Hello, I'm building my first PC and I've been looking at parts and I've been doing a lot of research the past few days. I would just like to write down the items I'm thinking of getting and I'm looking for some advice/concerns/comments about this build.
I'd first start by asking what is the primary purpose of this system? If you're after a gaming rig, theres no reason to buy an i7. You can save that money with an i5 and spend more money buying a better video card than a 560 TI.
As far as what network card, none, the motherboard has one integrated into it. Should you add watercooling? No. Watercooling is dangerous, and shouldn't be done by the novice in my opinion, especially considering its not necessary to get very good overclocks. A strong air cooler is all you need, a CoolerMaster 212 Evo is only $30-35 bucks and will do fine. If you want to go super extreme, Noctua D14s cost about $80.
I'd also add, if you want an SSD, get at least a 128GB one, 64GB is too easy to fill up.
I would like to use this PC for gaming but also entertainment such as a lot of videos and music. What type of graphics card would you recommend? and thanks for the cooling system advice I'll switch that
Yea, I'd suggest you get yourself an i5. The i7 really only going to shine when doing frequent heavily threaded stuff like video editing, media encoding. Even if you're only doing such things occasionally, its really hard to justify the extra cost for an i7.
Ok thanks I'll be changing the i7 to the i5 then. Also, the GTX 670 has 2 gigs, I was told by a sales associate to only get 2 gigs if I wanted to use more than one monitor, does it have any other meaning behind it? Since I'm changing to an i5 and I'm not using the water cooler I have more money to spend on the graphics card so I wouldn't mind getting it if it's really worth it.
LOL, the sales associate is probably no more knowledgeable than you are to be honest. I've never worked in a tech store, but I did work at an Autozone once. Those kinds of places generally can't keep knowledgeable people because they don't pay enough to make it worth their while. Not that I want to beat up on this anonymous sales associate, but...
Hes got something right, its not likely that the video card is going to use all of its 2GB of VRAM except for the most extreme settings on the most graphically demanding games, even then maybe not. But how much VRAM the card has really is not what you want to put too much focus on when picking a video card. A video card is basically a processor with its own RAM to handle the graphics work when you get down to it. So, one must consider how strong the graphics processor is as well.
As far as how much VRAM and how many monitors, meh, my 550 TI and my GTX 460 are both only 1GB of RAM and both of these rigs are dual monitor setups, so I don't know how much truth is behind that either.
Truth be told, you probably won't need the power a GTX 670 offers, this really depends on what kinds of games you're playing and what resolutions you plan to play them at. The higher the resolution and the higher the graphics settings, the stronger the video card you'll want. So perhaps I should inquire further into what your expectations are for specific games, and resolutions you'll be playing in.
. If you're looking for high quality, and it seems like based on our discussion, you have the budget to build a powerhouse, then go for it. But if you're still playing games on an old VGA monitor, then no it doesn't matter a whole lot.
LOL that made me laugh. Knew I couldn't trust the sales associates that much that's why I wanted to do some more research on my own and ask on the forums what other people think. But I'd like the graphics card to be able to support games such as Battle Field 3 and Diablo 3 atleast on averages settings. Does the size of my screen matter to? If so I'm planning on getting a 22-26" monitor. Haven't looked into the monitors that much yet. And I don't mind spending the extra buck if what I'm getting is worth it and it'll last me a long time.
LOL, well I tried to make it funny, but the sad part is, it really isn't. When I worked at Autozone, I knew a little bit, I actually learned pretty quickly via a friend who I did "wrenching" with to make under the table cash. But they paid me 8.25 an hour and I was hired as "Senior Sales", they wanted to promote me to manager 7 months later and I was promised a 6% pay raise. BTW, the convenience store down the street (Sheetz) was hiring cashiers for $11 an hour to start. True story.
Back to the topic at hand however, Diablo 3 is actually not a very resource intensive game, even a 550 TI like mine would kick the crap out of it. On the other hand, BattleField 3 is like the mother of all graphic intensive games currently. The GTX 670 will definitely max the hell out of it however. As far as the monitor, yes the bigger the monitor the more powerful video card will be in your favor.
I will also say on the topic of dual monitors, once you have em, you'll never want a single monitor system again. Its the multitasker's dream. You can mix and match monitors BTW, so you can get super fancy high resolution monitor to game on, and a cheap walmart special as your secondary if money is tight.
LOL that story is even funnier! Didn't quite realize the truths behind those types of jobs haha. Should've just became a cashier ! But yeah unfortunately I don't have room on my desk for two monitors, as much as I would love to have them, I can't. I've used my uncle's pc and he has dual monitors and it truly is the "multitasker's dream". It's amazing. Also how exactly do you overclock a CPU and why would you want to if it ruins your pc? Just for the extra speed? Is it necessary for some things?
Yea, I actually left that Autozone job to work in a warehouse that paid better money, thus started a trend of layoffs in the economic downturn. In hindsight, if I had stayed at Autozone the whole time at least I would still have full time employment, oh well. Coulda/shoulda/woulda.
As far as how to overclock a CPU, to keep it simple, theres only one way to overclock an Ivy Bridge, via the multiplier. There is techically another way to overclock a CPU at the reference clock, but Ivy/Sandy Bridge have very little tolerance for it, so don't do it. (The K on the model numbers denotes that its an unlocked multiplier)
The clock speed of your CPU is determined by the reference clock x the multiplier. For example on the Ivy Bridge 3570K the reference clock is 100mhz x 34= 3.4GHZ, you up the multiplier to 35 you get 3.5GHZ, and so on. You keep upping it and running stability tests until you hit a point that the system is no longer stable, or the CPU starts reaching max temps under load. You can technically increase the voltage to go higher, but this is where the real "risk" of shortening the CPU's life comes into play.
Although honestly, the risk isn't that substantial as it was back in 2000 for example. If you're really concerned, Intel does now offer an "insurance plan", for about 20-30 bucks that gives you a one time replacement should you fry a CPU overclocking it. However, barring doing something incredibly foolish, you'd basically be buying air.
CPUs are like snowflakes, no 2 overclock the same, but as a general statement you should have no problem overclocking a 3570K to 4.0GHZ, or higher if you feel "naughty". A lot of the boys on the forums here hit 4.5GHZ just fine.
As far as is overclocking necessary goes. Well, in my case no. I overclocked my Phenom II for no other reason than "because I can". A 3570K at stock speeds is powerful enough to take on any game on the market today. But then again, so is my Phenom II, sure the 3570K will give better benchmarks, and in the handful of games on the market that are more CPU intensive, there may be a noticeable difference, but these games are few and far between, and thats not likely to change anytime soon.
Overclocking is.. well look at it like this. If you're a car guy, does your car really need that fancy exhaust system that gives you 10 extra horsepower? Not really, but 10 horsepower is 10 horsepower. If you want your car to be slightly faster, then that means something.
Wow thanks alot! You've been a great help and I'm really glad you posted on my thread. You've been very resourceful and full of great explanations that are easy to comprehend. If you don't mind, could I possibly message you once I start piecing my PC together in case I have any questions about the set-up, etc.?