Hello, long time lurker first time poster. I am just about ready to pull the trigger on purchasing new components to build a new pc. Since this is the first time I am going to assemble from scratch, I figured that I would run this build by the community and gather any information/advise on the components I am selecting. My primary use will be gaming (all settings to the max) and some video and photo editing. I also plan to overclock as much as I can. I am going to connect the computer to my Denon AVR (4308CI) receiver, set up in 7.1 surround, which then connects to my Sony LCD (52xbr5).
MB: P67 Asus Maximus IV Extreme (REV 3.0)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H70 or Antec Kuhler H20 920 or Noctua NH-D14
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3072MB (I plan on going SLI either immediately or in a month or so)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1866 (2 X 4GB) CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9 or G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 2133 (2 X 4GB) F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL
SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 128GB
HDD: WD Caviar Black SATA 3 1TB X 2 in RAID 0
PSU: Corsair AX1200
CASE: HAF X
OS: Windows 7 64bit Pro
So just a few questions:
1. I am thinking that the audio though the HDMI connection is sufficient for my home theater system and that I do not need a sound card, or should I get one?
2. I want the computer to be as silent as possible, which the NH-D14 is; however, the RAM that I am looking at won’t fit. That thing is huge, and aesthetically….not so much. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing a few decibels and a cleaner look inside of the case with the H70 or 920. I wouldn’t mind replacing the fans on either of those units for a more silent operation. So that is the dilemma. Which cooler and which ram (and if replacing fans, which ones)?
3. The front fan is connected to a front panel on/off switch to control the LED. I love this feature. Case fans going, and if streaming something or watching a move, the LED can be turned off. I plan on replacing/adding additional LED (or UV) case fans. Any out there which can be “daisy-chained” to the on/off switch on the front of the case? I know Bit Fenix is coming out with some LED fans with a separate LED controller (which fits in an expansion slot on the back of the case) and I think NZXT makes fans that are wired the correct way. Any info on this is highly appreciated.
4. Is a fan controller nessary or are the headers on the MB or connecting directly to the PSU sufficient? There will be a total of 1 X 230mm (front), 3X 200mm (one side pannel, two top). To tidy up the inside and not have the fans going full blast, I am thinking that the NZXT Sentry 2 or LX would be good.
5. Which Windows 7, Home Premium, Pro, or Ultimate?
6. Wait for the Z68? From what I understand, since I am going to be using the GTX 580, eventually in SLI, there is really no benefit to the onboard graphics and the SSD caching is still up in the air.
Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions, as they are greatly appreciated. Also, thanks for reading through this long post.
1. if you are an audiophile then yes a sound card.
2. Will the ram sticks still not fit if you move them to slots 2 and slot 4? it should only overlap slot 1.
3. Not sure, my LEDs when I daisy chained them wouldn't function so I put them up on their own molex power cord (modular psu) and then they worked...i might have just done it wrong but I was trying to keep the cables looking neater.
4. Depends on the motherboard. My motherboard only allows me to control certain ones...don't remember which.
5. not sure what you'd gain beyond home premium
6. if you are doing enough photo/video editing I'd say yes. Quick sync comes with the z68 as well as ssd caching. For you, I wouldn't use the caching since you are going with 128GB.
1) I used to not recommend sound cards but after poking my head around in audiophile communities it actually makes a huge difference get something nice but not super expensive like HT Omega Claro +
2) Check out Thermalright Archon I own the cooler if you can get it for around $78 shipped it's a good deal (check out mwave)
3) I don't know of a product I think you can daisy chain with stripping wires and electrical tape and solder pretty nicely though
4) Rheosmart 6 looks great with the HAF series drive bays awesome controller and much higher quality than NZXTs crap. Not super necessary though just a nice commodity
5) Get a friend in the university system to get a discount on Pro or Ultimate for you google "windows 7 student discount"
6) Still reading about Z68 from what I here it isn't going to be a huge upgrade but I think it will improve resale value of your parts Quick Sync looks nice and Virtu does as well