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Non-gaming build

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May 24, 2011 10:26:34 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: I'm fairly flexible on budget, no specific limit, but trying to keep the price down as much as possible (was hoping to put off buying for a bit longer, but old system is completely dead)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Email/Internet/Office apps, watching movies, playing music, RAW image processing & photo editing, virtual machines, software development

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, case, monitor (for now - will reuse 19" CRT, eventually probably get 24" widescreen LCD)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca, ncix.com - but open to suggestions

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024 for now, eventually probably 1920x1200

Additional Comments:
Looking for something that will be reasonably future proof without having to make significant upgrades (my current system lasted 7 years)
I'll be running Linux, will frequently run Windows in a virtual machine, may occasionally dual boot Windows
Looking for a mobo with a couple PCI slots. A parallel port for my printer would be nice, but a USB to parallel adapter should work.

I'm thinking of something along these lines:

Intel Core i7-2600K - or - i5-2500K (undecided about which one)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I really don't know much about mobos or chipsets. Thinking about something like this:
GIGABYTE GA-H61M-D2P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PSD38G1600K
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X 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 DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I'm planning on using the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics - I suspect it will be sufficient for my needs (no gaming, no 3D more taxing than, say, google earth or similar).

Stock HSF or third party? I may want to do some overclocking at some point in the future, but nothing extreme.

More about : gaming build

May 25, 2011 2:13:50 AM

"CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6817139017 "

There is now way this can fuel your proposed machine... Try the Corsair HX 650.

For the HDD, I suggest the Samsung F4 2TB, depending on your size needs.

If image quality matters to you do not use integrated. Buy a budget GPU like the AMD 6570. It will also handle viirtualization better.

Also, running virtual desktops can be graphic and cpu intensive. You have the right idea with RAM, but that need to translate to CPU also. I would recommend HT, in this case, the core i7-2600K.
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May 25, 2011 3:48:42 AM

CPU: i7-2600K will probably be worth it if you can afford it

Mobo: Z68 motherboard because it's got everything you could want. Gigabyte has a nice one for $129.99 on Newegg: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
There are H61 & H67 chipsets that can use integrated graphics w/ Quicksync, or discrete without Quicksync but cannot overclock. P67 chipsets cannot use integrated or Quicksync, but can overclock. Z68 chipsets with Virtu can use integrated graphics, discrete, overclock, & Quicksync in all combinations.

RAM: 8GB 1600CL9 or faster if there's a deal and it's the same price. You should be able to find some $75 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 DDR3 pretty easily. Try slickdeals.com and search for DDR3.

PSU: A CX430 can power your build (http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp). It's close though if you do some upgrades and I'd get something a little stronger. This $40 OCZ SxS 2 600W is the best bang for your buck: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
You might also see something on sale in Newegg's emails that's good. Stick to Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX if you don't have a stellar thorough review on a product. See jonnyguru.com for examples.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB's are faster than that Seagate and often on sale for $55. Sign up for Newegg's email list or try Amazon.com.

DVD: Anything Cheap

Case: Go for good airflow w/ bottom mounted PSU--anything that fits your motherboard. If you go for a smaller case, switch to a Micro ATX motherboard. Gigabyte makes a mATX version of the above board for $5 cheaper.

Recommendations are easier with a specific budget goal.

If you decide to overclock, you can do it with your stock heatsink, but you'll really want an aftermarket one to push your OC very far. Look at http://frostytech.com for performance lists. (example: http://frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2585&pa...)
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May 25, 2011 3:51:54 AM

im not sure if they fix it yet but graphics drivers for linux for the new i5 and i7 go crazy
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May 25, 2011 4:09:34 AM

I left this out above:

Graphics: Start with integrated and buy a 5670 if you need it. Look at benchmarks to compare budget graphics cards. There's no reason to spend more than $75 here.
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May 25, 2011 5:27:48 AM

wigglerthefish said:
"CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6817139017 "

There is now way this can fuel your proposed machine... Try the Corsair HX 650.

For the HDD, I suggest the Samsung F4 2TB, depending on your size needs.

If image quality matters to you do not use integrated. Buy a budget GPU like the AMD 6570. It will also handle viirtualization better.

Also, running virtual desktops can be graphic and cpu intensive. You have the right idea with RAM, but that need to translate to CPU also. I would recommend HT, in this case, the core i7-2600K.


I see no reason why the corsair PSU will not work for him, that should be plenty for his needs
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May 25, 2011 6:10:51 AM

You're absolutely right that the Corsair CX430 is enough...but overkill is my friend.
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May 25, 2011 6:30:08 AM

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I've made a few changes, here's what I'm looking at now:

I found some RAM that is a bit cheaper than what I had originally and also has lower latency. Newegg has bundled it with the i7-2600K for a $30 savings:

Intel Core i7-2600K
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

Switched to the Z68 mobo as recommended:

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

PSU: There seems to be some disagreement about whether or not the one on my original list is sufficient. I had chosen it after trying out a few online PSU calculators. In any case, newegg has dalauder's recommended PSU for $35 - cheaper than my original choice. It's recertified, but has a 3 year manufacturer's warranty. If it's more than I need - well, I've got some spare capacity for future upgrades! :) 

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS-B 600W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

No change to the HD for now (it's a better price than the suggested alternatives on newegg), but will look around a bit more.

No change to the optical drive - which was already pretty much the cheapest.

I'll probably stick to the stock HSF for now, and keep an eye out for a good sale on an aftermarket one sometime in the future when I'm ready to OC it.
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May 25, 2011 7:20:30 AM

FYI: If you buy refurbished, you want to make sure it has a good warranty. That, or make sure you're the gambling type. I'm the gambling type. $12.99 shipping is almost enough to kill the deal though.

The CX430 is enough for 2 HDDs, 4 sticks of ram, 2 USB devices (5W each), 3 high speed 120mm fans, a 5670, and an overclock to 5.0GHz at 1.5V. And you probably won't do all of that.

EDIT: I configured the PSU calculator with the above setup and 15% capacitor aging and it came to 421W recommended (368 required, or something like that), so you're fine.
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May 25, 2011 2:13:17 PM

dalauder said:
FYI: If you buy refurbished, you want to make sure it has a good warranty. That, or make sure you're the gambling type. I'm the gambling type. $12.99 shipping is almost enough to kill the deal though.

It does have a 3 year warranty, so not a big gamble. Shipping isn't as bad as it sounds - with all the components in my cart, the total shipping is nowhere near the total of each item's shipping. Total shipping only goes up $0.90 when I switch from the CX430 (with $3.99 shipping) to the OCZ.

I did just notice the CX430 has a $20 mail-in rebate in addition to the $15 instant rebate (either wasn't there yesterday, or didn't notice) - so that brings it down to $25. Decisions, decisions...

dalauder said:
The CX430 is enough for 2 HDDs, 4 sticks of ram, 2 USB devices (5W each), 3 high speed 120mm fans, a 5670, and an overclock to 5.0GHz at 1.5V. And you probably won't do all of that.

EDIT: I configured the PSU calculator with the above setup and 15% capacitor aging and it came to 421W recommended (368 required, or something like that), so you're fine.

Thanks for confirming that for me! I'll think about it today and pick one or the other.
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