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New build advice

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January 29, 2013 7:29:38 PM

Hi all,

I used to be a regular on this forum, but I've not really had the time over the last few years. As such, I'm looking to put together a new build, but have no idea where to begin with finding bits! Would really appreciate it if you could help me out with some suggestions. My budget is around £1000, although slightly less would be a boon.

What I want to use the computer for:
- music recordings
- photo editing
- very occasional gaming (pretty much always use my PS3 nowadays)

Stuff I plan to carryover from my current machine:
- keyboard + mouse
- speakers
- Lightscribe optical drive (have no need of a second optical drive, thanks)
- Sound card (need a PCIe x1 slot)

Priorities for new build (in order):
1. Quiet
2. Light (useful when moving about for music recordings)
3. Capable of managing modern games (although doesn't necessarily need to be maxed out on the graphics)

In terms of hard drive support, I'd intend to run an SSD system drive and two 1TB HDD storage drives in a RAID 1 array.
I'm open to the idea of overclocking, although I don't have any experience of doing so (and don't want to go mad with it due to the aforementioned priority of keeping it quiet). Finally, what are your thoughts on Windows 7 vs Windows 8?

More about : build advice

January 29, 2013 7:45:02 PM

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

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£233.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L12 37.8 CFM CPU Cooler (£44.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£73.22 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£39.36 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£83.39 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£53.78 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£53.78 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (£138.98 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Silverstone Temjin SST-TJ04B-E (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£120.00 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£66.74 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£98.39 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1006.62
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 21:44 GMT+0000)

1006$

should do the trick.


January 29, 2013 8:22:17 PM

Mine is a little bit more than the above build but I included a better SSD and video card, you can always add more HDs as your needs increase. I don't really recommend going with a RAID 0 or 1 setup as it will likely lead to your drives failing on you. If you need to set one as your main and the other for backups.

Try this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£233.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.45 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£70.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£53.78 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£106.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£289.98 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£59.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£67.10 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £1022.19
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 22:20 GMT+0000)
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January 29, 2013 8:25:43 PM

interesting but why 1x670 versus 2x7950s?

January 29, 2013 8:30:40 PM

iceclock said:
interesting but why 1x670 versus 2x7950s?


I'd personally prefer the single strongest card you can get. The problem with 2 x 7950 in Crossfire is the micro stuttering issues that have plagued AMD cards since the beginning. If you're going to pay that kind of cash for a GPU you want it to be problem free right?
January 29, 2013 8:40:01 PM

eh micro-stuttering isnt apparent in all games, and is a driver away from being fixed.

dunno thats my view.

im gonna stick with my recommandation, if he needs just one card this:


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

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£233.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L12 37.8 CFM CPU Cooler (£44.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£73.22 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£39.36 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£83.39 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£53.78 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£289.98 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case (£47.99 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£98.39 @ Aria PC)
Total: £1028.05
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-29 22:39 GMT+0000)

Total: £1028.05

i went with what he wanted. 2x1tb but i guess 1tb+128ssd is fine also.


January 29, 2013 9:23:10 PM

iceclock said:
eh micro-stuttering isnt apparent in all games, and is a driver away from being fixed.

dunno thats my view.


It's always a driver away from being fixed but AMD still has yet to get it completely right. Kind of like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football and Lucy keeps pulling it away from him. :lol: 
January 29, 2013 9:23:37 PM

lol, hes never gotta kick the ball will he -_-

January 30, 2013 10:43:43 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! From experience, I'd go with g-unit on the front of getting the best single GPU card for the money. Still unsure about data backup, though. Had looked at online storage for backup, but it's generally a bit pricey (about £5/month with Google). As for the RAID 1; I did think about getting an external hard drive for backup, but was averse due to not coming across any decent software for synchronizing files - do you know of any?

On the case front, I was looking at actually getting an NZXT H2 - they're not bad value and are lined with plenty of acoustic foam. Also, I'd rather go with a vertical CPU cooler, as they tend to be better for airflow management.
January 30, 2013 1:03:08 PM

looks good dude.

