Comet

Official "Building a PC" Thread

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alright, seems to make sense, but what about down the line? Will I be better off spending the extra ~$100 now and having this rig last me a bit longer or is it a total waste

This treads into territory that I don't fully understand and I'm not going to guess or assume. I don't fully understand the potential of hyperthreading in games. What I do know is that right now, hardly any games use more than four cores. Heck, most games right now are still riding on two and using any additional for useless things that require little power. I also know that benchmarks in games between the 2500k and the 2600k are within (and usually less than) 5% and that's probably because of the frequency premium the 2600k enjoys. Both overclock to 4.5ghz easily.

Perhaps someone will respond and enlighten me on the potential of hyperthreading in games. When I think about it, it just can't think of a solid benefit because the logical cores are still based on the frequencies of the four physical cores. Most current games prefer higher clock frequencies over more cores. My lowly artifact-status Core2 e8400 overclocked to 3.8ghz backs that up a bit. I can still run everything I play. Metro 2033 is bottlenecked though. It drives both cores to 100% load during the built-in benchmark (45fps max regardless of detail settings).

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This treads into territory that I don't fully understand and I'm not going to guess or assume. I don't fully understand the potential of hyperthreading in games. What I do know is that right now, hardly any games use more than four cores. Heck, most games right now are still riding on two and using any additional for useless things that require little power. I also know that benchmarks in games between the 2500k and the 2600k are within (and usually less than) 5% and that's probably because of the frequency premium the 2600k enjoys. Both overclock to 4.5ghz easily.

Perhaps someone will respond and enlighten me on the potential of hyperthreading in games. When I think about it, it just can't think of a solid benefit because the logical cores are still based on the frequencies of the four physical cores. Most current games prefer higher clock frequencies over more cores. My lowly artifact-status Core2 e8400 overclocked to 3.8ghz backs that up a bit. I can still run everything I play. Metro 2033 is bottlenecked though. It drives both cores to 100% load during the built-in benchmark (45fps max regardless of detail settings).

you make a lot of sense and after reading more I think I would be better shaving that $100 off and going with the i5 instead of the i7. What about the rest of the components? One of my friends recommended I swap out the gigabyte mobo for an asus, not sure if its a huge deal or just keep it as such.

Plan on ordering this whole setup within the next week or two, so any feedback or recommendations are greatly appreciated!

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Gigabyte is a mighty fine motherboard manufacturer. The board you selected is a great mobo, so dont bother switching to asus

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you make a lot of sense and after reading more I think I would be better shaving that $100 off and going with the i5 instead of the i7. What about the rest of the components? One of my friends recommended I swap out the gigabyte mobo for an asus, not sure if its a huge deal or just keep it as such.

Plan on ordering this whole setup within the next week or two, so any feedback or recommendations are greatly appreciated!

If you do plan on switching to asus New egg is having some deals on combos

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you make a lot of sense and after reading more I think I would be better shaving that $100 off and going with the i5 instead of the i7. What about the rest of the components? One of my friends recommended I swap out the gigabyte mobo for an asus, not sure if its a huge deal or just keep it as such.

Plan on ordering this whole setup within the next week or two, so any feedback or recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Just put it this way, you'll see a far larger gain in performance if you use that $100 for a SSD (general Windows usage, not framerate) or a GTX 580 than using it for a 2600k over a 2500k.

ASUS and Gigabyte are great brands of mobos. Can't go wrong with either. Gigabyte are typically blue and Asus boards are red! Lol.

By the way, the link to the PSU you've listed is the 620 and it's $90 with no MIR. You probably meant this one based on the price you listed:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371049

Same line from Antec but 750 watts and $70 due to a MIR. 13/14 reviews are 5/5 so it's probably a good PSU. Antec have a pretty good reputation for PSU's.

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This really should not be a thread for people to get recommendations on specific parts. You're going to have numerous people asking for very specific advice at the same time. It's much easier and more organized for them to make their own threads. You should really edit this into the OP: "If you want advice on parts to buy then please make your own thread."

Leave general questions and tips here. Things like "How much RAM do I need?" and etc.

I just posted my build on someone else's rate my build thread since I'm new and know sometimes people get upset about starting a new thread on the same topic. Comet made an official Topic so I migrated it over here. I'm just curious if the gap was bigger than they originally thought and if the performance upgrade is worth it or if I should stick with what I found because it's a good deal. I don't want to upset anyone since I'm new and the one thats asking for help.

