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1000-1100$ System for VMs and gaming

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October 3, 2011 10:02:18 PM

Hey guys,

Approximate Purchase Date: (Tomorrow)

Budget Range: 1000-1100$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Virtual machines - test environment - 2-3 VMs at most, Gaming (BF2/3, CoD MW2/3, Crysis 1/2), Movies, Net)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I will buy everything from the local dealers. So keep in mind that prices here are well over the ones you can find in US. So if you recommend something it should be very close in price.

Country of Origin: Bulgaria

Parts Preferences: Not really.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I already chose some stuff, but it's always good to double check. Here is what I built:
Монитор - Acer S231Hlbd
MB - Asrock H61 HVS(or something similiar)
CPU - i5 2400
GPU - Gigabyte/Asus/Palit GTX 560 (without Ti)
RAM - 8 GB Kingston XMP
HDD - Samsung F3 1 TB
CASE + PSU - CM 430 ELITE + 500W (sold together)
K&M - Logitech MK260

Thanks in advance. You can completely ignore my config and assemble a new one or give me an advice whether I should change something in there.
October 3, 2011 10:34:37 PM

if they're available, get a gtx 460 (nVidia is phasing them out)
a non-ti gtx 560 is basically an overclocked gtx 460. The 460 is about $50 less in the US
October 3, 2011 10:41:57 PM

morgoth780 said:
if they're available, get a gtx 460 (nVidia is phasing them out)
a non-ti gtx 560 is basically an overclocked gtx 460. The 460 is about $50 less in the US


Yes, i can get one. Difference here is like 40$. What about 6850?
How is the rest of the config? Any recommendations?
Related resources
October 3, 2011 11:01:52 PM

whats the speed and cl of the ram? also, you may want to upgrade to i5 2500, since you should save money with gtx 460. but not the k version, since your motherboard is an h61, which is terrible for oc. you may want to go 550w, if you want to overclock the 460, and if you want to sli, probably 700w or 750w, though sli probably isn't worth it for this card unless you just do it from the beginning, which you probably could on that budget.

edit: probably not since prices are higher for you
October 3, 2011 11:06:02 PM

Well prices are higher like 20-25% more. So the build is actually around 750-800$.
Recommend a better MB if this one is not good. Keep in mind that i'm not interested in overclocking...
October 3, 2011 11:12:18 PM

h67 does have a few more ports, and would probably be worth the extra. h61 would probably be fine for you

oh, and i assume the psu is a cooler master? try to avoid those, as they tend to have more problems as opposed to antec, xfx, ocz, and seasonic. I'd consider seasonic to be the best, but they're quite a bit more expensive.
October 3, 2011 11:44:32 PM

I took a look at your build of:
Magnum AA said:

Монитор - Acer S231Hlbd
MB - Asrock H61 HVS(or something similiar)
CPU - i5 2400
GPU - Gigabyte/Asus/Palit GTX 560 (without Ti)
RAM - 8 GB Kingston XMP
HDD - Samsung F3 1 TB
CASE + PSU - CM 430 ELITE + 500W (sold together)
K&M - Logitech MK260

and i do not agree with how it is built for a VM / Gaming machine. VMs when running over 2 VMS at the at the same time will cause your build to strangle to maintain stability on that low specs so i redid your build into the following keeping some but getting rid of others. Here is the build:

1x APEVIA X-QBOII X-QBOII-NW-BK/500 Black SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
1x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
1x MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
1x Logitech Wireless Combo MK260 920-002950 Black USB RF Wireless Standard Keyboard and Mouse
2x G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
1x ASRock H61M-GE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
1x Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500
from www.newegg.com the subtotal is $829.92 before Shipping and Handling

The reason for the differnet case is it has more fans for the more heat given off. With the HDD if you are willing to wait a little bit do and get a HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 1.5TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive as it is 500,000,000 bytes bigger and it will allow for faster disk access times. The Graphics card is a GTX 560 Ti with 2GB of GDDR5 becuase VMs can eat graphics RAM like no tomorrow if you do it wrong or have to many open at a single time; the Ti part of the GTX 560 Ti Graphics card will help when playing games also and the added graphics ram might add a few fps to your play times. The RAM of only 8GB seemed alittle low so i gave my redesigned build 16GB of 4x4GB in a ASRock H61M-GE system board as the other 2 which you might have been referring to could not take 4 sticks of system RAM. The system RAM is DDR3 @ 1600MHz with CAS 8-8-8-24. The motherboard changed as i said to make sure the other parts will work. The CPU was upgraded to a i5-2500 for the extra 300MHz regularly or 400 Mhz when compareing Tubro Boost speeds.

