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First time BUILD, need suggestions.


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#1 pleurebleu

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:02 PM

Hello everyone,

This is my first time on the forum but it seems like when properly formulating a demand everyone gets a proper answer which looks promising.

Well here I go:

I have never built a computer of my own, all my desktop/laptops were pre-assembled computer from either Dell or Alienware (I know alienware is owned by Dell).

I have a very comfortable (in my opinion) budget of 5,000$ for the computer itself, I can go over for a few hundreds only if necassary.
This computer will have two main purposes:
1- 3D modelling and animation rendering with blender/3dmax.
2- High-end Gaming.

I had started to look into brand such as alienware (the area51-x58) or falcon northwest (mach V), but I am almost sure I'd save a big amount of money if I was to build it myself.
(and I'm not too fan about alienware's case).

Since I've never done that before, I don't really have a base except for what I could select when "building" from an assembler's website.

If I had purchased from falcon northwest (for example), I'd have configured the following pieces:

Alimentation:
1200 Watt, I have no idea about which brand to pick.

Motherboard:
Asus P6T deluce

Processor:
intel i7-975 extreme (3.33ghz)

Liquid cooling for processor (I do intend to overclock):
don't know where to look

Ram: (I will get a 64bit os)
6x2GB 1333Mhz, DDR3 (Don't know what brand to pick)

Storage:
I was going for a 2TB hardrive (7,200rpm)

Optical Drive:
Whatever brand, just need to read/write DVD's correctly

Now the complicated part:
Either 2x ati radeon hd 4870X2
Or 2x geforce gtx295

I am aware of the fact that the 5000series of ati video card will probably be release the incoming week but I haven't found enough information about them, I still have a few questions:

It seems like a 5870 will be beaten (not for much) by a 4870X2. Is the improvement of the drivers after the release going to change the balance?

Knowing that, what's better:

2x 5870 or 2x 4870X2 or 2x gtx295?

I might be upgrading to 2x 5870X2 when they'll come out. I do not realize if there might be any compatibilty issues between the composants of my "wishlist".

I also am concerned on wether mounting a liquid cooling for the cpu is complicated or not.

I am planning on purchasing a 30" monitor with max rez of 2660x1550. (just for info, it might be relevant, I don't know).

I do realize I didn't include the case in my list, neither did I include fans. That's because I don't know what case would be appropriate, and what fans to put in it.

(I'd appreciate a sober case, no fancy neon lights or alien logo).

Thanks for any help!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:45 PM

Well...you have a world of choices to make, with that budget :thumbsup:.

FWIW, my two cents as a somewhat envious onlooker :huh:...

I would not necessarily buy an Asus motherboard. Now that I've had a couple, I tend to think that they are way overrated...as motherboards go. The key with a board (IMO) is to get the features/support that you desire and I definitely think Asus is behind the power curve when it comes to support, if not quality today.

I know that I'm a heretic...burn me at the stake :huh:.

If you want to compare parts/prices...the two websites I would suggest: www.newegg.com and www.tigerdirect.com. Newegg tends to favor more current inventories, TD tends to have more of the not-just-released-today items that some of us crave.

I would never get a 2TB hard drive (I have a 1TB, among others), only because I don't like the idea of having everything on one drive...this is not a fundamentally sound idea, even if hard drive failure is a minor (but consistent) event in the modern world. I prefer to spread that risk around to several hard drives.

I take it that "alimentation" translates as "power supply" in your world B).

I'm done, good luck...the others will have much more to suggest.

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#3 pleurebleu

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:07 PM

Thanks for your input,

I just listed the asus motherboard because it seemd to be a high-end option since falcon northwest was using it as the only option to be coupled with an i7 processor.

I do not have any preference and I am opened to suggestions. (in fact, I plan on purchasing the parts which I will potentially be suggested on this thread).

Thanks for the links, I'll probably check these websites when I'll be in the purchasing state.

Yes, alimentation was meant to be power supply. sorry :huh:

Concerning the storage, I hadn' really thought about it.

I'd definitly go with 2x 1TB or even more smaller hdd's coupled together.

Thanks again :thumbsup:

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:19 PM

For $5000 dollars you can get a NICE PC.

