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Timmahy Widget

Computer Builds: Specs, Consoles & Suggestions

147 posts in this topic

New Egg and Tiger Direct + Comparing Tool + MY ADVISE KISHO = Win Computer, ask theh kitteh

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Kisho if you need something good/on budget contact me, I dont think were too far off from each other etc. I can get stuff from canada computers at cheaper than shelf cost from them so we could get you set up with some nice stuff PLUS I still have a bunch of stuff lying around here :) im more than happy to ship some stuff up to you etc.

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Genesis if Kishi don't want it :P I will take some spare parts. I am just picking. Shipping to the NY would be very expensive.

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No personal experience, at least I don't think so.. My last PSU was a Thermaltake 430W.

As far as the Rosewill goes, it's not a very popular brand and if you read the reviews, they're somewhat unreliable, but a bulk majority of them seem pretty good. Buy at your own risk as with any hardware, but for the price and that deal in particular, if it dies in a few months, there'd be no substantial loss.

Edit; It's currently out of stock too. Looks like it'll be in stock by Black Friday though. Chances are even more PSU's will go on sale during the month, so keep watch over deals at newegg, tigerdirect, microcenter, fry's, etc.

Edited by Scarlet Flaks

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I agree with Scarlet. Not worth upgrading at this point.

Save your money, start planning on building. If you don't take Genesis' offer, think about what you might do around Black Friday deals and do research before then. There's plenty of resources available if you're interested in hearing about them.

I'm surprised you're having issues with Nvidia on an Intel based computer. ATI is owned by AMD now, and to be honest, after two fried processors and two ATI cards with weird stuff showing on the screen and terrible customer support, I won't be going back.

If you're concerned about your power supply, I would seriously recommend investing in a UPS. It is important to have stable power going to your computer to avoid damaging these very expensive components. I used a line conditioner when I lived in Florida because of all the thunderstorms that caused problems, and a UPS will work the same in addition giving you battery power to continue working until you can shut the system down safely. It'll save you money long-term.

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I know exactly what you mean Nrom.. My original computer had an NVidia Card in it, with Intel processors etc..and it was great till it finally died. Every card ive had after that has always either fried after 6 mos or just flat stopped working with no explaination. I had a couple techs I know check'em out and they couldnt find anything physically wrong with them or with the main board. Soon as I moved up to an ATI Radeon Card, Ive had zero problems and my frame rates actualy improved massively.

The ONLY concerns I have with PSUs are the same I have with HDDs, I want hardware with a good track record, with lots of happy customers etc. The one I have right now is just a generic OEM PSU and its lasted almost 10 years. My wife and I got it shortly after we were married and its been great thus far, but it's finally just starting to die... the fan's sputtering, it's overheating and I have to keep a deskfan turned on with the case open just so I can use my computer, none of which pleases me all that much lol. This is why I was just looking into an upgrade rather than a new system. The system itself is bullet proof for the most part, Im just talkin about replacing the oldest parts with newer/better and upgrade as systems fail here and there. More expensive in the long run, but short term, it gets me where I need to be.... for the most part.

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ATI is owned by AMD now, and to be honest, after two fried processors and two ATI cards with weird stuff showing on the screen and terrible customer support, I won't be going back.

I've had 2 ATI cards in my life, and I'll agree with Nrom. The customer support is dismal and oftentimes, something as simple as finding the correct drivers can be a real hassle.

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Ah yeh, Black Friday's coming, as always, if you can hold it out a little longer, you'll happen to stumble upon something good. Do a good amount of research though, so you can be proud of what you get when you find out years later, you still use that piece of tech.

Now I know some of you may want to hate. The next lists I prefer and avoid is only by experience and research, I realize others have better luck with some, and not with others. This has all worked for me for years. I still have direct HD data from my first PC, and have only had to wipe once. My current PC is in a sense a continued upgrade from my first.

My preferred companies...

  • Corsair
  • BFG
  • Western Digital
  • AMD
  • MSI
  • GeForce

Avoid

  • ASUS - (Board Died killing CPU, Friends new Lappy died, Fathers board died. All under warranty and again after warranty, nothing 'special' about them.)
  • ATI - (New card killed my board and HDD, yes I installed it correctly, ran fine for 15min)
  • Pentium - (Never really had a problem with em, I think they have a lot of hype for nothing, also think they push their stuff out too quickly sometimes, my father also prefers AMD after having years of Pentiums, unsure exactly what his reasons are but he doesn't do anything for no reason, was a project manager in a major computer corporation so reasons could be from there. He also does a LOT of research before purchasing stuff.)

