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Question about buying PC parts

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I've made a post about something similar months ago but I didn't get to buying anything back then. But now it's serious :) If I buy all the parts needed for a PC, motherboard, CPU (boxed), ram, video card, etc...., will there normally be all the required cables and stuff, or will there be cables and connectors that are missing and that I need to buy separatly? By the way, here's the hardware I'm currently looking at (only the important parts listed). Does it look like a nice setup? *) Motherboard: Gigabte GA-965P-DS4 (had got firewire, 16xPCIe, SATA II, USB 2, audio, GbE LAN, and Linux drivers) *) CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (has got 4MB cache) *) memory: 2x 1GB DDR2 RAM *) videocard: some Geforce 7 series, not sure yet which one, I'll be looking for one that is not too expensive (because you can easily replace them anyway if ever needed), but the minimum is 7600 (because below that is budget card and I want something decent) and passively cooled *) Hard disk: some SATA II disk, 300GB or so *) Screen: some LCD around 17 - 19" *) case and PSU: I'm going to go for something durable, not too cheap, and a fanless 400W PSU *) The rest, like mouse and keyboard and DVD writer and stuff, speaks for itself. One thing is for sure and that is that the keyboard won't have such a button that you must press before the F-keys work. And more questions: If I put in a SATA II hard disk, will I also be able to put an old parallel ATA disk in the same computer? I like having 2 HDs in a computer. Not in RAID. Is a nVidia GeForce 7600GS with DDR2 RAM acceptable? Or is it getting too old for modern applications? Which is better in a videocard: 512MB DDR2 RAM, or 256MB GDDR3 RAM? [Edited by - Lode on March 24, 2007 5:49:31 AM]

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Original post by Lode
If I buy all the parts needed for a PC, motherboard, CPU (boxed), ram, video card, etc...., will there normally be all the required cables and stuff, or will there be cables and connectors that are missing and that I need to buy separatly?

I have no comments to the other questions. As for this, as long as you don't buy OEM products, you will get all the required cables, but bare minimum. For example, you get only one SATA cable from the motherboard even though it supports up to four. Or perhaps the cable is designed for smaller cases, so if you get a full tower, you won't be able to use it.

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Original post by Lode
If I buy all the parts needed for a PC, motherboard, CPU (boxed), ram, video card, etc...., will there normally be all the required cables and stuff, or will there be cables and connectors that are missing and that I need to buy separatly?

it depends. some retail motherboards will come with a single sata cable while another will include 4.

Quote:

*) CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (has got 4MB cache)

aren't those about due for a massive price cut?

Quote:

*) videocard: some Geforce 7 series, not sure yet which one, I'll be looking for one that is not too expensive (because you can easily replace them anyway if ever needed), but the minimum is 7600 (because below that is budget card and I want something decent) and passively cooled

7600gt maybe?

Quote:

*) case and PSU: I'm going to go for something durable, not too cheap, and a fanless 400W PSU

do yourself a favor and find a case that's easy to use (motherboard trays are especially nice) and make sure you know how to choose a proper psu.

Quote:

If I put in a SATA II hard disk, will I also be able to put an old parallel ATA disk in the same computer? I like having 2 HDs in a computer. Not in RAID.

as long as the connectors are there, sure.

/request move to hardware forum

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The only things that you need to buy extra parts for I can think of is scsi drives never come with scsi cable that cost like $25 just for a single cable!
LCD monitors never come with a DVI cable unless you get the more expensive ones and that's a $50 cable!
And finally alot of OEM parts don't come with all the necessary parts like like the latest opteron cpu's you need to buy heatsink and doesn't come in package. Also OEM harddrives don't come with sata cables,etc since you should get that with any decent motherboard anyways.
And they even skimp on the manuals now to cut down cost so an internet connection is almost always necessary to figure out case front panel connector settings,jumper settings on motherboard/harddrives,etc when building new computer these days.

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The graphics card will bottle-neck your PC. Your other parts are far too good for that graphics card. The processor especially. If you can, stretch for a 7900GS. It's not much more expensive and the performance increase is pretty massive.

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Which is better in a videocard: 512MB DDR2 RAM, or 256MB GDDR3 RAM?


Depends. If the card with GDDR3 is much faster then go with that. Chances are it will be. It's newer technology and although it has less memory, it'll be much quicker. I think the GT's have DDR3 and GS' have DDR2?? Go with the GT.

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Original post by gumpy macdrunken
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*) CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (has got 4MB cache)

aren't those about due for a massive price cut?



What kind of a price cut?

I mean, prices constantly cut as new hardware is available.

I could of course wait until the quad cores are more affordable, but then there will again be something else new and again a possible price cut etc...

Do you think the price cut you mentioned is worth the wait?

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Original post by Lode
Quote:
Original post by gumpy macdrunken
Quote:

*) CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (has got 4MB cache)

aren't those about due for a massive price cut?



What kind of a price cut?

I mean, prices constantly cut as new hardware is available.

I could of course wait until the quad cores are more affordable, but then there will again be something else new and again a possible price cut etc...

Do you think the price cut you mentioned is worth the wait?


Buy midrange, and upgrade often. Get a good motherboard, hard drives that will work for now, and plan to upgrade your graphics card in a year, with room to pop in more ram.

If you buy top end, you'll waste huge sums of money as that top end stuff that you sold your soul for is now upper midrange and worth half as much new. If you wait for all the best to drop in price, you'll never buy a computer.

