Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

TempestBlayze wrote:

On a side note I was just looking through my Newegg history and discovered that I bought a AMD Clawhammer FX-55 for a ridiculous $800. Was I mad? I am amazed how much computer prices went down!

That FX-55 is currently being used by my wife, but once I build this Ivy Bridge PC she will get the q6600 and the $800 FX-55 will sit in a closet. At least it lasted a good 7-8 years.

Yeah its nuts. Electronics just get cheaper and cheaper to manufacture. Its also why game consoles have managed to release around the same price every 5 or so years (For the most part). I still amazes me to see 16GB of RAM on sale for 70 bucks.

Going prices are what people pay. Well ok, some people. I never would have had the cash for an $800 CPU back then, that was my first custom PC budget.

And to be fair, there are still $800-1000 CPU's out there. I don't know anyone that buys them, but some people do.

I do remember finding my receipt for my Radeon 9800 I ran out to buy when I saw it on sale for $200. It was a jump up from my 9600. I guess that's still a going rate for mid-range video card though, so it's not too crazy.

Need a second option and maybe some enabling. Is there any reason to get 16gb of RAM instead of just 8gb when I will mostly be gaming on this new compter? Seems like I can put that extra $30 towards the CPU cooler instead. I also use an SSD.

TempestBlayze wrote:

Need a second option and maybe some enabling. Is there any reason to get 16gb of RAM instead of just 8gb when I will mostly be gaming on this new compter? Seems like I can put that extra $30 towards the CPU cooler instead. I also use an SSD.

Depends.. you can get quality air cooling for cheap..so there is no real reason to overspend there.. and 16GB of ram is MORE than 8GB so more = better

Air cooler

http://hardocp.com/article/2012/11/0...

Go 16GB especially if you can get it in two sticks, three years down the line you won't regret it.

and...

TheGameguru wrote:

16GB of ram is MORE than 8GB so more = better :)

TempestBlayze wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:
TempestBlayze wrote:

Need a second option and maybe some enabling. Is there any reason to get 16gb of RAM instead of just 8gb when I will mostly be gaming on this new compter? Seems like I can put that extra $30 towards the CPU cooler instead. I also use an SSD.

Depends.. you can get quality air cooling for cheap..so there is no real reason to overspend there.. and 16GB of ram is MORE than 8GB so more = better

Air cooler

http://hardocp.com/article/2012/11/0...

I was looking at that air cooler but every Thermalright cooler is out of stock or discontinued on Newegg. I am also looking at the H60. I saw that you built a computer with that cooler and was wondering what you thought of it?

I love the H60's primarily because they are so damn easy to install... I've done so many now I can get them up and running super quick. Performance wise they are probably equal to a decent air cooler so you arent buying them for cooling performance..and I've had great luck with them.. AFAIK every one I've installed including my own are still running strong.. I have a first gen H50 out there that is also still going strong.. Some people here have had units fail early though.

Like any closed loop system you are basically buying a low end water cooling unit that requires no maintenance...and is easy to install. Compared to the fancy air cooling you won't run into any clearance issues, weight issues, or dust/gunk issues.

Corsair recently updated the H60 to improve performance.. apparently it makes it harder to install though.. havent tried myself yet but I'm sure I will eventually.

TheGameguru wrote:
TempestBlayze wrote:

Need a second option and maybe some enabling. Is there any reason to get 16gb of RAM instead of just 8gb when I will mostly be gaming on this new compter? Seems like I can put that extra $30 towards the CPU cooler instead. I also use an SSD.

Depends.. you can get quality air cooling for cheap..so there is no real reason to overspend there.. and 16GB of ram is MORE than 8GB so more = better

Air cooler

http://hardocp.com/article/2012/11/0...

I was looking at that air cooler but every Thermalright cooler is out of stock or discontinued on Newegg. I am also looking at the H60. I saw that you built a computer with that cooler and was wondering what you thought of it?

Edit: After reading the Review for the 2013 H60 it looks like the Thermalright True Spirit 120 is quieter, performs better and is cheaper. Where do I ge it though? I can't find it anywhere. I may just get the Freezer 13 instead.

So I am doing a bi-annual-ish upgrade. After wading through this thread and reading a lot of other material, here's what I came up with:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-07 08:34 EST-0500)

- Really need the new video card, this seemed to have the best price/performance ratio currently available.
- Also need the extra RAM. I'm at 4GB now and recently upgraded to Win8-64 after being in 32-bit land.
- This will be my first SSD, so I really have no idea. This seemed to be another good price/performance trade-off.
- CPU is kind of optional but I am running a i5 2400 and would like to stay within shouting distance of the current top of the line. And while my wallet is open, why not?

Looking mainly for thoughts about the SSD and CPU; the videocard choice seems to have already been hashed out in this thread.

What resolution do you game at?

