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Looking for some advice on my first home build

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December 25, 2012 6:58:38 PM

I've always wanted to build my own PC, and a new job means I now have the funds to do so. I've tinkered with swapping cards out of existing builds etc, but building from scratch will be an entirely new experience.

I've attempted to spend some time reading up, consulting Custom PC and numerous forums, and have a nearly complete list of parts. i just need a little advice on the suitability of the list, the likelihood of the parts fitting together without trouble, and perhaps suggestions of improvements or places where I can reduce cost without gimping my PC.

Approximate Purchase Date: Now!!

Budget Range: Well the list below for the best prices I could find tops at around £1400, but would prefer to lower this a bit if I can.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (primarily WoW atm), Photoshop stuff, Software Development, Surfing the net, probably some other stuff.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Well, I've been checking scan.co.uk and ebuyer.com mostly.

Location: Essex, UK

Parts Preferences: I;ve only ever had AMD/ATI combos, so would prefer an Intel/NVidia setup for this

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: In the future perhaps

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 on 2 screens

Additional Comments: I've been trying to find a good combination of power, cooling and low volume - not sure if I've succeeded.

Why Are You Upgrading: Basically, my current PC makes WoW seem like the most demanding game ever made. 7 FPS is not fun to play at, rendering the MM part of MMO impossible since more than 3 people on screen maims my ability to play!

As it stands:

CASE - Coolermaster HAF X £124.99 @Amazon.co.uk
MOBO - Help me?! There seems to be an infinite list of options!
RAM - Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB £35.79 @Ebuyer.com
CPU - Intel Core i5 3570K 1155 Ivy Bridge £165.14 @Amazon.co.uk
COOLING - Noctua NH-D14 Dual Radiator £56.86 @Scan.co.uk
PSU - Corsair AX860 £151.88 @Scan.co.uk
GPU - MSI N680GTX Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC £380.02 @Scan.co.uk
SSD - OCZ Vertex 4 256GB £164.70 @Scan.co.uk
HDD - Seagate 2TB SATA III ST2000DM001 £71.04 @Scan.co.uk
OPTICAL - Pioneer BDR-207DBK £58.31 @Scan.co.uk
OS - Windows 7 Premium OEM £72.84 @Scan.co.uk
PERIPHERAL - Razer Nostromo Gamepad £49.99 @Amazon.co.uk

Thank you in advance for any advice offered.

More about : advice home build

December 25, 2012 7:18:08 PM

AMD Radeon said:
go for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H

or you can save money by buying the cheap asrock z77 extreme 4 or 6

no more to change... thats super solid build buddy, if you want to save more, get 670 instead of 680, their preformance are almost similar


This.

Also, if you want the system to be a bit more quiet and look a little more "sophisticated", you could go with a Fractal Design Define R4 case.

Only trade-off would be some loss of airflow, but it shouldn't be a problem if you're not going for super high overclocks.
Related resources
December 25, 2012 7:41:38 PM

Try this...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler (£48.49 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£65.40 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£145.97 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.54 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£305.60 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case (£129.53 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£86.10 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£59.94 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1163.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-25 21:53 GMT+0000)

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
December 25, 2012 7:47:20 PM

Massive overkill on the power supply. If you really want to lower your overall cost you could cut the cost of the PSU in half. A quality 600watt power supply is all you need.

And by the way fully modular is a complete waste. Typically on partially modular power supplies you will use the cords that are not modular.
December 25, 2012 7:59:43 PM

No, not really.

750 watts will come in handy if the OP decides to do SLI/Crossfire in the future. If he doesn't plan on doing this, then we can shave off even more money by getting a cheaper PSU and motherboard.

This build isn't going to draw anymore than 450 watts. A decent 500 watt PSU would suffice for a single GPU setup. However, I will state this again...if the OP plans on SLI/Crossfire, he will need at least a 750 watt PSU.

I also revised the build and switched out the PSU for the XFX 750 watt 80+ bronze PSU. It's what I was originally going to go with, but couldn't find it. After reviewing the parts list some more, I finally found it.

I hope this helps; good luck!
December 25, 2012 8:38:52 PM

I missed the possible future sli/crossfire. But you still don't need one of the most expensive power supplies if you're looking to cut down on expense of your rig.
December 25, 2012 10:52:17 PM

Okay, now I'm leaning toward the following build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (£56.86 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£151.97 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£65.40 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.54 @ Aria PC)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£157.91 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card (£380.02 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case (£129.53 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£86.10 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£59.94 @ Aria PC)
Other: Razer Nostromo Gamepad (£49.99)
Total: £1358.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-26 00:40 GMT+0000)

I've kept the suggested 750W PSU as a cushion should I decide to wedge another GPU into the mix in the future, I had wondered if I was being a bit excessive.

I'm curious about a couple of the points made so far.

Firstly, the Mobo. I actually had the one mentioned above in a list I'd made, along with the Asus P8Z77-V (and Pro version) and the ASRock Z77 Extreme 6. Just wondered what made you guys opt for the Gigabyte. Are there other fairly level contenders or does the Gigabyte stand out for a particular reason?

