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Needing help building a PC: Intel Core i5-2500

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March 12, 2012 10:35:52 PM

Hello readers,


I want to build a PC which suits my needs, but with all the options out there and because of the little knowledge I have about this all, I could really use some help.

I'm an amateur music composer and use Ableton Suite 8 to do this. Furthermore; I'm a casual gamer.
I want my games to look nice, but I don't necessarily need them completely maxed out (I don't mind missing out on stuff like Anti-Alias, for example). I do want a smooth running game, though; meaning a constant high FPS to go with some nice graphics.

Basically, I want newer games like Batman or Assassin's Creed to have a resolution like 1920x1080 and have the basic stuff like textures maxed out (while they keep running on a nice number of fps).
Also, I'm not quite the fan of long waits @ games or other software (Ableton).


I figured my starting point would be an Intel Core i5-2500, 3.30GHz, 6MB, HD2000, S1155.
As for the graphic card; I think the Club 3D Radeon HD 6850, 1024MB would be a fine card for my ends (correct me if I'm thinking wrong, though).
I also have memory problems from time to time (2GB DDR2..), in particular within Ableton.


Now I guess my main question is: If these 2 components are good choices for my ends(?), and work well together(?), what should i go for when it comes to motherboard and memory..?



Bucake
March 12, 2012 10:59:40 PM

CPU looks good(i assume you don't plan on overclocking?), GPU looks good for the uses you described.. I would throw in an 8gb ram kit http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and a decent motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... To make your load times as fast as possible, use and SSD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... as your boot drive and load ableton on it. this should speed these up considerably.
March 12, 2012 11:07:30 PM

Hello,
Although I can't say much about most of the build, I do know that ram is pretty cheap, and going with a 2x2 or 2x4 DDR3 set would be a good option. Make sure the mobo supports DDR3 ram as well. In terms of which mobo to get, make sure its the 1155 slotted one (I'm sure you have), and look through the list of slots to see what you can hook up to it (i.e. case front port slots for usb and others, DDR3, PCIe slot for the GPU, USB2.0/3.0 in the back). I've heard Gigabyte and Asus mobos are typically pretty decent. I personally just ordered an ASRock E3/G3 for the build I'm making.

The 6850 should be good enough to run those on high at that res. I recommend reading some reviews of it and looking at some benchmarks. It will definitely be a good card for the money though.

What exact parts do you want to get, and what is your budget? Also, What power supply do you have?

brewspy
Related resources
March 12, 2012 11:23:23 PM

Bucake said:
Hello readers,


I want to build a PC which suits my needs, but with all the options out there and because of the little knowledge I have about this all, I could really use some help.

I'm an amateur music composer and use Ableton Suite 8 to do this. Furthermore; I'm a casual gamer.
I want my games to look nice, but I don't necessarily need them completely maxed out (I don't mind missing out on stuff like Anti-Alias, for example). I do want a smooth running game, though; meaning a constant high FPS to go with some nice graphics.

Basically, I want newer games like Batman or Assassin's Creed to have a resolution like 1920x1080 and have the basic stuff like textures maxed out (while they keep running on a nice number of fps).
Also, I'm not quite the fan of long waits @ games or other software (Ableton).


I figured my starting point would be an Intel Core i5-2500, 3.30GHz, 6MB, HD2000, S1155.
As for the graphic card; I think the Club 3D Radeon HD 6850, 1024MB would be a fine card for my ends (correct me if I'm thinking wrong, though).
I also have memory problems from time to time (2GB DDR2..), in particular within Ableton.


Now I guess my main question is: If these 2 components are good choices for my ends(?), and work well together(?), what should i go for when it comes to motherboard and memory..?



Bucake



You might want to consider "K" series i5 2500K is the best gaming CPU in the market. It will give you the oppurtunity to overclock in the future, Get a Z68 chipset MB that supports overclocking, Intel SRT and Virtu Lucid. Add a decent SSD maybe a 64 GB SATA III(6Gb/s) for the OS(Win 7) and 1TB of HDD for the data storage(games, photos, music, videos, documents and files). A minimum of 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHZ memory. Add at least 700 watts PSU.
HD Radeon 6850 GPU is okay but add $30.00 and you get HD Radeon 6870. For the PC case, I suggest a full tower ATX case for your future upgrades. Get it all done and you're good to go. With thise build, it will last for about 2-4 years.
March 13, 2012 4:14:05 AM

Many thanks for the replies, it's very appreciated.

