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Hardcore Til I Die

thinking about building a PC

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I'm thinking about building a PC for the first time. Does anybody have any recommended resources to read before I attempt this?

Right now is probably a bad time to build a PC or Hackintosh.

Intel's Ivy Bridge processors are (supposedly) coming out in June of this year. Why not wait for them?

Microsoft's Windows 8 and Apple's Mountain Lion are also coming out later this year. If you're looking at a Hackintosh or just a normal PC, then you probably want to wait for them, too. However, if you're looking at a gaming PC, then you probably want to stick with Windows 7 because it is well-supported as of now.

USB 2.0 is dying out (and probably will become the new floppy disk within 3 years or so); USB 3.0 is quickly becoming the new standard. This would be a problem if you happen to buy a motherboard that doesn't support many USB 3.0 ports. Also, SSD is gaining popularity fast! I'm thinking that within 5 years from now, new computers would come with either SSD only or SSD + HDD.

Yeah, sure, you can upgrade. But that would cost additional money to replace the parts or software. Even then, for example, replacing an entire motherboard is no fun task.

My point is that right now is the time when we're saying goodbye to old technology like USB 2.0, CDs, Sandy Bridge, HDD, etc. How about wait for one or two more years before jumping into this? By then, we would have many more up-to-date guides compare to now.

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How does this look?

?129.98 - Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P

?89.99 - Processor - Core i3 2120

?44.99 - Memory - Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

?35.99 - PSU - Corsair CX 430W V2 ATX2.2 80 PLUS? Power Supply

?55.99 - SSD - OCZ Agility 3 SATA III 2.5" 60GB Solid State Hard Drive

?72.98 - HDD - Western Digital Caviar Green Power 1TB 64MB Cache Hard Disk Drive SATAII 300MB/s <8.9ms - OEM

?34.99 - Sound card - Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio - OEM

?47.98 - Case - Sharkoon T9 Value Gaming Case Black with Red LED Fans - (No PSU)

?73.98 - BR Rewriter - Samsung SN-506AB Slim Internal Blu Ray ReWriter Drive - OEM

TOTAL - ?586.87

Would be ordering everything from novatech.co.uk as they have very competitive prices :D

Thanks

Personally, if it is not out of your budget and raises the price just a little bit, Id go for the i5. i3 is budget orientated.

Other than that, looks pretty good.

Had no idea Blu ray writers have gotten so cheap (88 euros). Might invest in one in the future (although never needed)

You might be intrested in a Asus instead of a Creative as they are bitches with future driver support.

As for the sound you don't need a sound card, the onboard sound is all you need.

I completely disagree with this statement. A addon card gives you better quality. Yes, I agree that in most cases most people will NOT notice this and a on board is more than enough but still......

My point is that right now is the time when many things are reaching their end-of-life. How about wait for one or two more years before jumping into this? By then, we would have many more up-to-date guides compare to now.

Worst advice ever.

PC building is a "second by second" technology were what you buy today, is worth near nothing tommorow because technogly updates itself SO fast.......

Ivy Bridge may be the ONLY thing to wait for but then again, his price will shoot sky rocket.

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Worst advice ever.

PC building is a "second by second" technology were what you buy today, is worth near nothing tommorow because technogly updates itself SO fast.......

Ivy Bridge may be the ONLY thing to wait for but then again, his price will shoot sky rocket.

But for example, his choice of motherboard right now is Asus P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) Motherboard; it only has two USB 3.0 ports--and both of them are in the back. That's no good!

You're right; he's putting a lot of money into this. That's why we want this machine to at least stay with the technology for at least 5 years from now with minimal upgrading. Technology does advance fast, but it usually take an average of 3 years before the next new thing come out. If he buys that motherboard right now, he'd be regretting it 3 years from now.

Besides, SSD's prices are dropping. So he might be able to catch one on sale for pretty close to about the rate of $1 USD per 1GB later on (right now there's no reason to buy SSDs when they aren't on sale if we have a budget concern).

