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Old 01-04-2015, 12:46 PM   #1
tom66
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Default Validate my build

I'm building a new PC to replace my ageing 7 year old gaming PC which really struggles. I got it a GTX 650 for Xmas, but that can't make up for an 8 year old processor and 7 year old motherboard.

I'll carry over my GTX 650, 500GB + 1500GB HDDs, and my two old 120GB SSDs. Everything else will be new. I may get a smaller 64GB SSD for speed as well, some newer ones can be faster than my old OCZ SSDs.

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460
I don't need overclocking capability right now, but for 30 extra is it worth getting the model with the unlocked multiplier? It's already quite fast.

MB: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H
Has triple SLI support should I wish to go this way, will only use one for now. Tried to find one with no onboard graphics but seems that it's standard these days. USB 3 is not critical but nice to have I suppose.

RAM: 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 (Kingston KVR13N9K2/16)
I weighed up getting 1600MHz DDR3 but I'm not sure I'd benefit. Comes as 2 x 8GB allowing me to go up to 32GB in the future. Have considered a 10GB or 12GB setup, but the cost savings are minimal compared to the performance benefits.

PSU: Seasonic SS-620GM2 (620W)
Chosen primarily because of the use of NCC and teardown photos look ok, group regulated though so not sure if I should spend a little more and get a DC/DC based one. From the load regulation curves it looks good. Maybe I should go up to the next step and get one capable of running 2 x GTX650.

I'm likely to use the stock cooler unless I decide to overclock it.

Budget is about 500 (~$800 US), this comes to about 430

Anyone see any major issues with this or changes they could recommend...?

Last edited by tom66; 01-04-2015 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Validate my build

That motherboard supports memory faster than 1600Mhz, so maybe look at getting faster memory, other than that it seems ok. I only build PCs with Gigabyte motherboards so a good choice there and the CPU isn't to bad either.
If you are running SLI you will need identical graphics cards, or you can mix and match graphics cards to run multiple monitors.
I can't comment on the PSU, i should perhaps care more about what i stick in the PCs i have built but i don't particularly (usually a medium priced one.)

Attached memory compatibility list.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf mb_memory_ga-z87x-ud4h.pdf (41.9 KB, 5 views)
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Validate my build

I can't help with the validation since I don't buy new PCs. I just use what people discard.

However, I can make some buying tips.

If you are buying, see if your credit card or cards provide any price protection or extended warranty for free.

My card provides (at no cost to me)

- When you use your credit card to buy a new item in Canada that is offered for sale at a lower price within 60 days of purchase, Price Protection Service pays you the difference up to $100 per item and $500 per calendar year.

- When you use your credit card to purchase most personal items (and the full cost of the item is charged to your card), Extended Warranty coverage automatically doubles the original manufacturer's warranty for up to two years.

If you know when Intel is releasing a new CPU, they, in the past, have lowered the price of existing CPUs. So that is why the above 60 day lower price protection service is useful.
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Validate my build

Maybe a Samsung Evo as your replacement SSD, or
http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computi...00705-pdt.html if you are on a budget. It uses a Barefoot controller instead of the crappy unreliable Sandforce that they used in the past Vertex series.

Last edited by diif; 01-04-2015 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Validate my build

@rc, I don't yet have a credit card. I've managed to remain out of debt (ignoring my student loan, heh) for my financial life so far... But I've been thinking of getting one for the protection they offer, if I pay it off within each month it will still work for me at minimal borrowing cost.

@diif, and others, what is the main benefit to much faster RAM? Would I notice 1333MHz vs 1600MHz more than, say, the 30 upgrade to the unlocked CPU, allowing me to go from 3.2 to 3.9GHz? The price between 1333/1600 and locked/unlocked is about the same. I haven't considered going beyond 1600 to be honest because I am not building the machine for absolute performance, I just want a solid PC for gaming and engineering work.

Regarding SSDs, I absolutely refuse to use any SSD using TLC technology. I will use MLC where necessary, but prefer SLC. I've been doing some testing on TLC memory at work, the cycle life is terrible, in a typical 50C device temperature we're seeing sub 1,000 P/E cycles. And they still want to ship the device with this!

240GB for 65, what's the catch, that's amazing!? I was looking at the same for 64GB...

