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Planning out desktop build and need some advice

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May 3, 2010 8:30:22 AM

so this will be my first system build ever and I have a couple of parameters that i need to follow.

- price needs to be in the ballpark of $1000

- needs to have firewire and enough usb ports because i will need it for audio recording and running DAWs

- i would like to be able to play recent games, graphics don't have to be maxed out, but i would like it to run them nice and pretty. (super sf4, splinter cell conviction, l4d2, ac2, mw2, perhaps far cry 2 or crysis)

- 2 hdd for dual booting, and esata for external backup

- preferably small-factor desktop (micro atx desktop) but not really too important.

- wireless pci card because im not sure where my computer will be in relation to a router.

- the 1000ish dollars needs to include a monitor (no need for speakers)


any advice, suggestions, or opinions would be greatly appreciated. at this point, i am not completely partial to either intel or amd, or nvidia or ati (only used intel and nvidia so far). at this point, anything is better than trying to game on my laptop with 2ghz core 2 duo, geforce 8400 gs, and 3gb ram (vista 32 bit).

hope this wasn't too vague, just need some guidance in the right direction, hope someone can help me out.

thanks guys,
scott
May 3, 2010 9:22:10 AM
May 3, 2010 9:34:27 AM

+1 for gkay09 recommendation.
and don't forget to buy the OS if you have to...people tend to forget including the OS to their budget.

BTW :
You don't need 2 HDDs for dual boot. 1 Big enough HDD separated into several partitions will do just fine.
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May 3, 2010 5:39:43 PM

i wanted to do a dual hdd dual boot so i could keep the OS's completely separate (win7 and linux) as well as their file systems. secondly that video card is pcie 2.1, not 2.0 that wont work will it? plus are there any low profile, 1 slot cards that would be good substitutes?

thanks so far guys
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May 3, 2010 6:25:10 PM

Thats a tough budget for a build, let me try


Thermaltake LANBOX Lite VF6000BWS Black SECC Japanese steel Gaming Cube Computer Case
$78.49

2 X SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$109.98 ( THIS IS FOR 2 500 GB DRIVES !!! )

Hanns·G HH-241HPB Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor ( I have this monitor and its pretty nice)
$169.99

MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$179.99

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$109.99 ( QUIET PSU for AUDIO recording )

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
$109.99

ARCTIC COOLING ACALP64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
$11.99 ( QUIET CPU COOLER for AUDIO recording as the STOCK AMD CPU COOLER IS F^#@#@% LOUD!!! )

COMBO :

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX
GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
$234.98

Subtotal: $1,005.40:


If you can spare some extra cash go for a 5850 as it will perform MUCH MUCH better in the games you mentioned. For an audio build I wouldnt recommend changing the RAM or CPU but everything else is up for swapping at the recommendation of others. If you need Firewire that bad buy a 20-40 dollar firewire card. Some of the best hardware for Audio recording I have seen or used is USB anyway.
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May 4, 2010 12:32:12 AM

like i asked, is pcie 2.1 compatible with 2.0? because that mobo only has 2.0
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May 4, 2010 12:47:56 AM

Yes, it is compatible.
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May 4, 2010 4:08:18 AM

^^ Yes like jbakerlent said it is compatible...
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May 4, 2010 5:03:11 AM

question, ive been looking up phenom 2 dual core and triple core cpus and some ppl have said you can unlock additional cores on the processor. is that possible? if not, i might just bite the bullet and go for a quad core right off the bat
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May 4, 2010 5:17:53 AM

The short answer is yes, given the right motherboard and a stable chip.
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May 4, 2010 5:23:55 AM

^+1
why not rather go with an Athlon II X4 ? They perform very well for the money...
Link that jbakerlent linked in another thread, which shows the comparison between the Athlon II X4 635 and the Phenom II X4 955 - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/122?vs=88
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May 4, 2010 5:29:41 AM

since this is my first build, im thinking that i just want to go with the phenom 2 x4, but i might try overclocking slightly just to get a little more juice out of it
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May 4, 2010 5:57:45 AM

^ Hmm...
And as far as unlocking goes, it is not 100% sure that you can get a successful unlock...
I have unlocked a X2 550 to a Quad without any issues and without any need for additional voltage running at stock 3.1GHz...but it might not be the same in every case as I have seen people complaining about unstable cores even after voltage increase...
So if you really want to save money, then you have to take chances...I have seen more of hits than misses on this one but still you would never know...
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May 4, 2010 6:23:39 AM

alright, here is my rough build list:


Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case 24.99


GIGABYTE GA-785GMT-USB3 AM3 AMD 785G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard 74.99


AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor 145.00


ARCTIC COOLING ACALP64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler 11.99


COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply 109.99


POWERCOLOR AX5770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card 149.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 109.99


Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive 47.99


Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive 44.99


Rosewill RX25-AT-SC-BLK Aluminum & plastic 2.5" Black USB2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure 17.99


ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner 22.99


Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate 14.99


ASUS USB-N13 IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates 19.99


ASUS VH198T Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor 129.99


AZiO BTD-V201 USB 2.0 Micro Bluetooth Adapter (Class 1, V2.1 + EDR) 19.99


Rosewill RCM-3201V True 1.3 M Effective Pixels USB WebCam 24.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders 99.99


this is in the ballpark of 10-11 hundred all through newegg.com. im open to any suggestions to different components and whatnot for better performance or to save some more cash.

also, would anyone suggest installing noise reduction foam in the case and what product?
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May 4, 2010 3:37:55 PM

alright, i might just go with an athlon 2 x4 at 2.9ghz, but that heatsink says it fits intel sockets (unless it really doesn't matter). how are the hdd and psu in terms of noise because i want as little as possible for recording.
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May 5, 2010 3:59:42 AM

^ check in the specs properly...
Compatibility Intel: Socket LGA1366 / 1156 / 775
AMD: Socket AM3 / AM2 / AM2+

And is cheaper with Free Shipping @amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...

And the PSU, get this one instead of that...Comes to same price after shipping and IMO this is slightly better...
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the noise,
the HDD is a single platter design so it wont have much moving parts and hence less noise as for the PSU, I have not seen any complaints of it being noisy either...

And if you want to reduce the noise, then you should be looking for a slightly better case...
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May 5, 2010 6:44:01 AM

any ideas for noise reduction foam and whatnot
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May 5, 2010 11:14:21 PM

is that the only brand youd recommend or is there anything that might be a little less money?
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May 6, 2010 12:24:57 AM

heres my revised list:


Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case 24.99


GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard 89.99


AMD Athlon II X4 635 Propus 2.9GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core

Desktop Processor 105.99


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-

212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler 29.99


Scythe GentleTyphoon D1225C12B4AP-14 120mm Case Fan 17.99


Scythe S-FLEX SFF80B 80mm Case Fan 11.99


OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified

Modular Active PFC Power Supply 69.99


POWERCOLOR AX5770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16

CrossFireX Support Video Card 149.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 109.99


Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AVDS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal

Hard Drive -Bare Drive 54.99


Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

3.5" Internal Hard Drive 44.99


Rosewill RX25-AT-SC-BLK Aluminum & plastic 2.5" Black USB2.0 & eSATA External

Enclosure 17.99


ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X

DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner 22.99


Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port /

Extra silver face plate 14.99


ASUS USB-N13 IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wireless Adapter Up to 300Mbps Wireless

Data Rates 19.99


ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor

300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers 169.99


AZiO BTD-V201 USB 2.0 Micro Bluetooth Adapter (Class 1, V2.1 + EDR) 19.99


Rosewill RCM-3201V True 1.3 M Effective Pixels USB WebCam 24.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders 99.99



i think ill wait on sound reduction stuff until after i actually build the damn thing. should cost me in the ballpark of 11-1200 bucks. anymore suggestions are welcome :D 
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May 6, 2010 1:24:47 AM

Looks pretty good, but I would swap out the WDs for some Spinpoint F3s or 7200.12s. Why are you getting a second 250GB one?
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May 6, 2010 4:17:13 AM

the second hdd is for linux, and i dont need a whole bunch of disc space for it considering a majority of my programs and apps will be on windows
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May 6, 2010 4:26:34 AM

^ Same question...Why still stick with those WDs when the Samsung F3 offers better performance and comparitively less noise...

And again I would suggest a better case...you are spending about $55 for a low quality case and additional case fans...rather get a better quality case...
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May 6, 2010 4:46:08 AM

alright, what would you suggest in terms of a micro atx case? ill look into the samsung hdd
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May 6, 2010 5:21:29 AM

^ Well any specific reason for a MicroATX case ?
I you really want a mATX case with very good cooling as well as sound dampening, I feel this is a good option to consider...but a little pricey though...
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=CA-P180MIN&title=An...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But it is very spacious and can fit in the CM Hyper 212+...Check out this thread...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282983-31-mini-workst...
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May 6, 2010 5:37:52 AM

the antec looks reasonable for what i want. i basically want a smaller case just to save space in my apartment bedroom (not very large) and so if i needed to lug it to a recording project without any issues. and so far its been cheaper this way, instead of going all out on a regular tower and mobo
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May 6, 2010 3:35:28 PM

ill look into a different brand then. with those micro atx desktops, will there be any issues with fitting all of the components in to such a small case as well as issues with airflow?
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May 7, 2010 4:06:53 AM