Just by waiting one more year, he would get much more up-to-date hardware with about the same price as of now--and he wouldn't need to upgrade anything (maybe with the exception of graphic card and OS) for 4 or 5 years down the road unless he's a heavy gamer.

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I'm sorry but I disagree with you on a few points. If you read his posts, his he's currently having issues with his computer and he's not a heavy gamer. Thus it's probably better to replace the system rather than wait and see for another year or spend more on his current setup to repair it or wait till the new Nvidia gfx cards come out.

An SSD brings quick boot times and responsive program launches. It's one of the 'must haves' on any new system unless you're on a tight budget. Plus installing the SSD later would bring further complications such as effort involved in rebuilding the OS.

The i3 is an extremely good processor giving great speed for its value. I doubt the i5 would be worth the extra investment and will add heat/noise to the system. Yes he could wait a month or two for Ivy Bridge, but would there be a significant benefit? I'm not so sure... Main perks are for laptop users to improve battery life.

More internal USB 3.0 may be nice (so you can just the front USB 3.0 connectors on your case) but it might be a moot point if you don't use them :) Up to you.

Oh one thought for the OP, you haven't included Windows 7 in your pricing. Not sure if you needed it but just to mention it in case...

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Good thinking on the PSU. I realize this is a budget system, but are you sure on that case ? Why not get something that doesnt have a light inside, and a window ? That case screams "Made in China with the cheapest material possible !"

Same price, just a normal, black case - much classier.

When you have more $$ and are ready to build a better rig - then it will be time to get some badass case with a window & lights.

The case is cheap, looks good (to me) and has good reviews - albeit a limited number of them :p

Nothing on this list is final though; this is a first for me so I'm open to suggestions.

Cheers.

For Case, I would suggest you to have a look at Fracture Design Mid Tower.

Excellent one (Y)

Looks like almost double the price - what would you say the advantages are? Thanks.

Newegg doesn't ship to the uk as far as I know :(

Right now is probably a bad time to build a PC or Hackintosh.

Intel's Ivy Bridge processors are (supposedly) coming out in June of this year. Why not wait for them?

Microsoft's Windows 8 and Apple's Mountain Lion are also coming out later this year. If you're looking at a Hackintosh or just a normal PC, then you probably want to wait for them, too. However, if you're looking at a gaming PC, then you probably want to stick with Windows 7 because it is well-supported as of now.

USB 2.0 is dying out (and probably will become the new floppy disk within 3 years or so); USB 3.0 is quickly becoming the new standard. This would be a problem if you happen to buy a motherboard that doesn't support many USB 3.0 ports. Also, SSD is gaining popularity fast! I'm thinking that within 5 years from now, new computers would come with either SSD only or SSD + HDD.

Yeah, sure, you can upgrade. But that would cost additional money to replace the parts or software. Even then, for example, replacing an entire motherboard is no fun task.

My point is that right now is the time when we're saying goodbye to old technology like USB 2.0, CDs, Sandy Bridge, HDD, etc. How about wait for one or two more years before jumping into this? By then, we would have many more up-to-date guides compare to now.

If my current pc wasn't having issues I wouldnt bother upgrading at all, but as it is I'm not sure I've got until June.

Personally, if it is not out of your budget and raises the price just a little bit, Id go for the i5. i3 is budget orientated.

Other than that, looks pretty good.

Had no idea Blu ray writers have gotten so cheap (88 euros). Might invest in one in the future (although never needed)

You might be intrested in a Asus instead of a Creative as they are bitches with future driver support.

I completely disagree with this statement. A addon card gives you better quality. Yes, I agree that in most cases most people will NOT notice this and a on board is more than enough but still......

Worst advice ever.

PC building is a "second by second" technology were what you buy today, is worth near nothing tommorow because technogly updates itself SO fast.......

Ivy Bridge may be the ONLY thing to wait for but then again, his price will shoot sky rocket.

