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[new system build] media/gamer setup

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December 28, 2009 3:25:53 PM

I am looking into building my first system and am glad that I have found this forum for advice. I currently use an Hp (box store bought) that I slightly upgraded with a vid card, ram, and PSU. (*intel core 2 duo 2.2, 3 gig ram, 600w psu, gt8500 gpu, vista.) I think this time I am wanting to do it all myself for quality parts as well as avoiding bloatware. Thanks ion advance for any advice and help.

budget- $1000 (can go 1100 or 1200 if it makes a huge difference)

Purchase date- within the next few weeks

Use- predominantly as a media center- would like blu ray, streaming netflix, hulu, tv stations websites etc.. (I've pretty much given up on cable except for sports or history and science channels) secondary as an all purpose web surfer, email, and possibly lastly games (I really add in games because Id like to have the better components that entails which would allow for more longevity to the system and upgradeability.

Not Req- Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

Web- Newegg (I say this just from reading other posts, if there is something better I leave it to your judgement.)

Parts pref- no pref in particular although the turbo mode and hyperthreading of a 900 series intel is attractive, unless AMD has something similar in ability.

OC-no

SLI/Crossfire- No

Monitor- at the moment I use a 55" plasma running dvi to HDMI that is 720 p and am happy with it, but I think eventually as this is my main media outlet I will upgrade to something with 1080p, especially if I get the blu ray.

December 29, 2009 8:53:03 PM

What kinds of games do you play or want to play? The more specific you're, the better suited gpu we can recommend.

FWIW, I run my PC on 720p which is really 1360 x 768. I do watch HD videos & play games on the TV. Both video & audio are passed through HDMI. What kinds of speaker system is it? 2.1, 5.1?
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December 30, 2009 12:47:35 AM

Its more about video quality for me than games in particular. If I was to play it would be a mmorpg or something of the sort. I guess I just want to have something powerful enough to handle future apps for a while. Of course no one can tell the future, but even now when I watch a 720p streamed video on my current system it sometimes bogs down a little, especially if I have any other programs running. With more and more video moving to online distribution (from what I read on Ars Technica, we might soon be able to purchase HD movies online bypassing theaters and dvd....at least some movie companies are dabbling with releasing online before DVD....This moves into the whole SOC debate which isn't really here or there but...) So when Flash 14 or VLC media player 4 come out, yeah I know i'm jumping a lot of iterations but this is what I mean by longevity, I'll still be able to use them with no problem. So If I have to pay a little extra for a GPU that is more powerful than is strictly necessary for my current needs, it will be worth it for me in the long run I feel. I run HDMI currently (well DVI to HDMI) and have a bose companion III 2.1 audio setup. On a side note with my setup now I have to mute my tv before putting on the computer input. If I dont I will get blaring static out of the TV speakers. Is this because the HDMI is trying to read audio as well and my current GPU is to old to do that causing some type of interference?
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December 30, 2009 12:41:42 PM

Back in college, I predicted online distribution of software & content. Nobody liked the idea. lol. IMO, DVD, BD, & whatever next-gen disks are going backward cuz in the end we'd jack into the matrix, so to speak. No need for portable storage. But before we do, make dang sure we have a Zion city. lol.

Yeah, I get static once in a while. It's very rare, though. I thought it was my webcam or microphone, but disabling 'em made no difference. That's the downside of outputting from PC to TV through HDMI. You'd think AMD/nVidia would iron out the small bugs in these days & ages, but no they're in the my e-pen is bigger than yours race. More shaders. More poly counts.

My cart
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quantity of item 1


Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
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Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

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Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136317
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$84.99

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SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
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Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy

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1

OCZ Diesel 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Model OCZUSBDSL4G

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OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK

OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Retail
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ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
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Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
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LG Black 8X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA Model WH08LS20K

LG Black 8X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA Model WH08LS20K - OEM
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1

Verbatim 25GB 4X BD-R Single Disc Model 96434

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OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5

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$30.00 Mail-in Rebate Card20-227-393

$149.99
$124.99

Subtotal: $1,077.92
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I picked out the mobo that supports the new standards USB 3.0 & SATA 6gbps & the GPU that supports DirectX 11 in Windows 7. The cheaper DX11 sister card is HD 5750, but it's only $30 cheaper. As well, the mobo supports SLI/Crossfire so if you need this in the future, you're not forced to ditch the mobo. Very upgradable, so to speak.

