Custom PC Build - Need Help Now!

Talk about your favorite PC games, Steam and building awesome custom rigs!

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Biased
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Custom PC Build - Need Help Now!

Post by Biased » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:14 pm

I've got my rig. Here are the specs, then I'll get to the problem.

Motherboard: EVGA nForce 730i with integrated geForce 9300 graphics
Processor: intel Core2 Quad Q9550 2.83 GHz
PSU: Ultra LSP550
RAM: 1GB 667MHz :facepalm:
Hard Drive: 80GB
Disc Drive: 16x DVD-RW Drive
Case: Gigabyte X3 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... CatId=1842" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I got everything up and running and installed Vista, installed all of the drivers from the included disc, and customized my BIOS. The only problem is that my computer does NOT want to acknowledge that my GPU actually exists. I can run windows at 1600x1200, but my integrated GPU doesn't appear in device manager, the closest thing I get to is going through display settings to change the resolution and it doesn't display a name of anything, doesn't let me update drivers or anything. I tried three different ways of installing drivers for the GPU but none worked. Every .exe aborted the installation because of the lack of hardware or current drivers. My experience index score is 1.0 because of my (lack of) graphics capabilities. Tomorrow I'm going to try installing windows XP and seeing if my problems clear up. If not, or if nobody on the internets can help me, I'm calling EVGA customer support (and we all know how much of a party it is to sit on the phone with them).
Last edited by Biased on Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by bicostp » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:12 am

What video card were you looking to get?

According to a couple people on Tom's Hardware, a 6000 series CPU won't work. However, a 5000 series will and will still be a jump over the old one.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/25068 ... 1-question" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That Athlon II definitely won't work. If newer AM2s aren't supported by your OEM BIOS, then AM3s almost certainly won't be. Dell doesn't want you to upgrade the CPU; they want you to buy a whole new computer.

Depending on what you want to do with the computer, you might be better off building a new one than putting more money into one that's 3 or 4 years old (especially an older OEM PC). It might cost a little bit more up front but you'll get much more for the money. Beside, you'll get more modern amenities like faster bus speeds and PCIe 2.0.

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Biased
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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by Biased » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:18 pm

Do you have any suggestions for a good mobo and other components to buy if I was going to start building my own PC?

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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by snowpenguin » Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:40 pm

Well, what are you looking to use this computer for? I had one designed for me by some people at MR and with some help from bic, in the end it's at $362 without a disc drive. It's got a decent graphics card for someone who might play a game every once in a while, and an AMD 2.9 GHZ Dual Core CPU. If you want I can link you to all the parts.
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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by Biased » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:10 am

I'm looking for something to be able to be a little bit future-proof for general productivity, and some day down the road (when I have money again after making the thing) to be able to play games. I'd need a disc drive though. I check dealnews every day and they have BD-ROM drives for around $75 or less every once in a while.

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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by bicostp » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:01 am

Well, there's a long list of good products out there. It will be easier to write down what to avoid and watch out for. :lol:

- Don't buy PC Chips or ECS motherboards. They're the cheapest of the cheap, use the crappy Chinese capacitors that always blow, and they're really flaky. Plus they usually crun on crappy VIA chipsets. Pretty much all the others are good, but most of the time you'll see recommendations for Gigabyte, ASUS, and Intel motherboards.

- Don't bother with cheap power supplies. Yes, you can get a 500 watt power supply for $12 if you get a "CompUtek" or whatever, but it's going to be a crappy one with a lot of noise on the line. Remember, every other component in your computer relies on the power supply, so get a good one. (Corsair, ThermalTake, and Cooler Master are good ones.)

- Get a decent hard drive. Maxtor has improved its product lineup a bit, but I still prefer Western Digital and Samsung drives. There's no excuse, especially now that you can get a 1 TB hard drive for $75 (even no rebates).

- AM3 and Intel's i5/i7 CPUs only support DDR3 RAM (to my knowledge), which is much more expensive than DDR2. going with a brand new socket will give you more opportunity for upgrades don the road, but will be more expensive in the short term compared to a similarly-speced AM2+/LGA775 setup.

- More cores = more things done simultaneously. If you plan on doing a lot of multitasking, or if the games you want to play can take advantage of it, look into a quad-core. However, if most of your games only do 1 or 2 cores, they'll run better on a dual-core with a faster clock speed.

- Load up on RAM. For everyday desktop use on XP, 1 gig is plenty. On Vista/Win7, get at least 2 gigs. I have 4 gigs right now and it cruises through everything. 8) RAM is the cheapest and most effective upgrade you can make to a computer (well, to a point anyway).

Now, what's your budget?

EDIT: Here's an Intel i5/DDR3/Nvidia setup which is more or less equivelant to the PC I built. It will tear through pretty much everything out there right now. (Remember, the i5 lineup is a minor update / rebadge of the Core 2 line, however it uses the new processor socket so it's a little more future-proof) The CPU is equivelant to a Q9400:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115215 - Core 15 750 - $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813186174" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Foxconn motherboard - $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820220371" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Patriot Viper 4GB DDR3 1600 - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817371016" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Antec 550w PSU - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130434" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - EVGA GTX 260 216 - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152185" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Samsung 1 TB HD - $75

