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First Build- Seeking feedback

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January 24, 2013 3:18:39 PM

CPU: i7-3770k
MOBO: ASRock Z77 PRO3
MEM: GSkill RipjawX 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24
HDD: Seagate 1TB SATA3
Opti drive: ASUS CD/DVD Burner SATA
PSU: Antec VP-450
Case: Rosewill Blackbone
OS: WIN7 64bit
GPU: not specifically necessary

First let me say thanks to everyone here at Tom's. In the past month I have gone from knowing almost zero about hardware to knowing slightly more than a 5th grader!!

Down to business:

This system is an extreme budget build that will be used for modeling/simulation work (number crunching). The i7 is pretty much a static component since I really can use the hyper-threading capability. The Intel is preferable to AMD given the programs that will be running, and I can get this particular i7 for roughly the same price as the new AMD 8 cores. Everything else is negotiable (caveat being that I am trying to keep the cost down to as little as possible.... I am a starving grad student).

OC'ing: This build will eventually be OC'd, but that will not occur for at least a year from now. I have considered purchasing an H77 board, but the price on the Z77 I spec'd is already close. Additionally, I have the cash to do it now, but may not have the cash to upgrade later (this largely depends on grant money).

GPU: I will probably throw a cheap dedicated card on this, but it is not specifically necessary as I do not do any gaming. IF I found the time to game it would likely be limited to eve online which, as far as I understand, is not exactly demanding (or at least was not the last time I played a few years back).

SSD: I have considered getting a small SSD, but I have been warned off by my schools IT folks given the nature of what I will be using the system for. I admit I do not understand why. Supposedly this has something to do with problems writing to the drive lots of times? Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.

MOBO: The roundup done on sub-$100 boards here at Tom's listed the ASRock PRO3 as being the best they tested (Biostar was next iirc). I have read some comments that say the ASRock boards are not as good as some of the others, but have not seen specific reasons for such claims. Is this just a preference thing? Are there reliability issues?

MEM: I am really spit balling on this memory. I have a rudimentary understanding of latency, but I am not sure if using a lower latency memory will give me noticable increases in performance. I am also not sure if using more bulk memory (16GB as opposed to 8GB) at a lower speed will see better overall performance than a smaller total at higher speed. Any input (or quality links so I can beef up my knowledge) would be helpful.

Is there anything else I should be thinking about?

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance!

More about : build seeking feedback

January 24, 2013 4:04:06 PM

I would stay away from that PSU, it's very cheap quality.. I would be hesitant to buy one that is not even 80+ certfied, it makes it seem like they used very cheap components.. I would get this one instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's much better quality.. Definitely worth a few bucks more..
Related resources
January 24, 2013 4:21:00 PM

dns7950 said:
I would stay away from that PSU, it's very cheap quality.. I would be hesitant to buy one that is not even 80+ certfied, it makes it seem like they used very cheap components.. I would get this one instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's much better quality.. Definitely worth a few bucks more..


That's honestly not really that much better. Read this - it will explain a lot about power supplies: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-ma...

This would be a far better power supply (I have the same one) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
OC'ing: This build will eventually be OC'd, but that will not occur for at least a year from now. I have considered purchasing an H77 board, but the price on the Z77 I spec'd is already close. Additionally, I have the cash to do it now, but may not have the cash to upgrade later (this largely depends on grant money).


I'm not sure for your uses that you'd benefit from overclocking for your purposes. Just get the non unlocked i7 and then run turbo boost in the BIOS and you'll be fine.

Quote:
GPU: I will probably throw a cheap dedicated card on this, but it is not specifically necessary as I do not do any gaming. IF I found the time to game it would likely be limited to eve online which, as far as I understand, is not exactly demanding (or at least was not the last time I played a few years back).


Get a Radeon 7750 or Radeon 7770 - they're inexpensive and will handle whatever you need.

Quote:
SSD: I have considered getting a small SSD, but I have been warned off by my schools IT folks given the nature of what I will be using the system for. I admit I do not understand why. Supposedly this has something to do with problems writing to the drive lots of times? Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.


Why would you be warned against getting an SSD? You won't benefit from a speed increase otherwise. 10K hard drives and other storage gimmicks don't offer what a 7200 RPM drive + SSD will.

Quote:
MOBO: The roundup done on sub-$100 boards here at Tom's listed the ASRock PRO3 as being the best they tested (Biostar was next iirc). I have read some comments that say the ASRock boards are not as good as some of the others, but have not seen specific reasons for such claims. Is this just a preference thing? Are there reliability issues?


No reliability issues - Asrock is just as good as Asus and Gigabyte. I'm not sure about Biostar though.

Quote:

MEM: I am really spit balling on this memory. I have a rudimentary understanding of latency, but I am not sure if using a lower latency memory will give me noticable increases in performance. I am also not sure if using more bulk memory (16GB as opposed to 8GB) at a lower speed will see better overall performance than a smaller total at higher speed. Any input (or quality links so I can beef up my knowledge) would be helpful.


