1. #1

    My First Desktop Computer: An In Depth Analysis

    This is my first post so please be forgiving:

    So I'm looking to get a new computer. I'm upgrading from a $300 Toshiba Laptop, so know that anything I get will be an upgrade. Also, I know there are differing opinions on IBuyPower but I find it the best way to get a general look at what I want to get. I will probably end up buying off of newegg and assembling myself.

    The build itself:

    1 x Case ( CoolerMaster HAF 922 Gaming Case - Black )
    1 x Processor ( Intel® Core™ i7 950 Processor (4x 3.06GHz/8MB L3 Cache) )
    1 x iBUYPOWER PowerDrive ( PowerDrive Level 2 - Up to 20% Overclocking )
    1 x Processor Cooling ( Liquid CPU Cooling System [SOCKET-1366] - [Free Upgrade] Standard 120mm Fan )
    1 x Memory ( 6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1333 - ** FREE Upgrade to DDR3-1600 ** Corsair or Major Brand )
    1 x Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 - 1GB - ZOTAC AMP! - Core: 810MHz - Single Card )
    1 x Motherboard ( [SLI] ASUS Sabertooth X58 )
    1 x Motherboard USB / SATA Interface ( Motherboard default USB / SATA Interface )
    1 x Power Supply ( 700 Watt -- Standard )
    1 x Primary Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE -- 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0Gb/s - Dual 500GB Drives (1TB Capacity) - RAID 0 High Performance )
    1 x Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black )
    1 x Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
    1 x Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
    1 x Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-Bit )
    1 x Monitor ( 24" LED 1920x1080 -- ASUS VE248H )
    1 x Speaker System ( iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
    1 x Wireless Network Adapter ( Zonet ZEW2545 802.11n 130Mbps Wireless USB Adapter )


    Questions:

    1) Case - I've heard a top-of-the-case fan slot is best for cooling the tower and this tower doesn't have one. Will this substantial hurt the cooling of the computer?
    2) CPU - Opinions on the processor? Also, will this processor come with Hyper Threading enabled? I assume that I'm going to overclock it is a given.
    3) Liquid cooling - Is it better? Does it work? Also, if I'm putting this together myself, is it hard to hookup?
    4) 6G RAM 1600 - Will this bottleneck me? Also, what is the difference between 1333, 1600, and 2000 for ram? I'm not entirely sure what these numbers stand for and what perfomance related effects they will have.
    5) The Video Card - I've read good reviews on the Zotac AMP (on Newegg) and it looks like a solid video card. However, should I upgrade to a 470+ or perhaps a 1.2g Videocard. I want to enjoy top end gaming with high FPS performance. Also, what is the Radeon equivalent and its' relative performance? I know NVidia is slightly lower on the performance end with better shading in general, but I'd not to keep "RADEON OR GTFO" or vice-versa out of this discussion. I just want the most bang for my buck, as it were.
    6) Motherboard - I've heard the motherboard is the most quintessential part of a PC, any opinions and advice on this one?
    7) Power Supply - Is this overkill, underkill, or killing just right? Also, if I wanted to upgrade my graphics card in the future, will I have to change out my power supply? Is it hard to change out the power supply also.
    8) Hard drive - The space (500G) will NEVER be used up my me. Before this laptop I had a Toshiba from 2000 with 26g of space, and this current one I have has 70G of space and I've never come close to filling them. However, on a performance level, I want to go with a RAID 0 set up. How stable is this and what kind of perfomance increase is there over just a single 500G Hard drive. In terms of performance, I've heard that the 10,000 RPM hard drives are over priced, is this true? Also, what about a single 500G hard drive with a Solid State drive - Can this be used in RAID 0 with each other and what performance does this reap?
    9) Sound Card - Does this affect anything? I've never had a problem with sound quality. Is there a reason to upgrade it?
    10) Operating System - Does the level (E.G. Professional, Premium, Ultimate) carry over into any increased performance while playing games? Or, does upgrading your operating system convert to taxing your system to much and reducing your performance?
    11) Monitor - Opinions? Suggestions? Newegg reviews seem to praise this fairly high. Do I need an HDMI cable for my graphics card to get 1080p quality? Also, does the graphics card support HD quality? What kind of cable to I need get?

    Overall, I want a high performance gaming desktop that will not easily be outdated and will provide top-end gaming, graphic settings, and FPS.
    I'm looking at a budget of around 1500-1700.
    The IBuyPower standard setup around which I constructed this: Game Paladin F725 (Sorry about not being able to link yet)

    Any other advice, opinions, and general ideas about my build are encouraged (especially if I missed something that needs pointing out)

  2. #2
    I would look into another retailer. Ibuypower is notorious for sending out DOA systems.

