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1st Build, Multipurpose PC, Looking for advice and guidance

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May 17, 2010 5:49:26 AM

Okay guys, this will be my first system build. Been doing a lot of reading on here and around the net, so I believe I have some sort of idea of what I'm looking for, but nowhere near knowledgeable enough to figure all of this out myself. Hope what I have posted here is enough information for y'all to help me get started. If you have anymore questions, just post them here.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of June at the latest

BUDGET RANGE: No real budget, would like to keep it south of 2000 for sure though (not including monitors, OS, keyboard, etc).

SYSTEM USAGE: Running multiple programs at once, online poker, large music library, movies, basic home usage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitors, keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES:
CPU: Would like to use an Intel Core i7. The Core 17-920 appears to be the most popular on newegg, so I guess I'll go with that.
Mobo Really no idea. After looking around, it appears that the Asus P6X58D appears to be a popular choice.
Graphics: No idea really. I plan on running one 24" Asus VW246H (1920x1080) for a little while, with a second one to follow. I'm also not really planning on doing too many things that are graphic intensive (gaming, etc.)
Memory: Lost here.
PSU: No idea here either.
HDD I would like to run a smaller SSD (used to boot up the OS, keep frequently used applications on), as well as a large (750MB - 1TB) HDD.
Case: No idea, doesn't need to be flashy or anything.
Cooling: As is a common theme in this thread, I don't know enough to make a good decision. Obviously just something good to preserve all of the parts. Think I would prefer to use air cooling instead of liquid cooling.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (Don't know how to do it and don't want to mess anything up.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: ??

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Will eventually be running 2 24" (1920x1080). Maybe a 30" (2560x1600) somewhere down the line, but not anytime soon.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No real qualifications. Doesn't need to be particularly quiet, don't really care how it looks. Just looking for a powerful PC that I will be able to use for a few years to come.

More about : 1st build multipurpose advice guidance

May 17, 2010 6:48:14 AM


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitors, keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

Let us know what you have or plan, on these.

First glance ? ... Choices are EXTREME overkill ... $1200 would drench your requirements.

= Al =
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May 17, 2010 7:00:00 AM

Sounds like the most modern IGPs, from INTEL or AMD would be fine.

Even an Athlon-II 435 would be "way fat" ... for your most extreme needs.

4GB of DDR3 2-Channel RAM would be appropriate (1333c9) ... Value RAM

You can get TWO screaming 500GB drives for $110 total. ... SSD for boot/apps?

You do not need a discreet (add on) graphics card, as today's integrated graphics will run 2x monitors, nicely. ... It has become a corporate staple standard.

I could build what you are asking for, and include an SSD for well under $1000 ... using the very latest, highest quality parts.

... Might as well get that 2nd monitor NOW !

... Look at Rokit RP5 spkrs ...

SPEND on ergo-bling ... A really nice illuminated KB ... I have a swanky link.

... Bigger displays ... more displays.

... A wicked ergo chair like the Ergocraft Phantom or the CVG Executive

... I am just saying that the system unit is the smallest and cheapest part of your build ... think of it as a mere accessory and focus on your "ultimate workspace" in terms of HUMAN FACTORS !!!

^^^ I have to admit ... That was really great advice, Alvin ! +1 !

= Al =
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May 17, 2010 2:39:34 PM

I'd have to agree...for the tasks you are looking to do, the 920 and that budget will be overkill.

My guess is that you could have a really solid build for 1000 - 1200.

On a side note, Al, is there any reason that you posted a response to your own post, instead of editing? Also, any reason that you complimented yourself in your own post? It's almost like you're having a conversation with yourself.
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May 17, 2010 2:49:09 PM

Well what would you guys recommend as a good CPU and Mobo combo?
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May 17, 2010 3:21:46 PM

I'd think you'd be fine with something like an x4 630, or even a Phenom quad (possibly unlock to 6?) if you were wanting to spend a little more for the extra cache.

If you want integrated graphics, the 785g chipset has been good to me. It is good enough to do HD playback.

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May 17, 2010 5:32:12 PM

huron said:
I'd think you'd be fine with something like an x4 630, or even a Phenom quad (possibly unlock to 6?) if you were wanting to spend a little more for the extra cache.

