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  1. #1
    Field Marshal
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    Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Hi all,

    Long story short, I'm in the market for a computer that I want to order in the next day or two; I've got a spec built up but now at the last minute I'm wondering if there's stuff I can do to improve on it without going in to astronomical prices. The current spec is as follows;

    - Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D - Black
    - Power Supply: Corsair TX 750W ATX SLI Compliant Power Supply
    - CPU: Intel Core i7 930 2.80GHz (Overclocked to 4GHz)
    - Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E Intel X58 (Socket 1366) DDR3
    - Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev B CPU Cooler with Sharkoon 2000RPM 120MM Fan
    - RAM: Patriot Viper 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 (1600MHz) Tri-Channel
    - Hard Drives: Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB 6Gb/s and a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache
    - Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5970 OC 2048MB GDDR5 Graphics Card
    - Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Fatal1ty Professional Series
    - Optical Drive: LG DVD+/-RW SATA Drive
    - OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64

    All in all it works out to roughly £2,200. My budget is £2,600, so I have a little bit of wiggle-room, but I'm not going to be silly just for the sake of spending the rest of the money. But if anyone can genuinely think of anything particularly wrong with that spec, let me know. D: One thing that has been suggested and I'm seriously contemplating is replacing the cooler with one of those Corsair H50-1 water cooling units.

    I don't need a monitor, I've just got a new Razer Naga/Vespula and my keyboard is in the post. All I need is the computer, so please no silly suggestions like "AMG 30" MONITAR!" ;p
    I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me.

  2. #2

    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Faster CPU (base clock speed) and good discrete audio card instead of XFi junk, it's not much better than on-board audio. Asus Xonar is supposed to be good for average gamers.

    If you need good soundcard for some amateur/semipro audio work, it needs to be external USB thingy.

    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Asus Xonar D2X 7.1 PCI-Express Sound Card?

    Works out slightly cheaper than the X-Fi. 'bout £15 or so cheaper.

    I don't need the sound card for any pro work. It'll just be for gaming, movies, music and the like. I just want to get something nice after having been stuck with a PoS computer for an overly long time. ;p

    Any recommendations on the CPU? I'd looked at the new Hex Core CPUs, I could just about squeeze one of those in to my budget, but from what I've heard there's really not much point at this moment in time. I'd likely be better off waiting a year or so to step down that line.

    Had a look at the Intel Core i7 960 3.2GHz, sucky thing is the place I'm ordering from is sold out right now. =/
    I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me.

  4. #4

    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaphy
    Asus Xonar D2X 7.1 PCI-Express Sound Card?
    Yep, that one. Supposedly better quality than XFi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaphy
    Had a look at the Intel Core i7 960 3.2GHz, sucky thing is the place I'm ordering from is sold out right now. =/
    930 is good enough for just about everything, was just wondering if there are any reasonable options to step up from it since you have still lot of slack in the budget left.

    Also since you're building that expensive and have still plenty of slack in the budget, you should look into RAID options for SSD, HDD or both.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Cilraaz's Avatar
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    An i7 960 is identical in architecture to a 930. It's only running at a higher clock speed. If you're going to overclock it manually, getting a 960 is only a waste of money. You can't beat a 930 clocked at 4GHz right now.

  6. #6
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilraaz
    An i7 960 is identical in architecture to a 930. It's only running at a higher clock speed. If you're going to overclock it manually, getting a 960 is only a waste of money. You can't beat a 930 clocked at 4GHz right now.
    Ah-ha! Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    Also since you're building that expensive and have still plenty of slack in the budget, you should look into RAID options for SSD, HDD or both.
    Wouldn't that require a different motherboard? The SSD and HDD I have selected run off of SATA III 6GB/s ports. The motherboard has 2 of those ports. I'd need to be looking at using SATA II HDD's to set up a RAID configuration, no? If it's for additional space, I really can't see me needing it at all. If it's for data-loss prevention, I've already got a suitable back-up system in place that I do regular back-ups with. If you've got decent reasons to why it'd be beneficial that I'm overlooking (I've not really run with a RAID config before) then by all means enlighten and I'll consider it.

    Thanks for the help so far though. I've done a bit of reading on the Xonar cards and will swap that one in to the spec instead of the X-Fi card. Does anyone have any advice on the cooling question? My biggest frustration has been sifting through page after page of aircooling vs watercooling arguements. I know a well-built custom watercooling config will obliterate aircooling configs, but at the same time they can be very pricey. The Corsair H50-1 is a product name I've seen crop up all over the place in these arguements, as a cheap and effective all-in-one watercooling solution for the CPU. So do I get the H50-1 (Along with 2x fans to attach to the rad - apparently with this setup it's superior to most aircoolers?) or will the currently selected aircooler be more than sufficient? My main worry is that I'm obviously spending a fair bit of money here, I just want to make sure it's well taken care of.
    I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me.

