Date: 25 September 20, 02:14 AM
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scuzzy


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I will probably build one last computer for our household, possibly next year. With the direction that computing is heading, along with our changing needs, it's likely that a laptop (or an ultrabook) will be all we need going forward. My intent is to build a premium system for myself, with carefully selected parts along the way.

I figure I'd start this venture by slowly creating a wish list of items. After reading some reviews, I am thinking of going with Noctua CPU coolers. Although expensive compared to others, their coolers are obviously top notch and seem to be worth the extra $$$. Take a look here for some of their offerings. KitGuru.net has a nice review of a Noctua NH-L12 low profile CPU cooler.

This is obviously just the start. In time, I'll consider the case, CPU, RAM, PSU, etc. I'm sure there will be plenty of tweaks along the way.

As for an OS, I doubt I'll look past Windows 7.

If you have your own ideas of a premium system and/or parts, feel free to share. My ultimate goal is a high performance system that doesn't sound like a jet, while attempting to maintain some resemblance of "bang for the buck".

Bill


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Given the rate of technology change, this is a tall order.  What's top-flight today is 'old' 3 months later.  Personally, I'd start with a Cray!

Bill
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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You're right, Bill. That's part of the reason there's no hurry. But I figure I can pick out some items along the way, while remaining flexible enough to make needed adjustments. As I get closer to the build I'll start carefully considering the CPU, RAM, video card, etc. My intent is to get the latest technology available, not necessarily the fastest (or most expensive).

I'm thinking a smaller case next time around, with possibly only a single SSD. I'm leaning toward external storage and cloud backup. I'll probably consider this WD My Network N900 router with 2TB storage. By the time I start my build, there should be plenty of reviews available.

Scuzzy; I should start shopping for a good floppy drive.

pat


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I'll vouch for the Noctua fans and coolers. I use their fans in my systems and use the NH-U12P cooler in my main system. I think the coolers are well made, the fans quiet and move a large volume of air and though somewhat pricey, well worth the price.

Given the "horsepower" of even a moderately priced system these days it shouldn't be too hard to come up with top notch components without breaking the bank.
SeaSonic M12II 620W, ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870, AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz, Crucial 8GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3 1333, SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850, Kingston HyperX 120G 120GB Solid State Boot Drive, WD Caviar 1 TB Storage Drive, LG DVD-RW, Samsung SyncMaster 226bw 21" LCD, Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

scuzzy


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Well there you go... that's one more positive review for Noctua. I don't mind paying a little extra for quality.

Hopefully I'll get this right on the first try.

pat


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Here is my Original Poast from the old forum about Noctua.

Since then I've moved the cooler to my newer system. 
SeaSonic M12II 620W, ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870, AMD Phenom II X4 925 Deneb 2.8GHz, Crucial 8GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3 1333, SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850, Kingston HyperX 120G 120GB Solid State Boot Drive, WD Caviar 1 TB Storage Drive, LG DVD-RW, Samsung SyncMaster 226bw 21" LCD, Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

scuzzy


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If I were building today, I think I'd start with the following. I'm listing the current prices (Amazon) only to see how much they change later:

Intel Core i7 3770 Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 ($319.99)

Noctua NH-L12 CPU Cooler ($64.79)

Plextor M3 Pro 128GB SSD ($176.55)

or... OCZ Vertex 4 (128GB = $119.99; 256GB = $239.99)

Seasonic 560W 80 Plus Gold PSU ($124.99)

EVGA GeForce GTX670 FTW 2048MB ($409.99)

Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Newegg $139.99 + $12.99 S/H)
Note: This Newegg video review convinced me that this is the case I want.

Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" LED Monitor 1920x1200 eIPS Screen ($313.18)
ExtremeTech review: click here

Western Digital My Net N900 HD Dual-Band Router ($166.99)

I doubt I'd be willing to pay $400+ for the GTX670 FTW, but I listed it to see how much it goes down in price, if it does. If it gets below $350 by the time I'm ready to build, I may spring for it... unless a better deal comes along.

I only included the router as a reference, as I'll probably need to get a good router at some point. I'm happy overall with my Medialink, but I've noticed that traffic between computers is slow at times when the router is being pushed.

I have no decisions on a motherboard or RAM, and I'll save that for another day. As for an HDD, I'm leaning toward having only an external drive. If I decide on installing an HDD, I'll probably lean toward a WD Raptor. I have no idea if I'll install an optical drive. I would probably install one today, but I may have no need for one in another year. Hmm.

scuzzy


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After reading tons of reviews, and lots hemming and hawing, I finally ordered the Plextor M3 128GB from Newegg for a total of $129.99. I'll admit that the $20 instant rebate helped. It should arrive this Wednesday or Thursday. Other units I considered were OCZ's Vertex 4, Intel's SSD 330, and Samsung's 830. I briefly considered the SanDisk Extreme, and even Crucial's V4 (3 Gb/S).

