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IF you read all of this you are a god

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June 24, 2012 4:13:54 PM

Thanks in advance to everyone that reads this. I have built my last 2 or 3 computers but I haven’t upgraded in a very long time and I don’t really want to build my own this time but I am having a hard time letting go and trusting a computer company to build it right.

I need a new desktop pc . I intend to have 2 blu ray drives (at least 1 of which being a recorder), a lot of hard drives, and a giant pile of ram.

On the last pc I built (probably 5 years ago) I remember being very concerned with ram speed. I think it had something to do with timing cycles, not just making sure the ram matched the bus speed of the computer. Overall at the time I built what was considered a pretty powerful pc because I was at my desk a lot then although I remember something about early quadcores not being fully utilized because software wasn’t made with them in mind or something to that effect. On the pc I built before that I had rambus memory and it was a very zippy pc. I don’t mean it was faster, but there was a nearly immediate response time that was very impressive. Both had normal 7200rpm hard drives so I assumed this slow down in responsiveness had something to do with switching memory types or possibly upgrading windows.

I want to avoid these pitfalls this time. I appreciate a quick responsiveness more than most people . I don’t know if I should go with 4 cores or 6 cores. I know I want a lot of ram because I have a habbit of leaving a lot of things open to work on at once but I don’t want to buy 32gb of ram and find out my motherboard is holding me back because of its bus speed, the timing cycle was a 2.5 instead of a 2 (I think that’s what it was 5 years ago haha), or to get the quick response that I like I should over clock and if overclocking I should have bought different things. What I can tell you is maximum capability is less important to me these days as reliably doing whatever I ask of it for a couple years (I would not want to overclock at the expense of reliability, I think that means I only over clock a little?). As you can tell I am out of touch and these days I only remember enough to be a pain in the butt.

I considered buying an Alienware Aurora assuming they would be the best and I could just overpay $400 and avoid my due diligence but I’m just not that trusting. I see they are owned by Dell now and all I can think about is how Dells power supplies kept getting smaller and smaller while people were using more and more power with huge video cards, 5 hard drives, and optical drives in 4 bays. I don’t want that problem. I intend to have 2 blu ray drives, a lot of hard drives, and a giant pile of ram. Solid state drives still don’t seem to deliver the right cost/performance and using RAID to be faster without risking data loss looks like it requires A LOT of HDs and a lot of power for only a slight increase. Last time I bought a 10,000rpm raptor (I think it was a 137gb drive) for my primary drive and them just transferred everything to storage drives. That didn’t work well. The drive was too small and when I switched it for a 1tb 7200rpm drive I didn’t even feel a performance hit. Any suggestions for HD would be greatly appreciated.

Here is what I was looking at:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us...

No idea if 6 cores are helpful, what speed cpu to get, or how far to overclock

Are there significant reasons to upgrade the OS?

Their ram upgrade fees are insane but I really am leaning toward having a ton if I can have 7 browsers open with 20 tabs in each and then take a break to watch a movie without having to close them. I leave work open for days because of the level of detail I rarely finish in 1 sitting and I don’t like putting it away and coming back to it when a lot of it is research.

I do not need a video card for hardcore gaming

I’m currently using XP, what kind of malware and virus protection works best with Windows 7? I still reformat if I get completely screwed over by viruses. I don’t have any handy restore discs or a special hd partition to restore it. Would a new alienware have those? So far I just try to avoid getting a problem.

I am very sorry for this many generalizations. Between confusing marketing, fanboy opinions, and remembering a little bit about everything but not enough about anything I would have to do 30 hours of research to figure out what I really want and then still risk making 1 mistake that screws up the cohesiveness of the components. I’m a little pressed for time, if you could help point me at what I want instead of making me do that research I would be incredibly grateful.

More about : read god

June 24, 2012 5:38:05 PM

Thanks! - this has gaps but I don't see how to make it those concerns any more concise than I originally did so they are pretty much left out.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: Whatever the sweet spot is in the performance range I describe. $2000 is good but if it would be way better at $2,600 then make it so.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: researching (leaving 7 browsers with 20 tabs open each while burning a bluray and watching a huge movie file) - I'm considering 32gb of memory, reliability, and responsiveness (not total speed but rather how quickly things happen after I click or type)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitors, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com is my go-to but I dont care. I do not like to shop at tiny places that try to pass off refurbished crap as new.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel cpu

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe


Additional Comments: Because I am out of touch I really don't know how to say the additional concerns more concisely than I did in the original post.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2012 5:58:38 PM

