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Build Advice Mid-range all rounder

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ubiquity, 30 Aug 2010.

  1. ubiquity

    ubiquity What's a Dremel?

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    After reading around on this forum, and some badly laid out posts (thanks to all those who kindly advised me), I have laid out most of the specs for a new build, but still need some sagely advice on a few areas...

    * Budget:

    Variable, was originally looking to spend circa 500, but I can stretch to 800ish, have peripherals and a monitor, so just the components for a base system.

    * What the main uses of the PC will be.

    Again varied. Majority of use will be for web development tools, will need to be able to efficiently multitask many apps at once, and run photoshop, etc quickly. Must be able to compress / uncompress files and convert video codecs quickly, as well as being able to play 1080p media without any difficulty. Some occasionally gaming also likely.

    * The spec of your current PC and whether you are re-using any parts from it.


    Current PC belongs in a museum. I could re-use the IDE opticals, but since the SATA ones are so cheap, this seems rather pointless. Mouse, keyboard and monitor only transferable hardware.

    * The native resolution of your monitor.


    1680 x 1050, although I intend to add a second monitor at some point in the not too distant future, which will be something like 1920 x 1200.

    * Whether you will be overclocking or not.


    Currently considered a pre-tested overclocked bundle. Don't like the 'lucky dip' buy, where your not sure how much mileage you will get!

    * How much storage space you require.

    1TB, maybe 1.5TB?

    * Do you have any special requirements?

    Preferably not obscenely loud, although raw performance is more important overall tbh.

    ---

    Based on this, the following is the current system I am thinking of:

    CPU - i5 760

    MOBO - Asus P7P55D-E

    GFX - GeForce GTX 460 1025MB DDR

    MEMORY - 4Gb Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600Mhz

    CPU Cooler - Akasa Venom Performance Cooler

    CASE - Antec 300 / Xigmatek Utgard

    HD - WDC GP 1.5TB 64MB Cache SATAII 300MB/s <8.9ms 7200rpm

    PSU - OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W

    DVD - Sony AD-5240S-0B

    ---

    The reason I have gone for that particular mobo and cpu cooler is that they come in a pre-tested overclocked bundle running at 4Ghz

    A few questions, will the 460 run okay in that setup with that overclock? :eek:

    Is it worth spending a bit more on the Xigamatek case over the Antec?

    Is the OCZ PSU sufficient? Not really totally sure on the pros/cons of modular PSUs.

    Is it worth saving a bit of cash and getting a samsung spinpoint HD over a WDC one?

    Thanks for any advive you can give!
     
  2. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    I would get a samsung spinpint f3 over the WDC one. And definitely get the Xigmatek Utgard.

    I wouldn't get the Venom cooler I'd either get a Gelid Tranquillo or a Titan Fenrir.

    The main pro of a modular PSU is that you only use the cables you need, making cable tidying far easier and 500W should be plenty for your setup :)

    The 460 will run fine in that setup as well.

    It's a shame your budget wouldn't stretch a bit further because then you could have got an i7 920/930 and more RAM which would have helped in the video encoding tasks as well as other things. But your setup should do just fine since it is preoverclocked to 4GHz :)
     
  3. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    I'd add a second vote to the F3 1TB, great drive. I'd rather have two of those than one 1.5TB from somebody else.

    The pre-overclocked bundle is basically a £40 charge for the overclock. Personally, I consider overclocking 'free' performance that I shouldn't have to pay for; that £40 I could spend getting faster memory or another HDD. It's not all that difficult to achieve a 4Ghz overclock yourself, either, though if you've not done it before I can understand the issue. Also, 1680x1050 is the GTX460's best resolution. At 1920x1200 it will begin to feel merely adequate rather than all-conquering; if your gaming is only occasional or you only play undemanding games that's OK, but bear it in mind that you'll get better gaming out of the smaller screen or a more expensive graphics card. The more expensive motherboard, I think, will allow SLI should you desire it later.

    In sum total, noizdaemon666 is right - it's a shame a Bloomfield (x58) build is probably just beyond your budget - really the minimum for that would be £900 - because your workload would profit from the increased RAM and greater processing power. That said a decent 'clock on the i5 760 should help close the gap a bit.
     
  4. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    You could get an i7 for that budget by loitering in the marketplace. A i7 CPU, mobo and ram combo was sold for £280 recently.
     
  5. ubiquity

    ubiquity What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the advice. I will go for the spinpoint HD over the WDC, and he Xigmatek Utgard over the Antec 300.

    Graphics wise, the gaming will be occasional, I do most my gaming on my ps3 and plasma. As long as the graphics card can do some occasional gaming and handle playing high def content in its native full hd res, that should be sufficient.

    As much as I would like to get the i7, I just cannot justify to myself the extra outlay. For most of the time the extra power will simple not be required, and on the few occasions that it is, i will just have to wait!

