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Quiet & Discreet whole computer build for under $1500 all inclusive

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April 18, 2012 3:25:25 PM

Hey guys, I used to have an account on here when I built a computer back last year, now the wife wants one too and I just wanted to get the build opinions from the community.

All I ask is that you please respect the request to stay with AMD, I would like to avoid the whole AMD vs Intel debate.

Approximate Purchase Date: (before May 2012)

Budget Range: (e.g.: $1500) After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: gaming/workstation, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Parts Not Required: N/A (brand new build from scratch)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Already have an AMD Phenom II x6 1100T with ATI 6590 would like to stick to AMD and Radeon. Will consider Nvidea but want to stay with AMD to keep cross compatibility between computers.

Overclocking: Maybe later as required (not super important)

SLI or Crossfire:Maybe as an upgrade in the future

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: at least 1280x1024, 25")

Additional Comments: Very quiet very discreet computer (thinking a lian li case no lights or anything), need everything including: keys, mouse, sound.

Thanks in advance
April 18, 2012 4:33:02 PM

Quote:
Parts Preferences: Already have an AMD Phenom II x6 1100T with ATI 6590 would like to stick to AMD and Radeon. Will consider Nvidea but want to stay with AMD to keep cross compatibility between computers.


That's *NOT* true - GPUs are not CPU specific - I was using a pair of 550TIs on an X6-1055T machine with no problems whatsoever. I upgraded to a Radeon 7870 and it's worked fine as well. GPU manufacturers would have a lot of unhappy customers if they geared their products toward functioning with one CPU or the other.

Since you already have the CPU try this:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $99.99
PSU: Corsair TX750V2 - $104.99 ($15.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD5 - $179.99 ($20.00 MIR)
CPU: Already have
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99 ($5.00 MIR)
RAM: 8GB Kingston Hyper X 1600MHz 1.5V - $69.99
SSD: 64GB Crucial M4 - $89.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST 7200RPM - $119.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $499.99 - *OR* - EVGA Geforce GTX 680 - $499.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99
Monitor: ASUS VH236H Black 23" Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers - $169.99 ($20.00 MIR)

Total: $1,482.89 - $60.00 MIR = $1,422.89

I don't include peripherals (keyboard / mouse / speakers / headset) on builds as that's entirely personal preference - I suggest getting cheap ones for now and then you can always get the expensive ones after you get your build up and running. Where you want the most performance from is your GPU and I do not recommend skimping or compromising in this area - the GPU is the most important part of any build and the wrong one can often make or break the build's performance. The 680 is the king right now and I'd suggest that easily if you can find one - it's a lot more energy efficient than previous generations and puts out some unbelievable frame rates.
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April 18, 2012 5:16:36 PM

Just to clarify, I have another PC entirely that has an AMD Phenom II x6 1100T CPU and a Radeon 6950 GPU.

For this computer I have no components at all so far, but was trying to keep the new one similar to the old one for simplicity and potential swapping of parts later as upgrades happen.
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April 18, 2012 5:33:32 PM

CurSpider said:
Just to clarify, I have another PC entirely that has an AMD Phenom II x6 1100T CPU and a Radeon 6950 GPU.

For this computer I have no components at all so far, but was trying to keep the new one similar to the old one for simplicity and potential swapping of parts later as upgrades happen.


Ok that will make the build completely different then. I wouldn't recommend AMD on a new build unless you really want to use that CPU - but the i5-2500K would be far better.

Try this:


Try this setup:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $109.99
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 - $104.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-UD5H - $189.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $219.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB 1333MHz - $42.99
HD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $99.99
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 - $399.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1,277.91
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Best solution

April 18, 2012 6:06:34 PM

This is very open build and I based it to what you said, and since you said you have another one with the x6 1100T with 6950, you can swap parts how ever you want, should be no problem (besides the mobo if your not using am3+)

Processor: 179.99$
AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8120FRGUBOX
$10 off w/ promo code EMCNFJC28, ends 4/18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: 34.99$>29.99$ after rebate
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Free cable w/ purchase, limited offer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: 219.99$
ASUS Crosshair V Formula AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Gaming Motherboard with 3-Way SLI/CrossFireX Support and UEFI BIOS
Extreme Engine Digi+,3Way SLI/CFX,Intel Gigabit LAN
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: 249.99$
ASUS HD7850-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Free Dirt3 game coupon w/ purchase, limited offer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Disk Drive: 79.99$
Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Solid Slate Drive: 144.99$
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Transfer Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: 46.99$
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: 189.99$>169.99$ after rebate
CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 (CMPSU-850AX) 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
15% off w/ promo code EMCNFJG23, ends 4/19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Chassis: 59.99$>49.99$ after rebate
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$10 off w/ promo code EMCNFJC69, ends 4/18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: 99.99$
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: 169.99$
ASUS VS Series VS238H-P Black 23" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 50,000,000:1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = 1493.88$>1468.88$ after rebate

the build is debatable, you can go for a cheaper mobo the sabertooth, and get a better case like the nzxt phantom with red trim (I personally like it) and of course by going with the FX6100 which is cheaper and getting a 7870.

