First Build (Possible)

Hi, my name is Nick and I am 18 years old. I received news that my parents would be providing my with a nice chunk of cash to build a PC possibly. I am currently using a dumb Gateway NX52 or something and it sucks! I would like to build a computer with the possibility of playing games like Crysis 1 and 2, Metro 2033, Battlefield 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.. Stuff like that, I am trying to switch over from an Xbox 360 guy.

This will be my first computer to build and setup myself, and I have been researching things about computers for a few months now and i thoroughly enjoy it.. enough in fact that next spring i will be attending college for a program and hopefully get a degree dealing with computer network security. Enough about my life story and onto the good stuff!

I'm not exactly sure on how much I will be getting but I am sure it will be around $1,000-$1,700 (U.S)

Here are my current thoughts on a pretty solid build.

Too start off here is the case I am pretty adamant on getting:

The NZXT Phantom case which this model is a Newegg exclusive.

The Power Supply: KINGWIN Lazer Gold Series LZG-850 850W

The CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K

The Video Card: Nvidia GTX 570

The Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB

HDD: Seagate Barracuda St320005N1A1AS-RK 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s

Disk Drive: SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive

I am thinking about going to Micro Center and picking up the Processor this week because its on sale for $180.

If anyone has any suggestions in possible change up in parts feel free to speak up! I do plan to eventually overclock this processor to its full potential.. just not with a stock cooler, in the future maybe in 2 months I will buy a liquid cooler, probably a corsair H70. I'll probably order extra fans in the future and fix this up to be really well cooled. Also further down the line I'll eventually upgrade the video card to another 570 or sell the 570 and get a 580.

Thank you all for reading this and if you have any questions on anything to get a better idea of what I want, ask!
Oh, sorry if I kind of over did this whole thing lol.

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  1. Best answer
    Hi Nick,
    I must say you did a damn fine job formating this post. My post is gonna be sloppy :p

    Anway, you did an awesome job! You did your research!

    I have a few suggestions. One, Get G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Why you ask? Because it's in your budget :D
    Also, switch the PSU. Kingwin is ok, but you'd be better off with a top tier PSU, such as the XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V

    One last suggestion. A gtx 570 is fine, allowing you to upgrade down the road. But why not get something that will kick butt now AND then? Check out getting 2 HIS H695FN2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB and flashing them to 6970's. Huge performance, huge value.
    Next thing I will ask is what about an SSD? An SSD will improve boot times, and make games load up faster. I must say though, they are kind of expensive.

    Last thing. Get 2 Samsung Desktop Class Spinpoint F3 1 TB and put them in raid 0 for a cheaper, faster storage solution.
    That's all I got! Great job and have fun!
  2. Agree with striker! Change the psu. I prefer corsair so I'd opt for the 750HX or 850HX. I also agree on going for the 6950 2GB and flashing the 6970 bios onto it.

    I have the gigabyte mobo you have and if you want it for it's blackness then that's great but if you want to go with a fairly ugly color scheme but get 2 more SATA III ports and 30 bucks cheaper go with GIGABYTE GA-P67X-UD3-B3 .

    Finally, I'd suggest looking at picking up a small SSD 60GBish as your boot drive/programs. It makes your computer feel faster and saves on electricity (at least for me since now I just turn computer off when not using it instead of leaving it on all the time to avoid boot up).
  3. *high fives crewton*
    Nice suggestion on the motherboard. Also I forgot to mention CPU cooler.
    I would suggest something that is air cooled, but it's all up to you. Something like the Thermaltake Frio Overclocking-Ready Intel Core i7 (six-core ready) & i5 Compatible would be awesome. Just my 2 cents.
  4. Actually, that Kingwin Lazer Gold is an awesome power supply.

    Its a Superflower.
  5. BTW, the phantom is the best case I've ever had. Especially great for modders!
  6. What are your thoughts on the dual 6950's Buzz?
  7. Ok, First thing to address I think would be the video card, I don't know much about video cards right now. Could I get a bit of help in explaining what the difference between the GTX 570 I have posted above and the HIS 6950?
  8. The GTX 570 is an impressive Nvidia card, designed to handle the toughest games with ease. The 6950 is a lower priced competitor, albeit weaker but just as fierce.

    The GTX 570 is a better single card, but it's also expensive. The 6950 is a good card, but they are total beasts when it comes to price vs performance. If you want a super good system that will max most games for ~3 years or more. With the gtx 570, it wont be as good upfront, but you can add another one in a few years to squeeze a bunch more performance out without doing a total upgrade.
    I personally suggest the 6950's, as in 3 years or more you will most likely need a new CPU to max games anyway.

    It's your call man.

