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Building a computer for the first time, need some questions answered.

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#1 ellondu


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Posted 27 December 2011 - 07:43 PM

Hey guys, I need to build a computer. I have until January 16th to decide what I want and whether or not I want to build it myself.

I would like to build it on my own, but since I live in a college dorm far away from family with no transportation I do not really have a PLACE to build it. I also have NO experience with hardware, unless you count being able to clean the case of a computer.

Therefore, I am thinking about using an online configurator. I am only considering ibuypowerpc and cyberpowerpc, and I am leaning towards cyberpower. I have a 42 inch LG tv I will be using as the monitor, so I do not need to buy one. My budget will be about 1600 dollars even, and I do not really want to go over that if it is avoidable.

For specifics on what the computer will be used for, I can probably limit it to a few things. I will be doing a good amount of gaming, so I am going to need a good graphcis card. Also, I am starting my first computer programming class, so I want something with a good amount of processing power. Also, I want to have a liquid cooling system so that I do not have to worry about getting a computer until I am out of college, or at least have my B.S. in math. I would like to do some video/audio editing also, but the software for those types of things are pretty expensive, and pirated versions seem to be sketchy and I get a lot of controller errors when I use them. I will of course use the computer for everyday things for college like research and essays.

I was wondering whether or not you guys think cyberpower is better than ibuypower or vice versa, or whether you think it is a terrible idea to use them. I really don't think I should build it myself, and if I do, I won't have liquid cooling. I do not want to risk messing up all the parts I've bought with a mistake on the liquid cooling installation.

I will tell you some specifics I am looking for and also post a build that I have made using cyberpowerpc's configurator.

I would like windows 7. I am not familiar with mac or linux and want to stick with windows.
I would like a good keyboard and mouse. I COULD wait till next semester, but I am going to go ahead and get a razer keyboard and mouse.
I want the processor to be at least 4 cores (preferrably 6) and at least 3 GHz.
I would prefer the GPU to be at least 1 gb GDDR5.
I want liquid cooling.
I want 16 gb RAM, but I can settle for 12 (for now).
I do not need a monitor.

I was wondering whether the 17-2600k is really worth the extra money. I read that it performs almost the same as the i5-2500k, but I do not know. I do not need the top of the line machine, I just need something that has power, performance, is quiet, and will last. Also, since I will have liquid cooling, will that make overclocking an option? I am going to set the overclocking to 10% for now just in case.

My Build right now on cyberpower:

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid-Tower Gaming Case

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)

OC: Pro OC (Performance Overclock 10% or more)

LC: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (Dual Standard 120MM Fans (Push-Pull))

MOBO: [CrossFireX] Asus P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard LucidLogix Virtu and Intel Smart Response Technology & 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID,2 3 PCIe Gen2, 2 PCIe X1 & 2 3CI (All Venom OC Certified)

Memory: DDR3/1600MHz Kingston HyperX (All Venom OC Levels Certified) (QUESTION: Is 8gbX2 better or worse then 4gbX4?)

Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 7850 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (There are two options AMD, and then a second one:HIS IceQ X Turbo 900MHz Powered by AMD (what does this mean?)) Also, would it be better to get 1 good GPU, or two Okay GPU's in crossfire?

PSU: 650 Watts - Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2 80 Plus Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready

HDD: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (If I have the money, should I get a HDD cooling fan?)

Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive

Sound: Creative Labs SB Audigy SE (I know nothing here and do not know what to pick, so I just upgraded to one that wasn't too expensive).

Keyboard: Razer Lycosa Black USB Gaming Keyboard

Mouse: Razer Naga Epic USB Wired/Wireless Dual Laser 5600 DPI Gaming Mouse (Better option? Is wired better than wireless?)

Mouse Pad: Razer Vespula Dual Sided Gaming Mouse Mat (What do you recommend?)

What is a thermal display and do I need one?

Wireless Network Card: Linksys WMP600N Wireless-N Dual-Band Adapter (This will allow me to connect to a wireless network?)

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

I am also getting all three ultracare options.

Final Cost + Shipping:

1,508 + 75 = $1,583 [EDIT: I found a promotional code that takes of 5% and the new cost is 1432.60 + 75 = 1507.60)

What do you think?

Edited by Budapest, 27 December 2011 - 11:21 PM.
Moved from System Building and Upgrading ~Budapest

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#2 DJBPace07


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Posted 27 December 2011 - 09:48 PM

I don't get it, are you building this or are you thinking of buying from iBuyPower/CyberPower? I'm a Maingear man myself.

Building a PC is easy if you are patient and are willing to do the research, which you are doing now, and read the manuals. You can build it yourself for a bit less. I graduated college just a few years ago and if you can clear enough space on the floor, and dare the roommates to come near you, it is possible to build the PC in a dorm room. Since you are into gaming, I would suggest holding off until around January 9th when AMD's Radeon 7970 hits stores. Reviews are already up and it is a very nice, but expensive, card.

Edited by DJBPace07, 27 December 2011 - 09:50 PM.



#3 ellondu

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 10:00 PM

I don't feel comfortable enough with the information to build it by myself. If something goes wrong I won't be able to afford a fix. So for now I want to build it online and have it made for me, then I will make my own later when I am more comfortable with my funds.

#4 rotor123


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Posted 28 December 2011 - 12:38 PM

One other thought that is a benefit for a name brand such as Alienware brand is you can order it with OnSite service option in case it needs warranty repairs. With the brands you mention you may need to keep the packaging it is delivered in to ship back in case of warranty repairs being needed.

Another option is have it built locally in case any repairs are needed.
Make sure the video card chosen has a output type that matches the TV input.

Steer clear of pirated version of software, they are probably loaded with Malware (Malicious Software).
In terms of Video software there are plenty of free or low cost options that work. An example would be http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/
"200+ Input Formats
Input any video files: AVI, MP4, MKV, WMV, MPG, 3GP, 3G2, SWF, FLV, TOD, AVCHD, MOV, DV, RM, QT, TS, MTS, etc. Import music (MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV), and photos (JPG, BMP, PNG,GIF) to turn them into video free and easily!"

"Output to AVI, MP4, MKV, FLV, 3GP, MP3, HTML5

Convert video free to the most popular video formats. Rip DVD movie (unprotected) to AVI, WMV, MP4, MPEG, MKV, FLV, SWF, 3GP. Convert video to Flash and embed it directly to your web page. Create HTML5 video (Ogg, WebM, H.264) for modern web browsers. "

"Fastest Video Converter with CUDA and DXVA

Freemake is the only free video converter that features integrated both CUDA and DXVA technologies for the fastest ever video conversion and less CPU usage. The software automatically detects the optimal conversion parameters and switches on/off CUDA and DXVA for better conversion results."

I use it for Q&D conversions. One thing to be careful is to uncheck the optional toolbar when installing. Used to be Freeware and now it is Adware, sigh....

Reviews here http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Freemake-Video-Converter
All kinds of tools here. http://www.videohelp.com/tools?toolsearch=Freemake&Submit=Search&convert=&s=&orderby=Name&hits=50

Edited by rotor123, 28 December 2011 - 12:38 PM.

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