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Advice on building a PC

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#1 Zerosum11

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:07 PM

I know another topic like this already exists, and while I found it pretty helpful, it didn't exactly answer all my questions.
I've been trying to save up to build a PC for over three years now, and finally it seems I can make that dream a reality within the next five months.
I've done my research on parts, but I'm not 100% that this is the best I can do with a budget of $900.
I was also not 100% sure that all these parts are compatible, but from what I've read, it seems that they are.

Is there anyway to make this more affordable without sacrificing performance?
Do I need more fans?

By the way, I already have the Ubuntu USB stick, so I don't need to worry about an OS. I'll use my old monitor, mouse and keyboard until I can afford something better. I'm not worried about a DVD drive yet.

I appreciate all suggestions!

Here's the parts I had in mind:
(All prices from Amazon.com)

Case
Cooler Master Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case with Window (RC-430-KWN1)
($41.98) [Already bought this one]

Power Supply
Antec Power Supply EA-650 Green 650W Earthwatts ATX 12V V2.3 APFC SATA PCI Express 80PLUS BRONZE
($80)

Motherboard
ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 1066 Intel - LGA 1155 Motherboard
($105)

CPU
Intel Core i5-2500K Quad-Core Processor 3.3 GHz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80623I52500K
($215)

Heat Sink Fan
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1
($24.74)

Memory (RAM)
Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD Platforms SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C?9
(53.99)

Video Card
XFX ATI Radeon HD 5850 1 GB DDR5 2DVI/HDMI/Displ?ayPort PCI-Express Video Card HD585XZAFC
($185.99)

Storage
Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop Hard Drive Bulk/OEM - WD1002FAEX
($109.99)

Storage (SSD)
OCZ OCZSSD2-2VTXE60?G Vertex 2 SATA II 2.5" SSD 60GB
($64.99)

Total: $881.67
----------------

Thanks for any and all help! :)
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#2 Kirihime Natsuno

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:50 PM

If you're using Ubuntu, you could probably drop the graphics card for a lower model to save some dosh.

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#3 Zerosum11

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:52 AM

I'm considering duel booting ubuntu and windows 7 so I'll have the choice to play games and watch 1080p videos.
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#4 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:18 AM

You could get a slightly cheaper motherboard, but really there's no reason to. A few extra dollars there saves headaches later.
You should probably be able to get 2x 4GB sticks of ram for cheaper as well. http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820313266
At that price range, a 6870 video card is a better deal. One by XFX can be had for about $175 now.

As far as the SSD goes, you should be paying under a dollar a gig now. Shoot for around $.80/GB.

That's going to be a great computer though.
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#5 Zerosum11

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:37 PM

Thanks Spleen, I saw you posted a lot on the other topic about building a PC as well, I found your posts very helpful.
I understand you've done this before? Do you have any advice for someone who has never built a PC? I'm sure I'll run into some sort of problems during the initial building process anyway (it's just a given that when I attempt something I always mess it up at some point.)
And what website did you purchase your parts from?

I was also wondering, the RAM you showed me doesn't have the aluminium heat spreaders on them like the ones I mentioned, are the heat spreaders unnecessary?

And you think I should aim for and a cheaper SSD? So at $.80 per GB, that would mean I shouldn't be paying over $50 for 60GB. I can't seem to find such a low price?

Again, thanks for the help!
And I noticed you live in Houston? I spent three years in Texas myself (San Antonio and Fort Worth,) and I have to say it's a wonderful state!
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#6 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:25 PM

You're welcome. :)

I've built more than I can count at this point. The biggest piece of advice is to stay calm. Normally if something doesn't work it's a little thing like a card not being in all the way, or the switch on the back of the power supply being off. These things you miss if you get frustrated. It also helps to have access to another computer to reference any errors you might get online. I buy everything from http://newegg.com Amazon isn't a bad spot to buy parts either, but I normally get a pretty good deal there.

Looking around, sub 90GB drives seem to be a bit more. Here's one a bit cheaper, plus free shipping: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820227728

RAM generally doesn't need heatsinks unless you are overclocking it really far. It's just a decoration thing on most of them. There's really no reason to OC 1600 RAM anyways for most things.

I actually live a bit outside of Houston, but I agree, I think it's a great state. San Antonio is a beautiful city.
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#7 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:37 PM

Also, if you don't mind waiting on a rebate, there's this.
http://www.newegg.co...9-007-_-Product
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#8 Zerosum11

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:26 AM

Thanks again for the help,
I've changed my mind on a lot of parts after you showed me newegg and I can actually save around $60 by buying from them instead!

