Good time to build?

Kuo

Gawd
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So I've been debating building a new computer for myself for the past year now... but haven't really had the justification. Combined w/ crazy hours at work, it just never happened.

Now, work has tapered off a little and my interest in building a new computer has been re-kindled because (1) my friend just got one and (2) the PSU I'm using is a loan from a friend and I have to return it this month (he needs it back... and I'm borrowing it cause my old one died on me).

So I'm just wondering - is now a good time to buy? Are prices and items out there pretty good/stable? Is there something right around the corner that I might want to wait on? Not because I want to get top of the line, but because it might drive current prices down?

I'm not looking to get the best of the best. I'm looking to budget 800-1000 for this... I really don't need something THAT much more powerful, but I figure 800-1000 will still build me something that'll last me a while. The rig in my sig is what I'm still using, and it's sufficed for most anything I've wanted to do (and it's old!).

And before I get the "if you always wait, you can wait forever" - thing is, I've already waited a year.... what's a little more? If there's something in the next 1-2 months, I'm really not in that much of a rush. Now 3+ months I won't really consider unless it's mind blowing.
 

Yz388

Limp Gawd
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Feb 18, 2005
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Opinion so dont attack me

There is always that something that is coming out. I would say go for it. Now is a great time to build yourself one, and depending on how much time you have, you can simply look for the best deal for each individual part.

Similar as to when I wanted my new TV. Should I buy it now or wait for the new series? If you are constantly waiting for the next best thing, your doing that, constantly waiting. All in all, go for it :)
 

Shambler

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I completely agree with Yz388
I have been in the "waiting loop" for the last 2 years... and finally, next week I will be ordering the first few items for my new PC.

Seriously, break it now, and get a new compy!
 

enginurd

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Nehalem is Intel's new architecture, scheduled for release in Q4'08. Mainstream parts should come in the following quarter (Q1'09). Nehalem will include an integrated memory controller (ICM; a current feature of the AMD K8 CPUs) and a new tech called Quick Path Interconnect (QPI; similar to AMD's HyperTransport). You will need a new motherboard (socket B; LGA1366) and most likely DDR3 for this platform.

Since Nehalem's release is quite far away according to your listed timeframes, I'd say you're about ready to build now. I always recommend people to wait as long as they can, and buy when they can't wait any more. While Nehalem may lower prices of current and near future parts, you'll be waiting almost another year. So, if you can wait that long (your system is good enough and you don't foresee too much work in about a year), then do so and just buy a cheap but good PSU for now. Otherwise, now is always a good time to buy if you NEED something.

So, what do you do with your system?
What games do you play and at what settings/resolution?
What size monitor do you plan on using or buying?
What's included in your $800-$1000 budget? (tax, shipping, OS, monitor, kb, mouse, etc)?

To give you an example of what can be built right now...
$225 - MSI 8800GTS 512MB ($30MIR @ newegg)
$220 - Core2Quad Q6600
$110 - MSI P35 Neo2-FR
$110 - WD6400AAKS
$85 - Corsair 550W ($15MIR @ buy.com)
$78 - 4GB DDR2-800 ADQVE1B16K
$70 - some CM case (elite 330, centurion 532/534, rc-590/690)
$26 - Samsung DVDRW SATA
==========
$929 + tax and shipping
 

Kuo

Gawd
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Messages
641
I always recommend people to wait as long as they can, and buy when they can't wait any more. While Nehalem may lower prices of current and near future parts, you'll be waiting almost another year. So, if you can wait that long (your system is good enough and you don't foresee too much work in about a year), then do so and just buy a cheap but good PSU for now. Otherwise, now is always a good time to buy if you NEED something.
Yeah, that's one of the big reasons I haven't acted on my desire to build in the past year - I haven't had the NEED. Which is also why I said I'm willing to wait a few more months if it would make a difference: I still don't have a NEED. But waiting a year... that is a bit far, haha. While I don't have a need, sometimes I just do want to splurge a little on myself :D Obviously that's a purchase decision I'll have to make myself.

But so yeah, my general question on "when" to buy has been answered - now is as good time as any. I just have to ask myself if I SHOULD buy.

So, what do you do with your system?
What games do you play and at what settings/resolution?
What size monitor do you plan on using or buying?
What's included in your $800-$1000 budget? (tax, shipping, OS, monitor, kb, mouse, etc)?
Mostly surf the web, chat, light gaming, and some video & audio encoding. I have a TV Capture card on my computer, and I like to plug my PS2 into it, record some gameplay/cutscenes/etc, and re-encode it all. Or maybe my friends got drunk and made another crazy video w/ their digital camera.. and I might re-encode it, re-do the audio a little so it's a little more audible, add some background music, etc. Nothing really "heavy" in terms of encoding though. For the most part, I actually queue things up overnight and go to bed :D

Games? WoW... and before I get jumped at for playing that "life sucking game".. really, I've been working so much I'm lucky to get a few hours in a week. I just keep an account active and play to unwind/destress at times. But looking into the future, I definitely want to be able to support Starcraft2 & Spore. Those are my anticipated games. I do not do FPS much.