No, the Plextor is not the M3 Pro version (M3P). But the differences between the M3 and M3P were too minor, and both carry a 5-year warranty. I took into consideration that I'll be using the SSD with my current system, which only supports SATA 2 (3 Gb/S). That means my system wouldn't know the difference between the M3 and M3P, as my SATA connection will be maxed out anyway. I also like that Plextor clearly states that both the M3 & M3P are backward compatible to SATA I (1.5 Gb/S). That means I'll have the option to someday use it in my HP laptop, or my daughter's Gateway laptop.

My plan is to use the SSD for Windows 7 64-bit and the programs that I regularly use. My current C drive shows less than 35GB in use by Windows, and that's after a couple years of regular use. I don't plan to partition the SSD at this time, but I may reconsider. My data files are currently maintained on two physical hard drives, and I use Dropbox for my critical files. I was using 3 backup hard drives, but only recently dropped one from the mix.

FYIW, I'll do a clean installation of Windows. I would never consider anything else.

Scuzzy; been there done that.

scuzzy


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It figures. I was going back and forth between the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB and the Plextor M3 128GB. In the end, I opted for the Plextor. I strongly considered the OCZ for its cheaper price. At the time I bought the Plextor, the OCZ was going for $114.99 at Amazon. The Plextor was $129.99.

Well, leave it to Amazon to have a one day sale of $99.99 for the OCZ (today only). Had I seen that coming, I would have purchased the OCZ for the $30 savings over the Plextor.

Scuzzy; rats.

scuzzy


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I suppose if I want to go through all the trouble, but I'm not going to worry about it. Besides, Newegg has a limited return on such items.

Scuzzy; double rats.

scuzzy


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I probably need to go through and update my wish list. I obviously haven't done anything, since my current systems continue to meet my needs. But I'm adding the following, nonetheless:

AnandTech: SilverStone NightJar NJ520 Power Supply Review

scuzzy


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Bill


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And complicated, most of the stuff the review mentions are unknown to me.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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You know, I'm rushing through too much stuff recently. I need to slow down and read things more carefully. I admit that I skimmed through the article, and then linked it here. But my initial impression was good.

First chance I get I'll read it thoroughly, even if it's awhile before that happens. I am mostly working the maximum allowed every week at my job as a trainer. I am getting abused with excessive hours.  :P

Bill


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That's a grind but it translates to time off, can you put that towards Oct.?
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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scuzzy


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Bill


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Pretty pricy stuff.  Is the X99 platform available yet with a complementary CPU?
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scuzzy


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As best I can tell, it's not yet available. Of course, it's in the horizon. I'm thinking I might swing a new build after the new year, while taking advantage of the newest technology. But the price has to remain reasonable for whatever parts I'm picking up.

I don't have a dollar figure in mind, but my next build will likely entail a new, high resolution monitor in the 27 inch range.

Bill


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That's the downside to new technology.  At the moment I'd rather spend the dough on my other hobby!
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scuzzy


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Talk about new technology, I'm considering the possible use of a PCIe SSD for my next build. I just need to ensure I get a motherboard that supports booting from the device:

AnandTech: PCIe SSD Faceoff: Samsung vs. OCZ

I probably won't begin a build until early 2015, so I'm hoping this tech matures and is fully supported by then. I know I'll pay a premium, but this will probably be my last build. My goal is to "future proof" it as much as reasonably possible.

At a minimum I will look for a motherboard that supports booting from a PCIe SSD.  I can always use a SATA 6Gbps SSD until prices drop on PCIe models, although the current prices aren't outrageous compared to SATA SSD models just a year ago. I'm thinking if I had to (no, I don't have to), I could probably swing a Samsung 512GB model.

Bill


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Reading the explanation, that could be an impressive improvement in system performance.  Elimination of the SATA 6 limitation is a BIG deal.
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scuzzy


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That's pretty much what I was thinking. I can see myself using it for the primary OS, and adding a SATA 6 strictly for storage. If I build the system properly, I should see a very significant performance improvement from my current setups.

