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First-Time Builder Reads. Attemps Build. Can (Should) It Be Done?!

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December 8, 2011 4:20:18 AM

Hello!
So after spending a good amount of time reading reviews, posts and doing some price-checking, I think I've put something pretty good together! Keeping this build as close to $700 was definitely a priority while also keeping in mind that I'd love my machine to survive me for as long as my last pc (4 years!). I've already got a chassis, fans, optical drive, (slow but useable!)hdd, so I skimped on those. Also, it was important for me to leave room to upgrade the CPU in the future so I chose this gb mobo. For the moment, it's not in my budget to crossfire the card I've chosen, but it's definitely something I'm interested in. Still learning about overclocking machines (may have burnt up a few things on my present pc, but he's still breathing!) but from what I've read, I'll be able to do a decent amount of that with this hardware.

For now, this is what I'm building.

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.44 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($169.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Corsair Force Series GT 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ 750W ATX12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $739.38
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2011-12-08 02:07 EST-0500)

Now it's time (hopefully!) for a little Ask The Community Segment!

Do you approve this build? Why or why not?
December 8, 2011 6:44:50 AM

Your power supply is way too big. Most quality 450W PSU's will power a 6850 just fine.

The only other comment I have is that it looks like you're counting some mail in rebates and it's sad, but you might not want to bank those just yet. Guessing if and when you're going to get a rebate is like trying to predict the weather. It's an unfortunate reality that sometimes they take 8 weeks and sometimes they never show up.
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December 8, 2011 7:31:04 AM

If your plan to CF I agree with Danraies, you will only need a 600W for that but for extra headroom I would bump it up to a 650W
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December 8, 2011 7:34:33 AM

Agreed, 650W is about right if you want to crossfire.
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December 9, 2011 1:34:24 AM

Thanks for your input!

Still tinkering with my build and I've just read a little on AMD's recent press about "shifting focus" or whatever. Now I'm debating whether to jump ship and go intel.

Bah.
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December 9, 2011 6:18:17 AM

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.44 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.95 @ Mac Connection)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Thermaltake 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $812.33
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2011-12-09 03:06 EST-0500)

New mobo and PCU. Had to choose a new case because my old one is only mATX. And I found an EVGA GTC 560 Ti 448 Cores gpu.
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December 9, 2011 6:30:59 AM

Looks great! Just keep in mind if you plan to SLI the new 560 Ti (I like to call it the 565) it might be difficult to come across one since they say its only a limited supply. You will probably have to go to ebay or amazon to buy another in the future. (I had to do that with my GTX 460, thank god for amazon :p )
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December 9, 2011 7:20:45 AM

The new build is better than the original build. But of course you're spending over $800 this time.
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December 9, 2011 8:03:55 AM

I know, but unfortunately that's the price one pays to shack up with intel :( 
Decisions, decisions!
Thanks for your 2 cents!
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Best solution

December 9, 2011 8:21:30 AM

hikikomori_cruz said:
Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.44 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.95 @ Mac Connection)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Thermaltake 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $812.33
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2011-12-09 03:06 EST-0500)

New mobo and PCU. Had to choose a new case because my old one is only mATX. And I found an EVGA GTC 560 Ti 448 Cores gpu.


This looks great. Definitely consider this one, its well worth the extra $73. If you do go the 2500k/1155/Sandy bridge route you can always upgrade to Ivy bridge later on in the future.
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December 9, 2011 8:22:19 AM

Well, you can cut it down a little. You can get rid of the air cooler, you can get a cheaper case (NZXT Gamma), you can get a smaller PSU (550W is fine for a 560ti). There are cheaper motherboards available for Sandy Bridge, although the Extreme3 is a good one. You can get a cheaper boot drive if you wanted (as in not an SSD). You can even downgrade to an i3-2100 and still get gaming performance around what your original build would get.

Not saying that you should make any of those changes, but if you need to pinch some pennies you can still make it happen.
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December 9, 2011 8:36:26 AM

danraies said:
Well, you can cut it down a little. You can get rid of the air cooler, you can get a cheaper case (NZXT Gamma), you can get a smaller PSU (550W is fine for a 560ti). There are cheaper motherboards available for Sandy Bridge, although the Extreme3 is a good one. You can get a cheaper boot drive if you wanted (as in not an SSD). You can even downgrade to an i3-2100 and still get gaming performance around what your original build would get.

Not saying that you should make any of those changes, but if you need to pinch some pennies you can still make it happen.


I agree about getting a cheaper case (the NZXT Gamma was a good suggestion) and possibly leaving the SSD for now if he needs to, but downgrading the PSU and CPU will just be shooting him in the foot in the long run.

hikikomori_cruz If your not happy with downgrading then you will probably want to upgrade them again later on which will just cost you evan more money. If you can't settle for anything less then just wait untill you have the money to get what you really want.
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December 9, 2011 11:14:38 AM

Gothams Finest said:
I agree about getting a cheaper case (the NZXT Gamma was a good suggestion) and possibly leaving the SSD for now if he needs to, but downgrading the PSU and CPU will just be shooting him in the foot in the long run.

hikikomori_cruz If your not happy with downgrading then you will probably want to upgrade them again later on which will just cost you evan more money. If you can't settle for anything less then just wait untill you have the money to get what you really want.


@OP, for the record I agree with gothems finest - you shouldn't downgrade from your $800 build if you can afford it or if you can afford to save up another $100. I was only pointing out that theoretically you can come up with a good intel build at $700 that competes with a Phenom 970.
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December 13, 2011 5:03:28 PM

the case selection is purely an aesthetic one and you're right, i could knock off $20 right there with a different case.

as far as the psu goes, i'm planning on sli and/or upgrading in the future...it seems like the more reading i do, the higher voltage makes better sense.

i opted for an SSD because atm all the HDD prices are being affected by the flooding in thailand. i have a HDD that i'll be recycling for storage so i figured why not. the SSD is mainly for os and a couple things here and there, though it's possible to knock off another $100 if skip it.

anyway i'm putting this together in hopes that it'll last me for quite awhile with as little "big" spending down the road as possible. all in all, i can afford it for the price it's at, i'm just pleased it's under $1000!
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December 15, 2011 11:17:26 PM

Best answer selected by hikikomori_cruz.
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