Posts: 442
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 11:05 pm

Thinking About Building........

Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:25 pm

I am thinking about building my own computer for FSX. I have a decent one right now but it has had a few problems and I am getting fed up with it. Anyways back on topic, where do I start? I went to newegg.com and looked around but it is proving to be a little difficult to get started. I know I need a great video card, lots of memory, good motherboard and power supply, a decent case that has ventilation, sound card, and I am sure there is much more. What would you do or even better what have you done?
Posts: 2767
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 11:23 am

RE: Thinking About Building........

Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:43 am

I have built around 20 gaming computers by now, including 4 for myself.
This cannot be overstated but plan everything you want to get and price it. You need to get all of the following:

CPU Cooling if not included (most of the time they come with fans now)
Video Card(s)
Hard Drive(s)
Power Supply
Optical Drive(s) DVD-RW is typical, though if you want futureproofing Blue-ray is nice if costly...
Case fans (case may come with some, more is not always better, but usually, remember flow in at front/bottom, out at back/top)
Also consider cooling fins for your RAM or buy a brand with them.
Also consider a sound card... mobos vary greatly in onboard sound so you might wanna buy an external one.

Now to break it down a bit:

CPU, Intel vs AMD i wont get into. Price it out, read up on it and decide for yourself. I've built both, both have their pros and cons.
Mobo: I swear by ASUS... though ABIT and Gigabyte tend to be good also... anything else check the reviews up and down.
RAM... MORE IS BETTER... 4GB or more
Video... this is easy now: Nvidia, most VRAM, fastest, and get 2 for SLI if you can
Case... ok this is tricky. I preffer simple solid metal designs myself. Lian-Li is the brand i buy most often. Antec cases are nice and have drive rails... there are lots to choose from make sure you understand what you are getting.
Hard Drives... these are cheap, buy 2x 500GB or more... you'll be surprised how fast it fills up on you.
Power Supply... errr ok this gets tricky. You'll need a biiiiiiiiig one for a modern gaming PC, 550w would be the smallest i'd look at. Rule of thumb for finding a good one is weight. Now buying online this isn't possible so the brands i like: Antec, Enermax, PC Power and Cooling and Sparkle Industries. Remember to check that it is the right type for your mobo. some need special plugs that aren't on all makes.
Case cooling: In at the front/bottom and out at the back/top. If you can find a case with a fresh intake for the CPU though this is hit and miss. Fans are nice but you don't need to go overboard. Just maintain a clean airflow in the case, tie up all your cables at the sides. Use round IDE cables if you have to have them, though SATA cords are much smaller/easier. Remember fans are what make up the lions share of the noise in a PC.

I think that should get you going. Once you get everything putting it together isn't that hard, just take your time and if you get frustrated STOP, think it over and figure it out.

The most nerve racking bits are mounting the mobo in the case... especially if the case doesn't have a mobo tray thats removable... and mounting the processor fans. This isn't as bad as it used to be but they still are annoying the 1st time. DON'T FORGET TO EXPOSE THE THERMAL PAD OR APPLY THERMAL GEL!!!!

Other "gotchas":
check the PSU plugs, some may be marked for fans only, do not connect those to anything else, they can overheat the PSU if they are used wrong.
If you PC won't boot the 1st time, MAKE SURE IT IS PLUGGED IN (no thats not stupid... ok well it is but it's incredibly common), then pull off the reset button header and try again. If it still won't reverse the power button one. Those 2 will be the problem 98% of the time. 1% of the time it'll be that the power plugs aren't all the way onto the mobo... just make sure they click their little lock pins on and it should be fine.
The other 1%? well thats when it pays to know where the nearest computer store is... bad PSU, bad Mobo, by case... you get the idea.

Now you should at least get to the beep codes and you can troubleshoot from there  Smile

There, enough... It's the weekend and i feel like im at work!
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 6:38 am

RE: Thinking About Building........

Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:41 pm

I just built a computer last week for FSX...I ordered everything from newegg and spent just over $1100. So far everything works really well...all the sliders are at max, and I can still get 30 FPS. This was my first build, so I did a lot of research on google and youtube to find out what I wanted and how to get the best performance for the money. The actual setup was pretty straight-forward as long as you read the instructions. Newegg was very speedy in shipping everything...definitely spend the $2.99 for rush delivery!

For basic specs, I purchased the following:

Processor Intel Q6600
RAM: 4 GB at 1066Hz
Video: Nvidia 8800 GT 512 MB
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Pro

Those four things are probably the most important, so spend as much as you can in those areas.
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 11:05 pm

RE: Thinking About Building........

Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:53 pm

Wow! Thank you both very much for all of that helpful information! So lets say I get all of the needed equipment I still have to build it..... but luckily I work with somebody who went to school for that type of thing and is willing to help me with everything.

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 1):
There, enough... It's the weekend and i feel like im at work!

I am sorry! I know how you feel though

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