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Vermillion

Building a Computer

30 posts in this topic

Okay check this out, my computer isn't going to run GW2, well, not above 30 FPS anyway so I need a new rig. But I want to build my own thing this time so I'm trying to come up with a check list of essential parts I need.

Any help would be appreciated since I've never done this before, though I did manage to install my brother's graphics card, hard drive and power supply for his computer after drinking 2 32oz bottles of Colt 45 so I must have some natural talent for this. :)

Okay my checklist also detailing what I already have and what I want in some cases.

cpu - no clue at this time, want a quad core though

motherboard - considering the ASRock Extreme4 Gen3

hard drive - I have a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250 GB

ram - considering this

dvd drive - I'll just use the one in my current PC

graphics card - want the nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti

power supply - just ordered a 520 ATX by Dynex for a steal at $12

fans - I have plenty of those

case - I've got a big one and several small ones

Am I leaving anything out and any suggestions?

Edited by Vermillion

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cpu - I would recommend an intel. If you can, definitely get an i7.

motherboard - I don't know much about motherboards,but it seems like it will be good.

hard drive -I would get a bigger hard drive

ram - Good

dvd drive - Good

graphics card - Thats what I've got. Depending on your budget, if you can, go for one thats a bit better. If you can't, still a great card.

power supply - Good

fans - Good

case - Good

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That should be everything. Is that HDD new, or is it the one you're currently using? Either way, I'd suggest upgrading to one that's over 500 GB, and get Windows 7 if you don't already have it.

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You should maybe wait for the GeForce 600 Series cards, they will arrive soon, and some of them already have.

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How much are you looking to spend on the CPU? Looking at your motherboard, I assume you're going with Intel? Intel just came out with new models, i3/i5/i7-3xxx. The i5's are nice. The i5-2500k from last year was a very popular CPU. There are the i3's if you're looking for something cheaper.

Building computers isn't so bad after you've built a couple.

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power supply - just ordered a 520 ATX by Dynex for a steal at $12

Big mistake. That PSU would make Tesla cry.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027

Thank me later.

---------- Post added 05-10-2012 at 10:10 AM ----------

I just looked up the wattage for the 12v for that PSU.

I believe it's 18amps, which is a total joke.

18Ax12V = 216W

Big. Fucking. Joke.

If it's a dual-rail then it's probably around 30A combined which is ~350W for the 12v line.

BTW, the 12V is the only line that's really important.

---------- Post added 05-10-2012 at 10:19 AM ----------

http://www.dynexproducts.com/cms/documents/Manuals/DX-520WPS_11-0391_MAN_V1_EN_Final_lr.pdf

Proof that it's dual-rail.

18A + 16A.

That's around... 24A combined (because it's a big piece of shit).

288W for the 12V line combined.

That's horrible.

Edited by Tahiti

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Er wouldnt the GTX 560 require around 350W just by itself? Tack on the typical CPU wattage of ~90-120 and other peripherals, and I'd probably be more comfortably with a 700W PSU just for the leeway of being able to upgrade to better stuff in the future. I use a Corsair TX750 with a pair of older ATi cards in crossfire and it's been great. I definitely recommend Corsair as a brand.

Keep in mind the size of your cards and everything else you plan to plug into the motherboard when searching for one. Your MicroATX board is just that--micro. It's made for medium-smaller cases. Make sure your card on that board will fit IN a smaller case (though I wouldn't recommend it, I always go mid-large size cases) and keep in mind that if it barely fits in end-to-end, then it probably wont fit when accounting for wherever the slot is placed on the mobo (and where the mobo is positioned within the case). I purchased a Gigabyte ATX motherboard that had four PCIe channels, but plugging in two video cards effectively covered the remaining two up and obscured the PCI slot as well so I couldn't add even a dinky sound card or something if I wanted to. Make sure it has enough connectors if you want to add 3-pin fans and such to the case, otherwise you'll have to make sure you have enough connectors on your PSU. Here's a motherboard that looks like the sister to the one you listed--same price, bigger form factor if you want to go with the larger case--and another one that's not SLI-ready, but is a Customer's Choice award winner.

I also assume that you're okay with it having no onboard video. I personally like having a fallback in case my card shits the bed, but just something else to consider.

G.Skill RAM is fantastic, I've bought it for three computers now and I really couldn't be happier. Any reason you went for a set that's 9-24 instead of 7-20? You might not notice the difference, but I always go for lowest latency, myself, and RAM is so cheap now...here's the G.Skill Ripjaws with the lower latency for a couple bucks more. Just as well-reviewed and I can tell you from experience that the fins on them are very unobtrusive.

