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First build spec check

By BeefyCake · 16 replies
Aug 11, 2011
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  1. Hello,

    I've decided recently that I'm going to build a computer, with the intent on using it for gaming and general tasks. I've look on the internet for the past week and I think I've finally found all the parts I'm going to use and all the parts fit within my £600 (About $970) budget, but since I'm completely new to this sort of thing, I was just wondering if someone could check my parts before I were to order them, so I don't spend money on something that isn't compatible with the rest of my computer!

    Case + PSU:

    Coolermaster Centurion 5 II SPECIAL EDITION with Red Interior - With Coolermaster 650W GX PSU


    Asus M4A87TD/USB3 870 Socket AM3 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard


    AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition 125 Watt Socket AM3 3.5GHz 6MB L3 Cache


    Corsair Vengeance 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz Memory Module CL9 1.5V


    XFX HD 6870 Black Edition 1GB DDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card


    Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache

    Optical Drive:

    Sony Optiarc AD-5260S 24x DVD±RW & DL SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black

    CPU Cooler:

    Will I need one of these?


    Windows 7 Home Premium

    Sorry for any mistakes I've made and thanks in advance!
  2. MrFox

    MrFox TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Good on compatibility. Good on RAM selection. Nice case/PS.
    Stock CPU cooler is fine unless you plan on overclocking or live in a relatively hot environment - IMO. However, it is just a stock fan and aesthetically lacking.

    EDIT: I would recommend this HDD over your current selection due to the 6Gb/s SATA ports on the mobo.
  3. BeefyCake

    BeefyCake TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply. I will look into that HDD that you linked. I'll also look into fans a bit more if you think the computer would benefit from one.

    Again, thanks.
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I'm calling BS on the harddrive suggestion.
    RAM is...fine as long as you're not paying a price premium IMO.
    I wouldn't think you'd need a cooler, the stock is fine, again if you're not overclocking.
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Me too, the Spinpoint F3 is a far better option.

    Also, your only listing one RAM module. It might be the case already, but dual channel RAM (e.g. running in matched pairs/quad's) is the preferred way of installing RAM with your setup. If that is one stick only, it needs changing to a set of matched RAM sticks.
  6. About that HDD proposition, after being thoroughly ridiculed without anything other than a heckle as a provision, my jury is still out on it for first hand experience, but my research does suggest that 6Gb/s SATA is only really there to help prevent bottlenecks for really fast drives, like the solid state variety. In other words, the hard disk variety are supposed to be limited by their mechanical speeds in RPM's, and the 6Gb/s label is only a benchmark and is otherwise useless.

    In fewer words, what I have read suggests that SOLID STATE drives are beginning to approach the 3Gb/s SATA speed limit, not HARD DISK drives. Personally, I do not know one way or the other, and my interpretation could be mistaken entirely.

    Due to the fact that myself and many others have run into this purported misconception either by our own devices or by the hand of a friend, I think a pinned thread is in order. Not this one per se but something in a bit finer detail from someone with first hand expertise would be welcomed; as opposed to the random nonsensical moans I often equate to a zombie horde.

    Critique with a purpose, or don't bother communicating. It does more harm than good.
  7. BeefyCake

    BeefyCake TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm not planning on overclocking or anything, but if I decide somewhere down the line that I do need a cooler, I'll have to look into it some more.

    Thanks for input guys, has been very helpful.
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    I recommend a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB hard disk because it is viewed as one of (if not the) fastest mechanical 7,200RPM hard disks currently available.

    As for the 3GB/s vs. 6GB/s arguement; Mechanical disks are unlikely to ever push the boundaries (to my knowledge in a personal computer enviroment) of a 3GB/s connection.

    However, 6 GB/s can offer faster cache reading over a 3 GB/s disk, but the difference is minimal. Also, 64MB cache disks will be ever so slightly faster than 32MB cache versions too.

    SSD's of a very high speed (like some we are beginning to see appear now) will benefit from the additional bandwidth available in the SATA3 (600MB/s read/writes) interfaces. That said, most SSD's are still quite happy performing on the slower SATA2 interfaces with the around 300MB/s read/write bandwidth.

    When its all said and done, the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB using the older 3 GB/s SATA connection is a good price, is fast, and is well reviewed and recommended as a 7,200RPM mechanical hard disk.

    I personally recommend them over everything else of the 7,200RPM range.

    Least thats how I understand it.
  9. MrFox

    MrFox TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Wow, did I actually say that? It's true, it doesn't really matter since the drive will never achieve that break neck speed. Late night babble on my part; in fact I think I am still babbling - just woke up to a slap in the face with a BS flag, nice :p My bad. Still though, I'm partial to WD. Though SAMSUNG is no Seagate either.

  10. I suppose for my own sake and that of the original poster (as well as anyone else's really), I might as well ask you a pertinent storage related question: What do you think of those Momentus XT hybrid drives from Seagate? Based off of what I've seen they are worth the money, but I am prone to erroneous behavior.
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    You're right, Samsung didn't have a massive bricking issue a while back.
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I tend to think that this is the case in this instance.
  13. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    The hybrid disks are supposed to help increase the speed of more commonly used applications. I can't comment on how well it works because I've never bothered with them tbh. They sound good in theory, but I'm not so sure if in the real world they're as useful really. The difference a SSD makes to any computer is like night and day though, so I guess its supposed to sit between a SSD and a 7200RPM mechanical disk for performance.

    I use a SSD for my Operating system (even Linux will have an SSD soon), a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 for applications and games, and 2x 2TB Samsung Spinpoint F4's in RAID1 for documents and personal files etc, plus a WD 320GB for Virtualbox OS'. Eventually I'd like to get another Samsung Spinpoint F3 and then run RAID0 for my applications and games.
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    :haha: It's true, I have no idea either. I've only glanced at one review at Toms', which put it slightly above other 500GB harddrives. Though, I'd have to guess that the F3 1TB would be faster than any of those 500GB harddrives anyway.
    Just for the extra space, I'd go with the F3. It's proven itself as a very quick drive.
  15. I am glad you have thoughts. I was beginning to THINK otherwise.

    Well, for the original poster, I believe it comes down to personal use, but that Spinpoint has high regards everywhere I have looked. I suppose the hybrid drives are worth a try as well.
  16. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Well, I have yet to see a direct comparison between the two drives, but I looked on toms, and it looks like the momentus XT is only slightly faster than other 500 GB hdd's of it's time. I believe that the Samsung F3 is definitely superior to all of those 500 GB drives. Aside from that, the Momentus is much more expensive and only comes in 500 GB capacities AFAIK.
    Just to be clear, I don't know either really.
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    It comes in three sizes, 500GB being the highest. But tbh I wouldn't really even use that in a laptop. I'd much rather use an SSD of a smaller capacity and have the performance all the time.

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