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Advice on new build!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi there fellas, I'll get right to the point.

I have a budget of ~£800, and am attempting to put together a computer for the purposes of rendering and gaming. I have the monitors and peripherals, excluding the wireless card, so it's really just the 'innards' I'm after. A friend put the following build together for me but suggested I come here for critique/advice.

As a heads up, I'm looking to cut down on the price if possible, without sacrificing the performance in any way.

PSU
OCZ ZS Series 650W - £55.98
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-psu-ocz-technology-zs-series-zs650w-uk-86-eff-80-plus-bronze-sli-crossfire-eps-12v-135mm-quiet-

Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 - £119.62
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68x-ud4-b3-intel-z68-s-1155-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-raid-sata-pcie-20-%28x16%29-atx

RAM
Corsair 8GB - £35.76
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-%282x4gb%29-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-pc3-12800-%281600%29-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-150v

CPU
Intel i5 2500k - £172.98
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlocked-s1155-sandy-bridge-quad-33ghz-hd3000-igp-850mhz-6mb-cache-95w-retail

GPU
6950 - £215.63
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-msi-hd-6950-twin-frozr-iii-power-edition-oc-pci-e-21-5200mhz-gddr5-gpu-850mhz-1408-cores

SSD
OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" SATA-3 Solid State Hard Drive - £72.49
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-075-OC&groupid=701&catid=2104&subcat=

HDD
2TB Samsung Spinpoint F4 - £87.84
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2tb-samsung-hd204ui-spinpoint-f4eg-sata-3gb-s-5400rpm-32mb-cache-89ms-ncq

Case
NZXT Gamma - £32.38
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/nzxt-gamma-all-black-mid-tower-performance-case-w-o-psu

CPU Fan
Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO - £22.78
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-evo-4-heat-pipes-direct-contact-with-120mm-quiet-fan-lga775-1155-1156-1366-am

Wireless Card
Edimax EW-7612Pin 300Mbps 802.11 b/g/n PCIe Adapter - £16.99
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/edimax-ew-7612pin-300mbps-wireless-80211-b-g-n-pci-express-adapter

DVD/RW - £13.55
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/samsung-writemaster-sh-s222ab-bebe-22x-dvdr-12x-dvdr-dvdplusrw-x8-rw-x6-sata-black-oem

Thanks in advance.
Edited by ohshoey - 1/31/12 at 4:39am
post #2 of 16
Looks alright but you list your SSD as a 60GB SSD Corsair Nova Series 2, but the link is an OCZ Agility 3. Which is it?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
It's the Agility, link's updated now. And yeah, mainly just trying to find anywhere i can save a bit of money on the setup if that's at all possible.
Edited by ohshoey - 1/31/12 at 4:49am
post #4 of 16
Looking good. The Vertex 3's are still better than the Agility 3's, but it's up to you. Also, if you want to wait till March/April, Intel's Ivy Bridge and Nvidia's Kepler will be coming out hopefully around then.
post #5 of 16
The updates I promised I'd try and look into for you:

Cheaper i5 2500k:
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/processors/intelcorei3,i5andi71155socket/bx80623i52500k.html

£167.99

It's still retail and that price includes shipping, so there's no downside to buying from them. Also, I've used Novatech before - they're a good company.



If the OCZ Agility III goes off of being on offer this one is the same price:
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/harddrives-internal/solidstate/upto128gb/agt3-25sat3-60g.html

Again, free shipping. Also, in my experience, Novatech is nicer to deal with than OcUK, although both are fairly reputable, the last time I was involved with them, OcUK were difficult to RMA with.


I don't think that you'll notice a difference between the Agility III and the Vertex III in practice, and the Agility is about £10-15 cheaper.



I don't know what software you'll be using for rendering, but if it's CUDA-compatible, you might consider a GTX 570 (but it's more expensive, so if you're not bothered about CUDA, probably best to ignore it. Also, because it's only got 1.25GB of vRAM, it's not ideal for multi-monitor gaming).


They also seem to have removed the motherboard (which is odd). Here are some alternatives:

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (£122.02)

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P

If I remember correctly, the top can use integrated graphics and the bottom one cannot, but has better power distribution?

Alternately:

ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 (£115.99)



Another set of RAM:

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (£34.99)

Lower heatspreaders that shouldn't get in the way of your CPU Cooler. Same price and specs smile.gif


Oh, and the 6950 is now out of stock (it wasn't the other day). They will likely get them back in soon, but if you can't wait, here are some cheaper elsewhere. I don't think they're quite as good as the MSI one, but they're still respectable editions:

HIS ATI Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2048MB (£199.99)
Also includes Deus Ex: HR. Will have to pay for shipping.

PowerColor AMD Radeon HD 6950 2048MB (£201.59)

Will have to pay for shipping.


