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New PC Build/er. Please Advise. Want to get this right.

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July 21, 2010 12:20:34 PM

Computer

Purpose:
I want a good, solid, system that is both a good place to start as a beginner to pc building yet future proof enough that I won't need to perform major overhauls in order to keep up with emerging tech; namely USB 3, SATA 6, SSD (yea around for a while but more affordable) and whatever new specs are on the horizon.

Uses:
-internet
-gaming
EVE, FFXI, some steam games probably.
-music
-movies
Eventually dual screen, and also connecting to a 42" tv for movies and maybe even playing games.

Budget
Prefer to go no higher than $1200 on the initial build. I understand performance costs $ but I want to find a good spot just beyond the edge of new tech where the prices and reviews of new stuff play into my favor most.

My background:
I'm pretty familiar with the different components that go into a pc. I've been taking them apart since I was a kid. What I'm not too clear on is clocking/overclocking, the CPU architecture, northgate/southgate ect. Basically the actual data flow and how it works together in a pc between CPU, mobo, ram, and vidcards. I'm a junior elect/comp tech so I have a good grasp of those concepts but not how it works in a pc.


ASUS P6X58D Premium - $280
Pros
Good reviews, seems like it can handle a bit. Can do Intel's i7 series; both the 45nm where I plan to start and the 32nm when they become a bit more affordable. Also, good for an SLI config for if/when I want to move up to a 2nd graphics card.
The 6GB SATA & the USB 3.

CPU
-Intel i7 920/930 $280
They are pretty close in price though I'm not sure if the price diff is justified by a significant difference in performance. These two seem like a good place to start for a good syst that I can take into 32nm. I'm looking at Intel because:
They seem to:
Be a bit ahead of AMD in cpu.
Seem to be a bit more compatible with hardware/software.

I'm not sure which is better in dealing with data processing overall and graphics card interfacing. A friend recommended AMD because he's had issue with intel's dependability in the past. I've also heard that although the first batches of the 920 may have had some issues, they beat the 930 performance-wise and in the case of RAM/overclocking.


RAM
I've been seeing a lot about corsair and Kingston.
Thinking: I'd like to start off with just two gigs of ram and build from there towards 6gigs.
I might go with 2x2 since that seems to be the norm, might turn out to be cost effective.
I would like to take advantage of the triple channel capabilities of the cpu but I'm building this thing over time.
The specs for the 920/930 are 1300 I'm looking at the possibility of overclocking. While I'd like to get into it later once I'm more experienced, I'd like my initial build to be able to give me the ability to get started in it though if that's at all wise.

System/program HD
I've read that it's beneficial to use a SSD for OS and program files in order to take advantage of the great read/write speed. Looking for something. In the 500gb or maybe even 1TB range depending on performance & cost.

Data HD
Starting out 1TB is fine. Preliminarily I've been looking at WD's offerings. I'd most likely be writing from download and reading would just be media playback. Looking at going external with this depending on price difference.

Graphics
No idea which is better, which is currently ahead, which has a brighter future. This is an area I'm starting to do more research in. My buddy commented that with all I'm doing, moving from one eventually into two in SLI would be wise. Definitely want 1gb at least per card.

Power
No idea

Cooling
No idea other than ventilation & fans. Quieter the better.

Case
Something that doesn't look cheap, over the top, & has great ventilation. Smaller is good but not a must.

OS
Win7 to start off. I've had good experiences with XP. Also very keen on having a separate partition or HD for OSX, crazy as that may seem.


Looks like a great community here :)  Thanks for at least reading.

More about : build advise

July 21, 2010 12:39:28 PM

Hello ryankilter;
Just next door is the Systems > New Build forum.
The sticky topic I linked has other links for:
1. Buyer's Guides
2. Getting help with a new build
3. Troubleshooting
4. Guides for PC Building

A few notes on your comments:
CPU: Core i7 920 2.66Ghz is getting a bit hard to find - has mostly been replaced by the i7 930 2.8Ghz.
RAM: i7 930 / X-58 use triple channel memory so the basic RAM amount would be a 3GB set. 6GB is the typical amount selected.
Power: Largely dependent on your video card choice and if you want to plan for more than 1 video card in the future.
Video card: The resolution of your monitor (or your future monitor setup ie, Eyefinity) is a major factor here.

For a $1200 budget the Home Build forum guide sticky topic Recommended Builds by Usage is suggesting:

Gamer: $1,123.89

* CPU: Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
* MOBO: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
* RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
* HSF: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU ... - Retail
* HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
* PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
* GPU: XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
* DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail
* Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
* Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

This build will allow you to play games at mid. to max. settings at a monitor resolution of 1900x1200
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