New PC Advice

Discussion in 'hardware' started by n8chavez, Oct 28, 2011.

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  1. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I'm looking to have a custom PC built for me very soon. I'm intending to have this new system be a gaming system. There are a couple of things I really need help with, like liquid cooling, RAM, and the always-debatable Intel versus AMD.

    I have never used liquid cooling before, but feel like it'd be a good option for me because it gets very hot I live and sometime are flow can be a real issue. After looking at newegg and a bunch of reviews, the Corsair H80 Cooling Hydro seemed to stand out to me. But I am still unclear on a few things about liquid cooling in general; does it only cool the processor, or the whole case, will I need extra case fans and/or HD fans?

    I am kinda on a budget, so I can't just get the best of everything as though money were no object. I've read in a few places that there's really no need for anything about 8gb DDR3 RAM, unless you are doing video editing. Is that true? Is there no practical reason to get 16gb DD3 RAM?

    I am also debating the processor which would best balance cost and effect. I have it narrowed down to two processors, the intel i5 Sandy Bridge and the AMD Phenom II 956 X4 (or the 6-core x6). Which do you think is the best processor for an mid-level-gamer on a budget? From what I've read the i5 preforms very similar to the x6, but the x6 is cheaper. Would there be any real. noticeable, difference between the i5, x4, or x6 on a system with a ATI Radeon HD 6850?

    Thanks in advance.

    n8
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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  3. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    How much CPU performance boost will water cooling give over stock heatsink/fan cooling?

    You may be better off spending the 'water cooling' money on a faster CPU. I am not sure which is the better way to go.

    IMHO, I would keep things simple and not use water cooling.

    I would never spend more than US$200 for a "gaming" video card.
     
  4. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

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    The answer is a lot - If done right.

    But watercooling is a tightrope walk, for obvious reasons. My last watercooling loop lasted for 3 years without problems. I have also tried several pre-assembled kits - two of them leaked/or had design problems. Watercooling is a very expensive hobby either way.

    To watercool just a CPU I wouldn't bother. Some of the Tuniq Tower type coolers come close to the heat dissipation benefits of water, at about half the price as well(I know they're hideously big, but eh). I don't think there are that many performance benefits to just watercooling the CPU for gaming - you really want to be OC'ing and tweaking the GPU to its max, as well. A watercooled CPU + GPU loop, with a 360 triple radiator, then, is advantageous for gaming.

    Watercooling IS an expensive hobby. Unless you're prepared to go extreme ... don't bother. IMO.

    Like Thekid7 says, you can put the money into buying better hardware.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Understand that regardless if you pick AMD or Intel, using an aftermarket cooler violates the terms of the CPU warranty. Now that does not concern most enthusiasts and may not concern you and that's okay. But it is important to know. And regardless our personal feelings about that policy, it is written in black and white in the warranty pamphlet that comes with our CPUs, and on-line.

    Also, while the Corsair H80 is an excellent CPU cooler, it is also important to understand that motherboard designers intentionally cluster other heat sensitive and heat generating devices around the CPU socket so they can take advantage of the air turbulence caused by the "expected" OEM CPU fan. Sadly, many alternative cooling users fail to compensate for that by ensuring they have a quality case that provides lots of front-to-back flow through the case. And so while their CPU may be nice and cool, the chipset and voltage divider/regulator devices are stressed by too much heat - which shortens the life of the motherboard.

    Another problem with water cooling alternatives is people. We tend to neglect things when the newness wears off. But over time, leaks may occur and that is actually when we need to step up our preventative maintenance and inspection routines.

    So I agree with Keyboard_ Commando, "unless you're prepared to go extreme", AND, are in it for the long haul, "don't bother."
     
  6. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    The main reason why I'm looking at liquid cooling is because if gets very hot here in the summer and airflow can be a problem. The tower is also is a desk. It's ventilated, but still. My thinking is that fans need airflow to work right.

    Here's the system I was thinking about getting (which I can still change):
     
  7. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I consider the Power Supply Quality to be very high in importance. I would go with a Corsair Power Supply such as this one.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

    If it were not for the impact (near 2X higher prices) of the Thailand flooding, I would recommend a higher performance hard drive. What is the rpm of the Western Digital hard drive that you suggest? If it is 5400 rpm, you will take a significant "performance hit" compared to a 7200 rpm hard drive.
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No. Fans create airflow. You just need to ensure there is nothing blocking that flow like vents clogged with dust or internal cables obstructing the flow.

    It is the case's responsibility to provide adequate air flow through the case. If the case does not support enough fans to provide enough flow, then you need another case, or you need to remove the case cover/side panel and blast a desk fan in there.

    Remember, no cooling solution can cool a device below the ambient (room) temperature unless it involves refrigeration (compression/expansion of gases) this includes peltier cooling. So if your room is too hot, then you need to provide refrigeration through "air conditioning" or perhaps evaporative cooling (if you live in dry desert environments). If air conditioning is not practical, then you must do what many must do, and use your computer only in the cool hours of the day.

    I would inspect your case for fan options. You may be able to add additional fans, or replace your existing fans with larger fans that move more air.
     
