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Suggestions for tweaks to <$1400 build?

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August 20, 2010 7:43:45 AM

My sisters boyfriend asked me to build him a PC for Final Fantasy 14. I've toyed with a few different builds based off what I've read on other peoples thread here and the usual recommendations, and here's what I've come up with. Looking for advise on any tweaks you would suggest making.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 30 days?

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1400 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Final Fantasy 14, other games, general useage

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard/mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (US

PARTS PREFERENCES: None absolutely set, just best bang/buck

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Most likely unless there's a compelling reason not to

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not sure, I think he said he uses a TV as a monitor, so probably 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: If anyone has seen FF14 benchmarks and specific components that preform well on it that'd be awesome. I was originally leaning to try and get 8gb RAM but that was with single GTX460, I think going 4gb/SLI GTX460 is a better route? I avoided combo's because purchase date isn't known yet. I've always prefered Western Digital hard drives and EVGA motherboards, but most people here seem to recommend Asus for motherboard and Samsung Spinpoint for hard drive, is there a significant advantage to them?

Here's what I have so far;

Antec 900 2

Asus P7P55D Deluxe

Intel Core i7 760

Corsair 750w PS <-- Large enough PS for SLI GTX460?

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4gb Kit <-- never used Mushkin RAM before but it seems highly recommended here

2x Gigabyte GTX460 1GB

Samsung Spinpoint 1tb

Cooler Master Hyper 212+ <-- probably most unsure about cooler. Is there an equal one for cheaper?

Samsung DVD Drive

Win7 x64 HP

I have some Artic Silver 5 Thermal Paste from a prior build, but it's 3+ years old. Do I need to get new paste? (Only been used for 1 build)

Suggestions, etc? Thx!

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August 20, 2010 8:00:42 AM

First of all congrats. Very good build.

The cooler is overpriced on newegg but this will do the trick

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

For the rest looks all very good. I reccomend this combo though very strongly
.

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

The psu is more than big enough and better than the corsair you listed. The case is also very good and for that price it's a steal.

also this mobo is much more popular than yours, I don't know why I don't know much about 1156 boards but I though you should know.

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

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August 20, 2010 8:11:54 AM

oops sorry I listed a combo. But even without it I reccomend the xfx 650w it's an amazing psu for the price. But I wouldn't wait to long with combos like that though even if you won't build the pc yet.

8gb is overkill. 4 is cutting it close if you keep lots of proggrams open when you game but if you close them there really is no issue. IMO 6gb is optimal saldy that's not possible for you. SO yeah 4gb/460X2 is a better route.

WD black drives are faster are better boot drives than the samsung and the samsungs are better storage drives. So in your case a WD caviar black would be faster but it's also more expensive.

Evga hasn't brought out lot's of motherboards lately meaning their p55 boards don't have usb3/sata3 thus people reccomend gigabyte and asus instead because sata3/usb3 will become mainstream pretty soon. You can get a evga board and get an addon card like this http://www.amazon.de/ASUS-U3S6-Karte-PCIe-SATA/dp/B002V... which has sata3 and usb3.

Ohh and I'm pretty sure the scythe cooler I listed comes with thermal paste you can just use that.
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August 20, 2010 8:35:50 AM

The Lian Li case is very tempting, I might switch to that even if I don't swap PSU's. Anyone else's thoughts, the Antec 900 2 seems frequently recommended here, but in the past I'd always hear Lian Li made great cases (just a bit expensive) and infact my current PC is in a Lian Li case.

I'd be nervous with 2x gtx460's on under a 700w power supply personally. But if the consensus is that a 650w won't be pushing it, it's something worth considering certainly. (Since this build isn't for me personally I don't want to cut things too tight)

Any idea what the real difference between those two motherboards is? I see a slightly different expansion slot layout, but that's about it. I had just figured the deluxe was better for overclocking? Oh, I see the one you linked has SATA6gb/USB3 while mine doesn't. Any idea how they compare for overclocking? (Not going for anything crazy, 3.4-3.6 maybe?)

I know the cooler is a bit overpriced there, I'd read on the tom's review it should be a ~$30 cooler. But coolers are one area I really don't know a ton on as far as which is better so I'd simply tried to stick to one reviewed here. If the one you linked is equal/better then I'll swap those.

On the 4gb/8gb it was real tough. Most people here seem to say 4gb is enough, but I know in my system with 4gb (built over 3 yrs ago when 4gb was fairly forward thinking) there are times where I'd like more.

My first build was an i7 875k (the unlocked one) with 8gb and a single 460gtx 1gb, after reading other posts here on toms I changed to the i5 760 w/4gb and SLI 460gtx 1gb cards. (Also added the 3rd party cooler because i heard the i7 shipped with a fairly beefy cooler, while the i5 does not.

This; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... was the WD hard drive I had originally been going with until I read the Spinpoints were better because they used fewer platters.

And unfortunately I can't order a good combo deal early because I haven't gotten a final go/funds from him yet. :\
Thx again. :) 
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August 20, 2010 8:57:03 AM

The WD drive you listed is a bit faster in bassically everything exept for transfering large files. It's also hotter and louder thus the black is a better boot drive and the f3 is a better storage drive.

