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Mad Cow

Mad Cow's Build a Killer Gaming Rig on a Budget Thread

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Whatever you do just don't flash your bios. Bad stuff. Just terrible.

Heh, I was having a problem with my current rig and a bios flash fixed it perfectly.

The problem was super strange. I was running a 0.7ghz overclock on my Core i5 750, and I recently purchased one of the new wireless Logitech trackballs (Logitech M570). It uses one of those tiny unifying USB receivers. So I plug the receiver in, and the rig won't even POST. Goes into a continuous reboot cycle. Unplug the receiver, it boots fine. Strange -- never seen that before. Also, if I plug the receiver into one of the (powered) ports on my monitor, everything is fine too. I only run into the POST problem when I plug the receiver into a USB port on my mobo.

So after troubleshooting for a bit (which included messing with the voltage on my CPU and RAM) and no fix, I flashed the BIOS. Instantly fixed. Go figure. Should have done that first!

I flashed mine with the newest bios. It would boot and I'd last maybe 60 seconds in windows (jokes jokes jokes) and then it would either freeze or reboot on it's own.

Because I'm a moron I had an extremely difficult time flashing it within bios, even though my bios has qflash which makes it almost idiot proof. Almost. It took me far too long to realize I needed to extract the bios flash from the file i dled within the USB drive. Because it was still in rar form bios didn't see anything to flash.

I thought I ruined my computer thanks to my ignorance. I'll never flash anything again.

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I will check into this later. In the middle of some stuff right now.

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Appreciate the feedback. Didn't realize the new vidcard release was so imminent. I'll wait and see what happens. Was thinking about getting a cheap laptop as well so I don't have to use my work one, and that can probably help hold me over for a bit if it means some big savings.

On the RAM, yeah, it possibly could be overkill. I would occasionally get use out of it... amongst other things I'm a database programmer and have local databases installed for dev work, plus we do have some pretty high end geoscience 3D visualization software. But, the local databases are just occasional use and I keep them shut down otherwise... and the visualization software I only would use at home rarely when someone asks for my help with it as I don't work in that area anymore. If nothing else I could start with less and get the larger size so I can just add another module to double it later.

Do you think the faster SSD is worth the extra money then? The 100 GB OCZ Vertex 2 costs about the same as the 128 GB Crucial on the site that had both of them available (Origin).

On the BD burner, are there problems then with say, burning a movie to BD for play in a PS3? That would probably be my biggest use of it. Otherwise I don't tend to burn many discs so yes, could save some money there.

Cyberpowerpc has a free upgrade to the i7 950 going right now and they keep extending it when it runs out it looks like, so if it's still available I'll probably stick with it. The i7 950 overclocked with 6 GB of RAM from there is the same price right now than the i5 760 overclocked with 8 GB of RAM.

Newegg has a 120GB Vertex 2 for $236 Shipped. Plus this is a 3.5" form factor, so you don't have to buy/install a bracket for the standard 2.5" SSD form factor.

Keep in mind it isn't necessarily faster than the RealSSD. The RealSSD is great if you have a 6gb/sec SATA connection (likely given your price point) and need fast sequential reads (Windows boot, game level loading). But it is slower than the Vertex 2 on IOPS (lots of small reads/writes, kind of what happens with installing programs or everyday use). I went with the RealSSD and I'm happy with it, but if I could go back in time, I'd probably get the Vertex 2. But they're very close in overall performance so it really is up to your preference and price.

Edited by Zasada

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Whatever you do just don't flash your bios. Bad stuff. Just terrible.

Heh, I was having a problem with my current rig and a bios flash fixed it perfectly.

The problem was super strange. I was running a 0.7ghz overclock on my Core i5 750, and I recently purchased one of the new wireless Logitech trackballs (Logitech M570). It uses one of those tiny unifying USB receivers. So I plug the receiver in, and the rig won't even POST. Goes into a continuous reboot cycle. Unplug the receiver, it boots fine. Strange -- never seen that before. Also, if I plug the receiver into one of the (powered) ports on my monitor, everything is fine too. I only run into the POST problem when I plug the receiver into a USB port on my mobo.

