case that has plenty of room, that you like the look of, thats well built, and ideally made of aluminum or other lightweight construction to make it easier to work with. Cost is important, but on this item I reccommend getting what you like rather than what is cheapest because you will be stuck with it for quite some time. That being said, there are a definite range of options, with one of the cheapest "good" cases being the Cooler Master CM 690 version 1 or 2. Both can be found around the $70 mark, with the 2 being somewhat prefferable. Or you can go with something higher end. Performance-pcs.com has a really good selection of cases. I don't necessarily reccomend buying your case form them, but it is a good place to look and see what is truly out there and about what they cost.

Motherboard/processor, I tend to prefer Intel. AMD tends to be a bit lower in price, for a bit lower performance on average. That's what I know best, so thats what I'll reccommend.

Power supply, for a gaming PC, you want a very robust, higher wattage PSU even if you aren't using all of it initially. Right now Multiple graphic card rendering systems are fairly affordable and popular, so even if you start with just one video card, you'll want to ensure that you have sufficeint juice available to upgrade later.

The rest of the internal components in your old computer you can effectivly scrap. The HDD is probably usable, but its also probably an older IDE drive, which means it is more of a pain in the ass to set up, and it has much more time on its bearings. Hard drives WILL eventually fail, it's not a question of IF, but When. You are much better off getting a new SATA drive. no jumpers to deal with, no ribbon cables to block airflow, etc. And they are fairly cheap these days.

Optical drive: DVD burners average around $30 for a good one these days. Blue ray burners are down around $125. Either will be faster than the one in your old computer.

So, with that in mind, here's what I would build right now on that budget:
Monitor: Samsung 24 inch HDMI widescreen (or equivelent) ($269)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001331
Notes: Get that locally if you can. Shipping will be a pain and returning a monitor with a stuck pixle is much easier at a store. You also want to see the LCD in person before you buy it. This is the same LCD core they use in Dell 24 inch widescreens. The Dell ones have better articulating stands though for height adjustment.

Case: COOLER MASTER CM 690 II ($79)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216
Decent aize, low price. Good all around case.

Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel ($285)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131614
USB 3.0, Sat 6 GB / second controller

Processor: Intel Core i7 3.06 Quad core with Hyperthreading ($298)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211
Fast enough, if you need more speed than that, the next major step up would be one of the $1,000 hexacore processors. the others are just incremental steps ($200 more for another 200 Mhz? Nope)

Ram: 4Gb Corsair DDR3 ($74)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145251
Upgrade to 12Gb as funding permits later

PSU: Antec 850 Watt PSU ($150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371009
You could go with a less expensive 750, this would give you enough headroom to run dual video cards if you choose later.

Hard drive: Western Digital 160GB 7,200 RPM HDD ($38)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136075
It's a hard drive. There are faster ones but I already used up all the allocated budget.

Video card: Evga 470 GTX video cards in SLI mode ($$259)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130550
Upper end card, one of the faster ones for FFXIV at the moment. There are also decent ATI/AMD cards out there if you choose to go that route. A year or two from now, when prices come down, grab another one of these for a secondary card.

Optical disk: LG 22x DVD burner wth lightscrbe - ($17)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136168

Operating system: Windows 7 64 bit Pro ($69)
As you mentioned Fafsa, I assume you are a student. In that case get it here: http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/software/windows/default.aspx
Use your old XP license as the base key for the upgrade. You want the 64 bit version, not the 32 bit.

For a total of $1538 with the monitor.

For tools you will need a phillips head screw driver, a tube of Artic Silver (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007) just in case you ahve to pull and resea the processor heatsync, possibly some paper towels and rubbing alchohol for that same scenario, and some zip ties to keep the cables neat in the case.Other than that, the Case comes with all the mounting hardware, the motherboard comes with all the internal cabling except power cables, and the power supply has those. The most difficult part of the entire process is installing the processor. The pins in the CPU socket are veeeery fragile and easy to damage. Worst case scenaio if you damage them though is you send the board back and get a new one, which delays your computer. If possible, get someone you know locally who builds computers to watch over your first build. Also make sure you install the brass standoffs under the motherboard. I always add that one just in case because I know someone who didn't once...

