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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


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#1591 Megazell

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:28 AM

What is a media PC? Like you bought a really cheap PC just for storage and watching media or something?


I have 8 PC setup with 2 media PCs at my home. The media PC streams videos, music and family photos to a projector on my network. I also have crossover cables but I have not used that in quite some time.

You set up a LAN and use one of the machines for file dumps. It saves a ton of money so that you can use it for multiple purposes...like arcade gaming, private servers for hosting games, sorting and organizing family photos from your couch...whatever.

You can build for one less than $100 as all it really does is back up your files and such so you don't need a serious video card (if any). The major thing would be HDs, really.

In fact, a lot of people give away PCs like this all the time on craigslist. I picked up 12 PCs alone in December for the children's center that I volunteer at. 9 of them were working as is and the rest needed a little touch up and nothing more.

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#1592 ZForce915

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:46 AM

I have 8 PC setup with 2 media PCs at my home. The media PC streams videos, music and family photos to a projector on my network. I also have crossover cables but I have not used that in quite some time.

You set up a LAN and use one of the machines for file dumps. It saves a ton of money so that you can use it for multiple purposes...like arcade gaming, private servers for hosting games, sorting and organizing family photos from your couch...whatever.

You can build for one less than $100 as all it really does is back up your files and such so you don't need a serious video card (if any). The major thing would be HDs, really.

In fact, a lot of people give away PCs like this all the time on craigslist. I picked up 12 PCs alone in December for the children's center that I volunteer at. 9 of them were working as is and the rest needed a little touch up and nothing more.


I've never quite understood the whole media PC concept. The PC I run now and the PC I'm going to build will have the programs I need to stream to my XBOX and all I've done is install one separate 1TB drive holding the videos/pictures/music I plan to share and stream. Why bother with an entirely different PC for that?
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#1593 Megazell

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:33 AM

I've never quite understood the whole media PC concept. The PC I run now and the PC I'm going to build will have the programs I need to stream to my XBOX and all I've done is install one separate 1TB drive holding the videos/pictures/music I plan to share and stream. Why bother with an entirely different PC for that?


I already listed the some of the reasons. You can turn that PC into anything on the fly. My media PC is running Linux and XP with a personal GUI so that anyone can use it and say play games on the fly via game pads, watch a movie using one of my PC remotes and on the fly I can load up server software and host games for friends and family to connect to and rock a fews games with. Having a devoted machine to just do those things is easier and cheaper. This is something you can do with spare parts and takes just a little setup and saves a lot of time and money. I upgraded by stuff in 2009 on the cheap and so I'm good until 2013 or maybe later. My family is 6 people big so everyone has their own PC/Laptop to do their business and 2 media PC (one for each floor) to handle the needs of the house.

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#1594 ZForce915

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:40 AM

I already listed the some of the reasons. You can turn that PC into anything on the fly. My media PC is running Linux and XP with a personal GUI so that anyone can use it and say play games on the fly via game pads, watch a movie using one of my PC remotes and on the fly I can load up server software and host games for friends and family to connect to and rock a fews games with. Having a devoted machine to just do those things is easier and cheaper. This is something you can do with spare parts and takes just a little setup and saves a lot of time and money. I upgraded by stuff in 2009 on the cheap and so I'm good until 2013 or maybe later. My family is 6 people big so everyone has their own PC/Laptop to do their business and 2 media PC (one for each floor) to handle the needs of the house.


I see, I think our situations are just different is all. I only have three potential computer users in the house (myself included) and between our laptop and PC there is no need to have additional machines around so I try to have my PC do it all.
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#1595 Megazell

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:48 AM

I see, I think our situations are just different is all. I only have three potential computer users in the house (myself included) and between our laptop and PC there is no need to have additional machines around so I try to have my PC do it all.


Yeah. I got the same impression. But should your PC fail it's always good to have a back PC ready to roll. Having the infrastructure in place at least will save you a lot of money and time should that main machine of the house go down.

I baby my tech so this is a rare issue but a long time ago this setup saved the family's bacon quite nicely.

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#1596 basilofbkrst

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:51 AM

http://www.newegg.co...1-101-_-Product

Opinions. GO!





Please.


#1597 Megazell

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 06:13 AM

http://www.newegg.co...1-101-_-Product

Opinions. GO!





