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My first build!! (Sandy Bridge)

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March 3, 2011 4:44:07 PM

I've been lurking around here for a while and have been very impressed with the knowledge base of the members. I am finally getting ready to make the plunge with my first computer build and thought I'd run it by you guys and see what you think. Please advise of any noob errors I have made (compatiblity or what not) as I am truly new at this (though I have researched for some time). I am using www.mysuperpc.com as a step-by-step guide for the build but have decided to go with my own hardware choices. Anyway, here goes:

CPU - i7 2600K ($330 Newegg) - I've been going back and forth with this decision between p67 and x58. I am worried that there will be further teething problems with p67 down the road and, because I have limited experience, will be limited in troubleshooting any problems that may arise. Still, the clear consensus is that sandy bridge is the way to go so I am taking the plunge.

MOBO - Sabertooth p67 b3 (est $220)- I simply love the look of this board and the Sabertooth x58 was my mobo of choice for an i7 950 build. I know the "tactical vest" is gimmicky but it looks great and could help with cooling. I also am high on Gigabyte's p67a-ud4 so please advise with your preference.

PSU - Corsair 650HX ($120 Newegg)- I don't plan on running SLI so I'm going with a 650w. I love Corsairs and the modular HX series will be perfect for me to eliminate unnecessary wires hanging around. Would you guys suggest more power for SLI down the road?

CASE - Cooler Master RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II ($90 Newegg) - I've actually played with this case in person at a local store and love the look and features (not to mention price). I prefer it to the HAF series based on looks, price, and size. Any other suggestions though are welcome.

VIDEO CARD - Geforce GTX 560Ti Superclocked ($260 Newegg) - After countless hours of research this seems to be the best bang for the buck card available right now. Plus I prefer Nvidia's driver updates and ease of use compared to ATi's. I already have a Samsung P2770FH monitor that will be run at 1920x1080 resolution.

RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB)($135 Newegg) - Rob at mysuperpc recommends Crucial but I have heard nothing but great things about the Ripjaws. I have no clue about timing of ram or OCing. I'm just hoping to plug them in and have them work. Any thoughts/advice about memory will be greatly appreciated.

HDD - WD Velociraptor 150GB (boot) / Hitachi Deskstar 1TB (data) - I've actually already bought these for a great price ($54 for the Hitachi and $89 for the Raptor). I wanted to go SSD but the cost is just out of reach for me right now.

OPTICAL DRIVE - Samsung Blu Ray ROM/DVD burner with Lightscribe - I already have this drive as well. They were on sale for $60 and I jumped on it.

MCR - Sony 17-1 Media Card Reader - $15 on Amazon = no-brainer.

KEYBOARD - Microsoft Sidewinder X6($70 Newegg) - Played around with this at CompUSA and loved it. Need backlighting as well.

MOUSE - Microsoft Sidewinder X8($70 Newegg) - Need a wireless mouse and this thing has all the features.

SPEAKERS - Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 2.1 30W ($34 Amazon) - Already ordered these as well. Have heard nothing but good things and they were cheap.

Well, thats it! My total comes to $1540 and I am ready to buy whenever the MOBO becomes available. Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions/comments. Thank you for taking your time to read this!

-Eric

More about : build sandy bridge

March 3, 2011 4:57:29 PM

I should point out that I have no idea what you're planning on doing with this build. That severely limits any advice given. The changes to the build below won't significantly change your performance in any application, but it will lower your price.

You should definitely go with the Sandy Bridge option. It's easily 30% more powerful, yet a good $150 cheaper. Everything looks pretty good, except the PSU and the HDD. I also have a minor issue with the board, but it's not bad. I also don't think BR is worth anything at all.

HDD: The VRs are completely worthless. They're not much faster than the 500 GB platter drives (the Samsung's Spinpoint F3 500 GB/1 TB, Seagate's 7200.12 500 GB/1 TB, Western Digital's Caviar Black SATA III 1 TB), yet are easily double or triple the cost. If you consider the prices on a GB/$ basis, the VR give 1.25 GB/$, while the F3 gives you a whopping 18.2 GB/$. Instead of forking out that much for the VR, grab the F3 1 TB for $55. In fact, grab two of them. Hitachi's drives are pretty terrible, as they're really slow.

If you're absolutely serious about a boot drive, you need to either get a SSD or get nothing. A good SSD that you could buy now would be the G.Skill Phoenix Pro 120 GB for $240. However, I'd rather wait for the OCZ Vertex 3 to come out. They're significantly better, and should be fairly priced. At worst, it'll drive down the prices of the other SSDs. Really, having a separate, speedy boot drive doesn't do a whole lot for you other than making the computer "feel" faster.

