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Please review my build

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December 8, 2011 7:04:44 PM

I am putting together my first build. It will be used strictly for office/multitasking - no gaming or SLI/Crossfire. I am trying to keep it under $1,000 and I plan to run dual-monitors.

Case: Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $120

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $220

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-z68M-D2H LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $105

Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $26

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $30

SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $185

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $150

Total: $836

I don't really have any interest in overclocking and was originally looking at a i5-2500/h67 build. But the price difference between that and a i5-2500K/z68 build is negligible, so I went with the K.

I plan (hope) to run the dual monitors with on-board video. If I can't I will get an inexpensive GPU.

I plan to run the OS+Programs off the SSD and use the HDD for data.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

More about : review build

a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2011 8:22:08 PM

I do not see any problem with the components you selected.

Optical drive - I prefer Samsung and LG.

On-board video will support only ne monitor.
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December 9, 2011 5:18:01 PM

Thanks jsc. I didn't include an optical drive but because I already have one.

Why won't the z68 mobo support dual monitors? Can't you have one run off the DVI port and the other on the HDMI?
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 5:57:10 PM

Quote:
Why won't the z68 mobo support dual monitors? Can't you have one run off the DVI port and the other on the HDMI?


It only won't if you're using onboard video. You will definitely need a dedicated GPU to run multiple displays.

Build looks pretty decent with a couple of suggestions:

- I would honestly not use a case with a built-in PSU. You're not going to get the same quality as you would buying the two items separately. It'd be better to buy the case and then an inexpensive PSU like the Corsair Builder Series - it will be the same price either way.

- I'd heavily research buying an SSD from a smaller manufacturer before buying. It'd be better to get one from one of the bigger names like Intel, Crucial, or Samsung and that way you're more likely to get a replacement if something goes wrong.

- And do you really need that kind of storage? What parts do you have and not have? I'd actually recommend dropping the SSD and using the Spinpoint as your primary storage, then adding the SSD later. Then I would recommend instead of getting the SSD - you could have the fastest storage system in the world, but the onboard video will always be a huge bottleneck. I'd definitely recommend getting a dedicated GPU - there's plenty of good ones to be had for not a huge dent in your budget.

Try this build:

Case: Antec 300 - $49.99
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX600 - $69.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 - $149.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 - $25.99
RAM: 8GB (2 x 4GB) G.Skill Ripjaw 1600MHz 1.5V - $29.99
HD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $159.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 - $144.99

Total: $836
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December 9, 2011 6:16:42 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

I really want the SSD because I want to run the OS and my programs on it. I do a lot of multi-tasking and am frequently opening and closing programs so the SSD should speed that up. Then I will use the HDD for my data files. Even now I run two HDDs - one for my programs and one for my data.

That being said, on my current system, my total HDD usage between the two drives (including my OS, program files and data files) is about 200 GB. So I could probably drop the SSD to 60 GB and the HD to 500 GB.

I also like the suggestion of buying the case and PSU separately because I would like a modular PSU to reduce cable clutter.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 6:36:15 PM

Quote:
I really want the SSD because I want to run the OS and my programs on it. I do a lot of multi-tasking and am frequently opening and closing programs so the SSD should speed that up. Then I will use the HDD for my data files. Even now I run two HDDs - one for my programs and one for my data.


Not necessarily - as great as it is to have an SSD, it's not always going to mean your system will be necessarily faster. The biggest turnoff with SSDs right now is the ridiculous cost per MB. You can definitely get by with a fast mechanical drive for now and then add the SSD later on. I have a 64GB SSD and a Samsung Spinpoint - and from my experience having that limited amount of space will really limit some of the tasks your computer can do (using Windows to burn CDs/DVDs/BD-Rs is a pain, for instance).

Quote:
I also like the suggestion of buying the case and PSU separately because I would like a modular PSU to reduce cable clutter.


That's actually a myth. Having a modular PSU is not going to mean that your cable clutter is going to be reduced. I've used both modular and non modular PSUs, and I've actually come to prefer non-modular PSUs. The modular one I had failed on me left and right, where as both of the non modular PSUs I've been running have been rock solid and stable from day one - and I've been using both for nearly 2 years now.

Where you will actually reduce cable clutter is if you purchase a case with a good cable management system. Cooler Master and Corsair are excellent in that area, where Antec isn't always (the higher end models do, but the lower end models definitely do not). The Corsair cases will run a bit more, but the Carbide 400 (about ~$89) will provide you with the best cable management system on the market.

Quote:
That being said, on my current system, my total HDD usage between the two drives (including my OS, program files and data files) is about 200 GB. So I could probably drop the SSD to 60 GB and the HD to 500 GB.


