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Old 09-20-2011, 08:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First-Time Computer Build

Hi.

So I have been using an aging Dell laptop for a few years now and have grown tired of having to run every game I play on low or lowest settings just to get by. Since I've been investing more time into gaming lately, I've decided to finally build that gaming desktop of my dreams, however, I have little to no experience beyond my brief internet snooping.

I suppose my ideal budget is around $1000 - $1,100 - though this would include a monitor and keyboard. For a point of reference, I would like to be able to run almost all modern and soon-to-be-modern games at max or near-max settings (those I had in mind being Firefall, Planetside 2 [though I think the requirements for this game are rather unknown currently], Skyrim, Far Cry 3). For one reason or another I am under the impression that these games are not too demanding (I am not hoping to run BF3 on max here, but would like to be quite future-proof). As far as the monitor, I've been using a laptop with a 15.4" 1440x900 display for several years and, obviously, would like to upgrade to a larger display, however I don't know if a 16:10 aspect ratio would be an unwelcome change and whether or not a transition to ~24" would melt my brain.

The first thing that caught my eye was this combo deal from Newegg.

Now, after speaking to someone, I was told that the AMD PII X6 CPU would be rather unnecessary for me, and that I would do better by downgrading the CPU and upgrading the GPU, so I thought maybe X4 with HD 6950?

Also, an aside, I am by no means attached to AMD, and am open to Intel suggestions as well (I've just heard that AMD offers better prices for comparable performance).

As far as overclocking, I figure I would like to dabble in it a bit to at least get some experience, so it would be a safe bet (and maybe otherwise) to get a non-stock fan/heatsink such as the CM Hyper 212+. From what I've read this thing is slightly large so a more spacious mid-sized case would be required?

For the HD, I was thinking ~1 TB would be a good bet as I am currently almost out of space on my 320GB.

Anyway, I imagine the other components are things that one would select after choosing the above, so I will leave that for later (also I know next-to-nothing about motherboards).

Well, I hope that is enough information. Thanks ahead of time.

(Oh, also, not too relevant but an easy way to transfer files from my laptop's HD to the new one would be appreciated).

(Oh, also also, I already have a copy of w7 64x).
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

Rough suggestion:

CPU + Cooler: $164 AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE + Corsair CAFA70.
MB: $145 Asus M5A99X EVO AM3+.
RAM: $52 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600 CAS9.
HDD: $60 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3.
ODD: $19 Sony Optiarc 24x DVD/CD Burner.
GPU: $270 XFX HD 6950.
PSU: $70 620W Antec High Current Gamer Series.

Total = $780 (before shipping/rebates/promo codes/other combo deals)

Leaves $220-$320 for a monitor, keyboard, and case.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

Yha, the x6 isn't really overkill, its more not fully utilized in gaming yet, and yes going to an x4 will allow you to up to a better gpu.
Intel is not to bad now for price vs performance.. You have a good budget, though with monitor its a delicate balance.

I'm alittle tired, so I'm going to hold off on posting a build tonight, but will tommorrow...

Welcome to the forum.

See how slow I am.. Ninja'd.


Roarks builds nice.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roark View Post
Rough suggestion:

CPU + Cooler: $164 AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE + Corsair CAFA70.
MB: $145 Asus M5A99X EVO AM3+.
RAM: $52 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600 CAS9.
HDD: $60 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3.
ODD: $19 Sony Optiarc 24x DVD/CD Burner.
GPU: $270 XFX HD 6950.
PSU: $70 620W Antec High Current Gamer Series.

Total = $780 (before shipping/rebates/promo codes/other combo deals)

Leaves $220-$320 for a monitor, keyboard, and case.
Thanks for the response. A few questions, if I may..

Is the Corsair CAFA70 a better cooling unit than the CM Hyper 212+, or are you just suggesting it because it is part of this bundle?

That DVD/CD drive seems out of stock so I took a quick peek and this ASUS model seems fairly popular. I am assuming it will work just as well.

I've looked at a few of the highly rated Antec and CM mid tower cases but am not too sure on how to choose (do I want one that supports USB 3.0?). I assume I want one with a few fans to keep it cool and enough space for the CPU fan.

If people have preferred monitors for this GPU or just in general, suggestions would be appreciated. Also, are there things I should look for in a good keyboard? I've been using this laptop keyboard and have become accustomed to the flatness/ease of pressing and am wondering if a full-sized USB keyboard will feel clunky and difficult for me.

