Advice for Buying Parts to Build Your Own Computer
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Comprehensive advice on your computer and software problems and questions, this video will focus on advice for buying parts to build your own computer.


Carrie Webb: Zack says. Robbie Ferguson: Hi, Zack. Carrie Webb: Hey Robbie. I want to build my first computer. Robbie Ferguson: Okay. Carrie Webb: And I was wondering if you have any suggestions or tips for hardware. I was wanting to use it for some gaming and a lot of multitasking. I also just want it to be fast all around. I was thinking a Quad Core Processor Thermaltake Power Supply and a nice Nvidia graphics card. I am going to have it be a dual boot with Windows XP or 7 if it is better. Robbie Ferguson: Okay. Carrie Webb: And Linux Ubuntu. I also want it to be upgradable. I was looking around US$800.00 to US$1000.00 in the end but I can add parts overtime to get my final point. Also, I don’t’ really know what to look for in a motherboard, so if you could tell me what specs to look for. Robbie Ferguson: Okay. Carrie Webb: I’d appreciate it. Robbie Ferguson: Sure, yeah I’ll do my best Zack, right? Carrie Webb: Zack. Robbie Ferguson: Let me just pull up that email so that you can move on to other stuff Carrie. Carrie Webb: Okay. Robbie Ferguson: Okay, so first of all Zack, thank you kindly for being so thorough with your email and this is a good example for everybody of how you should send a question because Zack has really laid out for me what it is that he wants to do with the computer and how he wants to proceed his budget and things like that. That really helps me to be able to give you advice with regards to your purchasing decisions. So just looking over this Zack, you want to do some gaming, you want to do multitasking which is inevitable. I mean you’re going to be using a multitasking operating system these days regardless. You want to be fast. You’re thinking about going with the Quad Core which is definitely a good idea. I would say when you’re looking at the processor between Dual Core and Quad Core and I tend to lean towards Intel, between those two, the price point is such that I would go with the Quad Core because there is a substantial speed boost especially when you’re doing a lot of encoding or multitasking that is requiring a lot of processor power. That Quad Core is going to give you substantial amount, more power and the price difference is not substantial enough to make it worth going with the Dual Core. Once you go with the Thermaltake Power Supply, definitely make sure it’s something that is going to be powerful enough that if you do expand down the road, you don’t have to replace your power supply. I always recommend the cable management. I don’t know if you can see it behind my head here. This is the cable management 850 watt Thermaltake Toughpower. PurePower is their lower end line and the Toughpower is like the really higher grade better power supply. So they usually have multiple rails and things like that, so that’s a good thing to look for is the Toughpower series. Start no less, I would say because you want to get into some gaming, you’re going to have some nice graphics at these. You know I would go with 850 watt. I wouldn’t go any less than 651. So, if you’re looking at 430 or something, I would stay away from that, it’s not going to be powerful enough for you. And video graphics is a good idea especially because you’re going to be using Linux. That’s going to help you get your 3D effects and things going. Make sure it’s something—it’s kind of—it’s weird the way that they number the graphics card for Nvidia. It’s very confusing because you think that let’s say an 8200 would be way better than a 7600 because a 7600 is such a lower substantially lower number. Carrie Webb: Right. Robbie Ferguson: But it’s not necessarily the case, the 7600 may give a better performance because if you look at the Nvidia numbers as two different numbers. So you’ve got the first number which is the thousand, so 7000, 8000, 9000 like that. Carrie Webb: Okay. Robbie Ferguson: And then the last three numbers, they’re basically the grade of the card within that series. So a 7950— Carrie Webb: Okay. Robbie Ferguson: Is probably going to perform better than an 8600 because the 7950 is the 950 of the 7000 line. Carrie Webb: Not the 600 of the 8000. Robbie Ferguson: That’s right, yeah. Carrie Webb: Okay, yeah. Robbie Ferguson: So the 8600 may have some newer effects and some newer things but you may not need those, so I would compare that way and make sure that you get some benchmark tests to see what it is you want so definitely keep the last three numbers high. Look for something that is going to be a good price point, that’s going to have those last three numbers are going to be higher than 600. That is where I would start and then from there, your motherboard, make sure that you’ve got PCI Express. That is very important and if you want to expand down the road, it’s hard because you know, Intel is bringing out these new processors and things and I would stick with the775 chipset because it’s going to be so much cheaper to get started out. You can start with like a Quad 6600 processor at the entry level of the Quad Core processors and then you can upgrade that. So as you go, you can even get into really, really expensive processors down the road but I would start with maybe a Quad 6600, 700 and 75 chip as your processor and then that gives you a good starting point and the reason I suggest that is because you’re looking at spending only up a $1000 you ask. So your processor is going to be a big price changer there. Carrie Webb: Cliff in the chat room has a related question Robbie. Robbie Ferguson: Yup. Carrie Webb: Cliff wants to know, how do you know if a power supply will fit physically once you order one? Cliff is thinking of getting a Thermaltake Power Supply. Robbie Ferguson: Well, essentially you’re looking at like ATX, Mini-ITX, right? So look at like it will actually show the form factor on the website wherever you’re ordering it from or on the box if that is the case. So ATX, ITX, like all these different things are telling you this size of the power supply. Just jumping back to that motherboard for Zack, just I mentioned about going with PCI Express because that’s kind of where we want to be with your graphics card of course. AGP is kind of thing in the past and things like that. So then the next thing is just your RAM. You want to start with something that’s going to be half tease and make sure you go with dual-channel. So that means, if you’re only going to start with 2GB right now, get two sticks of one and put them in the dual-channel socket so that you can get twice the different side of it. So that’s going to increase the speed of your RAM. So, then you can add another two and bring it up to four or if you want to eventually upgrade to more than that, just keep it in sets of two and that’s going to keep the dual-channel for you. So, if you have anymore questions for me Zack, do get into chat room or just e-mail back and I will be happy to take it even further than that but hopefully that gives you a good starting point anyways but the main keys because you want to keep the price down, your main keys are going to be your processor which is upgradable. So start at the base with a Quad Core 6600, all right and then that way you can upgrade because that is the entry level. You can work your way up from there in the Quad Core Processors. And then your RAM, start with DDR2 667 rather than jumping straight into DDR3 because it will still allow you room for growth in such a way that it’s not going to be obsolete too soon, unless you have, the extra budget that you can go DDR3 but kind of start with the RAM and the processor on the entry level and work those up down the road, so kind of work towards upgrading your RAM a year from now and that kind of thing.