Other than that, everyting is pretty easy to follow. Ram is easy to install, so are video cards. Motherboard you instal the backplate, then screw it down with enough force to be finger tight, then maybe 1/8th urn further as you don't want to crask the board. CPU, you just need to be careful to set it in without digging the corner of the processor into the pins, and make sure you latch it in properly. The heat sync fan is a pain in the ass to install the first time. follow the instructiosn tat come with the CPU and it should be doable though. You'll see what I mean when you get it. Aside fromt aht, its just make sure everything gets plugged in that needs to be (ones that get forgot often are the 8 pin "Core voltage" motherboard power supply connector and the PCI express power leads on the video card) The Asus manual that comes with your motherboard has good instructions. read through all the manuals a few times before you start and you'll be fine.

Feel free toPost here or PM me if you have any questions

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#4 Oct 29 2010 at 6:02 PM Rating: Good
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Kind of an odd setup there. Not that I entirely disagree about an X58 setup - built one for myself - but why go with a $285 mobo, then a dual-channel RAM setup and a HDD barely bigger than an SSD?

ASUS Sabertooth is a solid X58 board at $199. That alone would allow for a real 6GB kit, and spending the $45 or so it'd take for a good size HDD.
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#5 Oct 29 2010 at 9:46 PM Rating: Good
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Thanks for all the advice guys!

Well, this is my tentative selections so far, but of course, I'd really appreciate any suggestions on it:

*Monitor: Undecided at the moment, but will reserve about 300ish or so for it. I might go a bit cheaper than that, but not too cheap hopefully. I do want a good display, since what's the point of a good graphics card if it can't display the pretty graphics? But I'm not horribly picky on this.

Old Monitor for comparison: emachines eview 17f2 model 786n... 2003 model <_<;

http://www.amazon.com/eMachines-Flat-Screen-Monitor-eView-17f2/dp/B00009QKT5


*Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=11-119-216&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Keywords=%28keywords%29&Page=3#scrollFullInfo

Old Case for comparison: emachines T5082 case ::cough::

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/emachines-t5082/1707-3118_7-32329694.html
And no, it didn't come with a monitor despite the picture. <,<

*Motherboard:ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131665&cm_re=ASUS_Sabertooth-_-13-131-665-_-Product

Old motherboard for comparision: Intel Desktop Board D102GGC2 - motherboard - micro ATX - Radeon Xpress 200
It's either this or something exactly like it.

http://shopper.cnet.com/motherboards/intel-desktop-board-d102ggc2/4014-3049_9-31901649.html

*Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211

Old processor for comparison: Intel Pentium 4 Processor 631 (supporting Hyper-threading technology)

http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27479

*RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX6GX3M3C1600C7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145286

Old RAM for comparison: Centon MemoryPower 1GB667DDR2 x 2 (2 GB total)
I upgraded this from the original 512 MB RAM. Can I stack this with the 3 Corsair 2 GB ones for 8 GB total? lol

http://www.costcentral.com/proddetail/Centon_Electronics_Centon_memoryPOWER/1GB667DDR2/10590492/

*PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-371-026&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=5#scrollFullInfo

Old PSU for comparison: Hipro 300-Watt Power Supply - HP-P3527F3

http://www.impactcomputers.com/hp-p3527f3.html

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

Old Hard Drive for comparison: Hitachi HDS721616PLAT80 ATA Device (guess the new drives don't really spin any faster than the older ones unless you like losing limbs for it. :x

http://www.streetprices.com/Computers/PC_Hardware/Disk_Drives/IDE/160GB/Hitachi-HDS721616PLAT80-SP14874669.html

*Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102909&cm_re=HD6870-_-14-102-909-_-Product

Old Video Card for comparison: ATI... Radeon... Xpress ... 2... 2... 200. /cry And I think it's integrated onto the motherboard or something. I think it's 128 MB max. All I know is it can't even run black and white 2 cause it has no pixelshader support, much less FFXIV.

http://shopper.cnet.com/motherboards/intel-desktop-board-d101ggc/4014-3049_9-31583293.html

*Optical Disk: LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136144

Old optical Disk for comparison: TSSTcorp CD/DVDW TS-H652D ATA device

Couldn't find a link for this. >.<

*Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit Pro
(never knew about this student edition, woot!)

http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/software/windows/default.aspx

Old Operating System for comparison: Windows Vista Home Basic 32 bit... orz. Stupid store didn't sell the system with XP despite how intensive vista was for this comp.

