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Author Topic: The Help DS build his new PC thread!  (Read 3688 times)

DarknessSavior

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The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« on: December 16, 2011, 12:21:15 pm »
So at my job a coworker got me into Slickdeals. I threw it on an RSS feed, and have been picking a few deals here and there to put together a new gaming PC for myself on the semi-cheap.

So far, here's what I got:

Case - Antec Three Hundred Illusion = $30
RAM - 16 GB of G.SKILL DDR3 (12800) = $60
HDD - 1.5 TB 5900 RPM Seagate Green HDD = $83 (I know I should've jumped on better deals I saw before the flooding, but meh...)
Optical - LITE-ON DVD R/RW /w Lightscribe = $20

I still need a CPU, GPU, PSU, and a Motherboard.

I was thinking about getting this CPU:

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0354589

$180, and it's better than the $100-200 "Best Gaming CPU" that Tom's Hardware detailed in November. There's a Microcenter a few blocks away from where I live now.

Is there a better deal for that out there? Should I wait a bit more for some better Christmas-time deals?

I should also mention I'm planning on doing SLI/Crossfire (depending on which GPU type I go with). I used the Newegg calculator for PSUs, and it said that I would probably need 700W+ for the kind of configuration I want, plus or minus some depending on the GPUs I go with.

As far as PSUs go, I was told that having more than 1 12V rail was important (that way the voltage is split up into components that really need it, rather than it all being down one rail). Not really that well-informed when it comes to that, though.

Any suggestions are welcome, and thanks ahead of time.

~DS
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 01:43:09 pm by DarknessSavior »
Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
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Rhys

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011, 01:27:59 pm »
holy crap, 12GB of RAM?! and there was me thinking my 8GB was overkill :o

I'm shocked at how cheap computer parts seem to be in the US, VAT sucks :(

Is a DVD-RW drive your limit? because I found a decent BD-R drive with LightScribe for my rig that's pretty awesome , and it's only $40 extra on Amazon than the one you've listed. I've got the CPU you're looking at in my rig and I can tell you it's damn awesome for the price, and I haven't even overclocked it yet, which I hear it's great at.

As far as PSUs go, yeah > 1 12v rails is integral if you're doing SLI/Crossfire, otherwise it's less important, but 700W minimum I'd say. I've got a 700W in mine without SLI, running an ATI Radeon HD 6800, and it's perfectly fine.

One suggestion I'd have is make sure the graphics card you're getting will fit in the case you're planning on, for full size graphics cards, they're not gonna fit in standard towers with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and more blood (this is from experience :()

DarknessSavior

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 01:42:55 pm »
Yeah, I figured I would go with as much as I could get right now without going too much overkill (I know in the near future we'll have Mobos with a max of 32 GB of RAM or some shit, but I figured 16 GB was enough for now).

Edit: I just noticed I made a typo. I have 16 GB of RAM.

Also, US prices aren't super low. I just watched Slickdeals until shit went on sale. The HDD I got was normally twice the price, but TigerDirect put it on sale. The case I got was on sale recently for $10 more than I paid for it. It's $70 right now on newegg. The RAM went on sale during Black Friday for $30 for 8 GB, so I bought two of them. I was going to wait for the Corsair Vengeance RAM to drop in price, but I saw this one drop a bunch instead, and it had great reviews (and since I bought it, it was nominated for a customer's choice award).

The case I chose is a "Mid-Tower" case. It's pretty big. It's got 3 Optical bays, 6 HDD bays, a 120mm Rear Fan, two 120mm front fans and a 140mm top fan (rear and front fans have three speed selectors, top fan has a two speed selector). 7 expansion slots for vid cards and whatnot. Pretty awesome case, if you ask me.

As far as BD-ROM drives go? I don't really plan on using the PC to watch/burn Blu-Rays, but if I do, I can always add that later.

Just like I don't plan on IMMEDIATELY buying two GPUs. I plan on adding a second one later.

Also: anything that works well and is blue colored is a plus. All of the fans on my case have Blue LEDs. I might switch my RAM for Corsair Vengeance in the future (my girlfriend has 8 GB of it already, I can just buy another 8 GB, and give her my G.SKILL RAM). I even have blue SATA cables. I want it all to match, someday.

Edit: Question. My RAM is DDR3-1600. The CPU I want to get only supports 1066 and 1333. Is that a problem? T_T;

~DS

« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 02:00:29 pm by DarknessSavior »
Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
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BRPXQZME

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 02:14:11 pm »
In a rare case of actually choosing to grow the right sector, the U.S. Congress decided not to impose a federal tax on Internet transactions and that will stick until at least 2014 due to the most recent extension (state and local taxes can still apply, but most of us don’t live in the places we order parts from). It’s not the only factor, just a big one. When something already costs a lot, those taxes really add up....

