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First Gaming PC Build (Should I liquid cool?)

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March 2, 2014 8:08:46 AM

I am going to be building my first gaming pc this spring and have a budget of about $2000 (I still need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If you can, include that in the price). I have a fairly good idea of how my build is going to go but one question has been bugging me for a long time. Should I liquid cool? I have read about closed loops, but they don't cool as well and aren't as flexible. I really want to build a custom loop, but I am worried that something would happen like a leak or accidentally messing up on tubing. I want to overclock, but not on a huge level. I still want temps under 50 degrees C. I would only be cooling the single GPU and processor.
a b 4 Gaming
March 2, 2014 8:49:15 AM

I'll throw a build together here but as to whether you should liquid cool or not, read this http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-... it's heavy reading but it should answer any questions you have about liquid cooling and you'll get an idea if it's right for you. Can't argue that custom loops can look incredible...
I'll be back with a build but... do you have any brand or size preferences? I'm assuming a case with a window, do you have any preferences for cases?
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March 2, 2014 12:43:55 PM

C12Friedman said:
I'll throw a build together here but as to whether you should liquid cool or not, read this http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-... it's heavy reading but it should answer any questions you have about liquid cooling and you'll get an idea if it's right for you. Can't argue that custom loops can look incredible...
I'll be back with a build but... do you have any brand or size preferences? I'm assuming a case with a window, do you have any preferences for cases?


I'd like an EVGA GPU because they have good liquid cooling warranties. Corsair Vengeance for ram, intel processor, WD HDD. Also, I'd like about a mid-large tower. I really like the Phanteks Enthoo Primo, as that is made for water cooling. Yes, I would like a window.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 4, 2014 12:20:52 AM

I figure to start with your entire budget used up and still short a few items - everything chosen is about the best available so there is room for a bit of budget chopping...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($234.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VI FORMULA ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($295.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($176.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($509.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Series Primo Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Enermax 850W 80+ Platinum Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) ($107.41 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1954.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-04 03:18 EST-0500)

I got there because I had a few more questions... for a monitor: what size, resolution and latency? Do you want a mechanical keyboard, gaming mouse?
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March 4, 2014 5:50:06 AM

C12Friedman said:
I figure to start with your entire budget used up and still short a few items - everything chosen is about the best available so there is room for a bit of budget chopping...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($234.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VI FORMULA ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($295.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($176.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($509.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Series Primo Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Enermax 850W 80+ Platinum Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) ($107.41 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1954.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-04 03:18 EST-0500)

I got there because I had a few more questions... for a monitor: what size, resolution and latency? Do you want a mechanical keyboard, gaming mouse?


I'd like a 24' 1080p monitor at least under 5ms latency. I definitely want a mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 5, 2014 10:20:53 AM

Here's where I'm at so far... dropped the PSU by 200W and down to 80+ Gold efficiency for $110 savings, added monitor, keyboard and mouse but we're still over budget a bit - and I haven't addressed water cooling yet

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($234.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VI FORMULA ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($295.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($176.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($509.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Series Primo Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case ($239.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($80.07 @ Mwave)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) ($107.13 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Planar PLL2410W 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($134.99 @ Staples)
Keyboard: Cooler Master CM Storm Quick Fire TK Wired Gaming Keyboard ($80.99 @ Staples)
Mouse: Gigabyte GM-M6880 Wired Laser Mouse ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2065.09
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-05 13:18 EST-0500)
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a b 4 Gaming
March 5, 2014 10:44:51 AM

Considering budget options, the Phanteks Enthoo is a tad bit pricy so I thought I'd throw a few other less expensive (yet great for water IMO) cases for you to check out (Newegg used where possible for descriptive value)
1) Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 My personal favorite for water cooling - I bought it as soon as I found out about it - no regrets there but at 31" tall it's huge!
2) NZXT SWITCH 810 White This was the case I was going to get until I came across the CM 935. It comes in other colors but white is the cheapest currently
3) NZXT Phantom 530 White This one is popular, again, it comes in other colors (some the same price)
4) Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced another popular full tower case

BTW, just throwing options out there
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