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 Post subject: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:14 am 
8086
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Enthusiast/Home Office (AutoCAD, Photoshop, heavy internet research) /Soft-core Gamer Rig (SCII)
Budget: $1250 – 1750 on PC; $350 – 500 on dual monitors

Replacement: Dell 4600 from 2004 (Middle Pleistocene Period). Will probably convert to NAS/Music server (Squeezebox).
Vendors: Cheapest. Micro Center is local, Newegg, Amazon, Best Buy are also acceptable.
Build philosophy: I am not a bleeding edger, but do want something that will last and have flexibility for future upgrades. I tend to like “last year’s big things” and the discounts that they offer.
WAF = Wife Acceptance Factor

Mobo/CPU/RAM
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO Newegg $195
i5 2500K Microcenter $180
CM Hyper 212+ Newegg $26
Corsair Vengeance 8 GB DDR3 1866 MHz Amazon $70
Notes: I watched the Newegg videos of ASUS UEFI and loved them. I’m willing to pay a little more for easy graphical interfaces. Also, Gigabyte seemed a little too “gamer” for me. Is 1866 RAM worth the $20 premium over 1600 MHz?

Graphics
MSI 560 Ti Microcenter $230 (with rebate)
Notes: This seemed a middle of the pack pick. I want to drive two monitors (DVI to DVI).

Storage
Crucial 128 GB m4 SSDAmazon $192
Notes: I plan to load OS and games on this.
WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III Amazon $70

PSU
CORSAIR HX750 Newegg $140
Notes: I like the modular design and hate excess cables.

Optical
Samsung SH-S223 DVD RW Microcenter $18
Notes: Just need something to load software. Would be interested in a modestly priced BluRay player for the missus.

Case
CM 690 II Microcenter $85 (with rebate)
Notes: Not a big fan of the multi-colored LED lit fans, etc. Just want a decent case that is easy to build and will fit under the desk. See also WAF.

Software
Windows 7 Home Premium OEM Newegg $100 - WAF
MS Office 2010 Home & Student 3-User Newegg $130 - WAF
Nod32 Antivirus V.5 Newegg $40
Notes: I’ve heard great things about NOD32 from Tech Talkand this is the latest.

Total Cost: $1476

Monitors
LG IPS236V 23" LED Monitor Amazon $250
Asus ML238H 23” LED Monitor Newegg $180
6ft DVI-D Cable Monoprice $8.65
USB 3.0 1.5' Cables - A Male to A Female Monoprice $2.50
Notes: I plan to mount both monitors on a stand and get rid of the hideous LG stands.

Questions? Comments?
Thanks,
NTB


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:13 am 
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Welcome to the forums.

You have a nice wife to finally let you upgrade to a new computer. :) Anyhow, your list is pretty good, but I'd look around for alternatives and definitely shop around for deals.

I would look for a cheaper mobo then what you selected, look at the cheaper ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 for $125, btw Asrock is a cheaper asus, you get the same UEFI GUI. It also has the new pcie x16 3.0 slots compared the more expensive asus.

Since you have a microcenter nearby, assuming since you quoted it, I'd see if the i5 2500k deal for $150 plus $40 off if you bundle it with a z68 mobo is still on; just ask a service rep at the store. It was last week's deal, but those things tend to run for a while even when they stop advertising it as an in-store only deal. The 212+ is a great, cheap cpu cooler, stick with that. Find a cheap 120mm fan to add a second to the back side, but not necessary.

As for the ram, you really won't see any real world performance difference from 1866 ram compared to 1600, you are talking about 1-2% increase for $20-30 more per 8gb stick. But if you want 1866 rated ram, go with the G.Skill Sniper 1866 8gb (2x4gb) set, its $75 a set, a little more expensive, but you can manually set the time to 9-9-9-24-2n with no problems most of the time. You can also OC it to 2133 with little issues as well. But honestly, just stick with some cheap g.skill, corsair, and such ram for 40-50 per 8GB set.

That same MSi 560ti OC 1gb video card is on sale at us.ncix.com for $210AR.