You probably will use 16GB of RAM for your uses. But you want at least 1600 - I wouldn't recommend getting anything higher as most won't support the high speeds without overclocking.
January 24, 2013 4:44:55 PM

g-unit1111 said:
That's honestly not really that much better. Read this - it will explain a lot about power supplies: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-ma...

This would be a far better power supply (I have the same one) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
OC'ing: This build will eventually be OC'd, but that will not occur for at least a year from now. I have considered purchasing an H77 board, but the price on the Z77 I spec'd is already close. Additionally, I have the cash to do it now, but may not have the cash to upgrade later (this largely depends on grant money).


I'm not sure for your uses that you'd benefit from overclocking for your purposes. Just get the non unlocked i7 and then run turbo boost in the BIOS and you'll be fine.

Quote:
GPU: I will probably throw a cheap dedicated card on this, but it is not specifically necessary as I do not do any gaming. IF I found the time to game it would likely be limited to eve online which, as far as I understand, is not exactly demanding (or at least was not the last time I played a few years back).


Get a Radeon 7750 or Radeon 7770 - they're inexpensive and will handle whatever you need.

Quote:
SSD: I have considered getting a small SSD, but I have been warned off by my schools IT folks given the nature of what I will be using the system for. I admit I do not understand why. Supposedly this has something to do with problems writing to the drive lots of times? Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.


Why would you be warned against getting an SSD? You won't benefit from a speed increase otherwise. 10K hard drives and other storage gimmicks don't offer what a 7200 RPM drive + SSD will.

Quote:
MOBO: The roundup done on sub-$100 boards here at Tom's listed the ASRock PRO3 as being the best they tested (Biostar was next iirc). I have read some comments that say the ASRock boards are not as good as some of the others, but have not seen specific reasons for such claims. Is this just a preference thing? Are there reliability issues?


No reliability issues - Asrock is just as good as Asus and Gigabyte. I'm not sure about Biostar though.

Quote:

MEM: I am really spit balling on this memory. I have a rudimentary understanding of latency, but I am not sure if using a lower latency memory will give me noticable increases in performance. I am also not sure if using more bulk memory (16GB as opposed to 8GB) at a lower speed will see better overall performance than a smaller total at higher speed. Any input (or quality links so I can beef up my knowledge) would be helpful.


You probably will use 16GB of RAM for your uses. But you want at least 1600 - I wouldn't recommend getting anything higher as most won't support the high speeds without overclocking.


FYI I have already read the link provided, and I will have to agree to disagree.. The PSU I provided a link to is much better than the one he originally chose, no question about it. From a reputable brand, with a single +12v rail providing 32 amps. And for only a couple bucks more. My point is that you generally get what you pay for. Now whether or not the PSU you chose is better than the one I provided a link to, that is questionable. I know Seasonic is a great manufacturer, but I think most people would agree that it is not worth a $15 premium over a similar Corsair model. Please explain how you think that seasonic is "a far better power supply". Do you think that 2 17A +12v rails is better than a single 32A one? Because it's not... Is there some feature missing from the Corsair that the Seasonic has? Because I cannot find one. Please enlighten me.
January 24, 2013 4:56:02 PM

dns7950 said:
FYI I have already read the link provided, and I will have to agree to disagree.. The PSU I provided a link to is much better than the one he originally chose, no question about it. From a reputable brand, with a single +12v rail providing 32 amps. And for only a couple bucks more. My point is that you generally get what you pay for. Now whether or not the PSU you chose is better than the one I provided a link to, that is questionable. I know Seasonic is a great manufacturer, but I think most people would agree that it is not worth a $15 premium over a similar Corsair model. Please explain how you think that seasonic is "a far better power supply". Do you think that 2 17A +12v rails is better than a single 32A one? Because it's not... Is there some feature missing from the Corsair that the Seasonic has? Because I cannot find one. Please enlighten me.


I've had two CX430s fail on me. The nice thing is that Corsair was very quick to replace them. But at the same time I discovered that when building my HTPC that the voltage output on the CX430 isn't as advertised. Two attempts I had starting my HTPC for the first time it quickly failed on me. An e-mail to EVGA suggested that it was the power supply and not the motherboard that was at fault. I swapped the power supply with the Seasonic that I linked to - booted up first time no problems.
January 24, 2013 5:16:24 PM

Ok, then maybe i was wrong. I have no personal experience with that specific power supply from Corsair, but I have never had a problem with a Corsair Power supply.Meanwhile, I have had 2 Antec power supplies die on me, once after about a month, and then the replacement lasted almost a year.. After the second time, I replaced it with a Corsair, and it still works to this day.. Don't use the PC anymore, as the rest of the specs are obsolete, but it still boots up no problem. when i build myself a budget P.C. this summer when Haswell comes out, the PSU will be the only thing I salvage from my last build. Still trying to decide on which case I am going to get from Corsair, as I have an OCD that wants the parts to match.. I was very disappointed when I had to put a Corsair PSU in my old Antec case, so I will never recommend an Antec product.. But i guess it all comes down to luck, as there are lot's of people who swear by each different brand, and I'm sure there are some unlucky ones who have had bad experiences with both.. Me personally, i would have gone for the Corsair and saved $15, but now that you say you have had 2 die on you, I would be wary... I'm kinda glad I don't need a PSU for my next build! Now I'm even more sure that if I ever have to get another PSU, it will not be a cheap one! It'll be manufctured by Seasonic, but Corsair branded :p 
January 24, 2013 5:41:02 PM

Quote:
That's honestly not really that much better. Read this - it will explain a lot about power supplies: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-ma...

