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Thread: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

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    Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Hi everyone,

    First things first, I'm new to the forum so please have a little patience with me, this will probably be a bit longer post, but I'll try to keep it organized

    My story (you can skip this)
    After some 7 years of using laptops, I've recently decided the time has come to once again build me a new computer. Seven years for computer HW is like three ice ages, and the only thing that I still could remember and hasn't changed was the never-ending Intel vs. AMD and NVidia vs ATI fight So I spent couple weeks reading reviews, browsing forums and bothering my friends with noob questions about what fan should I get and how are they satisfied with their GPUs. While I still have some friends left, I decided to share my build with you to get some more opinions

    My goals
    I'm looking to build a decent high-end PC that will allow me to play pretty much all games for the next couple of years, but not necessarily an ultimate cutting-edge hard-core gaming beast. My budget is somewhere between £1000 and £1100, give or take.

    The Build
    Long story short, here's what I've come up so far (I plan to buy from scan.co.uk):

    • Asus Crosshair IV Formula
    • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
    • Noctua NH-U9B SE2 Dual Fan Quiet CPU Cooler
    • 1GB Sapphire HD 5850 Toxic OR 1GB Sapphire HD 5850 Vapor-X (not decided yet whether the Toxic is worth the extra money)
    • 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), CAS 8-8-8-24
    • 74GB Western Digital WD740BLFS VelociRaptor, SATA 3Gb/s, 2.5 " HDD, 10000rpm, 16MB Cache, 4.2 ms (a.k.a. system drive)
    • 1TB Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black, SATA 6Gb/s, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache, 8 ms (a.k.a. storage drive)
    • Xigmatek UTGARD, Pure Black, Gaming Mid Tower Case w/o PSU
    • LG CH08LS10.AUAU 8x Blu-Ray Reader,16x DVD±R, 8x +RW, 6x -RW, 5x RAM - OEM
    • 750W Corsair CMPSU-750TX OR 750w Seasonic S12D-750


    Questions and concerns
    As you can see, I decided for the AMD+ATI combination as it seems to be "more value for less(er) money" way Also, I went for the last 4-core Phenom II as I don't think the new 6-core CPU is really worth the money (please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm still a noob.

    Also, a friend was very specific about getting a factory overclocked GPU from Sapphire with their "state-of-art" Vapor-X cooling system; also not sure whether it's worth the money, but it seems to be very efficient and quiet at the same time.

    Quietness is another thing I'm slightly concerned about. While I want a powerful PC, I don't want it to be (too) loud (I understand the contradiction here. That's why I decided to use rather expensive Noctua CPU cooler as from what I understand they seem to be famous for their quietness and quality.

    Last thing where I'm undecided is the PSU. It would appear 750w power supply is more than enough for build like this. I was first thinking about the Corsair TX750w, as it also comes with 5 years manufacturer warranty. However, I've found out that this particular model is made by CWT (rather than some other models that are made by Seasonic) and several reviews suggested it can be quite loud even if the load isn't too high. That's why I'm also considering the slightly more expensive Seasonic S12D-750, which is apparently a rock-solid PSU and uses San Ace fan which seems to be legendary for it's quietness. The only contra is the warranty which seems to be "only" 2 years with scan.co.uk even though on Seasonic page they say it comes with 5 years warranty . Not sure whether I should really be concerned about that, though.

    That's it!
    Sorry for such a long post but I wanted to keep all the questions in one thread. I would appreciate if you could share your opinions on the build and point out any flaws in it. Also, I'd be grateful if you could comment on any of my concerns and questions. I'd also appreciate if you only tell me I'm completely wrong and should have gone for the Intel+NVidia build

    Thanks a lot in advance

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by janci View Post
    The Build
    Long story short, here's what I've come up so far (I plan to buy from scan.co.uk):

    • Asus Crosshair IV Formula
    • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
    • Noctua NH-U9B SE2 Dual Fan Quiet CPU Cooler
    • 1GB Sapphire HD 5850 Toxic OR 1GB Sapphire HD 5850 Vapor-X (not decided yet whether the Toxic is worth the extra money)
    • 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), CAS 8-8-8-24
    • 74GB Western Digital WD740BLFS VelociRaptor, SATA 3Gb/s, 2.5 " HDD, 10000rpm, 16MB Cache, 4.2 ms (a.k.a. system drive)
    • 1TB Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black, SATA 6Gb/s, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache, 8 ms (a.k.a. storage drive)
    • Xigmatek UTGARD, Pure Black, Gaming Mid Tower Case w/o PSU
    • LG CH08LS10.AUAU 8x Blu-Ray Reader,16x DVD±R, 8x +RW, 6x -RW, 5x RAM - OEM
    • 750W Corsair CMPSU-750TX OR 750w Seasonic S12D-750
    While the Crosshair is great board, you can probably get 95% of the performance for 60% of the price with a Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 for £93.86 (unless you had plans for 3-way Crossfire in the future)

    You are probably right about the X6 not being worth the extra from a games point of view, although if you were doing video editing or virtualization the X6 would be worth thinking about - but your not so stick with the X4.

