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Thread: Building my first gaming rig.

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    Building my first gaming rig.

    'Allo chaps,

    First time poster here; as the title of this thread implies - I'm looking to build my first gaming rig. I'm pretty much scanned through every single online article and resource I've come across so far as a means to help me become more familiar with the inner-workings of PCs. And, I feel the next step if to actually purchase the hardware and get my hands dirty. I'm currently looking to build a system with the following hardware components:

    • Western Digital WD10EADS Caviar Green 1tb SATAII 32Mb Cache
    • BFG nVidia GeForce GTX 295
    • BFG EX-1200 1200W PSU Power Supply
    • ASUS M4A79-T Deluxe motherboard
    • Phenom X4 965 Black Edition CPU
    • Haven't yet decided on RAM. I assume any DDR3 memory will be compatible with my CPU/motherboard, yes?


    I've omitted items from the list such as NIC, DVD-RW drive, etc.

    My main query is this: Will everything I've listed above be compatible with each other? I'm sure this is a very basic, newbish question. But, with all the information I've soaked up this past week, there are a few spots that either contradict something I'd read somewhere else, or perhaps I'd just misunderstood.

    I've pretty much made up my mind that the above items are ideal for me, and any recommendations will only further confuse me!

    Provided I can get some confirmation that everything will be compatible, I'm eager to purchase everything as soon as possible. Please do let me know if there's anything else I should take into account - I'm all ears! Thank you very much for any and all help. I'll be watching this thread like a hawk.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Whats your price range? Scrap the AMD set up and go intel i7 with a ATi 5870 for starters in my opinion.
    Also welcome to Hexus.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
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    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    As Terbinator says, go with an intel system and ATI 5870. Also, you really don't need a 1200W PSU. Something around 700W-850W should be fine for all your needs and future upgrades.

    Pretty much any DDR3 RAM will work with your motherboard as long as it's dual channel (i.e 2 matched or 4 matched sticks will work but not triple channel memory.) however seeing as you're now most likely to switch to an Intel based system check which DDR3 memory after, generally rule of thumb is if the motherboard you choose has 6 slots, it will work with triple memory kits, 4 slots would mean double memory kits. Should be pretty easy for you to figure out.

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    I'd suggest checking out other threads here to this end.

    Your parts are looking quite dated now.

    The PSU isn't that great and terribly over powered, you need not have more than 500/600W for a system with more power the one you specced. Core i7 or i5 aren't a bad way to go with a decent budget but AMD normally gets my money these days too.

    The graphics card as said above would be better off as an ATi HD5870, all of the bangs of the nvidia without the huge power requirements or heat.

    That hard drive is not for general use, it's a data storage drive, designed for low power (which means low speed). Check out caviar, blue, black or samsung F3's.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Terbinator,

    Thanks for the fast response. I had heard that the i7 was a better choice. However, I guess that I'm leaning more towards the AMD setup because it's very nearly £100 cheaper from most online retailers. Perhaps I will cough up the extra and go for the i7 instead.

    Follow-up question (I still would like my original question answered too, please!) - would this set up be totally compatible:

    - Western Digital WD10EADS Caviar Green 1tb SATAII 32Mb Cache
    - BFG nVidia GeForce GTX 295
    - BFG EX-1200 1200W PSU Power Supply
    - ASUS P6TD Deluxe
    - Intel Core i7 920

    Haven't yet decided on RAM. I assume any DDR3 memory will be compatible with my CPU/motherboard, yes?

    I would really appreciate any additional help. The idea of building my first rig is very exciting but very daunting at the same time - I wouldn't normally consider myself very technically minded but I've spent a fair amount of time trying to understand the gist of things.

    And thank you for the welcoming.

    Edit: Crikey! Y'all post so fast. Thanks for the help so far. I'll be re-reading the posts and having a gander at some of the prices from around the web. Keep those replies comin', folks!

  6. #6
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Yeah it will work but please don't buy it yet (if at all). Heed the advice given here, honestly, it will save you money, dissapointment and get you a better PC when you are finished.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Like terbinator said get a i7 or i5 as they outperform the Phenom II X4 965. Look at the HD5870 which should let you get a smaller PSU as the one you have picked would be overkill.

    Not sure about hardrives so carnt help there. Any DDR3 RAM will work with Phenom II I believe but for the i5 and i7 you need the lower voltage stuff. And welcome to Hexus.

    EDIT looks like I need to type faster to get a responce in too The fact that a i7/i5 setup costs £100 more can be sorted by changing some of your parts like the PSU etc. And if you tell us your budget we can help even more.
    Last edited by Cheapy; 08-11-2009 at 11:12 PM.

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    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    A Samsung F3 500GB would be your best choice for hard drive unless of course you need the 1TB - in which case go for the F3 1TB. I still recommend going for the 5870 over the GTX 295 & a Corsair HX650 would be more than enough.
    the Asus P6t Deleuxe is a good pound/performance board and you should have no probelms, i also suggest going for a 6GB kit of RAM.
    By cutting back on in-efficient and excess your going to regain that £100 you initially thought cost more going i7 instead of AMD.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    staffsMike,

    I certainly won't be making any hasty purchases this evening. Even with just the few posts so far I've been given a fair bit to think about. I was actually torn between the ATi HD5870 and GTX 295 at one point but several reviews and comparisons (including the official hexus one) helped sway me towards the GTX 295.

