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Last minute changes - New build

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September 23, 2011 4:05:30 PM

Guys, I wanted to run through the config with more experienced modders (I am a newbie at building), to see if I needed to change anything:

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: 600 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: software development, watching videos, development server, light gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, any software including OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, tigerdirect, any other site that ships in US

Country of Origin: US

1. LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
Item #: N82E16827106289
$19.99
2. SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
$59.99
3. SAPPHIRE 100338L Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814102941
$109.99
4. Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817371031
$69.99
5. G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT
Item #: N82E16820231422
$44.99
6. AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX bundled with: 1x ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
$207
Total cost comes out to be $513, and this does not include the case yet. I want some help about the specs that I have chosen. Could you guys please have a look - does this seems okay?

Additional Comments:
CPU: I was deciding b/w these the X4 955, and X4 965 processors. Both cost essentially the same.
MOBO: Besides the ASUS one I mentioned, I also found this ASROCK processor interesting. Does an ASROCK mobo match upto ASUS?
Graphics card: Do you have a better suggestion? Its just that I dont want to spend too much in a Video card, since this isn't a going to be a gaming rig
Case: Have not selected one yet. Would be great if someone could suggest something.

Finally, I am trying to keep this thing below $600, so any suggestions are very welcome, and appreciated. Thanks.

More about : minute build

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September 23, 2011 6:19:03 PM
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This is very similar internally to the Antec Neo Eco, but I believe some of the components are higher quality; notice it has an 80Plus Bronze certification vs the standard certification for the Neo Eco - the Neo Eco was probably quite close to getting bronze level efficiency, but due to the slightly lower grade components didn't quite, plus it doesn't have that $3 shipping charge, comes with a power cord and I think the packaging is a bit more robust:
Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620 80Plus Bronze $70 ($20 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you're only ever going to be running GPUs of the calibre of 6770s then you could use a ~400W unit and still be immensely comfortable, so there is room to save there if you wish.

The $15 off promo code on the 965 would seem to make it the winner. Unless the combo saving on the 955 is significant. Altho I think the 965 comes in a combo with the same Asus mobo.

I spotted this, but don't know much about it:
Diablotek CPA-A95BK $80 ($10 shipping)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It looks quite promising to me if that's the style you'd like.

Lian Li Lancool PC-K58 $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lian Li Lancool PC-K7B $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lian Li PC-7FN $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill have some good cases between $60 and $100.
September 23, 2011 8:08:20 PM

Quote:
This is very similar internally to the Antec Neo Eco, but I believe some of the components are higher quality; notice it has an 80Plus Bronze certification vs the standard certification for the Neo Eco - the Neo Eco was probably quite close to getting bronze level efficiency, but due to the slightly lower grade components didn't quite, plus it doesn't have that $3 shipping charge, comes with a power cord and I think the packaging is a bit more robust:
Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620 80Plus Bronze $70 ($20 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371048


PSU: Damn! I think it was on sale yesterday. I missed it :( 
However, if you think that in the current config, a 620W is an overkill, I can go a bit lower. Its just that I dont want to throttle the system due to lack of power. And yes, that might help in saving some bucks. However I dont want to go below 500W, since that might hinder any future enhancements.

CPU/mobo combo: The 965BE and 955BE combos with this ASUS mobo are more or less the same price. I can get the 965BE - costs roughly the same
Does the ASUS mobo looks okay? This mobo has only 1 expansion slot (PCI Express). do you see this as a problem? I am not too much into future-proofing it - I'd rather replace it when I need to. So I thought I dont need an AM3+ socket.
Another mobo that I liked was this ASROCK one

Case: Just looking into the cases you sent. Will update in a few minutes.

Do you see any conflict with the build components above?
Thanks a lot for suggestions.
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September 23, 2011 10:17:45 PM

There is a 520W version of the HCG. There is a 530W Rosewill Green unit, which is fairly well regarded.

I think your strategy of just replacing the GPU when you need to is a perfectly good idea.

