A few questions before I commit to buy

Hi, this is my first post on Tom's Hardware, though I've been an avid forum reader for months.

Approximate Purchase Date: May 2011

Budget Range: 1500 Max

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, School things (word processing, etc)

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, PSU (Antec 750 W), HDD

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I'm not picky on brands nor AMD vs Intel

Overclocking: Don't know how, so probably not

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (gtx 560 Ti)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'm going to be limited by space once I get to college, thus I chose an mATX platform so that I could grab a smaller case like the A30 Armor from ThermalTake. I also require dual graphics cards so keep that in mind when reccomending a motherboard please.

Case: A30 Armor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133187

Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Gene - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131658
I'm looking for a comparable AMD product for the motherboard as I'm going to be using SLi in the build so the mATX and dual Pcie slots is very important

CPU: Intel i7 960 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115224
Again if there's anything comparable on the AMD side I'm open to suggestion; however, I don't know how to overclock so my choice is finding a processor with nice specs and high clock speed. :)

Memory: 4gb of Corsair Vengeance though it will be bumped up to 8gb ASAP

Graphics: Gigabyte 560 Ti SOC in SLi - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125369&cm_re=gigabyte_gtx_560_ti-_-14-125-369-_-Product
Again not good at OCing so I buy my gfx cards pre OC'd from factory, sorry I'm a computer loser *sad face*

CPU cooler: ThermalTake Frio -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106150

Hard drive is my 750 gb WD 7200 RPM with Windows 7 Ultimate

and an Antec 750W PSU (unless I need a bigger one for SLi).


Sorry if the text is a little jumbled or unclear. Thanks in advance for your posts and advice.


-Jeff
33 answers Last reply
More about questions commit
  1. Hello jholmes514;

    Have you set a budget for this project?
    If you fill out the form in*How To Ask For New Build Advice* you'll answer all the standard questions that help us get started.
  2. CPU Benchmark comparisons @ Anandtech
    You have the long list of all CPUs and you can choose head-to-head comparisons between two CPUs in a bunch of different benchmark tests.
    AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE - 3.3GHz vs Intel Core i7 950 - 3.06GHz i7 950 used since the 960 is not yet been added.
  3. Thanks WR2.

    The link for those CPU comparisons were awesome, I've been looking for something like that for about a month.

    -Jeff
  4. Yeah;
    We're going to talk you into one of the new SandyBridge CPUs and a mATX 1155 motherboard I think.
  5. jholmes514 said:
    Hi, this is my first post on Tom's Hardware, though I've been an avid forum reader for months.

    Approximate Purchase Date: May 2011

    Budget Range: 1500 Max

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, School things (word processing, etc)

    Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, PSU (Antec 750 W), HDD

    Country of Origin: USA

    Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I'm not picky on brands nor AMD vs Intel

    Overclocking: Don't know how, so probably not

    SLI or Crossfire: Yes (gtx 560 Ti)

    Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

    Additional Comments: I'm going to be limited by space once I get to college, thus I chose an mATX platform so that I could grab a smaller case like the A30 Armor from ThermalTake. I also require dual graphics cards so keep that in mind when reccomending a motherboard please.

    Case: A30 Armor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133187

    Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Gene - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131658
    I'm looking for a comparable AMD product for the motherboard as I'm going to be using SLi in the build so the mATX and dual Pcie slots is very important

    CPU: Intel i7 960 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115224
    Again if there's anything comparable on the AMD side I'm open to suggestion; however, I don't know how to overclock so my choice is finding a processor with nice specs and high clock speed. :)

    Memory: 4gb of Corsair Vengeance though it will be bumped up to 8gb ASAP

    Graphics: Gigabyte 560 Ti SOC in SLi - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125369&cm_re=gigabyte_gtx_560_ti-_-14-125-369-_-Product
    Again not good at OCing so I buy my gfx cards pre OC'd from factory, sorry I'm a computer loser *sad face*

    CPU cooler: ThermalTake Frio -
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106150

    Hard drive is my 750 gb WD 7200 RPM with Windows 7 Ultimate

    and an Antec 750W PSU (unless I need a bigger one for SLi).