Monitor.... I don't currently use, but I want to be able to support a 20" widescreen. I actually own one, but I've 'generously' loaned it semi-permanently to my brother (since I really wasn't getting much computer time for a while, I didn't have a need for a 'nice' monitor). It's the Dell 2007FPW.

What's included in my price: I'm going to need everything EXCEPT keyboard, mouse, speakers, and software. My parents use a POS machine.. and I've decided that if I build a new one, I'll pass this old one down to them.. it's still better than what they're using! So I won't be scrapping it completely - just grabbing a few of the HDs out. I own windows xp... and I'm wondering now if I'm allowed to install vista on my personal computer if I say i'll work on my personal computer... need to check msdn subscription fine print, haha.

To give you an example of what can be built right now...
$225 - MSI 8800GTS 512MB ($30MIR @ newegg)
$220 - Core2Quad Q6600
$110 - MSI P35 Neo2-FR
$110 - WD6400AAKS
$85 - Corsair 550W ($15MIR @ buy.com)
$78 - 4GB DDR2-800 ADQVE1B16K
$70 - some CM case (elite 330, centurion 532/534, rc-590/690)
$26 - Samsung DVDRW SATA
==========
$929 + tax and shipping

Cool, that gives me a nice place to start. I didn't specifically pick out parts, but a month ago I took a quick look at prices, and just to share, this is what I had been thinking:
Video card: I didn't actually pick one, but I had budgeted $200, so your recommendations falls within range
CPU: Core2Duo E6600 --- but it looks like in the weeks since I last looked at this, the Q6600 has dropped in price to match what the E6600 was a month ago! $230 was my original budget
Mobo: Had picked the DFI Lanparty DK P35-T2RS LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX board. Budget was $150.
HD: I had generically budgeted ~100 to it for whatever SATA drive was on sale at bestbuy or something...
PSU: I originally put a $105 budget for this, and that would have been the Corsair CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W PSU.... I'll definitely look at buy.com now.
RAM: Had been debating between 2 or 4 gigs. 2 gig had a budget of 35 while 4 gig had a budget of 60 (there was a sale on A-Data at the time I believe).
Case: 70. Did no research, just picked 70 from past experience.
Optical Drives: $30 (your suggestion works).

So yeah, the build you spec'd out for ~900 is in the same ballpark of what I had in mind. I guess it's time to really bunker down and look into individual parts specifically...

and one last thing.. enginurd, the actual components you picked for this build. were they parts you would specifically recommend? Or more of a placeholder to get a general "this is what you can get for this price" idea?
 

Dangman

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and one last thing.. enginurd, the actual components you picked for this build. were they parts you would specifically recommend? Or more of a placeholder to get a general "this is what you can get for this price" idea?

Judging from enginurd's past 100000:))) posts here on the forums, the answer is most likely "both". Though it can be tweaked a little bit to match your needs. Though the build as it is now is an excellent build.
 

enginurd

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Yah, what Danny said. ;)

The E6600 is old and was replaced almost a year ago with the E6750 (8x333=2.66Ghz $220). Now the E6750 has been replaced by the E8400 (9x333=3.0Ghz $200). The new quadcores came out, pushing down prices of the current quads (Q9300 and Q9450). If you want the CPU to last a while, I'd suggest sticking with the quadcore. If you don't think you'll get much use out of it, go with the E8400.

The DFI board is good, too. Danny has a list of a bunch of other boards that typically get recommended here. What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? eSATA?

The Corsair 520W would work, too. Its also nicely priced at buy.com. It offers almost the same amount of power as the 550W non-modular unit that I recommended above.

Danny has a nice list of cases you should check out. Sorry, I'm too lazy to search for it, lol. Hopefully he'll post it.
 

Dangman

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Messages
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Since the lists were asked for, here they are:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Intel P35 Motherboard - $90
MSI P35 Neo2-FR Intel P35 Motherboard - $110
DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL Intel P35 Motherboard - $120
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3R Intel P35 Motherboard - $122
DFI LanParty DK P35-T2RS Intel P35 Motherboard - $140
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3P Intel P35 Motherboard - $148
Abit IP35 Pro Intel P35 Motherboard - $170
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 Intel P35 Motherboard - $170
Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS4 Intel X38 Motherboard - $207

Just to help you out: If you don't need RAID, more than 4 SATA ports, check out the DS3L. If you need 5 SATA ports, 2 eSATA ports, and a second PCI-E x16 port, then get the Neo2-Fr. If you want heavy overclocking abilities and six SATA ports, check out the Blood Iron. If you like the BloodIron but want significantly better overclock stability, go for the LanParty. If you want 8 SATA ports, RAID, and legacy ports and high overclocks, than the DS3R is a good choice. If you want the DS3R but need Firewire and a second PCI-E x16 port, then go for the DS3P. If you want something that can overclock pretty damn high along with, RAID, eSATA ports and firewire connections, than the IP35 Pro. If you like the DS3P but want better cooling for overclocking, then go for the DS4.

