Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

I've built a few systems in the past with MSI boards.. they tend to run cheaper than Asus for equivalent features.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

I stick with Asus simply because I've used them for ages.. but I know that MSI builds a quality product.

That's one of the reasons I went with the Gigabyte board on his build-- I've always had pretty good luck with their stuff. Asus as well, but I think when I was pricing out his system the Asus Z77 boards I was looking into cost more.

I'll definitely keep your suggestions in mind for the next time, though. Thanks!

I've been eyeing the ASUS P8Z77-v. It's $176 on Amazon, just under $200 at NewEgg.

My main reason for this one - it's got bundled in WiFi, while still providing many middle-of-the-pack features like SATA 6.0 support, on-board RAID controller, and SLI/CrossFire support.

WiFi is a killer for me. Moved around our infrastructure since we had more devices downstairs that would benefit more from wired connections (Roku, Xbox, WiiU), so now my office upstairs doesn't have an ethernet drop and powerline adapters aren't really an option.

EDIT: Woah, GameGuruhauser'd before I even posted a link to the same board he has in his sub-$1k build.

McIrishJihad wrote:

I've been eyeing the ASUS P8Z77-v. It's $176 on Amazon, just under $200 at NewEgg.

My main reason for this one - it's got bundled in WiFi, while still providing many middle-of-the-pack features like SATA 6.0 support, on-board RAID controller, and SLI/CrossFire support.

WiFi is a killer for me. Moved around our infrastructure since we had more devices downstairs that would benefit more from wired connections (Roku, Xbox, WiiU), so now my office upstairs doesn't have an ethernet drop and powerline adapters aren't really an option.

I just checked this out of curiosity because I wondered if it supported dual band wi-fi. If it's of concern to you, it only supports single band, so you won't be able to utilize the 5 GHz bandwidth. It can be really nice to utilize the 5 GHz bandwidth in crowded areas. If it is of concern, you might get a cheaper motherboard without that feature and just get a PCI wi-fi card or a USB wi-fi adapter. I use a cheapo Rosewill USB dual band one I got off of Newegg for 30 bucks or so. It works great. USB 2.0 isn't going to bottleneck you, but ideally, you would just get a PCI one.

McIrishJihad wrote:

My main reason for this one - it's got bundled in WiFi, while still providing many middle-of-the-pack features like SATA 6.0 support, on-board RAID controller, and SLI/CrossFire support.

WiFi is a killer for me. Moved around our infrastructure since we had more devices downstairs that would benefit more from wired connections (Roku, Xbox, WiiU), so now my office upstairs doesn't have an ethernet drop and powerline adapters aren't really an option.

I'm in the same boat. I had been wiring my bedroom and living room together using 300 Mb HomePNA back-hauled across the cable line, but there was some signal leakage that was causing all sorts of connectivity problems. So after some troubleshooting I ended up with powerline networking between the living room and kitchen and a WiFi base station there (the kitchen is centrally located and blocks a WiFi signal between the living room drop and the bedroom). Long story short, I had a sudden need for WiFi in my desktop and would have been sunk if the motherboard I bought didn't have a slot for the card. Even better would have been WiFi built in though. I'm guessing that motherboard comes with external antennas?

Norfair wrote:

Also, I bought that card and should have it by Wednesday.

Well it came Tuesday (turns out it's shipping from two hours away in Illinois) and I finally got around to trying to put it in. Turns out it's too damn big for my case. Welp, at least shipping will be cheap going back.

Pff- shipping it back, or buying a $20 case? Easy-peasey!

Honestly, I know what your'e going through-- I had to do the same thing when I installed my latest video cards, but that extra $20 or $25 was so worth it! Plus, when you do get around to building a whole new system, you'll already have a new(er) case and video card on hand so you can save a little scratch in the long run, right?

So I took TB's advice, and dropped the P8Z77-v for an ASrock Extreme3, and a PCI Express wifi card. That let me drop about $80 out of my build, and still give me enough head room for future expansions.

