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Is this decent?

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June 25, 2011 9:54:49 PM

i want to build my first pc and i need some professional advice on weather this is a decent system on just a load of cr@p.
any suggestions extremely welcome.

Case: CiT 4672, Black, MicroATX, Mini Tower Case with 450W PSU £23
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/colors-it-4672-black-mic...
CPU: Intel CPU Core i5 2400 Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor £145
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2400-s1155...
MOBO: MSI P55-GD80 Intel P55 Express 1156 Motherboard £131.46
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-p55-gd80-intel-p55-m...
Graphics card: XFX HD 6870 Black Edition AMD Radeon Graphics Card - 1GB £138.82
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6870-black-ed...
System ram: Corsair Memory Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1866 MHz(2x4gb) £83
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-pc3-14900-(1866)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-10-9-27-xmp-150v
Hard drive: Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 7K2000 Hard Drive – HDD £38.15
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-hitachi-0f10383-desk...
Fan: Enermax UCTB9 T.B.Silence Case Fan Twister Bearing Super Silent 13 dbA Batwing Baldes (90mm) £6.34
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/90mm-enermax-uctb9-tbsil...
Sound card: Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional New Version £106.55
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/creative-soundblaster-x-...
Monitor: 19" Viewsonic VA1931WA Widescreen LCD Monitor, 1366x768, 5 ms, 250 cd/m², 100,000:1 DCR, VESA
£68.15
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/19-viewsonic-va1931wa-wi...
Input: Colours IT Multimedia Office Pro Wired PS2 Keyboard £3.59
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/colors-it-act-kb-8108-mu...
Cherry M-5350 Parelo Black 3 Button Mouse Optical with illuminated Scroll Wheel £4.78
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/cherry-m-5350-parelo-bla...
Optical drive: Sony Optical DVD-ROM, DDU1681S-0B, SATA, OEM £11.87
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sony-ddu1681s-0b-18x-dvd...

More about : decent

June 25, 2011 10:01:38 PM

Not bad. A few errors.
-The Mobo is not compatible with the CPU. You need p67/z68/h67.
-You don't need the sound card unless you have a VERY expensive speaker setup.
-You need another case, and a different PSU to power a 6870.
-Might wanna spend a little more on a gaming mouse. The MX518 is a lovely mouse.
-Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 instead of that Hitachi. The F3's are faster/more reliable.
-Don't get 1866 ram, 1600 is just fine. I think there's some floating around for about £70....

And yeah, that's my short list! Hope it helps!
June 26, 2011 1:17:33 AM

NCIX is really good at organizing parts by chipset (even if you can't purchase them there).

Other:
- I agree, you're PSU isn't close to good enough. You want at least a 650W PSU like Antec or Corsair with enough current (Amps) on its 12V rails for that card (look up the Amp requirements for the card and the 12V rating of the PSU).

- Your sound card won't make a difference until you've spent at least $50 on speakers.

- The Antec 100 case is excellent.

- buy a $30 or more CPU heatsink/fan to replace your stock one (see NCIX for help)

- I agree on the MX518. I've had it for two years and couldn't find a better one. I also had an XBox 360 controller, long story but now I'm getting a Logitech F710 to replace it.

- agree the 1600MHz DDR3 RAM is best.

- Graphics: recommend a GTX560Ti (not just "560"). I recommend the Asus or MSI first.

- motherboard. You can use any 1155 motherboard I think, but the "Sandy Bridge" component of the CPU requires a compatible motherboard. You may wish to read this:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20190

Check out NCIX. MSI, Gigabyte or Asus recommended. What you get depends on your preferences. I recommend between $140 and $220 (Canadian). Example: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=59091&vpn=P67A-GD65%2...

Monitor: 19" is pretty small. I highly recommend an LG or Samsung model that is 22"->24", 1920x1080 resolution.

Fans: If you get the Antec 100 case, all you need is a 120mm case fan for the front-bottom.

**The Antec 100 case entire front piece pops up. They don't tell you this, but it's important to know. Once you pop it off it's easy to install your drives and pop on the front fan. This case also has a nice cable management system. You can run cables behind the motherboard.
June 26, 2011 8:20:41 AM

photonboy said:
NCIX is really good at organizing parts by chipset (even if you can't purchase them there).