I looked at some CPU benchmarks and it appears that the i5 2500k is rather superior to the X4 965 BE. Do you think I could get away with an Intel set up in around the same price range using this CPU and a GPU that is similar to the HD 6950?

..Another way of looking at it.. would the X4 965 BE + HD 6950 combo outperform any i5 2500k + _______ for about the same price?

Ok. Another edit - what is the difference between the HD 6950 you linked and this one (or really any other HD 6950 [other than price of course])?

Thanks for the help so far.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

On the 2 gpu's: the xfx is faster by 30mhz and a lifetie warrentee.. go xfx.

The 2500k is alot better, but more expensive... Its a trade off going the x4 and athe better gpu. Games are minorly cpu dependant and majorly gpu dependant, so as long as you get above a certain cpu level, you gain little as you get a better cpu.

My suggestions for cases to folks is post up ones you like, and we'll pro/con them for you. To me cases are very personnal as you have'ta look at it everyday.. not me.

Oh, yha he choose he a70 over the 212 as it was bundled for savings, but it is great cooler too.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

Just going to reiterate some of what Paton said.

I chose the A70 yes because it is bundled which saves you $8, and yes because it is $3 cheaper than the Hyper 212+.
Also, it comes stock with 2 fans for push/pull and against a stock Hyper 212+ is 2-4įc cooler.

Yeah the Asus is just as good a DVD/CD Burner, I generally search for them on Newegg by best rating then cheapest price of those.

Considering you still need a monitor and keyboard I'd keep the case around $50, suggestions:
Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811146058.
Newegg.com - NZXT BETA EVO Classic Series CS-NT-BETA-EVO Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case.
Newegg.com - Sentey Black Box Series 4284 Mid Tower Case w/ HD Audio/ SECC .7mm 2x USB/ 4x 120mm Fans (3x w/LED)/ ATX-MATX.
Newegg.com - RAIDMAX Reiter ATX-305WBP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450W Power Supply.
That last one you'd want to ditch the power supply that comes with it.

I'm not well versed in monitors, sorry. Going to leave it up to someone else to suggest one.
For keyboards, I'd go to your local Best Buy/Walmart/Target and play with their displays to make sure you like the feel.
The Razer Arctosa might fit your needs, Newegg.com - Razer arctosa.

Going the Intel route will add about $100 to your total. Tried to trim as much fat out of this build as possible, so not sure where that $ would come from.

Ignore the above about trimming fat, found $20 when looking at GPUs again.
Newegg.com - XFX HD-695X-ZNDC Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity.
Essentially the same card, just a single fan cooling solution instead of the double.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

Okay, apparently the CPU/Cooler combo deal ended just now. NBD. I've been working with a friend and have put together an Intel and an AMD build that I think fall into my budget. Any comments would be appreciated (specifically on how the HD 6950 compares to the GTX 560 Ti with respect to the better processor in the i5 2500k).

Intel - $1070.90 (without a CPU cooler)

ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) ENGTX560 TI DCII/2DI/1GD5 Video Card

G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

RAZER Arctosa Black Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard

Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black Computer Case

ASUS VE247H Black 23.6" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W Power Supply

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

MSI P67A-G43 (B3) ATX Intel Motherboard

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS


AMD - $1052.89 (with CPU cooler)

XFX HD695XZDDC Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

RAZER Arctosa Black Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black Computer Case

ASUS VE247H Black 23.6" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor

Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W Power Supply

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ASUS M5A99X EVO AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...


Thanks for the case tips by the way, the HAF 912 looks really good for me.

Let me know what you guys think of these builds.

Also, I was told that a non-stock CPU cooler is not really necessary if I don't plan on OC'ing.. and.. that OC'ing isn't really necessary for this set up (I don't have a strong desire to OC or anything, I just thought it would be required to run some games maxed)?
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

The Intel build looks good, the 560Ti and 6950 have comparable performance.

If you do decide to overclock at all the Intel stock cooler lets you get to 3.7-4.0GHz.

Only thing I would change is spend $5 more on the hard drive and get a Caviar Black, they're faster:
Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

Roark ninjas again,

But with the 2500k you won't really need to overclock like the amd would have to, so it's a great setup.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First-Time Computer Build

I actually watch and wait for you to start reading a post, then post a response just to mess with you.

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