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First build in about 10 years, could use some advice!

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February 9, 2013 6:42:17 PM

I have finally convinced my wife to let me build a new computer (we currently only have a 2011 MBpro that wasn't top of the line when I bought it) and I decided to build a HTPC. However, my best friend decided that this means I could start gaming again so I had to change my specs a bit. This system will be used for Netflix, Blu-ray playback, and playing Borderlands 2. There is one caveat though, since its a HTPC playing games at 1920x1080 is a requisite and since I have a 55" TV I want games to look pretty decent. I know I could cut costs and get a MUCH cheaper GFX card but I don't want to be disappointed every time I play. Without further ado, here is the build:

Intel Core i5-2500k 3.3GHz $213 (Amazon)
MSI Z77A-GD65 $144 (Amazon)
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 $49.00 (Newegg)
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM $76 (Amazon)
XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB $172 (Newegg)
Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid $39.99 (Amazon)
Thermaltake TR2 500W $32.99 (Microcenter)
Lite-On iHOS 104-06 4x Blu-ray Drive $29.99 (Newegg)

Total $761.55
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Csc8

What do those with more intelligence than I think of that for my uses?

More about : build years advice

February 9, 2013 8:10:36 PM

MSI = garbage

Newer generation processor?
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February 9, 2013 8:25:17 PM

apache_lives said:
MSI = garbage

Newer generation processor?

MSI has the 2nd best motherboard on the planet? your crazy... MSI is a quality manufacture only second to ASUS. Nothing is wrong with MSI, just ASUS is better.
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February 9, 2013 8:25:47 PM

kenvan19 said:
I have finally convinced my wife to let me build a new computer (we currently only have a 2011 MBpro that wasn't top of the line when I bought it) and I decided to build a HTPC. However, my best friend decided that this means I could start gaming again so I had to change my specs a bit. This system will be used for Netflix, Blu-ray playback, and playing Borderlands 2. There is one caveat though, since its a HTPC playing games at 1920x1080 is a requisite and since I have a 55" TV I want games to look pretty decent. I know I could cut costs and get a MUCH cheaper GFX card but I don't want to be disappointed every time I play. Without further ado, here is the build:

Intel Core i5-2500k 3.3GHz $213 (Amazon)
MSI Z77A-GD65 $144 (Amazon)
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 $49.00 (Newegg)
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM $76 (Amazon)
XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB $172 (Newegg)
Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid $39.99 (Amazon)
Thermaltake TR2 500W $32.99 (Microcenter)
Lite-On iHOS 104-06 4x Blu-ray Drive $29.99 (Newegg)

Total $761.55
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Csc8

What do those with more intelligence than I think of that for my uses?


I would change the CPU to the i5-3570K. The newer chip supposedly handles more instructions better. If you are overclocking (which is what the K is for) then get a Hyper 212 EVO. If not than don't bother with the K and save a few bucks. Frankly you will want the EVO anyway since it is quieter than the stock fan. I am not an MSI fanboy but even I know that MSI is a decent board. That being said you can get a Gigabyte usually a little cheaper. I like Western Digital drives especially the Caviar Blacks. Not faster but a 5year instead of 2 year warranty. The power supply has to go. TT has had quality control issues lately. Stick with a Seasonic, XFX, Corsair or Antec to name a few. If you can find it in your budget, get a 128Gb SSD.
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February 9, 2013 8:39:25 PM

I have a few comments:

1. If you live near a microcenter, they will sell you a 3570K for $180.
Or, you should be able to get a 3570K for about the same price of $213.

2. I would add $30 to the budget for a basic cpu cooler like a cm hyper212. It will let you run quieter and cooler.

3. Buy low profile ares series ram. 1.5v ram does not need any fancy heat spreaders, and low profile ram will not interfere with your cpu cooler.

