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First-Time Builder :: Ready to BUY! -- Final Thoughts?

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June 21, 2010 2:10:10 AM

Hi guys,

After tons of research and even more help from members of this forum, I'm ready to buy what I need for my first build. But, I wanted to get final thoughts first before I click "Place Order" because this site and all of you have been extremely helpful.

I plane to buy all my parts from both Newegg and Amazon. Let me know what you guys think, because you've already given me excellent advice (which I've followed!). I've included all Newegg links for reference, but I noted when I plan to purchase from Amazon. Thanks!!

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

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Boot Drive: Western Digital 64 GB SiliconEdge Blue SATA Solid State Drive SSC-D0064SC-2100
[Buy From Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm CPU Cooler
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: ZOTAC ZT-20109-10P GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card: PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Somehow, by shopping on both Newegg and Amazon for the best prices, this build comes out to around $1,620, including shipping and after rebates, mail-in rebates, etc. Seems like a steal to me.

Do you see any glaring weaknesses or anything that looks out of place? I've done a considerable amount of research in the past few days about compatibility and fitting all the parts on the motherboard, but it's tough to know for sure.

And yes, I now plan to overclock, probably up to 3.2-3.4 or so.

Thanks again!
June 21, 2010 3:10:38 AM

jchindamo said:
Hi guys,

After tons of research and even more help from members of this forum, I'm ready to buy what I need for my first build. But, I wanted to get final thoughts first before I click "Place Order" because this site and all of you have been extremely helpful.

I plane to buy all my parts from both Newegg and Amazon. Let me know what you guys think, because you've already given me excellent advice (which I've followed!). I've included all Newegg links for reference, but I noted when I plan to purchase from Amazon. Thanks!!

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

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX3X12G1600C9 G
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Boot Drive: Western Digital 64 GB SiliconEdge Blue SATA Solid State Drive SSC-D0064SC-2100
[Buy From Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm CPU Cooler
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: ZOTAC ZT-20109-10P GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound Card: PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series
[Buy from Amazon]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Somehow, by shopping on both Newegg and Amazon for the best prices, this build comes out to around $1,620, including shipping and after rebates, mail-in rebates, etc. Seems like a steal to me.

Do you see any glaring weaknesses or anything that looks out of place? I've done a considerable amount of research in the past few days about compatibility and fitting all the parts on the motherboard, but it's tough to know for sure.

And yes, I now plan to overclock, probably up to 3.2-3.4 or so.

Thanks again!


My only concern at this point is the video card. I've never heard of Zotac. Are they any good?

Secondly, will I be able to do dual-monitors with this card? After doing research, I see there are two types of GTS 250 cards -- the ones with 2 DVI ports, and the ones with 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 VGA (this is mine). Can I do duals with the second type of card? Or, should I find a better GPU?

Thanks!
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June 21, 2010 2:24:46 PM

What are you trying to do with the computer? Gaming, productivity etc. I'd highly recommend following the guidelines...

I'll pick on the easy one first. The CM PSU is a POS. I wouldn't trust it. Get something from Antec, Corsair, SeaSonic or Silverstone. To recommend the correct size, I need to know if you're planning on Crossfire/SLI down the road, and what you're doing with the computer.

That Asus board is a good one, but I'd look at the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R. It's cheaper and just as good. It's also in some great Newegg combos (like with the 930), so check those out.

What do you think you need 12 GB of RAM for? Most people won't need more than 4 GB (6 is the minimum I'd get for triple channel). Also, Corsair is really expensive when compared to other brands with the same specs. Here's some better sticks that would only be $30 more for two sets: G.Skill Pi 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7.

Next, WD HDDs are pretty crappy right now. Grab a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. It's the same price, but bigger, faster, quieter and all around better.

SSDs are also not exactly in your budget. You've also choosen a relatively off brand. I'd leave it out to get some more graphics muscle (again, not knowing the use), or at least get this Intel 80 GB, which is easily one of the best out there.

Now we get to the GPU. nVidia is sucking it up right now. I highly recommend getting at least the HD 5770, possibly higher. Regardless, I'd stay away from nVidia right now, unless you're doing something specialized, in which case, I'd step up to the GTX 470.

A sound card is completely unnecessary. You likely won't notice a difference from onboard, so leave it out for now. If you can tell a difference, you can add it later.

Cheaper DVD burner. Saves a few bucks...

