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Building my first custom built PC any advice would be great

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October 24, 2013 9:40:35 PM

Hey guys my name is Zac, I have been a longtime fan of Tom's Hardware site and often used the forums for reviewing of products and good general advice. Today however I have decided I am going to build my first Gaming PC rig where my budget sits between $1500 - $2200. My goal is to make sure that everything is compatible and it will essentially work. If you guys have any advice or opinions on alternative parts for whatever reason I am all ears if you could also include a link to a review and price would be appreciated.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1SYu5
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1SYu5/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1SYu5/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK 78.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VI FORMULA ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($289.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($152.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($127.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 4GB Video Card ($447.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Stryker (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 1050W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($96.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: BenQ RL2450HT 24.0" Monitor ($184.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1923.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-25 04:42 EDT-0400)

I would appreciate any advice people could provide for this.
Overall I was wondering what people think of this system build. I am building this computer with the prospect full hopes of it running efficiently for the next 5 years and it will be used for Uni work, Lan parties including playing the latest upcoming title games at the best possible settings.

Additional Question:

Is it worth upgrading the RAM to higher then 1866? what sort of benefits would you experience if you were to get faster?. Also is 2 x 8Gb better then 2 x 4 GB?. Is my motherboard overkill? A few of my friends bought it and really emphasized its worth. And finally whats your opinion of PC gaming cases is it worth forking out additional money for a pumped out case?. If there are any price cuts you would strongly recommend please let me know :) 

Cheers Zac

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October 24, 2013 10:01:25 PM
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This was kind of hard to read, as there's not really any organization put into this.
I just skimmed it and here's my recommendation:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK 78.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($72.90 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($177.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 4GB Video Card ($439.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 1050W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($96.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1461.80
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-25 00:48 EDT-0400)

-The Phanteks heatsink is one of the best heatsink out there and will allow for great overclocking.
-No real need for the Asus Maximus. It has better onboard audio over most other boards, but that's about it. You're fine with the Extreme4.
-No need for 2x8gb of ram. 2x4gb of ram is enough for games, as games only utilize 4-6gb of ram.
-Samsung 840 EVO offers great speed at a relatively cheap price.
-I like the 500R because it has great airflow and cable management. It can hold practically any upgrade you want to add (except a custom loop).
-XFX psu for high reliability. 1050w is overkill, as SLI only needs 850w, but this high quality 1050w psu is cheaper than the other good quality 850w psus. Cheaper and bigger.

Now for the GPU. You didn't list a monitor, so I'm assuming it's 1080p. If it is 1080p, the 2gb VRAM version of the GTX 770 is actually fine, as the extra vram won't provide any performance increase at 1080p. However, you want the 4gb vram if you're playing at 1440p/1600/triple 1080p. You can always add a second GTX 770 for SLI as your budget does allow for it.

That's just the GTX 770. Let's talk about the other GPUs. The GTX 780 is expensive for what you get. SLI GTX 770 would offer better performance for the price over a single GTX 780. The R9-280X is priced cheaper than the 770, but it's also not as strong. The 770 seems like a good spot right now.
However, AMD just announced the R9-290X. It's not officially out yet, but there's already reviews about them. For around $500 (think it's $550 or something), it can perform closely to the $650 GTX 780 at stock speed vs stock speed. However, the reference cooler that AMD has put onto the R9-290X is complete crap. It runs extremely hot (~95C) and after you're done playing a game, it can take up to 20 minutes for the gpu to cool back down to idle temp. That means even after you're done playing a game, it'll still run hot for awhile. The performance is good, but the cooler is shit. It's also speculated that AMD may not allow companies to put their own cooler solution on it until a couple of months later. That's just speculation, but if it is true, then that means the R9-290X will be stuck with the horrible reference cooler for awhile. I wouldn't touch the R9-290X unless it has an aftermarket cooler on it.

To sum it up: the R9-290X offers great performance but the reference cooler is shit. It may be awhile after release before other companies put their own cooler on it.
October 24, 2013 10:12:40 PM

Thanks for the quick response I really appreciate it, I have used PC Part Picker to display the information more clearly and updated some parts in reflection of your advice cheers :) 
October 25, 2013 7:49:19 AM

The Samsung 840 EVO is a better buy over the 840 PRO. The EVO offers just as fast speeds while being cheaper. Grab the EVO instead.

Again, there's no need to spend $300 on the motherboard. The Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H or ASRock Z87 Extreme4 should have everything you need at half of the price.

2x4gb of RAM is fine for gaming as games still and will continue to utilize only 4-6gb of ram. Also, in games, there's no performance increase from 1600mhz and 2400mhz. Stick with 1600/1866mhz, whichever is cheaper.

What do you mean by "gaming case?"

Here's a better monitor: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vs239hp
It's cheaper and its IPS so you get better image quality.
!