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$800 - $1,000 Build (Will this list of parts work?)

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December 2, 2011 5:09:34 PM

Hello again, I plan for this to be my main gaming PC\workstation for projects and video\photo manipulation and transformation. Although $1000 is not a lot of money when it comes to a mid to high end PC, I have tried to be as thorough as possible regarding the specs of this new build, including hyperlinks to the products on Newegg.com(my preferred merchant site).

Approximate Purchase Date: Next year (2012)

Budget Range: approx. $1,000 Before rebate

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, HD Video veiwing, Homework projects, Photo rendurring, surfing the web

Overclocking: This is my first custom build, so probably not.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900(I plan on getting a 1920 by 1200 soon after)

And I will be purchasing all parts through Newegg.com.

Now for the Parts List:
Spoiler


Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (159.99)


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($139.99)


CPU cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R1 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($34.99)


GPU: XFX HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($194.99)


Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($68.99)


PSU: Antec EarthWatts Series EA-750 Green 750W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Continuous Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($94.99)


RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($58.99)


Optical Drive: LITE-ON Dual Layer DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($19.99)


HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($84.99)


All that sums up to $857.91



Umm... I could have left something out, so please don't hesitate to let me know. Also, would it be worth it to buy the FX-6100 or should I stick with the Phenom II x6 1100t? Pros and cons?

Thanks!
P.S. I hope I put this in the right section.
December 2, 2011 5:29:39 PM

Why did you put a spoiler on the parts list? :lol: 

That's actually a fairly solid build. A couple of suggestions:

- Drop the case fan, you don't need it - the HAF 912 is very well ventilated for a ~$50 case. Add that in later once you get the build up and running. I always try to advise people not to buy the accessories first - buy those last.

- Wait before buying the FX - a lot of AMD motherboards don't support it yet.

- Drop the thermal compound. The Hyper 212 includes the same compound, so you're basically paying twice for the same product.

- Drop the second 2TB hard drive and replace that with an SSD (I'd recommend the 64GB Crucial M4 - it won't change your budget that much). RAID 0 is always more likely to fail than the SSD/HD setup. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Instead of the Antec Earthwatts - try the Corsair TX750 or the PC Power & Cooling Silencer series. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Maybe up the motherboard to this one - it's the same one I just got - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 2, 2011 5:44:37 PM

Ok, the WD 2TB HDD's are for $179.99 each and not $79.99, so that's $200 over your budget. Also, you don't need thermal compound if you get CM Hyper 212+ EVO, I just got it and they include thermal compound and it's doing ok.
And for the work you mentioned, you really don't need an X6, an X4 will do just as well and will save you some money as well. Don't bother with the new AMD FX series, it's crap.
Also, I'd recommend going with core i5 with a compatible motherboard instead, if budget allows.
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December 2, 2011 6:13:20 PM

most games only take advantage of 4 cores, so you would be better off with an i5 or Phenom2x4. Check if you have a Micro Center near where you live as their prices are super cheap on processors (though a bit expensive on most other things). Stay away from the new FX chips as they do not work nicely with Windows 7, and again, more than 4 cores is a waste for video games until the new consoles come out in 2-3 years (at which point you will be ready to upgrade anyways).

Get a blue ray reader/DVD burner for viewing blue ray content :)  they are not that expensive these days, and it is nice to have.

Those HDDs you linked are $179 each, not $79 each. Might I suggest a 500GB drive to start with? or a small SSD and get the 2TB drives later when they come down in price. also, green drives are a bit slow for system drives. Sure, they can pump out a good sequential read, but OS and programs are all about access time rather than throughput, and these suck at that. RAID will not improve access time (which is important for programs and OS's), only read/write time. NEVER RAID0 anything larger than you can backup. Once one drive dies then all your information is gone. For large drives always do RAID 1, 5, or 10 (and only do 5 on a dedicated server as there is a lot of CPU overhead) so that you have redundancy.

Only other suggestion I would make is to do an A/B cycle on your system build. For me I do a 1.5-2 year cycle on my computer where I do a core upgrade (mobo, cpu, memory, and PS if needed) for the A cycle, and then do an accessory upgrade (GPU, HDD/SSD, keys/mice/monitor as needed, and PSU if needed for the new GPU) on the B cycle.
For the first build (if on a budget anyways), I would suggest pouring all the money into the best mobo, cpu, GPU, Power supply, and perhaps monitor to begin with, and get cheap HDD, ram, keys, mouse, aftermarket coolers, case, etc. which are all easily upgrade-able later. Then a year from now do your B cycle where you get the gaming keyboard, laser mouse, performance ram (you may want to OC at that point), the hyper212, big HDDs, etc. Then, another year or so later (when your cpu is a few years old) then do your next core update, perhaps with a 2nd GPU, and follow that kind of pattern. This way you never go bankrupt trying to keep the computer up to date, and the next upgrade is always just around the corner.
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December 2, 2011 9:28:05 PM

