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First Build - Advice/Suggestions?

Last response: in Systems
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May 11, 2011 5:07:26 PM

This will be my first build, so it's quite possible that I've made some fairly apparent mistakes. That said, if anyone would look it over and offer any suggestions, that would be great. I don't really have my heart set on any of the components, so if anyone knows of a comparable or better alternative for about the same price, I am perfectly willing to switch. Also, if anyone knows of cheaper places to buy them, that would be great.

My main concerns are the power and cooling systems, as I have no real experience with either. Do I have enough of each?

I am also unsure of what cables I need. I believe that I have the correct SATA ones, but I don't really know what I need for the power.

Silly as it sounds, will the case I have work well with everything else?

My main goal for this build is to have a relatively powerful system with lots of room for expansion and upgrades. At some point in the future, I may set up a crossfire, get more RAM, etc. In essence, I want to future-proof it to some degree. If possible, I would also like to use it as a hackintosh, but that's a relatively low priority. My budget at this point is ~$1000.

Anyway, here's what I have so far:

Motherboard
$129.99
GIGABYTE GA-H67A-UD3H-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128475

CPU
$192.07
Intel Core i5-2400 Quad Core
http://stores.tomshardware.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=849523447/st=pop/sv=title

Case
$44.99
Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023

Power Supply
$49.99
Rosewill RV2-600 600 W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182039


NOTE: I currently have the case/power supply as a combo deal on newegg. The cost of them together is $84.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.639126


Graphics Card
$159.99
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 XTREME
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graphics-100282XTREME/dp/tech-data/B004W75ATI/ref=de_a_smtd


NOTE: I know that this card was $140 on newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102932 but it is currently out of stock. I'll monitor it in case it comes back.


RAM
$39.95
Crucial 4GB DDR3 (2 x 2GB)
http://stores.tomshardware.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=81616189/st=pop/sv=title

HDD
$69.99
WD Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750 GB
http://stores.tomshardware.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=848408972/st=pop/sv=title

Cooling
$29.51
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler
http://stores.tomshardware.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=734611199/st=pop/sv=title

Monitor
$179.99
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236052

SATA cable
$4.49
Link Depot 19.69" SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812189200

NOTE: Assuming that this would work with my HDD, is it better to get longer or shorted cables?

I already have a keyboard, mouse, DVD drive, and OS.

That's what I have so far. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
May 11, 2011 5:27:01 PM

Sorry, I just found the style guide. I looked in the homebuilt subforum, but didn't check the systems forum. Anyway, sorry again and here comes the template information.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-4 weeks (depends on summer job availability)

Budget Range: ~$1000 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, internet, office work, movies, graphics/video, hackintosh

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't care, as long as reputable and inexpensive

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel CPU, cool-looking case preferred :D 

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: future probable

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 +

Additional Comments: Quiet and energy-efficient would be nice, but come after price in priority
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May 11, 2011 6:53:02 PM

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM $22.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $59.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $59.99

GIGABYTE GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $249.99

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE $89.99

Crucial Ballistix sport 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $63.99

GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX $129.99

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 $224.99

OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $124.99

Subtotal: $1,026.91


this is a quite machine here and will handle any game you throw at it
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May 11, 2011 10:38:02 PM

Thanks for the response! I don't want to take all of the stuff in your build, but there is quite a bit that I like. I'll probably go with your case, CPU, and RAM. I like the idea of the SSD, but that will have to wait for another time. Your build didn't include a monitor, which raises the price significantly.

I'm thinking of changing my mobo to the one found here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157229. Any thoughts or suggestions?

I still wonder about the cooling and power supply. Is there a compelling reason to go with the more expensive options you suggested rather that my original choices? Also, your build doesn't include a CPU fan. Is this unnecessary?

What are some other graphics cards with similar quality/cost to yours? I'm still looking for hackintosh compatibility.

