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Computer Build Thread

TransparentTransparent Registered User
Moe Fwacky wrote: »
So I've noticed a lot of threads around where people ask for help picking out parts, or for comments on a build they are thinking about buying. Born from those threads is this, the Computer Build Thread. If you have a build you would recommend to others, post the specs here, for those who are looking to build.


The original thread has become too large, it's time for a new one. I'll start it off with a couple of builds just like Moe did, but I intend to keep these builds updated, and will modify them based on suggestions. I also want to include a build guide in the op when I have time to write one or if someone posts one.

These systems are suggestions, if you're ordering from Newegg it's always good to pay attention to the current combo deals and discuss the options here.

The bang-for-the-buck box. 12-14-08
This system is the general recommendation. A great gaming PC keeping value in mind.
$656.88 + tax and shipping.
Spoiler:
The extreme budget gamer box. 12-15-08
This goal of this system is to be the cheapest way to play modern PC games.
$393.90 + Tax and Shipping The E-Penis i7. 12-15-08
When yours has got to be bigger.
$2042.92 + tax and shipping.
Spoiler:
Budget media center box 10-17-08
Gaming isn't a consideration here, this is a PC with just enough horsepower to watch high definition video on your TV
$316.44 plus tax and shipping, no TV tuners included until I can get some advice or do some research
Spoiler:

Transparent on
PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
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Posts

  • TransparentTransparent Registered User
    edited September 2008
    For this rig is $130 for a NVidia 9800gt worth it over $80 for an ATI 4670?

    I don't really know enough about the new ATI card to know how they compare.

    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited September 2008
    For this rig is $130 for a NVidia 9800gt worth it over $80 for an ATI 4670?

    I don't really know enough about the new ATI card to know how they compare.

    LOL yea. The 4600's of ATi are like the 8600's of nvidia.

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    For this rig is $130 for a NVidia 9800gt worth it over $80 for an ATI 4670?

    I don't really know enough about the new ATI card to know how they compare.

    LOL yea. The 4600's of ATi are like the 8600's of nvidia.

    The 4670 actually runs pretty much like the previous-generation 3850, and comes close to a 9600GSO; its main benefit/target market should be "those with OEM systems and no PCIe plugs" though.

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    For this rig is $130 for a NVidia 9800gt worth it over $80 for an ATI 4670?

    I don't really know enough about the new ATI card to know how they compare.

    LOL yea. The 4600's of ATi are like the 8600's of nvidia.

    Not at all, they compare favorably to the 9600. Not as good as a 9800, of course, but great for very low-budget builds.

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  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    For this rig is $130 for a NVidia 9800gt worth it over $80 for an ATI 4670?

    I don't really know enough about the new ATI card to know how they compare.

    LOL yea. The 4600's of ATi are like the 8600's of nvidia.

    Not at all, they compare favorably to the 9600. Not as good as a 9800, of course, but great for very low-budget builds.

    The same way an 8600 was favorable in low budget builds, but not favorable for any major gaming, i would expect :-\

  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    For this rig is $130 for a NVidia 9800gt worth it over $80 for an ATI 4670?

    I don't really know enough about the new ATI card to know how they compare.

    LOL yea. The 4600's of ATi are like the 8600's of nvidia.

    Not at all, they compare favorably to the 9600. Not as good as a 9800, of course, but great for very low-budget builds.

    The same way an 8600 was favorable in low budget builds, but not favorable for any major gaming, i would expect :-\

    No, the 8600 wasn't really "favourable" to anything short of holding down stacks of paper, and even then it was pretty poor. The previous-gen 7600GT was a better option in most cases.

    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
    Can trade TF2 items or whatever else you're interested in. PM me.
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    just gonna point out that in the op (bang for your buck) you can find cheaper ram than kingston 1gb sticks.

    for example this ocz 2x1gb set is currently 20 bucks after rebate with free shipping...

    this G-skill changes between 40-45. just saying you can easily do better.
    That Kingston was on the motherboard's qualified vendor list, which I haven't had a chance to go through for better deals. I know that's not really a requirement, but I wanted to be resonably sure the recommendation would be stable.

