Okey so I decided to build a budget rig that wil be used for:1) Designing
I study Graphical and Digital Media at university, so the rig I’m building will have to process RAW images and run Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver,...
I already have a MacBook Pro 17” (mid 2010) and becaus I know most of you dont take Mac users seriously I listed my motivation here:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The amazing 1920x1200 screen really comes in handy.
Windows uses bmp images for displaying stuff while Mac uses PDF files.
The color profiles used on Mac are also better for designers and photographers.
Its handy to have a battery life of 8 hours.
The entire designing/advertising/photography world uses Mac or expects you to be familiar with it.
I’m folding, for team 37726 ofcourse, so the rig must be optimized to get the highest possible PPD. Also this rig should be quiet enough so that it can keep folding over night.3) Overclocking
I really like overclocking, thats why I need components that will allow me to do so and a decent cooling solution.4) Some light gaming
I do enjoy playing a game now and then so it would be nice if the rig is able to run most/all games at an acceptable quality.II. Checklist components• Case
✓ Zalman Z9• Power supply
✓ XFX PRO 550W Core Edition• Motherboard
✓ Gigabyte 770T-USB3• CPU• Memory• Graphics card
✓ MSI N460GTX MD1GD5 OC Edition• CPU cooling• Graphics card cooling• Case fans• Fan controller
I’ll keep the HDD’s and DVD-drive from my current rig.III. Details components
// I’m from Belgium, Europe so prices are in €Case:
I bought an Zalman Z9 mid tower atx case for 45€. There is room for 7 case fans, all 120mm and some also 140mm. 2 at the top, 1 at the back, 1 at the front, 1 on the bottom and 2 on the side.
There is also room inside for a dual 120mm radiator at the top.
The PSU is placed at the bottom and has its own air intake.Power supply:
I bought an XFX PRO 550W Core Edition for 60€.
I was told 550W would be sufficient for a single-gpu system and this XFX is based on an Seasonic psu and they should be pretty good.Motherboard:
I saw a thread in the deals-for-folders section of this forum where curve_in “donated” a Gigabyte 770T-USB3 motherboard to help someone fold more.
The very generous and awesome curve_in shipped this motherboard to me and I received it a few days ago. Thx curve_in! You’re the best!
This AM3 motherboard supports Phenom X4 cpu’s and after an BIOS update also Phenom X6 cpu’s. It can use memory with speeds up to 1333MHz (1666MHz OC).
Also curve_in modified the motherboard by installing copper heatsinks on the mosfets, that got hot when overclocking.CPU:
I’ll go with AMD becaus of the motherboard but also becaus the cheapest Intel with an unlocked multiplier (2500K) costs 190€ which is a little too much.
I am planning on buying the Phenom 1090T becaus I think it has the best PPD (Points Per Day) for folding. I heard the 1090T and 1100T are actually the same cpu.
If another cpu will give the same PPD or overclock way better, pleas let me know.Memory:
I think I’ll buy Mushkin Blackline DDR3 1600MHz CL9 1.5V (2x4GB) that costs 45€.
8GB should be more then enough I recon or would 16GB be better since I do work with very large Photoshop files.
Again, if you think I should buy something else, pleas let me know.Graphics card:
I bought an MSI N460GTX-MD1GD5/OC. I got a very good deal on it, 125€ instead of 150€.
It had to be NVIDIA becaus they are superior when it comes to folding.CPU Cooling:
Has to be very good for overclocking and very quiet for folding 24/7.
I dont want Corsair Hydro, so I’ll either buy an Noctua D14 for 70€ or I’ll buy an watercool set XSPC Rasa or EK.
The problem is that they are quit expensive here and if i buy it on performance-PCs.com or FrozenCPU.com I have to pay like 60USD for shipping.
I would also add my GPU to the loop so I need a pump and radiator that are able to handle CPU+GPU.
If I go for watercooling I would probably buy the XSPC Rasa RS240 + XSPC universal VGA block + heatsinks for my GTX 460 which would cost about 200€ shipping included.
But I’m still comparing XSPC RS240, XSPC RX240, XSPC RS360, EK LT240Cu, EK LT360Cu and EK HF240Cu.
I COULD USE SOME ADVICE ON THIS!!!Graphics card cooling:
The stock heathsink + fan is way to loud and doesn’t allow much overclocking.
So I’m thinking about the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME Plus II for 56€ or ofcourse watercooling.Case fans:
Scythe Gentle Typhoons?Fan controller:
No idea at all...IV. Buildlog
I’ll start from my current rig (Dell Inspiron 531) untill I eventually have the completed new rig.
The OP will be updated everytime something changes.Start:Update 1:
Received the 460GTX and the XFX 550W
Close-up of the 460GTX
The current situationUpdate 2:
Got my new case, the Zalman Z9. Installed everything.
My first attempt at “cablemanagement”Update 3:
The motherboard i got from curve_in arrived. USA to Belgium in a few days, i’m impressed!
Here you can see the copper heatsinks on the mosfets
I cant use the motherboard untill I get some DDR3 memory and a Phenom cpu.