Case Recommendations:
Cooler Master Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP ATX Case - $40
Cooler Master Centurion 534 ATX Case - $50
Cooler Master Centurion 532 ATX Case - $55
Cooler Master RC-590-KKN1-GP ATX Case - $60
Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP ATX Case - $70
Cooler Master Mystique RC-632S-KKN1-GP ATX Case - $75
Antec Solo - $78
Lian Li Lancool PC-K7B ATX Case - $80
 

l177l3d

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
218
bottom line... build urself a new comp before u realize that ur using something from the stoneage ^^
 

Kuo

Gawd
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Jun 7, 2001
Messages
641
Ok normally I don't like reviving old threads.. but there was just so much helpful info here I couldn't help it.

So it's been 1.5 months since I last posted. Ironically, the second I announce I have time to start building a new computer, work goes bonkers again.... now, I've set myself a target. July 4th weekend! I'm telling myself that I will order all these parts I need between now and then.. and assemble it over the July 4th weekend.

I just had one quick question -- are Danny Bui's recommendations made on 5/2 still good 1.5 months later? I'm going to head on over to the mobo discussion thread right after this... but I was wondering how much of this info I could still use. Not THAT much has changed in 1.5 months, right?! =)
 

enginurd

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Actually, new mobos and vidcards are out. So, you should update your choices based on the new offerings, P45 Express and NVIDIA GT260/GT280. New ATI cards should be out next week, so wait for those, too.
 

Shambler

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
6,420
I completely agree with Yz388
I have been in the "waiting loop" for the last 2 years... and finally, next week I will be ordering the first few items for my new PC.

Seriously, break it now, and get a new compy!



ROFL, I completely forgot about posting in this thread. And guess what? I'm still waiting. BREAK THE CYCLE! Buy it now so you don't go bat shit crazy.


And yes, I am currently going bat shit crazy. Wife tells me to buy, I keep thinking Nehalem, GTX260 blah blah blah.
Current PC is a P4 3.4 :( Seriously, a bottom of the line Emachines would dominate my current computer.
 

dhc014

Gawd
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May 1, 2003
Messages
582
Instead of buying the 8800GTS 512MB now, you should wait to see what ATI's HD48X0 has to offer.
 

Kuo

Gawd
Joined
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Messages
641
Actually, new mobos and vidcards are out. So, you should update your choices based on the new offerings, P45 Express and NVIDIA GT260/GT280. New ATI cards should be out next week, so wait for those, too.

Heh, I was just looking through that list of Mobos that was recommended prior.. and had been liking the Gigabyte GA-EP35-DSR3. I guess it's partially cause of new stuff that it's also now $100 after MIR. Same w/ the vid card (MSI 512M OC GeForce 8800GTS)... $190 after MIR & S/H.

Newegg does have combo deals for the Q6600 & Corsair 520W right now though.. so I think I'm going to go ahead w/ that. Partially cause if I start buying, I'll be forced to finish! haha.

I'll look around about mobos right now... and maybe I'll decide I don't need the new stuff. Don't know yet (not really sure what the P45 Express is yet).

As for the video card, I'll definitely wait till next week then. And there's all this funny stuff about Nvidia fixing prices too that I'm reading in the video card forums....

[edit] Oh and thanks for the tips!

and lol.. sad.. when'd newegg open a branch in NY? now I gotta pay sales tax.... haha.
 

enginurd

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P45 Express is the die shrink of P35 Express (90nm to 65nm). Since its a die shrink, it will require less voltage, run cooler, and hopefully OC better. If not, at least it adds PCI-E 2.0 and better Crossfire support (8x/8x). Its not worth a huge price premium or wait time over P35 boards, so if you need something right now, and a P35 board suffices your needs, then go for it. P45 boards will have a price premium for the first month or so. However, if you don't mind the price premium, and its less than an X38 board, go for a P45.

$310 for the Q6600 and HX520W (-$20MIR)... not a bad deal. Normal price as if you'd get the PSU from buy.com, though.

Tax in NY isn't cuz newegg has a physical presence... its because your state passed a law that requires all eTailers to collect the USE tax for them (use tax is the compliment of sales tax).
 

