Help choosing parts for new build

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The last machine I put together was built around an Asus P5AD2E board, so
It's been a while. I'd like to build a fairly basic, durable machine, that
will play recent games decently, and frankly, at this point I'm clueless. It
would be much appreciated if someone can point me to a decent quality Intel
based ATX board, cpu, ram, and NVIDIA based graphics card that are
compatible, decent for gaming, and won't break the bank.

TIA, Roy



Re: Help choosing parts for new build



RBM wrote:
 
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Paste this into Google:

1250 usd computer build
1000 usd computer build intel
800  usd computer build amd


Re: Help choosing parts for new build




<Randyh> wrote in message
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Thanks, I know how to search, but there are a handful of folks on this NG
that have been really helpful to a lot of people over the years, and I'm
hoping to tap into their expertise
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Re: Help choosing parts for new build



RBM wrote:
 
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So you want someone to hold your hand because it's a daunting task that any
adolescent can accomplish with an internet connection.

Oh, excuse me.

Re: Help choosing parts for new build




<Randy> wrote in message
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Clearly, the handful of really helpful folks I mentioned, doesn't include
you



Re: Help choosing parts for new build



RBM wrote:
 
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Then please allow me to channel the Spirit World by looking into a Crystal Ball
for your budget and find out if you want an Intel Processor or AMD, Gigabyte or
Asus, 4Gigs or 8 of Corsair/G. Skill

If can't even make an attempt to list some items, visit Dell and buy something
made especially for the clueless idiots of this planet.  

Re: Help choosing parts for new build



Randy wrote:

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I hope that some day people like you will go to a doctor with terrible
pains, and the doctor will tell you to go back home and Google your
symptoms. It's obvious that RBM wanted opinions from experienced people,
not just the Newegg link. Goodbye (for good, and for good reason.)

Re: Help choosing parts for new build



Somewhere on teh intarwebs Allen wrote:
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You pay the doctor, and you pay him well. He doesn't mind how long you take
to get around to the point, he's on the clock.
--
Shaun.

"Give a man a fire and he's warm for the day. But set fire to him and he's
warm for the rest of his life." Terry Pratchet, 'Jingo'.



Re: Help choosing parts for new build




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If you (or anyone else here) aren't happy with the level of support
you're receiving, I would highly recommend asking for a supervisor, I'm
confident a full refund will be made available to you.

I'm reasonably happy to help out nearly anyone asking a question within
my field of experience, but if someone can't be bothered to do the basic
research or to at least describe their needs, why should I go out of my
way to help?

Re: Help choosing parts for new build



On Mon, 14 Dec 2009 21:11:12 -0600, Allen

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The initial request was far too vague and open ended.  All
those zillions of computer products exist because "somebody"
probably wants to buy them.  There wasn't even a budget
mentioned, we've no idea what it would take to break /his/
bank, nor other factors like how important it would be to be
able to upgrade again later.

Some people are the type who would like to add more memory
or upgraded CPU, but others will  just plan on replacing the
board too when it comes time to upgrade.  Both strategies
have their merits, and the way the post was worded it was as
though it might matter towards gaming which it probably
won't - any remotely midrange system will play modern games
fine provided a decent video card is in it, though again
that makes the budget all the more critical to consider.

Re: Help choosing parts for new build



On Mon, 14 Dec 2009 15:15:00 -1000, Randy wrote:


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While you're talking to them, I have questions!

Do you have your notepad ready?  ;)


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That seems a bit mean.  I should know, I am good at being
mean.  In the end, if I or you feel the question is beyond
our pay grade, we can just skip to the next one.

Re: Help choosing parts for new build




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Wise advise, I'm still not sure what part of:  " Intel based ATX board, cpu,
ram, and NVIDIA based graphics card that are compatible, decent for gaming,
and won't break the bank"    that he couldn't comprehend

 



Re: Help choosing parts for new build



RBM wrote:
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Well, you know that Intel has the high end. And you can see where AMD leaves
off and Intel takes over, by using a benchmark chart of some sort.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-charts/Left-4-Dead-1.0.0.5,1403.html

The "green colored candidates" stop with the AMD Phenom II X4 965 (Deneb 4c)
at 3.4GHz.

