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First time builder. $1600 AU quiet gaming PC. Please critique!

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August 21, 2013 3:30:58 PM

Hi guys.
This is my first attempt at a build. I plan to use it mainly for gaming and programming (I am a first year computer science student, so my programming isn't very intense yet, but may be in the next couple of years). I have started off with a pretty poor amount of knowledge regarding PC building, but have done a fair bit of research and been helped out by a few friends to come up with the build below. It would be great if you could point out any flaws or make any suggestions.


CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $250
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler $58
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance Motherboard $125
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $95
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $106
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $139
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card $469
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case $149
Power Supply: Thermaltake 750W Tough Power Gold $159
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24D3ST SATA Black 24x DVDRW $25
Wireless Adptr: Asus PCE-N15 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter $25

Total cost including estimated shipping (all items bought from Umart.com): $1622


I cut of ~$100 since my first build, mostly by choosing a cheaper motherboard, and PSU. The motherboard is one thing I am really quite unsure about. I have also previously had in my build:

- MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Motherboard - $199
- ASRock Z87 Extreme3 Motherboard - $165

My main justification for 'downgrading' is that I wont be overclocking, and beyond that the benefits of spending 40 or 75 more seemed trivial. This being said, I am quite ignorant about what I may or may not be missing. The only thing I can see would be the sound card on the MSI which sounds nice, but probably not worth $75 for a difference I can barely hear.

At a different stage I also had a 4GB 770, but after reading, it sounds like there is no point spending $100 more on it unless I am gaming on really high resolutions. I am going to be running dual 1080p monitors, so I don't know if this is worthwhile, but to the best of my knowledge, most games don't support dual monitors anyway, so I will likely be gaming just at 1080p.

The other things I have saved on are the processor and the RAM. From what I have been told, unless I am doing stuff like video editing and other similar things, 8GB RAM and an i5 should be more than enough, and the GPU is where most the difference will be.

Also, if anyone notices any compatibility issues that I and my friends have failed to notice, please give a shout!

All this being said, I actually am sitting nicely below my budget and if anyone can point out a part, or many, that would be really worth upgrading to for not too much more, I am willing to listen.

I probably don't need to ask this, but please don't hold back with criticism. The majority of my learning about PC parts has occurred in the last week, so I expect some flaws to be present.

Thanks a lot!

- Finn
a c 216 4 Gaming
August 21, 2013 3:53:55 PM

Well the main idea is good, but you can build a far more powerful pc for less that what you guys put together :D . Take a look at this one.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($7.25 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($63.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($114.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($613.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N15 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($24.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($144.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($86.66 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1542.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-21 18:52 EDT-0400)
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a b 4 Gaming
August 21, 2013 4:19:19 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($107.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($153.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($119.00 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($114.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 4GB Video Card ($479.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($73.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1565.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-21 19:19 EDT-0400)
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August 21, 2013 4:27:54 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys, but unless I am much mistaken you missed the '$1600 AU' in the title.
The reason my PC is so expensive compared to your builds is that I am in Australia, haha.
I believe if I tried either of your builds I would end up going to around $2000 in Australia.
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August 21, 2013 4:29:06 PM

Sorry, I should add, I don't expect you to go out of your way, but if you are curious, PCCaseGear and Umart are generally the cheapest in Australia, yet my build is still probably $300 to $400 more than its American counterpart.
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August 21, 2013 4:29:07 PM

Sorry, I should add, I don't expect you to go out of your way, but if you are curious, PCCaseGear and Umart are generally the cheapest in Australia, yet my build is still probably $300 to $400 more than its American counterpart.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 21, 2013 4:41:26 PM

Overclocking adds heat FAST and that equals noise cooling it down so I think you are right to stick with a non K processor and an H77 motherboard for a quiet computer

A few of the other posters seem to have missed that you are buying in Australia too

I would use a larger cooler , and probably a downdraft model . This will tend to be quieter than a tower model with a 90 mm fan
The best available is
Noctua NH-C12P SE14
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
But Scythe make some downdraft cpu coolers that are better value and nearly as quiet

The gigabyte is a great choice for a quiet graphics card . Once you have the driver installed you can experiment with turning down the fan speed to lower the noise . They run much cooler anyway so you will be able to find a level of cooling and noise that suits you .

You need a 600 watt psu to run that build . This seasonic is superb quality and so quiet I had to touch one to find out if it was actually running
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
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August 21, 2013 4:46:16 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Overclocking adds heat FAST and that equals noise cooling it down so I think you are right to stick with a non K processor and an H77 motherboard for a quiet computer

A few of the other posters seem to have missed that you are buying in Australia too

I would use a larger cooler , and probably a downdraft model . This will tend to be quieter than a tower model with a 90 mm fan
The best available is
Noctua NH-C12P SE14
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
But Scythe make some downdraft cpu coolers that are better value and nearly as quiet

The gigabyte is a great choice for a quiet graphics card . Once you have the driver installed you can experiment with turning down the fan speed to lower the noise . They run much cooler anyway so you will be able to find a level of cooling and noise that suits you .

