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Author Topic: Yet Another Help-Me-Build-a-New-Computer Thread  (Read 7105 times)
Deozaan
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2011, 01:28:11 AM »

Okay I just placed the order:

Case: $90 for COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP.
PSU: $120 for LEPA G500-MA 500W 80 PLUS Gold Certified Modular.
MOBO: $155 for MSI Z68A-GD55 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX.
CPU: $315 for Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core.
RAM: $61 for CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800).

With a $25 NewEgg gift card, that came to a total of about $716 (and $50 of that will be "refunded" with mail-in-rebates).

Yep, that's right. No GPU. After looking into the Z68 mobo and realizing that the CPU-integrated-GPU would be an upgrade from my current GPU, and also that I can use my current GPU in the new system, I decided to forego a new, expensive GPU for now.

This will give me a desperately needed new PC soon while still allowing me to save up for and decide on other important parts like the discrete GPU (in my opinion, the jury is still out on ATI vs nVidia), SSD, HDD(s), Optical drive, WiFi adapter, media card reader, UPS, more ram, HDD toaster dock, 70" HDTV, Ferrari, 60k ft2 mansion, and private jet.

Thanks to everyone for their advice, feedback and other contributions so far. I'll probably keep this thread going a bit with updates on how the initial build runs as well as ask more questions etc. once I am prepared to make the next order.
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4wd
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« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2011, 05:41:07 AM »

Yep, that's right. No GPU. After looking into the Z68 mobo and realizing that the CPU-integrated-GPU would be an upgrade from my current GPU, and also that I can use my current GPU in the new system, I decided to forego a new, expensive GPU for now.

Wait.....you're saying that the Intel integrated GPU is an upgrade from you're current GPU?

Dumb question, but what is your current GPU?

It would have to be something really old for Intel integrated to be better.

FWIW, I've used nVidia and ATI GPUs in the past and these days wouldn't consider using nVidia for the GPU or the chipset - they're drivers were crap compared to the stability I've had with ATI.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2011, 06:08:09 AM »

Wait.....you're saying that the Intel integrated GPU is an upgrade from your current GPU?

Yes, I think so. As I understand it, the CPU-integrated-GPU on these new 2nd Gen Core i5/7s are equivalent to Radeon HD 3000 series. Or am I misunderstanding that?

In either case, I've got a GeForce 8600 GTS. It's a decent card, not nearly as old as the machine itself since the original GPU melted and this was the replacement, but it is getting long in the tooth.
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40hz
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2011, 07:19:53 AM »

Actually, that was a smart move. The onboard GPU+i7 combo is a decent choice. I've seen similar systems in action and the graphics were (to my eyes) quite nice.

You can always throw in a separate video card later on if you want more - if additional $$$ becomes available. In the meantime, the primary goal of getting something good, within the budget, (and more importantly) now has been achieved.

Keep us posted and maybe put up a picture or two? Thmbsup

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4wd
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2011, 07:31:28 AM »

Wait.....you're saying that the Intel integrated GPU is an upgrade from your current GPU?

Yes, I think so. As I understand it, the CPU-integrated-GPU on these new 2nd Gen Core i5/7s are equivalent to Radeon HD 3000 series. Or am I misunderstanding that?

Apologies, I mistook the integrated GPU for the previous GMA3000 Intel graphics.....having just had a look at it's specs it seems quite impressive compared to Intels' previous attempts.


But I'd still go for a Radeon 6850  smiley

On another note, good choice with the case - I've been looking at getting the Scout for a while.  My friend has one, the LEDs are quite subdued and can all be turned off via one switch on the top panel.
The only bad thing I'd have to say about it is that the carry handle is not designed for human hands - its cross-section is equivalent to a piece steel rectangular tube and the corners dig into your hand.  You'll find it a lot more comfortable to wrap a bit a high-density foam, (1/8" thick), around it as I did with my friends.  But if you don't envision carrying it around, or only infrequently, then no problem.
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Ath
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2011, 08:06:20 AM »

The only trouble with on-board video is that it's often impossible to get a multi-monitor setup. The selected MSI board does offer 3 video output connectors, so that should be no problem in this case, unless the monitors don't have DVI and HDMI inputs. (DVI-I can be connected to standard VGA monitor using an adapter, and HDMI can be converted to DVI if need may be)
Combining DVI/HDMI with a VGA connected display is a setup I'd like to avoid if possible, because of the rather flimsy (analog) VGA display, compared to either DVI or HDMI (digital) connected displays.
It all depends on the monitors used tellme
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Deozaan
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2011, 03:34:09 PM »

The only trouble with on-board video is that it's often impossible to get a multi-monitor setup.

[snip]
It all depends on the monitors used tellme

I have a pretty nice 25.5" 16:10 monitor with HDMI, DVI, VGA, and even component inputs. I love it and would like another but sadly this model has been discontinued.

