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Old 10-18-2010, 03:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Hey everyone, so I'm finally up for building myself another computer after all these years and I'm a bit rusty as to whats good these days, so I was wondering if I could get a little advice before I move forward. I came here last time and got some great advice. I mainly use my computer for gaming (i.e. I wanna be able to play sc2 properly) / small time music production at home. My budget is around 600 - 800$$ give or take. So far this is what I'm looking at...

Video Card: Newegg.ca - EVGA 01G-P3-1371-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (I hear good things about this card)
Nvidia or ATI better these days?

Motherboard: I'm clueless as to a motherboard and their seem to be a lot of combo deals on newegg with the above graphics card. Personally and correct me if this logic is stupid but I wanted a pretty decent motherboard so that I could slowly upgrade it with more ram if needed or throw in another video card in the future etc.. etc.. So some help here would be fantastic.

CPU: I'm looking into the quad cores but really have no idea about anything else after that, some help here would be great as well.

RAM: I guess this has to wait since I don't know what mobo I'm getting yet.

Hard Drive: Newegg.ca - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

CD/DVD: I had 2 LG DVD drives (one RW) on my old computer, will one of those still be fine for the new computer or are they so cheap that I might as well get a new one?

Sound Card: I know most motherboards have good onboard sound these days but I'm big on the music as you could tell from above so I was looking at getting this at some point (maybe not right away). Thoughts, feelings?
Newegg.com - Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card

I have a Antec p180 case would this provide the sufficient cooling for a new computer these days?
http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/r...180-Fronts.jpg

I also have an Antec 500W smartpower 2.0 power supply from my old build, will this be sufficient for this new computer?

but if either the case or power supply aren't good enough for the new build I'll just leave them for the old one.

I plan on putting my old computer into a cheaper case for maybe one of my folks to use, I was looking at Newegg.ca - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
I know its a little bit pricey for a cheap case but I had a burnout back in the day and I'm paranoid about proper cooling now. If anyone knows of a better/cheaper case that will do the job that would be great. The old computer is pretty **** old (i.e. it's using a Radeon 9800 pro.

Sorry for the long post (bare with me please!) and thanks in advance for any help!!
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Things havent really changed much at all besides power of hardware and prices these days. You can get some really awesome stuff for real cheap. So really, its a matter of personal preference. Now, we can set you up with an AMD Quad now with an 880 or 890 board so you can grab a hex later or we can set you up with an Intel Quad now which will grant better performance but currently Intels sockets will be replaced by next year. I will let you answer this question first then decide on mobo, cpu, and RAM.

Anywhos, thats a good drive. If you want faster boot up times you can snag an SSD which will be great for a few games to knock off some loading times.

Your previous drives should be fine still unless you really want blu-ray. Ive used the same DVDRW for years that i picked up at Frys for 20 bucks on sale. I dont even use it really.

Its a toss up between sound cards. If your a true audiophile (like me) then you want this card instead.
Newegg.com - AuzenTech AZT-FORTE X-Fi Forte 7.1 Low Profile PCI Express Sound Card

It has superior quality in almost every way all the way down to its headphone amp. Ive owned both cards myself and if i went back to a more expensive sound card again it will be the Forte for sure.

Cases havent really changed much over the years either besides get a bit more fancier or actually come with decent stock fans finally. Even then its hit and miss. I use an NZXT Beta which is a fairly low end case with only a single intake and exhaust. With my experience with the P180 it should provide better cooling and i got a monster OC sitting on my stuff with the side panel closed. If you want extra leeway then you could always purchase some high airflow fans to make sure you got some good airflow goin on in the case. As for the 300, it will provide good cooling as well for any type of machine really.

If you want to future proof yourself for possibly grabbing a second card then i suggest getting a 750W PSU or something in that area. Something like this Corsair.
Newegg.com - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Thanks for the reply!!

Okay so to understand what you're saying... Intel would provide better performance at the get go but due to the socket changes next year upgrading the CPU or RAM at a future date would require a new mobo? as with the AMD, the chipset will remain the same for a period of time allowing me to upgrade the CPU or RAM if I wanted to? If I've understood what you're saying correctly (btw I have no idea what a hex is) my question would be how often do these companies change their chipsets? I doubt I'd want to upgrade this computer for at least 2-3 years (hopefully). From what I remember usually when you wanted to upgrade your CPU buying a new mobo was a must due to the consistent chipset changes and what not. If this is still the case I think I would probably only want the options to throw in another video card and more RAM but if the chipset for the AMD CPU was gonna stay the same for a good chunk of time (2-3 years) then I would probably go with that. Also if I wanted to throw in another video card at a later date, does it have to be the same model as the previous card or can it be a newer one and does that go for RAM as well? if I wanted to throw in some more RAM would it have to be by the same company / model as the already existing RAM that I have? Sorry I've either forgotten all this stuff or I'm just a newbie lol.

