building a new desktop

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by drcrappants, Aug 10, 2011.

Aug 10, 2011

building a new desktop by drcrappants at 10:38 PM (1,517 Views / 0 Likes) 18 replies

  1. drcrappants
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    Newcomer drcrappants Member

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    i have been using a laptop since 07. with a crappy integrated graphics card, i could not run many things well. now i want to invest in a computer to last 6-8 years that i can try building with a more experienced friend. if retail is cheaper, i'll just get that (pros/cons?).

    i want to be able to run some games and have fast speed in general. i'm preparing to spend $1000 +- $200.

    the thing is i know very little about computers. i cant tell if something is good or bad. can someone point me in the right direction? so far all i know is i5 or i7 is latest cpu goods, 4x4 ram seems good (do i need more)?, 1-2tb hd are common, PSU will be dependent on my components, VGA idk anything about, and monitor i'd like 20+ inch. motherboard i know nothing about too.

    i'd appreciate anyone who could give me some tips for finding good components, good prices, specs to look out for, best time to buy, best place to buy, or even a guide/popular site/suggestions. thanks!
     
  2. Lee79

    Member Lee79 Hyper...Active...Team Fortress 2 Addict

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    If you have enough get a SSD for programs and games and a 1 or 2 TB drive for Music, Videos and Documents. I recommend the Crucial M4 series. A SSD made the biggest differents to my PC after upgrading to one everything just loads in seconds saves a lot of time waiting and makes the PC so much more usable.

    This is what I came up with on Newegg.com doesn't include a SDD and comes to $1,309.91 but some items have mail in rebate and you get a free 4GB USB stick and a copy of Dirt 3 with the Graphics card.


    COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Item #: N82E16811119216

    $99.99 -$10.00 Instant
    $89.99

    $10.00 Mail-in Rebate

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive Item #: N82E16822152185

    $64.99 -$5.00 Instant
    $59.99

    ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
    ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
    Item #: N82E16824236052

    $219.99 -$40.00 Instant
    $179.99

    $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card


    HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ...
    Item #: N82E16814161372

    $269.99

    $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

    HIS Gift - DIRT3 Game Redemption Coupon

    HIS Gift - DIRT3 Game Redemption Coupon
    Item #: N82E16800997061

    $49.99 -$49.99 Saving
    $0.00


    CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX750 (CMPSU-750AX) 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active ...
    Item #: N82E16817139016

    $179.99 -$10.00 Instant
    $169.99


    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
    Item #: N82E16820231428

    $59.99


    Kingston DataTraveler 101 Gen 2 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (Cyan) Model DT101G2/4GBZ
    Item #: N82E16820139245

    $7.99 -$7.99 Saving
    $0.00

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813128506

    $189.99

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
    Item #: N82E16819115072

    $219.99

    LG Black Super Multi SATA WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827136226

    $79.99 -$10.00 Instant
    $69.99

    Total $1,309.91 + free shipping
     
  3. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    This guide will help you find specific parts according to price/value ranges. It will also match the motherboard to the CPU, so you can just buy whatever is in the same range. It does not include a monitor, mouse, keyboard, OS, etc, so you'll have to factor that into your budget.

