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


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#2851 chibilaharl

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:18 AM

Also, Windows 7 or windows 8

#2852 JBaz

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:08 PM

Thank you! Is any manufacturer better than another w/ the AMD HD 7950 cards?

They all have their own niches. Luckily for you, Galaxy and Zotac brands don't make AMD cards. I'd look for something with an aftermarket cooler as stock, but just go with whatever is the cheapest. XFX is as close as EVGA brand on the AMD side.


Hey all. I was hoping my first post after all the advice everyone gave me would be from my newly built computer, but it seems that I've hit a snag.

I'm almost done with everything, however the z68 ftw motherboard has become a problem. I tried to connect the PSU to the 24-pin connector, but someone thought it was a good idea to have it facing out of the side of the motherboard. The 5.25' cage in the HAF 912 directly gets in the way and I'm unable to connect the PSU.

I'm trying to find a work around that doesn't involve me taking everything apart and ordering new parts, especially since the motherboard in non-refundable. The only ideas I can think of would be to unscrew the cage (don't even think I have a screwdriver that matches the round screws), connect the PSU and see if the wires can bend enough to allow the cage to be reinserted (which sounds a bit dangerous and seems extremely unlikely), or manually cut a part of the cage off to allow enough space to allow the connection.

Would anyone have any ideas that I may have overlooked?

1. The Z68 FTW z68 board is an EATX motherboard, so its quite longer than a normal ATX board. It would have been advisable when you were shopping to find a better suited case since most of the time, people who use a $300 MSRP motherboard wouldn't have fitted it in a $40 compact mid-tower case.

2. The 24 pin connector is oriented 90 degrees on a number of high end motherboards so that geeks like me would value the idea of connecting the power lead and then immediately hide it using one of the cutouts behind the motherboard tray. It's much more impressive looking than having it stick out like a sore thumb when you spend the time and effort in efficient and beautiful cable routing in a nicer case with a window.

3. The 5.25 cage isn't in feet, but in inches. (:p) Anyhow, its riveted, not screwed on. SOL with your first idea.


Honestly, the best thing is to cut out the drive bay a bit to allow for the 24 pin power connector. Shouldn't be too difficult and won't effect the function of the drive bay. Throw up a photo so we can see how much space you are dealing with.

Another idea is (if you have enough space) is to buy a 24 pin extender and mod the connector to make it as thin as possible and route the wires to the side as best as you can. But I doubt you have any room to even have the connector connected in with the lip of the drive cage being so close.



curious, best deal on a 500w min PSU, that will fit with my rig. only one caveat, it needs to be for sale on amazon.

Why does it need to only be from Amazon? The only thing that's remotely an OK price is the Rosewill 630w green 80+ PSU for $50 shipped. Pretty much everything on Amazon went back up to normal prices. Maybe see what sales will happen next week or two if you can wait.
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#2853 Trace17

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:18 PM

Why does it need to only be from Amazon? The only thing that's remotely an OK price is the Rosewill 630w green 80+ PSU for $50 shipped. Pretty much everything on Amazon went back up to normal prices. Maybe see what sales will happen next week or two if you can wait.


How is that Rosewill? I never noticed it until now. It's also $50 at newegg with promo code. Before I saw that I was looking at this XFX 550w, but it's $5 more (before rebate).

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817207013

Or should I spring the extra dough for a Corsair 750w? I'll be using an i5-3570k and a 660ti gpu.

#2854 JBaz

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

How is that Rosewill? I never noticed it until now. It's also $50 at newegg with promo code. Before I saw that I was looking at this XFX 550w, but it's $5 more (before rebate).

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817207013

Or should I spring the extra dough for a Corsair 750w? I'll be using an i5-3570k and a 660ti gpu.

Honestly, I had bad experiences with Rosewill PSU's resulting in multiple failures before 6 months of normal use on low loads. After that, its hard to recommend them, even for "cheap" budget boxes. But it's been a few years and their reliability has gotten better. It's still hard to recommend them over a ton of other brands with better track record or use better parts like Antec, SeaSonic, Corsair, Etc... that can be had for the same price.

I was only giving chibilaharl a link to what he wanted from Amazon only compared to all of the other expensive choices right now.


For you, I'd still recommend going for that Corsair CX750 for $65 AR @ newegg. Its definitely a good deal, specially considering its usually $90-100 normal price and can easily handle the hot box torture tests of 50C and still be 80% efficient. I would highly doubt the cheapo Rosewill could do that at full load. Overkill for your needs? yeah, but when 500-600w quality PSU's are running about $50-60 right now, the extra $15 gives you a lot more value.
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#2855 chibilaharl

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:21 PM

@jbaz, i did some game flipping which resulted in 160$ of amazon gift cards, that is why i needs to be amazon.