My current E8400 is plenty fast enough for what I use it for, and the i3 I've looked at performs nearly twice as well in most benchmarks, so it'll be more than good enough I think. :D plus with the addition of the faster ram and ssd, it'll be a massive improvement.

But for example, his choice of motherboard right now is Asus P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) Motherboard; it only has two USB 3.0 ports--and both of them are in the back. That's no good!

You're right; he's putting a lot of money into this. That's why we want this machine to at least stay with the technology for at least 5 years from now with minimal upgrading. Technology does advance fast, but it usually take an average of 3 years before the next new thing come out. If he buys that motherboard right now, he'd be regretting it 3 years from now.

Besides, SSD's prices are dropping. So he might be able to catch one on sale for pretty close to about the rate of $1 USD per 1GB later on (right now there's no reason to buy SSDs when they aren't on sale if we have a budget concern).

Just by waiting one more year, he would get much more up-to-date hardware with about the same price as of now--and he wouldn't need to upgrade anything (maybe with the exception of graphic card and OS) for 4 or 5 years down the road unless he's a heavy gamer.

As previously stated my current pc is having issues so I'm not sure I can wait around to replace it. That said, the motherboard is probably the most important decision to make when building a new system and usb3 is one of the things I want support for. Most of the ones I've looked at only come with two usb3 ports..do you have any suggestions for ones that come with more?

I'm sorry but I disagree with you on a few points. If you read his posts, his he's currently having issues with his computer and he's not a heavy gamer. Thus it's probably better to replace the system rather than wait and see for another year or spend more on his current setup to repair it or wait till the new Nvidia gfx cards come out.

An SSD brings quick boot times and responsive program launches. It's one of the 'must haves' on any new system unless you're on a tight budget. Plus installing the SSD later would bring further complications such as effort involved in rebuilding the OS.

The i3 is an extremely good processor giving great speed for its value. I doubt the i5 would be worth the extra investment and will add heat/noise to the system. Yes he could wait a month or two for Ivy Bridge, but would there be a significant benefit? I'm not so sure... Main perks are for laptop users to improve battery life.

More internal USB 3.0 may be nice (so you can just the front USB 3.0 connectors on your case) but it might be a moot point if you don't use them :) Up to you.

Oh one thought for the OP, you haven't included Windows 7 in your pricing. Not sure if you needed it but just to mention it in case...

There's not that many peripherals that support USB at present but I want it to be somewhat future proofed, so extra USB3 ports would be great if it doesn't add too much to the overall cost.

Thanks for the advice, you understand the position I'm in :) I will need to buy windows 7 as I made the mistake of buying an upgrade edition which I won't be able to use on a new build :(

Edit:

Bearing in mind I'm not a gamer and mainly use my pc for photos, chatting, browsing, YouTube, does anybody think a dedicated gpu is actually worth it? The heaviest games I play are solitaire, FarmVille and bejewelled blitz :p

I watch the odd movie on my pc but mainly use my HDTV for that.

Not going to change as I prefer Xbox for gaming.

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To be honest, regarding the graphics card performance, just leave it be. It's simple to purchase and put in (just slot it in, install the drivers and move the monitor cable to it) if you notice any issues with choppy graphics performance during HD content.

I've not personally experienced the Intel 2000 so I can't completely say for sure if it's going to be necessery. :)

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Oh and it might be worth shopping about a bit, especially for that version of Windows :)

Here's a list from Aria.co.uk which do cheap prices and are reliable (I've not had an issue over the years). You might consider purchasing a few items from here to cut your costs further (e.g. Win 7 and motherboard).

