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Need some help with non-Gaming basic homebuilt system

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March 14, 2009 1:25:07 AM

It's been about 6-7 years since my last build, so I feel like a newbie again. Need advice on everything!
Want a basic system for basics needs. Often have many windows open at the same time, but nothing really crazy.

Mostly bacis stuff like Office, Internet, iTunes with a lot of stuff like:
Basic Music and Video editing
Probably video capture too (I have an All-in-wonder in my old machine)
Light AutoCad usage
lot of Google Earth

Want it to be fast! But not so fast that I need the latest and greatest.

Leaning towards:
Intel Q9550
leaning towards Asus P5Q or Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P (this has been the hardest thing to choose as there are even more options)
not sure about the video card...something fairly basic
I'll stick with a good power supply, but would like it to be energy efficient and have removable cables
I have plenty of hard drive space but will probably get a few more large drives for music and video storage (WD or seagate)
Case is an Antec Sonata that I'm doing some custom work on (big fan of my college team!)
Memory will be DDR2 from someone reputable like Corsair, Kingston,etc (probably between 4-8GB)
Will likely run Vista home Pemium 64 bit

March 14, 2009 1:41:44 AM

I'd suggest a GA-EP45-UD3R. Compared to the GA-Ep45-UD3P, it has no Crossfire, supports only one video card (so you can have only 2 monitors, rather than 4), butit's cheaper and it has an additional PCI slot (good for a TV tuner, for example).

Q9550 sounds perfect here.

Video card: HD 4670. I'm assuming you want something under $100 with hardware support for high-def video and quiet and consuming little, and you're not playing shooter games.

Removable cables would cost you about $30 extra, all things being equal. Corsair 520HX would be an example. However, a Corsair 650TX is more powerful and $15 less at Newegg, so I'd prefer it even if it's not modular.

Get WD drives. Seagate has a major firmware issue that turns drives into bricks. Let them fix it first. WD6401AALS is one of the best drives available.

Definitely get a 64bit OS, especially if you get 8GB of RAM.

G.Skill PI Black RAM is very popular these days.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231209

March 14, 2009 1:45:25 AM

One more thing. The newer tuner cards have much better image quality than the AIW. I've seen reviews that showed major differences. I have a Hauppauge PVR-150 and an ATI Theater 650, both PCI, both working very nicely. You'll need a TV tuner because modern video cards don't come with tuners like the AIWs.

Edit: there are even dual-tuner cards. Very convenient when the networks put House M.D. and NCIS at the same time on different channels and you're not at home because you can record both.

Related resources
March 14, 2009 2:03:27 AM

AMD Phenom II 940BE, Gigabyte 790GX, 4GB DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total is $310. Onboard video, onboard sound.

Depends on what type of energy efficency you want and how much power.
ENERMAX MODU82+ 425W, 80 Bronze, Modular, very quiet $70 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Whether you overclock or not I would consider this a must buy. Allows you overclock or run cool and quiet.
XIGMATEK HDT-RS1283 120mm CPU Cooler $33 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 14, 2009 9:25:03 PM

aevm said:
I'd suggest a GA-EP45-UD3R. Compared to the GA-Ep45-UD3P, it has no Crossfire, supports only one video card (so you can have only 2 monitors, rather than 4), butit's cheaper and it has an additional PCI slot (good for a TV tuner, for example).

Q9550 sounds perfect here.

Video card: HD 4670. I'm assuming you want something under $100 with hardware support for high-def video and quiet and consuming little, and you're not playing shooter games.

Removable cables would cost you about $30 extra, all things being equal. Corsair 520HX would be an example. However, a Corsair 650TX is more powerful and $15 less at Newegg, so I'd prefer it even if it's not modular.

Get WD drives. Seagate has a major firmware issue that turns drives into bricks. Let them fix it first. WD6401AALS is one of the best drives available.

Definitely get a 64bit OS, especially if you get 8GB of RAM.

G.Skill PI Black RAM is very popular these days.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231209



Any particular HD4670 video card that you'd recommend?

Yeah, I wasn't too sure about the Gigabyte board since I don't really know waht the point of the PCIexpress2.0 x8 slot would be. Aren't all new video cards coming out at x16?

What about the Asus board...is Gigabyte preferred in general?
March 15, 2009 8:55:35 PM

I would trust Gigabyte too. That particular one is a great deal at $50.

About the x8/x16 thing: all new video cards are compatible with PCI-E x16 slots. i.e. they have the right size and shape and connectors to work in those slots.

However, the same PCI-E x16 slot can run at full x16 speed or, in SLI/Crossfire configurations, it may drop to x8 speed. For a HD 4670 card this is irrelevant, i.e. the card would still work at its best and you wouldn't lose any performance. Only the most powerful gaming cards (GTX 285, HD 4870 X2, GTX 295) care about this part, AFAIK.

March 16, 2009 7:51:04 AM

aevm said:
One more thing. The newer tuner cards have much better image quality than the AIW. I've seen reviews that showed major differences. I have a Hauppauge PVR-150 and an ATI Theater 650, both PCI, both working very nicely. You'll need a TV tuner because modern video cards don't come with tuners like the AIWs.

Edit: there are even dual-tuner cards. Very convenient when the networks put House M.D. and NCIS at the same time on different channels and you're not at home because you can record both.



Diamond still makes the AIW cards but it seems kind of pointless to me since you can only get the HD signal over the air. What good is a HD tuner card if you don't have HD inputs? I actually found a card with HDMI inputs (Black Magic Intensity) but it won't work with protected content (i.e. cable or sat). Hence, I'm not going too crazy on the videocard...because what I really want doesn't exist on a consumer level.

Thanks for the suggestion on the HD 4670. I'm just trying to figure out which one now. That $50 suggestion from MykC is nice too! I was actually headed in the non-fan direction (trying to stay on the quiet side), but the heatsinks end up blocking the next slot. I guess that's no different than not using the next slot and obstructing the fan? I might end up taking MykC's suggestion. This is what I was looking at though:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 16, 2009 12:20:15 PM

Sounds good. I would pay an extra $21 for that Sapphire to keep the noise down.
!