Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

It seems like it outperforms the Core2 E8600 and AMD Phenom II 965 for about 2/3 of the price for either, locally at least.

Looks like a pretty decent value for money option, although doubtless the i5 would be better in raw terms.

*edit*

Ars Technica? Can't find anything there about the i3, except for the press release from its launch. Anandtech seems pretty impressed with it too, not so much the LGA 1156 i5s though.

Just forum comments that i3 isn't particularly great. I haven't spent any time looking at it, myself.

Psha! The last place I'd ever go for advice on technology is a forum. Like, how stupid could you be?!?!?!!1!!?11!eleven!?!111!?

Seriously, it looks like the gaming benchmarks are showing pretty good performance for the money on the i3's. The question is does the cost of the cpu and motherboard cost less than an AMD setup of similar performance?

AMD Phenom II X4 925 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

ASUS M4A78LT-M LE Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5770 GV-R577D5-1GD-B Rev2.0 Video Card

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 750GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case

Seventeam ST-850PAF 850W Power Supply

The power supply is probably a bit overkill, but it's a combo deal and it will be cheaper on the whole. Hopefully, this will be the last build I put on here and you won't have to deal with my noobish shenanigans anymore. On that note, what do you all think of this build? Is this up to snuff, and am I missing anything from it?

garion333 wrote:

Psha! The last place I'd ever go for advice on technology is a forum. Like, how stupid could you be?!?!?!!1!!?11!eleven!?!111!?

I tend to stay away from tech specific forums. The advice is knowledgeable, but the tendency is to push people to the next thing up the tree that's just a bit better, and out of reach.

Here, I know the advice is good and lacking in fanboyism. As long as you stay away from the A-word.

garion333 wrote:

Seriously, it looks like the gaming benchmarks are showing pretty good performance for the money on the i3's. The question is does the cost of the cpu and motherboard cost less than an AMD setup of similar performance?

The i3 530 does well in testing, and as I said above, it's seriously cheap. 2/3 of the price of the CPUs that beat it. And it OCs well.

Oddly enough, I have

I dislike ATI cards. That is all.

IMAGE(http://jkneilson.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/why.jpg)

I mean, otherwise you're just trolling.

haha, true. My 1st ATI card (XFX Radeon HD 4870) and it gets H-O-T, which equals some issues when I try to play some games. I have the fan at 100% and my case open and idle it never goes below 58-60C. I've been reading forums, etc for hours and it looks like a common issue with this model. Oh well, I have a support ticket it, we'll see what happens.

XFX is supposed to be a pretty good brand, so if there's a problem there, you may be able to get it resolved. 60C at idle is awfully high.

Hmm, have any of you heard of these kind of issues with higher cards in the 4xxx series?

My 4890 runs cold. It's an MSI, if it matter to you.

I know the 4 series was flagged for fan issues, but it appears karmajay is pushing the fan up to 100%, so he clearly shouldn't be getting those temps. Personally, I don't think heat has been an issue (outside of the fan thing).

So, what's the general consensus on buying used parts? Buyer beware, deals for the shrewd, or avoid at all costs?

I wouldn't do it. Ever.

But I sell parts online and I'm not trying to rip anyone off, so it can't all be bad.

So I've been looking at ATi 4/5000 series cards for my computer build, but I've recently discovered this:

Google Sketchup's system requirements page[/url]]SketchUp's performance relies heavily the graphics card driver and it's ability to support OpenGL 1.5 or higher. Historically, people have seen problems with ATI Radeon cards and Intel based cards with SketchUp. We don't recommend using these graphics cards with SketchUp at this time.

Does anyone have any experience with what the difference between comparable ATi and Nvidia cards would be in Sketchup? I don't recall reviews testing this.

So a friend of mine is building a new computer, and is willing to sell me some old parts on the cheap. He'll sell me the following for $200.

Intel DQ45CB motherboard
Intel E7400 Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz CPU
3 GB OCZ value ram (1 and 2GB sticks. An odd combination, I know. He didn't give a good reason why.)

I have a Corsair TX750W power supply I got a good deal on from back when I wanted to build a new computer, but then some financial difficulties cropped up. And I have an old (6 years) case from my university days.

So, my question is, since I've been without a proper computer after my laptop died and I'm on a rather tight budget, could I use this to get something going, and what kind of video card could I use to round it out?

My max budget would be $400 total, so $200 to work with, and I may or may not need a case, since to be frank, I don't know if there are any real differences between my old case and modern ones. So please, educate this lowly PC-less nerd a little bit.

