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Me very first homebuilt PC from scratch

Last response: in Systems
July 4, 2011 6:40:51 PM

Hello, let me introduce myself. I am xander, i just got my diploma and people congratulated that my showering me with money :)  so i took my chance and set out to built my very own desktop computer to go in my very first very own house. As you can see by the tone of this i am very happy, but i also have some questions concerning the aforementioned homebuilt desktop.


so without further ado, this is what i thought would be a good combination of parts:

  • ASUS P8P67 LE - motherboard
  • Intel i5 2500k - processor
  • Samsung HD103SJ 2x - HDD (RAID0 or RAID5, i got an external hdd to backup important files)
  • Corsair 8Gb DDR3-1333 Quad kit - RAM
  • Sapphire HD6850 2x - Graphics card (crossfire)
  • OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w - Power supply
  • Scythe Big Shuriken SCBSK-1000 - pcu cooler
  • Antec Performance one P-183 V3 - case


    i would like for you to take a look at this setup and tell me what you think is wrong and what is right, but most importantly wy this is so.

    i also have a few questions:
  • wy do people buy RAM that clocks faster then what the processor can read?
  • do you think that the crossfire setup i have in mind is equal or higher in performance of an equally priced single card?
  • do you think that the pcu cooler i have in mind is a good choise? or do you know of a better cooler that knows when to be quiet?
  • im not really happy about the case i picked out because its rather pricey... ive been looking around buy can't seem to find any case of this size that is designed to be quiet, so if you know of a good one that can hold a motherboard this size. Do say!
  • here it sais that the i5 2500k does not have multithreading technology, i was under the impression that this technology is very powerful and kind of expected it to be on the best version of the i5 (for what i understand)
  • More about : homebuilt scratch

    July 4, 2011 6:43:51 PM

    and then i miclicked submit and it doesn't allow me access to edit the message... so im very sorry for the typo's and mis punctuation.

    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 4, 2011 7:11:34 PM

    Pretty mediocre. Rather go for a single 6950 so you can upgrade later, 6850*2 is about a GTX580, but there isn't any further upgrades. Besides, that not a crossfire board either. 2500K does lack HT, which improves multithreaded performance by ~20%, but isn't used by games. i7s do exist for a reason.

    Hres an altername buikd:
    2500K +Z68 $320

    8GB RAM $70

    Asus HD6950 $265

    Samsung F3 1TB $60

    LEPA 850W $100

    Z9 case $56

    Comes out to $871 shipped. before rebates.
    Related resources
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 4, 2011 7:43:15 PM

    Timop, your 6950 link has changed sides mate :p  its batting for nvidia now hehe
    I was going to say the 2Gb 6950 is an awesome card though, and UK its not much more than the 1Gb version, hmm, choices hehe
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 4, 2011 10:52:46 PM

    Motopsychojdn said:
    Timop, your 6950 link has changed sides mate :p  its batting for nvidia now hehe
    I was going to say the 2Gb 6950 is an awesome card though, and UK its not much more than the 1Gb version, hmm, choices hehe

    Ohh, sorry. The card had some identity issues :<
    Heres one thats more stable:

    The 2GB cards are nice too if you ever do multimonitor, heres oone for $5 more but no MIR:
    July 5, 2011 12:39:39 AM

    that looks nice, im from the netherlands so newegg is not the website i order my products.

    In order for me to understand wy i should be using those parts as opposed to the ones ive found in my search. Could you tell me why you came up with those specific parts?

    What makes the suggested motherboard a better choise over the P8P67 LE from ASUS (note: on the manufacturers webpage it does say that it supports ATI CrossFireX am i misreading this or did you mistake it for something else?)

    I see why you suggest buying 2 units of 4GB RAM as opposed to 4 units of 2GB, so that i leave room to expand for later. But wy chose G.Skill over Corsair? I was under the impression that Corsair was one of the marktleaders.

    Okay i think i agree with your point that using both Graphics card slots might be a waste of money in the longer run. I will look into buying a 6950 from a company that will be selling the exact same model in a year of 1,2.

    Why chose the LEPA power supply over the OCZ? The OCZ has got a lot great references telling us its a good power supply and that it is very quiet, wich i think is a must in a 1 room students home.

