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Thread: First time building gaming computer

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    Post First time building gaming computer

    It's my first time building a computer and I have been looking for the past few days on a budget of £1000. So far I have a rough idea of what my computer might look like, just want some feedback on whether this is a good spec in terms of performance and compatibility. I would also appreciate any improvements that anyone would suggest.

    Case: HAF-X
    CPU: Intel Core i7 950 Quad Core (I was considering the i7 2600k but i'm not sure whether it is worth the extra money as apparently OC potential has been limited by intel, so I settled on an earlier i7.)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 Intel X58 Express 1366
    Hard drive: Hitachi Deskstar 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache
    RAM: Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 2000MHz Dominator-GT
    GPU: XFX HD 6970 2Gb ATI AMD Radeon
    PSU: Cooler Master GX 750w


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    Where did you hear about Intel limiting the OC potential? The K series chips have much greater overclocking than the i7 950 does. The only thing you can't OC is the base clock (tick speed with rest of system), but with unlocked multipliers for memory and CPU frequency it's not needed.

    Have a look at the i5 2500K - still beats the i7 950 in most things.

    That said, if you were set on an i7 950 that build is fine. Good motherboard. RAM is good, though don't pay a significant premium for it over 1600 RAM. GPU is good. The PSU is overkill if you're only using a single graphics card, and I don't rate the Cooler Master GXs too well, but some reviews say they're okay - I'd recommend an XFX Core series, Antec High current, Seasonic or corsair TX over them.

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    Thanks i appreciate it. I'm now seriously considering the i5 2500k, looks really good especially when OCed. And the power supply was a bundle deal with the case so thats the part I looked into least so cheers. I've found an antec 620w PSU for about the same price, so i'm going with that instead. Cheers again, I really appreciate it.

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    As above 0 reason to go with a 1366 board tbh, the newer i7s perform far better, the only reason to go with a 1366 is if you need the PCI-E lanes, eg triple/quad sli.

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    • planet436's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8P67 Pro
      • CPU:
      • 2500k @ 4.4k, 1.287V, Noctua NH-U12P
      • Memory:
      • 8(2x4)GB Mushkin 1333
      • Storage:
      • X25-M 80GB, 1TB Samsung F3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus 6950 2GB unlocked @ 850/1300
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX750
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      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus VW266H @ 1920x1200

    Re: First time building gaming computer

    I'd go for

    2500k
    Asus P8P67
    Spinpoint F3
    Corsair 2x4GB 1.5v

    A Antec PSU will be fine if got it on offer. 2500k over 2600k if for gaming (very little difference). The F3 is quicker and quieter than the Hitachi. Any P67 board will generally be okay, if you need specific features like SLI support then may need to spend more. The boards for SB will have virtually no impact for general overclocking with the limitations being on your chip (if you are looking to push extremely high oc's then might be worth spending more on cooling and mb).

    I would highly recommend getting a SSD as a boot drive, something in the order of 60-80GB will be fine and will be the single biggest improvement you could make to your computing experience. Could save some money going for one of the HAFs smaller brothers if you like the general look of their cases which could be put towards it. Slightly smaller cases which offer good cooling include the

    Cm 690 £65
    Lian Li PC-K60B £65
    Antec Dark fleet DF-30 £70
    HAF 922 £75
    Last edited by planet436; 04-06-2011 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Had as a placeholder

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    I did consider the f3 although the hitachi seemed a little cheaper so i went for that, so cheers for the information on that. A problem i've come across with going with a 1155 motherboard and a i5 2500k is that it only supports dual core memory. Would a triple channel motherboard with a different processor outperform this one on the fact that it supports tri-channel?

    btw i'm sticking with the HAF-X as my case, thanks anyway though. Will probably get a solid state when i upgrade in 6 or 12 months when i've got enough to get a decent size one.

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    defo 2500k, seems to be the gamers choice. You will not be limited for many years cpu wise unless. the i7 sandy bridge is faster but absolutely no need for it unless doing cpu intensive stuff. safer/easier overclocking with unlocked multiplier, not that you'll need to for any game that is on the market.

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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    Can I just re-iterate the point about getting an SSD hard drive for your windows install / program install drive. This will be the single biggest factor when you feel how "fast" the PC is at desktop and during boot. On a clean install of Window 7, with SSD, it's not unknown for to have a fully loaded desktop and internet working within about 25 seconds from cold boot. Time your system now and you'll realise how impressive that is.

    This kingston one here would be absolutely ideal. Yes you can get faster, but for the price and capacity (and I highly doubt you'd notice any speed difference) this is the best compromise.

    Here's an example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KvxdWOrih0
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 05-06-2011 at 09:31 AM.

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    • planet436's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8P67 Pro
      • CPU:
      • 2500k @ 4.4k, 1.287V, Noctua NH-U12P
      • Memory:
      • 8(2x4)GB Mushkin 1333
      • Storage:
      • X25-M 80GB, 1TB Samsung F3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus 6950 2GB unlocked @ 850/1300
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX750
      • Case:
      • NZXT Phantom
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus VW266H @ 1920x1200

    Re: First time building gaming computer

    Comparison 950 v 2500k

    Ignore the marketing of dual verses triple channel there are very few applications which will take advantage of the increased memory bandwidth that triple can theoretically give. A sandybridge setup will likely be cheaper than a i7 build while also being faster and easier to overclock.