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Quote:
Original post by Lode
Quote:
Original post by gumpy macdrunken
Quote:

*) CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (has got 4MB cache)

aren't those about due for a massive price cut?



What kind of a price cut?

I mean, prices constantly cut as new hardware is available.

I could of course wait until the quad cores are more affordable, but then there will again be something else new and again a possible price cut etc...

Do you think the price cut you mentioned is worth the wait?


i searched a bit and found rumors of a massive Q3 price cut. not worth the wait, imo.

i agree with talroth. don't go too high-end unless you have no choice or have too much money.

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The motherboard will usually come with a floppy cable, a PATA cable, and between one and four SATA cables. If you really worry, throw in another 24" SATA cable when you purchase; those are like $3.99. (I usually buy at [url=http://www.newegg.com/]newegg.com[/url] and it usually goes well)

The power supply (or case, if it's with a power supply) comes with the cables for power.

A PATA drive and a PATA DVD burner will use up that PATA cable -- make sure they're both set to cable select, or one is master, and one is slave.

If your CPU is retail, it comes with a cooler, which should work fine as long as you don't overclock. If you want to overclock (more trouble than it's worth IMO) then get an OEM CPU, and then one of the high-end coolers separately. And a bigger case to fit them all.

The 7600GT and up aren't available fanless; only the 7600GS and below are, so if you want fanless, that's what you get. If you go for fanned, then a 7900GT might be the best bang for the buck -- still quite middle-end priced, but noticeably faster than the 7600 series.

Last: my experience is that the biggest concern for compatibility is in RAM vs motherboard. If possible, buy a set of RAM sticks that is tested and recommended by the motherboard manufacturer. Worst case, you can always run your RAM somewhat slower -- for example, I bought CAS2 RAM a while back, that wouldn't be stable with my ASUS motherboard. Running it at CAS2.5, it's rock solid, and only a few percent slower.

Building your computer is fun and rewarding. Just make sure to TAKE IT EASY and do it METHODICALLY, one step at a time. And guard against static!

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Original post by hplus0603The 7600GT and up aren't available fanless; only the 7600GS and below are, so if you want fanless, that's what you get. If you go for fanned, then a 7900GT might be the best bang for the buck -- still quite middle-end priced, but noticeably faster than the 7600 series.


The 7600GT is available fanless, and that's what I'm going to get I think, looks like a decent card for a very good price.

Quote:
Original post by hplus0603I bought CAS2 RAM a while back, that wouldn't be stable with my ASUS motherboard. Running it at CAS2.5, it's rock solid, and only a few percent slower.


CAS2? What type of memory is that? I'm looking at PC6400 DDR2 memory, and the standard seems to be a CAS of 5, with a rare 4.

Quote:
Original post by hplus0603Building your computer is fun and rewarding. Just make sure to TAKE IT EASY and do it METHODICALLY, one step at a time. And guard against static!


It's my first time completely doing it from scratch (I have already transported a motherboard from one case to another one time), and I'm sure I'll enjoy doing it :)

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Original post by Lode
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Original post by hplus0603The 7600GT and up aren't available fanless; only the 7600GS and below are, so if you want fanless, that's what you get. If you go for fanned, then a 7900GT might be the best bang for the buck -- still quite middle-end priced, but noticeably faster than the 7600 series.


The 7600GT is available fanless, and that's what I'm going to get I think, looks like a decent card for a very good price.

Quote:
Original post by hplus0603I bought CAS2 RAM a while back, that wouldn't be stable with my ASUS motherboard. Running it at CAS2.5, it's rock solid, and only a few percent slower.


CAS2? What type of memory is that? I'm looking at PC6400 DDR2 memory, and the standard seems to be a CAS of 5, with a rare 4.

Quote:
Original post by hplus0603Building your computer is fun and rewarding. Just make sure to TAKE IT EASY and do it METHODICALLY, one step at a time. And guard against static!


It's my first time completely doing it from scratch (I have already transported a motherboard from one case to another one time), and I'm sure I'll enjoy doing it :)

As long as you do your research as it looks like you are doing you should be OK.
The only thing that stumped me years ago when I put my first rig together was the motherboard standoff metal brakets/standoffs for case. I had never seen them in my life and I didn't know how they connected to metal PC case or if they were in the right spot, if the motherbord was really supposed to be touching metal standoffs instead of plastic,etc. And of course the PC case documentation was poor and has no explanations but I figured it out after messing around for a while. Kinda like the new Vista retail plastic cases. Either you get it right away how to open case without breaking it or you search internet and figure it out and have a Homer simpson Doh! on your face since it was so easy once you know the trick.

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CAS2? What type of memory is that? I'm looking at PC6400 DDR2 memory, and the standard seems to be a CAS of 5, with a rare 4.


That was regular DDR memory, over a year ago. I know, stone age :-)

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Also, expect that you will do something completely wrong the first time you snap it all together. If you have mysterious problems like failing to POST, just go make sure everything is plugged in: push down on your ram again b/c seating ram correctly is a dark art on some mobos, are your drives plugged in to the right SATA controler, etc...

The first time I put a machine together I had approximately 4 heart attacks during which I thought I'd broken everything. funtimes.

Be absolutely sure that you're not wearing wool and ground yourself to the PC case before touching anything.

-me

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