Validating my build before purchase

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by radhak, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. radhak

    radhak Senior member

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    I asked about doing this many months ago, but was hit hard by life so had to lie low till now; I'd like to build myself a replacement to my Dell 8300 from 2003 (!) . I had upgraded it to an 128gb SSD with Win 7 Pro. I'm planning to get a new machine with no OS, and move this SSD to it, to end up with a SSD drive with the OS 'pre-installed', and use the other larger regular HDDs for data and stuff.

    --------------
    PC will be used for : No gaming, but Adobe CS5, Lightroom and maybe Premiere too. And video conferencing like Skype. (I mention that because Skype video is a dog in my current m/c).

    Budget : Self imposed; no dire need to skimp, but not gonna waste either.

    Intend on using any current parts : 128gb SSD drive that already has windows 7 pro installed, and will move an existing 1TB HDD to join the new 1TB HDD I'll buy.

    Overclocking : no.

    What resolution : have a 19" LCD (1600x1200) that I might upgrade to larger.

    WHEN do you plan to build it : immediately, unless I'm missing any great discount in the far horizon.

    --------------------

    I have the following in my shopping cart at Directron. Anything I could do better?

    Black Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower ............................................ $67.99
    Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H (rev. 1.0) Socket H2 ATX Motherboard, Intel Z77 Chipset $119.99
    Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz $209.99
    Antec Basiq 550 Plus 550W ATX 12V v2.2 $63.98
    Black Plextor PX-891SA SATA Internal 24X DVD Burner $29.99
    XFX FX-777A-ZNF4 Radeon HD7770 $124.99
    Seagate Barracuda 3.5in 1TB SATA 6Gb/s Internal Hard Drive $77.99
    Kingwin All-In-1 Internal Card Reader / Writer. Model: KWCR-901 $4.99
    Hauppauge 1196 WinTV-HVR-1250 PCI Express Hybrid Video Recorder/ TV Tuner, $61.99
    Patriot Viper 3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3-12800) $94.99

    Net : $856

    I like the case a lot, given its positive reviews on Amazon and TigerDirect, though it does not have a USB 3 at the front while the mobo does.

    The only indulgence is that TV-Tuner, because I don't have any definite plans on how to use it, just vague ambitions. I might still kick it to the curb.

    Questions I have are
    a. While I listen to a lot of classical music et al, I still don't need a discrete sound card, do I? I'm told the cheap ones don't do any better than the inbuilt sound card, and I'm not spending $200 on any sound card.
    [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2] b. The GPU spec says 550W[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2], and the PSU I picked is listed 550[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]W; [/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]do I need to [/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]play safe and pick 600W?

    [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
     
  2. Ketchup

    Ketchup Lifer

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    I picked a 600 for my machine just to be safe, and to make sure it lasts a while.

    I am wondering why you are ordering from Directon. I ordered from them one time years ago, and the shipping cost was ridiculous, and took forever.

    Newegg charges less (or nothing) for shipping, ships items more quickly, and IMO has better customer service.
     
  3. Steltek

    Steltek Golden Member

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    That power supply is plenty big for your config as shown.

    You could probably save a few bucks by buying the case, power supply, and video card at Newegg as they have $40 in rebates available on these items at the same/very similar costs.

    If you aren't going to overclock, I don't see a reason to get a Z77 board unless you just want to spend the extra money, around $30, over an H77. Also, if the motherboard you select has a USB3.0 header, spend a few extra bucks to get a card reader with a USB3.0 port as this will allow you to make up for the fact that your chosen case doesn't have front panel USB3.0. Or, you could get the Storm Scout 2 case which does have USB3.0 front panel connectors for a few bucks more. Of course, it isn't the same case, either. . . .

    Also, is there a reason you went with the Plextor DVD-RW drive? In my mind, you will just be paying extra for the Plextor name (plus for a drive with only a 1.5mb buffer) over any other decent bulk drive that will do just as well.
     
    #3 Steltek, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  4. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Agree with Steltek on all points. Also, $95 is quite a lot to pay for 16GB of RAM. You can get 16GB of really good Crucial DDR3 1600 1.35V low profile for $84.
     
  5. Torn Mind

    Torn Mind Platinum Member

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    The 7770 is a very light video card power consumption-wise, and the BP550 is rated for 444W, so it is supposed to deliver 37 amps on the 12 volt rail. The Corsair CX500 is supposed to deliver one amp more, but is going for $39.99 after rebate.