What do you think of the TP-Link TL-WDN4800? Seems to be only $30 at NewEgg and Amazon at the moment.

WipEout wrote:

Pff- shipping it back, or buying a $20 case? Easy-peasey!

Honestly, I know what your'e going through-- I had to do the same thing when I installed my latest video cards, but that extra $20 or $25 was so worth it! Plus, when you do get around to building a whole new system, you'll already have a new(er) case and video card on hand so you can save a little scratch in the long run, right?

Yeah, rather than send back a good cooler I'd probably just get a new case too.

But then... that's maybe not a surprise in my case.

McIrishJihad wrote:

What do you think of the TP-Link TL-WDN4800? Seems to be only $30 at NewEgg and Amazon at the moment.

I'm 95% sure that's what I got for my desktop PC when I picked up my Asus Dark Knight, and it has worked a charm for me for at least 8 months (upgraded the home network last summer, I think late June early July if I recall). Super strong 5 bar connection from the other room (4 with the door closed), a good 25 feet away from the router.

McIrishJihad wrote:

What do you think of the TP-Link TL-WDN4800? Seems to be only $30 at NewEgg and Amazon at the moment.

At a glance, that seems nicer than the cheapo Rosewill one I have been using with no complaints. If someone gave it to me, I would use it over what I've got. My USB one works fine, and it was bought before I had a spare PCI slot, so I haven't replaced it.

Once you end up setting everything up, you may want to drop on over to the wireless router thread. I don't know what you're running currently, but dual band routers are really nice for apartment situations where there is a ton of 2.4 GHz stuff going on. Of course, that's something you can goof around with at a later date.

Just so you are aware, there is a newer wireless standard than 802.11n which is 802.11ac. It's just been coming out in high end products recently, and it's not really something the normal person needs to worry about for a few years.

Already been there and the reason I rearranged everything was that I had picked up a Dark Knight

Muahahaha!

Thin_J wrote:
WipEout wrote:

Pff- shipping it back, or buying a $20 case? Easy-peasey!

Honestly, I know what your'e going through-- I had to do the same thing when I installed my latest video cards, but that extra $20 or $25 was so worth it! Plus, when you do get around to building a whole new system, you'll already have a new(er) case and video card on hand so you can save a little scratch in the long run, right?

Yeah, rather than send back a good cooler I'd probably just get a new case too.

But then... that's maybe not a surprise in my case.

I'm sending it back. I have a really nice antec case right now that I payed 100 bucks for so I really don't want to step down. I think the cleaning pretty much fixed my current card anyway.

Hey everyone,

So, I'm not building a new computer, but could use some upgrade advice.

I built it back in early 2010 and I'm looking to upgrade the graphics card. This was the first computer I built, but figuring out what card to move up to has been a challenge, especially since the most I've done to tinker with my computer has put in new RAM and an SSD.

Right now, most games run great with this setup, but Far Cry 3 was running at Medium (which made me sad) so I figured it'd be a good time to upgrade and try to future proof it a bit.

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-750
Radeon HD 5850

Any advice on a good card to upgrade to? I was thinking of upgrading to this GTX 660 TI, but I'm not sure if it'd be compatible with my current motherboard or if it'd be overkill.

In summation: Help me, GWJ, you're my only hope.

A 660 Ti definitely won't be overkill. The i5-750 is still a great processor and won't bottleneck you much in most things, especially if you overclock it. You also might consider the 7950 at $300 right now because you'll get slightly better performance IIRC, and you will get Bioshock Infinite and Crysis 3 for free since AMD has that sweet deal going on. It's a little better than the freebies that Nvidia gives away right now. You might want to double check that your case will fit it, but the 5850 is pretty good sized, so it probably would fit.

Edit: This will give you a very rough idea of how much of a performance gain you'll get. Looks like it'll about double your FPS at 1920x1080.

Welp, that makes for an easier decision. Thanks for the quick heads up! I just ordered this card which should fit in my case nicely.

