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Thread: Official "System Builders" Thread

  1. #3321

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    System Builders Guide: December R9,000 to R11,000

    Welcome back boys and girls, to the second-last edition of the System Builder's Guide! We're exactly fourteen days away from Christmas and things are heating up in the malls and shops and even the online stores - stuff is just selling at breakneck speeds as people begin their present shopping. Some of the prices you see today may not even last for a week, so if you were thinking of buying a new tower today, you'd probably be better off with purchasing your stuff before the year's end. With that, lets see what's in the build lists for today.


    Linky

  2. #3322

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Hey Wesley, thanks a lot for all the help. My friend ordered the parts for his PC and I'm going to help him assemble it as soon as it arrives. This has made me realize that it's time for my upgrade. I'm on a budget of 8.5-9.3k max (With a mouse and keyboard). What's your opinion? I went with the best value graphics card (AMD 7770) according to that GPU benchmark site. I just have a few questions.
    1. Do I need the multilingual windows 8 or the single language? If the single language only has English then I will be okay.
    2. In a low end-ish system like this with low power usage components do you need a case with a lot of airflow? Should I go with the Cooler Master Elite 311 with the transparent side panel (with no side fan) or the Cooler Master Elite 311 with a side fan and a non-transparent side panel?
    I based most of it off of a few different system builders guides that you made (thanks). I went for the caviar black because it is a high performance drive and it comes with a good warranty (5 years). I chose that CPU because it had really good customer feedback (5 eggs on newegg) and because I don't plan on doing any OC'ing. If I get that GPU I'll give you the game :) but please don't tell me to get that GPU just for the game. If you think another GPU would be better then please tell me. What's a good mouse and keyboard? I don't need a keyboard with 12 custom keys. Something simple but good quality and likewise for the mouse. Thanks in advance.

    From Rebeltech:
    ASRock B75M R710
    LG GH24NS90 R163
    Intel Core i5 3470 R2,066
    Antec VP550P 550w PSU R657
    Corsair Vengeance LP 2x4GB R454
    Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB R1,025
    Cooler Master Elite 311 R374
    Cooler Master Silent Fan, 140mm, Sleeve bearing, 1000rpm, 60.9CFM, 16dBA X2 R118
    Microsoft Windows 8, 64bit, Single Language, DSP R894

    From WootWare:
    MSI Radeon HD7770 and Far Cry 3 Game Voucher Bundle R1,499.00
    Total: R7960
    Last edited by charly; 12-12-2012 at 07:31 PM.

  3. #3323

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    1) The single-language install is fine, its the English one anyway. You'll be fine with the regular version as well as that still sports an Aero-like look to things and includes everything you need, just like Windows 7 Home Premium.

    2) No, but again that depends on the system. I guess if none of your components have a TDP higher than 75W, then you can pretty much choose any chassis with one 120mm intake and exhaust fan because that's about as much as you need. I'd go with the Elite 311 with the side panel fan, it will help with temperatures for your GPU.

    That build you've got there is pretty good and more or less what I'd have chosen given a budget of R8000 including an OS. As for the mouse and keyboard:

    Logitech G400 @ R439 and...
    Logitech G110 @ R772

  4. #3324

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Hey guys, I'm going to be getting a CPU/Mobo to hopefully match my 7950 next week and everywhere I look I see "Intel 3570K" outperforming the FX-8350. I have never overclocked my hardware and really don't feel comfortable doing so, is the main benefit of these AMD chips for future/current overclocks? I see that the FX-8350 is in fact an 8 core CPU, many games don't quite harness this effectively yet so is that also the reason for the performance difference? I love AMD and have used them for years but recently I've heard and seen Intel doing very well, I have an i5 in my home that currently gets insane FPS (300 in TF2) with only a 4890 on. I have no real AMD chip to compare it to atm, so some advice would be greatly appreciated before I jump on this thing for the next x years! :) Will probably also get an ASRock Z77 Pro-4, would that work? Thanks again!

    Edit: I see a lot of microATX boards listed, also trying to understand the reasoning behind this since back when I built my last rig bigger was better (also since I have X-Fi PCI soundcards) does it have to do with water cooling, another thing I have zero experience in? >.<

    Edit2: Wow I see rebel tech is taking a whopping near 3 weeks off, no PC for me :( Any other places I can get this that any1 can recommend as I really don't want to wait that long....
    Last edited by OtakuD; 17-12-2012 at 12:21 PM.

