A New Build?

A New Build?

Postby Phauss » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:44 pm

It's about that time. The old desktop I built back in 2007 with the solid 8800 GTS videocard is starting to have trouble running the newer games. I've been plaing around with the idea of building a new system and I've got some parts figured out. The color scheme will be black, red, and white.

$319 - CPU - Intel Core i7-2600k ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115070 )

$170 - MoBo - ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131759 )

$300 - Graphics - MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... eywords%29 )

$160 - Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231489 )

$140 - Power - COUGAR SX850 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817553006 )

$125 - OS Disc - 128GB SSD ( http://www.starmicroinc.net/product/MMC ... -SATA-300/ )

$100 - Aux Disc - 2TB HDD ( http://memorylabs.net/101tbtseatah1.html )

$110 - Case - Lian Li PC-8NW ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811112344 )

$62 - CPU Cooler - Corsair H40 ( http://www.xoxide.com/corsair-hydroseri ... ooler.html )

$80 - Optical Drive - Sony Blu-Ray Burner ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827118065 )

$130 - OS - Windows 7 Professional OEM ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6832116992 )

$1696

So, give me opinions. Look over the specs to make sure I matched up parts correctly, since it's been a while and all.

I'd like to run another graphics card and crossfire them, but that can wait. The 850W power supply is ready for the crossfire. The operating system and programs will go on a 128GB solid state drive and a 2TB standard drive will be for documents and such. I might go for a i7-2700k processor instead of a 2600, but newegg is currently out of 2700's.

The dilema at this point: Red lighting or white? Or both? This rig has to look good, you know.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Phauss » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:48 pm

I did it. I did it and I went overboard. Here's the parts list:

Intel Core i7-2700k Sandybridge CPU
ASRock Z68 Professional Gen3 Motherboard
PowerColor PCS+ AX6970 Videocard (two of these holy shit wtf)
GeIL Evo Two 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3
COUGAR CMX 1000 PSU
ASUS Black Blu-ray Burner
LIAN LI PC-8NW Case
128 GB SSD
3TB HDD
Windows 7 Professional OEM
LG D2342P-PN 23" monitor
Logitech 920-000914 keyboard
Red Cold-Cathode case lighting

There was a significant price hike compared to the proposed build earlier. But holy shit.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Pratt » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:59 pm

Expensive If you need an extra hand to build Pratts has two.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Phauss » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:10 am

This thread is about 6 years old, and almost exactly as old as the computer I'm typing this post on.

I had a bad sector on the C: drive this week, and while I thought running chkdsk would have fixed my problem, it didn't. It was more of an annoyance than anything since all the libraries point to locations off the drive. It did sort of wake me up to the idea that it's getting closer to that time to build a new rig, even though this one is still extremely capable. I believe the current rig will become obsolete due to software limitations rather than hardware. (Think Halo 2 being incompatible with WinXP and forcing gamers to "upgrade" to Vista.)

Naturally, once the computer was up and running again, I opened up notepad and put together a theoretical build, like I do every once in a while. The idea was to make a compact and powerful rig to rival and exceed my current computer while taking up a fraction of the real estate. You've probably heard me mention my interest in something like this in vent/discord.

Anyways, here's the raw dump result from notepad:

**Prices updated 24NOV2017 (FINAL)
$85 - case - SilverStone Milo Series ML08B-H - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6811163287
$290 - CPU - Intel Core i7-7700K - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6819117726
$30 - CPU fan - CRYORIG C7 - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 4UF39D5213
$540 - GPU - GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 DirectX 12 GV-N1080IX-8GD - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6814932009

--(ALT1) $410 - GPU - MSI GeForce GTX 1070 DirectX 12 GTX 1070 AERO ITX 8G OC - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6814137092
--(ALT2) $270 - GPU - ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 AMP!, ZT-P10600B-10M - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6814500403
$125 - SSD - Corsair Force MP500 M.2 2280 240GB - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 85V4RA3749
$150 - MoBo - ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 GAMING-ITX/AC - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6813157752
$300 - RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6820231971
$100 - PSU - FSP Dagger 600W Mini ITX Solution - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... BP95H61206

$140 - OS - Windows 10 Pro 64 bit OEM - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6832588491
--(ALT) $100 - OS - Windows 10 Home 64 bit OEM - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6832416892

Not included: HDD data drive (~$100-200) - (May reuse 3TB data drive from current computer)

$1607 - tot
$1567 - tot w/ alt OS
$1462 - tot w/ alt GPU
$1422 - tot w/ alt all

**Updated totals as of 30JUN2017 (summarized with original GPU's, no longer available):
$1555 - tot
$1515 - tot w/ alt OS
$1410 - tot w/ alt GPU
$1370 - tot w/ alt all

