TechSpot

New PC Build - Suggestions

By nickstricks007
Sep 24, 2009
  1. I have a 5 year old Dell desktop that is showing it's age and I have been pricing parts for a new pc. I will be building from the ground up sans a case. My current uses are ms office, Online Poker, web browsing, mmorpg games (currently playing Final Fantasy XI, awaiting XIV which will be released in mid 2010), music mixing, photo editing (photoshop elements 7). I like to multitask a lot. Here are a few configurations I have come up with so far:


    Budget Setup ($570)

    Processor: Core 2 Quad Q8200 ($150)
    Mobo: Asus P5QL ($80)
    HDD: 2X WD Caviar Blue 320GB in Raid 0 ($100)
    RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2X 2GB DDR2 800 ($58)
    PSU: Thermaltake Purepower 600W ($75)
    GPU: XFX Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256 Bit DDR5 ($145)
    CD/DVD: Samsung Black 22x DVD Burner ($32)

    Mid-range Setup ($702)

    Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 B.E. ($190)
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 ($80)
    HDD: 2 X WD Caviar Blue 320GB in Raid 0 ($100)
    RAM: Patriot Viper 2X 2GB DDR3 1600 ($80)
    PSU: Thermaltake Purepower 600W ($75)
    GPU: XFX Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256 Bit DDR5 ($145)
    CD/DVD: Samsung Black 22x DVD Burner ($32)

    Semi High-end Setup ($1085)

    Processor: Intel Core i7 920 ($280)
    Mobo: MSI X58 Pro-E ($190)
    HDD: WD Velociraptor 150GB ($180)
    RAM: Crucial Ballistix 3X 2GB 2 DDR3 1600 ($148)
    PSU: Thermaltake Purepower 600W ($75)
    GPU: MSI nVidia GTX 260 O.C. 896 Bit DDR3 ($180)
    CD/DVD: Samsung Black 22x DVD Burner ($32)


    Each setup offers alot for the money, but which do you think I would get the most bang for my buck?
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    I would select the Corsair Power Supply Equivalent, or OCZ, over the ThermalTake, and a Seagate 500 GB over the Western Digital... with the Gigabyte motherboard.
     
  3. nickstricks007

    nickstricks007 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    So, after doing a little more research and comparisons, I came up with this setup which is more of a mid-range machine, but still very capable and budget friendly. I'm trying to keep it between $600-$800, and this setup falls close to my max.

    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Active PFC Power Supply

    $69.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3320418AS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5

    $49.99


    Patriot Viper II 8GB (4x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Desktop Memory w/Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Bundle Model PV224G8500ELKB

    $137.98

    Samsung Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM

    $31.99


    MSI P45 Platinum LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

    $129.99

    MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OCv4 GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

    $174.99


    Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model

    $189.99

    Grand Total: $783.92
     
  4. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    dont buy a core 2 quad the 775 socket is dead

    try this much more powerful and only slightly over $800 with shipping

    Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB $199.99 Free Shipping
    GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3L LGA 1156 $124.99
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB)DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $78.99
    CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W $99.99 free shipping $10.00 rebate
    XFX GX275XAHFF GeForce GTX 275 896MB $219.99
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB $74.99 Free Shipping

    overall i think you will be more happy with this setup its faster and the psu is of alot higher quality all for $798.94
     
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    I second klepto's build. A much better choice than the i7 build IMO.
     
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    +1 to klepto.
     
  7. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    thanks guys is there anything you see that maybe he can save a little on or did i get everything pretty good?
     
  8. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Well klepto, maybe if the OP mentions what resolution and what monitor he'll be using for gaming we might be able to suggest a cheaper graphics alternative. (However, since the GTX 275 fits nicely in his budget, I don't think there is any reason not to get that. :) )

    You got it perfect my man. :D
     
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    What is actually to be built now? It would be nice to see at least two alternative builds and watch them for a year... but of course that is never possible...
    Hopefully nickstricks007 will get back to us with a final decision, and then a report every few months on how he likes what he has chosen.
    We find it frustrating to make the recommendations, then never know how rightly or wrongly components were chosen.
     
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    I personally don't like Toshiba or Samsung DVD drives. Others feel differently, so this is from personal experience, take it as you will.

    As to Seagate VS WD, Seagate had huge problems with their "Baracuda >>7200.11<< series of HDDs on the larger capacities, 500GB and up.

    They are a fine company, so hopefully they have learned from this, cured their problems, and moved on.

    As to Seagate vs WD, the WD "Caviar Black" series are extremely good also, and I would highly recommend any of those. (but not the "Caviar Green", which are basically (IMHO) a really stupid idea)).

    I do a great deal of photo "collecting", as well as my personal photography and editing. I simply would not own a computer with a single, physical HDD. I recommend a small drive for the OS and software, and a large "volume drive" for storage.

    HDDs are fastest when accessing the first 1/3rd of their capacity, so it seems logical to buy large storage drives, (640GB and above), even if you don't see the need at the moment.

    That said, follow this reasoning, a 750GB drive containing 250GB of data will afford much faster file access than a full 250GB drive, and a small system drive will always serve as a prompt to backup your data, and get it moved off the drive.
     
  11. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    yeah i just saw that he wanted the gtx 260 so bad but i know the gtx 275 is really worth the extra cash overall because of its great performance my next suggestion would have been a 4890 since there around $200 and would drop the price just a little.
     