Still, there are a number of sites out there using strategery dedicated to finding / offering ridiculously low prices on items. Some of my friends are a little obsessed with them (checking Slickdeals, FatWallet, and Woot every day...). There’s at least one for the UK; not sure if it’s any good.
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MegaManJuno

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2011, 03:06:10 pm »
Edit: Question. My RAM is DDR3-1600. The CPU I want to get only supports 1066 and 1333. Is that a problem? T_T;

No. RAM can run slower than it's rated just fine. If you plan to try any over-clocking, the added rating on the RAM will only help your chances. I think in most cases these days you usually have the option to set the RAM speed separately from the BUS speed anyway.

The i5 is decent. I've got the 2400 in this PC. If you're mainly using it for gaming, it will do fine. The hyper-threading in the i7 for 8 virtual cores will be a waste unless you're doing things that can really take advantage of more than 4 cores (video encoding, rendering, etc.).

SargeSmash

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 05:20:15 pm »
Yeah, price vs. performance on i5 vs. i7 definitely leans in favor of the former.  And 16GB of RAM?  Wow, I thought I was doing good in upgrading my lappy from 4GB to 8GB.  Wowzer.  Of course, if it's that cheap, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, or whatever other euphemism works for you.

Sounds like you're well on your way to a nice rig.  I'm waiting until my M11x can't run anything anymore, and upgrading my desktop then (a sickly, cobbled together Athlon XP 2200+ with 1GB of RAM and a PCI Radeon 5000 series card, had to replace the 6800 Ultra in there).
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  -- Mark 8:36

KaioShin

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 05:56:08 pm »
I would strongly advise against SLI/Crossfire, the performance gain per added cost is very low and there is a huge potential for all kinds of problems when you play games that don't have a SLI/Crossfire profile (either the very latest or more obscure games). Not to mention they'll suck up tons of juice and will be very loud. Dual GPUs are for benchmark records and poser kids, not real life. Not to mention with a normal high-end card (Radeon HD6850+/ Geforce 550+)you can already play any game that's already out and that will be released in the next year at Full HD with max details and some AA just fine. AMD will release a new generation of cards in the coming 4-8 weeks, I'd wait for those. Probably ~20-30% more performance at the same price of current high-end cards.

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 06:48:57 pm »
I would strongly advise against Intel; their processors are generally significantly more expensive than they need to be for not that much more performance than an equivalently-priced AMD processor. This one is $10 cheaper, 300MHz faster, has double the L2 cache per-core, and you can be assured that you can upgrade from it to an AM3+ processor when you feel like doing so.

This motherboard, meanwhile, offers excellent opportunities for upgrading later and features USB 3.0, two PCIE 16x slots, quad-GPU Crossfire support, and supports DDR3-1600 RAM up to 32GB total. I would strongly recommend getting two Radeon HD 5xxx series cards; I've been doing quite well with my 6850, but the 6-series isn't that much of an improvement over the 5-series. (And yes, the system is perfectly stable, thank you for asking.)

As for the PSU...any old 500W to 650W will do, though if you don't mind splurging even there I'm more than satisfied with my HALE90. (I have the 750W model, but apparently it's out of stock. You could look at the 850W model, however.)

--Moderator edit--
Fixing tag.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 06:52:08 pm by Lenophis »

Spooniest

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 07:04:12 pm »
"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

- Mark Twain

All the same, hope you enjoy your rig once it's done.
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MegaManJuno

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 07:32:52 pm »
Couple of points to be fair here:

1. Comparing MHz between 2 different brands of processors in this day and age amounts to nearly squat, especially with such a small difference.
2. The i5 2500K can "Turbo Boost" to 3.7GHz when it's needed anyway. So sort of a moot point.
3. The AMD one you linked is 45nm and pulls 125W, while the i5 is 32nm and pulls 95W.
4. The i5 has on-chip graphics. I'm not advocating it's any good or not, as I haven't used it, but there it is.

So, at the very least, with the extra $10 for the i5, you get: less power consumption & less generated heat. Additionally, you get a fall-back for video on the CPU if your video card should fail, which should handle basic usage, in the very least.

I'm not playing favorites, I used to run AMD systems too. AMD's been playing catch-up since the Core2s launched, much like Intel was playing catch-up back in the early Athlon days.