Alright so the WD hard drive is good, when you say the SSD do you mean instead of the WD drive or running it along side it? I'm assuming the latter since it doesn't look like SSD drives have a lot of space. They seem quite expensive though or am I just looking in the wrong places?

As for the PSU, I kinda guessed that my 500W wouldn't cut it if I wanted to throw in another video card. But would it be sufficient for the time being if I wanted to save on funds in that area and go for a better CPU or something?

Thanks again for all the input!
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Well to try and put it simple and short Intel has 2 sockets right now. 1156, which is their mainstream platform (like in my sig) that deals with i3, i5, and i7. 1366, is their enthusiast platform which hosts their i7 quads and i7 hex (Hex = 6 core CPU. Quad = quad core CPU). In the beginning of next year Intel will be releasing their "Sandy Bridge" platform which consists of sockets 1155 and 2011. There are no interchangeable parts within any of these platforms and each CPU must have its own specified socket motherboard. The best performance per dollar chip for Intel right now seems to be my chip. The Core i5 750 Quad. Its relatively cheap compared to the higher end model i7s and performs on par with some overclocking. The difference between 1156 and 1366 (P55 and X58) is dual channel memory vs triple channel memory (along with some other things, but those dont really matter right now). The performance difference to regular gaming and normal PC use is minimal between dual and triple channel.

AMD on the other hand has interchangeable CPU to socket things going on. For instance, a socket AM3 Phenom 2 X6 1055T can be put in any AM3 or AM2+ motherboard on the market right now. That ranges from chipsets like the AMD 770 all the way up to the new 890FX or even Nvidias 750a/780a/980a chipsets. AMD uses dual channel memory in all their boards. Rumor has it, that Bulldozer (their next generation of what we hope flatten the competition chips) are going to be AM3+ and be backwards compatible with AM3. That is just rumor for now though.

On almost any P55 board (Socket 1156 Intel platform) you can run either SLI or Crossfire for Nvidia or ATI (AMD) setups respectively. The difference being though, is that depending on what board you have with an AMD setup you might have to run a "SLI Hack" to make Nvidia SLI'd cards work. This being because the retarded battle between AMD and Nvidia after AMD acquired ATI. Now, there are Nvidia chipsets for the AMD platform for native SLI support but they are cursed with typically being slow and hot. With Nvidia your required to have the same chip on both cards to work properly. (There are some instances where the cards are literally the same, so a bios flash makes it work but this doesnt pertain to you.) On the ATI side of things you can match cards of the same generation for instance a 5850 and 5870 will crossfire but the faster card is slowed down to the slower card to match performance. So really, its not worth the extra money unless you get a super deal or something. If you purchased a GTX460 you would need another GTX460 because as of right now there is only one card with the GF104 chip and that is the 460.

With all this being said, if you intend on upgrading in 3 to 4 years all of this stuff probably wont matter then anyways because its almost guaranteed none of the current hardware (CPU, Mobo) will run with future hardware (Again, CPU/Mobo). Now that being said and given the trend of games i think it would be "safe" to purchase a quad because multi-threaded games are far and wide still even today. There are few games that truly take advantage of, and therefor actually utilize more than 2 cores for a real speed boost. My money would be on possibly an AMD hex chip though (such as the X5 1055T) and an 880 or 890 chipset board with 4gb of DDR3 1600. By the way, i forgot to mention all of these boards and platforms im talking about run DDR3. And you can mix and match DDR3 with some things to understand for instance i wouldnt try mixing DDR3 1066 with say DDR3 2000 and hope it works out of the box. It would, but it would take some work in the bios.

As for the SSD they are much more pricey than a regular drive, yes, but the performance is worth it. Since you intend on getting the 640GB WD drive then id say a 64GB SSD for Windows and a few small programs would be great. If you do decide to go the SSD route, dont forget to take a look at Slaymates SSD Tweak Guide to make sure you get the best performance from your drive. And yes, i mean run along side the mechanical drive. You would just put large programs like Photoshop or games like Oblivion on the 640 and essentially your pagefile too if you go with an SSD.

Your PSU would be sufficient power wise for a single GTX460 and some overclocking on the CPU for the time being. But thats as far as id go with it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Geeeez thanks man for the in-depth explanation!!!