Yeah, it's pretty hard to beat that game deal. I already bought Crysis 3 for $60 and will do the same for Bioshock Infinite when it comes out. Crysis 3 is something you could pass on, but it's pretty and decently fun. It's definitely the perfect game to try out a new card with.

Also keep in mind that Far Cry 3 is a bit more CPU-dependent than most other games on the market today. I'm running a 6870 which is just slightly better than your 5850 from what I know of (please correct me on this if you know better) and a C2D e6750. The C2D runs at 2.72 Ghz typically and at that speed I could run FC3 at around 24 avg FPS with very little difference (2-3 FPS) between all Low quality and Ultra (so CPU bottleneck methinks). By OC'ing to 3.2 Ghz I got around 35 FPS avg on Ultra with water at medium. For some reason having water quality at medium has a big positive impact on CPU. I went from 66% GPU utilization on Ultra @ 2.72 Ghz to 99% GPU utilization @ 3.2 Ghz on Ultra and that finally made it playable. Might want to consider an OC on your CPU if the new GPU doesn't pan out, but I'd be curious to hear your results in any case.

Thanks, Goodjers! It's much appreciated. I'll let you know how it all works out after I have everything up and running.

So, I installed my new card (it was surprisingly easy) and it's made a huge, huge difference. I was running Far Cry 3 on Ultra and getting 45-55 FPS. Crazy!

I'm downloading Crysis 3 now (weee, free code!), so looking forward to see how that looks too.

Thanks again for the guidance!

So I went to build my friend's computer today, worried the whole drive over that we were going to be stopped short by the Z68 motherboard's potential lack of Sandy Bridge support out-of-the-box. Turns out, though, that the build I linked to earlier this week was the wrong one, and he did in fact go with the slightly pricier one. They were so similar that I got them mixed up in the links previously.

All this is to say that we did, in fact, go with the ASRock Z77 board, and probably the only stumbling block I ran into during the build was where to mount the H60 pump+fan setup-- I spent maybe an hour out of 3 just trying to figure out the best spot to mount the H60 fan for optimal airflow. Then I mounted it and realized immediately that the motherboard needs to be installed first, or the heatsink's position (top of case) would make screwing in the mobo difficult. Kind of skimped on the CPU and PSU a little (so he can't overclock and the PSU is 30W less-- meh, doesn't really need it), but that allowed us the Z77 mobo and the Crucial Ballistix 4x8GB RAM (32GB total) within his budget. I didn't realize they even made low-profile RAM-- that stuff looks slick!!

Kinda wish I took pictures before I left, but I ran out of time.

It's about time for an OS reinstall, and my wife's cool with me getting an SSD as a late birthday present. Any thoughts on what would be the best bang for the buck? I'm using a Samsung 830 at work, and am pretty happy with that. At home, I'm using a WD VelociRaptor 10K, which I'll probably keep for storing my recorded TV.

I saw the 840 on sale here the other day. Is the Pro much better than the vanilla version for the price difference? Would I be able to tell much difference in speed between the two coming from the VelociRaptor?

Space isn't an issue, but 500GB and a chair would be nice.

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

I saw the 840 on sale here the other day. Is the Pro much better than the vanilla version for the price difference? Would I be able to tell much difference in speed between the two coming from the VelociRaptor?

The Pro is faster and uses a significantly longer lived memory type. However, for average use, either's probably fine. There's a few articles about the 840 and 840 Pros over at Ananatech you can probably find.

I recently had my new OCZ Agility 4 die on me for no obvious reason, and just yesterday the RMA'ed drive also decided to quit working after a few hard power cycles (my Acronis True Image recovery CD kept hanging for no obvious reason, which is a separate loathe).

At this point, I'm tired of fighting with OCZ (having gone through this once with my Agility 1 drive as well). Planning to pick up a Samsung 840 Pro drive and the reviews seem very positive. Anybody have any experience with these drives?

