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    Review My First Build

    I am about to undertake my first custom-build and would like to make sure I'm not making any huge pitfalls in doing so. Any help you could offer would be much appreciated. I have been researching this for the past week or so and want to know whether or not I'm good to go and order my custom pc components.

    Components:
    AMD Phenom II x4 965 BE (Was originally going to get 955, but 965 is the same price) Processor
    GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1Gb Gfx Card
    ASUS M5A97 PRO AMD 970 Mobo
    Corsair Vengeance 8Gb (2x4Gb) DDR3 1600MHz RAM
    Hitachi 500Gb Deskstar SATA3 7200RPM 16mb HDD
    Sony 24x DVD-RW Optical Drive (Cheap one, as I don't use dvd/cd much)
    XIGMATEK ASGARD III Case
    EZCool 500Watt Dual Voltage PSU

    As for my budget, this is approaching the limit, so if you have any suggestions, please try to keep them of similar price to the above.

    Ps: Are there any pitfalls many people fall into when building their first custom pc? Or any general advice/things to watch out for? This would be much appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Kayze; 22-11-2011 at 11:57 PM.

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    Re: Review My First Build

    What is your budget?? The motherboard is quite decent and is good for overclocking.

    Edit!!

    I avoid EZCool as they are very poor PSUs.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 23-11-2011 at 12:04 AM.


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    Re: Review My First Build

    Budget is currently about £500-£550. Although, I am willing to spend more on upgrades at a later stage. (This is all the money I have available at this time).

    Would the EZ PSU be ok for a month or so? Until I can afford a good one.

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    Re: Review My First Build

    What retailer are you using?? Hard drives are very overpriced ATM too. Do you intend to overclock??

    Edit!!

    Do you have a copy of Windows??
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 23-11-2011 at 12:24 AM.


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    Re: Review My First Build

    I'm using dabs (dot) com. I may intend on overclocking, although not until I upgrade that PSU. I had a look about and found another PSU. (I will only be overclocking if I feel it's necessary, although I doubt it will be for a few months yet)

    Best Value Alpine 500W PSU 120mm Red Fan
    Best Value 600W PS05 Alpine Gold Fan PSU SLI & 4 x SATA
    Best Value Alpine 650W PSU 120mm Red Fan

    Which one would you recommend? (If any, they are roughly the same price).

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    Re: Review My First Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayze View Post
    I'm using dabs (dot) com. I may intend on overclocking, although not until I upgrade that PSU. I had a look about and found another PSU. (I will only be overclocking if I feel it's necessary, although I doubt it will be for a few months yet)

    Best Value Alpine 500W PSU 120mm Red Fan
    Best Value 600W PS05 Alpine Gold Fan PSU SLI & 4 x SATA
    Best Value Alpine 650W PSU 120mm Red Fan

    Which one would you recommend? (If any, they are roughly the same price).
    None of them. The PSU is the very last thing to skimp on!!

    BTW,do you need a copy of Windows 7??

    It is probably the worst time to buy a hard drive now. The floods in Thailand have limited supply and pushed hard drives prices by upto three times.

    The hard drive you are looking at is around £90. Supposedly next year hard drive prices will decrease quite a bit. Hence,I would get a 60GB SSD instead and get a larger hard drive next year.

    I would look at this guide:

    http://forums.hexus.net/pc-hardware/...er-2011-a.html

    I would read the first page and the £550 gaming build.

    I would get this HD6850 1GB instead of the HD6870 1GB:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-x...layport-2x-dvi

    You can get then get an SSD for around £60 to £70.


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    Re: Review My First Build

    Nope, I already have a copy of Windows 7, so that will save £60-70.

    I could change the hard drive to:
    OCZ Technology 60GB Agility 3 SSD Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive (Saving £10 at the same time, so I could get a more expensive PSU.)

    Changed PSU to:
    Corsair Memory 600W Builder Series CX V2 ATX PSU

    Is this better? Price is roughly the same as in my original post more or less.

    Is there much difference between 4Gb of RAM and 8Gb?

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    Re: Review My First Build

    I agree with everything Cat said.

    PSU's are rarely talked about much but a decent one is the basis for any build I have learnt to my cost. A decent PSU will last 3-4 builds and will be far more cost effective and less troublesome than 2-3 cheapass ones.

    Also very good point on the hard drives, they are way overpriced everywhere at the mo due to the Thai floods so get an SSD (which will give you an amazing new experience) and wait for a new hardrive till next year. Do you have access to an old hardrive from an old system you can canabalise in the short term?

