First Timer (Final Order final CHECK)

I have never really been into building my own computers; actually I had never really used computers before college. And even in college I only went as far as upgrading my Laptop and dual booting.

Now that my Laptop is very outdated (single core), I am ready to build a desktop.

My typical uses: INTERNET, Downloads, streaming, DVD/Blu-ray, Office, MATLAB Simulink, CS5, some NX3/5 FEA and CAE, and absolutely no gaming.

Things I want: A system that is capable of upgrades i.e. SLI, OC’ing, ram, SATA II & III, USB 2 & 3, and not sure what crossfire is yet but why not. I really like to play with technology, whether or not I need it is a different story. I recently Hacked/Jailbroke/Rooted my Palm Pre and overclocked it, and enjoyed just doing it not I really needed it (also added a ton of patches that helped a lot).

Well for the system here are my thoughts:
I will run Windows 7 Home Premium x64 (Free from college)
I plan to use my 46” LCD Samsung B650 (1080p) as the monitor
Wireless keyboard and mouse (Any suggestions)
I don’t really need Blue ray as I already have a player on the TV, probably just do a cheap DVD player writer.
Sound will just be through HDMI, so I guess I need that on the video card as well AM3 correct?

Now the good stuff:
I am mixed on CPU Mobo options, I would love to do the i5 2500k but it is a bit much for what I need and for what I want to spend. But I truly want something that is going to be easy and reliable at OC. If I got the i5 2500k I would get the ASUS P8P67 Pro.

Another option was the i5 760, which I found below $150. But not sure if th OC would be easy and what Mobo would be best here?
I haven’t looked at AMD yet for CPUs? I am sure there are many that would perform up to my expectations!

Now for the GPU, I was thinking just 1 HD 5770 to start, figure they will be around for a while so I can add another someday in future. Not sure which brand to get I was liking the Gigabyte. Will this suffice for the 46” LCD?

HDD was going to get WD 1TB SATA 6Gb/s

Memory thinking Mushkin Silverline 2x2G (that’s plenty for what I do!)

Now the power supply I have no idea, probably 650Watt just for the extra GPU eventually

Cool Master ATX Mid for $50 newegg, not sure if this is good? Any other cooling that will be needed.

I guess my goal is to have options for all that I have mentioned before, so if I need to get some smaller/cheaper things now and upgrade later that is no big deal. I would like to see this get down around $600, and since I do not do a lot of heavy loading I am sure I will be able to.

Oh and by the way I just started reading about building computer about 3 months ago, so I am very inexperienced and know that there is a wealth of knowledge out there so I will most likely keep reading and reading for the time being!

Thanks for any advice,

13 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Crossfire is for running multiple ATi cards. SLi for nVidia. Not interchangeable, but some premium boards support both. If you don't game, it's def. a waste of money to even think about.

    I recommend against overclocking as it's not a one-time deal. You'd have to act at 1st sight of any instability. You may not have time or desire to deal with it. Some current cpus have turbo. They will overclock up by themselves if temp isn't too high. Yes, they're 100% stable. You can turn it off in BIOS if you wish.

    You don't need a discreet gpu for any size of monitor/tv. Just integrated graphics will do. You don't game. No point. You don't need to waste money on things that won't maximize the performance for your usage. IMO, the best available option for your usage would be LGA1366. It's a premium platform. Why this? Hyperthreading. It'll speed up your applications. Sandy Bridge is not available right now until April. LGA1156 is dead once SB returns. Or if you don't hate AMD too much, Phenom II x6 - most def. fit your usage very well. Oh one of them Phenoms has Turbo.

    Basically, if you want SB, most would suggest you wait. I would too.
  2. Best answer
    Hello and welcome to Tom's! I don't have a lot of time atm to give you links to products but wanted to give you a lil advice from a fellow new builder. I just built my 1st PC a few weeks ago but will be doing my 4th this weekend. (I totally got addicted). Hopefully I can give you some decent starting advice and some more experienced members will chime in. Filling out this format will help people respond

