Newb build,Need your knowledge (long)

Yes I called myself a "Newb"! This is my first build so I don't know to much about parts other than what the do, but as far as trying to find good products and I'm at a loss. I've been planning this build for a few months now, staying up until 3:00am scowering the web for cheaper better products and reviews so that I can make the best gaming PC I can afford, and with a $2000 USD budget this is what I've come up. I need people to just look over my planed build and see I there are any issues as far as quality or comparability go.
I already have my Optical Drive which is an LG Blu-Ray rewriter which I was given by my dad's friend who said it didn't work on his computer and couldn't send it back, he didn't give me the driver CD but that would most likely be out of date so I can easily get them from their website. I did try to find this for sale online to get an idea about how much it would cost new and I found it listed on tigerdirect for $149.99.

The first part of my build is the monitor, now I've already but this to replace my anciant TV but I figured I'd put it out there for refrence.
Note: I plan on using a triple monitor display so I will most likely be buying 2 more after my actual build.
The monitor I bought was the ViewSonic VX2439wm 24" class 1080p full HD monitor with HDMI input. The monitor cost me $199.99 without Tax or S&H.

The second part that I plan on buying is the case. I want a full tower case so that I have room for what ever the future may bring as far as upgrades. I've been told off to Thermaltake products by a few people, although for the price I found I'm willing to give it a try.
The case I'm planning on buying, but still a possibilty of changing, is a refurbished Thermaltake Spedo Advanced package. I found a refurb on Thermaltake's website for $99.99, which is about half the price as a brand new case.
Have any of you used this case before? What are your opinions, good deal? Bad product?

The third component I plan on buying is my motherboard. I don't know much about this motherboard's quality but it seems to be getting good reviews.
The motherboard I am planing to buy is the Asus Crosshair IV Formula board. This motherboard is a socket AM3 and has USB 3.0 and SATA 6 which is somthing that I highly prefer so that I can easily accomidate future tech. This motherboard costs $299.99 which is at the top of my budget for a motherboard.

My fourth purchase shall be the CPU, and seeing how my motherboard is a socket AM3 my CPU obviously must be as well. I plan on going with an AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Quad Core. As far as the CPU is concerned It had to have a stock clock speed of at least 3.2Ghz in order for the blu-Ray burner I was given to work. Now I havn't been able to find anything that would back up that report, but seeing how I got the drive soley because it wouldn't work on my dad's friend's computer. This CPU has a stock clock speed of 3.50Ghz and only cost $189.99 as compared to an Intel core i7 extreme that cost roughly $600.00 for a 3.20Ghz, hence why I'm going with AMD.
Have any of you used this CPU? Is it a good buy for the price?

My fifth part that I buy will be the PSU. I've been told that a 750w power supply would do me fine, but I felt like going for a little bit more just in case. I was originaly going to buy the NZXT's 850w power supply for about $20.00 more than the 750w, that is until I managed to come across a 950w for a middle price. I plan on going with the Corsair TX950w power supply for $169.99.
Is this price to cheap for a 950w PSU? Is this PSU any good? Should I go with one of the NZXT power supplies?

After I buy the PSU I plan on buying the audio card.
As far as audio goes I just care that it is atleast 7.1 channel and sounds good. After spending a few days looking I came back to my original option, and after hearing all the good reviews for Creative labs I made my decision. I will be going with a refurbished Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium Champion Edition for $99.99. Although I would prefer a MIDI port to hook up my keyboard to I couldn't find one that came with a 5.25" drive bay audio interface which I wanted more than the MIDI input (I like how it looks)
Are any of you currently running this sound card? How does it work? Is it safe to go with a refurbished version as aposed to a new one? How is the audio interface? Is it worth getting over the non champ ( no interface)?

RAM is a vitally important peice for a computer to run. The motherboard I am buying is able to support 16Gbs of RAM with 4GBs pure slot of GDDR3. I can't afford to go with the full 16Gbs so I plan on going with 8Gbs. I found numerouse (spell check) sets of 8Gb of RAM but I settled with the OCZ OCZ3G1333LV86L for $189.99.

Graphics card will be next. The graphics card causes the most issue for me at the moment. My motherboard supports Crossfire, I don't know about SLI, so I plan on going with an ATI card. After spending days looking for a good GPU that fit my budget I came up with a few options. For a little more than $300.00 I could go for an XFX Radeon 5870, but after looking around a littile more I found an XFX 5770 for about half the price, I figured I could go with 2 5770s in a crossfire setup for less than one 5870, however I'm not sure if the boost in power from running 2 5770s is worth the few bucks I would save and if that wasn't hard enough just recently I found an XFX 5830 for about $30.00 more than the 5770, I then figured if I ran 2 of these instead of the 5770s that they would be more powerful than a single 5870 buth this would cost me more than the 5870 but no so much more that I couldn't afford it. This is really were I need help. Any information about any of these options is welcomed, I would greatly apriciate it if you could tell me the power gain in running any of the cards in crossfire and then compare to the stock speeds of it's single card form and compared to the other cards.

