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$1000 Programming/Gaming PC First Build

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April 9, 2012 5:15:03 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: May/June 2012 Done basic research, have the cash, don't have all the knowledge
Budget Range: 800-1000 Really looking not to break 1k but realistically I want a great PC that will last and I have the money to spend up to 1500 on a great PC
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Programming, Gaming, Web Browsing, Movie Watching, General use and tomfoolery
Parts Not Required: None (this is the kicker for the price. I have no parts atm.)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: no preference. Cost (shipping/rebates etc.) and reliability are the most obvious concerns
Country: US
Parts Preferences: Prefer intel CPU not looking to go terribly huge on the monitor size
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: No because of price for 2 graphics cards. I am not even interested in keeping the option open if it means large money sacrifices
Monitor Resolution: Flexible here to account for costs.
Additional Comments: I have done some research and made a basic build but this is not based on any extreme knowledge of any kind and may have some incompatibilities or just things that dont make sense:

Tentative Build:

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K SB 3.3GHz LGA 1155
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3(R2.0) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Graphics Card: PowerColor AX6790 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
Monitor: Acer G215HVAbd Black 21.5" 5ms Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitor 200 cd/m2 20,000:1 Max (ACM)
Power Supply: I don't know that this is powerful enough. Rosewill Green Series RG430-S12 430W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7,i5" Power Supply
CD/DVD Burner/Drive: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package
Case: RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WU Black / Blue SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST250DM000 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

I hesitate to even put this build in my post because I don't have my heart set on any one part here but I figured it would be easier to have a starting point to learn from/adapt then to ask for an entire build from scratch. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
April 9, 2012 5:52:26 PM

That is a good start but could use a bit of tweaking - for starters Raidmax is a brand notorious for producing a lot of garbage. I wouldn't touch their cases with a 10 foot pole - we use them where I work and we've had so many issues and errors with them and I've let my boss know this repeatedly that they are garbage compared to my HAF 912. I wouldn't use a Rosewill PSU - you're right that it is underpowered for your setup, and the 6790 is way outdated now.

Try this:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 - $109.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3H - $169.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 - $249.99
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23'' WideScreen LCD monitor

Total: $1,129.99 ($989.91 without monitor)

A bit over budget but this setup gives a far more powerful video card, a bigger hard drive, better motherboard, and a way better case than anything Raidcrap makes.
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April 9, 2012 6:19:12 PM

^^^^
Forgot a copy of Windows, so it ends up at $1100.
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April 9, 2012 6:32:03 PM

obsama1 said:
^^^^
Forgot a copy of Windows, so it ends up at $1100.


Yeah I forgot the Windows license - if that's the case with that and monitor the 2500K isn't doable on a sub $1K build. Maybe try this instead:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 - $89.99 ($15.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw X 1600MHz 1.5V - $46.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite on DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 - $249.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23'' WideScreen LCD monitor - $139.99

Total: $1,096.91 - $25.00 MIR = $1,071.91
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April 9, 2012 6:36:38 PM

Good comments from g-unit1111^
For gaming, spend your budget on a great graphics card.

If you can wait for a couple of weeks, and it looks like you will, ivy bridge will launch, and you can expect about 10% more for your dollar.
Look for the 3570K which should be priced similar to the 2500K.

In the mean time, Z77 motherboards have launched, and they seem to be better and cheaper than Z68.
Something like the ASRock Z77 Pro4 for $120:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec has a 650w earthwatts green for $80:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive prices are high today.
I suggest you get a SSD for the os and your first few apps up front. 60-80gb will be ok. It will be much faster than any hard drive, and you WILL notice the speed.
In time, if you need more storage space you can always add a large hard drive. Expect to pay $1.20 or so per gb.
Today, Intel 320 or 520 series, or Samsung 830 are considered to be the most reliable.
Some online e-tailers have a new intel 330 budget series on pre-order. I would look for that:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5723/details-on-intel-ssd...
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April 9, 2012 6:48:39 PM

geofelt said:
Good comments from g-unit1111^
For gaming, spend your budget on a great graphics card.


Yeah I always try to budget around the GPU as I feel it's one of the most important parts of the PC. I took the existing GPU out of my HTPC yesterday (Radeon 6450) and put in a GTX 550TI and the score on Windows Experience jumped from 4.6 to 7.2. :ouch: 

The GPU can often make or break the performance of a build and I can't stress enough that you don't want to skimp or compromise in this area if you can help it.