My secondary monitor is a 19" no-name brand (DCLCD) with only a single VGA input. Not that great, but I got it nearly 10 years ago and it still works. I wish I could say the same about the more expensive 19" ViewSonic LCD monitor I bought about 6 years ago.

Either way, if the onboard video doesn't support multiple monitors, then I can make due with just my nice one for a while or plug in my GeForce 8600 GTS and use that in the meantime.

I do intend on getting a discrete GPU eventually, but it was really stretching my budget to get one now. So maybe by Christmas I can save up for (most of) the other parts I wanted.

On another note, good choice with the case - I've been looking at getting the Scout for a while.  My friend has one, the LEDs are quite subdued and can all be turned off via one switch on the top panel.
The only bad thing I'd have to say about it is that the carry handle is not designed for human hands - its cross-section is equivalent to a piece steel rectangular tube and the corners dig into your hand.  You'll find it a lot more comfortable to wrap a bit a high-density foam, (1/8" thick), around it as I did with my friends.  But if you don't envision carrying it around, or only infrequently, then no problem.

I was a little worried about the case and how noisy it is. Can you tell me if it was especially noisy or quiet? Or was it just average? I guess that may depend on what other parts your friend has inside, but I'd still like to know.

Keep us posted and maybe put up a picture or two? Thmbsup

Will do. smiley
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wraith808
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« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2011, 03:48:17 PM »

Handle is extraneous in my view, but you may like the aesthetic, heh.

Didn't see this before.  The handle actually isn't extraneous in my experience.  It is *very* well built, and the handles have a metal core, even for being plastic.  It's come in really handy (no pun intended), and I'd not even considered that factor when I purchased it.  It's a very good case for the price point.

1. I have this case, and it's awesome!  It's to a large extent plastic, but it doesn't have that plasticy feel; it's very solid, while not being as heavy as some other cases.  The lights are great(they aren't really christmas lighty, and can be turned off), and it was very easy to work on.

Is the case noisy or quiet or what?

Most of the time, I don't even hear the computer running.  I'm not sure if that's a factor of the case or not, but I hear my other computer running all the time.

My Specs:
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400
MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-H61M-D2P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H61 Intel Motherboard
RAMG.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
Hard DrivesSeagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM/ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
DVDLITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Video CardXFX HD-685X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
PSUCORSAIR Builder Series CX600 (CMPSU-600CX) 600W ATX12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply

But I'd still go for a Radeon 6850  smiley

This.  Being a gamer, I *know* you would have appreciated the increase.  But then again, I know that I'm upgrading my other computer in the next couple of years (this one replaced my laptop) so I went with the i5 so I could get the GPU.  But I am enjoying running 1680x1050 in everything with minimal slowdown smiley

The only bad thing I'd have to say about it is that the carry handle is not designed for human hands - its cross-section is equivalent to a piece steel rectangular tube and the corners dig into your hand.

How were you carrying it?  I carry it by my side, using one handle or the other (not both), and it works quite well.  I also love the 4 front USB ports - I've never had that many.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 04:03:50 PM by wraith808 » Logged

Deozaan
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« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2011, 03:59:03 PM »

Handle is extraneous in my view, but you may like the aesthetic, heh.

Didn't see this before.  The handle actually isn't extraneous in my experience.  It is *very* well built, and the handles have a metal core, even for being plastic.  It's come in really handy (no pun intended), and I'd not even considered that factor when I purchased it.  It's a very good case for the price point.

Yeah, I had similar thoughts with the Nintendo GameCube'sw handle. At first I thought it was kind of weird and unnecessary. But after owning it and using it I thought it was a really great and useful feature.


So when I saw the PC case with the handle I was pretty sure I'd really like it, even if I didn't move my PC as much as I moved my GameCube around.


Is the case noisy or quiet or what?

Most of the time, I don't even hear the computer running.  I'm not sure if that's a factor of the case or not, but I hear my other computer running all the time.

Thanks. I was a bit concerned about the noise levels of the case. From the sounds of it I'll be really happy with my choice. Thmbsup
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Deozaan
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« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2011, 07:19:47 PM »

Wait.....you're saying that the Intel integrated GPU is an upgrade from your current GPU?

Yes, I think so. As I understand it, the CPU-integrated-GPU on these new 2nd Gen Core i5/7s are equivalent to Radeon HD 3000 series. Or am I misunderstanding that?

Apologies, I mistook the integrated GPU for the previous GMA3000 Intel graphics.....having just had a look at it's specs it seems quite impressive compared to Intels' previous attempts.

