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First Time Build Advice

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February 12, 2011 2:34:40 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: 07/15/2011 - Some AMEX GCs will expire then :) 
Budget Range: $1000 - $1200
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing, Ripping (DVD/BLU RAY)
Parts Not Required: PSU (XFX 850W Black), CASE (Antec 902), Monitor for now (Dell 2407WFP), RAM (PNY Optima 8GB 1333...not in love with it, but was only $47), HD (Hitachi 2TB OEM Drive), Optical Drive (LG LiteScribe)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg, Amazon, TigerDirect...and stores like that if you know what I mean.
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Prefer to go Intel and I am open on GPU's
Overclocking: Very Strong Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments: First time build but and want this to last a pretty good bit. My current machine is a Dell XPS410 that is going on 4 yrs old. I do game often but get scared the PC market is going to shrink and die due to consoles....I have a PS3 already and I just cant get down with it....first love has been PC's thanks old school Duke Nukems and Commander Keens!!

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The only thing that I think I am sold on is the i5 -2500K for the processor...not sure if i want to spend extra $100-125 for the i7...but we shall see. Also the parts I own have already been purchased for around $290, leaving about $700 - 900 and I kind of would like to keep as I don't want to have to unload any of my current parts if possible. I guess my real question is going to be the CASE and RAM. I live in small market with not Fry's or MicroCenter, but I do travel to Cali often for work and there is a MC right down the road. Go about once a month.

What I am thinking for the rest of the build:

*Optical Drive - LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM
Linky
*SSD - I know new technology is coming out, but what brands, etc. are best? I also dont want a huge SSD (64GB?), mostly just to boot and a few games/apps.
*CPU - Well I already mentioned the i5 2500K
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*Mobo - This is obviosuly what is holding me back right now, but at the time i need to build, will the new chipset be out and change my whole thought process?
ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Linky
*GPU - This can be the very last item and even be purchased after July, as I want to get a video card as new as possible towards the release date of Diablo 3...which is always up in the air, but towards the holiday season we get some good games like maybe BFBC3, etc. I currently own a XFX 250 GTS (512mb) and need an upgrade, so if i did i guess it would be maybe 2 of these? Im very open in this category...one big one, 2 nice ones, but it cant bust the budget if you catch my drift.
XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
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*Mouse Keyboard - I have stock pieces here, so recommend a good say $50 set and that would be nice.
*Monitor - A new one will be needed at some point, the Dell has 5ms response time, so id like to get a 2ms monitor, but not sure when. This old PC will become my sons and he will need a monitor, so do I keep this one and buy cheap 19in for him? Or get daddy a new baby?
Acer V243HAJbd Black 24" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ACM 80000:1(1000:1)
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*OS - Windows 7 64bit - Where is the cheapest place to get a good copy of this?
*Cooler? - Cooler Master Hyper 212? Seems very popular, but read where stock heatsink on i5 2500k is pretty solid.

Anything else that I forgot, just let me know. Thanks for all the love and support and these forums...this is truly one of the most mature and helpful forums I have ever read, so I decided to see what you guys think as I obviously value the opinions of others. Thanks in advance!

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February 12, 2011 3:22:08 AM

With such a late buy date, I think you should wait till even later for the GPU, sounds boring. I know. But with AMD rocking 28nm/32nm (can't remember which one) at the end of this year on their GPUs. I think it'd be quite worth waiting GPU-wise for those, in the mean time using your GTS 250 just to hold it off.
SOURCE: http://www.tweaktown.com/news/17587/amd_28nm_gpu_s_comi...

Short summary: Hold off with the GPU upgrade, the GTS 250 can still hold up, not at max but at minimum settings. Wait for 28nm AMD/Nvidia GPUs in Q3/Q4. Not sure bout Nvidia but I'm pretty AMD will release 28nm GPUs in Q3/Q4.

With everything else, I'm pretty in agreement on. I think you should look at the Asrock Extreme4 P67 though, w/ Bios revision it got the 2500K/2600K up to 5.1ghz on air. Plus it is 30$ less than the P8P67 Pro.

Since it's a late date, SSD's will go SATA III, wait for the Vertex 3 to release, that'll be way faster than any SSD now. Basically any SSD with SF-2000 controllers would be fine as well.

OS- If you can get a friend or someone who works at microsoft, that'd be very cheap. Got my Win7 Home for 25$, Mom knows a customer who works for Microsoft. SCORE!

