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New pc for family... thoughts?

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August 26, 2011 12:30:52 AM

Looking to build a new system and retire our existing Dell to the basement and wonder what you guys think of the following. Here are a few of the objectives that I have:

Uses- surfing the internet, converting videos from camcorder to DVDs, streaming video wirelessly to blue ray player

Budget- $500- $600 with OS

Desires- fast on the internet, able to configure so that if malware/ virus is picked up not having to reload everything on the hard drive. [my wife does a lot of surveys and at times is probably going to sites/ downloading plug-ins that are suspect?]

Here is what was suggested at MicorCenter:

Mother Board- MSi H67MA-E45
CPU- Intel I3 2100
RAM- Pny 8GB 4x2 DDR3 133D
HD- Hitachi 1.5TB 7200 SATA
HD- OCZ 60GB SSD
Power- Coolmast 500W Extreme V3 ATX
Case- Coolmast HAF912 ATX
Drive- LineOn 24x SATA DVDRW
OS- WinXP Home 64


I am not sure of the benefit of the SSD, and if it would be better to jsut have another small drive for the OS and programs and maybe put that money towards something else?

More about : family thoughts

a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 1:49:21 AM

I think that case is a bit noisy and pricey for a family system, the PSU has way too much power and you can get a better quality one for pretty much the same price. With the SSD, i think OCZ are known more for speed than reliability and i think this kind of system calls for more reliability.

I do however think a SSD is an excellent idea for this sort of system, it will feel a lot faster.

This would be my suggestion:

i3-2100
8GB G.Skill Value Series 1333Mhz
ASRock H61M-VS
Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB (With McAfee AV 2011 free)
Crucial M4 64GB
Seasonic SS-300ET 300W
Fractal Design Core 1000
LITEON DVD Burner
Windows 7 Home Premium

Total - $617.90 before shipping. (Prices from www.newegg.com)

Touch over the budget but i that system would be smaller, much quieter and more reliable. Bit more storage space too.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 1:54:23 AM

1. Do you NEED the SSD? Its just a lot faster than a normal HDD and only useful for keeping the OS or two/three softwares in it. My i3 build with a 7200rpm SATA 3.0GB/s HDD boots (Win7) in approx 10 seconds.

2. CoolerMaster is a great manufacturer of cooling systems, but not PSUs. A Antec, Corsair, Seasonic is more reliable than a CM or Rosewill one.

Here's a build that I suggested someone else with a similar budget yesterday :

Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - Dual Core - 65W - 32nm LGA1155 Sandy Bridge - $124.99
Motherboard : ASRock H61-M GE - $69.99
Graphics Card : Sapphire Raedon HD 6850 1GB - GDDR5 - $149.99
RAM : Corsair 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz Dual-Channel Memory - $45.99
Storage : Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s - $59.99
Optical Drive : LG DVD R/W - $19.99
PSU : Corsair CX500 V2 500W - $49.99
Case : Your Choice - Rosewill Backbone Plastic/Steel ATX Mid Tower - $39.99

Total : $560 after rebates. (newegg) You might get some Combo's.

I chose that board because it has 4 RAM dimms unlike the other H61 boards. This is a gaming build. So if your family members don't game, then you can cut the costs by getting a cheaper GPU or using the inbuilt HD 2000.
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August 26, 2011 3:24:29 AM

Thanks for the suggestions and the comments.

A few questions initially come to mind and center around the mention of stability and reliability which is what I really want here. I will never hear the end of it if there are issues with a home-built vs another store bought:

First with the Motherboard, how does ASRock compare to say Asus or MSi?

Also, given that I do not foresee any gaming is there any advantage of sticking with the Intel vs and AMD CPU?

Is a separate graphics card needed if I am just using a 21" monitor?

Appreciate all the insight, comments, suggestions!


