Advice: My First Build i5-750


I am a first time builder, but ever since my friend recommended that I build a computer rather than buy one, I am very much obsessed and excited about my first build. I have spent the greater part of the month, reading reviews, posts and articles on what parts to get for my computer. I have reached a point where I need some outside advice other than my friend and the IT guy at my office.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please remember that the components inside a computer are pretty new to me, so if I used any computer terms or slang incorrectly, be sure make fun of me and laugh at my expense J

Current Computer:
· Windows XP Professional
· Dell DXP051
· CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz (2 CPUs)
· Ram: 2x -1GB DDR2-SDRAM (PC2-4200/533 MHZ)
· Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE (512.0 MB)
· Capture: TVT3CR: Angel II MPEG Device
· Hard Drive: 320G, S2, 7.2K, 16M Lead Free, WD-RAD
· Motherboard is Unknown.

How I Want To Use My New Computer (Most to Least Important)
· Office Applications (most important because it’s how I pay for this damn thing) and other basic computer usage: music, internet, etc
· Connect in High Quality HD to my Primary LCD TV
· Stream Video
· Stream Video through router to PS3 or remote stream to Air Video App.
· Video Conversion to Different Formats (trim or edit out unneeded parts of video)
· Capture HD and SD Video from my DVR or Digital Cable Box with ultimate goal of remote viewing (otherwise I will just buy a Slingbox)
· Store Large HD Files
· Use as primary DVR if I can capture 2 simultaneous shows from cable box in quality HD Video.

Additional Needs:
Multitasking: Running office applications, accessing work through terminal server, listen to music or surfing the Internet while capturing or converting video.

Quite: My Computer is also in my bedroom, and I like to run tasks while I sleep. With that said, a quiet machine is ideal.

Future Proof for Expansion or Upgrades.

What I am Not:
· Not a gamer
· No SLI or Crossfire
· Not an Overclocker (Turbo Boost Technology will do my overclocking for me)
· Use DVD’s or BlueRays. I download or get all my media from a HD DVR Box.

What I don’t need:
· Keyboard
· Mouse
· Speakers
· Monitor
· Another Dell

I wouldn’t consider myself a middle high-end purchaser. Currently my build is under $1,000, would like to keep it around this, but willing to go a couple hundred higher if needed. Instead of buying cheaper alternatives, I would rather the essentials for boot up and add parts after my bank account upgrades a month or two later.

Desired Purchase Date: mid May to early June (happy 30th Birthday to me)
Parts Preference: No Preference as long as they have a track record of quality parts.
Desired Location: Newegg appears to be the best priced, but will branch out if better price is available.
Location: Arizona

My Selected Build

Intel Core i5-750 – $199
Since I don’t overclock, I think the Turbo Boost Technology would be perfect.

Motherboard – $155.49
ASUS P7P55D-E LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Includes a USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0.for future upgrades, and discounted if you buy it with an i5-750 and video card below.

Video Card - $135.49 after Rebate (Another $34.98 off when paired with CPU and MOB)
VGA 01G-P3-1158-TR GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

It is part of the rebate package, but willing to change if someone has a better suggestion.

Memory - $110 or so
G.Skill Ripjaws (2x-2GB)

For a newbie, the G Skill Ripjaws appear to be the most recommended and discussed on message boards. Aesthetically, they look pretty cool as well. However, how many different versions of the same size RAM does one company need to make? Which one do I chose? Also, will 4 GB get me up and running few for about 6 months or is it worth it to expand to 8 or 16 GB?

Hard Drive: $74.99
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

1 TB is a must for my media files, but I will also get a smaller drive for my boot drive.

Case: $139.99 ($-20.00 if paired with HD)
NZXT Zero Black/Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Size, aesthetics and noise output are the main factors for me here. It appears this had all of them, and at a discount if paired with hard drive.

PSU: $39.99
ORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

No idea on what power I need. I am going to have to get a second opinion to see if this is enough power. It had good reviews.

