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First Time Builder - $1200 Budget Please help!

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March 16, 2011 11:33:07 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible I’ve waited long enough (tonight!)

Budget Range: $1200 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: CS5 Master Suite (Photo and Web Editing), AutoCad 2011, Gaming (would like to be able to game (Diablo 3) no FPS.)

Parts Not Required: Boot Drive, CPU, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com (First choice), Tigerdirect.com, Amazon.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Name Brands

Overclocking: Yes (once I read up on it more)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 X 2

Additional Comments:
Please comment and steer me in the right direction. Below is my first attempt at a build after reading these forums.

Motherboard:MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($179.99) Only good motherboard that seems to be in stock.

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz 8MB L3 Cache Quad-Core Processor (Already have)

CPU Cooler: Please recommend one!

Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM ($11.99)

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100312SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity ($276.99) Unsure if this would be a good card for both gaming cad and CS5. Please recommend.

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM ($99.99) After promo code. Should i get another 2X4GB stick set?

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($54.95) I like the case because it is simple and smaller but I don't know much about cases. Will it fit all my components with room for expansion?

Power Supply:CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply ($139.99) (In case I want to SLI or Crossfire in the future) I may be overdoing it please recommend.

Boot Drive: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2K5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Already Have)

Secondary HD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA Internal Hard Drive ($65)

Disk Drive: LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM ($89.99)

Total thus far: $1018.88

Missing from my build: CPU Cooler

Thank you all for your comments and help.

More about : time builder 1200 budget

March 17, 2011 12:00:46 AM

Nice find on the RAM promo code. You can always add more RAM later. When you can do that I always suggest waiting to see how happy you are with the 8GB. I think you'll be very happy.

That Antec 300 is bit larger than it seems. It will hold all your hardware including a 2nd HD 6950 video card.

Even if you want to CFX with a 2nd HD 6950 a 750W PSU would handle all your hardware including some overclocking and still have room for upgrades.
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March 17, 2011 12:01:05 AM

Max length on the video card that will fit the case is 11 inches. The vidoe card you selected is 10.75 inches. It will fit! You may have to sacrifice one of your hard drive bays, but there are a bunch, so it should not matter.

Do not buy more than 8 GB of RAM - you could acutally get away with 4 GB.

Skip the thermal compound and just get the heat sink WWR2 recommends. It has its own thermal interface material included.

Did you get the SSD that has the 3.5 to 2.5 inch adapter? If you did not, you will need to buy one. A motherboard speaker would not be a bad idea either.
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March 17, 2011 12:07:10 AM

WR2 said:
Nice find on the RAM promo code. You can always add more RAM later. When you can do that I always suggest waiting to see how happy you are with the 8GB. I think you'll be very happy.

That Antec 300 is bit larger than it seems. It will hold all your hardware including a 2nd HD 6950 video card.

Even if you want to CFX with a 2nd HD 6950 a 750W PSU would handle all your hardware including some overclocking and still have room for upgrades.


Ok great! Unfortunately I already got the i7 2600k but i got $15 off. What do you think of this XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply PSU.
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March 17, 2011 12:09:36 AM

eloric said:
Max length on the video card that will fit the case is 11 inches. The vidoe card you selected is 10.75 inches. It will fit! You may have to sacrifice one of your hard drive bays, but there are a bunch, so it should not matter.

Do not buy more than 8 GB of RAM - you could acutally get away with 4 GB.

Skip the thermal compound and just get the heat sink WWR2 recommends. It has its own thermal interface material included.

Did you get the SSD that has the 3.5 to 2.5 inch adapter? If you did not, you will need to buy one. A motherboard speaker would not be a bad idea either.


Thank you for the advice. I will skip the thermal compound. The SSD is an Internal 2.5 inch drive with 3.5-inch adapter included. Does that mean I am in the clear? Also do you think this motherboard will be sufficient for the future or should I try and get a different one, perhaps that includes a motherboard speaker?
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March 17, 2011 12:14:40 AM

We do like that PSU - but not quite so much it's price is well above the $100 mark we saw it on sale at a few days ago.