4. The thermaltake tr2 psu is a tier 5(not recommended, replace asap) unit on this list:
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx
You can do much better. Even a corsair CX500 or 600 would be cheaper and better.
500-550w is about right for your 7850. 550w is good enough to power a card as good as a 7950 or GTX670.

5. How many expansion slots do you need? For most of us, the answer is one for the graphics card. I suggest a M-ATX sized motherboard which will be about $90.
Here is one example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6. Can you find room in your budget for a ssd for the os and some games? 120gb would be fine. Store video's and such on the hard drive.
A SSD will make everything you do so much faster. I will not build another pc without one. It will be about $100.
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February 9, 2013 11:53:33 PM

Thanks everyone for all the replies! Let me answer things in the best order I can:

@JefferyD90 - I really want to build the system as opposed to buying a prebuilt, but I appreciate your response!

@jnkweaver: I'll look into the PSU and 3570k. I wanted a CPU with OC potential to give me a bit of headroom though I do not intend to OC it out of the box. Headroom is the same reason I went with the slightly higher-end MSI mobo. I looked at the Caviar Black but it was just not cost-viable in my build. I fully intend to do some upgrades in the next ~6 months which include a SSD boot drive and a second TB HDD for backup purposes.

@geofelt: Sadly, I do not live near a microcenter but I will look into the 3570. The RAM I chose based solely on my requirements (8GB 1600 and around ~$50) and the number of positive reviews of which that pair of G.Skills has hundreds. Another one of the ~6 month upgrades I intend to make is CPU water cooling simply for the noise factor (since its a HTPC build) so the profile of the RAM is a non-factor. The final upgrade I intend to add is a decent sound card since this will be hooked up to an onkyo receiver and pumped through my 5.1 surround system. So my expansion needs are 2x PCI-E. That said, I wanted a MoBo that would give me decent headroom for future upgrades and that particular mobo is very well reviewed and has a lot of headroom plus it seems to be a quality board so it should last me a few years of use, another huge plus.

My total budget is ~$800 FYI, I should have included that in the OP.

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February 10, 2013 12:38:54 AM

On the cooler, the all in one liquid coolers are expensive, noisy, and less reliable than a good air cooler.
They do not in general cool any better than a decent air cooler in a well ventilated case.
The very best may let you overclock closer to record levels by .1 or .2 , but who really needs that.

A cm hyper212 will be about $30.
The very best might be a Noctua NH-D14 or a phanteks in the $80 range.

For a htpc build, you should pay more attention to the case and how quiet it is.
A good source is www.silentpcreview.com.

Spend what you need to for a good case. you will be looking at it for a long time. I might suggest the Silverstone TJ08E for about $100
Here is an article about picking a quiet case; the Tj-08E is one of the best.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Case_Basics_and_Recommend...
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February 10, 2013 12:51:25 AM

kenvan19 said:
Thanks everyone for all the replies! Let me answer things in the best order I can:

@JefferyD90 - I really want to build the system as opposed to buying a prebuilt, but I appreciate your response!

@jnkweaver: I'll look into the PSU and 3570k. I wanted a CPU with OC potential to give me a bit of headroom though I do not intend to OC it out of the box. Headroom is the same reason I went with the slightly higher-end MSI mobo. I looked at the Caviar Black but it was just not cost-viable in my build. I fully intend to do some upgrades in the next ~6 months which include a SSD boot drive and a second TB HDD for backup purposes.

@geofelt: Sadly, I do not live near a microcenter but I will look into the 3570. The RAM I chose based solely on my requirements (8GB 1600 and around ~$50) and the number of positive reviews of which that pair of G.Skills has hundreds. Another one of the ~6 month upgrades I intend to make is CPU water cooling simply for the noise factor (since its a HTPC build) so the profile of the RAM is a non-factor. The final upgrade I intend to add is a decent sound card since this will be hooked up to an onkyo receiver and pumped through my 5.1 surround system. So my expansion needs are 2x PCI-E. That said, I wanted a MoBo that would give me decent headroom for future upgrades and that particular mobo is very well reviewed and has a lot of headroom plus it seems to be a quality board so it should last me a few years of use, another huge plus.

