I Need help with a PC purchase.

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Hello,

My computer burned out this week it was randomly shutting down for a week or so then would not power on. I See burns on the mother board and can see a chip burned out.

I'm too leery of building an entire machine because I've tried before and destroyed the build. I Just need a pre built machine that will replace my old one and retain some of the parts I had.

The computer I was using is a Gateway PX4860-UB32P with 6gb DDR3 Ram. I was using an Antec Neo ECo 400C 400Watt 80+ PSU, and I Suspected it was what burned out my computer so I purchased a Corsair CX Series CX500 W 80 Bronze.

With the pc and Antec PSU I Have a Radeon HD6850 Graphics card. And a HP 2009M Monitor with a max resolution of 1600 X 900 /60 HZ.

If possible I'd like a computer that can use the Radeon HD6850, the HP 2009M Monitor, and the Corsair PSU.

As for the usage I Mostly play games with the PC, My original goal was to run Diablo 3 at max graphics with fraps running.

I Will be making the purchase in three weeks and plan to spend up to $500.
 

tiraides

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Which "chip" burned out?

How did you destroy your last DIY build?

Where are you from? Do you live near any brick-and-mortar computer stores?
 

Climber

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
5,283
If you can put those parts in you should be able to build from scratch. But any pre-build you buy will more than likely come with those parts already. Perhaps consider selling them on the FS/FT forum and see how much you get from them and you can get yourself a better pre-built.

Puget Systems I believe is a recommended pre-built vendor here.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Well I don't know which chip burned out, it was the one nearest to the Power hook up by the fan, I'm afraid I can't get more specific than that. As for how I destroyed my last build, I put everthing together and it did not power on.

I Do live near a brick and motar computer store and they said the Proccessor/Mother board were fried. I Sent the parts back and got a confirmation that the Motherboard was dead. The local store offered to put a build together for me for $150, if I let them order all the parts.

If I Bring the parts in they would charge $125 + $25 per day, and estimated 3-6 days.

I Can easily install a graphics card, RAM, PSU, and Hard drive. But, a complete build seems to fail me. As for the prebuilt machines I've never seen Puget Systems, and will check them out. The Gateway that I was using didn't have any of those parts in it and I'm thinking something along those lines for now.

Just wondering if there is a complete tower ready to use that I could purchase and use my existing parts to upgrade. Even if it's less ram, but, expandable with the ram from my gateway PC.
 

tiraides

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Here's my concern: You could easily put together a nice rig for $500 if you went the DIY route.

Here's one such example:

$184 - Intel Core i5 3470
$65 - MSI B75MA-P45
$56 - Corsair XMS3 2x4GB DDR3 1333 kit
$101 - Samsung 840 Series 120GB SSD
$18 - Lite-On IHAS124-04 SATA DVD burner
$50 - NZXT Source 210 Elite
=====
$474 - Subtotal (with free ground shipping, not including taxes or rebates)

If you reused your Corsair PSU, HD 6850, and hard drive, you would have a much better machine for around $500 than one you could find in any similarly priced prebuilt system. You would have a quad-core processor, a faster primary drive in the SSD, and a more spacious case. (You'd pay much more for a machine from Puget, but the folks there would probably build you a much better rig than mine.)

But this all works only if you're willing to assemble the computer yourself. If you brought the above parts to your local store, you'll wait at least three days and pay an additional $200 for something you could do during a weekend.

Personally, I don't believe that it's hard to build a computer. Granted, I built several systems myself over the years, including the ones in my signature, but there are plenty of guides designed to help the first-time builder. mechBgon is a great starting point, there are several how-to videos available online, and there is a series of links in the GenHard FAQ sticky [/shamelessplug].

Switching gears a bit, what kind of a system did your computer store offer you?
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
I Agree with you about a self build and I see the value to it, but, after the last time I tried I'm too worried I'll have the same experience. And I took a hit on restocking fees of the parts and shipping as well.

What they offered me was very similar to the gateway I posted, the specs were nearly the same, they wouldn't specify about the graphics card. I Can't really remember the details of the offer because it has been about 8 months or so. When I got the Gateway I was pretty happy with it once I got the Graphics card and PSU in it. I Even considered getting the same model gateway and putting the card and PSU in it. But, if I'm going to spend money I'd rather upgrade a bit.

