Computer build questions - uh oh

Couperin47

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
 
Copup and others -- thanks so much for the help here.  Coup, do you think you could walk me through this process just a little bit more.  I'm kind of confused about how the bio updating works.  Are you saying that once my OS is running, I should use an internet browser to navigate to that link and download everything on the page instead of using the CD?  Or am I downloading that stuff to a thumb drive or something and then accessing it through BIOS?  Sorry for such a basic question.
 
Second, my motherboard manual says that in order to optimize win7, I need to download a "hotfix" from the microsoft website.  I can see it online, but again, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.  Do I just navigate there and download it?  And do I do this before or after I install the new BIOS and MB drivers?
 
1. Inside your BIOS there is an option to "Upgrade the BIOS". If you select it it will scan for any attached devices: usb memory stick, cd/dvd etc and if it finds the upgraded BIOS file, it will offer to upgrade the Bios.
  This doesn't even require you have installed an OS or anything, it works off code built into the motherboard, and while you're inside the BIOS setup, you're working from firmware code, no OS has been loaded at all.
  You can do this without any hard drive or SSD connected.
 
2. Yes, the CD shipped with any mb almost never get changed/upgraded so the drivers and utilities on them are always the initial releases that always get upgraded as real world experience corrects issues etc. You should always go to the mb site and download the latest versions and use them. Don't worry about ASRock's suggestions about Windows 7, after you install it, when you go to update it, it  will do everything necessary, ASRock's suggestions are as out-of-date as everything else that gets packaged with any makers motherboard (and most other computer hardware....everyone needs to get used to the concept that pretty much all the software that is bundled with computer hardware is out-of-date in the box...even before you get the hardware...go to the product site and grab the latest drivers...)
 
The usual order is: First update the BIOS or firmware on hardware you buy (motherboard, video card etc., if possible. Then install your OS. Next connect to the Internet and allow your OS to update and, at the very least, if it's Win 7/8 make sure Windows Defender is turned on and updated so you have minimal AV protection. Then, if you had no other way to already have the updated drivers for your mb, grab them and install them. (Windows without any drivers installed will use generic drivers that let your keyboard/mouse, and video operate...more than enough to get to your mb site. After you install all the specific drivers you will have better video and controls, better control of other inputs, sophisticated audio outputs, better ethernet performance, etc.)
 
Things you can ignore: Many mb include utilities to moderately overclock/ "tune" the mb. If you didn't buy a "k" processor, these are irrelevant. Utilities that say they can speed up booting by setting up quasi-hibernate and other tricks so you can boot back to where you were in 9 seconds. These may turn out to be incompatible with some programs and hardware. I'm old school and prefer stability, I can wait a whole 20 secs every time I reboot, hell on desktops I never hibernate or sleep...period. Utilities that try to help gamers by adding 'tricks' to the standard ethernet driver to "speed things up". Some times these work, and then at best make a tiny difference, often they cause more problems than they solve.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Coup, sorry, can I try to take it step by step and you tell me if I have this right?
 
1) Update BIOS.  Ok, the BIOS that I currently see is 1.40 on my MB.  If I go here, it looks as though 1.60 is the most current version.  http://www.asrock.com/MB/Intel/H97%20Pro4/index.asp?cat=Download&os=BIOS  So, what I'm doing here is, before I install windows, I want to download the most updated one -- 1.60.  Which do I select?  The one that says "instant flash"?  Ok, assuming so, I put this on a thumb drive using a different computer, and then I put the thumb drive in the new computer, go into update bio, and it will find this and download it?
 
2) Update drivers.  So, on this page, I see like 11 different drivers.  http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/H97%20Pro4/?cat=Download&os=Win764  Do I download all of them?  And how and when?  Do I do this using the same technique using a thumb drive before I install the OS, or just through the internet after I have installed window?
 
Sorry, I'm sure you've already said this, but I need the step by step just a bit more.
 

Couperin47

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
Coup, sorry, can I try to take it step by step and you tell me if I have this right?
 
1) Update BIOS.  Ok, the BIOS that I currently see is 1.40 on my MB.  If I go here, it looks as though 1.60 is the most current version.  http://www.asrock.com/MB/Intel/H97%20Pro4/index.asp?cat=Download&os=BIOS  So, what I'm doing here is, before I install windows, I want to download the most updated one -- 1.60.  Which do I select?  The one that says "instant flash"?  Ok, assuming so, I put this on a thumb drive using a different computer, and then I put the thumb drive in the new computer, go into update bio, and it will find this and download it?
 
