Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

First time builder, need guidance!

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 9, 2012 8:22:12 PM

In the past I've bought custom computers from friends but I figure it would be a good experience to build one myself.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month

Budget Range: 800-1000 but I am relatively flexible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Starcraft 2, Diablo 3), Movies, MATLAB, would like to run 2 monitors

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers. I also have 2 old hard drives, don't know if they are useful or not.
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg or amazon, I also have a microcenter 20 minutes away

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Maybe? How complicated is this, is it worth doing? Am I risking damage to my computer?

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe? Again, how complicated is this, is it worth doing? Am I risking damage to my computer?

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Would like a quiet / simple looking case, I don't like the LEDs. Also I'm a college student, can I get the OS discounted anywhere (I prefer Windows 7)


I have seen a few other builds on the forum that look like they would be pretty good, but I would like a quiet case without a lot of bells and whistles.

Sorry this is my first time, any help you guys have to offer would be great!

More about : time builder guidance

February 9, 2012 8:25:04 PM

Im not really pro at this stuff, but i know a thing or two and would HUGELY recomend the i5 2500k as a CPU, really good value and pretty simple to over clock to about 4.7 ghz.

And although there is a risk you may harm your system in oc'ing it, as long as you follow a good guide for the 2500k and dont over do it you should bee fine.
m
0
l
February 9, 2012 8:38:33 PM

Quote:

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers. I also have 2 old hard drives, don't know if they are useful or not.
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive


You can definitely reuse those, but I'd recommend getting a good SSD as your primary boot drive.

Quote:
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe? Again, how complicated is this, is it worth doing? Am I risking damage to my computer?


With SLI you're not at all risking damage to your computer other than the heat the additional card will generate. SLI/Crossfire is relatively easy to setup - you find your X16 slots on the motherboard (most higher end ones have two), install the cards, hook your bridge between them, install the drivers and you're good to go.

Quote:
And although there is a risk you may harm your system in oc'ing it, as long as you follow a good guide for the 2500k and dont over do it you should bee fine.


OC'ing is incredibly tricky because every system is different and will give you different results. Try checking the forums at Overclockers.net for advice. Although people will hesitate to give out system-specific information for that very reason, most places will give a general guideline of what to do.

Quote:
Overclocking: Maybe? How complicated is this, is it worth doing? Am I risking damage to my computer?


It's not that complicated - set your voltage to one level, your memory multipliers to another, and your bclk frequency to another and that's pretty much it. The only damage you'd do to your system is if you messed with the RAM timings or settings and really threw it off - that has the potential to be dangerous. Also if you use any sort of custom cooling. Standard air cooling will not harm your system at all if the air is directed the right way. Water cooling has significantly greater risks involved and the payoff isn't that great, and actually has warranty-voiding potential.

Anyways that said try this build:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $99.99
PSU: Antec Current High Gamer Series 750W - $99.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - $149.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: PNY XLR8 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $44.99
SSD: Samsung 830 64GB - $109.99
Optical: Samsung DVD Burner - $15.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 - $449.99

Total: $1,236.80

The 7950 is a top of the line video card but if you drop it to the EVGA 560TI you'll save about $200 (cutting the price to $1,036.88) and you'll still get a really awesome system. Here is the card in question: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
Related resources
February 9, 2012 9:00:26 PM

You could actually hunt around for a pair of 1gb 6950s on sale, it would be roughly the same price as that 7950, but give you performance closer to the 7970. And if you don't mind the stock CPU cooler I'd say you could omit the cooler master from G's build and SSDs arent exactly pivotal if you have some HDs.
In general, you shouldn't need to OC, at most its best to play with gains of maybe 4-5% on a GPU/CPU, any more gets into the "CAUTION" area where it gets a little more advanced.
m
0
l
February 9, 2012 9:14:10 PM

get this build

cooler master haf x, 912, or storm trooper series case
intel i5 2500k cpu
cooler master hyper 212 evo cpu cooler
g.skill ripjaws x series 8g ram
amd radeon hd 6950
western digital caviar blue 1tb hard drive
sony 24x optical drive
rosewill capstone-550w psu
m
0
l
February 9, 2012 10:04:21 PM

gromann said:
You could actually hunt around for a pair of 1gb 6950s on sale, it would be roughly the same price as that 7950, but give you performance closer to the 7970. And if you don't mind the stock CPU cooler I'd say you could omit the cooler master from G's build and SSDs arent exactly pivotal if you have some HDs.
In general, you shouldn't need to OC, at most its best to play with gains of maybe 4-5% on a GPU/CPU, any more gets into the "CAUTION" area where it gets a little more advanced.


