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starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 07:14 PM
I'd like to have a much higher performance computer within my budget and am thinking of building my own from components.

So far I'm, thinking of having something like this.

CPU - Intel i5 6500
Motherboard - ASUS B150 Pro Gaming
RAM - 8 G DDR4 2113
Internal HD - 1T WD drive
Graphics Card- 2G NVidia
Power - 600 Watt Thermaltake

There's a wide variety of cases and soundcards, I haven't figured out yet what I'm going to do there. There are USB sound cards, but I have no idea how good they are. I also figured I'd go a bit less expensive on the RAM and Graphics card now and replace them with more powerful versions later but have the best CPU and motherboard I can afford.

Any advice on the in ands outs of building your own PC, finding the best OS and the best place to source components?

LookingSkyward
2016-Sep-14, 07:19 PM
You might want to consider a SD drive for your OS, with a standard 1T for data

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 07:25 PM
You might want to consider a SD drive for your OS, with a standard 1T for data

I'm not familiar with those is that the same as a Solid State Drive.

LookingSkyward
2016-Sep-14, 07:38 PM
yep, SSD is what I meant to type :) Solid state drive for the OS.

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 07:44 PM
A 1T SSD would kind of blow my budget right now, but a 250G SSD for the OS would be a great supplement for the 1T internal HD.

jamesabrown
2016-Sep-14, 07:48 PM
That's the standard config: SSD for the OS, ordinary large HDD for data. Best of both worlds.

PetersCreek
2016-Sep-14, 08:43 PM
I'd like to have a much higher performance computer within my budget and am thinking of building my own from components.

So far I'm, thinking of having something like this.

CPU - Intel i5 6500
Motherboard - ASUS B150 Pro Gaming
RAM - 8 G DDR4 2113
Internal HD - 1T WD drive
Graphics Card- 2G NVidia
Power - 600 Watt Thermaltake

My last build (https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthread.php?77483-Input-Wanted-Building-My-Next-PC-(Updated)&p=2188499#post2188499) was a couple(ish) years ago but it's still ticking along quite nicely. The only upgrade since then was to replace the Radeon R9 270X graphics card with an nVidia GTX 970. I haven't dug into component specs much since then but what you've got so far sounds pretty good. I agree with LookingSkyward's suggestion to consider an SSD for the OS/program drive. I spec'ed my system with a 500GB Samsung SSD and the performance is very pleasing. Prices have come down so much I've been considering an upgrade to 1TB.


There's a wide variety of cases and soundcards, I haven't figured out yet what I'm going to do there. There are USB sound cards, but I have no idea how good they are.

SOUND: Do you need/desire something more than the sound provided by most motherboards? I haven't felt the need, myself but then I'm not a serious gamer. My Bose PC speakers do sound pretty darn good with the onboard sound. You didn't specify exactly which MB you were looking at but of the ASUS DDR4-compatible (ATX form factor) boards I briefly looked one (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4S844G6325) has Realtek ALC887 8-channel High Definition Audio on board, while another (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132693) has SupremeFX.

CASE: I used to keep case cost under $100 but for my last build, I spent a bit more. I wanted decent cable management with sensible layout that would accommodate sizable a graphics card and CPU fan. I went with the Corsair 550D (http://www.corsair.com/en-us/obsidian-series-550d-mid-tower-quiet-case#) and I've been quiet happy with it. The cable management comes at a cost of a wider case, though. I almost had to butter the thing up to slide it into its niche in the computer desk. Another brand I like is CoolerMaster. My last case was made largely of mesh to promote cooling.


I also figured I'd go a bit less expensive on the RAM and Graphics card now and replace them with more powerful versions later but have the best CPU and motherboard I can afford.

Rather than buy a sound card, I'd go for a graphics card as high in the market sweet spot as I could afford. I've been a fan of MSI's Twin Frozr heat pipe design for some time and at the moment, I favor nVidia cards. You can get one of their GTX 1060 cards in the $200-300 range.


Any advice on the in ands outs of building your own PC, finding the best OS and the best place to source components?

I do most of my business with NewEgg.com but I've also dealt with TigerDirect and sometimes, Amazon. Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/) is a great source of general information. GPUBoss (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjw06GK24_PAhVMdD4KHQ7DASEQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgpuboss.com%2Fcompare-gpus&usg=AFQjCNGCe4mS-ZAaiEsfFz9uPGnRR88Pzg&sig2=qbiKogPDQqadWkEG306EJg&bvm=bv.132479545,d.cWw) let's you compare graphics cards head-to-head.

PetersCreek
2016-Sep-14, 08:46 PM
A 1T SSD would kind of blow my budget right now, but a 250G SSD for the OS would be a great supplement for the 1T internal HD.


That's the standard config: SSD for the OS, ordinary large HDD for data. Best of both worlds.

Yep. Mine is set up that way: 500GB SSD for the OS/program drive, with a 1TB conventional HDD as the primary for data...and a few programs that aren't disk intensive. I also carried over a couple of legacy drives from the old system for semi-archival file storage.

