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Another 1st time builder here

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February 4, 2011 12:08:20 AM

Thinking about building myself a nice flexible PC with some bang for my buck on a budget. Not a hardcore gamer or 3D modeler, not looking for a home theater on a desk, but I want some fast and furious multi-tasking.

Below are the components I'm considering. Just want to make sure I'm not making any big mistakes in compatibility or reliability or missing out on some better values.

1 ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM Item #: N82E16827135204 $18.99
1 GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard Item #: N82E16813128425 $119.99
1 APEVIA ATX-CW500WP4 500W ATX Power Supply Item #: N82E16817148027 $39.99
1 APEVIA X-CRUISER-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Item #: N82E16811144151 $74.99
1 EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card Item #: N82E16814130395 $64.99
2 Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5 -Bare Drive Item #: N82E16822136073 $99.98
1 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM Item #: N82E16820231275 $46.99
1 Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I5750 Item #: N82E16819115215 $204.99

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

More about : 1st time builder

February 4, 2011 1:16:07 AM

If you're not looking to do anything intense, I would consider AMD as your best option. A solid motherboard with a good Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4 would be good for use and be much cheaper than an Intel CPU/motherboard.

Aside from that, I do not like your PSU at all. Your PSU has to be reliable and well-built enough that it can die (which shouldn't happen under normal circumstances) without taking anything else with it.
A good start would be the Antec Earthwatts 650W or the Antec Truepower 650W. They provide a good amount of power and are well built.

A cheaper and better quality case would be the Antec 300, or the Antec 300 Illusion (comes with 4 fans instead of 2). Solid steel case, looks great, and is simple to work with. I had one for a while and only upgraded for the size of a full tower.

You can get a 1TB hard drive for much cheaper than $100. I'd recommend the Samsung F3 1TB, as it's the fastest and most reliable 1TB around.

Your RAM is good :D 

With that extra money you could get a more recent GPU if you wanted. Since you're not doing anything really stressful, you don't need a huge GPU.
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February 4, 2011 1:23:57 AM

^ Boiler is right on the mark.

If you want any of my builds :D  They're in my siggy, you could pick one that fits your budget. I think the 800$ one or the 600$ one would suit you enough. Justifications are said for each part.
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February 4, 2011 10:11:20 PM

Thank you both for the advice!

I have switched to the:

Antec Illusion case,
Earthwatts 500 PSU,
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T CPU and,
GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Motherboard.

I don't want to skimp on the Motherboard/CPU based on my past experience with OTC PCs, but I guess the AMD is more bang for the buck? I've only ever had Intels before. Any downside to the AMDs?

Oh, and the reason I have two 500 GB HDDs is for RAID 1. Recent bad experience with failed HDD. Thankfully my employer paid the >$2k for the recovery!

Anything else I'm overlooking?
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February 4, 2011 10:36:29 PM

AMD is definitely better for budget builds. They aren't as good as Intel chips in terms of raw computing power, but they still get the job done well.

I wouldn't get the X6 1090T, as you'll never use 6 cores with what you're trying to do (very few programs even use 4-cores - it's all software limited). Save yourself some money and get the AMD Phenom II X4 955 at the most; it will still perform far beyond what you're doing.

For $110, you can get 2x1TB Hitachi Desktar HDDs. I have a 500GB in this desktop that I've had for 2 years, and I just bought another for my home server, and they are great and cheap.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 5, 2011 1:38:26 PM

Well, I have waffled back and forth quite a bit, but I think I have decided to go a little more towards the upper-end. I have about $800 in components, but I have a $200 Matrox DualHead2Go that I will return when I get this new system, so $600 out of pocket in the end. I think I've incorporated the spirit of most all your advice, if not the exact components, so thanks again!

> Antec Illusion Case
> Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU
> ASRock P55 EXTREME4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
> i5-750 processor
> G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
> EVGA 01G-P3-1452-TR GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) Superclocked 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video ...
> (2) HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C HDS721010CLA332 (0F10383) 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s (Raid 1)
> DVD RW
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February 5, 2011 8:38:28 PM

No no no no.... Do not get the Extreme4. That motherboard was terrible for the P55 series. The Extreme4 is good for the P67 (SB) but defiantly not the P55's. Get the MSI Fuzion (which Newegg is out of stock) It's 20$ more but is a way better board. Offers both SLI and CF and gives you the SATA 6 and USB 3 support. It's 170$ but =P Newegg is out of stock at the moment.

Extreme4 P55 review: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/motherboards/2010/08/2...
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February 5, 2011 9:14:50 PM

aznshinobi said:
No no no no.... Do not get the Extreme4. That motherboard was terrible for the P55 series. The Extreme4 is good for the P67 (SB) but defiantly not the P55's. Get the MSI Fuzion (which Newegg is out of stock) It's 20$ more but is a way better board. Offers both SLI and CF and gives you the SATA 6 and USB 3 support. It's 170$ but =P Newegg is out of stock at the moment.

Extreme4 P55 review: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/motherboards/2010/08/2...



LOL. Damn, my incessant need for instant gratification! I already hit the order button. :(  I guess if it's that big of a deal I can return it. I don't see the P55A Fuzion anywhere for less than ~$190 after S&H, except for an open box unit at Newegg for $137.

I assume it is recommended to NOT purchase an open-box item?
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February 5, 2011 9:42:17 PM

Phew! Of course now I just noticed there is an i5 760 for $4 more than the 750 I got. I'm not worried about it, but why on earth would they do that? What is the point?

Anyway, I'll try to remember to come back here and let you both know how it goes once I'm up and running!
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March 20, 2011 2:05:37 PM

Well, it went great. Love my new computer. Never knew how easy it was to build one or I would have done it long ago!
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!