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New Build advice for home office - $750

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January 16, 2013 12:32:51 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: 30 days

Budget Range: $750

System Usage from Most to Least Important: my wife's job - she does medical writing - very intensive web browsing, word processing, powerpoint, database management - she is using a 1 year old laptop now and just bogging it down - at any one time during a project, she might have - 20 or 25 web tabs open, 20 pdf docs open in bluebeam, 10 or 12 word docs and several powerpoint docs - and all the time she has her DB program running that handles referencing

Are you buying a monitor: No - no she has twin 23" monitors now

Do you need to buy OS: Yes - Win 7

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tiger Direct

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Savannah, GA, USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Don't think I need it?

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Would need dual monitor support

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Usage is bogging down her current laptop
January 16, 2013 2:22:53 AM

Boot drive, $110: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Storage drive, $60: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Motherboard, $85: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
CPU, $120: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
EDIT: RAM, $45: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
PSU, $50: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
OS, $100: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Total (not including case, tax, or shipping): $570

The case is up to you. Decide what looks best and go for it. Just stay above $40 and make sure it supports ATX sized motherboards.

Based on what you've said, the integrated graphics will do fine for her purposes. The 8GB of RAM will help with having multiple windows or programs open at the same time. The SSD helps load times on just about everything. Place the OS and important programs on there and everything else on the storage drive. If this is your first time to use a SSD, you may want to do a bit of research first. If you don't have the time, feel free to message me and I'll tell you everything you need to know.
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Best solution

January 16, 2013 2:46:49 AM

thebigbug said:
Boot drive, $110: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Storage drive, $60: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Motherboard, $85: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
CPU, $120: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
RAM, $40: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
PSU, $50: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
OS, $100: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Total (not including case, tax, or shipping): $565

Based on what you've said, the integrated graphics will do fine for her purposes. The 8GB of RAM will help with having multiple windows or programs open at the same time. The SSD helps load times on just about everything. Place the OS and important programs on there and everything else on the storage drive. If this is your first time to use a SSD, you may want to do a bit of research first. If you don't have the time, feel free to message me and I'll tell you everything you need to know.


That RAM that is linked to is 1.65V, that won't work on an Ivy Bridge build. Also the SSD is a good idea but there's better drives you can get than a generic Sandforce 2.0 drive. There's better drives you can get and you can always add one later. And there's no GPU - the onboard video is not meant to be a substitute to a dedicated GPU. Also Tiger Direct is not the store they were pre-CompUSA merger - the selection just completely lacks from places like Newegg and NCIX.

Quote:
The case is up to you. Decide what looks best and go for it. Just stay above $40 and make sure it supports ATX sized motherboards.


Be warned - there are an unusually high number of case manufacturers that just put out complete garbage (Apevia, Raidmax, Xion, Xclio, Ultra, etc) and Tiger Direct carries a lot of these.

Here's what you do:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($118.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($106.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $770.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-15 23:46 EST-0500)
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January 16, 2013 2:55:56 AM

"That RAM that is linked to is 1.65V, that won't work on an Ivy Bridge build. Also the SSD is a good idea but there's better drives you can get than a generic Sandforce 2.0 drive. There's better drives you can get and you can always add one later. And there's no GPU - the onboard video is not meant to be a substitute to a dedicated GPU. Also Tiger Direct is not the store they were pre-CompUSA merger - the selection just completely lacks from places like Newegg and NCIX."

That SSD competes with the Samsung 840 (non-pro) and has MLC instead of TLC. It's currently the best Sandforce based drive out there right now. Newegg's reviews rate it as a 5 egg product.

As for the GPU, so long as no games are being played, it's fine. In fact, I was able to run BF3 on low on my computer with the HD4000 graphics at an average of 40 FPS. No problems with videos or laggy webpages or anything.

I'll change the RAM in my original post. Thanks, I missed that.

EDIT: That SSD not only competes, but it does better than it in most tests, and is only $100, instead of the $140 the Samsung 840 Pro has. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/678?vs=565
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January 16, 2013 3:01:20 AM

Quote:
That SSD competes with the Samsung 840 (non-pro) and has MLC instead of TLC. It's currently the best Sandforce based drive out there right now. Newegg's reviews rate it as a 5 egg product.


How many times must I point out how store reviews are to be taken with large grains of salt? Most of the really positive reviews are meaningless, and most of the negative reviews and DOAs could be prevented if the users had taken the right precautions before installing. A good 90% of the DOA reviews are like this, the other 10% have nothing to do with the actual product but some wanker complaining about refunds or UPS problems.