     
  12. nickstricks007

    nickstricks007 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks for the input everyone. I have looked into your advice klepto, and after pricing some things and doing yet more research, I think I have come up with a good alternative that takes into account what most of you have been telling me. Check it out.

    Intel Core i5 2.66 GHz = $200

    Asus P7P55D Pro LGA Mobo = $170

    G.Skill 4GB DDR3 1600 = $86

    OCZ Stealth Extreme PSU = $70

    MSI GTX 260 Overclocked = $175

    LG 22X DVD burner = $30

    Grand Total = $801

    First off, I went with the GTX 260 because it is overclocked to just about the specs of the 275 for 50 bucks less. I did compare the i5 to the i7 and the only thing i'm really missing out on is Hyper-threading which isn't that important to me. I will be using a 23" LG HD Monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution. I also found the WD Caviar 750GB for less than the 640. Overall I think I really like this setup. What do you guys think?
     
  13. nickstricks007

    nickstricks007 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    A couple more things that I thought of to mention. I will be eventually using this build for video editing, and a dual monitor setup. As I stated before, I like to multitask and having the extra monitor will help immensely. I will be running XP Pro at first but eventually migrating to windows 7. My main concern right now is having everything run as smooth as possible with as many windows open as I want.
     
  14. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    nick im sorry but i have to disagree with your build. The build i gave you is alot better quality parts. there is no gtx 260 overclocked or not that is near as fast as a gtx 275 also msi is not a great quality company like xfx and gigabyte are i would go with the build i put up and you will be alot happier i promise you that. also unless that 750gb wd drive is a black edition i would go with the 640 since it is one of the fastest drives on the market today that isnt a raptor drive.
     
  15. nickstricks007

    nickstricks007 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    The WD 750 is the black edition, just bare drive. And I guess I'm just stuck on that 260 because of what I've read about it, and was trying to keep the graphics card under $200. But, you do have a great point about MSI not being as reputable as XFX or Gigabyte. So, My final decision is, I'm going to go with the build you suggested sans the HDD since the 750 is a better deal. It'll put me a little above $800, but I know it's gonna be worth it. I will keep you updated as I put it together and get it up and running. Thanks for all the advice :)
     
  16. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    np man i just want you to have the best experience with the least amount of hassle just make sure you buy the psu i suggested over the one you wanted to get trust me never skimp on the psu you might live to regret it. also do keep us updated would like to know how nice that system is :) and if you wanted an alternative video card for $200 get the ati 4890 over the gtx 260 but trust me you will be glad you get the gtx 275 over the 260 since the gtx 275 performs on par with the gtx 285 when overclocked.
     
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    For the remainder of September, the core i5 you're considering is on sale at Microcenter for $159.95. This is a walk-in price, so you must be near one of their stores to take advantage of it.
    From their home page here; http://www.microcenter.com/index.html , click on "hot ad deals" tab, then, "shop our online catalog" from the drop down menu.
     
  18. nickstricks007

    nickstricks007 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Btw klepto, I will definitely go with that PSU you mentioned. Although, I went with Asus Mobo over the Gigabyte cause it gives me the chance in the future to run a dual GPU setup, (albeit in SLi mode it'll run at 8x/8x, but that won't matter that much). Also worth note is the i5 is capable of overclocking to 4.2Ghz, which puts it just about on par with the i7 models. Here's a link to the site I read that at: http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/intel_corei5750_corei7870/4.htm
     
  19. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 438

    Do you have a maximum amount of money you want to spend?

    IMO, you don't need such powerful video cards on your system as you don't seem to be needing those.
     
  20. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    I would recommend this mobo as a cheaper alternative to the ASUS board. Specs are exactly the same, except for the Gigabyte mobo being mATX compared to the ATX ASUS board.
     
  21. nickstricks007

    nickstricks007 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Well, the max I wanted to spend was $800. As for the video card and mobo, judging by this video, in order to run the game at the resolution and FPS that I want, I will probably need the extra horsepower. And I wanted to stay away from micro ATX boards because of the case I will be using (Antec 900). But, if you have another suggestion, I would like to know because I haven't ordered the GPU yet. I just put the processor, mobo, memory and HDD on order from Newegg last night.
     
  22. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 438

    Good point, I don't play any online games apart from WOW, I guess you WILL need the video cards after all.

    you might wanna check red's guide @ http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic133075.html)

    You can buy HD 4870, GTS 260, GTX 275.

    And for power supply OCZ GameXstream 700W is pretty decent.

    Which option(options you listed) did you order?
     
  23. nickstricks007

    nickstricks007 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    So far I ordered this mobo, this processor, and this DDR3 memory. I will order the PSU, GPU and HDD in a couple weeks when I get paid again. Then leave the DVD drive and the little stuff I will need like thermal paste and such for last.
     
  24. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 438

    Thats a good processor you bought :D, with a good cooling system, you will be able to push it to 4Ghz.;)

    The mobo is not too good IMO, because of the PCI x16 slots. Its has only 2, and its a $134 mobo. But anyways, you will only need to change it like 5yrs later.
     
  25. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    that mb is a fine choice i have to disagree with the psu you recommended though the corsair i recommended is alot better psu overall.
     
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