1. #1

    First-time builder: compatibility check

    Over the last few weeks, I've been reading up on how to build a computer, and I think I have a grasp on how the parts work together, but probably not as much as I think I do. After my research, I've frankenstein'd what I think to be a somewhat decent gaming rig for me. I would like to see if all of the parts will play nice together, if you guys wouldn't mind taking a look, letting me know what you think. I am absolutely open to suggestions so I would love to hear what you think if a piece or six need tweaking. I'm not allowed to post links, so I can't link you to newegg, sorry but here's a list of what I'm thinking:

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1461-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

    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

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
    (already purchased)

    Thermaltake Frio Overclocking-Ready Intel Core i7 (six-core ready) & i5 Compatible Five 8mm Heatpipes Dual 120mm Fans Intel & AMD Universal CPU Cooler CLP0564 (already purchased)

    Case: I really like the corsair obsidian 650d, but depending on how much money I feel like spending, I might just go with the CM haf

    HDD: I won't get one until the prices come down, I'm just going to pull the hdd out of my current, pre-built, crappy computer and use it for a bit. But I was thinking about the: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    I will probably get an ssd sometime, but it probably won't be for several months. I haven't really looked for a specific one.


    I've been trying to catch sales, and I've purchased a couple things already, so I have the ram and the cpu heatsink listed already. I am mostly concerned with the psu and the videocard, and to a lesser degree, the hdd. I have no idea how to compare videocards, and I'm not sure how much wattage I need, or what the difference between hdds are, so any help/suggestions in those departments would be great.

    To give you an idea of what I would like to do with the new rig, I like the idea of playing skyrim on the pc, and I would really like to play gw2, with its amazing art style, on high with a smooth frame rate. Maybe swtor, and maybe bf3. Arkham city would be nice too. I would like it to last for a while, but I would like some good upgrading options too, if that's feasible.

    I appreciate your time, thanks everyone.
    Mercy for the guilty is treason to the innocent.

  2. #2
    The only changes I would recommend to that list would be to avoid the regular GTX 560 and get a 560ti, as they are not far behind a GTX 570 for the price. I would also consider getting a bit bigger power supply. I personally would get nothing smaller than a 600-650w PSU for a PC with a current-gen video card.

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord
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    Flawless build!Only thing is what Demoness just stated "Bigger power supply and buy the 560i"
    Something, Something, Something, Dark Side.

  4. #4
    Any psu recommendations? Having never built before, I'm not up on my brands. From what I've read, the corsair builder series has issues with buzzing and ocz cables are really short. I haven't read anything bad about the xfx psu series except the doa reviews that seem to be on every componant I've seen on newegg.

    Any recomended videocard brands for the 560ti? I was thinking about the "MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5" since it's supposed to run a lot cooler than others, or should I stick with evga and go for the "EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit?"
    Mercy for the guilty is treason to the innocent.

  5. #5
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    MSI Twin Frozr II560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB if it's not over the budget limit else get the 1GB version MSI Twin Frozr II/OC GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB

    If you want modular PSU and again willing to spend a little extra get CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 otherwise maybe something like this CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2

    Since you mentioned Corsair for your case I would like to recommend the Corsair Carbide Series 500R White or the slightly cheaper Corsair Carbide Series 500R Black

    Corsair 500R Review

  6. #6
    What does the video card memory do, or what does it affect? Will it get me more fps or allow me to increase the graphical quality while maintaining a high fps? There are so many numbers with video cards that I don't even know where to start in learning what does what. -_-'

    Thanks.
    Mercy for the guilty is treason to the innocent.

  7. #7
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    I'm not too much into which game takes advantage of X amount of VRAM but basically it depends on which games you intend to play. Some of the newer ones utilize all the memory, is it BF3, Crysis? And I guess it might last you longer as well, as more games get released. I believe it also depends if you wanna dual monitor with no loss in performance. You'll be able to run at higher resolutions. In most cases for basic gaming 1GB will be enough.

