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[New Build] - First timer looking for advice

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May 3, 2011 1:24:50 AM

Hi everyone, I've never built my own rig before and I was hoping to get some suggestions on what I've come up with so far.

Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully within the next month

Budget Range: Around $1000 after rebates (unless you truly believe I'll never see the money again)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: School (starting CS in the fall), gaming (Diablo 3, Crysis, COD), movies/tv shows/youtube,

Parts Not Required:

Ultra LSP 650 Pro
BFG GeForce GTX 260
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (Assuming I can use the discs Dell sent me from the computer I currently have and install it on my new computer)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect.ca is the only company I've ordered parts from before (the aforementioned PSU and GPU) and they've been great so far. If you recommend a different company, that's fine, just please explain why.

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: Since I've never built my own PC before, I suppose I do not have a preference. From what I've read so far though; Corsair for RAM; Asus for motherboard; AMD for budget CPU. If you recommend differently, please explain why. I'm just trying to learn as much as possible.

Overclocking: Yes (since I just read on here that it's easy and almost risk free lol)

SLI or Crossfire: Most likely not

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Side window in the case would be nice. Blue LED fans are neat as well. Nothing extremely fancy that would cause me to drop out of university to pay for my computer lol.


Here is what I have so far:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 Motherboard - AMD 890GX, AM3, DDR3, USB, RAID, ATX

Optical drive: Asus DRW-22B3S/BLK/G/AS 22x Internal CD/DVD Drive - DVD±R 22x, DVD+RW 8x, DVD-RW 6x, DVD±R DL 12x, DVD-RAM 12x, CD-R 48x, CD-RW 24x, E-IDE(PATA), 2MB, Black

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition AM3 CPU HDZ955FBGMBOX - 3.20GHz, Socket AM3, 6MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s) FSB, Retail, Processor with Fan

RAM: Corsair CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 XMS3 4GB DDR3 RAM - PC10666, 1333MHz, 4096MB X2

Case: Cooler Master RC-430-KWN1 Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case - ATX/Micro-ATX, USB, Audio, 120mm Blue LED Fan, Black

HDD: Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gbs

Monitor: Viewsonic VX2239wm 21.5" Widescreen LCD Monitor - 1080p, 1920x1080, 16:9, 2ms, 100000:1 Dynamic, VGA, HDMI

Thermal compound: C283-1147 ::Cooler Master Thermal Compound(0.5 lbs)

Total: $909.94 CAD (shipping and taxes included)

I'm under-budget here (which is nice, yay!) but I'm not opposed to spending another $100 to upgrade a part or two (EG: Add an SSD) if it will make the computer more "future proof". I'd like to have it last me at least 4 years with the exception of replacing my GPU.

Please let me know what you like, dislike, recommend etc. I'm a little nervous about doing this myself so hopefully you can put my mind at ease :) 

Thanks for your help!!

More about : build timer advice

May 3, 2011 1:34:44 AM

i5 2500K $206 + Free shipping: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD1527&v...

MSI P67A-G43 + Free shipping 120$ Before MIR: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12980BD2727&v...

G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 1600 $82 + Free shipping: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5211&v...

Asus 560 Ti DirectCu 235$ + 10$ MIR + Free shipping: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD2617&v...

Samsung F3 1TB $65 + Free shipping: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HAF 922 $80 + Free shipping: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC5964&v...

XFX 550w 80+ Brnze $60 + Free shipping: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180AC2961&v...

OCZ Vertes 2 $122: http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=13220DR9304&v...

Total: 975$

2500K vs 955
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=288

260 vs 5770
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/170?vs=172
As you can see, the 260 = 5770 pretty much.

560 Ti vs 5770
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/296?vs=330
May 3, 2011 1:37:07 AM

I'd recommend going for the sandy bridge platform http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=288 It is far superior to anything AMD has on the market now. However it will be about 90 more than your current motherboard/cpu combo.

edit: azn beat me :p  also you will need to pick up another copy of windows 7.
Related resources
May 3, 2011 2:34:19 AM

Thanks for being so fast in your reply! I have a few questions/concerns I'd like to raise if you don't mind.