#2856 icedrake523

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:41 PM

Anyone have recommendations for a UPS? I had a power flicker yesterday and since I spent quite a bit on my PC, I'd like to prevent it being damaged from one in the future. I don't need something heavy duty.

#2857 jab1235

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:00 PM

This may or may not be the right thread but I didn't want to get yelled at for making a thread about it.

Anyway, my when I got back to my PC yesterday it was turned off (I always leave it on) and it would not turn on. I'm assuming the power supply died out since it is getting pretty old (about 4 years). If it matters I was using a Fatal1ty 550w.

I'm thinking about building a PC when I can afford it, which will not be for a while (probably in the 8-12 month range). So I was wondering should I just buy a cheap generic power supply, buy another 550w or should I just invest and buy a powerful 700+w that I could use if I decided to build a PC soon?

Also at this point I'm running on pretty old hardware (again about 4 years old). The only thing I have upgraded in there is my video card which is now getting pretty old (ATI Radeon HD 5700, not sure whether 5750 or 5770). Is it time to just start over or should I just upgrade individual parts?

Any advice helps, I'm pretty much clueless right now and I'd rather get my pc back up and running sooner then later.

#2858 JBaz

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

@jbaz, i did some game flipping which resulted in 160$ of amazon gift cards, that is why i needs to be amazon.

Just buy your PSU on sale on whatever site. Amazon offers a lot of other stuff than just electronics. For example, I buy dry food and games all the time. Its foolish to waste 1/3 of your gift cards for a crappy PSU when you could find a better one for a cheaper price on newegg.


Anyone have recommendations for a UPS? I had a power flicker yesterday and since I spent quite a bit on my PC, I'd like to prevent it being damaged from one in the future. I don't need something heavy duty.

Don't need a UPS to protect a PC from over voltage damage, just get a proper power stripe with surge protection/suppression; higher the Joules, the better. I use an assortment of APC surge protectors for years with no issues; including a lightning strike that hit within 5ft of my house that still jumped the circuit on lesser quality surge protectors. You can find them sometimes on sale for like $5-10 on newegg, tigerdirect and other places.

If you want UPS, be prepared to dish out a lot of money; backup battery and inverter are pricey. Expect anything from $60+ for a simple 250 watt UPS system. Again, APC is a widely recommended here.

I use an older commercial grade APC 1200w UPS in a 2U chassis that I picked up for $50 without batteries from a local auction/liquidation. Batteries cost about $100 to replace with shipping from a refurbish place online, but the unit new would have ran me about $1100. You can try you luck on ebay, but a lot of vendors charge a lot for shipping, even with out batteries.


This may or may not be the right thread but I didn't want to get yelled at for making a thread about it.

Anyway, my when I got back to my PC yesterday it was turned off (I always leave it on) and it would not turn on. I'm assuming the power supply died out since it is getting pretty old (about 4 years). If it matters I was using a Fatal1ty 550w.

I'm thinking about building a PC when I can afford it, which will not be for a while (probably in the 8-12 month range). So I was wondering should I just buy a cheap generic power supply, buy another 550w or should I just invest and buy a powerful 700+w that I could use if I decided to build a PC soon?

Also at this point I'm running on pretty old hardware (again about 4 years old). The only thing I have upgraded in there is my video card which is now getting pretty old (ATI Radeon HD 5700, not sure whether 5750 or 5770). Is it time to just start over or should I just upgrade individual parts?

Any advice helps, I'm pretty much clueless right now and I'd rather get my pc back up and running sooner then later.

I would trouble shoot first, before jumping the gun and start replacing parts.

Do you have access to another PSU to see if yours actually did die? A PC not turning on can easily be any number of issues wrong with the PC. Bad motherboard, some power connector became loose or even as simple as the power connector to the PSU was completely crap and died (oxidation, couldn't support proper voltage or wattage load). Also, a PSU being only 4 years old doesn't mean its too old to not work. I still got some 1980's IBM AT PSU's that work flawlessly.

And a 5750 is still faster than most people's graphics card.
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#2859 jab1235

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:02 AM

Just buy your PSU on sale on whatever site. Amazon offers a lot of other stuff than just electronics. For example, I buy dry food and games all the time. Its foolish to waste 1/3 of your gift cards for a crappy PSU when you could find a better one for a cheaper price on newegg.



Don't need a UPS to protect a PC from over voltage damage, just get a proper power stripe with surge protection/suppression; higher the Joules, the better. I use an assortment of APC surge protectors for years with no issues; including a lightning strike that hit within 5ft of my house that still jumped the circuit on lesser quality surge protectors. You can find them sometimes on sale for like $5-10 on newegg, tigerdirect and other places.

