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New build thoughts - including monitor

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November 22, 2011 2:45:25 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week or next week

Budget Range: $700 (could go higher) including monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important:

* Gaming (WOW/SWTOR/Skyrim)
* Movies
* Work from Home (MATLAB, imageJ, MS office)
* Internet Browsing


Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, first HD (from old machine), optical reader

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, microcenter.com, tigerdirect, amazon.com, I'm open to others (whatever is cheapest and reliable)--- Unfortunately I am not close to a microcenter :( 

Country: USA (Southeast)

Parts Preferences: Lian-Li Cases - they are quiet, discrete, and quality built. (I have 2 PC-7FN at work and drool every time I see them).

Overclocking: Nah (in the future)

SLI or Crossfire: Nope

Monitor Resolution: I have a small 17" screen and would like to add a second, larger screen (perhaps 22" ). However, resolution as long as it is good (but not top of the line), I am not picky.

Additional Comments:

My old miniATX machine just died and I think it is time to start from scratch -

I can salvage the:
HD (160 GB)
old video card (1yr old Radeon 6450).
optical reader

and in the future I would plan on replacing the video card and adding larger space. The last machine I built was for work, and so I am not in the loop with items and prices. Thus, I can splurge on the case, and will be upgrading parts as I go.

Here is what I was thinking of:

Lian Li PC-7B $90


Corsair PSU 600W + Ripjaws 2x4GB Combo $95

I wasn't sure whether to go for an AMD Phenom II X4 970 3.5GHz Quad-Core (around $193 for CPU MoBo Combo)
OR
Intel Pentium G850 Dual-Core 2.9GHz + a MoBo $170
OR
Splurge on a good CPU now ( i5-2400) $336

Thoughts? Any input on any of the above items would be greatly appreciated, including which screens are good these days.

Thanks in advance!!


November 22, 2011 3:14:11 AM

Forgot to mention, games are not that intensive - highest being EVE Online...
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November 22, 2011 4:10:09 AM

I wouldn't go for a G850 - the i3-2100 is a much better bet.

Lian Li cases are great but they're very expensive.

I know HD prices are ridiculous right now but I'd really look at upgrading the HD to at least a 320 or 500GB. With the size of today's games and everything else you plan on running that 160GB will fill pretty quickly. And I'd recommend getting a better video card even for some online gaming - the 6450 isn't going to do much - I use one on my HTPC and it can play videos and that's about it. Go for at least a 6850.

Including monitor and Lian Li case, you probably could not do this build for $700 - you'd have to go higher - at least $800. Maybe $900 with everything. Do you need OS as well?

Try this:

Case: Lian Li Lancool First Knight - $89.99
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX600 - $69.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 - $144.99
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100 - $124.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ - $25.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz 1.5V - $49.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue 7200RPM - $119.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB - $144.99
Monitor: Acer G245HQ - $139.99

Total: $901.90
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November 22, 2011 2:09:51 PM

Thanks for the input G,
I had a few questions, hope you don't mind.
Is there really an advantage in the Z68 vs. the P67 MoBo if you are not sure about overclocking?
Similarly, is there a need for the cooler?
Just a few questions, but in all I like your input very much.
Thanks again!

I forget, but if the CPU has integrated graphics, do they not interfere with a discrete graphics card?
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November 22, 2011 3:26:16 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the input G,
I had a few questions, hope you don't mind.


No problem.

Quote:
Is there really an advantage in the Z68 vs. the P67 MoBo if you are not sure about overclocking?


They're pretty similar for the most part. The biggest differences are that Z68 enables the onboard video built into the CPU (where P67 requires a dedicated GPU), SSD caching (so you can use a small SSD as a cache for larger 2 and 3 TB hard drives), and native support for 3TB SATA-6 hard drives.

Quote:
Similarly, is there a need for the cooler? ]


Yes and no. I generally don't like to use the Intel coolers since the heat sinks they include are pretty cheaply made. You can get a good cooler for around ~$25 - $30. I use the i3-2120 and have a Cooler Master Hyper 212 hooked up to it - even if you don't need the cooler for OC'ing purposes it keeps it cooler, so your CPU will have a much longer life span.

Quote:
I forget, but if the CPU has integrated graphics, do they not interfere with a discrete graphics card?


All it requires is a quick fix in the BIOS - on my board - you tell it to disable the onboard video if there's a GPU present and that's it. But keep in mind that if you ever load defaults that you'll need to reset it every single time.
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November 22, 2011 5:00:11 PM

Thanks again,
In reading the reviews for the Gigabyte z68 - it seems like the board comes with a lot of problems, which make me weary.
Does anyone know of good alternatives?

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November 22, 2011 5:38:13 PM

loligo said:
Thanks again,
In reading the reviews for the Gigabyte z68 - it seems like the board comes with a lot of problems, which make me weary.
Does anyone know of good alternatives?


I have had this board since August and it hasn't given me a bit of trouble (I use the UD3P variant which has built in HDMI and eSATA ports). The thing is - if you leave the board alone it will be fine. Where all the problems come into place are with installation errors and and overclockers. The thing is - there's no such thing as a perfect motherboard. And even if there was people would still find ways to mess with it, and that's where you'd run into trouble.
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November 23, 2011 12:51:37 PM

Fantastic!
Thank you so much for your input.
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!