Prevent Super Crazy Computer Implosion 2011
November 23, 2011 12:26 AM   Subscribe

First time building a I doing this correctly?

After doing some research and reading reviews on Newegg for many hours I think I have compiled a pretty decent wish list for my new computer. But I am a n00b at this sort of thing and I am concerned that computer components I have chosen aren't compatible/will overheat/not work. My goal is to make a PC that can I play fairly recent games (like Skyrim on the highest setting would be awesome) and also be able do some graphic/video work. I also would like to be able to connect multiple monitors to it at some point.

Screenshot of wish list here

So...did I miss anything? Do I need to change/add any components? I turn to you good people of Ask for help in my computer building endeavor. Thanks! :)
posted by littlesq to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Seems okay to me. I would get the 2500k instead and save $100+. The performance difference is negligible. And do you need a case?
posted by seattlejeff at 12:53 AM on November 23, 2011

I don't see any specific incompatibilities. The motherboard says it supports four DDR3 1600 modules, which matches the memory you selected. It has the PCI-E x16 slot for the graphics board. You might verify whether the graphics card draws all its power from the PCI-E slot or if it requires a separate power connector (a few do, but mostly very-high-performance ones). In any case, your power supply has a separate PCI-E power connector and the SATA connector you need. You have a SATA 6Gb connection on the motherboard and the MB comes with data cables.

I think your list is complete except for the case -- if you don't already have a case for it you'll need to add that to the list.
posted by jdwhite at 12:56 AM on November 23, 2011

Just FYI, the power supply you've picked only has one 6-pin connector, which the 560 Ti requires two of. You can buy adapters, but it might be better to buy a slightly beefier power supply anyway.

I'm not sure you're going to get much use out of 16GB of RAM. 4 or 8GB would be more than enough for most usage scenarios. I don't think Skyrim can currently utilise more than 2GB of RAM due to coding issues anyway, although this limit might be modded out in the future. Also, an i5 2500k will probably do just as good a job as the i7 in most cases, and it will save you $100 or so.

Skyrim seems to have pretty modest graphics requirements (I haven't played it personally), so I'd guess a 560 Ti should work well with that and most other games. Multiple monitors should not be an issue.

Good luck!
posted by fearthehat at 12:57 AM on November 23, 2011

I don't see a case or a dvd drive. You may want to get a higher end case with more fans if you're worried about cooling.
The motherboard should include cables but you may want small cable ties to hold everything in place.

Remember, with this video card you'll need a DVI monitor or two.
posted by Megafly at 1:02 AM on November 23, 2011

I would get a beefier power supply, that's at low end of what will work for you, and is unlikely to allow for future expansion. Maybe look at a Corsair supply, like 700W?

Your sound card is fine, but I personally would skip it for now, see if I were happy with the on-board sound with my speakers, and update the sound card later if not (unless you have high-end speakers, I doubt you'll be able to notice the difference).

16GB of ram is nice, but the performance benefit over 8GB may be negligible, and this is easy to upgrade later as necessary. I would reallocate the $45 you could save from going to 8 towards the power supply.

Agree that a 2500K is nearly as good, and a nice way to save money.

Agree that now is a good time to think of investing in a nice monitor or three.
posted by deadweightloss at 1:09 AM on November 23, 2011


430W is WAY too light for that graphics card. Its product page specifies a 500W minimum PSU. Shoot for 600. Additionally, the +12v rails are only running at 14 and 15 amps -- you'll probably want at least 20 amps, with an eye on 25 or more. Not feeding your graphics card enough juice is the fast track to annoying and hard-to-diagnose system crashes.

And unless that sound card has some specific feature that you need, it's redundant because the motherboard has integrated 8-channel audio.
posted by clorox at 1:17 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yep, get a better power supply. Also make sure the power supply you get has enough of the right kinds of connectors for your graphics card. My brother bought a cheap PSU and had to return it when we realised it didn't have the kind of adapter(s) he needed. I'd strongly suggest ditching the extra 8GB of RAM and the sound card (unless you know you'll need it for something specific) and putting the excess money towards a really good PSU by a well-known brand.

