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View Full Version : Wanna help me spec a new computer?



Anthem
01-15-2012, 10:12 PM
I've had the itch for a while, so I'm listing my iMac for $700 on Craigslist and (hopefully) buying this with the proceeds.

I've got an old case with a good power supply. The case is nasty beige, but the computer will be hidden anyway. All parts are from NewEgg. Primary uses are Netflix/Hulu, the occasional ripping & watching of DVDs, and playing RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon age.

=====

Core:
BIOSTAR H61MGC LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-2320 Sandy Bridge 3.0GHz (3.3GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

Drives:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
MSI 24X DVD Burner Black SATA Model DH-24AS
BYTECC U2CR-318/Hub 52-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader

Video:
Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
ECS NGT520C-1GQK-F GeForce GT 520 (Fermi) 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

Other:
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan

=====

Been a while since I've done this, so any advice on specific equipment is appreciated. Total cost on this build as of right now is 593.65 including shipping. Anything I'm forgetting? Any parts or combos you dislike? I tried to stick with at least 4-egg components, but still appreciate a quick look.

Doug
01-16-2012, 10:55 AM
Only a 160 Gig hard drive? Do they still make them at small? :-) Or do you have some network storage or some old ones you are adding?

What the heck? I just checked NewEgg and the HD prices seem really high. Did prices really go up that much because of the flood?

Sandman21
01-16-2012, 11:31 AM
Yeah, some of the stores are even limiting how many hard drives you can buy per purchase now, its crazy. Lot of it is price gouging though, my understanding is that the laptop hard drives were more heavily affected by the floods than the desktop drives were.

I'd almost recommend waiting right now and getting a WD Black drive when the prices go back down. They have better performance and they also have a longer warranty (5 years vs I believe 2 or 3 for the WD Blue).

Also VERY wary of ECS parts. I've had bad luck with them in the past.

I know you said you had a power supply, but who is the maker of the unit, and how much wattage is the PSU rated for?

Sparhawk
01-16-2012, 11:48 AM
Only a 160 Gig hard drive? Do they still make them at small? :-) Or do you have some network storage or some old ones you are adding?

What the heck? I just checked NewEgg and the HD prices seem really high. Did prices really go up that much because of the flood?

I'm sure that has to be a SSD. Should help bootups be super quick, or so I've heard.

Sandman21
01-16-2012, 11:53 AM
I'm sure that has to be a SSD. Should help bootups be super quick, or so I've heard.

Nope, the WD Caviar drives are all mechanical.

Another thing I was thinking of: Do you have a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or 7 for that box? A 32bit version is only going to use 4gb of that RAM.

Also, is there a Fry's nearby? I love NewEgg too, but the last time I built a new PC, Fry's prices blew Newegg's out of the water. Might be an idea to go do some window shopping...

Anthem
01-16-2012, 11:54 AM
Here's the hard drive. $80, and they throw in the SATA DVD burner.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136075

I've got a terabyte external, so it's only to run Windows and install programs.

Anthem
01-16-2012, 11:57 AM
Also VERY wary of ECS parts. I've had bad luck with them in the past.
I've owned a couple of ECS mobos and they were decent. Haven't used them for a graphics card before. I'm open to suggestions on the graphics card, or any of it really.


I know you said you had a power supply, but who is the maker of the unit, and how much wattage is the PSU rated for?
Gotta pull it out of the attic to check. I'm fairly sure it's a 350W, but let me get back to you on that later today.

Anthem
01-16-2012, 11:58 AM
What the heck? I just checked NewEgg and the HD prices seem really high. Did prices really go up that much because of the flood?
40% of the world hard drive supply comes out of Thailand. It's actually getting slightly better... it was awful between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sandman21
01-16-2012, 11:59 AM
No offense, but pulling it from an attic scares me a little. Could you post a pic when you get back with that info? My concern is that sucker may not have the power connectors for your SATA drives.

Your core is pretty solid, I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Anthem
01-16-2012, 12:00 PM
Another thing I was thinking of: Do you have a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or 7 for that box? A 32bit version is only going to use 4gb of that RAM.
Yeah, a 64-bit Win7 Home Premium.


