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First Build Almost Complete, Need Feedback Please!


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#1
chronofreak

chronofreak

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Hi, community! First-time builder here looking for some help. I'm putting together my first desktop computer and I would like some feedback on my component choices before I order the parts. I would like a computer that will be "acceptable" for at least a few years; it doesn't have to be anything fancy or high-end but neither is my goal a computer that's just "alright". I'm going to be using it primarily for playing games, watching movies, and using programs like Photoshop. I don't have a defined budget but I'm trying to get the best bang for my buck while building a decent computer. I would really appreciate it if I could get some feedback on my build - be it either suggestions to change a part or just comments of affirmation. Here's what I have:


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon) (changed from Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg))
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg) (changed from ASRock Z77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($97.55 @ Newegg))
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($122.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (32/64-bit) ($158.99 @ Adorama)
Keyboard: Microsoft ANB-00001 Wired Slim Keyboard ($12.98 @ Amazon)
Mouse: Microsoft Mobile Mouse 3500 Wireless Optical Mouse ($16.62 @ Amazon)
Total: $860.51
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Some other questions:
1. I'm planning on using a hand-me-down Dell DHM case. Would this work with the components I have?
2. I was originally going to get an i5-3570 processor because I wasn't planning on overclocking my system. A deal on Newegg.com, however, has given my the opportunity to get an i5-3570K processor for the same price when I buy it with the ASRock Z77M motherboard. If I do decide to overclock at some later point, would the power supply I have listed be adequate? If not, should I scale back and get a different power supply with less wattage?

Thank you so much for taking a look at my build!

Edited by chronofreak, 30 September 2012 - 12:13 AM.

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#2
Zolton33

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If you plan to over clock then i suggest a new case and buying an after market cpu cooler. The more air flow the better in keeping your pc running smooth and cool. Although the same goes for building a pc whether you plan to oc or not. Most dell cases i have seen only have room in the back for cooling and most are small and designed to just hold the parts that come in it. So getting a new case would give you more room for components and upgrades. And with that motherboard i'm guessing you plan to sli/crossfire at some point? 1 video card can run your case high imagine 2 in there plus an over clocked cpu putting out more heat. i strongly advise you to get a better case with a lot of air flow unless you plan to water cool. And a real good after market cpu cooler for the over clocking. Also getting the insurance through intel for your cpu would be a wise investment especially if you have never overclocked before, but it be wise to get it regardless better safe then sorry right?
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#3
chronofreak

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Thanks for the reply! I will consider a different case. As far as the overclocking goes, I'm not putting too much consideration into doing it. I don't expect running any applications that would need the extra performance boost. Having the option to overclock is nice in case I ever want to try it but, truthfully, I don't think I will. Also, no, I wasn't planning to SLI/Crossfire, I figured the one video card I listed would be enough for the things I'm trying to do. I'm not a big gamer; I'm currently just playing things like League of Legends and Minecraft, to give you an idea. :)
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#4
Zolton33

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Then why did you choose that motherboard? If you have no plans to over clock or to sli/crossfire there are cheaper better alternatives then the one you chose. And with the money saved you could get a decent ssd drive that would give you a boost in loading windows and starting applications and games. I would get a cheaper non k cpu and a mobo without the sli/crossfire option and put that money saved into an ssd personally. In gaming your gpu plays a much bigger role then the cpu though you do not want your gpu bottle necked from your cpu. But even an i3 2100 does not bottle neck easily.

If i were you i'd drop my cpu down to a non k series (many times they are more expensive any way) and drop down to a motherboard that better suits my needs with out bells and whistles i do not need and won't use. And sink that extra cash into some thing you will use and benefit from like an ssd drive. I would then get an external hard drive or buy a regular secondary hdd to store other things on. And if you really want to boost your gaming fps and experience get the best possible gpu you can afford. As like i said most games are more gpu dependent then cpu so you will be able to get better performance with a cheap cpu and more expensive gpu then with a cheap gpu and an expensive cpu. Just some things to think about while choosing parts.
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#5
chronofreak

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Oh, okay. So let's assume I went back to the i5-3570. Would I want to look for a motherboard with, say, an Intel H77 north bridge (as opposed to a Z77) to be compatible with the Ivy Bridge and at the same time avoid the extra expense of the overclocking capability? And would I just want to look until I find a motherboard that doesn't say that it supports CrossFireX in hopes of it being cheaper? Is this motherboard something you would suggest? It's one of the two cheapest LGA 1155/H77 motherboards I could find on Newegg; however, the other motherboard has the same price and still supports CrossFireX. Thanks for helping and putting up with my ignorance.
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#6
Zolton33

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Almost any 1155 board will accept a sandy bridge or ivy bridge cpu. So just about any sandy bridge motherboard will accept an ivy bridge (some may require a bios update first but you can check the mobo manufacturer web site to be sure). And you could just as easily go with a sandy bridge over an ivy one. The difference in most benchmarks are around like 6% better then the sandy bridge chips. So that is another thing to keep in mind. Ivy bridge is the latest and best sure. But not a huge enough gain to warrant an upgrade over a sandy bridge. Intels newer cpu's though due to release next year use a whole new socket type so with an 1155 board ivy would be its best cpu you could buy but its performance is not that far off from a sandy bridge.

