TechSpot PC Buying Guide: 2011 Kick Off

By Julio Franco · 107 replies
Jan 12, 2011
Post New Reply
  1. I'm getting pretty much the luxury PC, with a few changes (more RAM for instance, and I already have all the peripherals so I won't be getting any of those). My question is this: besides the OS, what else do I need to buy to actually put this PC together? I've got a case, a mobo, processor, hard drives, disc drives, GPU, RAM, and power supply. Most of them the ones right here on this page. What else do I need to get? Any cables, thermal compound, etc? I've never built a PC before, but I'm pretty competent with them (I've upgraded video cards, power supplies, and RAM in several of my past PC's and even swapped out hard drives).
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Cables are included with the motherboard (2 x SATA 3Gb, 2x SATA 6Gb). You only need one of each for the harddrives and one each for the optical drives (hdd's and optical drives usually ship with cables also unless they are OEM). The M4E also includes cable ties for chassis cable management
    Thermal compound (TIM) is pre-applied to the Intel stock cooler and most aftermarket coolers usually include a syringe of TIM in the package.

    For a stock build you shouldn't need to add anything else to the list unless you're modding (cable sleeving, shrinkwrap tubing, motherboard slot protectors etc...)
  3. Thanks! I thought so, but I wanted to be absolutely certain.

    The only real changes I made to the system were upgrading the RAM and the PSU, which I upgraded to 16 GB (4x4) (I do a lot of heavy duty music work, and trust me, 16 GB is not too much for the work I do) and 1000W respectively. Since I didn't have to get a monitor or peripherals or anything, the increase in price was negligible and was a bit below $3,000. I'll still have to get an OS, but that won't be so bad.
  4. The Sandy Bridge has been recalled, as have all motherboards supporting it. You may want to update this article to replace the processor and motherboard, for the sake of people that want to buy a PC *now*.

    Bonus points if everything else on the list is compatible with it, though.
  5. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    LOL nice try :p
  6. why isnt the intel i7 980x extreme on the list?
  7. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    Because we don't think it's worth $1,000.
  8. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    I am yet to see a desktop processor that is ;)
  9. I'm surprised you guys are listing the RealSSD C300 series as the SSD in the luxury system, considering the current releases of the SF-2000 based SSDs and the new marvell controller with double the read/writhe speeds of the last gen drives :)

    While they do cost a bit more, i recon that if your spending 500$ on an SSD you want the best, and paying 100$ for double the performance is not going to trouble you!
  10. Oh, this one is about a month old.. duh! Sorta explains the outdatedness on the SSD thing :)
  11. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    You're right -- thanks for the note. We've added the Intel 510 Series to the Luxury system and will likely swap it out for the Vertex 3 when it starts shipping.
  12. example1013

    example1013 TS Enthusiast Posts: 265

    EDIT: Actually nevermind. Although I noticed that you guys suggested an Asus motherboard in the Enthusiast section, and it looks like the P8P67 PRO Rev 3 is pretty much identical to the MSI board currently posted, if brand really makes a difference.
  13. with the MSI P67A-GD55 motherboard currently unavailable what would you recommend?
  14. grvalderrama

    grvalderrama TS Enthusiast Posts: 194

    I have a question... The 5.1 Logitech Z-5500 speakers in my homeland cost around U$S1000 dollars... (yeah... freaking expensive) for that kind of money I can go and buy Sony Muteki HT-DDW5500 of 1510W (vs. Logitech's 500W).
    Well, what does the logitech has that could possibly exceed Sony's HT? I've already asked the fellows of mercadolibre why they have it so damn expensive... Thanks!
  15. Luay

    Luay TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +13

    Luxury system sounds good after a little (game) tuning:

    i5 2500k $225 (i7 overkill)
    OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB $300 (A little data management won't hurt)
    HD 6950 CF $600 HIS IceQ Turbo 880mhz, or MSI Twin Frozr III 850mhz, Asus Direct CUII 810mhz.
    Asus Sabertooth P67 $250 (Asus revolution only if you want 3 or more cards, UD7 layout is a fail)
    Silverstone Raven 03 case $150 (a prediction)
    Seasonic X Series 850W for $220
    Noctua NHC14 heatsink $120 (quietest)
    G.skill sniper low voltage1600 RAM $100
    Cheaper IPS panel that wouldn't tax your video card, Asus 1920x1200 Pro Art $500
  16. Disagree with setup as is, one 580 is not enough for 2560x1600.

