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First build - USD $1200 to $1400 budget

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March 7, 2012 7:36:28 PM

Hello, I've done quite a bit of research on selecting parts for this desktop, but am new to building and have most likely selected some things I don't need. I'm set on the CPU, but if some part I have listed is bringing down the build feel free to suggest something else.

Approximate Purchase Dates: Some parts within about a week, others later this month or early next month

Budget Range: $1200-$1400 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, movies (no blu-ray), internet, CAD (maybe in a year or two, but after ram/gpu upgrades)

Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard

Preferred Websites: newegg, amazon, maybe ncix (if pricing is any better), Local Stores

Country: usa

Parts Preferences: Intel 2500K, modular PSU

Overclocking: Eventually (when i get better cpu cooling)

SLI or Crossfire: Eventually

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I will have this for a few years, then probably look to get a new one depending on how technology advances. I will be upgrading it with a second or better gpu, boot SSD, maybe a sound card for nice speakers, maybe more ram (depends on my usage), watercooling along with overclocking, and maybe some visual add-ons (lights). I will put Win7 Professional 64bit on this.

Here is my current selection of parts:

CASE
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower - $130

I know this comes with a dvd burner, and it is larger than what I think I'll need, but I like it. I'll probably order it within a day or two.

CPU
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 - $225

The CPU is fairly standard. I won't need to change it.

MOBO
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $130

This mobo has most of the things I need, including most (minus the 2 front USB3.0) headers to connect to the case. I want to have the ability to fit 2 GPUs, and a water cooler for the CPU, use the intel3000 CPU graphics for the first month, and use everything I've included below seemlessly. Please let me know if any red flags shoot off or if this mobo will be sufficient. (My research let me know everything would fit/be compatible)

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL - $47

Fairly straight forward. Might add some additional RAM later

PSU
CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $175

I this to support all the components I have included. I want it to be modular. If 850 is too much (I think it is), I'll go with Corsair's modular 750W (only $25 less). If I only need 650 for 2 GPUs, plus all the extras, I wouldn't mind stepping down to this either, as long as I can find a modular one.

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $130

Flood. Argh. Will get a bootable SSD later.

GPU

I am not sure what I want to do here yet. For now I included $250 into the budget for what I think would compliment the system nicely. I was looking at the 6950, but they sold out so now I'm looking at the 7850. I want to wait to see nVidea's response in a few weeks before I buy my card. I know that the power usage is very low with AMD's 7800 series, which I might look for in a card (or two). I will rely on the intel3000 until I purchase the gpu.

SCREEN
ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) - $170

Has great reviews. I think this monitor would be fine for a few years. It also has crappy speakers (sufficient until I get nicer ones).

+ $140 for Windows 7 Pro

Total: $1150
With room for a $200-$250 GPU


If there are any glaring problems, please let me know. I am satisfied with my choices for this build so far, and am looking forward to putting it together and running Skyrim on ultra.

I have some building techniques tutorials I'll watch before assembling, but is there anything extra that's specific to this build that I should get? i.e. tools, static protection, etc. I'll be building this on a cheap wooden table, and putting the desktop on a soft carpet floor (hence the legs). I don't think I'll run into problems except with the mobo/CPU, which I'll be super careful about.
March 7, 2012 8:40:51 PM

Quote:
GPU

I am not sure what I want to do here yet. For now I included $250 into the budget for what I think would compliment the system nicely. I was looking at the 6950, but they sold out so now I'm looking at the 7850. I want to wait to see nVidea's response in a few weeks before I buy my card. I know that the power usage is very low with AMD's 7800 series, which I might look for in a card (or two). I will rely on the intel3000 until I purchase the gpu.


I'm buying a 7870 for my system myself, some of the numbers I've seen has it matching and in some cases beating the 580.

Quote:
Has great reviews. I think this monitor would be fine for a few years. It also has crappy speakers (sufficient until I get nicer ones).


Don't buy a monitor for the speakers - most built in ones are junk. But Asus has some of the best monitors on the market - I've used their 22" models and they are quite superior to a lot of others.

Quote:

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $130

Flood. Argh. Will get a bootable SSD later.


Yeah HD prices suck right now - there's not a whole lot we can do about it unfortunately.

Quote:
MOBO
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $130

This mobo has most of the things I need, including most (minus the 2 front USB3.0) headers to connect to the case. I want to have the ability to fit 2 GPUs, and a water cooler for the CPU, use the intel3000 CPU graphics for the first month, and use everything I've included below seemlessly. Please let me know if any red flags shoot off or if this mobo will be sufficient. (My research let me know everything would fit/be compatible)


This motherboard is a decent choice - I'd recommend cutting back on the case a bit and investing the difference in upgrading your motherboard to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the case try this - it's $40 cheaper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 7, 2012 9:12:51 PM

Hi g-unit1111,

Thanks for your input. I forgot to mention I'm looking for a mobo with at least 2 PCIe 3.0 slots so that it's future proof. Is there a similar mobo to the one you mentioned? Also, do I even need PCIe 3.0 for this build? Is it possible that when a reasonably priced GPU comes out as only 3.0, I'll need to have different support for it somewhere else?

