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First ever PC Build - need opinions !

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  • System Builder
  • Systems
  • Customization
  • Power Consumption
  • Cases
  • New Build
Last response: in Systems
February 14, 2014 6:18:22 AM

I am building my first custom PC and I need opinions! I plan to use my PC for gaming, modelling(mainly sketch up), rendering, AutoCAD and Photoshop.

A have a few concerns in particular:
Is my entire system compatible and well balanced? did I pick reliable, decent parts? Is my power supply sufficient in terms of power and reliability? and is my case sufficient for cooling and space? - Please bring up any other conerns there may be.

Thanks in advance

CPU
-Intel i7 4770k 3.5GHz Quad-Core
CPU COOLER
-Cooler Master hyper 212 EVO
-(May go Noctua NH-U14S 55.0 if I decide to overclock)
MOTHERBOARD
-Asus Z87-A (LGA1150)
GPU
-Nvidia GTX 780 3GB
-(May go Nvidia GTX 780 3GB Ti depending on price)
MEMORY
-Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3-1600
STORAGE
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
-Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM HDD - or 2 x 1TB HDD
POWER SUPPLY
-Silverstone Strider Plus 750W 80+ Silver Certified (Fully Modular)
CASE
-Thermaltake Urban S71 Full tower Black
-(If I can go for a smaller size; Thermaltake Urban S41 Mid tower Black)
OPERATING SYSTEM
-Windows 7 Ultimate
OPTICAL DRIVE
-Bluray/DVD burner
MONITOR
-Asus VE278H 27”
SPEAKERS
-Logitech Z506 5.1 surround sound.


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More about : build opinions

February 14, 2014 6:28:33 AM

Looks like a fairly solid build, don't see any problems/issues. Have heard/read that Haswell processors do well performance-wise with overclocked memory (1866/2133) if you can afford the small price bump. Also, you may want to consider an AIO liquid cooler if your case will support one.
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February 14, 2014 6:46:43 AM

animal said:
Looks like a fairly solid build, don't see any problems/issues. Have heard/read that Haswell processors do well performance-wise with overclocked memory (1866/2133) if you can afford the small price bump. Also, you may want to consider an AIO liquid cooler if your case will support one.


Thanks for the feedback. I will consider upgrading the ram to 2133, after I get a final price on the system. Now, with the AIO liquid cooler, is that cooling for the case in general, or is it a CPU cooler? For example, would getting an AIO liqiuid cooler replace the Cooler Master hyper 212 EVO?
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February 14, 2014 6:58:00 AM

yes, the AIO coolers are CPU coolers and would replace the CM Hyper 212 EVO or the Noctua you talked about. There are several versions out there, the Corsair "H" series and NZXT's Kraken series amongst many others.
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February 14, 2014 7:03:48 AM

Yes, the AIO (aka CLC) coolers will replace your CM hyper 212. Another air cooler to consider, is noctua's NH-D14. It works just as well or better than most liquid coolers, the only draw back is its size and weight. If you intend on getting OC'd ram or at least those with tall heatsinks, then you may want to get something the corsair H100i, 90, or 105
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February 15, 2014 12:19:11 AM

Au_equus said:
Yes, the AIO (aka CLC) coolers will replace your CM hyper 212. Another air cooler to consider, is noctua's NH-D14. It works just as well or better than most liquid coolers, the only draw back is its size and weight. If you intend on getting OC'd ram or at least those with tall heatsinks, then you may want to get something the corsair H100i, 90, or 105


Are there any disadvantages to a liquid cooler over an air cooler, other than pricing? Also how much extra benefit will I get out of my CPU from getting a liquid cooler if I decide not to over clock?
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February 15, 2014 12:53:51 AM

animal said:
Looks like a fairly solid build, don't see any problems/issues. Have heard/read that Haswell processors do well performance-wise with overclocked memory (1866/2133) if you can afford the small price bump. Also, you may want to consider an AIO liquid cooler if your case will support one.