What case do you have? You're probably okay, but air flow is a concern.

And a 5770 will probably be what you want for less than $200 and shouldn't outpace your processor too much (or at all, really).

Oh, and you didn't mention were you were talking about buying used parts from a friend. That's different. You know where they're coming from.

Thanks for the tips garion.

Yeah, I can't figure out what the case is for the life of me. Looks a bit like this:

IMAGE(http://mdg.ca/finance/images/horizonl.jpg)

Just an older version with porting along the top and bottom along both sides, and a small intake fan in the front at the bottom like this one.

I'm hoping you forgot to mention the exhaust fan(s) in the back ... ? You might want to consider picking up a new case. You can get a pretty good case for not a whole lot of money. The only problem is you can get a good price, but shipping can be a problem ($8 to $17).

I've used a number of different companies through the years and Antec continues to be my favored case maker. Since you're on a budget, the Two Hundred or Three Hundred are what I would recommend. The problem is that both cut somewhat significantly into your budget in part because you should also buy a 120mm fan for the front of the case (they have one in the back and one in the top back, so two exhausts, but no intake). I much prefer the look of the Three Hundred over the Two Hundred.

If we're looking at cheaper cases, people seem to like this Apex. The Cooler Master Elite is a great choice for a budget minded consumer. I've used them in a couple builds for other people. Unfortunately it doesn't come with an intake fan, so you'd need to buy a 120mm fan for that too.

I'm only making a big deal out of the case because you really don't want to start overheating the parts. That would be bad. However, since you have a case, you can certainly use that and then see what the temps run. If you're idling at temps anywhere near 50 Celsius, well, that's not good.

Edit: Oh, and it looks like Tom's Hardware put out a new article on best cards for the money. I'd recommend looking it over. Depending on your monitor resolutions, the 5750 might be a better priced alternative to the 5770. Nvidia just doesn't have good prices on their cards right now, which is why I'm not even mentioning them.

Yeah, my only exhaust fan would be the one in the power supply.

Well, once I have the parts from my friend, I'll try it in my old case and see what kinds of temperatures I get before the video card goes in, then maybe order both it and the case at the same time if I need to.

Thanks for the help.

Pulled the trigger on this lot last week, using some Christmas money and some bonus. Everything's gone smoothly so far. (Fingers crossed!)

Since I just moved my harddrive across from the old machine, I had to re-activate the RC of Windows 7, but that was a piece of cake. W7 just picked up all of the new hardware drivers without even batting an eyelid, and the motherboard even picked up the right voltage for the RAM without me having to set it.
Fantastically easy build.

I also picked up a WD500 GB Blue and another DVD/RW drive so I could use the old machine for my wife's graphic design stuff. I used the pre-order copy of W7 that I picked up, so I'm going to need another license for Home Premium when my RC runs out, but as long as she's happy...

It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts when you get that new video card. Right now your 4850 is clearly the bottleneck, though I'm sure it's not too terrible.

garion333 wrote:

It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts when you get that new video card. Right now your 4850 is clearly the bottleneck, though I'm sure it's not too terrible. ;)

Yeah, its definitely the bottleneck, but for my gaming load right now (COD4:MW & Dragon Age), its perfectly adequate.

When the supply catches up with the demand on the 5850's and the price corrects, I'll be looking to upgrade. Though I've been considering a Crossfire setup with dual 4850's, as well, so there's always room to change my mind...

New article on the i3 530.
It looks pretty sick. Might upgrade from my E6700 this summer.
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3724&p=1

Okay, you guys, especially garion, have been great in this thread. I've really learned a lot. But I need some confirmation from a trusted source before I pull the trigger.

The deal I had with my friend fell through, he ended up using the parts in a build for his family. But I have managed to acquire the following:

Intel Core 2 Duo e8400
$120

Cooler Master RP-650-PCAR $Free

120mm Case fan $Free

Now here is what I plan to buy: (All prices are in Canadian)

Cooler Master Elite 330 $54.97

OCZ SLI-Ready Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2x2048MB) $108.97

XFX nForce 750i SLI Extreme Motherboard $99.97

XFX Radeon HD 5770 Video Card $189.97

I will be overclocking this, and I choose the motherboard and ram in an effort to make that pain free. I've only ever overclocked my old video card using forceware. This will be a new learning experience for me. The RAM specifically is EPP 1.0 compatible, along with the mobo, which apparently means I'll be able to get a fair amount of juice out of it.

Is the fact that the Northbridge is nvidia based going to be a problem with the Radeon card? I just don't see myself ever using Crossfire or SLI, but I do want it to work.

