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Old 03-29-2008, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default **New Build Guide**

Contents:

A) Builds for non overclockers
- 1: Budget build
- 2: Budget-mid range build
- 3: Mid range build
- 4: High end build


B) Builds for overclockers

- 1: Budget build
- 2: Budget-mid range build
- 3: Mid range build
- 4: High end build


These are general purpose builds. They will do everything you want and are not designed for one specific task. Whilst the budget system will be competent in everything (Hell, it'll actually be pretty good), the high end machine will excel in everything

Please remember that the HDD and case recommendations are just used as a template. They depend on your needs.

A) Builds for non overclockers.

Budget system. $400

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor
Motherboard: MSI 880GM-E41 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
PSU: COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3-US 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Supply
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: LG Black 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner


The 880G chipset is now available so it makes sense to go with that in place of the 785G. We can also afford an Athlon II X3 now, they are extremely cheap for a very decent CPU.
Total: $361

Budget-mid range system $600

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
Motherboard: Foxconn A9DA-S AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
GPU: XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
PSU: XIGMATEK ACXTNRP-PC502 500W ATX12V Ver.2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: LG Black 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner


What you can get for this amount is pretty crazy: A 3.0GHz quad core, a very good DX11 video card, a motherboard that supports Crossfire and 4GB of DDR3. The Crossfire support allows for a good upgrade path and everything else in this build should age very well.

Total: $590; with rebates: $575


Mid range system: $750

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASRock P55DE3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
GPU: ZOTAC ZT-40404-10P SYNERGY GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD8000AARS 800GB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN3 CM690 II Basic Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: LG Black 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner


In this budget we can afford a Lynnfield quad core, which is a step up from the Athlon II quads in terms of performance per clock (so don't think it's slower because it has a lower clock speed), as well as a GTX 460 which is a great DX11 card in terms of price/performance.
If you are doing more gaming, and don't want to go over the budget, you can swap out the quad for a higher clocked dual (i5 650), and upgrade the GPU to the HD 5850.

Total: $715; $670 with rebates.


High end: $1000


CPU:
Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: BIOSTAR T5 XE LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N470D5-13I-B GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN3 CM690 II Basic Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: LG Black 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner


Just made some changes with the release of Lynnfield and the and the drop in price of the GTX 4xx cards. The GTX 470 is now a competitively priced cards and with the new drivers it can sometimes challenge the HD 5870, which could be considered as a bit of an upgrade if you can spend a little more. 8GB of RAM could also be considered, although I don't feel that it's necessary.

Total: $1025; $985 with rebates
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Building your own system: Buyer's guide

B) Builds for overclockers.

Overclocking can be a great way to get more for your money. For it to effective, you will need the right components. The better suited your parts are to overclocking, the more bang for your buck you will get.


Budget system:

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor
Motherboard: ASRock 880GXH/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
PSU: COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3-US 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Supply
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: LG 22X DVD Burner SATA
CPU cooler: KINGWIN XT-1264 120mm Xtreme Direct H.T.C. (Heat-pipe Touch Chip) CPU Cooler
Total: $393

The Athlon IIs are decent overclockers, and the equivalently priced Intel dual core can't really compete. Everything else in the build should have no trouble keeping up and the heat sink fan is a bargain.

Budget-mid range system:

CPU: Intel Pentium G6950 Clarkdale 2.8GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor
Motherboard: ASRock P55 Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: GeIL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10660) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
GPU: MSI N450GTS-M2D1GD5/OC GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
PSU: XIGMATEK ACXTNRP-PC502 500W ATX12V Ver.2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD6400AARS 640GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: LG 22X DVD Burner SATA
CPU cooler: CORSAIR CAFA50 120mm CPU Cooler

I picked the G6950 because firstly it is one hell of an overclocker, 1GHz+ overclocks are very achievable and it is so much fun to play with. Although it seems to be a relatively "low end" CPU with the Pentium name, it's single threaded performance when overclocked can be pretty damn impressive. The GTS 450 also OC's nicely. I upgraded the motherboard slightly compared to the non-overclocker's build to suit the OC'ed CPU's higher power draw.


Total: $614; $579 with rebates


Mid range system:


CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
GPU: POWERCOLOR AX4870 512MD5 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA
CPU cooler: Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler

I chose the AMD triple core instead of the Intel dual core in the non overclocker's build because when both CPUs are overclocked, the 720 will for the most part outperform the E7500. An overclocker will also have the expertise to attempt to unlock the fourth core, making the 720 even more suited to this build. I also swapped out the 500W PSU for a 600W, just in case.

Total: $721; $686 with rebates

High end system:

CPU:[/B] Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: Foxconn Inferno Katana GTI LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
GPU: ATi Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5
PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Heatsink + Fan: N/A (Very few after market coolers for LGA 1156 are currently available, they should be here very soon)
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Disk Drive: LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model

The Phenom II 955 is swapped for an i5 750 due to the increased overclocking headroom on the Intel. Whilst they can both reach similar frequencies, the i5 750 has a much lower stock clock (2.66GHz vs 3.2GHz). Therefore the overclock will be more substantial and will increase performance more than if the 955 were overclocked. Make sure you keep with 1.5-1.65V memory for the i5/i7. PSU and motherboard upgraded from non overclocker's build.

Total: $970.

Options: Although I couldn't include it in the budget, a Core i7 platform would be an excellent upgrade. Core i7 920 + X58 motherboard + triple channel RAM and you're all set.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Building your own system: Buyer's guide

.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: **New Build Guide**

These are closed so we can have minimal interruptions while all builds are done. Once we get them all, I'll open this thread.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: **New Build Guide**

Great Guide
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: **New Build Guide**

great guide...kudos...very reasonable pricing!
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: **New Build Guide**

Any other suggestions?
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: **New Build Guide**

Just thought I'd let you know, the CPU, Memory, and PSU links in the $1500 High End Gaming/Enthusiast are dead. I had to manually search the items, and I found them, but others might not think of that

Great guide anyways, I'll probablly be ordering these parts for my first build!
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: **New Build Guide**

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infrared View Post
Just thought I'd let you know, the CPU, Memory, and PSU links in the $1500 High End Gaming/Enthusiast are dead. I had to manually search the items, and I found them, but others might not think of that

Great guide anyways, I'll probablly be ordering these parts for my first build!
Thanks , I fixed them now.

Would anyone like me to do anything else? I was thinking of doing a HTPC build, something that would be capable of Blu-Ray/HD playback, would be silent and compact etc.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: **New Build Guide**

HTPC and possibly small form factor ones with micro-atx mobos? just a thought. Not sure if those are popular.
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