Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

First Time Builder! Need advice after doing my research

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
May 19, 2011 1:15:10 AM

Hello Toms Hardware Community!

I've been watching recent threads closely to educate myself, attempt a build, and remove some ignorance on my part. I am seeking to build a computer for the first time. My ultimate goals are to have a strong gaming computer that will last for a number of years (My current computer is 6 years old).

Approximate Purchase Date: probably within the month

Budget Range:<1000 but less is good

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming...i play games like age of conan, dragon age 2, and the witcher2 and i want to play the new games as they come out for a few years

Parts Not Required: HDD (WD caviar black 1tb 32MB 7200 RPM), monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, , DVD drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: i've been looking at newegg but would consider another site if cheaper

Country of Origin: USA

Overclocking: I have no real knowledge of overclocking, but I would like the ability to do so later this year when i have more time.

SLI or Crossfire: I do not plan on using SLI/xfire right now, but want the option in the future when games become more demanding.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 main monitor with a 1280x1024 on the side

My Specs determined by reading other threads: UPDATED with suggestions
Mobo -ASRock P67 EXTREME4 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - COOLER MASTER HAF 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This sapphire is not in stock..I assume the one I chose above is pretty much the same. SAPPHIRE 100312SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: $65 eggshocker G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus

Windows 7 64 bit

Questions about my build:
- I need the most help on the GPU and PSU but am eager to hear advice on any of the above specs.
- If i decide to get a SSD as an upgrade when they become cheaper, will the P67 be ok in utilizing it, or do I need a Z68 mobo. I think I saw a few combo deals with i5 2500k and a z68.
- I chose the cheaper HAF case...will it suit my needs?
- is my current (old) HDD ok?
- when the time comes where this system is older, what will I most likely need to upgrade?

More about : time builder advice research

May 19, 2011 1:21:55 AM

Welcome to the forum. Looks pretty nice overall.
Here's a PSU
Corsair TX750 V2 -$105-
For the GPU I would get a 6950.
Yes, any platform can use a SSD as a separate drive letter - the main difference with Z68 is that it can use a SSD configured as a caching drive. Depending on your needs this may or may not be all that useful. Basically and ideally it allows your most frequently used applications to be cached on the SSD for faster-than-HDD performance. The 912 is fine by me. Yes the WD should be fine, but if you wanted to keep it in your old build, new ones aren't that expensive. As for upgrading, you would likely just need to add a GPU for CF/SLI.

Edit: typo
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 2:36:22 AM

thanks for the response! a few follow-up questions...

-so you would recommend a P67 for my uses over a Z68?
-can you link the "best" or favored option for a 6950? i have trouble distinguishing between the different brands
- can you also recommend a card that is close in performance but maybe the next notch down in price just so i have some options?

m
0
l
Related resources
May 19, 2011 2:43:03 AM

IMO, since you place a high value on upgradability a Z68 would be best.
Here's the Z68 equivalent of your board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
As for the 6950 have you read about unlocking it to a 6970?
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-unlo...
May be worth a try. You would need this card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If not, then here's one for less
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 2:49:06 AM

The P67 should do you fine. You chose a good board for it too. As for a 6950, I think msi cards are the best. i would get the 2 GB Twin Frozr II variant. A notch down would be the GTX 560 Ti. Once again, go for the Twin Frozr II version. You've done very good research. The TX750 V2 is a good PSU, but you might want to consider the HX750 from Corsair. It's more efficient, modular, and is of a slightly higher build quality. You have to pay a bit more for this though, so keep that in mind.
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 2:57:51 AM

TX750 V2 is $95 with promo code EMCKEJC29
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 3:22:23 AM

what is modular vs non-modular cables...and should it bother me? :) 
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 3:24:52 AM

Modular cables = Not hard wired. You choose which power cables you connect based on your specific build. This allows for better cable management, better airflow, etc. But you may have to pay extra to get a modular model. No performance impact though.
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 3:55:27 AM

$95 vs $146 (including shipping) for removable cables.
HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM..........
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 4:24:20 AM

^ Not true, (unless you're referring to specific models) The Enermax 750w Modular is only $120.

