First time building! gaming/hd video editing machine


BUDGET RANGE: around $1200 with a monitor. I might try picking one up locally though.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming(SC2, Diablo III, and possibly some others), HD video editing, listening to music/watching videos, school work (haha)


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: or wherever can give me the best deal


PARTS PREFERENCES: reliable parts!

OVERCLOCKING: If it's not difficult, then yes.



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I wish I had a Micro Center near me.

Processor: I'm not really sure what would be good for my needs. Probably a quad-core, but do I go up to something, like say the i7 930, or stay with an i5 or an i7 860? I don't really know if the performance will be worth it to buy an x58 mobo and 1366 ram.
I'll say this for now though: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930

Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card [...] 63938&SID=

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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

RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI

Monitor: Possibly this 23.6" Asus unless I find a better deal in-store. [...] 63938&SID=

Tower: Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

CD/DVD Burner: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support

Keyboard/mouse: I'll probably just find something unless you want to recommend a wired combo.

With the monitor, this bad boy is $1,315.92. Without it is $1,125.93.

I've never built a computer before so I'm pretty much a noob. Do I need to buy more fans or some type of cooling system? I'm open minded so any comments or parts recommendations help with making this a little bit cheaper of a build is greatly appreciated!
22 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. No, really that is overbalanced on the processor. You just won't get the performance bonus you want that way... more GPU will give you more benefit.

    Really I think either an i-5 760 or PhenomII x4 955 would be just fine. I think in the interest of maximizing GPU power the AMD might be a bit less, let's see.

    X4 955 and Asus 870 board

    i-5 760 and Gigabyte P55 board (non-SLI)

    Matching features on the boards such as USB 3 that is as close as we can get.
    Intel set costs $30 more before rebates, $20 after. You get about that much extra performance too... close call. I'll leave it to you as the rest of the build would be the same.


    HAF 932 and Win 7

    Seasonic M12II 620

    Gigabyte 5870

    Your HD and optical are fine.
  2. I'd grab the 470 @ 280 over the 5870 @ 400 anyday.
  3. Thanks for the input. I think I'm gonna go the i-5/P55 route and everything else you listed except for the 5870. I just don't know if I can justify spending that much on it.

    With everything except a monitor in my cart, the cost is just over $1,100. That's including a $230 460.

    I was looking at the 470's and I'm not sure if I like the reviews of it running so hot and sometimes loud. I was thinking of spending a little more on a 5850 for about $270-$280.
  4. Either one is great bang for the buck. Just make sure if it's a GTX 460 to get the 1GB version, and preferably one with better than stock cooling.
  5. The AMD path is more future proof. What I mean is that you have more options for upgrades in the future (1 or 2 years) if you decide to do so. Let us take that you get the AMD PII X4 955 CPU and in a year or so it you need more horsepower for gaming/non gaming apps....then you can just pop in a six core AMD 1090T for a fraction of what it cost today! or better yet, a newer CPU that rivals Intel in that time frame. No need to change MOBO, RAM, PSU, etc. I can not say the same thing for the 1156 Intel platform. The best bang for your time. :o
  6. As for the 470, check the anandtech bench. Compare it to a 5870. It's not a lot louder/energy hungry, and it often beats it in terms of performance, especially in newer games.

    For 120$ less I think it makes sense.
  7. I don't know what to think anymore haha. Every time I think I have something figured out, more aspects come into play and I spend hours reading reviews/comparing prices.

    I could get this 5870 + x6 1055t combo for $555

    Or do you think I'm better off just sticking with Ecoli's plan? My gaming will mostly consist of Starcraft 2, so I don't even know if I need a 5870. I'll be doing some video rendering too. Do you think the x4 955 + 470 route will be suffice for my needs?

    This has been consuming my time. I need some rest. :sleep: Thanks for the input/future input.
  8. He's got a pretty good point I think. I doubt the 1156 platform has much longevity in it, with the PCI-E bandwidth issue.

    You want the 955 now because of the easy OC and what the extra speed will get you in most games. Core frequency is still more important than number of cores for most games.
  9. Okay, I like that idea. Thank you all for the help. I think if I want to upgrade my GPU or CPU in a year or two, I'll be willing to because I'll already have everything else.

    I was looking at the asus 870 mobo, will this do fine if I upgrade to x6 sometime?

    I'll be ordering pretty soon, and I'm sure I'll be back here with a bunch of questions. I just hope I can put it together without too much headaches. I'm also scared of shocking a $200 part or something. Do you guys use that anti-static wrist bands or do you just ground yourselves?
  10. That board should be fine.
  11. okay, thanks for the quick reply!
  12. Proximon said:
    He's got a pretty good point I think. I doubt the 1156 platform has much longevity in it, with the PCI-E bandwidth issue.

    You want the 955 now because of the easy OC and what the extra speed will get you in most games. Core frequency is still more important than number of cores for most games.

