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My first computer build. Need advice.


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#1
Silencio

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My pc is around 10 years old and I want to build one to last me another 10 years. I am building this pc for gaming only. My budget is $2,000 max, but 1,400 or so is a better number, since I don't want to waste my money and I want the most performance per dollar.

I have done about 3 weeks of constant research and I know quite a bit now. However there are a few parts I could use help with. I will be using my simple mouse and keyboard on my old pc, so I don't need those parts. I want to build this computer as soon as possible, but I also want to make sure I get the best parts for the right price.

I will not be overclocking and I will be using the stock heatsink on everything, so I don't void the warranty. My computer will be fast enough that I don't need to overclock for gaming and if I need to in the future I can buy water cooling then.

I am open to using any vendor, but I trust newegg and amazon. I also plan on purchasing from microcenter and mwave and I was wondering if anyone knows how reliable these places are.

My computer build at pcpartpicker with best prices - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4jgb

The same computer with prices at each vender - http://pcpartpicker....gb/by_merchant/

Here are my thoughts on my current build:

CPU - Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $179.99 @ Microcenter

This will not change. It has the best price per performance in video games.

CPU Cooler - None

I don't want to void the warranty with overclocking or different heatsink. This pc can handle all the top games without overclocking anyway. If my computer can't handle games later on I will add water cooling and overclock it.


Motherboard - Asrock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 $100 @ microcenter since I get $50 off when I buy motherboard and CPU combo.

I was gonna buy the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155, but it is not for sale at microcenter and I get $50 dollars off motherboards there for a combo deal. Someone said this is the next best board available at microcenter and with 50 dollars off it is cheaper. I like the overclock option since I may change my system later to overclock if it becomes too slow for games.

Memory - Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory $27.99 @ Newegg

This is the cheapest 2 x 4gb 1,333 memory available. The difference between 1,333 memory and 1,866 memory is only 1-2 frames per second on a video game and is not worth the extra money for the ram and not worth the extra money for a motherboard that supports higher speeds.

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive $129.99 @ Amazon

This is the cheapest 2tb hard drive I can find that has decent reviews. I didn't pick an ssd, because it won't make the video game run faster. The game may take long to load without an ssd, but if it doesn't affect gameplay then I do not care.

Video Card - HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card $557.86 @ Newegg

The videocard is my bottleneck for gaming and I chose the best video card available to get the best graphics and play the best games. I don't know the difference between the various versions of the radeon hd 7970, so I just chose the cheapest one for sale.

Case - NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case $109.99 @ Newegg

This is the cheapest full tower I found with decent reviews and good cooling including 4 fans. It looks ugly, but all I care about it price per performance.

Power Supply - Rosewill Capstone 650W 80Plus Gold $90 (10% off promo code) @ newegg

I am not sure if this is enough power. I am not overclocking, but I may in the future. I read 850 watts would be better, so I won't have to pay for a new PSU 5 years or so down the road when I decide to overclock. I definitely want my power supply to be very reliable since the cheap ones destroy other computer parts fairly often.


Optical Drive - LG GH22NS90B DVD/CD Writer $22.98 @ Newegg

This is the cheapest dvd writer I could find with decent reviews.

Monitor - Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor $159.99 @ Mwave

Someone on another building forum recommended this as a cheap monitor that is high in quality. I know very little about Monitors and would appreciate some more info or advice on monitors.

Operating System - Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) $138.99 @ B&H

I chose the 64 bit for better graphics and I chose professional because it is supported until 2020 but the home edition is only supported until the beginning of 2015.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Questions:

1. Is there anything I can save money on without sacrificing quality or possibly something much better for a little more money?

2. Are all of these parts 100% compatible with eachother?

3. Other than using that thing on my wrist to stop static electricity and being careful, is there anything else I should know about building a computer the first time?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I welcome all comments and suggestions. Thanks.
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#2
Digerati

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Hi Silencio and :welcome:

A couple things about your build. First, I congratulate you for doing your homework and learning about overclocking and aftermarket coolers and how they may void your warranty.

Second, I am torn over your choice of PSUs. Rosewill just does not have a good reputation for quality PSUs. BUT, to achieve a 80 Plus certification, the PSU must have very good efficiency ratings and that generally requires quality parts and design. To achieve a "Gold" rating, efficiency must be excellent. So maybe Rosewill is stepping up their game. Let's hope so. According to the HIS website for that card, a 500W minimum PSU is required so your 650W is plenty. I think 850W would be more than you would ever need. So perhaps you might consider a compromise at around 750W. For the record, I like Corsair and Antec PSUs.

