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Build Advice Building first PC- High Performance-- Need advice on my build idea

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Hoffs, 25 Apr 2009.

  1. Hoffs

    Hoffs Seek

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    I’m looking to build my first computer soon and have been making a few build outlines. My budget is around £1600 and I want it to run all of the latest games at the best performance and run the best games for the years to come
    The cost of this needs to cover
    -Full desktop computer
    -Keyboard
    -21”+ Monitor
    -OS

    Here is the build I’ve outlined:

    Case: Antec 1200- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Antec-Twelve-Hundred-Case-w-o-PSU

    Motherboard: Asus P6T- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus...Triple-DDR3-2000(OC)-SATA-3Gb-s-SATA-RAID-ATX

    Graphics Card: Asus GTX 275- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/896M...z-GDDR3-GPU-633MHz-240-Cores-2x-DL-DVI-I-HDTV

    CPU: Intel i7 920- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Inte...halem-266GHz-QPI-48GT-s-Cache-8MB-130W-Retail

    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9900 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Zalman-CNPS9900-LED-PWM-Tunnel-Flower-Cooler-1366-775-AM2plus-AM2

    RAM: Corsair 6gb DDR3 (3x2gb) http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-...1333)-240-Pin-Non-ECC-Unbuffered-CAS-9-9-9-24

    HDD: WD 500gb- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500-...viar-Black-SATA-300-7200-rpm-32MB-Cache-89-ms

    PSU: 850W Silverstone SST-ST85ZF Quad SLi +12V rail http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/850W...2V-rail-Quad-PCI-E-ATX-12V-22-and-EPS12V-RoHS

    Wireless Card: Edimax EW-7728In 802.11n v2.0 300Mbps - http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Edimax-EW-7728In-80211n-Draftn-v20-300Mbps-wireless-PCI-card

    Optical Drive: LG Blu-Ray- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/LG-G...so-READS-Blu-Ray-HD-Discs-black-OEM-(Inc-Soft)

    Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Microsoft-Windows-Vista-Home-Premium-SP1-64Bit-1Pk-OEM-(DVD)

    Monitor: Asus VH22H 21.5” http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/215-...en-Monitor-5ms-1920x1080-200001-Speakers-HDMI

    Keyboard: Razer Arctosa- http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Raze...rogrammable-Gaming-Keyboard-with-Hyperesponse

    I have totalled this up and it comes to just over £1600. This is just over budget but I feel that the parts justify the price and I think it will give me amazing performance.
    I’m open to your thoughts and views
    Thanks... Ali
     
  2. mars-bar-man

    mars-bar-man Side bewb.

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    Maybe have a look at the TRUE for the cooler? Not sure how the CNPS9900 does.
     
  3. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Some might argue that the i7 is overkill for gaming, and unless you're going to be doing some more numbercrunching stuff (video editing, CFD, whatever) it might not be worth it? A Q9450 and suitable motherboard should provide enough grunt, especially when it's overclocked. If you really want to make something that's going to have the best gaming longevity, you want to focus more on the graphics card. The GTX285 might offer a bit more power, above that you either need to go to the 4870X2 or the GTX 295, neither of which are perfect.

    But whatever GPU you buy, it's going to be outdated in 2 years. Personally I think you're best buying a reasonable card now and saving money to upgrade it when things push on.

    In that case, stick to the 275, I suppose.


    Also, there are some good 1TB drives out there for ~£70, some of which (eg Samsung F1) are very fast. Might be worth looking into.
     
  4. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    The Zalman CNPS9900 looks really nice, but it consistently underperforms compared with (more ugly) looking coolers like the TRUE, which is a really excellent.

    £1600 is a lot to spend on a PC, but somehow (maybe its just me . . .:worried:) it doesnt seem like your getting a lot. For £1600 I think Raid0, SLI, 24inch screen, watercooling, etc.

    Maybe pistol_pete is right, if you ditched i7 for Core 2 Quad you'd save loads on processor and mobo. Don't get me wrong, i7 is a beast, but some of that money might be better spent on faster storage and better graphics.
     
  5. bagman

    bagman Minimodder

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  6. Hoffs

    Hoffs Seek

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    what is a modular psu and what are the advantages of it?

    i want to stick to the i7 as I want it to be the best for years to come
     
  7. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    i7 is a rip off really.

