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Japanese build

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March 10, 2011 12:35:50 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: In the next month-ish

Budget Range: Difficult – I live in Japan so there may be big differences between the price of parts. Hopefully around 60-80,000 yen (around US $730- $950)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: General surfing, streaming videos online, DVDs, music, word processing etc., casual gaming

Parts Not Required: I need everything! Including monitor, mouse, keyboard, (OS is a separate headache – I put more details below)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Another difficult point – I’m planning on buying pretty much everything from Japanese stores, either online or I’ll take a trip to Akihabara.

Country of Origin: Japan

Parts Preferences: I was looking at Intel i5 2500k with something like HD6850 (like a lot of people recently) but am open to suggestions.

Overclocking: Probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Not now, possible in the future

Monitor Resolution: Would like 1920x1080 or above (I’m conscious of my budget though)

Additional Comments:

I’ve been living in Japan for almost 5 years and have been using an Acer Aspire (1.7 GHZ, 15.4”, 80G HDD, 1GB RAM) that I brought with me from the UK as a home PC. It’s served me well and until now I’ve been wary of getting a desktop as I thought I might move on. I’m fairly sure I’m not moving anywhere soon so would like to take the plunge and get something bigger.

Desktops aren’t very popular in Tokyo because of the lack of space. I’ve found some systems online but would like to attempt a build in order to save money and learn a bit so I can update myself in the future.

I don’t play games at the moment, but would like to get something powerful enough to let me be at least a casual gamer. I mainly use my PC to keep in touch with people at home and watch British/American TV when I’m sick of trying to understand Japanese TV. I’d also like to use the system to watch DVDs, listen to music etc. I’m thinking of getting a TV tuner too, but this isn’t urgent and I need to look into what’s involved with Japanese cable as I don’t think our current package can be routed through a computer.

I’ve been looking through posts and guides on the site over the last few days but fall into the trap of choosing parts that I’d like, rather than those I can afford. So I figured by asking for help I’d get more realistic specs.

Getting an English OS is difficult here (everywhere I’ve seen online/in shops charges about $240 for Windows 7 with a wait for shipping, or suggest getting Ultimate for the same price and installing language packs) so I’ll probably order that from the UK or US.

As for parts, some may be easier to get/cheaper here than others. For example, I’ve noticed that the new B3 ASROCK boards seem to be appearing online, but the ASUS ones haven’t yet. I found a pretty good price comparison website (all in Japanese of course) that I’ve been using. I’ll put a few links below, as it might help a little to give you an idea of the kind of prices/availability I’m working with. These are ranked by recent sales popularity…

MOBO
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01504010/
CPU
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01501010/
Video Cards
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01507010/
Case
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01506010/
PSU
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01506030/
Memory
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01503052/
HDD
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01201040/
CD/DVD
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01202060/
Monitor
http://www.coneco.net/SpecList/01101020/

Apologies for the massive post, I figured it was best to give you the full picture rather than get suggestions from sites I know I can’t order from.


More about : japanese build

March 11, 2011 12:49:34 PM

Hello gaijin_dave;
If you're a casual gamer on a budget you'll want have a tough time meeting your goal if you're going after i5 2500K with a 1920x1080 monitor and Win7 OS included in the price. Before I go clicking through all that stuff do this for us.
Doing that should give us a clue where we need to be looking to meet your budget goal.

Price this out
About US$1000. Use equivalent parts if the specific item isnt available there.
CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz (3.1GHz Turbo Boost)
Motherboard: ASUS P8H67-M LX LGA 1155 Intel H67 SATA 6Gb/s
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM (DDR3 1333 is acceptable)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
PSU: CORSAIR Build Series 500CX 500W Power Supply
GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Video Card
DVD: SAMSUNG 22x DVD Burner SATA
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 Computer Case
20" 1600x900 LCD monitor
Win7 Home Premium 64bit OS
Add Keyboard/Mouse/Speakers

Compare that with this:
About US$1300. Use equivalent parts if the specific item isnt available there.
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 PRO P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 RAM
HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212+
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
PSU: XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W 80+ SILVER Modular
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
DVD: SAMSUNG 22x DVD Burner SATA
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 Computer Case
23" 1920x1080 LCD monitor
Win7 Home Premium 64bit OS
Add Keyboard/Mouse/Speakers

What did you end up with?
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March 11, 2011 2:45:46 PM

Thanks for the model builds WR2.

I made a few changes when I couldn't find the parts you listed. Most of the time I think I picked something similar, but I had some problems with the motherboard and monitor.

