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First Gaming Build - Final thoughts/considerations before purchase

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January 20, 2014 12:49:31 AM

Hey all. Thanks heaps in advance for any feedback/thoughts/considerations.

Very excited as I'm pretty much ready for my first ever proper gaming PC! I have a friend who will be putting it all together as he has done a few of his own and we have been going back and forth looking at components for the past month or so. At this stage I wanted to get some final thoughts from a knowledgeable community to put together with what both myself and my friend thinks before purchasing. At this stage the purchase date is most maximum of 2-3 weeks (need it to coincide with a weekend off at work) and used for finally getting into PC gaming. I will be sticking with the current monitor I have with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 for some time so can always do some upgrading in future if needed for higher resolutions.

I am in Australia and will be purchasing items either through umart.com.au (either delivery or pickup from the Milton store) or msy.com.au (delivery only as I have no store close to me that I can access for the next few weeks) or mwave.com.au (video card only). All prices are in $AUD. Would like to get as much as I can from umart as I can pick that up and save freight; however my video card is cheaper from mwave.com.au with postage included

CPU: Intel i5 4670k - $278 (umart)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212X - $44 (umart)
GPU: ASUS AMD Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II TOP Overclocked 3G - $409 + $12.95 postage (mwave)
Mobo: Gigabyte z87x-ud3h - $209 (umart)
Memory: G Skill 8G(2x4G) DDR3 1600Mhz PC12800 RL 9-9-9-24(CL9D-8GBRL) - $103 (umart)
SSD: Kingston SSDnow SV300S37A/120G 120G - $95 (umart)
HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB SATA3 HDD 64M Caviar Blue - $68 (umart)
PSU: FSP 850W Aurum PRO Series Modular PSU, 80PLUS Gold - $195 (umart)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 - $138 (umart)
Case Fan (Front Intake): Fractal Design Silent Series Case Fan 140mm - $13.50 (umart)
Approximate Price:
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDR-209DBKS 12X Blu-Ray Writer Drive - $85 (umart)

APPROXIMATE SPENDING: $1650.45
Original budget plans: $1700 (give or take $100)

Points of consideration:
- Will be looking to overclock CPU/GPU
- Have been tossing up between MSI z87 G45 for $199 and UD3H for $209. For extra $10, I think UD3H is better option
- Have been looking at the new range of R9 290 with custom coolers and overclocks but not sure I can justify the extra $150+ at this stage
- In future will be looking to go multiple monitor setup with potential for Crossfire. PSU has been selected based on this criteria
- Other little things such as USB wireless network adapter, mouse, keyboards etc have been left out and are not considered for budget purposes

Would love any and all feedback on parts I have selected here in terms of potential compatibility issues that I have overlooked in my excitement/places where I could get better value for money etc and so forth.

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2014 1:16:26 AM

looks like a good build. if you can swap out the ssd for a samsung evo unit. the samsung units have better firmware and support.
for the 290 with aftermarket coolers are worth it. read toms report that shows the stock cards over heat.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-r9-290-drive...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-r9-290-revie...
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January 20, 2014 1:19:06 AM

Not up on AUS USA conversion rates so I can't comment on price, but is your storage enough? 120GB ain't what she used to be, and 2TB drives tend to sit very close to 1 TB models in price on the US market. You may get a lot more for a little more there, but I like the rest of it.
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January 20, 2014 2:12:20 AM

smorizio said:
looks like a good build. if you can swap out the ssd for a samsung evo unit. the samsung units have better firmware and support.
for the 290 with aftermarket coolers are worth it. read toms report that shows the stock cards over heat.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-r9-290-drive...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-r9-290-revie...


Sorry I should have been more specific. I meant going from my current R9 280x to an aftermarket R9 290; not from a stock R9 290 to an aftermarket R9 290. Going from my current Asus R9 280x choice to the cheapest aftermarket R9 290 I can find, would cost roughly $170. I would definitely go aftermarket R9 290 if I had originally planned with a stock R9 290 but its a big jump from R9 280x to aftermarket R9 290, especially when I'll be gaming for quite some time on 1920x1080. Big thanks for the advice though :) 
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January 20, 2014 2:18:46 AM

g0rd0 said:
Not up on AUS USA conversion rates so I can't comment on price, but is your storage enough? 120GB ain't what she used to be, and 2TB drives tend to sit very close to 1 TB models in price on the US market. You may get a lot more for a little more there, but I like the rest of it.


Thanks heaps, Gordo. Storage size was definitely a consideration during my component research. In all honesty, I really think I should go at least with a Samsung Evo SSD (over my current Kingston choice), which is $105 for 120gb and then $195 for 256gb. Will have to try and convince myself for the extra outlay for more room as I mainly plan on having OS on SSD to begin with (but will definitely consider other storage items as 120gb is overkill for just OS).

HDD wise, I think I may take your advie there. Found the next model up of the same HDD in 2TB for $99.

Thanks heaps so far aswell :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2014 2:34:06 AM

Have you considered a GTX 770 instead? The R9 cards are quite expensive right now because they apparently are good at Bitcoin mining. The GTX 770 might also perform slightly better. Finally, lots of people say the R9 cards are loud. Since I see you're getting the silent Fractal Design Define R4, it's worth mentioning that the GTX 770 should be much quieter under load.
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January 20, 2014 3:10:52 AM

Specops125 said:
Have you considered a GTX 770 instead? The R9 cards are quite expensive right now because they apparently are good at Bitcoin mining. The GTX 770 might also perform slightly better. Finally, lots of people say the R9 cards are loud. Since I see you're getting the silent Fractal Design Define R4, it's worth mentioning that the GTX 770 should be much quieter under load.


Compared GPU quite a bit. Found GTX 770 to be just a tad more than R9 280x prices from my preferred websites. Also considered GTX 780s however this idea was short lived once I decided both the 780 and R9 290s would be out of my price range considering the other parts I also had.
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