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Silent $1500 build

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February 26, 2012 9:28:33 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 month or so

Budget Range: $1,500 or under, after rebates and after 12% sales tax

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet surfing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

Preferred Website for Parts: ncix.com

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: AMD CPU and GPU, ASUS or Gigabyte MOBO, Antec or Corsair PSU

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

My goal is to make this thing run as quiet as possible with little to no fan noise if possible, but also not water cooled because the potential of a leak x.x. So i did some research and these are the parts I'm considering:

Case:Antec Solo II or Fractal Design Define R3
CPU: AMD Bulldozer FX-4100 Quad Core Processor 3.6GHZ Socket AM3+
CPU Cooling: Antec Kuhler H2O 620 or Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H60
PSU: Corsair Professional HX750W
Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X Evo ATX AM3+
GPU: MSI Radeon HD 6870 Twin Frozr II 900MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ or MSI Radeon HD 6950 Twin Frozr III OC 850MHZ 1GB
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline Frostbyte 8GB 2X4GB
Monitor: Acer S231HL 23IN Widescreen LCD
HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5IN 16MB Cache SATA3
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5IN SATA3 Sandforce SF-2281 SSD
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT



Heres the wishlist: here!

So i have a few questions as well:

1. Is it worth the premium for a pre-overclocked graphics card?
2. Is 750W sufficient? Could I go lower? Or should I go higher?
3. Is a SSD really that much better than a HD? In terms of loading games, OS boot time?
4. Should I wait for windows 8?
5. Is the cooling sufficient enough for a GPU overclock? or should I add another case fan (For the Solo II)
6. Is everything compatible?
7. 6 cores or 4 cores? If i'm going to be running 2 different games at the same time in addition to web browsing
8. How is this build? Any improvements or suggestions?

Well thank you for reading :D  and thank you in advance for the help!

More about : silent 1500 build

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a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2012 10:00:09 PM

1. It depends on the price. If it's close, yes. OCing is easy, but factory-OCed GPUs are generally better binned, selected for their OCing headroom. In this case I'm choosing one for you, but I'm doing it for its fan setup, not its OC.
2. 750W is about right for two 570s. I've got you a far cheaper and equally high quality one, though.
3. In short, yes. The biggest difference for me has been the hang on startup: with my old HDD, I had to wait a solid minute and a half before things would launch quickly. Now that time's about a second and a half.
4. I don't think so. 7 doesn't have any big problems like Vista did.
5. I'd like to see another fan or two, and I recommend the R3 (it's cooler, IMO :D ), but you could certainly do without them.
6. Yes, but see below.
7. Four, because the 2500K blows AMD's current offerings away.

8...

You should absolutely get a 2500K. The 4100 won't be able to handle two cards in SLI or Crossfire, which will be your next big upgrade.
Revised:
-$85 XFX XXX 750W, 80+ Silver: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=62224&vpn=P1750BNLG9&...
-$105 OCZ Petrol 128gb SSD: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67559&vpn=PTL1-25SAT3...
-$35 Hyper 212 EVO: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=64385&vpn=RR-212E-20P...
-$115 Fractal R3
-$46 Mushkin Blackline 8gb
-$54 G. Skill Ripjaws X 8gb 1600mhz RAM (apparently 1.6v RAM void the SB warranty): http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57953&vpn=F3-12800CL9...
-$240 2500K: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57962&vpn=BX80623I525...
-$170 your monitor
-$90 your HDD
-$120 Windows
-$130 Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=61065&vpn=GA-Z68A-D3H...
This brings us to $1190. I no longer recommend fans, now that there's a mobo. Your money will be better spent on the GPU.

Here's a bit of a dilemma: I'd like to see a 570 in here, but that lovely $340 MSI model puts you over budget. If you must stay under, you're looking at a 560 Ti or a 6950.
$215 MSI 6950 1gb: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=64182&vpn=R6950%20Twi...

This puts you at $1405.