Quote:

Only other suggestion I would make is to do an A/B cycle on your system build. For me I do a 1.5-2 year cycle on my computer where I do a core upgrade (mobo, cpu, memory, and PS if needed) for the A cycle, and then do an accessory upgrade (GPU, HDD/SSD, keys/mice/monitor as needed, and PSU if needed for the new GPU) on the B cycle.
For the first build (if on a budget anyways), I would suggest pouring all the money into the best mobo, cpu, GPU, Power supply, and perhaps monitor to begin with, and get cheap HDD, ram, keys, mouse, aftermarket coolers, case, etc. which are all easily upgrade-able later. Then a year from now do your B cycle where you get the gaming keyboard, laser mouse, performance ram (you may want to OC at that point), the hyper212, big HDDs, etc. Then, another year or so later (when your cpu is a few years old) then do your next core update, perhaps with a 2nd GPU, and follow that kind of pattern. This way you never go bankrupt trying to keep the computer up to date, and the next upgrade is always just around the corner.


That's kind of what I did actually. I have two systems - the first was a workstation that was based around a Core 2 Duo, Intel motherboard and 4GB of RAM. In the B phase of that system, I upgraded that to an AMD Phenom II X6 earlier this year. The motherboard on that build completely failed and I switched it to an i3-2100. That's been working perfectly fine ever since and I only spent about $400 on the whole thing - but I salvaged the CPU from the failed AMD build and I'm going to use that in an experimental build based around the 990FX.

The second was my home system. I based that around an i7-920 and the Asus P6T. I'm now in the B phase of upgrading that system - I got a new case for the system as a birthday present (the Corsair Graphite 600T). After that I upgraded the video cards to an EVGA 550TI 2GB SLI setup (sweetness), then added my SSD (Intel 320), then my blu ray burner, and finally the monster cooler (spent countless days between Silver Arrow, Noctua D14, and Corsair H100), that's pretty much it. Everything is working sweet on this system.

Quote:
Those HDDs you linked are $179 each, not $79 each. Might I suggest a 500GB drive to start with? or a small SSD and get the 2TB drives later when they come down in price. also, green drives are a bit slow for system drives. Sure, they can pump out a good sequential read, but OS and programs are all about access time rather than throughput, and these suck at that. RAID will not improve access time (which is important for programs and OS's), only read/write time. NEVER RAID0 anything larger than you can backup. Once one drive dies then all your information is gone. For large drives always do RAID 1, 5, or 10 (and only do 5 on a dedicated server as there is a lot of CPU overhead) so that you have redundancy.


I agree with this. A RAID setup is not all it's cracked up to be and if it's not setup properly is doomed to fail. You're better off getting a small SSD or the aforementioned 500GB WD drive. With HD prices as crazy as they are right now I wouldn't subject a $1K build to just a slow couple of 2TB hard drives, and you don't even really need that kind of storage unless you're doing some crazy video editing or anything that requires working with huge amounts of data. Even with the size of my music / movie / TV show collection I haven't even hit half of the 1TB of my secondary drive yet.

Quote:
Get a blue ray reader/DVD burner for viewing blue ray content :)  they are not that expensive these days, and it is nice to have.


I agree with this too. I went all out and got the Plextor B940 - but the LG burner I got for my second computer is perfectly suitable.
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December 2, 2011 11:01:10 PM

Quote:

That's kind of what I did actually. I have two systems - the first was a workstation that was based around a Core 2 Duo, Intel motherboard and 4GB of RAM. In the B phase of that system, I upgraded that to an AMD Phenom II X6 earlier this year. The motherboard on that build completely failed and I switched it to an i3-2100. That's been working perfectly fine ever since and I only spent about $400 on the whole thing - but I salvaged the CPU from the failed AMD build and I'm going to use that in an experimental build based around the 990FX.

The second was my home system. I based that around an i7-920 and the Asus P6T. I'm now in the B phase of upgrading that system - I got a new case for the system as a birthday present (the Corsair Graphite 600T). After that I upgraded the video cards to an EVGA 550TI 2GB SLI setup (sweetness), then added my SSD (Intel 320), then my blu ray burner, and finally the monster cooler (spent countless days between Silver Arrow, Noctua D14, and Corsair H100), that's pretty much it. Everything is working sweet on this system.

