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Need input on new build

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January 19, 2010 3:09:16 PM

So its been about 7 years since i have had to build a computer and this is what im thinking of building. I already have a case and i don't need a monitor.

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s - Retail

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C8 - Retail

MSI R5850-PM2D1G OC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail

SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

the power supply is one area that im a bit confused about, i would like to have a modular powersupply but i don't know if i need 750w or gold cert.
i do plan on adding a second vid card and 4g more ram down the road. i am planning on using widows 7 64bit pro.
any thoughts? is there a cheaper build that will have similar proformance in gaming? all this computer will do is be a HTPC and play games/ surf the web. it needs to be quiet as it will be sitting in the living room. also the video card will have to have HDMI so it will connect to the 56".

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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 3:25:42 PM
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Some tips before the questions:

Mobo: For $5 more, get the Asus P7P55D-E Pro. The Gigabyte will slow down the USB 3/SATA III ports if there's a second card in the PCIe slot.

RAM: Corsair is overpriced. Check out some G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks. They'll be faster and probably cheaper.

PSU: If you want to add a second card, you definitely will need at least 750W. As for being modular, if your case has a bottom mounted PSU, it's completely unnecessary. If it's a top mounted case, it's helpful for cable management, but not necessary.
January 19, 2010 3:39:13 PM

the g.skill is a tad more expensive but the cas latency is quite a bit better so i will go with that. and as for the powersupply whats the diff between 80plus and 80plus gold? the case i will be using is a 4u rack mount.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 3:43:49 PM

The difference is the effeciency rating. 80+ means it's rated for being greater than 80% efficient. To get 80+ Gold, they need to be closer to 90% efficient.

It also means how much power needs to be drawn in to produce the load needed. If your computer needs 400W to run, an 80% efficient PSU requires 500W from the wall. A 90% efficient unit only requires 444W to power the same load.

It's also a quick measure of how much heat they put off, as anything that isn't converted is let off as heat. So if it's 80% efficient, 80% is used as power and 20% is lost as heat.
January 19, 2010 3:47:41 PM

Which means an 80+ certified PSU will run cooler, and by extension, have a longer lifespan.
January 19, 2010 3:55:53 PM

Word of warning on the RAM, with an i7 750 you will not be able to run your memory at 1600 MHz without OCing your rig or making sacrifices, like losing Turbo. However, there's very little performance difference betwen 1333 and 1600 anyway: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,24...

Look for 1333 RAM with low timings and low Voltages. Preferrably 1.5V or lower.

Also, 1600 RAM is just 1333 memory that the manufacturer is guaranteeing you can OC. There's nothing that says 1333 RAM can't run faster (if you do OC your system). Give this a read: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ddr3-4gb-p55,2462.h...
I'll pull out one quote from the start:
Quote:
Standard DDR3 runs at 1.50V, and components rated at higher voltages are likely to have slower, standard memory under those heat spreaders. When you pay extra for performance RAM, what you’re really paying for is a guarantee that the modules will operate at a speed beyond the ratings of its components.
January 19, 2010 4:23:52 PM

also i am needing a fast hard drive just for windows. the only one i can find that is cheap is a rapter 150g.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 4:35:45 PM

Except that the Samsung Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12 (500 GB and 1 TB) are both faster than the Raptors at about 1/3 of the cost. The 500 GB models of these are $55.

The only other option is the $200-400 SSDs.
January 19, 2010 6:00:27 PM

Thank you for your help MadAdmiral it has been very usefull.
total system build with win7 pro should come to be $1180.
later i will add 4g more ram another video card and at least 2tb more space.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 6:19:00 PM

If you're a student (or know one), you can get Windows 7 for very cheap through a Microsoft student discount. All you need is a working educational email address (ends in .edu).

I believe Home is $30 and Pro is $70.
January 19, 2010 6:27:19 PM

HOLY CRAP. I THINK I MAY KNOW A FEW PEOPLE WITH .EDU EMAIL ACCTS.
January 19, 2010 6:27:56 PM

Unless something has changed the Pro version is also $30.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 6:34:10 PM

I didn't know the Pro price for sure. I'm just going off what someone else said in another thread...
January 19, 2010 6:36:20 PM

where do you go to get the student discound?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 6:40:18 PM

Google "windows 7 student discount". I'm betting it will be the first result.
January 19, 2010 6:47:54 PM

so what do you just download it? or do they send it to you via mail?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 6:48:30 PM

I believe it's sent in the mail, but I don't really know.
January 26, 2010 12:40:59 PM

Best answer selected by aaronj.
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