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Problem officer? First time computer build!

By teddyzaper ยท 52 replies
Sep 22, 2011
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  1. Ok, so ive read, watched videos, and read some more. I think i finaly understand what goes on in a computer, so i've decided to make one. I have chosen some items, but i need help because not only is it over my budget by about $110, but i also have no clue if these items are compatable and if i am putting my money towards the items it should be going to. This computer is for gaming, WoW, GW2, LoL, Diablo 2, and others. So, withought further adue, here are my choices.

    Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277 Should i get 2 pairs, or just stay with the 4gb?

    Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115220 This is the most expensive item, should i stick with the i5, or can i go with an i3?

    Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131783 nothing much to say about it, does it work with everything else?

    Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811322027 Will it fit all of my components nicely?

    video card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814141117 How is this card, will it work with my other items?

    Hard drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533

    Optical Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106274 only thing i need this for is DL windows and maybe some games (age of mythology)

    Power supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016 Enough wattage?

    How does that look. Be critical and please help me lower the price of this.
  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    Your monitor (Samsung SyncMaster 906BW from the other thread) runs a max resolution of 1440 x 900 so unless you plan on changing it for a larger monitor which supports higher reoslution you can look at lower specification graphics cards and check their performance in reviews/Tomshardware/Anantech sites to see if it would be suitable for your gaming needs. I suggest looking at benchmarks and search for the graphics card you are considering and the games you play to see how it performs at the 1440x900 (or similar 1680 x 1050, 1366 x 768m etc.) resolution.

    Just one, 4GB should be fine. Plus you can always get more later if you need it. For gaming anything over 8GB is generally considered overkill. I'd start with the 4GB.

    If I remember correctly i5 is a quad core (4 CPU cores in one) part. i3 is dual core, with this is in mind more and more games are utilizing multiple processor cores so I wouldn't recommend anything below a 4 core processor. If you want to save some money I'd go for an AMD quad core or 6 core CPU instead of the i3. You won't need the i5 for the games you have listed but it is a better performer. What you are looking at is from the first generation of Intel i processors (socket 1156). I would look at the i5 2400 (socket 1155) instead. ~$15 more for on average 20% better performance, but we can possibly make savings on your other choices.

    For a cheaper option either and AMD Phenom II processor (X4 or X6, 4 or 6 core), or one of the new A8 ones with the Fusion core.
    Phenom II X4 could be had for about ~$50 less than the i5 ($129.99) and a AM3+ motherboard for under $100 and give similar gaming performance in most current titles. And AMD will be releasing a new processor range(Bulldozer) that will use the same AM3+ socket so gives you room for upgrades in the future.

    With the AMD A8 option (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103942 - $139.99) you could do what we discussed in the other thread and get that system without a graphics card and use the built in GPU, and get a graphics card later on if you felt you needed it. Only thing is I haven't really been that interested in the Fusion APU(combined CPU and GPU) series from AMD and have no knowledge of their roadmap for upgrades for the FM1 socket motherboards it is paired with.

    You have picked out a socket 1155 motherboard so your original CPU choice (socket 1156) wouldn't have been compatible. It's a different version of the one I have in my computer (Asus P8P67 Pro). A good choice. Although you can get cheaper motherboards the Asus is a good choice in my opinion. I'd maybe look at the Z68 chipset motherboards. This is a newer intel chipset and allows for the use of the graphics core that comes on the i5 processor. I believe most motherboard manufacturers are producing boards with "graphics switching" that allows the use of the low power GPU core when just doing stuff in Windows/OS and the dedicated graphics card when gaming. This saves a little on your electricity bill and means you don't have to listen to graphcis cards fan spinning when your on facebook/email etc. It's not going to be good enough for gaming but it also gives you a relatively free backup in case anything goes wrong with your graphics card,

    Perhaps - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128520 $99.99
    Or - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128502 (with USB 3.0 if you think you'll need to use fast external hard drives or other devices) - $113.99

    I have no affinity to Gigabyte. Just they are the most recognized and liked brand with a low price for a Z68 based motherboard. This lets you use the i5 graphics core if needed (same as H67) and like the P67 chipset it allows for overclocking. The i5 2400 processor itself doesn't allow for overclocking but if you can have the feature available for maybe an upgrade to a faster processor (i5 2500K, i7 2600K or future overclockable K processors) in the future for the same price as a similar featured H67 motherboard then you might as well have it, no? ;)

    Yes, but there are cheaper and just as good options - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811815006 $24.99 special deal
    or at a similar price you could get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119161 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163168
    Generally in cases the names to look for are Coolermaster, Antec, Silverstone, Lian-Li, Thermaltake and some others. I've never heard of Sentey so would be inclined to go with one of the bigger names.

    It will work. The current generation of AMD graphics cards are the 6*** series. I'd opt for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150542 for the same price as the card you selected plus it comes with a voucher for a free game!

