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Component selection help

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March 9, 2011 9:06:28 PM

Hi Guys
I'll be building my first system, but am very comfortable doing it. Parameters: Business (trading), not gaming. Must run Windows7. Recommended to me (by trading software vendor) to get 64-bit CPU, quad-core, 4GB ram (8 would be better, so I'm planning 8gb). Difficulty: money is tight, so need the most bang/buck. This led me to think AMD over Intel, but am not sure. I was thinking Phenom II over Athlon II, again, not sure. I don't know one motherboard from the next, so I wanted to see what you all would do in my shoes. I use 2 monitors, and am thinking of going to 3. Any care to recommend a system or tweak the following?

1. AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
2. BIOSTAR A880GU3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
3. A-DATA 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
4. HITACHI Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 (0F12117) 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
5. Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
6. Power supply ?
7. DVD burner ?
8. Keyboard/mouse
9. Video card(s) supporting 2 or 3 monitors ?

I'd like to keep a budget of $600, $500 would be better but maybe unrealistic. Again, for trading not for gaming.

Thanks, guys.

More about : component selection

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2011 11:19:36 PM

That is perhaps the right idea, but I doubt you can hit the budget cap with that CPU.


Athlon II X4 and 8GB Patriot memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
While they may not be a leading brand, the fact is most memory companies are fine, especially when money is very tight. The only company I ever had a serious problem with was Crucial, and I think they are probably fine these days also.

Rosewill case and PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
This particular PSU is a decent one. Just don't get most Rosewill PSUs, you have to know which is which.

ASRock 880G board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Win 7 and 2TB WD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Why do you need a 2TB drive though?

ATI 5570 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A good simple triple monitor card.

DVD drive (please note the promo code)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's just under $600 but will be over with shipping. You could drop the video card and add it later perhaps.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 9, 2011 11:36:00 PM

Check out my 600$ build, you could drop the 6850 and pick up this instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's good enough for basic usage which would fit you. Plus it's silent so it's quiet. That'll put you at about 450$. Then just change that board to this board + Win7 combo.
Which would put you at about 510$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


You could in fact drop the PSU down to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That'll save you about 25$. Which would drop you below the 500$ mark at about 485$
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Related resources
March 10, 2011 1:23:24 AM

Thanks, Proximon! This gives me a great place to start.
Maybe I need to go to $700? For future-proofing sake? (For example, I'm wary of buying a mobo where there is no more room for adding memory - 8gb may not be all that much in the near future. Which is why I need a 2TB drive - I save a lot of data, growing every day.
If I do up the budget, would it make sense to pay more and get one of the Phenom IIs? (If so, which one?) Maybe also a better mobo? I'm really looking for a Chevy here (as opposed to a Caddy or a Yugo), and if I have to pay a bit more for a leap in quality/performance, I could.
And (excuse my ignorance) how can one tell that a monitor card can handle 3 monitors? Are we talking two on the video card and one on the motherboard?
Thanks!
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March 10, 2011 1:45:15 AM

Thank you, too, aznshinobi! I need some time to go through it and be thorough enough to do it justice. More tomorrow!

Thanks again
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2011 1:55:58 AM

Well a basic stock brokering computer you easily only need to spend 400$ and it'd be future proofed (referring to the build in my siggy). A basic computer of your needs really doesn't need that much power. Bulking up with a Phenom would give you future proofing either because that's a platform that is soon to die (because Bulldozer AM3+). So You really don't need to spend much, a 2006 Pentium D still functions fine off my old HP. So, I'm pretty sure a Regor and a 5450 would fit your needs.
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March 10, 2011 2:59:40 AM

Well, the software / trading platform is a real resource pig, and I have to use it because of my company. They say minimum to run well is 64bit 4core cpu and 4gb ram. I also run a bunch of other things simultaneously (excel, various financial bits, browsers, charts, news, etc.), which is why I think 8gb would be good. I guess I'm confused/distracted by the L2/L3 cache thing, as far as the Athlon II / Phenom II and whether I'd benefit from paying up.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2011 9:50:49 PM

From a price stand point of myself. The "bargain DIY builds" from newegg aren't bargains. They pick more expensive parts and deduct the money that a cheaper part could do the same job. Example.

