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Old Jul 10, 2011, 11:39 PM // 23:39   #1
SH4D0WZ0MB1E
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Default Summer Project: My First Build

Well the current computer I have is about 5+ years old, so I figured it was time to do an upgrade. Instead of buying a new one, I've decided to build it myself. However, since this is my first build I would like some comments from experienced builders about the parts I have selected.

Goal: Build a mid-range gaming PC (see graphics card section for more info)

Budget: I would like to keep it around or under $1000

Alright, here we go with my parts list...

Computer Case
Cooler Master Storm Scout

Comments: I've heard Cooler Masters have good airflow, so I thought it would be a good choice for a case. Plus I like the look of it. From reading the feedback, only con is that it's heavy; though that's not that big of a deal for me.

Motherboard and CPU
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

Comments: Decided to go with AMD over Intel because the price of AMD is cheaper for the same performance. Only negative feedback was that the CPU runs a bit hot when OC'ing (overclocking) and the stock fan/heatsink doesn't keep up. This won't be a problem for me since I won't be OC'ing anything since this is my first build.

Graphics Card
GTX 460

Comments: First off, I know that I'm buying an AMD board and that they bought ATi, so I know that I won't be able to dual card with NVIDIA. But as I stated in my goal section, I'm building a mid-range gaming PC. I don't do a lot of PC gaming, so I just need something that will handle current games as well as some new ones coming out. Games that I plan to play on this include:
Portal
Portal 2
Morrowind
Oblivion
Skyrim (when it releases)
Diablo III (when it releases)
GW
GW2 (when it releases)
Crysis
Crysis 2

I'm also not that big on graphic settings. I would like all of these games, plus other random ones that I'm sure I'll play to run at least on medium settings or better. I don't need every single setting to be uber maxed out. By reading posts on these boards it seems like the GTX 460 would suit my needs. As a reference I have a Geforce 8800 in my laptop and I'm happy with the graphics I get off of that.

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Comments: 1 TB should be enough storage space for me. Only con from the feedback is that it doesn't come with cables, again a small detail that has no effect on me.

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

Comments: Looking at the supported memory web page of MOBO all of the ones listed were no longer being sold, but I believe as long as the pins are correct I can use any memory I want. I'll probably throw in a total of 8GB of RAM just to make sure I can run everything at a decent speed. Feedback says this is a good choice for RAM, though trying to tweak it to make it run faster is a hassle. Like I said before, I won't be doing much OC'ing/tweaking so that isn't a problem

Optical Drive
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

Comments: Just need a basic drive. Since most newer games come on DVD's this seemed like it would fit the bill. I can always install a Blu-ray drive later, but right now I have no need for one.

PSU
CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Comments: I don't know much about PSU's, but I've heard that Corsair is a good company to buy from. From using a couple online calculators that estimate wattage, 850W should be enough. The fact that it's silver certified is an added benefit.

So that's my part list. To any experienced builders out there give me your honest opinions about what I've picked. I don't want to be building my new PC using crap parts, but also keep in mind of what I'm trying to do with it. I'm not building a top of the line gaming machine, just a mid-range one that I will do a decent amount of gaming on, but probably 60% of the time will be used for everyday things such as school work and web surfing.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 01:21 AM // 01:21   #2
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Looks good to me. I should upgrade to 6x2GB RAM with the triple-channel memory option, mine's only in dual-channel with 4GB.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 08:39 AM // 08:39   #3
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Originally Posted by Ximvotn View Post
Looks good to me. I should upgrade to 6x2GB RAM with the triple-channel memory option, mine's only in dual-channel with 4GB.
Not on that board/chipset.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 08:58 AM // 08:58   #4
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Hi,

That is similar to my last Build.
Seeing as you are using that board I would use a SATA 600 drive. My personal choice would be Western Digital as well, something along the lines of- WD Caviar Green WD10EARX - Hard drive - 1 TB - internal - 3.5" - SATA-600 - buffer: 64 MB.
I personally would go for an ATI card (bad experiences with Nvidia).
Also if using 64Bit OS go with as much Ram as you can afford, DDR3 is cheap as chips at the moment (excuse pun).
Also if using 32 Bit OS whatever graphics card you use the memory will count towards the 4GB limit.

Best of luck with your first build.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 12:16 PM // 12:16   #5
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I would look at a gtx560ti over the gtx460.

I would also look at other case since the Scout is very tight on space for longer graphics cards i would look at one of the CM HAF cases. Been looking at the Cooler Master HAF 912 myself.