    Fine choice. I've personally favored Samsung Spinpoint disks for sometime. The WD one is listed as SATA 6GB. Only really Solid State Drives (SSD, uses memory chips instead of magnetic disk platters) really take advantage of this, a standard mechanical disk won't benefit from it (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong). Plus SATA 6GB connections on the motherboard are backwards compatible and will allow SATA 3GB devices to work through them. I'd personally go for a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185 - $59.99, $20 saving.

    There are two internal device connection standards. Old one is IDE, current is SATA. For this reason get the SATA version - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106276. I would suggest using the CD/DVD drive from your old PCs but it seems that a SATA to IDE adapter will cost almost as much as a new cheap SATA optical drive...

    Antec, good choice. I think that should be enough wattage as the graphics card selected isn't a high power consumption model.

    Post what your total is for all the components. Others might be able to suggest builds for the same money that you might prefer.
  3. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    See if you can get a 6000 series AMD card for the same price. I did the research recently and you can get a 6000 series card for the same price that performs a bit better. That powersupply looks good for the videocard your pairing it with. I have faith in Antec built up over the years.
  4. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    BTW an i5 will piss all over an i3 all day. The i5 will be a strong runner everywhere where as my i3 on my laptop often falls behind (first gen). I'd go with an AMD solution if you need to save money, that way you can stay with a quad core, otherwise if you can spring it I'd get a core i5. Thats what I'll be getting when Ivy Bridge is released and I hooked my brother up with one.
  5. teddyzaper

    teddyzaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    ok, i just read this, i have to go to school, but i will re-read this and repost all the updates
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

  7. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    So if you were to use Ritwik7's build, but reuse your old parts, such as the hdd, case, dvdrw, and psu you would be saving $160 and he didnt budget in a dvdrw.

    Also know that more (cpu) Cores does not mean more speed. Most applications arent written to utilize more than 2 CPU cores. Programmers must specifically write the program to utilize say 2, 4 or 6 cores. If the program wasnt written for example 4 cores you'll see the workload split amongst the 4 cores in Task Manager(CTRL+ALT+DEL). So your computer can still handle a greater work load as all the cores wont be running at 100%, so when you ALT+TAB to the desktop in the middle of a game it'll happen in a snap. But the program wont be harvesting all of every cores processing power which would yield higher performance. 3D Rendering programs, Photoshop, video editing software, and other things are written for many cores/cpus, but most likely not things that you'll be using.

    Do a search on google for "AMD Phenom X6 review" and you'll get a ton of reviews to choose from. Take a look at how much stronger the Core i5 is in tests compared to the X6. It pretty much kills it everywhere. And its only $25 more, so dont be fooled into thinking the X6 is better because its not unless you can really use those two extra cores.

    Also if you buy DDR3 1600 RAM for your Core i5, which utilizes DDR3 1333 natively, you can enter the world of overclocking with ease. That is because the 1600MHz RAM will start at 1333MHz, so its downclocked, then as you raise the Front Side Bus (FSB) [which is how you overclock a traditional CPU (unless you buy a K series which has an unlocked multiplier; FSB x multipler = CPU speed)] you wont be overclocking the RAM. This will give you enormous headroom because your only hardware set to stop your CPU from being clocked higher (faster) is the motherboard and the CPU up until the FSB reaches 1600MHz. Then you'd be overclocking the memory if its 1600 and you set it to a higher speed. Note: This is all done in the BIOS and nothing will fry unless you raise voltages. There is no reason to do this unless you are trying to reach abnormally high overclocks that the device cant reach at stock voltages. Generally its a bad idea to raise the voltage, because it creates a lot more heat. You have to know what your doing by researching what others have done.

    I raise this point because Core I5's are notorious, if not famous for being able to overclock up to say 4.5GHz easily. This can equate to 25% more performance, if not 30%. But you wont want the stock cooler, the chip will get hotter running those higher frequencies, because the transistors inside of it are flipping on and off and a much higher rate of speed, so more power is moving through the chip. So you spend $60 on an aftermarket cooler and OC it up to 4.4 or 4.8GHz, whatever you like. You simply pay attention to the heat of the chip with software that'll show you what it's temperature is. Do you do this while stress testing by running a demanding application such as a 3D game or a program like Prime95 which puts the cpu under 100% load. If the CPU doesnt get above 70*C, and Windows remains stable, your golden.
  8. teddyzaper

    teddyzaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    im sorry agissi, but i didnt understand much of what you said in those paragraphs. Thank you so much for posting that much just for some guy looking for help online, but i cant understand it unless you dumb it down, at least for the time being. I got that 4 core is better then 2 core, and that its better then the AMD, which is great to know. but the 4th and 5th paragraphs confuse me.

