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My first full build, looking for advice

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Last response: in Systems
May 9, 2011 6:29:01 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: currently deployed in afghanistan so maybe when i get home around July

Budget Range: $1500-$1800'ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: lets just say mainly gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (windows 7 64bit)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: is pretty much the only one i have used

Country of Origin: U.S.A.

Parts Preferences: Nvidia graphics, intel processors

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Probably down the road, not just yet though

Monitor Resolution: is this important?

Additional Comments: since this is my first time building a computer from the ground up I am kind of looking for advice on the parts, but also on things to know/watch for/make sure you do THIS and don't do THAT, type of things. i have some experience replacing components and have always been that guy my friends or family ask first to help with thier "broken" computer before they try an take it to a repair shop.
i fully intened to read more guides and will probably have some open when i do build this but i rather get this right the first time so here i am :) 

here is a list of the parts i plan to use for this build:

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz

ASUS MAXIMUS IV EXTREME (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard


COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3-US 1000W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

CORSAIR H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBSR

EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1573-AR GeForce GTX 570

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ( I want 2 for Raid 0)

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

and some paste Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

i think that's it.
now i have never setup raid 0 before but i know the up'ss and downs i think. i plan on either getting another drive sometime to backup this system and my other one. i have a laptop and another computer for surfing internet and and day to day stuff so worse case scenario i just lose my gaming machine temporarily if the raid fails. i was having a hard time picking hard drives tons of space isnt important to me, and the raptors (10,000rpm) seemed appealing for speed but the price difference was a bit much so i thought mayybe these 2 in raid 0 would be decent.

i realize the motherboard is very feature rich and that i probably will not need all that but i'm really interested in trying to use as much of them as i can. im kinda set on getting this board.

i love the case and the 1000w power supply saves me $50 in a combo deal with it and i figured it would leave me more options down the road than a smaller one

i dont know alot about overclocking. i've done some on stock air on cpu's and gpu's nothing crazy, but i havent really done anything with ram so i found this one after some digging around and also made sure my motherboard was on its compatability list (not sure if it matters much?). mainly i just want something thats not gonna bottleneck my overclocking down the road when i start spending more on cooling (i want to set up water cooling eventually)
if i sound dumb right now im ok with that cause i really just dont know much but im trying to learn. dont be to harsh if im way off on any of this please it is my first time trying this whole ordeal.

well there we have it. thank you for any help you have to offer

More about : full build advice

a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2011 7:48:43 PM

No reason to be harsh - You have made some very good selections so far. Remember that July is forever away for computer builds, and many components can change between now and then. For example, most likely the combo that you have selected for your case and PSU will be long gone by then. Unfortunately, it is not worth it to buy parts now, because you will not have an opportunity to return them in July. Now is the time to research and study, so I will share my thoughts, and provide as many references as I can.

AMD's bulldozer CPUs should be released by then - you may want to consider them, depending on how they perform. Just a thought. Another option is to wait for the Z68 - there are some features here that you may find interesting: The Intel Z68 Express Review: A Real Enthusiast Chipset.

The 2600K chip does not offer any processing advantage over a 2500K when it comes to gaming. Spend the extra money here only if you want bragging rights: Best Gaming CPUs For The Money

You already are aware that your motherboard is a racehorse: the Maximus IV Extreme is for serious overclocking. I researched this board back in January, and came accross a really good flow chart to OC. Will pass it along when I get home this evening.

The case you selected is awesome. Enough said.

Your power supply is too big. Even if you keep the heavy duty CPU, buy a second graphics card and overclock everything, you probalby won't need more than 600 watts. I recommend (at the risk of incurring the wrath of banthracis) a cushion for capacitor aging: 850 Watts should do nicely and leave you plenty of room for upgrades. As you change things up, you may want to leave your options open. I use this utility to estimate wattage: Ant3c Power Supply Calculator. Plug in 75% for CPU and system load, instead of the default 90%.

The H60 cooler is loud (30 Db), and not that great a performer: Corsair Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler Review. Since you are going to replace your cooling solution, why not go inexpensive here: ZALMAN CNPS10X Performa. Once again, the discount probably won't be available when you are ready to purchase, so be open to changing your configuration in July.