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August 26, 2011 11:53:17 AM

If there is no gaming then the amd would suffice oh yeah asrock is the same with asus. Most of the time you don't really mind the mobo especially if you're not planning on doing anything special. You could actually just get the cheapest AMD dual core with the cheapest graphics and you still win
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 1:02:16 PM

ASRock are probably one of the most trusted motherboard manufacturers, i'd say more so than MSI. This is partly because they are run by ASUS which is probably THE most trusted one.

The i3-2100 has a good price/performance ratio, the integrated graphics on it are good for HD movies and stuff too. A cheap AMD CPU would suffice in terms of processing but you would want a GPU for Blu Ray and stuff then. The i3 would use less power than cheap Athlon or Phenom + GPU.

So long as youre not gaming i think the integrated graphics on that i3 would drive any size/res monitor or TV and be fine for HD etc.

Good call too on wanting reliability, that is the reason i picked most of the parts up there. Seasonic are probably the most reliable PSU manufacturer there is and the Crucial M4 is definitely one one of the more reliable SSD's. ASRock, G.Skill and Samsung are also recommended a lot by people around here for motherboards, RAM and Hard Drives respectively.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2011 2:37:15 PM

jmsellars1 said:
ASRock are probably one of the most trusted motherboard manufacturers, i'd say more so than MSI.

Disagree twice here. AsRock is the equivalent of "Asus on a budget". I'd also say that, in general, MSI builds a better motherboard.

jmsellars1 said:
This is partly because they are run by ASUS which is probably one of THE most trusted ones.

AsRock used to be the Asus budget brand. It was spun off from Asus in 2002.
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August 26, 2011 9:31:35 PM

So then what would be a good equivalent mother board to use and why?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2011 1:14:15 AM

^^

Asus or Gigabyte H61.

Or, if you trust intel, then DH61WW. (a lot of pieces are faulty, I had to RMA mine, too)
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2011 1:12:25 PM

Well theres no definite way to decide that one company is always better than another in this type of thing anyway, you just go on opinions of people you know, reviews and bits of personal experience. The ASRock P67/Z68 Extreme4's get recommended a lot for high end systems and personally i have always had ASRock boards with the exception of one Foxconn board that failed within a few months, i then went back to ASRock and they have never failed me.

Apologies if i sounded like i was generalising too much or that i didn't have all of my facts right, i wouldn't think twice about going with an MSI board and i'm sure that either ASRock or MSI would be fine.
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August 27, 2011 1:25:23 PM

008Rohit said:
1. Do you NEED the SSD? Its just a lot faster than a normal HDD and only useful for keeping the OS or two/three softwares in it. My i3 build with a 7200rpm SATA 3.0GB/s HDD boots (Win7) in approx 10 seconds.

2. CoolerMaster is a great manufacturer of cooling systems, but not PSUs. A Antec, Corsair, Seasonic is more reliable than a CM or Rosewill one.

Here's a build that I suggested someone else with a similar budget yesterday :

Processor : Intel Core i3 2100 - Dual Core - 65W - 32nm LGA1155 Sandy Bridge - $124.99
Motherboard : ASRock H61-M GE - $69.99
Graphics Card : Sapphire Raedon HD 6850 1GB - GDDR5 - $149.99
RAM : Corsair 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz Dual-Channel Memory - $45.99
Storage : Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s - $59.99
Optical Drive : LG DVD R/W - $19.99
PSU : Corsair CX500 V2 500W - $49.99
Case : Your Choice - Rosewill Backbone Plastic/Steel ATX Mid Tower - $39.99

Total : $560 after rebates. (newegg) You might get some Combo's.

I chose that board because it has 4 RAM dimms unlike the other H61 boards. This is a gaming build. So if your family members don't game, then you can cut the costs by getting a cheaper GPU or using the inbuilt HD 2000.



Why that Graphics Card. He could do with a 6770 instead :non: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2011 1:48:23 PM

^^

Ever heard of "personal preferences", my dear friend?
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August 27, 2011 10:36:23 PM

Thanks for all the input so far, I really appreciate the help and the insight.

