1. #1

    Building Unicorn

    Now what is it you want....

    Upgrade or New Computer: New

    Upgrade on what (you hope): err.. What?

    Willing to Self Build or a Pre-Built: Self build

    How much you want to spend: err, whats needed

    How much you can spend: 2500

    What all you plan to use it for: Gaming - General high end, things like Crysis 2, the Assassins Creed Series, the new C&C when it comes out, and wow on ultra (shadows off//low?), preferably with fraps and lots of addons running.

    What Operating system you want to use & Bit: Im very un-knowledgable when it comes to these things. I assume I want windows 7, and 64 bit, but I dont know. -- I do intend to use quickbooks 2011-2012 with this system, if that matters.

    What Resolution you hope to be in: uh.. the good kind -- I believe Im in 1900 by 1280? 27 inch monitor

    What Settings do you Want & how much FPS: As good as I can get.

    What Country are you from: US

    What can you re-use: Monitor/keyboard/mouse. Everything else is old/older.

    Network will be wired or wireless: Wired.. YUCK wireless.

    Any Additional Info Here:

    To make sure it was said -- I was/am intending to make the most recent unicorn system, but I dont understand the difference (to me) between the unicorn case and Narwhal case -- considering the large price difference.

    I DO know I want the SSD for loading speed. but again, whats the dif between the 250$ intel and the 120$ one?

    is 8 gigs of ram enough? I would almost prefer to buy 12 gigs and be semi done with it for a good while.

    If it matters, I know nothing of how SLI helps or hinders World of Warcraft -- I bought my current comp with 2x GTS 250s in SLI, and found out that it made wow play WORSE, so ended up disabling the SLI.. and eventually I upgraded to a.. GTX 370? or something along those lines (no sli currently)
    - Expense wise, I think I would prefer to just buy 1 video card, but if a good argument could be made, I might be swayed.


    And lastly, should I only consider amazon links? or will Newegg have better/Lower prices?
    - Is it worth calling my local Fry's Electronics (california) and seeing if they have any of these parts/prices?
    - for the windows OS, should I go OEM, or for.. 2x? the price, get a normal .. 3? license version? Why?


    edit: should I have posted this in the http://www.mmo-champion.com/forums/3...ter-Build-Help section?

  2. #2
    Stood in the Fire Trekk's Avatar
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    I'll try and answer some of your questions.

    1. The case doesn't do anything for your build for the most part. Better cases look nicer, are easier to build in, and have better cooling. You can get a cheaper case, and it will perform the same function.

    2. The Intel SSDs are very good, but if you want price to performance, you will be best off going with a Crucial M4 128GB SSD.

    3. 8GB of RAM will be plenty for atleast another year or two. At the point where more than 8GB will be recommended, then the price for 8GB more will be low, so it's worth waiting for that.

    4. If you plan on playing games other than WoW, then SLI will benefit you. SLI has gotten better, so it might not be as bad as when you originally did the dual 250 setup. If you would still like to go with a single card, the best you can get right now is a 7970, which is around $550.

    5. Just check out the sites/stores that you would buy from and then compare prices. Amazon is just what he uses for parts, as its a trusted supplier.

    6. I would go for the OEM OS, as by the time you will be getting a new rig, Windows 8/9 will be out. If you plan on getting another rig and using Windows 7 for it, then go ahead and get the full version.

  3. #3
    not good with computers
    chaud's Avatar
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    The more expensive SSD is slightly more reliable, longer warranty, and is slightly slower. Pick any case you want, there are a ton of choices!

    Only buy 8 or 16GB, nothing between. 8GB might be enough but RAM is so cheap that 16GB can't hurt, especially when your budget isn't super tight.

    Start with one GPU, a 7950 or 7970 if budget allows. SLI is more of a hassle than it is worth for most games. Buy from wherever is cheaper. Fry's occasionally has some decent sales, as does Microcenter. If you have one near you, they have the 2500k cheap in store. Get the 2500k, you don't need the 2600k.

    You might hold off on Windows and use the Windows 8 Preview until it is released if you don't mind the changes they made.

  4. #4
    Scarab Lord Atrea's Avatar
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    I read it as, "Building Unicron", and thought it was a thread about Transformers.

    I was so disappointed.

  5. #5
    Rofl @ Atrea

    @ others! :

    RE "2. The Intel SSDs are very good, but if you want price to performance, you will be best off going with a Crucial M4 128GB SSD."
    I coulda sworn I saw a 250GB SSD listed previously.. I just realized they are all 120's now. I assume Id only really be installing the OS and wow on the SSD, everything else I can accept longer loading times on...
    - but do larger ones exist that are reliable?
    - The longer warrant mentioned by chaud -- is this something I should be seriously looking at due to SSDs being.. newer//more unreliable then normal harddrives?