Finally, I personally think the 1200 is overrated. It's expensive and rather small for a full tower. Also, nothing you have suggests you need a full tower. I'd save some money and look at any of the following: Antec 300 Illusion, Coolermaster 690, Antec 902, and the HAF 922. The HAF is the best in that list, but mainly because of it's low price and large size. You could easily get something smaller and cheaper. If you're really looking for a great looking case, and don't mind paying extra, check out the Coolermaster Cosmos.
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June 21, 2010 3:44:27 PM

^+1... MadAdmiral's recommendations (I personally like the Antec 1200 though, so we'll agree to disagree on that matter but his case choices are better for your needs).
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June 21, 2010 4:35:51 PM

I think the 1200 is a very pretty case. It just doesn't offer enough in size or price to be really competitive...
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June 21, 2010 6:46:28 PM

Hey guys, thanks a lot for your feedback!!

MadAdmiral, in response to your questions:

The computer would be used in the following ways, in order of priority:
1) Heavy Photoshop/Lightroom 2/Photomatix Pro use. Rendering HDR images, working with RAW camera files, applying many filters to full-resolution images.

2) Heavy standard use: Office, Web, Music, etc.

3) Occasional video editing of HD video (trying to learn/get better at Premiere Pro)

4) Occasional sound editing -- trying to convert old vinyl to digital. This is why I want an awesome sound card.

I am NOT a gamer on the computer, so I don't need any special hardware for gaming purposes.


Now, to your recommendations..


PSU: I'm definitely open to swapping this out. I do NOT plan to Crossfire/SLI because I don't see why I'd need it. Like I said, lots of photo editing, some video editing, and I plan to do a lot of sound editing by converting vinyl to digital.

MOBO: You're the second person to recommend that Gigabyte board. Is it that superior to the Asus board? Also, according to the Newegg specs, the Gigabyte board is NOT compatible with 1600 DDR3 RAM, so I'd have to swap out my RAM, correct?

RAM: I want the 12 GB for two reasons. 1) My friend built a very similar machine for his photo editing needs, and his chugs a little bit when processing filters on huge pictures. He has 6 GB and is upgrading to 12. 2) I want to future proof, and I don't want to have to upgrade for a verrrry long time. I'd rather have way more than not enough.

HDD: I'm definitely open to swapping these. I've heard good things about the F3, and for the same price, it seems like a no-brainer. Although, a friend who works in IT says Western Digital is the ONLY way to go if I don't want to lose my data. Is he exaggerating?

SDD: I was debating between a Velociraptor and the SSD for my boot drive and decided to splurge. I read a lot about the WD one and the reviews were good. What's better about the Intel one to justify the price increase?

GPU: This was where I was MOST clueless, simply because there are just so many options. I've had nVidia for 10 years and never had a problem until my most recent computer.

Graphic needs: I need to be able to view/edit HD video without a hiccup. I want to use a 24-30 in. HDTV (or LCD monitor) as my display, so I think I'd need an HDMI port, right? Again, NO gaming, just stellar video/movie ability.

Sound card: I'm picky when it comes to sound. I want to be able to do 7.1 surround for output, but also like I said above, I need stellar input when I want to convert my vinyl to digital. I'm worried onboard sound wouldn't be able to handle it. And from what I've been reading about top sound cards, the audiophiles love them. Again, I'm willing to splurge here if it's THAT much better.

Case: I really don't care how it looks. I just want it to be able to fit my CPU Cooling Unit, and have plenty of room for great air circulation and room to work inside. Also, I want to limit the amount of dust that gets in there as much as possible. I read a lot about the HAF 922 and was going to go with it, but several online reviews said it sucks in dust pretty badly. But, I'm definitely willing to swap here IF the case will fit everything, allow upgradeability to adding additional front panels (like a Blu-Ray and a card reader, eventually), and will keep out as much dust as possible.


OK, with all that said (sorry for not including more details in the OP), does that change your suggestions?
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June 21, 2010 7:00:06 PM

PSU: Then a 550W would be fine.

Mobo: It is better (it's Tom's recommended buy). Also, the listed RAM speeds aren't the only compatible speeds. The lower numbers are generally the defaults and the high number is the maximum. To get 1600 mhz, you'll just need to set the specs manually in BIOS.

RAM: For your uses, 12 GB would be better.

SSD: SSD all the way. VRs suck. The 500 GB platter drives (Spinpoint F3, 7200.12) are faster than the VRs at a third of the price.

GPU: Given your uses, nVidia would be a better choice. I'm not entirely sure on how much power you need though. You may want to consider the workstation GPUs for your needs (the Quaddro line). I'd just spend whatever you can on it.

Sound: Most onboard does 7.1 nowdays. I'd at least try onboard first. After all, it's free...

Case: The HAF 922 shouldn't have too many dust problems. It comes with filters. The 932 (the older and larger one) didn't have filters. You really don't have to worry about the HAF not being able to fit everything. It's massive.
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