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Need Advice/Help, Building PC first time, Ahh!!!

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March 3, 2012 6:36:31 PM

Hey, firstly, thanks for taking a look at my situation. First time builder, and first time poster, but hoping to get some help from some more technically minded folks. FYI: I'm planning on using this computer for gaming, but nothing too crazy. I don't care if I can't run a game on super high graphics. I'm just looking to be able to play most games, and have them look okay with a consistent framerate. I've got some parts picked out, and others I'm still going back and forth over. The one's where I only list one are pretty much definite, unless someone gives me a reason not to.

CPU: Intel i5-2400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASRock Z68 PRO3-M
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ Technology Fatal1ty Series Modular 550 Watt ATX Power Supply
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Video Card: Either a radeon 6850 or 6870, haven't decided yet.

Case: Either a

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

Or;

Cooler Master HAF 912
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

And I already have a hard drive w/ an OS, in addition to an optical drive so I won't need either of those.

And so I'd really appreciate any help anybody can provide, in terms the stability of the parts, compatibility of the parts (I'm fairly certain everything works), and overall what the opinions of this build are. Again, any constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance!
March 3, 2012 6:59:57 PM

Welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums!

Looks like good parts.

I hope you realize that using a hard disk with the OS will not work on a new and different motherboard, especially with a new CPU. This will be ok only if you have a retail version (not OEM) of the OS.
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March 3, 2012 8:02:11 PM

I did not know that.... Oh crap. It may be OEM. This purchase has been sped up due to the fact that my last motherboard PCI slots have gone bad. I guess that means I'll have to shop around for a hard drive and operating system? P.S. Thank you for letting me know all the parts work!
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March 3, 2012 8:21:17 PM

Win7 OEMs are not transferable from one computer to another.

Even the "Retail" or full versions are transferable only one time per Microsoft.

What is the hard disk that you have now? Capacity? Make? I hope it is SATA. Ideally, a good 320 GB to 500 GB hard disk will work fine for the OS as well as all your programs. Store data (text, music, videos, pictures) on a separate 1 TB hard disk.

And don't forget a 1TB external hard disk for frequent backups!
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Anonymous
March 3, 2012 8:22:34 PM

If you have an oem os you can call microsoft and tell them that your last motherboard failed and they might give you a new key. You don't need a new hard drive for your computer, you just need to format it. Defiantly go for the 6870.
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March 3, 2012 8:57:59 PM

Okay, thanks for the responses gentlemen. And actually, I've been using an old Windows XP OS... With a 200 gb PATA hard drive. Made by Maxtor. Apparently it is OEM, but I have the registration number, if that makes any difference. I know XP is old, but the machine I was using was basically a junk machine gifted to me, so I took what I got. And again, I appreciate the ongoing help!
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March 3, 2012 9:23:24 PM

If you are using a 32bit OS, you will want to upgrade to a 64bit OS to take advantage of anything more than 3.xx gb of RAM. I would recommend biting the bullet and buying a 7200 rpm SATA HDD and spring for Win7 64bit. You can still install your old HD, copy the data to your new HD, then reformat the old HD and use it for extra data. You can get a nice western digital HDD for under $100 and you will appreciate the faster speed for gaming. Or, get a $100 solid state drive and load windows on it and a game or two, and enjoy super fast boots and game loads. Still using your old HDD for storage.
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March 3, 2012 9:36:05 PM

The ASRock mobo does not have a PATA controller, so the PATA hard disk cannot be used internally.

You can still use the 200 GB drive as a bare drive for backups with one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA07R...

On second thought, why not just leave the XP computer and use it as-is and go ahead and build yourself a new computer with the parts that you have selected?
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March 3, 2012 9:41:36 PM

windows 7 home premium and a seagate barracuda 1TB/500GB 7200RPM HDD
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March 3, 2012 9:56:15 PM

I'd suggest avoiding the haf 912 if you want to have good cable management or water cooling as there is little room in that case,i know because i spent the last hour trying to fix the mess of cables in mine however there's absolutely no room.