The i7 875k doesn't ship with any cooler as it's designed for overclocking and all intel coolers suck(exept the 980 cooler but that's 1000dollar cpu so it better have a good cooler). The other i7s have a better cooler than the i5s but still those are very bad coolers which will be destroyed by the 212+ or the scythe I listed.

as for the cooler

here is a review

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/scythe...

about the psu 650w will do but if it concerns you you can still get a similar deal with the 750w. Btw cthe corsair 750hx is almost identical to the xfx 750w.

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

Well about the ram. If you try not keeping to many things open at the same time 4gb is enough. I get close to 90% most of the time with my 6gb but I keep lots and lots of things open. It's nice to have more but if it means getting a worse GPU or CPU it really isn't worth it.

as for the motherboards. The deluxe seems slightly higher end. 1 more heatpipe, onboard reset and power buttons, 1 more pci-e x16 slot and a different audio chip and from looking at the rest probably better. And then as you know no usb3and sata3
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August 20, 2010 9:27:41 AM

Ok, swapped a few parts based on your recommendations;

Changed motherboard to;

Lian Li Lancool PC-K262

Hard Drive to;

WD Black 1tb

Cooler to;

Sythe SCMG-2100

And Motherboard to;

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro <-- Have seen benchmarks stating that the WD HD I switched to actually benefits from SATA6gb on burst transfers, where the Samsung was only SATA3gb

On the Power Supply, is XFX better than Corsair? I'd read Corsair was one of the best. Also the Corsair is $110 with an additional $20 mail in, while the is $130 w/o mail in. IS that really worth switching to XFX?

TY again. :) 

Also I'd love to get other opinions if anyone else is reading?

Thought, does the GTX460 come with the SLI birdge, or do I need to get one? Also any other little bits I need to get that don't come included?
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August 20, 2010 10:57:37 AM

The sli bridge ussually comes with the mobo.

As for xfx vs corsair. Corsair makes 3 different grades of power supplies: tx, hx and ax.

Tx which you selected is their lowest end power supply. Don't get me wrong it's still very good, but non-modular and not as efficient as the others. The hx series are semi-modular and very efficient and bassically identical to the xfx power supplies. And the ax series are fully modular and even more efficient.

IMO the hx series or sfs PSUs are the way to go. And since the xfx ones look nicer and are cheaper I'd go for those.
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August 20, 2010 11:35:03 AM

Ok, I got you now. The pictures on the Corsair made it look like it was modular, which is something I wanted. (I don't like builds that aren't neat and tidy inside)

I will take a closer look at the XFX PS's.

Also I am looking at some benchmarks and I guess you are right, most tests are showing SLI GTX460 systems using ~475w under load. (Though these tests are 768mb versions, so maybe 500w with the 1gb?)

I still think I would prefer Corsair though, so possibly go with Corsair 650HX Power Supply instead then? (Case has blue fans, I don't really want the green fan from the XFX power supply)
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August 20, 2010 12:08:26 PM

I believe the Corsair have a 750W at $90 after rebate.

Regarding mobos, I am not sure what the price of it is in US, but in the UK the MSI P55 GD65 board is pretty good cost and it is USB?SATA III and Crossfire/SLI capable. It won't OC as well as Asus, but then ou said you don't want an extreme OC, and in fact, with the push of a button the OC Genie on the MSI will bring your CPU to exactly what you are wanting - 3.4-3.6ghz.

Of course, if you are comfortable OCing yourself anyway and the Asus is a good price when you buy, then it is an obvious one to get.
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August 20, 2010 12:21:46 PM

Yargnit said:
Ok, I got you now. The pictures on the Corsair made it look like it was modular, which is something I wanted. (I don't like builds that aren't neat and tidy inside)

I will take a closer look at the XFX PS's.

Also I am looking at some benchmarks and I guess you are right, most tests are showing SLI GTX460 systems using ~475w under load. (Though these tests are 768mb versions, so maybe 500w with the 1gb?)

I still think I would prefer Corsair though, so possibly go with Corsair 650HX Power Supply instead then? (Case has blue fans, I don't really want the green fan from the XFX power supply)


Yeah 500w sounds about right.

And about the power supplies whatever floats your boat you know. They're bassically the same power supplies(same manufacturer too, both are made by seasonic). It's just with corsair you pay for the brand name and the fancy case badge which mind you looks great :p . And if you're worried abou the green you can get this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... with the rebate it's actually even cheaper.
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August 20, 2010 10:24:47 PM

Good to know. :) 

Aste, I was looking at the MSI auto-overclocking a bit, the general consensus here just seemed to be Asus was a better board overall. (And I have no issue doing bios tweaks so I didn't consider it a large factor) That Corsair you are speaking of is the one I originally looked at I believe, the one Somebody informed me doesn't have modular cables.
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August 24, 2010 7:38:51 AM

Best answer selected by Yargnit.
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