Help me build my PC 2015 Edition Catch All

I've started using two screens at work, and it's just super handy. I'm having a hard time going back to just one. I imagine three must be heaven.

As for Lian-Li cases... That does seem like a weird set up, vlox_km, but Lian-Li cases are nice. I'm a fan of my Lian-Li PC-60F case which I've had for over 4 years, if I'm not mistaken.

Also, I can second MannishBoy, I've had an OEM Windows and told them I had to change parts, and didn't have any issues.

MannishBoy wrote:
vlox_km wrote:

Another question: Would I get the full Windows 8.1 retail version, or the OEM system builder? I found conflicting info online as far as how often and whether or not you could transfer the license to another build/mobo.

From what I understand, Retail can be transferred, OEM can't (officially). Some get by the OEM transfer by calling MS and telling them they had to replace parts, though.

I think that changed in Windows 8 -- the traditional OEM was been replaced by the system builder release, which can be transferred between systems just like the retail version can. However, it seems like Microsoft back-pedaled from that stance in Windows 8.1, which might be the cause of some of the confusion online. This page (eventually) describes how an OEM system builder license for Windows 8 can be installed for personal use and transferred between PCs, but that to do the same with Windows 8.1, you need a retail license:

http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/lice...

Most cases are the opposite of that, with the exhaust in the rear? I don't know if that's better or worse, but I do like the overall feel and look of the case.

Yes, per the review, that case is rather backward compared to most; typically, most cases pull air in from the front, across the drives, and then exhaust it out the back, across the CPU and video card. Your case does it the other way, meaning your CPU and video card will be a little cooler, and your drives will be warmer.

Which approach is better? Dunno. Either works. If you like the case, stick with it.

Another question: Would I get the full Windows 8.1 retail version, or the OEM system builder? I found conflicting info online as far as how often and whether or not you could transfer the license to another build/mobo.

The OEM version is officially locked to whatever motherboard you first install it on. The retail version (which costs a lot more) can be transferred freely, as long as it's only running on one at a time.

Microsoft will usually let you reactivate an OEM version on a different board if you had to replace the original due to hardware failure, but this is not an absolute guarantee. Because of this, I suspect Microsoft's figures on motherboard reliability are a fair bit lower than anyone else's in the industry.

Also, thanks in general for everyone's replies. This has been a bunch of help so far. It feels like the planning phase of a new pc is more work than actually putting it together will be.

It really is. Your typical Lego set is way harder to build. The tough part is understanding what you're buying. Actually putting it together isn't very difficult.

Malor wrote:
Also, thanks in general for everyone's replies. This has been a bunch of help so far. It feels like the planning phase of a new pc is more work than actually putting it together will be.

It really is. Your typical Lego set is way harder to build. The tough part is understanding what you're buying. Actually putting it together isn't very difficult.

No no no. You're destroying the mystery, intrigue, and DANGER of PC building.

You could electrocute yourself!
Cut your finger on a sharp piece of the case and contract Tetanus!
You could get your head stuck in an anti-static bag and suffocate!
You could lose a finger to a fast moving fan blade!
Install that cpu cooler incorrectly by a mm and your whole PC will go up in flames!
Tighten screws too much and you'll crack your motherboard.
Too loose and the whole motherboard will fall out!
plug something in backwards or upside down to a motherboard header and your whole PC will operate backwards!

Thankfully there's something that will save you from all these potential disasters!!!

IMAGE(http://www.talktoanit.com/A+/aplus-website/images/antistatic-wriststrap-530px.jpg)

Hint:

Spoiler:

Those things are a waste of time

Yeah.

I did my last several builds shuffling around on carpet in my socks. Perhaps not the greatest idea but it hasn't cost me anything yet. The only concession I usually make to static is touching something that's grounded before I handle the expensive/fragile bits like the CPU.

The last of the parts for my hackintosh arrived yesterday, put it all together and got OSX 10.9 installed.

Here's the parts list. Did the best I could with a $1500 budget and parts that are known to work.

I tried to get the machine to boot via Clover but I just kept beach balling after the Apple popped up. Hopefully I'll get it work someday.

Reformatted my USB drive and used Unibeast / Multibeast for 10.9 as I already had access for it through the Apple store.

Install went amazingly smooth.

There are still a few issues. The wifi on the Gigabyte board doesn't work (known issue) and I'm having trouble remote accessing the machine from work. I'll try to get the former fixed when I get home and install Windows 8.1 on the second SSD. Once it's all solid I'll go back and get the cabling cleaned up.

TheGameguru wrote:

As far as using for productivity it can get a bit much moving your head and eyes back and forth..thus at work I use 3 27" screens.

Yeah for work the more common configuration I see is three screens rotated to vertical to reduce the amount you have to turn your head. Also, it works well with tall editor windows.

JC wrote:

Thankfully there's something that will save you from all these potential disasters!!!