From your wording it sounds like you think that AM3+ motherboard are all dual PCIe slot, which is not true as there are some boards that only have one PCIe slot. AM3+ is about guaranteed support for Bulldozer/Zambezi CPUs and supporting all the features (such as more advanced power saving technology) that they contain.
So if you want the option to be able to install all future AM3+ CPUs and take advantage of whatever, currently unknown, extra features they support then it might be a good idea to buy an AM3+ motherboard.
Another advantage the Asrock Pro3 890GX AM3+ is that it has an UEFI bios.
If you don't want all that then the Asus board is fine.

No conflicts that I can see.
October 8, 2011 3:47:17 AM

Silvune said:
There is a 520W version of the HCG. There is a 530W Rosewill Green unit, which is fairly well regarded.

I think your strategy of just replacing the GPU when you need to is a perfectly good idea.

From your wording it sounds like you think that AM3+ motherboard are all dual PCIe slot, which is not true as there are some boards that only have one PCIe slot. AM3+ is about guaranteed support for Bulldozer/Zambezi CPUs and supporting all the features (such as more advanced power saving technology) that they contain.
So if you want the option to be able to install all future AM3+ CPUs and take advantage of whatever, currently unknown, extra features they support then it might be a good idea to buy an AM3+ motherboard.
Another advantage the Asrock Pro3 890GX AM3+ is that it has an UEFI bios.
If you don't want all that then the Asus board is fine.

No conflicts that I can see.


Thanks for the info - was really helpful. I went to my research for one last time and finally got the following components:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
DVD Writer: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B

For the PSU, I am looking at this Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply, mostly because its being given for $55 on sale. Do you think this is a good deal?
Are there any visible conflicts with this PSU and the components I bought? Specifically, I saw that the mobo I got has a 24-pin ATX main power connector, while this PSU has a (20+4pin) connector. Is this going to be an issue?

I agree that the wattage might be an overkill, even if I add a decent 1GB graphics card to my build, that I plan to buy soon. I was only looking to get this as this looks like a good deal - I a getting smaller wattage PSUs at almost the same price. Thanks a lot for help. Its been really great talking with pros :) 

October 8, 2011 2:41:20 PM

tech_coder said:
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R

For the PSU, I am looking at this Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply, mostly because its being given for $55 on sale. Do you think this is a good deal?
Are there any visible conflicts with this PSU and the components I bought? Specifically, I saw that the mobo I got has a 24-pin ATX main power connector, while this PSU has a (20+4pin) connector. Is this going to be an issue?

I agree that the wattage might be an overkill, even if I add a decent 1GB graphics card to my build, that I plan to buy soon. I was only looking to get this as this looks like a good deal - I a getting smaller wattage PSUs at almost the same price. Thanks a lot for help. Its been really great talking with pros :) 

Yes the Antec Earthwatts Green EA-650 is a good deal. A 20+4pin PSU/motherboard connector, just means that it is compatible not only with current/modern motherboards, but also older (much older) motherboards that only had a 20pin connector, so no issue there.

I don't know if you have any plans to add an aftermarket CPU cooler either for the purpose of overclocking or quietening down your computer in the future, but the Vengeance sets with tall heatspreaders would definitely restrict your choices.
This is not the end of the world because there are plenty of good coolers which won't interfere with RAM slots, but considering that tall heatspreaders these days are unnecessary I would personally want a set that is less likely to pose this kind of problem.
So unless you know categorically that you will never want to install an aftermarket tower heatsink then I would suggest one of these sets:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) CAS9 1.5V F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL $52
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
~25mm tall versus ~44mm tall for Vengeance.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) CAS9 1.5V F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL $52
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) CAS9 1.5V CML8GX3M2A1600C9B $52
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Have you decided on a case yet?
October 9, 2011 4:26:31 PM

Silvune said:
I don't know if you have any plans to add an aftermarket CPU cooler either for the purpose of overclocking or quietening down your computer in the future, but the Vengeance sets with tall heatspreaders would definitely restrict your choices....
This is not the end of the world because there are plenty of good coolers which won't interfere with RAM slots, but considering that tall heatspreaders these days are unnecessary I would personally want a set that is less likely to pose this kind of problem.


