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First OFFICIAL Build - Upgrade from P4, 3 GHZ, 4GB, XP Pro 32bit

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February 4, 2009 8:31:01 PM

Hey Everyone. I have always pieced together computers from older out-of-the-box computers, but now I want to complete my first official build from start to finish. I feel like I have reached an end-point with my HP business microATX "piece together."

My girlfriend & I entertain often and we are looking to create a HTPC that will look great on the 60" plasma, serve as a great audio unit, but still serve as a graphic designer's main dream machine.

This is the list of parts I'm looking at:
CASE:
nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - $99

MB:
ASUS P5Q SE PLUS LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - $49 (open box special)

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model (with stock fan) - $164

RAM:
(8GB of PC2 8500) G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory X 2 - $94

VIDEO CARD:
GIGABYTE R465OC-1GI Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - $60

VIDEO CAPTURE:
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner / Encoder 1229 PCI-Express x1 Interface - $110

PSU:
Rosewill RP500 500W ATX12V v1.3/ EPS12V Power Supply - $45

HD:
HITACHI 0A38016 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $95

DRIVE:
SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA - $26

OS:
7 Beta 64bit or Vista Ultimate 64bit - Free - Company will pay for it

TOTAL:
Initially $775 (will be much less once I sell some older computers & parts) Probably cost about $200 - $250 out of my pocket.

Is this complete overkill? I'm not looking to be "submerged" in computer games, but do not want to wait to do anything while I am on my pc.

Tell me what you guys think. Point me in a better direction if there is one?
February 5, 2009 6:29:27 AM

I think you want a lot but you aren't willing to pay for it :p 

Never buy open box specials, they RARELY work right if at all.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need a 1GB 4650 as much as you need a 4670 that will at least vent part of it's hot air out of the case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any Rosewill PSU is asking for trouble.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heat is your enemy.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-You'll probably need some very quiet fans to replace the fans in that case as well, but you could wait and hear on that one.
February 5, 2009 10:43:05 AM

You want gaming + HTPC + graphic design - me think you ought to go for a quadcore :p  My suggestion:

Hybrid Power and you!

February 5, 2009 11:35:03 AM

Well I'm not really looking at gaming that much .... more for recording tv - storing movies - creating highlights/short video clips - serving as an entertainment system on the weekends.

I have already anticipated replacing the case fans & possibly adding a side fan. Also replacing the stock CPU fan.

The upgradability to 16GB of RAM & possible future replacement with a Quad Core is the reason for the board I have chosen. I probably will NOT go with the open box.

I agree with most of the recommendations made except for the quad core AMD. I was completely ready to make my purchase 3 weeks ago with a quad core AMD but changed my mind. All the research I've done points me to the belief that a dual core Intel will provide me with more power and provide quicker processes than the AMD quad. I am willing to sacrifice a few graphic advantages that AMD provides for quicker performance for programs and processes. Right?

The IT department at my company continues to recommend the E7400 over the E8400. I don't see myself overclocking this system much, if any.


With all of this said and recommendations made, I just can't imagine having 8GB of RAM! :bounce: 
:bounce: 

Thanks everybody for the help! Keep it coming!
February 5, 2009 12:47:16 PM

Err E8400 for multicore apps actually slower than both Phenom x4 9950 and Q6600 nevermind these newer Phenom 2..



February 5, 2009 3:56:27 PM

Ok ... here is the new config. I'm holding off on the Video Card ... I want to see how "well" the onboard graphics are.



Picked the AMD Phenom 9850 instead of the Intel E8400.

Thoughts?
February 5, 2009 7:50:01 PM

I think you would be happier with a Phenom II if you are going that route, but it's certainly not a bad build. I know the onboard graphics will be enough for Blu-ray movies (1080p) but beyond that not sure.
February 6, 2009 9:58:05 AM

Agree - Phenom 2/Deneb >> Phenom 1/Agena both in performance and power consumption ^^
February 8, 2009 3:30:09 PM

Alright. I've made my decision about my system. Here is what I have purchased:

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case $99.99
ECS A780GM-A AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $59.99
PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS420X 420W ATX12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $44.99
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit $26.99

We are WELL within the price range I desire. All I have to do is purchase the CPU.

My last question is - and I've seen the charts above - is the AMD Phenom II 940's performance worth $40 over the AMD Phenom II 920's performance? I think not, but I'd like to hear from an expert.

Thanks guys.
February 8, 2009 8:05:15 PM

It would be worth it to me. Just depends on your standards and needs.
February 12, 2009 7:27:47 PM

Ok. All parts have been ordered & should be here by Saturday. This is what I have ahead of me. Good thing I got the g/f a spa day on Saturday so I can work!


nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case $99.99
ECS A780GM-A AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $59.99
PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS420X 420W ATX12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $44.99
CORSAIR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit $46.99
ASUS 22X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-22B1LT $27.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600 Brisbane 2.9GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5600DOBOX $69.00

CRAPPY PROCESSOR I KNOW! I'm not keeping it! I am going to use it until I decide what cpu I really want.

I am SERIOUSLY considering the new Phenom II X3 720, but am also eager to see the price point on the new Phenom II X4 925. I can't find a lot of info on it though. Thoughts? X3 720 vs X4 925?

Also, after a little deeper research, I am seriously considering switching to this:
ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard - $79.99

I have already been guaranteed a cash sale for the crappy Athlon X2 and ECS board (with $25 profit)! So I am contemplating going ahead and ordering the Asrock board regardless of the ECS' performance.

What do you guys think?
!