MannishBoy wrote:
Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

I saw the 840 on sale here the other day. Is the Pro much better than the vanilla version for the price difference? Would I be able to tell much difference in speed between the two coming from the VelociRaptor?

The Pro is faster and uses a significantly longer lived memory type. However, for average use, either's probably fine. There's a few articles about the 840 and 840 Pros over at Ananatech you can probably find.

I read the Anandtech articles, as I was interested in the 840 500gb sale. Yes, the regular 840 won't last as long. But as long as you aren't writing 10-20gb a day, it will last years... and years... like 10-20+, which I think is reasonable.

Also, the 840 standard writes at around ~300mb/s, the Pro ~500mb/s. Big difference, yes, but they read at about the same speed. So unless you are writing huge files constantly, the difference will probably be negligible.

The 500gb 840 was on sale for $280 in a few places, which is a pretty awesome price for a good SSD. If it drops to $250, I won't be able to help myself

Citizen86 wrote:

I read the Anandtech articles, as I was interested in the 840 500gb sale. Yes, the regular 840 won't last as long. But as long as you aren't writing 10-20gb a day, it will last years... and years... like 10-20+, which I think is reasonable.

Also, the 840 standard writes at around ~300mb/s, the Pro ~500mb/s. Big difference, yes, but they read at about the same speed. So unless you are writing huge files constantly, the difference will probably be negligible.

The 500gb 840 was on sale for $280 in a few places, which is a pretty awesome price for a good SSD. If it drops to $250, I won't be able to help myself

Unfortunately, out here in Singapore SSD's are still very priced at a premium - the 500 GB retails for about 550 USD here :shock:. The difference between the 840 and the 840 Pro locally is about 100 SGD, and given the amount of time I wasted the last weekend getting the OCZ to work, I'm awfully tempted to buy the extra peace of mind.

Yeah, I'm definitely talking USD prices (since I'm finally living here). If the difference isn't that large, definitely go with the better SSD. The difference on Newegg right now is about $80 USD, so not exactly a small amount. It all depends on what is available to you.

It's amazing what SSD's cost, and I know they will continue to drop for a while. i bought a 120gb Corsair SSD a little over a year ago, and I thought ~$150 for 120gb was an awesome deal. Now we're seeing ~$0.50/gb for SSD's, it's awesome. 120gb has served me well, it's stinking fast, but if I can upgrade to 500gb in the future, well... it's a no-brainer to me.

Can I also mention that these automatic shortcodes on gamerswithjobs are freakin' annoying? Capital I does not mean I want to make italics! It means I want a capital I!!!!

Citizen86 wrote:

The difference on Newegg right now is about $80 USD, so not exactly a small amount. It all depends on what is available to you.

$80 USD is almost exactly the difference between the two in Singapore as well. It's not a small sum I agree, but it might be worth it since it gets me an additional 2 years warranty and more proven components in the box.

Citizen86 wrote:

i bought a 120gb Corsair SSD a little over a year ago, and I thought ~$150 for 120gb was an awesome deal. Now we're seeing ~$0.50/gb for SSD's, it's awesome.

I purchased a 128 GB SSD back in 2009, and at that time it cost approximately 400 USD locally!

Citizen86 wrote:

Can I also mention that these automatic shortcodes on gamerswithjobs are freakin' annoying? Capital I does not mean I want to make italics! It means I want a capital I!!!!

Hit Ctrl+I again to reset - it's a bug in the forum code that's unlikely to be fixed until we move to the new version..

avggeek wrote:
Citizen86 wrote:

Can I also mention that these automatic shortcodes on gamerswithjobs are freakin' annoying? Capital I does not mean I want to make italics! It means I want a capital I!!!!

Hit Ctrl+I again to reset - it's a bug in the forum code that's unlikely to be fixed until we move to the new version..

When you use a keyboard shortcut like Ctrl+T or Ctrl+Tab then the GWJ page looses focus and doesn't get to detect that the Ctrl key was ever released. Just tap Ctrl once and it will fix it.