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Ender's New Computer Thread


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((NOTE: instead of making 20 threads, one for each part, I'm just going to keep this thread and then update it when I have enough money to buy the next piece.))

 

 

First Question:

 

Is there any performance difference between ATX, MicroATX, etc sized motherboards?

 

I'm probably going to start amassing some of the pieces for the computer I'm building around Christmas (not GPU or anything, but a case, maybe a mobo, maybe ram) and I want to buy a case.

 

But of course, in order to buy a case, I have to have some idea of the motherboard I'm getting since I have to make sure the case can fit the motherboard.

 

Is there any reason for me to pick a specific size?

 

TIA.

 

_EW_

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Is there any performance difference between ATX, MicroATX, etc sized motherboards?
The microATX platform was designed to be pretty much 100% backward compatible with ATX, so I believe there should be no real difference when it comes to clock speeds, efficiency, etc. Even if there were some difference, it would be negligible.
Is there any reason for me to pick a specific size?
Since the microATX has to be limited to accompany tighter component placement, it usually has fewer ports and drive bays than ATX mobos (USB, PCI, PATA, SATA, etc.). Other than smaller form factor, I'd bet that microATX-ers would probably be a bit more energy efficient than ATX-ers.

 

EDIT: Here's a visual aid to show the comparison of form factor and components of ATX and microATX. Note the fewer RAM and PCIe slots on the microATX than the ATX.

 

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VIA_Mini-ITX_Form_Factor_Comparison.jpg
Edited by jrrtoken
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I recommend standard ATX because it has more room for more features.

 

Christmastime, huh? Core i5 and Windows 7 should both be out by then, and you are correct that you should wait and purchase the CPU, motherboard and especially the video card last. There is a lot of other stuff that doesn't become obsolete so quickly that we can go looking for now, though, like the case, power supply, fans, etc. I'll keep an eye out for those items for you. :)

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I'm with Q, more slots == more goodness.

 

That and you can never have enough slots available for both RAM and other goodies such as PCI-e Sound Cards (Creative SoundBlaster FTW!), Video Cards (SLI perhaps?), and, maybe, an E-SATA connection if anything ever adopts it.

 

Oh well, I guess it really matters on what you want this to be. A porta-PC, then go microATX; real-PC, standard ATX.

 

As for the case, I'd suggest a Cooler Master Centurion. It's a tasteful, relatively inexpensive, easy to use case that actually has a ferrite choke among other things on the cables to reduce RF interference.

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  • 1 month later...

So the i5 comes out later this year but the i7 is out now.

 

Why would I get the i5 if I can get an i7?

 

Are we expecting the i7 to have a pricedrop around the release of the i5?

 

Which of the two do you recommend?

and will it be worth the large amount of money I'm going to have to spend? Is it better to get a great processor or to get a top-of-the-line video card?

 

_EW_

 

(Looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202)

 

PS does anyone know anything about C0 vs D0 stepping? ie what is it?

Edited by EnderWiggin
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Why would I get the i5 if I can get an i7?
The i5 is meant to be more of mainstream-targeted CPU, a successor to the current Pentium. There will also be the i3, as the successor to the Celeron, so really, the i7 is more oriented to higher-end and gaming PCs
Are we expecting the i7 to have a pricedrop around the release of the i5?
Can't really tell. The i5 isn't the i7's successor, so even if there is a price drop, don't expect it to be a dramatic clearance-grade markdown.
Which of the two do you recommend?

and will it be worth the large amount of money I'm going to have to spend?

From, what I've seen, the highest i5 clock speed will be around 2.9 GHz, which, I believe, is fast enough for any game of tomorrow, especially if you get a quad core. Not to mention overclocking it can probably get it to run much faster, probably as fast as an un-overclocked i7.

Is it better to get a great processor or to get a top-of-the-line video card?

The age old question which many have tried to answer. To not go into much detail, I believe that both are equally important.
PS does anyone know anything about C0 vs D0 stepping? ie what is it?
Stepping is simply a version indicator, i.e., it shows how much the chip's design has been changed over the previous. Usually the letter indicates a major change, while the number indicates a minor one. A newer version doesn't exactly mean a higher number or letter, and even Intel skips around the alphabet, making it vastly confusing.
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If you plan on overclocking, the i7 is the one you'll want to go with. The i7 920 is currently the bargain CPU of the Intel lineup. I've seen it go for as low as $199 at Micro Center. Where you're going to pay more for an i7 setup is the motherboard, but if you can find an i7 920 on the cheap the price difference between an i7 platform and an i5 one could be as little as $75 or even less depending on what kind of deal you can find on an X58 motherboard, and, depending on the model, you'll get support for both Crossfire and SLI to boot.

