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Old 24th Feb 2014, 9:53 AM Very first desktop build help, suggestions and advice #1
karnzter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


*Originally entitled as "Thanks so much for suggesting me the Lenovo, but something happened. And it involves getting a new system."*

To everyone here in MTS, thanks so much who helped me out with my then-new gaming system plans. I got the Lenovo Ideapad Y580 and it performed well with my games (although it lagged on TS3 due to my growing mods and Sims3Pack and package-formatted CC collection) and media-related stuff.

Sadly, I have to inform you guys that a very crucial part of its hardware died yesterday.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M that came with the Lenovo broke for reasons that have to be verified. Specifically and assumingly:
  • Its fan accumulated a lot of dust and isn't spinning anymore, according to the tech guy that handled it yesterday. Which is WTFudgable because I had the laptop's hard drive changed during the time it was under warranty last year (but I had to take it to their man office instead of the branch where I bought it since the mall branch don't open laptops that are under warranty) after it broke (the HDD makes clicking sounds 16-19 times during startup or when its idle) and I also asked to have the insides cleaned since I'm too skittish to faff around its insides without the risk of breaking something in the process, which, I now have a nagging feeling that they didn't clean it
  • Initially, the laptop suffered from two blue screen crashes, an unexpected shutdown and an unexpected hibernation. Regarding the blue screen crash, I checked the error code that was listed (1033), Googled it and most suggested to update the graphics' drivers. In fact, I followed the precautions NVIDIA posted on their site (this, this and this).
  • I told the tech guy about the games I have installed. When I got to the part where I told him that I played The Sims Complete Collection in windowed mode (since it crashes in full screen and I had the game set to use NVIDIA) and Windows Aero's disabled while I'm playing, he told me that it could also be the 'culprit' since it keeps on switching its graphics it must've taken its toll on the card. In true honesty, I don't believe this part.
.

After I updated NVIDIA's drivers the blue screen stopped. But the shutdown didn't. I downloaded and installed this software to check the temperature of the laptop, specifically its processor, but it was in an okay state (around 41-43 degrees Celsius). Out of worry, I decided to take the Lenovo to the mall branch of the store and had its insides cleaned, hoping it could resolve the case. But then, that's where the unseen impurities started to reek out.

In fact, the tech guy tried to roll back to the version of the 660M after the laptop was fixed but to no avail. In fact, when NVIDIA was enabled, we couldn't get through to the Desktop. The screen would display a broken-esque black screen with distorted green, black and grey lines wobbling. But when its disabled and the Intel integrated graphics is used, we can access the Desktop. When he opened the laptop's insides, that's when he noticed that the graphics card's fan's clogged with dust and it wasn't moving. He told me that the broken NVIDIA's irreplaceable since it's soldered on the motherboard. If it were as removable like the processor, it would've been replaced and saved.

As TMI and stupid as this sounds, I'm really heartbroken and disappointed about the verdict. I spent a couple of minutes crying last night since I couldn't fully play my games with better graphics anymore and create GIFs and compilation video clips out of HD videos. In fact, finance-wise, its way too early for me to get another laptop since I've recently bought a new TV for the house and I haven't finished paying for it and I had other things to save up right after (especially I have to set aside some money to await the pre-order of The Sims 4). I've had a bad experience with integrated graphics cards in The Sims 3 more than 4 years ago and I don't want my laptop to go through the same ordeal again. Even though I wanted to try playing it in medium settings, I'm scared to do so. Maybe hopefully tonight I can give it a chance.

----

Right now, I'm scouting the Internet again for a new system. The tech guy and his colleagues suggested MSI and checking the specs on their specific models it looks good. The only catch is that they run on Windows 8 and there are some games that aren't playable with that OS. Which means I have to find a retailer here that still sells 64-bit Windows 7 installers (genuine, of course). So far the ones I've seen based online (MSI and ASUS ROG), better specs for TS2 and TS3 and on the common brand names sold in the Philippines are as follows:
  • Heck, I'll throw in the Lenovo Ideapad Y580 since I love this laptop to bits. But it now runs on Windows 8

As the same as the last time I posted; any help; suggestions and comments is appreciated. And sorry for the massively long and TMI-filled post.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Last edited by karnzter : 7th Dec 2014 at 4:58 AM. Reason: Changed title to a shorter and less-'dramatic' one
Old 24th Feb 2014, 10:47 AM #2
ajaxsirius
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Oh dear... I feel sorry for you. Are you SURE you want to go back to a laptop?
Old 24th Feb 2014, 11:17 AM #3
karnzter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


That's the thing. One side of me wants to get a desktop. The other side wants another laptop, especially because I wanted to take it with me on a family holiday to Hong Kong 5 months from now. Although that GeForce GTX Titan on the computer store next door to our office looks enticing...