Intel Core i3-2100 Retail - ?71.99

ASUS P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 - ?63.31

Windows Home Premium 7 OEM 64bit - ?58.75

8GB Corsair Vengeance Black (2x4GB) ?35.19

430W Corsair Builder Series 430CX - ?29.99

OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive - ?53.25

1TB Western Digital Caviar Green 3.5" - ?66.50

Sharkoon Vaya Value Black w/ USB3.0 - ?25.00

LG 10x Internal BluRay BD Combo - ?39.81

Total (inc vat & delivery) ?542.18

Oh and http://skinflint.co.uk/ is what I use to compare prices for parts. Be careful though to only choose big retailers :)

Whoops destroyed the formatting just now...

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The case is cheap, looks good (to me) and has good reviews - albeit a limited number of them :p

Nothing on this list is final though; this is a first for me so I'm open to suggestions.

Cheers.

Ultimately it's your decision which case you go for. Back when I built my first PC, I brought a similar design case and I was really disappointed with it. It turned out to look quite cheap and tacky and ended up being a ~?50 doorstop. I shelled out ?100 or so for an Antec case instead, which I still use it to this day. Your budget might not stretch that far but a machine I built for my brother a few years ago had an older variant of the following case which I loved the design and quality of:

http://www.ebuyer.co...-rc-330-kkpl-gp

I ended up learning from my mistake so just passing on my experience which may end up saving you some ??? and disappointment

*edit*

?72.98 - HDD - Western Digital Caviar Green Power 1TB 64MB Cache Hard Disk Drive SATAII 300MB/s <8.9ms - OEM

Have a look at Seagate's, I've had terrible experience with WD passport drives. I'm currently on my 5th replacement from them and I always recommend to friends to avoid WD like a plague.

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I currently have 4 drives by Western Digital that are between 1 to 4 years old. No issues with any of them.

The downside is the extra cost for cases is sometimes too much for most people. As he's not a gamer, and an i3 doesn't put out much heat I don't think it'll matter much which one he gets. The most he'll do is put in a small gfx card which has a tiny fan or a passive heat sink. If noise is an issue he can buy a Zalman fan controller for ?5.

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I would strongly suggest you to hold off for a month. With the new Ivy Bridge intel core i series, there will be a lot of improvement in the graphic area. You could stay still and watch how it goes.

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Oh and it might be worth shopping about a bit, especially for that version of Windows :)

Here's a list from Aria.co.uk which do cheap prices and are reliable (I've not had an issue over the years). You might consider purchasing a few items from here to cut your costs further (e.g. Win 7 and motherboard).

Intel Core i3-2100 Retail - ?71.99

ASUS P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 - ?63.31

Windows Home Premium 7 OEM 64bit - ?58.75

8GB Corsair Vengeance Black (2x4GB) ?35.19

430W Corsair Builder Series 430CX - ?29.99

OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive - ?53.25

1TB Western Digital Caviar Green 3.5" - ?66.50

Sharkoon Vaya Value Black w/ USB3.0 - ?25.00

LG 10x Internal BluRay BD Combo - ?39.81

Total (inc vat & delivery) ?542.18

Oh and http://skinflint.co.uk/ is what I use to compare prices for parts. Be careful though to only choose big retailers :)

Whoops destroyed the formatting just now...

Thanks. I've ordered from Aria before but only software, didn't realise it was cheaper than Novatech.

icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9CWDgwNjIzSTMyMTAwLmpwZw==.jpegIntel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail aria_truck.gif#43839 ? 71.99 ? 71.99 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9TT0YtTUNTLUdGQy0wMDU5OW5ldzEuanBn.jpegMICROSOFT Windows Home Premium 7 SP1 64-bit EN 1pk - OEM [GFC-02050] #38272 ? 58.75 ? 58.75 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9ibGFja192ZW5nX2R1YWxfMjUwLmpwZw==.jpeg8GB Corsair Vengeance Black LP (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz 1.5v Dual Channel Kit - CML8GX3M2A1600C9 #45511 ? 35.73 ? 35.73 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9DWDQzMF8yNTAuanBn.jpeg430W Corsair Builder Series 430CX V2 80PLUS Power Supply #42487 ? 29.99 ? 29.99 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9hM18yNTAuanBn.jpegOCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive #47600 ? 53.25 ? 53.25 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9XRDEwRUFSWC5qcGVn.jpeg1TB Western Digital Caviar Green 3.5" SATA III 6GB/s Internal Hard Drive [WD10EARX] #46313 ? 66.50 ? 66.50 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9hcmNfbWlkaV8yNTAuanBn.jpegFractal Design Arc Black Midi Tower Chassis w/ USB3.0 aria_truck.gif#45664 ? 54.99 ? 54.99 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9jaDEwbHMyOC5qcGc=.jpegLG 10x Internal BluRay BD Combo Retail Kit #48109 ? 39.81 ? 39.81 icon_delete.gif bWFpbmltYWdlcy9QOFo2OC1WTFhfMjUwLmpwZw==.jpegASUS P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard #48445 ? 63.31 ? 63.31

TOTAL (inc VAT & Delivery) - ?581.30

How does this look?

I'll probably need tools and a 2.5" to 3.5" converter so I can fit the SSD as well won't I?

That case has really good reviews and isn't massively more expensive than the one I was looking at, so might as well :)

With regards to the motherboard only having 2 USB3 ports, the only peripheral I think I'll need USB3 is an external hard drive for backup purposes.. can't think of anything else I would use that would need such a fast speed.

Ughh that formatting has gone bad... let me know if you can't read it very well and I'll fix it :p

Ultimately it's your decision which case you go for. Back when I built my first PC, I brought a similar design case and I was really disappointed with it. It turned out to look quite cheap and tacky and ended up being a ~?50 doorstop. I shelled out ?100 or so for an Antec case instead, which I still use it to this day. Your budget might not stretch that far but a machine I built for my brother a few years ago had an older variant of the following case which I loved the design and quality of:

http://www.ebuyer.co...-rc-330-kkpl-gp

I ended up learning from my mistake so just passing on my experience which may end up saving you some ??? and disappointment

*edit*

?72.98 - HDD - Western Digital Caviar Green Power 1TB 64MB Cache Hard Disk Drive SATAII 300MB/s <8.9ms - OEM

Have a look at Seagate's, I've had terrible experience with WD passport drives. I'm currently on my 5th replacement from them and I always recommend to friends to avoid WD like a plague.

Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look at the Seagates, although the WD Green drives get excellent reviews. Maybe you kept getting one from a bad batch or something?

I would strongly suggest you to hold off for a month. With the new Ivy Bridge intel core i series, there will be a lot of improvement in the graphic area. You could stay still and watch how it goes.

I won't be buying all of the components this month anyway. I don't want to use my savings for this so I'm just going to use what I've got in my current account - I'll probably only buy like the motherboard, case and RAM for now. If I hold off on the processor I can always change my mind later cant I :p

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This looks solid (Y)

Yes, you'll be able to fit the SSD, with a little work. :/

As for the HDD, both Seagate and WD are excellent. Choose whichever one is cheaper. They both offer terrific value for money

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This looks solid (Y)

Yes, you'll be able to fit the SSD, with a little work. :/

As for the HDD, both Seagate and WD are excellent. Choose whichever one is cheaper. They both offer terrific value for money

Mushkin Enhanced 2.5" Solid State Hard Drive Bracket - ?5.99

Can probably just add one of these.

I chose the WD Green because it gets great reviews for being a really quiet drive, and the price when compared to other 1TB drivers is competitive :D

Thanks

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Yup, that bracket will do.

Best of luck (Y)

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Yeah I that'll be a great build :) Congrats.

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Thanks for the help guys :D

Should hopefully be able to get the final parts next month when I get paid so I'll update this thread when I've got everything.

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Great alternative case. Do what you must, in the technology sector there will always be 'something new' around the corner so if you have that sort of frame of mind, you'll probably be waiting forever and also note new technology won't be any cheaper than what you're already set on buying.

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