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Opinions/advice on some hardware for new rig needed.Follow

#1 Sep 08 2010 at 10:10 PM Rating: Good
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Let me start off by saying I have a few HDDs, two external HDDs, Monitor, DVD+/-R RW DL drive, keyboard, mouse, and speakers already... so I think all I need to actually buy hardware-wise is below. If you think I need to buy more fans or anything "extra" like that then let me know. All help/advice/opinions are appreciated.

The prices I list are in the range I want to spend... I REALLY don't want to (and can't) go all out on this build, but I do want to be able to sit on it for a few years... if you know what I mean.

If you see something that needs upgrading or is just plain wrong let me know.

Case and PSU combo $150: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.496243
PSU: Rosewill BRONZE series RBR750-M 750W Continuous@40°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,Active PFC "Compatible ...

Case: Rosewill CRUISER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Side Panel Window and Four Fans.

Comments: The case and the PSU is a combo deal, but I need some help figuring out if having that huge PSU fan blowing into the case (PSU mounts on bottom of case) even though there is a HUGE fan on the case's side... is a good thing. Also, with that many fans do I need to buy a PCI fan for the slot next to the GTX 480? Oh, and almost forgot... the case looks REALLY big but it doesn't really say if it can handle the size of the GTX 480... any clue?

RAM $90 or $96 : 4GB RAM, for now.

$90 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220435 (Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1333ELK)

$96 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220436 (Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1600ELK)

Video card $480 (before rebate) : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130552 (EVGA 015-P3-1480-AR GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card)


Now here is the tricky part... I really don't know about the CPU/Mobo combos so I am going to post several combos and I need your input on what you think and why... Also, take note that these are all AMDs... I tend to find it easier for me to look at AMDs because it is easy to see which CPUs are faster, BUT if you know of an Intel combo that is on par in speed and price... then by all means let me know please.

CPU/Mobo combos:

$295 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.500636

Mobo: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX


$225 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.500545

Mobo: ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

Comment: On the $225 combo mobo does it matter if it is a "Micro" ATX mobo for the GTX 480? I know the case I picked out can do either ATX or Micro ATX.


$250 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.500533

Mobo: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX


Comments on all three Mobo/CPU combos: I am kinda scared of the $225 Micro ATX mobo, and I am not sure what the differences are in the $250 and $295 combos are... but both of the more expensive ones seem to be capable of SLi (which I may never use, but who knows)... or at least they both have two PCI-e 2.0 slots... but they are both a pretty color of blue. ;)


Oh... one more thing... do either of you have an opinion on how the above setup might run FFXIV (Final Fantasy 14)...

FFXIV Recommended specs
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7 (2.66 GHz) or faster
RAM: 4GB (or higher)
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 with 768 MB VRAM or equivalent

It plays on my PC right now which scored like 3000 out of 7000/8000 on the FFXIV's benchmark, but I would like for it to play better...

My PC's specs right now are: Intel Core 2 CPU 6600@2.4GHz, 3GB out of 4GB of RAM showing (32-bit Win7), and GeForce 8800 GT (512MB).


In your opinion, and I won't hold you to it :p , will it be a great leap forward (and worth it) for me to upgrade?


Thanks for all of your help!
#2 Sep 08 2010 at 11:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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First off, Never by a rosewill case or power supply. Especially not for $150

For a case, get this one: Cooler Master CM 690 ($69)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
Or this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216
Cooler MAster CM 690 Version II

Power supply, this one: $99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371026

Much better warranty on the power supply, and I guarantee much higher quality. Rosewill makes crap, avoid them if at all possible.

The CM 690 will have plenty of airflow and good quality ball bearing fans. PSU fan exhausts air, doesn't bring any into the case, so having it on the bottom does two things. it improves the computers center of gravity so it is less likely to tip over, and it ensures that only cold air is passed through your power supply, increasing it's life. The CM-690 Version II has a few nice features like a graphics card support bracket, and the whole case is black powdercoat on the inside (even the backplates and screws)

Ram is fine. I tend to prefer Corsair, but Patriot is also a decent company. The faster PC3 12800 latancy ram would be worth the extra $6

Nice video card, that will work well.

Motherboards, all three you have listed will do the job. the ASUS M4A89GTD has USB 3.0 ports, which means it will support the upcoming USB 3.0 hard drives and external devices. There are very few of those now, but 2, 3 years from now there might be alot more of them. It also has a sata 6GB/sec controller, which means that it supports the fastest theoretically available solid state hard drives. That is only a consideration if you plan on ever putting in a fast solid state drive. The 890 GX chipset on that one also might be worth the money. The other two boards are basically the same, one is the full size version, one is the micro ATX tiny version. that one probably has fewer ram slots.

