Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Ready for a new PC
Demon Cleaner 06:28 27th April 2010
So I finally decided to build a new PC once again, since mine is already 5-6 years old (P4 2,8GHz). It will surely not be for gaming, but I definitely need a faster one, as mine is struggling if it has 2 different tasks to do, f.ex. extracting a .rar file when burning a DVD or copying a file to another disk.

This will also be used to stream HD material to the PS3, as now, most of the time, if the video is 720p or more, the .mkv files are jerking on the screen, making them unwatchable.

And of course I will need more storage, as all my disks are full, so I will make sure that I have more space, which at the moment is even a bit less than 1TB.

So this is what I intended to get:

ANTEC P183 140€
(Seems to be a top case, YouTube video here)

ASUS P7P55D-E LX 135€
(This already features USB 3.0 and SATA III, so at least I will be up to date for future hardware, and don't need to upgrade again in 1 or 2 years)

INTEL Core i5-750 170€
(I wanted to get an i7-860, but it's 85€more expensive, and I think for my needs, the i5 will be enough)

CPU Cooler
SCYTHE Mugen 2 Rev. B 45€

G.SKILL DDR3 1333 Kit 4GB F3-10600 CL8D-4GBHK (XMP) 130€
(This one is compatibility tested with the ASUS mainboard)

ASUS ATI Radeon HD5770 1024MB 145€
(Don't think I will need a more powerful card, and this already has DirectX 11)

COUGAR 700 CM 120€
(These PSU's get the best reviews from all, don't know if 700 Watt is perhaps too much though)

3x SAMSUNG (1.5TB) Spinpoint F3 EcoGreen 95€ (each)
(I know that some will perhaps now discuss which brand of HDD is better, but price/performance of the Samsung disks is the best, and I'm also pretty happy with all of my Samsung disks so far)

Any suggestions?
Harrison 09:19 27th April 2010
Great selection of components.

At the moment the i5 750 is the best CPU to buy for price to performance, and the HD5770 is a very good graphics card, which isn't that far behind the higher end HD5870, but a lot cheaper.

Samsung HDDs are also very good. I've been running some 1TB F1 drives for some time now and they perform fast and are very quiet.

A 700W PSU is definitely needed also. With that Graphics card you are going to be using it will draw quite a lot of power, plus multiple HDDs put a lot of strain on a PSU, and the CPU will need a fair bit too. I would say a 700W PSU is the minimum to go for. I don't know the Cougar make my self, but as long as it is a well known make of PSU that will be fine. It is good to pay more for a good make PSU as it is one of the key parts of the system.

Only things I would pick differently would be the case, CPU cooler and memory.

For the CPU cooler my personal favourite is the "Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2". I've got these in 3 of my systems for some time now and they are a great cooler at a very good price. They are very quiet and do a very good job of reducing temps. The problem I've heard with the Scythe is it can be very noisy when running fast.

As an example of how good the Freezer 7 Pro is. My main PC's Intel Quad core CPU idles at under 20 deg C, and never goes over 30 Deg C under load. And even the oldest system I have with one of these coolers, running an Athlon 64, saw a 10 deg C drop when I added this cooler instead of the stock one.

For memory, what you have picked is good, but I would personally pick Corsair DDR3 1333MHz XMS3 ram. And they do a 4GB kit (2x 2GB) for less than the one you quoted. This is because I've been using their XMS range ram in lots of systems for the past few years and it is very good. And if you wanted the best performing ram their XMS3 DHX with special heatsinks is very good.

Finally the case. This is always personal choice as everyone likes something different. The P183 is a very nice case, and is one of my favourites. I love the dual chamber design, keeping the PSU at the bottom away from the motherboard and other components to make everything cooler. But I think it is actually too small for current system builds. The main reason is the length of current graphics cards, plus the tower style CPU coolers are quite huge these days.. The P183 case is smaller than my current main system's case, which is a Thermaltake Tsunami, and I struggle to get everything into my case, and it doesn't have enough room to work in. In the video you link to he shows the length of space for a graphics card which is about 11.5 inches and that is the same as my Thermaltake case. And I have to remove the graphics card to get to the SATA sockets on the motherboard and 2 of the HDD drive slots cannot be used because the graphics card power connectors need that space, which is very annoying.