Then again, I live in WA and that's where Microsoft is based.
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February 12, 2011 10:59:41 AM

Thanks for the info! I will probably hold out on the GPU until im ready for it for the games I want to play. I am kinda pissed that I have these other parts that I cannot do anything with until the Sandy Bridge fiasco gets resolved. My major concerns I have about the parts I already have is the CASE (Antec 902) and the RAM (PNY Optima 8GB 1333) and hope they will be suffiecient for the final build. The ram was cheap, so if i need to re-buy around the holidays I can. Also, I wish I did know somebody at MS for a cheap copy of Windows 7...you got lucky! I live in Mississippi....probably the furthest away from any technology hub...I could trade you some seafood for a copy, but living in Wash State you probably dont need any of that ;) 

Thanks for filling me on the the MB and the GPUs, would it make sense to buy the CPU next week without the motherboard? I will be in California and check out MicroCenter, but they may not have any in stock. I really wish I could buy the MB and CPU and then RMA the MB when they issue gets fixed, but I doubt they are going to have any as they sure have pulled stock by now.

Also, is my current monitor good enough to last a few more years with me or should I buy a new one?
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February 12, 2011 7:04:46 PM

Haha yes your right about that, we have plenty of seafood over here. And yea, I did get lucky :D 

Well good news, you could probably get SB a bit sooner if you'd like. Though I'm not sure about the replacements.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Cougar-Point-Sandy-Bri...

I dunno, but if you in cali next week DO IT! That'll save you about 50$ in the long run. If you could at least.

Your monitor is fine, at that resolution too? Very good to last another several years.

As for RAM and case it was a nice decision, just hope it wasn't DOA cause then it'd be a waste DX
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February 13, 2011 12:31:49 PM

aznshinobi said:
Haha yes your right about that, we have plenty of seafood over here. And yea, I did get lucky :D 

Well good news, you could probably get SB a bit sooner if you'd like. Though I'm not sure about the replacements.
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Cougar-Point-Sandy-Bri...

I dunno, but if you in cali next week DO IT! That'll save you about 50$ in the long run. If you could at least.

Your monitor is fine, at that resolution too? Very good to last another several years.

As for RAM and case it was a nice decision, just hope it wasn't DOA cause then it'd be a waste DX


Thanks for all the help aznshinobi! I am just itching to complete this build soon. Also, do you have any experience with the Antec 902? I heard 10.5in GPUs have a tough time in there, but I am not sure I know how large some of the newer cards are. My GTS 250 measured 9in when I opened my old case up yesterday to test the new Hitachi 2TB drive (which was a success..woot!). So would it be wise to just wait it out and see what the new verdict is on the SandyBridge and Cougar Chipsets? And final question, what might you recommend or change to make it future proof? Thanks for you help already though.
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February 13, 2011 12:32:00 PM

Best answer selected by trickyhits.
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February 13, 2011 6:59:27 PM

Well if you stick those Sandy Bridges in there it'll be future proofing already. I don't know the exact length of my 5850 but I heard it is around 9.5 in. That fits in the 902 I have with room to spare. However, watch out, Don't put a HDD (like I did) in the spaces in front of it, that's when it'll be hard to fit a 10+ card. Since the PCI power cables add like a few cm to it.
As for waiting yes, I think it'd be smart to wait for SB and Cougar Point.
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February 20, 2011 11:40:54 AM

aznshinobi said:
Well if you stick those Sandy Bridges in there it'll be future proofing already. I don't know the exact length of my 5850 but I heard it is around 9.5 in. That fits in the 902 I have with room to spare. However, watch out, Don't put a HDD (like I did) in the spaces in front of it, that's when it'll be hard to fit a 10+ card. Since the PCI power cables add like a few cm to it.
As for waiting yes, I think it'd be smart to wait for SB and Cougar Point.


Question, I can get a hold of an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Pro for $80, but will i be able to use this as a fresh install on a new machine? Would it be better to just get a full copy instead?
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February 20, 2011 5:49:10 PM

^ not exactly sure, I think it wouldn't work. But I'm not the best on the windows pricing and installations.
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February 20, 2011 6:28:42 PM

I have read on other forums where the upgrade disc will allow a clean install if you follow a couple of steps. Obviously I will not get into specifics as I think they are against the EULA of M$ and I dont want that information to be here, but maybe somebody can confirm whether or not this is possible. I actually can get the 64bit of Pro for $65...so if this is possible, that is the route I am going to go.



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February 25, 2011 12:54:33 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ not exactly sure, I think it wouldn't work. But I'm not the best on the windows pricing and installations.


So I am giving you an update on newly acquired parts for the cheap and asking your opinion on them.

CORSAIR CAFA50 120mm CPU Cooler - $10

Linky

OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX90G 3.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $100

Linky

I know OCZ has been under the gun and that new SSDs will be out soon, but this price for the gigs and it is my first SSD, I think it was a pretty good deal....of course there is a rebate I have to get back, but yeah. Will that cooler fit this setup you think? and what are some other thoughts about the 2 parts.

Thanks.
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