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New PC. ~$1500. Statistical Software and Gaming

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June 29, 2010 4:58:43 PM

First, I wanted to thank everyone in advance for any advice. I am building a new PC (My first homebuilt, something I have wanted to do for about 6 years now). The PC will be used for programs like Matlab, Gaming and possibly some media creation. When I built this PC, I tried to keep in mind the availability to upgrade it slightly over the next year or so. Also, I do really enjoy having top of the line components, even if performance boost to cost ratio isn't worth it. I've been perusing reviews and the forums to attempt to keep up with the current era of homebuilt systems. Hopefully I've done a decent job. With that said:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: ~1500. This is flexible, however

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:Gaming, Matlab, Multitasking,

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None, I am starting from the ground up

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Core i7

OVERCLOCKING: Yes OR CROSSFIRE: If I can be convinced its worth it now, then yes. I want this option open for the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: At least 1920X1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: See above.

CPU:

Core i7 930 :: $289

MOBO:

Asus P6X58D :: $299

This mother board seems to come with enough tools for the future, while still being, highly recommended today. Is there a cheaper alternative that comes with SATA III, LGA 1366, etc?

HSF:

Coolermaster 212+ :: $30

SSD:

Intel X-25M 80 GB Boot Drive :: $215

Is this the right choice for a boot drive? Not sure if there are faster/cheaper options out there. I want enough space for Win 7 64 Bit and for a few programs.

HDD:

Cheap Spinpoint F3 Data drive :: $70

GPU:

Sapphire ATI Radeon 5850 :: $294

I am completely not confidant in my choice of GPU. Eventually, I DO want to run crossfire. Currently, I am not sure if it's worth it. Because of this, I question whether or not its upgrading to a slightly better GPU and then, when prices drop running that in Xfire mode or sticking the with 5850 (which isn't very far beneath the 5870) and then pick up a second one later. Any general thoughts on whats best for eventually running in crossfire?

RAM:

G. Skill Ripjaws DDR3 16000 :: $109

Any reason to go DDR3 20000? My overclocking plans will start with the CPU, then I'll read about and overclock the RAM.

Case:
Cooler Master HAF 922 :: $89

Looks aren't terribly important. At least in terms of cost to me. This case seems to have great reviews while also being cheap. I don't really care as long as it keeps my components safe.

PSU:

Corsair HX 850W Modular :: $150.

I want a PSU, that, in case 2 years down the line I say to heck with it its time for a new PC, will be ready to go for a new build. Corsair seems to be a solid choice in PSU. I believe 850W will be enough for my PC as its built now, but will it be enough if I go Xfire in the future? Just want to make sure i get a high end, solid PSU.



The total comes out to about 1547. Right around my budget.

I will be buying a Monitor as well, but I won't consider that part of my budget, because, of all things, that will probably see use beyond this PC. This is what I'm considering Asus 23.6"
I don't know very much about PC Monitors but this seems to be the best deal with what i want. Lots of very high ratings on newegg too.

Unfortunately, my apartment next fall only has wireless internet, which means I'll have to buy a Wireless NIC. Ill also pick up a super cheap DVD/CD 24x RW drive. Luckily the MOBO has built in 10/100/1000. Also, I'll probably have to buy thermal paste, unfortunately Arctic Cooling MX-2 is sold out on newegg. Is there a better/equivalent choice?

Any general questions I didn't answer? Comments on RAM/GPU choices? Again, thanks in advance for evaluating my build. I am incredibly excited to build my first PC. Let me know.






a b 4 Gaming
June 29, 2010 5:10:11 PM

Mobo
Ga-x58-UD3R is $210 with 10% off at newegg atm. Has same features for much less.

GPU
Um, why aren't you getting a CUDA GPU if you're using matlab? Damn thing is practically the poster child for CUDA.

RAM
You want a 6gb kit as i7-930 is tri channel.

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

PSU
Won't need that 850 unless you're going with xfire fermi's. Still, the 850tx is fine.

a b 4 Gaming
June 29, 2010 5:15:05 PM

Other questions

Thermal Paste that comes with the CM Hyper 212 plus is fine.