I plan on having a seprate HDD for my OS. As much as I would love to utilize the speed of an SSD they are currently just out of my price range. Since the OS is using only one HDD I wanted it to be fast so preferably 10,000 rpm, although I am willing to sacrafice 2,600 rpm for a cheaper price, the hard drive doesn't need to much space, just enough for the OS, and possibly for 2 more OS systems if I find the need to run Linux and a way to install OS lepard. I figured 300gbs would be more than enough and at $39.99 it seemed like a good deal. I unfortunatlt did not right down the rpm or the memory space, so I could be wrong with 300gbs. The Seagate Barracuda was my choice.

As for actual memory space I wanted plent of space. I was originally going to go with two 1.5Tb HDDs, but after looking further I found a set of four 1Tb HDDs in a set, these drives are OEM packaging and only have a 5400rpm speed, however this gave me the idea to get those instead and run them in a RAID 5 or 1+0 format increase the speed. The 1.5Tb drives were about $87.00 each and had a speed of 7400rpm, the four pack cost $239.99 for all for which is about $59.99 each. I'm not sure which is a better idea, any opinions?

At this point I should be done with all necessary parts and there for are only left with finding a keyboard and a mouse. I've been looking at several different keyboards, namly the Logitech g19 which is about $180.00, the Logitech g15 which is about $100.00 and the Razor Lycosa. Seeing as how the keyboards have so many different features it really comes down to price and personal opinion. At the top of my price range is the G19 which caught (spell check) my eye with it's full color LCD display and the many "G" keys. At the lower end of my price range is the Lycosa which i've heard nothing but good reviews about but it lacks the LCD that I truly love. However I did find a possible compramise between price and luxury features with the G15 which is less than the G19 but more than the Lycosa and still has the LCD though not full color, and I beleive the second variation has USB 2.0 as opposed to the original, but not sure.
Which keyboard would you guys recommend?

As for the mouse I can't fine to many the really stick out. In my research I found out about the Cyborg R.A.T. Gaming mouse series which had a few custom butons but the main feature was that it could be custom sized in a sense, with out having to buy a seperate size, better worded you can adjust it's shape and size in seconds. If I went with the R.A.T I would be going with the R.A.T 7 due to the fact that it has the most features of the series minus the wireless, which although nice to have it would tack on alot more money, the R.A.T 7 costs $99.99. Another mouse I was looking at was the Razor Naga which had an aditional 12 custom buttons on what they called a thumb pad, it also had enough memory to store 10 different macro layouts for different games. The Naga cost $89.99 but is coming out with a new wireless hybrid version soon called the Naga Epic for about $120.00 which would be cheaper than the wireless R.A.T 9 and still not brake the bank, although as I mentioned wireless is merely a luxury and not a necessity.
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  1. ^ That is one long post...
    Please fill this and paste it here, it would help us,...javascript: validform(this);
  2. Approximate Purchase Date: it fully depends on the final price of each individule part, I. Have a monthly spending limit of $150. so for example if the finale price is $1500, then it will take me 10 months.
    Budget Range: $2000, total, if thee are rebates at the time I purchase a part then I'll take the finale price. I'm not including tax or S&H
    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Initially it will be used for gaming, however I plan on going to college for engineering so it would be helpful if it could handle CAD and other engineering programs. Although future upgrades is a heavy possiblity.
    Parts Not Required: I already bought the monitor, and was given the optical drive, I also was given a set of speakers although I have a full stereo system.
    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have no real prefrance, I've been looking mostly on tigerdirect, but if I can find a better price on another site I may use that site.
    Country of Origin: United States of America
    Parts Preferences: I would prefer to have a full tower case, and an AMD CPU with atleast a 3.20Ghz stock clock speed.
    Overclocking: not at first, but I may attemp it in the future, not required for this build.
    SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, depends on which GPU I go with.
    Monitor Resolution: 1080p standard TV resolution
    Additional Comments: For a more indepth idea of my build such as current planned parts along win my dilemas as far as which parts to buy, you could easily read my long life story up above (no really my life story -.-)
  3. Ok wow that's a long post, I kinda gave up 75% of the way through it but I can tell you have good intentions but lack alot of basic knowledge.

