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Looking to build a new computer

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les
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#1

Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:50 AM Edited by les, 27 March 2012 - 03:55 AM.

I've been out of the loop for several years as far as PC hardware is concerned, so I've come to my old hangout to ask for some help. Basically I'm looking to build a new system for my wife and I to work on. I'm not in the market for a gaming machine, I just want a professional workstation for software development, editing HD videos/photoshop, and other random crap. I have a few requirements:

• Price range is $800-1000USD, preferably towards the bottom of that range.
• Capability to power a 32" monitor, flanked by two 19" monitors (desktop extensions). Monitors aren't included in my budget.
• I know I want a small(ish) solid state drive for use as my main drive, 64GB should be plenty. I'll also need a drive for storage, 500GB would be fine.
• I want a nice case, and by that I mean something that is easy to work in with nice cable management, easily accessible USB ports, and isn't noisy. Any lights or flashy design are absolute deal breakers.
• In a perfect world, I'm buying all of my parts from the same source; though multiple sources to save money is an option.
• DVD burner suits my needs, blu-ray not required. I'll also need a bay mounted flash memory reader.


It'll be a Windows 7 box for now, until Windows 8 becomes a viable option. I have no platform preferences, though I've heard that the Core i5-2500K is the optimum price/performance ratio candidate at this time. If you guys could help me out with some suggestions on parts that would suit my needs, I'd buy you all a coke. Thanks in advance.

Edit: I've had some issues in the past, so a PSU isn't an area where I'm willing to compromise. I don't need the ultimate PSU, just something rock-solid reliable, and modular connections would be a huge plus.

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#2

Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:04 AM

I would suggest holding out for Ivy Bridge to launch in April to see if either the 2500K's successor, the 3570K, is a better price/performance option or if the price is reduced on the 2500K making it the better option, unless, of course, it's a system you need to have up and running in a couple of weeks.

Ivy Bridge processors
Sandy Bridge processors

I'm not too knowledgeable with PSU quality, but I got this no name PSU and it's enough to support a 2600K oc'd to 4.5ghz, a 6970 oc'd to 950/1450, 6 hdds and 1 ssd without a single bsod in the 15 months its been running. Guess I just got lucky.

But anyways, a 500W would probably be ample supply for your usage, so this Seasonic would work, plus it's modular. Here's a cheaper modular Seasonic.




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#3

Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:09 AM

If you don't require Sandy Bridge or newer, buy my Biostar system, it's up and running Windows 8 Dev Preview with a 500GB drive, 4 Gigs of DDR3 and the i3 CPU Intel 550. Along with all that!, it has the ATI Radeon HD5450, running with all drivers as far as Windows 8 and the hardware I setup, asking only $300. I am out of work, of course, I need to make some money
It's a new system, truly, I set it up, ran it for only hours at a time and it's been stored since

Stinky12
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#4

Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:01 PM

Here's what I came up with smile.gif

Intel Xeon E3 1230 @ 3.2GHz $239.99 (4c/8t)
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115083
Crucial M4 64GB SSD $94.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820148441
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ $29.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835103065
Asus P8B WS $219.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131725
Mushkin 8GB DDR3 1333 $42.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820226095
Corsair 650w $89.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817139020
HIS HD7750 $109.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814161403
Samsung F3 500GB $84.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822152181
NZXT Source 210 $84.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811146075
Sony DVD writer $17.99
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827118067

subtotal$ 970.90



les
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#5

Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:58 PM

Thanks for making up that list for me! It's been a while since I've really studied parts, but I was under the impression that the xeon series was mainly for servers. Are there specific advantages to using this platform as opposed to the core i5?

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#6

Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

I've got my eye on this mobo:

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3


Thoughts?

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#7

Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:50 PM

Xeon are designed for the 24/7/365 environment. They pass a stricter test and gets branded as Xeons. Those that didn't are binned as Core i7/i5 and so forth.
Because you use a system for professional work, I decided to go with the the Xeon E3 as it's cheaper than a Core i7 and you still
get HyperThread. In that it's a 4 core/8thread CPU, which benefits in programs like image/video editing.
The P8B WS has 2 internal USB ports so you safely store any dongle keys used for special programs.
That Asrock Z68 board is good too, but once you pick that, you have to change the CPU to a Core i5 or a Core i7.
It's said you can run a Xeon on a non-Xeon certified board as they both use the same socket 1155. This is a gamble as you won't know if it
actually works or not, if it does then you're good. If not you will get micro code errors.