No link, because no one needs it to know how terrible vista is.


As far as costs go, this runs about 1230 without taxes(I'm presuming no state taxes for online stuff in California? /hope), but including shipping, leaving about 300 or so for a good monitor. This doesn't leave any money for a decent pair of headphones, but I have a plan for that, by selling off some of my old ps2/nintendo wii/PSP games to gamestop. It won't be much I'm sure, but it should hopefully be enough to replace my old beaten up phones.

The only real thing's I'm worried about with my preliminary picks are:

A) Will I have all the cables, connections, screws, and parts I need to run my comp, or is there other things I need to buy?

B) Does the motherboard come with integrated sound card, and is it good enough for me to not ruin my experience with decent headphones? I'm not asking for sound connoisseur quality while blasting it with subwoofers and the like, just something that doesn't sound tinny, or like crap.

C) Do all the parts I picked work well together, without any conflicts? Is the 750W power supply enough to power everything properly?

D) Are any of my old parts salvageable for use in the new comp to boost it further? The only thing I can think of that might apply is the RAM sticks. :s

E) How good will my FFXIV gaming experience be? Will I be able to run it on max settings with no FPS lag? High settings? Medium, or barely run it on low?

F) I only could spy two USB ports on the case, but my wireless, mouse, and keyboard all use USB. Does the case only have two I can use, requiring me to change one of these three devices to something else to compensate?

G) Will I need additional cooling fans or systems? I'd prefer it to be fairly quiet, though as long as it doesn't go into really loud territory, it's not a big deal. I don't want my parts overheating though!

I think that's the main questions for now. Sorry to bug you guys over this, I've never built a comp or upgraded one other than the RAM before. >.<
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#6 Oct 30 2010 at 8:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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High DOA rate on the sabertooth boards is the main reason I tend to prefer the other one.
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#7 Oct 30 2010 at 10:27 AM Rating: Good
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Haven't seen that personally. Seemed like the only real complaint was the integrated NIC wasn't stellar. Either way, if it is DOA, Newegg is good about that, and the board has a 5-year warranty to boot.


As for the build, I actually built almost the same thing this past week - same exact motherboard, video card, and CPU, with similar (albeit slightly higher end parts) for most other stuff.


Quote:
A) Will I have all the cables, connections, screws, and parts I need to run my comp, or is there other things I need to buy?


The motherboard comes with 4 SATA cables, and the case will typically come with all the screws you need and more. Most of the time you won't need extra stuff unless you want to pick up some cable ties or whatnot.

Quote:
B) Does the motherboard come with integrated sound card, and is it good enough for me to not ruin my experience with decent headphones? I'm not asking for sound connoisseur quality while blasting it with subwoofers and the like, just something that doesn't sound tinny, or like crap.


Yes, it has integrated audio, and it'd be just fine. There's better, of course, but you don't need to have that right off.

Quote:
D) Are any of my old parts salvageable for use in the new comp to boost it further? The only thing I can think of that might apply is the RAM sticks. :s


Not really. Even your drives are IDE instead of SATA, which will prevent you from putting them in the new system without an add-on card or something - many new motherboards, the Sabertooth included, don't have IDE ports on them.

Quote:
E) How good will my FFXIV gaming experience be? Will I be able to run it on max settings with no FPS lag? High settings? Medium, or barely run it on low?


I don't play FFXIV, so I couldn't tell you gameplay-wise. My out-of-the-box performance on the benchmark is a 4310 on the High setting, which seems to be about what you'd expect given the hardware.

edit: CPU@4Ghz + GPU at 950Mhz/1095Mhz memory does a bit better with the GPU speed being the larger factor.