Also buying a AMD cpu with their new ones coming later this summer from what i heard is not very smart since intel and amd will hopefully come back into a prize war over that.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 06:46 PM // 18:46   #6
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Just coming off the headache of building two new boxes myself, ATI cards are not immune to bad experiences. I've just RMA'ed a 4850 that does nothing but crash while my $30 cheap nVidia card is running just fine in the same machine. So, I gave up and returned the sucker. I got nothing but driver error after error. To the point where I could't even get the PC to POST at some points without flipping the PSU breaker switch on the back.
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Old Jul 13, 2011, 02:05 AM // 02:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca
I would also look at other case since the Scout is very tight on space for longer graphics cards i would look at one of the CM HAF cases. Been looking at the Cooler Master HAF 912 myself.
Funny you should mention the space issue. One of the reviewers of the Scout did mention space issue with bigger graphics cards. I was also looking at the HAF 922, but thought the side mesh panel would allow dust to easily get inside the case. Any thoughts on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca
I would look at a gtx560ti over the gtx460.
Any reason to pick the 560 over the 460? Looking at Newegg, the 560 is going for about $250, and that is a little more than I want to spend right now on a graphics card. Is the GTX 460 that bad of a card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca
Also buying a AMD cpu with their new ones coming later this summer from what i heard is not very smart since intel and amd will hopefully come back into a prize war over that.
Are you saying that I shouldn't be buying an AMD CPU? If so, why exactly shouldn't I buy AMD? For the same performance as an Intel chip AMD is a lot cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bunny
Seeing as you are using that board I would use a SATA 600 drive. My personal choice would be Western Digital as well, something along the lines of- WD Caviar Green WD10EARX - Hard drive - 1 TB - internal - 3.5" - SATA-600 - buffer: 64 MB.
Also if using 64Bit OS go with as much Ram as you can afford, DDR3 is cheap as chips at the moment (excuse pun).
Looking at the WD Green drives, I couldn't find one that had an RPM of at least 7200 and from what I heard 7200 is the slowest speed I should consider for a HDD. Any other reason to pick a Green drive over the Black ones? Also I think 8GB of RAM is more than enough right now for what I plan to use it for. I can always throw in more RAM later if need be. But is the RAM I picked a good brand/stick to use?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snograt
Not on that board/chipset.
Um....were you saying I picked a bad MOBO/CPU combo, or were you merely commenting on the triple channel post?




Sorry for all of the questions and whatnot. Like I said in my first post, since this is my first build I want to make sure I'm using good parts and have this go smoothly for me.
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Old Jul 13, 2011, 08:05 AM // 08:05   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post
Funny you should mention the space issue. One of the reviewers of the Scout did mention space issue with bigger graphics cards. I was also looking at the HAF 922, but thought the side mesh panel would allow dust to easily get inside the case. Any thoughts on this?
That will depend of if you get a low pressure in the case and that will only happen if you change the fan setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post

Any reason to pick the 560 over the 460? Looking at Newegg, the 560 is going for about $250, and that is a little more than I want to spend right now on a graphics card. Is the GTX 460 that bad of a card?
Only that the Gtx560 is quite a bit faster. If it's not within budget then gtx460 is a great choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post
Are you saying that I shouldn't be buying an AMD CPU? If so, why exactly shouldn't I buy AMD? For the same performance as an Intel chip AMD is a lot cheaper.
Just saying you might want to wait until AMDs new series comes out because intels prizes might drop and the new AMDs might be cheaper then the current offers. It will be out earliest September if you are up for waiting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post

Looking at the WD Green drives, I couldn't find one that had an RPM of at least 7200 and from what I heard 7200 is the slowest speed I should consider for a HDD. Any other reason to pick a Green drive over the Black ones? Also I think 8GB of RAM is more than enough right now for what I plan to use it for. I can always throw in more RAM later if need be. But is the RAM I picked a good brand/stick to use?
Only reason for a lower rpm drive is lower power consumption and lower heat. So the green drives are great for confined spaces like a external drive case.

RAM is pretty easy to pick try to get at least 1333Mhz. Won't be much difference if you go higher. Even the CL(CAS latency) of the memory don't matter much unless you are looking at benchmarks. This board you will have to buy sticks by two.


Last take alook at this mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128490 It's a smaller board with less features but it does support AMD new cpus if you later decide to upgrade the reason is because it says AM3+ and not AM3.