Case: COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - A beautiful case with solid engineering. This allows for expansion with the large GPU's and E-ATX motherboards. $159

Motherboard: ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Believe it or not, one of the less expensive i7 motherboards is also one of the best. This will handle the powerful i7 CPU, DDR3, and allows for both Crossfire and SLI. $169

CPU: Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition Bloomfield 3.33GHz - This is the most powerful CPU on the market, period. This quad core processor is unlocked for easy overclocking. Given the price and the features, this is considered an enthusiast product. $999

CPU Heatsink and Fan: Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - For a high performance PC, an aftermarket CPU heatsink and fan is suggested. Since the CPU can be easily overclocked, which will generate heat, a good fan is needed. $80

Graphics Card: XFX GX295NHWFC GeForce GTX 295 1792MB - This is the best graphics card on the market. It has two GPU's, effectively, this is a single graphics card that comes pre-SLI'd. You can purchase a second card if you wish, but the gains in using quad-SLI (two cards with four GPU cores is quad) are low for what it costs. $479

Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower W0133RU 1200W - This will more than meet the needs of this PC. In fact, you can install a second or third GTX 295 card and still have plenty of power on hand. $364

RAM: G.SKILL Trident 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 - This is the fastest memory the motherboard will accept. You should buy two of these kits to max out the amount of RAM you can have. Also, these come with special heatsinks built-in, perfect for overclocking. $309 ($154 per kit, times two)

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB - Plenty of space. Buy two of these if you want 2TB. $169 ($84 times two drives)

Optical Drive: LG Blu-ray Burner Model BH08LS20 - Even if you don't watch Blu-Ray movies on your PC, a drive that read and write to them is a good idea since the discs hold 40GB or more. This will make backups easier to produce. This drive also reads and writes CD's and DVD's. $180

Operating System: Windows 7 Professional - This comes with two discs, and I suggest installing the 64-bit edition. I don't suggest using the Ultimate edition since for a $100 increase in price you don't get that much more. If you need this PC right away, you can go for Windows Vista Ultimate. $299

Grand Total: $3,214.77

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#5 pleurebleu

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:32 PM

WoW !

That's a very detailed suggestion :thumbsup:

Thank you very much for your answer.

About the video card, I will purchase two of them.
When you talk about the power supply, you mention the possibility of buying one or two more 295 gtx without being outsourced of power.
I thought that since one card grouped two gpu, two of them would be a quad-sli which is the maximum. Can three of them work together?

Concerning the memory, I would rather pay for a more expensive motherboard in order for it to support 12gb of that ram instead of 6.
When I wrote that I didn't see the two kits represented 6 of them (which obviously fills every spot). Are there 4gb version of these kits?
Now, if not, would two 295gtx eat up all the ram pretty fast while gaming? In that case would 12gigs of a slower ram be a better solution?

And for the storage, would a 60gb SSD coupled with 2x 1TB HDD be more efficient than just 2x 1TB HDDs?

For the operating system I'll probably go with vista ultimate 64-bit and upgrade with these "free coupon" they now give when you purchase vista.

Concerning the monitor (which isn't included in the 5,000$), I was planning on purchasing a 30" and a few options on my list but I found myself reading reviews of monitor A saying that monitor B was better, That monitor C was better than B, and A than C, etc... I don't really know how to pick. My budget for the monitor would be about 1,300$

edit: for the cpu cooling, is it better to go with the heatsink and fan you mention, or to go with some liquid cooling option?

edit2: will the 4 120mm fans be enough air flow? Will it be a noisy computer? Would there be (if it's gonna be very noisy) another case which would offer some accoustic dampening?

I DO realize that these are a lot of questions and that you get absolutly nothing else than my gratitude for answering them, and thus I'd like to emphasize how much I appreciate all of your suggestions and answers.

Thank you!

Edited by pleurebleu, 17 September 2009 - 11:10 PM.


#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 12:37 AM

The GPU: That GPU requires about 650W of power, if you bought two of those graphics cards, you would essentially have a quad SLI system and even more power would be needed from the power supply. However, gains in performance past a typical SLI system, one comprising of two GPU's, in this case, a single GTX 295, are minimal as most games don't scale well past a dual GPU setup.

The RAM: That RAM kit has three sticks of memory, remember, the i7's can use triple channel memory with identical sticks only, each with 2GB. That motherboard uses triple channel memory of six slots. To get the speed increase with such a configuration you need three identical sticks of RAM, which that kit has. You can get a 4GB memory kit with two sticks of 2GB, but you would not gain any of the triple channel benefits from using it. The GPU's will not use any of the RAM if you are going to be using a 64-bit operating system. In 32-bit operating systems, the OS uses RAM for addressing to the graphics cards, among other things, resulting in a large chunk of memory being useless to applications. The graphics card has its own dedicated RAM on the graphics card itself, this is known as VRAM. You must use a 64-bit operating system in order to use 4GB or more of memory.

