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Requiring criticism on a new build.

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May 27, 2011 6:59:00 AM

So I am in need of a new base unit/rig/PC or whatever would you call it and want to come down to a fairly good base unit. The issue is that I have a couple of things to make my mind up on in regards to parts. Though I say a couple it's more like a list of comparative products.

However I require some criticisms on the whole thing as I am not as upto date on current computer tech as I would have liked to be.

I'd like it to be known that I would like to overclock with this rig so any advice on that would be appreciated.

The current plan is :

Processor: i7 2600k

CPU Cooler
Is water cooling worth the extra money I would be paying for it ? I have checked Toms Hardware reviews on the H70 and while it keeps things very cool, it also makes a shitton of noise next to a air cooler while getting minimal difference in regards to cooling versus cost effectiveness.

Corsair H70 ( water cooler in question since I know noone that needs it and can vouch for it)
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B "Overclocker Edition" CPU Cooler (air based)
Or if you have a better recommendation.

Motherboard (not sure whether to go for the P67s or one of the Z68s) a list of candidates will follow

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO
ASUS Sabertooth Intel P67
ASUS P8P67 Pro

Memory : Since Im not sure how the frequency on ram changes the speed of it so the next 3 choices are basically a comparison on which to pick. I would appreciate an explanation on how the extra frequency outperforms the the CL speeds. All are 8gb Dual channel sets.

Mushkin Redline 1600mhz 7-8-7-24
Mushkin Redline 2133mhz 9-11-10-28
Mushkin Ridgeback 1866mhz 9-11-9-27

Harddrive: Boot Drive
Not entirely sure which is fast than the other in this case for booting. I'm not overly interested in spending money on an SSD at this point. Loading speeds aren't a major issue in my life and I'd rather have a much larger HDD on which to put things than the SSD. Plus I am thrown off by a review that mentions they have a tendency to die although Im not sure what to believe.

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3.

HDD: Capacity drive
As a drive for storing such as FRAPs recording (which needs to be fairly accesible in relations to messing about in video editting software) and movies and such.

Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB
Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB

Graphics Card

MSI HD6950 Frozr III

PSU

A Corsair TX 750 V2
XFX Pro Series 750w Bronze certified Single Rail
750W Corsair HX Series Modular (could potentially be the 850w version)

Case

Not sure in this. Too many cases and not sure if a decent CPU cooler would fit in some of the cases.

Was thinking of one of these

Coolermaster HAF X Gaming
NZXT Phantom Black Enthusiast Full Tower Case
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced
Antec 902 Nine Hundred Two (V3)

Also the vast majority of this rig will be brought from Aria.co.uk. They seem to be the cheapest for parts and so ojn unless someone can mention somewhere cheaper.
May 27, 2011 7:36:45 AM

Hmmm you have posted a really thoughtful and intelligent thread - I commend you. I have some options for you to consider.

1. Case, all of the cases you have listed are good cases. You may want to look at the Corsair 650D. It is a large mid-tower and it has USB 3.0 and a hot-swap Sata III 6gb/S drive bay. It costs 24 pounds more than the NXZT phantom. Of the cases you chose I like the HAF 932. I own the HAF 942. Most anything will fit in the 932 or the 650D.

2. For the 2600K, 2 x 4 GB DDR3 1866 RAM is the sweet spot in performance vs cost. You can get it fairly cheaply in the states if you look for sales. Hopefully that is true in the UK. Almost all of the manufacturer RAM sets perform about the same. You want to look for the best price and warranty. CL 8 or CL 9 are fine and will give you great performance for less cost

3. The H70 CPU cooler is probably not worth the extra money. The problem is that when it is set to its max cooling capacity it is very loud. My suggestion would be to go with the Noctua NH-D14 cooler. It costs less and is one of the best air coolers available. It also is fairly quiet at full fan (46 DB). Its cooling is really remarkable. Keep in mind that it is huge

4. I had a Samsung 2 TB drive and I did not like it because it was slower than the 1 TB drives I've had. You will have room to add multiple drives, you may want to consider two 1 TB or 2 TB drives in RAID 1 to back up your data. Seagate just came out with at 3 TB drive that is fast but it is expensive. A friend of mine just bought a Hitachi Sata III, 2 TB drive yesterday for $80 USD on sale. I would look for a sale on the 2 TB drives if I were you. The samsung worked fine, it was just slower than my other drives.

5. I own the Corair 750 HX and the 850 HX PSUs and I would suggest the 850 HX if you can find a good buy on it. You don't need that much capacity. A 650 W PSU would probably be sufficient. However if you add another video card and more drives, etc. the 850 HX is nice to have and it usually doesn't cost that much more than the 750 HX in the US.

Add to this that the 850 HX is modular and comes with a 7-year warranty and I think the best choice is the 850 HX. It will run a 30%- 50% capacity almost all of the time and it will be 90% efficient in that range. So it will be quiet, cool and won't use as much power. The 750 HX will ramp up the fan if you push it, but it is still very quiet. Your gpu fan will be louder. The 850 HX will keep the fan on low most of the time because of the extra capacity.

6. Of the motherboards you have chosen I like the Z68 Pro. You are doing video and so you will want a Z68 board.

7. I like the 2600K for your needs because of the hyper threading function

Hope this helps
May 27, 2011 8:30:32 AM

Oh. Just adding another case to the list. Realised that those cases are missing USB 3.0 ports.
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May 27, 2011 8:49:42 AM

Skip H70 for watercooling, if you want to go this way its worth to spent at least 200$ on it. If you decide to do so, we can make some recommendations for basic kits.

