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My First Custom PC

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February 29, 2012 4:53:51 PM

Hey guys I am a newcomer to the forums, but I browse this website all the time. I figured it was about time I signed up. Now, as the title says, I am building my first custom PC so I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to all this. I've done some browsing and research and gotten a list of parts that I thought went together well and seemed like they were of good quality. If you all could give me some feedback on my build I would really appreciate it!

Here is the list:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

MOBO: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OPTICAL DRIVE: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

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

More about : custom

February 29, 2012 5:09:19 PM

Hey thanks for the quick reply! As far as everything in your reply goes, so would you recommend a different psu? That one was fairly good in price and got great reviews, which is why I chose it, but if you think I could go with less is there one you had in mind in particular? And the case was subject to change as well, I really wasn't sure what to choose there. And finally, you addressed one of my biggest questions, being what is the difference bewtween SATA 6 and SATA 3? I was really lost there when looking up hard drives. Oh and I was thinking just 64 bit Windwos 7 for the OS.
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February 29, 2012 5:18:46 PM

good build, should run everything at high settings. as far as the psu goes, unless you are trying to save money I would keep it as it is scalable and will allow you to do a solid crossfire in the future as games become more demanding. sata 3 will allow you to use drives that do 6 gb/s whereas sata 2 only allows 3 gb/s so you are good to choose sata 3.
February 29, 2012 5:47:01 PM

are you sure this is your first time??? thats a GREAT build!!!
March 1, 2012 12:29:27 AM

Haha yea it is my first time actually sitting down and building one. I always try to do my research so I'm glad I did a good job of it! If anyone else has any feedback or anything that might be of help I would greatly appreciate it!
March 1, 2012 1:12:34 AM

I don't think many people here would recommend a CM PSU. Try this one instead (from a reputable PSU brand):

XFX Core Edition PRO650W (P1-650S-NLB9) 650W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Try one of these for overclocking:

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+ $34.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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 $27.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Here is also a pertinent thread on RAM selection for those getting Intel CPUs:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/333313-31-intel-speed...
March 1, 2012 1:31:25 AM

Thanks for the info HP! Now I have a few questions/clarifications based on your response.

First, I didn't realize CM was not a good choice for PSUs, I'm not too familiar with the manufacturers in that department. I had also looked at one by OCZ (see below), would this be a decent pick? And if I did want to crossfire in the future, would 650W be ample wattage to handle dual 6870s or something like that?

OCZ ZS Series 650W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Second, I do not plan to overclock at the start, firstly because I don't think it will be necessary for what I need to be doing and secondly that I don't know the first thing about overclocking. Would I still need a cooler if I was just running everything at stock to begin with?

And the final order of business. Regarding the information on the RAM, would you suggest I do not get 1600 MHz on whatever RAM I choose? I didn't fully understand that.

Thanks for all the help!
March 1, 2012 1:48:32 AM

For the same price, I would probably get the XFX. According to AMD, the power requirement for the PSU is 600W and four 6-pin connectors if you plan to crossfire:

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-rad...

If you don't plan to overclock, the stock cooler would probably be OK. One thing I have read in these forums is that some people don't think the Intel stock coolers are very reliable to begin with. I can't confirm or deny this (I'm using AMD), but I'd be remiss if I didn't pass those sentiments along.

As for the RAM, if you go down the thread, IntelEnthusiast wrote this:

While I haven’t seen or heard from anyone who damaged their processor by using some DDR 3 1600 I have heard from a number of people who have damaged their processor by using memory that had a higher rated voltage then the 1.5v ±5% (so 1.425v to 1.575v). When I asked about this I was told that it is pushing the voltage tolerances on the processor.

What you have is probably fine I guess, but I would probably get something like this:

Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT51264BA1339 $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The RAM is low profile and probably won't get in the way of any aftermarket coolers if you decide to install one.
March 1, 2012 1:58:23 AM

So if I did decide to keep the 1600 MHz RAM, would it be possible to run it at a lower MHz? I think I've read somewhere that is possible. My thinking after getting the feedback from you and the article is that if I could downgrade a 1600 to 1333, then I could bump it back up in the future. Although, is there really a big performance difference between 1333 and 1600? I'm not too familiar with all of this really.
March 1, 2012 2:18:23 AM

You probably won't notice the difference between the two speeds, and you could adjust the RAM speed in the BIOS so the RAM you originally posted should be just fine. The point of linking that thread is to make sure you (the consumer) has as much info as possible before making the purchase.
March 1, 2012 2:25:48 AM

Ahh okay I gotcha. Thanks for all the help so far! When I finally do get around to ordering this thing, seeing as I have never physically put a computer together, do you have any pro-tips for me? Things to avoid doing, etc.

Also, on a side note do you have any recommendations for a monitor? I don't have a huge budget to go with and honestly having a big fancy monitor isn't something that is very important to me. I'm just looking for a decent monitor at a reasonable price.
March 1, 2012 2:37:36 AM

No problem. It's my pleasure. Anyway, as for any tips, I watched some youtube videos on newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Store/Promotion.aspx?storeid=33&n...

Also, I just kept touching the side of the case to make sure I was grounded and read the manuals. In retrospect, I would've also used jsc's breadboarding on the system before I put it in the case to make sure my components were good, but I've been fortunate to receive operational parts.

Here is a useful guide by tecmo34:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...

Also, if you run into any trouble, there is shortstuff_mt's guide for that as well:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...

