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First Build - Help with Selections and Compatibility

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July 6, 2011 4:52:44 AM

Hello. I have been looking over the site and it has been most helpful as I have been researching my first build, so I signed up to get some more specific feedback on where I am at with my selections.


Approximate Purchase Date: Over the course of the next few weeks (Built by mid August).


Budget Range: $1500-$2500 Total


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Revit Architecture, 3ds Max (iRay/Mental Ray Rendering), Photoshop/Illustrator, Gaming, Movies, Internet


Parts Not Required: Looking for everything.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Tigerdirect


Country of Origin: US


Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, Nvidia Graphics, Full Tower Case (For Future Expansion)


Overclocking: Yes (Once Learned)


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, don't know too much about it.


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 I suppose


Additional Comments: Wanting parts to look as though they belong together (I.E. No random jumble of randomly colored parts or whatever), Cooling is important (may undergo long rendering times)


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Currently Selected Parts: (Need advice on my selections, possible cost reductions, additions, changes, etc.)


CPU:
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
COOLER MASTER HAF X Blue Edition RC-942-KKN3 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:
PC Power and Cooling Silencer 910W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: (Maybe go for 12 - 16gb kit, not sure if necessary)
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: (main storage drive)
HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: (fit operating system and programs, possibly need bigger?)
Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Disc Drive:
SONY Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 8X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BWU-500S
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: (Need 3gb for Large iRay rendering, and lots of cooling)
ZOTAC AMP2! ZT-50104-10P GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wireless Adapter:
ASUS PCE-N13 Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Up to 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates 64-bit/128-bit WEP, TKIP, and AES WI-Fi alliance WPA, WPA2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: (Possibly add in either a push or push pull fan system) - Clearance over Ram?
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor:
Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers ASCR 10,000,000:1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard/Mouse Combo:
Logitech MK520 USB RF Wireless Ergonomic Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows 7: (64 bit, Home Premium or Ultimate)
This is where I am a bit fuzzy. I am wondering if there is any real need to go past Home premium. The only advantage that strikes me is no 16gb memory cap on ram (which I may not surpass anyway). Other features seem to be aimed more to businesses with data protection which may not be necessary. Also I am concerned about OEM vs Retail as I may want to upgrade and don't want to have to go through calling for reactivation (if possible) or forced to purchase a new license. A full version may be the route I take, depending on what anyone has to say about it since it is quite a bit more expensive.


Here are all the parts I have selected all of which could be changed depending on what more experienced people suggest. The current total is around $2,130.00 not including MIR's, Tax, Shipping, or the operating system which I will need to purchase. This number is making be a little uneasy, as it is near the top of my budget and would like to drop that lower if possible. I will be purchasing all the parts through the next few weeks to get ready for school and want it built by mid August. I will be going online everyday to check prices and any possible discounts as I want to try and knock down that number.

Sorry for the huge amount of information and I hope you have made it this far. I thank you all for your time and any help you can provide. I look forward to listening to everyone's advice, and making the best decisions for my first custom PC!

Thank you! :) 
July 6, 2011 5:28:58 AM

^ Nice parts, some suggestions

Some places where you can save money,...
1. CASE - You can switch to a Mid-Tower without any issues,... There are so many good mid-towers which will be suitable for the build,... This one is pretty good,...
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K63
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Mobo - Check other cheaper alternative, which will also get the job done,...
MSI Z68A-GD65 (B3)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. PSU - Are you sure you want to go SLI, ?? The GTX 580 is very powerful also I doubt those apps would take advantage of SLI and for gaming say @ High settings @1080p ,the GTX 580 can handle most of the games,... So IMO for your needs a single card would suit better,... So you can drop to a lower powered PSU IMO,...
Corsair 650TX V2 - Can easily handle GTX 580 with an overclocked CPU,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
But its your call though,...

4. SSD - This one is newer
Crucial M4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 6, 2011 8:29:47 PM

1. I like that case for the most part, the features are pretty much exactly what I am looking for, such as the 2.5" drive bays, first case I have seen with those. Can't say I'm too crazy about the streamlined top though, and appearance is a bit important since that's what I will be looking at, but hey maybe it looks better in person.

I did want to ask if you know much about the airflow in the case when compared to the HAF X (which seemed to be one of the better for airflow hence the name). There is no side fan for the PSU and Graphics card area, but how important is that side fan anyhow? I am really on the fence over the Lian Li you suggested, the HAF X and possibly even the HAF 932, which is cheaper and holds my appeal. Or maybe any other mid size case with high airflow that stikes the style I am looking for, may just have to keep searching.

2. Checked out the MOBO's and yes they seem like they will do just as good. I am leaning towards the MSI, but also, the Asus I had previously mentioned dropped $10 making it $199, is it worth it to stay with that or just go for the MSI at $179 with $20 MIR? Is there anything I would be missing out on, because the lower price sounds a lot better.

