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Old 05-18-2011, 09:11 AM   #1
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Default First build project advice please thank you

Hi everyone I am thinking of building my first computer at the moment I am running a Dell XPS 720 with a Q6600 CPU and an Nvidida 8800 GTX, this is serving me well at the moment but is becoming rather old, I very much like the case and wish to go for something along a similar line, unfortunately all of the Dell 700 series cases are BTX form factor which I have been told by several people it is more trouble than it is worth to try and convert to ATX form apparently now there is a Dell 730 which is ATX form which if I can get a suitable Dell motherboard I will, if not I will look to your advice as what to get, I intend to use an i7 processor and there is a choice of two I am looking at they are an Intel r core TM i7-960 3.2 ghz 8m and the second is a Turbocharged Extreme Intel i7 950 4.4ghz CPU 1366 (these are both on eBay at the moment) apparently both of these processors are very powerful and get hot under load so again I am looking to you for advice on cooling should I go for liquid or fan cooling and which system, if I go for liquid I will want to cool everything that needs cooling with liquid or if fans which ones I have been looking at the Dell H2C systems but they are horrendously expensive and I have not heard anything about there reliability or performance and they are a sealed system. I have not decided on a GPU as yet and would not be averse to high end second user unit again advice please. I realise this is a lot in one question but I would appreciate your advice on all or part you might have knowledge of, by the way I am situated in the UK. Many thanks Chris
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

How much do you want to spend?
What are you going to use your computer for?
What type of games, if any, are you going to be playing?
How much do you want to spend?
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

Hi Grumpy and thanks for your reply, I have now actually bought a dell 730x barebone unit so I am already to go, as far as money goes I will spend what it takes but it might take me a long time and the more I look at motherboards, cpu's, etc the more I get lost, I am looking to build a computer that will give me the knowledge of what and how it does it and will be upgradeable forever but I doubt if I will get it, ideally I want something that is the best at the time of build finish and will handle everything thrown at it, obviously thinking of the pocket I have no problem with second user parts as long as they are currently up to date, I am not a game player but that does not mean I will not try it out and may even like it, so if you have any suggestions and ideas throw them at me and lets go from there many thanks Chris
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

Hi Chris,

Firstly, try to break up your points in your posts if possible. Its very hard to keep reading the massive chunk of text and remembering each individual point! And also, as there is no full stop I keep reading on and on, and forgetting what was said!
Im not moaning, just would be a little easier on the eye!

Now, as you originally pointed out, the i7's are pretty powerful beasts in terms of CPU's. You probably wont need something that powerful, and can save yourself a fair bit of money by 'downgrading' slightly, and still have fairly modern day performance and parts.
Perhaps and i5 processor, or the sandybridge processors. (Offcourse there is the AMD option too, with a phenom II x 4 or 6 core CPU)

You say you have bought a bare bones, you are building including that? or completely from scratch? We would need to know whats in the barebones, and what you are willing to use.

And finally a rough estimate for a budget (Inc any parts) are we talking 400-500, 1500-2000? You say

Quote:
as far as money goes I will spend what it takes
and also

Quote:
obviously thinking of the pocket
SO I cant really gauge where we are at.

And a final point, Forget about Liquid cooling, as it often adds quite a lot of cost, is tricky to do, especially if you dont have experience, and more than likely, you wont need it, as a decent branded cooler should be more than ample, as long as you arent overclocking like crazy.

Let us know - Luke!
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

the biggest problem with trying to utilize OEM cases (such as Dell, HP etc) is that each case is specifically tayored to hold the specific Power unit, motherboard, drives, cards etc. that are in there by default. For example, the motherboard from your 720 probably wouldn't fit in many other cases, because BTX is an all-but discarded form factor. BTX never really caught on, so i'll be damned if you can find a BTX motherboard in the spec you want. I recommend looking at Cooler Master cases, and perhaps Lian Li or antec - since many of them hold the kooky 'gamer' looks, specifically say the windowed Lian Li cases or the CM HAF X. The case is very important for several reasons.

1. Cooling - the better the airflow in the case, the better the cooling will be. Also, certain cases will require mods to hold liquid cooling radiators/blocks, whereas others have facilities for Liquid cooling by standard. Also, people who use beefy CPUs usually prefer a Beefy cooler - obviously if the cooler is taller than the case is wide then it won't fit.

2. Form factor - a Micro-ATX case won't hold an ATX Board (like trying to put a big stone in a small gap) but the majority of ATX cases will hold ATX boards.

