New build questions

Hello, I somewhat recently made a post with a build I was planning to make... but due to time constrictions I was not able to get around to doing it, and more importantly I wanted to learn more. I wanted to run one more build idea by you guys, since you were all very helpful last time. I have never built a computer before but I have done a lot of research for this one. The computer will be used for gaming and professional adobe CS work (this one is for my girlfriend who is a graphic design major and wants a computer that will work well with all the Adobe programs from home).

Approximate Purchase Date: This Week

Budget Range: $1000-$1100 After Rebates, not firm, but preferred.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: The current Adobe CS (and future editions), light gaming.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

Preferred Website for Parts:, Also have a Microcenter near me.

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: None Really, the case is kind of a firm decision though, as my girlfriend really likes it.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Unsure

Monitor Resolution: Unsure

Additional Comments: The main thing I am really unsure about is the motherboard. We heard from somebody that G.Skill ram was the way to go, and that Asus Motherboards were a good bet. The Sabertooth X58 seems to have fairly decent reviews on Newegg and is substantially cheaper than any of the other Asus motherboards and the gigabyte Ud3r cant run 1600 speed ram unless overclocked. The Sabertooth being cheaper kind of worries me though... like maybe I am missing something. The case is kind of a firm decision as my girlfriend likes how it looks and the fan system using a top exhaust fan seems pretty genius. We chose a full tower case because we read on hear somewhere that having the extra room is easier to work with and provides better airflow for cooling. We arent firm on the graphics card at all, and we dont have our heart set on anything but the case (which we are still open to suggestions about). Do I need a special cooler for the I7... or extra fans? the design of the case flips the motherboard 90 degrees.... which means none of the heat from parts passes by another part... or something like that.

Processor: I7 950 OR I7 930 (one of the things we havent settled on. At Microcenter the I7 950 is $229.00 while the I7 930 is $199.99. The salesperson said for the $30 difference its worth getting the 950 over the 930... as it pushes over 3.00 GHZ, and down the road we wont need to replace the processor... which makes sense, any input?)

PSU: RAIDMAX Blackstone series RX-700AC 700W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (or should I spring the $40 more for the ASUS P6X58D-E?)

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

SILVERSTONE RAVEN RV02-BW Matte black 0.8mm Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Samsung 22x DVD±RW Burner with Dual/Double Layer Support OEM

EVGA GeForce GT240 1024MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 x16 Video Card (heard good reviews on EVGA, 1GB, pretty well ranked GPU, and a nice rebate so its $60... seems decent?)

Seagate Barracuda LP ST320005N4A1AS-RK 2TB 5,900 RPM SATA 3Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

As said, any input would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to tell me I am doing something stupid if one of my choices is stupid. Thanks a bunch everyone for your help. We will need to pick a monitor, but I haven't researched them enough yet so I will just come back and ask about that once I have. We have extra money set aside for that, it wont come out of the 1000-1100ish.
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  1. With the exception of Enermax, if "max" appears in the name of a PSU, it is a reference either to the size of the pyrotechnic display or to the number and cost of the components it will take with it when it dies.
    Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, Enermax, and XFX are among the quality brands. With only a GT240, you would not need any more than 400W. Although you mentioned only light gaming, I suspect you will want a stronger card, such as a GTS250 or GTS450 (nVidia) or HD5770 (ATi). For those, you will want 450W-500W.
  2. You don't need an extra cooler if you're not planning to overclock. The CPU comes with a stock cooler and even that one is good for overclocking to ~3.6ghz but that's pushing it.

    From Microcenter:

    i7-950 ~$250
    Excellent deal right now. Too good to pass up.

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB ~$65 (get two if you want)
    High capacity and speed. The 2TB drive you found would be good as storage, but at 5900 rpm, its not a good boot drive. It will bottleneck the rest of your system and things will load very slow.

    Asus Sabretooth x58 and G.Skill 6GB DDR3 1600 Ram (one you listed) $280
    The main difference between this and the P6x58D-E is PCI-Ex16 x16/x8/x8 capability for a third GPU you probably will never need. The ram is good.

    Windows 7 and Case combo you listed $250

    LG DVD burner (or the cheapest one with free shipping) $17
    Cheaper and no tax on newegg.

    Corsair 650W PSU and GTX 460 Combo $225 after rebates
    Extremely reliable PSU and highly recommended. Should be enough to power the system and room for slight upgrades. GPU is plenty powerful for gaming if you wanted to and a fine match for the system. No point getting such a good system only to be bottlenecked by the GPU.

    Total ~$1087
  3. Does the graphics card really use that much power? I though 500W wouldnt be enough for the motherboard + I7 950 and a 2TB HD. Thats a shame, I picked that one out because it had such good reviews.

    What about a:
    OCZ ModXstream


    OCZ StealthXStream

    Those are on sale for $40 for a 500 and 600 w
    Not trying to avoid paying if I need to, just trying to avoid paying if I don't.... Last post I made I had like a $100 PSU and I was told it was over the top and to get a cheaper one.

    For now it would just be for WOW... in the future I may want it to be able to run something better though, so I will look into GTS250 and GTS450's.

    Thanks for your input JTT283
  4. So should I not worry about getting a Modular power supply Kureme? I was told they were better for keeping wires out of the way, keeping things cooler, and that they were much easier to work with. That seems like a good idea though, and I see the PSU has extremely good reviews. That would get me a nice graphics card too and keep everything below $1100 still.

