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January 2, 2013 2:43:01 AM

Hey all,

I'm looking for some help. Not only am I new Tom's Hardware, I'm also about as green as can be when it comes to building a computer. Being as ignorant as I am, I'd like some help before I drop any more change on a build. Any advice would be appreciated, just please be constructive.

Now before I get into the parts I'm considering, I think it's relevant that I tell you I plan to use this computer almost exclusively for gaming; specifically WoW. However, I would like to store and download some music and movies. Yet, if push comes to shove, gaming takes precedence.

Now on the the parts. Please, give your opinion of my tentative build, and feel free to suggest replacements. However, understand I'm not looking to spend much over a grand on this system (one or two hundred over is fine, so long as it's worth the money).

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (219.99 Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CPU COOLER: Cooler master Hyper 212 (34.99 Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE: NZXT Phantom 410 (already owned)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


MOBO: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 (184.99 Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (49.99 Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
^will I need more than 8GB for WoW?


GPU: XFX HD-6950-CDDC (already owned)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
^only looking to have one GPU at a time (unless Crossfire (or whatever it's called) is really worth buying two more GPU's for).



HDD: Western Digital WD (99.99 Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR

SSD: Intel 335 Series (199.99 Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
^I've had several friends telling me SSD's are the only way to go. I worry about their survivability. Also, do they improve gameplay? Or are they worth the extra $100 for another reason?


PSU: Cooler Master RS-600 (99.99 Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: I'm a student, so I can get windows 8 for ~$12

I also would very much like some input, as to what type of mouse, keyboard, and monitor I should look into. And for that matter, where I might find it cheep.


Again, I want to stress I'm a n00b. So please don't take anything, when it comes to my understanding, for granted. I want a good rig, for a reasonable price. Thanks for the help in advance.

More about : build

January 2, 2013 3:07:29 AM

I generally avoid cooler master power supplies (seasonic and corsair is usually better) but the Silence Pro is one of the better ones according to people on the forum. I recommend getting a corsair tx650 or seasonic S12II 620 (non-modular) or M12II 620 (modular) at that price though.

SSD makes your system response better and games and programs will load faster (some you notice, some you don't). I always prefer non-sandforce drives like Crucial M4s but Intel 335 is a pretty good choice as well.

For hard drive, get the WD Blue 1TB.

The motherboard you picked is on the expensive side. Do you really need thunderbolt?

8GB is more than enough for any games out there at the moment.
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January 2, 2013 3:11:56 AM

CPU, good
Cooler, good
Mobo, I assume its good ;p
GPu is pretty decent
Ram, good
Storage, I understand your concern with the ssd, I think for you maybe an overall good could be a wd velociraptor drive, which has hi read speed but is still a hard disc.

Possible get win7?

Really mouse and keyboard is more preference to you, I like Logitech mx 5500.

Computer screen get something with 5ms or higher refresh rate, general rule for gaming unless its fps
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January 2, 2013 3:22:53 AM

I wouldn't call you a noob, it seems you're doing very well by yourself, considering the system you've put together. If you don't plan on purchasing more Graphics cards in the future for crossfire, you won't need all those PCIE slots on your MOBO, and can probably get a cheaper one. I like the case, the processor is a good one, and 8 GB of Ram is the recommended amount. If you do plan on purchasing more GPUs later on for crossfire, I would recommend having a PSU that can provide more Wattage so you don't need to replace it when the time comes (800-1000W). The advantage with crossfire is that you don't need to replace the current GPU when the next best line comes out. It usually will result in driving the price of your current GPU down, allowing you to take advantage and add more of your current card to run in an array, increasing graphic ability without spending unneccessary funds.

What a lot of people do with the SSDs and HDDs is run the SSD as the boot drive, using it for your favorite games and important programs, and have the HDD for storage. If you did this, you could probably get away with a cheaper version of both. SSDs are very fast when it comes to writing and reading data, they make virtually no noise, but are very expensive. HDDs are your general storage devices which run with rotating disks on a plater and have data written and read by a spindle. SSDs have no moving parts, which also allows them to be smaller, and generate less heat. With an SSD for a boot drive, your computer could probably reach the start screan within 12 seconds from when you push the power button.
Overall, everything is checking out. This would be a decent gaming Rig.

Have you figured out optical drives, mouse, keyboard and such as well?

Do you want multiple monitors, or do you want to stick with one?
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January 2, 2013 3:49:33 AM

EzioAs said:
I generally avoid cooler master power supplies (seasonic and corsair is usually better) but the Silence Pro is one of the better ones according to people on the forum. I recommend getting a corsair tx650 or seasonic S12II 620 (non-modular) or M12II 620 (modular) at that price though.

SSD makes your system response better and games and programs will load faster (some you notice, some you don't). I always prefer non-sandforce drives like Crucial M4s but Intel 335 is a pretty good choice as well.

For hard drive, get the WD Blue 1TB.