So after troubleshooting for a bit (which included messing with the voltage on my CPU and RAM) and no fix, I flashed the BIOS. Instantly fixed. Go figure. Should have done that first!

I flashed mine with the newest bios. It would boot and I'd last maybe 60 seconds in windows (jokes jokes jokes) and then it would either freeze or reboot on it's own.

Because I'm a moron I had an extremely difficult time flashing it within bios, even though my bios has qflash which makes it almost idiot proof. Almost. It took me far too long to realize I needed to extract the bios flash from the file i dled within the USB drive. Because it was still in rar form bios didn't see anything to flash.

I thought I ruined my computer thanks to my ignorance. I'll never flash anything again.

BIOS flashing generally boils-down to "if it ain't broke, don't flash it", which is why my BIOS was so out of date on my motherboard. But as soon as something was "broke", I went the flash route and it worked. I'm still shocked.

Gigabyte has a fantastic flashing program now (I think it's called @BIOS or something like that). You just download the program, run it, and it finds the latest BIOS for your mobo online and flashes it right in Windows. Just like installing a new driver. Easy. I'm really happy with Gigabyte as a company.

Edited by Zasada

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Mad Cow, wondered if I could get your opinion. Just lost the hard drive on my desktop and I'm looking at replacing the system with a new desktop.

Main uses will be working from home and gaming. Need a pretty decent cpu for some of the stuff I do for work, and a lot of RAM. I'm aiming for that spot just before prices start to really climb without much bang for the buck. Dual monitor a must. Want great framerates for gaming and also would like to eventually go from 2 to 3 monitors for gaming and regular use both.

I'm currently considering something along the lines of the following.

i7 950 or 960 3Ghz, overclocked

Dual Radeon 5850 graphics cards

12 GB DDR3 1600Mhz tri-channel RAM

128 GB Crucial SSD harddrive

1 TB Western SATA3 harddrive

BR/CD/DVD read/writer

Asetek 570LC Liquid Cooling

I was originally going to go with an i5 750 cpu to save money, but found out if I did it would limit my options in going to three graphics cards somewhere down the road, so went with the i7 950.

I'm probably going to just have a company build it as I hate dealing with hardware, even if it costs me a little bit extra. Motherboard may be limited by which company I end up going with. I was going with the ASUS Rampage III Extreme for the time being as I compare prices on different sites.

Anything in that build that just screams to you of waste of money without gain, or that I might not be aware of how one of those choices is going to limit me in the future? I had considered going with nVidia so I could later add a third graphics card, but I think the dual 5850s will last long enough that when I'm ready to go to three graphics cards I'll probably want to upgrade them and can switch to nVidia then.

Edit to add: Also, any kind of feel for how much of a difference a dedicated PhysX card makes for gaming? The sites I was looking at that did graphics cards comparisons didn't go into it at least in the articles I read. Obviously if I go with the ATI card I couldn't have one, but do the ATI cards make up for the lack of one?

My two cents:

CPU: If you're going with a more expensive CPU to give you a tri-SLI options in the future, but then say that tri-SLI is likely not going to be a cost efffective upgrade down the road (true), then you're not really aligning your CPU goals with your vidcard goals. I'd go with the i5 760 and overclock it. Save the cash for when you do a full rig upgrade down the road (rarely is adding another vidcard the best upgrade answer when the newest generation of vidcards are out). Which brings me to my next point:

Vidcard: AMD is releasing its refreshed line of vidcards on Friday. Not sure if they'll be at retail then, but at your price point, I really would wait to see how good they are and when retail availability will hit before pulling the trigger on this rig. It's true that there is always something better in the future, but in this case the "better" is right around the corner, and you can afford to wait a week to see what it is and how much of a performance bump you'll get. Also, you don't necessarily need to go SLI to get multi-monitor support. ATI/AMD have some great eyefiniti cards these days that can handle up to six monitors.