I don't really know enough about the motherboards to know which are similar, so there's a bit of guesswork involved :??:  . Similarly when it came to the monitor, the site I'm using has no LCD monitors listed, only LED backlight.

Motherboard: Biostar TH67+ B-REV 3.0 (9,980 yen)
CPU: Core i5-2500K BOX (19,020 yen)
RAM: G. SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL (4,780 yen)
HDD: Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS (2,480 yen)
PSU: Corsair 550W CMPSU-550VXJP (6,960 yen)
GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) (15,960 yen)
DVD: LIT-EON IHAS324-27 (1,978 yen)
CASE: CoolerMaster HAF 912 Advanced (RC-912A-KWN1-JP) (14,170 yen)
Monitor: LG IPS206T-PN (WXGA+ 20" IPS液晶) (15,979 yen)
Keyboard: about 2,000 yen
Mouse: about 2,000 yen
Speakers: 2-3,000 yen
OS: 24,180 (ordered from Japan) about 12,000 from US/UK

Total (with OS from US/UK) = 110,307 Yen, or $1,350


Motherboard: ASRock P67 Pro3 (12,980 yen)
CPU: Core i5-2500K BOX (19,020 yen)
RAM: G. SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL (4,780 yen)
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive (4,600 yen)
HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212+ (4,100 yen)
PSU: Corsair 750 (CMPSU-750HXJP) (13,969 yen)
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (25,970 yen)
DVD: LIT-EON IHAS324-27 (1,978 yen)
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 Computer Case (16,380 yen)
Monitor: LG IPS236V-PN (Full HD 23" IPS液晶) (21,846 yen)
Keyboard: about 2,000 yen
Mouse: about 2,000 yen
Speakers: 2-3,000 yen
OS: 24,180 (ordered from Japan) about 12,000 from US/UK

Total (with OS from US/UK) = 144,623 Yen or $1,767 :ouch: 


So these are both out of my price range. I guess I'll have to downgrade a little .

I've found a few local computer shops which have builds that I thought weren't much different to the combined price of the parts. If I translate them and post them here, hopefully you or someone else can give an opinion on whether they're worth going for or not. This would mean that I wouldn't get the experience of a build, but if it works out cheaper then it might be worth it.

I'll try and post them tomorrow. Bit late here now and I've had a busy earthquake filled day!
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March 11, 2011 3:01:16 PM

Dave,

Take note that in the first model build, WR2 was recommending an I5-2300.
That build would be less expensive than the second one in several areas:
-Video card (GTX 460 vs 560)
-CPU (2300 vs 2500K)
-Motherboard (H67 chipset vs P67 chipset) in the first build that mobo is less b/c it doesn't promote overclocking and is less capable of handling a second video card (PCI-e 16x/4x vs 16x/16x)
-Power supply (500w vs 750) since the first build wouldn't go past 1 video card.

In the US the 2300's are about $35 (2,877 Yen) less than the 2500k. That might get you into your price range
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March 11, 2011 3:03:50 PM

I thought the prices might be a bit above your budget which is why I didnt wade through the options till I was sure. They came in even higher than i expected.

Biostar TH67+ is a good choice in H67s - match that with a i5 2400 quad core. Or even a dual core i3 2120. You can probably peel back some of the cost but you're still looking at $1000 even going with a less expensive case, video card.
Check into the cost of ordering your Win7 for digtal download too.

The local shops should be able to help you fit into your budget and we'll be happy to double check what they're suggesting for your build.

You don't want the K model (overclocking) CPUs in the H67 (non-overclocking) motherboards.
H67 = a non-K CPU and no CPU overclocking
P67 = K model CPUs for overclocking options
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March 12, 2011 12:41:29 AM

CopaMundial - Thanks for highlighting the CPU mistake. I checked the prices, and as you said the i5 2500 is a bit cheaper. About 1,500-2,000 in Japan I think.

Before I go through the specs from this shop, If I start dropping down in the area of CPU and GPU am I going to severely limit the gaming life of the pc?
i.e. If I'm getting a mid range CPU and GPU added to the fact that the build is based around a motherboard and PSU that doesn't support 2 videos cards, then any upgrades are going to involve replacing a lot of these components aren't they?

With my budget am I better to buy a lower spec PC for internet, movies, music, word processing etc. and a decent monitor then buy a PS3 or something and hook it up to the monitor?

Strategy games would run on a lower spec PC and I could use the console for FPS etc. I imagine that most people will be more pro PC games than console and I prefer using a PC myself, but would this be a way around spending a lot on a system that won't last me long?


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March 12, 2011 1:11:08 AM

You can tie the GPU to the monitor resolution for gaming.
Best Graphics Cards For the Money: March 2011 will give you some clues there.