    I would prefer not to re-use anything but the CD drive on my old computers because if i am going to put all my money into this, i want it to look good, hence the point of the window on the case.
  9. teddyzaper

    teddyzaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    From what ive read, i think i would prefer to go with intel. Im forming the new build right now, so ill post it soon. Im going to try it with the tweaks that arris posted minus the case. Ill see what that puts me at price wise.
  10. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    When the computer first starts it'll say hit F1 or DEL for BIOS/setup. When you go in there you can adjust settings. On a homemade computer's BIOS, under one of the menus, there are options to adjust the speed of the CPU. Manufacturer's like Dell or HP dont give you this option because they want you to go out and buy a new computer, not make the one you have faster ;) You will see settings for "FSB" which stands for Front Side Bus. The memory and front side bus run in tandem with each other, thats why you get faster memory to raise the front side bus speed. If you didnt get faster memory, when you raised the speed of the front side bus, the memory's speed would increase with it, making it run faster than its intedned to. If you start at 1333MHz RAM and start raising it's speed, your computer will eventually crash and/or not boot perhaps around 1400MHz. This is why we get 1600MHz memory to start with ;) Think of the FSB as the speed of the communications across the motherboard. The multiplier is just a set number dependent on the type of CPU you buy., ex.23. If you get a Core i5 2600k its multiplier might be 23. The FSB (say 200 Mhz) x the multi (23), 200x23=4600. Thats 4600MHz or 4.6GHz. The new speed of the CPU if the bios and multiplier are set to those settings. The multiplier effects the CPU alone, it doesnt make anything else run faster like the Front Side Bus speed does. Thats the jist of it, I dont really know it through and through myself but overclocking I can do.

    Remember AMD's new FX series chips are coming out October 14th or whatever it says on the front page, you might wanna wait for those. AMD has been working on them for a decade or so it seems. Hopefully the Fusion chips will get a price cut and the $175 6 core FX chip will really deliver some performance. I wonder how it'll do in games, and if it has a good GPU bundled into the cpu die.
  11. teddyzaper

    teddyzaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    ok, so i have tweaked everything and i think ive got something that i like and works:

    Case -$59

    Motherboard -$69

    Processor -$129

    The same memory -$32

    Video card -$83

    Hard drive -$59

    The same power supply -$54

    Total: $491.93

    Perfect total, i can save a tiny bit for shipping. Will i need anything else other then these pieces, and will these pieces work, any recomendations?

    Also, i would like, if possible to be able to run 2-3 screens on this computer. Is there add-ons i can do to this setup to make it possible in the future?
  12. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    You're saving $30 over my build, but getting yourself a much inferior rig in terms of your motherboard/GPU/PSU.

    I suggest that you only swap out the CPU from my build and factor in an X4 965 or 955. That will pretty much cost you the same as above.

    And I agree with what Agissi said in regards of the X6. More cores does not really make a CPU better. However, at that price point, the X6 is a steal.
  13. teddyzaper

    teddyzaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    when i look at your build some items are more expensive then you posted. thats why i did that.
  14. teddyzaper

    teddyzaper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    When i added yours together i got $527 w/o the case ($57). this is way to much over my budget.
  15. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

  16. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    I like what you've picked out, I think that'll work well. I looked over everything, socket matches, memory is a good call (its never been cheaper than it is now), powersupply is a wonderful choice, its price point is awesome given that its modular and it supports 8pin power for that 125watt Phenom. The motherboard looks great as MSI has served me well in the past. Good job your good to go with the exception of a dvdrw drive. Those are only $20.
  17. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Mail-in rebates suck, over half the time they never come back.
  18. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    @ Agissi - Don't you think the OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 at $49.99 is a better bargain over the Antec? Also, it's modular.
  19. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Ok. Did not know that.
  20. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    And thats nice to see a few titles may utilize hexacore but its also 33% more expensive. And if hes primarily building this for wow it'll play wow plenty fine.

    But seriously if I were you I would build a rig with one of AMD's brand new Fusion chips anyday over a Phenom. You wont need a videocard and it'll play wonderfully for you, then if you wanna upgrade to a videocard later you can, plus you'll have a much more modern socket (Socket F or something) that you may be able to put a better chip in later w/o upgrading the motherboard, AMD is really good about that. Where as the Phenom is about to be obsolete in about 2 weeks.
  21. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    And the OCZ psu is slightly higher quality and a bit better yeah, but for the rig he's building which isnt very power demanding the Antec will do just fine. I say this because the Antec is $50 and the OCZ is $75. Your better off saving the $25. I wouldnt count on the rebate even with my fingers crossed.
  22. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Would definitely depend on what games you play. The current generation Llanos are decent.
  23. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    What are you talking about? How would it depend on the games you play? The Fusion is either going to be on par or better than the Phenom, atleast thats my educated guess from the numerous reviews I tend to read. Its gonna have better upgrade-ability and probably use less power.

    A Fusion would do him well now and allow him to toss in a better videocard later when he plays a new game he likes without having to throw out the $75 one hes about to buy.
  24. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    I'm talking about the graphics capabilities of those chips. Not their processing ability.

    I'm looking forward to the Bulldozer platform. Hopefully the FX series will be a big leap forward.
  25. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Ya me too, sorry for not clarifying. I think the Fusion will do as much as that $75 GPU and probably more processing power than the Phenom offers.

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