BUDGET RANGE: Around $1000 on parts I don't already have.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: office work, music playback, web development, HTPC, some photo editing, and I want to start checking out some FPS and auto racing games, and might or might not get more into games in the future.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: case, monitor, OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com, tigerdirect and circuitcity for bing cashback, centralcomputers.com for local pickup to save on shipping costs, maybe Microcenter
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Western Digital drives. G.Skill RAM because they seem to have good support. I'm willing to pay more for good companies with good support and solid products.
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe next year
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, for the same reasons as overclocking.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200 for the HP ZR24w 24" monitor I just bought. Also need output via S-video to TV. Might go dual monitor in the future.
I think the Athlon II x4 635 + Asus M4A89GTD might be a good combo for me. What do you think?
This is my first build and the high performance uses are HTPC, some photo editing, and I want to start checking out some FPS and auto racing games, and might or might not get more into games in the future.
Many thanks to batuchka for pointing me in the right direction, summarizing my needs well, and picking out a CPU. I did my due diligence and read reviews and benchmarks and it looks like the Athlon II x4 635 is a great choice for me.
I need s-video, DVI or Displayport, and esata.
I want this machine to be fast, snappy, quick, and silent.
This board has dual LAN ports. I'd get this board if I could connect my DSL modem to one port and another computer to the other port and allow the other computer to connect to the Internet. I don't think that's possible though, is it? I think I'd need a router.
This board doesn't have the latest Realtek sound and LAN chips it seems, which probably wouldn't make much difference to me.
Some CPU fans and heatsinks apparently get in the way of the RAM slots on the Gigabyte boards, and the RAM needs to be moved, limiting the board to only 2 slots. Eyeballing the proximity of the CPU socket to the RAM slots, it looks like it might be a concern and a reason to go with the ASUS.
I originally wanted to go with a Gigabyte board because I've read they have better quality and support overall, and good manuals which are good for first time builders. But I'm leaning towards going with the masses and getting an Asus.
Any reasons I should pick one of the Gigabyte boards? Any other boards I should consider? Functionality is more important to me than saving $20-$50.
Not exactly, one computer acts as a "proxy server" in that configuration. However, I strongly recommend a router in any case for the extra layer of security one provides. Even an inexpensive one.
Yes, just install the cooler up-front. Did you verify that the Scythe will fit in the case?
I think you should get an 870 board and discrete graphics card. Here is the way I would do this on newegg:
Gigabyte 870 board and 4GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Don't sweat the details on the RAM. This will work just fine for your needs. Latency and frequency makes only very small differences measurable only by benchmarking programs.
I really do not see you needing more than one video card. Get one up front that will meet your needs
>> Yes, just install the cooler up-front. Did you verify that the Scythe will fit in the case?
No, but thank you very much for pointing that out. How can I verify it fits?
I think it might be best to wait and buy the cooler last after I have the case and motherboard and I can measure.
The Antec 300 is 8.1 inches wide and the ARK 4U is 7 inches, a difference of 1.1 inch or 27.94 millimeters. I'd really prefer the horizontal case versus tower if possible. In fact, I'd skip overclocking if I needed a bigger cooler and it couldn't fit in the case.
Any idea how much clearance there is in the Antec 300? It's probably not an exact comparison, but it will give us some idea.
The cooler I picked is the Scythe SCMG-2100 and it's 130 x 100 x 158 mm. I'm not sure which is the height, but I think it's 158mm based on the dimensions of their other coolers.
When you say "low-profile" which one are you referring to? The SCSK-1100?
"If ordering a large CPU heat sink make sure you don't get one that is too tall for the case. Most 120mm CPU fans will not fit inside this 4U (7 inch) tall case. I am using a Rosewill RCX-Z3 92mm CPU Cooler on a ASUS M3A78-EM AM2 motherboard. Once assembled their is less than a half inch between the cooler and the case cover. "
"pretty spacious for a server build (which doesn't require an aftermarket cooler or fancy gfx card)."
