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lowerstreet March 6, 2013 09:45 PM

Hoping to build a desktop
I was going to get a NCIX desktop but a friend suggested I get the parts individually. I had no idea where to start so I am beginning with what was suggested in the PC Builder for an i7 desktop which is $1800-ish. I was hoping more for $1500 but I do plan to use this desktop for a few years so I'm thinking maybe I should invest more for a better machine.

Any help would be greatly appreciated since I'm sort of doing this blind.

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

I want a computer that has quick start-up. I tend to multi-task so speed is important to me... I sometimes watch a video while working on Photoshop for photo-editing with a few internet browsers open for images with some website uploading and file backup in the background. I don't play games too often. Some of my friends who visit play games, so it would be nice to have that option but it's not too important to me.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
Around $1800+tax

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
Canada. I'm probably going to price-match and order/build from NCIX since there are stores near me.

4. IF YOU have a brand preference.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
I will just use my old monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers.

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
I've read some, but I don't know enough about the components to know how they would relate.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
I haven't bought any parts yet. I'm hoping to build it once I have the necessary info.

9. What resolution and settings do you use?

10. Are there any specific technologies you want?

- I would like an SSD to faster boot-up, and to put all my programs on, so the computer runs faster.
- USB 3.0 for sure, but also some USB 2.0 slots.
- In addition, I'm hoping for two 7200rpm hard drives, maybe 1 TB each (or one 1TB and one 2TB).
- A DVD Drive. I'm undecided on adding a Blu-ray drive too... I guess it could be good for storing data on discs, and watching movies.

- I'm looking for a case that is not too gigantic since I'm putting it on my desk. But I don't want the system to overheat or anything, plus I'll need at least 4 slots for SSD, two HDD and one DVD drive. It might be good to have a slot free in case I want to add something in the future. I've never done that before, but maybe I could save money by just buying one HDD now and then waiting for a sale and putting the second one in later.

I'm also hoping for case which is traditional/simple looking. My roommate hosts some out of towners sometimes and I don't want it to be too obvious that there are expensive components inside.


So this was the list that NCIX's PC Builder gave, so I'm using it as a starting point.

Intel Core i7 3770K Unlocked Quad Core Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.5GHZ Ivy Bridge 8MB Retail ($369.98)

Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H40 High Performance CPU Cooler System LGA1366 1155 AM3
120mm Fan ($69.99)

ASUS Sabertooth Z77 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 SLI 3PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 SATA3 HDMI DisplayPort USB3.0 Motherboard (249.99)

Corsair Vengeance Black CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 16GB 2X8GB DDR3-1600 CL10 1.5V Dual Channel Memory Kit ($110.80)

GeForce GTX 670 2GB GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E 3.0 ($429.98)

No power supply

Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA3 64MB Cache 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive ($109.98)

Intel 520 Series 120GB 2.5IN SSD MLC 25nm SATA3 Solid State Disk Drive Retail W/ Mounting Bracket (159.99)

ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black ($24.98)

Dzzope March 7, 2013 03:49 AM

Ok.. If you don't game much you can get a cheaper gpu 660ti should be plenty.
The motherboard is also a bit on the expensive side for your needs, $150 board will be plenty.
an i5 3570k will be enough for your usage (at least it would for me with the use you listed)
The i7 only really comes into it's own with more apps or rendering etc. You will see a bit of difference but $100 worth? Your shout.
H40 not worth it. Hyper212 is good and cheap
I would double the ssd, You will find that 120gb will fill quickly.
No psu listed?
Personally, seagate with 1yr warranty on their hdds is not what I would use for important data. Wd blue would be my choice at the minimum.

LHN91 March 7, 2013 05:04 PM

Only real modification of Dzzope's recommendations I would make would be to drop the GPU one step further to a 660, as you don't game much; and possibly hanging onto that 3770k. The 660 would be plenty for occasional gaming, and the 3770 would give you just a touch more future proofing.

bonanza2000 March 7, 2013 05:35 PM

Cases tend to be a very personal choice.