If you want UPS, be prepared to dish out a lot of money; backup battery and inverter are pricey. Expect anything from $60+ for a simple 250 watt UPS system. Again, APC is a widely recommended here.

I use an older commercial grade APC 1200w UPS in a 2U chassis that I picked up for $50 without batteries from a local auction/liquidation. Batteries cost about $100 to replace with shipping from a refurbish place online, but the unit new would have ran me about $1100. You can try you luck on ebay, but a lot of vendors charge a lot for shipping, even with out batteries.



I would trouble shoot first, before jumping the gun and start replacing parts.

Do you have access to another PSU to see if yours actually did die? A PC not turning on can easily be any number of issues wrong with the PC. Bad motherboard, some power connector became loose or even as simple as the power connector to the PSU was completely crap and died (oxidation, couldn't support proper voltage or wattage load). Also, a PSU being only 4 years old doesn't mean its too old to not work. I still got some 1980's IBM AT PSU's that work flawlessly.

And a 5750 is still faster than most people's graphics card.

I do not have another PSU to test this with unfortunatly (No one in my household has a PC, just a laptop). I may be able to find use a PSU from an old 2000's PC if that would help? I checked inside and none of the plugs came loose but that doesn't mean they didn't die. Unfortunately I don't have any other cords to test this out with (it is modular so I guess checking the cords would be possible). I also used two different hard cables to plug the psu into the wall and neither worked so I know that's not the issue.

Also I know it being 4 years old doesn't mean its not too old to work haha, just me asking if it's time to replace a 4 year old computer. I've been having issues running games at my current setup and even games that I assume I would be able to run at at least high I've had to turn down (Metro 2033 and Deus Ex Human Revolution being an example). I know those game are newer but I've been having framerate issues if I tried to pump them up higher then medium settings. This may be me not knowing what these options means. So is it time for me to plunge into a new computer all together (I wouldn't start building probably for another few months).

Also, I'm considering getting a nice air of headphones to use for gaming. I heard getting a nongaming set of headphones would be better then a gaming branded headset. However, when I try and use regular ear buds in any port besides the one in the back I get a lot of interference. Would I have issues if I used a amplifier and higher end headphones through the back port, or through USB? I'd rather know this know before I make the plunge and realize I can't use them :/

Sorry for unloading all my issues on here but I'm an idiot when it comes to the actual hardware of computers and I don't really know where else to ask this stuff haha.

#2860 JBaz

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:46 AM

It depends on if the 2000 PSU is a 20 or 24 pin and if its not a Dell. Regardless, you can easily get an adapter to turn a 20 into a 24 or vice versa. As long as it provides enough power to the pc on boot.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the PSU went, those OCZ 550 Fatality's (as much as all Fatality branded items are) were junk even though OCZ is a pretty decent brand for PSU. It was one of their few models that they cheap'd out because they had to pay the geek for the use of his name and went with subpar components.

As far as the pc upgrade/new build question. Depends on what pc specs you have now. You could easily just add in a new, more powerful gpu to get cracking. Those 5750's won't really provide the amount of power that modern games will need for high or better settings. Even on medium, I'm surprised the 5750 would run metro 2033. Its just one of the few games that really stress a gpu.

Headphones... that's another whole topic. My advice that comes from my clan... Don't get USB. As far as gaming goes, most of my friends use ROCCAT Kave 5.1 surround headset. It's not the best, but for the price range, its the best value. It doesn't go heavy on bass like most gaming headphones do, but the mic has some connectivity issues and its not super nice like a proper audiophile headphones, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better 6 driver gaming headphone/set for about $100. Everyone of my friends who has this has been infinitely harder to sneak up behind and knife in game because of the surround sound ability. Probably my next purchase on amazon.
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#2861 chibilaharl

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:53 AM

@Jbaz, ok my situation changed a bit, was able to convert some gc to cash, so where is the best PSU for my rig. I plan to eventually OC up a bit.

Edited by chibilaharl, 10 December 2012 - 05:29 AM.


#2862 JBaz

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:24 AM

Just grab the Corsair CX750 builder series 80+ bronze for $65 AR @ newegg. Otherwise, wait around for a sale on a better quality 650w unit around the sub $50 price point. Should be easy to find once Christmas sales start hitting.

