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Re-doing: New build hardware. Need opinions and advice.

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September 11, 2010 1:54:54 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Hoping to order parts within the next 2-3 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: I am already over budget.. I started off with a $500 budget not including the video card. My only choice for a budget now is either get what I am going to list, upgrade something (ie: RAM) for $10 more, or spend less. :kaola: 

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, a little bit of video editing, and internet (anything can do this nowadays anyway).

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I already have several SATA HDDs, a couple of external HDDs, 20" Dell monitor, DVD+/-R RW DL drive, speakers, mouse, and keyboard.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Not biased or anything, but.... I only buy from Newegg,

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: I don't have any preference on parts, but I like manufacturers who have really good warranties and make awesome products so I don't need the warranties. :lol: 

OVERCLOCKING: I have never OCed anything, but if the CPU and/or the Video card can be OCed safely and easily.... maybe.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No SLi, at this time... in the future... I don't know.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Right now it is at 1680x1050. I am not 100% sure what the max is on this monitor, but I will more than likely upgrade to something bigger within the next year. Plus I do have the ability and wiring to hook the PC up to my 47" LCD TV.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have never built an Intel PC, and the last AMD PC I built was probably back in 2004 or so... I want to be able to not worry for awhile about upgrading anything, because as it stands right now my wife just wants me to shut up about building a new PC, so the longer it is before I need to build another one... the better.


What I have so far...

Case $90 : COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU $130 (before rebate) : CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard $220 : ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU $300 : Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card $480 (before rebate) : EVGA 015-P3-1480-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM $90-$110 : Here is where I am just a little bit confused. I want to get 4GB for now, but I will only be using a 32-bit OS (please don't yell at me :whistle:  ), because I really don't like dealing with having to find 64-bit programs for the stuff I use. I will only upgrade to 64-bit OS if people think that having a 32-bit OS is limiting (bottle-necking) the hardware.
Regarding the actual kind of RAM I want is what is confusing... according to Newegg's site the motherboard I picked out doesn't list the DDR3 1600 speed, but only "DDR3 2000 (O.C) / 1866 (O.C) / 1333", so does that mean I can't get 1600 speed RAM? I have looked at Corasir's Dominator line at Newegg and I see two different model #s, but I can't tell which one is better... or if I can even use them...
Here is the comparison link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

Additional Comments:

I talked about my RAM "picking out" problem, but I have a few other things I need to ask.

I was on the fence for awhile about the video card. I kept asking myself, "Should I get the GTX 470, or go ahead and get the GTX 480?" I finally settled on putting the GTX 480 here for opinions. My "OHHH" factor comes from looking at: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

In your opinion, do you think the motherboard will cause the Video card to bottle-neck?

Is the PSU good enough for the video card? The card's details say this: "Minimum of a 600 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 42 Amps.) "

I want to be able to play the new FFXIV (Final Fantasy 14) without worrying too much about the game running like crap.
Here are the specs for the game:
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7 (2.66 GHz) or faster
RAM: 4GB (or higher)
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 with 768 MB VRAM or equivalent
I have been playing the open beta on my Dell XPS 410 ( Intel Core 2 CPU 6600@2.4GHz, 3GB out of 4GB of RAM showing (32-bit Win7), and GeForce 8800 GT (512MB)), and it running OK... except for the fact that the game play is very choppy and on the benchmark test for the game I scored a 2700-3000 out of a possible 7000 (I think 7000 was max).

How do you think this new build will look compared to what I am seeing now? (Not actually "seeing" but performance wise.) I won't hold you to your opinions. :heink: 

Are there any problems with this build? Is it possible for me to make the build less expensive without taking away performance?

I thank you for helping me out, and hopefully I didn't ask any stupid questions.

Thanks.






More about : build hardware opinions advice

September 11, 2010 3:01:53 AM

pentupanger said:
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, a little bit of video editing, and internet (anything can do this nowadays anyway).

...

