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Need Advice for New Build

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January 19, 2012 5:06:23 PM

I've got an above average knowledge of computers, I've exchanged parts myself on my current pc among other various things. However this is my first time building one from the ground up.

Battlefield 3 Ultra Quality & Ultra Performance PC

I've been looking at this and contemplating this build for awhile and have gotten mixed review on it. Some say you don't need the extra card, etc, etc. I want to know what you guys think. Should I stick with this build or could somebody put me one together at a better cost (cheaper).

Approximate Purchase Date: Putting an order in tonight would be awesome, but I want to give everyone a chance to put in their two cents, so by the end of this weekend I would like to reach a final decision.

Budget Range: Anywhere up to $2200, this is to include everything including os, etc. (Preferably right about $2000 at the most after mail in rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Schoolwork, Media, Surfing.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg OR TigerDirect

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Only preferences are Intel/Nvidia

Overclocking: Doesn't matter

SLI or Crossfire: Doesn't matter

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: My goal is to basically have a PC that can run BF3 on ultra with a good frame rate (something that will last a couple years/be easily upgraded if need be) and something quiet. Preferably fan cooled, never used liquid cooling, but i'm open to it as long as it's not TOO complicated.

More about : advice build

January 19, 2012 5:40:13 PM

Well if you got the money for one of those setups, go for it. They aren't bad but you could do better on your own and save money still.

I'd grab an i5 2500k with a nice aftermarket heatsink. The Frio is pretty good but it looks like a matchbox car or something. Grab 8GB of RAM. It really doesn't matter what brand you choose. RAM is RAM. For a motherboard I'd grab something from either Gigabyte, ASUS, or ASrock in the PCIe3.0 with plenty of USB3.0 as well.

For a GPU I'd honestly rather an AMD card. They're cheaper, perform just as well, and can run three monitors without having two cards installed. The HD7970 is the best card on the market and is around the same price as Nvidia's flagship. If you must have NVIDIA grab the GTX 580 or wait for Keplar which is coming out soon. I would also build only a single GPU machine.

As for the PSU I'd use a 750W unless you must have a SLI config then go 850W with the GTX580. Grab a 120GBish SATAIII SSD with good read and write times and a 1TB HDD and your all set besides the case which is always a personal preference.

This should cost you around $1500
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January 19, 2012 5:56:48 PM

Quote:
I'd grab an i5 2500k with a nice aftermarket heatsink. The Frio is pretty good but it looks like a matchbox car or something. Grab 8GB of RAM. It really doesn't matter what brand you choose. RAM is RAM. For a motherboard I'd grab something from either Gigabyte, ASUS, or ASrock in the PCIe3.0 with plenty of USB3.0 as well.


I'm not a fan of the Frio either. I've honestly come to prefer much smaller and more efficient coolers like the Hyper 212 rather than huge, obnoxious ones that barely fit in the case.

Quote:
For a GPU I'd honestly rather an AMD card. They're cheaper, perform just as well, and can run three monitors without having two cards installed. The HD7970 is the best card on the market and is around the same price as Nvidia's flagship. If you must have NVIDIA grab the GTX 580 or wait for Keplar which is coming out soon. I would also build only a single GPU machine.


Not necessarily cheaper (see 7970). Where the AMD's biggest strengths lie is with Eyefinity and the ability to setup multiple monitors easily. NVIDIA doesn't have anything remotely close.

Try something like this:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $99.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68 Deluxe - $259.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $44.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $46.99
SSD: Samsung 830 64GB - $109.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB - $129.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $19.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $559.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1946.88
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January 19, 2012 6:10:40 PM

g-unit1111 said:


Try something like this:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $99.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68 Deluxe - $259.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $44.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $46.99
SSD: Samsung 830 64GB - $109.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB - $129.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $19.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $559.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1946.88


Thanks, I'm off to work so I will check this one out more in-depth when I get home. Would love to see if anyone else has any good builds as well.
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January 19, 2012 6:15:08 PM

i5-2500k $230 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Gigabyte 1155 Motherboard $160 (390) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



8GB Crucial RAM $40 (430) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Hyper 212 CPU cooler $30 (460) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



EVGA OCd 580 $488 (948) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Asus 24x DVD $27 (975) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Crucial M4 SSD 128GB $182 (1157) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Samsung 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive 32 mb cache $167 (1324) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



XFX 850w $96 (1420) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Lian Li Case $180 (1600) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...





