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Building first Gaming PC next week, need advice

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August 31, 2011 12:37:42 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week

Budget Range: AUD$1400.00 (including peripherals, no OS)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: adobe after effects cs5.5 and gaming, sony vegas pro 10, 3D animation, browsing the net

Parts Not Required: OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.pccasegear.com

Country of Origin: Australia

Parts Preferences: intel for CPU, G.Skill for RAM, gigabyte/asus for motherboard

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: (read below)


Hi Guys,

I joined this forum roughly 8-12 months ago with very small knowledge but am now ready to order parts for my new Gaming PC. I am based in Australia and the build is AUD$1400.00 including all peripherals and no OS. The PC will be used for adobe after effects CS5.5, rendering HD video and gaming (unreal tournament 3, CoD mw2, BF2 and maybe BF3) Before posting the build I have some last questions...

1.
The Antec 900 Two v3 ships with multiple case fans with fan controller knobs to adjust fan speed for LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH settings. I assume I would turn the case fan speed to HIGH when gaming or rendering in adobe after effects and keep it on LOW when browsing the web, am I correct?

2.
Is it worth paying the extra AUD$8.00 for a Corsair TX 650W PSU over the Antec High Current Gamer 620W?

3.
Can someone give me a short definition of "steam" (not the steam that comes out of a kettle) ? I hear this buzz word everywhere and I believe it's a server that people use to play CoD mw2 online as well as other games?

4.
What is the best approach to a light overclock of an intel CORE i5 2500k? At the moment it confuses me because the method varies depending on what motherboard is used and I am confused as to whether I increase the FSB and RAM frequency aswell.

5.
I have read many opinions on whether ATX is better than mATX and it ends up going back to square one. Some say ATX allows better airflow and some say it makes little difference at all. I am aware that mATX may have less PCI slots but that doesn't bother me, so should I still go with a mATX mobo?

6.
The last thing I am most concerned about is ESD when building my PC. I plan to purchase an anti-static wrist strap. I have been told to clip the strap to a non-painted metal part of the case but the Antec 900 seems to be painted all black. This may sound silly but what else can I connect the strap too? A fork or knife? A spanner? A spoon?
Do I still have to touch a piece of metal every few minutes even with the anti-static strap?
Should I wear shoes or do it in bare feet? Should I wear cotton, wool or polyester? Are the outsides of the anti-static bags that parts come shipped in conductive?
I am probably worrying too much lol but I don't want to destroy my new parts :p 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[BUILD]

Case: Antec 900 Two v3 -$139.00
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 620W -$105.00

CPU: intel CORE i5 2500k -$211.00
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB DDR3 (1600mhz) CL9 1.5v -$65.00
MoBo: Gigabyte Z68A-D3-B3 -$131.00
Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 6870 1GB DirectCU -$206.00
HDD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 -$57.00
Optical: 2x DVD-RW drives -$50.00

PERIPHERALS:

Mouse: Razer DeathAdder -$52.00
Mouse Mat: Razer Omega Control Edition -$15.00
Keyboard: Logitech G110 -$64.00
Speakers: Logitech Z506 5.1ch SS -$75.00
Headset: Tt eSports SHOCK -$48.00
Monitor: BenQ GL2240M 21.5" LED 1080p -$129.00

EXTRAS:

1x Cathode kit 30cm -$19.00
1x Sound sensitive module -$11.00
1x Xigmatek 1500RPM blue LED 120mm case fan -$9.00
PCCG postage -$12.00

GRAND TOTAL: ~AUD$1401.00

Note: I am buying from...

www.pccasegear.com
www.pcdiy.com.au
www.allneeds.com.au
www.msy.com.au

----------------------------------------------------------------------

All advice and suggestions appreciated.
August 31, 2011 2:43:43 PM

From what i can see the build looks fairly solid. Although if you want to be gaming id try and fit a 6950/GTX 560Ti into that build.