  5. #3325

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    So ordered the:

    AMD Phenom X2 565
    MSI 970A-G46

    both from Prophecy since CPU was from them and was like R10 extra for mobo. Now to just get the RAM and wait for everything to come ^_^.

    Edit: And no more ordered. Couldnt have my order on hold for like 40 days till new year. Guess will see how things are after everyone opens up again maybe.
    Last edited by phant1m; 19-12-2012 at 12:11 PM.

  6. #3326

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    System Builders Guide: December R13,000 to R18,000

    Yes, hello and welcome to the last of the System Builders Guide episodes for this year, folks. We’re just a week away from Christmas and the new year and quite frankly, I think the whole “world is gonna end, dude!” thing will just be bogus. Haters are gonna hate and they’ll probably go and find another date to settle on to restart the fear-mongering again. But anyway, here’s looking to the desktop high-end market once more to see what we can fit in.


    Linky

  7. #3327

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OtakuD View Post
    Hey guys, I'm going to be getting a CPU/Mobo to hopefully match my 7950 next week and everywhere I look I see "Intel 3570K" outperforming the FX-8350. I have never overclocked my hardware and really don't feel comfortable doing so, is the main benefit of these AMD chips for future/current overclocks?
    AMD's claim is that their board and platform as a whole are cheaper and integrate better than Intel and Nvidia or Intel and AMD graphics. There's also slightly longer platform longevity. Most AMD sockets last three chip generations, so investing in higher-end hardware makes more sense, especially when Intel's roadmaps kill and create a new socket every two CPU family generations.

    The Core i5-3570K is also outperforming the FX-8350 in a few benchmarks and games because those tests favour strong single-threaded performance for the most part. Games or apps that are coded to take full advantage of four or more cores run better on the FX chip because it has eight physical cores, whereas the i5 has to make do with four. For the most part, when you take price and performance into account. they're about equal. The new FX chips based on the Piledriver architecture also have a higher power consumption to the tune of around 80 watts under full load compared to their Intel competition, but in the larger picture it doesn't detract from their value.

    Quote Originally Posted by OtakuD View Post
    I have an i5 in my home that currently gets insane FPS (300 in TF2) with only a 4890 on. I have no real AMD chip to compare it to atm, so some advice would be greatly appreciated before I jump on this thing for the next x years! :) Will probably also get an ASRock Z77 Pro-4, would that work? Thanks again!
    What i5 chip are we talking about here? Quite a few people on the forum here are using the LGA1156 chips still and they're still serving up plenty of performance to allow them to wait for Haswell to land next year. And yes, the Pro 4 will go well with the i5-3570K, I actually recommend that combination pretty often.

    Quote Originally Posted by OtakuD View Post
    Edit: I see a lot of microATX boards listed, also trying to understand the reasoning behind this since back when I built my last rig bigger was better (also since I have X-Fi PCI soundcards) does it have to do with water cooling, another thing I have zero experience in? >.<
    I'm not...exactly sure what your question is here, but the mATX form factor is really only there for smaller rigs, not to assist in water cooling. Everyone's also closing around tomorrow until early January, so if you're buying online it will be better to wait. If you're still keen, most competent PC stores stock a good selection of components that you can walk out with, you can just follow the same recommendations you've found online.

    Quote Originally Posted by phant1m View Post
    So ordered the:

    AMD Phenom X2 565
    MSI 970A-G46

    both from Prophecy since CPU was from them and was like R10 extra for mobo. Now to just get the RAM and wait for everything to come ^_^.
    Nice dude, kickin' it old-school. Let us know if you're able to unlock the chip to a quad-core.

  8. #3328

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    AMD's claim is that their board and platform as a whole are cheaper and integrate better than Intel and Nvidia or Intel and AMD graphics. There's also slightly longer platform longevity. Most AMD sockets last three chip generations, so investing in higher-end hardware makes more sense, especially when Intel's roadmaps kill and create a new socket every two CPU family generations.