    *Edit: And thank you for your input on the motherboards... youre right... I probably wont need a third GPU so I will definitely go with the sabertooth.
  5. I like modular PSUs myself. Especially with only one graphics card and a couple of drives, you can have quite a tangle of cables otherwise. One reason I prefer bottom-mounted PSUs is because they allow excess cables to rest on the floor of the case.
    They aren't in the same league with some of those others, but the modular OCZs have been reviewed pretty well (e.g. on; the StealthXStream less so. I might have bought a ModXStream recently, but a great deal turned up on a 550W Truepower New, so I got that instead.
  6. Check the GF programs because I'm to lazy. If they can use CUDA, see about grabbing a GTX465. Its the cheapest of the "full" fermis, so it will run CUDA code the best. This also gets you a faster gaming card with the blessings of the GF.

    You'll need a good PSU if you go this route. While OCZ helped put performance PSUs on the map with their 520W model, they seem to have slipped up a lot since then. I agree with JTT. Pick a good 550-600W+ model from one of the lines he mentioned. I prefer Antec, Corsair, Seasonic myself. Mostly because they are all the same PSU. (Or at least used to be until Antec switched over to Delta for their PSUs.)
  7. You would want to put the money out for a quality PSU over any cheap one. jtt283 and 4745454b pointed out some quality brands that even I agree on. OCZ is iffy, they're sort of a hit or miss, some of them are great, others not so much.

    Modular is really personal preference but expect to pay a premium for that. Personally, I stick with non-modular unless they're on sale because they're generally cheaper and I usually tie up excess cables and stuff them into the extra disc drive bays at the top. They are easy to work with because you can remove the cables you aren't using and clear up a lot of clutter which would otherwise block air flow. But regarding cable management, that's just dependent on how tidy you put everything together and how well you tuck the cables around and if you're willing to tie up loose cables. Less cables just means less to tuck away. I've seen extremely messy builds even with a modular PSU so don't think it helps any if you yourself don't tuck the wires away.

    Consider getting the GTX 460 1gb, or even the 768mb one at the least. You won't regret it.
  8. I prefer the non modular just for the fact that I don't have to worry about losing cables I might need later, and I don't have to worry about the plugs working loose. (though I hear there are some with a clip retention thing so this doesn't happen.) That and I'm cheap. Twist ties and drive bays and your good with a normal PSU.
  9. Oh yeah, and only get an 80 plus certified PSU. It will save you money in the long run and won't wear down your components as fast because of lower excess heat.
  10. 80+ tests under unrealistically cool conditions (only 23C), but they do allow a decent warm-up period, and this will certainly weed out the absolutely garbage PSUs that can barely manage 75% of their label even on a good day.
  11. Out with the Seagate, in with the 2 TB Spinpoint F4 from Samsung ^^
  12. Thanks everyone for all your input. I looked into the Samsung F4 and it seems pretty nice. Would that be ok to use as my single and only hard drive for now? I see that its only 5400 RPM so isn't that too slow to run stuff off of. And last question:

    I was thinking about getting this SSD to run windows off of or maybe to run the Adobe programs off of. I was thinking about:

    After rebate its only $57.99

    Its obviously not as good as most... but that's really cheap. Should I just go with it for now or wait a few weeks for some more money to clear up or since they're relatively new and increasingly popular wait for their price to drop and get a better one?

    Thanks again for all your help everyone.
  13. Cheap? Yes. Useful? Not so much. No point getting a SSD that gives you the same speeds as a magnet drive. Also, Windows 7 already takes up about 10gb leaving you like 20gb for other programs which you will soon find isn't really much at all. Games nowadays are around 6-10gb and programs can be anywhere from 2gb to 5gb. At the least I would get a 64gb one but would aim for something of at least 100gb or more. Expect to shell out at least $200 for a good sandforce based SSD.

    The 2TB Spinpoint F4 will not be a good boot disc. It will be great as a storage but to run windows and programs from, you would want a 7200 rpm drive. That's why I recommended the 1TB Spinpoint F3. Its one of the fastest magnet drives and highly recommended by many.
  14. ^+1. For a basic home/office PC, a 64GB SSD makes a great boot drive, but for a gamer, I'd say 80GB is the minimum, and even that may fill up if you aren't careful.
  15. One last question for everyone.

    I am finalizing everything now and I have changed my build based on the information you all gave. I have decided to get the GTX 460, and I already have the Corsair 650 watt on the way. The one thing I am still unsure about is the hard drives. I looked at the reviews for the samsung sinpoint F3 1tb... it has 10% 1 star reviews at newegg while the 500 GB sinpoint F3 has only 5% 1 star reviews. I am very worried that the hard drive is going to crash and because this computer is going to be used for very large and very important adobe files that can NOT be lost, I want to be as safe as possible but still have as much space as possible under the current budget. If I were to get a Samsung F3 500 GB and a samsung F4 2tb (which only runs at 5400 rpm), could I have the 500 GB one be the boot drive and contain all the programs like photoshop... and then have the photoshop files on the F4 2b... or will that still keep everything slow? I am under the impression that having the files on the 2tb slower drive wont be an issue because it wont be needing to run windows and the adobe programs? Should I not worry about the F3 1tb crashing? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again everyone for your help and advice!

    P.S: I do plan to back all the files up, and eventually get more externals for that... but I still would prefer to also be able to have everything right on the computer and obviously not have a drive fail on me... as that could cause some problems.
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