Intel high end, include LGA775 (duals/quads), Core i7, Core i5.

So that leaves you with perhaps four platform choices.

1) AM2/AM2+/AM3 motherboard with the fastest processor they make. And
    a power supply and motherboard that can handle the 140W peak power.
    Idle power will be a lot lower.

2) LGA775. You already have one of those. Check the CPU charts for your
    motherboard, to see what (more expensive) processors fit into it.

3) Core i7 and perhaps a 920. Room to overclock. Memory controller
    integrated into the processor, like AMD does it. Core i7 is
    triple channel DDR3 memory. Socket is LGA1366.

4) Core i5 / LGA 1156. Memory controller is integrated, but is dual channel.
    Socket has fewer pins, and is LGA1156. PCI Express slot interface is
    provided on the CPU as well. Sockets have had problems in a few instances.
    If you're an overclocker, read this.

    "P55 socket problems"
    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3661

That is a basic overview. It should give you some point to start your
comparison.

LGA1366 and LGA1156 block diagrams are here. LGA1366 takes Core i7.
LGA1156 takes things branded as Core i5 and Core i7, but I don't understand
the distinction in that case. (Maybe a Wikipedia article will straighten
out the difference.)

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3570

LGA1366 has a two chip chipset. Memory controller on the processor.

http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/cpu/intel/lynnfield/x58.jpg

LGA1156 has a one chip chipset (a Southbridge). Memory controller and
PCI Express on the processor itself. Notice, that this design choice
doesn't leave room for much innovation by parties other than Intel,
and is getting pretty close to being a SOC solution (System On a Chip).
The more stuff dedicated to the processor, the less screwing around
a chipset maker can do. It is pretty hard to differentiate a chipset,
if it has nothing on it :-) What is really surprising, is that it
took this long for the idea to crystallize at Intel. Note also,
that since a 2GB/sec DMI is the only bus extension on the bottom
of the LGA1156 processor, you can't even connect a custom third party high
bandwidth device and add stuff (not in the same way that LGA1366 and QPI,
could potentially allow a third party high bandwidth addition).

http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/cpu/intel/nehalem/part3/lynnfield.png

Since Intel has lots of experience now with Southbridges, it wouldn't
take much of a stretch to suck that inside the processor too. If only
the socket to handle that, wasn't so expensive. Of course, it would
not prevent an innovation-free motherboard industry from just soldering
such a high contact count CPU concept, right to the motherboard. You can see
where this idea is headed (commodity toasters = no fun).

    Paul

Re: Help choosing parts for new build




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http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-charts/Left-4-Dead-1.0.0.5,1403.html
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Paul, thanks for your, as usual, over the top helpful reply. The machine I
have with the LGA775 is actually running the desired games, etc. fine, I
need to build replacements for the 4 machines I put together prior to that
one, which all have socket 478 boards. When I went to Newegg to put together
new equipment, I was overwhelmed by the new sockets and processors. I'm not
very technical, I've just been lucky so far.I'm looking to use whatever
socket is the most mainstream, and not something that has already become
obsolete, and I just don't realize it. If LGA775 is still mainstream, can
you recommend a durable board, processor, ram, and Intel graphics card that
will run current games well

Thanks, Roy



Re: Help choosing parts for new build



RBM wrote:
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I'd recommend pricing out the options, which is something I haven't tried in
a while. My last upgrade was an LGA775 with DDR2 RAM, for economy. But you
could also put an AMD system together along the same lines.

There are too many boards to offer just one solution. Try the Newegg search
engine,
then sort by reputation. There are price ranges for boards as well, and a sort
of minimum price for something decent, in each socket type.

For example, bring up the list of LGA775, then sort by rating. Then take
a look through it, for the first $130-150 board with a good rep. Then read
the individual customer reviews.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010200280%201070509908&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=RATING

GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358

    P45 has a single PCI Express interface, and relies on four
    external chips, to give some flexibility in providing two
    video card slots. The four external chips take the place of
    a paddle card used on previous boards.