I like your RAM selection. For Overclocking purposes, however, 4 GB of RAM is alot easier for a system to manage. Current games do not exceed 4 GB either, and this is an easy thing to upgrade down the road. Take a look at this: CORSAIR DOMINATOR GT 4GB. This choice of RAM is better balanced with the other high performance components. The compatibility list doees not seem to matter that much.

Hope this helps. Keep reading and learning....and thank you for defending our country.
May 11, 2011 8:44:47 PM

Starting off with the processor since you are building this for gaming, the Intel® Core™ I5-2500K is really about the best you are going to get. Right now very few games can take advantage of more than 3 threads. The extra 4 threads that the Intel Core I7-2600K with its Intel Hyper-Threading will not have much value in gaming. So the battle between the Intel Core I5-2500K and the Intel Core I7-2600K comes down to 100 MHz in speed for $100.

As a number of people have found out the Intel Core I7-2600K and Intel Core I5-2500K are very easy to overclock get great results from. Most people are finding they can easily reach 4.5 GHz on air without a problem. So looking for a good solid HSF is the way to go.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2011 11:16:43 PM

Lots of links for your perusal:

Here is a good (and simple) overclocking guide in flowchart format: Sandy bridge OC Guide. There is also some interesting discussion of the Maximus IV Extreme, but there are others that are more comprehensive.

Best PSU reviewer: jonnyGuru

My favorite benchmarking software: Passmark. There are others that you will acquire, but this is interesting in that it shows comparisons of thousands of products, and benches your whole system with a single test.

Thermal Paste review Hint: Arctic Silver is not the best!

Tom's references for building your PC: Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC and PERFORM THESE STEPS before posting about boot/no video problems.

Happy reading!

May 12, 2011 8:39:25 AM

thanks a ton just the type of help i was hoping to get. im moving around a bit right now and not sure if i'll have internet but im looking into some of this stuff and the z68 is one thing i've checked out a little bit since reading this and it does seem very interesting but i keep seeing something about only discrete cards working with the quick sync?.would that mean i would have to downgrade graphics card? i'm sure theres more to it ill keep reading when i get a chance.

very good point on the ram i will deffinitly look into that instead, it's even black and red so it'll look very well with my setup :) 

again thanks these are the kind of things i was looking for
a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2011 10:47:56 AM

You are welcome, and I am glad I can help. A discrete card is separate from the motherboard or CPU - as opposed to the graphics processing that is integrated with the chip itself. No downgrade required.
May 16, 2011 5:03:20 PM

ok been doing some more reading and it sounds like the maximus iv extreme is gonna be getting a z68 edition released around the time of computex 2011, maybe be worth waiting for.
the more i look at SSD though the more i want one to run OS, applications and games on but i keep finding myself being pulled towards the fastest ones like the
OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC
and maybe just pair it with a 1TB or so reg hdd. the caching just doesnt quite look like its worth the trouble the more i read about it.

another thing i've seen in the past that i have always wanted for my custom built pc is sleeving for all the wires. i just love the way it looks with every single wire sleeved. i found what seems to be the most professional looking wiring sleeves and connectors on this European website im thinking of ordering the black sleeving kit and maybe 10 meters of small red sleeving and some red heatshrink.
i also kinda want to go with the black molex connectors on this site. how important would it be to get a tool for removing the pins the one on this website is about $19
i know it's gonna take me forever to sleeve this because im new and kind of a perfectionist when it comes to stuff that i make myself, and i do plan to make sure all my components work before i undergo this sleeving.
one more thing when you pop the wires out of their connectors how much of a pain is it to put them back after sleeved?

i know im pushing my build up more and more in price but its something that will hopefully last me for a very long time and besides i feel like treating myself after this eye opening tour through a combat zone. life is short no use holding back. this will be one of the few toys i buy when i get home everything else will be the fast outdoors types ;) 
May 16, 2011 7:04:48 PM

this case also has me intrigued
SilverStone Raven RV02B-EW $189 @ newegg
since i dont plan on ever going more than 2 video cards if even that many thats about the only downside i see in it.
i sort of like the way it looks being less flashy than most. i'll lose the usb 3.0 ports on front but the maximus iv has more than enough of those on back which would now be the top of this case. any thoughts?