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It's worth mentioning that MSI has issues with overheating/loud fans in some GPUs and their rebates aren't always speedy (can take upwards to 4 months?), nor always honored. However their GPU's that're factory OC generally can out-preform a hell of a lot of others of the same series cards.

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Intel vs AMD is a big debate that really only ever boils down to a few factors here and there.

AMD in my experience is more about raw power. AMD processors are just about alot of power, being handled well enough.

Intel on the other hand is more about how you get the power.. Through Hyper-Threading, or their new i5/i7 processors that can overclock themselves.

Also, I've had an AMD processor that melted a mobo because it has no heat fail safe features. Intels on the other hand, shut off if they get to hot.

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To be honest with you, AMD isn't about power. AMD is a company that's building off the reputations and work of previous companies including Intel's.

The major industry hardware doesn't use AMD hardware, they use Intel's. That's the fact. They are reliable processors, and Intel leads the cutting edge. A few years ago, when single cores were common and everyone still had 32-bit processors, AMD was making a lot of lead-way. That's when I decided to try them out again.

AMD has always been a consumer brand. They were popular in the late 90's and early 00's because it was so easy to overclock them. In fact, you could do it with a #2 pencil. Intel was notoriously more difficult to overclock, and they also were much more expensive. AMD was cheap, and that was their biggest selling point. But you got what you paid for.

Intel processors now are some of the best on the market. They're easy to overclock, and they actually underclock the processors that are delivered to you. Hyperthreading isn't very useful, it's more of a gimmick, but they are the ones making the advances in terms of the tech on your processor and AMD is the one playing catch up now. Intel's focus is mostly on HPC and their research and government customers. Their consumer grade gear is very popular as well, but that tech is derived by all of the high end stuff they're working on for specialized equipment.

I have been in the business of computers for over 10 years in one form or another. Brands have come and gone in the time I have been around. I don't hold any sort of allegiance to any single company, and in a single year the opinion of any particular brand will change. The fact of the matter is that the manufacturing process can produce bad hardware. Manufacturers account for the failure rate of their hardware, and that's why they include those warranties whenever you buy new gear. When you get something new, you simply need to test it to make sure that it's working right. There are plenty of applications available to test RAM and ensure there are no faulty sectors. There are plenty of ways to burn in a processor to make sure that it is working how you expect. Leaving the computer running for a long period of time allows you to monitor temps and ensure that everything is working correctly. There are tons of applications to test your HD and video card as well.

The major take-aways that I have for all of you is to ensure you have a UPS connected between your outlet and your computer equipment. Your 'surge protectors' are pretty much expensive extension cables. The investment into a good UPS will save you time and money no matter what the components are. Also be sure to keep your computer cleaned. Unless you're running liquid cooling, you're using some sort of fan-based system. This pulls in the air in your house, including all the crap in that air. It collects in dust. It gets on your components. It will cause your equipment to heat up more since that dust serves as an insulator. It will cause damage. Your fans will fail, or start to oscillate over time. Get yourself a can of air and blow it out in the spring time.

Unless you deal with them on a daily basis, make sure you're always grounded when you're working on a computer. There are wrist straps for that, and that's for people that don't understand electricity and what you're actually doing. Which means most of you should be wearing a wrist strap when you're working on your machines.

Never use the default heatsink and fan option given with your processor. Third party ones are usually worth the cash. Same thing goes for applying an appropriate grease on top of that processor.

I recommend everyone build their own computer at least once. It's a good way to appreciate the people who made a living at it like I used to.

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I'm willing to bet Nrom still has a Voodoo 3 box somewhere in his attic, or some sort of AGP card still. CRAZY OLD MAN WITH YOUR OLD TIMEY TALES.

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Funny story, in 97 I was trying to upgrade a Compaq computer I got that had windows 98 installed on it. I bought one of the Voodoo 3 cards and installed it, and the computer would power off when I tried to use the CD-ROM. Pretty hard to play Diablo or Age of Empires when the damn thing shuts off when you play. So I ended up taking it back and getting a refund, and then I bought two Voodoo 2's and hooked them up in SLI so it was pretty much just as good as that Voodoo 3. Played the hell out of Quake 2 for a long time that way.