January 30, 2013 3:16:10 PM

darksidedragon said:
Thanks for the suggestions! From experience, I'd go with g-unit on the front of getting the best single GPU card for the money. Still unsure about data backup, though. Had looked at online storage for backup, but it's generally a bit pricey (about £5/month with Google). As for the RAID 1; I did think about getting an external hard drive for backup, but was averse due to not coming across any decent software for synchronizing files - do you know of any?

On the case front, I was looking at actually getting an NZXT H2 - they're not bad value and are lined with plenty of acoustic foam. Also, I'd rather go with a vertical CPU cooler, as they tend to be better for airflow management.


I use an external HD for my backups - it's a pain but I'm really skeptical when it comes to setting up an auto backup solution.

NZXT makes good cases, that should be a fine choice.
January 31, 2013 3:00:01 PM

Fair enough, I might have a look around and see if I can find a software solution to keep files synchronized between the external hard drive and the folders I want to backup. What do you reckon to changing the Core i7-3770K to an i5-2500K? The only reason being that I want to get a new monitor (£107.50) and also a 1TB external HDD, so starting to get a bit expensive. Also, how quiet is the XFX power supply? Also, what is the XFX PSU like for noise? My current machine has a Corsair 1000HX, which is very quiet (although quite heavy!). I could potentially carry that over to the new build and put something cheaper into the old machine.
January 31, 2013 3:12:37 PM

darksidedragon said:
Fair enough, I might have a look around and see if I can find a software solution to keep files synchronized between the external hard drive and the folders I want to backup. What do you reckon to changing the Core i7-3770K to an i5-2500K? The only reason being that I want to get a new monitor (£107.50) and also a 1TB external HDD, so starting to get a bit expensive. Also, how quiet is the XFX power supply? Also, what is the XFX PSU like for noise? My current machine has a Corsair 1000HX, which is very quiet (although quite heavy!). I could potentially carry that over to the new build and put something cheaper into the old machine.


Yeah reuse that power supply definitely - no need to purchase a new one if the old one still works.

Don't change Ivy Bridge to an i5-2500K, get the 3570K instead.
January 31, 2013 3:13:29 PM

get the 3570k newer architecture and speed for a bit more.

January 31, 2013 4:19:19 PM

Yeah, ok, thought it was a newer architecture. Should have mentioned - one of the main reasons I'm doing a new build is because my Mum wants my current machine! So, I can bring my old PSU over, but would need something to go into the old machine to replace it. Basically, I'm willing to spend the extra on quiet stuff (so quiet PSU, quiet CPU cooler, even a quiet GPU cooler if there is a decent one going).

Out of curiosity, does the "K" at the end of the CPU mean that the multiplier is unlocked? As I mentioned originally, I'm quite out of date with the latest tech!
January 31, 2013 4:36:22 PM

yes. non-k has locked multiplyers. u can bring an old ps in new rig but needs to be good quality.
February 3, 2013 5:30:13 PM

Cool, thanks for confirming that. I was looking at the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M Intel Z77 motherboard iceclock recommended - I noticed it only has the one PCIe x1 slot (which will fit my soundcard). Then I remembered that I'll need to get a wireless card as well. Do you have any recommendations for those, as the one in my current machine is terrible! (I'm currently running a 20ft LAN cable because the wireless connection is so poor). I wasn't sure if I'd be better off getting a different motherboard so I can have a PCIe x1 wireless card, or go with one of those USB dongles.
February 3, 2013 5:49:08 PM

Also, I was looking at the Noctua U9B SE2 for the CPU cooler, as it runs pretty quiet. However, I'm slightly worried that with both fans installed, it might not clear the G.Skill Ripjaws RAM?
February 3, 2013 6:48:57 PM

darksidedragon said:
Also, I was looking at the Noctua U9B SE2 for the CPU cooler, as it runs pretty quiet. However, I'm slightly worried that with both fans installed, it might not clear the G.Skill Ripjaws RAM?


Noctua makes some really solid fans that actually outperform most liquid coolers.

The Ripjaw might not clear the heat sinks - G.Skill actually makes a low profile RAM called the Ares series which is actually better than the Ripjaw.
!