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Hardware advice

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September 7, 2011 12:44:19 AM

:hello: 

It's been a while since I built my own computer so I am looking for some hardware advice.

I have decided that I want to use this motherboard: EVGA 160-SB-E689-K2

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

I am mainly going to use the computer for programming (Visual Studio, MATLAB etc.). I also have a huge photo and video collection so I am also going to use the computer for video/photo editing.

Things that are important to me:

1. Applications open fast and minimal lag when switching between applications
2. Lots of app space
3. Lots of data space
4. Fast data accesss (ram, hard drive)
5. Fast screen updates (graphics card)

My budget is somewhere between $1000 and $1300

So I am looking for somebody who can fill in the blanks for me:


1. Motherboard: EVGA 160-SB-E689-K2
2. CPU: ____?____
3. 16GB RAM:____?____
4. O/S Hard Drive: ____?____
5. APP Hard Drive: ____?____
6. Data Hard Drive(s): ____?____
7. Graphics Card: ____?____
8. Casing: ____?____
9. CPU Cooler: ____?____
10. Optional: Cooler for casing: ____?____
11. DVD Burner: ____?____

Thank you :) 

More about : hardware advice

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 7, 2011 2:53:14 AM

The motherboard you chose is specifically designed for multiple GPU gaming. I see no reason to buy it otherwise, as the rest of the features are just average. It's too large a percentage of your total budget.

Will you overclock?

What monitor resolution and how many?

Is this an office environment or home? Is there a network with a router?


September 7, 2011 11:01:33 AM

Ok, which motherboard do you recommend then?

I would like to overclock.

I have one monitor (Dell SR2220L, HDMI)

I will use the computer at home.

I have a network with a router (wireless).

Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
September 7, 2011 11:14:13 AM

Based on what you plan to use your build for, it seems like you would benefit from using a Z68 motherboard, 60GB SSD and 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 HDD and make use of the SSD Caching/Intel SRT. (You could add another SpinPoint and run RAID0 if you wanted more than 1TB storage space).

i5-2500k is a solid recommended CPU
6950/GTX 560Ti is probably your best GPU choice on your budget.
8GB of RAM i would expect to be enough, you can always add another 8GB if you really have to.
OS - Windows 7 64-Bit, Home or Professional.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 7, 2011 1:08:13 PM

Very solid $850 build there.

One thing id change though, get 1600MHz RAM not 1333MHz the price difference is so minor its worth paying a little extra for XMP.
September 7, 2011 1:11:04 PM

AdrianPerry said:
Very solid $850 build there.

One thing id change though, get 1600MHz RAM not 1333MHz the price difference is so minor its worth paying a little extra for XMP.


Yeah, it really is. The author frequents toms too.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
September 7, 2011 6:53:05 PM

That's a gaming build not a programming build.


Here is a parts list for you:

  • ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
  • GIGABYTE GV-N450D3-1GI GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    This is an inexpensive CUDA enabled card that will meet all your needs, plus some games.

  • CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML16GX3M4A1600C9B
    Fast RAM, in a 16GB kit.

  • ASRock Z68M/USB3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    USB 3 and SATA 6GB/s. Yes, you could do some SSD caching on your HDD, but you can squeeze in a larger SSD, a better plan.

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
    You may have access to professional discounts on this... but I include it here.

  • COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...
    Keep the CPU cool and overclock as desired.

  • Kingston HyperX SH100S3B/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (HyperX Upgrade Kit)
    Very well reviewed new SSD, from a good company with support. 120GB will probably handle all your applications.

  • Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC "Compatible with Core ...
    This is an adequate PSU, a bit overkill for your power needs but a good price with the case.

  • Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm ...

  • Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
    4 cores, 8 threads I don't know how CPU intensive compiling is these days, perhaps this is overkill, perhaps not.

  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    A good large drive for all your projects and media files.

  • Newegg Promotional Gift Card - $15.00
    You get the card with the CPU

    TOTAL: $1,254.92
    September 15, 2011 1:32:33 PM

    @ Proximon : So I bought the hardware you suggested and assembled the computer. The computer is running nicely, but I have a few corrections:

    The RAM module you suggested contains 4 x 4GB but there are only 2 slots on the motherboard so I am only able to install 8GB...

    The CPU cooler is HUGE and it took me some time to install it. I accidently installed it vertically instead of horizontally which resulted in no room for the graphics card. So I had to uninstall it and rotate it. My fault but I just wanted to share this.

    I installed Windows 7 Home on the PC. By default the processor was running at 1600Mhz, so I clocked it up to 3600Mhz using the software utility that comes with the motherboard.

    Only issue I see is the mouse "stuttering"..When I move the mouse pointer from one side of the screen to the other side, the mouse pointer will make sudden halts and then move again (even though I am moving the mouse). It is really annoying. I think it might be related to the quality of the mouse (going to buy a better one). When the mouse pointer "stutters" I hear the audio being distorted as well. So then again..it might not be the mouse...Any tips on this one?

    The fans are really noisy so I guess I have to get used to that.

    Other than that..Thank you for the advice!

    a c 113 B Homebuilt system
    September 15, 2011 8:14:52 PM

    I'm so sorry about the RAM. That's a huge mistake and one I normally don't make. You probably need 16GB also? Normally I don't expect a build I present to just be jumped on quite so fast.

    The processor was probably just throttled down. It has idle mode and turbo mode, and stages in-between. The way to test it would be to use Real Temp, CPU-Z, and Prime95 together. Then you will see the full picture. Ideally you would have a turbo mode around 4.4Ghz, which is still a conservative overclock. But of course all CPUs vary.

    With new hardware I am seeing that Win 7 sometimes misses USB drivers. It doesn't get everything installed and doesn't tell you about it. For that reason, on new hardware released after Win 7, I normally use the CD that came with the board and make sure I have all the board drivers.

    Start menu-computer-r.click and properties to get to device manager. Under USB controllers you should have 10 or more items. Less than that points to this problem.

    A defective mouse or USB port could cause this as well.

    You can safely replace your fans with less noisy ones. You do not need quite so much air flow. Mid speed Yate loons are cheap and quiet, but do tend to get louder after a year or so.
    http://www.jab-tech.com/YATE-LOON-120mm-Case-Fan-D12SM-...

    Or control the voltage to the fans you have so that they don't run at full speed.

    Again, sorry about the RAM. That's the worst mistake in about two years... Last one was a motherboard with heatsinks so high the buyer couldn't get his fingers under the cooler to install it, on an AMD build.
    September 15, 2011 10:22:02 PM

    Thank you.

    The 2TB drive seems to have some problems...

    Windows reported it and WDs own tool states a FAIL for "Re-Allocated Sector Count"

    I am running WDs tool now (Quick Scan) to see what it finds..
    September 18, 2011 1:52:24 AM

    System is up and running. I had to return the 2TB drive and get a replacement because it didn't work.

    The audio/video/mouse stuttering issue was caused by the wireless PCI card.

    I figured it out because whenever I started a browser and generated network traffic the mouse would halt and the audio would stutter.

    So I disabled the network card and the issue was gone.

    Don't buy Linksys WMP600N Wireless-N PCI Card with Dual-Band
    !