    Sorry if the text is a little jumbled or unclear. Thanks in advance for your posts and advice.


    -Jeff


    Why SLI? why not a single slot board (cheaper) and a bigger GPU 570 perhaps? also fewer compatability issues. So a dual slot board with a second much smaller card for physx? Will run cooler and therefore quieter?

    Also why I7-9xx why not I5/I7-2xxxK should be cheaper (2500K). The mobo and RAM you've got aren't a great combo from the point of view of the mobo being triple channel and the initial amount of RAM being 4GB, should be 6GB and with 6 you'll be fine for a good long while. Again SB processors would let you do 4 and then 8. OC on SB is laughably easy, increase the multipler and thats it, basically especially with a decent cooler.
  6. WR2 said:
    Yeah;
    We're going to talk you into one of the new SandyBridge CPUs and a mATX 1155 motherboard I think.


    +1
    already started...
  7. What model is that Antec 750W PSU?
    Your budget is going to get you a lot. I think we can even squeeze in a nice SSD.
  8. That Frio OCR CPU cooler is whispering to me you're ready to try some CPU overclocking too.
  9. I forgot what I bought but the PSU is actually a Cooler Master 750W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171053
  10. Here is a review of the Coolermaster GX-750 750W
    We can work with this but we might have taken you in a different direction if we'd have had a chance. Mostly to get a bit higher rated PSU and some thing with modular cables for the small case.
  11. Feel free to recommend a different PSU, I'm open to suggestion from you guys, that's why I came to you.
  12. Just as a side question since it's been brought up, would I actually be better with a larger card (GTX 570/580/6970) rather than Dual (560s or 6950s)?
  13. I'd say 570, my 470 is runnig 2048*1152 BF2BC maxed out quite happily and not 100% utilisation at 60fps, and it allows for SLI in the future should cad prices drop.

    Also look at the crysis 2 preview on toms, the sli setups don't work as the profiles are not set up, no such issue with single cards.
  14. @13thmonkey

    Good point. I know it's a stupid question but just how bad are biostar boards?

    -Jeff
  15. Here's about where I'm at. Using your HDD and PSU:

    ASUS SATA 24X DVD Burner
    Thermaltake ARMOR A30 ATX Mini Tower Case
    GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N560SO-1GI-950 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 Video Card
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM
    Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal SSD by May this could change to an OCZ Vertex 3 or other SF 2xxx SSD.
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 1155 Quad-Core CPU
    Thermaltake Frio Overclocking-Ready CPU cooler
    ~ $892 before any taxes or shipping. Plus $150 for the ASUS P8P67-M PRO
    Or about $1042

    Already have a copy of Windows 7 you can use?

    Here is an alternate PSU I'm going to list: XFX XXX 650W 80+ BRONZE Modular Power Supply $90 & $30 rebate
    Is that CM 750W PSU in use currently? Or still boxed up and possible an easy resale locally?
  16. WR2 said:
    Here's about where I'm at. Using your HDD and PSU:

    ASUS SATA 24X DVD Burner
    Thermaltake ARMOR A30 ATX Mini Tower Case
    GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N560SO-1GI-950 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 Video Card
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM
    Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal SSD by May this could change to an OCZ Vertex 3 or other SF 2xxx SSD.
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 1155 Quad-Core CPU
    Thermaltake Frio Overclocking-Ready CPU cooler
    ~ $892 before any taxes or shipping. Plus $150 for the ASUS P8P67-M PRO
    Or about $1042

    Already have a copy of Windows 7 you can use?

    Here is an alternate PSU I'm going to list: XFX XXX 650W 80+ BRONZE Modular Power Supply $90 & $30 rebate
    Is that CM 750W PSU in use currently? Or still boxed up and possible an easy resale locally?


