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First Time Build

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July 5, 2011 7:39:04 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: No particular deadline. I plan to compile parts over the next 6-7 months.

Budget Range: $2000-2500 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, and surfing the internet

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I would like to use an Intel CPU & ASUS mobo with a full tower case. I have no particular preference when it comes to a GPU but I have been looking at Radeon 6970 in crossfire.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: The concept of liquid cooling frightens me. I would prefer to air-cool the machine. Noise isn't a gigantic factor but if there are any noise cancelling recommendations I'm all ears.

Greetings,

I'm in the process of compiling the parts for my first build and was wondering if I could get some advice. As it stands my current parts consist of:

Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $279.99

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 BX80623I72600K - $314.99

ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $224.99

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP8GX3M2A1600C9 - $119.99

OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $259.99

Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $149

XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity - $349.99 (x2) - $699.98

These are the core parts that I've come up with at this point, but I'm still playing around with it a bit. Obviously it lacks a PSU, and I was hoping that you guys might have a recommendation.

What other internals does this machine need? I've seen online configurations on Origin and Digital Storm that typically have a fan controller, or network interface cards, but I don't know how necessary these things are in the end.

Also, would air-cooling this machine be realistic? Any fan kit recommendations?

EDIT: Looking back now I realize that I've forgotten a DVD/BR drive. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

EDIT#2: I apologize for not initially posting in an acceptable format.



Thanks for listening.

More about : time build

July 5, 2011 7:46:11 PM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.

It's not a BAD build per say, but not a good gamer PC. Could you do us a favor and fill in this form? http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... It gives us more information about your needs.

I can tell you right now that air cooling in an 800D isn't very wise. It was built for watercooling. Look at the Silverstone Raven and Fortress series, they have the same classy exterior but are more built for air cooling.

Hope that helps!
July 5, 2011 8:16:37 PM

striker410 said:
Hi there, welcome to the forums.

It's not a BAD build per say, but not a good gamer PC. Could you do us a favor and fill in this form? http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... It gives us more information about your needs.

I can tell you right now that air cooling in an 800D isn't very wise. It was built for watercooling. Look at the Silverstone Raven and Fortress series, they have the same classy exterior but are more built for air cooling.

Hope that helps!



The quick response is much appreciated. I will definitely check out the cases.

Out of sheer curiosity why is this not a good gamer PC? I'm still new to this so any info is greatly appreciated.
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July 5, 2011 8:57:53 PM

Ahh, thank you for the edit.

So $2,000 eh? That's quite a budget. What games do you plan on playing? You can build a machine that should max Skyrim and BF3 right now for probably $1,500.
Here's an excellent thread that I highly recommend you lurk: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312826-31-bestconfigs... (disregard side discussions) It's right up your alley.

Let's talk over the parts you have now.
800D- Not a good air cooling case. It's expensive, and not really designed for air cooling.

Ram-Dominator ram is expensive, not sure why. A set of Vengeance ram runs $40 cheaper and is just as good http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i7-2600k-A good choice for your budget. The i5-2500k does just as well, but the i7 allows for a little futureproofing in the form of Hyper Threading.

mobo- A good choice, but unnecessary price. Check out Gigabyte's Z68X offerings for the same features at around $60 less.

SSD- A good choice, but I would buy this part last since they are constantly dropping in prices.

HDD- Just, no. Getting 2 Spinpoint F3 1TB drives is a cheaper and faster option for storage.

Video card- Keep it, excellent choice.

now here's the thing. Prices and tech are constantly changing, mean it's ALWAYS a better idea to buy all the parts at once.
I don't know your budget constraints, but I would save up some money and make the purchase in 3 or 4 months when you can afford it all. With newer tech coming out every month, it means anything that's the hot new thing now will be in the bargain bin in 6 months. You have to be careful is what I'm saying.

Hopefully that will help.
July 6, 2011 12:37:40 PM

striker410 said:
What games do you plan on playing? You can build a machine that should max Skyrim and BF3 right now for probably $1,500.

BF3 and SS3 are the heavy hitters that I have my sights on at this point. I've never played any of the Elder Scrolls games but I have been checking Skyrim out. My library primarily consists of some Valve games, and Borderlands.

And I've been playing these all on a 2.5-year old XPS 16.

striker410 said:
Ahh, thank you for the edit.
Here's an excellent thread that I highly recommend you lurk: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312826-31-bestconfigs... (disregard side discussions) It's right up your alley.

The assistance is much appreciated. In fact I already have a question.

On the first page one of the posters comments about a build utilizing the same processor that I have listed and a sli GTX580 setup. He goes on to say that in this situation you have no choice but to OC the processor. Why is that exactly, and would I run into the same thing with the GPU's I selected?

striker410 said:
HDD- Just, no. Getting 2 Spinpoint F3 1TB drives is a cheaper and faster option for storage.

