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First Build - High End General Purpose with ability to High End Game.

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May 6, 2010 8:23:45 AM

Hey TH people!


This will be my first time ever building a computer and I have absolutely no experience. (I have just done lots and lots and lots of reading over the past couple of months).
I put up a post a few weeks go with my first ideas on a build and got some great feedback.
I just wanted to put up an updated one and to clarify it's use a little bit more, because what I said got a little misinterpreted last time.

So... It will be used just as a general purpose comp (word processing/storing crap/watching movies/viewing pics/gaming/everything), but I want it to do them all well and last me for a long long time. (I haven't upgraded in like 5 years since last time).

I am, also, however, looking to try and keep it as cheap as possible.
I don't want to sacrifice quality, but anywhere you can see that I can save money without sacrificing performance please let me know.

Anyway, here is what I have come up with.


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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
Now - Very soon.


BUDGET RANGE:
I don' really have a budget range. But am looking for something that is going to last me for quite a long time (I don't foresee myself uprgading much for at least 5 years).
I guess about $1500 AUD would be a good price though. Don't want to go too much over that.
If you see something I can save money on without losing performance then please tell me.


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
General usage. As I said above.
(But I want high end for what I'm using).


PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
OS.
I have a keyboard and mouse and speakers, but plan on buying them anyway at some stage (not looking for advice though).


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
Landmark Computers (http://www.lmc.com.au)
Or any other retailers recommended that service Australia. Any ideas?


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
Australia
So... I'm putting prices in AUD. Feel free to give me prices and links in USD though.
I can do the leg work.


PARTS PREFERENCES:
Nope.
I like what I've selected so far, but please tell me if they're bad.


OVERCLOCKING:
No (Not at this stage at least)
(Although I've been told it's very easy with the parts I have selected, so maybe)


SLI OR CROSSFIRE:
I originally wanted to crossfire.
But the general conensus seems to be that it's unecessary on a first build and to save it for upgrades.


MONITOR RESOLUTION:
The one I am looking at below is a 1920x1080.


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Processor
Intel Core i7 930 [2.8GHz/4.8GT QPT/8MB/LGA1366] --- $339.00AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/CPU/Intel/571735/Intel_C...

Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R [Intel X58/LGA1366/DDR3/ATX] --- $279.00AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/Motherboard/Gigabyte/571...

RAM
Corsair 6GB (3x XMS3 2GB) DDR3 PC-12800 16000MHz DIMM - $239AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/RAM/Corsair/571803/Corsa...

Graphics Card
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD5850 1GB DDR5 PCI-Express2.0 --- $365AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/Graphics_Card/Sapphire/5...

Hard Drive
Samsung Spinpoint F3 3.5" 1TB 7200RPM 32MB SATAII --- $95AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/Hard_Disk_Drive_and_Encl...

PSU
Corsair 750W TX-750 ATX --- $179AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/Power_Supply_and_UPS/Cor...

Case
I was looking at a CoolerMaster Centurion 5 for $89AUD.
But it seems to have been taken off the site.
So... Something for about $100. I'll find something there when I buy it.

Optical Drive
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD±RW SATA Retail --- $39AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/DVDRW_and_BLURAY_Drives/...

Monitors
BenQ 24" E2420HD Wide 2ms 50000:1 Built-In Speakers - Glossy Black --- $279AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/LCD_Monitors_and_TVs/Ben...

Cooling
Do I need extra cooling?
(I'll be using this comp for many many hours at a time in 40 degree celcius weather (Australia).


TOTAL
$1914AUD (Assuming $100 Case).


So, theres my thoughts on parts.
Opinions?
Places to save money?

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Cheers.
-B
May 6, 2010 9:11:35 AM

Looks like a very solid build. If you do not plan to Crossfire you can save a few $$ on the PSU. This is plenty for just 1 5850:

http://www.lmc.com.au/products/Power_Supply_and_UPS/Cor...[CMPSU-550VXAU]

As for a case look for a Coolermaster Haf 922 or Antec 300/300 Illusion or 900/902. Not sure of availability for you.

