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The First Timer Five Year Build

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to build a rig that will last, one that I won't have a need to update any components for {hopefully} five years.

My situation, separating the military in 1.5 years to finally use that G.I. Bill I came in for 6.5 years ago, and I'd like this build to fulfill most of my desktop needs until I graduate. As far as useage goes, I rip & burn a lot of movies, play only a few games, Starcraft (no, not SC2, but soon enough) being the most taxing, and do a lot of web surfing and torrenting. I'm going to be completing a degree in Computer Science so I'm sure some programming will be involved in this timeframe also.

So first off the Great Debate, AMD or Intel? (I'm not anticipating needing the 8-Core Bulldozer for anything)

I understand that it's truly the architecture that separates these two, not necessarily the speeds & cores. But from what I can gather it seems that the higher speeds are good at doing more "singular" operations, and the higher number of cores increase the CPU's multitasking ability.

So my first question is, in a rig that will primarily be a media center & and SC2 gaming system (mind you, SC2 only utilizes 2 cores), but could potentially encounter a moderate level of programming in the future, will AMD's multitasking "Bulldozers" topple Intels "Ivy Bridge" or just get stuck in the mud under the bridge? I can find things I like about each, I've had Intel in each of my laptops and never had a single problem but then I read all kinds of great things about AMD and they come smoking fast, 4-Core @ 4.3GHz or 6-Core @ 4.1GHz.... Or are the i5 @ 3.8GHz and i7 @ 3.9GHz superior due to the CPU architecture?

Next question is, when pairing a CPU to a GPU will it behoove me to stick with the same manufacturer? i.e. AMD & Radeon or Intel & GeForce?

And to continue, are they're any real advantages to a MOBO that contains a 990FX vs 990X vs 970 Northbridge, if I don't plan on running dual GPU's/Video Cards? I pose the same question to Intel Chipsets... As far as MOBO's go I liked what I saw with Asus Gigabyte and Asrock, but I'd enjoy hearing your opinions on the aforementioned.

I realize that there are other components required to build a PC from the ground up, but this should give me a good starting point from the inside out... Going outside in, for the sake of discussion, I really admire the simplicity of the Antec Three-Hundred but I think I'd prefer to take it up just a little notch to the Corsair Carbide 400r. From the looks of it the latter will allow a larger CPU cooling system, say the Corsair H80 or H100...?

And as far as memory goes maybe throw a few WD 1TB's HDD into her with a Crucial M4 leading the way... I'm not really set on any RAM, but I like the idea of Crucial or Mushkin since their both Made in the Good Ole' USA...

So any and all info will be appreciated, and since I know you will ask about a budget, I don't want to exceed $1500 (including a decent 1080p moniter), so lets say ballpark-MAX $1300.
post #2 of 22
Ivy Bridge will beat bulldozer for your purposes I believe. Unless you plan on doing lots of encoding with large files you'll see little benefit from a bulldozer whereas you'll see plenty of benefit from a nice Ivy Bridge. As for GPU the brands don't matter, you can use Radeon cards with Intel (I built one of these a couple of weeks ago) and you can use GeForce cards with AMD. I'm a fan of the ATi/AMD Radeon GPUs because usually your dollar goes further with them and you get a better performance card until you reach the really high end stuff or start dealing with multi-GPUs.
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post #3 of 22
i would go with an i5 3570K ivy bridge on an asus, gigabyte, or asrock Z77 board. i would go with some samsung wonder ram because it costs like $45 for 8gb and can overclock to 2400mhz+ for a graphics card i would go with a GTX 670 or 2. for power i would get a 650W from seasonic or corsair, get higher watts if you plan on sli.if you want an SSD, i would get a good 64gb-256gb crucial m4 or samsung 830 series. as for a HDD, i prefer western digital, but what ever you want, get. as for the case, it is up to you, but i would look at fractal design, corsair, silverstone, or lian li if you want a high quality case. for a cooler, look at a coolermaster hyper 212 for cheap, noctua nh d14 for expensive, corsair H80 or H100 for a bit more, or an XSPC Rasa 750 RS360 for a bit more than corsairs closed loops.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
It looks like you guys (along with A lot of others here) are a big fan of the Intel i5 3570k, and for good reason I'd imagine. I've liked this little guy from the beginning of my reseach too... So let's assume I go that route...