Ya, that has been something I have always tried to stick with. In the last few years I have had to throw money at cars and the house and so it had been about 4 years without any upgrades for me until this last month, and man is it painful to offload that much money on parts all at once! I still didnt get the SSD yet which would really make the system fly. I am looking at an OCZ Solid3 or Vertex3 at some point in the summer (depending on prices and such), and then I will be able to leave my computer alone for a little while :) 

Quote:

I agree with this. A RAID setup is not all it's cracked up to be and if it's not setup properly is doomed to fail. You're better off getting a small SSD or the aforementioned 500GB WD drive. With HD prices as crazy as they are right now I wouldn't subject a $1K build to just a slow couple of 2TB hard drives, and you don't even really need that kind of storage unless you're doing some crazy video editing or anything that requires working with huge amounts of data. Even with the size of my music / movie / TV show collection I haven't even hit half of the 1TB of my secondary drive yet.

Ya, I have been doing a lot of research on RAID the last few months, and while it is really really cool is some situations, it really dosnt help much for what most people use it for. RAID is meant for super fast sequential reads, and redundancy/error correction. When it comes to doing really small stuff the seek times just kill any potential gains, plus you have a small write delay for the calculations which can mess with things (though that is not such an issue with RAID 0 and 1 as those are pretty simple). I was just about the bite the bullet on 4 Samsung F4's right when the floods hit. They were at $80 when I planned things out in September, and by the time I was ready they had jumped to $120, and finally made it all the way up to $260 before beginning to come back down. Last I checked they were still up at $220 each, which is just crazy expensive. Anywho, the plan is to put them in an old workstation I found. an HP with a Pentium 4 class xeon with 4GB of ECC memory, and a mobo that can do RAID 10 (for a total of 4TB which is both striped and mirrored), and I also found a duel ethernet card at work which should help with throughput for multiple users. Should be fun when the prices come down, but other than as a file server RAID is mostly useless.

Quote:

I agree with this too. I went all out and got the Plextor B940 - but the LG burner I got for my second computer is perfectly suitable.

Ya, I learned my lesson back in 2001/2 (cant remember exactly). I spent some $4 or 500 on an external DVD burner. They were expensive in the first place because they were new, and then I thought I needed an extra nice one because it was for my video editing computer, and then I paid extra for an external so I could use it with my future laptop that I ended up never getting. Long story short, the Firewire was true to it's name and made the enclosure blow smoke (quite literally... never hot swap fire wire... even if it is made to do so). I was able to save the drive and use it as an internal, but the burning laser died in less than 2 years (though it still reads to this day lol). I replaced it with the cheapest internal DVD burner I could find, which lasted another 2 years for burning, and I have done the same ever since. my current LG blue ray reader/dvd burner is coming up on 2 years old, and sure enough the burner is becoming flaky. It's like clockwork! Thankfully I have a dub tower to burn from when the internal dies completely. They are so cheap now there is really no point to spend money on optical drives. Especially now that optical media is finally going the way of the floppy, which is something that really cannot happen soon enough!
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December 3, 2011 8:48:31 PM

I apologize, work had me a few cities away and I haven't had time to respond ... Until now. I do believe that I will chuck the 2 TB HDDs, seeing as how they don't fit the budget anyway and go with maybe a 500gig or even a 320 to start with. SSDs are still too expensive for me on a GIG\Buck ratio so unless I see a price drop or a deal on one, I won't be getting one anytime soon.

As far as the processor, I multi-task so much between web browsing with like 15 tabs(no joke), a movie in the background, checking my mail on my outlook client(mostly for work), and testing new apps for clients before I recommend them, plus some other things. After tacking on all that, you think a quad will still be enough? Obviously the 8 gig ram will help as well as the grapics card(for the video watching\converting).

Quote:
Maybe up the motherboard to this one - it's the same one I just got - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128514
I don't think I'm going to go that route just yet, besides it being faster what else am I missing?

Oh, another question: Will there me a memory limitation\issue with the Gcard having 1 gig of memory? Or was that only with a 32 bit OS?
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December 4, 2011 3:50:18 AM

it is not a matter of 'is a quad core enough' because both the i5 and i7 are quad cores. The question is 'do the programs I use take advantage of hyperthreading' and unless you are doing audio/video editing, 3D work/rendering, or other heavily threaded tasks (like running a server, or some other exotic thing) then there will be little to no benefit to having the i7.
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December 4, 2011 3:51:46 AM

lol, wrong thread XD
yes, for what you described, there will be a difference between the x4 and x6, however the i5 with smoke either of them.
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December 12, 2011 3:39:35 AM

Best answer selected by cubicriot.
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December 12, 2011 9:26:39 PM

Alrighty, so I changed a few parts and took out unnecessary ones... Still doable? Perhaps not the most advisable build, but what I would like to know is if the parts will all function as one solid, working computer(That was actually my original question as well).

Also, Thank you all for your kind advice!! I appreciate the time you took to answer my questions and that you suggested purchasing plans(such as the A to B scheme) that have worked for you in the past. =) I will definitely be around if I need any assistance or see where I can contribute!
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