If you want to get a mobo more comparable to the one one picked then here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128510

Last edited by Draca; Jul 13, 2011 at 08:17 AM // 08:17..
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Old Jul 13, 2011, 08:54 AM // 08:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca View Post
Only that the Gtx560 is quite a bit faster. If it's not within budget then gtx460 is a great choice.
I got Gigabyte GTX 460 OC 1gb...can say it's really good atleast for now.
Can run GW at full graphics Full hp 1080p at +200 fps

Even Battlefield Bad Company 2 runs max graphics full hd greatly. +60fps atleast.
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Old Jul 13, 2011, 03:27 PM // 15:27   #10
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Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post
Um....were you saying I picked a bad MOBO/CPU combo, or were you merely commenting on the triple channel post?
Purely commenting on the ill-informed triple channel post
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Old Jul 13, 2011, 03:51 PM // 15:51   #11
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Looking some more on the build i see a 850W psu which is pure overkill on a system with only one graphics card and 750W is enough to run two gtx560TI in sli without problems with a good brand psu like corsair. If you are also prepared to go non modular on the psu you can take $60 of the psu without any problems.

It can be a good investment for the future if you decide to build a more power hungry system. Also modular is really good so you don't need to hide a stack of cables in your case but that's also the cost issue.

Last edited by Draca; Jul 13, 2011 at 03:54 PM // 15:54..
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Old Jul 13, 2011, 08:49 PM // 20:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post
Goal: Build a mid-range gaming PC
Budget: I would like to keep it around or under $1000
Frankly, I think your priorities are a bit off. I think you should be concentrating on getting the best performance you can get at that price. Therefore, I'd like to comment on your choices based on that idea.

Quote:
Computer Case
The Storm Scout may be a nice case, and have some nice features, but it does cost $90. True, it's probably well built, etc., but you could save a lot of money to put towards a better CPU and graphics card, by just getting any old $25 case that you like the looks of. Yes, the $25 case will be relatively flimsy, but again, it's a matter of priorities - it's probably just going to sit on your desk or on the floor and be ignored anyway.

Quote:
Motherboard and CPU
AMD processors can't be beat for price/performance at the low to mid-range level, but with your budget you can go for better if you cut in some other areas. Unfortunately for AMD, on the higher end of the performance spectrum these days, you can't beat Intel, and for a gamer all you need is an i5-2400 or 2500K (and appropriate motherboard) for the best performance you can currently get. (You don't need the hyperthreading of a 2600K)
Quote:
Comments: Decided to go with AMD over Intel because the price of AMD is cheaper for the same performance.
This is only true at the low to mid-range end, but as I said, with a few changes you can easily afford better.

Quote:
Graphics Card
The GTX 460 is a good card. You may be able to do better, but you may not need to.

Quote:
HDD
Take a look at the size of hard drive you have now, and how much of it you really use and then decide if maybe a 500Gig isn't large enough.

Quote:
RAM
If you're not going to be overclocking, you don't need anything except 4Gigs of plain old "value" DDR3-1333 RAM.

Quote:
PSU
This is way overkill. With just one GTX 460 you would only need a 450watt power supply. Even allowing for a more powerful card, you wouldn't need anything over 600watts. A larger power supply does not make your computer more powerful.

So, bottom line, If you are only concerned with building a "mid-range" gaming rig, you could do it a lot cheaper using less expensive parts in a few places, but sticking with the AMD setup. If you want to get the most gaming performance you can for $1000 or so, you really should put the money into a better CPU and motherboard and cut back on the pricey case, RAM and power supply

Last edited by Quaker; Jul 13, 2011 at 08:54 PM // 20:54..
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 02:23 AM // 02:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca View Post
That will depend of if you get a low pressure in the case and that will only happen if you change the fan setup.
Change the fan setup? What exactly do you mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draca View Post
Only that the Gtx560 is quite a bit faster. If it's not within budget then gtx460 is a great choice.
Just don't feel like spending $250 on a graphics card at the moment, so I'll stick with the 460 for now.

@Draco:
As far as the MOBO is concerned, I think I'll stick with what I have since from what everyone is saying it's not a bad board. Looked at your suggestions and I like what I picked out better. They both only have one PS/2 port and I'm using my old keyboard and mouse and need 2 of those ports. But I still appreciate the suggestion.

I also know that the PSU I picked out is a bit overkill, but it's nice to have more than you need as a future investment. Looking at Corsair's 750w modular PSU I'd only save about $30.

@Snograt:
That's what I thought, but just wanted to be sure.

