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Build Advice First time builder, Gaming PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by originalmate, 30 Aug 2010.

  1. originalmate

    originalmate What's a Dremel?

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    Hi everyone I'm Matt. Decided last month i can no longer put up with my 18 month old laptop that is literally falling apart. Not to mention i can't even manage 15fps on lowest settings trying to play Counter Strike source (waste of time).
    I've always liked the idea of putting my own PC together, not just for the sense of satisfaction but because of course i can decide exactly what i want to put into it and know whats in it!

    I'm a long way out of the loop of current hardware (Read some great posts and responses on here so hoping someone can help). My last pc was a custom spec shop built gaming pc. That was 5 long years ago and although im amazed at how well it still runs (far better than this bloody laptop!) i handed it over to my brother when i moved out a few years ago.
    I started buying some issues of 'Custom PC' and it has got me really excited about having an awesome PC again.


    Budget: Well i first thought of around £1000 but ive become a bit more flexible as i literally need everything so up to about £1500 is fine.

    Main uses of intended build:
    Always enjoyed playing games on my pc rather than a console. So Gaming, Watching movies, General Multi-media use and Internet.

    Parts required:Everything....oh i have a mx518 mouse so can cross that off.

    Previous build information:N/A


    Storage requirements: 1TB i believe is enough.

    Will you be overclocking: yes, I would like to have a go at it(With guidance). Only thing ive overclocked before was my x800xt graphics card.

    Any motherboard requirement: Just want a solid performer that will leave me with options to upgrade in the furture.

    Extra information about desired system: Going to be used for a lot of gaming. Want it to be able to handle any game that is out now and in the near future....or further hopefully :)



    So this is what i've come up with so far....

    Case - Antec 1200 Twelve Hundred Full Tower Case

    PSU - 850W Corsair CMPSU-850TXUK

    CPU - Intel Core i7 930

    Mobo - Asus P6X58D-E

    CPU Cooler - Corsair Cooling Air Series A70

    Memory - 6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3, DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600)

    GFX - 1GB XFX HD 5870

    HDD - 1TB Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200

    Optical Drives - LiteOn IHOS104-37 4xBlu-Ray, 8x DVD Reader & Pioneer DVR-S18LBK

    Sound Card - Asus Xonar DX/XD 7.1 PCI-E Soundcard Low Profile

    Speakers - Edifier E1100Plus 2.1 Speakers

    Monitor - 22" LG W2261VP Black, LCD Full HD Widescreen Gaming Monitor, 2ms, 1920x1080, 20,000:1, HDMI

    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

    Keyboard - SteelSeries Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard

    Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 802.11 b/g/n nano USB adapter


    All of the above i found on scan and it came to £1548.00

    Any help would be really appreciated. Not sure if i'm going overkill on psu, cpu,gfx?

    Thanks :thumb:
     
  2. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Welcome to the bit-tech forums Matt.

    Looking at your specified list, I have the following comments:

    PSU: Yes, it is an overkill. All you will need is something like a 650w, even that will give you headroom. I would suggest a Corsair HX650 or an Antec True Power New 650w. Both are (partly) modular and will make cable routing easier. If you think you are going to go crossfire 5870's in the future sometime, we make have to look at the PSU again (I can't remember the power requirements of dual 5870's right now).

    CPU Cooler: I don't know anything about the Corsair A70. Generally here we recommend either the Titan Fenrir or the Gelid Tranquilo for air cooling.

    Sound card: If your requirement is simply for sound in games then you won't need a discrete sound card. The on board sound chip on the Asus is mor ethan enough for gaming purposes. However, if you are an audiphile then by all means, go for a discrete card. I am not an expert on these so hopefully others can offer advice should you wish to stay with a discrete card.

    Wireless adapter: Are you going to be gaming via wireless? This is a painful exercise in my opinion - go with wired for best gaming performance.

    Monitor: There are others here more qualified to offer monitor advice (Pookyhead & Goodbytes to name a couple) so I'll leave that advice to them.

