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Build Questions

PNM_JenningsPNM_Jennings Member UncommonPosts: 1,093

So I've been looking to build my own desktop for a while now (this is not the first time I've posted on these forums about this). I would be using this for gaming, so I'm trying to make it budget awesome. I won't be overclocking it since I'm new to this and don't want to fry anything, but I was thinking of trying SLI sometime in the future. And by budget I mean around $1,000. Still a good chunk o'cash, but I only get a new computer in direst circumstances, so when I do I treat myself a bit. Anyway.

Below is what I've got right now. I'm not married to any of them (except I want to use a GeForce card; doesn't have to be a 460 though, but I thought the 460 would work well for SLI), so recommendations are more than welcome especially in regards to the motherboard. I haven't decided on a sound card, hard drive, or an optical drive, but i threw in a few that I was looking at. I didn't include a case at all because I have no idea what would be good. So again, if anyone has anything to say on the matter please please please give me a recommendation.

So anything anyone has to say about any of this would be excellent. And if there are compatibility issues that I overlooked deffinitely say something, please. I've never built my own computer before, so I'm truly a newb.

EDIT: Hooray for links!


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,281

    You can save $8 if you get the processor and heatsink you've chosen in a combo deal:

    Exact same hardware, for $8 less.

    I wouldn't get that power supply.  It's not that it's bad.  It's that you can get something better for exactly the same price:

    It looks like you ended up in the wrong section for optical drives.  You want CD/DVD burners, not just CD/DVD drives.  The latter is basically obsolete at this point.  With shipping, you save a few dollars and gain the ability to burn CDs and DVDs, in addition to reading them.

    If you've got some fancy speaker setup and need the 7.1 channel audio, then go ahead and get a sound card.  But if not, just use the onboard sound that comes built into the motherboard.  Or at least try the onboard sound first, and only pick up a discrete sound card later in the unlikely event that you're not satisfied with onboard sound.

    The hard drive is probably the biggest problem.  5900 RPM is going to be painfully slow.  Get something faster, or else you'll have to constantly sit there and wait every time you ask the computer to do anything.  If you need 1.5 TB, then here you go:

    Most people don't need that much capacity, though.  If you check how much space you've used on your current computer and double that, then that will probably be more than you need.

    I wouldn't get that video card, as it's rather overpriced for what you get.  You can get essentially the same thing for much cheaper:

    I also wouldn't go SLI on GTX 460s.  If GTX 460 SLI is the performance level you want, then just get a single GeForce GTX 570 and skip the SLI.

    That will let you save some money back by giving up on SLI and getting a cheaper motherboard and power supply.  If you really want the option to go SLI in the future, at least get a higher end card up front.  I wouldn't SLI on anything less than a GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

    Or if you want to pay a bit more for a premium version of the card:

    It does look like Nvidia has cut prices enough that I can drop my usual warning about how AMD gives you better performance/$.  AMD still does offer better deals for $100 and under, but above that, they're pretty even now.  Cayman still has a nicer feature set, but that only matters if you'd use the features.

    Really, though, I don't think it makes sense to plan on going SLI unless you're going to buy both cards up front.  I'm expecting to see Kepler offer a huge jump over Fermi, in part because Fermi was such a train wreck of an architecture.  By the time Kepler launches, Nvidia will have had time to see how AMD won the last few generations with the adjustments they made in RV770 and incorporate that into their own cards.

    Once Kepler is out, likely early next year, if you decide that you want better graphical performance than what you have now, it will probably make more sense to buy a new Kepler card and get rid of your old one, rather than to buy a second older card for SLI, unless you can get that second card dirt cheap used.  Fermi cards are way too expensive for Nvidia to build, so Nvidia will want to discontinue them as soon as they've got something better available.

  • PNM_JenningsPNM_Jennings Member UncommonPosts: 1,093

    Okay, cool. Thank you. But the motherboard looks okay though? Any recommendations on a case, perchance?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,281

    If you want to get one video card and call it good enough, then this will work pretty well.

    If you're still holding out hope of going SLI in the future, you might want a larger case that could easily accommodate two relatively high end video cards and have plenty of airflow for whatever you might need at that time.

    If you want to keep open the option of SLI in the future, then the motherboard you picked is a pretty good value on a good motherboard.  If you're not going to go SLI in the future, then you could save some money by getting a cheaper motherboard now.

    If you're inclined to give up on SLI, then you can also save some money by getting a lower wattage power supply that will still handle any future single video card quite nicely.

    The reason why I recommend either buying two cards in SLI right now or else not going there in the future is that, to do it properly, you have to spend an extra $100 or so up front on a higher end case, power supply, and motherboard.  That's wasted money if you don't end up going SLI in the future.  And even if you do add a second card in SLI a year or two down the road, you'd likely still have been better off having the $100 or so back, and replacing the old card by a single new card.

  • PNM_JenningsPNM_Jennings Member UncommonPosts: 1,093

    I can ditch SLI. I'll probably not be upgrading this thing much at all once I finish it. Well, not for a few years at least. How does this motherboard look then?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,281

    You can save some money on the motherboard as compared to the Gigabyte -UD4, but not quite that much.  You still want a P67 chipset motherboard.  It's also good to avoid Biostar, as they can make a nice flagship motherboard every now and then when they care to, but most of their lineup is junk, and prone to have all sorts of random, weird problems.

    One open box option that happens to be available right now, if you're willing to take a motherboard that someone else bought and then sent back, is this one:

    Open box motherboards tend to go in and out of stock a lot, though, so it might easily be gone by the time you see it.  That's actually about as nice of a motherboard as the one you picked.  If it's gone, then this will do.

    Don't try overclocking the processor very far on that motherboard, but at stock speeds or a slight overclock, it will work nicely.

    If you're getting a single card, I'd say try one of the GeForce GTX 560 Tis that I linked above.

  • PNM_JenningsPNM_Jennings Member UncommonPosts: 1,093

    I don't intend to overclock at all, so that's fine. And, because I have your attention and you know approximately 557.3 times more about any and all of this than me, the memory is fine too? I mean it seems to be compatible, but you know what you're about with all this and I, quite frankly, don't if that wasn't already apparent.

    EDIT: Also would you recommend fitting out all the fan slots on the case? I shouldn't think that would be necessary, but I figured I'd ask. Also, I'm sorry if I'm annoying you with too many questions. I have literally no one else to ask since I am the only person that I know that has any interest in computer hardware whatsoever, so you answering my questions is a total godsend. So thank you. Thank you very much.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,281

    The memory looks fine.  Now that I look, there are some other options, though.

    $10 cheaper for the same capacity, speed, latency timings, and voltage, though without the heatspreader:

    Cheaper yet if you do rebates:

    Substantially faster memory for $5 cheaper than what you picked:

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,281

    At stock speeds, the two fans that the case comes with should be fine.  You can measure the processor and video card temperatures directly, and add more fans if necessary.

    If you're not going to do the rebate on the case, you could get the same thing with four fans instead of two for $10 more:

  • PNM_JenningsPNM_Jennings Member UncommonPosts: 1,093

    Thank you! I will build a shrine to your awesome. Seriously. This is the best help I've gotten on this ever. So thank you very much.

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