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Looking to build new PC - newb to all this

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November 3, 2010 6:43:54 PM

I am looking to build a desktop PC, and I am a former mac guy, I just realize that the cost makes so much sense to build it myself. I have done a little research on some parts and I think I am starting to get somewhere but would like some help or suggestions (of course if someone wants to just publish a wishlist on newegg for me, that'd be great too!).

Budget - I'm hoping for somewhere around 1000, but I am a bit flexible - of course, the cheaper the better.

Here is what I will be using it for:
Photo/video editing
- CS5
- Avid or Sony Vegas
Some gaming
- doesn't have to be Crysis ready, but would like to play some regular Steam games (ie. TF2, Left 4 Dead etc.)
Some HTPC stuff
-storage

Here is what I know or would like to use so far

I am fairly certain I want a core i7. Specifically I'm looking at the core i7 950 (3.06GHz) as it seems to be one that many people are fond of.
Also leaning toward the GeForce GTX 460 as a video card. Again because many seem to be using it and it has the CUDA for all my CS5 benefits.
Leaning toward 6-8GB of RAM, preferably DDR3
Also, if possible would like to have a SSD for the OS and programs and a separate drive for all the media storage

This is what I know so far - but again, I'm a complete newb and have never built a PC before (I'm not even sure all the parts I need).

Any suggestions would be great and useful, and as I said, if someone wants to build a wishlist on newegg and then everyone else can pick it apart and fix me up I would be GREATLY appreciative.

Thanks a bunch for all the help!
-Scott

More about : build newb

a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2010 7:40:36 PM

The i7s are great performers, but if you're not using your computer for extreme performance, I would recommend the i5-760 and the P55 chipset. It's the best price vs. performance, and you'll save some money for a second GPU or whatnot.

I have the GTX 460s and they're great cards. The 1GB versions dropped in price to ~$200 now since the GTX 580 is coming out next week or so. I recommend EVGA's or MSI's cards.

Go with triple channel 3x2GB (6GB) memory. Some of the good brands are Kingston, G.Skill, Patriot.

The OCZ Vertex and Crucial C300 SSDs are the fastest SATA drives on the market. The 40-64GBs are usually around the $100-$150 range.
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November 3, 2010 8:48:49 PM

This is what I have right now in my cart on newegg

Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
1

EVGA 01G-P3-1378-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) FTW EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card


$239.99



1

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL


$269.99

1

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 Intel X58 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

*

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Item #: N82E16819115211
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

*

GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 Intel X58 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128456
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$15.00 Instant
-$14.99 Combo



$489.98
$459.99

Subtotal: $969.97

I was trying to keep this build in the 1000-1200 range. Is this even possible or am I doomed?
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
November 3, 2010 8:58:26 PM

boiler1990 said:
The i7s are great performers, but if you're not using your computer for extreme performance, I would recommend the i5-760 and the P55 chipset. It's the best price vs. performance, and you'll save some money for a second GPU or whatnot.
For gaming that is true, but not for his primary usage of photo editing, CS5, etc. the hyperthreading of the i7 950 is a valuable feature for him. I would go with a motherboard like the ASUS Sabertooth.

Triple channel 3x2GB will work great in an i7 950 system with an x58 motherboard. You would not do that with a p55 system like you recommended.

The Crucial c300s are just fast enough they put the SATA3 logo on them. The slightly slower (but all-around strong performing) sandforce SSDs have dropped significantly in price because of that. OCZ Vertex 2, OCZ Agility 2, Corsair Force, Patriot Inferno, Mushkin Enhanced Callisto and Gskill Pheonix are all good sandforce SSDs. At this point the price difference between an OCZ Vertex 2 60GB and 90GB is pretty small for a significant size increase.



You would save alot of money sticking with 6GB RAM. Unless you know your exiting usage exceeds that much, I would start there. Also scrap the SSD idea and save it for a future upgrade.
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November 3, 2010 9:40:41 PM

so, this is where im at as of right now

Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
1

EVGA 01G-P3-1378-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) FTW EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

EVGA 01G-P3-1378-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) FTW EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814130581
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy


$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card14-130-581


$239.99

1

Nvidia Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 Game Coupon - Gift PC Game

Nvidia Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 Game Coupon - Gift PC Game
Item #: N82E16800999249
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy

-$49.99 Saving



$49.99
$0.00

1

Sparkle Computer Corp GOLD CLASS SCC-750AF 750W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active, 0.99PF Typical PFC Power Supply
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ

*

Sparkle Computer Corp GOLD CLASS SCC-750AF 750W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active, 0.99PF Typical PFC ...
Item #: N82E16817103053
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

*

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
Item #: N82E16820231225
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

-$20.00 Combo
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate17-103-053


$269.98
$249.98

1

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 Intel X58 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

