This will be my 6th computer I have built so I understand the basics of selecting parts. But, I haven't kept up with recent trends over the past couple years and I feel I may not know the best any more. Based off the research I have done so far, here is what I have come up with.
Approximate Purchase Date: (This week)
Budget Range: (500-1000 before rebates)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Gaming, movies, internet browsing)
Parts Not Required: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, )
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (newegg.com , amazon.com)
Country: ( U.S. )
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: (1920x1200)
Additional Comments: I use this PC mostly for gaming. I play bf3 and will play the new Star Wars: the old republic game. My deal with building a PC is getting a high end one with the most value possible. I don't like to spend a lot more for a small upgrade. Value is my key word. I will spend more if I need to, but not if it's a small upgrade. I always have built PCs with OC ability, but I end up not OCing them as I prefer absolute reliability over absolute performance.
Current planned built
CPU: i5-2500k (possibly i5-2400)
cooler: not sure if stock one is ok or not
MB: Not sure yet
Memory: Not sure yet (at least 8gig of 1600)
P/S: Preferably Corsair. Current system uses 750tx, not sure if I can get the same one again
Video: Already have gigabyte hd 6950
hard drive: Not sure if I need SSD, read articles, still confused.
case: no idea.
dvd drive: no opinion
Motherboards - As long as you are dealing with a tier 1 manufacturer they are pretty much equal. Get an Asus or Gigabyte or something and don't worry too much about the details.
RAM - 1333 RAM is going to be what you are most likely in the market for and either 2x 2GBs if you are still using XP or 2x 4GBs if you are using Windows 7. I wouldn't go less on any of those numbers nor would I go any more. The spec sheet for the 2500k says it works with 1333 RAM, not 1600. If you get 1600s you will have to mess with BIOS settings and OC things to get it to work.
Cooler, for OCing it matters more. For regular usage the stock cooler should do well enough especially if the case is well situated (fat front fan, negative pressure, bottom mount PSU, etc). If you want to know more about PC Cooling, look at the two part analysis below
Any ideas on the system drive? I understand that you can install your operating system on the SSD and everything else on an additional storage drive. Not sure what the benefits are when games like Star Wars and BF3 take up 20gigs each.
On another note, I see some basic tier1 supplier MBs for 70-85 bucks with the specs I need. But, under the recommended MBs, some of them cost 170. I guess I don't understand the benefits of some of the higher priced MBs.
EDIT: Also, I have an Antec case now and was considering using another one. At around 50 bucks, they are about half the cost of the lians. Are they not any good?
would probably be just as good as far as you are concerned, and only $60 at Amazon. Probably less elsewhere.
It fits an i5 2500k, it fits 2x 4GBs of RAM, and it fits one video card. That is all that most people really need. There are connectors for 4 x SATA devices which are going to be CD/DVD drives and Hard Drives and usually that is enough for most people that usually have 1 CD drive and either 1 or 2 hard drives.
It also helps the environment by using less materials and power to make it and it helps people live better by saving them $110 so they can spend it on something else to improve their quality of life instead.
There is no implication that a micro ATX board isnt a "real" board or that a "real" gamer would use a full ATX board. You just get what fits your requirements.
If you want 4x video cards, you don't have any choice other than to pay the extra $110, but for most people they can get along just fine with 1.
For the most part, the average person doesn't need to worry too much about north bridges and south bridges and sandy bridges and ivy bridges and all that. Generally speaking if you have an i5 2500k that is a 1155 slot and a motherboard that fits a 1155 processor that is really all you need to know. There is no real big reason to get caught up in all the buzz words.
That kind of stuff matters a lot to optimizers, but most people really aren't interested in stuff like OCing, water cooling, and all those frustrations to get 20% more power out of their parts.
If you want more reliability and less frustration, I wouldn't worry about that stuff.
If you are really interested to learn about those things, you can always just google those things.
The short form is that the north bridge is what connects the processor and ram to the motherboard, and the south bridge is what connects pretty much everything else to the motherboard.
Again if you care for more than that you can just search for that sort of info.
If you just look for the numbers on the motherboard for the processor type (1155, for instance) and the RAM type (1333, for instance) you can just ignore it all.
Well, I just ordered this from newegg. I missed out on the 24 dollar memory by accidentally removing it from my shopping cart. Ended up having to go with the 41 dollar version. Anyways, I decided future upgrade ability was worth the extra few dollars on a mb. Since I was getting an O/C able cpu. Here is what I went with
1 x G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBSR
1 x GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
1 x HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721075DLE630 (0F13179) 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive