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Compatible? Good Value? Get your critique on here

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#1 istbar


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Posted 08 August 2010 - 04:58 PM

I've spent the last few weeks reading heaps of reviews, product specs, wiki entries, forum threads and all manner of interweb bric-a-brac to take my knowledge of computer hardware from negligible to novice.
Thought I'd take a shot at building a system to be used for:

- multitasking
- statistics (SPSS)
- 2D AutoCAD
- media library
- gaming

Finally letting go of my WinXP comfort blanket and moving up to Win7. Existing software isn't an issue as most of it will be new.
Not an OC'er yet, but I'm hoping to get pieces that will be able to; I think I've got some pretty easy-to-OC selections.
Not much of a gamer, but there are a couple new and upcoming Blizzard titles that I must be able to play!
I've researched the hell out of fans and case cooling the last few days and I know I will want to spend a few bucks on some decent air cooling, but in the interest of not breaking the bank I'm going to try to get away with stock for now. Exception: components selected require additional cooling - please leave your thoughts!
I'm not in this for a pretty PC; LED lights are more con than pro. I will try to make this a very clean build, so any tips you have for wire management would be appreciated.
Whenever possible I'd prefer a more efficient selection; lower power req'ts without sacrificing quality.

I've taken a crack at putting together an AMD system for under $2k:

Case - don't want a full tower case, but want decent cooling ability. Looking for quality build and good engineering. Preferably with a couple fans included.
COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower

Motherboard - Something I can work with that is easy to use. USB 3.0 would be nice.
ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX ATX Motherboard

Processor - don't want to spend a fortune and I'd like to stick with AMD
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz

GPU - I'd like to keep the heat/power consumption down. Won't be playing many FPS or watching movies. Need at least 2 monitor connections.
XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit

PSU - Modular; clean & consistent; good warranty

Memory - versatile and cool running. Will definitely get another 4gb in a bit.
G.SKILL Flare 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) CL7D

Boot Disk - speedy, consistent and reliable for Windows and most used Apps
OCZ Agility 2 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC SSD

Storage - speedy, consistent and reliable for media storage/playback and less used Apps. Additional storage will be added later on.
WD Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.5"

Optical - quiet, reliable, long lasting, problem free
ASUS Black 24X 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner

Monitor - HD, fast response, ~20", sturdy, energy efficient
ASUS VH222H-P Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD

Let me know what you guys think; I'll welcome any thoughts and opinions.

Edited by istbar, 08 August 2010 - 06:41 PM.

'You tried and you failed. The lesson is never try.'

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#2 DJBPace07


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Posted 08 August 2010 - 10:12 PM

That looks good, but I would upgrade to a full ATX tower if you wanted to do Crossfire due to air flow. If money were no issue and you foresee the use of Crossfire, go with a 890FX-based motherboard. However, there are less expensive options, such as the MSI 890FXA-GD70 AM3 AMD 890FX, GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX, or the ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX. If you're not going to do Crossfire, an AMD 870 chipset-based motherboard would work too. Your RAM is a bit much and is really only needed if you're going to be doing some extreme overclocking. You can make do with great results on DDR3-1600 using the G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600. Note that only high-end enthusiast motherboards, support speeds, on the AM3 platform, above DDR3-1600. In some cases, even DDR3-1600 is considered an overclocked speed. As for the monitor, it's a great choice, but a monitor using an LED backlight would offer better contrast and energy savings. If you want to go the LED route, the ASUS VH198T Black 19", ASUS MS Series MS228H, or ViewSonic VX2250wm-LED are great choices, though, only the second Asus monitor, the MS228H, offers HDMI. Don't forget, you also need to buy Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

Edited by DJBPace07, 08 August 2010 - 10:15 PM.



#3 istbar

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 06:21 PM

I'm thinking of saving some cash in the short term by nixing the SSD for now. I've read that prices are coming down (or capacity is going up) fairly significantly in the next little while. Is there any risk in setting up the system with only the HDD, then imaging the HD to the SSD when I purchase later on? Or would it be in my best interest to use the SSD right from the get-go?
'You tried and you failed. The lesson is never try.'

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