Also if you live near a microcenter you can get the 2500k for 179.99, that way you can use the advantages of the z68 mobo you chose with overclocking.
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March 3, 2012 10:07:37 PM

Thanks for the advice with the hard drive and win 7 catatafish and Tavo_Nova. Thanks for the case advice lennon95, I've been hesitant to pick one, I'm thinking that maybe I'll go with the HEC. And Ubrales, thanks for the info with the mobo. Out of every component, it's probably the least I have familiarity with.

And with the XP computer, I'm fairly certain that the PCI slot on the motherboard has fried. Either that, or it's the GPU. In any case, most of the other components in that build are old anyway, and I wanted to start from scratch. However, being that hard drive + OS would cost me over $150 at least, I figured I could salvage that. And besides that, I've got my Mass Effect 1&2 game saves on it, and I wanted to port them over to ME 3 when it comes out = D
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March 3, 2012 10:17:13 PM

Seriously consider the HAF-X case. Great features!
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March 3, 2012 10:56:52 PM

I'm with Ubra.....build from scratch and liberate yourself (and nice catch on the mobo) :) .

I'm always deathly afraid of going to a new image, thinking I really wanna keep all this "stuff" (think George Carlin), but when I'm finally forced to, it feels soooooo good and then I realize I didn't really need all that old stuff. I've actually used the convertors that Ubra linked, they're pretty handy.

While you're blowing your life savings on your new rig.....might as well get yourself a nice case. You deserve it! (this is my next case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
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March 3, 2012 11:11:51 PM

CaptainBobo said:
Hey, firstly, thanks for taking a look at my situation. First time builder, and first time poster, but hoping to get some help from some more technically minded folks. FYI: I'm planning on using this computer for gaming, but nothing too crazy. I don't care if I can't run a game on super high graphics. I'm just looking to be able to play most games, and have them look okay with a consistent framerate. I've got some parts picked out, and others I'm still going back and forth over. The one's where I only list one are pretty much definite, unless someone gives me a reason not to.

CPU: Intel i5-2400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASRock Z68 PRO3-M
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ Technology Fatal1ty Series Modular 550 Watt ATX Power Supply
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Video Card: Either a radeon 6850 or 6870, haven't decided yet.

Case: Either a

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

Or;

Cooler Master HAF 912
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

And I already have a hard drive w/ an OS, in addition to an optical drive so I won't need either of those.

And so I'd really appreciate any help anybody can provide, in terms the stability of the parts, compatibility of the parts (I'm fairly certain everything works), and overall what the opinions of this build are. Again, any constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance!



Everything is okay except the CPU, I suggest changing the CPU to i5 2500K because you will have the chance to overclock it. Take a look at this link:

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
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March 4, 2012 12:53:08 PM

Okay, I really appreciate everyone's input, and I'll address each statement made. Ubrales and catafish, appreciate all the previous help, and thanks for the case suggestions, but money's tight, so I feel like I might end up picking the HEC Blitz, due to lennon's comment about cable management.
And age040466, thanks for the suggestion about the chip, but due to budgetary concerns, I'm going to abstain from paying a bit extra. I'm gonna be getting the 2400 from microcenter, which comes out to $150 = )

I just have one last question for everyone (but please feel free to comment/critique the build with any other suggestions) in regards to hard drives. I'm going to pick up Windows 7 (retail or OEM, I haven't decided. I hear OEM's kinda a bitch), and I've narrowed it down to a few 500 gb models (don't really need more, and I'll wait for prices to decrease if I do), but can't decide which one.

