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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus laneford's Avatar
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    Building my first PC in five years.

    Hello all people nerdier and cleverererer than I.

    I have finally, reluctantly, decide to get rid of my five year old, pentium D rig, the one with half a case, where cooling is provided by a desk fan and one harddrive is resting on top of a paperback (brighton rock, if you're interested) as I can't get it to sit inside the housing.

    As it's been so long, I've decided to treat myself and push the proverbial boat out a bit, within reason.

    I've flicked through Hard Choices, and attempted to read about these things. And this is vaguely what I've come up with.

    CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor
    179.50
    CPU FAN: Zalman CNPS9900-MAX
    39.9
    MOBO: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 Socket 1155 HDMI DisplayPort 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
    168.92
    RAM: Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengeance Memory
    80.43
    GFX Card: Palit GTX 670 2GB GDDR5 DisplayPort HDMI Dual DVI PCI-E Graphics Card
    293.55
    CASE: Coolermaster Silencio 550 Case
    64.17
    PSU: Coolermaster GX 650W PSU
    66.71
    SSD: OCZ 240GB Agility 3 SSD
    145
    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit
    68.28

    Total is about 1100, which is 100 more than I had planned, but still doable.

    Things I need to know:


    Firstly, will it work? (I assume all these things are compatible, but I'm not sure) secondly, is there any obvious glaring errors in terms of overpowered/underpowered bits of the pc, or anything which isn't needed, thirdly, is anything overpriced that I could get cheaper? (all these prices are from ebuyer) and finally is that cpu ok? I'm not exactly going to be editing the dark knight, but I do a bit of video editing and stuff, and I was looking at a core i7 3770 for another 50 or so.

    Oh and finally I'm not going to be overclocking (I suspect) as it scares me and I don't want to blow anything up.

    Cheers for your input. Have a cookie.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    If you're not going to overclock, then you don't want to pay for a processor with a K on the end, that means overclockable. The i5 3570 is about 12 squid cheaper and will get you the same performance, which, incidentally, is plenty, you don't really need the i7.

  3. #3
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    Eh, for 12 I'd get the K. The unlocked multiplier and the built in graphics could come in useful at some point (especially as the Intel HD graphics can be used to dramatically speed up certain video encodes), especially for such a small difference. However, if you're prepared to shop around you can get the i5-2550k for about 155, which considering how close the performance is to the 3570k might be well worth considering. The i7 does offer some advantages for video editing, and even more advantages for virtualization, but I'd still say you're unlikely to notice.

    The bigger question marks are the motherboard - 170 is an awful lot when you can get a perfectly good Z77 board for 70-80. Is there any features you really need from that more than double mobo? 300 is also an awful lot to spend on a graphics card - I'd say in general you'd do better spending half of that now, then the other half in 18-36 months time on a new card.

    If after downgrading the mobo and graphics card, you still want to spend your 1000, you could always look into getting a Crucial M4 512gb SSD instead, they're going for around 300 from Amazon among others at the moment.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Are you sure you don't want a modular PSU? Cable management can be a bitch. A modular PSU is good for the air flow too.

  5. #5
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    As I have said in some other threads, I still recommend a Sandy-Bridge over the Ivy-Bridge, even more so if you plan to overclock.

    I would suggest you go for a i5 2500k, they are still buy far the best "gaming" CPU you can get, the Ivy-Bridge CPUs are a bit of a pointless upgrade, they offer very little extra performance at stock speeds, and yet are up to 50+ more. Get a 2500k, a decent air cooler and just overclock it to 4Ghz.


    • Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 1155 - 125
    • CPU: Intel i5 2500k - 150 (If you can find an OEM version even cheaper.)
    • GPU: GTX 670 - 290
    • or a Radeon HD7950 - 280
    • Ram: Corsair 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz Vengeance Memory - 80
    • PSU: Seasonic Bronze S12II 620 Bronze - 76 (If you can find the modular version M12II, get that.)
    • SSD: Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 120GB SATA III - 130


    With the case, cpu fan and Windows 7, this comes in at around 1000, even less if you can get some good deals, I would suggest going for a cheaper GPU, you really do not need a 670 (or its AMD equivalent).
    If you dropped the 670 and went for something like a 6870 (which is more than enough for 95% of games), not to mention it would bring the overall cost down to only around 800, saving you money to upgrade in the future.

  6. #6
    Activated Node Eric's Avatar
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    You also don't really need an aftermarket cooler for your processor if you're not going to be overclocking, unless noise is an issue for you.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    You also don't really need an aftermarket cooler for your processor if you're not going to be overclocking, unless noise is an issue for you.
    My intel's stock fan left a nasty residue all over my processor. They're cheap, might as well get one.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    My intel's stock fan left a nasty residue all over my processor. They're cheap, might as well get one.
    That is thermal compound, it is to improve contact with the CPU, since flat surfaces, aren't flat. The compound fills in the microscopic gaps to improve heat conduction.

    From what I remember the stock Intel coolers have three strips of it already applied to base of the heatsink.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    I wouldn't trust the chalky stock compound over good ol' Arctic Silver.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Your build is almost identical to the one I built about a month ago. Same CPU, mobo and RAM; the only difference being I have a GTX680 and a smaller SSD.

    Regarding overclocking, the Sabertooth makes it incredibly ​easy to do via the kickass new BIOS. As long as you have decent cooling it should be a snap.