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 10:10 PM
My last build (https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthread.php?77483-Input-Wanted-Building-My-Next-PC-(Updated)&p=2188499#post2188499) was a couple(ish) years ago but it's still ticking along quite nicely. The only upgrade since then was to replace the Radeon R9 270X graphics card with an nVidia GTX 970. I haven't dug into component specs much since then but what you've got so far sounds pretty good. I agree with LookingSkyward's suggestion to consider an SSD for the OS/program drive. I spec'ed my system with a 500GB Samsung SSD and the performance is very pleasing. Prices have come down so much I've been considering an upgrade to 1TB.



SOUND: Do you need/desire something more than the sound provided by most motherboards? I haven't felt the need, myself but then I'm not a serious gamer. My Bose PC speakers do sound pretty darn good with the onboard sound. You didn't specify exactly which MB you were looking at but of the ASUS DDR4-compatible (ATX form factor) boards I briefly looked one (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4S844G6325) has Realtek ALC887 8-channel High Definition Audio on board, while another (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132693) has SupremeFX.

CASE: I used to keep case cost under $100 but for my last build, I spent a bit more. I wanted decent cable management with sensible layout that would accommodate sizable a graphics card and CPU fan. I went with the Corsair 550D (http://www.corsair.com/en-us/obsidian-series-550d-mid-tower-quiet-case#) and I've been quiet happy with it. The cable management comes at a cost of a wider case, though. I almost had to butter the thing up to slide it into its niche in the computer desk. Another brand I like is CoolerMaster. My last case was made largely of mesh to promote cooling.



Rather than buy a sound card, I'd go for a graphics card as high in the market sweet spot as I could afford. I've been a fan of MSI's Twin Frozr heat pipe design for some time and at the moment, I favor nVidia cards. You can get one of their GTX 1060 cards in the $200-300 range.



I do most of my business with NewEgg.com but I've also dealt with TigerDirect and sometimes, Amazon. Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/) is a great source of general information. GPUBoss (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjw06GK24_PAhVMdD4KHQ7DASEQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgpuboss.com%2Fcompare-gpus&usg=AFQjCNGCe4mS-ZAaiEsfFz9uPGnRR88Pzg&sig2=qbiKogPDQqadWkEG306EJg&bvm=bv.132479545,d.cWw) let's you compare graphics cards head-to-head.

This is why I asked here, I didn't realize that motherboards came with their own sound hardware.

I also have to look into sourcing components from the US, I may have to pay customs that would make it cheaper to buy local.

I'd eventually like to put two video cards in my machine, probably Radeons that use crossfire, so I need to get a motherboard that will support that as well. It would be nice to keep all this at under $1,000 Canadian to start with then add as I can.

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 10:13 PM
I do most of my business with NewEgg.com but I've also dealt with TigerDirect and sometimes, Amazon. Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/) is a great source of general information. GPUBoss (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjw06GK24_PAhVMdD4KHQ7DASEQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgpuboss.com%2Fcompare-gpus&usg=AFQjCNGCe4mS-ZAaiEsfFz9uPGnRR88Pzg&sig2=qbiKogPDQqadWkEG306EJg&bvm=bv.132479545,d.cWw) let's you compare graphics cards head-to-head.

Looks like plenty of good information there, I think I've got a bit more research to do before I get this nailed down.

PetersCreek
2016-Sep-14, 10:35 PM
I also have to look into sourcing components from the US, I may have to pay customs that would make it cheaper to buy local.

Both NewEgg and TigerDirect come in dot.ca flavors so it looks like you can avoid that headache. If your locale is anything like Anchorage, local component prices will be dear.


I'd eventually like to put two video cards in my machine, probably Radeons that use crossfire, so I need to get a motherboard that will support that as well. It would be nice to keep all this at under $1,000 Canadian to start with then add as I can.

nVidia SLI is also an option for pairing graphics boards. Radeon and nVidia take turns wearing the performance/price crown so check the comparison and review sites for an option you like. One thing to keep in mind is how soon you're likely to buy the second GPU board. If you put things off for a long time like I did, you may find a mate for the board difficult to find.

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 11:00 PM
Both NewEgg and TigerDirect come in dot.ca flavors so it looks like you can avoid that headache. If your locale is anything like Anchorage, local component prices will be dear.

Exactly what I was looking for thanks.


nVidia SLI is also an option for pairing graphics boards. Radeon and nVidia take turns wearing the performance/price crown so check the comparison and review sites for an option you like. One thing to keep in mind is how soon you're likely to buy the second GPU board. If you put things off for a long time like I did, you may find a mate for the board difficult to find.

Good point, the best idea I guess is to find the two graphics boards I want and buy them at the same time.

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 11:07 PM
Just going through NewEgg.ca the components average about $30 less in cost than local stuff I've looked at so far. I was going to go with 8G DDR4 2133 RAM, but I can get 16G for a few bucks more than what I was looking at.

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-14, 11:10 PM
Feel like a kid in a candy store now.:)

PetersCreek
2016-Sep-14, 11:16 PM
Good point, the best idea I guess is to find the two graphics boards I want and buy them at the same time.