I was just reading on another thread about this board and wonder how it would stack up to the MSi that was originally spec'd? Z68 Pro3-M Socket 1155 Z68 mATX

I am not so much looking to try to 'future proof' and buy more than I need, but have found that I tend to end up being what I would call a late adopter of computer technology and can foresee that down the road adding either more RAM, another drive or such. Also, it looks like both of these allow for using the onboard video so in the future I could upgrade that as well? And what is a 6770?

Decision, decision.... :- )
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2011 11:49:32 PM

As much as I like the i3-2100, on that limited of a budget I wouldn't trust built-in video on the H67 motherboards. Have you considered the AMD A8 APU series?
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August 28, 2011 2:20:03 AM

I have not, as I went off from what the local MicroCenter advised, and I am open for suggestions!
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2011 5:44:05 AM

57vroom said:
I have not, as I went off from what the local MicroCenter advised, and I am open for suggestions!


Microcenter is kind of sketchy since they re-sell a lot of used and returned merchandise. Go with Newegg, their website is the best for product reviews and suggestions.

Yes, I think the AMD A8 would more than suit your needs, I haven't used it yet but the graphics on it are Radeon-based, and they're far superior to the Intel integrated HD graphics.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2011 6:35:06 AM

You'd be fine with a H61 board. No need of a Z68.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2011 10:46:56 AM

g-unit1111 said:
As much as I like the i3-2100, on that limited of a budget I wouldn't trust built-in video on the H67 motherboards. Have you considered the AMD A8 APU series?


The integrated video we are talking about is on the i3.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2011 2:46:25 PM

2378272,18,794326 said:
The integrated video we are talking about is on the i3.[/
quotemsg]
Exactly.
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August 28, 2011 3:36:46 PM

Is there a problem with the integrated video on the i3? Again this is just gonna be a family PC and the most taxing aspect for video i would think is converting our existing Tapes to DVD?

I did look at newegg systems and cannot see the forest from the trees.... there are so many choices on both the intel and amd side that I cannot tell what is good/ what is needed/ what is overkill..... As for Microcenter, I was thinking having them local would be a benefit if there are issues with components? Maybe not....?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2011 4:08:23 PM

Intel HD 2000 Graphics is totally fine. It can even run games like FIFA 11 at medium settings at 1366x768.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2011 6:25:17 PM

^ Agree, the graphics on the i3 is plenty for you.
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August 30, 2011 3:53:01 AM

Yeah from what I have also been picking up on other threads I am sure the i3 will work. Of all the discussion so far on MOB, is there a particular set that will run fast or more stable or are they all equal and it comes down to brand pref and the number of slots?

Also, what will be the bottle neck in this system if I do not go SSD right now and what can be done other than SSD?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2011 4:04:40 AM

Specific chipsets have specific features. You just need to choose the one thats suits you. They don't have any impact on the performance of the PC in reality. An i5 2500K will perform the same oj a H61 board as on a Z68 one.

SSD is still pretty costly. Normal HDDs are enough unless you're a performance freak!
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2011 1:57:05 PM

I disagree on the SSD bit, i think they are great in this type of system. Crazy high end CPU's and RAM aren't going to make the desktop and basic applications feel much faster but i think a SSD would make a big difference. Thats just opinion though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2011 2:06:51 PM

Still, $185 for a 120GB SSD is too much IMO. They're good on Z68 boards as they can be used as Cache of the Hard Disk(s) on those boards.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 3, 2011 2:55:47 PM

^^

You can get better components for a similar price.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 3, 2011 6:16:12 PM

Yeah it lacks dual channel RAM and the PSU/Case/RAM are probably questionable, not that it matters too much with the case but it does with the PSU and RAM. Still looks ok for the price though, especially for a prebuilt.
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September 8, 2011 3:49:19 AM

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