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First Time Building

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May 19, 2012 7:29:23 AM

I'm looking to build my first desktop. I've done some preliminary searching, based mostly off the options presented on iBuyPower and CyberPowerPC.

While I haven't done much gaming on a PC in the past, this has mostly been because I have only ever had laptops. My theory is also that if I aim toward the mid to high range for current gaming, the system will pretty much work for my basic needs, which include graphic design and perhaps some Unity development down the road. To do this, I have been using Skyrim as a base, not wanting to go lower than mid/high.

My budget is around $1,000, and since I am coming from laptops, I need the usual accessories, except speakers.

The basic build I have come up with is as follows:
- Case: Apevia X-Trooper LED Mid-Tower Case (Green) - $60
- CPU: AMD FX-6100 3.30 GHz Six-Core AM3+ - $140
- Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 AMD 970 - $95
- Video Card: HIS H777F1G2M Radeon HD 7770 1GB - $135
- Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM - $100
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance Blue 4 GB PC3-12800 1600mHz DDR3 - $25
- PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W - $105
- Optical Drive: Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive - $30
- Flash Media Reader: Transcend P8 15-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader - $12
- Wireless Card: ASUS(PCE-N15) maximum performance Wireless-N Network Adapter - $28
- Monitor: ASUS VH236H 23 Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - $160
- Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech Wireless Desktop MK320 Keyboard - $30
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional - $250

Total Cost: $1170

I realize that this current setup is over my ideal budget, but it is on the high end of doable.

Going into this, I realize that I would probably upgrade some things in the future, like the memory, keyboard, and mouse. Additionally, being able to connect to wireless is a must, because the computer is going upstairs, and the only access to the modem is by the TV downstairs through the router, which is a Linksys WRT110. I am willing to upgrade the router in the future.

While aesthetics are not the most important, I do find that I like the case, specifically the green light. If it is unworkable, then I would gladly trade, but if it only poses slight hassles, then I can live with it.

Other details include:
Location: New England - US
Preferred Sites: Amazon (++) or Newegg
Overclocking: Most likely never
Crossfire: Most likely never
Preferred Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Time frame: 1 week for parts to get here (Amazon Prime), building over next weekend

Final Details:
As I said, this is replacing a laptop, of which I have three. My newest one is fried. I am currently using my second oldest one, which has a damaged lid and the hard drive will most likely fail in the next week or so. I'd really rather get this built before I have to fall back to my oldest laptop, which would require me to get a new power supply.

Any thoughts or assistance would be welcome.

More about : time building

May 19, 2012 7:37:46 AM

I would get the i3-2120 with a compatible mobo from ASUS, ASRock, or GIGABYTE. Drop the OS down to Home Premium as it will net you no benefits. Use the $ saved to get a Radeon 7850 instead as it is much better.
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May 19, 2012 7:43:13 AM

From what I've gathered, Home Premium doesn't allow the ability of the computer to be connected to via remote desktop. While the desktop will be the hub of my home computing, I want the ability to connect remotely, whether it be through my phone, tablet, or a future laptop. Maybe I have misinterpreted this limitation, in which case I would gladly reduce to Home Premium.
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May 19, 2012 7:57:59 AM

There are a few things VERY wrong with this build.

1. 4GB of memory is a huge mistake. Get 8GB. You're saving next to nothing to go with 4, and it's going to cripple your system's performance (easy to use up 4GB). My computer's using 3.04GB right now, and it's not doing much of anything.

2. 750W is about twice as much power as this system needs. You don't need anywhere near that much power unless you plan to go with Crossfire, which you said you didn't. Get a 500W unit instead and pay half as much for it.

3. The FX-6100 is junk, especially if you don't overclock it. If you're dead set on AMD (which I also don't recommend), at least get the 8120. It's not much more. Better still to get an i5-2310.

4. You can get good wireless USB dongles that cost half as much as that network card, and perform just fine. I stream HD video through a $14 USB wireless dongle with no issues whatsoever.

5. Do you really need Win7 Pro, or did you just get the "best" version? The vast majority of people will never use any of the features you get for buying Pro or Ultimate. Here's a comparison of the various versions.

