Can Anyone Help Me Build A New PC?

I know that sounds a little crazy , but I haven’t put together a system from scratch in a few years, and I’ve sort of fallen to the curb on what’s a good system.

Currently , I have a Gigabyte socket478 board, running a P4 2.4ghz. It’s been faithfully going strong for the last 3 years, and only recently have I been wanting a newer pc.

Does Gigabyte still make a decent board? And what’s with all these new chipsets?

I’m not a serious gamer, but I do run a few older titles. As for performance, I need something that can handle the stresses of Photoshop and Illustrator ,not to mention , mpg. editing.

Any help someone would care to give is more than appreciated. I feel kind of foolish asking such a question in the 1st place. :o

Thanks again.

Gigabyte still make Stable boards. They are a safe option.

Hmm … Photoshop & illustrator … lots of HD & CPU for some of the funky features.

Both intel and AMD have a dual Core CPU option, which will come in handy if you do alot of photoshopping. As always lots of ram.

They apparently won’t do squat for you in games or programs (at the moment) as most games/proggies only utilise one a single core and it is supposed to run at only the same speed as a single core chip of the same frequency, NOT rating.
My experience differs greatly in this, Serious Sam 2, thief 2 & NFSMW:BE all work much smoother when running with affinity set for both cores. Similarly encoding audio or processing video on a non-optimised program is much faster than on a single core.

AMD still uses DDR @400 / PC3200, which is low latency, decent bandwidth.
Intel has gone for DDR2 (aka DDR500/533) which has higher bandwidth, but abysmally high latencies.

Current chipset favourite seems to be the Nforce4 or Nforce4 SLI version, which allows two video cards with the same RAM/VPU to work as one, but increase your framerate or detail levels. This is the same for either Intel or AMD, but the sockets are different of course.

The nforce 4 has native support for IDE Raid & Sata Raid. No sound though. You’ll have to look at getting a PCI sound card (or a PCIEx1 would be nice too, if someone would just release one of the damn things).

How much do you want to spend and what if anything do you want to use from your old system (or will it be a completlly new system)? I’ll second that recomendation of the nforce 4 chipset and personally my favorite right now are the abit fatality boards (though a little bit on the expensive side).

Well, I don’t want to end up getting a cheap system that is going to give me troubles in a year or so , but I also don’t want to spend a “wallet-full” on a new system. I figured I could save a few things , like my drives and such, but as far as guts go , I’m looking to completely upgrade those.

Did you build your current system (if it is custom built you may very well have several usable parts).
I’m not that farmiliar with intells but I could give recomendations on other stuff including amd stuff, though I couldn’t tell you how they compare to intell.
If you list your system specs (everything you know), it might help us find where upgrades could help. Personally, if you don’t want to spend a lot now, piece by piece upgrading works great an you can get particular parts when very good deals come along.

Yes , my current PC , I built from scratch. I was hoping to save some of the hardware for the new PC , but it looks like I may need to get another video card, as almost 90% of the newer boards I see have that PCIe slot.

Sad thing is , I just got a new video card for xmas. Perhaps I can find one that still has an AGP slot.

Where are you? This can help us find suppliers and point to sites that are doing special offers like bundles, after all it would be useless me saying give the ones I use in Mancland a shot if you live in New York.

I’m in Florida. We used to have a nice place here called TCWO, perhaps a few of you may have heard of it a while ago. They’ve long since closed though, so I now spend my coin @ newegg, and have been much happier doing so.

We have some mom & pop places, and of course the big retail chains, but both of those are either high-priced and/or unreliable.

Usually the small places are the most reliable in my experience as their business depends on customer service and word of mouth to survive, and they tend to be cheaper too, it is funny how tings can differ so much between countries.

Personally I prefer AMD processors over Intel, no technical reason why, but for the ease of upgrading as you can sometimes upgrade the CPU without having to get a new motherboard or memory you couldn’t dp this with Intel. For example I upgraded my own and two others from Duron to AthlonXP in the past and all that I had to do was change the jumpers for the clock speed and add a better heatsink-fan.

It’s not exactly clear what your budget is, but I would not suggest dual-core at the moment; the outlay is too much for what you get in return. Additionally you can buy a mainboard that takes dual-core and upgrade when dual-core prices fall. A single core AMD 64 3700+ San Diego will provide quite a boost in performance from a P4 2.4 system. Prices for AMD chips rise steeply after this level for lesser performance returns. 3700+ chips also overclock extremely well.

Graphics wise, I’d definitely recommend you go PCI-Express. You can always sell your Xmas present on eBay. SLI mainboards will allow use of one PCI-E card or two [GeForce] PCI-E cards to be connected in tandem for faster operation although, in my opinion, it’s only of real benefit when you’re installing top-end cards. Crossfire is ATI’s competing system to SLI and requires a Crossfire compatible mainboard. You also need to take into account the extra heat that two fast graphics cards generate.

In fact new systems generate quite a bit of extra heat than you’ll be used to. For that reason it’s essential to have a case with good cooling. Try to find one with 120mm fans or at least one that can take 120mm fans, they spin at a lower speed than their 80mm counterparts and for that reason are less noisy.

Watch what CPU heatsink-fan you get. Don’t get the AMD boxed retail processor; go for the OEM chip. That way you’re not paying extra for a fancy box and a rubbish noisy heatsink/fan. Use the saved money on a quality CPU cooling arrangement.

If you’re thinking of adding new memory to the existing memory you have, please ensure that it’s the same exact memory (memory manufacturers module product code) If you try to mix memory modules, you could end up with random crashes, stability problems or your machine might not even boot at all. If you don’t know what your existing memory is then I’d buy all new memory from a good quality brand like Kingston, Corsair, Geil, etc. You can also check on mainboard manufacturers’ websites what memory modules they have certified for use.

Finally a word on power supply choice: get the best you can afford. Brands such as Seasonic, Enermax, Antec will sort you out. Most PSU’s now come with 120mm fans for quiet operation, but Seasonic are particularly well known for quiet operation. Unfortunately the cabling isn’t as generous, or well presented as some of the other competing brands.

Hope that helps ye!

Good Luck!

For video editing, it may help if you start with more memory than would normally be fitted to a “general” PC - a pair of 1GB modules (for 2GB of dual-bus RAM) would be a reasonable target - better to have more “value” RAM than less exceptionally fast RAM, though if planning to overclock the CPU, you want RAM that can take the overclocked bus speed without having to change dividers.

One thing to watch with AMD - their new version WILL be DDR2 RAM, socket AM2

While the current speed levels see only a small benefit (comparing fast timings DDR with the best DDR2), it casts DDR memory as a legacy platform, though the 754 and 939 Athlons will be some time dying … after all, AGP is now “legacy” and they still produce a good range of cards for it.

As I’d put it…

I’d rather not buy into a DDR based platform now, but if you favour AMD, then it may be too long to wait.

Also, I’d rather not buy into Windows XP now (final 2 year support phase begins when Vista launches), but it may be too long to wait - ideally, given the chance, you should have a complete moratorium upgrading/building until AMD Socket AM2 and Micro$loth Vista are available, or you could be buying into hardware and software platforms that are past their sell by date.

Mind you, if you consider the Intel alternative, it would be nice to get the newer “Core” CPU, than the current models based on the “Netburst” architecture that they appear to be retiring in favour of a more elegant evolution from an earlier line.

I had set aside about $850 for a new pc , which should if spent wisely, allow for a few new toys as well.

It’s pretty much boiled down to the same problem I had the last time, amd or intel. :confused:

Now that I’ve put togther a small list of possible boards, that’s all I have to decide. (( I HOPE ))