Now comes the question of Motherboards and Chipsets: Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Asrock, Biostar or even Intel?!?!? Not too mention the G68, H77 and Z77 Chipsets . But, what about the the Intel Z75 Chipset? From what I can see the Z77 vs the Z75 isn't all that superior with the exception of mutiple GPU's/Video Card support, am I wrong?

I have to wonder if the High End MOBO's will be of any benefit to a "casual" gamer, but I like the "TUF" Components. Are those legit or just some advertising gimmick? I do like the the onboard WIFI+BT of this MSI but it's talking about "military class III components", and I've been working with electronics in the military for 6.5 years and never heard of "class III"... The aforementioned would fall into line with these other $200'sh MOBO's, are they worth it or would something like this ASRock Z77 Extreme4 prove it's worth over time?

If anyone has any experience with Starcraft II, since that'll probably be the most useage my rig sees, what do you run? And to the other pundits, what MOBO's have historically held up the best over time?

Now we come to the GPU/Video Card... From what I'm seeing, I really like the EVGA 015-P3-1480-KR, it has gotten great reviews and ratings, has dual DVI output, and looks pretty solid. Chatterbox, you say go with Radeon because you get more for you money, so if I buy GeForce am I only buying the brand name? And I'm told there's no harm in mixing CPU's & GPU's but is there any advantage to both proc's using the same architecture for OC'ing length of life purposes?
post #5 of 22
It would be horrible if the GPU and CPU had the same architecture. Imagine how much slower your GPU would be if it was the same as your CPU tongue.gif
I should probably mention I do live in western australia, where everything is much much more expensive so it may be different for you. But here nVidia cards are through the roof price wise ( I can get an ATi Radeon HD 7850 for about the same as a GTX 650 ). Also, either way a card like that is most definitely not the way to go for a system built to last. It's already two generations out of date (we're up to the 6xx series now) so if you want it to last you really want the technology up to date. At least the Radeon 6xxx or the GTX 5xx, preferably the Radeon 7xxx or GTX 6xx. I have a friend with a similar computer to mine (Phenom II x6 in his and a different brand of the same 6870 1GB GPU) and he reckons he can run SC2 cranked to max with solid framerates, he tends to exaggerate a bit though so YMMV.
My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
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My System
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Phenom II x4 955 BE ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Powercolor Radeon HD6870 1GB 4x GeIL Value 2GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
WD 7200RPM 500GB Misc 80GB SATA Hard Drives Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Samsung Syncmaster 940N 
PowerCase
Antec HCG-620 Thermaltake V4 
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post #6 of 22
Intel is clearly superior to AMD for your purposes (decided advantage in speed-per-core), particularly for SC2 (one of the hardest to run games on the CPU front when large armies are engaged).

Both GPU brands work equally well with both CPU brands. SC2 can be run on a GPU drawn on a napkin, so you could skimp here, but presumably you'll play another game at some point.

Motherboard choice = not a big deal. You just get one that fits all your components and choose whether it can overclock or not.

RAM = also not a big deal. Get 2x4gb 1600mhz RAM and call it a day.

The Antec 300 is old and out-dated. There's zero reason to get it rather than the Antec One, its successor. Other budget cases may be cheaper still.

The big question on monitor is if you want a normal 23" 1920x1080 monitor (specifically the Dell u2312hm, the best of those), or a larger 27" 2560x1440 or possibly even a 30" 2560x1600 monitor (can be fit within your budget, somewhat more risky in terms of quality). If you'd like specific parts recommendations, ask a day or two before you plan to buy (price specials on US websites tend to change once a week).
    
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G850 ASRock H61M-GS MSI Twin Frozr 650ti Patriot 2x2GB 
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post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Somehow I missed the Antec ONE, I must say I am a fan of it...

So going with the following components should turn out pretty well then?

