[SOLVED] Build Check --- $1200 System

Seeking some feedback on first draft build, located near end of post. I've been out of the PC scene since the early 2000s so the potential leap from what I remember to current technology is exciting. Assuming performance expectations have remained the same I'm looking to run current games fluidly(FPS >= 30) on close to max settings and I think this setup can get the job done. Further details near end of post as well.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: By end of February BUDGET RANGE: Around $1200 (Can go higher if truly necessary)


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor and Logitech Wireless Mouse/Keyboard



OVERCLOCKING: Unsure (Lack of Knowledge) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (Future upgrade option)



Case: Cooler Master Haf 922 -- $94
Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro -- $186
CPU: Intel Core i5-750 -- $206
GPU: Radeon 5850 -- $256
RAM: G.Skill 2 x 2GB -- $117
PSU: Thermaltake 650W -- $94
HDD: Samsung F3 1TB -- $90
DVD: Samsung 24x SATA OEM -- $30
Heatsink: Coolermaster Hyper 212 -- $25

Total: $1150 (Assembly Included but not Shipping)


1) Is it worth it to self-build?

I know next to nothing about how computers actually work, so NCIX is very appealing due to the assembly option they provide. I can set up a wireless network but this seems like another beast entirely. I'm not totally opposed to trying to build my own computer, but I'm worried about going about a first attempt without knowing what I'm really doing and using expensive components to boot. I'm willing to pay more to avoid hassle, unless I can save enough to warrant an upgrade in the build somewhere.

2) Upgrade Paths --- Best Value?
I would like the option to upgrade to Cross Fire in the future, but I'm not sure if that setup would be cost effective. Would it end up being a better investment to just get a 5870 now rather than later getting a second 5850? As far as RAM goes, it seems like 4GB is a starting place and 8GB is an end goal. Would it be cheaper to split the difference and go with 6GB now? I'm also confused on the 2 stick vs. 3 stick setups, do they require different motherboards or what?

3) Bells and Whistles --- Surround Sound and Wireless Networking
I'm planning to eventually upgrade to 5.1 surround sound, but does this mean I'll need a sound card or has that been incorporated into on-board technology already? On a similar note, I want to connect over a Wireless N network since a direct connection is complicated in my current living arrangement. On-board technology or additional purchase required for these two additions?

That's about it. Thanks for any help or advice you can offer.
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  1. ^ The setup that you have come up with is very good...

    Change to this RAM...it has slightly better speed and is cheaper...
    .SKILL F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM Ripjaws 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL7-8-7-24

    And the PCU to any of these...these are more efficient that that Thermaltake an have more power on the 12V rails too...

    Rest of the components are very good choices...

    As for your questions...

    1. Yes it is worth to build the PC by yourself...but there is 1 major problem - DOA...If any of the parts arrive DOA, then you would have to RMA back those and get the replacements...
    And if NCIXUS has the option of Assembling and Testing(to test if all the parts are working properly together if they dont charge a lot of money, then I feel it is good to go with it...

    2. Crossfire HD 5850 is a better option...For that resolution, a single HD 5850 now would suffice...so later on adding 1 more would be better...and also the price would come down under $200 by the time you would want to add 1 more in crossfire...
    As for the RAM, stick with 4GB for now and later on 8GB...
    Using 1/ 3 stick on P55 boards(Boards with 4 RAM slots), will lead to the loss of Dual-Channel config...
    Only X58 CPUs as of now have Tri-Channel memory controllers, that will take advantage of 3/ 6 RAM sticks...
    So apart from X58, try not to use 3 stick on other boards...

    3. The onboard sound on those boards is HD - 7.1...So IMO you wont need a separate sound card to support 5.1...
    For wireless, you would be required to buy a separate wireless networking card...
  2. howdy! I am in the same boat as you! I think the idea of building is exciting!

    Here, do a youtube search: Haf 922 Tutorial
    its something like 'building your own pc tutorial haf 922 review' by newegg. newegg is the best site for parts imo. the video is two parts and goes step by step with you and your case + parts. i watched it probably around 6-8 times, and im all excited and wanting that new pc more than ever!

    Assembling is risky, and chances for all your parts to arrive perfect and good-working isn't the best (as i've seen on countless reviews and peoples' experiences). That's the scariest part.
    Other than that, it seems rather promising and easily done these days.

    MSI P55-GD65 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail ($160)
    Im gonna try for that motherboard from newegg. it looks easiest for overclocking, although reviews are around 85% positive.

    Be sure you get the hyper 212 plus.
    That heat sink looks to be the most difficult to install, however there's a video on youtube that shows it rather well, plus others to get the main idea: "Hyper 212 Plus Installation Video" <--- youtube video.

    Newegg also has some 2x2 gb G.Skill rams for just 93.99 as opposed to 117. just some latency difference and color i think.
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail 93.99

    Is 650w thermaltake psu good enough? i think im going to do 750w thermaltake, but im going to be using a lot of fans and overclocking stuff, plus the investment was recommended.

    Take peace
  3. Thanks for the quick replies and helpful information. I'll be swapping out parts per your corrections gkay, and your information on upgrading and sound/networking has cleared up the last sources of confusion I still had. Bababablazin had me rethinking whether to build it as those videos were pretty good. Made me think I could get step by step help with my exact parts. But I'm probably gonna play it safe and get it assembled. Maybe I'll try building a really cheap PC in the future to learn how. Anyway, thanks again.
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