|27 posts found|
4/01/11 1:24:33 AM#1
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
Monitor: ENVISION 416 22" 60hz (I think)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.101209-1647)
So by my system specs you can probably guess that I'm long overdue for a new computer! It's really starting to show its age!
I built this one (my first) several years back and I'm willing to build this new one.
However, while Im not shy about rebuilding a new system, I did have problems with my power supplies killing components (original Motherboard was a Fatal1ty) until I finally replaced the darn thing. What I learned from that experience was that I shouldn't just pop onto New Egg and start choosing components based on my very amateurish knowledge of such things. (I bought based on price and Customer Satisfaction comments.)
So perhaps more knowledgable heads might give me a recommended list of components for me to buy?
I don't ask out of laziness (I swear), but out of the acknowledgement that there are serious hidden and underlying quality issues concerning almost everything I might buy. For example: from reading Quizzicals comments and from my own personal experience, I know that Power Supplies can have some serious defects/liabilities.
A couple guidelines:
1) Best Bang For the Buck Components (a step or two below cutting edge is fine, great but not uber if you know what I mean)
3) I have a custom built case I bought from FrozenCPU maybe 4 or 5 years ago. Its a Lian Li (huge) Full Tower a p80 or Armorsuit, I cant remember and any identifiers are lost beneath sound-layering. Should I buy a new case, or is a case built that long ago still viable?
4) Buy American if a viable option!
5) I dont mind keeping my current monitor for the time being and upgrading it from a future paycheck.
Help me spend my tax return! (and keep me from buying inferior products)
Thank you very very much for your advice!
4/01/11 2:00:23 AM#2
If you've got a case you like and don't need the old computer to remain functional, I'd say reuse the old case. If you do need the old computer to still work, then you'd need a new case, of course. Components are mostly the same size as they were several years ago. The main exception is that, while the 2.5" form factor for hard drives has been around for a long time, they weren't used in desktops until recently for SSDs, so some newer cases will have a 2.5" slot to hold an SSD. On the other hand, SSDs are nearly indestructible, so you could do reckless things like duct taping it to the side of the case and it wouldn't be a problem. I guess some video cards have gotten a little bigger, but a large full tower case should easily accommodate whatever you pick.
It sounds like you want reliability from high quality parts. I'll pick some parts that should let you give the processor a big overclock if you want; if you're certain that you don't want to overclock, we can skip some of that and save you some money. Not that you'll really need it, as the processor will offer roughly triple the single-threaded (meaning, only one core gets used) performance of your current one, and then have four cores rather than one on top of that.
Processor/heatsink combo: $268
The processor is definitely the one to get for your needs. The heatsink is chosen largely for the combo deal, but a large heatsink with lots of heatpipes should be very effective.
Should give you a big overclock if you want it. It also supports CrossFire and SLI if you want to go that route in the future.
Video card: $345, before a $20 rebate
That's AMD's current top of the line. The only faster single GPU card is the GeForce GTX 580, which is maybe 15% faster and 40% more expensive.
Power supply: $140
Okay, so it's overkill. But it will never give you any trouble, and that counts for something, too, right? Until recently, it was the best quality consumer power supply on the market.
Solid state drive: $205
107 GB of usable capacity. It has a 3.5" form factor, which will make it easier to mount.
Hard drive: $80
It's huge and it's slow, but if you want something fast, you put it on the SSD, right?
8 GB is more than you really need. So is 1600 MHz, I suppose.
Operating system: $100
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is the thing to get.
Optical drive: $23
They're very much a commodity, so just get something cheap. Or even just keep what you already have if it's SATA.
That comes to $1454, including shipping and before rebates. Honestly, it wouldn't be too hard to cut a lot of money out of the build if you don't want to spend it all. You could get a cheaper processor heatsink, a 2500 rather than 2500K to forgo overclocking, a cheaper (but still good) motherboard, a cheaper (but still good) power supply, a smaller SSD, and/or 4 GB of memory rather than 8 GB. But you said you had a $1500 budget, so I used it.
If you need to fit peripherals into your budget, that changes things. Also, if you were having problems with your power supply before, it was probably just a bad power supply. If you've got an unstable electricity supply where you live, you could get an uninterruptible power supply for $100-$150 or so, which will prevent any electrical weirdness (power outages, unstable voltages, etc.) from reaching your computer's power supply and causing problems.
