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Build Advice First Build: Reviews and Advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jebson, 9 Jul 2010.

  1. jebson

    jebson New Member

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    Well, I've finally made the jump to build my own computer for the first time. But it's all a tad overwhelming, so I'm turning to the wisdom of the community for advice!


    INFO

    Budget
    A middle-high end gaming machine. My local currency is New Zealand Dollars (NZD)and my maximum budget is around NZD$3,000, including a display and speakers. NZD$3,000 is about USD$2,100 if its helpful, but everything seems to be more expensive in NZ because we're so far off the map.

    Main uses of intended build
    The build will be used mainly for gaming, and not too much else apart from the usual browsing, word processing etc.

    Parts required and Previous Build Info
    My current computer is a ... uh ... mac ... *looks away in shame*, so the new build will have to be from scratch.

    Monitor resolution
    24" monitor (see below).

    Storage requirements
    1 x 1TB HD (see below).


    THE BUILD

    CPU
    Current Candidate: i7-930
    I'm basing this system around i7-930, so this one's pretty set in stone

    Motherboard
    Current Candidate: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R

    Graphics Card
    Current Candidate: Radeon HD5850
    I'm tihnking of getting a cehaper last-gen graphics card instead of the HD5850, what would you recommend?

    RAM
    Current Candidate: No idea, but a 6GB or 12GB kit
    I'm really lost on this one, I don't know where to start. There seems to be far fewer triple-channel RAM kits available than dual-channel. I've heard G.Skill RipJaws are good gaming RAM. What would you recommend?

    HDs
    Current Candidate: 1 x WD Caviar Black 1TB

    CD Drive
    Current Candidate: Asus DRW-22B2ST
    I'm not looking to do anything too intensive with CDs, so I figure this is good enough.

    PSU
    Current Candidate: Corsair HX650W

    Case
    Current Candidate: CM 690 II Advanced
    I really like the look of this, it seems like a real gem. But is it compatible? Other possibility is the Fractal Design R2.

    CPU Cooler
    Current Candidate: Prolimatech Megahelms

    Fans
    Current Candidate: Sharkoon Silent Eagle 2000rpm
    One for the Megahelms + a couple after I've built the system if I need them

    Display
    Current Candidate: HP LP2475
    It's a tad expensive, but if I'm staring at it all day I guess it's a worthy investment, plus 6 USB ports!

    Speakers
    Current Candidate: --
    Haven't done any research into speakers yet.


    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2010
  2. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Really? Your spending THIS much on a computer, and your cheaping out on the display.. the most important thing of the computer?!

    Get an IPS panel.
    Check out my Monitor comparison sheet. All monitor shown are both: popular models that are recommended by bit-tech'ers, and great to excellent reviews.
    Notice the tabs at the bottom of the page, the second taps presents to you an explanation on many features, and what is the difference between panel technologies (up's and down's).
    The monitor sheet is updated, all models on it are fairly new models, where they are not a better model of one of one presented.

    HTML: http://www.helpweaver.com/monitor/monitor comparison.htm
    Excel: http://www.helpweaver.com/monitor/monitor comparison.xlsx

    Excellent choice! The eSATA ports are very welcomed. You'll love them when you'll get an external storage HDD + enclosure (with eSATA), as it offers the very same speed as normal internal SATA 3Gbps. So transfer speed are really, really fast (like if you had an HDD inside your computer)


    Caviar black are quieter thanks to a a pater stabilizer system (also increase performance a bit), and smooth head movement.
    It also features a dual core processor (I guess one of them is for the head movement).
    32MB cache will allow you faster transfer, installation and loading of a regroupement of many small files or very large files.

    Get the HX series. Modular cables will allow you to have better cable management, which will allow you to have better air flow, and in result quieter system.

    Can you do better?
    [​IMG]
    :D (top HDD is not there anymore, and was not connected - the bottom one is actually connected).

    Avoid cases with side fan, or side panel mesh, as they don't help air flow. A good case should provide better air flow when the case is closed than if it was open.
    I recommend the Antec P183, with it's sound damping panels, and HDD drive absorbing pads, and excellent air flow.

    Poor kid... you have much to learn. :)
    - Glossy is a downside.. it distracts more than anything.
    - Response time is nor everything
    - Picture quality sucks.. how do I know.. it's a TN panel (my monitor sheet explains it all, but essentially it's actually a 6-bit color screen (262 144, and take 2 close color it can reproduce, and switch between them really fast, up to it's mentioned response time, in the vein hope to trick your eyes in seeing the correct color. See YouTube for many many monitor comparison between TN and IPS, and their is a visible difference).

