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Rate my non-gaming build. BUYING THIS WEEK.

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December 9, 2009 2:40:14 PM

Hey guys,

after shamelessly bumping my other thread twice with no responses, I've decided to make a new thread dedicated to the actual build. I'm really hoping to get some feedback from this great community that has helped me so much in the past.

This build is for my dad who is looking for a very quick PC but will not be doing any gaming. He wants to run a 24" monitor and it is quite likely he will do some HD movie watching and some multimedia work. This is the build i have come up with:

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dnd, I really appreciate your advice, but i'm going to be stubborn and go with an i5 build. I realize he may not see a noticeable difference in every day browsing between an AM3 build and an i5 build, but I have had nothing but bad experiences with AMD and nothing but good experiences with intel. Also, I would like to have a slight overclock on this PC, and I am familiar with overclocking the i series chips.

That being said, I am open to value-saving suggestions to this initial outline. (Budget is not really an issue at all -- I am just trying to get the most for the money for his purposes). The biggest costs are obviously the monitor and the OS.

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COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail -- $59.99 (Free Shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have this case and absolutely love it. Normally I would got a cheaper route but since it's on sale for $60 with free shipping, I couldn't turn it down.


ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail -- $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have had great experiences with ASUS in the past and have developed trust issues with gigabyte after some bad boards. (this may be irrational, but I am just going on experience). I know relatively little about P55 boards, but this seemed like a great value.


Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail -- $199.99 (Free Shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seems to be the best of 3 i5 options...should be a decent overclocker.


G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail -- $95.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This 1600 set is only $1 more than the 1333 set...should make for easier overclocking. Not sure on this one.


CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail -- $89.99 ($69.99 after $20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I love corsair and this seems to be easily enough power for this system. Could I save some money reliably with Antec?


Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive -- $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This HDD has always exceeded my expectations. 32MB cache is very nice and the dense 320gb platters seem to make this the snappiest drive for the money.


GIGABYTE GV-R467ZL-1GI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail -- $74.99 ($64.99 with $10 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Big question mark here. Good option for HD movies?

SAMSUNG 2433BW High Glossy Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 20000:1(1000:1) - Retail -- $289.99 Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Own this monitor and love it. Any competitive 24" suggestions?

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM -- $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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Total with shipping: $1,124.77


Thanks for the help!

edit: sorry, fixed the links.
a b 4 Gaming
December 9, 2009 3:17:24 PM

I will spear you the same feedback that you received from dndhatcher, that the AM3 Athlon II X4 620 would be the better route for your needs!

So on to your build... (Two recommendated changes)
  • HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - one 500GB Platter that beats the WD 640GB Black hard drive... plus cheaper!!
  • RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail - Roughly the same price as your DDR3 1600, with tighter timings (Cas7 vs Cas9), which will provide better performance. Timings are more important than the RAM speed.
  • DVD/Blu-Ray: You are missing one on your list, so just don't forget to pick one up, if you don't already have one.

    Everything else look acceptable for your needs...
    a b 4 Gaming
    December 9, 2009 3:23:28 PM

    Agree with tecmo.

    GPU: I'd take a look at the newer ATI cards (specifically the 5750 or 5770). They run cooler and quieter, which makes them ideal for HTPCs. They're also more current, so they'll have more staying power with Windows 7.

    EDIT: Might want to take a look at the G.Skill 1333 mhz Eco sticks. They're a little cheaper and use less energy, but have the same specs.
    Related resources
    December 9, 2009 3:25:03 PM

    Thanks tecmo. Can you provide an example AM3 cpu/mobo combo for me to consider? I am still heavily in favor of intel but would like to be swayed if possible.

    Also, is the samsung spinpoint a new-ish model? When i built my PC not too long ago, all of the advice was to stay away due to firmware issues. Have these been resolved?

    Thanks again.
    a b 4 Gaming
    December 9, 2009 3:29:44 PM

    Agree completely with getting a 5750 or 5770.

    Also get the Samsung Spinpoint F3, haven't been any issues with those in a while. Think you're thinking of the F1 and F2 which had issues, but that was a while ago.

    Also if you are, or know a student got to http://www.win741.com/. Get yourself a $30 copy of win 7 pro or home premium.
    a b 4 Gaming
    December 9, 2009 3:37:17 PM

    There were never firmware issues with Samsung drives. You're thinking of the Seagate 7200.11 drives. Yes, the F3 Samsung drives are pretty new and the single 500GB platter makes them very fast.
    December 9, 2009 3:38:02 PM

    Can that version of windows 7 be installed on a new HDD? (without upgrading from a current OS)
    a b 4 Gaming
    December 9, 2009 3:54:21 PM

    Yes, but you do need to convert the files they give you to a bootable img. Dunno if they fixed that yet, but on release day, it was some weird format that took me 2hrs of research and 3 dvds to get burned into a bootable disk =D

    I think they now offer the DL for a bootable USB, which makes things super easy.

    Worse comes to worse, just obtain a copy of win 7 "elsewhere" and use the product key you get. That's really what you're paying for and the only thing that matters.

    Oh, and for the upgrade key, don't type it in when it ask you to type it in on a fresh install. Just click continue w/o the key and enter it after you get into windows. Some odd reason it won't accept the Upgrade keys as legit during the install process, but works fine after the install.
    December 9, 2009 4:04:33 PM

    That seems like a good option. I do still have my own upgrade version of 7...key might work if that one doesn't. Hopefully I won't have any issues creating a bootable disc/usb drive.

    Thanks guys.
    a b 4 Gaming
    December 9, 2009 8:00:35 PM

    foolycooly said:
    Thanks tecmo. Can you provide an example AM3 cpu/mobo combo for me to consider? I am still heavily in favor of intel but would like to be swayed if possible.

    Also, is the samsung spinpoint a new-ish model? When i built my PC not too long ago, all of the advice was to stay away due to firmware issues. Have these been resolved?

    Thanks again.

    Other posters have already addressed the Samsung Spinpoint F3, so you should be good to go with using that hard drive.

    Now here is a AM3 CPU/MOBO combo to consider... AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus & ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard. This combo is just $4 more than your Core i5 750 processor only... not including the additional cost for the LGA 1156 motherboard. You will be able to use all of your other components with this combo. This will provide more than enough power for your Dad. Also since he isn't gaming, you could even purchase this combo for additional savings... AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus & ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard at $178.99
    December 12, 2009 7:01:09 PM

    Thanks, tecmo.

    You all will probably hate me, but I pulled the trigger on the i5 combo. I was able to get the i5 750 for $149.99 at microcenter and the ASUS board for $100. This came to an additional cost of $50 over the AMD combo.

    However after further research my eyes have opened to AMD and their new (to me) line of processors. I will certainly consider them in future builds that do not require a massive amount of computing power.

    The final tally came in at about $950 (taking into account everyone's suggestions to switch to the spinpoint HDD and ripjaws rams). This included a beautiful Samsung 24" touch of color monitor on sale on newegg for $250.

    I'll post pics of the build after completion. Thanks again for all the help.
    a b 4 Gaming
    December 12, 2009 7:49:03 PM

    foolycooly said:
    Thanks, tecmo.

    You all will probably hate me, but I pulled the trigger on the i5 combo. I was able to get the i5 750 for $149.99 at microcenter and the ASUS board for $100. This came to an additional cost of $50 over the AMD combo.

    I'll post pics of the build after completion. Thanks again for all the help.

    Sounds like a good system... No hard feelings, my main PC is an i7 920 so I understand your decision. :) 

    Look forward to your PC pics.
    !