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System for my wife

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February 1, 2012 5:41:55 PM

Hi all,

Building a system for my wife. The system i built for her about 6 years ago is coming to the end of its life so I am trying to come up with a new build for her. She does some web surfing a little bit of picture editing and plays LOTRO. There will be no OC with this system.

My budget is about $850 US and I would like to get your opinions on what I have selected.

Case: I have a couple of nice large CoolerMaster full tower cases at the house that I can use

Motherboard : ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

PSU: COOLMAX CU-700B 700W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBR

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
I went with this since there will be no OC and there is not alot of difference between the stock 2400 and 2500.

SSD: Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F60GBGT-BK 2.5" 60GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
I figured for what she will be doing the 60GB will be big enough. This is one of my question marks though.

Video: SAPPHIRE FleX 100314FLEX Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
My wife saw some videos about EyeFinity with LOTRO and wants to be able to do that once we can afford the new monitors so it has to be a radeon card.

OS: Windows 7 Home 64 bit
For what she is doing I don't think there is any need for pro or ultimate.

Any thoughts? and Thanks in advance

More about : system wife

a c 93 B Homebuilt system
February 1, 2012 5:56:19 PM

Quote:
PSU: COOLMAX CU-700B 700W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91


Do not get this PSU. Coolmax is not a good PSU vendor - it's better to get one that's certified and rated 80 bronze or better anyways. The PSU, IMO - is the most important part of a system and it's one area where you do not under any circumstances want to skimp. There's a couple of really good PSU resources posted on this site and it's better to read them now and get a good PSU than it is to buy a cheapo PSU like that and have it explode on you. Check these articles out:

- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-protec...
- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-psu-re...

Try something like this instead - it's what I use and I highly recommend it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:

OS: Windows 7 Home 64 bit
For what she is doing I don't think there is any need for pro or ultimate.


You only need Pro if you use XP legacy programs and/or drivers or run RAM above 16GB. You only need Ultimate if you utilize any of the language packs. Home Premium will be fine.

Quote:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
I went with this since there will be no OC and there is not alot of difference between the stock 2400 and 2500.


The 2400 is a good choice if you don't plan to OC. Having +-.2GHz on a CPU really won't make that much of a difference in the long run.

Quote:

SSD: Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F60GBGT-BK 2.5" 60GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
I figured for what she will be doing the 60GB will be big enough. This is one of my question marks though


You're right to question this choice - there's far better SSDs on the market. You might just skip this altogether and go with a 500GB mechanical HD from Western Digital or Seagate and get an SSD later. The problem is on a small SSD like that a Windows install will take up 16GB or 1/4 of the drive and then you'll regret not having the extra storage. I know HD prices are ridiculous and unavoidable due to the shortages but it should be by summer that WD and Seagate will get the factories back online and we'll start to see them slowly trickle back. Maybe try something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
February 1, 2012 6:00:42 PM

The Coolmax 700w is mislabeled, its more like a 200w. You should get an XFX 550w or 650w instead.

The 2400 is 0.2 GHZ or about 1/15 or ~7% worse than the 2500. You might as well pay the $20 or whatever the difference is to get a non-K 2500 instead even if you aren't OCing.

I am not exactly sure why you wouldn't want to pay a 2nd $20 to get the K version either. It could easily add a year or two to the life of the whole PC. Might as well pay it now to possibly avoid paying another $900 a year or two sooner in the future. If it were me, I would keep open the option to OC even if I never used it.

Just the option to do it later if you need to has quite a bit of value.

Video card - I would go higher than a 6870 if you want to run a lot of monitors at once. 6950 is more that sort of card.

OS - Sounds fine. Get an upgrade CD and agree to stop using the OS she used on her old PC so it is legit.

RAM - The G.Skill RAM is 5x the failure rate of Crucial or Kingston alternatives for like $5 saved probably. It isn't worth the tradeoff in my book.

SSD - If all she needs to install is Windows (20 GB) and 1 game (LOTRO) on the SSD, then 60 GBs is probably fine. Corsair drives aren't the highest quality in this space, though. Their failure rates are higher than Crucial and Samsung.
Related resources
February 1, 2012 6:03:54 PM

I say get a cheap but reliable SSD it doesnt have to be one of the faster ones to get a good increase in performance. even the lower end SSD's are 70% faster that HDDs
February 1, 2012 7:22:25 PM

Thanks for the replies

switched the PSU to CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified

and the SSD to SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC064D/AM 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

the video card I can't really go any more expensive atm, I could only go cheaper, so was hoping that the 6870 was a good bang for the buck card. Sadly have to make choices somewhere.

Ram I switched to CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

at newegg takes the total to about $862, a touch more than I wanted to spend, but maybe I can find some stuff at amazon cheaper when it comes time to order the parts in a week or 2.
a c 93 B Homebuilt system
February 1, 2012 7:43:58 PM

Quote:

switched the PSU to CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified

and the SSD to SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC064D/AM 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


Those are far far better choices. You should definitely get a mechanical HD when the prices drop.

Quote:
the video card I can't really go any more expensive atm, I could only go cheaper, so was hoping that the 6870 was a good bang for the buck card. Sadly have to make choices somewhere.


The 6870 is an excellent bang-for-buck option, don't let people try to persuade you otherwise as the comparable NVIDIA card runs almost $75 more.
!