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Looking for Advice on a PC New Build (Updated Dec 11)

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
New build in post #30

I'm new to building PCs. I want to build my own "dream" PC. I will be using this PC for gaming, music and movies. My main concerns are that my PC is upgradable "future proof" , will run anything I throw at it smoothly and is silent. I have a budget of $2,500.

I've done a great deal of research but, before I take the plunge I'd appreciate it if I could get some input. Is there anything I am missing? Are the parts I chose good quality? Is everything compatible? Is anything overkill or underpowered? Could I save money by switching to another part that's of equal quality? Currently I'm at $2,413.73 including shipping. Any suggestions would be great.

So here's what I have:

Main Parts
- Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
- ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
- G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
- (2) XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
- HT | OMEGA CLARO 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
- (2) Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
- COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
- LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 24X DVD-R SATA Black 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support
- CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

- (4) Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm Case Fan
- ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler
- (2) ZALMAN VF900 – CU 2 Ball VGA Cooler

- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

- Rosewill NEC 4+1 Port USB2.0 PCI CARD Model RC-101
- Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port
- Rosewill RC-401-EX 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Gigabit Low Profile Network Card 1 x RJ45
post #2 of 35
I've got some concerns with that build for a few reasons. First up is that the CPU is a bit overpowered, if you're able to do any overclocking at all, I don't see a reason to use anything other than an i7-920. It can reach 3.0ghz without even changing the stock voltage.

Motherboard and ram should be OK.

the video card choice is definitely problematic. You would be much better served by a single HD5870. Crossfire is really a hassle you want to get rid of. It's inefficient, unstable, demanding, etc. You could even aim for the newly-released HD5970 which is now the most powerful card on the market.

The hard drives pose a problem in that they are slow. You really need caviar Black in a high-performance system. It's also a better buy if you get a single terabyte drive coupled with an intel X25 Solid state drive. (I'm guessing you got two because you were aiming at RAID 0? I don't suggest getting tangled with RAID.)

I think that case is a little gay but that's just my personal preference for manly Lian Li cases. It seems functional enough though. Be aware that this is a steel case, it will be very heavy. I'd rather a PC-K62 if you plan on changing the fans. (I hate LED fans) (Also, you need a Corsair obsidian if you want to fit the HD 5970 though )

for the power supply, this would be a better fit. (linked below) The TX line from corsair is the cheap one. This M12D from seasonic is industry-topping and completely silent. More fitting for a high-end build.

Newegg.com - SeaSonic M12D SS-750 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS12V V2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies

For the fans, the S-flex are pretty loud. I suggest getting some lower dba fans like maybe the Noctua fans if you can afford it. 4 of them is definitely overkill too.

For the CPU cooler, I really suggest Newegg.com - Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks Much better performance and silence.

VGA cooler, these VF900 won't cool an HD5870 effectively. for your budget, you might want to look at a thermalright HR-03

the extra network card is really redundant because you already have two gigabit ports on the motherboard. So is the USB card, you already have like 30 usb ports on the motherboard.

I save some bucks here and there and add some elsewhere. Overall I think you're not far off. If you want to save more, get a single HDD, skip the windows DVDs, downgrade the motherboard.

This took me longer than I expected lol. Sorry about that.
post #3 of 35
I would maybe suggest a different case, possible the Antec 1200?

And instead of 2 5770's I would get 1 GTX285. It maybe be more money but I think it would be better for your setup. Or maybe look at 2 GTX260's? That's just me though. And I would look at the Megahalem for a CPU cooler, it is pretty much the best money can buy right now for air coolers.

If you do go the route of the GTX285 you might want to look at a larger Power supply though... Good luck on your build.
post #4 of 35
Originally Posted by unl3a5h3d View Post
I would maybe suggest a different case, possible the Antec 1200?

And instead of 2 5770's I would get 1 GTX285. It maybe be more money but I think it would be better for your setup. Or maybe look at 2 GTX260's? That's just me though. And I would look at the Megahalem for a CPU cooler, it is pretty much the best money can buy right now for air coolers.
I really advise against anything Nvidia right now. (not fanboying) Their new parts aren't ready yet and their old stuff is overpriced/underpowered/underfeatured. ATI's portfolio is really dominating from top to bottom.

(and a 750W PSU can handle pretty much anything, certainly not scared of a measly GTX285)
post #5 of 35
One thing to add. Upgrade from Win7 Premium to Pro. Premium doesn't have backwards compatibility.
post #6 of 35
For CPU coolers I would go straight to the Thermalright True or the Megahelm. And as for the PSU I would go for a Corsair modular. Do you plan on doing any overclocking btw?
post #7 of 35
I'm not sure why you are using WD green drives. The WD black costs almost the same and is faster. I suspect you want to run a RAID setup - in that case I've read the newer version of the black drives do not work in RAID.

Why do you want a separate USB and network card? All that stuff is built into the motherboard.

Finally, a comment from my experiences with computers.

Even for gaming, I've never seen any sense in spending a ton of money on a "future proof" computer. In the world of computing "future proof" is a bit of a joke. In 12-18 months a computer that costs half as much will be twice as powerful. You'll want to upgrade but you'll say "But I just spend $2500 on this computer! I can't afford..."

There is also a number of technologies that are set to ripen an appear for sane prices in the next 12-18 months. SATA 6, USB 3, SSDs, and who knows what else. Even Intels Lightpeak-IO or whatever it's called.

If it were me, I'd cut the budget in half to $1250 and build a nice rig from that. Keep the rest in the bank or use a bit of it to buy something nice (e.g. a headphone rig). Build a rig that can play the games you want at sane framerates.

Then in 18 months upgrade your computer. That's a much better way of future proofing your computer. Plus, you get all the highs that come from upgrading your computer.
post #8 of 35
best advice we can give you ?
protect your investment,
Newegg.com - APC BE450G 450 VA 257 Watts 8 Outlets UPS - UPS
post #9 of 35
That cooler will NOT cool a i7. Definently go for something with a 120mm fan -- and if you want quiet, there's always Noctua.

Otherwise, it's been covered. Hope you manage to put it together!
post #10 of 35
Or you can liquid cool it.
post #11 of 35
Spend less on the CPU and more on headphones. imo. I7 is overkill!!
post #12 of 35
Like an i5? Or perhaps AMD.
post #13 of 35
I'm with some of the others, a future-proof computer ain't gonna happen. Right now is an interesting time though, as a lot of people are still running 8800xxxx series cards (myself included) and doing pretty well with most games that are coming out. I think, right now, your money is going to go further with a pc than it has in a while.

As for advice, its hard to keep up to date on whats going on, so all I can say is that you probably won't need those extras and make sure you pick up Mass Effect if you've haven't played it!
post #14 of 35
What kind of monitor are you using? I didn't see it listed. This matters because unless you are using a very high-res panel you can save a lot of money on gfx (most mid-range cards can happily run games on 22" screens without a problem). If it was me I'd go for the Radeon 5850 and a couple of 24" panels (maybe a a 20" mounted vertically, just for the music player and e-mails). If you are looking at a system with those kind of specs I'm assuming that you'll be doing some multi-tasking and for that one of the best upgrades is multiple monitors.

I'm a bit partial to Antec cases and have the p182, what about using the p193?

I'd second going Win7 Pro it has a few extra features and OEM the price isn't too bad. Home premium has a 16Gb RAM limit and no network back-ups. 16Gb is a lot of RAM, but could be hit with a crossfire set-up and a bit more system RAM.
post #15 of 35
Originally Posted by fenixdown110 View Post
Like an i5? Or perhaps AMD.
Ya, I would probably go with a i5.
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