Okay with everything you've said and the research I've done I'm going to have to go with an AMD. I'm digging the chipset flexibility and the AMD builds seem to be a bit cheaper. That being the case The AMD X6 1055T that you suggested looks pretty solid. Btw newbie question here does having a Hex CPU cause any potentional problems when running programs or games that don't utilize all of its core's, I'm guessing the core's just don't get used but I thought I'd ask anyway.

By the way I'm Canadian so all the links are gunna be from the .ca site.

So I found a combo deal for the CPU / Mobo: Newegg.ca - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more! is that reasonable?

I also like my computer to be somewhat quiet so I think getting a better heat sink would be a good idea, any suggestions?

So to double check the 890FX would be able to use two video cards correct? with the possible complications you mentioned above.. So I guess my next question would be is the Nvidia GTX 460 worth getting or should I get an ATI equivalent, if their is such a thing... people always use to say that Nivida was way better.

RAM: Sorry you mentioned above that AMD uses dual channel memory in all of their boards while you said below that you'd go with DDR3 1600, isn't that triple channel?

PSU: Newegg.ca - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Hard Drive: I was looking at either of these (specifically the 64mb cache, is it much better than the 32mb?) but when I read the reviews on the 64mb specifically the cons seemed to consistently say they broke down early, they were quite noisy or DOA (whatever that means, didn't sound too good tho). All over these forums however people consistently use those HD's for their builds so I'm a little confused now lol.
Newegg.ca - western digital caviar black 640gb

SSD: Still looking into it...

Sound Card: I think for now I'll just stick with the on-board sound and spring for a sound card at a later date. I'm liking this card you linked tho
Newegg.ca - AuzenTech AZT-FORTE X-Fi Forte 7.1 Low Profile PCI Express Sound Card
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

As long as you have a case that can feed it plenty of fresh (cool) air, this HSF is a dandy:
Newegg.ca - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler

DOA = Dead On Arrival (and a good film, too)

You have to remember that the "reviews" are only those who came back to post something. If they had a bad experience they are more apt to do so, while a good experience goes on its merry way. 64 is better than 32, but someone would have to find some benchmarks to show me that it is THAT much better.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

So yeah about the RAM, I'm an idoit... lol I guess I thought DDR3 meant triple channel due to the "3". Anyway thanks Trotter for the Heat Sink, and about the Hard Drive that's what I thought at first but there were so many complaint that I was a little scared.

Now just to figure out if that CPU and mobo combo are good, pick out some RAM and to figure out what kind of graphics card I want and I should be set to go
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Okay so here is what I have so far, please feel free to point out if I've picked something out that's overpriced or no good

CPU / Mobo: $351 - Newegg.ca - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

Heat Sink: $32 - Newegg.ca - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler

Thermal Compound: $10 - Newegg.ca - Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - Thermal Compound / Grease

Video Card: This is where I'm torn... I'm deciding between these two cards... correct me if I'm wrong the Geforce GTX 460 would work on this setup but I wouldn't be able to SLI it with another 460 in the future right? While this Radeon would crossfire no probs right? I don't really know why I'm torn I guess, with past experience and liking Nvidia better its maybe clouding my judgment? Also if I were to get a 2nd card at a future date does the card need to be made by the same company (i.e. eVGA or Sapphire) or can it be any of those companies as long as its the same model. Some in-put on this would be great thanks.

$200 after MIR - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125333

$177 after MIR - Newegg.ca - SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ATI Eyefinity Technology
OR $166 after MIR- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...-317-_-Product

RAM: This could change if I can find a combo deal or something once I figure out what video card is the best option for me (although most of the combo deals I saw were (2g x 3) of ram which I'm not sure is overkill or not but I was looking at this if I couldn't find a deal of any kind. $86 - Newegg.ca - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

SSD / Hard Drive: SSD $120 - Newegg.ca - G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series FM-25S2S-60GBP2 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Hard Drive $75 - Newegg.ca - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

PSU: $150 - Newegg.ca - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

That comes out to roughly $1,016.91 quite a bit more than I hoped to spend, going to have to think about that one for a bit, any thoughts/suggestions are more than welcome!!

Edit: From the .ca site with shipping it comes out to $1168, while the US site comes out to $1020... I'll just ship the parts to my aunts house, she only lives 3 hours away lol.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Ditch the Arctic Silver and get some TX-2 instead:
Newegg.ca - Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound

No SLI with AMD chipsets.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2nd Computer build - Need some advice!!

Sorry i cant be of much help right now. Im using free wifi at a Whataburger so it will be a bit before i can give anymore in depth replies.
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