Second was the switch to the GTX670 over the 680. Financially the difference is about £70-75. The real question though is what the difference is in performance.

Thank you all so much for the comments thus far.
December 25, 2012 11:00:42 PM

Forgot to ask - Are there any cables/fittings I'll need to buy separately to build the PC with the parts above?
December 25, 2012 11:06:48 PM







There truly isn't that much of a performance difference. Given that the GTX 670 can also be overclocked to levels similar to that of the GTX 680, there's really no reason to spend more on the GTX 680. It's primarily for bragging rights. I'd rather have the extra cash in my pocket, lol.

As for the motherboards, you're not going to see any difference in performance between the UD5H and the ASRock Z77 Extreme4. The Extreme4 is just as good as the Gigabyte board. It's also cheaper. There's truly no reason to overspend on the motherboard once you hit the £100+ range.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. I hope this helps; good luck!
December 25, 2012 11:09:18 PM

Zentavius said:
Forgot to ask - Are there any cables/fittings I'll need to buy separately to build the PC with the parts above?

No, everything you need will come with the parts. You'll need a phillips head screwdriver.

The only other thing I would suggest you grab are some extra zip ties or cable ties. This will make cable management easier.
December 26, 2012 8:03:55 PM

Okey Doke.

I am about settled on the following build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£162.74 @ Amazon UK)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (£56.86 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£65.40 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.54 @ Aria PC)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£164.70 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£305.60 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case (£129.53 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£86.10 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£59.94 @ Aria PC)
Other: Razer Nostromo Gamepad (£49.99)
Total: £1241.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-26 21:57 GMT+0000)

Have now downgraded the costlier GPU and Mobo to those advised. I'm feeling pretty good about the tradeoff between any minor performance difference and a drop of about £100!

My final (I think) question relates to the humble PSU. I guess I'm more looking for assurance rather than advice, to quell my noob fear, that the PSU listed above will have the required cabling to knit together all of the above parts, and possibly a 2nd GPU in future? I have very little doubt I'm exposing my ineptitude in the hardware field not asking this question. Just need to be 100% before clicking multiple buy buttons and parting with a mammoth chunk of last months wage!

Thanks all for the helpful advice, and prods in the right direction.
December 26, 2012 8:33:02 PM

Looks good to me!

Enjoy your monster build. :) 
December 26, 2012 9:32:14 PM

I agree, all looks good with your build. Happy building!
December 26, 2012 9:44:42 PM

Argh, one more noob question. The pair of RAM sticks are OOS at the 2 decent priced vendors, but scan seem to have them as single 8GB sticks. Is there an issue with buying 2 sticks separately?
December 26, 2012 10:44:56 PM

It should work just fine, it's usually more expensive that way though. Have you considered any other brands? G skill memory has always worked excellent for me and they are usually cheaper than Corsair's offerings.
December 26, 2012 11:02:11 PM

The price on 2 individual sticks of the Corsair ones is exactly the same price on Scan as the 2 stick kit. I went for these since they are Low Profile and I had read that the Noctua cooler is a monster that can have compatibility issues with taller RAM sticks and their heatsinks.
December 26, 2012 11:50:32 PM

Honestly I don't think you need 16 gb of ram. I would just go for 2 4 gb sticks specifically g skill ares which are basically low profile
December 27, 2012 2:33:37 AM

lowcountrysmoke said:
Honestly I don't think you need 16 gb of ram. I would just go for 2 4 gb sticks specifically g skill ares which are basically low profile

He plans on using Adobe. More RAM is useful for Adobe. And it may prove useful in developing software. 16gb would be perfect. Besides, it's so cheap these days why not put 16gb in there?
December 27, 2012 11:51:02 AM

Well, I ordered the stuff, just went for 2 individual RAM sticks as opposed to the 2 together. Unfortunately, my bank decided £1200 total in 10 minutes was an unlikely spend by me and blocked it thinking someone had stolen my card....

4 calls later, and we're back on track :) 

Thanks so much for all the help. Is there some kind of rating stuff I can do to reward you folks for the assistance?
December 27, 2012 3:40:30 PM

No, not really. There's an option to select a best answer though.

Good luck with your build! If you need a guide to help ya out, here's a link to a great video. This guy is hilarious (at least to me). I'm pretty comfortable with building my own computer, but I still watch it over and over again just to hear his quaint humor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4Js2A1qdB8
January 1, 2013 6:39:27 PM

Well, still waiting for my stuff to arrive "next day" from Aria so am sitting here like a kid being made to wait till after dinner to open his presents at the moment... A little disappointed that it's not even been shipped yet, let alone arrived next day.
January 1, 2013 7:15:18 PM

Zentavius said:
Well, still waiting for my stuff to arrive "next day" from Aria so am sitting here like a kid being made to wait till after dinner to open his presents at the moment... A little disappointed that it's not even been shipped yet, let alone arrived next day.

Lol, I feel ya. It'll all be worth it in the end.

One of the big trade-offs of buying online. You have to wait; however, look at it this way...you're saving a ton of money. :sol: 
!