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Build Advice Advice for a NEW gaming PC build

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Grimm, 27 Oct 2008.

  1. Grimm

    Grimm New Member

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    Hi there. I am totally new at building PCs. I am currently in the process of building a new gaming PC. But before I order all the hardware, I just wanted to get some advice from the forums on whether my PC would work. Main functions I will be using the PC for is hardcore gaming; normal uses (such as word processing, surfing the net, etc.) but also want to try my hand at overclocking. I am not on any strict budget at the moment, as I will be buying the hardware each month and building it up, so I am open to all ideas. Some of the parts I am going to mention are a little uncertain at this point as I don't know whether they will be suitable or not. Ok, so here is the build I hoping to go for - all parts and prices are from a UK based website called overclockers and all include VAT:

    CPU

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 LGA775 'Yorkfield' 3.0GHz 12MB-cache (1333FSB) Processor - Retail - £339.49

    CPU Cooler

    Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme CPU Cooler (Socket AM2/LGA775) - £41.11 (plus I will be buying a 120mm fan to go with it)

    MOBO (uncertain)

    Main features I am looking for is the ability for TriSLi, and must be stable enough to overclock on as well.

    EVGA nForce 780i SLI nForce 780i (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard (132-CK-NF78-A1) - £187.99

    GPU (uncertain)

    Point of View GeForce GTX 280 1024MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail - £317.24

    BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC 1024MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail - £323.11

    Memory (uncertain)

    RAM I am totally unsure about at this point. I am unable to find the right RAM to fit the MOBO at the moment. So any help with that would be greatly appreciated.

    Hard Drives (uncertain)

    Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (0A35155) - £85.76

    Optical Drives

    Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7201S 20x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer Lightscribe ReWriter (Black) - OEM - £17.61

    PSU (uncertain)

    Could anyone recommend a good PSU to go with my build. Looking for one at around 1000watts - 1200watts, so that maybe in the future I can run TriSli.

    Case

    Main features I am looking for, is good air circulation; a good amount of space to hold GPUs; must also be big enough for easy access to the MOBO, and must be able to fit my MOBO onto.

    XClio A380Plus Twin Engine Gaming Case - Silver (No PSU) - £76.36

    or

    Antec Twelve Hundred Ultimate Gaming Case - £111.61

    or

    Thermaltake VA7000BWA Shark Aluminium Full Tower - Black - £88.11

    OS

    Not too sure which one to get from these two:

    Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-Bit - OEM (66R-02034) - £135.11

    Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 - Retail (66R-02266) - £184.46


    Could anyone also recommend any good anti-virus software that runs quietly in the background. I heard Eset Nod32 is supposed to be good.


    That's basically the list for now. I am open to all suggestions and criticisms. Any advice, plus money saving tips will also be greatly appreciated. :worried:Looking at some of the prices on my list, the total cost of my rig is looking to be about £1000-£1200, so the money saving tips would be hugely appreciated, lol. I would like to say thanks beforehand for taking the time to reading this, plus for any given information. Thanks!
     
  2. tonpal

    tonpal New Member

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    With your budget, I would wait a few weeks until Core i7 is released.
     
  3. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    I agreed with tonpal.

    However, let me help you out.

    Get Vista 64-bit. It is the only choice.
    Today software (not gaming here), are starting to demand A LOT of memory. Right now 3 or 4Gb of RAM is total must in a computer. (Unless you just web surf). New features, and new more complex interfaces are key in the requirement in more memory of a system, let alone CPU power.
    RAM is so inexpensive you actually have to pay MORE to get less RAM.
    Vista 64-bit is the only Windows operating system that has no compatibility issues with somewhat new hardware (anything after 2007), unlocks the full potential of your 64-CPU (would be nice to use your CPU that you paid at full... else just don't get a 64-bit CPU. A Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP are great 32-bit CPU's and REALLY cheap), supports and take advantage of your multi-core CPU, and use the full 4Gb of RAM and more.

    Windows Vista 32-bit (and XP 32-bit), won't give you full 4GB RAM Support, meaning it will work with 4GB of RAM but you will use about 3.2 to 3.5GB of RAM if you are lucky, and suffer a slight system slow down mentioned on this forum by users. Vista 32-bit will take advantage and use your multi-core CPU.