2) Update drivers.  So, on this page, I see like 11 different drivers.  http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/H97%20Pro4/?cat=Download&os=Win764  Do I download all of them?  And how and when?  Do I do this using the same technique using a thumb drive before I install the OS, or just through the internet after I have installed window?
 
Sorry, I'm sure you've already said this, but I need the step by step just a bit more.
 
1. Correct, inside the BIOS update, it will find the file and install the updated BIOS. Click the red cross link next to the download option and it will show you exactly what you do.....
 
2. Yes, look closely, each of those drivers is named, you want to download them all. Since you clearly have current access to the Net, download them all, load them onto a memory stick, after you have installed an OS, use the file manager, go to these files and run each of them, the Management engine and the INF drivers first would be sensible.
 

allaboutthesox

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I am going to start acquiring the items to build my own gaming rig (thanks Coup for all your early input) and I am very excited about that prospect.  Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be able to report some progress after I study up on the basics.  Thanks for the links to the Newegg video's as well.  Thanks again Coup.
 

Couperin47

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allaboutthesox said:
I am going to start acquiring the items to build my own gaming rig (thanks Coup for all your early input) and I am very excited about that prospect.  Hopefully over the next few weeks I will be able to report some progress after I study up on the basics.  Thanks for the links to the Newegg video's as well.  Thanks again Coup.
 
Suggestion: work backwards: what's you immediate conception of the monitor setup  (how much/ how many ?) and what's your ultimate display setup goal ?, assuming you intend to upgrade over time.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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UPS arrived yesterday with Windows.  Up half the night last night and I'm up and running -- hello from my brand new computer!  Thanks everyone, and especially Coup -- if I can do this, anyone can.  The one rookie mistake I made was not understanding that drivers and other stuff that I was downloading when I was setting up were downloading to my C: drive, which is the SSD that has windows on it.  I'm careful now that any program I download now goes to my HDD, although I notice that some programs do not give you the opportunity to specify path information.  Anyway, here are some pics of the set up.  Again, I can't thank you guys enough.  About $620 for everything but the monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
 

 

 
 

SumnerH

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You want to install all your programs on the SSD so that they'll launch quickly.  Use the hard drive for storing documents/files/etc of your own.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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SumnerH said:
You want to install all your programs on the SSD so that they'll launch quickly.  Use the hard drive for storing documents/files/etc of your own.
Gotcha. I'm selectively putting some stuff there, but it's only 120 GB and already filling up. I probably should have gotten a bigger SSD.
 

SumnerH

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
Gotcha. I'm selectively putting some stuff there, but it's only 120 GB and already filling up. I probably should have gotten a bigger SSD.
In an ideal world you want the executable program on the SSD but if it includes a lot of big video files and other ancillary stuff, that can mostly go on the hard drive.  
 
In the real world that's tough to swing most of the time.
 

Couperin47

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
Gotcha. I'm selectively putting some stuff there, but it's only 120 GB and already filling up. I probably should have gotten a bigger SSD.
 
Microsoft and much of the rest of applications, can't be certain what drives are available and default into saving files in directories like My Documents, My Music, etc all inside directories named after the users inside "Users" on your boot drive. You should change these defaults to directories you create on D: or other drives. Another tip, I always immediately create 5 Dirs on any new drive I label D1, D2 etc. Handy as scratch locations to use to put stuff, then if I were, for example, downloading all the drivers for an ASRock mb, I can then easily rename that dir to "ASRock new drivers" as soon as I'm done...
 
Congrats and enjoy.
 

allaboutthesox

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Couperin47 said:
 
Suggestion: work backwards: what's you immediate conception of the monitor setup  (how much/ how many ?) and what's your ultimate display setup goal ?, assuming you intend to upgrade over time.
 
I do plan to upgrade over time, but the desire is to start ahead of the curve so that the computer I build will be good for a few years.  I only plan on having one monitor at the moment as I am not sure what I would do with two.  Which is somewhat ironic as I use two monitors at my job and have been asking for a third.
 
I went to pcpartpicker.com and my initial build came to about $1600  $2000 minus with the peripherals.  I was actually pretty happy with that considering I was looking at buying online for much more than that and it did not come with a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and new speakers. However, I am fairly certain I have gone overboard a bit on my initial build up and it may be more machine than what I need for the games I play as well.
 
Once I decide on a final set up I will link it here for critique and what not.  Once again Coup, thanks as your input has been fantastic sir.
 
EDIT:  Added monitor, mouse, keyboard, and speakers.
 

allaboutthesox

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Here is a link to a potential build I am looking at:  http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BwF2nQ
 
I didn't want to list everything here as it would eat up a lot of space.  Coup, let me have it, lol.
 