    Not to mention you can't even adjust the monitor (tilt only).

    The first reaction of many new IPS users is that they see the colors as "wrong", even when a using Adobe RGB or sRGB color profile... This is actually an interesting reaction, because as soon as the user uses more the monitor, compares nature high quality picture from real life to the monitor, you notice that the monitor actually provide good colors, and you got used to the poor crappy pale colors of a TN panel for all these years). :)
     
  3. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    UD3R is plenty unless you absolutely need the extra bits. USB3 > eSATA these days too tbh.

    Cache is nothing to do with faster loading, it's simply to buffer the read/writes from multiple IO. The performance is entirely the firmware and the "platter stabiliser system" is simply marketing. ;)

    Noo! Make sure the case has a side fan or your graphics card will suffer, it's essential if you use more than 1. CM 690 II or Fractal R2 with additional fans > plasticy 183 personally but all are decent cases. HAF922 is quite nice to build in too and if the fans are turned down it only gives off a gentle hum.

    Building a quiet system over sound dampening anyday tbh - it often only stops high pitch noise not the low brrrrrr, although hdd vibration reduction is an absolute must. :thumb:
     
  4. jebson

    jebson New Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    The HX620W does look better, so I'll go with that. But (just to be sure) will 620W be enough power?

    Thanks heaps for the monitor comparison sheet, I'll have a look at it in the morning and make a more informed choice :)

    So, it looks like the WD Blacks aren't that much better than the Barricuda, and that a 32MB cache doesn't have a huge advantage over a 16MB cache, is this right?

    I really like the CM 690 II case, especially that nice HD locking system, cabling system and so many slots for fans. So what's the general consensus? Does the 690 II have adequate air flow to warrant buying it over the P183?

    I'd like to make the system as quiet as I can without sacrificing power, is there anything I could do (or specific parts) I should watch out for to keep it quiet?

    Original post updated.
     
  5. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    +1 on the HX620 - it will be enough for your setup unless you want to start going to multiple graphics cards.
    +1 on the WD Blacks - good drives, comparable to the Samsung F3 drives.
    +1 on the CM690 II Advanced - great case with loads of space for more fans if needed (not that you will need it in the current Kiwi weather). Fractal R2 is another great case but will need extra fans as Bindi says. Not sure if they have made it to NZ yet?
    +1 on the UD3R - cheaper than the UD5 unless you really need eSata. Again like Bindi said, USB3 is the future, not eSata.
    +1 on the graphics card, for gaming it is the best bang for buck at the moment.

    Regarding RAM - you will need triple channel for an i7, get 1600MHz speed and a good brand for the warranty (I am not sure what is available in NZ, lived in UK too long) - e.g. Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill etc.

    Regarding making it quieter: put it all together and, if need be, either buy quieter fans (more quieter fans vs fewer noisier ones) or a fan controller to turn things down.

    Make sure you get a quiet CPU cooler, that will help. Titan Fenrir, Thermalright Ultra-120, Prolimatech Megahalems (you will need to by a fan with this one), Akasa Nero S, Noctua NH-U12P - not sure what you can get in NZ.

    Whilst I don't agree with all of Goodbytes' comments, I do agree that getting a good quality monitor will make a noticeable difference. Treat your eyes well!

    Are you buying locally in NZ or getting it shipped from Oz?
     
  6. DaveMon

    DaveMon The end is nigh! Repent!

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    Are you going to be RAIDing the drives?
    What about a single 1TB disk, like the Samsung F3 1TB or the WD Black 1TB?

    Fractal Design R2 case should be perfect for you.

    On the RAM definitely branded RAM at 1600Mhz. Such as:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-...1600)-CAS-8-8-8-24-DHX-XMP-New-connector-165V

    or

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-...600)-Non-ECC-Unbuffered-CAS-7-8-7-20-XMP-165V

    Depends on whats available where you are.

    The Gigabyte UD3R is an excellent mobo. Also very overclockable.
     
  7. jebson

    jebson New Member

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    I'll be buying locally from Ascent

    Thanks for the feedback on the HD5850, does everyone else agree?

    Seems like the UD3R is the best, I'll put it at the top of the list :)

    I'm not going to RAID the drives, but I am swinging over to a single 1TB WD Black, and using my current externals as backups.

    The Titan Fenrir looks good.