    If you know what you download, and don't visit virusAndtrojans.com with IE, then you don't need an Anti-Virus.
    I run Vista since December 2007, and I don't run an Anti-virus on the background. I have AVG free edition installed but not running at all, just to check media that comes from friends and such. So far I always been free. How come? Vista introduced a linux based idea feature called User Account Control (UAC), which require elevation from the user to allow the program to write/delete/modify anything on the system including Program Files directory.
    This means that even if you have a virus, or a malware, it won't be able to do anything as it would need you to click on the "Continue" button on the UAC message box which gets loaded and appeared on a secure auto-generated desktop. The downside of this system, is that when you are installing and configuration your OS it might be annoying at first. However the feature can be disabled by a check box in the Control Panel, to stop this from being annoying while you setup your system for the first time. Personally I got used to it, and I just don't care.


    As for your computer case, they all suck. Look at my system for a moment (see signature) My system uses a CPU that heats up more than a Intel Quad Core, a powerful gaming GPU that heats a lot, a case where I had to MOD it to fit the video card, and I have an ultra quiet air cooled computers (on a very quiet room). All with fan turned at very low speed, and I only have 2 case fans. 1x 120mm on the back, and a 80mm fan in the location of a 92mm fan whole on the front). What are my temps?
    Idle:
    HDD -> 38-40 C
    CPU -> 38-39C
    GPU -> 42C
    Motherboard -> 49C

    Heavy Load (the max I could):
    HDD -> 50 C (normal for my HDD, as it has a lot of platters, motor needs more energy to spin)
    CPU -> 45C (still cooler then the default fan the CPU comes with)
    GPU -> 75-80C (Just as hot as my old Geforce 6600GT 128MB using default heatsink)
    Motherboard -> 52C (normal)

    The secret is not the amount of fans, nor their air flow (ok air flow is important , I mean you want some air to circulate, but it's not critical), it's the computer case engineer. Here are my finding, and lot is based on personal experience/test and Silentpcreview.com:
    - Side panels fans can perform (depending on the motherboard layout and if you have any cards), air flow conflict where heat bobbles form inside your case and can overheat components that don't have heatsink or temperature monitor, which could lead to permanent damage of the hardware or stability issue.
    - Side panel mesh or window, doesn't conduct heat properly. And having a mesh as aside panel you allow the air flow to get out (air doesn't come in as you a front air fan that pulls air in) which prevent proper cooling of other components such as CPU and RAM. Which could lead to computer slow down, damage or stability issues

    Related to case but not cooling:
    - Aluminum cases are so light that they vibrate easily to a point of actually amplifying your computer sound production. Look for a case in steal with sound damping material.
    - Harddrive suspension system is critical on any computer. It really can stop A LOT of computer production noise.
    - Case legs. Many server/large cases tend to put legs on the case for it to not tumble (why would it tumble.. I have no clue) these are usually made of ultra cheap plastic with terrible padding or even none. These don't absorb vibration AT ALL, which WILL amplifier severely the computer noise.


    If you enjoy super noisy, plane reactor noise level computers, then the case you found are perfect.

    Here are my suggestion:
    - Antec P182 case. Inexpensive, and cover all the above mention things, and more. A truly perfect case (avil in black, silver, "gun metal" or mirror). Real aluminum on the side panel for the design (case is in steal) is real, no cheap paint. As it's a big case you have room to work with it.
    - Antec SOLO. This case is similar to the P182 series case, however it doens't feature a solid double hinge door, it has the classic computer case look on the front. The case is smaller too (mid-tower). The downside is that you need to mod the case for 10.2inch or longer video cards.
    Both cases have excellent cable management system.

    Tri-SLI or even SLI, or Crossfire is totally not worth it, it would be cheaper for you (bang for the buck) to just buy a new single video card. The problem with SLI/Crossfire is that you only add like about 30% performance and you don't add critical new features such as a newer DirectX version, and other technologies which improves the outputted graphics and performance. For example, let's say you have a Geforce 7900, and now you go on SLI (even last year), the performance still is being massacred by a Geforce 8800GT which was 200$Can instead of another ~150$Can 7900, you don't have GPU rendered Physics nor CUDA, DirectX 10, and all the new cool features of the 8800GT and the Geforce GTX 200 series. The only reason why one would go with SLI (just 2 video card) is because the user has something like a 30inch high resolution computer monitor where we wants to play hes games at max max settings.

