New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

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New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Tue May 13, 2014 11:29 pm

This is what I intend to build:
ASUS Z87M Plus LGA 1150
i5-4430 haswell
GSKILL 8GB or ram
600W CORSAIR PSU
EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked
WD 1TB HD (its big enough to fit my budget....)
Corsair Carbide 200R

Please, any and all opinions are welcome. :)

oh btw - I usually post under another name..but that account is having some issues that are being resolved. So I am not a complete TR noobie. :)
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 12:15 am

A few thoughts:

1. You didn't post your budget, nor prices for the components you selected. Also, are you located in the US? If so, do you live near a Microcenter?

2. You didn't specify your computing needs (gaming, resolution, encoding, coding, number crunching etc).

3. The Radeon R7 265 is significantly faster than the 750 Ti at the same price (although the 750Ti can be a good overclocker if you get one with an external PEG power connector).

4. 600W is vastly more power than you need for that build.

5. If you're not getting a 'K' processor, you don't need a Z87 chipset. Consider a H87 or B85 if they are cheaper and fit your needs.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 1:43 am

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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 1:48 am

That looks pretty solid overall. I'd agree about the PSU being too big unless you anticipate dropping in a monster GPU at some point in the future; PSUs last through many builds and they do lose output capacity over time, but they're not efficient at less than 50% or so of the rated load and your build is only going to pull like 250 watts. Consider the EVGA 500 B for ~$51 - 10 MIR and Corsair CX430M which is frequently found for $25-30 after rebate roulette.

Asus is a good motherboard brand but I've had good luck with ASRock too. Newegg slots the Z87-M Plus at $130 including shipping which is IMO a rather uncomfortable position between the much nicer Z87 Gryphon for $25 more and the feature-richAsrock Z87M Extreme4 for $25 less. The newly launched 9-series boards may drive prices down, or you might decide you want one of those instead, so it might be worth waiting a few weeks to see what happens to the motherboard market.

I'm notoriously stingy about cases because it's not something most users have to deal with more than once per build and cooling is a non-issue with a basic CPU/GPU/HD setup, but the 200R is a mostly reasonable price and you're not sacrificing anything important to get it. However, if you want to save some money this is a very easy place to do it.

If you live near a Microcenter, or know a friend who does, get your CPU and possibly motherboard there. They reliably beat the street price by about 50 bucks. And, as with the motherboards, the Haswell refresh will lead to both better chips for the same price and discounts on current chips to clear old stock so don't rush to any decisions just yet.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 7:00 am

What will you primarily use the machine for?
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 7:43 am

There's a problem with the EVGA 750 Ti. Its fan cannot be set lower than 42%, which is quite loud in my experience. EVGA put out a BIOS update to mitigate this problem, but it doesn't help much. I ended up RMA'ing mine and getting an MSI Twin Frozr R9 270, which is essentially silent in a case. If you decide to stick with a 750 Ti, I would recommend getting one with a different (non-ACX) cooler.

The 200R is a decent case, but it's probably larger than you need it to be. It's a good case for a first build, but if you've built before or if you're a little adventurous, you might want to consider a smaller, microATX case like the one Voldenuit recommended.

Also, I agree that you don't need such a powerful PSU. You want to pick one rated at approximately twice your normal usage level. This is because the PSU will be most efficient in the middle of its range. Something like the CX430 would suit your components better.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 8:39 am

ineffable wrote:There's a problem with the EVGA 750 Ti. Its fan cannot be set lower than 42%, which is quite loud in my experience. EVGA put out a BIOS update to mitigate this problem, but it doesn't help much. I ended up RMA'ing mine and getting an MSI Twin Frozr R9 270, which is essentially silent in a case. If you decide to stick with a 750 Ti, I would recommend getting one with a different (non-ACX) cooler.


It sounds like you're saying the fan speed problem is limited to the ACX (dual fan) version, then? Most of the EVGA 750 series are single fan, and pretty quiet. (Or at least a lot quieter than the card I replaced with one. I didn't check into the minimum fan speed values.)
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 8:52 am

cobalt wrote:It sounds like you're saying the fan speed problem is limited to the ACX (dual fan) version, then? Most of the EVGA 750 series are single fan, and pretty quiet. (Or at least a lot quieter than the card I replaced with one. I didn't check into the minimum fan speed values.)


Yes, I was commenting on the dual-fan version. I can't comment on the single fan version.

If you Google around a little bit, you'll find some information on the problem (it's fairly well documented, I think), if you're interested.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 9:11 am

Dractultoo,

Like Voldenuit said, tell us your budget and what you'll be using it for.

