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New to This: Need Help with First Build Please

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March 13, 2011 11:40:24 AM

Hi all,

I'm taking the plunge and buying components to make my own computer. But I'm quite nervous about the choices I make as there are so many things that I could miss due to lack of knowledge. I'm a gamer and I like to play the latest games. My favorite game is still Neverwinter Nights 2 which is a resource hog. My goal with this computer is to be able to play the latest games at full settings for a few years to come at least and then upgrade in order to continue to play games at full settings.

My budget is up to 3,000 USD and so far I have gotten to just under 2,000 USD. So I do have room to move up.

Here is what I came up with:

Case: SILVERSTONE Fortress Series FT02B-W Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling System: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner with 3D PlaybackiHBS212 LightScribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive 1: Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2XXX 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive 2: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601920
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I have done a lot of reading and research around the web but I know there is still a lot I do not know. So help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

More about : build

March 13, 2011 2:23:51 PM

Your list is getting a bit old, I thought the i7-920's were no longer available & checked the link to confirm.....

Just move up to :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The i7-900 series chips are 130watt packages, they generate a lot of heat. The 212 is a nice starter cooler but I'd move up the food chain a bit to something list this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Be sure to get the 64 bit version of Win7 OS...... (or you can access any RAM above 3.25Gb and you will have at least 6Gb (3 x 2Gb) )

Related resources
March 13, 2011 7:36:48 PM

mosox said:
For that mobo you should use triple channel RAM (3 or 6 sticks).

Take a look at the new Intel socket
i-5 2500K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS P8P67 DELUXE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=47


Thanks. I was contemplating going for the i7-2600K before this recall happened. I might still do it and am contemplating a z68 board when they come out in May.

I'll start looking at new RAM now.
March 13, 2011 7:40:38 PM

jb6684 said:
Your list is getting a bit old, I thought the i7-920's were no longer available & checked the link to confirm.....

Just move up to :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The i7-900 series chips are 130watt packages, they generate a lot of heat. The 212 is a nice starter cooler but I'd move up the food chain a bit to something list this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Be sure to get the 64 bit version of Win7 OS...... (or you can access any RAM above 3.25Gb and you will have at least 6Gb (3 x 2Gb) )


The Noctua looks pretty good. If I do decide to go for the Sandy Bridge thing, would my original choice be good or is it outdated (the Noctua is not for 1155)?

As for the 950 vs. the 920, I can move up to the 950. I am an American living in Hungary so I can still get the 920 here, if needed.
March 13, 2011 8:28:34 PM

That RAM is good. You can wait a while for the new AMD Bulldozer CPUs on the new AM3+ socket and the new Intel LGA 2011, both to be released in the summer, both very promising. In the meantime you can get just a new video card for your current rig and use it until then.
March 13, 2011 9:16:12 PM

For the RAM better look up your mobo on the manufacturer site and check the memory QVL list. What system do you use now, you can throw a few hundred $$$ at it and wait a little. Or make a nice rig now with a cheaper motherboard and CPU and for the rest you will keep them (case, PSU, RAM, HDD's, DVD writer, video card) and change the mobo and CPU later.
March 13, 2011 9:42:16 PM

Right now, I am using a 6 year old Alienware laptop so there are not many upgrade options. But I guess if I have waited this long I can go a little longer.

Thank you for the tip about the QVL.

By the way, I was thinking that the SSD drive would be for the OS. But I read somewhere that there are some Sandforce problems that make it hard for the system to recognize the SSD as the one with the OS. Has anyone heard anything about this (I hope this makes sense).
March 13, 2011 11:59:23 PM

I wouldn't spend money on the 1366 socket but buy everything with a $200 CPU + mobo and wait for the good stuff. Then I will use the cheap CPU + mobo in a HTPC. Gaming doesn't need top end CPUs anyway, with the cheapest quad core and a very good video card you can play anything.
March 14, 2011 10:22:04 AM

Yeah, if you want to save some money a AMD 955 or Intel i7-760 will get gaming done for less money.....and their supporting motherboards are cheaper than X58 too...

But As far as i7-950's go, I've got a MicroCenter in-town and they sell them for an in-store price of JUST $199........ (you really don't need Dual x16 / x16 PCI-E slots either but I hey, if ya got 'em....)