RAM: What specifically do you need 12GB for? I have 8GB right now and seriously I never see more than 4GB in use. Even when gaming. If you're doing some serious photo editing then the RAM could be useful, but otherwise I'd just drop down to 8GB and get a bigger SSD.

SSD: I have the Crucial RealSSD you reference above, and while it screams on sequential reads at 6Gb/sec, the Sandforce drives are generally faster on IOPS. OCZ's Vertex2 uses this controller. Also, we are a month or two away from the new NAND modules hitting the market, which will see prices drop quite noticeably.

Optical: BD burners are really overrated right now. The media is expensive and reliability is very suspect using burned discs in standalone players. FYI.

General: If you save a bit of cash on the CPU, RAM, and optical drive, you could put yourself into 30" monitor territory. I run a 30" Dell and love it. Something to consider.

PhysX: It's more of an afterthought now. Old code, compatibility issues, and not every game is going to support it. I'd pass, but I would love to hear Mad Cow's thoughts on it too.

I'm pretty envious. At the price point you're working with, it's clear you're going to get a sweet rig. Keep us in the loop!

I agree with what Zasada says. The i5-750 rocks as a CPU, and 8 GB of RAM would be more than sufficient. There are some amazing deals on the 5850 right now, as I have seen them in the $180-190 range now vs $260-280 given the new releases. I would pass on PhysX as well. For physics, devs are gonna lean more to CPU's and even stream processors on GPU's. I cannot think of a game out there that uses any significant portion of its CPU power. Makes sense to use a spare core or 2 for it and it probably easier to program for as well.

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The reviews on AMD's new 6870 and 6850 are out and I'm decidedly underwhelmed. While they do come with a few more bells and whistles, I find it hard to justify spending $248 on a 6870 versus $197AR for a 5850 when they have roughly the same performance.

Yep, saw that last night. The 6900 series is apparently where the power is going to be, but there seems no reason to get the 6800 with the 5850 getting so cheap and in many respects, the 5850 is better than the 6850.

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The reviews on AMD's new 6870 and 6850 are out and I'm decidedly underwhelmed. While they do come with a few more bells and whistles, I find it hard to justify spending $248 on a 6870 versus $197AR for a 5850 when they have roughly the same performance.

Yep, saw that last night. The 6900 series is apparently where the power is going to be, but there seems no reason to get the 6800 with the 5850 getting so cheap and in many respects, the 5850 is better than the 6850.
I was just entering the configuration I was working with earlier back into cyberpowerpc.com to see their prices with the new cards. They are offering the 6850 for less than the 5850... $124 less. And the 6870 for $53 less than the 5850. Granted the prices on all three are marked up as you'd expect from a reseller doing the build for you.

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The reviews on AMD's new 6870 and 6850 are out and I'm decidedly underwhelmed. While they do come with a few more bells and whistles, I find it hard to justify spending $248 on a 6870 versus $197AR for a 5850 when they have roughly the same performance.

Yep, saw that last night. The 6900 series is apparently where the power is going to be, but there seems no reason to get the 6800 with the 5850 getting so cheap and in many respects, the 5850 is better than the 6850.
I was just entering the configuration I was working with earlier back into cyberpowerpc.com to see their prices with the new cards. They are offering the 6850 for less than the 5850... $124 less. And the 6870 for $53 less than the 5850. Granted the prices on all three are marked up as you'd expect from a reseller doing the build for you.
If I remember correctly from my browsing last night, even the 6870 has lower specs than the 5850. The 6870 was clocked a bit higher in some ways, but otherwise the 5850 is a superior card. The GTX 460 1 GB offers from very interesting possibilities right now as well. I think the best bang right now is between the 460 and 5850, as well. Some games the 460 is better, but the ones I play, the 5850 is a better choice.

I own the 5850 on my home PC and it is simply amazing. I keep trying to convince myself I NEED a 5850 on my office system, as well, but I got such an amazing deal on the 4890 about 6-8 months ago ($100 after a couple of rebates from TD) that it is just impossible to justify. The 4890 is still a beast.

In this Anandtech article you see the 5850 has more stream processors and texture units, which are a very big deal in GPU's. With there being deals left and right on the 5850 for about $190, I cannot see buying anything else until maybe the 6900 line comes out.

