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Thread: PC Build
28-06-2011, 10:18 AM #1
Need a hand with a new PC build. I'm currently looking to build a PC for around £900-1000. This is what I am currently looking at.
Gigabyte Z68A-D3 - £89.99
Intel Core i7 2600 - 227.84
G Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333mhz Ripjaws - £63.61
XFX ATI Radeon 6950 2048MB - £203.99
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Certified Modular Power Supply £69.98
OCZ 120GB Agility 3 SSD - £170.00
Samsung SH-S222AB DVD-RW - £14.49
Fractal Design Define R3 Silver Arrow Case - £77.81
Have monitor/extra storage HDD so would prefer to build with SSD.
If you can do better I'd love to hear your 2 cents. If you want to criticise this build do so nicely, I bruise like an emotional peach :)
28-06-2011, 10:57 AM #2
Look into the i5 2500k - easy to overclock and cheaper than the i7.
28-06-2011, 12:49 PM #3
Plus basically the only difference between the i5 and i7 is hyperthreading which will give you no performance increase in gaming, and in some games can even cause problems.
28-06-2011, 12:56 PM #4
Oooh, thanks for the tip. Thats £60+ saved, eek.
28-06-2011, 01:42 PM #5
Look up the guides for flashing the 6950 to a 6970 - the board has a BIOS switch to support dual BIOS, and you can unlock the extra gubbins needed to effectively give you a 6970. Don't know if it still works but it certainly did at launch!
28-06-2011, 01:47 PM #6
Depends on how aggressively you're going to overclock. As for the i7, mine's OC'd to 4Ghz. That's a handsome case, but it's a midtower. Airflow is going to be restricted, components close to one another, and the small size of the case is going to affect what components you can fit in there, especially a CPU cooler (fan or water). It's nice, you can remove the side and top panels (or, that is, ventilate them), but, still, it's going to be cramped in there. Opening up those panels will also defeat the noise reduction you may want.
I'm not sure that video board's gonna fit. Check it's dimensions versus what the R3 will provide, if you haven't already. Same with all the other components, too.
I would also strongly consider a WD 150GB (or more ) Velociraptor over the OCZ SSD. I'm of the opinion SSD is just "not soup yet", the technology needs to mature some more (as well as OS's to fully support them). The only place you'll see a performance difference is in a benchmark. You'll save money and it's a mature, proven technology, unlike SSD's. Windows barely supports them, and if you're going LINUX, forget it.
Last edited by Kablooie; 28-06-2011 at 02:04 PM."Unix is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.”
28-06-2011, 02:10 PM #7
Yeah, I read about that and considered it when weighing up 6950vs6970. And from what I've read it seems the XFX 2GB is able to do it.
Thats a very good point. I remember my 2900pro almost being wedged in a Lian Li case. I wont be overclocking too heavily - will most likely be run at stock for most of its lifetime - and Bit-Tech recommended the FD R3 as one of the more quiet cases.
I'll have an extra read on Raptors Vs SSDs as well. I'm pretty much Windows only so Linux won't be a problem, and I'll have a normal HDD for extra storage anyway if I feel the need.
28-06-2011, 02:47 PM #8
Gigabyte Z68A-D3 I'm not 100% on the full list of differences between P67 and Z68, but a Z68 lets you overclock and still use onboard graphics. It also features SSD caching, which allows you to couple a magnetic drive and an SSD such that the most commonly used files are automatically put on the SSD for quicker access. Unless you're extremely worried about your graphics card failing, can't be bothered doing manual file management (install Windows and very slow loading games to the SSD, everything else on the mag drive, use symlinks for steam games) or really want to do video transcoding (i.e. use overclocked onboard graphics) you could drop down to a P67 or H67 instead. Gigabyte are a good brand, although I've only really heard much about the boards with UD in the name.
Intel Core i7 2600 You're looking at a multiplier locked (no overclocking) CPU, but an overclocking board. If you want to overclock you'll need an i5-2500K or an i7-2600K. The 2600K has hyperthreading and so does better with multitasking and art uses (videos, photoshop, rendering). If you're NOT planning to overclock, consider swapping the motherboard for a H67. The 2600 and 2500 are actually ever so slightly better than their -K counterparts, but the -K's win out with even just a little overclocking.
G Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333mhz Ripjaws Ripjaws don't play well with overclocking under Sandybridge because of their high voltage requirements. You want something rated for 1.5V or less if you plan to overclock. Check the compatability list of your motherboard (manuals available on manufacturers site in advance) and go for either some of the newer RipjawsX (e.g. F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM) or some Corsair Vengeance. Something around 8GB of 1600 MHz 9-9-9-24 should fit in your budget. Lower CAS values are slightly better, but not enough to warrant extra expense.