Thats some crazy fast RAM. Why would you need to go above 1600?

I am about to get this pair of Cosair Vengence 1600 16gb CAS 10. Figured getting CAS 9 is not worth $20 more.

My i5-3570k came in last night and I am waiting for the ASrock Extreme 4 to come back in stock.

TheGameguru wrote:

What resolution do you game at?

Currently at 1280x1024 (which is what has kept my creaky old 4870HD bearable for as long as it has) but that will change when I update my monitor within the next 3 months. So probably 1920x1080 or whatever it is the younguns are running these days.

TempestBlayze wrote:

Thats some crazy fast RAM. Why would you need to go above 1600?

I just maxed out what my MB is capable of? I want the stuff I'm getting to still be viable for at least 2 years and more if possible.

tboon wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

What resolution do you game at?

Currently at 1280x1024 (which is what has kept my creaky old 4870HD bearable for as long as it has) but that will change when I update my monitor within the next 3 months. So probably 1920x1080 or whatever it is the younguns are running these days.

TempestBlayze wrote:

Thats some crazy fast RAM. Why would you need to go above 1600?

I just maxed out what my MB is capable of? I want the stuff I'm getting to still be viable for at least 2 years and more if possible.

idk... the i5 2400 isnt "terrible"... you would probably see more gaming returns/$$ on a even better video card rather than a 3570K. I guess in certain really CPU dependent games you would see a boost.. /shrug

IMHO I would keep the CPU and wait until the next Intel generation to upgrade that.. and spend all my $$ on a 680/7970 instead.

I want the stuff I'm getting to still be viable for at least 2 years and more if possible.

Hmm you are right and now have me intrigued but I am wondering myself if it will be a noticeable difference.

TheGameguru wrote:
tboon wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

What resolution do you game at?

Currently at 1280x1024 (which is what has kept my creaky old 4870HD bearable for as long as it has) but that will change when I update my monitor within the next 3 months. So probably 1920x1080 or whatever it is the younguns are running these days.

TempestBlayze wrote:

Thats some crazy fast RAM. Why would you need to go above 1600?

I just maxed out what my MB is capable of? I want the stuff I'm getting to still be viable for at least 2 years and more if possible.

idk... the i5 2400 isnt "terrible"... you would probably see more gaming returns/$$ on a even better video card rather than a 3570K. I guess in certain really CPU dependent games you would see a boost.. /shrug

IMHO I would keep the CPU and wait until the next Intel generation to upgrade that.. and spend all my $$ on a 680/7970 instead.

Well the CPU is not just for games; I do a lot of CPU intensive work on this box. Also, was looking (for maybe the first time in 20-ish years of building PCs) of actually being able to upgrade my CPU without having to get a new MB (which is an admittedly stupid reason). But yeah I might just hold off on the CPU for now and slide up another rung on the price/performance ladder. Probably get more bang out of the RAM and a better vidcard.

TempestBlayze wrote:
I want the stuff I'm getting to still be viable for at least 2 years and more if possible.

Hmm you are right and now have me intrigued but I am wondering myself if it will be a noticeable difference.

Probably not, but going down to 1600 doesn't really save me that much. Might as well spend the extra $20 or so just to be more sure about the future.

About to pull the trigger on this upgrade:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/rkTV
Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

Any thoughts or recommendations (or enabling)?

For $5 get the 3570K. Even if you aren't over clocking now you may want to try in the future. It's very easy to do.

I am also looking at the same memory for my new build this week.

TempestBlayze wrote:

For $5 get the 3570K. Even if you aren't over clocking now you may want to try in the future. It's very easy to do.

I am also looking at the same memory for my new build this week.

Good catch. I'll go with the k for 5 clams more.

I'm looking to upgrade my linux tower and configure it as a dual-boot hackintosh. I'm probably keeping my
ATX-mid size case
Monitors
Mouse/Keyboard
1TB 7.2k HD
450W PSU if I can swing it

My intention is to replace my 5 year-old macbook pro that's used primarily for iOS development. My biggest concern is being able to use dual monitors and be able to run the iOS simulator without grinding my machine to a halt.

I'd like to spend less than $600 on the upgrade. My tentative plan looks like:
~$200 i5
~$125 Mobo
~$80 16gb 1600mhz RAM
~$100 120gb SSD for OS's and some application files
~$100 GT650 EVGA 1GB
~$605 total

This will be my first hackintosh effort, Have I missed any considerations? Is there anything OSX specific that I should reallocate funds for?

S0LIDARITY wrote:

I'm looking to upgrade my linux tower and configure it as a dual-boot hackintosh. I'm probably keeping my
ATX-mid size case
Monitors
Mouse/Keyboard
1TB 7.2k HD
450W PSU if I can swing it

My intention is to replace my 5 year-old macbook pro that's used primarily for iOS development. My biggest concern is being able to use dual monitors and be able to run the iOS simulator without grinding my machine to a halt.

