Build a PC: Recommended Builds (August 2013)

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JBHankin

Was wondering if anyone can recommend a good UPS in the range $50-$200 that would supply me with enough time to quick-save a game and shut down windows during a power outage.

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PCLinuxguy

Most UPS in that range give you about 5-10 minutes. A good one is the Cyber Power CP1350AVRLCD. it has 1350 VA 810 Watts 4 x 5-15R Battery/Surge Protected 4 x 5-15R Surge Protected Outlets and an LCD display. Look it up on newegg and see what you think, as it's only $144. it'll give you about this much time:
Entry-level PC with 19" LCD (150W) - 30 min.
Midrange PC with 19" LCD (300W) - 14 min.
Performance PC with 19" LCD (500W) - 7 min.

SO that should more than give you enough time to save and power down I would hope.

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JBHankin

Great, thanks so much!

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orsmoyrse

I don't like to use cpuboss for comparing the two but I'll make an exception since anandtech doesn't even cover the 3350.

Spybubble

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JM24

Can anyone see some ways to shave some of the price off of the performance build? I am trying to come up with a build for a higher end gaming PC but that seems like a little over kill.

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limitbreaker

yes, use everything in the Baseline build but replace the video card with a gtx 780 :-) it'll exceed the performance of the performance build due to the faster cpu baseline has.

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fatpanda

Is there a benefit to going 4x4gig sticks of Corsair (or any RAM) versus 2x8gig sticks?

Thanks in advance

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limitbreaker

That socket type is a quad channel memory, meaning that you want at least one stick per channel to get full performance, in a dual channel configuration like amd boards and most other Intel boards you're better off with 2x8 because it'll leave you room expansion.

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fatpanda

ahhhh thank you, I haven't built my own in a long time so I wasn't aware!

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smetlydc2

I'm considering building a new pc based on your baseline specs... but I want to have 2 HDs to do a dual boot to Win or Ubuntu. Question... do you have a comparable INVIDIA GPU and MOBO that will have better Linuz driver support than the AMD?

Thanks!

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PCLinuxguy

Dude. Stop Spamming.. it's annoying as hell. your question was already answered, and I'm sure you're probably asking on other sites too.. Maybe try Google next time. Not trying to be terse but this is ridiculous

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smetlydc2

I'm looking to build a dual boot PC and I like the pricepoint / performance level of the Baseline model but I need to make sure I can get Ubuntu drivers. From what I understand NVIDIA has more Linux support than AMD. Can you recommend a comparable GPU / Mobo that will be supported in Ubuntu?

Thanks!

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PCLinuxguy

mainly I'd go for a GTX 650 at the low end but that's just me

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smetlydc2

I'm looking to build a dual boot PC and I like the pricepoint / performance level of the Baseline model but I need to make sure I can get Ubuntu drivers. From what I understand NVIDIA has more Linux support than AMD. Can you recommend a comparable GPU / Mobo that will be supported in Ubuntu?

Thanks!

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Drew7

It pisses me off how much MaximumPC caters to Intel. Don't get me wrong, love the magazine, but Jesus Christ... Seriously?! How much does Intel pay you guys??? If you seriously want "budget"... You go AMD. Cheaper mobos, cheaper upgrade path, and if you want killer performance you can stuff an FX 8350 in that sucker for $200 bucks. There's no excuse here. I'm rockin' an old school 1100T @ 3.740 Ghz, and it kills for games. WTF, MaximumPC? You don't give AMD any props. And they deserve it. And your excuse for going with Intel for those who want to "encode video" is lame. MaximumPC = Intel fanboys. So biased.

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Upyourbucket

"your excuse for going with Intel for those who want to "encode video" is lame. "

TRUTH

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Slowman

I have a very different take on the budget machine. I would rather build one that I can upgrade to the next level without selling parts for a big loss or having parts just laying around. I'd get the I5K chip and use the internal graphic while I save up for a better gpu. I'd still have $75 left over plus the $68 from the other board and you can get into Z87 motherboards for $100 and if I could swing it put an EVO cooler on it. I'd drop the SSD to make sure I get the Mobo and cooler I wanted. Then add one later. Yes things would bite for 6-12 months but you end up the a much better rig in the end without wasting money or tearing your rig apart later. Now if you need stick to the $750 limit I would use an AMD chip.

And for the base line I think I'd opt for the FX8350 but it's kind of a coin flip on it. Both are good performers with good upgrade paths, for when Broadwell and Steamroller comes out. Which could be quite a wait.