    I'm sure someone else can explain it better.
    Last edited by Notarget; 2011-11-09 at 07:30 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dkvice View Post
    What does the video card memory do, or what does it affect? Will it get me more fps or allow me to increase the graphical quality while maintaining a high fps? There are so many numbers with video cards that I don't even know where to start in learning what does what. -_-'

    Thanks.
    Each game engine allocates the vram differently.. but in general using higher resolutions or higher settings (especially AA) will increase vram usage. If you don't have as much vram as the engine ideally wants to allocate then you'll have some performance loss.. but most of the time its minimal, as the least important stuff is kicked off the vram first. If you were trying to run bf3 on 512mb of vram though the smaller vram would have a much more noticeable impact (assuming the 512mb card was actually good enough for reasonable settings lol). We're moving closer to games using upwards of 2gb though... bf3 especially... so it might not be a bad idea. If you're one of those people who most likely won't send in the rebate on the 1gb then get the 2gb version... otherwise the 1gb might be better value.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by taekvideo View Post
    Each game engine allocates the vram differently.. but in general using higher resolutions or higher settings (especially AA) will increase vram usage. If you don't have as much vram as the engine ideally wants to allocate then you'll have some performance loss.. but most of the time its minimal, as the least important stuff is kicked off the vram first. If you were trying to run bf3 on 512mb of vram though the smaller vram would have a much more noticeable impact (assuming the 512mb card was actually good enough for reasonable settings lol). We're moving closer to games using upwards of 2gb though... bf3 especially... so it might not be a bad idea. If you're one of those people who most likely won't send in the rebate on the 1gb then get the 2gb version... otherwise the 1gb might be better value.
    After reading several reviews on newegg about DOAs and RMAs and rebates, I'm scared of rebates. If I understand the situation correctly, in order to claim the rebate, one must cut out the upc on the box and send it in. Then, if one happens to actually get the rebate, it may not be the correct amount, the card may have already been used, or worse, if one's product malfunctions, then one can't return the product since the upc on the box is gone, right? It just seems like such a hassle to return/replace the card if it fails and I no longer have the upc on the original packaging. I don't think 20 bucks is worth the risk. >_<
    Mercy for the guilty is treason to the innocent.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dkvice View Post
    After reading several reviews on newegg about DOAs and RMAs and rebates, I'm scared of rebates. If I understand the situation correctly, in order to claim the rebate, one must cut out the upc on the box and send it in. Then, if one happens to actually get the rebate, it may not be the correct amount, the card may have already been used, or worse, if one's product malfunctions, then one can't return the product since the upc on the box is gone, right? It just seems like such a hassle to return/replace the card if it fails and I no longer have the upc on the original packaging. I don't think 20 bucks is worth the risk. >_<
    Lol then get the 2gb version.. the price gap is small enough to justify it and you'll probably get benefit from it in a few existing games and several upcoming ones.
    I hate rebates too.. I never do them.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

  11. #11
    First of all, what resolution are you going to be playing at? If it's not bigger than 1680 x 1050, you will never make use of the extra GB on the video card. However, if you plan to upgrade to a higher resolution, the extra GB certainly comes into play.

    For power supplies, I'd go with either of these, depending on how much money you're willing to spend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139006 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139005

    And as far as video cards go, are you dead set on nVidia? If you are, the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127565 that Notarget linked is perfect. Else, here's your other option: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127604

    Here's some results between the two: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/331?vs=330
    As you can see, the 6950 is the better option (albeit the difference is small) for the most part, with lower power consumption.

    If you're thinking about getting that 2GB 560 Ti, here's your other option: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814161372 as $270 is really encroaching on 6950 2GB territory.

    In the end though, it's all really preference as far as video cards go, so with that being said, go with what you like. The differences in FPS are going to be so minimal that you won't regret your purchase either way.

