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Programming/Casual Gaming PC for 1,000 $/€ budget

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March 15, 2014 5:45:39 PM

Hi,

reading here I would like to build my own PC that is fast (enough) for programming on some private projects and casual gaming. It should be able to upgrade it later, especially for gaming and maybe even for the CPU.

At the moment I think about something like:

* Fractal Design - Define R4 Black Pearl - 90 €
* ASRock Z87 Extreme4 (90-MXGPC0-A0UAYZ) (socket 1150) - 100€
* Intel® Core™ i7-4770K, CPU (Haswell) - 280€ (changed)
* CT240M500SSD3 240 GB 2.5" Solid - 125€ (according to http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-... - I think that 200+ GB SSD is fine with all the software installed)
* Seagate ST2000DM001 (2 TB internal) - 75€
* Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10) - 150€
* GeForce GTX 750 Ti Graphic Card - 125€
* Noctua NH-L12 - 50€ cooler (added)
* Listan BN221 Be Quiet Pure Power L8 - 45 €
Total: 1040€

I have no idea about how parts of this configuration work together because I just looked up the singular components. Also, I will probably not overclock because I have never done this. However, I would like to have a little bit flexibility for the case that I want to do that (maybe, it's wortwhile, I do not know right now). RAID seems not necessary because I backup. I have an external hard drive 2 TB that I use for that purpose (if it works; my current alienware m17x has no sufficient esata controller and seems to fail all the time).

Another issue: This system should run really, really quiet. Without gaming I would like to not hear anything. I have heart that this case should be smooth. Of course, when gaming I might hear something but when watching movies or listening to music the computer itself should be quiet.

Other questions:
- Is this CPU probably too much and I can run another 1150 socket CPU? I might upgrade later
- I have no idea about RAM; there definitely is cheaper stuff around, should I use this, if yes which?
- I would like to have some visual effects; how can I attain this as cheap as possible? Some colorful cooler or a lightful (still quiet!) case would be great. This thing will rest on my desktop (due to space in my appartment) and I would like to have it nice, quiet but kinda fancy if possible

I have never built a PC on my own and am really open to any kind of feedback. I am aware that this configuration is probably not close to optimal, so I look forwarding to hearing your feedback. :) 

Thank you very much in advance and all the best!
Michael

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March 15, 2014 5:56:45 PM

Personally I would get the K series 4770 instead of the S and if you care about noise just get a huge heat sink with a larger fan. Other than that it looks like a pretty good CPU heavy build, which should be pretty well tailored to compiles over gaming, but should be able to handle 1080p gaming just fine.

Better timing RAM may help with performance slightly, not so much in gaming but for media compression and compiles... but I doubt you'd notice all that much of a difference unless you are waiting around for hours at a time.

For a power supply you may want to look at something really efficient that has a fan off mode during low power usage, since the vast majority of the time your machine will probably be using less than 100 watts. Something like http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... maybe? It doesn't have to be that one in particular but with that feature set.
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March 16, 2014 8:35:28 AM

Hi,

you are right, K costs slightly more but has the best MHz value. And I have just completely forgotten about the power supply.

Some additional questions:

1) How can I find out which RAM is better (CL11?) and is there any RAM with a better cost-benefit ratio?
2) How is the feature set you describe called?
3) I heart that I should use a power supply with at least W as possible. 650W seems too much for my configuration, how much is probably necessary?
4) Can you recommend a heating sink plus cooler that is especially quiet? The CPU has a TDP of 85W which seems not be that much. But an additional cooler is necessary?
5) Any ideas for some fancy lighting stuff? (I am not even sure if the case should support it or it is a matter of the cooler)

Thank you very much! If you only have answers for some of all my questions I would appreciate your answer as well!

All the best
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March 16, 2014 9:00:20 AM

I am also looking into building my own PC and I decided on the Noctua NH-L12 37.8 CFM CPU Cooler, i also like it quite :)  Also you can use http://pcpartpicker.com/ to check how much wattage your PC would use and see what kind of PSU you need :) 
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March 16, 2014 9:11:49 AM

HariSeldon0FE:
Seems great and has nice ratings. Stupid question but... how can I find out if that fits? My case should be large enough, the graphical device might be conflicting. Should I build everything else and then look if that cooler works? But this seems un-effective...

And thanks for the pcpartpicker tipp! Estimated wattage is 267W. So, I should look for a power supply with about 300W?
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March 16, 2014 9:18:34 AM

pcpartpicker can check if it should all fit but it depends on the CPU socket type the same you probably matched up with the cpu and mobo
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March 16, 2014 9:34:39 AM

Well, the socket is supported but other stuff in the mainboard might be problematic.

As for the power supply, "be quiet! Straight Power E9 400W ATX 2.4 (E9-400W/BN190)" seems to be great :)  maybe, even a 300W power supply...?
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March 16, 2014 9:41:46 AM

how might the other stuff on the mobo be problematic? http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=compatibility_gen&pr... it normally says if any other ports are blocked.

I too am just now starting to build my first PC all i know is the research I have done for the PSU i went with the Corsair 760W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply, it has a long warranty so i can re use it also may do SLI at some point so that is why i went with 760 watt
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March 16, 2014 9:57:35 AM

Thanks for your compatibility link! Indeed, the cooler seems to just fit fine. I am still not sure if that is necessary for 85 TDP, though, [edit] BUT according to the following link, I think that an additional cooler is a fine option: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-1791968/cooler...

