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Suggestions and advice on a new 1000$ built ?

Last response: in Systems
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January 24, 2011 4:06:49 AM

I'm gonna be putting together a new rig this summer and was hoping you guys would give me some advice ..so these are the components I've got my sights on ..
1. Cooler Master HAF 922
2. ViewSonic VA2231 WM 22" HD LCD (cant decide between this one and the BenQ G2220 HD 22" LCD)
3. Roccat Kone+
4. Microsoft Sidewinder X4
5. 2x Red LED fans 200mm (ain't sure bout the brand)
6. AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9 GHz
7. XFX Radeon HD 6950
8. Seagate Momentus 1TB 7200.11
9. G-Skill 4GB (2x2) 1600 MHz DDR3
10. Razer Goliathus alpha oversized Control Edition Gaming Surface
11. NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller
12. DVD R/RW (help ..dunno which brand to get ..someone told me that LG sucks)
13. Creative M2600 speakers (any good quality 40$ speaker set with a sub cooler will do)
14. Sennheiser HD 202
I wanna know if I can improve on these components while staying roughly in my budget
and Ohh yeah ..help me choose a good mobo and PSU please ..no heatsinks or CPU coolers needed ..I think I might wanna go CrossFire too ..
its gotta be AMD+ATI
thanks :)  :) 
January 24, 2011 3:41:20 PM

Why does it have to be AMD/ATI? Intel does Crossfire too, and their new Sandy Bridge CPUs would put a good 50% performance increase on that X4 (or any other X4). I can't recommend anything except either the i5-2500K or i7-2600K right now. Period. Pair it with an ASRock P67 Extreme4 for a total of about $335 (i5) or $470 (i7). If you don't want to overclock (and you should with the new CPUs), grab either the i5-2500 or i7-2600 (the non-"K" model numbers) for $15-30 less.

The next problem is that HDD. Unless you've just typed it wrong (which part of it you definitely have), you've got a laptop HDD (Momentus is Seagate's mobile line) or an ancient drive with a history of turning into a brick (the 7200.11). Instead, pick up the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB.

Drop the extra fans. They're not needed. Same with the fan controller. Use the money saved there on parts that matter.

For the optical drive, get literally the cheapest SATA DVD burner you can find. Brand doesn't matter at all, only price.

For the PSU, pick up the cheapest 750W PSU from this list of brands: Antec, Corsair, Silverstone, SeaSonic and XFX.
January 24, 2011 10:23:07 PM

momentus isn't mobile ..its a 3.5" HDD ..and I can't say Ive had any problems with them ..they seem fine ..what about the barracuda? ..
and okay so ill get an LG drive ..
I want the illuminated fans and fan controller ..for an aesthetic appeal ..
and yeah ill look into an i5 ..I guess I'm okay with Intel ..
thanks :) 
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January 24, 2011 10:38:34 PM

damn ..did you say 350$ ?? ..hmm ..AMD + mobo is just 170$ ..ill stick with it ..cheaper ..
January 24, 2011 10:39:46 PM

Look into the 1000$ build in my siggy :D  That's a pretty decent 1K build.
January 24, 2011 10:41:08 PM

and..hey ..if I go cf ..do I need to double my power supply ?? ..no right 750 w is enough right ..
January 24, 2011 10:51:40 PM

By the way, you can't say that. Since if you want to see a chip comparison. The i5 2500K is 200$ for the performance of an AMD 1300T (That doesn't even exist). But it is that.

Your chip would take at least 3 with perfect scaling to equal a single 2500K. Also I can assure you that, that 635 is going to bottleneck with that 6950. Your also spending a lot on asthetics that really don't matter. I have a cheapo 15$ HP mouse with a 15$ logitech keyboard. Spill water on it, it's good to go. Both work fine and I play TF2 with ease and CSS as well.

