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$1500 - $2000 full PC

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March 17, 2011 9:40:50 PM

Hello all,
I plan to buy parts and build a new PC soon.
I have already the full configuration in mind, and I am mainly posting here to see if I did any mistake or if everything is fine.


Approximate Purchase Date: During april (I need to move out first, I don't want to add a big and heavy case to carry...)

Budget Range: Between $1500 and $2000 since I want something good and I need everything. (Before rebates if any.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, surfing the internet, numerical simulations (e.g. Matlab)

Parts Not Required: Speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.izarmicro.net or http://www.pccomponentes.com and maybe Pixmania, since I am living in Spain (but if you know anything else or better, please tell me because I don't know anything about these websites but I know nothing else.

Country of Origin: Barcelona, Spain


Parts Preferences: I already thought a lot about this and here is what I would like:
  • Case:
    HAF 932 advanced (for usb 3)
    + Design, cooling ability, size, quiet fans / - May get dusty (but a cleaning with air can once a while should fix it ?)
    Or the NZXT Phantom
    + Design (still better than HAF) / - less cooling (the main point is that I should put an extra side fan but not possible with a big heatsink ??)
  • Processor:
    Intel i5 2500K
    Best value for gaming which will be the principal use, and great for OC.
  • Heatsink:
    Noctua NH-D14 or Noctua NH-U12P SE2
    The first has better results, but I am not sure if this will fit in the case with 2 Graphic cards ?? (The 15 or so extra $ are not to take into consideration)
  • Motherboard:
    Asus P8P67 Pro rev. B3
    Very nice card for OC and SLI imho.
  • Graphic card:
    MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC
    I think the cooling and OC are quite good, but is this the best model for SLI ??
  • PSU:
    Corsair AX-750
    Will it be 750W enough for this PC ? (At maximum : i5 2500K OC (nothing extreme but I think almost 5GHz can be safely achieved with air cooling ?) and 2xGTX560 TI OC). Or is 850W better ?
    And is the AX a good choice over the other ones in the same power range?
  • RAM:
    2*4Go Ripjaws X 12800 CL9 (or Corsair, what is the better ?)
  • HDD:
    SSD Crucial C300 128Go and WD Caviar Blue 1To
    Is the Caviar Black better than blue ?
  • Keyboard set:
    Logitech MX5500 Revolution
    Expensive, is it worth the price ?
  • Optical drive:
    Optiarc 7260S
    I picked this one upfollowing an advice from someone, but I have really no idea.
  • OS:
    W7 familiy OEM
  • Display:
    Acer 23.6" LCD - GD245HQbid + NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision
    I would like to test the 3D, but is it wirth the price if you have tested ?
    Otherwise, any advice about another classic display ? (But less expensive than the 3D kit)

    I think I did not forget anything...

    Overclocking: Yes of course. Processor for sure, the graphic card is OC in the box version but I may OC further if it is safe.


    SLI or Crossfire: Yes, but not in the beginning. But for sure after some months or years, depending on my needs.

    Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, or 1920x1200, is there a big difference ? (The Acer is 1920x1080)

    Additional Comments: Obviously I need a quite cool case, but I guess that with the HAF and a noctua it will be quite good.

    Thanks if you can confirm/infirm what I propose, upgrade or downgrade components, or anything you think could be useful.
  • More about : 1500 2000 full

    March 17, 2011 10:15:42 PM

    Solid looking build but I have a few thoughts.

    1) For the OCing you're intending and the possibility of SLI (with OC GPUs) I would bump up to an 850W. XFX is a solid choice and Corsair is great too. Check the ranked PSU list on the forums if you want to see others

    2) The C300 should be good for your SSD but I would also consider the OCZ Vertex 3 (comes out on Monday). It's performed well in several reviews.

    3) I'd pick up a Samsung Spinpoint HD instead of the WD.

    4) Ripjaws should be fine.

    Good luck!
    a c 113 B Homebuilt system
    March 17, 2011 10:37:03 PM

    You have nailed your parts selection. I would not change a thing.

    Get the better cooler. The CPU socket is a long way from the 1st PCI-E slot. I have the board right here, just arrived in the mail.