In most cases the GPU is the limiting factor in gaming well before the CPU. A gaming system with a mid-life GPU change will usually be good for 3-4 years.
With the less expensive, single video card motherboard the upgrade strategy is sell the original card and use the proceeds to fund the next video card, 2 or 3 generations onward.
Even the lowly Core i3 2100 dual core CPU is a potent performer. Core i3 2100 - 3.1GHz vs Phenom II X4 955 - 3.2GHz That said the extra $70 to get the quad core i5 2400 is probably a good bet for longevity.

Console gaming is great but you want to consider the cost in addition to the PC. Consider the kind of PC could you get for the combined cost.
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March 12, 2011 10:27:11 AM

Thanks again for the info. As you can probably tell, as well as never attempting a build before I haven't bought a new PC and haven't bothered with games for quite a few years so I appreciate the guidance. :D 

I thought I'd have one more go at making it a little cheaper before I looked at the store built option, but there doesn't seem to be much change if I keep the same 1155 chipset base for the motherboard and CPU. In fact, the biggest savings I could find were with the case!

Antec Nine Hundred Two 8,880 yen
Zalman Z9 Plus 5,471 yen
Antec Three Hundred 3,980 yen

So that would save me between 5,290 and 10,190 yen ($64 to $124)

I found the OS at an online store from the US for 10,700 saving me 1,300 ($15). I checked the digital download option but couldn't find a OEM option, so the price was higher than shipping.

i5-2400 15,940 yen, saving 3,080 ($37)

But I'm still only dropping the price by about $115-$175.

------------------
The store built systems don't have all the info for the different components, but i'll list the info I can find in the next post.
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March 12, 2011 11:57:20 AM

I looked at a few stores and they have similar prices. I actually went to this store and the clerk was pretty helpful and between my average Japanese and his basic English.

The store build on their website doesn't give info about manufacturers for a lot of the components. Some of them you can upgrade to a named brand (like the HDD), others don't have that option (e.g. RAM and Motherboard).

Here's an example of a the basic largely non-brand spec.

2GB DDR3 SDRAM PC3-10600 (2GBx2 Dual Channel)
1 TB HDD (SATA 6Gb/s)
H67 Express ATX Intel Motherboard Chipset (chipset B3 Stepping)
DVD SuperMulti (Write DVD ± R x22, ± R DL x8, RAM x12/SATA connection)
CB Case, Black (192 × 511 depth × height width 436mm)
550W Silent Power Supply (DELTA ELECTRONICS product)
Galleria-only Laser Mouse Black (5 button Laser Type)
Japanese Keyboard

Using the above as a basis, if I change the CPU and graphics cards, the price changes as below.

Intel
Intel core i5 2400
NVIDIA GeForce GT430 1GB =58,981 ($720)
NVIDIA GeForce GT440 1GB =63,681 ($777)
NVIDIA GeForce GTS450 1GB =70,181 ($857)
ATI Radeon HD5770 1GB =68,981 ($842)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX460 1GB =78,981 ($965)
AMD Radeon HD6870 1GB =83,181 ($1,016)

Intel core i5-2500
NVIDIA GeForce GT430 1GB =62,981 ($769)
NVIDIA GeForce GT440 1GB =67,681 ($826)
NVIDIA GeForce GTS450 1GB =72,181 ($881)
ATI Radeon HD5770 1GB =72,981 ($891)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX460 1GB = 80,181 ($979)
AMD Radeon HD6870 1GB =85,181 ($1,040)

AMD
AMD 890GX Chipset ATX Motherboard

AMD Phenom Ⅱ X4 955 (quad / 3.2GHz/8MB Cache total)
NVIDIA GeForce GTS450 1GB =66,081 ($807)
ATI Radeon HD5770 1GB =68,981 ($842)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX460 1GB =74,081 ($905)
AMD Radeon HD6850 1GB =77,381 ($945)
AMD Radeon HD6870 1GB =78,981 ($965)

These are thre monitors I thought looked pretty good in the store and their prices packaged with the above systems.

Samsung SyncMaster B2230H 21.5 Inch =12,800 ($156)
Samsung SyncMaster B2230H 23 Inch =14,500 ($177)
BenQ V2420HP 24" =19,900 ($243)

Windows 7 with delivery to Japan 10,700 ($130) (http://www.outletpc.com/)

Phew...that took me a while.
So, I guess the downside is not knowing the brands but I get 1 year warranty at least.
Any thoughts on suitable combinations from the above lists, or perhaps building a similar spec myself?
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March 13, 2011 1:30:45 AM

You can price out a DIY build and see what the $$$ difference would be.
I have no real problem with most of the generic parts when the warranty is backed by a local shop.
The price/performance looks right for the difference in CPU/GPU combos.

