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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


#115373 23-Mar-2013 20:36
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I am looking into building a computer but as it will be my first I don't want to mess anything up.

As this is more a project than anything I want to keep it fairly high spec'd without spending silly money. I would like something with the flexibility to run more resource intensive apps/games but this is not my background so I really don't have any idea what I need - I don't currently play games but I'd like to give it a go.

I am starting with nothing so I'm not restricted by existing components but I have struggled a little with my shopping list, so any help and suggestions will be appreciated. This is what I have in mind so far (I'm trying to price everything through PB Tech to save mucking around):

Motherboard: Asus M5A99X Evo R2.0 - $228.85
CPU: AMD FX-Series FX-8320 - $247.25
Memory: 2x4GB Corsair XMS3 Vengeance DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz - $124.20
Graphics card: Sapphire Radeon HD7770 GHz Edition - $182.85
SSD: 128GB SanDisk SSD - $148.35
HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 64MB - $113.85
PSU: Cooler Master GX 750W - $182.85

Totaling $1428.20 (allowing $200 for both Chassis and Optical drive)

I will need Windows too, I'm thinking just OEM Windows 7 Home Premium - $171.35.

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  #786061 23-Mar-2013 20:56
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Save some money on:

PSU: A 500-600W PSU would be fine, 750W is overkill IMO
RAM: I've had no problems with Kingston or G.Skill in the past; should be around or less than $90 for 8GB

Then spend the saved money on:

CPU + Mobo: I'd strongly consider an i5, especially for gaming; cost won't be much different to the AMD
HDD: 2TB are currently going for around 125-130, might as well spend a bit extra for double the space
GPU: Maybe look at something like a 7850; it'll run rings around the 7770


I'd also have a look at places like playtech, computer lounge and pc force. All have stores in Auckland not too far from pbtech and for certain components you'll get better deals.








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  #786063 23-Mar-2013 20:59
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Windows Home P will only address 4Gb won't it?





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  #786065 23-Mar-2013 21:05
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If it's 64bit it'll have no problems addressing 8GB - I have it running on a machine here with 6GB no problems.




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman




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Wannabe Geek


  #786073 23-Mar-2013 21:45
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sidefx: Save some money on:

PSU: A 500-600W PSU would be fine, 750W is overkill IMO
RAM: I've had no problems with Kingston or G.Skill in the past; should be around or less than $90 for 8GB

Then spend the saved money on:

CPU + Mobo: I'd strongly consider an i5, especially for gaming; cost won't be much different to the AMD
HDD: 2TB are currently going for around 125-130, might as well spend a bit extra for double the space
GPU: Maybe look at something like a 7850; it'll run rings around the 7770


I'd also have a look at places like playtech, computer lounge and pc force. All have stores in Auckland not too far from pbtech and for certain components you'll get better deals.






Thanks.

Is there any way to check what capacity PSU I will need?

Someone recommended AMD (and didn't really substantiate why), why do you recommend Intel and an i5?

I'm really not likely to use half the TB, so 2 really would be a waste(even if it is only a few bucks).

Looking at a 2GB Sapphire Radeon HD7850 Lite (again through PB as I'm not in Auckland), it costs about 40% more so would it offer 40% better performance? There's also next to no stock listed for this, and another big jump in price to 2GB Sapphire Radeon HD7850 OC.

I have also checked Windows 7 P memory support and 64bit should be good for 16GB.

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  #786075 23-Mar-2013 21:48
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i would recommend staying away from seagate drives, they have gone done in recent years. i have had lots of issues with them, and sworn off them. now i only use western digital. And I wouldn't bother with a 1TB HDD, you can get a 2 or 3 TB for pretty cheap.

also I might up the 128GB SSD to at least 240GB.

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  #786079 23-Mar-2013 22:10
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Are you planning to buy in store at PB tech or getting them to ship to you? Which PB tech? Some of those prices don't look great - You'll open up a lot more options if you look at other online stores. I've had mostly good experiences with Alphacity and their prices are generally very good.

If you're buying a decent brand PSU and not planning crossfire\SLI or anything like that I can assure you 550W will be plenty. If you're concerned go 600 or 650W but something like a corsair 650W looks like its going for $80-100, that's around where I'd be looking or less.


The intels generally have better performance especially in gaming and runs more efficient\cooler. I like AMD (own 2 systems with AMD CPUs) but for desktop CPUs of late, especially\including for gaming but also general use, intel is the way to go.


For GPU, try this for the sort of difference between 7850 and 7770:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=549


Bench also gives a decent idea of the i5 vs FX debate:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/698?vs=702
Note that the only places where the AMD is really outclassing the i5 is on benchmarks\applications where they benefit hugely from multithreading. But the truth is most apps and especially games just won't use all those cores.




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


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  #786080 23-Mar-2013 22:23
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reven:  

also I might up the 128GB SSD to at least 240GB.


Not a bad suggestion, there are times when I wish I had a 240GB with all my steam games, especially when I look at something like shogun total war and it's well over 20GB!   Having said that I get by fine doing the following, so haven't bothered splashing out on a 240GB SSD:

Install all games on HDD not SSD.  Then move the game folder(s) that I want to play over the next couple of weeks\frequently onto the SSD and create a symlink on the HDD to it. If I want to swap games just rename the symlink and move game1\2 back to make space for game3\4.  And at a later date swap them back around if I want. Seems to work quite well for pretty much all games I've tried, including steam games.