Please.


If you are going to spend that type of cash on just a video card - Go with a company that has a better customer service record and warranty package.

http://www.newegg.co...0-604-_-Product

Warranty info the card I provided above. http://www.evga.com/support/warranty/

This EVGA card has Limited Lifetime Warranty when you register the product on their site.

Here is the warranty options for the card you selected - http://www.palit.biz...rma.php?lang=us

It's been my experience that say 4 years down the road the card conks out the company has a trade in offer where you pay a small amount and get their latest card. This is a great way to upgrade on the cheap and it's nice way to pick up free bundled software and games.

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#1598 basilofbkrst

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 06:22 AM

If you are going to spend that type of cash on just a video card - Go with a company that has a better customer service record and warranty package.

http://www.newegg.co...0-604-_-Product

Warranty info the card I provided above. http://www.evga.com/support/warranty/

This EVGA card has Limited Lifetime Warranty when you register the product on their site.

Here is the warranty options for the card you selected - http://www.palit.biz...rma.php?lang=us

It's been my experience that say 4 years down the road the card conks out the company has a trade in offer where you pay a small amount and get their latest card. This is a great way to upgrade on the cheap and it's nice way to pick up free bundled software and games.


I spending the money on it because it's not just for gaming but for graphics rendering as well so it needs to be beefy and not a $1k Quadro. I heard from a friend the brand i linked was good, but going over that the EVGA is the winner.

Thank you greatly.


#1599 ZForce915

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:25 PM

If you are going to spend that type of cash on just a video card - Go with a company that has a better customer service record and warranty package.

http://www.newegg.co...0-604-_-Product

Warranty info the card I provided above. http://www.evga.com/support/warranty/

This EVGA card has Limited Lifetime Warranty when you register the product on their site.

Here is the warranty options for the card you selected - http://www.palit.biz...rma.php?lang=us

It's been my experience that say 4 years down the road the card conks out the company has a trade in offer where you pay a small amount and get their latest card. This is a great way to upgrade on the cheap and it's nice way to pick up free bundled software and games.


Speaking of EVGA, I was looking at this card and wondering what you thought of it.

What I want from a video card is mostly centered around photo retouching/graphic design and I might start dabbling in video editing. The ability to play some PC games is a plus, but keep in mind I'm not a FPS guy on PC so getting 60fps on the new Call of Duty isn't going to be something that ever crosses my mind. (I wouldn't mind being able to play Civ V though)

Thoughts on that card?
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#1600 shrike4242

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:38 PM

If you are going to spend that type of cash on just a video card - Go with a company that has a better customer service record and warranty package.

http://www.newegg.co...0-604-_-Product

Warranty info the card I provided above. http://www.evga.com/support/warranty/

This EVGA card has Limited Lifetime Warranty when you register the product on their site.

Here is the warranty options for the card you selected - http://www.palit.biz...rma.php?lang=us

It's been my experience that say 4 years down the road the card conks out the company has a trade in offer where you pay a small amount and get their latest card. This is a great way to upgrade on the cheap and it's nice way to pick up free bundled software and games.

Their factory overclocked card @ 900MHz is the same price at the moment:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814130610

I've been looking at GTX560 cards as well, and I agree, any card that's not lifetime warrantied is one you should avoid. 5 year warranty would be the only non-lifetime warranty I'd look at, since most people can squeeze 3-4 years out of a mid-range card like a GTX560.

#1601 TwelveVolt

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:36 PM

EVGA are nice cards, especially the AR parts with the lifetime warranty. The card I ordered for my new build is this MSI, it's factory overclocked and has a nicer HSF than the EVGA one.

http://www.newegg.co...&Tpk=msi gtx560

#1602 shrike4242

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:49 PM

I've looked at that MSI card as well, since it's been reviewed multiple places, though its 3-year warranty is making me look at the EVGA cards due to their lifetime warranty. PNY is another vendor with lifetime warranty (upon registration).

That, and I need to make sure it's a 9" card for my SFF enclosure, since I think I'm a little lighter on power usage with the components in my system:
65W Q9550S
Two Scorpio Black 500GB HDDs (2W x 2)
Sony-Optiarc DVD+/-RW drive (18W)

Most of the vendors have been quoting out 450 - 500W PSUs for GTX 560 cards, and since my 450W PSU has a 36A 12V rail, I should be good.

