Need Advice for New Build

athlom

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I've got an above average knowledge of computers, I've exchanged parts myself on my current pc among other various things. However this is my first time building one from the ground up.

Battlefield 3 Ultra Quality & Ultra Performance PC

I've been looking at this and contemplating this build for awhile and have gotten mixed review on it. Some say you don't need the extra card, etc, etc. I want to know what you guys think. Should I stick with this build or could somebody put me one together at a better cost (cheaper).

Approximate Purchase Date: Putting an order in tonight would be awesome, but I want to give everyone a chance to put in their two cents, so by the end of this weekend I would like to reach a final decision.

Budget Range: Anywhere up to $2200, this is to include everything including os, etc. (Preferably right about $2000 at the most after mail in rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Schoolwork, Media, Surfing.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg OR TigerDirect

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: Only preferences are Intel/Nvidia

Overclocking: Doesn't matter

SLI or Crossfire: Doesn't matter

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: My goal is to basically have a PC that can run BF3 on ultra with a good frame rate (something that will last a couple years/be easily upgraded if need be) and something quiet. Preferably fan cooled, never used liquid cooling, but i'm open to it as long as it's not TOO complicated.
 

BohleyK

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Well if you got the money for one of those setups, go for it. They aren't bad but you could do better on your own and save money still.

I'd grab an i5 2500k with a nice aftermarket heatsink. The Frio is pretty good but it looks like a matchbox car or something. Grab 8GB of RAM. It really doesn't matter what brand you choose. RAM is RAM. For a motherboard I'd grab something from either Gigabyte, ASUS, or ASrock in the PCIe3.0 with plenty of USB3.0 as well.

For a GPU I'd honestly rather an AMD card. They're cheaper, perform just as well, and can run three monitors without having two cards installed. The HD7970 is the best card on the market and is around the same price as Nvidia's flagship. If you must have NVIDIA grab the GTX 580 or wait for Keplar which is coming out soon. I would also build only a single GPU machine.

As for the PSU I'd use a 750W unless you must have a SLI config then go 850W with the GTX580. Grab a 120GBish SATAIII SSD with good read and write times and a 1TB HDD and your all set besides the case which is always a personal preference.

This should cost you around $1500
 

g-unit1111

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I'd grab an i5 2500k with a nice aftermarket heatsink. The Frio is pretty good but it looks like a matchbox car or something. Grab 8GB of RAM. It really doesn't matter what brand you choose. RAM is RAM. For a motherboard I'd grab something from either Gigabyte, ASUS, or ASrock in the PCIe3.0 with plenty of USB3.0 as well.
I'm not a fan of the Frio either. I've honestly come to prefer much smaller and more efficient coolers like the Hyper 212 rather than huge, obnoxious ones that barely fit in the case.

For a GPU I'd honestly rather an AMD card. They're cheaper, perform just as well, and can run three monitors without having two cards installed. The HD7970 is the best card on the market and is around the same price as Nvidia's flagship. If you must have NVIDIA grab the GTX 580 or wait for Keplar which is coming out soon. I would also build only a single GPU machine.
Not necessarily cheaper (see 7970). Where the AMD's biggest strengths lie is with Eyefinity and the ability to setup multiple monitors easily. NVIDIA doesn't have anything remotely close.

Try something like this:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $99.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68 Deluxe - $259.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $44.99
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $46.99
SSD: Samsung 830 64GB - $109.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB - $129.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $19.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 - $559.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1946.88
 

athlom

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Thanks, I'm off to work so I will check this one out more in-depth when I get home. Would love to see if anyone else has any good builds as well.
 
i5-2500k $230 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072



Gigabyte 1155 Motherboard $160 (390) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512



8GB Crucial RAM $40 (430) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148347



Hyper 212 CPU cooler $30 (460) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065



EVGA OCd 580 $488 (948) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130590



Asus 24x DVD $27 (975) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204



Crucial M4 SSD 128GB $182 (1157) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442



Samsung 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive 32 mb cache $167 (1324) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185



XFX 850w $96 (1420) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207011



Lian Li Case $180 (1600) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112240





Total without OS is $1600.