Edit: This page and the next 2 pretty much sums it up. Intel wins this round. May AMD have better luck in the future. ...And yes, I mean this, as I think it's good for them each to have healthy competition.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 07:41:16 pm by MegaManJuno »

DarknessSavior

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2011, 07:46:03 pm »
I would strongly advise against SLI/Crossfire, the performance gain per added cost is very low and there is a huge potential for all kinds of problems when you play games that don't have a SLI/Crossfire profile (either the very latest or more obscure games). Not to mention they'll suck up tons of juice and will be very loud. Dual GPUs are for benchmark records and poser kids, not real life. Not to mention with a normal high-end card (Radeon HD6850+/ Geforce 550+)you can already play any game that's already out and that will be released in the next year at Full HD with max details and some AA just fine. AMD will release a new generation of cards in the coming 4-8 weeks, I'd wait for those. Probably ~20-30% more performance at the same price of current high-end cards.
Okay, so do most modern graphics cards support dual-monitors out of the box, then?

TBH, that's all I wanted out of SLI/Crossfire. I looked up graphs on the performance of two lesser cards versus a higher-end one, and you're right: the performance gain per added cost is shit. I'd be better off taking the money I'd spend on both cards and just getting a higher-end card (and probably pay less total). If it's going to make playing games without support for it a giant hassle, then I won't bother.

As far as AMD/Intel goes, I don't really know much about the hardware anymore to make a decision. All I know is that a CPU below that (the 2400) was named the "Best Gaming CPU" for $100-200 last month by Tom's Hardware. The one I'd be getting is better than that, not to mention it's unlocked so I can do some overclocking. I also noticed the turbo boost and the on-chip graphics (which is new to me, when the hell did they start doing that?). I like the idea that I could at least get the thing running right now with just a CPU, and get a GPU in a check or two if I had to (though I'd prefer not to have to).

I definitely like the fact that there's less power consumption and less generated heat. That's a definite plus for me. I also don't want to have to upgrade it for a while (and this is the newer line of i5s, so until I feel the need to go really CPU crazy and get an i7, I'd be fine).

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys. Keep 'em comin'!

~DS

Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
Sliver-X: LET ME INFRINGE UPON IT WITH MY MOUTH
DSRH - Currently working on: Demon's Blazon, Romancing SaGa, FFIV EasyType.
http://www.youtube.com/user/DarknessSavior

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2011, 08:38:22 pm »
Okay. If you want to go Intel, then I would probably recommend this motherboard. Or, if you don't care about USB 3.0 or PCIE 3.0 x16, perhaps this one may be a better fit.

DarknessSavior

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2011, 10:10:54 pm »
I'm not insisting on one company or another. Simply going off the recommendation of an ex-coworker who knows his shit.

I mean, I know that I could get a six-core AMD chip for cheaper than that i5. But I was told it would not be faster, despite the i5 only having four cores. I literally have no idea what any of this shit means anymore. It used to be that the higher the processor power (Ghz) was, the better the processor. Then it was more cores was better (yay! Dual cores!).  Now? Apparently none of it means that anymore.

If you (or anyone else) wants to suggest AMD hardware, please do. I'd like to hear the pros and cons from each side, and use that to make an informed decision.

~DS
Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
Sliver-X: LET ME INFRINGE UPON IT WITH MY MOUTH
DSRH - Currently working on: Demon's Blazon, Romancing SaGa, FFIV EasyType.
http://www.youtube.com/user/DarknessSavior

I.S.T.

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2011, 10:47:47 pm »
more GHZ has not really meant faster always.

Simply put, the way a CPU is designed has always determined how fast it processed stuff. Right now, Intel has a better designed CPU. It's pretty much been this way since 2006 except for some applications here and there.

As for more cores=better, it depends on how multithreaded the software is. Each core runs a thread, and software has to be designed to run more than one thread at a time. More cores can mean better speed when using more than one application, but only up to a point. Depends on how many applications you're running, how intensive they are, etc.

There are some applications that a six core AMD CPU would run better than a i5 2500K, but not a lot. This is because of Intel's currently superior design. Who knows what the future holds, and AMD might take over again. That is not gonna happen for a few years, though. Their new CPUs are roughly the same speed or slower for many apps compared to their old ones... Fixing that will take years.

KaioShin

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2011, 04:54:29 am »
Okay, so do most modern graphics cards support dual-monitors out of the box, then?

