I’m finally getting around to building a new machine and I’m discovering things have changed enough that I’m now lost on the config for a few items. Suggestions appreciated. I plan to start ordering parts within the next day or two.
How I use the system:
70% General purpose (including online flash games for the kid)
20% Video (XBMC)
But that will change with the new machine (kid getting older, I have more time for games etc), so by winter I expect the distribution to be something like
50% General purpose
I’m also on a budget (would like to keep everything under $850 for now). I plan to upgrade the video later so for now I’m just keeping my old card (nVidia GT220). I’d like to update to something more impressive (which isn’t saying much given the current card) but that won’t happen until the fall.
I also plan to overclock but again, not until fall. Right now I just don’t have the time to do it and there’s hardly a point with the current GPU).
(I realize I don’t need it now but it’s fairly easy to install now and not worry about later when I get around to overclocking)
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
(This is also one where I’m lost. Below is the original plan, but suggestions welcome)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBXH http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$65 (after $15 promo code)
Various things that plug in (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc) are all holdovers so no need to burn money there.
TOTAL INITIAL OUTLAY = $827.
PSU - The Corsair Builder Series CX600 seemed like a decent PSU but as I’ve read more I’m getting concerned that I won’t have enough power once I upgrade the GPU. I don’t know what the final GPU will be (won’t decide until I look at price/performance at the time) but either 1 screamer or more likely 2 slightly lower models (if I was doing it today, maybe Radeon HD 6850 1GB in Crossfire or GeForce GTX 460 1 GB in SLI). That suggests I’m way underpowered but it seems that the last TH system build marathon supported 2 6850s on a 650w PSU so maybe I’m close?
RAM - I initially picked the RAM based on price, latency and size (8GB seemed nice and roomy). Once again, as I dug deeper I realized I didn’t know what I was talking about. I read on Proximon’s “A Guide to Choosing Computer Parts” post that Sandy Bridge/P67 combos might place a higher premium on frequency rather than latency. I also looked around and everyone seemed to be suggesting 4GB for a build in this range so maybe 8GB is overkill? On the other hand, everyone else is worried about buying the GPU. I’m not. I’m going to stick with the old GT220 until fall then drop a few hundred on something nice.
Other Components - I'm much more comfortable with the rest of my selection but if someone has suggestions, I’ll listen (or read, technically, but whatever).
A few other notes:
I typically keep a machine for 4-5 years so I want something that will last (probably not going to want to save money on the CPU).
I realize the half-now/half-later build approach is odd but the inlaws’ PC is dying now so if I give them my old machine now, I have an excuse to build a new machine now - unfortunately I don’t have the cash for the GPUs I want yet.
I prefer ordering from Amazon since I have a Prime membership there (free, fast shipping) but I'll order from newegg.com as well.
This should be a nice enough PSU for you. XFX Core Pro650W $89.99 ( $59.99 after rebate )
Will easily run 6850 and pretty much any single GPU graphics card on the market.
Memory is cheap these days and the difference between 1600Mhz and 1333Mhz in both price and performance is small, so basically either one works. 8GB will mean that you won't have to upgrade for a while at least
But for 3 bucks more get this one instead: Gskill sniper 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $67.99
Thanks. The PSU and RAM reading I've been doing here had left my mind melting.
I'm a bit confused about the HDD suggestion. You describe the Samsung as "Cheaper, faster, more reliable".
More reliable? I don't have any data but I'll give you that it's at least plausible.
Faster? This is where I get confused.
The WD model I'd planned on using is 6GB SATA and the Samsung you suggested is 3GB SATA. I had simply assumed 6GB > 3GB therefore WD > Samsung but you're suggesting it's not that simple?
(Just trying to understand. This is my first build in 5 years.)
Ok, that makes sense. It's probably the SSDs that got me off target. I was originally going to build with an SSD but couldn't pull the budget together and went with a normal HDD. Should have rethought the interface at that point.
Good to know. Now I don't feel like a complete brick...
Regarding dual card setups, that's still in the air. Although I don't game extensively I do game intensively. I tend to prefer highly demanding (graphics-wise) games and I'm really looking forward to playing real games on my PC again (as opposed to game machine). Maybe I'm getting old but I still believe if God had intended me to play games on a dedicated box it would come with a mouse, keyboard and monitor. (And many of the games I'm seriously craving are PC-only.)
I'm generally inclined to get a top-flight single card but I'm also paying attention to the TH Best Graphics Cards for the Money series and it's looking like dual-card setups are ruling the higher echelons. That may change by Christmas or it may not. I'd prefer to keep my options open.
The spec page at ASRock.com insists the mobo is up to various multi-card GPU setups (xfire and sli) so I'm thinking I'm ok there.
rvilkman suggested the XFX Core Pro650w PSU and I was content to go in that direction. Do you feel I should buy a little insurance in the form of a different PSU? If so, which one?
The mobo you have selected will definitely run SLI and Crossfire so you are good there.
The XFX 650W is enough for 6850 Crossfire, probably also 6870 Crossfire. It is also at kind of a sweet spot in price vs wattage.
It will run any single card with one GPU on it, so 6970 or GTX 580 will run on it.
If you want better future proofing a 750W psu from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic or XFX will get you to the next level, which is probably the highest you need to go, as I'm pretty sure you don't end up dropping $700+ on Video cards any time soon.
A bit off topic, but do you have any idea what you're going to be upgrading to?
Given the constant changes in GPU prices I'm not even thinking too hard about it right now.
The plan is basically to look at the TH Best Graphics Cards for the Money ( http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,... ) and decide what I can afford. And, of course what'll work with my PSU although I'm thinking if something really perfect falls into my price range and requires me to buy a new PUS I might still consider it.