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Can you "proof-read" my new build before I buy/build?

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June 15, 2009 10:58:49 AM

This is my first real build from ... scratch. I know how to assemble a completely disassembled PC, but I've never taken the time to really BUILD my own, from ideal to reality. I've spent the past, oh, 8 or 10 hours scouring newegg.com and the Asus and Intel sites finding what I want and what is compatible. I wanted to run the build by the board before I send newegg a couple grand.

Just as a disclaimer, I've decided to spend more money on some newer parts (processor especially) since I'm not planning on upgrading for 3+ years. 4 years ago I spent a lot of money on a P4 3.0ghz and its still amazingly fast, but I'm moving on to web/graphic design and video editing, so I need something more powerful. I tried to balance the parts out so that I can enjoy games over the next few years, as well as tackle design and AV editing.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

BUDGET RANGE: $2000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: audio recording/editing, video editing, web/graphic design, video games, surfing the internet, desktop support for clients (remote desktop, hence ultimate, plus it has a good backup feature) word processing, watching movies, burning media

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I'm only buying from newegg (Preferred Account = no interest)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel/ATI

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in the future (not now, though)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire: YES

MONITOR RESOLUTION: High as possible (I think what I have is 1920x1080)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Seasoned system builders, I would greatly appreciate your comments. I have plent of SATA cables, but if you think of anything I missed, please let me know!!!

NOTE: What is listed below has totalled to about $1800 (including other, smaller stuff)

---------------------------------

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Steel Full Tower
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Motherboard: ASUS P5Q-E LGA 775 Intel P45, FSB: 1600/1333MHz
Memory: Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-pin SDRAM DDR2 PC2-6400 (800MHz) x 4 = 8GB total

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 12MB L2 Cache
Heatsink: Tuniq Tower 120mm Universal Fan/Heatsink - Aluminum/Copper

Storage: 2x WD Caviar Black 500GB 7200RPM 3.5" 3.0GB/s SATA 32MB Cache

--PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V
120mm fan, Crossfire Ready, Not Modular
--PSU Output:
+3.3@36A,+5V@30A,+12V1@18A,+12V2@18A,+12V3@18A,+ 12V4@18A,-12V@0.8A,+5VSB@3.0A
--PSU Connectors:
1 x 20+4-pin ATX
1 x 4-pin/8-pin CPU
2 x PCI-Express
6 x 4-pin peripheral
2 x 4-pin floppy
6 x SATA

Video: 2x XFX Radeon HD 4850
1GB, 256-bit GDDR3, 1990MHz memory clock
800 stream processing units, 625 MHz core clock
PCI-e 2.0 x16 HDCP/Crossfire ready
(2 of these via Crossfire)

Monitors: 2x ASUS 21.5” 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitors
16:9 | 1080P | 1920x1080
D-Sub, DVI, HDMI

Optical Drives:
Plextor 20x DVD-Burner SATA
HP 22x DVD-Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model 1170i

Card Reader: Rosewill 74-in-1 w/ USB 2.0 port
June 15, 2009 11:39:15 AM

Personally, with that kind of money to spend, I think you could end up with a lot more.

I'd seriously check into the new Phenoms, or if it were me, the new i7 920.

You should be able to get an i7 920 for $280 (less - $229.99 if you live near a microcenter), another $200-$250 for an X58 motherboard, around $100 or a little more for decent DDR3 RAM.

I like the Tuniq tower, but the Xigmatek (get the bracket too) is a quality performer for a little less.

The DVD drive is fine, but why different models?

I didn't see a HDD listed. I'd suggest WD 640GB black.

The PSU is fine, but PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, or Antec Earthwatts would be a little higher quality.

The case is a good choice.

The GPUs are OK, but if I was spending that much, I'd get a little higher single card with the option of crossfire/SLI later.

I would get a larger monitor and add one later - go for 24" if you are buying right now.

I think you could build a quality i7 build well within that budget. The i7 builds are good for many things, but the 4 cores can do quite a bit simultaneously, especially with hyperthreading back in the mix.
June 15, 2009 12:33:23 PM

I would recommend a configuration similar to the following.

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R: $185*
Intel Core i7 920: $280
OCZ Gold 6GB DDR3 1600: $80*
2x 4870 1Gb: $300
PCP&C 750w: $80*
COOLER MASTER HAF 932: $150
1Tb HD: $75
2x DVD/RW: $34
Multi Reader: $9
Noctua NH-U12P: $70*
2x Dell 2408WFP: $980

Total*: $2243

*after MIR

This will give you a system that is much more powerful and capable than what you have suggested.
If you need to shave some cash, I would recommend dropping either one of the 4870's or one of the Dell 2408's and picking up a second one at a later date.
Related resources
June 15, 2009 12:44:12 PM

^+1 but I would suggest you get the
EX58-UD4P for $208*

And i7 from Microcenter pick-up if possible for about $230...
June 15, 2009 12:48:46 PM

And the Dell 24" would no doubt be the best...but if you want a cheaper alternative...You could buy 2 of these nearly for the price of 1 Dell monitor...
ASUS MK241H Black 24"
June 15, 2009 2:15:54 PM

+1 to outlw6669 - excellent specific suggestions.

