First Build in 8 years

Hi All,

Loooong time lurker (been reading since '90s), first time poster. Coming back to PCs after a few years playing around with Macs. Before I moved over, I built about 15 custom systems, from x486 up to P3s. So it's been a while. Glad to see that most things haven't changed, except for the quality of parts and faster everything. Hoping to get some feedback on this build. If you see anything incompatible, please let me know.


BUDGET RANGE: $2000-$2500 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, video and photo, general internet use, programming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Don't need keyboard, mouse, UPS, printer, Wifi, or main drive (I have a 1TB WD Caviar Black I'm starting with. Will upgrade to SSD next year for boot drive)



SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes (but not now)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: highest I can afford. Would like to run three monitors at some point (starting with one, upgrade to three by fall)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quieter the better. Would prefer to use air cooling for now. Will not be moving the machine. Goal is to leave an upgrade path. I'd like to upgrade the following over the next year:
17 930- six core when prices come down
1TB Caviar Black to SSD
double or triple RAM to 12 or 18GB
Add two additional monitors
Crossfire or Trifire down the road
Not interested in watching BD, but ripping is a must. Machine should also look good. Will be running W7 64 professional (which I already own). Looking for suggestions on a monitor solution that could be increased to 3. Would I need anything else for this?

CPU i7-930 $290

MOBO Gigabyte UD3R LGA 1366 $210

Video Saphire HD5870 2GB $500

Case Cooler Master HAF X $200

Power CORSAIR 1000HX $230

Memory Crucial 6GB DDR3 1333 $141

Secondary Storage WD 2TB Caviar Green $120

Optical LITE-ON 8X DB-ROM $100

CPU Cooler - Prolimatech Megahelms Rev B Cooler $62 (will have to order elsewhere)

CPU Fan Scythe Typhoon 120mm $18 (will this fit the Megahelms?)

Arctic Silver 5 $10

Monitor Hanns-G 25" $220 (smaller pixel size which is important to me. I'd like to get two more soon. Anyone have a better suggestion?)

Total price: $2100
Am I missing anything?
Got better suggestions?

Much appreciated!
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first build years
  1. Best answer
    In general, the build looks decent. A couple of odd choices given the budget though. I'll go ahead and post what I'd buy (including a SSD and another HDD). I'll add comments with each part.

    CPU/PSU: i7-930 and Cosair 950W 80+ Bronze $395 afer rebate. 1000W is overkill, as is 950. 850 would be perfect, but this is a good combo.
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $210
    RAM: G.Skill Trident 3x2 GB 2000 mhz CAS Latency 9 $190. Much faster sticks of RAM. I wouldn't get 1333 mhz sticks period.
    GPU: HD 5970 $700. If you're spend this much, why not get the best?
    SSD: 2x Intel X25-M 80 GB $430 (in RAID 0). You can leave this out for now, as prices will come down.
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75. Or the one you've got. Doesn't really matter since it's not a boot drive.
    Case: HAF 922 $90. I don't see the point in spending over twice as much when the 922 is already the best case out there.
    Optical: SAMSUNG Black 8X BD-ROM $72 with promo code. I personally think that BR is pointless for computers right now. Upgrade to it later when there is a use specific for computers or when it gets cheaper. If you decide against it, get the cheapest SATA DVD burner you can find, which is usually about $20
    HSF: Noctua NH-D14 $90. A better, cheaper alternative to the Megahalems (counting two fans and a Y splitter)
    Monitor: Asus 23" 1080p $170 after rebate. A little smaller and a lot cheaper. The one you picked is still in budget though, so whichever you want is fine. I'm not the best at picking monitors...

    Total: $2,422 with SSDs, $1,992 without ($1,940 without BR)
  2. phanfave said:
    Hi All,

    CPU Fan Scythe Typhoon 120mm $18 (will this fit the Megahelms?)

