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Critique this $2000 Build

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August 8, 2010 10:44:06 PM

I've spent the last few weeks reading heaps of reviews, product specs, wiki entries, forum threads and all manner of interweb bric-a-brac to take my knowledge of computer hardware from negligible to novice.
Thought I'd take a shot at building a system to be used for:

- multitasking
- statistics (SPSS)
- 2D AutoCAD
- media library
- gaming

Finally letting go of my WinXP comfort blanket and moving up to Win7. Existing software isn't an issue as most of it will be new.
Not an OC'er yet, but I'm hoping to get pieces that will be able to; I think I've got some pretty easy-to-OC selections.
Not much of a gamer, but there are a couple new and upcoming Blizzard titles that I must be able to play!
I've researched the hell out of fans and case cooling the last few days and I know I will want to spend a few bucks on some decent air cooling, but in the interest of not breaking the bank I'm going to try to get away with stock for now. Exception: components selected require additional cooling - please leave your thoughts!
I'm not in this for a pretty PC; LED lights are more con than pro. I will try to make this a very clean build, so any tips you have for wire management would be appreciated.
Whenever possible I'd prefer a more efficient selection; lower power req'ts without sacrificing quality.


I've taken a crack at putting together an AMD system for under $2k:

Case - don't want a full tower case, but want decent cooling ability. Looking for quality build and good engineering. Preferably with a couple fans included.
COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower

Motherboard - Something I can work with that is easy to use. USB 3.0 would be nice.
ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX ATX Motherboard

Processor - don't want to spend a fortune and I'd like to stick with AMD
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz

GPU - I'd like to keep the heat/power consumption down. Won't be playing many FPS or watching movies. Need at least 2 monitor connections.
XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit

PSU - Modular; clean & consistent; good warranty
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V

Memory - versatile and cool running
G.SKILL Flare 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) CL7D

Boot Disk - speedy, consistent and reliable for Windows and most used Apps
OCZ Agility 2 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC SSD

Storage - speedy, consistent and reliable for media storage/playback and less used Apps. Additional storage will be added later on.
WD Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.5"

Optical - quiet, reliable, long lasting, problem free
ASUS Black 24X 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner

Monitor - HD, fast response, ~20", sturdy, energy efficient
ASUS VH222H-P Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD


Let me know what you guys think; I'll welcome any thoughts and opinions.

More about : critique 2000 build

August 8, 2010 11:24:55 PM

I know you favor AMD, but 6 core processors are best used when you have applications that are many core capable. Very few games are, and I on''t know about your apps.
For computational intensive applications, the i7-930 processors do better at stock, and they can be overclocked to 975 levels safely and easily.
Here is a comparison with a i7-920:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/146?vs=47

If you can get to a microcenter, they will sell you a i7-930 for $199. A very good deal.

If you are into heavy multitasking, you might want more than 4gb of ram.

The XFX 750w unit is silver certified, modular, and a bit stronger and cheaper:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Actually, the XFX 650w unit is more than enough for your system. It will power the strongest single vga card out there.

For the boot disk, I would get a single drive with 120gb or so, instead of messing with raid-0. The reason is that larger SSD's nave more internal nand chips that they can access concurrently for better sequential performance.. Sort of an internal raid-0.
Be prepared for buyers remorse. This fall should bring out gen3 ssd's with smaller, cheaper, and faster chips. I would install my os in a pertition and plan on cloning it to a better ssd when available.

For a case, Antec offers good values and very good cooling. Look at the Antec 200 or 300:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

For performance, I would go with the caviar black instead of blue. A minor increase in performance for a minor increase in price.

!