Everything else looks good, though. And if you're nervous about putting the parts together once you get them, don't be! It's really not very complicated. Follow the instructions that come with your motherboard, take it slow, and you'll be fine.
posted by anaximander at 1:35 AM on November 23, 2011

Better power supply. Never skimp on the power supply.
posted by eriko at 3:27 AM on November 23, 2011

Agreed with most of the folks above, definitely go for a better power supply, and you can very likely ditch the soundcard unless you're an audiophile or something.

As for the RAM, I kinda disagree... unless you're very price conscious, at $85 it's cheap enough that for me it'd be worth just getting 16gb now so you don't have to open up the case again in a year when you decide you want more RAM.

If you're really not cost conscious at all, then I'd maybe take a look at some SSDs to put your OS on and keep the 1TB drive for your pictures/music/etc.

Also, this is a pretty good power supply, though it's double the cost of the one on your list:
Corsair 650W
posted by Grither at 5:16 AM on November 23, 2011

I also disagree with people who advise cutting back on RAM. When you're putting as much high-performance gear as this in a PC, you'll probably find it keeps on working well for you for quite some years, and that when it does start showing its age the first place that will show is in having what will by then be considered an inadequate quantity of RAM.

I have never regretted fitting ludicrously huge amounts of RAM to a new computer. Disk capacity costs less per byte every year, and SATA looks pretty stable as these things go, so you will probably not have trouble upgrading disk capacity later; but new software has an insatiable appetite for RAM above all else, RAM is subject to generational shifts, and older RAM technologies do become expensive fairly soon after the new ones arrive.
posted by flabdablet at 6:01 AM on November 23, 2011

Your GPU requires a minimum 500W GPU, as others have said.
I would buy a bigger hard-disk seeing as the recent floods in Thailand have left the supply chain very, very short of stock (roughly 50M short Q42011) and it's not going to get better in the short to medium term (next 18-24 months or so).
posted by SyntacticSugar at 6:20 AM on November 23, 2011

For graphic/video work, the hyperthreading feature of the 2600k (which the 2500k doesn't have) is often useful, and can result in much better performance, especially in rendering. For gaming, much less so. If graphic/video work is important to you, I'd stick with the 2600k.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:28 AM on November 23, 2011

I'm also going to recommend you drop to 2 x 4 GB unless you think your video / graphic work will call for it... because gaming will *not*. Same with 2500k over the 2600k. Both chips tho, overclock like champs, so if you are interested in that, then get yourself a nice aftermarket cooler. Stock is fine if you don't place to OC tho.

I'd also make the same recommendations for a beefier psu and no need for the sound card, at all.

Ever considered an SSD? If you make the cut backs suggested you should have enough wiggle room in the budget to get a nice SSD to *significantly* increase the snappiness, load times, and "apparent speed" of your new PC.
posted by utsutsu at 7:12 AM on November 23, 2011

Get a SDD for OS and such (a huge speed improvement all over), then a larger HDD (or NAS) for storage.
posted by cp7 at 7:36 AM on November 23, 2011

Newegg has a good, cheap power supply on sale today only, with free shipping, from one of the top brands.

(620W Antec for $50 up front with a $15 rebate, for a final cost of $35)
posted by jsturgill at 9:04 AM on November 23, 2011

Yeah, nthing the calls to get a bigger power supply.

I'll never forget when my graphics card apparently drew more power than my (at the time, wimpy) power supply could handle-- the power supply actually SPARKED and blew out. It was scary as shit because I wasn't sure if my motherboard had survived.
posted by saveyoursanity at 10:37 AM on November 23, 2011

« Older northwestern college?   |   Computer won't allow some programs to connect Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.