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Help me build a great PC

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September 27, 2012 9:32:56 PM

Hi everybody

I am trying to get a reliable computer with lasting value.

i am just getting into pc building. I've taken apart 2 old broken computers (just to take a look) and need a new computer. I decided that to get the best computer and to fully know what I'm getting, I would need to build my own computer. Barebones seem nice, but none of them fit me. I checked out custom barebones, but those are more confusing, only giving me names of products and recommending products without details. they also come prebuilt.

I eventually decided to build a pc from parts.

Here's what I got for a lasting, upgrade-able, fast PC:

MOBO: MSI Z77A-G45 Intel 7 Series Motherboard - $95 here http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] CatId=6976

CPU: Intel i5 3570k - $230 everywhere

I read around and found that the cpu would be really great if it wasn't so hot, so maybe an intel fan: Intel BXRTS2011LC High Performance Liquid Cooler - $100 at Tigerdirect

easy first case: MSI IN-623 Ravager Mid Tower Case - $40 at tigerdirect

PSU! : Thermaltake W0382RU (only really semi-modular) $70 at tigerdirect

I can get a hard drive for about $85 at tigerirect

again at tigerdirect: $20 24x DVDRW + CDRW

RAM: 4GBx2 Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B $50 at tigerdirect

Windows 7 64bit - $100

Solid state cache: crucial adrenaline for $90

need graphics card for CAD and extra ports for dual monitors: ZOTAC ZT-20313-10L Synergy GeForce 210 Video Card - $15 at tigerdirect

More about : build great

Best solution

September 27, 2012 9:57:06 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/353572-31-build-upgra...

Could you fill that out please? :)  It would be easier for everyone on this forum if you could fill that out.
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September 27, 2012 10:17:46 PM

Are you going to be overclocking your CPU? If not, you can save about $50 and go with an i5 3450 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (currently on sale for $180 with instant promo code).

You also don't need nearly that degree of CPU cooling unless you're going to be pushing extremely high overclocks. The stock intel fan is adequate if you aren't overclocking at all, and a $20 cooler master hyper 212+ (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) would give you tons of thermal headroom and allow for some very hefty overclocking on air. You only need a watercooling solution if you're planning to really push the envelope on your OC.

Motherboard choice seems fine. Chassis seems fine too, though there are a TON of options there. Do you like the particular aesthetic of the ravager?

A 750W power supply is overkill for this build. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is $30 after mail in rebate and should be more than adequate for your needs. Corsair is also a very reliable and reputable brand, and their PSUs are generally built by Seasonic.

Which hard drive and SSD capacity / models are you looking at specifically?

RAM is super cheap right now, but you can get pretty much the exact same memory with a lower profile for $40 at newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - You don't want those big goofy head spreaders on the vengeance models to interfere with your HSF.

The graphics card is a horrible choice. If you're not gaming or doing anything else graphics intensive, then the GPU built into your Ivy Bridge i5 will probably serve your needs just fine. Otherwise, if you want a discrete card with a bit more oomph, you can spend the money you'd save by shopping smarter on the other components (about $200 if you're not overclocking) and pick up a GeForce 650 or better. Those start at around $110 with rebates: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 27, 2012 10:18:45 PM

Best answer selected by lxgoldsmith.
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September 27, 2012 10:24:24 PM

I'm hoping you pressed the "Best Answer" button on accident... :lol: 

ckholt83's recommendation of a CPU cooler and PSU are spot on.

H100's aren't worth it, if you have $100+ to spend on a CPU cooler, spend an extra $50 and get yourself a WC kit.

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September 27, 2012 10:42:23 PM

:)  Glad I linked it on this thread in that case.
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September 27, 2012 11:16:04 PM

mocchan said:
I'm hoping you pressed the "Best Answer" button on accident... :lol: 

ckholt83's recommendation of a CPU cooler and PSU are spot on.

H100's aren't worth it, if you have $100+ to spend on a CPU cooler, spend an extra $50 and get yourself a WC kit.


I pressed it quickly after the comment, I was going to follow the link and fill out the form "later" but then I saw a good reply for my question

Also, I am trying to lower the cost so it will be feasible under my financial position. I do not have the extra $100 for a better fan, but since the cpu gets so hot under pressure, I thought it would be necessary.

I will overclock, but not at first. I will wait until overclocking will cause a noticeable difference.

I hope to use this PC for a long while(7x PCIE slots for upgrades!)
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September 27, 2012 11:35:35 PM

lxgoldsmith said:
Hi everybody

I am trying to get a reliable computer with lasting value.

i am just getting into pc building. I've taken apart 2 old broken computers (just to take a look) and need a new computer. I decided that to get the best computer and to fully know what I'm getting, I would need to build my own computer. Barebones seem nice, but none of them fit me. I checked out custom barebones, but those are more confusing, only giving me names of products and recommending products without details. they also come prebuilt.

I eventually decided to build a pc from parts.

Here's what I got for a lasting, upgrade-able, fast PC:

MOBO: MSI Z77A-G45 Intel 7 Series Motherboard - $95 here http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] CatId=6976

CPU: Intel i5 3570k - $230 everywhere

I read around and found that the cpu would be really great if it wasn't so hot, so maybe an intel fan: Intel BXRTS2011LC High Performance Liquid Cooler - $100 at Tigerdirect

easy first case: MSI IN-623 Ravager Mid Tower Case - $40 at tigerdirect

PSU! : Thermaltake W0382RU (only really semi-modular) $70 at tigerdirect

I can get a hard drive for about $85 at tigerirect

again at tigerdirect: $20 24x DVDRW + CDRW

RAM: 4GBx2 Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B $50 at tigerdirect

Windows 7 64bit - $100

Solid state cache: crucial adrenaline for $90

need graphics card for CAD and extra ports for dual monitors: ZOTAC ZT-20313-10L Synergy GeForce 210 Video Card - $15 at tigerdirect

First, I highly recommend using the form mocchan linked. That will help us tailor our advice to your needs.