Personally i would not buy an ivy bridge over a sandy bridge unless the ivy happened to be cheaper (and in most cases it isn't). So not sure why you are going with ivy specifically unless you just want the newest intel cpu. I plan on doing an upgrade on my amd build next year to be honest. And if i go with intel i plan to go with a sandy bridge cpu. Especially if you plan to over clock as ivy bridge does not seem to oc as well as a sandy cpu. And that is just a few examples. When i built the pc i am using now i bought a mobo and cpu both used to over clock. Figuring that even though i do not plan to oc knowing that a mobo and cpu can handle that extra strain made me think of its longevity of me using it under normal wear and tear it would last longer.

An article http://www.zdnet.com...esktop-pc/20118

Motherboard
Intel's Ivy Bridge processors all feature a Socket LGA 1155, so we need to find a compatible motherboard. In theory, all LGA 1155 motherboards are compatible with Ivy Bridge CPUs, but it's likely that many of the existing motherboards will need a firmware update to support this new processor line.


But those are some things to consider. First i would find a cpu that will fit your needs be it sandy or ivy (unless you want to wait for intels newest cpu's haswell). Then think of what you need and want your pc to do (how many usb plugs do you need do you want a 3.0 usb as examples) and search for a motherboard that has all the features you need and want. Then read up on your motherboard to find out how compatible it is with the cpu you chose (plus reading up on it gets you familiar with it for when you start building) and whether or not it needs an update for that particular mobo. If a mobo with sli/crossfire or extra features plus what you want and need is cheaper then those without those features then sure its a no brainer to buy it.
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#7
iammykyl

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Another reason to be ;shy of over clocking and/or using an after market heat sink and cooler with a boxed CPU from both Intel and AMD, (where a thermal solution is supplied) will void the warranty.,


Quote Thanks to Phillpower2.



damage to the Product due to external causes, including accident, problems with electrical power, abnormal electrical, mechanical or environmental conditions, usage not in accordance with product instructions, misuse, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation, or improper testing;


Full article available @ http://www.intel.com...b/cs-009862.htm


You can pay for an extended warranty for overclocking, last time I looked,

the plan covers Intel Core i5-2500K, Core i7-2600K, Core i7-2700K, Core i7-3930K, Core i7-3960X central processing units. Eventually Intel is likely to expand the list.



http://www.intel.com/go/tuningplan

How serious, advanced, are you in using Photoshop? what version?

Edited by iammykyl, 29 September 2012 - 03:06 AM.

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#8
chronofreak

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@Zolton33:
I was going with an Ivy Bridge because I assumed they were more efficient and have better benchmark results than Sandy Bridge CPUs. Articles like this helped sway me over the the Ivy side. Also, after doing a product search of the best-reviewed CPUs for Sandy and Ivy, it seems like there isn't a price difference between the two; prices are drastically different only when comparing i3, i5, and i7, it would appear. So my logic was "if Ivy is slightly better than Sandy at the same price, I'll get Ivy."

As far as the motherboard is concerned, I'm trying to find a CPU/motherboard combination that will work together right out of the box. I'm aware that I can mix and match Sandy/Ivy CPUs and motherboards, but I'm utterly ignorant when it comes to updating a BIOS so I'd like to avoid doing that if possible.


@iammykyl:

That's good to know, thanks. Realistically, I don't think I'll overclock my computer in the end; I've never done it, I don't know how to, and I don't anticipate "needing" to do it. I'll start looking for components that don't support overclocking to see if I can lower the cost of my overall build.

Photoshop CS5, Mathcad, and Creo Elements/Pro are some programs I might end up using.



=====EDIT=====

If I end up staying with an i5 Ivy Bridge processor, I'm now considering an i5-3450 over the i5-3570K. It's $35.00 cheaper and not much different performance-wise.
Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Amazon)

I've also reconsidered my motherboard to save $27.56.
ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)

Edited by chronofreak, 29 September 2012 - 11:18 PM.

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#9
iammykyl

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I think your build is heading towards a mid range gamer/general PC. It will perform very poorly as a workstion for photo/video/DAW applications.

Such a build should have.
As many processing cores as possible.
16 + (ideally) 32GB RAM.
Star with a Min 3 7500rpm HDDs, work up to 5+ later. SSD is not necessary.
GPU with CUDA, with a Min 2GB of VRAM, GTX 570 is very good.
Mobo with 7 + SATA connections.
Full tower case with excellent cooling.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/j8nS
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