As for CPU, if you have the budget, an intel Sandy Bridge processor (like the i7 2600K) is a monster. A cursory look at Intel CPUs on Newegg lists just about everything between $250 and $300, so you might as well go with that. I remember seeing benchmark tests that showed them as being comparable to server-grade CPUs. I personally have had an i7 920 and it has served me very well, my computer still runs as fast as the day I got it, and takes on whatever I throw at it.

I'm looking to get GW2 myself and the only thing I'll probably upgrade are my video cards.

Edited by mieu

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Big thanks to everyone here who's added their two cent. The help is really appreciated! :thumbsup:

That should be everything. Is that HDD new, or is it the one you're currently using? Either way, I'd suggest upgrading to one that's over 500 GB, and get Windows 7 if you don't already have it.

I'm going to stick with the HDD I have right now, it's the one I'm currently using. I'm not the kind of guy who runs out of space easily since I usually only install one game on my PC at a time. If I need to upgrade later I can.

btw, does Windows 7 make games run better than XP?

You should maybe wait for the GeForce 600 Series cards, they will arrive soon, and some of them already have.

What is the major benefit of the 600 cards? I looked on this page and it looks like the ones that are reasonably priced have performance comparable to cards in the 500 series.

Big mistake. That PSU would make Tesla cry.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139026

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139027

Thank me later.

---------- Post added 05-10-2012 at 10:10 AM ----------

I just looked up the wattage for the 12v for that PSU.

I believe it's 18amps, which is a total joke.

18Ax12V = 216W

Big. Fucking. Joke.

If it's a dual-rail then it's probably around 30A combined which is ~350W for the 12v line.

BTW, the 12V is the only line that's really important.

---------- Post added 05-10-2012 at 10:19 AM ----------

http://www.dynexproducts.com/cms/doc...N_Final_lr.pdf

Proof that it's dual-rail.

18A + 16A.

That's around... 24A combined (because it's a big piece of shit).

288W for the 12V line combined.

That's horrible.

I don't really have the technical know how to understand most of that. The Dynex works great for my brother's computer so I'll give it a shot. If it fucking sucks I'll see about getting one of the power supplies you mentioned. Thanks for the heads up. :)

Er wouldnt the GTX 560 require around 350W just by itself? Tack on the typical CPU wattage of ~90-120 and other peripherals, and I'd probably be more comfortably with a 700W PSU just for the leeway of being able to upgrade to better stuff in the future. I use a Corsair TX750 with a pair of older ATi cards in crossfire and it's been great. I definitely recommend Corsair as a brand.

Two votes for the Corsair. If anything goes wrong with the Dynex I'll switch to Corsair. btw, there's no harm in having a more powerful power supply than you need right?

Keep in mind the size of your cards and everything else you plan to plug into the motherboard when searching for one. Your MicroATX board is just that--micro. It's made for medium-smaller cases. Make sure your card on that board will fit IN a smaller case (though I wouldn't recommend it, I always go mid-large size cases) and keep in mind that if it barely fits in end-to-end, then it probably wont fit when accounting for wherever the slot is placed on the mobo (and where the mobo is positioned within the case). I purchased a Gigabyte ATX motherboard that had four PCIe channels, but plugging in two video cards effectively covered the remaining two up and obscured the PCI slot as well so I couldn't add even a dinky sound card or something if I wanted to. Make sure it has enough connectors if you want to add 3-pin fans and such to the case, otherwise you'll have to make sure you have enough connectors on your PSU. Here's a motherboard that looks like the sister to the one you listed--same price, bigger form factor if you want to go with the larger case--and another one that's not SLI-ready, but is a Customer's Choice award winner.

Good eye, I didn't notice that the motherboard I posted was a small one. I do want one for my big case so I'll take this into consideration. :)

I also assume that you're okay with it having no onboard video. I personally like having a fallback in case my card shits the bed, but just something else to consider.

That's a good point, I don't know much about it though. How does onboard video work?

G.Skill RAM is fantastic, I've bought it for three computers now and I really couldn't be happier. Any reason you went for a set that's 9-24 instead of 7-20? You might not notice the difference, but I always go for lowest latency, myself, and RAM is so cheap now...here's the G.Skill Ripjaws with the lower latency for a couple bucks more. Just as well-reviewed and I can tell you from experience that the fins on them are very unobtrusive.

I saw those Ripjaws, I didn't know they were better than the Snipers though. In that case I'll get the Ripjaws.

