I built myself a computer this past week and I had a decent budget to work with. (all parts were decided upon after lots of discussion with Minxy/Jemila (friend/guildie) and lots of personal research, then ordered from Newegg.
WARNING: Incoming wall-of-text!
I can't stress this enough. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you order/build your computer and have a set budget to work with!!!
I'll go over why each part was chosen after my listing of each component.
My personal build is:
1. Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced case
2. Corsair Professional series HX850 psu
3. Asus Maximus V Gene LGA 1155 Z77 micro ATX motherboard
4. Intel core i5-2550K Sandy bridge LGA 1155 (3.4GHz stock clock)
5. G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4x4GB) ddr3 2133 RAM
6. Corsair H80 Liquid CPU cooler
7. Corsair 120GB SSD
8. Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200rpm HDD
9. LG DVD Burner optical drive
10. ASUS ENGTX570 video card
11. Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
(for my own personal preferences and nice to haves)
12. Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound
13. Startech PC screw kit (comes with a plethora of stand-offs, 6-32 screw, etc...)
After doing thorough research and asking Minxy/Jemila question after question, these are the reasons that I decided to spend my money on the above components.
1. This case is HUGE! It is a full tower case. It comes stock with 3, yes 3, 230mm fans and 1 140mm fan. Keep in mind, the larger the fan diameter, the more air it can move at lower rpms which means a quieter system overall. Additionally, it has 2 USB 3.0 ports along with several of your common USB 2.0 ports, plus front microphone/headphone plug-ins, and a few other plug-ins.
2. My power supply choice came down to the Corsair HX850 or AX850. The difference being their ratings (the HX850 is a silver (85%+) and the AX850 is a gold (90%+) efficency) and that the AX850 is fully-modular where as the HX850 is semi-modular. The HX850 has the 24pin and 8pin motherboard power cables as well as 2 pci-e power cables coming out of it. The SATA drive cables and additional pci-e cables are all modular. Additionally, there was close to a 100 dollar difference between them and I had a budget to work with. Thus, the HX850 was chosen.
3. First and foremost, this is a ROG (republic of gamers) motherboard. It has a Z77 chipset and I personally am a big fan of ASUS products. This motherboard is designed for the gamer that intends to overclock various components. It is a MICRO-ATX motherboard, so be aware of that. If you plan on running SLI make sure that 2 of your video cards will fit. This board does NOT support 3-way SLI. It comes with the new EFI bios which IMO is much more easy to navigate. It comes with 4 SATA revision 3 (6Gb/s) and 2 SATA revision 2 (3Gb/s) connections. It also has a nifty little feature called a mPCI-e which allows you to install a microSSD, wireless card, etc... all directly onto the motherboard. If space is a problem that might be a selling factor for you.
4. When picking my CPU it came down to a choice between these 3: 2500K, 2550K, or 2600K. I decided upon the 2550K because it DOESN'T have integrated graphics like the 2500K. I intend to overclock this CPU and the integrated graphics part of the 2500K is something eating volts that I won't be using and didn't need. The 2600K has hyper threading which again, I don't need as I don't do much video editing or anything of that nature. In addition to that, no game (that I personally know of) utilizes hyper threading currently.
5. What can I say...8GB of RAM is enough for any gamer currently (unless you are running a ton of applications in the background, downloading some songs/movies, and recording your in-game adventures). However, RAM is cheap so why not get the 16GB, right? Make sure your RAM is compatible with your motherboard of choice and please don't let your RAM be the bottleneck of your system. This is why I went with ddr3 2133. While the timings aren't quite as OC friendly or tight as say 1866 @ 9 10 9 28 timings, the overall speed of the memory makes up for timings not being as tight. Make sure to get RAM in pairs at minimum so that you may utilize your motherboards dual channel memory. 2 x 4GB or 4 x 4GB for example. Also take note that if you are running a 32-bit version of windows, the maximum amount of RAM it will be able to recognize is around 3.6GB so please please please, use the 64-bit version if possible. In most if not all cases, 64-bit windows can emulate 32-bit windows if you have any of those old stubborn programs that only work on 32-bit.
6. I plan on overclocking my CPU and while air cooling has come a very long way in the past few years, I'm still partial to water cooling. At first I intended to get the Corsair H100 water cooler which is MASSIVE. After doing some research, I found that the overall CPU temp variance between the H100 and H80 was between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius. Here again, I was working with a budget, so I decided to go with the H80.
7. At first, I wasn't going to join the SSD world just yet but this was on sale and had a mail-in rebate. I only plan on putting Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit) on here so the 120GB may be a little overkill but hey, 110 dollars versus the normal 199 dollars. Sounds like a big WIN in my book.
8. This will be one of my data HDDs. This one is only (yes I said only) 1TB. I plan on using it for my games mostly along with other odds and ends programs. In the next few weeks (waiting for a sale on Newegg) I'll be purchasing one or two 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black 7200rpm HDD for music and movie storage.
9. I wanted at least a DVD burner for my optical drive. They are all more or less the same now-a-days, so do your research, find one that has good reviews. If noise (when it spins up) is something that bothers you, look for one of the quiet drives. Just a note, I didn't go with a Blu-Ray burner/player because I have a PS3 and have no need for one in my computer currently. If the need arises one day, optical drives are easy to install and the case I chose has plenty of expansion slots.
10. I went with this video card because 1: I'm an ASUS fan and 2: I prefer nVidia over ATI/AMD. It is a GTX 570 which is a very nice video card, easily overclockable, and comes with a huge cooler on it. With that said, keep in mind, this card is HUGE, it is a 3-slot card (pci case expansion slots). This is because of just how large the cooler itself is. I don't ever plan on running SLI, which is why I justified the size of the card going on a micro-ATX motherboard. Also, make sure you have room in your case for a card of this size, it is nearly a foot long. This card is also at a great price currently with a mail-in rebate (as of May 30th, 2012).
11. I already had Windows 7 Ultimate (64) so it's getting reused. Most people out there will do just fine with Home 64. The box itself comes with 2 disks, 1 is the 32-bit version and the other is the 64-bit version. Install the correct version please.
12. As I've said a few times in the above wall-of-text, I plan to OC my CPU. Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound has proven to be one of the best if not the best thermal compound currently available. When heat dispersion is this important (OC a CPU), I wanted the best tool to do the job.
13. This kit is just a nice thing to have. It comes with a wide array of mounting screws, plenty of stand-offs for mounting your motherboard, etc...
This is mostly preference driven (size mostly). However, I strongly suggest to check on the refresh time of any monitor you're interested in. I currently use the ASUS VS248H-P monitor which has a 2ms refresh rate, great contrast, and is LED backlight. This item was not a part of the above budget so keep that in mind.
I use a Razer Naga Hex mouse (5600dpi) and a Razer Lycosa keyboard. Again, these were not part of the above budget build.
Edited by: Sonadin
over 1 year ago
- Reason: Forgot to mention monitors and peripherals.