I've also switched to an air cooler. I'm doing this because your GPU will be your loudest component, and you won't notice the EVO.
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February 26, 2012 10:22:01 PM

kajabla said:
1. It depends on the price. If it's close, yes. OCing is easy, but factory-OCed GPUs are generally better binned, selected for their OCing headroom. In this case I'm choosing one for you, but I'm doing it for its fan setup, not its OC.
2. 750W is about right for two 570s. I've got you a far cheaper and equally high quality one, though.
3. In short, yes. The biggest difference for me has been the hang on startup: with my old HDD, I had to wait a solid minute and a half before things would launch quickly. Now that time's about a second and a half.
4. I don't think so. 7 doesn't have any big problems like Vista did.
5. I'd like to see another fan or two, and I recommend the R3 (it's cooler, IMO :D ), but you could certainly do without them.
6. Yes, but see below.
7. Four, because the 2500K blows AMD's current offerings away.

8...

You should absolutely get a 2500K. The 4100 won't be able to handle two cards in SLI or Crossfire, which will be your next big upgrade.
Revised:
-$85 XFX XXX 750W, 80+ Silver: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=62224&vpn=P1750BNLG9&...
-$105 OCZ Petrol 128gb SSD: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=67559&vpn=PTL1-25SAT3...
-$70 Kuhler 620 (either's good, though)
-$115 Fractal R3
-$46 Mushkin Blackline 8gb
-$54 G. Skill Ripjaws X 8gb 1600mhz RAM (apparently 1.6v RAM void the SB warranty): http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57953&vpn=F3-12800CL9...
-$240 2500K: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57962&vpn=BX80623I525...
-$170 your monitor
-$90 your HDD
-$120 Windows

This brings us to $1095. You might want to add a fan or two, one in the front and one at the bottom. It's generally better to add fans as intakes, creating positive air pressure in your case to push dust out instead of pulling it in through little cracks.
-$20 2x Fractal Ultra Quiet 120mm: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=51283&vpn=FD-FAN-120&...
-$340 MSI 570 Power Edition: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=62945&vpn=N570GTX%20T...
I'm choosing the card for its quieter cooling system, not for its factory overclock.


Thanks for replying! But I don't think I will be Crossfire'ing or SLI'ing from the reviews I've seen of dual cards not being able to support some games as well as a single graphics card (is this true?). I would prefer the AMD CPU because it's just cheaper xD and I really like the motherboard i currently selected but I like the idea for 16 GB RAM! However, some of these sales are ending soon, so I think I would be going over budget. I also have another question now, can a AMD based motherboard run nVidia cards? I heard from a friend they don't run as well compared to being on a Intel based motherboard.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2012 10:26:27 PM

The main thing which is going to keep the noise down is lower power consumption. Lower power consumption translates into less heat and less heat means the fans don't have to work as hard.

Here are a few other tips for low noise:

- Your computer is only as quiet as your loudest component, so choose each part very carefully.

- Vibrations will create a lot of noise so be sure to get a nice sturdy case and try to get a piece of rubber between any metal to metal contacts. (Especially when putting a hard drive in the case.)

- Having your fans further away from you will reduce perceived noise, for this reason it is good to have fans on the rear and bottom of the case for quiet builds. The other benefit to not having side fans is that they can often produce a lot of vibration due to flimsy side panels.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2012 10:31:36 PM

Caspsy1 said:
Thanks for replying! But I don't think I will be Crossfire'ing or SLI'ing from the reviews I've seen of dual cards not being able to support some games as well as a single graphics card (is this true?). I would prefer the AMD CPU because it's just cheaper xD and I really like the motherboard i currently selected but I like the idea for 16 GB RAM! However, some of these sales are ending soon, so I think I would be going over budget. I also have another question now, can a AMD based motherboard run nVidia cards? I heard from a friend they don't run as well compared to being on a Intel based motherboard.



For a gaming build the AMD isn't even cheaper, the FX-4100 performs similarly to a Pentium G620 in games. Even if you overclock it will be about as good as an i3-2120. The Intel route is better value for money and also has a lower TDP which will help for low noise.
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February 26, 2012 10:56:43 PM

jmsellars1 said:
For a gaming build the AMD isn't even cheaper, the FX-4100 performs similarly to a Pentium G620 in games. Even if you overclock it will be about as good as an i3-2120. The Intel route is better value for money and also has a lower TDP which will help for low noise.