Total without OS is $1600.

Add one of the below OS options depending on your situation



OS

If you already own a legal copy of XP or Vista and are not a student

Windows 7 Upgrade CD $129 http://www.discountmountainsoftware.com/wi7pruprebox.ht...




If you are a student

Windows 7 Professional with student discount $65 http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/pr...

If you are not a student and don't have a prior license to upgrade from

Windows 7 Professional Full Version Retail $230 http://www.discountmountainsoftware.com/wi7prfuvereb.ht...

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Vs gunit's build

Better case
Worse but close to the same PSU
Worse motherboard
Worse cooler
Higher quality ram
2x size SSD
Faster HD with worse cache
Better rated CD drive
Worse video card, but it isn't sold out. If you can find the 7970 and want it then it fits in the budget
My OS options are legal
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January 19, 2012 6:33:21 PM

NP.

I have 3 copies of Windows 7 myself.

One student version for my computer. One retail upgrade version for my wife's computer, and one OEM version that came with my Acer Aspire laptop.

All excellent costs while staying on the right side of the license agreements.
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January 19, 2012 6:38:14 PM

i5 2500k $230
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s $122
GIGABYTE GV-R797D5-3GD-B Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit $550
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $40
Corsair Carbide Series 400R $100
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III $182
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE $100
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB $100

$1424
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January 19, 2012 6:38:52 PM

If you do an OC, how high are you going to go? If more than 4.5 GHz, like me, get the H100 Corsair Water Cooler.
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January 19, 2012 7:52:50 PM

Quote:
Vs gunit's build


Better case
Worse but close to the same PSU
Worse motherboard
Worse cooler
Higher quality ram
2x size SSD
Faster HD with worse cache
Better rated CD drive
Worse video card, but it isn't sold out. If you can find the 7970 and want it then it fits in the budget
My OS options are legal


Case: IMO, I personally believe that Lian-Li is ridiculously overrated for what you get cost-wise vs. comparable cases from Cooler Master, Antec, Corsair, Fractal, etc.

Video Card: Give it a month and we'll start to see production ramped up on the 7970, I'm guessing the shortage is related to the high demand for them right now.

HD / SSD: Yeah you can get one with higher capacity and that sort of thing but I've never really seen the difference when you have a Green HD vs. a 7200 RPM HD as your secondary. If that drive were your primary I could see where that would make a huge difference.

OS: I still will never be able to figure out what makes an OEM version legal vs. a full version. You can't really prove why the system is "new" or if you've "resold" the system to anyone other than yourself, and if it were to come up in court, there's no way the other side could really prove their case either. And what makes it a new system - new HD format? New motherboard? New SSD? There's so many factors to this and there's no way either side could accurately make a claim, which is why I usually recommend them.

CD Drive: I hate the Asus bulk DVD burner and will never recommend it as I had one nearly explode on me, and I sent it back to Newegg the day I got it for that reason. I like Lite-On and Plextor (LG has been really good too) the best and that's generally who I recommend every time.

Quote:
If you do an OC, how high are you going to go? If more than 4.5 GHz, like me, get the H100 Corsair Water Cooler.


I've been researching coolers heavily lately and I have never seen where closed loops offer any benefit over a solid heat sink / fan setup. With water cooling there's tons of room for error and more room for failure vs. traditional air cooling, and on a $2K build you don't want to take your chances.
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January 19, 2012 8:17:22 PM

OS - The license terms decide what is legal and what isn't.

There are plenty of ways that MSFT can pin the illegal OS on you if they choose to.