Edited by shrike4242, 01 February 2011 - 04:20 PM.


#1603 basilofbkrst

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:22 PM

So Micro Center has the 950 and the 2600k on sale. I'm reading for rendering and Photoshop the 2600 is ideal, but the recall worries me. Is there a way to find out of a chip was made pre January 9 on the box? Or would I have to do more to find out?


#1604 ZForce915

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:58 PM

So Micro Center has the 950 and the 2600k on sale. I'm reading for rendering and Photoshop the 2600 is ideal, but the recall worries me. Is there a way to find out of a chip was made pre January 9 on the box? Or would I have to do more to find out?


It's not the chip, it's the chipset. The only part affected is the SATA 2.0 (3GB/s) ports on the board.

EDIT - corrected an error

Edited by ZForce915, 02 February 2011 - 06:59 PM.

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#1605 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:28 PM

http://www.amazon.co..._pr_product_top

Was thinking of that one.


im sure thatd be fine. do a little shopping around and check ads from places like best buy and frys and microcenter. you can probably get one for a bit cheaper if you can hold off a little bit and shop around.

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#1606 basilofbkrst

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:38 PM

It's not the chip, it's the chipset. The only part affected is the SATA 3.0 ports on the board.


Oohhh, thanks for clearing that. :dunce:

I'll head in tomorrow to get one. Too much damn ice on the road today.

EDIT: For another dunce moment, what is the difference between the mobo needed for an i7 950 VS the 2600?

I was looking at getting:

http://www.newegg.co..._-13131634-L07C

But not sure which chip it matches up to, or both.

Edited by basilofbkrst, 01 February 2011 - 11:10 PM.



#1607 ZForce915

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:51 PM

Oohhh, thanks for clearing that. :dunce:

I'll head in tomorrow to get one. Too much damn ice on the road today.

EDIT: For another dunce moment, what is the difference between the mobo needed for an i7 950 VS the 2600?

I was looking at getting:

http://www.newegg.co..._-13131634-L07C

But not sure which chip it matches up to, or both.


The information is pretty new, I wouldn't call this common knowledge just yet :D

the i7 SandyBridge chips use the LGA 1155 chipset, the i7 900 series uses LGA 1366.
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#1608 Mid Boss

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:25 AM

It's not the chip, it's the chipset. The only part affected is the SATA 3.0 ports on the board.


Actually, its the SATA 2.0(3Gb/s) ports that are affected. The SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) ports don't suffer from the problem.


#1609 basilofbkrst

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:20 AM

does the 1156 mobo work the same as a 1055? newegg has one 1055 and 120 of the 1056


#1610 Mid Boss

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:49 AM

No it doesn't. They're not going to be compatible with the same processors. You can only use the 1155 boards for the new Sandy Bridge i5s and i7s and with the recall its going to be a few weeks at least before any new ones are available. The one on Newegg looks like an open box item and is likely a mistake that will be pulled soon.


#1611 basilofbkrst

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:52 AM

Now I'm getting it. This their will be a combo deal when the new boards get back out? Or Should I just buy the processor and wait to find a board separate?


#1612 Mid Boss

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 03:08 AM

There should be plenty of combo deals when the boards start shipping again. From the looks of things, most places are going to just stop selling the processors too while this whole chipset thing gets sorted out, so you're probably going to be stuck waiting anyway.


#1613 basilofbkrst

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:13 AM

I'll check back with stores near me soon to their status on sets. This gives me an excuse to hold out on buying other parts and hope a sale hits those.


#1614 Das_Regal

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:01 AM

I plan on building a PC with these parts. Can someone take a glance and make sure I won't run into any compatibility issues?

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103808

ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813157176

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231428

MSI N460GTX Cyclone 768D5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127512

HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/ Front Blue LED 120mm Fan & Top 120mm Fan
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811121096

Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817371031

Edited by Das_Regal, 02 February 2011 - 08:21 PM.


#1615 ZForce915

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:57 PM

Actually, its the SATA 2.0(3Gb/s) ports that are affected. The SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) ports don't suffer from the problem.