3. The graphics card/Power Supply issue...I probably won't go SLI, but a question...I may possible want to add an additional Nvidia graphics card in the future, (one of a lower price), but not go into SLI with them. The reason is that the new iRay renderer with 3ds max runs off the devices separately without the need for them to be in SLI, as I understand it.

How much upgrading could I do if I went with the Corsair 650 before I needed a more powerful PSU?

What is the lowest wattage I would need to add maybe another graphics card, a hard drive or two, sound card, extra ram and an additional SSD in the future?

4. Switched SSD, saved $5. Is a 64 gb SSD enough to put the operating system and all my programs on it? Probably upwards of 6-10 programs, and then some games. Can I just switch over to the HDD when I run out of room?

On the note of Hard Drives, I have heard something about having two hard drives where one is a cache and the other is a main drive, not sure what all this means or what I should do to get the best performance I can get.

Thank you for all your help, I know i'm asking a lot of questions.
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Best solution

July 7, 2011 4:27:39 AM

1. When it comes to the airflow, am sure that case is one of the best Mid towers out there,.... But like you said, the shape might not appeal to all,...
Also the HAF X is no doubt one of the best Full Towers, but IMO for a single card config or even dual, these mid towers can easily handle that setup,... Full Towers would be more advantageous when you plan for water cooling or such,...
But at the current price, if you want to stick with a Full Tower, then the HAF 932 also is a pretty good option -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The reason why I might still suggest a Mid Tower and save some money is that you can invest it in a bigger SSD,... But its your call though,...

2. Actually the PRO and the GD65 are in the same league,... IMO the MSI is pretty good value board at that price,...

3. PSU - If you have such plans, then get a 750W, so that you wont have to worry about power issues,... Get this one, for the price(also after rebates), IMO this is better than the Corsair
Antec HCG 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. SSD - A typical clean WIN 7 OS install might take less than 10GB of space,... Also you should know that in a SSD, you have to keep atleast 20% free space in order for it to work at its full potential,... so keep that in mind when installing applications,...

Also if you have some money to spare, then get a smaller SSD - 30GB as a scratch disk which will be utilized as a RAM like you said,... Or go all out and get 16GB, for the apps that you use, more the RAM the better, also you will have less need of the scratch disk and such,...
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July 7, 2011 4:57:03 PM

Here are some final decisions:

I think I will go with the Lian Li, trying to stay within budget will allow for larger SSD like you said which is what I would prefer. Plus, that is a fairly large case for a Mid Tower, and the 2.5" drive bays would be nice, no extra cost for mounting brackets.

MOBO: MSI GD65 looks to have all I would need, with an extra PCIe 2.0 x 16 in case I get another GPU in the future.

PSU: I will either get the Antec you mentioned, or this Corsair 750w: (bit more pricy, but kind of matches my color scheme, modular cables, but with the Lian Li, any extra cables from the Antec could easily be stored away by the looks of it. )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: There is a sale today on this Ram:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This will be on the shell shocker this afternoon for $100, so I am thinking of picking this up today and start the purchasing process, or possibly waiting for different deals. How would this 1333 Ram compare to 1600, it sounds like I can overclock it if necessary, but to get 16gb for $100 vs 8gb for $90 sounds like a heckuva deal! And if I go with this red Ram, The Antec PSU is more viable color scheme wise (picky I know!)

SSD I have chosen:Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With what I saved on the case and on a couple other products, I decided to bump up to the 128gb SSD, and possibly get a 30gb scratch drive like you mentioned, still not sure how to set that up, but I am sure I can figure it out through a little research, but this may not be neccessary given I choose the 16gb kit of ram today.

This put me to about where I started price wise (not including new MIR's) but have some better choices for performance such as with the 128 gb SSD.

Thank you for all the help, and I will probably start buying components this week.
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July 8, 2011 3:54:28 AM

^ That looks good,...
And as for the RAM, I guess you should have bought it by now, if not do that first as those deals dont stay for long or get sold out pretty quickly... It wont matter much going with 1333MHz RAM over 1600MHz RAM,... It will have some room for overclocking left - say ~upto 1400MHz or such,...

SSD - Yes, you can put on hold the scratch disk for now,...
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July 8, 2011 4:21:17 AM

Thanks for the reply, I placed my first order. Was still able to get the ram at the discounted price, Antec PSU to add additional redness to contrast the main blue of my setup, and mainly got the parts that had MIR's ending soon, or were at discounted prices. A few more orders within the next few weeks will finish it off and I can then start building.

Thanks again!
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July 12, 2011 5:05:44 PM

Best answer selected by oobe_banoobe.
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