#2863 joshb123

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

So I have been tasked with building a pc for my brother as a Christmas present, my requirements are it needs to be under $600 and it needs to be good enough to stream league of legends. here is what I am thinking so far

Hard Drive-SanDisk Extreme SDSSDX-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $89 (new egg)

Video card-EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti Free Performance Boost Video Card - 1GB $180 (tiger)

Processor-AMD A10-Series AD580KWOHJBOX Quad-Core A10-5800K Black Edition APU - 4MB L2 Cache, 3.8GHz $120 (Tiger)

Case-Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower Case $40 (tiger)

PSU-Thermaltake W0382RU Modular Power Supply - 750 Watt $89 (tiger)

memory-Kingston HyperX Red KHX16C9B1RK2/8X 8GB Memory Module Kit - 1600MHz, $35 (tiger)

OS-Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32BIT Operating System Software $99

As for the mobo I already have this thanks to sick deals.
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ Motherboard - ATX, Socket AM3+, AMD 970 Chipset, AMD FX, 2133MHz DDR3

I would appreciate your input thanks in advance.

#2864 JBaz

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:41 PM

So I have been tasked with building a pc for my brother as a Christmas present, my requirements are it needs to be under $600 and it needs to be good enough to stream league of legends. here is what I am thinking so far

Hard Drive-SanDisk Extreme SDSSDX-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $89 (new egg)

Video card-EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti Free Performance Boost Video Card - 1GB $180 (tiger)

Processor-AMD A10-Series AD580KWOHJBOX Quad-Core A10-5800K Black Edition APU - 4MB L2 Cache, 3.8GHz $120 (Tiger)

Case-Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower Case $40 (tiger)

PSU-Thermaltake W0382RU Modular Power Supply - 750 Watt $89 (tiger)

memory-Kingston HyperX Red KHX16C9B1RK2/8X 8GB Memory Module Kit - 1600MHz, $35 (tiger)

OS-Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32BIT Operating System Software $99

As for the mobo I already have this thanks to sick deals.
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ Motherboard - ATX, Socket AM3+, AMD 970 Chipset, AMD FX, 2133MHz DDR3

I would appreciate your input thanks in advance.

First of all, your math is no good. What you have is already $652; over budget. Not only that but you have made a few mistakes in part selection.

1. Can't fit an FM2 cpu into an AM3+ socket.

2. Waste of money to buy the new A-10 APU (CPU + GPU) when you budget in a dedicated graphics card. It uses a 7660 gpu, which is about the same as a 6670 card. Peanuts compared to a GTX 560 ti, but it can hold its own compared to $60-80 cards it was meant to replace.

3. Don't bother with the GTX 560 ti unless its $40+ cheaper.

4. Don't need to spend $$$ on a 750w PSU for a budget single GPU rig like this. A proper 400w would be more than enough these days.

5. You want 64 bit OS, not 32. You'd just waste 4GB of your 8GB allotment of ram if you did.

6. Get a normal mechanical HDD. SSD's shouldn't find their way into a budget rig like this unless your brother has some spare HDD or doesn't mind the idea of only having 2-3 games installed at any given point in time. For a new build, I'll assume you are starting from scratch with no parts scraping.


Here's an idea to start looking around for.

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($19.99 @ CompUSA)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.99 @ Newegg, 20% off XFXP20)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $586.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-10 12:16 EST-0500)

What you get is a pretty decent quad core that has way more overclock potential than the A series FMx cores to pair with your AM3+ motherboard. You could throw in an FX chip, but honestly, they suck and the similar priced FX 4x00 cpu's are about the same price of $90 that are actually slower, produce more heat and really will give you buyer's remorse. Unless you find them for uber cheap, best stick to the tried and true x4 black edition's. I even budgeted for the CM 212+ cpu cooler so you'll have OC abilities in a budget box.

Stuck the same memory sticks that you had from tiger direct; decent price of $20 even though its 1.65v modules. Nothing to worry about. Cheap is cheap and its still 8GB of ram.

I replaced the SSD with a 2TB 7200 HDD. Its still plenty fast for the average user and it gives your brother loads more space to stash games and porn on... I mean family photos and work documents... :lol: Unless you already have a donor HDD to throw into the box from another system. 120GB SSD is hard to duke out with these days; not only that, but you can find better and faster SSD's for cheaper than $90. Samsung 830/840 120GB were going for $70-80 just last week.

While the 560 ti is a great video card, it's also a generation behind the latest and hard to place it's value with the newer kids on the block. From Nvidia, you have the cheap GTX 650 ti ($110 @ the cheapest) and the GTX 660 ($180 @ the cheapest). On AMD side, you have lots more options such as the 6870 ($120 @ cheapest) or the 7850 ($150 @ cheapest). I threw in the AMD 7850 because its $170 right now, its faster than the GTX 560 ti and it has 2GB instead of 1GB of VRAM. Its plenty fast for a budget box like this.

