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Need advice on my first-time build

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September 1, 2011 3:09:39 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: asap

Budget Range: variable, see below

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Battlefield 3, general gaming, web browsing, etc

Parts Not Required: mouse and keyboard, display, speakers, os

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Hi, this is my first time building a PC, and I knew virtually nothing about hardware until a few weeks ago. I've read quite a bit here on tom's, and it's been a great resource. I had planned on learning more about proper system building, but the time just got away from me and now school has started and the battlefield 3 beta is barely a week away. I need help on 'filling in the blanks' with my build.

I am pretty set on getting the i5-2500k and evga GTX 580 superclocked. I read a few articles and comparisons on motherboards, but most of it went over my head, so that's the main thing I need help with. I did not list a budget before; sorry if this is considered bad form when seeking build advice. but instead of working with a set budget I am looking for the most affordable components that will do justice to my CPU-GPU combo. this way I have the most money left over for games.

preferences/parameters:

- I plan on sticking with a single graphics card
- while initially wary of overclocking, I've read that the 2500k and 580 are very oc-friendly, so I plan on trying it out eventually. above all I want to keep things safe and simple.
- I do want to use 2 displays, but for basic multitasking, not eyefinity
- prefer 8gb of RAM
- I already have way more storage than I need so don't need a big hdd, not interested in ssd
- don't care what the case looks like, but space isn't an issue so I guess a big one will make things easier?
- I'm not really concerned with upgrade-ability - I'm certain the 580 will keep my happy for quite a while, and I'm not interested in 3d or multi-monitor setups.

thanks for reading my overlong/ignorant post, any and all advice is MUCH appreciated :) 

More about : advice time build

a c 92 B Homebuilt system
September 1, 2011 6:29:36 PM

Why use Amazon for parts? Use Newegg instead, they're much more reliable.

For motherboards - you really want to go with Gigabyte or EVGA, both are very OC-friendly manufacturers. Most EVGA motherboards I've read about are very easy to overclock.

And why only 8GB RAM? RAM is so cheap right now that you can max out the RAM at 16GB and still not even break your budget.

Even if you're not interested in SSD, think about this - the HD is almost the biggest bottleneck in any system, it can range from a dual-core workstation to a six-core powerhouse, if you're pairing an awesome CPU with a horrible primary HD, that could not be a good combination, especially if you plan to OC. You can still use all the second, third, fourth hard drives you want.

Anyways check this build out:

Case: Corsair Graphite 600T White Edition $170
PSU: Corsair HX 850 Modular 850 Watt PSY $170
Motherboard: EVGA P67 FTW $269
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K $314
Cooling: Noctua NH-D14 $75
SSD: Kingston Hyper X 120GB $245
Secondary HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB $149
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Fermi 1.5GB $480
RAM: Kingston Hyper X Blu 16GB PC 1600MHz (4 x 4GB) $119
Optical: Plextor B940SA $159

Total cost: $2090
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September 1, 2011 7:58:35 PM

I appreciate the input but I think you've misunderstood what I'm trying to do. I don't have any need for the 2600k or a blu-ray burner or that much RAM, and frankly that's way more than I was looking to spend. I'm afraid I caused some confusion with my original post, let me clarify: my "variable" budget is based on spending the LEAST $ for the remaining components that I'm not really qualified to select. mainly, a mobo that's a good match for the 2500k and 580, and the appropriate power/cooling solutions if and when I decide to OC them.

I thought your hd speed only made a difference in rare cases like ARMA or WoW where the game is constantly pulling resources from the hdd. correct me if I'm wrong but it's really more of a luxury item isn't it?

and I like amazon because I use prime for almost everything and they've been 100% reliable for me. I'm open to other retailers though.
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September 1, 2011 8:09:11 PM

well I just realized another error on my part, when I wrote web and media under the system usage section, I meant that I'd be using them, not creating them :lol:  this isn't a workstation, that must've been why the specs you posted are what they are. again, terribly sorry for the confusion.
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Best solution

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
September 1, 2011 8:09:24 PM

Check out the $850 build in my siggy, you don't really need an SSD right now. You defiantly don't need "high end" expensive products now either. For that matter overpriced things like the 850HX, EVGA P67, or the 580.
Build guide:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore

The 560 Ti I suggest is just as easily OCable in fact easier, plus temps would be much lower than the 580. Get the Mugen 3 or the Hyper 212+ if you plan on OCing the 2500K both are rather cheap for the performance they offer.
Share
September 1, 2011 8:37:37 PM

yeah I realize that the 580 is far from the best value out there, but I think it's ideal for me because it does great with dx11 games and I want to max out BF3 completely. I don't want to do crossfire/sli and I'm afraid I'll eventually regret going with a midrange(?) card. will the 560 be comparable for very high settings @ 1920x1080?
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
September 1, 2011 8:43:49 PM

josh2000 said:
yeah I realize that the 580 is far from the best value out there, but I think it's ideal for me because it does great with dx11 games and I want to max out BF3 completely. I don't want to do crossfire/sli and I'm afraid I'll eventually regret going with a midrange(?) card. will the 560 be comparable for very high settings @ 1920x1080?