4/01/11 2:13:33 AM#3
Originally posted by Serignuad
Actaully, I guess I ignored that request, but I'm not sure exactly what you mean. Is a Toyota car assembled in Alabama from parts built in the United States less American than a Ford car assembled in Detroit from parts built in Canada? Computer parts can get messy like that, too.
For a processor, for example, both AMD and Intel are American companies. For a video card, both AMD and Nvidia are American companies. For motherboards, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI, are all Taiwanese. I guess some video card board partners may be based in America, but the GPUs are all built at TSMC (in Taiwan) and the cards are usually assembled in Taiwan or China or somewhere around there. There just isn't much in the way of international competition for a lot of components. I guess you could get Intel graphics chips made in the USA, but that would be an enormous downgrade from what you have.
For storage, there is, I suppose. The SSD I picked uses a SandForce controller, IMFT (Intel/Micron) NAND flash, and is assembled by OCZ, and those are all American companies. Western Digital makes the hard drive, and that's an American company. For memory, Corsair is an American company, though they don't build their own memory chips and could use any company there.
For power supplies, it's messier. Most power supplies seem to be assembled in Taiwan or China. If you buy a power supply from an American company, it usually means they bought one from a company in Taiwan or China and put their own packaging on it. So if you really want a Seasonic power supply with a Corsair or Antec sticker on it rather than a Seasonic sticker, I guess I could look for that. Corsair's AX series is just rebranded from Seasonic's X-series, for example.
4/01/11 2:50:09 AM#4
I am deeply grateful for your list of components!!
Ive always WANTED to do OC-ing.
The case I bought was designed to be liquid-cooled (and on a sidenote, the MB has to be placed in upside down) with the intention of getting into just that. At the moment though, its not a priority, but I certainly dont mind spending some money for it to be an option in the future.
And don't worry about spending your time finding American made parts.. I'm just as happy to go with your first reccomendations, which Ive every intention of following it exactly (return scheduled to be in around the 10th or so).
Ive got to thank you again, Quizzical. I'm really looking forward to this and it will be a HUGE peace-of-mind to know that I'm buying high quality products by someone whose opinion I value greatly.
4/01/11 3:04:35 AM#5
My recommendation on overclocking the processor would be, don't until you run into a program where a faster processor would be beneficial. If you're limited by the video card anyway, then a higher processor clock speed only means higher power consumption and more stress on components. Doing overclocking properly means you need to disable turbo boost, which can turn clock speeds up and down on the fly as appropriate. Even at "stock" speeds, the processor will overclock all four cores to 3.7 GHz indefinitely or a single core as high as 4.1 GHz for short periods of time if it thinks it is appropriate to your workload.
It should hit 4.2 GHz easily and safely. If you're willing to bump the voltage enough to seriously risk frying the processor (after some months or years of use), you're nearly guaranteed to be able to hit 4.5 GHz and have a significant chance of being able to clock it to 5 GHz.
One note on the power supply is that it's really not sufficient for two high end video cards plus a heavily overclocked processor. For one video card and a large overclock, it's got plenty of power. For two 6970s plus a processor at stock speeds, it's got plenty of power. For two future cards that are a little lower power (say, 7870s) plus an overclocked processor, it's again plenty.
Just to throw some options out there, you could get:
A cheaper power supply that is still pretty good, and more than sufficient for the base build:
A higher wattage power supply that is still pretty good, massively overkill for your needs today, and will let you go CrossFire/SLI or whatever in the future if you feel like it, and still overclock the processor:
A higher wattage power supply of super high end quality equivalent to the one in my original post:
Or, just for fun, the highest quality power supply on the market today:
Yeah, that's $160 for 550 W, which for most people, would be completely crazy. The first of those that I linked (Antec TruePower New 650 W) is what I'd have recommended if you had been on a smaller budget.
To throw in a few motherboard options, if you're not going to use SLI or CrossFire in the future, you could save some money on the motherboard with one of these:
Those still have plenty of overclocking headroom, so you'd mainly be giving up the option for a second video card.
4/01/11 3:24:07 AM#6
[User Deleted Post]
4/04/11 4:29:06 AM#7
The Newegg combo for the Processor/Heatsink is out of date. I didn't get to grab what Processor it was that was being recommended.
4/04/11 10:58:37 AM#8
That might be exactly the same parts as before, but now it's $1 more.