    PSUs usually "die" because the capacitors fail, and in that case heat and quality are the two enemies. Quality of the capacitors usually can't be determined unless someone is willing to crack it open and sacrifice the PSU in a review for the greater good, although sometimes companies will say they use all Japanese capactiors, which are better than those made in Taiwan or mainland China.
     
    #5 Torn Mind, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  6. radhak

    radhak Senior member

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    Good input, y'all. I have priced out a somewhat similar rig at Newegg for a slightly less cost, because I got tempted by a higher quality Seasonic PSU.

    COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
    $69.99

    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    $79.99

    Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 Hybrid TV Tuner w/ Video Recorder PCI-E x 1
    $64.99

    SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 100358L Video Card
    $114.99

    Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory
    $83.99

    SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W Power Supply
    $79.99

    ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
    $19.99

    ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX Intel Motherboard

    Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    $306.98
    Grand Total:$820.91

    The combo mobo-cpu is at a big discount, but now I realize this mobo is basic, offering less ports and connectors. I might stick with the Gigabyte mobo. I appreciate that the H77 might be a cheaper, but I'm sticking with the Z77 to allow me flexibility down the road.

    As suggested I picked out a cheaper optical drive with a higher review rating. I like the idea of a card-reader with USB 3; just havta search one out.

    Overall I come closer to just about the same costs, but maybe with better choices of parts.

    As for vendor, I liked Directron's website more, but have not ordered anything from them, so dunno how they rate. Their ground shipping comes to $28 compared to $14 at Newegg. But Directron offers to test each component before shipping, not sure Newegg has that; would be better than to receive a DOA that needs shipping back. How do both compare in handling returns?
     
  7. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Personal experience: Newegg handles returns gracefully, and if something goes really bad, you can email customer service, which is generally responsive (I got a free shipping label for the return, for example).

    Now, only a few questions remain: why did you get that PSU when the one in your original build was more than enough? Merely saving more money off a list price does not make it a better deal if you are still spending more money. This PSU fits your needs better and is only $40AR. The other question is: why do you have a TV tuner card when your OP makes it seem like you don't need it? And why did you drop the card reader?
     
  8. radhak

    radhak Senior member

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    Good point - I'd get better advice if I explain my line of thinking.

    The Corsair seems a good buy, but it's rated 500W and I'd rather err on the higher side than lower, because the GPU specs at 550W. I hear you - the GPU might be okay with less, but why take chances!?

    And the reviews for the Corsair have a high percentage of DOAs, or even worse - burning out after installation and hence frying the mobo or something else. While any components could fail, others are responsible for just themselves but a PSU failure could damage other stuff in the box, so I'd rather spend more on it.

    The Seasonic OTOH is rated 620W and seems to have stellar user ratings. And the fact that it offers more PCIe and Sata connectors is another bonus.

    The TV tuner is still on a "do I really want it or don't I" fence. I want to explore receiving TV on my computer - now or later is the only issue.

    I have not dropped the card-reader - just looking for a dependable one; the ones on Newegg seem to fail as often as not.
     
  9. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    First of all, by buying from a dependable manufacturer, you have taken chance out of the equation. My 670, a much more power hungry card than your 7770, only draws 300W from the wall maximum. Generally while gaming, the whole rig uses only 150ish watts. A 500W power supply is plenty, even for top-of-the-line cards.

    Yes, the Seasonic may have a lower return rate. But the Corsair PSU is a rebadged Seasonic--it's literally a Seasonic unit with superficial changes, sold under the Corsair name. Keep in mind that reviews online skew towards the negative side (people with a bad unit will feel more strongly than people who got what they expected), so the return rate for either product is pretty close to zero.
     
  10. Torn Mind

    Torn Mind Platinum Member

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    The reason 550W is "required" is to cater to the Diablotek PSUs and the like that are rated for big wattage like 700 watts or whatever but can't deliver more half of that.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7770-7750-benchmark,3135-14.html
    Metro 2033 benchmark, and it can't even go above 250 watts.

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1873/10/
    Hangs around 230 watts while Furmark is running, which is far more intense than regular gaming, in which it hangs around 200 watts.

    http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-Radeon-HD-7770-and-7750-Affordable-DX11-GPU-Review/?page=11
    Total system power consumption is around 250 watts.

    Note that when power consumption is measured at the wall, the wattage amount equals "power delivered to the components/efficiency percentage", so what is actually being sent to the computer components is even less than what is measured at the wall.

    The Antec Neo ECO 620C is a Seasonic based design, and it is going for 70 bucks. It's lower wattage brethren are not Seasonic based, but rather made by Delta, I believe.
    It might not be.
    The CX430 is a CWT based design, although one cannot say for sure that the CX500 follows suit in the same manner as its lower wattage brother because PSUs in the same line can have different manufacturers.
     