    CPU: For now, the PhenomII or Core i5-2500K or i7-2600K are the best CPUs. Core i5 is better than PhenomII in most cases, but tends to cost a bit more.
    Motherboard: AM3+ for PhenomII, H61/H67/P67/Z68 for the newer Core i5/i7. If you're getting a graphics card, then get the P67 or Z68 (Z68 costs more, but has extra niche features).
    RAM: 2x2GB or 1x4GB is the minimum, and can be obtained from $35 up. Just get the cheapest DDR3 RAM you find, since there's no perceivable difference in performance. You do NOT need more than 8GB unless you're doing some rather specialist work. Generally, you don't need more than 4GB, although lots of system builders like to put 6GB in their rigs.
    Heatsink: This is optional. The CPU will come with a basic heatsink, which is all you'll ever need if you don't overclock. If you overclock, or want better cooling, or want a quieter system, you'll want to get a third party heatsink. If you care about any of this, say so and I'll give some recommendations.
    Graphics: The more intensive games you want to play, the more money you want to put into the graphics card. I would say as a minimum, get a HD5770 or GTX 550. HD6850 and GTX 560 make the mid-range, and HD6970 and GTX 570/580 are the best. Do not even consider multi-GPU setups (like the HD6990 or GTX 590), since they create microstuttering and that is bad for games.
    PSU: Two rules - never get a non-branded PSU, and never overtax your PSU. Getting a PSU that's 600W or above is a good idea, preferably from good brands like Antec, Enermax, Tagan, etc. If you get a modular PSU, you will have an easier time managing cables inside the case.
    Case: This is largely aesthetic. Get one big enough for your chosen graphics card. Pick one that has a good amount of airflow (e.g. intake fans on the front and exhaust fans on the rear/top). If you want, get a SilverStone case which has the motherboard rotated 90 degrees so all the cables come out of the top (it has fans on the top and bottom for direct airflow). Pick any case you like really - mine is an Antec 1200.
    HDD: If you want to use a SSD for booting and a HDD for storage, it won't matter what HDD you get (so long as it's not from Seagate). Crucial C300 and M4 series are some of the best, although the OCZ Vertex3 series (with a SandForce 2000 controller) is the only series to go above the 5Gbs barrier that most SATA3 controllers have (only H67, P67 and Z68 motherboards can utilize the full 6Gbs of SATA3). If you think SSD are too expensive for the little amount of capacity they give, you should either get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB or a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB (costs more, but has slightly better performance). If you want a second HDD for extra capacity, go for a Samsung EcoGreen model (e.g. Spinpoint F4EG 2TB) or a WD Caviar Green model. The reason for this is because you want good performance on your boot drive, and low energy usage on your secondary/storage drive.
    DVD: I normally tell people to get the cheapest $17 or $18 DVD drive they can get off newegg. DVDs are practically obsolete anyway.
    Others: Monitor, mouse, keyboard, OS... all up to you really.
     
  4. drcrappants
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    Newcomer drcrappants Member

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  5. kevan

    Member kevan Imagination rules the world

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    Whats wrong with Seagate?
     
  6. Chhotu uttam

    Member Chhotu uttam DOH HO HO HO

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    Seagate sucks [​IMG]
    most likely they die off very quickly.
    Prefer WD over seagate.
     
  7. JinTrigger

    Member JinTrigger Asentrix Studios

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    What Originality posted should be sticky-ed somewhere. That was extremely informative as I too am trying to build a computer up.
     
  8. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Chhotu, you contradicted yourself.

    My grudge against SeaGate is that every single SeaGate drive I've ever had or ever worked with (in friends/clients computers or external drives) to date - is dead. Every one of them. Some die in a couple months, some in a year and a half, but they all died. Compare to WD, I've only seen two dead WD drives. I've never seen a dead Samsung drive and I've only seen one very old dead Hitachi drive (although I've not actually seen many of them anyway). So based on pretty much a lifetime of observation, SeaGate drives suck.

    OT: I wouldn't mind building a PC building guide that would almost certainly end up stickied, it just depends on the demand for such a guide. The thing about system building is that it's much more dependant on a client's needs, and the budget they are willing to work with. If someone wanted the best computer in the world, they could either just buy the most expensive parts and put them together, or they could just buy a prebuilt "dream machine" for $1000 +. A guide would also have to include advice for low-budget builds, and that's much harder to tack down. I could also just re-link the chart from my post, but that's kinda cheating since it's someone else's work that they're constantly updating.
     
  9. Chhotu uttam

    Member Chhotu uttam DOH HO HO HO

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    Edited the post,I guess I need to work on english :P
     
  10. drcrappants
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    Newcomer drcrappants Member

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  11. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Dell XPS 8300 Specs:
    CPU: Core i7-2600
    RAM: 12GB (2x4 + 2x2GB)
    Graphics: HD 6450
    HDD: 1TB
    Case: Dell
    PSU, Motherboard, DVD: whatever Dell can source cheaply
    Monitor included: Dell 23"

    What this system has, is a good CPU (albeit not the K series, so overclocking is almost impossible) and lots of RAM (twice as much as it'll ever need). It also comes with a monitor, although that's where the good points end. The graphics card is the cheapest they could get from the current market, the HDD will probably be the cheapest they can get (which tends to mean Seagate), the PSU and motherboard (it'll be a H61 motherboard since it has no USB3) will be the cheapest they can find, and the case will undoubtedly suck (it's got the Dell logo on the front).

    Translated, it'll be fine for playing older games, struggle on the newer games (it'll play them, but don't expect to max out the settings or get 60fps for that matter), but otherwise be fine for office work, internet usage, watching HD multimedia (videos, etc) and it can probably do fine with photo editing. I wouldn't want to try video editing on it though.