The performance build I'd go with the Haswell platform. Unless you're looking more for a workstation then I would spend the extra money and get the hex core cpu and maybe a Titan if I needed gpu computing.

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vrmlbasic

Dropping the SSD is not an option IMO. Why spend a few hundred on a build just to make it "breathe through a straw", lowing the perceived performance?

One of my friends bought a disposable APU A8 "Trinity" laptop and it get schooled in load times by a 2008 macbook simply because the macbook sports a budget SSD-over SATA I-and the A8 sports a HDD. The APU beats the hell out of the mac in every other performance benchmark, furthering the shame.

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j_j_montez

I'm with you vrmlbasic, I can't go back to an HDD for my primary or secondary machines. I have gone so far, as to put an SSD into a 1st generation Macbook from 2006. The customer had the money, and it is like a new machine for them. They don't need high processing power, but when they see word or a browser open in under a second, they are happy. Load times are dismissed as a novelty, but in day-to-day uses, turning a computer on, and opening programs is what determines a computer's power to the average consumer.
Sloman, I would have also gone with an AMD chip for a budget build. Transfer the savings to the GPU, and get a better one at the start.
What I can appreciate is the community that always gathers around these posts to offer suggestions. It's always a great resource for ideas.

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Slowman

I started thinking about the SSD before I even went to bed. I could probably deal with the intergrated graphic for a few months while I saved up for a GPU but I wouldn't want to go back to a HDD setup again after using SSDs. Even if I knew I would add one later. But that what makes lean machinge builds challenging. It's pretty amazing just what another $50 can get you. But one thing that does puzzle me on the build they put together. You can get a 4430 for very close to the same price of the P series chip they used. If you're doing a budget Intel build that seems the way to go for me. So guilty as charged. I throw myself on the mercy of the court!

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Stormfuror

Once you go SSD you can't go back. I cannot stand using an HDD. I have 3 SSD's in my rig now to my one HDD, lol. I'm so happy the prices have been going down too. Can't wait until the day I have a 1TB SSD in my computer :)

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pastorbob

I like the NZXT Source 210 case used in the budget build. I moved my system over to one (caught it on sale for $39.99, black one) from a CM 311 Elite and added a top 120 mm fan. The air flow was much improved over the CM case. My temps dropped 5 degrees C across the board. And I was able to do a much cleaner job hiding cables.

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FatOldGuy

My pc is using a 3570k is it worth it to upgrade to the 4670k? I would need a new mobo as well meaning it would not be a cheap upgrade.

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diedrichg

I vote no. The cost is Extreme versus the tiny amount of performance increase. Check out CPUBoss.com to do a basic comparison. If you had said the i5-3570k upgrading to the i7-4770k, then sure... go for it, your performance increase will be significant in multi-threaded programs (video editing, 3D modeling) but there will be very, very little performance increase in single-threaded programs (web browser, games).

If you will be switching platforms then you could opt for the next Ivy Bridge-E on the LGA 2011 socket. That would give you uber performance over everything else out there at least until sometime in 2015 as the Haswell-E product line hasn't been forecast beyond 2014. Wait for Ivy Bridge-E to be released sometime in Q3 or Q4 of 2013 before you make the leap to LGA 2011.

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Upyourbucket

Your budget build could be better-

FX 6300 is very comparable to the i5 3350p

Overclocks more

and its cheaper $120 vs $180 ..a difference of $60

split that 60 bucks in half

and put $30 bucks more to a case with better airflow (many better options than that source 210 elite)

and put $30 bucks to CM hyper 212 evo

Seems like a no brainer to go with AMD in a budget build

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Renegade Knight

AMD chips are not as good as intel for gaming. They don't keep up with intel chips. Not all intel chips keep up either but the baseline chip described in their artical does.

By not keep I mean the CPU ends up throttling your GPU performance.

The study is: "Inside the second: Gaming performance with today's CPUs"

I was surprised. I had thought High end AMD would be as good as high-ish end Intel.

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PCLinuxguy

I beg to differ, especially on the low end side of things financially.
A friend of mine bought an Asus laptop with the Trinity A10. I upgraded it to 8GB of ram (up from 4GB) and an SSD since I had the parts extra and wanted to give it a boost. for about $400 his little laptop can game fairly well. Sure it won't do ultra graphics for everything but it does more than I thought it could. Plus the AMD APU graphics still stomp Intel's IG even on Haswell's HD4600 core.