Yeah, that's what I meant. My mistake.
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#1616 MSI Magus

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 01:45 PM

So I was discussing with a friend and fellow CAG AwRy the fact that my wife getting a large bonus from work, and tax returns coming in is making it hard not to buy my new PC now vs in another few months as planned. While having the discussion he became convinced I do not need a new PC, I just need to upgrade this one. I wanted to see what you guys here think. Basically id need a new hard drive, a new graphics card and a new CPU...but I imagine upgrading those three I would almost def need a new power supply. To me at that point it seems like you might as well just build a new freaking PC. Especially considering that the upgrades might last you a few months, but then with the PC being 6 years old at that point it would probably just require buying a new PC or a massive upgrade again.

Little info I am running
Intel Core 2 CPU 6320 and its 1.86 GHZ
GeForce 9500 GT

he recommended
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814133326
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115036

I am just looking at it in the sense of upgrading those two alone will cost me $400. My hard drive is 6ish years old at this point so besides the fact that it is only 300 gigs and I NEED more space there is also that just the speed of something that old is horrid. Add in a new power supply to help power all this and you are at around $550 just to upgrade. I am worried about how all this will fit in my casing too ;( Anyways do you guys still think with it being that costly to upgrade its worth it? Or just keep trying to wait the 6 months or so and just buy a new PC?

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#1617 ericpol

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 02:52 PM

If you're willing to spend $200 just for cpu upgrade I'd go this way first new HD quad core cpu and new case.
http://www.newegg.co...ables-_-na-_-na

#1618 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 06:16 PM

So I was discussing with a friend and fellow CAG AwRy the fact that my wife getting a large bonus from work, and tax returns coming in is making it hard not to buy my new PC now vs in another few months as planned. While having the discussion he became convinced I do not need a new PC, I just need to upgrade this one. I wanted to see what you guys here think. Basically id need a new hard drive, a new graphics card and a new CPU...but I imagine upgrading those three I would almost def need a new power supply. To me at that point it seems like you might as well just build a new freaking PC. Especially considering that the upgrades might last you a few months, but then with the PC being 6 years old at that point it would probably just require buying a new PC or a massive upgrade again.

Little info I am running
Intel Core 2 CPU 6320 and its 1.86 GHZ
GeForce 9500 GT

he recommended
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814133326
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115036

I am just looking at it in the sense of upgrading those two alone will cost me $400. My hard drive is 6ish years old at this point so besides the fact that it is only 300 gigs and I NEED more space there is also that just the speed of something that old is horrid. Add in a new power supply to help power all this and you are at around $550 just to upgrade. I am worried about how all this will fit in my casing too ;( Anyways do you guys still think with it being that costly to upgrade its worth it? Or just keep trying to wait the 6 months or so and just buy a new PC?


whats your PSU right now?

those are pretty big upgrades as far as the CPU and GPU go. by that i mean, you should be able to get a pretty decent upgrade for a lot less if you buy the right stuff.

i guess the main question would be, what do you want to do with this computer after the upgrade? do you want to be able to play crisis 2 smoothly? or are you just looking for a faster computer for office work, web surfing and the occasional game of left 4 dead and world of warcraft?

first off, what type of MOBO do you have? that should play a big factor on what CPU you go with.

as for the HDD, you can get http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148433 which is $55 after coupon. 1TB should be plenty of space.

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#1619 shrike4242

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 01:45 AM

Just ordered the EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti from Amazon since it finally dropped down in price to match NewEgg (I had a bunch of Amazon credit saved up for a new video card).

Probably won't show up for a few weeks, since it was backordered when I ordered it. Seems like a good choice since it's lifeftime warrantied, plus comes with a 900MHz factory OC.

#1620 dfg

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:49 AM

Looking for some advice please...

Want to build a cheap (~$500) gaming rig based around this barebones kit from Tigerdirect: http://www.tigerdire...p?EdpNo=7220551

Could anyone recommend a video card that would work well with the above?

I don't need anything beastly, just enough to make previous year's games (L4D2, TF2) run smooth and shiny at 1680x1050.

I've read "a very powerful video card will be useless in a low-end Gaming PC, you want to balance the components to avoid having your CPU bottleneck your video card", but I can't interpret the info I look at well enough to determine where the bottleneck would be.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated; thanks!
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