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Discussion/Advice on New Build

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September 25, 2012 6:52:52 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: All parts ordered by October 12, 2012 (within the next week or two)

Budget Range: Between $1200 - $1500

System Usage: Gaming, Internet browsing, Java & C++ basic programming, possibly upper level programs

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: New Egg, NCIX, etc

Location: College Station, TX USA

Overclocking: Maybe




Current Build----

url= http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iw5I


*** I will also have my own optical drive, mouse, and keyboard.

Additional Comments: I want a solid and reliable PC. This is my first build so I want to enjoy this PC for a few years before upgrading anything. I am seeking people who know much more than I do about PC's and building PC's to give me advice on the parts I have selected as to whether or not they will satisfy my needs.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions!
September 25, 2012 8:35:28 PM

Blake1221 said:

$1200~$1500
Gaming, Internet browsing, Java & C++ basic programming, possibly upper level programs
Monitor: Yes
OS: Yes
Websites for Parts: New Egg, NCIX, etc
Location: USA
Overclocking: Probably
I want a solid and reliable PC.
This is my first build.
PC-build for a few years, without upgrading anything.
I will also have my own optical drive, mouse, and keyboard.


Just get all of this, and you're pretty much good to go for at least 2 years without changing any hardware at all. It's a very solid build.
And even a couple of years later (when you'll feel like upgrading something), all you'll really need is either to add more Memory, change PSU for a bigger wattage capacity one (if planning to use second GPU, but it is highly unlikely that you'll really need more powerful PSU even for two of those cards), or add another HDD, leaving everything else pretty much untouched.
September 25, 2012 9:15:18 PM

If, and I stress IF you are going to make use of hyperthreading, in your programming, i7 makes some sense. However, it does nothing for gaming, and you'd be much better off with i5-3570K, and something like ASRock Z77 Extreme4, for mobo. You could also, then, use low profile 1600 Mhz RAM, which would give you another small gain. Then you just need to decide whether you want to use Radeon, or nVidia graphics. From a gaming point of view, both have their pros and cons. It almost boils down to what's your favourite game. What I don't know, is which would be better, for your other work. You would probably know that, better than I.
Related resources
September 25, 2012 9:27:29 PM

PS.
Just noticed your original picks. Yes, I wouldn't dissagree with much of that. If you are not having an SSD, you really want a faster hard drive than that Seagate Green. Barracuda, or, better still, WD Caviar Black. A better alternative would be to just add a decent SSD, something like 128GB, by Samsung 830, or Crucial M4.
There are better GTX670's. MSI twin fanned ones are good.
Don't personally know if that particular Rosewill PSU is good. I would tend to go for something like Corsair HX, possibly XFX. Seasonic, of course, are VERY good, but can be a bit pricey.
September 25, 2012 10:33:11 PM

Welcome, congrats on beginning your first build :) . That's a solid list, but here are my recommendations:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: I prefer Kingston because they have the lowest return rates of memory manufacturers. Also, 16GB is overkill for gaming, I use 8GB myself and can't use it all. Maybe some demanding compiling could benefit from 16GB, I'm not sure.

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: Green hard drives are designed to be accessed less frequently: they stop spinning after a smaller interval of time, so regularly accessing data means that the drive is constantly revving up from a stopped position, which puts more strain on the drive which really affects its lifespan. Even if it won't be your boot drive, I still recommend a caviar blue instead (you can go with a black if you want a bit more speed, or choose a different capacity to best suit you).

Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: With your budget, it would be a small crime not to have a SSD as your boot drive (and a few games/other programs). The 830 series is on my shortlist because it has very good performance and is one of the most reliable SSDs you can go for (they're all fast; reliability is the big differentiator, especially for your boot drive).

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: This was a downgrade, but it's still a very capable card. I don't know exactly what games you're aiming for at what settings, but you can play Starcraft 2 and Battlefield 3 etc. at max settings with this card no problem. I consider this to be the "sweet spot" of price/performance right now, you pay a premium on the extreme high end cards. Here's the hierarchy chart, the 560 isn't all that far from the 670, you're still firmly in the upper-middle or low-high end range. This card will last you probably 2 years at least, at which point you can buy the "sweet spot" upper-midrange card available at that time and save a lot of money in the long term (much more cost efficient than buying a 670 now).

Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($139.98 @ Newegg)
Notes: A good choice for a new builder, Corsair's cases have a reputation for being easy to work with.

Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: So, the PSU you choose before is okay. It uses Taiwanese capacitors (you want Japanese for more reliability) is a bit noisier, and isn't even bronze efficiency certified (here's an explanation of the different certifications), but is otherwise not bad.

I really recommend this Seasonic unit instead, though, for a few reasons. Firstly it's fully modular, meaning you don't have the traditional mass of cables hanging out the back that you have to diligently cable-tie (or unceremoniously stuff) in your case somewhere. It's a lot less work and doesn't block airflow as much (for better cooling). Just one less thing to worry about for a new builder. Secondly the build quality is superior, so you're getting some better long-term reliability and also the third reason: better efficiency. Depending how much you use your computer, you'll probably save at least $5-10 a year in electricity with a gold efficiency rated unit, and you generally want to stick with your PSU through the life of the computer (unlike GPUs etc. it doesn't need to be upgraded unless it blows up or something, which can happen if you cheap out with a $20 PSU). The warranty is also 5 years versus 3 on the Rosewill.

Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($178.98 @ Newegg)
I have a 23" myself and love it. Good choice :) 

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1283.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

So this leaves you at the lower end of your budget with reliable parts, a SSD, and a solid GPU. You can save the extra money for possible upgrades down the road, look at a bigger monitor, or even go for a higher end graphics card. Let me know what you think!
September 25, 2012 10:56:48 PM

Wouldn't disagree with anything much in Illumina's build, other than graphics card. It's not as if OP is struggling with budget. It may be the 560 is good value for money, but that's not really the criteria. NO graphics card, at all, is REALLY good VALUE for money. Build deserves, at least, a GTX660, that will give 40 to 50% higher framerates (or better settings), more than 100% better in Skyrim. Don't see the advantage of getting cheap card, unless you have to, if it means you're going to want to upgrade again, in a couple of months, cos it's struggling to achieve what you'd like.
September 25, 2012 11:17:12 PM

master_chen said:
Just get all of this, and you're pretty much good to go for at least 2 years without changing any hardware at all. It's a very solid build.
And even a couple of years later (when you'll feel like upgrading something), all you'll really need is either to add more Memory, change PSU for a bigger wattage capacity one (if planning to use second GPU, but it is highly unlikely that you'll really need more powerful PSU even for two of those cards), or add another HDD, leaving everything else pretty much untouched.



I appreciate your response. I think I am going to switch back to a Corsair HX PSU. From what I have seen these are reliable and most people are pleased with their purchases. Also, I am probably going to drop down to 8 GB of RAM.

Thanks for your time and ideas.
September 25, 2012 11:30:08 PM

malbluff said:
PS.
Just noticed your original picks. Yes, I wouldn't dissagree with much of that. If you are not having an SSD, you really want a faster hard drive than that Seagate Green. Barracuda, or, better still, WD Caviar Black. A better alternative would be to just add a decent SSD, something like 128GB, by Samsung 830, or Crucial M4.
There are better GTX670's. MSI twin fanned ones are good.
Don't personally know if that particular Rosewill PSU is good. I would tend to go for something like Corsair HX, possibly XFX. Seasonic, of course, are VERY good, but can be a bit pricey.



Malbuff, I appreciate all of your info/ideas you posted here.

I am going to add a Crucial M4 128 GB SSD. Also, I want to thank you for the introduction to the Corsair HX. I had no clue what "modular" meant but now I see the light. I am going to go with a 650 HX from Corsair for my PSU.

About the MSI graphics:

I found this one (below) that I believe to be as good as what I currently have. I honestly do not want to spend $400 on a video card. I mainly play two games: Minecraft and League of Legends. These games should run problem free on this graphics card. I may purchase Skryim and Borderlands 2 after I get the machine up and running which should also run fine with this card. At the rate graphics and technology is increasing it is hard to ask for a lot of time out of any video card. However, with this card I think it will fit my current and future needs well.

Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks again for your input!
September 25, 2012 11:45:29 PM

Illumina said:
Welcome, congrats on beginning your first build :) . That's a solid list, but here are my recommendations:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: I prefer Kingston because they have the lowest return rates of memory manufacturers. Also, 16GB is overkill for gaming, I use 8GB myself and can't use it all. Maybe some demanding compiling could benefit from 16GB, I'm not sure.

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: Green hard drives are designed to be accessed less frequently: they stop spinning after a smaller interval of time, so regularly accessing data means that the drive is constantly revving up from a stopped position, which puts more strain on the drive which really affects its lifespan. Even if it won't be your boot drive, I still recommend a caviar blue instead (you can go with a black if you want a bit more speed, or choose a different capacity to best suit you).

Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: With your budget, it would be a small crime not to have a SSD as your boot drive (and a few games/other programs). The 830 series is on my shortlist because it has very good performance and is one of the most reliable SSDs you can go for (they're all fast; reliability is the big differentiator, especially for your boot drive).

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 1GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: This was a downgrade, but it's still a very capable card. I don't know exactly what games you're aiming for at what settings, but you can play Starcraft 2 and Battlefield 3 etc. at max settings with this card no problem. I consider this to be the "sweet spot" of price/performance right now, you pay a premium on the extreme high end cards. Here's the hierarchy chart, the 560 isn't all that far from the 670, you're still firmly in the upper-middle or low-high end range. This card will last you probably 2 years at least, at which point you can buy the "sweet spot" upper-midrange card available at that time and save a lot of money in the long term (much more cost efficient than buying a 670 now).

Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($139.98 @ Newegg)
Notes: A good choice for a new builder, Corsair's cases have a reputation for being easy to work with.

Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Notes: So, the PSU you choose before is okay. It uses Taiwanese capacitors (you want Japanese for more reliability) is a bit noisier, and isn't even bronze efficiency certified (here's an explanation of the different certifications), but is otherwise not bad.

I really recommend this Seasonic unit instead, though, for a few reasons. Firstly it's fully modular, meaning you don't have the traditional mass of cables hanging out the back that you have to diligently cable-tie (or unceremoniously stuff) in your case somewhere. It's a lot less work and doesn't block airflow as much (for better cooling). Just one less thing to worry about for a new builder. Secondly the build quality is superior, so you're getting some better long-term reliability and also the third reason: better efficiency. Depending how much you use your computer, you'll probably save at least $5-10 a year in electricity with a gold efficiency rated unit, and you generally want to stick with your PSU through the life of the computer (unlike GPUs etc. it doesn't need to be upgraded unless it blows up or something, which can happen if you cheap out with a $20 PSU). The warranty is also 5 years versus 3 on the Rosewill.

Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor ($178.98 @ Newegg)
I have a 23" myself and love it. Good choice :) 

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1283.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

So this leaves you at the lower end of your budget with reliable parts, a SSD, and a solid GPU. You can save the extra money for possible upgrades down the road, look at a bigger monitor, or even go for a higher end graphics card. Let me know what you think!



Illumina, believe me, I am excited about getting this project up and running!

I have reconsidered my HD choice and am going with a 128 GB SSD (Crucial M4) and a 1 TB HD (WD caviar black). I am very happy that you and another member filled in that fuzzy point that I had in my build. I was asking myself over and over " Should I get an SSD, why, etc", but now I see the viability!

In addition, I am going to downgrade my RAM from 16 GB to 8 GB because I agree with you & others about only needing 8 GB and I can always upgrade if necessary in the future.


The only thing I do not necessarily agree with is the video card you chose. While it is cheaper, I am not really on a strict budget(although I want to control myself) and I prefer to go with a higher end card. I do appreciate you taking an unorthodox stance and minimizing the budget instead of maximizing it like most people would. However, I will probably have to learn the hard way on this one and chose the more expensive card and then in the future maybe I will make a different choice.


Overall, I really enjoyed reading your post and learned a lot from this information. I like how you provided neat notes and some knowledge for me (since I am learning) under each choice. I feel more confident about the direction I am going in with this machine and I appreciate your time and effort you put into this post.


Thanks again!
September 26, 2012 1:40:07 AM

Blake1221 said:
I think I am going to switch back to a Corsair HX PSU


....wait a minute...you're seriously telling me that you had HX, but changed it for GS (which is a much MUCH worse line than HX, and even worse than TX)? LOOOL.
Or did you only meant "pcpartpicker.com" list by that?
September 26, 2012 1:45:13 AM

Quote:
I appreciate your time and effort you put into this post.


