TechSpot

New computer build - might need some help

By joehome395
Dec 11, 2008
  1. Hi I'm new and was hoping someone could help me with a new computer build.
    i'm thinking of buying everything from tiger direct.com - is this a good idea?
    i multitask a little- play games- mostly first person shooters like call of duty, but also i make my own movies and burn them to disk or stream to x box - while downloading large torrents. my list of parts is as follows-
    Maxtor Basics STM305004N1AAAS-RK 500GB Hard Drive - 7200, 16MB, Serial ATA-300, Retail
    $69.99

    ULT-LSP650 :: Ultra LSP650 650-Watt Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, SLI-Ready, 135mm Fan
    $49.98


    O261-8038 :: OCZ SLI-Ready Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2x2048MB)
    $54.99

    A455-2346 :: Asus M2A-VM AMD Motherboard - AMD 690G, Socket AM2, Audio, Video, DVI, PCI Express, Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, Serial ATA, RAID (2.25 lbs)
    $69.99

    CP1-AM2-6000 C :: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Processor ADV6000DOBOX - 3.1GHz, 1MB Cache, 1000MHz (2000 MT/s), Dual-Core, Retail, Socket AM2, Processor with Fan (0.55 lbs) $
    80.99

    case- i might reuse 1 of my old cases
    speakers- old system
    mouse old system
    monitor old VGA / unless i can find good / cheap one lcd and ideas?
    and then a few questions - is 4 gigs enough - or do i need more? and how about the speed of the ram -

    also I'm thinking about raid 0 -data loss is not an issue- back up and don't care if i have to reinstall

    any other good ideas- on a flexible budget
     
  2. Acclamator

    Acclamator TS Rookie Posts: 295

  3. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Not sure what video card- what do you think of the on board video? and thank you for the link for the monitor - can u tell the difference between 5ms refresh time and 2ms?

    and how about the rest of the parts any thoughts?
     
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,909   +91

  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

  6. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    Nice one Rage. That's a pretty powerful system for $435 bucks.

    I agree with Acclamator about the monitor. I have a 22" Samsung, and I've been very impressed with the quality of it.
     
  7. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks every one, i do have a question, will i notice a difference from 3.1 GHz to 2.5gGHz?
    And shouldn't i have a bigger PSU with the added video card?

    and i was wondering should i use 2 hard drives, one hard drive to run windows and another for downloads pic. video ect? any other ideas

    what about raid with smaller hard drives?
     
  8. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    GHz isn't the measure of a CPU's performance anymore. The 2.5 GHz Core 2 is a good deal faster than a 3.1 GHz AMD. A bigger PSU *might* be in order. My 460W one just ran out of juice tonight, and can no longer stably power my dual 8800GTS 512s. Now, HD4850s are more efficient, and that is a 500W not a 460, but mine was a better brand...

    I'd say go for a 600W.

    As for hard drives, the best performance is generally to get a high RPM, or even a solid state drive (Intel has a stupidly fast one out) for Windows and for your games and large apps, and then another huge, slower drive to dump all your data onto.
     
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,909   +91

    Hey Joe,
    as far as the performance difference 3.1Ghz vs 2.5Ghx, its not anything you would notice in day to day applications, however with the E5200 rage suggested you are getting a bigger cache and 45 nm tech vs the 65nm tech with the the Amd x2 6400. and Btw the E5200 is a notoriously fantastic overclocker with lots of headroom (like 4Ghz worth. but from your use description thats probably something you would probably not even need to do. as far as the PSU question you had, the psu suggested is more than enough for adding the v-card over the on board video.and dont try to cut corners on a psu, no faster way to wreck a system than a cheap psu going sideways on you.here's a link for some reading on your R.A.I.D question. it all depends on what you want to accomplish with it.

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/67/1

    Btw, even before I joined this site I read alot of Rage's suggestions on putting together componets that work very well together and you cant do wrong with a system he puts together for ya
     
  10. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    wow you guys are helping tons, with the video cards is it ever faster to get 2 cheaper cards then just 1 faster 1? I'm new to the whole cross fire thing. also with lots of reading about r.a.i.d 0 I have come across another question should i use raid with the os or the storage, and would it be faster if i had 2 sets of raid - like 2 20gb hard drives for the os and then 2 bigger hard drive's for storage say 2 300 GB drives? - and i know I'm killing you all with questions and i don't like to be a pain- but...what is the performance difference between 16 and 32mb in cache
     
  11. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    if i was going to add raid to this system what would be the best option?
     