The AMD processor is slightly slower than the Core i7 but it will run FFXIV just fine. If you want a core i7 build, expect to pay about $150 more for the CPU/Motherboard combo.

That computer you have specced out will be a massive leap over your Core 2 setup.
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#3 Sep 09 2010 at 9:19 PM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
The AMD processor is slightly slower than the Core i7 but it will run FFXIV just fine. If you want a core i7 build, expect to pay about $150 more for the CPU/Motherboard combo.


Is there an easy way to judge how fast/slow an AMD CPU compared to an Intel (or vice-versa) is? Because from what I remember (several years ago) about AMD and Intel CPUs was even the lower speed AMDs could keep up with higher speed Intel CPUs without OCing. It's been awhile and I have slept several times since 2005-2007, so I don't really remember exactly what year it was...

Let me show you what my other plan is... this would actually change what I bought for the PSU and case anyway, but the RAM would still be about the same if not the same...

If I was to get an i7 CPU and mobo... what type of i7 CPU and mobo should I be looking for in order to be "faster" than the AMD setup I have above without breaking the bank? (Newegg link if you can... if not then whatever "model" i7 should I be looking for)

Also, take note... instead of getting the GTX 480 above I might just go ahead and get the GTX 470... but here is the kicker with that... I have approx. $400 in in-store credit (like a gift card) with Gamestop which I can also use at their online site for Galaxy GeForce GTX470 GC ( http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=84135 ), the ONLY good thing about doing this is the fact that I can save $450 and I am then able to spend just a little more on an i7 CPU/mobo. Have you heard anything bad about Galaxy video cards? I know the warranty is vastly different between Galaxy and EVGA, and I am scared of buying a DOA card from Gamestop when I might not be able to even install it right away.

I can't spend $450 (the price of the GTX 480) more, but I want to be able to get a case, PSU, RAM, CPU, and mobo for around $600-$650.

Any links or info you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


Edited, Sep 9th 2010 10:38pm by PentUpAnger
#4 Sep 11 2010 at 12:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Galexy is a no name manufacturer of video cards that has been around for about 2 years. They tend to use substandard components, but some people have good luck with them. I'd go with (in this order: Evga, XfX, PNY, Asus, Leadtek, BFG) for video card manufacturers and avoid most everything else, but in this instance since you have the credit and might as well use it, their warranty support isn't horrible if it came to that.

For Core i7, you have two possible socket types. Socket 1366, the higher end has generally faster, more expensive chips and 6 Ram slots in three distinct channels, Socket 1156 has usually slightly lower end chips, and only 4 slots in 2 channels. I have a socket 1366 rig myself, and you do pay a premium for that extra ram channel.

For a socket 1366 Setup, I'd go with this board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131403
Asus ASUS P6TD Deluxe Socket 1366 - $234
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225
Intel Core i7-930 2.8 GHz processor Socket 1366 (Quad core with hyperthreading for 8 logical cores) $284

Now despite the lower Core clock speed, that processer is roughly about 20-25% faster than the AMD processor listed according to benchmarks, and has 4 additional virtual cores. Thats the low end Core i7 Socket 1366 processor at the moment. And the additional cores will help with newer games.

The socket 1156 chips run about $230, motherboards about $180. They are usually around 16-18% faster than the comperable AMD units at the moment, though AMD does have some new stuff coming out that bridges the gap somewhat. The main reason for the discrepancy at the moment is the new Intel chops are 32NM wafers, the AMD units are still 45NM. So less heat dissipation and more energy usage, which means they can't pack quite the same oompf into the same chip size.
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#5 Sep 11 2010 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
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OK, so I have done a little bit of research and have new pieces to show.

I am still not sure about the video card... sometimes I want a GTX 470 and other times I want a GTX 480... if price wasn't an option (no SLi though) would you personally buy a 470 and OC it, or would you buy a 480? Also, when you are looking at a 470 to OC should I be looking for one with two fans on the card like: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127513

...or should one fan be enough? If one fan is enough and I can OC would this card work: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130550

Also, regarding the 480... I have seen Zotac cards (one brand you didn't mention) that look to be OCed a little already, but if I wasn't interested in OCing the 480 right now is there any certain one you would recommend? Or should I just stick with an OCed 470 since there isn't much of a difference between an OCed 470 and a standard 480?
The 480 I had picked out, before seeing the OC 470 benchmarks: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130552

OK, now on to the meaty stuff...