SLI hm, yeah... I mean, if 267W is my current value, I doubt that more than 500W should ever be necessary. I heart that each watt that you do not use will be output as warmth, so such a configuration might heat up your room much more.
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March 16, 2014 10:08:41 AM

depends how much your graphic card needs, just add that again to it. But remember total watts isn't all the PSU gives watts on different volts so you would also have to cross check that, someone on here once said take the total PSU output take 80% of it and compare it to the total watts you system needs plus 50 watts to see if the PSU will work.
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March 16, 2014 10:10:51 AM

Ok, according to that calculation, 400W seems to be perfect Then, I'll probably stick with that :)  (if SLI will be an option, it will cost so much that some additional $100/150 for another power supply should not be an issue, either).

Some other basic question is whether 2011 socket or 1150 socket is better for the future... Will Intel extend both? After all, 1150 has Ivy-Bridge-E that is more modern than Haswell as it seems.
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March 16, 2014 10:13:29 AM

:)  sorry i can't help you with the rest of your questions for that you need someone more experienced
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March 16, 2014 10:15:12 AM

No worries and thanks for your great answers :)  Maybe, someone will look into them. I quote them again so that someone does not have to search:
Quote:

1) How can I find out which RAM is better (CL11?) and is there any RAM with a better cost-benefit ratio?
2) How is the feature set you describe called? [feature set for being quiet when not used much; some Haswell compatibility mode seems fine for that, too, as far as I read stuff]
3) I heart that I should use a power supply with at least W as possible. 650W seems too much for my configuration, how much is probably necessary?
4) -answered-
5) Any ideas for some fancy lighting stuff? (I am not even sure if the case should support it or it is a matter of the cooler)

and 6) Some other basic question is whether 2011 socket or 1150 socket is better for the future... Will Intel extend both? After all, 1150 has Ivy-Bridge-E that is more modern than Haswell as it seems.
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March 17, 2014 5:06:47 AM

FireFountain said:
SLI hm, yeah... I mean, if 267W is my current value, I doubt that more than 500W should ever be necessary. I heart that each watt that you do not use will be output as warmth, so such a configuration might heat up your room much more.


That's not quite true. The way you describe heat it sounds like if you have a 650watt power supply and use 100 watts then you will need to deal with 550 watts of heat. That is not true.

Heat relates to efficiency and component usage. For example if you have a 650 watt supply and your components use 200 watts of power and your power supply is 80% efficient you could measure power draw at the wall and the meter would read 250 watts. This is because 80% of the AC power becomes DC power for your components in the supply and 50 watts is expended as heat.

In the same scenario you instead used a 90% efficient supply the power meter would read 223 watts. because your power supply is more efficient at converting the power. This means your components would still be supplied the same 200 watts, but only 23 would be lost to heat in the power supply.

This is why I recommended a high efficiency supply. The capacity of the supply has little to do with how much heat is expended. The reson I linked the one that I did is that under 40% of it's capacity (about 260 watts) the fan doesn't spin since it's so efficient that it can be passively cooled. Since your machine would use such little power it would spend most of the time like that, and since the fan isn't spinning it's not making noise.

FireFountain said:
Ok, according to that calculation, 400W seems to be perfect Then, I'll probably stick with that :)  (if SLI will be an option, it will cost so much that some additional $100/150 for another power supply should not be an issue, either).

Some other basic question is whether 2011 socket or 1150 socket is better for the future... Will Intel extend both? After all, 1150 has Ivy-Bridge-E that is more modern than Haswell as it seems.


Unless you have some specific need for 2011 (More PCI-E Lanes, more CPU cores etc) then just stick with the 1150 stuff.

As for the RAM question, you probably just want to stick with DDR3-1600 and try to find CL9. Other than that just find whatever is cheap or on sale.

The other reason I recommended the 4770k over the 4770s is that the K is multiplier unlocked, which doesn't just mean that you can overclock it, you can also set the multiplier lower if you want it to use less power so it can run at 3.1Ghz just like the S version if you want it to. If you aren't overclocking then you may not NEED to change the heat sink because the stock one will cool the CPU fin, the problem is the fan is small so it has to spin faster to move the heat away from the CPU. A large tower cooler will have a huge fan on it so you can have it spin slower, which means the same (or better) cooling for less noise.

As for fancy lighting, I usually buy classic cases with no windows and simple designs, so I won't be much help there.
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March 17, 2014 5:11:16 AM

Okay, thank you for your answer. :)  Efficiency has been number one criterion so far anyways because everybody says so. Now, I know why. And I will stick to -2-0-1-1- 1150, then.
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March 17, 2014 5:12:50 AM

FireFountain said:
Okay, thank you for your answer. :)  Efficiency has been number one criterion so far anyways because everybody says so. Now, I know why. And I will stick to 2011, then.


The 4770k won't go in a 2011 board. Did you mean stick with the 1150?
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March 17, 2014 5:21:20 AM

Yes, indeed. Had it wrong in my OP, too, but corrected. :) 
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