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Building My First PC - a lot of advice needed!


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#1
Vixie

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Hello,
firstly, thank you for taking the time to read this and any advice anyone can give.

What Is The PC Going To Be For?
I think that's the normal question asked first. The PC is going to be built for gaming and longevity. I'm not really bothered about playing with all high settings on everything, however what I would like for it to be able to play whatever new games come out in about 5 years (even if its scraping by on low settings). The idea is that it's an investment so that I do not have to upgrade/change stuff for quite a while.

What Is Your Budget?
I'm not completely sure to be honest... Which I guess makes things a little awkward to work with. The idea that I'm sort of running with at the minute is looking at what is shiny and new - then going one or two steps under to make it somewhat budget. As a vague guide I would go between $500-$1000.

So that's the bare bones of it. Here's what I have so far.

CPU Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52400 for $190 here
Because...
- Intel and Nvidia are more familiar to me and simply because of that I've leaned towards these brands in my build overall.
- I chose the 'sandybridge' CPU as it's one jump below the newer ivybridge (thus will be cheaper)
- I also chose the sandy to enable buying a cheaper motherboard as I know some of the ones I were looking at may not be compatible with ivy.
- I found the highest GHz I could and quad core to achieve the best performance and longevity
Basically this is a choice I'm fairly happy with unless someone suggests anything or finds something poop about it or something better :)
Oh, and it would help to know when spending about $200 on a CPU what would be a guideline price for the rest of the parts as I know I do not want one part to either weigh down the rest of them or be way better and wasted.

MOTHERBOARD ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $86
here (OPEN BOX)
Because...
- the z68 model came out with sandybridges therefore I feel would be a good match to the cpu
- its overclockable, but not initially overclocked - thats not something I really want to do but might concider it later.
- options for additional USB ports (i think???)
- can run two videocards (I think??? - if this is not correct PLEASE tell me)
- can use integrated audio rather than buying a sound card (again, I'm not completely sure on this sort of thing, please tell me if this is wrong)
- can run 1600 RAM DDR3 (more MHz is better I assume)

GRAPHICS CARD ZOTAC ZT-50306-10M GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card here at $160 newegg details here
Because...
- the GTX 560 ti seems one of the cheaper graphics card that is still considered 'high-end'
- I didnt really understand how to select what sort of price to go for... this is a guess
- I can use two together at a later date (SLI) rather than buying a whole new one
Downsides it is the 1GB version, I was told that a 2GB would be much better there is one here for $250 that is a 2GB one... would this be much better? and still SLI-able? at a later date would I be able to use SLI using a 2Gb version and 1gb version?
graphics card are rather confusing to me.

HARDDRIVE Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive here $60 (after discount code)
- I'm pretty sure 500GB would be big enough
- I'm not entirely sure what else really matters on a hard drive... this one just seemed good
is it possible to (at a later date!) buy a small SSD drive primarily for windows while still using the original hard drives to hold files on

RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM here $57
- 1600
- 8GB seems good, can always add more
- 1.5V
- 8.8.8 timings.. lower is better right?
- lots of good reviews

POWER SUPPLY
Argh?
So the graphics card needs a min of 450W, the RAM needs a min of 1.5V.... that's the best I can understand what will work with what I have
help here would be greatly appreciated !

CASE
again a little lost simply because I'm not sure how big I need... I know i need lots of cooling, and one that's got room for possible future SLI.

so that's all I have at the minute, any help would be greatly appreciated !!!
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#2
Vixie

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First note.
I realise now perhaps its a waste to purchase 1600RAM as the CPU supports 1333 max so it would be running as that, this may mean changing the motherboard too
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#3
iammykyl

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Gday VixiePosted Image

Posts may appear before my next reply so, apologies if answers are duplicated.
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#4
iammykyl

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Hello,
firstly, thank you for taking the time to read this and any advice anyone can give.

What Is The PC Going To Be For?
I think that's the normal question asked first. The PC is going to be built for gaming and longevity. I'm not really bothered about playing with all high settings on everything, however what I would like for it to be able to play whatever new games come out in about 5 years (even if its scraping by on low settings). The idea is that it's an investment so that I do not have to upgrade/change stuff for quite a while.
A. Just not possible to given any warrant of how long a build will last. The best we can do is spec with the most current hardware within a given budget. Game designers take a long time catching up with hardware innovations, so the rig we suggest will last for a long time.

What Is Your Budget?
I'm not completely sure to be honest... Which I guess makes things a little awkward to work with. The idea that I'm sort of running with at the minute is looking at what is shiny and new - then going one or two steps under to make it somewhat budget. As a vague guide I would go between $500-$1000.
A. Look nearer to the $1000 mark, but depends on, Do you need a new OS? Have you some reusable hardware like, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, optical drive and HDD?

So that's the bare bones of it. Here's what I have so far.

CPU Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52400 for $190 here
Because...
- Intel and Nvidia are more familiar to me and simply because of that I've leaned towards these brands in my build overall.
- I chose the 'sandybridge' CPU as it's one jump below the newer ivybridge (thus will be cheaper)
A. Intel is the way to go. The price difference going to a K series Ivy Bridge is marginal, so that's what we will aim for.

- I also chose the sandy to enable buying a cheaper motherboard as I know some of the ones I were looking at may not be compatible with ivy.
- I found the highest GHz I could and quad core to achieve the best performance and longevity
Basically this is a choice I'm fairly happy with unless someone suggests anything or finds something poop about it or something better :)
Oh, and it would help to know when spending about $200 on a CPU what would be a guideline price for the rest of the parts as I know I do not want one part to either weigh down the rest of them or be way better and wasted.
A. Same criteria for the Mobo, we will aim for a Z77 which could still use a Sandy Bridge if required. Rest assured, we will suggest a balanced rig.

MOTHERBOARD ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $86
here (OPEN BOX)
Because...
- the z68 model came out with sandybridges therefore I feel would be a good match to the cpu
- its overclockable, but not initially overclocked - thats not something I really want to do but might concider it later.
A. Open box is very risky, especially a Mobo, if you end up with a problem build, they are had enough to diagnose without adding further complications.
The selected CPU is locked, so overclocking is very limited.

- options for additional USB ports (i think???)
- can run two videocards (I think??? - if this is not correct PLEASE tell me)
- can use integrated audio rather than buying a sound card (again, I'm not completely sure on this sort of thing, please tell me if this is wrong)
- can run 1600 RAM DDR3 (more MHz is better I assume)
A. Correct, except for the RAM
which you spotted, as indicated in your second post.

GRAPHICS CARD ZOTAC ZT-50306-10M GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card here at $160 newegg details here
Because...
- the GTX 560 ti seems one of the cheaper graphics card that is still considered 'high-end'
- I didnt really understand how to select what sort of price to go for... this is a guess
- I can use two together at a later date (SLI) rather than buying a whole new one
Downsides it is the 1GB version, I was told that a 2GB would be much better there is one here for $250 that is a 2GB one... would this be much better? and still SLI-able? at a later date would I be able to use SLI using a 2Gb version and 1gb version?
graphics card are rather confusing to me.
A. We will go for a better GPU. I prefer nt using SLI/Crossfire, but going for the best affordable card. Duel graphics is OK if you have a lower performing card and want a cheap upgrade but, you need a more powerful PSU, generate more heat and noise, may have to upgrade cooling/buy a new case.

HARDDRIVE Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive here $60 (after discount code)
- I'm pretty sure 500GB would be big enough
- I'm not entirely sure what else really matters on a hard drive... this one just seemed good
is it possible to (at a later date!) buy a small SSD drive primarily for windows while still using the original hard drives to hold files on
A. That drive is possible and yes, you could add a SSD later and keep the original as a DATA drive.

RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM here $57
- 1600
- 8GB seems good, can always add more
- 1.5V
A, Optimal size and speed but would go for low profile.

- 8.8.8 timings.. lower is better right?
A. 9.9.9.24 timing, for gaming, you would not notice any benefit with lower, and slightly cheaper.

POWER SUPPLY
Argh?
So the graphics card needs a min of 450W, the RAM needs a min of 1.5V.... that's the best I can understand what will work with what I have
help here would be greatly appreciated !
A. PSU would be decided at the end of the build when everything else is selected.

CASE
again a little lost simply because I'm not sure how big I need... I know i need lots of cooling, and one that's got room for possible future SLI.
A. A mid tower for this build, we will give suggestions.

so that's all I have at the minute, any help would be greatly appreciated !!!


Have I missed something, or do you have more questions?

Have a read through this topic where selection is almost complete, note, it does include a monitor.

> http://www.geekstogo...15#entry2190936



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#5
Vixie

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Thanks :)
here's what I have now based upon your advice.

CPU
Intel is the way to go. The price difference going to a K series Ivy Bridge is marginal, so that's what we will aim for.
In which case I looked for some nice ivy bridge processors and found this one at $199 (with code)
Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz
This one runs the 1600Mhz RAM too which I assume is better

MOTHERBOARD
we will aim for a Z77, Open box is very risky, especially a Mobo
OK so found a z77 avoiding open box products, its a bit more expensive but space for additional usbs still (i think), and more of the faster 3.0 ones too. I'm hoping it can still run an integrated sound card so I don't have to buy one... oh and it also has the 3.0 pci thing for the graphics card which is better too, thumbs up for that. $135
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 though looking at the price history I may wait for it to go on sale?

GRAPHICS CARD
We will go for a better GPU. I prefer nt using SLI/Crossfire, but going for the best affordable card. Duel graphics is OK if you have a lower performing card and want a cheap upgrade but, you need a more powerful PSU, generate more heat and noise, may have to upgrade cooling/buy a new case.
well i was thinking of the whole SLI thing for a few years in the future when it's come down in price to give a bit of a boost.
as of now I'm feeling torn between GTX 570/480 as they're about the same price. I've read that the 480 runs a lot hotter which isn't a good thing but is very slightly more powerful. I was also wondering about an overclocked 570
GTX 480 at $250 GTX 570 OC at $260
The one I'm leaning most to however is the 570 at $240
also I noticed they use PCI 2.0s rather than 3.0s, I guess that means i wont be taking advantage of the 3.0 until a lot later if I buy a new graphics card? in which case SLI seems a silly idea, maybe its worth finding a cheaper mobo just with 2.0? The prices so far are making me squirm a little...