So, to recap, you need to spend $25 more on memory, $50 less on a PSU and $60 less on Windows. That gives you $85 more to either save, or put toward a better processor like the 2310. Don't be fooled by AMD's claims that the 6100 is six core (it's not), or it's higher clock speed (it's much slower clock for clock). The 2310 is actually quite a bit faster than the 6100, despite the disadvantages on paper.
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May 19, 2012 8:01:50 AM

burke111 said:
From what I've gathered, Home Premium doesn't allow the ability of the computer to be connected to via remote desktop. While the desktop will be the hub of my home computing, I want the ability to connect remotely, whether it be through my phone, tablet, or a future laptop. Maybe I have misinterpreted this limitation, in which case I would gladly reduce to Home Premium.

You can't use remote desktop with a phone or tablet anyway. For that you'll need VNC software, which is a totally separate concept, and not in any way reliant on your Windows version.

Here's a sample of free VNC software you could use instead of remote desktop.

http://www.realvnc.com/products/free/4.1/download.html
http://www.tightvnc.com/
http://www.uvnc.com/
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May 19, 2012 8:02:25 AM

Home Premium lacks Remote Desktop connecting to the host computer, so Professional needs to stay.
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May 19, 2012 8:06:32 AM

azeem40 said:
Home Premium lacks Remote Desktop connecting to the host computer, so Professional needs to stay.

Again, remote desktop doesn't work with phones and tablets. You'll need VNC software for that, which is readily available for free. Why pay $60 more for something you can get for free, and will have to get anyway to do what you want to do?
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May 19, 2012 8:09:12 AM

Cuz he mentioned "future laptop".
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May 19, 2012 8:09:58 AM

Which you can also use VNC with?
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May 19, 2012 8:12:27 AM

I think It Would be Better if You Went With an Intel Build Right now, theres no point in going with Amd.

This is are the Benchmarks of the Super Low Budget Intel Cpus In Skyrym.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

You will See, How the Fx 6100 is even below the 79 usd G630 of intel even when this one is a Dual Core. As of Right now, Amd dont give you Anything in Raw Power Cpu, they are more focused in their new Amd Llano and Trinity wich give awesome graphics with the Cpu, they will be the leaders in budget Laptops in a few Months.


I suggest this build with Neweeg You get better deals and there is Combos you can get.

This is a better Case for less money http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a better VideoCard for less money too.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OEM Windows 7 139 usd, theres really no reason to get the Retail Version if you are just gonna use it in this Computer, The Oem Version while is On Online Activation it Locks the Product Key to 1 Pc. Windows 7 has been around since 2009, and You can Already Test the Beta of Windows 8. No need For Retail.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Psu Corsair 600w Gaming Series - This is more than Enough to power up your System and overclock the cpu.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I really Suggest you Going With Intel, Even a G850+H77 combo of 120 Usd Would Give You More Performance While Gaming.

What Games do you Play?, what do you use your pc for?


I Browse web,Play Light Games, Watch Video and Stream Movies to my pc for example.



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May 19, 2012 8:12:39 AM

For gaming, ditch AMD and get Intel. Check my sig.

Get a smaller PSU for ~$60 and do you actually need Win 7 Pro? Because you can save $150 there to go into a monster graphics card such as a GTX670.
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May 19, 2012 8:13:48 AM

What's with randomly capitalizing words, Chulex? Very distracting.
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May 19, 2012 8:14:19 AM

willard said:
Which you can also use VNC with?

Oops, I missed the part about VNC. In that case, everything else in my advice should be good to go.
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May 19, 2012 8:16:04 AM

willard said:
What's with randomly capitalizing words, Chulex? Very distracting.




Hahahahah, Srry They make me Type this Way in my Work.
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May 19, 2012 8:23:10 AM

I'm mocking up changes based on suggestions so far.

- Increasing memory to 8GB
- Reducing Power Supply
- Swapping for Intel
- I'll look into the alternate case, as well

I've been focusing on AMD mostly because a friend has some extra processors that he said I could use, but he lives a few thousand miles away, so I'm thinking I'll just start wholly from scratch.

Unfortunately, I have to go crash, before the wife realizes how late I've stayed up.