Hope that helps. Might take another look later to see if you can combine different sites to get the best overall deal including shipping smile.gif
Little Messy
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The 1720 (Laptop)
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Phenom II x4 955 (@ 3.8) MSI 890GXM-G65 ASUS HD 6850 (@ 975/1125) G.Skill RipjawX 
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Samsung Eco Green Samsung F3 Sony DVD+-RW Writer CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 
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Windows 7 Home Premium Arch Linux Dell ST2420 Microsoft Reclusa 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W NZXT Vulcan Logitech MX518 
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Little Messy
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The 1720 (Laptop)
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Phenom II x4 955 (@ 3.8) MSI 890GXM-G65 ASUS HD 6850 (@ 975/1125) G.Skill RipjawX 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Eco Green Samsung F3 Sony DVD+-RW Writer CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium Arch Linux Dell ST2420 Microsoft Reclusa 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W NZXT Vulcan Logitech MX518 
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Core 2 Duo T8300 Dell's own 8600M 4.0GB Hyundai Electronics DDR2 
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250GB Hitachi / 250GB Samsung Windows Vista 32 bit 
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korlus View Post

The updates I promised I'd try and look into for you:
Oh, and the 6950 is now out of stock (it wasn't the other day). They will likely get them back in soon, but if you can't wait, here are some cheaper elsewhere. I don't think they're quite as good as the MSI one, but they're still respectable editions:
HIS ATI Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X Turbo 2048MB (£199.99)
Also includes Deus Ex: HR. Will have to pay for shipping.
PowerColor AMD Radeon HD 6950 2048MB (£201.59)
Will have to pay for shipping.
Hope that helps. Might take another look later to see if you can combine different sites to get the best overall deal including shipping smile.gif

I would stick with the MSI Twin Frozr III 6950 2gb because it has the highest chance to unlock to a 6970 besides reference cards.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Cheers pal, that's extremely helpful. Think i might wait until the MSI comes back in stock and then buy it all at once. For the mobo is it even needed to grab the one with integrated graphics? if not i'll just go for the one with better power distribution, save a few quid.
post #8 of 16
I'd recommend holding fire for a month or two on the GPU because the next series are just coming onto the market which means that newer graphics cards are available to you.

This'll not only mean the new cards will be better performance but the older cards will become cheaper to make them more competitive in the market ;p

By all means get other things like CPU case etc but wait with the GPU because if the price comes down far enough you maybe able to buy 2 cards for the same money that out perform your current choice =p

that's the only advice I have for you atm =p Personally I'm going to be buying a new card when I can so I'm waiting to see what Nvidia bring to the table and whether that'll introduce a new top dog in the performance leagues or a price shift ;D
Zues 2.0
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob3342421 View Post

I'd recommend holding fire for a month or two on the GPU because the next series are just coming onto the market which means that newer graphics cards are available to you.
This'll not only mean the new cards will be better performance but the older cards will become cheaper to make them more competitive in the market ;p
By all means get other things like CPU case etc but wait with the GPU because if the price comes down far enough you maybe able to buy 2 cards for the same money that out perform your current choice =p
that's the only advice I have for you atm =p Personally I'm going to be buying a new card when I can so I'm waiting to see what Nvidia bring to the table and whether that'll introduce a new top dog in the performance leagues or a price shift ;D

While the pricing is correct, I'm not sure I'd suggest going with older cards, purely because if you are looking at multi-monitor gaming, the 2GB is superior to the 1GB of cards further down the market.

The 7850/70 should be out soon, which will compete directly with this. If you feel like holding fire on the 6950 for about three to six months then you should get a better price for it when you do buy it... but that's how the majority of the computing industry is. If you wait six to nine months, the CPU should be cheaper (with Ivy Bridge due out soon).

Nvidia's new offering might interest you - again because the 570 is CUDA-enabled, so if its price falls it would be beneficial - but again, you have to think about how much you're going to appreciate this. Is it worth saving £20-50 to wait for six months? Personally, I'd just buy now and be happy you've had it to use for that long (presuming your current PC is nowhere near this in spec, at least).


I'd also agree that waiting on the MSI card is probably the best option. "Unlocking" is a great way to get "free" extra performance with no risk (due to dual BIOS), and the good cooler is great too.



Integrated graphics isn't essential, but it's nice to know that if your GPU dies (heavens forbid) that while you're getting a replacement (RMA etc.) you can still use the PC through integrated graphics.


If someone else can recommend an alternate motherboard, that would be great. Personally I would probably stay away from the ASRock board. Here is a thread about it:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1099829/asrock-z68-extreme3-gen3

The beginning looks good, but then they get into unrecognized graphics card problems, poor BIOS and problems overclocking. With that in mind, I'm going to stick to recommending either of the two Gigabyte boards.


According to this:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/asrock-z68-extreme4-asus-p8z68-v-pro-gigabyte-z68x-ud3h-b3,review-32188-8.html

The UD3-H uses only seven lanes (4+3 would be my guess, as I've never seen 5+x, and 6+1 seems unlikely but possible to me). I'm going to look into it further, but if it's 4+3, I'm not going to recommend it either. The -P version of the board would be better. Either that, or we can find you another one at a similar price but with internal GPU support.

Edit:

This seems like a very good buy:

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 (£126.87)

You just have to be careful of PCIe slots. You might have to put the wireless card in the bottom slot of you crossfire later on, because the top one looks almost completely blocked by the heatsink.