955 - 130$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asrock 880G R2.0 USB 3.0- 83$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Patriot DDR3 1333 Sector 5 - 43$ (33$ AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung F3 1TB - 60$
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H...
Xigmatek 500w 80+ Brnze - 45$ (25$ AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rosewill Destroyer - 50$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - 391$ AR
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March 11, 2011 3:04:23 AM

I see what you mean. Here's my tweak on your latest suggestion:
Keep the 955, Asrock 880G, Xigmatek PS, and Rosewill Destroyer case.
Up the Patriot 2x2gb ram to the 2x4gb model ($65AR)
Go to Samsung 2TB drive (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) $75 after promo
Add Lite-on DVD (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) $18
Add Win7 Home Premium $90 after promo

Grand total: $591 (includes shipping)
Less 2x$20 MIR = $551. Yea?
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March 11, 2011 3:08:17 AM

By the way, I have a first-timer question: what else will I need here for bits and pieces and such? Motherboard battery? Sata cables? Heat sink gunk? I'd hate to delay the build by not ordering it all at once...
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2011 3:32:48 AM

Sounds just about right. You could get AS5 if you wanted to, but really you don't have to get thermal paste or motherboard batteries.

As for SATA Cables, that's actually a good question. Because the F3 is a bare-drive no SATA cables are included. So there's that.

HOWEVER, I did just check out Asrock's mobo page, that board does include 2 sata cables so your good on that end. It looks solid and ready to go!
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March 11, 2011 6:29:54 PM

Proximon said:
That is perhaps the right idea, but I doubt you can hit the budget cap with that CPU.


Athlon II X4 and 8GB Patriot memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
While they may not be a leading brand, the fact is most memory companies are fine, especially when money is very tight. The only company I ever had a serious problem with was Crucial, and I think they are probably fine these days also.

Rosewill case and PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
This particular PSU is a decent one. Just don't get most Rosewill PSUs, you have to know which is which.

ASRock 880G board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Win 7 and 2TB WD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Why do you need a 2TB drive though?

ATI 5570 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A good simple triple monitor card.

DVD drive (please note the promo code)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's just under $600 but will be over with shipping. You could drop the video card and add it later perhaps.




Just called PowerColor/ATI. They said this card (5570) only supports 2 monitors. Any suggestion?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2011 7:49:21 PM

Aristotle said:
Just called PowerColor/ATI. They said this card (5570) only supports 2 monitors. Any suggestion?


I think they are wrong :)  5570 is supposed to support eyefinity, but they might have gimped it somehow.

Now in order to use 3 monitors you will likely need some adapters, primarily this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And here is a card that will handle the three monitors for sure:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-102-...

Read some of the user reviews and you'll see how it's done.
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March 11, 2011 7:59:22 PM

I'm running in circles here, as far as triple monitors go.
I'd like to be able to move up to 3 monitors at some point, although I'll probably just start with the 2- 22" I have now. But if I need to go to a video card (and not use the onboard video), it will take up the pcie x16 slot to run 2 monitors. If I want to add a 3rd one later, I'll need another pcie x16 slot for another card(?) and if so, I should not get this motherboard (Asrock 880G - only 1 pcie x16 slot). I've seen talk of displayport monitors, displayport to dvi adapters, SLI, etc. and don't know how that affects my component decisions. here and now.
Ideally, the onboard (motherboard) video would handle three monitors, but I can't find a phone number for Asrock to find out, and kind of doubt that it would. Assuming I need a card, will the installation of the card disable (uncorrectably) the onboard video? In other words, my choices, as I see them:
1. 3 monitors on mobo, using DVI, VGA, and HDMI/displayport using an adapter
2. 3 monitors on pcie x16 card, using DVI, VGA, and HDMI/displayport using an adapter
3. 2 monitors on pcie x16 video card, 1 on motherboard
4. 2 monitors on pcie x16 video card, 1 on another pcie x16 video card.
What is the cheapest, cost effective solution? (keeping in mind I don't need fantastic response times, as I'm not gaming)
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March 11, 2011 8:28:35 PM

Proximon said:
I think they are wrong :)  5570 is supposed to support eyefinity, but they might have gimped it somehow.

Now in order to use 3 monitors you will likely need some adapters, primarily this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And here is a card that will handle the three monitors for sure:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-102-...

Read some of the user reviews and you'll see how it's done.