DanyBoy wrote:

Is the fact that the Northbridge is nvidia based going to be a problem with the Radeon card? I just don't see myself ever using Crossfire or SLI, but I do want it to work. :)

Hmmmmm, nVidia NB with ATI card is fine, but I know nVidia chipsets are pretty poorly regarded, and power hungry, and run hot. All problems if you want to OC, afaik.

An Intel chipset on an Asus or Gigabyte MB would be wiser.

You're welcome for the help, DanyBoy, though, really, that's what this thread is for. And I bluster a bit before Malor comes in and says what I actually mean in one sentence.

A nvidia chipset can certainly be paired with an Ati videocard (and vice versa), like MrDevil said. I too would've voted for picking up a Gigabyte boards, but that's just my preference.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
DanyBoy wrote:

Is the fact that the Northbridge is nvidia based going to be a problem with the Radeon card? I just don't see myself ever using Crossfire or SLI, but I do want it to work. :)

Hmmmmm, nVidia NB with ATI card is fine, but I know nVidia chipsets are pretty poorly regarded, and power hungry, and run hot. All problems if you want to OC, afaik.

An Intel chipset on an Asus or Gigabyte MB would be wiser.

+1

The days of Nvidia being the top dawg when it comes to motherboard chipsets are long gone.

An NVidia chipset will work, but there are STILL bugs in their networking and IDE drivers that have never been fixed, and it's been more than five years. They just don't seem to care that their sh*t doesn't work right, and in fact seem to carry forward the design flaws across generations. You can definitely make an NVidia board stable, but to do that you generally have to run the Microsoft IDE drivers, and then turn off all the advanced features in the network driver, going to as basic a setup as you can. I think it's pretty ridiculous that you still have to do that, after all this time.

I typically try to stick with Intel chipsets on the Intel side, and AMD chipsets on the AMD side. When AMD was on top, they didn't really do their own chipsets, and I disliked the NVidia and VIA solutions enough to switch back to Intel, even though I was usually paying more. These days, AFAIK there's nothing wrong at all with AMD-branded chipsets, but with Intel being generally faster, I tend to stick with those.

The Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P might be a good choice; it supports Crossfire, but not SLI. Since you're buying ATI anyway, that should be fine. (SLI and Crossfire are not the same; one working is not a guarantee the other will.)

Your power supply is rather wimpy; it has two 12 volt rails at 18A each. That'll be enough for the 5770, as it appears to need about 75 watts and runs okay on motherboard power. If, however, you go to a performance card with a PCIe power connector, you'll have to be careful to split the rails between the motherboard and video card, and you'll have to shop smart and keep that 18A limit in mind. I think a 5850 would probably work, for instance, but a 5870 almost certainly wouldn't.

Again, it'll work fine for now, but when you get ready for a new card someday, remember that you might need to replace the supply. If you go with a Crossfire setup, that will also be a potential issue.

Here is the Specs that I'm looking at. I would appreciate any suggestions. The Video Card choice is from the link in the OP. I currently only play L4D2 and TF2 on my PC, but that could change with a new PC. I don't do video editing or 3d modeling work, but I do like to use Photoshop, which works perfectly fine on my 2004 machine.

Any Video Card suggestions would be nice, or if you think the 550 PSU isn't enough. The video card requires 450.

OS:
Windows 7 64 of some sort.

Case:
COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119115
~$55

Power Supply:
Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016
$59.99

Processor:
Intel Core i5-650 Clarkdale 3.2GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115220
$189.99

Processor Heatsink:
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134
$34.98

Motherboard:
ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131604
$119.99

Memory:
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145263
$104.99

Video Card:
HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161317
$162.99

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284
$99.99

Disc Drive:
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
$23.99

Total cost right now is around $875 plus the OS.

What's wrong with modular?

I may play more PC games if I got this. My current PC is a P4 3.0 GHz with 2.5GB ram and a Radeon X1650 AGP. I built a PC in 1999, one in 2004, and then upgraded it last year. I think it would be fun to build and I could play my games at more than 20 fps on medium settings. I could also play more PC games.

Thanks for the info. I've looked through this thread a bit and the two articles in the OP, but don't know too much about current stuff. I already have Artic Silver in my shopping cart, and should probably get another 120mm fan, although I may just leave the case open.

I thought Antec was really good brand for PSU, and also Coolermaster. Do you just like Corsair more? It seems like many of the models are very similar. What does 3 12V rails mean? Those are the ones that connect to the motherboard right? I don't know why I'd need three.