MB, CPU, Graphics Card and hard drive are exactly what I would choose if I was upgrading today. You could look for RAM with tighter timings. I would look for DDR3 1600 with a cas of 7 but I imagine you could get those timings with that Corsair if you play with it. Lower cas latency is faster.

You need cooling if you plan to overclock.

I am not in Australia so I have no idea where parts might be cheaper.
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May 6, 2010 9:18:04 AM

You have pick nice parts there, mate.


40'C ??? Wow it must be really hot down there...Personally I think you need air condition to cool both you and your PC :D 
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 is good and not too expensive. You might want to consider that one.

If you are going mainly into gaming and want to save some money, then you should consider :
i5 750+ Asus P7P55D-E Pro or
X6 1055T or X4 965 + ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX
With :
G.SKill 2x2GB DDR3 1600

Rather than that Centurion series, you might want to consider Coolermaster CM690, CM690II or Antec 300...or something a little more expensive like Coolermaster HAF922, Antec 900, 902 or 1200

If you can still afford it, get also an SSD for your OS.
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May 6, 2010 9:31:38 AM

I agree that the Hyper212+ is a good cooler for your CPU and will allow overclocking which will help extend the use of your machine in a few years.

It looks like gaming is your main priority with other things thrown in.
I would strongly consider going with the i5 750 as it is a fantastic gaming CPU and has great OCing ability. The i7 930 performance increase over the i5 750 I do not feel justifies the extra price you are paying for: The CPU, the X58 mobo, 6gb RAM. (Guanyu has stated a good mob CPU and RAM combo)

Some may argue the socket i7 uses means it is more future proof, but the reality is you want this machine for 3+ years, so whatever you get now will be obsolete by the time you decide on a new computer in the future.

With the money you saved on the CPU/Mobo/RAM you could stretch for a 5870 GPU which will give you that extra gaming juice which will handle any game on a 24 inch monitor for a good while.

Depending on whether or not you plan to Crossfire in the future you could save money getting a mobo without Crossfire capability.
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May 6, 2010 10:30:57 AM

@anort3

Thanks.
I will look into the PSU.
Am I going to be on the verge with that one though? Or will it still be plenty?

I believe the HAF 922 is quite expensive on my site.
I will look at the other one though. Does it have quite good cooling?

The problem with getting lower timing RAM is, of course, that it's going to push the price up...
:-/

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@guanyu210379
40'C isn't a common occurence (where I am at least), but I want to be prepared for it.
Haha.
Will look into that case too. Hopefully it's not too much.

Thanks for those suggestions.
It's not mainly for gaming though.
Gaming is in there, but definitely not as a priority. I just want to make sure it can handle everything in case something rgabs my fancy...

As for the SSD for OS.
I considered that, but I have a few questions about it.
1. Can I dual boot easily off an SSD?
2. Is it possible to just install OS's on that drive and then EVERYTHING else on a normal second drive? I only ask because I have 2 HD's on my laptop and I had issues trying to do that.
Some programs would put something on the OS drive even when I installed them only on the 2nd one.

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@asteldian
Not quite.
Other things are my main priority with gaming thrown in.

I might look into a mobo without crossfire to save money though.
That's a possibility.

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Thoughts on other places to save money?

Cheers.
-B
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May 6, 2010 10:49:21 AM

1. Can I dual boot easily off an SSD?

Actually I think it is not a problem, almost like a normal HDD but faster, but looking at the capacity of a SSD..you might need a bigger than 80GB for dual boot which is still too expensive. Or you can dual boot by putting the second important OS on the other HDD.
BTW : which OSs? I assume the one is Win7. The other is Linux? If you are thinking of Win Vista or Xp...you don't need the dual boot..Win 7 is good enough to replace both except if you must use programs which runs only under Xp...and vista is junk.....

2. Is it possible to just install OS's on that drive and then EVERYTHING else on a normal second drive? I only ask because I have 2 HD's on my laptop and I had issues trying to do that.
Some programs would put something on the OS drive even when I installed them only on the 2nd one.