Asking for advice about buying a PC is not redundant even if other people are asking for advice. Everybody's needs are different, so it's best if you just make your own thread so we can focus on your specific needs. No one here will jump on you for doing that, especially because PC hardware and prices change so rapidly it isn't a smart idea to have one unified thread because over time advice will change.

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This really should not be a thread for people to get recommendations on specific parts. You're going to have numerous people asking for very specific advice at the same time. It's much easier and more organized for them to make their own threads. You should really edit this into the OP: "If you want advice on parts to buy then please make your own thread."

I think you're right. There should be a source for just general information in the process, but still allow for an outlet for users to specialize their questions. I'll change it in my OP.

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Ok folks, I've got $1000 to spend on upgrades and have not kept up with PC tech in years.

I've got an aging system now with a Geforce 8800gtx and some old AMD chipset, it needs to be put to bed.

I want a new chipset, new GPU, new ram and a new case/power supply.

Any suggestions for an old PC gamer?

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Ok folks, I've got $1000 to spend on upgrades and have not kept up with PC tech in years.

I've got an aging system now with a Geforce 8800gtx and some old AMD chipset, it needs to be put to bed.

I want a new chipset, new GPU, new ram and a new case/power supply.

Any suggestions for an old PC gamer?

i5 2500k, z68 mobo, GTX 570 or Radeon 6950. 4GB (or 8GB - doesn't matter) RAM. That should do it. You'll just barely squeek by on budget but you should be able to cover it.

If you want to save some money, cheaper P67 mobos exist and you can do a GTX 560 Ti or Radeon 6870.

Don't skimp on the PSU. Enermax, Corsair, PCP&C, Seasonic and most Antecs are good. If you are on a super tight budget, OCZ PSU's are fine just because of the insane rebates they offer. The rest of the parts don't matter so much. Just go by Newegg user reviews.

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P67 lets you overclock a 2500K/2600K processor but doesn't support the the integrated graphics on the processor, H67 lets you use the graphics but basically no CPU overclocking and Z68 lets you do it all and also includes SSD caching.

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So of you have a vid card and might not buy an ssd for a while it's not important to get z68?

And by caching what do you mean? Current mobos don't allow for caching, just using them aa storage?

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Z68 boards probably have more ports and stuff. You can also set it up so that it will automatically switch between onboard video and your video card depending on how much video power you need. However modern video cards' low power state is pretty good so really the onboard is basically useless unless there is a problem with your videocard and you need something temporarily while you wait for the replacement.

A SSD will work fine with a P67 board you just can't use it as a cache. Intel Smart Response Technology is currently only available on Z68 boards and it uses a SSD as a cache. It basically puts the SSD in RAID with your HDD so that your most commonly used stuff will be cached on the SSD giving your better performance. The advantage is that you don't have to worry about managing whether you stick a program on the SSD or HDD and moving stuff around, SRT takes care of it so you just have 1 visible drive. It only supports up to 64GB so if your SSD drive is bigger, only the first 64GB will be used for the cache but the rest of the drive will still but usable and will show up as a separate drive. So basically it improves performance, reduces the hassle of managing limited space and saves you money since you're fine with a 20-64GB drive. If you want performance at any cost however you'd be better off with a larger SSD and not bothering with the cache.

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seems like ill stick to p67, if I get an ssd it will be the only hd in this pc since I'm taking all the 1tb drives and setting up a server tower.

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Actually can any of you guys help me. I know nothing of building a PC but i do want a good processor and GFX card. I dont really know what to look for. Theres so much of everything....

Bascially i want something that will run BF3 without breaking a sweat.

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You can take a look through that thread if you want to see possible builds. There are other threads around as well obviously, also you can look at the newegg videos posted in the above thread to get a better idea of everything concerning building computers, selecting your parts down to the build itself and installing the OS and tweaking your system.

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http://www.badcartri...-me-build-a-pc/

You can take a look through that thread if you want to see possible builds. There are other threads around as well obviously, also you can look at the newegg videos posted in the above thread to get a better idea of everything concerning building computers, selecting your parts down to the build itself and installing the OS and tweaking your system.

ill check that thanks

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So you're interested in building a PC? Read this post first! In this thread you can get some general guidelines and a foothold idea of where to begin building your own PC. But most importantly when you're absolutely ready to take the plunge, please create your own thread on this board with this information:



  • What is your budget? How much are you planning to spend? E.g. "I do not want to spend more than $800."
  • What country do you live in?
  • How do you feel about rebates?
  • What is your overall goal for this machine? What do you plan to do with it? E.g. "I want to play games at max details" or "I'm going to do a lot of video editing."
  • Are you looking to build the tower only, a complete computer package with peripherals, or simply upgrade parts of your current computer?
  • Do you need to buy an operating system and does that need to fit in your budget?
  • Do you need to buy any peripherals (monitor, mouse, keyboard, headphones) and do they need to fit under your budget?
  • Please list your monitor and its resolution if you are going to reuse it. If you are upgrading your current machine, please list your current specs.
  • List any other special interests that come to mind. E.g. "I want low power and cool-running system," "I have zero interest in overclocking and will not do it," or "I don't care about upgrading; I'm just going to build this machine and use it."

