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~$1500 computer- First time builder

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March 13, 2011 7:09:32 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 2 weeks


Budget Range: ~$1500


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, storing music and videos, and searching internet


Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Tigerdirect


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: Intel CPU with Nvidia video card


Overclocking: Maybe in future, don't know enough about it to do it currently


SLI or Crossfire: If needed in the future for gaming


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Additional Comments: I have never built a computer before but figured it was time to stop throwing money away every 3-4 years. Here is a list of items that I have selected and would like some feedback on anything i could change/add/remove that would better my system or reduce the price without compromising performance. I am also not sure if I need to purchase a cooling system aside from the stock fans. I will mainly be using this to play Rift and other future games.

Thank you!


Tower: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $289.99
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $209.99
Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $164.99
Video: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99
HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99
DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $18.99
Heatsink: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $9.99

March 13, 2011 8:12:58 AM

I am also building a computer soon and thought I would give my advice. This will be my 5th system build so I do have a little experience. Read a lot on this forum to get other ideas because many people will have different opinions on what you should change. Here's my 2 cents:

That processor is a little dated and you can get a better one for cheaper. I think you should go with the i5 2500k ($220 on newegg) which performs significantly better in games as you can see from this chart and is easily overclockable:
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2...

You would need a different motherboard because that processor uses the LGA1155 socket. I recommend the ASUS P8P67 Pro which will probably be around $190 when it comes out on newegg. Get it quick when it appears because newegg is quickly selling out of these new motherboards. I bought the ASUS P8P67 EVO yesterday and it is already out of stock after one day of being on sale.

Also those types of motherboards and processors are for dual channel memory. Any 8 GB kit on newegg that runs at 1.5V will be sufficient for what you want to do.

Now that leaves you with an extra $150 or so dollars which I would put into either a larger SSD or a slightly better graphics card like a GTX 570. I personally bought a Radeon 6950 2GB because I am going to be using dual monitors. You could also double your RAM for about $100 but I think 16GB is way overkill.

Also you can save money by getting a smaller PSU if you're not going to SLI. Newegg has a 750 watt modular power supply for 130 but it has a 30 dollar mail in rebate. Modular means you can plug in only the cables you need and you won't have a lot of wire clutter. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as SSDs go, I suggest you read this article before you build since you never have before:
http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...

Oh and don't forget to budget $100 or so for windows 7 64-bit. If you are a college student (or know one) you can probably get it cheap from http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/software/windows...
Now that is technically an upgrade version so you will need a legit previous copy of windows to load it. There may be ways to skip a few steps if you google it though.
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Best solution

March 13, 2011 8:32:03 AM

This build includes a 1155 2500K with after market cpu h/s, dual factory over clocked gtx 560's in SLI, 8 gigs of low voltage RAM, Windows 7, etc..

That Asrock mother board down below will be on newegg within the next two weeks for the same price as listed down below.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.98 - $119.98 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P67-EX4&tit... $153.99
ASRock P67 Extreme4 LGA1155/ Intel P67/ DDR3/ Quad SLI & Quad CrossFireX/ SATA3&USB3.0/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard - P67 EXTREME4

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$8.00 Combo Price: $241.98
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $329.98
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $244.99
GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $17.99 FREE SHIPPING
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99 FREE SHIPPING
Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$5.00 Combo Price: $149.98 FREE SHIPPING
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Total: $1,513.87 *not including rebates, shipping, etc...

http://www.asrock.com/news/events/201102ex/warranty.htm... <----- Look for the B3 Stepping Chipset Logo/Sticker on the new boards

http://www.madshrimps.be/articles/article/1000116#axzz1... <---Review on that Asrock motherboard after the latest bios update

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1098/pg2/asrock-e... <---Review on that Asrock motherboard after the latest bios update

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4080/welcome-to-sandy-bri... <--- Review before the latest bios...and it still smoked the Asus and Gigabyte boards :) 

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=P67%20Extre... <----- ASRock P67 Extreme4 Motherboard
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March 14, 2011 10:08:45 AM

Thanks for the feedback. It seems the i5-2500K is a better choice performance wise and price wise. It looks like it should be easy to overclock so i will read up some more on overclocking. Only other questions i have are: will the 750 PSU be able to handle the SLI 560s and will that one cooler be sufficient to keep both video cards and the CPU OC'd to 4.0GHz cool?
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March 14, 2011 11:13:23 AM

You can try plugging in everything into this website to calculate the power supply needed:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it has never failed me.

That cooler only applies to the CPU but the case should keep your graphics relatively cool. It's all about good airflow, make sure nothing is blocking your air vents in the case. That cooler should be more than enough to get 4.0 Ghz. You can probably get that speed with just the stock cooler.
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March 14, 2011 2:14:13 PM

Jddimuz said:
Thanks for the feedback. It seems the i5-2500K is a better choice performance wise and price wise. It looks like it should be easy to overclock so i will read up some more on overclocking. Only other questions i have are: will the 750 PSU be able to handle the SLI 560s and will that one cooler be sufficient to keep both video cards and the CPU OC'd to 4.0GHz cool?

750w is more than plenty to push two of those cards, and have room for o/c, extra drives, fans, etc.... :) 

That CM cpu cooler will allow you to run cool @ 4.4 - 4.6ghz. It won't effect the vid cards, but no need. Those cards run cool, and the Gigabyte cooling system on those cards is the best out there in regards to the 560's imo.

As far as cpu's...there is absolutely no need for a 2600K in regards to gaming. If you were going to use apps that would benefit from that cpu then I could see a reason why to go with it, otherwise there's no need.
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March 15, 2011 5:19:01 AM

Thanks for all the feedback. Your setup, Why_Me, seems to be exactly what i'm looking for in my budget range with SLI cards to boot! I guess now I need to read up on overclocking so I will be good to go when I piece my comp together. These may be silly questions but heck I don't know enough about computers to not ask them. Are there any diagnostics I should run when I put my computer together to make sure everything is working properly? Any programs to run to maximize my computer usage for gaming and not background programs? Or any other important things to do with a new system? Thanks again for all the support :) 
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March 15, 2011 5:53:23 AM

Best answer selected by Jddimuz.
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March 16, 2011 12:06:41 AM

It doesn't appear that the Asrock P67 Extreme4 is going to be released. After reviewing the Extreme6 I will be spending the extra 50 bucks for that...as soon as its not sold out, Grrr.
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