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First Build! Is this suitable rig?

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September 19, 2010 1:39:02 AM


Hello Tom’s Hardware Community!

This is my first time building a desktop and was seeking advice or other suggestions. Since I have never attempted this before I am using a company called iBuyPower to help with the process. They offer a semi-custom build process were I can select from a wide range of components.

This setup will not be used for gaming. Its primary purpose is for writing software code using parallel programming, hyper-threading techniques. I am an undergrad and have some knowledge with programming however I am a novice in the hardware world. My budget is under $1000.

Do you guys think this is a decent rig for my specifications? Also, is it wise to use a site such as iBuyPower to help build a desktop? Are there other competitors that perform similar requests, or should I proceed with caution.

The main components include:

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7 950 Processor (4x 3.06Ghz/8MB L3 Cache)

MEMORY: 6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1600 Corsair

VIDEO CARD: ATI Radeon HD 5450 – 1GB

MOTHERBOARD: ASUS P6T SE

HARD DRIVE: 1TB 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0Gb/s

OS: win7 64-bit

Along with the other components, this setup comes out to $930. I can add the other components in this thread if anyone prefers, however I do not have as much flexibility with them. Any suggestions/modifications on this matter would be appreciated, thank you.

(Is this your homework, Larry?)


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September 20, 2010 3:57:43 PM

If you're using IBuyPower, you're not building it. I would highly recommend you reconsider buying a prebuilt, as you'll be overcharged for inferior parts, get poor build quality and get terrible support. Check out the companies at the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) for some horror stories.

Here's what I generally recommend for CPU intensive builds (for specific advice, follow the guidelines in the link from my signature):

I'm checking the prices and combos, so if the link doesn't work, give me a few minutes...

CPU: i7-930 ($285) or i7-950 ($300). If you're near a Microcenter, you can get those for a lot less. I believe the 930 is $200 there.
Mobo/OS: ASRock X58 Extreme 3 and Windows 7 64-bit $280
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $130
GPU: GTX 460 768 MB $170. nVidia is better than ATI in non-gaming applications. You'll likely see some benefit from CUDA and such.
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and OCZ Fatal1ty 550W $100 after rebate
Case/Optical: Rosewill Blackbone and cheap SATA DVD burner $43

Total: $1,008 (w/ the 930)

A bit over (assuming you're not near a Microcenter), but depending on your exact uses, you can drop the GPU down a lot. You could throw in a 5450 and save $180. I will say that this is going to be a lot more powerful and a lot higher quality than anything IBuyPower will sell you.
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September 20, 2010 6:00:24 PM

MadAdmiral said:
If you're using IBuyPower, you're not building it. I would highly recommend you reconsider buying a prebuilt, as you'll be overcharged for inferior parts, get poor build quality and get terrible support. Check out the companies at the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) for some horror stories.

Here's what I generally recommend for CPU intensive builds (for specific advice, follow the guidelines in the link from my signature):

I'm checking the prices and combos, so if the link doesn't work, give me a few minutes...

CPU: i7-930 ($285) or i7-950 ($300). If you're near a Microcenter, you can get those for a lot less. I believe the 930 is $200 there.
Mobo/OS: ASRock X58 Extreme 3 and Windows 7 64-bit $280
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $130
GPU: GTX 460 768 MB $170. nVidia is better than ATI in non-gaming applications. You'll likely see some benefit from CUDA and such.
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and OCZ Fatal1ty 550W $100 after rebate
Case/Optical: Rosewill Blackbone and cheap SATA DVD burner $43

Total: $1,008 (w/ the 930)

A bit over (assuming you're not near a Microcenter), but depending on your exact uses, you can drop the GPU down a lot. You could throw in a 5450 and save $180. I will say that this is going to be a lot more powerful and a lot higher quality than anything IBuyPower will sell you.


MadAdmiral:

Thank you very much for the reply. Its appears after reading a lot of reviews on iBuyPower that I should build the desktop myself. I was able to locate a Micro Center near my address and noticed that they offered i7 CPUs for $70 cheaper then newegg!

However, just using their website I was unable to find some of the components you suggested for my build (Mobo, Case, RAM). Would you recommend picking up what I can from Micro Center then purchasing the rest of the components on new egg.

Also you are absolutely correct going with an nVidia for CUDA apps. That was originally my plan however I was unable to keep my budget under $1000. It appears with this combination however that I will be able to get an nVidia and have the budget under $1000.

Finally, if I'm doing this build myself am I required to purchase other minor parts (e.g. wires, mounting hardware, extra cooling fans, power...) that are not included with these components. Or are these the only necessary components to get my desktop up and running. Thanks again for the suggestions.
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September 20, 2010 6:58:50 PM

Usually the motherboard comes with enough cables for a basic system (one DVD, one HDD). And the PSU has all the power cables.
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September 20, 2010 8:07:00 PM

Best answer selected by lightwave.
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September 20, 2010 9:14:42 PM

I would recommend only getting the CPU from Microcenter. Typically, their other components are drastically overpriced. They have some deal with Intel so that they sell the CPUs at a massive discount. Feel free to do some price checking among the various reputable retailers (Microcenter for in person, Newegg, ZipZoomFly, TigerDirect, NCIX, Amazon, etc. online). I typically find Newegg to be the cheapest, but that may not always be true.

What I would do is order everything you can from Newegg (or other cheaper place, don't forget to add in shipping and/or taxes and subtract combos/rebates), as their prices are cheaper than almost every where else (excluding MC's CPUs), then the day they arrive or the day before they're supposed to arrive, drive over to Microcenter and buy the CPU. You can't order online from MC, so you'll need to go in person. This would eliminate most of your waiting time for building, so if something doesn't work, you can return it.

dnd is correct. Everything you need will come with the parts you have. Until you start overclocking, the stock cooling (i.e. the case fans and Intel's CPU fan) will be enough. All of the screws will come with the case and all the wires come with the various cables.
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