IMAGE(http://www.talktoanit.com/A+/aplus-website/images/antistatic-wriststrap-530px.jpg)

Hint:

Spoiler:

Those things are a waste of time

For consumer-grade electronics I agree. But back when I worked at a telco we had these Dialogic boards for call processing and handling one without a grounding strap was almost guaranteed to result in a dead board. No idea why--maybe they were just badly designed.

Static kills electronics dead. I think newer consumer-grade stuff has reasonable static protection, but a good solid static zap can have thirty thousand volts behind it.

If you're in an area with dry air, and you have any problem with static shocks at all, I think it's a bad idea to work without a strap. In humid areas, it probably doesn't matter very much.

some other zach wrote:

The last of the parts for my hackintosh arrived yesterday, put it all together and got OSX 10.9 installed.

Here's the parts list.

Howcome you did two SSDs? Are you RAIDing them?

If you're doing RAID-0 with an SSD, that's probably not going to net you very much; most SSDs can already deliver data faster than most programs can deal with it. And if you're doing RAID-1, as a backup, that isn't a very good idea, because it does nothing to protect against fat-fingering. It has the almost-accidental effect of protecting you against data loss from drive failure, but that's incidental to its true purpose, which is to prevent downtime, to let you keep a machine up when a drive bites it.

For backups, you're much better off with separate filesystems on separate spindles, and a copy process of some type, ideally with several generations of copies, to help protect against operator stupidity.

The way I figure it: I don't lose that many drives, but mistakes and/or stupidity are a constant danger, and RAID doesn't help with that.

Each OS will be on its own SSD with the other HDD for storage.

The original idea was to use Clover since I could install the OSX recovery partion then create a fusion drive with one SSD and one HDD. Until I get it to work I'm thinking about symlinking user folders that get written to the most to the HDD.

I'm only a novice at this but from reading other users posts it would seem to work well.

Malor wrote:
Most cases are the opposite of that, with the exhaust in the rear? I don't know if that's better or worse, but I do like the overall feel and look of the case.

Yes, per the review, that case is rather backward compared to most; typically, most cases pull air in from the front, across the drives, and then exhaust it out the back, across the CPU and video card. Your case does it the other way, meaning your CPU and video card will be a little cooler, and your drives will be warmer.

Which approach is better? Dunno. Either works. If you like the case, stick with it.

I'd suggest that pulling air in from the front tends to suck in less dust and dirt than pulling air from the back, where you're less likely to have cleaned.

Each OS will be on its own SSD with the other HDD for storage.

Aha! I see, that's clever.

The original idea was to use Clover since I could install the OSX recovery partion then create a fusion drive with one SSD and one HDD.

Well, a fusion drive would definitely be easier, but I'd probably opt for manual control of that, anyway. What I'd do is to put my OS and user folders on the SSD, and then symlink the stuff that needs a lot of space over to the hard drive; Downloads, for instance, would go there. In general, I'd probably try to put most things on the SSD, and then use the HDD for bulk data, especially stuff I'd only use a few times.

250 gigs is really quite a bit of space, and you probably won't feel terribly crowded, unless you're trying to jam the SSD full of movie files or gigantic games.

I'd suggest that pulling air in from the front tends to suck in less dust and dirt than pulling air from the back, where you're less likely to have cleaned.

Hmm, that is a point. But it sounds like this case is also pulling from the top (at least I think it is?) which would probably cut the dust down; I suspect a rear-top intake would pull less dust than a front-bottom one.

Might be nice for a HTPC build..but with the caveat that minus an air cooler you now pick up a giant metal heatsink that might not fit in some cases.

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/35...

TheGameguru wrote:

Might be nice for a HTPC build..but with the caveat that minus an air cooler you now pick up a giant metal heatsink that might not fit in some cases.

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/35...

I've actually run a Core 2 Duo from a few years ago (e8400 I think) on air cooling with a Scythe Mini-Ninja cooler as an HTPC for years now. Not for gaming, but for strick DVR functionality.

I do have a couple of 120mm case fans at really low RPM, but the CPU has no fan itself, and the temps stay extremely reasonable.

With modern stuff and die shrinks, I'm surprised it's taken this long for this to become a thing.

I wonder how effective those Palit 750 ti's would be in an SLI configuration?

fangblackbone wrote:

I wonder how effective those Palit 750 ti's would be in an SLI configuration?

750ti's can't run in SLI.

No connectors.

Just had my case open so I thought I'd take a photo. Now I kind of want to get longer SATA cables so I can route them behind the motherboard. I've also found that the CP05 adapters that sit behind the hot-swap slots aren't aligned right for an SSD sitting in a 3.5" adaptor. I'm wondering if there are adaptors that place the SSD such that its plugs in the back are right where they would be on a 3.5" drive. Works okay for now though.

IMAGE(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5588/14846229046_57b8809dbc.jpg)

What case is that?

JC wrote:

What case is that?

I was wondering the same (and if it would be tricky to label all the other parts also).

Looks like the updated version of the Silverstone FT-01.

The version I have is the single worst case I've ever owned, and has put me off Silverstone permanently. It looks like that version might be a little better designed, but I still don't trust them anymore.

