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Advice & Recommendations on Building a New Computer


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#1 davi921

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:27 PM

I'm in the market for building a new computer. The computer I'm currently running is ~6 years old so it's definitely time to get a new one. When it comes to building a computer from scratch, I'm not very familiar with this process so I'm looking for some advice / opinions / recommendations on which parts I should I buy.

I do not need top of the line parts since the only thing I really do on my computer is surf the web, videos, and music.

After doing extensive research, I came to the conclusion that this processor best suits my need. However, I'm open to any suggestions.

Processor - AMD Phenom II X4 965
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

What I a 2nd opinion on is the following:

-Motherboard
-CPU Heatsink Fans
(Should I take a look at this? http://www.buy.com/prod/cooler-master-hyper-212-evo-rr-212e-20pk-r2-cooling-fan-heatsink-1-x/224348750.html )
-Power Supply
-Hard Drive
-Computer Case


Like I stated earlier, I don't top of the line parts. I'm not looking to overspend on unnecessary high quality parts (buying an i7), but at the same time, I don't want to buy something that is bleepty and outdated (Core 2 Duo). However, like for hard drives, I obviously prefer the traditional 1TB HD as apposed to a 120gb SSD HD.

I don't have a budget, BUT I'm trying to save as much money as possible. That doesn't mean I want to buy generic brands just to save a few bucks here and there. If it costs a few extra dollars more to get a higher quality part, then that's what I'm willing to do.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by davi921, 10 September 2012 - 10:17 PM.


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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:24 PM

If you are not going to be doing any gaming, I would consider an AMD APU-based system as they have the GPU on the chip itself. With the AM3 and AM3+ CPU's, you need a dedicated GPU which will increase your costs. The AMD Phenom II isn't exactly state of the art, it is already past end-of-life with AMD's FX CPU's, which will be getting an upgrade themselves in the next few months.

For an AM3+ motherboard (AM3+ motherboards will allow for both AM3 and AM3+ CPU's) I would get the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970, it has all the needed features. The only thing I wouldn't use it for is Crossfire. I would pair it with the AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz, or the AMD FX-6200 Zambezi 3.8GHz. If you want to go the APU route, the MSI A75A-G35 FM1 AMD A75 paired with the AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz. For coolers, I've used a variant of the XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 which is quiet and efficient.

As for a case, a standard mid-ATX case will do. Note that aluminum cases are usually of higher quality and side vents and fans are going to make it more noisy. I assume you already have an optical drive, a power supply, and an unused or legally transferrable license for Windows?

Edited by DJBPace07, 11 September 2012 - 05:27 PM.

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#3 davi921

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:35 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately, I already went ahead and bought the Phenom II: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX last night because I didn't know what my other options were and newegg was offering -$20 promo that ended last night. Knowing their return policy, I'm starting to think I made a mistake by choosing the Phenom II over the AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz ? The only thing I went off when deciding to go with the Phenom II was the reviews on NewEgg and this website: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Phenom+II+X4+965

Assuming I'm going to have to keep the Phenom II, would you still recommend pairing the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX up with the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 ?

How does the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 compare to ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard. Which would you recommend me buying to pair with the Phenom II?

My goal here is to pick up quality parts that would last me another 6 years so I'm not exactly too worried about my budget.

As for the other parts you mentioned:
I'm going to be reusing my old optical drive.

I just bought this power supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply (should be fine right?)

I am actually looking to buy a new copy of Windows 7. Do you know where I can find the cheapest copy at? Microsoft Student Discount?

I figured I don't really need to buy a new graphics card because I can reuse the one I currently have now which is an ATI Radeon 4350. Sure it's not all that great, but like I said I'm not looking to do any gaming.

Also which hard drive do you recommend me buying? I'm not looking to buy a SSD. I definitely want a 1TB HD. I was looking around Newegg and came across these two:

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

What exactly is the difference between a SATA 3.0Gb/s vs SATA 6.0Gb/s ?

Edited by davi921, 12 September 2012 - 12:09 AM.