The really important part is the processor, which is this:
4/04/11 12:08:15 PM#9
You dont have to duct tape a ssd. Brackets to put ssd sized drives in cd rom bays or hdd bays are very common. please buy a bracket for you ssd
4/04/11 2:31:14 PM#10
If your looking at getting into watercooling, that is a seriously expensive endeavor., at least if you jump in past the Corsair/Antec all-in-one CPU coolers. For home computers it has limited practicality, but it makes for a good hobby and an interesting conversation piece.
The Zalman Reserator system is one that I point out to people just getting started. It is not a high performance kit, rather it is a totally silent kit. It has no fans at all, just a huge tank/radiator with a pump that is placed inside the coolant (to mask the pump noise). It is sufficient to cool a CPU at stock speeds, and maybe light overclocks, but not really anything else (there are fan/shroud kits you can make, and they seriously increase the cooling capacity of the unit, but it's engineered for silence rather than performance). I think this kit has everything you need to get started, although you want to check the CPU waterblock for socket compatibility
Koolance is an American company that makes kits, and sells OEM parts to build custom watercooled systems. Their manufacturing is in Korea though. They sell many different kits, aftermarket GPU waterblocks for almost every current video card make, and have just about any part you would ever need for a complete system.
There are many other companies out there, if you do some research, I just threw out a few names to give you something to start with. If your daring, you could even put together something just with parts from Home Depot, but I seriously don't recommend it unless your just really bored, have a lot of time and patience, and are willing to risk completely trashing that $1500 computer if you make a mistake.
I recommend you not go overboard with RAM waterjackets, northbridge waterblocks, hard drive blocks, and water cooled power supplies: those things put off so little heat to begin with that by circulating the same cooling media that cools the CPU and GPU, you may actually be causing them to run hotter - unless you are trying to put something together that is ultra high density and you don't have any space to passively cool them.
4/04/11 9:13:09 PM#11
Originally posted by duelkore
I'm not saying that you should duct tape an SSD to the side of the case. I'm saying that you could, and it wouldn't matter, as SSDs aren't sensitive to heat or vibrations. I brought it up because it was the only significant feature that I could think of that newer cases might have and older ones definitely wouldn't. Cases don't exactly scale with Moore's law, so a very nice case 5 years ago would still be a nice case today unless it somehow broke in the meantime.
For what it's worth, the SSD that I linked above comes in a 3.5" form factor, so it will fit ordinary 3.5" hard drive slots. That makes how to mount it a moot point.
4/04/11 9:43:24 PM#12
I have to admit I chuckled when I read through the thread... $1500 worth of computer parts, and the only two options listed for case upgrades were "Get a 3.5" drive, or duct tape it to the side of the case" as reasons to upgrade the case. It was rather amusing.
A very old case may not conform to the ATX standard (the same standard that calls for which wire is which on your power supply), which basically lines your motherboard up with the case slots and bolt holes. The standard has been around for a good while though (1995). In almost all build-it-yourself or custom-build computers, you will have an ATX case (or some variation of it, such as miniATX, EATX, microATX).
If you have a computer from a retail builder (HP, Gateway, Dell, etc), then there is a very good chance you do not have an ATX case or motherboard, and possibly even power supply, and probably can't reuse it.
A very good reason you may consider upgrading a case, would be internal space and air flow. Significantly older cases often don't have the ventilation options that newer cases have. The first ATX revision actually had the power supply sucking air in and blowing down on the CPU, because at the time it was possible to use a passive heat sink on the CPU, and you didn't need any more air flow across it other than the 80mm fan inside a power supply that was only pushing maybe 75W total power. Times have changed, heat loads have gone up dramatically, and if your old case doesn't at least have a dedicated external fan directly behind the CPU, and at least good ventilation ports up in the front of the case (if not additional fans), then it's probably time to upgrade that case even if you can shoehorn a Sandy Bridge in there.
Also to consider, newer video cards are bigger than they used to be. It used to be rare for a PCI card, even video, to exceed 9.6" in length (the average width of a ATX motherboard). Many cases (especially mini and midtowers) are designed so that the hard drives butt right up against that limit, so by the time you plug in the cables to the hard drives, you don't have a lot of room. Newer video cards get up to 12" long, and even if you pull all the hard drives out you may still not have enough room depending on how the chassis is laid out.
Drive bays may be a consideration for upgrading a case, particularly if you want support for more drives, or want the ability to hot swap drives. A $7 2.5"-3.5" adapter probably isn't a very good reason to upgrade a case though.