Gigabyte has various versions of Ultra Durable, with solid polymer
caps. You want to understand what parts of the board have the solid
polymer caps, to see whether you're getting value for money. So part
of the shopping experience with them, is understanding their
naming scheme. A lot of boards have the polymer caps, but the
unscrupulous cap makers have now resorted to making electrolytics
that look like solid caps. If the cap has the pressure relief
lines cut in the top, it is a wet electrolyte cap (old kind).

Another example. Always check the reviews to see whether the build
is an easy one or not.

P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P45 Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131297

On some of them, the slot layout is miserable, so you want to
study where your video card is going to go, and how much
clearance there is for other plugin cards. You might want
room for your old PCI sound card for example. I keep moving
my sound card from system to system.

http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/13-131-297-S03 ?$S640W$

You can find cheap LGA775 motherboards. This is what I bought,
because I'm on a budget. This wouldn't be good enough for a
gaming machine, due to its 4X wired PCI Express slot. But I can still
type on it :-) This board gave me lots of "old school". I
ended up having to do a couple mods to it, because the BIOS
doesn't work as well as it should (no practical overclock
via the BIOS). This one is also limited to FSB1066 processors.
On a lighter note, this one runs Win98SE, something you can't do
with just any motherboard.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157115

AMD probably gives you a cheaper overall build, but if later
you're looking for a big increase in compute power, you might
easily already be using the fastest thing they've got.

I'd say LGA775 is pretty near the end of its life. I haven't
heard a wind-down plan for LGA775, but the fact that the
LGA1156 was recently introduced, probably means it is there
to replace the LGA775. LGA775 is mature, so enjoy the pricing
on a mature technology.

There is probably a little too much choice out there, to
make this decision easy. I'm sure some of the businesses
regret the amount of inventory they're carrying right now.

    Paul

Re: Help choosing parts for new build




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http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010200280%201070509908&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&Order=RATING
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Thanks Paul, there is a lot of choice, and as much as I'm more comfortable
with an LGA775, because I've been there before, I'd rather not build
something close to obsolescent. From what you're telling me, it sounds like
the LGA1156 will become the most mainstream Intel socket, so I'll go that
route. I'm looking at an  MSI P55-GD80 board and i7-860 cpu as both have
really good reviews. I'll piece the whole system together, then scrutinize
each part until I'm comfortable.



Re: Help choosing parts for new build



RBM wrote:

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Have you looked at the LGA1156 article here ? I see in one
picture of the P55-MD80, it uses a Foxconn LGA1156 socket.

    "P55 socket problems"
    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3661

Wow, the P55-GD80 is $210. Seems to have a pretty generous Vcore.
Lots of phases.

I see it has a six pin "thing" for probing with a multimeter.
A place to stick a multimeter tip, without it sliding off.
I guess that is for measuring voltages other than the ones on
the hardware monitor. I couldn't figure out at first, why there
was some kind of 1x6 over near the main power connector. But that
is what the manual says it is.

It also has a POST display (two digit) for monitoring the POST
sequence of the BIOS. Cheaper than having to install a $25 PCI
POST card when the machine won't start.

Six of the SATA connectors are side mount. One review claims
that is so they don't clash with the video card. Some people
don't like side mount ports.

One reason I downloaded the MSI manual, was to check the PCI Express config.

http://download2.msi.com/files/downloads/mnu_exe/E7581v1.0.zip

                One        Two
                Video      Video

   PCI_E2 ----   x16       x8

   PCI_E4 ----   x0        x8

   PCI_E5 ----   x4        x4

The implication is, there must be the four chip PCI Express routing
logic on the board somewhere. As I don't think the processor supports
bifurcation on its own. The processor has a x16 interface, that can
be split in two as x8/x8. Now, without external logic, the only wiring
config it would have, is the right-most column. To be able to support
both columns of that table, it would need some chips external to the
PCI Express interface provided by Intel. The P45 chipset motherboards
for LGA775 use the external chip scheme for steering the lanes. The
reason they do this, is so they don't have to put an extra x8 of
lanes on the big chips.

Problem is, I can't identify the steering chips. It is possible they're
using one bigger add-on chip, instead of the four smaller steering chips.
Perhaps the bigger one has an overall lower cost. It could be hiding
under a heatsink.