Quote:

Hard drive prices are high today.
I suggest you get a SSD for the os and your first few apps up front. 60-80gb will be ok. It will be much faster than any hard drive, and you WILL notice the speed.
In time, if you need more storage space you can always add a large hard drive. Expect to pay $1.20 or so per gb.
Today, Intel 320 or 520 series, or Samsung 830 are considered to be the most reliable.
Some online e-tailers have a new intel 330 budget series on pre-order. I would look for that:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5723 [...] 330-series


Not on sub $1K build - you trade speed for space, and if gaming and other uses are the main priority here you don't want a 64GB SSD as your only storage option, you can always add the drives later.
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April 9, 2012 6:57:36 PM

g-unit1111 said:
That is a good start but could use a bit of tweaking - for starters Raidmax is a brand notorious for producing a lot of garbage. I wouldn't touch their cases with a 10 foot pole - we use them where I work and we've had so many issues and errors with them and I've let my boss know this repeatedly that they are garbage compared to my HAF 912. I wouldn't use a Rosewill PSU - you're right that it is underpowered for your setup, and the 6790 is way outdated now.

Try this:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 - $109.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3H - $169.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 - $249.99
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23'' WideScreen LCD monitor

Total: $1,129.99 ($989.91 without monitor)

A bit over budget but this setup gives a far more powerful video card, a bigger hard drive, better motherboard, and a way better case than anything Raidcrap makes.


1.) Thanks for the quick reply

2.) Good find on the HD, I really should look more into HD's because I can get storage space for cheap while not sacrificing if I'm diligent/smart

3.) Just curious on what the benificial differences are between the two Motherboards. I have only recently begun to learn the features of motherboards

4.) I meant to add a cooler for OC but forgot and didn't budget for it, thanks.

5.) I did the least research on cases so I will take your suggestion into consideration as I nail down specific components and sizes so that I can work out the case aspect. Thanks

6.) I havent decided how much to dish out on a monitor but if I go with the 7850 I'll definitely want to enjoy it on something nice. On that note, what are your thoughts on a slightly less pricy graphics card until I generate more of a budget? Is there a less expensive card that would still be usable if I bought another one later and went the SLI/Crossfire route? I know Vid Cards are on a pedestal for gaming builds and rightfully so but I still am looking to make that budget. If the card isnt the best place to cut cost what would you suggest going cheaper on?
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April 9, 2012 7:10:39 PM

Quote:
2.) Good find on the HD, I really should look more into HD's because I can get storage space for cheap while not sacrificing if I'm diligent/smart


Yeah the HD shortages right now - you have to know where to look, HD prices aren't what they used to be because of the floods in Thailand but they're slowly starting to get the factories back online and we'll see prices drop to what they once were in about a year or so.

Quote:
3.) Just curious on what the benificial differences are between the two Motherboards. I have only recently begun to learn the features of motherboards


They're both about the same feature wise - Gigabyte adds an eSATA and USB 3.0 port and a couple of extra SATA III / SATA II ports, and an extra x16 lane for video card expansion.

Quote:
4.) I meant to add a cooler for OC but forgot and didn't budget for it, thanks.


The Evo is a pretty safe choice. I have the Hyper 212 plus and it works great.

Quote:
5.) I did the least research on cases so I will take your suggestion into consideration as I nail down specific components and sizes so that I can work out the case aspect. Thanks


Yeah most people who pick brands like Raidmax and Apevia - that tends to happen. :lol: 

I've used a lot of junk cases and it gets frustrating in the long run and I flat-out refuse to patronize brands that do - especially Raidmax, Apevia, Tiger Direct's Ultra garbage, Xion, Xclio, and so on. The other day I had to fish out a stuck power button from a Raidmax case and it was not fun to say the least.

Quote:
6.) I havent decided how much to dish out on a monitor but if I go with the 7850 I'll definitely want to enjoy it on something nice. On that note, what are your thoughts on a slightly less pricy graphics card until I generate more of a budget? Is there a less expensive card that would still be usable if I bought another one later and went the SLI/Crossfire route? I know Vid Cards are on a pedestal for gaming builds and rightfully so but I still am looking to make that budget. If the card isnt the best place to cut cost what would you suggest going cheaper on?