*

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Item #: N82E16819115211
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

*

GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 Intel X58 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128456
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$15.00 Instant
-$14.99 Combo



$489.98
$459.99

Subtotal: $949.96
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November 4, 2010 1:37:55 AM

For what its worth you might want to read all the "Tom's build your own" articles.
That's what I did and my computer is running sweet for 4 months now.
I followed the March 2010, $1500.00 build. I upgraded the memory, hard drive and dropped 1 video card for savings. I didn't really need 2.
I thought since it was my first build the "receipes" of different build reduces possible compatibility mistakes. They have builds of different money values from $500.00 to $3000.00 builds.
Also I would really suggest going to you tube and watch a lot of video. This also helped a lot. In addition to reading a lot you tube helps you visualize what your going to be seeing for real.
Good Luck and report back if you need any help
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November 4, 2010 1:46:11 AM

Hey, also check out Micro center for your processor. They seem to have some really good prices for core i7's.

Take your time and be patient. make sure your connecting things properly check and double check. Read that mother board manual and understand it.
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November 4, 2010 3:00:39 AM

Thanks for all the advice so far! I've watched a bunch of videos already and looked through many builds, including Toms. That's how I got to where I am and I figured it was time to start getting some help from actual people who knew what is going on with current parts.

I'm currently working on a build on newegg. I will post the build sometime tomorrow and be open for more crits and suggestions. I think I'm getting pretty close to being done!

-Scott
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 4, 2010 1:32:09 PM

dndhatcher said:
For gaming that is true, but not for his primary usage of photo editing, CS5, etc. the hyperthreading of the i7 950 is a valuable feature for him. I would go with a motherboard like the ASUS Sabertooth.

Triple channel 3x2GB will work great in an i7 950 system with an x58 motherboard. You would not do that with a p55 system like you recommended.


I should've added that I was recommending the triple channel in the event he was going for the i7-950. I'm not too familiar with the software he's using, so I'm glad that you corrected me and pointed him in the right direction on that one.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 4, 2010 1:39:28 PM

SX0T said:
so, this is where im at as of right now

Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
1

EVGA 01G-P3-1378-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) FTW EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

EVGA 01G-P3-1378-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) FTW EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814130581
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy



Save yourself the $20 and get one of EVGA's External Exhaust (EE) cards with the lifetime warranty (Product No. end in AR). The FTW doesn't get you anything but a maximum factory overclock and a 2 year warranty. I have my core clock OCed to that and my memory clock is higher than theirs.

Using MSI Afterburner to do this is extremely simple; you just move a few sliders. You also won't void the warranty (I read the whole thing); they even encourage it by giving you EVGA Precision, which doesn't work as well as Afterburner. They're charging you $20-30 extra for something you can do for free in less than 5 minutes.

You still get Mafia II for free when you register your card (which you need to do for the warranty) on EVGA's site.
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November 4, 2010 2:15:52 PM

Are the EVGA and MSI ones comparable? Or is one make better than the other (same specs, just talking one brand over the other).
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November 4, 2010 2:28:58 PM

Also - I'm not seeing anything about a lifetime warranty.
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November 4, 2010 2:53:52 PM

Here it is - wondering if someone can look over and offer any suggestions. Keep in mind a few things.

Pretty close to what I was for budget
I plan to eventually add SSD and more RAM (probably another stick of 4GB)

My main concerns - what's missing? will my power supply be sufficient? Is this a good video card or is there better for the same cost? (I've been reading that the GTX460 are good with CS5 because of CUDA).

Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
1

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy




$18.99

1

Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm F

-$10.00 Instant



$59.99
$49.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148433
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

$69.99

MSI N460GTX Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814127518
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy


$20.00 Mail-in Rebate14-127-518


$214.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$30.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-139-006


$139.99
$109.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231314
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

$179.99


Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 Intel X58 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

*

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Item #: N82E16819115211
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

*

GIGABYTE GA-X58-USB3 LGA 1366 Intel X58 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128456
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Subtotal: $1,103.93
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 4, 2010 3:36:11 PM

SX0T said:
Also - I'm not seeing anything about a lifetime warranty.


Any of the EVGA cards with a product number ending in AR is a lifetime warrantied card, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI also has great products; I would stick between EVGA and MSI when choosing. The Cyclone GTX 460 is one that was recommended along with the EVGA EE cards. I chose the EVGA cards for the lifetime warranty, Step Up Program and the External Exhaust cooling, since I wanted the Raven RV02 case and needed the hot air to go out the expansion ports.

As for your other questions, don't bother with the dual channel stuff; get a 6GB kit or 12GB kit. You have 6 RAM slots, so you could get one 3x2GB set now and another later. The triple channel memory will give you better performance than the dual channel. Also, go for low timings and Cas Latencies first - those strongly impact your performance. Speed only slightly changes your performance.