    As for the pre-overclocked bundle, I am aware that I am basically paying £40 for pre-testing of the chip, but I don't like the CPU lottery that is purchasing a chip separately and then hoping that the mileage will be decent!

    I don't like the look of the Akasa Venom Performance Cooler, but it comes in the bundle. I can also change it for the Titan Fenrir at a later point. I would actually prefer a Gigabyte mobo to the Asus P7P55D-E (some bad experiences with Asus mobos from when I built my last pc), but again, that comes with the bundle

    Will the OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W PSU be sufficient in the setup? Would anyone recommend a slightly different PSU for my system? Thanks for all the advice thus far, I think I may order this system later today :)
     
  6. ubiquity

    ubiquity What's a Dremel?

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    oops forgot to mention I will need a wireless card as well, any suggestions? :)
     
  7. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I'm fairly sure Scan will replace the Venom with a Titan or a Gelid in the bundle if you ask them. They are good like that (though it may cost a few quid more, not sure). The £40 gives you peace of mind about the overclock and a guarantee but this will be void if you upgrade the BIOS iirc.

    Are you going to be using wireless for gaming? If so, then please please change your mind, wireless is a pain for gaming - wired is best.

    With either the Antec 300 (especially) or the Utguard cases a modular PSU will be easier on the cable routing as you only plug in the cables you need and you don't have to hide the ones you don't. We usually recommend the Corsair PSU's around here, great bang for buck, good warranty, silent, excellent efficiency and, most importantly, stable under load to their rated specifications (unlike a lot of others). A top quality PSU is one of the best PC investments you can make.

    The Corsair 520w is getting a bit long in the tooth now (but still a fine PSU - I have one) so the next ones we usually recommend are the Corsair HX650 or the Antec TruePower New 650w (I have one of these as well). Whilst a bit of an overkill in terms of pure wattage, these are excellent choices and will give you enough headroom to add another graphics card at a later date.

    +1 on the Samsung hard drive advice, I have at least seven of them scattered across various PC's and they are fantastic.
     
  8. Ljs

    Ljs Modder

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    ^What he said.

    For a wireless card, I would recommend an Abit Airpace.

    The are now a shade under £6 on scan also.

    I have one and it has worked very well for me - uses up a PCI-Express slot and has a reasonable antenna on it (with a lead so you can vary direction a little).
     
  9. ubiquity

    ubiquity What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks Fingers, I will try asking scan if they can change the cpu cooler for a better one, I am sure they will comply as it will give them more £££! Interesting you note about voiding the warrenty if you upgrade the bios, but at least I know the chip wont be a stinker (and dont have to spend a lot of time trying out different OC settings!)

    The rig will do ocassional gaming, and most of it not online. Moreover, I already once went through routing a cat5 cable from downstairs in the sitting room to upstairs in the study (did not go down well with the girlfriend) and I have neither the time nor energy to go through that again!

    I very much doubt I will add another graphics card at a later data, so while 650w would give me lots of overheard for futureproofing, it does seem rather ott tbh!

    I could still go for the Antec TruePower New 650w over the OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W if you consider it worth the extra expendature, or would the Corsair 520 W HX be the best bet (despite its age)?

    As for wireless, any suggestions? I was looking at the D-Link DWA-556 Wireless N PCI-E
    , which should work nicely with my N-series wireless route.
     
  10. Sponge12349

    Sponge12349 (づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ ︵ ┻━┻

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    I would just like to say, I have a Utgard an a the 500W ModXStream and the cpu power cable only just reaches, it is an extremely tight fit.
     
  11. ubiquity

    ubiquity What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks sponge, that rules out the ModXstream then. Just leaves Antec TruePower New 650w or the Corsair 520 W HX.

    Any suggestions on wireless cards?
     
  12. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    If you already have a CAT5 cable running to near your rig, a network switch will allow you to share it with any other PC, you don't need one cable per PC to run between a switch and modem.

    I was just checking prices on Scan and both the Corsair HX520w and the Antec True Power New 650w are out of stock. However, for the same price as the Corsair you can get the 520W Seasonic M12II-520 Bronze, Modular, 87% Eff PSU. Seasonic make the PSU's for both Antec and Corsair iirc.
     
  13. ubiquity

    ubiquity What's a Dremel?

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    Unfortunatly I do not. My virgin cable internet is downstairs, and my study upstairs. I used to have a cable running the distance, but do not anymore (gf said it looked untidy, despite me running it under the carpet where possible to do so...)

    Thanks for the advice on the PSU, will look into that :)

    No-one with any advice on which wireless card to get? :eek:
     
  14. ubiquity

    ubiquity What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry Ljs, missed your post completedly!

    Looks awesome, and a great price, although I did fancy getting a N-series wireless card to make full use of my N-series router...
     

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