@Quaker:
I think you might have misunderstood what I meant in my first post. I am building a mid-range gaming PC (because I don't really do much gaming) but as far as the $1000 goes that isn't my goal price, just the max I would be willing to spend. I am trying to keep it under that and not really spend that if I don't have to for what I want. So I'll comment on your suggestions.

Case:
Seeing as the case houses everything, I would like a well built one that will do a decent job of protecting my parts as well as provide good airflow. CM is known for airflow so I thought that would be a nice choice. Plus seeing as the case is the thing that is seen a good looking one doesn't hurt.

MOBO/CPU:
You said it yourself that AMD is better at the low/mid range. Since I'm going for a mid-range, shouldn't I buy AMD? I'm not trying to build a beast gaming machine and the iX series is just a bit too expensive at the moment. Looking at the i5-2400 you suggested, I would be paying more than the AMD processor.

Graphics card:
Take a look at the games I plan to play (mainly Crysis since that is still the most graphics intenstive), does a 460 handle those? Also I'm not looking to max out all of the settings. From what other threads have said, the 460 should be sufficient.

HDD:
I plan to upgrade to Win7 so that's 10-20 gigs right there. Plus with me throwing games on it, storage space will slowly be eaten. 1TB should be a good investment and should last a long while, don't you think?

RAM:
Again with using Win7, if I remember from my OS class I had this past semester, it is recommended to have at least 2 gigs. So that would only leave me with 2 gigs for everything else. I was originally only going to put in 6, but since the G.SKILL comes in 4GB packages I was just going to throw in the other stick and make it 8.

PSU:
I know a bigger power supply doesn't mean a more powerful system, but again it's an investment for the future. When I upgrade sometime down the road I will already have a big enough PSU to handle those upgrades and that will be one less thing I will need to buy later.



Keep the feedback/comments coming guys. I appreciate all of it. Want to make this first build go as smoothly as possible.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 07:33 AM // 07:33   #14
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Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post
Change the fan setup? What exactly do you mean?
Both the haf case and the scout can have more fans installed then comes out of the box and if you wanted you can move those that comes with the case. That would change airflow in and airflow out. If out is bigger then in both cases will draw in air from the side panels which would make dust come in. in the intake fans take enough in all that dust will have to pass the dust filter.

After the dx11 and high res texture gtx460 will not run Crysis 2 on max. All other games should be no problems. Reserving the right to be wrong about the unreleased games

1TB is large enough if aren't going to tell me you plan to A: Do 3D graphics B: edit HD movies C: rip all your dvds D: download the internet (or just a lot of torrents).
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 07:35 PM // 19:35   #15
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@Draca:
I probably will leave the fans as the are for now.

As far as the 460 goes, will it run Crysis 2 at decent settings? Like I said before, I'm not trying to max out settings just something that is decent and playable. So like medium settings or above.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 07:48 PM // 19:48   #16
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Will run on decent settings..ATLEAST.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3qF-9Gd8Ew

AND
You processor 965..it's same as 955, just factoryclocked if im right, why not save some money and just clock 955 to 965 at home?
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Old Jul 15, 2011, 07:25 PM // 19:25   #17
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Graphics card:
Take a look at the games I plan to play (mainly Crysis since that is still the most graphics intenstive), does a 460 handle those? Also I'm not looking to max out all of the settings. From what other threads have said, the 460 should be sufficient.

When you stat Cyrsis do you mean cyrsis 2

Cyrsis 2 is a hog on performance ~especially with the texture packs and DX11 engaged. I would look to higher card or you may be disappointed.

I have just a 6850 factory over clocked and it groans at ultra dx11 ~ choppy but I see all the graphics (They are awesome) but it is a choppy mess sometimes. You have to tame them down to get the playability.

This is the time to go bigger before you get stuck

BTW no problems for you to run it in DX9 but going to dx11 ?

Last edited by Painbringer; Jul 15, 2011 at 07:34 PM // 19:34..
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Old Jul 15, 2011, 07:41 PM // 19:41   #18
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Got a gtx470 myself playing Crysis 2 @ high dx11 high res texture. Depending on the overclock of the GtX460 (Almost no 460 run at stock speeds) it will come close.
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Old Jul 16, 2011, 04:35 PM // 16:35   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SH4D0WZ0MB1E View Post
@Quaker:
I think you might have misunderstood what I meant in my first post.
It's not that I misunderstood, it's that you weren't clear.
I did say that you could either build a cheaper mid-range system OR go for more performance (at $1K). It is, of course, up to you.