But I'd still go for a Radeon 6850  smiley

I just found this Anandtech article which compares the CPU-integrated-GPU known as Intel HD 3000 and Intel HD 2000 to some relatively cheap discrete GPUs. The Core i7 2600K with Intel HD 3000 does pretty well in the benchmarks, but most of the benchmarks are done at lowest quality settings and at "only" 1024x768 resolution. However it seems as though increasing the resolution reduces the difference in performance between the integrated graphics and the discrete graphics.

But of course a Radeon HD 6850 will blow the Intel HD 3000 out of the water. I'll definitely be getting a better discrete GPU, but I think the integrated one will suit me just fine for at least a few months.
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wraith808
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« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2011, 07:35:16 PM »

I'll definitely be getting a better discrete GPU, but I think the integrated one will suit me just fine for at least a few months.

Be on the lookout at that GPU.  It seems to have rebates/sales more often than others, at least in my experience following the prices for a few months.  That was one of the reasons that I bought it; my final price on it was $120 after sales/rebates.
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4wd
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« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2011, 05:46:22 AM »

I was a little worried about the case and how noisy it is. Can you tell me if it was especially noisy or quiet? Or was it just average? I guess that may depend on what other parts your friend has inside, but I'd still like to know.

The case was quiet: 5 HDDs, AMD 555 with stock HSF, Radeon 5850, DVD-R/W and Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P, (IIRC).  (He's since gone to an AMD x6 1100 and ATI 6870.)

How were you carrying it?  I carry it by my side, using one handle or the other (not both), and it works quite well.

Carrying it via the central handle, (not the rails on the side), the handle 'works' well - very strong - but the rectangular profile of it is uncomfortable in your hand.  The corners of the profile cut into your palm/fingers because it only has about a 3-4mm, (if that), radius on the edges.

It would have been much better if they had used a more rounded stock profile or used a greater radius on the edges - ie. made the profile more ergonomic.

Bear in mind, you only have 2 HDDs, add another 3 or 4 and that's another 1.5-2kg cutting into your hand.  My friend is a dedicated gamer and is constantly carrying it around to friends' homes or LAN nights - the handle is the only bad thing he has to say about the case, (apart from the colour of the LEDs - he likes blue).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 05:49:37 AM by 4wd » Logged

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wraith808
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« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2011, 07:10:17 AM »

Carrying it via the central handle, (not the rails on the side), the handle 'works' well - very strong - but the rectangular profile of it is uncomfortable in your hand.  The corners of the profile cut into your palm/fingers because it only has about a 3-4mm, (if that), radius on the edges.

Our definition of handle (I see that you classified the sides as 'rails') differs.  Using the center seems counter-intuitive, as you have to turn your hand to a weird angle to even use it.  To each his own, I guess, but I use the side handles depending on which side I'm carrying it on, and I don't have the problems that you enumerate.
* wraith808 shrugs
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Deozaan
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« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2011, 11:46:39 AM »

I'm glad you two had this discussion. I don't think I would have even considered holding the case by the "side rails." But now I'll know to do exactly that. Or at least give it a try. Thmbsup
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4wd
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« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2011, 01:20:34 PM »

Carrying it via the central handle, (not the rails on the side), the handle 'works' well - very strong - but the rectangular profile of it is uncomfortable in your hand.  The corners of the profile cut into your palm/fingers because it only has about a 3-4mm, (if that), radius on the edges.

Our definition of handle (I see that you classified the sides as 'rails') differs.  Using the center seems counter-intuitive, as you have to turn your hand to a weird angle to even use it.

Our knuckle-dragging primate ancestors would dispute that* cheesy

Not a weird angle at all - the hold is the same most people use to climb a ladder.

Quote
To each his own, I guess, but I use the side handles depending on which side I'm carrying it on, and I don't have the problems that you enumerate.

The profile of the side rails is the same as the handle so it wouldn't make any difference.

I would prefer to carry it at the point where the load is evenly distributed amongst the mounting points rather than cause unnecessary stress on just two of them.

* Now there's an opening Wink
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wraith808
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« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2011, 03:47:02 PM »

Our definition of handle (I see that you classified the sides as 'rails') differs.  Using the center seems counter-intuitive, as you have to turn your hand to a weird angle to even use it.
Our knuckle-dragging primate ancestors would dispute that* cheesy

Not a weird angle at all - the hold is the same most people use to climb a ladder.
[/quote]
You don't really carry a ladder- you climb it.*  A better comparison would be a briefcase, which has a handle that runs parallel to the body.


Quote
To each his own, I guess, but I use the side handles depending on which side I'm carrying it on, and I don't have the problems that you enumerate.

The profile of the side rails is the same as the handle so it wouldn't make any difference.
I guess it does as I never noticed what you talk about.  Could it be because of the angle of carry or the space available?  I don't know, but it carries ok, and the load seems distributed well when I carry it.  Again I shrug. smiley

*And when you do carry it, most people carry it by the sides, not the rungs... smiley
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