 
CPU:  Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Fan:  CoolerMaster Hyper212 Plus
Motherboard:  ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Graphics:  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card
Memory:  16GB DDR3 1333
Power Supply:  EVGA 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
Sound:  Creative Labs Z PCIe 24-bit 96 KHz Sound Card
Storage:  Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
                Western Digital BLACK SERIES 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
 
Then other smaller miscellaneous items.
 

Couperin47

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Nothing but a few observations:
 
If you're going to Overclock, in general the slowest "K" will get within one or 2 points (4.2 instead of 4.3 or 4.4)  of the fastest "K" model, if you don't get a dud they will match each other...you can save a few bucks there.
 
I've been using nothing but MSI and ASRock mb for builds recently, doing the Fatality model might allow for a bit more overclocking but otherwise, since you're not using the video or even the onboard digital audio, it's a bit of overkill.
 
Something, the lastest OCZ, Crucial, Samsung or Intel will be on sale for $100, get any of them.
 
Newegg has 16 Gb (2x8) from GSkill or Mushkin DDR3 1600 for $100 every week now
 
The WD Black is also a bit overkill and rarely on sale these days. A Boxed (not oem) 7200 rpm Toshiba 3 Tb (WD owns them) is around $90, you'll never notice the difference.
 
The case is more than I like to spend, but it's use of adequate 140 and 200 mm fans will make it quieter and it's damn nice...it also easily fits your video card.
 
Nothing wrong with the EVGA PS, just understand any good Corsair or Antec 750 on a really good sale will do as well...
 
Newegg has a dvd burner from one of the majors for under $15 EVERY week...Samsung, LiteOn, LG hardly matters
 
There are a bewilderting array of GTX970's, pick the one that has the set of outputs you like, they differ mainly on whether the base clock is stock or overclocked and 1 2 or 3 fan setups, not a big fan of the PNY or Zotac offerings...other than that see who Newwegg/Amazon has on sale, though these days they tend to offer game bundles rather than great sale prices.
 
Monitor: I am not a fan of TN monitors, which while faster have really poor color rendition as soon as you get offangle and are inferior for text and most everything else. The better IPS/VA are rated around 5ms (these figures are all pretty fluid) most gamers do not see significant ghosting and overall like living with them better.
 
I've been suggesting the VN248H-P which is a 23.8 1920x1080 with a very narrow bezel for when you add multiples that's only $150 right now and has dual HDMI inputs http://www.newegg.com/Product
/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236335
 
alternatively
 
VS24AH-P is a 24" 1920x1200 much more serious monitor, has HDMI & DVI-D and can be had for $201 at present: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236331
 
I believe either will produce superior images with that video card.
 

allaboutthesox

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Couperin47 said:
Nothing but a few observations:
 
If you're going to Overclock, in general the slowest "K" will get within one or 2 points (4.2 instead of 4.3 or 4.4)  of the fastest "K" model, if you don't get a dud they will match each other...you can save a few bucks there.
 
I've been using nothing but MSI and ASRock mb for builds recently, doing the Fatality model might allow for a bit more overclocking but otherwise, since you're not using the video or even the onboard digital audio, it's a bit of overkill.
 
Something, the lastest OCZ, Crucial, Samsung or Intel will be on sale for $100, get any of them.
 
Newegg has 16 Gb (2x8) from GSkill or Mushkin DDR3 1600 for $100 every week now
 
The WD Black is also a bit overkill and rarely on sale these days. A Boxed (not oem) 7200 rpm Toshiba 3 Tb (WD owns them) is around $90, you'll never notice the difference.
 
The case is more than I like to spend, but it's use of adequate 140 and 200 mm fans will make it quieter and it's damn nice...it also easily fits your video card.
 
Nothing wrong with the EVGA PS, just understand any good Corsair or Antec 750 on a really good sale will do as well...
 
Newegg has a dvd burner from one of the majors for under $15 EVERY week...Samsung, LiteOn, LG hardly matters
 
There are a bewilderting array of GTX970's, pick the one that has the set of outputs you like, they differ mainly on whether the base clock is stock or overclocked and 1 2 or 3 fan setups, not a big fan of the PNY or Zotac offerings...other than that see who Newwegg/Amazon has on sale, though these days they tend to offer game bundles rather than great sale prices.
 
Monitor: I am not a fan of TN monitors, which while faster have really poor color rendition as soon as you get offangle and are inferior for text and most everything else. The better IPS/VA are rated around 5ms (these figures are all pretty fluid) most gamers do not see significant ghosting and overall like living with them better.
 
