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new builder, gamer, $2000-2500 budget, help picking parts


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#1
h0dg1k1ll3r

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I've always wanted to build a computer, but just never gotten around to it, and it's always been impractical because I'm in the army. I'm coming home from my final deployment-get out in just over a year-so now is the best time to build one. I want an athalon processor 4x3.0 or better, and I would like it to be plenty for gaming for atleast 4 years-going to college. Must have 1080p support, great graphics. Prob go w 2x gforce for vid, soundblaster 4 sound, want fiber optic on the sound card and hdmi and dvi for vid. Getting two hdd's, one solid state, prob 500gb, for main one, one reg hdd 2 tb for storage. Want bluetooth and the fastest wifi available. Prob go w 16gb ram, dont know what type, and i've heard good things about gigabyte motherboards. Here's links to a few processors I've had my eye on, but other than ghtz, cores, and slot, I don't know what the rest means.

http://www.tigerdire...2438&CatId=7341

http://www.tigerdire...5717&CatId=4431

http://www.tigerdire...3935&CatId=7239

Also, if there's other good sites besides newegg and tigerdirect please tell me.
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#2
Jorunn

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I am not a tech or anything, but I seen you said your getting out. I just wanted to say thanks for being in the millitary! :surrender:

I did some recent research into computer compounent priceing and found 2, stores/or online, places that have selection and priceing. Newegg and Memory Exspress, I live in Canada So I use Memory Express, it`s across town, and I get advice.
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#3
iammykyl

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Hi,
:welcome:

If you want a top performing rig with a good upgrade path, I advice you to use and Intel CPU.


http://www.cpu-wars....-synthetic.html
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#4
h0dg1k1ll3r

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I'm dead set on amd, almost the same speed and much cheaper. had good experience w amd in laptops
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#5
Digerati

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[quotename='iammykyl']If you want a top performing rig with a good upgrade path, I advice you to use and Intel CPU.[/quote]While I happen to prefer Intel too, obtaining top performance and a good upgrade path is just as easy with AMD. And AMD is just as reliable. It really has come down to personal choice, just as it is with the model and color of your next car. No one CPU brand or model is the best in every single category. And if not best, it is a close second.

[quote]amd, almost the same speed and much cheaper.[/quote]And that makes good sense. But do understand, the CPU is only one component on your list. Once you factor in the price of a good motherboard (and Gigabyte is my preferred board - then ASUS), RAM, graphics card, speakers, drives (optical, HD and SSD), a solid case with excellent and (hopefully) filtered cooling, a monitor (or two), keyboard, mouse, the 64-bit OS, and of course a quality 80+ certified power supply from a reputable maker, the price difference between Intel and AMD CPUs becomes pretty insignificant.

So while I prefer Intel, I generally find a motherboard that will support all the ins and outs - literally with all the I/0 interfaces and ports that I need and want, then visit the motherboard's webpage to find the QVL (qualified vendors list) of CPUs supported by that board. Yeah, if two similar boards, I take the one that supports Intels, but I would not be disappointed if I was "stuck" :) with AMD. Nor should you if get "stuck" with Intel.

And BTW, once you get out of the budget/entry level motherboards, on-board sound turns to excellent and with more and more I/O options. Remember, many of these boards are used in HTPCs and integrated into many audiophile-quality home theater systems.

While there is no reason to not expect a computer to last 5 years or longer, there are 1000s of devices in a computer system, and any one could fail prematurely. Especially if taxed for much of its time. If your primary goal is to have a reliable machine for college that also supports pretty good gaming (one of the most demanding task we can ask of our systems) I would wait as long as you can before buying and building. Then you can save up your money and help ensure this valuable resource for college (its primary job, right?) will carry you trouble free all the way through school.

Finally, while I am not really a fan of notebooks (because you are pretty much stuck with factory built and proprietary parts), if you will taking classes at school (as opposed to on-line) a notebook may be a better choice - at least for school, not for gaming. Therefore, my advice is two computers; a notebook for school only, and a PC for gaming, and backing up the notebook.
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#6
h0dg1k1ll3r

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Thanks for your advice. Of course thats not the only benefits of amd-they tend to be cooler and much easier to overclock. As far as a laptop goes, I currently own a toshiba qosmio x505-yes, it's intel and I am very happy with it, but I noticed a huge difference in operating temp from my previous laptop, an acer w an amd. What I really need help with is what all the specs mean and how much they matter; such as l2 and l3 cache sizes, whats it mean by locked/unlocked, bus speed, class, and integrated graphics and memory controllers. The reason I'm choosing to build now is because once I'm out, I'll have a much tighter budget. As far as what I want four years down the line, I want to have the ability to upgrade the computer at that time. From my understanding, the key to what you can and cannot upgrade is determined primarily by the motherboard.