I'd assume that it should play fairly well on higher settings, but if I recall the game is designed to be able to take advantage of hardware as things advance. You won't be playing Lego-FFXIV at any rate.

Quote:
F) I only could spy two USB ports on the case, but my wireless, mouse, and keyboard all use USB. Does the case only have two I can use, requiring me to change one of these three devices to something else to compensate?


Well, the motherboard has 6 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 (which are backwards compatible) on the back. It also has three internal headers for USB ports, which support two ports apiece. Your case will plug into one of those for its USB ports.

Given that, you can always add something like this to get more front-panel USB ports, if you feel you need them.

Otherwise, just run your KB/mouse/etc to the ports on the back.

Quote:
G) Will I need additional cooling fans or systems? I'd prefer it to be fairly quiet, though as long as it doesn't go into really loud territory, it's not a big deal. I don't want my parts overheating though!


If you are considering overclocking - or even perhaps if you aren't - you probably want to consider a better CPU cooler. The stock ones for the i7s don't have the best reputation, though it should cut it for stock speeds.
A couple popular price/performance options there are the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ and the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro.

Edited, Oct 30th 2010 2:05pm by Isiolia
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#8 Oct 31 2010 at 4:50 AM Rating: Good
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Hmm, what about my old comp then? Is there a way to, I dunno, sell it off for parts or something for extra cash? :3 Would help me if I had extra money to deal with.
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#9 Oct 31 2010 at 8:14 AM Rating: Good
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Can always keep it as a secondary machine, if it'll cut it for what you'd want to do. It's honestly not going to be worth a whole lot.
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#10 Nov 01 2010 at 3:27 AM Rating: Good
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So, I still got about a week before my gil arrives for this, but I had forgotten about craiglist for shopping in the meantime. What do you guys think about these offers:

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035724480.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035557527.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035774029.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035836223.html

Obviously I'd have to check to make sure the parts are as claimed and it works, though is there a way to test that the parts they come with are fully operational and don't have dead sectors or something?

Kinda curious if the deals here would save me money by buying them and upgrading what components I need to.
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#11 Nov 01 2010 at 8:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Something to keep in mind is that neither of those i7s are the same as what was suggested.

What Kaolian was spec'ing out for you is an X58/socket 1366 based system, which is Intel's higher end desktop platform. He made concessions to try and fit in a great board n' all, so that you'd have a rock-solid starting point to build on over time. The build you mentioned is similar, albeit with a few cheaper parts that allow you to have better specs to start.

The couple systems linked are more akin to what was in the article I linked to, which is using the lower-end/mainstream Intel platform. Still good, since most of the limitations won't show unless you're using multiple GPUs/USB3/etc. Otherwise you have lower memory performance and such, but nothing that dramatically impacts gaming. In fact, a lot of people go with that platform due to price/performance.

Anyway, the first machine you linked to is a pretty solid price, considering that the video card is still a $400+ item (for now), CPU is still almost $280 or so new, and so on. Assuming, of course, that's what you want in a machine.
Personally I suspect that he might be selling it due to wanting to buy the newest stuff when it releases. New high end cards this month or so. Sandy Bridge CPUs/platform coming in January or so, the stuff in there is on the verge of becoming yesterday's news - but is still solid stuff, assuming it all works properly.

Monitors are okay - the Dell is a few generations old, the widescreen looks low end, so the prices are likely appropriate...but I'd focus more on getting what you want in a screen. It's something that you shouldn't skimp on. IMO, go for a 24"-ish monitor instead.

Last PC would need a different video card, but otherwise isn't a bad deal either, though I have doubts about it having legit copies of the software listed. It's also overclocked, for better or worse - if it's been used like that for a while, then it should be fine (pretty modest speed for that CPU).

Again, if this was someone's actual machine, then they may just be trying to dump the hardware while it's still "current" - wouldn't surprise me if he had a better video card in there though, and swapped in a cheap card to sell it, if that's the case.
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#12 Nov 03 2010 at 11:39 AM Rating: Good
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PsionofPhoenix wrote:
So, I still got about a week before my gil arrives for this, but I had forgotten about craiglist for shopping in the meantime. What do you guys think about these offers:

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035724480.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035557527.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035774029.html

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/sys/2035836223.html

Obviously I'd have to check to make sure the parts are as claimed and it works, though is there a way to test that the parts they come with are fully operational and don't have dead sectors or something?

