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Final touches, questions, reccomendations on possible first build

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November 2, 2010 4:39:40 PM

Hello, first I'd like to say what a great site this is, about 90% of my research brings me back here so I decided to join. So heres my first post, hope its not too long I figure people would pick and choose what they reply to.

When I decided to buy a new computer I compared from sites like Best Buy, Costco, etc. Then a little more research and 10 hours later I'm stuck in a dilema, should I just buy from the store, buy a customized/barebones (Ebay seemed the cheapest and easiest to use), or just outright build it myself.

Comparing store bought to customized I felt like for a few hundred more I could get a computer that is almost twice as better. Then when figuring costs on a custom or barebones from ebay and other sites it seemed like I could get a slightly better computer while saving possibly a hundred or two but with the addition of labor which seems minimal if i get help or pay $50 to get it assembled in town.

So while listing the details from the "how to post" post if I could get some advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Approximate Purchase Date:
My office computer is making loud strange noises sometimes (guessing hard drive) and last time it did that on my other computer it crashed so probably within a month or so.

Budget Range: 1000-1300 net, total after rebates, tax shipping etc.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Multitasking with Quickbooks/internet/MS office apllications 90%, minor photoshop/homevideo editing (haven't done any yet but hope to), Starcraft 2 ("very capable or recommended" specs would be preferred over minimum) & movies (netflix, again no usage yet but hope to and seems like more/better options will be available soon so I'd like to future proof a little)

Parts Not Required:
Looking for just a desktop computer with USB 3.0 & maybe eSATA 3? plus basics. (lightscribe dvd player/burner, probably wont do RAID so I'll need just 1 hard drive ever using external ones for backup) I have the other equipment(mouse, keyboard, etc. or can buy to match.)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Please advise (newegg and tigerdirect seem ok)

Country of Origin: Please advise

Parts Preferences:
Intel I7-870 is about the only part I'm pretty sure about, again please advise. I'd like usb 3.0 and sata 3 6 gb capability, fast hard drive 7200RPM with 64mb cache.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Most likely not

Monitor Resolution:
Not sure but either use the one I have or can buy to match. Just a lil future proofing for Netflix, movies etc. HDMI on the computer required?

Additional Comments:
I would like to know if all of the details I've been reading up on will matter to me or only applies to others like enthusiasts or extreme gamers, etc.


3 Questions

1. I don't "plan" on buying another computer until this one dies so assuming my usage doesn't change drastically, will invensting time and money into building myself and learning about BIOS RAM latency/settings, overclocking, etc. make that much of a difference to me?

2. Will building myself and setting up the BIOS etc make the system faster by letting cut out all of the junk I dont need that comes with computers that are bought and assembled or can I still do that just as easily?

3. One thing I cant figure out is about USB 3.0. I want 3.0 cabability but the motherboards Im considering like ASUS P55 say ports are on the back where some cases like Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 say 2 USB 2.0 & 1 USB 3.0. Aren't they the same physically as far as the slots on the case are concerned? Do I need to match the case with these specs whether it states its on the front or back?

Again, sorry if this post is too long, but it seems like the more information the better and long posts aren't as frowned upon here. Thank you in advance. This will be a huge help.

For those who can spare a bit more time I could also use some help with the build. Any recommendations regarding components would be appreciated. I've looked at example builds here was still unsure.

Here is the build I'm thinking of buying on Ebay, otherwise I would modify this build a little and build myself. Please comment on upgrades, overkill, simply not need etc.

Thanks again.
$1630.00 shipping, taxes, assembly, 1-3 limited warranty included
Ebay Barebones configured by me 1st Draft

Intel i5/i7 CPU : Intel Core i7 870 2.93GHz (Quad Core) 8000K

Intel i5 / i7 CPU Fans : Coolermaster Hyper 212, 4 Copper Heat Pipes, Dual Cooler CPU fan

Intel i5 / i7 Motherboards : ASUS P7P55D-E LX P55, USB 3.0, SATA3, GB LAN, iEEE

DDR3 Dual Channel memory : 8GB (4x2GB) PC8500 DDR3 1066 Dual Channel (Doesn't give details Brand or latency? numbers, maybe I should delete this and just buy and plug in my own?)

PCI-Express Video cards : ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB PCI Express 16x dual head, HDMI (Looking for good not great Starcraft 2 play and HDMI needed for watching stuff on the comp from my tv?)

