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Building a first computer

The Elf

Established Member
Hi guys, I need to get a new computer over the summer as my laptop is playing up, and was thinking I would build my own – as I know a few friends that did it so can help me assemble it, and it seems to be the cheaper option.
I was hoping you would have a look at the components I picked to see if they would all ‘work'.
In terms of budget, I do not have a specific one in mind, I would prefer to get the best value/spec for money within reason.

I will be using Photoshop quite a lot, and a bit of 3D CAD things (Solidworks etc). It would be nice to have it relatively quiet also. Also needs to be able to play HD videos and will be used through a full HD monitor all the time (possibly connecting to two monitors when I get another).


Case – Coolermaster Storm Scout - £70
CM Storm Scout Case - 120mm and 2x 140mm Fans Included | Ebuyer.com
My main criteria for this is a well built solid case, though those carry handles will be very handy as I will be transporting it a fair bit. Some people say this case can't fit some GPUs in it though?


Motherboard – Asus P6T - £150
ASUS P6T iX58 Socket 1366 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard | Ebuyer.com
Have I correctly assumed that the 1366 socket would future proof the computer more?
So yeah, I really just guessed at which one of these, going by the reviews and what seems popular.


CPU – Intel i7 920 2.66Ghz 1366 - £200
Intel Core i7 920 D0 2.66GHz Socket 1366 8MB Cache.. | Ebuyer.com
I would prefer an Intel processor, so this is really the only option except the 2.8Ghz version for an extra £40 – the rest seem a lot more expensive for what they are (I don't plan to overclock)


RAM – OCZ 6GB Gold 1333Mhz- £120
OCZ 6GB (3X2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10666 Gold XTC Triple.. | Ebuyer.com
Would it be worth the extra £10 for the ‘Platinum OCZ' version, or the £40 for 2000Mhz?


Drive – Samsung Blu Ray - £45
Samsung SH-B083L 8x Blu-Ray player with DVD±RW.. | Ebuyer.com
Not too worried about this choice, as long as it works its fine, thought at that price maybe worth grabbing a blu ray.


HDD – 2TB WD - £100
Western Digital WD20EARS 2TB Hard Drive SATAII 64MB.. | Ebuyer.com
How much difference does the buffer size make (64Mb for this one), and what is the difference between SATAII and SATAIII? Ideally I would prefer a couple of 1TB drives, but the WD ones seem to be £80 for those, so not really worth it.


PSU - ????
I have no idea what PSU I will need, from browsing the forums I hear a lot of talk about needing good ones – there is a Storm Scout with a bundled ‘Coolermaster Silent Pro 700W modular' for an extra £50 – worth going for do you think?


GPU - ???
Again, I have no idea what the current good ones are, the option to play a few games like call of duty would be nice – so really just want a midrange one, £150 maybe? – a few suggestions with their capabilities would be good :D
In terms of brand loyalties, I prefer Nvidia as that is what I have always had before in my laptops etc.

Sorry for the very long post, I hope someone has time to give me a few pointers :)



Thanks, Ed
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
For the PSU and GPU I recommend the following:

GPU: Gigabyte HD 5770 1GB with PSU: Antec TruPower TP-650

or

GPU: Radeon HD 5850 1GB with PSU: Corsair HX850

The lower one is much better for games and requires more power.

Also recommend CPU: Intel Core i7-930.
 
wouldnt think that fans will keep a 2tb hdd, an i7 cpu, 3 ram modules and a high end gpu cool enough.
some high end cards whack out over 100degrees in heat and then thier power manifolds whack out even more.

something to consider is to always read around for heat amounts on what ever gpu you go for and compensate for the heat with adequate cooling.

have you considered water cooling? if you want quiet then the zalman reserator passive cooled water cooling kit will serve your needs, no fans, good cooling ability, and doesnt look to bad either lol.

also for what i've read the "green" range of hdd's are slow as hell and gum your speeds.

consider getting a couple of ssd's and running them in raid, your system will gain alot of speed, like chucking in a twin turbo super charger to a skyline.

also would recomend ic diamond 7 thermal paste as i dont put much stock in the standard suplied stuff
 
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The Elf

Established Member
For the PSU and GPU I recommend the following:

GPU: Gigabyte HD 5770 1GB with PSU: Antec TruPower TP-650

or

GPU: Radeon HD 5850 1GB with PSU: Corsair HX850

The lower one is much better for games and requires more power.

