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Considering Building a New PC

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by NewBert, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Although I have experience putting together PC's (installing motherboards, hard drives, videocards, DVD burners, etc), I have not kept up with what's the "latest and greatest".

    My current desktop system is about 5 years old, and was put together, at the time, primarily for gaming. It has an AMD 2600XP CPU and 1.5 Gigs of Ram - the most that my present motherboard (an Epox 8kha+) will accommodate. I'm using Capture NX2 for most of my processing now and have been using my laptop system, which is slightly faster than my desktop, for running it. Even so, NX2 bogs down when doing anything more than basic adjustments.

    I don't do any gaming anymore and would like to upgrade my desktop system with the goal of optimizing my photo-editing. However, I am on a budget - so I want to re-use my case and power supply, my videocard and perhaps a (reformatted) hard drive or two.

    So, I'm looking for a motherboard, CPU and Ram that will accommodate the components that I want to re-use. The motherboard will need to be ATX form factor, and AGP for the videocard. I have no preference between Intel and AMD, and realize that I would have to upgrade my Ram.

    I would appreciate any recommendations on motherboard and CPU.

    The requirement to accommodate my existing AGP videocard is limiting, I know. If that's impossible to meet, and a PCI-E card is necessary, please include one in your recommendations as well

  2. senna


    Jan 6, 2007
    San Jose Ca.
    I just built a system using
    Intel Q6600 quad core cpu $190
    4 gigs of ram $90
    asus m/b $129
  3. Thanks for that info.

    How has it worked out for you? Do you run NX2 with it?

    Can you provide me the motherboard model number? (I had an Asus mobo years ago, and it it worked out well.) Are you running Vista or XP?

    Finally, who did you purchase from? Also, I'd be curious to know the specs of your previous system, and how much of a performance increase you're seeing with the new system.

    (Sorry for all the questions.)
  4. senna


    Jan 6, 2007
    San Jose Ca.
    My old system was
    P4 3.0 ghz
    3 gigs of ram
    xp basic

    New system
    Q6600 quad core 2.44 ghz
    4gigs corsair xms ram
    asus p5q m/b http://www.centralcomputers.com/commerce/catalog/product.jsp?product_id=66903&czuid=1217734701296
    vista home premium

    I am still running nx 1.4 or whatever

    NX is way faster on the new sytem. I must admit that a couple downloads that was sugggested in another thread seamed to have the biggest boost to NX performance.
  5. turtile


    May 12, 2008
    You won't be able to find AGP on any current boards. Some already support PCI-Express 2. The ATX specifications have also changed but you should be able to use your old PSU. I would also purchase a new hard drive. An older hard drive will be much slower than the newer drives.
  6. Nchesher


    Jul 7, 2006
    You'll need a new video card that's right. Also most newer MOBO's are usuing SATA 2 for alot of stuff. You can build a helluva machine based around the Q6600 for around $1k. Honestly the only thing I'd consider reusing is the case.
  7. downloader


    Jul 25, 2008
    If you can wait for the back to school sales at best buy you can have your self a great deal. under $600 with lcd monitor included.
  8. Oh, I can definitely wait until then. I'm in no rush. If I can find something pre-built for under $600, that's powerful enough to run NX2 well, I'm interested. However, a pre-bought system will likely come with Vista, while I prefer to stick with XP. (I'm not sure how big an issue that is though.)

    Do you have any ideas when the back-to-school sales will be? And do you have any thoughts on a specific model PC?
  9. downloader


    Jul 25, 2008
    the back to school deals are not out yet, but last month I got a the HP m8400f media center quad core 3gb ram with nvidea gt8500 and a whooping 7200 hd with a hp 22 hdmi monitor for under $800. It comes with vista, but thats going to be the future. There are a lot of choices it depends on your budget. Good luck
  10. Well about a year ago I built myself a system and it was relatively easy

    Vists 64
    8GB RAM
    RAID 1 config

    Everything in software works perfectly fine... Easy to find 64bit drivers as well...
  11. j13jjs


    Aug 4, 2008
    Wow that is literally the exact system I built.

