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Opinions to components for my first self-built PC

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August 3, 2010 8:23:23 PM

After alot of research, I've come down to this. But since this is the very first PC I will build, I ask for your opinions in case I have done any "mistakes".

Will these components in my first self-built PC work well together?

OS Windows 7 Home Premium
Cha. Fractal Design Define R2 Titanium Grey (Elegant and silent. In other words - perfect!)
Proc. Intel Core i5 750
RAM Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600MHz 4GB (2x2GB) CL9
Moth. Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3, P55, Socket-1156 or Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 or ASUS P7P55D, P55, Socket-1156 (what is really the difference?)
HDD Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB (Everybody says it's better than any other HDD, but why? And what is RAID?)
GPU XFX Radeon HD5770 (I won't play a lot of games, but I'll be using two monitors, so I think this will work great)
DVD-RW Does'n matter as long as it's cheap. I'll pick the a cheap one after being sure about all the other components.
PSU Corsair TX 650W (It's expencive, but stable)
Processor Cooler? Will I need it? I think "no".

What do you think? Please give me some response about how the components will fit each other. Any input is appreachiated.

Thank you very much!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2010 9:13:04 PM

Where are you purchasing your parts? Newegg?

First off, the case does look elegant, and I like the sound dampening they have included on it. This would be perfect for a living room htpc. Is that your intended use?

The cpu, board and RAM all fit together - these are the important components to watch and you have done a good job. The difference in the Gigabyte boards is the "a" version is $10 more and has the new USB 3 connectors connecting at 6Gbs. These connectors will probably be needed before you are finished with the PC. Not sure about the Asus board, except that it may overclock better with the power phase fetures and it costs about $40 more.

Next, the Samsung Spinpoint F3 hard drives are quieter, use less power, are cheaper and almost as fast as their WD Caviar Black counterparts. Both of these drive models top the charts for price/performance ratios.

The GPU should be fine, even a bit of overkill, but then don't know what you are doing with the machine. The DVD-RW drives are running about $17 at their cheapest. The power supply is jonnyguru recommended, and really inexpensive if you buy it at newegg - $69 after rebate. It is a good deal.

A heat sink? Why buy all this beautiful equipment and not spend another few dollars to make sure it runs cool? Find a Cooler Master Hyper 212+ for $30. With that said, if you really are opposed to overclocking (and there is NO reson to be) then you can get away with a stock version of the chiller that comes with the CPU ( or buy a dell).

Good luck, and have fun!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2010 9:29:15 PM

Forgot to mention RAID. It stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives. This technique ties 2 drives together to either improve performance (RAID 0) or decrease the chance of data loss if a drive fails (RAID 1). You can make your storage faster AND less prone to failure if you have 3 or more drives, and there are all sorts of combinations (RAID 3, RAID 5, RAID 10, etc.) Several different types of RAID are supported by your OS or from the motherboard.

If you want to consider multiple drives, think about a Solid State Drive (SSD) for $150 or so to house your OS and primary applications.
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August 3, 2010 9:44:05 PM

Thank you! No, I'm not purcharing at Newegg (even though I'd like to), because I don't live in the US. This PC is not for the living room, it will be my all-round PC - from web surfing to pretty video editing and music making.

This looks better:

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
Cha.: Fractal Design Define R2 Titanium Grey
Proc.: Intel Core i5-750
RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600MHz 4GB (2x2GB) CL9
Moth.: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 (don't see why I shouldn't)
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB
GPU: XFX Radeon HD5770 or maybe HD 5670 (are they very different? Any links that shows me de differences would be warmly welcomed)
DVD-RW: Cheap one
PSU: Corsair TX 650W

Yes, this will be a heat sink, I think. But if I want to make it run cooler, how do I "spend another few dollars to make sure it runs cool". What do you say if I stick with the chiller that comes with the i5? How can I keep the PC cool? I'm not very much into this, so every answering word is great.

I sure will have fun, thanx :D 
August 3, 2010 9:48:20 PM

The RAID, yeah, I don't really get it, but it seems smart though. I will wait with SSD untill prices have come down a bit more. Will I be able to add SSD later, and combine it with the SpinPoint? Anywho, I hope the SpinPoint all alone will be fast enough.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2010 11:41:46 PM

I have 4 drives - an SSD with Win7, 2 500 GB Spinpoints in Raid 0 and 1 TB WD Green (for back up) They all work great together. The wait on the SSD is not a bad choice, since they are dropping in price so fast.
August 4, 2010 8:11:25 AM

That was wonderfully smart! Maybe should I do excactly the same? What do you think? Is there a big difference between two 500 GB in RAID 0 and one 1TB?

If I do this, it will be about $100 extra. Is it worth it?

