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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Building a computer--any hardware enthusiasts out there?

   
Author Topic: Building a computer--any hardware enthusiasts out there?
lem
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So I am on about a 700 dollar budget and I have the parts for a complete computer from Newegg for about $620 dollars after rebates.

Can anyone look this over and tell me if it is a good deal? Can you make it better in the same price point? Or keep it just as good for less money? Or should I spend a little more to make it a better machine?

It is for personal use, and I hope it can play games like Guild Wars 2 and other new releases for several years. I am not a hard core gamer tho. I might play off and on for 4 months out of the year.

Motherboard- ASUS M5A99X EVO $114.99 after rebate

Processor - AMD FX-4170 Zambezi 4.2GHz $119.99

Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB $42.99

Video Card - XFX HD-677X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6770 1GB $104.99 after rebate

Hard Drive - OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G $89.99

Power Supply - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 $69.99 after rebate

Case - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel $54.99

DVD Drive - ASUS 24X DVD Burner $19.99


I have never had a flash hard drive. It has been years since I built a computer. Thoughts? Advice? I plan on running Windows 7 Pro.

I have a Terabyte secondary hard drive. Maybe I will dual boot with Ubuntu or have some virtual machines.

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TomDavidson
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That is almost exactly my current computer. [Smile] It's been a solid build for me.

If you've never had a SSD before, be sure to look up some of the common build instructions; it's easy -- although harder nowadays than it used to be -- to do something boneheaded when configuring your OS and kneecap your speeds.

Also, I find myself questioning whether an optical burner is really a necessary purchase nowadays.

---------

I have a 1TB, 7200RPM secondary drive for games and media files I'm working on. But I've lost enough valuable media over the years that I made acquiring a decent 6TB NAS a high priority of mine. It's running RAID 5 (so only 4TB is available), and I put everything on there. You may want to consider picking up another secondary and setting up an internal mirror on your storage drive.

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Aros
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I'd probably go to TigerDirect and get this Core i5 package instead of your CPU / motherboard combo. It's a few notches better (confirmed by Tom's Hardware).
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2580692&Sku=M69-0023

You can offset a lot of the price difference by getting a better graphics card deal (better card, $15 less) for $89.99:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4368402&Sku=M452-0554%20NBA

I'd probably spend less on a power supply as well -- that one's overkill. Here's a 500 W one for $32. It should have plenty of juice -- you're looking less than 200 W peak between your board and video:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4465483&Sku=C283-1220

This should come out about roughly equal, as long as you get the rest of the parts at TigerDirect (save on shipping). You might want to think about upgrading your optical drive to Blu-Ray. You might not want it now, but it may be good to have in the future.

[ September 11, 2012, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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lem
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quote:
Also, I find myself questioning whether an optical burner is really a necessary purchase nowadays.
I feel the same way, but I have little kids at home. There are a surprising number of kids games that require a disc. Plus my son and I use GameMaker from time to time, and it is nice to burn a disc he can take to school or give to his friends.

quote:
You may want to consider picking up another secondary and setting up an internal mirror on your storage drive.
That is a really good suggestion. I basically only backup photos. Anything else can go or is in Google documents or is in the cloud. I currently use an external Hard Drive, but that is a hassle and I forget to back up my stuff. Infact, it has been over 6 months since my last back up (now that I think about it).

quote:
You can offset a lot of the price difference by getting a better graphics card deal (better card, $15 less) for $89.99:
Awesome find. Thanks! I forgot all about Tigerdirct. Do they have free shipping?

quote:
You might want to think about upgrading your optical drive to Blu-Ray. You might not want it now, but it may be good to have in the future.
The nice thing about hardware is you can safely assume it will get better and cheaper, so unless I have a need, I feel really comfortable procrastinating purchases. Plus, I don't think my monitor can handle Blu-Ray. Don't you need an HD monitor?

Thanks for the comments. Tom's build makes me feel better about this and Aros has pointed me in a good direction.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by lem:
Plus, I don't think my monitor can handle Blu-Ray. Don't you need an HD monitor?

Most monitors are already HD. Low-end monitors are usually 1368x768, which is roughly equivalent to 720p, and better ones are usually 1920x1080, which is 1080p.

Even if your monitor isn't the right aspect ratio or resolution, I'm pretty sure it would just show a blu-ray movie letterboxed or shrunk to fit the screen.

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lem
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Interesting. My back up monitor that I will be using is an old 19inch flat screen from about 5 years ago.
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Aros
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It's likely that it's better than 720p.
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TomDavidson
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Don't skimp on a Cooler Master power supply, lem. Buy the Corsair you've picked out. Corsair "makes" -- or, rather, brands -- much, much better power supplies, and the power supply is arguably the most important part of your system.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Don't skimp on a Cooler Master power supply, lem. Buy the Corsair you've picked out. Corsair "makes" -- or, rather, brands -- much, much better power supplies, and the power supply is arguably the most important part of your system.

Yeah, don't believe the reviews on the Cooler Master. Pay twice as much to put a Porsche engine in your Chevy. It'll . . . not do anything different. But at least it'll appease people online.

XXX UPDATE XXX

I know I'm coming off snarky and sounding rude. I apologize. But it's honest. I'm an electric engineer, long story short, but both power supplies meet your needs. Both have good reviews and likely a good build, thus low fail rate. It's somewhat likely that either one will fail within three years. It's pretty likely that either one will fail within five years. It's highly unlikely that either will cause damage to any of your other components -- when it fails, it'll just need replaced.

Your call. But you're not buying anything spending the extra money, based on your needs.

[ September 11, 2012, 06:54 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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capaxinfiniti
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Looks like a solid build to me. I've also used Newegg dozens of times and have been very pleased every time. If I was building it I'd put in Mushkin memory and a Western Digital HDD (personal preferences), and maybe squeeze in an aftermarket CPU cooler if the budget allowed. I used that Antec case in a build I did for a relative about a year ago and wouldn't hesitate to use one in the future. Big enough to put a lot of junk in there and still have really good airflow.

My advice on rebates is don't bank on them. The rebate system for nearly every manufacturer is administered by a third party and most of these rebate centers use tactics that verge on scamming. Plan on a bit of effort and patience.

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Mucus
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I second the NAS thing. I've lost a number of hard drives, so I have two 3.5TB NAS running rsync from one to the other every night for back-up. Both Ubuntu and Windows 7 have automatic back-up utilities and as a bonus you'll be able to hit shared media on the NAS from iOS or Android.
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lem
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quote:
...as a bonus you'll be able to hit shared media on the NAS from iOS or Android.
I am trying not to buy into the hype, but I am seriously thinking of getting a Ouya. It would have access to the shared media, and going back to what I use my computer with my son for, the new version of Gamemaker lets you port games to iOS or Android.
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Sa'eed
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Lem;

Check out the first few posts in this somethingawful thread. It's very helpful!

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3458091

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lem
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Wow. You weren't kidding Sa'eed. That is exactly what I needed to refresh my mind on hardware. Things change so fast, but that thread looks like it will remain up to date.
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