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My first build - $1500-1700 budget - Advice welcome

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July 1, 2011 3:13:31 AM

So far after reading reviews on Newegg and Amazon, I think I've narrowed my components down to the best, most cost effective build that will fit my needs. The only area I'm not too sure about is the difference between Windows 7 OEM and the retail version. I already purchased a new Viewsonic VX2450WM-LED 24" Monitor, so I don't need that. I also don't need speakers, keyboard, or a mouse as I have those already.

I don't really see myself playing a lot of PC games, but now that I'll have a nice system, I might start. The new build will basically be for surfing the web, downloading/watching movies & TV shows, and other basic things. The most important part is being able to do any of those things as quickly as possible. My old PC was purchased in 2005, and while it was close to top-of-the-line when new, now its just too slow for me. I want this new build to be as "future proof" as possible, so I want to get something that will last 4-5 years.

So far this is what I've picked out:
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Case: Cooler Master Computer Case RC-692-KKN2 $88
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00336EM0W/ref=ox_sc_a...
I'm pretty dead set on this case as it has the best reviews out of the cases I liked the most aesthetically.
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CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Processor 3.4GHz 8 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 $315
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EBUXSA/ref=ox_sc_a...
I think this is the best bang for the buck.
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MoBo: ASUS LGA 1155 SATA 6Gbps USB 3.0 Supported Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2400 Motherboards P8Z68-V PRO $206
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00503EA80/ref=ox_sc_a...
This seems to have all the features I'm looking for. Also, apparently if you wish to OC, this MoBo makes it easy for a noob to do with the GUI ASUS provides.
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RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 $85
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CRSM4I/ref=ox_sc_a...
The RAM is basically chosen purely on reviews and compatibility. My only concern is that it works when OCing. Want to void BSODing at all costs.
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GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1 GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/Dual Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100314-2SR $210
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004E0KV3I/ref=ox_sc_a...
This seems to be the one of the most recommended vid cards on Newegg for around $200.
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PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro M850 Series Modular 850W $150
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RWJGC2/ref=ox_sc_a...
I had looked at getting the 600W or 700W versions from Cooler Master purely to cut cost, but I'm concerned that OCing or future upgrade might not be compatible with a lower wattage PSU. I also picked this based on recommendations on Newegg and I wanted to keep the PSU and Case from the same manufacturer. I don't know why, but it seemed that would be the easiest way to ensure compatibility.
----------------------
HDD: Western Digital WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA 6 GB/S 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache $88
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036Q7MV0/ref=ox_sc_a...
WD seems to be favored over Seagate from what I've read.
----------------------
SSD: Crucial Technology 128 GB Crucial RealSSD C300 $235
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039SM0AS/ref=ox_sc_a...
This seems to be the most highly recommended SSD right now within the $200-$250 range. I have read about the SSD degradation issue and will only be loading the OS on here. I've heard not to go lower than 80GB at the very least for the OS as over time more and more files get loaded on the SSD from just general use. I also heard something about being able to do SSD Caching w the ASUS MoBo, but from what i remember it will only support up to a 64GB SSD. Any further answers or recommendations on that would really help.
----------------------
CPU Cooling: Cooler Master V8 $50
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KUV2KQ/ref=ox_sc_a...
This was picked out solely for looks. However, from the reviews it seems to do a very nice job of cooling the CPU. I don't to mess around with liquid cooling at all, but I do want to get as close as possible with air coolers.
----------------------
OSD: Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive $20
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0033Z2BAQ/ref=ox_sc_a...
This was a cheap, highly rated DVD burner, so that's why I chose it. I may add a 2nd OSD in the future.
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LAN: ASUS PCE-N13 - Wireless N PCI-Express Adapter $28
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039GVOAM/ref=ox_sc_a...
This was also a cheap, highly rated option. I need a wireless LAN with good reception (multiple antennas) as the PC will be 2 floors from the router in my house.
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OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (Retail Version) $180
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DHGMK0/ref=ox_sc_a...
As I referenced above, I still don't fully understand what the difference is between the retail and OEM version is, as it applies to my build specifically (other than $90). This is something I would need the most advice on.
=========================================================================

All the prices listed (rounded up) are from Amazon as of the date of this post. I want to buy all these components on Amazon, as opposed to Newegg or anywhere else. Firstly, because Amazon doesn't charge tax. Secondly, because I have an Amazon credit card lol. I guess if you're reading this, I just want to make sure I have components picked out that are not only compatible with each other, but also the best buy within my budget. The case, MoBo, and CPU I'm pretty dead set on. Its everything else that I would like other's opinions/recommendations. I also plan on adding additional fans to the inside of the case. I didn't include them in the build because I haven't done enough research yet. I do like having multiple components from the same company, so I will most likely purchase Cooler Master fans, most likely blue LED ones to match the case. However, that's something I'll address once the PC is assembled and temperatures are measured.