  9. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    I have a AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1090T Processor, I runs it at 100% most of the time (Folding@home). It's always warm here. My CPU is not over clocked with the standard cooling unit that comes with the CPU. I do have an extra case fan installed. Current temp right now is 55.9°C, the spec sheet for this CPU shows max temp at 62°C. If it gets close to 60°C I simply stop folding, the CPU temp rapidly drops to below 40°C, I just stopped folding and in seconds the temp has dropped to 36.2°C, it's now sitting at 34°C
     
  10. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    All good advice in the previous posts. Take a look here. http://www.digitalstormonline.com/
    The people at DS are really super to work with. Lots of choices and they will help you decide. They also will overclock for you if your not into messing with that yourself and when they do ocing it will not effect the warranty.You might want to get a good motherboard. At least mid-range.
     
  11. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Thank you all for you help and advice. I really appreciate it.

    I've been using Newegg to check user resources for ratings.

    I have taken your advice. The old power supply had a low user rating. The one I have chosen now, Antec EarthWatts 650w Extra Quiet ATX Power Supply SLI & X-fire ready, has a much better rating. It's more expensive, but it's worth it. Thanks.

    Hmmm... I wasn't used to thinking like that. I guess my wording was a little awkward. Of course, you can't expect fans to work in a vacuum. I've added a couple 120mm fans in addition to what's included in the dcase. I've also upgraded the case to a Cooler Master CM 690 II black, front USB & eSATA. I hope that combo, along with the Coolmaster v6, will suffice. Thank you.

    Rainwalker, thank you for you advice as well. Oddly enough, I have looked at serveral custom PC builders on like Digital Storm Online, CyberPowerPC, iBuyPower and have found that the prices were more expensive with every one of them than the custom ones sold on Ebay. Having looked at all the components on Newegg, the price seems to be very reasonable.

    I am wondering, though, if 16gb of DDR3 in excessive, and whether or not I will ever use that much. One thing I noticed at Digital Storm Online was that the "gamer" PCs had no more than 8gb DDR3 RAM. Also, do you think I'll need to add HD coolers in they are Western Digital Green dives?

    Here's the system I'm looking at now, which has been improved per the above suggestions.

    Thanks guys
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  12. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    Why do you think you might need so much Ram?
    HD Coolers?.....why not..they are cheap enough.
    I second this: "CPU:Core i5 2500k-For the CPU I would suggest the i5 2500k (great CPU for gaming)"
     
  13. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I suppose I don't need the 16gb RAM, but it's nice to have, especially since I can get it for really cheap. The prices at the direct store, versus the ebay store, are more because there he charges for shipping, which isn't the case at the ebay store. And, regarding the i5, a lot of people have said that to me, or in various reviews. I just went the AMD route because it was cheaper, but the overall difference seems to only be about $30.
     
  14. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    "Nice to have"...? IMHO go with 6gb or 8gb, take the money saved and get the i5. If you do and plan to oc it someday, you will need a better cooler.
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I think the drive coolers are a waste of money. That case has a front mounted fan that will push cool air across the drives.
     
  16. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    After reconsidering I should have taken the waste of money route. In addition,the case does an all around good job of cooling.
     
  17. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    o_O Should have, or should not have? That is, are you saying the HD coolers are needed, or are you agreeing and saying the HD coolers are a waste of money?
     
  18. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Oh, this is great. I really appreciate this. My disability doesn't really allow me to work with much hardware, thus I'm on the software side more. The configuration below has the i5 with no HD fans.

    What do you think?
     
  19. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    Agreeing.....waste of money.
     
  20. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    n8, have you considered using an SSD for your boot drive instead of the HDD, using the HDD just for your data drives?

    The boot-up time is incredibly fast, often 25 seconds or less, and most apps run like greased lightning. No heat, no noise.

    I've recently installed Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120gb on 2x systems and am very pleased with their performance. haven't followed the prices in the last couple of months, mine were in the $240 each range, I think.
     
  21. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Why two DVD recorders? Why different brands? If me, I would get one optical and it would support BluRay disks.

    Do you really need to go wireless? Wireless requires a whole new level of security awareness and discipline. Wired is inherently much more secure. And 1Gb/sec Ethernet networks are much faster than Wireless-n. Even 100Mb Ethernet is faster in many cases - particularly in a crowded wireless environment, when there are several walls and floors to go through, and/or when there's some distance between the wireless client and the WAP (wireless access point).

    If me, if I was planning on using a graphics card, I would use a different motherboard instead of one with on-board graphics.
     
  22. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I use two optical drives because it's a lot faster for me to rip DVDs with two versus one.

    I actually do need to use a wireless card because I'm not the only one in the house that uses that signal. Plus, I do not believe I have a coaxial connection in my room.

    Regarding the graphics card, I am planning on using a separate card. The one I like is the AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB PCI Express 16x dual head DVI, HDMI.
     
  23. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Then what I am saying is your motherboard has integrated graphics. If you are planning on using a card from the start, then if me, I would put my motherboard money on a board that does not have integrated graphics. My thought is, why pay for a feature you know you will not be using?

    As far as ripping two DVDs at once, I think it will be slow as molasses with a single hard drive. Even with two drives, not sure it will be much quicker.

    Ethernet does not run over coaxial. It runs over Cat-5e or Cat-6. But either way, if you don't have an Ethernet connection near the computer, then wireless is your only option.
     
  24. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    Are MOCA or similar powerline products workable for a PC as opposed to only in a home entertainment system?

    http://www.mocalliance.org/
     
  25. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Workable for a PC how? To get TV on your PC, or to get Internet? Either way it depends on the service.
     
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