    For a gaming system a 775 set up with more gpu power would be the way i would go.
     
  8. bagman

    bagman Minimodder

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    a modular psu is where the cables to the psu are not attached you can choose which cables are atached to the psu. it is very usefull and it improves your cable manegement
     
  9. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    You could think about it this way . . . .if you buy an E8400 instead of a 920, you'll save something like £300 pounds (cpu and mobo), which if spent in a years time will get something that makes the 920 look stupid. Thus you'll have a rig that, at any time, will be better :thumb:
     
  10. Hoffs

    Hoffs Seek

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    if you think about it though.. People that did that a few years ago and bought a cheap processor in wait of a new fast performance one (May it be a quad or i7 or whatnot) they waited for the same processor that I think is best

    technology is always changing... if you buy now you may be lucky and nothing better comes out for a year or two even.. or you may be unlucky and the day after you purchase a i7 something even better comes out

    that's just the way it works.. i've always gone with the mentallity of if you need it now then get it now but if you don't.. just wait.

    i'm not too sure how all that fits in but I just think that the i7 is the best you can get now so if your building the best machine you can for NOW, why get anything worse in wait of the future

    Just my opinion on things btw
     
  11. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    I think you've put your finger on it their Ali Nield. "If you want it now, get it now" is sound advice considering thinkings change rapidly and in hard-to-predict directions. The thing with your requirement is, you don't want it now, you want it in a year or so :) so buying now, in that case, isn't the best choice.

    So to put it perhaps more clearly:

    If you want it now, get it now (it is a complete beast of a cpu) but you shouldnt realistically have future-proofing as part of your requirements

    or

    If you want future proofing, don't get it all now, get something a bit cheaper but still very powerful.

    Hope that makes sense :confused:
     
  12. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    I really wouldn't bother with the 275 if you're penny pinching... get the cheapest GTX260. (Which on Scan at the minute happens to be £136, and is the stock OC'd eVGA 260... which comes with a 10 year warranty, too...) if an 8800GT can push Crysis acceptably at 1920x1200, I don't see why a 275 is significantly more money than the cheapest GTX260. Saves £70.

    The Core i7 is ideal if you're going to do more than gaming on your system. If you do any media encoding, i7 beats Core2 quite handily. And an i7 rig isn't really all that much more than a similar Core 2 Quad rig, now. Core 2 Quad Q9550, £206 compared to a Core i7 920 at £230. 4GB DDR2, £45 compared to 6GB DDR3 at £90. P6T, £193 compared to... I dunno, £150-175 for an X48 board? So, yeah, it's a bit more expensive, but equally it's got a slightly better upgrade path available with the possibility of both SLI and Crossfire (if you so choose).

    Do you want to play Blu-ray on your PC? If not, scrap the Blu-ray drive and just get a normal DVD RW. That'll save £50. I'd think about buying a second optical drive (different make/model) because in the past I've had discs that outright won't read on one drive, but will read fine on the other.

    For the £54 that the Zalman cooler is, it'd probably be better to go with this Thermalright kit. Same price, better performance. The Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 is widely regarded as the best heatsink of the last few years. Still others are trying to better it. And failing. ;)

    I second the modular PSU, too. Makes running cables so much easier! :D This one is markedly more expensive than the other you had down, but also saves potential headaches with balancing load across multiple 12v rails, too...
     
  13. Hoffs

    Hoffs Seek

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    ok good to see your thoughts

    I think the modular psu looks very good.. Will this make it easier in the building process (remember that this is a first build) and will it improve the look of it and cable management which therefore gives better temps?

    I wanna get some blue cathodes too and stick the on the inside of my case so that I can see the inside of the case through the windows

    The how does getting a 260 compare with a 275? i'll be getting 2 of them cos i want to sli them and so i want the best? is getting 2 260's better than a 4870x2?

    with concerns to the i7, i will be doing bits of video editing and encoding i think so that's where I am on that. also the cost of getting an i7 isn't too much of an issue

    I have also seen that thermalright cpu cooler. And it looks an absolute beast.. will it fit inside the case though? and what sort of oc's can you get with the thermaltake with a i7 920 (bear in mind that i'll be overclocking for the first time.. although it doesn't look too hard)

    thanks.. keep the advice coming... it's really helpin
     
  14. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    I think modular PSUs make building a system a lot easier - you can route wires from a midpoint in two directions, rather than have one end already stuck to the PSU itself. Makes routing wires under motherboards or round tricky spots a whole lot less of a headache. It also means if you don't need a wire, you don't have to bundle it up and tuck it somewhere, you can just not attach it. The neater wiring is, the better chance you have of unimpeded airflow, which should help temps.

