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Building My First Computer. I dare you to improve this build! < $1050

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January 27, 2011 12:18:30 AM

Hi Everyone. I'm building my first computer. I've put a lot of thought into this and I want to make sure that:

1) Everything is compatible
2) I don't have a bad bottle neck (if i do have one, what is it?)
3) I get quality brands and products ( Have any suggestions for me?)
4) Am I missing anything? Do i need a thermal compound for the cpu/motherboard connecting?

Thanks in advance everyone. I appreciate the help. I'm buying most everything from new egg unless i can find a better deal anywhere else on the net. I'm also a little worried i will screw something up. Is it tough building a computer? I'm good at looking up how to do things on the internet. My plan is to just take it 1 step at a time and look at youtube instructional videos. I'm worried mainly about putting the CPU into the motherboard.

Here is my build!: The total comes to $1,041.16. (I already have windows 7, keyboard, mouse, monitor)

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K


GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

329.98 (Combo Motherboard and CPU)

LG CD/DVD Burner Black IDE Model GH22LP21 LightScribe Support

$19.99


Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan


$54.99


GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA Series GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity


$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card14-125-353

$189.99


OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7


$30.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-341-018

$89.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL


$109.99


Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


$264.99
January 27, 2011 1:53:49 AM

No takers?
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Best solution

January 27, 2011 4:39:08 AM

`You could consider the Corsair HX 850 or HX 1000 - they frequently go on sail and are highly rated. I got the HX 850 for $144.00 with $20 rebate. The Corsair TX series is also highly rated and is in your price range. You can get the
TX 850 for around $100 if you look for a sale.

For a case you could consider the Cooler Master HAF 932. Now the the CM 942 is out the 932 goes on sale for $100 frequently (it is a huge case though). It has proven cooling. The Silverstone PS05 is only $50 and if you add some fans it has some high-end features that other cases in this price range don't. The Silverstone has gotten some good reviews.

While the Crucial 128 G is the reigning Sata 6 gbs champion, it is not much faster than the OCZ Vertex 2 EX and the OCZ has gone on sale for $200 frequently. You might want to think about waiting for the Vertex 3 it double the speed of the Vertex 2 and leaves the Crucial in the dust. I may by the Vertex 2 Ex 64 G to tide me over. It is on sale right now at Newegg for $99.00. Combine that with a Samsung spinpoint 3 1TB ($59.00) and you would have a wicked fast system that you could upgrade to the Vertex 3 when it comes out.

You might want to look at the Asus P67 boards, most everyone speaks very highly of them and they start in the $130 range. I have heard some Gigabyte P67 boards have had problems - but I don't know the specifics.

The 2500K is the best bang for the buck right now.

If you change out your SD from Crucial to OCZ 60 GB or 90 GB drive you can get the full size CM 932 which already has four fans and several other high-end features. You could also afford an Asus motherboard. You can save $60 by getting the Vertex 2 EX 128 GB card and it beats the Crucial in some benchmarks.

If you can fudge your budget a little, the ATI 6950 is a much more powerful card and it is going for around $270 on sale and it may go lower. This card outperforms the previous ATI flagship the ATI 5870.

These are some thoughts to consider. I almost bought the Crucial but when I learned about the Vertex 3 coming soon I felt it was a waste of money to buy the current 128 GB SDs and switched to either a 60 GB or 90 GB I can get on sale at less than half the price.
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January 27, 2011 4:49:19 AM

Sorry one other thought. If you are going to overclock you may want to consider the Cooler Master 212 Hyper cooler. It is only $28.00 and a lot of people on this website swear by it. It comes with thermal grease and ships free at NewEgg and Amazon.
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January 27, 2011 6:04:54 AM

Dude! Your awesome this is great information. Going to bed now but will reply more tomorrow. Thanks!
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January 27, 2011 6:12:50 AM

By the way, any idea when the vertex 3 is coming out? I don't mind waiting. I'll have to consider the 6950. I guess I figured the 6850 was the sweetspot for price/performance right now. And I really don't think I would have the guts to try overclocking. But maybe I'd try it . If I don't do you think stock cooling is sufficient? Also I'm worried that my psu not being modular will effect my air flow. Finally do I need any special thermal compound for attaching my CPU or does it come with that already? Thanks for your help!
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
January 27, 2011 6:18:33 AM

Why would you get an IDE optical drive? Otherwise everything seems to be covered.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 27, 2011 1:35:43 PM

^+1 beat me to it!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 27, 2011 1:40:34 PM

A quality build should have nothing w/ the word Rosewill on it. I'd replace it with an Antec 300 Illusion and a TP-650 PSU which will handle two GFX cards. A TX series from Corsair would be an equivalent.

If you're gonna OC them as well as the CPU, a significant step up is req'd and that would mean a Corsair HX or AX series, Antec SG, CP or HCP series but the best buy in this category is the XFX Black Edition .

Sandforcde 3 arrives in may which is a long tome to wait. the Crucial has the fastest read speeds but it's write speeds (page file, scratch disk, temp file usage) are about half of the Vertex 2's.

As to the GFX sweet spot ..... things have changed

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-...

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January 28, 2011 1:46:50 AM

I am not sure that I understand JackNaylor's point about the GTX 560 - Tom's Hardware doesn't get too excited about it in their review. Right now you can pick up the ATI 6950 for $259.00 on NewEgg and the competing 570 is $350 or more and not that much faster. Both of them blow away the 560. Also, the 6950 beats the 570 in some benchmarks and it is nearly $100 cheaper.