    4 GB will likely be enough for day to day tasks.
    8 GB if you want want to futureproof a bit of run apps that need it.

    Would just like to echo cptwhite about the importance of an SSD. It isn't just the boot time that is improved but every single task that you perform on the computer is improved. Everyone who has owned one will tell you that it is almost impossible to work on computers without one.

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    Another vote for SandyBridge here. Proper SATAIII, compatible with future CPUs, overall better performance and power consumption levels. You may also opt for the Z68 chipset based board to have full overclocking options and option to use on-CPU graphics while you may be selling old VGA to get funds for new one

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    I'd like to give support for the LanCool (Lian Li) PC-K60B lovely case for a first time builder, it's got a lot of very nice tooless features that actually work as well or better than screws (unlike many tooless systems) even special thumb screws for the motherboard.
    Comes with a full set of fans so nothing has to be added.
    Personally I like the look of it as well

    I'd also add to the list
    Coolermaster Storm Enforcer £71 if you get this one then also get a 200mm fan for the top
    Coolermaster HAF 912 £55 this is the same inside as the enforcer, but not as good looking, also if you get this one then also get a 200mm fan for the top
    BitFenix Survivor CORE £68 you'll want to add a 120mm fan to that one

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    Get a 2500k or 2600k CPU instead of that old 950. Both of which are faster than it. Plus get a Gigabyte Z68X-UD5. Should be a good enough contender to that X58 board.

    And obviously just two stick of RAM. 1155 is dual channel so only two or four stick are needed.

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    I've got both - a 950 (and 970 ) with an asus Rampage II Extreme and a Sandybridge build - The Sandy bridge setup (see spec in left hand pane) is MUCH quicker for gaming and benching, especially as it can be overclocked significantly higher. It also throws out less heat, and doesn't have a toasty X58 chip to cool.

    For gaming you really have a no brainer decision to make - especially as both systems would cost about the same at retail. Unless you absolutely need more than 8 "cores" (4 real, 4 HT) then Sandy Bridge is the way to go.

    Also, take note of the PSU recommendations. The one you have has nothing wrong with it, but there are better ones out there. I've never looked back since I bought Corsair and BeQuiet's last gen ones.

    As also mentioned, SSD is also highly recommended, especially if you do opt for the Sandy/Ivy Bridge generation with the 6Gb SATA connections. Go for the fastest one you can get for the money as this will make windows seem quicker than any other single component change.

    You could also play the waiting game and wait for AMD's bulldozer to come out. Processors are only going to go down in price over the next few months - certainly these "old" ones that are out now.

    Good luck with whatever you do buy. It might be worth while heading over to http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...astest-pc.html and see what sort of scores people are recording. Heavily dependent on the GPU's, but for gaming that's where you need to invest for the best return. Very few games are CPU bound by current gen hardware. Overclocking the nuts off them gets more undoubtedly, but unless you're at high resolutions, will you need it? Especially when you analyse the cost differential...
    Join the HEXUS Folding @ home team

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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    This is my new and revised specification, can you check if it is compatible?

    Tower - HAF-X
    CPU - i5 2500k (OEM)
    CPU cooler - Artic cooling freezer 7 pro rev 2
    Motherboard - Asus P8Z68-V PRO
    GPU - HD radeon 6970
    HDD - Samsing F3 1TB
    SSD - OCZ 30GB Vertex
    RAM - Dominator GT 8GB DDR3 1866 Mhz
    PSU - OCZ Stealth Xstream II 600W

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Blackmage's Avatar
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    Re: First time building gaming computer

    Quote Originally Posted by fantaloon View Post
    This is my new and revised specification, can you check if it is compatible?

    Tower - HAF-X
    CPU - i5 2500k (OEM)
    CPU cooler - Artic cooling freezer 7 pro rev 2
    Motherboard - Asus P8Z68-V PRO
    GPU - HD radeon 6970
    HDD - Samsing F3 1TB
    SSD - OCZ 30GB Vertex
    RAM - Dominator GT 8GB DDR3 1866 Mhz
    PSU - OCZ Stealth Xstream II 600W

    Thanks.
    Thats fine, but there is really no need for such fast ram on the SB platform makes barely any difference.

    Why not buy a P67 and save some cash?

    With the cash saved from the ram and the board you could get a 60Gb SSD as I don't really think 30Gb is enough.

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    • planet436's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8P67 Pro
      • CPU:
      • 2500k @ 4.4k, 1.287V, Noctua NH-U12P
      • Memory:
      • 8(2x4)GB Mushkin 1333
      • Storage:
      • X25-M 80GB, 1TB Samsung F3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus 6950 2GB unlocked @ 850/1300
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX750
      • Case:
      • NZXT Phantom
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus VW266H @ 1920x1200

    Re: First time building gaming computer

    As Blackmage says. You could easily drop down to a Asus P8P67 or equivalent, as with the ram. There is little to none real world difference between cheap and expensive ram.

    2x4 GB of 1.5V ram will be plenty sufficient.

    I have windows installed, restore turned off and a reduced pagefile. Office and various programs installed with a couple of Games, this takes up 49GB our of 74.4. The minimum I'd recommend would be 60GB and preferably 80GB. If looking for a relatively cheap one, you can get

    OCZ Vertex 2 60GB £76+del
    Kingston 64GB £76+del
    Crucial C300 £90

    are all reasonably priced. Cheapest 2x4GB ram could find will be around £55

    Mushkin £56+del
    Geil £51+del

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