Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

Not to rain on your parade, but if you don't really game on the pc, why now? If you're happy with the way L4D2 and TF2 play, I suggest waiting unless you plan to heavily get into pc gaming. Just sayin ...

You're putting in a whole lot of good parts, so why "skimp" on the power supply? The efficiency is good, but it's modular and comes with 3 12v+ rails. We're pretty much all going to recommend one 12V+ rail and not modular unless you really hate cables that much. I would recommend this, this or this.

You're also going to want to buy Artic Silver and another 120mm fan for the front of the case.

Someone else can better talk about the motherboard/ram combination. I'm not up on that. But, really, other than the power supply, it looks good.

Well, the jury is still out on whether or not modular is worse than a non-modular, but the basic idea is that with modular psus you have a number of extra connections which can cause more heat and reduce inefficiency along with creating one more place for something to fault on the psu. In reality the difference to the end user (and not someone who benchmarks voltages and whatnot) is probably negligible, but I tend to fall in the category of playing it safe and avoiding the modular stuff.

Antec is a good brand, they're just not the top quality. Basically, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic and Corsair are sitting at the top in reliability (though Malor might think differently after his Corsair 650 just burned up). I recommended Corsair simply because NewEgg has stock. PC Power & Cooling's offerings are down to nothing for some reason and Seasonic is too expensive imho.

I've tried to explain the whole single vs. multiple rail idea a couple of times, but I can't seem to get it to make sense. Look this article over. It gives very basic info.

For the Antec you linked to, take a look at this picture.:

http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/...?$S640W$

It has 3 12v+ rails of 22a, 22a, and 25a. If you add this together you get 69a. 69 amps X 12 volts = 828 watts. Huh? How can a 550w psu put out 828 watts? It can't. The actual combined output of the 12v rails is lower than just adding up the different ratings. What you need to do is look and see where it says "+12v1, +12v2, +12v3, max load: 354w." So we need to take 354 watts / 12 volts = 29.5 amps. Kind of tells a different story. Is it only capable of drawing 29.5 amps at once, I don't honestly know. The information out there isn't entirely clear.

Anyway, you should be okay with the one 5770 on a multiple rail psu with more then 450 watts (though, 550w might be a safer bet ;). If you ever decide to put in a second card, you pretty much need that single rail design.

Get another fan. Do not leave your case open unless you want to spend time cleaning dust every day. There's a reason cases come with filters in the front now.

Thanks. I think I'm going to go with the Corsair 650 W which is way overkill since the Corsair website says even their 450 W will be fine. I'm getting another fan too. All that rail talk is beyond me at this point and it doesn't really matter at this point.

Whether or not I leave the case open will come down to temperature, sound, and my nonsense ideas. My current case doesn't have the side panels on and it runs pretty cool. It does collect dust, but I dust it every once in a while and its fine.

Thanks again. I think I'll press "buy" tomorrow.

Yeah, a 450 would be fine, as long as it's a single-rail supply, as all the Corsair non-modular supplies are. The advantage of single rail is that you just plug things in, and it all works, as long as you don't exceed the total power draw the supply can provide. The dual and tri-rails are kind of like buying two or three power supplies... instead of one 550, you sort of have 3 175-watters. So you have to track the drain on each rail and make sure you don't exceed it.

The 450 won't be enough to drive a high-end card like an GTX 295 (pulls 300 watts all by itself), but it should be fine on anything 200 watts or lower. That'll leave 250 watts for the rest of the PC, which is enough unless you get into a high-end i7 with a lot of RAM.

As Garion says, I'm not so sure about Corsair reliability anymore; mine died, and Guru apparently lost one too.

To add to the confusion, my Corsair 620w (I think one of the first models they ever slapped their labels on) has been going strong running an overclokced system for 3.5 years now. And it's modular...

To back pignoli up, I've got a Corsair 520HX (modular) running in the B machine that seems to be ticking along fine so far (touch wood).

It is only five or six months old, but its only my experience of Corsair as a power supply to add to the debate.

My finger is on the trigger, any second now and Newegg should be pretty happy.

Of all the Newegg i5s,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010340343%201050749234&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=PRICE

Which is the best? It looks like the 661 is slightly faster than the 650 and has a faster FSB, but they are both dual core and the 750 is quad core. Is the 750 a better deal than the 650? It is 2.66 GHz compared to the dual cores 3.2 GHz.