Quote:
As for the GPU, so long as no games are being played, it's fine. In fact, I was able to run BF3 on low on my computer with the HD4000 graphics at an average of 40 FPS. No problems with videos or laggy webpages or anything.


No, I never recommend using the onboard video as a subsitute. It's there mainly for GPU diagnostic purposes. Which is also why you don't want to get one without integrated graphics.
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January 16, 2013 3:08:03 AM

The GPU is perfectly capable for his purposes. There's no need to spend another $50 on a discrete graphics card.

I never said the reviews on Newegg aren't to be taken with a grain of salt. I edited my post giving a link as proof as to why this drive is one of the best Sandforce drives out now. Its performance/price ratio is better than the 840 pro. There wouldn't be any discernible difference, anyhow.
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January 16, 2013 4:34:55 AM

thebigbug said:
The GPU is perfectly capable for his purposes. There's no need to spend another $50 on a discrete graphics card.

I never said the reviews on Newegg aren't to be taken with a grain of salt. I edited my post giving a link as proof as to why this drive is one of the best Sandforce drives out now. Its performance/price ratio is better than the 840 pro. There wouldn't be any discernible difference, anyhow.


That's exactly why I didn't recommend like a GTX 670. :lol: 

The 7750 is better than using the onboard video especially if you want to use HDMI output or hook the PC up to multiple displays.

I'm personally not a fan of Sandforce drives - I had an Intel 320 and had nothing but problems with it, I swapped it with a Samsung 830 and have been problem free ever since. I badly want to get an OCZ Vector but last thing I need to buy is another SSD. :lol: 
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January 16, 2013 1:42:37 PM

A couple of things -

First, thanks for the help and advice.

Second, for this type of work, is Intel a better choice than AMD?

Third, I said in the orig post I need to support multiple monitors. I can not do that with onboard graphics, right?

Fourth, I have upgraded my home network to gigabit and have a new nas in the closet. In a year on her current laptop, she hasn't topped 100GB in stoarge. Can i get away with JUST an SSD or should I have a standard HDD in there as well.

Thanks,

Jim
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January 16, 2013 2:05:09 PM

Actually, i think you would probably be better off with amd, because you don't plan to overclock. From what i gather, if you compare an intel chip and an amd chip that benchmark similar to each other at stock frequencies, the amd will cost less, but produce more heat.
The reason most people suggest intel is because they overclock much better than amd, because they run much cooler than amd.
Now i could be wrong, but that's just my take on the whole amd vs intel argument.

When i get back from school today i'll see if i can build you up a nice amd setup.

Also, your wife is like me when it comes to storage. I've never had more than 100 gb. She should be able to get away with a single ssd


I'll probably base the build off these 3 parts;
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was looking at a cheaper motherboard, but it didn't support the cpu.
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January 16, 2013 4:18:20 PM

stormvee said:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Quick build, everything is compatible from what i'm aware of. Might not be the best build, hopefully people give some opinions on it.


I wouldn't touch that power supply or video card with a 10 foot pole - better would be to get a Corsair CX430 or Seasonic 430W. That video card is many years old and can't compete with say the 7750 that I linked to.

Quote:
Second, for this type of work, is Intel a better choice than AMD?


Depends on what you want to use it for. If it's office work either CPU could do. If it's photo editing and gaming Intel 100%. If it's multimedia work I'd say go AMD.

Quote:
Third, I said in the orig post I need to support multiple monitors. I can not do that with onboard graphics, right?


I would not run on the onboard video if you want to use a multiple display setup. The onboard video is not really meant to be a substitute to a dedicated GPU.
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January 16, 2013 8:40:04 PM

I must insist, g-unit. The integrated graphics will do fine. So long as there's nothing that uses 3D graphics, you don't need a graphics card. Ever tried running you computer without the GPU drivers installed? Remember how laggy the webpages seemed to be? The iGPU doesn't have that issue. It loads everything just as well as a GPU except for 3D applications, and even then, it isn't a horrible choice unless you're a true gamer. The iGPU is better than the Radeon X600 I have in my older machine, and that has no problems completing any of the tasks that slim needs.

My answers to your questions, slim:
Second: an AMD APU will not have better processing cores, but will have a better iGPU. Because multitasking is what the computer will be made for, a better CPU would probably be best. You can always upgrade to a quad core without changing motherboards if you need more performance, too.

Third: This will support two monitors being used at the same time. Ivy Bridge supports 3 if you have a DisplayPort monitor. This motherboard will allow one monitor through VGA and one through HDMI.

