Yet another first timer.

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Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:30 pm

HI all. As the title suggests I'm going to be doing my first build shortly. Have done a lot of reading trying to get my head around some of the jargon and wading through the marketing blurb. I would really appreciate any feedback on my component list.

I'm looking to build a reliable all rounder, with good quality components. Will be used for day to day browsing, processing etc as well as movies, a small amount of CAD and gaming. Have bullied, coaxed and cajoled my current HP peice of junk Pentium 4 along for far too long so am happy to go a little over the top and get a computer that is currently over-specced for my requirements. After 6years of HP I deserve a treat.

I will re-use my Silverstone Strider 650w PSU and I already have a Temjin TJ-08E case from a mate. So here goes the rest;

CPU ________________________________ Intel i5 4690k

CPU Cooler __________________________ Silverstone SST AR01

Motherboard _________________________ Asus Z97m Plus or Asrock Z97m pro4

Memory _____________________________ 2x 8Gb Gskill Ares 1866c10

SSD and/or Hard Drive ________________Samsung 840 Evo 250Gb and Seagate Barracuda 2GB

DVD and/or Blu-ray Drive ______________Generic lg DVDdrive

Video Card __________________________ EVGA GTX750Ti 2Gb DDR5

Wireless Card ________________________D-Link DWA566 n600

With Windows 8 all comes to about $1250, with intentions of getting CPU,motherboard and memory locally from PLE and the rest online through PCCaseGear and VTech industries.
So firstly I need to know if I've made any major compatibility errors here and whether I have vastly over or underspent on anything. Budget has some flex but certainly don't want to go too crazy.

I was loosing the will to live trying to read through and select Video and Wireless cards as there's just so much to choose from so have just tried to go for a good brand and a mid-level entry. Seems that it's better for me to buy another mid-level graphics card 2 years down the line than to go high end now. Would this set up be able to handle a 24inch hi-res monitor though?

Thanks in advance for any input. Cheers, Jim
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:03 am

knigit wrote:HI all.
Welcome to the Tech Report!

knigit wrote: Motherboard _________________________ Asus Z97m Plus or Asrock Z97m pro4
In another thread, I wrote: Here are some Z97 micro-ATX motherboards without obsolete PCI slots: Asus Gryphon Z97 or Maximus VII Gene, MSI Z97M-G43 or Z97M Gaming, Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5, ASRock Z97M OC
I like the Asus Gryphon Z97, but the MSI Z97M-G43 is cheapest, at US$ 115½.


knigit wrote: I was losing the will to live trying to read through and select Video cards as there's just so much to choose from so have just tried to go for a good brand and a mid-level entry. Seems that it's better for me to buy another mid-level graphics card 2 years down the line than to go high end now. Would this set up be able to handle a 24inch hi-res monitor though?
GeForce GTX750Ti 2GB (Maxwell GM107 GPU) is an acceptable entry-level graphics card for 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 resolution with good energy efficiency. However, a Radeon R9-270X / R9-270 / HD7870 (GCN 1.0 Curaçao/Pitcairn GPU) provides significantly more gaming and OpenCL compute performance for not much more money. Radeon R9-280 / HD7950 Boost (GCN1.0 Tahiti GPU with 12½% of its shaders disabled) is even more powerful and represents a very good value (probably because this card is due to be replaced by the GCN 1.1 Tonga GPU in the Radeon R9-285 next week).

AU$ 239 Sapphire Radeon R9-280 3GB
AU$ 219 Sapphire Radeon R9-270X 2GB
AU$ 199 Gigabyte Radeon R9-270 2GB
AU$ 189 EVGA GeForce GTX750Ti 2GB

You can see the relative performance of some of these cards in these reviews:
http://techreport.com/review/26050/nvid ... -processor
http://techreport.com/review/25642/amd- ... d-reviewed
http://techreport.com/review/25466/amd- ... hics-cards
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:36 am

Looks absolutely fine to me.
The obvious caveat is whether the tower cooler fits in the case, but your cooler is 159mm tall and the case claims it takes coolers up to 165mm, so that should be fine.

What CAD are you running? The 750Ti is a good, cool-running little card but it's been a disaster for CAD here at the office (we only have six of them in the little conference-room mITX cubes) They don't run Microstation properly in DX11 mode, they screw up vertices in Rhino, They seem to run Revit like a dog (no better than integrated graphics) and they have some odd z-buffer issue in AutoCAD. I think Nvidia's driver team are working on game performance first and will deal with professional stuff later. That's probably why all of the Quadros and Teslas are still Kepler-based rather than Maxwell.

I've found (through years of just trying different cards) that Radeons are better than Geforces and Quadros are better than FirePro/FireGL.
You certainly don't need a pro card like a FirePro or a Quadro (unless your running a lot of Maya or something that benefits so much that it's worth the 3x cost increase) so I'd suggest a Radeon for CAD, and the more RAM the better. I've been buying 4GB R9 270X cards and the users love them. I don't know why a huge frame buffer helps, but the pro cards have twice the RAM of the Radeons and Geforces so I started buying them last year and it makes a very real difference as your models get larger/more complex.

In the same sort of price range as a 750Ti is an R9 270(vanilla, not 270X) or an R7 265. Both are more powerful than the 750Ti but you lose things like G-Sync and Nvidia's CUDA if you take the AMD route. They are however pretty potent for OpenCL applications, and there are a bunch of renderers and encoders that benefit from that. If you want to stick to Nvidia I'd suggest something Kepler-based if you want your CAD to work without problems. The 650Ti Boost is a pretty good option if you can still find them.
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:07 pm

Welcome!

The parts you've listed would make a good system, with the possible exception of expansion slots / wireless card support. Both the motherboards you listed have PCI slots instead of PCI-E x1, which could limit some options. Most cheap ones seem to do that, unfortunately. The Z97M Anniversary looks to have a pretty weak VRM setup (the name itself suggests dual-core use), and the MSI Z97M-G43 looks like a real piece of junk (3-phase VRM? really?). I'm short on time at the moment, but I'll look around more later - I have trouble believing those are the best options under $150.

You mentioned a high-res monitor. What video card to get depends a lot on monitor resolution (at least for gaming). 1080p is no big deal, but 1440p might take a bit more than you were thinking. In general, AMD does better at performance per dollar and Nvidia does better at performance per watt.

The 750/Ti is a newer architecture than everything else NV is selling at the moment, and crushes everything else on the market in performance per watt, but it's going to struggle a bit in gaming at 1440p, and there's the CAD issues Chrispy_ mentioned. The GTX 760 would be the next step up on the Nvidia side, but it is a pretty big step up.

On the AMD side at 1080p, the 260X would be decent and the 270X is great. At 1440p, the 270X is decent, the 280 is pretty good, and the 280X is probably overkill. YMMV depending on what you consider good framerates and how high you like the settings in games.

For brands, you can't go wrong with EVGA, but they don't make AMD cards. Sapphire seems to make good AMD stuff (they don't do Nvidia). Quite a few brands make decent stuff that might be cheaper than EVGA (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Zotac come to mind). The only brand I would make a point of staying away from is XFX - from what I've seen, their quality control is seriously lacking.
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:13 pm

Thank you for the quick replies, just the sort of info I was after.

I have no loyalty to one Graphics card maker, the Nvidia series progression was simply easier to follow. The price is fine on any of the cards suggested here so I will delve back into reading up on the Radeon cards.

Was a bit worried about the CPU cooler height, but in an Temjin build thread have seen someone get away with the low profile memory and the Silverstone cooler so although it's a bit of a squeeze I can get away with it. I may not be able to squeeze in an exhaust fan at the rear of the case but I don't think that airflow is going to be too big an issue with the light aircraft propeller that the case has at the front.

Had to laugh at the questions regarding the monitor resolution, 1080p IS high resolution for me, remember what I will be stepping up from :lol:

The CAD is not a particularly high priority, I will be using Solid Works student edition for a few units but nothing too complex.

I had not picked up on the PCI options on the motherboards at all. So much to keep track of. Of JustAnEngineers list I had previously discounted the Maximus series as being well out of my league, I had looked at the Gryphon but the price jump makes more sense now. I haven't even seen the others for sale here so will have to do some hunting.

Have to run for work now. Will have a good look through these options this evening and I'm sure that options will breed more questions. Cheers for now, JIm
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:33 pm

On further research, the best I can find is the ASRock Z97M OC Formula, which is a bit of a gamer's board, but still hits a good price point. Its slots go x16, x1, x16, x4 from top to bottom. Putting a graphics card in the top slot (usually #1) would block the x1, but there shouldn't be any problem with putting the graphics card in the second x16 (hopefully another gerbil will confirm that).

Contrast the other option I found (from Gigabyte), which had them arranged x16, x1, x8, x4, so your GPU would be needlessly limited if you wanted anything in the x1. :roll: Other than that, sub-$150, it was the MSI with 3-phase power, a Gigabyte with no VRM heatsinks, and that ASRock Anniversary that's both 3-phase and un-heatsinked.

To clarify on why I didn't like the cheaper options, their VRMs would probably be fine (unless you're trying for a high overclock) - it's just that those design decisions scream Extreme Cost-Cutting Measures and bode ill for the quality of the rest of the board.
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:44 pm

PCIe X1 cards work just fine in PCIe X4 or PCIe X16 slots.
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:54 am

I also wouldn't worry about slot layout because knigit clearly isn't looking at dual GPUs.

I'd go as far as saying that no first timer should be looking at dual GPUs, and unless you're running triple-1080p displays or looking at 4K screens, no enthusiast needs to be looking at them either.

The golden rule with dual-GPU is only ever go there if you cannot get the performance from a single, more powerful GPU - so unless a Titan Black is too slow, you don't need to double-down on graphics cards.
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Re: Yet another first timer.

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:51 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:PCIe X1 cards work just fine in PCIe X4 or PCIe X16 slots.


Ah, so they do (I misremembered the physical slot shape). :oops:

In that case, the ASRock Z97M Pro4 originally noted or the Gigabyte GA-Z97M-D3H look like good boards on the cheap.
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