My slow motion 1055T computer build

vbimport

#1

As a few of you may know, I’ve been gathering parts for a new computer for 6 weeks or so now. Why so slow? I’m cheap! :slight_smile:

I’ve been investigating a few budget parts that were new to me, and have been waiting for sales/rebates/end of patience with everything else.

I started this little adventure by finding a good quality Corsair power supply with a nice rebate offer. It is the CMPSU-400CX 400w and cost $29.99 after the rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008 I’ve seen it for $10 less one time, but that price hasn’t shown up since.

The next piece of the puzzle was a case. There aren’t a great many good cases under $50 so this was definitely experiment/try your luck time. I found a Silverstone case with rebate and free shipping that was too tempting to pass up. Cost: $34 after rebate. http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Tower-Case-PS02B-Black/dp/B002RX269Q/ref=sr_1_46?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1278005303&sr=8-46

Silverstone is known for solid cases with great finishes, good cooling and innovative interiors. This particular one is undoubtedly the least impressive, most pedestrian case they have ever sold to the public, but for a budget case it is not too bad. The painted finish is good, and overall appearance is nice as well. The side panels are thin, which I have had to deal with to prevent resonation, and it comes with a good quality 120mm fan. This case is large enough to accommodate very tall cpu coolers and is long enough for even the biggest video cards.

The case is not without problems however. I used a dremel to remove the punched out fan cover on the front (behind the bezel) to improve air flow from the bottom front of the case. I stiffened the sides using Elmer’s Foamboard, which is both light and rigid and helps deaden sound within the case. The top has a 140mm grill for a fan (not included), and I personally don’t like top fans…oh well. The case is solid enough and has room to route cables behind the motherboard.

Silverstone includes a very nice 120mm fan, but it has LED’s in the thing which I can’t stand, so I replaced it and added two more fans. Their positions are: one on the back, one at the bottom front and one at the top blowhole. All are Yate Loon 120mm, a good quality, fairly quiet fan, though not cutting edge in low dB output.

Here are a few pictures of the case and power supply:

You’ll notice that I’m trying out the quick release mechanisms supplied by Silverstone in this case. They seem to work very well for the optical drives, but the hard drives are far too loose for my taste. I will attach them with screws and some small rubber washers to reduce vibration.


#2

Nice start Kerry :iagree:

Not to bad on the eyeballs :disagree: and long enough to fit a GTX260 in :smiley:

I really like having these PSU on the bottom now myself.


#3

Here we have the motherboard, cpu and ram that I am using in this build.

The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H, with onboard video, USB 3 and SATA 6gb/s. Since this rig is intended for video encoding chores, it doesn’t need a powerful video card, though I can add one later if I find it to be necessary. The Radeon HD 4290 is the most powerful onboard video they have released to date though and should be able to handle HD video playback easily.

The ram is 2 x 2GB Corsair DDR3 1600, which I got for $89.99 with a $10 rebate, yet to come.

And finally, the processor, which is an AMD AM3 socket 1055T, which has six cores and runs at 2.8Ghz. It was a hard choice between this processor and the i7 860 on the 1156 Intel platform. Either would be very good for X264 encoding.

Buying the motherboard and cpu as a combo saved $30 off the top.

I already had a LG blu ray drive which is going in this rig, as well as my trusty old Samsung SH-S203B. The hard drives are both Hitachi 1tb. Sorry, no sexy (EXPENSIVE) SSD’s in this build.

The only part left is the aftermarket heatsink/fan, which hasn’t got here yet. So I will update when it comes in and I begin the actual build.



#4

And finally, the processor, which is an AMD AM3 socket 1055T, which has [U]six cores and runs at 2.8Ghz[/U].

Now were talking :iagree: :iagree: I think we can call this a beast :bigsmile:


#5

Finally back after many delays.

Here are some pics of the heatsink/fan and motherboard. I’m using a Kingwin XT-1264, which was not my first choice, but the Coolermaster 212 Plus hsf’s were either out of stock or WAY over recommended retail price. The Kingwin has about 12 reviews, maybe more and you’d think there would be some sort of consensus about it, but they range from very good to decidedly Meh. Noise levels in particular were all over the place, so it was hard to get a feel for this budget level hsf beforehand.

The Kingwin cost $19.99 with free shipping from Mwave.





#6

Installation of Win 7 went fine, though validation online is still a pain in the butt. Downloaded the latest drivers from Gigabyte’s site, and the video drivers refused to load. Used the one off the cd that came with the motherboard with no problems.

Here it is, ready to run…actually using it for this post.

After a few tests for stability, I went into the bios and did a bit of simple overclocking. I’m not set up to push the envelope, but wanted to reach 3.2ghz, which is normal speed for the more expensive Thuban processor from AMD, the 1090T. And I wanted to do this on stock voltage settings. Both were very, very easy to do. I’m running at 3.29ghz, 235 x 14 and temperatures are quite good even when running Prime95 on all six cores.