**Updated totals as of 08SEP2017:
$1670 - tot
$1630 - tot w/ alt OS
$1460 - tot w/ alt GPU
$1420 - tot w/ alt all

**Updated totals as of 14NOV2017:
$1830 - tot (GTX 1080)
$1700 - tot w/ alt1 GPU (GTX 1070) *original build card
$1560 - tot w/ alt2 GPU (GTX 1060)
(Subtract $40 from totals if using Win10 Home edition)


Updated total as of 24NOV2017:
$1720 - tot (using highlighted parts)
Tax/Shipping +$130
Final: ~$1850




Case - SilverStone Milo Series ML08B-H
I've talked about this case for a while. It's a Mini-ITX form factor that allows the use of a dedicated videocard. That's not unheard of, because cube cases exist. This one, though, is thin, like an HTPC case. It has a built in 90-degree riser that orients the graphics card flush with the case, and both the MoBo and GPU are in seperate areas of the case. Also, carrying handle. Pretty neat.

Things to consider: This case will limit you greatly due to physical constraints. It will lock you out of a huge part of the component market.

MoBo - ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 GAMING-ITX/AC
Mini-ITX form factor for the case, mostly. But take a closer look. 6 USB 3.0 ports on the I/O plate, plus a header for two more on the case giving you 8 total. Then there's an M.2 connection on the back for an SSD, a thunderbolt connection, WiFi, and 6 SATA connections on the board. I was planning to go AMD for cost-effectiveness, but the lack of any Mini-ITX boards for their latest socket forced me to stick with Intel. Oh darn, I guess. Doesn't hurt that you can shove 32GB of memory into two DIMM slots. It uses the holy-shit Z270 chipset, too. Good stuff. Nevermind the fact that my current rig is also an ASRock Fatal1ty with an antique Z68 chipset; I did not plan on considering the same line of boards, even though it has so far done me no wrong.

Things to consider: When looking at boards, look at everything: socket, DIMM FSB speed, backplate and header connections, etc. With Intel boards specifically, pay attention to the chipset. They come in B, H, and Z configurations, Z being the most powerful. A Z170 will likely be more powerful than a B or H270.

CPU - Intel Core i7-7700K
I don't skimp on CPU's. I got the i7 2700k Sandybridge for my rig when it came out, and I don't plan to skimp on this hypothetical build either. Socket LGA1151, if you're curious.

Things to consider: An i7 7700k is just an unlocked 7700. 4.2GHz is barely discernable from 3.5GHz to humans. Honestly, I could probably slap my 3.5GHz i7 2700k and be totally fine, were it not for current motherboard technology support. That being said, about $100 of cost exists between the different levels of the 7th gen i3, i5, and i7 processors. Consider your needs.

GPU - GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 DirectX 12 GV-N1080IX-8GD (Alt 1: MSI GeForce GTX 1070 DirectX 12 GTX 1070 AERO ITX 8G OC, Alt 2: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 AMP!, ZT-P10600B-10M)
There's a bit of a fudge factor in here. I would love to get the blazing fast 1080ti, but I can't justify $600-800 for insane power I probably won't ever use. Even $400 for a base 1070 is about my upper limit for video cards. This is why I included the alternative 1060 overclocked card in the list. Both cards are easily up for debate depending on your gaming needs. nVidia seems to be the way to go for the same reason I chose an Intel CPU; AMD just seems to be getting outpaced by competition releases. These two cards are both short form factor even though the case can accept cards up to 13" long. The case allows you to install a 3.5" drive in the empty space if the card is short enough and I would appreciate using it for that purpose.
*14NOV2017 - Added a 1080 card and made the linked 1070 card an alt option.

Things to consider: Do you want that extra 3.5" drive? You're going to need smaller-than-normal GPU dimensions. Manufacturer overclocked editions will be that much more unreliable (and louder) than their standard counterparts. There are so many cards out there, so just stick to reviews and you should find something decent.

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000
Does the board accept 32GB of RAM? Then it gets 32GB of RAM. It's 2400 FSB because the recent 7th gen Intel processors can handle it without overclocking, unlike the 6th gen, which can only do 2133.
[Update: Went with 3000 instead of 2400 because it was cheaper on Black Friday sales.]

Things to consider: Do you plan on overclocking? If not, take into account both the maximum speed of the board and the CPU. This board can handle memory faster than 4000FSB but (1) can I afford 32GB of memory that fast, and (2) do I want to overclock the computer to that point, reliability and noise be damned? Also, I opt for a known, cost-effective brand that doesn't look too ridiculous, even if there isn't a case window.

