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josh1billion

Building a PC for the first time-List of components assembled-Looking for feedback

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Hello all, After nearly a year of being desktop-less (old desktop mobo and possibly video card fried), and working solely on a laptop, I have at last decided to build a new machine. Although I have a basic understanding of hardware, this is the first time I've built a PC "from scratch," so I fear that I may be overlooking something. I'm mainly worried about compability (video card, mobo, RAM, processor, etc. all work together) and making sure I'm not somehow forgetting any components. Also a bit concerned about the difficulties of installation if things go wrong. This is why I'm seeking your advice before clicking the old "Checkout" button on Newegg. I'll be using my old PC's case, power supply (includes PCI-Express connectors), and DVD-RW drive. I should have everything else below; please let me know if I missed something. As for the purpose of this machine: personal desktop, game development (of course), gaming. By "gaming," I'm not referring to playing the latest FPS with maxed settings; I don't care about FPS's and am not seeking the absolute highest of specifications, as you'll see. But I do hope to play relatively modern games (Oblivion, Spore, Starcraft II, Diablo III) without any difficulties. Looking for something within the $300 to $400 range (which this falls within), and hoping this will be upgradable if I choose to upgrade video card, processor, etc. in the next few years. Might install a better sound card (versus existing on-board sound) at some point in the future as well. Video: GeForce 8800 GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 :: $109.99 - $30 rebate RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 :: $86.50 - $20 rebate CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2.5GHz :: $59.99 - I was looking at a $125 triple-core 2.1ghz (also compatible with motherboard below), but this appears to be a good deal. Motherboard: MSI K9N SLI-F V.2 AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570LT :: $79.99 - onboard sound and LAN. Hard drive: 320GB Seagate ST303204N1A1A-RK 7200 RPM 16MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 :: $79.99 Total: $416.46 Rebates: $50 Total after rebates: $366.46 Thanks in advance.

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If you're hoping to play lots of modern games, you're going to be installing a 32-bit OS. And if you're going to be installing a 32-bit OS, 4 gigabytes of RAM is silly.

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No, any processor will have that problem in 32-bit mode. It's not really much of a problem—2-3 gigs should be enough for anyone—but it's not worth getting the fourth gig unless you're planning to use a 64-bit OS.

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Its not that you can't install 4 gigs, its just that 32bit Windows won't be able to address it all -- a 32bit pointer can only address up to 4 gigs, and the OS has to reserve some of that address space for its own internal workings and to assign some of the address space for hardware devices to communicate through.

It won't make any sense to "downgrade" to 3 gigs -- getting a pair of 1 gig sticks, and a pair of 512 sticks will probably cost you more than a pair of 2 gig sticks... So you're not saving any money.

On my machine, I have 4x 1GB sticks installed. I'm running WinXP pro, 32bit and my OS is able to recognize and use 3.5 GB out of the 4, which isn't so bad. In fact, the only regret I have is not getting 2x 2GB sticks, because I'm sure I'll go to Vista 64 sooner or later.

If you want just 2GB, get 2x 1GB sticks. If you want more than 2GB, get 2x 2GB sticks.

Also, you don't mention what speed memory you're planning on, but be sure to get something that matches what your CPU is capable of fully utilizing, and vice versa.

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Alright, I will stick with the 2 x 2GB = 4 GB RAM in that case (linked to in my original post).

I don't know anything about the speed of RAM/CPU that you mentioned. But the CPU and RAM I'm planning to get are both linked to in my original post, can you tell me if they are compatible in the sense that you're describing?

Here are the links again to those:

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103212

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

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My recommendation is that you go with a dual HDD option. Get a lower capacity one at a high data transfer rate and a high capacity one at a low transfer rate. You will be surprised how this speeds up operations such as copying files, loading appplicaitons, and of course virtual memory is always used by the OS to some degree no matter how much ram you have.

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Depending on how old your system was(and who made it), the power supply might no longer be 'up to snuff'. Nothing there looks to be pushing too much power, but the wattage on the power supplies of ten are a peak rating and components like capacitors can age so that the output wattage may no longer be anywhere near what the numbers said originally.

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