Author Topic: Building a WoW computer  (Read 5573 times)

HeidiB

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Building a WoW computer
« on: October 24, 2015, 07:06:44 AM »
Ars Technica's last system guide is dated December '14 -- I don't see a new one from this August.  Can someone here point me to a more recent recommendation?

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/12/the-ars-system-guides-gaming-boxes-december-2014/

I'm optimizing for quiet, energy efficiency and WoW.  I figure I'll want mirrored SSD drives, a fanless video card, a good quality case, and a fancy large fan/heat sink on the CPU.  One challenge I face is moving files off my current RAID mirrored system and onto the new machine -- maybe I can just plug one into the new computer and drag-n-drop, or maybe I can't.

Chibe

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2015, 07:36:42 AM »
Want me to make a computer part list for ya?

I do have a few things to point out:
1. More of a curious thing, but there a reason why you want a mirror raid setup?  As for the raid setup you have now, you can always transfer the information off the raid setup over a network or a large storage device to the new computer.
2.A fanless video card is only good for HTPC, not for gaming.  Hell, I have a 295x2, one of the most powerful video cards out there, and its dead silent.  The trick is not getting a blower style heatsink video card or a heatsink that only has one fan on it.

HeidiB

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2015, 08:03:33 AM »
I've had good luck with the Sapphire Radeon fanless video cards, but the reviews haven't been as good lately.

I want a mirror raid setup because I'm paranoid.  Funny story:  I rarely get power outages here, but when I do the RAID wants to go through and check the drives bit by bit.  This happened once during a TRR raid, and performance was poor.  So then I had to get a UPS to back up my RAID which was protecting my data...  I also have Windows doing incremental backups monthly, but I don't really trust them.  (And if my house burns down, my only offsite backup is years old.)

I would love a computer part list, but I reserve the right to swap in a fanless video card or other such nonsense.  I have $800 set aside for the project and can spend more as reasonable.  I can get to MicroCenter but prefer to order online.

My current case has a vent and power button on top.  I wish it didn't.

Chibe

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2015, 08:06:29 AM »
Then lets go ahead and answer these questions:

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
6) Will you be overclocking?
7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2015, 08:42:25 AM »

HeidiB

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2015, 04:18:48 PM »
Then lets go ahead and answer these questions:

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc

Gaming, web browsing, Microsoft Office, Snip/Paint, Picasa, possibly some light Python or other programming, possibly some computing (Maple, SAGE, Geometer's Sketchpad, Geogebra).

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2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?

$800 - $1200 for all expenses.

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3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.

Somerville, MA, USA  (who's "us"?  are you going to make me go to Cambridgeport?)

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4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.

Case, motherboard, CPU, quiet CPU heat sink/fan, memory, quiet power supply, CD/DVD drive (or can transfer from existing computer), video card, ethernet card (if not on MB), sound card (if not on MB), twin SSD drives >= 500GB each, USB ports (if not on MB).

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5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.

Possibly the CD/DVD drive.  I like to transfer files between machines by installing an old HD in the new machine.

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6) Will you be overclocking?

Heck no.

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7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?

1280 x 1024.  19.5"?   (Please don't laugh -- I have limited desk space.  Recommend a smaller printer and I'll buy a bigger monitor.)

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8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?

Thanksgiving or Christmas break.

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9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.

Raid mirroring, SATA to talk to my SSD drives, preferably USB, ethernet & sound.  The USB mostly talks to my phone, camera, headphones and mp3 player.

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10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?

I have Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.  I don't know if it's transferable.  I don't mind buying a new OS but I'm not excited about Windows 8.

**andius

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2015, 07:15:03 PM »

Quote
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?

I have Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.  I don't know if it's transferable.  I don't mind buying a new OS but I'm not excited about Windows 8.

As long as it is a retail copy and not an OEM version then it is transferable.
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Chibe

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2015, 07:23:24 PM »
Ok, a few MOAR things:

1.  It is way too early to give you a buy list, since it is over a month from when you are going to buy.  About a week before you buy, i'll give you a shopping list.
2.  That monitor... its 2015.  I'm going to budget you a new monitor.  As for a space, we can always get a VESA stand that extends past your desk.  A picture of your current setup would see if it is possible.
3.  Do you have a USB thumb drive?  Instead of putting in a DVD drive into a computer, you can put the installation data for windows 7 onto a USB drive.
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My current case has a vent and power button on top.  I wish it didn't.
4.  What do you wish it had?

*edit*

Also want to point out here:  Not going to do a shopping list yet, but more than welcome to answer any questions about parts.  And for the "us", I grabbed the questionnaire off a website I visit often.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 07:27:32 PM by Chibe »

HeidiB

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2015, 09:09:21 AM »
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's a retail copy of Windows 7.  Let's just use that, since I don't see a better OS around.

For the case:  a plain, closed top with power button someplace where cats won't step on it is better.  The computer is under a window (so I could get rain on my CPU if I was unlucky) and cats jump on it regularly.  (At least I haven't caught them napping on the warm vent yet!)

I very much appreciate the sexy removable hard drive sleds with shock absorbing cushions in my current case, even though they only get used a couple times over the life of the computer.  Space for cables is nice, but not having a ginormous black tower in my apartment is also nice.  Sadly, glowing blue lights are not a turnon.

I can get thumb drives at the drugstore, but I'm likely to move the CD/DVD drive over.  I'm old and like hardcopies of my music.

I'll think about moving my printer to make room for a real monitor.

Chibe

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2015, 09:40:34 AM »
Windows 7 should not be a problem for anything.

As for the case, most good cases have vents on the top of the case.  Going to spend some time looking for a good case that doesn't have it.  Might have to go with a micro case.

*edit*

A dust filter will be able to stop a light rain, so that might be an opinion for the case.  Here is an example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147244&ignorebbr=1
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 09:50:15 AM by Chibe »

HeidiB

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2015, 10:04:38 AM »
I don't mind vents on the side, even on the tops of the sides.  The problem is the two fans above the CPU pointing straight up.  If I spill a glass of water the wrong way it will pour right down over the CPU.

I don't see a hole in the top of that case you linked to.

I think this case has a vent in the top:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

Pretty sure my current case is Antec.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 10:10:47 AM by HeidiB »

Chibe

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2015, 10:17:54 AM »
Here is the case that I will most likely recommend to you: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139056&cm_re=330r-_-11-139-056-_-Product

It is designed to be quiet, has a shield over the top fan so that you don't have issues with water, and it has buttons infront.

HeidiB

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2015, 11:10:33 AM »
No nonsense.  I like it!

Hope the drive bays are easy to access!

Chibe

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2015, 11:59:36 AM »
If it's like anything close to my 400R, then all you need is to take off side panel and your there.

*edit*

Yup, it is exactly like my 400R.  looking at the side, the bottom right is the 3.5" drive bay.  The hard drives go into a slide tray, which you can easily slide in and out.  As for the 5.25", it slides in front the front and secured by a tool-less pegs.

The only down side is that I would want to get one more fan for the case, since 2 fans are kinda weak for a gaming computer.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 12:10:18 PM by Chibe »

ghoselle

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Re: Building a WoW computer
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2015, 12:32:16 PM »
One of the things I did with my latest build was to get a DVD drive that connects and is powered via USB.  Combined with either a long USB cable or a monitor with a built in USB hub, and it let me have the drive conveniently located wherever I wanted on my desk, rather than in the case.  (I also share it between my laptop and my desktop.)  Its not more expensive than buying a new internal drive, and I've found it more convenient.