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General Chat Thread, Buying a new Custom made PC in General; My PC (P4 3.2GHz, 2Gb DDR1 - over 5 years old!) has finally started to kick the bucket so, I ...
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    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    Buying a new Custom made PC

    My PC (P4 3.2GHz, 2Gb DDR1 - over 5 years old!) has finally started to kick the bucket so, I think I'm gonna need a new one and pretty soon! It's been long enough now so I'm looking for a decent enough rig that can handle the latest games, but I will also be doing a lot of work and virtualisation (VMware Workstation) on there too. I haven't kept up with what's the latest, 1366, 1155, 1156? X58, P55, H67, SandyBridge? It's all new to me!

    I've already got a Corsair 620w PSU, so I can salvage that from my old PC and I am inclined towards getting the Antec P183 case as it's nice looking case and reasonably silent seeing as it will be sitting in my living room (also acting as a Media Centre!) I have a WinTV HVR-1300 which I will salvage from the old PC too.

    Budget wise, I'd ideally like to remain at the lower side of £800, but I may push towards an absolute maximum of £1000.

    Also, I need to buy a reasonably minimal computer desk that will accommodate a case like the Antec P183.

    Things I don't need:
    Monitor (Got a Samsung SM2333HD)
    Keyboard
    Mouse
    Speakers
    I have 2 DVD-RW drives, both are IDE.
    Windows 7 (Have a freebie from Microsoft that I have yet to use!)

    Could someone please very kindly spec me something nice?

    Any help is very much appreciated!

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    The 'latest' from Intel's side of things is 1155 and Sandy Bridge, with the H67/P67 chipsets. If you want to be bang up-to-date (until the end of the week, at least ) then something like this should do the trick, considering your budget (this was really quickly put together so I might have missed something in the compatibility checks):

    • Intel Core i5 2400 (3.10GHz LGA1155) Quad-Core CPU
    • Asus P8P67 LE Motherboard
    • GeIL Value Plus RAM 8GB DDR3
    • OCZ Vertex 2 80GB 2.5" SSD
    • Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HDD
    • Gainward GeForce GTX 470 Golden Sample Graphics Card
    • Antec P183 Super Midi Tower Case


    That comes to £853.79 from OcUK, which I know is over where you'd like to be, but that's the SSD that really does that. You could probably do away with it and get a regular drive (assuming you want separate system and data drives), which would knock about £100 off the price. Doing so, you could upgrade from the i5 to an i7 if you so wished.

    Bear in mind that I'm a shiny new stuff junkie, so I built the thing that would perform best in my opinion for the money. The SSD can be limiting (I run a 128GB Kingston SSDNow V+, which is okay for what I do), especially if you are going to be using VMs. I have a second drive which holds all those, at least until I build the server that will run them all. If you want, I could spec you the AMD equivalent for comparison purposes.

  3. Thanks to JHeaton from:

    Zoom7000 (25th January 2011)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    How about:

    Components
    Processor
    1 x Core i7-860/2.80GHz 8MB QPI DDR3 LGA11 £196.79
    Memory
    1 x 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC £62.90
    Motherboard
    1 x ASRock H55DE3 Motherboard Intel Socket LGA1156 ... £57.59
    Graphics Card
    1 x Gainward NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 Graphics Card 10... £45.39
    Chassis
    1 x P183 EU PC CASE BLACK - PERFORMANCE ONE SERIES ... £95.10
    Hard Disk
    1 x Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA 64MB 3.5 ... £36.07
    Additional Hard Disk
    1 x Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA 64MB 3.5 ... £36.07
    Optical Drive
    1 x DVD+-R/RW/DL AD-7260S-0B SATA - +24X8X12X -24X6... £10.37
    Additional Optical Drive
    1 x DVD+-R/RW/DL AD-7260S-0B SATA - +24X8X12X -24X6... £10.37


    Prices quoted are ex vat from LambadaTek

    about 670 inc vat. Had to replace cd drives as i don't think the mobo had ide.

    This is the link to the design on the Lambadatek's pc designer

  5. Thanks to glennda from:

    Zoom7000 (25th January 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom7000 View Post
    I have 2 DVD-RW drives, both are IDE.
    Do you still need two DVD writers? For the sake of £10-£15, I would ditch these relics and just get a single SATA DVD±R/W drive. Not only will it have faster read/write speeds but the SATA cable will be much easier to route inside the case and therefore help airflow. New drives don't come in beige either.

