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Computer Build Thread: Now with the Great Penny Arcade Build Gallery Project!

PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
Welcome to The Computer Build and The Great Penny Arcade Gallery Project Thread!

This thread is for discussing the art and science of building your own computer in particular which parts should be bought. A lot of the information we share would also be useful for picking out or customizing a commercially build computer. Obviously a lot of us are interested in gaming PCs but other uses are also discussed.

Feel free to post your build for comment or just your budget and what you need your computer to be capable of. The friendly people of this thread can set you on the right track or give you options to save money or have a better computer or sometimes both at once.

If we know the answer to some of the following questions it will help us to point you to the right computer for you.
• What is your total budget?
• What has to be included in that budget? Just an upgrade, just the computer itself or a computer with monitor, mouse and keyboard? Do you have parts from your old computer that you can use?
• Is this computer just for gaming and casual computer use or do you have other computationally intensive tasks in mind?
• What resolution to you plan on gaming at? Mostly this should be the native resolution of your monitor.
• Do you feel the need for cutting edge performance in the most demanding games (*cough* Metro 2033) or is good performance in most games and "good enough" performance in the most demanding games? Any particular games or upcoming games you care about?
• Are you biased towards either ATI/NVidia or Intel/AMD?
• How long do you want this computer to last, i.e. do you want to pay extra to try and "future proof" your computer so it won't have to be upgraded or replaced quite as soon?
• How important is being able to upgrade your computer at a later time?

If you need help or instructions on how to build your new computer take a look at this guide from techreport.com or this wiki article.

Why build a computer rather than buy one already put together?
• While general use computers are sold at fairly reasonable prices at Dell or even Best Buy, retailers or manufacturers seem to think that gamers are willing to pay more and they price accordingly. Thus a home built gaming computer can be quite a bit cheaper.
• You have a lot more options for parts if you buy your own rather than buying pre-built. There are hundreds of video cards alone on newegg. This means that you can generally get better quality and/or meet any specific requirements (like a video card with a quieter fan if you are easily bothered by your computer's noise.
• In general it's a lot easier to upgrade a home built computer than a pre-built. All the parts will be standard size and you can be sure that your motherboard and power supply leave room for upgrading later.
• You can learn a bit about how your computer works since it won't just be a black box to you.

The main downside is that if you make your own computer then you are going to have to fix it if something goes wrong. It can be slightly tense after you put your new box together and are ready to press the power button for the first time and it's pretty annoying to have to RMA parts and let your computer sit there while you wait for parts that work.

Where to shop:

These days most people buy most of their parts from newegg because they have a nice combination of selection, prices, customer ratings of the various parts, customer service and easily searched inventory. If you do buy from newegg keep an eye out for free shipping and nice "combo deals" that could save you a few extra bucks. You can often save $20 each off of a HD/OS combo, Motherboard/CPU combo, Case/Powersupply combo, etc. Otherwise good places to look include Zipzoomfly.com, Amazon especially for free shipping, Microcenter if you have one nearby (they often have very nice prices on CPUs it seems), Dell has nice deals on monitors from time to time.

For the UK, people seem to be using:
Ebuyer.co.uk
Large catalogue of components; essentially a UK 'newegg', I guess
Novatech.co.uk
Also offers alot of components, as well as custom systems. Rated highly on quite a few forums.

For Canada apparently the strategy is to buy from NCIX using their pricematching policy. Read more here.

The Great Penny Arcade Build Thread Gallery Project!

TGPABTGP! is our very own gallery of self-built (and modified pre-built) computers. All of these fancy machines belong to your fellow PA forumers, some of whom heavily utilized this thread in building it, others of whom told us all to suck it and went their own way. Even if you've never heard of this thread, as long as you've built your own PC, or modified/upgraded that HP monstrosity your parents insist on calling a real computer, then you're welcome to space here as well! Please don't hesitate to send in pictures because your photo-fu is weak, or you can only take pics with a phone camera or laptop webcam, cruddy pictures are better than nothing. Please also be aware that the intent of TGPABTGP! is not to invite criticism of the builds submitted, just to showcase them for the edification of your peers, so even if your cabling is a rat's nest, and your case a crime against humanity, submit your build, because no one will point that out! Naturally, if you would like advice/criticism feel free to post in the thread proper.