With a 1920x1080 resolution monitor GTS450/HD 5770 is the lowest you probably want to go in a GPU. It goes without saying the better GPUs give you better performance and better access to 'eye candy' settings in the higher graphics options.
If you're a casual gamer and it's not a big deal to set graphics on medium in demanding games you save the cost of the high end graphics cards. This is a personal preference vs budget related matrix. Higher expectations in games = higher budget requirements.

CPU is quite a bit easier. Most FPS games are GPU limited before hitting CPU limits. I think you're very safe with the i5 2400 or X4 955.
RPGs and SIM type games lean on the CPU more. But the difference between i5 2400 vs i5 2500 performance would be very minor - hence the small difference in prices. The X4 Phenom prices being lower is a fair representation of it's lower overall performance which is still quite good.
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March 13, 2011 12:28:55 PM

Thanks for the continued help. I've finally made some decisions. I'm going to build myself. I figure that it will mean I can upgrade more easily myself in the future. I'm also going with one of the slightly more expensive higher spec builds that I explored.

I've ordered the OS and planning on ordering the parts below, but I have a PSU question. I'd prefer to get my parts from one or two stores to make ordering simpler and reduce postage costs where there are any. The Corsair 550W PSU I listed earlier in the thread isn't available. In fact it's difficult for me to find a 550W, most seem to be 500W or 650W.

I don't know but would guess it's better to get a larger PSU than I need, so based on the components would I be better getting a 650W as this would also give me more flexibility for future rebuilds and adding more components?
I could get a CORSAIR from a different store, but are the ones I've listed below acceptable? Unless they're a lot worse quality/reliability it would be easier for me to get one of the two below.

PSU options
Antec EarthWatts Green 650W 6,951 yen
kuroutoshikou KRPW-P630W/85+ 6,950 (maybe a Japan only brand, but has a lot of good reviews)

Components
Case: Antec Three Hundred
Motherboard: Biostar TH67+ B-REV 3.0
HDD: Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS
CPU: Core i5-2500 
GPU: XFX HD687AZNFC
Monitor: Benq EW2420
RAM: G. SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
DVD: LIT-EON IHAS324-27

+keyboard, speakers, mouse (not found these yet)
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Best solution

March 13, 2011 2:14:29 PM

I can't offer an opinion on the KRPW-P630. But it's data sheet indicates 50Amps +12v which is very good. The rest of the tech specs look equally good.


EarthWatts 650W is certainly a good choice. And enough power for any current single GPU video card; GTX580 (suggested 'average' 600W PSU) / HD 6970 (suggested 'average' 550W PSU)
Even the Earthwatts 500D 500W model would be plenty of power and provide a reasonable amount of upgrade potential. A Radeon HD 6950/6970 class future video card for instance.

That set of RAM has very good customer Feedback
Everything else is a good choice as well. It's all compatible and looks like a well balanced system.
If you have an Android or iPhone smartphone you're all set to control your PC HTPC functions with your phone.
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March 15, 2011 12:26:23 PM

Finally ordered and most things should be arriving this week, despite all the problems in Japan at the moment. Here's the spec I finally ordered....

Case: Antec Three Hundred 6,479
HDD: Barracuda 7200.12  ST31000528AS 4,380
CPU: Core i5-2500  18,480
GPU: XFX HD687AZNFC 18,980
MOBO: Biostar TH67+ B-REV 3.0 10,580
Keyboard: Solid Year ACK-230E 2,270
RAM: G. SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 4,780
DVD: LIT-EON IHAS324-27 2,280
PSU: Antec Earthwatts Green 650W 6,950
Monitor: Benq EW2420 21,800
Mouse:MX518 Performance Optical Mouse 2,793
Speakers: Creative Inspire T10 3,490
Total 103,262 (about $1,300...yen is constantly changing now though)

A few stores I'd bookmarked ran out of stock so there was a bit of a last minute search. I paid a bit more and had to change a few things, but I'm glad it's all done to be honest. It's one thing trying to find recommended parts and make sure they all fit together, but doing it in another language takes twice as long!

The only potential problem I have is the OS. I always have problems ordering things from abroad - British credit card and Japanese delivery address, so most companies think it's identity theft.

I'm aware that as a beginner I probably asked a lot of basic questions and at some times was just sounding things out. Thanks for all the help! :) 
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March 15, 2011 12:28:08 PM

Best answer selected by gaijin_dave.
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