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slicer4ever

advice on pc build.

47 posts in this topic

so, i'm putting together a pc from scratch finally, and just wanted to get some advice to A. make sure i didn't put anything stupid together(such as wrong power supply, bad case, or even a bad mb combos). and any suggestions on improvements to potentially save some costs here and there where you guys see fit.

the current build: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=23214866 Edited by slicer4ever
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Seems fine to me, though I might suggest upgrading the HDD a little. 16MB HDD cache is pretty small, seeing as 64MB is a pretty normal cache size these days. Something like this has a 64GBMB (edit: oops) cache and an extra 500GB of disk space for only $15 more (I wasn't looking either, I just picked the first link I found, so a little shopping wouldn't be a bad idea).

Edited by Cornstalks
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Something like this has a 64GB cache

 

64GB cache! Holy crap! tongue.png

 

I had issues with the 1333MHz version of those RAM sticks, they would consistently fail after about 2 months, I RMA'ed and was returned faulty sticks. I gave up after that.

Looks fine otherwise, everything fits together. I would suggest adding a smallish SSD if you can smile.png and perhaps a second hard drive because 500GB gets used up really quickly (unless you already have an external hard drive)

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Select some Corsair or Kingston ram, those are usually good quality. 

 

Dont cheap out on things like the motherborad, ram and powersupply - it will only make the system more unstable.

*Elaborating: 

Your powersupply seems like a good choice, the rams would benifit from being upgraded to corsiar/kingston, as mentioned. 

I have little experience with AMD system combos as i usually choose INTEL, so i cant comment on the motherboard. 

 

If you want are more silence PC, it would also recommend to choosing a different cabinet/case - if you went for the look, then its fine i guess. 

Edited by Zwonkie
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ok, so first of all, i'm happy to hear i didn't make any fundamental mistakes.
also, i added a 64gb ssd, and a 1TB hdd to complement it.
I also switched over to 8gb Corsair ram.

@Zwonkie, i know the MB is a bit on the lower side, but it has pretty good reviews, so i don't think it'll be too much of an issue. also most of the negative feedback is being directly addressed by the manufacturer, so that gives me a bit of confidence.
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Dont buy an SSD under 120GB.

I would only buy a power supply from a manufacturer that is dedicated to power supplies only.

Windows 8 is a placeholder between 2 successful versions ...as it was Vista and Windows 2000.

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I only chime in because of this;

 


I would only buy a power supply from a manufacturer that is dedicated to power supplies only.

 

I have a corsair power supply very similar to the one in that wish list and I love it. Have had 0 issues with it. One of the main reasons I like Corsair for power supplies, is that they make their supplies with a single 12V rail. I have ran into so many issues upgrading hardware and running into power issues with the amps are split across multiple 12v rails. Depending on your needs, you most likely dont need more than 1 12v rail, and it reduces headaches later. Maybe more manufactures do this now, but 2 years ago they were not. It becomes more of an issue lately because those stinking graphic cards take up so much power, that often cheaper split rail power supplies cant support the juice unless you rig multiple rails pushing into the card, which is not always an option...

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I wouldn't buy a Gigabyte mainboard, having had issues in the past because the mainboard that the 17 year old expert at the shop recommended wouldn't do the DIMMs that the expert recommended with it. ASUS never gave me trouble.

 

The harddisk you chose is incidentially the exact same I use with a mobile rack for backups, so I guess I couldn't say anything bad about it!

For the a solid state disk, I'd prefer the OCZ Vertex 4, but opinions are like assholes -- everybody has one. In any case, I'd go for something bigger than 64GB, so you have a little reserve. If you have to buy a smaller CPU to afford the SSD, then so be it. A solid state disk is the single biggest win, so one shouldn't ever economize there.

 

For the BluRay drive, it might be worthwhile thinking about buying that as USB. It's something I've done with my last computer. The advantage is that you can just pull the cable and during the 29 days per month when you don't need an optical drive, it won't consume power or delay your computer when booting.

 

Now of course Windows 8 ... this is the probably biggest mistake possible. I've already had this opinion after trying Windows 8 preview on my desktop back in the time, but now that I own a Windows 8 tablet for somewhat more than 2 weeks, I am even more convinced that Win8 is total fail. It is not even very usable for tablets, but even less so for desktops. Just say no. Windows 7 is so much better.

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I wouldn't buy a Gigabyte mainboard, having had issues in the past because the mainboard that the 17 year old expert at the shop recommended wouldn't do the DIMMs that the expert recommended with it. ASUS never gave me trouble.

I see, I appreciate the advice, but I think i'm still ganna go with this board.