You're definitely correct on brand. It could be one of the Raven series cases, also Silverstone, although it could just be a black FT. I dunno just from the profile. They always release in pairs, usually RV series first then FT shortly after, and on the interior they're usually identical.

Their experimenting with vertical case layouts started with the RV series IIRC.

I had the RV01 at one point. It was excellent at cooling but was a complicated build.

FWIW Malor... They're up to their 5th revision of that case. The FT05 was at CES and should be out sometime. They've made steady improvements. That's not to say they still won't be frustrating builds compared to some other cases. I don't know. My only experience with the layout was the RV01 which is just an FT01 with some ugly plastic added to the outside.

Well, the one I have is just horrible. Everything runs into everything. Want a DVD drive? You'll give up the last two slots on an ATX motherboard. Want an SSD? After all, they claimed 'SSD bay!' as one of the major features. The 'SSD bay' is a plate that bolts onto the back side of the 5.25" bays, and if you attach it, you block their screws, so you can't remove them without removing the SSD first. (And you really need to use the screws, because the soft-release mechanism in those bays is awful; it doesn't really hold the drives in place.) That bay was obviously a lame afterthought: they just stuck a plate where they "had room" (aka, where they didn't have room) for a marketing point. And there are 'hotswap bays' down at the bottom, but made out of incredibly cheap material, and on top of that, the case only came with one of the special trays. You had to pay a bunch extra for more... they're both very expensive, and very sh*tty.

And the fans are terrible....despite being 140mm, they've quite loud. One died within eight or nine months, and a second one was slowing down at about 12.

I have rarely bought a product I thought was so lousy, especially when it was marketed as premium goods. It was so poorly designed that everyone involved should have been demoted, and the manager that authorized shipping it should have been fired.

Silverstone Fortress FT02. I got it about 18 months ago which I think followed a minor redesign. I haven't had any of Malor's issues with it, though the hot swap bays are a bit weird, as I mentioned above.

Personally I would love to see a someone do a mashup of the Corsair Air 540 and the RV/FT cases. Split the PSU and bays off into the other side chamber of the case but use the vertical layout with the three big intakes on the bottom.

You could get away from some of the funky cable routing issues that come up in the RV/FT cases, still have space for everything you need, while also maintaining the basic thermal advantages of the design.

If done right it could at least be interesting.

And it would work better for me with the cable hookups on the top now that my case stays down under my desk again

Yeah, when I did my last build I spent a looong time looking for the right case. The FT02 came as close as I could find to what I wanted, which is a silent case with room to build that's as bombproof as possible. Also, it needed to tuck behind my desk. Cable routing isn't ideal and drive mounting is quirky, but overall it worked out quite well. I can't hear it when it's turned on, and there's nothing for the kids to break off.

I'd love for someone to take the basic design--vertical venting, built-in sonic dampening, and a clean outside and make it easier to work with on the inside.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
JC wrote:

What case is that?

I was wondering the same (and if it would be tricky to label all the other parts also).

Let's see, I'm using this cooler, a SeaSonic PSU, and there's an Intel SSD tucked around in back. Here's a link to the case review, the motherboard, CPU, memory, GPU, and hard drive. There's also a wifi card that I relied on for a while until I wired the house. The components are all a bit dated at this point, but I'd recommend all of them, with possible caveats for the case. It was perfect for me, but I had specific requirements and I've been building PCs for a long time.

It wasn't a cheap build, but I know from experience that I'll probably use the case for a decade, and the other components should hold me for a good while as well. As for the case itself, the linked review should help point out the details.

Yeah, I should point out that my complaints are about the FT-01. Don't buy that case!

The later ones would have to be better; there's no other direction to go.

Got FT02 as well, and it is great in many ways. Didn't have too many issues with cabling, and I like the very minimalistic exterior design
One issue though, is that some GPU heatsinks are designed to primarily work in horizontal direction. So they perform a little worse in the FT02 and other vertical cases. Nothing huge, but it can be 2-5 degree celsius difference from what Ive seen in tests.

Will probably be the first case I don't replace when upgrading.

The fans are somewhat loud out of the box, but it is nothing a few of these can't fix.
IMAGE(http://www.coolerkit.dk/images/389-p.jpg)

Just bought myself 3 23" monitors for my home office. Happy with my purchase but as great as they are the stands are a bit lacking.

Any recommendations on triple monitor mounts? Is there much advantage in having a bolted mount versus a free standing mount? This is my first time setting up a proper multi-monitor mount so I am truly the proverbial n00b in this scenario. Help me oh wise ones.

Some simple Amazon-ing led to this: Deluxe Triple Monitor Stand Free Standing. Any input would be welcome.

I have always been a big fan of the monoprice monitor arms, I have 3 of them now spread between work and home and have probably bought 10 of them over the years that have at times been passed off to others.

http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_...

The problem is they don't have a pre-built 3 monitor stand. I have personally always liked having a different arm for each monitor because I like the flexibility. Probably won't come into play in a home office but at my work office I end up swinging out one monitor a lot to discuss things with people who come to my desk.