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Old April 12, 2010, 12:35 AM
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Hey guys, so I got a buddy who needs a new computer for Matlab number crunching. He's got a pretty small budget $400-$450, and he's a student so cheaper is better. I've looked around and thrown something like this together, and was wondering if anyone had any other good suggestions for parts.

CPU:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Quad Core Processor 3.2GHZ AM3 8MB Cache 125W Retail Box

$167.94

Motherboard:

ASUS M4A785TD-V Evo 785G Socket AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 3PCI Video Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard

$99.99

RAM:

OCZ Gold OCZ3G10664GK 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1066 CL 7-7-7-16 Dual Channel Memory Kit

$69.99


Power Supply:

Corsair CMPSU-400CX 400CX 400W ATX 12V 30A Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan
$51.77 ($39.77 after NCIX rebate)

Video:

ASUS Onboard

Hard Drive:

1TB External Hard drive

Case:

Plywood with standoffs

Monitor:

Hes got a 20 monitor

Heatsink:
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA775 LGA1156 120MM
$22.00

Total: ~$400 before tax after rebates



Since it's below the budget I was thinking throwing in a bit nicer power supply, but I don't know. Since it's number crunching the CPU is gonna be the most important, and at $168 for the 955 it seems the best bang for your buck when you can get a decent MB for only $100. I figure the ASUS board also allows for future upgrades, given that it's AM3 and has 2 PCI-E x16 slots. I was also debating throwing in a 212+ which should allow for a bit of an overclock, although going that direction would mean that I'd probably need to get a different PS. Thanks in advance.
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Old April 12, 2010, 02:29 AM
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I'd say to get the 212+ and/or get the best PSU you can for the budget. It's more money now but in the long run much more beneficial for the overclock/upgrading headroom and possibility of using in a new build.
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Old April 12, 2010, 06:53 AM
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If you don't mind the MIR, Corsair 400CX would be my first choice for an entry model PSU.
As for a case, don't run it naked, drop the odd $30 on the cheapest case you can find at least.

I personally wouldn't go for that quad since your getting into i5 750 territory but since I don't know much about AMD, I'll let others chime in.
Is it also assumed he's got a 1TB hard drive already?
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Old April 12, 2010, 07:00 AM
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On a budget Coolermaster can't be beat. +1 for getting either the 212+ heatsink or at least the Hyper TX3 (which is very easy to install). And go CM for a cheap case, the Elite series is very respectable and very inexpensive.
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Old April 12, 2010, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CroSsFiRe2009 View Post
Is it also assumed he's got a 1TB hard drive already?
Ya's he's got a 1TB external he'll be using for a bit, It'll be slower than a sata driver, but should be fine for a while, possible when he get some more cash he'll go for a sata HDD.

Also, I'm curious the main reason for going with a case, he won't be moving it from his house, he has no pets or kids that could destroy anything, and I thought an open air setup would cool better then a budget case, especially having the heatpipes sitting verticle (I realize this will have a very minor effect but still). Seems like it'd be better putting that money towards a better PSU and the 212+.

Thanks again.
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Old April 12, 2010, 12:12 PM
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get the x4 630 @ 100 and drop the rest into something elkse or spare it for later upgrades. healthy oc under the 212+ should be fine. also id go with a giga board, they tend to rule am2/3
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Old April 12, 2010, 01:19 PM
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Since this thing is going to be number crunching, I don't really want to skimp on the CPU, so even though the 630 would be better price/performance, having more processing power would be a bigger concern.

As for the MB, any giga board in particular? I was going with the ASUS M4A-V Evo based off the praise it got when reviewed here.

Also, does anyone know how much memory would play a part when crunching in matlab? Would investing in DDR3-1333 worth the $30 or so upgrade? I've always like the Ripjaws, and I figure I could get them for ~$100.
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Old April 12, 2010, 02:45 PM
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well, chipset 780 and up will do you good. one or two pci-e lanes. ive used them a lot, very good boards. for 775 id chose asus probably, amd chips gigabyte all the way.
ddr2/3 shouldnt make much of a difference on a cpu bound app. so if you still have ddr2 leftover use it. 4 gigs probably a minimum if you use 64bit os
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Old April 12, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Have you considered buying a Phenom II X2 555 and then unlocking the extra cores?

Does the program support GPU crunching like Folding@Home?
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Old April 12, 2010, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geokilla View Post
Have you considered buying a Phenom II X2 555 and then unlocking the extra cores?

Does the program support GPU crunching like Folding@Home?
I was debating a x2 555 or something simular, but I figure for a lower budget build that requires number crunching, to buy something like this expecting it to unlock would result in it, as murphy's law would predict, not unlocking. Since this is for someone else, I don't want to risk it.

Also, I pretty sure Matlab doesn't supports GPU crunching, although I'm not positive on that.
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