Building a Computer

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Vinchenz, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Vinchenz


    Yo! Hustle! Hustle! Member
    Graphics Card
    Optical Drive
    Power Supply
    Water Cooling

    Total price: Around $950 (no shipping/handling plus taxes). To me, this seems like a good price. I'm getting a new computer that'll last me a while as I need one to do programming. I'll be doing intense graphics programming and shader programming on it, but the ability to play all the latest games is also a huge benefit for me, naturally. :P

    My thoughts:
    Nothing special, just needed a nice good case for a cheap price and this one seems to have good reviews and plus that handle may become useful if I need to move it around a lot.

    Intel Core i7 960 Bloomfield; I decided right from the beginning to get an i7 processor. This one is an upgrade from the one I was originally going to get (950 Bloomfield) but for the extra GHZ for $20 I thought why not.

    Supports my processor, RAM, graphics card, I thought why not. For a cheap price and good reviews too. Plus has USB 3.0 support so that's nice.

    2x4GB 1066 from a good manufacturer. Most 2x4GB RAM sticks were around the same price but this one got really good reviews and they look cool to boot (even though I know I won't be seeing them :P).

    Graphics Card:
    Good manufacturer... but what attracted me was the 2GB of GPU RAM and was barely a price higher than the 1GB RAM so I thought it was a good choice, especially since I plan on doing tons of shader work on this.

    500GBx2, all HDDs this capacity was pretty much the same price but Western Digital seems to be a reliable brand. I'm getting 2 HDDs instead of 1 1TB drive because it's slightly cheaper (like $2 cheaper) plus a friend once told me that it's good to have more HDDs and partitioned space than to have everything on one drive. I forget why though.

    Optical Drive:
    Just need one that can burn, this seemed to get good reviews. I don't know if it can burn CDs/DVDs, though but none of the optical drives on NewEgg specified if they can do burning.

    Power Supply:
    This one I am most unsure about... I THINK 600W might be too much but I don't know for sure, plus I would like to go with something cheaper but I was told NOT to skimp out on the power supply...

    Water Cooling:
    I'm getting this because apparently the fans on the Intel processors suck plus water cooling is appealing to me, and they're quiet and keep the computer cooler than fans. For a price like this I thought I should get it.

    What do you guys think? I'd really like to get a more educated purchase on the power supply but if guys can link me somewhere to get the same stuff or better for cheaper then I'll order from there but it seems to me NewEgg is the place to go. It'll also be nice to order everything from the same place.

    So yeah, as the topic title says... any suggestions?
  2. Willie


    Each day the world turns Laugh 'til it all burns Member
    I can confirm that G.Skill is good for ram. They're what I chose when I built my computer back in 2009. I'll look into more detail about your specs and such later and also compare it to my setup (which cost $690 without tax and shipping but $765 with tax and shipping) to see what you you might be lacking in. I'll also ask one of my friends who was essentially responsible for my computer being totally kick ass if any of your brand choices are questionable.
  3. Zycor


    Unlike Sonic, I don't chuckle. Member
    Beats me.
    I don't think that Optical Drive burns, if you look up "DVD burner" you can find another one that seems to be the "step up" from the one you have there for 2 extra dollars, and specifically states it burns CDs and DVDs.

    I think you're fine on the power supply, though if you plan on adding/upgrading get a higher one, I just did a estimated calculation with Newegg's on site thing, 600 should be fine.

    Over all seems like a good build, good luck with the water cooling.
  4. Why did you choose an intel CPU, exactly? I mean at least it's a decently priced one, but damn.

    Aside that, your machine conifg is really fuckin' sexy :)
  5. Conan Kudo

    Conan Kudo

    「真実はいつも一つ!」工藤新一 Member
    Well, while some of that is good, I think you could do better with an AMD configuration.

    Use these parts instead:
    Graphics card

    If you really want to go the Intel route, make sure your RAM is supported by your selected motherboard. I know backwards compatibility with slower clock speeds is normally available, but don't risk it if it isn't said to be supported.

    In any case, swapping an i7 with a Phenom II X6 gives you a hexa-core CPU and saving you $125. The motherboard I selected is the same price, so no difference to you. The graphics card is $35 more and considerably more powerful.

    In total, you'll be spending around $860 for the computer.

    Intel Core i7 chips are expensive and they emit a tremendous amount of heat, much more than even the highest end Phenom II chip. I switched to an AMD graphics board because CrossFireX lets you combine the computing power of the onboard IGP on the motherboard with the GPU on the graphics card, giving you more power. Unfortunately nVidia graphics cards aren't very power efficient, nor are they very quiet either. I've selected a top of the line card that supersedes the specs of the nVidia card you selected.

    Replacing with these components will allow you to reduce the amount of heat output and energy inefficiency by a very large margin. Not to mention you'll save some money too.