HDD's: Not always, it depends on what you install to that SSD. If you put the operating system and your applications on the SSD, they will certainly see an improvement in performance. SSD's are faster than traditional platter-based hard drives and wear out less quickly, but the price is just too much. However, if you really want one to put Windows and your apps on, do not put data like music, movies, and pictures on one, the Corsair CMFSSD-256GBG2D 2.5" 256GB is suggested. I'm not entirely sure you need two 1TB drives. I have two 750GB drives and a single 300GB drive. The 300GB drive has Windows and my games on it and one of the 750GB drives has everything else. None of the drives are full and I have a totally empty 750GB drive.

Monitor: I have a 24-inch monitor and sometimes I find that too big. To see what I mean, find a 30-inch or so television set and sit about an arm's length from it. Personally, I find that uncomfortable. I suggest buying a nice 24-inch screen with a low refresh rate, HDMI, and a high non-dynamic contrast ratio (sometimes they say dynamic contrast in product descriptions, which is their way of bumping up the number so it is more impressive). The ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI is an excellent monitor that has a fast refresh rate, is plenty bright, has a decent static contrast, HDMI, and get's great reviews.

CPU Cooling: Liquid cooling is never suggested for typical builders. If something goes wrong then it is your fault, if it is professionally installed and warrantied, then the company will usually take it back. Air coolers perform a good job and are standard. I always go with those for the ease of installation and upkeep.

Case: The Cosmos is a quiet case, that's one reason why it is suggested. With all those fans it certainly isn't a silent case. One fan blows cool air into the machine another blows hot air out. The two additional fans are on the top and blow warm air out, since heated air rises. I like the Cosmos since it is very deep, well constructed, reasonably quiet and cool, and is just a beautiful case to look at.

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#7 pleurebleu

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 01:24 AM

I actually miss-read the information you provided me about the ram. For some reason I read the kit was (3x 1gb) and thus getting two of them would've added up to 6gb ram.

Last questions:

On newegg's page description for the 1TB HDD you recommended, it's written OEM at the end of the name.
According to this forum: OEM means you get the part in a black plastic bag.
Do I need to actually buy the cables? Or do they come with the motherboard.

I'm going to get the 256ssd you recommended, and yes my question was inferring that I'd only put the OS and the apps on that drive while storing all other datas on the bigger HDDs. (and after reconsideration you're probably right, I'll get 1TB and if it gets too tight I'll get another one.

As you may have guessed my english isn't that good and I'm still having some problems getting what you're saying about the video card.
Basicly, I thought it was possible to use 2x the video card you recommended (thus actually having a quad-sli). But the power supply is 1200W and one of them uses more than half of that. Where did I go off-rail?

Would this power supply be sufficient for a 2x 295gtx?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817256054
On the feedback someone's complaining that it isn't. If that's not, what then? I can't find bigger than 1500W.
If the 1200W is enough however, since this one is just 35$ more for 300W more, wouldn't I be future proof with that one, maybe the 5870X2 I'm planning to upgrade to later will need more power?

Last question, does the cosmos come with air filter on fans? If not is that an issue?

I actually got quite a surprise when seeing the price of the screen you linked to! There's a huge difference compared to a 30". My desk being not-so-deep I guess you're right about the screen size as well. I'll probably get something smaller but I still want a screen which will support 2560x1500.

Thanks for your help, I'll probably purchase all the part tomorrow after getting your answer.

Edited by pleurebleu, 18 September 2009 - 10:20 AM.


#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:23 PM

I love questions like this.

HDD: OEM means that you get the part in a box and nothing else. No cables, instructions, nothing. The motherboard comes with all the cables you need.

Power Supply: The GTX 295 requires a 650W power supply. That suggested amount of power takes into account everything in the entire system. The actual power draw of the card alone is probably about 100W to 200W lower. I do not suggest getting two GTX 295 cards as there are very few games that use four GPU's. This is why setups that have two GTX 295 cards are rare. Remember, the GTX 295 is a dual GPU card, so two cards is four GPU's or Quad-SLI. Frankly, there is little reason to spend almost $500 more on a second GTX 295 when few games will be able to use it. The power supply I suggested, if you want to use two GTX 295's, should be enough.

Case: There is usually a metal plate over the fans on the outside of the case to keep dust out. Most cases have this. The effect this has on temperatures within the case should be minimal.