    So I'm going to just scrap your entire build and start over with exactly what you need. How's that sound?
  4. In fact I'm going to do 2 builds for you, an AMD and an Intel. With your budget of $2000 you can have 2 excellent builds.
  5. AMD build:
    Case: Cooler Master HAF-X 942 199.99
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 79.99(currently 54.99 but it expires at 10 AM, usual price is 79.99)
    Graphics Card: HIS 5870 1 GB DDR5 Graphics Card 339.99 comes with a coupon for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 free!
    Keyboard: Logitech G-15 Gaming Keyboard 79.99
    Mouse: Logitech M705 Wireless Mouse 39.99 I use this mouse and it's quite excellent
    Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 9.99
    RAM: Mushkin 2x2GB DDR3-1600 CAS 7 Latency 95.99($10 MIR) Possibly double this up, I don't know enough about CAD to know if it's a memory hog or not
    HSF: Corsair H70 Maintenance Free Water Cooler 104.99
    SSD/Boot: G.SKILL 80GB MLC SSD 179.99
    Motherboard/OS combo: Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 Mobo/Windows 7 64 bit OEM 259.99 (This is an excellent motherboard, and it's 40 dollars cheaper than the one you listed, and it comes with the Operating System, that's a $140 savings)
    CPU/PSU Combo: AMD Thubian 1090T AM3 CPU/XFX 850W 80 PLUS SILVER Modular PSU 375.98 ($20 MIR) comes with a free lame mouse.

    Total cost before shipping: 1741.87
  6. Intel Build:

    Case: Cooler Master HAF-X 942 199.99
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 79.99
    Graphics Card: HIS 5870 1GB DDR5 Graphics Card 339.99 w/ Free MW2
    Keyboard: Logitech G15 Keyboard 79.99
    Mouse: Logitech M705 Wireless Mouse 39.99
    Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 9.99
    RAM: 3x2GB Mushkin DDR3-1600 CAS 7 Latency 134.99 ($15 MIR)
    HSF: Corsair H70 Maintenance Free Water Cooler 104.99
    SSD: G.SKILL 80GB MLC SSD 179.99
    OS: Windows 7 64 bit OEM 99.99
    CPU/Mobo Combo: Intel i7-950/Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Mobo 483.99 (You don't need a 3.2GHz CPU to use a BluRay drive, in fact the free one you got is probably dead. Or your dad's friend is incompetent) Regardless, the i7-950 is a great CPU
    PSU: XFX 850W 80 PLUS SILVER Modular PSU 149.99 ($20 MIR)

    Total cost before MIR and shipping: 1878.88
  7. Quote:
    Note: I plan on using a triple monitor display so I will most likely be buying 2 more after my actual build.

    If u plan of gaming Eyefinity forget anything below HD 5870 as the compromise is too much I could eek out an AM3/HD 5970 config at the $10xx price point FYI hehe
    AMD's ATI Radeon Eyefinity Performance Review

    Asus Crosshair IV Formula board
    AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Quad Core
    I can't afford to go with the full 16Gbs so I plan on going with 8Gbs.

    Too much of a premuim for too little gain consider

    Asrock 870Extreme3
    955 Black Edition
    4GB DDR3 for a gaming rig good to go

    Since the OS is using only one HDD I wanted it to be fast so preferably 10,000 rpm, although I am willing to sacrafice 2,600 rpm for a cheaper price, the hard drive doesn't need to much space, just enough for the OS, and possibly for 2 more OS systems if I find the need to run Linux

    Consider a set up like
    60GB Sandforce based SSD (OS/Boot)
    500GB-1TB mechanical Hdd for storage
  8. This was for a dude who like u wanted a college/university worthy "Throw anything including high end eyefinity gaming" set up However unlike u this person wanted as small as possible form factor for maximum mobility moving from home to campus

    I affectionate call it the Fatcat King :P

    $1542 in total

    I suppose with HD 6000 series incoming the HD 6970 would be worth the wait though - both performance numbers wise and what streamlining/improvements AMD/ATI comes out with regards to Eyefinity/multi display gaming ^^

    First Looks: Aerocool Qx-2000 mATX Casing
    Crack the Qx-2000 open and what you’ll see are two decks. The lower deck is mainly for the motherboard, but there’s also a tray for 3.5-inch external devices. The motherboard tray accommodates only mATX boards and it is relatively large. There’s enough depth too, so installing a high-end graphics card isn’t a problem. In fact, we can attest th even fit a Radeon HD 5970 quite comfortably.Aerocool recommends an ATX PSU with a depth not exceeding 140mm in depth, so not all ATX PSUs will fit.