    SLI or crossfire setup is p. much mandatory to get high FPS on this resolution, and by 'high' I do not mean 30fps.

    You mention that you used the 5970 last year, which is often faster than a 580gtx so performance in some areas goes down year-to-year. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    "but 30fps is buttery smooth..."

    Yes the 590 is poor value, but so is the 580 compared to the 6970 (performance not that much worse, a lot cheaper has eyefinity/more ram ect). 590 would be a better choice considering this is a system "with virtually no price cap".

  17. Coodu

    Coodu TS Booster Posts: 173

    Just wondering how often this gets updated as I'm looking at building a new system in a few months time, who knows how much things will have changed by then as usual.
  18. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    It's typically updated biweekly unless there's a major product launch.

    We chose the GTX 580 because it offers roughly the same performance as the 5970 in a single-GPU configuration. However, in retrospect, I agree that the GPU performance of our highest-end build shouldn't remain static on-year. I'll look into it. Thanks for the feedback.
  19. erm

    6990 surely?
    or 580 sli if you're allowed two seperate gpus.
  20. Luay

    Luay TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +13

    Another month, another update. Problem is, we don't remeber what last month's build was, so we can't tell what was updated.
  21. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    Besides updating prices, minor text adjustments etc. here are some of the more noteworthy changes from from the last two updates:

    Entry-Level Rig received Radeon HD 6770 over 5770 (lol).
    Enthusiast's PC received 8GB of DDR3 RAM over 4GB.
    Enthusiast's PC received text for Z68 chipset and Intel SRT.
    Enthusiast's PC received 27" Asus -- previous 27" LG deactivated.
    Luxury System received Gigabyte Z68X-UD7 motherboard.
    Luxury System received better-valued G.Skill RAM over Corsair.
    Luxury System received dual-GTX 570s over single GTX 580.
    Luxury System received Corsair HX Series 850W PSU over 750W.
    Luxury System received text for Logitech Z906, but Z-5500 remains our pick.
  22. Luay

    Luay TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +13

    In that case, I have a few comments about the luxury system.

    If you gave me the $1000 for the UD7 and GTX570 SLI, then I would spend it on a WS Revolution and HD6950 2GB Tri-fire. Same price, enough on the Corsair HX850 PSU and for a resolution higher than 2560x1600.

    As for the $1500 for the U3011 30", I would spend it on three Asus Pro art 24" displays.

    There are areas where cutting back won't affect performance in any noticeable way for games. $100 less for i5 2500k, $200 less for 120GB SSD or even $400 less for 64GB, and $150 less for a 1TB HDD.

    Don't need blu-ray on PC yet. When the software support comes, the quality will go so further up and the prices so further down, you will regret buying it when nothing was going for it. Spend the money on a proper home theater setup. It's a better experience and better for your eyes, ears and back. Another $90 less.
  23. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Either would work really…

    Personal opinion but I find it hard to believe that anyone would get a Dell U3011 and then decide that three 24” monitors were a better way to go. That said everyone is different…

    May not affect performance in a big way but I think the idea was to create more of a well-rounded system and let the readers change the little things to suit their needs, I believe you have already done that ;)

    Again Matt did not write this article just for you, there are plenty of readers who would like this feature and there are plenty that already have it and very much enjoy it :)
  24. No PC buyers guide is any good or complete without recommending AMD as an alternative option.

    Amd = best price for performance

    techspot = incomplete
  25. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    But the idea is to recommend the best performance/value option available so I cannot see how your point makes sense. Why complicate the guide with a not as good secondary option for everything?

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...