  7. #7

    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaphy
    The SSD and HDD I have selected run off of SATA III 6GB/s ports. The motherboard has 2 of those ports. I'd need to be looking at using SATA II HDD's to set up a RAID configuration, no? If it's for additional space, I really can't see me needing it at all.
    Yep, was thinking about both performance and data loss prevention. Just didn't take into account you counted both as SATA3 devices, not too many of those around yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaphy
    So do I get the H50-1 (Along with 2x fans to attach to the rad - apparently with this setup it's superior to most aircoolers?) or will the currently selected aircooler be more than sufficient? My main worry is that I'm obviously spending a fair bit of money here, I just want to make sure it's well taken care of.
    Price difference of those solutions shouldn't be too big, around that £15 you saved with the soundcard unless I'm badly mistaken. H50 is certainly tempting and the most noob-friendly water cooling solution available up to date. My biggest concern about it would be how reliable and long-living it is since it's completely sealed system and relatively new on the market.
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  8. #8
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    save your money if you're not doing professional sound work.

    onboard sound these days is ridiculously good, just get a 6.1 or higher mobo. i guarantee your ears cant tell the difference between onboard sound anyways unless you're specifically looking for 'noise' with professional programs.
    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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  9. #9

    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    I would go for the H50 coupled with a couple of Noctua NF-P12, although in a review I read about it, the H50 lost a lot of performance on negative pressure case, so I would take that in consideration.

  10. #10
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilraaz
    An i7 960 is identical in architecture to a 930. It's only running at a higher clock speed. If you're going to overclock it manually, getting a 960 is only a waste of money. You can't beat a 930 clocked at 4GHz right now.
    This^

  11. #11
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Thanks all for the advice.

    I think I'm going to go ahead and order the above spec, minus the soundcard, if the onboard sound these days really is good (My last experience with onboard sound was it was utterly shit and slowed things down). I'll start off with the aircooling that's already in place as from what I hear it's a reliable setup. I always have the option to spend £50 down the line to get a H50. So all in all, looks like I'm gonna have a few hundred £'s left from my budget. D: Will save it for a rainy day! Or maybe a second monitor.. *Cough*
    I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me.

  12. #12
    Moderator Cilraaz's Avatar
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaphy
    Thanks all for the advice.

    I think I'm going to go ahead and order the above spec, minus the soundcard, if the onboard sound these days really is good (My last experience with onboard sound was it was utterly shit and slowed things down).
    On-board sound quality has improved drastically in the last few years. Unless you're a person with a largely above average sensativity to sound or professionally recording/editing sound, you really don't need a separate sound card. The majority of on-board sound today are 5.1 or 7.1 surround with good quality.

  13. #13

    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaphy
    I think I'm going to go ahead and order the above spec, minus the soundcard, if the onboard sound these days really is good (My last experience with onboard sound was it was utterly shit and slowed things down).
    Yep, onboard audio is so good today that average users wont notice the difference. You need discrete cards mainly if super-high quality or 7.1 analog outputs are required. Or extra surround processing for games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwaphy
    Will save it for a rainy day! Or maybe a second monitor.. *Cough*
    Once you try second monitor, there's no going back. I usually play WoW with firefox/vent/msn running on second monitor... Or some videos if bored
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
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  14. #14
    Moderator Cilraaz's Avatar
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    Once you try second monitor, there's no going back. I usually play WoW with firefox/vent/msn running on second monitor... Or some videos if bored
    I want a second monitor very badly. Unfortunately, there's the lack of cash and lack of desk space. So first I need cash for a desk... then I need cash for the second monitor. Ugh.

  15. #15

    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilraaz
    I want a second monitor very badly. Unfortunately, there's the lack of cash and lack of desk space. So first I need cash for a desk... then I need cash for the second monitor. Ugh.
    I solved the first part by cleaning the desk... And moving printer away.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
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  16. #16
    Moderator Cilraaz's Avatar
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah
    I solved the first part by cleaning the desk... And moving printer away.
    My desk is an old table. There's room for my keyboard, mouse, monitor, router, and soda... and that's about it.

  17. #17
    Field Marshal
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cilraaz
    My desk is an old table. There's room for my keyboard, mouse, monitor, router, and soda... and that's about it.
    Sounds a bit like mine. Though I have room for a second monitor, but means I'd have to find a home for the other stuff that's currently there. But I'm also getting a new proper desk sorted out at the same time as this computer business.. Ah, the wonders of well paid jobs. ;p

    Update: Woohoo! Order has been placed! Price in the end worked out at £1,973 - None too shabby, saved myself a fair bit to venture down the dual monitor path. Again, thanks for the words of advice from people over the last couple of days, much appreciated!
    I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me.

  18. #18
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Wahey! E-mail notification that the computer has been dispatched! Should be with me Monday/Tuesday.

    Going to get another identical monitor to what I have now. Which is a 24" Acer, costs about £170 from the shop around the corner. Luck would have it also that an office furnature supplier nearby is closing down and selling off stock cheap, so might be able to get a nice desk for a very reasonable price. Seems like lady luck is with me, for now..
    I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me.

  19. #19

    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    As a UK buyer, may i ask where you bought your computer from ?

    All i see on this website are american sites :/ , and im looking to buy parts or a custom built computer myself !

  20. #20
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    Re: Piecing together a computer - Comments/Advise?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jampolo
    As a UK buyer, may i ask where you bought your computer from ?

    All i see on this website are american sites :/ , and im looking to buy parts or a custom built computer myself !
    I've sent you a PM with their info on. Hope you find what you're looking for.
    I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be, than me.

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