Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

First Time builder and overclocker needs a smart reviewer $1300

Last response: in Systems
Share
June 6, 2012 3:21:37 PM

I'm looking to build my first system, and do my first overclock. My main reasons for wanting a new system are that I'm currently running a laptop, and now that I own a home and am not moving as often as a student does a desktop seems more suitable. My laptop also is showing it's slowness as I have a little more free time now days to do some of the things I didn't during school. Photos take too long to render for me these days, and I would like to play games above their minimum settings. I don't plan on doing huge ammounts of gaming (mostly just blizzard releases) so I don't need a crazy impressive graphics card. I'd like to run in the 30-60 FPS range on a standard 1080 widescreen display, but don't need much more graphics power than that. I would like to overclock on air, but nothing to crazy (I want this system to last 5+ years)

Anyway, I've done a lot of reading on this site, and have a pretty good system (I think) for my purposes, but would love a critical look at all my choices by people who have actually done this sort of thing before.



Approximate Purchase Date: Could start piecing together system today to get certain deals, but will probably get 1-2 parts a week for the next month or so. (trying to buy stuff that is a "deal")

Budget Range: 800-1300)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Diablo 3 --> lightroom 4 --> sarcraft 2 --> photoshop --> Ripping Audio --> general computing

Parts Not Required: currently I have a wireless mouse/keyboard, soundblaster audigy 2, 500gb external HD, and speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anywhere the best legitimage deal is

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: good/stable/well tested

Overclocking: Yes / Maybe (I'm a first timer dabbeling in this area, but have some local help if I need it)

SLI or Crossfire: No / Maybe (I don't plan on going crazy with high end graphics, but don'w want to exclude myself from it)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I would like the system to be fast, but also quiet. I've considered getting a Raven case just because Silverstone seems to blend cooling and quiet very well.


Here's what I'm looking at for parts as of now. I have an alternative part for just about every component though lol.


CPU: 2500k $220 (wondering if the 2600k would be worth the $80 for photoshop/lightroom/ripping)
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 $120 (seems like a good board if you're not using ivy bridge, but also considering: ASRock
P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA for OC software and future proofing graphics cards [$40 more])
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X (2x4GB=8GB) 1600 $47 (I think that is fast enough for a moderate OC, but let me know if not)
GPU: GTX 550 Ti $110 (also seriously considering Radeon 6850 HD [$30 more] and less likely Radeon 6870 [$65 more])
SDD: Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 120 GB $100 (also: SanDisk Extreme 120 GB or Kingston HyperX 3k 120 GB [both
close enough in price to not be afraid to change]
HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500 GB $80, but will get whatever is cheapest at the time of purchase with 6 GB/s and large cache.
Case: Rosewill Blackhawk $90 (waiting for the rest of the case reviews currently taking place to see if one wins me over, or
possibly getting a silverstone Raven if I decide it's worth the extra cost)
PSU: Rosewill Hive 550W $70 (probably could drop down to 450W for this system or go up to 750W to futureproof me)
DVD-R: ASUS-24B1ST $18 (just want something reliable)
Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO (want something cheap but good)
Monitor:ASUS-VS248H-P 24" LED backlight $155ish
OS: Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium OEM (Don't think I'll need to transfer it to new HDs or anything)


Anyway, if you can look over it for compatability and make sure I'm not missing anything or if there's better components I should look at let me know, but please justify your response so I have a good reason to spend the extra money, or if I can save some money somewhere because I'm overspending that's good to know too. The $800 end of the price range is the cost without the monitor, OS, and HDD. With all those included in the price I'm sitting at about $1300 right now. Thanks for your time/read.
June 6, 2012 3:32:09 PM

Would you rather have the SSD or a better graphics card?
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 3:54:39 PM

Looks pretty solid, but not as good as it could be. I'd make the following tweaks:

Quote:
PU: 2500k $220 (wondering if the 2600k would be worth the $80 for photoshop/lightroom/ripping)

The 2600k will have a considerable lead over the 2500k in those applications.

Quote:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 $120

Z77 boards are only a little bit more expensive. I think it's well worth the extra to not limit your future upgrades. If in the future you do need PCIe 3.0, then you're out of luck with a Z68 board. If you need more USB 3.0 ports, you'll need to buy more hardware. If you want more SATA III devices, you're out of luck again.

Quote:
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X (2x4GB=8GB) 1600 $47 (I think that is fast enough for a moderate OC, but let me know if not)

I would actually recommend 16 GB of memory for you if it fits the budget. You'll get better performance out of lightroom and other rendering software, and it's not terribly expensive. In general, the memory speed isn't that important so long as you get at least DDR3-1600.