As for CPU, if you have the budget, an intel Sandy Bridge processor (like the i7 2600K) is a monster. A cursory look at Intel CPUs on Newegg lists just about everything between $250 and $300, so you might as well go with that. I remember seeing benchmark tests that showed them as being comparable to server-grade CPUs. I personally have had an i7 920 and it has served me very well, my computer still runs as fast as the day I got it, and takes on whatever I throw at it.

Yeah I was looking at the i7 CPU's the other day, they look nice. I'll probably be getting something like that. I'll take a closer look at the 2600k that you mentioned as well as the 920.

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I don't really have the technical know how to understand most of that. The Dynex works great for my brother's computer so I'll give it a shot. If it fucking sucks I'll see about getting one of the power supplies you mentioned. Thanks for the heads up. :)

Low budget PSU's can fry the mother board. And if your lucky that is all it would fry. Better be careful and make sure you have the correct PSU for the system your building.

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I would suggest an i5 2500k for gaming because the difference in performance between it and the i7 2600k in games is very small and is probably not worth the extra $100. I would not go with i5 2550k because it has no graphics, and according to what I read it is pretty much a 2500k with graphics disabled.

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btw, does Windows 7 make games run better than XP?

It all comes down to DirectX support and how well the version of windows kernel you're using works with your video card drivers. I haven't used WinXP in forever so I can't really speak from experience, here.

Two votes for the Corsair. If anything goes wrong with the Dynex I'll switch to Corsair. btw, there's no harm in having a more powerful power supply than you need right?

What I was trying to say was that 520W might not be enough! It's been a while but I think I remember folks on sites like overclock.net and tomshardware recommending that your PSU be at least 25% more wattage than your entire system requires. Use a PSU calculator to ball-park estimate. I know some Corsair PSUs actually get better efficiency closer to 90% load, but that's just not an ideal kind of strain to put on your computer 24/7. Remember that electronics degrade over time, give yourself some wiggle room.

That's a good point, I don't know much about it though. How does onboard video work?

Onboard video is a GPU that's embedded right into your motherboard. It utilizes some of the system RAM in order to run, usually several orders of magnitude less than a dedicated card (like say 64MB of RAM versus the 512MB-1GB of dedicated video RAM you see on most cards). Cutting-edge integrated graphics are typically nowhere near as good as the latest dedicated unit (what we know as a 'video card' in any way, but it's useful to have in case your video card bites the dust. You might not be able to play GW2 on integrated video, but at least you'll still be able to use your computer while shopping for another video card. For example on a machine I had several years ago (like 2006), I was able to play World of Warcraft kinda crappily with all settings on low on the integrated GPU, until I got my sweet Nvidia GTX 8800 and was able to crank all the settings to high.

If you opt for something with integrated graphics, that's a point where you may want be careful what kind of integrated graphics you get. I know back then, having an Nvidia integrated chip and an ATi video card sometimes caused drivers to 'clash,' where I had to fully uninstall the Nvidia drivers in order for my ATi card to work properly...that kind of shit really shouldn't happen to begin with though so it might be a long-gone issue.

I saw those Ripjaws, I didn't know they were better than the Snipers though. In that case I'll get the Ripjaws.

What I was looking at are the 'timings' on the card. On the snipers you'll see 9-9-9-24, the Ripjaws have 7-7-7-20. To greatly oversimplify, it basically refers to the delay between when the computer is given an address in memory to fetch, and when that data has...been fetched. I mean 7 is only one step up from 9, but it's just about the same price. Your choice.

Yeah I was looking at the i7 CPU's the other day, they look nice. I'll probably be getting something like that. I'll take a closer look at the 2600k that you mentioned as well as the 920.

I don't think that the 920 is available anymore, but check out the Ivy Bridge sets too. Tom's Hardware usually runs benchmark tests and posts the charts on their site so you can compare. I use those charts, plus reviews and product awards to make my choices.

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GTX 560 Ti + i5 2500K is around 240W on the 12V line. A PSU with 520W on the 12V alone would be overkill. It's just there's more to power supplies than total wattage output. The voltage line stability and efficiency all affect overall stability.

The Dynex is the worst PSU available.

And RAM timing's don't matter with Sandy Bridge. The overall Mhz has the highest weighting but even the speed won't affect your games. The GPU/HDD speed are the most important pieces when it comes to games.

And lastly, the mATX motherboards won't have any issues with a single GPU.

---------- Post added 05-10-2012 at 03:59 PM ----------

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77

CPU: I5 3570K Ivy Bridge

GPU: 560 Ti

RAM: Corsair Blue Vengeance 8GB

The motherboard I linked isn't mATX therefore requires at least a Mid-Tower ATX chassis.

