Barebones systems

I have not bought a PC in 5 years. I may have one built or I may buy a barebones system.

1. Is newegg the best place to do this since they pick out all the parts for you? Anywhere else? do newegg barebone kits come with good manuals on how to put everything together or just the standard manuals with the parts? Yeah I know you can read the individual manuals.

2. I want RAID mirroring (write to 2 disks at once. if one fails. can resync new drive or the same one). I have raid mirroring on my current PC. I found the motherboard manual very hard to read. Can someone recommend a good set of tutorials on how to configure raid? It seems like all the motherboards use nvidea drivers for this. Is that true? Are they all the same to configure? Is there more to do when installing windows 7 on RAID Mirrored device.

3. cyberpowerpc shows you your frames per second what you do your build on several games. How reliable is this? I am looking for a straight forward way to help me decide about swapping in and out parts and what I should spend a little extra. Is frames per second the best indicator for games? In practical terms what is the difference between 40 and 50 frames per second in a game?

4. will I notice any difference at all if I save a little money and put in 1333 mhz ram on a motherboard that can handle 1866?

5. is there a chart that shows how say an amd 6 core compares to which intel chip?

6. Is an 8-core amd chip is $50 more than a 6-core AMD, is that a good price to performance increase?

7. I want to be able to play games and work from my couch with my pc hooked up to my pc. I saw something by gyration called an 'air mouse'. you don't need to put it on a table. but they are pretty expensive. anyone know any cheaper alternatives? Can someone recommend a good wireless keyboard with a trackpad or ball? This is for gaming and work.
If I get one of those wireless game controllers that look like xbox controllers? Do i have to configure it as a mouse? Does it work with all games? can someone recommend one.

8. do i know if i need 1 fan or multiple? if I get a barebones system, do I have to do any work to configure liquid cooling? I don't want my system to be really noisy? is there anything I should look for in determining how noisy systems will be?

9. radeon 6770 seems to get really good price to performance reviews for lower end cards. I want to play games, but I don't need anything great. Is it better to get a card that is 2x as expensive as a radeon 6700 or to get 2 radeon 6770s? How do you determine if 2 cards is better than 1 more expensive card?
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More about barebones systems
  1. Here is a barebones on newegg.

    looks like I need to buy a wireless card, another hard drive, and windows 7. Anything this is missing?
    how good of a deal is this?

    Looks like they include a pretty expensive video card. out of curiosity, for gaming. would it be better to go with a cheaper video card and a more expensive Intel i-7 chip? Or is the video card more important?

    Combined Total: $1,134.92
    Combo Discounts: -$70.93
    Combo Price: $1,063.99

    ermaltake Element G VL10001W2Z Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Model:VL10001W2Z)

    1x GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard (Model:GA-990FXA-UD3)

    1x SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ( 11199-03-20G) (Model:11199-03-20G)

    1x Thermaltake TR2 TRX-650M 650W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 Modular Active PFC Power Supply (Model:TRX-650M)

    1x AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8120FRGUBOX (Model:FD8120FRGUBOX)

    1x CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9B (Model:CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9B)

    1x Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (Model:ST31000524AS)

    1x LG Black 12X Internal Blu-ray Drive 3D Playback & M-DISC Support SATA Model UH12LS29 LightScribe Support (Model:UH12LS29)


    Combined Total: $1,134.92
    Combo Discounts: -$70.93
    Combo Price: $1,063.99
  2. i give you some tips on keeping your pc quite and cooling needs. you want to look at new case that has fans or opening on the top of the case. you want cool air pulled into the case and hot air pushed out the top. the larger the fans the slower they need to run. most people buy a fan contoller and set the fan speeds. if you use the mb header for the fan buy a mb like asus that lets you set a temp profile. if you overclock your cpu or gpu you make more heat..more heat means bigger cooling or fan running faster. micro case going to run hotter..less room for air movement. also your new case has to be made for extra cooling a lot of "gaming cases" are just plastic show cases and not realy gaming or cooling cases. most people use this Corsair Hydro Series H80 is a sealed unit and it has almost no sound. the other option is a large metal heatsink with one 120/140mm fan on it. i have this.
    on iv i5-3540 and 550 nvidia card in an antec one case and my stock temp run 27-30c. under load hottest i seen them is 45-50c.
    i have the case fans set up as front one pulls air into the case and the two top fans are blowing out. i have them connected to a fan controller in the front bay and can adjust the fans up or down as needed. the loudest noise in the case is the gpu fan that spins up to full speed at post then spin downs. intel cpu even the older i3 for the money are better gaming cpu. look online at toms hardware and other forums and look at the cpu they use on there test an i7 cpu and a high end gaming mb.
    the i5 cpu for the money are great cpu i have no problem gaming with my 3540 cpu. the -5 line not going to kill the build budget. nvidia been out of the mb chipset biz for a wile. most new mb have the intel chipset to raid or there a 3 party chipset. most home raid people use the onboard intel chipset now and intel software. it gui based like windows. if i was building your system i buy a mid side case and put a hot swap box (3-5) unit in the case and use the z77 chipset and mb that does hot swapping.
    and a 120g ssd as the boot drive. i would then get a usb/esata/ethernet storage device. I know some people that use photoshop or word for work...losing any of it is a pain. I had a friend thank me when he had a usb backup drive and backup software that would save the data files as they were made or changed..we had the bad storms here in the northeast an when the power dropped at his house his main drive the file he was working on was lost but not the backup one.
  3. video cards your better off buying one good card then two. some times you have to mod the game to get sli to run on some games. what your looking for in a gpu is a card that can run your game above 30 frames..what you want in a game is a card that can run near 60 frames. anything faster and your eye cant tell. as you look at toms testing chart what you want to look at is the video setting and the games and the cards. whene you look at the cards and games rember there are some game engines that are killer for even the newer cards out there. and there are some game that are very light on gpu. what you want to do when looking at the charts is what the card was getting in most games as max fps and the price of the card. when you build a your pc or gaming system it a trade off between price and performance..not to many people can drop 1000 for top of the line video card..but you dont want to drop 90 on a card that so under powered that in a group fight your lagging out. you also on any build is to go cheap on the power supply..there are a lot of cheap ps out there and a real bad one can take out your whole system when it fails. it it marginal it cause bsod or lock ups. to let you know most software and games dont use all cores if you have more then 2 cores.
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