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First Build Critique

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January 25, 2011 7:15:41 PM

First I want to thank anyone who reads this and comments. I want a general idea if this computer i'm planning on buying and building at home is overall compatible and if the specific parts are good. This is my first time building a computer from scratch but I did research and learn basics in building like compatibility between the motherboard and CPU as well as RAM compatibility with the motherboard.So please look it over and comment on what you think.

Approximate Purchase Date: Mid to late February

Budget Range: (Currently $761) Below 800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games,Internet, Movies, Schoolwork

Parts Not Required: Monitor, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: US West Coast

Parts Preferences: AMD CPU, Asus MOBO

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Will be using ASUS Monitor.

CPU
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition.

CPU Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler.

Motherboard
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard.

GPU
XFX HD-567X-ZNF3 Radeon HD 5670 1GB.

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333.

CASE
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout.

Extra Case Fan
Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm Case Fan.

PSU
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W.

1st HD Internal
Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s.

2nd HD Internal
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s.

Media Card Reader
Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB Port / Extra Silver Face Plate.

CD/DVD Player/Burner
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner.

Keyboard
LITE-ON SK-1788/BS 2-Tone 104 Normal Keys PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard.

Mouse
GIGABYTE GM-M6800 Noble Black 5+1 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1600 dpi Dual Lens Gaming Mouse.

Surge Protector
APC P74 4 Feet 7 Outlets 490 Power Surge Protector.


Additional Comments:
I don't really want a cool looking computer with many LED's or things that will not improve the performance of the system.

The two things I would not liked changed unless its a big problem are the MOBO or the Case.

Its not my intention to overclock but I would like the option to do it if i feel like it in the future. Also, the reason i picked the MOBO and 600watt PSU is because I want to be able to upgrade parts later after I build it. I don' want something like USB 3 to all of a sudden be everywhere and my computer can't use it or Newegg has a sale on some amazing part but i can't use it because i need more power. I want it to be good for the future.



Questions
1. My brother told me I should have two hard drives, with the main drive being smaller, and use the smaller one for the OS and programs and the other for data storage. He claims since the hard drives are separated the computer/OS will run faster since one hard drive will only focus on programs and not data transfer it wont be working as hard. So I want to know if this is true because if its not I can just buy one hard drive and upgrade something else.

Extra Information You Don't Need to Read If You Don't Want To
I want to give some background as to why I want to build a PC. I wanted to buy a PC and so I looked around on the internet for generic PC's and was really into customizing a computer at the Hp website. So, I got to thinking and looked online for other places to build a computer an ended up on CyberpowerPc. I was going to buy one of theirs but when i got to the checkout there was $100 added for taxes and shipping which pissed me off because i couldn't afford it and there were reviews that they may not connect everything right or general problems with customer service. After that I just decided to build my own because it would be cheaper and a good experience. So i looked at parts and ended up with this build and here I am now.



More about : build critique

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 7:45:38 PM

1.) Your brother doesn't know what he's talking about. Smaller drives are generally slower, as they generally have smaller platters.

As for the rest of the build, it's pretty bad. I'll outline my issues by part.

CPU: The X2 is a waste of money. It's expensive, and is outperformed by the Athlon II X3s, like the X3 445. They're also cheaper.

Mobo: Again, overly expensive. Grab the ASRock 870 Extreme3 for $50 less.

RAM: Not horrible, but these G.Skills are faster for only $1 more.

HDDs: Leave out the WD. It's slow and pricey. Keep the F3.

Case: I hate the Storm series of cases. Plus, it's overly expensvie for the rest of the build. Check out the Rosewill Destroyer for $40 instead.

PSU: A very low quality unit. Also, not very big, so you limit your upgrade paths. I'd suggest this XFX 650W for $74 after rebate (with shipping).

GPU: A horrible, horrible choice. It won't let you game at all. Instead, I'll take the $220ish I've saved you (with the price of the 5670), and suggest you get a HD 6870 instead.

HSF: Not a horrible choice, but either the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus or Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B would be better for roughly the same price.

Leave out the extra fan. It's unnecessary. Unless you use a LOT of different SD cards, you could probably also leave out the card reader. I you decide to do that, I'd start considering trying to fit an i5-2500K and ASRock P67 Extreme4 in the build. I don't think that'll happen, but it might, especially if you consider dropping the GPU down to a GTX 460 1 GB or HD 6850.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 7:59:16 PM

It's a decent build. I would get at least a 5770 for my GPU.

Your current config is good for entry level gaming, not hard core. You can get more for your money if you buy the right parts and maybe up your budget to about $900.

I would get the new Intel P67 / i5 2500K. You can probably find combos for about $250~$300. Here's a pretty decent combo kit http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I... without a GPU. If you have a Microcenter or Fry's near you, go check them out because they have some pretty good deals on CPU/MB combo.

Your brother is right about having 2 HDD. If its platter hard drives, the more stuff you put on it, the slower it becomes. If you have 2 HDD, then you can install the OS and some apps on the boot drive and put your games, photos, music, etc on the other hard drive. MadAdmiral is right about the small hard drives, they are slow as S**t. You'll want a F3 for your boot and maybe another 1TB F3 for storage.