PSU: Not a horrible choice, but I prefer the XFX 650W. It's cheaper, yet just as high quality and just as efficient, possibly more efficient. I can't really recommend anything over it at it's price.

Mobo: I pefer the cheaper, yet just as feature rich and quality, ASRock P67 Extreme4. It's about $150. Or possibly the Asus P8P67 Pro for $190. Either of those would be good. I know AnandTech did a comparision of the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 and Asus P8P67 Pro and ended up recommending the Asus. However, the reviewer then still recommended the ASRock over the Asus mainly for it's $40 cheaper price and very similar features and performance.

Optical: Again, BR doesn't have any specific purpose for PCs. I generally only recommend it if both of the following are true: #1 you don't currently own a BR player and #2 you already own a lot of BR movies. Instead, pick up the cheapest SATA DVD burner you can find. You can add a BR drive later when the prices are lower and/or a real PC specific use is developed.

So after all of that, I have some other recommendations, but they're not really necessary. It's more of a way that you could spend what you've saved above, assuming you don't opt for the SSD.

GPU: Since I've saved you a ton on the VR, you should be able to pick up a GTX 580 now. It's as low as $440 with a $30 promo and $25 rebate.

PSU: If you step up to the GTX 580, you'll want a bigger PSU to SLI it later. You'll want an 850W unit. Stick to XFX, Corsair, Antec, Silverstone and SeaSonic for quality. Again, I like XFX's 850W best because of it's great value.

Case: The 690 II is good, but I'd also look at the Antec 300 Illusion and Rosewill Challenger. If you go up to the 580, I'd definitely take another look at the HAF 922 (or 932, if the 922 is still $110). You should also look at all of Lian Li's cases, as they're very high quality.

CPU: If you're just using the build for gaming, you could drop to the i5-2500K to free up $100. The main benefit of the i7 is hyperthreading, which isn't useful in game. Instead, save your money. In addition, the i5-2500K can be overclocked higher, which will actually make a difference in game.
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March 3, 2011 5:12:54 PM

Thank you for the quick reply. Unfortunately I already got the HDD's and the BR drive (D'oh!). I like the VR's and wanted a seperate system drive. The Hitachi was cheap and I have had one in my current computer for 4 years with no problems. As far as BR goes, I have a bunch of Blu Ray movies and my wife almost always commandeers our TV so I have to watch movies on my computer. Plus I have a huge 27" monitor that looks amazing in HD!

The MOBO is still up in the air. I'll have to look into the ASRock because I have now had it recommended in several forums. I am guilty of being swayed by looks and the Sabertooth just looks great!

I really don't want to spend $440 on a video card. I am assuming the GTX 560Ti will run most games in high settings at 1920x1080 but I could be wrong. Anyway, thanks for the response and I will consider what you said.

-Eric
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March 3, 2011 5:20:56 PM

Wow, you actually meet my criteria for a BR drive. I'm amazed. I usually just throw those in there because I figure no one would ever own BRs without a BR player...

As for the looks of the motherboard, you do realize the CM690 II doesn't have a window right? You'd only see the board when you have the case opened up, not when you're actually using the machine (or when it's just sitting there). I could (kind of) understand the looks argument if you had a windowed case, but the one you've picked doesn't have one.

As for the HDDs, you only really screwed up with the VRs, and that's an easy one to make. The specs on them are very misleading. Hitachi's aren't horrible quality, they just build HDDs with a bad philosophy. Hitachi believes in using more platters than the most cutting edge HDDs. In this case, while Samsung, Seagate and WD are using 500 GB platters (for 2 total platters), Hitachi will only use 320 GB (or something like that) platters (for 3 total platters). This philosophy makes their drives inherently slower. It's not too bad for a data drive, but compared to the cheap availablity of faster drives, it's a questionable philosophy.

The 560 will run pretty much every game with high deatils at 1080p. The 580 will just stand up to the new games for longer. The 580 recommendation was really just a way to spend the budget.
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March 3, 2011 5:28:37 PM

MadAdmiral said:

As for the looks of the motherboard, you do realize the CM690 II doesn't have a window right? You'd only see the board when you have the case opened up, not when you're actually using the machine (or when it's just sitting there). I could (kind of) understand the looks argument if you had a windowed case, but the one you've picked doesn't have one.

If he is really concerned about looks and he is dead set on that case, then he could buy the optional window for it. I think it goes for around $20 on Amazon. My opinion, though would be the same as yours and go with either the AsRock mobo or the Asus Pro.
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March 3, 2011 9:26:37 PM

I'm definitely getting the accessory side panel with window. Also the sabertooth p67's just started showing up on amazon for $158!!! What exactly is wrong with this mobo in you guys' opinions?
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March 3, 2011 9:57:29 PM

majin ssj eric said:
I'm definitely getting the accessory side panel with window. Also the sabertooth p67's just started showing up on amazon for $158!!! What exactly is wrong with this mobo in you guys' opinions?