    After looking at some more reviews, I think I'm going to go with the CM 690 II Advanced over the Fractal Design R2. So my next question is fans! I haven't even thought about them yet (silly me), but after reading the bit-tech review of the CM 690 II A I'd quite like an extra fan or two to help the airflow. So, what's the deal? The 690 II has so many options fans I'm a bit overwhelmed. What should I buy, how many, where should I place them?

    Looking at RAM and monitors now, and I'll double check all the parts are available in NZ.

    EDIT
    Also, what about fan controllers? How do they work? Do I need one?
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2010
  8. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    On paper yes...
    But in reality no, hence why we are not changing our SATA internal connectors to USB 3.0 ones. eSATA IS SATA. The plug is different (holds better), that is all.
    First of all, if you have eSATA connected internally to SATA 6Gbps, well it's faster than USB.
    Second, SATA/eSATA is designed for 1 thing and one thing only: storage. It's optimized for data storage devices. USB is not.. it's tries to support everything... being Jack of all trade master at none.
    Third, USB devices must use a bridge chip to translate from the USB to ATA, to allow the system to identify the device as a storage device.

    Fourth, Cruch Gear demonstrate that USB 3.0 is slower than eSATA: http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/02/05/esata-is-faster-than-usb-3-0-at-least-right-now/


    Oh ok, so it's all firmware.
    So you have:

    [...]
    double accessTime = 0.12;
    double readSpeed = 23.02;
    [...]

    I don't think so...

    And what does that do at the end of the day?! Oh I know: better overall performance.


    ok so let's examine this:

    No side fan:
    [​IMG]
    - Blue: is fresh air
    - Red: is warm/hot air.
    - Teal is fresh air being introduced without the help of a case fan.

    Now, with side fan:
    [​IMG]
    Sooo, how does that help?!
    All it does is that the warm air from the GPU surrounding is being pushed, and concentrated in the case warming up other components (sound card, and motherboard, and warming the CPU).
    Not to mention the wires of the case fan which you need to consider, which by itself block air flow, and increase system noise.

    For the money, yes UD3R is worth it. I would get the UD5 if you want the extra features (which I thought you did) or if the motherboard is on special.

    It's an adjustable resistor which provide less or more (up to normal power) power to the fan. Slower the fan, the less vibration but less air flow (so components gets warmer). The idea is to set the fan to slower speed while keeping a well balanced temperature. Usually (not always), bigger the heatsink, better the cooling, so slower you can turn the fan, as less strong an air flow you need to cool off the processor.
    This is the general rules, now you have fan with bearing and different motors which vibrate less, or even different blade type which diminishes the whooshing sound a fan does when it "wipes" the air to push it in a direction.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2010
  9. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Regarding e-Sata vs USB3 - it depends on what your requirements are and what your existing external drives are connected with. If you are going to be using the external drives mainly for backing up your PC then if it was me, I would go for e-Sata if your external drives holders have this. USB3 is good and has the potential to be even better but right now....? I have e-Sata on my m/b and use it to backup my data - I wouldn't have use for USB3 and external USB3 HD holders are more expensive than e-Sata at the moment. USB3 is the future but we could be waiting for a bit, I am not sure.

    The irony is that if you choose the CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced case, it comes with an external sata HD connector on the top of the case, on the outside. You wouldn't actually need to use an external drive case or e-Sata, you could simply plug in the bare drive to the connector (which connects to a normal motherboard sata header) and backup to that. The connector is hot-swappable if you setup your m/b in AHCI mode.

    The bit-tech review of the CM 690 II Advanced was good but suggested that not enough airflow was getting to the CPU and GPU. Remember that they use a passively cooled graphics card which runs hotter than a 5850 would do. In addition, a Titan Fenrir CPU cooler would massively out-perform the cooler bit-tech currently use in their tests (they are thinking of changing their test rig setup at the moment). The review did state that the stock fans were very quiet so you shouldn't have a problem with noise as it comes.

    Edit: Regarding the CPU cooler, I can't find anywhere in NZ that stocks the Titan. However, a few alternatives to consider are the Prolimatech Megahalems, the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme RT (Rev. B) or the Thermalright Venomous X (120mm fan not included).

    Regarding the case & cooling fans/controller. The best bet is to get the case and see what it is like re: cooling and quietness. The CM 690 II Advanced comes with 1 front 140mm, 1 top 140mm and 1 rear 120mm fans. You might find that it is enough. If you need extra case fans, we generally recommend either the Scythe Golden Typhoon 1450rpm or the Sharkoon Silent Eagle (available in 1000rpm & 2000rpm) at the moment. These fans push a good amount of air for the noise produced and cost. Bit-tech did a review of 120mm case fans and suggested the same (actually they were first but a lot of us on this forum followed their advice and were grateful for it :thumb: :D). I have 3 of the Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000rpm "Golf Ball" fans.