Operating System: $99.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

Total Before Tax: $898.96

Thanks in advance for any advice, I look forward to hearing from the experts.
11 answers Last reply
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  1. I don't have a lot of time, but I would start with this:

    Sonata III case with PSU -

    it's on sale for $80, pretty good job at being quiet, and a great price
  2. I don't think using a 400W power supply is going to get you very far if your goal is to expand and upgrade later. You mention that don't intend to do crossfire or sli so you should probably look at something in the 500 range from Corsair or another one of the more reputable suppliers.

    As for the video card, what resolution is your monitor? I'm not the expert that a lot of folks are here but I don't think I've seen a build recently where the 250 has been recommended. The Radeon 5770 is considered more of the 'budget' gaming card but only if you aren't running in 1600 and under resolution range.

    To be quite honest, with your budget, you should probably be considering something in an AMD build.
  3. the PSU that comes with that sonata is 500W, and is a nice reliable brand (antec) with 80 plus efficiency
  4. Vigorvermin - thanks for the suggestion on a quite box. I like what i read on the Sonata. I did want to see if there is something similiar but in a more stylish look. I kinda like the boxes that u can see through.

    Indecisive - thank you as well. You confirmed that i need too look for a higher watt pcu. Also, i will revisit my choice of video card and find my resolution. I mostly use my lcd as a monitor since its connected vga.

    As for AMD, I would rather increase my cost around intel. So where do you feel I am giving up quality due to my budget? That is certainly the opposite of what i want to do. I actually wasnt considering overall budget when i did the build. It was just saving money by removing components i didnt need. I can certainly afford more, just didnt know if it was needed.

    Thanks again to both of you
  5. with the windows you're losing a lot in quiet ability. They can't really be both, at least I'm not aware of a case that uses noise dampening with the windows. Which is more important?
  6. Vigorvermin - I never even considered that to be a factor for noise. It pays to ask, thanks. The windows arent worth it for me then. Thanks again.
  7. After looking at newegg and doing a google search, there appears to be a static discharge issue with the Sonata III.
  8. First, I feel its important to mention that I'm not quite the expert as many of the others here but this is some of the information I've picked up during my lurking and my own stuff.

    This is more power than you'll likely need but it costs the same as some of its lower wattage siblings so why not.
    Antec EarthWatts 650W $74.99 + $5.99 Shipping

    After re-reading your first post I realized you weren't doing any gaming so this card might be more than you need. It's still better than the 250.
    HIS Radeon 5770 $154.99 + Free Shipping

    For the case, you mention you are evaluating them on three things; size, looks and noise. In terms of noise, the HAF 922 is a really strong case and tends to be on the quiet side. Unfortunately, it's also rather large and it has a look that you either love or hate.

    HAF 922 $89.98 + $19.98 Shipping

    The Cooler Master 690 might be another option for you. Not as big as the HAF 922 and, from what I understand and I've never worked with it, its not as quiet and the airflow isn't quite as good. This isn't to say it's bad. It just doesn't do those things as well as the HAF 922. It is nice looking and more manageable sizewise.
    Cooler Master 690 $59.99 + Free Shipping
  9. Thanks Indecisive...I like the Radeon card a lot!

    To answer your question from before, my resolution is 1680 x 1050 at 60 Hz. Here are the specs:

    I do like the idea of a smaller manageable case. Plus the design of the 690 is more my style. I think I can afford to give up a little airflow, since I'm not overclocking.

    Have you had any experience with the RipJaw RAM? There are so many different RAM to choose from, even if you just narrow it down to one company.
  10. spinphd480 said:
    After looking at newegg and doing a google search, there appears to be a static discharge issue with the Sonata III.

    the static discharge issue has been resolved, the front of the case looks a little different as a result
  11. The 5770 should perform nicely at that resolution. Though viewing the response time on your monitor made me wince a little bit.

    As for the memory, my experience with that particular brand is limited. It's been working for me and I've had no trouble but my build is still rather new. I will say that pretty much every time I see a build suggested from the guys I consider to be the experts here it invariably involves the G.Skill memory.
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