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First Build - please tell me if this is correct

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July 25, 2012 1:15:54 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm building a new PC, and wanted your opinion on a few points. Let me start by saying that I've tinkered around with a PC before (replacing the odd card, etc), but have never done a build from scratch.

Also, my choice of components was constrained because these are parts that I have salvaged from 2 PCs that are about to be retired.

CPU: Intel Core i5 2380p
Mobo: Asus P8H61-M/LE USB3
Case: Zalman Z11 plus (new, on order)
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 7950 (stock)
RAM: 4 GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 Mhz
PSU: Fractal Design Tesla 550 W 80 plus (or another generic/unbranded 600W that came with an old case).

These are the components that I intend to assemble together. Here's what I'd like to know.

1. Are there any components here that stand out to you as generally unreliable, or that can be upgraded to something significantly better for a small cost?
2. Most important - the movers and my dog tag-teamed my monitor, and now it's busted beyond repair. I'm thinking of hooking this computer up to my 32" HDTV. Would my combination of GPU, RAM, and CPU be able to play games like BF3 with decent settings on a HDTV?

Please excuse my lack of experience in this. I wanted to present an overall picture of what I'm working with, to get your expert opinions. Thanks!

Sol

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July 25, 2012 1:30:50 PM

Everything looks decent except the generic psu, I wouldn't use that. Either go with the Tesla 550 or get a new one from Seasonic, Corsair, Antec or XFX.
July 25, 2012 1:30:55 PM

Hi and welcome to Tom's forum.

Seems like a solid build for a low price BUT i'd suggest get a better PSU for that GPU and for future in general. Those fractal are very new and we don't know yet if works fine or not. Try to go with a 650W from Corsair, Antec, XFX that are very good manufacturers.
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July 25, 2012 1:33:57 PM

The HDTV is likely 1920x1080 if it is a 1080p screen, that's the resolution most gamers will use on their PC monitors, that configuration will be fine at high/ultra settings at that resolution.

The only thing I could say to upgrade would be another 4gb of ram. Either find the same type and get 2 more sticks, or buy 2x4gb sticks in a kit.
July 26, 2012 9:47:45 AM

Thanks, all three of you. I really appreciate your patience with a newbie like me :) 

Ok, so I've cancelled on the Fractal Design PSU and ordered a Corsair 650W as you said.

This next question may sound really silly - if I use 2 x 4 GB RAM sticks, can they be of different frequencies? I have a 4 GB stick of 1333 MHz RAM. If not, I'll pick up another Corsair like the current one.

I've been reading on the HD 7950 and it's overclocking potential. I may play around with small and incremental increases. Can I do this with my current case? The stock version has 4 fans, and generally receives good reviews for cooling. Or, do I need to reconsider my choice of case/add a new component?

Again, thanks for your help.
July 26, 2012 10:01:34 AM

Update - a PC store in my neighborhood has a sale on components. So my CPU is now an i5 3450 S1155 3.1 Ghz.

As I said before, I'm salvaging parts from 2 PCs. One of them runs an AMD FX 6150. On paper, it looks pretty good with 6 cores and more cache than the i5. But the online reviews are not too great.

Would the additional 2 core advantage be a good thing for gaming? I'm willing to try my RAM and GPU on both processor/mobo configs.
July 27, 2012 4:16:13 PM

You will want to stay with the i5. It is far better for gaming, most games won't even make use of the extra cores, and even if they did the preformance wouldn't be as good as the i5's.
!