My first PC build...

By jim8193 · 20 replies
Jul 28, 2011
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  1. ... in the shopping cart ...

    Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced
    Corsair Pro Series Gold AX850
    Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 LGA 1155 Intel
    Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz
    Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
    EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) (1 or 2)
    OCZ Vertex 3 – MAX IOPS Edition VTX3MI-25SAT3-240G SSD
    Lite-On SATA iHBS212-08 Light Scribe BluRay
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM

    1 EVGA 570 : $2,284.91 -- $65 m/i rebates
    2 EVGA 570s : $2,609.90 -- $90 m/i rebates

    Home PC - work, games, streaming, surfing ...
    ... I'm new to building, so any advice would be greatly appreciated - tia ...
  2. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,673   +413

    Know nothing about it, good luck.:)
  3. samsample

    samsample TS Rookie

    Unless the work you mentioned means 24/7 video processing, that build is incredible overkill. Let's break this down.
    -An i7-2600k will only offer a jump in performance significant enough to justify the $100 more than the i5-2500k if you're doing some serious video encoding on a professional level. The 2600k offers hyperthreading as its main selling point, as well as a slightly higher clock frequency over the 2500k. Both will offer phenomenal performance, but there will be a minimal difference when gaming, and a completely negligible difference when surfing the web.
    -A 240gb SSD? If you don't own a private jet, don't spend that much money on an SSD. The way to use an SSD these days is to install your OS on it, and have an HDD for music, videos, games, etc. Get a 1TB WD Caviar Black and a 60Gb vertex III for your OS.
    -Unless you plan on running a server, or a bunch of virtual machines, you don't need 16GB of RAM. Go with 8, you won't notice a difference at all when gaming or web surfing.
    -TWO superclocked 570s?? To justify that you'd need to have a multi-monitor setup, or be bitcoin mining. In either case, I'd recommend going AMD instead. However, if you're not thinking of either multi-monitor or bitcoin mining, one 570 will destroy anything you throw at it. Also, if you somehow decide one isn't enough, you can always buy another later.
    -I wanted a blu-ray drive until I realized that I would never use it, as I obtain all of my media over the internet. that's personal preference though, get one if you need one.
    -I know it's tempting to want to buy the best of the best, but you do not need to spend $350 on a motherboard. Even $250 is a lot. There are many decent motherboards out there in the $100-200 range.
    -Good case. Buy that.
    -You're not going to need an 850W power supply if you only have one 570, but buying it would leave the possibility of a second 570. The power supply is a bad area to skimp on, it's good to be safe.
    -You didn't mention CPU cooling. If you really spend $2600 on your rig, you'll probably want to spring for water cooling as well. If water cooling isn't for you, at least get an aftermarket heatsink/fan. Stock heatsinks are notoriously awful. will be your best friend for finding good build parts.
    Hope that's not too much to take in. Honestly, unless you bathe in money, don't spend this much on a computer. You can get a really, really good rig for ~$1600. That extra $1000 would almost undoubtedly go to features you don't really need and/or will never use.
  4. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    All in all looks like a well considered selection of components. To decide if you need one or two GTX 570's would depend on what resolution monitor(s) you will be using. It's certainly a high end enthusiast class system but that doesn't mean it's overkill.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    You like spending money huh?
    It has a higher turbo boost, and better binning (probably). I think that there's another important factor, but I can't think of it right now.

    I don't know what you mean by work, but I would use less RAM.,2987.html
    I forgot exactly what this article said, but I think it pointed out the Mushkin chronos deluxe and the Patriot wildfire as the faster drives. I don't know if they used the Vertex 3 max IOPS though.

    I'm also curious as to what monitor and cooler you'll be using.
  6. jim8193

    jim8193 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I really appreciate the replies & suggestions ...

    This PC build will be replacing my "very old" ABS Model 1438 (circa Feb '03) ...
    ...Chiefax BL450 / MSI 648 Max / P4 2.66 / WD Raptor 72 / EVGA GF6200 / Crucial 512 mb DDRAM PC-2700 / VS P225f --- I'm thinking it's about time ...

    A good friend recommended the "build" option for my new PC, so here I am ...
    ... & yes; when you really don't know what's what out there, there is the train of thought to just look for the perceived "best of the best" so to speak, & take that route ...
    This started with a NE shopping basket at about $1,400, & then I read a little more & saw the TechSpot PC Buying Guide "Luxury System" ...
    ... it's just kinda' escalated a little from there ...

    The MotherBoard question does have my head spinning, along with the Graphics choices ...
    I had started down the 1366 path, but switched to the 1155 after reading up a little on the two ...
    I know the additional cooling issue must be addressed, so looking into those options now - fans / water; want to / need to learn more ...
    I'm starting to understand the "less" RAM advice a little, but not sure about the 1600/1866/2000/2133 speed relationship to this system - right now I've changed the basket to 8GB ...
    The monitor(s) will be what it needs to be - the all important end result ...