The harddisk you chose is incidentially the exact same I use with a mobile rack for backups, so I guess I couldn't say anything bad about it!
For the a solid state disk, I'd prefer the OCZ Vertex 4, but opinions are like assholes -- everybody has one. In any case, I'd go for something bigger than 64GB, so you have a little reserve. If you have to buy a smaller CPU to afford the SSD, then so be it. A solid state disk is the single biggest win, so one shouldn't ever economize there.

I have an OCZ Vertex 3 in my laptop right now, but I don't feel 64 gb is ganna be too terrible when combined with the 1TB hdd(particularly now that steam allows you to specify install locations helps to.)

For the BluRay drive, it might be worthwhile thinking about buying that as USB. It's something I've done with my last computer. The advantage is that you can just pull the cable and during the 29 days per month when you don't need an optical drive, it won't consume power or delay your computer when booting.

I'll keep that in mind, it's not a bad idea.
 

Now of course Windows 8 ... this is the probably biggest mistake possible. I've already had this opinion after trying Windows 8 preview on my desktop back in the time, but now that I own a Windows 8 tablet for somewhat more than 2 weeks, I am even more convinced that Win8 is total fail. It is not even very usable for tablets, but even less so for desktops. Just say no. Windows 7 is so much better.


now this is where you should have used your opinion line. I have used windows 8 a bit on some family laptops, and am personally in love with the OS, And have been wanting to upgrade for quite awhile, so we'll have to agree to disagree on this point.
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Motherboards: I've been happiest with Gigabyte, and both MSI and Asus have been very good to me as well.

Graphics card: Eh, I'm on icy speaking terms with AMD right now. XFX is probably fine as an integrator but certainly not top tier.

Power supply: Corsair's great, all of ours are Corsair based now.

CPU: AMD... I'm not particularly fond of them, but CPU isn't a very important component anymore.

RAM: I'd go 2x8, myself. Corsair is great.

SSD: Crucial, Samsung, and Intel are the reliable top tier brands. I don't trust anything else. Buy at least 120 GB and go for the 240+ if at all possible.

HDD: I'm a little annoyed at the shoddiness of the Seagate warranty these days.

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I have an OCZ Vertex 3 in my laptop right now, but I don't feel 64 gb is ganna be too terrible when combined with the 1TB hdd(particularly now that steam allows you to specify install locations helps to.)

I made that mistake too. 64 GB is enough for the OS and very little else. I like to actually use my expensive SSD, hence the larger sizes.

Edited by Promit
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Yes, definitely get a bigger SSD. Remember that games are huge these days. You may also want to use a better cpu cooler than the stock one. Also make sure the graphics card is silent, because there's nothing worse than loud gpu coolers, and replacing those isn't fun or cheap.

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Yes, definitely get a bigger SSD. Remember that games are huge these days. You may also want to use a better cpu cooler than the stock one. Also make sure the graphics card is silent, because there's nothing worse than loud gpu coolers, and replacing those isn't fun or cheap.

If you do get a new cooler, I'm quite fond of the closed loop Corsair water cooling blocks. They're lightweight and easy to install, and double as case fans. Cleaner to put inside a case than the monster tower coolers (eg Hyper212).

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Sorry I'm going with the others on the SSD- this very box I typing on has a 40gig ssd for the os, a 1 tb and 250gb, and I am forever having to monitor the ssd it because it fills up- a lot.

 

You need enough for windows and all your programs- my windows 7 ult windows folder is 22gb and I have 13gb in program files.

 

120gb is a nice round number.

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I don't understand why anyone would pair up an SSD with a HDD.  I think it's better to just go pure SSD.  If you need the extra space, an external HDD or a NAS is preferable.

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It's not cost effective to go pure ssd.

Depends on how much space you need... I honestly don't know what you guys are storing! I'm perfectly capable of getting away with a 128GB SSD. Not everything has to be installed at once! :D

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Depends on how much space you need... I honestly don't know what you guys are storing! I'm perfectly capable of getting away with a 128GB SSD. Not everything has to be installed at once!

 

Well, don't know about others, but I store quite a bit of media, including movies, songs, and so on, which totals about 1.1TB at the moment, but then I have my external hard drive for that. My 120GB SSD is only 20% full, complete with OS and lots of applications - needless to say, I run Linux on it - and 12GB allocated to swap (just because I can).