The only other thing which i will suggest will be to check more then just 1 store before buying the parts and peices you need for the computer build.
October 4, 2011 12:34:36 AM

Thanks for advices morgoth780.

Hey yumri, thanks for the response.

Here everything is a bit more expensive as I wrote 1 post over yours :) 

Now the Ti version of 560 is kinda out of reach since its like 300$ :( 
I checked about the case you recommend but I can't find a local dealer who sells it.
G Skills also is not an option, but i will think about getting more than 8 GBs although the testing will not be that hardcore... maybe I can get away with 8 Gigs? or you think 16GBs is the clear way to go?

Anyone else care to share an opinion?
October 4, 2011 12:51:04 AM

You should be waiting for the new AMD lineup of Bulldozer if you want a VM machine, that or just a current AMD setup. VMs is more reliant on the cores, with that said the X6's (1055T or 1075T or 1090T) or waiting for the new Bulldozer FX-8xxx that have 8 cores. Those would be better served VM cpus. As the PSU, get at least a Antec Neo Eco 520w.
October 4, 2011 1:19:03 AM

fx series would probably be about the same as the i5, since it's probably going to be about 200-250, and i5 is 210, except the 200-250 is the highest end 8 core, there will be cheaper 8 cores and 6 cores
October 4, 2011 1:47:49 AM

i really recommended more then just 8GB of system RAM and at least the sum of all the VMs graphics ram allocated and the host system graphics ram recommended requirement * 1.5 for graphics RAM for the graphics RAM as it will suck if you run out of RAM while trying to do something. the CPU um really a i5-2400 will be enough if you can get away with 300MHz less for VM set ups Intel does better then AMD but on gaming AMD does better then Intel because of the integrated technologies in both chips are different. The difference will be small in gaming though but if you are doing any processor intensive stuff inside of an VM then you will need a better CPU then even a i5-2500. I did not know the 560 Ti was blowing the budget i am sorry but if you can you might want to upgrade later but that is only for a few extra chips of processing power which is all the Ti version has over the normal one. Again i really suggest more then just 8GB of system RAM as it isn't enough for 3 or more VMs of windows XP to run in a stable and speedy fashion without having 2 of them blank and only actually using 1 of the 3 VMs at a single time but then what is the purpose of having the other 2 VMs open then.

On another note AMD's Bulldozer core design will only have 8 cores as you will have 8 cores with a hyper threaded Intel CPU and most VM hosting programs support hyper threading. So the Bulldozer 8 core count will just bring it up to what the Sandy bridge core count will be for the VM. but with a note on that the AMD Bulldozer 8 core version will allow you to have 7 VMs while Sandy bridge will only allow a max of 3 on VM programs which do not support hyper threading. Either way the extra system RAM will be good to have as i max mine out with only using 2 VMs at a time on Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit.

For a OS i suggest Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and NOT to go with Windows 8 when it comes out as it still has to many problems with interface management and it is more of a consumer OS and not a Professional / Business OS design so to many bells and whistles and not enough in the design to help you out with a VM host / VM Sever. I am sorry as my build costs as much as i said on the site of www.newegg.com as of today but i am not sure if that is only for the USA or if it is true internationally.

Another thing with The 8 core Bulldozer AMD design no games which i know of even use 6 cores as of now and the only things which will will be the server stuff which you will install to get your VM host up and running if even that. So even though more cores is better for a VM Sever you also have to look at budget and analyze what will actually be used by looking at the documentation for the games which you play and for the VM software which you have. Having more then unitized core count will just be a drain on your electric bill and not help in any way form and/or fashion as the cores will not be supported. With that most VM software manufactures have a .pdf of their documentation on their support page and for games it will probably be included either on the CD/DVD, in the user manual, and/or on the manufactures product page for the game for the amount of cores which it is optimized to use at max.