The reason all of this information is important and why you need to create your own thread is because prices and technology change rapidly, sometimes on a daily basis. Your needs are also different than someone else's needs, and since there are various levels of PC components and numerous combinations, tweaking a build to fit your computing lifestyle takes personal and unique recommendations. It's much easier for us to communicate with you and stay personal if you create your own thread. It keeps this sticky from getting bloated and having the conversation between you and us stretch over multiple pages.

Sample builds

Following are some sample builds to give you an idea what kind of parts you can get at a few different price points. Keep in mind many of these parts can be mixed and matched, and there are more options out there should your needs not fit into these categories. There's something for everyone. You can spend a little bit less on the case and a little bit more on the video card. You could drop a few different components down a notch to fit an SSD into your budget. The possibilities are endless! Which is a great reason why you need to start your own thread!

What can you get for gaming - $500?

Approximately $475

What can you get for gamng - $750?

Approximately $722

What can you get for gaming - $1000?

Approximately $995

SSDs:

64GB Crucial M4 - $115

80GB Intel 320 - $160

128GB Samsung 470 - $200

Building Tutorials

Want to help update the sticky?

If you would like to add something to this sticky, whether it be a sample build, tutorial, new section, or update to old section, then do so. Let's try to keep this as up to date as we can, and it's easier if it's a community effort. Changes can be discussed in this thread and a mod will be needed to edit the OP.

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Good job lincoln! Exactly what I had in mind when I made a comment in the other thread.

I see the original post has been updated already.

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The frequency of people asking for builds has increased lately; it was just time. Someone can put together some more builds. There's still room for something like a $1300 budget, or higher. A quick and dirty FAQ probably wouldn't hurt either - something that would take care of the big basic questions. Probably would be best to mutilate shadowsigma's post, the first reply, and dedicate that to FAQs.

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Actually can any of you guys help me. I know nothing of building a PC but i do want a good processor and GFX card. I dont really know what to look for. Theres so much of everything....

Bascially i want something that will run BF3 without breaking a sweat.

I'm in pretty much the same boat as you man. Just been staying active on the board, asking questions and doing a ton of research, and it keeps coming back to the i5 2500k and the 560ti for a reasonably priced build.

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The frequency of people asking for builds has increased lately; it was just time. Someone can put together some more builds. There's still room for something like a $1300 budget, or higher. A quick and dirty FAQ probably wouldn't hurt either - something that would take care of the big basic questions. Probably would be best to mutilate shadowsigma's post, the first reply, and dedicate that to FAQs.

What do you mean, sort of answering basic questions like what is overclocking?, what is the difference between this RAM and That?, What is SLI and Xfire?, How big of a power supply do I need etc?.

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I'm in pretty much the same boat as you man. Just been staying active on the board, asking questions and doing a ton of research, and it keeps coming back to the i5 2500k and the 560ti for a reasonably priced build.

That's what I just purchased :)

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What do you mean, sort of answering basic questions like what is overclocking?, what is the difference between this RAM and That?, What is SLI and Xfire?, How big of a power supply do I need etc?.

Yes, like

Power Supplies

What do I need to know?

Brand and even individual model within a brand matters. There is no standard for how manufacturers rate the total wattage for their power supplies. So you can have two power supplies both labeled as 500W but actually deliver different real world power. Some power supplies can't even deliver the wattage they're rated for!

This different way of labeling a power supply comes from the different types of power the PSU delivers. PCs have required three different voltages to be supplied to them by the rails of PSU: 3.3V, 5V, and 12V. The power in watts is calculated by taking the voltage and multiplying it by the amperage the unit is rated for. For example a power supply says it can deliver 15A (amps) on the +3.3V rail, which would equal 49.5W for the +3.3V rail. The inconsistency comes with how these different rails and their wattage are added together. Some manufacturers are content to label the final wattage as the absolute maximum power delivered (which is a major strain on the componets of the PSU). Some manufacturers are more realistic and label the final wattage the PSU can deliver safely at all times, which in turn means some 500W power supplies can deliver 600W of real power without blowing up or shutting down.