This would be a far better power supply (I have the same one) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for the link to the PSU "guide". I did a quick skim of the article and noticed that there is little mention of what OEM brands are worth sticking too. For example, it mentions a brand switching to FSP as the manufacturer and suddenly having better quality. However, I am ignorant of how "good" FSP is in general and so have no way to evaluate the quality difference between FSP and SeaSonic. Any helpful hints or links?

Quote:
I'm not sure for your uses that you'd benefit from overclocking for your purposes. Just get the non unlocked i7 and then run turbo boost in the BIOS and you'll be fine.


I had wondered about how much of a benefit I would get as well. Supposedly it can make a difference on some of the longer operations (shaving 2-3 hours off an 18+ hour run), but I have no way to evaluate that claim a priori. Strangely, after looking around at newegg and tigerdirect I can still get the K model cheaper than a non-K (roughly the same cost as an IB -i5). I will double check the non-OC board prices and see if there are any real savings to be had.


Quote:
Why would you be warned against getting an SSD? You won't benefit from a speed increase otherwise. 10K hard drives and other storage gimmicks don't offer what a 7200 RPM drive + SSD will.


I checked around and the only thing I can think of is that the guy thought I was going to ONLY use an SSD. IF the constant overwriting is actually an issue then I can see why he made the comment. To be clear, I am using the Seagate (7200rpm) for storage and db work. In theory getting a SSD for my OS and frequently used programs/files should be fine right? Any recommendations on size?

Quote:
You probably will use 16GB of RAM for your uses. But you want at least 1600 - I wouldn't recommend getting anything higher as most won't support the high speeds without overclocking.


Thanks!
January 24, 2013 7:30:11 PM

dns7950 said:
Ok, then maybe i was wrong. I have no personal experience with that specific power supply from Corsair, but I have never had a problem with a Corsair Power supply.Meanwhile, I have had 2 Antec power supplies die on me, once after about a month, and then the replacement lasted almost a year.. After the second time, I replaced it with a Corsair, and it still works to this day.. Don't use the PC anymore, as the rest of the specs are obsolete, but it still boots up no problem. when i build myself a budget P.C. this summer when Haswell comes out, the PSU will be the only thing I salvage from my last build. Still trying to decide on which case I am going to get from Corsair, as I have an OCD that wants the parts to match.. I was very disappointed when I had to put a Corsair PSU in my old Antec case, so I will never recommend an Antec product.. But i guess it all comes down to luck, as there are lot's of people who swear by each different brand, and I'm sure there are some unlucky ones who have had bad experiences with both.. Me personally, i would have gone for the Corsair and saved $15, but now that you say you have had 2 die on you, I would be wary... I'm kinda glad I don't need a PSU for my next build! Now I'm even more sure that if I ever have to get another PSU, it will not be a cheap one! It'll be manufctured by Seasonic, but Corsair branded :p 


I've had two TX750s (the one made by Seasonic, not Channel Well) and they work great - both are great power supplies. The CX isn't the best - and I'm basing that off personal experience.

Quote:

Thanks for the link to the PSU "guide". I did a quick skim of the article and noticed that there is little mention of what OEM brands are worth sticking too. For example, it mentions a brand switching to FSP as the manufacturer and suddenly having better quality. However, I am ignorant of how "good" FSP is in general and so have no way to evaluate the quality difference between FSP and SeaSonic. Any helpful hints or links?


Yeah they don't really go into much detail about the OEMs themselves - I guess they leave that up to the buyer.

Quote:
I had wondered about how much of a benefit I would get as well. Supposedly it can make a difference on some of the longer operations (shaving 2-3 hours off an 18+ hour run), but I have no way to evaluate that claim a priori. Strangely, after looking around at newegg and tigerdirect I can still get the K model cheaper than a non-K (roughly the same cost as an IB -i5). I will double check the non-OC board prices and see if there are any real savings to be had.


I can't really say either as I don't use my PC for intensive calculations like that. At work I run CAD and rendering so I can definitely say that overclocking really doesn't benefit that kind of usage.

Quote:
I checked around and the only thing I can think of is that the guy thought I was going to ONLY use an SSD. IF the constant overwriting is actually an issue then I can see why he made the comment. To be clear, I am using the Seagate (7200rpm) for storage and db work. In theory getting a SSD for my OS and frequently used programs/files should be fine right? Any recommendations on size?


Now that actually does make sense. Yeah I can see where they would get concerned since most SSDs have a limited shelf life and read - write cycles. If that were your only storage device I can see why they would advise against it but mechanical hard drives can take a lot more punishment.

If you load the OS only on the main drive and then your programs that would require heavy read - write cycles on the secondary that should work. I'd say minimum 128GB, max 256GB. If you want a really fast drive the best on the market right now are the OCZ Vector and the Samsung 840 Pro.
!