CPU fan - CRYORIG C7
I feel it's worth mentioning the fan because of the limitations of the case. I don't know how efficient it is at heat transfer, though a quick google search might tell me. The physical dimensions of the case limit the builder to a fan that doesn't go above 57-58mm. The reportedly quiet noise and very low profile were attractive, though for $30, you'd likely want to find something a bit beefier to handle a 4.2GHz i7 under load.

Things to consider: It's a fan. Keep the height limitations in mind as stated above.

SSD - Corsair Force MP500 M.2 2280 240GB
This will be the OS drive, weighing in at 240GB. It uses an M.2 connection, which is found on the back of the motherboard. It actually fits in between the case and the mobo. Talk about an efficient use of space. That means if we went with one huge M.2 SSD (say, 1TB), all of our SATA connections would be unused. Less cabling to worry about and you could leave externals plugged in for the big stuff. For the sake of this build, we don't want to take up extra real estate with external drives, so we're going with a smaller SSD and a small form factor GPU to use a 3.5" HDD. I'd like an 8TB drive, but if I were being realistic, I haven't even filled up the 3TB in my desktop (though I have at least 7-8TB tied up in externals.) The HDD will ramp up the final price by at least $100-200 for a good sized drive.

Things to consider: It is entirely possible to put three 2.5" drives into this case instead of the current configuration of one M.2 SSD and one 3.5" HDD. SSD is just so much faster, and the added plus of not using a SATA port or running a power plug is just too good to pass up. Remember to plug the SSD into the M.2 slot before bolting the motherboard into the case or you're going to have a bad time.

PSU - FSP Dagger 600W Mini ITX Solution
Another consideration of the case is that a specific form factor is needed for the PSU, SFX in this case. I chose a modular PSU to avoid unneeded cables in the case for space saving. Research in the graphics card tells me that it consumes at least 150W and 500W is recommended, so I opted for a 600W to be on the safe side (allowing for the thirsty i7 CPU). It helps that it's a name brand, gold-rated component, especially important when dealing with PSU's.

Things to consider: Form factor, form factor, form factor. Also make sure whatever you get is made by a known company and is rated to some standard (bronze, silver, gold).

OS - Windows 10 Pro 64 bit OEM (Alt: Windows 10 Home 64 bit OEM)
This should be pretty self-explanatory. Computers need operating systems and operating systems cost money (unless you call yourself a super user), so they have to be counted in the overall cost. OEM disc because it's good for up to 3 installs. If I could, I'd stick with Windows 7, but then again, I'd go with XP over 7, too. I guess now that Win10 has been out for a while, they've gotten most of the kinks worked out and there's a sizeable support base of forums and StackExchange posts to help out with any issues I might run into. As for going with Pro over Home, I don't know. Traditionally, Pro has more networking capability than other versions, but I don't know the difference between Win10 versions. It could be that Win10 Home is entirely sufficient for my needs, which is why I listed it as an alt.

Things to consider: Do you want to optimize the crap out of the build? Use Linux. It's free, but prepare for searching through dozens of system environments to find one you like, software limitations, and a crash course in how to use the terminal. The world runs on Windows, so just keep that in mind.



This turned into a much longer and more detailed post than I expected. I will probably sit on this theoretical build for a while. Maybe I'll wait for prices to drop, maybe I'll buy one part at a time, or maybe I'll just pull the trigger all at once like I did for the first build in this thread. If I wait, I run the risk of opting for newer parts and ultimately increasing the cost and complication of a well-planned build. Who knows.

The cost can come down based on big and small things, from the CPU fan to the GPU. The case, mobo, PSU, and RAM are pretty much locked in, so there's a base price of at least $590 for parts, and even less if I were willing to forego 32GB of RAM (but I'm not.) If I were to build this for others, I'm sure I could come up with a neat pricing outline for different models on the same base "frame." Even with the expensive parts I've laid out, it's not prohibitively expensive for a late-model gaming desktop, especially when compared to pre-made rigs from major manufacturers.

Anyways, let me know if you found this at least interesting to read. I've thought about a build like this for a long time now and I finally got around to putting it on paper. It was fun to learn about new technologies that came out since I last built a computer, as well as challenging to configure a build with these limitations. Do I dare attempt to watercool? Only time will tell.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Forb » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:05 am

Good post, enjoyable read.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Clow » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:57 am

I don't know how I feel about super-compact builds other than they look really fucking cool. I've always personally valued breathing room really highly, but I still understand the appeal to compacts. I just don't like the idea of having to be precise when I don't have to. I'm a bit lazy I guess. And, as you said, you get really limited on what parts you can buy. So given that, and the fact that I had a full tower for a while and ended up hating it, means that I end up being Mr. Generic-Mid-Tower-Man.

