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1st Build ever - Gaming/everyday use

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February 16, 2012 4:05:45 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This month

Budget Range: $900 - $1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and Surfing the web

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg or any reliable website

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: See below please

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080


Current Specs -

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ980FBK4DGM - OEM

Motherboard - ASUS M4A88T-I Deluxe AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard

Video Card - EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support FPB Video ...

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

Hard Drive - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Power Supply - Athena Power AP-MFATX40 400W Mini ITX 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Case - Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Five Fans, window side panel, top HDD dock



I'm very much an amateur with this whole thing, so all feedback/advice is appreciated. I did some minor research so hopefully this build isn't THAT ridiculous (if at all).

Thanks
February 16, 2012 5:17:36 PM

Hey marbes713, welcome.

Your build is not optimal for the price you want to spend. AMD CPUs is more suited for lower budgets. At 900-1000 you can easily go for an Intel CPU. (Unless you're more of an AMD fan, in which case you can keep the motherboard and CPU you chose and substitute it in the build I made for you lower.)

Prices taken from Newegg.com

Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK 90$
CPU: Intel i5-2500k 230$
CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO and Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste 48$
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V LX 125$
HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB SATA3 6.0Gbps 7200RPM 170$
Optical: DVD-ROM drive (free with HDD, can be useful as 2nd optical drive!)
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 1.5v DDR3 1600MHz 39$
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX650 650w 75$

GPU: (NVidia) MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 250$ OR (AMD) XFX HD-695X-ZNFC
Depending on which games you're playing!

Comes down to 1027$ more or less some pennies.

Keep in mind, you're getting the best gaming cpu (if you go with the Intel i5-2500k) and a very good GPU (regardless of whether you go with an NVidia or AMD/ATI GPU). The rest of the pieces (CPU HSF, HDD, RAM, PSU) are all loved pieces around here.

Let me know what you think!
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February 16, 2012 5:19:39 PM

It's so hard to recommend anything AMD anymore when the comparable Intel system will run circles around it. You're also using Mini ITX equipment in a full ATX case - that will not mix well.

Try this:

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - $59.99
PSU: Seasonic M12 II 620W - $89.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3H - $159.99
CPU: 3.30 GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $38.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda ST 500GB - $84.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 560TI - $249.99

Total: $966.83
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February 16, 2012 5:23:31 PM

I very much appreciate the input so far from both the above.

I am not leaning towards AMD whatsoever - I am just seeing that it is less expensive.

My main concern guys with this build is that I am able to play games on high settings with no lag for years to come. In my inexperienced brain, that just means expensive parts when in reality I know this does not have to be true.

Quicksand10 - will the build u suggested with the AMD mobo and CPU I picked out last me a while?

g-unit1111 - will the build u put together last me a while as well?

This is honestly my main concern - simply that my money is going to good use on a machine that will last me a while.

Thanks

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February 16, 2012 5:32:25 PM

Quote:
g-unit1111 - will the build u put together last me a while as well?

This is honestly my main concern - simply that my money is going to good use on a machine that will last me a while.


Yes - the Z68 / i5-2500K/560TI combo will last a long time. With this setup overclocking is enabled and you'll be able to take your CPU to at least 4.5GHz with this setup - I'm also including RAM that meets Intel's RMA specifications - they will void your warranty if they find you've been using RAM above a certain speed which right now is 1333 - with future BIOS updates that may change to 1600 but I'm not sure.

With my setup the HD isn't as good but no way am I suggesting anyone pay the premiums that Western Digital is charging for Caviar Black drives right now. Get a 500GB HD and then upgrade to an SSD or add a second HD when the prices start dropping again.
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February 16, 2012 5:35:57 PM

Like g-unit1111 said, it's very hard to recommend AMD now because the Intel processors are in a complete other league. So, I won't recommend AMD right now: you REALLY will see a big difference between the two.

Since you're not an AMD fanatic, I really suggest you stick with the i5-2500k and Z68 motherboards. The build I suggested will really last you for years to come (what's nice about the hard drive is that it's a very, very good drive AND it's guaranteed for 5 years!).
Corsair PSUs, like ASUS motherboards, are extremely reliable.

With the build I suggested, you really get a PC that will last you a very good while. Worse comes to worst, if you need a better video card in the future, you can always buy another identical card and SLI/CrossfireX.

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February 16, 2012 5:47:18 PM

Quicksand10 -

what did you mean by this:

"GPU: (NVidia) MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 250$ OR (AMD) XFX HD-695X-ZNFC
Depending on which games you're playing!"

I'm guessing the N560GTX is better? In the near future the games I am looking forward to are Diablo 3 and CS:GO, just to give you some idea (even though I don't think either of these are that demanding).

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February 16, 2012 5:56:42 PM

Quote:

Since you're not an AMD fanatic, I really suggest you stick with the i5-2500k and Z68 motherboards. The build I suggested will really last you for years to come (what's nice about the hard drive is that it's a very, very good drive AND it's guaranteed for 5 years!).