Quote:
Seeing as the case houses everything, I would like a well built one that will do a decent job of protecting my parts as well as provide good airflow.
Almost any case will protect everything and provide good airflow. A lot of the "airflow" stuff is just marketing hype. IF you were building a high-end system and/or severely overclocking things, you might need the extra airflow from a fancy case, but in a typical mid-range system, you don't need it.
Again, it's your choice as to what you want to buy, but you asked for opinions, so I'm giving them. And my opinion on the case is that you can get a good looking, adequate airflow case a lot cheaper. I'm not suggesting that you get the cheapest case you can, but there are a lot of $25-$50 (without power supply) well built and good looking cases.
For example:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16811133094
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16811147023
Btw, I can tell you from experience that the high airflow cases with the mesh fronts can, depending upon how dusty your place is, be a real pain as far as keeping them free from an ugly layer of dust in the front.

Quote:
You said it yourself that AMD is better at the low/mid range.
That is correct. Here's some good info:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-cpu,2971.html

Quote:
Graphics card:
From what other threads have said, the 460 should be sufficient.
Probably. Don't forget to take into account your screen rez. Here's some more good info:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...card,2964.html

Quote:
I plan to upgrade to Win7 so that's 10-20 gigs right there. Plus with me throwing games on it, storage space will slowly be eaten. 1TB should be a good investment and should last a long while, don't you think?
It may depend upon the relative cost of the hard drives. If the 1TB is not that much more then go for it (but they seem to cost almost twice what a 500GB goes for.)
I have Windows 7, plus lots of apps, plus thousands of mp3's, plus hundreds of videos and I still only use about 250Gigs. (I have 1 500Gig split into a 200G C: drive and a 300G D: drive, plus 2x500Gig in a RAID1 config for backup - so some of that 250Gig is duplicates.)
So, I think 500Gig would probably do for years - and you can always add more HDD later.

Quote:
Again with using Win7, if I remember from my OS class I had this past semester, it is recommended to have at least 2 gigs. So that would only leave me with 2 gigs for everything else.
That 2Gigs is the recommendation for Win7 plus average apps.
I have Win 7 64-bit and 4Gigs of DDR3-1333. While running GW, plus Firefox, plus a Ventrilo server, plus a Ventrilo client, plus Skype, plus all the little apps for my G19 keyboard, I still only use about 50% of my RAM - as indicated by the G19's Performance Monitor.
So 4Gigs is enough for most uses.
In any case, I was mainly suggesting you use plain vanilla "value" DDR3-1333 RAM instead of 1600 RAM, without regard to the quantity of RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231253

Quote:
When I upgrade sometime down the road I will already have a big enough PSU to handle those upgrades and that will be one less thing I will need to buy later.
So buy a 600-650watt power supply. That would handle any likely future upgrade, especially given the general downward trend to power usage. Plus, of course, with the way things go these days, by the time you want to upgrade, there will be new connectors you'll need anyway.

Last edited by Quaker; Jul 16, 2011 at 04:55 PM // 16:55..
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Old Jul 16, 2011, 06:53 PM // 18:53   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Painbringer View Post
Cyrsis 2 is a hog on performance ~especially with the texture packs and DX11 engaged. I would look to higher card or you may be disappointed.

I have just a 6850 factory over clocked and it groans at ultra dx11 ~ choppy but I see all the graphics (They are awesome) but it is a choppy mess sometimes. You have to tame them down to get the playability.

BTW no problems for you to run it in DX9 but going to dx11 ?
I'm not looking to run games on ultra high extreme uber graphics settings. I'm just looking for decent frame rates with decent graphics.

@Quaker:
I do appreciate your opinions, seeing as you have more building experience I'll take all the advice I can get.

Case:
The "mesh" part I was talking about was the side panel on the HAF 922, where it's open for installation of two more fans. Was wondering if dust would easily get into that section.

Thanks for the links to the articles, some good info in them.

Graphics Card:
My monitor is a 17" or 19" (don't exactly remember off-hand) with a rez of 1024 x 768. So I should be able to pull decent settings with a 460 right?

Ram:
Hmm.....seems the big difference between the one I linked to in my OP and the one you linked to is that mine has a heat spreader. Is that something I really need, or is it just more mark-up stuff to get more money out of me? lol

Last edited by SH4D0WZ0MB1E; Jul 16, 2011 at 08:38 PM // 20:38..
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