There are many people running this processor at 4ghz on air, so the Thuban core cpu’s seem like fine prospects for any overclockers out there.

So that’s the end of this budget build. What would I do differently? I might wait for a good buy on an Antec case with psu included. The Antec 300 is at $65 right now at Newegg. The Kingwin hsf, though much better than the stock fan, would not be one I would choose again. It cools well, the price was right, and most of the time is very quiet, but the fan is [B]not[/B] particularly quiet at top speed. Part of that may simply be the blowhole letting more noise straight out at me than I am used to.

Expenditures for parts: Heatsink/fan $19.99
PSU $29.99
Case $33.99
Memory $79.99
Motherboard and cpu $309.99
No shipping charges on anything.
Total spent: $473.95. I already had all the peripherals, the operating system, the optical drives and the hard drives, so this is a bit deceiving for this level of computing power. If you are wondering about the rebates, Silverstone was very fast in getting it back to me. Corsair is slower, but still sending them.

There are a few interesting tidbits about this motherboard. It has two SATA controllers; one has six 6gb ports, the other has two 3gb ports. I’m using AHCI with the main controller, but I left the slower Gigabyte controller in IDE mode and hooked up my optical drives to it.

Though it has USB3, there are only two ports, and not many of the slower USB2…but there is a whole line of usb headers on the board. Quite a lot of the room is taken up with audio and video ports on the back, and it seems like this motherboard would be an excellent choice for a home theater computer.




#7

Why are you getting old drivers?

Sound (onboard): http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/Drivers/Realtek/ (at the top)
Sound (via HDMI): http://radeon.ru/downloads/drivers/realtek/HDMI_R249.exe

LAN: http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloadsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=13&PFid=5&Level=5&Conn=4&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false

SATA(2): ftp://driver.jmicron.com.tw/jmb36x/XP_Vista_Win7/JMB36X_WinDrv_R1.17.55_WHQL.zip (Should be up to date already)

Southbridge:
https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/674/9206/0/www2.ati.com/drivers/10-6_vista_win7_32-64_sb.exe

The regular ATi Catalyst drivers doesn’t work for you?

//Danne


#8

Sweet build! The x6 processors are a great value :cool:


#9

[QUOTE=eric93se;2529646]Sweet build! The x6 processors are a great value :cool:[/QUOTE]

Yes they are but I have a 720 triple core and never even get to stress all 3 cores
at once so a x6 would be a waste of money for me right now.

Not a lot of software out there at the moment that can take advantage of dual or
triple cores yet… let alone take advantage of all 6 cores but maybe down the road
a piece it will happen. :iagree:


#10

^DVDRebuilder and BD-Rebuilder can make use of multiple cores. Video encoding was the point of this build, particularly using the X264 encoder. Been busy this weekend, so I haven’t had a chance to let it out the gate, but it should reduce encoding times for me quite a lot.

And @DiiZzy, I’ve already updated drivers, at least as much as I’m going to, but thanks for the links.


#11

Friend just built a 1090 and he’s running around 4ghz with stock heatsink and fan and he’s pretty impressed for the money spent. Lately he’s been building Intel machines becuase they are just faster for high end clients but he’s probably going to start building these as great bang for buck machines.
I’ll probably upgrade to one or the other soon when I get a great deal as my old M3A32-MVP Deluxe supports AM2+/AM3 and I wont have to buy better memory, just maybe update the FW and plunk it in.


#12

@ Kerry56
Just FYI the drivers on the gigabyte site are old (some are several months) and if you don’t want to improve performance and get rid of some annoying bugs it’s a good reason not to upgrade :wink:
//Danne


#13

I think you misunderstood DiiZzy. I had already upgraded drivers from the original ones before you posted your links. I used the ones from the Gigabyte site just to set up cause I knew they would be newer than the ones on the cd, but went looking for updates after checking initial stability.

The ATI Catalyst drivers for video are a little odd with this onboard chip, but nothing a reboot couldn’t solve.


#14

Ahh, I see =)
//Danne


#15

Encoded a Blu ray movie last night. Using BD-Rebuilder and a two pass High quality encoding setting this took 6hrs and 54 minutes. This was a main movie backup.

As a comparison, using the same settings on a similar length movie in my old computer, BD-Rebuilder took approximately 10 1/2 hrs to complete. That rig has an Intel Q9550 processor overclocked to 3.4ghz. Not exactly an apples to apples comparison, but gives a rough idea of speed increase.

Encoding times vary quite a lot depending on the individual movie and encoder settings. A one pass ABR encode should take less than 5hrs and probably closer to 4.


#16

Time for a couple small SSD drives, that should make a big difference. I guess they would need equally fast read/write speeds.

here, get one of these and play :smiley:
WD SiliconEdge Blue SSC-D0064SC-2100 2.5" 64GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive