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#1
Spyderturbo007

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Well, I think it's time to dump the good old Pentium D for something a little faster. 2 hours to encode a 1.5h movie is just more time than I would like. So here is my build. It's primarily used as a video encoder and a whole house media server. All my files are stored on a 1TB RAID 1 NAS in my basement so I don't need any storage on the local machine other than the OS and programs.

I'll be using the optical drives from my current system and have already purchased a copy of Windows 7.


After discounts, rebates and with shipping it comes to $815.06, which I think is a pretty darn good price for a Sandy Bridge build.

I just wanted another set of eyes to go over the list before I hit the Pay Now button. :)

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 13 May 2011 - 09:59 AM.

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#2
RESBAK

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You did not list an aftermarket heat sink, if you are not overclocking then you can get just the i5-2400 or i5-2500 and then a cheaper motherboard. You also have a lower end video card and if that is all that you need, you can get a 400-500W psu :)

Edited by RESBAK, 13 May 2011 - 08:16 AM.

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#3
Spyderturbo007

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I've never overclocked a CPU before, but was going to give it a shot this time. I assumed that since the 2500K was designed for OC'ing by Intel, that they would ship a sufficient heat sync and fan to support the overclocking. Am I incorrect on that assumption? Can you recommend a reasonably prices aftermarket heat sync?

Maybe something like this one by Cooler Master?

I ran everything through a PS calculator and came up with 405w, so it looks like I could save a little money on that component. I want to stay modular, but moving to this Cooler Master at 600w will save me $30 after the rebate.

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 13 May 2011 - 08:50 AM.

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#4
Digerati

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You did not list an aftermarket heat sink


It should be noted that using a 3rd party cooler on retail (not OEM) versions of Intel and AMD CPUs that come supplied with heat sink fan assemblies violates the terms of the warranty!!! And damage attributed to overclocking is not covered under any CPU, motherboard, or cooler warranty either, regardless any overclocking features or software provided by motherboard makers. Certainly, this is not a concern for some enthusiasts. But it is a concern for many others, and everyone should be aware of it before considering using an aftermarket heatsink fan assembly, or overclocking.

Intel CPU Warranty Information (my bold added)

Intel warrants the Product (defined as the boxed Intel® processor and the accompanying thermal solution)... ... if the Product is properly used and installed, for a period of three (3) years. This Limited Warranty does NOT cover:

• damage to the Product due to external causes, including accident, problems with electrical power, abnormal electrical, mechanical or environmental conditions, usage not in accordance with product instructions, misuse, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation, or improper testing; OR
• any Product which has been modified or operated outside of Intel's publicly available specifications

AMD CPU Warranty Information (their bold)

This Limited Warranty shall be null and void if the AMD microprocessor which is the subject of this Limited Warranty is used with any heatsink/fan other than the one provided herewith.

This limited warranty does not cover damages due to external causes, including improper use, problems with electrical power, accident, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation, or improper testing.

I did not post this to divert the discussion. Those are the facts as stated in the warranties. As long as readers are aware of the stated policies and terms of their warranties, if they choose to violate those terms, that's their choice. All I ask is they be upfront, forthcoming, and honest about how that product was used when seeking warranty support if something does go wrong. Anything less is a fraudulent claim, and a criminal offense, and therefore something our readers need to be aware of.

***

The good news is since both AMD and Intel warranty their boxed CPUs for three years, and since replacing them at their cost is not something they want to do, they provide reliable, capable, and fairly quiet cooling solutions.

People often buy too big of a PSU. It hurts nothing but their wallet, but in the long run, may also support a bigger graphics card or more RAM down the road. Either way, with 80% efficiencies, a computer needing 300W will cause the PSU to draw from the wall 360W regardless if the PSU is 500W or 750W. One advantage to buying a bit big is the PSU likely comes with larger heat sinks, meaning the fan does not have to work as hard (loud) as it might on a smaller PSU running closer to capacity.
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#5
Spyderturbo007

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Wow, you're right! I just assumed that since they were unlocked by Intel out of the box that it wouldn't void the warranty.

This is right from the Reseller Center on Intel's website where they showcase the 2500k and 2600k:

Intel has not tested, and does not warranty, the operation of the processor beyond its specifications. Intel assumes no responsibility that the processor, including if used with altered clock frequencies and/or voltages, will be fit for any particular purpose.


Thanks for the heads up Digerati, as I will certainly keep that in mind if I decide to overclock. I guess the best idea would be to run it with the stock fan at stock speeds and see what I think of the performance. If I wasn't satisfied with the performance, then I could consider voiding my warranty with an aftermarket cooling solution and overclocking.

The warranty issue aside, any thoughts on the build? I edited the initial post with a different MSI motherboard. The one I initially listed had some features that I would never use, such as firewire and dual PCI-Ex16 slots.

The only concern I have is the RAM. It shows that it's compatible with DDR3 1066/1333/1600*/2133*(OC) RAM. I listed 1600Mhz above, but it looks like that would require an overclock as well. Do you think the 1333 would be sufficient paired with the i5 chip, or should I look for another board that supports a higher clock speed on the RAM?

Thanks!
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#6
Digerati

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That RAM does not "require" an overclock - it just means it has been tested at higher speeds and didn't burn up!