    But the 1055T is faster in games. Turbo of 3.3 vs. 3.2. Not to mention the 1055T is a much better ocing chip (high-K gates, same TDP with 50% more cores, more cache)

    And it's not like an AMD platform without (~150$) dual X16 slots is going to avoid that 'issue' any less. It's not like x8/x8 is more than ~3% loss anyways.

    Honestly if SC2 is your top priority they run significantly better on Intel/Nvidia setups.
  13. sp12 said:

    And it's not like an AMD platform without (~150$) dual X16 slots is going to avoid that 'issue' any less. It's not like x8/x8 is more than ~3% loss anyways.

    The issue I was referring to wasn't the PCI-E slots, but rather the use of the same bandwidth for SATA 6GB/S and USB 3. These features will see more use, and as they do the bandwidth on the LGA 1156 boards will suffer in a more significant way.

    It's much less an issue on LGA 1366 and not an issue with AMD chipsets.
  14. hmm...I still think I'm gonna go the 955 route. From what I've been reading it will be fine for SC2 and my video editing needs. Or wait, go $40 more for a 1055t?
  15. Best answer
    I really need to read up a bit more on these 6-core AMD CPUs. It seems to me that the more cores you have the more heat and so the more difficult to get the higher Ghz that most games like... SP12 is saying this is not true though. Let me see:

    If half (or more) of the CPU cores on a Thuban die are idle, Turbo Core does the following:

    1) Decreases the clock speed of the idle cores down to as low as 800MHz.
    2) Increases the voltage of all of the cores.
    3) Increases the clock speed of the active cores up to 500MHz above their default clock speed.

    From Anandtech:

    OK then seems like a winner to me :)

    But wait...

    You don't have to read all the articles if you don't want, I'm just doing my homework on this tonight.

    A black edition X4 965 gets the same gaming performance, overclocked, as the 6-core overclocked... or near enough

    Ah, and the 1055T would be a chore for a beginner to overclock. I don't think I would want to bother actually

    Whereas the black edition Phenom II X4s are simple to OC.

    So we are saying at STOCK clocks the 1055T is faster in games.

    Doesn't seem to be a clear winner here,6.html

    Kinda seems to tie with X4 945 in World of Conflict

    Far Cry 2 seems to really like it though
    But then why would the i5-661 be at the top of that chart? screwy results.

    (I'm not picking results sp12, those are the first I came across. If you have other results that say different please link them.)

    No the X4 955 is the way to go. Little to no important gaming advantage with the 6-core, and it's far harder to OC, and the difference in performance between the easily OCed 955 and the harder to OC Thuban in games seems very slim or none.

    So, an easier to OC X4 for 45 bucks less.

    As SP12 says the Intel processors will be better performers and that's true. I think though that either build will see you to the end of the platform. In other words whether AMD or Intel you won't need to upgrade the CPU any time soon, and when you do you'll be changing out everything.

    I'm going to sound like an AMD fanboy here and I'm not, I recommend Intel systems all the time... I think the performance differences are not visible and can be ignored. What matters is gameplay experience and not whether you get 123 or 132 FPS.

    The monthly gaming CPU article here at TH points out that anything more than the Athlon X3 is overkill. That may be true but it's short-sighted. We always eventually need more CPU. If not I would still be using that 80Mhz Cyrix CPU I built my first rig with.

    Those are my thoughts, it's been a good build to thrash these things around and look at everything new.
  16. Eh, I'm not too worried about a little fps difference.



    OS + mobo:

    PSU + HD:

    CPU + ram:

    $997.17 after shipping. AR it comes to $947.17.

    Anything I should change? I'm pretty happy with this price.

    Also if I order a bare hard drive, that means it comes with no cables right? Will the mobo come with those?

    Thanks for both of your opinions.
  17. Proximon, based on the benchmarks I've seen, Far Cry 2 has a strong preference for both clock speed and more cores. Kind of unsurprising that the X6 might look better for that game.

    955 vs. i5-750 - Far Cry is the only game with a significant difference
    955 vs 1055T - Far Cry here isn't showing the same advantage
    955 vs. i7-920 - again, Far Cry 2 the only significant gaming difference

    Admittedly, it's a small gaming sample size, but I think it's pretty well recognized that for most games, at "normal" resolutions, GPU matters much more anyway.

    EDIT: The motherboard should come with 3-4 SATA cables, no need to worry about the hard drive coming without any.
  18. Looks good. You certainly went all-out on the PSU, eh? Well, you shouldn't have to worry about that one for the next 5 years or so.

    MB will have at least one SATA cable, maybe two.
  19. Yep, we're just way ahead of the software in gaming these days. Kinda have a wealth of CPU power right now. Used to be whatever you bought was obsolete next year, but now it seems there's no games pushing the CPU limits. I blame consoles.
  20. Yeah haha. I was reading about the importance of PSU's and didn't want mine to bite the dust. I liked the reviews for the Seasonic's and there was no combo for that other one you linked me to. This combo only comes out to me paying $10 more for it, so I'm satisfied.

    Should I get a CPU heatsink?

    I'm excited to get this ordered and put together!
  21. Best answer selected by hablu.
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