They could trace the parts back to where you got it from and ask Newegg for the name of the buyer and the name on the credit card or other account used to pay with, for one.

They could ask to see the receipt for when you bought the computer from the OEM maker, or ask you who the OEM was and if you can't spit it out then your legal copy defense won't be looking so hot.

If you just picked out a random name like CyberPower or something they could poll that company to ask if anyone with your name bought a computer with those specs from them.

Regardless, I do intend to at least point it out every time I see someone suggesting that something illegal be done and to suggest that it not be. If you don't want me to bring it up in threads all the time then don't suggest people do illegal things and I won't.

Just because you don't like how the legalese is written in regards to words like "new", "resold", and so on doesn't mean you can interpret them at will. They have strict legal definitions, feel free to look them up.

In the legal world, a word that may have 100 real life definitions tends to have only 1 definition. Lawyers don't usually play around with that stuff very often. If a different definition other than the standard is used then it is probably in the license agreement itself what constitutes "new", "resold", and so on.

The tax code isn't hundreds of thousands of pages long because people are encouraged to be "creative" about what is and isn't legal, for instance.
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January 19, 2012 11:01:17 PM

Raiddinn said:
OS - The license terms decide what is legal and what isn't.

There are plenty of ways that MSFT can pin the illegal OS on you if they choose to.

They could trace the parts back to where you got it from and ask Newegg for the name of the buyer and the name on the credit card or other account used to pay with, for one.

They could ask to see the receipt for when you bought the computer from the OEM maker, or ask you who the OEM was and if you can't spit it out then your legal copy defense won't be looking so hot.

If you just picked out a random name like CyberPower or something they could poll that company to ask if anyone with your name bought a computer with those specs from them.

Regardless, I do intend to at least point it out every time I see someone suggesting that something illegal be done and to suggest that it not be. If you don't want me to bring it up in threads all the time then don't suggest people do illegal things and I won't.

Just because you don't like how the legalese is written in regards to words like "new", "resold", and so on doesn't mean you can interpret them at will. They have strict legal definitions, feel free to look them up.

In the legal world, a word that may have 100 real life definitions tends to have only 1 definition. Lawyers don't usually play around with that stuff very often. If a different definition other than the standard is used then it is probably in the license agreement itself what constitutes "new", "resold", and so on.

The tax code isn't hundreds of thousands of pages long because people are encouraged to be "creative" about what is and isn't legal, for instance.


I get what you're saying but I'd really like to question that clause because the terms are defined way too loosely. They say it's a new system that you put this license on, or that it was "sold" to you but they really don't define any of these terms. I know some people in law school so I'd really like to ask them and get the expert opinions on this.
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January 20, 2012 12:33:38 AM

Go ahead.

It doesn't sound very ambiguous to me. It clearly says retail full version licenses are appropriate for the DIY market on the license for hobbyists page.

I dont see how any competent lawyer won't understand that.
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January 20, 2012 3:29:58 AM

Let's say if my father had a Windows 7 64-bit CD. Could I use it or would that be illegal?

@ OP: Do you have a hard drive lying out somewhere?
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January 20, 2012 12:28:37 PM

Windows installation files aren't what is controlled. You can take a Windows 7 64 bit CD and install it on 100 computers if you want and Microsoft won't care. They would even be happy about it because it takes market share from competitors.

The CD Keys are what is controlled. Unless you have a license that says you get multiple activations with the same CD Key then each one will start shutting down after the free trial period has expired. You won't have a good user experience because of this problem so you will have to acquire a CD key somewhere or install a different OS.

It is most likely the case that your dad's CD only comes with 1 license and no more.

I installed Windows 7 on my wife's computer off of my own CD and let her test it out and when she said she would like to stick with it I bought another copy of Windows 7 Professional 64 (not OEM!) and just typed in the CD key in her computer and it worked.

That is completely fine according to Microsoft.

