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First Build: $1530 All-Purpose PC : BUILT

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January 18, 2010 11:03:51 PM

Hi, I just turned 24 and I am looking to build my first computer. I have a 5 year old AMD machine from ABS that still works pretty well but I am craving something more up-to-date and I want the satisfaction and challenge of building it myself. I have read the “how to ask for a new build” thread and its links but am still undecided and apologize for sounding like a noob.



APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 1-2 Months
BUDGET RANGE: 1,200 to 1,700 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching movies, Gaming, Internet (of course)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Sound Card (unless I need to upgrade from SB Audigy 2), no peripherals required.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, eBay
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Open to Intel or AMD, and open on graphics cards as well.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050; eventually be used to play movies on HDTV or HD projector.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like motherboard to be relevant (ie. Maybe have USB 3.0, etc.) for many years. Clean looking, quiet, black case with no lighting. I would like water cooling but not necessary and perhaps too complicated for a noob? Will use Windows 7.


FWIW, My current setup is:

- AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 2.0 Ghz
- 2 GB G.Skill RAM
- Windows XP Home
- Radeon 9600
- SoundBlaster Audigy 2
- Asus motherboard
- 150gb Hard Drive (1TB external)


Please ask any questions.
January 18, 2010 11:40:18 PM

This should do you:
CPU: Intel i5 750 $200
Mobo: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro $190
RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 CAS 7 1.35V $120
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1TB $100
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $30
PSU: Corsair 750TX $115
GPU: XFX ATI Radeon HD 5870 $400
Case: Cooler Master Haf 922 $100
DVD: LG Black SATA Burner $26
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM $105
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 $7

Total: ~ $1392

The motherboard and PSU allow for overclocking and crossfire.
A good starting point, a few things can be changed based on personal preference, such as the case. You could possibly get cheaper RAM. If you're going to do an extreme overclock then you might need to go for a premium CPU cooler. There are probably some deals to be had in combos, which could be worth your while looking for.
January 19, 2010 12:07:25 AM

Nice build, and has enough power to get a second 5870 in the future to play even crysis maxxed out. ;) 
Related resources
January 19, 2010 12:11:48 AM

I'm in the process of writing a longer reply but what do you think about 6gb ram, the g.skill i see commonly on here? I'm not sure which to choose though I think:

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 19, 2010 12:14:58 AM

Lower voltage is better, lower Cas# is better, higher speed is better. You have to balance that and price as the RAM will only make a few percent performance difference and enable more options overclocking as you get lower timings and voltages.
January 19, 2010 12:21:03 AM

What do you think about a smaller faster hard drive for windows and games, and then using my external for storing my 100's of gb's of media?

I like the looks of this case as well:

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 19, 2010 10:28:31 AM

Well the Seagate 7200.12 and Samsung Spinpoint F3 and the fastest mechanical drives, so if you want faster than them, then the only upgrade that would really be worth it is an SSD. The Intel X25-M 80GB is plenty of space for the OS and a few programs and games and shouldn't rip apart your budget.
That is a decent case.
If you want 6GB of RAM, (more than 4GB is only really necessary when doing RAM intensive tasks such as video editing, from the sounds of which you aren't doing), then you would have to switch to an i7 920 (which is the same price as an i5 750) and change motherboard, which is usually more expensive than a lynnfield motherboard. And finally you would have to get tri-channel RAM which is usually more expensive than dual channel RAM. The advantages of Bloomfield is that it doesn't have the crossfire scaling 'problem', which is only a 4% difference in performance: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/p55-pci-express-scaling,r...
January 19, 2010 1:16:05 PM

6gb isn't important, I just always assumed the more the better but you're right, games are probably the most demanding thing I will do. At this point, $300 is a lot for 80gb no matter how fast it is.

I can get 2 Seagate 750gb's at $120 or a 1tb for $100. I could do a Raid configuration and save 2 cents per gig. I am reading a lot of issues with this Seagate drive though.
January 19, 2010 1:45:39 PM

I think you must be reading about the previous generation, the 7200.11, they had firmwares issues. As far as I know there isn't anything wrong with the 7200.12s.
January 19, 2010 2:21:56 PM

OK, This is what I have so far:

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $198
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2 - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3750528AS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $60x2 = $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail $408
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $115 - 20 = $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail $126
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Universal CPU Cooler 120mm Magnetic Fluid Dynamic LED Fan and Fan Controller/Heatsink Rev.1 with TX-3 & 1156 Brackets - Retail $71
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail $98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AS5 $7

==== $1553 shipped and after rebate


What other tools, wiring, etc might I need?

