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My First Build - Have a look at my plan

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November 5, 2011 1:52:39 AM

I've had this crappy HP Pavilion desktop for over 3 years now, and after a lot of thought, I decided it was high time I went and upgraded. And when I say upgrade, I mean build my own personal computer. Over the years, I've bought several computers from the casual computer store, and no matter what, I was never satisfied with those 'highly recommended' desktops. For instance, as I'm typing right now, my HP desktop is making the loudest fan noise you will probably ever come across. My core temperatures are reaching over 70 degrees, and apparently, I am using over 60% of my RAM despite having only Google Chrome running (nothing in the background). So yeah, what am I thinking of... This is what I'm thinking:

Processor: Intel i7 Sandybridge 2600K Unlocked
Motherboard: Asus P8P67 PRO REV 3.1
RAM: 2x Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory Two Module Kit
Heatsink (as the one provided isn't great): Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Cooler
Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver
Graphics Card(s): 2x Sapphire 11166-02-20R HD 5450 1GB DDR3 PCIE HDMI Graphics Card
Optical Drive: LG GH22NS50.AUAA 22x SATA DVDRW Drive - Bare Black
Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-850TXV2UK Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 High Performance 850W Power Supply
HDD: Western Digital 2TB SATA 6Gbps Power Saving Internal Hard Drive OEM - Caviar Green
Case: Antec 300 Midi Tower OR HAF 922
SSD: Corsair 60GB SSD Corsair Nova Series 2

Now, it looks like I've got it all sorted out... But in reality, not really. I want to get these parts, but I am unsure about a few things. Mainly, should I consider getting a 850W power supply for this build? Would it be more suitable if I decided to get a 650W or something; let me know. Meanwhile, do I need to buy separate cables, or do the following components already provide them? Because I think the optical drive I am going for does not have a SATA cable included... I'm seriously not sure, so if anyone could enlighten me, that would be great.

Meanwhile, I am stuck on what case I should get, as I am new to this, are the cases I've stated big enough to hold everything in? Or are there more suitable cases? I'm not into flashy things, so I do not care for LED lights or whatever - I just want to build a fairly decent computer for mainly gaming. I will be rendering videos as well, which is why I opted for the i7 2600K processor.

But yeah, my budget is around £1000-1200 (around $1500-1800), and after spending that amount, all I want is a decent build that isn't noisy, even when playing games like Crysis 2, Starcraft II, and can render at a good speed. If I've missed anything in terms of components, do me a favour and tell me what haha, as I'm really not that sure at this point in time. Oh, and if you have any recommendations for components you think would serve my needs better, post and I'll have a look into it - if they end up being cheaper than what I intended to use, that'd be nice :)  OK, thanks again.

Eddie

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UPDATES
I've decided to change the Graphics Card to a XFX Radeon HD 6950 Dual Fan 2GB and go for the HAF 922 case. The heatsink may be changed to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Cooler EVO version. If you have any disagreements on these decisions, post below and tell me why you think so, and which should I choose instead.

More about : build plan

November 5, 2011 2:13:05 AM

I can relate to what you are saying about your HP. I had this Dell computer years ago that was driving me nuts. I wanted to game on it but it was pulling about 13 fraps in Solitaire and just did not have the horsepower I needed for the games I wanted to play.

Just at a quick glance...I would definitely take the HAF 922 over the Antec 300. However keep in mind the HAF 922 is a large case and would probably not be practical for table top use.

If you are going with a CM 212 cooler get the EVO version.

If noise is a concern then you are going to want a graphics card with an aftermarket / non-reference cooler. ASUS and XFX makes some good ones that run fairly quiet. However I would definitely go with something much stronger than two HD5450s.

You may want to follow this form far as asking for advice:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

We need to know what country you are in and also what your e-tailer of preference is so we can suggest a build within your budget guidelines.
November 5, 2011 2:15:33 AM

rwayne said:
I can relate to what you are saying about your HP. I had this Dell computer years ago that was driving me nuts. I wanted to game on it but it was pulling about 13 fraps in Solitaire and just did not have the horsepower I needed for the games I wanted to play.

Just at a quick glance...I would definitely take the HAF 922 over the Antec 300. However keep in mind the HAF 922 is a large case and would probably not be practical for table top use.

If you are going with a CM 212 cooler get the EVO version.

If noise is a concern then you are going to want a graphics card with an aftermarket / non-reference cooler. ASUS and XFX makes some good ones that run fairly quiet. However I would definitely go with something much stronger than two HD5450s.

