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Knowledge wanted for first new build...


aaportnell
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First off i would like to apologise for how long this will probably turn out to be! i have many questions that i will inject all over the place so any help / opinions / answers will be much appreciated. Sorry if I am repeating previous questions from other threads!

 

I have decided to build myself a pc. I am a bit of geek but there are some concepts that escape me when it comes to the internals of a pc.

 

It will be primarily used for gaming (crisis, half-life, COD) and as a media centre. I also like to dabble in video editing which is one of the main reasons I want something more powerful than what I have currently. I use Autodesk AutoCAD at work and will probably end up installing this to use on it too.

 

My limit is £1000 so about 1600USD but I am willing to spend more, ill just have to wait till I can build up the funds!

 

I have already bought a couple of things to start but am beginning to think these may have been a bad idea, I am willing to sell exchange for different depending on what ideas I get in this thread.

Currently, I am in possession of a Corsair TX 650W, some ceramique (on orders from the sticky in this forum) and an Asus P7P55 Pro Motherboard and have my eyes on a case (Thermaltake Armor+ Full Tower).

If you would recommend something different for motherboard, PSU, and case im all ears!

 

 

I want to learn about overclocking too, what methods are safest / easiest?

 

 

 

I am looking an Intel i7 2.93GHz (LGA1156 Socket) - comments?

 

Undecided on video card - Any ideas? I want to be able to run 2 screens, I have a 22” monitor and a 32” TV that once fixed will serve as the other, both similar resolution 1680 x 1050.

If someone could explain SLI in detail to me that would be much appreciated and how compatibility works! If I run 2 video cards do they need to be the same? Or just the same speed / size?

 

Taking the 1TB HDD from my current pc and probably the 320GB HDD too. (unsure of model but will post if I find out)

I have been toying with the idea of getting an SSD to run windows (Windows 7 Home premium x64 (probably)) and other main programs like office, video editing software and games. Is this a good idea? Is it worth t for the extra speed?

Also, is it possible to intall windows to a flash drive and leave it in the case and run windows from that? Or should I be shot for thinking that?!

 

RAM - wanting to start out with 4GB (I think the motherboard has 6 slots (I am vaguely aware of how to install RAM when it comes to which slots you put them in so a bit of extra info on that would be nice)

What is the difference between 4 x 1GB over 1 x 4GB (I want to be able to increase in the future)?

 

Cooling - I was going to stick with air cooling - any recommendations ( the case supports a liquid cooling system so I might upgrade in the future when I have money)

 

I wanted to get fan controls on the front for when its not working hard I can switch them off. (5 fans - 4 in case and was going to install an extra one in the base) - any recommendations / comments

 

Also, as my PC the centrepiece of the lounge (student living with 4 others, we use it as a TV) I was going to add something similar to the Antec Multimedia Station Premier / Elite - are there any others out there that are similar (IR remote is important!) as I cant seem to find any others)

 

Any tips and ideas will be much appreciated and apologies for the length and wording of some of the question, I tried!

 

Thanks for any help!

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First off i would like to apologise for how long this will probably turn out to be! i have many questions that i will inject all over the place so any help / opinions / answers will be much appreciated. Sorry if I am repeating previous questions from other threads!

 

I have decided to build myself a pc. I am a bit of geek but there are some concepts that escape me when it comes to the internals of a pc.

 

It will be primarily used for gaming (crisis, half-life, COD) and as a media centre. I also like to dabble in video editing which is one of the main reasons I want something more powerful than what I have currently. I use Autodesk AutoCAD at work and will probably end up installing this to use on it too.

 

My limit is £1000 so about 1600USD but I am willing to spend more, ill just have to wait till I can build up the funds!

 

I have already bought a couple of things to start but am beginning to think these may have been a bad idea, I am willing to sell exchange for different depending on what ideas I get in this thread.

Currently, I am in possession of a Corsair TX 650W, some ceramique (on orders from the sticky in this forum) and an Asus P7P55 Pro Motherboard and have my eyes on a case (Thermaltake Armor+ Full Tower).

If you would recommend something different for motherboard, PSU, and case im all ears!

 

 

I want to learn about overclocking too, what methods are safest / easiest?

 

 

 

I am looking an Intel i7 2.93GHz (LGA1156 Socket) - comments?

 

Undecided on video card - Any ideas? I want to be able to run 2 screens, I have a 22” monitor and a 32” TV that once fixed will serve as the other, both similar resolution 1680 x 1050.

If someone could explain SLI in detail to me that would be much appreciated and how compatibility works! If I run 2 video cards do they need to be the same? Or just the same speed / size?

 

Taking the 1TB HDD from my current pc and probably the 320GB HDD too. (unsure of model but will post if I find out)

I have been toying with the idea of getting an SSD to run windows (Windows 7 Home premium x64 (probably)) and other main programs like office, video editing software and games. Is this a good idea? Is it worth t for the extra speed?