My understanding is that the dual cores would run faster for things not quad core supporting, but that that quad core would run faster when it was supported.

If that is the case, I could buy the i5 now, and in two years or so, buy a quad core for a lot less.

Edit: Arggg, I'm pushing towards the i5 750 now. It seems everyone on the internet loves that one.

Quad.

That help?

Even with lower clock speeds it outperforms the dual cores.

That better?

garion333 wrote:

Quad.

That help?

Even with lower clock speeds it outperforms the dual cores.

That better?

Haha, Ok, thanks.

Current specs,

Intel Core i5 750 2.66 GHz Quad Core
HIS Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit
Corsair 650TX 650W
Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
Asus P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX
garion333 wrote:

Quad.

That help?

Even with lower clock speeds it outperforms the dual cores.

That better?

At certain tasks. I'm still a dual core supporter. I think we're still a bit aways from quad support in applications that I care about.

Ok, it's ordered. Hope all the parts work :). Thanks again.

boogle wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Quad.

That help?

Even with lower clock speeds it outperforms the dual cores.

That better?

At certain tasks. I'm still a dual core supporter. I think we're still a bit aways from quad support in applications that I care about.

Sorry, I meant those specific chips.

Personally I think with the latest architectures from both Intel and AMD, the performance gap in things like games in now being consistently edged out with quad cores. While I don't know which applications you actually care about, I find it a bit of a stretch to still claim "a bit aways away." Unless of course you meant that in terms of the speed at which technology moves, so a bit away means two months.

I'm a fan of that i3-530/540 price point with an Overclock.
At that point its a price to performance matter in that the clock speed differential makes more of a difference in most games than the core differential.

So I'm about to pull the trigger on a complete new build. I won't post the whole thing (unless someone wants to see it) as there's really anything unusual about it. Couple pieces though that I'm indecisive about that I'd like to solicit help with.

I'm absolutely terrible about cable management, and the Corsair 800D case has become really attractive to me since it makes that part of things brain dead simple. However it's seriously, seriously heavy. I'm not looking forward to dragging it out from under my desk when I need to dust things off and such. I can't find any other case that approaches it for ease of cable management, so I may just have to deal with the weight. Anyone know of an alternative?

I'm also torn on what size SSD to get. Has anyone who bought a 60-80gb one wished they'd just gone for a 120?

Strekos: I have a 160 and I'm constantly squeezed for space.

Malor wrote:

Strekos: I have a 160 and I'm constantly squeezed for space.

That was not what my wallet wanted you to say

Strekos wrote:
Malor wrote:

Strekos: I have a 160 and I'm constantly squeezed for space.

That was not what my wallet wanted you to say :)

I went with an 80 and haven't ever had it more than 40% full. But I have separate drives for game installs, music, and general storage. The only thing on the SSD is the OS install, browsers, email, and and any other general use type apps.

As Garion says, I'm not so sure about Corsair reliability anymore; mine died, and Guru apparently lost one too.

I hesitate to use that as any sort of real evidence. If I went with a few failures on the internet I wouldn't be able to buy anything from anyone since in my 20 years of building PC's I've just about fried everything from everyone past and present.

TheGameguru wrote:
As Garion says, I'm not so sure about Corsair reliability anymore; mine died, and Guru apparently lost one too.

I hesitate to use that as any sort of real evidence. If I went with a few failures on the internet I wouldn't be able to buy anything from anyone since in my 20 years of building PC's I've just about fried everything from everyone past and present.

As is so often quoted (an encouraging trend really): 'the plural of anecdote is not data'.

pignoli wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:
As Garion says, I'm not so sure about Corsair reliability anymore; mine died, and Guru apparently lost one too.

I hesitate to use that as any sort of real evidence. If I went with a few failures on the internet I wouldn't be able to buy anything from anyone since in my 20 years of building PC's I've just about fried everything from everyone past and present.

As is so often quoted (an encouraging trend really): 'the plural of anecdote is not data'.

The irony is that Malor said essentially the same thing over in the other thread about his psu dying.

Alienware MX11 netbook, plays L4D at 40-50fps, starts at $799. Of course, it's still a netbook - 8.5"x11" was the design point.