Case $90 : COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119196

PSU $130 (before rebate) : CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009

Motherboard $220 : ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131359

CPU $300 : Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211

RAM 8GB $160 : G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231311

OK, I think I have everything down, but I have a few more questions...

Regarding the motherboard I linked and the one you linked ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131403 ) is it worth me paying the extra $15 to get the one you linked? ...and why?

Now a RAM question... I decided to give Win7 64-bit another chance (I didn't realize that the 64-bit OS could actually run 32-bit programs.... don't laugh at me =P ), so I upped my RAM from 4GB to 8GB and I was talking to a guy and he said that if I wasn't going to OC the CPU I only needed 1333 speed RAM... is this true? And is my RAM brand OK? If not I might have to go down to 6GB and get a better brand (Corsair, etc...). I also noted that the motherboard you linked actually went down to 1066 speed RAM, but I am trying to squeeze a little bit of more power out of my dollar bills.

I think my major questions are...

Video card opinion about 470 OC vs. 480, two fans on card, and Zotac brand. Some cards at Newegg doesn't show a Shader Clock speed and some do... do they all have about the same clock speed as long as I am comparing apples to apples?

What is the differences between the motherboard I linked this time and the one you linked, because $15 is not a lot and if your's is better I don't see a reason not to spend the extra cash.

Is my RAM OK? Brand? 1333 vs. 1660? CPU need to be OCed to go higher than 1333? 1333 is a good speed for me because of the price, but I want to make sure I am not buying a crappy brand.


Thanks for the help Kao. I am almost ready to do some "Add to cart"ing.



Edited, Sep 11th 2010 7:40pm by PentUpAnger
#6 Sep 11 2010 at 8:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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The main difference between the two motherboards is the one I linked has a slightle better onboard sound card and a much better onboard network card. Other than that, there isn't much difference between the two. The one I linked is also about 5 months newer design. There are even more expensive ones that also have the 6Gb/ sec controller and USB 3.0 that you could also consider.

Zotec is a crap noname brand, avoid them at all cost. MSI is actually a decent brand. Also avoid Saphire sparkle, HIS, and Palit.

If you are going to overclock high end video cards, you need to water cool. Otherwise the fan noise, regardles of which solution you pick will drive you insane in short order. FOr air cooling, the things you want to look at are the material the heat sync itself is made of (copper is better than aluminum at transferring heat), the size of the units, clearance issues, and the warranty. You may have this card for some time.

I currently run two EVGA GTX 280 SST's, so if I were going to upgrade, I'd go with a pair of 480's. But I'm also a bad influence when it comes to hardware personally as I tend to spend wayyyyy more on my computers than I should.

Regarding ram, Core i7 CPU's are different than all previous Intel CPU's, because the memory controller is actually onboard the CPU, and there effectivly is no clock limiter on ram speed that you can utilize as there was with Core 2 and all prior variants. Basically the faster the ram, the more speed you get out of your system, overclocked or no. With Core 2, you would have had to overclock to get an effective boost, and even then you would have been limited to the motherboard chipset speed to a certain extent. You also have a third ram channel in that board, so you can go to 12 GB. You will want to make sure that all three ram channels are used when you build your machine, so fill in ram channel a0, b0, and c0, then A1. So you will have 1 bank with both slots filled, and the other two banks with only one stick for now until you buy more ram later.

As far as ram brand goes, the chips for the most part on the ram sticks all come from a handful of factories in japan and china. Manufacturer matters in terms of warranty and manufacturing process, but it isn't as critical as it is for some other components. I've had extremely bad luck with OCZ ram, so they are on my "no buy" list, but other than that, I've had about the same luck with most of the other companies out there. We bought 200 OCZ DDR2 sticks at work for various builds, and we have had to RMA over 120 of them, sometimes multiple times. It was all one model of stick, and they did discontinue it, but the damage was done as far as I was concerned, even with their lifetime warranty. Corsair seems to put a bit more effort into their sticks and has an excellent RMA process. G-skill is decent as well, maybe a little longer turn around on replacement sticks though.

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#7 Sep 11 2010 at 11:27 PM Rating: Good
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Kao knows his stuff. Personally I've never had any problems out of PNY components. I've used their RAM and video cards, with much success. My only issue was a bad stick of RAM that I think a failing power supply killed. I have no further input, just throwing that out there for you.
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