So now that those honeyed words have convinced you to do so, how do you get your rig up here? PM Alecthar (that handsome fellow with the Alan Shore avatar, he's around here somewhere) with the following:
  • Any and all pics of your rig you'd like to make available for our viewing pleasure. The easiest way is just to give Alecthar links to where they're hosted on your web site, or Photobucket/Imageshack or the like.
  • Your rig's name (if applicable)
  • Your full system specs
  • Your comments/advice/recommendations/threats against Alecthar's life in retaliation for his poor advice/etc. This is where you get to say stuff like “the most difficult part of the build was hiring the contract killer after I found out the video card Alecthar recommended was DOA” or “I really like the case I bought, thank god I didn't listen to that irritating guy with the Alan Shore avatar”.
  • Your particular preference for 2-3 pictures you think were the best/most representative of your rig

But enough about you! You haven't even submitted a build yet, you lazy sonofabitch, these guys are the real stars! (in no particular order):

Crashbox by UEAKCrash
Spoiler:

Thankfully Not Initiating Failure by intiatefailure
Spoiler:

Svengali by Skoal Cat
Spoiler:

Thank God I Don't Pay for Utilities by Alecthar
Spoiler:

So Easy a Munky Can Do It by cadmunky
Spoiler:

Thousand-Year-Old Dragon by Simpsonia
Spoiler:

Finally by Stupid
Spoiler:

Konril by Elliotw2
Spoiler:

If Iolo can do it, You can do it by Iolo
Spoiler:

It's about dang time he posted this by Pirusu
Spoiler:

You All Should Really Just Buy 600Ts by Hardtarget
Spoiler:

I Learned everything you see here from Alecthar by b1rdman
Spoiler:
Seriously I hate FF8, Stop Asking Me About It by Squall
Spoiler:

Pirusu on
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Posts

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    i am looking to upgrade my mobo on my older Core 2 Duo E8500 machine

    sadly it looks like nobody sells 775 mobos anymore except dirt cheap pieces of crap

  • corky842corky842 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    i am looking to upgrade my mobo on my older Core 2 Duo E8500 machine

    sadly it looks like nobody sells 775 mobos anymore except dirt cheap pieces of crap

    How about this one?

    Darmak wrote: »
    Something is wrong with me
  • krapst78krapst78 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    What kind of features are you looking to upgrade to with a new motherboard? They are still coming out with new LGA775 motherboards, but that line is definitely getting long in the tooth now. MSI, Gigabyte, and ECS even released new revisions to some of their more popular G41 motherboards within the last two months.

    Most likely you're going to be looking at a G41 or G45 chipset, which came out over 2 years ago. I think MSI and ASUS even make a couple G41 based boards that natively support USB 3.0. If your looking to add SATA 3 (6Gb/s) connections or support for more than 16GB of RAM, I think you're out of luck.

    Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father prepare to die!
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    This thread is superior because the OP wasn't copy pasted from text.

    I need SSDs to drop in price like woah. Someone get on that.

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • AuburnTigerAuburnTiger Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Excellent! Glad to see this thread is back. I'll post the build I might be as soon as tonight later this afternoon so you all can critique it to death.

    EDIT: Do any of you have any experience with CrossFire?

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Ahhh, it's back, long overdue.

    1Slimus.jpg
  • CarbonFireCarbonFire See you in the countryRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    <3 Pirusu, thanks for stepping up!
    Malkor wrote: »
    This thread is superior because the OP wasn't copy pasted from text.

    I need SSDs to drop in price like woah. Someone get on that.

    Yeah same. My Main Hard drive started making very unhappy whining noises last night, trying to decide if I should wait till it kicks the bucket and warranty that crap (1st gen Velociraptor :() , or finally get some use out of that SATA 6.0GB/s connection I've been wasting on my mobo.

