Building a PC for the first time!

  satyra 10:11 15 Nov 2011

Hey guys, i'm building a pc by myself for the first time and would like some advice before i go through and buy the components. Any advice on the compatibility, improvements, whether i need this or not etc. would be greatly appreciated! My budget is around £900.

CPU 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 2700K 3.50GHz Socket LGA1155 - Retail

PSU OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Modular Power Supply

Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V PRO Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) Motherboard

Ram Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C8 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

GPU Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6950 2048MB GDDR5

Internal HDD Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 16MB Cache Hard Drive SATA 6Gb/s <8.9ms 7200rpm - OEM

I already have a 128gb Crucial M4 which i'll also be using.

Case Zalman Z9 Plus Black Tower Case - Black (No PSU) - With Fan Controller

Other LG GH22NS70 22x DVD+/-RW SATA Black - OEM Novatech 300Mbps 802.11n Wireless PCI Adapter

Thanks for reading and any feedback i get!

  gengiscant 10:43 15 Nov 2011

Both the i7 2700K and i5 2500K are quad core CPUs based on the Sandy Bridge architecture and have unlocked multipliers for easy overclocking.

The main difference between these CPUs are:

  • The i7 has Hyperthreading, the i5 doesn't. This technology can yield up to a 25% performance increase in heavily multi-threaded applications. In lightly threaded applications (like games) there is basically no performance increase due to hyperthreading.
  • The 2700K runs at a stock clockspeed of 3.5GHz, compared to the stock clockspeed of 3.33GHz of the i5 2500K
  • The 2700K has a maximum turbo frequency of 3.9GHz, compared to 3.7GHz with the i5 2500K.
  • The price, the i7 2600K retails for ~£285, compared to £174 for the i5 2500K - so a £111 price difference.

Personally, I wouldn't even consider the i7 2700K. The older i7 2600K is still available, costs £40 less and still has the hyperthreading technology that separates it from the i5 and makes it valuable for highly threaded workloads. The only difference between the i7 2600K and 2700K is a slight clockspeed difference (100MHz at stock speeds) and a big price increase. Considering the 2600K has an unlocked multiplier and can easily hit 4GHz across all four cores using the stock cooler and pretty much any P67/Z68 board then the i7 2700K seems like a waste of money.

Also, with this in mind - the i7 2600K would also be a waste of money if you didn't make use of hyperthreading - so if the most demanding task you plan to undertake is gaming then please go for the i5 2500K and use the money you saved towards a better case.

Apart from the CPU issue, its a nice build.

  satyra 12:41 15 Nov 2011

Thank you so much for your quick and really helpful response. This was the kind of responses i was hoping for. I was thinking that the i7 2700k would be a little overkill for what i was going to be using it for. I will definately take your advice into consideration and disregard the 2700k. The difference between 2600k and 2700k is so minimal for the price hike, and i wouldn't even notice it.

I've read into hyperthreading and it does seem very appealing, but like you said, i wouldn't notice it during gaming. But as an investment for the next couple of years where i would be using the computer more for other tasks other than gaming, would you recommend the 2600k? I will be video eiting/photoshopping a lot in the near future for my business.

Also, would you choose a nVidia 570 over the ATI GPU? I've asked a few people and the question has popped up a few times.

Thanks again for your responses!

  gengiscant 14:10 15 Nov 2011

Video trans-coding/editing is one of the few applications that can take advantage of hyper-threading, so a i7-2600K would be a good choice for a CPU. Using a Nvidia GPU the 570 with CUDA driver will make a huge difference for your trans-coding. But I must admit on this I have very limited knowledge.

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