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Need comments on my new build

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January 7, 2010 2:57:39 PM

Hi,
Although I've been following TH for a long while, reading and learning, I just joined now to get comments and advice on my new built I'm gonna order soon.

I have always bought custom builds for the last 10 years but, this is the first time I'm gonna put everything together (literally) by myself.

I'm gonna use the computer heavily for gaming on a 23" Acer X233H at 1920x1080 resolution. Then I will add 2 more of X233H s when I get a little more bucks.

I'm planning to O/C the 965 to something between 3.8 - 4.0 GHz range. I really need a good recommendation on a sufficient cpu cooler.

I'm gonna add another 5850 and crossfire later.

I'm planning on buying these parts 1-2 weeks later.

BTW, FYI components cost more where I am b/c of customs. So add 30-40% on US prices at the end.
I've written the prices here in $ in brackets.

I'm looking forward on your comments on stability, temp, noise, compatibility & performance.

PS: I've already murdered my wallet by $180, so please don't go much up. :p 
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Here are the parts I've decided to buy:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz ($240)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard ($220)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) ($150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 ($348)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 ($238)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=n82e168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX ($206)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=n82e168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB ($72)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=n82e168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB ($119)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : comments build

January 7, 2010 3:11:41 PM

OK, quickly what I notice, is you are limiting yourself to 16 Gb max RAM for future RAM upgrade, however there are boards out there that will take up to 32 Gb. Also, you have RAID capable board, as most are now why not use it. For a few bucks more use 2 1 Tb HDD in RAID 0, as it is apparent that you are not worried about backup/redundancy and this will give you more life out of your machine. Otherwise, I am not sure what game you are playing, but this seems to be quite robust, if you are trying to work on a budget for this build you are probably overdoing it a bit. Might help to know the gaming demands you are putting on it.
January 7, 2010 3:15:55 PM

RAM: Those aren't very good sticks. For $1 more, you can get G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7, which will be a lot faster.

Case: You could save $40 before the exchange with the HAF 922 (it's also got a rebate, so it might be more). It's the same case, just slightly smaller.

PSU: You don't need that large of a unit. A 750W one will allow you to Crossfire later.

HDD: Ditch the WDs. Get some Samsung Spinpoint F3 (same sizes). They're faster, quieter, cooler and cheaper.

Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 $30. One of the best, and one of the cheapest.

No optical or OS?

@wolfbrancher: Do you really think he'll need 32 GB of memory before the next time he needs a new computer? Assuming the OP's using the computer for gaming, 8 GB is not needed now. Extrapolating Moore's Law (size/speed of technology doubles every 18 months 2 years) to software, in 4.5 years 6 years, gaming will require 32 GB. This is assuming that a gaming build need 4 now (which it doesn't). If you can build a gaming computer (or any other) that doesn't need to be replaced in the next 5 years 8 years, you wouldn't need to be hanging around this forum.
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January 7, 2010 3:33:20 PM

wolfbrancher said:
OK, quickly what I notice, is you are limiting yourself to 16 Gb max RAM for future RAM upgrade, however there are boards out there that will take up to 32 Gb. Also, you have RAID capable board, as most are now why not use it. For a few bucks more use 2 1 Tb HDD in RAID 0, as it is apparent that you are not worried about backup/redundancy and this will give you more life out of your machine. Otherwise, I am not sure what game you are playing, but this seems to be quite robust, if you are trying to work on a budget for this build you are probably overdoing it a bit. Might help to know the gaming demands you are putting on it.


Thanks for the quick reply man, I really appreciate it.

The reason I didn't consider 32gb ram is my previous experience. My last system was built exacty 4 years ago with 2gb 533 MHz ddr2, and I didn't really feel the lack of anything till the last year, so I thought anything more than 8gb or 16gb would be an overshoot. I'll completely rebuild after 3-4 years again anyway.

And concerning "Raid". I never did it, I don't know the performance increase it introduces nor what change in stability etc, and whether it is worth or not. I'll look into it. Many thanks.

Regarding games, I tend to play every quality game ever released, on highest possible details. I'll be looking forward to playing anything they throw at the market on highest settings for 1.5 or 2 years. (AA: Maybe 4x, AF: let's say 8x, not really a critical issue for me tho)

I'm trying to stay somewhere in between gaming - enthusiast.
January 7, 2010 3:44:49 PM

Some RAID info. All types of RAID require you to use the same size HDDs. The basic types require 2 (or more), while some of them require either 3 or 4 at minimum.

There are 2 basic types: RAID 0 and RAID 1. RAID 0 is called stripping, and it basically treats 2 HDDs as 1 large one. This is used to drastically speed up the drives, but provides no data redundancy.

RAID 1 is called mirroring, and it takes 2 HDDs and treats them as 1 small one (the size of an individual drive). What happens is that all data is automatically written to two places. The speed doesn't slow down, and you get complete redundancy.

RAID 5 is a combination. It uses 3 drives, and is a mixture of the RAID 0 and 1. The data is written not on one separate phsyical drive, but over parts of each drive (similarly to RAID 0). You get a little faster speed, and some redundancy.

RAID 10 (or 1+0) requires 4 drives. It's just 2 sets of RAID 0 drvies, with one set being the mirror of the other. Obviously, this is the best way to go, as it speeds up the drives and provides total redundancy, but is the most expensive.
January 7, 2010 3:58:02 PM

Good overview of RAID, though I feel the need to point out a couple more considerations about RAID 5.