^ Well as far as I have read their reviews, they dont have that congested interiors...and as for airflow, it is well ventilated and with proper components, am sure you wont any major issue...as for the size, it will best fit your requirements though...
But it will be good even if you read more reviews about those cases to get an idea and come to know about cons if any...
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May 7, 2010 5:14:03 AM

ill probably go for the silverstone because of the extra usb, firewire, and esata connectors. what would you recommend for a good hd 5770 v card?
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May 7, 2010 5:55:39 AM

^ I doubt the airflow will be as good as the Thermaltake...
For such cases, a graphics card like this, which blows the hot air out of the case would be a good option...
It is factory overclocked, has an aftermarket cooler and like I said, unlike the open design, this blows the hot air outside the case through the rear vent, which is very advantageous for such small cases...
HIS IceQ 5 H577QT1GD Radeon HD 5770 Turbo 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 19, 2010 3:45:12 AM

hey guys, its been awhile since ive replied to your comments. i figured i should post my final build list, including accessories and whatnot. i realize with shipping and tax, it might run around $1400 but im alright with that i suppose.

any more suggestions would be welcome as i plan to start ordering in a month or so. thanks!


(wishlist from newegg)

Qty. Image Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price
1
ASUS VW195TAA Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
Model #:VW195TAA
Item #:N82E16824236087
Return Policy:Monitor Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$159.99 -$40.00 Instant $119.99
1
SILVERSTONE SUGO SG02-BF Black ABS / SECC Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case
Model #:SG02-BF
Item #:N82E16811163112
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$69.99 $69.99
1
SYBA PCI-Express USB 2.0 5 Ports Controller Card Model SD-PEX-NEC5U
Model #:SD-PEX-NEC5U
Item #:N82E16812186010
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$29.99 $29.99
1
GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
Item #:N82E16813128397
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$89.99 $89.99
1
VisionTek 900300 Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:900300
Item #:N82E16814129150
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$184.99 -$15.00 Instant $169.99
1
Rosewill RX81-MP-SC- BLK 3.5" SATA to USB & 1394 a/b & eSATA External Enclosure (Black)
Model #:RX81-MP-SC- BLK
Item #:N82E16817182122
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$79.99 -$20.00 Instant $59.99
1
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:o CZ550FTY
Item #:N82E16817341022
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card
$84.99 -$15.00 Instant $69.99
1
AMD Athlon II X4 635 Propus 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model ADX635WFGIBOX
Model #:ADX635WFGIBOX
Item #:N82E16819103702
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$99.99 $99.99
1
Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate
Model #:RCR-IC001
Item #:N82E16820223103
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$14.99 -$7.00 Instant $7.99
1
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Model #:F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Item #:N82E16820231277
Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$109.99 $109.99
1
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD2500AAJS
Item #:N82E16822136113
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$44.99 $44.99
1
Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AVDS 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal AV Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD5000AVDS
Item #:N82E16822136497
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$54.99 $54.99
1
Logitech Pro 2000 Black Cordless Standard Keyboard
Model #:920-001655
Item #:N82E16823126052
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$29.99 $29.99
1
RAZER Orochi Black Bluetooth Notebook Gaming Mouse
Model #:RZ01-00300100-R3U1
Item #:N82E16826153053
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$69.99 $69.99
1
Rosewill RCM-3201V True 1.3 M Effective Pixels USB 2.0 WebCam
Model #:RCM-3201V
Item #:N82E16826193045
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$29.99 -$10.00 Instant $19.99
1
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Model #:D RW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Item #:N82E16827135204
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$25.99 -$3.00 Instant $22.99
1
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Model #:GFC-00599
Item #:N82E16832116754
Return Policy:Software Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$99.99 $99.99
1
ASUS USB-N13 USB 2.0 Wireless Adapter
Model #:USB-N13
Item #:N82E16833320040
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$39.99 -$17.99 Instant $22.00
1
AZiO BTD-V201 USB 2.0 Micro Bluetooth Adapter (Class 1, V2.1 + EDR)
Model #:BTD-V201
Item #:N82E16833340012
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$29.99 -$10.00 Instant $19.99
1
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...
Model #:RR-B10-212P-G1
Item #:N82E16835103065
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$59.99 $59.99
Subtotal: $1,272.81


also, i was wondering (when i actually get the damn thing built) is it better to partition your OS and system files away from other programs, apps, and user data? would it provide better performance and keep my data somewhat safe if my OS takes a dump?

scott
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