Making a computer for the first time, need some tips

By Havingphun ยท 54 replies
Jan 2, 2012
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  1. Hi, I am building a computer for the first time. But i would like some tips. I have already chosen some parts:

    Full Tower:
    Cooler Master full tower. Model:RC-932-KKN5-GP Product code on Newegg: N82E16811119160

    Cpu: Intel I7 Quad core Sandy Bridge Processor 95W. 3,4 Ghz (3.8 Ghz with Turbo Boost) Model:BX80623I72600 Product code on Newegg:N82E16819115071

    I am planning on building a strong pc for high end gaming but i am not sure on what kiond of parts I should choose. First of all are these good parts and would you recommend any other full towers. Also I do not know much about gpu's and would you recommend any of those for me. Also what tools do i need for a pc once i build it other than a screwdriver and do you have any tips for building them? Thanks in advanced.
  2. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10


    Knowing your budget and location (I presume US since you mentioned Newegg) would be excellent.

    Some questions:
    1. Do you want a silent-and-sleek build? or a more in-your-face gaming rig?
    2. How much storage do you think you'll need? there's no point in adding a 3TB HDD if you'll never fill it.
    3. Do you need a display to go with your new build? how about other accessories?
    4. Will you also be using your PC on workstation tasks such as media encoding, 3D modelling, image editing?

    Regarding your suggestions, the Cooler Master HAF 932 is a very good case, but a bit on the expensive side (depends on your budget).
    Here are some alternatives:
    - you might like this one.
    - this one
    - or this one
    It all depends if you demand excellent cooling or quiet computing.

    The i7 2600 is a powerful CPU, but expensive and not exactly the best one Intel has.
    Depending on your budget, you might want a Sandy Bridge-E CPU (supports quad-channel RAM) which will offer the best performance you can get or a Sandy Bridge i5 2500K which offers the best bang for the buck atm.

    We TechSpotters know quite a bit about GPUs and will help you choose the one that suits your needs. :grinthumb
    But we really need to know your budget.

    This is a very good and comprehensive up-to-date guide to assembling a modern PC.

    PS: TechSpot's buying guide is an excellent read as well.
  3. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    Ok well im not entirely sure on my budget yet but somewhere from $900 - $1200 and I am in the US. Im looking to build a gaming rig that can handle alot but I still want to keep a watch on the price. But one that could handle all the really high level graphics settings and then still be able to handle more. For storage I was thinking anywhere from 300gb - 500gb at the highest probably would need 500 that would just be if I had some leftover money. Im probably thinking of getting an ssd but maybe an hdd if its cheaper. For ram I'm thinking 6 - 8gb but I dont know how much I would really need. I would need a display but I wouldnt include that into the budget. Im getting a new mouse now so i wont need one. Would you reccomend any wireless headsets? But ones that dont run on non rechargable batteries. And I will be using it for gaming, videos and some of the other things mentioned in 4. I probably will change my cpu because it is very expensive. Also how fast would I really need a cpu and how fast does 3.4Ghz feel like? I am using a 2.0Ghz processor right now so I have no idea how fast it is. I will probably change this or make a new post because I have some things to look at and thanks for the help.

    Tower: Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full Tower
  4. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    So my tower will be the cooler master storm trooper. And for my cpu I was thinking the Sandy Bridge i5 2500K. It says its 3.3ghz and then 3.7ghz with turbo boost what does that mean? Can I turn on turbo boost whenever i want to? Also for the cooling I want it so its not really loud but i dont mind a little noise though. I also dont want my pc to overheat. Will the cpu I chose on this post be able to handle things like crysis or skyrim on high graphics settings? Next thing I need help with is the gpu.
  5. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10

    Intel Turbo Boost is a feature in Intel's latest CPUs that basically increases the frequency of one or more of the CPU's cores when in a high-performance state.
    This is done automatically by the CPU.

    Higher CPU frequency does not always equal higher performance. The CPU's micro-architecture is typically the most important aspect that governs real-world performance.
    ex.: A dual-core Pentium 4 @ 3GHz is much slower than a Core 2 Duo @ 2.4GHz.

    Yes, the i5 2500K is a very good choice. Overclocks nicely too.

    Unless you'll be using your PC for workstation purposes, you'll have a hard time using more than 4GB of RAM with today's current games (unless you like to multitask a lot), but to be future-proof, 8GB should be more than enough.

    Well then you're in luck, because nVidia recently released a video card at a very nice price point, the GTX 560 Ti Core 448.

    Given your budget, adding an SSD would be too expensive.

    I honestly don't recommend wireless headsets as those that run on rechargeable batteries don't last very long and/or are pretty expensive.
    Since you said you would also use them for videos (and I also presume music), the ASUS ROG Vulcan ANC is an excellent headset. It's wired, but you can disconnect the cable from the headset when you're not using it.
    It also features noise cancelling, which really helps immerse you in games by limiting exterior noise (like case fans or the AC).
    It's not exactly on the cheap side, but you get what you pay for in audio quality.
    Razer and Logitech also make pretty decent gaming headsets.