Your use won't justify i7 or even make full use of i7. It's just streaming video online. i5 also has Turbo mode. Mine on stock cooling is up to 3Ghz from 2.66. Not bad for auto overclocking. If you get i7, you're gonna have to downgrade the GPU & storage. One of the most overlooked bottlenecks in a pc is storage. SSD is faster than HDD. The Vertex is very fast. You won't believe me until you have seen it in person. Once you have, you won't ever touch a HDD for OS & apps. And when or if you play MMORPG with a low-end GPU due to i7 cost, you're gonna have to lower image quality which is your priority. i7 isn't for gaming unless you have 2000 bucks to throw around.
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January 3, 2010 5:52:20 AM

Does this setup seem compatible?


1.) SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
2.) Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
3.) Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750
4.) Seagate Barracuda LP ST31500541AS 1.5TB 5900 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5 bare HD
5.) GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
6.) Rosewill Green Series RG700-S12 700W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified,Single 12V Rail,Active PFC
7.) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
8.) NZXT LEXA S LEXS - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Total $830.97
I know the HD is slow at 5900, but it came in the package deal and with the money saved I plan on buying 64gb kingston SATA SSDNow V series which I will use as my boot drive and to store my most commonly used files and apps. Am I missing anything that I will also need? With that and a cheap Blu ray combo drive Ill be sitting at right about $1100. Do you think I should keep looking around and that I could do better?


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January 3, 2010 1:10:56 PM

That's a very good idea to compenate the slow HDD with a fast SSD as OS & software drive. You can then delegate the HDD as your storage.

The only thing I'm not 100% sure is the PSU. I think if it gets good reviews, go for it. I personally prefer well known established brands. To each his own.

Nope, pull the trigger. Intel will only cut prices of their low-end cpus (pentium/celeron/core 2). 750 isn't on the list. ATI won't be releasing newer faster GPU than the HD 5770 anytime soon. So the HD 5770 will be at that price for a while. nVidia is not in a rush to release GT300. January would be the drought for cutting-end pc hardware. As for deals, they'll always come back. We don't know when & how much cheaper.
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January 3, 2010 11:22:34 PM

Well Im glad you said that. I check it out and some reviewers had it frying and sometimes frying out their other components(!!!) so now its back to the drawing boards since that was a package deal. To bad when I choose items in a cart on newegg they dont have some type of analyzing tool that says "this will not work with this part....suggested replacements are x, x, and x" I'm quite a noobie at this and I dont want to order incompatible things. I also went back and read some comments on the sapphire 5770, and numerous ones said they had problems with it running flash videos which would turn out to be a major problem for me as that is one of the major tasks of my comp. I went to a local shop (computer direct) and for a complete build like what I have been finding above with the 64gb ssd, with the blu ray, with windows 7, them building and also a 3 year full parts and lifetime labor warranty runs about 1600. The only thing I dont like about it is they have on there PC 10600 OEM 1333mhz ram. How big of a difference does that make to what I have been looking at above, (G. Skill ripjaw etc...) taking into account I plan on no overclocking. Are there any other quality websites that you recommend that I should also be looking at for parts besides newegg? (I really dont want to sacrifice customer service and quality for price so im not really looking for bargain basement stuff)
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January 4, 2010 12:36:24 AM

next attempt:



Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B





$26.99

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RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case




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Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
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Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



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XFX GS250XYDFC GeForce GTS 250 512MB Core Edition 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card



$139.99

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Sunbeam PSU-COM680-BK-US 680W ATX12V Modular Active PFC Power Supply - OEM
Item #: N82E16817709023
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Protect Your Investment (expand for options17-709-023|hide options17-709-023)

Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan

The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info17-709-023.0.18)

* 1 year: $9.99
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Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound



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OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3OB1600LV4GK - Retail
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GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
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The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info13-128-412.0.18)

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Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750
Item #: N82E16819115215
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

-$5.00 Instant


$199.99
$194.99

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Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builder



