Wanting to build my first desktop

Renegade14

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Hello. Thanks in advance for your time.

I am currently stationed in Iraq and will be coming home come early June. Upon arriving back to base I intend to build my first desktop. I have never built a system before and have only upgraded such things as ram, video cards, easy stuff you know? I have wanted to do this since I was a child, I am currently 20 and finally have the finances to do it.

I am here to ask for advise, anything a noobie needs to know so that I dont blow money on buying parts and most of all installing and setting things up... The last thing I want to do is break something and be out on the money. Afterall I know how sensitive the parts can be.

If anyone here can give me advise on what all I need to aquire aside from your main parts. I am talking the little stuff that most people dont know about...

I am nervous about doing this but I want to finally make my own system.

I have a general idea as to what I want in it, so most eveything has already been picked.

The system specs are as follows, feel free to give opinions here as well. I am not affraid to change stuff:

Processor: i7 940

Motherboard: Intel X58

Ram: 12 Gigs of Corsair DDR3 1600

Video Card: 2x BFG Nvidia GeForce GTX 295

Hard Drive: 2x Wester Digital 7200 RPM 500 GB

Power Supply: Antec TruePower Quattro 1000W

DVD/CD-ROM : Asus Black SATA DVD-Rom

Monitor: HP 30" LP3065 2560x1600

Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit (Would like to do duel boot with XP but no idea how to)

NIC: Killer NIC M1 Gaming Networkd Card (?Opinions?)

Case: I have not decided because I need to find one that will hold all of this and a bunch-o-fans. As well as aftermarket cooling like a Noctua 120mm CPU Cooler.

I know I need thermal paste, and I got thermal paste remover as well just in case I need to redo it.

Thats pretty much it, I know its pricey but I can afford it. Also keep in mind I am looking towards keeping this up to date for years.

EDIT: Keep in mind I built almost this exact system on Alienware for about 7.5k, same with Digital Storm.

My budget is roughly 5.5k (I have much more, but... trying to be smart here.)

Thanks
-A1C Allred
 

rgsgww

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Drop the nic-waste of money. Its ok to use the nic thats on the mobo.

Its easy to dual boot win xp and vista, come back here for help if you need it.

You might want to consider a 10k rpm hdd and partition it into halves for xp and vista. And then a 1tb storage hdd.
 

Renegade14

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At this time I dont really plan on overclocking simply because I am new to the whole thing. Getting all the BIOS setup and everything going is going to be tough enough, maybe.

I will drop the NIC, thanks.

I will look in to a different HD, but I have no idea how to split them into halves. Thats something I would need assistance on.

Thanks for the advise so far.
 

Beetle559

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I'm in the same boat as you, I also am looking at dropping some serious cash on my first build and I know how daunting it is. Anyway I'm almost ready to hit the 'buy' button on most of my parts and I will be going with the Cooler Master HAF 932 for a case. If looks are an issue then it may not suit you but every review I've read on it agrees that it does the trick for cooling and ease of installation.




Also it's huge.
 

Helloworld_98

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Quad gpu's don't scale very well, drop the 2 gtx 295's for 2 GTX 285's, they will be faster.

If your ok with overclocking then drop the i7 940 for a 920 since 920's overclock the best.

for a hd to boot from, get an intel 64gb X25-E, it will be a lot quicker than the 10k drives. Then get one or two WD Caviar Black 1TB drives for storage.
 

xthekidx

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LOL 2 gtx 285's are not better than 2 GTX 295's. Yes the GTX 295's scale poorly so the performance increase per GPU is not as much, but 4>2. 3 GTX 285's would outperform 2 GTX 295's in most circumstances due to the higher clock of the 285, some memory bound games may favor the 2 GTX 295's.

The i7 940 overclocks better than the 920. The two chips are identical except that the 940 has a higher multiplier. How would having a lower multiplier make for better overclocking? The 920 is a much better value though, which is why it would be preferable to a 940, although money doesn't seem to be much of an issue, so why not go with 3 GTX 285's SLI on the Asus P6T6 WS Revolution mobo with the i7 965 EE processor?

I would get two of these in Raid 0 for a system/apps drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227395
 

xthekidx

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CM Storm Sniper or CM HAF 932 or Antec 1200 are what I would go for as far as cases go. All are extremely well ventilated and lots of room.

640GB drives are faster than 500gb drive due to platter density, so if that is the choice then go with the 640, although with the funds you have it would be nice to get 2 SSD's in raid 0 for system/apps and then a 1TB for storage. It will be super fast.