The power supply was one of the slimmer designs since it was smaller than a mid-size tower. No bigger than some of the external power supplies you see for a monitor or something. It didn't provide enough power for some of those newer AGP video cards, so I stuck with the PCI voodoo 2's. That was when I first started realizing I could get into this computer stuff. In fact, the place I went to employed one of my friends from high school. We worked on the computer together to determine what the problem was at his shop. I paid a ridiculous amount of money to do something that I could do myself...

Oh and yes, SLI and Crossfire aren't new things. They were around a long, long time ago. It just became popular again.

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AMD/ATI suck at least in my experience.

I had a AMD.. it was supposed to be as good as a 3.4ghz Pentium 4... It was slower... and boged down when I would try to play CFS2. (Combat Flight Sim 2). I also had a ATI TV Wonder Pro. It almost fried a computer. I call ATI about the problem and get this guy named "Bob" with a heavy accent. He asks me If I pluged it in right. then asks me if I pushed the power button. then asks me if im dumb and tells me "ATI products are not faulty if the card did this then you broke the card." Never again. I have never had a problem with Intell/Nvidia products and their customer support is alot better too... In other words. You get what you pay for.

On a side note dont get cyberpowerpc... They cost me in total damages mailing fees etc about $500+ Ipod classic, joystick, 4 flash drives, keyboard, and unknown fee of $125. All because they pluged the front USB ports into the IEEE connection on the mobo. The PC originaly cost me $1370.

Edit It was actualy $1000 in damages and fees. In their words "we dont cover personal items in the warranty. Any devices connected are at your own risk"

Edited by Hunter Abrams

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AMD cpu's specifically are just fine, nothing wrong with the cpu itself. Its the chipsets that are for AMD that are horrible.My first AMD (k7 1.33Ghz) ended up under a sledgehammer, my 2nd attempt after being persuaded that all the issues were gone was one of those dual core amd's on a nvidia 680i chip .. I lit that on fire.

Drivers have always been a major issue with any AMD capable board. Same goes for ATI. The only intel chip that ever gave me any problems was an 875, and this was probably because I might have bend the board too far with the cooling >.>

A series of workstations where i work have dual HD6450's .. and they have driver issues.

Nvidia isn't perfect either, but usually when a software problem is fixed, it'll stay fixed. Most physical card problems have been caused by bad design on the brand and not nvidia themselves.

But if you really want to mess up a system, add a creative pci card, not sure how the new pci-e cards are.. but i keep putting one in because of the front 5" bay module.

I used to buy MSI motherboards but around the introduction of the core duo those started showing problems.

Asus usually means you WILL have compatibility issues if you are not very careful with what you buy. Especially the 'special' boards are very very picky with what you plug in.

So far Gigabyte has always worked for me, Mercury runs on a computer with a gigabyte board as well because the Asus one would not see the hardware raid controller.

My previous intel board with a 9x00 quadcore was gigabyte too .. my current asus rampage board has .. you guessed it, compatibility issues .. It won't see most brands of RAM but *thankfully* it IS stable.

Next board with be a gigabyte x79 with the 8 ram slots once it gets released >.>

Which is another thing, when sandybridge gets released older things will starts to drop in price.

Also Nrom, I still have my P200@233mmx computer with a Matrox millenium 2 PCI 4mb card and 2 12MB voodoo 2 cards :D Before the voodoo cards I had a Matrox PowerVR which was totally awesome for Quake 2, because it could not render any kind of fog I could see clearly over the map and rail people in the nose. The colored lighting on the PowerVR was far better then the voodoo's though. You'd actually have light and not like it was glowing paint.

Aand back on topic, keep saving if something is just out of your price range instead of buying something lesser, you will end up being able to buy something newer and better then what you are aiming for now instead of having something that in reference performs even worse then if you would have gotten the better card right away. You'll end up upgrading sooner again and spending more money then you would have had if you had saved a little.

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I'll attest to never buying an ASUS product ever again, as for the first couple years of having a Radeon-based GPU built by them, it was virtually unusable.

ASUS EAH4850 TOP. The Card itself had a glitch in the BIOS that would ramp up the temperature of the card to about 70-75C randomly. You could be on the internet, playing a game, or just idling at desktop. ASUS Had -no- support for this problem for about a year, until people stopped buying their stuff.

They pumped out an update about 9 months ago that fixed it.

