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Hardware  » Building New Computer - Suggestions?

11 posts found
  kftaurus

Novice Member

Joined: 7/20/08
Posts: 34

 
OP  1/16/12 10:08:41 PM#1

Hey all,

Looking to build my own custom desktop after years of buying brand name PCs. Currently own an alienware laptop that is pushing 6 years old now and the graphics card has begun to fail.  Due to all the upcoming awesome game releases I figured it is beyond time to build a custom rig, I am new at this but I have made my best attempt to compile a build, but figured maybe someone could look it over and give me any advice on where I can cut cost or where I should consider investing more.  My current budget is around $1800 I would like to try to keep it at no more that $1600 so I can get a monitor, although if anyone makes a strong enough case I can hit the $1800 mark, and would be willing to go all the way to $2000.  The main reason for building this desktop is to play Skyrim, SWTOR, and eventually Diablo 3 on max settings without problems.  Appreciate any and all help with this.  Here is the example build I had mentioned earlier, priced out at $1530:

Processor Intel i-5 2500k Sandy Bridge
Motherboard Asus P8Z68
Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
Video Card EVGA Superclocked GTX 570 (AR not TR) *THINK ABOUT GTX 580
Optical Asus 24x
Case Coolermaster HAF
Power Supply Corsair Gaming Series GS800 800W
Monitor Asus VW246H 24"
Hard Drive Western Digital 1TB 7200rpm

 

Playing:Vanguard, Firefall
Waiting for: TESO

  Letsinod

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/06
Posts: 326

1/16/12 10:12:23 PM#2

Looks very good.  Throw a SSD on there though if you can afford it.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13430

1/16/12 10:41:28 PM#3

What needs to fit in the $1600 budget?  Is that $1600 without periperhals, and then you'll buy a monitor elsewhere?  Or $1600 including peripherals?

And don't get a GeForce GTX 580.  If you want to go high end, get a Radeon HD 7970.  It's a much better card, and not that much more expensive.  A GeForce GTX 580 has a price tag much closer to a 7970 than a 6970, with performance closer to the 6970 than the 7970, and more power consumption and a worse feature set than either of the Radeon cards.

Are you planning on assembling the computer from parts yourself, or getting one built to order?  Expect to pay about 10%-20% more for something comparable if you're doing the latter.

  kftaurus

Novice Member

Joined: 7/20/08
Posts: 34

 
OP  1/16/12 11:44:59 PM#4

Quizzical,

The budget does not include peripherals, and I do plan on assembling it myself... Definitely will take your suggestion of getting a Radeon HD 7970, and also the other users suggestions on getting a SSD. Anything else? Thanks for the quick and helpful replies thus far!

Playing:Vanguard, Firefall
Waiting for: TESO

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13430

1/17/12 12:48:16 AM#5

Well then, assuming you're in the United States:

All prices including shipping and before rebates:

Motherboard:  $160

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157231

Intel seems to have dropped the silly P67 bin, which means the P67 motherboards are disappearing.  So you can get a high end motherboard at a clearance price tag.

Processor:  $230

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

It's out of stock right now, but that won't last long.  The Core i5 2500K is the processor that gaming enthusiasts pick if they can afford it.

Video card:  ~$560

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600286767&IsNodeId=1&name=Radeon%20HD%207000%20series

The Radeon HD 7970 is very new, so they're flickering in and out of stock.  Grab whichever one is in stock when you go to order.

Power supply:  $81 with promo code

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182071

Can you do high end quality at 650 W for $81?  If you're willing to give up modularity and take house brand packaging, then yes you can.  It's Super Flower's gold platform.

Processor heatsink:  $30

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

The stock heatsink for Sandy Bridge processors is terrible.  So get one that isn't.  Problem solved.

Memory:  $35

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220570

1600 MHz, 8 GB, 1.5 V, CAS 9, has a heatspreader, and it's cheap.

SSD:  $189

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442

119 GB of usable capacity, excellent speed, and excellent reliability.  Do note that you'll need to update the firmware or else it will start causing blue screens after 5184 hours of use.  The firmware update is relatively recent, as the bug wasn't discovered until 5184 hours of use, but that means that others have gone long before you to work out the bugs.

Optional hard drive:  $85

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148767

If 120 GB is ample capacity for your needs, then skip the hard drive.  If you're not sure, then you could try just the SSD now and then add a hard drive later once you need it.  But if you need a ton of capacity immediately, then get a hard drive of suitable capacity.  The speed of the hard drive doesn't matter much, as everything that is sensitive to storage speed will go on the SSD instead.

Case:  $100

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139008

Or get a different case if you want something flashier.  You should be looking to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $100, and get something with ample airflow and space.

Optical drive:  $18

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

They're all basically the same, so get something cheap.

Operating system:  $100

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986

Because you need an OS.

