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Seeking advice on 1st build

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July 15, 2010 3:04:33 AM

This is my first time building a pc. I have never installed a stick of Ram or seen an uninstalled processor. I've held a bare HDD only because I hacked my ps2 6 years ago. I've never claimed to know anything about computers. Feel free to laugh if i say anything stupid below. I've done a few hours worth of research but would like to make sure i'm buying the right parts. Figured the experts on these forums, who accounted as part of my research, could help. Here's my request based on the awesome template I found.

Purchase Date- August 5th
Budget - $1200 (give or take)

System Usage- Gaming, novice video editing, and average PC usage(word, excel, powerpoint)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've found Amazon & Newegg have the best prices. Neither one is 100% cheaper than the other. I'm into w/e works best and work minutes away from a tiger direct retail store.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Hear lots of good things about Intel's Core I5 and the ATI video cards.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Native resolution 1080p- Monitor is not included in stated budget.

I'm liking the Rose Black line from Samsung. I'm going with a red glow for all of my equipment. G110 keyboard and not sure which mouse. Although not included in template, I would like suggestions. The wife would like it to resonate with the decor and red works. (how sad my life is)

I have a list of parts/products already selected and would like review/advice.

OS Windows 7 Home Prem. 64b
CPU Intel Core I5 750
Case CM Haf 922

MoBo ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
P7P55D-E Pro

Fan CM 200mm Red LED-
The Fan

PSU Corsair CMPSU-750HX 750-Watt
GPU Gigabyte HD 5830 1GB
PSU and Video Card

Ram G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB)
G.SKILL Ram

HDD WD Caviar Black 1TB 64mb 7200rpm Sata3
1.5tb Caviar Black

OD Lite-on iHAS424-98
DVD Burner

I am interested in noted motherboard because i read it overclocks for dummies. I have very little patience and figured a couple extra bucks would save me the hassle.

I do not know what CPU cooler to purchase as I do not yet grasp operating temp. A large part of this build is to stroke my ego. Why hide it?

I did not look into Crossfire/SLI because I dont believe I need the power just yet. PSU was chosen to be ready when the day comes. I don't know what constitutes "needing" the power.

So is my prospective build of any value? Please feel free to rip it apart.
July 15, 2010 3:40:32 AM

That's a very good first draft.

The first I'd change right off the bat is the video card. You should be able to afford a 5850 with your budget, possibly even a 5870. Either of those will give you better gaming performance.

The only other change I'd suggest would be either a 1 TB Spinpoint F3 or a 1 TB Seagate 7200.12 instead of the hard drive you selected, they're $20 cheaper and use the same 500 GB platter technology. They aren't SATA III, but then again, the WD1002FAEX isn't able to transfer data that maxes out SATA II, so the inclusion of SATA III is more of a gimmick in my opinion.

Other than that, looks good. Lots of people around here like the Hyper 212+ as a good value cooler at $30 (on amazon, not newegg). I haven't used it myself, but it seems like the sensible choice at that price.
Related resources
July 15, 2010 4:01:02 PM

$1185AR featuring HD 5870 and a SATA 6GB/s SSD?
July 17, 2010 1:11:39 AM

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I'm definitely taking it into account.

batuchka (or anyone else that has an opinion)- AMD vs Intel. I'm not clear on the key differences and went with Intel based on a friends advice. I planned on spending the weekend researching about AMD as i've seen much nicer prices with quad core technology and higher default speeds. Can I get a bit of insight?

Windows 7- 1 Pack for systems builders vs i guess an "end user" copy. My guess based on a product description was Microsoft will support the latter and I would have to have manage any issues on the former. is that right?
July 17, 2010 1:21:53 AM

coldsleep said:
That's a very good first draft.

The first I'd change right off the bat is the video card. You should be able to afford a 5850 with your budget, possibly even a 5870. Either of those will give you better gaming performance.

The only other change I'd suggest would be either a 1 TB Spinpoint F3 or a 1 TB Seagate 7200.12 instead of the hard drive you selected, they're $20 cheaper and use the same 500 GB platter technology. They aren't SATA III, but then again, the WD1002FAEX isn't able to transfer data that maxes out SATA II, so the inclusion of SATA III is more of a gimmick in my opinion.

Other than that, looks good. Lots of people around here like the Hyper 212+ as a good value cooler at $30 (on amazon, not newegg). I haven't used it myself, but it seems like the sensible choice at that price.


Thanks a lot. I was leaning towards the cooler but never felt like I found a solid recommendation. I've got tons of research that agrees with you on Sata 3. I only chose the HDD cuz I've had a western digital hdd(saved and loaded games of hdd) in my ps2 for years thats been dropped and run for hours on end with no AC. I picked it up mainly because I trust them. The spinpoint looks a lot better. I will definitely work the video cards in there. Awesome stuff. I'll be making changes.
July 17, 2010 1:42:07 AM



Im seeing the Ripjaw at a higher voltage 1.65 vs the Eco's 1.35.
I also see the ripjaw has a more efficient heat management system.
All else is equal and they're essentially the same price

I don't understand the effect of the voltage. What makes the Eco a better buy?

