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Old December 30, 2010, 06:33 PM
windwithme windwithme is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Default 2010 Mainstream DIY PC Reference Ė Intel Platform OC Performance Guide

Itís been years for users to select different components to make own DIY PC.
Advantage of DIY is freedom.
Comparing to brand PC, there is only one brand to provide after service.
The DIY PC can have the vendors or distributors warranty.
For this warranty, you have to go to different service center by different components.
However, you can choose your favorite brands and suitable products.
This is the main reason for DIY PC users are interested in computer technology or studying before buying.

Windwithme also mentioned in previous article that most DIY PC users are concerned about budget.
So they set the budget first and search for suitable products.
This review is introducing Intel platform with built-in GPU to make a good C/P PC.



Last review is AMD mainstream PC guide.
This time, I will use similar budget to compare the Intel platform.
My original idea was putting Intel and AMD PC in one article.
However, the content is too long, so I divided into 2 parts.
If you are interested, you can compare to these 2 guides.
I believe you can have more idea for current mainstream hardware performance and price.
Also, it can help you to make decision before buying.

CPU Part
I use Intel current hot sell model Core i3-540.
3.06GHz, 32nm manufacturing, 4MB L3 Cache, Revision K0.
Physical 2 Cores with Hyper-Threading for 4 threading, called 2C/4T.
K0 version is adding ID(PCID) technology into processor.
Most users all hope new version can be better at OC.
The price is 3350NTD, around 112USD.


Inside Box
Product manual, original cooler, Intel Core i3-540


Upper-Right is cooler bottom. Itís 100% aluminum also with thermal pate in the bottom.
Lower-Left is Intel Core i3-540. LGA 1156 Socket.
Itís recommended for H55/H57 chipsets.
You also can use P55 chipset, but the GPU function will be disable.


DRAM Part
Recently, the DDR3 4GB price is very cheap. You can choose 2GBX2 or 4GBX2.
If you have more budget and plan to use 64Bit OS, 4GBX2 is better pick.
I use CORSAIR DDR3 1600 4GBX2. 1600 version price is a little higher.
CORSAIR is internal well-known brand and famous in quality control. The price is acceptable.
The price is around 115USD.


CORSAIR CMX8GX3M2A1600C9
Core i3 can support DDR3 1333 without OC.
For Intel platform, you just pull CPU clock, the DDR3 can reach 1600~1800.
If your budget is limited, you can use DDR3 1333 or 2GX2.


MB Part
H55 or H57 chipsets are first choice for Intel built-in GPU platform.
The main difference is H57 supporting Raid, but H55 price is lower.
You can find many models and spec in the market.
I choose mid-price GIGABYTE H55M-UD2H. itís 3500NTD, around 117USD.

GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H Look
Ultra Durable 3, 2oz copper PCB, 100% Japanese made capacitors
3x USB Power supports On/Off Charge which can charge iPhone, iPad and iPod touch easily.
USB 3x Power also provide more stable power to external USB devices.


CPU PWM 4+2 phases
2 X PCI-E X16 supports ATI Hybrid CrossFireX technology.
The bandwidth is X16+X4.
Audio chip is Realtek ALC892. It supports 7.1 channel and Dolby Home Theater surrounding technology.
GIGABYTE also has another model, H55M-S2V, spec and components are lower. The price is 700NTD cheaper, around 24USD.


Power Supply Part
I pick Be Quiet! Straight Power Deluxe 400W which is E6 product line.
The price is 2400NTD, around 80USD.


80Plus Copper Certificate, Active PFC design, 18dBA super silent 12cm fan, 5 years warranty.
If you only use PC for word processing and no more graphic card upgrade need, you can consider Be Quiet! L6 350W.


HDD still use WD 640AAKS. The cheap price is main advantage even the performance is not the best.
If you need more capacity, currently 1T~1.5T HDD price is only a little higher. You just need to study the HD performance more.

In Intel platform, CPU and MB price are few hundred NTD higher.
If including Case, DVD-ROM, the price is around 16260NTD, 524USD.
Many users trust in Intel brand or performance due to the Intel structure.
The configuration is not absolute.
If you donít need such high performance, you can pick cheaper one.
However, if you need higher performance, you can buy the better spec one.
Per your need, budget and brand, you can make your own configuration to enjoy the DIY fun.
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