The motherboard you picked is on the expensive side. Do you really need thunderbolt?

8GB is more than enough for any games out there at the moment.


Thanks for replying! A few friends mentioned a quality MOBO is necessary, seeing how it connects all the components. Are they wrong? Or did I take their advice to an unnecessary extreme?

And thanks for the advice about Cooler Master, I had no idea!
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January 2, 2013 4:06:39 AM

CoryJamaul said:
I wouldn't call you a noob, it seems you're doing very well by yourself, considering the system you've put together. If you don't plan on purchasing more Graphics cards in the future for crossfire, you won't need all those PCIE slots on your MOBO, and can probably get a cheaper one. I like the case, the processor is a good one, and 8 GB of Ram is the recommended amount. If you do plan on purchasing more GPUs later on for crossfire, I would recommend having a PSU that can provide more Wattage so you don't need to replace it when the time comes (800-1000W). The advantage with crossfire is that you don't need to replace the current GPU when the next best line comes out. It usually will result in driving the price of your current GPU down, allowing you to take advantage and add more of your current card to run in an array, increasing graphic ability without spending unneccessary funds.

What a lot of people do with the SSDs and HDDs is run the SSD as the boot drive, using it for your favorite games and important programs, and have the HDD for storage. If you did this, you could probably get away with a cheaper version of both. SSDs are very fast when it comes to writing and reading data, they make virtually no noise, but are very expensive. HDDs are your general storage devices which run with rotating disks on a plater and have data written and read by a spindle. SSDs have no moving parts, which also allows them to be smaller, and generate less heat. With an SSD for a boot drive, your computer could probably reach the start screan within 12 seconds from when you push the power button.
Overall, everything is checking out. This would be a decent gaming Rig.

Have you figured out optical drives, mouse, keyboard and such as well?

Do you want multiple monitors, or do you want to stick with one?


Thanks for the in-debth response!

Apologies for the bombardment of questions:
So, I take it you recommend a crossfire set-up? Are their any notable drawbacks to crossfire? Is their any additional maintenance required for maintaing a crossfire system? Is a crossfire system harder to instal? Finally, is their any comparable alternatives to crossfire?

As far a storage is concerned: You're suggesting having both a SSD and a HDD? I wasn't aware that was even possible! Okay so, Fundamentally I understand how they differ, but how would I manage what drive did what task?

Optical drives? I can't say I have, or even knew they were necessary (if that is what you meant)? Considering the mouse and keyboard, I figured their exists a gaming type for both; I just wasn't sure where to look. So, no on those two accounts as well.

And I think I'm going to stick with a single monitor, but out of curiosity: what would have to change for this rig to support two?
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January 2, 2013 4:12:14 AM

Quality motherboard is necessary but a motherboard is one of the parts you can cheap out on. The motherboard you pick is expensive because of the Thunderbolt port, which I doubt you'll use. Try to stay around the $150 mark unless you really need some premium motherboard features (1 touch OC, ports, etc)

Here's what I would recommend:

Asus: ASUS P8Z77-V LE - $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H - $144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI: MSI Z77A-GD55 - $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 2, 2013 4:21:43 AM

EzioAs said:
Quality motherboard is necessary but a motherboard is one of the parts you can cheap out on. The motherboard you pick is expensive because of the Thunderbolt port, which I doubt you'll use. Try to stay around the $150 mark unless you really need some premium motherboard features (1 touch OC, ports, etc)

Here's what I would recommend:

Asus: ASUS P8Z77-V LE - $139
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H - $144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI: MSI Z77A-GD55 - $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Thunderbolt port? Yes, you're quite right. I wouldn't even know how! Thanks for the suggestions, and insight.
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January 2, 2013 4:29:45 AM

You're welcome and good luck with your build.

If you're done with this thread, choose the best answer so that the forum moderators can close it.
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January 2, 2013 4:40:47 AM

EzioAs said:
You're welcome and good luck with your build.

If you're done with this thread, choose the best answer so that the forum moderators can close it.



Absolutely. I was hoping to get a few more questions answered about crossfire answered. I'll choose soon.
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January 2, 2013 4:46:57 AM

[/quote]
Goobpin said:
Thanks for the in-debth response!

Apologies for the bombardment of questions:
So, I take it you recommend a crossfire set-up? Are their any notable drawbacks to crossfire? Is their any additional maintenance required for maintaing a crossfire system? Is a crossfire system harder to instal? Finally, is their any comparable alternatives to crossfire?

As far a storage is concerned: You're suggesting having both a SSD and a HDD? I wasn't aware that was even possible! Okay so, Fundamentally I understand how they differ, but how would I manage what drive did what task?

Optical drives? I can't say I have, or even knew they were necessary (if that is what you meant)? Considering the mouse and keyboard, I figured their exists a gaming type for both; I just wasn't sure where to look. So, no on those two accounts as well.

And I think I'm going to stick with a single monitor, but out of curiosity: what would have to change for this rig to support two?