+1 on Noctua NH-D14 cooler if you decide not go to water.

You can check XSPC Rasa kit for entry level, but quality watercooling.
May 27, 2011 9:14:59 AM

mekunekud said:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Fans%2C+Heats... I take it that you mean this Noctua? Also ignore the price. U.K costs are insane compared to the U.S.


Yes, there is one issue with this heatsink and that its size. You need to be carefull about memory modules height to fit it under.
May 27, 2011 9:15:53 AM

mekunekud said:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Fans%2C+Heats... I take it that you mean this Noctua? Also ignore the price. U.K costs are insane compared to the U.S.


Yes, this is one of the best reviewed CPU coolers ever. Go to Frosty Tech for some comparisons and reviews. Despite being one of the quietest coolers it is listed in the top five for cooling ability.

Some of the reviews of the unit are amazing. One reviewer said who needs water cooling when you have the D14. Check out this youtube review.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07XTN0Qll2o&feature=rela...

At about 13 minutes into the video you will see that at an extreme overclock of 4.4 Ghz on an I-7 system the Silver Arrow, which is one of the best coolers in existence, shuts down. The Noctua does not but it passes the test. This is amazing because the Silver Arrow is an amazing cooler. The D14 is still better. Up to a 4.0 Ghz overclock they are about the same. But when the heat in the CPU really gets serious, the Noctua comes up big.
May 27, 2011 9:35:12 AM

Nice CPU :) 

RAM - as long as it's above 1600MHz you'll be fine :)  try to get 8GB if you can, as RAM is so cheap at the moment. 4GB is technically all you need for gaming, but if you have the extra money, I'd suggest getting 8GB :) 

Cooling - I suggest air cooling. Water cooling costs more and is louder. Furthermore, some of the cheaper water cooling systems need their fluid replacing every 3 years, which means sending it back to the manufacturer. Air has no such problem.

SSDs are a topic of debate at the moment. Some do say they're less reliable. However, most of the major companies are pushing their implementation, indicating that they've passed the basic checks and tests. From a purely objective standpoint, SSDs have no moving parts (unlike HDDs) that could break. They do run faster and provide better speeds, even if they are more expensive. I'm personally planning go get an SSD boot drive, simply for the speeds.

For HDDs, you have several options.

• You can get one HDD.
• You can get two HDDs in Raid 0, which will increase their speeds. Raid 0 takes the smallest HDD (capacity wise) and multiplies it by the number of drives. 2x 1TB drives in Raid 0 = 1x 2TB faster drive. However, because the drives are working together, if one drive fails, they both fail, meaning all data is lost.
• You could get two HDDs in Raid 1, which would increase their security, and slightly increase their speeds (nothing on Raid 0 though.) Raid 1 basically copies all data to both drives, meaning that everything is "backed up", so if one fails, the other is safe. Raid 1 takes the smallest drive (capacity wise) and halves it, so you'll have security and a bit more performance but less space.

These are your best options.

Your GPU is great in my humble opinion :) 

Non modular PSU<Modular PSU. I suggest the 850 as everyone else has said :)  just more options.

Your cases are all good. The HAF X has some of the best cooling available at the moment. The Phantom is a style icon, and a good case with lots of functionality, but slightly less cooling. It also has an inbuilt fan control if I remember rightly? :s You could consider a BitFenix Colossus case as that's on a similar level to the Phantom. Its really what you value most - cooling vs utility vs style. They're all good, but all better at one thing than the others.
May 27, 2011 9:42:11 AM

Nihilis said:
Nice CPU :) 

Cooling - I suggest air cooling. Water cooling costs more and is louder. Furthermore, some of the cheaper water cooling systems need their fluid replacing every 3 years, which means sending it back to the manufacturer. Air has no such problem.

Oh well, Using watercooling over 1.5 year and its all but more noisy. Reason why so many people go to watercooling is to get lower temps, nearly silent system or both.
I can barely hear mine, most noisy part of system is PSU fan and Enermax is one of most quiet.
Downside is you need to replace fluids every 6-12 months and eventually get new tubing and risk of leak killing your system if you are not carefull.
May 27, 2011 10:10:28 AM

xrodney said:
Oh well, Using watercooling over 1.5 year and its all but more noisy. Reason why so many people go to watercooling is to get lower temps, nearly silent system or both.
I can barely hear mine, most noisy part of system is PSU fan and Enermax is one of most quiet.
Downside is you need to replace fluids every 6-12 months and eventually get new tubing and risk of leak killing your system if you are not carefull.



Hi XRodney, I admire your boldness to go to water cooling - frankly I don't have the ba___s ha, ha. I think that what Nilhis was referring to was the water cooled H70 system which is very noisy at full fan. I am jealous of the full water systems like yours.
May 27, 2011 11:46:44 AM

flong said:
Hi XRodney, I admire your boldness to go to water cooling - frankly I don't have the ba___s ha, ha. I think that what Nilhis was referring to was the water cooled H70 system which is very noisy at full fan. I am jealous of the full water systems like yours.


Thats why I gave you two choices, one on air and one on water :) 

I will try post some worklog with pictures on new system I will start building as soon as customs process my new case, tho it looks like it will take some time :/ 
May 27, 2011 8:50:50 PM

SO about harddrives. Since Im not going for an SSD, is it better to have a Caviar Black as my boot drive with a 2tb Samsung F4 or is it better to have 2 Samsung F4s in RAID?
!