In short with software Intel is usually a better choice for server software, databases, Encryption/Decryption, boot times on big operating systems, and stuff like that while AMD is better for gaming, watching DVDs and Blu-ray movies, and web serfing while other things like word processing you will not see any difference since it doesn't take advantage of either integrated technology. With system RAM you want about 1.5 * the amount which it says you will need b/c the requirements usually assume it is the only thing running and in real life thats not true. Graphics Card i do agree with the other guy that a GeForce 560 is just a marked up and OCed version of a GeForce 460 with the 560Ti version being the starting point for the difference between the 400 and 500 series. I also still suggest the +$10 for the faster and bigger hard drive which i said as more room will be better especially if you are building it for doing a test stream of operating systems in VMs to compare to each other as that can get very big very fast with the avg. virtual disk size being 15GB each. The only other thing which i can think of is please use the case which i suggested it has very good cooling so no matter what temperature it is outside of the case your parts should not overheat. I have a personal preference for working with ASUS system boards for they are easier to work with but i do not know how they will compare to a ASRock system board as i have not worked with them before.
October 4, 2011 2:03:55 AM

how long would it take you to save enough such that the 560 ti doesn't blow your budget? cause it does make a big difference, and waiting could be a good choice, if you could get enough fairly quickly, like ~1 month. plus, bulldozer should probably bring down intel processors a little, not necessarily a lot though, though sandy-bridge e will even more. So if you waited a bit you could probably work a 560 ti in.
October 4, 2011 2:04:24 AM

maybe try 12gb of ram?
October 4, 2011 3:19:23 AM

OP--aside from aznshinobi, you've mostly gotten some weak advice. And I mostly say that because they neglected the most important issue with your build--that you planned on getting a PSU included with the case. That is a no-no because weak PSU's blow up and damage your entire system. Here's a review of a typical PSU of the quality of one that comes with a case: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&fil...
You have to read reviews (not newegg reviews, but ones like jonnyguru). Stick to Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX. Since you're in Bulgaria and choices may be limited, also consider Silverstone and FSP. I've seen the FSP Aurum series offered in some remote places for good prices.

As aznshinobi said, go with cores for VMs. That means i7's or AMD.

If you can afford it, an i5-2500K would be serviceable as well, but you'd need to overclock and reduce the maximum core load usable by the VM. (Overclocking a "K" series requires P67 or Z68 mobos). So if you use VirtualBox, you could run two dual core VMs allowing 70% CPU usage with an overclocked i5-2500K and you'd probably be able to use the host OS still. But an i5-2400 would struggle as much as my OC'd Q9400 at work with multiple core VMs.

You've got the right idea with 8GB of RAM though. VMs eat up RAM like...well...as much as you allocate it to them.
October 4, 2011 3:22:15 AM

Aww thanks for the support Dalauder :D 
October 4, 2011 3:28:50 AM

Well everyone else ignored the glaring problem with his build--the PSU! Why bother suggesting a build if you don't address that?

Also OP, don't go with 12GB of RAM. Go with 8GB or 16GB. Don't mismatch your sets unless you already own a 4GB kit.

EDIT: To be fair to good advice that wasn't from Aznshinobi...a couple posts were made before I could get my rant to post. Morgoth's totally right about waiting for the 560Ti. And Yumri's essay has some merits to it, even if it's a wild tangent from the primary issues:
1) Can you wait until Bulldozer to build? (Note, it should be released in two weeks. But if there is yet another delay, it may not arrive until 2016 or so, give or take 5 years.)
2) What are the cheapest graphics cards available at stores near you? Find a price for a GTX 460 1GB, 5850, 6850, GTX 560, 6870, GTX 560Ti, and 6950 1GB.
3) What PSUs are available near you of the brands I mentioned above? (Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, XFX, FSP)
October 4, 2011 4:01:21 AM

For VM you may want to grab a CPU with VT-d support like the Xeon E3 and a motherboard that supports it such as the Asus P8B WS that runs on Intel C206 chipset
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhMkmTqBbUA
October 4, 2011 7:34:10 AM

Hey guys,

Thanks all for responding.

Well prices for videocards are as follows;
GTX 460 1GB - 200-210$, 5850 - not on sale in stores, 6850 - 200-210$, GTX 560 - 240-250$, 6870 - 240-250$, GTX 560Ti - 300$, and 6950 1GB - 300$+.

I will not be able to wait as I am taking advantage of an offer to buy this with 20% discount (all new parts with warranty ofcourse). So I don't wanna miss out on the opportunity.

So, GTX 560 will be replaced with 460 or 6850 as I can see...
I should go for another case and PSU clearly :) 
October 4, 2011 8:32:50 PM

Hey guys,

I took the system. This is what I ended up with:

CPU - I5 2400
MB - Asrock H61DE/S3
PSU - Seasonic 520W 80plus bronze
RAM - *8G A-Data
VC - Sapphire 6850 Vapor-X
Monitor - LG 2260V-PN
HDD 1G WD
KM - Logitech MK260

Thanks all for the advice.
October 4, 2011 11:16:22 PM

Still recommending that you get an X6 AMD chip for VMs.
!