First Build - Advice Requested

Approximate Purchase Date: Now

Budget Range: ~1100 after rebates. I am flexible. More concerned with value and quality over cheapness.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Adobe Creative Suite, Everything else

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: whatever is cheapest. I have $250 credit at amazon I would like to spend ( probably will just use it on the processor)

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: I would like to have the option for dual cards down the road.


This is my first build. I have no idea what I am doing but I have been doing a lot of research. Here are the parts I have picked out so far. Feel free to laugh at my uninformed rookie decisions.


Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
219.99

Mobo: MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130574
149.99 after rebate
Theres lots of MOBOs that look almost identical. Need some advice.

DVD Drive: SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AL LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151235
22.99

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233180
69.99

CASE: COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer SGC-1000-KWN1 Black SECC / ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional ) Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119240&Tpk=storm%20enforcer
79.99 after rebate
I really like this case. I'm not sure if I am supposed to be going for a mid case or a full case. I would like a mid case if there is any chance of being able to fit 2 graphics cards in it at some point. I believe this case has a removable hard drive cage that can fit a long card or two. Need advice on this one.

PSU:Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371049&cm_sp=DailyDeal-_-17-371-049-_-Homepage
64.99 after rebate
Any chance that this will be able to support 2 graphics cards? Im thinking the 560ti's

Graphics Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604
214.99 after rebate
I'd like to run these in SLI down the road if necessary.

Hard Drive:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
49.99
I would like to have a SSD boot drive but I am still doing some research on that. Might add that down the road if I cant find a cost effective solution right now. Feels like the SSD market is moving very rapidly right now so it might make sense for me to give it a few months.

Windows 7 64bit - 99.99

Monitor Resolution: not sure what monitor I want yet. I'll worry about that separately.

Current Total 972.91
Do I need a CPU cooler? Did I pick RAM that is compatible? Any advice on a small, reliable, inexpensive SSD boot drive? Anything I forgot and left out? Did I pick anything that just flat out sucks? Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
-Will
5 answers Last reply
More about first build advice requested
  1. great build.

    i might grab this 560 ti at amazon (dual fan and higher factory overclock):
    http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Superclocked-PCI-Express-Graphics-01G-P3-1567-KR/dp/B004XUCCRM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1312821270&sr=8-3

    and buy the mobo+cpu as combo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.660186

    there are many other good mobo choices as well, but its pretty hard to argue with such a well-featured board that comes to $125 after combo and rebates. i happen to own the gd65 and its stable and overclocks well. these two might look a bit snazzier through your side window, if that matters to you, and theyre also great boards:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128494&Tpk=z68x%20ud4

    the 750w psu will support 2x gtx 560 ti's.

    thats a great case, and if you like it, get it, it will be fine for two 560 ti's. you may want to add an additional 200mm fan (or 2x 120mm) to the top, but that can always be done later.
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Computer-Cooling-R4-LUS-07AR-GP/dp/B002LE8BJA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1312822473&sr=8-2

    you will need a cpu cooler to overclock. the hyper 212+ is always a good choice:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    the problem with the ram is the super tall heatsinks, which can interfere with cpu coolers. Frankly, this can typically be dealt with, but considering that there are so many other good ram options, i find this unacceptable:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428
  2. Wow. Lots of really good advice. Thanks. I'm going to update my list and repost it to make sure it all looks good.
  3. Is the 560ti the best bang for the buck at this point? I assume it will run most things acceptably right now and I can just add a 2nd 560ti down the road if it becomes necessary. Would it be smarter to spend a little bit extra on a 570 or 580 right now to try to future proof the machine a little bit?

    Here's my updated specs. Any additional advice is appreciated.

    Processor / MOBO combo: MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.660186&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=5409dbb0zotx
    344.98 after rebate

    DVD Drive: SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AL LightScribe Support - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827151235
    22.99

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=yftxon4upd45
    59.99

    CASE: COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer SGC-1000-KWN1 Black SECC / ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional ) Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 20enforcer
    79.99 after rebate
    I really like this case. I'm not sure if I am supposed to be going for a mid case or a full case. I would like a mid case if there is any chance of being able to fit 2 graphics cards in it at some point. I believe this case has a removable hard drive cage that can fit a long card or two. Need advice on this one.

    PSU:Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] _-Homepage
    64.99 after rebate
    Any chance that this will be able to support 2 graphics cards? Im thinking the 560ti's

    Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti DS Superclocked 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card 01G-P3-1567-KR
    http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Superclocked-PCI-Express-Graphics-01G-P3-1567-KR/dp/B004XUCCRM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1312821270&sr=8-3&tag=vglnk-c1001-20
    219.99 after rebate
    I'd like to run these in SLI down the road if necessary.

    Hard Drive:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185
    49.99

    Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=16h5q0ttqc73z
    27.99

    Windows 7 64bit - 99.99

    Additional 200mm fan for case: COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AR-GP 200mm Red LED Case Fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103072
    20.99

    Combined Total 991.89

    Now I think I will start looking at some inexpensive but hopefully reliable SSDs. Thanks for any additional feedback!
  4. Your build looks solid!

    On the SSD front, you'll want to check this thread out, also discussed here at Anandtech. To summarize from the poster: "A French site, hardware.fr apparently has access to a retailer's database of products sold vs those returned for failure. They regularly amass this data and publish reliability info for major PC components like graphics cards, RAM and of interest here, SSDs and hard drives." (based on parts sold between October 1st 2009 and April 1st 2010) Even though the sample size is ~500 units, Intel SSDs have a notably lower failure rate than other manufacturers (Anecdotally, I've had an Intel X-25M SSD since January and have had 0 problems). I highly recommend a SSD for any build over ~$650; in my opinion your build would be incomplete without one at your budget level. You'll get the best value at the 120GB level, here's a link to Intel's offerings which bears that out.

    While you're absolutely right that the SSD market will advance quickly, upgrading later means reinstalling windows onto your new SSD to really take advantage of the speed and snappiness it offers, which can be a big pain. If I were you I'd be inclined to put an Intel SSD into the mix from the start.

    Good luck :)
  5. Ok Final Check! I've got everything picked out and I was just hoping for a final confirmation from someone that I'm not making any rookie mistakes! Will the blu-ray drive work for installing the operating system to a new build or do i need to have a standard dvd drive as well ? Thanks.


    Processor / MOBO combo: MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] 09dbb0zotx
    344.98 after rebate

    Disk Drive:
    SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Combo Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=27-151-222&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2#scrollFullInfo
    59.99

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] txon4upd45
    59.99

    CASE: Already Picked up a case

    * PURCHASED *
    PSU:Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] _-Homepage
    64.99 after rebate


    Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti DS Superclocked 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card 01G-P3-1567-KR
    http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Supercl [...] k-c1001-20
    219.99 after rebate
    I'd like to run these in SLI down the road if necessary.

    Hard Drive:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185
    49.99

    Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 5q0ttqc73z
    27.99

    Windows 7 64bit - 99.99

    SSD: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148348
    249.99

    SSD adapter:Rosewill RX-C200P 2.5" SSD / HDD Plastic Mounting Kit for 3.5" Drive Bay
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817997013
    4.99

    Total Cost: 1182.89
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