New system build - First time. Need help finalising.

Hey everyone :)

I've been researching parts and components and found a number of useful answers from this site.
Therefore, I've decided to make this thread just to help finalise my system build before I get started!

My system specifications are as followed:

- Case: Cooler Master HAF X Gaming Tower Case - Black
- Power Supply: Corsair Professional Series HX+ 850W '80+ Gold' Modular Power Supply
- CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.50GHz (Ivybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor (77W) - Retail
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-UP4 TH Intel Z77 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard
- Cooler: Alpenföhn K2 Mount Doom CPU Cooler (Socket 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011 / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / FM1 / FM2)
- RAM: Patriot Venom Red 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 PC3-14900C10 1866MHz Dual Channel Memory Kit
- Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache - OEM HDD
- Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
- Sound: Asus Xonar D2X 7.1 PCI-E Soundcard
- Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST BluRay-Rom / DVD-RW Drive OEM

Below are the links to the parts above:

- Case:
- Power Supply:
- CPU:
- Motherboard:
- Cooler:
- RAM:
- Hard Drive:
- Graphics Card:
- Sound:
- Optical Drive:

My purpose of this system build:

Running the latest games smoothly / using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and 3DS Max.
Ideally I would like this system to run with a dual monitor setup. Preferably two 24" identical monitors running at 1900x1080.
I will probably only use one screen for gaming, and use two screens for programs and general use. I am currently looking at is the new 7 series Samsung Monitor.
Link -

My main concerns / questions:

1. The Memory / RAM above is stated as running at 1866MHz. However, I have read during my research that RAM defaults to 1333GHz unless you change it. Is this true?
2. The Alpenföhn K2 Mount Doom CPU Cooler is a huge cooler that requires "low profile RAM". How do I know if the RAM I have chosen is low profile or not?
3. I don't know much about a computer's BIOS and how it works. Will this be a problem?
4. Is overclocking necessary? Is it a sufficient percentage increase? As far as I know, it is more performance with less stability? Therefore, shortening the life of the parts in the computer. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
5. I'm also quite dependent on wifi, given that I am 1 floor above the wireless router, so should I change the motherboard? Or would I be fine with a USB Wifi Adapter?
6. Is 850W too much for a single card? Is it sufficient 850W enough for SLI if I did buy another card?
7. Any recommendations for a 24" monitor?

As I said, I just want to finalise everything, and make sure that everything fits together nicely. I would prefer if your answers gave a reason as well, for example, X would be better than Y because..

Anyway, thank you very much for taking your time to read this, I fully appreciate it. I look forward to hearing your answers!
9 answers Last reply
More about system build time finalising
  1. 1. Yep, just enable the XMP profile in the BIOS and the RAM should run at advertised speeds.
    2. Thats not low profile RAM, big heatspreader on it. Look into the G.Skill Ares, Sniper and Corsair Vengenace Low Profile lines of RAM.
    3. Depends on what you want to do with the rig, but nowadays EUFI BIOS' are pretty easy to use and navigate. You shouldnt have an issue doing any of the basic stuff in it.
    4. Overclocking leads to greater performance, at an increase of power consumption, heat output and degredation of lifespan (if you push it). And if you do it wrong, thats what leads to instability, overclock the chip (and GPU) right and it will be rock solid.
    5. I would go for a PCI wireless NIC rather than a USB NIC.
    6. 850W is plenty sufficient for dual SLI later on.
    7 Read the monitor guide in my sig, that will help you make the decision. For your usage, I suggest you go for an IPS or PLS panel monitor.

    EDIT: No SSD in your build?
  2. 1. The motherboard should be able to use the RAM's XMP profile, setting it to run at the advertised specs. You need to set the BIOS to use the XMP profile once, then it will remember.
    2. Look at the pictures. The RAM you have chosen is NOT low profile, but has tall heat spreaders.
    3. A modern UEFI is not difficult to navigate. The manual will explain basic settings; there's really not a lot you'll need to change (other than the RAM XMP profile).
    4. Overclocking is unnecessary. Performance increases vary. Most games are GPU-bound, so overclocking the CPU will make no significant difference. A mild overclock, particularly at stock voltage, should not shorten the life of any components. Mild to moderate overclocks are typically as stable as stock operation.
    5. I would strongly recommend a dual-band wireless N PCIe adapter. Its performance will be much better than a USB dongle, if only due to superior antennas. These are typically two to three times the price of a cheap dongle, but I'd say are worthwhile.
    6. A PC will only draw the power it needs. An 850W PSU is sufficient for a pair of 780s in SLI; you may need less, but I probably wouldn't go below 750W.
    7. I actually prefer my 21.5" monitor to my 23" monitor. Images are crisper. Since the resolution is the same, the larger monitor does not allow more to be seen. One other difference between them is the smaller monitor uses LED backlighting, and the 23" one uses conventional fluorescent backlighting.

    Edit: Great minds think alike. I'd say ditch the sound card for a 120GB (or larger) SSD like a Samdung 840 Pro (NOT the vanilla 840), Crucial M4 or Crucial M500.
    Motherboard sound is pretty good now.
  3. Wow, thanks for the feedback you gave me :)

    @manofchalk Thanks for the feedback! Also really impressed with the monitor guide, it has definitely given me a much better understanding after reading it quite thoroughly.

    @Onus I looked into the Samsung SSD which you mentioned, the Samsung 128GB SSD 840 PRO SATA 6Gb/s Basic. I also had a look at the 256GB version.
    I thought that with the CPU and GPU that was going to go into the system, I would already have pretty fast loading times. However, I've never had an SSD before, or seen one in action.

