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Building My First System

Last response: in Systems
September 9, 2010 5:09:32 AM

So I've decided to buy the components for, and build my first computer. I have a roommate who has experience, and will be helping me put everything together. In terms of power supply, I'm going with 850w because I'd like to install a high-quality sound card in the near future, in addition to SLI and/or RAID. Any input would be very helpful at this point; I'm trying to be as careful as possible with this purchase.

-COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
-Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
-ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk – OEM
-Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
-Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler
-GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
-Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
-EVGA 01G-P3-1467-AR GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) Superclocked 1GB 256-bit GDDR5


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September 9, 2010 5:16:20 AM

-Also, my intended purposes include gaming and running music software.

-I'm currently using a 1920x1080 resolution monitor.

-I intend to slowly begin experimenting with overclocking.

Any recommendations on good sound cards would be helpful as well.
September 9, 2010 5:18:07 AM

Generally the only Fermi worth buying these days is the GTX 460 and on its own at best its a great mid range GPU and with HD 6K and surely the Nvidia riposte coming i wouldn't CF nor SLI and just hit a single beefy HD 5870?
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September 9, 2010 2:55:15 PM

i agree with batuchka, can you wait? as intels sandy bride cpus and amd bulldozer cpus are coming out sooner or later and the rest of the gtx 4xx series and the ATI 6xxx series of gpus, but if you need to buy now can you tell us what you are planning to use the build for? if its for gaming you would see more performance in a beefier gpu and a less powerful cpu, say an i5 760 and a gtx 480 or an amd x4 955 and a 5870 or 5970 if you can push your budget
September 9, 2010 3:00:37 PM

and as for the cpu cooler i would go for a coolermaster hyper 212+ as it is the best cooler price vs performance and would be perfect for mild or slightly high overclocks, if you want to spend more then the best aircooler out is probably the noctua NH-D14 but its a bit pricy, the thermaltake frio is a good option the thermalright venomous x also, the thermalright silver arrow and so on but i think the coolermaster hyper 212+ should be good enough, as for the hdd i would go for a samsung spinpoint hdd
September 9, 2010 6:56:20 PM

Thanks for the input, so far!

So my idea was to build a system that I could upgrade very easily, and that would age well. This is why I thought it would be wise to go with a slightly faster processor, and a larger power supply than I currently need.

Because I love music and gaming, I'd like to eventually be able to install a really nice sound card, and also be able to replace the graphics card (or go SLI) so I can keep up with the newest games. But yeah, I definitely want to experiment with overclocking (though, I've heard that overclocking gpu wasn't smart, because of warranties, so I went with the superclocked version), and find the limits of my system.

I've always wanted to join the computer building/overclocking community, and now that I've got the funds, I want to get the most bang for my buck (~$1400), but still be able to expand upon my system in the near future.
September 9, 2010 7:15:50 PM

Personally I would go with the i5 760 and Asus P7P55D E Pro motherboard and 4gb G Skill or Mushkin 1600mhz RAM instead of the i7 which does not offer any notable performance gain in gaming. With the money saved you can go with a more powerful card or SLi two GTX 460s.
Whatever you choose to do, do not buy the GTX465, it is an inferior card and a bad design

Also, I would consider just getting the Samsung Spinpoint F3 HDD, it is a great performing HDD at a good price, the WD 6gb/s HDD is not worth the cash (unless you are getting it cheap) for the performance gains. It's really SSDs that benefit from the new SATA technology
September 12, 2010 9:22:18 PM

So I'm starting to have second thoughts. I'd really love to have a homebuilt system, but Cyberpower offers some very competitive pricing. Here's one of the systems I'm considering that's about the same price:

(Any thoughts?)