Here is a comparison
http://ark.intel.com...271,52210,52214

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#8

Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:01 PM

Most (if not all) LGA1156 mobos could run Xeon CPUs, I'd assume that it'd be the case with LGA1155 too wink.gif

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#9

Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:28 PM

Yeah, I believe the same with 1155, but to be on the safe side OP can select a i5 or i7.
Unless he really wants a Xeon with a non tested board, he has to see if others have any success with it.

Looks like the Xeon E3 1230 is supported on that Asrock Extreme 3 Gen 3 with a bios update smile.gif
http://www.cpu-upgra...reme3_Gen3.html

Also I've made a mistake on the build. I've selected a Xeon E3 1230 instead of 1235.
Difference between the two is one has onboard graphics and the other doesn't.
One that doesn't run at 80w, while the one that does runs at 95w and cost around $25 bucks more.

Xeon E3 1230 (no IGP/TDP: 80w $240)
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115083
Xeon E3 1235 (IGP/TDP: 95w $265)
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115087
http://ark.intel.com...214,52272,52271

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#10

Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:08 AM

I'm looking for the best graphics card under 100 bucks that can power a triple monitor system. Any thoughts on this?

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#11

Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:46 AM Edited by Stinky12, 28 March 2012 - 02:00 AM.

AMD graphic card starting with the HD5000 series can power up to 3 monitors, but one has to be display port.
Here's one for under $100
Asus HD6670
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814121442
For display port, you will need a monitor that has it or grab a active displayport adapter.
This allows the image to be spread across 3 screens and these guy cost around 30 bucks for single link and up to $100 for dual link.
Dual link are used to drive 30" monitors at resolutions of 2560x1600
I doubt your 32" is actually a monitor, but actually a HDTV? For that a single link should be fine as the resolution is probably 1920x1080
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814999030
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16812607011

One issue I can't confirm on is whether a Eyefinity supported card allows the use of 3 monitors for independent use,
since Eyefinity is actually a single desktop spread across the 3 screens. Maybe other here who has this setup can let you know.

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#12

Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:47 AM Edited by Slamman, 28 March 2012 - 08:51 AM.

I popped into MicroCenter this past evening, wound up buying a Dell D series module battery. They got a few from parted office hardware, DVD combi drives and the battery module bays, They initially wanted $40, I paid $4 bucks today! NICE markdown. Anywho, of the Z68 boards, things like that, you're looking at $80 to $130 range for some nice modern mobos. The CPUs for the 1156s they had were all i5, selling at $200 or more! Not cheap! I nearly bought one stick of DDR3 4GB for $22, but it would have wiped me out, and I'd prefer a kit of 8GB total, two sticks, which can be had for $35 I believe, not the best memory brand, but I'm sure good enough, since I buy the cheap stuff all the time!

This might not help you, but you can buy from MicroCenter online, I get to buy from their local store here!

One of the few left around with such a nice selection. Speaking of Display Port, it's become connected with APPLE mainly, but I did see some mobos that have Display Port, HDMI and DVI, that would perhaps be preferred if the CPU GPU supports it, not sure

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#13

Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:40 PM

One thought of what you could also do for the 3rd monitor.
Something like this AOC E2251FWU 22 http://www.amazon.co...uct/B0073BOCNU/ It's an USB driven AND powered LED monitor. You only need it for additional viewing space so having 3D graphics driven to it shouldn't be that big of a deal.



They also have a nice little portable model as well that is 16in

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#14

Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:43 PM

If you're not a gamer, forget overclocking, it's foolish to suggest to the average PC buyer, since it shortens the life span and it requires knowing something about it, the new DYNAMIC nature of the tech will allow things like SPEEDSTEP, the ability of the component to ramp up it's requirements under load / task

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#15

Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:59 AM

QUOTE (Slamman @ Wednesday, Mar 28 2012, 18:43)
If you're not a gamer, forget overclocking, it's foolish to suggest to the average PC buyer, since it shortens the life span and it requires knowing something about it, the new DYNAMIC nature of the tech will allow things like SPEEDSTEP, the ability of the component to ramp up it's requirements under load / task

If you keep your overclock within a reasonable temperature range, then it shouldn't degrade your processor at all, am I correct?

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#16

Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:15 AM Edited by Slamman, 29 March 2012 - 04:18 AM.