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Came across a good article going over optimizing a Corsair SSD for use as a boot drive. Some things I probably wouldn't have thought of doing.

http://blog.corsair.com/?p=3989

Yep, that is a great guide. I did it for my home system.

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The reviews on AMD's new 6870 and 6850 are out and I'm decidedly underwhelmed. While they do come with a few more bells and whistles, I find it hard to justify spending $248 on a 6870 versus $197AR for a 5850 when they have roughly the same performance.

Yep, saw that last night. The 6900 series is apparently where the power is going to be, but there seems no reason to get the 6800 with the 5850 getting so cheap and in many respects, the 5850 is better than the 6850.
I was just entering the configuration I was working with earlier back into cyberpowerpc.com to see their prices with the new cards. They are offering the 6850 for less than the 5850... $124 less. And the 6870 for $53 less than the 5850. Granted the prices on all three are marked up as you'd expect from a reseller doing the build for you.
If I remember correctly from my browsing last night, even the 6870 has lower specs than the 5850. The 6870 was clocked a bit higher in some ways, but otherwise the 5850 is a superior card. The GTX 460 1 GB offers from very interesting possibilities right now as well. I think the best bang right now is between the 460 and 5850, as well. Some games the 460 is better, but the ones I play, the 5850 is a better choice.

I own the 5850 on my home PC and it is simply amazing. I keep trying to convince myself I NEED a 5850 on my office system, as well, but I got such an amazing deal on the 4890 about 6-8 months ago ($100 after a couple of rebates from TD) that it is just impossible to justify. The 4890 is still a beast.

In this Anandtech article you see the 5850 has more stream processors and texture units, which are a very big deal in GPU's. With there being deals left and right on the 5850 for about $190, I cannot see buying anything else until maybe the 6900 line comes out.

To summarize the Tom's Hardware review... the 6870 has fewer shader processors and texture units, but the core is faster and can push through geometry 25% faster... resulting in similar performance with less power usage (idle power is about 2/3 that of the 5850), and was cheaper to produce. The actual performance tests have the 6870 slightly outperforming the 5850. And of course it adds the option of 3D which the 5850 doesn't have.

It looks to me like price is the deciding factor. In my case I think I'm going to end up going dual 6870 because every builder I've checked who has both cards has the 6870 cheaper by a significant margin.

I think I'm settling in on what I want now. Just trying to get happy with which builder to go with. Cyberpowerpc is the cheapest but they have so many negative reviews I think I've talked into myself into paying a little more and going with someone I trust more.

Edit to add: Just got off the phone with a knowledgeable guy at Origin asking a few motherboard questions. I think I may end up with dual 5850's after all depending on how long it would take them to get the 6870s in stock when I decide to pull the trigger with them.

Edited by GregR

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To summarize the Tom's Hardware review... the 6870 has fewer shader processors and texture units, but the core is faster and can push through geometry 25% faster... resulting in similar performance with less power usage (idle power is about 2/3 that of the 5850), and was cheaper to produce. The actual performance tests have the 6870 slightly outperforming the 5850. And of course it adds the option of 3D which the 5850 doesn't have.

I thought for sure this would be the case. Equal performance, less power. But HardOCP test show they're essentially the same, as do Anandtech tests.

While both sites seem to really like the 6870, they're apparently ignoring that the 5850 can be had for <$200AR. Sure, the 6870 is the card of choice at an equal price point, but not when there's a ~$40 difference between the two.

Regarding the option of 3D. I'm one of the few people that hated Avatar in 3D (blurry, dim, and distracting) so for me 3D isn't a feature.

I'm just about to pull the trigger on a new vidcard for my Lan Party rig, and that 5850 MSI card at NewEgg is the likely victor. I really wanted to buy the 6870, but there's just no good reason to spend the extra cash at this time.

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I own the 5850 on my home PC and it is simply amazing.

