Help me decide; build comp or buy?

Hey all, Recently I’ve had the urge to get a desktop as I cant play even the most basic game like ‘spiderman’ or ‘call of duty’ on my laptop, as the graphics card is an ATI mobility radeon 9000, thats uses the same RAM as the computer. Ive got a P4 2.8ghz with 2 kingston ram cards so with the g card set to use 128mb , i get about 896mb system ram. When I try to run call of duty, the game lags to the point it cant be played, or you cant shoot properly.

I want to get a computer but don’t want to buy a prebuilt one as don’t need some of the parts they offer, namely a wireless internet card, a dvd writer, a graphics card (ive got an old geforce 128mb card, i think it might have been a 4400, I don;t need a monitor as I can just connect it to the laptop screen till I save more money either.

Basicly I want a computer that can play average games, not intense games like oblivion or the latest unreal tournament etc. Games that I’d like to be able to play are GTA vice city, call of duty, general racing games, far cry, splinter cell pandora tomorow etc. I’vegot both far cry and splinter cell pandora tomorow but those have just been sitting on my shelf as I cant play them. I wouldnt want to spend more than 80 pounds on the graphics card but could stretch to 100 pounds. I like to tinker around with photoshop also, so that would be my other need.

My budget is 500 pounds. Here is what I’d like;

A processor that is equal or better than a P4 3.0ghz but wouldnt mind 3.2ghz if budget allows, 1 gig ram, a good 128mb graphics card, an 80 gb 7200rpm hard disk (sata not really necessary), firewire 800 ports. Dual core would be cool but not necessary if the computer can go fast through encoding etc.

I’ve never built a computer before and wouldnt want to end up getting the wrong parts or frying the cpu with static by mistake etc, specially if the cpu is worth worth over 100 pounds. Can anyone reccomend the parts or at least a site that can offer me that sort of price without forcing components on me that I don;t need? I mean I could easily get a hard disk of my choice from, a graphics card of my choice and ram of my choice. I really just need someone to fit the mobo into the case, fit any extra coolant needed, fit the fans. I can install the graphics card, the ram, the hdd, the writer. I’m just wary of touching the processor and damaging it while trying to install it. I’ve heard of socket 775 but also wouldnt want to get the cpu and mobo combo wrong.

Thanks for your advice,

I plan to build my own computer soon… just because i want to say that i have built a computer lol… look at this site

The Site is a little slow but these are some of the things you can consider:

Water Cooling :

Power Supply Calculater :

XOV Tools Tempeture and wattage :

The case depends on what you want to do. CPU depends on the motherboard. You can use fans instead of water cooling. The power supply Calculater will be very useful. It will let you know what size you’ll need to power all your stuff including fans, LED’s, Drives Ect…

Here are the parts I want:

graphics card:
Nvidia 6800XT 256mb

£88 pounds

If I want to choose a case, and it says 360 watt PSU included, can I put in my own 430 watt PSU?

for encoding and gaming, go for the amd64/3000, they overclock well, dirt cheap,
lower power and heat. the P4 platform is dead in the water, intel is going to core
technology, emulating amd64’s.
save on the cpu and use a gig of good ram, big difference

Yes as long as it’s not an acrylic case you can. If it’s a acrylic case then the PSU can’t exceed a certain wattage unless you build the case. How many fans? MOBO? Drives? hard drives? Lights? This is stuff that matters when you buy a PSU you don’t want one too high because of heat. You don’t want one too low because you won’t get enough power to everything that is needed. You can do this on your own buy using the power supply calculater. I usually go with 5+ fans, 2 SLI grafics cards and 2 drives plus 3 Hard drives that way if I do a little less I know it will supply enough power.

also decided on

What case would you reccomend?? I am looking for something that will take a PSU of around 400 watts, and has around 6 slots for a firewire card, graphics, sound, wireless card, and two spare for future upgrade.

I cant see any beige or white cases for my two white dvd writers, can anyone reccomend a case that the mobo i just mentioned a 400watt PSU, that can take 2 to 3 optical drives??

I dont really understand the ghz side of AMD processors, Whats the same speed as a 3,2 ghz p4???

I use these two sites to get my parts. I suggest do your homework(not being rude) and read all you think you need to know I use google and get info before I go and put a new one together. If you want some good forums to look at what people say about MOBO’s and CPU’s ect… I’ll gladly link them or PM them to you.

ghz and AMD this is usless info unless you stay with intel. The thing to look at is FSB L1 & L2 cache. ect…

Another good read and info as for speed.

I am a pro AMD, but if you are used to intel, stay with it!!!
Just always try to get the latest technology. You will keep it longer, and sometime update a few components!!!

Ok, here is what i think I’d like then:

Part Number: 2181
Price: 81.96(GBP)

Part Number: 2909
Price: 88.11(GBP)

Part Number: 3322
Price: 49.98(GBP)

Part Number: 3825
Description: AMD ATHLON 64 3500+ 512KB SOCKET 939 VENICE
Price: 104.94(GBP)

Part Number: 8534
Description: MERCURY MIDI CASE KC-8806 400W IVORY
Price: 18.62(GBP)

Goods Cost (excluding Delivery): 393.59(GBP)
Goods Cost Inc VAT: 462.47(GBP)

Could someone please reccomend a beige/white/silver case for me as well as a PSU?? I will not be using any sort of lights in my case.

Parts that I already have are 2 dvd writers, 1 wireless internet card, 1 two port USB card.

This case looks good, will it be alright for a 400 watt psu?
also this looks good:

anyone?? :frowning:

Since I don’t know all the details I just di the imagine thing and I think you’ll be happier with a 500 watt PSU power supply unit. It sounds like it would be the choice to go with. I would recomend a hiper :




Here’s the link to look at all of them you will want one that is SLI compliant.

SLI, isnt that using two graphics cards??? I dont really want to spend twice as much on graphics :confused: Or is that just what my mobo ive chosen offers, and therefor need a PSU that suits the mobo?

I was thinking you were since the mobo is SLI compatible. I would look at the last link it will show all the PSU’s and you can decide what’s best. I still would go for a 500 watt that way when you want to add and do any upgrading later you’ll know that the PSU will work fine. On a budget I can understand but you need to keep in mind sometimes you get what you pay for too. 100.00 USD for a 500 watt is a great deal I think. alot of gamers recomend this wattage too.

do I have to fit the cables myself or do they come with the PSU?? Will I HAVE to use rounded cables?? Isnt there a higher chance of problems with rounded cables??

Is this case
good for the mobo ive chosen and this PSU,

There is other 500 watts PSU if you prefer the regular cable. On the problems flat IDE ribbons tend to fail faster than the rounded. I can only suggest good PSU’s you can choose whatever PSU you wish but like I said I’d recomend a 500 watt PSU rounded or regular wires as for the problems on wiring on the PSU I never heard of these problems. If you want to look on newegg’s website you may see more and find a cheaper one. Least you’re researching instead of just jumping. the rounded comes with the PSU and it’s like a coaxial on the PSU and regular on the connecting the drives.

you wont have any problems with rounded cables, they just allow better airflow. The only possible problem is that they could be too short.