And shop around for ssd's, specially the newer gens. While the M4 is a decent beginner ssd, the writes speeds suck. Look at the Corsair series 3 120gb, its $180 (it was $136 on sale recently) on newegg right now and you get 550/510 read/write speeds compared to the m4 415/175.

You can get the cheaper 60gb ssd for your SRT drive, which will be an ssd cache disk for your normal mechanical disk drive, giving you the performance of an ssd, while the large master boot disk size for a cheaper price. It's only on the z68 boards.

As for your mechanical drive, look at the samsung spinpoint 1tb 7200 drive for $60. Good, cheap, fast. nuff said.

As for the 750w psu, shop around, for that price, you might as well get an 850w. No way in hell should you pay $140 for a 750. You can find good ones for half that easily and they always go on sale. I'd look at the OCZ Z series 850w 80+ gold psu, its on sale at us.ncix.com for $80AR. It's gotten good reviews and high praises. While OCZ is relatively new to the PSU area, their stuff is pretty damn good value for their prices. I've used them for the past year and actually just picked up that same 850 last week. Also, you can find 750w antec, OCZ and Cooler Master PSU for around the 50-70 price range on and off every other week.


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:05 am 
Coppermine
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Ok, this is just some addtional thoughts. Your choice of Motherboard is a good one. I do have to disagree though as to Asrock. Personally, I wouldn't touch them. They are a spin off from ASUS and headquartered in Taiwan. They were set up primarily to supply motherboards to companies such as eMachines , Gateway, and the rest. Now they are producing MOBOs for the general market.

As to memory, GSkill Ripjaws Series X 1600 Mhz is good and with timings of 8,8,8,24. Not all that pricey either.

From some of the apps you mentioned, a processor with HT capabilites might serve you well. The 250k does not feature HT, but the i7 2600k does ( just a thought ). Overall it is a good list though.

JB has covered the PSU's pretty well. A couple of others that are good are Antec, Seasonic, and PC Power & Cooling.


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Asrock maybe positioned as a "lower brand" from Asus to fill a market segment, it does not mean their products are inferior. They are just value-centric products and honestly fit the budget of most casual/enthusiast gaming boxes on a budget. I have used Asrock and have had plenty of friends who have used Asrock with good results, plus a number of their boards have gotten great reviews with many as editor picks.

Just don't completely dismiss their products because of your brand association; get your mind out of the brand identity marketing world!


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:02 pm 
Coppermine
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JBaz wrote:
Asrock maybe positioned as a "lower brand" from Asus to fill a market segment, it does not mean their products are inferior. They are just value-centric products and honestly fit the budget of most casual/enthusiast gaming boxes on a budget. I have used Asrock and have had plenty of friends who have used Asrock with good results, plus a number of their boards have gotten great reviews with many as editor picks.

Just don't completely dismiss their products because of your brand association; get your mind out of the brand identity marketing world!

I think I only know of one person who used one and they weren't happy for whatever reason, but then again that is one person. As for the last sentence, yeah, guess I may get caught up in that and tend to ignore the reviews on certain things. Probably should pay more attention to them, but I usually take those things with a grain of salt. Some reviewers ( on sites such as Newegg ) are somewhat suspect. I saw one that blistered the Zalman CNPS x10 Performa, because of difficulty in mounting. Said he needed someone to hold the backing plate from underneath so he could attach the heat sink. My guess was that he didn't know to take the paper off the double edged tape to stick the thing on the MOBO. Anyway, point well taken.


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:23 pm 
8086
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Thanks for all of the excellent feedback. I will definitely give NCIX a look.
I especially appreciate your advice on the SSD, PSU, and GPU.
The Samsung HDD lists 3.0 Gb/s whereas the WD Black is 6Gb/s. Is this a misprint?

Any advice on monitors?

Thanks,

NTB


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:28 pm 
Coppermine
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No, not a misprint. There are 6g SSDs as well as 3g WD Caviar Blacks. I guess the 6g SSDs would tend to be a bit pricier. As fpr a monitor, Something with a native resolution of 1920x1080 and 24" is good ( unless you like a larger area to look at ).