I agree - you can get way more horsepower for that kind of $
June 15, 2009 5:34:14 PM

Thank you guys. I took the advice and researched a bit on the i7 build. It is $430 more than the C2Q setup, but I think it is worthwhile as this is a more future proof computer. 12GB of RAM, fast processor, good mobo -- I'll be set. The total is $2,260.

Are these video cards good enough for the 1080p? (I don't mind spending a little more if needed -- I'm not sure which are the best Nvidia cards out now)
Is this PSU going to be enough (I think it may be overspec'd)?
Any other thoughts before I buy and build?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Case: $149.99
Cooler Master HAF 932 RC-932-KKn1-GP

OS: $149.99
*Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Motherboard: $289.99
*ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX
*FSB: QPI 6.4GT/S
*Max Memory: 24GB up to DDR3 2000 (6 slots)

Memory: $229.00
*CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB)
*240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Processor: $249.99
*Intel Core i7 920 @2.66GHz LGA1366

Heatsink: $77.98
*Zalman CNPS9900 LED 120mm 2 Ball

Storage: $99.99
*WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM 3.5" 3.0GB/s SATA 32MB Cache

PSU: $184.49
*PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS910 910W ATX12V 2.2
*SLI/CrossFire Ready

Video: $147.99 x 2 = $295.98
*EVGA 01G-P3-1155-TR GeForce GTS 250
*1GB 256-bit GDDR3
*PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
*(2 of these setup with SLI)

Monitors: $179.99 x 2 = $359.98 - $40.00 Rebate = $319.98
*2 ASUS 21.5” 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitors
*16:9 | 1080P | 1920x1080
*D-Sub, DVI, HDMI

Optical Drives: $35.00 + $27.00 = $62.00
*Plextor 20x DVD-Burner SATA (DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW)
*HP 22x DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model 1170i (DVD+R, DVD-R)

Card Reader: $16.99
*Rosewill 74-in-1 w/ USB 2.0 port
June 15, 2009 5:34:42 PM

BTW the asterisks were for my benefit, they denote free shipping with newegg.
June 15, 2009 6:18:21 PM

This is actully my built that I will be building soon, thought you might want to take a look and change your mind about your built if you want to

AMD 940 BE
ASUS M4A78T-E
ASUS 4850 512MB ( getting another one later + OC's easily to 800)
Antec 900
PCP&C 610w
OCZ platinum AM3 1333mhz 2x2GB
WDC blue 160GB
LG GH22NS30 22x DVD-RW
June 15, 2009 7:10:27 PM

@K1ash3r: The PC Power 610 is cutting it close if you plan to do CrossFire. Get a 650TX or better.
June 15, 2009 7:16:46 PM

Shadow703793 said:
@K1ash3r: The PC Power 610 is cutting it close if you plan to do CrossFire. Get a 650TX or better.


Yea, you're right I didnt realise that. Thanks


June 16, 2009 10:34:14 AM

1stclassrepairdotcom said:
Thank you guys. I took the advice and researched a bit on the i7 build. It is $430 more than the C2Q setup, but I think it is worthwhile as this is a more future proof computer. 12GB of RAM, fast processor, good mobo -- I'll be set. The total is $2,260.

Are these video cards good enough for the 1080p? (I don't mind spending a little more if needed -- I'm not sure which are the best Nvidia cards out now)
Is this PSU going to be enough (I think it may be overspec'd)?
Any other thoughts before I buy and build?
....


This build looks much better but you should still make some changes.

Defiantly switch the GTS 250's for a pair of 4870 1Gb's.
While the GTS 250's are not bad cards, the 4870's, which cost the same, will give you about 20% higher performance and gives you DX 10.1 support along with much better AA performance.
Where the GTS 250's are equivalent to 4850's, the 4870's would be equivalent to GTX 260 core 216's.

Switch your PSU for the Silencer 750w and save yourself a $100.
As you only really need a high quality 600w PSU for a 4870 Cf system, you will still have plenty of power to spare.

Switch the OS either to the free Win7 RC1 or Vista x64 Home Premium for $80.
Using Vista x64 HP will save you another $70 and will not compromise your usability.
There is very little in the Ultimate version you are ever likely to use.

You could defiantly use a lower priced motherboard without sacrificing anything.
There have been a few posted above you can look into.

