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First time builder looking for advice

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December 6, 2011 10:39:45 PM

Hello all, thanks for looking at my thread.

I have been wanting to build a computer now for a long time, as I have always heard about the many benefits. I have been working for a while now researching, and trying to find some parts that will fit my uses. None the less I feel as though I could use a lot of help. I live in the US, and am planning on purchasing my parts within the week, so I can build this computer when I get home for Christmas Break.

I am an avid gamer, and that will be the top priority for this computer. The main game I play is Starcraft 2, but also want it to perform well on Skyrim, and the modern first person shooters. I would also like it for basic schoolwork functions, excel, word, etc. I also watch streams frequently so I would like for them to run smoothly on 1080p. My budget for this project is around $800.





Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: Around $800 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Schoolwork (Excel Word etc), Watching Streams

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any reliable ones, first time buying so not sure.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Any

Overclocking: Not in the short run, maybe eventually.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024, but I wouldn't mind increasing it.






Here is a list of what my research has brought me to so far. Please feel free to change anything as long as in the end, I end up with a rig around $800.

CPU:

Intel® Core™ i5-2500K Processor

GPU:

ASUS ENGTX550 TI DC/DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 550 Ti
GV-R687OC-1GD AMD Radeon HD 6870 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.1 x16 Video Card
PowerColor AX6870 1GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Galaxy 55NPH8HX4LXZ GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Motherboard:

P67A-GD55-B3 LGA 1155 P67 Intel ATX Motherboard
Z68 Pro3-M Socket 1155 Z68 mATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.1) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

PSU

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply
RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-730SS 730W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply

Harddrive

HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721075DLE630 (0F13179) 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Case

Thermaltake Armor A90 Gaming Mid-Tower Chassis With Cable Management Water Cooling SSD Support And Tool-Less Installation VL90001W2Z
Thermaltake V9 BlacX Edition with Docking Station (NewEgg Exclusive) SECC / Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case

Optical

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

RAM

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9



Also I found this pretty interesting package, if you feel this would be more worth it for me, let me know.

GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3 V3 Black Barebones Kit - GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3 Board, Intel Core i5-2500K, 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 RAM, Radeon HD 6870 1GB, 1TB HDD, 24x DVDRW, Thermaltake V3 Black Mid Tower, 600W PSU


Thanks for looking over this, and I hope you all could give me some advice! If you have a completely better idea for a build, don't hesitate to post it!

More about : time builder advice

December 6, 2011 11:46:42 PM

I know allot people say the i5 is the way to go in terms of performance which is true......however i find your graphics card choices lacking. If you would consider going with a amd cpu and put more money into the graphics card that may be a better choice. I find that the i5 is really just not needed for gaming as you can get a amd for much cheaper.

If you would consider using amd than go with this

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your choice though if your wiling to go amd or want intel.
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December 7, 2011 12:04:44 AM

You must decide on SLI/Xfire. Your choice will determine your PSU and, therefore, about $40 of your budget.
^matt's right in that a 955 would give you the best possible performance *right now*, but IMO it would be worth it to go 2500K for the sake of superior upgradeability. With one of those, you could get a 6870 now (significantly better than the 550 Ti, by the way) and add another later with no problem.

You could save $15 with G.Skill's equivalent RAM.

That barebones kit looks great, but the PSU is awful. Check out the Egg reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It still might be worth it, though. That's a good deal: it saves more than the $30 the PSU's worth. Go for it.
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December 7, 2011 12:14:31 AM

Starcraft and Skyrim are CPU intensive games. Go with the i5 and overclock it. P.S. its not 1080p stream on a barely better than a 720p monitor.
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December 7, 2011 12:27:42 AM

samuelspark said:
Starcraft and Skyrim are CPU intensive games. Go with the i5 and overclock it. P.S. its not 1080p stream on a barely better than a 720p monitor.

If I'm correct the pixel pitch on 1280x1084 is lower than on 1080p, so it would actually look sharper.
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December 7, 2011 12:31:59 AM

Consider the ASRock Extreme 3 Gen3 motherboard.
Agree on the G.Skill, and it is good ram...
I would try to get the 6870 at a minimum.
Oh and I would also keep the intel build. Why AMD might have a better plan for you now, it is no match to intel.
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December 7, 2011 12:57:08 AM

Yeah, it would look sharper. Print it out on a postcard and you couldn't see the pixels if you tried. 1920x1080 still looks better.
+1 on the mobo. Best $125 out there.
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December 7, 2011 1:11:39 AM