Case - The Antec One: $49.99
CPU - Intel Core i5-3350P: $189.99
MOBO- MSI Z77 MPOWER: $194.99
VGA - Sapphire Radeon 6950: $209.99 ($189.99 on AMZN)
RAM - Crucial Ballistix Sport 8gb: $40.99
SSD - Crucial M4 128gb SSD: $109.99
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB: $109.99
P/S - Corsair TX750m: $114.99
and the Antec Kuhler H2O 620 for cooling purposes

Coming in at a little over a grand, would downgrading the MOBO and/or VGA cause much of an effect... This would help offset a nice big screen thumb.gif, or would that begin to sacrifice the longevity of the components?
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterFred View Post

Intel is clearly superior to AMD for your purposes (decided advantage in speed-per-core), particularly for SC2 (one of the hardest to run games on the CPU front when large armies are engaged).
Both GPU brands work equally well with both CPU brands. SC2 can be run on a GPU drawn on a napkin, so you could skimp here, but presumably you'll play another game at some point.
Motherboard choice = not a big deal. You just get one that fits all your components and choose whether it can overclock or not.
RAM = also not a big deal. Get 2x4gb 1600mhz RAM and call it a day.
The Antec 300 is old and out-dated. There's zero reason to get it rather than the Antec One, its successor. Other budget cases may be cheaper still.
The big question on monitor is if you want a normal 23" 1920x1080 monitor (specifically the Dell u2312hm, the best of those), or a larger 27" 2560x1440 or possibly even a 30" 2560x1600 monitor (can be fit within your budget, somewhat more risky in terms of quality). If you'd like specific parts recommendations, ask a day or two before you plan to buy (price specials on US websites tend to change once a week).

How are the motherboard and ram not a big deal? There are clear winners and losers out there and one should not simply buy something "that fits everything" because it does.
And for the record my 1090t at stock played the hell out of SC2 very very well

And to the OP, for a five year no upgrade build, that's kinda pushing it. Even if you bought two top of the line video cards, you'd be able to max everything with great framerates for maybe 3 years. Unfortunately technology is changing so fast we can't keep up with it unless we have a celebrities bank account
Edited by JTHMfreak - 9/18/12 at 1:39am
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post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTHMfreak View Post

How are the motherboard and ram not a big deal? There are clear winners and losers out there and one should not simply buy something "that fits everything" because it does.
And for the record my 1090t at stock played the hell out of SC2 very very well
And to the OP, for a five year no upgrade build, that's kinda pushing it. Even if you bought two top of the line video cards, you'd be able to max everything with great framerates for maybe 3 years. Unfortunately technology is changing so fast we can't keep up with it unless we have a celebrities bank account

Point noted about the "5 Year Plan", basically I want to find a good balance of performance and lifespan... And your "1090t", what is that? I just put the quote into NewEgg and didn't come up with anything?

What're your MOBO and RAM recommendations then?
post #10 of 22
Well the 1090t was AMD's 6 core 3.2 ghz CPU, and a pretty damn good one from my experiences (discontinued unfortunately, although alot of people seem to be looking for one at the moment). My mobo is an MSI 980a chipset which isn't the best in overclocking from what I have read, but I haven't had any problems with it. I have been able to OC to 4.2 ghz fairly stably, mind you in still in the learning process so it's a learning experience. and my ram is from G Skill, I like it and it seems to be fairly good from what I have read.
Alot of people on here will say that AMD is horrible for gaming and whatnot, but I myself have had a more than pleasant experience. The original reason I went with AMD was because I was looking at an I7 920 and an AMD 965 BE, both builds with the exact same specs but with different chipsets came to a 300 dollar something difference, and that difference allowed me to buy a second GTX 275. I had a friend who had all the exact same parts as I had right down to the psu minus an extra GPU i believe decided to have a bench test to see whos system beat whos, and I won. But that was some time ago and computer parts have greatly changed since then.
I like AMD for the fact that I can upgrade my CPU while still sticking with the same motherboard, at least I could back then, I can't throw in the latest FX chip right now due to incompatibility. But with an FX based CPU/mobo you should be able to change things around quite a bit.
Intel seems a little more if you want to upgrade then you have to make more drastic changes changes, but that's just my view, right or wrong it doesn't matter.
Google is your friend, choose a chipset based on your needs and what you want to do with it Games today seem to be less CPU intensive and more GPU (videocard) intensive. I run the latest stuff maxed out at very very enjoyable levels. Whether AMD or Intel I'm not really partial to either side, I just hope people know the benefits of both and choose based on what's right for their needs and not based off whats "popular"
As for mobo, do you want to use multiple GPUs or a single one?
For RAM: Corsair, G.Skill, Crucial, Mushkin seem to be some of the more popular brands especially for overclocking. And popularity on RAM is where I do take some bias since it is an especially part of the OC.

In the end though it's your PC and what makes you happy
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