And if you're gaming, tell us what games you like, how picky you are about frame rate, the resolution of your monitor, and what graphics settings you want to aim for.

Then we'll be able to help you pick a solid build. :)
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 10:02 am

NovusBogus wrote:Asus is a good motherboard brand but I've had good luck with ASRock too. Newegg slots the Z87-M Plus at $130 including shipping which is IMO a rather uncomfortable position between the much nicer Z87 Gryphon for $25 more and the feature-richAsrock Z87M Extreme4 for $25 less. The newly launched 9-series boards may drive prices down, or you might decide you want one of those instead, so it might be worth waiting a few weeks to see what happens to the motherboard market.


If sound quality matters, that ASRock board has an ALC1150 for its sound processor. Theoretically, this is considerably better than the sound chips on any of the other boards mentioned.

I've built with MSI, ASUS, and ASRock in the recent past as well as a couple of other manufacturers at various points in time. I liked both ASUS and ASRock boards.

---

Oh, and on the noted Microcenter comment above. If you do live near one, then the i5-4670k is the same price in store as the 4430 or 4460 is elsewhere.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 11:51 am

Firstly, you guys rock. These type of responses are why I always come here before the purchase.

So, budget wise, we are looking at spending around 0700. This system will for multiple uses, from using ArcGIS to playing games. So, figure build for games and it should perform acceptably for other uses.

I was thinking of the bigger PSU for future upgrades. However, now being a little better edumacated about PSU v Power Usage we will look at that.

the motherboard was also to semi-future for the next 2 year proof the system. It should allow for cpu upgrades along the way.

In the past when I have ran a Radeon card it was a pain in the ass. Drivers changing all the time, having to update the drivers allll the time. It was annoying. Are Radeon cards more solid now and less of a hassle?

what is a micro-center.. or whatever you guys are referring to. I live near Sacramento California. I don't even know how to determine if I live near one of those.

Once again, thank you very much gerbils!
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 12:50 pm

dractultoo wrote:the motherboard was also to semi-future for the next 2 year proof the system. It should allow for cpu upgrades along the way.


The 8-series boards will not accept Broadwell (Haswell successor) CPUs coming out next year. However, the 9-series boards are supposed to be able to do that (you might need to update the firmware). So you could think about a H97 or Z97 board if you want to upgrade your CPU down the road.

In the past when I have ran a Radeon card it was a pain in the ass. Drivers changing all the time, having to update the drivers allll the time. It was annoying. Are Radeon cards more solid now and less of a hassle?


At the risk of incurring the wrath of AMD fans, I'm going to say that lousy AMD drivers were a key reason I switched back to nvidia with my GTX 760 (been using Radeons since 9700Pro, had a 4850, 4870, 5770 before switching back to green team). Catalyst drivers would break Skyrim for me on a semi-regular basis, andI had all sorts of issues with DXVA on my Radeons. So far, I've had pretty smooth sailing with the GTX 760 in my main rig and the GTX 660 in my secondary rig, even using beta geforcedrivers (which I definiitely learned to avoid using on my radeons).
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 1:01 pm

I have to admit that I have far fewer driver annoyances on my R9's than I do on my GTX660.

The whole Geforce Experience thing seems like a pain in the ass for me and it's constantly telling me there's a new version available. I seem to be updating Nvidia stuff weekly, whether it's the latest Geforce Experience, gaming profiles or a new driver. Overclocking Nvidia cards also requires 3rd party tools because the driver doesn't do it.

The AMD control centre is a joy to use, by contrast, though I think they've just started playing copycat of the annoying Geforce Experience with their own similar tool. My advice would be to ignore it whether it's AMD or Nvidia. AMD's CCC seems to be far more logically laid out with built-in over/underclocking, over/undervolting, fan controls and a built in temp/fan/activity monitor. In terms of stability I've had very few issues with either AMD or Nvidia drivers crashing games in several years. I think both drivers have been pretty good for the most part. My complaints with Nvidia are broken GPU scaling as a problem that comes and goes with various drivers, and a history of TDR driver resets across mutiple machines. AMD's seem more stable but they seem to be a little behind the curve on crossfire profiles and frame-pacing tweaks for new releases.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 1:25 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:The whole Geforce Experience thing seems like a pain in the ass for me and it's constantly telling me there's a new version available. I seem to be updating Nvidia stuff weekly, whether it's the latest Geforce Experience, gaming profiles or a new driver. Overclocking Nvidia cards also requires 3rd party tools because the driver doesn't do it.


Yeah, AMD overdrive in CCC is pretty nice, but for some reason I could never get it to work on my Sapphire 5770.