I've been suggesting the VN248H-P which is a 23.8 1920x1080 with a very narrow bezel for when you add multiples that's only $150 right now and has dual HDMI inputs http://www.newegg.com/Product
/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236335
 
alternatively
 
VS24AH-P is a 24" 1920x1200 much more serious monitor, has HDMI & DVI-D and can be had for $201 at present: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236331
 
I believe either will produce superior images with that video card.
 
I figured I would have went overkill in some spots.  I followed up on your recommendations for the graphics card, memory, power supply, hard drive, and monitor.  I actually found that monitor you linked (Asus VN248H) for about an additional $20 cheaper by using a promo code that doesn't affect the mail in rebate as well.  I will pick up a CD/DVD burner on newegg on the cheap as you have mentioned.  
 
I may drop the sound card as well, but I was leary of that at first because the last time I was looking at computers motherboards were not known for great onboard sound/graphics.  But if the motherboard I am using is just fine, then I may save myself $80.00 and drop the Soundblaster card. 
 

Couperin47

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allaboutthesox said:
 
I figured I would have went overkill in some spots.  I followed up on your recommendations for the graphics card, memory, power supply, hard drive, and monitor.  I actually found that monitor you linked (Asus VN248H) for about an additional $20 cheaper by using a promo code that doesn't affect the mail in rebate as well.  I will pick up a CD/DVD burner on newegg on the cheap as you have mentioned.  
 
I may drop the sound card as well, but I was leary of that at first because the last time I was looking at computers motherboards were not known for great onboard sound/graphics.  But if the motherboard I am using is just fine, then I may save myself $80.00 and drop the Soundblaster card. 
 
Sound cards are becoming passe, onboard sound is much better, hell the mb you have picked (and most of ASRock's current Z or H 97 line) give you TOS digital audio out, and you're not going to get a better signal than that.  What matters is the quality of the speakers used, which brings up the Creartive Labs speakers you mention. All 'computer speakers' tend to be pretty crappy. Eventually if you want 'immersive' sound, you want to feed that digital TOS output to a real receiver (the good news is there's a whole generation of serious 5.1 receivers with TOS inputs but before HDMI switching became popular that are now dumped for pennies on eBay as obsolete) which can then be mated to real speakers to produce wall shattering sound for your intergalactic battles....
 

CoRP

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anyone have any idea how I protect an ethernet cable that plugs into a wall behind a couch?  I've snapped two connectors when the coach has pressed against them.
 

Harry Hooper

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CoRP said:
anyone have any idea how I protect an ethernet cable that plugs into a wall behind a couch?  I've snapped two connectors when the coach has pressed against them.
 
If it is out of sight, just cut a doughnut out of a piece of styrofoam or heavy sponge anjd pass cable end through hole. Tape it in place.
 

allaboutthesox

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I am thinking of changing out the case I have on my parts list for one with more fans.  I figure more circulation of air is not a bad thing at all.  I was looking at some Thermaltake Cases and they seem to offer a lot dust filters and various options for fan configuration.  They also seem to be made of a thin steel, which may offer better support and strength.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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allaboutthesox said:
I am thinking of changing out the case I have on my parts list for one with more fans.  I figure more circulation of air is not a bad thing at all.  I was looking at some Thermaltake Cases and they seem to offer a lot dust filters and various options for fan configuration.  They also seem to be made of a thin steel, which may offer better support and strength.
I looked at about 50 cases and defided the Thermaltake was the best for me. Mine is mid-tower (V31) and it's the only case I've ever had but I really like it. Cable management was simple. The modular design was flexible. The dust covers are good, and it is flexible for fans.
 

tonyandpals

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Couperin47 said:
 
so, evidently you're not an idiot. Congrats and enjoy.
 
Yeah, the case came w/ 7 of those copper spacings (sorry I don't know the term) that go between the case and motherboard.  There were 9 holes on the board, so I had to pick 2 that didn't get them. I was trying to put a screw in one that didn't have one and was wondering why it wouldn't catch. Oops.
 
Happy with the rig so far. Got free AVG running right now while it goes through all the updates.
 
I guess that's a good question. What should I use for virus protection? I've typically just run AVG in the past. 
 

Couperin47

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tonyandpals said:
 
Yeah, the case came w/ 7 of those copper spacings (sorry I don't know the term) that go between the case and motherboard.  There were 9 holes on the board, so I had to pick 2 that didn't get them. I was trying to put a screw in one that didn't have one and was wondering why it wouldn't catch. Oops.
 