    Daedalus wrote: »
    I'd like to chime in with my usual recommendation for the E7200 over the E8400. It's significantly cheaper and should overclock to be at least as fast as the E8500.
    Good point, the E7200 is probably a better price point for this rig.


    you mostly dont have to worry about compatability with ram. timing and frequency need to be supported but there is almost no way the manufacturer is going to make a difference. the manufacturer ensures quality and warranty, g-skill kingston and ocz are all good.

    i do stand by my 2x1gb is better than 2 1gb strips

  • TransparentTransparent Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    you mostly dont have to worry about compatability with ram. timing and frequency need to be supported but there is almost no way the manufacturer is going to make a difference. the manufacturer ensures quality and warranty, g-skill kingston and ocz are all good.

    i do stand by my 2x1gb is better than 2 1gb strips
    Yeah, they are a better deal, I'll update when I get home tonight.

    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
  • TrippyDKTrippyDK Registered User
    edited September 2008
    problem solved. sorry.

  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Anyone have experience with Arctic Silver Alumina or a similar thermal adhesive? The Thermalright T-Rad2 has hit stateside, and I'm going to replace the stock cooler on my 4870. Only thing is it comes with replacement RAMsinks, and I've never fiddled with replacing those before.

    How hard is the thermal adhesive to apply?

    5gsowHm.png
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Might want to use Ceramique, just in case you get some on the circuit board.

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  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Might want to use Ceramique, just in case you get some on the circuit board.
    Will that keep the RAMsinks from falling off?

    5gsowHm.png
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Syngyne wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Might want to use Ceramique, just in case you get some on the circuit board.
    Will that keep the RAMsinks from falling off?

    If you get the adhesive version.

    edit: nevermind, they don't make an adhesive version of Ceramique. What the fuck?

    vvvvvv-dithw.png
  • TrippyDKTrippyDK Registered User
    edited September 2008
    So how much am I going to lose by installing 32 bit instead of 64 bit? I planned to install 64 bit, but I didnt realize Vista Home Ultimate only comes with 32 bit and you have to order the second disk.

  • TransparentTransparent Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Do you have more than three gigs of ram?

    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
  • SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Ok guys, I have a problem and need some help. I built my new rig, but it wont POST. The CPU fan kicks in alright and the HDD and CD-ROMs appear to be working, but the fan on the video card stutters, then doesnt move and nothing is displayed on the monitor, nor are there any system beeps from the Mobo. Any ideas?

    The card is a radeon 4850 HD

    Some say that the Blood Angels are tainted: that they harbour a dark secret. I know this to be true. I have seen the infamous Death Company: wild-eyed and foam-mouthed berserkers who tear their enemies limb from limb, crush skulls with a single blow, snap spines and rip out inner organs. I have seen the Sanguinary Priests: the passing of blood filled chalices from lip to lip, heard their wracking lamentations of Sanguinus's death. I have watched their rituals: mighty warriors daubing their armour in the blood of their foes, heard them crying for vengeance against the enemies of the Emperor.
  • TransparentTransparent Registered User
    edited September 2008
    You most likely have a 12 volt power connection not plugged in, or plugged in incorrectly. Check that you have the 6 pin PCIe connection plugged into your video card, and that the one plugged into your motherboard is not a PCIe connector.

    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
  • SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I have the 6 pin PCIe plugged into the Vcard, and what 12 V are you talking about?

    Some say that the Blood Angels are tainted: that they harbour a dark secret. I know this to be true. I have seen the infamous Death Company: wild-eyed and foam-mouthed berserkers who tear their enemies limb from limb, crush skulls with a single blow, snap spines and rip out inner organs. I have seen the Sanguinary Priests: the passing of blood filled chalices from lip to lip, heard their wracking lamentations of Sanguinus's death. I have watched their rituals: mighty warriors daubing their armour in the blood of their foes, heard them crying for vengeance against the enemies of the Emperor.
  • TransparentTransparent Registered User
    edited September 2008
    There's the big 24 pin connector that you plug into the motherboard, also there's a 12v 4 pin connector that powers the CPU that goes in a different spot on the motherboard.

    PAXtrain '10, let's do this!
  • SpherickSpherick Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Hmm, well ill be damned. Lemme see if I can find this 12v 4 pin connector. Where on the Mobo does it go?

    edit: found it, lemme see if I can POST now

    Some say that the Blood Angels are tainted: that they harbour a dark secret. I know this to be true. I have seen the infamous Death Company: wild-eyed and foam-mouthed berserkers who tear their enemies limb from limb, crush skulls with a single blow, snap spines and rip out inner organs. I have seen the Sanguinary Priests: the passing of blood filled chalices from lip to lip, heard their wracking lamentations of Sanguinus's death. I have watched their rituals: mighty warriors daubing their armour in the blood of their foes, heard them crying for vengeance against the enemies of the Emperor.
  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Syngyne wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Might want to use Ceramique, just in case you get some on the circuit board.
    Will that keep the RAMsinks from falling off?