I do like using either evga PrecisionX or MSI Afterburner to OC my Geforces, because they have good monitoring tools as well, and you can set up multiple profiles (for instance, I have a milder setting for when I play Endless Legends, because that game seems to hammer my GPU harder than any other game I play, and I don't care about framerates as much for a turn-based strategy game than for FPSes).

I did recommend the Radeon R7 265 and R9 270 instead of the 750Ti, because in my mind the price/performance is better enough that it outweighs any potential driver niggles. I did get into the habit of saving older Catalyst drivers on my hard drive so I could revert to the last known working configuration, and maybe other people have to do that with the GeForce drivers too.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 4:12 pm

dractultoo wrote:What is Micro Center? I live near Sacramento.
You're not close to a Micro Center store. They do offer unbeatable in-store combination deals for CPU + motherboard bundles.

I believe that Voldenuit gave you some decent suggestions. I would recommend this Crucial memory instead of the Kingston RAM that he linked.

I don't like the two obsolete PCI slots on the Z87 motherboard that Voldenuit selected. I'd be more interested in a just-announced H97 or Z97 micro-ATX motherboard like the Asus H97M-E (or MSI H97M-G43, Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5 or MSI Z97M Gaming. If I were looking for a cheap LGA1150 motherboard, I might give the MSI B85M-G43 some consideration, though it's been years since I bought an MSI motherboard.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 4:44 pm

Another vote for an R9 270. I too was considering a 750 Ti for my ITX build, but it just doesn't make sense when a 270 is so close in price yet so much faster. Plus it overclocks to 270X speeds quite easily through Catalyst, and AMD's drivers haven't given me any problems unlike my friend's 660 Ti. All my games play perfectly maxed out at 1080.

Also, if you can I would HIGHLY suggest saving up a little more cash for a solid state. A decent 120GB drive can be had for well under $100, and coming from even a fast HDD the boot and load times are night and day. While you're at it, spending $10 or so more on an i5-4570 or better would benefit you in the long run. That extra 400 MHz for the turbo is well worth ten bucks. You won't be able to upgrade the CPU later with anything new that comes out. The only real upgrade you could do would be an i7-4xxx, but unless you're doing some serious multitasking or running heavily multi-threaded workloads there really wouldn't be a reason for it.
i5-4570S|PowerColor R9 270|1 X 8GB DDR3 1600|Crucial M500 240GB|Gigabyte GA-B85N-WIFI|Silverstone RVZ01|Rosewill RK-9000RE
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 4:51 pm

Yeah, for gaming NVidia have the efficiency advantage and AMD have the price/performance advantage.

Outside of gaming, AMD has the OpenCL advantage and superior display connectivity (Eyefinity, HDTV options), Nvidia has this proprietary garbage going on too; PhysX hardware acceleration, G-Sync monitor tech, and closed-API CUDA.
I'm running 2/3 of my PC's at home on Nvidia at the moment and the only area I can say they really excel for me is Optimus on the laptop. I'm not touching discrete AMD laptop graphics until they prove they understand switchable graphics enough to make it work reliably.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 5:11 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Outside of gaming, AMD has the OpenCL advantage and superior display connectivity (Eyefinity, HDTV options), Nvidia has this proprietary garbage going on too; PhysX hardware acceleration, G-Sync monitor tech, and closed-API CUDA.


Nvidia display connectivity is a lot better since Kepler. I believe most, if not all of their Kepler chips can output to 3 3D displays or 4 2D Displays using any combination of DP, HDMI or DVI-ports. I don't know if AMD still has limitations on which of their display ports can be used concurrently, at least for the HD 6xxx series, they could only power 3 outputs unless you got the 6-DP port Eyefinity cards, if I remember correctly.

Nvidia also seems to handle MST 4k displays better than AMD at the moment, but that's academic for the OP, since if you're looking at the sub-$200 cars, you're not going to be gaming at 4K.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 5:12 pm

Just for giggles, have you considered the AMD Option? Depending on how well threaded your GIS application is, an Fx-83xx chip might go rather well.

Looks like the nearest microcenter is in Tustin (EllAye)
Some of these AMD Mobo/CPU bundles look pretty good. Spend the saved $ on a faster videocard, RAM, bigger SSD, of the latest game.
http://www.microcenter.com/site/product ... ndles.aspx
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 6:05 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I believe that Voldenuit gave you some decent suggestions. I would recommend this Crucial memory instead of the Kingston RAM that he linked.

