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Critique my build

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July 17, 2010 3:12:59 PM

Please scrutinise my build! I am ordering all of these parts very soon (this weekend), so would like feedback on the choices I have made/ whether you think I can improve anything.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This weekend hopefully

BUDGET RANGE: £1000 - £1100

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3D/ 2D animation, rendering, compositing, video editing, designing

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ebuyer.com & amazon.co.uk COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK

PARTS PREFERENCES: nVida gpu, intel i7 cpu

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (CPU only) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 +

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Needs to render video and animation as fast as possible (for this budget), needs to be kept cool and quiet, will be overclocking cpu to 4ghz or close


Parts I've chosen:

Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Motherboard
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/195331

PSU
Corsair 650W TX Series Power Unit
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135514

CPU
i7 930
https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Intel+Core+i7+930+...

CPU Cooler
Coolermaster V8 & Thermal Paste/ paste remover
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coolermaster-V8-Cooler-RR-UV8-X...

Graphics Card
GTX 460
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/227182

RAM
Cosair 6GB RAM (1,600)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152641

HDD
Caviar Black 1TB
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/193712

CD/ DVD Drive
Samsung SH-S223
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145450

Case
Coolmaster 690 II Advanced
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191197

Wireless Card
Netgear WG311 Wireless-G PCI Card
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/50127


Total Cost: £1051.66

More about : critique build

a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2010 6:01:18 PM

Change the PSU to this: XFX 650W XXX Edition http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191826 It is a better PSU than the TX due to higher efficiency, modularity, cheaper, etc.

The 1TB FEAX might be the fastest 1TB drive around, but I doubt it's worth the extra cost over either of these:
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158798

I would prefer this cooler personally: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 http://www.ebuyer.com/product/147097 £50
July 17, 2010 9:52:57 PM

That's great thanks - yes that psu looks like it might be better. The Seagate Barracuda sounds good... does it matter about the cache, or doesn't it make much of a difference?

I just checked out a video review of that fan and it sounds really good. You're a money saver, thanks!
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2010 10:03:28 PM

No, the cache size won't make much of a difference. Altho the cache size is one of the things that helps the FEAX to be as fast as it is.

Another thing about the XFX over the TX is that it has four PCI-E connectors hardwired, so you wouldn't have to use molex to PCI-E adapters to add a second 460 as you would with the TX.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 3:57:52 AM

I would take the F3 HD over the others, except that the WD has a 5 year warranty.
This looks like a nice build.
I prefer modular over non modular PSU's, but CPU magazine just matched the Corsair 750W vs the XFX 750 (among others) and gave the XFX 3 1/2 outta 5 and the corsair unit 4.5.
Food for thought, I like the Antec 750 neo myself.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 18, 2010 3:14:31 PM

@ Silvune - That's great thanks. I'm not planning to SLI or crossfire atm, but it's nice to have the option!

@buzznut - Any reason over choosing the F3 over the barracuda? I must confess, I didn't see a lot of difference myself except the price!

That's interesting about the PSUs. I'm unsure which one to pick now, the Antec one is quite expensive compared to the other two - but if it's significantly more effective I guess I can't argue. Are you suggesting I get 750W instead of 650W by the way?.. or is this just based on your own build?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 4:23:29 PM

A system with an OCed i7-920/930 and two 460s (or two 5850s - they have the same TDP) won't even use 500 watts under full furmark load which is much more stressful than a game, so a PSU that can deliver 650watts is the sweet spot for such a system.

Go for which ever harddrive you want, they're both pretty much as fast as each other.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 4:51:21 PM

I had a barracuda (320GB 7200.10) that failed on me after one year and I lost confidence in the brand. I hear good things about the 7200.12, but I don't recommend barracudas as I believe the samsung drives offer superior performance.
I must admit I am not 100% positive where the barracuda sits in relative performance between these three.
I have never had a WD drive fail on me, until recently when a 500GB green drive went belly up. So speed and reliability is why I am recommending the Samsung drives now.

My apologies, of course you are interested in 650 W. Here's a good one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another good budget 600:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am sorry if I have confused the issue for you. Silvune's recommendations are solid, after researching a bit the XFX looks like a solid PSU. The main complaints of the XFX are stiff cables for routing and a fan that is not so quiet.

The OCZ model is very quiet, but has shorter cables than the competition.

The antecs have cables that are a good length, even for bottom mounting.
July 18, 2010 5:26:04 PM

@ Silvune - brilliant thank you. that's good to know :) 

@ buzznut - that energy saving one looks awesome thanks. I think I'll go with that one :) 

Do either of you know any good wireless cards? I just checked the one I was going to use and it isn't compatible with windows 7 64bit
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 6:31:27 PM

These days you want as much power available on the 12V rails as possible. The Corsair TX and XFX have over 600 watts available on their 12V rails. The Antec Earthwatts only has ~530 on it's, and the ModXstream only has ~505. So I don't think they are appropriate choices if you want to be able to add a second graphics card, as they are likely to be making more noise, heat, etc. Obviously they would be fine for one graphics card. Also they don't have enough hardwired PCI-E connectors, so would have to resort to molex adapters - which I'm not a fan of and would prefer to avoid.

@ buzznut - Do you have a link to the comparison between the Corsair and XFX you mentioned earlier? I'm curious as to why this magazine rated the Corsair better than the XFX, because all the info I have tells me that the XFX is the better PSU.
Which (OP) is why I think the XFX is a much better deal at £7 cheaper than the TX, and highly superior and worth the extra cost over the Antec Earthwatts 650 and the OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W.

Unfortunately I know next to nothing about wireless cards.
July 18, 2010 8:01:08 PM

hmm its a hard choice... but also the most important one I've heard. I think I would probably replace/ upgrade a card rather than pci it if that makes any difference? I don't use games on the computers, but usually maya and after effects are the most graphics intensive things I do
!