My only real concern regarding compact builds is heat management, really. I assume it's fine since compact builds are a thing. I suppose it just feels like it would be easier to keep everything cool with a bigger case because you can circulate more air through it.

The parts all look good, though. Good old mid-range budget builds. I don't have any experience with M.2 SSDs, but it looks pretty neat. I wish I had more input about which graphics card to go with. All I can say is that, for what I do, my 4GB already has plenty of power. I can run all of Blizzard's games max settings with no issues and 60+ FPS, at least. So I would imagine the 6GB would be sufficient, along with the power of the rest of your build. But going higher with computers is usually a good idea, because it will probably just add to the longevity of the part/rig.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Phauss » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:46 pm

The only compact build I've really worked with is Brian's computer that I built back around the holidays in 2012. (Remember shipping it?) Fitting the drives in there along with everything else was both an art and a science. I wanted to make him a compact build because of the small footprint and the ease of transportation, and I'm finding myself in the same situation as I move around a lot to and from small college dorms. Besides that one build, my main concern was usually "do the colors match?", and just throwing everything into a nice mid-tower and calling it good.

The nice thing about this case is that both the mobo and GPU areas are completely vented on one side. This makes for arguably a better vented case than a mid-tower, which usually requires at the very least a large intake fan, if not additional exhaust fans. I say arguably because vents don't make airflow, but there's always a cold air source available to component fans and also way for hot air to escape. Cube cases can run into the same airflow issues as the standard mid-tower except with much lower volume, and therefore less energy required to heat up the inside.

In a perfect world, I'd be able to shell out a few hundred dollars and make an extremely compact wartercooling system. Air is likely totally sufficient for this build, though. I'd do it to see if it's possible, to make everything even quieter, and for bragging rights, I guess. I've traditionally always used a self-contained watercooled CPU cooler, but I'd probably have to go with a totally custom system. It's easy to find CPU blocks, but cooling the graphics card is a little trickier. There are cards like this one that come in at exactly the right length to allow a 3.5" drive to be installed in the case. I'd rather spend the extra $100 and get a watercooled card from the factory than spending even more on a waterblock and doing it myself with questionable results. Since CD drives have basically fallen out of use in the last 5 years, I could get a single-bay water pump/reservoir combo and pull out my USB CD drive on the off chance I need it. The rest of the challenge would just be routing the hosing. If I decide to go that route, it would be a hell of a review of the case on Newegg.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Phauss » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:00 am

Updated latest build post to reflect current prices. I swapped the memory with something else to shave off a couple doll hairs, too.

The graphics cards are no longer available from newegg. The alt card, the overclocked 1060, looks like it's no longer being carried, and it's anyone's guess if the 1070 is coming back. If it is, it likely won't be at $390, because everywhere else I've looked lists it around $500. $470 was the cheapest, making the $50 overall price reduction actually a $30 increase if we were dead set on buying this specific card. Unfortunately, I didn't see any other small form factor 1070's, so a 1060 might have to be the way to go. I have found plenty of short 1060 cards that I would happily consider, like this $250 6GB Zotac priced like it's 3GB version, but everyone seems to be sold out of every kind of card. So I dunno. I could opt for a standard sized card and save myself a headache, but I'd lose out on a 3.5" drive. I could probably find a way to mount a 3.5" drive in an optical drive bay, but I had hoped to leave that space free for other things.

Edit: I searched "graphics card shortage" in google and I was not disappointed: http://pcgamehaven.com/great-graphics-c ... tage-2017/
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Clow » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:31 am

Haha, holy shit, that rig in the article. That is ridiculous. And unfortunate. Fucking cryptocurrencies.
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Re: A New Build?

Postby Phauss » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:01 am

Prices updated as of today. The great graphics card shortage of 2017 is coming to a close, so the cards are available again! Prices are still high, though. The 1070 card went up by about $110, while the alternate 1060 card only went up by about $45. The case was the only thing to decrease in price, down by $10, and a few other things increased by $5-10. The other major components have stayed pretty stable: CPU, MoBo, PSU, etc.

Keep in mind that the total price fluctuation in the post isn't entirely accurate, since (1) I used the original GPU price before the shortage in the second price update, (2) every retail outlet was sold out of everything during that update, (3) and I only wanted to use retail prices and not ebay prices in the overall estimate ($800+ for a cheap 1070 at the time). Assume at least a $300 overall increase using the 1070 over current price, and at least $100 over current total with alt GPU if you went with the 1060.

I may seek different parts to make the build cheaper, especially if there's finally a mini-ITX board for the latest AMD processor. We'll see.
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