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My First Build - Please Advise

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May 21, 2011 4:27:51 AM

Hello,

I've recently been looking into building my own pc for the first time; after many hours of research and looking into components, I have come up with the following build (see below). This is a sub $900 build aiming to have good processing power, multitasking capability, overclocking capability, and good gaming power.

Justification:

> I've chosen the unlocked Intel i5 over the i7 due to the i7's marginal stock performance increase at 100Mhz. Additionally, I believe overclocking the i5 may provide me with ample processing power for mainstream games and running programming software.

> The Sabertooth p67 motherboard is compatible with overclocking the i5 processor. If offers cross fire and SLI capability should I upgrade graphics.

> After looking into sub $200 video cards, I wound up comparing the GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) and GTX 550 Ti due to their high ratings on newegg.com. Reviews and tests on the two cards indicated that the GTX 550 was not the best deal for the price; the GTX 460 even seemed to outperform the GTX 550 Ti.

I would greatly appreciate comments and suggestions on changes I should consider. ;) 



* * * * *
BUILD COMPONENTS:

>> Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor (Model:BX80623I52500K)

>> ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard

>> CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory (Model:CMZ4GX3M2A1600C8)

>> Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (Model:ST31000524AS)

>> LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+/-R 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner (Model:iHAS124-04) - OEM

>> COOLER MASTER Storm Scout Black Steel/Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Model:SGC-2000-KKN1-GP)

>> COOLER MASTER GX Series 650W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply (Model:RS650-ACAAE3-US)

>> EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

-- This all comes down to a bit under $850!
* * * * *

Questions:

Q: What video card under $200 would you recommend with this setup? Would you go with the GTX 460 over the GTX 550?

Q: What size monitor would be compatible with the video card of choice above?

Q: System specs for the Sabertooth motherboard indicate (for PCI e 2.0) either a single x16 card or dual x8/x8 (for crossfire/SLI?) Does this mean I'm limited to either getting a more powerful x16 graphics card OR finding two x8 cards if I want to upgrade graphics?

Q: Have I forgotten anything, like after-market coolers that are necessary?

Q: Is my power supply powerful enough?


Thanks for your help everyone!!
- bdevil

More about : build advise

May 21, 2011 8:31:45 AM

Sabertooth p67 is overpriced for your build. There isn't really anything you will take advantage of with your current list of hardware.

Q1 ) Get the new GTX 560s.
Q2 ) 1920 1080
Q3) Not 100% sure what you are asking. If you want to SLI the cards your PCI-e will run x8 on both cards.
Q4) You are getting the 2500k so overclocking is recommended. Get a 20-30dollar air cooler and you can easily go past 4.0Ghz
Q5) Not sure how much power the new 560s take, but 650 should be enough.
May 21, 2011 2:10:42 PM

ikyung said:
Sabertooth p67 is overpriced for your build. There isn't really anything you will take advantage of with your current list of hardware.

Q1 ) Get the new GTX 560s.
Q2 ) 1920 1080
Q3) Not 100% sure what you are asking. If you want to SLI the cards your PCI-e will run x8 on both cards.
Q4) You are getting the 2500k so overclocking is recommended. Get a 20-30dollar air cooler and you can easily go past 4.0Ghz
Q5) Not sure how much power the new 560s take, but 650 should be enough.



Thanks for your input! Would you mind elaborating on how the Sabertooth is not suited for the given hardware? It offers the ability to overclock with the i5 k series, and seems to offer good heat protection.

Related resources
May 21, 2011 2:20:51 PM

Q1. I 'd go with a HD 6870 or a 6950 if I can afford it.
Anything less than a 6950 will be bottle necked by ur CPUs capabilities.
Q2. a good 1080p monitor or a higher resolution one if u can afford it.
Q3. If u get one card it runs at x16. Two cards run at x8 and x8.
Just go with a single GPU solution.
Q4. Get a good air cooling solution if u r overclocking. CM hyper 212+ is a well recommended product.
Q5. Cooler Master is not known for its PSUs. Get a quality unit from a good name brand. Checkout the link in my sig for info about PSUs.

