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New Build Computer with no experience

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June 7, 2012 6:51:02 PM

Hi all,

Having been using a Macbook Pro laptop for over two years, I decided to go with a homebuilt PC as a desktop computer (as opposed to an iMac). My list is as follows:


Intel Core i7 3930k 3.2 GHz 12MB 2011p (no cooling)
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe DDR3 GLAN + SATA 3.0 16X USB 3.0
ASUS HD7970 DirectCU II TOP GDDR5 3GB 386 Bit AMD Radeon DX11.1 Graphics Card
Corsair 8GB (2*4GB) Vengeance DDR3 1600 MHz CL9 Dual Kit RAM
Intel 240 GB 520 Series SATA 3.0 SSD (550 MB Reading / 520 MB Writing Speed)
Creative X-FI Titanium PCI-E Sound Card (Maybe, might prefer to keep the mainboard’s sound card)
PIONEER BDR-S06XLB 12X Blu-Ray Reader/Writer
Cosmos Pure RC-1000K Aluminum Sound-Proof Case

Desires
1- I am planning to use the computer for gaming (minimal, no hard-core, most popular FPS games & sports games), some Graphics editing (no more than Adobe Photoshop) and some coding. No (maybe minimal) overclocking.
2- Reliability and endurance are VERY important for me. I want a computer that will at least hold on for 5 yrs.
3- I want the cooling to be perfect. Last time (about 6-7 years ago), I think I bought one of the most expensive PCs around and after almost a year of usage, the graphics utility got completely burned down because of a silly liquid cooling mistake. I hated the distributor because he refused to change a USD 700 graphics card telling me it was not covered by the insurance and replaced it with a USD 50 one, telling me that’s the best he can do. How can I ensure that my computer gets the cooling it needs? Is liquid cooling necessary?
4- What are your suggestions for setting the computer up? Should I buy every part separately and set it up myself, or should I let the distributor take care of it? Is setting up a computer easy for a first-timer?

With high hopes of my last experience not repeating again, I came to this forum and any help toward my goal would be very appreciated.

Thanks
June 7, 2012 7:05:29 PM

Quote:
1- I am planning to use the computer for gaming (minimal, no hard-core, most popular FPS games & sports games), some Graphics editing (no more than Adobe Photoshop) and some coding. No (maybe minimal) overclocking.


You don't need a 3930K then - you only need that CPU if you're planning on running CS5, After Effects, RAM-intensive CAD modeling or something else of that nature. For gaming you want the i5-3570K.

Quote:
2- Reliability and endurance are VERY important for me. I want a computer that will at least hold on for 5 yrs.


Yeah I only recommend brands that I feel are the most reliable for all types of hardware.

Quote:
3- I want the cooling to be perfect. Last time (about 6-7 years ago), I think I bought one of the most expensive PCs around and after almost a year of usage, the graphics utility got completely burned down because of a silly liquid cooling mistake. I hated the distributor because he refused to change a USD 700 graphics card telling me it was not covered by the insurance and replaced it with a USD 50 one, telling me that’s the best he can do. How can I ensure that my computer gets the cooling it needs? Is liquid cooling necessary?


That's why I generally don't recommend liquid cooling. It's way too much risk for not a lot of payoff. Sure liquid cooling systems have come along way from what they were 6 -7 years ago but it's still not perfect. You might want to read this article as I think it's extremely helpful in setting up your cooling solution: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-hea...

Quote:
4- What are your suggestions for setting the computer up? Should I buy every part separately and set it up myself, or should I let the distributor take care of it? Is setting up a computer easy for a first-timer?


It's usually better if you set it up yourself. On that build I'd completely scrap it - the SSD is not a good choice (Sandforce), you don't need 3930K for gaming, and you don't need a sound card. The "sound proof case" is kind of a gimmick as you can't completely sound proof a computer - there's always going to be some noise whether it's coming from the PSU, fans, etc.

Try this build:

Case: NZXT Phantom - $119.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $109.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H - $189.99
CPU: 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-3770K - $349.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $33.99
RAM: (2) 8GB (2x4GB) Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 1600MHz 1.5V - $56.99 each
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $129.99
HD: 2TB Samsung Ecogreen F4 - $119.99
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 670 - $399.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1,685.88

Add a nice monitor and the peripherals of your choice and you're good to go.
June 7, 2012 7:31:32 PM

+1 to g-unit1111's build.
Related resources
June 7, 2012 9:08:03 PM

Unit's build works rather well, I'd like to see a larger CPU cooler given the IB chip but that is not needed.