    I've always thought it's better to have a little more than you think you need, than less than you really require / want ...
    I'm definately not into throwing money away, but would hate to fall short on this project because of not having spent a little more, in the grand scheme of things ...
    ... as is quite obvious from my present PC, I'm not looking to do this again for a while - well, hopefully anyway ...

    Thanks again everyone - I'm looking forward to learning more, & hopefully have a little fun in the process ...
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Monitor: Choose the screen you want first, then decide what GPU you want from there. Do you want one screen, or two, or 3 (in eyefinity)? If its one display, what size? I'd recommend at least 24" if your using one display, maybe even 27" dependant on your budget. At 24-27" the resolution will be 1920x1080/1200, in which case even a HD6870 will play games at full HD and high settings quite comfortably.

    If you want 2 displays, run 2 GPUs, if 3, run 3GPUs or upgrade to GTX580 x2 or HD6990 - you get the idea... If your going for one display only, don't bother with more than one GPU.. Just get a decent one now and have the option to upgrade in future.

    Now on GPU: Given that a HD6870 is sufficient for one display, consider how much you want to futureproof. In my honest opinion 1 GTX570 is absolutely more than enough for the next couple of years at the very least. A HD6970 would also be another very good consideration. I personally would go for the AMD HD6970 due to the higher RAM.

    RAM: 1600MHz DDR3 is plenty fast enough, and 8GB is more than enough. A word of caution; make sure the RAM is on the Memory Compatibility List on your motherboard's support page online. This will ensure it is guaranteed compatible with your motherboard.

    Cooling: Don't bother with water cooling solutions. A decent air cooler will be plenty good enough, along with case fans to help circulate the air. If your not overclocking a stock cooler will be absolutely fine, so save your money.

    Socket: LGA 1155 is Sandy Bridge, and I recommend at your price point to stick to this.

    Unless this PC is for graphics design, or 3D modelling or very serious hardcore gaming etc etc its serious overkill. Its your money though.
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    To repeat what has been said....

    Dump the large expensive SSD.
    Get a smaller SSD for OS + games, max 128Gb and a 1TB or larger mechanical HD for general storage.
    Get 1 top end graphics card, grab another for a cheaper price later on if you need more graphical power.
    You don't mention a PSU, critical component when considering SLi/Crossfire systems. I'd grab an 850W+ one of a reputable brand (Corsair, Antec etc.)
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Just as a side note, I currently use a 64GB SSD for Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, and a few selected programs, and a mechanical hard disk for all my games, and other software. Basically if you want the software to run fast then put it on the SSD.

    Even fully updated with Office 2007 Ultimate installed, and Adobe CS5 master suite I still have 15-20GB spare on the SSD.

    So a high speed 60-90GB SSD would be plenty big enough for OS and software. :)

    As for a mechanical disk, look no further than the Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB versions.
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

  11. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    Looks like all the rational folks have started to chime in, good advice though. I'm probably not as objective as most regarding what constitutes overkill :)
  12. jim8193

    jim8193 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ... big thanks to all that replied - your comments & suggestions have influenced the following alterations to my PC build ...

    Tower Case ....... SilverStone TJ10B-W
    Case Fans ......... Noctua NF-P14 FLX (5)
    Power Supply .... SilverStone Strider 1500
    Motherboard ...... ASUS Maximus IV - Extreme Z / 1155 Z68
    PCU .................. Core i7 2600K 3.4
    PCU Cooling ...... Noctua ??
    RAM ................. Mushkin 8GB 2133 FrostByte 2 x 4GB kit
    GPU ................. ASUS Radeon HD 6950 2GB (2)
    SSD ................. OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120GB
    Hard Drives ....... WD Caviar Black 1TB (2 in Raid 1)
    Multi Drive ......... Plextor PX-L871A
    OS ................... Windows 7 Pro 64
    Monitor ............. HP ZR30w

    ... just a couple of questions of SilverStone US on Monday, & I hope to be good to go ...

    ... edited for a spelling correction ...
  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Firstly, the noctua case fans are expensive. Pretty ridiculous IMO.
    Secondly, I'd pick the KINGWIN Lazer Gold Series LZG-850 850W ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    Thirdly, noctua cpu coolers are also ridiculous IMO.
    Fourth, if you're paying more than $100 USD for that RAM, G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM.
    Fifth, again, Samsung spinpoint F3.
  14. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    And I totally and utterly agree with HK in every respect... Those from him are much better suggestions in comparison with the ones you have in the post above Jim8193.
  15. jim8193