If you want integrated graphics, the 785g chipset has been good to me. It is good enough to do HD playback.

Can you give me some links to some of your choices?
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May 17, 2010 7:39:55 PM

The x4 630 and 785g are choices...I'd go to newegg and check them out. I'd usually go with Gigabyte and Asus for motherboards. Do you need any special features? Are you looking for the ability to upgrade? Are you going to game in the future, or just the basic tasks from above?

If you live near a microcenter, they have great deals on these in combos - you can get the motherboard cheap with the purchase of the processor, which itself is guaranteed as lowest internet pricing.
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May 17, 2010 7:43:55 PM

I'll do you the INTEL build ... I will let our American Indian friend do the AMD build ...

I think that the latest INTEL IGP is better suited and more flexible for "multi-screen/multi-tasking" ...

It is a good bit of work, tho ... I am gonna get my first mug of Espresso, for the day and do a few chores, first. ...

***************************
@ Huron (That noble native and true owner of his original tribal territories) ...

... Yes I could have edited, instead of posting twice, but IF the first message had been read, already, then my edit might have been missed, by the OP

... And YES !!! I DID complement myself because it was a most excellent answer and, I had to "agree" and pay myself a righteous compliment (try it!) ...

... BTW? Who are YOU to be questioning or correcting ME ? But I WILL explain myself because that WAS a bit of "flame-bait" ... I knew someone would HAVE to make a comment ... You DID ! YAY!

= Al =
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May 17, 2010 9:03:20 PM

Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor

64 bit Support Yes Hyper-Threading Support Yes Integrated Graphics Yes Graphics Base Frequency 733MHz Virtualization Technology Support Yes
Heatsink and Fan included
$139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Dual digital video output/HDMI/HDCP
Rear Panel Ports PS/2 1 Video Ports D-Sub + DVI + Display Port HDMI 1 x HDMI USB 1.1/2.0 6 x USB 2.0 IEEE 1394 1 x IEEE 1394a eSATA 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s S/PDIF Out 1 x Optical Audio Ports 6 Ports Onboard USB Onboard USB 6 x USB 2.0 Onboard 1394 Onboard 1394 1 x 1394a Physical Spec Form Factor Micro ATX Dimensions 9.6" x 9"
You Save: $7.00
$97.99

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


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Tech Spec Capacity 4GB (2 x 2GB) Speed DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Cas Latency 7 Timing 7-8-7-24-2N Voltage 1.65V ECC No Buffered/Registered Unbuffered Multi-channel Kit Dual Channel Kit Heat Spreader Yes Features Specifically Designed to compatible with Intel Core i5 and Core i7 for Intel P55 motherboard
You Save: $10.00
$109.99

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

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May 17, 2010 9:22:36 PM

^^^ Discussion^^^

You have a choice of several case types ...

(1) HTPC (Looks like a horizontal stero "stack" component, and fits into "cubbies".

(2) Standard Mid Tower ... Fits under most desks (or beside) ... best cooling.

(3) Mini-Tower ... Just a smaller version of a mid-tower ... fits lots more places.

********************************

What types/resolutions of monitors do you have (or foresee) ???
... Will you be plugging into one or more HDTVs ? Using HDMI ?

*** With a GT220 passive cooled (additional) GPU card, you can run 4 monitors at hi rez or two monitors plus up to two HDTVs ... now or later, if you wish.
... The added graphics card would also aid in some video editing render functions.
... The added GPU would be about $90 extra

*******************************

Do you want to pay a premium for a boot/apps SSD ? ... ~$140(64GB)~$250(80GB).
... A second, fast streaming 1TB media drive would cost ~$85

... Are you interested in either or both ???

... A single fast 500GB drive costs $55, and will surely do.

**************************************

If you are at all interested in home theater/media functions, we can tweak this build to accomodate.

********************************************

You might be put off by the proc having only 2 cores ... BUT ... Remember that THIS proc supports Hyperthreading and effectively pushes 4x threads at over 3GHz stock speed. (without overclocking) ... This is TONS of CPU power ... TONS !

*************************

Those are my main questions (for you) ...