    Anyone have any good recommendations for a decent 100GB+ SATA 3 SSD?


    Also just got my 6950 last night, flashed it to a 6970, tweaked it a bit, works great!
    6970 for $275? Don't mind if I do 8-)
    BTW, it CRUSHES Crysis at 1080p. I have never had a smoother gameplay experience (coming from a GTX260 @1440x900)

    Steam: CarbonFire MWO, PSN, Origin: Carb0nFire
  • TrippyJingTrippyJing Moses supposes his toeses are roses. But Moses supposes erroneously.Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Ah, took long enough for this thread to be resurrected.

    mosesupposes.gif
  • SkutSkutSkutSkut Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Now that this thread is back, does anyone have experience with shopping for pc parts on Amazon?

  • MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    my current Q6600/8GB ram machine has been chugging on video editing and I've been looking into the new fancypants Sandy bridge processors and I have a few questions:

    -is there any reason to get, say, 16 GB of ram? I ask because any Adobe + video editing is an enormous resource hog and like I said my current system seems to flatline when having After Effects, Mocha, Firefox, and Garry's Mod running
    -I've noticed that ATI/Nvidia cards each have their own weird pros, like PhysX and Eyefinity. I'm not sure I need PhysX for anything but I do use three monitors. What are the functional differences between these extras and which card manufacturer is currently "better"?

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    So, now that the B3 Stepping mobos are out and NewEgg has like, 4 of them. Why are they all micro-ATX? What's the deal with that?

    Also, along that route, would this video card even fit inside a micro-ATX case? I was thinking of going that smaller route anyways to save space but I have no idea what the dimensions are on that video card to know if it would even begin to fit.

    Edit: I found dimensions for cards with that casing on it. They are (LxWxH) 10.3" x 4.4" x 1.5". So if the most popular micro-ATX tower case measures up at 16" x 7.2" x 16" would it fit? Width doesn't seem to be a problem but fitting a 10.3" long card inside a 16" case sounds daunting. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    Edit 2: I just realized this whole plan won't work because the highest power power supply that Newegg offers that fits into a micro-ATX case is 470w and it has terrible reviews.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You know as far as PSUs go, I've had good luck with Logisys. They are cheap, but the one I bought 2-3 years ago is still going strong. And the one my friend bought a year or so before that was doing fine until the computer it was in incinerated in an unrelated electrical fire. It had good ratings on Newegg too. I guess every once in a while the cheapo brands do something right.

    steam_sig.png
  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SkutSkut wrote: »
    Now that this thread is back, does anyone have experience with shopping for pc parts on Amazon?

    I had about $150 in Amazon gift cards and bought some stuff from them. I bought a CPU and a motherboard. Everything arrived fine. I know their OEM drives used to come just tossed in a box, and would be worthless because of it, but they've since changed their ways.

    You know as far as PSUs go, I've had good luck with Logisys. They are cheap, but the one I bought 2-3 years ago is still going strong. And the one my friend bought a year or so before that was doing fine until the computer it was in incinerated in an unrelated electrical fire. It had good ratings on Newegg too. I guess every once in a while the cheapo brands do something right.

    Cheap doesn't mean it's going to fail right away, or that it ever will. They just have a greater chance to. And failure isn't the only concern with cheap PSUs. They usually can't even hit their advertised peak wattage (the number advertised) or they are inefficient, or there is lots of ripple/noise concerns across the rail(s). If it worked for you, that's awesome, and saving a few bucks is great, but I wouldn't ever reccommend cheaping out on the PSU.

    One thing to remember with PSU's, and maybe something I'll add to the OP is that people generally grossly overestimate their power needs. I think I'll add something to the OP about the Extreme PSU Calculator. It's a good starting point to estimate how much power you REALLY need.