Oh okay! What motherboard do you recommend then? I'm not sure because I'm not sure. Then again do AMD cards work with Intel based motherboards then? Is there any downside to that?
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February 26, 2012 11:01:28 PM

AMD is a bad choice. Intel demolishes at any price range, if you want to spend less than get an i3, but I would recommend an i5 to handle those graphics cards. Going AMD is a bad value for your money.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2012 11:20:45 PM

There's no downside to using AMD graphics cards on an Intel board as far as I'm aware.
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February 26, 2012 11:55:14 PM

Okay guys! I have taken everything into consideration and here's my revision of my build!

Changes:

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500 Quad Core Processor
I decided the K version of the CPU I won't need as I will only be overclocking my graphics card and not my CPU

MOBO: ASUS P8H61-M H61

Just the least expensive MOBO from ASUS for budget issues. Oh and is there any disadvantages from mATX vs ATX besides size?

PSU: XFX 750W PRO750W XXX

How is the cable length on this PSU? I'm a bit more focused on cable management as well. I have also decided on the 6870 instead of the 6950 for budget reasons. The other components stay the same for the revision. So anyone have any other recommendations?

I also have a few more questions:

1. Why is AMD so bad? xD are their graphics cards bad as well?
2. Is there much of a difference between i5 2500 and i5 2400, besides the .2 MHZ clock difference? As i might choose that CPU instead as every dollar counts!

Thanks for taking your time to read my thread!


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February 27, 2012 12:28:19 AM

It's not that AMD is bad it's just that Intel CPU's perform better for the same amount of money. Factor that in with high overclocking ability the 2500k has. Not sure if you added a cpu cooler but you are definitely definitely going to want to add an extra 20 bucks into that budget for a CM Hyper 212 cooler. You'll be able to push that 2500k to 4.4-4.5ghz easily. The cables on the pro 750 should be plenty long unless you plan on running a monster sized case. I didn't go mAtx because it is less overclockable due to less VRM's (although i have no proof), Can't xfire/sli with that board so no option of adding another 6870, and it's just barebones in general as far as options. For 40 bucks more you could go with the Asus P8H67-V (REV 3.0) which give you more options, crossfire, and better oc'ing ability.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2012 12:33:03 AM

You really should OC and generally go by my build (:p ). You won't need to OC right now, but when you go SLI (see below) you'll need the extra power, and it'll also obviate your next platform upgrade. When you would otherwise have had to get a whole new mobo and CPU, you'll be able to simply turn up the multiplier. It'll be like getting a whole new CPU for free.
SLI basically always works now. This may not always have been the case, but it's considered a fully viable upgrade. The kinks have been worked out. You won't get perfect 2x scaling, but it'll still be a far better value than a whole new card with every upgrade.
Oops! Didn't include a mobo! There's one there now, and the build has been revised to compensate.

My build is more expensive right now, but its motherboard (Z68) and the 2500K will both save you money in the long run. Overclocking doesn't mean trophy OCing, the practice of pushing CPUs to the limit with overvoltage and other dangerous messing around. It's just an easy way to get tons of free performance in the future instead of buying a new CPU.
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February 27, 2012 1:28:33 AM

Thanks kajabla!

I really want the MSI GTX570! It definitely is a beautiful card! So I have a few questions about my OS. I already have Windows 7 currently installed onto my PC, if I also transfer my current HD into my new computer, will the OS still work? Or do I really have to purchase a whole new OS. If I do, then that would save me 200$ and more than enough to afford the GTX570! However, while looking through GTX560s, I stumbled across this: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Hawk. Since I won't be running multiple displays i believe I read somewhere "Memory Clock is solely for multi-display systems", so with the higher clock speed of the MSI Hawk, would that be better for my uses? Or is GPUs not all about clock speed?