Also recommend CPU: Intel Core i7-930.

Right, the 5850 is a bit more money than I wanted to spend on the GPU but the 5770 sounds like an ideal good option.

Does the brand make alot of difference, for example gigabyte vs asus vs HIS vs sapphire? Main reason for asking being ebuyer don't supply a gigabyte, tho that wouldn't be a huge problem.

Also, to run two or more screens, are the dual DVI outputs needed? A few have those, but alot have 1 HDMI and 1 DVI, and I assume you would need to use one or the other, but can splitters be used?

Finally would (if i get one) a dual DVI 5770 fit into that case okay - as I hear big graphics cards are a tight squeeze, but I have no idea what classes as a 'big' card?

Cheers for the CPU tip, I guess it is worth the little extra, considering the price to increase it another .4Ghz is double the price


reeve1987 said:
wouldnt think that fans will keep a 2tb hdd, an i7 cpu, 3 ram modules and a high end gpu cool enough.
some high end cards whack out over 100degrees in heat and then thier power manifolds whack out even more.

something to consider is to always read around for heat amounts on what ever gpu you go for and compensate for the heat with adequate cooling.

have you considered water cooling? if you want quiet then the zalman reserator passive cooled water cooling kit will serve your needs, no fans, good cooling ability, and doesnt look to bad either lol.

also for what i've read the "green" range of hdd's are slow as hell and gum your speeds.

consider getting a couple of ssd's and running them in raid, your system will gain alot of speed, like chucking in a twin turbo super charger to a skyline.

also would recomend ic diamond 7 thermal paste as i dont put much stock in the standard suplied stuff

I do like the idea of water cooling, but that one is an external one, which would be inappropriate as it would need to be drained when I transport it or get broken (every 2 months-ish for the next year or so, but a definite idea for the future). Any decent internal ones about?

Also, having never built a computer before, I am not sure I would feel confident to put in a fluid system inside a computer without it leaking and ruining it - do you think that those components would put out enough heat to need additional cooling (assuming use of a HD5770 or similar) ? Would two 1TB drives be better?

In regards to the solid state drives, would be nice, but it would be too expensive to get the amount of storage I need, 2TBs would be over £3k :S (I forgot to mention I needed alot of HDD space :p)
I like your RAID idea ... how much would a controller to get a RAID 5 be?

The thermal paste tip has been noted :smashin:
 
Right, the 5850 is a bit more money than I wanted to spend on the GPU but the 5770 sounds like an ideal good option.

Does the brand make alot of difference, for example gigabyte vs asus vs HIS vs sapphire? Main reason for asking being ebuyer don't supply a gigabyte, tho that wouldn't be a huge problem.

Also, to run two or more screens, are the dual DVI outputs needed? A few have those, but alot have 1 HDMI and 1 DVI, and I assume you would need to use one or the other, but can splitters be used?

Finally would (if i get one) a dual DVI 5770 fit into that case okay - as I hear big graphics cards are a tight squeeze, but I have no idea what classes as a 'big' card?

Cheers for the CPU tip, I guess it is worth the little extra, considering the price to increase it another .4Ghz is double the price




I do like the idea of water cooling, but that one is an external one, which would be inappropriate as it would need to be drained when I transport it or get broken (every 2 months-ish for the next year or so, but a definite idea for the future). Any decent internal ones about?

Also, having never built a computer before, I am not sure I would feel confident to put in a fluid system inside a computer without it leaking and ruining it - do you think that those components would put out enough heat to need additional cooling (assuming use of a HD5770 or similar) ? Would two 1TB drives be better?

In regards to the solid state drives, would be nice, but it would be too expensive to get the amount of storage I need, 2TBs would be over £3k :S (I forgot to mention I needed alot of HDD space :p)
I like your RAID idea ... how much would a controller to get a RAID 5 be?

The thermal paste tip has been noted :smashin:

two drives will put out more heat that a single drive.

there are alot of good internal ones around, a case of shopping around and reading up on them though.

as for the dual monitor, you can use hdmi and dvi ports at the same time. assuming one of your monitors has a hdmvi input of course.

i think the gpu would fit into that case okay as well.

as for ssd, you only need those for the operating system and your software for editing. then add a tb drive for storage. not sure about the raid controller, i mentioned that because if you ran 2 80gb ssd drives in raid the computer would register (or should) see them as a single 160gb hdd
 
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D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
Hi Ed

Good-looking case and a decent size - should be able to fit 2 x 5770 GPU cards. Recommend purchasing one GPU card to start with and, if required, purchase a second at a later date.