    If you get the adhesive version.

    edit: nevermind, they don't make an adhesive version of Ceramique. What the fuck?

    It turns out the Thermalright RAMsinks come with an adhesive pad already attached, so it's coo.

    5gsowHm.png
  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Righto chaps, need some help chasing down some kind of bug in a new build. So this PC that my brother's got is having some stuttering issues running games, and it seems to be when it's loading in new sounds. The setup is as follows

    Intel Core 2 quad q6600
    ASUS P5K SE/EPU (using the Realtek ALC883 onboard audio from this)
    4GB Corsair something RAM
    nVidia 9800GTX

    I can get the model of HDD too if needed, since I guess it could be an issue if it's slow to loading things off that.

    So are there any immediate ideas? I'm suspecting it's to do with the onboard sound maybe not being set up properly, but we've installed the drivers that came with it (didn't solve it) and are now getting a more recent set. Or is it a quad-core issue? I've seen the problem in action on the Crysis demo, but it seems to be around in other games too, so I don't think it's just the one game screwing it up.

  • homewrecker4homewrecker4 Registered User
    edited September 2008
    First off, I just want to thank everyone in the last thread, my new machine is on the way now, and it wouldn't have happened without all of your help, so thanks for that.

    I have a question though, about transferring data between computers. I have all this stuff (mostly music, pictures, documents, but also maybe some programs and games if possible) on my current computer that I'll want to move over to my new one, but I'm not sure how exactly I can do it.

    My CD writer right now isn't working, so that's out of the question. I have some portable devices (IPod, USB thumbdrives) that I could use, but the USB port on this PC is extremely slow and it would be a last resort if anything.

    One possibility I was thinking about, was putting both computers onto the same network, and then being able to just transfer files through that connection. My question is, will this be possible even though I'm running different operating systems on each machine (XP Home on this one, Vista Home on the new one)?

    And actually speaking of different OS's, would it be possible to just put my old hard drive into the new machine, or would it not work properly because of the data already on it?

    Hope my post made sense enough for someone to answer it. Thanks in advance, and thanks again for all the help.
    ---

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    One possibility I was thinking about, was putting both computers onto the same network, and then being able to just transfer files through that connection. My question is, will this be possible even though I'm running different operating systems on each machine (XP Home on this one, Vista Home on the new one)?
    Yeah, that would work.
    And actually speaking of different OS's, would it be possible to just put my old hard drive into the new machine, or would it not work properly because of the data already on it?

    You can do this, but you need to reinstall Windows. You can't just take a Windows install from one computer and try and boot off of it on a different computer. But the rest of the data should be fine.

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  • zanetheinsanezanetheinsane Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Technically you can. I've actually done it before with Windows XP. It boots up and immediately starts installing drivers for the new hardware. Of course I would in no way ever recommend seriously doing this, I just had to get some data off a drive.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Technically you can. I've actually done it before with Windows XP. It boots up and immediately starts installing drivers for the new hardware. Of course I would in no way ever recommend seriously doing this, I just had to get some data off a drive.

    Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won't, it depends on how similar the hard drive controllers are in each motherboard.

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  • zanetheinsanezanetheinsane Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    So the Core2Duo has officially been kicking AMD around, specifically lately the E8400 and the E8500, which of course has seriously caught my eye. If anything I'd get the E8400 and bump it straight up to E8500 speeds or higher, but I also don't want to immediately discount AMD.

    I've been sort of disappointed with their offerings, but the AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz caught my eye at $159.99 (since I doubt I'm sticking with a stock HSF no matter what I'm getting). I seen a lot of the caveats from Intel's Q6600 and up line that the extra cores really aren't going to help out in a lot of areas, but at 2.6 GHz I wonder if it's going to hold up considering AMD has never really been able to match clock speeds with Intel but has always made up performance in other areas.

    It doesn't overclock well (nominal performance gains up to 3.0-3.1 GHz) and drains an amazingly bad 140W (compared to the E8400's 65W). Does AMD bring anything to the table these days for people that have no problems with the cost of Intel's processors? Can anyone possibly sell me on anything AMD?