 

My advice would be to try to find an i7 920 and an X58 motherboard before i5 is released. Both the i7 920 and 940 are scheduled to be phased out in favor of more expensive models as i7 is moved to the strictly high-end market segment, and those that are left are probably going to go up in price rather than down. You can probably expect the same thing to happen with X58 motherboards as well.

 

And you're going to want the D0 stepping, as it's the most recent.

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So something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.202200

?

 

And yes, I want to SLI 2 cards together - maybe something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130370

?

 

Or was it you that said the 260s weren't worth it? What do you think I should SLI if not 260s?

Nevermind, went back to the thread and saw that you did recommend two 260s. Sounds like I've made pretty good choices so far :xp:

 

Q: Be on the lookout for any 920 deals or any deals on that mobo that I linked up there, since you think I should buy them in the next few months.

 

_EW_

Edited by EnderWiggin
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Ok, here is the info I gathered on this recent x58 i7 computer I made. My rig is basically a damn powerful gaming rig, but configured for workstation projects. Here is what I know so far:

 

Case: Get a CoolerMaster. Size varies, but I'd get a full tower for the take of having room to build in. Some of their newer models can be pricey, so grab one only if you feel the need.

 

OS: I'm going to be doing what is recommended in this thread and build my next Comp when Windows 7 comes around. Not only will there be optimized hardware at the time for the OS, but the Directx 11 comes with Windows 7.

 

CPU: I'm with Qliv. Get a 920 i7. Even with the performance boost of the i5, there are not many activities that require all 8 threads right now. That, and the 920 overclocks pretty well.

 

Motherboard: This is up to you. Everytime a new OS, Video Card line, etc is released there is a MoBo line that goes with it. This time around it is the x58. I, personally, am waiting for the next line for Dirextx 11 cards, Windows 7 stuff, and so on. My newest computer is using an Asus P6t Deluxe V2 right now, but if you are gaming and looking to overclock I recommend this one for your i7: Rampage II

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131352

 

I did stat checks and it is pretty comparable to my motherboard, except it OC's better. If you are looking at something a little less powerhouse though, I'd recommend a P6T Deluxe, V1 or V2. Not a whole lot of difference.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131365

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131359

 

RAM: Get this: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=O261-6152 I, personally, think it is a damn good deal and you'll basically you wont need to buy ram for a damn long time. That, and you could pull out 3 sticks and put them in a computer later and still have 6gb of ddr3 for a portion of the price of outright buying 6gb.

 

SSD: I recommend getting an OCZ. They are second on the market behind Intel for SSD quality, and the pricing isn't too bad for 60gb. If possible, get a Vertex series.

 

Optical: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136133

Buy that. It is the cheapest I've seen it go, and half of what I've seen it go for retail.

 

Video Card:

Ok, lets just use the top of the line Crisis as an example.

 

You can get Crisis to full settings (minus AA) with a 260, SLI or not SLI. That is on a 920 i7. That doesn't mean it will exactly run well, staying at around 30 FPS idle and going down from there. OC'ed, you could run that Idle at maybe 40-50, and under load at a steady 30 which isn't bad.

 

From this point, it does not matter if you are running th best I7 with a GeForce 295 Quad-SLI. You will not go up in FPS on the game, because the current bottleneck in gaming technology is onboard card ram.

 

When choosing your card nowadays, it is vitally important you grab anything 1GB or over, as this memory is more important right now than the power of the card, processor, or 12gb of ram. If you check Crisis benchmarks, people with older cards can still get better performance out of Crisis simply because of more onboard memory. It is the bottleneck graphic gaming technology has reached, and unfortunately ATI and nVidea are still following the same route of boost power, but keep memory size roughly the same.

 

You can SLI your 260's, but SLI doesn't really boost this memory size. Personally, from my own knowledge of the situation, I'd just grab one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130497

 

If you want to throw down for the price, get 2 and SLI them. The boost is onboard memory is more important than the second card, in my opinion.

 

However, this information is what I've gathered from Crisis benchmarks. So, unless you plan on just playing Crisis then 2 260's should be more than enough for gaming, if not a little overkill. You can take my opinion with a grain of salt and check yourself, but I'm fairly certain that you'd be better off with 1 1792 than 2 896s.

 

Also, keep in mind that the Directx 11 cards should be arriving around Q4 as well. You could get a Directx 10 card now, or you could get a Dx11 and be ahead of the game. Your choice.

Edited by True_Avery
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  • 2 weeks later...
Q: Be on the lookout for any 920 deals or any deals on that mobo that I linked up there, since you think I should buy them in the next few months.

 

_EW_

Here you go, sir! :)

 

If you're going to be anywhere near Philly anytime soon, you could order it now and pick it up in-store. You're not going to find a 920 any cheaper than that. Look for the code "SLBEJ" on the box to make sure it's a D0 stepping.