I really like AMD and own a Phenom II, but I would have to go for the i5. Newegg is pretty much the best site on the web, but some like Tiger Direct. The 6870 is a good card to go with as well. If you're not upgrading the monitor though, you could get away with a 550 Ti. You pretty much know everything you need for your build. But make sure you buy high quality components. It's really tempting to save $10 here or there and go with the cheap brand with no customer support but you'll most likely regret it later on. Best bet is to pick components that are right in the middle of the spectrum. Not too cheap and not loaded with a bunch of decals. Oh, and as a general rule of thumb, don't buy components under 4 stars and try to go for 5. There are a lot of products that are cheap but have 5 stars (especially cases).
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December 7, 2011 1:15:42 AM

Oh yeah, it would actually be worth it to up the monitor. You could get a decent 23" for $140 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and, pcs, it's got 5 eggs :D 
Remember that the objective of buying gaming components is for the game to look good, not to have the best settings on. IMO, it's better to have lower settings on a big screen than to have more eye candy on a little screen.
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December 7, 2011 1:24:57 AM

Thanks a ton for all of the responses!

First, I am definitely planning on getting the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K Processor, because I do plan on upgrading some things around a year from now.

I was definitely leaning towards the 6870. It seems like most of you think that is it a decent deal (and the best of what I posted above). Will that run well with the i5? If anyone has other suggestions for around this price range please let me know. I think the lowest quality I want to go though is the 6870.

Also I am rather up in the air with motherboards. If someone could help me decifer which would be best with the i5 and 6870 that would be much appreciated.

Raptor mentions that I should look at this motherboard: ASRock Extreme 3 Gen3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would this be a better choice than the ones I listed above?

As far as the RAM, is this the G.Skill that was mentioned?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then of course I still need to figure out which PSU I should get.

Thanks again everyone for the help, I sure need it!
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December 7, 2011 2:18:08 AM

Thanks again for the reply. I think I have my setup pretty well figured out then.

Only thing now is to figure out which 6870 to get. Any suggestions? I had looked at these two earlier:

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Current Setup Plan:

CPU:
Intel® Core™ i5-2500K Processor
GPU:
6870
Motherboard:
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Powersupply:
OCZ ZS Series 650W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
Harddrive:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721075DLE630 (0F13179) 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Case:
Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
Optical:
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
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December 7, 2011 2:55:56 AM

Quote:
Only thing now is to figure out which 6870 to get. Any suggestions?
I love my ASUS HD6870 Direct CU. The large heatsink and the metal backplate perform the majority of the heat disappation so the fan does not have to. This allows the fan to run at lower RPMs while cooling efficiently. The card is absolutely silent under load even after an hour.

The packaging is really good too. Nice thick foam totally surrounds the card. It gave me peace of mind knowing it was protected well in shipping.



If you are getting a case with a window want to consider getting a card which has a PCB which matches your motherboard.

For example: If you are getting a Gigabyte motherboard which are typically blue you may want to get a Sapphire or an HIS card which are typically blue. To some people it does not matter but if I was building today I would aim to color match. However that is just my personal preference.
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December 7, 2011 3:13:30 AM

After looking that card over, it seems good. I think I may go with that one. Thanks for the response!
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December 7, 2011 4:12:54 AM

I'm actually having a hard time finding that one in stock anywhere though :/ 

After doing some more research I have started looking again at the 560. How would this go with my current build?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If not, then I suppose it is between these two 6870:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So if anyone can give me some insight on these cards is would be greatly appreciated!
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December 7, 2011 10:01:22 AM

The GTX 560 is where I'd put my money. It's the most powerful out of those. If you are happy with your components, than i'd say your all set.
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December 7, 2011 7:57:08 PM

Yeah, they're the same. Microcenter just has a great deal on it right now.

The people who recommended the 560 to you were talking about the non-Ti version, which is roughly as good as the 6870. The 560 Ti is significantly better, and also significantly more expensive. Get it if you're willing to spend the extra money.
If you do go Ti, I recommend the MSI Twin Frozr version, which is $220 after rebate.
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December 7, 2011 8:17:12 PM

Thanks everyone for the help! I ended up getting the 560ti. Everything is on its way, now I just need to build it!
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December 8, 2011 1:45:52 AM

Contract said:
So if anyone can give me some insight on these cards is would be greatly appreciated!


I would recommend the ASUS DirectCU II GTX560ti. Watch this Newegg Video with JJ from ASUS. The quality they put in to their cards is impressive.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rvx3twxDwdk&feature=play...
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December 8, 2011 7:40:31 PM

Contract said:
I ended up getting the 560ti. Everything is on its way, now I just need to build it!

Good thought, wayne, but too late.
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December 8, 2011 8:41:57 PM

OP, all your stuff is still good, rwayne was just trying to make sure you maxed out what you got for your budget, so no worries.
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!