    If you want to display your system with cold cathodes, clean wiring gets even more important as no one likes looking at a spaghetti junction of wires in their case. ;)

    The eVGA GTX260 SSC is a fairly heavily overclocked "original" (192 core) GTX260, but it's really comparable to the newer 216 core GTX260s due to that overclock. This review should give you a fair idea how the 260 compares... I just think for £65 less (per card) that the GTX275 is a little overpriced. If the 275 was £20 cheaper, it wouldn't be a competition; I'd pick the 275.

    Bear in mind that two of those 275's is going to cost £410... for that, I'd be mighty tempted to get a GTX295. Two GTX260's will be £280 (£270 if the Today Only offers continue on them) and a 4870X2 is about £330. If comparing the GTX295 or two GTX275's to the 4870X2, I'd probably pick the X2. If it was between the 260's and the X2, I'd likely pick the 260's. :) I want good performance, but my wallet doesn't like the associated cost. :hehe: A consideration at the ultra-high-end of graphics is TripleHead (gaming on three monitors, made by Matrox). ATi don't do TripleHead too well - the resolutions they offer are fairly limited, so if TripleHead looks tempting ever, you'll need to switch to nVidia unless ATi get their act together a little better.

    The Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 should fit in the Antec 1200 without issues (Thermaltake is a completely different company - and one often not well regarded by the enthusiast community... ;)) and as for overclocking... no guarantees can be made there as each CPU is different... but you've got a better chance of keeping your CPU cooler with the TRUE than with the Zalman, IMO. Since you're getting the D0 stepping of the i7 920, you're getting the newer one that is supposed to overclock while keeping a little cooler - I'm just waiting myself for a D0 920 and other kit to turn up, then I'll see just how far I can push it. Bit-Tech have an article about overclocking the i7 920 (the old, C0 stepping) and got it to 4GHz. Use that to give you some hints, but don't necessarily expect 4GHz off the bat. :) I'll be content getting mine to 3.6GHz, although I might try for 4 if I can keep temps down to my liking.

    All the best with the build. :)
     
  15. Hoffs

    Hoffs Seek

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    Ok so i'm just pricing up a final build after all the comments taken on board

    Antec 1200 (love this case and might do a window mod on it)
    Asus P6T Motherboard
    Core i7 920
    TRUE cpu cooler
    2xgtx 260's (ssc version)
    Silverstone DA-850W fully modular
    6gb of RAM
    1tb Samsung F1 HDD
    A copy of windows vista home premium 64 bit
    Edimax pci wireless card 300mbs
    Asus 23.6" screen http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/236-...-1920x1080-200001-300-cd-m-5-ms-Speakers-VESA
    Optical drive of some sort

    I've price it up excluding a keyboard and it comes in under budget.. great success ! at £1524

    [​IMG]


    any last minute comments btw?
     
  16. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    Looks good.

    Have you already got a mouse? Or are you getting one elsewhere?
     
  17. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Have you thought about speakers? Built in ones on the screen will no doubt be rubbish.
     
  18. bagman

    bagman Minimodder

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    WAIT!!!! that psu is no good cpc reveiw of 800w version (page 53) said it only produced 656w don't ttake the risk buy a enermax 1000w or be quiet 850w
     
  19. Hoffs

    Hoffs Seek

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    argh!

    I'll have a quick read about the psu.

    Currently got a Microsoft sidewinder mouse so that's covered

    And i've got some 2.1 speakers connected to my old desktop that I can use
     
  20. Hoffs

    Hoffs Seek

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    if you think it's that much of an issue than i'll change it.

    the one that i would take after the silverstone one is probably the

    850W Coolermaster Real Power
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/850W...-Quad-PCI-E-6x12V-Rails-85-Eff-OEM-(Brown-Box)

    i know little about power supplies and all the technical stuff but that looks very similar to the silverstone

    IF you 100% recommend that i shouldn't get this psu then i won't, although i might go out and get cpc to read the article
     

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