Heya guys, in the final stages of getting my build together and i was just wondering if someone could give it a once over to make sure its ok and recommend me a PSU and case? First timer here!
I realise cases are pretty subjective but im just looking for good quality, good cooling and good cable management/easy to build with atm, or even just a manufacturer to narrow down the search.
Anyways, enough blabbering, here's what i have so far:
Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) - havent the foggiest about motherboards so if theres a cheaper alternative let me know!
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K
RAM: 4 Gigs of the cheapest i can find from a reputable make - leaving this to last considering deals etc but recommendations welcome
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GFX 560 Ti OR ATI 6950 2GB if cheap enough - there's about a £20 difference between the two which im not entirely sure warrants it considering that i will only be single screening it with a 1920x1080 resolution. Plus the Ti seems cooler and quieter and runs slightly better on some of the games i like - Shogun 2, Civ 5, Dawn of War 2 - basically RTS and Turn based.
HDD: 1 Terabyte of the cheapest i can find from a reputable make - leaving this to last considering deals etc but recommendations welcome!
PSU: Aint the foggiest.
Case: Aint the foggiest.
One more thing - this is my first time build and i am looking to perhaps overclock the i5 sometime in the future and/or SLI/Crossfire as i get more comfortable with the hardware. Will i need extra cooling for that? And if so how difficult is it to do AFTER i've build the PC? Essentially i want to play with the stock settings for now and then kick the PC up an extra gear 6 months/a year down the line when i feel like the CPU or GPU are lacking. I feel confident enough to fit case fans but i havent yet got around to researching non-stock, optional cooling options so how difficult would that be? If i do this later would i need to replace the stock CPU fan with a better one? And if so, how difficult is that? Or could i just install more case fans? Basically if its something thats better done now ill do it now - its just the added expense and stress of installing more components when i know that i dont really *need* them for a good year.
For the HDD the Samsung Spinpoint F3 is usually quite cheap and has very high performance.
A ~500W unit would be enough for a single GPU, 650W would be enough for two 6950s or two GTX 560 Tis, however some people are more comfortable with 750W units, especially when it comes to GTX 560 Tis, as they can be ~50W more power hungry than 6950s.
The recommendation for a case kind of depends on the budget. It also needs to be able to accommodate the (length of the) graphics card. There are some cases which will fit anything, but if you decide to go for one where this is not necessarily the case, then you would have to more careful and research the length of the card(s) you wanted to buy.
As for changing stock cooling. Firstly it is entirely possible to do some overclocking on the stock solution, but obviously heat and noise will go up.
It can be fairly easy to change the CPU heatsink if the case has a large enough cutout in the motherboard tray behind the CPU socket. Altho it probably would be easier (if you weren't slightly daunted by your first build) to do it when it is all out of the case. Personally I don't see a problem with installing the aftermarket cooling later, even if it is going to be a bit of extra hassle.
Silvune, you absolute star, couldnt have asked for a better reply
Im gonna browse through your choices now and take a look at how the budget is going but thanks so much for filling me in on the cooling issue, it was really giving me some problems. I think for now i'll go with the stock cooling option and upgrade later on, i actually enjoy taking things to pieces so doing it later will be no problem and itll be a good chance to spring clean the case at the same time anyway.
As far as the case is concerned....well i havent really decided on budget, i keep on bouncing between something that looks nice in the £100 bracket like the NZKT Phantom but then having an overwhelming wave of pragmatism which places me more in the £30-£70 black or grey tried and tested Antec with good reviews. If you have any personal recommendations do tell, but i realise how wide this search bracket is so dont worry none
As far as the length of the graphics cards go, is there any way of knowing easily? As in find out the length of the graphics card, width of the case and match the figures up? Or should i leave 5-10cm leeway?.
To find out the length of the card the best/easiest way is to go to the manufacturers website and find the product page for the graphics card you are thinking about. Some manufacturers might not list the dimensions so you'd have to go through the more tortuous task of reading through reviews or finding customer reviews hoping someone will mention it and that they are accurate.
As for finding out what cases can accommodate; again it's a case of looking at the manufacturers product page or reading reviews. However as I have a fairly extensive list of cases and their details so I could help you out in that regard.
In some ways it would be justified spending 'a lot of money' on a case, as it can last a long time, houses all your components, keeps them ventilated, is highly visible depending on where it is situated.
I made the mistake two years ago of buying a poor quality (~£70 Thermaltake) case. Admittedly I think todays ~£70 are much higher quality, with more features etc than two years ago.
When you are thinking of buying your aftermarket cooling solution, you will have to check that it will fit into the case. Again there are some cases which are wide enough that virtually anything will fit, and others were you might be restricted.
Case / PSU - Very tough to beat the Antec 1200 V3 / Antec CP-850 combo. Look at the DF-85 if ya like more aggressive styling. Jonnyguru gives the CP-850 a 10.0 performance rating and says ya would have to spend twice as much to get something comparable. Read why they work so good together in conclusions section here:
The pairing will allow twin GFX cards OC'd to 1000MHz as well as a CPU at 4.8 GHz and being equipped with dust filters, you can move lotta air thru the case w/o that being the worry.
You could get away w/ a 750 watter for the twin 560's but I'd like to have the headroom for the extra voltage stability. For just ine, I just don't see any sense in getting anything less than 650 watts.
For the HD, simply put, there's no overall best. The Seagate stands out for its noise and thermal performance but it and the F3 and WD Black split all the benchies. Pick the one that works best in your apps.