First Time Builder Seeking Advice

Hi, I'm looking to build my first system from scratch. I'm considering the following components for my build and would appreciate and helpful comments, criticism, or advice.

CPU- intel i7 930 bloomfield
MOBO- gigabyte GAx58a- Ud3r
RAM- 4 gb G.skill ripjaw ddr3
Case- Antec 300 Illusion (am i cheaping out on this case?)
PSU- Antec earthwatts 650 w
GPU- evga gtx geforce 460 fermi (haven't liked the past 2 ati cards i've had and eventually when needed i intend to get an additional matching card to put in SLI)
HDD- samsung spinpoint 500gb 7200
Optical- Asus DR-W SATA 24x DVD burner. (very rarely use my CD dirves these days)
Monitor- Asus VH242H 23" Widescreen HD monitor.

I think that's everythign i need. If i missed anything please let me know. Thanks!
15 answers Last reply
More about first time builder seeking advice
  1. Please fill out the form in my signature so we know how much you can spend, what you plan to use it for etc.
  2. Gah, sorry for the newb move.

    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: early september

    BUDGET RANGE: $1200ish lower is always nice,

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, internet, media.

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (e.g.:, monitor, speakers

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: open to other reliable e-vendors.





    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080,

    Parts i'm considering so far have been;

    Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930

    GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    EVGA 01G-P3-1371-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

    ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor

    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

    The total here is $1254 USD Thanks for any help.
  3. The Antec 300 Illusion is a solid choice for a case.

    The power supply only has 530 watts on it's 12V rails, so I think a bit light for a system with two GTX 460s. That RAM comes in a combo with this PSU: Combo with XFX 650W Modular 80Plus Bronze PSU $173 ($20 rebate). Which will have enough power.

    I think you should change to a P55 build if you aren't planning on adding three graphics cards to this build. The i5-750/60 will save ~$90. Going down to an Asus P7P55D-E Pro or MSI P55A-G55 would save a decent amount as well. If 'media' means watching tv/movies, listening to music etc, then the i5-750 will be plenty of processing power for you.
  4. If this is just gaming an i5 750 or 760 & Asus P7P55D-E Pro will do. If you want to play around with video editing and applications of the sort then I suppose the i7 is somewhat justifiable, and if you want the i7 930, you'll want a triple channel memory kit, i.e., 3x1 GB or 3x2 GB (6x1 is also possible but 3x2 GB is better, I doubt you'll need 12 GB).
  5. Very many thanks. The i7 chip came highly recommended from guys i work with but does seem like a bit of overkill. I also want this build to have staying power for the next several years. If i downgraded the cpu / mobo would this build have the same lasting power / upgrade ability to keep me happy for the next couple of years and beyond?
  6. I've pretty much decided to go with an i5 760. After a bit more research i've decided it should be fine for my needs. However now I'm having trouble choosing a motherboard any suggestions?
  7. The Asus P7P55D-E Pro. The i5 760 should last you quite a while too.
  8. MSI have brought plenty of boards to market which mean that you don't have to spend $180 to get a quality P55 board with SATA6Gbps and USB 3.0:
    MSI P55A-G55 $125 ($20 rebate, $2 shipping). The reasons you wouldn't want to get this board include: lack of eSATA, firewire port, coaxial, out of the box support for 1600mhz memory and DrMOS. If you do want eSATA & firewire and DrMOS: MSI P55A-GD55 $150 ($7 shipping).
  9. Many thanks. O just realized i never included a floppy drive, probably because i can't recall having used one in the past 5 years or so. Is it necessary to have one these days or with this build?
  10. I really doubt you will need a floppy disk drive.
  11. Is a 650w PSU goign to be enough if i choose to use SLI in the future? I know you mentioned a different one above but that's also 650w.
  12. The only reason I would recommend someone to get more than 650W for a system with two 460s is if they were going to OC both their CPU AND GPUs.

    I've seen plenty of benchmarks that showed that a system with two 5850s and an OCed i7 chip won't exceed 500 watts power draw under a furmark load. GTX 460s use a very similar amount of power to a 5850, so I think they are very comparable. Furmark is a stress/torture tester, so it will cause higher power consumption than a game or other normal usage would.
    So taking that 500 number, you're getting 150 watts of headroom or 76% utilization in a scenario that you're unlikely to be in that often. So IMO you are likely to have even more headroom/less utilization than that.
  13. One last thing. Should I get an after market heatsink? If i feel the need later is it possible to replace the stock cooler?
  14. No, unless you're overclocking.
  15. Two reasons to get an aftermarket heatsink. 1 - Overclocking. 2 - You want your CPU cooler to be as quiet as possible.

    It is possible to install a heatsink later, but unless your case has a hole in the motherboard tray you usually have to take it all out. So it is a lot easier to do it first time around. Altho installing a heatsink would be a good opportunity to have a proper clean out inside your case.
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