Thanks for everything so far, I may purchase today or soon.
January 19, 2010 3:01:41 PM

The only tool you will need is a screwdriver. I think the motherboard comes with 4 SATA cables, two of which will be SATA 6Gbps, these will be backwards compatible with SATA 3Gbps tho. Screws and cable ties will come either with the case, power supply or motherboard.
January 19, 2010 3:03:41 PM

Do all of my changes look good? Make sense? Or are some unnecessary in your opinion?
January 19, 2010 3:25:49 PM

Ok Imma modify your build a bit and explain why. Changes in bold

Case
HAF 922 $99.99

Does everything the Antec does at a cheaper price. Also roomier for an easier build and cabling. Use this unless you're particularly attached to the Antec.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/HSF
i5-750 and CM Hyper 212 Plus $221.98
CPU you wanted, and the best price/performance HSF for it. the 212 beats most $60 HSF's in performance for half the price. The Tuniq is slightly better performing, but totally not worth it for 2.5x the price. The CM can take my i5 to 4.3 ghz with 52C at load temps on low fan.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Hard Drives
7200.12 500gb $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You want the 500gb ones. The rest are on 250gb platters. The 500gb one is only one that almost equals F3 in performance.

GPU/OS
5850 and Win 7 64bit Home $384.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

5870 is a 10%-15% performance increase for a 28% increase in price. Not worth it in my book. Better getting a 5850 now and xfiring down the line, or just straight up get a 5970.


CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $115 - 20 = $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail $126
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail $98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AS5 $7


Total Price $1297.93 before $20 MIR.

Recommended additions: Pick one of these. Go for the second 5850 if you wanna see a major FPS increase. Kinda pointless considering 1 5850 will run anything cept crysis maxed at 35+ FPS at 1920 x 1080.

Better to grab a SSD boot drive for a major boot, load and system response speed difference.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-ssd-perform...

Go for a new monitor if you wanna game at 1920x1080.
Hanns G 23.6" 1920x 1080 $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Second 5850 $299.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

x25-M SSD $299.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 19, 2010 3:28:10 PM

As a note, the blue ray burner isn't really necessary. I barely use my DVD burner, nvm a blue ray. Unless you have a specific use requiring a Blue ray, i suggest you drop it and get a cheap $23.99 DVD burner.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


My recommended build would be what I linked above + the Intel SSD and monitor I linked, plus swap blue ray for DVD burner.

Comes out to $1693.92 with $20 MIR before shipping.

Funny thing is, my almost identical build, (diff mobo, element G instead of HAf 922) was $1550 back in october.

Increase in prices across the board ftl!
January 19, 2010 3:31:17 PM

Well its not a burner. It would be used for playing bluray dvds on my monitor, eventually an hdtv
January 19, 2010 3:40:03 PM

You're right though, I can always upgrade if and when I actually get an HDTV or Projector, which may not be for a long time.
January 19, 2010 3:45:56 PM

OK, thanks for the advice I have updated to your recommendation, except the case. I don't know why but I really like the Antec. It is also only about 5 dollars more with shipping since it is 30 dollars off. Do you still really think the Coolermaster would be better for me?

My total right now is 1200 without a hard drive. The 750gb will be 60$ starting at 1pm Central today, but you think if I did 2- 500gb the performance would be noticeable better? Also, I would like SSD, but I did read one place that having Windows on it will shorten it's lifespan, is this BS? If I did get the x25, 80gb, I would probably get one 500 or 750 gb Seagate as well.
January 19, 2010 4:00:03 PM

Um the 250gb platter 7200.12 are kinda bad performance wise, so I'd definitely say go with the 500gb ones if you plan on putting apps or games on them. If it's just media, then go with best gb/$ ratio you can find.

However, if you get the Intel 80gb SSD then it's less of an issue. What I've been doing lately is SSD for boot/apps/long load time games. Good 500gb drive for rest of games and media.

SSD's actually last longer than mechanical drives (theoretically anyway). They have a limited # of read/writes, but have no moving parts to break. Anand did a very good analysis
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=...

basically, he's saying the intel X25-M G2 will last 986 years assuming you do 7gb of writing a day on it (the flash wears out in 10 years, so technically that's the limit).
So yea, using a SSD for OS is not an issue. In fact, that's the main use for them currently in the mainstream market.