They are good drives, no question - but it is stupid to pay the ridiculous premiums that WD is charging right now. You're paying almost double or in some cases even triple what the comparable drives from Samsung and Seagate cost. I think it's better to get a small HD now - then you can always add one or two later on. The Cooler Master HAF 912 makes it really easy to do so and they give you a free SSD mounting bracket at that.

Quote:

I'm guessing the N560GTX is better? In the near future the games I am looking forward to are Diablo 3 and CS:GO, just to give you some idea (even though I don't think either of these are that demanding).


I'm not the biggest fan of MSI - the thing is people either love them or hate them. I like EVGA better - they have excellent support and RMA department and they give you a 10 year warranty, free 3-D Mark, and some really awesome OC tools like Precision.

I think he's also suggesting the Radeon 6950 - which is also an excellent card for the money. But I'd recommend that one if you plan to run a 2 or 3 monitor setup. If you only plan to run a single, go 560TI.
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February 16, 2012 5:57:29 PM

For most games (no Phys-X or CUDA support) the HD6950 is better (and needs more power) than the GTX560Ti. But they are very comparable.

Personally, I would go with the HD6950 because you can unlock the shaders and turn the HD6950 into a HD6970, which costs considerably more...
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

:) 
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February 16, 2012 6:09:12 PM

Big kudos to both of you for helping me, I really appreciate it.

I will undoubtedly (and obviously) scrap my build.

It does definitely seem like WD does overcharge. With this being the case, does it make sense to just get a Seagate or Samsung 1TB from the start? or does a smaller HD for right now do the job? I do realize that 500 GB is a lot, though.
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February 16, 2012 6:14:12 PM

Go with a Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM SATA3 6.0Gbps in this case. :) 
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February 16, 2012 7:04:45 PM

General question - Why is Intel so much better than AMD? If I wanted to go AMD CPU with a compatible mobo and video card, could my build be less expensive AND also great?
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February 16, 2012 7:33:00 PM

marbes713 said:
General question - Why is Intel so much better than AMD? If I wanted to go AMD CPU with a compatible mobo and video card, could my build be less expensive AND also great?


It will be less expensive for sure - no question but it won't last as long. If you get a motherboard with socket 1155 you're guaranteed to upgrade down the road to Ivy and whatever else might happen. If you go AMD - the existing AM3 socket is nearing the end of it's lifespan. After FX (which was not their greatest effort) it's pretty much a dead-end.

Quote:
It does definitely seem like WD does overcharge. With this being the case, does it make sense to just get a Seagate or Samsung 1TB from the start? or does a smaller HD for right now do the job? I do realize that 500 GB is a lot, though.


The only reason they're overcharging right now is due to the factory shut down in Thailand because of the devastating floods in the region. Once they get the factories back online expect those prices to drop to 2009 - 2010 levels.
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February 16, 2012 7:33:50 PM

I'm going to have to say no, but I'm gonna make a little nuance.

First off, if you were on a much stricter budget, some people around here may have suggested an AMD build, even if Intel's i3 platform still makes more sense.

Secondly, the reason why the folks on this forum love Intel so much is because, simply put, it's a much better processor. Like it or not, Intel has become the industry leader since AMD's Athlon 64 x2 architecture and Intel's Core 2 Duo. AMD has been pretty much trailing behind ever since. At that time, I bought my nVidia 8800GTX and my AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+, because it made sense (then again, people would disagree with my choice back then, too). Now, like you see, because it makes more sense, we all suggested Intel because it's just hands down better.

I really want you to go take a look at this article from Tom's. Their suggestions speak for themselves.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

So, would it be cheaper to go with an AMD CPU-centered build? Maybe

Would it be as great as an Intel? Definitely not.
Would it be great? Depends on your standards.

Consider the PC you're building now as an "investment". Going with an Intel build really is more bang for your buck, and a genuinely better experience than an AMD build.

Did that help? :s
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February 16, 2012 7:47:23 PM

Haha yes it helps quicksand10 thank you very much... you as well g-unit1111. While I 100% trust you guys I am just trying to better understand what my $1000 will buy me.

I will do some more research on the specs you guys have each suggested later tonight when I am home from work, but will definitely be going with that Intel CPU.

Thanks
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February 16, 2012 7:48:28 PM

Also, can't wait to buy this! :p 
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February 16, 2012 8:29:12 PM

marbes713 said:
Haha yes it helps quicksand10 thank you very much... you as well g-unit1111. While I 100% trust you guys I am just trying to better understand what my $1000 will buy me.

I will do some more research on the specs you guys have each suggested later tonight when I am home from work, but will definitely be going with that Intel CPU.

Thanks


You definitely want to do as much research on a computer as you can before buying - whether you're spending $500 or $5,000.
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