Forgot to mention, but I will probably end up dual-booting Ubuntu and Win7 on this PC, so compatibility with Ubuntu is a must. Will be also used for engineering/CAD/simulation/programming, and when running Ubuntu I usually use a Windows VM too for Windows software, so extra RAM is always useful; I'd rather pay more for GB than MHz...
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Last edited by tom66; 01-04-2015 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Validate my build

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom66 View Post
CPU: Intel Core i5-4460
I don't need overclocking capability right now, but for 30 extra is it worth getting the model with the unlocked multiplier? .
I think not. It's fast enough that the CPU won't be the bottleneck. If you really want to spend more get the next CPU up with the higher base clock rate and the same amount of cache (i5-4590 is 3% faster than i5-4460 but costs 5% more: about $10 at newegg; turbo increase is about 8%).

Quote:
MB: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H
Has triple SLI support should I wish to go this way, will only use one for now. Tried to find one with no onboard graphics but seems that it's standard these days. USB 3 is not critical but nice to have I suppose.
Onboard graphics are actually integrated into the CPU (except for final output circuits). I consider USB3 a "must have" on new systems because backups to external storage go much faster (this may not matter to you if you use the box for gaming only).

Quote:
RAM: 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 (Kingston KVR13N9K2/16)
I weighed up getting 1600MHz DDR3 but I'm not sure I'd benefit. Comes as 2 x 8GB allowing me to go up to 32GB in the future.
Sounds OK to me. I doubt you'll be RAM bound. See link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWgzA2C61z4

Last edited by Uniballer; 01-04-2015 at 04:54 PM..
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Validate my build

I'd personally go with the faster memory over the bigger CPU.
Which TLC SSDs have you been testing ? The ARC 100 and Samsung Evo 840 are both MLC.
I fitted over 200 SSDs from various manufacturers at my last place. Apart from the crappy OCZ Petrols that nearly all failed due to a manufacturing fault i saw very few failures. The ones that failed were Kingston v100 and a couple of Crucial.

The only thing to add is whilst a failing hard drive usually gives an audible warning when it's on it's way out, SSDs don't. They usually are either working or not. Ensure you have a backup of your main drive.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Validate my build

What we noticed on our memory tests is when the device failed, it became read only. No new data could be written but existing data could be read out with the exception of the last bad page which triggered the read only condition. I haven't used or looked at any TLC SSDs, I was just making the point of avoiding them. I'm not sure if any OEM is yet using TLC in an SSD application.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Validate my build

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom66 View Post
@rc, I don't yet have a credit card. I've managed to remain out of debt (ignoring my student loan, heh) for my financial life so far...
Remaining out of debt is a discipline that can serve you well over your financial lifetime.

Quote:
But I've been thinking of getting one for the protection they offer, if I pay it off within each month it will still work for me at minimal borrowing cost.
Credit cards are only good if and only if you can pay off the entire full amount each month. If you just pay the minimum, the interest rates are astronomical (like 20% or more).

You will also find that once you start a career job, you will likely require a credit card to book flights, hotel, etc.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Validate my build

Do get faster memory. 1333MHz DDR3 is so 2010. I'd get 1600MHz RAM at least.

Stick with regular "value" type memory, heatspreaders on RAM are just a gimmick, and sometimes they even block large CPU coolers and you'll have to take them off (and void your warranty). Besides, if you really *do* need heatspreaders, you can buy them separately.

Other than that, it's looking ok. If you intend to keep this system for 5 or more years, you will most definitely need to overclock in a couple years or so. But CPU prices constantly drop, so no point paying extra for an unlocked multiplier if you do not need it now.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Validate my build

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I'm likely to use the stock cooler unless I decide to overclock it.
sues with this or changes they could recommend...?
DO NOT use the stock i5 cooler. It's pancake thin and doesn't dissipate enough heat under full load. The one and only time I sold a Haswell i5 system a few months ago, the customer gave me the ok to go all out on it, so I got him a $90 Noctua heatsink fan. I'm really glad I did, because chip was easily in the mid 50s under full load testing.