January 19, 2010 4:05:34 PM

Re: Case choice. It's really a personal aesthetic choice. I like the HAF because it's cheaper, yet has better airflow and is larger, yet lighter.

My new favorite is actually the element G, which is a smaller 922 with huge side fan, filters, a fan speed controller and 2 SSD mounts. It's $30 more atm though. I've gotten 2 from Tiger Direct for $99 last few months. Deal's gone though.

Not sure if either have a 3.5" to 2.5" drive bay adapter for a SSD though. Retail one I linked comes with one, so it's not an issue unless you buy OEM SSD.


January 19, 2010 4:23:04 PM

UPDATED: I decided on the CM case after looking at it some more, it pretty much looks the same, 5 bucks cheaper and slightly better. I will continue to use my Gateway 21" Monitor for now. No bluray needed for now. Maybe put my SB Audigy 2 from my current computer using my Klipsch 5.1 Ultras. Saitek Eclipse and Logitech MX518 reused as well. I

I am going to the bank now to deposit some checks and will see what anyone else says when I get back and maybe purchase this afternoon!


Case
HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119197

MOBO
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131621

CPU/HSF
i5-750 and CM Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.296096

Hard Drives
7200.12 500gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

x25-M SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product


GPU/OS

5850 and Win 7 64bit Home
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.298043

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139006

RAM
G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231321

Optical
LITE-ON
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106289

AS5
January 19, 2010 4:27:58 PM

banthracis said:
I like the HAF because it's cheaper, yet has better airflow and is larger, yet lighter.
I disagree with your claim that the HAF 922 has better airflow than the 900/902. The Antecs front fans are moveable so you can pull cool air in from the front directly at specific components (like the RAM and CPU). On the HAF the single larger fan is stuck at the bottom so you cannot adjust the airflow as much as with the Antec. HAF is a little larger and probably easier to install/cable. Both cases provide very good air cooling. You should choose based on price and esthetics since both have the functionality covered well.
January 19, 2010 4:47:13 PM

Well, I was basing it on theoretical CFM. I agree actual airflow may differ depending on fan orientation, etc. That's kinda hard to get numbers for though.

The 902 uses 3 tricool fans rated at 41 CFM max
1 200 MM fan rated at 134 CFM max.
Total 257 theoretical CFM.

The 922 uses 2 200mm fans rated at 110 CFM max.
1 120MM fan I'm not sure if its the 40 CFM or 69 CFM ones though.
Total 260-289 CFM.

Again, these are theoretical max's. Other factors play a role, but this is as close to empirical as you'll get in terms of absolute airflow.

But yes, both cases are fine and you're good with either.

Edit: I actually initially was thinking of the CFM numbers from my build 1 year ago where I added an extra 200mm side fan to the 922 haha. That's was actually a pretty big difference, which is why I went 922 instead of 902 back then.
January 19, 2010 4:54:13 PM

banthracis said:
Well, I was basing it on theoretical CFM.

I think if you have an intake fan and an exhaust fan with the same CFM they dont add together as they are just push/pulling the same volume of air. In any case its not really much of an issue. Unless you are doing some major overclocking both cases will do fine running the fans at minimum.
January 19, 2010 4:55:33 PM

Everything else looks great though? I will spend another few minutes deciding on case.
January 19, 2010 4:58:27 PM

dndhatcher said:
I think if you have an intake fan and an exhaust fan with the same CFM they dont add together as they are just push/pulling the same volume of air. In any case its not really much of an issue. Unless you are doing some major overclocking both cases will do fine running the fans at minimum.


Totally agree. Unfortunately there's no real empirical comparison for case airflow besides theoretical CFM >.<

And yea, again, I totally made the initial conclusion based on my old build which had a 922 + extra 200mm side fan vs a 902, which was a significant difference. doh!!
January 19, 2010 5:43:48 PM

Just curious as to why the HAF 922 and Antec 900 series were even suggested?

He stated that he just wants a Simple black case with no lighting.

IMO the Antec 300 would probably suit he needs just fine and is about half the price. Just my 2 cents though.
January 19, 2010 5:44:37 PM

Pretty nice deal there. Go for it. It's better than the 922 for $80 deal they had last week.
January 19, 2010 5:47:32 PM

Well the HAF and 900/902 are all around very good cases. Yes they have lighting, you can disable it if it bothers you.