I Did check out Puget and most of the systems I saw were over $1,000. That's double my budget.
 

aviphysics

[H]Lite
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
75
Perhaps you would feel more comfortable if you took your current system apart and put it back together following some of the on-line videos. Not that it will work after that, just that it will give you a little practice.

You could also look in the phonebook for an independent tech support guy. My brother is one of those guys and for about $100, he would put the computer together for you and might even walk you through it so you could do it next time.
 

Skillz

[H]ard DCOTY 2017
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
22,225
Don't let your first bad experince stop you. It's possible that it wasn't your fault, could have easily been bad hardware. Now you have the power of [H] to help you troubleshoot any problems you night have.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
If you're have to go prebuilt, go with a Dell. At least those are of higher quality than a Gateway. As for which Dell, thats honestly dependent on what sales shows up as Dell does have some pretty great desktop sales. But at the very least, CPU wise, aim for the Core i3.
 

Jason_CL

CaseLabs Forum Rep
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
186
I would agree with previous comments. Computer building has a lot of nuances that can kill first time builds. Bad hardware, wiring, even down to the motherboard standoffs can all be gruesome to a new builder.

Trust me, I was there once. I didn't know what the hell I was doing. After a while it almost becomes second nature, you don't even consider a lot of these things anymore, you just do them. Then you become more comfortable, you start modding, watercooling, overclocking, and spending more money on your rig than you do on dates.

Tis the way of the samurai.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Well the thought of building from scratch does seem very promising, but, it also brings back nightmares of my attempt. I Did look at some Dell pc's and I saw a inspiron 660 with windows 7 it's a bit higher than my current budget of $500, but, I can make that work.

I'm not sure that my PSU and Graphics card will both work with the Dell that I looked at. This is the one I am considering Dell 660.

Thanks for all the input so far, I'm considering purchasing a mother board for the Gateway that I have and using that as a project after I get a computer up and running.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Hello again,

Considering my budget and the price of a decent dell or any other pc. I Can't help but, reconsider going the DIY route. Looking at Tiraides build and considering the parts that I already have. I'd like to ask two questions.

1. Will my current HD and OS work in this build?
2. Is the Samsung 840 Series 120GB SSD needed for the initial build, or can I upgrade to that at a later time.

I Ask because if I do not need the SSD and can use my current HD and OS with the build then I could order parts today and start taking apart my old gateway to get a little more comfortable with the process. And I could also get a machine up and running in less time than it would take for my full budget to be avaible to me.

Thanks again for all the help and input.
 

tiraides

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Yes, you can recycle your HDD, video card, and PSU with this build. However, you will have to buy a new Windows license for your new system. Your current OEM license is tied to the motherboard in your Gateway system and it's non-transferable.

The Samsung SSD is not required, but it's highly recommended if you can afford it right now. Based on the particular brand/model and age of your HDD, the SSD may cause an substantial comparative improvement on your loading and startup times.
 

aviphysics

[H]Lite
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
75
Hello again,

Considering my budget and the price of a decent dell or any other pc. I Can't help but, reconsider going the DIY route. Looking at Tiraides build and considering the parts that I already have. I'd like to ask two questions.

1. Will my current HD and OS work in this build?
2. Is the Samsung 840 Series 120GB SSD needed for the initial build, or can I upgrade to that at a later time.

I Ask because if I do not need the SSD and can use my current HD and OS with the build then I could order parts today and start taking apart my old gateway to get a little more comfortable with the process. And I could also get a machine up and running in less time than it would take for my full budget to be available to me.

Thanks again for all the help and input.
I would wait on the SSD. I would also not look at the vanilla 120GB 840. The 128GB 840 pro isn't that much more. Even better would be to wait until you have enough for either 250GB 840, 500GB 840, or 256 GB 840 pro. Another drive to keep your eye on is the M500 256GB and 512GB models. They just launched but the prices on them will probably drop close to the Samsung vanilla 840 models. Personally, I went with the 500GB 840 because it is basically the best bang for the buck SSD available.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Well I ordered the parts and tried the build today. Per advice of a friend I work latex gloves on my right hand and wore a grounding strap. Everything seemed to fit together pretty well All in all it seemed like it was working out very smoothly.

But, when I plugged it in and hit the button.... Nothing happened. I Don't see how I could have done anything wrong, but, it didn't work. Any ideas of what Might have gone wrong or anything you can suggest?

