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hey what'dya know, a comp question (was forum=10)Follow

#1 Jul 23 2010 at 7:21 AM Rating: Decent
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Here are the basic specs of a computer my buddy built me, I gave him 1000$.

PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7 930 processor (4x 2.80 GHz / 8 MB L3 Cache)
POWER DRIVE: Power Drive level 2 - Up to 20% Overclocking
PROCESSOR COOLING: Certified CPU fan and heat sink
MEMORY: 3 GB (1 GBx3) DDR3 - 1866 - Kingston HyperX
VIDEO CARD: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB - Single Card
MOTHERBOARD: (Crossfire / SLI) MSI X58M -- Intel X58 Chipset -- 8 ch HD Audio, GB Lan
S-ATA RAID, USB 2.0 3 PCI - E MB
POWER SUPPLY: 600 watt -- Power Supply -- SLI ready
HARD DRIVE: 1 TB Hard Drive - 16M cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0 GB/s - Single Drive
NETWORK CARD: Onboard Lan Network (GB or 10/100)



He built it online of course and its already on its way. Was wondering if this is something
That will be a pretty efficient machine or are there any problems that stand out?
Or if he tried to rip me off due to my lack of knowledge in the CPU field.

Of course a case and other small features come into play, but not really worth listing
#2 Jul 23 2010 at 8:14 AM Rating: Good
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1,108 posts
Seems rather expensive for what is effectively:

Great CPU
Stock(?) cooling system
Top end, overpriced and not enough, RAM
Mid-range, working its way to low range graphics card
Standard Motherboard that will be outdated in months with the release of USB3 and uptake of SATA3
Standard, if substandard PSU
And a fairly vanilla hard drive

Don't get me wrong, its a nice PC. Its not something Id pay £700 for though, that's for sure.

Where is he getting the components from?
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#3 Jul 23 2010 at 8:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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7,129 posts
Hard to say entirely without slightly more specific details.

Price-wise, I doubt he's ripping you off. The X58/socket 1366 platform is a bit pricier. The 930 CPU is about $290 usually, the motherboard is one of the cheapest for the platform, but it's still $170 or so. Video card is probably around $160, and figure around $100 for a 1GBx3 RAM kit. 1TB HDD, say, $90 or so...still, you're looking at a little over $800 before you factor in a case/PSU/copy of Windows (presumably) and shipping. $1k is probably about right. Kind of sounds like he ordered from a system integrator instead of just parts too.

That said, I think concessions were made, for better or worse, in order to squeeze the platform into your budget. As I mentioned, the X58 platform is a bit pricier - 'course, it's Intel's higher end desktop platform, with a more robust feature set...but your system as configured won't take advantage of that. If you're planning to continue to upgrade, then it's a solid base to start with. If you're looking more to use it basically as it comes, then you could definitely have gotten more gaming performance out of your money by going with a socket 1156 system, or AMD, and putting a couple hundred more into the GPU.

I would have tried to fit a 6GB RAM kit into your build at least - 3GB is probably fine, just a little on the low side, 6GB is overkill for a gaming machine, but the X58 platform uses triple channel, so it's 3, 6, or 12GB usually. In terms of video, you could consider a second 5770 down the line, possibly, though it may stretch things on the PSU front.
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#4 Jul 23 2010 at 12:00 PM Rating: Decent
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Thank you for all the information. I'm sure by the time FFXIV comes around I'll have some spare change for some upgrades. Would a 2nd 5770 be better than 1 better card? Would that mean I'd need a bigger PSU? And what would the price jump from a 3GB to a 6GB be and is it difficult to install for someone who hasn't done it before?
Thanks!
#5 Jul 23 2010 at 2:32 PM Rating: Good
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- RAM is very easy to install. Your motherboard has two sets of three RAM slots, which are color-coded. The 3GB kit you ordered/that will come in the system will be in every other slot. Pretty much all you need to do is open the clips on the side of the slots, and push the DIMMs into them until they click back up into place. Take you a couple minutes or so. Downside would be that if you ever wanted more than 6GB, you'd have to pull RAM out...but chances are you won't need any more than that for a while yet (for gaming anyway).

- A second 5770 would (in compatible games) put you at around the performance of a single HD5850 (better in some things, worse in others, etc). Caveats are the same for any multi-GPU setup: not all games do as well with SLI/Crossfire, and some may not work with it at all, power/heat tend to be greater than a single more powerful card, and so on. What it does do is give you the option: buy a second $160 card instead of a $300 5850. Usually it's preferred to go with a single, more powerful GPU unless multiple cards either a.) Net you performance greater than any single card on the market or b.) You get better performance for the money by doing it that way (which is pretty rare if you're buying both at the same time...getting a second card later is a different situation).

I think your PSU should be okay for Crossfire, as the 5770 is a (relatively) power-efficient GPU. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446-15.html has an i5 750 system with 2x5770s pulling around 324W under load - probably the same or lower than a single GTX470.

If the primary purpose is to play FFXIV, I would wait and see how the game does with Crossfire before committing to a second 5770. If I recall, the benchmark doesn't support multiple-GPU configurations at all.
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#6 Jul 23 2010 at 6:48 PM Rating: Good
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Ram is the easiest thing in the world to take out or put into a computer. Even easy to recognize, just look up a picture of ram, it's about 4-6 inches long, thin as a razor. There are little holding switches that you press down when taking them out. when you install it, you just press down hard enough on the ram(not overly hard) and the switches will engage themselves to lock it place.

Realistically, the only hard part of putting a computer together yourself, is the motherboard itself, usually because it requires soldering, and I myself have no experience doing that. Beyond that, installing Graphics cards, Modems, harddrives, Fans, Power Supplies, even processors, are all fairly simple, if at times a bit exasperating when you can't jimmy a part into place just right.

Edit: Lol, hit enter hours ago and it apparently never went through, now I see I've been beaten to the punch about how easy ram is to install.

Edited, Jul 23rd 2010 8:50pm by Spazdeathnight
#7 Jul 24 2010 at 9:12 AM Rating: Good
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7,129 posts
Quote:
Realistically, the only hard part of putting a computer together yourself, is the motherboard itself, usually because it requires soldering, and I myself have no experience doing that.


Unless we're taking a trip back to the late 70s and building a kit computer, that's not really going to be the case. Obviously, sure, at the factory a motherboard will have components soldered on...but so will any other PCB, such as your RAM, video card, parts of your hard drive...

If you're buying the parts n' putting things together, it's pretty much all just screws, clips n' clamps.
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#10 Aug 06 2010 at 5:41 PM Rating: Good
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That rig will play FFXIV, however...

You will want, and probably need, 4GB of RAM.

That CPU is WAY better than everything else in the system.

Your GPU is lacking compared to your CPU. I would have recommended a GTX 460 at least.

You got a Crossfire MoBo, but bought a PSU that likely isn't powerful enough to power a second GPU. Now if you wanted to add another 5770 you might have to upgrade your PSU as well as buying an additional GPU.

Edited, Aug 6th 2010 7:42pm by Enscheff
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