    The Core i5-3570K is also outperforming the FX-8350 in a few benchmarks and games because those tests favour strong single-threaded performance for the most part. Games or apps that are coded to take full advantage of four or more cores run better on the FX chip because it has eight physical cores, whereas the i5 has to make do with four. For the most part, when you take price and performance into account. they're about equal. The new FX chips based on the Piledriver architecture also have a higher power consumption to the tune of around 80 watts under full load compared to their Intel competition, but in the larger picture it doesn't detract from their value.
    Thank you so much for your detailed and informative reply, my apologies if not all of it is completely clear to me tho. From what I can gather from your reply, the Haswell will use a new socket, so upgrading will require a new mobo whilst AMD will not and therefore makes it a better "future investment" to go FX... even if performance of games (Guild Wars 2 in question) is 10-20 FPS slower on AMD systems? Also which games currently make use of the FX core to it's full potential, I'm only aware of the upcoming Crysis 3 specifying 8 cores, but that's is not a game I really am interested in playing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    I'm not...exactly sure what your question is here....
    A number of your recommended builds are mATX which is quite smaller than ATX and I guess I'm just worried if I can still fit my PCI X-Fi soundcard in when I go Crossfire at a later stage or would I need the ATX rather? I've had space issues with so many of my previous builds that I've developed a bit of a fear with mobos, sorry!

  9. #3329

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OtakuD View Post
    From what I can gather from your reply, the Haswell will use a new socket, so upgrading will require a new mobo whilst AMD will not and therefore makes it a better "future investment" to go FX... even if performance of games (Guild Wars 2 in question) is 10-20 FPS slower on AMD systems?
    Correct, Haswell requires a new socket and board change. AMD's AM3+ socket has been around since early 2011, so its going to be serving Steamroller and possibly Excavator, the next two families on a separate socket before they merge the APU and CPU lineup onto one socket again. Both Intel and AMD have solutions that support another two processor families - the only difference is that AM3+ and Piledriver is available now, whilst Haswell is a long away away. Personally, I'd go AM3+ myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by OtakuD View Post
    Also which games currently make use of the FX core to it's full potential, I'm only aware of the upcoming Crysis 3 specifying 8 cores, but that's is not a game I really am interested in playing.
    There won't be any games in the near future that can take advantage of eight cores, let alone four - that's a job for applications that need that kind of power. Quite a few games, including Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs and other titles that specify an Intel quad-core in their requirements, are threaded to take advantage of four cores, possibly more. But since most of those games are developed on Intel systems, they rely on strong single-core performance, which AMD has been weak at since the Athlon 64 X2 days.

    Quote Originally Posted by OtakuD
    A number of your recommended builds are mATX which is quite smaller than ATX and I guess I'm just worried if I can still fit my PCI X-Fi soundcard in when I go Crossfire at a later stage or would I need the ATX rather? I've had space issues with so many of my previous builds that I've developed a bit of a fear with mobos, sorry!
    Well yeah, PCI cards aren't as popular as they used to be - that's now the job for PCI-Express 1x, 2x and 4x slots, which take up less space and have higher bandwidth. If you're worried about spacing, lemme know which board you're looking at and if it won't fit in a PCI card with some dual-GPU action, then I'll recommend one that will.

  10. #3330

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Thank you Wesley, your help has been invaluable and I really appreciate it. I will most certainly look into more AM3+ benchmarks and see what it can do! :)

  11. #3331

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Happy New Year! So my one of my new year's resolutions is to build a HTPC on the relatively cheap, but I have really no idea where to start as my PCs have always focused on performance before convenience.

    So I've been doing a bit of research and the guys are mentioning a lot about the Nvidia ION boards, however I'm also intrigued by the capabilities of the AMD APU's.

    My requirements are this:

    - Low power consumption.
    - Must be able to play HD content.
    - Small form factor, possibly mini-ITX.
    - Runs Linux.
    - Has A/V & HDMI output.

    I'm trying to keep power consumption and costs low. I'll probably slap in a 1 TB 2.5" drive if I can afford it, or 500 GB if I can't.

  12. #3332

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zen View Post
    Happy New Year! So my one of my new year's resolutions is to build a HTPC on the relatively cheap, but I have really no idea where to start as my PCs have always focused on performance before convenience.

    So I've been doing a bit of research and the guys are mentioning a lot about the Nvidia ION boards, however I'm also intrigued by the capabilities of the AMD APU's.

    My requirements are this:

    - Low power consumption.
    - Must be able to play HD content.
    - Small form factor, possibly mini-ITX.
    - Runs Linux.
    - Has A/V & HDMI output.

    I'm trying to keep power consumption and costs low. I'll probably slap in a 1 TB 2.5" drive if I can afford it, or 500 GB if I can't.
    ION will struggle with HD content. An APU would definitely be the best choice. You can get a wireless remote and receiver for quite cheap as well.