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    Ugh. The CoolerMaster case I was going to buy is apparently discontinued and I've spent an hour looking at cases and hating all of them. My current case is this one from Apex and I'm seriously just considering buying it again. I was hoping to find something an inch or two shorter because this case hangs off the edge of my desk cubby by 1.9" but I can't find any.

    Edit: The dimensions on the NewEgg page for that case are backwards too. It's 17.5" long without the bezel (19" with) and 16" tall. NewEgg has them reversed.

  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    MrDelish wrote: »
    my current Q6600/8GB ram machine has been chugging on video editing and I've been looking into the new fancypants Sandy bridge processors and I have a few questions:

    -is there any reason to get, say, 16 GB of ram? I ask because any Adobe + video editing is an enormous resource hog and like I said my current system seems to flatline when having After Effects, Mocha, Firefox, and Garry's Mod running
    -I've noticed that ATI/Nvidia cards each have their own weird pros, like PhysX and Eyefinity. I'm not sure I need PhysX for anything but I do use three monitors. What are the functional differences between these extras and which card manufacturer is currently "better"?

    Trying to go through all of these to answer, huffpuff. I feel obligated now! But I enjoy it, so...

    I'm not entirely sure an extra RAM would help you. It might, but even running all that, you should be fine.

    Your best bet is to A: switch to Windows 7 if you haven't already. It manages memory so much better than any of Microsoft's other OS's. B: If you're going to go with Sandy Bridge, get one of the K-series skus and overclock it, and C: get one of the i5s or i7s with hyperthreading. Encoding video, etc is all really processor intensive. And make sure the program you're using is well threaded (ie: uses more than 1 or 2 of your processer's cores to do its work).

    PhysX and Eyefinity are two completely different things, first off. PhysX is a physics processing technology that isn't really related to monitor usage, and has limited use in most games (ie: they don't use it).

    Eyefinity is a technology that allows you to extend/stretch your desktop to 3 (or more) monitors from a single GPU. The only downside being that it can only provide video signal to a maximum of two DVI signals. A typical Eyefinity GPU will have two DVI ports, an HDMI port, and a DisplayPort. To power three monitors you'd need at least one of them to run from the Display Port, which means you get a monitor that uses it, or you have to get a POWERED Displayport Adapter. How are you using 3 monitors now?

    Ugh. The CoolerMaster case I was going to buy is apparently discontinued and I've spent an hour looking at cases and hating all of them. My current case is this one from Apex and I'm seriously just considering buying it again. I was hoping to find something an inch or two shorter because this case hangs off the edge of my desk cubby by 1.9" but I can't find any.

    Edit: The dimensions on the NewEgg page for that case are backwards too. It's 17.5" long without the bezel (19" with) and 16" tall. NewEgg has them reversed.

    What are you looking for in a case besides size? This accomodates ATX and MicroATX boards (and power supplies) and looks to fit your size needs, unless I'm missing something. You may want to check other HTPC/Media Center cases, as they tend to be smaller.

    As for fitting a 10" card into something like that, I guess it might be possible. You'd have to see what else is in the way. I doubt you could in a Shuttlebox, for example.

    Or this Silverstone case looks like it might work?

  • ragnarok7331ragnarok7331 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    So, now that the B3 Stepping mobos are out and NewEgg has like, 4 of them. Why are they all micro-ATX? What's the deal with that?

    It looks like there's this one at the regular size: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130574

    I found a review online on it and several other boards before the chipset error was noticed. Supposedly the BIOS is a bit clunky, along with a slightly higher energy draw and slightly slower peripheral speeds than its competitors.

    However, considering there aren't these other options out at the moment, it'd probably be a solid board if you're looking to avoid micro-ATX.

    Battlenet ID: Ragnarok#1212. Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197961804887/
    3DS Friend Code: 3368-2258-9242. Shiny ID: 2836. Name: The Bob
    I have spare 4/5 IV Fennekin, Riolu, and Fletchlings that I'll gladly give away/trade. PM me if you're interested.
  • corky842corky842 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    re the OP: Bluray drives are around $50 now. Bluray burners are the $100 ones.