No problem :) . The card you're going with will last you a long time. I recommended the GTX 560 because it met and exceeded your criteria of "general gaming" (rather than trying to skimp): namely, that it will max out all current titles (I mean, I'm maxing out SC2 and BF3 on a GTX 460...) and would dominate Minecraft and LoL.

The 660 Ti will be a sweet card, enjoy :) .
September 26, 2012 2:49:25 AM

master_chen said:
....wait a minute...you're seriously telling me that you had HX, but changed it for GS (which is a much MUCH worse line than HX, and even worse than TX)? LOOOL.
Or did you only meant "pcpartpicker.com" list by that?




No, I had no idea what an HX was until I read some of these posts and never had it selected as an option to begin with.


I may be a noob, but I am not stupid lol
September 26, 2012 2:53:09 AM

Illumina said:
Quote:
I appreciate your time and effort you put into this post.


No problem :) . The card you're going with will last you a long time. I recommended the GTX 560 because it met and exceeded your criteria of "general gaming" (rather than trying to skimp): namely, that it will max out all current titles (I mean, I'm maxing out SC2 and BF3 on a GTX 460...) and would dominate Minecraft and LoL.

The 660 Ti will be a sweet card, enjoy :) .



I see what you mean. Thanks a lot for your input!

I hope all goes well with the actual build itself...lol
September 26, 2012 7:12:57 AM

I cheated a little. I just modified a build I was working on for another thread with a few different parts. High power for the low end of your budget. Lets go...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI Z68A-G43 (G3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($82.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($102.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VH238H 23.0" Monitor ($129.98 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.06 @ Amazon)
Total: $1213.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

This cpu will let you game totally unhindered(after a little overclocking), and let you tinker with programming for many threaded apps. Moving on...

This is a great cooler for the price. You can add an extra fan for extra cooling and/or as a failsafe should one fan give out.

This inexpensive and feature rich mobo will let you push your cpu far. If you go amd for graphics, you can add a cheap gt610(30 bucks) for physx.

This low profile ram will run nice and cool at the 1333 speed you mobo will set it at. It's also ready to go should you drop an ivy in the system later on.

You don't need top speed for pics, music and video. The drive will last longer since it wont get hammered like the os drive will.

This samsung drive has been mentioned before and has both excellent performance and reliability. Install windows and load it up with games and apps.

OC this custom cooled 7950 past 7970 levels for enough performance to game at 3x 1920x1200(or just be more future proof at 1080p w/3GB of vram)

This case has excellent features for the price. Several fans(with room for more), large cpu cutout for easy install/removal of large air coolers with back
plates(like hyper 212), 9in wide to easily fit said coolers, room for 12.5in video cards, built in ssd mounts, front usb 3.0 ports, dust filters both in front
and with the bottom psu air intake that are removable/washable, simple design easily modded, cable management.

This psu is both jonnyguru and kitguru recommended(who like hardocp, hardwaresecrets and hardwareheaven know how to properly evaluate a power
supply). Also a hit with reviewers on newegg. 1 pcie 6pin and 1 8pin/6+2pin with 44A(528w) on the +12v rail is more than enough for both an overclocked
i7 2600k and an OCed hd7970. Most pc parts pull +12v power nowadays, but cpu and gpu are by far the biggest culprits. All the parts in a system will
never draw anywhere near max wattage all at once, not even if you ran prime95 and Furmark at the same time(much less while gaming). This psu has
been tested to deliver more than its rated wattage at above ambient temps(similar to how most people use their psu... in a case). It has low amounts
of variance on the different rails and delivers clean power with low ripple(all good things for the long life of your system components). It's made by
seasonic and has a long life ball bearing fan(vs shorter lived sleeve bearing fans) and a 5 yr warranty. Not modular, but that's why cable management.

1080p, good pixel density, fast, built in speakers, led back lit for lower power use and weight(take it to lan parties) and comes highly recommended.

What better os is there for gaming right now than microsoft windows 7 home premium sp1 64bit oem?

That about wraps it up. I hope you like this collection of parts as much as I enjoyed bringing them together for you.


!