Yay for the harddrive :) that can be a tick!

RAM
Optimal size and speed but would go for low profile.
9.9.9.24 timing, for gaming, you would not notice any benefit with lower, and slightly cheaper.

I'm sorry I dont know what you mean by low profile
however looking for a 9.9.9 one is a bit cheaper (yay)
this seems to be the cheapest ones meeting those settings, at $37

Ok, Leaving the Power Supply til later then!

As for the case, this one (from a quick glance across the internet) seems alright...?
this for $40

I think I should be able to salvage monitor/mouse/keyboard from the old pc :)

Edited by Vixie, 13 August 2012 - 06:52 PM.

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#6
iammykyl

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Great to see that you are continuing to do research.

3 Cases. > http://www.newegg.co...5E11-147-153-TS
One illusion, not up to Antec usual standard, Going by the weight and some reviews, the case is flimsy and also, (importantly) has no dust filters.
Challenger, better case, good buy if still on Promo.
Three hundred, has everything. the one I most often recommend in this price range.

Mobo, 2. > http://www.newegg.co...5E13-157-296-TS
Extreme4 if you decide you will use 2 GPUS at a later date.
Pro4 if you only using 1 GPU.
Motherboards today come with very good integrated sound, so unless you are a audiophile, there is now need to buy a sound card.

Info. USB 3.0 socket will accept ver, 2.0 hardware devices. There are, at the moment, only very limited devices that use USB 3.0, like extends HDD enclosers so not a great deal of use.

GPU, benchmarks, > http://www.anandtech...duct/309?vs=306

My choice would be a 570, just a little better across the board, runs cooler, users less power. Note, Be sure to select this mode. AR, donated lifetime warranty, fairly short card, stock cooler is quieter than the custom one, > http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814130622

RAM.

I dont know what you mean by low profile

A. The total hight of the RAM above the slot. Memory with large heat spreader can interfere with the installation of many after markert CPU coolers, so I prefer low profile.

Your selected RAM is good, if still on offer.

PSU, yet to select.

Edited by iammykyl, 13 August 2012 - 11:22 PM.

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#7
Vixie

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So what I will be purchasing today is...
Rosewill Challenger Case $40
Western Digital Caviar Blue $60
Patriot Gamer RAM $37
Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz $200
while the discounts are still available.
could you advise me on which items/any that I should purchase the warranty options on please?

I think I will wait a day or two to purchase the video card (to see if any go on sale)
was it this one or this one that you recommended? Sorry I got a bit confused.

I will wait for the Extreme4 mobo to go on sale and then grab that cause it seems a bit expensive now :)

So... now i just have the power supply left right?
How do I go about finding the requirements I need as I was going to start looking for it now



P.s. thanks so much for all your help <3
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#8
phillpower2

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A bargain if you have a local Micro Center store http://www.microcent...duct_id=0388577

Store locator http://www.microcent...ores/index.html

Sorry if this throws your plans up in the air :whistling:
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#9
iammykyl

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Yes to buying your selected parts. I would not buy any extended warranty on your parts as I believe you are adequately covered already.

Back in half an hour.
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#10
iammykyl

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Thanks Phillpower2.


Vixie


That is too good a deal to miss. If you can secure it, You could cancel part of your order from Newegg, if already placed.
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#11
phillpower2

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You are welcome iammykyl :thumbsup:
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#12
iammykyl

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The GPU to buy was the second one, > http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814130622 (Discounte)

How do I go about finding the requirements I need



We use various on-line PSU calculators, like this one, > http://www.thermalta...n.com/index.jsp and for your proposed build I suggest the following.

Using 1x 570 GPU, 650w . A couple are 750w, but that does not matter, note the PC power and cooling with a free DVD burner. Let us know before ordering. > http://www.newegg.co...3^17-182-133-TS

Using 2x570 GPUs, 850w, > http://www.newegg.co...6^17-153-106-TS
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#13
Vixie

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Hello :)
Sorry it's been a while
There is a micro center about 40minutes from me however I don't have a car and have to rely on someone else being free to take me there, but i have decided to go with the better CPU there instead and haven't purchased the one from newegg, so hopefully I will be able to pick that up soon.

as for the power supply... the http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817182133 looks good and I'll probably grab it today while theres still $15 off :D
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#14
iammykyl

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Yes the P0SU is good to go.
You must ring macro centre and confirm that if you order the GPU, it is reserved for you to pick up.

but i have decided to go with the better CPU there instead and haven't purchased the one from newegg,

What CPU have you upgraded too?

Good luck.
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#15
Vixie

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What CPU have you upgraded too?
- the one from the microcenter recommended before
http://www.microcent...duct_id=0388577

does anyone know how long/soon after I reserve an item online from the microcenter I can pick it up?
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