    jim8193 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This is very interesting because one of the questions that I have for SilverStone is about the power supply & the wattage I should look at, & purchase for this PC ...
    I read too many good things about the SilverStone PSUs to not consider & pay attention to them ...
    I also read about a number of system performance type issues from not having enough wattage in the system's power supply - system shutdowns, reboots, voltage ripples & fluctuations; that were apparently corrected (at least in the minds of the system owners) by going with a bigger power supply ...
    ... a couple of owners went as far as to mention that their system was now using less power with the "overkill" power supplies that they had purchased to replace their smaller power supplies ...
    ... as far as the additional cost thing goes ... well, I feel about the same towards this as I do the fans, the cooler, & the memory - this system with the monitor is adding up; & I'm not really concerned about an extra $125-$175 on the PSU, or an extra $40-$60 on the case fans, or an extra $30-$45 on the CPU cooler, or an extra $50-$60 on the memory (best price vs. best price) - even on the high side, those add up to about $325-$350 in the grand scheme of the total cost of this PC / Monitor - that's a little less than, or at about 10% from my total so far ...
    I have not read any thing negative (other than the cost thing) about the SilverStone PSUs, the Noctua fans & coolers, or the Mushkin RAM that would dissuade me from spending a little extra on them - from what I have found, these are all top notch companies putting out top notch products for those that might want them ...

    As far as the HD selection, I was primarily looking at the size of the cache, 64 vs. 32 & the SATA 6 vs. 3 – I’m just the type that thinks, if it doesn’t make a difference, than why are they there ??
    I didn’t see the point of Raptors, so I just thought the Caviars, & their specs; were a good choice - maybe not ...

    I did read the SSD comparison article, which was why I was hesitant to change from the 240 to the 120 – if I read it correctly, it seems that the larger SSDs; in the same series; perform better than the smaller ones - maybe I should go back to the 240GB ...

    ... all I can do is read up on this stuff, try to understand & maybe learn a little, to hopefully help me make my decision(s) on this build – I’m always open to “the why” of things ...
  16. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    i agree with HK you don't want to raid those WD drives samsung drives are better.
  17. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    if you like silverstone then get this CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 this psu id made by silverstone for corsair. Also xfx psu are great what everyone is trying to say is you dont need 1200 watts for that system even with 2 gtx 570s or 6950s 850 watts is plenty and these psu being gold certified means they are far more efficient at producing clean power which means less power is lost as heat.
  18. jim8193

    jim8193 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ... is it the 64mb cache, or the SATA 6, or just the WD Caviar drives themselves ...

    Are there any problems / concerns with a pair of the Seagate Barracuda XT drives in a Raid 1 config ??
  19. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    its just that wd says that the caviar black drives are not made for raid and they tend to drop out of raid sometimes so i would go with the samsung drives imo
  20. jim8193

    jim8193 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for that info ...
    I did a search on "HDDs not made for RAID" & found a few of the discussions with regard to the "desktop HDDs" ...
    ... apparently the WD Caviar Blacks are not the only drives to be concerned about with regards to setting up a SATA RAID - that's pretty disturbing ...
    That bit of info will certainly change my thinking on the HDDs that I will use in this PC, but I do understand that "mirror imaging" is the least worrisome of the RAID configs ...

    I had a RAID5 set-up go down at one of my offices couple a few years back ...
    ... an IMB x-server with a gang of their hot-swap SCSI drives - two of the drives went down, & it really hit the fan around there for a couple of days ...
    ... there was allot of rhetoric & hoopla about the warning & protection mode of the RAID5 not working as it should have; if i remember correctly, it seemed to have something to do with no one believing that 2 drives failed at the same time ...
    ... but anyway; what do I know; that's the kind of stuff that I'm not really up on - I understand the "mirror imaging" of RAID1, but the striping RAIDs are well beyond me ...

    Thanks again for clearing that up for me ...
    ... I will definitely make some phone calls with regards to the SATA HDDs & a RAID1 set up for this PC ...
  21. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I see you like dots as well as spending money.
    The Samsung spinpoint drives (as far as I remember) have a higher platter density, and most likely have more efficiently programmed firmware. Higher platter density means that they can read more information while spinning at the same speed.

    When you're looking at SSD benchmarks, note that many of those values, like high IOPS, doesn't actually matter most of the time. I believe Anandtech even says that in several of their benchmark articles.

    Well you know what, if you need a reason to not waste money on a power supply, tell yourself that power supplies are more efficient the closer they are to their peak load. What does that mean? The silverstone will have a lower efficiency, and will put out more heat when your system is under load, and that will get even worse when it's not.

    Lets count then, just because I'm curious.
    Five of those noctua fans? Maybe...$120 USD extra.
    Silverstone Strider 1500...Not really sure, $200 extra.
    Asus Maximus IV, $110 extra.
    CPU cooler, like, $90 extra haha. Okay, twenty.
    The WD black editions are more expensive I think. Just a little, though I hope you change your mind on them.
    So, $450 USD? You know that if you save money, you can spend it on other things right?

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