    Keeping the above in mind, a Corsair HX 620W should be more than enough for 1 GPU. It must be noted that Amps are what "powers up" your computer not Watts. More Watts will generally give you more Amps, but you have look for efficiency (it's not my electric bill).
    This Corsair PSU is one of the quietest PSU's you can find on the market and the most efficient. I think it is certified by all 80Plus standards. In addition, it has a 5 year warranty, and modular cable. It's hard to say no to it.\

    For your GPU,
    Excellent choice I must say. I would go with BFG, they offer a life time warranty on their product and I think every or almost card produce are checked to make sure it worked. In my case my Geforce 260GTX had a paper saying that my video card package was open and that this is not a refurbished card nor opened content, it was just tested. It came complete with 1x DVI to VGA adapter, 1x DVI to HDMI + audio adapter, A plug converter, 2 molex cable to 6 pin (yours will be a 8pin instead I believe) to PCI-E, and finally the SPDIF cable to connect your video card to your sound card to allow audio coming out of the HDMI In addition a component cable to attach your TV. I know nothing looks special here, but so many companies are too cheap to even give you a DVI to VGA converter. I was told that BFG has a great service in the case of a RMA. I think BFG is a winner.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2008
  4. Grimm

    Grimm New Member

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    Great advice GoodBytes and tonpal. However, I do want to keep the CPU the same, as I am on a sort of budget, around £850. I will look into the Core i7 though. But I am seriously thinking of buying the Antec P182 case you recommended, it has nothing but good reviews on the overclockers website. The motherboard I may stick with, just because of the extra space that it has for other GPUs, but it seems to me that its a motherboard that has been specifically made for Nvidia GPUs - not too sure tho. Thank you very much btw.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2008
  5. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Nvidia nforce motherboards will give you an extra boost of performance with any Nvidia graphic card, this is true. However, I don't know by how much.
     
  6. Grimm

    Grimm New Member

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    True, I would just like the option to have that technology available to me if I ever wanted to use it. Asus P5Q-E Intel P45 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - £123.36. This seems like a good MOBO. Also, the MOBO would have to be big enough to hold the CPU cooler that I mentioned, the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme as it is a pretty big cooler.
     
  7. tonpal

    tonpal New Member

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    A Core i7 CPU will dictate the type of motherboard (X58), the type of memory (triple channel DDR3) and even the type of CPU cooler you buy. If you are looking to spend £850 I am expecting it would be tight for a Core i7 system at launch. Intel don't give their new technology away after all ;).

    AMD are talking about releasing Deneb (45nm quad) processors in Dec/Jan. One of these or a Core 2 Quad may fit your budget better, particularly if the Deneb performance is comparable to Core 2 Quads.
     
  8. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    To be honest I'd look on http://overclockers.co.uk for RAM, they've got 4Gb dual channel DDR2 at around £35
    I'd also get rid of that processor and get the Q6600... it's cheaper and if you get a decent cooler it does up to 3.2GHz on air anyway
    The P5Q-E is a good board from what I've heard as well, I'd get a DFI Lanparty board (purely because of their reputation)
    64 bit OS is a definite requirement and I'd recommend the Antec 900 as a case (as opposed to a 1200) because I doubt you'd need that much space in all honesty... the Corsair HX620 is a good PSU (again, from what I've heard)

    Scan and Ebuyer are a great deal cheaper than Overclockers as well for most bits, I'd recommend doing some research into prices (and wait til Core i7 come out because some retailers will drop their prices for skt 775 parts
     
  9. Grimm

    Grimm New Member

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    I may consider getting the Q6600 bigsharn. Seems quite good to overclock. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  10. TheGreatSatan

    TheGreatSatan Dark Lord of BT!

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    Just make sure the mobo you choose can be expanded to at least 8GB if not 16GB
     
  11. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    I would avoid the I7 on release, it will be super expensive and the mobo's at release will be flakey as hell, requiring a few bios updates.

    Sit and wait for its release and then pick up some good bargins on 775 kit, forget DDR3 and head for mass's of DDR2, 4GB now in two DIMM's so you can expand to 8GB easily.

    DFI X48 or Gigabyte X48 would be where i would look for a motherboard as they will support 8Gb of ram in for your future needs.

    Even tho the Q6600 is good, there is no reason why not to get a Q9450 or the cheapest 45nm Quad.

    Dont blow to much cash on it, but look for some good bargins. As long as its a high end dual core or mid-range Quad it will play every game at the moment and for the next few years. Its only graphics cards that can cause a constant upgrade fever!

    Bit-tech spent some time put this together, which must annoy them a little..

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/10/02/what-hardware-should-i-buy-october-2008/1
     
  12. Whalemeister

    Whalemeister is so hot right now!

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    A word of warning about the Antec P182 + GTX280 combo, you will only be able to run 4 HDD's as the GTX280 is so long that the upper HDD cage becomes unusable (I actually had to remove the cage completely to squeeze that monster of a card in there. The P182 is an awesome case though, very good airflow (PSU and HDDs in a seperate compartment) and very, very quiet.

    I would suggest shopping around for you components though as I picked up the exact same graphics card for about £100 less than you've listed about two months ago.

    Places I find the best deals on include;

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/

    http://www.ebuyer.com/

    http://www.tekheads.co.uk/
     

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