Those cases are worth the extra money over the Antec 300 due to airflow, extra space and overall quality. Actually, for $10 more than an Antec 300, the 900 is easily worth the extra money.
January 19, 2010 5:53:51 PM

When you have the budget for an SSD, there is enough money involved to presume that more HDDs/SSDs/BlueRays may be added later. A 300 gets crowded alot faster than the 900 or 922 so I increase my normal budget recommendation of the Antec 200 or Antec 300 Illusion up to a 900/902/haf 922 in this case.
January 19, 2010 7:54:19 PM

Well, I did it. Ordered everything from Newegg as of 3pm Central.

Case
Antec 900
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131621

CPU/HSF
i5-750 and CM Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.296096

Hard Drives
7200.12 500gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

x25-M SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product


GPU/OS
5850 and Win 7 64bit Home
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.298043

PSU
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139006

RAM
G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231321

Optical
LITE-ON
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106289


GRAND TOTAL: $1528.20 before rebates, but they were only like 30-50..

Can't wait to get the stuff and figure out how to put it together.
January 26, 2010 4:44:59 PM

I put together the system yesterday. PITA getting the RAM in (tricky MB slots), but got everything else in OK. Cable management sucked as well, but there's so much air running through this case that I'm not too worried. It's pretty damn loud though... That cpu fan is HUGE, barely fits in the case. The SSD is awesome, but the Seagate was dead.... So I'm running the SSD for now with my external. Right now I'm not putting too much of a strain on the system, just Firefox and installing a game, and my CPU is running at 26 degrees Celsius so that's good. What is a safe range for this cpu? Just curious...

Thanks a lot to everyone who helped! Hopefully I get that other harddrive working...
January 26, 2010 5:17:53 PM

Even though I love the i5, have it myself, with your budget you should definitely get a i7-920, TRIPLE channel memory!!!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Save money, and MORE PERFORMANCE!!!!

I have the i5-750, Asus P55 Evo Mobo, 4gb ddr3 1650Mhz, CM Hyper 212, 2x640gb WD Black, 260gtx 216, 750watt Antec Earthwatts, and Antec 1200 case. I have good computer building sense/experience! trust me :) 
January 26, 2010 5:20:08 PM

Bad luck on that 7200.12 I guess!
Make sure though it's connected properly and you formatted it. OEM drives are not preformatted, and a HD won't be recognized until it's formatted (lots of new builders assume their HD is broken because it won't show up in my computer, when in fact it's just not formatted).

In general try to keep the i5's under 60C. You can go higher, 80C or so, but that's not recommended as it'll start throttling around there. Of course, the lower the better.

Um, you can pick up a fan controller for the case if it's too loud. That'll let you control voltage and therefor RPM. I keep my 922 fans at 600 RPM for 200mm and 1k RPM for the 120mm and it's pretty quiet.

January 26, 2010 5:25:12 PM

Um Shadow, he already ordered the system....

Triple channel memory makes no difference at worst, and only noticeable in benchmarks difference at best.

It's higher cost than his build and worse gaming performance...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quad-core-cpu,2499-...

In fact, thanks to GPU bottlenecks, even with a 5970, the i7-920 is equal to a Phenom II x4 in gaming, which is half its price.
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=869&p=23

So yea, the i7-920, not a gaming CPU.

Also, this doesn't even go into the i7-920's minimum frame rate issue, which in some games is much worse than Core 2 quads, core 2 duos, Phenom II's, basically any other CPU made int he last 2 years.
January 26, 2010 5:27:51 PM

oh nevermind then, but the x58 mobo and lga 1366 is more future proof. I have the i5-750 @ 3.5Ghz at stock voltages and it give me amazing performance, so you right.
January 26, 2010 6:33:41 PM

Not only did I order it, I'm using it right now.. Just got done with a little Mass Effect 2 session...

banthracis:
My case fans have switches on them that don't allow me to plug them into the mobo or anything else besides power. I think I could probably set them all at Low and it would be fine for most things. The rear exit fan I can adjust while its running since I poked the switch out of the water cooling hole. Is there still a way to use a controller?
January 26, 2010 6:39:24 PM

A controller connects to power aka molex of the fan. All it does is change the voltage going to the fan to increase or decrease the RPM.

So yes, you can use a controller. Basically you plug fan into the controller, controller into power.