Kuo

Gawd
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641
$310 for the Q6600 and HX520W (-$20MIR)... not a bad deal. Normal price as if you'd get the PSU from buy.com, though.

Tax in NY isn't cuz newegg has a physical presence... its because your state passed a law that requires all eTailers to collect the USE tax for them (use tax is the compliment of sales tax).

Heh, I actually did grab a 550W from buy.com last month when you told me of the rebate... just turns out I need that 550W elsewhere, so have to buy a 2nd PSU. Seems like that rebate offer has moved from buy.com to newegg.

And darn, NY evidently doesn't think they tax me enough! =(
 

enginurd

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Yah, the buy.com rebates aren't back yet. So yah, I'd get the combo deal from newegg if I needed both.

lol... no state thinks they tax their residents enough.
 

Kuo

Gawd
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Hi everyone again :D It'll prob be the last time I revive this thread again... so bear with me.

It's been ~1 week since I last posted... and I've spent some time looking into parts & prices again. Just wanted to share what I had in mind:

RAM: Corsair XMS2 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 Memory Kit - $65.90 AFTER MIR
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10006082

Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro
Video Card: Asus EAH4850/HTDI/512M
$312.38 AFTER MIR (From Newegg, combo deal)

CPU: Intel Q6600 - $186.92
Fry's Electronics

Case: Antec LifeStyle Solo - $89.24
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=202701372&loc=101

PSU: Corsair 520W PSU - $84.99 AFTER MIR (hey they're doing their PSU rebate again!)
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=203270716&loc=101

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS Hard Drive - 640GB - $98.24
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=206827115&loc=101

Optical Drive -- Take current DVD Burner from current build

5% off buy.com coupon
http://www.buy.com/retail/coupon.asp?prid=84773074

If you're wondering about the vendors... I was just trying to avoid Newegg's sales tax when possible, lol. And I trust Zipzoomfly & Buy.com for the most part =)

[edit] If anyone wonders why my Newegg price is higher than their site.. it's cause I added tax to it....
 

enginurd

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What was that? Tax evasion? =X

Anyhow, looks good. I hate rebates, so I try to avoid them as much as possible.
 

Kuo

Gawd
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641
Heh, it's just price shopping! Not evading anything :D

Hey so I just realized.. I didn't buy any fans. In the past w/ my AMD systems, I've always had to pick up HSF... but Intel comes w/ stock HSF.. so I didn't bother to do it.

Think I should this time around? Unless the case comes w/ fans.. I didn't grab any there either.

How much of a difference does all that make these days? I'm an AC freak (I hate hot temperatures), so the computer will be in a room temperature of around 70 F. (So I love AC, but I'm too cheap to keep it on lower than 70 F, lolol).
 

AndonSage

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... but Intel comes w/ stock HSF.. so I didn't bother to do it.

The stock HSF will work if you won't be overclocking, although it's not the quietest HSF around. If you are going to overclock, I suggest the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle HSF - $37 & Xigmatek ACK-I7751 Rentention Bracket - 7$.

Unless the case comes w/ fans.. I didn't grab any there either.

Fans can make quite a difference. For the best cooling with low noise, get these 120mm Yate Loon D12SL-12 Case Fan (or Jab-Tech: 120mm Yate Loon D12SL-12 Case Fan).
 

Kuo

Gawd
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Jun 7, 2001
Messages
641
I do plan on OCing a little, but not sure how far I wanna push the system.

How much of an OC different would stock vs 3rd party HSF make? I use to always have an issue w/ buying a 60 buck HSF if I could just get a faster speed by spending 60 more on the processor, lol.

I do care about noise though.. so the comment that the stock is not the quietest around might be enough for me to purchase a 3rd party.

Off to read HSF reviews and noise level comparisons! :D
 

enginurd

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Get the Xigmatek. If the fan is too loud for you, you can always pickup an S-Flex fan to swap it with.
 

Kuo

Gawd
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Messages
641
Yep, I've just read a bunch of stuff about the Xigmatek and it looks great. And Newegg is doing free shipping on it too!

The whole bracket retention thing though is funny... still looking into that.
 

Kuo

Gawd
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Messages
641
OK, I've decided to grab that HSF w/ the bracket.. seems like the bracket really helps.

Now I got a funny question... I have 3 tubes of artic silver 3 lieing around from LONGGGGG ago. LOL, can I still use those? haha.

[edit] Out of laziness, I decided to throw in a new order of artic silver 5 anyway.. mind as well =)
 

enginurd

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The bracket makes it MUCH easier to install. Your old AS3 might have become seperated; if so, you'd have to remix it if you wanted to use it. Use the new AS5 instead, since you already ordered it. ;)
 
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