    Nice case! although i doubt that it is really made to reduce noise production... i can ofc buy your standard very boring case that serves the purpose of storing my pc and then glue a lot of foam to the outside :) 

    If possible could you maybe attempt to answere my question about RAM speed:
    'Wy do people buy RAM that clocks faster then what the processor can read?'

    Thanks a lot in advance!
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 5, 2011 2:18:20 AM

    The LE board does "crossfire", but only X16/X4 which is a ~20% or more hit on performance. Combined with scaling issues, you might end up with 2 cards only being sligtly better than one.

    Corsair, G-Skill, Mushkin are all good RAM brands, in terms of price G-Skill had the slight upperhand as it lack the brand "aura", its somewhat like the "Sony premium" where you're paying a little extra just for the brand.

    LEPA is Enermax, which you might not find in the EU. OCZ doesn't actually make great PSUs, most of them are only mediocre except the high-end ZX series, yet isn't considerably cheaper than the others. The only thing that should make alot of noise in a PSU is the fan, which the OCZ doesnt have anything fancy after the marketing. Seasonic, Corsair are both brands better than OCZ in the PSU market.

    The P183 isn't necessarily a quiet case, especially how much you trade in terms of airflow and price (looks too IMO). Acoustic foam is pretty cheap and quiet fans would bring down the noise considerably. So I would just shop for a case that looks good, has nice value then take acoustics later. Though even with an open bench, a Sandy-bridge + 6950 setup won;t be too loud.

    Answering your RAM question, people do it so they can get better performance. Though the IMC for Sandy bridge is 1333Mhz stock (IIRC), with a 1600 kit you can "Overclock" it up to 1600, which increases bandwidth. Though benefits of having higher bandwidths is really limited, people like to "squeeze every bit of performance" and 1600 do sound a lot faster than 1333.
    July 6, 2011 1:46:37 PM

    I see, thanks for that highly informative reply!

    So, i should be shopping for the RAM listed above, a Seasonic or Corsair PSU, a cheap case that fits everything nicely and has room for a couple of fans, and most importantly a motherboard that supports 'X8 / X8'? or 'X16 / X16'? because ive not seen that before.

    Also, do you happen to have any idea where i should be looking to find a good, quiet cpu cooling unit? from what i read the Big Scythe is quiet but not that powerfull... and im kind of done with my pc overheating, so if at all possible id like my pcu to be at around 35-40 degrees on load : )
    July 10, 2011 9:59:51 AM

    Hey again, after clearing out of the way some stuff i had time to look for suitable parts again and came up with the following:

    ASUS P8Z68 Motherboard (wich does support 8x/8x crossfire and sli)

    Intell I5 2500K Processor

    G.Skill 8 GB DDR3-1333 RAM (F3-10666CL7D-8GBXH, wich is the one you listed)

    Sapphire HD6950 2GB (Dirt 3 edition) this is because i want a brand that sells the exact same card in about a year or 2 and not one of those Japanese brands that sell their uber version of the card 3 months when it comes out and then it disappears for me to find.

    2x Samsung F3 Spintpoint HD103SJ (in RAID0)

    Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2 PSU, im not really sure what the required specifications are for a PSU but im assuming that it something along the lines of: enough power, enough connections and reliable and thats it.

    Cooler Master Elite 430 case

    The reason i chose this motherboard is because i have not yet been dissapointed by the brand ASUS after years of using their products and also because the one you listed isn't sold in the netherlands.
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 10, 2011 11:13:16 AM

    Thats a nice looking build mate,
    I'd put the psu up to the Tx850 if your going to crossfire another 2Gb 6950 in a year or so, save you having to upgrade that at same time
    psu requirements, good reliable name, corsair seasonic, antec to name a few
    cables, enough of the type you require, I know the Tx850 has 4x pcie cables, the Tx650 should too
    but the real thing you want to look out for is the amperage on the 12v rail, I think the 650w does 60a which is fine for you
    jonnyguru does reviews on powersupplies and its worth you looking on there to see your tx650, it was a good review as I recall
    but as with any purchase, research before buying is the key man,
    so kudos for doing it the right way :) 
    July 10, 2011 11:23:27 AM

    thank you for your reply, i will check out those reviews :p 

    and as my mother always said: you can only spend your money once boy!
    July 18, 2011 6:50:06 AM

    is it just me, or does 4x PCIe sound like overkill?