    RE - Video card stuff
    I see both of you are suggesting the 7950 (or higher) -- Ive generally had bad experiences with radeon cards and have stuck to Geforce cards which seem to always be reliable to me (and I love their driver upload page.
    - Is there a reason you both seem to be leaning towards Radeon?
    - If I wanted to stick to around 400$ or less for the *single* video card, are there good options, or should I look at stretching the budget more for the better card?

    RE: Processors - "Get the 2500k, you don't need the 2600k."
    Again speaking to the part of me that tries not to upgrade big components (mainly due to my inexperience)..
    - Should I get the 2600 simply to avoid issues in the future.. and assume your talking to someone who knows nothing, what is the real difference between the two in terms of gaming?

    I will probably stick to OEM Win7 then -- I don't tend to upgrade things other then video cards and ram as it's generally easier for me. (hence the ram question, but if 8gigs is fine for most things then that's what I'll stick to.) -- but back on point, Ive seen win7 and... am generally happy with it. I don't tend to be a super power user so the basics work for me.... -- Unless the Win8 preview is free? >.>


    ----

    And to make sure it was mentioned, I do want to FRAPS my 25man raids to contribute to my guilds video ensamble (sp?) -- So if I should consider more powerful computer parts because of this (even if Im not doing heavy editing).. Please let me know




    Again, thank you for your assistance.. It means alot to me that some main posters in the MMO community help with this kinda thing.

  6. #6
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    RE - Video card stuff
    They lean towards 79xx because right now they're the better cards out there. I'd spend the extra ~$70 +- to get the 7950, like this one:

    Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($479.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $479.99
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated 2012-03-03 02:26 EST-0500)

    RE SSD stuff
    Install your OS, games and all your programs as well onto the SSD. You can get larger reliable drives yes, in fact larger capacity models tends to perform better. You can get the Crucial m4 in 256GB version:

    Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

    Hard Drive: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($299.99 @ Microcenter)
    Total: $299.99
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated 2012-03-03 02:28 EST-0500)

    RE: Processors
    Actually i5-2500k beats i7-2600k in some games. For gaming purpose you're better of saving the $100 and stick with 2500k, put those $100 towards something like your GPU. Performance i7-2600k vs i5-2500k

    As for a case I would recommend Fractal Arc midi, Corsair 500R or Corsair 600T

    My build suggestion, with your questions/needs/budget in mind would this (just so have options):

    Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK-140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($193.49 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Amazon)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($131.74 @ SuperBiiz)
    Hard Drive: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($299.99 @ Microcenter)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($479.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($139.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($143.99 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1748.12
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated 2012-03-03 02:51 EST-0500)
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2014 || AV-TEST Jan/Feb 2013

  7. #7
    not good with computers
    chaud's Avatar
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    There are bigger SSDs, which perform even better. If you want to put more than Windows/WoW/a few other games on a SSD then you will want a larger one. We don't have a lot of data on failure rates, most SSD problems came from buggy firmware, which is eventually fixed. I would imagine failure rates are not significantly worse than regular drives. Not sure it is worth the dramatic increase in cost for another 2 years of warranty.

    The 7950 is the card to buy at that price point. It can run Crysis!



    If you want something cheaper, you will want to wait until late this month when the new GPUs are released.

    New CPUs that use less power / perform better will be here in June, so keep that in mind if you are waiting. The 2600k performs no better in gaming. It only really does better at video rendering. Both overclock well, and you should overclock some (it is really really easy).

    The Windows 8 preview is free, and will expire on January, 15, 2013. If you don't mind reformatting once you make a decision about buying Windows 8 by then, that is the best way to go. Windows 7 will also likely go down slightly in price after Windows 8 is released.

  8. #8
    First off - Gotta say that pcpartpicker site is amazing! Ty for that!

    RE the harddrive -- it seems superbiiz doesnt include s&h for the 1TB-- probably better to just get from amazon due to very close price points?

    Video card wise, is it good enough to stick with the 7950, or is the performance increase on the 7970 good enough to warrant whatever its price increase is?

    Seems I have a microcenter about 25 min away so picking up parts there is do-able for me. --also, Im not.. sure.. but it seems that overnight the price of the CPU dropped 20$? -- the *sorted list by merchant* is now saying that microcenter has the better price at 179.
    -Edit: I can't figure out how to *refresh* the pcpartpicker list to reflect new price changes, is there an easy way to do this?

    is there a big difference between the motherboard recommended by notarget: ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    And the one listed for unicorn: ASUS LGA 1155 - Z68 - PCIe 3.0 and UEFI BIOS Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2200 LGA 1155 Motherboards P8Z68-V/GEN3
    -- They don't appear to be the same thing, but wasn't sure.

