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Some questions about my potential first build

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January 1, 2014 10:26:08 PM

Hello everyone.

You may have noticed some of my previous posts about this same build or others that I have been considering.

This is the build itself:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.96 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($73.80 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Microcenter)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Cooler Master SickleFlow 69.7 CFM 120mm Fan ($7.98 @ OutletPC)
Case Fan: Cooler Master Megaflow 110.0 CFM 200mm Fan ($14.97 @ OutletPC)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Asus VH238H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1212.60
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-02 01:11 EST-0500)

I have already ordered several parts that can't be changed unless you absolutely recommend it, at which point I would return them.

So far, I have already ordered:
- Case
- GPU
- CPU
- HDD
- Optical Drive
- Monitor

The questions I have relating to the build are as follows:

1. Are all of the parts compatible, do they fit within the case, and will any of them limit one of the others?.

2. Is it worth returning my CPU and opting for a Haswell build, considering this is a gaming desktop?

3. Would this machine be capable of running current and future demanding games of the same caliber as Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3 on high or maximal settings?

4. Is this a relatively future-proof and expandable build?

5. Regarding the components that have yet to be ordered, should any changes be made?

6. How should I go about overclocking the components of this build? Which rates would you suggest? Should I wait a year or so before overclocking? (I'm a newbie)

7. Any other comments?

Thank you! Your input is valuable and I will surely post some pictures of this collaborative effort once it is complete. If you have any ideas for a name, it is more than welcome too. I'd also like to note that this build must keep to its theme of black/red.
January 1, 2014 10:43:40 PM

1. Yes it's all compatible and everything will work fine.
2. If it's not too much of a hassle, I would definitely recommend Haswell over Ivy Bridge. However, if you don't want to return it because it's going to be an annoyance, you can just stick with Ivy Bridge. You'll have a dead socket, but performance will be the same more or less.
3. Yes you should be able to play high end games at high-max settings.
4. There's no such thing as future proof, but this build is easily upgrade-able. The psu is high quality so you can easily swap out the GTX 760 for a more modern gpu in a couple of years. The i5-3570k should last several years as a gaming processor as games are not cpu-heavy.
5. I would grab this motherboard: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extr...
It's $10 cheaper and it should be the same more or less. Also, drop the extra case fans because you don't need them. The Storm Enforcer comes with a front 200mm intake and a rear 120mm exhaust which should provide enough airflow for your components.
6. If you can, I would try to ditch the wireless adapter and use a wired connection. It's free (because it's built into the motherboard) and it's much stronger than the wireless adapter. Nonetheless, if you absolutely can't use a wired connection, it should be fine.
January 2, 2014 1:54:28 AM

realchaos said:
1. Yes it's all compatible and everything will work fine.
2. If it's not too much of a hassle, I would definitely recommend Haswell over Ivy Bridge. However, if you don't want to return it because it's going to be an annoyance, you can just stick with Ivy Bridge. You'll have a dead socket, but performance will be the same more or less.
3. Yes you should be able to play high end games at high-max settings.
4. There's no such thing as future proof, but this build is easily upgrade-able. The psu is high quality so you can easily swap out the GTX 760 for a more modern gpu in a couple of years. The i5-3570k should last several years as a gaming processor as games are not cpu-heavy.
5. I would grab this motherboard: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extr...
It's $10 cheaper and it should be the same more or less. Also, drop the extra case fans because you don't need them. The Storm Enforcer comes with a front 200mm intake and a rear 120mm exhaust which should provide enough airflow for your components.
6. If you can, I would try to ditch the wireless adapter and use a wired connection. It's free (because it's built into the motherboard) and it's much stronger than the wireless adapter. Nonetheless, if you absolutely can't use a wired connection, it should be fine.