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 24th Feb 2014, 12:02 PM #4
ajaxsirius
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LOL GTX Titan! Let's put it this way, you're better off spending time with your family in HK and enjoying the yummy foods! With a desktop if your GPU craps out you don't have to buy a whole new computer You just replace the faulty part
Old 24th Feb 2014, 4:14 PM #5
karnzter
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Posts: 130


You and the tech guy just said the same thing to me. Better off getting a desktop. Downside is the total price completely shows up once you have the right parts for it. Plus its not in 0% interest for a year but maybe I can convince the credit card holder of the circle of family friends (the same person who let me user their card to get the Lenovo and paid them around PHP 4.7+ grand for a year) regarding this. And it does feel nice to have a big, tall, rectangular box sitting beside my feet or on top of the computer table.

So let me start the parts-scouting. GTX Titan and an ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene: too much, just right or too weak? I found a couple of cards that are on the GTX 700 series but I forgot the actual numbers.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 24th Feb 2014, 4:53 PM #6
ajaxsirius
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GTX Titan is a monster of a card, and terribly expensive. Don't get one, it's totally not worth the price.

First pick out your monitor, if you don't already have one. 1920x1080 is pretty much standard these days and looks good on 22 or 23 inch screens.

If you're going 1920x1080 follow these recommendations, if you're going less than 1920x1080 we can cut here and there.

CPU: Pick the cheapest Haswell i5 you can find. i5-4XXX. If your budget is tight the dual core i3-4XXX are also acceptable.
RAM: Pick the cheapest 8GB DDR3 1600 Mhz you can find. I like GSkill brand. If there's only a tiny difference between GSkill and non-GSkill, pick GSkill.
HDD: Get a 1TB Western Digital Green.
SSD: Optional, 120GB Samsung 840 Evo or 128GB Samsung 830 if you can find one cheap. The 840 should be cheaper than the 830 and is better in performance. If you have a big budget, get more SSD space.
MB: Get the cheapest type H87 motherboard you can find as long as it's one of the following brands: Asus, ASRock, MSI, Intel. If there's a big price difference and your budget is really tight, H81 is acceptable.
GPU: Pick this after finding out how much all the parts mentioned above will cost you, and how much is left in your budget. Take into consideration you'll still need to buy peripherals, case and PSU. You should get something atleast as powerful as a GTX 660.
PSU: We'll help you choose one after you've decided on a GPU.
Case: Pick the best according to how much money you have left in your budget.
Old 24th Feb 2014, 6:19 PM #7
karnzter
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Lab Assistant

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


I'll give you an update within the week since I'll be out of the office for work-related stuff in the city so I may get the chance to window shop in computer stores for the specific hardwares mentioned. Also, does the processor have to be either third or fourth-gen (since there are motherboards that support either the third or fourth-gen ones)? Is an i7 way too much? Also, I need to look at DVD drives, heatsinks (I do remember that one shop sold a Cooler Master TPC 812), possibly some thermal paste, UPS (because there's no way I'm gonna encounter another clicking hard drive ever again after numerous power outs post-October 15 earthquake), speakers (I found a Logitech Z623), etc. OS-wise: I'll use a 64-bit Windows 7 (that's if I can still find a store that still sells one)

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 24th Feb 2014, 6:39 PM #8
ajaxsirius
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You should get fourth gen. It uses less power and gives more performance per Mhz. There's no reason to get third since the third and fourth will probably cost you the same amount of money for the same amount of Mhz. If third costs less, let me know by how much and we can see if its worth it.

i7 is way too much for The Sims. i5 is more than enough, the dual core i3-4XXX will probably perform well too, but I don't have one myself so I can't tell you for sure. But in theory they have high IPC and high clock rate and atleast two physical cores, which is perfect for The Sims. You won't need a third party CPU cooler if you aren't overclocking. Thermal Paste is good to pickup, but it's cheap so I usually forget to factor it in. It shouldn't cost you more than USD 10 - USD 12.