Kinda curious if the deals here would save me money by buying them and upgrading what components I need to.


I'm assuming you live in Orange County, and if so, be sure to check out Microcenter, as they have a store locally. They have very good deals on some on some items you listed.
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#13 Nov 03 2010 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
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O_O Oh hell yes, I just spotted a cheaper I7 for them. Even with sales tax it would save me like 40-50 bucks.

Thanks a bunch for the hint!
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#14 Nov 10 2010 at 5:48 AM Rating: Good
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Welp, got my moneyz, ordered my parts, and waiting on delivery of everything!

Got everything on the list I posted except the processor, which I'm planning on getting maybe tomorrow at the microcenter, a new monitor which I might also get tomorrow, and the OS, which I'm still a bit confused on, since it says it's an upgrade, and you download it online. Which means I need my old vista, which is fine, but I'm not sure how it would work. Can I use the old windows vista home basic 32 bit disk and install it on my new comp, then get online, and upgrade to windows 7 through the download? Can I then use the old vista disk for my old comps system again, so my brother can use my old comp for basic stuff? x.x

If not, uh, then I need suggestions lol.

I also bought a tube of artic silver 5, an antistatic band, and a cooler master hyper 212 for the GPU (or is it CPU? x.x; the processor thing). I'm a little nervous about changing the fan on it, but I'm fairly good at putting things together and taking them apart, so I'm not terribly worried.

Any advice on putting together a new comp, tips and tricks, best website to show step by step assembly, and how to overclock? Also, how I can test all the various parts and make sure there's no dead sectors, temperature of the components, DOAs, etc, and also what to check for?

Obviously I want to install an antivirus like avest, and firefox + noscript, but is there any other programs I should install as well for today's modern applications that the OS wouldn't have, like maybe flash player or something?

A lot of questions, I know ><; but I want this to go as smoothly as possible, since I'd rather not think of the horror of screwing something up bad and @#%^ing up $1500 worth of computer.
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#15 Nov 10 2010 at 6:16 AM Rating: Good
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I live in Southern California. If you pay gas, I'll show you how to build a computer. It can be a daunting task for someone who's never done it before.
#16 Nov 10 2010 at 6:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Thanks for the offer, but I got a friend who offered to help if I get lost heh. I also got my dad as backup too, so I'm not that worried. ^^;

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#17 Nov 10 2010 at 8:47 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
the OS, which I'm still a bit confused on, since it says it's an upgrade, and you download it online. Which means I need my old vista, which is fine, but I'm not sure how it would work.


Chances are it's an ISO image that you'd burn. Hard to say if it'll actually require you to put a disc in to verify or whatnot, or if it's just a requirement in the legal sense, since the latter is common for site licenses.

Quote:
Can I use the old windows vista home basic 32 bit disk and install it on my new comp, then get online, and upgrade to windows 7 through the download? Can I then use the old vista disk for my old comps system again, so my brother can use my old comp for basic stuff? x.x


It could vary. Often the copies of Windows included with bit OEM machines are tied to that make. The installer may not let you install it to a non-eMachines. Really, you wouldn't want to do that if you could avoid it anyway. Best to just leave it on the old machine.

Quote:
I also bought a tube of artic silver 5, an antistatic band, and a cooler master hyper 212 for the GPU (or is it CPU? x.x; the processor thing). I'm a little nervous about changing the fan on it, but I'm fairly good at putting things together and taking them apart, so I'm not terribly worried.


You need to put a heatsink/fan on it either way.

Third party coolers actually have a tendency to be easier to install than the Intel ones, as of late. Really not a big deal.

Quote:
Any advice on putting together a new comp, tips and tricks, best website to show step by step assembly, and how to overclock? Also, how I can test all the various parts and make sure there's no dead sectors, temperature of the components, DOAs, etc, and also what to check for?



