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Student Gaming/audio Rig

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June 24, 2011 8:16:58 PM

Hi, I'm a student whose working part time n well, don't really have that much cash (weekend jobz suck :p )
Anyway, I thought i'd build up a PC for audio compilations (Mostly recorded vocals not too many synths etc.) and for a lil bit of gaming (I'm not entirely hardcore) and WONT be overclocking. Also I'm aiming for the PC to be as silent as possible for my budget.

Anyway so far here's what I've picked up with the last penny...

Chassis: Antec Sonata Proto ('Designed to be quiet')
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard: MSI P67A-C43
RAM: Corsair Value Select 4GB DDR3 1333MHz x2 (Audio Production)
Gfx: Sapphire HD5750 Game Edition (1Gb)
Hdd: Seagate Barracuda Sata 6/G 500Gb 7200Rpm 16mb
PSU: Coolermaster eXtreme Power Plus 650w

I've already got an audiophile 2496 soundcard and a 1Tb external for storage

So anyway...Any suggestions/replacements..? More Bang4Buck n a quieter solution perhaps? And I just wanted to make sure that everything works together Lol. it'd be a bummer if I blew something on my first try :p 

Please don't quote Ferrari's etc I don't want a spec list of the latest uptodate hardcore gaming pc (Unless you'd like to sponsor ? :p )

Thanks
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 8:44:30 PM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

Interesting needs! I think we can make you something easily.
-The first thing is you need to drop to an i5-2400 if you don't plan on overclocking. It's the same CPU really.
-Next thing is go with a Z68 board. If you ever get into video production, you will be glad you did.
-Get some better ram. 1600MHz ram is very cheap nowadays, in some cases even cheaper than 1333MHz.
Get a GPU with a little more oopmh. I know you don't want to game, but let's at least get your game face on for BF3!
-I would get a better/cheaper power supply. Antec and Corsair are what you need to look at. Your choice depends on what GPU you get.

And that's my thoughts! Let me know if you have any questions.
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 8:59:28 PM

I agree that the i5-2500k is not needed, i'd for for the i5-2400 since youre not overclocking. Also i wouldn't bother with P67, i'd go for H61/H67 or Z68 for the same reason. For the graphics i would suggest a minimum of HD 5770, preferably GTX 460 1GB (fermi) or HD 6850. Also agree on getting a cheaper PSU, 500W will be more than enough power and Antec, Corsair and XFX are good brands to look for. (Cooler Master will do the job too.) Lastly, i do some audio recording myself and know that RAM and a faster HDD can help things along so if you have enough money left over i would consider getting a faster HDD and/or 8GB of RAM. (Not a necessity but would help. For example, because i don't do a massive amount of it, i do it on that same HDD with 4GB of similar RAM)
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June 24, 2011 9:03:00 PM

Thanks alot for your advice striker :) 

1. Unfortunately I'm living in South Africa and trying to get everything from a single supplier to reduce costs (Shipping)..And They don't seem to stock the Z68 boards..

2. As far as the Ram is concerned I've read elsewhere that the difference between the 1333MHz and 1600MHz is negligible when they're stock. Is this true?

3. I only have an LCD which supports upto 1366x768 Res. I've also read elsewhere that it would be a bit of an overkill to get anything higher than an HD5770 at that resolution for mediocre gaming.

4. Unfortunately the Antec's and Corsair's here are slightly more expensive than the coolermaster at 650W..However I could acquire a Corsair at 600W for less...Would that be worth it?

Thanks :>
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 9:08:14 PM

1. Try H61 or H67.
2. Small difference but usually the same price.
3. One of the cards i suggested would be great, the HD 5770 will max anything now but the GTX 460 or HD 6850 will last a bit longer.
4. A 500W Corsair would be more than enough, so yeah a 600W would be fine, even a bit overkill.
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 9:09:29 PM

Ahh, I see. Can you get an H67 board?

Yes, it doesn't make much difference. If you were in the US and selection was larger, I would say 1600 but 1333 is fine.

I see. I still think a 6850 would prove worthwhile, but it all depends on price.
Really if only mediocre gaming you could get away with a 5670.

And yes, go for the 600w. A 500w would also work if it's cheaper.

EDIT: JM beat me to it haha. We are in sync!
June 24, 2011 9:40:37 PM

Alright I've got a 600W Corsair with a larger fan which will prove to be quieter than the Coolermaster..although its the same price...

Secondly, there's an i5 2400 and an i5 2400s..price is very similar..what to do?