My total budget is ~$800 FYI, I should have included that in the OP.

It is not pre-built. It is just where the parts have been put into a "bundle" which is saving you money.
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Best solution

February 10, 2013 1:33:32 AM

kenvan19 said:
I have finally convinced my wife to let me build a new computer (we currently only have a 2011 MBpro that wasn't top of the line when I bought it) and I decided to build a HTPC. However, my best friend decided that this means I could start gaming again so I had to change my specs a bit. This system will be used for Netflix, Blu-ray playback, and playing Borderlands 2. There is one caveat though, since its a HTPC playing games at 1920x1080 is a requisite and since I have a 55" TV I want games to look pretty decent. I know I could cut costs and get a MUCH cheaper GFX card but I don't want to be disappointed every time I play. Without further ado, here is the build:

Intel Core i5-2500k 3.3GHz $213 (Amazon)
MSI Z77A-GD65 $144 (Amazon)
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 $49.00 (Newegg)
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM $76 (Amazon)
XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB $172 (Newegg)
Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid $39.99 (Amazon)
Thermaltake TR2 500W $32.99 (Microcenter)
Lite-On iHOS 104-06 4x Blu-ray Drive $29.99 (Newegg)

Total $761.55
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Csc8

What do those with more intelligence than I think of that for my uses?


I just responded to a build similar to yours. I would honestly recommend the below solutions. The only change needed would be the dvdburner to blueray burner/reader.

shields1987 said:
I would appreciate input on any problems you might see, anywhere I could save money or any alternate recommendations. I am building a new system because my 4 year old laptop just won't do. I mainly use it for a few games, surfing the internet, movies, and excel. My goal is $800 for the build.

What I have so far is:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R
Hard Drive: Western Digital Black 500GB 7200RPM, Sata 6Gb/s, 64mb cache
Video Card: Sapphire 1GB 128big GDDR5 Radeon HD 7770 PCI Express 3.0 x16
Power Supply: Thermaltake 750W 80Plus Bronze Modular Device
Motherboard: Asus P8z77-v LGA 1155 Intel z77 with HDMI,SATA III, USB 3.0
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3 1699 (came free with Motherboard)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570k IvyBridge 3.4Ghz
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU cooler
Optical Drive: LG Blu-ray Combo Drive, Sata Model

Thank you for all your help!


This is terrible. All of it, just terrible. We should begin with the Overpriced case with bad cooling, and go better instead for a clean look and 4 fans.

HDD is small and discontinued this is better

GPU is bad get this

PSU is bad get that

MOB is badly overpriced and looks even worse zat

Memory to match mobo Corsair nom nom

This CPU is fine I agree with you

h60 is dumb, I don't know why they sell them stop it plz. Hyper 212 will give you a 4500mhz oc while keeping you plenty cool.

This Optical has spectacular reviews and a nice logo

Total Price: $824.92 before the +40 bucks in rebates. I would mail rebates in, whore myself out for 60 bucks and buy an SSD bootable drive for icing on the proverbial cake.

What's been fixed? TL;DR version, everything.

Details:

Good case with proper cooling pre-installed combined with a nice finish, a bigger 1TB HDD 7200rpm/64MB Cache/Good Success Rating(at the same price I presume), MSI 7850 2 fan model which is voltage unlocked and ready to be cranked up in afterburner, downsized psu to 500W but can be upped to a 600-750W corsair for 20-40 bucks if you so feel the need(you don't need to), better looking/functioning motherboard at a better price, better ram(Insert Corsair Here) that matches that better motherboard, and finally an equivalent cooler for the 4000-4500 frequency range. MSI motherboards come with OC genie which is marketed toward casual builders. The bios in MSI boards make it extremely easy/stable to go 4-4500mhz on the overclock with 3 clicks if you are someone that is iffy about OC, it'd be the board for you even IF the price wasn't right. Heed these changes and you'll have a much nicer system so saith me.
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February 10, 2013 2:55:07 AM

geofelt said:
On the cooler, the all in one liquid coolers are expensive, noisy, and less reliable than a good air cooler.
They do not in general cool any better than a decent air cooler in a well ventilated case.
The very best may let you overclock closer to record levels by .1 or .2 , but who really needs that.