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Micro Center is running a special for my ASUS P8Z68-V Pro board plus an i7-2600K for $410 ($80 off) which is just $20 more than the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro board plus an i5-2500K. Not that I throw Andrew Jacksons around willy-nilly, but this seems like a no-brainer!


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Notthebomba wrote:
Thanks for all of the excellent feedback. I will definitely give NCIX a look.
I especially appreciate your advice on the SSD, PSU, and GPU.
The Samsung HDD lists 3.0 Gb/s whereas the WD Black is 6Gb/s. Is this a misprint?

Any advice on monitors?

On mechanical hard drives, their speeds will be no where near the bandwidth limits of even SATA2 3.0 Gb/s. At SATA2, you are talking a theoretical limit of 384 MB/sec. One WD Black 1tb drive does 96.9 read/238.5 burst MB/sec with a 52.5 write/88.1 burst MB/sec rate. It would be a waste of money to get the 6Gb/s version unless you plan on running a ton of them in different raid setups.

The cheap samsung spinpoint f3 1tb drives does 124.8 MB/sec read and 96.7 MB/sec write with an incredible burst speed of 258.9, fastest in it's class.

Now for SSD's, the latest gen SATA3, which is about 768 MB/sec theoretical limit, is easily surpassed with a simple raid 0 using the more recent SSD drives. Even one drive can reach around the 550/540 read/write sequential speeds. This is why you see even faster SSD's coming out on PCI express x4 2.0 slots since their bandwidth is 2 GB/s for both the upload and download rates (total of 4GB/s)

As far as monitors go, what is your price range and relative size? 20-24" is a good size to look at and in most cases a cheap TN panel will work for most people's needs. Look at Asus, Acer, LG and Samsung, but even the cheaper Ben-Q monitors make pretty decent stuff. Viewsonic and NEC also makes good stuff but honestly they are more expensive than what they are offering. Dell makes some good stuff as well, but honestly, I'd stick with the first four brands I listed unless you can find Dell's stuff on sale. Stick with an LED backlit monitor since they are newer and aren't that more expensive in the 20-24" sizes, plus their black levels is much better than the normal cc back lite monitors; as well as using a lot less power/lower heat output. You can usually find a 24" led asus for about the $180-220 price point

If you need something with more color accuracy, then you need an IPS panel. Personally I'd stick with Dell or HP in this and look at the 24" or 27" size. Dell hasn't released a 27" LED monitor yet and their new 24" 2412M model has gotten a little mixed reviews compared to their older, yet awesome 2410's. HP just released their new ZR line of professional grade LED monitors using IPS panels two weeks ago, that include the nice 27" LED with the nice 2560x1440 resolution. Probably overkill at the $729 price, but very tempting if you need that kind of features.


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:43 am 
Coppermine
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Those figures just came up recently in a discussion on the other forum I moderate. I was surprised as I hadn't seen that before. There was a link posted where you could check it for yourself. In those performance rating things in Vista and Windows 7, that is the reason you'll not see anything above 5.9 as it uses the lowest rating which is your Hdd ( it will be higher if you are using an SSD though ( except for Vista where the Highest score is 5.9 ( 7.9 in Windows 7 ).

I have a Samsung monitor that I like, but it comes up a bit short in the resolution area though. I think the max is 1650x1050 or something like that and where I have it set.


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:04 am 
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The "windows performance rating" is a load of shit. It's made for the means to tell people with a crappy computer to spend more money and upgrade for no reason why. Not everyone needs an ssd and building a performance system to use it as a benchmark is a useless system to gauge upon.


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:35 am 
Coppermine
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:lol: Never said it was useful, only that it was there. :lol: I agree. In my opinion it is excess baggage in the OS and serves no useful purpose. Better to use 3-D Mark Vantage or even Nova Bench for that stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: NTB's First New Home Office/Gamer Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:51 am 
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even the maxpc didn't score a perfect 10... and you know they spent like 12 grand on it.


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