Monitors are a bit subjective. You want one with fast response times and a good contrast ratios, and with the necessary connections to support your card. Beyond that, the subtle differences amount to personal preference. That said, for me, I look for monitors that have stands with height adjustments and they are hard to find. But I prefer to adjust my monitor height, and not my chair height. Plus, I have a hutch over my desk and many monitors without height adjustment will not fit under front lip/molding of the hutch. Just something to think about. Viewing angle may be important if others may gather around your monitor. If like me, you always sit directly in front of your monitor(s), viewing angle is less important.

This is the cheapest full tower I found with decent reviews and good cooling including 4 fans. It looks ugly, but all I care about it price per performance.

There is one main reason I don't like that case - no removable, washable air filters. Plus, that case is just too fancy for my taste. I like you, tend to pay attention to my monitors and want my cases to sit quietly and discreetly off to the side. I like Antec case. You might want to look at the Antec Three Hundred or Nine Hundred - they both are cheaper than the NZXT too.

I chose the 64 bit for better graphics and I chose professional because it is supported until 2020 but the home edition is only supported until the beginning of 2015.

Wrong/incorrect reasoning. You choose 64-bit primarily to support more than 4Gb of system RAM (but 64-bit Windows 7 has more security features too). And I am pretty sure your end of life information is incorrect (got a link to your information?). As seen here, all versions of Windows 7 will have the same mainstream support until 2015.

Either Home Premium or Pro would fit your needs (Compare Windows 7 versions).

Finally, that is not a good choice of a hard drive for a gaming machine - primarily because it has a slow rotation speed (5900RPM) and that is likely to be a bottle neck. I would pick a 7200RPM drive. See this PC Mag Review.
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#3
iammykyl

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I, like Digerati, avoided Rosewill like the plague. They have vastly improved and are now putting out some excellent units. I always read the reviews though as on JohnyGuru. I think they are the in house PSU for Newegg.
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#4
Silencio

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I read that microsoft offers extended support for the professional version of windows 7 until 2020 but only 2015 for windows 7 home edition. Will the extended support keep windows 7 pro safe from viruses and glitches? (Assuming I use a virus protector and don't go to dangerous websites of course)

I don't want to buy windows 8 in only 3 years to stay safe, but if I have no choice, then I will. I am using xp pro still on this old computer and I love it to death.

I am gonna give in and buy an SSD instead of a HD. I will keep my extra files I rarely use on my 2 external hard drives (I keep 2 copies of each file on different external hard drives in case 1 drive fails). Someone on another computer building forum said this is a good one here - http://www.newegg.co...scrollFullInfo.

A second opinion on a SSD would be nice. I only want the 120 gb, 60 is not enough for my needs. Also I read somewhere that certain SSD's can't be used to install operating systems. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

On another computer building forum, someone said that this video card was faster than the amd 7970 and on sale for 150 dollars less on amazon. See here - http://www.amazon.co....SIN=B005LU2Z02

It looks like 2 videos cards but they are combined into 1. Anyone know if this really is faster than the 7970? The price just looks to good to be true...

Also someone else said the 3 gb video card will be better for future games than 2 gb. Can anyone confirm if this is true or not?
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#5
Digerati

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I read that microsoft offers extended support for the professional version of windows 7 until 2020 but only 2015 for windows 7 home edition

I provided the link that shows the End of Support information and there is no difference between versions of Windows 7. If you read something different, I ask again to provide a link.

As for you reading other stuff, please provide links to those things too.
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#6
Silencio

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Digerati - I have been all around the internet for weeks now and it would take me another week to find the links. Most of the information I posted was from reviews from newegg.com, but someone on another pc building forum said not to trust those since a lot of reviewers on newegg are idiots, even though the newegg website itself is awesome.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ok I think I have all the parts decided now. I based this on lots research and lots of advice from several pc building forums. Don't be upset if I didn't use your suggestion, because I received suggestions from many people and I had to chose only 1. Even if I didn't choose your suggestion, you all still helped me a lot and I appreciate all the advice.

It was a struggle between speed, price and reliability, with reliability being first, speed second and price 3rd.

I am still open to advice, cause I am a noob and my reasoning for buying certain parts may be wrong. Maybe you know a website or store with cheap parts that aren't listed on http://pcpartpicker.com .

My new build is here - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/4w4t

The price on that link says 1,820, but it will actually be 1,745.

I added an air cooler since it doesn't void the warranty, unless you tell intel you used it. Also someone said cpus rarely go bad nowadays even when overclocked, as long as you don't super overclock it, so I would be interested in trying that down the road.

