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Build Advice Building My Brother A Rig

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by m0o0oeh, 20 Feb 2010.

  1. m0o0oeh

    m0o0oeh Minimodder

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    Hiya guys,

    MY brother has tasked me with speccing him a rig. He mainly plays WoW, and as such he wants awesome gfx, and fast CPU, and RAM. Given his current system is something like an Athlon 64 x2 2GHz, 2 gig ram and a random ATI card, anything is gonna be a plus!

    So I specc'd up 2 systems, one AMD, one Intel. I just want your advice about my choices, and recommendations for a PSU, cause I have no idea how much these systems would need.

    Also, there may be some XFire/SLI action down the line if the system needs it.

    So, the AMD rig first:

    Processor: Phenom 2 X4 3.4GHz
    Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro v2
    Mobo: MSI NF980-G65
    RAM: 6Gb OCZ Ram (3x2Gb) 9-9-24
    Graphics - XFX 5770 HD
    HDD: WD 500 Gb Caviar Blue
    Case: Antec 1200

    Again, I have no idea what sort of PSU I'd need for these systems.

    Now for the Intel:

    Processor: Core i7 920 D0 2.66GHz
    Cooler: Titan Fenrir
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EX58- UD3R
    RAM: 6Gb Corsair i7 Speciific RAM (3x2Gb) 9-9-9-24
    Graphics: GTX260GL
    HDD: WD 500Gb Caviar Blue
    Case: Antec 1200

    Anything you think I should change/switch/upgrade, let me know.

    If you want to completely rejig my specs, the upper limit of the budget is a grand, but obviously he'd rather it below so he can spend it on Warhammer and his WoW habit.

    Thanks again guys,

    Joe
     
  2. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    Firstly, if you have the money, go Intel i5/i7 without question. Second, you don't need to go overboard with the PSU. I'm using a modular, Corsair 450w PSU and its powering a i7 920, 6GB RAM and 260 GTX happily. Also, swap the hdds for Samsung F3.
     
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  3. StudioRecorder

    StudioRecorder Mobo's need Fabo's for company!!!!!

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    i agree with ph4zed on going i7, and the samsung hard drive (or if you want western digital then go with a "caviar black" not blue drive.)

    as for the PSU go for one from Corsair, OCZ or Antec as they came out on top of the recent psu labs test.

    this is a good :

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/650W...rgy-efficient-quiet-and-cool-fully-compatible


    as for everything else good choices:thumb: (am building the same rig this week just with an asus mobo)

    also does he need a monitor, mouse and keyboard or is he carrying these over?
     
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  4. m0o0oeh

    m0o0oeh Minimodder

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    Thanks for your thoughts mate. I'll be honest with ya, I like to stick with WD, I've had nothing but trouble with Sammys and Maxgate or Seator whatever they call themselves nowadays... but my Western Dig's have kept on going - I dropped my MyBook off the top of the stairs by accident, and it still fired up, still played films over the network, no problem at all! So since then I've only recommended and used WD hard drives.

    But yes, my leaning was towards the i7, cause lets be honest, its damned good. Thanks for the heads up on the PSU front - his current one might be good enough to handle the new system.

    He had a 22" Viewsonic for Chrimbo, so that's all good, and he's getting a logitech k/b and mouse setup over the coming weeks as and when money comes in. That aspect is all good, I will also be re-using his optical drives, and his present HDD, the WD one is just for more storage.

    Thanks guys! +rep!

    Joe
     
  5. geoboy333

    geoboy333 Sometimes I say something bright...

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    to be honest you dont need an amazing machine if all he plays is WoW. said game is not very graphically demanding and you wont see much benfit from that more expensive hardware than the ones ive said below.

    AMD Athlon II X2 240
    MSI 770-G45
    power colour HD5770
    Corsair HX450
    Corsair Dominator 4GB 1600MHz (1.8v)
    Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
    Samsung 22x dvd-wr
    coolermaster elite 335

    i don't think you'll go wrong with that and if he plays anything different from WoW he wont be dissapointed with the performance either. Win win.
     
  6. geoboy333

    geoboy333 Sometimes I say something bright...