Antec tri cool fans though have a built in "controller" to change between low med and high speeds, so that's really all you need. You can keep your case on low and it should be relatively quiet.
January 26, 2010 7:14:20 PM

Yeah. It's a lot better, and still currently running at 22c. Still a little loud but to be fair it's right next to my left ear because I have it on my desk right now for easy access.
January 27, 2010 1:57:06 PM

Personally I wonder why nobody mentions Xclio's full tower BK-PLUS for computers this expensive. I've got a fan as big as my head on front intake to cool HDD's, another one big as my head for a blowhole positioned right over the PSU's intake, a spot for 120mm in the back, and a massive 360mm on the side. Most of the comps i've seen or reviewed have hotter components with the case closed, but this case keeps all my components cooler with it closed. Excellent quality construction, great airflow, tons of room, good layout, easy to hide your wires. The combination and placement of fans keeps my 2900PRO from turning into a vacuum, and keeps my Q6600 at or below 60c under load while overclocked to 3.6 on an arctic freezer7 pro
January 27, 2010 2:22:32 PM

The reason korsen is build quality. Xclio cases have lots of little parts that aren't perfect and/or break off. Their tooless system isn't as good as CM or TT or Antec.

They also don't prebundle/wire case cables and fan cables like some of the other companies do.

Also, while their fans a generally inferior to the top 3. Granted, top 3 don't exactly use scythes, but quality is noticeable better.

The top 3 also include lots of random little things, whether it's holes for water cooling, filters, TT has a nice wireless side panel fan, etc.
January 27, 2010 2:53:48 PM

two words, full. tower. I really dont have room for that. and i think an idle cpu temp of 18-25c is pretty good. haven't really pushed it hard yet
January 27, 2010 3:33:50 PM

You should put the system through some testing to make sure no ugly surprises show up later.

To monitor temps, voltages, etc
Hardware Monitor
http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php

If you can obtain it, get Everest. It's the best in the business, but it ain't cheap.

To monitor temps and control fan speed,
Speedfan
http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php

To Test CPU
Prime 95
http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=103
Run for 12 hrs and make sure no errors.

To test RAM
Memtest
http://www.memtest.org/

Run at least 8 passes. Should be ~12 hrs.

GPU monitoring and tweaking
Riva Tuner
http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=rivatuner

GPU Testing
3d Mark vantage
http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmarkvantage/down...

Should also keep an image of your SSD w/ OS and important Apps on either an external drive, or a separate partition on the F3. If there's ever an issue, the 5 minutes it takes to do this will pay dividends.

Win 7 has a built in image program, so no need to find anything new.
January 27, 2010 4:45:50 PM

Oh, thanks a lot! I was wondering about all these tests. I had already downloaded Speedfan, which is how I am monitoring my CPU temp.

I obtained Everest Ultimate Edition, but not quite sure what to do with it besides look at all the cool info it gives me.

I got prime 95 as well, and will probably run it later, you think I should run it for 12 hours straight? I may do that overnight.

I got memtest but I couldn't get it installed, maybe I will try that again later.. any tips on which version to download?

I got Riva Tuner, not sure what to do with it though.

I'm working on getting 3dmark vantage and will try that later.

Made a backup image on my external and also a Win7 repair disk.
January 27, 2010 4:53:15 PM

Easiest for memtest is to DL the bootable iso and burn it onto a cd.

Restart system and boot off the CD. Memtest doesn't run in windows.

Riva Tuner is used as an overclock utility for GPU's as well as a sort of speedfan for GPU's. IE you can control GPU fan speeds by linking temps to speeds, etc.

Everest does lots of stuff lol. Just read the stuff on their website.
http://www.lavalys.com/products.php?ps=UE&lang=en&page=...

Basically it's system info + benchmarks and diagnostic tests.
Also has a neat gadget to display real time system stats of your choosing on your desktop.
January 27, 2010 9:35:17 PM

3d Benchmark

-I tried to make it clickable.....

I ran Prime95 for an hour and it ran perfectly at around 46 celcius. I will try to run it overnight tonight.

Ran for another 6 hours, very stable. I assume this means I can overclock until its stable around a higher temperature like 55-60 while running prime95? I will probably try overclocking when I get my stupid Seagate installed for sure, not that it matters but that should be a decent break in time. Will run Memtest today.
January 28, 2010 12:47:16 PM

Well for gaming OC doesn't actually net you much FPS. Your system is already GPU limited at stock i5 speeds.

Therefore, no need to push it to the max overclock. Just do a moderate 3.6 ghz OC. Should be doable at 1.3v max.
!