OP - I would just stick with my build.
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January 21, 2012 2:39:00 AM

Okay, after doing a bit of research and thinking I took the best of both gunits build and raidens builds:

LIAN LI ARMORSUIT PC-P50

ASUS 24X DVD Burner

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W High Performance

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III

SAPPHIRE 21197-00-40G Radeon HD 7970 3GB

Windows 7 Professional Upgrade

Anyone see any problems with this build? I think I have everything covered, I was just wondering about a sound card/speaker combo, I have a Steelseries 3H but I tend to use my speakers more, mostly for media/gaming. Any suggestions?
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January 21, 2012 3:09:49 AM

The write times on Crucial SSDs suck. Most other brands like OCZ, G.Skill, Corsair have very similar GB/$ ratios with double+ write times. You also don't need 950W of juice and can easily get by on 700W. Also Lian Li is very expensive AND UNFORTUNATELY THE MOTHERBOARD TRAY IS NOT REMOVABLE!
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January 21, 2012 6:21:56 PM

BohleyK said:
The write times on Crucial SSDs suck. Most other brands like OCZ, G.Skill, Corsair have very similar GB/$ ratios with double+ write times. You also don't need 950W of juice and can easily get by on 700W. Also Lian Li is very expensive AND UNFORTUNATELY THE MOTHERBOARD TRAY IS NOT REMOVABLE!


Could anyone possibly recommend anything else for these so I can debate some more, and/or validate this? Much appreciated, hopefully putting the order in tonight or tomorrow.
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January 21, 2012 9:15:14 PM

I think the read time for SSDs is the primary point of consideration.

If you install Windows and Games on it once and then play them over and over after that you get a lot more read time in than write time.

The benefit on the other hand is that the Crucial SSDs have 5x less failure rate than some other major brands like OCZ.

- Edit - I have a Lian Li case and I don't miss the removable tray. I had a couple DELLs that I used to administer at work in the past that had removable trays and it was a cute little thing, but hardly make or break.

I would also rather see you get an XFX 750w or 850w instead of the PC P&C, because XFX is made by Seasonic and PC P&C isn't.
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January 21, 2012 9:52:37 PM

Raiddinn said:


The benefit on the other hand is that the Crucial SSDs have 5x less failure rate than some other major brands like OCZ.

- Edit - I have a Lian Li case and I don't miss the removable tray. I had a couple DELLs that I used to administer at work in the past that had removable trays and it was a cute little thing, but hardly make or break.


Well if you are going to pay $200 for a Lian Li mid tower you should have one with a removable motherboard tray in my opinion. But as always the case is always a personal preference and it is a very nice case at that. Corsair makes very nice cases, namely the Obsidian class, and is cheaper. Although its not solid aluminum as the Lian Li is.

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

Fair enough response on the Crucial. I've just seen a lot of people selecting them when there are better performers out there. I have a SATAII G.Skill and it works as well as an SSD could with better timings than the Crucial. Albeit its not a SATAIII but its stable.

What I would buy:

Kingston SATAIII 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair SATAIII 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You have a nice build. If you like what you already have then go for it.
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January 22, 2012 6:35:30 PM

I've thought about it and I am going to stick with what I have. I like the idea of a full aluminum case, and the crucial ssd isn't enough of a difference from the other brands to justify paying anything more.

Is there any downsides to getting the PC Power 950/upsides to going with an XFX PSU?

Still waiting to see if anyone could recommend a sound card/speaker setup.

Really appreciate the help so far guys. ;) 
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January 23, 2012 1:03:08 AM

The XFX 850w is a better OEM (Seasonic) than the PC P&C is, but the PC P&C is still pretty good.

I don't think there is any good reason to make the choice more complicated than it has to be. I just go with the best OEM and be done with it.

I also think that 99% of people are just fine with the sound that is built into the motherboard. You probably will be too.

That being said, I really like my DELL monitor and sound bar attachment. I am glad I don't have any regular speakers.