Why would you get a Dell over building your own? Dell systems use proprietary form factors that make upgrading incredibly difficult and in some cases near impossible. I think 32GB might be a waste for what you want it to do - 16GB will be plenty to start with. Based on your requirements I'll recommend a system like this:

Case: NZXT Phantom - $119.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $109.99
Motherboard: Asrock X79 Extreme 6 - $229.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $299.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 Socket LGA 2011 Edition - $84.99
RAM: 16GB (4 x 4GB) G.Skill Ares 1600MHz 1.5V - $114.99
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $119.99
HD: 2TB Samsung Ecogreen F4 - $119.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $59.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 670 FTW Edition - $419.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $1,829.99

I don't include monitors or peripherals on builds (keyboard, mouse, etc) as those are entirely personal preference.
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June 24, 2012 6:28:07 PM

Thank you G-unit. Is Alienware as bad as dell now? I assumed they got worse after being acquired but I didn't know how much. To answer your question - convenience. My current job is very stressful and I didn't want to relearn this and I didn't want to be accountable. I wanted brainless restore discs and something to kick ass out of the box. I was afraid it would not kick enough ass so here I am begging for information hoping you will spare me the 30 hours of research. I've been a lifelong nerd so it pains me to say this but I was feeling like all the old people I used to shake my head at that said "I just want it to work". Well, unlike them I realize nothing always works, its gonna cost $$$, and I acknowledge the fact that I'm being lazy (they never did they just wanted magic answers) but I need a pc now and its a really bad time for me to spend time on anything other than work.

I read about the SSD you have suggested. I didn't know they had gotten any better. Do you like SSDs or do you thinnk that will help with the "quick response" I said I liked?

Would you over clock?

Memory is so cheap I would rather buy the 32gb now unless I'm waiting for better ram but I am assuming because of the mobo I wouldn't be able to use faster ram down the road. IS there a downside to getting all 32gb now?
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June 24, 2012 6:31:18 PM

p.s. IS your CPU link actually linking to a different cpu? Which one did you mean?
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2012 7:23:10 PM

dan1331 said:
Thank you G-unit. Is Alienware as bad as dell now? I assumed they got worse after being acquired but I didn't know how much. To answer your question - convenience. My current job is very stressful and I didn't want to relearn this and I didn't want to be accountable. I wanted brainless restore discs and something to kick ass out of the box. I was afraid it would not kick enough ass so here I am begging for information hoping you will spare me the 30 hours of research. I've been a lifelong nerd so it pains me to say this but I was feeling like all the old people I used to shake my head at that said "I just want it to work". Well, unlike them I realize nothing always works, its gonna cost $$$, and I acknowledge the fact that I'm being lazy (they never did they just wanted magic answers) but I need a pc now and its a really bad time for me to spend time on anything other than work.

I read about the SSD you have suggested. I didn't know they had gotten any better. Do you like SSDs or do you thinnk that will help with the "quick response" I said I liked?

Would you over clock?

Memory is so cheap I would rather buy the 32gb now unless I'm waiting for better ram but I am assuming because of the mobo I wouldn't be able to use faster ram down the road. IS there a downside to getting all 32gb now?


Alienware *IS* Dell now. They have the same crappy watered down and proprietary hardware. The reason why I always recommend building your own is because you get the real, tuned hardware that's far better than anything you can get pre-built and since it all uses standard form factors it's much easier right now. If you want something that will really kick ass that system I recommended is the way to go.

If you're afraid about going the DIY route, it's true that you're on your own for technical support - but it's not that bad. The manufacturers have tons of resources that can help you along the way, and once you get the motherboard screwed down into your case and the case headers plugged in everything else snaps into place - it's really quite simple.

As far as the SSD goes the one I recommended is based on a new controller called "Indilinx" - it's a variant of the Marvell controller used on the excellent Crucial M4, but it has the speed of Sandforce. Read more about it: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-4-everest-2-...

As far as overclock goes I'm learning how to overclock my CPU and it's pretty simple but only do it if you really know what you're doing.

The only downside to getting all 32GB now is that you don't really need it and you'll most likely never use it. Sometimes having more RAM actually hinders system performance - if you're using heavy duty video editing applications like After Effects and doing heavy duty CS5 work - you don't really need it.

Quote:
p.s. IS your CPU link actually linking to a different cpu? Which one did you mean?


