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Building a new system from scratch

Hi all,

So this question may be a little broad, but I'm interested in building a PC for the first time, and I really need some guidance. I've read this site many times before when investing in pre-built systems, and it's always seemed like it had a knowledgeable community, so I come here to learn from your sage advice.

I want to build a new desktop for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm, and I'm a bit of a graphics snob. The one thing I don't mind turning down a little are dynamic shadows, as I tend to forget they're not there after awhile, but besides that I would like a computer that will get me 60fps at 1920x1200 resolution everywhere (with a possible exception of Dalaran, where dipping to 25-40 would be okay).

If possible, I'd like to do this all for under 1000 dollars, which doesn't seem too unrealistic.

I know WoW needs a strong CPU, so I've been looking at a combination of some of the i7 3ghz+ quad core processors with maybe something like an nvidia 460 or one of the new ati 6870's. Would that be a good choice? Is that enough GPU to handle ultra with some AA? The morphographic AA on the 6870 looks interesting, but I haven't been able to find any actual benchmarks on WoW with the new 6800's.

As far as the less flashy components, like motherboards, heat sinks, and power supplies, I'm completely lost as to what I should be looking for - although I've been reading as much as I can on them. I just never really know if what I'm reading about is going to be ideal based on what I'm trying to build. I would like a setup that supports SLI, as in the future I may sink more money into the system.

Any guidance or stories you have about your experience with some of these components or building your own system would be awesome.

Sorry again if this all sounds really broad, I'm just a little hesitant to move forward as I've never built my own system before.
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about building system scratch
  1. ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product $139.99
    ( you can crossfire in a future if you need to with this mobo.)

    HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] PCI $479.98 ($239.99 each) ( new very good performance and very low power combustion.)

    CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] %20andWas: $169.99 Now: $99.99 ( i choosed this PSU because it's a HX not a TX and it's really cheap but very good PSU.)


    1. AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
    and
    2. COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.374228 Combo Price: $164.98 ( plenty enough for gaming, easy for overclocking)

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231303 $89.99 ( this is a good quality ram due to it's Cas Latency 7 and it's price.)

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] k=f3%201TB $69.99 (highly recommended)

    LG DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH24NS50 - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827136177 $17

    Subtotal: $1,064.91

    Very good build, will definitly give you more then just 60 fraps at high settings and you can leave your dynamic shadows on.

    I also couldn't find a 6870 benchmark on WOW but i found a benchmark with 6870 in crossfire:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-radeon-hd-6850-barts,2776-20.html
  2. Thanks Dave, that's definitely something to think about.

    I was initially planning on an intel based nvidia system, because I've had a couple issues with ATI/AMD in the past, but I don't know if that's just bias on my part or if it's warranted.
  3. Well you were probably just unlucky but this AMD/ATI based build is highly recommended by many people. And also you wanted to stay near $1000, with INTEL/NVIDIA build it might go into a bit more money.....

    Also nvidia cards like the gtx comperable to the 6870 (i picked out) is running way more hotter affecting all the other parts of the computer and shortening the time of the parts lasting for. And also the power combustion of the 6870 is way lower.

    Also if you meaning isues as the older drivers for the ATI cards that has all been solted out. So there is nothink to be woried about. :)


    Don't take too long thinking about what system to choose because the build i showed has got combo deals that could run out in a month or two or even early. ;D
  4. I would not recommend getting that specific build no offense. At least not now.

    1st reason: SB is expected to be released in the Q1 of 2011, that's only a couple months away with much better processing power than the i7 9xx and 8xx for only 200$ (SB i5 2400).
    2nd reason: Although 2x 6870 is good, you might as well wait till Cayman (69xx) comes out in November of this year. Also, Crossfire or SLI is known to have problems with WoW, or so I hear.
    3rd reason: Other than SB, Bulldozer is expected to drop next year and that should bring into your budget build.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say, if you can wait, I suggest waiting until SB, BD, or Cayman comes out.

    SB Performance preview: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-preview-three-wins-in-a-row/11
  5. Yh that would be good idea is well.. :D

    But only if you really want to wait until th q1 of next 2011

    And i think the 69xx are going to be a little over priced.
  6. It's interesting - and I could potentially wait for the 69xx - but Q1 2011 seems a bit too far off to wait altogether.

    I wouldn't be against going with something different in the mean time and then upgrading when the i5 2400 comes out. I assume I'd need to build off an Intel-based motherboard right now if I planned to upgrade when it came out, right?

    Nevermind, after reading some more it seems I would have to replace the motherboard regardless.
  7. pdq6500 said:
    It's interesting - and I could potentially wait for the 69xx - but Q1 2011 seems a bit too far off to wait altogether.

    I wouldn't be against going with something different in the mean time and then upgrading when the i5 2400 comes out. I assume I'd need to build off an Intel-based motherboard right now if I planned to upgrade when it came out, right?

    Nevermind, after reading some more it seems I would have to replace the motherboard regardless.


    Yh if you want to upgrade to the SB in a future then change the CPU and mobo for those and you are done :) :
    Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115067 $208.99


    ASUS P7H57D-V EVO LGA 1156 Intel H57 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131624 $149.99
  8. Wrong. SB is 1155 not 1156. Not to sound blunt or mean anyways.
    But if he gets that board a better idea would be P55, rather than H57, from what I've read around, P55 OCs better than the H57/H55s.

    Anyway, I'd recommend if not waiting for SB then going along with the 955 build but wait for the Caymans. Mainly because you wouldn't want to CF or SLI playing WoW since, from what I've heard, WoW has issues running SLI/CF. So just wait for the Cayman, I mean your budget already allowed for 480$ for 2 gpus, so you might as well see what Cayman's cost is going to be. Most likely it'll 400$-430$ ish. To target the 480. If that is the case, you could get it, if it is 400$. Save 80$

    Then from there you could go with the i5 760/750 build which will give you better CPU performance. And since the i5 750 is only 190$. The 955 is 160$ so just use 30$ of the money saved to the i5 750 (you won't regret it) and then you'll have 50$ to spare that you can put towards the mobo. That or you could downgrade to a 500gb spinpoint and have 70-80$ and get an SSD. Even crappy SSDs or cheap ones have a huge advantage on boot times against normal HDDs even when they are in Raid.
  9. So even with the 69xx, the i5 750 should be better than the Phenom II X4?
  10. Well... in games it's mostly GPU unless its an RTS or MMO where CPU is needed to render stuff or account for enemy AI. So, the i5 750 it performs better than practically all AMD cpus, not to say AMDs chips are bad. It's just a fact, I like AMD but I got to admit that. And once you OC the 750 it'll be like a 950 or 930 stock. So, the i5 750 is the best option. IMO.
  11. Okay, I don't really know much about overclocking, but I suppose I should take it one step at a time. Thanks for the information.
  12. What do you guys think of this combo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.514080


    Then add the RAM and then the 6870 or 6970 card, depending on the price of the 6970 when it releases?

    I get the i5 750, a solid PSU, a case, the P55 motherboard you mentioned, and a pretty quick 1Tb hard drive.
  13. Best answer
    Although it's all good. One thing, not future proofing, the case and everything is fine. But the Mobo is terrible. Not in the sense that it's bad, but that it doesn't future proof you at all. Since there are no USB 3 slots. So.... Yeah, you did say you wanted to keep this PC for 5yrs. So... USB 3 is a must have.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.520544

    This is a more future proofing mobo with SATA 6 and USB 3. And although if you CF it'll run 16x/4x. It's not THAT slow. People might think that it is, but it's not.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Express_Scaling/25.html
  14. Best answer selected by pdq6500.
  15. Good luck with the build.
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