While I appreciate your response, I would also like one more tailored to my questions, build, and worries. I don't intend to copy anyone's build or ideas without reason, so I would appreciate it if you could elaborate as to why I should replace my components with yours. I don't mean this in a snobby way, but I am new to this and want to understand why I should make these decisions.

Thanks again!
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May 11, 2011 11:19:59 PM

Well tigerdirect has the 5850 on sale with a promo code for $139 you can get it off their facebook page. Rosewill sells janky PSU's and that is why you should buy a quality brand. An aftermarket HSF is only needed if you plan to overclock. You dont need a sata cable your M/B will come with them.

Here is a good Hard drive for you:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-Spinpoint-F3-1TB-Seri...
It can also be found on newegg but it is a couple dollars more there.

The Asrock board is a better choice than the gigabyte in the original post since it will support dual x8 pci-e slots and paired with the i5 2500k you will be able to overclock.
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Best solution

May 11, 2011 11:58:40 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 21.5" 1080p, LED backlight + speakers. I love asus monitors =D You can opt to go bigger, but considering the resolution is the same you may be better off just buying another monitor or two for eyefinity. They don't have the same level of brights as a samsung or LG, but the difference is slight and to be frank I prefer them that way. As always with monitors, it's usually the settings that make the biggest difference.

if you're feeling frisky there's a fantastic deal on the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it's open box, but for $215 who the hell cares? :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $225

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $130

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69 for 8gigs. If you're using windows 7 home basic you're limited to 8 gigs anyway. If you own home premium you can have 16gigs (and up with other useless versions of windows).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89, $60 with rebate. Has more connections than you can shake a stick at (though I'm not sure why you'd want to ever shake a stick at a PSU connection, weirdo).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $65. Buy it. In fact, buy 100 of them. Seagate bought Samsung's HDD business and these puppies won't be made by samsung anymore. Every nerd on the planet quietly shed a tear when they heard the news. So heed my warning and buy it. You won't regret it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $155 with rebate. Great videocard for 1080p and if you need more juice just add a second and you've seriously increased the performance of your rig for relatively small price.

That's $919 with rebates and that's with the 27" open box monitor. I purposely didn't pick a case as that's more of a personal thing. Pick something with some room, good air flow and most importantly a box you wouldn't mind staring at for the next few years.

As for upgrades:

You can add another 8 gigs of ram for 16 gigs. The speed of the ram shouldn't really matter, especially since you own an unlocked 2500K and a P67 board. The motherboard handles crossfire so you can double your graphical performance by adding a second 6850 and your power supply has more than enough to handle 2 video cards (not that they draw a lot of power anyway). You can overclock the 2500K to near 5ghz on air with a decent cooler. Again, if you want to overclock later on then just grab an aftermarket HSF. 6GB/s SATA allows you to throw in an SSD in the future if you feel it's necessary. The Mobo also has usb 3.0 if you need it.
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May 14, 2011 4:25:31 PM

Sorry for the slow response. Thanks a lot for the advice! I like the hard drive that both of you suggested. I think I'll use the mobo and CPU pevlov suggested.

I think that I'll go with this graphics card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102921&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Video+Cards-_-Sapphire+Tech-_-14102921 instead of the others. It's probably more than I need, but it should hold up for a few years, especially if I flash the BIOS to make it a 6970 and put it in crossfire.

Unfortunately the power supply pevlov suggested has gone up to $80 with rebate. This one is $36 after rebate, how does it look? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817159107 I don't know much about PSUs, what are the best brands and which ones should I avoid?

I'm still deciding on which monitor I should get. I think I need to run to a store and look at the different sizes to get a better sense of what I like.
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May 14, 2011 5:54:08 PM

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1608/1/

The one you linked is not a reference 6950 and therefore won't flash to a 6970. Only the 2GB reference designs of the 6950 will actually flash.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These 2 will, though.

That is not a good power supply that you linked.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $55 after rebate

Generally speaking you want 80+ bronze power supplies. They not only put out more power but do so accurately across the entire spectrum. In the end, a quality PSU can actually save you money whereas a crappy one will just nip you in the butt.