Thanks for the recommendation with the case. I know it will have the same air flow and temperatures for what I'm putting inside, but I don't mind spending a few extra $ on the case because I like the way it looks, and want a full tower. Plus, the dvd burner accounts for $10 of that.

I'm getting the monitor because of the monitor. The included speakers just allow me to delay getting decent ones until later :) .

With the graphics card, I'm set on getting either the 7850, or nvidea's new card that hasn't been announced yet, but is supposed to rival amd's card. Is there any vendor you recommend for the cards?

Thanks

I'm still curious about my PSU. I think I'll go for the $150 corsair 750W modular one. Any ideas on my system wattage now, and with the upgrades I want?
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March 7, 2012 9:36:42 PM

Quote:
Thanks for your input. I forgot to mention I'm looking for a mobo with at least 2 PCIe 3.0 slots so that it's future proof. Is there a similar mobo to the one you mentioned? Also, do I even need PCIe 3.0 for this build? Is it possible that when a reasonably priced GPU comes out as only 3.0, I'll need to have different support for it somewhere else?


That one should have it - most Z68 boards will support PCI-E 3.0, but it's not really needed technically - PCI is like RAM - your motherboard will default to the lowest speeds it can handle - it'll probably still run at PCI-E 2.0 x 16.

Quote:
Thanks for the recommendation with the case. I know it will have the same air flow and temperatures for what I'm putting inside, but I don't mind spending a few extra $ on the case because I like the way it looks, and want a full tower. Plus, the dvd burner accounts for $10 of that.


The DVD drives are nothing anymore - you can get one for like $15 anyway, I like this one the best:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
I'm getting the monitor because of the monitor. The included speakers just allow me to delay getting decent ones until later :) .


If you want speaker recommendations try these:
- Corsair Gaming Audio SP2500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Klipsch Pro Media 2.1: http://www.klipsch.com/promedia-2-1-computer-speakers

Quote:
With the graphics card, I'm set on getting either the 7850, or nvidea's new card that hasn't been announced yet, but is supposed to rival amd's card. Is there any vendor you recommend for the cards?


For Radeon I usually go with Sapphire, XFX, or Powercolor - those are usually the best vendors in that market. I've used plenty of Sapphire and XFX cards and they've never given me any issues, I haven't tried Powercolor yet but Newegg hasn't been stocking Sapphire's latest cards so I'll most likely go with them for my next GPU.

For NVIDIA, I prefer EVGA hands down as they have a 10 year warranty, give you extras like full 3-D Mark, and have one of the easiest support and RMA departments to work with. Asus and Gigabyte are OK, I generally try to stay away from big motherboard MFG-branded cards.

Quote:
I'm still curious about my PSU. I think I'll go for the $150 corsair 750W modular one. Any ideas on my system wattage now, and with the upgrades I want?


I use this PSU wattage calculator as it's usually right on the money: http://support.asus.com/PowerSupply.aspx?SLanguage=en
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March 7, 2012 9:54:08 PM

I have just finished picking out parts for a build that is in the same price range as yours and I will order them tomorrow. If you're interested here's the build http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx... and there would be a few things you could change + remove the ssd for a monitor if you wish..
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March 7, 2012 10:21:32 PM

Nexen said:
I have just finished picking out parts for a build that is in the same price range as yours and I will order them tomorrow. If you're interested here's the build http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx... and there would be a few things you could change + remove the ssd for a monitor if you wish..


I like the build you have there. Are you overclocking your CPU?
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March 7, 2012 10:47:27 PM

I'm going to see how it runs stock first. If I feel I need the extra performance for gaming I will probably boost it to 4.5.
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March 7, 2012 11:32:24 PM

Nexen said:
I'm going to see how it runs stock first. If I feel I need the extra performance for gaming I will probably boost it to 4.5.


Would you also recommend getting the CPU fan now instead of waiting to OC? I know the stock is sufficient, but I don't know if I want to mess with that part of my mobo more than once
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March 7, 2012 11:43:52 PM

Yeah, I would definitely go ahead and get the fan first before you OC as it's not too expensive and really helps a lot at keep your cpu temps down.
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March 8, 2012 12:20:21 AM

Nexen said:
Yeah, I would definitely go ahead and get the fan first before you OC as it's not too expensive and really helps a lot at keep your cpu temps down.


That seems like a smart move. I did read in the newegg comments that the fan you have picked for the asrock extreme3 gen3 mobo will block the closest ram slot. Were there any other fans you looked at?
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March 8, 2012 12:23:21 AM

Also, when you install your fan are you also putting a thermal compound on it?
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March 8, 2012 12:41:12 AM

I wasn't planning on using all of the slots but I too saw this thread about the fan and the mobo earlier and it seems there is a way around it http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/273858-29-hyper-asroc... . Also yes I am planning on using a thermal compound, as you should (comes with fan).
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March 14, 2012 11:56:29 PM

Best answer selected by brewspy.
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