PS: This system will even edit consumer HD video ... Even better if you add the discreet GPU.

*****************************

I need you to steer the build, at this point ... OK so far? ... Continue?

... AMD build (shaved hard) could take $280 off the final cost ... BUT ... Because you had a fair budget, to start, and because this build will be MUCH snappier and have better longevity and can do many more (unforeseen) tasks and apps ... I decided to take a risk and show you what the INTEL build has to offer.

A much cheaper AMD build WILL fill your requirements ... well ... but I think the IGP on this board will better suit your current and future needs.

... Finally ... USB3 and SATA3 ports can be added, via PCIe expansion card, in future, at little cost or effort.

= Al =
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May 17, 2010 9:55:21 PM

get an i7 860 and a 5850.... perfect for your needs ! also look into an Asus p55d Deluxe motherboard !!!
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May 17, 2010 10:21:24 PM

huron said:
I'd have to agree...for the tasks you are looking to do, the 920 and that budget will be overkill.

My guess is that you could have a really solid build for 1000 - 1200.

On a side note, Al, is there any reason that you posted a response to your own post, instead of editing? Also, any reason that you complimented yourself in your own post? It's almost like you're having a conversation with yourself.



Lol your avatar makes me think of the playboy bunny, but customized.
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May 17, 2010 10:39:30 PM

foxmulder13 said:
get an i7 860 and a 5850.... perfect for your needs ! also look into an Asus p55d Deluxe motherboard !!!



... You have no clue, here, Fox ... sorry ... 5850 is way beyond pointless and so is the 860 ...

... take a powder and educate yo'sef'

(Obviously a game-boy with no corporate experience AT ALL ... Plz ... disregard)

= Al =
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May 17, 2010 10:41:57 PM

Eg Lawns said:
Lol your avatar makes me think of the playboy bunny, but customized.



Thanks for all the extra useful input, fellas ... anyone care to roll up their sleeves and synthesize a righteous build ???

... Be prepared to defend it, too ... neither one of you has said anything related to this thread, yet.

= Yer Special Pal =

[:jaydeejohn:3] [:jaydeejohn:3] [:jaydeejohn:3]

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May 17, 2010 10:43:25 PM

lol wow
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May 17, 2010 10:44:30 PM

well he could always use my build. only thing is you might not like it cause it has a 5870, but it is around 1300, and will last him a good while.
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May 17, 2010 10:53:19 PM

Well ... I'm doing an INTEL build and the OP prolly WILL appreciate a VERY thoughtful AM3 build, as well ...

.... He IS NOT a gamer ... Think: "HTPC" ... but with more threads/cores ... Speed (beyond decent snap) and OC are not part of this game ...

... Picture a stock trader in loafers, here. ... Surfing heavy and running mainstream apps. ... at least two mons at hi rez.

... that would help him mull his choices ... but this is about *his* requirements.

... There will be no FPS ! (nothing to write home about, anyway).

OP has not returned since last night ... (early this AM?) anyway, so just do the core and make sure his graphics can do 1920x1200 with HTPC and mainstream apps.

= Al =
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May 17, 2010 11:39:11 PM

... You have no clue, here, Fox ... sorry ... 5850 is way beyond pointless and so is the 860 ...

... take a powder and educate yo'sef'

(Obviously a game-boy with no corporate experience AT ALL ... Plz ... disregard)

= Al =

This guy is a Nerd and has no Life....besides that he thinks he an expert ! LOL
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May 17, 2010 11:44:20 PM

Your "suggestions" speak for themselves.

So do mine.

Sorry, kid ... Don't have time for you, ATM ... perhaps we can play "juvenile patty-cakes" a little later.

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May 18, 2010 12:14:23 AM

You Are Right your "suggestions" do speak volumes !! i3 LOL !
Then again you are the "expert"

(Blomberg IT Tech)
Fox
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May 18, 2010 12:36:12 AM

you were clearly trolling for flames from the very first post ... I do not know why.

Yes ... i3-540 ... Hyperthreading ... 3GHz with all the graphics the OP will ever need.

The AMD x4Core 965/C3 Black Edition @3.4GHz costs $180

The i3 540 @3GHz costs $140

They both use the same RAM and Cooler kits ... exactly the same.