Other:
- I agree, you're PSU isn't close to good enough. You want at least a 650W PSU like Antec or Corsair with enough current (Amps) on its 12V rails for that card (look up the Amp requirements for the card and the 12V rating of the PSU).

- Your sound card won't make a difference until you've spent at least $50 on speakers.

- The Antec 100 case is excellent.

- buy a $30 or more CPU heatsink/fan to replace your stock one (see NCIX for help)

- I agree on the MX518. I've had it for two years and couldn't find a better one. I also had an XBox 360 controller, long story but now I'm getting a Logitech F710 to replace it.

- agree the 1600MHz DDR3 RAM is best.

- Graphics: recommend a GTX560Ti (not just "560"). I recommend the Asus or MSI first.

- motherboard. You can use any 1155 motherboard I think, but the "Sandy Bridge" component of the CPU requires a compatible motherboard. You may wish to read this:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20190

Check out NCIX. MSI, Gigabyte or Asus recommended. What you get depends on your preferences. I recommend between $140 and $220 (Canadian). Example: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=59091&vpn=P67A-GD65%2...

Monitor: 19" is pretty small. I highly recommend an LG or Samsung model that is 22"->24", 1920x1080 resolution.

Fans: If you get the Antec 100 case, all you need is a 120mm case fan for the front-bottom.

**The Antec 100 case entire front piece pops up. They don't tell you this, but it's important to know. Once you pop it off it's easy to install your drives and pop on the front fan. This case also has a nice cable management system. You can run cables behind the motherboard.



Is this the case?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-100-one-hundred-bl...
also thanks for both of your replies and I will definitely check out the components you have mentioned.
June 26, 2011 8:29:51 AM

striker410 said:
Not bad. A few errors.
-The Mobo is not compatible with the CPU. You need p67/z68/h67.
-You don't need the sound card unless you have a VERY expensive speaker setup.
-You need another case, and a different PSU to power a 6870.
-Might wanna spend a little more on a gaming mouse. The MX518 is a lovely mouse.
-Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 instead of that Hitachi. The F3's are faster/more reliable.
-Don't get 1866 ram, 1600 is just fine. I think there's some floating around for about £70....

And yeah, that's my short list! Hope it helps!


just check the web page with the i5 sandy bridge CPU on and it says this.
**Please note: Intel Sandybridge SATA Issue on P67 and H67 Motherboards.
There is NO Issue with Sandybridge Processors (CPU's). Only Motherboards are potentially affected.
Devices connected to SATA Ports 0 & 1 or Using the SATAIII (6Gb/s) Ports are not affected.**
so I guess I should go for a z68 motherboard?
like this?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/59msi-z68ma-ed55-b3-inte...(x16)-ddr3-2133(oc)-sata-6gb-s-raid-matx-hdmi
June 26, 2011 8:47:34 AM

maxwellssilverhammer said:
just check the web page with the i5 sandy bridge CPU on and it says this.
**Please note: Intel Sandybridge SATA Issue on P67 and H67 Motherboards.
There is NO Issue with Sandybridge Processors (CPU's). Only Motherboards are potentially affected.
Devices connected to SATA Ports 0 & 1 or Using the SATAIII (6Gb/s) Ports are not affected.**
so I guess I should go for a z68 motherboard?

That issue was from back in January. All those boards have been replaced by now.
June 26, 2011 11:02:05 AM

Other than the fans/cooling those cards are identical specs wise. That psu will be plenty to run two of those cards. Check the length of those cards and make sure they will fit into that case. They should np, but I would double check just to make sure.
June 26, 2011 1:59:02 PM

looking at them it says they are dual slot.
does this mean they take up a pci-express and pci expansion slot?
June 26, 2011 4:00:41 PM

Yes, but most motherboards are spaced with that in mind.