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    you can spend more money on a gaming machine but if all he plays is WoW its not worth it as its graphics are **** anyway. i can promise you, you don;t need an i7 to play WoW let alone the intel system you specced there.
     
  7. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    What?! This is bizarre. I would hardly describe WoW as 'graphically demanding' and if your choice is between the Phenom X2 (dirt cheap and cheerful dual core) and the i7 920 (top-of-the-line quad core), something's gone wrong here.

    1. Does your brother play a lot of very graphically demanding other games, and intend on buying more or bigger monitor(s)? Unless he does, he's not going to need SLi or X-Fire, one of the few reasons to specify 1366 over 1156 for household computing. He's only running 1600x1050 and there is no game I know of that cannot be totally max'd at that resolution by a single 'card. A single 5850 could destroy Crysis at that resolution, let alone Warcraft which can be played quite well on the average calculator. The graphics cards you've specified are not very well matched to their respective system's cost, and the 260 is now so old I wouldn't bother investing in one.
    2. Does he do a lot of workstation-style work? Rendering, HD video editing, that sort of processing? If not, he doesn't need the hyper-threading of the 920, one of the reasons to recommend it or the 860 over the 750.
    If he doesn't do either, he categorically does not need a 1366 system. On the information and intended usage you've supplied, it's complete overkill; the system would be idling it's entire life. Instead, I would consider the i3 530 (dual core) or the i5 750 (quad core) more appropriate. Both are more powerful than the Phenom X2, which is a really budget chipset/processor combination, and combined are almost cheaper than the i7 option. Personally, for future-proofing purposes and general system snappiness, I'd go with the quad core, but I stress he could almost certainly do fine on the dual i5 530 or Phenom X2, either of which I could also specify if you want; please, just ask.

    For the i5 750, you will want to take a look here.

    CPU: Intel Core i5 750 £150
    CPU Cooler: Titan Fenrir £30 - Be aware that on small-form-factor motherboards like the UD2, this can obstruct taller-than-standard-height memory.
    TIM: Arctic Silver 5 £6
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 £82 / GA-P55A-UD3R £124 - The UD2 will be absolutely fine; the UD3R adds a few features (like SATA 6GB/s) that you might want, and is full ATX (rather than mATX) to give a bit more space to it's components.
    RAM: Geil Value 4GB 1600Mhz DDR3 CL9 £85 - for s1156, RAM voltage shouldn't exceed 1.65v, with 1.5v preferable, and to work with the Fenrir on the UD2 it should also be standard height. This complies with both requirements; any other 1600Mhz DDR3 CL9 will be OK if it does too.
    HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB £55 - It may well be cheaper from Scan once you include shipping. This is considerably faster than the WD and 500GB larger; the Spinpoint F3 500GB is also an excellent drive.
    GPU: ATI 5770 £126 / 5850 £221 - Given that WoW can be played on a frickin' abacus, the 5770 will definitely be all the graphics you need and you can probably downgrade to save money. If he plays other games too, the 5770 will almost certainly be fine and the 5850 will definitely be fine at 1600x1050. If you like silence, the Sapphire Vapor-X versions of those 'cards are still well within budget.
    PSU: Corsair HX450W £58
    Optical Drive: Sony AD-7240S-0B £17
    Chassis: This is a personal choice. Just pick something, and we'll let you know if it's a big mistake. The Antec 1200 should be fine, though the Three Hundred is better value.
    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 x64 £75

    Total: £684 with the UD2, 1TB and the 5770. The only upgrade I would personally consider on these demands is to the UD3R (add £42) just for the extra space and future-proofing. Remember, if WoW is all he plays and he doesn't do anything intensive on the computer, you could definitely save yourself £69 by downgrading the processor to the Core i5 530. You might even be able to drop down to the IGP of the i3 processors and scratch a graphics card altogether.

    In conclusion, the i5 is the minimum computer setup I would buy today for anyone that does a balance of processing, gaming, editing, browsing etc. That said, people who don't place heavy demands on their computers - like your brother - could easily get away with dual cores like the Phenom and the i3. If someone can confirm that WoW can be max'd at 1680x1050 by the IGP of the i3, I would recommend that instead and save yourself £186 minimum. WoW is DESIGNED to be run by people who have bought horrible Dell prebuilts and Macs, neither of which have any gaming power whatsoever. Sinking close to a thousand pounds into a machine to play a game designed in 2001 to run on a 32MB VIDEO CARD is a complete waste of your money. Even if your brother plays other, more recent games, the i5 750/5770 will be more than capable of handling them. So; what else does he do on this computer?
     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2010
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  8. GingerFox

    GingerFox What's a Dremel?