    ECO Liberty II 720 schematic/dimensions

  9. @cmcghee358
    To be honest I absolutly hat the idea. I relize you have nothing but good intentions as to help me when I asked for it, but you kinda made a mockery of my efforts and completely hijaked my build. If I wanted to buy a pre planned computer I would have just gone with my original plan of just buy a Geek Squad costum build for $1400. I am using this as an experiment, in a sense, so that I can learn a lot more about computers compared to what my school taught us. So please, rather than doing all the fun parts of this could you please just give pointers and not overhaul my system?

    What's wrong with running RAID, I noticed you only had one HDD? Although 1Tb might be plenty I want to do as much as I can to get the best build that !I! can build.
  10. @Batchuka
    yo dude, so your saying I should go with a graphics card that's atleast an 5870? Hmm, that is possible especily since I'd only be running one of them. In fact I was originaly going to use this card in crossfire back when I first stared my theoretical build, but then I actually chose a budget. Thanks for the idea/tip.

    What do you mean by my motherboard/CPU being to much of a premium for the small gain? I understand the jist of what your saying, but could you elaborate just a little bit?

    That mATX build you posted is cool, but I don't want a micro at this time, possibly after this build I might try and build a cheaper mATX build for LAN parties. As for the need of portability it's not that important to me, when I go to college I'll be in a dorm, so transfering it to and from college isn't really a need. Also this build isn't really for college, primarily gaming, I just merely wanted to say that it would preferred if I could use at college for graphic intense CAD modeling.
  11. Yes atleast a 5870 to make a balanced build you dont want your cpu to be awesome and you gpu to be junk however I think you could get away with a 5770 if you really wanted but theres no need on your budget.

    Batchuka is saying that the price you are paying for the cpu performance gain is not worth it at all, you wont even notice the different. The motherboard alike, it is designed for hardcore overclocking and is a top of the line board, not needed in this build.
  12. Obviously I offended/upset you by doing what you perceived as just callously casting your build aside.

    If it would make you feel better I can explain each component in my build and why I picked it.
  13. Yep read that hardocp Eyefinity review: lower than HD 5870 for multi display gaming just equates to toning down settings and such but that really depends if u are ok with that

    I would really tone down stuff like fancy mobos to channel into GPU for better game play for example

    U could just swap out mobo/case and the 1055T + air cooled looks a more viable option as well
  14. @cmcghee358

    If you want to go more in depth then go ahead. As far as me being offended, yes I was at first but then I changed my PoV and thought of your posts as not completly scraping my build and calling me stupid, to instead be a mere double theoretical build that if you were to have this budget and need that this is what you would have built. In fact after reading you posts from this direction I relized that some of the things you put down are actually good products, for the sake of an example the motherboard/OS is perfect for a first build, less work. That being said I completly redid my build and slightly changed my budget, $2000 full price, tax/S&H included. This new build is about the same price as the builds you posted, though I didn't include my keyboard or mouse, before S&H/Tax. When I get to a full computer and not just my iPod touch I'll try and post my new settup. Should I use this same thread or start a new one and try and get more ideas? (long post deteres people)
  15. Quote:
    Have a monthly spending limit of $150. so for example if the finale price is $1500, then it will take me 10 months.

    This is the part that bothers me about even suggesting a build. There's no point in piece-mealing a system together. More than likely, a component you purchase today will be surpassed in performance ten months down the line for the same cost. Also, what do you do if a component you purchase today is DOA? How can you test it if you have to wait a number of months before you have all of the availble components?

    I understand the desire to get going on this project, but in reality, you need to wait until you have all the funds you need and then purchase your components all at once.

    -Wolf sends
  16. Wolf, I completely understand what you are saying, but what you neglected to relize is that I was merely explaing when I would buy the computer, I never said that would be buying each piece one month at a time, but rather finding out what I will be paying for now so that I have a rough estimate of how long I have to wait before I can actually start. Also it's fun to do theoretical builds, I may not know much about different CPUs but that doesn't mean I can't look around ask for help long before I actually build so that when I do actually build it I will know more about what I am using and doing. And yes your absolutly right, the parts I am thinking about now could easily become obsolete, e.g. SSDs could come way down in price and the new 6xxx series of ATI gpus could easily come down to a more affordable price.
  17. Then I cheerfully rescind my previous comment. My bad for misunderstanding you. As for your new build, I'd probably post it in this thread and maybe modify the title of the thread to state the build has been updated.

    -Wolf sends
  18. How do you edit the thread title? I've never seen anything that said you could, but I always wanted that featur sweat!

    P.S. I was originally going to buy each peice month by month, so yeah, you had full reason to think that, but you did mak a good point, a VERY good point!
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