When I upgraded my current gaming rig, I was doing it a good 4 months after MC did. But yet I settled on roughly the same config as MC. And I couldn't be happier. The i5 750 rocks and the 5850 takes everything thrown at it. I actually played through Crysis at 2560x1600 for the first time ever and it was great.

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Came across a good article going over optimizing a Corsair SSD for use as a boot drive. Some things I probably wouldn't have thought of doing.

http://blog.corsair.com/?p=3989

Yep, that is a great guide. I did it for my home system.
Bought the 120 gb SSD a while back when everyone went with the Intel 80 gb. I have been soooooo happy with this drive. My PC takes less than 15 seconds to start up from cold and at login to ready to rock is less than 5 seconds. SSDs are :rant: These tips are great too. Thanks for the link.

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Came across a good article going over optimizing a Corsair SSD for use as a boot drive. Some things I probably wouldn't have thought of doing.

http://blog.corsair.com/?p=3989

Yep, that is a great guide. I did it for my home system.
Bought the 120 gb SSD a while back when everyone went with the Intel 80 gb. I have been soooooo happy with this drive. My PC takes less than 15 seconds to start up from cold and at login to ready to rock is less than 5 seconds. SSDs are :lmao: These tips are great too. Thanks for the link.
:)

I really is amazing how it changes the every day use of your PC. No more turning on your PC and then going to make dinner. Turn it on and 30 seconds later you have full use of the desktop. I still firmly believe that once you hit the $1K price point, it is the single most effective upgrade you can make to your system. About a month ago I upgraded my desktop PC to a 128GB Crucial RealSSD (from a 60GB OCZ Vertex, I got tired of having to ration which games I installed on my SSD) and moved the Vertex to my 4 year old laptop. Now the laptop feels like it's brand new.

Edited by Zasada

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Darn it all if this thread didn't get me creating a Newegg wishlist for a new system for my office. :thumbup:

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Figured i'd use this thread since i'm pondering building my own system. Always wanted to this and I figure it would be a cool project to undertake. I don't need a beastly graphics machine but I dont want anything lowend either. Im not sure where to start specing something like this out, ive never built one before so I have no idea. I figure the first thing is picking a CPU, id like something zippy here so what are the benefits or an i7 over an i5?

Then I guess Id need a motherboard, this is where I get confused, what should I look for, any particular manufacturer that's favored? I'd like a board with a few slots to expand in the future and whatnot.

I'm also concerned about cooling, no idea where to even start here as there's a fan for everything. Is a separate fan for the CPU essential? I'm also figuring two fans in the tower itself. But what about GPU fans and power supplies? There's way too many to pick from.

Feel free to grill me here and offer any suggestions.

Edited by Sundays Rule

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Figured i'd use this thread since i'm pondering building my own system. Always wanted to this and I figure it would be a cool project to undertake. I don't need a beastly graphics machine but I dont want anything lowend either. Im not sure where to start specing something like this out, ive never built one before so I have no idea. I figure the first thing is picking a CPU, id like something zippy here so what are the benefits or an i7 over an i5?Then I guess Id need a motherboard, this is where I get confused, what should I look for, any particular manufacturer that's favored? I'd like a board with a few slots to expand in the future and whatnot.I'm also concerned about cooling, no idea where to even start here as there's a fan for everything. Is a separate fan for the CPU essential? I'm also figuring two fans in the tower itself. But what about GPU fans and power supplies? There's way too many to pick from.Feel free to grill me here and offer any suggestions.

You have a budget and games/things you want to do on the rig?FWIW this budget rig is becoming less budget all the time. :lol: Just got my 2nd 5850 to add in Crossfire and am adding 2 more 28" LCD's for Eyefinity goodness. :doh::banned:

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Figure budget of around 800-1,000 as far as PC games, I dont really play them too much. I want the satisfaction of building one I guess.

Just looking at prices on Tiger Direct it seems most of the money is going to go into motherboard and CPU.

Also would like to add that i'd like to find a really dope looking tower.

Edited by Sundays Rule

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Figure budget of around 800-1,000 as far as PC games, I dont really play them too much. I want the satisfaction of building one I guess.