I changed the hard-drive to a seagate instead to save $20. It has positive reviews and, having owned one before, I think it's a good deal. But you're the expert, let me know if you think Seagate is any good or if I should stick to a Western Digital Caviar.
I also found a cheaper and higher watt power supply (700w) It saves me $30 to buy the one I mention below.
Thanks for the help with RAM and SSD, I'm going for the ones you suggested.
Here's what I changed:


Power Supply
APEVIA ATX-CB700W 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply - OEM
http://www.newegg.co...16817148046#top
($40)


CPU (same as before, but $6 cheaper than from Amazon)
Intel Core i5-2500K Quad-Core Processor 3.3 GHz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80623I52500K
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115073
($209)

Heat Sink Fan (Also the same, but cheaper on newegg.)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835103065
($19.99)

Memory (RAM) (Thanks to your suggestion)
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820313266
($42)

Storage (HDD)
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148840
($89.99)

Storage (SSD) (Your suggestion as well!)
Kingston SSDNow V+200 KW-S2190-4B 2.5" 90GB SATA III Internal Solid State Disk (Stand-alone Drive)
http://www.newegg.co...9-007-_-Product
($89.99)

This brings my total (including the items I mentioned in the other post that I didn't change,) down to $823.94, saving me $57.73 from my original idea.
Thanks again for all the help!
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#9 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:50 AM

I'm a fan of Seagate drives because they used to offer a 5 year warranty. I don't think they do anymore, but they're still good quality. WD is fine as well, generally just get what's cheaper at the time.

When it comes to power supplies, there's more than Watts you have to look at, and they're something you don't want to skimp on. Of you look, on the Apevia the 12v rails are 23 and 26 amps, with a 5v rail being 40 amps and 3.3 being 38 amps. The Antec has two 38 amp 12v rails, so even though it's lower wattage, it can actually handle larger graphics cards and such. Both however are more than you need. If you plan on upgrading to crossfire in the future, go with the 650w antec. If not, you could drop down to something like this, and still get plenty of power: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817371030

You really can't go wrong with the 212, I have my i5-2500k running at 4.4ghz and load temps are under 60*c in the summer.

Everything else looks good.
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#10 Rejected

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:31 AM

watch the newboston videos on youtube, how to build a computer. His tutorials are awesome.

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#11 Zerosum11

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:20 PM

So I finally finished building my computer (which I named Pythia (it's not weird to name your computer... right?))
Anyway, I finished building on August 15th and thought I might as well post today as well as thank everyone for their help (esspecially SpleenBeGone!)
I decided to go with some other parts, mainly because of affordablility.
I'm very happy with my video card (My video card idles at 27c (the lowest was 25c, depending on room temp) and after playing Mass Effect 2 for three hours non-stop on highest graphics, it only went up tp 56c. Max was 62c after FurMark test.)
But anyway, below are the parts I used. Photos will be in my next post.
By the way, I'm proud to say that it booted up PERFECTLY the first time I turned it, which was expected considering the hours I spent reading every fracking manuel I had!


PYTHIA
-------------
Case: Cooler Master Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case with Window (RC-430-KWN1)
MoBo: ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
PSU: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail
CPU: Intel Core i5-650 Clarkdale 3.2GHz (3.46GHz Turbo Frequency) LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor
Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 2048 MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 2DVI/Mini-HDMI SLI Ready Graphics Card, 02G-P3-1559-KR
SSD: Patriot Memory Torqx 2 Series 32 GB SATA II 3.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive PT232GS25SSDR
HDD: Western Digital 1 TB RE3 SATA 3 Gb/s 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Enterprise Hard Drive - WD1002FBYS
RAM: PNY Optima 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz DDR3 Desktop DIMMs Memory Kit MD8192KD3-1333
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER RR-H101-22FK-RI 80mm Long life sleeve bearing CPU Cooler


Other

Acer 24" Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor | S240HL bd

Wl Adpt Rosewill RNX-N180UBE USB

Rosewill RCR-IM5001 USB2.0 75 in 1 internal Card Reader w/ 3 ports USB2.0 Hub / eSATA port / Extra silver face plate / Molex Power

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS90 - OEM

Logisys Two Color (Blue/Red) Character Illuminated Keyboard

Logitech Trackman Wheel Optical (Silver)

Thanks again for the help everyone! :D
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#12 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:27 PM

Nice, glad you got it working. :)
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#13 Zerosum11

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:34 PM

Pics or it didn't happen?

Side view:
Posted Image

Full PC and Monitor view: (Nerdvana)
Posted Image

Closer Front View:
Posted Image

Back View (missing panel on back... no idea how I lost it...)
Posted Image


Thanks again everyone!
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#14 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:35 PM

Looks good. Now you just need some cable management. :P
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#15 Zerosum11

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:44 PM

True, I honestly like the way it looks on the back and front because (in my opinion,) it gives off the look of some futuristic technology, but internally I do wish I could do a better job with cable management....
I tried a few times, but this really was the best I could do. I'm still proud of my work... did you also feel like a genius after your first build, Spleen? :D
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#16 Zerosum11

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:46 PM

One more thing:
Posted Image


Pretty good, right? :P
"We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However I did make it with a hot alien babe. And in the end, is that not what man has dreamt of since first he looked up at the stars?" - Captain Zapp Brannigan

#17 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:49 PM

Haha, yeah I did.

And those are some good temps too.
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#18 Australopithecus afarensis

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:52 PM

incidentally i have that same buddha only green instead of red

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me-- and there was no one left to speak for me.