    I love it, and so will you.
    Last edited by Fumarole; 07-07-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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  11. #11
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    The impact of thermal paste is really overrated. While it is better than thermal pads like you find on stock Intel coolers, the difference is marginal at best. You'd be crazy to remove the pads from a stock cooler and replace them with thermal paste (while still using the Intel cooler), for instance.

    However, I'd point out that most motherboards these days can offer some form of automatic overclock. My P8P67 certainly does so and I've not felt the need to improve upon its default 4.1GHz overclock as of yet. In such cases an aftermarket cooler can be good to provide full air flow. No need to go overboard with it (like I did...), just a well-regarded sub-$30 cooler will probably do the job fine.

    EDIT: @Fumarole: I'm pretty sure the Sabertooth shares virtually the same UEFI as every other Asus board, perhaps just with some different branding. Honestly I've bought *one* Asus "named" card (Striker Extreme back in the day) and just don't see the point (it didn't help that it was a fucking mess that retrospectively is probably the reason I burned through four sticks of RAM and had boot issues with my 5850 GPU). Their P-series motherboards are more than enough for every use scenario and usually cost a fair bit less.
    Last edited by FriendlyFire; 07-07-2012 at 05:07 PM.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus laneford's Avatar
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    You guys are wondrous, I am assimilating your comments and making changes as necessary. Particularly looking into downgrading the motherboard as suggested.

    The graphics card does somewhat seem like overkill, but I quite want this thing to have some oomph, and I'd prefer to spend the money now, whilst I still have it, than buy something with a view to upgrading for the same cost again, in a year or two.

    Fumarole, hows the system working out so far?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Your build is almost identical to the one I built about a month ago. Same CPU, mobo and RAM; the only difference being I have a GTX680 and a smaller SSD.

    Regarding overclocking, the Sabertooth makes it incredibly ​easy to do via the kickass new BIOS. As long as you have decent cooling it should be a snap.

    I love it, and so will you.
    Any motherboard makes it incredibly easy to OC any cpu with an unlocked multiplier...

    OP that motherboard is 100 pounds overpriced, get a cheaper alternative.

    As others said, get an i5 2500k it's still more than you'll need for the coming years for gaming.
    Definitely get a K one, ocing is easy and a good way to get some extra performance out of your cpu should you ever need it.

    As amd user I'd highly recommend you do indeed go with nvidia for a high end pc, I wish I had the option to use sgssaa like nvidia users. (the main reason to get a high end gpu is so you can use supersampling to get proper AA in the many games that don't have real AA support, honestly : having great image quality is one of the main benifits of pc gaming and most recent games won't allow that without supersampling which in turn requires a high end nvidia gpu).

    Invest in some quiet fans for your case and cpu and in a big heatsink for your cpu and gpu, it's worth the extra money, maybe spend some of that cash you'd have thrown away on an overpriced mobo or cpu , you'll actually notice a difference here when your pc is quiet.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    With regards to the K, it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

    Are you planning on just using the SDD alone or do you have a standard HDD as well for storing documents etc?

    Also as SirKicksalot says a modular PSU might be worth considering.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 07-07-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus laneford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post

    Are you planning on just using the SDD alone or do you have a standard HDD as well for storing documents etc?

    Also as SirKicksalot says a modular PSU might be worth considering.
    I've got a regular 1TB HDD from the old rig, so I'm using that.

    I didn't know what a modular PSU was until today, so I'm looking into that.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    That's a beast. I'm jealous. I'd suggest getting a corsair psu though. I don't have any personal experience of coolermaster but I believe they have a reputation for not being as reliable.

  17. #17
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    Corsair, Seasonic, Antec would be my recommendations for PSUs. Never, ever skimp on a PSU.

    @Kadayi: Yes. Modular PSUs are just an awesome thing and should damn well be universal by now (sadly they aren't).

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laneford View Post
    I've got a regular 1TB HDD from the old rig, so I'm using that.
    When it comes to installing windows just have the SSD attached initially. Once it's all configured then hook up the HDD on a reboot. It can mess your drive sequence up (so the SSD becomes D: rather than C:) if the windows installer detects an earlier install on an attached HDD I've found from experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by duff View Post
    I'd suggest getting a corsair psu though. I don't have any personal experience of coolermaster but I believe they have a reputation for not being as reliable.
    I have a Corsair 650W modular: -

    http://www.ebuyer.com/173104-corsair...-cmpsu-650hxuk

    Not cheap, but it's extremely quiet, has good cable options and has a 7 year warranty on it on top. I'd recommend it for sure.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    Yeh you really, really, don't want to skimp out on the PSU. I's not as glamorous as your GPU or processor but if you fall into the trap of getting a cheap PSU, like I have, you can run into all sorts of reliability issues in a couple of years (especially if you upgrade to a hungry graphics card). I have a non-modular Corsair right now and all the cables come braided together which is really nice if you don't want to get a modular one.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laneford View Post
    Fumarole, hows the system working out so far?
    It totally kicks ass. It boots to windows in 5-7 seconds and even the feared Shogun 2 loads battles in about 30-40 seconds. It runs everything I've thrown at it on max settings at 1920x1200 with excellent framerates. I spent $1,475 on it, retaining only my old case, data drive, monitor and mouse.

    If you go with the Sabertooth be mindful of modular PSUs. In my experience they have large connectors and the Sabertooth's cooling/armor thingy may get in the way of a clean connection. I don't mind having the unnecessary cables attached to the PSU as I just tie them up and stuff them into the bay where my optical drive used to be.
    Last edited by Fumarole; 08-07-2012 at 12:30 AM.
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