I'd like to spend less than $600 on the upgrade. My tentative plan looks like:
~$200 i5
~$125 Mobo
~$80 16gb 1600mhz RAM
~$100 120gb SSD for OS's and some application files
~$100 GT650 EVGA 1GB
~$605 total

This will be my first hackintosh effort, Have I missed any considerations? Is there anything OSX specific that I should reallocate funds for?

Your motherboard and video card are the toughest components to be sure are compatible with OS X. I would suggest basing your build off of one of the ones from TonyMacX86. You can generally mix and match compatible mobo's and gpu's to your heart content. That site is basically my bible when it comes to Hackintosh related stuff. For instance the 650 isn't one of the graphic cards they currently recommend.

Only thing I can think of that isn't on your list is a 8 gig flash drive for the OS installer if you don't have one laying around somewhere.

Thanks Rykin.

I think this page is going to be really helpful. It looks like the GT650 drivers may not be natively compatible with OSX. I'll probably drop down to the 640 and put more money towards the i5 3570k.

I do have an 8gb flash drive sitting around somewhere. I do also have a DVD-drive. I'm probably going to start it at OSx10.6 and upgrade from there as I have a few 10.6 licenses available and still feel obligated to pay for the 10.7/10.8 updates.

You might find an extra hard drive and once you get everything working clone your boot drive to that drive and then disconnect it and store it somewhere. I have never found this useful but I have a friend who has had to restore from the spare drive a number of times while tweaking stuff.

In theory my laptop would be up for cannibalization and I could take the HD out of that.

Wife's PC keeps "losing" the HD.
We've:
- used windows Recovery mode and all the options in there. Repeatedly. Fixing the mbr, etc. All the things.
- Bought a new HD and reinstalled from scratch
- Swapped SATA cables with the DVD drive
- Swapped SATA ports with the DVD drive
- Moved to a completely separate SATA header on mobo
- Swapped in a new SATA cable
- Removed 1 of 2 GPUs
- Replaced 1 of 2 GPUs
- Reremoved 1 of 2 GPUs
- memtest86+
- Intel CPU test thingy
- more

Originally, she had the fan for the water cooler dying. We replaced that and all seemed good. Then the system started losing the HD regularly.
When installing a temp monitor, I gave her a really nasty virus/rootkit, way at the beginning of the fan/temp problem, before all the fixes listed above.

So. It's back. HD missing again.

My guess is, the elevated temps over time fried either part of the CPU responsible for finding the HD or part of the mobo for same.

Either way, I think we need to replace the CPU/mobo, as we've spent untold hours trying to track this, and it's just not worth it any more.

She's got a Socket 1156(previous gen Core i series) setup.
It's a gigabyte motherboard and a i3 5xx I think.
Those CPUs are really hard to find for any sort of reasonable price any more(which is why I haven't upgraded my i3 540(Clarkdale) yet).
The rest of the system is great. Good midrange GPU(Radeon 6950, I believe), brand new WD 7200RPM 1TB drive, rarely used DVD, 12G(I think) RAM.

So, I need a good Intel CPU/mobo combo for someone who plays some games(GW2 right now is the most resource needy, and it's CPU-hungry).
She probably won't ever overclock, so "Spend an extra $100, you might OC some day" doesn't carry much weight here. We won't.
It doesn't need to run FarCry3 at High settings, we'll be keeping the 6950. Her monitor is 1920x1080.

So what's a good CPU mobo pair that's not too spendy, mobo manufacturer really needs to have "good" support with English-as-good-as-native-speakers CSRs(I really hated trying to get help with my old Chaintech board), at least 2 SATA ports - no, 3 SATA ports.

UPDATE: The catalyst for this post, last night she left GW2 running at the character select screen for a couple hours, came back and her system was frozen solid - hard reset needed. HD was missing(well, I think the actual message is something like it can't find a windows install/boot record something). She cried(seriously, she's spent a solid 100 hours on this over the last couple months), I consoled, she went and watched Chopped.
This morning, I was going to switch SATA ports again, but told her to boot up and see what happened(thinking back to the temperature issues way back, possibility of having fried part of CPU/mobo way back when).

It booted. Windows had forced the Recovery boot since it had failed to boot mutliple times, so she went ahead and let it fix the MBR, but it booted.

I think we have fried something, and when it runs too long/gets hot over time, whatever got fried this fall "shorts out" again, and letting it cool "fixes" it.