They're not pivotal but in games where load times are essential (Skyrim) it will cut down the load times in half.

Quote:
get this build

cooler master haf x, 912, or storm trooper series case
intel i5 2500k cpu
cooler master hyper 212 evo cpu cooler
g.skill ripjaws x series 8g ram
amd radeon hd 6950
western digital caviar blue 1tb hard drive
sony 24x optical drive
rosewill capstone-550w psu


The Caviar Blue doesn't come in a 1TB configuration (only 160, 320, 500, and 750GB configurations available) and 550W is a bit underpowered for that build.
m
0
l
February 9, 2012 10:12:52 PM

jparent317 said:
In the past I've bought custom computers from friends but I figure it would be a good experience to build one myself.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month

Budget Range: 800-1000 but I am relatively flexible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Starcraft 2, Diablo 3), Movies, MATLAB, would like to run 2 monitors

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers. I also have 2 old hard drives, don't know if they are useful or not.
Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Western Digital Caviar RE WD2500YS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg or amazon, I also have a microcenter 20 minutes away

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: Maybe? How complicated is this, is it worth doing? Am I risking damage to my computer?

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe? Again, how complicated is this, is it worth doing? Am I risking damage to my computer?

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Would like a quiet / simple looking case, I don't like the LEDs. Also I'm a college student, can I get the OS discounted anywhere (I prefer Windows 7)


I have seen a few other builds on the forum that look like they would be pretty good, but I would like a quiet case without a lot of bells and whistles.

Sorry this is my first time, any help you guys have to offer would be great!



This is just a recommendation:
INTEL i5 2500k OVERCLOCKED AT 4.7 GHZ

MOTHERBOARD: BIOSTAR TZ68A+RCH 1155 SOCKET(MICRO CENTER)
CPU: INTEL i5 2500K OVERCLOCKED AT 4.7 GHZ(MICRO CENTER)
MEMORY: 16GB PC3 12800 1600GHZ G-SKILL RIPJAWS X SERIES(NEWEGG)
VIDEO CARD: HD RADEON 6970(NEWEGG)
PC CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 BLACK EDITION(NEWEGG)
PSU: OCZ MODXSTREAM 700 WATTS MODULAR 80+ CERTIFIED(NEWEGG)
OPTICAL DRIVE: LITE-ON 24X DVD WRITER/READER OEM(NEWEGG)
HEATSINK/CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER HYPER 212 PLUS(AMAZON)
NZXT SENTRY 2 TOUCH SCREEN FAN CONTROLLER(NEWEGG)
OS: WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM OEM(MICRO CENTER)

JUST CHECK THE PRICES ON THEIR WEBSITES BECAUSE I'VE BUILT THIS PC LAST YEAR DEC. 2011
m
0
l
February 10, 2012 12:52:43 AM

So far this is what I think I am going with:

Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Black High Performance PC Computer Case $100 (Newegg)

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor $180 (Microcenter)

Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner $17 (Newegg)

PSU: Antec Computer Power Supply HCG-750 $100 (Amazon)


I would like some more recommendations on video cards / motherboards / memory. Is there really a huge difference between all the different brands? I don't need the fastest components but I would like to have the computer last for a reasonable period of time.

Aslo, I've heard investing in a SSD for loading the OS on is worthwhile. I have the 2 old harddrives with 250gb each and an external 1.5tb drive so I don't need a ton of space. If it's worth the extra speed / stability I would definitely like to include the SSD.

Thanks guys, so far all your posts have been really helpful.
m
0
l
February 10, 2012 4:19:44 PM

jparent317 said:
So far this is what I think I am going with:

Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi Black High Performance PC Computer Case $100 (Newegg)

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K LGA 1155 Boxed Processor $180 (Microcenter)

Optical Drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner $17 (Newegg)

PSU: Antec Computer Power Supply HCG-750 $100 (Amazon)


I would like some more recommendations on video cards / motherboards / memory. Is there really a huge difference between all the different brands? I don't need the fastest components but I would like to have the computer last for a reasonable period of time.

Aslo, I've heard investing in a SSD for loading the OS on is worthwhile. I have the 2 old harddrives with 250gb each and an external 1.5tb drive so I don't need a ton of space. If it's worth the extra speed / stability I would definitely like to include the SSD.