That comes to a little under $1600, with the exact price depending on exactly what you spend on the video card.  For that price tag, you get a high end system that will be very nice for a very long time, and there won't be any real point in upgrading it for years.

  kftaurus

Novice Member

Joined: 7/20/08
Posts: 34

 
OP  1/17/12 1:57:08 PM#6

Quizzical,

You are the best, thanks for the help bud, Im copying all the suggestions down and taking it with me over to Fry's to see what they have there.  Buying it there may be more expensive than Newegg but at least I will have it as fast as possible.  Thanks for everything, appreciate you taking the time to price everything out and especially for adding your reasoning.

I did have a question on exactly what you meant when referring to modularity in regards to the PSU.

Playing:Vanguard, Firefall
Waiting for: TESO

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13430

1/17/12 2:16:05 PM#7

Do note that I chose part partially on the basis of how expensive they were today.  Prices at Fry's may be rather different from prices at New Egg.  They presumably won't have nearly the selection, either.  Trying to pick a power supply from their selection on the spot is rather risky, too, as you could easily end up paying too much for something that is rather bad.

For modularity, perhaps some pictures will help.  Here's a power supply that is not modular:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151094

And here's one that is:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151088

Switch through the pictures to get a zoomed out view of the power supply.  Notice that the second power supply doesn't have any cables attached to the power supply.  That's because it's modular.  Rather, there are a bunch of cables sitting there detached that come with the power supply.  If you need a 6-pin PCI-E power connector, for example, then you find the corresponding cable and plug it in at both ends.  You use exactly the cables that you need, and can have the rest sitting in a box somewhere.

Compare that to the first power supply.  It has a bunch of cables attached to the power supply in a big bundle, with only one end free.  That means that Seasonic had to attach a bunch of cables to the power supply in order to hope that everything you need will be available.  If you don't use some of them, then there will be extra cables dangling loose in your case.  A modular power supply would let you take those cables out of the case entirely and have them sitting in a box somewhere, but have the other cables still available if you need them for a future upgrade.

Modularity doesn't improve power supply performance.  It doesn't meaningfully affect voltage regulation, ripple suppression, transient overshoot, energy efficiency, or anything like that.  It's just a convenience in assembly, so that you don't have a bunch of extra cables getting in your way or blocking airflow.  If they were the same price, then you'd rather have a power supply that was modular than not, but they aren't the same price.

  Adhesive33

Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 230

1/17/12 2:19:16 PM#8

Where do you live? If it's near a Microcenter, I just walked in and picked up a 2500k for $179. A lot cheaper than the what they are going for online.

  Leonona

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/06
Posts: 225

Damn evolution! Why can't I fly?

1/17/12 2:23:33 PM#9

Unless your current hardware is failing badly I would wait 3 months with the upgrade. In April the next gen Intel cpu lands(Ivy bridge) and around the same time the next gen Nvidia gpu(Kepler) comes aswell. The 7970 is currently a bit overpriced. Once Kepler comes out it will go down to $500 IMO. 

These hardware updates run on a yearly cycle and there's always new hardware around the corner being released, but since it's rather close perhaps it's worth waiting? If you don't care your cpu will be last gen in a couple of months, then go ahead and purchase now. The system proposed to you will be just fine for the next few years.

  Fornax123

Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/09
Posts: 36

1/17/12 2:26:04 PM#10

Not sure if Frys has the Crucial SSDs, but I know they have the new Samsung SSD 830 drives.  I just picked up a 256GB one a couple weeks ago and the drive is SOLID and FAST!  Here's a link to the 128GB version on frys.com:  Highly recommend getting an SSD and using it for your OS and game installs.

http://www.frys.com/product/6847996

Cheers!

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13430

1/17/12 2:45:40 PM#11
Originally posted by Leonona

Unless your current hardware is failing badly I would wait 3 months with the upgrade. In April the next gen Intel cpu lands(Ivy bridge) and around the same time the next gen Nvidia gpu(Kepler) comes aswell. The 7970 is currently a bit overpriced. Once Kepler comes out it will go down to $500 IMO. 

These hardware updates run on a yearly cycle and there's always new hardware around the corner being released, but since it's rather close perhaps it's worth waiting? If you don't care your cpu will be last gen in a couple of months, then go ahead and purchase now. The system proposed to you will be just fine for the next few years.

For video cards, the Radeon HD 7970 is the new high end card that just launched.  If you buy now, you're buying right after the start of a new cycle, not right before.  The only other high end card launching soon is the Radeon HD 7950 next month, and that's just a lower bin of the same GPU die as the 7970.  High end Kepler cards are a long way off yet.

Ivy Bridge will be a little faster than Sandy Bridge, but not a lot.  In desktops, I'd guess maybe 10% faster.  I'd be very surprised if it ends up 20% faster.

"Where do you live? If it's near a Microcenter, I just walked in and picked up a 2500k for $179. A lot cheaper than the what they are going for online."

Micro Center seems to have a business model of selling CPUs at cost, to try to get people to come in and buy other stuff while they're there.

"Not sure if Frys has the Crucial SSDs, but I know they have the new Samsung SSD 830 drives. I just picked up a 256GB one a couple weeks ago and the drive is SOLID and FAST! "

The Samsung 830 is about as good as the Crucial M4.  But the SSD at your link is $30 more than the one at mine, which is why I linked the Crucial M4.