Wow, you're right! I just assumed that since they were unlocked by Intel out of the box that it wouldn't void the warranty.

That's marketing weenies having their way. Engineers do not design-in overclocking abilities. They design to specs, or to the limits of the raw materials and manufacturing techniques.

I've used MSI boards but I prefer Gigabyte. But that's just me. When I build a computer, I first determine the primary use, set a budget, then I pick a CPU, then find a motherboard/chipset that supports it, plus any other features I want. There are 100s of new motherboards coming and going every day it seems so I don't keep up with specifics. But I try to buy the latest technology the budget will allow.

Unless seeking bragging rights, I don't worry about the fastest RAM timings. Quantity is more important. And while I stick with major brands (Corsair, Mushkin, OCZ) most RAM is warrantied for life so it is hard to go wrong.

And since you mentioned you are getting 8Gb, I hope the copy of Windows you purchased includes a 64-bit version.
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#7
RESBAK

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@Digerati: thanks for the reminder! I will keep in mind to post disclaimers from now on. I got used not to rely on stock coolers but if they not include reliable coolers then that's good news to me :)
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#8
Digerati

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No problem. Yeah, since both Intel and AMD expect their coolers to support their CPUs for the entire 3 year warranty, they supply good coolers. If the Intel or AMD OEM cooler fails during that 3 year period and somehow takes out the CPU, they will replace both free. Most 3rd party coolers are warrantied for only 1 year and they will not pay for a new CPU. Neither will a motherboard maker who builds in overclocking to their boards and even supply an overclocking utility with the boards.

I don't like how marketing departments keep hyping overclocking features and abilities when the legal and warranties departments in the same companies are saying "No Way"! Something is not right - one of the faults of "free enterprise" in democratic societies, I guess, and something we as consumers need to watch out for, and live with.

What did Churchill say? It was something like, "Democracy is the worse form of government, except for all the others!"
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#9
Spyderturbo007

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Ok, so the 1600Mhz RAM will work correctly in that board? I was just confused because it made it seem like you needed to overclock the motherboard to run at 1600Mhz, as opposed the normal overclocking of the RAM. It just didn't make sense to me.

I do have the 64-bit version of 7, so I'm actually going with 16GB of RAM. :)

I was always a fan of the Gigabyte boards, but didn't find anything of that price range with the same features. As for the RAM, I've used G-Skill in the past and have had really good luck with them. I did have a DOA stick once years ago, but after a 5 minute call they shipped a replacement out next day air and the guy told me to just throw the other one in the trash. Awesome customer support.
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#10
Digerati

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If I had the budget to up my RAM from 8Gb to 16GB, I'd leave it at 8Gb and get an i7.
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#11
Spyderturbo007

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The reason I was going with the i5 is that I've read a bunch of benchmarking on the i5 vs the i7 when it comes to video encoding. For some reason, the i5 beats the i7 in almost all of the tests. I figured that since I'm primarily using the machine for encoding, I would go with the i5.
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#12
iammykyl

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If installing the 2500K, consider upgrading the Mobo to the Z68 platform. You will still have access to the overclocking, should you require it, but will also have access to the integrated graphics. The CPU will take most of the load when encoding video. > http://www.newegg.co...1^13-130-571-TS

This page for more info, > http://www.google.co...8&bih=820&cad=b

RAM will run at the default native supported speed of the Mobo unless you over ride it.
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#13
Spyderturbo007

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Well, I screwed up. :unsure:

I got a little itchy with my clicking finger on Friday and ordered before the rest of the posts rolled in from everyone. I should have went with the i7 over the 16GB of RAM like Digerati suggested. After ordering, I went on a search to find the speed differences between the i5 and i7 when encoding. Well, it turns out I'm losing my mind. I don't know where I came up with the i5 being faster than the i7 when using Handbrake.

I also had no idea about the Z68 chipset, iammykyl. I would have went that route in a heartbeat because it's the best of both worlds. I could have dumped the $70 graphics card and used that money to buy the other 8GB of RAM.

So, if I wouldn't have been so quick on the trigger, I could have had the 16GB of RAM and the i7 processor. Unfortunately, by the time I realized what I had done, it was too late. I could no longer cancel or edit my order with NewEgg and since you can't return a processor, I'm toast.

Oh well, live and learn I guess. :)
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#14
iammykyl

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Just read through Newegg standard return policy. My understanding is you can return a CPU for refund, restocking fee applies or return for a replacement, so if you are replacing with higher value CPU I can't see there would be a problem. Same applies with the Mobo, a Z68 I think is a must, it allows you to upgrade the CPU later.
I would definitely telephone and find out about getting a RMA docket for both items.
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#15
Spyderturbo007

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Unfortunately the standard return policy doesn't apply in the case of CPUs.

CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

* Return for refund within: non-refundable
* Return for replacement within: 30 days

Products that state "This item is covered by Newegg.com's CPU Replacement Only Return Policy", or items labeled as “Non-refundable” (or similar labeling) must be returned to Newegg within 30 days of the invoice date for this policy to apply. Products covered by this return policy may only be returned for a replacement of the same or equivalent item. “Return” constitutes receipt of the product by Newegg, and not the mere issuance of an RMA.


Oh, well. Live and learn. :)
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