Also, is there a Fry's nearby? I love NewEgg too, but the last time I built a new PC, Fry's prices blew Newegg's out of the water. Might be an idea to go do some window shopping...
I wish. I'm in Lexington, Kentucky. We don't even have MicroCenter down here.

I've been out of the BYO scene for a while, but all of these prices (except maybe the hard drive) seem pretty reasonable.

Anthem
01-16-2012, 12:01 PM
No offense, but pulling it from an attic scares me a little. Could you post a pic when you get back to me? My concern is that sucker may not have the power connectors for your SATA drives.
Sure. And I'm not offended. It's an old frankenbox that I built, but the PSU is almost new (in terms of wear, not in terms of years). It's definitely got SATA connectors, but I'll pull it all the same.

Sparhawk
01-16-2012, 12:02 PM
I've had the itch for a while, so I'm listing my iMac for $700 on Craigslist and (hopefully) buying this with the proceeds.

I've got an old case with a good power supply. The case is nasty beige, but the computer will be hidden anyway. All parts are from NewEgg. Primary uses are Netflix/Hulu, the occasional ripping & watching of DVDs, and playing RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon age.

=====

Core:
BIOSTAR H61MGC LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
-Don't know much about BIOSTAR. When I built mine, everyone was recommending ASUS.
Intel Core i5-2320 Sandy Bridge 3.0GHz (3.3GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
-I'm showing that this is not available and might not be restocked. I've heard good things about G.Skill though.

Drives:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
MSI 24X DVD Burner Black SATA Model DH-24AS
BYTECC U2CR-318/Hub 52-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader

Video:
Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
-I'm also showing this product is not for sale. I think you'd be better off buying a monitor in store. Do you have a Brands Mart? You can always try Walmart too or some other discount store.

ECS NGT520C-1GQK-F GeForce GT 520 (Fermi) 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
-With that price it looks like you are trying to go for the best bang for your buck over quality.

Other:
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan

=====

Been a while since I've done this, so any advice on specific equipment is appreciated. Total cost on this build as of right now is 593.65 including shipping. Anything I'm forgetting? Any parts or combos you dislike? I tried to stick with at least 4-egg components, but still appreciate a quick look.

Some feedback up top, but overall, it should do quite well for what you need it.

I built my computer for the first time last year. I should save money moving forward, just swapping out parts. Only bad thing is if something goes wrong, i have no clue what it is. I had my computer stop working after 4 weeks. I replaced several parts before getting it right.

Anthem
01-16-2012, 02:56 PM
With that price it looks like you are trying to go for the best bang for your buck over quality.
Yeah, that's true of the whole build. :D I'm open to suggestions, though, for the video card (or any of it, really, but especially that).


I'm showing that this is not available and might not be restocked. I've heard good things about G.Skill though.
Is this what you're looking at?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422


I'm also showing this product is not for sale. I think you'd be better off buying a monitor in store. Do you have a Brands Mart? You can always try Walmart too or some other discount store.
Really? I wouldn't have thought I'd get this good of a deal, but maybe I'm out of touch. It's still showing in stock for me:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236100

Sandman21
01-16-2012, 03:37 PM
Asus is a good brand for monitors, but that monitor is the same price at Best Buy:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+21.5%22+Widescreen+Flat-Panel+LED-LCD+HD+Monitor+-+Black/1655189.p?id=1218277383660&skuId=1655189

Anthem
01-16-2012, 08:00 PM
Asus is a good brand for monitors, but that monitor is the same price at Best Buy:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+21.5%22+Widescreen+Flat-Panel+LED-LCD+HD+Monitor+-+Black/1655189.p?id=1218277383660&skuId=1655189
Nice catch! Similar price, too.

My power supply is a Thermaltake XP550 NP. I had it wrong, it's actually a 430W power supply. And it definitely has two SATA plugs.

It's mostly IDE, though. I'm wonder, could you just cut those cables off and tape the ends? It would clear up a ton of clutter.