I'm real anal and very specific when spending over $30 on anything. Apologies if i come off wrong to anyone.
July 17, 2010 2:14:52 AM

I have really crappy internet so I can go to newegg to see the links, but I assume you are talking about the 7-8-7's with the blue heat spreader...I believe the advantage of those is their heat spreader and possibly their higher QC, but the ecos have a lower voltage and higher overclocking capability.
July 17, 2010 2:20:44 AM

to quote banthracis from another thread:
"Eco's are same performance and timings rated at a lower voltage. Basically, just ripjaws that are better binned. A better buy since prices are same."

Also, the ripjaws large heatspreader (which are larger than they look in pictures) may interfere with an aftermarket CPU cooler.
July 17, 2010 2:21:37 AM

jrhii said:
I have really crappy internet so I can go to newegg to see the links, but I assume you are talking about the 7-8-7's with the blue heat spreader...I believe the advantage of those is their heat spreader and possibly their higher QC, but the ecos have a lower voltage and higher overclocking capability.


What is QC?
Why is a lower voltage important?
How do I look something up and determine it's overclocking capability? I'm assuming lower voltage = higher overclocking capability up to X volts, but i'm a noob.
And w/o heat spreader would I need a cooling device/heatsink for my ram?

I'm engaged to the Haf 922 which seems pretty well cooled.
July 17, 2010 2:51:42 AM

batuchka said:
$1185AR featuring HD 5870 and a SATA 6GB/s SSD?
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Untitled-2316.jpg


not sure if you get a notification of any thread update... so copying my reply to you, directly to you.

batuchka (or anyone else that has an opinion)- AMD vs Intel. I'm not clear on the key differences and went with Intel based on a friends advice. I planned on spending the weekend researching about AMD as i've seen much nicer prices with quad core technology and higher default speeds. Can I get a bit of insight?

Windows 7- 1 Pack for systems builders vs i guess an "end user" copy. My guess based on a product description was Microsoft will support the latter and I would have to have manage any issues on the former. is that right?
July 17, 2010 2:55:56 AM

No, you got it right on lower voltage. Tom's has an article or two on how most RAM heat spreaders don't really help, you can probably find it with either the built-in search or google. (Of course, I still bought some with heat spreaders, but there were other factors too.)

If you don't get RAM with heat spreaders, you don't need a cooling device for the RAM unless you're doing crazy crazy crazy overclocks.

And to answer an earlier question, AMD Phenom II X4 955/965s perform just about as well as Intel i5-750s at gaming, but tend to be a little worse at other benchmarks/measure. Whether or not that difference is big enough to be concerned about is up to you. Here's a head-to-head from Anandtech. Except for Far Cry 2, the gaming benchmarks are pretty similar, in my opinion. Finally, I should reiterate that at most reasonable resolutions (and most, but not all games - i.e. GTA4), CPUs have much less effect on fps than the graphics card does.

AMD offers better value for gaming at most budgets, as spending less on CPU/Mobo allows you to spend more on your graphics card. Of course, there's a certain budget past which many people will say that you might as well go AMD, but it's largely up to personal preference.

An i5-750 build is going to cost about $75-100 more than an equivalent AMD build. If you decided to move up to an i7-930, that would run about $200 more than the i5 build, and based on your usage, you don't need it. I tend to start recommending the i5 at about $1200, suggest thinking about the i7-930 past $1500, and whatever you want past $2k.

Another change I'd make to batuchka's build above, go with an Agility 2, Vertex 2, or Intel X25-M SSD. (If you want an SSD between 60-80 GB.) The OCZ drives use a newer SandForce controller that doesn't lose speed with smaller capacity drives. And the Intel X25-M is about the only game in town at 80 GB and it still holds its own in most benchmarks.
July 17, 2010 3:27:05 AM

coldsleep said:
No, you got it right on lower voltage. Tom's has an article or two on how most RAM heat spreaders don't really help, you can probably find it with either the built-in search or google. (Of course, I still bought some with heat spreaders, but there were other factors too.)

If you don't get RAM with heat spreaders, you don't need a cooling device for the RAM unless you're doing crazy crazy crazy overclocks.

And to answer an earlier question, AMD Phenom II X4 955/965s perform just about as well as Intel i5-750s at gaming, but tend to be a little worse at other benchmarks/measure. Whether or not that difference is big enough to be concerned about is up to you. Here's a head-to-head from Anandtech. Except for Far Cry 2, the gaming benchmarks are pretty similar, in my opinion. Finally, I should reiterate that at most reasonable resolutions (and most, but not all games - i.e. GTA4), CPUs have much less effect on fps than the graphics card does.