    Case: Whilst a good case, I am sure there are better options available. It is a big case, do you really need a case that big?

    All in all I am absolutely sure we can get your build cost down to a lower level with a few tweaks.

    By the way, have you browsed through the bit-tech PC Hardware Buyers Guide?

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/buyers-guide/2010/08/09/pc-hardware-buyer-s-guide-august-2010/1
     
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  3. originalmate

    originalmate What's a Dremel?

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    Cheers Fingers and thanks for the quick response.

    Think you're right about the audio, I took out the stand-alone card. I remember the onboard realtek sound from my old pc mobo seemed perfectly fine. Think i was going a little over the top for what i need.

    Dropped the wireless adapter too, and swapped the PSU for the Corsair modular 650w that you recommended.

    Any personal recommendations on another case?

    I hadn't seen the hardware guide. I'll have a good look over that :)
     
  4. Balthazor

    Balthazor What's a Dremel?

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    If you're not married to the idea of a full-size motherboard and case, you could go the micro-ATX route. These smaller motherboards are cheaper, and the case is cheaper and smaller, making for a nice and tidy little gaming power monster if you want to throw in a quality CPU, GPU, and hard drive.

    First of all, if you want to save a little money but not sacrifice too much performance, going with the P55 chipset is something you could consider, also. The i7-870 CPUs are locked, so overclocking would be done via FSB increases, but the Turbo mode on these 870s work really well; they'll go from a stock 2.93 up to 3.6 depending on how many cores are stressed, and it does actually work.

    I'm using the P7P55-M in one of my systems at home, and it is an OK little motherboard, but limited to one GPU, basically. If you want a higher end mATX board you could do the Asus Maximus Gene III, which would support two GPUs.

    I'm using the P7P55-M in an Antec mini-P180. It's a decent little case. I don't like the plastic front door; it is a little flimsy. There might be better options people can recommend.

    I absolutely agree with leaving the sound card out and using onboard sound. Take the money you save and get an SSD large enough for the OS and some games, and you'll see a nice performance increase from the upgrade.

    If you absolutely must have a wireless connection to your computer (which I also don't recommend) try to get a PCI-E based wireless adapter instead of the USB models.
     
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  5. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    In terms of cases, I would suggest either the Xigmatek Utgard, the Fractal R2 (R3 out very shortly) or the CoolerMaster CM690 II Advanced. If it was my money, I would go for the Fractal R2/3 but that is my personal preference after seeing all cases in the flesh - I have an R2 and I am impressed with the quality, you just need to add an extra fan in the front and one in the roof to give excellent cooling (it already comes with two fans).

    I think the CM690 & R2 give better options regarding intake fans whereas with the Utgard, the only option is the HDD bay adapter which doubles as the holder for the (only) front intake fan. If you want to add another front fan then you need to buy another HDD bay adapter. All of these cases are very good value for money however.

    Check out the review of each on bit-tech's website:
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/04/14/xigmatek-utgard-case-review/1
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2010/01/15/fractal-design-r2-case-review/1
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/02/18/cooler-master-cm-690-ii-case-review/1

    One that has just come out is the NZXT Phantom which got a good review and is recommended by bit-tech, read the review here:http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/08/04/nzxt-phantom-case-review/1.

    Of course, there are also very good options such as the HAF X but like anything, the case is a personal choice and such styling may or may not appeal to you.
     
  6. originalmate

    originalmate What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys.

    Decided to swap the Antec 1200 for the Coolermaster CM 690 II, looks like a good solid case.

    Managed to knock nearly £200 off the original price so far.

    I'll re-post with new specs tomorrow and hopefully get it on order :)
     
  7. originalmate

    originalmate What's a Dremel?

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    Well i ordered my list from scan this evening. Can't wait for it all to arrive and start putting it together!