Cases is a whole other talking point. If you care to gander, I made a huge post about 4 pages before about Budget cases from $40-130 to get a sense of what is out on the product landscape that's not completely and utter shit box. The NZXT source case are nice quality for the price and you can find them on sale constantly for $40 shipped. Not only that, but the CM HAF 912 is always around the same price point almost bi-monthly that's a super budget gaming case with lots of air flow. Pick and choose what you want. Just don't settle for a crappy case when you could have gotten a decent case for the same price. The problem is not knowing what is out there and at what price points to accurately gauge the value of any item.

Power Supply? That's another huge talking point. Right now, you missed a lot of sales from a week or two ago that was meant for thanksgiving holidays. We are in limbo till Christmas sales pick up in a week or two again and sadly there's barely any PSU sales that's worth mentioning, besides the Corsair CX750 builder series for $65. You really don't need much power here, you are talking about maybe 300-330w of power at full CPU/GPU load.

I picked the XFX 550w 80+ bronze since its a good brand and a great unit. I normally don't look at XFX PSU mainly because they rarely go on sale and that their MSRP is crazy high for being low wattage and the fact that you can snag better quality units for the same or cheaper price. For $46, its not too bad if you need to buy now, but you could easily get away with a Corsair CX430 v2 power supply that tends to go under $20 all the time (was $17 AR two weeks ago). If you don't plan on overclocking and/or adding in a 2nd graphics card, then you really don't need a beefy 750w power supply that you picked. If you can wait, I'd say wait for better deals. SeaSonic G series 550w gold rated psu was $55 during thanksgiving weekend.

Finally, add the price of a 64 bit OS and a cheapo DVD burner and your set.
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#2865 Prota

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:28 PM

Honestly, the best thing is to cut out the drive bay a bit to allow for the 24 pin power connector. Shouldn't be too difficult and won't effect the function of the drive bay. Throw up a photo so we can see how much space you are dealing with.

Another idea is (if you have enough space) is to buy a 24 pin extender and mod the connector to make it as thin as possible and route the wires to the side as best as you can. But I doubt you have any room to even have the connector connected in with the lip of the drive cage being so close.



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This is the amount of space I have for the power connector. I don't think I have any other choice but to cut out some of the drive bay. If that's the case, what tool(s) would you recommend for the job? I have today and tomorrow off of work, so I'd like to take advantage of the time.

#2866 JBaz

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

Probably the best idea is just to use a simple dremel with a metal cutting disk. Nice, clean knockout cut. Just use a marker to figure out how much you need to cut out. And just stating the obvious... take the motherboard out before you start cutting... :p

#2867 Prota

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:58 PM

Probably the best idea is just to use a simple dremel with a metal cutting disk. Nice, clean knockout cut. Just use a marker to figure out how much you need to cut out. And just stating the obvious... take the motherboard out before you start cutting... :p


Yeah, can't very well leave that in there. ^__^ Also, dremels don't seem to be very cheap... TT_TT

#2868 joshb123

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

First of all, your math is no good. What you have is already $652; over budget. Not only that but you have made a few mistakes in part selection.

1. Can't fit an FM2 cpu into an AM3+ socket.

2. Waste of money to buy the new A-10 APU (CPU + GPU) when you budget in a dedicated graphics card. It uses a 7660 gpu, which is about the same as a 6670 card. Peanuts compared to a GTX 560 ti, but it can hold its own compared to $60-80 cards it was meant to replace.

3. Don't bother with the GTX 560 ti unless its $40+ cheaper.

4. Don't need to spend $$$ on a 750w PSU for a budget single GPU rig like this. A proper 400w would be more than enough these days.

5. You want 64 bit OS, not 32. You'd just waste 4GB of your 8GB allotment of ram if you did.

6. Get a normal mechanical HDD. SSD's shouldn't find their way into a budget rig like this unless your brother has some spare HDD or doesn't mind the idea of only having 2-3 games installed at any given point in time. For a new build, I'll assume you are starting from scratch with no parts scraping.

Here's an idea to start looking around for.

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($23.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($19.99 @ CompUSA)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($169.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.99 @ Newegg, 20% off XFXP20)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $586.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-10 12:16 EST-0500)

What you get is a pretty decent quad core that has way more overclock potential than the A series FMx cores to pair with your AM3+ motherboard. You could throw in an FX chip, but honestly, they suck and the similar priced FX 4x00 cpu's are about the same price of $90 that are actually slower, produce more heat and really will give you buyer's remorse. Unless you find them for uber cheap, best stick to the tried and true x4 black edition's. I even budgeted for the CM 212+ cpu cooler so you'll have OC abilities in a budget box.

