Help Noob with New Build (Home PC w/ disc rip focus)

Hi all,

First time builder here. I tinker, but not an engineer by any stretch. Yet, I'd rather drop $400-500 on a decent system I can build vs HP/Dell etc. I'm done with that. My HP Mediacenter XP box (20056) that I was hoping to upgrade gradually (PSU, PCI graphics card -- returning) ain't doing well. The new PSU didn't solve the fan overdrive/non-bootup I think it's time to upgrade.

Use: Mostly a home PC that will also be used to back-up (rip) my movie collection.

Thanks in advance!!!!


Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: ~400USD....would consider 10-15% over if it matters. As noted below, I have a 1TB HDD, new 500W PSU and my LG BR Drive so the budget is for cpu, mobo, memory, case, heatsink, OS, graphics card, etc. I can return the PSU to upgrade to higher power if needed.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Internet, BluRay/HD DVD disc rips, some gaming, office apps

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, Brand-new PSU Thermaltake TR2 500W, BR/HDDVD Drive LG GGC H20L, 1TB WD Caviar Green

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: no,,

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Not many….maybe stick to Intel Sandy Bridge?

Overclocking: Never done it. Need it?

SLI or Crossfire: Advantages? 

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 Samsung

Additional Comments: I’d like it to be a quiet as possible. Maybe a small/med tower. Any ideas if my LG drive will work with Windows 7? It’s an older drive because I wanted HD DVD support (grabbed 100s of titles at pennies on the dollar). Just need to rip/back-up my movies onto a DUNE HD NMT. If no (win7), I guess I could run XP in a VM to use the drive?
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  1. It might be worth you going for an AMD A8-3870K and using the great onboard graphics if you dont mind turning the settings down in your games. Not having a powerful graphics card helps keep the cost and noise down quite a lot.

    I don't see why Windows 7 would have any problems with that drive.

    You could go for something like this:

    AMD A8-3870K
    8GB G.Skill Ares 1600Mhz
    ASRock A75M-HVS FM1
    120GB Sandisk Extreme SSD
    Scythe Katana 4
    Fractal Design Core 1000

    Total - $404.94 on Newegg

    That CPU fan will be incredibly quiet, the only other noise you will need to contend with is your PSU and the case fan. The case fan is relatively cheap to replace and even if you want to replace the PSU for a quieter one, it's still not that expensive

    Those 2 would be perfect if you were trying to get the build into the very silent/inaudible range.
  2. Thanks for the reply. I think I want to stick with a sandy bridge solution (i5 2500?). I see a number of A-series reviews with owners having buyers remorse. I think I might need the extra compute power for BR ripping?? Dunno. Also, I gain back $100 since I won't need the SSD as I have a 1TB HDD already.

    My two big unknowns are the graphics card & the mobo. Not sure what brands to focus on (q/a). should I go with the P67 northBound chip for overclocking? Overkill for my mobo needs? Nvidia Graphics?

    Thx all
  3. That hard drive is a Green model so it's going to be pretty slow even compared to a standard hard drive. I seriously don't think you can really afford an i5 unless you want to leave out the graphics card and run on Intel HD 3000. If you don't mind playing games on the lowest possible settings at 720P, that might be OK.

    That A8 would be fine for Bluray ripping, if you would prefer to go with a dedicated graphics card though you could go for an i3-2120 with a H77 motherboard, 8GB of RAM and something like the HD 7770/HD 6850 and just forget about the SSD. That would be a hell of a lot better in games but would certainly be louder, boot/load a lot slower and run a bit hotter.
  4. jms, you convinced me to double my budget ($700 USD). I blamed you to my wife for "talking" me into it :)

    My rig is up and running (and ready for OC, if I every choose to do it)

    Intel Core i5-2500k unlocked @ 3.3 Ghz
    ASUS P8P67 LE
    Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 1600 Mhz
    EVGA GTX550 Ti 2GB
    Scythe Katana 4
    Seasonic M12II Bronze
    WD Caviar Green 1TB*
    LG BR/HD-DVD Drive*
    Windows 7 Premium

    I've installed VM Player and will give Ubuntu a try (need quarantined place for kids to go online and not affect the base system).

    Now, I'm on the lookout for sale prices on SSDs, where I'll leverage SATA 6Gb for movie rips.

    Thanks for the advice!
  5. Looks good, not the graphics card I would've chosen but it should be fine for high settings.
  6. Yeah, I made a budget compromise there. I don't really intend to do major gaming on it, so hopefully I didn't shoot myself in the foot on that decision.
  7. It's not that, it's that something like the HD 6850 is better and cheaper. You don't really need 2GB memory.
  8. I'm a tinker-er, so I can replace my GTX for the HD 6850 (within return period). What makes this Radeon better than the GTX 550i. I'm clueless, so would appreciate the info. Thanks. What's the next model up and is it worth it (I paid more for the GTX, so the 6950? could be an easy decision. Thx
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