(Won't be a problem unless you're looking at tri-fire, which I don't believe you are).
Probably the best board listed so far.
Edited by Korlus - 1/31/12 at 8:58am
Little Messy
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Samsung Eco Green Samsung F3 Sony DVD+-RW Writer CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 
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Windows 7 Home Premium Arch Linux Dell ST2420 Microsoft Reclusa 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W NZXT Vulcan Logitech MX518 
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Little Messy
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The 1720 (Laptop)
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Phenom II x4 955 (@ 3.8) MSI 890GXM-G65 ASUS HD 6850 (@ 975/1125) G.Skill RipjawX 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Eco Green Samsung F3 Sony DVD+-RW Writer CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium Arch Linux Dell ST2420 Microsoft Reclusa 
PowerCaseMouse
OCZ StealthXStream II 600W NZXT Vulcan Logitech MX518 
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Core 2 Duo T8300 Dell's own 8600M 4.0GB Hyundai Electronics DDR2 
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob3342421 View Post

I'd recommend holding fire for a month or two on the GPU because the next series are just coming onto the market which means that newer graphics cards are available to you.
This'll not only mean the new cards will be better performance but the older cards will become cheaper to make them more competitive in the market ;p
By all means get other things like CPU case etc but wait with the GPU because if the price comes down far enough you maybe able to buy 2 cards for the same money that out perform your current choice =p
that's the only advice I have for you atm =p Personally I'm going to be buying a new card when I can so I'm waiting to see what Nvidia bring to the table and whether that'll introduce a new top dog in the performance leagues or a price shift ;D
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korlus View Post

While the pricing is correct, I'm not sure I'd suggest going with older cards, purely because if you are looking at multi-monitor gaming, the 2GB is superior to the 1GB of cards further down the market.
The 7850/70 should be out soon, which will compete directly with this. If you feel like holding fire on the 6950 for about three to six months then you should get a better price for it when you do buy it... but that's how the majority of the computing industry is. If you wait six to nine months, the CPU should be cheaper (with Ivy Bridge due out soon).
Nvidia's new offering might interest you - again because the 570 is CUDA-enabled, so if its price falls it would be beneficial - but again, you have to think about how much you're going to appreciate this. Is it worth saving £20-50 to wait for six months? Personally, I'd just buy now and be happy you've had it to use for that long (presuming your current PC is nowhere near this in spec, at least).
I'd also agree that waiting on the MSI card is probably the best option. "Unlocking" is a great way to get "free" extra performance with no risk (due to dual BIOS), and the good cooler is great too.
Integrated graphics isn't essential, but it's nice to know that if your GPU dies (heavens forbid) that while you're getting a replacement (RMA etc.) you can still use the PC through integrated graphics.
If someone else can recommend an alternate motherboard, that would be great. Personally I would probably stay away from the ASRock board. Here is a thread about it:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1099829/asrock-z68-extreme3-gen3
The beginning looks good, but then they get into unrecognized graphics card problems, poor BIOS and problems overclocking. With that in mind, I'm going to stick to recommending either of the two Gigabyte boards.
According to this:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/asrock-z68-extreme4-asus-p8z68-v-pro-gigabyte-z68x-ud3h-b3,review-32188-8.html
The UD3-H uses only seven lanes (4+3 would be my guess, as I've never seen 5+x, and 6+1 seems unlikely but possible to me). I'm going to look into it further, but if it's 4+3, I'm not going to recommend it either. The -P version of the board would be better. Either that, or we can find you another one at a similar price but with internal GPU support.
Edit:
This seems like a very good buy:
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 (£126.87)
You just have to be careful of PCIe slots. You might have to put the wireless card in the bottom slot of you crossfire later on, because the top one looks almost completely blocked by the heatsink.
(Won't be a problem unless you're looking at tri-fire, which I don't believe you are).
Probably the best board listed so far.

Just to let you know I'm not recommending an older card, tbh I'm not recommending any card atm. The reason I talked about older cards is because the OP has a 6950 (presuming he knows about the 7950 & 7970) that means he has chosen an older card on his own accord =/

If you were going out and buying a GPU tomorrow I'd think your an idiot (because of everything I've explained) but I'd recommend the 7950 and over clocking it based on what I've seen so far.

EDIT: ohshoey what are the specs of the system your using atm?
Edited by rob3342421 - 1/31/12 at 11:30am
Zues 2.0
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Lite on DVD Noctua NH-D14 Win10 Pro 64Bit 20" Samsung SyncMaster 2032BW 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
20" Samsung SyncMaster 2032BW Logitech G15 (orange revision) Silverstone ST1000-P 1000W Silverstone Fortress FT02 
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Zues 2.0
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Samasung 840 Evo Seagate Barracuda XT Western Digital RED WD60EFRX 3.5 Lite on BL Drive 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite on DVD Noctua NH-D14 Win10 Pro 64Bit 20" Samsung SyncMaster 2032BW 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
20" Samsung SyncMaster 2032BW Logitech G15 (orange revision) Silverstone ST1000-P 1000W Silverstone Fortress FT02 
MouseAudioAudioOther
Logitech G700 Logitech Z 2300 Turtle Beach Z60 Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 
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