3. Space - If the case if to small, and you pick a GPU with a very long board, then you're going to have problems fitting it in. Say for example, the Gigabyte HD 6950.


Right now, the most popular enthusiast CPUs for builds are definitely Intel's new 1155 Sandy Bridge chips. They don't cost a whole lot more than the 1st generation Core series, and run cooler and faster. You can pick up an i5 2500k for around 160 (i notice you're in the UK, so this is pretty easy for me to recommend parts to you)

Scan.co.uk: Intel CPU Core i5 2500K Unlocked Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor - BX80623I52500K

This is one of the best chips i've come across for new builders - It's dead simple to install and presents very few problems now that Intel have sorted out the chipset issues.

Back on the subject of cases, you could look at NZXT - they almost embody that insane design we like so much

Scan.co.uk: NZXT M59 Black Mid Tower Computer Case

As for motherboards, since i recommended the 2500k, i also recommend this 1155 motherboard.

Scan.co.uk: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 Intel P67 Express Socket 1155 Motherboard - GA-P67A-UD4/B3

it's middle-of-the-range ans good value IMHO.

As for power units to power it all, 650W of high-quality branded PSU would suffice, for example

Scan.co.uk: Lian-Li Maxima Force PS-A650GB 650W Power Supply (PSU)

High performance memory is pretty cheap in modern times, i recommend this

Scan.co.uk: Corsair Memory Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop - CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9

And obviously, the gamer's best friend - the GPU; If you want to stick with NVIDIA, go with

Scan.co.uk: EVGA GTX460 SSC Super SuperClock NVIDIA Graphics Card - 1GB - 01G-P3-1380-KR

or if you fancy a change, i recommend

Scan.co.uk: MSI HD 6870 HAWK ATI - AMD Radeon Graphics Card with Twin Frozr III fan - 1GB+ Free Shogun 2* - R6870 Hawk

Hard drives and such are dependent on what you want out of them, so i'll leave that to you. I know I sort of went off a little here, but i wouldn't like the idea of spending alot on the previous generation of i7 when the newer i5s have so much more to offer, and run cooler too.

Speaking of which, You can get a 'liquid' cooler that is entirely hassle-free, but it's only for your CPU, and it's a bit of a gimmick, but it certainly does the job.

Scan.co.uk: Corsair H70 Hydro Series CPU Cooler - CWCH70

^_^
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

Hi Luke firstly I apologise for my grammar I wish I could find a spell check that does it but hopefully I will improve with time. The questions you are asking me all make sense but from my end I really do not want to buy an i5 and then 6 months later kick myself and wish I had got an i7, I am pleased you mentioned the alternatives because I do not know what a sandybridge CPU is or how it compares to an i7 or the AMD option ? As regards cost I would much rather go for second user parts of a higher quality than I would get buying new. Now lets talk about whats in the box and what it is. It is a Dell XPS 730X it has a 1kw PSU and from what I can see all the wiring and cables, it has internal and external LED lighting there is a small board next to the motherboard tray which is present and I believe that board controls fans and lighting. It has no drives at all, no motherboard no CPU, no heatsink, no GPU, There is a small board that is marked rear fan very close to the backplate but no rear fan, there is a fan at the front end which in the normal Dell configuration I believe is connected with a shroud to the CPU heatsink, I will post this first and then I will attempt to upload a few pics of it so you will have a better idea of what I am talking about. I will sign off now and attempt the pics but do not hold your breath many thanks Chris PS I forgot to add this Dell case is ATX form factor and I am told by the seller it is suitable for just about any ATX factor motherboard
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

A Sandy Bridge CPU is the newer, faster, cooler range of i3, i5 and i7 processors.

Sandy Bridge 1155 i5 2500k is much better IMHO than any 1st gen i7.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

Hi again everyone I would like to ask for some advice on uploading images so you people will have a better idea of what I am talking about with me being no expert I am sure 1 picture must be worth at least a 10000 words anyway I have found the tag for uploading images in the advanced reply section but it is asking me for a URL how do I go about this the pictures at the moment are sitting in my pictures library on this computer can anyone tell me how I get them to you also would I be right in thinking the physical difference in the second generation CPU'S and the first generation is the socket size being 1155 as opposed to 1366 many thanks Chris
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: First build project advice please thank you

i7-980x -> Socket 1366, 45mn architecture

i7-2600k -> socket 1155, 45nm architecture.


also, create an account on Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket or use www.imageshack.us, host the pictures then link to them with the IMG tags.
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