    I have had a quick look around the NZ component sites and I have only found one that stocks the Silent Eagle 2000rpm (http://www.computerstore.co.nz/FAN-SK-SE120MM.aspx). I could not find anyone in NZ that stocks the Scythe Golden Typhoon fans or the 1000rpm Sharkoon's. With the Sharkoon's spinnning at full speed they won't exactly be silent but there are two options: a fan controller (e.g. http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=363369) or step-down resistors. Luckily, the Sharkoon fans come with step-down voltage reducers. You simply connect one of these per fan to reduce its' rpm which reduces its' noise (and the amount of air it pushes).

    I would suggest getting the case with its' stock fans and see how cool and quiet it is. If it is quiet enough but not cool enough, add 2 120mm fans (1 at the bottom, 1 at the side) then see. You could also add another 140mm top fan to extract the hot air if needed. The general rule (as roughly pointed out by GoodBytes) is cool air intake from front/bottom/side, hot air exhaust out the rear/top. My opinion is that a 120mm fan in the bottom mount of the CM 690 II Advanced will point cool air directly toward the intake holes of the 5850 (at the rear) and therefore reducing the GPU temperature. You may not need a side panel fan at all.

    If adding extra fans is too noisy, use the step-down voltage reducers that come with the Sharkoon fans to quieten it down. If you find that normal use is cool and quiet enough but hard usage (e.g. hard core gaming sessions) makes it a bit hot, replace the step-down voltage reducers with a front bay fan controller so you can increase and decrease the fan speed as required.

    Remember that the CM 690 II Advanced case can fit either 140mm or 120mm fans in the top (it comes with one 140mm). Bigger fans spinning slower are quieter and push the same air as smaller ones spinning faster.

    Edit: the graphics card. A quick hunt around pricespy.co.nz indicates that the Asus EAH 5850 is a good buy here (http://www.alphacity.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=131_583&products_id=59529) and appears cheaper than Ascent whilst the Sapphire Vapor-X version (quieter and much cooler than standard but doesn't direct hot air externally) is a good price here (http://www.alphacity.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=131_583&products_id=52969). I have a 4870 Vapor-X and it is wonderfully cool and I never hear it. The GPU fan has never spun over 35% (it hasn't needed to).

    Please bear in mind that I am a bit out of touch with NZ prices and e-tailers so please double check the suppliers and prices before buying, as well as factoring delivery charges if applicable.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: P.S a Kiwi buying from Ascent - you from the Wellington area by any chance? My home town :thumb:...I feel for you if you are, crap winter you guys are having. Was 31C in London today...:D
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2010
  10. jebson

    jebson New Member

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    Whoa, thanks for all the feedback!

    Motherboard
    Okay, after some more advice I think I'm going to go for the UD3R. I'm running a bit over budget at the moment so try to cut cost a bit.

    Graphics Card
    After more advice from friends (and because I'm running over budget) I'm thinking of getting a cheaper last-generation graphics card, and using the money saved for more RAM. the GeForce 9800 GX2 was recommended to me. If so, what would you recommend?

    RAM
    Would upgrading to 12GB be worth it? I'll be running 64-bit Windows 7. I could use the money saved on the graphics card to get better RAM. Is this a good idea and would it balance out the build a bit? What's your opinion? Last-gen graphics card and more RAM or new graphics card and less RAM

    Fans
    Thanks for the feedback, the Silent Eagle 2000rpm's look good, I think I'll follow your advice and wait until after I've assembled it to see if I need them (apart from the one for the CPU cooler if I need one) :)

    CPU Cooler
    A friend of mine asked whether I need a CPU cooler at all, since it already coems with a fan.

    Assuming I do need one, I'm liking the Prolimatech Megahelms. But (just to be sure) it's quite large, can it fit in the case without causing other problems? Also, is a Sielnt Eagle 2000rpm an appropriate fan for it?

    [EDIT]
    After looking on Ascent, I've found I can get the Megahelms with either no fan or a 120mm fan included for NZD$10 more. Is this worth it, or should I use a Sharkoon Silent Eagle instead?