Speakers... well that's up to you. I prefer headsets myself.
Old 24th Feb 2014, 7:01 PM #9
karnzter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


Headsets are fine but they just spell out 'Hey, we don't like your choice of music. Put 'em on' to me sometimes. :P

Also, I use Photoshop CS3 for GIF-making (mostly from HD videos) and Hit Film 2 Express for a WIP video compilation. Plus, game-wise, I'm getting F1 2012 and 2013, F1 Race Stars and maybe LA Noire and more games in the future someday from Steam (maybe Call of Duty since my sister's been asking me if I can get one but that is if she's still interested), plus I have Skyrim in my library. Maybe they're okay with the 4th-gen i5-4 series.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 24th Feb 2014, 7:46 PM #10
ajaxsirius
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Booo Call of Duty! Go battlefield instead :P

If you're playing those games, definitely go i5-4XXX.
Old 25th Feb 2014, 7:53 AM #11
karnzter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


Battlefield does look great but I might get CoD (that's if my sister's still interested). I tested Beyond Good & Evil with the integrated graphics last night and the only thing I can complain is the annoying flickering when you access Jade's scanner. I just got back from city work so if I still have time later I'll go check out the needed hardware at the computer store next door.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 26th Feb 2014, 12:19 PM #12
karnzter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


I've got some news regarding the motherboard and the graphics card.

The store next door has one motherboard under the H87/H81 and fourth-gen Intel specifications: MSI H81M-P33 V2. Although I found two more MSI boards that aren't an H87 but are both supporting fourth-gen Intel: the Z87-GD65 Gaming and the Z87M-G43.

There are two ASUS boards that I'm not sure if they're 4th-gen Intel so I'll just add it here: the H87M-PRO and the Z87-PRO

As for graphics, they sell the following ASUS NVIDIA cards: GTX 660, GTX 660Ti, GTX 670, GTX 680, GTX 690, GTX 770, GTX 780 and the GTX Titan (I just had to add it there ever though its super expensivo)

As of now, I haven't asked their respective prices yet since I've been clogged up with work the whole day. Hopefully I can ask them tomorrow during lunch break. Will also check the other suggested hardware if they have 'em.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 26th Feb 2014, 1:34 PM #13
ajaxsirius
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Z87 is more expensive than H87 because it allows you to overclock the CPU and RAM, and can support more video cards. Other than that its pretty much the same as H87. Here's a summary of the different fourth gen motherboards. If you're not going to overclock, there's no point in getting Z87 over H87.

Really, it comes down to price.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 4:46 AM #14
karnzter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


Also, Sirius, just in case if the RAM, SSD and the hard drive brands and/or specific models are hard to find in stores, can you suggest me other brands/models that are as good as Samsung, GSkill and WD and their respective models suggested?

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 4:49 AM #15
ajaxsirius
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HDD: Stick with Western Digital, all others are inferior. If you can't get WD, then Seagate I guess.
RAM: Doesn't really matter, its hard to go wrong with RAM. Kingston is okay.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 5:11 AM #16
karnzter
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Posts: 130


Is it okay if I couldn't find the Green, Blue, Red or Black I can stick with the Caviar series? Also, I tested out some of the hardware I've found through PC Part Picker and so far they're all compatible with each other. Once I get the pricing for them, its compatibility could change (but hopefully not).

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 5:18 AM #17
ajaxsirius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karnzter
Is it okay if I couldn't find the Green, Blue, Red or Black I can stick with the Caviar series? Also, I tested out some of the hardware I've found through PC Part Picker and so far they're all compatible with each other. Once I get the pricing for them, its compatibility could change (but hopefully not).


WD Caviar is the old name for the hard drives. WD Caviar Green became WD Green, WD Caviar Blue became WD Blue etc. its the same thing. It's just the colors that matter.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 5:24 AM #18
karnzter
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Posts: 130


Thanks. I'll note that. I'm currently in the middle of a lunch break and will pass by the store next door for pricing inquiries. Will update you ASAP. Another thing, though: even if I won't overclock, is it still okay to get a CPU cooler just to be on the safe side?