Hard Drives : 1000.0GB Western Digital Black 7200RPM SATA 3 6.0Gb/s 64m cache

Hard Drive Fans : Fan-Less Aluminum Silent Hard Drive Cooler with Heatpipes

Media Card Readers : All-in-One Memory Card Reader Internal Black

DVD Recorders : Lite On LightScribe 24x SATA DVD Recorder Dual Layer +R/RW -R/RW_NEW

Sound Cards : Realtek HD digital audio (onboard)

Network Cards : Ethernet network adapter (onboard)

Controller Cards : USB 3.0 Adapter Card 2 port PCI express

Cases : Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Black Case, Full Tower,Side Window, front USB 3.0

Case Fans : Dual Case Fans 120 mm Extra Quiet DC fan (two fans)

Power Supply : Antec TruePower Quattro 850w Extra Quiet ATX Power Supply SLI & X-fire ready

Operating Systems : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit DVD
November 3, 2010 8:55:12 AM

There you go:

ASRock P55 EXTREME4 + Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
RAM - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel Core i7-870 + SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Alternatives for the case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The mobo has a USB 3 frontal bracket that goes into any case (check the pics in the site)
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November 3, 2010 11:55:05 AM

I would suggest this memory:

Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996770

$114.99 after rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You are not going to see much benefit from a mechanical SATA 6.0 GB/s drive.
I would suggest this instead:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and this for storage:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 3, 2010 12:13:28 PM

Oh my what.

Considering that 90% of the system usage will be non-CPU intensive, an i7-870 is rather excessive, despite the other uses you listed. Get an i5-760 and save yourself some money. PSU is definitely overkill if you will only be using one 5770; you should be looking at these. Lastly, go with evongugg's RAM suggestion; 1333Mhz bus speed is the minimum I'd recommend for any DDR3 rig that will be used, even if only mildly, for gaming.
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November 3, 2010 12:21:43 PM

In response to your questions:

1. We at TH like to tinker with computers as a hobby, because it's fun. Building this yourself might not be practical if you never build another computer again, but other hobbies and things that people consider fun usually aren't practial either. However, general info about RAM and stuff is a must before you build (and buy).

2. If you're talking about the bloatware found on store-bought computers, my answer is that it should take you no more than an hour to remove that junk using some program like Revo Uninstaller.

3. Not exactly sure what you're asking here, but I think you're overthinking things. Don't worry about it.

Good luck with the build, whatever you decide.

Edit: Oh, and since you're buying online, check out Cyber Monday deals before making your purchases (if you can wait). And looks for combos, esp on Newegg.
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November 3, 2010 2:50:41 PM

1st reply! Yes! Thank you!!!

After I saw my way-too-long-is-an-understatement post and several views with no replies I figured everybody was being nice and refraining from giving me crap.

I got some sleep and a little more research under my belt now. I appreciate the links. I'm definetly going with the F3 spinpoint as a HDD, seems like the WD having twice the cache at 64 shouldn't be a deciding factor.

As for SSD for OS and then HDD, still researching. Huge gain from just one F3 HDD right?

I just barely started researching RAM qualities. I was considering G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin 1333. Seems like the Mushkin is about $35 more with differences in latency and timings. I saw high end builds with RAM that have a latency of 9, I must be missing something. Guess I'm not lucky enough for "lower is better" to be an absolute rule.

Thanks for the suggestions and links.

evongugg said:
I would suggest this memory:

Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996770

$114.99 after rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You are not going to see much benefit from a mechanical SATA 6.0 GB/s drive.
I would suggest this instead:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and this for storage:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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November 3, 2010 3:14:40 PM

Ok this forum thing is gonna take some getting used to. Thanks for the first reply. (I tried to take back my enthusiasm from the post above but guess i cant.)

I will be looking into all of these recommended parts, thanks. I guess I'm gonna try for my first build and just have to come to terms with spending alot of quality time with my new baby, which really sucks since I've got a real baby due in a month. Hope my wife understands and picks up the slack.

mosox said:
There you go:

ASRock P55 EXTREME4 + Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
RAM - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel Core i7-870 + SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Alternatives for the case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The mobo has a USB 3 frontal bracket that goes into any case (check the pics in the site)

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November 3, 2010 3:29:56 PM

Yeah I think I will go with the i5-760 save a $100 while not giving up too much performance especially for my usage.