XFX ATI Radeon 6950 2048MB I don't know much about ATI/AMD cards except they still get ruined by devs not supporting them properly (recent example: Brink). The benchmarks do show that they beat NVIDIA at 1900x1200+ resolutions, at least.
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Certified Modular Power Supply 700w is plenty, and you'll have room to overclock. Depending on the requirements of the graphics card, you could probably even drop this down a bit.
OCZ 120GB Agility 3 SSD Sata 3 version of Sandforce are good. No issues here, but we'll talk about SSDs a little more later.
Samsung SH-S222AB It's SATA so no issues here. You could try for a BluRay reader/DVD-RW combodrive, but you'd want a retail version as BluRay films/etc can only be read with paid-for software, unlike DVDs.
Fractal Design Define R3 Silver Arrow Case I know nothing about cases other than the HAF-X (which is really expensive). Check the sizes and make sure fans aren't going to impinge on e.g. graphics cards or cpu coolers.
Have monitor/extra storage HDD Awesome.
So let's go back to SSDs. The Honourable Kablooie is, frankly, wrong about them. They've been around for several years now and are a proven technology held back only by their expense and a few cowboy manufacturers playing with power settings (Crucial, now resolved in firmware and registry). Firstly, an SSD is straight up twice as fast as a Velociraptor, often reaching three or four times as fast. This can reach up to FIVE times as fast in certain applications, and if a program is doing a lot of work with small non-contigous files or multitasking, an SSD is infinitely better than a magnetic drive. With an SSD I've finished booting from cold before my monitor has resolved the signal from my graphics card and makes games load much, much faster. A good game to stick on an SSD is Shogun 2, which otherwise takes forever to load.
Windows 7 supports SSDs by default, though you'll want to do a fresh install directly to the SSD to make sure it sets it up properly. If you eventually add other SSDs, you may want to check the manufacturer's site for a tweak guide but you'll probably find that Windows has already done them all for you.
SSDs are also quieter and even if you eventually wear one out (which takes 5-50 years depending on usage, the first generation was definitely on the lower end of that though), you can still read all the files from it yourself, unlike a magnetic drive where you'd have to send it off to a specialist.
Things to think about:
Do you want to overclock? If yes, grab a P67 board, an i5-2500K and an aftermarket CPU cooler. If no, get an i5-2500, H67 and use the stock intel cooler.
Will you be doing lots of heavy graphics work (or equivalent)? If yes, go for the Z68/i7-2600K (or H67/i7-2600 if not overclocking).
Are you working with specialist graphics apps? If yes, NVidia have much better support than AMD in general, but you should know your own software.
Are you gaming at higher resolutions? If yes, stick with ATI/AMD.
28-06-2011, 03:04 PM #9
Well, that was just lovely. Will look to drop mobo down to H67 and different memory.
Thanks for the advice!
28-06-2011, 03:35 PM #10
I should say my experience is limited with them, but SSD's are still too much of a "potluck" drive for my tastes. I went from a dual 300GB Velociraptor-RAID 0 setup to a singular Corsair CMFSSD-256GBG2D, and have seen little visible benefit, as well as experiencing issues with the drive itself, TRIM, and OS oddities.
The drive was expensive, also. ><
I sure in the heck am not getting to the OS before video initialization, lol. Nor do gaming loadtimes seem shorter.
I'll bow to someone more knowledgeable. For me, currently, the cons outweigh the pros with SSD's.
Last edited by Kablooie; 28-06-2011 at 03:38 PM."Unix is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.”
28-06-2011, 04:06 PM #11
Some people have even used them for overclocking, but the Intel specsheets for SB are very paranoid about 'high' voltages, and the common consensus is the lower the stock voltage the better your achievable overclock will be. HOWEVER, with SB you're not supposed to modify the FSB, only the Multiplier, so RAM shouldn't need any tuning. Similarly, 1600 MHz RAM (800 max FSB) should be far in excess of the SB FSB of 100 MHz. So what I'm not explaining very well is: Ripjaws and XMS3 / other high voltage RAM should work fine, and can even be used by overclockers (because you're not meant to touch the FSB, which is the only time RAM should really come into play) but Intel specsheets prefer lower voltage stuff. As the SB chipsets did exhibit problems with high continuous voltages (or at least, the cougar point SATA ports did which is why all these boards are called B3 now), I'd err on the side of caution.