 

 

@T_A: I agree that for modern gaming 1GB of fame buffer is preferable, yes, but when it comes to Crysis I think that the real bottleneck is the fact that it's coded like crap. :p

 

All it really comes down to is the resolution at which you're playing. Higher resolutions will require a larger frame buffer and more GPU horsepower.

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Cool. Wish I had a Micro Center nearby. :(

 

Anywho, I think that you're making the right choice to go with Core i7, especially if you're planning on overclocking it at all. It should stay current and remain useful for quite a while. You won't believe the amount of processing power that Core i7 has. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, that should be a really decent board. 10 bucks off isn't much of a sale, but that's a good mobo and I get the feeling you want to go ahead and build your system now. ;)

 

If that's the case, you can buy Vista now and M$ will let you upgrade to Windows 7 for free.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So far, I have bought:

 

A CoolerMaster Centurion 590 mid-tower case

An Asus P6T Motherboard

A 2.67GHz Core 920 i7 Processor

A 1TB 7200RPM WD Caviar Black

An EVGA GTX 260 with 1792MB of RAM

A Razer Mouse

Various fans

and a new webcam (not really related :p).

 

 

What I still need to buy:

A PSU

RAM

an SSD

Windows 7

Thermal compound

DVD Burner

Blue Ray Player (or maybe burner)

Card Reader (possibly)

and a keyboard.

 

_EW_

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LITE-ON BluRay ROM drive for $58 at Newegg. You shouldn't really spend any more than that on one of those because optical drives are pretty much disposable no matter who makes them. Just get a decent DVD burner for ~$20 to go with it. Having a BluRay burner right now is pointless because BluRay blanks are outrageously expensive, and so are the burners.

 

I'm keeping an eye out for you, but it's been pretty slow lately. :(

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The PSU "guru".

 

As of late, the best PSU deals have been on Corsair PSUs. Their build quality is excellent and Corsair rebates are very reliable, if slow.

 

For that beast of a computer that you're building (:D), I'd recommend 700W-800W or more depending on the deal. One that big would offer the flexibility you'll need if you want to add another graphics card later on. Of course, they're all 80+ efficient, but some are still more efficient than others.

Edited by Q
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The PSU "guru".

 

As of late, the best PSU deals have been on Corsair PSUs. Their build quality is excellent and Corsair rebates are very reliable, if slow.

 

For that beast of a computer that you're building (:D), I'd recommend 700W-800W or more depending on the deal. One that big would offer the flexibility you'll need if you want to add another graphics card later on. Of course, they're all 80+ efficient, but some are still more efficient than others.

 

I was looking at this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139007

 

It's a lot of juice, but it's only like $25 more than a comparable 850w unit from Corsair because this one is such a deal. I figure I might as well get something that will be able to handle whatever I throw at it.

 

And the review of it at that site you linked says it's a good choice. I'll probably buy it next weekend once I have the cash.

 

_EW_

Edited by EnderWiggin
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Dayum! You planning on running 3 GTX 295s (6xGPUs) or something? :D

 

Even if you are, that thing could probably handle it. As a matter of fact, that PSU will handle just about anything you could possibly throw at it in the foreseeable future. Definitely an excellent choice, if you're willing to spend that much.

 

As an alternative, the 850TX is $100.00 less. You'd be giving up 10 +12v amps (which would still leave you with plenty of power to spare) and modularity, (which I think is overrated, especially if you're creative and good with zip ties). JonnyGURU rates it a 9.5, the same as the 1000HX. It would be a great alternative if you want to save $100.00.

 

Oh, and I have it on good authority that Bing.com (formerly MS Live.com) will be doubling its cashback starting AUG 10, which should save you a few more bucks.

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the foreseeable future

 

Tangentially Off topic:

PCI express 3.0 spec has been floating a around for a while, and pci-e 3.0 products will start trickling out next year >> even with the efficiency of the 55nm process, the specs main thrust is to enable mobos to put more juice through these pci-e slots for more powerful GPUs... Looks like graphics cards are only going to get bigger and hotter :( With the move to GDDR5(well demonstrated to be hotter by the AMD cards), any gains made by 55nm etc are counterbalanced against the heat and power demands of the card and its memory.

 

I was hoping things were going to get cooler, smaller, quieter as time went by.... :violin:

 

OT:

Rig looks good EW, especially that 260 ;) When youre rig comes together, dont forget you were one of the foundation members of teamLFN ;) We'd love to see you back in the fold [/plug] :D

 

mtfbwya

Edited by Astrotoy7
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I'd rather save the cash - I want to build ASAP (just in case I got any DOA parts over the last month and need to RMA).

 

If I buy the cheaper PSU I'll be able to buy the rest of the parts around the 15th. I'd like to build it before September. I do prefer modularity, but I'd be willing to give it up.

 

I won't forget, Astro :) The only reason that I'm not currently running F@H is because my 256 MB AGP video card locks up after folding for a while. My PC doesn't stay too cool, either.

 

_EW_

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