Stuck the same memory sticks that you had from tiger direct; decent price of $20 even though its 1.65v modules. Nothing to worry about. Cheap is cheap and its still 8GB of ram.

I replaced the SSD with a 2TB 7200 HDD. Its still plenty fast for the average user and it gives your brother loads more space to stash games and porn on... I mean family photos and work documents... :lol: Unless you already have a donor HDD to throw into the box from another system. 120GB SSD is hard to duke out with these days; not only that, but you can find better and faster SSD's for cheaper than $90. Samsung 830/840 120GB were going for $70-80 just last week.

While the 560 ti is a great video card, it's also a generation behind the latest and hard to place it's value with the newer kids on the block. From Nvidia, you have the cheap GTX 650 ti ($110 @ the cheapest) and the GTX 660 ($180 @ the cheapest). On AMD side, you have lots more options such as the 6870 ($120 @ cheapest) or the 7850 ($150 @ cheapest). I threw in the AMD 7850 because its $170 right now, its faster than the GTX 560 ti and it has 2GB instead of 1GB of VRAM. Its plenty fast for a budget box like this.

Cases is a whole other talking point. If you care to gander, I made a huge post about 4 pages before about Budget cases from $40-130 to get a sense of what is out on the product landscape that's not completely and utter shit box. The NZXT source case are nice quality for the price and you can find them on sale constantly for $40 shipped. Not only that, but the CM HAF 912 is always around the same price point almost bi-monthly that's a super budget gaming case with lots of air flow. Pick and choose what you want. Just don't settle for a crappy case when you could have gotten a decent case for the same price. The problem is not knowing what is out there and at what price points to accurately gauge the value of any item.

Power Supply? That's another huge talking point. Right now, you missed a lot of sales from a week or two ago that was meant for thanksgiving holidays. We are in limbo till Christmas sales pick up in a week or two again and sadly there's barely any PSU sales that's worth mentioning, besides the Corsair CX750 builder series for $65. You really don't need much power here, you are talking about maybe 300-330w of power at full CPU/GPU load.

I picked the XFX 550w 80+ bronze since its a good brand and a great unit. I normally don't look at XFX PSU mainly because they rarely go on sale and that their MSRP is crazy high for being low wattage and the fact that you can snag better quality units for the same or cheaper price. For $46, its not too bad if you need to buy now, but you could easily get away with a Corsair CX430 v2 power supply that tends to go under $20 all the time (was $17 AR two weeks ago). If you don't plan on overclocking and/or adding in a 2nd graphics card, then you really don't need a beefy 750w power supply that you picked. If you can wait, I'd say wait for better deals. SeaSonic G series 550w gold rated psu was $55 during thanksgiving weekend.

Finally, add the price of a 64 bit OS and a cheapo DVD burner and your set.

Wow that is a lot to take in thanks, Well I should start with that I did not include the $75 of rebates in my price and that I realized as soon as I posted that the apu is junk and did not fit the am3. I was going to donate my old 500 gb hard drive and disc drive so he could have his os and some games on the ssd and still have space for whatever.As for power supply I just bought him a new 550w for his old computer do you think that would work? if so that frees up a little money. I was Thinking a better cpu and a worse gpu. As for the case I really like the haf 912 you linked me.

Gpu I was thinking of Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition
and cpu FX-8150 Processor
Also how important is a cpu cooler?
Thanks again

#2869 Prota

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

Would this be a decent option for a dremel?

http://www.homedepot...51#.UMZDRHlgJm4

I'm thinking of heading over there in the morning, but I don't want to miss out if there are better options out there. Looking at the picture, I believe it comes with a metal cutting disk.

Edited by Prota, 10 December 2012 - 09:43 PM.


#2870 Trace17

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:48 PM

For those that use an SSD as a boot drive, what size do you reccommend? Right now the hard drive and case are my last two puzzle pieces. I want to buy an ssd for the OS and then take the case off my WD 2Tb external and throw that in there for storage of music, games, pictures, etc.

I'm looking specifically at maybe this Kingston 128 at $99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820239374

Samsung 830 128gb at $99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820147188


Or the Crucial M4 256, which is $159 after promo code.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148443

Leaning a bit towards the 256gb but not sure yet.

#2871 JBaz

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:28 AM

Wow that is a lot to take in thanks, Well I should start with that I did not include the $75 of rebates in my price and that I realized as soon as I posted that the apu is junk and did not fit the am3. I was going to donate my old 500 gb hard drive and disc drive so he could have his os and some games on the ssd and still have space for whatever.As for power supply I just bought him a new 550w for his old computer do you think that would work? if so that frees up a little money. I was Thinking a better cpu and a worse gpu. As for the case I really like the haf 912 you linked me.