    What many guys have done is get an HP microserver for cheap. They usually go for about around 2grand and build from there.

  13. #3333

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Hey can anyone tell me, if a cpu isnt on a motherboard cpu support list but has the same socket as the motherboard, will it work, could it be that the cpu wasn't out when the list was done and the list wasn't updated or will it just not work

  14. #3334

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zen View Post
    Happy New Year! So my one of my new year's resolutions is to build a HTPC on the relatively cheap, but I have really no idea where to start as my PCs have always focused on performance before convenience.

    My requirements are this:

    - Low power consumption.
    - Must be able to play HD content.
    - Small form factor, possibly mini-ITX.
    - Runs Linux.
    - Has A/V & HDMI output.

    I'm trying to keep power consumption and costs low. I'll probably slap in a 1 TB 2.5" drive if I can afford it, or 500 GB if I can't.
    Well as you've already mentioned, AMD's APUs are proving perfect for small media servers and HTPCs. Like Chevron mentioned, many people go with the HP N40l Miniserver (there's an entire MyBB thread dedicated to it), which uses a low-power AMD Athlon x2 15W dual-core CPU, a mini-ITX board and can fit up to five drives inside this tiny, tiny chassis. The only caveats are that you need discrete graphics and you'd have to output sound using HDMI, unless the PCI-E 4x slot on the board isn't locked for HP's special access card:




    HP Proliant N40L Microserver @ R 1999 (you can get it cheaper through Esquire, the MyBB thread details how)
    MSI HD5450 1GB DDR3 @ R320 or INNOVISION GT210 1GB DDR3 @ R333
    Western Digital Caviar Red 2TB SATA @ R1248
    Total: R3580

    You can then add drives on from there - note that you'll be limited to software RAID if you want a RAID 5 array with five drives. Windows makes a total muckup of this because Microsoft chucked out Storage Spaces from Home Server, so their latest implementation is a little tricky and that's where Linux steps up with the better solution - RAID-Z. Its the best solution if you're aiming for something small and quiet. There are other, more expensive setups but if you're only delivering media and you have everything with a compatible HDMI port, then this is the solution to take. If you're running Linux, take the GT210. If its Windows, go for the Radeon.

    The APU setup, on the other hand, offers both multi-media and gaming capability. I'd recommend...

    AMD Trinity A10-5800K @ R1547 (or the A10-5700, its the more efficient choice)
    MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 @ R816
    Kingston Hyper-X DDR3-1866 4GB @ R274
    Seagate Barracuda 500GB SATA @ R603
    Cooler Master Elite 360 @ R306
    GIGABYTE PoweRock AX 400W @ R361
    Total: R3907

    One thing, obviously, is that if you're going for the APU, Linux is out of the question if you're going to be making use of its gaming capability. With Steam making its Big Screen work better and better with console controllers, its going to be easier to become a couch potato with the benefits of a full-fledged PC in similar proportions to a console. Get a Xbox 360 or PS3 controller (and bluetooth adapter) and you're all set. You'll still have to buy a Windows license though. I left out a DVD drive because you can decide whether you need one or not - even a Blu-Ray drive would work in here, its your choice as to how far you want to take this. Intel's currently the best bet if you're going with a ITX board and chassis, but it will be quite a bit more epensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylar_dl View Post
    Hey can anyone tell me, if a cpu isnt on a motherboard cpu support list but has the same socket as the motherboard, will it work, could it be that the cpu wasn't out when the list was done and the list wasn't updated or will it just not work
    It could be that the lists haven't been updated. Which board and which CPU are you looking at?

  15. #3335

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    Well as you've already mentioned, AMD's APUs are proving perfect for small media servers and HTPCs. Like Chevron mentioned, many people go with the HP N40l Miniserver (there's an entire MyBB thread dedicated to it), which uses a low-power AMD Athlon x2 15W dual-core CPU, a mini-ITX board and can fit up to five drives inside this tiny, tiny chassis. The only caveats are that you need discrete graphics and you'd have to output sound using HDMI, unless the PCI-E 4x slot on the board isn't locked for HP's special access card:




    HP Proliant N40L Microserver @ R 1999 (you can get it cheaper through Esquire, the MyBB thread details how)
    MSI HD5450 1GB DDR3 @ R320 or INNOVISION GT210 1GB DDR3 @ R333
    Western Digital Caviar Red 2TB SATA @ R1248
    Total: R3580

    You can then add drives on from there - note that you'll be limited to software RAID if you want a RAID 5 array with five drives. Windows makes a total muckup of this because Microsoft chucked out Storage Spaces from Home Server, so their latest implementation is a little tricky and that's where Linux steps up with the better solution - RAID-Z. Its the best solution if you're aiming for something small and quiet. There are other, more expensive setups but if you're only delivering media and you have everything with a compatible HDMI port, then this is the solution to take. If you're running Linux, take the GT210. If its Windows, go for the Radeon.