Not paying $179 for that 8GB kit will give you a decent amount of money with which to buy a SSD; I would recommend getting it now, but then again I hate reinstalling OSes and applications with a passion ;) 

That 750W Corsair will be more than enough to run TWO GTX 460s; I have 2 on a 650W PSU and they're doing great, even overclocked with a voltage increase.
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November 4, 2010 3:42:39 PM

boiler1990 said:
Any of the EVGA cards with a product number ending in AR is a lifetime warrantied card, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI also has great products; I would stick between EVGA and MSI when choosing. The Cyclone GTX 460 is one that was recommended along with the EVGA EE cards. I chose the EVGA cards for the lifetime warranty, Step Up Program and the External Exhaust cooling, since I wanted the Raven RV02 case and needed the hot air to go out the expansion ports.

As for your other questions, don't bother with the dual channel stuff; get a 6GB kit or 12GB kit. You have 6 RAM slots, so you could get one 3x2GB set now and another later. The triple channel memory will give you better performance than the dual channel. Also, go for low timings and Cas Latencies first - those strongly impact your performance. Speed only slightly changes your performance.

Not paying $179 for that 8GB kit will give you a decent amount of money with which to buy a SSD; I would recommend getting it now, but then again I hate reinstalling OSes and applications with a passion ;) 

That 750W Corsair will be more than enough to run TWO GTX 460s; I have 2 on a 650W PSU and they're doing great, even overclocked with a voltage increase.



What makes these ones dual channel, vs. using something triple channel? I guess I'm a bit confused about that. I thought it would be better to buy the 2 4GB now and add another one later than buying the 3 2GB ones?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 4, 2010 4:10:30 PM

The RAM sticks are the same, but the kits have been tested together to insure compatibility. X58 motherboards have their RAM slots in banks of 3 interleaved sticks. All other motherboards have RAM slots in banks of 2 interleaved sticks. For best speed you want to fill all the slots on a bank, though it isnt necessarily required to do so. Check the motherboard's RAM compatibility document (should be available on mfg web site) to see what configurations it will handle.
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November 5, 2010 12:39:44 AM

Anyone have any thoughts about the GTX 460 vs the GTX 470?
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 1:27:55 AM

The 470s are moving into the 460s old price point. They do perform better, but note that they do run hotter and need better cooling (probably won't do well in a mid tower). I'm trading my 460s up using the Step Up program (only $25 per card!)
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November 5, 2010 1:38:52 AM

where are you buying all this from?
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November 5, 2010 1:41:28 AM

I just did my buy, from newegg.com. I'll post the build in a few mins. I'm sure there are some mistakes, this is my first build...but I'm trying to learn!
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November 5, 2010 3:14:20 PM

This is what my build ended up being. Again, this is my FIRST build, and I think I did a pretty good job of keeping it in my price range (cost ended up being just over 1100 with shipping and tax), but buying the most important good parts that allow for future upgrade of some of the other less expensive type things. I just hope everything works out together and I can actually build it!


1 x ($109.99) PSU CORSAIR|CMPSU-750TX 750W RT $109.99


1 x ($27.99) KB&MS LOGITECH|CRDLS DSKTP EX 100 R $27.99


1 x ($19.99) WL ADAPTER ASUS|USB-N10 R $19.99


1 x ($69.99) HD 1T|SEAGATE 7K ST31000528AS OEM - OEM $69.99


1 x ($294.99) CPU INTEL|CORE I7 950 3.06G 45N R $294.99


1 x ($199.99) MEM 4Gx3|GSKILL F3-10666CL9T-12GBRL $199.99


1 x ($49.99) CASE ROSEWILL| DESTROYER RT $49.99


1 x ($199.99) MB ASUS SABERTOOTH X58 LGA1366 R $199.99


1 x ($209.99) VGA MSI|N460GTX HAWK GTX 460 R $209.99


1 x ($18.99) DVD BRN ASUS | DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS% - OEM $18.99
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November 6, 2010 2:02:10 AM

Did I go overkill on my PC build?

I ordered the build that I posted above last night and recently have come under some criticism for "wasting money" for overbuilding on unnecessary things.

I want to re-state what I plan to do with this PC and get a few more opinions.

What I want to do
-use Photoshop CS5 - not run it perfectly, but be able to do decent work with it (which my 2.4GHz Macbook Pro with 4GB RAM can run right now)
-use some sort of video editing software for art projects (most SD, some HD stuff, not any serious budget kind of films) AVID, Vegas, Premiere Pro, not sure what to use yet

(these things I do not do on a daily basis, its not a job for me, rather I am an an artist who uses these programs to make work)

Also want to be able to play some games - mostly Steam stuff like Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, etc.)