Motherboard: Could I still use the "Turbo Boost" feature (Just for fun :p ) on H67
And I've been told to get ASUS or MSI if I can, there are a couple "intel" boards at cheaper prices. Should I get on instead?
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 9:50:12 PM

You want the normal.

And yes, you can use turbo boost.

Correct. Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, and ASRock are all preferable. Intel or Biostar if none are available.
June 24, 2011 10:27:52 PM

Powercolor HD5750 1GB

It's got some hectic looking thing on it:

http://www.ikonicit.co.za/graphics-cards/ati/hd5000-ser...

Will that make it quieter? lol and the 5770 is a no go its a bit too much more than this..

How can I ensure less noise overall..I've already done a bit with the chassis and this gfx card (Hopefully)

As for the motherboard the catalogue doesn't really have anything that looks worth the price of this one :/  it's all intels and they look slightly crappy :D  (just eye candy really)

Any other ideas?
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 10:34:58 PM

Well that graphics card will certainly be quiet. however since you are in South Africa I am worried about it overheating. If you think they sound like jet engines, they don't. They will stay very quiet. Here's what I would suggest: http://www.ikonicit.co.za/graphics-cards/ati/hd5000-ser... A very good card, runs very cold.

The real noise canceler is going to be the case. If we can get a silent case, you can grab anything you want and throw it in there.

And I suppose Intel will do.
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 10:37:58 PM

striker410 said:
EDIT: JM beat me to it haha. We are in sync!


Looks like it D:

Anyway, i think most cards will be quiet enough so long as you don't turn the fans up. Most of the noise from a noisy system usually comes from 1 noisy fan and at least with GPU fans you can turn them down.
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 10:41:04 PM

jmsellars1 said:
Looks like it D:

Anyway, i think most cards will be quiet enough so long as you don't turn the fans up. Most of the noise from a noisy system usually comes from 1 noisy fan and at least with GPU fans you can turn them down.

Wow, this is getting kinda spooky 0.o! lol.
June 24, 2011 10:56:24 PM

Lol it does get pretty hot here but pretty cold aswell..im frozen to my keyboard atm xD

Alright so thats sorted..Now. I have:
8Gb's of 1333MHz RAM (2x4Gb)
i5-2400
1x500Gb SATA 6/G Hdd
HD5750
600W Corsair
Intel H67 Gardendale

I heard jmsellars say something about faster RAM/Hdd :p 
Thanks to you geniuses I've saved quite alot so now I'm wondering where to go from here. I was actually thinking of keeping One Hdd for OS and One for app installs+a lil temporary storage..Should I 320x2 instead :? or same at more cache?
-lost-
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 11:14:12 PM

Cache does not really matter. Do they have the Spinpoint F3 over there?
June 24, 2011 11:21:08 PM

Not at this specific store no...and I'm trying to get everything from 1 store...I'm sure I could nit pick and get x from this store and y from this store but shipping gets expensive over 3/4 companies and I'd rather spend it on something worthwhile. Plus getting everything from one store seems neater :>

As far as using 1 HD for OS and 1 for app's will this add to speed anyhow?
And I've ordered 2 sticks of:
http://www.ikonicit.co.za/memory-en/ddr3/corsair-cmv4gx...

Just making sure it'll work >?
June 24, 2011 11:30:58 PM

Ah lovely. Placed my order :D  Thanks a whole bunch guys You've just saved me a whole lot of stupid decisions...dunno what I'd do without you (if I could give my left nut I would :p )

God Bless both of yeh :) 
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 11:34:25 PM

Lol, I don't want your left nut... But I will take best answer! :D 
June 24, 2011 11:36:07 PM

Well I can find my left nut..U sure mate? 1 of a kind :p  jj..but can't find the Best answer button :p  where's it.
a b 4 Gaming
June 24, 2011 11:39:20 PM

It's like, in the bottom right of every post I think.
a b 4 Gaming
June 25, 2011 2:21:57 AM

I'll take your left nut :D 

P.S. The thing about the HDD's and RAM was that more RAM and a faster hard drive will help in audio situations, 7200rpm and 4GB will be enough i'm just saying that a particularly fast 7200 rpm or 10,000rpm and 8GB will be faster.
July 1, 2011 1:34:22 PM

Alright I've got my system and about to build it up....I've got a question..Running everything here completely stock...Can i keep the antec case fan permanently set to low? Will i ever overheat if i keep stuff stock? Don't want to push the fans too hard (NOISE issues). Also can I keep the graphics card fan running as slow as possible if I run everything completely stock...

Thanks :>
a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2011 1:53:55 PM

I don't see why not, to test it just see how hot everything gets while gaming (or stress testing). CPUid Hardware Monitor is a good tool for monitoring temps, Prime95 (CPU) and Furmark (GPU) are good for stress testing. The temps you are looking for are roughly:

CPU - Below 60c (Gaming) or Below 70c (Stress)
GPU - Below 80c (Gaming) or Below 90c (Stress)

Basically the maximum safe temperature on most CPU's is around 70c so you don't want to be getting that hot, the max for most GPU's is more like 100c but i'm a bit uneasy if it goes over 90-95. Remember that idle temps really don't mean a lot.
July 1, 2011 1:56:21 PM

kk Lemme quickly damage a few components while putting it together and see if it works :>

Thanks (*)
July 3, 2011 9:44:26 PM

Ok i got delayed with the build...But i decided to face my fears like a man :>
Then i tried to get started. Open the case. and attempt fitting my PSU in.

Should the fan be facing up or down
The case has a top mounted psu (Antec sonata proto)
PSU: Corsair gs600

:?
a b 4 Gaming
July 4, 2011 9:25:39 PM

Pretty sure you can mount it however you want so long as you don't block the fan. For a top mounted PSU you will probably need the fan facing down.
July 6, 2011 9:08:15 PM

Up and running with no glitches whatsoever. Thanks alot you guys. Just a slight snag...the cpu cooler fan is a bit noisy..bearable but it really isn't what i was aiming for. I set the Gfx fan to lowest while busy with audio..and up while gaming and the PSU is nearly inaudible. same applies to the antec case fan (Antec case helps alot)

So I was looking for a lil help. Do i need an entire new cooler or just a new fan for it?

If a new cooler. I'm on a tight budget was looking at perhaps a Zalman CNPS7000C-Cu as shown:

http://www.ikonicit.co.za/cooling-and-modding/cpu-cooli...

Keep in mind I'm aiming for acoustics. NOT performance.
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2011 9:24:37 PM

Just turn the CPU fan down in the BIOS, that should make it a lot quieter. If that doesn't work, Zalman are usually a good choice for quiet systems so yeah that cooler should be quiet.
July 6, 2011 9:27:10 PM

Will it automatically turn up again if need be? I don't wanna choke it if it requires air
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2011 9:30:11 PM

It depends which setting you use, there should be one for static speed and one for a dynamic speed. (Theyre called different things on different motherboards.) On mine you can either choose a fan level from 1-9 or give it a target temperature. If you can find the target temperature bit and set it to about 50-55c you should be ok. To be honest though, if youre not overclocking and you have a relatively decent case it will probably be ok on some of the lowest settings.
July 6, 2011 9:35:09 PM

Ok besides going into the bios at startup..is there another application i can use? That bios does really scare me sometimes I hate it :(  If i must. I will. as a last resort :p 
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2011 9:38:01 PM

Think you can do it in speedfan but i would just use the BIOS if i were you. It's going to be a lot more reliable.
July 6, 2011 10:23:28 PM

Bugger. That isn't going to work :p  it's only running at like 20% and as silent as can be
Now what? Fan/Fan+new cooler
Suggestions?
a b 4 Gaming
July 6, 2011 11:06:16 PM

If youre sure that it's the CPU fan that is the noisy thing then yeah i'd suggest a new cooler. I dont think you can replace the fan on the stock cooler.
July 7, 2011 8:36:01 AM

Do you have any suggestions as to the cooler I should get? i5 2400 (zalman cooler preferably - stock availability)

Need something quiet
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2011 2:38:42 PM

To be honest i think all Zalman's are geared toward low noise. One thing to look out for though, look for coolers with a single, large fan and a low rpm. Bigger fans have to spin less to generate the same airflow so they create less noise.
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2011 2:44:46 PM

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

They all look like they would be pretty quiet, just depends on your budget. Think that list would probably get gradually quieter as it gets more expensive.

EDIT: Argh sorry for the Newegg links, forgot you were in South Africa.
July 7, 2011 2:58:36 PM

Lol na its kewl I can get those zalmans for a decent price (Was leaning towards the Cnps 7000 in any case :> lol)

Jeez that scythe thing looks like a monster o0 no thanks :p 

Alright I guess that sorts out everything. :> Thanks so much JM You've been a terrific help and my first build has turned out nothing short of spectacular :) 

May you be blessed in all your endeavours :) 
Peace - out
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2011 6:29:37 PM

No problem, good luck with the new system. :) 

P.S. I'll expect to receive your left nut in the post soon :D 
July 7, 2011 6:31:38 PM

You've got mail :D 
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