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Experts: help me settle on these key components!

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Last response: in Systems
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January 11, 2011 10:25:51 PM

G'day people - I'm in the exciting but draining process of settling on a new PC build... for around $2000 aussie (not far away from $2000 US now with the exchange rate).

Would love some opinions on the components I'm still trying to decide on (in bold), and anything else you might like to add.

This system will be used equally (and on a casual, semi-pro level) for Photoshop editing, video editing and gaming (gaming at novice level lol).

I don't fancy upgrading any time soon so it needs to last. Hence the reason I've decided against overclocking. I just need a super fast, stable system.

Case: Silverstone Fortress series FT02B Black... $250 AUD
MB: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset LGA1366 USB3.0 ddr3 Motherboard...$230 AUD
CPU: Intel Core i7-950 3.06 GHz Quad-Core... $320 AUD
PSU: 850W "Silverstone" ST85F-P Strider Plus Power Supply Peak 950W 100% Modular...$169 AUD
CPU cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus...$39 AUD

GFX: Gigabyte Radeon 6850 OR 6870 ...$210 or $269 AUD

SSD: A-Data S599 128GB 2.5" SSD...$339 AUD ($209 USD Amazon)
OR
OCZ Technology 120 GB Vertex 2 Series SSD...$249 AUD (218 USD Amazon)
**NOTE one of these will be bought online in the US, having a relative bringing it over thus AUD price irrelevant**


HDD: WD Caviar Black 3.5 2TB 7200rpm 64MB SATA ... $184
RAM: Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D 6GB (3x 2GB) PC-12800 (1600MHz) DDR3 F...$159 AUD

Keyboard: Razer Lycosa... $89 AUD -- Pls suggest a better mechanical keyboard!??
Mouse: Razer Copperhead...$60 AUD

Optical: IHAS124-04 Lite-On...$28 AUD
OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64bit... $110 AUD
Monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2311H 24"... $300 AUD -- This my best option for a good 1080p 24 incher at the price?
Build and installation: $80 AUD

SUB TOTAL: $2450-$2510 (depending on GFX card)
-monitor and case (bday presents :) 
TOTAL: Approx $1900-$2000 AUD

---
Any advice appreciated?!
Eg:
- Is my PSU overkill?
- Which SSD? I've read the ADATA is a great performer but has had firmware issues
- Really would like a nice keyboard but can't find much on them
- Should I buy more RAM?
- Will a 6850 be adequate for the big games like Crysis, Battlefield etc at 1920x1080? Or is it worth going the 6870?

THANKS IN ADVANCE!

More about : experts settle key components

January 13, 2011 10:32:41 AM

anyoneee!??
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January 13, 2011 10:55:56 AM

Ok, well I cannot help with the keyboard because I just use a simple $5 and don't pay attention to gaming ones.

The PSU is considerably more than you need. Are you planning on using two cards anytime soon? If not and you are not planning on Overclocking then a 650W will be plenty.

I don't know much about SSDs because I don't use them as I game and they are a very low priority for me compared to all the other parts.

Why an i7 950? The new tech I believe works better at pretty much everything. YOu may want to double check reviews but my understanding is the i5 2500K is superior to the old i5 and i7s( http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev... )
I believe the i5 2500k is also cheaper (Certainly on Newegg it is $224 compared to $290). Or for a little more money you could get the i7 2600k which will defintely be superior. Both chips are better even without the amazing Overclocking that can be done on them.

Given how much you are planning to spend I would want the latest tech, especially when prices are similar.
6870 over the 6850 defiantely. If it were not for the fact you do things other than games I would have suggested dumping the SSD to get an even better GPU. I would definately prefer to have a basic Keyboard and spend the extra on a better GPU, that way if you really want a gaming keyboard you can just pick one up later without loss, whereas an inferior graphics card means a lot of money wasted if you need to upgrade. Same goes for the mouse. If not getting those two items means being able to afford a 6950 or a GTX 570 then I personally would jump on to that as external parts are easily upgraded when you have the cash

In my experience monitors tend to be pretty similar, I have used Samsung, LG and Acer without any issues, so I tend to look at whatever is selling at a better price.
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January 13, 2011 11:35:12 AM

Hmm -- here I am thinking I've researched this system rather well and you go and tell me there's a completely new CPU I've overlooked!! lol.

I've read up a bit on it since you posted and clearly it's the better performer than the i7 950 - but I assume this means I need to choose a different motherboard and RAM?

Can you suggest a good mobo that would match well with the 2500/2600K?

Agree re the PSU, I will downgrade to a 650w as no I don't plan on having two gfx cards.

Cheers, appreciate the help.
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January 13, 2011 11:54:21 AM

Tell me about it, I have been out of the loop for a couple of months and a whole new chipset has come from Intel and AMD and Nvidia have brought a new gen of cards out and I am trying to catch up in all things nerdy.

You will be needing a P67 motherboard as this is what the new CPUs fit on (1155 socket)

As you are not going to use SLI or XFire you do not need the high end boards, so somethign like:
Asus P8P67 LE (link just to show it)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can't really go wrong with an Asus board

It uses Dual channel RAM so no need for the extra expensive Triple Channel stuff.
I am a fan of G Skill, Mushkin or Corsair, 1600mhz is ideal and the lower the latency the better though it is not a huge difference (so depending on price you want CL7 or CL9, 9 is standard). You only need 4gb for gaming, but extra may be of use for your other activities. You can get 8gb of Dual Channel RAM for as low as 88 USD from G Skill.

I know you are not interested in OCing, but the new chips are legendary for that so you may want to buy an after market cooler like the Hyper 212+. The new chips can get as high as 5ghz, so just doing a light OC to 4ghz will not stress your machine at all (obviously it is not required but it boosts performance and at least having the option is nice, if nothing else then in years to come a good OC could extend the life of your PC by another year or so, all for the price of a $25 cooler)

I personally tend to buy after market coolers anyway even if I do not Overclock, aside from giving me the option to OC in future, they tend to be quieter, easier to fit and keep things cooler which is always good.

With the money saved on CPU, possibly mobo and RAM and PSU, you hopefully have the cash to be eyeing up a 6870, 6950 or GTX 570, the last two defiantely serving all your gaming needs for awhile and the first 6870 being a great card for its price
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