Computer build

Hi guys,
Wondering if I can get some tips. I am newbie at this and building my first computer for my 13yo son for his birthday.

Specs are:
Thermaltake Soprano case w/430w psu
AM2 DC 3600+
Asus M2N-E mobo
512mb ram
Maxtor 250gb Sata II hdd
Samsung lightscibe DVD-RW
XP home.

Can anyone suggest a fairly decent graphics card ( on a budget ) and or comment on the specs.

Much appreciated.

512 MB RAM is not enough for today’s gaming. You may wish to add another 512 MB RAM.
If you want a cheap graphics card I would go for the NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or 7300 series. :slight_smile:
As we’re CD Freaks, I would recommend getting LG GSA-Hx2N instead of the Samsung. :wink:

Thanks heaps. My son is only a lite gamer and some school work, so this setup should be OK for him?

Well, then it is, as it is fully upgradeable :slight_smile:

It should be OK, but while he might be a lite gamer, the computer games he plays might not be that lite. But if it’s out of your budget, 512MB RAM will do for now, and another 512MB stick could always be added later if it’s needed.

Thanks Guys I really appreciate the feedback.

You can run 512 fornow. Be prepared to go to at least 1 gig by adding a stick when the price is right. I am not a gamer so a I would buy a basic graphics card that can handle general needs and those games you currently play. This is what upgrading is about. As to drives we all have an opinion-I use Sony reader/burners and have no issues with them. Be sure to use a quality burning program (I like Ashampoo) and discs (Verbatim). Good luck

. I dunno. I can’t keep up anymore. The magazine MaximumPC has a lot of good reviews of hardware with a bit of a slant towards gaming - check out their web site. I’m sure there are many other sites that will work just as well. If future upgrades are a major concern, I’d stay away from cutting-edge mobos/procs/gfx - go with technology that’s been around about a year (a long time when talking computers) and looks like it will be around tomorrow. This comes from an early-adopter of Beta and MiniDisc. :eek:
. I’m not much of a gamer (how demanding is the Solitaire game that comes with Windows? :bigsmile: ), but from what I’ve read, if a rig can handle the newer games, it can handle just about anything else a home user can throw at it with ease.

. I’d go with 1GB minimum. RAM usually provides the best bang for the buck. And that’ll probably be the practical minimum for Vista.

. Probably as many opinions on this as there are ppl. I believe that is the same drive I have in my newest rig (Dell Dim 9100) which has worked great for me and the reviewers seem to like it. Stick with a major brand and it’s hard to go wrong. SATA seems to be the new standard (but theres nothing wrong with xIDE) and the data cables are easier to route and don’t block as much airflow as xIDE. If you have a choice, get the model with the largest buffer. I’d recommend adding a 30-40GB drive for a boot drive and use the 250 for your page file, My Documents, big files, &c. Don’t forget to defrag every now and then.

. LightScribe has a high kewl factor, but, for my 50yo eyes, there’s not near enough contrast. 20-30 minute burn times for labels takes all the fun out of it. And the discs are still a bit pricey. A 13yo probably has a different POV. How much ya give me for a H-P 640 and a small assortment of LS media? :wink:

. I’d go with Pro, but there may be an advantage to using Home or Media for gaming platforms.

. I can’t keep up with the gfx card market, but, as rules of thumb (rule of thumbs? heehee), games put the most load on your system and gfx is a big part of the load. This is the last place you want to cut corners. Gfx is a VERY fast changing market and you should be able to pick up a last-year’s-model that will handle most games (unless you set the game for balls-to-the-walls gfx) for a very reasonable price. The aforementioned MaximumPC has lots of gfx card reviews. I often use TigerDirect for hardware - excellent online catalog, good prices, and the staff is usually very knowledgeable (or at least well-trained on how to find the info in their database).

. And well worth every penny you paid for it. Volume discounts available. :Z
. No connection to MaximumPC, TigerDirect, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Also check out NEWEGG. Their online catalog is loaded with all sorts of great deals. I just did my new burner from them and saved a bunch. Hard disc drives come in 3 basic flavors and I am still using EIDE versus SATA or PATA ones. TigerDirect is also a good source. You might want to find a “MarketPro computer show” in your area. They are harder to find anymore-but worth going to if you have something specific in mind. Cables come in flavors too and you need to have good ventilation witht he processor that you have. Keep everything neat and don’t forget to open the case every so often (after shutting down) and using some canned air to clean out the dust-this WILL prolong the life of the machine. Have fun with the project

I think EIDE is the same thing as PATA, so that would make 2 basic flavors. And if someone is just building a new computer, then he should go with SATA. There’s no difference in price and SATA is the newer, faster technology.

Also, this board comes with one IDE (PATA) interface, so you may as well save it for potentially connecting up to two ODDs. Go with the SATA drive.

nVidia 7300/7600 performs quite well.
Don’t expect to be able to play all new games with that card tho.
512Mb extra would help gaming performance and desktop performance when multiple apps are open at the same time.