Add one of the below OS options depending on your situation



OS

If you already own a legal copy of XP or Vista and are not a student

Windows 7 Upgrade CD $129 http://www.discountmountainsoftware.com/wi7pruprebox.html




If you are a student

Windows 7 Professional with student discount $65 http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/productID.216644200

If you are not a student and don't have a prior license to upgrade from

Windows 7 Professional Full Version Retail $230 http://www.discountmountainsoftware.com/wi7prfuvereb.html

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Vs gunit's build

Better case
Worse but close to the same PSU
Worse motherboard
Worse cooler
Higher quality ram
2x size SSD
Faster HD with worse cache
Better rated CD drive
Worse video card, but it isn't sold out. If you can find the 7970 and want it then it fits in the budget
My OS options are legal
 

athlom

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Wow, thank you for this. I am a student and is this will save me quite a lot considering I was gunning for the retail of Win 7 Professional. :D
 
NP.

I have 3 copies of Windows 7 myself.

One student version for my computer. One retail upgrade version for my wife's computer, and one OEM version that came with my Acer Aspire laptop.

All excellent costs while staying on the right side of the license agreements.
 

somekidxd

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i5 2500k $230
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s $122
GIGABYTE GV-R797D5-3GD-B Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit $550
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $40
Corsair Carbide Series 400R $100
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III $182
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE $100
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB $100

$1424
 

g-unit1111

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Moderator
Vs gunit's build


Better case
Worse but close to the same PSU
Worse motherboard
Worse cooler
Higher quality ram
2x size SSD
Faster HD with worse cache
Better rated CD drive
Worse video card, but it isn't sold out. If you can find the 7970 and want it then it fits in the budget
My OS options are legal
Case: IMO, I personally believe that Lian-Li is ridiculously overrated for what you get cost-wise vs. comparable cases from Cooler Master, Antec, Corsair, Fractal, etc.

Video Card: Give it a month and we'll start to see production ramped up on the 7970, I'm guessing the shortage is related to the high demand for them right now.

HD / SSD: Yeah you can get one with higher capacity and that sort of thing but I've never really seen the difference when you have a Green HD vs. a 7200 RPM HD as your secondary. If that drive were your primary I could see where that would make a huge difference.

OS: I still will never be able to figure out what makes an OEM version legal vs. a full version. You can't really prove why the system is "new" or if you've "resold" the system to anyone other than yourself, and if it were to come up in court, there's no way the other side could really prove their case either. And what makes it a new system - new HD format? New motherboard? New SSD? There's so many factors to this and there's no way either side could accurately make a claim, which is why I usually recommend them.

CD Drive: I hate the Asus bulk DVD burner and will never recommend it as I had one nearly explode on me, and I sent it back to Newegg the day I got it for that reason. I like Lite-On and Plextor (LG has been really good too) the best and that's generally who I recommend every time.

If you do an OC, how high are you going to go? If more than 4.5 GHz, like me, get the H100 Corsair Water Cooler.
I've been researching coolers heavily lately and I have never seen where closed loops offer any benefit over a solid heat sink / fan setup. With water cooling there's tons of room for error and more room for failure vs. traditional air cooling, and on a $2K build you don't want to take your chances.
 
OS - The license terms decide what is legal and what isn't.

There are plenty of ways that MSFT can pin the illegal OS on you if they choose to.

They could trace the parts back to where you got it from and ask Newegg for the name of the buyer and the name on the credit card or other account used to pay with, for one.

They could ask to see the receipt for when you bought the computer from the OEM maker, or ask you who the OEM was and if you can't spit it out then your legal copy defense won't be looking so hot.

If you just picked out a random name like CyberPower or something they could poll that company to ask if anyone with your name bought a computer with those specs from them.

Regardless, I do intend to at least point it out every time I see someone suggesting that something illegal be done and to suggest that it not be. If you don't want me to bring it up in threads all the time then don't suggest people do illegal things and I won't.

Just because you don't like how the legalese is written in regards to words like "new", "resold", and so on doesn't mean you can interpret them at will. They have strict legal definitions, feel free to look them up.

In the legal world, a word that may have 100 real life definitions tends to have only 1 definition. Lawyers don't usually play around with that stuff very often. If a different definition other than the standard is used then it is probably in the license agreement itself what constitutes "new", "resold", and so on.

The tax code isn't hundreds of thousands of pages long because people are encouraged to be "creative" about what is and isn't legal, for instance.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator


I get what you're saying but I'd really like to question that clause because the terms are defined way too loosely. They say it's a new system that you put this license on, or that it was "sold" to you but they really don't define any of these terms. I know some people in law school so I'd really like to ask them and get the expert opinions on this.
 
Go ahead.

