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Building my first computer - thoughts on this build? Thank you :)


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#1
Jeremy Holt

Jeremy Holt

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Hi, I've just gone through the process of choosing components to build my first computer (Australia). I'm planning to using it for mid-level gaming as well as possible 3D modelling in the future (for my engineering/maths degree). I will dual boot linux/Windows 7. I would be grateful if any gaping ommissions or clashes in this build are pointed out (especially whether extra cooling systems are required and the power/quality of the PSU).

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Unlocked Quad Core Processor - Socket LGA1155 - 3.3GHz (Turbo Boost @ 3.7GHz) - 4x 256KB L2 & 6MB L3 Cache - Intel HD Graphics - Sandy Bridge - 32nm - TDP 95W - Fan - $235

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $105

SDD: Corsair Force Series 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Drive - SATA3 - 525MB/s Read & 490MB/s Write $120

MoBo: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Motherboard - Intel LGA1155 - Intel Z68 Chipset - 4x DDR3-1333 Dual Channel - 1x PCIe x16, 1x PCIe x4, 3x PCIe x1 & 2x PCI - 2x SATA3 & 4x SATA2 - 2x USB3.0 & 4x USB2.0 - Gigabit LAN - 7.1CH HD Audio - HDMI - ATI CrossfireX Support - ATX - $135

PSU: Antec 520W High Current Gamer Power Supply - ATX12V v2.3 - EPS12V v2.91 - 80+ Bronze Certified - 135mm Fan (HCG-520) - $80

RAM: G.Skill RipJaws 8GB (2x 4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Memory - PC3-12800 (1600MHz) - 240-pin DIMM - Non-ECC - Unbuffered - CL 9-9-9-24-2N (F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL) - $55

GPU: Sapphire HD 6950 Video Card - 1024MB 256-bit GDDR5 RAM - 800/5000MHz Clock - PCIe 2.0 - 2x DVI, 2x Mini DisplayPort & HDMI - AMD Eyefinity - CrossFireX Ready- DirectX 11 - $275

Wifi: D-Link Wireless N 150 PCI Adapter, Detachable Antenna (DWA-525) - $27

CD/DVD: Lite-On iHAS324 Internal Optical Drive - 24x12x8x /24x12x6x/12x + 48x24x48x, DVD±RW, CD±RW - SATA - $25

Case: I'm not really sure on what I should be looking for in a case - do i want USB 3.0, how many ports etc ... but i figure it's the piece I can go least wrong on.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much ^^
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#2
Digerati

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Hi Jeromy and welcome.

You said Windows 7 but I don't see it listed. Note OEM licenses are not transferable to new computers. Also, with more than 4Gb of RAM you need to ensure you get a 64-bit OS.

While I like Antec PSUs, 520W is too small. Note the minimum system specs for your selected graphics card says,

550 Watt Power Supply is required.

I also like Corsair PSUs.

Make sure your CPU and your RAM (or RAM with the same specs) are listed on your motherboard's webpage.

The primary responsibility of the case is to provide plenty of front to back air flow through the case, and to protect the components inside from kicks and bumps. I prefer a case with lots of large (120mm or larger) fan support and with removable, washable air filters. I like Antec cases. Most are not pretty, but then I tend to watch my monitors, not my case.

Finally, understand that graphics cards designed for gaming do NOT make the best graphics cards for 3D modeling, CAD/CAE work. For that, you need a "workstation" graphics card and as can be seen here, they can bust a budget. So you need to decide what your priority is - games or design?
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#3
Jeremy Holt

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Hi thank you for the reply :)

Good pick up on the PSU, but the graphics card you linked was the 2Gb version - the 1 Gb version only requires a 500W supply :P But maybe I should change to a 600W PSU anyway?

The CPU and RAM are both compatible.

Currently I'm thinking of getting the Sharkoon T9 value case, because it is one of the only case I've found which has 4 usb ports and a usb 3.0 port. The only problem is the LED fans, which would be resolved if I could get the black edition - but it isn't sold ANYWHERE I've found in Australia. But I haven't 100% decided and will have a bit more of a look. If worse comes to worse and the LED lights are really annoying I can just buy four 120mm fans for $20 and replace them.

Currently the 3D modelling is the lowest priorty since I'm unsure whether or not I'll have do any (especially not at home) ... so hopefully this graphics card will be good for everything i need, and if I need to I can get a workstation card at a later date if required.

Thank you again for the reply :D
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#4
Digerati

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Ah, sorry about the card. But still, the 525W would not give enough wiggle or expansion room. 600W would be fine, but I would feel more comfortable with 650W or larger.

I am not a fan of fancy case lights. They do nothing for performance, consume some power, add some heat and do nothing for performance (worth repeating). I want and expect my case to sit quietly and discreetly off to the side and not draw attention to itself. Typically, you can use a pair of wire cutters to permanently kill the LEDs on fans.
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