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First Time Builder - Seeking thoughts and advice before I click "Buy"

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February 1, 2010 11:44:10 PM

I'm diving in with both feet on my first system build. I've read so many articles and reviews the last 3 months that my brain is now Jello. I think I'm pretty much settled on the configuration but wanted to clarify a couple things and get some final input. Given what I've read so far I have no doubt I'll get very sound advice from this community.

Usage: I'm not really a gamer. I'm a GTA nut from back in PS2 days so I may buy that or some other home console equivalents, but nothing in the realm of the games used in typical benchmark testing. I do some occasional photo and video editing (enthusiast level, not professional). A lot of MS Office applications. Primarily I'll be playing online poker (12 tables + Skype + Camtasia + tracking software = somewhat resource intensive). I'd like it to be a strong multimedia machine as well.

Budget: I'm not firm on a budget. My goal is to build a solid enthusiast system at a good value.

Other pertinent info: I plan to overclock moderately, purely from a value perspective. I'm thinking ~3.5, nothing too strenuous. I have dual 1920X1200 Samsung T240 monitors already, so the GPU needs to run these effectively. My thoughts on the components are in parentheses.

Case: HAF 922 (nice flow, $90, good looking)
PSU: OCZ Modstream 700w (a little bit high for the system probably, but can't beat $89.99 IMO)
Mobo: ASUS P7P55D Pro (middle of the road performance with solid reputation was my thought here)
CPU: Core i5 750 (best value for an enthusiast system based on most of what i've read)
Cooler: Corsair Hydro H50 (since HAF 922 is mid tower and the video card is beefy, I thought this was a nice fit for my needs)
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD5750 (Biggest questions here- should drive dual 1920x1200s, correct? Will be playing blu-rays and watching a lot of streaming video. I really want Eyefinity for a lot of reasons, so if this isn't adequate what gpu should i jump to? Also, I'd like to connect my 46" LCD TV. Will this card run both monitors + the TV via HDMI simultaneously (not in eyefinity mode)?
RAM: A-DATA 4GB DDR3 1600 Dual Channel
HD: 2x 500GB WD Caviar Black in RAID 1 (one too many HD problems over the last 3 years that cost me data. never again!)
Optical: LG Blu-Ray Reader + DVDRW-DL

Total cost is about $1300 from NewEgg. Interestingly, it's about the same pre built from iBuyPower. Any thoughts there if $$$ are equal. I'm a first time builder, I'd like the experience but would also like to not risk making a big blunder.

Please offer opinions, insight on the whole system - particularly the gpu and mobo. I'm admittedly guessing on those with little more than a bit of technical knowledge and a lot of articles.

Thanks!

Best solution

February 2, 2010 12:02:31 AM

Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on∏[2770]=on)

May not matter since you are not a gamer but the 57xx can't do Dx11 at 1920 resolution.

RAM - Buy best CAS # DDR3-1600 you can afford. That A-Data stuff is CAS 9
CAS 7 $109
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo - Spend an extra $20 for the USb 3 / SATA II version
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - I'd take either of these over the OCZ even w/o the price advantage

$20 cheaper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$10 cheaper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 2, 2010 1:06:24 AM

Thanks for the swift reply. Some newegg combo deals actually shaved about $30 off the total cost for the better components you suggested.

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February 2, 2010 1:25:15 AM

JackNaylorPE's advice on the PSUs is sound. Otherwise, you done good, although I think the H50 is overkill. It's your call, but my system (Core i7 920 @ 3.6 GHz, HD5850) produces more heat than yours would, and my Cooler Master Hyper 212+ does a great job of cooling it for only $30.

Oh, and I think the 5750 should be fine for your dual-monitor setup, although I'm doubtful about adding the TV into the mix. I don't have the experience to say.

But nice job, and good luck!

-Will
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February 2, 2010 1:59:14 AM

Thanks soulbro... sounds like it will fit in the HAF 922 based on newegg reviews so I'm going to go with it. Liquid felt like overkill but the price seemed reasonable until I saw this. Also this can't leak and ruin something.
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February 3, 2010 4:01:24 AM

Best answer selected by slcseas3.
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