View Full Version : All you PC wizards out there...

Son of the Lion
07-03-2008, 08:45
Thought about posting this on a dedicated pc forum, but there seem to be a fair few knowledgeable types right here in my favourite lurking ground...

Right, gather round for the time has come to build my very first rig from (almost) scratch .
And I could do with a bit of help.

I'm aiming for a general/media PC with the option of high end gaming, on a bit of a budget.

These are the components I will be using, feel free to peruse and comment -

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor

LiteOn DH-16D2P-02C DVD-ROM black bare Drive

Antec Sonata III PVC Case with earthwatts Power Supply

AKASA AK-955 Intel Cooler

Foxconn G33M Socket LGA775 motherboard


Innova 3D 8800GT GPU

2GB Corsair DDR2-667

Note I will be running this through a 32" HDTV and linked up to a Stereo system.

Now, asides from any comments on the above spec, what I'm looking for is any words of advice or caution about assembly. I have a a fair bit of experience with upgrading and tinkering with already built systems, but I've never assembled one from the ground up. This is one of the reasons I selected the Sonata III, as the PSU is already installed (a bit cheaty I know).


07-03-2008, 08:56
Best thing with the antecs having the PSU pre installed. I put an OCZ in mine and the cable barely reached to the mobo.

I'm having problems even now with it. Every single time I power up now, the power comes on but it won't boot/load unless i switch the PSU off at the back for 8-9secs and switch it on again, Sometimes I have to repeat the process.

07-03-2008, 08:59
get a better power supply (PSU) than the one that come standard with the case.

Earth yourself before touching circuits, touching a radiator is how i do it. reduces any static electricity on you making it less likly you damage the chips.

Remeber the heat capacitance gel/whatever its called that goes between your PC and your heat sink.

07-03-2008, 09:09
what's your exact budget?

Son of the Lion
07-03-2008, 09:38
No exact budget - the spec above will weigh in at around 450. I don't want to go to far over that really to start. I will probably spend another 100 or so on it over the next 6 months.

get a better power supply (PSU) than the one that come standard with the case.

Earth yourself before touching circuits, touching a radiator is how i do it. reduces any static electricity on you making it less likly you damage the chips.

Remeber the heat capacitance gel/whatever its called that goes between your PC and your heat sink.

PSU is a 500w and very quiet (mulnatz anyone?) - I've seen (heard) it in another PC. Very nice.

Earthing - heeded. I have a couple of the static wrist straps, but I will take extra precautions.

Gel - bum, knew I forgot something, What's the best one? I know the stuff that has silver in it is supposed to be pretty good?

07-03-2008, 12:48
The antec sonata cases are awesome and the PSU's are good (I've put together a few systems using the sonata case and none of them needed a different PSU)

looks pretty good except for the 160gig hard drive which will probably surprise you as to how quick you use up the space - I dont know where you live but in australia the difference between a 160 gig and a 250 gig is less than 20 bucks and a 320 gig only $40 more expensive than the 160

07-03-2008, 12:56
well, that rig looks fine, apart from the motherboard. don't know how much that one costs, but have a look at the asus p5k range.

Son of the Lion
07-03-2008, 15:45
Kordos: It isn't a lot no, but I already have an external 500GB HD with all my media on it that I use for my other desktop and laptop.

Old1eye: Excellent point. Yeah, I'd like to go with one of the Asus range because of the spanking overclocking features they have. To be honest, the FOXCONN is one of the budget concessions I made. See, I can get the G33M (usually about 60) for under 40 through a business contact, but there's no discount at all on the Asus stuff which starts at around 70.
I've always (by coincidence) had FOXCONN on my pre-builds, so I thought I'd stick with what I knew and save a bit. Might change my mind now though. Decisions, decisions...

On the motherboard, any advice on installing? I've heard it can be a bit tricky? What do I need to watch out for?

07-03-2008, 15:51
Heh. A pc is just like a big, expensive jigsaw puzzle. I had no trouble building mine. The internets are covered with instructions, if you have any trouble 1 minute on google gets you out of it in a flash.

BTW, if you can stretch that far 320gb HDs are far better value for money.

07-03-2008, 16:25
I'd agree that the hard drive looks a little small.

09-03-2008, 07:20
You can always buy another hard drive though ;)

The things to not skimp on at this stage are CPU, motherboard, and PSU. Giagabyte or ASUS are both good choices for motherboard IMO, though there is nothing wrong with Foxxconn either. If possible, scout around for a deal on an XFX Alpha Dog or similar pre-overclocked 8800GT, they're quite awesome. Otherwise, all good.

09-03-2008, 18:42
True, but its painful to swap out your main drive when you buy a bigger, faster drive (newer drives nearly always tend to be faster at budget price) latter on. I always run out of disk space, its the one thing I regret not buying more of, but then I tend to shove as many disks as I can into my main PC as I use it as a server as well.

09-03-2008, 18:52
Swap out? Why swap out? Even basic motherboards can sit 4-6 SATA II drives, and cases can generally hold a minimum of 4 without being inventive with other drive slots. I wouldn't think that two drives is unreasonable for a home PC ;)

10-03-2008, 06:32
As I said you want your fastest drive (buy a new drive for the same money down the line and it will be bigger and faster at the budget price point) for your main drive (unless you do a lot of video editing), this means rebuilding Windows in some form. I'm not a fan of reinstalling Windows onto what ends up being the D: drive as its messy, everything has its place. ;)

I've rebuilt enough friends computers over the years were they have just shoved in drives and they have ended up with several windows installs or are still running the original install on a slow 80 GB drive while they have a much faster 320 GB drive being used to serve up rarely accessed data (when compared to how often you access stuff of the system drive).

10-03-2008, 06:37
Well yes, fair enough, but he's got a 7200RPM WD already, so I don't see too many isues now. Granted, we don't know cache size (or maybe we do, I don't know WD products) but eh, I concede the point that yes, you should put windows on the fastest possible drive. If he's going to get the same series of drive in a bigger size at a later date though, then it will make pretty much no difference. There is a lot to be said about putting your OS on a smaller drive too, or at least a partition, if only to avoid wiping everything if you do need to reinstall.

13-03-2008, 01:30
Custom PC issue #April 2008 Has a Crysis killer for about 450

Id go with that. it seems reasonably good, and will save you a fair bit of cash. ive just finised swapping out my MoBo, and touchwood, all seems well.

As for HDD, i have rwo raptorX's in Raid0, and they are perfect. wouldnt swap them for anything.

@devolutionary - The cache will be at least 16+MB on a WD 7500 RPM., so no worries for him there. I agree with you about the partition for Windows. Mine is 40GB.

If you truly are made of money, you could go for an array of 4 64GB Samsung Flash SSID's. But that means serious outlay :) - at about 300 ea. lol

I might add that as above Gigabyte make good motherboards, so you could go with them.

as for VGA cards, a singe 8800 GT will suffice .

Son of the Lion
13-03-2008, 16:56
I think I picked up that issue. PC format actually did a better one - a dx10 rig for around 350, but both had elements I didn't like. Most notably the core 2 duo and the sub-standard psu/fan, if I recall correctly. Im aiming for a similar cost but better performance.

I have however, listened to the advice about the HD - since the listed one was already ordered at a bargain price (for that size only) so I have simply added another one...

Cheers guys.