Just looking at prices on Tiger Direct it seems most of the money is going to go into motherboard and CPU.

Also would like to add that i'd like to find a really dope looking tower.

Oh the tower will be no problem. I picked up the Scout for like $50 on a super sale and it looks great. I have it still in the box waiting to be used on my next build. :angry:

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Figure budget of around 800-1,000 as far as PC games, I dont really play them too much. I want the satisfaction of building one I guess.

Just looking at prices on Tiger Direct it seems most of the money is going to go into motherboard and CPU.

Also would like to add that i'd like to find a really dope looking tower.

Oh the tower will be no problem. I picked up the Scout for like $50 on a super sale and it looks great. I have it still in the box waiting to be used on my next build. :unsure:
That looks awesome, any motherboard suggestions?

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I got my 5850 for $174 after MIR from Newegg, pretty awesome deal for an amazing GPU. Having those 2 in Crossfire with 3 28" LCD's in Eyefinity might just cause me to explode in :shrug::unsure:

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For something like the GTX 460, it says minimum wattage requirements is 450. How big a power supply do you need to power all this crap up?

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For something like the GTX 460, it says minimum wattage requirements is 450. How big a power supply do you need to power all this crap up?

I would say 650 is the current minimum.

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I just finished installing my 2nd ATI 5850 on my home computer, as well as upgrading the PSU from an Antec 650 to a Corsair 850 modular. Now that it is up and running, it is sweet indeed. :lmao::unsure:

Just have to get my 2 28"LCD's and I will be :lmao:

Here's a quick troubleshooting quiz for you. After I installed it, connected everything, put it all together and then tried to start it, it did not start. Can anyone guess what might have happened? I did not fry the mobo, the PSU was good, the RAM and CPU were still all connected, and power switch on the PSU was in the right position. Anyone wanna guess what had happened in the change?

Edited by Mad Cow

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So I have a ton of personal cash right now, so I said screw it, I am upgrading. I start looking around for the i5-2500k and BAM! It has all been recalled due to the SATA3 problems. :goodposting:

ETA the CPUs are fine, it is the chipsets on the mobos that are recalled. No delivery until April at the earliest.

Edited by Mad Cow

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Hey MC... you seem like the guy to ask... built my own PC and I've noticed it (for lack of a better word) stutters. Especially playing back videos online, every 20/30 seconds there's a one-second hiccup where it just freezes up, then continues, skipping over the 1 sec. Sometimes playing video back locally. Also noticed that when renaming/deleting/moving files around on the desktop and inside folders (windows 7), it doesn't update itself automatically. Like, I'll be in a folder in Explorer and hit "New Folder", and nothing happens. Right-click, hit "Refresh", there it is. Highlight the name, type in the new folder name, hit enter... nothing happens. Right-click, refresh, there's the new name.

Ever seen something like that? Some setting I forgot to enter right when putting the system together might cause?

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Mad Cow, your next challenge is to build a cheap, quiet, energy efficient rig to be used solely as an HTPC.

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Mad Cow, your next challenge is to build a cheap, quiet, energy efficient rig to be used solely as an HTPC.

:goodposting:

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I just finished installing my 2nd ATI 5850 on my home computer, as well as upgrading the PSU from an Antec 650 to a Corsair 850 modular. Now that it is up and running, it is sweet indeed. :lmao::unsure:

Just have to get my 2 28"LCD's and I will be :lmao:

Here's a quick troubleshooting quiz for you. After I installed it, connected everything, put it all together and then tried to start it, it did not start. Can anyone guess what might have happened? I did not fry the mobo, the PSU was good, the RAM and CPU were still all connected, and power switch on the PSU was in the right position. Anyone wanna guess what had happened in the change?

<script type="text/javascript">mytagid = Math.floor( Math.random() * 100 );document.write("<div style='padding:4px;border:1px solid black;background-color:#FFC9A5;layer-background-color:#FFC9A5;'><div id='"+mytagid+"_closed' style='display:none'>I had pulled off the case to mobo power switch connector on accident </div>

<center>*** SPOILER ALERT! Click this link to display the potential spoiler text in this box. ***</center></div>");document.close();</script>

You forgot to plug it back in.