$104.99

Subtotal: $933.90
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January 4, 2010 11:04:29 AM

batou1 said:
Well Im glad you said that. I check it out and some reviewers had it frying and sometimes frying out their other components(!!!) so now its back to the drawing boards since that was a package deal. To bad when I choose items in a cart on newegg they dont have some type of analyzing tool that says "this will not work with this part....suggested replacements are x, x, and x" I'm quite a noobie at this and I dont want to order incompatible things. I also went back and read some comments on the sapphire 5770, and numerous ones said they had problems with it running flash videos which would turn out to be a major problem for me as that is one of the major tasks of my comp. I went to a local shop (computer direct) and for a complete build like what I have been finding above with the 64gb ssd, with the blu ray, with windows 7, them building and also a 3 year full parts and lifetime labor warranty runs about 1600. The only thing I dont like about it is they have on there PC 10600 OEM 1333mhz ram. How big of a difference does that make to what I have been looking at above, (G. Skill ripjaw etc...) taking into account I plan on no overclocking. Are there any other quality websites that you recommend that I should also be looking at for parts besides newegg? (I really dont want to sacrifice customer service and quality for price so im not really looking for bargain basement stuff)


By Flash problems, do you mean full-screen HD playback? I don't think HD 5770 has that problem. GMA950 IGP for Atom most def. has choppy playback. The GTS 250 can play any MMOPRG at max image quality.

There's no difference between 1066mhz & 1600mhz for i5 750 cuz it defaults to 1066mhz for ram. If you get the 1600mhz ram, you can reuse it in future upgrades with a faster cpu that defaults to a higher mhz for ram. We don't know what they are. But Intel will release more LGA 1156 CPUs.

Memory Types DDR3-1066/1333

http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42915

The Sunbeam is not as good as this:

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail

* Efficiency: Typical load 86% Efficiency
* Your Price:$64.99
* Mail-In Rebate Card pdf:N82E16817341016 $25.00
* Price after Rebate CardN82E16817341016(s):$39.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The rest of the parts are compatible. Good ram. You can get the same speed ram for a bit less:

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

* Timing: 9-9-9-24-2N
* Voltage: 1.5V
* Your Price:$93.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 6, 2010 4:36:40 AM

Now Im torn and would just like a bit of personal advice. Ive found a store locally that deals in parts and custom builds. For most of the builds Ive been doing on newegg they end up being around $1000, and thats before the $160 ssd that I def. want to do. So my choice is this, $1160 and attempt something Ive never done before (yeah Ive put in vid cards, ram, and sound cards but this seems a little different working from the ground up....I wouldnt even know where to start with the bios and things without a step by step guide) also risk a part being damaged in shipping or DOA where id have to wait 5-7 days to get replacement, or have them build it for me (same setup but including ssd), and they also provide a 3 year labor and parts warranty where I can just bring it in and they will repair or replace parts or software conflict free of charge for around 1550. They are actually pretty competitive with newegg (within 5%-15% on most things) and the increased cost stems from the build charge and extended warranty. I know Ill miss out on the satisfaction of doing it myself on this rig, but I have my current pc that I plan on upgrading as well, wiping windows and trying to teach myself linux on. So any advice on that front? I guess basically Im wondering how difficult a first time build is, is they a thread on this forum I can get a link to that goes over it a bit?
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January 6, 2010 12:10:31 PM

It's not that $1000 isn't enough for a HTPC/gaming build, it's just that everyone got a thing for something that puts the total over budget. In your case, it's the case + psu. The Sonata III with 500W is not only quality, but also quiet and well made. I've used the older version. It was $100 at newegg. Now $110.

As for building your own & having it built by a store, it's up to you. The advantages of DIY is price, quality & easy troubleshooting. If you build it, you know what it is if something doesn't work. If someone builds it for you, you don't know what the problem is if it exists. Yes, DIY is time-consuming. That's one of the disadvantages beside shipping faulty parts back at your own expense. I buy only heavy items (PSU, case, etc) locally or if I need it right away. I have run into only one part that died on me within 1 day or use. The e-tailer emailed me a UPS shipping label to print it out, so I just had to drop it off at an outlet which is very close to me. Most other items I bought from retailers and even ebays worked perfect.

Homebuilt PC Buying Guide
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/273518-31-homebuilt-b...

Video: Building a New PC Tutorial and Walkthrough
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=824

Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...
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