PandaEskimo wrote:

Intel Core i5 750 2.66 GHz Quad Core
HIS Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit
Corsair 650TX 650W
Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
Asus P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX

Wow, Panda you effectively did all my homework for me. I was thinking about keeping some of my parts but I think I'll join you and give my 3 year old rig to my daughter to play CoD:UO

If I only plan on using one video card, do I need this motherboard that supports crossfire? (whick I assume is used for multiple vid cards?)

I am a bit scared of ATI because I initially had a big driver issue with my first ATi card after having zero issues with my 8800 for almost 3 years. Is it safe?

Should I get Windows 7 for this rig, or stick with XP?

Is the stock fan that comes with the chip decent?

Thanks!

karmajay wrote:

If I only plan on using one video card, do I need this motherboard that supports crossfire? (whick I assume is used for multiple vid cards?)

I am a bit scared of ATI because I initially had a big driver issue with my first ATi card after having zero issues with my 8800 for almost 3 years. Is it safe?

Should I get Windows 7 for this rig, or stick with XP?

Is the stock fan that comes with the chip decent?

1) No you don't, though I tend to find that most atx motherboards are usually crossfire or sli, so your choices without that are somewhat limited.

2) Yes. I've had no issues with my 8800gt and now my 4890. It's been years since I've had serious driver issues.

3) As long as you don't overclock it's fine. I'd still get rid of the goo on the there and replace it with Artic Silver.

I have a question about heat. I put my PC together this afternoon with the i5 750 Quad Core, Arctic Freezer 7 heat sink and fan, and arctic 5 paste. I don't have windows yet, so I've just looked at the temperatures in the bios. The CPU idles at around 45 C and starts at around 34 C. The motherboard temperature goes from around 25 C to 35 C. The fans don't seem to change speeds, the CPU fan is always around 2300 RPM and the case fan is always around 1500 RPM. Taking the case side off dropped the temperature 1 C, and the heat sink isn't hot at all.

Is this high? Do you think I messed up the heat sink install? I have the fan blowing towards the top of my case and the graphics card right below. Perhaps I should move the graphics card to the other PCIE slot to give more space. I'm asking because my P4 3.0 Ghz with third party HSF and arctic 5 idles at around 33 C in windows XP and never really goes higher than 47 C. Thanks.

karmajay wrote:
PandaEskimo wrote:

Intel Core i5 750 2.66 GHz Quad Core
HIS Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit
Corsair 650TX 650W
Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
Asus P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX

Wow, Panda you effectively did all my homework for me. I was thinking about keeping some of my parts but I think I'll join you and give my 3 year old rig to my daughter to play CoD:UO

If I only plan on using one video card, do I need this motherboard that supports crossfire? (whick I assume is used for multiple vid cards?)

I am a bit scared of ATI because I initially had a big driver issue with my first ATi card after having zero issues with my 8800 for almost 3 years. Is it safe?

Should I get Windows 7 for this rig, or stick with XP?

Is the stock fan that comes with the chip decent?

Thanks!

My friend is also waiting to see if I have any problems. The motherboard I picked was one of the cheapest ASUS ones there. Don't worry about the two slots. I wouldn't recommend a micro ATX if you aren't getting a really small case since there isn't much of a point. I've never had a problem with the 2 other ATI cards I've had, but I don't know about them much. The HD 5770 is the one recommended on a lot of the PC websites. I would recommend against the stock fan since you can get another for about $30 + $15 for the paste. You can always try it out and if you don't like it, get another. I had to remove the cone on the side of my case though since the HSF I got is so large.

If I only plan on using one video card, do I need this motherboard that supports crossfire? (whick I assume is used for multiple vid cards?)

No, but I'm not sure you can get i5 boards that don't support it. The i5 drives 16 PCIe lanes straight off the chip, so as far as I know, any i5 board that has two physical x16 slots should support Crossfire. The only likely issue is spacing; if they don't split the PCIe cards far enough apart, you can run into severe cooling issues, as one can block the other's air intake.

I am a bit scared of ATI because I initially had a big driver issue with my first ATi card after having zero issues with my 8800 for almost 3 years. Is it safe?