Wow! I'd never have guessed that. Seems that research can never be enough. But yes I'll return the sticks I already got and get one of those you suggested. Probably GSkill.

Silvune said:
Have you decided on a case yet?


Yeah among the ones you suggested I am looking at these 2. Basically I dont know what features I should be looking for. I need to put it on the floor, so I guess washable dust filters should be good. Apart from that, the weight of the case (aluminium/steel), if it has enough space for the wiring... Also the one thing I noticed was that some cases put the PSU on the top, and others put it at the bottom. No clue as to how it could affect the build, in terms of getting the heat out of the box. It would be great if the box is a low-noise one.

Diablotek CPA-A95BK Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Aluminium case, has got Dust filters, and has got good points from a testing site (dunno how reliable the site is), and is not too expensive


LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Great reviews, in my budget

I can get either one of them. Would like to hear your views.

...
With this done, I am off to looking at the Graphics card for the build. My requirements are pretty low on this one. I am sure I wont be playing games at all (for that I have a monster i7 with an nvidia card at disposal). So I was looking to spend around $50-60 on this - mostly to be able to tie a dual screen, and be able to get decent animations, multimedia, movies.
I am looking at the Radeon 5000 series. What do you think?

Thanks for bearing with me, again..
October 9, 2011 10:49:55 PM

The criticisms that I have of that Diablotek now that I've seen that review include:
The rear fan hole looks very restrictive - which might cause the fan to have to work harder to get the air out of the case, thus spinning faster, thus being noisier.

The review didn't mention anything about what size of CPU cooler could fit. However they had installed a Noctua NH-U9B, which is 125mm tall. If that is the limit (or close to the limit) of what it can take then again you would be restricted in your choice of tower CPU cooler. You could of course go for a down blowing/low profile heatsink virtually without restriction tho.
A reviewer at another site (OC3D.net) always says that if the case has a 120mm fan in the rear then it can fit coolers up to 160mm.

If the case is to be placed on the floor then the front panel USB ports/speaker/headphone/power buttons aren't in the most convenient location for most people.

Relatively small number of HDD bays.

It does look like it has good cable management tho.

Most people these days prefer bottom mounted PSUs as this means they don't have to deal with the heat from the rest of the system. If you have a relatively low power build then this probably isn't as much of a concern.
Sometimes with top mounted PSUs it can be harder to remove them when the system is installed if anything goes wrong.

The major criticism that I could see of the K7 is that is doesn't have a cutout in the motherboard tray for installing CPU coolers, so you would have to remove the motherboard if installing a CPU cooler after the initial build.

I think I personally would choose the K7. Admittedly this is probably because of a slight bias on my part; I have recently bought a Lian Li case for myself and there are few Lian Li designs that I have seen (not in person) which I don't like.

The 5570 (43W TDP) is the most powerful AMD card (if not for both manufacturers) that I could see in the $50-60 price range. But I also think the 6450 (27W TDP), GT 430(49W TDP) and the GT 240 (70W TDP) would be good choices as well.

You should be aware of display connectivity when choosing the particular card. Ideally you would get one which natively supports the connectors of the displays that you have or plan to get. Otherwise you could use adapters.
October 22, 2011 11:27:25 PM

Thanks for the reply. I have got the K7 box and Sapphire 5570, cost me $60 bucks. Now off to piecing the parts together. All in all the system cost me $650(This includes around $60 worth of 1 year warranties on different parts). Below are the specs I got:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

Mobo:GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) CAS9 1.5V F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

DVD Writer:LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Box: LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card


Thanks a lot for help. Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
October 22, 2011 11:48:38 PM

Best answer selected by tech_coder.
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