If my current monitor (of like 7 years now) breaks, I think I might just buy another DELL monitor if the price wasn't too bad just to keep the sound bar capability.
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January 23, 2012 8:33:07 PM

Just ordered everything, thanks goes out to everyone for helping me along and reaching a final build!
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January 23, 2012 9:18:34 PM

athlom said:
Just ordered everything, thanks goes out to everyone for helping me along and reaching a final build!


Cool you should post some pictures when you get it built.
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January 27, 2012 1:26:20 AM

Duhhh. Nobody pointed out that the SSD was a 2.5" size. How exactly should I go about mouting/using it, remember this is for a desktop. I was told I can just tape it down somewhere, considering there's no moving parts just to be careful not to restrict airflow. :fou: 
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January 27, 2012 1:41:29 AM

Raiddinn said:
Windows installation files aren't what is controlled. You can take a Windows 7 64 bit CD and install it on 100 computers if you want and Microsoft won't care. They would even be happy about it because it takes market share from competitors.

The CD Keys are what is controlled. Unless you have a license that says you get multiple activations with the same CD Key then each one will start shutting down after the free trial period has expired. You won't have a good user experience because of this problem so you will have to acquire a CD key somewhere or install a different OS.

It is most likely the case that your dad's CD only comes with 1 license and no more.

I installed Windows 7 on my wife's computer off of my own CD and let her test it out and when she said she would like to stick with it I bought another copy of Windows 7 Professional 64 (not OEM!) and just typed in the CD key in her computer and it worked.

That is completely fine according to Microsoft.

OP - I would just stick with my build.

My dad has put the same version of Win 7 as another computer of ours had on another computer, and it not once said that the copy is not genuine. It did when he installed Windows XP, but we activated the copy over the phone.
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January 27, 2012 1:42:40 AM

It isn't that hard to find somewhere for it.

Just lay it on the bottom of the 5.25 bay cage or something.

- Edit - Do you mean to say that your dad installed Windows twice at the same time AND using the same CD key AND it is a single license key AND he was able to activate both?

If so, it isn't supposed to work like this and he should get a 2nd legal CD key.
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January 27, 2012 2:35:15 AM

Raiddinn said:
It isn't that hard to find somewhere for it.

Just lay it on the bottom of the 5.25 bay cage or something.


Okay, I've connected it to the PSU but i'm not 100% sure where else to connect it to.
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January 28, 2012 1:40:11 AM

You need one power cable from the PSU and one SATA cable to attach to the motherboard.
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January 28, 2012 1:45:28 AM

Raiddinn said:
It isn't that hard to find somewhere for it.

Just lay it on the bottom of the 5.25 bay cage or something.

- Edit - Do you mean to say that your dad installed Windows twice at the same time AND using the same CD key AND it is a single license key AND he was able to activate both?

If so, it isn't supposed to work like this and he should get a 2nd legal CD key.

I think I will just use XP. I don't want to spend anymore $.
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January 28, 2012 2:08:40 AM

You can install Windows 7 and test it for 1 month with no CD key before it starts shutting down on you all the time. Maybe that is how you are currently working.
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January 28, 2012 3:49:27 PM

Everything is connected and fans are running, pc seems to be booting.
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January 28, 2012 10:23:40 PM

Everything is working and running, except for video. I can't seem to get a signal. Classic "No Signal; Please Check Cable"

Tried reinserting the GPU.
Tried taking the ram out and back in.
Tried connecting via just an HDMI cable rather than the VGA/Adapter.
Tried 2 different monitors.

Also when I start the PC it beeps quickly twice. Turns off for 2 seconds, and resumes the start proccess, staying on with another two quick beeps as it starts again.

MOBO: ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
GPU:SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7970 3GB
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January 29, 2012 2:26:13 PM

2 beeps usually means bad RAM.

Get CT2KIT51264BA1339 instead like I suggested in the 3rd or 4th post of the thread.

Either that or you can fight with your current RAM if you want (what I hoped for you to avoid, originally).

If that is your thing, then take the power cord out, take the battery out, push the RAM in hard to make sure it is all the way in, and after 30 min put the battery back in. Try it enough times and it might eventually work.
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