It's between the Seagate Barracuda
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Samsung (by Seagate) F3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

I'm leaning towards the Deskstar though, as it's got good reviews, tied for longest warranty out of the four (3 years), more cache, and connects with SATA 6.0 Gb/s. Once again, I greatly appreciate everybody's help with this, this is both an exciting and frustrating time for me, and any other contribution would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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March 4, 2012 1:52:58 PM

realize that at microcenter they sell the 2500k for 179.99. that is a steal compared to newegg and tiger, which sell for like ~230 or 220. Toss in the 30 bucks for the cpu and you get one of the best out there for gaming (matches 2600k in most benches) and one of the easiest to overclock
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March 4, 2012 2:03:30 PM

CaptainBobo said:
Okay, I really appreciate everyone's input, and I'll address each statement made. Ubrales and catafish, appreciate all the previous help, and thanks for the case suggestions, but money's tight, so I feel like I might end up picking the HEC Blitz, due to lennon's comment about cable management.
And age040466, thanks for the suggestion about the chip, but due to budgetary concerns, I'm going to abstain from paying a bit extra. I'm gonna be getting the 2400 from microcenter, which comes out to $150 = )

I just have one last question for everyone (but please feel free to comment/critique the build with any other suggestions) in regards to hard drives. I'm going to pick up Windows 7 (retail or OEM, I haven't decided. I hear OEM's kinda a bitch), and I've narrowed it down to a few 500 gb models (don't really need more, and I'll wait for prices to decrease if I do), but can't decide which one.

It's between the Seagate Barracuda
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Samsung (by Seagate) F3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

I'm leaning towards the Deskstar though, as it's got good reviews, tied for longest warranty out of the four (3 years), more cache, and connects with SATA 6.0 Gb/s. Once again, I greatly appreciate everybody's help with this, this is both an exciting and frustrating time for me, and any other contribution would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


You've done good research and you're respecting your budget. I'd say you're looking good! If you get in to "I can get this and this for only $10 more", suddenly you've gone way over budget. Don't be afraid of OEM Windows. It's a lot cheaper and by the time you're ready for a new mobo you'll be wanting Windows 8 or 9 anyway. If you need to return the mobo for any reason, or switch to a different one, you can make a call to Microsoft (from what I've read from my research) and they will issue you a new key. You're buying a license for you, not a mobo. WD has a great reputation with HDDs, just so long as you've got a good warranty, back up important things, and stick with a 7200 spin, you're golden.
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March 4, 2012 2:39:10 PM

CaptainBobo said:
Okay, I really appreciate everyone's input, and I'll address each statement made. Ubrales and catafish, appreciate all the previous help, and thanks for the case suggestions, but money's tight, so I feel like I might end up picking the HEC Blitz, due to lennon's comment about cable management.
And age040466, thanks for the suggestion about the chip, but due to budgetary concerns, I'm going to abstain from paying a bit extra. I'm gonna be getting the 2400 from microcenter, which comes out to $150 = )

I just have one last question for everyone (but please feel free to comment/critique the build with any other suggestions) in regards to hard drives. I'm going to pick up Windows 7 (retail or OEM, I haven't decided. I hear OEM's kinda a bitch), and I've narrowed it down to a few 500 gb models (don't really need more, and I'll wait for prices to decrease if I do), but can't decide which one.

It's between the Seagate Barracuda
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Samsung (by Seagate) F3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

I'm leaning towards the Deskstar though, as it's got good reviews, tied for longest warranty out of the four (3 years), more cache, and connects with SATA 6.0 Gb/s. Once again, I greatly appreciate everybody's help with this, this is both an exciting and frustrating time for me, and any other contribution would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!



Just an additional of $30.00 and you will enjoy the satisfaction of both worlds my friend you will not regret it in the future choosing the i5 2500K combine with a decent video card and you will enjoy the world of gaming.

About the HDD, based on my experienced, I suggest the Hitachi deckstar 500 GB. I used a Hitachi HDD for al most 5 years now and it is still running good without any hiccups and noise, you must pick one with a SATA III(6Gb/s) 32 MB cache.

