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Need advice on a potential new build


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#1 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 01:59 AM

First off, let me tell you I am mainly a software guy. I don't delve much into hardware, but I know the basics. If in doubt, speak to me as if I were a small child. :lol: I did build a mini-server on-the-cheap ($240) a couple months ago, and was very pleased with the results. It took some head-scratching, but I eventually figured it all out.

Anyway, on to the subject of this topic.

I've had this Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop for a couple years and am looking into building a new desktop for home use. I don't really need the mobility of the laptop (I've got a netbook for that), and I'm really looking to get some better hardware.

I watch a LOT of video (YouTube, Netflix, etc.) and do a bit of video editing from time to time. Not a gamer (I think the last PC game I bought was Monster Jam, like 5-10 years ago...lol). And of course the usual email, web browsing, office applications, school stuff, programming, etc. I consider myself a power user, but not an expert.

My Core 2 Duo (2.0 GHz) is decent, but still chokes up on occasion. And it's got integrated graphics, which are less than spectacular. I'm wanting to boost my overall performance and capabilities with this new build.

Here's what I have so far:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=22105368

Feel free to criticize my choices and make recommendations. Remember, you're talking to a hardware noob here. :crazy: I just tend to go for what looks good from the brand names I know. Don't need a keyboard or mouse. Pretty much everything else is starting from scratch, including a monitor.

I was originally looking at Intel only for a processor, but after comparing some AMD's to that i3, I'm open to suggestions.
Possible AMD build: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=13636211

Looking for performance on a budget. I tend to buy high-value, medium-cost. Not trying to build the next supercomputer here, but I don't want a piece of junk either. I don't have a specific budget limit (but something crazy like $1,000+ is out of the question). I'm hoping to stay below the $500-$600-ish range, but like I said, no specific limit...it's really just a matter of how long I save my money. But even if I had the money, something in the $700+ range isn't worth it for what I need it to do, in my opninion. I've got $400 saved already, and if I sell my laptop for another $300-ish, we've got some wiggle room. But there are other things I want to buy, so I'd rather not suck my funds dry, if possible.

Okay, enough jibber-jabber. Bring on the feedback.

Thanks,
-kN
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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:26 AM

overall, looks decent, I like patriot memory, however, I would recomend spending a little more and getting some with heat spreaders, theyll increase the life of your build.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#3 killerx525

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:42 AM

This ram stick should do.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:25 AM

I would recomend spending a little more and getting some with heat spreaders, theyll increase the life of your build.

Is that what is on the RAM killerx525 linked to? I've never seen or used any like that, but if they're worth the extra $7, I'll bite.

I really want some input on AMD vs. Intel. I've always shied away from AMD in the past, but comparing them on paper, it looks like AMD gives more bang for your buck. Thoughts?

Also, I forgot mention that I use XP in a virtual machine fairly often. Not for anything heavy, though.

One more thing, got any better recommendations for a monitor? I just settled on that one because it's the cheapest Samsung one they had. I didn't realize monitors are so dang expensive...
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#5 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:31 AM

Btw, does the heatsink come with it's own thermal paste, or should I buy my own? Newegg is sometimes vague about what all comes with.
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#6 Baltboy

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:59 AM

A couple of things to note here.

As far as memory goes I have been using Gskill for a while now and have had no issues. Like Patriot said spend the extra few buck to get the memory that has the heatsinks installed already. I would also use all four slots siince you will get better overall performance by having two banks of interleaved memory. Also what OS are you going to use since none was listed on your wishlists. If you are sticking with XP(or any other 32 bit OS) then four one GB sticks is okay. Win7 64bit I would go ahead and do four two GB sticks if the money is there since four GB is the minimum for the 64 bit OS.

Second is ditch the micro case and board if you have the room. IMO you will get a better product with better performance going with a full ATX board and a mid tower case. As an added bonus with the mid towers there are lots of "silent" options out there that actually do reduce the noise of the system if that is a concern to you.

I have used AMD almost exclusively for many years now (since the K6-2 days) and find consistantly that the perfromance gap is insignifigant unless your doing CAD, video editing,or some other super CPU intensive applications. Go with AMD and up the processor to the Phenom IIx4. You will have better overall performance especially when running virtual machines.

The ATI 5450 cards are also a good option for fanless video. I think the quality of the video stream is better in the ATI cards as well.