    That U9B is not a "full height" cooler, and significant thermal and to a lesser extent acoustic improvements could be found through a Noctua UD12P for about £10 more.

    Vapor-X has an impact on temps at idle but not so much under load. It does bring acoustic benefits however. When coupled with a 5850 it becomes expensive for what it is; a better route to go would be 2x 5770s which will give better performance but at a comparable price (either get 2 of £115 MSIs for £20 less or the £131 Asus' for £10 more [the Asus have voltage tweak for better OCing).

    RAM is good, although if you were to go elsewhere other than Scan you could get 4GB of lower latency lower voltage 1600MHz for £105 (http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...7D-4GBECO.html)

    I wouldn't bother with the Velociraptors these days - expensive for what is increasingly marginal performance benefit over other mechanical HDDs and almost as expensive as vastly superior SSDs. If you can survive on 60GB go for the OCZ Vertex 2E or if you need 80GB the Intel is also a solid bet.

    Storage HDD is fine but SATA3 is wasted somewhat on mechanical HDDs - if you want it keep it but you could save a bit and get a 1TB Samsung F3 or for similar money a 2TB Hitachi.

    A case is a personal choice but if you were concerned about noise a Fractal Design R2 would be an excellent choice, although for good cooling you need to populate all its fan bays (Fractal's own 140mm is good, and Akasa Apaches for the 120mms is probably about the best). This will be more expensive than your choice but can be financed from savings elsewhere.

    Optical drive is good.

    Regarding PSUs I would go for either a Corsair HX750 or if you can afford it the 750w Corsair Professional Series (£119 and £148 respectively) - modular cables make airflow better and it looks tidier. The TX are also older designs and show it in noise and energy efficiency.

    Hope this helps!

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by janci View Post
    I'd also appreciate if you only tell me I'm completely wrong and should have gone for the Intel+NVidia build )
    Probably the optimal combo in performance terms would be Intel + ATI, although not necessarily in terms of value. Try the below for size:

    Motherboard: Asus P7P55D Deluxe, Intel P55 Express, S1156, DDR3 2200(OC), SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX
    CPU: Intel Core i5 750, Lynnfield 45nm, Quad Core, 2.66GHz, 8MB Cache, 95W, Retail
    RAM: G.Skill Eco Series 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C7 1600MHz
    GPU: 2x 1GB MSI HD 5770, PCI-E 2.1 (x16), 4800MHz GDDR5, GPU 850MHz, 800Cores, DisplayPort/ DL DVI-I/ HDMI
    Boot SSD: 60GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2E, 2.5" Sandforce SSD, MLC-Flash, Read 285MB/s, Write 275MB/s
    Storage HDD: 1TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ, OEM
    PSU: 750W Corsair CMPSU-750HXUK, SLi, ATX, EPS12V, Modular, UK Version - 7 Year Warranty
    Optical Drive: LG CH10LS20.AUAU 10x Blu-Ray Reader, 16x DVD±R, 8x +RW, 6x -RW, 12x RAM - OEM
    Case: Fractal Design R2

    Bit over budget at £1,118, but an alternative.

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    If your looking for quiet then I dont think the two HD 5770 would be a good idea I would rather go for a single solution like the HD 5850. You dont have to worry about drivers as much for them then as well. I would only pay extra for a factory overclocked GPU if its overclock makes a big enough difference in performance or for its better cooler over the stock version.

    Could look at a lower cost power supply like a good quality 500w to 600w modular unit. Will easily run that rig and the extra you could put towards a SSD like was suggested above in place of the VelociRaptor.

    As for the cooler have you looked at the Corsair H50? About £20 more than the Noctua but could be quieter.
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Corsa...lus-AM3-NEW-V2

    Just some ideas.