Everyone seems like to be pretty well versed and willing to help, so I will really appreciate anyone's feedback. Also, let me know if you think I'm missing anything. Thanks!
July 1, 2011 3:31:19 AM

Windows OEM makes you choose either 64bit or 32bit, it means Original Equipment Manufacturer (I think). The retail version normally have both 32 and 64 bit in the case. The OEM version also isn't flashy with the box.
IMO, you can buy a cheaper MoBo, such as: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 $160
Other than that, everything looks alright
July 1, 2011 3:35:11 AM

So I can get away with just getting Windows 7 64-bit OEM? I wouldn't need the 32-bit version.
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July 1, 2011 3:41:05 AM

Here is a much better cooler. The V8 doesn't even perform as well as the 212+.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WIFI card sucks, get this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That video card shouldn't cost nearly that much. For $10 more you can get a GTX 560 Ti which is much faster.
http://www.provantage.com/galaxy-technology-56ngh6hs4ix...

Are you paying extra for that HDD to be SATA 3? Mechanical HDD can't saturate a SATA 2 port much less a SATA 3.

If you're going to spend that much on a PSU get a SeaSonic
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best solution

July 1, 2011 4:22:16 AM
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You can do much better for $1700. For one, the 2600's hyperthreading isn't doing anything for you with the applications you list. the 2500k will save ya $85 for no impact on what you are doing.

The tall heatsinks are a waste of money and problematic from an interference standpoint. The only cooling effect of these big coolers is that they "look cool". While they served a purpose (when they were effective) w/ DDR2, they are absolutely useless on DDR3.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
At more than 2" tall in certain areas the Corsair Vengeance could pose a problem for users like me who use large coolers such as the Scythe Mugen 2. I was able to use the Corsair Vengeance only after I mounted the fan on my cooler on the backside. Size is definitely a concern with heat spreaders of this size and therefore I encourage users to check that they will have enough space under their heatsinks before purchasing the Corsair Vengeance kit.


http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
The problem I have with the Corsair Vengeance is the same I have with many kits of RAM on the market. Companies insist on putting large coolers on their RAM and it limits the choice in CPU heatsinks that can be used within users system. DDR3 does not require these elaborate coolers with its lower voltages which translate to lower temperatures then RAM saw during the DDR, and DDR2 era. Corsair is correcting this with low profile versions of its Vengeance line but ultimately I would like to see the average size of coolers drop instead of having to look for specific low profile versions of a memory line.


The SSD is last generation at 355 Mbps..... for $15 more you can get current generation 550 Mbps.

A decent nVidia card will let ya take up video editing (CUDA) if that kinda thing begins to tickle ya fancy.

I cant get close to $1700 and what I got below for $1533 is overkill for your stated needs. Add about $85 if ya want the 2600.

Sorry but I have all the links for this build saved and I didn't look up the equivalent Amazon links. Newegg doesnt charge me tax. :) 

Case - $155 - Antec DF-85 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $130 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fan - Later - Antec Red 120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $380 - ASUS P8P67 Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - incl above - Intel Core i5-2500K
Cooler - $40 - Scythe Mugen 2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 Shin Etsu 751 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $70 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9 ar
GFX - $220 - EVGA GTX 560 Ti 900 Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - if ya ever decide to be a big time gamer as above
HD - $65 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $250 - Vertex 3 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $90 - Plextor BR Combo Drive w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home Pre http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Wireless Adapter $28 Your Pick http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Add $105 if ya want the Z68 MoBo w/ the 2600k and a free codemasters game.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The other case choice in a full tower is the HAF-X but again, it's more than ya need.....I'd also look at the Antec 1200, P183 and P193 if ya want something less flashy. All fit the CP-850 which, at its price, nothing else even comes close according to jonnyguru.

I also thru in Blue Ray so ya can watch BR movies
July 1, 2011 4:50:07 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
You can do much better for $1700. For one, the 2600's hyperthreading isn't doing anything for you with the applications you list. the 2500k will save ya $85 for no impact on what you are doing.