    Darmak wrote: »
    Something is wrong with me
  • MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Pirusu wrote: »
    stuff

    yeah I know PhysX and Eyefinity are different and not on the same card. It was mostly an example of "I know each card type has neat features but what else does each one have besides (PhysX/Eyefinity, depending on chip manufacturer)." I run my three monitors using an 4870 and a 5770. Two on DVI and one on HDMI. I don't think any of my monitors have a DisplayPort, er, port, though. Already running Windows 7, too.

    Any general idea on how different prices/things will be about 4-6 months from now? What will I likely save if I wait?

  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    corky842 wrote: »
    re the OP: Bluray drives are around $50 now. Bluray burners are the $100 ones.

    Fix'd.

  • AuburnTigerAuburnTiger Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Guys, can anyone recommend CrossFire usage?

  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Guys, can anyone recommend CrossFire usage?

    I plan on doing it myself. The thing to remember with Crossfire is that unless you want to use the Catalyst Crossfire profiles, you will take a performance hit unless you use custom drivers.

    But the profiler isn't terrible.

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    MrDelish wrote: »
    Any general idea on how different prices/things will be about 4-6 months from now? What will I likely save if I wait?

    This handy-dandy article from Anand shows the price of Intel SSDs. I really think that they're the single best upgrade (other than a brand spanking new video card) that you can make at this point.

    I have Win7 installed on my SSD and some games, and there's a humongous difference. I bought it last year, and I still think it was worth the price even with the subsequent price drop.

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • Fleck0Fleck0 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    This thread came back at the perfect time, I'm on the verge of buying a nearly entirely new rig. I'm trying to stay fairly budgeted but don't cut too many corners when it comes to performance. It'll be mainly for gaming, here's what I was able to put together on my own with some long winded comments. It came out $915 after shipping and some small promotions. Which I'm willing to pay but I know that I can trim down some choices and still get the same performance with some help

    Phenom II X4 3.4ghz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

    - I was tempted to get the X6 for $40 more but I don't think anything I do will really benefit that much from 6 cores

    ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131402

    - I'm really not positive about this, I chose Asus because I've used them a lot in the past and trust them, but it's been so long since I built from scratch that I'm sure there's something that will suit my needs for less. I was attracted to this board mainly because it's Asus, and reviews say it has good onboard sound. I like having 2 PCI-E slots in case I want to SLI in the future, and I don't really plan to overclock

    MSI N460GTX CYCLONE 1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 1GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127510

    - I'm pretty sold on the GTX 460 1GB. I've never bought an MSI card for myself before but I'm pretty drawn to how quiet people say this is (knowing that 'quiet' is relative from one reviewer to the next)

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

    - People rave about corsair and I've had PSUs die on me before so I figured I pay for the peace of mind. It's not modular which isn't a huge deal, I just want to make sure I have enough watts. Googling says the video card I linked requires 600w and 2 6-pin connectors which this has. I'm hoping this is beefy enough to keep everything running?

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231275

    - Kinda like the above, I hear nothing but good things about G-skill and the price for 4gb seems reasonable

    Antec 300 case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

    - I'm really unsure of this. I had an antec case years ago which was great, I chose the 300 because it's antec and it's cheap. When it comes to a case the things I'm most concerned about are how cool it is and how loud it is. One of my main goals for this build is not to have it sound like a jet engine

    I'm also considering this WD 640gb HD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218 that's not a huge deal for me, I'm on a crappy 250gb right now and while I'd love a 1TB drive that's something I can do down the road. The other things in my cart are just thermal paste and windows 7. if I can shrink the price enough I'd kinda like to spring for some aftermarket CPU and case fans

    Any help would be great, I'm wanting to hit the checkout button so bad but I know I need an expert opinion before I drop the money for the machine I'll be using for what will likely be the next few years

    steam_sig.png
  • TrippyJingTrippyJing Moses supposes his toeses are roses. But Moses supposes erroneously.Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I am really liking this AMD Phenom II X4 840 here. There's no L3 cache, but it's 3.2GHz quad core for $109.99, which is very attractive to me as an upgrade option.

    mosesupposes.gif
  • krapst78krapst78 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CarbonFire wrote: »
    <3 Pirusu, thanks for stepping up!
    Malkor wrote: »
    This thread is superior because the OP wasn't copy pasted from text.