Gpu I was thinking of Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition
and cpu FX-8150 Processor
Also how important is a cpu cooler?
Thanks again

Your brother would much more appreciate a far more powerful GPU than some limited space SSD that would barely do anything for the average user. Sure, your OS and maps may load 3-4x faster, but it will not help game better. In this price point, SSD is a waste of money and a huge luxury item. I still wouldn't really recommend it in a $1000 budget system. And my steam folder has bloated to about 630GB... lol

I'm going to say this as politely as possible... FCUK FX! lol

Its such a terrible product and the biggest PC tech fail for the last decade. If you want to mainly game, stick with the X4 BE chips, they are still faster for gaming per clock than the best FX chips costing 2-3x more despite being a little over 3 years old. Specially when you can grab the cheap X4 955 or 965 BE and overclock them to 4.0Ghz with ease; easily beats the FX 8150 without it eating 430 watts like what the FX does when its overclocked with not much more performance.

I'm going to quote myself like I've done countless times on other PC related forums:

OC FX chips is exactly like putting a fart can on a honda... going to make a lot of noise, use more gas, but add nothing in acceleration.


As far as the 7770, its a decent budget entry level gpu now that its resides closer to the $100 price point instead of the $160 MSRP on launch. But you'd get more money's worth if you picked up the older 6870 when it goes on sale for $120-140 or the GTX 650 ti for $110 in this price range. I'd still recommend ditching the SSD and going to the next tier in the $180 range.

Would this be a decent option for a dremel?

http://www.homedepot...51#.UMZDRHlgJm4

I'm thinking of heading over there in the morning, but I don't want to miss out if there are better options out there. Looking at the picture, I believe it comes with a metal cutting disk.

Yeah, that's pretty much what you want. If you have a Northern Tool or Harbor Freight nearby, they sell generic versions of the Dremel for like 20-30, but you get what you pay for...

You didn't hear this from me. Another option you could do is buy the dremel from homedepot, get a spare set of metal cutting disks then return the dremel the next day, but only use the cutting disks. Pay in cash because they'll track your order if you used a credit or debit card.

For those that use an SSD as a boot drive, what size do you reccommend? Right now the hard drive and case are my last two puzzle pieces. I want to buy an ssd for the OS and then take the case off my WD 2Tb external and throw that in there for storage of music, games, pictures, etc.

I'm looking specifically at maybe this Kingston 128 at $99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820239374

Samsung 830 128gb at $99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820147188


Or the Crucial M4 256, which is $159 after promo code.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148443

Leaning a bit towards the 256gb but not sure yet.

Look at the Samsung, but you can find them on sale for $30 cheaper for the 128GB 830 size. The Samsung 840 256 is on sale right now for $150 @ Tigerdirect (even had free Farcry 3, but its OOS) that would be a better deal than the older M4. The crucial is still a good, reliable SSD, but its slow compared to the Samsung or anything that came out in the last 6-12 months at this price point.

The only thing that sucks about the 840 is that it's slower than the 830 in some tests, mostly regarding with random read/write with incompressible files, but in most people's system, that's such a synthetic benchmark that you wouldn't really see it happen in real world situations, specially in home settings.


Another option is to grab two 128GB sized SSD's and put them in RAID 0 (strip). Its still a bit cheaper per GB doing this and you will get a hefty performance boost, easily maxing out your SATA III bandwidth. It's a little more work to get it setup as your MBR, but it really only adds like 2 more steps now days. Specially now that you can enable TRIM command functions with RAID-0 on a 7 series Intel chipset, its a pretty viable option with no worries.
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#2872 jk555

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:46 AM


Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($19.99 @ CompUSA)
Stuck the same memory sticks that you had from tiger direct; decent price of $20 even though its 1.65v modules. Nothing to worry about. Cheap is cheap and its still 8GB of ram.


Looks like they've gone back up to $35. Is there much of a difference between the various 8GB DDR3-1600 CL9 kits for ~$40? I noticed some of them have 9-9-9 and others have 9-9-9-24 listed for latency. Is there any difference?

#2873 JBaz

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:05 AM

Looks like they've gone back up to $35. Is there much of a difference between the various 8GB DDR3-1600 CL9 kits for ~$40? I noticed some of them have 9-9-9 and others have 9-9-9-24 listed for latency. Is there any difference?

All you need to know about memory timings. The 4th number is sometimes omitted, but in most generic 1600 cas 9 sets, is probably a 24 or 28. Its only important if you do some sort of heavy data processing that deletes old temp files in RAM for new temp files, like massive database, content creation, or any other software paging.