    If you want to try some brand new AMD technology, swap out the CPU and the motherboard for this and this. You'll save an additional $10 and you'll be using AMD's new FM1 APU architecture. The idea is that the GPU and the CPU are integrated into a single removable unit called the APU. The on-die graphics chip is considerably more powerful and linking up with a CrossFireX graphics card will make your configuration even more powerful.
  6. Afti


    Can't CrossFire the APU's graphics element with a high-end external GPU. You can still use it for compute, though.

    CPU speed on the APUs is lacking due to cache issues, and they're hard as hell to overclock- you'd be better off with a cheaper Phenom II.

    (though, having an initial 125W 1055t in my desktop- I think you're exaggerating Intel chips' heat output; this isn't the P4 era, and the Phenom II lineup runs ridiculously hot at higher clocks)
  7. Conan Kudo: I applaud you for elaborating on my point. Nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks like that :)
  8. Vinchenz


    Yo! Hustle! Hustle! Member
    Thanks for the help, guys!

    Conan, thanks for recommending AMD instead. I wanted to go with Intel because those are the only processors I've ever used but I didn't realize AMD was close behind in power and much better with price. Hexa-core sounds real sexy.

    Thanks for the right drive, Zycor!

    Unless anyone else has anything to say, I think mods can close this thread now.
  9. NickW


    In my opinion? Terrible. You should not be purchasing an obsolete processor (look at the i5-2500k if you're looking for an Intel processor or the i5-2500 if you have no intention of overclocking it). Not only is the the 2500k better than the processor you listed, it's also cheaper & it's better than pretty much all of AMD's processors currently available, including the hex-core Conan Kudo posted. AMD's processors provide for a better price/power ratio than Intel's processors, but Intel processors are generally more powerful.

    After you switch that out along with a different motherboard then the computer will be fine (though I still would suggest a different HDD and PSU and using the DVD drive Zycor suggested). Also, ditch the water cooling - you don't need it unless you're overclocking to levels that wouldn't be adequate for air cooling. Get this cooler instead if you plan on overclocking.

    Anyway, for my suggestions:
    Power Supply - Cheaper. Even though there's less wattage, it's still plenty for your configuration.
    This Harddrive or this harddrive - No point getting less than 1TB these days, considering it's not that much more expensive than a 500GB one
    RAM - Faster RAM
  10. Amethyst


    I have to agree with Yoshi's suggestion of the i5 2500k. It's run everything I've thrown at it so far on the highest settings and for the price it's a no-brainer.
  11. Pardon me for asking, but have you actually 1. tried an AMD system in that price range and 2. thought about price, power and exhaust?

    The no brainer here is really using a Phenom II X4 or X6 or so. They're friggin cheap and just work wonders for this price point.
  12. Vinchenz


    Yo! Hustle! Hustle! Member
    Yeah I already ordered the parts that I said I would although, in the end, I ended up buying the same RAM speed cards that you recommended, Yoshi 15.

    And I thought i7s were supposed to be a generation higher than i5. I checked out your card and aside from being 3.3 GHz instead of 3.2 GHz, the processor I was going to choose was very slightly better. Although yours DID cost $60 cheaper.

    I think I'll be happy with the AMD specs regardless. :)
  13. NickW


    The i7's are higher class than the i5's, but in this case the 2500k is from the second generation of the I series processors. Plus, OH SHIT I forgot to tell you that your mobo isn't compatible with that processor (you need a socket LGA 1366 motherboard to use that i7, the cheapest of which goes for $155 on Newegg). Seriously, just return the i7 you got and get the 2500 instead (The mobo you got also doesn't allow for overclocking, so the 2500k would be useless.) Or even better, cancel the order if you are still able to (since it most likely hasn't shipped yet, it should let you, either directly on the orders page or via live chat.) So I can recommend you a different cpu/mobo.

    If you want a rough estimate on which one is more powerful you can refer to passmark benchmarks:

    Core i5-2500k scores a 7,316
    Core i5-2500 scores a 6,572
    Core i7-960 scores a 6,685
  14. Vinchenz


    Yo! Hustle! Hustle! Member
    No, I ordered the AMD Processor Conan recommended to me, alongside the mother board and graphics card.

    And my original stuff was not compatible? Man that's so confusing, I read tons of guides and specs and I was sure it would be compatible. @[email protected]
  15. NickW


    Ah ok, I thought you ordered your original cpu and mobo. In that case, everything appears to be compatible with each other.

    And yes, in your first post your CPU and mobo weren't compatible with each other. The CPU requires a socket LGA 1366 motherboard while you chose a LGA 1155 mobo (which is for the current Sandy Bridge based core I processors). For the most part, the only things you really have to worry about compatibility wise is the CPU, mobo, heatsinks, and RAM (although virtually all current processors require the use of DDR3 ram).
  16. AamirM


    Tech Member
    You could've either waited for Bulldozer or should have went with the i5-2500K. Oh well..