    I seem to recall needing some minor peripherals for building comp -- the.. paste? for the CPU to motherboard -- I wasn't supposed to use what was included in the box because it was crappy, and to get branc XYZ ?
    - Zipties or wireties for wire management, or will this case include useful wire control methods?
    Anything else you might think of?
    Last edited by Jaydenkor; 2012-03-03 at 06:58 PM.

  9. #9
    The Lightbringer CheezusCrust's Avatar
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    The GTX 590 is discontinued, and it's also 2 graphics cards in one, hence why it beat them I'm joining the club on recommending the 7950.

  10. #10
    not good with computers
    chaud's Avatar
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    This 7950 has a good cooler if you are comfortable with the warranty length. Once overclocked it will perform like a 7970 almost.

    If you are already spending so much, skip cheaping out and getting an ASRock board, get a decent Asus or Gigabyte Z68.

    Arctic silver 5 is still pretty standard. IC Diamond is newer and supposedly performs somewhat better if you are feeling adventurous. It is made of diamonds!

  11. #11
    I'll probably need some help with overclocking (never done it before) once this is all built.
    It does look like I'll go ahead and get the 7950 since its been unanimously recommended.

    RE "If you are already spending so much, skip cheaping out and getting an ASRock board, get a decent Asus or Gigabyte Z68."
    - Im afraid I don't know which your referring to of the 2 I linked, or if your referring to a new one >.> -- I may be able to *build* a computer, but the difference in parts Im still brand new to >.>

    ---------- Post added 2012-03-03 at 08:36 PM ----------

    Having some discussion with friends on ram:
    Seems like the plan is to go ahead and get 16 gb
    The question is.. 16 of..
    1. Cosair Vengence: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...D=3938566&SID=
    2. Gskill Ripjaw: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231478
    3. Gskill Sniper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231480

    And they can't really agree on whats better >.> -- Seems Gskill has great technical //customer service?

    ---------- Post added 2012-03-03 at 08:58 PM ----------

    Just to recap what it looks like my Purchases will be (and if notarget, or someone could help me with that pcpartpicker setup, would be amazing)

    CDrom: talked to a friend, wanted to be able to read blueray, seems like: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827106374 is the recommended.

    Case: Like the white case recomended by notarget: 500r

    CPU: i5 2500

    Motherboard: I was told to stay away from ASRock by about 3 people, and ASUS is nice -- so.. This one

    RAM: TBD from the previous post regarding memory.

    HDs were gonna be the 1tb WD caviar black, and the 256gb SSD from Microcenter (where Im getting the CPU from as well)

    Video card: (newegg and ncix are out of stock) Looking like This 7950 Or is the Sapphire that much better?

    The 750W Cosair powersupply was fine.
    Last edited by Jaydenkor; 2012-03-03 at 09:00 PM.

  12. #12
    not good with computers
    chaud's Avatar
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    I like this board, most "futureproof" you can get right now, should work with the new CPUs that are coming.

  13. #13
    ((ATM just waiting for feedback on the Ram and video card questions in my previous post before I head out to make purchases... Again Thank you everyone for your assistance and time.

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    You can tell those "friends" that warned you about Asrock boards that they're wrong or they're living in the past. Just stick with Chauds recommendation, just wanted to let you know there is nothing wrong with Asrock.

    As for the RAM I'd say go with the white Coarsair ones you linked, they're low profile, low voltage and they're white so they'll fit your case nicely

    Gigabyte HD 7950 3GB

    Or the Sapphire you linked, they're both in stock.
    Last edited by Notarget; 2012-03-04 at 12:21 AM.
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2014 || AV-TEST Jan/Feb 2013

  16. #16
    Even Chaud seemed to think ASrock boards were.. *cheaper* in both monetary and symbolic sense? "If you are already spending so much, skip cheaping out and[by?] getting an ASRock board, get a decent Asus or Gigabyte Z68."

    Trust me, I know nothing about these boards >.> just seemed a few people had issues with ASRock.

    TY for the RAM thoughts (and original case recomendation!)

  17. #17
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Asrock is usually cheaper and one reason is they come with less accessories and bundled stuff. People have issues with all brands =p Don't worry about it just stick with Chauds suggestion and you'll be fine. Good luck
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1080MHz/1700MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2014 || AV-TEST Jan/Feb 2013

  18. #18
    not good with computers
    chaud's Avatar
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    ASRock made awful quality products before this generation, and even the current one still has some QA problems. Nothing you won't find (maybe to a lesser extent) with other brands. Not having to deal with their support is another benefit of avoiding them!

  19. #19
    Alrighty -- have everything except the video card, cooling for cpu, and cdrom -- Latest eta is the vid card at 3/9 -- so, will try to get everything all setup before then. Thanks again guys

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