- GPU, go with the 6950 2GB. I can justify the 560 Ti but in your case Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age in general favors AMD cards, since the devs are associated with AMD. You could say there is a bias between games, like HAWX and Civ5 favoring Nvidia cards.
- If it is around the same price now, go for it. Generally, however, the SSD caching is for rather cheap SSDs, but you know, might as well get it if you can fit it in. But both will be just fine, P67 as well.
- The HAF 912 is great. Solid for the price.
- It'll be great, last you a long time too.
- Most likely? The GPU, but it's not likely until 2 years, maybe even more. Hard to tell with the market changing so much in the past few years.
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 1:14:09 PM

Thanks to everyone for their input...I've updated my list to include

-TX750 V2 with promo for extra savings
-MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The sapphire card linked by jbakerlent is out of stock...am I correct in thinking this card is the same thing?

Final questions to wrap up this thread...
1. I don't plan on overclocking right away...is this something that can be done anytime or is it best to do it right away?
2. Should I take any extra measures to ensure a safe running temperature? Or, is the combo of the HAF case, fans on the GPU, and cooler master for the CPU enough for what I have in the case?
3. Does anyone have a guide on computer maintenance? My current comp has lasted 6 years and I blow it out fairly regularly, but I think I could step up in keeping this new computer healthy if I knew what else I could do.
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 1:38:06 PM

genghiskron said:
$95 vs $146 (including shipping) for removable cables.
HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM..........


HX is $130 after rebate with free shipping on Amazon. And I would pay the extra for the higher efficiency and modular cables. And if he really wants a deal, the XFX XXX Edition 650w PSU is about $70 after rebate. It'll be enough to power 2 6950s in CF and OC the CPU. Plus, it's modular :) 
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 1:42:20 PM

Nefarious said:
Thanks to everyone for their input...I've updated my list to include

-TX750 V2 with promo for extra savings
-MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The sapphire card linked by jbakerlent is out of stock...am I correct in thinking this card is the same thing?

Final questions to wrap up this thread...
1. I don't plan on overclocking right away...is this something that can be done anytime or is it best to do it right away?
2. Should I take any extra measures to ensure a safe running temperature? Or, is the combo of the HAF case, fans on the GPU, and cooler master for the CPU enough for what I have in the case?
3. Does anyone have a guide on computer maintenance? My current comp has lasted 6 years and I blow it out fairly regularly, but I think I could step up in keeping this new computer healthy if I knew what else I could do.



You could get two 200mm megaflow fans if you needed (front intake, top exhaust), but I would let things be until you monitor your temps for a bit. Even if you don't overclock right away, I would suggest getting an aftermarket cooler now as long as your budget allows for it. It's easier to install it before you complete your build than add it later.
m
0
l
May 19, 2011 11:34:32 PM

^ If you get those, might as well get the HAF 922 instead.

As for the 6950, only reference designs can unlock into 6970, any custom coolers will only be able to overclock, and in some cases some can't even overclock a lot because it doesn't have voltage tweaking.

1. This can be done anytime, but you'll get the most performance if you do it right away.
2. Monitor temps when you're testing stability. If it jumps the 80*C mark for the CPU I'd stop the stressing and either lower the voltage or change/reseat the heatsink/thermal paste. For the GPU, just make sure when overclocking, do not let that load temp jump over 90*C I don't recommend over 85*C in fact, try turning up fan speed. I tend not to trust Auto to kick in.
3. Clean out the comp every 2-3 months, regular virus scans (recommend monthly) have Malware-Bytes (Free-version is good too). I always encounter Malware and if Avast doesn't catch it in the firewall then MB usually saves me. Be sure to also keep checks on HDD capacity (that shouldn't be a worry but) make sure it doesn't get to 90% Generally it starts getting slower around 85% of max capacity.
m
0
l
!