Two GPU cards means more heat and possibly a rearrangement of fans and hard drives to get a clear flow of air through the case. I've never gone down the two GPU route - only ever had one GPU. Don't forget two GPU cards means a more powerful PSU is required.

Brand is a personal thing and there are differences between brands with regard to quality, heat dissipation (fan types) etc - but generally not a 'huge' difference. Do your own research.

Strong recommendation as this is your first build: keep it simple. As you gain experience bits can be added and changes can be made.

Don't forget the anti-static wristband!

All the best.
 

The Elf

Established Member
Sounds good, I think I will go with the 5770 and the PSU you suggested - I hear the Sapphire Vapour X is a decnet one as it is slightly faster and also quieter/cooler?

Do most people use a seperate HDD for the operating system then to keep it fast? Such as a faster one like a velociraptor, or an SSD, or even just a normal 320GB or something and just keeping programs on it?

But yeah I think making a simple system and making sure it works okay will be best, as you say I can always add things later

EDIT: Also when I said 'dual' I was just referring to the types of GPU with the two DVI outputs - such as the vapour x - rather than the SLI/crossfire with two graphics case :) Sorry I can see how that was mistaken what you said :p
 
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D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
Yeah - silly me, I read "dual DVI 5770" as being two 5770s and not two DVI sockets. My bad. :)

I use one HDD with two partitions, one for the OS and apps and the other for personal files.
 

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
Case – Coolermaster Storm Scout - £70
CM Storm Scout Case - 120mm and 2x 140mm Fans Included | Ebuyer.com
My main criteria for this is a well built solid case, though those carry handles will be very handy as I will be transporting it a fair bit. Some people say this case can’t fit some GPUs in it though?

I built my mates PC into a Scout recently - this is my 8800GTS (640Mb) in there, and measuring it (without trying to fit the card itself) it looked like my 5870 (a card he was thinking of getting) would have been a really tight fit or possibly not at all without some dremmel work.

rob10_07_yellow.jpg
 

The Elf

Established Member
I built my mates PC into a Scout recently - this is my 8800GTS (640Mb) in there, and measuring it (without trying to fit the card itself) it looked like my 5870 (a card he was thinking of getting) would have been a really tight fit or possibly not at all without some dremmel work.

So do you think the HD 5770 would also be a tight fit? Is there anyone that has put a 5770 into a Storm Scout and know if it fits or not without modifying the case? If it is too tight I will probably pick another case, that one is just handy for the carry handles
 

Theydon Bois

Distinguished Member
A 5870, the 5770 is smaller isnt it?
 

The Elf

Established Member
A 5870, the 5770 is smaller isnt it?

Oh I see, I cannot find any information on the cards physical size, although it 'looks' smaller in the pictures...
I notice that on overclockers i could upgrade to a HD 5830 for only around a tenner more than the 5770 Vapour X - would that be a worthwhile upgrade? (Although again I have no idea of the physical size of the card so not sure if it would fit)

Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5830 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card [11169-00-20R] Graphics and Video ATI HD 5830 Series
 

Speedy624

Established Member
With 3D work i'm pretty certain a GTX 260 or maybe even a GTX 285 would work perfectly fine, they're smaller than the ATI cards and will save you some money.
 

The Elf

Established Member
With 3D work i'm pretty certain a GTX 260 or maybe even a GTX 285 would work perfectly fine, they're smaller than the ATI cards and will save you some money.

Not sure about saving money, the GTX 285 is over £300 :p


The 260 is a definite option, gets better scores in the benchmark tests and is similar price to the 5770.
I do prefer Nvidia as a general rule, I was a little disappointed by the current range (in the midrange cards I was looking at) - with ebuyer and overclockers only stocking one type of 260 each...
They do a 'zotac' GTX 260, who I have never heard of, which was why I was tending towards a Sapphire 5770, any recommendations on a specific card?
 

Speedy624

Established Member
You have many other options, do not restrict yourself to one seller. Have a look around Amazon, CCL, Novatech, Overclockers, eBuyer, Scan and Dabs.
 

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