If you install a single, high power video card in E2, you'll get a x16
at 500MB/sec PCI Express revision 2.0 connection. That is 8GB per second,
and since the PCI Express slot is connected to the processor, which also
has the system memory, the only bottleneck is the speed of the memory
itself. They should have plenty of room for a high bandwidth connection
inside the processor.

If you did use two video cards in E2 and E4, they'd be getting 4GB/sec
max each.

The E5 slot (don't know how they're counting these, I'm just going by
the labels in the manual) would be connected to the Southbridge. They
say it is x4 wired, but the bus bandwidth would come through the DMI
connected to the processor. Your SATA drives would share bandwidth with the
E5 slot. Again, not a big deal, but just to show how that one is connected.

And that is why I like Gigabyte user manuals. They have an architecture
diagram, that makes this guessing game easier :-) Gigabyte still chooses
to obfuscate their diagram, but having some diagram to work with, saves
time when checking out the design.

Note that there are two heatsinks on the board, as if the board has
a Northbridge and Southbridge. But there is only one chip in the
chipset. That means the coolers are cooling a Southbridge and ???.
The ??? could be the PCI Express x8 switch logic or something else.

The heatpipe assembly on that board, seems to be fastened with
rivets. If you ever feel the need to remove it, that will be
a significant issue.

This review doesn't go into architecture. And I bet the rivets
prevent reviewers from getting too curious about what is underneath.

http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article/2009/09/08/msi_p55gd80_motherboard_review/6

The article here, says one of the heatpipe heatsinks doesn't cool a chip.
Somehow, I don't believe that. I think they're hiding stuff under there.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/852

    "No floppy disk drive controller is present."

OK, if I look at a picture of the P55 block diagram, it does have
more PCI Express lanes, but you can see that the DMI is a bottleneck
to using all of them flat out at the same time. The x8 worth of
subtending ports are PCIE Revision 2 at 500MB/sec. That is 4GB/sec
max worth of wiring, that can't be supported by 1GB/sec worth of DMI.
The four things connected to x1 ports in my diagram below, would likely
use PCI Express revision 1, so that is 250MB/sec max. A video card
plugged into PCI_E5 could attempt to run at 4x500MB/sec, but be
bottlenecked back to whatever is left of the DMI bandwidth at any
given time. (The PCI Express does transfers when it can, so none of
that actually causes a failure. It just means that there could be
bandwidth peaks, where occasionally the DMI is pretty busy.)

http://i.afterdawn.com/storage/pictures/intel_p55_chipset_diagram.gif

                                           x8
                 ----- x8 PCIE R2.0 ------------- PCI_E2 slot    x16  x8
                                                /
                                               / x8
Memory ---- CPU ----- x8 PCIE R2.0 --- switch
              |                         ???    \ x8
              |                                 \
              |                                   PCI_E4 slot    x0   x8
              |
              |
              | DMI (1GB/sec up, 1GB/sec down - see Core i5 datasheet)
              |
6*SATA ---- P55  ----- X4 ----- PCI_E5
   PCI  ---- (SB) ----- X1 ----- VT6315 Firewire
                  ----- X1 ----- JMB363 ------------------------ ESATA
                  ----- X1 ----- RTL8112DL --- Ethernet      --- JMB322 ---
2*SATA
                  ----- X1 ----- RTL8112DL --- Ethernet      --- IDE

One of the JMB363 SATA ports seems to connect to the JMB322, and the
JMB322 makes two ports out of one port. The JMB322 ports are
likely the vertical ones on the motherboard.

Loads of fun.
    Paul

Re: Help choosing parts for new build




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http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article/2009/09/08/msi_p55gd80_motherboard_review/6
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I did read the Anandtech article, and was deliberately trying to avoid the
Foxconn socket. In my inexperience, I just assumed I was looking to avoid
any motherboard made by Foxconn. There were a couple of other highly rated
LGA1156 boards at Newegg including an Asus, and a Gigabyte. I'll look into
them as well, and try to find who makes their cpu sockets.

Thanks, Roy



Re: Help choosing parts for new build



RBM wrote:

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I zoomed in on this, and I could see "Foxconn" on the socket cover plastic.
I expect there are plenty of motherboards with that socket.

http://gigglehd.com/zbxe/hdnews/files/attach/images/236/397/636/002/59a.jpg

    Paul


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