A cm hyper212 will be about $30.
The very best might be a Noctua NH-D14 or a phanteks in the $80 range.

For a htpc build, you should pay more attention to the case and how quiet it is.
A good source is www.silentpcreview.com.

Spend what you need to for a good case. you will be looking at it for a long time. I might suggest the Silverstone TJ08E for about $100
Here is an article about picking a quiet case; the Tj-08E is one of the best.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Case_Basics_and_Recommend...


I should add that the case is a temporary fix while I case mod a PowerMac G5 so the Rosewill won't be a mainstay, just a stopgap that'll work for a few months while I fiddle around and get the G5 set up properly. However, I did not know that those water cooling systems were noisy but I'll take that into consideration. I'd looked at the Hyper212 previously but had thought that water cooling would give me better noise levels. Apparently, I was mistaken.

@Praxeology: Wow I really like a lot of those changes. Particularly the mobo as it seems to be pretty much exactly the same as the one I'd picked but ~$40 less. There seems to be a mistake though since you linked the mobo twice and no ram but I'm assuming you mean something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm putting together a new build which I'll post in a few minutes.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Cyl3

Intel i5-3570k
MSI Z77A-G45
Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 1600 1.5v
Seagate Barracuda 1TB
MSI Radeon HD TwinFrozr 7850 2GB
Rosewill Challenger
Corsair Builder 500W
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February 10, 2013 3:09:38 AM

kenvan19 said:
I should add that the case is a temporary fix while I case mod a PowerMac G5 so the Rosewill won't be a mainstay, just a stopgap that'll work for a few months while I fiddle around and get the G5 set up properly. However, I did not know that those water cooling systems were noisy but I'll take that into consideration. I'd looked at the Hyper212 previously but had thought that water cooling would give me better noise levels. Apparently, I was mistaken.

@Praxeology: Wow I really like a lot of those changes. Particularly the mobo as it seems to be pretty much exactly the same as the one I'd picked but ~$40 less. There seems to be a mistake though since you linked the mobo twice and no ram but I'm assuming you mean something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm putting together a new build which I'll post in a few minutes.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Cyl3

Intel i5-3570k
MSI Z77A-G45
Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 1600 1.5v
Seagate Barracuda 1TB
MSI Radeon HD TwinFrozr 7850 2GB
Rosewill Challenger
Corsair Builder 500W


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... that's the ram I meant to link, I have fixed the initial post. The low profile blue is fine too, I like heat spreaders though as long as they don't get in the way and 700 people who egged it didn't have problems. That build looks good but I pref the other case ofc for better cooling/cleaner look.
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February 10, 2013 3:46:24 AM

Praxeology said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... that's the ram I meant to link, I have fixed the initial post. The low profile blue is fine too, I like heat spreaders though as long as they don't get in the way and 700 people who egged it didn't have problems. That build looks good but I pref the other case ofc for better cooling/cleaner look.


Thanks everyone for your input! With the parts you guys suggested I'll definitely get a lot more bang for my buck and actually save a bit too (which means my wife is quite fond of your suggestions as well!)
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February 10, 2013 4:01:11 AM

kenvan19 said:
Thanks everyone for your input! With the parts you guys suggested I'll definitely get a lot more bang for my buck and actually save a bit too (which means my wife is quite fond of your suggestions as well!)


GL on your build :hello: 
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February 10, 2013 12:32:28 PM

Best answer selected by kenvan19.
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