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I need help with my first build!

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September 20, 2011 1:01:44 AM

Hello, everyone! I am new to Tom'sHardware, as of three minutes ago, so bear with me as I figure out the nuances...

As I have stated, this is my first computer build, and I am looking for some veteran advice. My expertise as far as computers are concerned is rather limited, but I'm decent with most technology.

Anyway... I am going for a good computer that'll be fine with games, and will last me a while (I don't really have any measurement of "a while" but more than 3 years at least). So far, I have a list of items I'd like to buy for my build and I was hoping, one of you individuals reading this thread might give me a hand in pointing out any Glaring errors, thanks!
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The games I generally play are akin to Crysis and the like, but I think a Gts 450 would be fine, I'm not very particular about it... it sure as heck beats integrated graphics! :) 

Anyway... here's my list.... any recommendations would be extremely useful, thanks ever so much!

I'll start with the motherboard, I'm pretty sure it's compatible with my processor, but if I'm entirely wrong, please say so... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Next is the processor, I don't know if a quadcore core i5 Sandybridge processor is overkill or not, but it's what I chose, here it is... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then here's the RAM, I chose Corsair because I have had very nice experience with the brand before. (Tell me if it's overkill too, please :) )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The GTS 450 I feel would be perfect for me, however, if you think I should spend a little more for something better, or for a different manufacturer, please let me know! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now for the power supply! I love SeaSonic, so I think I'm fine brand-wise, but if you think the wattage is excessive, oh you know. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is the hard drive I was thinking of buying, I have heard Western Digital is a very reliable brand, thus explaining my choice. (I realize I'll need some cords for it) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The next bit is mainly optional, but I was thinking of getting a sound card, I love good sound :)  Anyway, I was wondering if the sound card I chose will be redundant to use with these headphones I want...
SoundCard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HeadPhones: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And (almost) finally, the case! I'm entirely at a loss with this one, but I think this case should work...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I almost forgot the Monitor... I don't know what brand to get or what size I'd want, but this one looks decent (I've done a bit of research on it, and so far so good)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And this CD-Rom drive is almost an afterthought... but entirely essential in my mind, here it is:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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I think that does it for the parts I'd use, if I forgot anything, please kindly remind me... :p 
I was thinking of using Windows 7 64-bit if that means anything...

MY primary goal is to get a functioning system that won't explode the first time I put any stress on it, But I would greatly appreciate, actually I would LOVE if someone could tell me where I could save money, budgets are always tight!

To help anyone in their opinions of my list, I'll give you an idea what I would use the computer for...

Gaming, not hardcore or anything, but I want to at least have a capable enough system to play the games I want and not watch a slideshow (framerate joke... :) )

Movie editing, predominantly casual, project for class and just general entertainment.

Surfing the internet, nothing too extreme, I'm not really a power user.

Basically, I just want the bare minimum, just the fringe of excellence, I would greatly enjoy a very nice computer!

(Right now I'm using an Hp Slimline with a GT 430 sticking out the side of it, 2.6 GHz Processor dual core (Core i3 I believe) A Samsung 15" Crt monitor (I know it's puny) Onboard audio, 560 Gb hardrive, 4 Gb Ram, all in all it's a nice system, just not optimal... The Grass in always Greener, you know... :) 

So Thanks so much for reading, any help is greatly appreciated, and I hope to read some expert opinions soon!

Thanks,
DonQuixoteMC

More about : build

September 20, 2011 1:36:28 AM

i woudl highly recomend upgrading the cpu to a i5 2500k if you could. the K has unlocked multiplyers and thus much easier to over clock. if you cant afford it then the cpu you selected makes a good mid ranged cpu. the ram you selected is 3 2gb sticks. not what you want, you want 8GB with 2 4GB sticks. to buy the tripple channel would take you out of dual channel mode and degrade performance. new ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

as for your video card its low to mid range. the radeon 5850, nvidia 275 and 460 are all higher performance than your selection for only a small amount more. it all depends on what you need to use it for tho.

i run wd greens as well and have no issues with them. ive seen many of them fail very soon after purchase when i was at BB. i would recommend ensuring proper cooling.

you dont need the cheap sound card, the onboard of the asus will do you just fine. you also want to get 7 64, do NOT get 32 bit. head phones are fine but i would suggest you setup some kind of speaker system to plug them into. most comptuer sound cards do not output alot of power and thus can not properly power high end head phones. i plug my head phones into my yamaha reciever.