RAM $90-$110 : Here is where I am just a little bit confused. I want to get 4GB for now, but I will only be using a 32-bit OS (please don't yell at me :whistle:  ), because I really don't like dealing with having to find 64-bit programs for the stuff I use. I will only upgrade to 64-bit OS if people think that having a 32-bit OS is limiting (bottle-necking) the hardware.
Regarding the actual kind of RAM I want is what is confusing... according to Newegg's site the motherboard I picked out doesn't list the DDR3 1600 speed, but only "DDR3 2000 (O.C) / 1866 (O.C) / 1333", so does that mean I can't get 1600 speed RAM? I have looked at Corasir's Dominator line at Newegg and I see two different model #s, but I can't tell which one is better... or if I can even use them...
Here is the comparison link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...


64-bit Windows 7 is very mature. You don't have to look for compatible software unless you want to; it can run 32-bit software. Compatibility mode solves most issues with old software. I haven't run into any programs that simply wouldn't run on Windows 7 x64 since the beta, compatibility mode.

The motherboard specs mean that it can run ram at any frequency up to DDR3 2000. Ram can always be run at a variety of frequencies; it doesn't have to be run exactly at DDR3 1066, 1333, or 1600.

Look at the voltages (1.5V or less is preferable for Intel systems) and CAS latencies (lower is always better) to tell the difference between ram kits of the same speed.
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September 11, 2010 3:13:00 AM

pentupanger said:
Is the PSU good enough for the video card? The card's details say this: "Minimum of a 600 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 42 Amps.) "


That power supply is plenty for a single GTX 480. Generally I wouldn't recommend a GTX 480, though. It's just too loud, power hungry, expensive. The GTX 470 is a much better value at just over half the price, and you could even run two GTX 470s in SLI on a high quality 850W power supply like that (running GTX 480s in SLI at all is difficult because of the power and cooling requirements). Here's a comparison of the GTX 470 and 480:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/160?vs=158

pentupanger said:
I want to be able to play the new FFXIV (Final Fantasy 14) without worrying too much about the game running like crap.
Here are the specs for the game:
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7 (2.66 GHz) or faster
RAM: 4GB (or higher)
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 with 768 MB VRAM or equivalent
I have been playing the open beta on my Dell XPS 410 ( Intel Core 2 CPU 6600@2.4GHz, 3GB out of 4GB of RAM showing (32-bit Win7), and GeForce 8800 GT (512MB)), and it running OK... except for the fact that the game play is very choppy and on the benchmark test for the game I scored a 2700-3000 out of a possible 7000 (I think 7000 was max).

How do you think this new build will look compared to what I am seeing now? (Not actually "seeing" but performance wise.) I won't hold you to your opinions. :heink: 


Obviously this system will be much much more powerful than your old one. Here's a comparison of your old graphics card with the GTX 480:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/178?vs=158
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September 11, 2010 3:36:11 AM

wielander said:
64-bit Windows 7 is very mature. You don't have to look for compatible software unless you want to; it can run 32-bit software.


Hmm, I did not know that... I guess I should have known that for as long as I have been steering clear of it... I guess it pays to actually research before just flat-out saying "no" to something new.

Oh... and regarding RAM... how does this look like:

RAM $140 (before rebate) : Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PV736G1600ELK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Lifetime Limited Warranty)

or

$150 (before rebate) : CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Lifetime Limited Warranty)

Opinions on RAM? Both look about the same, but the Corsair says it recommended for High performance gaming and for i7 X58 motherboards. I can't spend anymore money really, but is the motherboard I picked out a x58 or does it matter at this point? (point = I don't want to spend anymore money :lol:  )

Out of curiousity... Final Fantasy 14 says the following for 64-bit Windows, "64-bit operating systems will run in WoW64 (Windows on Windows 64) mode." What does that even mean? Here is the website: http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com/media/recom/na/pc.html
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September 11, 2010 3:52:06 AM

pentupanger said:
Hmm, I did not know that... I guess I should have known that for as long as I have been steering clear of it... I guess it pays to actually research before just flat-out saying "no" to something new.