And when I say it's not compatible, I mean P55 is not compatible with Sandy Bridge. P55 is LG 1156, you need LGA 1155.
June 26, 2011 5:05:13 PM

I'll change the top list then post it. tell me what you think.
June 26, 2011 5:21:54 PM

NEW list

Case: Antec 100 One Hundred Black Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-100-one-hundred-bl...
PSU: FSP GROUP FSP700-80GLN 700W Power Supply
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/700w-fsp700-80gln-sata-p...
Motherboard: MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) Intel Z68 Socket 1155 Motherboard OR MSI Z68MA-ED55-B3 Intel Z68 Socket 1155 Motherboard OR Asus P8Z68-V PRO Intel Z68 S1155 Motherboard
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-z68a-gd80-(b3)-intel-z68-s1155-motherboard-inc-free-coolermaster-v6gt-cpu-cooler
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/59msi-z68ma-ed55-b3-inte...(x16)-ddr3-2133(oc)-sata-6gb-s-raid-matx-hdmi
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z68-v-pro-intel-z...(x16)-ddr3-2200(oc)-sata-6gb-s-raid-atx-hdmi
CPU: Intel CPU Core i5 2400 Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2400-s1155...
Hard drive: Samsung 1Tb Spinpoint F3 Hard Drive - HDD
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-samsung-hd103sj-spin...
Graphics card: XFX HD 6870 Black Edition AMD Radeon Graphics Card - 1GB
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6870-black-ed...
System RAM: Corsair Memory Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-150v
Monitor: Acer V243HAObd 24" HD Ready Monitor DVI 1920x1080 2ms
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/24-acer-v243haobd-full-h...
DVD drive: Sony Optical DVD-ROM, DDU1681S-0B, SATA, OEM
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sony-ddu1681s-0b-18x-dvd...
Fans: BitFenix Spectre x3
Mouse: Logitech MX 518 Optical Gaming Mouse
http://www.shop.bt.com/products/logitech-mx-518-optical...
Keyboard: Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 Keyboard and Mouse Set
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002LAQYIY/ref=asc_df_B002LA...

I have no idea which motherboard to use.
June 26, 2011 5:37:49 PM

I would look at Gigabyte's Z68 offerings. Many of the same features, way less cost. That will allow you to swap the 2400 for a 2500k. Also, you have 2 mice lol.

Other than that looks pretty good!
June 26, 2011 7:41:46 PM

i saw that first one but i hadn't seen that second one. it looks pretty good.
I'll probably use that second 1 unless you know of any others that are better but anyway thanks so much for your help.
June 26, 2011 9:18:15 PM

Hmm. I found this one: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/267506 That is right in the middle. It's not microATX, but it is the larger version of the board you selected. I personally would pick that one.
June 27, 2011 6:48:28 AM

Sorry for not clarifying. What I meant is the board I linked in my post directly above ^ has the best price/features ratio. It sits right in the middle of the price war, and the feature war. If I was building a system, I would choose the board I linked above.
June 28, 2011 1:59:56 AM

*Comment on your parts:

1) Case: Antec 100 (I chose that) and still recommend it.

2) Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V PRO
This board had some pretty nice stuff going for it including USB3 for the front (case) which most motherboards don't offer. So TWO of your front USB slots can be USB3 compatible (600MB/sec vs 60MB/sec for USB2).

3) FSP700 PSU.
Seems to be pretty good. It has FOUR 12V rails of 16A per rail. I couldn't find the TOTAL COMBINED but I would say at the minimum it would be 50A (a GTX570 requires 38A).

4) CPU: Intel i5 2400 Sandy Bridge:
as long as it's unlocked and doesn't have a graphics chip that's the one you want

5) Hard drive: Seagate 1TB
Most drives are pretty good. I usually recommend TWO drives, one for Backups and DATA. Usually the first is smaller but faster and the second larger but slower. If you have a Western Digital drive you can use their free version of Acronis True Image to create IMAGES of Windows. (*MORE AT BOTTOM)

6) Graphics card: HD6870
It's a good card. I strongly recommend the NVidia GTX570Ti (not just "570"). It's worth the slight bit more money and also allows for PhysX. Asus and MSI have good ones.

7) 8GB DDR3
Your choice is fine.

8) Acer monitor.
It's acceptable. I prefer Samsung or LG. You may wish to consider reading more reviews.

