First-time build, need some help/advice.


Feb 12, 2009
Hi, this is the first system I've tried building, so please forgive me when some -if not all, of the answers to my questions are basic knowledge. I've done my share of reading and research, however there are a few things that I'm stuck on at the moment.

I'll start by listing all the components and their respective prices (tax and shipped). I'm not a gamer, my purpose for this system is just Photoshop, Illustrator, Fruit Loops, basic PC uses, and HD movies.

TuL TRS780-M1 AMD 780G Socket AM2+ mATX MB w/HDMI DVI SND & LAN $55
AMD Phenom X3 8750 Processor 2.40GHz $127
Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5DF 2GB Kit DDR2-1066 w/cooling fans $20 (after MIR)
Western Digital WD3200AAKS 320GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Cache $60
Rhino Panther 450watt PSU $40
Thermaltake LANBOX VF1000BWS VF1000BWS $60
...and I'll be adding a Blu Ray drive as well.

My goal was a relatively quick system, at an affordable price, using quality name-brand components. I think I have accomplished this, but if anyone spots anything I should have gotten different, please advise, I'd love to learn more.

I've set everything up and dealing with software configuration now; here are my questions:

1. The CPU supports 1066mHz, and the memory is 1066, but in my BIOS, its showing up as 800mHz. Why is this so, how do I change it, and is it truly significant?

2. I'm having real trouble understanding this whole RAID concept. Is it beneficial to add another hard drive for optimal performance, or will I be fine off 1?

3. I set up the quick RAID config on my single SATA drive, created the diskette and am trying to install Vista, however after the system boots, runs the system checks, and loads the bios, it simply stays at a black screen with a blinking cursor. The Vista CD is in. If I remove it, the screen will show a message saying to insert bootable disc and hit any key or reboot. I re-insert the CD, hit a key or restert and I get back to the blank screen. I'm not sure what the problem is...

4. It the stock CPU heatsink/fan sufficient, or should I upgrade?

5. Since I will not be doing any gaming, will I be fine with the onboard HD video?

6. I'll be adding a Blu Ray drive. I'd like it to be able to write BD as well and have lightscribe, any suggestions as to anything to look for, or stay away from, when conducting my search (i.e. cache, speeds, brands, etc.)?

7. Will this system be suited for video editing, or will upgrades need to be made? And if so, what upgrades?

8. Is 450 watts going to be sufficient? And I'm sure this is a 'yes', butI should probably go with a different PSU, yeah?

9. Lastly, in your opinion, what is the quality of the purchases I've made, in regards to what I'm looking for (ripped off, under-spend, over-spend...)?

That's it for now. Once I have my OS installed and everything running, I'll probably have questions as to the optimal setting for my bios. If there's anything else I didn't touch on, that anyone may feel pertinent to my situation, please educate me.

Thank you kindly,
1/ your BIOS may be playing it safe . Manually change the RAM speed . Over all it will be a tiny performance boost but its free so I would .

2/ RAID comes in many flavors . Its a huge topic. You dont need a RAID .

3/ since a RAID needs more than one disc ........

4/ Yes . But if its loud , or if you decide to overclock then an aftermarket cooler can help

5/ Yes . The 780g is a very good onboard solution for non-gamers .

6/ Sorry never had a blu ray ,

7/ Coffee . While its working go drink coffee

8/ 450w is plenty . The whole computer isnt likely to draw more than 200 w maxxed out . Its gfx cards that are the power hungry components in modern pc's

9/ I havent heard of some of the brands you have used . They will only be proven good or bad if they fail or dont fail . I say use what you have until theres a problem , and never try to fix a problem you dont have

1. You can download and run CPU-Z. It will tell you what your memory settings should be for 1066, unless of course you were ripped off.

2. There are better ways to spend your cash to improve performance. RAID would be something for higher costing systems.

3. You can't do that. You need two disks at least for a RAID.

4. It's fine unless you try to overclock it, but the CPU really isn't worth trying to OC.

5. You'll have to see. as long as you don't try to do other things while you watch movies, I think you'll be OK there. Scrolling around large files in PS might be a bit laggy.

6. I have no recommendations.

7. Penom II 940, 2 more GB RAM, and perhaps a 4650 would be an optimal upgrade.

8. Yes, as you have guessed, your PSU purchase was not a good one. Your wattage is fine, if you had a PC P&C or Corsair, or an Antec EA430, or a Seasonic.

You could have done better, especially on the case and PSU. You likely would have benefited from a better PSU, but if you were just buying that one as a temporary measure it's OK. The ONLY AMD CPUs that are really worthwhile for what you want to do are Phenom II.