This can be done but to achieve max performance you need to install all programs on that SSD. You can then put the datas on the normal HDD.
SSD will decrease significantly the loading time of all program installed on it.
BTW : Some programs do need something to be installed in OS-partition, while some can be fully installed somewhere else

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Without X-fire?You can also reduce the power rating of the PSU, if you are gonna use only 1 GPI.
I am not a X-fire fan myself. I prefer having 1 powerful GPU and replace it ´when the time comes.

Saving money? I have already given you the 2 cheaper alternatives..
From those alternatives you can also still reduce the mobo specs..

BTW : You can also buy the SSD anytime later. You don't have to buy it now, if you are kinda short of money.
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May 6, 2010 11:01:17 AM

I'd be curious as to what the other things you do are as this will help people recommend either i5 750 or stick with what you have chosen (of course if you are set on the i7 930 then it doesn't matter) because of the list of things you stated, gaming is the only item there which will challenge your machine. Unless you do a lot of heavy programming and all the other complex things that would actually make use of Hyperthreading, then the i7 930 will not be much of a benefit.

Anything that would challenge your computer aside from gaming has been hidden in the 'everything' description, which suggests that they are not things you do too much which is why I consider your machine as 'mainly gaming', while you may spend more time word processing, watching videos and viewing/editing pictures, it is the games that will tax your machine

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May 6, 2010 12:23:50 PM

@guanyu210379

1.
Ok. Cool. Thanks.
I will probs need the bigger one, and I just don't think it's in the budget yet...

My plan was to go with Win7 and XP (and maybe a Linux distro of some sort as a Tri).
I wanted XP for that exact reason. To use some programs that may not run on 7. (Plus... Humans hate change. I like XP. Haha).

2.
So...
On the SSD I would need any programs I have.
Then just my documents and pictures and etc on the other drive?

Yeah.
I noticed some did everything on the second drive.
But stuff like Acrobat needed something on the OS partition.

------------------------------------------------------

I noticed the options you gave.
But you prefaced them by saying if it was mostly for gaming (which it is not).

Thank you though.


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@asteldian

Ah. Ok.
Now I understand where you are coming from with the gaming thing.
It's not my main use but it's the only relevant one for specs.

Hmmm...
I really was set on the 930.
But everyone seems to be sending me away from it...
:-/


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Thanks guys.
Any more advice or discussion is greatly appreciated!

Cheers.
-B
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May 6, 2010 4:27:34 PM

"On the SSD I would need any programs I have.
Then just my documents and pictures and etc on the other drive? "
Yup! that the best solution. Programs and OS on SSD and your documents (music, films, etc.) on the bigger HDD.
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May 6, 2010 6:30:43 PM

Quote:

Thanks.
I will look into the PSU.
Am I going to be on the verge with that one though? Or will it still be plenty?

I believe the HAF 922 is quite expensive on my site.
I will look at the other one though. Does it have quite good cooling?

The problem with getting lower timing RAM is, of course, that it's going to push the price up...
:-/


The Corsair 550w is plenty for just 1 5850. More than recommended actually.

The Haf series and Antec cases are about the best cooling on the market. The higher the number Antec the bigger and better cooling ( and higher price ).

That Corsair RAM will overclock to tighter timings pretty easily. Just check the overclocking section of the forums here....there is a whole section devoted to RAM overclocking.

If your budget allows a good SSD for your C: drive is a good idea.

Get Windows 7 Ultimate. You get XP mode with it for no additional cost and it works great. It is what keeps me from dual booting anymore.

While I like the i5 750 and have done a few builds with them if you want the i7 930 then go for it. It is actually more futureproof with the extra threads from hyperthreading. It is all about your budget. As I stated before it is what I would get if I was upgrading today.

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May 7, 2010 4:06:34 AM

@guanyu210379

Ok. Sweet.
I think it might still be a bit of a luxury that is out of my price range.
But I will look into it. Could be worth it.

How much faster are we talking for load times?
Something immediately noticeable?

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@anort3
550W is plenty? Really?
Hmmm... Ok.
Does everyone else agree with this? I'm not saying I don't believe you anort, but I would just like a second opinion before I cut that much power. Haha.

Haf and Antec.
Cool.