    My opinion is that it sucks, but my needs (moderate gaming) are heavy on the graphics card and not so much the CPU. If you're only a casual gamer, then it'll be fine for you, although you will never need more than 4GB of RAM. 12GB is just a waste. I also believe I can make a better build in newegg for roughly the same price, but I prefer just giving advice and not doing all the work for others.
    EDIT: That last line is unnecessary, my first post does include a table and if you look at the $935 build, it's vastly superior to the Dell.
     
  12. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    they use custom bios which block overclocking anyway
     
  13. CCNaru

    Member CCNaru Warn-free Since 2005

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    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_...duct_id=0365066
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16883155177 oh hay guise!

    same exact model, just with a little less ram and $200 less.

    Where are you located? look for shops like Microcenter, Tigerdirect and Fry's (yes Tigerdirect.com has a local store now), they usually have really cheap deals going on.

    SSDs are really good but I'd buy them later; too expensive for now, and honestly you really don't NEED it. I had it for a couple of days (Agility III) and while it was fast, it broke down on me so fast (OCZ is bad at making reliable SSDs though). but if you really do want it, get an INTEL one.

    12gb ram: stupid. 4gb is more than enough, 8 or more right now is overkill. / 23" monitors are $129 here locally / 6450 isn't even good, it's a $50 trash card and you need $150-200+ GPUs to be able to run current games on medium settings. / i7 is the best but if you want to save money, those are a bit overkill I'd have to say.

    Also these prebuilt computers have PSU that exactly matches the amount of wattage needed to barely run the PC, so if you want to replace your GPU you'll also have to replace your power supply too... a waste of money. and you might have to get a new case too since Iv
     
  14. kakashidesu

    Newcomer kakashidesu Newbie

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    Compatibility might be an issue, so be careful. Good branded RAM comes with lifetime warranty, which might be useful (Gskill etc.).
    Get 1333mhz RAM cos 1600 doesn't make a real difference.
     
  15. drcrappants
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    Newcomer drcrappants Member

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    does the timing of ram matter? several numbers usually 9-9-9 something. newegg has 1x4gb for 12$ after rebate [​IMG]
     
  16. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    There is no significant difference between 1333Mhz RAM and 2300Mhz RAM. Intel CPUs can only use 1333Mhz and only the new AMD Lynx (and probably Bulldozer when it comes out) can use 1866Mhz. The only advantage to having 1600Mhz RAM is that when you over clock the CPU, the RAM will probably be down clocked to 1333Mhz. As for the timing, I don't actually know anything about it but I've heard from several sources that it doesn't produce any significant difference, especially at stock speeds.

    The usual advise is to get the cheapest pair of RAM sticks you can find, so 2x2GB kits or 2x4GB kits (which should cost between $20-60). G.Skill, Corsair, Kingston, it's all the same. FYI, reviews peg Corsair RAM to be the best.
     
  17. moose3

    Member moose3 GBAtemp Regular

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    According to this article on anandtech.com 1600Mhz is the 'sweet spot' for memory and the timings are not that critical. Granted they were using an i7 processor.

    The performance is not that different, but it is there and the price difference between a 1333 and a 1600 memory set is not large, so you might as well take the boost for a little extra $$.
     
  18. drcrappants
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    Newcomer drcrappants Member

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    http://www.microcenter.com/specials/email/...nding_0826.html

    is this a good deal? which is the best? the gigabyte one is cheapest, but would that suffice for gaming/performance?



    also, monitors are now LCD or LED. what should i choose/consider when getting my monitor? seeking 23+, though theres a 20incher for 40$....
     
  19. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    The motherboard doesn't have a huge impact on gaming or performance. What you should be looking for in motherboards is stability and features. The gigabyte MoBo is mATX, so it's shorter than the others (designed for smaller cases) and that also means it has less features. The PRO MoBo in the middle has the most features, and a high price to match.

    Unless you really need the special features of the Z68 chipset (e.g. SSD and GPU virtualisation), you're far better off getting a P67 (if you have a graphics card) or H67 (if you're using integrated graphics) motherboard. CustomPC magazine recommends the MSI P67A-GD53 because from the Z68 motherboards they've reviewed so far, none can actually justify the increased price (when looking at performance).

    For monitors, the difference between LCD and LED is that LED can turn off the backlit to provide "true black" whilst LCD will always be a lil grey. Don't let that determine your choice - read reviews of any monitor you consider to make an informed decision when you buy.
     

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