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Advice and feedback on new homebuilt system parts choices

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October 2, 2012 6:59:41 PM

Hello all,
I am planning on building a computer after many years and have chosen a list of parts that I think will be suitable for my needs however I am not sure if they are all compatible or suitable for me. Therefore I would be grateful for some advice and feedback on what I have chosen and any alternatives I should consider (if necessary).

Below are details of my needs and situation.

Approximate Purchase Date: This month or ASAP

Budget Range: After Shipping and tax- £900 (but am willing to go over by £200 max, if alternate parts make a significant difference or better suit my needs)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Video game development, 3D/2D image modelling and animation, general programming, sound editing, video editing, playing games, general computer usage (surfing the internet, writing documents, listening to music etc.)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: No (I have a copy of windows 7 64 bit I plan to use and possibly in the future dabble in Linux)

Preferred Websites for Parts: www.dabs.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.pixmania.co.uk or any where that is trustworthy and cheap

Location: London, England

Parts Preferences: I have two lists of parts I have chosen, the first being a build that is the realistic choice (with possible future upgrades) and the second being a build that I would have if money were not an issue.

Build 1 (the realistic build that I am considering)
Case: CORSAIR Vengeance C70 Arctic White PC Tower Case
http://goo.gl/aavYx

PSU: Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold 800W
http://goo.gl/h6m6L

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H
http://goo.gl/fRSQK

CPU: Intel i5-3570K
http://goo.gl/sIAJw

(Possible future upgrade to) Intel Core i7 3770K
http://goo.gl/rPGU3

RAM: Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9W Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB)
http://goo.gl/DyFFe

Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 7850
http://goo.gl/y9tsk

HDD: Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB 7200RPM Hard Drive
http://goo.gl/9guqc

SSD: Corsair 30GB Accelerator Series SATA 3Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive
http://goo.gl/IN28o

Optical drive: Pioneer BDR-207DBK 12x Internal BD-RW Burner
http://goo.gl/6CoKD


Build 2 (the money is not an issue build)
Case: Best Value K-720B Gaming Case with Red Interior
http://goo.gl/5DgLQ

PSU: Fractal Design 1000W Tesla Wired 80+ Gold PSU
http://goo.gl/QKAn4

Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro
http://goo.gl/vEu7K

CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K
http://goo.gl/lI6BE

RAM: G.Skill RipJaws-Z 16GB
http://goo.gl/ljrFa

Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680
http://goo.gl/zRVEq

Sound card: Asus Xonar Essence STX
http://goo.gl/pJjYn

HDD: Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB 7200RPM Hard Drive
http://goo.gl/9guqc

SSD: Samsung 256GB 830 Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" SSD
http://goo.gl/axyW7

Optical drive: Pioneer BDR-207DBK 12x Internal BD-RW Burner
http://goo.gl/6CoKD


Overclocking: Yes (in the future I would consider overclocking)

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (in the future I would consider adding another graphics card as an upgrade)

Your Monitor Resolution: current is 1440x900 but plan on upgrading in very soon to a monitor with a resolution of 1920x1080 or more

Additional Comments: Probably the most important aspect for me is having a future proof machine after that it should be able to run comfortably the following programs (in no particular order), Unity 3, 3DS Max, Maya, Netbeans, Eclipse, Visual Studio, Pro Tools, FL Studio, GIMP, Firefox etc.
October 2, 2012 7:13:56 PM

Since we are really working with your first build, I will focus on that. All the components are compatible. Allow me to make a few changes in that build for you.

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/parts/partlist/

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/ja5A
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/ja5A/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/ja5A/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Amazon UK)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£24.25 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£105.32 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£124.70 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card (£215.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: NZXT LEXA S (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£55.18 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£69.99 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£11.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £800.33
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Edit: I forgot to include a SSD in this. The one you chose will do great, so that would make the total about 840
October 3, 2012 11:23:53 AM

zared619 said:
Since we are really working with your first build...

Thank you zared619 for your feedback and recommendations! I would just like to ask you a couple of things though.

-Is an extra CPU cooler really necessary? (as opposed to the one that already comes with the CPU)
-Can you explain why you choose those parts over the ones I chose? (just so I can compare and understand their pros and cons)
-I noticed you chose a 650W PSU, I wasn't sure which to go for but I thought 800W would be a better choice, can you explain why the one you chose is better?

Thank you very much for your feedback and helping me discover that site you used.

Also is there anyone else that can give a second opinion? So I can have a more rounded view of what I should get.
Related resources
October 3, 2012 1:16:36 PM

Things that are the same: CPU, RAM.
Things that are different: GPU, CPU cooler, HDD, PSU, MOBO, CD drive, case.

I chose the MSI GPU, because it is faster, and has a better cooler than the reference card, which you chose.

The CPU cooler is not necessary, but it is really nice to have. It is quieter and cooler than the stock cooler that comes with the CPU.

HDD- I just realized that the hard drive i picked is severely overpriced in the UK (I'm from America). The drive you chose is actually better, so I would go with that.

PSU- I went with the 650 watt because it is what you need. With either build, yours or mine, what you need is down in the 360 watt range. I chose the 650 watt because if you ever want to add a second graphics card, you will be able to, and it still won't be overkill.

Motherboard- The motherboard you chose is a fantastic board. I went with the Asrock because it is of the same quality and features, but costs less.

CD Drive- Again, I screwed up. You have a blu-ray drive, which I missed originally. You can definitely go with the drive you chose.

Case- You picked a great case. I went with the NXZT because it isn't really overkill and its a good quality case. Again, its cheaper.

If anything isn't clear, don't hesitate to ask.
Cheers!
October 5, 2012 5:07:16 PM

Thanks zared, your recommendations have been really helpful. I checked out some reviews of the motherboard you recommended and it seems like a great alternative at its price point. I just wonder though if its as future proof as the one I chose, also it seems to be slightly smaller than a standard ATX mobo, I guess the case you picked would fit it fine then?

I was wondering about the PSU, how much watts (for my kind of use) is too much?

Finally I'd like to say I'm impressed with the price that you managed to come up with for the tweaked spec. I hope to order my parts roughly next week so your advice has been really helpful!
October 5, 2012 5:36:38 PM

The Extreme4 is still of the ATX form factor, so it will fit with just about any case, whether its a mid or a full tower, it doesn't matter.

For your use anything over an 850 would be severely overkill. You will use about 360 watts with the build I posted as is. If you add another graphics card for crossfire, you will use around 550 watts. I recommended the 650 because it will produce around 580 or so, and 550 is peak value. It is a little close, but very rarely would peak value be reached, and even so, you are still over peak with the 650 watts. If you feel uncomfortable with that (there is no reason to be really) but if you wanted, you could get a 750.

Im glad I could help! :D 
!