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    I enjoyed that:thumb:
     
  9. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    if anyone is really into wow with a shed load of add ons and a big raid it becomes a real beast to run tbh
     
  10. barndoor101

    barndoor101 Bring back the demote thread!

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    surely then some kind of therapy would be the best spend?
     
  11. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    Please don't fall into the assumption that WoW is a lightweight at max settings and a high resolution, because it really isnt. Yes, if you want to play at 1024x768 at very low settings, you can play on a piss-poor machine, but like the above person said, if you want to play a higher resolutions, max shadows, max AA, lots of addons, you do need a powerful computer.
     
  12. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Well, it's not high resolution, it's 1600x1050. D'you reckon at that resolution it will be anything the 750 and the 5770 cannot handle? I'm not a WoW player, I just go by what systems specified as recommended on the sites and the players I know. In any case the point stands; I don't believe that WoW is coded to take advantage of HyperThreading nor does it require SLI or X-Fire. So there's absolutely no call for a X58 system.

    [EDIT]I also forgot to point out that if you do profit from a big RAID etc, you won't be able to afford that in addition to a 920-based system.[/EDIT]
     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2010
  13. PortalBen

    PortalBen Minimodder

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    +1. WoW doesn't need a fast system. Possibly the only change I would make to the system suggested by geoboy333 would be to chuck in an AMD Phenom x2 550 BE. This way you get faster performance for a small increase in price, as well as the possibility of unlocking the third and fourth cores, effectively getting a quad core CPU for the price of a dual core.

    Lmao at this.
     
    Last edited: 21 Feb 2010
  14. m0o0oeh

    m0o0oeh Minimodder

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    His monitor "somehow" automagically supports 1080p. Don't ask me why, but it does. WoW is what he spends most of his time on, but he does play Supreme Commander, Company Of Heroes, etc etc, and will be getting SupCom2, Gratuitous Space Battles is on his want list as well.

    I think he just wants a machine that he can buy that he won't have to upgrade for like 4 years, hence why i went with the i7 series processors and the phenom 2 x4 (which is also quad core iirc).

    Cheers for your comments all.

    Joe
     
  15. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    If gaming at 1900x1080 is going to be important, then I'd still go with the i5 750 and dump the money you save into the graphics card. I don't see that going to i7 is going to help either the gaming or the general use. And I thought you meant the Phenom X2 (you actually mentioned both, I need to read more carefully), which is an excellent bargain chip; the X4 is less so and still inferior to both Intels you've suggested. Have a look here and here;

     
  16. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    I second the i5 750, not only is it quite cheap, it's pretty fast, although it is bandwidth starved.
     
  17. Abhorsen

    Abhorsen Minimodder

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  18. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    Intel system is just better if money isnt a problem

    id choose it every day
     
  19. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    I think he means in game raid instances, not RAID arrays :p

    But as a [sadly] long time WoW player I can attest that at max settings it runs easily on my PC, see sig for specs. Also a fan of SupCom and have played Company of Heroes a bit, both run quite well on max also. This all on 1280x1024, so take it with a little bit of salt, but even on a higher res I doubt these titles would require anything more than a 5770 on a more powerful i5 system. Could save him a good deal of money.
     
  20. Sh0cKeR

    Sh0cKeR a=2(s-ut)/t²

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    I thought I saw " the i7 750 even outperforms the 920 in some tests". On what planet would that actually happen? /end rant :(

    I'd agree that WoW doesn't require a high end pc to run. Considering the complexity in that game is so low in comparison to titles in the last 3 years, any FPS issues and lag would be put down to the game being sloppy and inefficient with current hardware rather than your system not being 'beefy' enough. Only games like Crysis, GTA IV etc would require an i7 + mid to high end graphics configuration in order to max out the ingame settings.
     

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