There's no need to overclock unless you're performance driving your memory, video and CPU, not really one over the other, Speedstep example is more in keeping with laptops and battery power, but Speedstep still seems possible on a desktop, from settings available, not sure.
Cooling is paramount in over-clocking, yes, but if there's no recommend on what you can over-step in feeding more power, there is that chance it's just going to burn down over time, because it's being forced, like a blower added to a car's engine, or Turbo effect, hence the name being used

If you want a quad core, jump on this auction!!
http://www.ebay.com/...=item231ba10d17

les
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#17

Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:33 AM

QUOTE (Slamman @ Wednesday, Mar 28 2012, 22:43)
If you're not a gamer, forget overclocking, it's foolish to suggest to the average PC buyer, since it shortens the life span and it requires knowing something about it, the new DYNAMIC nature of the tech will allow things like SPEEDSTEP, the ability of the component to ramp up it's requirements under load / task

I'm only out of the loop on the newest parts, not incompetent. I used to be into overclocking, even pin modded a t-bred 1700+ back in the day. I'm not even sure why you're talking about it.

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#18

Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:27 AM

Never did I say you were incompetent, buddy, I believe if your plan is a machine for a non-gamer, it makes sense that you don't need that type of build, that's what my point centers around

les
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#19

Posted 30 March 2012 - 02:06 AM

QUOTE (Slamman @ Friday, Mar 30 2012, 01:27)
Never did I say you were incompetent, buddy, I believe if your plan is a machine for a non-gamer, it makes sense that you don't need that type of build, that's what my point centers around

Gamers aren't the only people who need performance. I think I've got my setup, I decided to go with the i5 in lieu of the xeon; seems that the i5 will suit me alright, especially when OC'd. I don't really want to spend the extra cash in that particular area of my build. What do you guys think, would you switch anything out for something else?

Newegg wishlist

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#20

Posted 30 March 2012 - 02:57 AM

Ignore Slamman. He has no damn clue what he is talking about.

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#21

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:40 AM

I know what I'm talking about, I can get by without overclocking, it's up to the person individually to make the call

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#22

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:45 AM

The Xeon has 8 threads which I thought it may help you with your work, but since it's your build, go with what you like.
Good wishlist setup you got there, looks great!
I personally never liked internal card readers because if I need it on another computer and it doesn't have it, then I'm screwed.
Not only that, with XP (shouldn't be a issue now with Vista/Win7), on a clean HDD, you really have to pay attention which letter XP setup assigns when you
create a partition, sometimes the internal card reader will take "C" and give you some other drive letter for your HDD. When spotted early, you can delete the partition
and do it again until it assigns the letter "C" for your hard drive. I had to reinstall XP a few times because of this as I didn't notice it after the XP installation was complete.

You may want to opt for this card reader instead, it's got a mini slots that supports Sony M2 and microSD, this way you don't have to worry about getting them
adapters for those micro cards.

Rosewill 72 in 1 internal card reader $16.99 ($8 off with promo code: EMCNGHA56, limited offer)
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820223109

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#23

Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:50 AM Edited by Slamman, 30 March 2012 - 03:55 AM.

They gave the original Xbox360 name Xeon as well? IIRC. Anyway, I know you mean a server CPU
I was referring to something you build for your wife, but you mention you'd work on it, and if you prefer Overclocking, fine by me, but I think there's no way around the detriment of actually pushing your hardware beyond spec, Cooling will help, but it won't entirely eliminate the threat to the component I believe

I checked the price on i5s for the 1156 socket still on sale, over $200 bucks! I suppose paying more for a Sandy, you pay less on the CPUs?!? haha

@Stinky, an internal card reader is ALWAYS a good thing, it's no matter if you're lacking... Plenty of USB mini-B cables connect to card readers, if not a direct USB design. I've not had a problem with assigned drive letters, but the solution is pull the USB to the mainboard, connect it once Windows is needing drivers and already formatted. The thing that bothers me about the USB to card reader is typically, you ready the USB device for removal and all the flash card slots are disconnected on the hub! The best test beforehand is putting all the various cards in upon detection, make sure you can see more then one, (not the case with some USB dongle variety...like Targus), and use them all while active

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#24

Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:40 AM

@les
I might switch the SSD out for one with a better Write speed. And larger but if you really do plan to stick to using it solely for the OS then you should be ok. However if you plan to put your Adobe CS "X" on there you might want to go bigger. I'm using a 120GB and it has 81GB used. Granted about 15GB of that is BF3 with another 12GB for Steam (BFBC2 and POPWW) but Adobe CS5 (Master Suite) is taking up 6.5GB, ver all my Program Files (x86) folder is nearly 40GB on it's own with Windows being another 20GB. Just giving you a heads up.


