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VERY Novice (1st Time Builder) Please help! - i5 Gaming Build

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May 2, 2011 4:33:03 PM

I had a Dell 7100 XPS ordered... but they tried to delay it over a month. I cancelled, and I am going to attempt to build my first new PC. Please help! I am afraid I am going to screw something up though, so I depend on you guys :)  I'd REALLY like to get the cost down more if I could under $800 or so if it were possible. Did I miss anything?

Approximate Purchase Date: Immediately

Budget Range: $1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web Browsing, Watching Movies

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com & Amazon.com

Country of Origin: United States of America

Parts Preferences: I'd like a pretty powerful gaming computer that will hold me through the next few years

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

1
Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case
Item #:N82E16811129042
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
-$10.00 Instant
$69.95
$59.95

1
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
Item #:N82E16819115072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$224.99

1
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231311
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$84.99

1
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813130574
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$179.99

2
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 100283-3L Video Card
Item #:N82E16814102873
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
-$5.00 Instant
$239.98
$229.98

1
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #:N82E16822136533
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$89.99

1
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #:N82E16827106335
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$24.99

1
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817341022
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit 1-Pack
Item #: N82E16832116989
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant
-$13.00 Combo
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$224.98
$196.98




Grand Total: $1,091.86





Thanks in advance.

More about : novice 1st time builder gaming build

May 2, 2011 4:47:59 PM

For a $60 case, I think the HAF 912 is hard to beat. Consider that instead of the Antec 300. The HAF 912 is a bit more spacious.

For your graphics card, consider a 2 GB Radeon 6950. It will perform better than the two 5770s, it will allow you to crossfire later.

When Crossfire works and scales well, the two 5770s will be about as fast as a 5870. I would still recommend a 6950, or gtx 560 Ti as a single card solution with similar performance as two 5770s. Less power needed, no scaling to worry about, and an upgrade path.
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May 2, 2011 5:01:09 PM

Thank you mortonww. As I mentioned, this would be my first build... so just want to make sure I cover all my basis and won't need anything additional or have any compatibility issues.

Thanks so much for your prompt response

If I updated that spec, to replace the Antec 300 with the HAF 192
If I updated that spec, to replace (2) 5770 with a 6950

it would look as follows:

1
XFX Radeon HD 6950 HD-695X-CNFC Video Card with Eyefinity
Item #:N82E16814150530
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
$274.99

1
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #:N82E16822136533
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$89.99

1
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #:N82E16827106335
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$24.99

1
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
Item #:N82E16819115072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$224.99

1
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231311
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$84.99

1
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813130574
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$179.99

1
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black Computer Case
Item #:N82E16811119233
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$59.99

1
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817341022
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit 1-Pack
Item #: N82E16832116989
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant
-$13.00 Combo
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$224.98
$196.98


Grand Total: $1,136.91



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Related resources
May 2, 2011 5:04:35 PM

Buy windows 7 64 bit because 32 bit won't use more than 4 gigs of RAM

Upgrade your power supply because it will hardly run 1 5770 never mind two. You really should be looking at a 750w psu at least. Go with a quality brand such as antec, seasonic, xfx or corsair, brand name is everything when it comes to your psu.

You really should go for a more powerful single card setup like a hd 6950 which also has the potential to be unlocked to a 6970!

For a gaming rig 4 gb of RAM is easily enough but if you really want 8 gb it's still fine

If you plan to overclock you'll need a good aftermarket cooler. The hyper 212 plus offers great bang for the buck.
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May 2, 2011 5:07:57 PM

Oh, I didn't see this before. You'll want to get a 64 bit version of windows. Also, you can get the OEM Home Premium 64 bit for $99.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The OEM Professional 64 bit is $139. Home Premium usually suits the needs of a gamer, but if you have some specific use for Professional, stick with it.

If you were to install a 32 bit operating system, you'd only be able to use about 3.5 GBs of that 8 GBs of RAM you have.
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May 2, 2011 5:13:13 PM

Thats a great psu. It is also modular which means less cable clutter in your case.
Make sure to get a 2gb reference model 6950 if you plan on unlocking to a 6950.
Other than that you'll be very happy with your build :D 
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May 2, 2011 5:18:50 PM

Before we go further, I just want to say how IMPRESSED I am with the forums. You guys are so great with your responses.... so TY TY so much.