  3. #3
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    You should consider buying a SSD, atleast 120 gb, for OS and games such as WoW, will give the computer a longer life in terms of performance

  4. #4
    "I will probably end up buying off of newegg and assembling myself" - I am looking for constructive comments on the build itself, not criticism on the vendor.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by denopi View Post
    "I will probably end up buying off of newegg and assembling myself" - I am looking for constructive comments on the build itself, not criticism on the vendor.
    Oh. To be honest, I didn't really read most of the post. Just saw Ibuypower thrown in there and decided to give you a heads up. :P

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by glo View Post
    Oh. To be honest, I didn't really read most of the post. Just saw Ibuypower thrown in there and decided to give you a heads up. :P
    I use IBuypower for computers i get for clients, i have gotten well over 50 from them over the last few years and have had ZERO issues. I have had positive experience with the customer support ect. but then again, i guess everything you "hear" on the internet HAS to be true

  7. #7
    Moderator llDemonll's Avatar
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    If you don't immediately need the computer, I'd wait until the 1155 socket CPU's and Motherboards are re-released near the end of February / early March. They outperform the i7 950 pretty handily and are cheaper

    1) Case - I've heard a top-of-the-case fan slot is best for cooling the tower and this tower doesn't have one. Will this substantial hurt the cooling of the computer?
    Not really. Personally the Cooler Master CM 692 Basic is my favorite (I have the Cooler Master CM 690)

    2) CPU - Opinions on the processor? Also, will this processor come with Hyper Threading enabled? I assume that I'm going to overclock it is a given.
    Yes, it has HT enabled. Yes, it will overclock well. No, it's not worth it. Wait until the 1155 socket (i5 2500K) CPU's are released. If you need a HT CPU for CAD, rending, whatever, the i7 2600K is what you want.

    3) Liquid cooling - Is it better? Does it work? Also, if I'm putting this together myself, is it hard to hookup?
    It's a pain in the ass, and useless IMO.

    4) 6G RAM 1600 - Will this bottleneck me? Also, what is the difference between 1333, 1600, and 2000 for ram? I'm not entirely sure what these numbers stand for and what perfomance related effects they will have.
    I don't know the exact differences, but there is 0 real-world difference between any of them. 1600 will be the best bet for you.

    5) The Video Card - I've read good reviews on the Zotac AMP (on Newegg) and it looks like a solid video card. However, should I upgrade to a 470+ or perhaps a 1.2g Videocard. I want to enjoy top end gaming with high FPS performance. Also, what is the Radeon equivalent and its' relative performance? I know NVidia is slightly lower on the performance end with better shading in general, but I'd not to keep "RADEON OR GTFO" or vice-versa out of this discussion. I just want the most bang for my buck, as it were.
    Get either the GTX 560/570, or a Radeon 6950/6970. The GTX 460 is a weak card for a $1500-$1700 build. The GTX 560 is the "same" as the 6950, and the GTX 570 is the "same" as the 6970. When I say "same" I mean you probably won't be able to tell the difference between the two when playing games and such.

    6) Motherboard - I've heard the motherboard is the most quintessential part of a PC, any opinions and advice on this one?
    This depends on what CPU you get. If you decide to wait for the 1155 to be re-released, the ASUS P8P67 Pro is your best bet. If you decide to go with the 1366 socket that you have now then you're on your own from me as I haven't looked at 1366 mobo's in a long time.

    7) Power Supply - Is this overkill, underkill, or killing just right? Also, if I wanted to upgrade my graphics card in the future, will I have to change out my power supply? Is it hard to change out the power supply also.
    For a single-card setup, SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold $179.99 should be fine. If you're uneasy you can go with SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold $189.99 .

    8) Hard drive - The space (500G) will NEVER be used up my me. Before this laptop I had a Toshiba from 2000 with 26g of space, and this current one I have has 70G of space and I've never come close to filling them. However, on a performance level, I want to go with a RAID 0 set up. How stable is this and what kind of perfomance increase is there over just a single 500G Hard drive. In terms of performance, I've heard that the 10,000 RPM hard drives are over priced, is this true? Also, what about a single 500G hard drive with a Solid State drive - Can this be used in RAID 0 with each other and what performance does this reap?
    Personally, I'm not an advocate of RAID setups; it's just one more thing that can go wrong. If you have a SSD it will be set as your primary drive, with the mechanical 500GB / 1TB / whatever drive as the data drive. You can't raid them together and wouldn't want to. I would go for a large SSD (120GB+) for OS and games, and a data drive to store everything else on.

    9) Sound Card - Does this affect anything? I've never had a problem with sound quality. Is there a reason to upgrade it?
    No point unless you're doing studio audio work or producing music somehow.

    10) Operating System - Does the level (E.G. Professional, Premium, Ultimate) carry over into any increased performance while playing games? Or, does upgrading your operating system convert to taxing your system to much and reducing your performance?
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit. I have Windows 7 Professional 64bit but that's because I got it for free through school.

    11) Monitor - Opinions? Suggestions? Newegg reviews seem to praise this fairly high. Do I need an HDMI cable for my graphics card to get 1080p quality? Also, does the graphics card support HD quality? What kind of cable to I need get?
    Any GPU will be able to support whatever monitor you choose. I'd go for something in the 22-24" range. HDMI and DVI are the same thing, only HDMI carries audio also (which you probably have headphones / external speakers for anyways)
    Last edited by llDemonll; 2011-02-04 at 04:50 PM.