    This rig fits your demands nicely:

    Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.1) LGA 1155 ~ $150
    CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K @ 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) ~ $219
    RAM: Corsair 2x 4GB DDR3 @ 1600Mhz Dual Channel Memory Kit ~ $39
    Video card: ASUS EN GTX560 Ti Core 448 320-bit 1280MB GDDR5 ~ $310
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB ~ $95
    Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ~ $190
    PSU: Corsair TX650 650W ~ $90 (after rebate)
    TOTAL: $1,094
    And I would also recommend a good after-market cooler for the CPU:
    Noctua NH-D14 ~ $90
    TOTAL (with cooler): $1,184

    With this rig you'll max Crysis 2 @ Full HD and play BF3 @ Full HD with high-ultra settings.
    Skyrim doesn't require very demanding hardware so not only will you be able to max it out with this rig, but even use some clever tweaks and mods to further improve image quality.

    There are some areas where you can trim on costs, such as exchanging the motherboard with something cheaper, but then you'll lose overclocking potential, features and possibly long-term system stability.
    You could also go for a cheaper case and a cheaper (but less performing) video card such as the AMD 6870 or the nVidia GTX 560 Ti.
    For the rig above, I recommend a 650W PSU, but if you change the GPU to one of those mentioned above, a 550W PSU would be sufficient as well.

    You'll also need a 64bit OS to use more than 4GB of RAM.
  6. herpaderp

    herpaderp TS Booster Posts: 154

    Everything looks good captain, but what with SB being dual-channel only, he should either get a 4GB or 8GB kit.

    To HavingPhun, follow captain's advice, I might chime in later with some alternatives to the GPU and PSU selection so you can save a few more dollars, but captain's recommendations are already quite good.
  7. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10

    Yup, my bad. :p
    I've edited my previous post with some dual-channel memory.
  8. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    I still have to look at all of this. But could this all fit in a mid tower?
  9. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    So the cooler is all I would need for cooling? Also does the case come with the dvd drive and all the usb and other input/output ports.

    So will this one be faster than a 2.0ghz?
  10. herpaderp

    herpaderp TS Booster Posts: 154

    The case comes with fans, and the Noctua cooler captain linked exhausts to its side, towards the case's rear exhaust fan, so it should be fine for cooling. The case does not come with drives of any sort, and while it does feature input ports on the front, they have to be connected to the motherboard to function, so really, all input/output connectivity is based on your motherboard.

    About the question on frequency, of course this processor is "faster" than 2.0GHz, it's clocked at 3.3GHz, lol. What he was referring to was that different processor micro-architectures perform differently. In his example, he meant that a Core 2 Duo processor at 2.4GHz was faster than a dual core Pentium 4 based processor clocked at 3GHz due to efficiency improvements in the newer m.architecture that allowed the Core 2 Duos to do more work per clock cycle. This metric is called IPC, or instructions per clock. and in this current generation of processors, Intel's Sandy Bridge processors (2nd generation core i3,i5,i7) are the current performance leaders due to having superior IPC compared to AMD's Phenom X4/6 and Bulldozer processors.
  11. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10

    Despite being a mid-tower, the CM Storm Trooper is a very spacious case.

    To be more specific, the case comes with:
    • Front: 200mm Red LED fan x 2, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA
    • Top: 200mm fan x 1, 1000 RPM, 23 dBA (converted to 2 x 120 / 140 mm fans)
    • Rear: 140mm fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 19 dBA (converted to 120mm fan)
    Additionally, you can mount four more fans (but the case doesn't come with them):
    • Side: 120mm fan x 2
    • Bottom: 120mm fan x 2
    Cooling wise, you won't need the extra four fans, as the ones the case comes with by default are sufficient for your setup.

    Regarding the CPU, it already comes with a stock Intel top-down cooler. The cooler I suggested is far more performing vs. the stock cooler and also quieter at full load.
    I recommend getting that cooler if you plan to OC the CPU, which you should do since the 2500K has an unlocked multiplier and it's not so difficult to OC it.
  12. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    Ok thanks, I was confused there.

    So the case come with the ports in front and all the usual ones in back to hook up the the screen and other things?

    Found a dvd drive: How do I make a link? the button doesn't work. Also do you think a blue ray drive is worth it or should I go for a cheaper dvd drive?
  13. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10

    The case itself supports 2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 ports, as well as an e-SATA port and the standard audio in/out ports. Keep in mind you need to connect these ports to the motherboard, they don't just magically work.
    The motherboard comes with plenty of USB ports, an Ethernet port (for the internet cable) and has an integrated 7.1 audio solution with all the necessary ports.
    The display, you hook to the video card.

    While Blu-ray drives are a lot cheaper than they were a while back, they're still expensive compared to standard DVD drives.
    Also, you need to make sure your new display will be HDCP compatible or else you won't be able to play any Blu-ray content on that display.

    Regarding the drive you linked, that's not a DVD drive, that's BD (Blu-ray) drive. It supports CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
  14. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    ok well i call every kind of drive a dvd drive for some reason. :)
  15. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    I know its been awhile but I forgot to say thanks. Hope ill get this pc soon. Also one last question. How many years do you think this pc would last before I would have to upgrade it? Thanks.
  16. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10

    No problem.