Edited by h0dg1k1ll3r, 16 February 2012 - 07:40 PM.

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#7
iammykyl

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What I really need help with is what all the specs mean and how much they matter; such as l2 and l3 cache sizes,


For main memory, read RAM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_cache

Locked/unlocked, with regard to a CPU, http://en.wikipedia....iki/CPU_locking.

This How Stuff Works should answer your questions and more. http://computer.hows...otherboard4.htm

the key to what you can and cannot upgrade is determined primarily by the motherboard.


Yes. Dependent mostly, though not entirely, on the CPU Socket. AMD have been the best in the past with this as they tended not to change the CPU socket for each generation of CPUs, trying to predict how long a socket will last is highly speculative as a manufacturer may decide not to make the next CPU release not back wards compatible.
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#8
Digerati

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Of course thats not the only benefits of amd-they tend to be cooler and much easier to overclock.

Well, you are half right. While many AMDs tend to be easier to overclock, when talking about the entire line of CPUs, AMDs do NOT run cooler than Intels. When talking about the entire line of CPUs, Intels tend to out-perform, consume less power, AND generate less heat! Of course there are "specific" exceptions on each side, but for a general blanket statement, Intels run cooler. Now we are only talking a few degrees here or there so it is not really a significant bragging right - compared to better performance and power consumption. And note this has been true ever since 2006, when, after years of embarrassment at being spanked by AMD at the their own game, Intel released the Core 2 Duo leapfrogging past AMD - and promising never to be spanked and embarrassed like that again. And since then, Intel (with their deep pockets) has continued to increase their lead - to the point where AMD has capitulated:

AMD to Give Up Competing with Intel
AMD shifting competitive focus away from Intel in 2012

But again, that does not IN ANY WAY mean AMD makes lousy CPUs. On the contrary, they are excellent processors offering excellent performance, providing years of reliable service, AND at an affordable price.

That said, do understand overclocking an AMD (or Intel) CPU, or the use of an aftermarket cooler on a boxed CPU that came supplied with an OEM cooler, violates the terms of the warranty - regardless what the AMD or Intel (and the motherboard makers too) marketing weenies would like us to believe. So with this machine having the priority of supporting your school work over the next 4 years, I urge you to rack and stack your priorities accordingly.

What I really need help with is what all the specs mean and how much they matter; such as l2 and l3 cache sizes, whats it mean by locked/unlocked, bus speed, class, and integrated graphics and memory controllers.

Remember Google is your friend, and faster than waiting for a forum response:

what is l1 l2 l3 cache
what is bus speed
what is a memory controller

Or if you prefer Bing:

what is integrated graphics


The reason I'm choosing to build now is because once I'm out, I'll have a much tighter budget.

I hear you. I am just saying, if you build now, your machine will be a year old by the time you get out. I am just suggesting you save your money now, then buy in 10 months or so. Then your stuff will be the latest versions, and still new. Plus the prices of drives may come down more after all the flooding in Asia.
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#9
h0dg1k1ll3r

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Yhank you everyone for your help. I went on puget systems and built the computer I wanted with the help of an advisor and this is what I came up with. The hdd's were overpriced, so I just went with the cheapest one. My subtotal was 1774

Motherboard Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX
CPU AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz 95W (quad core)
Ram Kingston 8GB DDR3-1333 (2x4GB)
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Twin Frozr II

Storage
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA 6Gb/s


CD / DVD Asus 12x Blu-ray Player SATA (black) Special Notes

Case / Cooling
Case Lancool PC-K7B Black w/ Window Special Notes
Power Supply Antec CP-1000 1000W Power Supply Special Notes
CPU Cooling AMD stock fan


Software
OS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM SP1
Software: Multimedia Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 OEM
Services Warranty: Lifetime Labor and Tech Support, 1 Year Parts