I think if you do buy the P183 you might have to remove and not use the upper HDD cage/draw to give enough room for the graphics card.

They make a larger version called the P193 which is just like the smaller P183, but with more room and a huge quiet side fan. Take a look at the video

Personally at the moment my favourite cases are the Antec 300, 900 and 1200 range. The Antec Nine Hundred Two is a big case with brilliant cooling thanks to a huge top fan and front and rear large fans and it still has the PSU position at the bottom of the case. The only thing you would lose over the P183 would be the dual chamber design.

If you really want the P183 then I would suggest getting some measurements for the graphics card length, and also making sure the PSU you pick is compatible because a lot of PSUs do not have long enough cables for the design to reach the motherboard power sockets. And if the case isn't big enough but you want this design, then the P193 is there with a 15" space for graphics cards and easier access to the motherboard.
Demon Cleaner 09:51 27th April 2010
Originally Posted by Harrison:
For memory, what you have picked is good, but I would personally pick Corsair DDR3 1333MHz XMS3 ram. And they do a 4GB kit (2x 2GB) for less than the one you quoted. This is because I've been using their XMS range ram in lots of systems for the past few years and it is very good. And if you wanted the best performing ram their XMS3 DHX with special heatsinks is very good.
The problem is that I didn't find these Corsair in the memory list of Asus. I really wanted to take the RAM which description exactly matches with the ones on the list.

You perhaps convinced me with the tower though, I will change for the Antec Twelve Hundred, which comes with 5 fans already, and a huge inside, for any further upgrade. It's also a bit cheaper than the P183.

EDIT: I saw that the P183 and the P193 have exactly the same dimensions: 514x205x590, whereas the 1200 has 513x213x582, which is almost the same size than the P models.

For the cooling I could also switch to the Arctic one, it's at least more than 50% cheaper than the Scythe one. Will investigate that further
Harrison 10:17 27th April 2010
The Antec Twelve Hundred will definitely make it much easier for future upgrades, and also very easy to add or swap HDDs in future.

The exterior dimensions may be similar, but the internal layouts make a big difference.

And that is fair enough about the ram. If you want to be 100% sure it will work perfectly with the motherboard then it is best to pick something from their Asus list. There are always some motherboards that don't like certain types so is better to be safe.
Phantom 14:21 27th April 2010
I believe always ASUS has the best motherboards. Mine is ASUS too, and I use only AMD, not Intel. Don't ask me why.
Demon Cleaner 14:47 27th April 2010
I will also change the 1.5TB with 2TB HDDs, as the 1.5TB are not in stock yet. They only have the F2 models, but the F3 ones are 1/3 faster. The 2TB only costs 25 more.
Harrison 15:13 27th April 2010
Definitely worth it for 2TB models at that price difference. 500GB for €25 can't be passed on.

@Phantom. Same here mate. I've only bought Asus for some time now. I always used to buy MSI, but after having config issues with every board I got from them, I switched to Asus and never looked back.

As for AMD. You probably guessed from my Amibay discussions with Kin (I do like to wind him up) where I stand with that. AMD/ATI for graphics cards and Intel for CPUs at the moment for the best price to performance at the moment in my view.
Phantom 15:21 27th April 2010
Well said Dave. (I had MSI in the past...)

I forgot also, ATI for graphics.
J T 16:09 27th April 2010
I'm looking at getting a laptop, and have been tempted by the i5 range (likely the 520m).

My sister in law's partner has a watercooled i7-920 with (I think) 12 gig ram (I'd say overkill) and an SSD. Man, it is fast
Harrison 16:32 27th April 2010
Only overkill if you are not going to use its full potential. If he is gaming then it will get more out of the system. However, now the i7 980X is released with its six core and hyperthreading (so 12 threads), it makes even a watercooled 920 look slow.

I never bother with watercooling as the amount of money you would spend on the setup, you could save and upgrade 6 months later to a newer CPU that is faster on air cooling.
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