Kamis, 29 Maret 2012

Build It: A Powerful All-Purpose Rig for $830

Placing together an all-purpose rig under a demanding funds is the best way to keep a PC designer on his or her toes

Building costly, over-the-top devices is simple. It’s when you dip below the $1,000 level that it gets challenging. This 30 days, I started the obstacle of developing the best all-around PC I could for less than $850. To me, that intended a device excellent at multithreaded projects as well as activity playing. We’ve said it before, and we’ll adhere to our guns: Intel’s Primary i5-2500K is the lovely identify for price/performance. Unfortunately, that cost is too great for this settings. That eventually left me contemplating whether to do yet another Primary i3 box or another AMD box.

Readers have been ragging on us about what amazing promotions Phenom II procs currently are. I seemed great and low and, amazingly, I did discover some e-tailers promoting Phenom IIs way below the retail cost. For just $139, you can net a 3.5GHz Phenom II X4 970. That gives you four cores, a much bigger storage cache, and a completely revealed aspect for not much more than the Athlon II X4 has been going for. The Phenom II X4 is not always a clear-cut victorious one against its Apple version, the 3.3GHz Primary i3-2120, but it does carry its own in multithreading projects and game-related tasks, which are all about the GPU.

Picking the Other Parts

I at first selected Nvidia’s GeForce 560 Ti card for this develop, but later determined to move ATI because our mother panel, a Gb GA-970A-UD3, only provides CrossFireX assistance. To get SLI on an AMD panel, you need to horse up for a 990FX chipset, which would have damaged my funds. The best cope seems to be the Radeon HD 6950 card. The 6950 is a cut-down Radeon HD 6970 created to rainfall on the GeForce 560 Ti’s celebration. Gigabyte’s GV-R695UD was about the most affordable I found at time, and it functions improved air conditioning over a inventory card.

When it came to the other elements, I had one factor operating for me and another against me. Employed by me was program RAM. RAM is so inexpensive that making a rig with even 32GB is possible (provided you have eight DIMM slots). However, 4GB is about all you really need in a funds box—and all I could manage. Yes, 8GB would have been awesome, but I had to preserve cents for something really out of control: the disk generate.

Here's how serious elements are right now: In Aug 2011, we designed a $667 PC that had a 1TB WD Caviar Pink generate for $60. This season, I was satisfied to get a uncovered 500GB European Electronic Pink generate for $99. Actually, the generate I snagged for this develop had already increased 30 % in cost by time I completed developing my rig. The same disk generate six several weeks ago marketed for $34! 

I’m still adhering to the $99 cost, as that was the cost when I at first designed it, but by time you study this, the disk generate could be $500, and we’ll be existing in a dystopian community where individuals are scrounging e-waste places looking for 32MB USB secrets removed in 2003. I’ll take up in my busted‑up $830 PC and some filthy, toothless PC auto mechanic will amazing at the “last of the 500GB Interceptors! A item of history!”

Assembling the Hardware

1 Install the Brains

To keep things easy, I installed the Phenom II X4 970 with the board out of the case. First, drain any built-up static electricity by touching a large metal object. Unlock the AM3+ socket by lifting up the arm. Match the gold triangle in the CPU’s corner with the white corner marker on the motherboard.

2 Install the Cooler and RAM

I went with the amazingly cheap ($20!) Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus. It offers far more performance than the stock fan. To install it, first remove the stock mounting bracket from the motherboard by using a Phillips‑head screwdriver to remove both of the plastic brackets on top.

The metallic backplate on the back should now pop off. Reassemble the bracket and place this in your motherboard box in case you need it in the future. Now place a small dab of thermal paste on the CPU heat spreader. You can use a plastic bag as a makeshift glove to spread the paste on the heat spreader’s surface.
The Hyper 212 Plus comes with a backplate, which you will have to hold in place while you install the bracket. With the bracket in place, install four of the nut‑and‑screw assemblies to hold the bracket in place. Now use the included tool to lightly torque the screws in place.

Don’t over tighten, as it could chew into the motherboard. Remove the fan from the cooler, and spread the X-shaped bracket through the base of the cooler. Now, using a screwdriver, attach the x-bracket to the four exposed nuts with the four spring screws.

Once the cooler is firmly attached, snap the fan back in place and hook up the fan to a fan header. For my configuration, I set the fan to blow air through the cooler where it would be exhausted through the case’s rear fan. 
While the board is out, you might as well install the RAM by matching up the notches in the RAM with the notches in the slots. On this board, I installed the pair of 2GB modules in the two blue slots.

If you’re not using this board, you should consult your manual to see how to install the RAM for dual-channel mode.

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