    The APU setup, on the other hand, offers both multi-media and gaming capability. I'd recommend...

    AMD Trinity A10-5800K @ R1547 (or the A10-5700, its the more efficient choice)
    MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 @ R816
    Kingston Hyper-X DDR3-1866 4GB @ R274
    Seagate Barracuda 500GB SATA @ R603
    Cooler Master Elite 360 @ R306
    GIGABYTE PoweRock AX 400W @ R361
    Total: R3907

    One thing, obviously, is that if you're going for the APU, Linux is out of the question if you're going to be making use of its gaming capability. With Steam making its Big Screen work better and better with console controllers, its going to be easier to become a couch potato with the benefits of a full-fledged PC in similar proportions to a console. Get a Xbox 360 or PS3 controller (and bluetooth adapter) and you're all set. You'll still have to buy a Windows license though. I left out a DVD drive because you can decide whether you need one or not - even a Blu-Ray drive would work in here, its your choice as to how far you want to take this. Intel's currently the best bet if you're going with a ITX board and chassis, but it will be quite a bit more epensive.



    It could be that the lists haven't been updated. Which board and which CPU are you looking at?
    Intel 3220 with this http://www.rebeltech.co.za/index.php...oducts_id=6559 im also looking at http://www.rebeltech.co.za/index.php...oducts_id=5695

  16. #3336

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by OtakuD View Post
    Also which games currently make use of the FX core to it's full potential, I'm only aware of the upcoming Crysis 3 specifying 8 cores, but that's is not a game I really am interested in playing.
    Really? That is quite something if the info is accurate.

  17. #3337

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Nooooo I don't buy it. It may want to use 8 cores, but it'll not fully utilize them. Games are only now starting to really enjoy quad cores.

    Then again, the guys at Crytek have always been completely bonkers.

  18. #3338

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    @ Wesley,

    Thanks for the advice, but will that Microserver cut it when delivering HD content from Blu-Ray discs or from streaming sources? I'm not familiar with the Turion line of processors. Additionally, it doesn't look like it has the A/V outputs. The current TV is an old style with an upgrade in the near future - once I can convince the folks to get rid of that shoddy wall unit.

    I really don't care about gaming on this device as I have a decent (i7 920 @ 3.4 Ghz w/GTX580) gaming rig. MS will not see another cent of my money until I deem it necessary for an OS upgrade, hence I want to run Ubuntu 12.xx. I'll be using the likes of XBMC to manage and play my content.
    Last edited by Zen; 04-01-2013 at 02:23 PM.

  19. #3339

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Laptop Buyers Guide: January Netbooks to R8500

    2013 will be an interesting year for mobiles because officially, no-one makes Netbooks anymore. The craze started to die down with the launch of the iPad and today, with tablets taking up more of the entry-level market space, there's little incentive for buyers to pick something from the low-end class. In fact, if there's ever enough stock of the Google Nexus devices to go around, the entire budget segment may as well give up. The war against the Android onslaught is like trying to invade Russia - you can't do it.

    We still don't have enough Windows RT tablets either. Whether that's from stock issues or we're just being ignored completely as an emerging market is a question that remains to be answered. You can't walk into any shop and buy one aside from purchasing from select vendors and you certainly can't sign up for a cellular contract with one bundled.

    That will have to change very soon.


    Linky

  20. #3340

    Default Re: Official "System Builders" Thread

    Alrighty then, I'll be setting up a media centre/server sometime in the near future and I need some help/advice...
    Firstly: Which system should I use, I have access to 2 old linux servers (like 5 or 6 years) that still run perfectly and could do the trick, then I have an old HP DX2000 desktop which could work, and then there's the system that I use everyday, i7 2600k, Asus P8P67 Pro etc etc.
    Which of these should I go with (whichever option I choose I will need to buy some bigger HDDs)?

    What else would I need (regarding hardware)

    Thanks for any help :)

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