ATI drivers have improved A LOT over the old days. They can still act a little funny in complex setups with multiple graphic cards, and it sounds like the newly-released 10.1 drivers might be a bit problematic. That'll get fixed, but if you stick with the last of the 9.X series for the first few weeks, you should be fine. At the same time, NVidia drivers have fallen noticeably in quality; they used to be the shining star of graphics drivers, but their transition to exposing programming interfaces to the GPU seems to have introduced quite a number of new rendering bugs. At this point, I'd call them roughly equivalent; ATI might even be better. Just don't do 10.X for at least a couple of weeks.

Should I get Windows 7 for this rig, or stick with XP?

You shouldn't be installing a new computer with anything other than a 64-bit OS, and Win7 is, sadly, the only realistic option for gamers. I run Server2K8 myself, because of the lack of DRM and other misfeatures, but that's not a good solution for non-techheads.

Is the stock fan that comes with the chip decent?

It's perfectly fine for stock speeds, and highly reliable. It's noisier than most aftermarket coolers, and not very good for overclocking. The thermal pad that comes on it works well, but only once; if you ever remove the heatsink again, for any reason, you need to remove the pad and use thermal paste instead. Arctic Silver is very good. Unlike garion, I wouldn't replace the thermal pad until required; Intel doesn't ship crap. But it is a one-shot.

If you do use your own thermal paste, remember that it should be an extremely thin layer, one you can barely see. Metal directly on metal transfers heat the best; the goop is meant to fill in the microscopic holes in the surface. Metal -> air -> metal is bad; metal -> goop -> metal is good; metal -> metal is the best. If you use too much paste, you block the metal -> metal connection. So you should apply paste completely, but so thinly that it's hardly visible.

PandaEskimo wrote:

I have a question about heat. I put my PC together this afternoon with the i5 750 Quad Core, Arctic Freezer 7 heat sink and fan, and arctic 5 paste. I don't have windows yet, so I've just looked at the temperatures in the bios. The CPU idles at around 45 C and starts at around 34 C. The motherboard temperature goes from around 25 C to 35 C. The fans don't seem to change speeds, the CPU fan is always around 2300 RPM and the case fan is always around 1500 RPM. Taking the case side off dropped the temperature 1 C, and the heat sink isn't hot at all.

Is this high? Do you think I messed up the heat sink install? I have the fan blowing towards the top of my case and the graphics card right below. Perhaps I should move the graphics card to the other PCIE slot to give more space. I'm asking because my P4 3.0 Ghz with third party HSF and arctic 5 idles at around 33 C in windows XP and never really goes higher than 47 C. Thanks.

Those temps are fine, though it's a little worrisome that you're idling in the bios and the temps are jumping up that much. The Artic Silver will take a while to settle in. You should see a 3-4 degree drop over the next couple of weeks. Still, 45 while idling in the bios ... that sounds weird to me.

I wouldn't worry about doing anything yet until you get an os installed and see what the video card runs then. You sound a little high to me, but I don't have an i5, so I'm not certain, but you're nowhere close to being in any sort of trouble. Nowhere.

I installed winXP 32bit temporarily (it's what I had on me) and put Speedfan and prime95 on there. I used Speedfan to check the temperatures, and prime95 to stress test it.

Results after idling and then Max Load (100% processor on all 4) after a min or two.

IDLE | Max Load
CPU (all?): 43-45C | 55C
Core 0-3: 30-35C | 65C

I don't know why the CPU temperature is different than each core. The cores are all around the same temperature. I think this should be fine then. If anyone has any thoughts, I'd appreciate it.

You're fine. Each core and the cpu as a whole are always going to vary in temps.

I still think that you're a couple degrees above what I would've expected, but like I said, you should see a slow drop in temps as the Artic Silver sets. All in all you're well within specs for safety purposes.

I bought a pre made bare bones computer for my daughter this morning and the guy was showing me some of the stuff he has. (This was a family not a shop). He had some brand new WD 1.5T drives. (Since this guy does a decent amount of business let's assume it was legit) He was willing to sell me one for 90 bucks. Obviously the price was good but in no way would I ever use that much space.

EDIT: Also Win 7 home full, $184. Geeze, this is why I've never upgraded from XP.

Yes... friends and family...

Or around $100 for an OEM system builders disc.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754