monitor does not have HDMI, that is a down side as your video card supports it.

case looks fine

stick to nvidia cards if you want to do video editing, there cuda is much more widly supported than ati stream is. also if you get a 120hz monitor there 3d tech is quite nice and only about 180 bucks.
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September 21, 2011 12:23:47 AM

Thanks so much! I Had no idea 3 sticks of RAM was substantially different than 2! Thanks for giving me a reason not to buy the sound-card :) 

The 3d you mentioned I had seriously considered, but the cheapest I could find was roughly 100 dollars more for a monitor, which admittedly isn't a whole lot, but I would like to cut back a bit on the pricing.

I also have a BIG question about the cpu... I originally had a different motherboard, with a core i7 Lynnfield Intel processor, but I switched that with this Asus motherboard and changed to a Core i5 SandyBridge, is that a downgrade? I imagine it was, the pricing was substantially different, but I would like to keep things cheaper, so some advice there would be great :) 

I realize the Graphics Card I chose was a mid-ranged card, but, if you think spending a little more to get a GTX is worth it, I'll certainly consider it!

And for what you were saying about the Headphones; should I get some quality speakers then? It makes sense what you're saying :p 

My last question...
You said the monitor doesn't support HDMI, what would that get me, over a standard VGA or a DVI?

Actually.. I was joking, that wasn't my last question, if I were to get a good sound card, what price range would I be looking at? And finally (I'm serious this time ;) ) If you could explain the meaning of the 2500k (along with 2300k or 2600k et cetera) in relation to a processor, that would be great! Thanks so much!


P. S. Will the 620W PSU have the capacity to run the system? I believe it should. And you mentioned cooling for the WD Green, how would I go about that? The case has a nice number of fans (Up to 7) should I invest in that many?

Thanks so much for the prompt reply!
DonQuixoteMC
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September 21, 2011 1:07:59 AM

as far as 3D goes the reason you need 120 is so you get 60fps per eye. you can hack the system and get 30fps per eye on a 60hz screen but its not optimal or supported. I recomend buying a high end display for your main screen if you intend to run such a system. My main monitor is a 46" 120hz samsung i got for 1500.00 open box display model form circuit city back in 2007. it has been on since i bought it and for a considerable time prior to that as it was a display. this screen as survived 3 desktops and is hands down the best and clearest picture i have ever had on a monitor. well worth the money if you are looking for such a thing.

as for the CPU. the lynfield you were looking at is a 1156, an older chipset. the sandy brige is better and newer. the i5 is a quad core with no HT, the i7 has HT and thus is a 8 logical core cpu. for your system feel free to get the i5, the i7 is over kill. hyper threading allows the cpu to process commands while waiting for other programs to get back to what they were doing. this is generally most usefull under massive multi tasking this is a benifit but under full load HT can often be slower than non HT. this is why when looking at servers most admins will switch HT off.

the video card you linked is good the gtx460 is a strong card. you can always get better but on a budget its good enough.

headphones are fine on the computer but just note that you wont be able to totally max them out, they will work however.

VGA is an analog system and thus lacks many link features and requires your video card to use its RAMDAC to convert the video signal. the DVI can only transmit 60hz with no audio but will be better than vga. HDMI transmits audio and over 60hz in a digital signal.

a good sound card would be around 100 bucks or so, high end maybe 160. its just not needed for what you are doing tho. your video card supports hdmi out and thus it can act as a sound card as well as your onboard card. however if you buy a high end MB many of them come with high end pcie sound cards.

the i5 2300,2400,2500 are standard cpu's with locked multipliers. this means if you want to over clock them you need to over clock your system bus and ram at the same time. the K series i5's have unlocked multipliers and thus can be clocked up with out changing the bus or ram. it makes it easier and will often yield higher clocks. its worth noting that when you clock up a cpu its best to clock the ram and bus to allow for faster data through put, having an unlocked cpu is still better in this case as they can be clocked up intendant from other components.

620 should be ok. its a pretty basic system. as for cooling just make sure you have a fan infront of the HD to give it good air flow.
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September 21, 2011 10:17:50 PM

Best answer selected by DonQuixoteMC.
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September 21, 2011 10:18:14 PM

Thanks so much! You have no idea how helpful all this has been!
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September 21, 2011 11:04:59 PM

no prob, any time
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