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New System Build - Opinions Welcome!

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March 15, 2012 11:18:36 PM

Hello!

I have lurked here for a while, first time poster.

I have always had a keen interest in hardware but I am no expert. I have previously built two home systems before (2003 & 2010), but now with the announcement of Diablo 3 the time has come for another one. This time however its for my partner :p .

The PC will predominately be used to play Diablo 3! She is a graphic designer by profession and depending on performance she may use it for this also, however this is not critical as she has a Mac for this also. As we have just started a mortgage price competitiveness to play D3 is the highest priority. Here’s my build so far:

CPU: Intel i5-2500K = $215

GPU: 1Gb 6870 Gigabyte = $201

MB: Asus P8Z68-M-Pro = $128

RAM: 8Gb Kingston HyperX = $52

HDD: Hitachi 7200rpm 500G = $74

Optical Drive: Samsung DVDRW = $19

Monitor: 23” Samsung = $158

PSU: Antec VP 550P = $69

Case: Antec VSK2000 = $55 (although she may argue for a “prettier” one)

OS: Windows 7 = $99

Total = $1070

I am located in Australia so all prices are from http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf

Considering the relative cheap price of the CPU+MB compared to my previous builds, the overall price seems very expensive? I can see HDD’s are very expensive (due to floods?) but can’t really pick where I can remove cost. I don’t think we’d immediately overclock but it would be nice to have the 2500K if we would like to do that later on. Any advice or opinions would be really welcome!

Thanks so much 

More about : system build opinions

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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2012 12:18:25 AM

I would not go with a "prettier" case as the companies who make those cases - Raidmax, Xion, Xclio, Ultra, are just flat out junk .

That build looks pretty good. Switch out the HD with something from Seagate, Western Digital, or Samsung - avoid Hitachi.

Watch the voltage on your RAM - Kingston makes good products and has some of the lowest fail rates around - but 1.65 and 1.35V do not mix well with Sandy Bridge. You need 1.5V to work.

If you can put an extra $40 into the GPU and get a 7850 the.difference will be more than worth it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2012 12:52:41 AM

I concur with G-unit above me. Good build, the changes he suggested are stellar. I suggest this HDD, for around $16 more including shipping costs (I know it's alot. But Samsung is without a doubt the hard drive king) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-I'd argue the 2500k could be downgraded to an i5-2400 if no overclocking takes place. Same performance, just no OC.
-Save $20 by grabbing this PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Not suggesting you do, it's just an option that is available.
-This case is another option worth looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Overall excellent build.
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March 16, 2012 3:58:52 AM

Thanks a lot for your advice guys.

WD and Segate HDD are available for similar prices, unfortunately it doesn't seem there are any Samsung ones around Aus at the moment.

Curious about the voltage thing for Ram, what is the significane of the different voltages? Is it performance related or for reliability? Might be handy to know for future reference ;) !

I'm not familiar with the i5-2400, I thought i5-2500 was the same as the K version just no OC ability?

Thanks for the suggestions, but it seems unfortanately newegg doesn't ship to Australia! :(  Shame for us...

Thanks again!
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March 16, 2012 4:22:03 AM

Sorry I looked up the i5-2400 and seems like it might be a great option for application! Since were going with the 2400, perhaps I don't need the P8Z68 motherboard.

Any recommendations which is a good match for the 2400 (i.e. cheaper alternatives to the P8Z68) - cheers!
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March 16, 2012 4:25:10 AM

I would also consider a 6950, the 2 gig version can be found used for under $200 easily
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2012 5:02:44 AM

anysnix said:
Sorry I looked up the i5-2400 and seems like it might be a great option for application! Since were going with the 2400, perhaps I don't need the P8Z68 motherboard.

Any recommendations which is a good match for the 2400 (i.e. cheaper alternatives to the P8Z68) - cheers!


Maybe go with the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3H or the Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 - with that difference upgrade your GPU to a Radeon 7850 which should be out next week.

Quote:
WD and Segate HDD are available for similar prices, unfortunately it doesn't seem there are any Samsung ones around Aus at the moment.


Samsung recently sold their HD division to Seagate which could explain the shortage.

Quote:
I would also consider a 6950, the 2 gig version can be found used for under $200 easily


Why do that when the 6950 is being discontinued - and the 7850s are out next week and they're doing unbelievable on the benchmarks - besting and in some cases matching the GTX 580?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2012 3:54:22 PM

anysnix said:
Sorry I looked up the i5-2400 and seems like it might be a great option for application! Since were going with the 2400, perhaps I don't need the P8Z68 motherboard.

Any recommendations which is a good match for the 2400 (i.e. cheaper alternatives to the P8Z68) - cheers!

My bad! Australia, I see that now. I must have missed it on my first read through.

Looking at the price sheet you linked, the ASRock Z68M-USB3 looks alright for the price.
HDD: The Seagate 500GB is my pick.

I second waiting on the 7850. It looks like it's going to be pretty amazing.

For your voltage question, I'll tell you what I know.

Sandy Bridge CPUs have an on-die memory controller. This means the CPU talks to the RAM without having to pass through an additional controller. I imagine this lowers latency. The downside is it can only handle so much voltage. The max voltage is 1.6v. Anything above 1.6v and you run the risk of burning out your CPU. 1.5v is the recommended voltage. Most ram is either 1.35v, 1.5v, or 1.65v. Choose a set that is NOT 1.65v.

Sorry for the rant =p Hope it helps!
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2012 4:19:51 PM

Quote:
Sandy Bridge CPU's have an on-die memory controller. This means the CPU talks to the RAM without having to pass through an additional controller. I imagine this lowers latency. The downside is it can only handle so much voltage. The max voltage is 1.6v. Anything above 1.6v and you run the risk of burning out your CPU. 1.5v is the recommended voltage. Most ram is either 1.35v, 1.5v, or 1.65v. Choose a set that is NOT 1.65v.


That's why Intel generally recommends speeds lower than 1600 - they say 1333 is ideal - I'm using 1600 in my system and it works fine, but the voltage is everything and overclocking your RAM or messing with the voltage has the potential to be disastrous.

Quote:
I second waiting on the 7850. It looks like it's going to be pretty amazing.


I can't wait to get my hands on a 7870.
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March 19, 2012 8:12:01 PM

Thanks for all your help gentlemen! The 7850 looks very interesting!! I'm not so comfortable with second hand components...

Can't wait to see how the system runs, may have to update my own PC.
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March 23, 2012 12:55:02 AM

Best answer selected by anysnix.
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