    Thos fans are not the best choice for a cpu cooler, as they are not PWM fans. Its best to get a set of these as the rpm can then be regulated by the motherboard.
  3. You can grab these monitor's actually $180 w/ Rebate

    They're identical to the 24" Asus ones that sell for $220. I've got both, it's really stupid, I swear, take a ruler and measure, they're identical.

    Also, don't need thermal compound unless you're doing a high OC. If, so get AS MTX. Same performance as AS 5 but non conductive and no burn in.

    The 2TB HD's have a pretty bad failure rate ATM, so we don't recommend them.

    Mad's got everything else covered for you.
  4. Thanks everyone for the prompt replies. As you can see, I've got a little catching up to do.

    I'll be swapping out the fan for the PWM versions, same for the thermal paste, heatsink, and RAM. As for the 2TB drive. The reason I'm going for these, because I have two already. I could downscale it to 1.5TB if there are more reliable versions. The other two I have are for rotating offsite backup. I've got a BlacX for hotswapping the backup drives.

    As for MadAdmiral's comments I had a few questions:
    1. Will the 950 be able to run two 5970's or a 5870 and a 5970 in the future? My math shows that it will, just wanted to make sure.
    2. 5970's I had this first, but wasn't sure if Eye-finity works on them. The Specs on Newegg we're very clear. I instead opted for the 5870 because of the six MDP, but if I can do the same with the 5970 (3 monitors) I'd rather go with the 5970.
    3. Case. Will the 922 be able to hold the 5970 and will it be as cool and quiet as the X? I don't mind spending 100% more on the case if I get a little quiter and cooler. Same with the PSU.
    4. BD drive. I don't need to burn or watch, just read and rip.
    5. SSD - I've already got the 1TB so I'll keep that for now. But yes SSD will be a nice upgrade in the future.
    Monitors - I like the suggestions. I'm leaving a 27" iMac IPS panel, so anything I get short of a grand won't be as nice. I'd like to make up for this by having 3 monitors, so good, cheap, and small pixel size is key.

    I'll update my build and repost it below. Thanks everyone!
  5. phanfave said:
    Thanks everyone for the prompt replies. As you can see, I've got a little catching up to do.

    I'll be swapping out the fan for the PWM versions, same for the thermal paste, heatsink, and RAM.

    You only need to swap the fans if you are gonna stick with the megahalems, the noctua comes with its own.

    I personally like the megahalems, as its lighter and smaller than the noctua (its a beast) and therefore puts less stress on the mobo
  6. 1. A 750TX will run 2 5970's, though it's pushing it. As mad noted, a 850 would have been perfect.
    2. Yes you can run 3 monitors with the 5970. The 6 port 5870 is a waste of money.
    3. All the HAF use the same 200mm fan. It's labeled 230 sometimes but it's the same fan. Marketing fail there really. Add a side fan to the 922 for $15 and it cools just as well as the others.
    4. If no burning needed, cheapest 8x reader is $72

    cheapest 4x is $53
  7. OK Here's the updated build. I think I want to go with the Modular Corsair PSU instead of the combo deal. Plus shaving off another 100W would probably help my old house's wiring not be an issue. I also checked up and see the Sapphire 5970 will do Eyefinity, so that's a go. Let me know what you all think.

    Video SAPPHIRE 5970 (YEEOOOWWW!) $700

    Case HAF 922 $90

    Mobo Gigabyte UD3R $210

    CPU i7 930 $290

    Cooler Noctua NH-D14 $90 (really like this one)

    Optical Samsung Black 8X BD-ROM $80

    Memory G Skill Trident DDR3 2000 $190

    PSU CORSAIR 850HX $170

    Storage Drive WD Caviar Green 2TB $120

    Paste Arctic Silver MTX-2.5G $5

    Monitor (1st of three) ASUS VH236H $190

    Total build $2135 and I still have an upgrade path for more RAM, SSD, 6 core CPU, and some day, another 5970.

  8. Take out the caviar green. Throw in 1 tb F3's instead.
  9. Best answer selected by phanfave.
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