You may want to follow this form far as asking for advice:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

We need to know what country you are in and also what your e-tailer of preference is so we can suggest a build within your budget guidelines.


I'm from the UK, and my preferred e-tailer is Amazon.
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November 5, 2011 2:57:21 AM

For psu, don't go lower than the 850W. 2 gfx cards are going to require a lot of power so you may even want to go up to 950W just to be safe.
November 5, 2011 6:53:51 AM

Dual 5450? That's one of the worst cards you can Xfire. roblaw, you should research first before giving advice.
November 5, 2011 7:56:15 AM

you only need 750wat psu for xfire, unless it is like a 590 or 6990 or gtx 580/570 or hd6970, u can xfire 6950s on 750watt. you only need the stock heat sink if you wish to not oc, get a 6870, that is better than 5450(2) and can xfire later for even more performance. Dont get the caviar green for a pretty much primary hard drive, apparently they go to sleep alot and cant access fast when asleep.
November 5, 2011 8:04:25 AM

Pretty sure you can take the PSU down to a 650 with only dual 5450s but I would advise you to.

Also you willing to shove out money for a i7 but not beef up your gpu? even with CF its still shitty go with a 460 (or dual 460s) or even a 560 Ti if you can afford it the dual 460s

The HDDs are over priced right now why not knock it down to 1tb or even 500GB till the prices go down or till you find a good deal. Try to get more power to your system via GPU
November 5, 2011 8:40:55 AM

Alright. Get a 2500K and a HD6950, best bang for buck gaming at the moment. Get 2x 4GB ram. IMO a 60 GB SSD is too small. YMMV. Buy an aftermarket CPU cooler, it helps with the noise and overclocking (you listed a K series CPU).
November 5, 2011 9:19:36 AM

FinneousPJ said:
Alright. Get a 2500K and a HD6950, best bang for buck gaming at the moment. Get 2x 4GB ram. IMO a 60 GB SSD is too small. YMMV. Buy an aftermarket CPU cooler, it helps with the noise and overclocking (you listed a K series CPU).

He's rendering too, which is why he needs a i2600.

November 5, 2011 9:27:06 AM

I'm not sure he NEEDS one, but it might be usable. Depends on the software and how serious he is about it.
November 5, 2011 11:01:40 AM

Hey guys, I forgot to say that I am also unsure about what GPU to get. I mean, the 5450's looked cheap and I have read reviews about them that they can handle games like Crysis 2 at full specs - I am willing to invest in a single good GPU, if it means that I will be able to take on games that come out in the next 5 years with ease. That being said, if you could find me a HDD at a decent price at more than 1TB and doesn't 'go to sleep', that'd be much appreciated.

I only wanted a SDD to install the OS for faster boot up times, so 60GB should be enough for that. I am using extensive programs, such as Photoshop CS5, Sony Vegas 11 and Photoshop Aftereffects, so I do think that the i7 2600K will suit my needs best. Thanks for the advice though guys, and keep them coming - I will be looking at other graphics cards in the meantime.
November 5, 2011 12:07:50 PM

Eddie C said:
Hey guys, I forgot to say that I am also unsure about what GPU to get. I mean, the 5450's looked cheap and I have read reviews about them that they can handle games like Crysis 2 at full specs


That is not true. That is someone being overly optimistic / unrealistic about the capabilities of that card in Crysis. The 5450 is a very low end card and is also one from the previous generation.

In your case with your target budget I would consider nothing less than a AMD Radeon HD6950 or a Nvidia GeForce GTX560ti. If you are running multiple monitors or running at a very high resolution then you may benefit from the 2GB version of the HD6950.

Since noise is a concern for you are probably going to want to go with a non-reference cooler.

May I suggest:

The ASUS GTX 560Ti DirectCu II:
http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/video-cards/11178

Or the XFX HD6950:
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/xfx_hd6950/
November 5, 2011 4:30:58 PM

OK, I think I might go for the XFX HD6950 then, as I have found it at a price of £187 for the 2GB version compared to the £167 for the ASUS that has 1GB. However, I am unsure if this is the same XFX version as that in the link, so if you could help me out and look at the link and tell me if it is the same, that would be great.

http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=XFX+Ra...