  7. Thanks to Arthur from:

    Zoom7000 (25th January 2011)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Get the i7 2600 as it is not much more and will eat the i5, it is much faster than the old 860,870 series of i7 based on the older platform. The new socket 1155 chips also have such fine grained ccontrol on power that they can actually idle down to a point where they can switch the CPU fan off if they are doing very little. No sence in getting an i7 9xx series with more pins etc given that intel is retireing it for the new socket 2011 chips very soon. You will probably want a P67 chipset for your motherboard for the best expandability, the ASUS ones have nice power systems that can provide very stable and so trustworthy power to the CPU.

    The speed diff between an IDE and SATA DVD-RW is not really that much unless you are burning tonnes of stuff all the time at which point those extra 10-20 seconds per burn mount up. The cables are a nasty hack though.

    Stuff it full of memory if you are looking at virtualisation and maybe even the 2TB drives for space.

  9. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    Zoom7000 (25th January 2011)

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    Luke_T's Avatar
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    Love the antec case ... definitely a winner!
    AMD phenom II's might be better value for money if you don't need the highest specced machine in the world ...
    out of time to do a proper spec but will try to get one out later.

  11. Thanks to Luke_T from:

    Zoom7000 (25th January 2011)

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    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    JHeaton - Thanks for that. I think, looking at the amount I am spending, I don't want to go any less than the i7 and also, as nice as an SSD would be, I think it's more prudent for what I need to get a standard SATA drive as opposed to an expensive SSD. Is the 1155 the way to go now as opposed to the 1366? Is this what Intel will be using for the newer CPUs? (To try and stay as future proof as possible!) The GPU sounds good, but I think I'll look to a different manufacturer as Gainward have been poor for me on many occasions in the past.

    glennda - Thanks for the spec. I do feel it's more of a budget spec as I'd rather get a more powerful solution by making a higher initial outlay as it is unlikely I will be upgrading again for another 5 years+!

    I would also like to look in to the opportunity of some overclocking and the ASRock Mobo is unlikely to provide much room for manouvere there. Also, that graphics card will be likely to struggle with some of the new and upcoming games.

    Arthur - No, I don't need 2 DVD drives. I was just mentioning that I didn't really need to look at optical drives if the new mobo will support it.

    SYNACK - Thanks for the info!

    Luke_T - Bad experiences with AMD's mean I will probably stick with Intel, but seeing as it's been sooooo long since I upgraded, I will go as high as I can spec wise within my budget!

    Thanks again for your help guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom7000 View Post
    JHeaton - Thanks for that. I think, looking at the amount I am spending, I don't want to go any less than the i7 and also, as nice as an SSD would be, I think it's more prudent for what I need to get a standard SATA drive as opposed to an expensive SSD. Is the 1155 the way to go now as opposed to the 1366? Is this what Intel will be using for the newer CPUs? (To try and stay as future proof as possible!) The GPU sounds good, but I think I'll look to a different manufacturer as Gainward have been poor for me on many occasions in the past.
    Fair enough. The drive swap would give you enough to upgrade the processor and possibly the card too.

    The thing with Intel is that although 1155 is the latest at present, they've brought out several socket types in a relatively short time and they're completely incompatible with one another. They had 1366, then 1156, now 1155. AMD had AM2 for an age, then AM2+ which you could use your AM2 chips in, then AM3 which wouldn't take AM2 processors, but the AM3 processors could be used in the AM2/2+ sockets. So do consider that although you can buy a fantastic computer that will last a good few years, you probably won't be able to upgrade to the newest processor at that time.

    With that being said, I'm quite confident that my 1156 build will last me for a good five years at least. :P

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    If I wasn't going to upgrade for another 5 years I would get something like this...



    I'll explain in a bit more detail why I chose the things I did when I get home later, but in the mean time you may want to have a look at AnandTech's review of the Asus P8P67 Pro and Core i7-2600K. They managed an overclock of 4.86 GHz!

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4130/t...igabyte-at-190
    Last edited by Arthur; 25th January 2011 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    After much research and deliberation (including the wife! :P) I have come up with this. What do you guys think?

