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First Build Needs Help!!!

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#1 Dark Fleet

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:03 PM

Well, my computer has recently taken a dump on me (was like 10 years old) and with a little persuasion from a friend of mine, I have decided to do my very first gaming pc build. I am going to be needing EVERYTHING and currently have a full list that my friend was so kind as to help me with. I am honestly really nervous about building one (don't want to mess it up) and have limited knowledge on parts, etc. So please, I would love to hear your suggestions and enjoy!

Current Budget: $2000 USD

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K SandyBridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 Quad-Core
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 ATX LGA 1155
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600
HDD: Western Digital RE4 500GB 7200RPM 64MB Cache
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 120GB
Video Card: CrossfireX 2x Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Case: Thermaltake Armor A60 ATX Mid-Tower
PSU: Corsair HX750 750W Modular ATX12V/EPS12V
Optical Drive: LG GH24LS70 DVD/CD-ROM Writer
Monitor: Samsung P2770HD 27" 5ms 300 cd/m2
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Keyboard: Saitek Cyborg V5
Mouse: NZXT Avatar S

Current Total: $1877

Edited by Dark Fleet, 23 November 2011 - 06:09 AM.

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#2 DJBPace07


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Posted 22 November 2011 - 05:48 PM

We can make a few tweak to get more for your cash:

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK - This is a full ATX case, which is best for high performance builds that have large cards or produces plenty of heat. This is a good case with free shipping. $109 (Before $10 mail-in rebate)

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - ASRock is Asus' budget brand, they're good, but you can do a better. This uses the newer Z68 chipset. $209

Graphics Card: GIGABYTE GV-R697UD-2GD REV2.0 Radeon HD 6970 2GB - CrossfireX is good for higher-end cards. Later on, you can buy another one of these and really have high performance. A less expensive alternative would be the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB, which is mostly the same hardware but with locked shaders and other minor tweaks. $349

PSU: ENERMAX NAXN ENP550AWT 550W - This is plenty of this build, if you are going to use multiple GPU's, the ENERMAX LIBERTY ECO II ELT720AWT-ECO_II 720W would be good. $64

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 - This was your original CPU, the LGA 2011's aren't that much better for home use. $224

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - I have this and haven't had any issues. $54

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III - OCZ has been making some great SSD's. $179 (Before $30 mail-in rebate)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WDBAAY5000ENC-NRSN 500GB - Plenty of space for most users. $99

Keyboard: Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Keyboard - I like Microsoft's peripherals, they are sturdy and reasonably priced. $50

Monitor: Asus VK278Q Black 27" 1920x1080 2ms Full HD HDMI LED - This is a better monitor, it uses LED's and actually has better contrast, over standard CCFL's. $348

Mouse: Microsoft SideWinder X3 Black 5 Buttons USB Wired Laser 2000 dpi - I've used this, it is a very good mouse. It is also quite sturdy, I've slamed it down the desk several times with no issues. $28

ODD: Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - Unless you are going to be watching Blu-Ray's or backing up with them, there really is no reason to get a Blu-Ray drive. The price of writable Blu-Ray discs has gone down, but I think they are still expensive. $20

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - You need this. $99

Cooler: XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 - I have a Xigmatek very similar to this, it is very quiet and moves lots of air. This uses HDT which works best with a different thermal compound application method than what people are accustomed to. $25

Grand Total: $1868 (Before taxes, shipping, and rebates)

Edited by DJBPace07, 22 November 2011 - 05:51 PM.



#3 Dark Fleet

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 10:59 PM

Dang dude. When I meant I need help, I didn't mean do a complete overhaul of my system haha. What is wrong with the CrossfireX btw? Didn't quite understand you on that. I believe (2) 6870s will out perform a single 6970, correct? I may even bump those up to 6950s.

As far as everything else, I will give it a good look through and make changes as I see fit when I get back from work. Kind of pressed for time at the moment.


EDIT: Forgot to mention. The Thermaltake Armor case is my personal preference after looking through cases (including the Phantom). Reason I like it, is that you cannot beat the deal ($74 with $20 MIR). It is a lot of room, good for long video cards so they aren't sitting the drive bays, awesome air flow, awesome cable management and has a side window. That was kind of what I was looking for. ^-^

EDIT #2: Well, I took some of your advice to heart and moved around some components. I bumped up to some Sapphire 6950s in CFX for more juice as well as down-sized my HDD (Can buy more space if needed) switched to the Agility 3 (which has faster read/write speeds for a good amount less than the M4), got rid of the Blu-Ray player (Have a PS3 so you're right, no need for it and I don't plan to burn BRs). Also went with a smaller power supply, seeing as though the 6950s in CFX only spend like 170W idle and 470W at load. Thanks for the help :D

Edited by Dark Fleet, 23 November 2011 - 06:14 AM.

#4 rotor123


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Posted 23 November 2011 - 01:49 PM

If you get the OCZ SSD be sure to do the firmware update before using it. The older firmwares have issues and most likely the one you buy will not have the very recently released firmware.

BTW the Samsung and Intel SSDs have been very reliable. Whatever brand and model you buy read the User reviews for real world experiences. Reviews by someone such as Toms hardware they mainly focus on short term and Performance. Not durability.

A larger SSD that holds the same amount of data as a smaller one will last longer due to wear leveling having more space to work with.

Plus putting games on the SSD will make them run smoother if/when disc access is needed.

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#5 DJBPace07


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Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:21 PM

I still suggest against a Mid-ATX case due to thermal considerations, two high-end cards in Crossfire will put out lots of heat. Make absolutely sure that case will hold a 10.5 inch card before you buy, cases are a pain to send back. Do use caution with a lower power supply, most card manufacturers suggest over 700W. Then again, they are usually conservative estimates, but I cannot blame them, they are trying to CYA just in case. Putting games onto an SSD will certainly help load times, however, once the game is already loaded into memory, the benefit is almost nil. Given the cost per gigabyte of an SSD, I still suggest putting games on a traditional platter-based drive. Intel SSD's are quite good, I have one myself, however, the ones that use SATA III are much more expensive, so I went with OCZ. SSD's are about the only thing that can use the additional bandwidth SATA III provides.



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