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First ever homebuilt PC

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August 10, 2011 10:54:49 PM

Hi Forum!

This is my first post so would like to say hi with this build I am planning. :D 

This build is for playing the latest games on highest specs, but I also use alot of game design tools (Unity, UDK, Hammer) as well as programming (in c++/DirectX) a lot with Visual Studio.

I have never built a PC before, and wanted to make sure this was all compatible and there would not be any issues in regards case size and so on.

So this is a work and play machine, here are the parts and thank you in advance for any advice.

Krypton Z68 600i Intel Core i5 2500K 3.30GHz

Kingston HyperX Genesis Grey 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

Asus P8Z68-V PRO Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard

www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=BU-063-OE

HIS ATI Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-036-HS

Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850W V2 High Performance '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

Crucial RealSSD M4 64GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 32MB Cache - OEM

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

LG GH22NS70 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CD...

Asus VE247H 24" Widescreen LED Multimedia Monitor - Black

BitFenix Shinobi Gaming Case - Black

More about : homebuilt

August 10, 2011 11:35:06 PM

Looks like a well thought out list to me. PSU and motherboard provide you with an option for Crossfire down the road even.

Might want to consider a 128GB SSD vs the 64GB but that's personal preference and depends on what your budget is. I just know a lot of people hate how fast the 60GB area of usable runs out after OS, a few programs and a couple games.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 10, 2011 11:35:56 PM

It seems like you're doing a lot of design work. Have you checked if you will benefit from hyper-threading? I would get the i7-2600k instead for the hyper-threading and overclocking. You can get the i7-2600 if you're not planning to overclock. For the motherboard, I don't know if you're planning to crossfire or not and I also don't know what models are available for you. You will be fine going with a regular ASUS P8Z68-V instead of the Pro one. Kingstons make good memory and they're cheap. Another alternative I would consider is G.SKILL. The 850W is too much for you if you don't plan to crossfire the 6950. You can safely drop down to 550-600W. Instead of the Seagate Barracuda, I would get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 which offers better platter density [translate to improved performance]. So basically,

1) i7-2600/i7-2600k if you will benefit from hyper-threading
2) Kingstons are good, if you can find cheaper G.SKILL then don't hesitate
3) I think you can get away with a cheaper motherboard if you're on a budget
4) The 6950 is good but you should consider the 560 ti instead
5) You don't need 850W if you don't plan to crossfire/sli so aim for 550-650W
6) Get the samsung spinpoint instead for better platter density

Otherwise everything works fine as it is but there could be improvements :) 


Related resources
August 11, 2011 12:08:49 AM

Thank you very much both of you for such swift response! :-)

@ MrYoink: That's a really good point. I did consider it but thought "naa should be fine" and I think you just highlighted that I'm probably wrong to do so (esp with the growing size of of some of the software I'm using). Money of course being the main issue here. Any recommendations for a SSD thats good value with a high storage/read time?

@wintermint I was in fact planning to overclock. I was planing to buy the board, RAM and CPU as an overclocked bundle (see above), but the website is quite flexible and I don't think they would take issue with upgrading.

I was planning to crossfire later down the line, which was another reason that bundle's mother board appealed to me and why I thought I'd play it safe with the PSU and be sure it was enough wattage.

The plan was to install the OS and all my games onto the SSD and just keep my personal files on the Seagate, so performance isn't a big deal on this part (or is it?)

Well those are my justifications (feel free to tear them to pieces :-)). Will probably upgrade the CPU, and SSD based on what you guys said.

Choosing the GPU feels like a bit of a shot in the dark, since I basically just read a few reviews and went for one that got lots of good feed back and was not too expensive. So recommendations here would be a god send.

Again, thank you very much your replies. :-D


August 11, 2011 12:11:02 AM

@wintermint: I had to chuckle when I went to check out the 560 ti and the first review stated "I built my first gaming rig entirely from Overclockers and opted for this graphics card over the AMD 6950 1GB. All I can say is wow! What an excellent decision."

a b B Homebuilt system
August 11, 2011 11:32:56 AM

The 6950 1GB and 2GB models both outpace the 560Ti in almost all games @ 1920x1080 and above. My 6950 2GB runs Arma 2, Just Cause 2, Crysis and Crysis 2 on max settings/max AA beautifully, and it looks absolutely incredible. However, Crysis and Crysis 2 are more NVidia-favored. I don't know how that works but there are some games like that, for both AMD and NVidia.