    The 750w is in use currently, and yes I'm on Home Premium 64bit. I'm starting to drool at the idea of owning a Sandy. I took a minute to look at benchmarks and was blown away.
  17. We can certainly squeeze a GTX 570 into the budget. Will need to bump the PSU above 650W for two. Twin GTX 560 Ti's can usually outperform a GTX 580.

    Lets talk about your current HDD that you'd like to move over. What's the make and model?
  18. You probably already noticed the 8GB of RAM (unless you were too busy drooling over the CPU).
  19. It's a WD 7200 Caviar Black I believe it's about a year and a half old so I'm not exactly positive I bought it with a combo. And yes I noticed the 8gb of RAM ;-) had to wipe some drool away first though lol
  20. jholmes514 said:
    @13thmonkey

    Good point. I know it's a stupid question but just how bad are biostar boards?

    -Jeff

    I'll leave you in the capable hands of WR2
  21. Biostar is OK. But like most brands of hardware you'll have to talk specific models. Even the top tier of MB MFGRs has been known to crank out an occasional bad motherboard.
    And even a good MB model can struggle with certain combinations of hardware.
  22. The GTX 570 at 10.5" long is a bit of a challenge for that A30 case.
    The 9" GTX 560 Ti would slip right in without a problem.
    Also I'm still having trouble confirming that the Frio OCR will fit. The case is tall enough but it's hard finding exact data on how much space is available between the MB socket and the top mounted 230mm fan. The Frio is taller (@ 165 mm or 5.3") than any of the other CPU coolers mentioned as fitting in that case.
  23. If you haven't already you probably want to read the A30 owners notes and remarks the Feedback section on the NewEgg page.
  24. WR2 said:
    Biostar is OK. But like most brands of hardware you'll have to talk specific models. Even the top tier of MB MFGRs has been known to crank out an occasional bad motherboard.
    And even a good MB model can struggle with certain combinations of hardware.


    OK WR2 So here's what I got

    I5 2600K
    Asus P8P67-M PRO P67 B3 Rev (found it at a different retailer other than Newegg for the same price and in stock :))
    8GB of G.Skill Ripjaws X
    2x GTX 560 Ti (going to pick those up next week when I get paid), until then I'll be stuck with my 5770 (blah)
    750 GB HDD,
    Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)(also a project for next week)
    XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W
    ThermalTake Frio
    ThermalTake A30 Armor
  25. The case itself is 10.5" tall, I'm guessing to be safe take off 2.5" for the fan and add an inch from socket to connector and that SHOULD leave about an inch to work with.
  26. That's about how I looked at it. Most of the good gaming cases are ~8.5" wide and the Frio fits. Like Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 is 8.6" wide (vertical case/horizontal fan).
  27. Who has the Asus P8P67-M PRO in stock? Will have to keep that in my pocket if anyone else want to shop this weekend.

    How do you feel about that 750W XFX PSU? Want to see a review?
  28. Thank you and everyone else that posted for the help. This is actually my first Intel build, I've always done AMD since Socket 754. I'm very, very interested to watch this Sandy Bridge blow my X555 BE out of the water.
  29. XFX XPS Black Edition 750W Power Supply
    That part that should interest you the most (apart for it's performance and overall rating) is the modular cable arrangement.
  30. There are some new (really FAST) SSDs that are entering the market now or about to enter soon.
    Since you're not buying one right away... keep checking back before you pull the trigger.
    New Intel SSD 510, OCZ Vertex 3 series take solid-state-drive performance to next level


    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.
  31. WR2 said:
    There are some new (really FAST) SSDs that are entering the market now or about to enter soon.
    Since you're not buying one right away... keep checking back before you pull the trigger.
    New Intel SSD 510, OCZ Vertex 3 series take solid-state-drive performance to next level


    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.


    Will do.

    Don't worry, if it doesn't boot it's probably the same reason it always is: I plugged those darn power cables in wrong :( 6 builds.. every single one, backwards lol.
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