Good Luck.
May 21, 2011 9:25:10 PM

bdevil said:
Thanks for your input! Would you mind elaborating on how the Sabertooth is not suited for the given hardware? It offers the ability to overclock with the i5 k series, and seems to offer good heat protection.

All motherboards supporting the i5k series offer overclocking. The heat protection is really not needed unless you want to tweak voltage settings for your NB/SB on the motherboard. Even with that, motherboard cooling isn't really necessary. Just get a motherboard with an intact heatsink and it should be fine.

If you are willing to drop 220$ for a motherboard, I suggest getting a 100$ motherboard(or less) and drop that extra cash on a 300-350$ video card. You will get better performance that way.
May 22, 2011 12:01:42 AM

I looked around and found a suitable mobo alternative: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard. Has anyone had any experience/heard of this board?

>> Are there any compatibility issues with the below build?

This is an updated configuration for the build, including monitor and aftermarket cooler:


* * * * *

CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory
$59.99

EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 01G-P3-1366-TR Video Card
$144.99

LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04
$19.99

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) ATX Intel Motherboard
$159.99

Acer S211HLbd 21.5'' 5ms LED-Backlight LCD Monitor Slim Design
$119.99

COOLER MASTER GX Series RS650-ACAAE3-US 650W Power Supply
$79.99

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
$89.99

ZALMAN CNPS11X Extreme V-Shaped Dual Heatpipe Design w/120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler Compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge
$79.99


Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
+
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
$271.98 combo

* * * * *
total = $1,026.90
May 22, 2011 12:12:01 AM

gametstr said:
Q1. I 'd go with a HD 6870 or a 6950 if I can afford it.
Anything less than a 6950 will be bottle necked by ur CPUs capabilities.
Q2. a good 1080p monitor or a higher resolution one if u can afford it.
Q3. If u get one card it runs at x16. Two cards run at x8 and x8.
Just go with a single GPU solution.
Q4. Get a good air cooling solution if u r overclocking. CM hyper 212+ is a well recommended product.
Q5. Cooler Master is not known for its PSUs. Get a quality unit from a good name brand. Checkout the link in my sig for info about PSUs.

Good Luck.


Thanks for the tips! The hyper 212+ solution you mentioned sounds like a much better option over a more expensive for the price/performance.

Which power supplies have you had the most success with in the past?
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
May 22, 2011 12:12:27 AM

Terrible PSU, you shouldn't be spending $10 over the premium for ram, the 460 SE is worse than a (well almost) 450 GTS but costs $40 more. Get the 460 768mb instead. But I strongle suggest just buying a cheaper motherboard and spending the difference there on the GPU. For instance if you bought this more than capable motherboard: MSI P67A-G43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That saves $40. Drop your cooler for a Hyper 212+ and that saves you another $50. The Hyper 212+ is more than capable to handle a good OC on the 2500K. That'll give you $90 allocated to the GPU which brings you up to a about $240. At which point I recommend this card for your budget.

Msi 560 Ti, $250 BR, $230 AR: http://www.amazon.com/MSI-PCI-Express-N560GTX-TWIN-FROZ...

Also, that PSU is not going to last a long time, the GX series was not a great CM PSU series, the newer Silent Pro is, but defiantly not the GX. Get this instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get the Hyper 212+ here, cheaper off Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...


May 22, 2011 5:46:29 AM

ikyung said:
All motherboards supporting the i5k series offer overclocking. The heat protection is really not needed unless you want to tweak voltage settings for your NB/SB on the motherboard. Even with that, motherboard cooling isn't really necessary. Just get a motherboard with an intact heatsink and it should be fine.

If you are willing to drop 220$ for a motherboard, I suggest getting a 100$ motherboard(or less) and drop that extra cash on a 300-350$ video card. You will get better performance that way.


That is not true. i5 2500K can be put into any H67 based boards just fine and they do not offer overclocking.
Only the p67 and z68 based boards offer overclocking.
May 22, 2011 6:56:59 PM

aznshinobi said:
Terrible PSU, you shouldn't be spending $10 over the premium for ram, the 460 SE is worse than a (well almost) 450 GTS but costs $40 more. Get the 460 768mb instead. But I strongle suggest just buying a cheaper motherboard and spending the difference there on the GPU. For instance if you bought this more than capable motherboard: MSI P67A-G43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That saves $40. Drop your cooler for a Hyper 212+ and that saves you another $50. The Hyper 212+ is more than capable to handle a good OC on the 2500K. That'll give you $90 allocated to the GPU which brings you up to a about $240. At which point I recommend this card for your budget.