Heres what I found on newegg which I'm going with I've included on top of whats above keyboard/mouse combo, bluetooth dongle, wifi card, ssd 256gb (primary) and 2tb 7400 rpm hdd (secondary)

case: Apevia x-telstar-bk full tower ATX $139
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811144184
motherboard:ASUS sabertooth 990fx am3+ sata 6gbs $184.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131736
graphics-single card for now-msi n560gtx-ti twin frozen II 2gd5 256 bit $259.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127608
power supply xion axp-1000k14xe 1000w atx $129.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817190033
processor amd fx-4100 3.6x4 zambezi 95w $109.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103996
memory kingston 2x4gb ddr3 $40.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820139075
primary hdd 256 ssd crucial m4 2.5" sata III mlc $339.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148443
secondary hdd seagate barracuda 2tb 7200 rpm sata 6gbs $159.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148834
keyboard/mouse logitech mk320 wireless combo $36.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16823126188
brd Asus blu-ray sata bc-12b1st $57.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827135247
oes windows 7 64 bit home premium $99.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16832116986
bluetooth cirago bta 3310 bluetooth 3.0 dongle- usb 2.0 $28.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16833242005
wifi ASUS pce-n10 pci express wifi adapter $22.99

subtotal comes to $1611.88, but if I was to include only what I included from the puget sys list it would come to $953
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#10
h0dg1k1ll3r

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if anythings incompatible or if theres a brand that is poor quality ie has a history of freezing/crashing or if there are better deals with the same features please tell me
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#11
iammykyl

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Busy today so will probable post more tomorrow.

You have some time, so I advise not to rush your buying. You need to thoroughly research each part. Read "professional" reviews. Take note of user reviews where the same issue keeps cropping up. Do not forget that a monitor needs to be as good as the rest of your build, not much good having a top performing box coupled to a poor quality display.

CASE. No air filters, no front intake fan, (can fit an 80mm, not a good solution.) I prefer the PSU at the bottom. There are much better cases for the money, poor review, look for more, http://www.overclock...iews/x_telstar/

These I recommend. http://www.newegg.co...1^11-129-021-TS

CPU. I suggest you do a little more research before deciding on the FX series.
http://www.xbitlabs....-6100-4100.html
find out what the next release is likely to bring or will there be a new CPU.
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#12
Digerati

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I am not crazy about that case. First and foremost, as I noted above, you should get "a solid case with excellent and (hopefully) filtered cooling". While that case looks solid and does appear to provide good cooling options, it does not have an air filter. I will never have a case without a removable, washable air filter. Without a filter, you will need to disconnect all the wires and lug the computer outside to blast out all the heat trapping dust from the case interior with compressed air much more frequently than you will with a filtered case.

In that price range, the Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 would be my choice. However, the Three Hundred is almost as nice and cheaper yet.

Antecs are rock solid and "true" (exactly 90° bends). Though not the fanciest looking cases, I tend to pay attention to my monitors, not the case. And I prefer my cases to sit quietly and discreetly off to the side. And since most towers sit on or near the floor, I like my USB and headphone ports, power and reset buttons to be up top so I can easily see and reach them.

That Apevia has the power and reset buttons hidden behind a panel, half way down the front panel. And that fancy information thingy sits near the floor where you will need to get on your hands and knees to see it - so useless, IMO.
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#13
h0dg1k1ll3r

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thanks I'm probably going with the antec 900 im assuming it has a filter?
I also looked into the graphics card and realized that the 560 ti's are having driver issues. Should I still go with this line? if not what would be the ATI equivelant?
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#14
iammykyl

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the antec 900 im assuming it has a filter?


Yes.

I also looked into the graphics card and realized that the 560 ti's are having driver issues. Should I still go with this line? if not what would be the ATI equivalent?


The issue seems to be with Micro Stutter when using 2 or More cards, but I have not seen anything about using a single card.

The Radeon 6950, a card I think better for gaming if you want to game on more than 2 monitors. (with 2GB of memory) To start your research, http://www.videocard...=Radeon+HD+6950

Edited by iammykyl, 19 February 2012 - 03:54 AM.

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#15
iammykyl

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Clarification with regards to the Antec Nine Hundred cases. The original, black, does not have filters, insure to order the 900 Ver. 2 or 900 Two Ver. 3.
http://www.antec.com...uct.php?id=NzIy
http://www.antec.com...t.php?id=MjY5OQ==

Edited by iammykyl, 19 February 2012 - 07:01 PM.

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