Case: * AZZA Solano 1000 Full-Tower Advance Cooling Case w/ Dual 230mm Fan + Extra 3 Fans [+50]
Internal USB Extension Module: None
Neon Light Upgrade: None
Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
Noise Reduction Technology: None
CPU: [Special] Intel® Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366
Freebies: None
Venom Boost Fast And Efficient Factory Overclocking: No Overclocking
Cooling Fan: Asetek 550LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Advanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) [+18]
Motherboard: * (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Ultra Durable™3 Triple-Channel DDR3/1600 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 Dolby Audio, eSATA, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2 x SATA-III RAID, IEEE1394a, 4 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI
Motherboard Expansion Card: None
Memory: 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/2000MHz Triple Channel Memory Module [+54] (Corsair or Major Brand)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (EVGA Superclocked [+10])
Freebies: None
Video Card 2: None
Video Card 3: None
Dedicated PHYSX Card: None
Multiple Video Card Settings: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
Power Supply Upgrade: * 800 Watts - XtremeGear Gaming Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready
Hard Drive: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (1TB x 2 (2 TB Capacity) Raid 0 Extreme Performance [+93])
Data Hard Drive: None
Hard Drive Cooling Fan: None
External Hard Drive (USB3.0/2.0/eSATA): None
USB Flash Drive: None
Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2: None
3D Vision Glasses: None
LCD Monitor: None
2nd Monitor: None
3rd Monitor: None
Speakers: None
Network: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
Network Surge Protector: None
Mega Notebook/Netbook/Server Bundle: None
Keyboard: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
Mouse: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
Gaming Gear: None
Extra Thermal Display: None
Wireless 802.11B/G Network Card: None
External Wireless Network Card: None
Wireless 802.11 B/G/N Access Point: None
Bluetooth: None
Flash Media Reader/Writer: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)
Video Camera: None
Headset: None
Printer: None
Cable: None
Power Protection: None
Surge Protector: None
IEEE1394 Card: None
USB Port: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
Floppy: None
Operating System: None - FORMAT HARD DRIVE ONLY
Media Center Remote Control & TV Tuner: None
Office Suite: None
Games: None
Ultra Care Option: None
September 13, 2010 12:41:11 AM

Also, if I decide to go with the home-build, will I have to buy additional fans for the Prolimatech Megahalems, since it does not come with any? If so, which are best for the price?
September 13, 2010 2:54:08 PM

DO NOT get a gtx 465, build your own system, i also agree that the i5 760 is a good choice as there is no real difference in gaming between the 2 cpus, but as you can get an i7 930 at microcenter for $199 that also may be a choice as for the gpu, either go gtx 460, gtx 470 or hd 5850 or hd5870, the 470 runs hot and is power hungry but as it has dropped down in price it is good bang for buck, te hd5850 is a good card if you dont want to add another card in the system as it is more powerful than the gtx 460, but if you are going to get another card in the future get the gtx 460, as 2 gtx 460s in SLI perform on par or even better than 2 5850s as right now SLI is superior, the 5870 is also a good card but in my opinion the gtx 470 is good bang for buck right now, i think this site will help you choose
September 13, 2010 3:20:45 PM

September 13, 2010 4:01:12 PM

What advantages does the i7 give?
September 13, 2010 4:28:31 PM
September 13, 2010 5:34:13 PM

I'd like to keep it under $1500, but am not averse to going above that number. This does not include a sound card, which I will be buying later on.
September 13, 2010 8:11:56 PM

those parts I listed are good ones. you can drop the ssd too if you want and save almost 300 or pick up another 460 gtx instead. the video card has been reported to get up to 1000mhz core. that's why i listed it but you could get any of them really. only thing i dislike about those msi cards is they don't have external exhaust on em. you could pick up a evga one if you prefer an ee.
September 14, 2010 6:51:05 PM

I've decided to go with the following setup:

GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) (with the intention of going SLI)
XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES 850W
Intel Core i7-950
Noctua NH-D14

If I decide to go with a high-quality sound card, and an aditional 480, will I be safe in terms of PSU?

Also, where would my chokepoint be, in terms of overclocking, once I've installed the 480 SLI?

September 14, 2010 8:57:42 PM

No you won't be, 480 SLI is the only GPU combo that needs more than 850 watts. IMO a 470 makes a lot more sense though. ~60% of the price with 85% of the performance.

Best solution

October 15, 2010 10:36:00 PM

a good 850 watt should be able to support 2 gtx 480s, but i dont think you will have much headroom to overclock, i agree with sp12, also what about a crossfire 5870 build? i am n\unbiased, but to me the gf100 cards run too hot and are power hungry, and dont have much overclocking potential as a 5870 because of the temps etc, even though the gtx 470 can take up to 105 degrees celsius doesnt mean its good for the card, the expansion and contraction must have an effect on its life span, however SLI has superior scaling compared to crossfire, its your choice
October 16, 2010 12:07:37 AM

Best answer selected by jclif123.