Happy with the rig so far. Got free AVG running right now while it goes through all the updates.
 
I guess that's a good question. What should I use for virus protection? I've typically just run AVG in the past. 
 
Everyone has their opinions, most of the totally free options are not highly regarded anymore. I believe in a layered approach (yes many will warn/nag you to never run more than one AV, but if they are low on resources and well behaved, it isn't a problem and shouldn't be). I run ESET NOD32 (their AV that does not include a firewall) which is often on sale at Newegg for under $20/year (and despite their marketing single and multiple box versions, it's insensitive to being installed on even 3 or 4 machines from a single unit serial) and also Webroot SecureAnywhere, which is web based and often on sale at Newegg for under $12 a year. I also have Windows Defender running, which is pretty much useless. ESET and Webroot sorta alternate on which notices any malware first. The important part is I go to some very dangerous locations and have never had an issue. These days running some version of AdBlock is also often necessary to avoid being fed malware from poisoned ad servers...
 

allaboutthesox

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
I looked at about 50 cases and defided the Thermaltake was the best for me. Mine is mid-tower (V31) and it's the only case I've ever had but I really like it. Cable management was simple. The modular design was flexible. The dust covers are good, and it is flexible for fans.
 
I was looking at the Thermaltake Chaser MK I (Full ATX tower).  I think I am going to go with that one as well.  I just don't see how having more fans and filters are a bad thing.  Now I am checking Newegg everday looking for a good monitor on sale.  I think once I find one, I will pull the trigger and buy all the items at once.
 

Nick Kaufman

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I am a big fan of Lian Li cases because I find them elegant and they re built with aluminum which makes them a bit more upscale and lightweight.

Take also a look at Fractal Design and Corsair.
 
But know first what size you want: Mid-Tower or Full Tower.
 

allaboutthesox

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Nick Kaufman said:
I am a big fan of Lian Li cases because I find them elegant and they re built with aluminum which makes them a bit more upscale and lightweight.
Take also a look at Fractal Design and Corsair.
 
But know first what size you want: Mid-Tower or Full Tower.
 
I am going full size and I did take a look at the Corsair cases, but not the Fractal Design.  I will take a look tonight at them as well.  I did see some fairly good write ups on the Lian Li cases, but they seemed to be a bit more expensive as well. Since this is my first build I am not sure how much resources I should put into a case.  I appreciate everyone's advice and recommendations.
 

SumnerH

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I love my Fractal Design case, but there are tons of good options. Good cases have improved dramatically in the last 10 years.
 

Couperin47

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allaboutthesox said:
 
I am going full size and I did take a look at the Corsair cases, but not the Fractal Design.  I will take a look tonight at them as well.  I did see some fairly good write ups on the Lian Li cases, but they seemed to be a bit more expensive as well. Since this is my first build I am not sure how much resources I should put into a case.  I appreciate everyone's advice and recommendations.
 
Lian Li is the BMW of the case world, everything they do is all aluminum, ironically they are generally so overbuilt that they are still heavier than most steel/plastic cases. They are virtually never on sale. Though tempted, I always wind up spending the cash on what's inside...ymmv
 

jayhoz

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I am waiting for a deal to pop up on a 3TB internal SATA drive.  It will be part of my flexRAID setup and to date I have limited my search to WD Red drives.  Are there other drives I should be looking at that can handle the demands of a RAID setup?
 

Harry Hooper

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jayhoz said:
I am waiting for a deal to pop up on a 3TB internal SATA drive.  It will be part of my flexRAID setup and to date I have limited my search to WD Red drives.  Are there other drives I should be looking at that can handle the demands of a RAID setup?
 
WD Red 3TB was $90 at TigerDirect the other day, probably not true now, though. They are $99.99 at Best Buy. If you snag a "Change of Address" kit from a post office, there's a 10% off coupon for Best Buy inside.
 

Couperin47

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jayhoz said:
I am waiting for a deal to pop up on a 3TB internal SATA drive.  It will be part of my flexRAID setup and to date I have limited my search to WD Red drives.  Are there other drives I should be looking at that can handle the demands of a RAID setup?
 
You need to check the reviews at Newegg for these here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236344. I favor WD drives but the % of problems is not encouraging. One possibility: Newegg oem drives all seem to have much worse reviews than the retail boxed versions of the same drive. Newegg, after all these years, still does not handle, pack or ship with the care one should expect.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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I need a new desktop to be used primarily for photo and video editing. I have never built my own computer and after reading this thread I am not likely to start with this build. I work near a Micro Center and have been getting email blasts about their service to custom build a computer with the caveat that all components must be purchased from them. 
 