Thanks.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Did you plug in the front panel ports?
Did you flip the rear switch on the PSU to "On"?
Did you plug the PSU to the wall outlet?
Did you plug in the 24Pin and 4/8Pin EPS12V connectors?
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Yes to the first three, I also plugged in the pci e plug on the video card. As for the 4/8Pin EPS12V connectors, I Assume you mean the 4 pin cpu connector? My PSU has a 6 pin connector that I connected there.
 

Skillz

[H]ard DCOTY 2017
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
22,225
You plugged the 6 pin PCIE connector into the 4 PIN CPU/EPS connector?!? You probably just fried your motherboard if you did that.

On a PCI-e 6 pin connector, the hot/+12v wires are on the other side of the clip. On the 4/8 pin EPS connector, the hot/+12v wires are on the same side of the clip.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
No not the 6 pin PCI e connector, that I plugged into the PCI e video card. The PSU only had two connectors left that could work one was a 6 pin PCI e the other was a 6 pin plug that said "CPU" on it. So the one with CPU on it is the one I plugged into the 4 pin slot. There was only one way it could plug in because of the set up of the mother board. There are no other PSU plugs left except the second PCI 3 plug, which, I connected to nothing.
 

Magix

[H]Lite
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
103
..are you sure you're counting right? The cx500 has an 8 pin PSU cable, which you can split in half if your mobo only requires a 4 pin input
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Magix you are correct I didn't count it right being in a hurry to do a quick reply. It's an 8 pin plug that I plugged into the 4 pin slot. I've tried everything I can think of and have tested the PSU and it is working. Not sure where the problem could be at this point.
 

tiraides

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
EDIT: Too slow. Listen to Danny first. If that doesn't work, then listen to me.

Disconnect all of the cables. Yes, all of them.

Break the cables down in "groups" (see below) and work on each group at a time to ensure that you've connected all of the cables. Reconnect them in the following order:

1) Front panel connectors (use the motherboard manual for guidance)
2) Fan cables, including the CPU cooler (if you're using the 3-pin or 4-pin motherboard connectors)
3) SATA cables
4) The PSU main ATX connectors (the 20+4 pin "motherboard" connector and the 4- or 8-pin ATX connector)
5) The PSU PCI-E connectors (for the video card)
6) All other PSU connectors

Use the PSU manual to ensure that you're connecting them in the proper order.

If that still doesn't work, there may be a problem with either the PSU or the motherboard. The "best" way to diagnose that problem is to perform a barebones bench test to weed out potentially bad parts.
 
Last edited:

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
I've tried shorting the power switch pins with a screw driver, and try the barebones bench test today.
 

Magix

[H]Lite
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
103
It might help if you can post pictures of your setup, on the off chance there is some obvious problem
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Ok I took the motherboard out of the case and noticed that three of my spacers wouldn't dislodge from the motherboard. Once I got it out I was able to dislodge them... they unscrewed from the case instead of the screws that pinned them to the MOBO.

I Put the motherboard on the cardboard box and connected the 24 pin plug, the 4 pin CPU plug, The cpu fan and power supply powered up when I shorted the pins for the power switch on the mother board.

I Connected the 6850 graphics card and connected that to my monitor, Again I did the test boot and got into a set up screen. so SUCCESS!! Or at least a very good sign. I'm going to put it back in the case and test again.

I Believe I may have had the power switch on the wrong pins. So one more attempt at the build so far this looks promising.

Robvas I'm not sure what you mean about the 965 and x2.

Thanks for the help I'll keep you informed.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Thanks for all the help, I am not sure what caused the issue, but, once I removed the motherboard from the case I was able to power it on by shorting the power switch pins. I added the graphics card and was still able to boot it.

SO I put everything together and was able to get it up and running. I Tried a few games like diablo 3 and it seems to lock up.I think that's a driver issue I'll update those and get all my stuff up and running, but, so far looks like a successful build!

Thanks again for all the help.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Please report back in a week to let us know whats up with your build.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Update,

Well so far the build seems fine, it runs better than my last PC. I Have another quick question, what should be the next upgrade that I look into getting?

Should I look into a better monitor, graphics card, more RAM, or a SSD? When I run Diablo III at highest settings and run fraps it locks up a little. Still playable, but, I can lock up enough to die in situations I would otherwise live through. Without fraps it feels a little. laggy, but, runs ok at full settings. If I put it at the same settings I used with the old PC it's fine.