    Here's what i decided on after some helpful advice on here:


    Case - Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced, Black, Mid Tower Case

    PSU - 650W Corsair Professional CMPSU-650HXUK, Modular PSU

    CPU - Intel Core i7 930

    Mobo - Asus P6X58D-E

    CPU Cooler - Titan Fenrir V2 TTC-NK85TZ

    Memory - 6GB (3x2GB) Corsair XMS3, DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600)

    GFX - 1GB XFX HD 5870

    HDD - 1TB Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200

    Optical Drives
    - LiteOn IHOS104-37 4xBlu-Ray, 8x DVD Reader & Pioneer DVR-S18LBK

    Sound Card
    - Onboard

    Speakers - Edifier E1100Plus 2.1 Speakers

    Monitor - 22" LG E2240T, Black, Slim, LED, Full HD 1920x1080

    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

    Keyboard
    - SteelSeries Merc Stealth Gaming Keyboard

    Total Spend - £1384.00
     
  8. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    That's a good looking build, don't forget to let us know how you get on with it.

    Pop back to this thread with any questions you may have and we will be more than happy to help.

    :thumb:
     
  9. originalmate

    originalmate What's a Dremel?

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    Hey all,

    Took abit longer than i wanted to post up but i finished my build and i'm very happy with it! :thumb:

    Thanks to everyone who helped me on the forums and also to Custom Pc mag for their excellent building guide.

    Love the Coolermaster case.

    [​IMG]
    URL=http://img837.imageshack.us/i/p1030014h.jpg/][​IMG][/URL]

    So just to let you know the build went better than i thought it would. Started putting it together at 6pm on a friday after work and by midnight it was finished (Thought i'd be there till the early hours tbh) Got it to POST and did my best to tidy the cables (see pics) and set it all up.


    URL=http://img84.imageshack.us/i/p1030019p.jpg/][​IMG][/URL]

    I did run into a few problems a couple of days after. As an extra i'd decided to purchase a fan control unit, namely the Sentry 2 from NZXT.It looked great and i thought would serve as a useful bit of kit.
    I quickly found out that it wasn't quite what i'd hoped for. To begin with only four out of the five fan controls were working. This wasn't such a massive problem as the Coolermaster case came with three excellent fan and having purchased one more (extra cool when i try overclocking ) i wasn't too disappointed. The biggest problem seemed to be the compatability with all of the CM fans, it constantly made them buzz at a very audible level :grr: and it seemed no matter what speed i ran them at it continued. On disconnecting it all to send it RMA i knocked the ATX power connector out every so slightly which in turn stopped the PC booting and got me in abit of a panic!
    After about 10 minutes i realised what i'd done and clipped it back in place. This then gave me the DRAM led light on the mobo, (cue another hour of messing around) reset the CMOS and everything was fine again.

    Last little thing was the cpu temp. Using RealTemp it was idling at about 40C and when i tried the load test on prime95 it was getting over 90C. This had me a little more than worried (Using Titan Fenrir cooler) so i tried reapplying the Thermal paste and reseating the heatsink. The problem was after doing this it was idling 5C even hotter:eeek: Tried again but on the second time round i just put the TIM in a little line and let the heatsink spread it out, Result!!! it now idles at 35C and on the load test only went up to 64C.

    Okay so i wasn't ready to give up on the fan control and last week ordered an Akasa All in one 2 which i installed today and so far it's brilliant!.....lots of wires though :waah: Need more practice tidying me thinks.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Just two things i'd like to ask - 1. I've had an issue where the Asus p6x58d-e only seems to recognise 4gb of my 6gb Corsair XMS, i managed to fix it by running a small flat head screw driver along the dimm slot that was giving me the issue and then reseating it. It's happened twice now, once when i disconnected the fan controller and then again when i attempted my first OC on cpu any idea why it keeps doing this?

    This brings me onto my other question, i thought i'd have a go at oc'ing the i7 930. I found a beginners guide for it as i've never tried it before. I raised the bclk to 160 and changed the few other settings it told me to and on reboot......i got the blue screen. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 24 Sep 2010

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