Alright! Thank you very much for the information. I'll look into Haswell and see what boards and processors they have to offer. I also recently added a question about overclocking. You'll notice that I have chosen these parts somewhat with the possibility of overclocking. I'm assuming the CPU is the most likely target, hence the "K" but how should I go about overclocking it and which other components should I OC? I understand that the other two possibilities would be the GPU and the... Motherboard? I know nothing of overclocking, my knowledge is limited to software changing rates and cooling being the barrier.
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January 2, 2014 12:05:45 PM

There are only two things you can overclock: the processor and the graphic card. You can't overclock anything else.
For the processor, it's fairly simple. Go into the BIOS and raise your multiplier, but watch out for the voltage. Raise it in small increments and stress test each time. While stress testing the processor, remember to monitor the temps.
For the graphic card, I would suggest downloading MSI Afterburner. It allows you to monitor the temps, fan speed, core clock, load, etc. It has everything you need for a gpu except a stress tester, which you can use MSI Kombuster. When overclocking the gpu, I would say increasing the Board Power Limit to 20% and then slowly increase your core clock in small increments. Remember to stress test each increment and monitor your temps. Then once you reach a point where it crashes, slowly increase the Voltage. Don't increase the voltage too high though.
January 2, 2014 3:51:31 PM

realchaos said:
There are only two things you can overclock: the processor and the graphic card. You can't overclock anything else.
For the processor, it's fairly simple. Go into the BIOS and raise your multiplier, but watch out for the voltage. Raise it in small increments and stress test each time. While stress testing the processor, remember to monitor the temps.
For the graphic card, I would suggest downloading MSI Afterburner. It allows you to monitor the temps, fan speed, core clock, load, etc. It has everything you need for a gpu except a stress tester, which you can use MSI Kombuster. When overclocking the gpu, I would say increasing the Board Power Limit to 20% and then slowly increase your core clock in small increments. Remember to stress test each increment and monitor your temps. Then once you reach a point where it crashes, slowly increase the Voltage. Don't increase the voltage too high though.


Thank you for the information. I modified my build to incorporate Haswell.
I was originally going to go for the Zalman CNPS9900MAX-R, and still will if I have enough money left, but with the additional cost of the 4670K (an additional $60 since I had gotten the 3570K for $170), I have reverted back to the 212. I just love the looks of this motherboard too much to leave it, I had previously looked into Asrock, but apparently theirs is more brown than black. I'd also like to call this an MSI build, since I am in love with the brand.
I removed the SickleFlow with which I was going to replace the rear black exhaust fan. The MegaFlow remains for some extra red LED lighting within the case, and to serve as an upwards exhaust to conduct the airflow from the bottom front of the case to the top rear; I figured if I'm going to be overclocking anything the extra fan won't hurt me either.

This is the updated parts list:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Microcenter)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case Fan: Cooler Master Megaflow 110.0 CFM 200mm Fan ($14.97 @ OutletPC)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Asus VH238H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1226.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-02 18:41 EST-0500)

I might be making you repeat yourself, but if this build was your own and you had this theme in your mind and were restricted to this budget, would you change anything?
January 2, 2014 5:14:30 PM

realchaos said:
There are only two things you can overclock: the processor and the graphic card. You can't overclock anything else.
For the processor, it's fairly simple. Go into the BIOS and raise your multiplier, but watch out for the voltage. Raise it in small increments and stress test each time. While stress testing the processor, remember to monitor the temps.
For the graphic card, I would suggest downloading MSI Afterburner. It allows you to monitor the temps, fan speed, core clock, load, etc. It has everything you need for a gpu except a stress tester, which you can use MSI Kombuster. When overclocking the gpu, I would say increasing the Board Power Limit to 20% and then slowly increase your core clock in small increments. Remember to stress test each increment and monitor your temps. Then once you reach a point where it crashes, slowly increase the Voltage. Don't increase the voltage too high though.


So I looked into overclocking some more, and I thought I might be able to incorporate some white. :D 

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-TC12DX_RD 68.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Microcenter)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($20.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case Fan: Cooler Master Megaflow 110.0 CFM 200mm Fan ($14.97 @ OutletPC)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Asus VH238H 23.0" Monitor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1246.82
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-02 20:14 EST-0500)

Best solution

January 2, 2014 5:54:35 PM
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Everything looks great. You planned it all well with the red color scheme and it should overclock well too. Good luck and happy building!
!