Hard Core Member
4/04/11 9:45:14 PM#13
4/05/11 9:01:09 AM#14
Originally posted by Swanea
-Not yet! Return is due to be deposited around the 10th (today being the 5th). So give it another week after that for all the parts to be delivered!
On other notes:
-Not going to watercool for the time being. For a second build, my balls just arent that big.
-The case is customized Lian Li PC-V2000B with sound proofing, customized fan controllers in the top 5.25 bay , carrying handles and a triple 120 or 140mm watercooling radiator thats been cut into the center shelf that divdes the MB from the PSU compartments. It cost me almost 1000.00 at the time. What was I thinking?!
I'm guessing the two spec's highlighted in red can be replaced if need be.
4/05/11 10:07:28 AM#15
Unfortunately, not easily. Yes, you can pop it out of the case, but it's not really meant to be popped out, and you may not get it popped back in. That, and there isn't a replacement "USB 3.0" part that pops in it's place.
There are 5.25" drive bay panels that have built-in USB 3.0 (and other) connection options you can connect to the motherboard headers though. And Lian Li does have updated cases with built-in USB 3.0 now. The case you have picked out is a very nice case though, it's just an older model (5 years now) and doesn't have updated USB 3.0 ports.
4/05/11 10:21:06 AM#16
Wow...I JUST did this....upgraded everything and I spent right around $1500.00...did a LOT of research and my plan was to build a computer that would last (overclocking as an option for later)...so here is what I ended up with:
Case: CoolermasterStorm Sniper Black Ed.
This is my .02 and I accumulated my parts over several months while I researched every part....
4/05/11 10:40:14 AM#17
Originally posted by Ridelynn
Well, I will probably just buy a drive-bay panel that accommodates USB 3.0. I think that thing has 6 more free bays ;)
But I have to admit, I was/am tempted to buy a whole new case (but I think Im successfully talking myself out of it, might as well get some use out of the thing I spent so much money on).
Thats awesome man.. I'm sooooo looking forward to having a new system!
Anything you wish you had done differently, or anything you wish you had waited for?
4/05/11 12:34:15 PM#18
Originally posted by azuredin
Presumably whatever research you did was looking at sites that weren't very up to date.
Bloomfield is thoroughly obsolete. A Core i5 2500 (or 2500K if you're into overclocking) is much faster than a Core i7 960 for gaming purposes. It's much cheaper, too. For that matter, a Core i5 2500 at stock speeds would likely beat your overclocked Core i7 960. Now, it made a lot of sense to buy a Bloomfield processor two years ago. But it made a lot less sense a year and a half ago (Lynnfield is better), and no sense at all for gaming use today.
The only difference that you'll see between 2000 MHz memory and 1333 MHz memory paired with that processor is the price tag. You probably paid an extra $60 or so, and won't even get a 1% boost in performance.
The GeForce GTX 480 was a bad card right from the outset. Sure, it will perform well, but it also runs dangerously hot and obnoxiously loud if you push it very hard. If it dies, it's 100% your own fault for buying a card that was widely known to be a disaster. And that's at stock speeds; if you try to overclock it, it's that much worse. It's also thoroughly obsolete, as the GeForce GTX 570 gives you comparable performance for much cheaper--and more importantly, without the heat and noise problems.
Hard Core Member
4/05/11 12:56:46 PM#19
Originally posted by Quizzical
I don't agree. In a well built computer that is large enough and have good cooling is the 480 a fine card, only problem is that it uses a lot of power.
The problems happens when you put it in a small and badly ventilated box.
The only card I ever overheated was a 7950 GTX card and that was because it was factory overclocked in a bad way (thankyou, Gainward). The only time I ever had much noice from my card was last summer during the worst heatwave I seen and as soon as I bought an AC and lowered the indoor temperature to under 30 degrees it stopped.
Overclocking the card is not something I can recommend. In fact I don'r recommend to overclock any GPU (and worse the memory on the GFX card) unless you really know what you are doing, I seen more than one moron burn his card to crisps.
But you are right that the 570 will give you better performance for the money.
4/05/11 2:08:52 PM#20
Get the OCZ Agility 3 or Intel 500 series SSD. They are cheaper and perform faster.
On processors get a Sandy Bridge or wait for AMDs next processor.
On Graphics Cards, I think the choice of a 2GB HD5950 is obvious.