Cyber Monday is a website right?

For GPU I was thinking MSI Hawk hd 5770 1 gig $150 (ebay) unless that is extreme overkill. I have no plans on gaming except Starcraft 2 but wouldn't mind a little more performance/graphics while playing. If I do go with this GPU with an i5-760 would 500w like u suggest still be more than enough? I would like to future proof/techie-proof my system in case I start to OC a little and what not.

Thanks for the links and helpful input.

blackjellognomes said:
Oh my what.

Considering that 90% of the system usage will be non-CPU intensive, an i7-870 is rather excessive, despite the other uses you listed. Get an i5-760 and save yourself some money. PSU is definitely overkill if you will only be using one 5770; you should be looking at these. Lastly, go with evongugg's RAM suggestion; 1333Mhz bus speed is the minimum I'd recommend for any DDR3 rig that will be used, even if only mildly, for gaming.

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November 3, 2010 8:10:03 PM

Well I made the list according to your selected CPU. You can get the i5 760 ans a 1156 mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For your uses you can also get this

AMD Phenom II X4 955
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock 870 EXTREME3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The advantage is that it's cheaper and very easy to overclock without messing with the RAM. If you OC, get this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



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November 4, 2010 6:42:10 AM

MrOsonice said:
1st reply! Yes! Thank you!!!

After I saw my way-too-long-is-an-understatement post and several views with no replies I figured everybody was being nice and refraining from giving me crap.

I got some sleep and a little more research under my belt now. I appreciate the links. I'm definetly going with the F3 spinpoint as a HDD, seems like the WD having twice the cache at 64 shouldn't be a deciding factor.

As for SSD for OS and then HDD, still researching. Huge gain from just one F3 HDD right?

I just barely started researching RAM qualities. I was considering G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin 1333. Seems like the Mushkin is about $35 more with differences in latency and timings. I saw high end builds with RAM that have a latency of 9, I must be missing something. Guess I'm not lucky enough for "lower is better" to be an absolute rule.

Thanks for the suggestions and links.
I think some of us have simply gotten into a habit of bombarding newcomers with products we would buy for a suitable rig. I don't like doing that, personally, but perhaps that's simply because I'm too lazy to find the links :lol: 

The F3 is really only minorly faster than other HDDs, but it's consistently faster and it's pretty cheap. An SSD for your OS and some programs would still give you a noticeable speed increase.
Those high end builds were not well advised. Lower latency is always better. CL8 is the lowest I'd get for a gaming build, CL6 still being a bit pricey, and CL7 being the sweet spot. But it's not just about latency; bus speed is also important, to a lesser degree. Generally we buy 1333Mhz or 1600MHz RAM, though people rolling in cash will shoot for 2000MHz+ for few real benefits beyond bragging rights.

MrOsonice said:
Yeah I think I will go with the i5-760 save a $100 while not giving up too much performance especially for my usage.

Cyber Monday is a website right?

For GPU I was thinking MSI Hawk hd 5770 1 gig $150 (ebay) unless that is extreme overkill. I have no plans on gaming except Starcraft 2 but wouldn't mind a little more performance/graphics while playing. If I do go with this GPU with an i5-760 would 500w like u suggest still be more than enough? I would like to future proof/techie-proof my system in case I start to OC a little and what not.

Thanks for the links and helpful input.

Cyber Monday is an actually just the Monday after Thanksgiving; it's the internet's Black Friday.
I don't recommend buying from ebay, it generally costs a lot more due to shipping and lack of combos and sale prices. For example, you can get a Gigabyte 5770 and CL8 1600MHz RAM for $222 before two $20 MIRs.
Now if you're gonna be gaming at 1920x1080 or higher, I suggest getting a 6850 instead. If you do though, get a 650-750W PSU (which isn't necessary for one 6850, but for two, in case you wanna drop in a second one in the future). Either way, stick with the i5-760 (or if you don't mind AMD, they offer similar gaming performance with their 955, and at a slightly lower price), and you'll be set.

Congrats with the baby, but don't expect your wife to be "picking up slack" :kaola: 
Good luck with both.
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November 11, 2010 12:37:48 PM

Best answer selected by MrOsonice.
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