    I was also leaning towards buying a 1200w PSU because the BFG works out around the same price as most competing 800w-1000w PSUs. Reviews of this PSU were also very positive.

    Whilst I ponder on a potential new setup (will post later on when I've done a bit more homework on the matter), perhaps you kind folk would be able to help set my mind straight about a few things:

    1. Will most modern GPUs work with modern Intel/AMD motherboards? I'd like to think that regardless of whether or not I go with AMD or Intel - I can still use either a GTX 295 or ATi HD5870. Is this the case? Or will my machine just explode into a zillion pieces? I joke, of course, but I would however like confirmation as to whether or not all modern GPUs are compatible with modern motherboards.

    Actually, I can't think of anymore questions. I guess most of my queries have been answered so far! Hehe.

    I'll look into those Samsung F3 HDDs as per your recommendation as well. Thank you very much for all the help so far guys.

    Edit: Wow. Can't believe it took me as long as it did to respond - got little'ens running around the living room so I blame them.
    Last edited by Just Browsing; 08-11-2009 at 11:52 PM.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Both GTX 295 and HD4870 are PCI-E 2.0 X16 slot cards so basically any new motherboard wont have a problem with either of them.

  11. #11
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    You can use any graphics card I can think of, yes. AMD now own ATi and have had certain setups to favour their own cards (dragon etc..) but in the long run it means little or nothing, run the card you want in the board you want.

    AMD as you noted does save a bit of money and for gaming alone makes very little difference from the intel, it's just where things get heavy in other area's centred around the CPU that intel will make more sense.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Quick question: Are all modern PSUs compatible with modern motherboards? I'm pretty sure I'm asking the most basic of basic questions here, but it's just for an absolute clarification. I'm currently eyeing up reviews of the following PSUs: Corsair HX 850W and Zalman 850w. I'm reading a lot of good things about the Corsair HX so fair.

    Will either of the above PSUs work with a AMD or Intel setup?

    Also, and just a 'what-if', if I were to go for a duel ATi HD5870 setup, how powerful (roughly) PSU should I be looking for? This is just hypothetical, of course. I don't want to try running before I can walk!

    Edit: Notice I say 'setup' an awful lot...

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Most "modern" PSUs will work with any motherboard. PSUs from the big supplies such as Corsair, Enermax etc are pretty much certain to work with any recent AMD/Intel motherboard. The Corsair HX 850W will definitely work. (I don't know much about Zalman 850W so I won't say anything about it)

    I suspect that even a dual ATI 5870 setup along with an i7 system shouldn't draw more than 400~500W at load, meaning that 700W would be perfectly fine and safe and if you really wanted to be totally future proof for the next 5 years then a Corsair HX850W will be perfectly fine.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    500w for that kind of setup is still overhead really.

    Seeing as i posted it already recently no point doing it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    I just got the big brother of this http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/550W-...-80plus-Bronze

    Semi-Modular system is really sensible, all the cables you will most likely use (2 x PCI-E, 1 x 3 plug SATA, 1 x 4 plug molex and mobo connectors) are all hard wired and it comes with 4 additional ports to connect more sata/molex/PCI-E should you need them. It has rock solid voltages + its very quiet so it definately gets my vote

    It is a little more pricey than a completely non-modular PSU such as
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/550w-...anty-see-specs
    or
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500W-...ready!-24-740C

    I would avoid silverstone and coolermaster as the fans they use tend to be a bit on the noisey side

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...500SXS-UK.html
    is what i usually recomend to people who want to save some cash
    if you want the bigger model then http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/750W-...-80plus-Bronze

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Last quick question before I head off to bed: With regards to RAM; I'm looking through the Corsair/Phenom II compatibility list [edit: unable to post links with under 5 posts - link at the bottom of this post] and I'm coming across a lot of 4-5 digit strings. After performing a quick Google search and reading through a few other threads that discuss the meaning behind latency, I'm still a little cloudy. For instance: If you follow the link above there are latency measurements of:

    9-9-9-24
    6-6-6-18
    7-7-7-20
    8-8-8-24

    As a general rule, are the higher numbers better performance-wise, or worse? Upon attempting to find the answer myself via a few searches (including Wikipedia of all places) I'm still not quite clued up.

    And, once again, thanks for all the help so far chaps. For those of you whom might be interested - I'll be posting a short list of the new components I'm hoping to purchase to put towards building my gaming computer. I would love further comments and critique towards that once I've finalized the list and posted it.

    But, yeah, latency; higher numbers - good or bad? Lol.

    Edit: Forgt to post the URL I mentioned above. corsair.com/products/phenomii/default.aspx
    Last edited by Just Browsing; 09-11-2009 at 12:43 PM.

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    Re: Building my first gaming rig.

    Here's my current potential build:

    • Samsung F3 1TB HDD
    • ATI Radeon HD 5870
    • Corsair HX 850W PSU
    • ASUS M4A79-T Deluxe Mobo
    • Phenom X4 965 Black CPU
    • Edimax EW-7128GNIC


    I'm also looking at the Antec Nine Hundred Two to house all this stuff in - it's not a bad looker either.

    Any chance you lovely folk could review the components listed above and let me know if they are definitely, definitely fully compatible before I cough up the cash?

    I'm tremendously grateful for all the help so far, chaps!

    Edit: Do also please get back to me and fill me in on how RAM latency works (which I queried in the post above).
    Last edited by Just Browsing; 09-11-2009 at 12:42 PM.

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