    You can get by with the 750W. I would probably want, personally, the 850W for that rig. The HX850 would be adequate if you would like to save a bit. Off the top of my head, you will use about 600W with a full stress test, but less during gaming.

    I think the G.skill kit will have the lower voltage, but either is fine.

    Is Caviar Black better than Blue? Usually the Black carries the longer warranty and benches a bit faster. Have a look for the RE4 though and see what the price is. It's rerasonable right now here in the US, and the RE4 is even faster and has other great features. Enterprise class drive, so it's built for heavy usage and so should be more reliable.

    I really like my Samsung drive for watching Blu-ray. It's been flawless so far. It's a combo drive, burns DVDs but not Blu-ray. I had no reason to burn Blu-rays and saved the money. Remember that you will need software to play Blu-ray, and it's quite expensive. I recommend Cyberlink PowerDVD 10.... but none of the software players are without flaws. You will encounter movies that will not play, though most will.

    A backlit keyboard is always good for gaming.

    The OS you want is specifically Windows 7 Premium 64-bit. Professional or Ultimate are OK too but not usually needed. If you are a frequent upgrader like me you want a full version, not OEM. Otherwise, OEM is OK.

    Most monitors being sold now are 1080 rather than 1200. Many prefer the 1200 for gaming, but companies don't want to sell them any more, for reasons I'm not clear about.
    Related resources
    March 18, 2011 1:22:13 AM

    1920x1200 is worth it IMHO
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 18, 2011 1:38:32 AM

    A Corsair TX850 will do well (and has capacity for overclocking GTX 570's in SLI). You don't need an AX series. 750W is plenty for SLI'ing GTX 570's if you don't overclock (but why wouldn't you?).

    Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive. Skip the Solid State Drive until later since you're settling for GTX 560 Ti graphics. Get a GTX 570 instead. A GTX 560 Ti won't handle 3D in high settings on most games.

    I haven't tried NVidia 3D since I saw it in a demo in a store. It's fun...but, in my opinion, it's not really worth $500 or however much the setup costs. I have IZ3D, which works alright, but I end up playing in 2D without the glasses on most of the time.

    Optical: Any cheap SATA DVD Burner will do.
    March 18, 2011 1:32:17 PM

    Thanks for your answers.

    @ Steven0724:
    So for the power supply, I will go for the Corsair HX-850, its review on jonnyguru is very good. I did not have a look at the XFX, the Corsair is good for me.

    For the SSD, I think I will stay on the C300, it will already be great for me, and usually I am not fond of buying the just newly released products.

    For the HDD, I did not know the samsung ones, but they seem better. Is the Samsung SpinPoint F3 - HD103SJ the right one to chose ?
    And does the 32Mb cache SataII change something vs the 64Mb cache Sata III of the WD ?

    Ripjaws for the RAM then!


    @ Proximon:
    Ok since it will fit in the HAF 932 and with the P8P67, I will take a Noctua NH-D14.

    As I said before, I will go for the HX-850.

    For the HDD, I would prefer the Samsung one, it is much cheaper. (124,95 € for the RE4, 75,95 € for the Caviar Black, and 49,99 € fir the samsung F3.)

    For the optical drive, I prefer to wait for blue-ray, since it will at least be 100$ more expensive for drive + software.

    And for the OS, Windows 7 Premium 64-bit.


    For the monitor I still have to check.

    For the graphic card, I still prefer the 560Ti, since if I don't use 3D (and I am still not sure if I will take a 3D kit or not), it will be good enough, and later I can take this in SLI to have the same or better perfs than a single 580 for cheaper. Plus it is very good at OC. When OC it is close to a 570.
    And I really would like to test the speed of the SSD :) 


    Well, I am quite happy with this, only some minor changes, I just have to chose a screen and a new flat :sarcastic: 
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 19, 2011 3:02:57 AM

    Yes, the HD103SJ (Spinpoint F3 1TB) is the correct one.

    The 32MB/64MB isn't a big deal. It may have benefits in some applications though, but I haven't seen benchmarks that prove it.