    Im also having a hard time believing that i need 850 Watts for my built listed above + another 2gb card...
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 18, 2011 8:14:05 AM

    4pcie slots? nah, thats no overkill :p 
    or did you mean an x4 lane pcie slot?, if anything an x4 speed lane being used in sli/crossfire is a choker, is closer to overkill hehe :p 
    and as for power needs, 'build' your rig into this
    to see what it will need with the 2 cards in there, allow headroom ofc :) 
    July 18, 2011 4:34:03 PM

    I ment 4x PCIe from the PSU, but thanks a lot for the link :D 
    July 18, 2011 4:43:57 PM

    WOW! 691 watts... that! is against all expectations...
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 18, 2011 6:33:29 PM

    Aah, right, 4x pcie lines, no no overkill there, my new build needs all four lines to power the cards I'm putting in there
    some graphics cards are passive, some require one powerline, some need two per card, it really does depend on the card/s you are buying,
    now if you haven't forgotten any parts on that calc result, I say allow yourself some headroom and look for a good 750w psu, although as I previously said, make it an 850w if your putting another card in there later :) 
    July 19, 2011 4:48:20 PM

    thanks for the reply mate, can you see if the other parts i selected are the ones i need? and its 691 watt with 2x the 6950 2gb :p , so ill be getting a 750 watt with 4x PCIe connection : )
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 19, 2011 5:48:37 PM

    The rest of it looks fine, although I'd check the clearance for the gfx card in the 430, I think iirc you have 10.5 inches in there (without modding ofc) for your cards
    July 19, 2011 10:02:13 PM

    good one :D  thanks, im getting a hd6950 from radeon, not a nvidea card tho : )
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 20, 2011 3:36:02 AM

    Your currently selected case is a coolermaster 430, I knew the gfx card was an amd 6950, the card is the same as I'm putting in my new build thats why I phrased it as I did, check clearance for the card in the 430 :-p
    I'm having Asus tripleslot ones though and my board does 16/16 on the crossfire yay! :-p

    July 20, 2011 10:03:40 AM

    ah, i see ;P okay ty.
    July 28, 2011 12:26:01 PM

    okay, well i went along and bought some stuff.

    Cooler master HAF 922
    ASUS P8Z68 VPro
    Intel I5 2500K
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus
    G.Skill 8 GB dual channel kit (2*4GB) Ripjaws
    2x Samsung HD103SJ
    Sapphire Radeon HD6950 Dirt3 edition.

    i also ordered a blue ray disk reader (cheapest i could find) and a PSU.
    but the company responsible for getting those to my house fucked up and refunded me my money after a lot of talking on the phone. (guess thats the risk you take when you deal with the cheapest in a country :p )

    anyway, i now have to find a new PSU because the one i had selected is actually a little over budget.

    and you gave me the psu power calculator thingy and i was wondering how the value's it was giving me could possibly be true...

    i mean take a look at this:
    it states that the card i bought draws nearly 400 watts by itself let along in crossfire.
    How could the Psu power calculator possibly tell me i need a 591 watt power supply for my setup + crossfire and 4 strips or RAM?

    July 30, 2011 11:25:46 PM

    update: i was way to impatient to let my computer just sit there, so when my dad went on vacation and took his computer apart (this was no easy task being that he bought it already assembled from a local shop) and cannibalised his psu (a 350 watt (400 watt peak)) and dvd reader, popped in my copy of windows 7 ultimate and started installing.

    After installing everything i could think of and doing the whole windows update thing i thought it would be fun to get the windows index numbers for show and then it shut down (i told it to do so when there wasn't enough power coming from the psu in bios) so im guessing for a setup with 1 card i dont need much more then 500 maybe 550 watts to be safe and one with 2 cards definitely not more then 750.

    so i now have my eye on a cooler master silent pro 700, since its modular and has a ton of good reviews from websites like (wich is a dutch version of but a little different)