Sandman21
01-16-2012, 08:23 PM
You COULD, but I always just tuck extra cabling into unused drive bays. You never know when you could need them.

One red flag I'm seeing with reviews is that PSU is actually closer to 380W than the 430W it says on the box, but thats NOT going to be a big worry with your box as built above. When I did the power supply calculations at NewEgg and here: http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/, the total wattage draw came up in the low 300W neighborhood, so you would be okay right now, but I would recommend a new PSU as part of any future upgrades.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cases/display/thermaltake-psu-roundup_18.html
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/332

Anthem
01-16-2012, 08:45 PM
Good call.

By the way, I've upgraded the monitor while downgrading the price. Pretty nice.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009305

EDIT: Hmm, just realized the new monitor doesn't support HDMI. I guess that's not a huge deal, although I was kinda liking the idea of using HDMI instead of DVI. You have a preference?

Sandman21
01-17-2012, 12:53 PM
Since you aren't putting a blu-ray drive in that box, I'd agree its not a huge deal.

However, if you wanted to, you could buy an adapter and experience no picture quality loss between HDMI and DVI.

EDIT: I know it doesn't have the $20 off code, but here's what looks to be the HDMI variant of that monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009255

For anyone interested, here's the NewEgg 48 hour sale flier: http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/jan-0-2012/48hoursale17/index-landing.html?nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL011712&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL011712-_-EMC-011712-Index-_-E0-_-All

bellisimo
01-18-2012, 08:53 AM
I've actually built the following one last week and can say am very satisfied with the results!

motherboard:MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3)
price: $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130622

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
price: $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

graphics card: MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
price: $255
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127565

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARX 1TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
Price: $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136939

RAM: Kingston HyperX Grey Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model
price: $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104239

This comes out to $830 and missing a monitor though...you could drop it down to $730 with the following changes:

Ram: 4GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104166
Video Card: another version of 560 ti : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125401
HD: 500GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

Sandman21
01-18-2012, 10:19 AM
I've actually built the following one last week and can say am very satisfied with the results!

motherboard:MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3)
price: $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130622

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
price: $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

graphics card: MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
price: $255
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127565

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARX 1TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
Price: $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136939

RAM: Kingston HyperX Grey Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model
price: $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104239

This comes out to $830 and missing a monitor though...you could drop it down to $730 with the following changes:

Ram: 4GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104166
Video Card: another version of 560 ti : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125401
HD: 500GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

Good build with a great price, I'd recommend perhaps having an external hard drive though to have a backup of your data (music, pictures, etc) on, I've had bad luck with WD Green drives. My last one died after less than 6 months. Fortunately, Windows 7 was able to pick up the failing drive in time for me to recover all the data on it. It was probably a fluke, but I haven't bought anything but the Western Digital Black drives since (of course I haven't had to buy a drive since before the floods either :)).

bellisimo
01-19-2012, 05:33 AM
Good build with a great price, I'd recommend perhaps having an external hard drive though to have a backup of your data (music, pictures, etc) on, I've had bad luck with WD Green drives. My last one died after less than 6 months. Fortunately, Windows 7 was able to pick up the failing drive in time for me to recover all the data on it. It was probably a fluke, but I haven't bought anything but the Western Digital Black drives since (of course I haven't had to buy a drive since before the floods either :)).

ah you're right! I didn't get the green one for that reason of bad reviews actually - I bought the blue one - can't find it on newegg at the moment though.

Sparhawk
01-19-2012, 09:21 AM
Good call.

By the way, I've upgraded the monitor while downgrading the price. Pretty nice.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009305

EDIT: Hmm, just realized the new monitor doesn't support HDMI. I guess that's not a huge deal, although I was kinda liking the idea of using HDMI instead of DVI. You have a preference?

I will just say this. I use 2 monitors at work. Once you use 2, 1 just isn't enough. I now have 2 monitors at home. Love it!!!

Frostwolf
01-20-2012, 04:46 AM
anthem, you're not planning to play any games on that machine, right? because a gt520 isn't going to do... anything.