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Thread: My First PC Build

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    ROG Enthusiast CStingerGhost1 +10 CStingerGhost1's Avatar
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    My First PC Build

    Hey guys, just found this awesome forum! Before I talk about the build, I need to add some background here:
    And before I do that, I need to clear the air real quick. I'm 16. Why am I saying this? Because it has a large influence on exactly what I build (price and lifestyle factor in here).

    Now that that's over, I can tell the story. Several years ago, I got an HP laptop before going into high school. It went belly-up about four months ago. That same week, I bought a new HP ENVY dv6t-7200 with a GeForce GT 650M (pretty good). Well, the GPU was defective. HP sent me a new notebook. Four days after I got it, it had the same issue. At that point, I knew HP had an epidemic problem. Called them up and they set some special group of people to investigate and figure whether it would be best to replace my laptop again or refund it.
    This is where we are now. If they choose to replace it, I'm going to demand a refund anyways. I still have until next Tuesday to do so. I'm done with HP (next laptop will be an ASUS). In fact, I'm done with laptops for now. I've chosen to go with custom-building a nice desktop. This will be a high-performance computer (for gaming, video editing, photo editing, and CAD/3D-design). I have some pretty good experience with computers (repairs, upgrading, etc.) but have never built one. I know what to do when putting it together, but I want some opinions on what exactly to get. I have composed a list of components, which will be stated below. My budget is near $1,200 (yes, I know it's pretty big for someone my age, and you might think I'm spoiled, but my parents are NOT paying for this).

    Operating System: Windows 8 64-bit (I've used it before, and contrary to many people's opinions, I like it) - $100 from Newegg
    CPU: Third-Gen Intel Core i5-3570K - Bundled with my RAM and motherboard for $375 from Tiger Direct
    MB: ASUS Intel Z77 Motherboard - Bundled with my CPU and motherboard for $375 from Tiger Direct
    RAM: Corsair CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 XMS3 4GB DDR3 RAM (I will likely upgrade to 8 gigs and 1600 Mhz sometime after getting the PC)
    GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti - $280 from Tiger Direct
    System Drive: Corsair Neutron Series CSSD-N120GB3-BK 120GB SSD (for Windows, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, some games, and other programs) - $120 from Tiger Direct
    Hard Drive: 2 TB Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 (I'm open to better suggestions on this, however I want a minimum 1 TB and 7200 RPM) - $110 from Amazon.com
    PSU: Ultra LSP750 750-Watt Power Supply - $65 from Tiger Direct
    Case: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition - $30 from Tiger Direct

    I want to know if this stuff is all compatible. Feel free to suggest other components. I also plan on getting two more case fans, as that case comes only with one, but has space for four.
    Another thing about the fans: Anyone have any suggestions on the best placement?

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    TeamROG Moderator xeromist +100 xeromist +100 xeromist's Avatar
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    Typical fan placement is one in the front for intake and one in the back and/or the top for exhaust.

    Since the basic components are bundled they should all be compatible. You might consider adding a second RAM kit to the same order if you can afford it as that will be your best chance of getting a compatible set. Ideally you should just buy an 8GB set but I realize that the bundle makes that difficult. What you might want to consider is whether the bundle is really saving you any money if you are just going to replace the memory in short order anyway.

    On the PSU, Ultra is fine I guess but personally I'd prefer a Corsair, Silverstone, Thermaltake, or Antec.

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    ROG Enthusiast CStingerGhost1 +10 CStingerGhost1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xeromist View Post
    Typical fan placement is one in the front for intake and one in the back and/or the top for exhaust.
    Okay, so I would only need to buy one extra fan, and put that in the front? And maybe another in the top? The case comes with one installed in the back, exhausting out the rear. Also, the PSU has a fan. Does in pull air in or suck air out? It will be placed in the back of the case, on the bottom. According to what you said, it should optimally pull air out, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by xeromist View Post
    You might consider adding a second RAM kit to the same order if you can afford it as that will be your best chance of getting a compatible set. Ideally you should just buy an 8GB set but I realize that the bundle makes that difficult. What you might want to consider is whether the bundle is really saving you any money if you are just going to replace the memory in short order anyway.
    I'll look into buying the bundled components separately.

    Quote Originally Posted by xeromist View Post
    On the PSU, Ultra is fine I guess but personally I'd prefer a Corsair, Silverstone, Thermaltake, or Antec.
    I'll check into some others. Any particular reason why you would go with those other manufacturers over Ultra?