#4 killerx525

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:00 AM

Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately, I already went ahead and bought the Phenom II: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX last night because I didn't know what my other options were and newegg was offering -$20 promo that ended last night. Knowing their return policy, I'm starting to think I made a mistake by choosing the Phenom II over the AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz ? The only thing I went off when deciding to go with the Phenom II was the reviews on NewEgg and this website: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Phenom+II+X4+965

Assuming I'm going to have to keep the Phenom II, would you still recommend pairing the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX up with the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 ?

How does the ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 compare to ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard. Which would you recommend me buying to pair with the Phenom II?

My goal here is to pick up quality parts that would last me another 6 years so I'm not exactly too worried about my budget.

As for the other parts you mentioned:
I'm going to be reusing my old optical drive.

I just bought this power supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply (should be fine right?)

I am actually looking to buy a new copy of Windows 7. Do you know where I can find the cheapest copy at? Microsoft Student Discount?

I figured I don't really need to buy a new graphics card because I can reuse the one I currently have now which is an ATI Radeon 4350. Sure it's not all that great, but like I said I'm not looking to do any gaming.

Also which hard drive do you recommend me buying? I'm not looking to buy a SSD. I definitely want a 1TB HD. I was looking around Newegg and came across these two:

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

What exactly is the difference between a SATA 3.0Gb/s vs SATA 6.0Gb/s ?

The CPU would work fine with the Asus motherboard that was recommended. ASRock is more of a budget brand then Asus but both boards are fine. The difference between SATA 3.0Gb/s vs SATA 6.0Gb/s is the speed which isn't really relevant for hard drives since there is no speed improvements if you got the SATA 6.0Gb/s over the SATA 3.0Gb/s. I usually Western Digital or Seagate hard drives.

>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


#5 davi921

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:12 AM

Awesome. Thanks for the feedback.

As far as ram is concerned, http://www.frys.com/product/6906857?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG should be perfectly fine right?

Edited by davi921, 12 September 2012 - 01:16 AM.


#6 killerx525

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:50 AM

Yes, that ram should work with the Asus motherboard.

>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


#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:04 AM

If you are in no hurry for this PC, you can wait until October 26th and get a copy of Windows 8. You can use a release preview until then if you really need a copy now.

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#8 davi921

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

Yah I can wait. I can just reuse Windows XP and wait for Windows 8.

Looks like I'm pretty close to being done. All I need now is to get a HD and I should have everything.

Thanks a lot for the help and feedback.

#9 davi921

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:20 PM

Last Question about motherboards.

I came across these two:

ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS -$99.99
vs
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS -$99.99

vs

ASUS M5A97 AMD 970 AM3+ Motherboard -$84.90 AR
vs
ASUS M5A97 EVO AMD 970 AM3+ Motherboard -$114.99

What exactly is the difference and which would you guys recommend while taking price into consideration.

Edited by davi921, 12 September 2012 - 06:36 PM.


#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:52 PM

The only thing I can tell that is different between the Asus boards, aside from LE moniker, is the S/PDIF connection. The $84 Asus board is an older version of the $99 board. The EVO is a discontinued board.

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#11 davi921

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:45 PM

Oh ok works with me.

For hard drives, which scenario would be best in terms of getting the most and best performance out of the hard drive:

Installing the OS on my old 220Gb hard drive and using that as the primary hard drive while using the new 1Tb hard drive as storage or vice versa? Does it make a difference in terms of loading speeding if the much older 220Gb hard drive is used as the primary hard drive?

My thought process behind this is if anything happens (virus) and I am forced to reformat, everything I saved on the 1Tb will be untouched and all I have to worry about is reformatting the OS back onto the old 220Gb hard drive. All my music, movies, photos, etc. would already be backed up and I won't have to worry about losing them if worse comes to worse. That's pretty much what I'm doing now. I have my OS installed on my 80gb hard drive, but all my important files (music, photos, movies, etc.) are all on the my other hard drive. Like for example, whenever I download a new mp3, I immediately transfer it to my 2nd hard drive and delete it off the 80gb hard drive.

Also, when buying a HD for a new computer, is it ok to buy one labeled BARE DRIVE? Will the motherboard provide the necessary cables?

Will ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS support and provide the necessary cables for SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive? I noticed how the motherboard has 6 x SATA 6Gb/s and the HD is SATA 3.0Gb/s.

Edited by davi921, 13 September 2012 - 12:13 AM.





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