    Yes! I envy you! >:-( Today is the first time we've seen sun in a week! :sigh:
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2010
  11. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    The quality of Gigabyte motherboard is there. I'll be surprised if you have any issues over the next 4-5 years with it. Especially with a good PSU which will help prolong the longevity of your computer components.

    That sound great, but keep digging for specials. For example, in Canada, at some online store I saw the Geforce GTX 280 from Gigabyte, for only 200$!.
    I think you can go lower even with a 9800 GTX. I recommend graphic card with large fans (the dual PCI-E ones), as the small ones tend to break easily and/or be noisy and annoying fast.

     
  12. evoyear

    evoyear New Member

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    have you thought about 4870x2? I got it very cheap from ebay.
    works great for me.
     
  13. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Good call.

    No, I would not recommend a 9800GX2 unless you can get it cheap - can you still buy them new?. What games do you play and what resolution is/will be your monitor? The answer to this question will be a better determination as to what is best for your requirements.

    Depending on your requirements, have a look here (http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming-radeon-hd-geforce-gtx,review-31939.html). A very interesting article, espicially the hierarchy chart at the end.

    It is all about your requirements, do tell...

    Edit: Ascent have a Gigabyte 9800GX2 for $528.00!!!! Same price as a 5850.

    You won't need 12GB RAM unless you are doing heavy duty animation or video rendering, for example. For gaming 6GB will be fine. The Corsair CMX6GX3M3A1600C9, 3x2GB, DDR3-1600, PC3-12800, CL9 is a very good choice and comes with a lifetime warranty.

    Good call.

    The cooler that comes with retail CPU's is okay-ish but will circulate hot air around the case. For a cooler (and therefore quieter) PC, get a good quality cooler/fan. A good quality cooler/fan such as the Prolimatech will direct hot air either to the rear fan or to the top fan, depending on how you orient the cooler when installing.

    This page (photo at bottom) shows your case with a cooler aimed at the rear fan, this photo shows your case with the cooler aimed at the top fan. Note how in the first photo they have removed the bottom half of the hard drive cage and mounted the front fan in the lowest of the two mountings available? This is what I would recommend for you if you are only running one or two hard drives. This way the cool air from the front fan has an unobstructed path to the inside of your PC.

    The Vantec 120mm Stealth fan that Ascent are selling with the Prolimatech is not a good CPU cooler in my opinion. It is a 3 pin fan (if the same one as they sell here) and will only ever run at one speed. This means that it cannot take advantage of the 4 pin header on the motherboard which can control the speed of the fan according to the CPU temperature. You are better off getting a good quality PWM fan for your CPU cooler.

    The Sharkoon I linked to earlier (http://www.computerstore.co.nz/FAN-SK-SE120MM.aspx) actually comes with 4 different cable connections - 3 can be used when it is a case fan (12v, 9v or 7v voltage) and the 4th cable connection is used as a PWM connector. You can run this fan as a CPU fan and its' speed will be determined by the temperature of your CPU. It is more expensive than the Vantec or others but well worth it - bang for buck again.

    Best way in my opinion but of course you are free to consider all other views. You may want to try the cooler that comes with your CPU and, if unsatisfied, try a new one.

    Browsing the web, the maximum height of a CPU cooler in the CM 690 II Advanced is 177mm without a side fan installed in the case. The Prolimatech is almost 159mm high so you will be fine.

    However, if you need to install a side case fan in future, you will have to get something like the Scythe Slip Stream Slim Edition which is only 12mm deep.

    Kia Ora. The eastern suburbs were my old stomping grounds, spent many years in Hataitai. Where in Wellington are you?

    Good result for the AB's against SA wasn't it! Spoke to the olds tonight and they chuffed about the game.

    Give Wellington a wave for me...:clap:
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2010
  14. jebson

    jebson New Member

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    Sounds like a good idea with the cooler, I'll see how performs and make a decision after I've bought it.

    That looks like a good kit, but is it worth shelling out for a more expensive option such as this? 7-7-7-20 timings are apparently great, but how important are they in practice?
     
  15. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    In my opinion you won't be able to notice any real world difference between CL9 and CL7 timings on 1600MHz RAM. Save the money and put it toward a good graphics card.
     
  16. DaveMon

    DaveMon The end is nigh! Repent!

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    A better graphics card is better than 12GB of RAM.

    The timings don't affect the memory by much. Only in synthetic benchmarks do you see the difference.
     
  17. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD New Member

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    If your remotely concerned about the capabilities of the HX620, check out my rig in my sig. All powered flawlessly by that PSU.
     