It doesn't sound very ambiguous to me. It clearly says retail full version licenses are appropriate for the DIY market on the license for hobbyists page.

I dont see how any competent lawyer won't understand that.
 
Windows installation files aren't what is controlled. You can take a Windows 7 64 bit CD and install it on 100 computers if you want and Microsoft won't care. They would even be happy about it because it takes market share from competitors.

The CD Keys are what is controlled. Unless you have a license that says you get multiple activations with the same CD Key then each one will start shutting down after the free trial period has expired. You won't have a good user experience because of this problem so you will have to acquire a CD key somewhere or install a different OS.

It is most likely the case that your dad's CD only comes with 1 license and no more.

I installed Windows 7 on my wife's computer off of my own CD and let her test it out and when she said she would like to stick with it I bought another copy of Windows 7 Professional 64 (not OEM!) and just typed in the CD key in her computer and it worked.

That is completely fine according to Microsoft.

OP - I would just stick with my build.
 

athlom

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Okay, after doing a bit of research and thinking I took the best of both gunits build and raidens builds:

LIAN LI ARMORSUIT PC-P50

ASUS 24X DVD Burner

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W High Performance

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III

SAPPHIRE 21197-00-40G Radeon HD 7970 3GB

Windows 7 Professional Upgrade

Anyone see any problems with this build? I think I have everything covered, I was just wondering about a sound card/speaker combo, I have a Steelseries 3H but I tend to use my speakers more, mostly for media/gaming. Any suggestions?
 

BohleyK

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The write times on Crucial SSDs suck. Most other brands like OCZ, G.Skill, Corsair have very similar GB/$ ratios with double+ write times. You also don't need 950W of juice and can easily get by on 700W. Also Lian Li is very expensive AND UNFORTUNATELY THE MOTHERBOARD TRAY IS NOT REMOVABLE!
 

athlom

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Could anyone possibly recommend anything else for these so I can debate some more, and/or validate this? Much appreciated, hopefully putting the order in tonight or tomorrow.
 
I think the read time for SSDs is the primary point of consideration.

If you install Windows and Games on it once and then play them over and over after that you get a lot more read time in than write time.

The benefit on the other hand is that the Crucial SSDs have 5x less failure rate than some other major brands like OCZ.

- Edit - I have a Lian Li case and I don't miss the removable tray. I had a couple DELLs that I used to administer at work in the past that had removable trays and it was a cute little thing, but hardly make or break.

I would also rather see you get an XFX 750w or 850w instead of the PC P&C, because XFX is made by Seasonic and PC P&C isn't.
 

BohleyK

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Well if you are going to pay $200 for a Lian Li mid tower you should have one with a removable motherboard tray in my opinion. But as always the case is always a personal preference and it is a very nice case at that. Corsair makes very nice cases, namely the Obsidian class, and is cheaper. Although its not solid aluminum as the Lian Li is.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139006

Fair enough response on the Crucial. I've just seen a lot of people selecting them when there are better performers out there. I have a SATAII G.Skill and it works as well as an SSD could with better timings than the Crucial. Albeit its not a SATAIII but its stable.

What I would buy:

Kingston SATAIII 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139599

Corsair SATAIII 120GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233191

You have a nice build. If you like what you already have then go for it.
 

athlom

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I've thought about it and I am going to stick with what I have. I like the idea of a full aluminum case, and the crucial ssd isn't enough of a difference from the other brands to justify paying anything more.

Is there any downsides to getting the PC Power 950/upsides to going with an XFX PSU?

Still waiting to see if anyone could recommend a sound card/speaker setup.

Really appreciate the help so far guys. ;)
 
The XFX 850w is a better OEM (Seasonic) than the PC P&C is, but the PC P&C is still pretty good.

I don't think there is any good reason to make the choice more complicated than it has to be. I just go with the best OEM and be done with it.

I also think that 99% of people are just fine with the sound that is built into the motherboard. You probably will be too.

That being said, I really like my DELL monitor and sound bar attachment. I am glad I don't have any regular speakers.

If my current monitor (of like 7 years now) breaks, I think I might just buy another DELL monitor if the price wasn't too bad just to keep the sound bar capability.
 

athlom

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Duhhh. Nobody pointed out that the SSD was a 2.5" size. How exactly should I go about mouting/using it, remember this is for a desktop. I was told I can just tape it down somewhere, considering there's no moving parts just to be careful not to restrict airflow. :fou:
 

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