Is anyone familiar with this program? I'm most concerned about the quality of their work and of the components. Secondarily (but still important) about the total cost. Before I speak with them directly, I thought I would solicit unbiased expert opinions here.
 
 

Couperin47

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leftfieldlegacy said:
I need a new desktop to be used primarily for photo and video editing. I have never built my own computer and after reading this thread I am not likely to start with this build. I work near a Micro Center and have been getting email blasts about their service to custom build a computer with the caveat that all components must be purchased from them. 
 
Is anyone familiar with this program? I'm most concerned about the quality of their work and of the components. Secondarily (but still important) about the total cost. Before I speak with them directly, I thought I would solicit unbiased expert opinions here.
 
 
I'm guessing no one is replying because most of us don't live close enough to one of the few Micro Center stores to have actual experience (what do they charge for this service ?) Meanwhile, may I ask exactly what in this thread has discouraged you from attempting a build ? The whole point of the thread and the results so far for all participants is to encourage and support building.
 

SuperManny

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Couperin47 said:
 
I'm guessing no one is replying because most of us don't live close enough to one of the few Micro Center stores to have actual experience (what do they charge for this service ?) Meanwhile, may I ask exactly what in this thread has discouraged you from attempting a build ? The whole point of the thread and the results so far for all participants is to encourage and support building.
 
I checked the website and it looks like it is $130 for them to build it for you.
 

Couperin47

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SuperManny said:
 
I checked the website and it looks like it is $130 for them to build it for you.
 
As far as LF's concern as to quality, unlike the average local mom & pop computer store (a vanishing breed), Micro Center carries a full range of products, it's easy to spec a very high quality box restricting yourself to their available hardware...you just can't pick and choose the best prices on each component.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Jul 31, 2005
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Couperin47 said:
 
I'm guessing no one is replying because most of us don't live close enough to one of the few Micro Center stores to have actual experience (what do they charge for this service ?) Meanwhile, may I ask exactly what in this thread has discouraged you from attempting a build ? The whole point of the thread and the results so far for all participants is to encourage and support building.
I'm just not a do it yourself guy for almost any kind of project. The funny thing is that my father was a genius with his hands. His first order of business whenever he had to assemble or build something was to toss aside the directions and proceed to build it "the right way".  That gene skipped a generation.
 
For me this thread is a chance to educate myself about the different components so I can understand what goes into a quality build. When I saw the Micro Center ad for a custom build it seemed like the most sensible way for me to get exactly what I want for my photo editing and not have to settle for a lot of inferior components from a big retailer.  
 

HriniakPosterChild

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leftfieldlegacy said:
I'm just not a do it yourself guy for almost any kind of project. The funny thing is that my father was a genius with his hands. His first order of business whenever he had to assemble or build something was to toss aside the directions and proceed to build it "the right way".  That gene skipped a generation.
 
Will your kid build one for you?
 

Harry Hooper

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leftfieldlegacy said:
I'm just not a do it yourself guy for almost any kind of project. The funny thing is that my father was a genius with his hands. His first order of business whenever he had to assemble or build something was to toss aside the directions and proceed to build it "the right way".  That gene skipped a generation.
 
For me this thread is a chance to educate myself about the different components so I can understand what goes into a quality build. When I saw the Micro Center ad for a custom build it seemed like the most sensible way for me to get exactly what I want for my photo editing and not have to settle for a lot of inferior components from a big retailer.  
 
 
Check out these guys to do a custom build for you.
 

Couperin47

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Harry Hooper said:
 
 
Check out these guys to do a custom build for you.
 
Sorry  Actually they don't do custom builds at all, they have a very limited set of prebuilt machines and they allow you to add a few options, their desktop selection is rather pathetic (currently they have exactly one Z87 motherboard option and NO Z97 options). They are just like the average local mom & pop operation: we have a very limited selection of slightly obsolete components and we build everything using them to clear out our stock. Unimpressed.
 

Harry Hooper

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Couperin47 said:
 
 Unimpressed.
 
 
Wow, what a shock!
 
 
I haven't made a purchase there in a couple of years, but they always had an extensive line of components available, and even incorporated some items I already had into a couple of builds. Can't get more custom than that. YMMV
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Recommended components from Micro Center.
 
I ran it through PC part picker and there were no issues with compatibility. 
 
Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz LGA 1150: $199.99


ASUS Z97-AR ATX LGA 1150: $99.99


MS OEM WIN 8.1 64 BIT ENG 1 PK DVD: $99.99


LG GH24NSC0B 24x Internal DVD Rewritable SATA Drive $14.99


Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit
(Two 8GB Memory Modules): $ 114.99


CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES 300R CASE:$69.99


WD Desktop Mainstream Blue 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive: $49.99


Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive (SSD): $59.99


Corsair CX Series CX600M 600 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply: $74.99

 
Are there any obvious problems with this list? Or suggestions for upgrades / downgrades?
 
This desktop will be primarily for photo edits (no gaming). I also need to get some older home video into some kind of a movie format. But once that is done there will not be much more video editing or storage.  
 
Would I need a video card? The salesman "knowledge advisor" said I would but I don't see it in the quote.
 

Couperin47

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leftfieldlegacy said:
Recommended components from Micro Center.
 
I ran it through PC part picker and there were no issues with compatibility. 
 
Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz LGA 1150: $199.99
ASUS Z97-AR ATX LGA 1150: $99.99
MS OEM WIN 8.1 64 BIT ENG 1 PK DVD: $99.99
LG GH24NSC0B 24x Internal DVD Rewritable SATA Drive $14.99
Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit
(Two 8GB Memory Modules): $ 114.99
CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES 300R CASE:$69.99
WD Desktop Mainstream Blue 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive: $49.99
Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive (SSD): $59.99
Corsair CX Series CX600M 600 Watt ATX Modular Power Supply: $74.99
 
Are there any obvious problems with this list? Or suggestions for upgrades / downgrades?
 
This desktop will be primarily for photo edits (no gaming). I also need to get some older home video into some kind of a movie format. But once that is done there will not be much more video editing or storage.  
 
Would I need a video card? The salesman "knowledge advisor" said I would but I don't see it in the quote.
 
Comments:

4690K - Unless this is on sale and same price as the "nonK" version, since I don't believe you have any intention of overclocking, the 4690 should be $20 cheaper and run exactly the same.

All Z97 motherboards are fairly similar, but this only offers HDMI and Displayport video out. They are correct btw the video is built into the cpu and provided by the motherboard, you didn't tell us exactly what video and photo editing and what monitor or monitors you have or expect to use. Displayport is only available on about half current monitors and never on older ones. A Z97 motherboard with DVI and HDMI is likely to be more compatible with multiple monitors if you're planning on using what you have. If not understand quality 23.8/24" good IPS monitors can easily be had for $120/130, a pair of them makes for a very sweet setup and most of these will have HDMI and DVI, Displayport is rare at those prices.

The Intel 4400/4600 graphics in the cpu should be more than good enough for your limited editing. The motherboard outputs can drive 2 or even 3 monitors, as long as their inputs match what the motherboard provides.

The DVD drive is within $2 of the best sales and fine.

The Crucial memory is fine and maybe $9 more than the best sale I've seen.

The case is fine.

You are going to be dealing with large files. I'd suggest a 2 or 3 Tb hard drive, I just bought the Toshiba 3 Tb 7200 rpm  (they are owned by WD btw) for $94 and it has a 3 yr warranty, the WD blues only have 2. Micro carries this drive for $105 which is, btw, exactly what Newegg charges when not on sale. Their 2 Tb version is only $70 if you think 3 Tb is overkill.

Kingston SSD are cheap and crap. You want Crucial, Intel, OCZ or Samsung, you also want a 240 drive because when a file is too big to fit in ram, having your virtual ram on the SSD will speed things up immensely. One of these should be available for $110 or less, on sale each of these is on sale for around $95 every week somewhere. Looking at Micro online right now they have the OCZ Arc 100 240 GB for $90 and the Crucial MX100 256 Gb for $110.

Unless you intend to add a serious video card, any 500w Corsair, Antec  are more than enough. so the CX500 would be fine and the "non M" version is not modular but your case is going to be empty anyway...

The prices for most of this is a few bucks above the best sales and entirely reasonable.  Since you haven't mentioned a monitor I assume you have something ? What is it ?
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Jul 31, 2005
887
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Couperin47 said:
 
Comments:

4690K - Unless this is on sale and same price as the "nonK" version, since I don't believe you have any intention of overclocking, the 4690 should be $20 cheaper and run exactly the same.

All Z97 motherboards are fairly similar, but this only offers HDMI and Displayport video out. They are correct btw the video is built into the cpu and provided by the motherboard, you didn't tell us exactly what video and photo editing and what monitor or monitors you have or expect to use. Displayport is only available on about half current monitors and never on older ones. A Z97 motherboard with DVI and HDMI is likely to be more compatible with multiple monitors if you're planning on using what you have. If not understand quality 23.8/24" good IPS monitors can easily be had for $120/130, a pair of them makes for a very sweet setup and most of these will have HDMI and DVI, Displayport is rare at those prices.