I'm also considering this ridiculously expensive toy: AnandTech: Dell Previews 27-inch '5K' UltraSharp Monitor

Scuzzy; but at $2,500, all I can do is consider it.  :P

scuzzy


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This new Corsair Carbide 100R case (windowless version) looks like it's right up my alley. Hopefully this is the year I can start building my dream system, and this case looks like a good place to start. The windowless version will sell for $59 and includes USB 3 ports, sound dampening and a fan silencer.

I'll be looking forward to reviews.

Bill


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And here I thought you were talking about a new rifle!!  Looks like a nice case and a decent place to start.  My only question would be about long video cards.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Long video cards won't be an issue for me. I'll be looking for a good mainstream card, but probably not anything beyond that.

Bill


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I thought I remembered this last build was to be a "blow you away" machine, a last and best ever?  Doesn't sound like a mainstream video card to me.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Let me rephrase that. I will be looking for a high quality "mainstream" card, but not a top tier gaming card. The latter adds too much expense and noise for something that I will not need. I don't see going above the $250 to $300 range for a card.


scuzzy


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I updated the list. I'm at $1,029 before a graphics card. That will probably add $250-ish.

I still need to find a CPU cooler, too.

Scuzzy; I want honkin' fast.

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Bill


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scuzzy, I looked at the ASUS board pretty closely and didn't see an external SATA port.  Is there an alternative?  There is a USB port on the rear but if your external drives are SATA.......
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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I'm not using an external drive and I haven't in several years. If I ever decide to use one, it will be a USB 3 model connected to my ASUS router so that both my computers can use it. But reality is that Dropbox pretty much gives me all the backup I need. I think I have around 60GB of storage available.

The reason I gravitated to the ASUS board I mentioned was M.2 & SATA Express support, and built-in WiFi & Bluetooth.

Bill


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I am very happy with my ASUS board, but I don't recall which it is without looking it up.  The one thing I recall that I was happy about was that the SATA ports for the SSD were not numbered.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Bill


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IIRC there are 4-6 SATA ports for HDs, when mine first went together I had plugged my SSD into what was listed in BIOS as "Port 1" not "0" as it should have been.  My backup HD was in port 0.  I simply reversed them and all was well.  But they were not numbered.  The only hint was in the user manual listing the "0" port as a different color.  Some of the HD ports are for data only.

Edit: I recall writing a poast about this but I can't find it,  probably buried in another.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Duh, forgot that was there!  You don't see it when writing a reply.
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Bill


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RE: cpu coolers.  The site that ranks video cards on a bang for the buck basis also has a section for CPU coolers and the last time I looked Cooler Master was at the top of the list.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Bill


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No, I don't think so. It may have been Tom's but I really don't remember.  You originally pointed me there when I was looking for a card a couple of years ago.  It maybe gone.
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scuzzy


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PassMark Software Videocard Benchmarks is the only ranking site I've referenced over the years. For that matter it's the only one I'm familiar with. Either way, I will probably settle on a Noctua CPU cooler.

As for a graphics card, if I were buying today I'd probably spring for this MSI GeForce GTX 970 ($340).

I hope to start this project in the next 4 to 6 months. I have a good chunk of change put aside already, but I need to save a little more.

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Thanks, that was helpful to re-read.  It brought to mind another heads up for you.  The  Noctua CPU cooler I'm using is one of the dual fan models and uses a back plate to mount. But the back plate bolts on from the underside of the M/B and is something you have to do before you mount the board in the case.  And if for some reason you need to work on it, you must take the M/B completely out of the case to get to it  The upside is it is a heck of a lot better than the OEM cooler that arrived with the CPU.

Edit: Say what happened to this idea?  Probably going to be out this year, maybe in time for your build.......http://tinyurl.com/mz7yerh

I think I will wait before even thinking about a new system.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

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I have not forgotten about CPU cooler back brackets. I will certainly install the cooler while the mobo is out, but I appreciate the reminder.

I'm considering this Transcend 256GB SATA M.2 SSD (256GB=$119) as a possibility. I still need to research how it will work out with the ASUS Z97 board, but it should support it just fine. I like the idea of mounting the drive directly to the mobo. Aside from one less cable, maybe I can do away with the drive cages entirely.

Maybe some better options will be available by the time I start putting this thing together.

Bill


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That's interesting but I am having difficulty visualizing how this SSD fits on to the M/B.  Is the M.2 connection the equivalent of a PCIe slot, or something?
Is it for the SATA Express connector?  That I see in the picture of the Z97.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

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I saw the picture in the link, it doesn't tell me what it is plugged into.
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Click this link: ASUS Z97 Pro

If you look about 1/3 way down the page, you'll see a photo with a rendition of how the SSD connects to the M.2 slot.

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Thanks for that link, now I understand, I think.
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