    #10 Torn Mind, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  11. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    I was pretty sure I had read somewhere that the CX500 is based on a Seasonic unit, but now I'm unsure. Time to scour the internet!
     
  12. lehtv

    lehtv Lifer

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  13. radhak

    radhak Senior member

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    So while I'm looking over the PSU and the card reader, does anybody think a discrete sound card helps? Or does the inbuilt audio suffice for most purposes?
     
  14. lehtv

    lehtv Lifer

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    Yes, integrated audio is sufficient but not necessarily optimal. I require Dolby Headphone and a proper equalizer to get the most out of my headset, so a Xonar sound card is needed.
     
  15. Torn Mind

    Torn Mind Platinum Member

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    It appears I was mistaken about the smaller NEO ECO PSUs; I must have confused them with the latest Antec Earthwatts PSUs. They too are made by Seasonic. Also, according to the following list, the CX series is indeed CWT made. Also, the Hardware Secrets review of the CX 430 and CX430 V2 showed that the CX 430 is a CWT. http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Corsair-CX430-V2-Power-Supply-Review/1284/1

    Now, Delta is not a bad manufacturer, just not as good as Seasonic.

    Tom's Hardware complied a list of PSUs and who actually manufactured them.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913-4.html

    Given that the 7770 is GPU that is "light" power consumption-wise and that it will not even be heavily taxed due to no gaming, the Antec NEO ECO 400C might be a suitable option.


    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/psu_manufacturers
     
    #15 Torn Mind, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  16. lehtv

    lehtv Lifer

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    Hmm... I'd say they are on par. Pretty much every Delta-based Antec unit from low to high end is awesome. Seasonic tends to excel in voltage regulation, especially recently (with near 0% regulation with some of their platinum units) but Delta generally has the best build quality - at least this is the impression I get from reading JonnyGuru's reviews.
     
  17. Steltek

    Steltek Golden Member

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    I'd give give the integrated sound a try. Worst case, if you don't like it, it is an easy upgrade down the road (you just need to make sure to remember to disable the onboard sound in the BIOS before you install the PCIe sound card). Plus, you'll be able to watch for sales on the sound card you might want in the meantime.
     
  18. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Second that, Delta is good. They mostly make heavy-duty server PSUs and don't get tapped for ATX that much. But when they do, you know it is going to be pretty good quality.

    I also agree that a 620W power supply for an i5 + 7770 machine is absolutely insane. That is literally three times what the PC could ever draw.
     
  19. radhak

    radhak Senior member

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    I find it interesting that despite the 7770's spec claiming 550W, so many of you are saying it would not need anywhere close to that. So why are they demanding 550W?
     
  20. Ketchup

    Ketchup Lifer

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    They are accounting for lower-quality units that cannot actually deliver the power they claim with stability.
     
  21. Torn Mind

    Torn Mind Platinum Member

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    On the product page, the minimum specified is actually 450 watts. XFX just recommends an XFX 550 watt PSU because well, XFX wants you to buy their branded products. ;)

    It is power supplies like the following that makes manufacturers "require" bigger PSUs. They deliver around half of their labelled wattage or less. Most likely, your rig would function under these power supplies, but you're quite close to the edge and they suck at noise/ripple control, efficiency, etc. So you'd get a noisy and less stable machine. Meanwhile, better PSUs such as the NEO ECO 400C can actually deliver what is on their label and leave you well in the clear.

    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story4&reid=324
    500 watt unit can't even deliver over 200 watts.

    Or this:
    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Apevia-Turbolink-ATX-TL450W-BK-Power-Supply-Review/1212/7
    Go over 240 watts DC, and poof goes the power supply.
     
  22. _Rick_

    _Rick_ Diamond Member

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    For your usage, I would probably forget about the graphics card, go for a high end 350-450W power supply, and use the HD4000 of the K-series CPU.
    If you want better audio, consider upgrading the mainboard. Maybe a Maximus Gene-V would be an interesting option. Generally, I don't see the need for a full ATX mainboard, with your current needs. Micro-ATX is often slightly cheaper, with a similar feature set. It also gives you more flexibility with cases.
    You currently lack a good, silent CPU cooler. I would add one of those, to render the computer much more silent under load, as well as cooler, which benefits stability and longevity.
    Finally, if you do a lot of image processing, more RAM probably wouldn't hurt. The current prices make it sensible to go for 32GB, if you do anything data heavy.
     
  23. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    What? No. The Maximus V Gene doesn't do anything for the OP that's worth spending $200.