Yes, don't worry about that. Especially AMD's high-end cards usually support three monitors for Eyefinity support. (Eyefinity is just a marketing term for their technique of using 3 or more monitors at once). Just look at the specification of the card you are getting at which connectors they use. Many cards for example only have 1 HDMI, 1 DVI and 1 Displayport, but if you have two monitors who only have HDMI you have to look out for that. There are special Eyefinity editions of some AMD cards that have 6 (!) HDMI ports. But that's probably overkill ;)

Edit: As far as the CPU situation goes, the Intel series has such a huge performance advantage currently, I can't recommend an AMD CPU system under any circumstance right now. I have a i5 2500k myself and it'll perform just as fast as AMD's newest 8-core (though it's really only 4 cores with some advanced hyper threading) in every everyday situation that you'll run into, while drawing significantly less power. The AMD CPUs were developed with server workloads in mind, and it's showing in normal applications unfortunately.

I.S.T.

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2011, 05:57:51 am »
The best part? They're not even that good at server applications. The L2 cache on Bulldozer is so fucked... It was also clearly meant to clock MUCH higher than it did.

Kyrael Seraphine

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2011, 06:09:17 am »
I still want something to come out that really makes me upgrade. So far, there hasn't been any game I haven't been able to run at max settings, even on this old hunk of a machine. Admittedly, I'm starting to not be able to run AA, but at 1920x1200, there isn't a whole lot of point. At this point, most of the PC tech is "because we can" rather than "because we need to." There's nothing Crysis-like on my horizon. Though that could be more to do with my tastes in games, than anything else. Until that game comes out, I'm still six months to a year away from upgrading again.

DarknessSavior

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2011, 06:24:33 am »
So I'm likely getting that i5 2500k then.

See, this is my history of computers I've owned in a nutshell:

- HP Pentium III 750 Mhz, Win 98, integrated graphics. I upgraded it to a Geforce 2 or so at the time.
- After that died, we bought a computer between that, but I honestly forgot the specs. We got XP running on it, it had a 120 GB HDD or less. 1 GB of RAM. But I don't remember the processor/GPU.
- After that died, my mom got pissed and shut off the internet for five years. Yes, she's a nutbag.
- After that, my aunt gave me a Windows ME machine with a 677 Mhz Celeron in it. It was barely enough to run Diablo II. But it gave me something to do schoolwork on so I didn't have to go to the local library.
- After that, I went to a local computer shop and bought a machine with a Pentium 4 2.1 Ghz, but it was running SD-RAM. I think I had 512 MB RAM, maybe 1 GB at most. Integrated graphics on the MOBO. Another real piece of work, but better than before.
- Now I'm on my laptop. Radeon HD 3200 graphics, 4 GB of DDR2, AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 2.1 Ghz. It's barely enough to run WoW at 60 FPS, let alone anything really decent. I can't play stuff like Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines, or anything too much worth playing.

So I'm building a gaming PC that will not only let me catch up on all the awesome PC gaming I've been missing out over the last five years or so, but hopefully also let me go a year or so without upgrades. But I want the MOBO to also give me the opportunity to upgrade later (into an i7, more RAM, more/better graphics cards, etc).

So do you guys have any opinions on PSU companies? Newegg is having a sale on Corsair PSUs right now.

Edit: Here's the results from the newegg PSU calculator:

Intel Core i5 (LGA1155)
High End Desktop Motherboard
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 (potential, I just put that there as a higher end placeholder)
4 GB DDR3 x 4
DVD-RW x1
7200 RPM HDD x1

569 W

Obviously I want more than that, so I can upgrade later. So say...750W? Would I want more than one rail since I'm not planning on doing SLI/Crossfire? Etc? Discuss.

~DS
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 06:37:06 am by DarknessSavior »
Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
Sliver-X: LET ME INFRINGE UPON IT WITH MY MOUTH
DSRH - Currently working on: Demon's Blazon, Romancing SaGa, FFIV EasyType.
http://www.youtube.com/user/DarknessSavior

KaioShin

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2011, 06:30:16 am »
Corsair PSUs are good, I have two myself.

DarknessSavior

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Re: The Help DS build his new PC thread!
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2011, 06:41:58 am »
Does the amount of 12v rails matter that much in a system, or no?

Also, I'm highly considering getting an SSD so that my system/apps will boot/run a bit faster. Would a small 60 GB one suffice? I assume I'd want SATA III over II, or would that not make much of a speed difference?

~DS
Red Comet: :'( Poor DS. Nobody loves him like RC does. :'(
Sliver-X: LET ME INFRINGE UPON IT WITH MY MOUTH
DSRH - Currently working on: Demon's Blazon, Romancing SaGa, FFIV EasyType.
http://www.youtube.com/user/DarknessSavior