@Slamman
OCing these days is easy. If the mobo not only supports it but also boast about it then it's likely it'll have software you can run from Windows that will give you a nice easy performance boost. If the person wants to go further, they can usually in the BIOS but in some cases also from mobo software.
That being said who said he was going to OC at all? No one even brought it up until you did. Which begs the question, why? Why bring up something when the OP didn't ask about it?

And no the Xbox 360 does not have an Intel Xeon. It has an IBM Xenon. Wait? Why the hell does that even matter? No one said a bloody thing about the Xbox 360 either.

Where the heck did the Socket 1156 come in? les posted a list that uses the Socket 1155. Ok yes yojo did mention the 1156 first, although what he said about them and the Xeon is a bit confusing, but whatever. You just kept it going.

And you missed the point Stinky was making about internal card readers. I believe he was trying to say that with an internal reader if he needs a card reader on another computer he has to buy another card reader for that computer as well. So with an external reader you can move it from system to system with ease.

Look. Just stop ok.




@Stinky
I've never heard of this happening; the whole driver letter issue you encountered. I do think an easy solution would be to disconnect the card reader, install the OS like normal, then connect the card reader once the OS is ready to be used like normal, after all of the updates installed and other drivers installed and so on. the card reader would the last thing I would even think about getting to work, but then I don't need anything but an SD card reader since that is all I have, even the micro SD card I have comes with an adapter to make it fit an SD card slot, and the reader is on my printer.

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#25

Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:45 PM Edited by Stinky12, 30 March 2012 - 05:55 PM.

I don't really have to disconnect the internal card reader from the USB header on the motherboard at all as
XP setup will tell me what letter it assigns to HDD's partition. If it's not assign a letter C, all I have to do is delete the partition and
recreate it. The only time I have to physically disconnect the internal card reader is when that card reader is interfering with the
setup and letter C will not assign to the HDD.
This was a issue with XP, Vista and Win7 users don't have to worry about it.
Here is MS KB article on this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896536

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#26

Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:30 PM

QUOTE (Wolf68k @ Friday, Mar 30 2012, 05:40)
@les
I might switch the SSD out for one with a better Write speed. And larger but if you really do plan to stick to using it solely for the OS then you should be ok. However if you plan to put your Adobe CS "X" on there you might want to go bigger. I'm using a 120GB and it has 81GB used. Granted about 15GB of that is BF3 with another 12GB for Steam (BFBC2 and POPWW) but Adobe CS5 (Master Suite) is taking up 6.5GB, ver all my Program Files (x86) folder is nearly 40GB on it's own with Windows being another 20GB. Just giving you a heads up.


@Slamman
OCing these days is easy. If the mobo not only supports it but also boast about it then it's likely it'll have software you can run from Windows that will give you a nice easy performance boost. If the person wants to go further, they can usually in the BIOS but in some cases also from mobo software.
That being said who said he was going to OC at all? No one even brought it up until you did. Which begs the question, why? Why bring up something when the OP didn't ask about it?

And no the Xbox 360 does not have an Intel Xeon. It has an IBM Xenon. Wait? Why the hell does that even matter? No one said a bloody thing about the Xbox 360 either.

Where the heck did the Socket 1156 come in? les posted a list that uses the Socket 1155. Ok yes yojo did mention the 1156 first, although what he said about them and the Xeon is a bit confusing, but whatever. You just kept it going.

And you missed the point Stinky was making about internal card readers. I believe he was trying to say that with an internal reader if he needs a card reader on another computer he has to buy another card reader for that computer as well. So with an external reader you can move it from system to system with ease.

Look. Just stop ok.




@Stinky
I've never heard of this happening; the whole driver letter issue you encountered. I do think an easy solution would be to disconnect the card reader, install the OS like normal, then connect the card reader once the OS is ready to be used like normal, after all of the updates installed and other drivers installed and so on. the card reader would the last thing I would even think about getting to work, but then I don't need anything but an SD card reader since that is all I have, even the micro SD card I have comes with an adapter to make it fit an SD card slot, and the reader is on my printer.

I got them confused, it's easy to see I think
The 360 was brought up because I'd been reading about it, and it jogged in my mind. There's nothing to get upset about here, Wolfy

As for what you said in reply to mem card readers, if you build both machines, buy two of the same Multicard readers, but there's no problem having internal and external, it's the preferred way to go.

