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Building 1st PC


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#1 Iorwerth

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:42 AM

Hi all,

 

decided i would have a go at building my first pc. I figure I will save a bit of money, but not really that much - the aim is to build it just to show myself that I can!

 

I have done some research on the various components, finding myself going down some research avenues that i didn't know even existed! All in all, I have found it incredibly interesting.

 

My build is quite high end gaming pc, though I am not made of money, and I want to make it as future proof as i can. For that reason, for example, going with a z97 motherboard etc. While I think I have thought the build through enough, it would be great to get some feedback, even if it is just reassurance that i haven't made a stupid error etc.

 

I will post a link to the pcpartpicker list, but will also post the details here, with the reasons why i picked what i did, in order to make it easier for others to see and undertand my build.

 

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/iorwerth/saved/z9K2FT

 

CPU:  I7-4790k - was going to go with the i5, but then thought that it is possible in the future that games will start using hyperthreading, so for future proofing i7 seemed good. Went for the Devil's Canyon one becuase it is not that much more than the slightly older one, I don't intend to overclock off the bat, but thought the option is there in the future.

 

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - Not sure if i couldn't have gone with the stock cooler, but playing it safe. NH-D14 has good reviews. If I can save money here by getting something else, so much the better.

 

Motherboard: Asus z97-pro (wifi ac). Toss up between this and the z97-a, but thought the wifi might be useful at some point. Again, not sure on this.

 

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16gb (2x8GB) 1600 - went for low profile because I read somewhere that the motherboard and a NH-D14 can cause problems with standard height ram.

 

Storage: Samsung 840 Evo 500Gb 2.5" SSD - was going to go for a smaller ssd, but a friend of mine has a 500gb and he reckons it is worth the extra cost. Choose samsung becuase of the reviews.

 

Western Digitial Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200rpm - again, went for this because of reviews. Figure 1TB is enough and don't need 2TB.

 

Video Card: MSI GTX770 2GB Twin FROZR - this has been the hardest decsion in a way. Finally plumped for a GTx770 and the MSI is the cheapest of these really. Plan for when the time comes that this graphic card is not good enough is to buy another GTX 770 and run  them together, rather than to buy another top end graphics card.

 

Case: Fractal Design Define R4 - like the look of it, has good reviews and seems easy for cable management - as this is my first build thought that might be useful.

 

Power Supply: XFX 850W ATX12V - could probably go for a less powerful one, but thought this should be powerful enough to cope if I ever did add another GTX 770. Have wondered about getting a 1000w PSU, as have been told the more power you have inreserve, the better for the PSU, but really not sure about this.

 

Optical Drive: Samsung SH224db - Cheapest one I could find - not blue-ray.

 

Operating System: Thought I would go for win 8, and then go to classic view. However a friend said i should probably go with win 7. I just figure that win8 may be more future proof, as games may start taking advantage of whatever features it has. Also, not sure if the higher end ones are worth the money e.g. proffessional, ultimate etc.

 

Anyway, that is my current build idea, but would really appreciate some feedback from people who know about all this stuff!


Edited by Iorwerth, 10 July 2014 - 04:44 AM.


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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:51 AM

Looks pretty sound really.  Excellent spec :)  I agree if you're going to go for an i7, the i7-4790K is a better choice now than it's predecessor.  If nothing else, it's standard clocks are .5 ghz faster than the 4770K.

 

You really do need an aftermarket cooler with that CPU.  The stock Intel one is barely adequate for stock speeds, let alone any sort of overclock.  Noctua stuff is expensive but well engineered and performs well.  As you've correctly noted, the NH-D14 can potentially interfere with RAM due to it's size.  IF you want to save some cash, then a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo has most of the performance.  Or somewhere in the middle price wise I recently got one of these which works well, and despite it's huge size, doesn't block any RAM slots on my particular motherboard.

 

SSD and HDD look fine.  The 500Gb SSD could comfortably be substituted for a 250Gb one if you wanted to save some cash.  250Gb is plenty for Windows and your most used programs.  Practically the size difference is the only thing you'll notice.  It may be that the 500Gb drive bench tests a bit quicker (I haven't looked) but I doubt you would notice in real world use.