If you wanted a less expensive card - the Radeon 6870 is a good choice and isn't too expensive, runs about $170: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think the GPU is one of the most important parts of the build and I generally try not to emphasize skimping on those if you can help it. You always want the single strongest solution you can get as opposed to two weaker ones.
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April 9, 2012 7:15:10 PM

geofelt said:
Good comments from g-unit1111^
For gaming, spend your budget on a great graphics card.

If you can wait for a couple of weeks, and it looks like you will, ivy bridge will launch, and you can expect about 10% more for your dollar.
Look for the 3570K which should be priced similar to the 2500K.

In the mean time, Z77 motherboards have launched, and they seem to be better and cheaper than Z68.
Something like the ASRock Z77 Pro4 for $120:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



I may wait for ivy bridge. I am not really looking at a SSD quite yet but I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the info on the Z77, Ill be looking into those as well now. With the rebate the 650W Corsair PSU is a bit cheaper but ill compare those two as well. Thanks!
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April 9, 2012 7:27:26 PM

Quote:
If you wanted a less expensive card - the Radeon 6870 is a good choice and isn't too expensive, runs about $170: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think the GPU is one of the most important parts of the build and I generally try not to emphasize skimping on those if you can help it. You always want the single strongest solution you can get as opposed to two weaker ones.


I think the CPU downgrade is better to cut a little bit of costs but I may wait on the ivy bridge release to see if I want to cut costs there. I don't want to cut RAM either and 8 is a good number for my computer usage but I may cut to 6 or for if money gets tight. I may actually have a valid Windows license which would settle things nicely with an extra $100. I think you have convinced me about the GPU though. There really is no way to make up for a less than stellar GPU.
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April 9, 2012 8:11:12 PM

If your primary use is for programming, then take a good look at a SSD.

Ram is cheap, there are no practical 6gb kits for sandy bridge, either 4gb or 8gb. Considering the low current cost of ram, 8gb is appropriate.

Both Z68 and Z77 give you the option to run using the integrated graphics. Integrated graphics is entirely suitable for desktop work and HD movie viewing.
Ivy bridge will supposedly bring a considerable improvement in that area.
If you are uncertain what you will need, you could consider building using integrated graphics first, then deciding what graphics card you want/need.

If your gaming is for fast action games, like first person shooters, then you do need a fast graphics card.
You might want to read this tom's article on the best graphics cards for your money, march. It will give you some idea of what you can expect at each price point:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

I do not like planning on cf/sli when a good single card will do the job.
a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single 7970 or GTX680 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.

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April 9, 2012 8:13:10 PM

One more question. I used eXtreme Power Supply Calculator and I may have messed things up but with my setup I think it suggested that my power supply is aound 400W. Am I missing something or is the power supply something you just make sure you go overboard on so that you can supply power at peak performance no matter what?
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April 9, 2012 8:24:14 PM

Quote:
If your primary use is for programming, then take a good look at a SSD.


What aspects of programming are you thinking tend to benifit from ssd? I'm afraid that I am not quite knowledgeable about RAM/HD use with programming. Wouldn't most programs fit in 8GB of RAM? Or are you meaning that code testing accesses enough files often enough that having SSD can prove to be invaluable? Any light on the subject is appreciated. I currently work with C#/Matlab/Labview(murder me) Application Development and I am wondering what aspects of my coding benifit from SSD. Thanks!
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April 9, 2012 8:25:40 PM

NightFury836 said:
One more question. I used eXtreme Power Supply Calculator and I may have messed things up but with my setup I think it suggested that my power supply is aound 400W. Am I missing something or is the power supply something you just make sure you go overboard on so that you can supply power at peak performance no matter what?


The problem with power supply calculators is that some of the inputs are unanswerable.
How much growth? Capacitor aging factor? etc.
In practice, a rule of thumb works out as well.
With a normal complement of cpu, ram, hard drive, dvd, fans, motherboard, etc. you are looking at 100-200w power draw.
What adds to the requirement is a discrete graphics card. A pcie-X16 slot can deliver up to 75w, each 6 pin pci-e connector can draw 75w, and if the card needs a 8 pin connector, that is 150w. Graphics card designers try to limit the power draw to 300w.