Want the PC to also serve as a sort of HTPC that I can keep connected to my television to stream stuff - again, nothing serious, more recreational.

I was hoping that with this build I could get something that would not need any MAJOR upgrades for quite some time. Something that will last, and last well, for 5 years maybe? without any HUGE upgrades.

Did I overkill? I'm a bit worried now - I was excited for what I had done, but after being told it was a waste of money, I'm beginning to worry.
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November 6, 2010 3:26:56 AM

A note on storage. I only read half this forum as it's very long very fast. I think the SSD will give you fantastic performance for the live editing of your videos. I also suggest a caviar black for your storage drive. They are aprox 89$ for a 1 tb and 180$ for a 2 TB. They are alsow some of the fastest and most dependable drives on the market. I have a client who used Veloca raptor drives and they failed once a year on the dot for 3 year we switched him to the caviar blacks and he has never been happier. BTW this client does 3d modeling and movie rendering of accidents for trials. VERY VERY DEMANDING STUFF. I've used caviar blacks for many years and love them. Some people here will have badd experiance with them like any electronic device and will say that I'm full of it. Meh who know All i know is I havn't found a a drive with such a combination of FAST CHEAP RELIABLE. So thats my 2 cents.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 6, 2010 10:51:42 PM

The only real thing you overspent on was memory, but other than that you spent your money pretty well. The i7-950 was really the best CPU for CS5, and your 460 will really hold up well in the games you want to play. The HTPC function is really just a matter of storage and really long cables ;) 

This computer will hold up very well for at least 5 years.
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November 17, 2010 1:25:09 AM

SX0T said:
Did I go overkill on my PC build?

I ordered the build that I posted above last night and recently have come under some criticism for "wasting money" for overbuilding on unnecessary things.

I want to re-state what I plan to do with this PC and get a few more opinions.

What I want to do
-use Photoshop CS5 - not run it perfectly, but be able to do decent work with it (which my 2.4GHz Macbook Pro with 4GB RAM can run right now)
-use some sort of video editing software for art projects (most SD, some HD stuff, not any serious budget kind of films) AVID, Vegas, Premiere Pro, not sure what to use yet

(these things I do not do on a daily basis, its not a job for me, rather I am an an artist who uses these programs to make work)

Also want to be able to play some games - mostly Steam stuff like Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, etc.)

Want the PC to also serve as a sort of HTPC that I can keep connected to my television to stream stuff - again, nothing serious, more recreational.

I was hoping that with this build I could get something that would not need any MAJOR upgrades for quite some time. Something that will last, and last well, for 5 years maybe? without any HUGE upgrades.

Did I overkill? I'm a bit worried now - I was excited for what I had done, but after being told it was a waste of money, I'm beginning to worry.




No overkill. It looks like a good system and good luck. Enjoy it you will get a real satisfaction knowing that you didn't get sucked into the Dell / Apple world of make us rich.
I did a comparison build of mine on the dell web site ( i think mines a little better) for about $800.00 cheaper.
Hows it turning out?
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November 17, 2010 1:38:31 AM

Turned out great so far. Cost just over 1100 with wireless adapter and wireless keyboard and mouse thrown in. Got everything put together (quite a task as it was my first build) and everything seems to be running pretty great at this point. I haven't really had a chance to test it's true abilities as I haven't had an editing project or anything yet to do, but so far it's been great!
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November 17, 2010 10:49:32 AM

Good to hear that and I bet you feel great. Two good ways to test your build are "Prime95" and "Memtest86". P95 is good to test your processor/chip set and M86 tests memory. Glad to hear its all good. If you need anything let me know.
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November 18, 2010 9:17:47 PM

gerry410 said:
Good to hear that and I bet you feel great. Two good ways to test your build are "Prime95" and "Memtest86". P95 is good to test your processor/chip set and M86 tests memory. Glad to hear its all good. If you need anything let me know.


what do u mean by testing? are those programs or different model of hardware? (sry for dumb question. also noob to computers)
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 18, 2010 10:47:48 PM

Prime 95 and Memtest86 are programs you run that work the CPU (Prime) and Memory (Memtest) as hard as your computer can handle. They are a good way to verify your configuration will be stable under normal loads and that your cooling can handle your CPUs maximum throughput.

You can follow the links in the sticky at the top of the forums or google those names to find and download them.
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November 18, 2010 10:52:54 PM

ok sweet. tyvm
i assume it will also tell u what the best specification is?

ps. sry if this is getting off topic. didnt think it merited its own thread
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 8:42:37 PM

All prime 95 does is grind the CPU at 100%. It does not measure or benchmark. Its purely grind so you can see the hottest your CPU will possibly get. If your system doesnt lock up or reboot after a good PRIME95 run that is a strong indicator the CPU overclock is stable.
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!