Noobie PC build ???s

I'm getting ready to build my own PC for the 1st time so I've done some reading/researching ... Sharky's, Tom's Hardware, etc. So far, my experience has been limited to upgrading HDs, memory, Win OSes, CD to DVDs, wireless networks, etc.

After reading reviews, gotchas, recommendations, etc. I'm now even more confused ... because of all the new developments (LGA, no AGP, PCI Express only, etc.) and potential impact to short-term future pricing. I only have a few $$$ saved so I want to maximize the bang for the buck.

The new gear will be used primarily as a torrent PC :-D and on-line stick-in-the-mud gaming (Quake2 ... didn't like Quake3, Doom3, etc.).

Here are the current Newegg prices as of 20050304:

P4 3.0C GHz/800 Sock 478 Northwood (OEM)...$199

P4 3.0E GHz/800 Sock 478 Prescott (OEM)....$177

P4 3.0E GHz/800 Sock 478 Prescott (Retail).$181

P4 530J 3.0 GHz/800 LGA775 (Retail)........$185

P4 630 3.0 GHz/800 LGA775 (Retail).........$245

What chip would you recommend? Please no AMDs at this time.

I have a basic awareness of the various motherboards and RAM, but feel free to recommend them anyway, specially if the need to experiment with OCing hits me.

It seems that HDs and dual format DVDs are pretty stable at this point so I'm thinking I could just order the cheapest available. If there are some pluses such as better software, free game(s), etc. that I should be considered, please let me know.

Thanks gents.

BTW, anybody here have FTPs with some cool stuff? :-D judo usa at gmail dot com.

my athlon 64 cpu kicks all those p4's asses and is much cheaper too! sorry, i had to say that.

For your needs, I'd go with the cheapest processor you have listed.

If you are really on a budget, I'd build an AMD Sempron based system instead.

Okay, quick few things.

I see you have listed:

P4 3.0E GHz/800 Sock 478 Prescott (OEM)....$177

P4 3.0E GHz/800 Sock 478 Prescott (Retail).$181

Remember that OEM will not come with a heatsink, so at $177 you get the CPU but then have to buy a heatsink of your own. For $181 Retail should come with a heatsink so the total cost is lower. However, if you look into overclocking then you generally want to get your own heatsink that will be able to handle the hotter temps that overclocking brings up. Which then brings up the next point, don't rule out AMD they make great stuff that'll handle your needs for less cash. I've only had AMD systems for the last 4-5 years and all of them have been 100% stable (anything going wrong has always been a mistake on my end and NEVER a problem with using AMD). Also, AMDs (especially the semprons) have more overclocking potential....however, it's been a LONG time since I really looked into this so I don't know how the P4s currently stack up. Personally if I were you and had a budget, I would go with AMDs (cause they're generally cheaper) and I wouldn't get a DVD burner, you can add something like that later after yo'uve saved up some cash again (and the prices just keep getting cheaper in the mean time). Also, from what you said it sounds like you've pretty much done everything that goes into building a system other hten actually buying the parts and putting the motherboard in the case. You should be fine

Im building the same thing as you, orderred my stuff last night.

PCCHIPS MB-825G Socket A Barebone Kit / AMD Sempron 2800+ / CPU Fan / Mid-Tower Case with 425W PS

with two of these:

Ultra 512MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory CL3

Im also going to be using a 60 gig hard drive that is in my current desktop. And I have a Radeon 9200 video card I will use as well.

Most of the OEM stores in my area only sell retail CPU's which come with Heatsink/fan... but sicko makes a good point... make sure and check.

if you're looking to upgrade, i'd stick with a 939 socket cpu and motherboard. the AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 939S is the same speed as the P4 3.4EE. but the 3.4EE is around $1,000, whereas the A64 3000+ is $150. if you're looking to upgrade, then you want to stick with a socket 939 cpu and motherboard because AMD is going to continue building 939 socket chips. in a year from now, you'll probably be able to buy the Athlon 64 FX-53,55 chips that are ranging from 800-1000, for about 200 bucks. if you're using a AMD 754 socket cpu, you won't be able to upgrade to one of the new Athlon FX chips later down the road since it's not compatible with the 754S motherboards. just my 2 cent.

Thanks gents! I've gotten the same feedback from the GamerGround folks. I'm now researching the AMDs, specifically the 939 and almost ready to place my order ... as soon as I get the prices from the local Fry's vs. on-line

and

whether I should start off with a really low-end because this is my first build vs. high-end because the prices are pretty good ... compared to the initial Intel plan. :-D

update? newegg price?