  18. jebson

    jebson New Member

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    Okay, I'm almost done! Here's my near final build:

    Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Case, Black
    Intel Core i7 930 2.80 GHz, Socket 1366, Retail pack with fan
    Asus DRW-22B2ST DVD Writer, DVD 16R/22W/8RW, CD 48R/48W/32RW
    Corsair HX650, 650W ATX PSU, Active PFC, SLI Ready, Black
    Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Motherboard, Socket 1366, 6xDIMM DDR3, 4xPCIe-16, 1xPCI, 2xPCIe-1, 12xUSB2, Firewire, Audio, 1xATA, 10xSATA, RAID, ATX
    Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 Game Edition Video Card, Radeon HD 5850, 1024MB, DDR5, PCIe-16, DVI, CrossFire, HDMI
    Corsair XMS3, CMX6GX3M3A1600C9, 3x2GB, DDR3-1600, PC3-12800, CL9, DIMM
    Hewlett Packard LP2475w Monitor, 24" LCD, 1920x1200, DVI, Black
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, for 64-bit systems, OEM
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS Hard Disk Drive, 500GB, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS Hard Disk Drive, 1000GB, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache

    Or put more readably:

    CASE
    CM 690-II Advanced

    MOTHERBOARD
    Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R

    CPU
    Intel Core i7 930

    GPU
    Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 Game Edition Video Card

    RAM
    Corsair XMS3 3x2GB

    HD
    Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 32MB Cache
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 32MB Cache

    PSU
    Corsair HX650 650W

    DISPLAY
    Hewlett Packard LP2475w (still investigating this)


    I've only got one question left, and that's to do with the graphics card. Which brand/model should I go for? The Sapphire Gaming Edition looks like a good option, are there any other possibilities?

    Also, final check, are there any incompatibilities in the build? I've checked everything to the best of my ability, but I haven't done this before so I don't know if I'm missing anything :)

    Thanks for all the help everyone :)

    PS. Oh, just remebered. Does the HX650W have any inbuilt power surge protection or do I need a transformer at the wall?
     
  19. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Change of plan. Nvidia released the new Geforce GTX 460 (Fermi rev: 2). It's incredibly much quieter, shorter card, great overclocker, much less heat, more power than the Geforce GTX 285, and similar performance to a 5850 ATi GPU card in many cases. All for a 200$ price pot.

    Temps:
    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...orce-gtx-460-1gb-gtx-460-768mb-review-17.html

    Performance:
    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...force-gtx-460-1gb-gtx-460-768mb-review-9.html

    Pre-overclcoked model:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&cm_re=geforce_gtx_460-_-14-130-563-_-Product

    The card just been out, I would wait for additional reviews to pop-up, to confirm the above, as you can save 100$.
     
  20. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Re: the Sapphire...what does "Game Edition" mean - what extra do you get over a standard 5850? If nothing other than a name, the bog standard Asus 5850 is slightly cheaper and in stock at Ascent.

    Other than that, the Gigabyte GV-R585OC-1GD looks interesting and is even cheaper again at Ascent. I can't find any review of it though so I don't know what it is like. I have found various posts on the web that say that you need to flash the BIOS on the card to get it to perform as it should. It would be nice to know what affect the fancy cooling fans have on the card.

    GoodBytes above has a very good point. The NVidia GTX460 was released in the last couple of days and looks like a very good card, almost 5850 performance (better in some games) but importantly, much cheaper.

    All I can find in New Zealand is a 768mb version for just over $380 NZD. It will take a liitle bit for the new cards to filter into NZ but it might be worth asking Ascent if they are getting any in soon. Make sure you get the 1gb card, not the 768mb. If Ascent are going to get them in soon they should be able to tell you a price. As an example, a 5850 retails here in the UK for around £240 ish GBP and the GTX460 is coming in at between £150 ish and £200 ish.

    Here is a detailed review of the GTX460: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3809/nvidias-geforce-gtx-460-the-200-king/1. The figures that are relevant to you are the 1920x1200 screen resolution figures. You will see how close it is to the 5850.

    If you can't wait then a 5850 is still a very good graphics card but don't be surprised if the arrival of the GTX460 shakes things up a bit.

    The HP LP2475w is a very good monitor. See here for bit-tech's review last year: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/monitors/2009/07/28/hp-lp2475w-24in-widescreen-tft-review/1. Not cheap in NZ are they...

    Re: surge protection. The HX650 doesn't have an in-built surge protector. By an extension lead box that comes with one and plug your PC, monitor and other nearby electronic equipment into it.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2010

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