I think you're right on them 'gimping' it.
Tech support says one needs to buy the 'Eyefinity Edition', which is popular, and a limited edition. They're all out.
So $55 + $30 = $85 (inc shipping). Any cheaper solutions come to mind? Will the motherboard (880G) support 2 monitors, to get me started? And should I go to this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

to keep my options open as far as 2 pcie x16 slots?

I really appreciate the help!
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March 12, 2011 2:53:09 AM

aznshinobi said:
..... WHY DONT YOU GO WITH THE 5450! I think I've said it like A BAJILLION TIMES!
http://www.ninjalane.com/reviews/video/sapphire-5450/pa...
36$, 26$ AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I don't think I can. I don't think that card is a real Eyefinity, and therefore won't handle 3 monitors. I called Powercolor/ATI twice, and was told that I needed to get the 'Eyefinity edition' of any of these cards in order to run 3 monitors. He said that if it has HDMI then it will not work. Only Eyefinity cards with a Displayport will run 3, according to their tech support. He thought that no one has them anymore.
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March 12, 2011 2:55:29 AM

Oh, and also the review quoted, at the end, under 'Bad Things': "Claiming to us Eyefinity without the horsepower to back it up"

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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2011 3:04:20 AM

Quote:
Certainly, games that are easy on the graphics subsystem (World of Warcraft, for example) could work on ATI's Radeon HD 5450 in triple-monitor Eyefinity mode. You don't want to play any graphically-intensive titles with this setup, though.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5450,2549...

However. You are correct about that one reviewer "Ninjalane".

Also if you look, the reason PowerColor tells you to get the "Eyefinity" series. Is probably because of this little info THG has included in the review above.

Quote:
It seems as though our DisplayPort to VGA dongle takes the blame on this one, as it isn't on AMD's list of Eyefinity-validated dongles.

http://support.amd.com/us/eyefinity/Pages/eyefinity-don...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5450,2549...

So yes the 5450 does work with Eyefinity, but the manufacturer has to stick the right "Dongles" for Eyefinity.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2011 5:48:19 AM

Even if the 5450 doesn't work well with 3 monitors, it should do two. At that price you could get a second for just a bit more than the cost of a dongle.
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March 12, 2011 2:35:19 PM

But also maybe a different motherboard, which is why I'm trying to think ahead here, and not have to upgrade the mobo when I go to 3 monitors (because I need a 2nd pcie x16 slot.)
Interestingly, I got the following email from AsRock about the 880GXH/USB3:

"Dear Joe;
The ASrock model is capable to work with two monitors at the same time if you follow the steps below.


VGA+HMDI
VGA+DVI
HDMI+DVI does not work they use the same video output.
If you need 3 monitors you need to install a PCIexpress graphic card

ASRock America Support "

So the question is::: will plugging in a card disable the onboard video, or can I get one or two of the onboard video outputs to work while one or two outputs from a video card work also? If so, what about drivers? I need the screens to be different - i.e. not repeats of each other. Will Win7 be able to find/drive them side by side?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2011 8:16:10 PM

You should be able to have both. It might require a manual setting in the BIOS.
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March 14, 2011 7:30:19 PM

Just got off the phone with ASRock.
This board (880GMH/USB3) will disable onboard video automatically when another video card is plugged in, and you can't turn it back on even with a manual Bios setting.
So - I'm looking at the

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI says as long as I use any nVidia chipset pcie video card, I should be able to drive three monitors with this board (2 onboard, 1on card).
Any comments/suggestions?

Thanks, guys.

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March 15, 2011 2:52:22 AM

Just got an email from ASRock Support. They said the 880GMH -WILL- be able to use on board graphics with a card plugged in, just have the bios setting for card being primary and onboard being secondary.
My head spins around again.
Maybe Proximon's last suggestion is the right one, although I really liked the 880GMH.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 15, 2011 3:59:56 AM

^ Asrock Boards really solid, and from the looks of it, Asrock's support seems to have gotten a lot better over the years. I remember when they first started off, people critiqued their support like CRAZY!
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March 16, 2011 2:38:36 AM

I hope you're no getting bored with this build. Here's my latest shopping cart:

Stuff I bought:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PNY 8gb Optima ram - $52 after MIR and today's 15% off sale (previously suggested ram went out of stock with the memory sale today, so I bought this today before it went out as well)

Stuff I'm pretty sure of:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus dvd burner $18, free shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung 2TB HD $75 after MIR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Phenom II 955 $140

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Win7 Home Prem 64bit $89

Stuff I'm looking for an opinion on:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler Master case $40 after MIR. Looks OK to me

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Apevia 500W ps $20 after MIR. Good egg #'s

So far, $434. All I need is a motherboard.
I'm looking at these 2:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Biostar TA785G3+ $68

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte GA-880GMA $90

Biostar said that I could definitely drive 3 monitors with the onboard + a single PCIe card, I would just need a hybrid ATI crossfire card - he recommended the 4350 chipset. With this choice, I'd be up to $502.