I'm not a tech, just a nooby builder, however, I just dont like the looks of the sabertooth. The armor lmakes the board ook like its still in the packaging, or that asus is just covering up their inability to make the board look good. I also think the colors are kinda drab lol

I went with the p8p67 pro, it looks fantastic, and Ive heard p67 is the way to go for new builds. I also chose the p8p67 because I have a blue led system build and asus is known for good quality.

I have the same video card as you. Cant wait to get the rig together.

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March 3, 2011 11:13:24 PM

aznshinobi said:
The Sabertooth is overpriced at 220$ when the Asrock Extreme4 P67 (150$) can do all the things it can do. Better, and cheaper. Plus overclock ability is greater than that of the Sabertooths.

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1098/pg2/asrock-e...


$220 was just my estimate for the sabertooth p67 but amazon has just listed them for $158! At that price what is your opinion of the board? What makes the p8p67 better exactly (bearing in mind that I will be running the stock cooler and only mildly overlooking)?
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March 3, 2011 11:28:18 PM

My opinion of the P8P67 Pro is that it is a more expensive Asrock Extreme4 P67. I like both boards however. I dislike Asus because of marketing schemes. "Tactical Vest" that makes the board run warmer.
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March 4, 2011 4:28:04 AM

Ok, so I just ordered all of the components for my build from Amazon (gotta love amazon prime). The Sabertooth p67 in fact is just $158 right now (already ordered and charged) whenever it actually ships. I also got the i7 2600k with Corsair Vengeance pc3 12800 RAM. Picked up an EVGA GTX 560Ti for $260 as well and a Corsair 750HX modular PSU. I am so excited for this build. The mobo should ship soon (Amazon wouldn't have allowed me to order if the mobo's weren't shipping soon) and I should be building this system next week. It's gonna be a monster for sure! Wish me luck!

-Eric
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March 4, 2011 11:20:48 AM

The reason the Sabertooth is so cheap right now is because it's the older version with the faulty SATA ports. I wouldn't have bought it until the revision is out that fixes the design flaw.
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March 4, 2011 1:25:28 PM

Amazon is not going to sell a faulty board....
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March 4, 2011 4:58:27 PM

All LGA1155 boards are faulty right now. It's a known fact. That's the reason you can't find any for sale right now. By default, if Amazon is selling a LGA1155 board, it is defective.

It's not Amazon's fault, it's entirely Intel's. They were the ones who released chipsets with a design flaw and then refuses to issue a recall. There is a revision coming (supposedly it's been released to manufacturers), but I wouldn't expect to be able to buy it for a few weeks.

Any P67/H67 board that is being sold right now isn't at a regular price. It's at a big discount because of the known flaw. The Sabertooth will be back to $230-$250 when it's re-released.
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March 4, 2011 6:29:45 PM

No I understand what you are saying, but amazon and newegg pulled all of their faulty p67 motherboards after the recall. The b3 stepping boards have just started to reappear on newegg and amazon and that's what I ordered. That's why its still out of stock. Asus has already announced that they are shipping revised boards to retailers as we speak. Hell some members have picked them up locally at microcenters in the past few days....
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March 4, 2011 6:43:06 PM

Here is the link to the motherboard I ordered from amazon. As you can see it is the revised board:


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March 4, 2011 8:00:53 PM

it does seem to be the revised chip, but why sell the board for so cheap?
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March 4, 2011 9:12:44 PM

shadowplay0918 said:
Seems to be some doubt if you are really getting the correct mobo..

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/287698-30-deluxe


Interesting. Well, all I can do is wait and see I guess. Amazon never charges for anything until it ships so I can always cancel my order if necessary...
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March 4, 2011 9:20:01 PM

You must remember, Amazon doesn't sell ALL the items on Amazon. Some of things things sold are sold by other affiliates and retailers. For instance Amazon sells certain memory for 90$, but Newegg has it cheaper so it displays that price. The 158$ may not be Amazon selling it, it could be an untrusted retailer.
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March 4, 2011 10:14:14 PM

Yep, something is screw with amazon. The item I ordered suddenly changed to a p8p67 le. I cancelled and resume my wait for a mobo....
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March 11, 2011 3:04:16 PM

Check my sig for what I actually ended up building. Everything has worked great, the build went relatively smoothly (though there were some heart-in-throat moments), and the rig is nice and stable for the moment. Thanks to everyone for their advice....
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