Thank you to everyone who replied so far!
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2012 2:03:08 AM

GPUs are NOT all about clock speeds. Each mainstream graphics card has a different physical chip, and this matters much more than core speed. I'm not sure what that quote means. VRAM is generally more important for multiple displays, but that's just a reason not to get the 2.5gb 570.
The 570 would be nice. You decide if you're willing to spend the money.

The old HDD will work fine! Do a full driver uninstall with Driver Sweeper first, though.
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February 27, 2012 4:06:45 AM

Alright! So I did more research... and a lot of thinking and my final verdict is...

Case: Fractal Design Define R3
It looks nice, reviews say it is very quiet and sturdy. It also include grommets to damped vibrations from the PSU! Which is a plus. Also fairly priced and fits my needs for wire management.

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K
Because everyone seems to be saying this is a much better processor and is great for over clocking

CPU Cooling: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo
Based on reviews it seems to be quiet and nice for overclocking if I ever choose to do so

MOBO: ASUS P8Z68-V LE Z68
I like ASUS and the Gigabyte model's colour scheme I just don't approve xD. Seems like a decent Motherboard up for any other recommendations though


MOBO: ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3
Changed due to bottlenecking of the ASUS board.


PSU: XFX 750W PRO750W XXX
Cheaper than my original choice, great reviews + looks awesome.

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline Frostbyte 8GB x2
Once again based on reviews and looks. Chose 2 sets as the black matches better with the colour scheme of them motherboard as well as they are cheaper than the rip jaws

GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Hawk
So I chose this over the GTX 570 as it is cheaper. I used the savings to fund 8GB more RAM as want an all around balanced PC. I also considered SLI'ing and buying two GTX 570s would be just, too much. So once I have the budget for another GTX 560 i can get another one.

Monitor: Acer S231HL 23IN
Fits my needs for 1920x1080 resolution! Fairly priced as well for a 23 in monitor.

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 60GB
It's pretty cheap not on sale and 60GB is sufficient for me as I will primarily be using this to load windows 7

HD: Salvaged from my current PC

OS: Salvaged from my current PC

Final wishlist: Here

Total: $1302
Tax: 12% -> 157$
Grand Total: $1,468 (Before rebates)

Thanks again for everyone who helped me! Especially kajabla! I'm still looking for any recommendations so fire away!
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February 27, 2012 4:07:24 AM

Best answer selected by Caspsy1.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2012 10:26:49 PM

I veto that motherboard! Its second PCIe slot only has four lanes (x4), so it'll bottleneck a second graphics card. For color, go for the ASRock Z68 Extreme3. Asus doesn't have a good, cheap SLI model.

Mods: please don't close yet.
Quote:
I'm still looking for any recommendations so fire away!
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February 27, 2012 11:32:03 PM

oooh ok xD thanks for the heads up! I didn't really think about bottlenecking! I only chose that Motherboard cause it was black and my cheapest option for a Z68 board! That motherboard looks much better without the blue to!
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 12:08:27 AM

When most people talk about bottlenecking they mean a slower part holding the others up, but this is even more of a textbook example. If the graphics card can't get the data it needs quickly enough, it can't work to its full capacity.
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February 28, 2012 1:16:22 AM

kajabla said:
When most people talk about bottlenecking they mean a slower part holding the others up, but this is even more of a textbook example. If the graphics card can't get the data it needs quickly enough, it can't work to its full capacity.


Oh I see xD didn't really understand what bottlenecking was before... Now that the motherboards taken care of I'm wondering about the processor again! Today while reading my newsletter from NCIX I saw this Intel Core i5 2550K mentioned... and that got me wondering if I was to overclock my CPU which I am considering now... would that 0.1 MHZ pre over clock allow me to over clock higher than that i5 2500k? For a $10 difference i'd still be under budget so... is it worth that $10s? or is it just capped for any i5s?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 1:58:16 AM

No, it almost certainly won't make a difference. Every chip OCs uniquely, and the luck of the draw will have more of an effect on your maximum OC than that model. You won't be pushing your CPU to the limit anyway; 4.5ghz should be more than enough for two cards, and probably 4.0ghz for one.
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