For easier reading, I'll just try and reply to all 3 of you in one piece.


I definitely have been considering a build which would allow me to overclock since I'm under the impression that overclocking can truly have its charms. My hesistance lies around the fact that, to me, it looked like I'd end spending a substantial amount more, for something I don't really 'need'.
I'm hoping and aiming for ending up with a build which has given me the highest ratio on the price/quality relationship I could get my hands on.
Since I don't do excessive multi-tasking or aim for something like Crysis running on 60 fps while having the highest possible combination of settings going, I'm just not sure the build which allows overclocking is worth the money (for me).
I would appreciate reading more of your thoughts on this.


As for the harddisk: I planned on buying a 120GB SSD for Windows, Ableton and games; I figured this would be enough for those few applications.
My obstacle here is, though (and this exact same goes for memory and motherboard):
I find many long lists of possible options, but the prices range from 'quite cheap' to 'quite expensive'.
If i then look at the differences in specifications, I can't do much more than scratch my head and figure I could just as well go read some Russian.

Any thought on things like what brands I should look into or what specifications are relevant for me to check out, on all three components, are very, very welcome.


@ kelthic
Thanks a bunch for the added links!

@ brewspy
Thanks for mentioning about the compatibility notes and the recommendations.
I guess, as you might have read by now, I'm not sure about any part yet. And for the PSU; I figured it's best to first complete the base (CPU, GPU, mobo, memory and a SSD/HDD), and then just figure out what PSU I need to supply the bunch with sufficient food.
(Am I thinking right, here?)
As for budget; I don't really have one. I'd just like to end up with a complete system which has a high ratio on the price/quality relationship (in connection with what I want to use that system for).


@ aqe040466
I will look into the HD Radeon 6870 versus HD Radeon 6850. Do you, personally, think it would be worth the extra money(considering my wishes)? It's hard for me to spot the relevant differences since I know so little about all the terms and numbers attached to hardware specifications, heh..



Thank you all again for taking the time to read and comment (on) this thread, I really appreciate the help.



Sidenotes:
- I already own a 1TB harddisk which I will keep on using as storage in the upcoming build.
- I have no clue what PSU I currently use. It came with the pre-built, complete PC case I bought in 2006. I figured it probably isn't able to provide what my upcoming build will need, so I do think I will need to buy a new one.
March 13, 2012 5:45:45 PM

For Overclocking, you're definitely going to want the i5-2500k model. On newegg, it's only $10 more, so you really can't beat the added value by springing for it.

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

It's really all about price/performance for this card, and it really is the best cpu for gaming when you look at price-to-performance ratios that's on the market right now. Since you're using your computer for Ableton, which to my understanding, does not do particularly well with utilizing Hyperthreading (which is a feature of i7's), i think the i5-2500k would hit the mark for you perfectly.

Also, just an option for you, if you can afford another $10-20 on your GPU, you could go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which would make sure you get a little more out of your games than the 6850. This is just another option though, and it's really about your budget, your expectations, how much you're willing to bump up on for a little extra performance, but it's something for you to think about. :) 

What is your total budget for this build? what parts do you already have?
March 14, 2012 7:15:49 PM

@ aqe040466
Thanks for the suggestions. For now, I think I'm sticking with the Radeon HD 6870 since I'm under the impression that that's a real nice one for the buck. Though, I've also read some good things about the Radeon 7770. Some swear by 6870 while others would say 7770, indefinitely.
Any thoughts on this comparison?

@ kelthic
Many thanks for the detailled reply.
I've tried looking a bit into this overclocking tutorial, but the length mixed with my little knowledge about it all just gave me the creeps ;p
I wouldn't mind getting a build which at least allows me to overclock, just to keep the option open for later, but the difference in costs will be the reason for choosing one of the other (build).

I now know I'd have to get a motherboard -and I believe memory too- which is compatible with overclocking. And I reckon all components would have to be able to keep up with eachother as well.
I've been looking around a bit, but it was hard for me to see what motherboard and memory would be optimal for me, were I to build a system for overclocking. I also figured my PSU could be somewhat more expensive when if I choose to go OC.


Anyway.. I'm hoping to stay under $900 for the whole bunch (including SSD, PSU, etc.)
Am I out of line by thinking I can get away with this build for somewhere under $900?


Again, your replies were very appreciated.

Bucake
March 14, 2012 7:43:02 PM

it can probably be done for about that if you don't need the monitor. if you step down on your processor a bit, it can prob be done for that WITH the monitor. Let me throw some parts together and get back to you.
March 14, 2012 7:55:56 PM

@ kelthic
I already have a monitor :j
March 14, 2012 8:11:01 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... case $39.99 (this can be swapped out for any ATX case that you like instead. It might be a little tight for the components i picked, but price was getting tight.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Radeon 6870 :)  free copy of DIRT 3 comes with this. $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Corsair 650w psu $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Corsair vengeance 8gb RAM kit $53.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Gigabyte z68 motherboard - this motherboard should be very good for overclocking :)  $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... i5-2500k $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Windows 7 64bit. $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... hyper 212 evo CPU Cooler $34.99

this should set you up nicely :)  Total was $898.62
March 14, 2012 9:05:40 PM

Thanks alot for your time so far, kelthic. Appreciated, man!


Honestly though, I still am not ready to order.

The reviews on the motherboard look very promising. Though; it's not exactly cheap! I don't mind spending the money at all, but I do want it to be worth it, of course.

I must remind you that, at the moment, I have no clue how overclocking works. I -of course- want to get the most out of this build, were I to go for overclocking.
Won't it(overclocking) be too much a hassle for a newb like me, you think?


I also thought the memory looks a bit cheap(?) Will it be fast enough? I want it to keep up with the CPU! (Because their speeds do have something in common, right?)


Sidenotes:
- If it would make a difference, I think I could go with another $50-$100.
- I probably want a slightly bigger case to make sure I won't run into a lack of space later on.

I hope I'm not being a hassle, man. I do very much appreciate your effort and also think I'm not far away from ordering anymore.

Bucake
March 14, 2012 9:26:19 PM

Corsair is a solid brand of RAM. it is also the low profile model, so that it will fit below your CPU cooler. Some of the more expensive RAM have fins and/or fans to disapate heat, but it's almost always a marketing gimmick and not necessary as ram does not produce excessive amounts of heat. Also, these taller rams will likely conflict with your CPU Cooler, which you don't want.

I understand your hesitation on the motherboard price and about overclocking. There are some guides that can help with this. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclocking-guide-... should be a good starting point on this, as it's a basic knowledge guide. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265056-29-2600k-2500k... is a more detailed guide aimed directly at the i5-2500k and i7-2600k cpus. This and other guides are how i taught myself to overclock and if you take your time and make sure you understand what you are doing, there is much less risk involved. You can get a significant amount of additional performance out of your processor with overclocking, and i didn't want to exclude you from that by offering parts in your build that would complicate that at all (the parts i gave you should provide a relatively smooth overclock experience compaired to parts that are not designed for overclocking).

RAM speeds make a little difference, but not as much as you would think. I've always overclocked my ram a little to match the overclock on the CPU. In fact, i'm actually using cheaper ram than the model i suggested for you in my own rig. :( 

But, it's probably also appropriate to note that this build will still scream if you decide that overclocking is not for you. :)  If that's the case, then you could drop the cpu to http://www.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingItem.aspx?ItemLi... the motherboard to http://www.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingItem.aspx?ItemLi.... Really what it boils down to is $60 to keep the option of a very strong overclocking system open, which i would definitely recommend.

As far as the case goes, if possible i would squeeze http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or similar into your build with that extra money. the airflow in this case is much better than the one i gave in the original build.
March 16, 2012 12:17:07 PM

Thanks alot for your help.

Since the assortment here is smaller, I will probably have to change a couple of parts.
Nonetheless I'll be ordering the build this evening and will pick it up somewhere this week!


Thanks again!
!