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First Comp Build. Please Review and tell me what you think

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January 17, 2012 1:03:48 AM

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

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COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x 230mm side fan

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Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5" Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers

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SAPPHIRE 100312-3L Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

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SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

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Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

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G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL

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GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I52500

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COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

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I am mainly looking to play future games and today games at 40-60 fps. (Skyrim, Saint's Row the Third, GTA IV, Battlefield 3 etc. )
Also are these parts compatible?
Thanks in advance. :D 
P.S. I am new to building computers, first one actually! EXCITED

More about : comp build review

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 2:12:31 AM

Your board is dual channel which means it works best with either 2 or 4 of the same kind of sticks.

I would get 2x 4GB or 4 x 4GBs for the computer (the lower is probably good enough). Crucial RAM has lower failure rates and there is a nice tool on their website that tells you exactly the kinds that will work with your motherboard.

You would do fine with a nice set of 1600 RAM, no need to go higher than that.

I would also get a 2500k instead of a 2500 if I were you. It is only maybe $20 more and if you ever want to OC you have the potential to up the power of the CPU by like 50%.

Otherwise, the setup is pretty nice.
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January 17, 2012 2:36:52 AM

great but will it run todays games (crysis 2 skyrim saints row the third etc) at decent fps (30-60)?
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 2:45:26 AM

As good as anything else will in the same budget range.

You could always go upwards on the video card, if you have the budget.

570, 580, the 7970 should be available soon'ish and that will blow all of those away.

Those things may not be cheap, but you buy your way into FPS.

You could use lower than the max graphics and be guaranteed to have 60 FPS, but many games do put serious strain on the cards with everything completely maxxed out.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 3:11:24 AM

Looks good. You did your homework.

Comments from raiddin re: 2500K and 8gb of ram are right on.

Considering the current crazy prices for hard drives, consider starting with a SSD of 80gb or so instead. It will be large enough to hold the os and a handful of games.
If you start to run out of room, then add a larger hard drive for expansion.
Look to Intel, Samsung, or crucial, in that order.

The 6950 is a good card, but I think a bit stronger, like a GTX570 or 6950 might be more appropriate.
It is the graphics card that is the prime driver of a good gaming pc.

As a first time builder, I suggest you take the time now to download and read, cover to cover, the motherboard and case manuals.
Many questions will be answered.
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January 17, 2012 3:29:44 AM

Thanks for your response raiddin re and geofelt. I am planning to buy an gtx 570 sli instead of the 6950. However, I was just wondering if you had a suggestion on where to find the manuals online as i have not bought these products yet. Much help appreciated.
Thanks in advance
TheNoobBuilder
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 2:16:44 PM

TheNoobBuilder123 said:
Thanks for your response raiddin re and geofelt. I am planning to buy an gtx 570 sli instead of the 6950. However, I was just wondering if you had a suggestion on where to find the manuals online as i have not bought these products yet. Much help appreciated.
Thanks in advance
TheNoobBuilder


If you go to the manufacturer's web site you should be able to find the manuals.
Look under the specific product, or at the downloads section.

Thless you are planning on triple monitor gaming, or 2560 x 1600 monitor, there is no need for sli.

Here are my thoughts on Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

1) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single 7970 or GTX580 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.

2) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

3) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

4) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.


5) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.

With your budget, a single GTX580 is perfect. If you like amd, look for a 7970 which should be available shortly.
Today, I think I would bypass the dual gpu cards, like GTX590, or 6990.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 2:38:44 PM

^+many @geofelt.
The only thing I'd add is a personal rant. Coolermaster is a dishonest company (fact, not opinion; as determined by competent technical review at HardwareSecrets, some of their PSUs have liar labels on them, and/or are missing protection circuits they claim to possess), so I cannot recommend any of their products, no matter how good. Fortunately, in every market in which they are found, competitors offer similar products at similar prices, e.g. Rosewill for cases, and Xigmatek for CPU coolers; you won't take a hit in the wallet for refusing to support a dishonest business.
Anyway, /rant.
The build looks good, but please don't be convinced to spend money unnecessarily. Look at geofelt's single card recommendations. A GTX560Ti may be all you need, or even less if you don't mind a few "high" vs. "ultra" settings, which often make very little difference.


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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 3:24:20 PM

Very hard to add to the excellent advise from geofelt and jtt.
One are is one the HDD. If you can reuse a HDD from an older system, recommend you do so.
1) HDD prices are very high and will come down. Ex. I normally recommend the Samsung F3, currently @ $160 - This drive was often onsale for $70 prior to flooding - OUCH! Sata III drives on a SATA III interface is a WASTE of a good Intel Sata III port and you only have two Intel SATA III ports. The only real benifit of Sata III HDDs is burst speed. There are some Hybred Models starting to come out that incorporate an internal 8 gig SSD for caching that MAY take advantage of a sata III port.
On choice. Since the -11 problems I recommnded WD Blacks then switch to the Samsung F3. Comparision: newegg reviews 4/5 eggs - F3 81 %, 1/2 eggs 14%, Your HDD 4/5 eggs 75%, 1/2 eggs 21%
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 3:33:15 PM

go for seasonic x750/x850 for psu if you plan to SLI/Crossfire in the near future as in like 1-3 months or so, and with a little headroom it's good, for dual GPU go for the 6990, well i just like it better than the 590 and if not, just stick with a single card a 6950 2gb/6970 2gb is good enough for you ^_^
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 3:47:16 PM

Because this is your first build, look at the following threads while you are waiting for your parts.
Build it yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-13-step-step...

And although this primarily a troubleshooting thread, the first part contains a checklist that will catch most noob mistakes:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

And I recommend breadboarding a new build:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...

It doesn't take long, and it lets you test your parts before you install them in the case.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 4:14:50 PM

I just wanted to throw it out there that micro-stuttering, while definitely as annoying as described, isn't from the cause that is described.

One video card doesn't take, say, the top half and the other the bottom half (or left vs right), instead each card takes turns rendering the entire frame.

The stuttering happens because the second card renders too soon after the first one.

The smoothest FPS would be accomplished if each card waited until the other were halfway through their render cycle before it took its turn. This doesn't actually happen in reality.

If Card A rendered at every micro second that ended in a 0, and card B rendered at every micro second ending in a 5, then there would be 5 micro seconds between each frame consistently.

The problem is when Card A goes at every 0 and Card B goes at every, say, 2 instead.

That leaves a gap of 2, then a gap of 8, then a gap of 2, and another gap of 8, and so on.

This is the source of the ever so annoying stuttering problems that only occur with 2x cards. 1x card will always render in the same intervals (100% smooth) and with 3 or 4 cards the first one is always ready soon enough after the last one that there isn't a perceivable gap even if it isn't 100% smooth (like 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, etc).
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 9:30:16 PM

Ref 212 HSF newegg promo code EMCNJJC55 knows $10 off prive
Ends Wens 12:01 PST.
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January 25, 2012 2:03:30 AM

Best answer selected by TheNoobBuilder123.
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