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My New Computer

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January 18, 2010 9:44:24 PM

(it was recommended that I add my message to this thread as well. Original: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/21370-10-computer#t48...)

Hello everyone,

I have been reading Tom's hardware for over a decade, but have never been in the forums. I decided to change that today after seeing how many people freely offer great advice and feedback on these forums. I assume I am not the only person who prefers to hang in the shadows, but still appreciates all the useful information on this site.

I'm posting the specs for my tentative computer build that I would like to purchase in the next few weeks. It will be replacing a Pentium 4 single core 2.6ghz w/ hyperthreading coupled with an Asus P4P800 Deluxe motherboard, 2GB of ram, and a ATI 2600 HD AGP video card. This set-up has performed quite admirably, I can still play most games and get things done in terms of image editing and programming... But... After the past few months I have had a few games purchased for me that I cannot run at playable frame rates, the YouTube HD option is for the most part unwatchable, and video editing has become a bit more time consuming (rendering, loading, etc) than I'd prefer.

That being said, I'm wondering if any kind souls could take a quick look at what components I have chosen and let me know if there are any compatibility issues, poor choices. or otherwise unworthy components. I'm also interested in suggestions for a decent CPU cooler. My aim was to balance price with performance while keeping power use in mind. I do wish to include a few next-gen components (i.e., SSD). I intend to overclock the CPU, but not very aggressively.

I have been toying with the i920 and an X58 mobo, but the recent article on Tom's seem to cast the i5 750 in such a positive light. It really is affordable and efficient.

I already have an Antec 902 Case.

1. Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz S1156 Processor

2a. Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P Intel P55 S1156 ATX Mainboard (Audio/Gigabit LAN)
OR
2b. MSI P55-GD65 P55 S1156 ATX Mainboard (Audio/Gigabit LAN)

3. OCZ Platinum TC 12GB PC3-1600 DDR3 Memory Kit

4. Intel X25-M 80GB 2.5" SATA Solid State Disk (I was toying with getting the 160GB version, but my current C: is 40GB and I have 10GB free. I figure I can upgrade this when price are lower 5 years from now)

5. WD Green 1TB IntelliPower 32MB 3.5" SATA Hard Drive

6. LG LightScribe SATA Blu-ray/DVDRW Combo Drive, Black (I don't need to be able to burn BDs)

7. Diamond Radeon HD5870 1GB PCIe Video Card, Retail (TBH, I just selected the first 5870 I came across)

8. PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750Watt Quad ATX Power Supply, Blue (enough power for this system?)

9. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 (I could see no compelling reasons to get Ultimate)

Thanks for any feedback you have!

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January 18, 2010 10:07:41 PM

Welcome HiWorld.

The Antec 902 case is a wonderful choice. With the abundance of fans with individual speed controls, this case keeps things nice and cool.

The i750 is also a very capable performer when compared to the i920:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=109&p2=47
Considering that you will save about $150 over a typical i920 build.

The Gigabyte P55A-UD4P has USB 3.0 which will become the defacto standard in the next six months and is worth getting now. This is motherboard is also crossfire capable.

You should consider a 2 x 2GB memory kit for 4 GB, and buy two kits if you want 8 GB with the P55 motherboards. Consider this GSkill memory (1600 MHz, CAS7):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like your idea of the 80 GB SSD.

You should consider getting a Samsung F3 HDD because it is faster than the WD Green:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You should consider the XFX 5870 card because it has a double lifetime warranty, and is reasonably priced:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have also had good luck with Sapphire cards.

You should consider getting Win 7 Home if you do not need advanced networking capabilities. Win 7 Ultimate adds multiple language capabilities which most people do not need.

The rest of your build looks fine.

Good luck with your build.
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January 18, 2010 10:36:40 PM

Ha, I just noticed that I had a triple channel memory kit in the build. Oops, that's X58 territory.

I like your recommendations and I have also had good experiences with Sapphire cards.

I do have the budget to go the X58 route, but I just wanted to keep power consumption down and I figure this build will be a big step up from by current set-up.
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January 18, 2010 10:51:55 PM

The i750 is rated at 95 W, while the i920 is rated at 130 W. But the i920 requires a Northbridge chip which runs at about 30 W, whereas the i750 has the Northbridge capabilities already built into the processor. So you are right, the P55 will run considerably cooler than the X58.

Also the 5XXX series of graphics card also use considerably less power than the older generation cards. So much so that ATI recommends using a 500 W power supply with only one card, and only a 600 W power supply with two cards in crossfire. This means that you could downsize your power supply to save a few dollars, but if I were you I would stick with one you chose because it will allow to add additonal components (HDD, ODD, etc.) without having to worry about upgrading. By the way, you will not use any more power with your 750 W PSU because it is very efficient and will only supply the power that is needed by your system.

I forgot to add in my original post that you should consider a CPU cooler because they are much quieter than the Intel stock cooler, and much more efficient. For only $30, the Hyper 212 does a very good job:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want something a little better, consider the Noctua ($75):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This cooler will knock a few more degrees off the CPU processor, and give you a little bit more headroom for overclocking, but at over twice the price of the Hyper 212 you really have to be serious about overclocking.

Best regards.
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February 1, 2010 10:29:37 PM

Best answer selected by hiworld.
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February 1, 2010 10:30:29 PM

Still waiting for the build to be done. I'll post the final specs and maybe 1 or 2 benchmarks at that point.
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