Hey guys, I'm planning to get a new computer to replace my 7-year-old Athlon XP-powered computer that can barely run a browser anymore. This would be my second computer, but the first that which I choose my own parts.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: next few weeks
BUDGET RANGE: $700-$800 CAD for the main system after pricematching and sales; a little over is fine. Add up to another $200 for a good LCD screen.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Web browsing, productivity software, programming (eg. Eclipse), light gaming (mostly older stuff that may require more than on-board graphics), movies
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (already have Windows 7 Pro student license), speakers, mouse (but need keyboard)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ncix.com - will be price matching from other sites
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
PARTS PREFERENCES: non-Asus motherboard (heard bad experiences on Internet about them, and one of my relatives had an Asus board fail just recently)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: PC should be as future-proof as possible; the idea is "overkill for any task I need right now, but still a good performer for most things for many years to come". Upgrades should not be necessary for at least another 4 years.
In addition to my original build, I've considered a few, more expensive, options for which would would also have a good future-proofing possibility / current cost ratio.
One more question: Although NCIX has a PC assembly option for an extra $50, I'd like to have a try at building it myself. However, how risky is building the computer myself? Are there a lot of ways to accidentally damage components? I have done upgrades on my computer, but have never built an entire PC from scratch. Of note, I am a little clumsy; the last time I added a case fan, I accidentally disconnected some USB port connector wires, reinserted them incorrectly, and ended up making a USB flash drive (with A LOT of important data on it) permanently unreadable after plugging it into the port. Of course, that was a few years ago... but then again, nearly a grand's worth of components are on the line this time.
Thanks in advance for any help! Any tips and suggestions are appreciated.
The PII X4 or i5 build seems good. Though it would be quite impossible to expect for your PC to still qualify as "speedy" four years down the line. With your selections however, looks like the video card would be the first (and maybe the only) thing you'd replace.
The 5750 is fast but it's not the fastest, though for now it should cover your needs. If you can stretch your budget, a 5770 might be a bit better. A 5850 or GTS 460 would be best.
tbh, I can't really justify spending an extra $50 or so for ~15% extra performance for the 5770... well, at least, not yet. Maybe I'll get it if it's on sale.
Would the i5 offer much of a significant performance advantage per core, compared to the PII X4 or X6? Looking at benchmarks, the i5 destroys the PII X4 in nearly all benchmarks, and beats the X6 in those that don't utilize all its cores. But what about in real world applications... is it worth the extra $50 compared to the X4, or ~-$5 compared to the X6?
Future proof is a pipe dream. That being said, the AMD might have the slightest of advantages in the sense that their socket seems a bit more stable, while intel will be swapping away from 1156 within half of a year.
In terms of balance, your graphics card isn't really balanced with the other stuff you have in there, but you didn't really list gaming as a focus, so maybe this isn't an issue for you.
The 5730 will be adequate yes. You can probably upgrade to whatever card sometime in the future. In the current landscape, nvidia seems to have the leg up in terms of value, but every generation that flip flops (or almost every generation).
The AMD build would ideally be a bit more "future-proof" as AMD does usually support older sockets. Though this isn't a guarantee, as AMD did change sockets before and didn't release updated parts (i.e. Socket 754). So it isn't really guaranteed that it would be future-proof.
Intel however has a history of not supporting sockets 1~2 years after release. Intel is more consistent with this (see Socket 478 and 775).
Intel is on a roll now, and we couldn't really say if they could keep this lead in the future. Though, whatever you buy now it'd surely be insanely quick for your needs. Apps that usually push hardware to their limits are the newer games, video encoding software and maybe also some CAD apps.
Alright, I've made a few changes to the build, so here is the (maybe) final parts list, along with approximate prices (in CAD):
CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, $201.79 Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H, $111.91 RAM: G.SKILL Eco 2X2GB DDR3-1600, $102.98 Case: Antec Three Hundred, $53.99 PSU: Seasonic S12II 520W, $69.90 GPU: Powercolor Radeon HD 5750 512MB, $104.99 after $20 MIR Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB, $59.99 DVD drive: LG GH22NS50 22X, $22.99 Case fans: 2 x GELID Silent 120MM Thermal Control Fan 3PIN, $19.64 Monitor: Samsung E2320X 23", $169.99 Total: $938.17 before MIR, $918.17 after MIR
Probably around $1100 after taxes.
I've also decided to assemble the system myself.
A few more questions have come up though:
- Is it worth it to get the Radeon HD 5770 for an extra $35? Is the difference really noticeable, compared to the 5750?
- How does the Phenom 1055T's stock cooler perform, in terms of noise and performance? Should I get an aftermarket cooler? (Also see my other thread)
Any suggestions and comments are still appreciated.
1. HD5770 will definitely worth the price! or if you can still pay a bit more GTX460 is also a very good option.
2. After market proc fan is only needed for OC or if you feel the stock fan was too loud. I say, go with the stock fan and see for your self.
3. Your new configuration looks fine to me. If you can still affor one, get an SSD, an SSD will change your system performance drastically. (OCZ Vertex 2 or Crucial C300)
Okay, so I've ordered the parts yesterday. Made some additional parts choices: no aftermarket cooler initially, and changed the video card to the 5770. (The fact that the 5750 stopping being on sale, and the 5770 became on sale changed my opinion. ). I'll maybe get an SSD in the future, when prices come down dramatically.
Changes from the config from above are in italics: CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H RAM: G.SKILL Eco PC3-12800 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL7-8-7-24 Case: Antec Three Hundred PSU: Seasonic S12II 520W GPU:XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB Hard drive:Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB DVD drive:Samsung SH-S223L/BEBS 22X Case fans:2 x Noctua NF-S12B ULN 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fans Monitor:ASUS VH236H 23"
Total was just over $1000 CAD before taxes.
Thanks again to everyone for their input! I probably will need to ask for some help though, when I receive the parts and build the PC... so many wires and cables... so many fragile parts...