Let me give you this build now, see if there's anything else you recommend.



LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827106335
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$24.99


COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119233
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$59.99


Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136533
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$89.99


HIS H695FT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Item #: N82E16814161359
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$279.99


CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139021
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$35.00 Instant
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$139.99
$104.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231311
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$84.99


MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813130574
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$179.99


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$224.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116986
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
$99.99


Subtotal: $1,149.91
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May 2, 2011 5:23:39 PM

Also you should get the coolermaster hyper 212 plus if you plan to overclock.
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May 2, 2011 5:26:40 PM

OK Robbie, I got the PSU replaced with the modular one + I added the coolmaster 212 in the event I plan on overclocking (that's a completely different conversation all together I am sure)

So finally, this is my spec... what do you think?



LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827106335
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$24.99


COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119233
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$59.99


Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136533
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$89.99


HIS H695FT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Item #: N82E16814161359
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$279.99


CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active ...
Item #: N82E16817139010
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant
$169.99
$139.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231311
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$84.99


MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813130574
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$179.99


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$224.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116986
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
$99.99


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...
Item #: N82E16835103065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$34.99


Subtotal: $1,219.90
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May 2, 2011 5:28:23 PM

Thanks cmadrid. I'll make those revisions no problem. Is there a particular ram that you do recommend? I was getting G Skill since it was usually pretty inexpensive RAM, but am totally open to suggestions.
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May 2, 2011 5:30:20 PM

Dardore said:
OK Robbie, I got the PSU replaced with the modular one + I added the coolmaster 212 in the event I plan on overclocking (that's a completely different conversation all together I am sure)

So finally, this is my spec... what do you think?



LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827106335
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$24.99


COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119233
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$59.99


Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136533
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$89.99


HIS H695FT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Item #: N82E16814161359
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$279.99


CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active ...
Item #: N82E16817139010
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant
$169.99
$139.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231311
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$84.99


MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813130574
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$179.99


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$224.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116986
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
$99.99


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...
Item #: N82E16835103065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$34.99


Subtotal: $1,219.90

It looks pretty good :D 
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May 2, 2011 5:33:27 PM

So to debate the RAM situation.

4GB @1600 going to run better than 8GB @1333?
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May 2, 2011 5:34:04 PM

Overclocking seems to be pretty easy with sandy bridge, I don't think you'll have any problems with at least a moderate overclock when you decide to do it ;) 
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May 2, 2011 5:35:03 PM

You guys are turning this Novice into an expert... haha Appreciate all the help I'm getting around here.
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May 2, 2011 5:35:24 PM

There are some cheaper 1600 g skill ram on newegg as well.. that particular set of RAM is CAS 6 and people have reported pushing the speed up over 1600 with no problems
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May 2, 2011 5:36:07 PM

Dardore said:
So to debate the RAM situation.

4GB @1600 going to run better than 8GB @1333?

The difference between 1333 and 1600 ram is minimal and in gaming you won't notice a difference between 4gb and 8gb of RAM.
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May 2, 2011 5:36:40 PM

You will want a 64 bit OS so it will support more than 3GB of ram. Only get the sata 6.0 GB/s on the hard drive if it is cheaper than the 3.0 GB/s, it makes no difference on a 7200rpm drive.

Guess I should've refreshed the page I didn't see all the new posts sorry for being repeatitive.
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May 2, 2011 5:49:59 PM

Thanks again guys for all the help. This is how my spec looks currently.