JAE, I've seen you recommend that Crucial memory elsewhere. Is there any particular reason why you like that kit? It's low-profile (which might matter if the build in question used a large CPU cooler), and it's 1.35V (which might be beneficial in a laptop), but it seems to me that essentially any 1600MHz 8GB kit would perform the same for this build. I'm just curious if there's something I'm missing.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 6:24 pm

Unlike much of the other "PC3-12800" memory that you see available, the Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP DIMMs default to PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) speed when you install them, and they don't need extra voltage to achieve their claimed timings. They include an XMP profile for PC3-14900 (DDR3-1866) operation. Finally, the low-profile DIMMs are very slim. They leave plenty of room around your CPU socket for whatever cooler you want to install. I like memory that I can just stick into the motherboard and go, rather than having to tweak and test and tweak and test as I've had to do with other memory that I've purchased in the past few years.
http://www.crucial.com/wcsstore/Crucial ... ort-en.pdf
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 7:13 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Unlike much of the other "PC3-12800" memory that you see available, the Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP DIMMs default to PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) speed when you install them, and they don't need extra voltage to achieve their claimed timings. They include an XMP profile for PC3-14900 (DDR3-1866) operation. Finally, the low-profile DIMMs are very slim. They leave plenty of room around your CPU socket for whatever cooler you want to install. I like memory that I can just stick into the motherboard and go, rather than having to tweak and test and tweak and test as I've had to do with other memory that I've purchased in the past few years.
http://www.crucial.com/wcsstore/Crucial ... ort-en.pdf

I can actually attest to this as I used one of those sticks in my build. Unlike any other memory I've worked with, it defaulted to the advertised specs without issue.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Wed May 14, 2014 9:29 pm

dractultoo wrote:the motherboard was also to semi-future for the next 2 year proof the system. It should allow for cpu upgrades along the way.


If you're not sure about the CPU, spend the extra $40 or so and get a top-end i5 now. Performance increases over the next few years will be near zero and it's unlikely you will need more than four cores either so build like the store is closing next month. But it's equally unlikely that you'll find a 4460 to be any kind of bottleneck so it isn't a big deal--CPUs don't age like they did 5+ years ago and future-proofing works very differently now.

In the past when I have ran a Radeon card it was a pain in the ass. Drivers changing all the time, having to update the drivers allll the time. It was annoying. Are Radeon cards more solid now and less of a hassle?


Radeons don't suck like the oldschool ATI days but my personal experience with cards from both camps that weren't made by EVGA has not been good, so I tend to go with them. They stay close to the reference design and usually don't get cute with buggy features.

what is a micro-center.. or whatever you guys are referring to. I live near Sacramento California. I don't even know how to determine if I live near one of those.


Micro Center is like a baby Fry's but with actual deals, like how Fry's used to be before they started phoning it in. I lived in CA back when they took CPU+mobo deals seriously, it was some good times. One of the great ironies of my life is that when I moved from CA to MN I thought I'd never again see a sexy in-store electronics deal.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 1:31 am

Geonerd wrote:Just for giggles, have you considered the AMD Option? Depending on how well threaded your GIS application is, an Fx-83xx chip might go rather well.


ArcGIS likes fast disk subsystems, and an SSD or three would make it quite happy. It really doesn't take much to have more hardware then the program is capable of using.

I'm going to go with recommending the 750 Ti since the Nvidia drivers have better OpenGL support and ArcGIS uses OpenGL. (http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/mai ... 0020000000)
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 5:12 am

According to the interweb, ArcGIS doesn't use GPU computing. The task of merely displaying its output isn't very challenging for a modern gaming GPU. The $160 Radeon R9-270 that Voldenuit recommended provides much better gaming performance than a similarly-priced GeForce GTX750Ti.

I will agree with everyone else's suggestion to install at least one SSD in your new PC. A ¼ TB SSD is about the right size for easy use as your boot drive and for your most-used programs. Expect to spend somewhere in the range of $110 to $140 for a 0.24 to 0.26 TB SSD. You might get by with a 0.12 TB SSD if you're very careful to keep most of your stuff on a hard-drive, but the larger drives perform better (because they have more internal flash memory channels in parallel) and they are easier to manage.

For hard-drives, I'd consider the 3.0 TB Toshiba for $90 on the front page.
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 5:47 am

For the CPU, I highly recommend Core i5-3350P if you can find one. It is 10-20$ cheaper, faster and require less power (69w vs. 86w).
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Re: New Build Opinion ... on a budget.

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2014 8:46 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:According to the interweb, ArcGIS doesn't use GPU computing. The task of merely displaying its output isn't very challenging for a modern gaming GPU. The $160 Radeon R9-270 that Voldenuit recommended provides much better gaming performance than a similarly-priced GeForce GTX750Ti.


No it doesn't even though it would probably benefit from it. Arc is really archaic, and it's rather poor quality software.

AMD being underfunded really puts doubts on their ability to produce quality drivers.
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