Had a friend recommend I post here for a once-over! I'm building a new computer for the first time, and I'd be grateful for any thoughts on these parts. Mainly I want to know that they'll work together, do what I want, and that I can stop second-guessing and start buying them.
Approximate Purchase Date: This week. There are a few sales that expire soon (tomorrow :I ) that I'd like to take advantage of.
Budget Range: Less than $900 before rebates and shipping.
System Usage: Medium gaming, photoshop, and maybe some 3D imaging. Possibly while recording or streaming, although that's not terribly important. (Games range from simple 2D and Minecraft to Skyrim and Borderlands 2.)
Parts Being Reused: Monitor (1440 x 900), HDD, card reader, DVD drive, keyboard, mouse, speakers.
Parts Needed: CPU, GPU, Mobo, PSU, RAM, and a case.
Need to buy OS: Nope.
Preferred Website for Parts: No real preference, although I've been browsing Newegg mostly. As long as it ships to southwest US.
Parts Preferences: No real preference, but this build works with Intel's i7-2600k.
Overclocking: Probably in the future, but not a major concern.
SLI or Crossfire: Probably not. Maybe next upgrade.
Your Monitor Resolution: 1440 x 900, might get a second monitor in the future. High definition looks nice.
Additional Comments: Waaay, new at this, but after some help I think I've got something solid. A little uncertain about the PSU due to my lack of experience, but I think it's solid.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I want to be able to play a wider selection of games for a while, since I'm on a single-core, integrated graphics computer that barely sneaks by any minimum system requirements. (And also I want blame less deaths on "Oh lawd, my FPS dropped then, sorry guys.")
Your build isn't bad, but let me offer an alternative that has some advantages:
PSU: Seasonic X650 ($130)
If you're building for the first time, definitely get a fully modular PSU to avoid the cable clutter (less work initially, plus less cables blocking airflow leads to lower temps which leads to better performance). This is also 80+ gold certified so you'll save a few dollars on the utility bill (probably about $10-20 per year as a rough estimate, helps to justify the higher price). This unit has excellent build quality, something you want in a PSU. 650w is a bit more than you need now, but you have some headroom.
GPU: GTX 560 ($170)
You can max Skyrim with this card (I run it at max with a GTX 460, the 560 is essentially an overclocked and optimized version of the same card, also very quiet even at load. For reference, I also play BF3 and SC2 at max settings, you'll do great with this card.) You pay a lot more when buying cards at the high range, much more efficient to buy in the "sweet spot" midrange whenever you feel the need to upgrade. This card will last you a long time.
SSD: Samsung 830 Series ($120)
In my opinion, any build over $700 should try to have a SSD. You're enjoying lots of savings by not having to buy a copy of Windows, a monitor or CD drive etc., really no reason to deprive yourself of one! You want to be sure to avoid SSDs that might have firmware/controller issues, I consider Samsung and Intel to have the best reliability in the SSD market (this one is fast as well!). Definitely install Windows and a game or two to this drive, you'll thank me later .
Case: your choice (currently $60)
RAM: Kingston Hyper X 8GB (2x4GB) ($40)
I prefer Kingston because they have the lowest return rates of all memory manufacturers, anecdotally I've never had an issue with them (used probably 6ish sets of their ram).
MOBO: your original choice is solid. ($130)
This puts you at $650 if I'm using my calculator correctly at 2AM, meaning you have about $250 (probably less factoring in shipping and tax) to spend on your CPU plus whatever else you want to add or upgrade. You're paying $280 for the i7 now which almost fits in your budget, but if it were me I'd downgrade to an i5: this is because the i5 is very close in performance to the i7 but with a $100 lower price tag (see this benchmark for a good idea). Plus you're spending $285 on a Sandy Bridge i7 when you probably should be going for the newer Ivy Bridge CPUs. So in conclusion, I'd go with this i5 Ivy Bridge cpu for $195 which fits into your budget perfectly.
Let me know if you have any questions! Good luck with your first build .
Ah, thanks, both of you! That actually helped me a lot.
I was a little uncertain about getting an i7 over an i5, since the performance increase from the hyper threading didn't seem to justify the price hike. Gonna switch to an i5-3570k, then.
The Kingston ram looks good, but I was a little hesitant to go with 1.65V in case I start overclocking. It's probably nothing, but I found some peace-of-mind for only a dollar more with a G.Skill that has a lot of good reviews. Same timing, too.
Having a PSU that's fully modular does sound nice after digging through other computers, but I think I'll be satisfied with the original PSU. Probably going to stick with the 660 ti, too, since I'll probably get the game it comes with anyway. Makes the price jump from the GTX 560 something I'm willing to do.
Ha, I have a friend that loves her SSD, and I can see why. By reducing the CPU cost, getting that SSD sounds like a good idea. I'll go a little bit over, but not unbearably so. A lot of the cheaper SSDs for the same size had a lot more worrying reviews.