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Rate my First Build!
03-11-2012, 06:09 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-11-2012, 09:58 PM by IronLemur.)
Brick  Rate my First Build!
Hey Everyone, building my first computer now that my college laptop finally died. I've been researching for a week and of course reading everything I can. Just curious what your guys with more experience think about the parts I'm thinking about below.

Some background - I'm out of school and in an apt I will be in for a while so I want to invest in a nice desktop (haven't owned a desktop since the 90s heh) that I can upgrade in the future. I play a few games but nothing extremely graphic-intensive. The most gfx intensive game I regularly play is EVE online, but I would like to catch up on a few games I've missed over the last few years (namely Skyrim) but I don't play FPS games and I don't NEED to have "ultra" settings for all my games. I'm used to playing 4-5 yr old games at minimal settings so I'm sure anything will be in improvement heh.
But like I mentioned above I'm looking for a good system I can UPGRADE in the future as I am fairly tight on money right now (who isn't?). So I want to spend more on the "BRAIN" of the computer (CPU + Mobo + Mem) than gfx cards or a large HDD I can always upgrade later.

I'm planning on buying parts probably early next month. I want to stay around $700ish if possible.


-I like ASUS and the UEFI BIOS seems like it will make my first build a bit easier at least in configuring the BIOS. Plus plenty of SATA and USB ports for upgrading if need be. I was also looking at the ASROCK Pro3 Gen3 mentioned on which is about $30 cheaper but I've used ASUS before so maybe I'm just biased IDK. Anyone have experience with either?

-Not overclocking, so don't need the 2500k. Other than that this seems like definitely the way to go, and with AMD moving away from the CPU market this was a no-brainer but again still open to suggestions.

-It seems like memory isn't a HUGE deal. Mostly want to make sure this will be a good fit. PC3 12800 DDR3 1600 and g.Skill from what i've seen has a great rating. I don't think going higher is worth it for now since memory isn't too hard to upgrade later and 8gb I think should be more than enough for a while.

Video Card:
-This is a tough area for me. I figure this will be where the system would bottle-neck when playing more high-end games. Graphics card pricing is so crazy though I feel like this would be a good place to buy something decent now and upgrade later (from what I've heard I like the GeForce 560 ti) but I really want to keep the price on this low for now if i can.

-Again an area I plan to upgrade. I am thinking of buying an SSD now to load the OS, drivers, and other core components which I think 64 GB will be enough for. 120GB would be nice and I am thinking about but idk if that extra money would be better spent on a larger HDD since I'm not super concerned about program speed mostly just the OS and small programs I use (IDEs for coding and HTML) I can throw in a 500 GB HDD later to keep everything else on, but open to suggestions.

-Seems like a good case with plenty of air and extra fan slots for installing additional fans if I want to later.

-I mostly chose this because of the price. I doubt I'd need 600W but the newegg price, plus the $10 off plus the mail in rebate bring the price to around $39.99 according to my math which makes this a bargain. Just concerned about OCZ I have heard good and bad things about their products (i heard stay away from their SSDs!) I know the importance of a good PSU, i can't imagine I'd need more than 600W though.

-Nothing fancy here. I know alot of ppl are leaving these out now, but I still have a lot of old games on CDs and I think for convenience I dont mind throwing down an extra $15.

In total this brings me to approx $749.92 not including mail-in rebates for around $35. Which is where I want to stay around. I could spend a bit more but I really don't want to go above $800 if i can avoid it


-Is it worthwhile investing in an aftermarket CPU cooling fan? I'm not really expecting to overclock my CPU which I've read is when aftermarket fans are really needed but I read they can significantly improve CPU life even if you don't overclock but again I ALSO heard CPU frying heat problems aren't as much of an issue with newer processors. So definitely open to advice here.

-Windows 7. Haven't used it yet but now is a good place to start because my 32 bit XP OS now will be worthless on this machine. I think I want at least pro as well for the XP virtualization. Mainly I'm wondering first, if Ultimate is worth the price over Pro. I'm pretty techy but I'm not running servers or anything the only real appeal Ultimate was the encryption but again I havent done a ton of research comparing features. Secondly, should I buy retail or OEM? OEM is obviously cheaper but I've heard that if you replace the Mobo you'll have to buy a whole new copy of Windows, I've also heard if that happens you can call Microsoft and they will honor the original purchase if you explain you changed motherboards but IDK it seems like a big risk I'd rather but the retail and have backup CDs, but I'm just wondering if anyone has had that problem or dealt with Microsoft regarding an OEM OS. I know they don't offer "support" but who needs that anyway. I just don't want to have to buy WIndows again in a few years if I buy a new mobo/CPU.

-Anything else? Anything that you guys think I am missing that is helpful? I know i have the 8 "core" computer parts above. I was thinking in grabbing a couple extra case fans but I dont know if theyd be needed plus I think the mobo has only 2 chassis fan ports...

Thanks for reading this giant post! Any advice, good/bad opinions of parts, etc. Please let me know!

*Edit: Fixed Case link. Thanks mwhals*
03-11-2012, 07:59 PM,
RE: Rate my First Build!
You might consider getting a hard drive as your main drive instead of the SSD now in order to have some more capacity. If going with the SSD, you should also get a HD for saving files like music, videos, etc. Not going with an SSD is an area that you can save money as you can add one later if you want. Personally, I would not get an SSD smaller than 128 GB. SSDs start losing performance when they start getting 80% or more full. Also, the larger SSDs tend to have better performance up to a point.

Your case link is to the PSU, so I couldn't see it.

As to Windows OEM, I have installed the OEM version again on PCs that I rebuilt in the past with XP. I am not sure of the current policies or Microsoft, but I think you are correct. The question to ask is "do you really think you won't upgrade to another windows version when the motherboard needs updated?" With that question, you will probably determine that the OEM version is adequate. The professional version of Windows 7 is enough for most people. Just look at the extras that Ultimate gives you and decide if you would use them.

If you are not overclocking, the cooler that comes with the CPU should be adequate.

Fans can be connected directly to the PSU molex connectors (may need 3 pin to molex adapter) if you don't have enough connections on the motherboard.

I do think your parts are fine for what you want to do overall.
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit

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