I had another search for memory and I decided to go with the G.Skill
F3-1866C8D-16GTX - This increases its speed from 1600 to 1866, and also decreasing its CAS latency from 10 to 8
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February 15, 2014 6:29:37 AM

Sorry I wasn't here to answer your liquid cooler question(s) earlier, but here is a short list of Air vs Liquid Pros and Cons:

Air Cooler Pros-

1. Can be cheaper than a liquid cooler, although some of the top end ones can be as, if not more, expensive.
2. Only have two parts, the heatsink itself and its fan(s). Unless physically damaged, the heatsink portion will never fail. Its fan(s) are the only thing that can/will fail and are easily replaced rather inexpensively (although some fans can be quite expensive).
3. Will never leak any fluids into the inside of your case or onto the motherboard.

Air Cooler Cons-

1. Some air cooler can quite bulky and carry a significant amount of weight due to their large heatsink. Some will weigh more than two pounds, that is a lot of weight hanging from the motherboard since most cases have the motherboard mounted vertically. If you have a heavy one installed, must take extra caution when moving the case, as the weight of the cooler can cause severe stress and possible damage to the motherboard.
2. Because of the size/bulkiness of most aftermarket air coolers, research needs to be done to insure case and motherboard compatibility. Most air coolers are of the "tower" design and can get quite tall. Not all cases will allow their particular height. Additionally, due to its size, air coolers can sometimes come into conflict with motherboard layouts. The most common problem is the air cooler and/or its fan(s) overhanging RAM slots. This can limit the height of RAM module(s)/stick(s) that can be used as well as make it impossible to install/replace RAM once the air cooler is installed without removing it.

Liquid/Water Cooler Pros-

1. Liquid coolers are generally better at cooling than air coolers.
2. Liquid coolers do not have a large, bulky heatsink attached to the CPU. Instead they use a relatively small light-weight waterblock which doesn't have the disadvantages of case/motherboard compatibility seen with air coolers.

All-In-One (AIO) Liquid/Water Cooler Cons:

1. Can have/develop leaks which can get onto/into other components inside the case, especially the motherboard. Since most cases have a bottom-mounted PSU, there is also the possibility of leaks dripping/running into the PSU itself.
2. Usually more expensive than air coolers, but not always the case.
3. Liquid coolers have four major parts:
a) the waterblock/pump, All-in-One liquid/water coolers have the pump built into the waterblock. If the pump goes bad you have to replace the entire cooler, you can't just replace the noisy/faulty pump.
b) the tubing, if the tubing of an AIO becomes damaged or starts leaking, the entire AIO must be replaced
c) the radiator, if the radiator is damaged/punctured the entire AIO must be replaced. Additionally, research must be done to insure compatibility between the AIO's radiator size and case compatibility. Not all cases will accommodate all radiator sizes, but in some cases, even if the case will allow it to be mounted, once mounted the radiator can interfere with other parts.
d) radiator fans, as with air coolers, the fans are easily replaced at a relatively lo cost.


I hope this helps. This is not an exact nor detailed explanation, just trying to give you a better understanding.
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February 15, 2014 8:14:03 AM

animal said:
Sorry I wasn't here to answer your liquid cooler question(s) earlier, but here is a short list of Air vs Liquid Pros and Cons:

Air Cooler Pros-

1. Can be cheaper than a liquid cooler, although some of the top end ones can be as, if not more, expensive.
2. Only have two parts, the heatsink itself and its fan(s). Unless physically damaged, the heatsink portion will never fail. Its fan(s) are the only thing that can/will fail and are easily replaced rather inexpensively (although some fans can be quite expensive).
3. Will never leak any fluids into the inside of your case or onto the motherboard.