AMD offers better value for gaming at most budgets, as spending less on CPU/Mobo allows you to spend more on your graphics card. Of course, there's a certain budget past which many people will say that you might as well go AMD, but it's largely up to personal preference.

An i5-750 build is going to cost about $75-100 more than an equivalent AMD build. If you decided to move up to an i7-930, that would run about $200 more than the i5 build, and based on your usage, you don't need it. I tend to start recommending the i5 at about $1200, suggest thinking about the i7-930 past $1500, and whatever you want past $2k.

Another change I'd make to batuchka's build above, go with an Agility 2, Vertex 2, or Intel X25-M SSD. (If you want an SSD between 60-80 GB.) The OCZ drives use a newer SandForce controller that doesn't lose speed with smaller capacity drives. And the Intel X25-M is about the only game in town at 80 GB and it still holds its own in most benchmarks.


According to your financial recommendations i'm at the cusp of AMD and the I5. Seems like best bet is to fully load an AMD build with top components. If I get the HD 5870 I probably have no concern with graphical power. I may go with 5850... i'm not going to exceed 1080p on my monitor or tv and I don't see myself playing THAT many games. Fallout New Vegas, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty. I'm into FPS games but I don't need to max graphics on all of them. SSD as boot drive will boost performance quite a bit, i'm not sure I need a whole 80gb if I have a second drive. This is sounding good. Thanks for help on ram as well. I thought heat was in general a big deal with any level of overclocking. I've been trying to avoid that noob mistake of overspending but there is so much to learn and i'm itching to make this purchase.

Would you know off the top of your head of an AMD motherboard that has an automated overclocking feature similar to the Intel board I chose? I haven't looked at the recommended one. If manually overclocking is much better I am more than willing to learn through online study.

July 17, 2010 3:35:35 AM

coldsleep said:
That's a very good first draft.

The first I'd change right off the bat is the video card. You should be able to afford a 5850 with your budget, possibly even a 5870. Either of those will give you better gaming performance.

The only other change I'd suggest would be either a 1 TB Spinpoint F3 or a 1 TB Seagate 7200.12 instead of the hard drive you selected, they're $20 cheaper and use the same 500 GB platter technology. They aren't SATA III, but then again, the WD1002FAEX isn't able to transfer data that maxes out SATA II, so the inclusion of SATA III is more of a gimmick in my opinion.

Other than that, looks good. Lots of people around here like the Hyper 212+ as a good value cooler at $30 (on amazon, not newegg). I haven't used it myself, but it seems like the sensible choice at that price.


i meant to ask. Whats the major difference between manufacturers when it comes to video cards?
July 17, 2010 5:06:10 AM

ECOs have a heat spreader just smaller, and is still good enough to do any job for dissipating ram heat.

QC is quality control-such as recieving ram that is good and will achieve the same timings at the posted voltages-and my only evidence is that ripjaws are higher up in the G Skil hierarchy. I would personally assume that the ecos are just as reliable as the ripjaws and that they reviews are still plenty favourable on newegg.
July 17, 2010 11:50:12 AM

jrhii said:
ECOs have a heat spreader just smaller, and is still good enough to do any job for dissipating ram heat.

QC is quality control-such as recieving ram that is good and will achieve the same timings at the posted voltages-and my only evidence is that ripjaws are higher up in the G Skil hierarchy. I would personally assume that the ecos are just as reliable as the ripjaws and that they reviews are still plenty favourable on newegg.


i'm with you on that. I switched out the ripjaws for the eco's in my cart. I'm leaning towards AMD atm and wonder if that will affect my ram. I read that ram is generally compatible as long as the motherboard can use it but this ram states it was designed specifically for the intel i5 & i7
July 17, 2010 8:33:43 PM

darkgauntlett said:
I read that ram is generally compatible as long as the motherboard can use it but this ram states it was designed specifically for the intel i5 & i7


That's just marketing-speak for "designed to run at or under 1.65V", which is the max that current generation Intel mobos/chips can tolerate. AMD does not have a voltage limitation that low. (I don't know what the actual limit is offhand, but I suspect one could google the info pretty quickly.)
July 18, 2010 12:20:26 AM

coldsleep said:
That's just marketing-speak for "designed to run at or under 1.65V", which is the max that current generation Intel mobos/chips can tolerate. AMD does not have a voltage limitation that low. (I don't know what the actual limit is offhand, but I suspect one could google the info pretty quickly.)


I ended up googling all day and now feel like more than a noob. Thanks a lot for your help. I couldn't wait until August 5. I placed my order this afternoon. Can't wait to build it next weekend.
!