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Advice for a 'newb' first build

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October 31, 2011 4:36:16 AM

Hello. I'm putting together a new PC for a change. I am in the UK and this machine is intended for gaming at 1680x01050 and in the future at 1080p when I upgrade display (few months time). It will also be used for video editing/frapsing using APpro 5.5 64.

I'm not interested in OC'ing and power consumption is something I am keen to keep under control.

My budget is £600. I have the following so far:

Intel Core i5 2300 2.8GHz
Four cores instead of the cheaper HT 2100 for future proofing and video editing/transcoding.

MSI H67MA-E35-B3 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio mATX Motherboard
USB 3.0 and SATA III main selling points. Also the boards are power efficient using just 25w at idle. I have bought luxury boards in the past and almost always end up turning off all the chipset features - as I never use them. So for the price I think this is good value!

Antec TruePower New 550W Modular PSU
I would like to use a smaller PSU if I can, such as the Antec Earthwatts 430, but I am not sure given the GPU's energy requirements if this would be wise.

OCZ 60GB Agility 3 SSD - 2.5" SATA-III
I am a 'small footprint' user and just bought a 1TB F3 mechanical disk for storage of raw video which I will re-use in the new build. This SSD can really speed up the OS and gaming, so for £80 it is a no brainer in a new build I think? I can also spin down the mechanical drive to save power which is nice.

Corsair 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz XMS3 Memory Kit CL9 1.5V unbuffered
4GB is adequate for gaming, but I wanted more for working with Adobe and other productivity suites. I also play Eve Online and frequently run multiple clients in parallel so more ram is definitely a big bonus.

Gigabyte GTX 560Ti OC 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card

I believe the HD 6950 is slightly better but Adobe can only GPU accelerate in Premiere using CUDA cores. So with that in mind, Nvidia it is. I have always considered these mid-high end cards horrific energy sponges, especially in 2d mode where the large PSU's they require and the TDP just burns through a lot more electricity than it really should. But there is no choice now if you want to play 1080p games at 30+ fps. *sigh

Total in GPB £596.2 in inc. VAT delivered.

Extras:

Xenta SATA 3 Cable 6Gbps - 46cm £1.97
Kingston 2.5" to 3.5" Hard Drive Bracket and Screws £3.99

I already have a Lian LI PC-60 case which has served me well for many years. I will also be re-using the Samsung TB disk and I
use a USB external CD/DVD RW which I share with my netbook and see no need to install an internal drive and further increase the power draw.

I would greatly appreciate some critique of my build choices and especially where I could save money through better energy efficiency/better match components together to reduce potential quality or bottlenecking issues.

Thanks!

More about : advice newb build

October 31, 2011 5:27:46 AM

I think you have made a very reasonable set of choices .
I think its possible to make an argument for a mb with a Z68 chipset , but thats about all .

Stick with the 550 watt psu .
October 31, 2011 5:58:28 AM

One of the most underrated components and one of the most importance is the PSU.
You can go cheap on other components, but don't cheat your other components of clean
and stable voltage, that could kill every other component.

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October 31, 2011 6:11:47 AM

Thanks for the input! I'm considering going with the HD6950 after all, because as I understand things, it uses less power and has the 2GB of memory vs the 1gb on the GTX. I read the articles on this site relating to the cards running out of puff long before they run out of ram, but if I am video editing and planning to extend the life of this system to 4-5 years, would I not be better getting the Radeon? It is also £30 cheaper..

Sure I would lose the accleration for Adobe and I am genuinely not sure if that is robbing peter to pay paul, especially if transcoding takes longer and uses more power thereby negating the 'savings'. That said I do envision playing Skyrim and Witcher 2 for hrs on end this winter and every penny adds up I guess.

What do you guys think? Is it worth trading off the advantages of a GTX in Prem Pro vs the extra memory and lower power consumption under load of the 6950?
October 31, 2011 6:13:27 AM

the only suggestion I would make is that the i5-2400 is only a little more expensive (usually only US$10 more) than the 2300, and its 3.1 GHz (3.4 GHz turbo) pushes it well ahead of the 2300
October 31, 2011 6:38:21 AM

I just checked with my supplier and they don't have any 2400's in stock. But the 2500 (non K) version is only £20 more so I may well go for that instead.
October 31, 2011 6:39:09 AM

rumblefillyourskin said:
Thanks for the input! I'm considering going with the HD6950 after all, because as I understand things, it uses less power and has the 2GB of memory vs the 1gb on the GTX. I read the articles on this site relating to the cards running out of puff long before they run out of ram, but if I am video editing and planning to extend the life of this system to 4-5 years, would I not be better getting the Radeon? It is also £30 cheaper..

Sure I would lose the accleration for Adobe and I am genuinely not sure if that is robbing peter to pay paul, especially if transcoding takes longer and uses more power thereby negating the 'savings'. That said I do envision playing Skyrim and Witcher 2 for hrs on end this winter and every penny adds up I guess.

What do you guys think? Is it worth trading off the advantages of a GTX in Prem Pro vs the extra memory and lower power consumption under load of the 6950?


The recnet tests here at Tom's indicates that there is almost no reason to get the 2 GB version of the HD6950 over the 1GB version. That said, I'd go for the GTX 560Ti in your shoes.
October 31, 2011 6:41:20 AM

buzznut said:
The recnet tests here at Tom's indicates that there is almost no reason to get the 2 GB version of the HD6950 over the 1GB version. That said, I'd go for the GTX 560Ti in your shoes.


Why?
October 31, 2011 2:15:15 PM

560ti is a bit better than the 6950 1 GB.
!