"I can't use the extra dual hard drive rail that hangs in the middle of the case because I have an oversized CPU cooler and I can't move it down because of cabling and PCI cards. But this is just because of my layout, I'm sure different layouts would be different."
"My mobo doesn't have lan or cpu fan cooler light pins so those LEDs just sit dark, but that's not much of a con."
Looking at the comments, I think the Scythe 2000 (119mm) or 1100 (76mm) will fit. With this small cooler, how much overclocking will I be able to do?
From the Scythe 1100 customer reviews:
"Cons: It cant cool my Phenom II X4. stock cooler keeps a low 57-58C, this cooler while quiet cant keep my core below the 62 C limit AMD specs for
Other Thoughts: if you have a mid power CPU it would work nicely, but I needed low profile for my HTPC, but this just cannot keep the temperature down. hence the 3 eggs "
"This was exactly what I needed as my power supply is right above the CPU socket of my ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO. Anything else would not have fit. Using it to cool an oc'd X4 II 955 (@ 3.45Ghz). Keeping it at 39C idle, <60C under Prime95 or 57C under Everest Ultimate. (Using Arctic Silver.)
OC'd it to 3.52Ghz, but it was getting above 60C and I didn't want to chance it. Might look at doing the same as the below post and getting a different fan, but any taller fan for me, and it might not fit in my case."
"Cools well with ten percent over-clocking. If you want more cooling . . . then you might get the bigger brother (it is 120mm).
Antec Minuet350 Piano Black Steel MicroATX Slim Case Computer Case 350W 80PLUS Certified Power Supply,
BIOSTAR TA790GX XE AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard, AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz..."
I think it might be best to wait and buy the cooler last after I measure. Please let me know what you think.
PSU: The TP-650 looks great. I'll look into that one and other 650w power supplies.
I think I'm going to stick with the Athlon for now and guarantee the four cores. When/If I start getting into overclocking next year, then I'll look into all of the options with the possibility of upgrading the CPU.
>> I think you should get an 870 board and discrete graphics card.
Please let me know why you like the 870.
I removed the 870 from my list because I didn't think I needed 3 PCI slots. More PCIe slots would be better, I thought. Any other reasons you think I should get this board, other than 2 more SATA ports?
If I consider a Gigabyte board, why not the GA-890XA-UD3? Because the 870 combo deal is a great one? Any other reasons? (To clarify, I'd rather get functionality than save $20-$50. But if the additional functionality is limited, I like $50 in my pocket just as much as the next person.)
After looking into this more and considering your comments, I think you guys really like discrete graphics cards for the gaming factor, but I won't be gaming at all until next year at the earliest. I think I can get a great card then. Is a discrete graphics card going to have better performance for "office work" than on-board video?
Nonetheless, if I get a Gigabyte board and a discrete graphics card now, I'm thinking I'll get a low-end card this year like the one I linked to in my post, and then next year I'll get something really great.
Asus with on-board video $133.54 after bcb + $101.74 G.Skill RAM = $235.28
Asus M4A89GTD + Athlon II x4 635 = $218.42 after bcb + $101.74 G.Skill RAM = $320.16 shipped
Please let me know why you think I should get the Gigabyte or if there's any reason I should not get the Asus. Will the XFX card give me noticably better performance for video and office work, until I can upgrade and get a good card for gaming?
Thank you very, very much for your help! I really appreciate it.
Thank you very much Proximon and tecmo for your feedback!
Your comment about the cooler fitting in the case was absolutely CRITICAL and saved me money, time, and headaches. Thanks!!
I decided to get another case, the Lian-Li PC-7FN mid-tower. Fortunately, I figured out a good place to put it: behind my monitor. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where I was going to put a tower case, and I much prefer this case over the other one.
I also decided to get the Mugen 2 because it's quiet, highly rated, and should fit in this case.