    Buying a new Custom made PC-specpsu.jpg

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    Whoa, water-cooling. Planning some serious overclocking, are we? :P

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    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHeaton View Post
    Whoa, water-cooling. Planning some serious overclocking, are we? :P
    Hehe! Well, yeah. I've never had a PC that was powerful enough to manage it, and considering how much money I'm putting in to it, I wanna get the most out of it as possible! I'm fed up of being at the lower end of the PC scale! lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom7000 View Post
    After much research and deliberation (including the wife! :P) I have come up with this. What do you guys think?
    A few comments/suggestions...

    Intel Core i7-2600K - This processor doesn't support VT-d or TXT. It probably doesn't matter for what you are going to use VMWare Workstation for, but I thought it was worth mentioning (just in case). Also, you don't necessarily have to get a 'K' processor to overclock. All Intel CPUs which have the "Turbo Boost" feature overclock themselves automatically (although to a lesser extent compared to what you can achieve with a fully unlocked processor).

    Corsair H70 - Based on previous experience with the H50 and reviews of the H70, you will want to replace the included fans - they are very noisy (even at low RPMs). I would get two Scythe S-Flex's or Gentle Typhoon's. You will also want to experiment with the direction of the radiator fans. Corsair recommends pulling in air from outside of the case, but this will raise your case temps and therefore the temperature of other components. Also, if you ever get gurgling or buzzing sounds from the H70, you should return it.

    By the way, many people on the Xtreme Systems forums are able to achieve higher overclocks with their i7-2600K's using high-end air coolers such as the Prolimatech Megahalems Rev B. (~£44) and Noctua NH-D14 (~£62). As you will see, you shouldn't rule out air cooling entirely...

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=265269

    Samsung HD103HJ - If you plan on running multiple VMs simultaneously from the same drive as Windows, things are going to get slow. At the very least I would get two of these HDDs; or if you can afford it, an SSD (for Windows & apps) and use the HDD for VMs, games & other data. In almost all systems, the HDD is the bottleneck, so I would definitely consider an SSD - this difference it makes is huge. Having a processor which can be overclocked to 4.5GHz-5.0GHz and then running everything from a single 7,200rpm HDD is like buying an Ariel Atom 500 and having it artificially limited to 60mph. It doesn't make sense.

    Unlike Stulid on the OcUK forums, I wouldn't choose that OCZ SSD. Crucial's RealSSD C400 is released in a few weeks time and will offer far better performance. If you can't wait, a good alternative would be the Corsair F90 (~£147) or Crucial's RealSSD C300 (~£174 for 128GB).

    Windows 7 - Do you have the 64-bit version? If not, you won't be able to make use of the full 8GB RAM.

    OcUK - You may regret buying from them if anything has to be returned. Thier after-sales support is dire.

  19. Thanks to Arthur from:

    Zoom7000 (31st January 2011)

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Looks like you've made some good choices zoom7000, just be careful overclocking the sandy bridge CPUs, it's worth reading this as a precaution: ~~~~~IMPORTANT SANDYBRIDGE OC INFO: Voltages & OC Guide!!~~~~~ - Overclockers UK Forums

    I have to disagree with you Arthur on OcUKs after sales support, ive had to deal with their after sales support on 4 or 5 seperate occasons over the past 10 years and i've always been very pleased with them. I was also most impressed when i placed a £1200 order back in 2009, at 6pm to recieve a phone call on my mobile from them that one part was out of stock and would i like to change it for another part (it was a heatsink and fan) at no extra cost so they could get it shipped to be with me the next day.

    Combined with the support you get from their forums they seem to go above and beyond the call of duty.....unlike filthy ebuyer who i won't go in to details with

  21. Thanks to mrbios from:

    Zoom7000 (31st January 2011)

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    I used to use OcUK quite a bit until I had to return a faulty PSU to them. They couldn't find anything wrong with it (despite the issue being widely documented on the Internet) so posted it back to me. However, when I opened the box I found that some OcUK monkey had damaged the PSUs casing in a botched attempt at accessing the internals (it certainly wasn't in this condition when I sent it to them!!!). When questioned about this, they categorically denied this had ever happened. In the end I had to deal directly with the manufacturer in the Netherlands. Apart from the hassle, I can't stand companies that lie to me which is why I will never use them ever again.

    Last edited by Arthur; 29th January 2011 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Spelling

  23. Thanks to Arthur from:

    mac_shinobi (24th May 2012)

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