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 5:36 AM #19
ajaxsirius
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It won't harm your computer, but it won't really make your computer any cooler either. The standard Intel one that comes with the CPU is fine. It's not really worth the added expense imo if you're not overclocking.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 6:14 AM #20
karnzter
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Lab Assistant

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


How about SSDs? As long as I can remember, the Samsungs are a rare find.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 7:46 AM #21
karnzter
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


Scrap my previous post. They have the Samsung. :D

Okay. Here's what I currently got based on the lowest price and availability.

Motherboard: MSI H81M-E33 - PHP 2,695
CPU: 4th-gen Intel i5 440: PHP 8,750
HDD: 1TB Western Digital Green: PHP 3,195
SDD: 120GB Samsung 840 EVO: PHP 5,295
RAM: 1-piece 8GB Kingston HyperX Blu KHX1600C10D3B1: PHP 4,195
GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 660: 10,995
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium SP1: PHP 4,615
Monitor: 24-inch ASUS VX23984 (I'll have to check again with the store since this model number can't be found on Google): PHP 8,200

Also, I plan to play my games, but most importantly, TS3, on its highest and maximum settings. Maybe I should change the card. I got the prices of the following:
GTX 660Ti: PHP 15,500
GTX 670: PHP 22,600
GTX 680: PHP 23,400
GTX 770: PHP 22,000
GTX 780: PHP 35,995

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Last edited by karnzter : 27th Feb 2014 at 9:30 AM.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 9:31 AM #22
ajaxsirius
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How much more would an H87 (like the asus H87M-PRO) be instead of H81?

How much more would it be to get a pair of dual channel 4GB DDR3 (2x4GB=8GB) instead of 1x8GB (make sure to ask if it's dual channel, if its not written dual channel on the box, its not dual channel in the box)?
Old 27th Feb 2014, 10:36 AM #23
karnzter
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Lab Assistant

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaxsirius
How much more would an H87 (like the asus H87M-PRO) be instead of H81?

How much more would it be to get a pair of dual channel 4GB DDR3 (2x4GB=8GB) instead of 1x8GB (make sure to ask if it's dual channel, if its not written dual channel on the box, its not dual channel in the box)?


The ASUS H87-M PRO costs PHP 6,995. As for the RAM, I specified to them both the size and the power (1600 MHz) and that's what they quoted me. Unless if you need the 2 pieces of 4GB RAM I'd be happy to ask them again. Besides, I need to clarify them the model number of the monitor.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 11:43 AM #24
ajaxsirius
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Yes ask how much a dual channel paired kit is. 2x 4GB DDR3 1600 Mhz 1.5V.

EDIT: Also ask them what different PSUs they have, need exact model number and price. Also Exact manufacturer model numbers of the GTX 660, GTX 660Ti and GTX 670. Ask them if they have GTX 760. If so, price and manufacturer model number.
Last edited by ajaxsirius : 27th Feb 2014 at 11:55 AM.
Old 27th Feb 2014, 12:18 PM #25
karnzter
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Lab Assistant

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 130


Okay. Here's another update. And this is a massively late reply since I had to let the boss mom use the laptop for something work-related important.

They do have a dual channel 1600MHz RAM. Its a Kingston HyperX Blu KVR16N11S8/4 and it costs PHP 2,195 per piece. As for the monitor, the exact model is an ASUS VX239H and I saw it with my own eyes and it looks super sweet.

Sadly, they don't have GTX 760. The GTX cards are all from ASUS. PSU: the clerk suggested me a Silverstone PSU that is about 600 Hz (I think. Can't recall if it was Hz, MHz or GHz). It costs 2,995. He suggested me the casing also. A Silverstone RL01 Gaming worth PHP 2,000. If you want, I can ask them again for the manufacturer and model numbers of the cards and the proper PSU spec. I'm on overtime anyway but I have to hurry since the store closes at 7:30pm.

The Random Simming (Mis)Adventures: A Simblr.

Currently playing Generation Two of the Senna Legacy Currently on a hiatus.

My current and former system specs and game settings can be found here. CC, mods and Store items are listed here.
 


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