Here is a benchmark comparison ... the Phenom excells in media transcode ops.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/143?vs=102

I believe the INTEL IGP implementation is superior for multi-mon setups, as compared to the Radeon option, mostly because adding a discreet GPU to the AMD mobo will disable the IGP, whereas the Intel IGP will function concurrently with an additional, discreet (add in) X16 GPU card.

Either build will do at least what you are asking and drench your requirements (handily!)

= Al =
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May 18, 2010 3:47:20 AM

Alvin Smith said:
^^^ Discussion^^^

You have a choice of several case types ...

(1) HTPC (Looks like a horizontal stero "stack" component, and fits into "cubbies".

(2) Standard Mid Tower ... Fits under most desks (or beside) ... best cooling.

(3) Mini-Tower ... Just a smaller version of a mid-tower ... fits lots more places.

********************************

What types/resolutions of monitors do you have (or foresee) ???
... Will you be plugging into one or more HDTVs ? Using HDMI ?

*** With a GT220 passive cooled (additional) GPU card, you can run 4 monitors at hi rez or two monitors plus up to two HDTVs ... now or later, if you wish.
... The added graphics card would also aid in some video editing render functions.
... The added GPU would be about $90 extra

*******************************

Do you want to pay a premium for a boot/apps SSD ? ... ~$140(64GB)~$250(80GB).
... A second, fast streaming 1TB media drive would cost ~$85

... Are you interested in either or both ???

... A single fast 500GB drive costs $55, and will surely do.

**************************************

If you are at all interested in home theater/media functions, we can tweak this build to accomodate.

********************************************

You might be put off by the proc having only 2 cores ... BUT ... Remember that THIS proc supports Hyperthreading and effectively pushes 4x threads at over 3GHz stock speed. (without overclocking) ... This is TONS of CPU power ... TONS !

*************************

Those are my main questions (for you) ...

PS: This system will even edit consumer HD video ... Even better if you add the discreet GPU.

*****************************

I need you to steer the build, at this point ... OK so far? ... Continue?

... AMD build (shaved hard) could take $280 off the final cost ... BUT ... Because you had a fair budget, to start, and because this build will be MUCH snappier and have better longevity and can do many more (unforeseen) tasks and apps ... I decided to take a risk and show you what the INTEL build has to offer.

A much cheaper AMD build WILL fill your requirements ... well ... but I think the IGP on this board will better suit your current and future needs.

... Finally ... USB3 and SATA3 ports can be added, via PCIe expansion card, in future, at little cost or effort.

= Al =

- I would like just a standard mid tower
- I plan on running 2 x 24" ASUS VW246H (1920x1080), not plugging into TVs or anything
- I'd be interested in having both a 64gb SSD and a 1TB HDD
- Not interested in using it as home theater. The only media this computer will be seeing is a large music library, some photos, and watching some videos (streaming, downloaded, and DVD)

How much would a quad core i5 improve performance over a dual core i3? I wouldn't mind shelling out an extra $50 or so on the i5 if I will see a decent performance increase.
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May 18, 2010 5:22:17 AM

Well ... there is clock speed, and there are cores, and there are (sometimes) threads.

If I thought that there was ANY POSSIBLE WAY that ANYthing YOU are planning could exploit more than 4 threads at 3GHz, I'd give it to ya ... with relish!!!

... Hell! ... This is your money and it is an ample budget ... TOTALLY ...

... I am Playing to YOUR stated requirements, and I even threw in 25% overhead, for good measure ...

... Give me a list of specific apps ... I will bring the system requirements and any "prefered specs" right here to you, on a guilded platter, ... This is YOUR build ... not mine!

But I am "duty bound" (our moral code) NOT to waste your monies and not to upsell you without any chance of "reasonable utility" ...

Honestly ... your perceptions and emotions are just as important as published requirements ... You have to sit down to it and live with it, most every day so, you had better "feel good" ... either about performance, or savings or, hopefully, both!

Step up ... peace of mind must be worth something.

BUT ... I'd be fired if I did that (spec'd you fatter) at any corporation ... trust that.