Do not get an Intel reference board, they suck. Intel charges alot for them and they aren't any better than third party manufacturer's boards. I'd get the EVGA Classified or Asus P6T6 WS Revolution so you can get 3-way SLI going.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131358
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188047&Tpk=evga%20classified

Dell 30" monitor is an awesome monitor, probably the best out there, so I would get that.

I would go for a better PSU, just to be on the safe side. This is probably one of the best on the market.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703012

 

Renegade14

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Any other tips??? I am guessing it is better to get 3x 285's instead of 2x 295's?

I will look in to a different mobo, psu, and hd setup... Still a bit confused on what the best way to go with it is though... Like I said I am new to most all of this. Thanks.
 

croc

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And this PC is to be used for??? Seems like a lot of cash to me just for bragging rights. In two years (or less) most of it will be out-dated.
 

Crashman

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2x 295's will give a little more performance in most games than 3x 285's would. I'd ignore any advice to get an nForce 200 equiped motherboard (such as the EVGA 3X SLI Classified or P6T6 WS Revolution) and get something a bit less expensive.

Typically, boards over $300 will have pathway splitters (for x16/x8/x8 mode) where x8 is STILL fast enough for the fastest current cards (thanks to PCIe 2.0 transfer mode). Cheaper boards will typically do x16/x16/x4 mode, which is fine for 2x GTX-295.

I'd go with the DFI Lanparty DK X58-T3eH6 and two 295's. The reason I suggest DFI over the similarly-priced Asus P6T is that the P6T has its slots in x16/x16/x4 order, while the DFI has them in x16/x4/x16 order for more space between the two cards, which allows better cooling.
 

Renegade14

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Thanks again. This PC is to be used for gaming. Hardcore, not just a casual. I literally have 15 days out of the month to play... and I dont sleep much on those days off... *shrug* Nothing better to do, and the girlfriend plays with me so, two birds with one stone. I dont really think its bragging rights because, the 3x 285's or the 2x 295's will be put to use with future games right??? Or will it simply just be completely out dated with the next set of cards? I dont know crap about the how the system works, I know things get out dated really quickly... I just dont know how quick. It seems everyone thinks cheaper instead of getting the newer thing. That I dont understand because paying a bit more for the better component means more gaming at better frames, even when stuff is being out dated. Its less time that I need to worry about upgrading right??
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff


No, because you can spend loads of cash to get little or no performance gain. That's what most people call "wasting money"

Expensive boards usually don't offer more performance than mid-priced boards, and you're not going to get top CPU performance without overclocking.

If you want the best possible game performance, you might be better off with a Core 2 Duo at 4.4 GHz than a Core i7 at 4.0 GHz. Both overclocks have about the same difficulty level.

Also, there are boards that claim to provide 3x x16 slots, via an nForce 200 hub. The hub turns one x16 slot into two, but you're still stuck with the bandwidth of one x16 slot feeding two cards. Though that might be favorable to a shifting load where one card needs more data than the other, the more probable outcome is a loss in performance compared to cards that split the pathways (x8/x8), simply because you're adding another component between the CPU and graphics.

The only game I know of that favors 3-way SLI over Quad SLI is Crysis. But Crysis also favors ATI over nVidia, so if you were building for Crysis you'd probably use two 4870 x2's rather than two GTX 295's or three GTX 285's.

Each GTX 295 graphics processor has almost the same performance as a GTX 285, but the GTX 295 has two of them. Look to the GTX 275 review to see how its processor compares to the GTX 285 and think about the fact that the GTX 295 has two GTX 275 GPUs.
 

rgsgww

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Normally, I'd go with a single card solution, but since your going for such a large monitor, you should go for sli of some sort.


Some processors may show better benches than others, but in terms of gaming performance, they float about the same.

I've seen a lot of people's fps for gta iv and with patch 3 it falls around 50fps. Some guys have a q6600 and get about the same performance as me, and I have an overclocked qx9650.
 

Renegade14

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The 12Gb of RAM is like a future proof thing more or less.... Save my self the trouble of buying it in a couple years.

Perhaps I will make another thread asking people of what exactly they would build for 5k as a gaming computer... It might be easier then trying to put all this together. I am looking for both quality and performance... And no Crysis is not my top game... I could care less about playing it on like max settings. I am more about my MMORPG's and FPS games... And RTS... RTS is probably the bigger system hog.