If I leave the RAM with the higher timings, is it going to be a bottleneck for the other components?

Thanks for the thoughts on the i7.
Appreciate it.

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Cheers.
-B
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May 7, 2010 4:36:27 AM

Hi i was lookin around on MSY's website and the prices r cheaper 4 some of the parts orignally listed :

Processor
Intel Core i7 930 [2.8GHz/4.8GT QPT/8MB/LGA1366] --- $335.00AUD


Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R [Intel X58/LGA1366/DDR3/ATX] --- $249.00AUD


RAM
6G Kit ddr3 1600 Patriot-Signature - $219AUD OR
6G Kit ddr3 1600 G.Skill NQ $222 AUD


Graphics Card
1GB 5850 Powercolor / HIS / Gigabyte / Asus 339 /339 /342 /374
(I would take the HIS personally)

Hard Drive
Samsung Spinpoint F3 3.5" 1TB 7200RPM 32MB SATAII --- $95AUD
Samsung SATA 1TB-$89( the specifications r not listed sry!)

PSU
Corsair 750W TX-750 ATX --- $159AUD


Case
sry man i hav no idea about cases ...and im also lookin 4 one in that price range-if i find 1 i shall u !

Optical Drive
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD±RW SATA Retail --- $39AUD
http://www.lmc.com.au/products/DVD [...] ATA_Retail

Monitors
BenQ 24" E2420HD Wide 2ms 50000:1 Built-In Speakers - Glossy Black --- $226AUD



i changed the prices to suit tje ones from MSY - heres the website :
http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/msy.htm

the total price i got was $1755(give or take a few coz i choose mostly the cheaper parts ) - i put $100 for the case
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Best solution

May 7, 2010 5:34:16 AM

Quote:
@anort3
550W is plenty? Really?
Hmmm... Ok.
Does everyone else agree with this? I'm not saying I don't believe you anort, but I would just like a second opinion before I cut that much power. Haha.


Most people way overpower their systems. Me included ;)  I got my 750TX on super sale.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/267080-28-power-requi...

Idle: http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/attachment.php?s=...

Load: http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/attachment.php?s=...


RAM timings will not even be noticeable in daily use and you would have to run benchmarks to tell a difference. Also as I stated before that Corsair should run at lower timings with basically stock voltage.


Load times are MUCH faster with an SSD. This does not translate to more FPS in games or anything but load times are much less.
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May 7, 2010 6:33:16 AM

"How much faster are we talking for load times?
Something immediately noticeable?"

Yup...noticeable right away..and you will addicted to it.... But remember this doesn't effect the fps in games...only loading time by calling a programs or loading time in games.
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May 7, 2010 6:57:59 AM

@chocobaby.

Thanks heaps for that!
I really appreciate it.

Some decent discounts in there.

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@anort3.

Aight.
I will downgrade my PSU then.
(Still looking for a second opinion just to elay my fears).

I probably won't worry about the RAM then.

Yep.
I understand it won't affect games.
Load time reduction is always good though. Might be a good future purchase.

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@guanyu210379

You make me want an SSD now!
Argh!
Haha.

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Cheers
-B
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May 9, 2010 3:01:28 AM

So... In the eternal quest to save money I am looking at Graphics Cards.

Obviously the 5850 is a great card and will perform as well as I need it to at 1900x1080.
However, is there anything lower that will not make much of a difference when not playing absolute max settings in something like Crysis?

I was looking at the 5770.
Purely because it is the next card down on the site I have been using (I think (Graphics cards are so hard to understand when they all use different random codes and numbers)).

So... Ideas on the 5770?
Can it perform at that resolution?
How about with OC'ing?
Is there a card in between the two (price and performance wise) that you would reccomend?
Or should I just stick with the 5850 and suck it up?

Cheers
-B
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May 9, 2010 10:16:24 AM

It depends on what games you wanna play on that resolution.
If you want to play first person shooting games like crysis...well..
You will definitely like HD5850 or perhaps even HD5970 a lot better than HD5770, if you can still afford it.
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May 23, 2010 7:18:55 AM

Best answer selected by Balthraka.
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