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Old June 26, 2010, 01:21 AM
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Default A computer for the next four years

Hello Forum.

So I'm going off to college in the fall, and at this point I'm finally getting towards the point where I need to order the parts to build my computer (also my first build, but I've been staring at parts on Newegg for 2 years already).

What is it going to be used for?
Well, at the most basic level, word processing, but I do game and work with both photoshop and illustrator. I've never really had a computer that would do all that much, so I'm looking for something that will be all-around okay, maybe good for the next year or two.

Budget?
At this point, it seems like it will be between $1000-$1200 USD.

What country will this be bought in?
Well, I'm currently in Taiwan, where all the prices are marked up quite a bit, so I'll be buying off of Newegg and other online based retailers in the United States that you might suggest. I'm open to anything, and lowest price always wins.

Brand Preference?
Preferably not Intel, their motherboards with SATA III and USB 3.0 somewhat bust my budget. I lean towards ATI at the moment because they're mid-range GPUs all have Dx11.

Current Parts?
I have a 17" BenQ Flatscreen that's probably 3 years old. It works just fine, but I'd need a DVI adapter if I'm going to use it. (I use dual screens with my laptop) It would be a fine monitor while I saved up for something better, though I'm going to be the stereotypical poor college student, so that might not happen.

Current Knowledge?
I've been lurking this section of your site as a guest for the last 3 months, so I have been reading up. I've spent too much of my time on Newegg as well, but I think I've said that already.

Overclocking?

Its very tempting, I would like to be able to tweak my system. I have that tendency to want to play around with my technology. In short, yes.

When is it going to be built?

Early to Mid August.

Resolution?
Right now I'm on 1280 x 800 on my laptop screen and 1280 x 1024 on the BenQ.

I went on Newegg just now and threw this together as a bare-minimum to be bumped up.

CPU: $99.00
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision HDZ555WFGMBOX
Motherboard: $119.99
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
HDD: $94.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
GPU: $179.99
MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
RAM: $107.00
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Case: $39.99
HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/ Front Blue LED 120mm Fan & Top 120mm Fan
PSU: $59.98
RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply
Optical Drive: $21.99
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
CPU Cooling: $39.98
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler
Monitor (Optional): $119.99 - This can be dropped and the cash used elsewhere to get something better.
Hanns·G HW-191APB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor

Add in some Arctic Silver 5 and two more 120mm Case fans and it comes to $900.87 according to Newegg.

So form this (hopefully) solid base of a system, where do I go? I know all that the GPU, Motherboard, and CPU could all be brought up to something better, and that would probably increase the longevity of the system. I'm hoping to have last five years, maybe six if I can squeeze that out of it, so its probably worth the upgrade now.
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Old June 26, 2010, 04:09 AM
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Your build is pretty good except for 4 items, those being the GPU, PSU, CPU Cooling & Monitor.

With your gpu, I would recommend going with XFX as they have a lifetime warranty.

Newegg.com - XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $169.99

With your psu, I would highly recommend going with Corsair or Seasonic for your PSU as they are most trusted in the industry. I stayed with a modular unit since you chose one in the 1st place, good thinking there as cable management will be a breeze!

Newegg.com - CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-650HX 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $119.99

Newegg.com - SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $99.99

For cpu cooling, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus is highly recommend throughout these & other forums and has better CFMs and RPM range.

Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler $49.99

For your monitor, I'm not sure about that particular brand and 19inches does sound small for your usage, as you would prefer to have more real estate to work with. I would get a monitor that can do either 1600x900 or 1920x1080 as that would give u LOTS of real estate and I would recommend an LG monitor (due to my preference for them). I'm showing 3 monitors, 1 can do 1600x900 and 2 that can do 1920x1080 and they are ranging from 20inches to 23inches. If you do have space constraints (hence the choice for a 19inch monitor) then I do apologize.

Newegg.com - LG W2040T-PN Glossy Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 70000:1 $149.99

Newegg.com - LG W2253VP-PF Glossy Black 21.5" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70000:1(1000:1) $179.99

Newegg.com - LG W2353VP-PF Glossy Black 23" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70000:1(1000:1) $209.99

Adding up all the most expensive stuff would keep u below USD$1200 including your AS-5, a couple of case fans and even windows 7 (if u need an OS).

Now all of this would give you an excellent base system to work with and you can upgrade later to a 890FX board, an AMD Phenom II X6 cpu and XFX Radeon 5870/5970 GPU.

Good luck with your build
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Old June 26, 2010, 07:22 AM
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get a quad, 630 for 99 pricematched.

the card might be too much for your needs, word processing.
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Old June 26, 2010, 07:25 AM
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+1 to the psu & cpu heatsink changes. Go with a quality psu as you have stated that you may upgrade other components as time goes on.