You don't really need a 580 right now - it's really overkill right now and most games will barely max out a 560.

Pretty much any card right now will run at 1080p or more, I'm using a Radeon 5800 in my work system and it's running on my 1080p 24" Acer with no problems whatsoever.

So what parts do you need to fill the system with? I understand the i7-2600 will be a bit overkill for your needs so I need a bit more to go on. Because you can spend more on things like getting a better PSU, CPU cooler, and that kind of stuff.
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September 1, 2011 9:39:09 PM

g-unit1111 said:
You don't really need a 580 right now - it's really overkill right now and most games will barely max out a 560.

Pretty much any card right now will run at 1080p or more, I'm using a Radeon 5800 in my work system and it's running on my 1080p 24" Acer with no problems whatsoever.

So what parts do you need to fill the system with? I understand the i7-2600 will be a bit overkill for your needs so I need a bit more to go on. Because you can spend more on things like getting a better PSU, CPU cooler, and that kind of stuff.


well overkill is subjective, right? I hear what you're saying, but BF3 doesn't fall under 'most games', and that's why I wanted to go with the 580, which I'm now rethinking. I thought it would be better to get a card that's overkill now and will have a little longer shelf life than one that runs great and is a better value BUT doesn't quite max BF3, which - judging from the benchmarks for similar dx11 games - it wouldn't.

I need an entire system sans display, os, keyboard, mouse, and speakers.

Quote:
The 560 Ti I suggest in my build is the MSI 560 TI OC, it equates to a 570 for nearly $75 less. What's wrong with SLI?

For 2 560 Ti OC's it's $490. Basically the cost of 1 580. But you get way more performance.
Proof:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/g [...] b-review/1
560 Ti SLI
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews [...] i_review/6


my original plan was to set my system up for dual cards, buy one now, and drop another one in come october when BF3 is released. but then I read about issues with microstuttering and poor scaling with some games, I decided a single card would be better if only for simplicity's sake.

the 560 TI benchmarks are impressive for the cost, but it just doesn't perform as well as I'd like in comparable games like crysis 2 and metro 2033. I can't argue that the 580 isn't overpriced, but I mean if I'm going to spend this much on a gaming PC, go big or go home, right? what can you suggest as a middle-ground between those cards and the 580? I'm willing to spend more on the GPU, but there seems to be a dead zone between the excellent mid-range cards and the $500+ ones.
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September 1, 2011 10:10:45 PM

no you've talked me out of the 580. I didn't mean to come off as dismissive, we just weren't on the same page with regards to the performance I'm looking for. I got into the mindset of building the system around the gpu, which I realize now is pretty dumb. the 560 ti looks great, but if I wanted to sli another one down the line, that would also need a fairly expensive psu, correct?

that bf3 benchmark isn't terribly useful though, as the alpha was missing a lot of features and didn't have the graphic settings and optimization in place.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
September 1, 2011 10:38:37 PM

^ This is true, the Alpha will be far from Beta. Only time will tell, and I assume Beta will have more benches released. The 560 Ti would only require a 750w and that'll give you huge headroom to overclock the 2500K and 560 Ti. One thing is for sure, with the extra 560 Ti (when you get it) you defiantly won't need to upgrade for a long time. Especially since BF3 and Crysis 2 (DX11 update) has been the only game in years that has really pushed the GPUs in the current market.

I do understand your stance on dual cards and the 580. It's a great card, absolutely no doubt. I just think the 560 Ti OC'd is a better bang for the buck, mostly since getting it to 1ghz or 1000mhz would mean having something between the 570 and the 580, and it'd save you a lot of money. The micro-stuttering, don't worry about it. With age comes perfection, as the 6xxx series of the Radeons were released, people said drivers "sucked" but now. They're near perfect and should prove to give anyone problems. I'm sure the micro-stuttering wouldn't be VERY noticeable, but again it does depend.
Here's a link to the micro-stutter article.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
I don't think it'll be that noticeable, though the article is right. I do catch drops from 80 to 60 FPS when playing BC2, but it isn't a pain. If you look at the Metro 2033 1920x1080 gameplay, you'd still see micro-stuttering with the single 580. Although offering more performance, either way you'd notice it.
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September 1, 2011 11:30:02 PM

great article, it's not anywhere near as dramatic as I had seen micro-stuttering described. in your $850 build you say that the motherboard is SLI-ready, but what about the rest of the system? I assume the power supply is also good to go, any additional cooling?
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
September 1, 2011 11:38:33 PM

Yes the stuff in my $850 would be good to go for SLI in the future or anything for that matter.
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September 2, 2011 12:02:39 AM

great, everything in that build looks solid and a lot cheaper than I expected for the major components. although even at that price, ssd still isn't a big deal for me.

thanks for all the help, g-unit1111 too.
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September 2, 2011 12:05:00 AM

Best answer selected by josh2000.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
September 2, 2011 12:25:21 AM

Good luck!
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