I recommended the same exact thing, since removing the USB header is the same effect as disconnecting a USB external plug
I agree that I've not had a problem with the drive lettering, at times, the more you have connected the more confused the system might get, but that's not often.

As for the 1156, I brought that up because I'd like to sell mine, and the i3,i5, i7 all work in these modern boards, Intel hasn't dropped the "i" series yet

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#27

Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

QUOTE (Wolf68k @ Friday, Mar 30 2012, 05:40)
@les
I might switch the SSD out for one with a better Write speed. And larger but if you really do plan to stick to using it solely for the OS then you should be ok. However if you plan to put your Adobe CS "X" on there you might want to go bigger. I'm using a 120GB and it has 81GB used. Granted about 15GB of that is BF3 with another 12GB for Steam (BFBC2 and POPWW) but Adobe CS5 (Master Suite) is taking up 6.5GB, ver all my Program Files (x86) folder is nearly 40GB on it's own with Windows being another 20GB. Just giving you a heads up.


@Slamman
OCing these days is easy. If the mobo not only supports it but also boast about it then it's likely it'll have software you can run from Windows that will give you a nice easy performance boost. If the person wants to go further, they can usually in the BIOS but in some cases also from mobo software.
That being said who said he was going to OC at all? No one even brought it up until you did. Which begs the question, why? Why bring up something when the OP didn't ask about it?

And no the Xbox 360 does not have an Intel Xeon. It has an IBM Xenon. Wait? Why the hell does that even matter? No one said a bloody thing about the Xbox 360 either.

Where the heck did the Socket 1156 come in? les posted a list that uses the Socket 1155. Ok yes yojo did mention the 1156 first, although what he said about them and the Xeon is a bit confusing, but whatever. You just kept it going.

And you missed the point Stinky was making about internal card readers. I believe he was trying to say that with an internal reader if he needs a card reader on another computer he has to buy another card reader for that computer as well. So with an external reader you can move it from system to system with ease.

Look. Just stop ok.




@Stinky
I've never heard of this happening; the whole driver letter issue you encountered. I do think an easy solution would be to disconnect the card reader, install the OS like normal, then connect the card reader once the OS is ready to be used like normal, after all of the updates installed and other drivers installed and so on. the card reader would the last thing I would even think about getting to work, but then I don't need anything but an SD card reader since that is all I have, even the micro SD card I have comes with an adapter to make it fit an SD card slot, and the reader is on my printer.

Hmm maybe I can just get a bigger SSD and get a storage drive later, I mean I have a TB external that I can borrow from my Wii for a while. So I guess the question is, what SSD drive should I be looking at for under $180?

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#28

Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:34 PM

Newer tech will allow the SSD to cache things dynamically, but don't rely on the SSD as your main drive it will be rather small because of the cost, I'm sure. They do cost a small fortune if you ask me. I'll get one if they come to about a dollar a gig, hopefully less, Les

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#29

Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:38 PM

I wish I had access to the member table right now. I would highlight your entry and throw a f*cking bomb at the delete key. Please stop posting in my topic.

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#30

Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:54 PM

I have an OCZ Vertex 2 120GB but the 3 is the new things now.
I hear Intel, Kingston and Corsair are also nice.
Keep in mind while reading the Newegg (or any other) user reviews that things are going to be hit or miss. Nothing is perfect.
I started to get worried early on after reading somethings about my model, which strangely has 2 different versions, I was lucky in that I got the version that didn't have the problem that some others were having despite the model number being the same the the problem version. Yes confusing, I know. I gave up trying to make sense of it all. I've had it for about a year now and it's still running perfectly, but I still do backups yet I'd do that no matter what.


@Slamman
Anything you see outside of a dumpster, Goodwill and used on eBay is a small fortune to you.
And there is nothing wrong with relying on an SSD for the OS/main drive. Yes for the price I paid I could have gotten a 2-3TB HDD but I wanted the SSD and I don't regret my decision. Have I ever worried about running out of space? Yes, once. I wasn't paying attention to where some large files were being saved to where I had meant to select the 1TB D drive but screwed up and selected the SSD C drive. Othe than that no. Sure I could reinstall Steam but this time put it on the HDD instead of the C but this way I get faster load times and since I only keep 1-2 games installed at a time the space isn't too much of an issue.




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