Also, is it possible to intall windows to a flash drive and leave it in the case and run windows from that? Or should I be shot for thinking that?!

 

RAM - wanting to start out with 4GB (I think the motherboard has 6 slots (I am vaguely aware of how to install RAM when it comes to which slots you put them in so a bit of extra info on that would be nice)

What is the difference between 4 x 1GB over 1 x 4GB (I want to be able to increase in the future)?

 

Cooling - I was going to stick with air cooling - any recommendations ( the case supports a liquid cooling system so I might upgrade in the future when I have money)

 

I wanted to get fan controls on the front for when its not working hard I can switch them off. (5 fans - 4 in case and was going to install an extra one in the base) - any recommendations / comments

 

Also, as my PC the centrepiece of the lounge (student living with 4 others, we use it as a TV) I was going to add something similar to the Antec Multimedia Station Premier / Elite - are there any others out there that are similar (IR remote is important!) as I cant seem to find any others)

 

Any tips and ideas will be much appreciated and apologies for the length and wording of some of the question, I tried!

 

Thanks for any help!

 

Ok, welcome to OCC. Forgive me if I forget to mention something or this is a little random. :whistling:

 

Skip the LGA 1156 platform. If you want i7, go for 1366. It's a little more solid platform with better future upgradability paths. I'd start out with a i7 930, decent motherboard with SATA3 and USB3, and 3x2GB of memory. The 1366 motherboards usually will have 6 slots, so...if you needed more RAM than 6GB, you can have 12GB / 6 DIMMs as your upgrade path. To get 4GB memory modules, you'll pay a hefty premium.

 

As for why you should run more modules...here's the main reason: multiple channel support natively exists for modern processors. 1156 processors and AM3 are dual channel (multiples of 2 modules). 1366 processors are triple channel (multiples of 3 modules). If you're only running one DIMM, you're sacrificing performance. It may be immediately noticeable in some programs, not noticeable in others.

 

The Corsair TX650 is a solid performer. I have never had trouble using Ceramique - just follow the instructions on the Arctic Silver website. The instructions are CPU specific (because of the location of cores).

 

I outgrew full tower cases - especially after working with some very good mid-tower cases. There's still plenty of space to fit a lot of components in. The Armor is huge. I've had mine (original style) for probably 6 or 7 years. Maybe you can look at some in a local computer store? :thumbsup:

 

There are plenty of guides on the internet for overclocking. It's a pretty simple concept. You have two things that really determine your speed (i.e. CPU). A reference clock speed (FSB, bclock, etc) and a multiplier. Some processors have unlocked multipliers, so it is really simple to just increase that. Other CPUs don't, meaning you have to increase the reference speed, and pay attention to other settings that may change as well (like memory speed - there are also multipliers for this as well - dividers if you will...). My main advice is three things - read first, use BIOS to change the settings, and last, but not least, have very good cooling for whatever component - primarily the CPU.

 

SLI requires the same GPU chip inside the card. Memory and speed are not important - although if they are different you will probably not use all of the capability of the individual cards...

 

Fan controllers are nice. I liked having them when I did, but, with quiet fans, they become pretty useless :popcorn: Turning off one or two may lower the noise slightly, but it won't make the computer drastically quieter (like turning them all off). You'll want to have some on for circulation. i7's are hot and produce much heat. :teehee:

 

Can't speak on finding a remote, but they're definitely out there. I'm trying to find where I stashed my XP MCE edition remote for my HTPC :biggrin:

 

Oh, and W7 is very nice. Do get the x64 version!

 

 

No advice on the SSD yet - the performance does seem quite nice, but at a cost. My Caviar Black is cheap and still moderately fast :) As to the flash drive - don't bother. It may work with a lot of headache - but you'll have quite a hefty latency because of the USB interface (compared to SATA2 or SATA3).

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Skip the LGA 1156 platform. If you want i7, go for 1366. It's a little more solid platform with better future upgradability paths. I'd start out with a i7 930, decent motherboard with SATA3 and USB3, and 3x2GB of memory. The 1366 motherboards usually will have 6 slots, so...if you needed more RAM than 6GB, you can have 12GB / 6 DIMMs as your upgrade path. To get 4GB memory modules, you'll pay a hefty premium.

 

As for why you should run more modules...here's the main reason: multiple channel support natively exists for modern processors. 1156 processors and AM3 are dual channel (multiples of 2 modules). 1366 processors are triple channel (multiples of 3 modules). If you're only running one DIMM, you're sacrificing performance. It may be immediately noticeable in some programs, not noticeable in others.

 

 

 

SLI requires the same GPU chip inside the card. Memory and speed are not important - although if they are different you will probably not use all of the capability of the individual cards...

 

 

 

Many thanks CrazyNate, very useful,

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