Take your time and follow the instructions. The article I linked to above gives a decent idea of the process. Personally I tend to use a slightly different order of doing things - I usually put the PSU in first, don't put the video card in until last, and so on. Generally, I'd just say to go in whatever order leaves more room to work.

Most of the time, errors that I've seen people post about for building are due to overlooking simple things. IE, you -do not- mount a motherboard directly to the case. There are stand-offs (usually only enough for micro-ATX preinstalled, so you need to put a few more into the case). Your video card will need power connections. Usually it's that kind of thing people miss - again, take your time and you should avoid anything like that.

A solid, methodical method for overclocking is here http://www.overclockers.com/3-step-guide-overclock-core-i3-i5-i7/
One caveat I found is that I didn't need to up voltages as much off the bat as mentioned there. Another thing to remember with the i7s is that Hyperthreading will increase your temperatures quite a lot when overclocking. Depending on what you feel confortable running at, balanced with your goals in terms of clockspeed, you may want to disable that.

As mentioned there, what you want to do is stress-test, particularly when overclocking (though getting base numbers is good too, since you can see if overclocking is really changing much in terms of heat). Realtemp is good for watching temperatures. You can also do some diagnostics with the Ultimate Boot CD, which has things like Memtest on it.

When you format a new HD, do a "Full" format, which basically does a format + checkdisk.

Quote:
Obviously I want to install an antivirus like avest, and firefox + noscript, but is there any other programs I should install as well for today's modern applications that the OS wouldn't have, like maybe flash player or something?


Sure, plenty of things. A number of common free apps can easily be batch installed with Ninite - check the boxes, generate an installer, double click, and it'll just download/install them with no fuss.
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#18 Nov 21 2010 at 2:50 AM Rating: Good
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;-; I got all my parts, and am assembling everything, but I seem to have hit a slight snag... I don't seem to have an IDE cable to connect my CD burner to the computer! D:

Am I just blind and missing something, or is there something I totally forgot to get? ;;

I wonder if I can just take out my old computer's cable and use it for this lol.

::EDIT:: Scratch that, my computer's so old not even in this area it can help. Apparantly the new motherboard has no way to connect the old ribbon thing, so it's definitely needing something else, but from what I can tell, I don't have it, and the hard drive didn't come with any cables, orz. Anyone know what I need for this?

::EDIT2:: WHOOHOO, I got the computer to work on the first try! Of course, it's bitching at me for not having an optical drive to read disks, but the BIOS just lets off a single beep at start and runs normally, and that was probably due to not having keyboard plugged in at first heh. monitor also seems to work beautifully, no stuck pixels, though of course, it's hardly been put to the test yet.

According to BIOS, my CPU temp is at 39C, and oddly enough, the motherboard temp is 54C. Neither went up at all though, except occasionally for the CPU going up by .5C, then the fan would increase its speed slightly, and it would go back down. There was a third measurement too, which read 39C as well. Not sure if they're good temps or not, but I'm hoping it will decrease further after the arctic silver rubs in.

It took me 11 hours to build this thing. @,@ need... sleep...

But so excited, can't wait to get what's needed to get my optical drive running so I can start my new life with my computer! (I wonder if I should call it Oniwaka in memory of my FFXI automaton buddy...)



Edited, Nov 21st 2010 5:47am by PsionofPhoenix
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#19 Nov 21 2010 at 11:28 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Scratch that, my computer's so old not even in this area it can help. Apparantly the new motherboard has no way to connect the old ribbon thing, so it's definitely needing something else, but from what I can tell, I don't have it, and the hard drive didn't come with any cables, orz. Anyone know what I need for this?

I read the Newegg page for your motherboard, and it looks like you'll need to buy a SATA CD/DVD drive as well as the cable to connect it to the board.
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#20 Nov 21 2010 at 9:03 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I bought a new optical drive that was SATA type.

Oh yes. I am posting this from MY NEW COMPUTER, SETUP AND RUNNING WHOO!

