Critique/Improve this build please!



Approximate Purchase Date: This week!

Budget Range: 800 Max

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photo editing, movies, surfing new, MS Office, some gaming.

Parts Not Required: I only need stuff for the actual system.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: or

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: Intel please!

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No idea

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Couldn't decide on a video card and would love suggestions. 150$ max please. Also, is there enough cooling for this machine or do I need to purchase additional cooling units/supplies.

The n00b Under 800$ System

Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760

GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9

Power Supply
Rosewill RV2-700 700W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V SLI Ready Power Supply

Cooling Unit (extra?)
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3750528AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


Thank you!
First, if you're not overclocking, you don't need a CPU cooler. The Hyper is a good choice though, but I'd rather get the Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B (SCMG-2100) for $10 more...

HDD: I hate that choice. Get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB for $10 more. It's faster, more reliable and bigger. It's pretty much all around better. Or if you feel that's way too much space, the 500 GB F3 is usually around $55 (possibly less), and is still faster and more reliable. It's not as good of a buy, but it's better than the Seagate.

Mobo: I like this Asus P7P55D-E LX a lot more at the same price (after $10 rebate). It's got SATA III/USB 3 support, meaning it will support the next generation of HDD/opticals and USB devices, making it a lot more future proof.

PSU: I'm not a huge fan of Rosewill PSUs. They get alright reviews, but they're not the highest quality. Also, 700W is more than you'll need. I'd get a 550W unit from Corsair, Antec, Silverstone, or SeaSonic instead. You'll likely have to spend more, but you're buying high quality.

GPU: If you don't want to spend more than $150, you're basically stuck with the HD 5770 (around $120). It won't be that great for photo editing, at least compared to the GTX 460 1 GB (around $170-200), but otherwise it's a great card.

Finally, one thing to keep in mind is that the next set of Intel CPUs are due out almost immediately. That will make all current Intel CPUs and sockets obsolete. I'd at least wait and see what happens with the release. Either the new CPUs will be more powerful at roughly the same price or the older CPUs will be cheaper. Whatever happens, you win, so there is no reason not to wait.


Thanks for the informative and speedy reply, MadAdmiral!

I will definitely upgrade to the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, Corsair PSU and go ahead and grad the GTX 460 1 GB.

Now another quick question about the Sandy Bridge coming out -> This means I'll also need a different motherboard with the new CPU. Is there anything else I will have to change?

What am I able to buy now and get ready for the new Sandy Bridge processors/compatible motherboards.

Thanks again!
You won't have to change anything else that I know of. Possibly a different CPU cooler, but that's unknown at this point.

I'd almost hold off on buying anything. A release date other than first quarter 2011 isn't known (it was Q4 2010 a few weeks ago), so you don't want to buy parts and not be able to test them for a long time. If you did get a bad part, you'd likely have passed the return period, making replacement harder.

I would say that if you absoultely had to start buying parts now, the case, PSU, and optical would be the only things I'd consider. These parts aren't too likely to be DOA, and the prices aren't going to change much. I definitely wouldn't buy the HDD or GPU until the last moment, as the prices on them will likely drop significantly over time. The RAM is tricky, as it's extremely cheap right now ($40 for 4 GB is practically theft), but riskier as it's the most likely to be non-functional.

Keep in mind that you may have trouble finding the new parts in stock (or at least not at highly inflated prices), so it might be even longer than you expect before you can get your hands on Sandy Bridge. I'd just try to hold off on buying parts as long as possible.


You are totally awesome, bud. I'll send you a message once SB is released and things settle for further advice. Thanks again!


Dec 1, 2010
What MadAdmiral said about the cooler is not correct. What he meant is you don't need 3rd party CPU cooler. You still need a cooler so you can use the cooler that comes inside the CPU box.

I would get a small hard drive (160GB) just for OS and applications. The larger hdd can be used for personal stuff. So if OS crashes, you will still have your data.
I wouldn't recommend the small HDD idea (with an exception below). Right now, smaller drives are a lot slower than the larger drives. That means the entire performance of the build will suffer. There is no better way to make a brand new build feel ancient than using a slow HDD for the OS.

The exception to this rule is if you were to buy a SSD (Solid State Drive) to use as your boot/app drive. SSDs are an order of magnitude faster than standard HDDs, but are crazy expensive (usually $200 for 120 GB).


Sep 25, 2011

Guys, the size of the HDD has nothing to do with speed. The 2 main factors determining speed of the HDD are RPM 5400 / 7200 / 10000 / 15000 etc. and Buffer Size. Most regular HDDs come with a Buffer of around 8mb+ (multiples of 8mb). So, getting a HDD with a buffer of around 32mb is a good idea for performance. Also, if you really want to max out, you could also look for options in the SSD (Solid State Drive), but that is quite costly at the moment.

Dark Comet

Jan 15, 2008

Bigger hard drives have more dense platters therefore requiring the head to have less distance to move reducing the time it takes for the drive to read files in-turn making it faster.