The Spinpoint seems like a good choice but how are they in terms of reliability? From what I read they appear to be a bit noisy as well.

Do you have a recommended minimum size for the SSD? I plan on using it for the OS.
July 6, 2011 4:40:24 PM

Excellent, we can make that the goal.

The reason you need to OC the processor is bottlenecks. With 2 GTX 580's, you will have SO much GPU power that the processor won't be able to fully keep up, hindering performance a little bit. If you overclock, it makes the processor able to keep up!

My Spinpoint F3 is pretty silent. I don't really get any whirring or anything.
They are extremely reliable, and come with a 3 year warranty. They are also I believe the fastest 7200RPM drive on the market.

For an SSD, I would suggest you get a nice 60GB, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... wait for the price to drop though, because it used to be $105 with rebate. 60GB will let you hold an OS, office apps and stuff, and 3 or 4 games.
July 6, 2011 6:33:11 PM

Looking at all the parts so far I feel that I might need to cut the GPU's to the 6950. According to the site it seems like they might give me the best bang for my buck. I've noticed that a lot of the builds in that other thread utilize MSI or Sapphire cards, are these preferred brands?

Any CPU cooler you would personally recommend?
July 6, 2011 10:33:11 PM

Well if you are going to drop but want to remain on the high end of things, drop to a 6970. You have a high enough budget that we can get the cream of the crop.

For a heatsink, It's hard to say. If you want very high end, this one is as good as it gets: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... But you need a LOT of room in the case, and you need to be OCing a LOT to take advantage of it.
On the slightly tamer side, the Hyper 212+ Is a fantastic heatsink, it will let you reach 4.5GHz without a problem. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh...

For GPU brands, I am partial to the MSI Twin Frozr II or III. They cool very well, and are very well made.
July 18, 2011 3:13:52 PM

striker410 said:
For a heatsink, It's hard to say. If you want very high end, this one is as good as it gets: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... But you need a LOT of room in the case, and you need to be OCing a LOT to take advantage of it.
On the slightly tamer side, the Hyper 212+ Is a fantastic heatsink, it will let you reach 4.5GHz without a problem. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh...


Currently looking at the raven 02. A bit cheaper than the 01 and seems to be a better choice compared to the 03. I can always grab a usb 3.0 port adapter from newegg.
July 18, 2011 3:25:41 PM

Oh yeah, the RV02 is a beautiful case. I think you'd be very happy.

And yeah, Silverstone sells USB 3.0 adapters for the 5.25 bay, they are like $25.
July 21, 2011 12:19:10 PM

Got another newbie question.

Looking at the Mobo I started with I notice that it supports dual channel memory and has up to four memory slots.

Now my question is, if I wanted to upgrade my RAM to this kit does that mean that it wouldn't work due to it being tri channel?

I don't really get this channel thing.
July 21, 2011 12:56:32 PM

Well, you linked a motherboard, lol.

But no, the answer is no. Dual channel is all you need, but I will explain the channel deal below.

Single Channel- A universal thing. It's one stick, working by itself.
Dual Channel- As the name would imply, two sticks working in tandem, as a combined force. This is the optimal layout.
Triple Channel- A feature introduced with the X58 platform. A bit excessive, but has more memory bandwidth.

What's the reason for dual channel or triple channel? Higher memory speeds and bandwidth. Basically, faster RAM.

So, just buy a dual channel kit and you are safe. Triple channel is exclusive to mobo's that support it.
July 21, 2011 1:03:29 PM

striker410 said:
Well, you linked a motherboard, lol.

But no, the answer is no. Dual channel is all you need, but I will explain the channel deal below.

Single Channel- A universal thing. It's one stick, working by itself.
Dual Channel- As the name would imply, two sticks working in tandem, as a combined force. This is the optimal layout.
Triple Channel- A feature introduced with the X58 platform. A bit excessive, but has more memory bandwidth.

What's the reason for dual channel or triple channel? Higher memory speeds and bandwidth. Basically, faster RAM.

So, just buy a dual channel kit and you are safe. Triple channel is exclusive to mobo's that support it.



Sorry about that. Had too many tabs open at one. Fixed now.

Now my only other question involves the timing. Some have 8-8-8-4 and some have 9-9-9-4.

Does this have something to do with the speed the function at?

Looking at this kit.
July 21, 2011 1:20:51 PM

That my friend, is called CAS latency. The lower the latency, the faster the ram.

But, it's not something you should pay more for. The difference between CAS 8 and CAS 9 is like 1% performance difference. Don't worry about it, unless you find some 1600MHz CAS 8 ram that costs the same.
August 19, 2011 7:13:15 PM

It's alright..... The thing is, all the savings come from free software. And plus, it looks like it doesn't even come with a case! Very deceiving, to be sure. I would stay away, there are better deals to be had for sure.
!