Thanks for all of the help thus far! I'll be back in the morning/afternoon.
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May 19, 2012 8:26:27 AM

Idk if I should ask, but why would it matter how long you stayed up?
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May 19, 2012 8:31:41 AM

azeem40 said:
Idk if I should ask, but why would it matter how long you stayed up?



It doesn't matter too much, other than it being 4:30AM and she wanted to take a trip in the morning.
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May 19, 2012 8:39:34 AM

The best Tip i can give you is, Go to Microcenter and Search for Deals Just make sure of these 3 things.


Psu Brand- Antec,Corsair,Seasonic.

VideoCard-6850 any brand

Intel Cpu - G850-I3 2100 - i5 2400

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May 19, 2012 4:19:55 PM

Alright, this is the latest version of the build:

- Case: Apevia X-Trooper LED Mid-Tower Case (Green) - $60
- CPU: Intel Core i3 3.3 GHz - $125
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 - $110
- Video Card: Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB - $150
- Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB - $100
- Memory: Kingston Technology HyperX 8 GB (2x4 GB Modules) - $40
- PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus - $90
- Optical Drive: Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive - $30
- Flash Media Reader: Transcend P8 15-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader - $12
- Wireless Card: ASUS(PCE-N15) maximum performance Wireless-N Network Adapter - $28
- Monitor: ASUS VH236H 23 Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - $160
- Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech Wireless Desktop MK320 Keyboard - $30
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional OEM - $140

Total Cost: $1075


A few things of note, so that people don't think I'm ignoring advice:
- NZXT M59 Case - $50: After comparing the specs of this case with the one I currently have chosen, is this case that much better? I'm willing to spend the extra $10 on aesthetics. Also, wouldn't it be better to have additional USB ports on the front, if I end up going with a USB wireless adapter? I may be wrong in my assessment.
- I am still willing to swap the internal wireless adapter for a USB, but from the ones I have found, they aren't that much cheaper. Is it worth the extra money to free up a USB port?
- I realize that my current power supply is still higher than what some have suggested, but from what I've seen the difference in price isn't that great, so my theory is that having extra available power could be beneficial if/when I decide to upgrade in the future. Is this a bad assessment, or misplaced?
- Would it be worth spending an extra $65 on the i5-2400?


A few more details about my usage:
- Games: Skyrim, Mass Effect Series (Pending), StarCraft, potentially the Elder Scrolls MMO
- Work: Graphic Design, Video/Audio editing, eventually 2-3 monitors
- Media: Streaming video/audio (such as NetFlix and Spotify)
- Networking: Router downstairs, remote desktop through Android phone/tablet and laptop.

Again, thanks for all of the help.
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Best solution

May 19, 2012 6:00:46 PM

burke111 said:

- I am still willing to swap the internal wireless adapter for a USB, but from the ones I have found, they aren't that much cheaper. Is it worth the extra money to free up a USB port?

Up to you. I only mentioned it because you were over budget. If you don't mind paying $10 more (really, not a big deal) and you want all your USB ports available, go for it. My computer has 14 USB ports, so I don't really care.

[quote[- I realize that my current power supply is still higher than what some have suggested, but from what I've seen the difference in price isn't that great, so my theory is that having extra available power could be beneficial if/when I decide to upgrade in the future. Is this a bad assessment, or misplaced?[/quote]
Actually, 650W isn't a bad place to be. It will give you a lot of headroom for future upgrades, just like you said. That unit is a good one too, higher than usual efficiency (which is why it's so expensive compared to other quality 650W units). Also, if you buy from NewEgg, you can get another $10 off on it (currently on sale until Monday).

Quote:
- Would it be worth spending an extra $65 on the i5-2400?

Hard to say. Won't make a big difference in most games, just make things a bit smoother. I noticed a lot of stuttering in SWTOR with a dual core, went away completely with a quad core clocked a third lower. You'll also get a roughly 100% performance boost in things that can actually make use of the extra cores effectively, like video encoding/decoding, unzipping large files, and generally anything that maxes out your processor and is written to use multiple cores.

Since you mention video editing, I'd say definitely go for it. You'll get a LOT more out of a quad core than the average gamer.
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May 28, 2012 11:55:46 PM

Best answer selected by burke111.
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