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
    BF3 Profile | Steam Profile | Assemble a Computer in 9.75 Steps! | Video Rendering Done Right

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Moozart View Post
    I use IBuypower for computers i get for clients, i have gotten well over 50 from them over the last few years and have had ZERO issues. I have had positive experience with the customer support ect. but then again, i guess everything you "hear" on the internet HAS to be true
    http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Repor...ercom-13141649

    Poor BBB ratings and reviews, as well as a metric fuckton of poor reviews on newegg. Along with my own horror story regarding faulty hdds and power supplies.

  9. #9
    the equivalent for radeon is going to be a HD 6850, either card will work. It's really a huge tossup, intel is for sure the way to go for processor if you can spend the money though.

    Toms hardware has a list of cards, I cant post the link cause I'm new if you look at the new GTX 560 review there are a few lists of some modern cards. Otherwise they did a guide that is now outdated when 4.0 dropped that covered how everything performed.

    Upgrading to a 560 or 470 might be a worthy upgrade, depends on how much they cost and if the performance increase justifies how much more it costs to you. At higher resolutions (1920x1080 and up) I would say the price increase would be totally worth it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by glo View Post
    http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Repor...ercom-13141649

    Poor BBB ratings and reviews, as well as a metric fuckton of poor reviews on newegg. Along with my own horror story regarding faulty hdds and power supplies.
    What about this? All positive there.
    Kami - Guild Wars 2 Elementalist - Desolation EU
    <Obey Gaming> - https://obeygaming.com/

  11. #11
    Must say I've purchased a PC from one of these 'put it together' companies, and I must say what a nightmare is was. I picked the case, HD, MB, CPU, GPU, all this. Thought the 3 year warranty from them was a deal, not to mention the low cost. I got the PC, and the vid card crapped out nearly instantly. I went through their RMA process to get the following:

    1. Send Card in, wait with no Video
    2. Get the new card, guess they like giving me used parts, but oh well
    3. Put the new but used card in, same problem
    4. Request specifically they don't send me the POS card brand and rather send me the new card I paid for
    5. Get the card in the mail, again it's used, different manufacturer. I don't even use the card at this point because it LOOKS beat up and cheap
    6. Call the BBB and complain, asking for my money back or a new functioning card from a decent manufacturer
    7. Weeks go by and the HQ calls me and apologizes, hoping to keep my business and get to the bottom of it
    8. Finally get a decent new card in the mail that works

    While the advertisements and deals look great, I would be wary. If something is off, it's difficult to fix that problem. Also have to look out for what parts you choose. They have special, more expensive options for decent or 'equivalent' to decent name brands

  12. #12
    Moderator llDemonll's Avatar
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    This isn't a thread about buying from pre-built companies. He said specifically that he's purchasing it from Newegg but was just configuring it there for sake of searching through all of Newegg.

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
    BF3 Profile | Steam Profile | Assemble a Computer in 9.75 Steps! | Video Rendering Done Right

  13. #13
    This isn't a thread about buying from pre-built companies. He said specifically that he's purchasing it from Newegg but was just configuring it there for sake of searching through all of Newegg.
    - Thank you for keeping on topic Demon.

    Also, your response was exactly what I was hoping I would get. Thank you for the itemized feedback. Now I just need to search through the various solid state drives and wait a month : ) Also, thanks for the information on the i5 2500k

  14. #14
    I'd recommend getting 120GB SSD disc instead of any mechanical RAID0 thingies. It's significantly faster and sounds like there's plenty of room for all your needs and you can put in regular HDD later if you run out of space. Corsair Force series are good, or G.Skill Phoenix Pro, for example. Both come with Sandforce controller chip. OCZ SSDs have some reliability issues and plenty of negative reviews so wouldn't touch those.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  15. #15
    CPU: Squawk! Wait for the second coming of sandy bridge! Pretty Bird! Squawk! Also, 2500K or 2600K when the boards are back in town...the boards are back in town...the...this ends here.

    Motherboard: Squawk!


    PSU:

    AS a cheaper alternative to the Seasonic X series, which is higher tier with mossy stone and marble angel busts, XFX makes a number of units based on seasonic's S12II design.

    ww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207010
    ww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207009

    (Blasted forum fairies! Get back to your puzzle resetting duties and let me post weblinks!)

    650/750W, 70/90$ after rebate, 89/109$ base. Ignore the warranty of 3 years. Newegg is wrong. It is five on XFX's website.

    These units got good praise from hardware secrets(They own a load tester, horray!), and the design is newer than the bit long on the tooth, but still good, corsair 650TX and 750TX.

    These would be my recommendation over the X series if price is a concern. Solid units, nothing to worry about.



    Case: I've always like the lancool (Lian Li) metal bonned K7.

    ww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112154&cm_re=k7-_-11-112-154-_-Product

    Minimalistic, sleek look, 3 fans front to back in which the front fans have a dust filter to keep the bunnies and parts of the cat out, aluminum skin, cable management, will fit a 10.5 inch VGA card, etc.


    HDD: For a data drive, if you are getting an SSD, I'd reccomend anything in Western digital's caviar black SATA3 line.
    Last edited by deltablaze; 2011-02-04 at 08:09 PM.

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