Meanwhile, we need to talk about cases D:
November 5, 2011 8:11:35 PM

Eddie C said:
OK, I think I might go for the XFX HD6950 then, as I have found it at a price of £187 for the 2GB version compared to the £167 for the ASUS that has 1GB. However, I am unsure if this is the same XFX version as that in the link, so if you could help me out and look at the link and tell me if it is the same, that would be great.

http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=XFX+Ra...

Meanwhile, we need to talk about cases D:


I would say you want this one with the dual fans as it runs cooler than the mono-fan version.
http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=XFX+Radeon+H...

Far as cases I would personally want for myself the Cooler Master Trooper. However it is rather pricey:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHbrsDrjpXI

The HAF922 is a good case too. I like mine quite a bit.

The NZXT Phantom is a very popular case also and gives you a lot for your money:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EEKuwjCpns&feature=rela...


November 5, 2011 11:46:52 PM

Ah yeah, thanks, whichever is quieter haha. And yeah, I'm thinking of choosing the HAF 922... I don't really want to spend too much on a case; I'd prefer to get some better components xD From what I see, the HAF 922 will be large enough for my needs and has quiet fans (from what I've read). Anyway, with that sorted, I'd just like to know if you have any recommendations for a primary HDD.

I found the Western Digital Caviar Green 2GB for £99, which seemed reasonable compared to the other HDDs on sale (1TB for £100). Someone said that they aren't that good though, so I was wondering if you have any ideas on what I should get instead? I plan on getting several HDDs as time goes by, but I just need 1 for now.

And one more thing; is a 60GB SSD big enough to hold the OS and possibly a few other programs (Sony Vegas Pro 11, Photoshop CS5, Adobe Aftereffects)? I just want a fast boot up for those in particular.

Last thing: if there are any other parts you find are cheaper, but give a better value, please tell me, as then I'll end up saving some money that could go towards upgrades in the future :)  Oh and if there are any cables I need to buy separately (because I think some of the components don't supply them). OK, thanks again.

Eddie
November 6, 2011 1:01:22 AM

Eddie C said:
Ah yeah, thanks, whichever is quieter haha. And yeah, I'm thinking of choosing the HAF 922... I don't really want to spend too much on a case; I'd prefer to get some better components xD From what I see, the HAF 922 will be large enough for my needs and has quiet fans (from what I've read).
The HAF 922 is very quiet. The great thing about it has two huge 200mm FANs. From what I understand each 200mm fan moves nearly the same amount of air as 4 x 120mm fans combined. However because the blades are bigger the fan can rotate at lower RPMs which makes it a very quiet machine. Not totally quiet but pretty close to it. You may also want to consider the CM SNIPER Case. It has a the same frame work as the HAF922 however it has a fan speed controller on top among other features. However the price is a bit more.

The HAF922 is classified as a midtower case but it really has a full size interior which I love because it gives you plenty of space to work. Here is a picture of mine:

November 6, 2011 1:14:59 AM

I found the Western Digital Caviar Green 2GB for £99, which seemed reasonable compared to the other HDDs on sale (1TB for £100). Someone said that they aren't that good though, so I was wondering if you have any ideas on what I should get instead? I plan on getting several HDDs as time goes by, but I just need 1 for now. said:
I found the Western Digital Caviar Green 2GB for £99, which seemed reasonable compared to the other HDDs on sale (1TB for £100). Someone said that they aren't that good though, so I was wondering if you have any ideas on what I should get instead? I plan on getting several HDDs as time goes by, but I just need 1 for now.
Sounds good. However the non-green hard drives tend to run marginally faster but I don't think you will notice the difference. You want to go for one with a 6GB per sec Sata output if you can @7200RPM.

And one more thing; is a 60GB SSD big enough to hold the OS and possibly a few other programs (Sony Vegas Pro 11, Photoshop CS5, Adobe Aftereffects)? I just want a fast boot up for those in particular. said:
And one more thing; is a 60GB SSD big enough to hold the OS and possibly a few other programs (Sony Vegas Pro 11, Photoshop CS5, Adobe Aftereffects)? I just want a fast boot up for those in particular.
I am not sure what the space requirements are for those programs. Those packed in with the operating system might be cutting it close.

Last thing: if there are any other parts you find are cheaper, but give a better value, please tell me, as then I'll end up saving some money that could go towards upgrades in the future :) Oh and if there are any cables I need to buy separately (because I think some of the components don't supply them). OK, thanks again. said:
Last thing: if there are any other parts you find are cheaper, but give a better value, please tell me, as then I'll end up saving some money that could go towards upgrades in the future :)  Oh and if there are any cables I need to buy separately (because I think some of the components don't supply them). OK, thanks again.
I will try to look for some better values. Far as cables you may want to consider 24" inch SATA cables (or what ever it equates to in the metric system). They give some flexiblity with cable management. And I would definitely get a 8pin CPU Molex connector extension. This will allow you to run the 2nd CPU power cable across the back of the motherboard rather than over your Video card.