    Tom's monthly article is also a good thing to read on video cards. Basically we are saying that if you are going to spend 300 dollars on a graphics card get the best one for 300 dollars. The 6950 2GB has the advantage over the 570 in that it's 30 dollars cheaper but comes with the ability to turn the card into a 6970 2GB by flashing the 6970 bios onto the card. Thus you turn that 300 dollar card into a 350 dollar card. The 6950 2GB also scales really well when you crossfire them as shown here,2865-10.html
  10. I see now what you are both talking about! I think i'll end up going with the 6950 until I can work up a big wad of dough for a gtx 580 or Crossfire 6950s. Thank you all for the real fast replies!
    I think I'd also go with the 8 gigs of RAM because It's only about 40 or 50 more for twice the RAM!

    Now onto the second thing, The Hard Drive.. The hard drive I have posted that is 6.0 Gb/s and the one you have posted is 3 GB/s and 32Mb of cache.. I am not sure what putting hard drives in RAID 0 does but wouldn't it just end up being 6 GB/S or do I need to do some more reading? =)
  11. I will throw my 2 cents in here about the mobo.

    Using HDD you will not come even close to saturating SATA II 3 GB/s even in RAID 0. However, I would recommend having at least 2 SATA III 6 GB/s connections simply because SSDs are becoming faster and more popular. If you put 2 SSDs in RAID 0 (not saying you will do that now but maybe someday as an upgrade) you will be saturating a SATA II connection.
  12. Like he said above. 6Gb/s HDD is a complete waste of money and merely a ploy by hard drive companies to charge you 20-30% more for something that won't increase performance. Now if it were a SSD then yes there is gains in going with a 6Gb/s one since it can use that extra speed.
  13. I dont think I have anthing else to add here. Everything's been covered.
    Take up the suggestions from striker.
    The 69X0 will definitely be a better choice imo.
    This will be an awesome build 'm sure. Good Luck.
  14. Was thinking, Raid 0 provides faster reading if I'm right, but more at risk for data failure. Would getting one of the samsung HDDs and buying a 60gigish SSD be an even better option than going to raid 0? (besides the massive difference in memory amount)
  15. You can still have the HDD's, just don't put them in RAID 0. 2 Spinpoints are still faster/cheaper then that barracuda. About the SSD, SSD's are there to improve startup times/load times of games. If you put your OS on there, you will have room for only a couple games. So, it really depends on whether you think it's worth it.
  16. How are load times on an SSD? was thinking of this
    I was thinkin of putting wow on an SSD but wow is a HUGE space taker
  17. A quick googling showed me this article:,1913-5.html
    Seems to cover the SSD vs HDD pretty well, albeit it's in a mac pro.
    For $99, that's a smokin deal on that SSD. I would personally be hesitant, but I guess try and find some benchmarks and see how fast that particular SSD is.
    I personally can't justify an SSD for me, but that's because i would rather put the money into other parts.
  18. I will say i agree, I am not picky on load times of anything, just as long as its not 5 minutes lol. So i do agree on the spending money elsewhere, i think I will buy a different hdd but not put it in raid 0... Actually maybe put the money gained from cheaper hard drive to a better power supply maybe or more beefy
  19. That kingwin is gonna be just fine.. It's 80+ gold, as Buzz pointed out. I would stick with the power supply, as really nothing can get above 850w. What about a good monitor? Do you have a monitor already?
  20. Yep i got a 23' LCD monitor from acer. I think i got it back in feburary. Im thinkin about system cooling. Getting a big case now cjoices gor optimum cooling. The H70 is kond of ugly i think but i will search up more options tonight when i get home from school
  21. I would suggest something like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm as it's one of the highest reviewed coolers. It seems to be a fan favorite lol.
  22. infidus said:
    Yep i got a 23' LCD monitor from acer. I think i got it back in feburary. Im thinkin about system cooling. Getting a big case now cjoices gor optimum cooling. The H70 is kond of ugly i think but i will search up more options tonight when i get home from school

    Yeah, I would not bother with all in one type of CPU coolers, they have consistently not shown improvement over similarly priced air cooling solutions. I had one once, it was a Coolit unit that failed after 6 months. The installation alone was not worth the hassle, much less the $70 I spent on it.

    The Hyper 212+ mentioned is a good cooler at $40. I've seen it lower, that's the current newegg price. Also recommended are the Thermaltake Frio, and others found at

    I would grab 2 HD 6950 in a heartbeat if I had the cash. The HD 6950 is in my opinion the best bang for buck out there right now. It will be a great card for awhile, particularly with the 2 GB memory. Its a wise investment.
    I'll be putting at least one 6950 in my new build. And modding immediately. ;)
  23. The Ocz Vertex 3 is the fastest desktop drive around. It carries a bit of a premium though:

    I like the C300 SATAIII at a decent price, but I'd rather have a crucial M4 now. I think that 120GB is really the sweet spot right now as far as price:performance:real estate. The smaller drives are quite a bit slower, the larger drives are too much to invest in a boot drive. That's my two cents.
  24. Think I will go with the Hyper 212, You all have been a whole bunch of help! I will probably keep posting things on here as well as putting pictures up of recieved parts (And hopefully a finished product). Does anyone know if there are orange light up LED Fans that i can use? like 120mm fans because i think it'd go great with the orange trim of the case to have the inside be all glowy orange.
  25. Here's a page from Xoxide, one of the few places that lets you shop by color.