I would consider it, myself. Check out Tom's Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu-hierarchy,4388.html) which shows you card performance levels in relation to each other. Some of the options shown with "X2" are for paired cards. I would do some research on SLI/Crossfire, though. I haven't looked into it thoroughly but I've read a thing or two indicating that it may not work with all games, that two cards generate more heat than an equivalent single card, etc.

PetersCreek
2016-Sep-14, 11:18 PM
Just going through NewEgg.ca the components average about $30 less in cost than local stuff I've looked at so far. I was going to go with 8G DDR4 2133 RAM, but I can get 16G for a few bucks more than what I was looking at.

In case you're not familiar already, you may not reap the benefits of all that RAM unless you have a 64-bit OS...assuming you'll be running Windows.

Nowhere Man
2016-Sep-14, 11:42 PM
Not really relevant, but the thread title made me think of this song. "Do It Yourself (You Can Build A Mainframe From The Things You Find At Home)" by Bill Sutton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R4sBnbp33U) on YouTube.

Fred

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-15, 12:36 AM
In case you're not familiar already, you may not reap the benefits of all that RAM unless you have a 64-bit OS...assuming you'll be running Windows.

I was planning on Windows 10 for an OS which I think has a 64-bit version.

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-24, 06:58 PM
Do CPUs come with their own heat sinks and cooling fans or do you need to buy those separate?

Also is Windows 10 64-bit a good operating system for high performance, or is there something better I could buy?

grapes
2016-Sep-24, 07:52 PM
Not really relevant, but the thread title made me think of this song. "Do It Yourself (You Can Build A Mainframe From The Things You Find At Home)" by Bill Sutton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R4sBnbp33U) on YouTube.

Hahah are there transcribed lyrics somewhere?

PetersCreek
2016-Sep-24, 09:51 PM
Do CPUs come with their own heat sinks and cooling fans or do you need to buy those separate?

Intel CPUs do and I'm running the stock fan on my system. I just haven't gotten around to getting a more bodacious fan yet. I like Zalman fans.


Also is Windows 10 64-bit a good operating system for high performance, or is there something better I could buy?

That's what I run and I've had very few problems, even during and just after the upgrade from Win7 64-bit. I've never been a Linux guy so I can't advise on that or any other alternate OS.

Nowhere Man
2016-Sep-24, 10:34 PM
Hahah are there transcribed lyrics somewhere?

What a silly question. Google do it yourself lyrics bill sutton.

Fred

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-25, 01:09 AM
I'm also thinking of starting with 8GB of DDR4 2133 RAM and adding more later, but a little research seems to indicate that may not work out well. Even RAM with the exact same specs can be slightly different due to manufacturing changes.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ddr-dram-myths,4155.html#p2


DRAM is made up (basically) of memory chips that are soldered to a PCB (printed circuit board), driven by electricity. During the course of a DRAM production run on a given model, the manufacturer might be finishing up a large section of PCB that has been cut to the DIMM size but then might switch to a new PCB from a different production lot, which can result in slightly different properties.

The same can happen with the physical solder; the manufacturer may change to a completely different kind that has ever so slightly different conductivity properties.

Then, there are the dies themselves. When made by the actual chip manufacturer, the chips are "binned" (sorted) according to their quality.

Letís take a closer theoretical look at this concept. A single production lot may result in, say, 1000 memory chips, which are separated or binned. A manufacturer may classify 200 chips as entry-level, and separate 350 chips that are a little better, 300 chips that are even better and 150 chips that are the best. Then, they sell these chips to different manufacturers.

Does this mean that the different RAM blocks won't work well together partly negating the benefit of adding more RAM later?

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-25, 01:15 AM
I think I may go with a single block of cheaper 16GB DDR4 instead of risking adding more RAM later and finding out the two blocks aren't compatible.


Even though you are buying two of the exact same sets, there is no guarantee that they will work together. The DRAM that goes into a package has been tested to work together. Manufacturers donít guarantee mixing or adding one set to another, even when they are the same exact model.

Customers often try this with higher data rate sticks using XMP to set them up. With XMP enabled, the motherboard may read the profile for two sticks of DRAM and set the secondary timings accordingly, but the tRFC timing for two modules may be 226, whereas four sticks require 314. This can be especially hard for most users to troubleshoot/find, as few ever go into the secondary DRAM timings.

edit- or a matched set of two 8GB blocks...so much to learn...

starcanuck64
2016-Sep-25, 04:02 PM
I also wasn't sure what I needed for motherboard expansion slots for things like multiple graphics cards. I thought I might need 2 PCIe X16 slots, one for each card, but it looks like just the first card needs a X16 slot, the second can use a X8 slot.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/motherboard-buying-guide,4596.html


Here, we see some PCIe slots. Top to bottom, they (and their most common usages) are X16 (for graphics cards), X8 (also for graphics cards when more than one is used), and X4 (RAID cards, PCIe SSDs). In addition, even shorter X1 slots are more commonly available, for wireless NICs and port expansion, including USB, SATA, and legacy port types.