I still need to install a lot of stuff, do stress tests, and the like though. Where to start... x.x
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#21 Nov 21 2010 at 9:06 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah you'd need a SATA drive, OR an option that involves buying nothing IF you have a computer with an Optical Drive on your network. Share the drive, throw in a disc and install over the network. Many people these days do this or just get a simple USB OD so there's less space used inside the case.

And just noticed your new post as I hit Post.
#22 Nov 21 2010 at 10:56 PM Rating: Good
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Tested comp on highest setting on FFXIV benchmark, scored a 4326! :D

...That is a good score, right? lol.


It ran smoothly though, and looked gorgeous, so I'm happy about that heh. I was adjusting the sound and the like during it running too, so the score dipped slightly from that. Testing it again without doing that got me a... 4250, but this time I was running a program that shows system temps while doing so, so that's probably why it's lower. Without the benchmark running, temperature for CPU is 43C, MB is 42C, and NB(whatever that is) is 56C.

When I ran it, the temps stayed stable at around CPU: 47C, MB: 43C, NB: 56C, except when it was transitioning between scenes, when the CPU would spike up to about 53C before cooling down after loading back to 47C within seconds.

I'm not sure if that's good temperatures or not, but I'm glad they're stable at least! I haven't overclocked anything, mainly because I didn't wanna risk overheating something, just in case. The arctic silver has hardly broken in either, so probably within a week it should go down.

Oh hey, the CPU just shot down to 41C as I wrote that. lol

::EDIT:: and now 40C. lmao

Edited, Nov 21st 2010 9:00pm by PsionofPhoenix
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#24 Nov 23 2010 at 8:08 PM Rating: Good
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EDIT: Ffffuuuuuuu didn't read to the end of the thread. Fail on my part. D: Hope the new rig satisfies!

Edited, Nov 23rd 2010 8:10pm by FenrirXIII

Edited, Nov 23rd 2010 8:13pm by FenrirXIII
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#25 Nov 25 2010 at 6:19 AM Rating: Decent
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Oh yes, it satisfies quite nicely! There's only a couple minor issues I got so far with the new comp, but I'm thinking they're probably fixable. First off, there's these faint horizontal lines that move around whenever I move in the game. they're easily ignorable, but I wish I can get them gone. :O Any clue how to fix it on my LCD monitor with LED backlight?

Second issue is probably due to the game, when I move around in big areas like cities the game tends to act jerky, like it's loading a bit of new area each time I move forward, which is slightly annoying, but also ignorable. It only does it in places with a lot of people, so I'm thinking it's just my crappy wireless, and once I plug in a ground line instead tommorrow it will go away. (hopefully).

As far as the temperatures go, the CPU keeps saying around 46-50C, sometimes up to 55C for a second before fan revs up to knock it back down, and no higher, even when playing the game. And the fans are only spinning at about half speed too, so I don't think that's too bad. the MB says its around 42C constantly, and the NB, whatever that is, is at 55C constantly. Though how in the world they can be that high at all in my FREEZING COLD ROOM WITH NO HEATER, I got no clue. :/ Even weirder since the air that comes out of the comp is cold in one side, and barely warm on the top, which means I can't even use it as a makeshift heater. -,-

I'm still shocked at how smoothly everything is operating though, I keep half-expecting it to blow up any second since I didn't think I'd do so well on a first try, lol. XD

Only thing getting blown up though is Psion, from freaking buzzard/vulture feather snipeshots and the like. <.<;

Edited, Nov 25th 2010 7:20am by PsionCrystalis


::EDIT:: Oh whoops, I apparently had plugged in one of the fans into the WRONG SLOT. lmao. I kept seeing something that showed fan 1 as not turned in, which I thought was normal since I had not plugged anything in that slot. I look today to make sure everything is running smooth, and oh hi, fan 1 isn't moving. Plugged it into the right slot this time and it kicked in when I turned the computer back on. New temps: 48 for CPU in high load areas, and down to 35ish if it's not doing anything, and the MB and NB are still at a steady 42C and 55C respectively, though that is in high load areas. If I'm not playing FFXIV or doing much, they also shoot down a few degrees.

Edited, Dec 1st 2010 7:48pm by PsionCrystalis
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