Monitor: Monitors that size are not standard and unless you are a graphics designer or renderer, you probably don't need it. If you're a gamer, few games will support resolutions that high and, if they do, performance will take a major hit. Once you get into the 30-inch size, prices start to soar past LCD televisions that are larger. If you insist on a giant monitor, the LG W3000H-Bn Black 30" is nice. However, this monitor is not designed for gamers and doesn't come with HDMI, a super-fast refresh rate, nor a TV Tuner which, for that price, I thought it should have.

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#9 pleurebleu

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:40 PM

Here's what's in my shopping cart: :thumbsup:

COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

ASUS VK266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail

2x XFX GX295NHWFC GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Thermaltake Toughpower W0133RU 1200W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power ... - Retail

2x G.SKILL Trident 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD - Retail

ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition Bloomfield 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601975 - Retail

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM

Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail

LG Blu-ray Burner Model BH08LS20 - Retail

Corsair CMFSSD-256GBG2D 2.5" 256GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail

Logitech Z-2300 200 watts RMS 2.1 Speaker System - Retail

Logitech G15 USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail

3com 3CRDAG675B PCI Wireless Adapter - Retail

Any incompatibilities in that list?
Any last suggestion/opinion? (I do realize the gain realized by using two 295's will be minimal compared to the price increase but I have the budget, in fact my original 5,000$ for the computer and 1,300$ for the screen were far too much. The grand total shipping included for everything listed below is $4,845.61.)

I thank you very much for all your suggestions and explanations. I probably saved about 1,000$ thanks to you.

Edit: I just noticed that my university's bookstore is offering windows 7 ultimate for 20$.... I'm not asking a question here on whether it's worth it or not. What I'm asking is: will the parts selected work as well on windows 7 ultimate than they would have on vista ultimate? How about the drivers etc..?

And since I have some extra money left from my projected expenses, would there be a case with significant improvements over the cosmos? (Price doesn't matter, as long as it's not as ridiculous as > 1000$)..

Is that case expensive because it's got a spider on it...? Or is it actually somewhat well-thought and good overall. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811112174

How about this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...er%20cosmos%20S
Same size, brand, design, lighter, more fans, not much more expensive. ?

And to finish, do I need to buy some "thermal compound" for the cpu/heatsink contact?

Edited by pleurebleu, 18 September 2009 - 08:19 PM.


#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 10:16 PM

Yes, the parts will work with Windows 7 Ultimate. The edition of Windows 7 the university bookstore is offering is most likely the upgrade edition of the operating system. The upgrade copy requires a version of Windows already be installed on the PC. You will get a free upgrade coupon to Windows 7 when you purchase that copy of Windows Vista. The Cosmos case has a better track record than that red case. All your paying for with the Lian-Li case, an excellent company for cases by the way, is the red paint. The black Cosmos case is nice but will be louder with an additional fan. The white Cosmos has about 900 reviews, so it has been throughly tested by Newegg buyers. The heatsink and fan unit comes with a tube of thermal compound. I do suggest you look up how to properly apply the thermal compound. Too little compound and the heatsink cannot do its job, too much and the compound will act as an insulator.

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#11 tg1911

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 10:35 PM

Last question, does the cosmos come with air filter on fans? If not is that an issue?

The Cosmos comes with 2 fan filters, located on the bottom of the case.
The one in the front is for the intake fan, and the one in the back is for the Power Supply fan.
From the manual (items #4, and 11, are the filters):

Posted Image

A very nice case, by the way.
Built like a tank, and massive. :thumbsup:
NewEgg had a 24 hr sale the other day, and I pickd it up for $130.
Just received it today.

Guess what tomorrows project is going to be. :huh:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#12 pleurebleu

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 08:31 AM

Well thanks for all your help, I'm still hesitating between the white/black cosmos case.
Noise is definitly a factor since it'll be sitting in my room.

I'll pick one today :huh:

Thank you very much. :thumbsup:

#13 tg1911

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:07 AM

If noise is a factor, then you'll want the COSMOS 1000.
It has sound dampening material installed.
The COSMOS S RC-1100-KKN1-GP has none that I can see from the images on Cooler Master's website, and with the mesh side panels, it won't be quiet.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#14 pleurebleu

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:24 AM

I'm going for it.

Thanks

#15 pleurebleu

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:53 PM

Hello, I have recieved everything and started building some minuts ago.

Problem, the backplate (for the cpu heatsing/fan) doesn't fit the holes in the motherboard.

I did use the LGA one, not the amd one.
I measure 7.4 cm of space between the screw holes on the plate, but 8cm between the holes on the mother board.




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