Second, I'm assuming your budget is in the $900 range given the fact that that is the cost of your suggested build. Here is roughly the build you suggested:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($203.76 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Intel BXRTS2011LC 74.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.03 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($112.49 @ TigerDirect)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($48.25 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($85.78 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($81.49 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5450 1GB Video Card ($22.52 @ Newegg)
Case: MSI IN-623 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.32 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($76.51 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($19.38 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($96.99 @ B&H)
Total: $880.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Here is the modified build I would recommend given an assumed $900 budget and non-gaming use for the computer:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($203.76 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.16 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($112.49 @ TigerDirect)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($40.74 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($110.44 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($81.49 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GT 610 1GB Video Card ($43.08 @ Amazon)
Case: MSI IN-623 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.32 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ ZT 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.33 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($19.38 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($96.99 @ B&H)
Total: $824.18
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

That will get you a couple improvements in performance and saves you a little money. If you are interested in a little gaming on this PC then you could swap the video card out (as another poster recommended) for something in the $100-120 range.
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September 27, 2012 11:42:27 PM

ckholt83 said:
Are you going to be overclocking your CPU? If not, you can save about $50 and go with an i5 3450 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (currently on sale for $180 with instant promo code).

You also don't need nearly that degree of CPU cooling unless you're going to be pushing extremely high overclocks. The stock intel fan is adequate if you aren't overclocking at all, and a $20 cooler master hyper 212+ (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) would give you tons of thermal headroom and allow for some very hefty overclocking on air. You only need a watercooling solution if you're planning to really push the envelope on your OC.

Motherboard choice seems fine. Chassis seems fine too, though there are a TON of options there. Do you like the particular aesthetic of the ravager?

A 750W power supply is overkill for this build. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is $30 after mail in rebate and should be more than adequate for your needs. Corsair is also a very reliable and reputable brand, and their PSUs are generally built by Seasonic.

Which hard drive and SSD capacity / models are you looking at specifically?

RAM is super cheap right now, but you can get pretty much the exact same memory with a lower profile for $40 at newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - You don't want those big goofy head spreaders on the vengeance models to interfere with your HSF.

The graphics card is a horrible choice. If you're not gaming or doing anything else graphics intensive, then the GPU built into your Ivy Bridge i5 will probably serve your needs just fine. Otherwise, if you want a discrete card with a bit more oomph, you can spend the money you'd save by shopping smarter on the other components (about $200 if you're not overclocking) and pick up a GeForce 650 or better. Those start at around $110 with rebates: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I am looking at a single 1TB drive, which will be upgraded to 4-6 drives in a RAID 1+0 later on

the Crucial Adrenaline is a 64GB SATA3 ssd with 50GB logical memory that will be used for startup programs, such as windows, google chrome, microsoft office, main games, etc. The HDD will be for main file storage, such as music, video, game files, etc,

I will need a graphics card for extra video connections (multi-monitor setup) I don't need extreme performance, but I will be using the card for CAD, video streaming, and playing older games like AOE2+ & the Baldur's Gate series
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September 27, 2012 11:53:24 PM

From what you've said, I feel something like this may benefit you more.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($112.49 @ TigerDirect)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Corsair Accelerator Series 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.36 @ Amazon)
Total: $785.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

If you're going to use your work for heavy CAD rendering, you may want to consider stepping up to an i7 with 32GB of RAM. Either that or getting an FX-81XX CPU (they're actually quite decent with heavily threaded applications).
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September 28, 2012 6:04:46 PM

lxgoldsmith said:
I am looking at a single 1TB drive, which will be upgraded to 4-6 drives in a RAID 1+0 later on

the Crucial Adrenaline is a 64GB SATA3 ssd with 50GB logical memory that will be used for startup programs, such as windows, google chrome, microsoft office, main games, etc. The HDD will be for main file storage, such as music, video, game files, etc,

I will need a graphics card for extra video connections (multi-monitor setup) I don't need extreme performance, but I will be using the card for CAD, video streaming, and playing older games like AOE2+ & the Baldur's Gate series

You could get a 120GB SSD for the same price as the 64GB drive you are looking at and run all of your software off it. You system startup and software load times will both benefit in that case.
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September 28, 2012 6:50:08 PM

Isaiah4110 said:
You could get a 120GB SSD for the same price as the 64GB drive you are looking at and run all of your software off it. You system startup and software load times will both benefit in that case.


Sounds great, but is there another way of setting up smart response, or would I need to save specific files to the disk in that case?
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September 28, 2012 8:25:29 PM

lxgoldsmith said:
Sounds great, but is there another way of setting up smart response, or would I need to save specific files to the disk in that case?

Loading your OS onto the 120GB SSD along with some key applications would be the route I would take. You will need to manually save files to your storage HDD but I don't think that would be a very big issue.

SRT is a nice technology, however, with prices of SSD's going down everyday, there's no reason not to get one.

Also, I'm quite a bit confused with your question, can you clarify what you mean?

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September 29, 2012 1:55:03 AM

So it looks like he's talking about using Intel's SRT or (in the case of the Crucial Adrenaline) Dataplex's software to use the SSD as a cache drive. This means 0 micromanagement of files, it's all completely invisible and happens in the background. I'm using the Crucial Adrenaline myself, and while I love not having to pick and choose which apps go on the SSD and which go on the storage drives, it's not quite as fast.

Either solution is viable, it's just a trade off between pure performance and simplicity / ease of use.
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