First own-build PC

Hey all, finally joined Tom'sHW after using it for alot of research and info and now i need some more help from you guys.

I'm a computer student at college and am about to order parts for my new system build when work pay me in a few days. I know quite alot about computers as it is but would like you lot to give me some advice/ideas on the system im thinking of building so far... :D

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of this week (I get paid on Thursday, plan to order on thursday aswell)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Gaming, (WoW, LOTRO, AoC, some fps (few other games), internet, movies, college work (spreadsheets, programming etc)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, case (already bought a full size ATX case) Already have and will be using Windows 7 home premium 32-bit.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:,,, (Places that do cheap/fast delivery and are reliable/trusted)

PARTS PREFERENCES: ATX motherboard (no micro stuff :P) AMD and ATI CPU and GPU (fancied a change from intel and nvidea)

OVERCLOCKING: I plan to OC most of it when its built hence the cpu with unlocked multipliers


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I already have a list of parts for you guys to take a look at, see what you guys think and if ive picked some good/bad things or things that arent compatible.

CPU: AMD Phenom II x2 550- BLACK EDITION (No point with buying an x4, most games i believe only run with 2 cores and i dont game and watch films/do other CPU resource heavy stuff at once so no need with a x4 with lower GhZ. Plus X2 can be unlocked to X4 with BIOS hack and some batch luck to get all cores stable :P

CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2 (Fits AM3 and i'll be using Arctic Silver 5)

Mobo: ASUS m4a785td-V Evo (Allows Bios hack for unlocking X2 550 and i love how it looks hehe, also has had some very good reviews and is in my budget)

RAM: DDR3 1333mhz 4GB (4x1GB) OCZ Reaper HPC edition (might have some clearance issues with CPU fan but do the heatsinks on these as much as they claim to do? help :D)

PSU: OCZ 500W StealthXStream (refuse to buy any unbranded PSU, I dont think I'll need more than 450-500w PSU, but you can help me decide that, also i cant afford to be spending like £120 on a PSU)

Graphics: Undecided, I cant really afford more than £70-£100 for a graphics card (and I DONT want sli/crossfire) as I only work part time and I'm new to ATI cards but im looking for a 4670/4850/4870 whatever is good and i can afford, maybe help me by posting a few ideas, ive seen a couple of those mentioned for £50-£100 :)

HDD: Was thinking of getting a really good one with 32MB cache and 10k+ spin rate, but for now im just gunna get a cheap 16mb cache 7.2k rpm HDD untill i can afford more, not too worried about that right now though.

DVD-Drive: Again, its a DVD-drive, I'll pick one up for like £20, I dont use it too often anyway, mainly for just installing things :)

Thanks for having a look guys, all feedback appreciated :D
12 answers Last reply
More about first build
  1. CPU/Mobo are good.

    Cooler: Not sure on prices over there, but a great cooler at a good price is the Coolermaster Hyper 212. It's one of the best.

    RAM: Not sure on the CAS Latency on those sticks. You want CL 7 sticks. I don't think the heatsink really matters. G.Skill makes an excellent set that's fairly cheap.

    PSU: If you're wanting to Crossfire later, you'll need at least 650W, if not a little more. I like to recommend the 700W OCZ Stealth because it's really cheap right now in the US. Stick with OCZ, Antec Earthwatts and Corsair to ensure you're getting quality parts.

    GPU: Again, I'm not sure on prices over there, but I highly recommend either the HD 5750 or 5770. Over here, the price difference isn't much, so I always recommend the 5770. These will be excellent at your resolution, and will be future proof as they support DirectX 11. They also run cooler and quieter, and Crossfire better.

    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB or 1 TB. These 500 GB platter drives destroy all non-SSDs, including the 10K rpm drives. They're also cheaper. By far, these are the best available right now.

    OS: Really might want to consider getting a 64-bit copy. If you have the retail version, it should include both 32 and 64-bit versions. If not, there is a student discounted version here in the US ($30 for 1 copy). You might want to look into it...
  2. for the cpu, i would reccomend the x4 620, or the x3 720, since they both give better performance, but cost about the same. nice mobo, but might take a look at the gigabyte ones with sata 6, but nice mobo. for the hdd, go with:

    or the 500 gb one if you dont need that much space, the drive is the fastest 7200 rpm, at a very good price. for video card get this:

    it is faster than the 4670, about tied with the 4850, and cost less aswell as more future proof:,2446-7.html

    the psu is good, for ram, get 2 modules and it will be better, and no clearance problems like this:

    thats about it :D
  3. Thanks guys, on the mention of the windows 7, i only upgraded from my vista using the same student deal your talking about (we have it here also) so only got 32-bit, i can buy 64-bit for another £30 so ill probably do that, i did spend alot of time looking at the x3 720 and was my first choice but im having major trouble trying to find it, everywhere i look it seems to be sold out or stupidly overpriced.

    Agreed with the HDD you suggested but as mentioned that can be replaced later.

    thinking of upping my PSU a bit but by looks of power calculater (i dont plan on running crossfire) i should be fine with that, perhaps if i can find a 550-650 one for not much more ill buy that, but obviously with PSU i only buy from well known decent brands :).

    Ill look into some other memory options and take on board the CAS latency but the problem im having is finding a decent amount that wont break my budget by so much, i cant really afford to spend £120 on 4GB ddr3 hehe :D
    agreed on clearence issues though.

    the cooler i looked at was just one that i picked because it seemed quite well known/used and relatively cheap, was looking at an asus triton 78 though, damn they look good haha :P

    as for the graphics card ill look into that one some more, but is Powercolor a decent make? i was going to try and stay with XFX/sapphire as i know they are reliable and good card manufacturers....

    thanks for all ideas/suggestions, really appreciate it :D
  4. P.s will the hyper 212 fit an AM3 socket CPU?
  5. Ben10 said:
    on the mention of the windows 7, i only upgraded from my vista using the same student deal your talking about (we have it here also) so only got 32-bit, i can buy 64-bit for another £30 so ill probably do that.

    If you're going to go with the 4GB of RAM, then I'd definitely shell out the £30 for 64-bit otherwise you're not going to take full advantage of it.

    As far as the RAM goes, that's really all I can comment on. I used this in my new i7-860 set-up and I'm very happy with it so far: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
  6. Cheers for link mate ill have a look now :D
  7. agreed btw with the 64-bit, but that g.skill is made for the i7 line of mobos and chips is it not? and ill have to do alot of BIOS tweaking to get it running on an amd set up
  8. thanks for links once more, is there a UK version of newegg or will i have to ship them to england/find another website in UK selling them?
  9. Ben10 said:
    agreed btw with the 64-bit, but that g.skill is made for the i7 line of mobos and chips is it not? and ill have to do alot of BIOS tweaking to get it running on an amd set up

    Actually, I just learned this today :D thanks to another member on this board (shortstuff_mt). It just says the line about being for the i7 line because it's in line with the 1.65v the i7 set-up requires, but it will work just fine with an AMD system.

    Sorry, I just linked to NewEgg to show you the specs & whatnot - didn't mean to get your hopes up as it sounds like you can't order from NewEgg (or shipping would cost a lot).

  10. Btw, here's a link to the post I was referring to in regards to the RAM and the AMD set-up.
  11. yea, if you cant buy from newegg, then buy the ram i showed, or any other low latency, low voltage 1333-1600 MHz 2x2 Gb ram set.
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