I have 3 (or 4 drives in my computer). 1 SSD for my boot. 1 Raptor Drive for my games. and 2 Hard drives in Raid-1 for my storage. I also keep an image of my boot drive on my storage drive so that if I ever get a virus or trojan, I can just roll back to the image in less than 10 minutes. I never save anything on my boot drive.

Then I backup all my important stuff to my NAS (I'm upgrading to a SAN soon) and from there I run weekly backups to another external NAS where I only bring online to do backups. I'm a storage freak. I do a lot of photography and photos take up a ton of space.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 8:13:13 PM

^Really? Decent? With a 5670 for gaming? The 5670 won't even play games at 1080p (the monitor's recommend resolution). That's not the definition of good I've come to know...

That combo isn't actually that bad, but it's way over budget if you need a good GPU, which you do for gaming.

I should also correct myself on the two drives. It's good in theory, but only if the platter sizes are the same, but most smaller drives use smaller platters. If you went with a Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB, it would be a touch faster to just have the OS and such on it. All of the F3s use 500 GB platters, so they're roughly the same speed. However, the difference is so minimal, it's not worth the added cost, especially to a low budget machine where $50 (or so) can go a long way. Once you start talking about having the OS/applications on a SSD, then it's a different matter.
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January 25, 2011 8:28:06 PM

Maybe I should have clarified a bit about the gaming.While i do want it to be for gaming I don't use maximum settings and am not a hardcore. To me gaming is playing Wow in medium to high settings with no lag. I am not a hardcore gamer who wants to play Crysis on max. I will be using this computer for MMORPG not FPS.
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Best solution

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 8:56:53 PM

Still, the 5670 isn't going to be good for that either. It's a really weak card. Of course, that makes getting the i5-2500K easier.

Take my changes above, then change the GPU to a HD 5770, which frees up $120. That leaves $287 for the CPU/board. If you leave out the extra fan and card reader, that leaves about $360 for the CPU/board (counting what's left in the budget). With all of that, you'd only be $20 over budget with the i5-2500K and ASRock P67 Extreme4.

So to sum up the full build:

CPU: i5-2500K $225
Mobo: ASRock P67 Extreme4 $153
RAM: G.Skill 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 $48
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $60 (on Amazon)
Case: Rosewill Destroyer $40
PSU: XFX 650W $68 after rebate
GPU: HD 5770 $100 after rebate
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $30
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $16
Extras: $30

Total: $770, without shipping. I'd guess you'd be a touch over budget with shipping, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

EDIT: Found a good combo: i5-2500K and Hyper 212 Plus. That saves $16, and that should definitely get you under the budget.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 25, 2011 9:14:02 PM

I think MadAdmiral is giving you some good advice here^

If you ask for advice, you should consider taking it.
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January 26, 2011 1:51:29 AM

MadAdmiral's build is definitely a keeper. If you had some spare money, I would try to get a slightly better GPU however, I heard the latest WoW expansion can be taxing. I would even go as far as postponing the purchase of the hyper 212 by a few months if it made any difference. Moreover, some people report "decent" OC with the stock cooler; I wouldn't keep it running at a too high temp for long, but 3.8GHz@70C isn't that bad.

Another option could also be to add a 2nd 5770 later since the board supports it.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2011 2:20:39 AM

The board does support Crossfire. I would agree that a bigger GPU would be a good idea. I had really wanted to try to squeeze a GTX 460 1 GB into the build, but it just wasn't happening. The cheapest ones run about $160 or so.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2011 2:39:21 AM

Spend more money so you won't have to upgrade later. It's only a couple more bucks for a better GPU.
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January 26, 2011 5:04:38 AM

Well, thank you for the advice and I will go with MadAdmiral's build but I do want to use the original case because I do like it. I will change it if all the parts don't fit in the case though. One thing I do want to know is if I am willing to spend more on a certain part should it be the GPU?
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January 26, 2011 5:05:25 AM

Best answer selected by SireStryder.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2011 10:31:21 AM

It should be. Everything else in the build is high quality and high performance. The only part that is a little unbalanced is the GPU. The 5770 is a great card, but compared to the relative performance of the i5-2500, it just doesn't match up.

You did look at the Destroyer, right? I picked it for performance and specifically because it's looks so similar to the Storm Scout. The main differences are that the LEDs in the Destroyer are blue and it doesn't have the unsightly handles.
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January 26, 2011 7:56:34 PM

I will go with your build and the case even though i liked the handle on the Storm Scout. I don't think i will be going to LAN parties enough to need a handle.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2011 8:08:25 PM

It's your money. If you absolutely love the Storm Scout, get it. I just personally don't like the case.
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January 26, 2011 8:17:45 PM

No i wont get the storm case. Now what would you recommend for a better GPU within these price ranges.

$100-180 with room above $180 if there is a deal that goes above and is really good.

Also is SLI and Crossfire actually effective?

Again thank you again for using your time to give me advice.

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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2011 8:43:34 PM

For $180ish, I'd get the GTX 460 1 GB.

SLI and Crossfire are extremely effective. It's an easy and cheap way to improve performance a good 60-80%. It's best to use it as a future upgrade.
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January 26, 2011 8:49:57 PM

Ok thank you for all the help and I can't wait to build it.
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