 

GPU is great choice.

 

Power supply is more than enough.  It's very comfortable with what you have picked out for now, and it should run 2 GPU's OK, although with less headroom than some would like.  Having power in reserve is good to a point.  A rule of thumb I would follow is calculate what you need and add 50-100% when deciding the wattage range PSU you look at.  The PC Partpicker site estimates power consumption for you, which is nice.  You wouldn't want a PC that uses less than 100w at full pelt with a 1Kw PSU!   And on the other hand you don't want to be approaching the limit of the PSU either.

 

Operating System is personal preference.  Windows 7 will be immediately familiar to those who've used XP or Vista.  Windows 8 is optimised for touch screens (although it can be improved for keyboard/mouse use with add ons like Start 8 or Classic Shell).  Windows 8.1 is perfectly usable as a desktop OS, although it may take some adjustment.  A good thing about Windows 8/8.1 is that it's faster than Windows 7.

 

The Pro versions add features mostly aimed at corporates - full drive encryption, more advanced remote management features, remote desktop, multiple processor support etc.  In Windows 8.1, unfortunately MS decided to remove Media Center which was standard on Win 7 Home Premium.  To add it now, you need not only the Pro version but also an optional Media Center pack.  I am not shelling out for that just so I can watch TV on the computer, so I use a free program called Media Portal which for me is just as good as Windows Media Center.


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#3 Iorwerth

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:48 AM

Thanks so much for the feedback. Good to know about the cooler. Any money i can shave off the better, even if it is quite small - it all adds up! Also, if I don't need low profile ram then maybe I can save a bob or two on that as well. Out of interest, is there any meaningful difference between the manufacturers of ram, or can you just go for the cheapest ram of the size and speed you want?

 

The SSD I will probably end up coming down on size, just for the money saving, though being bigger might allow me to get more games on it, which might speed them up?

 

Operating system - at the moment leaning towards win 8 - don't care about the media centre. I also saw a youtube vid where someone changed their win 8 to classic view - do you need a 3rd party program to do this?

 

one last thing - I went with a power unit that is fully modular, because i thought this might make cable managemen t for a novice like myself easier. However, not sure if I am right in this - what do you think about fully modular, semi-modular or no modular PSUs?



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:49 AM

RAM does vary in quality, so I tend to stick to names I've heard of from reputable suppliers.  Crucial, Corsair, Kingston, G.Skill should be good.  More money generally gets you more speed, lower CAS latencies and frankly a lot of the time just a fancier heat spreader.  I'm skeptical of the benefits of massive heatspreaders and some even have fans built in.  I've never noticed it get more than slightly warm.  Watch out for voltage because I understand Haswell processors much prefer operating at 1.5v.  Some RAM needs 1.65v to run at it's rated speed so just something to be aware of.  RAM is not that cheap at the moment.  Two or three years ago I bought 8gb of DDR3-1600 for less than £30.  It'll cost you about twice that now.

 

Modular PSU's can make for a neat and tidy system.  You only connect the cables you need.  With a roomy case you should be able to neatly tie away unused wires somewhere unobtrusive even with a normal PSU though.  A nice case feature is having room behind the motherboard tray to route cables, which allows for a neat looking system and it's practical benefits are unrestricted airflow across the motherboard.  Semi modular just means that some cables are fixed.  Some cables, every system will need like the 24pin ATX connector, so only the ones that vary (SATA, PCIe, Molex etc.) are modular.

 

Things like Classic Shell are add on programs.  As I said, I'm currently using Windows 8.1 without any shell replacement and I've been able to manage without one.  It's still got a start menu of sorts.  It's improved since the April update. I haven't used Windows 8 (as opposed to 8.1) much though - I deliberately avoided it to be honest.


Edited by jonuk76, 10 July 2014 - 08:50 AM.

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#5 killerx525

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:13 AM

In terms of the operating system, Windows 8 would be the better choice over Windows 7 as reviews have proven that there is a increase in FPS in some games but the major factor is the "under the hood" changes which makes it a quick and efficient. 


>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png





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