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Old 01-24-2010, 11:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Time for new

I apprently fried my last computer somehow. Probably from neglect. It was roughly 6 years old and my first custom built. I'll be buying parts over the week and am a little overwhelmed with all of the options. My budget is flexible, but I'd like to keep it around $500. Below are my thoughts and general comments. Thanks for any help.

PC Use: Web surfing, MS office and Gaming. Gaming isnt that heavy, but I also dont want to look at the specs required on the back of a box when I see a game I want to play.

Proc: I'm leaning towards the AMD Phenom II x4 955/965 line. Since Im not overclocking I cant see the reason to buy an i7 for the price. Am I wrong? Suggestions for which AMD to go with?

MB: Hard to decide since I dont know which Proc. I looked at a few MSI/AMD bundles on new egg that seemed reasonable. I do want onboard audio, but do not want onboard video. I'm very lost on Motherboards and what to watch for.

Graphics Card: I have access to some heavy discounting for GPUs. I want something that will last a few years but wont cost me an arm. I previously had an ATI 9800 pro. I think the fan went out on it and it started over heating so I switched to a VisionTek HD 2600 pro. A litte lost here too.

Memory: I had Kingston Hyper X before, but it seems there are a lot of options available and reasonably priced. I think I can get a good brand for $100 or less? (4gb)

Case: When I was considering the MSI/AMD bundle, I was set on this case from Newegg.com - RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEBP 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply - Computer Cases

OS: I have access to every OS for free so there will not be a price associated here. Havent decided but it iwll probably be Win 7.

Monitor/K/M: Have all the necessary components. My monitor is 22" and supports high resoution.

I know there are a few prebuild everyone suggests, so I appreciate anyone taking the time to add additional comments. Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-25-2010, 07:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time for new

Hey there.

I personally have the 955 processor you mentioned. I don't overclock either and I find it a great asset out of the box. If you want to keep the price low, I don't see a huge reason to upgrade to the 965 there.

Going off of that, might as well get an AM3 mobo. This opens you up for future upgrades and lets you slot in some DDR3 RAM. You can get some pretty sick sets of this (2x2GB) for under $100. I just went with a basic set of Crucial memory, no heatsinks or anything, on mine, again because I'm not overclocking. Your build starts to differ from mine here, because I was going for portability and therefore have a Micro ATX board. I like the case you picked out when portability isn't an issue, so no reason to change that up. I'm not happy with the 500W power supply in it, but then I'm not a good judge with PSUs.

That said, here's my build for you, letting you keep that PSU. It clocks in (at the moment, on Newegg) at $565 or so. If you could find the graphics card with a discount like you said, you might even get it lower.

Mobo: Gigabyte AM3 ATX motherboard
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
Case: Smilodon you linked
GPU: ATI HD4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 from XFX
RAM: OCZ Gold Edition 2x2GB

I don't think you should have too many troubles with everything you want to do and that build, and, just like the case, it leaves you room to grow (2 more RAM slots, room for a Crossfire setup (in theory), and any newer processors).

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Old 01-25-2010, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time for new

Thanks for the response. I actually ended up with a free ATI HD 4670 So I think Im set there. Talk about great discount!

MB: Here are the combos I was looking at on New Egg. Combo 1. Combo 2. I cant decide between the two. The key differences I see are the first come with a onboard graphics card (Which I wouldnt use), more PCIe 2 slots and accepts faster memory. Is all of that worth the $60 difference?

HD: I didnt ask in my last post. I have a 1tb wireless NAS so Im not to concerned with size and can substitute performance for space. Suggestions?
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time for new

The big thing with combo 1 is it's extremely future-proof. By the time you look into upgrading memory or anything, combo 2 won't be able to use the faster memory. Number 2 also won't take more tha 8GB, not a problem now but when the DDR3 1800 comes into play and is a useful/affordable upgrade, you'll likely want the ability to go beyond the 8GB as well.

The onboard video is unnecessary when you're not using it, but it's not a huge drawback to the motherboard as a whole. If you want a motherboard that should be able to last you a long time, spend the extra money. If you're prepared for the computer to go in the next six years (again), I think the cheaper motherboard will be enough for that.

HD: Performance I'd definitely say look for the High-RPM drives. SSDs are still expensive and from all I can tell a royal hassle to set up. For lack of hassle I'd say go for a VelociRaptor. In terms of ease as well as compatibility with motherboards you're looking for, that's really the best performance you can expect to find. Here's a link to 10K RPM drives, it's up to you to decide if you can fit it into your budget and requirements. I will say, I use the older and smaller Raptor as a boot drive (still 10K RPM) and can notice a pretty significant speed increase. It's also the thing that holds me back the most in my build, according to the Windows Experience Index or whatever they're calling it these days.

I know I'm not giving any concrete answers here, but computers are very personal. I hope this proves to be helpful in your decision-making, though, and am of course happy to try answering any other questions you might have.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time for new

My 2 cents on hard drives. 10K rpm drives are not worth the cost. Either go for a 32mb cache 7200 rpm drive like the WD black or go ssd for ultimate speed.

This comes from a user of raptor 10K drives for many years. The black is almost as fast as the velociraptor, costs less, runs cooler and quieter.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Time for new

cpu/ mobo
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Desktop Memory

Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

if you picked that case that you linked to in your first post because it comes with a psu, i would not buy it because the psu in it is crap. you can actually get the same case but w/o the psu but for some reason it costs more... why? idk.
Newegg.com - RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case - Computer Cases
anyway, if you still want this case get the one w/ the psu since its cheaper but ditch the psu that its comes with and buy a separate psu. something like this, would work for you.
Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

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