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Need Help Building Gaming/Workstation PC

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June 30, 2011 9:35:56 PM

Hello,
I've recently joined this forums in seek for help on building a new computer. I'm not quite sure what information is needed, but I will try my best. Also, this will be my first desktop that I actually assemble from scratch. (I've took apart several desktops before, but not newer ones. Any suggestions to assist me in assembling this computer?)

Purchase Date: 1-2 Months (depends on how long it takes me to get another $500)

Price: $1,200 - $1,500

Website: Newegg

Location: OH, USA

Use: Gaming (Team Fortress 2, Vindictus, Crysis 2, Others), Programming, Music, Photoshop, AutoCAD, School Work (Simulators, Debugs, Networking)

Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS, Good Cooling System

Preferences: 1920x1080 HD 20" LCD Monitor, cheap mouse/keyboard nothing special on those, Windows 7, AMD Motherboard (not a huge fan of Intel, but if you think it's better please explain why.)

Additional: I'm not exactly sure how to overclock or what CrossfireX or SLI is, so I most likely won't be using those until I extend my knowledge on them. I would like it to be able to overclock to decent speeds, but nothing too high.


Best solution

June 30, 2011 10:14:51 PM

Reasons to go with Intel now:

Intel CPUs are stronger, and given your uses you need a strong CPU. This is not open to debate, Intel has been making the strongest CPUs for the last 3 years or so. At various price points, AMD has the better VALUE... but you need a stronger processor, that will perform well at a wide variety of tasks.

You could get an AMD build now, and hope that when the next generation of AMD CPUs is released they will be competitive. They were recently delayed because they were NOT competitive though. Current schedule is Q4 I think.

As a student you will be able to get a heavy discount on the OS, Win 7 64-bit.

here's a starting build:
  • Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
  • Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor
  • PowerColor AX6950 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ...
  • CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
  • Logitech Z323 30 Watts (RMS) 2.1 Speaker System
  • Microsoft Desktop 400 5MH-00001 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard
  • MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material
  • G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR
  • ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
  • Futuremark Gift - Shattered Horizons - The Last Stand Pack
  • XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible
  • SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support - OEM
    TOTAL: $1,360.87
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    June 30, 2011 10:57:20 PM

    That's what I heard, but the prices are seem so overpriced after looking at the cost of AMD motherboards... but I guess that makes sense if they are really that strong. I made an AMD build with some of the similar parts that you posted. Could you help me combine them and find what is best suitable for me.

    CPU:AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
    Motherboard:GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
    RAM:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    GPU:EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1461-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card (Might change this setup because of something I was confused on about PCI Express 2.1 x16 ports.)
    Monitor:ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR)
    Hard Drive:HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Case:Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    DVD Drive:ASUS DVD-E818A4/BLK/B/GEN Black 18X IDE DVD-ROM Drive - Bulk
    Water Cooling:CORSAIR CWCH50-1 High Performance CPU Cooler
    Paste:Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
    Fan:ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
    Mouse:GIGABYTE GM-M5050 Glossy Black 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 800 dpi Curvey Mouse
    Keyboard:LITE-ON SK-1688U/B Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Keyboard
    Speakers:ALTEC LANSING VS2620 5 Watts RMS 2.0 Value Computer Speakers
    OS:Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate

    Total: $1,566.82

    Definitely would like to reduce the price and if the intel motherboards are better I might be switching some things around.
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    June 30, 2011 11:29:08 PM

    Yep you are spending more for less... doesn't make much sense.
    You have two CPU coolers listed, so you could drop the Corsair for instance.

    Again, get a student discount on the Win 7. If you can't then get
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Arctic Silver 5 was good 3 years ago, but time marches on. AS5 has a long cure time (200 hours) and needs replacing every few years. My recommendation is just a bit more effective and has no cure time, and is inexpensive.

    GTX 560 is not a good buy. GTX 560 Ti can be good. 6950 2GB is better than either, and GTX 570 is better than all of them.
    If you want Nvidia and EVGA, then this is the card:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...





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    June 30, 2011 11:33:58 PM

    How do I go about getting this student discount on Windows 7? Also which version is that? (Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, 64/32-bit)

    I'll work on making a new build with combining some parts and post it up later. Also is i7 any better than the i5 because I would like this computer to last a good few years if it is possible and maybe have it open to being upgradeable.
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    June 30, 2011 11:46:35 PM

    In Autocad i7 2600K would be the very best processor. Well, the i7 990X would be the very best but it's too expensive.

    Calculating dollar to performance and taking all your uses into account, my best estimate for you runs something like this:

    i5-2500K (will do all your stuff very well, but not as strong in Autocad as the i7)
    i7 2600K (stronger in multi-threaded apps like autocad, but your budget could use that extra for a GPU))
    AMD X6 1100T (weaker by a good bit in most apps to the 2500K, but probably faster in Autocad)

    Here are some benchmarks
    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2...[4785]=on&prod[4788]=on&prod[4757]=on
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    July 1, 2011 12:52:58 AM

    After combining the two builds here's what I've came up with. It is still on the expensive side, but that shouldn't be a problem for the performance that it will be giving me. Also how long do you think this would last before parts will need to be replaced?

    Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Motherboard: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    Paste: MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material
    Fan: XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
    RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory
    GPU: PowerColor AX6950 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX
    PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80
    Hard Drive: HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Burner: LG Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 10X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Super Multi
    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
    Monitor: ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) (May switch this with a similar $200 Dell monitor: ST2320L 23" full HD monitor with LED).
    Speakers: ALTEC LANSING VS2620 5 Watts RMS 2.0 Value Computer Speakers
    Mouse/Keyboard: Microsoft Desktop 400 5MH-00001 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard

    Total: $1,540.86

    Any suggestions?
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    July 1, 2011 1:42:03 AM

    I like it.
    On the discount, those are normally available through the school bookstore. MS does provide upgrade versions directly for cheap, but they require something to upgrade from... Like XP or Vista. I think Digital River is handling those.

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    July 1, 2011 1:46:11 AM

    Alrighty, I'll look into that. I'm not sure if my school would offer anything like that, but next year I will be going to a post-secondary school which most likely will have something like that (going for Computer Networking Technology).

    Anyways thanks for the help and for making that wonderful guide that helped me a lot. Now I just have to look forward into saving up the rest of the money I need and buying this!

    Should I practice on a lower-end computer that doesn't work because I don't have much experience in building a completely new computer, but I think I have the knowledge on doing it. My main problem will probably be the cords or if something doesn't fit correctly.
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    July 1, 2011 2:00:21 AM

    Building is not hard, but it can be frustrating the first time. If you go slowly and carefully and follow the guide linked in the forum sticky you will be fine.
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    July 1, 2011 6:36:13 PM

    Best answer selected by chacol.
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    !