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Opinions on this barebones "kit"...

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March 15, 2011 4:45:27 PM

Hi guys/gals,

I'm trying to put together a replacement comp together for my parents. I see there is something posted very similar to this but I did not wish to hijack the thread. Anyways, I came upon this kit from TigerDirect I thought looked pretty darn good. I was going to stick with Intel but for their budget to performance ratio I think AMD is the better bet:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

This does not come with the OS so I will pickup a $99 OEM version for this and seeing as I just ordered myself a new GTX580 for myself I will just drop in one of my 2 GTX 8800 GTX's in here. I mean it's for my parents and they will not be doing any serious video gaming or anything. Just word processing, surfing the internet and maybe some light photo editing or something. That's about it.

What do you guys think of this kit?

Best Regards,
Chris

More about : opinions barebones kit

March 15, 2011 6:16:19 PM

Kind of pricey for not needing a lot of power. Also, that's a horrible PSU. You could easily get something jsut as good for a lot less. Here are two options I'd look at, starting with the parts that will not change:

RAM: Corsair XMS3 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 $30 after rebate
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $65 (with Windows 7 to save $5)
PSU: Antec 430W $50
Case: Anything they like the looks of. This one is cheap and looks good enough, but no garuantees about quality. $30-50. You could grab this Antec 300 w/ 430W for $90, so don't spend more than that on the case and PSU.
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $18 (with free shipping promo)

Total: $193, with the cheap case or $203 with the Antec 300. Add $95 for the Windows 7 combo.

AMD:
CPU: X3 425 $72 or X4 955 $140
Mobo: ASRock 880GM-LE $63 with shipping

AMD total with the cheap case: $328 with the X3 or $396 with the X4

Intel:
CPU: i3-2100 $120 (brand new Sandy Bridge CPU, but it's the cheapest i3 out there...)
Mobo: Asus P8H67-M LX $107 with shipping (currently sold out)

Intel total with the cheap case: $420

Neither of those options would require you to put in an old GPU, which would only add heat and use electricity. Unless they need the card, I wouldn't use it.

I would HIGHLY recommend the Sandy Bridge build. It's cheap, but it'll last for a long, long time.
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March 16, 2011 5:15:37 PM

Hi Mad,

Will that RAM work with that Intel mobo? The memory is 1600mhz but the mobo shows it uses only 1066/1333.

Will this be a problem?
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March 16, 2011 5:59:39 PM

Where do you see that's what the board supports? Newegg lists the memory speeds as "1800(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066/800". I'm certain the sticks will work. Typically, the bare minimum boards list about RAM speeds is the minimums or defaults. In the example above, that string is saying that the RAM will run at 1333 mhz, 1066 mhz or 800 mhz by default, but can be overclocked up to 1800 mhz. You may need to adjust the speed and timings in the BIOS to make sure the sticks are running to the manufacturer's specs.
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March 16, 2011 6:09:11 PM

You are looking at the AMD mobo you posted. I'm referring to the Intel board you have.

Mobo: Asus P8H67-M LX $107 with shipping (currently sold out)

This one says only 1333/1066
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March 16, 2011 6:22:06 PM

Got. And it's still yes. Any listed RAM speed is really the recommended speed. You can run it at higher or lower speeds. If you overclock it (run it at higher speeds), the CAS Latency increases. If you downclock it, the CAS Latency goes down. Tighter or lower timings make the RAM faster. Typically, 1600 mhz/CL 9 run at 1333 mhz/CL 7.

It's also likely that the board will run at the higher speed despite saying so. The usual reason for increasing the speed of the RAM is that the CPU clock speed follow the RAM speed. Since the H67 chipset doesn't allow overclocking, the RAM may go higher, but the CPU's clock speed won't. Therefore, there is no real point to saying what the "mamximum" speed of RAM is, as there isn't a real reason to do it.
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