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Computer Buyer's Guide

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by hat, May 4, 2007.

  1. hat

    hat Enthusiast

    Nov 20, 2006
    18,502 (4.60/day)
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    Ok so you want a computer. Great, just make sure you buy something that works together. You
    can't go buying an AMD motherboard and try to shove a Pentium 4 in it, you won't be cutting off parts of your video card to make it fit into "one of those slot thingies," and you wont be trying to shove DDR2 into DDR slots.

    First, you'll want to choose a "route" to go. Generally you have people using ATi/AMD or nVidia/Intel for graphics cards and processors, respectfully. Lets say you want to go the ATi/AMD route... so you pick a processor that looks good:
    So you have a AM2 processor, now you need a compatable motherboard.
    If you look in the specifications of this board, the memory standard is DDR2 800, so you need some DDR2 800 RAM...
    Now you are probably going to want a graphics card, so we'll choose an ATi...
    The x1800's are good cards, and the specs look good... 12 pipelines, 500MHz core, 1GHz memory and 256MB of 256bit memory. And it's pci express, like the motherboard you just bought supports.
    Now we need a hard drive. Your motherboard supports up to SATA 3GB/sec, so let's try that...
    Seagate is a good brand, it has 160GB of storage, probable more than enough, unless you are a torrenter, in which case just get another one of these and slave it, they are fairly cheap.
    Now you need something to install your operating system on...
    A DVD burner. Will come in handy for those torrents, if you use them.
    Now you need something to do all those BIOS updates on, and installing those SATA drivers that Windows will want you to install.
    Your motherboard came with all the necessary cables, unless you bought 2 hard drives (you got an IDE cable for the dvd burner, a SATA cable for your HDD, and a FDD connector)

    Now we need a power source. Hm, well, your video card says it wants 450W because it is so fat, but we should pick out a 600W or so for a little upgrading headroom (after R600 has been our for a few months, and maybe the price goes down, you may want one... or maybe a better processor, or more ram... see how the ideas pile up?)
    650 watts, 2 rails--18A and 16A, I think it should satisfy the x1800GTO, and one of the lower-end R600 cards (2600GTO maybe?)

    Well, you can't have all these parts and nothing to put them in, so pick a case...
    It's a case. It works. Move on.

    Ok now that we have it all installed together in working order, we want to use it. You might be a linux user, but chances are, you're not. So we will go with Vista for futureproofing...

    Hopefully, you have your floppy discs with the bios updates for the motherboard and SATA drivers, and a cd burnt with some drivers for your motherboard (chipset, LAN drivers, audio), some video drivers, and probably a basic firewall. Ok, you you have your system built in working order, if not, us folks here at TPU can help you!!
    10 Year Member at TPU

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