  12. #12
    I threw up portal to check my resolution, and 1920x1080 takes up all of my 23" monitor, so I imagine that that is the highest my resolution goes, right? I don't know a whole lot about resolution, so please be gentle. However, How easy is it to plug the computer into a tv? My tv is 41 or 42" and has an hdmi plug in, so would it be that easy to play on my tv? And if that's the case, would I then be able to up the resolution? I have no qualms with playing on a higher resolution if I have the hardware to do it.

    As far as power supplies go, seasonic has, what looks to me, a pretty solid psu on newegg for $130. Apparently I still can't link, but it's the SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

    It's less wattage than the corsair for the same price, but how does it compare? is the 80+ gold worth it for less wattage? My first thought is yes, but I'm not too familiar with this sort of thing.

    I'm not too dead set on nvidia, but if I were to go with the 1gb, I'm a little hesitant because the 6950 only has 4 reviews on newegg, and I put a lot of stock in the reviews there. However, If I am able to get a high resolution on my tv, then I think it may be worth going up to the 2gb, and in that case, that HIS looks pretty solid.

    Thanks for the input.
    Mercy for the guilty is treason to the innocent.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by dkvice View Post
    I threw up portal to check my resolution, and 1920x1080 takes up all of my 23" monitor, so I imagine that that is the highest my resolution goes, right? I don't know a whole lot about resolution, so please be gentle. However, How easy is it to plug the computer into a tv? My tv is 41 or 42" and has an hdmi plug in, so would it be that easy to play on my tv? And if that's the case, would I then be able to up the resolution? I have no qualms with playing on a higher resolution if I have the hardware to do it.
    On your monitor, yes, that is the highest your resolution will go. And yes, you can use an HDMI cable to plug into your video card, and yeah, your resolution would be higher if you do that.

    As far as power supplies go, seasonic has, what looks to me, a pretty solid psu on newegg for $130. Apparently I still can't link, but it's the SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16817151088? That's one damn good power supply. I'd stick with it, unless you want to save $20 and put it towards your GPU. If so, there's this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139005. You can't go wrong with either choice.

    It's less wattage than the corsair for the same price, but how does it compare? is the 80+ gold worth it for less wattage? My first thought is yes, but I'm not too familiar with this sort of thing.
    Corsair has been known to make great quality power supplies, but they take their OEM power supplies from Seasonic, among other ones. But, like you mentioned, for the same price you can get the 'better' 750W Corsair one.

    I'm not too dead set on nvidia, but if I were to go with the 1gb, I'm a little hesitant because the 6950 only has 4 reviews on newegg, and I put a lot of stock in the reviews there. However, If I am able to get a high resolution on my tv, then I think it may be worth going up to the 2gb, and in that case, that HIS looks pretty solid
    .

    Since you're thinking about making your resolution much higher than before, I'd go with the 6950/6970 2GB version. It really just depends on how much you want to spend. Your options are these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-%206950%202gb. I personally like the 6950 over the 6970 as a) it's a $50 difference for minimal FPS gains, and b) you can get lucky and unlock a 6950 into a 6970.
    In any case, I would go with this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127575, as it's already factory overclocked, but you can push it much higher than that. And on top of that, people have had great success in unlocking it into a 6970. It also stays cool and uses less wattage under load than your 'regular' 6950. However, XFX has a double-lifetime warranty, so there's always that.

    Also, since you said you didn't know much about comparing video cards, here's a great tool to help you decide with that: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=330

  14. #14
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get that seasonic 650 gold psu. Thanks for linking the benchmarks for the two video cards. I'm still on the fence, but it will probably be the msi twin frozr or the HIS iceq 2gb.

    I find myself looking forward to the times when the wife will be out of the house so that I can hook up the computer to the tv. >_>
    Mercy for the guilty is treason to the innocent.

  15. #15
    Haha. Alright, so as far as the video cards go, one thing I do know is that the Sapphire Toxic and the MSI Twin Frozr III are being called 'the best' 6950 2GB cards around. Also, if it ever comes down to it, as long as you're not overclocking that CPU, that PSU will handle 6950s in crossfire. Just something to think about.

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