The tall heatsinks are a waste of money and problematic from an interference standpoint. The only cooling effect of these big coolers is that they "look cool". While they served a purpose (when they were effective) w/ DDR2, they are absolutely useless on DDR3.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
At more than 2" tall in certain areas the Corsair Vengeance could pose a problem for users like me who use large coolers such as the Scythe Mugen 2. I was able to use the Corsair Vengeance only after I mounted the fan on my cooler on the backside. Size is definitely a concern with heat spreaders of this size and therefore I encourage users to check that they will have enough space under their heatsinks before purchasing the Corsair Vengeance kit.


http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
Quote:
The problem I have with the Corsair Vengeance is the same I have with many kits of RAM on the market. Companies insist on putting large coolers on their RAM and it limits the choice in CPU heatsinks that can be used within users system. DDR3 does not require these elaborate coolers with its lower voltages which translate to lower temperatures then RAM saw during the DDR, and DDR2 era. Corsair is correcting this with low profile versions of its Vengeance line but ultimately I would like to see the average size of coolers drop instead of having to look for specific low profile versions of a memory line.


The SSD is last generation at 355 Mbps..... for $15 more you can get current generation 550 Mbps.

A decent nVidia card will let ya take up video editing (CUDA) if that kinda thing begins to tickle ya fancy.

I cant get close to $1700 and what I got below for $1533 is overkill for your stated needs. Add about $85 if ya want the 2600.

Sorry but I have all the links for this build saved and I didn't look up the equivalent Amazon links. Newegg doesnt charge me tax. :) 

Case - $155 - Antec DF-85 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $130 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fan - Later - Antec Red 120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $380 - ASUS P8P67 Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - incl above - Intel Core i5-2500K
Cooler - $40 - Scythe Mugen 2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 Shin Etsu 751 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $70 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9 ar
GFX - $220 - EVGA GTX 560 Ti 900 Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - if ya ever decide to be a big time gamer as above
HD - $65 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $250 - Vertex 3 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $90 - Plextor BR Combo Drive w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home Pre http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Wireless Adapter $28 Your Pick http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Add $105 if ya want the Z68 MoBo w/ the 2600k and a free codemasters game.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The other case choice in a full tower is the HAF-X but again, it's more than ya need.....I'd also look at the Antec 1200, P183 and P193 if ya want something less flashy. All fit the CP-850 which, at its price, nothing else even comes close according to jonnyguru.

I also thru in Blue Ray so ya can watch BR movies

That's only compatible with the Antec case he picked and a few other Antecs.
July 1, 2011 10:23:55 PM

Thanks for the advise JackNaylorPE. I really appreciate the feedback. You don't think hyperthreading is worth it at this point? I've read some reviews on the i5 and some people note the lack of hyperthreading as a con. What are your exact thoughts on this, i5 vs i7?

I did take your advise on a few things you mentioned. I revised my choice in SSD. I'm looking to get a Crucial 128 GB m4.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2JKZI/ref=ox_sc_a...
I think at this point with all the bad things I'm reading about SSD degradation with OCZ and Intel, I should stick with Crucial, as most have noted that they seem to not have those issues.

I revised my choice on CPU Cooling as well. I'm going to go with the Cooler Master 212.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=ox_sc_a...
It'll save me about $20 and seems to be pretty simple to install. What are your thoughts on using a different brand for thermal grease, as opposed to the kind that comes with the cooler itself?

Changed the RAM to Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8 GB PC3-12800 1600mhz 240-Pin DDR3 Dual Channel
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00569K7LM/ref=ox_sc_a...

Changed the GPU to ASUS ENGTX560 DCII OC/2DI/1GD5 - Geforce GTX 560 DCII OC - 1 G GDDR5
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051E3BYM/ref=ox_sc_a...
Thank you browsingtheworld!

Also, the HDD you mentioned (Samsung) has a lower cache and SATA version than the Western Digital I selected, 32MB 3.0 GB/s vs 64MB 6.0 GB/s. browsingtheworld had mentioned saturation above (thanks again, browsingtheworld). Is it a waste to go with the SATA 3 vs SATA 2?

Thanks to everyone for the feedback! You guys have been a great help!



July 1, 2011 11:20:08 PM

This thread came up at the perfect time. I was just about to ask about a $1500 budget gaming rig. This has got to be the best tech site on the internet.
July 2, 2011 6:19:28 PM

OEM Windows can only be installed on one motherboard, if you ever change it you need another copy.
July 9, 2011 2:07:28 PM

Best answer selected by RUSH358.
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