  • homewrecker4homewrecker4 Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Alright, thanks so much for the help.
    ---

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    So the Core2Duo has officially been kicking AMD around, specifically lately the E8400 and the E8500, which of course has seriously caught my eye. If anything I'd get the E8400 and bump it straight up to E8500 speeds or higher, but I also don't want to immediately discount AMD.

    I've been sort of disappointed with their offerings, but the AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz caught my eye at $159.99 (since I doubt I'm sticking with a stock HSF no matter what I'm getting). I seen a lot of the caveats from Intel's Q6600 and up line that the extra cores really aren't going to help out in a lot of areas, but at 2.6 GHz I wonder if it's going to hold up considering AMD has never really been able to match clock speeds with Intel but has always made up performance in other areas.

    It doesn't overclock well (nominal performance gains up to 3.0-3.1 GHz) and drains an amazingly bad 140W (compared to the E8400's 65W). Does AMD bring anything to the table these days for people that have no problems with the cost of Intel's processors? Can anyone possibly sell me on anything AMD?

    Communications latency between cores is reduced because of the shared L3 cache?

    If you aren't doing PDES stuff you probably won't notice. You certainly won't notice for games.

    AMD's low-cost stuff is still good, especially motherboards, but the high-end stuff isn't really worth it compared to Intel right now. Maybe that will change in the future. I hope so, anyway.

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  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus ha ha just kidding I'm Frog ManRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    dang it all but my bank's automatic fraud protection is apparently not letting me place orders on Newegg

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I got screwed out of a 24hr deal on a really nice case like that man, I feel your pain. If you call your bank and tell them to authorize the charge before you make it, they should let it through.

    Edit:

    I never got an answer last thread, Im about to build my new pc, and while I want top of the line for gaming, im not going money is no object. I was thinking 300$ for a mobo/processor combo. Seeing the middle of the road choice in the opening post made me question my thoughts on processors though as that was basicly one of my top 3 picks. Any suggestions? Should I go dual or quad core? I was thinking from what I read here I should stick to the dual core.

    steam_sig.png
  • ArcticMonkeyArcticMonkey Registered User
    edited September 2008
    I got screwed out of a 24hr deal on a really nice case like that man, I feel your pain. If you call your bank and tell them to authorize the charge before you make it, they should let it through.

    Edit:

    I never got an answer last thread, Im about to build my new pc, and while I want top of the line for gaming, im not going money is no object. I was thinking 300$ for a mobo/processor combo. Seeing the middle of the road choice in the opening post made me question my thoughts on processors though as that was basicly one of my top 3 picks. Any suggestions? Should I go dual or quad core? I was thinking from what I read here I should stick to the dual core.
    For a good gaming pc today go for an Intel duo E8x00.
    Quad cores have slower cores and no games need 4 cores yet.
    Also the ASUS P5QL Pro mentioned in the OP is an amazing bang for your buck if you don't plan on SLI/RAID.

    "You read it! You can't unread it!"
    venstre.giflobotDanceMiddle.gifhoyre.gif
  • zanetheinsanezanetheinsane Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM in the original post seems like a good deal, but I'm having a hard time dealing with the enormous failure rate from the reviews.

    If you look at it, there are 899 reviews, which is a very large sample rate considering. Out of that, the 95 "1 egg" reviews are almost all DOA drives or very shortly after use. Looking at the 45 "2 egg" ratings, almost all of those are drive failures. Surprisingly enough, lots of the 44 "3 egg" reviews were DOA drives. Why anyone would get multiple dead drives and give a 3-egg review I have no clue about.

    While it may be a good bargain on paper, are we really recommending a drive that may have upwards of 20+% failure rate? If it wasn't such a large number of reviews I wouldn't be so leary, but almost 900 is a decent enough sample set that I just don't think I would take that kind of gamble.

    Here's a good sample from the reviews:
    Very high failure rate! I've been building systems for years and usually offer Seagate and/or WD RAPTOR drives, mainly due to reputation, demand and 5 years warranties on these drives. I've received 8 of these 500GB drives in the past several weeks, and 5 of the 8 failed after a day or 2 (SMART errors, lockups, failing SeaTools diagnostics, clicking sounds, RAID array failures, etc.) 2/3 of the received drives were bad?!

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yeah I mentioned before I didnt plan on SLI Except having a second card if i upgrade for physics from nvidia. That isnt "real" sli though so it should be ok. Raid isnt necessary either. I think im gonna go ahead and jump on that P5QL Pro and E8500 then.