The last suggestion I make is towards the displays.
As you are going to be doing quite a bit of video editing, graphic and web design, I would highly recommend having at least one sPVA display like the above mentioned Dell 2408WFP.
Not only do sPVA panels have a much more usable viewing angle (you see the same image without color shifts from basically any angle), they display many more colors and do so much more accurately.
June 16, 2009 10:47:16 AM

1stclassrepairdotcom said:
This is my first real build from ... scratch. I know how to assemble a completely disassembled PC, but I've never taken the time to really BUILD my own, from ideal to reality. I've spent the past, oh, 8 or 10 hours scouring newegg.com and the Asus and Intel sites finding what I want and what is compatible. I wanted to run the build by the board before I send newegg a couple grand.

Just as a disclaimer, I've decided to spend more money on some newer parts (processor especially) since I'm not planning on upgrading for 3+ years. 4 years ago I spent a lot of money on a P4 3.0ghz and its still amazingly fast, but I'm moving on to web/graphic design and video editing, so I need something more powerful. I tried to balance the parts out so that I can enjoy games over the next few years, as well as tackle design and AV editing.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

BUDGET RANGE: $2000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: audio recording/editing, video editing, web/graphic design, video games, surfing the internet, desktop support for clients (remote desktop, hence ultimate, plus it has a good backup feature) word processing, watching movies, burning media

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I'm only buying from newegg (Preferred Account = no interest)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel/ATI

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in the future (not now, though)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire: YES

MONITOR RESOLUTION: High as possible (I think what I have is 1920x1080)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Seasoned system builders, I would greatly appreciate your comments. I have plent of SATA cables, but if you think of anything I missed, please let me know!!!

NOTE: What is listed below has totalled to about $1800 (including other, smaller stuff)

---------------------------------

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Steel Full Tower
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Motherboard: ASUS P5Q-E LGA 775 Intel P45, FSB: 1600/1333MHz
Memory: Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-pin SDRAM DDR2 PC2-6400 (800MHz) x 4 = 8GB total

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 12MB L2 Cache
Heatsink: Tuniq Tower 120mm Universal Fan/Heatsink - Aluminum/Copper

Storage: 2x WD Caviar Black 500GB 7200RPM 3.5" 3.0GB/s SATA 32MB Cache

--PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V
120mm fan, Crossfire Ready, Not Modular
--PSU Output:
+3.3@36A,+5V@30A,+12V1@18A,+12V2@18A,+12V3@18A,+ 12V4@18A,-12V@0.8A,+5VSB@3.0A
--PSU Connectors:
1 x 20+4-pin ATX
1 x 4-pin/8-pin CPU
2 x PCI-Express
6 x 4-pin peripheral
2 x 4-pin floppy
6 x SATA

Video: 2x XFX Radeon HD 4850
1GB, 256-bit GDDR3, 1990MHz memory clock
800 stream processing units, 625 MHz core clock
PCI-e 2.0 x16 HDCP/Crossfire ready
(2 of these via Crossfire)

Monitors: 2x ASUS 21.5” 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitors
16:9 | 1080P | 1920x1080
D-Sub, DVI, HDMI

Optical Drives:
Plextor 20x DVD-Burner SATA
HP 22x DVD-Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model 1170i

Card Reader: Rosewill 74-in-1 w/ USB 2.0 port



If your going for 2x4850, why not choose GTX 295? It's faster isn't it?
June 16, 2009 11:34:06 AM

famciclovirrr said:
If your going for 2x4850, why not choose GTX 295? It's faster isn't it?


Sure it is, it just costs a heck of a lot more while not performing so much better at his 1920x1200 resolution.
Where you can get 4850's from $90 and 4870 1Gb's from $150 ($180-300/Pair), a single GTX 295 will cost you a minimum of $530.
As a pair of 48X0's, especially the 1Gb versions, will have more than enough power for basically any game at 1920x1200, there is really no reason to waste the extra $.
June 17, 2009 9:55:20 PM

Be careful with using the Windows 7 RC as your primary OS. I have found it very stable so far, but it is still not an official release. The final release of Windows 7 is due out on October 22nd. So using the RC now is only deferring the cost until later. The RC also will start rebooting every 2 hours on March 1st of 2010. Also, there is no official path to upgrade from the RC (or betas) to the final release. So you will need to reinstall your system fresh when you move to the final release. All those warnings said, it is an awesome OS so far and I have had very few problems (missing drivers for some USB bits I had, just used Vista drivers and I was in business usually).

Also if you are doing photo editing and video editing as your main purpose on here, then pay attention to what Outlw6669 said about being careful with what monitor you get. A good monitor, with proper calibration profiles will save you a lot headache (and ink/money) when fine tuning colors and effects. The little bit extra you pay for a good monitor will pay for itself in less time spent in frustration and reprints.
!