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...
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May 14, 2011 6:40:06 PM

Thanks for the advice on the power supplies! I'll be sure to check those out.

Sorry for the confusion about the 6950/6970. I actually tried to edit the message to include

~edit~ I realize that to flash the 6970 BIOS to the 6950, I'd have to get this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102914 (2 GB version) instead. I'm still mulling it over. Thoughts?

but apparently it didn't go through. I apologize for not verifying the change. Thanks for the solid advice in any case!
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May 14, 2011 6:54:56 PM

That's a great videocard and has ample power for multiple screens.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6970-rade...

If performance for $$ is what you're after, though, you may want to consider a 6850 crossfire build. This way you can save quite a bit of cash when buying just a single 6850 and adding a second if you feel you need more performance.

Considering you can get a 6850 for $155 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it essentially puts you into the 6950 2GB or 6970 territory when buying 2 of them (roughly). A single 6850 has great performance at 1080p, but crossfired they're truly incredible.

How much are you looking to spend on the GPU? How much graphical performance do you need? If you cut back and get a single 6850 you can opt to buy a good monitor or even a better PSU/case. 2 6850s can be powered by a 650W bronze power supply.

EDIT: even a 5850, which draws a bit more power is fantastic. it's a more powerful GPU and crossfires nearly as well. Newegg doesn't have them for $140 anymore, but you can probably still find them online for ~ $150.
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May 14, 2011 8:10:15 PM

Quote:
How much are you looking to spend on the GPU?


I'm not really looking at a price limit for any particular component, I just want to keep the total cost at <= $1000

Quote:
How much graphical performance do you need? If you cut back and get a single 6850 you can opt to buy a good monitor or even a better PSU/case. 2 6850s can be powered by a 650W bronze power supply.


I suppose you're right that the 6950/70 may be somewhat more than I need, and I would definitely appreciate the lower cost and added leeway for other components. I wonder, would it be possible to put together 3 6850s if I got a different mobo? I believe that it is supported, but I'm not sure. I realize that this would be overkill for now, but it would provide a nice way to upgrade in the future without getting rid of the cards I have.

All right, speculative triple-crossfire thoughts aside, you've convinced me to go for the 6850 instead. I'm not really a hardcore gamer, and the one card with the possibility of a future upgrade should be sufficient for me. With that in mind, should I go with one of the other 6850s on newegg that has a higher feedback rating? What is the difference between the 16 or so 6850s on there anyway? Some manufacturers even have 4 or more.

That said, what upgrades do you suggest on the other components?
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May 15, 2011 4:05:20 AM

The components i listed would be the rig I would build right now with $1000 of my own money. The only component you'd have to change would be the PSU because it's now a bit more expensive. I'd go with the antec I linked above.

A 6850 will be more than sufficient and the only difference between the different manufacturers tend to be the warranty, the cooling solution, the clock (sometimes they clock theirs a bit higher but you can easily reach those speeds by overclocking it yourself) and finally the price.

I like xfx because of the lifetime limited warranty:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but a cooling solution like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... would likely yield a better overclock.

Go with what you think is more important. If you want a high overclock then get the MSI/giga or xfx version with 2 fans. XFX has an unbeatable warranty but often not the best cooling solution. Most importantly should be the price.
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May 16, 2011 3:16:39 PM

Thanks for all of your help and patience! I just have one more question for you.

My shipping costs are surprisingly low, but still come to $22.41 Each of the items with non-free shipping has a shoprunner promotion promising free 2-day shipping for free if I sign up for a 30-day trial. Have you heard anything about this? Is there any reason not to just sign up for the trial, order my stuff, and cancel it?


EDIT: never mind. newegg is now showing my shipping at ~$11 and I've read that shoprunner can be hard to cancel, so I'm just going to pay it.
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May 22, 2011 12:50:38 AM

Best answer selected by kvothe.
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