    I need SSDs to drop in price like woah. Someone get on that.

    Yeah same. My Main Hard drive started making very unhappy whining noises last night, trying to decide if I should wait till it kicks the bucket and warranty that crap (1st gen Velociraptor :() , or finally get some use out of that SATA 6.0GB/s connection I've been wasting on my mobo.

    Anyone have any good recommendations for a decent 100GB+ SATA 3 SSD?

    There are only two SSDs in retail right now that take advantage of a SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) port.

    You'll need to go with either a Crucial RealSSD 300 or the new Intel 510 'Elmcrest' SSD.

    One thing to be wary about is that the lower capacity drives (under 160GB) will have lower performance than the higher capacity drives. You're still talking about blazing fast speeds with both drives so unless you do things that put a high load on your drives, you probably won't notice.

    If you're willing to wait a couple months, the new Sandforce SG-2200 based SSDs should launch, and from all preliminary reports, they will outperform all current SATA based drives.

    Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father prepare to die!
  • CarbonFireCarbonFire See you in the countryRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    krapst78 wrote: »
    CarbonFire wrote: »
    <3 Pirusu, thanks for stepping up!
    Malkor wrote: »
    This thread is superior because the OP wasn't copy pasted from text.

    I need SSDs to drop in price like woah. Someone get on that.

    Yeah same. My Main Hard drive started making very unhappy whining noises last night, trying to decide if I should wait till it kicks the bucket and warranty that crap (1st gen Velociraptor :() , or finally get some use out of that SATA 6.0GB/s connection I've been wasting on my mobo.

    Anyone have any good recommendations for a decent 100GB+ SATA 3 SSD?

    There are only two SSDs in retail right now that take advantage of a SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) port.

    You'll need to go with either a Crucial RealSSD 300 or the new Intel 510 'Elmcrest' SSD.

    One thing to be wary about is that the lower capacity drives (under 160GB) will have lower performance than the higher capacity drives. You're still talking about blazing fast speeds with both drives so unless you do things that put a high load on your drives, you probably won't notice.

    If you're willing to wait a couple months, the new Sandforce SG-2200 based SSDs should launch, and from all preliminary reports, they will outperform all current SATA based drives.

    I can likely wait as long as my hard drive keeps spinning which will hopefully be a while. I also have a TB drive I use for storage, and it would work in a pinch, but I'd rather keep the faster option if possible.

    Thanks for the info, did not know that about lower cap. drives. :^:

    TrippyJing wrote: »
    I am really liking this AMD Phenom II X4 840 here. There's no L3 cache, but it's 3.2GHz quad core for $109.99, which is very attractive to me as an upgrade option.
    I would personally go for the 955, which is only $30 more. Comes unlocked, same clock speed as the 840, but you get that extra cache which will certainly help performance.

    Steam: CarbonFire MWO, PSN, Origin: Carb0nFire
  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Fleck, that build looks good. The only future-proofing you'll be missing on your mother board is going to be USB 3.0/SATA 6gbs.

    As for the Antec 300, Toms Hardware did a review of it a while ago, and it was apparently very cool - but loud.

    The thing is, however, that you can always buy fans.

    After my last foray into overclocking, I did a lot of research into fans. There's a couple ways you can go:

    Considered among the best noise/cooling ratio are Scythe Gentle Typhoons. For a case, you should be fine with AP-14s. The downside is that they're expensive.

    You can also go with Yate-Loon Low Speed fans, which are really cheap, but a little louder (though probably not as loud as the fans that are already in there.)

  • IoloIolo i not L Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    CarbonFire wrote: »
    <3 Pirusu, thanks for stepping up!