mouse/keyboard/head set I didn't put here, including the chair and table, and UPS or AVR or any extention wire you might need ^_^
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April 18, 2012 6:08:35 PM

btw you it's close to your budget but by either lowering to the asus 990fx sabertooth and maybe removing the ssd, you can get a decent 7870 and maybe some cheap mouse,keyboard not sure about speaker but by sticking to the 7850 add in a speaker. or by going down to fx6100



It's pretty much the same as my wife's gaming system, but she was using 6970 crossfire, until she sold off some parts and went with i7 2600k, but I have a similar system but using a 8150, same mobo,noctua,nzxt phantom red trim, 16gb ram 4x4gb ripjaws x, a seagate 1tb. corsair force gt 120gb ssd, win 7 ultimate fpp and a 23" samsung monitor and gtx580msi, so far it's been great since the release of 8150, and work's awesome both gaming and some core intensive stuff I put there, runs everything I trow at it, but well still nothing over my lga2011 runs everything I trow at it too but much better specially on work wise.
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April 18, 2012 7:03:08 PM

That is some fantastic help guys, I really appreciate it. I will give some others a chance to post their answers and then do some final research before purchasing the components.

Thanks again.
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April 18, 2012 7:18:16 PM

I'd recommend spending a large part of that budget on the monitor. The monitor will stick with you for a few builds, so you probably don't want something that will look rustic 5 years from now. Every electrical component on the PC is going to depreciate in value faster than the monitor (not counting mouse and keyboard).

Not to mention as far as builds go, serious diminishing returns happen past $1000, more money won't get you that much more performance, aside from sli/xfire'd video cards.

I don't have any links for a monitor you can purchase right now, but if you have an old monitor you can tide yourself over with for a while, I'm waiting on this one myself.

Yamakasi Catleap Q270 (100hz guaranteed)

It's a 27" 2560x1440 IPS panel monitor @ 6ms latency and 100hz refresh rate. Pretty much everything including on screen display is taken off the circuit board to reduce input lag (anything added to a monitor's circuit board, such as additional inputs, speakers, etc increases input lag). This *may* be the best gaming monitor in existence, assuming it actually comes out.

Looks like it'll retail at ~$400, not counting shipping.

"overclock.net" edition I'm waiting on
http://www.overclock.net/t/1232084/yamakasi-catleap-q27...

read "jpinard's facts and explanation about this monitor" in the above link. It'll help no matter which monitor you decide to buy.

currently produced, but moddable version (you can find them on ebay)
http://www.overclock.net/t/1225919/yamakasi-catleap-mon...
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April 18, 2012 7:18:56 PM

Anyone know where you get the best value for money in monitors. I want to add the biggest I can afford that is also good quality. Probably no more than $500
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April 18, 2012 8:30:01 PM

Also, if you're going to buy an ssd, make sure to get a toggle NAND ssd if you're not buying intel (intel doesn't currently make one) or the vertex 4 (dunno what type of memory it uses). Toggle NAND is much faster than synchronous, and the drives are about the same price as synchronous.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-review-benchmar...
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April 18, 2012 9:05:48 PM

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6200 3.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($159.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($78.99 @ Amazon)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($407.55 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($169.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Planar PL2210W 22.0" Monitor ($117.59 @ Mac Connection)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1495.04
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-04-18 17:05 EDT-0400)
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April 18, 2012 9:08:45 PM

quilciri said:
I'd recommend spending a large part of that budget on the monitor. The monitor will stick with you for a few builds, so you probably don't want something that will look rustic 5 years from now. Every electrical component on the PC is going to depreciate in value faster than the monitor (not counting mouse and keyboard).

Not to mention as far as builds go, serious diminishing returns happen past $1000, more money won't get you that much more performance, aside from sli/xfire'd video cards.

I don't have any links for a monitor you can purchase right now, but if you have an old monitor you can tide yourself over with for a while, I'm waiting on this one myself.

Yamakasi Catleap Q270 (100hz guaranteed)

It's a 27" 2560x1440 IPS panel monitor @ 6ms latency and 100hz refresh rate. Pretty much everything including on screen display is taken off the circuit board to reduce input lag (anything added to a monitor's circuit board, such as additional inputs, speakers, etc increases input lag). This *may* be the best gaming monitor in existence, assuming it actually comes out.

Looks like it'll retail at ~$400, not counting shipping.

"overclock.net" edition I'm waiting on
http://www.overclock.net/t/1232084/yamakasi-catleap-q27...

read "jpinard's facts and explanation about this monitor" in the above link. It'll help no matter which monitor you decide to buy.

currently produced, but moddable version (you can find them on ebay)
http://www.overclock.net/t/1225919/yamakasi-catleap-mon...