This means I have only 1 or 2 large games on SSD at any time and it leaves plenty of space on SSD for Visual Studio, SQL Server, Windows and other programs. Also ensure all libraries, my documents, etc are mapped to HDD.

120GB is fine for me doing this ;-)




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


 
 
 
 




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Wannabe Geek


  #786084 23-Mar-2013 22:31
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Thanks for the links, I'll be reading with interest.

I'd like to buy in store at PB Hamilton. I guess I have been a little blinkered by in store convenience and having everything on one receipt. I'll do a little shopping around!

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Ultimate Geek


  #786087 23-Mar-2013 22:34
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sidefx:
reven:  

also I might up the 128GB SSD to at least 240GB.


Not a bad suggestion, there are times when I wish I had a 240GB with all my steam games, especially when I look at something like shogun total war and it's well over 20GB!   Having said that I get by fine doing the following, so haven't bothered splashing out on a 240GB SSD:

Install all games on HDD not SSD.  Then move the game folder(s) that I want to play over the next couple of weeks\frequently onto the SSD and create a symlink on the HDD to it. If I want to swap games just rename the symlink and move game1\2 back to make space for game3\4.  And at a later date swap them back around if I want. Seems to work quite well for pretty much all games I've tried, including steam games.

This means I have only 1 or 2 large games on SSD at any time and it leaves plenty of space on SSD for Visual Studio, SQL Server, Windows and other programs. Also ensure all libraries, my documents, etc are mapped to HDD.

120GB is fine for me doing this ;-)

I'm using a 128gb Intel SSD in mine, I am am doing alright with the games on my WD black. TBH, even 120gb will be used up fairly quickly with the games at the moment. A lot of games (if not majority of them) are 10+ gb. That isn't many games for the price of that extra storage. Also, I doubt you'd really benefit of the relativity small loading time difference.

Just my 2c...

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  #786096 23-Mar-2013 22:46
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Phexx:
Also, I doubt you'd really benefit of the relativity small loading time difference.

Just my 2c...


True enough, all games on HDD works fine and isn't too slow.

Though I did I recently get heart of the swarm and briefly had SC2 and HotS on HDD after reinstalling them. Got quite annoyed with the loading times so moved them to the SDD and it made a world of difference. Maybe just placebo effect, but I'll have to move them back some time and test it ;-) 




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


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  #786099 23-Mar-2013 22:50
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Tinman1: 

I'd like to buy in store at PB Hamilton. I guess I have been a little blinkered by in store convenience and having everything on one receipt. I'll do a little shopping around!


Fair enough, it can be good to just walk in and get everything in person! 

But for online stores, I've had good experiences with the following and would recommend them all in roughly this order: computer lounge, playtech, alphacity.  Might be worth looking at them at least and I think they'll give you more options for components. 




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


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Ultimate Geek

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  #786299 24-Mar-2013 14:50
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Intel Core i5-3330 3.0 GHz - $291.09
Asrock B75 Pro3 Motherboard - $129.95
Transcend JetRAM JM1600KLN-8GK, 2x4GB - $90.60

A-Data Premier Pro SP900 Solid State Drive, 128GB - $183.38
Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX Hard Disk Drive, 1000GB - $109.54

Corsair VS Series VS650, 650W ATX PSU - $99.19

Gigabyte GV-R785OC-2GD, Radeon HD 7850 Video Card, 2048MB - $325.86

Total - $1229.61

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, for 64-bit systems - $157.29

All priced from ascent.co.nz - free shipping - 3-5 year warranty on all components.

I've had good shopping experirences from AlphaCity, Computer Lounge, Playtech and numerous others but I hardly ever stray from Ascent now with their free overnight delivery, extra warranty and excellent service.

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  #786317 24-Mar-2013 16:02
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Well, I've been pleasantly surprised with the amd 5800 apu - $200, and the onboard gpu has absolutely killed most of my benchmark tests on win7. I did not expect that, and its made my nvidia graphics card redundant. I'm not even a light gamer these days but I'm pretty confident the apu will perform.

Slowest device in my system now is the mechanical hard disk (western digital blue).... The ssd's were just too pricey for the storage yield.

The bitfenix merc alpha tower case is pretty good ($85-$95 depending on where you are), and agree with the thers that 750w is overkill for a power supply unless you know you are going to get high performance graphic cards. 500w should be more than enough but watch the brands, a quality 400w is also good for average use.




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Wannabe Geek


  #786510 25-Mar-2013 09:22
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A great help as well, once you know which parts you want is to use pricespy (www.pricespy.co.nz) - it can help save you quite a bit without even realising.

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  #786512 25-Mar-2013 09:42
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sp3ctral: A great help as well, once you know which parts you want is to use pricespy (www.pricespy.co.nz) - it can help save you quite a bit without even realising.


Yes and no....  could buy the parts at good pricing using Pricespy, but the shipping for multiple stores could offset the savings.

Personally I try to buy all my parts from a single store, even if its at a slight premium compared to others, one, to save on postage, and two, less hassle with warranty etc should anything go wrong - everything on one invoice and location to sort out.





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