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    ROG Guru: Blue Belt Krindor +20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CStingerGhost1 View Post
    I'll check into some others. Any particular reason why you would go with those other manufacturers over Ultra?
    Quality and trustworthiness.
    Read some reviews on Ultra, not this series but another, it performed like crap and wasn't worth it, sure this series might be different but I wouldn't take the chance. What motherboard is it that is included in the bundle? Asus z77 doesn't tell me anything.
    For ram take a look at G.skill's Ripjawsx 16gb ram. It's hard to find ram at this size this cheap and they are quality ram equal to Corsair. If you're video editing and 3D modeling this will be used.
    Keep OS on a separate drive, and games and programs you use a lot on it's own. I would recommend you to get a 2 slower, cheaper 120 gb SSDs instead.

    Just some last words. First, clever choice of ditching HP they are crap. Second, 1,200 ain't really that big for your age, this might sound mean but with a part time job you could earn this in a month.
    | Chassi: Phantom Fulltower White Edition | Mobo: Maximus V Extreme | CPU: i7 3770k
    | Memory: 2x8gb G.Skill Trident X 2400mhz | GPU: PNY Geforce GTX 670 | PSU: NZXT Hale 90 750w
    | SSD: Intel 120gb 330 series (OS) | Intel 120gb 330 series (Games n stuff)
    | Monitor: LG 29EA93 | Cooling: Custom Loop

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    TeamROG Moderator xeromist +100 xeromist +100 xeromist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CStingerGhost1 View Post
    the PSU has a fan. Does in pull air in or suck air out? It will be placed in the back of the case, on the bottom. According to what you said, it should optimally pull air out, right?
    The PSU fan will likely be fairly low speed so I wouldn't really expect it to do much in the way of cooling your case. It is mainly designed to cool itself. That said, I believe the majority are intake through the fan and exhaust through the rear of the PSU but there are exceptions. If you want to know which way the air is flowing you can place a piece of paper over the fan to see if it sucks or blows.

    I'll check into some others. Any particular reason why you would go with those other manufacturers over Ultra?
    Build quality. Every brand has its lemons but Corsair & the others have consistently higher quality. And the few times that I've needed to RMA a Corsair product their support was excellent.
    Regardless of what you choose I would try to see if you can find a thorough review on that specific model. If the reviewer actually opens the PSU to look at component quality and does a ripple test then that is a sign of a thorough review.

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    ROG Enthusiast CStingerGhost1 +10 CStingerGhost1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krindor View Post
    Quality and trustworthiness.
    Read some reviews on Ultra, not this series but another, it performed like crap and wasn't worth it, sure this series might be different but I wouldn't take the chance.
    Fate would have it that, before you said this, I actually did some more research and made up my mind that I'm going with a bit more expensive but better Corsair CX Series CX750 CP-9020015-NA 750W Power Supply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krindor View Post
    What motherboard is it that is included in the bundle? Asus z77 doesn't tell me anything.
    Sorry, I thought a motherboard model was a motherboard model like other computer components (ima noob ). Here's the full name: ASUS P8Z77-V LK Intel Z77 Motherboard
    It's ATX, 4x DIMM, DDR3, Socket 1155, PCIe 3.0, Intel Z77 Chipset, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0, HDMI, LAN, DVI, DisplayPort

    Quote Originally Posted by Krindor View Post
    Keep OS on a separate drive, and games and programs you use a lot on it's own. I would recommend you to get a 2 slower, cheaper 120 gb SSDs instead.
    Why on a separate drive? I figured I'd just get one SSD, and put the stuff I want to boot up quickly on that. Then a really big HDD for the other stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krindor View Post
    1,200 ain't really that big for your age, this might sound mean but with a part time job you could earn this in a month.
    Haha, not mean at all. I had no idea how people would judge my age, because it seems like most young people with nice custom PCs get ridiculed for being spoiled.

    Xeromist, you replied while I was typing this. Thanks for the info, I'll do some more research when I get time.

    As for HP, I have an update: So my case manager has been sick for the past four business days, which means I'm stuck waiting for her. I called today and they again told me I must wait for her (sounding like the typical bureaucratic HP bull people talk about all the time). I basically said, "Look, just because my case manager isn't working doesn't mean that you get to stop my plans and make me wait for days. You're a big company, so act like it. I'm sure a business like this can switch me to a different case manager no problem."
    "Nope, sorry," she said.
    "So, what happens when a case manager gets fired or quits in the middle of a case?"
    "Um...I'll talk to my supervisor and see if I can't get you switched over." I can't believe how ignorant these people are.
    So then she got back to me, told me she would take it over, and she would need a couple of days to see if she can get a return approved. She promised she'd call back by the end of the week. So now we wait...again...for HP to call me back. This is why I'm done with having other people build my PCs.