Modern PCs need most of their power to come from the +12V rail. The video card and processor almost exclusively use the +12V rail, and they are the most power hungry components in a computer system. Bad power supplies will have the wattage of the 3.3V and 5V rails account for a lot of the final total output. Good power supplies will be able to deliver a lot on the +12V rails compared to the final total output since that is the most important rail. You'll also notice some power supplies have more than one +12V rail. Since most, if not all, multiple +12V rails power supplies "artificially" split up the +12V rails, you simply can't add the +12V1, +12V2, etc rails together to find out the maximum power the PSU can deliver on the +12V rail. You have to look at the combined +12V rail number which is usually listed somewhere on the label.

So pay attention to who makes the power supply. In general you can feel safe about buying a power supply made by these guys: Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, Enermax, PC Power and Cooling, Silverstone, OCZ, XFX.

Price is also an indicator you can use. Up to 500W expect to pay $40-$60. 500W-750W expect to pay between $60-$120. Over 850W expect to pay $120 or more. So if you see an 850W PSU going for $75... stay away! It's probably junk.

All recent good power supplies are also being rated 80 Plus Certified. So that is another indicator of the quality of the power supply. Make sure you get one that is 80 Plus, Bronze, Silver, or Gold. So if you see an Antec power supply that is not rated 80 Plus, then good chances it's a very old design and you should avoid it.

So how much power do I need?

A quick way to figure this out is to use an online PSU calculator. They will give you a rough estimation. Just keep in mind the figures they show assume a quality power supply. If you want to estimate yourself, then you will need to put some work into it. First you'll need to estimate how much power your system will draw and then you'll need to look at the power supply and what it can deliver on the +12V rails.

Since the video card and processor are the two biggest hogs, you need to find out what they actually need. To get real-world numbers for the video card, check out the latest review at Techpowerup. They measure how much power the video card is drawing only. If you're going to be gaming then you need to look at the Peak graph. If you're going to do GPGPU work like [email protected] then you should look at the Maximum graph. We'll use the GTX 460 as an example here, and it draws 130W while gaming. To get real world numbers for the processor, check the latest review at Lost Circuits. They only test how much power the processor is using. We'll use the the 2500K as an example, and it uses 46W under load.

To account for the power to the rest of the system, use 50W as an estimation. So 130W + 46W + 50W = 226W. Now you do not want the power supply to be running at its maximum capacity, so add 25% to the total we just figured. 226W * 1.25 = 283W. If you divide 283W by 12V, you get 24A. You need to make sure the power supply is rated to deliver at least 24A on the +12V rail (or combined +12V rails). You can find out what the PSU can do by looking at the label on the power supply, as seen in Example 1 and Example 2. The first example states the max load for 12V1 and 12V2 is 384W, so this power supply is good enough for our example gaming system. The second example doesn't explicitly state the max load, but you'll notice it has 432W directly under +12V1 and +12V2 numbers, so that means 432W is what those two +12V rails can deliver combined.

Another way to get a rough estimation is to simply look at the TDP of the video card and processor. This is a safe estimate as TDP should be higher than what you'll normally see in the real world. You can get the TDP of the video card at GPU Review under "Max Power Draw" and the TDP of the processor at CPU-World under "Thermal Design Power (W)".

It doesn't hurt to have a power supply bigger than what you need. So play it safe if you're not comfortable or you're unsure and get a power supply more than you think you need. Power supplies will only output the wattage the system components require. It's like plugging your TV into your wall outlet. The TV doesn't blow up because it's only drawing the power it needs and not the maximum power your house circuit can provide.

What if I'm overclocking?

Overclocking throws off all the estimations. Overclocking raises the requirements on the power supply. Since you can overclock a little or a lot, how much more power you need depends on how far you are going to overclock. Changing the voltages plays a very signficant role and has the biggest impact. If you're overclocking the processor at stock voltages then add 40W to the base estimation. Likewise if you're overclocking the video card at stock voltages add another 40W. If you're increasing the voltage, you can easily add another 100W, or more, for each the processor and video card, meaning an estimated additional 200W would be needed. So it's definitely recommended to estimate on the high side when picking out a power supply for an overclocked system.

What if I want to know more?

If you want to know more, check out some power supply reviews. These reviewers go in depth and examine all aspects of the power supply. You will learn a lot by reading their reviews and articles.

Hardware Secrets

Techpowerup

Jonny Guru

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Awesome write-up. I tend to presume I know enough about PSU's and still enjoyed skimming through that.

I also like this big table of who's who of power supplies:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913.html

It shows who manufactures, who re-brands, and who designs power supplies.

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