You need a 600 watt psu to run that build . This seasonic is superb quality and so quiet I had to touch one to find out if it was actually running
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...


Thanks, ill check out those fans.
Would the PSU I have at the moment not be better? It is only $20 more, yet is 750W and gold standard.
I also look up some tests and reviews and it scored pretty well. As for noise, I'm not sure
Have you got any opinion on the Mobo? It is what I am most unsure about to be honest.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 21, 2013 5:03:25 PM

You may be right about the Thermaltake psu , but after years of seeing really badly built and low quality products from that company I am not a huge fan . Thats not to say that that particular model is not excellent quality . I dont know . If you have the extra money to spend then by all means go with the reviews you have .

Its very hard to go past ASUS boards . I believe they're the highest quality of any manufacturer , and only Gigabyte are close .
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
or you can use a micro-ATX board and possible save a little extra power [ and heat ]
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
M-ATX limits expansion a little but its very rare to use a lot of expansion slots anyway
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August 21, 2013 5:18:33 PM

Outlander_04 said:
You may be right about the Thermaltake psu , but after years of seeing really badly built and low quality products from that company I am not a huge fan . Thats not to say that that particular model is not excellent quality . I dont know . If you have the extra money to spend then by all means go with the reviews you have .

Its very hard to go past ASUS boards . I believe they're the highest quality of any manufacturer , and only Gigabyte are close .
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
or you can use a micro-ATX board and possible save a little extra power [ and heat ]
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
M-ATX limits expansion a little but its very rare to use a lot of expansion slots anyway


Cheers.
So Reckon that ASUS mobo (the first one you linked) is worth it over the ASRock one I have at the moment?
I did actually look at that before, but the only differences I could really see were the things they said about the 170% faster USB 3.0 speed.
It is only $15 more, but I was under the impression ASRock mobos were quite good too.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 21, 2013 5:28:51 PM

Im using an asrock motherboard . Its OK . But its definitely a step down from ASUS . Arguably the difference is the ASUS is over engineered . Why make a motherboard last ten years when the useful life of a pc is probably more like 4 years ?

The USB 3 ports are controlled by the intel chip set on both those boards . Performance will be identical .


I have just checked out the Asrock on pccasegear . Interesting new sound chip . That alone might be the deciding factor [ if you use a 6.1 or 7.1 speaker system ]
I think you can toss a coin to decide between those boards
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August 21, 2013 5:38:18 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Im using an asrock motherboard . Its OK . But its definitely a step down from ASUS . Arguably the difference is the ASUS is over engineered . Why make a motherboard last ten years when the useful life of a pc is probably more like 4 years ?

The USB 3 ports are controlled by the intel chip set on both those boards . Performance will be identical .


I have just checked out the Asrock on pccasegear . Interesting new sound chip . That alone might be the deciding factor [ if you use a 6.1 or 7.1 speaker system ]
I think you can toss a coin to decide between those boards


Thanks a heap for all the help dude. I just have a couple of final questions:
1) People have recommended I ditch the CPU cooler I have chosen and just go with the Stock one. What are your thoughts on this?
2) Back to what you said about thermal take CPUs before, I just came across this Corsair one:
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
I have read quite good things about corsair PSUs, and that is a little cheaper, at the sacrifice of 100W. Think it would be a better choice?
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
August 21, 2013 5:59:23 PM

The stock intel cooler is perfectly fine as a cooler , but it gets louder under load .
If you want low noise ,and are willing to pay for it, that Noctua I linked has a slow spinning 140 mm fan that you will have a hard time hearing at all

The Corsair psu is an excellent product . And a better choice IMO
Share
August 21, 2013 6:05:10 PM

Outlander_04 said:
The stock intel cooler is perfectly fine as a cooler , but it gets louder under load .
If you want low noise ,and are willing to pay for it, that Noctua I linked has a slow spinning 140 mm fan that you will have a hard time hearing at all

The Corsair psu is an excellent product . And a better choice IMO


Cheers, I'll go with the corsair.
I think I'll save money and go with the stock. My friend has the Fractal R4 case and says it blocks out sound so well it shouldn't be an issue.
Thanks a lot for your time, you've been a great help.
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a c 216 4 Gaming
August 21, 2013 6:21:17 PM

Ahh Australia, lol I thought that was what you meant at first but then I noticed it wasn't AUD ;) . Here's a build I made that should do well and is within budget.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($395.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($39.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($195.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($117.78 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($142.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($285.00 @ Scorptec)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N15 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($29.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Case: Thermaltake VN300M1W2N ATX Full Tower Case ($159.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: Zalman 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.00 @ Scorptec)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($25.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Total: $1580.78
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-22 11:20 EST+1000)
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