    Yeah, but a 570 OC's so it's close to a 580. And you can add a second of these as well in a year or two and your build will still scream through games at least 3 years from now.
    March 19, 2011 4:28:43 PM

    Well I would reply but dalauder seems to be on top of it. Good luck with the build!!!
    March 19, 2011 7:16:10 PM

    I will stay on the 560 because it's cheaper, especially if I want to go for SLI,it would be cheaper² ^^
    And just one last question : what do I have to buy for wifi access ? I know it is built in for the laptops, but I don't know for the mobo p8p67.
    March 20, 2011 3:52:31 PM

    Thanks for the Wifi info.
    The fact is that I will probably live in a flat share, where you can almostonly get internet with wifi which is already provided. So I just need to have the card, if there is no wifi I will use the cable.

    I am really hesitating for the case, this is the last problem I have.
    HAF 932 (but seems very dusty) or
    HAF-X
    DF-85 (looks quite bad and seems loud) or
    antec 1200 (but quite loud too) or
    antec 900 (may be too small for the NH-D14 and SLI) or
    NZXT phantom (may be too small for the NH-D14 and SLI)

    One point also is that I don't know if the noctua NH-D14 will fit in these cases.
    a c 113 B Homebuilt system
    March 20, 2011 5:43:15 PM

    If not, Noctua is in trouble. Those are some of the largest cases made. No, none of those case will have any trouble fitting that cooler.

    Your expectations need clarification. You want to generate 2-300W of heat and that is going to require a certain amount of air flow.

    You can minimize the noise the flowing air makes by buying better fans and ELIMINATING dust filters. Dust filters are a gimmick. Dust filters collect dust and have to be cleaned regularly. It's far easier to buy cans of air in bulk and blow out the case every 6 months, takes all of 5 minutes.

    Any time you increase the restriction on the air flow you will increase the noise.

    If you really want to eliminate as much noise as possible yet still have a strong gaming rig, then you have to go to water cooling. A water cooling setup will add a full day to your build time and require a full day of maintenance once or twice a year, and will also cost a great deal. About $800 USD would probably cover it... not sure as prices may be far different over there.

    The worst noise producer in your case will be the GPUs anyway. They will drown out the rest of it when they are working hard.

    March 20, 2011 8:19:07 PM

    Ok so I think I will chose the HAF 932, great airflow and no filters :) 

    Thanks a lot !

    (And I think that the GTX 560 GPU is pretty quiet, so I will have a silent PC !)
    a c 113 B Homebuilt system
    March 20, 2011 8:36:02 PM

    Good then, I think you are covered.
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 20, 2011 8:49:14 PM

    I've used a cheap generic Fry's brand USB wireless adapter for the last couple years. I haven't had any trouble with it. Instead of spending $55 on a PCI-e card, consider something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Has anyone had trouble with wireless USB dongles?
    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 20, 2011 9:10:27 PM

    Crucial C300--I was looking at that drive on Newegg and it costs more than OCZ and Corsair 120GB drives while halving their write rate. It beams them a little on read though, but overall I don't know if it beats standard Sandforce drives. I am not an expert on SSD's, but I would like to make sure you considered your options or researched this choice.

    HX850 Corsair PSU--You'll only need 750W for sli'ing GTX 560's. Just so you know, a TX will do and save you $40.

    GTX 560--I have a GTX 470 with nearly identical performance to a GTX 560. I cannot play 3D in most high-end games and my framerates suck in Just Cause 2 with 3D turned on. Save yourself the money and skip the 3D kit since you won't be able to do much with it with that card. Upgrade to 3D Vision later when you get a second for SLI.

    I don't see why you're spending so much money on things that don't improve your gaming performance (Noctua vs Hyper 212+, Haf 932 vs cheaper like Antec 900, HX over TX). Also, if a silent PC is one of your goals, then overclocking graphics is a no go. There, that's $150 saved by getting more cost effective alternatives. Now go spend it on graphics.