A PSU will use only the power that is demanded of it. So, it is not wrong to overprovision the psu a bit.
The quality of the pcu counts too, a lot. Good psu's will deliver their power continuously at 40c or higher.
A cheap psu will advertise high wattage, but only at peak, and not on the 12v rails that the cpu and graphics cards use.
Gold or platinum reated psu's are more efficient, but their higher costs may take a very long time to be recovered. They do have an advantage in that they run cooler so you may not even hear the fan in normal use.
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April 9, 2012 8:25:42 PM

As for the SLI/Crossfire I am not considering them for this setup for sure so planning for one card is probably what I should stick with
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April 9, 2012 8:38:41 PM

NightFury836 said:
Quote:
If your primary use is for programming, then take a good look at a SSD.


What aspects of programming are you thinking tend to benifit from ssd? I'm afraid that I am not quite knowledgeable about RAM/HD use with programming. Wouldn't most programs fit in 8GB of RAM? Or are you meaning that code testing accesses enough files often enough that having SSD can prove to be invaluable? Any light on the subject is appreciated. I currently work with C#/Matlab/Labview(murder me) Application Development and I am wondering what aspects of my coding benifit from SSD. Thanks!


With normal desktop usage, the os does lots of small random reads and writes.
A SSD will be 50x faster than a hard drive there. On sequential access, a ssd will be 2-3x faster.
The only negative to a ssd is the cost per gb. If your app and testing access a hard drive a lot, the ssd becomes a huge benefit.

I understand that matlab is now multi core enabled, so a quad will be put to good use. For heavy computation, ivy bridge will be better because of more work done per cycle.
For gaming, not so much.

If you are using a 64 bit enabled app, then it may have the ability to use ram instead of hard drive for workfiles, speeding up processing. I don't know if this will apply to you.
If it does, then consider 16gb.

For games, I know of no game that will use more than 2-3gb by itself. But, Windows will keep code in ram, available for instant reuse. So the more you have, the better.
Here is one study by corsair:
http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65
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April 9, 2012 8:43:07 PM

NightFury836 said:
Quote:
If you wanted a less expensive card - the Radeon 6870 is a good choice and isn't too expensive, runs about $170: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think the GPU is one of the most important parts of the build and I generally try not to emphasize skimping on those if you can help it. You always want the single strongest solution you can get as opposed to two weaker ones.


I think the CPU downgrade is better to cut a little bit of costs but I may wait on the ivy bridge release to see if I want to cut costs there. I don't want to cut RAM either and 8 is a good number for my computer usage but I may cut to 6 or for if money gets tight. I may actually have a valid Windows license which would settle things nicely with an extra $100. I think you have convinced me about the GPU though. There really is no way to make up for a less than stellar GPU.


Yeah I think it would be better to cut down on the CPU rather than the GPU - if you're going to overclock the 2500K is ideal, if not the 2400 will save you some money. I always say that the GPU is the most important part of any build after the PSU - the GPU can often make or break the performance on a build.

Quote:

The problem with power supply calculators is that some of the inputs are unanswerable.
How much growth? Capacitor aging factor? etc.
In practice, a rule of thumb works out as well.


Most people don't take that into account when buying PSUs - if they did then crap brands like Diablotek and Coolmax would be out of business. My rule of thumb is I try to factor CPU wattage + motherboard + case + 2 x HDD + 1 x optical + video card, add 200W for SLI/Crossfire, add 50W for overclocking.

Quote:

A cheap psu will advertise high wattage, but only at peak, and not on the 12v rails that the cpu and graphics cards use.
Gold or platinum reated psu's are more efficient, but their higher costs may take a very long time to be recovered. They do have an advantage in that they run cooler so you may not even hear the fan in normal use.


I never recommend going cheap on the PSU - you want bronze or silver minimum, gold and platinum are the best - the bad thing is there's very few reliable platinum manufacturers out there.
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April 9, 2012 9:25:45 PM

Yes, you are, because they will last longer.
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April 10, 2012 1:59:26 PM

Quote:
Are you really saving much over configuring one of these?