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Mad Cow, your next challenge is to build a cheap, quiet, energy efficient rig to be used solely as an HTPC.

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

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Mad Cow, your next challenge is to build a cheap, quiet, energy efficient rig to be used solely as an HTPC.

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao:
Okay, since you simply laugh at the challenge, I have done some research. I found this setup from another board. From what I can tell, it's quiet and energy efficient (45W idle, 60W under load), but let's see how cheap it is when we total everything up. With your knowledge of different PC components, feel free to make any suggestions for improvement.

Case: Antec ISK 310-150 Black / Silver w/ 150w PSU $80

Case Fan: SilverStone Suscool 81 w/ Thermal Control X2 $22

Motherboard: ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE $175

- Dual Core AMD Zacate

- AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics

RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB - 1.35V $45

Low Profile Tuner Card: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1250 $45

Boot Drive: A-DATA S596 Turbo AS596TB-32GM-C 2.5" 32GB USB 2.0 & SATAII Internal / External Solid State Drive (SSD) $70

Data Drive: Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9500325AS 500GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive $55

Blu-Ray: LG Black 8X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 6X BD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Super-Multi Combo DriveModel CT21N Open Box $78

Windows Media Player Remote: Rosewill Windows Vista Certified Media center Infrared Remote Control RRC-126 $25

Optional mini keyboard: Logitech diNovo Mini Black 63 Normal Keys Bluetooth Wireless Mini Keyboard $120

Total: $595 +shipping. W/ keyboard, $715.

Add Windows 7 to complete the system.

This was my guide. I had to come up with a few of my own parts, but I think the one's I picked are sufficient (Tuner, SSD drive, 500 gb HD, Remote)

Edited by Dragons

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Can anyone help me out with a gaming rig? Looking for a kit or pieces and parts I can assemble. Need to play BF3 on it. Price around $600.

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Can anyone help me out with a gaming rig? Looking for a kit or pieces and parts I can assemble. Need to play BF3 on it. Price around $600.

What resolution are you needing to run at? Does the $600 need to include OS? Monitor? You bringing anything to the build?

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Hey Mad Cow you are the best1

I have the OS, DVD drive, and monitor. The resolution is a floating point. I want to get it built then have my son buy the video card later with the money is is working and saving for. This would be for BF3, Skyrim, etc.

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Hey Mad Cow you are the best1I have the OS, DVD drive, and monitor. The resolution is a floating point. I want to get it built then have my son buy the video card later with the money is is working and saving for. This would be for BF3, Skyrim, etc.

So do you want the GPU in the budget or not is the question I guess?

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Hey Mad Cow you are the best1I have the OS, DVD drive, and monitor. The resolution is a floating point. I want to get it built then have my son buy the video card later with the money is is working and saving for. This would be for BF3, Skyrim, etc.

So do you want the GPU in the budget or not is the question I guess?
No. But maybe get the guts of it down in the $400 range.

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Check this out. I honestly have not kept up much on pricing/components, though I will probably build a new home rig before year's end. For $500, that is a pretty good starter. You could downgrade that GPU to around $100 to wait for the child to save up on a better one.

Good GPU reference

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Check this out. I honestly have not kept up much on pricing/components, though I will probably build a new home rig before year's end. For $500, that is a pretty good starter. You could downgrade that GPU to around $100 to wait for the child to save up on a better one.

Good GPU reference

What about something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1051258

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Check this out. I honestly have not kept up much on pricing/components, though I will probably build a new home rig before year's end. For $500, that is a pretty good starter. You could downgrade that GPU to around $100 to wait for the child to save up on a better one.

Good GPU reference

What about something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1051258

That depends how you feel about AMD vs Intel I guess.