This only gets better and better:

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
Cha.: Fractal Design Define R2 Titanium Grey
Proc.: Intel Core i5-750
RAM: Corsair Dominator 4 GB DIMM 240-pin DDR3 1600 MHz/PC3-12800 CL9 (changed)
Moth.: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB (or ..?)
GPU: XFX Radeon HD5770 or maybe HD 5670 (are they very different? Any links that shows me de differences would be warmly welcomed. I've also heard that PowrColor makes better cards? What do you say?)
DVD-RW: Cheap one
PSU: Corsair TX 650W
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2010 8:20:16 AM

I would change the RAM to G Skill Ripjaws or G Skill ECO if you can. It is not a huge difference but the G Skill are well priced and have a lower latency number (CL7).

I would stick with the 5770 as you do play some games by the sound of it, even if you are not a big gamer, all it takes is one game to be too much for your GPU and it can be frustrating. XFX are pretty good, Powercolor are usually at the cheap end of the market
August 4, 2010 9:10:29 AM

I'm sad about G Skill. I Can't ...

And one more sad thing - XFX 5770 isn't available for me right now, so I won't get that. A solution could be to get XFX 5670, and if I'm not pleased with it I can buy one extra and use CrossFire with two 5670s. What do you say about that? I won't get PowerColor at least.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2010 12:40:39 PM

MY personal opinion is that brand is not a big deal. While I say Powercolor is cheap end, I personally have had no issues with them - in fact, my 5850 is Powercolor :) 

If the choice is XFX 5670 or Powercolor 5770 then I would go with the 5770. It was only if both did the same card for same kind of price that I would go XFX.
August 4, 2010 1:21:26 PM

Oh, ha, ok.

Two things:

1. I'm thinking of doing what you did to your HDDs, and RAID them. Does it make a big difference? I really want fast HDDs, but I don't like the SSD pricing. Is there a big difference between two 500 GB in RAID 0 and one 1TB? If I do this, it will be about $100 extra. Is it worth it? I think yes.

2. I still like the idea of Crossfireing two XFX 5670 instead of getting one PowerColor 5770. It's not very much more excpensive, but according to what I know, It's far better. What do you say?

And thank you for helping me. I really feel glad that I get help.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2010 1:41:54 PM

Personally I have never used a RAID set up as load times have never been long enough for things I do for it to bother me (but then, I just game) but others swear by it.

As for the cards, it may be teh snob in me, but I don't consider anything less than a 5770 as a gaming card. A bigger issue however is that the motherboards you have picked do not allow for Crossfire set ups (the second PCI - E slot runs at x4 instead of x16, this means if you use two cards the lan speed is x4/x4, the minimum speed you want the second PCI - E slot to be running at is x8)
August 4, 2010 3:03:43 PM

Happy moment: I will get the XFX Radeon 5770 after all. That is, as I understand it, the best for my needs. One less problem.

This makes me happy too:

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
Cha.: Fractal Design Define R2 Titanium Grey
CPU: Intel Core i5-750
RAM: Corsair Dominator 4 GB DIMM 240-pin DDR3 1600 MHz/PC3-12800 CL9
MB: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB (or ..?)
GPU: XFX Radeon HD5770
DVD-RW: Samsung Samsung SH-S223L (checked reviews and stuff, found it cheap and it's Samsung)
PSU: Corsair TX 650W

If I need it, I will get a CPU cooler later. Or should I just get one now? Why (not)?
August 4, 2010 3:05:25 PM

The RAID?
a b B Homebuilt system
August 4, 2010 5:11:36 PM

I think the 5770 is a good choice, as everyone else seems to agree. I suggest leaving the RAID for a future upgrade and adding the cooler now. Installing new hard drives is much easier than changing a cooler.
August 5, 2010 10:38:00 AM

I agree with the RAID. I'll wait untill I really want it and need it. Regarding the CPU cooler, I think the stock one is good enough, so I won't get one untill I need one. As HDD I will purchare a Spinpoint F3 1TB, and if I get into the RAID things, I will probably use it as backup to other HDDs in RAID 0.

Then I've finnished this journey through the land of PC component finding. I'm pleased. This is what I will purchare:

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
Cha.: Fractal Design Define R2 Titanium Grey
CPU: Intel Core i5-750
RAM: Corsair Dominator 4 GB DIMM 240-pin DDR3 1600 MHz/PC3-12800 CL9
MB: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB
GPU: XFX Radeon HD5770
DVD-RW: Samsung Samsung SH-S223L (checked reviews and stuff, found it cheap and it's Samsung)
PSU: Corsair TX 650W

The price converted into USD: about $1400

THANK YOU! Thank you so very much for the advice you gave me!!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 5, 2010 10:42:22 AM

Enjoy your build. Just one final thing, you noted the Corsair was expensive - you may want to check out the XFX 650W PSU, it is an excellent quality PSU and certainly here in the Uk it has £15 off (£69.99 currently), there may be similar deals where you buy. If not, then the Corsair is a great choice!

Other than that its a solid build, enjoy!
!