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827106335
$24.99


COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119233
$59.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
$69.99


MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Item #: N82E16814127575
$299.99


CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active ...
Item #: N82E16817139010
$139.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
Item #: N82E16820231444
$74.99


MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813130574
$179.99


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
$224.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116986
$99.99


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...
Item #: N82E16835103065
$34.99



Subtotal: $1,209.90
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May 2, 2011 5:51:17 PM

looks pretty sweet
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May 2, 2011 5:54:50 PM

Looks great. :) 
One good thing is that the hd 6950 twin frozr III is the only non reference hd 6950 that can be unlocked to a hd 6970.
Have fun building :D 
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May 2, 2011 5:58:07 PM

If I added another 4GB RAM it's not going to make a lick of difference will it?
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May 2, 2011 5:59:51 PM

A bit, perhaps.. you're already over your budget tho!
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May 2, 2011 6:09:29 PM

Let's talk about the Motherboard for a moment. Am I going to be okay with using this one? I picked this one simply based on other other specs around here, but honestly that was about the only reason why.

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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

IF I spent another $20.00 or so, I could get this one:

ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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

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May 2, 2011 6:21:06 PM

Yes, that is awesome... unfortunately it's out of stock... booo
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May 2, 2011 7:45:12 PM

It's $20 less and includes the front USB 3.0. I thought I read that you wanted to get this down to around $800?
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May 2, 2011 7:47:50 PM

In a perfect world, I do absolutely want to do that, but I'd hate to sacrifice performance and quality if I could help it. But you are correct, $800 would be ideal. However, as you can see, I'll almost $400 over that. But I can see the quality difference that I'm paying for.

I'll definitely update that spec to include that AsRock board and thank you for the recommendation.
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May 2, 2011 7:59:48 PM

You're welcome. Also, I have the MSI R6950 (reference version). It works great. I have played Crysis 2, Farcry 2, Homefront, and others at 1080p max settings and I can't hear the fan increase over my speakers. I can hear the difference when it winds down after a gaming session. Just saying....Plus, while the Twin Frozr design cools the card better, it also dumps some heat inside the case, whereas the reference design exhausts all the heat out the back. If you stay with this (Twin Frozr III), I would recommend adding two 200mm megaflow fans to that 912. One in the front for intake (replacing the 120mm that comes with) and one in the top for exhaust. Red leds will match the power and hdd activity leds.

Edited for poor spelling.
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May 2, 2011 8:06:57 PM

Thank you for that note. That scares me a little:

1.) Are you saying the MSI 6950 will run loud?
2.) I understand what you are saying about heat... burning something up is the last thing I want to do, so I will add the 200m megaflow fans.

I would prefer not to have a LED based fan to be honest. I see there are MANY MANY options. Do you recommend one over the other? Or will this one just work fine. Again, complete novice here:

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


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May 2, 2011 8:17:55 PM

The Twin Frozr II and III is pretty silent. The downside is not all the heat is exhausted out of the case.

The MSI R6950 (reference) with it's single fan can get loud. I turned the fan up to 100% and holy s--t! However, the fan has yet to go above 50% on the profile I have while gaming (temps are still reasonable) and the only time I notice it (the fan) is when it winds down to 30% (or lower) after gaming, when my headset is off my head or my speakers are silent. My computer is about 24'' from my head and is at head level. Even at 50%, the fan is not obtrusive.

Moral of the story: if you don't need absolute silence, save some money and get the reference design. The MSI is sold out on newegg. XFX, ASUS, and Gigabyte have good reputations also.
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May 2, 2011 8:32:19 PM

Oh, about that NZXT fan, I'm not sure if the holes will align.
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May 2, 2011 8:47:55 PM

Help me find some 200mm case fans that would be compatible :)  I can't seem to google any info on them and that's throwing me for a loop
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May 2, 2011 8:57:37 PM

I had no idea the "SIZE" of this thing! Anyone see an issue with mounting this in the HAF 912 and making it fit?

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May 2, 2011 9:03:55 PM

I own a HAF 912 and I haven't had any issues with mounting anything from the Graphics card (GTX 570) to my fairly big heatsink, the thermaltake frio. It's a pretty spacy case for a mid tower.
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May 2, 2011 10:50:20 PM

I have this case too. You will need to remove the middle hard drive cage if the fan shroud extends beyond the pcb. My reference design card comes within a couple millimeters of it. I removed it anyway because I wanted better airflow and the cage below it fits two hdds.
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