1. Forgive me for being a bit of a n00b here but why did you change the entire build? I understand why the CPU/mobo was changed because the i5 > 955 but I'm confused about everything else. With your build, I still have to buy Windows and a monitor which would put me up to at least $1200 I would imagine.

2. Is my current PSU/GPU just garbage? I haven't played a lot of games lately but SC II runs great on max settings. I read the comparison between the one I have and the one you suggested so I get there is obviously a difference but surely they're both worth keeping around for another year. I've only had them for about 9 months.

3.What was wrong with the case? Was it too small? Poorly designed? I personally don't like the look of the HAF 922 because of the interior colour and red LED fans and that was one reason for the case I chose (it was black interior and blue LED fans + it was cheaper lol.)

4. I've never heard of Direct Canada before I would like to know if you've dealt with them personally or did you recommend them solely because of their low prices? Some of the products had 0 customer reviews on them and that seems to bother me for some reason. With Tiger Direct I was able to read hundreds of reviews (at least with the products I had selected) and that felt a little more reassuring when making my decision to buy something or not.

Sorry if it seems like I'm attacking you for changing everything on me lol. I assure you that wasn't my intention. I'm just trying to understand why you chose everything that you did as opposed to what I chose. Were your decisions based on performance, price or both?

Thanks again for your help!
May 3, 2011 2:43:54 AM

I have a 260 and a 560, 560 is way nice but if you are happy with your 260 more power to you :p 

After looking closer I still think your picks are fine other than the mobo/cpu and the HDD. Spending extra on 6GB/s speed on a HDD is a waste since it can't even produce speed fast enough to saturate a 3GB/s connection. So that is one "downgrade" you can do to save http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...


Also directcanada is a great place to get parts from so definitely go there for the cheaper items :) 
May 3, 2011 3:00:25 AM

1. Alright I'll modify it a bit.

2. Well if the 260 is working out for you, no need to change since your only playing SC2. The PSU, yes that is actually not a very good PSU. Ultra isn't exactly a Seasonic/Corsair/XFX type brand. Their PSUs aren't known for good efficiency. Granted they HAVE 1 that I can't remember the name of but is half decent. Usually I stay away from them.

3. You can stick with the case you chose, the 922 just has more room to work with and more airflow (WAY MORE). Here is a case you'd probably like.
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10370AC9501&v...
Has USB 3 ports and is a great case for cable management, air flow, looks and anything I didn't mention.

4. Direct Canada is a website a few members on the forums recommend. One specifically is Why_Me who is a prominent member who offers builds. I chose Direct personally because, yes it is cheaper. But also you have free ground shipping. Shipping can add up, in fact if you actually add up shipping on newegg, each item's shipping is like 10$. Your buying about 8 items, that's 80$ right their. Even more for the shipping for a power supply and case. (15-20$). So their is my reason for that.

So if you don't change your GPU, that's 235 cut off the $975 total giving you, $640 i believe. That should leave you plenty of room to get a monitor and OS.

May 3, 2011 3:00:29 AM

@crewton
I get the 560 is quite nice lol, I'm just trying to think from a financial perspective since I just bought the 260 less than a year ago.

Thanks for the first hand approval of DC. I'll give them a try - their prices are quite a bit lower on some parts (eg the mobo AznShinobi recommended - $70 difference :o )
May 3, 2011 3:02:10 AM

Haha no problem. Yeah well if the 260 is working out for you, no reason to upgrade now. You can always upgrade later when more money flows in.
May 3, 2011 3:11:46 AM

Thanks for the further explanation on the PSU/GPU. The Antec case looks quite nice; definite winner there.

It's been a while since I felt like a n00b so I appreciate the both of you being kind and patient with me haha. Hopefully I'll learn quite a bit more if I stick around =)
!