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  1. #1
    May 2010

    Cool First time PC Build

    Okay I'm planning on building a PC this summer while on break, however I am a total noob when it comes to building one myself. I know that I'm gong to be using it Mainly as media jukebox for my movies and songs, and some gaming. (mainly RTS's like Starcraft 2 when its released, Mass Effect one and 2, and the occasional shooter) I don't need anything that will max out something like Crisis but I'd like to be able to run these games at there highest reasonable settings. Other then the gaming it will be used for media streaming and possibly trans-coding across my home network. I'll still have my Dell XPS m1530 to lug around for classes in the fall.

    That's what it's going to be used for but the problem is I don't know where to start and what all ultimately needs to be done when building the system and breaking it in.

    So first off, How should I pick my hardware components? I'm aiming to spend about $1000 dollars but am willing to go to $1500 but I also need to get a monitor as well. I'll likely go after a SSD and other possible upgrades toward Christmas. I don't need a Hard Drive or the OS as I already have both, but do need a Blue-ray drive.

    Secondly-Would I be better off spending more Money on a better CPU and GPU then more Ram? (4 or 6 gig vs 8 or more)

    Thirdly - Once its all assembled what needs to be done? Drivers and OS install is a given but Do i need to break it in and if so How would I go about that? What is a good benchmarking tool?

    Finally - Anything else I need to know or consider? Any sources, suggestions, and guidance will be greatly appreciated because as a Computer Engineering Student this is the stuff I wish I was learning

  2. #2
    Oct 2010

    Re: First time PC Build

    1. The HW Leaderboard is a great starting point, from there you should give/take components around your budget to suit your needs.

    2. In my opinion going with 6 GB and a better gpu/cpu is the way to go. To my knowledge there would not be a hugely noticeable difference between 6 and 8 GB, whereas the games you mentioned would benefit greatly from a better performing gpu and cpu.

    3. As you stated, OS installation and drivers is a given. Generally tweaks are then made via the BIOS to increase performance i.e overclocking, fan settings, memory timings, etc. 3DMark Vantage is a great benchmarking tool for 3D graphics and gaming. Prime95 is generally the preferred tool for benchmarking CPU/memory work, as it does a fantastic job at utilising full CPU performance.

    That's about it. I highly suggest you keep your list of components on a piece of paper with prices, as relying on memory when your mind changes daily is a pain in the ass. Best of luck for your building.

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