    Heres the full build now:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz

    ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

    EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260

    Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066

    $679.94 total. I wont be using a 64 bit operating system, so im sticking with 2 gigs of ram as the video card is almost a gig by itself.

    steam_sig.png
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM in the original post seems like a good deal, but I'm having a hard time dealing with the enormous failure rate from the reviews.

    If you look at it, there are 899 reviews, which is a very large sample rate considering. Out of that, the 95 "1 egg" reviews are almost all DOA drives or very shortly after use. Looking at the 45 "2 egg" ratings, almost all of those are drive failures. Surprisingly enough, lots of the 44 "3 egg" reviews were DOA drives. Why anyone would get multiple dead drives and give a 3-egg review I have no clue about.

    While it may be a good bargain on paper, are we really recommending a drive that may have upwards of 20+% failure rate? If it wasn't such a large number of reviews I wouldn't be so leary, but almost 900 is a decent enough sample set that I just don't think I would take that kind of gamble.

    Here's a good sample from the reviews:
    Very high failure rate! I've been building systems for years and usually offer Seagate and/or WD RAPTOR drives, mainly due to reputation, demand and 5 years warranties on these drives. I've received 8 of these 500GB drives in the past several weeks, and 5 of the 8 failed after a day or 2 (SMART errors, lockups, failing SeaTools diagnostics, clicking sounds, RAID array failures, etc.) 2/3 of the received drives were bad?!

    I am not necessarily going against what your saying, as I would be super causious about this product under those circumstances too, but there are several things to keep in mind when reading newegg reviews:

    I think the real thing to look at here, is are people more likely to give a review of a product A) if its DoA B)If its good, or C) either way. The people who wouldnt be in C) Would be most likely go with A only. I think this in itself pushes the number of DoA reports high on the product. Other things to consider is batches. Were the date ranges on the product a long time ago where people were saying there getting DoA's? It could be a bad batch of hard drives and recent reviews could be stellar without any problems.

    There is also the fact that these reviews include reviews from people that could of bought from another site, or who havent even bought the product at all and are product fanboy's and trolls.

    steam_sig.png
  • zanetheinsanezanetheinsane Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Ugh, I was looking a the rest of the SATA hard drives from Western Digital and Seagate, specifically at the offerings that had about 800-1200 reviews, and it's the same story. After digging around, some people are saying it's about a 50:50 chance you'll get a DOA drive on most of them, and a lot of them fail after normal use.

    Seriously, it can't be acceptable practice to just ship out whatever garbage you can and make the customer just keep RMA'ing hard drives until they get one that works?

    I understand what you're saying, but when you look at the reviews where people ordered multiple hard drives, like 4, and 2 come DOA, that's pretty suspect.

  • nlawalkernlawalker Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Dissatisfied customers leave a lot more reviews than satisfied ones.

    -SPI- wrote: »
    Not enough facepalm in the world for the cavalcade of fuckmuppetry this game's launch has been.
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Also, UPS destroys electronics.

    Anyway, the drive from WD that's 640 gigs and ends in AAKS is an awesome fucking drive. Two platters at 320 each, and it's really quiet and fast. I don't have the link right now though.

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  • CmdPromptCmdPrompt Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Also, UPS destroys electronics.

    Anyway, the drive from WD that's 640 gigs and ends in AAKS is an awesome fucking drive. Two platters at 320 each, and it's really quiet and fast. I don't have the link right now though.

    I have the 750GB Seagate 7200.11 and that WD, and both have been smooth as butter.

    I don't think the failure rates are as high as those reviews would indicate.

    GxewS.png
  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yeah I mentioned before I didnt plan on SLI Except having a second card if i upgrade for physics from nvidia. That isnt "real" sli though so it should be ok. Raid isnt necessary either. I think im gonna go ahead and jump on that P5QL Pro and E8500 then.

    ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

    Just in case you didn't see it, you're not going to be able to go SLI later with that board. It's a Crossfire board. Other than that, I have this board and a similar processor (the E8500), and I'm really happy with the build. The board gets huge points for having that little Q-connector thingy. Took all the hassle out of hooking up the front panel connections.

    It also keeps downloads going when it goes into powersave mode. :D
    Daedalus wrote:
    Anyway, the drive from WD that's 640 gigs and ends in AAKS is an awesome fucking drive. Two platters at 320 each, and it's really quiet and fast. I don't have the link right now though.

    Seconding this. Daed recommended the drive for my current build, and I <3 it so much. So quiet and fast. :)

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