Take a look at this link: http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=64505&vpn=829686002241...
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March 4, 2012 9:43:31 PM

Once again, first, thanks for all the input everyone. To Ubrales, the HDD is a bit more then I'd like to spend, but thank you for the suggestion! To catafish, thanks for the pep talk and the reassurance over Windows 7. It looks like I'll be getting the OEM. And it's on sale at NCIX for $95, so I'll probably be picking it up there. To lennon95, while I'll definitely consider it, I originally was planning on getting the i3-2120, so I'm already exceeding my budget a bit, and not sure if I want to spend that much more. And age0400466, pretty much same. However, in addition, thanks for the HDD recommendation, and holy crap. I wish I could order that, but all I can do is add it to my wishlist.

Once again, thanks everyone for all your input. That was supposed to be my last question, but two things have changed since then. One, I thought I'd be getting that MOBO for $50 less as part of a combo deal, with which I was mistaken. Secondly, regardless of that, its out of stock on several sites I frequent. So if anybody wanted to recommend a MOBO in the $100 range (after any possible rebates, give/take $20), I'd appreciate it. Not looking for anything fancy in the board. Most interested in reliability. Second probably overall speed and performance. As far as features go, I would like the ability to use a CPU's onboard graphics (so I guess a Z68 board?), but that's not crucial. Don't plan on crossfiring, so that's not important. I don't need a lot of memory slots either. A lot of USB ports aren't important either. Like I said, I think I'm just most interested in reliability and performance. Once again, thanks a lot for all the help everyone!
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March 4, 2012 10:15:53 PM

Post some photos of your system when all is done!
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March 4, 2012 10:17:16 PM

Since you're getting a video card, the onboard graphics will only benefit you in one circumstance, video conversion. It will take a 45 second conversion and do it in 15. is that worth sweating over and convulting your choices?

You can start here and shop some other boards suggested in left hand column. This looks like everything you need though, I think.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...
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March 5, 2012 2:04:52 AM

CaptainBobo said:
Once again, first, thanks for all the input everyone. To Ubrales, the HDD is a bit more then I'd like to spend, but thank you for the suggestion! To catafish, thanks for the pep talk and the reassurance over Windows 7. It looks like I'll be getting the OEM. And it's on sale at NCIX for $95, so I'll probably be picking it up there. To lennon95, while I'll definitely consider it, I originally was planning on getting the i3-2120, so I'm already exceeding my budget a bit, and not sure if I want to spend that much more. And age0400466, pretty much same. However, in addition, thanks for the HDD recommendation, and holy crap. I wish I could order that, but all I can do is add it to my wishlist.

Once again, thanks everyone for all your input. That was supposed to be my last question, but two things have changed since then. One, I thought I'd be getting that MOBO for $50 less as part of a combo deal, with which I was mistaken. Secondly, regardless of that, its out of stock on several sites I frequent. So if anybody wanted to recommend a MOBO in the $100 range (after any possible rebates, give/take $20), I'd appreciate it. Not looking for anything fancy in the board. Most interested in reliability. Second probably overall speed and performance. As far as features go, I would like the ability to use a CPU's onboard graphics (so I guess a Z68 board?), but that's not crucial. Don't plan on crossfiring, so that's not important. I don't need a lot of memory slots either. A lot of USB ports aren't important either. Like I said, I think I'm just most interested in reliability and performance. Once again, thanks a lot for all the help everyone!


http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
-I have the pro version. it is very good.

I also have another suggestion. Kepler and Ivy Bridge will be coming out relatively soon. Why not save up and build an incredible rig when they come out? Even though i just built a rig with an oc'd i5 and gtx 580 2 months ago im still saving up for a future build with 3770k and gtx 680 :D 

EDIT: And i take back what i said about the HAF 912. its cable management is really only a pain if you've got as much stuff in the case. i've got 6 fans (the unused drive bays make for great intake :p  ), and water cooling along with strips of leds and so its pretty crowded. If you're not planning on putting that much in, i think you'll be great with the HAF 912, b/c my temps are quite good even with the clutter

yet i still think the best option would be to wait and save up for the new hardware. that way you'll have more $$ when the time to build comes, and you can teach yourself all about pc's while waiting.

also what's your budget for the entire pc?
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