    You may have some difficulties with the fans. I can not find yellow led fans, but I have taken steps to alleviate some of those issues. My phantom will have yellow as part of its theme, without revealing too much. GL
  26. I think ill go with red LED fans.. I don't like the orange fan with white light, doesnt seem right.
  27. Alright one last question... I might be able to squeeze a GTX 580 in there, so what do you guys think of that vs the HiS 6950?
  28. A gtx 580 is currently not worth the cost. You would be much better off spending that $500 on 2 6950 2GB in Crossfire than a single 580. The 6950's when flashed will give a HUGE performance boost over the 580. Even at stock, they will outperform it by a ton.
  29. Alrighty I will do a few touch ups and see whats up, and I will post a List of the preliminary massive order from Newegg!

    (oh uh what do you expect settings wise to play on with what I'm thinkin about goin with, if its possible to just guess like that lol)
  30. Alrighty, you will notice I listened to you guys on A LOT of this stuff! here is my list (Sorry no fancy pictures this time =P )


    Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor 179.99

    GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 P67 ATX Intel Motherboard 174.99

    Tax 25.48

    Total 375.46


    NZXT Phantom PHAN-002OR Newegg Exclusive Black Finish w/Orange Trim Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case 139.99

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    HIS H695FN2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity 259.99 (if my family agrees i will get 2) 519.98

    KINGWIN Lazer Gold Series LZG-850 850W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular ... 154.99

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 94.99

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full 179.99

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel 39.99

    SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support - OEM

    Total 1261.91 (With 2x video cards)
    1001.92 (With 1x video cards)

    Grand Total 1637.37 (With 2x video cards)
    1337.38 (With 1x video cards(I will have a leet computer.. almost literally lol))

    2 things i see potentially wrong is the cooling pipes on the mobo might get in the way of the CPU cooler.
    Is that the right Windows I want, because I saw a builder windows 7 and I didn't know what that was.

    One last thing, this is to Striker410
    I would suggest something like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm as it's one of the highest reviewed coolers. It seems to be a fan favorite lol.
    when you said that, I was in my 4th class period.. and I LOL'D out loud and everything while we were supposed to watch a movie. It was good fun, Thank you for the laugh too.
  31. The build looks good! And I always like to make people laugh =p
  32. Whats the difference between the two the UD4 and the UD3?

    Nevermind.. got it lol thanks
  33. ya gigabyte decided to make like 5 different UD3 versions for some stupid reason only one of them is the good one and the rest I guess are for suckers.
  34. trying to be tricky i bet :P
  35. I 'd save a few bucks and get the OEM versions of my Operating Systems. I 'll leave it up to u on what to do with that money. :D

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM @ 100$

    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit OEM @ 180$

    Hope that helps. Good luck.
  36. Ahhh you are a student tap that student discount and get it for like 20.
  37. lol I'll see what i can do :)
  38. If you buy from newegg you just need to use your student email to verify that you are a student. Ah but you aren't going till next spring >.< try to get a .edu email address :P
  39. infidus said:
    lol I'll see what i can do :)

    Win 7 pro is the best for me, can do virtualization like XP mode but doesn't have all the extra crap that you may not need in ultimate.

    Got mine for $30.

    Yes, you'll need a valid .edu address. You didn't hear it from me, but perhaps a friend could assist you...
  40. Oh yeah- I'm jealous. Can't get most of my parts til the fall... :(
  41. Are you able to get windows 7 ultimate with student discount? and i do now have a edu email i can use
  42. Oo and another question, i dont necessarily like the look of the HiS video card. Is there any real difference between an HiS one and a Sapphire one?
  43. The reason to get the HIS is that it's a reference design. Reference design cards have the dual bios switch, which is very helpful in flashing the cards to a 6970. While I agree they don't really bring the sexy, it's all about the value. Plus, they'll be closed up in your case, you will only have to see them when you open it up ;)
  44. Oh yeah, good point! I went to Microcenter today and got the processor :D
  45. So it will be about 2 weeks before I can get the parts, so I can finish up school.

    I must admit im kind of nervous now about putting a computer together =\ but I have watched a lot of videos on how to do it.. I would say the worst part is getting the motherboard set in the case properly. Anoyone got any facts or stories to soothe the nerves:)?
  46. You'd be surprised how easy it is. I helped a buddy build his pc, and the hardest part was plugging all the cables in. The front panel was kinda tricky, but we got it worked out after he plugging it into a few jumpers lol! < read through that guide. It helps to understand how simple it is.
  47. Striker, you sir are amazing, as well as Buzznut and Crewton.. You three have helped me and convinced me to edit my build for the better. I would like to thank you three for the help you have given me! I will keep posting questions I have on this page until i have the completed project done, and hopefully I can keep getting your opinions on it.

    Which leads to another question! lol.

    I just found out (Yes it is a few weeks old i think) that the Z68 boards are out, do you guys think it'd be worth getting? I would be getting
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