I use Nvidia now. ZOTAC GeForce GTS250 1GB. The only issues i've had with it is that it won't run on anything that can't go below DirectX 10.

My brother has an AMD QuadCore in his PC, and it has the tendency to randomly run his CPU usage to 100% for a solid 3 seconds when you play games on it. His graphics quality, RAM, etc are almost identical to mine, but he can't run Team Fortress 2 properly without his PC trying to catch fire. (I run an Intel Dual Core E5200. I've had NO problems with it at all. Haven't had any problems with CPU's since I ran a Pentium 4.)

Side note: Voodoo 3...Man, I gotta reinstall AvP Classic 2000.

Edited by Lanny Ansar

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I've had really good experiences with EVGA too when it comes to graphics / motherboards and especially warranty.

They cost a bit more but its quality stuff.

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Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU Cooler

Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

Memory: Corsair XMS3 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series GT 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Video Card (2-Way SLI)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Video Card (2-Way SLI)

Case: Corsair CC600T ATX Mid Tower Case

PSU: SeaSonic Platinum 1000 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817151105

CD-ROM: Asus 24x SATA DVD+-RW http://www.amazon.co...duct/B0033Z2BAQ

And I'm waiting on this to come out so I can make it my main monitor once it's available: http://www.amazon.co...duct/B0063BM5NK

Planning on getting an A/V receiver that supports HDMI 1.4a so I can hook up the PC and a PS3 to the monitor and get Stereoscopic 3d and Nvidia's 3d vision tech working at the same time while playing with a great set of headphones. Next year is going to be a great year in gaming for me.

Also the links at the top is a good site that I recommend using if you're building a new computer. You get aggregated results from multiple sites selling those products, reviews for those products, trending for the prices, and you can easily post what you're working on to forums like this one or other places to get comments or suggestions on the build. The site also has the ability to filter parts based on what should work with what you've already selected.

If you guys are planning on building new computers, you may want to wait until the next family of processors and motherboards comes out early next year. I can't remember the name of it, but it's supposed to hit retail in February. I don't feel like waiting that long.

Oh, and I am going to overclock the hell out of this beast when all the parts come in.

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Nrom, that computer is going to give you a nice electricity bill =p

I'm waiting for the x79 that is coming out this month.

SSD as windows disk, as much ram as it'll take (4GB Ramdisk for SL cache =p) I *might* raid0 2 raptors as a non important data game disk (because i already have those disks) and a 2tb disk for storage/download.

The performance difference between 1 or 2 cards imo does not warrant having 2 cards when you look at the price .. i *might* put in a 590 if i feel like spending .. or just keep my 570.

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Whats the point in overclocking the system even though it will beat the crap out of any game out there or any game thats going to come out in the future? Other than voiding warranties and burning it out faster.

to me overclocking/overvolting is just a good way of voiding warranties etc. Factory OC/SC is ok or even up to the limits of what the warranty will allow I can understand somewhat. But "Why did this part brake?"

"Oh I overclocked it" (even if you lie they will find out)

"Ah ok *insert loophole in warranty* Well you voided the warranty sorry bub"

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Kisho, I have experience with Rosewill PSU's. Actually, i have one in my new PC I built in FEB. I went overboard, I admit, but the PSU is rock solid. I actually think the one in that pic is the one I have that was bundled with the case I bought. I don't know if it's capable of being mounted up top, but my PSU is on the bottom of my case and the mobo is mounted higher on the wall.

Anyway, what I'm saying is I've never had a problem with Rosewill. EVGA and Rosewill are probably my top two favorite PC parts companies. I have an EVGA 560Ti running Skyrim on ultra, and a Core i7 950. The two most expensive parts of my PC.

However, it does get to the point where you're trying to put a supercharger package into a Model-T. Sometimes, it's just better to upgrade. And it might be a good idea if you really can wait a few more months. In the long run, you'll be much much happier. I went from a four year old EMachines to a Ffffing monster PC and I've never been happier when it comes to gaming.

You know how SL locks up when you turn too fast one way or the other? Yeah, never happened on this PC. You'll see SL combat in a whole new light if you can just hold out and upgrade entirely. Your motherboard really is the very heart of your PC. It dictates the overall performance. But when you go shopping, just remember that it's not always the graphics card you want to be looking at. RAM and CPU performance are just as important.

Hope I convinced you to wait and upgrade.

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