I don't know anything special about the Gigabite board, but it seems more future proof (I like the 2 pcie slots), and possibly better built? Assuming it can also run 3 monitors with a single PCIe card installed (I'll verify this tomorrow), this one would bring me to $524.

Both of these builds look pretty solid to me, especially for the money. Comments?

Thanks, guys.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2011 3:48:19 AM

Looks to be a solid build.
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March 16, 2011 1:58:23 PM

I think I'll go back to the first suggestion

Xigmatek 500w 80+ Brnze - 45$ (25$ AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817815008

I'm also leaning toward the Gigabyte GA-880GMA $90. Any thoughts on that?
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March 16, 2011 4:07:09 PM

Xigmatek 500w 80+ Brnze - 45$ (25$ AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817815008
(better link than above?)
I was all set to go with the Gigabyte board (above) but they said this morning that onboard video IS disabled and can't be turned back on in bios. I'm getting cold feet about trying to save a buck by using onboard video anyway, as I've had video cards go bad before, and I don't see why onboard video wouldn't fail as well. And if i NEED the onboard to work, if that happened, I could only replace the motherboard. So, I'm thinking now I should get a board with 2 PCIe 2.0 slots and 2 cards.
Looking at:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Biostar TA870U3+ motherboard $70 after MIR

and also 2 of these:
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
$20 + s/h for both isn't too shabby.
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March 16, 2011 6:36:34 PM

Nix the GT220 and GT210 cards. After literally 3 1/2 hours on hold, they finally answered and told me neither would run 3 monitors, as they are not SLI ready. Gotta read up on that now.
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March 17, 2011 4:10:33 AM

I'm looking closely at the

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ECS BLACK SERIES A790GXM-AD3 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
$80 after MIR

If I get this one, I can push off any decisions/cost on the third monitor till later. Use onboard video for now, add 1 or 2 cards later. Is this a solid board, though?
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2011 4:17:45 AM

I'm confused why it is necessary for 3 monitors =P I think 2 is sufficient personally. Even my photography usage really only uses 2 monitors at the most. I don't think you need 3.

But if you want 3 monitors don't spend more on your motherboard. Just buy the Eyefinity card. Not a lot of low end cards support Crossfire/SLI.

5670: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Eyefinity review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533...

5670 Eyefinity help: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/304499-33-5670-setup-...
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March 17, 2011 4:33:04 AM

I,ve got so many things open at once (usually about 10-12 : excel, charts, news ticker, option and quote montages, browsers, etc.) I find myself minimising/restoring all day long. I'm hoping 3 will do it.

I re-read this whole thread again, and am thinking that I should probably just go eyefinity/dongle, but am still interested in going with 2 5450's that you said would work. That said, is the ECS a good motherboard, or stick with the Asrock 880?
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2011 5:24:56 AM

Well that would work, however none of the 5450's support CF. Your best bet would be to get the 5670 I listed above. That'd give you the highest chance at a low price to Eyefinity 3 monitors. If not, you'll have 2 at least. Remember you need adapters, which is mentioned in the thread I linked.

The ECS is a good/decent board. Not the best brand name, but I suggest just staying with the Asrock so you can spend the saved money on the 5670. Personally.
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March 20, 2011 9:19:37 PM

Hey Guys
Still trying to figure out the best way to skin this cat. Thanks for bearing with me.
I've been doing a lot of reading up on this, and am thinking that maybe the Asrock M3A770DE ($65) as suggested by Proximon and 2 of these

http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Galaxy 995TFE8DC1CMM GeForce 9500 GT

might work to drive 3-4 monitors? ($16 each after MIR).
System would then be in the $530 range.
I'm wondering if these 2 SLI cards would indeed drive 3-4 monitors, and whether this Asrock board is a good match for them, or should I go with the 870 Extreme3 for an extra $25.
Thanks!
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!