The short of it is that you don't need spend more than 1k to get a good build. The tech is so far ahead of the games out it is silly. At 1.5k you should have pretty much all the things you would want.

Air cooling is the best way to go for a 1st time build. Skip water.

Try to get all of your parts at the same time just in case you have to return an item.
June 7, 2012 9:17:18 PM

loops said:
Unit's build works rather well, I'd like to see a larger CPU cooler given the IB chip but that is not needed.

The short of it is that you don't need spend more than 1k to get a good build. The tech is so far ahead of the games out it is silly. At 1.5k you should have pretty much all the things you would want.

Air cooling is the best way to go for a 1st time build. Skip water.

Try to get all of your parts at the same time just in case you have to return an item.


You don't exactly need a D14 unless you're going to take your CPU to speeds beyond 4.5GHz and even then it's not really known if Ivy Bridge can reach those levels without some compromising.
June 7, 2012 9:43:14 PM

Dear all,

Thanks a lot for your input. I am so glad to learn that liquid cooling is not that crucial. Two simple questions I have out of curiosity:

- Why Gigabyte instead of Asus? I have been researching here and there, and people have been encouraging others that Asus might perform better than other motherboards (something about better responding to a bug either in the graphical utility or in CPU etc). It also has additional useful stuff (like Wifi connection ability which I can use)

- What is the idea behind using a ssd and hd together. Is it like storing crucial information in the faster and more reliable drive (ssd) and using hd as a backup?

Thanks so much for your input. So glad I am here.
June 7, 2012 9:58:13 PM

honolulul said:
Dear all,

Thanks a lot for your input. I am so glad to learn that liquid cooling is not that crucial. Two simple questions I have out of curiosity:

- Why Gigabyte instead of Asus? I have been researching here and there, and people have been encouraging others that Asus might perform better than other motherboards (something about better responding to a bug either in the graphical utility or in CPU etc). It also has additional useful stuff (like Wifi connection ability which I can use)

- What is the idea behind using a ssd and hd together. Is it like storing crucial information in the faster and more reliable drive (ssd) and using hd as a backup?

Thanks so much for your input. So glad I am here.


really, what decides what mobo your looking for is whats on the mobo and at what price the mobo both is, and what you are willing to spend. most modern motherboards will get the job done. as for ssd and hdd question, ssd's allow quicker access to programs, as hdd have storage for the price. since you DO use photoshop, having photoshop CS5 will immensely decrease the load time of photoshop, as well as shave several seconds off for the computer to boot. you also put large game directories in your ssd and use the hdd for storing movies, pictures and smaller games and programs.
June 7, 2012 10:03:26 PM

honolulul said:
Dear all,

Thanks a lot for your input. I am so glad to learn that liquid cooling is not that crucial. Two simple questions I have out of curiosity:

- Why Gigabyte instead of Asus? I have been researching here and there, and people have been encouraging others that Asus might perform better than other motherboards (something about better responding to a bug either in the graphical utility or in CPU etc). It also has additional useful stuff (like Wifi connection ability which I can use)

- What is the idea behind using a ssd and hd together. Is it like storing crucial information in the faster and more reliable drive (ssd) and using hd as a backup?

Thanks so much for your input. So glad I am here.


They're both good brands - my last three boards have all been Gigabyte and they've all been pretty flawless which is why I recommend them. The UD5H has a lot of extra nice features that the Asus doesn't have like 1394, dual LAN, extra SATA ports and extra x16 lanes.

The idea behind using an SSD and HD together is that you always want to keep your OS separate from your data because if you ever need to reformat your primary HD you don't lose any data on your secondary. Plus the SSDs are way faster than traditional HDs and the low storage capacity / high read write times is why you need a second HD to go with it. A 64GB SSD is fast but after formatting and Windows install you're only left with 1/2 the drive's stated capacity, you store your games, music, movies, other large data on the secondary which gives you a lot more room.
!