If you are sticking with 1600 speeds, just find any generic cas 9 sets. 1.5v is preferred since that's the standard voltage. Older AMD chipsets/cpu's were a little skiddish in accepting non QAL 1.6v+ DDR3 modules, but its a thing of the past in most modern chipsets and cpu support (memory controller are now on cpu). Pick whatever is the cheapest set you can find. It doesn't matter, they are all made in the same factories, different vendors.
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#2874 Prota

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:21 AM

Okay everyone, I think I'm almost there. I finally finished building my PC, but it wouldn't be any fun if everything worked the first time I powered it on. When I started up the computer, I didn't get a display. I have it connected to my TV via HDMI. I'm not sure if it won't display though HDMI until I mess with the BIOS, but I won't know until I get a VGA cable. Also, the power button started the PC, but the LED didn't light up, and when I tried to power down the computer with the same button, nothing happened. All the fans were working properly, including the graphics card's fan. I didn't hear any beeping when I booted it up. If anyone has any ideas as to what the problem may be, I'm all ears. I'll try double checking all my connections tomorrow just in case.

#2875 JBaz

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:10 AM

If you are not hearing the one beep after POST to give you the OK, then something is not letting the POST finish. You also have an LED message readout for added codes to diagnostic. Is that showing anything?

#2876 Prota

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:14 PM

The readout just says C, it doesn't have another number or letter next to it. The manual says C0-CF has to do with OEM BDS intialization codes, but again, not sure if that counts since C has no accompanying digit/letter. My video card is the XFX Radeon 6870 if that helps. Both the power button on the tower and on the board will power up the system, but not turn it off. The reset button does nothing as well, but clear cmos is working. I also noticed that the yellow light (for when the memory slot is functional) is on when I have the computer plugged in, but turns off when I try to power it up.

Also, was I wrong in the assumption that it I would be able to use my tv as a monitor from the start, or do I need to buy a vga cable first before being able to set it that way? For all I know, it may actually be booting and I might not be able to see a thing. However, as you mentioned before, since I didn't hear the beep that may not be the case.

#2877 Prota

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

Fixed the LED problem, but the rest are still present. I did some research and I believe the C code means that the CPU isn't initializing properly. I may have to double-check the CPU and make sure it's seated properly. Since I already have the Hyper 212 Plus installed, should I worry about getting to the CPU? Since the thermal pasted has dried and all, would it be difficult to force it off? I won't have time to do this today, have to head to work, but I welcome as much help as possible before I get back to dealing with the pc.

Edited by Prota, 12 December 2012 - 09:00 PM.


#2878 JBaz

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:14 PM

It shouldn't matter if you are using hdmi, dvi or display port; the system will recognize what monitor is hooked up automatically on boot. It could be an issue with the cpu, maybe something isn't flush or something blocking a pin or two. Open it up and see if you see any debris in there. Might even have a faulty cpu, but that's rare as hell. More than likely, you could have a bent pin on the LGA socket so I'd check that over with a magnifying glass.

As for thermal paste, it would take something around 100-200+ hours at full load to "bake" or set the thermal paste to harden/dry. It shouldn't be hard to pop it off right now, but just pull away from a corner to reduce overall stress when taking the cpu cooler off. It's not hard to "force" it off and the cpu rips out of the socket and do major damage. I've seen it happen in person, drop my mouth in amazement with the person going "is that good?"...

#2879 MSI Magus

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:43 AM

So I knew for the last two years I needed a new pc, I even asked for help here and almost pulled the trigger once or twice. Last night my 8 year old HD finally conked out, so I am taking that as a sign that it's time to get a new one.

Thing is I am not sure what I want. Traditionally I have spent $1,000-$1,300 and bought a rig from someplace like ecollegepc and then with upgrades stretched it 8 years. Now I am thinking both about building my own and also building something more economical.

The only musts I have is that it run at least Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2. Outside that there isn't anything I am dying to run. So, am I better off buying a cheaper machine and upgrading in a few years or is it smarter to just build the power machine now. Just trying to debate my options and see what economically makes the most sense.

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#2880 jk555

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:35 AM

What do you guys think of this build?

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sfQ0
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker....Q0/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker....fQ0/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Microcenter) *bundle
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Microcenter) $10 rebate
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($63.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $343.96
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-12 23:40 EST-0500)


I already have a XFX HD7850 and 8GB of RAM. Haven't decided on storage yet, but I don't think I can afford an SSD big enough for the games I want to keep installed. How does a Seagate Barracuda compare to a WD Caviar Black?