Total: $700
W/O GPU: $540
Here's basically the exact setup I have (but I reused the optical drive and hard drives from the PC it replaced, and a ghetto-arse ATX/BabyAT case from the mid 90s). It scoots along really well, but pretty much represents the end of the line for LGA775:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115041 - Q9550 2.8ghz - $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128372" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - GIGABYTE EP45-UD3L - $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820145241" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Corsair 4 GB DDR2 800 - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130434" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - EVGA GTX 260 216 - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817139005" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Corsair TX650w PSU - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152185" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Samsung 1 TB HD - $75

Total: $665 ($650 if you use the PSU from the previous build.)
W/O GPU: $505
Same as the above build but with an E8500 dual core instead (NewEgg doesn't have any dual-core i5s listed yet):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115037 - E8400 3.0 ghz - $168
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128372" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - GIGABYTE EP45-UD3L - $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820145241" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Corsair 4 GB DDR2 800 - $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814130434" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - EVGA GTX 260 216 - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817139005" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Corsair TX650w PSU - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152185" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Samsung 1 TB HD - $75

Total: $628 ($598 if you use the PSU from the previous build.)
W/O GPU: $468 ($438)
One based off that dual-core Athlon II you posted:
(Might not be the cream of the crop because I'm not partial to AMD/ATI and don't follow them as much)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103681 - Athlon II dual-core - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131398" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - ASUS M4A785TD-V AM3 motherboard - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820220371" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Patriot Viper 4GB DDR3 1600 - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817371016" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Antec 550w PSU - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152185" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Samsung 1 TB HD - $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814161294" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - HIS Radeon HD 4870 - $153

Total: $553
W/O GPU: $400
Same as above but with a Phenom II:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103675 - Phenom II x4 945 3.0 ghz - $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131398" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - ASUS M4A785TD-V AM3 motherboard - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820220371" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Patriot Viper 4GB DDR3 1600 - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817371016" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Antec 550w PSU - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152185" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - Samsung 1 TB HD - $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814161294" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - HIS Radeon HD 4870 - $153

Total: $643
W/O GPU: $490
I don't generally include cases in the builds I post (mainly because I think most of the cases out there look like crap XD), and I'll give you 2 price totals: 1 with everything, and 1 without the video card so you can see what the rest of the parts cost and add your own. (I bought the GTX 260 216 and have been pleased with it, and the HD 4870 is pretty much its equivelant.)

None of these were picked with multiple video cards in mind. If that's something you want, then you need either a higher-end motherboard or one based off an Nvidia chipset to do Crossfire or SLI (respectively).

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Biased
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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by Biased » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:30 pm

bicostp wrote:Well, there's a long list of good products out there. It will be easier to write down what to avoid and watch out for. :lol:

(goldmine of information on a subject mostly everyone I talk to in person tells me to stay away from)
I love you, bic. But don't worry, it's internet love. Not the gay or stalker flavors of love.

logimastertech
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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by logimastertech » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:41 pm

also remember that if your going to build a board with amd, get at least two pci-e 2.0 x16 @ x16/16 and not 16/8 slots - same with amd/ati graphics cards - video cards go about that you need a decent psu for the 9000+ gt/x/gx2 etc andi beleive the 4000+ graphics - when also going with amd. get a board that supports am2+ not just am2 - cost to much with am2 cpu. get the am2+/am3 or just straight am3.... lga775 is the celeron/pentium/core2x (dual cores/quads) as 1156 is the new i5/i7 sockets - pretty much bic summed that up already just out a nutshell.

Build a new computer
straight forward for new games/blue ray/1080p playback and anything new

Decide on this

Intel/crossfire

Intel/sli

intel/sli,crossfire

or

amd/crossfire

amd/sli
-----------------

crossfire is two/three/four ati graphics put together

sli is two/three nvidia graphics

hybrid boards can use both sli/crossfire

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Biased
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Re: EDIT: Custom PC build - info on Hackintosh welcome!

Post by Biased » Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:03 am

Major bumpage.

If I custom-make my own PC, is there any possibility of running OSX86 on my build? It wouldn't need to be optimized to run OSX better than Windows Vista/7, I'd just like the opportunity to test it out for fun or use the Mac productivity software for audio recording.

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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by Grandmasterjimmy » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:36 am

logimastertech wrote:crossfire
You'll get caught up in the...CROSSFIRE!


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bicostp
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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by bicostp » Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:00 pm

I think there are some cipsets that work better than others with OSX86. You definitely want to reference their compatability page when you shop for parts.
Grandmasterjimmy wrote:You'll get caught up in the...CROSSFIRE!
Oh jeez that commercial... 8)

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Re: Want to upgrade my CPU and video card, help needed!

Post by 64M320N3 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:59 pm

Grandmasterjimmy wrote:You'll get caught up in the...CROSSFIRE!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Making stuff with my new beautiful CNC machine!
Would you like a professional looking custom case for your portable? I may be able to help you. Check out this link:
http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=32724

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Biased
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Re: EDIT: Custom PC build - info on Hackintosh welcome!

Post by Biased » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:47 am

I can get a core i7 860 from microcenter NEXT weekend for $229 (or an i5 for $159). This is much excite!

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Re: EDIT: Custom PC build - info on Hackintosh welcome!

Post by logimastertech » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:05 pm

wow thats a nice discount on the lga 1156? cpus

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Re: EDIT: Custom PC build - info on Hackintosh welcome!

Post by Biased » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:12 pm

Yes it is, I saw in a review of the i5 on newegg that someone had simply said, "I found it for $159.99 from one of newegg's competitors," and I had to google "i5 $159" to find that microcenter was the culprit for having the criminally low price! (TERRIBLE joke, I know, but frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.)

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