I'm putting together a computer for me and an identical computer for someone else (though the second one may or may not be built until a few weeks later). I should note that I have never built a computer before, but I've read quite a bit about parts.
Approximate Purchase Date: Today or tomorrow for RAM (Newegg 15% off), have a $50 off code that expires the 20th (has to be used on two separate orders on Newegg), rest of stuff soon
Budget Range: ~$800-$1050 (for each)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Emulators (Dolphin meaning plenty of 100% CPU use), Photoshop, everything else (I like doing some of everything)
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I normally look at Newegg, Tiger Direct, and Amazon
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Does anyone know if Radeon 69xx GPUs still have the texture shimmering problem? I can't find anything on this. Does Nvidia still have problems with Bethesda games? It sounds to me like Nvidia has the least potential problems.
Overclocking: I doubt it
SLI or Crossfire: Also doubt it
Monitor Resolution: Will be getting 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 monitors eventually so I'm planning for that.
Additional Comments: I like things quiet, I like things to be of quality and last for plenty of years, and I'm not sure if upgrading more often is better than getting something better now.
- Additionally -
I will need wifi, bluetooth (for using multiple Wiimotes with Dolphin) (which comes with the p8p67 and hopefully will work), and I want to have room to someday add another HDD or two along with a blu-ray drive if needed and whatever else I might need. I also might need firewire for something specific (p8p67 also has this).
i5-2500 - Only two differences from the 'K' model: It is $10 cheaper and has locked multipliers.
GTX570 - Another option is the HD6950: 2GB models can be unlocked to HD6970.
RAM - With a Sandy-Bridge build, it is recommended to get as low voltage as you can. Get some good 1.5v G.Skill or Corsair, Mushkin and Kingston are fair too.
Samsung HD103SJ - Great.
Asus P8P67 - Yes, this was reviewed by one of the hardware forums as the best Sandy-Bridge motherboard available. I hear the Pro edition is amazing.
PSU - Seasonic are the very best for quality, reliability and effiency but make for it with an extreme price-tag. A good alternative is Corsair as their units are all manufactured by Seasonic. 650w is adequate so long as you're not planning to add a second video card for SLI.
There is another difference between the Intel® Core™ I5 2500 and the 2500k is that the 2500k has the improved graphic of the HD 3000 graphics. Also the Core I5 2500K doesn’t have support for VT-d and Intel Trusted Execution Technology. For a gamer both of these features don’t matter but in a business environment they can be important.
I thought about unlocking a 6950, but I don't think I could afford to replace it if something went wrong and I might not be able to reset the bios before RMA'ing it. I think there's multiple methods by now, but I'd rather be safe.
Does anyone know which version of the EVGA GTX 570 is cooler or quieter? There's the reference version and the newer HD version.
I think I will get that 6-8-6-24 1600 Ripjaws X which is 1.5v. It may be a bit overkill but better fast than sorry I hear it both ways that 1600 lower cas is preferable or not preferable to 1866 higher cas (though I know actual nanosecond time of latency is not as simple). Could that RAM run at 1866 with looser timings? Then again, that'd just be more heat and power and be harder on the memory controller.
In latency-timings, the lower the better for overclocking.
Unlocking the HD6950-2GB video card is covered by warranty.
I just google this and XFX said flashing the bios will void the warranty and AMD said using vBios (I'm guessing that's the original bios changing method) will void it as well. Have you found any newer statement that said otherwise?
Sorry to double post, but is there any way to tell which RAM is 1T/1N or 2T/2N?
Edit: I looked at the G.SKILL site and it seems the RAM I listed in my post is 2N. I'm guessing almost all RAM today is 2N? Most Google searches relating to command rate differences show different forum posts dating back to 2006, but only a few are relatively recent.
One other big thing I noticed on the G.SKILL page for that RAM is the disclaimer: "*G.Skill guarantees 2 Dimms dual channel operation would reach announced specification."
Does this mean that if I decided to add two more stick to have 8GB at some point, I'd probably have to loosen the timings or something?