Keep you eyes open on the monitor front and look local. I bought my wife a 24" Samsung for $189 US at BJ's Wholesale. There are bargins out there. Plus I like the option of being able to drive back to where I bought it if there is an issue with a monitor.
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#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:20 AM

Sorry, I thought Windows 7 (x64) was a given. I couldn't imagine spending this much money only to put XP on it. :P I think 8GB is a little overkill. I'm running 3 right now pretty comfortably, so I think 4GB is okay for now. I can always upgrade in the future.

I'm limited to 18" high on the tower. I don't know much about cases, so if you could recommend a specific model, I would appreciate it. :) Noise (or rather, lack thereof) is important to me, since you mentioned it.

Okay, switched to AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision HDZ555WFGMBOX

GPU: So, what's the difference between these two, besides chipset manufacturer?
ASUS EN210 SILENT/DI/1GD3/V2(LP) GeForce 210 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card
MSI R5450-MD1GD3H/LP Radeon HD 5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card


Okay, I'll shop locally on the monitor.
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#8 Baltboy

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 10:22 AM

There really isn't a great deal of difference between those two cards the ATI card has slightly faster memory but I doubt you would notice to much of a diference. I'm not sure if Nvidia fixed the HDMI/sound issue in the 2xx series cards. Anyone?

64 bit minimum memory by Microsoft is 2GB. Most of the people I know recommend 4 GB as a minimum. If you are running virtual machines you will need additional memory to power them over and above what the system needs which is why I say go for 8 GB.

As far as cases go here are three I would use if I was looking to build a mid tower in order of preference.
Antec Solo Black/Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Unfortunately you will need to buy a seperate power supply for any of them. I would use this for your current setup.
Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
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#9 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 10:44 AM

Yeah, probably not. But if there are known issues with those Nvidia's, I'd prefer reliability.

Well, I only give my XP VM 512MB of RAM, so not to worry there. I can always add more sticks later if I need to.

Call me picky, but I'd prefer all black, if possible. I don't like flashy. Also, why are the buttons nearly on the floor? :huh:
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#10 Baltboy

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:03 AM

You could go for one of the Antec Sonata cases which are all black and very quiet. Here is one:Antec Sonata III I shied away from them because a lot of people don't care for the door over the drive bays. As far as the buttons I guess most people still keep their cases on the desktop. Mine is a full tower and it is humming away next to me.

The Nvidia cards used to not be able to shunt the audio across the HDMI cable if it was being used where the ATI cards can. Not sure if that is an issue for you at all but other than that the Nvidia card would work fine.

If you want to stick with the 4 GB then only use the two 2 GB sticks so you can just add in more later.
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#11 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:24 AM

Yeah, I don't dig that door on the front, and I'm limited to the floor.

Well, I'm planning to use DVI, unless something changes.

Cool.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 27 March 2011 - 11:48 AM.

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#12 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:48 AM

This one looks good: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042
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#13 Baltboy

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:55 AM

That is a decent case too. It comes with two 120mm fans which is good. I'm not a big fan of the power supply on the bottom but that is probably just old school stuff.
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#14 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:59 AM

Cool beans.

Okay, now that I've got a mid tower, should I change the mobo?

Latest: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=13636211

Edited by keyboardNinja, 27 March 2011 - 12:01 PM.

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#15 the_patriot11

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:55 PM

yes the ram killer recomended has the heatspreaders. I recomend them, because modern memory does run a little hotter, so having the heat spreaders is a nice feature and helps keep not only the memory heat cooler, but your system temp lower-so definetly worth the extra $7. Another option, is this Patriot sector 5 Ram. Ive used it a lot, extremely cool, performance ram, great overclockers (even though im pretty sure your not doing that) ands cheaper then your original ram after rebate. . .

As far as Intel VS AMD, this is my opinion, Ive done both AMD and intel builds for customers, and I myself use AMD most of the time. Its cheaper, and still performs well, intel has the edge in some areas like in auto CAD, but overall from my experience the intel chips aren't worth the extra money you spend on them in most cases. My Phenom II x4 945 does me quite well. Don't get me wrong, ive done a few i7 builds, they are nice performing chips, but their not worth the more then twice what you would for a compareable AMD chip, and AMD has better forward and backwards compatibility. For example, some of your current AM3 chips are supposed to work in the upcoming am3+ socket.

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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