That money doesn't do you any good if your PC lags in general. Your larger budget portion should be put into parts. Not aesthetics. IT's parts first then aesthetics unless you have a 2K budget.
January 24, 2011 11:06:14 PM

you really feel a 3 gig quad core (even if it doesn't have an L3 cache) might bottleneck my 6950?
January 24, 2011 11:20:33 PM

All I know is that there is not a Momentus 1 TB drive. There is a Barracuda 7200.11 1 TB, but that has a history of turning into a brick. The F3 1 TB would not only be faster, but also quieter, cooler and more reliable, even when compared to the Barracuda 7200.12.

As for the X4 6xx you choose, it wouldn't bottleneck a single 6950, but it would bottleneck two of them. AMD is still a horrible idea, even if it's a lot cheaper. The new Sandy Bridges are phenomenal. They make anything AMD has out, and could put out in a year or so, completely and utterly obsolete.

The $1,000 i7-980X is even outclassed by the i7-2600K, and that's before you start overclocking. Once you start OCing, the 2600K and i5-2500K both destroy the 980X. To put it another way, the X4 955 was easily 10-20% behind the old i5-760. Of course, that made sense, since the 955 is $60 cheaper. However, the new i5-2500s came into the market at the same $200 price point as the i5-760, but it offers 20-30% more performance for that same price. That makes it easily 40-50% more powerful than the best AMD gaming CPU for about $60 more. You get around an additional 1% performance per dollar spent. That's completely unheard of in computers.. I can't justify even touching AMD right now.

Fans and fan controllers are easy to add after the fact. I'd leave them out initially to afford higher performance parts. Then, if you still feel you need the extra parts, you can add them.

When you add GPUs, you typically increase the base power supply wattage by 200W. Generally, a 550W will power any GPU out there, excluding the massive power sucks that are the GTX 470 and GTX 480, and the insanely powerful 5970. Thus, Crossfire would make that 750W.
January 25, 2011 12:47:25 AM

^ Basically me and Mad are on the same consensus. GET THE SB! If your dying to have AMD, wait for a few months and look for Bulldozer. Right now, it really isn't the time to buy AMD.
January 25, 2011 7:23:00 AM

xD ..k ..I did say that I was gonna get this rig during summer ..maybe April ..
so yeah if fusion or bulldozer is out by then ..then I get AMD ..but ..spending 200 on a CPU and another 150 on a mobo just seems too much ..
that's 350 ..320 again for the GPU ..
that's 670 already ..
100 for the case ..770 ..
190 for the display ..960 ..
I wont make the budget then ..
and I usually spend a lot on upgrades ..so it won't be difficult to get the i5 later on ..but now ..I havta stay within my budget ..my dad wont let me send TOO much now ..maybe in a year ..I might even upgrade to an sb i7 ..but oration much now ..I meet my budget even with these aesthetic parts ..I know the Athlon x4 isn't the most powerful or even best value for money option right now ..but it does fit into budget almost perfectly ..and as I'm sure its not gonna bottleneck my single Radeon card ..and that combined the CPU+GPU can play any game today at max setting and full HD at least 50-60 FPS ..I'm okay ..
I would be great though if you could recommend to me a CPU that outperforms the x4 at a similar price ..is there an sb i3 yet ??
January 25, 2011 7:52:55 AM

and wait up ..there IS a momentus 1TB..I asked for one at a shop and he showed an open one to me ..its slightly cheaper than the barracuda ..and has 3 platters instead of the 2 on the Barracuda 12 gen ..
January 25, 2011 11:46:13 AM

So you came on here to ask advice, but you're not going to use it? That's just wasting our time.

You're not going to find any CPU that outperforms another at a similar price. They're all tiered. To get a better one, you need to spend more. I wouldn't touch the X4 635. It's a bad CPU for the price. I'd rather have an X3. Of course, you're wasting a lot of bang-for-your-buck by not stepping up to Sandy Bridge. Hell, I'd even suggest dropping down the GPU to afford it. It's easier (and cheaper) to stick in a second GPU than it is to change the CPU.

As for the Momentus, if it exists, Newegg doesn't carry it. As far as I know, the three platter (which is a bad idea, as it's loud, slow, and runs hot) 1 TB drive from Seagate is their Barracuda 7200.11. I'd highly recommend getting the F3 1 TB. It's only $60 on Amazon, but I've seen it as low as $50 at times around the internet.

