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First time builder needs advice

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#1
Hello, TPU! community,

I am going to be building a computer in a few weeks. I've researched for a little over a month now, so I'm fairly certain that my parts are compatible.

Part: Motherboard $79.99
Item: GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392

Part: Graphics Card $114.99
Item: XFX HD-485X-ZDFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150351

Part: Processor/CPU $119.99
Item: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103649

Part: Memory $57.99
Item: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148262

Part: Power Supply $79.99
Item: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017

Part: Hard Drive $74.99
Item: HITACHI 0A38016 1TB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145233

Part: Optical Drive $25.99
Item: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151175

Part: Speakers $69.99
Item: Logitech Z-4 40 watts 2.1 Speaker - Retail
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121130

Part: Kit $14.99
Item: Rosewill RTK-015 15 Piece Standard Computer Tool Kit - Retail
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261002

Part: Webcam $89.99
Item: Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 2.0 M Effective Pixels USB WebCam - Retail
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104074

Part: Computer Case $49.99
Item: NZXT Beta Series CS-NT-BETA-B Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146055

Part: LCD Monitor $169.99
Item: Acer X233Hbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009163

Part: Operating System $109.00
Item: Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium
URL: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.205088.11-146-055

I have already bought the card and the monitor. Most of the items are free shipping, and the motherboard/PSU and OS/case are in combo deals. Is it worth $20 to upgrade the PII X3 720BE to a P2 X4 810? The OS comes with a free upgrade to Windows 7.
 
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#2
720BE overclocks better than 810 from the reviews I`v read. For that money I would get 4870 512 instead of 4850 1GB IMO it would be faster in every scenario. Invest in 32MB Cache HDD. And mobo with NB780 SB750.
 
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#3
Nice first build. I like the setup so far. I do have just a couple suggestions.

1st, your vga is $35 cheaper if you go with a recertified card. They have a 1 year warranty, and available at the egg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150413

2nd, thats a hell of an expensive Web Cam. Is it really that important? $90 for a web cam is more than half the cost of your CPU. Just a thought. :)

Other than those two your system looks good. Nice choice on the monitor, you'll like it for sure. Personally I say jump for the x4 810 if you have the extra $20.
 
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#4
You've chosen a 1GB 4850. (You may have considered this already, but) I would be inclined to choose a 4870 512MB instead. I understand you choice though, the extra memory on the 4850 will help at higher resolutions. But I think that the extra GPU power offered by the 4870 outweighs the extra memory. Yes, in some cases the 4850 1GB will outperform the 4870 512MB due to memory requirements, but I think for the most part, the 4870 will have a noticeable edge.

Or you could get the best of both worlds and get a 4870 1GB, but I don't know if your budget would allow that.
 
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#5
Take out the tool kit and get at least 1 120mm Fan. You will only need 1 medium Philip head screw driver for your build. The tool kit is nice, but should only be bought if you plan on building, fixing, or upgrading a lot of computers often.

Video cards are cheap, get the 4870 1 GB if you can.
 
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#6
dont get that hardrive, get a WD black or a Samsung spinpoint
 
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#7
dont get that hardrive, get a WD black or a Samsung spinpoint
I agree, Hitachi is more middle of the line. Western Digital and Seagate are excellent choices, the Spoinpoint from Samsung is good too, but I've always leaned towards WD's.
 

erocker

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#8
I would take the 1gb 4850 over a 512mb 4870 if I were using a 1080p monitor.
 
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#9
Actually Hitachi's latest series of HDD are really really good. The 7K1000B is what you want if you are sticking with Hitachi.
 
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#10
Unfortunately for most of the requests to change to a 4870 512MB, I have already bought my card. It is still within 30 days so I can return it if I want, but like erocker and others have said, I want the additional memory. I don't think I'll be playing too many graphic-intensive games where I would depend on the additional computing power provided by a 4870. The objective of my build is to make a solid, dependable computer that can run anything out there, and anything less than the most demanding games beautifully.

As for the hard drive, I chose Hitachi since it's ~$25 cheaper than the other 1 TB drives available. I know most of the building subculture has a collective hard-on for WD drives, and that may be well deserved.

Also, as for the web cam, what would be a less expensive but solid alternative? I bought a $35 Logitech webcam a year ago that was terrible beyond belief. I want to make sure I have a good picture this time. And, how many fans (and at what size) could my NZXT Beta case hold?
 
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#11
Nothing wrong with the card you picked, just saying you could get more power for just a little bit more. Since you already have it, don't worry about it.

Hitachi is a good brand IMO for HDD's. And like I said, if you can kind a 7K1000B series one, great buy.

The NZXT Beta will hold 4 120 mm fans. One in the front (provided), 2 on the side, and one in the back. Get at least 1 for the back to start off with. The one in the front has a dust filter, which is something you might want to consider for the side fans.

I stick to my guns about the tool kit. If you already have a good average sized Phillips Head screw driver, then you already have all you need for this build. Use the money for a fan or 2.
 
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#12
Thank you for your input, TheLaughingMan.

The Hitachi HD isn't that series, I only picked that particular item for it's price superiority. But I'll keep a lookout for sure. Your advice sounds good for the fans as well. As for the kit, I mostly need it for the anti-static wrist strap, but I could just get that separately I suppose. I'll be building this computer at home, so I'll be around my father who has a huge tool-shed. I'm sure he has an average Phillips head laying around. I just want to make sure I'll have everything I need.

Also, another question: I don't plan to OC, so do I need a cooler for the CPU, especially with the case having good airflow and meshed ventilation? Also, the Egg lists the CPU as retail, so should it come with the heatsink and thermal paste already applied?
 

Zoelef

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#13
There's a $20 combo on your Power Supply & Motherboard.
 
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golytelee

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#14
Laugh's right on the tool thing. I just finished my first build (see system specs) and I only needed one good phillips. If you want a strap (I recommend, personally) go to BB and get one there for cheaper than that toolkit and get a good quiet case fan.
 
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#16
hey try gts 250 ..amazing cooler+performance
their isn't much difference from the gts250 and the 4850,their both about the same
 
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#17
Also, another question: I don't plan to OC, so do I need a cooler for the CPU, especially with the case having good airflow and meshed ventilation? Also, the Egg lists the CPU as retail, so should it come with the heatsink and thermal paste already applied?
If you are not going to OC it, then you will not need a large heat sink. The one it comes with will be enough. If you don't like the heat levels it gives you, disable AMD Cool n Quiet and manual set the fan in the bios.