Oh... and regarding RAM... how does this look like:

RAM $140 (before rebate) : Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PV736G1600ELK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Lifetime Limited Warranty)

or

$150 (before rebate) : CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Lifetime Limited Warranty)

Opinions on RAM? Both look about the same, but the Corsair says it recommended for High performance gaming and for i7 X58 motherboards. I can't spend anymore money really, but is the motherboard I picked out a x58 or does it matter at this point? (point = I don't want to spend anymore money :lol:  )


I try to ignore most of the marketing when it comes to ram. Everything you need to know is in the specifications. DDR3 uses much less power than DDR2, marketing gimmicks like fans and large heatsinks are unnecessary. Your motherboard is an X58, but that really has nothing to do with the ram (except that its triple channel).

You won't be able to run your ram faster than DDR3 1333 unless you overclock (ram speed is tied to CPU frequency). If you don't want to overclock, you can save money by buying DDR3 1333. Setting up a slight overclock in order to take advantage of DDR3 1600 is a pretty straight forward process, though.

Intel doesn't recommend running DDR3 at higher than stock voltage (1.5V) on its chipsets. The memory kits you listed are rated for 1.65V; they may work at 1.5V, but they might not work at 1.5V at DDR3 1600. Here are some better choices;

Mushkin DDR3 1333 1.5V $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill DDR3 1600 1.5V $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

pentupanger said:
Out of curiousity... Final Fantasy 14 says the following for 64-bit Windows, "64-bit operating systems will run in WoW64 (Windows on Windows 64) mode." What does that even mean? Here is the website: http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com/media/recom/na/pc.html


It just means that it will run in x86/32-bit mode.
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September 11, 2010 4:01:01 AM

pentupanger said:
Opinions on RAM? Both look about the same, but the Corsair says it recommended for High performance gaming and for i7 X58 motherboards. I can't spend anymore money really, but is the motherboard I picked out a x58 or does it matter at this point? (point = I don't want to spend anymore money :lol:  )


You should be able to save $60-80 on Newegg with combo deals. Downgrading to a GTX 470 would save you $175 as well.
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September 11, 2010 4:03:51 AM

wielander said:
That power supply is plenty for a single GTX 480. Generally I wouldn't recommend a GTX 480, though. It's just too loud, power hungry, expensive. The GTX 470 is a much better value at just over half the price, and you could even run two GTX 470s in SLI on a high quality 850W power supply like that (running GTX 480s in SLI at all is difficult because of the power and cooling requirements). Here's a comparison of the GTX 470 and 480:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/160?vs=158


Yeah, the 470 is hovering around the $300 mark right now. I have been to many websites recently looking at specs and what not, and I could have swore I saw somewhere that the 470 can actually do 480 speeds when it is overclocked. Have you seen this anywhere?

Also, the last time I even thought about OCing anything was about 8-9 years ago, and back then it was mostly done with jumpers and whatnot but now I think you can actually OC with software/programs... is this true? Will the GTX 470 come with said program/software? Should I even try to OC the video card? Will it help having a good PSU at all?

Having that extra $180-ish would help a lot, because I still think I may need an extra case fan (not 100% sure), and I know I need some Silver Thermal Compound... not expensive at all, but I don't want any unforeseen "extra" things popping up... I still need to buy a cheap DVD burner for the PC I am on so it will have a replacement when I steal the one in it out of it to put into the new PC.

Since I will more than likely go with the 470 I'll have the extra money to actually not worry about getting the Corsair RAM.

I think my wife may kill me if I don't get this thing built pretty fast and quit talking about it.


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September 11, 2010 4:13:16 AM

wielander said:
You should be able to save $60-80 on Newegg with combo deals. Downgrading to a GTX 470 would save you $175 as well.