    Depends on what you use it for:
    • if it's full-HD gaming, then you might want to wait for the top tier new-gen GPUs (AMD 7900 / nVidia GTX 600) to reach better prices so you would get a better bang for your buck. Also, moving to the new Ivy Bridge (3rd gen I-series) CPUs might be a good move for the long run;
    • if you just want to play a game from time to time and still want to enjoy great visuals, then the current build should fit the bill nicely (some time has passed since I posted that system so it will actually be a bit cheaper).
    Back to your question, this is difficult to answer since I don't happen to have a crystal ball to tell me the future :p , but judging from announced games and the current trend... I'd say at least 3-4 years from now on... and even then you might just have to get a higher-performing/newer GPU to enjoy whatever new graphics effects will be introduced then, which in turn should net you some extra 2-3 years of life.
  17. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    Since I might not have money to buy this anytime soon I will probably get some better hardware. What would the price be now?
  18. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 287   +10

    Huh... looks like I was wrong: the price remains the same. :p

    You'd think they would cut old prices with new hardware out, but no change yet.
  19. Tabbywabby

    Tabbywabby TS Member Posts: 25

    Hey captain,
    Why did you go with a p67 board when you could get a Z68 Asrock (still basically Asus) Gen 3 Extreme 3 for $121.
    As for overclocking on this mobo its great, Asrock extreme tuning utility lets you change voltages speeds, and multipliers while the system is fully launched, so no more BIOS booting. And has a clr cmos button right on the output / input plate.

    Also why the 560 TI 448? He can get a XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB for 200 with rebate? Mine (single card) maxes out anything that I have tried, including Civ V, Skyrim, BF3, Dus-EX, Mass effect 3, ect.

    He would then have enough for a 60gb SSD to cache with the Z68, which gives a rather large performance increase over a single HDD. Like an OCZ Agility 3 for $50

    I like your PSU but if he's not an enthusiast then there are some really good case / PSU deals out there from manufacturers like Antec and their CP line PSUs.
  20. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    Drop the Noctua cooler. He didn't even know what Turbo boost was so let him learn about overclocking later on after his build is together.
  21. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    Well I wasn't sure how turbo boost worked and if I'm right overclocking is making a cpu, gpu, etc faster by increasing its voltage/frequency. But I probably would want the noctua cooler so I don't have to worry about getting another later. Also I realized that I still have alot to learn about pc's.
  22. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    Yes, those are the basics of overclocking. Noctua is a beast cooler and it just doesn't make sense to get one unless you're going for extreme overclocks (which requires more than just voltage and multiplier adjustments). It's your money, but once you have it in your hands and see how massive it is, you're gonna be wondering why you bought it. And in the long term when new sockets come out, that cooler is not guaranteed to support them. By then Noctua will want you to buy their newest cooler. It would be like driving a Ferrari and never going over 60MPH. I'd recommend the $30 to $50 range for a beginner such as yourself.
  23. Sucoi

    Sucoi TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Agree with hahahanoobs, since u never made a oc starting with a noctua wouldnt be good, I mean u can spend this money elsewhere cause if ur going to buy a noctua u need a case that fit it, and they arent to cheap. a good one is the cooler master evo 212 if im not wrong.
  24. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    Thank you both I agree with you. I don't want to waste my money. Thanks for the heads up.
  25. Havingphun

    Havingphun TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 84

    So I have just come into some money for a new computer and now getting this is a real possibility. My new budget is $1500. I could go above that but I dont want to. So far these are the parts:

    Motherboard: Z68 Asrock extreme 3 gen 3: $121

    CPU: Intel Core I5 2500k sandy bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz with Turbo Boost): $219

    RAM: Corsair 2x 4GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz dual memory kit: I'm not sure which one this is can someone find the link for me? It was $39

    GPU: Asus en Gtx Ti Core 448 , 1280Mb memory: $310

    HDD: Seagate Barrucuda 7200.12 500 GB: $95 - This is the link to the 25 pack Its the only one I can find. Is there another hard drive I could use?

    Case: Cooler Master Storm trooper: $140

    Power cord: Corsair TX650 650Watt: $90

    SSD for caching: OCZ Agility 3: $65

    OS: Windows 7 home premium 64 - bit: $100

    BD Drive: Lite - on 12x BD drive: $50 - Is this drive reliable, will it work with the other parts.

    Keyboard: Logitech K200: $21

    Mouse: Logitech Optical USB Mouse B100 : $12

    Monitor: ASUS VH232H Glossy Black 23" 5ms Widescreen Full HD 1080p: $160

    So all of that would be: $1422

    I have a few questions and things:

    1. Can someone find the ram mentioned earlier I can't find it?
    2. What other HDD can I use since the only thing I can find on the barrucuda is a 25 pack?
    3: Since I have extra money now would it be worth it to move back up to the Asus P8P67 Motherboard? What would be the difference?
    4. Could you guys please check to make sure all of these parts will work together and that they are all fit together.
    5. Do you guys have any suggestions for this pc and its parts? Is there anything missing?


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