     
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    The PSU can handle an HD 4850 easily due to the 34A of current on the +12V rail, which is more than enough power for a system with an HD 4850 in it. Also, the build quality is top-notch, since the OEM for that particular OCZ unit is FSP Fortron Source, who build some of the best PSUs in the world.

    As for RAID, I don't recommend it unless you know what you're doing or aren't afraid to experiment. A far simpler option (as suggested by MetalX) is to get a WD VelociRaptor for your games and OS, and to use a larger 7200RPM drive like the Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB or the WD Caviar WD6400AAKS 640GB for general storage such as music etc.
     
  13. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok, so whats the smallest hard drive i should use for the os? because i should use the fastest and smallest hard drive i can right- so is 20- 40 gigs to small for the os? i do know that the os is only about a gig but people say that windows starts to act funny without enough space.
     
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Space has nothing to do with it. Spindle speed is what matters. You can use a 300GB VelociRaptor or a 150GB one, it won't matter. The HDD's capacity is completely upto you.

    Oh, and just to answer your Crossfire query, two cards in Crossfire\SLI do not double performance, but at best will give a 50% performance boost. Realistically, the performance boost varies from 20-40% and depends inherently on driver support. Bad SLI\Crossfire drivers = horrible performance, and in some cases performance may not increase at all or even drop below that of a single card. Not to mention that two cards take up more space, put out more heat and require more power than a single more powerful card. The real benefit of an SLI or Crossfire setup is for gaming at resolutions such as 1920x1200 with AA and AF maxed out. Of course, that would also require a large enough monitor, so unless you've got the extra cash for one, drop the idea.
     
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,909   +91

    Hey Joe,
    the point of metal's suggestion was a faster (10,000 rpm) drive, but not the smallest you can find, you want to get your OS and games on it, items that require fast recall for better performance, something like a velociraptor 150-300gb would work well, depending on how many games you want to put on it.

    Didnt mean to repeat what rage said there. i started a response and got called away by my two year old, and apparently rage answered before i got back. one thing I wanted to tell you since you seem to be looking into all options is to be weary of the Seagate 'Cheetah' its a 15,000 rpm HDD , but i have read conflicting reports on weather it offers any real advantage in transfer time. you can do your own looking into it ( or maybe rage or metal has a better idea on this) just wanted to throw that in in case you were looking at a 15,000 rpm drive as an option.
     
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    The Cheetah is an SCSI drive. SCSI needs a good controller card to work at its full potential and is mainly meant for servers. Also, setting up SCSI needs a lot of experience, since wrongly cabling an SCSI drive has more severe consequences than doing the same with, say, a SATA drive.

    And did I mention how expensive an SCSI setup is?It costs $250+ for a controller card alone. o.O
     
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,909   +91

    Rage,
    if you make your way back here, i have a question for ya about those 15k rpm drives for my own upcoming system, i see HP makes a SATA 15k rpm drive. is there any performance advantage over the 10k? i have read several articles that its nominal at best.
     
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    I don't believe I've heard of any 15K RPM SATA drives. Can you link me to an article that mentions one?
     
  19. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    is there a good 10k hard drive your thinking about - solid state drives are a bit pricey, and would you feel the differance between normal drives 10k drives and ssds?
     
  20. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    VelociRaptors are fast enough. SSDs are not good value, but yes, they are far faster than any mechanical HDDs.
     
  21. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    wow man thanks for the fast reply- what would you think is the sweet spot right now for VelociRaptors ?
     
  22. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    -----------------------------------------
     
  23. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    -i can't seem to delete a few posts- sorry
     
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    A 300GB VelociRaptor is your best bet if you can afford it. I found it real cheap with free shipping here.
     
  25. joehome395

    joehome395 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm thinking of using these parts that rage suggested -


    * Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L mATX Motherboard - $50.50
    * Intel Core 2 Duo E5200 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache Processor - Retail - $74.99
    * Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail - $17.99 after $25 rebate
    * WD Caviar SE16 3.5in 640GB 3.0Gb/s SATA Hard Drive, 7200 RPM, 16MB Cache, WD6400AAKS. OEM - $64.99
    * ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - $129.99 after $30 rebate
    * OCZ Technology StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W PSU - $41.98


    ---do you think I'll need a larger power supply if i used a raptor hard drive- and if i added a second raptor? and any other ideas- or tips with this build?
     
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