I guess I would look at motherboard and cases to see what size you want for your desk. You list an ATX board but you might want to expand your MB selection and look at Micro ATX and mini-ITX boards if size on your desk matters. I have used Corsair, Coolermaster, and Silverstone cases and like all of them for different reasons.
This Micro ATX case might work for you if you want smaller - 2 external bays and 4 internal with usb 3
SilverStone PS08B Black High-strength plastic and meshed front panel MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Newegg.com
only 2 internal bays here but smaller
SilverStone Sugo Series SG02B-F-USB3.0 ABS / SECC Steel MicroATX Desktop Computer Case with 2 x USB3.0 ports (Black) - Newegg.com

ATX cases:
SilverStone SST-RL01B-USB 3.0 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Newegg.com
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Newegg.com

Lots of choices but a good case can make your build easier and keep your board cool

lowerstreet March 7, 2013 08:03 PM

Thanks for the help so far with the practical advice.

I will replace the GPU with 660:
ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II 980MHZ 2GB 6.0GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI DP HDCP PCI-E DX11 Video Card ($244.99)

Will also replace the Cooler with:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120mm (29.98)

Switched to WD Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM 64MB Cache 3.5in Hard Drive OEM ($78.98)

Went for 256 GB SSD:
Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5in 256GB SATA3 MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ($199.99)

I'll keep the i7 3770K for now, though I agree it might not be worth the extra hundred.

I guess my remaining decisions would be:

1. It was suggested I get a cheaper $150 motherboard. Any suggestions? What should I be looking for?

2. I like the look of the Carbide case suggested above, and it's a bit smaller than than Antec P280 I had originally.

Carbide Series 300R Compact ATX Case, Black ($79.99)

My only worry is the reviews said there was only USB 3.0. There is one program/device I use which only work on USB 2.0.

This may be a dumb question. I know desktops usually have USB plug-ins at the front and the back. Is that all from the case? Or does it have something to do with the motherboard?

3. Power supply - the NCIX suggested build didn't have anything for this, so I don't know where to start.

4. Are Blu-ray drives both burners and readers? Is this useful instead of a plain DVD drive, or could I easily just get an external one in the future?

5. Am I missing anything else?
I don't need to choose anything for the Ethernet? I do have a cable that I can plug in. I usually use wireless on my laptop but I guess I will need to buy an external USB adapter for that?


3.0charlie March 7, 2013 08:28 PM

1. No oc, 6 sata ports, USB3, USB2, I'd get this one: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Z77 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA3 DVI HDMI CrossFireX USB3.0 Motherboard
2. Carbide: USB3 ports on case; USB2 ports are on the I/o board panel.
3. PSU: Silverstone Strider Gold ST55F-G 550W ATX 12V 80PLUS Gold Power Supply Active PFC 120mm Fan
4. I never use DVD players, nor Blu-ray in any of my rigs. I have an external DVD (Samsung) that uses USB ports when I need one.
5. Get the cheapest ram since you will not be oc'ing. Also, I would opt for this SSD (our resident SSD guru gave it some great marks): SanDisk Extreme 240GB 2.5in SSD SATA3 SDSSDX-240G-G25 Solid State Drive

Ethernet port is part of the motherboard. Simply use the cable you mentioned.

SSD review: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...sd-review.html

lowerstreet March 8, 2013 09:28 PM

Thanks for reminding me I forgot RAM. Is 16GB is the usual for the system I'm building? Or should I be going for 8GB. I guess I will be buying two sticks of something.

NCIX Builder's default Corsair Vengeance Black CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 16GB 2X8GB DDR3-1600 CL10 1.5V Dual Channel Memory Kit ($110.52)

Should I aim for cheaper than that? If so, which company?

3.0charlie March 9, 2013 10:57 AM

8Gb is plenty. Gskill, Mushkin, Corsair... DDR3-1333 is fine.

lowerstreet March 19, 2013 06:45 PM

I've put this order through but it has been delayed since this seems to be out of stock:

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120mm (29.98)

Would you suggest this one? It looks very similar.
NCIX.com - Reviews of Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366/1155/1156/2011 120mm - RR-212E-20PK-R2.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366/1155/1156/2011 120mm ($34.98)

Or something else entirely?

I'm also trying to decide whether to add extra fans on the Carbide 300R. I'm not overclocking, but I read the hard drives could get hot?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

I ended up getting Kingston ram since it was on sale.

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