You also have native 3 monitor support, which I must say is extremely useful :D 

I'm trying to pull up the AnandTech GPU benchmarks, but my internet at work is awful. If you'd like to compare the 6950 and 560Ti, go to http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU11/188 and select the two and click compare.
August 11, 2011 6:35:16 PM


Hi all, thanks for the responses,

Have taken your oppinions and made changes,

-I went for the i7 2600k, to take advantage of hypertheading, I do often have many greedy programs running at a time.
-Went for more memory on the SSD
-Switched to Spinpoint F3 SATA
-was going to downgrade to a 750w psu, but there was only a £6 difference. so stuck with the 850w.


So I have edited the build and it is as follows . . .

Again, thanks in advance for any and all replies. :-)

Krypton Z68 650i Intel Core i7 2600K 3.40Ghz overclocked to 4.60Ghz

Asus P8Z68-V Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard

Kingston HyperX Genesis Grey 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=B...

HIS ATI Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

Corsair Force GT 120GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

LG GH22NS70 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CD...

Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850W V2 High Performance '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

Iiyama ProLite B2409HDS 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black

Fractal Design Define R3 Midi Tower Case - Black Pearl




a b B Homebuilt system
August 11, 2011 7:04:19 PM

Looks to be a pretty good system. That i7 should give you a nice boost in performance for your work, and will obviously crush games coupled with the 6950.

The only thing to do now is to save up for some more monitors to enhance (or degrade :D ) your productivity - I use 3x20" for school and it is incredible how much time I save by not switching windows. Gaming on 3x24" monitors (if you get two more of the same) will definitely require a second GPU, but the 2GB VRAM will help you tremendously with the multiple monitors even on one GPU.
August 15, 2011 8:29:00 AM

Hadn't checked this thread in few days, but in response to your SSD question, I didn't list a brand because you had the brand I would have recommended in your first list, the Crucial M4. I cannot in anyway recommend the current corsair or even ocz SSDs due to issues. The new samsung sata 3 coming out has me curious, however that will be OEM only until they come out with a consumer model, so until then I prefer the M4 :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2011 10:48:56 AM

The Intel 320 is also a great SSD. I'd look into that one as well.
August 15, 2011 12:45:30 PM

Hey guys,

So I switched out the Corsair ssd for a Crucial m4

This is them compared . . .

Cosair:

- Sequential read speeds of up to 555 MB/s
- Sequential write speeds of up to 495 MB/s
- SATA 6Gb/s (SATA 3) connectivity
- High performance SandForce SF-2200 SSD controller
- Native TRIM support (O/S support required)
- RAID Support BGC (Background Garbage Collection)
- Increased reliability and quieter operation over standard hard disk drives
- Significantly lower power usage than traditional hard drives for increased notebook battery life
- 2.5" form factor for your portable computer needs
- Included 2.5" to 3.5" bracket for installation on your desktop computer

and the Crucial (what I'm using now)
- Sequential Read (up to): 415MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s)
- Sequential Write (up to): 175MB/sec (SATA 6Gb/s)
- Random 4k Read: 40,000 IOPS
- Random 4k Write: 35,000 IOPS
- PCMark Vantage: 55K HDD Test Score
- Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backwards Compatible 3Gbps
- Native TRIM support
- Seek Time: .1ms
- Slim 2.5" Design
- 100.5 x 69.85 x 9.5mm
- Lightweight: 75g
- Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C
- Storage Temp: -40°C ~ 85°C
- Low Power Consumption: 150 mW in operation, .85 mW in standby
- Shock Resistant up to 1500G
- RAID Support
- MTBF: 1.2 million hours

Am I write to assume that the main things to look at are storage, read speed and write speed? And if thats the case does the Corsair not out class the Crucial M4?

Or are there other factors like build quality I have to worry about?

Thanks agian!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2011 3:30:48 PM

The Corsair does have higher read and write speeds, and its surprising that the M4 doesn't have faster writes (though it is still fast).

Most of the brands are reliable, but they key thing to look at is the controller. Sometimes there are issues with certain controllers, but usually it's a specific line or model that has a string of drive failures.

Usually the Sandforce controllers are more reliable than the Marvell controllers that Crucial uses (had a huge problem with the C300 SSDs in their first stages). There have been some documented problems with the OCZ Agility 3, but the Vertex 3 is still strong (and one of the fastest drives). Intel uses a custom controller that I believe is based on Marvell's.
!