No - spend it on the GPU - the best monitor is only as good as the GPU that can support it. You don't want a monitor with that high of a resolution bogged down by an inferior GPU, that wouldn't be good for anything.
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April 18, 2012 9:16:04 PM

g-unit1111 said:
No - spend it on the GPU - the best monitor is only as good as the GPU that can support it. You don't want a monitor with that high of a resolution bogged down by an inferior GPU, that wouldn't be good for anything.


$1000 is plenty for a machine to match that monitor.

How many people re-use video cards in a new build?

How many people re-use monitors in a new build?

Besides, you can grow into a monitor, you'll just grow out of everything else. You can use a lower resolution than max (though that won't be necessary with a $1000 budget) and sli/xfire later on for more graphics performance, when the cards are even cheaper. For a better monitor......you can.....throw it out and buy a new one.

You have more interaction with your monitor than any other part of your PC. Invest in it.
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April 18, 2012 9:35:39 PM

quilciri said:
$1000 is plenty for a machine to match that monitor.

How many people re-use video cards in a new build?

How many people re-use monitors in a new build?

Besides, you can grow into a monitor, you'll just grow out of everything else. You can use a lower resolution than max (though that won't be necessary with a $1000 budget) and sli/xfire later on for more graphics performance, when the cards are even cheaper. For a better monitor......you can.....throw it out and buy a new one.

You have more interaction with your monitor than any other part of your PC. Invest in it.


Yeah but on a $1500 budget I'd rather invest more in a somewhat future-proof build. I say somewhat because there really is no such thing as future-proofing in the PC world. You maybe right in that you'll reuse your monitor several times over but I still think on a $1500 build that a $400 monitor is massive overkill. If this were a $2500 non-SB-E build, then I might be inclined to suggest a higher-end monitor, but with peripherals it's easy to add / replace them. Replacing a monitor is easy, replacing a motherboard isn't.

Although I have to say I'm really intrigued by this monitor if I get some more cash, I may have to splurge... :lol: 
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April 18, 2012 9:38:29 PM

What are you talking about? he won't need to change the motherboard at all.

I'm not asking him to change his chipset. He can use the same processor he would have otherwise. $210 is excessive for a motherboard on a $1500 budget. there are some great IB motherboards for $140 or less, with multiple pci-e 3.0 slots.

btw, my machine runs battlefield 3 at 2560x1440 @ Ultra details, 4x MSAA, 4x AF at 43 FPS, and without the ssd, my machine barely costs $800. I could have made it even cheaper by using the coolermaster 212 and an fx-4100 and not seen an iota of difference in gaming performance.

Hoping to change that once more research is done on the 4170, seems it's safe voltage ceiling may be higher than I thought, folks have hit a stable 5.1 ghz (@ 1.64v) on the stock cooler apparently.
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April 18, 2012 9:41:53 PM

quilciri said:
What are you talking about? he won't need to change the motherboard at all.

I'm not asking him to change his chipset. He can use the same processor he would have otherwise. $210 is excessive for a motherboard on a $1500 budget. there are some great IB motherboards for $140 or less, with multiple pci-e 3.0 slots.

btw, my machine runs battlefield 3 at 2560x1440 @ Ultra details, 4x MSAA, 4x AF at 43 FPS, and without the ssd, my machine barely costs $800


I'm saying for future upgrades that replacing a motherboard isn't easy - I've done it several times. I would rather just buy one and be done with it.

I definitely agree that $210 is quite excessive for a motherboard on a $1500 budget, since you'll probably never use all the features on it.

I may have to research this monitor more, I do like what I see.
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April 18, 2012 9:44:30 PM

Yes, but what you're saying has nothing to do with spending more on his monitor or not.

He'll need to replace his machine at the same time no matter what ivy bridge/AM3+ motherboard he buys, so it's irrelevant to the conversation.
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April 18, 2012 9:49:52 PM

Friend of mine just bought a pair of 4870x2's, and his gaming performance will smoke mine once he gets those. Though those cards are only DirectX 10.1 (and he had to buy a 1000w PSU to support them, lol), in xfire, they put out numbers like a 6990 (i.e. better than a 7970), and the pair cost $320 total >.<.
even with the PSU ($120 after mail in), that's still fantastic performance for the $$.

keep in mind that that draws as much power as running quad 4870's, because that's almost exactly what he's doing, except with more useable RAM.

With any multi-card build, you'll want to turn off xfire/sli when you're using your machine for non graphic-intensive purposes to save power.

p.s. would be nice if amd/nvidia had an automatic utility for that - only turning on additional cards when the card(s) already on hit 90% load or greater and turning them back off when the load drops under a threshold as well.... why hasn't that happened yet? :) 
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April 19, 2012 3:26:52 PM

Best answer selected by CurSpider.
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