Just tell me you changed your mind and that you are going to edit HD video at 25Mbits (alot) ... I'll give you more cores ...
.... Tell me you want to do some serious gaming and I'll give you a faster proc, RAM, and a decent cooler. ... And that ridiculous $300+ Radeon GPU.

... You ARE the boss. Your only responsibility is to yourself and your budget.

= Al =
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May 18, 2010 5:23:26 AM

The SSD is a much better investment if you are looking for more snap.
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May 18, 2010 6:55:58 AM

You're right. I do need to be comfortable with and be confident in my computer when I sit down. Peace and ease of mind will be huge for me and will be relaxing.

I would like to run a quad core. Even though it maybe overkill as of right now, if I ever want to amp up and do more things in the future, I would like for it to be there. And for some reason it makes me feel more comfortable.

I would like to run a small SSD (16gb or 32gb) to boot and put frequently used apps on. I would also like to have a HDD as well for mass storage and other things, and this one looks like a good one:

As said earlier, I will be running dual monitors. I don't know anything about graphics, so I will have to trust you here. I will not be doing anything too graphic intensive (hardcore gaming, etc.), but would like the possibility of being able to update if I do decide to start doing some gaming on it in the future. Now, if going with something that can be upgraded in the future is going to hurt the current performance, then we can just axe the plans for the future upgradability (is that even a word???).

Everything else, I'm clueless on. No idea what I want from a motherboard, or power supply, or cooling supply, etc. etc..... Just know that of course I want a very good cooling system to help preserve all the parts and keep things operating smoothly. Willing to spen the money on the cooling to get the best available.
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May 18, 2010 8:10:17 AM

After what you just said, my inclination would be to recommend an AM3/890GX mobo with USB3 and SATA3 and to give you a nice 9800GT-EE (note the "EE") or a GT220 or even a 250GS ... All are nvidia ... Because nVidia drivers have WAY better and more flexible (layout/orientation) multimonitor support.

.... Forget about IGP ... and forget about INTEL ...

Just go for the Phenom-II x4Core 965(Black Edition .. C3 stepping = 125Watt)

... You want the one with MBOX in the part# (not IBOX) ... You want the cheaper one that costs $180 ... newer ... lower power ... more OC overhead ... superior/improved MMU.

It will do HD theater and editing and will trounce anything but LONG FORMAT video output renders and HD transcodes of larger files.

If you want to go i5 or i7 (INTEL 1156 or 1366), you are going to have to get someone else to pick up this baton (I WILL understand) ... I just think that would be a gross error, financially ... and if that makes you feel good ?? ... Something ain't right (just to *MY* mind).

You can send a private message to that guy who dropped in earlier.

... No biggie, tho ... I've made my contribution ...

ONE MORE THING ....

Get a Kingston 64GB SSD and a SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB drive.

I strongly recommend AGAINST anything smaller than 64GB ... I warned you. ... $140 for the Kingston ... $55 for the Samsung.

=== I am done ! =
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May 18, 2010 9:54:38 AM

Wow...this thread seems to go off on quite a tangent. Sorry to the OP.

I'd have to agree...if you are looking for a quad and those requirements, the 955 or 965 will suit you well. A simple dual-out graphics card and basic, stable motherboard will be all you need (maybe a 770), since you are not looking to do anything like gaming. You may want to check out the boards that have SATA 6GBs and USB3 (which would put the 770 out, I believe) - I think that would get you in the 8xx range (870, 880, 890) get you a little headroom for the future, in case those become more prevalent.

The SSD and additional HDD are a good idea. The F3 is a great drive - the 500 GB or 1TB will serve you well. I'm not an SSD expert, so I do no know in that department - Al's suggestion seems reasonable.

Once again, sorry that it got off track. Hope the legit info we gave still helped you out.
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May 20, 2010 8:01:30 AM

That would be my very own personal choice ... There is one Gigabyte board with very similar price and features (a UD3H board) that has a little bit different slot layout ...

I think the Asus has a snazzier bios but the Gigabyte (being a little less snazzy) is found to be more practical, by many mainstream users ... In truth? ... Both are great, tried and true boards ... comes down to some slightly different types and numbers of ports and slots.

= Al =
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