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My First Build - Opinions/Criticisms/Suggestions Please

Last response: in Systems
August 4, 2010 5:02:08 PM

Please rate, give your opinion/criticisms/suggestions for my build. This is my first build and I gave myself a $1,500 budget for the computer only, not including the monitor and other accessories. I know I could've probably saved around $100 if I had just gotten certain deals right before or right after I bought certain parts or if I didn't live in Califiornia. The total cost of each item includes any tax, shipping & handling, and rebates.

CPU: Intel Core i7 Processor i7-930 2.80GHz 8 MB LGA1366 CPU - $217.49
Motherboard: P6T LGA 1366 X58 ATX Motherboard - $250.11
RAM: DDR3 6GB (3x2GB) 1600MHz C7 CORSAIR - $177.49
GPU: XFX RADEON HD 5870 1GB DDR5 HDMI Graphics Card - $389.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $65.24
Cooling: Thermalright U120E-RT-775 Ultra 120 Extreme Heatpipe CPU Cooler w/ Fan and Shroud for Intel LGA775, 1366 - $60.64
Chassis: Antec Three Hundred Mid Tower ATX Computer Case - $54.36
PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 - Bought 3-4 years ago for around $50
Optical: LITE-ON 24X SATA DVD-RW - $21.74
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 - $10.86

Total: $1,297.92

Monitor: Dell SP2309W - $233.49
Speakers: Creative Inspire T3130 - $33.49
Mouse: Logitech MX518 - $20.88
Headset: Teknmotion TM-YB100A - $21.74
HDMI Cable: Rosewill 6" HDMI Cable - $5.99

Total: $315.59

Grand Total: $1,613.51

The PSU was cheap because I bought another Antec PSU 450w from NewEgg way back then with a rebate. The PSU died a week after and I RMAed it to NewEgg, who didn't have the PSU in stock anymore and allowed me to pick the Antec Truepower 550w to replace it. I am forever grateful for NewEgg.

I was looking for a 23"-24" 16:10 monitor with a low MS and reputable manufacturer. That was difficult to find and the ones I did find weren't the greatest deals or were from questionable manufacturers. It seems as if no one makes 16:10 monitors anymore. I settled on the SP2309W because of the resolution and the $100 discount at the time. I am very satisfied. I would have bought an IPS monitor from Dell if they were cheaper.

I'm not an audiophile, I was just looking for speakers and a headset that did the job and were durable. I've had great experiences with Creative products, which have never broken on me unlike other more expensive brands even after years of rough usage.

I probably overpaid for the HDMI cable with all these 3 for $2.99 etc. deals going on, but I didn't want to go through three super cheap ones in a few months so I found one that was cheap with plenty of good reviews on NewEgg. And free shipping!

I am using a cheap and probably 5 year old keyboard that I bought for under $10 somewhere. I'm awesome at games no matter what keyboard I use as long as the keys are in the correct spots and work. It suited me well for WoW and probably will once my SC2 copy comes. I will however still lookout for a deal on a G15, and no I'm not paying for the $50-55 dented box specials Logitech keeps coming out with for the G15. Just because they price it at $100 and say they're taking $50 doesn't mean its a deal, in my opinion, mostly when these dented boxes happen so often.

Please rate, be as mean as you want I don't care.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2010 9:07:50 PM

HSF isn't the best choice, but it's not horrible.

In general, an i7-9xx CPU is a waste of money for gaming. You're paying for threads you'll never use.

Games are very poorly threaded. The part of gaming that is well
threaded, the graphics portions, is handled by the GPU, which already
have hundreds of cores.

In gaming, the most CPU intensive task is AI. AI, by definition is not
a parallel process. It is extremely difficult to thread AI. Most games
that are "multi threaded" actually keep AI on 1 thread and throw the
rest (minor far less intensive stuff) on the other.

Can you design a game to utilize 4 or more cores? Sure, you can throw
all the CPU non intensive calculations onto their own threads, but
until someone figures out a good way to thread nonparallel
computations, the performance increase will be minimal, as the hard
work is still restricted to 1 thread.

This issue has been stumping programmers for decades. There are ways
to do this in specific situations, but no general solution yet. A
general solution allowing infinite threading of nonparallel
calculations would be the programming equivalent of finding the cure
for cancer, noble prize stuff for sure.

Basically think of it this way. On a math exam you have a 3 part
question in which the answer to part each part depends on previous
answers. IE

A. Add up 3 and 5.
B. Use the answer from part A and divide by 2
C. Use the answer from part B and triple it.

what is the final answer?

This is the type of thinking AI requires. Threading this is the
equivalent of calculating the answer to A, B and C simultaneously.
It's not impossible like the mathematical equivalent is, but it's not

For this reason, more than 3 threads has very little benefit.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2010 11:23:04 PM

Motherboard is an older model that doesnt have USB3/SATA 6GB. The prices are the same so you might as well get a newer one.

Motherboard is capable of handling 2 graphics cards but the PSU you bought is barely enough to handle one 5870 plus some overclocking.

Antec 300 or Antec 300 Illusion? The 300 illusion model comes with the two front fans installed and us usually at most $10 more.

I use a $10 (or less) keyboard and a Logitech headset I got at Walmart for $15. Headsets break easy (yank on cables, sit on them, etc) so its not worth it to me to pay more.
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August 4, 2010 11:54:07 PM

I don't use the computer just for gaming. I also web design so I use Photoshop CS5 a lot.

I wasn't looking to be using USB3 as I don't think it'll become mainstream for another couple of years and I'll upgrade then. The SATA 6 GB though...maybe I should've thought about that...

I have the Antec 300. The Illusion probably would have been better since I do plan on getting more HDDs.

Thanks, these ideas help a lot. I'll probablly sell the case and motherboard in a few months and upgrade those parts right there a bit and get a couple of SATA 6 HDDs while I'm at it.

What do you guys think about the build vs. the price I paid for everything?

August 5, 2010 12:00:30 AM

Oh yeah, I don't plan on overclocking anytime soon since, in my opinion, my build can run most games on pretty high quality so there's no point in doing it now. I will crossfire before I overclock. I do plan on crossfire, but since I wasn't doing it yet, I thought the PSU I had would suffice. I used a wattage calculator to see if it would be enough and it said around 450w so I thought a 550w would be enough, mostly an Antec Truepower. It's been fine so far. I'll upgrade my PSU though when I crossfire.