Monitor wise, there really isn't much difference in the $150-$200 price range. Just look at ports and makes sure you have ones you want.
Related resources
June 29, 2010 5:18:22 PM

The build overal looks very good. I'm not a fan of the asus p6x58d since it's expensive and IMO not as good as the ga-x58a-ud5.

I'm also not very experienced with monitors but dell, asus, samsung, benq and acer generally make good monitors.

2000 ram is faster but real world differences will be minor if not non-existant.

Your psu is top of the line be slightly overkill 650w will do even for crossfire but I have the same psu just for certainty so I can't blame you for doing the same.

I despise the looks of that case and there are plenty of cases out there which are just as good price/performance but with a better esthetics to it IMO like the antec 900, thermaltake element G or the more expensive and better lian li pc-p50.

I think the 212+ comes with thermal paste although I'm not sure you'll have to check.

Also just a quick correction the ram you linked isn't 16000 ram but ram that runs at a speed of 1600 thus it is 12800 ram. 16000 ram runs at a speed of 2000. Confusing ey?

Wireless can be pretty fast I have an external adapter which cost me like 80dollars(not cheap I know)and it is very fast. I'm very far from the router with several walls between it and it still proved as fast as my cable(from my experience didn't do any tests).

Overall though very good start :D 
June 29, 2010 6:07:32 PM

banthracis said:
Mobo
Ga-x58-UD3R is $210 with 10% off at newegg atm. Has same features for much less.

GPU
Um, why aren't you getting a CUDA GPU if you're using matlab? Damn thing is practically the poster child for CUDA.

RAM
You want a 6gb kit as i7-930 is tri channel.

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

PSU
Won't need that 850 unless you're going with xfire fermi's. Still, the 850tx is fine.



In terms of MATLAB and gfx card, I had to compromise performance and cost with what I imagine myself needing. I honestly hadn't even considered that MATLAB could possibly utilize CUDA until you had mentioned it (I am just beginning to use MATLAB). Im not sure that the utility I gain in MATLAB (via CUDA) won't be worth the price/performance/heat of the GTX 470.

Out of curiosity a 2GBx3 sticks of ripjaw
is $15 less than Pi series. Is there a noticeable advantage in the Pi series?

Also, One poster recommended Ga-x58-UD3R vs Ga-x58-UD5? What's the difference between the two? The UD3R is @ a better price point than the UD5? Why the UD5 over the UD3R?
June 29, 2010 6:28:33 PM

The PI series has tighter timings at lower voltage than the ripjaws.
a b 4 Gaming
June 29, 2010 6:33:40 PM

According to ATI, you need 600W to power 2x 5850. http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...

However, since you plan to overclock, I would think that you'd want to go to at least 750, and 850 isn't unreasonable, and should be sufficient for overclock + 2x 5870.

If, as banthracis suggests, you switch to nVidia, you might check out http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html for suggested power supplies. Assuming you went 2x 470, it looks like 750W is the minimum recommended.
June 29, 2010 6:36:46 PM

Contrary to common belief the 470gtx is a very good card without it's features and if you would utulize them like you would then it is bassically a no-brainer. In single cards ati has a slight edge over nvidia due to the power and heat issues with fermi.

But once you start considering SLI(which I assume you will once one card is insufficient) nvidia is in the lead because of it's awesome sli scaling. And you will also utulize CUDA so I really think 470gtx is the way to go.

As for ud5 vs ud3r. The ud5 has some better cooling although if you don't OC a lot that won't be neccesary since the ud3r still has pretty reasonable cooling. It also has far more indicator LEDs for temps and voltages. It also has a debug screen which displays number codes if something gos wrong. It also has dual lan. It can also send more power to the cpu I think. For the rest I think they are similar.
June 29, 2010 7:52:58 PM

CPU:

Core i7 930 :: $289

MOBO:
Gigabyte X58-UD3R :: $189

Thanks for the recommendation. Cheapest plus recommended by from Tom's hardware.