That's what I would do. The 500GB hard drive will be plenty - right now with the situation in Thailand has seen HD prices skyrocket to unheard of levels. You'll actually save money by getting the 500 now, getting the SSD later on. So my advice would be to get the 500, when prices drop, add a second or third, and then add the SSD later. You'll have to reformat but with the SSD you can be back to running full Windows in like 10 min.

Then with that storage configuration you will need a dedicated GPU - especially if you plan to run multiple displays, that will be a huge burden on your CPU if you run more than one monitor using built in video - even with HDMI that's why motherboard makers usually don't include more than one display port, or include drivers that will allow you do that.
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December 9, 2011 8:51:40 PM

Here is my revised build incorporating some of the suggestions:

Case: Antec 300 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $50

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115072 - $220

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $150

Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065 - $26

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231428 - $30

SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $110

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $100

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100323L Radeon HD 6570 1GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $60

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $70

Total: $816

I still want to stay with the SSD, although I dropped it to 64 GB. It sucks that a $50 500GB HDD is selling for $100 due to the Thailand floods, but there's nothing I can do about that. I dropped down the GPU - I just need something basic since I won't be doing any gaming. I think the GA-Z68XP-UD3 looks like a good upgrade from the GA-Z68M-D2H - it has USB 3.0 and twice as many USB ports. I think this build will work well for me.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
December 9, 2011 9:41:46 PM

Quote:
I still want to stay with the SSD, although I dropped it to 64 GB.


I have that same SSD - much better choice.

Quote:
It sucks that a $50 500GB HDD is selling for $100 due to the Thailand floods, but there's nothing I can do about that.


Yeah I agree.

Quote:
I dropped down the GPU - I just need something basic since I won't be doing any gaming


Not a good idea - that GPU will not be able to handle multiple displays. Those GPUs like that are meant for HTPCs where all you're going to be using it for is viewing internet videos and blu ray movies, and nothing else. Go with the 6850 or 6790 - you will not be disappointed.

Quote:
I think the GA-Z68XP-UD3 looks like a good upgrade from the GA-Z68M-D2H - it has USB 3.0 and twice as many USB ports. I think this build will work well for me.


It is - I run the UD3P and it's quite an excellent board. The UD3 is basically a basic version of that same board.
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December 9, 2011 11:42:24 PM

But isn't a 6850 or 6790 a little overkill for a non-gaming system?
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December 10, 2011 12:47:22 AM

Also, why won't the 6570 support dual monitors? Can't you drive one via DVI and the other via HDMI?
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2011 12:50:22 AM

Dude, why are you getting a 2500K and several highend RAM sticks without a videocard, if your going to spend that much then you want to get one.
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December 10, 2011 12:54:39 AM

I am getting a video card. The issue is what level of card to get. It's a dual-monitor, non-gaming rig.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2011 1:17:27 AM

Hold on if this is for office/multitasking, why is everyone advising him on an i5 2500k? he can do all the work he want on a $500 AMD build. This PC isnt for gaming there is no need to put a $1000 in to a workstation when it isnt going to be used like that
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2011 2:52:45 AM

cremmins said:
But isn't a 6850 or 6790 a little overkill for a non-gaming system?


No. Especially if you want to run multiple displays, you will need one of these cards, you cannot get by with a lesser card.

Quote:
Also, why won't the 6570 support dual monitors? Can't you drive one via DVI and the other via HDMI?


You can but it's not made for it. Like I said the primary use for low profile video cards like this is for HTPCs - all you need it for is to watch videos and nothing else. If you're going to be running multiple displays, you want an Eyefinity card - the 6790 is the most basic Eyefinity card on the market but it's won Tom's "Best GPUs for the money" tests like several months in a row, you will greatly benefit from having one.

Quote:
Hold on if this is for office/multitasking, why is everyone advising him on an i5 2500k? he can do all the work he want on a $500 AMD build. This PC isnt for gaming there is no need to put a $1000 in to a workstation when it isnt going to be used like that


Good point - you don't necessarily need it just for office tasks. I use and really like the i3-2120 - for a dual core it's a pretty powerful little processor.
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December 10, 2011 11:25:35 AM

I did seriously consider an AMD build. But my system is not running just basic office programs. It runs under a heavy load with many specialized high-memory programs going at once. An AMD build may suffice, but I feel more confident with the i5 build. Also, I couldn't really find an AM3 mobo I was comfortable with that didn't bring the cost up significantly.

Regarding the GPU, g-unit has convinced me to go with the 6790. Will a 600W PSU be enough for that card?
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2011 4:40:10 PM

cremmins said:
I did seriously consider an AMD build. But my system is not running just basic office programs. It runs under a heavy load with many specialized high-memory programs going at once. An AMD build may suffice, but I feel more confident with the i5 build. Also, I couldn't really find an AM3 mobo I was comfortable with that didn't bring the cost up significantly.

Regarding the GPU, g-unit has convinced me to go with the 6790. Will a 600W PSU be enough for that card?


Plenty.
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