So, back to the request.
A cost-effective replacement. Socket 1155, since 1156 are discontinued & pricey.
No more tests, no more troubleshooting unless someone knows what the problem is from the description. We're done with triage and just want the intermittent "woops, got yer nose!" missing HD/boot record/win install failures to stop happening. The best way I know to do that is replace the two parts that could possibly have suffered heat damage - CPU & mobo.
I'm mostly impartial when it comes to mobo manufacturers. The 3 Gigabyte boards we have in the house have been easy enough to work with/on. I'll never buy another Chaintech product, though.
I am partial to Intel. I want to like AMD. I want to support competition. But more than that, I want my wife's system to just work. Do you have any idea how stressful it is to have your wife's computer intermittently stop working? It's a billion times worse than if it were my system. A billion billion. No, still more.

So, current socket Intel Core - 1155, I believe. So many options, especially in the i3 and i5 line, so many new numbers in there. So lost.
Good reputation/support/layout motherboard.
OC is a non-starter. Don't care. Won't be doing it. More than a $20 premium is too much for just OC-ability. Yes, we have watercooling. Don't care.

Get a i5-2500K or a i5-3570K. I would get a Z77 mobo (Gigabyte is excellent as you stated.. Chaintech I don't believe exists anymore lol... I prefer Asus though).

I like the H60 Line of Closed Loop Watercooling for cooling your CPU...but if I was going with air cooling I would probably get the excellent Thermalright True Spirit 120

http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-specifi...

Doesn't the K suffix mean you're paying extra for OC-ability? (Seriously asking. I'm way out of date on CPU knowledge.) We definitely won't be doing that. I promise.

The i3 series seems to be about half the price while still running at 3+GHz, are the i5's really worth twice the price($200ish vs $100ish)?

I forget what watercooler we have - it's a system I bought from GG*, so I *think* it's an H60, possibly its precursor. Is it possible to fry those? Replacing its fan seems to have completely fixed the elevated temps. Also, without OCing, aren't the stock fans more than sufficient? That asked, I'd probably repurpose the existing watercooler, assuming the same one fits.

* - not an indictment at all. We missed the fan dying and think we allowed something to cook. Just being explicit, and I'd be surprised if it had anything but the H60(or precursor) coming from GG.

TheGameguru wrote:

Get a i5-2500K or a i5-3570K. I would get a Z77 mobo (Gigabyte is excellent as you stated.. Chaintech I don't believe exists anymore lol... I prefer Asus though).

I like the H60 Line of Closed Loop Watercooling for cooling your CPU...but if I was going with air cooling I would probably get the excellent Thermalright True Spirit 120

http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-specifi...

I am currently waiting for this ASRock z77 board to go on sale.

Duckilama,

I just bought this micro-atx board:
MSI Z77MA-G45 LGA 1155 Intel Z77

...and went with the i5-3570k. TempestBlayze pointed out that the k version was only $5 more. So if you want to save $5, get the non-k version.

The parts should be delivered tomorrow.

Severe sticker shock for 3570k + Gigabyte Z77 combo http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD... for $379.98.
Even "downgrading to the ASRock from TempestBlayze we're still at... 130 + 215... $345.

Space is probably not an issue, so mATX might be harder to work with than just ATX.

Any way to get down around $200-$250 and still be a solid upgrade from the old Clarkdale i3 540?

After having the system on for a few hours(3ish) with about an hour of websurfing/webmail usage, she just BSODed again, not seeing HD. Again.
I'm considering putting her CPU in my system and mine in hers and seeing whose system dies. That way we'd have an idea which piece is faulty, but since 1156 CPUs are either really expensive or discontinued, seems like a fool's errand.
Edit: Looks like Newegg has the Clarkdales in stock again http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc... for $120. Assuming it's the CPU, not the mobo.

What about some of the newer i3 cpus around $115? Are those just really crappy?

duckilama wrote:

Severe sticker shock for 3570k + Gigabyte Z77 combo http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD... for $379.98.
Even "downgrading to the ASRock from TempestBlayze we're still at... 130 + 215... $345.

Space is probably not an issue, so mATX might be harder to work with than just ATX.

Any way to get down around $200-$250 and still be a solid upgrade from the old Clarkdale i3 540?

After having the system on for a few hours(3ish) with about an hour of websurfing/webmail usage, she just BSODed again, not seeing HD. Again.
I'm considering putting her CPU in my system and mine in hers and seeing whose system dies. That way we'd have an idea which piece is faulty, but since 1156 CPUs are either really expensive or discontinued, seems like a fool's errand.
Edit: Looks like Newegg has the Clarkdales in stock again http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc... for $120. Assuming it's the CPU, not the mobo.

What about some of the newer i3 cpus around $115? Are those just really crappy?

Ducki-

Do you have a microcenter in your area? If so, they have a bundle package which is really good. You can get the 3570k and an Asrock Pro4 (since you are not going to overclock) for 169.99 + 59.99= 230 + tax.

It seems that micro-ATX boards are just cheaper right now, regardless of features. I would think that bigger boards have more demand.