Thanks guys, so far all your posts have been really helpful.


For motherboards the best manufacturers pretty much bar none are Asus and Gigabyte. Some Intel (but Intel boards have amazing longevity), MSI, and EVGA boards are decent, but you for sure want to avoid Biostar and ECS. Those are terrible brands.

For RAM - it's pretty much all the same anymore, but for SB you want minimum 8GB (2 x 4GB) with speeds of 1333 or 1600, timing 9-9-9-24, and voltage of 1.5. Avoid tall heat sinks. The best brands right now are Crucial, Kingston Hyper X, Corsair Vengeance, PNY, and G.Skill.

Video cards - I typically prefer EVGA for NVIDIA as they have an excellent reputation and RMA department, and Sapphire and XFX for Radeon as they also have the same.


And for SSD yes it is great to have this as your primary boot drive, it makes loading times on SSD, games, anything else you can think of much easier and faster. It's cut down tasks I usually have to do in half, but you definitely want to have a secondary storage solution if you go about using one.
m
0
l
February 10, 2012 8:02:02 PM

g-unit1111 said:
For motherboards the best manufacturers pretty much bar none are Asus and Gigabyte. Some Intel (but Intel boards have amazing longevity), MSI, and EVGA boards are decent, but you for sure want to avoid Biostar and ECS. Those are terrible brands.

For RAM - it's pretty much all the same anymore, but for SB you want minimum 8GB (2 x 4GB) with speeds of 1333 or 1600, timing 9-9-9-24, and voltage of 1.5. Avoid tall heat sinks. The best brands right now are Crucial, Kingston Hyper X, Corsair Vengeance, PNY, and G.Skill.

Video cards - I typically prefer EVGA for NVIDIA as they have an excellent reputation and RMA department, and Sapphire and XFX for Radeon as they also have the same.


And for SSD yes it is great to have this as your primary boot drive, it makes loading times on SSD, games, anything else you can think of much easier and faster. It's cut down tasks I usually have to do in half, but you definitely want to have a secondary storage solution if you go about using one.




Avoid Biostar and ECS brands? Have you tried one of those? Mind you I'm using Biostar TZ68A+RCH motherboard and I overclocked my i5 2500K CPU to 4.7 GHZ easily and stable. Don't judge the board by its name, unless you personally have used it.
m
0
l
February 10, 2012 8:23:38 PM

Is it better to invest in a single more expensive graphics card? Or does running two in crossfire generate better results?


I was looking at these for dual

XFX Double D HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $170 * 2 = $340

or this for single
SAPPHIRE 11196-00-40G Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $450

Also, would this motherboard and memory be a good combination with the rest of what I've selected?

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $155

ORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B $45


Thanks again.
m
0
l
February 10, 2012 9:17:36 PM

One higher-end card will always beat 2 lower end cards.
m
0
l
February 10, 2012 9:22:06 PM

aqe040466 said:
Avoid Biostar and ECS brands? Have you tried one of those? Mind you I'm using Biostar TZ68A+RCH motherboard and I overclocked my i5 2500K CPU to 4.7 GHZ easily and stable. Don't judge the board by its name, unless you personally have used it.


Maybe they've got better in the last few years, but going by past experience with Biostar I have never had good experience with their boards. I got one for an AMD build and it failed on me after like a week. Wound up sending it back for an Asus and it worked perfectly fine.

I've never really tried ECS so maybe I was wrong in saying that. I've never really had good luck with MSI either (I got a 870A-G45 for an AMD build last year and it died after three days, I wound up sending it back to Newegg for an Asus board as well).

Quote:
One higher-end card will always beat 2 lower end cards.


As someone who is using two lower-end SLI cards right now, I will agree with this.
m
0
l
February 10, 2012 11:27:12 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Maybe they've got better in the last few years, but going by past experience with Biostar I have never had good experience with their boards. I got one for an AMD build and it failed on me after like a week. Wound up sending it back for an Asus and it worked perfectly fine.

I've never really tried ECS so maybe I was wrong in saying that. I've never really had good luck with MSI either (I got a 870A-G45 for an AMD build last year and it died after three days, I wound up sending it back to Newegg for an Asus board as well).

Quote:
One higher-end card will always beat 2 lower end cards.


As someone who is using two lower-end SLI cards right now, I will agree with this.


Ahh Okay.. so are a fan of AMD. Asus also have some problem with their boards. Maybe I'm just lucky cause I got a good experience with Biostar and Intel CPU's.
m
0
l
!