ESD - Basically the wrist strap can connect to any metal part of the case. Usually the easiest place to fix it to is the inside of the case (onto the HDD cage or along one of the metal edges). Wearing a wrist-strap means you DONT need to keep touching metal or the case. As long as the clip is attached to the metal case, and the wrist strap is on your arm/wrist, your covered :) 

Its usually recommended not to build on carpet either, build your PC either on a wooden floor or table/worktop. If you want to place components down, dont place them on the outside of the anti-static bags, either place them back INSIDE or place them on a cardboard box/worktop - basically anything NON-CONDUCTIVE.
August 31, 2011 3:54:47 PM

"Can someone give me a short definition of "steam" (not the steam that comes out of a kettle) ? I hear this buzz word everywhere and I believe it's a server that people use to play CoD mw2 online as well as other games?"

Steam is a gaming service run by Valve, creators of games like the Half-Life series, Portal Series, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, etc. They frequently have sales where games like Borderlands and Metro 2033, and other recent/older games go on sale for $10 or less (USD). You can download Steam here for Mac/PC: http://store.steampowered.com/about/
I strongly recommend getting it, they have a good reputation and great deals.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"[BUILD]

Case: Antec 900 Two v3 -$139.00
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 620W -$105.00

CPU: intel CORE i5 2500k -$211.00
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB DDR3 (1600mhz) CL9 1.5v -$65.00
MoBo: Gigabyte Z68A-D3-B3 -$131.00
Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 6870 1GB DirectCU -$206.00
HDD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 -$57.00
Optical: 2x DVD-RW drives -$50.00"


From what I know about computers, this looks like a pretty solid build to me.
Why do you need 2 DVD-RW drives though? You could save money if you only got one.
You could also save some money getting the Radeon HD 6850, slightly not as good performance, but still a good video card. Personally I prefer Sapphire Radeon Cards over ASUS, but it's just a matter of opinion.
Unless you plan to overclock, you don't really need 1600mhz RAM. You could do with 1333mhz, but since you're getting the i5 2500K I'd assume you are going to overclock.

All in all, looks like a pretty solid build.
Related resources
September 7, 2011 12:29:45 PM

fallout3masseffect2 said:
"Can someone give me a short definition of "steam" (not the steam that comes out of a kettle) ? I hear this buzz word everywhere and I believe it's a server that people use to play CoD mw2 online as well as other games?"

Steam is a gaming service run by Valve, creators of games like the Half-Life series, Portal Series, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, etc. They frequently have sales where games like Borderlands and Metro 2033, and other recent/older games go on sale for $10 or less (USD). You can download Steam here for Mac/PC: http://store.steampowered.com/about/
I strongly recommend getting it, they have a good reputation and great deals.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"[BUILD]

Case: Antec 900 Two v3 -$139.00
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 620W -$105.00

CPU: intel CORE i5 2500k -$211.00
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB DDR3 (1600mhz) CL9 1.5v -$65.00
MoBo: Gigabyte Z68A-D3-B3 -$131.00
Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 6870 1GB DirectCU -$206.00
HDD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 -$57.00
Optical: 2x DVD-RW drives -$50.00"


From what I know about computers, this looks like a pretty solid build to me.
Why do you need 2 DVD-RW drives though? You could save money if you only got one.
You could also save some money getting the Radeon HD 6850, slightly not as good performance, but still a good video card. Personally I prefer Sapphire Radeon Cards over ASUS, but it's just a matter of opinion.
Unless you plan to overclock, you don't really need 1600mhz RAM. You could do with 1333mhz, but since you're getting the i5 2500K I'd assume you are going to overclock.

All in all, looks like a pretty solid build.

Thanks for the response. I think I will stick to the 6870 so I can still use it in the future. As of now I am unsure whether I will overclock or not but I am getting the 2500k over the 2500 just in case I decide too in the future. I assume 1600mhz RAM would be better for gaming regardless of whether I overclock or not?
September 7, 2011 7:47:23 PM

It offers a slight performance boost but it really isn't that noticeable. I would get it just so you don't need to in the future when games start to utilize it more often.
!