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limitbreaker

I thought the same thing, these builds are just bad... The budget build could really use an AMD chip and possibly the baseline build too but that one is debatable. The performance build should really be holding a much faster i7-4770k while saving on the motherboard or at least go for the 3930 six core chip. I don't know who is putting these builds together but they're doing a horrible job at it.

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tom_m

We're building for general-purpose computing. Putting an i5 in the budget build lets people encode videos and a few other things much faster than, say, a 6300. It also leaves the door open to upgrade to an i7 later on. And it provides a backup GPU in case someone needs to troubleshoot the GPU. If this system was oriented for gaming, then it would make sense to switch to a 6300 and a more expensive GPU.

At the baseline level, Intel distances itself from AMD pretty consistently, especially when you start overclocking. The i5 an i7 will scale better with clock speed, while also drawing less power.

The 4770K is faster than a 3820 in some operations, but we didn't want to give up X79's additional PCIe lanes, or the option to get a hex-core CPU later on.

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vrmlbasic

With the GPU becoming more involved in video encoding isn't the "Intel > AMD for video encoding" becoming less relevant (talking "real" encoding, not that proprietary Quick Sync nonsense)?

There's also the hope, maybe forlorn, that software will eventually take advantage of the AMD module design and that might give AMD the edge; aren't x264 & 265 integer-based schemes, and integer crunching the Bulldozer/Piledriver's forte?

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PCLinuxguy

Sorry Tom, but Upyourbucket and limitbreaker have you beat on this one by calling for AMD on budget builds. AMD is cheaper, faster, and more upgrade friendly in this scenario, even moreso if you went with the FM2 socketed Richland A10 APU with it's built in graphics core that stomps even the HD4600 from the Intel Haswell side, meaning that you could get away with not using a dedicated GPU on the build.
A friend of mine has a Trinity A10 laptop with 8GB of ram and a 256GB SSD and it games at high/ultra with ease for such a cheap chip, meaning that the budget machine Should be AMD just to give the end user a great machine.

You commented about upgrading to an i7 later on, but you do realize Intel changes sockets around very quickly and that by the time you could upgrade, the next 2 generations of Intel CPU will already be on the market with a different socket meaning you'll have to replace the motherboard too. It seems your logic is skewed toward Intel as being the end-all-be-all of computing, and it's not. It's good yes but not the Alpha and Omega.

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Xenux

Yes I would have to agree with you, limitbreaker and upyourbucket. I've been playing around with a new budget gaming build on newegg for a few weeks now and this is what I've come up with. I contemplated Intel vs AMD and finally came to the decision that it just makes more sense both financially and in practicality of upgrade paths.

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm $50 (This Case is so much better than the nzxt)

ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard $85

HIS IceQ H787Q2G2M Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $180

Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS BRONZE $60

AMD FX-6300 $120

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $75

Seagate Barracuda STBD2000101 2TB $100

ADATA Premier Pro SP900 ASP900S3-64GM-C 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $70

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner $18

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 (newer model) $35

TOTAL= $793

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Upyourbucket

BUDGET BUILD , The Fx 6300 has 55% better performance per dollar

When you are talking budget build you are talking money, and that's where the 6300 wins price/performance.

ps- not trying to be snotty, im just sayin' man =p

in reply to Tom

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limitbreaker

If upgrade path wins the game than AMD is the a winner for budget, there's atleast one more processor generation that'll support am3+ sockets and unlike Intel, AMD reduces the prices of older generation CPU. Try upgrading an i7-920 to an i7-980x like a friend of mine wanted to do, you'd be lucky to find one under 1000$ even thought they don't perform better than today's quad cores.
For almost the same price you could get a fx8350 that hands down beats a low end i5 and even the 3570k (4670 is a different story). Honestly... On the budget build there is no excuse... AMD hands down is better, specially if it isn't geared towards gaming. fx8320 > i5-3350 both 170$

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limitbreaker

I don't like to use cpuboss for comparing the two but I'll make an exception since anandtech doesn't even cover the 3350.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcpuboss.com%2Fcpus%2FIntel-Core-i5-3350P-vs-AMD-FX-8320&ei=mKT6UanUEtKy4AOH2oGIAw&usg=AFQjCNF6d8jq0BpPsuam-JLLM_K-oeaaMQ&sig2=UU44zSxgsftfIQcT_QzXSw&bvm=bv.50165853,d.dmg