Jan 14, 2009

i'm planning to assemble the following build, about USD 750 at my place in Malaysia.

Casing: CM Centurion 534
PSU: Corsair VX450W/ Silver Stone Strider ST50F
CPU:Intel Core 2 Duo E7300
Motherboard: MSI 7512 P45 Neo2-FR
RAM: Kingston: 2 GB DDR2 800 (2 unit)
Graphic Card: Sapphire 4670 512mb DDR4
Optical: Lite-On DVDRW 20X SATA
HDD: WD2500KS 250GB, 16MB SATA
Monitor: Samsung 2233SW 21.5" LCD

Here's my question. i am and engineer and am using this PC at home as an all rounder and would expect it to do these:

1. Basic entertainment (MP3, movies) and internet surfing
2. Games (non-hardcore gamer, but is crazy about football manager)
3. Amateur/ medium photoshop editting
4. Lots of office works spreadsheet, powerpoints, documents etc.
5. Adequate performance in GIS and CAD.
6. Adequate performance in numerical/mathematical modelling

I know that the budget is tight and would not expect the PC to perform extremely well in all the part. Just would like experts here to answer these few questions.

1. i've chosen a 450/ 500W PSU. Is it enough if i were to upgrade my GPU to a 4830 in crossfire later on and perhaps over clock my CPU a little to say 3.4GHz?

2. How do you expect this system to perform under task such as AutoCAD 2009, Office 2007, ESRI ArcGIS 9.2, Football Manager 2009, some of the MOST frequently used software for me?

3. If there is any part that i should upgrade in order to get adequate performance in these applications, what would you suggests?

I am asking all this because i rarely come across people asking regarding professional applications in PC (i understand most office uses workstations, but i always need to bring my work home). Hence i need your experience and advice in getting a system which will work just fine for me when i'm home.

thanks in advance.
1. Yes, that's a very high quality PSU with good amps on the 12V rail. However, I know of a better deal:
Ooops! Malaysia.... stick with the Corsair, or look for an Antec EA650, also an excellent deal right now and their sales are often world wide.

2. You need to max out your memory. It will help. Always choose 1.8V memory, 2x2GB should be fairly cheap.

3. Memory, as in #2.

MSI would not be my first choice in motherboards. Gigabyte or ASUS I would prefer. You CAN cut corners a bit with a P43 chipset if you like. You are not using crossfire or DDR3, the two differences.

P45 boards are generally the more deluxe though, so you get higher build quality.
Gigabyte UD3R:



Jan 14, 2009

thanks for your reply!

i guess i'm safe with the built generally huh?

Just 1 questions. i have been reading a lot in forum regarding this MSI vs Asus vs Gigabyte thing. and in fact i get the same advice not to go for MSI board by local computer shops. There is one thing i wanted to ask, what is wrong with the MSI board? i mean no offense but would like to know what actually is wrong with it as i heard many people not recommending it over gigabyte.

I've tried Gigabyte and asus over the years and found them reliable, but as for a P45 board offered, MSI is definately in the race (in terms of spec). Some reviews on Tom's found that the DrMOS is more effective energy saving, and provides better board layout than Gigabyte and Asus. Funnily though, after all those review, i could not find any system built from Tom's review of guide using MSI mother board they rated rather highly. So what is the problem? i heard they are less stable for over clocking, but for a non-over clocker, does this board posses any shortcomings?

i hope we can share some experience here. thanks.
MSI makes very nice looking and performing boards. The problem comes from reliability. They just have lower build quality.

We don't actually hate them here much. We just think of them as tier two... along with ECS, Foxconn, ASRock, and others. I have been known to recommend the occasional tier two motherboard when needed, but generally they just don't last as long.

I don't consider myself an expert on this. I'm much more the journalist. I base my statement on numerous reviews, debates, and discussions with builders that see a lot of motherboards.

MSI, DFI, and Foxconn are innovators for sure. But when we look for quality long-term builds we usually say Gigabyte or ASUS.

You will get people jumping in now to say they have never had an issue with ECS, or Biostar, or some other company. :)

I'm just going off the general consensus, as near as I can find it.


Jan 14, 2009
Well i guess that answered much of my question and cleared some doubts as of why Gigabyte always gets the nod ahead. Thanks. It's very much helpful.

Just 1 thing though, how do you guys rate my new build to a P4 3.2GHz, 2GB 400 RAM and a 128mb nvidia 5400MX system? is it a significant upgrade? how well would the new system perform in the applications i mentioned earlier as compared to my old system? thanks alot! keep the good things up!


Jan 14, 2009
Hello, i'm back, with my new computer! Half glad and half not. Will tell you why, but first, here's the spec:

Casing: C.M. Elite 335 front and back 120mm fan
PSU: C.M. Real Power M520W Modular
CPU: Intel E7300
Mobo: MSI P45neo2FR
RAM: Kingston 800 2gb DDR2 (2unit)
HDD: WD 7200 320GB
GPU: Sapphire 4830 512 DDR3
Optical: LG DVD writer 22x
Monitor: Samsung 2233SW 21.5"

All for under 625USD (after conversion). i couldn't find Silverstone Strider i'm looking for from the same shop, so compromise with the C.M unit. Anyone can comment on this PSU?

everything else is pretty much what i wanted. However, i found the system not up to what i expected. Here's why,

with the new core 2 duo, i'd expect Window XP to boot at least faster, instead, it took me about 20 seconds to reach log in page, my old AMD athlon 2000 with 512 mb DDR only needs 14 seconds. Not impressive.

Secondly, i regreted with the MSI mobo choice. Something seems to be wrong with the CMOS setting. Everytime i turn off PC and turn it on again (not restart but turnoff, then switch back on), i get a screen in DOS that tell me my CMOS is with error, the date and time switch back automathically to the date of manufacturing June 11 2008. everytime i reset in the BIOS or windows, and turnoff-on again, the same problem persist. What is wrong with that?

when i read about the E7200 overclocking article in Tom's, i tot off maybe by switching the FSB from 266 to 333 would get me 3+ Ghz. i was wrong again. the FSB cannot go more than 300, which it'll crash with a blue screen or restarted. even at 295 it is unstable too... i know i was warned about MSI and OC, but this is just a change of FSB and not even considered 'moderate' overclocking. After a few trial, something is wrong with my reliable Norton IS 2009, i don't know what, still fixing it.

That pretty much sums my system built. Not a failure though, i get to play FM2009 with ease now, even get to see the 3d matches. LOL. Working wise, still have not install the heavy stuff (i.e. AutoCAD 2009, ArcGIS 9.x) just yet. Will comment on it later.

Thanks for your advices, those that i bought, and those that i didn't. I guess it'll testifies to the great opinions available in this site.