 

I still use internal hard drives for running my Windows dual boot and because I got my SSD much later. Also, SSD's are ridiculously expensive. I don't know who can afford 500GB+ SSD's. Finally, not *everything* benefits from being on an SSD, so until they become cheaper to produce than more conventional hard drives it doesn't make sense to store all your stuff down to the last bit on them if you have lots of data to store (unless you're filthy rich wink.png )

 

But don't worry, I have no doubt that in a few years we'll have petabyte-sized hard drives that can fit in your palm. And people will still be complaining that Windows 16 takes over fifty terabytes of space sleep.png

Edited by Bacterius
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I wouldn't buy a Gigabyte mainboard, having had issues in the past because the mainboard that the 17 year old expert at the shop recommended wouldn't do the DIMMs that the expert recommended with it. ASUS never gave me trouble.

 

The harddisk you chose is incidentially the exact same I use with a mobile rack for backups, so I guess I couldn't say anything bad about it!

For the a solid state disk, I'd prefer the OCZ Vertex 4, but opinions are like assholes -- everybody has one. In any case, I'd go for something bigger than 64GB, so you have a little reserve. If you have to buy a smaller CPU to afford the SSD, then so be it. A solid state disk is the single biggest win, so one shouldn't ever economize there.

 

For the BluRay drive, it might be worthwhile thinking about buying that as USB. It's something I've done with my last computer. The advantage is that you can just pull the cable and during the 29 days per month when you don't need an optical drive, it won't consume power or delay your computer when booting.

 

Now of course Windows 8 ... this is the probably biggest mistake possible. I've already had this opinion after trying Windows 8 preview on my desktop back in the time, but now that I own a Windows 8 tablet for somewhat more than 2 weeks, I am even more convinced that Win8 is total fail. It is not even very usable for tablets, but even less so for desktops. Just say no. Windows 7 is so much better.

 

The OP has already stated his view, but just to clarify for anyone else who's yet to try Windows 8 - if at worst you don't like the new start menu ("screen"), then it takes 5 minutes to install a free utility to put the old start menu back. And if you don't like the full screen "Windows 8 apps", you can just ignore them, and you've got something that works just like Windows 7 (along with benefits such as faster boot times, improved task manager, better/simpler backup, lots of things built in as standard from anti-virus to mounting ISOs). Even if one thinks there's no advantage, I don't see it can be worse.

 

It also seems hyperbole to claim it's unusable - I didn't like the start menu introduced with Windows XP, but I didn't say it was unusable, I simply switched it to be like the Windows 2000. I sometimes wonder if some people accidentally got a completely different version to me...

 

 

Dont buy an SSD under 120GB.

I would only buy a power supply from a manufacturer that is dedicated to power supplies only.

Windows 8 is a placeholder between 2 successful versions ...as it was Vista and Windows 2000.

 

I don't think your argument about Windows 2000 works - on the contrary, when XP came out, many people (myself included) said XP was just 2000 with extra annoying bits you have to turn off. Before 2000 was NT 4, which I don't think was better either. But despite the critics of XP, it still wasn't really worse than 2000, and went on to be very successful.

 

Possibly you mean Windows ME, effectively being between 98 and XP for home users, but the 9x/Me line was a different operating system to the NT/2000/XP/etc line.

 

Even if Windows 8 is short lived, I doubt you'll be seeing a return to the Windows 7 start menu (just as we've never returned to the classic 9x/2000 start menu).

 

Back on topic - SSDs are well worth it, and are one of the best things you can do imo to make a computer feel faster.

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The OP has already stated his view, but just to clarify for anyone else who's yet to try Windows 8 - if at worst you don't like the new start menu ("screen"), then it takes 5 minutes to install a free utility to put the old start menu back. And if you don't like the full screen "Windows 8 apps", you can just ignore them, and you've got something that works just like Windows 7 (along with benefits such as faster boot times, improved task manager, better/simpler backup, lots of things built in as standard from anti-virus to mounting ISOs). Even if one thinks there's no advantage, I don't see it can be worse.

 

It also seems hyperbole to claim it's unusable - I didn't like the start menu introduced with Windows XP, but I didn't say it was unusable, I simply switched it to be like the Windows 2000. I sometimes wonder if some people accidentally got a completely different version to me...

 

You should not assume too much. My point is not about liking or not liking one or the other. It's not about not being able to use a tile interface instead of a start menu.

 

It's about a system that has two different user interfaces and none of them is fully functional or works well, or interacts with the other in a seamless manner. The desktop interface has been deliberately "broken" (presumably to convince people to use the tile interface) and the tile interface is neither fully functional, nor ergonomic. Heck, it doesn't even let you place tiles where you want them, even for that Windows must be smarter than you are.

 

You want to use the tablet-optimized interface Metro because you have a tablet? Sure. Except a good number of "standard programs", say, for example the calculator simply don't run under Metro. You have them listed as "app", certainly, but they launch on the desktop. Switching to desktop always takes noticeable time, too. Not like it's several seconds, but it's just noticeable enough to be disturbing. What a crap.

 

Live tiles and notifications when the screen is locked. Awesome, except it's total shit. I tried this with "Mail", sent a test mail to myself from the desktop, and guess what, nothing happens. No notification until you log in again. But hey, at least all the Facebook/Twitter crap is built in, and sure enough the stuff you need the least in your life works, too.

 

Eventually you discover the "We sign you into Messenger automatically whenever you turn on your tablet" when you hover over the chat app. Wait, what? Fuck, that is not what I want. Of course you cannot uninstall the messenger applet without also uninstalling mail and calendar. And you cannot uninstall the Microsoft Store either, or prevent it from running in the background, even if you never intend to buy anything from it. The Kindle app permanently runs in the background, too. I don't intend to ever use Kindle, if I wanted Kindle, I'd have bought the $69 tablet from Amazon, what the hell?

 

You can add another user, but you cannot manage users, except if you launch the control panel on the desktop. Shame that the desktop controls are so small you need to do everything 5 times when using "touch". Similar is true for 2 dozen other system settings. No problem setting up the dumbified express stuff, but woe if you need to change something later. This means using the desktop and touch-navigating a UI that will do anything, except what you intended. Maybe it works if you have fingers like a girl, I wouldn't know.

 

The desktop is simply not designed for "touch", and even less so on a high-res tablet. If at least they'd be smart enough to launch desktop mode in high-resolution profile (which has been supported since Windows XP!). But of course that's deliberate, to discourage people from using the desktop. Right-click when you don't have your pen ready? That's a patience game. Of course you don't need to right-click, do you. Except all the time in a web browser, or whenever you want to do something in the tile interface that is not "launch".

 

You find another parade example of how mishappen Windows 8 is in its backup functionality. Of course everybody uses Skydrive anyway, right? But what if you don't want that, or if you want a real backup, including system restore and such?

There are two different systems active under Windows 8, one is "file versions" and the other is the same as you had under Windows 7. Microsoft did not even bother to change the window name, it still shows "Windows 7" in its window title. However, they did bother to botch with it. Other than under Windows 7, you cannot create a system restore disk on your SD card or on your USB stick, because Windows 8 will complain that it needs a DVD writer for that (Win 7 works just fine with a plain normal USB stick). Plus, once you have used Win 7 recovery, you cannot use file versions any more, because it will tell you that you can only use this if the other is disabled (but it gives you no option to do that!).

 

All in all, Windows 8 is simply not finished and not polished. It is Windows 7 with a half-finished touch interface added, and some Facebook/Skype stuff slammed on top.

The only reason why one would use it (and the reason why I bougth it) is that Android is even worse. Android is a Java toy with a Google browser.

Windows 8, on the other hand, is at least "Windows", so your programs will run (as bad as they'll run, but at least they do run), and you can program it without being forced to use Java and learn a completely new API. Of course that's only true if you never plan to use the Metro interface...

 

Login gestures, what a great idea. Except it takes me 3-4 attempts every single time. How complicated can it be to draw 2 lines and a circle? You wouldn't think there's a lot one can do wrong.

 

And of course Windows 8 boots lightning fast. Or so the propaganda says. My Win 7 desktop is up in 9 seconds whereas my Win8 tablet takes close to 1 minute. One is admittedly a muscle-desktop and the other is a puny Atom tablet, but still. Close to 1 minute for doing nothing but initializing a few drivers and swapping in a kernel image is not what I'd call "fast".

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While I largely agree with everything samoth said, I will firmly ask that we keep this thread on the topic of a PC build and off the topic of Windows 8. Feel free to open that discussion in a separate thread.

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You haven't really said what you want to use this machine for. Gaming? Development? A bit of both? Something else?

 

I second all the ssd recommendations. I think it is probably the best single upgrade you can make to a modern PC in terms of bang for buck.

 

If it's for development (especially C++), being able to use your ssd as your working directory is a massive time saver. My work machine has more memory and a faster cpu, but the C++ project I'm working on (medium size, ~400k loc) builds at least twice as fast on my home pc with an SSD*.

 

If it's for gaming, I'd spend an extra few dollars and upgrade your GPU to a 7870 (you also get 3 free games with it).

 

Either way, I'd say your CPU is a bit anemic. Everything I've read points to the i5 3570K as price/performance sweet spot. 

 

*Admittedly, it was written by an insane person and has the single worst code organisation I've ever seen.

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