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Need help on my first SB build...somewhat lost

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July 28, 2011 12:13:05 PM

Soooo... first time posting so go easy on me :p 
My aim here is to build a system that will last me a fair bit (2-3 years), while still having the potential to upgrade. I've tried to make it as detailed as possible to make it easier on you guys (hopefully).

Budget Range: $800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, word processing, playing videos in HD, surfing the interweb

Parts Not Required: Mouse, keyboard, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't know any tbh. And Newegg is out of the question because I live in Australia.

Overclocking: Yes, once I research enough and know more about it.

Crossfire: Yes.

I already have some of it determined; see if you guys can add to it (all prices are Australian prices quoted from MSY):

CPU: - i5 2500k - $212

GPU: Radeon 6850 HIS - $168

RAM: Probably an 8GB kit from G.Skill - ~$70

OS: Win7 Home Premium (x64) - $96

As you can see, my build is pretty under-developed, and needs a lot of work. But I know that I want these parts, but I'm just not sure about the rest. In particular the mobo, case and PSU.

I'm willing to cut down on ram, but I saw it at a pretty low price so I thought "Why not?". K-series CPU is for my probable OC activities in the future. The 6850 reviewed and scored well for its price range, and looked like a solid choice for someone who'd do some solid gaming. As games advance, I'll probably chuck in another 6850, or even a 6870 (is it even possible, or advisable, to Xfire a pair of different GPU's?) to keep up with increasing demands on hardware. Cases are pretty expensive here in Australia, but even so I'd invest in a good case, no matter the cost, because eyecandy and airflow is kinda important to me. I was thinking maybe the CM HAF 922?

Oh, and I would reallllly like an SSD in there somewhere. Primary use being the system drive, so ~64GB would be fine. And I have quite a bit of media, so large secondary storage drives would be great.

Guess the main thing I'd like to know is that is all of this doable with $800. If so, are there any parts that I can trim the fat. I'd like to keep costs to a minimum without compromising.

I'd very much appreciate it if any of you guys could help me. Cheers!

More about : build lost

July 28, 2011 12:48:16 PM

I really think each build should start with the PSU as a consideration rather than an after thought. All of your components depend on this thing for the life of your PC. You don't want to sink a bunch of money into your PC only to have your power supply under-powering or cooking your components. Since you're considering cross-firing the 6850, a 750W Corsair TX or HX will be a good quality supply. My advice is don't under-value the importance of a power supply. ~USD $120.

An HAF 912 is a great budget case with good airflow and the center drive cage can be removed if necessary to enhance airflow or allow the longest video cards in an SLI configuration. It also has a cutout in the tray behind the cpu for easy swapping of cooling solutions requiring a backplate as well as decent cable management. These are features you generally only see on cases costing twice the amount. ~USD $50.

A good motherboard offering that latest tech plus the flexibility to go either SLI or crossfire is the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3. This board has a three-year warranty. ~USD $150.

Consider the SSD a luxury item. If you plan to get one in the future, buy a smaller sized 7200 speed WD black edition HDD (ie 250 GB or get a smaller one if you can find it) and keep only the OS and drivers on it. This way, you can get an 80 or 120GB SSD someday and just copy the small drive's image to it. Get a bigger 7200 WD black HDD to which you'll install your applications and store your data.

You can crossfire the 6850 and 6870, but I wouldn't advise it. I didn't have good luck with crossfire technology, myself and wouldn't consider introducing another variable such as different models. Just throw in another 6850 when the time comes. Here's the crossfire compatibility chart from the AMD site:
http://sites.amd.com/PublishingImages/Public/Graphic_Il...

I'm thinking the build is going to be more in the AUD $850-$900 range (given pricing is similar for the items mentioned above) even without the SSD. I think the SSD is the one compromise I'd make to "trim the fat." Also, I'd forgo the eyecandy component in order to get high quality internal components such as the PSU and good HDDs. You can always buy fans with LEDs later. The HAF will allow a decent amount of eyecandy once you buy new fans, but there is no side window.
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July 29, 2011 9:59:01 AM

Yep. I agree with you totally after considering my budget. SSD's even though getting cheaper, are still expensive and unnecessary. Out it goes.

And I was unsure of the PSU because I didn't know how much power Crossfire would need. Now I am.

Thanks ubercake! You've been very helpful (Y)
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