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First Timer Build.

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March 31, 2010 6:10:00 PM

So, ive always bought pre-made computers and they always worked flawlessly, and i was always scared to build my own system and break everything. But, after now numerous recommendations to build my own, i figured its time to man up and finally do my own thing.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: - The Closer the Better, but no major rush.

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800) Less than 850$, after rebates (not including monitor or video card).

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Heavy Video Editing, Heavy Video Converting / Streaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I already have a GTX 260 core 216, a monitor, and Windows 7 already. If it comes with a sale, i could buy another GTX 260 for SLI (if it comes with some package). I have a 320 gb and a 1tb hard drive available, and am planning to buy another 320gb or 1b for RAID.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I very much like newegg, but whatever's cheapest is what ill go with.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.A.

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: I'm looking for an i7 series, with tri-channel ram. I'm also planning to run hard drives (already have one) in RAID.

OVERCLOCKING: Definitely. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Current Monitor is 1920x1200.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm a first time builder, so i don't know much about the buying of parts or when is best, or which deals to package together. Any information wouuld be very highly appreciated, as i continue researching as much as i can.

Thanks in advance!

More about : timer build

March 31, 2010 6:20:58 PM

An i7 is not happening. The i7, a good X58 board and the RAM alone will cost $650. Shoot, an i5-750 is probably even out of budget.

To be honest, I would ditch the GTX 260 right now. $850 will give you a good enough build that that can already get a much better card. Sell it online and recoup some cost of the build or increase the budget.

Here's what I'd build (assuming you get only a little for the 260):

CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $265 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
GPU: HD 5850 $300
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

Total: $874.

If you can't sell the card:

CPU/Mobo: X3 440 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $195 after rebate
Rest is the same
Total: $804

If you get more than around $150 for the card:

CPU: i5-750 and Asus P7P55D-E Pro $375
Rest is the same
Total: $984
March 31, 2010 6:26:28 PM

I appreciate the fast response.

With no video card (after rebates), i can buy a pre-built computer with an i7-930 and 6gb of 1600 ram for 875. Is that an insane offer i must take then?

-- I was assuming an i7 now would be the best move, and then upgrade the video card in a couple months when they get cheaper / good models are out. Are you recommending i get a weaker machine and get a better video card up front as of now?
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March 31, 2010 6:33:39 PM

I wouldn't touch a prebuilt. You're getting a bunch of low quality parts, especially for the motherboard, RAM, HDD and PSU. The board and PSU would be the biggest drawback.

I may have spoken too soon on the i7-930 (assuming you're absolutely sold on the 260, which you shouldn't be unless you can't sell it). I forgot you didn't need an HDD. Let me look around for some deals and a $850 build *might* be possible.

EDIT: Here's the build:

CPU/Mobo: i7-930 and Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $480
RAM: G.Skill Pi Series 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $175
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24
HSF (if OC): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

Total: $844
March 31, 2010 6:46:05 PM

Appreciate the look-in.

I'm not 100% sold on the 260, but its a card that is good enough for what i need, for now. Of course im open to upgrading in the future, and it seems upgrading to a better card is still a better call than SLI. I appreciate the info on that... would have been a nice waste of 150$ to buy a second one.

But, my plan is this: for 300-350$ i can sell my old computer with an 8800 GTS, and keep the GTX 260 i have, and that would be a very nice discount on a new i7 rig. Then, upgrade on the video card as a next step (or maybe a monitor, as mine isnt the top notch), and get a high quality either next release or best release now video card in the future.

I figured that was a decent plan.

Also, where are you looking? Whenever i build solely on newegg, i always seem to get prices way higher than everyone else is getting. i dont want to make you do all the work for me :( 
March 31, 2010 6:49:04 PM

That's a good plan. Or at least good enough. Just don't be surprised if you're upgrading sooner rather than later.

Pretty much the only place I look is Newegg. Are you sure you're looking at Newegg.com and not Newegg.ca? A lot of the deals are in the combos...

And it's really no work at all. I've put together enough builds that I know exactly where I'm looking.
March 31, 2010 6:51:37 PM

great then! i'm doing this as a start to a new change... instead of buying pre-made things, i can make a quality machine myself, and itll feel beetter because i actually put my time into it. So, im doing it as a build, and as a learning experience.

so youre saying the main part is in the combos? should i buy anything not packaged?
March 31, 2010 7:01:23 PM

I'm not sure what you're saying about not packaged. If you're asking if you shouldn't buy anything that's not in a combo, the answer is no. Newegg's prices are generally the cheapest, and the combos that are available make them even cheaper. You don't HAVE to buy everything in a combo.

I would just go ahead and buy the parts I've linked to or use the descriptions to look at other retailer's sites for a price comparision. Buy each part wherever you can get it cheapest from.
March 31, 2010 7:09:18 PM

Ill start looking into that now. appreciate the help!

Oh, two more things. #1: what are the best parts to buy in a combo, and #2:, should i wait, or are prices generally the same year round?
March 31, 2010 8:15:27 PM

1.) Generally, I pick out quality parts and scan through the combos linked from each individual part's listing. If there's a combo with two parts I've picked out, I use the combo. I also see if there's something with similar quality and performance in the combos that would work.

2.) Prices generally drop over time. I can't guarantee it, but prices should be lower later on. Generally the cases, PSUs, opticals and HSF stay the same. HDDs generally only change when larger/faster drives are released. Same with CPUs and motherboards. GPUs will generally decrease in price due to lower demand and the "early adoption tax" going away. RAM can be change drastically. Keep in mind that you'll want to buy everything at roughly the same time so you can test the parts to make sure they work. If they don't, you want to be able to return them.
!