Fourth: You can get away with it. Store any non-essential files on the NAS, like documents or music. I'd create a 1GB RAM Disk for the internet cache to prevent unnecessary writing to the SSD.
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January 17, 2013 12:44:21 AM

Quote:
I wouldn't touch that power supply or video card with a 10 foot pole - better would be to get a Corsair CX430 or Seasonic 430W. That video card is many years old and can't compete with say the 7750 that I linked to.


Haven't done enough research on the company that makes the power supply to argue with you there, but i will argue against the video card.

I'd actually suggest running integrated graphics for what the computer will be used for. You don't need a graphics card if you're not gaming.

The only reason i suggested a graphics card is because i picked out a xeon server processor, but thinking back now, for the price of the graphics card, and xeon, you could get an intel 3770 instead.

I'm currently running integrated graphics, and i'm able to play borderlands in 1280x800 resolution, with low graphics settings, and about 30 fps. Here is a benchmark for my igpu: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+9...

And now compare that to the intel hd 4000 that comes in the 3770: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Intel+HD+...
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January 17, 2013 4:57:18 AM

stormvee said:
Quote:
I wouldn't touch that power supply or video card with a 10 foot pole - better would be to get a Corsair CX430 or Seasonic 430W. That video card is many years old and can't compete with say the 7750 that I linked to.


Haven't done enough research on the company that makes the power supply to argue with you there, but i will argue against the video card.


You very clearly want to avoid anything with the word "Max" in the name like the plague - Coolmax, Raidmax, Enermax, and so on - these are among the worst of the worst.

Quote:
The only reason i suggested a graphics card is because i picked out a xeon server processor, but thinking back now, for the price of the graphics card, and xeon, you could get an intel 3770 instead.


Why would you get a Xeon unless you're running a server?

Quote:
I'm currently running integrated graphics, and i'm able to play borderlands in 1280x800 resolution, with low graphics settings, and about 30 fps. Here is a benchmark for my igpu: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/ [...] 00&id=1288


Borderlands is an old game though - I personally wouldn't use integrated graphics with newer games.
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January 17, 2013 7:40:34 AM

Quote:
You very clearly want to avoid anything with the word "Max" in the name like the plague - Coolmax, Raidmax, Enermax, and so on - these are among the worst of the worst.


Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to do some research now :p 

Quote:
Why would you get a Xeon unless you're running a server?

The xeon e3 1230 v2 is about the same price as an i5 3570. At stock frequencies the xeon benchmarks better than the i5. The xeon also has hyperthreading support.
The xeon also generates less heat

So for someone who dosen't plan to overclock, and plans to get a discrete graphics card, the xeon could be a better bang for the buck. Except for the fact that the xeon doesn't come with a cooler.

When i suggested the build, i was focusing on building it around the xeon, but i realise now that a cpu that comes with a cooler, and has an igpu might be the best bet.

Quote:
Borderlands is an old game though - I personally wouldn't use integrated graphics with newer games.


But you have to remember that the computer isn't being built to play games on. And i do agree, you could never get away with igpu with certain games.


Also thought i should mention, the mobo you suggested uses a 24 pin power connector, and the power supply you suggested has a 20+4 pin connector, so he'll also have to buy an adapter.

Also, microcenter does not ship, so unless he lives near by one, or has a family member/friend that lives by one that could buy it, then ship to him, it'll cost him ~$50 more.

Based on what the op has said, and a bit of personal bias, i think your build would be fine, if the mechanical hard drive, and the gpu is ditched, and the extra money put towards higher end parts, or just pocket money.
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January 21, 2013 5:55:23 PM

Made a couple of changes - will this work? I know I don't NEED the Z77 motherboard, but I like this one better than the H77. Anyone see any issues on this? Thanks,

Jim

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.95 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $612.86 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-21 14:50 EST-0500)
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January 21, 2013 6:01:10 PM

slimjimga said:
Made a couple of changes - will this work? I know I don't NEED the Z77 motherboard, but I like this one better than the H77. Anyone see any issues on this? Thanks,

Jim

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.95 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $612.86 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-21 14:50 EST-0500)


You don't really need an Extreme 4 with a CPU that can't be overclocked, you could get this and save money there: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Also thought i should mention, the mobo you suggested uses a 24 pin power connector, and the power supply you suggested has a 20+4 pin connector, so he'll also have to buy an adapter.


That isn't a problem - the 20+4 pin connector is the same as a 24 pin connector. I've never run into this issue before.
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January 22, 2013 1:27:19 AM

I agree with g-unit on that one.
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January 29, 2013 11:37:33 AM

Best answer selected by slimjimga.
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