    Regarding the wireless adapter, I'm afraid to say I'm a bit lost. You specified a "dual-band wireless N PCIe adapter" which did narrow it down quite a bit.
    This gave me two options:

    1. Asus PCE-N53 300Mbps Dual-Band Wireless-N600 PCI-E Adapter -
    2. Asus PCE-AC66 Dual Band 5GHz Wireless - AC1750 PCI-E Adapter -

    To my understanding, the 2nd option, maintains "full backward compatibility with all previous Wi-Fi Protocols" which offers more flexibility. I'm not too sure if the 1st option offers the same flexibility or not.
    Both provide a 5GHz band as well. As far as I know, the hub below me uses a standard 802.11 Wifi connection, I do not think "N" is supported on that hub.

    Without a hub that supports "802.11ac", I take it that the first option in this case would be better. Again, I'm really not too sure on this subject.

    Regarding low profile ram, there wasn't too many, and of the ones I looked at and the ones that you suggested, the maximum amount of RAM was 8gb. I'm guessing it would be a tight fit if I did use the Alpenföhn K2 Mount Doom CPU Cooler with the Patriot Venom Red 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 RAM.
    I gave it some thought, and started looking at other coolers. I had a look at the Prolimatech Megahalems CPU Cooler -

    According to further research, the Prolimatech Megahalems CPU Cooler would work with the Patriot Venom Red 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 RAM and is quite flexible with RAM overall.
    After looking at coolers, I also found the Corsair Hydro Series.

    In quick summary of above:

    1. Do SSD's provide sufficient loading speed that they are worth it? Are they difficult to install?
    2. These are the two Dual Band Wireless Adapters I could find, which one do you think would be better choice? I'm also open to another alternatives.
    3. Would a Prolimatech Megahalems CPU work well with this build? Or there are there other options? Should I consider the Corsair Hydro Series? Or stay away from that?
  4. 1. I think SSDs are definitely worth it. The other components being fast has little influence on loading times. For all practical intents and purposes, they install and operate like hard drives (but never need to be defragged, and in fact should never be defragged).
    2. The first of the two wireless cards would be sufficient.
    3. The Prolimatech should be good. I would stick to an air cooler, since the air they move also cools other motherboard components.
  5. 1. Yes! Storage has been the bottleneck to performance for years when it comes to load and boot times.
    This video shows the difference, though is somewhat old so SSD's are even faster and price are very much cheaper.

    2. Wireless networking im not so good at, come back when you want to know about Routers :lol:.

    3. CLC cooling in general I think is pointless unless you spending at the top end for a H100i, Swiftech H220 or Kraken X60. And if your spending that much, a low end Custom kit isnt far off.
  6. Really nice feedback, really appreciate it, I'm learning quite a bit of new information :)

    @Onus Ah ok, I think that the 128GB SSD would be sufficient enough. To my understanding, Windows 7 would definately be installed on the SSD then, as well as my used most used applications and games.

    @Marcopolo123 Although I'm aware that the HAF X did come out a while ago, I was under the impression that it was still one of the best cases avaliable. In addition, I realise that it is a full tower case, which someone like me with no hands on experience with computer components, would benefit greatly from. This is because I would have more space to work with as well. I also thought that the airflow in this case was rather good from watching videos.
    Having said that, I did take a look at the other cases you mentioned, such as the Corsair Obsidian 650D, and watched some videos and read some reviews on it. I was surprised how many grommets were in the case, making cable management a lot easier. My only concern with the Corsair Obsidian 650D is the reviews on the fan controller.

    @manofchalk Ahh, I've been watching those TechTip videos, they are very useful. I hadn't seen that one before though.
    I think I will stick to a air cooler, the Prolimatech Megahalems CPU Cooler. I'm not too interested in overclocking either.
    Although the CLC cooling is quiet, from the information that I have read, the Western Digital Caviar Black Hard Drives pack the performance, but are also quite noisy anyway.
    I also took a quick look at "Project Red-Chalk" and noticed that you had a HAF X Case.

    My questions relating to above:

    1. Are there any applications or programs I should avoid putting on an SSD? I've read that programs that write a lot of information to an SSD should be avoided, as they reduce the life span of the SSD. Is this true?
    2. Would it be worth buying different fan controllers for a case or not? How effective are dust filters? There's many different opinions on them, however, some are of the opinion that they reduce airflow.
    3. Given the information on the components that I plan on using above, the possibility of GTX780 SLI, and my lack of experience with components, would you recommend a HAF X Case? Or should I consider alternatives, such as the Corsair Obsidian 650D?
  7. The first WD Black 1TB drive I bought a few years ago (which is still in service) was one of the noisiest drives I've ever owned. Newer WD Black drives, in both 1TB and 500GB sizes, are much quieter; I'm not sure any louder than any other drive.
  8. 1. The flash memory used in SSD's do degrade after a number of write cycles, but if your buying a modern drive theres no reason to worry about it, there's a lot of work been done into keeping SSD's performing well.
    Basically, dont put programs on there that wont benefit from the extra speed, you can use that capacity for better things.

    2. Depends on how many fans you are going to get, and whether you care for controlling them manually. If your going to fill the HAF-X with fans, then it might be worth considering. For my usage, I definitely need one as theres no way I could plug in the 9 fans I have (yup, water-cooling does that :P) to the motherboard.

    3. Cases are largely personal preference, and among good cases one isnt more complicated or harder than another. Buy a case for its features and its looks, functionality and ease of use doesnt matter as much as once the builds done you wont be touching it for a while.
    If the HAF-X suits, then buy it. Its definitely large enough for an SLI setup.
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