What is your current system by the way?
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Validate my build

I always use the stock cooler but wipe the crap off and go a full arctic silver, that usually helps. I3's and 5's usually run pretty hot, they're designed to stand a bit of heat. I3's are pointless what cooler you use cause they use paste and not solderless flux under the metal cover. One way to fix it is using a heat gun and prying that cover off, and putting the cooler directly on the die. You void your warranty but you can overclock the shit out of an i3 with a cooler directly touching the die, even the stock cooler

I ALWAYS use 1600, even if its a 1333 fsb processor, cause it boosts the memory timing to a CAS7 profile
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: Validate my build

The new Haswells run a little warmer than the Ivy Bridge but mid 50s full load is good.
I've built 200+ intel Pcs in the last couple of years from Pentiums to beastly i7s, they all use the stock heatsink and fan, not a single problem with heat.

Compare the prices between Scan and Ebuyer and check Scan for their "today only" prices.

Using a credit card to purchase then paying off every month is a good way to use their purchase protection without incurring any costs, it builds up your credit score and limit for the future.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:54 AM   #14
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Default Re: Validate my build

The cpu is ok. Overclocking shouldn't be something important as it will not give you a lot more performance in games, with a 650. For 3d rendering, video rendering and so on overclocking isn't recommended by most people. It might cause some small internal errors, which you might not notice in games, but are a huge deal when rendering video or 3d animation. The video card is good for it's price. The 1333MHz ram is going perform about a little bit faster than DDR2 800MHz ram. And why do you need 16GB of ram? 8GB 1600MHz should be enough for modern games. If you do a lot of multitasking like rendering video, having 1000 open browser tabs and playing a game, then yes the 16GB are needed. SLI doesn't have a good price to performance ratio, but if you get a cheap faulty card and fix it or a second hand card it might be a good idea to get a SLI compatible motherboard. The PSU seems reliable. I haven't used a seasonic on one of my main builds, but I haven't seen any with problems other than bad caps, but after 7-10 years most PSU caps go bad anyways.

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Old 01-05-2015, 02:57 PM   #15
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Default Re: Validate my build

I would get 16GB for future proofing. My main computer had 8GB RAM 5 years ago. Although, you can always get 8GB now and another 8GB next year, as with the introduction of DDR4 now, DDR3 prices are going to drop as well.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Validate my build

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The new Haswells run a little warmer than the Ivy Bridge but mid 50s full load is good.
Mid-50s under full load with the Noctua cooler... With the stock cooler, I read reports of 80C+ under load, that's why I splurged on the cooler. $25 coolers are also fine, but it's not right that Intel is including these coolers on $200 CPUs. On Pentiums or even i3 I understand.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Validate my build

Since I do a lot of CAD work and simulation, 16GB is a good idea I think. It will also allow me to comfortably have zero swap partition on both OSes. My gaming is less important than CAD.

What does everyone think of the AMD FX-8350? I was looking at performance benchmarks and it achieves a CPU Mark of 9,006 compared to 6,717. So I am considering swapping out MB & CPU.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...60+%40+3.20GHz
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...350+Eight-Core

The price is about the same (125~130 each) but the AMD does suck considerably more power. Motherboards are also cheaper, but the only Gigabyte one offers 2 x USB3 ports (+ 2 x external case USB3.) I was considering MSI, but the same problem applies.

I would use a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard with the AMD, if I go that route.

Last edited by tom66; 01-05-2015 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:52 PM   #18
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What does everyone think of the AMD FX-8350? I was looking at performance benchmarks and it achieves a CPU Mark of 9,006 compared to 6,717. So I am considering swapping out MB & CPU.
I think Evil Lurker summed up the new AMD CPUs pretty well in a post from a few years back:

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Old 01-05-2015, 04:12 PM   #19
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Yeah, they use a lot of power. FX-8350 is about 2.5x as much compared to the i5. But that's not a major concern. In my current dwelling I'm not billed for my electricity usage. (Just a flat rate.) It also has a higher benchmark score and costs 10 less, motherboards are cheaper too. Are there any good reasons, ignoring power consumption, for avoiding the AMD chip?

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Old 01-05-2015, 04:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Validate my build

The FX-8350 is pretty fast if you can keep all 8 cores busy. But there are an awful lot of things that people run that really need good single core performance, and the current AMD CPUs don't match up to the Intel CPUs on that kind of load.

FX-8350 has about 2/3 the single thread performance of an i5-3570.
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