    Yay build thread! I can go back to compulsively posting NewEgg deals.

    ...

    CORSAIR Builder Series CMPSU-600CX 600W ATX12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply on sale for $50 ($10 off) through the weekend with promo code EMCYTZT329, with another $15 available in MIR.

    UcOIsIH.gif
    Not buying or backing any games for myself in 2014.
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    Pirusu wrote: »
    Ugh. The CoolerMaster case I was going to buy is apparently discontinued and I've spent an hour looking at cases and hating all of them. My current case is this one from Apex and I'm seriously just considering buying it again. I was hoping to find something an inch or two shorter because this case hangs off the edge of my desk cubby by 1.9" but I can't find any.

    Edit: The dimensions on the NewEgg page for that case are backwards too. It's 17.5" long without the bezel (19" with) and 16" tall. NewEgg has them reversed.

    What are you looking for in a case besides size? This accomodates ATX and MicroATX boards (and power supplies) and looks to fit your size needs, unless I'm missing something. You may want to check other HTPC/Media Center cases, as they tend to be smaller.

    As for fitting a 10" card into something like that, I guess it might be possible. You'd have to see what else is in the way. I doubt you could in a Shuttlebox, for example.

    Or this Silverstone case looks like it might work?

    I liked the display on the the first one you linked but it's just so god damn ugly. And the second one was even worse.

    I did eventually find a case that I liked. The Xigmatek Asgard II. It's roughly the same size as my Apex....which as of this morning is now deactivated when it wasn't yesterday. So last night, the Xigmatek is was out of stock and this morning, it's not. And my Apex was still available but today it's deactivated. That's kind of screwy.

    Which brings me to my next question. I can't watercool so I have to go with case fans. What's a good DB to Airflow ratio? Or levels? Or something. What makes a good fan?

  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    As long as you found something that works for you, that's the important part!

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    You're always so upbeat, Piru.

  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Yeah, it annoys the heck out of my wife, sometimes.

    Speaking of which, she gave me $400 to put something together for her yesterday, to replace her ancient P4 system, and I came up with the following:

    Antec 300 Illusion - $55

    Seasonic S12II 430w 80 Plus Bronze PSU - $65

    Asus AMD 880G Micro ATX Mobo - $85

    Athlon II X3 450 (Rana) - $80

    4GB G.Skill DDR3 - $40

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB HDD - $65

    And including S&H, it came out to $392. We'll re-use her old ODD, and because I'm nice, I used the last of my tax refund to buy her a Gigabyte 6850.

    A whole system for $575 shipped, and it should run most games at high settings on her 1080p monitor. You CAN game on a budget!

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    I just realized that the mobo I was going to buy doesn't support DDR3 1600, which is the memory speed I want to buy.

    So I'm guess I am stuck waiting for more mobos to become available.

    Edit: Or maybe I'm wrong. Because BIOSTAR's website says it doesn't...and that it does. What the fuck guys.

    Under the overview it says

    "Support 4-DIMM DDR3-1333/1066 up to 16G maximum capacity"

    Then it says in the chipset specs

    "It supports 4 DIMM Slots DDR3 memory that features data transfer rates of DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333. The processor support 2 memory channels and setting the memory multiplier, allows selection of the channel speed. These clearly uplift the band width and boost the overall system performance. "

    Someone needs to make up their damn mind.

  • Fleck0Fleck0 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Pirusu wrote: »
    Fleck, that build looks good. The only future-proofing you'll be missing on your mother board is going to be USB 3.0/SATA 6gbs.

    As for the Antec 300, Toms Hardware did a review of it a while ago, and it was apparently very cool - but loud.

    The thing is, however, that you can always buy fans.

    After my last foray into overclocking, I did a lot of research into fans. There's a couple ways you can go:

    Considered among the best noise/cooling ratio are Scythe Gentle Typhoons. For a case, you should be fine with AP-14s. The downside is that they're expensive.

