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First time i5 660 build

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April 23, 2010 4:40:45 PM

This is my first time building a computer. The only thing I plan on using this for is music production (don't need a beast, but want something that I won't feel the need to replace in a few years).

I wanted to get some opinions on the parts I picked out. I'm wondering if there's a cheaper, but still good graphics card I can go with since I don't really have to worry about getting a high frame rate or doing much graphics processing. I also wanted to know if the MOBO I picked out was a good one (from what I've read it seems to be). The power supply might be more than I need. I probably won't be upgrading much beyond adding more ram- any suggestions for an alternative ps or should I stick with this one just in case? Thanks a ton!

Here is my parts list:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about : time 660 build

April 23, 2010 4:54:45 PM

The i5-660 is a poor choice in general. The i5-750 is a better CPU at the same price.

Actually, there isn't much I like about that build. Here's one that's better:

CPU/Mobo: i5-750 and Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 $317
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
GPU: HD 5450 $44
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 430W $115
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35 (with free card reader)

Total: $708
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April 23, 2010 4:57:42 PM

If this is your first time building a computer, take a look at this
Our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
while you are waiting for your parts to arrive. the checklist at the beginning might keep you from making any of the really common noobish mistakes.
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April 23, 2010 5:10:33 PM

Thanks for the replies.

For what I'll be doing, wouldn't the 650 be a better choice since I can get a higher processing speeds? I was under the impression that a quad core would only be beneficial if I was doing things like rendering. I'll almost always be running only 1 program on this computer.
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April 23, 2010 5:19:53 PM

The higher clock speeds are deceptive. The 650 is a dual core. Dual cores automatically have a higher clock speed. That doesn't mean they're faster CPUs. Check out some benchmarks and you see quickly that the 750 greatly out classes the 650 in every application.

The benefits of having a quad core go beyond just rendering and multi-tasking. You'll find the benefits in all aspects of the build when you're actually using the computing power of the CPU.

The only benefit of using the i3/i5 dual cores is their integrated graphics. They're a souped up verison of onboard graphics, but require an H55/H57 motherboard. Even then, the i3-530 would be the only good choice because of it's price.
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April 23, 2010 5:22:26 PM

If I'm running a program (Ableton Live) that only has dual core support will the quad core really be more beneficial within that program?
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April 23, 2010 5:30:34 PM

Are you sure about that? I looked at their site and there was nothing mentioned about only using dual cores. That would be exceptionally strange if a program simply wouldn't work with quad core CPUs, especially since they've been the standard for a few years...

Regardless, buying a dual core that costs the same as one of the best quad cores on the market is not a good idea. Grab the i3-530 at nearly half the cost if you are absolutely sure you need a dual core. I'd also switch the board to an H55 board and ditch the GPU as it wouldn't be needed then.
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