    Spending 14% of your expenses on the graphics is not the typical or ideal ratio for a gaming rig. Most gaming rigs spend 30% on graphics. Are you sure you want to spend $1800 on a build that will get outperformed by a $1,000 build in games? If gaming is your priority, shouldn't your build focus on gaming?
    March 20, 2011 10:00:25 PM

    For the C300, I was advised this one, but actually I did not really compare with other ones.
    The 850W, is to do SLI and also OC the CPU and GPU's.

    I wanted to buy the acer 3D display for the 3D, but also because it seems very reactive for games in normal mode. Also I don't really know what other "normal" display would be good for a cheaper price.
    And what I was planning is tu buy a second GPU if I find out that the performances are too low for me.
    But in this case I would already have the 3D display and just need to buy the goggles.

    I would prefer a very good heatsink for the OC of the processor.

    But now I will think a little bit more about this anyway.

    Thanks !
    a c 113 B Homebuilt system
    March 20, 2011 10:35:24 PM

    WiFi cards are not all the same, and will get you varying degrees of connectivity. Solid driver support that will continue into the future is very important. Many cheap cards are OK for the current OS when they are made, and then driver support ends.

    I've seen cheap Rosewill cards that do an adequate job in XP, but would not work in Win 7, for instance.

    It's always better to look at actual benchmarks rather than stated speeds. As long as you have SATA II,I C300 128GB seems to be a good option for a boot drive, but it's not conclusive. Much would depend on the price there in Spain. Corsair Force F120 would be another good option. I've heard reports that OC has switched to the smaller die size and performance on the Vertex 2 line has dropped.
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2010/10/12/cru...


    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 20, 2011 11:00:07 PM

    Corsair Force/OCZ Vertex 2:
    They now manufacture with newer 25nm chips instead of the older 34nm. The performance and capacity decrease is quantifiable and sometimes noticeable, based on articles I've read.

    But you'll still get write speeds double what you get on non-Sandforce SSDs. Sandforce does not improve read speeds though--which are probably more important for boot times, etc. Sandforce also comes in two controllers. The first does 50,000 IOps; the second does 12,000. This is easily illustrated between the OCZ Vertex 2 and OCZ Agility 2. Considering price difference is minimal, I'd always go for the 50,000 Input/Output per second version if I went with Sandforce.

    As far as the Crucial C300, that gets 355MB/s on SATA III. You only get 285MB/s on SATA II Sandforce SSDs. I'm not sure that justifies the $80 higher price tag and reduced write performance though.

    "I would prefer a very good heatsink for OC of the processor": Ask anyone, the Hyper 212+ is a very good cooler. That's why it gets a rare 5 star rating on Newegg.com. The Noctua D14 isn't "very good" though--it's the best air cooling you can get.

    Graphics: My concern is that your CPU/mobo, etc. will still be really good in three years. But if you buy an NVidia 3D Vision setup in a year, your system won't be able to handle 3D on very high settings even with SLI'd GTX 560's in three years. The overclocking headroom you get between a Hyper 212+ and Noctua D14 isn't close to impacting performance as much as if you just spent that extra $50 on graphics. That's all I'm saying: same budget, same functionality, better performance. I saw a GTX 570 for $284 last week with Mafia 2 & Just Cause 2 (which is amazing) for free. But the price difference might be larger where you're buying from.

    March 24, 2011 10:44:23 AM

    Ok so now I need to make a final decision.

    I will wait for the SSD, since I can really not make a decision. So I would like a fast HDD. I think that the samsung spinpoint will be enough.

    For the air cooling, I will take the Hyper 212+, thanks for the advice.

    And for the graphic card, I will for sure never do a SLI of 570 or 580 (the 570 is 323€ = 455$ and the 580 is 439€ = 619$ and 226€ = 318$ for the 560 !, where did you find so low prices ?) this would be way too expensive.
    I am in Spain and I only find internet websites with these prices, I did not find any shop where to buy this, because here in Spain it is crap.
    So you see, I don?t want to spend 900 or 1200$ for SLI, so first I will take a 560, and afterward I will take another and it will be even cheaper, for a total price lower than a single 570 or 580 and cheaper or the same than the 580.

    Ah yes and for the PSU, 750W will do it.
    a c 113 B Homebuilt system
    March 24, 2011 7:27:03 PM

    Sounds fine.
    !