I used the ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard instead of the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard, because microsoft doesn't sell the extreme 3 and I get 50 dollars off on a motherboard/cpu combo deal.

I decided to use the cheapest cas 8 ddr 3 1,600 ram I could since my cpu is designed specifically for 1,600 as its sweet spot. Apparently the cas is more important though for speed.

I used the crucial m4 128gb SSD, because it is cheap and doesn't have many dead on arrival shipments like OCZ has. I don't want to deal with that and I don't mind this drive being slower than the OCZ since SSD is insanely fast anyway.

I chose the saphire brand of the amd radeon 7970 cause it is cheapest of all available and I can overclock it to match the other cards speeds myself, if I need to.

I chose the Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case, because of the removable dust filters and apparently a mid tower case will fit all of my computer parts, so why not save some money.

I chose the Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply, because I want plenty of power for overclocking everything and this particular model had lots of reviews and barely any dead on arrivals or instances where it destroyed other computer parts. Also 850 watts is futureproof for another videocard if needed later on.

The Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor is almost exactly the same as the other one I posted, but it has a higher contrast ratio for the same exact price. If 2 monitors are the same price and almost exactly the same, I will choose the one with a better contrast ratio.

I was convinced to use windows 7 home since the extra features for pro are useless and won't help me in gaming.

The keyboard and mouse got good reviews from massive amounts of people and they were recommended by other people. The lights on the keyboard also attract me a lot since I play in the dark and struggle to find keys sometimes.

I did not add a cooler for the video card, because nobody said it was necessary even when overclocked.
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#7
Digerati

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but someone on another pc building forum said not to trust those since a lot of reviewers on newegg are idiots,

No, that is not correct. They (the vast majority at least) are not idiots, they are just not professional reviewers. With user reviews, it is important to note happy users don't complain and most don't come back to write good reviews. Also, users typically don't have comparable products to compare with for proper side-by-side (A-B) comparisons, nor do they have properly equipped testing facilities or the necessary technical training for a proper evaluation. So if I am considering a product, I read the user reviews but I don't put a lot of stock in them, UNLESS there are several complaining about the EXACT SAME THING.

...unless you tell intel you used it.

Understand what you are saying. First it DOES void the Intel Warranty. Second, while rare, if the CPU does fail, if you intentionally fail to inform warranty support that you did not follow the installation instructions which says to use the supplied cooler, that is deceit for personal gain, fraud - a criminal offense.

Now if you want to use alternative cooling, that's fine. But don't lie (by omitting the truth) to Intel (or AMD) should something go wrong. Understand if you are upfront with Intel or AMD (and if you don't have a history of fried CPUs) they will more than likely replace your CPU because they want your future business. But also understand, they don't have to cover replacement, and sometimes don't.

Also note that neither AMD or Intel want to replace a CPU under warranty because the supplied cooler failed. So they provide EXCELLENT coolers with these CPUs - if someone is telling you otherwise, they don't know what they are talking about! They may not be the quietest coolers, and you may get a couple extra degrees from a quality aftermarket cooler, but with properly configured case cooling, the OEM coolers are more than adequate.

Additionally, understand that motherboard designers intentionally cluster other heat generating and heat sensitive devices around the CPU socket so they can take advantage of the expected OEM cooler's air flow. IMO, that Cooler Master cooler you select is an inferior cooler to the OEM. For one, it is not oriented the same a the OEM (which fires down on to the CPU), and it uses inferior sleeve bearings. I personally don't see how you think a cheap (and $24 is cheap) aftermarket cooler designed to fit multiple CPUs from multiple manufacturers will be better than a cooler designed specifically for that specific brand and model line of CPUs. Especially since you said you will not be overclocking. Nevertheless, the OEM cooler will support mild to moderate overclocking anyway.

OEM coolers of today are not the same as OEM coolers of yesterday. Note this review by LanOC Reviews where they report (my bold underline added),

This year at Intel Developer Forum Intel was showing off Sandy Bridge running at 4.9 GHz on a stock heatsink. As impressive as that is I was even more surprised to find that the stock heatsink included with our i5-2500K was even smaller than the last heatsink I had seen. Those of you who are into small form factor builds will enjoy the low profile of the stock cooler along with its noise level. Even on our open air test bench the cooler wasn’t noticeable at all. When put under a load, Intel’s stock heatsink did a great job of keeping things cool and quiet.


because microsoft doesn't sell the extreme 3

Nor would I expect a software company to sell it! ;)

I chose the saphire brand... ...cause it is cheapest

It also has a fine reputation so no issues there.

I was convinced to use windows 7 home

Yeah, Home Premium is fine - just make sure when you place the order you select 64-bit.
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