Newegg.ca - OCZ Z-Series OCZZ550 550W ATX12V 2.2/ EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Active PFC Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i7
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Old June 26, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inTaiwan View Post
What country will this be bought in?
Well, I'm currently in Taiwan, where all the prices are marked up quite a bit, so I'll be buying off of Newegg and other online based retailers in the United States that you might suggest. I'm open to anything, and lowest price always wins.
Strange, last time I was in Taipei, prices seemed a ton better than here in Canada, but then again prices in the US are usually better than Canada as well.

I know these guys have really good prices in Canada, but if you're in the north bit of Taiwan and haven't checked them out yet, you might wanna compare them to Newegg.

EXPC - Taiwan
Add: 台北市八德路一段46號B1 (Office)
(BENQ 享樂館隔壁)
Tel: 886-2-2351-7851
Fax: 886-2-2341-1104
七天營業 11:00AM-09:00PM

EXPC - Taiwan
Add: 台北市光華數位新天地5樓66號
Tel: 886-2-2351-7851
Fax: 886-2-2341-1104
每日營業時間11:00AM-09:00PM
(隔周二公休)

Also, check to see if your college gets any student discounts. (more for software stuff but saving a few bucks here and there can be put towards the hardware)
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Old June 27, 2010, 09:34 AM
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@iyla I would rather buy it here so I could do more troubleshooting without being in the whirlwind of moving between Michigan and Illinois, but space and weight constraints are tight on airlines lately, especially when in economy class.

@_dangtx_ Sorry, I meant at a bare minimum it would need to just do word processing. I do game at the moment, but only casually and not that much because my internet connection is lacking, and the 8400mGS my laptop sports doesn't run anything spectacularly enough to keep me playing. I've also had my hands on a copy on Dawn of War II that refuses to run on my laptop even at the lowest of settings.

@xlilmissmjx I might just drop the monitor, but hear me out. I'd rather get components that are higher-tier now and grab a used monitor later. I'm going to be in the Chicago area so it shouldn't be too hard to find something used. I guess I'm out of the loop as well. I'm quite happy with 1280 by 1024 on my BenQ, it even seems big to me after working off my 1280 by 800, and its adequate for what I do at the moment anyway. If need be, I'll find something else, but my monitor's not top priority.

So,
I took a little more time to work up a V2 of my college computer:

College V2:
CPU: $179.99
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
Motherboard: $154.99
ASRock 890FX DELUXE3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
HDD: $94.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
GPU: $304.99
XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
RAM: $107.00
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Case: $39.99
HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/ Front Blue LED 120mm Fan & Top 120mm Fan
PSU: $119.99 (Mail in rebate of $20)
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-650HX 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power ...
Optical Drive: $21.99
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
CPU Cooling: $49.99
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...

add Arctic Silver 5, a VGA to DVI adapter, and the case fans, and it comes to $1092.89, after the rebate, $1072.89.

My rationale on changes:
I upped the processor do I get a true quad core ready to be overclocked. I wasn't sold on going with the Phenom II 555, the core unlock feature isn't always worth the risk.
I upgraded the motherboard because the 5850's price will go down in years to come, and that will make it more affordable to set up crossfire, so might as well have a motherboard to accommodate that. Plus, might as well get the most I can.
I chose a 5850 (also XFX for the warranty) because I'm sick of playing games from 4-6 years ago on medium/low resolutions. That's why I don't game that much. If this goes through, this will be the first time I will have ever had my hands on a legitimate gaming card, and I want to play Dawn of War II finally.

Otherwise, I followed your advice. Hows this setup looking then?

Last edited by inTaiwan; June 27, 2010 at 09:56 AM.
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Old June 27, 2010, 09:51 AM
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The AMD 940 WILL NOT work with the AM3 board.
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Old June 27, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Yeah, I just double checked that and fixed my post. Everything should be right now.
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Old June 27, 2010, 09:58 AM
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Man, those heatsink prices SUCK.

Looked around a little on the newegg US site and this is probably the best value cooler I could find, and it's not even that great:
Newegg.com - GELID Solutions Tranquillo CC-TranQ-01-A 120mm Hydro Dynamic CPU Cooler

The Coolermaster Hyper 212 is usually the "go to" budget cooler here, but it's normally $20 CAD, not $50 US.

Looked around FrozenCPU as well, prices aren't that much better there either. ><

Lots of good mid range coolers around $40-50 though.
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Old June 27, 2010, 09:58 AM
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might as well get the phenom 1055T for the price...
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