I recommend crossfire if you have the money and intention for it. I want to make sure you make the right decisions about your PC so that you don't slap your head in the future.
For Crossfire, you need to make sure your power supply provides enough power, there is more than one pcie port on your motherboard, your CPU supports it, and your case is large enough for it. The pcie slots will most likely downgrade to x8 from x16, but that will most likely only cause a loss of only a few frames. Most of all these things check out except for the power supply, which I would recommend having a higher wattage (I recommend at least 700 for 2 cards). Installing it isn't very difficult; there should be detailed instructions with the graphics card you purchase. Just make sure its a 6950 like the one you already have. If there comes a time when you want a boost to your graphics, crossfire makes it easier to achieve it without spending unneccessary money on a brand new card. Its nice to have the option for the future.

The optical drive is what runs your discs.. make sure you have one!
You should be able to find a nice keyboard and mouse for cheap on newegg.

This rig could run multiple monitors with what you have. If you haven't found your perfect monitor set up, I wouldn't mind helping you.
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January 2, 2013 4:53:22 AM

When you install your OS (win8), you install it on the SSD. This will designate it as the boot disk (Hard Disk C: ). Your HDD will still be on the computer as long as its plugged in, and you can use it much like you use a flash drive, though it is internal and not removable (at least easily). If you need help with setting any of this up, please post another question on this forum.
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January 2, 2013 4:59:33 AM

CoryJamaul said:



I recommend crossfire if you have the money and intention for it. I want to make sure you make the right decisions about your PC so that you don't slap your head in the future.
For Crossfire, you need to make sure your power supply provides enough power, there is more than one pcie port on your motherboard, your CPU supports it, and your case is large enough for it. The pcie slots will most likely downgrade to x8 from x16, but that will most likely only cause a loss of only a few frames. Most of all these things check out except for the power supply, which I would recommend having a higher wattage (I recommend at least 700 for 2 cards). Installing it isn't very difficult; there should be detailed instructions with the graphics card you purchase. Just make sure its a 6950 like the one you already have. If there comes a time when you want a boost to your graphics, crossfire makes it easier to achieve it without spending unneccessary money on a brand new card. Its nice to have the option for the future.

The optical drive is what runs your discs.. make sure you have one!
You should be able to find a nice keyboard and mouse for cheap on newegg.

This rig could run multiple monitors with what you have. If you haven't found your perfect monitor set up, I wouldn't mind helping you.
[/quote]

Okay, just to be absolutely positive do I have to have the exact duplicate of the card I already have, or does any 6950 work? And that seems like the obvious choice, then.

Oh! haha yeah, I think you're right. I will be needing one of those.

And yes please, in regard the monitor set up. I could use all the help I can get.
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Best solution

January 2, 2013 5:15:54 AM

Any 6950 should work, even some cards that are part of the 6xxx series can work with it, though I recommend keeping them as similar as possible.

Unless your looking for blue ray, this is a nice cheap and dependable one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For your monitor, how much are you looking to spend, and does size matter? I personally recommend LED monitors for heightened visuals and powersaving. I think since this is your first build, you should stick with one monitor first, and then decide later if you'll want another one.
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January 2, 2013 5:34:52 AM

LG has released their cheaper IPS models with 5ms response time for 22" and 24". It's really quite cheap for IPS monitors, around $150 or so. Don't know if you can find it on Newegg though
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January 2, 2013 2:34:42 PM

CoryJamaul said:
Any 6950 should work, even some cards that are part of the 6xxx series can work with it, though I recommend keeping them as similar as possible.

Unless your looking for blue ray, this is a nice cheap and dependable one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For your monitor, how much are you looking to spend, and does size matter? I personally recommend LED monitors for heightened visuals and powersaving. I think since this is your first build, you should stick with one monitor first, and then decide later if you'll want another one.


You know, it's hard to say what size I'd like. I suppose I'll just have to go to best buy or something and take a look at what I like, then shop price. Thanks!
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January 2, 2013 2:59:49 PM

Best answer selected by Goobpin.
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January 4, 2013 10:09:43 AM

EzioAs said:
I generally avoid cooler master power supplies (seasonic and corsair is usually better) but the Silence Pro is one of the better ones according to people on the forum. I recommend getting a corsair tx650 or seasonic S12II 620 (non-modular) or M12II 620 (modular) at that price though.

SSD makes your system response better and games and programs will load faster (some you notice, some you don't). I always prefer non-sandforce drives like Crucial M4s but Intel 335 is a pretty good choice as well.

For hard drive, get the WD Blue 1TB.

The motherboard you picked is on the expensive side. Do you really need thunderbolt?

8GB is more than enough for any games out there at the moment.


That's an interesting thought.. tell me more. I've been using sandforce for a while now and it is fast! My windows boot is less than < 5 seconds.
I've been told by a few gamer buddies that it works just fine. Cheers.
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