The Intel 4400/4600 graphics in the cpu should be more than good enough for your limited editing. The motherboard outputs can drive 2 or even 3 monitors, as long as their inputs match what the motherboard provides.

The DVD drive is within $2 of the best sales and fine.

The Crucial memory is fine and maybe $9 more than the best sale I've seen.

The case is fine.

You are going to be dealing with large files. I'd suggest a 2 or 3 Tb hard drive, I just bought the Toshiba 3 Tb 7200 rpm  (they are owned by WD btw) for $94 and it has a 3 yr warranty, the WD blues only have 2. Micro carries this drive for $105 which is, btw, exactly what Newegg charges when not on sale. Their 2 Tb version is only $70 if you think 3 Tb is overkill.

Kingston SSD are cheap and crap. You want Crucial, Intel, OCZ or Samsung, you also want a 240 drive because when a file is too big to fit in ram, having your virtual ram on the SSD will speed things up immensely. One of these should be available for $110 or less, on sale each of these is on sale for around $95 every week somewhere. Looking at Micro online right now they have the OCZ Arc 100 240 GB for $90 and the Crucial MX100 256 Gb for $110.

Unless you intend to add a serious video card, any 500w Corsair, Antec  are more than enough. so the CX500 would be fine and the "non M" version is not modular but your case is going to be empty anyway...

The prices for most of this is a few bucks above the best sales and entirely reasonable.  Since you haven't mentioned a monitor I assume you have something ? What is it ?
Thanks for taking the time to respond.
 
I will probably be using one of PS/LR for editing photos. 
 
I don't see a price on the 4690 non K version on the Micro Center site. I can check that tomorrow. (The k version that they quoted at $199.99 is on sale from $259.99 and currently on Amazon for $224).  
There is a 4590 (3.3GHz) version for $40 less@ $159.99. Not sure if that would be adequate. If there would be no discernible difference for my needs, I would rather roll that money into bigger/better storage.
 
Just wondering if there is any need to even consider i7?  The price jump is significant and I'm not sure necessary. 
 
I was going to broach the monitor subject separately, because I need to understand the video out options better than I do now, but definitely can say I will be using a new monitor(s).
 
I think the 3TB would be more appropriate. I will adjust that and switch the SSD from Kingston to one of the others.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Well, it was so easy, we decided to build a second computer for my son. We were a little more restricted, both in budget and space. So we decided to put together a good start on a gaming box that he can add on to as he earns allowance, gets gifts, and so on.

Processor: Pentium unlocked g3258. $60
Mobo: EVGA refurb Z87 stinger micro. $60 something
Case: thermaltake V1. $37 (with MIR)
Memory: We just set the filter on partspicker and grabbed 2x4 when it dropped to $50 or so. G. Skills
Power supply: CX430. We will need to upgrade when he gets his video card, but it was only $19 with an MIR.
SSD: Again, used the filter for the first decent brand under $80 for 250GB to come along. Ended up paying a few bucks more when the Samsung 850 with 5 year warranty went on sale.

Started with a $300 budget for the box and ended up at $308, plus $10 for two fans and an extra sata cable.

Planned upgrades when he can afford it are a video card and upgraded power supply. The idea also was maybe to upgrade to an unlocked i5 eventually, but frankly this little g3258 is pretty kick ass for a cheap cpu. It overclocks pretty easily and stays stable using the EVGA mobo software, and seems to stay reasonably cool with the stock intel cooler. We will probably eventually need a cooler.

With only two builds under my belt I'm an unabashed thermaltake fanboy. The v1 is really well designed for a mini, with interchangable panels, good air flow, and even enough clearance for a standing cpu cooler. The EVGA is really solid in feel -- much more so than the Asrock, but the bios interface is much less intuitive. The overclocking interface is fine, but a bit overcomplicated. They really cram a lot of features on the mini board, and it was pretty straightforward to put together, although the Asrock manual, support and website downloads are far superior. One neat feature on the EVGA is an LED display that gives troubleshooting codes, which is a nice feature for a novice like me. When it wouldn't turn on, the code showed "no memory," so I knew to seat the memory sticks a little better. If we had more budget room, I probably would have pushed for Asrock, but this MB, refurbished through newegg, was over $40 less than any other 1150 "z" board we saw in a mini form factor.