    In addition I have 1.5tb internal storage on 2 SATA drives.
    640mb 8800gts video card
    and viewing all of this on a beautiful Samsung 40inch 1080p 30,000:1 TV.
  12. MrDalgof


    Apr 6, 2006
    Colorado, USA
    I'm in the same boat too. I also built what was once a highend-ish gaming system that is now quite long in the tooth. But these days I don't even know if ATX is still a standard form factor, much less anything about the latest chipsets. And I really don't have the time or energy to research and price a new rig. I was thinking of just getting something off the shelf at Costco, but stopped short knowing I'd regret it once I wanted make a component upgrade.

    At least with this timely thread I have a shortcut to spec-ing a new system...
  13. While quadcore's are nice and cheap, they are mostly wasted on systems that run applications that can't use four cores. Sure you can force any of your four cores to use an application, however the OS and apps are simply not yet written to fully take advantage of four cores. I used run a Q6600 in my system but over time I noticed that the majority of my cores were simply unused, and I downsized to a Dual Core 3GHz CPU, which gets far more use in my system. I also switched to Vista 64bit and bumped my system up to 8G of RAM which made more of a difference to the overall performance to my system then two extra cores in my CPU ever did.

  14. Pesto126


    Apr 13, 2006
    Northeast USA
    I also just completed a new computer that dual boots XP and Vista 64...

    Quad Core Q6600
    GSkill 4GB PC6400
    WD 640 GB 7200 Sata (XP drive)
    Seagate Barracuda 250 GB 7200 Sata (Vista 64 drive)
    Tuniq Cooling Tower (for CPU - amazin!)
    EVGA 680i Motherboard
    EVGA GeForce 8800 512MB Video Card (I 3D game as well)
    OCZ Stealthstream 600W power supply
    20x DVD burner

    Total price came to $975 from newegg - couldn't be happier with the system. I went back and forth for weeks between dual core and quad - read all the articles and system guides, etc... in almost all cases, the results between the 2 for most software is minimal but the Quad is at least future proof for awhile and many software do take advantage of the extra cores. The price between the 2 were within $10 so it was a no brainer decision for me.

    Regardless - the system is simply amazing - PS loads in a few seconds, I have run 5-6 CPU/Memory intense programs simultaneously without issues.. and the tuniq tower keeps the system running quite smooth.

    The only problem I've had is with the video card - the fan makes a very slight "rubbing" noise when the system heats up and it ramps up the rpm's on it... I've read that this is a common issue with the card - something I didn't know before purchase so I wouldn't recommend it. Not a major thing.. but for the same price, you can get a different one.

    The build was very easy... the tuniq tower took some manuvering to get in place so be sure to get a case that has a removable motherboard tray..

    I'm very happy with this - puts my old AMD 64 system that I used for 3 years to shame and before I purchased it, I was almost happy with the performance.. Now, that's the family PC and this one is my digital workshop (and gaming rig...).

    With stores offering systems for $500-$600 for similar specs, it hard to justify the add'l prices.. but the joy of building it yourself and using the best of the best in terms of parts surely makes up for things in the long run - the 600W power supply is something you will not find in most Best Buy PC's... its energy efficient, and above all else, quiet. In fact, my whole system is nearly silent thx to the setup - a major plus with all the other "white noise" that surrounds us every day.

    Anyway... Hope this helps someway...
  15. rich_h


    Oct 9, 2007
    A dual core will be a little faster for a single application but I find a quad core to result in a much faster system overall. Remember, there are dozens of processes all running in the background in addition to the application.

    The other benefit of quad core is the ability to run multiple applications like DVD-creation, batch photoshop or lightroom operations, and still do useful work in Microsoft Office or IE.

    I also agree that Vista 64 with 8GB of ram is wonderful !

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