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Thanks for your valuable advices. I've finally decided what to go for so I thought I'd update this thread; perhaps it will be to someone's benefit. So here's my new build:



    It came up to total ~£1070, so pretty within budget. Thanks to Skulltrail and Cheapy and some other's advices in different threads, I've managed to knock off enough of my original build to buy the 80GB Intel SSD drive

    I'd especially point out the case+psu combo. Along with Skulltrail's advice on mobo (very helpful!), this saved me quite a few pounds and still allowed me to get modular psu with great wattage.

    The last parts arrived today, so I'll be assembling it tonight! Wish me luck so that I don't break anything

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    That's pretty near a hardcore gaming beast if I ever saw one

    Good luck assembling, and watch those butter fingers

  7. #7
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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    The M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 does not do symmetrical Crossfire as it runs the second PCI-E slot at PCI-E 2.0 4X:

    http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_I...nbL&templete=2


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  8. #8
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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Personally, I'd run with it and avoid crossfire like the plague.

    If you need more performance in 2 years' time, flog the 5850 and buy a 6850 or a secondhand 5970, and stick with one PCIe slot.

  9. #9
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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    I was just telling the OP in case they were thinking of using Crossfire in the future. Most reviews and retail web pages are referring to the motherboard as doing Crossfire at PCI-E 2.0 16X!


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  10. #10
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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Yeah, I get you

    Just spreading my hate of crossfire and SLI, that's all

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    However if you start looking at a triple monitor eyefinity setup, you do want to look at crossfire as single cards generally don't cope well with the massively increased resolution.

    I will add a question, what monitor are you planning on?

    And another option, the new nvidia GTX460 1024mb is looking like a very nice card, not quite up to the 5850 but still very decent performance and cheaper at under £200

    However if you do stick with a single card then dropping back to the 870 chipset would probably be a good move, eg Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...-SATA-RAID-ATX

    Must admit I'm not a big fan of the Storm, but it is one of coolermaster's better cases.

    Although personally I'd look at the Lancool's k58 (will need to buy a couple of extra fans and some lian-li screws) or the k62 complete but blue led fans (only an issue if you don't like led fans and a glowy pc) or look for the special edition red&black k62

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Thanks for your opinions guys I think I'll stick with one card for now to keep it as quiet as possible while still powerful enough for decent gaming. And when next upgrade is due (hopefully that won't be sooner than in 3-4 year's time), I'll just grab a more powerful one as snootyjim suggested. Or, who knows where the technology will be in 3-4 years! Maybe the whole PCI-E/SLI/CrossFireX concept will be long forgotten in favour of something else. So I guess, I'll think about it when the time is right

    As for the monitor, I don't plan to use more than two in near future, so I should be fine on that front as well. I currently have a 24'' Samsung, so maybe I'll buy another 24'' piece or upgrade to something bigger.

    Thanks for pointing out the 870 chipset, the Gigabyte mobo looks good, if only I saw it before I made the order.. ;-)

    As for the CM Storm, I was originally looking at a different case, but it caught my eye and then I stumbled upon the bundle and the deciding was over. I don't regret it so far though, it's great-looking well equipped case that should provide great air flow while hopefully being quiet enough

    The last parts arrived yesterday, and I managed to put everything together, so all that's left for tonight is plug the wires&cables, do the first POST, install OS and enjoy the beast. I must admit that assembling the PC was much easier task than I feared it would be and I really enjoyed it. I don't regret I went the BIY (build-it-yourself) way and can really recommend it to everyone hesitating

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Personally i'd drop down to a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition.

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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by xStatic View Post
    Personally i'd drop down to a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition.
    The reason being?

  15. #15
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    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Yeah, I get you

    Just spreading my hate of crossfire and SLI, that's all
    Am I missing something here...do I see a couple of 4870s listed in your 1st desktop? Is it that they are NOT in crossfire? Or is this build the reason you are so anti crossfire

  16. #16
    jim
    jim is offline
    HEXUS.clueless jim's Avatar
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    • jim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z
      • CPU:
      • i5 2500K @ 4.5GHz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Sandisk SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ASUS GTX 970
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX650
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT03
      • Operating System:
      • 8.1 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2716DG
      • Internet:
      • 10 Mbps ADSL

    Re: Opinions on my new build & some noob questions ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by Attila the Bun View Post
    Am I missing something here...do I see a couple of 4870s listed in your 1st desktop? Is it that they are NOT in crossfire? Or is this build the reason you are so anti crossfire
    I did have a pair of 4870s, and it was awful.

    I've now switched to a 4870 X2 (internal crossfire) which is much more palatable.

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