I want to do upgrades over time, and can spend about $100 - $150 over the next couple of weeks. Any suggestions for the next upgrade?

Thanks again for all the help.
 

Skillz

[H]ard DCOTY 2017
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
22,225
A GPU upgrade should allow you to run D3 at the highest possible settings, but not with a $150 budget.

You most likely aren't maxing out the 8GB of RAM you have now, but it's a cheap buy that's well within' a $150 budget.

Didn't you already get a 120GB, I'm not exactly sure on what you did buy and what you are reusing. Can you post your current system specs? Do note that an SSD will just speed up the loading time, not your frame rates.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
I'm using my HP 2009 M monitor, the 1 tb HD from my old pc, a 500W corsair power supply, and my HD Raedon 6850 Graphics card.

The build also has.
Intel Core i5 3470
MSI B75MA-P45
Corsair XMS3 2x4GB DDR3 1333 kit
Lite-On IHAS124-04 SATA DVD burner
NZXT Source 210 Elite

I Didn't purchase the SSD because just as you said it would only increase load speed not frame rate. I'm ok with my load times for now.
 

Skillz

[H]ard DCOTY 2017
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
22,225
Then save up some more money and get a better GPU. You'll want to at the very least, double your $150 budget to make it a worth while upgrade from a 6850. Though with such a low resolution as that HP 2009 M, something like a GTX 660 should be enough. Why not upgrade your display to a 1080P display? You could get one within' $150 budget if you shop around, easily ~23" in size. Though the higher the resolution, the harder it will be when gaming at that resolution.

If it were me, I think I'd get a new monitor first. 23" 1080P and just keep the settings turned down when gaming until I could save up ~$400 for a good GPU.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
You bring up a good point about the resolution. With the old pc I didn't have the monitor set to the max resolution, I do now. I Had issues with getting to the 1600x900 with the old pc, can't remember right off what caused it, but, I'm running at 1600x900 now.

I"ll likely start with a new monitor this one feels dated, and it does feel like it's time to replace it.
But, with a new monitor with higher resolution I'll see a drop in performance right?
 

Skillz

[H]ard DCOTY 2017
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
22,225
You bring up a good point about the resolution. With the old pc I didn't have the monitor set to the max resolution, I do now. I Had issues with getting to the 1600x900 with the old pc, can't remember right off what caused it, but, I'm running at 1600x900 now.

I"ll likely start with a new monitor this one feels dated, and it does feel like it's time to replace it.
But, with a new monitor with higher resolution I'll see a drop in performance right?
Yes you will see a drop in performance if you start gaming at 1920x1080 vs 1600x900, which is why I said you'll want to turn down the settings in 1080P or just game at a lower resolution until you can get a better GPU.
 

Zenprophet

[H]Lite
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
65
Thanks for the info, I took a look at monitors while posting and saw this
ViewSonic VX2250WM-LED 22-Inch (21.5-Inch Vis) Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED Monitor with Integrated Stereo Speakers.
That's on amazon for $149.99 and it has a few input options, others I've seen so far seem to only have HDMI input. That would be fine, but, I run my HDMI cable to my TV and have it mirror my display.

So basically I'm always running two displays, but, rarely view the TV. Would I see an increase in performance if I disable. the mirrored display?
 

Skillz

[H]ard DCOTY 2017
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
22,225
Check newegg, pretty sure you can get a 23" for close to that price.
 

tiraides

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Thanks for the info, I took a look at monitors while posting and saw this
ViewSonic VX2250WM-LED 22-Inch (21.5-Inch Vis) Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED Monitor with Integrated Stereo Speakers.
That's on amazon for $149.99 and it has a few input options, others I've seen so far seem to only have HDMI input. That would be fine, but, I run my HDMI cable to my TV and have it mirror my display.

So basically I'm always running two displays, but, rarely view the TV. Would I see an increase in performance if I disable. the mirrored display?
Spend $5 more and gain a couple of inches on your monitor:

$155 - Asus VE247H (23.6 inch, 1920x1080, 2ms response time, LED backlighting, built-in speakers, TN panel)

Since you're not really using the TV much, use your HDMI cable to connect the computer directly to the monitor. It makes no sense to run two displays simultaneously if you're really using only one.
 

Skillz

[H]ard DCOTY 2017
Joined
Aug 14, 2004
Messages
22,225
Damn, that's a damn good price on that monitor. I have a 23" ASUS that I might be retiring now.
 
Top