    You can also go with Yate-Loon Low Speed fans, which are really cheap, but a little louder (though probably not as loud as the fans that are already in there.)

    Thanks a bunch Pirusu, I'm gonna get it then as is and look into more / quieter fans once I see how loud it actually is when put together. Any suggestions for a replacement cpu heatsink/fan combo? reviews say the stock AMD one is also very loud

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  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Do you just want something quiet, or do you plan on doing some overclocking? Do you have a budget for a cooler?

    You can go from the decent to the insane.

  • Fleck0Fleck0 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Maybe down the line I may OC it a bit but for now I'll most likely leave is as it comes. I hadn't thought about water cooling, I guess that would be the quietest option. hmmmm

    Though I don't think I have the budget for it right now. So if it does wind up being too loud for me I'll probly just go for something quiet that can keep it cool without OCing

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  • PirusuPirusu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Fleck0 wrote: »
    Maybe down the line I may OC it a bit but for now I'll most likely leave is as it comes. I hadn't thought about water cooling, I guess that would be the quietest option. hmmmm

    Though I don't think I have the budget for it right now. So if it does wind up being too loud for me I'll probly just go for something quiet that can keep it cool without OCing

    Hyper 212+

    It doesn't compete with the $90 brick coolers, but it's won multiple awards for price/performance ratio. The fan it comes with is PWM, which means it varies speed based on how hot the CPU gets, and you can always add your own fans if you want super quiet (Again, Gentle Typhoons or Noctua are awesome for silent cooling).

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    So who can help me diagnose a home-built computer that's acting up in completely inconsistent ways?

    Symptom 1: BSOD at random. Sometimes starts back up, usually not. Typically will either just not post, or the loading windows animation will not play.

    Symptom 2: Same thing but instead of a BSOD just a very corrupted screen and a hard lock. Same difficulty getting it to start again.

    Usually would start after several tries and being disconnected from power. Was able to run Memtest x86 which showed no issues, however BSOD's continued consistently and with no warning. After uninstalling extraneous low-level tools (such as virtual drives) and updating all drivers, still no improvements.

    Eventually things progress to the point that I cannot get the computer to start at all.

    So I went down to 1 RAM chip and put it in an unused slot (disconnecting a lot of wires that were in the way in the process, such as front panel audio and USB). Voila! Computer works miraculously with no issues. Then I go up to two 2GB RAM chips, still no issues.

    Then I put the cover back on and reconnect all the front panel stuff (audio, USB) and oh hey! BSOD's again. Then it's fine again after disconnecting the front panel audio, so I'm thinking it's the fucking front panel headphone jack of all things now.

    24 hours later, we are back in BSOD land. After switching RAM chips between slots like crazy, I eventually find a slot / chip combo that work but who knows for how long.

    Bottom line is I have no fucking clue what's going on, can someone give me some tips? At first I thought video card (due to corruption) but when the PC is working I can play Crysis no prob which indicates to me that the video card is working fine (because surely that would break it if it wasn't). So now my best theory is the motherboard is totally fucked, but hey maybe a bad power supply is the reason it's dying or maybe my RAM chips are just bad so who the fuck knows.

  • CarbonFireCarbonFire See you in the countryRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Bad RAM is always a possible culprit when it comes to BSODs. It could also conceivably be a motherboard issue, but you probably want to at least run some low level memory tests on those first before swapping out the entire motherboard.

    Here are two tests you can try to see what shape your RAM is in:

    Windows Memory Diagnostic
    Memtest86

    Could also still be an issue with the graphics card (likely the on-board memory there), that would be probably the second thing I'd test after the system RAM. Here's a test you can try for the video card memory:

    Video Memory Stress Test

    If all those come back clean, then it's likely either the motherboard or the graphics chip itself is bad. This is assuming you aren't running any exotic addon cards or other non-standard equipment.

    Steam: CarbonFire MWO, PSN, Origin: Carb0nFire
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    An overwhelming percentage of BSODs are caused by shitty drivers, i'd check for any available updates if you can

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