HSF:

Coolermaster 212+ :: $30

SSD:

Intel X-25M 80 GB Boot Drive :: $215



HDD:

Cheap Spinpoint F3 Data drive :: $70

GPU:

Sapphire ATI Radeon 5850 :: $294

Still not sure if I should go 5850 or 470. There will probably be more gaming than matlab. However, is the 470 a better card for the future (better tesselation and DX11 support?)

RAM:

2GB x 3 sticks G. Skill Pi DDR3 1600

Again, thanks for the recommendation.

Case:
Cooler Master HAF 922 :: $89

Looks aren't terribly important. At least in terms of cost to me. This case seems to have great reviews while also being cheap. I don't really care as long as it keeps my components safe.

PSU:

Corsair HX 850W Modular :: $150.

I'm pretty close to buying these parts. Does this look better? I'm not %100 sure on which video card to get and I still want to read a few more reviews on cases; albeit, choosing a case as long as I choose a recommended one will be easy.

If I decide either the 5850 or the 470 do these parts look ready to order tonight?




a b 4 Gaming
June 29, 2010 8:00:17 PM

F3 1tb are back up to $80.

Get his PSU/GPU combo. ATI and Nvidia has DX11, it's not an issue. For pure gaming ATI is the better route. However, CUDA does significantly improve matlab performance.

GTX 470 and Thermaltake toughpower 775xt $390 w/ $30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

rest looks fine.
a b 4 Gaming
June 29, 2010 8:47:08 PM

That deal comes with the TR2 RX 850W PSU.

A very mediocre PSU at best.

The good TT PSU's are their toughpower line which is made by Channel Wells, guys who make the corsair 750tx and 850tx.
June 29, 2010 8:53:49 PM

I thought that was a toughpower. If it isn't then yeah it isn't such a good buy
June 30, 2010 8:37:36 PM

Going to purchase tonight. Processor OTW from a friend. How does this final build look? Also, the PNY 470 with an 850W Thermaltake XT seems like an incredible deal. I believe the power pins to everything works, but since this is my first time, can anybody double check and see if I need to buy any more connectors? What about if I do 470 SLI? I can always change my mind and just incur some loss down the road, as is the case with any upgrade. Any last minute changes or comments?

http://img819.imageshack.us/f/computerk.jpg/

Unfortunately, I'm in a bit of a rush and couldn't figure out how to get the image to post directly into my post. Sorry for linking you to an external site.
June 30, 2010 8:54:14 PM

No problem about the external site :D 

As for the build everything looks great :D . as for the psu Ithe reviews don't look good

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

as you can see one person had trouble with the cables for 470 sli and the other mentioned it is designed for being top mounted(I asssume they are right). Also another one claimed it was POS but there are always people like that. Whether you buy it or not depends on whether the minor drawbacks are minor enough to due to it's low price still make it appealing. And that's a question only you can answer ;) 
June 30, 2010 9:42:24 PM

Looks good
June 30, 2010 10:22:31 PM

Somebody_007 said:
No problem about the external site :D 

As for the build everything looks great :D . as for the psu Ithe reviews don't look good

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

as you can see one person had trouble with the cables for 470 sli and the other mentioned it is designed for being top mounted(I asssume they are right). Also another one claimed it was POS but there are always people like that. Whether you buy it or not depends on whether the minor drawbacks are minor enough to due to it's low price still make it appealing. And that's a question only you can answer ;) 


Are cords changeable? I.e. can I buy more and sub out cords to fit my needs/are there adapters for that?

**Edit**

I think I will go with this combo:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.420009


Piece of mind with a corsair PSU and only $100 more. Still within my original $1500 budget. P
July 1, 2010 8:28:49 AM

It says the combo is no longer available. But there is no real need to pay that much more just to get a corsair. As bantracis pointed out the toughpowerseries are very good and made by the same makers of corsair.

As for the cords yes they are changable seeing as they are modular.

Hope you enjoy :D 
!