    Oh and on the Win7 front an OEM version is a good cheap way forward. I've had no problems moving the license to a new mobo when my old one got killed (exploding GPU killed it), so no need to get the full version.

    Cam

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    Re: Review My First Build

    Yeah. I have a few old hard drives lying around that I could use for now, until the prices settle down again.

    Would it be feasible to completely forego purchasing a SSD and HDD for now and just use an old 250gb hdd until the new year once prices have settled?

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    Re: Review My First Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayze View Post
    Nope, I already have a copy of Windows 7, so that will save £60-70.

    I could change the hard drive to:
    OCZ Technology 60GB Agility 3 SSD Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive (Saving £10 at the same time, so I could get a more expensive PSU.)

    Changed PSU to:
    Corsair Memory 600W Builder Series CX V2 ATX PSU

    Is this better? Price is roughly the same as in my original post more or less.

    Is there much difference between 4Gb of RAM and 8Gb?
    The Crucial M4 is slower but more reliable than the Agility 3. On another forum someone wrote 171TB of data to one and it still works fine!!

    Having said that you can save yourself a decent chunk of money and get an older Vertex or a faster Nova 2:

    http://www.dabs.com/products/ocz-tec...20vertex&src=3

    They should have relatively bug free firmware now and remember the fact that SSDs are much faster with access times than a hard drive(not shown in the retailers websites).

    Regarding the PSUs look at the ones I suggested in the guide. The CX600W is not as good as the ones I have suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayze View Post
    Yeah. I have a few old hard drives lying around that I could use for now, until the prices settle down again.

    Would it be feasible to completely forego purchasing a SSD and HDD for now and just use an old 250gb hdd until the new year once prices have settled?
    If it is SATA then yes it would be a good idea IMHO. I did the same with the build this year and used an old 250GB Samsung Spinpoint P.


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    Re: Review My First Build

    Ok, I've opted to use an old hard drive in the mean time, instead of getting an ssd or hdd. With this saving, should I upgrade my gtx 550ti to a 560 (non-ti)? (Its about £40 extra)

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    Re: Review My First Build

    Looking at your budget and if you re-use your hard drive you can get a much faster build now.

    I had a look on Aria and quite a few bits are on offer.

    CPU

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=43216

    Motherboard

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=44075

    Over £20 off!! I wonder how long this will last??

    RAM

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=43744

    PSU

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=45457

    Graphics card

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=44533

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=44564

    The HD6870 and GTX560(non-TI) have similar performance.

    DVD rewriter

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=44494

    Case

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=45928

    It can even take long cards like an HD6990!!

    The total comes to around £513 including postage.

    There is enough of the budget left to get a aftermarket cooler or alternatively spend more on the graphics card.

    You might be able to get a GTX560TI:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=47110

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=47110

    The first card comes with both DiRT3 and Deus Ex:Human Revolution vouchers too.

    Most of these parts are on special offer so I would get them as quick as possible!!

    You should be able to run most current games at 1920X1080 at decent settings IMHO and the CPU even if not overclocked should be fine for a few years IMHO.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 23-11-2011 at 01:11 AM.


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    Re: Review My First Build

    Aria also has this RAM in stock:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=47170

    The company was basically Mushkin Europe so it should be reasonable RAM. It is very good value for around £25.

    You can get 4GB of the same RAM for around £17:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=47169

    4GB should still be fine ATM for most games. Of course 8GB does give you more leeway although it is a lot of RAM for a gaming system.


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    Re: Review My First Build

    Sadly just found out upon checking that my old hard drives are actually IDE, not SATA. I guess this means I'll have to revert to buying a SSD for now, effectively reducing my budget.

    Would using an IDE to SATA converter work? Would it cause any problems?
    Last edited by Kayze; 23-11-2011 at 01:39 AM.

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    Re: Review My First Build





    Both of the builds are from Aria.

    The first build has a more powerful CPU and an HD6870 1GB. The Core i5 will be fine for a very long time IMHO.

    The second build uses a Core i3 and a GTX560TI 1GB. The GTX560TI 1GB is more powerful than the HD6870 1GB so you should have better framerates with many current games than the first specification.However remember that the GTX560 non-TI is around the same speed as an HD6870 1GB. Most games are not very CPU heavy ATM. However,the Core i5 will be a better processor in the long run and should be able to survive more graphics card upgrades than a Core i3. Also,the Core i5 2500K can be overclocked unlike the Core i3 2120.


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    Re: Review My First Build

    Thank you for the amount of time you've put into helping me with this. I may save up a little more to go for the bottom option, except with an i5, instead of i3, along with the 560Ti.

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