I have not built my 2600K system yet but I am going to install the Cooler Master Hyper 212 just because a cool CPU is a healthy CPU. I believe it will allow me to overclock to 4.7 ghz or higher. Many people say you can OC the K chips with the stock Intel cooler. In the 942 case everything will be cool. I don't want to mess with water cooling as I am new to computer building and it is expensive. Further some water cooling solutions are not only expensive, some of them don't perform any better than the better air cooling systems (i.e. Corsair H70).

If the size of your box is not important I would suggest that you look hard at the Cooler Master 932 or 942. If you want a mid-tower the choices become more difficult but CM makes good mid-tower cases also.

If you want a mid-tower I would post in the computer case section of Tom's Hardware and ask for suggestions. Ask for real-time advice from people who actually own the cases that they are suggesting. That's how I found out the case that best meets my needs. Different people want different things and so you will have to pick the case that best meets your needs.

I have heard different dates for the Vertex 3 (Sandforce 3) but it is worth waiting for. It will change the face of computing for the common man who cannot afford $500 - $800 exotic SD solutions on the market right now.
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January 28, 2011 2:05:08 AM

Check out this Tom's Hardware article - Intel may be launching its third generation SD next month. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Emcrest-SSD-SandForce-...

Intel makes a great SD, but its specs are a little slower than the Vertex 3. Still it may beat the Vertex 3 in real world situations.
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January 28, 2011 2:54:14 AM

Proximon said:
Why would you get an IDE optical drive? Otherwise everything seems to be covered.


Thanks for pointing that out. I wasn't aware of the difference between IDE vs Sata. But I just looked it up online.
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January 28, 2011 6:54:03 AM

If ur not planning to OC the stock heatsink is fine. It's simpler and the thermal grease is done for you.

The ssd u chose may have a fast read but it also has a slow write. I would suggest something with read and write just below 300MB/sec. And get less ssd Save $100. The prices will go down next year. Have the fun is gonna be upgrading economically.


Btw You left out a wireless card. Are you sure you don't want one? Rosewills is good and cheap. Highly recommend.
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January 29, 2011 5:06:16 AM

Best answer selected by rasbarry2.
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January 29, 2011 5:13:53 AM

rhsnipes said:
If ur not planning to OC the stock heatsink is fine. It's simpler and the thermal grease is done for you.

The ssd u chose may have a fast read but it also has a slow write. I would suggest something with read and write just below 300MB/sec. And get less ssd Save $100. The prices will go down next year. Have the fun is gonna be upgrading economically.


Btw You left out a wireless card. Are you sure you don't want one? Rosewills is good and cheap. Highly recommend.

With a desktop I plan on having a wired connection. I'm pretty sure it's faster that way anyway. I decided to stick with the stock cooling. And got the vertex 2 64gb. Thanks for the advice. Will upgrade the SSS later.
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January 29, 2011 5:22:24 AM

I bought all my parts tonight! Thank you everyone for your advice! Everything came to $940 after all discounts and shipping. I made some changes as everyone suggested. I got the antec300 illuminated case. Swooped out the crucial SSd for a 60 gb OCD vertex 2. And a wd hdd 1tb sata 3. And I got the corsair tx650 watt psu enthusiast series. And finally I got a sata optical drive instead of the IDE. Can't wait till all gets here! Just hope everything works. If not I don't know how to diagnose what is defective.
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January 29, 2011 6:25:59 AM

what video card did you choose? I hope that you have loads of fun and success :-)
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January 29, 2011 2:42:34 PM

I bought the 6850 Gigabyte brand. And thanks!
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January 30, 2011 10:14:01 PM

The 6850 is a great card, one of the best buys for the money. I've also heard good things about the Antec 300 case - let us know how everything works out.
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January 31, 2011 5:37:41 AM

Have fun watching those videos, hopefully you'll find one with your exact board for the extra confidence.


:) 
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January 31, 2011 6:52:07 AM

I spent about the 1063$ on my build back in september, lots of planning and one order and one day built!

Corsair PSU's are the only way to go in my book.

Asus DVD Burner sata2 is perfectly silent in my case.

I would get 1600 cas7, but its 160$ for the 8gb set, I would get lesser SSD and get the better memory

128gb SSD C300, well it is debatable, Vertex 2 120gb is on sale for 199$ via newegg- think of price/performance

Your going to want a Samsung F3 1tb spinpoint, for storage=55$ and not just a SSD

CPU/Mobo/GPU I don't know well enough to inform a better decision

However I would NOT account your MIR's into your equation. Both Corsair & Gigabyte both did not accept my mir even though it was offered on newegg when I ordered and I followed protocol.

As far as cases go, get something you like looking at, has plenty of space behind the mobo and has enough space for any future upgrades that you might get. This is also something that you need to measure so that you Heatsink, Graphics card and Power Supply all fit with-in specified areas.

I would consider an aftermarket Hyper 212+

Lastly I don't know what your graphic card amps per rail is, but I would make sure it has enough and that the correct plugs for your GPU are available and for any future upgrades.

If you plan to overclock, gigabyte does oc nicely, however the bios is very basic, and asus offers the new UEFI, along with AsRock.

Here is my build=965, UD5, HX650, 5770, Gskill 1600cas7 2x2, 212+, asus dvd, CM 690 2 advanced, Win 7 64, Caviar Black 1tb

PS, stay away from any sata3 hard drive like my Caviar, they are slower than mostly all sata 2.

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