There will be a Sandy Bridge i3 at some point. I believe it's the i3-2100. No idea when it's being released. Besides, it would be a dual core, not a quad. While that won't really affect gaming performance, I'd be concerned about it going forward.

EDIT: Where do you see an XFX HD 6950 for $320? On Newegg, the 1 GB 6950 is $265 and the 2 GB is $290 (after rebate). Since you're apparantly looking at parts in a store, I HIGHLY recommend you buy online. You'll easily save $100s. Unless you're looking at a Microcenter, in which case, the Intel CPUs (including Sandy Bridge) are going to be cheaper there by about $50.
January 25, 2011 12:18:14 PM

gosh !! ..why are you so harsh ..?? ..sorry for wasting your time .. jeez! ..
anyways ..ill get the Samsung ..and the core i5 is outta my budget ..and when I said similar ..I meant similar not same ..you could have at least mentioned the x4 645 ..which is a little better ..
and bulldozer might come out in a couple o months ..and AMD price their products lower than Intel ..
I just asked for a little help ..and I've wanted the Roccat Kone since is saw it ..and you can't deny that led fans make a case look cooler ..
January 25, 2011 12:58:42 PM

You asked for a little help, and then completely ignore it. That's what I take issue with. It's like the people who come on here after they've already bought all their parts asking for advice, and then get aggresively defensive when their choices sucked.

The problem with Bulldozer will be that it's going to be on a new socket (AM3+). That means if you buy an AM3 build now, you won't be able to use it. AMD will only price their products under Intel's simply because they're not as powerful.

Here's my pre-Sandy Bridge hierarchy of CPUs, with the build budget: X3 4xx under $700 (whatever's out there now. The numbers change a lot), X4 955 &700-900, i5-760 $900-1,200,, i7-930 $1,200 and up

Here's my post-Sandy Bridge hierarchy: X3 4xx under $700, i5-2500 $700-1,200("K" for overclocking), i7-2600 $1,200 and up

I've left out the other AMD CPUs between the Athlon II X3s and the X4 955 on purpose. They're higher priced, but offer little performance gain over the X3s. They're never worth buying. Tom's Monthly Gaming CPU rankings constantly leae them without a recommendation. They clearly state that the X3s perform just as well, but are cheaper.

Before Sandy Bridge, there was value in getting the X4 955. You weren't losing much perfomance, and you'd be able to spend more on the GPU. This was especially true when ATI's GPUs were the best choice without exception. By going with AMD, the sacrifice of losing SLI support was lessened, and the extra $100 or so saved on the CPU and board easily increased the GPU power significantly. However, with the emergence of the GTX 460, 570 and 580 as solid options, SLI support isn't as easy to sacrifice. In addition, Sandy Bridge coming into the market at the same price as the old i5 (less counting the new board prices) makes recommending the X4 to save less than $100 extremely difficult. That amount of money doesn't really guarantee a significant GPU upgrade, so the savings isn't justified.

As for the overpriced "gaming" mouse and keyboard, I personally don't see the value in them either. There is no point in buying parts just for looks. If you've actually used the mouse/keyboard, and found a significant difference between a standard mouse, then waste your money on it. I'd rather have the more powerful CPU.

As for LED fans, they do look good. However, the HAF already HAS LED fans. I should also point out that the HAF will only be able to use a single extra 200mm fan (on the side only). The only other empty fan location is the bottom of the case, and that only fits a 120mm fan. You can't see it, so LEDs would be pointless there.

I will also say that LEDs can be very annoying. I've got an Antec 902. It has two LED fans in the front and one on the top. I leave the top light turned off. It was extremely annoying, as whenever my head was anywhere above the top of the case (all the time, since it was on the floor), the LED shown directly into my eyes. It was piercing, and completely unnecessary.