    Now I'm not familiar with the programs you listed but if you want to stay in the $600 range probably will need to go the AMD route. Think sandy bridge runs more near $800 for a decent setup with a GPU. As far as CPU's go I have a core i5 750 and it overclocks really nice, @ 3.2GHz on the stock voltage and cooler, could more than likely go higher with a decent HSF. Now I won't recommend this because the lga 1156 socket is kinda dead for future upgrades with the sandy bridge release. I think you might want to look at the AMD Phenom series, possibly the Athlon II but you should be able to afford the Phenoms and they OC pretty nice. When looking at mobos I would look at ASUS Gigabyte or MSI for top notch boards and Asrock for a good budget board. Biostar is another budget board but a lot of people have had bad luck with them, I just used my 1st and it is doing fine. Personally I like ASUS. Look for a board with SATA 6, USB 3, 2 PCI express x16 slots that can run dual x8 if you want to crossfire for future upgrades.(SLI is dual nvidea and crossfire is dual ATI cards btw, but crossfire will be the route to go with a AMD board). For memory I haven't had any problems with Mushkin g.skill or wintec and ddr3 1600 should be decent memory for you. HDD's to look at are the samsung spinpoint f3 and WD black series. I have used nothing but Antec earthwatt PSU's and love them so far. Other PSU's to look at are Cosair and Seasonic, sounds like a 650 or higher should work for you. For a good 50 dollar case I loved the Rosewill I used in my 1st build they have a few to pick from, and Antec is a solid line of cases I read too. I don't have enough knowledge of GPU's so can't help there. Hope that is a decent start for you to look into parts, do lots of research, I have been myself and haven't had a dud yet. I'm sure some one will come along with better advice and I will try to give you some links to parts later when I have more time. Newegg is a great site to get reviews!
  3. Thanks for the input. I definitly need to do a lot more reading, have to check out the AMD processors.
    I will also read up on discrete versus integrated graphics, for some reason I thought with the bigger screan I would need more memory?

    Well here is a updated list now:

    Processor mobo combo


    PSU (bigger then needed it is cheaper)




    I ma not sure, back to reading. Thanks for any input
  4. HDD DVD Case and RAM all are good decent choices. The CPU Mobo combo you have would need a dedicated GPU due to no onboard graphics. Now again I'm not familiar with the programs you need but I think for the ones stated you might be better off putting your money into a good CPU and faster RAM & HDD rather than a high end gpu. PSU you have is more than likely overkill also something like this would more than likely be more than enough unless you go dual gpu down the road Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W

    If you aren't in a rush to build waiting for sandy bridge to re stock will more than likely net you the best performance. Otherwise core i7 lga 1366 or a phenom II x6 would be decent choices as mentioned above.
  5. Take the PSU above the HDD DVD and Case u had this mobo ASRock 880G EXTREME3 AM3 the Phenom II X6 1090T or 1100T and one of these two memory kits:|20-231-308^20-231-308-TS%2C20-231-276^20-231-276-TS and you should be round 600-700 range with options to put in a gpu if u decide to get one later, but I would wait for sandy bridge and or bulldozer if it ever is released
  6. If Microcenter is an option

    1090T + Gigabyte 880G /w HD 4250 IGP $235

    Items off egg $253


    Optional 60GB Sandforce based SSD for boot/OS $105AR Free Ship

    $593AR with optional taken up
  7. I think as of now this will be my order, let me know if there is anything that doesn't line up?




    Ram (this is one thing I am unsure of)





    Total before shipping/mail in Rebates: $685.92

    Is this it? Did I miss anything? LOL pretty pumped, still learning a lot so any comments or dislikes with my choices I will not be upset!

    Thanks again to all who have responded.
  8. Looks pretty good to me except for the HDD, would go with a F3 for 5 bucks more
  9. Final order planned:

    Let me know if there is anything here that I can get a much better deal on? Otherwise plan to get the whole order from the egg.

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model

    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX

    GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

    CPU Cooler
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

    Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B
  10. This PSU should be plenty for you and will save u a few bucks:

    The CPU cooler you could get off of amazon and save some shipping costs, other than that just check to see if anything you plan on getting has any combo possibilities on newegg and I always google products to make sure I can't get a lower price before I order from newegg. Check out Bill Me Later option if u want, no interest on orders over $250 and if you sign up before you order you can earn a 1% cash back discount :)
  11. Thanks man, planning to order as soon as the refund check deposits.

    I will sure be around with many more questions.

    Again thanks for all the help.
  12. Best answer selected by jcp7857.
  13. Well I put my order in tonight! Pretty excited, I did change a couple things but just minor changes.

    I am sure I will be back on once I start the build, and then once the power gets switched on. Again thanks for the help.
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