TRIM is standard with any "current" drive, which a SATA-III Sandforce (the OCZ Seany listed) most should be.
I will admit that my monitor does scan a couple of different display modes before finding the PC, but we're still talking of a boot time to fully usable of about 10 seconds on the outside, and when I helped my old man build a new system over the weekend with a Crucial M4 times were similar. I don't use sleep or hibernate at all!
The gains in games are a bit more variable, some games (like the Total War series) really do benefit phenomenally, but others not so much (Dragon Age 2, though a rubbish game, did try to be clever and do a lot of streaming from the disk which meant it wasn't really worth putting it on an SSD). ArmA 2 can also get a small FPS boost from being on an SSD as the asset loading threads are pretty onerous otherwise.
28-06-2011, 04:17 PM #12
ah, well, I'm getting to login in about 8-10 seconds, yeah. I bought the drive back in August of last year.
Don't want to hijack your thread, Sean. With a SSD, like any component, just do your homework, google the drive (and the drive + your mobo + OS), see what folks are saying/rating it, etc. Tom's Hardware is a good site, and I'd also visit the forums of the manufacturer of the SSD you're considering and seeing how things are there, their support, what people are saying about the drive, etc."Unix is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.”
29-06-2011, 08:15 AM #13
For the build listed, I'd swap the i7 2600 to a i5 2500, and use the savings to upgrade to a better GPU. Or just call them savings.
Also, your SSD is good. It's a nice brand and it supports all the right things. An SSD is probably the single most powerful upgrade these days. I don't ever even think "should've gotten something else". It's just that great.
Also kinda wondering, am I the only one who cares about having a good soundcard? I got the Asus Xonar D2X a while back and man there was one hell of a difference in audioquality from my old Audigy2 800. It also does not have any noise at all.
Last edited by PoulWrist; 29-06-2011 at 08:18 AM.
09-11-2012, 04:16 PM #14
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
I am left with no option but to hijack a thread to ask this very simple question:
Where is the button that would allow me to post a new thread?
09-11-2012, 04:40 PM #15
09-11-2012, 05:45 PM #16
Regarding the graphics card, I'd ask you to reconsider getting an ATI card today. I haven't checked recently, but unless ATI cards are literally half the price of their nvidia counterpart, it's not worth it. Performance is entirely irrlevant today, most cards either in the mid-range or high end perform far more than advertised. For a frame of reference, here's what my old 8800GTX, a 6 year old card could do:
Gears of War (above 60fps @ 1920x1200)
Call of Duty 4 (above 60fps @ 1920x1200)
Crysis High (60fps @ 1680x1050)
So whatever mid-range card you are getting today, it will be guaranteed to run console ports at 60fps or above. What you have to look at is driver stability and feature sets. With nvidia you're getting excellent drivers, CUDA, physx and more importantly full support from modders and emu devs - in addition to support from game studios paid for by nvidia.
The truth of the matter is that nvidia hit it big by releasing the 8800GTX, and most games modders / amatuer programmers started out with either an 8800GTX or an 8800GT this generation. It's no wonder that almost everything that isn't a commercial game (other than RAGE) has some kind of problem with ATI cards - since the code was probably written on a machine running an nvidia card.
My PC case is smaller by 53.4 mm width wise and 87mm depth wise than the case you want to buy, yet it can pack in a crap ton of stuff including an extended PSU, a water cooling kit and full length gpu cards. Here's an old photo from 2007, I had a core 2 duo E6600 oc'ed to 3.75Ghz. All lit up like a christmas tree (god I had bad taste back then!):
If you think the case can't handle today's hardware or can't be overclocked, guess again.
You don't have to worry about space with your chosen PC case at all, unless you were planning to add 4 or more hard disks internally (unlikely).
Last edited by mashakos; 09-11-2012 at 05:53 PM.Steam profile
PC Specs: I have a big e-peen
09-11-2012, 11:41 PM #17
1. Check the date.
2. Fanboy much?
11-11-2012, 03:08 PM #18
12-11-2012, 03:14 AM #19
BONUS - why amd cpus are crap for emulators:
Originally Posted by refraction
The above are topics of performance/support/corruption issues that are common to all ati graphics card models because they are either on the driver level or hardware level. These issues are either still prevalent or have been fixed at various time spans, although amd still does not include interpolated scaler support on the firmware level in their cards.
Last edited by mashakos; 12-11-2012 at 03:34 AM.Steam profile
PC Specs: I have a big e-peen
12-11-2012, 03:05 PM #20
Wow, some guys on the internet said it, so it must be true! AMD is for teh suxx! No, wait, ATI is for teh suxx!