Building a PC - what spec

  myowzer 17:58 07 Feb 2011

Hi there folks,

This is first time i've used a forum so forgive me if I'm jumping straight in for advice.

I am about to start the process of building a PC but have limited knowledge.

I am photographer/ designer so will mainly be using it for Photoshop and In design etc.

I have done some diggin around and wondered if somebody could tell me if i'm on the right track or offer up advice and best places to buy or if i've missed anything critical

ATX desk top case
Motherboard - ASUS P5Q
Porcessor - Intel dual core 2 e 8400
Memory - Between 2 and 4gb
Graphics card - ATI radeon HD 3650
Sound card - Azalia HD 5.1
Hard disk SATA 1TB min
CD/DVD/ Blu ray Drive - ????
Not sure if i need a modem but want ot be able to use it WIFI
Card ReadeR

This is as far as I got any help much appreciated.
Thanks Myowzer

  GaT7 18:17 07 Feb 2011

How much will you be paying for the above? Looks OK but some of it is older tech. You could go for a more modern spec for the same kind of money. G

  Diemmess 18:30 07 Feb 2011

Forgive this slanted response, but

Best advice before I ever had a computer was -

1). Decide what you want to do with it! -You have done this.

2). Choose the software needed - You have already mentioned Photoshop and InDesign but presumably the operating system will go with the flow and Windows 7? You haven't said whether your work will involve video?

3) Choose the configuration which can best run the software. Your spec is very close.

Video editing needs lots of memory, fixed as in HDs and also in RAM, but unless you are into games, you really don't need top end graphics or top speed processing.

********** However unless half the pleasure for you will be building from scratch, why not go for ready made hardware?***********

These days you will need a router instead of a modem, but you choice will be guided by the internet service provider.

A personal preference would be a smaller internal HD and another external on to use as a backup store for precious data.

  The Kestrel 18:46 07 Feb 2011

If you have not built a PC before it might help to start with a barebones bundle from click here where all the difficult work has been done for you. It is also a fairly cost efficient way of building a new PC

  myowzer 21:42 07 Feb 2011

Thanks Guys,

I'll definately take you advice on splitting the hard disks Kestrel and i'll check out your link shortly.

Diemness, I won't really be doing any video editing or gaming but I may well use it as the bedroom TV as that's where it will be anyway. I've got the router from sky I just need a wifi card, RIght?.

Crossbow, which bits are dated, As i said i'm really new to buying computer bits. I've found Processor for £119, motherboard for £70, and the rest of the bits have been massively varied.

  bremner 22:03 07 Feb 2011

"These days you will need a router instead of a modem, but you choice will be guided by the internet service provider".

Basically a modem provides the broadband connection and a router shares that connection either wired or wirelessly. So technically you must have a modem bvut a router is optional.

If you are on Virgin Cable they will supply a cable modem and depending on package possibly a cable Router.

If you have your broadband over your telephone line (ADSL) then many providers, such as BT, supply a combined modem/router.

If they do not then there are many reasonably priced combined ADSL modem/routers available.

  chub_tor 22:23 07 Feb 2011

Just a couple of comments. Looking at the P5Q series overview, some of them are shown using DDR2 memory which is now more expensive than DDR3, so you might want to look at which specific board you finally choose.

All P5Q boards have on board sound, so you could get away without having the Azalia HD 5.1.

You haven't mentioned a power supply so get the biggest you can afford and get a case with a big fan built in (or buy a case fan) as that processor generates a lot of heat (according to some of the reviews I looked at.)

Finally the HD3650 is quite an old card by todays standards, you might like to look at an HD 4650 or something in the new 5000 series. The HD 5770 is nice but may be a bit pricy still.

  Diemmess 16:47 08 Feb 2011

"I've got the router from sky I just need a wifi card, Right?

No, or perhaps not necessarily.

If your router and PC are close together, then the simplest way is to connect them with the appropriate cable.

A router plays transmitter/receiver.
It receives incoming data from the landline or cable and transmits it either down the LAN cable to the PC, or wirelessly to another computer if a wifi card is fitted. (as in most Laptops).

This is important if the router and computer are in separate parts of the building, but not necessary when one computer only is used, in the same room, and can be connected by a sensible length of LAN cable.

  myowzer 17:50 08 Feb 2011

Thanks Again everyone,

I'm getting it a bit clearer in my head. My situation is mainly which other components to buy but just to clear up the internet thing so I know what to get. I have Sky BB in one room with the phone socket and router and the computer will be in another room. I'm thinking because it's a flat the easiest thing will be to use it wirelessly, but I have no idea what wifi card to buy or even if I need anything else to go with this card.

Thanks again

  chub_tor 19:17 08 Feb 2011

click here if you have a spare PCI slot on your motherboard or click here if you have a spare USB socket. Either will work with a wireless router.

  Diemmess 19:51 08 Feb 2011

Provided the extra cost incurred is offset by the pleasure and assurance of building your own from scratch, then this is exactly the way to plan it and feel proud when it is all up and running.

If time is important say for business reasons, then there is plenty of advice available from this forum as to suitable ready-built computers from reputable firms which will actually cost less, but deprive you of your fun.

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