Msi 560 Ti, $250 BR, $230 AR: http://www.amazon.com/MSI-PCI-Express-N560GTX-TWIN-FROZ...

Also, that PSU is not going to last a long time, the GX series was not a great CM PSU series, the newer Silent Pro is, but defiantly not the GX. Get this instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get the Hyper 212+ here, cheaper off Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...



Thanks! I'm definitely considering swapping out those parts and going with a more powerful graphics card. Would there be any problems running the msi motherboard, gtx 560 twin frozr II, and 8 gigs of ram with the 650w power supply?

Also, would there be any bottlenecking issues from using the i5 2500k with the twin frozr graphics card and 8gb ram?
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
May 22, 2011 7:03:52 PM

Nope not at all.

No there would be no bottle necking. RAM has little to do with the bottleneck, but the 2500K wouldn't bottleneck the 560, it'd be pretty sad if it did considering it is so high end. But it also depends on your resolution, say you were playing at 1600x900 you'd probably be bottlenecking your 560 because your resolution is so small. But I just checked out your monitor, it'll be fine.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
May 22, 2011 7:22:07 PM

^ I strongly disagree with Tom's choice there. It should have been equal. And the 6950 2GB defiantly is a great choice. But the fact that the 560 Ti TF II is stock OC'd to reach the performance of a 570. I think it's a better value, specially since the 560 I linked costs cheaper and after rebate is still cheaper.

Another thing, the 6950 2GB can't be unlocked unless it uses the reference PCB which to my knowledge that Sapphire specifically doesn't use.
May 22, 2011 7:31:00 PM

Well this particular 6950 is not the greatest of choices but it is the cheapest.
I 'd recommend a 6950 over a 560Ti any day (for gaming) as it will last longer. i.e it delays the next upgrade without a price premium. If we were to get higher resolution monitors the 6950 would be a clear winner. Even considering the current setup the 6950 (not the one i linked but any other which costs a bit more) will have an edge over the 560ti
May 22, 2011 7:58:30 PM

Thanks for everyone's advice! So far here's my current build configuration. For now I've gone with the gtx 560 ti due to the cost.

Does anyone see any issues with this build? I plan to make a purchase soon.

Note: I'll probably get the hyper 212 fan from amazon as AznShinobi suggested for $ cheaper.
* * * * *

LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04
$19.99

Acer S211HLbd 21.5'' 5ms LED-Backlight LCD Monitor Slim Design
Item #:N82E16824009261
$119.99

MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC Video Card
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$249.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
$94.99

Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$59.99

Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W Power Supply
Item #:N82E16817371044
$64.99

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate
$89.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack
$99.99

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm sleeve CPU Cooler
$39.99


MSI P67A-G43 (B3) ATX Intel Motherboard
+
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
$324.98


Grand Total: $1,164.89
* * * * *
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
May 22, 2011 9:34:51 PM

Looks good.
May 23, 2011 12:42:23 AM

Undoubtedly, the gtx 560 twin frozr ti video card is more powerful than the gtx 460 se, but is it overkill for the current pc games? In other words, does the $105 price increase for the 560 worth it (in terms of present performance and future proofing)?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 23, 2011 2:55:01 AM

the 560 ti is not overkill at all, it will probably not even max most games at 1080p and maintain 60 fps. It will however, get darned close. The price/value for the 560 ti is very good, as it can be overclocked to GTX 570 levels. If you can't spring for the 560 ti, grab a 560 no ti (stupid, I know) for around $200. Those can get to 560 ti levels with a little OCing.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
May 23, 2011 3:03:50 AM

^+1

Modern day, a 570/6970 wouldn't max out high performance games @ 1080P. In fact, a 580 may lack that bit of performance to max out at max settings @ 1080P. Which is why many opt for the dual-card bit of it.
!