Other options would be the newer model Corsairs: 750TX V2 or 850TX V2 The price after rebate is quite close, but one has free shipping.
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March 17, 2011 12:18:06 AM

Your good to go with your SSD and it's 3.5 adapter.
The MSI motherboard has good upgrade potential for a reasonably long life span.
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March 17, 2011 12:27:52 AM

Thank you for all of your help. Im going to post my final build in a moment. I am under budget if there is anything else I may need please let me know. Also did I go with a good choice of video card for my needs or are there other options?
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March 17, 2011 12:37:53 AM

I don't know that AutoCad or CS5 Master Suite have any GPU preferences - ATI or Nvidia.
Have you check the Adobe forums to see what other CS5 Master Suite users are recommending?
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March 17, 2011 12:38:00 AM

WR2 said:
Your good to go with your SSD and it's 3.5 adapter.
The MSI motherboard has good upgrade potential for a reasonably long life span.


Great! i will go with the 850TX V2! Reposting my final build below. I have a little budget left over is their anything else you can recommend? Also is this the best graphics card in my budget for my needs?

Motherboard:MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($179.99)

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz 8MB L3 Cache Quad-Core Processor (Already have)

CPU Cooler: 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 ($29.99)

Video Card:SAPPHIRE 100312SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity ($276.99) Unsure if this would be a good card for both gaming cad and CS5. Please recommend.

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM ($99.99) After promo code.

Case:Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($54.95)

Power Supply:CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply ($139.99)

Boot Drive: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2K5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Already Have)

Secondary HD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA Internal Hard Drive ($65)

Disk Drive: LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM ($89.99)

Total thus far: $936.89

Thank you for all of your posts thus far.
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March 17, 2011 12:44:20 AM

eloric said:
Max length on the video card that will fit the case is 11 inches. The vidoe card you selected is 10.75 inches. It will fit! You may have to sacrifice one of your hard drive bays, but there are a bunch, so it should not matter.

Do not buy more than 8 GB of RAM - you could acutally get away with 4 GB.

Skip the thermal compound and just get the heat sink WWR2 recommends. It has its own thermal interface material included.

Did you get the SSD that has the 3.5 to 2.5 inch adapter? If you did not, you will need to buy one. A motherboard speaker would not be a bad idea either.


Almost forgot:

Motherboard speaker: APEVIA 2" Case speaker cable for computer cases that connects to the motherboard Model CVTCSPK ($4.99)

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March 17, 2011 1:04:55 AM

Unless you want to look at other case options I can't think of anything else you need to get now that you can't add later.

AutoDesk Graphics Hardware List is a truly useless tool. It doesn't look as if it's been updated in years.

You probably want to find a AutoCad community website and see what other users recommend for video cards.
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March 17, 2011 1:16:45 AM

WR2 said:
Unless you want to look at other case options I can't think of anything else you need to get now that you can't add later.

AutoDesk Graphics Hardware List is a truly useless tool. It doesn't look as if it's been updated in years.

You probably want to find a AutoCad community website and see what other users recommend for video cards.


Also if you can recommend some other cases. I dont like all the lights just plain old cases with room to grow.

Thanks
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March 17, 2011 1:47:15 AM

I think the HD 6950 will do fine. I wish it was easier to know that for certain.
A lot of the issue would be with the driver support and not the hardware. And that's why I tend to send people off to the specialized forums if they want to be certain.

CM CM690 II Advanced Mid Tower Case $90 is well thought of and you can switch off the front LED light.
Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Case Review

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March 17, 2011 2:00:18 AM

I'm going to go with the CM CM690 II Advanced Mid Tower Case. If the 6950 is not up to the task I can always Xfire in another or flash the bios to a 6970
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March 17, 2011 2:01:09 AM

WR2 said:
I think the HD 6950 will do fine. I wish it was easier to know that for certain.
A lot of the issue would be with the driver support and not the hardware. And that's why I tend to send people off to the specialized forums if they want to be certain.

CM CM690 II Advanced Mid Tower Case $90 is well thought of and you can switch off the front LED light.
Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Case Review


Thanks again for all of your help i really appreciate it
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March 17, 2011 2:07:57 AM

Be sure to let us know how things work out.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC

Look over the forum's "System won't boot" checklist to see some of the common build errors and how to avoid them.

-> The usual advice; read the manual / install guide; look at the parts, read the manual again and if everything makes sense and looks right - then go ahead with the install.

While you're waiting you can download the online version of the motherboard manual and start getting familiar with it. Same for the other parts you want to order if they have install guides or manuals available.
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