Edited by Tahiti

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Okay, you guys have talked me into getting a Corsair power supply. ;D

Let's see, my list will now look something like this

cpu - either the i7 2600k or the i5 3570k depending on my budget [$310 or $240]

motherboard - ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 [$130]

hard drive - I'll use my current hard drive for the time being

ram - Corsair Vengence [$50]

dvd drive - I'll just use the one in my current PC

graphics card - GeForce GTX 560 Ti [$250]

power supply - Corsair CX 500 [$60]

fans - I have plenty of those

case - how does the this look?

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first, make your budget known.

then,

i7, 8gb RAM min, 64GB SSD or mSATA(boot drive), 2 or 3TB storage drive, and then consider GTX680 graphic card(maybe SLI- $500 a pop).

3rd, consider how much you want to save on electricity.

that's about it.

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Give me a budget and I'll make a linkable wishlist on newegg for you. I'm good at maximizing performance per dollar.

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Go with the core I5. Most people don't need the CPU throughput that the I7 has, you likely wouldn't use 30% of the cores capability. Hell, I am using the Phenom II 720 BE and I rarely see uses above 18%, most I saw was 52% as it did realtime decoding\encoding for HD streaming. (for a test on network capability. The network couldn't handle the throughput.) I'd go with the Core I5 with a Radeon 7750 and a min of 4 gigs of ram, 8 is fine because ram is cheap these days. You'd need a 450 watt PSU. I've had good luck with Rosewill, Thermal take, and Antec. Case is up to you, but I like some of the sound dampened options from Fractile design as well as Antec P180 variants and P280. If it means more, I am currently using the Phenom II 720 BE Tricore CPU, AMD Radeon HD 4770 GPU, 4 gigs DDR2 800mhz Patriot memory and a Abit AX78 770 chipset motherboard that I bought years ago. I haven't seen a game that didn't run well on my machine. In fact, I play skyrim at 1080 and high settings without any frame rate issues. The game sometimes gets dangerously high in ram usage, which is why I recommend to use 8 gigs as it's nicer to pair chips of the same type to avoid frequency debuffs that happen so two memory modules can communicate without error.

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Go with the Ivybridge processors at this point. I agree with the notion behind unless you need hyper-threading offered by the i7's then go for the i5's, which are ample for gaming. Also what's your CPU cooling if your overclocking I assume??

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A sandy bridge i5 will be just fine. Trust me, splurge on your video card, not your cpu.

If SSDs are too expensive, RAID 0 a few HDDs (are HDDs still expensive from the Thailand factory flooding??)

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If you already have Sandybridge then there's no point in going to Ivy. That being said if you don't have either you might as well jump to the current generation (Ivy) of chip for a very small price difference. Yes hard drivers are still expensive, and small SSD boot drive is well worth the price in my opinion.

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If you already have Sandybridge then there's no point in going to Ivy. That being said if you don't have either you might as well jump to the current generation (Ivy) of chip for a very small price difference. Yes hard drivers are still expensive, and small SSD boot drive is well worth the price in my opinion.

I'd certainly pick an SSD over an HDD with current prices. Just use the HDD from your current pc as storage.

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Steel cases are extremely heavy, just FYI (well for me...shut up I'm a girl). If you don't plan on moving it frequently, you're good. For that price you really can't go wrong. I mean $20 for a case? Whaaaaat?

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Everything seems to be pretty nice other than the small HDD. May i ask why you wanted a quad core computer? I5 duo cores can handle most anything you throw at them, unless you are planning on boxing multiple GW2 interfaces at once.

---------- Post added 05-26-2012 at 02:06 PM ----------

I'd certainly pick an SSD over an HDD with current prices. Just use the HDD from your current pc as storage.

Yeah, you can get a small SSD for your system files if you had a bit extra cash. I dunno if you ever stated how much money you are willing to part with. You could probably get a small SSD, and another 250GB HDD for less than 150$ together. You don't really need the SSD though, as i am sure you already know.

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Even if God of War can't utilize all four cores, there are a number of games/activities which can. I just took a brief look around on the internet, but it seems that a lot of games can use four cores, especially the newer ones.

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Even if God of War can't utilize all four cores, there are a number of games/activities which can. I just took a brief look around on the internet, but it seems that a lot of games can use four cores, especially the newer ones.

I think they are talking about guild wars, not god of war. Anyways, just because a game can utilize all four cores, does not mean it is remotely necessary. But if he has the extra cash he feels like dishing out than i guess it doesnt matter.

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