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So my son (12 yr old) is getting interested in building, so I am going to give him some parts from my work system (Core i5 750, AMD 5850 GPU, etc) for Christmas, let him get a few new parts for Christmas, and then build it with him. Which means I get to get a new system for the office. :excited:

Will update as I fill:

CPU i5-3570 for $215

Mobo Amazing deal on Biostar, Tom's says a great deal at $130, got it for $70 new

RAM 16 GB DDR3-1600 of Corsair Vengeance I had lying around

GPU Bought the XFX Double D 7850 2GB from Newegg for $179 after MIR. Comes with 4 games - Far Cry 3, MOH Warfighter, Dirt3 and Deus Ex HR. NICE!

PSU Corsair HX750 modular for $105

Case I decided to go with something understated and simple

HDD's got 2 platters - 1 2TB, 1 3TB. GB the floods in Asia not hurting HDD's anymore.

Optical Asus $20 dealio

Card reader nice USB 3.0 for $21

Edited by Mad Cow

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Done. Should start building late this week. :)

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So my son (12 yr old) is getting interested in building, so I am going to give him some parts from my work system (Core i5 750, AMD 5850 GPU, etc) for Christmas, let him get a few new parts for Christmas, and then build it with him. Which means I get to get a new system for the office. :excited:

Will update as I fill:

CPU i5-3570 for $215

Mobo Amazing deal on Biostar, Tom's says a great deal at $130, got it for $70 new

RAM 16 GB DDR3-1600 of Corsair Vengeance I had lying around

GPU Bought the XFX Double D 7850 2GB from Newegg for $179 after MIR. Comes with 4 games - Far Cry 3, MOH Warfighter, Dirt3 and Deus Ex HR. NICE!

PSU Corsair HX750 modular for $105

Case I decided to go with something understated and simple

HDD's got 2 platters - 1 2TB, 1 3TB. GB the floods in Asia not hurting HDD's anymore.

Optical Asus $20 dealio

Card reader nice USB 3.0 for $21

Love the case..Looks like that'll be a very nice rig.

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Parts start arriving today. I am hoping the cable management is as good as the home case I last got.

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Loving this new case. It is has cushions for the PSU and other areas to reduce sound, cushions around the HDD screw points for sound and vibration, amazing cable management, and has consolidated fan speed controls/power management. Fantastic!

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So my son (12 yr old) is getting interested in building, so I am going to give him some parts from my work system (Core i5 750, AMD 5850 GPU, etc) for Christmas, let him get a few new parts for Christmas, and then build it with him. Which means I get to get a new system for the office. :excited:

Will update as I fill:

CPU i5-3570 for $215

Mobo Amazing deal on Biostar, Tom's says a great deal at $130, got it for $70 new

RAM 16 GB DDR3-1600 of Corsair Vengeance I had lying around

GPU Bought the XFX Double D 7850 2GB from Newegg for $179 after MIR. Comes with 4 games - Far Cry 3, MOH Warfighter, Dirt3 and Deus Ex HR. NICE!

PSU Corsair HX750 modular for $105

Case I decided to go with something understated and simple

HDD's got 2 platters - 1 2TB, 1 3TB. GB the floods in Asia not hurting HDD's anymore.

Optical Asus $20 dealio

Card reader nice USB 3.0 for $21

VERY similar to the Rig I just finished building.

I5-3570K - $219.99

ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 - $104.99

Corsair HX750 - 119.99 (missed 104.99 price...)

Cooler-Master HAF932 Advanced Blue - $149.99

G-Skillz 2x8GB 1866 - $84.99

Cooler-Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler - $30.99

Samsung 840Pro 256GB SSD - 269.99 (With Free Coupon for Assassin's Creed 3)

Seagate 2TB Green Drive - 104.99

Gigabyte 7870 Ghz Edition (no free games, as I bought from Amazon) - 239.99

Spent around $1300.00 on it, but am loving it so far. Wish I could have had some nice second-hand parts like you did...would have saved me a bit.

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So I got my low profile ready HD 5570 on Thursday, but it didn't come with a low profile bracket. :loco: I haven't been able to find any brackets that are DisplayPort x DVI x VGA, only HDMI x DVI x VGA or brackets with S video openings. The HDMI and DisplayPort connections look similar, anyone know if these brackets would work for a card with DP instead of HDMI?

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