For the monitor, I don't really have any recommendations for that. Hopefully someone else can come along with a suggestion that fits your needs.

Edit:

Forgot link to jsc's breadboarding:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262730-31-breadboardi...
March 1, 2012 3:00:40 AM

I will definitely give these guides a thorough reading! Thanks for tracking all this stuff down for me man, I really appreciate it.
March 1, 2012 3:17:00 AM

You can usually get an Acer model 205 monitor,a 20" widescreen ,giving you 1600x900res. for under a hundred bucks. I have one and can game on ultimate settings with bf3 with asus 550 ti dc top.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

this one isn't bad either if you want slightly bigger, but you might need a 560 ti or equiv amd graph. card to max out bf3

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Which ever you go with make sure to use DVI,or hdmi cable instead of vga cause it will always make for a better image.

Also considder this ram. It has heatsinks,but they don't rise higher than the ram itself.
I have a set of 1333 in my gf pc, and a set of 1600 in mine and they are great dimms.

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 1, 2012 3:59:38 AM

Hey thanks for the suggestions on the monitor, I just don't know much about monitors and what I really am going to need. That's definitely something I need to do some more research on I suppose. I never even thought about the monitor affecting what settings I could play games on, I guess that's something I need to take into consideration.
March 1, 2012 4:08:39 AM

thebear23 said:
Hey thanks for the suggestions on the monitor, I just don't know much about monitors and what I really am going to need. That's definitely something I need to do some more research on I suppose. I never even thought about the monitor affecting what settings I could play games on, I guess that's something I need to take into consideration.


Yeah, I kindof feel like you do about it tho. I dont need it to be as big as my tv screen to be able to see it. Its not like I'm sitting across the room. I have a problem when playing on a big screen that is right in front of me, having to look back and forth all the time. LoL
I would rather stay about where I am with 1600x900 res. I get a chrystal clear immage and save big bucks not having to buy such a large graphics card.

You know how most guys are tho, the bigger the better. It just gives me a headache trying to game on a screen that is to big.
March 1, 2012 4:16:12 AM

I'm with you, I feel like gaming on a big monitor would be rather annoying and I don't see it being my thing at all. The only thing I've ever gamed on is my 17" laptop, so I've gotten used to it anyway. I'm pretty sure I'd be okay with something like a 20.5" or 21" monitor.
March 1, 2012 1:36:37 PM

Upon doing further research last night, I had a question on the video card. I was debating on whether to get a Radeon 6850 or the Radeon 6870. With the rebate on the 6850 it would be 25 dollars or so cheaper and I am attempting to save money where I can. Would I see a big difference between the two? Or would the 6850 be fine for most games? I can afford the 6870 if it was necessary, I just thought I might be able to cut a little cost.

Here are the two I was considering:

SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 1, 2012 1:53:38 PM

thebear23 said:
Upon doing further research last night, I had a question on the video card. I was debating on whether to get a Radeon 6850 or the Radeon 6870. With the rebate on the 6850 it would be 25 dollars or so cheaper and I am attempting to save money where I can. Would I see a big difference between the two? Or would the 6850 be fine for most games? I can afford the 6870 if it was necessary, I just thought I might be able to cut a little cost.

Here are the two I was considering:

SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I agonized over this exact same dilemma, same models in fact. I chose the 6870. It's going to be a bit faster and produce better graphics.

http://www.hwcompare.com/5999/radeon-hd-6850-vs-radeon-...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade...

The 6870 from Newegg has free shipping, the 6850 costs $6.98 to ship, so the price difference is actually $18. Both have rebates.
March 1, 2012 3:28:05 PM

Good catch on the shipping, I had not taken that into consideration. I was leaning more toward the 6870, so I guess that is probably what I'll go with.
March 2, 2012 2:38:43 AM

First of all, thanks for all the help so far to everyone who has posted. I appreciate all the help I can get. Now, after doing some thinking and trying to find ways to cut cost, I came up with another build that saved me about $100. Since I do not have a monitor, keyboard, mouse or anything like that I am trying to save dollars wherever possible. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on this new build and how it matches up with the one I have posted above. Again, any help anyone can offer me would be greatly appreciated!

Here is the second build:


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ975FBGMBOX

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

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-990XA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

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

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

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

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

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

PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO650W (P1-650S-NLB9) 650W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

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

HDD: Western Digital RE4 WD5003ABYX 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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

CASE: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

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

OPTICAL DRIVE: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

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

I have a few questions regarding this build and they are as follows:

1. First and foremost, are all of these parts compatible with one another? I'm not as familiar with an AMD based system. (I'm mainly wondering about the MOBO, but if any other parts are incompatible please let me know, too)

2. Is there going to be a big difference between the AMD 975 Black and the i5-2500K? I have read many articles that say the i5 outdoes it when it comes to benchmarking and it always outperforms it, but is it really going to make that much of a difference? If all I'm doing is playing games do I really need an i5-2500k? I'm not one who uses very demanding software/applications and I'm wondering if I really need to invest the extra dollars in the i5. Also as an aside to this question, is the Phenom 975 Black going to last me for awhile? I know its kind of a generation behind the i5 and I don't want to get the AMD if its going to need to be replaced in the near future.

3. How is this system in terms of overclocking? Can it handle overclocking the processor and graphics card if I wanted to do so?

4. How would this system compare to the one I have listed above in my first post? Is it comparable?

5. What do you all think of the case?

Thanks for all the help, I know this is post is a mini book, so thanks to anyone willing to take the time to help me out.
!