Quote:
GPU: GTX 550 Ti $110 (also seriously considering Radeon 6850 HD [$30 more] and less likely Radeon 6870 [$65 more])

I'd strongly recommend a better video card. The 550 Ti is a pretty weak card.

Quote:
SDD: Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 120 GB $100

I might drop this for now and divert the budget into a better video card. You can always buy an SSD later, but if you replace your video card, that money's just gone.

Quote:
HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500 GB $80, but will get whatever is cheapest at the time of purchase with 6 GB/s and large cache.

SATA III buys you pretty much nothing for a mechanical hard drive. Just get a quality 7200 RPM drive with a good price per gigabyte.

Quote:
PSU: Rosewill Hive 550W $70 (probably could drop down to 450W for this system or go up to 750W to futureproof me)

I'm not a fan of Rosewill PSUs. You can get better 500W units for the same price. I'd look at Corsair's Builder Series PSUs for high quality and great bang for your buck.

Quote:
Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO (want something cheap but good)

Best value in cooling right here. Using one myself and it keeps my 2500k safely cooled until I break 5 GHz and push more than 1.5v into the chip.
m
0
l
Related resources
June 6, 2012 4:40:37 PM

Do the 2500k and 2600k OC to about the same speeds, or does one run cooler/less power/whatever else is important?

I actually hadn't looked into Z77 that much - mostly Z68 and P67 so I just might have to do a little more research there. My understanding is Sandy Bridge processors wont even support PCIe 3.0 anyway?

I also understand that Windows 64 bit home only supports 16 GB of RAM so I bought those with the intent of one day possibly getting another set of the same to fill the other 2 slots on the Motherboard, so I totally agree here.

I really didn't want to spend too much on a graphics card as I've only ever had integrated graphics on my computers and so any dedicated card will be a huge step up for me. I was only looking for 30-60 FPS on a 1080p widescreen, and don't have battlefield or anything intensive like that. I really only have had time to play blizzard titles which don't require a lot. Are there any sub $150 cards you would recommend? because to me a SSD is more valuable than a bigger graphics card. I would actually probably drop the HDD before the SDD and use my 500 GB external drive for my files just because I love fast load times.

Good to know about the SATA 3 for HDs. I can probably save some money there. What is a good cache size?

I'll look into those PSUs. Thanks.

I probably won't be going that high, but 4.3-4.7 is what I was shooting for. Good to know I'll have headroom.

All in all thanks for the quick rundown. I appreciate it.

m
0
l
June 6, 2012 4:44:08 PM

They OC the same, so paying $100 for the same speed is a waste. 4.5 is the sweet spot for OCing.
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 4:47:27 PM

so in your opinion the hyperthreading doens't add much for photo editing?
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 4:53:57 PM

No, I wasn't referring to photo editing. It was just a general comment. You're good to go.
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 6:30:06 PM

So, I switched in the Corsair PSU, which saved me some money, and checked the HD's. The Blue is still cheaper than some of the other options so I'll probably just stick with it. Now I'm wondering if the Z77 boards or ivy chipset is a better route than what I've chosen because the price difference doesn't seem that big.
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 6:38:09 PM

He is wrong. The CX600 is not good quality. It only provides 520W. The HIVE is one of the best Rosewill PSUs.
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 6:44:20 PM

Best GPU in the $150 range is HD6850/6870 if you can find one.
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 6:49:51 PM

azeem40 said:
He is wrong. The CX600 is not good quality. It only provides 520W.

Quality isn't just about wattage. The CX600 is a rebadged 550W PSU if I'm not mistaken, and is of good quality. It's simply overpriced and has a misleading wattage. There are other options from Corsair that do not suffer from this deception.

Quote:
The HIVE is one of the best Rosewill PSUs.

That's not saying much. This is what AnandTech had to say about the Rosewill Hive 550.

Quote:
The power supply uses a well known layout from Sirtec, and it's a cheaper design. The PSU is nothing special, corresponding to what we have seen in many other models. [...] The relatively low-end Teapo capacitors on the secondary side are acceptable for a PSU in this range, while the fan is pretty low-end as well. Rosewill promised to use a Japanese main capacitor but this time they used Teapo.

[...]

All in all, the Rosewill Hive 550W is a decent mainstream PSU.

Not exactly a stellar review. I stand by my opinion. Rosewill makes mediocre PSUs, and better can be had at the same or similar price point.
m
0
l
June 6, 2012 7:40:06 PM

so, does the cx500 drop down to 420W? because it is only $40 right now, or should I switch back to the Hive?
m
0
l
!