9) Sony DVD drive:
probably just fine. flash the FIRMWARE if an update exists (for disc compatibility)

10) Fans:
The Antec 100 case has two built-in fans (use the slowest speed for both). You require only one, 120mm case fan for the front. It should be non-variable and be between 500 and 800RPM.

11) MX518 Gaming Mouse:
It's what I own. I believe it's probably the best gaming mouse.

12) Keyboard and Mouse:
Why are you buying an Keyboard AND mouse when you have a mouse? I recommend getting a LOGITECH keyboard as the Logitech driver set (SETPOINT) is one file which contains the drivers for BOTH the mouse and keyboard. Most Logitech keyboards are fine (nothing fancy needed).

Other:
- buy "Windows 7 Premium 64-bit OEM"
- buy a Heatsink/Fan to replace the stock version. See NCIX for a list and reviews compatible with your motherboard. This is the best one I found for that case: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=19079&vpn=CNPS9500AT&...

- measure the HSF for motherboard compatibility (RAM, heatsinks) and case compatibility. *The Antec 100 can handle up to 160mm high but I recommend less than 130mm high or else you can't use the side fan (not really needed).

- *Backups: I use the free version of Acronis True Image from Western Digital and make backup Images of my C-Drive (with Windows etc). I have three backups: one is made immediately after installing Windows and ACTIVATING it. The second is made after all drivers and Microsoft updates and programs are installed. The third is made after further optimizations. I keep the first two and replace the third one every week on my second hard drive.

Building machine hints:
1. put together hardware
-(*Note the front section of the Antec 100 unclips. install the drives, clip on the front 120mm fan and clip it back on)
-read how to properly spread the thermal compound (unless it's pre-done)

2. Run MEMTEST to check RAM (burn a disc or USB from www.memtest.org)

3. Install Windows 7 (NTFS, Full Format if asked)

4. ACTIVATE WINDOWS

5. Create first backup Image using software like Acronis True Image (will keep this Image for years)

6. Install motherboard main chipset driver first (obtain from website)

7. Install remaining motherboard drivers (from website)

8. Install video card drivers

9. MICROSOFT updates

10. Second IMAGE creation. (will keep this one indefinitely as well)

11. Install all programs, import data, optimize tweak etc.

12. Create THIRD BACKUP (to be rotated weekly or monthly with a new backup)

***IMPORTANT POINTS:
- Backing up Windows drive (to RESTORE if corrupt software or damaged drive). Backup to second internal drive or USB drive
- check for motherboard BIOS updates and apply (new motherboards often have critical updates for compatibility with RAM or SSD's.)
June 28, 2011 2:03:11 AM

I forgot:
Tape up any unused fan inputs (the side of the Antec 100). I used thin cardboard and packing tape on the inside. If it's open the air flow inside isn't quite optimal.
June 28, 2011 2:10:44 AM

(I have some very minor mistakes such as it's 18A per rail, not 16A.)

The FSP brand seems pretty reliable but I couldn't find an actual review of it. You may wish to ask FSP what the combined Amps is. In other words, how many Amps of current can it supply to graphics card(s). you're fine presently, it's just in case you upgrade in the future to a second card or one with more power.
June 28, 2011 6:22:56 PM

photonboy said:


4) CPU: Intel i5 2400 Sandy Bridge:
as long as it's unlocked and doesn't have a graphics chip that's the one you want

6) Graphics card: HD6870
It's a good card. I strongly recommend the NVidia GTX570Ti (not just "570"). It's worth the slight bit more money and also allows for PhysX. Asus and MSI have good ones.


i can't find a i5 2400 sandy bridge without a graphics chip inside. what kind of difference does it make not having integrated graphics?
also i can't find a GTX570Ti anywhere in the UK so i guess i will stick with the graphics card i have now.
thanks for all the tips they look like there going to be really useful.
July 2, 2011 12:12:21 AM

My mistake:

1) All the new Intel CPU's of this type have integrated graphics. I did not know that. All you need to do is ensure you get an "unlocked" version so that you can overclock it.

You'll want a non-stock Heatsink+Fan as well. Don't get the most expensive, they're huge and really overkill. I recommend spending about $30-$50 USD. Most people like 120mm fans that are in-line with the rear of the case.

2) I meant "560Ti", not the "560"; sorry about that.
!