* Slightly faster read speeds than no RAID, but it takes longer to write data, since it has to calculate the loss-recovery parity data.
* 3 disks is the minimum you can use in RAID 5, you could go higher if you desired.
* RAID 5 gets you the most storage out of your disks for the money, with redundancy.

In short, pick 2 of the following 3 (you sacrifice the 3rd): speed, redundancy, storage
speed & redundancy = RAID 1 (though speed is lower than RAID 0)
speed & storage = RAID 0
redundancy & storage = RAID 5

In general, you should not use RAID 5 for a boot drive (on a gaming system, your call for other uses), though it's perfectly acceptable to use for storage.

If you're considering RAID 0 for a boot drive for gaming, you might look at SSDs as well. 2 disks in RAID 0 is still cheaper at this point, but a small SSD won't cost that much more, and it will provide an even greater performance boost for a boot drive.
January 7, 2010 4:04:58 PM

Thanks for clarifying the RAID 5. That's the one I'm never sure about.

I'd consider $100 quite a bit more. Granted, SSDs cannot be beat for speed. They're just so expensive that I can't find myself recommending them unless you're basically build without a budget (i.e. $1,800 or more)...
January 7, 2010 4:12:44 PM

Agreed, SSDs aren't for budget builds, even a 32GB drive is more expensive than 2x 500 GB traditional drives. However, if someone is seriously considering doing RAID 0 for performance on a boot drive, they should at least take a peek at SSDs, even if the technology is not quite perfect yet.

I guess that was more of a general comment rather than specifically directed at this build. :) 

P.S. The Fallout 3 pic is perfect.

I just talked someone into buying a Mac laptop with an SSD, I'd argue that they're worth it as a laptop main drive, as long as you're not intending on storing a ton of stuff on there...say, planning on only keeping the drive 50% full.
January 7, 2010 4:17:40 PM

MadAdmiral said:
RAM: Those aren't very good sticks. For $1 more, you can get G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7, which will be a lot faster.

Case: You could save $40 before the exchange with the HAF 922 (it's also got a rebate, so it might be more). It's the same case, just slightly smaller.

PSU: You don't need that large of a unit. A 750W one will allow you to Crossfire later.

HDD: Ditch the WDs. Get some Samsung Spinpoint F3 (same sizes). They're faster, quieter, cooler and cheaper.

Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 $30. One of the best, and one of the cheapest.

No optical or OS?

@wolfbrancher: Do you really think he'll need 32 GB of memory before the next time he needs a new computer? Assuming the OP's using the computer for gaming, 8 GB is not needed now. Extrapolating Moore's Law (size/speed of technology doubles every 18 months 2 years) to software, in 4.5 years 6 years, gaming will require 32 GB. This is assuming that a gaming build need 4 now (which it doesn't). If you can build a gaming computer (or any other) that doesn't need to be replaced in the next 5 years 8 years, you wouldn't need to be hanging around this forum.


Thank you for your responses too.

RAM: If only G.Skills were available in Turkey. Than I would have definitely follow your advice. But I have to stick with some slighty worse ram, or end up paying the double prince of newegg (btw I'm not buying from newegg b/c of warrant not being valid internationally).

I really don't have access to good CL7's with a proper price tag. Mainly CL9's and some CL8's.

Case: I was concerned about airflow and the 5850s overcrowding HAF 922, assuming that I'll get a nice big cpu cooler. Do you think HAF will provide me more than enough space?

PSU: The only reason I went with 750 is, the price difference here is $20, thought it would be more futureproof. Is it not worth it?

HDD: I've looked into it, but couldn't find Spinpoint f3's either, I'll keep looking though. Thanks.

Thanks for the cooler, I can get it for 60$ here though.

I've already got win7 home ultimate and optical drive.


And thank you so much for Raid info, think I'll go with Raid 0. Data redundancy is really not an issue for me, as I won't have anything I'll regret to lose on the system.
Do I need any components for Raid 0? Or is it only a matter of configuration?
January 7, 2010 4:26:30 PM

RAM: Get as low CL as you can. The difference is also smaller if you increase the speed, but generally that's more expensive.

Case: The HD 5850 will fit in a mid tower. The HAF 922 is only a mid tower in name. I've seen "full" towers that are actually smaller.

HDD: A suitable replacement is the Seagate 7200.12.

Other the the HDDs and the motherboard, it's just configuration. You might need to install some drivers, but that's not a big deal.
January 7, 2010 4:27:13 PM

oktayk said:

And thank you so much for Raid info, think I'll go with Raid 0. Data redundancy is really not an issue for me, as I won't have anything I'll regret to lose on the system.
Do I need any components for Raid 0? Or is it only a matter of configuration?


As long as the motherboard supports it, it should just be configuration in the BIOS, and making sure that the OS has the appropriate drivers to recognize the RAID array. There is a current thread in this forum about someone who was unable to get RAID 0 working due to a lack of drivers for his motherboard.

Some things to be concerned about though:
* You'll need to buy 2 of the same disk to create a RAID 0 container.
* Are you ok with reinstalling your operating system if one of the disks fails?
* Are you going to be backing up your important data elsewhere? I want to stress that if you lose either disk, you will be unable to recover any info from the RAID 0 container.
* RAID 0 will provide increased load times for games, but it's not likely to get you any other advantage in-game.
* Consumer RAID 0 (using on-motherboard RAIDing) is not portable, so if you upgrade your motherboard, you will have to rebuild the entire system, you aren't going to be able to plug in the 2 disks and start working right away.

Most people are better off with 1 boot disk and 1 storage disk. I'm not saying don't use RAID 0, just be very aware that it can go horribly horribly wrong.
!