Air Cooler Cons-

1. Some air cooler can quite bulky and carry a significant amount of weight due to their large heatsink. Some will weigh more than two pounds, that is a lot of weight hanging from the motherboard since most cases have the motherboard mounted vertically. If you have a heavy one installed, must take extra caution when moving the case, as the weight of the cooler can cause severe stress and possible damage to the motherboard.
2. Because of the size/bulkiness of most aftermarket air coolers, research needs to be done to insure case and motherboard compatibility. Most air coolers are of the "tower" design and can get quite tall. Not all cases will allow their particular height. Additionally, due to its size, air coolers can sometimes come into conflict with motherboard layouts. The most common problem is the air cooler and/or its fan(s) overhanging RAM slots. This can limit the height of RAM module(s)/stick(s) that can be used as well as make it impossible to install/replace RAM once the air cooler is installed without removing it.

Liquid/Water Cooler Pros-

1. Liquid coolers are generally better at cooling than air coolers.
2. Liquid coolers do not have a large, bulky heatsink attached to the CPU. Instead they use a relatively small light-weight waterblock which doesn't have the disadvantages of case/motherboard compatibility seen with air coolers.

All-In-One (AIO) Liquid/Water Cooler Cons:

1. Can have/develop leaks which can get onto/into other components inside the case, especially the motherboard. Since most cases have a bottom-mounted PSU, there is also the possibility of leaks dripping/running into the PSU itself.
2. Usually more expensive than air coolers, but not always the case.
3. Liquid coolers have four major parts:
a) the waterblock/pump, All-in-One liquid/water coolers have the pump built into the waterblock. If the pump goes bad you have to replace the entire cooler, you can't just replace the noisy/faulty pump.
b) the tubing, if the tubing of an AIO becomes damaged or starts leaking, the entire AIO must be replaced
c) the radiator, if the radiator is damaged/punctured the entire AIO must be replaced. Additionally, research must be done to insure compatibility between the AIO's radiator size and case compatibility. Not all cases will accommodate all radiator sizes, but in some cases, even if the case will allow it to be mounted, once mounted the radiator can interfere with other parts.
d) radiator fans, as with air coolers, the fans are easily replaced at a relatively lo cost.


I hope this helps. This is not an exact nor detailed explanation, just trying to give you a better understanding.


Wow thanks buddy! Very detailed, I appreciate it - that clears thing up for me. Water coolers do sound small and effective, but also sounds it could be more messy if things go wrong. I figure since I'm not planning to over clock excessively, it is probably not worth the small risk. - Do you think the Hyper 212 will be sufficient for the 4770k?

I changed my ram preference to the G.Skill 16GB (2x8GB) 1866 CL8 in order to take your advice for faster ram, but then realised it runs on 1.6v (Haswell recommends 1.5v). I read this may cause some issues with either the CPU, or the ram not reaching its potential. Now I have chosen Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) 1866 CL 9. - What do you think?

I have a final question in regards to the 'cons' of air cooling, about after market coolers being heavy and bulky. Assuming I decide to go with the mid tower (Urban S41) and Noctua nh-d14 (to be safe), how can I be sure that I have a compatible mother board/case layout. (I.e my cooler will fit in the case and also not interfere with my ram - as you have stated above)

P.S I am not expecting you to do the research for me, I am just interested to know the method of ensuring all my parts will not physically conflict, before I order them on-line.

Thanks, you have been a great help.
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February 15, 2014 8:43:26 AM

To determine if there will be compatibility issues between the aftermarket air cooler you want to use (Noctua NH-D14) and the case (Thermaltake Urban S41) you will want to find the overall dimensions of the cooler. You can get its specs from some retail sites or you can visit the cooler's webpage and find the info. Do the same for the case, usually the retail site or the case manufacturer's webpage will tell you the maximum height cooler it will allow. For cases that have pre-installed side fan(s), they will usually give max height w/fan installed and without.

To determine if there will be conflicts between the cooler and motherboard, usually the coolers info found on the retail site, a review site, or on the manufacturer's website will mention any potential RAM slot interference/coverage as well as maximum RAM module height restrictions. Also many review sites will talk about these points within their article(s). Just do a search for "Noctua NH-D14 reviews" and start reading. Also you can do the same type search for your case. Case reviews will often highlight/point out potential conflicts with parts being installed.

Hope this helps and good luck! Hit me up if you have any problems with finding the information you need.
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