Oh fixed that - didn't catch that. :lol: 
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June 24, 2012 7:30:15 PM

Why put a GTX 670 in a PC with which he isn't even going to game? Might as well get a lot of SSD storage instead...
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June 24, 2012 7:42:58 PM

firedice said:
Why put a GTX 670 in a PC with which he isn't even going to game? Might as well get a lot of SSD storage instead...



I said no hardcore gaming. I would want to be able to play any game on the market - it just doesnt have to look its best.


Again, why is everyone all over SSDs? Last time I looked into it they sucked, performance didn't match what was stated on the box, they didn't live as long as their old school counterpart, and they were expensive. Are they much faster than the 10,000rpm raptor I used to boot from (in user experience, not magic numbers printed on the box)? IF not, I'm sure they are not for me.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2012 7:51:15 PM

they didn't live as long as their old school counterpart**

If data security/prevention of loss is as important to you as I'd believe then either a mirrored ssd raid or stick to Mech drives
+1 for build it yourself too,
Moto
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2012 8:05:01 PM

dan1331 said:
I said no hardcore gaming. I would want to be able to play any game on the market - it just doesnt have to look its best.


Again, why is everyone all over SSDs? Last time I looked into it they sucked, performance didn't match what was stated on the box, they didn't live as long as their old school counterpart, and they were expensive. Are they much faster than the 10,000rpm raptor I used to boot from (in user experience, not magic numbers printed on the box)? IF not, I'm sure they are not for me.


SSDs are far, far better than they used to be. The best storage solution is to get an SSD and a 2TB hard drive. Any HD over 7200 RPM is a huge waste - they don't do anything in terms of how your system will perform. The controllers used on SSDs are far faster and more stable than they've ever been - as long as you stick with Marvell and Indilinx. The Velociraptors are horrible drives - they have a far greater fail rate than any 7200 RPM hard drive, and don't fall for gimmicks like the Revodrive either - they're also far more likely to fail than anything else - not to mention they take up precious PCI slots.

And if you're going to purchase a $2K system and play games on it - why wouldn't you want a good GPU? I am confused.
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June 24, 2012 8:05:03 PM

dan1331 said:
I said no hardcore gaming. I would want to be able to play any game on the market - it just doesnt have to look its best.


Again, why is everyone all over SSDs? Last time I looked into it they sucked, performance didn't match what was stated on the box, they didn't live as long as their old school counterpart, and they were expensive. Are they much faster than the 10,000rpm raptor I used to boot from (in user experience, not magic numbers printed on the box)? IF not, I'm sure they are not for me.


SSDs suck. Go buy an Alienware.
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June 24, 2012 9:39:41 PM

g-unit1111 said:
SSDs are far, far better than they used to be. The best storage solution is to get an SSD and a 2TB hard drive. Any HD over 7200 RPM is a huge waste - they don't do anything in terms of how your system will perform. The controllers used on SSDs are far faster and more stable than they've ever been - as long as you stick with Marvell and Indilinx. The Velociraptors are horrible drives - they have a far greater fail rate than any 7200 RPM hard drive, and don't fall for gimmicks like the Revodrive either - they're also far more likely to fail than anything else - not to mention they take up precious PCI slots.

And if you're going to purchase a $2K system and play games on it - why wouldn't you want a good GPU? I am confused.



Thank you for the info on SSDs.

I would want a good GPU. I wast trying to tell the person that suggested I downgrade that they might be being hasty. I don't need a kick ass elite gpu that will make shadows in games look amazing but I certainly want to to be able to play any game.

Or were you suggesting to buy one that is better than the GTX 670? If you think I need to I might.

p.s. nice avatar. Too bad about adam.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2012 11:34:40 PM

dan1331 said:
Thank you for the info on SSDs.

I would want a good GPU. I wast trying to tell the person that suggested I downgrade that they might be being hasty. I don't need a kick ass elite gpu that will make shadows in games look amazing but I certainly want to to be able to play any game.

Or were you suggesting to buy one that is better than the GTX 670? If you think I need to I might.


Right now there really isn't - there's not really much of a difference between the 670 and the 7970 - and the 670 is the best bang for buck right now - it's one of the fastest and most energy efficient GPUs that NVIDIA has ever produced. I really like EVGA as well for the manufacturer.

Quote:
p.s. nice avatar. Too bad about adam.


RIP MCA.
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June 25, 2012 4:31:32 AM

Again, thanks for the help.

Good news I'm definitely building my own again, lol.

