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My Updated First Build

February 10, 2013 2:54:36 AM

Thanks to everyone in a advance for giving great advice and support!

This would be my first time building a PC. I'm looking to make a reasonably priced rig for gaming, photoshop, and some 3D rendering. I'm looking to make something that will be upgradable and long lasting (i.e. I'd rather pay a few extra bucks than run into trouble down the road with a machine that quickly becomes obsolete or breaks down). However, I am on a budget of $1300 tops. If I'm wasting money here feel free to suggest a cheaper alternative as long as it doesn't compromise in terms of reliability or longevity.

My biggest concerns with this build:
1. Reliability and performance of the monitor

2. Reliability, connectivity, and performance of the motherboard. Will I be able to hook up my included case fans, power button, etc. ? I'll probably want to overclock down the road, will the BIOS options on this board handle that? Also, I've read so many reviews of people getting DOA or otherwise terrible motherboards that fail after only a few months. I want to make sure that I pick a reliable brand. The sweet spot for a motherboard for m wuld be 2 (or more) PCIe 3.0 x16 and 3 (or more) SATA III 6.0gb/s with a price tag less than $160.

3. Price. $1200 seems more than reasonable for a quality rig. But I wouldn't be surprised if I'm overspending needlessly with one of my components. Any suggestions here are welcome, but I do want to stress that I'm looking for reliable parts.

My tough choices with this build:
4. Do I really need 16gb of RAM? My reasons for thinking so are that I want this build to last me 4+ years if possible. The price difference between 2 x 4gb and 2 x 8gb seems to be only about $35 and I don't think prices are going to change. But I understand that memory is easily upgradable, so perhaps I should just wait. That's my dilemma.

5. Buying an HDD instead of an SSD. I have gathered that SSDs are far and away the faster of the two drive types. However, I have also found that they're still much more expensive. I made the decision to go with an HDD hoping to wait for SSD prices to come down.

Other Questions:
6. I believe that the cable I need to connect my video card DVI output to the monitor's input is a male to male DVI. Am I right?

7. Will I lose a noticeable amount of picture quality choosing DVI over HDMI?

8. I didn't include speakers with this build, but if anyone can suggest a good pair of speakers with good value I'd appreciate it.

9. How hard should I look for a low CAS latency with my RAM? Is it worth paying extra for it?

10. It seemed like in order to get a high quality, reliable PSU I needed to pay about $70. Even though 650W is probably overkill I went for it. Is there a cheaper alternative that is just as reliable?

11. How much will the ability of the i7 to hyperthread boost the performance of my PC. I know that right now it won't do much, but am I right in thinking that a few years from now more games/software will be able to take advantage of it?

12. Any comments or criticisms you have concerning this build? Feel free to give me any and all advice you have, I'm new at this and I know there are things I have yet to learn.

My Build (I know that there is no optical drive below, I already have one to install the OS)

Link to view specs (some of the prices are different, but I just put this here as an easy link to the newegg specs)

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($83.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($238.79 @ Amazon)

Case: Rosewill Challenger-U3 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.98 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($72.98 @ Newegg)

Monitor: Samsung S23B300B 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Amazon)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Keyboard: Logitech MK320 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($32.99 @ Mac Mall)

Other: Rosewill 6ft. DVI-D (24+1) Male to DVI-D (24+1) Male Digital Dual Link Cable, Model RCW-401 ($7.00)

Total: $1160.66

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