Yeah, thanks for the tips on RAM.. I had no clue about the 1333 and 1600 OCing thing. I knew about the 1.5v, but I wa strying to get the 1600 speed because I thought it might run faster, but I would rather get 1333 in order to stick with the 1.5v spec.

At first I had some combos in mind, but they were AMD combos, and I can't find a good price i7 combo so I just gave up and started to pick and choose the pieces.

I might go back before actually making the purchase and double check the combos, but with Newegg having combos for everything (PSU/Case, RAM/mobo, CPU, mobo, PSU/mobo, etc...) it gets confusing what is that you are looking for and what combo you need to goto next... I guess I am just tired and trying to pick something fast... when I should be taking my time...

...but it is so hard to stay calm and remember what you like and pick out items... then narrow everything down to what you actually want.

:love: 
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September 11, 2010 4:27:50 AM

GTX 470s overclock very well. Here's an example review:

http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3252/nvidia_geforce_g...


You want one with a custom cooling setup though, because heat and noise will both rise quickly. Here are the two cheapest models that qualify:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


GPU overclocking is entirely done in software now. MSI's afterburner software is the most full featured (it works on all cards, not just MSI ones).

http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/


Adding another fan never hurts, but if you aren't running a heavy overclock, I don't think you'll need more than the three that come with your case.


CPU overclocking can be done in software, but it's easier to just do it in the BIOS. Jumpers are mostly a thing of the past; motherboards will automatically reboot using default settings if an overclock attempt fails.


If you want to run two GTX 470s in SLI later, you will need that high quality 850W power supply. Higher quality PSUs are naturally more reliable and usually last longer. Having a good PSU also saves you money on electricity bills at least (80 Plus Bronze, Silver, Gold Efficiency).
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September 11, 2010 4:33:24 AM

pentupanger said:


...but it is so hard to stay calm and remember what you like and pick out items... then narrow everything down to what you actually want.

:love: 


Yeah, I know what you're saying. I jump on the best deals and pass on or sell what I don't need. Eventually my computer will be exactly how I want it to be. :D 
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September 11, 2010 4:54:58 AM

wielander said:
You want one with a custom cooling setup though, because heat and noise will both rise quickly. Here are the two cheapest models that qualify:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Both of those are nice. I like the look of the MSI one, and I think it will look nicer in the case (heh... yeah.. I know...) , but the other one also looks nice... too bad I can't see what they look like from the viewpoint of me looking down on them.

I think either will be OK, and seeing that OC report of the 470 OC against the 480... I am going to indeed try and OC the 470.

Are there any glaring differences between the two 470 cards you linked other than price (MSI is about $50 higher) and their looks?

They both seem to have the same outputs (2xDVI and 1xHDMI) which is nice.

Thanks again for all of the help.

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September 11, 2010 5:17:14 AM

pentupanger said:
Are there any glaring differences between the two 470 cards you linked other than price (MSI is about $50 higher) and their looks?

MSI is more highly regarded as a brand, and their card comes with a better warranty (3 years vs. 2 years). The voltage is unlocked on this MSI card so you might be able to get a better overclock. I haven't been able to find any professional reviews, though.


The reviews for the Palit card are excellent. The cooler seems capable of handling anything you can throw at it:

http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/palit_gefo...

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_GTX_47...

http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/product-guide/view/36438

pentupanger said:
Thanks again for all of the help.

No problem. :D 
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September 11, 2010 11:47:34 PM

wielander said:


The reviews for the Palit card are excellent. The cooler seems capable of handling anything you can throw at it:

http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/palit_gefo...

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_GTX_47...

http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/product-guide/view/36438



Bah... you have got to be kidding me... I went to compare the two cards (MSI and Palit) on Newegg and the Palit one is now out of stock and it says it may or may not be restocked... :ouch:  ...

EDIT IN: OK, stop it.... whoever is going around buying my PC before I can buy my parts... now the case is out of stock... I think I may quit posting what I want on the different forums asking for opinions if whoever is doing it doesn't quit. :non: 

:lol: 
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