I am in complete agreement on the case, 2 optical drives, SSD (although I'm getting the one twice that size - is this the same except size? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), video card, and OS.

PSU and cooler are fine if you still feel that way after I making it a bigger system.

How about an i7 6 core (not the extreme), 32 GB of ram (I want to play around with ramdisks and possibly add 32gb more shortly after I buy it), I wouldnt know which mobo or ram to buy. There were a lot of concerns with the memory you suggested and its voltage in these threads:


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/308402-30-skill-ripja...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/314488-30-skill-ares
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/309336-30-skill-kings...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/306186-30-ripjaws-rip...

Looks like voltage is somehow related to performance and you can damage your mobo by setting it as high as the manufacturer suggests (and likely to damage it if you overclock).

After I'm all done I'll probably run down to best buy and get two of the big 4TB hitachi drives to add to the SSD and 2 of my old drives from the pc I am replacing. I'll actually have 2 of those optical drives you suggested and micro card reader. Do you still think that power supply is big enough?

Thanks again
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
June 25, 2012 9:20:15 PM

Quote:
Good news I'm definitely building my own again, lol.


That will be much wiser than any POS Dell, Gateway, Acer, etc you can get. If you want to go high performance you could always try Digital Storm or Falcon Northwest, but that still doesn't beat a DIY system.

Quote:
I am in complete agreement on the case, 2 optical drives, SSD (although I'm getting the one twice that size - is this the same except size? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 4%20256gb), video card, and OS.


That's fine.

Quote:
How about an i7 6 core (not the extreme), 32 GB of ram (I want to play around with ramdisks and possibly add 32gb more shortly after I buy it), I wouldnt know which mobo or ram to buy. There were a lot of concerns with the memory you suggested and its voltage in these threads:


Here's an X79 configuration that I recommended on another thread:

Case: NZXT Switch 810 - $169.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $109.99
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $319.99
CPU: 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-3930K - $559.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 Socket LGA 2011 Edition - $84.99
RAM: 32GB (4 x 8GB) G.Skill Ripjaw X 1600MHz 1.5V - $279.99
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $119.99
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green - $119.99
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - $69.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 670 FTW - $419.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99

Total: $2,414.89
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June 28, 2012 5:39:59 PM

Sorry, i got sick suddenly and I havent been around. Thanks for all the help.

What about the ram voltage concern?

I liked the previous case better, was there a significant reason for the switch?

Even with 2 hds that are 4tb instead of the 2tb hd you suggested you would use 750watt power supply?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 7:20:00 PM

the size of a hard drive does not change the voltage needed for a hard drive.there all the same spindle moter and pcb boards..only the size and number of platers would change. it the size of the video card and or cpu that going to change the voltage needed in a pc case.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
June 28, 2012 9:51:26 PM

dan1331 said:
Sorry, i got sick suddenly and I havent been around. Thanks for all the help.

What about the ram voltage concern?

I liked the previous case better, was there a significant reason for the switch?

Even with 2 hds that are 4tb instead of the 2tb hd you suggested you would use 750watt power supply?


1. Any SB or SB-E build you'll want 1.5V - no more, no less.

2. I like cases without doors better - the Switch 810 can house a custom 3-fan liquid loop and can support XL-ATX boards like the Classified SR-X.

3. Yeah 750 minimum, your GPU and number of drives connected determines the size of your PSU - not the space of the HD. If you're running SLI or 3-way SLI then you'd need the higher wattage PSU. All drives use about the same power consumption.
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June 29, 2012 2:36:23 AM

I would suggest g-unit's build but switch to 16GB RAM and use the savings to upgrade to Crucial M4 256GB SSD, at $200 for 256GB it really can't be beat for value and capacity, the next drive up (Samsung 830 256GB) is $100 more...
That's very close to my new PC, and it overclocked to 4.5GHZ easily.
Microcenter has i7-3930k for $499...
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July 7, 2012 9:59:46 AM

I appreciate the help. Work caused me to drop the ball. Before I order the mobo, cpu, and memory combination I want to better understand the issue I had back then with my new computer being less "zippy". I blamed it on switching from Rambus to whatever was new then (the first DDR?) but I really dont know. If none of you can clear that up here by Wednesday I'll have more time to do research and make other posts. Thanks again!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2012 10:40:31 AM

With an Ssd and updated gear, you won't be disappointed performance-wise,
I'd hit the button on it , grab a sixpack and clear a space on your desk :) 
Moto
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November 3, 2012 12:15:34 AM

Best answer selected by Dan1331.
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