March 14, 2011 1:19:00 PM

Thanks guys. Does anyone know when the good stuff is coming? Is there a big trade show during the Summer? They released Sandy Bridge at CES so maybe the same pattern will be followed.
March 14, 2011 3:40:29 PM

The current 1155 Sandy Bridge is already strong, the new LGA 2011 enthusiast socket (that will replace the 1366 socket) will be better. Already the mainstream 1155 CPUs are stronger than the former 1366 quads in many areas so the 2011 should be a big increase over the i7-950/960. Less power draw too.

AMD Bulldozer sports a new revolutionary architecture that IMO could trash the competition if they got it right or might be a fail, everything is possible when you make such big changes. Those will show up in June.

http://games.pcvirt.com/ro/rss/id:1607341/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIs1CxuUrpc

March 14, 2011 6:50:17 PM

Cool! Thanks. :) 
May 16, 2011 2:03:16 PM

So the z68 has arrived!

I had a question about HDMI. Should I get a mobo with an HDMI connector or a video card with a HDMI connector?

I assume that the gaming aspect (the main purpose for my computer) will use the video card the most. So does it matter what the TV is hooked up to (mobo or discrete card)?
May 16, 2011 2:21:16 PM

exactly you dont need z68 motherboards just go with an asrock p67 extreme4 motherboard and an i5 2500k, that will get you the best bang for your buck and great gaming performance too.
that case is really expensive go with the corsair 600t at amazon for 150$ with rebate free shipping no taxes.
the vertex 3 is the best ssd on the market so you could splurge and get a 120gb or something bigger (120gb will be enough though)
memory just get gskill 8gb 1600mhz the games in the next few years wont even use 8gb
that samsung drive is cheaper at amazon 60$ to 65$
get the scthe mugen 2 at amazon it is only 47$ and it is one of the best cpu cooler on the market liquid or air
you may want to look at the 6970's crossfire it scales better than 570's sli for around the same price


May 16, 2011 6:41:39 PM

Thanks! Any ideas about the hdmi?
May 22, 2011 12:19:30 PM

Hello everyone!

I think I am in the home stretch when it comes to my new build (but this is my first time so it is safe to say that I am not too knowledgeable about this). This is meant to be an extreme gaming machine.

Here are the components that I am happy with:

1. Case: SILVERSTONE Fortress Series FT02B-W Black

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like the reviews and I like the sound dampening features of this case

2. Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=35-608-

I did consider water cooling too (CORSAIR CWCH50-1 High Performance CPU Cooler) but decided to go without in the end. Unless I am missing something…

3. Optical Drive: LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner with 3D PlaybackiHBS212 LightScribe

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Not much to say about the optical drive…

4. Hard Drive 2: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It seems that everyone recommends this drive so it seemed the obvious choice for a secondary drive.

5. Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This mobo has HDMI and it was the best recommendation from Tom’s Hardware (over Gigabyte, ASUS etc.)

6. Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would like to overclock at some point. Also, I believe the difference between 2500 and 2600 is only marginal but I’m comfortable with this choice.

7. Video Card: EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1573-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD w/Display-Port (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like this because it is a 570 and it has HDMI.




These are the items I have problems with:

8. Hard Drive 1 (OS): Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2XXX 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) – OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This choice troubles me. I have read about some nonsense with the OCZ Vertex 3 which tempted me to go for this hard drive. But the Vertex 3 has features that are worthwhile. So advice on this is welcome.

9. PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I tried out a few PSU calculators and it would seem that 850W is a good choice if I decide to get a second video card at a later date. However, I am concerned about the 80 PLUS certification. Should I go for Silver or Gold? It seems that the Gold version is a little unstable.

10 MEMORY: I have two choices:

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBRL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-231-...

The first one has better reviews and the second one says: “Designed for Intel P67 motherboard” (which I assume also means z68 boards).
May 22, 2011 12:34:47 PM

In answer to your question of HDMI...

No you do not need HDMI on the motherboard, if you intend to use a discreet graphics card. You will want all the love going through your card. So really you could find a motherboard without any built in graphics.

On the other hand, from what I have read around Tom's Hardware here the only really compelling reason to get a z68 motherboard is if you will be doing a lot of video compression stuff. But that is not my forte so I would need to differ that to others with more knowledge of such things.
May 22, 2011 12:37:11 PM

You really don't need that much ram. 8Gb(2x4GB) should be more than enough.

Anymore would just be a waste.
!