November 6, 2011 1:08:51 PM

Close to quiet is good enough for me :] Though, I'm worried about dust issues, because I plan on placing it inside a space restricting area underneath the table. I think I've read it has some dust covers, but considering you own the case, I might as well clarify with you haha.

And yeah, still unsure on the Caviar Green HDD... it is SATA 6GB/s, but it does not say if it is 7200RPM, and the reviews are somewhat mixed - half say its great, the other half says their are major issues xD Guess I'll have to keep looking for one.

The programs listed reach 2GB maximum in terms of space, though I am unsure about the size of the OS (I plan on installing Windows 7 Premium). Being honest though, I don't really care for fast boot ups that much - it's just one of those features I think would be a bonus, but not necessary (after all, it's only a few more seconds of waiting).

That aside, I can't wait until I settle on the components haha.
November 6, 2011 1:15:10 PM

Never get a Green HDD for gaming they suck are not fast at all, get a Samsung F3 or Seagate Barracuda
November 6, 2011 6:23:08 PM

Emelth said:
Never get a Green HDD for gaming they suck are not fast at all, get a Samsung F3 or Seagate Barracuda

+1 avoid the green if at all possible.
November 6, 2011 6:43:56 PM

Eddie C said:
Close to quiet is good enough for me :] Though, I'm worried about dust issues, because I plan on placing it inside a space restricting area underneath the table. I think I've read it has some dust covers, but considering you own the case, I might as well clarify with you haha.
I don't recommend placing an enthusiast grade PC inside an area with restricted air flow. This system will need a lot more breathing room than your current HP. If you are placing it in a cubby the backend will need to be wide open or else heat will accumulate rapidly. I also do not recommend sitting it on carpet.

I have mine sitting on a wood floor just under the edge of my desk. Take measurements of where you want to place it. This case is much taller and much wider than the average PC. About half the heat or better is going to be pushed out the top of the case so you are going to want to have plenty of clearance above the HAF.

Far as dust the HAF922 does not have much to shield against it. The front panels have dust covers but that is it. However despite that my system is fairly clean. I dust it out probably once every 2 months.
November 6, 2011 7:59:01 PM

For your HDD: Don't worry about 6Gbps vs 3Gbps, but the 7200 RPM thing is important, samsung's are great...that aside, why not just stick with the SSD+your current HDD until the floods end and prices drop?
November 6, 2011 7:59:04 PM

rwayne said:
I don't recommend placing an enthusiast grade PC inside an area with restricted air flow. This system will need a lot more breathing room than your current HP. If you are placing it in a cubby the backend will need to be wide open or else heat will accumulate rapidly. I also do not recommend sitting it on carpet.

I have mine sitting on a wood floor just under the edge of my desk. Take measurements of where you want to place it. This case is much taller and much wider than the average PC. About half the heat or better is going to be pushed out the top of the case so you are going to want to have plenty of clearance above the HAF.

Far as dust the HAF922 does not have much to shield against it. The front panels have dust covers but that is it. However despite that my system is fairly clean. I dust it out probably once every 2 months.


OK, no worries then, I can just place it on my desk I suppose. By the way, what is the difference between a SATA II and III type HDD? I have seen some saying like SATA III 6GB/s as well as SATA and SATA II 6GB/s HDDs... Does it matter? I really haven't got an idea - let me know :) 
November 6, 2011 9:34:39 PM

Sata 3 supoprts 6GBPS
Sata 2 supports 3Gbps

Your hard drive will burst much slower than 1gbps, so it really doesn't matter. For the SSD it will matter a bit, but even then it's not that big of a deal.
November 7, 2011 5:42:21 PM

Dang, I guess I'll have to postpone getting the hard drive for this setup... I cannot find a decent price anywhere... I keep seeing all these reviews where people say they bought their HDDs for £50, when after all the floods, the HDDs are up to £100-150... It's ridiculous :(  But meh, I guess I'll borrow the HDD from this computer when the time comes around to building it... As apparently, Seagate and Western Digital won't be able to produce hard drives until this quarter is over.
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