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system [...] figurator/


This configuration:

Quote:
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99 ($10.00 MIR)
PSU: Corsair TX650 V2 - $89.99 ($15.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - $121.99
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-2400 - $189.99
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw X 1600MHz 1.5V - $46.99
HD: 500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue - $84.99
Optical: Lite on DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 - $249.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23'' WideScreen LCD monitor - $139.99

Total: $1,096.91 - $25.00 MIR = $1,071.91


on the website you linked is $1366 versus the $1072 that g-unit put together. So yes I am saving money even without considering how long they last
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April 10, 2012 2:21:10 PM

Meanwhile I've been looking at my friend's setup and how beneficial his SSD is and I have a new build setup that I would love feedback on. He is going to sell me his Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 for $150 so I did some reworking of my build. I don't use massive amounts of HD space so for now the space on this setup will work and I have an external HD as well for additional space. I would love advice on this:

Processor: AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor - $190
Motherboard: BIOSTAR TA970XE AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $100
Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model - $90
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23'' 5ms 1920x1080 WideScreen LCD monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 - $140
PSU: Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $70
DVD/CD: LG DVD Burner - $18
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $50
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $35
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $130
Vid Card: Sapphire HD Radeon 6950 - $150
OS: Windows 7 Downloaded from DreamSpark (Yay for academic discounts!! :D  ) - $0

Total = $973 :D 

That gives me an SSD and 16 gigs of RAM. Found a good 750W PSU (is that enough?) and looking at benchmarks versus price went the AMD cpu route and chose the FX-8120 with 8 cores over the i5-2500k. Obviously had to change the motherboard at that point. Ideas? Improvements?
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April 10, 2012 2:54:48 PM

AMD 6950 looks like a good deal to me.
It requires a 500w psu with two 6 pin pcie power connectors.
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-rad...

Thermaltake quality is mixed. See if you can find a review from a competent reviewer like jonnyguru.

The psu advertises 54a on the 12v rails, but that is the same as the Antec 650w earthwatts green($79-$20) which makes me wonder a bit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


From a gaming point of view, bulldozer was a disappointment. In the $200 cpu range, the 2500K will probably be better, on balance for you.
Read some reviews and benchmarks. Here is an article worth reading It compares the faster FX-8150 to the 2500K at stock.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-7-hotfix-bu...

When overclocked, the 2500K should do even better.

Only if your apps are heavily multithreaded and more important than gaming, might the amd bulldozer chips seem appropriate.

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April 10, 2012 3:10:46 PM

NightFury836 said:
This was what I saw for comparing the FX-8120 and the 2500k

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+FX-8120+Eig...


Passmark is a simple test that uses app 8 cores at stock.
If you will consistently use all 8 cores at the same time, and will not overclock, then the passmark numbers are reasonable.

If any app is songle core, or in total, you have 5 or fewer cores active, then the 2500K will be better.
Games rarely use more than 2-3 cores. Don't know about your apps. If matlab is multi core, which I think it is, then look for some matlab specific benchmarks.

It is my understanding that the 2500K will oc easier and higher than bulldozer.
If you will OC, and it is easy, take that into consideration too.
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April 10, 2012 3:56:22 PM

NightFury836 said:

OS: Windows 7 Downloaded from DreamSpark (Yay for academic discounts!! :D  ) - $0



That's "Windows Virtual PC 2007" not Windows 7.

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April 10, 2012 4:10:53 PM

Cazalan said:
That's "Windows Virtual PC 2007" not Windows 7.

I'm a student at Georgia Tech in the College of Computing where we have DreamSpark Premium. It has Windows 7 Professional. It also has virtual pc 07. But I am getting the Windows 7 OS. And the Windows 8 consumer preview to play with. But I think that is free anyway
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April 10, 2012 6:07:18 PM

NightFury836 said:
I'm a student at Georgia Tech in the College of Computing where we have DreamSpark Premium. It has Windows 7 Professional. It also has virtual pc 07. But I am getting the Windows 7 OS. And the Windows 8 consumer preview to play with. But I think that is free anyway


Good deal!
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April 10, 2012 6:10:15 PM

Ya it's great. It has lots of development tools and fun stuff. Visual Studio 10 Pro, VS 11 Pro Beta, XNA Game Studio, Loads of server software, TONS of Office Products etc
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April 10, 2012 7:30:27 PM

Ok. I think this is what I'm going to move forward with. I think the only thing I'm not sure about is if the PSU is good enough for this setup. Thanks for all the help!

Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge - $220
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77-DS3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $120
Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model - $90
Monitor: Acer G235HAbd 23'' 5ms 1920x1080 WideScreen LCD monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 - $140
PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply - $75
DVD/CD: LG DVD Burner - $18
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $50
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $35
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $100
Vid Card: Sapphire HD Radeon 6950 - $150
OS: Windows 7 Downloaded from DreamSpark (Yay for academic discounts!! :D  ) - $0

Total = $998

That is pretty much right on the money for my original budget
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April 10, 2012 9:15:12 PM

PSU is fine.
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!