Also, the extras aren't a permanent decision. You can add all of them (extra fans, lights, fan controllers, mice, keyboards, etc.) later with little added work. You're looking at building a computer as a one-time choice. It's a continuous process. Once you've got the base components, there is always something to add later, be it as simple as extra fans, more SATA devices, etc. or more complex like an aftermarket heatsink, another GPU or such. Just because you don't include an extra part in the original build doesn't mean you can't get it later. I'd definitely trade not have extra fans or a fan controller immediately if it means I could afford a meatier GPU or CPU.
January 25, 2011 1:19:43 PM

okay ..so how much does an i5 + mobo ..cost ..with cf and DDR3 1600 MHz support cost ..??
January 25, 2011 1:29:50 PM

The i5-2500K is $225 ($50 less from Microcenter, but they only sell in person). A great board for it is the ASRock P67 Extreme4, which is $153 on Newegg. The RAM is the same as you'd use for an AMD build. 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 sticks can be had for under $50 (Newegg's got G.Skill's at $48). 1600 mhz CL 7 sticks (faster for overclocking) are $65 (again, G.Skill's Ripjaws on Newegg).

Assuming Newegg prices, the X4 635/good AM3 board will be about $200-225. The i5/P67 is $378. It's a $150 difference, but you get a hell of lot more performance.
January 25, 2011 1:41:05 PM

okay ..so how much does an i5 + mobo ..cost ..with cf and DDR3 1600 MHz support cost ..??
and the 922 comes eith 3 fans ..one 200 mm in front with leds ..one 200mm on top without leds (wanna replace it with a 200mm led fan) ..and one In the back ..120mm
I'm gonna install a 200mm red led fan on the side as well ..
and my next upgrade is gonna be in 2 years ..and I'm still in school ..so can't keep spending ..
January 25, 2011 1:44:20 PM

hmm ..thanks ..by what margin do you think it'll outperform the Athlon x4 setup ??
January 25, 2011 3:17:11 PM

I just told you how much an i5/board costs. It's $378. 1600 mhz support is standard on all current motherboards. The ASRock I mentioned also has 8x/8x Crossfire and SLI support.

I was pointing out that in your original post, you said you were taling about buying two 200mm fans (2x Red LED fans 200mm, to be exact). The HAF will not support two addtional 200mm fans. It can take one 200mm on the side and one 120mm on the bottom. It already comes with the other three fans (the back, top and front fans).

The added cost of the extras would be like $40-50 (fans and fan controller) or however much for the "special" keyboard/mouse. It's not like you'd be dropping several hundred on a video card or CPU/motherboard.

As for the i5 performance against the X4 645 (can't find a reivew with the i5-2500 against the X4 635), it's probably a good 60-70% average performance increase in productivity applications (where CPU power differences really show up). Gaming is a lot more variable. The increase is only 15% in Fallout 3, 33% in Left 4 Dead, 65-75% in Far Cry 2 and Dragon Age, 85-90% in Dawn of War II and WoW, and a whopping 115% in StarCraft 2. Civ 5 is the last benchmark I looked at, and the i5 got an 89% increase over a Phenom II X4 840, so it's likely in the 100%+ range like StarCraft 2, assuming the X4 635 is able to play Civ 5 (I don't know if it can, which might be why it was left out of the benchmark).

And that's all at stock speeds. The i5-2500K can overclock well above 4.0 GHz without even trying. I've heard 5.0 GHz is possible on air cooling, but I don't believe that's really stable or safe. That's in the neighborhood of a 33-66% overclock. The X4 might be able to get a 25-33% overclock in the hands of a master overclocker. I'd guess that a maximum stable overclock on both CPUs the performance difference would be more in the 100%-150% range for any game or productivity application.

EDIT: In case you're wondering, I got those numbers off anandtech's Sandy Bridge review. It's the only I know of that tested such a wide variety of CPUs that it included something close to the Athlon II X4. As you look at that review, I should point out that the i7-980X and i7-975 that are keeping pace with the i5-2500K and i7-2600K both six core CPUs. They're also about $1,000. That's right. A $225 CPU keeps pace with a $1,000 CPU at STOCK. Once they're overclocked, the i5-2500K and i7-2600K absolutely destroy the i7-980X/975.
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