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    TeamROG Moderator xeromist +100 xeromist +100 xeromist's Avatar
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    Regarding storage, here's what I do: Install Windows on the SSD and then do as much cleanup as I can to increase my free space. Disable hibernation, do a disk cleanup including the advanced options to remove excess system junk, disable the swap file if I have enough memory installed that I don't need it. Then I install all of my games on a spinning drive and use a program called SteamMover to move the ones I'm currently playing to the SSD. (this works for any folder, not just Steam games) When I'm done playing them for a while I will move them back to the spinning drive to free up space. This way I always have fast performance for the things I'm using most and plenty of storage for the things I need less often.

    ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z Intel 2600K DangerDen cooling 8GB G.Skill Trident
    ASUS GTX670 Patriot PyroSE SSD Antec Signature 650 PSU Antec Mini P180 [ ASUS G73JH ]


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    ROG Guru: Yellow Belt Silver Wolf +10 Silver Wolf's Avatar
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    You may also consider getting a Western Digital Caviar Black to replace the Seagate, although there is nothing wrong with Seagate drives the Caviar Black is a much faster drive (Almost as fast as having a 10k RPM drive ~2mb difference) although they are twice the price so you may not be able to afford it you would notice less of a performance gap between the SSD and the Black however if you are going to use it more as a storage drive and run everything off the SSD you could even go for a green drive to save some cash you can spend elsewhere in the build if you wanted

    As for HP If I was you I would call them every day until you get the resolution you want It took me four months of doing that to Lenovo to get the resolution I wanted but I got there in the end. Perhaps HP support will be better than Lenovo but Lenovo never called me back even once in 4 months so don't let them make you sit and wait for a call that doesn't come.
    Last edited by Silver Wolf; 01-09-2013 at 11:20 PM.

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    ROG Guru: Blue Belt Krindor +20
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    My personal recommendation on PSU is, NZXT Hale 90 which is a pretty low price gold rated PSU, while NZXT not being that big in PSU their PSUs have received great reviews and I use one in my build without problem. The second one is Corsair AX series, these are a bit more expensive compared to the Hale 90 but Corsair is a known quality PSU brand and most people recommend their PSU. I don't know that much about which Seasonic series is great as they don't really sell their PSUs in my country, but as Xeromist recommended take a look into their products. Corsairs AX series is actually made by Seasonic.

    Hope you're able to get a refund

    Some reasons for why building your own computer is better
    Cheaper
    Warranty, compared to the 1-2 years you get, most parts come with at least a 3 years long warranty and PSU with up to 7 years.
    More knowledge about computers
    You can have the computer look like you want.
    Last edited by Krindor; 01-09-2013 at 11:30 PM.
    | Chassi: Phantom Fulltower White Edition | Mobo: Maximus V Extreme | CPU: i7 3770k
    | Memory: 2x8gb G.Skill Trident X 2400mhz | GPU: PNY Geforce GTX 670 | PSU: NZXT Hale 90 750w
    | SSD: Intel 120gb 330 series (OS) | Intel 120gb 330 series (Games n stuff)
    | Monitor: LG 29EA93 | Cooling: Custom Loop

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    ROG Enthusiast CStingerGhost1 +10 CStingerGhost1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Wolf View Post
    You may also consider getting a Western Digital Caviar Black to replace the Seagate, although there is nothing wrong with Seagate drives the Caviar Black is a much faster drive (Almost as fast as having a 10k RPM drive ~2mb difference) although they are twice the price so you may not be able to afford it
    Yeah...twice the price will run me out of my budget.



    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Wolf View Post
    you could even go for a green drive to save some cash you can spend elsewhere in the build if you wanted
    Green drive? I don't follow. If the internet is telling me the truth, it lowers down to 5400 RPM when not in heavy use...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Wolf View Post
    As for HP If I was you I would call them every day until you get the resolution you want
    Yeah I'm gonna wait until Friday afternoon. If my case manager hasn't called back by then, I will call her. Hopefully I can get a refund. I don't see why not. And if I don't get a refund, HP's only other option is to replace the very nice laptop. In that case, I hope the replacement is defective. They'll definitely accept a refund after three lost PCs.

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