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First Time Build - Loads of Help Needed :D

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Last response: in Systems
June 22, 2011 7:12:20 PM

Hey Guys,
First time PC build here and I'm looking for advice / comments on my current build ideas. I'm looking into building a moderately high end gaming pc (~$2000 - 2500) with 2 21"-23" monitors at at least 1920X1080. New games should be run at top graphic specs if possible.

My current plan is to not OC yet, but to OC the PSU and GPU and maybe RAM later on in the lifecycle to increase the lifespan.

Parts currently chosen:

CPU: Core i7-2600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070&cm_re=intel_i7_2600k-_-19-115-070-_-Product
From everything I read, this seems to be the best processor currently available. Not really planning on budging from this pick.

Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157250&cm_re=asrock_extreme4-_-13-157-250-_-Product
Again, from what I've read, this seems to be the prefered Mobo to go with the 2600K. However, I'm not very familiar with all the motherboard specs and this could be the complete wrong choice for me. High end model that is compatible with the rest of my picks should be good enough for me.

GPU: 2x Radeon 6950 HD 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127588&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10440897&PID=3067296&SID=
I know the link is an MSI, but I honestly don't know what the difference is between manufacturers. Is there a better choice, or does it really not matter? Unless someone strongly convinces me otherwise, the 2x 6950 is the way I'm going to go.

RAM: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CAS 9 1.5v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231416&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10440897&PID=3067296&SID=
Again, not certain of this choice but it seems solid enough. Was debating between the ripjawsX as it is "design to work with sandy bridge processor", but read that that was just said as a marketing grab. I like the black of the sniper better.
Not set on these sticks, if there is a better choice, fill me in.

SSD: OCZ Agility 3 Series SATA III Solid State Drive, 120GB
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX33366(ME).aspx
Nothing but rave reviews for having windows and main programs installed on an SSD. I feel 120GB should give me MORE than enough room considering it isn't my main storage drive. Is there a major difference between the agility series and the vertex series?

HDD: 2x Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB, 7200RPM, 64MB cache (Raid 0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136805&cm_re=western_digital_caviar_black_640gb-_-22-136-805-_-Product
My question here is, are 2x SATA III 3.0 GB/s drives better than a larger SATA III 6.0 GB/s drive considering my SSD will be occupying one of the 6.0 GB/s slots.

Optical Drive: Some $20-$30 DVD writable drive

Sound Card: Mobo Integrated to start with

Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D (Already Bought)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139001&Tpk=obsidian%20800d
Case looked damn good and I loved the reviews and ability to future water cool it.

CPU Cooling: Corsair Air Series A70 CPU Cooler
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX31229(ME).aspx
Should do the trick to keep the CPU at good temperatures (while not OC'd).
Only concern is if the RAM and fan will get in each others way.

Case Fans: Need 4x120mm fans for the case, am probably going to settle for some cheap silent ones.

Water cooling: I will eventually, 1-2 years from now, install water cooling, replacing some of the above fans and cpu cooling.

PSU: Corsair HX 750W Power Supply w/ 140mm Fan
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX24570(ME).aspx
Recommended to me, but am not sure if it's a good one or not. The 750W seems like a good number for me though? Final PSU choice must be able to handle addition of Water cooler. Any further upgrade and I might bite the bullet and buy a new PSU.



I believe that's the whole picture. Let me know if I'm forgetting anything. Are there any:
-Blatant flaws in this design?
-Subtle flaws in this desgin?
-Recommendations to improve upon the design?
-Answers to any of my above queries.

Replies of all kinds are very much appreciated!

More about : time build loads needed

June 23, 2011 2:55:02 AM

Hey there, welcome to the forums.

First thing, Swap out that processor to a 2500k. Here's why: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=287&i=47.... As you can see, it's even in gaming. Small improvement, but not a $100 one.

That mobo is a bit expensive. I would look at the Z68X offerings from Gigabyte.

Swap that GPU for this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Save $30, and the cooler is just as good if not better.

SSD is great
HDD's are expensive. Look into the Samsung Spinpoint F3's. They are much faster due to denser platters. And 6.0Gb/s is another cash grab on hard drives. This doesn't matter unless it's with an SSD.

I would get a better cooler. The Zalman 11X seems to be one of the best up and coming coolers, with the "highest density fin array" ever.

And that's pretty much it! Hope it helps.
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June 23, 2011 4:13:02 PM

Thank you for the reply! Very informative. The 2500k vs 2600k was an eye opener and I've made the switch.

I'm currently having difficulty finding parts locally (Canada), and have had to switch out some of my original choices.

Mobo switched to the Asus P8Z68 Pro. I like the UEFI which to me seems to be worth the $30 price increase of the gigabyte version.

GPU was already switched to Asus because the site I'm using (http://www.memoryexpress.com) which seems to have the overall best Canadian prices doesn't have MSI brand.

Also lacking the Samsung version of the HDD. I ended up increasing the storage space and switching to seagate as the price (despite the cash grab 6 GB/s) seemed reasonable. http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX32592(ME).aspx

For the cooler, I've currently switched it to the Corsair H50.
The zalman 11x looks FANTASTIC, but it's pretty pricey and considering the H70 outperforms the 11x as per http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/zalman_cnps11x_extreme... , I'm going to stick with the cheap Corsair H50 until I start OC'ing my system.
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Related resources
June 23, 2011 4:30:31 PM

Ahh, canada. The newegg.com links threw me off

Look at Directcanada.ca and ncix.ca. Both offer excellent prices and free shipping!

The Gigabyte has a UEFI I believe. As does the ASRock.

And the H70 is a watercooler, so of course it ourperforms the 11x. Corsair names their coolers with an H for hydro and A for air. That might clear up a bit of confusion.

And if you want a cheap cooler, check out the Scythe mudgen 2100 and the Hyper 212+. They cool better than the a50 I believe.

That should give you a bit to think about.
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June 23, 2011 4:33:47 PM

gigabyte has touch bios
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June 23, 2011 6:29:23 PM

striker410 said:
Ahh, canada. The newegg.com links threw me off

Look at Directcanada.ca and ncix.ca. Both offer excellent prices and free shipping!

The Gigabyte has a UEFI I believe. As does the ASRock.

And the H70 is a watercooler, so of course it ourperforms the 11x. Corsair names their coolers with an H for hydro and A for air. That might clear up a bit of confusion.

And if you want a cheap cooler, check out the Scythe mudgen 2100 and the Hyper 212+. They cool better than the a50 I believe.

That should give you a bit to think about.


Didn't know about DirectCanada.ca. They do have pretty good prices. I was familiar with NCIX, but find most of their products are overpriced. Why can't these websites be as easy to use (easy search functions, good product descriptions etc.) as newegg...

DirCan has an ASRock. Now I'm torn as to which mobo I should get :/ 
Going to take a closer look at the gigabyte version and make a decision then.

I understood that the H70 was a watercooler, but also that it is a 'bottom' tier one that is really only on par with the top level air coolers. Price wise, I like the better performance of the H50, but more importantly, I know that it will be easy to install (i.e. ram and cpu cooler wont be interfering with eachother).

Doing some further reading into the H50/H70, the best config for it is to have the fan as an intake, blowing more hot air into the pc case. I think I might opt for a more expensive air cooling solution now (Yay changing my mind!). While writing this post, I went to the Zalman site and saw that while they don't sell the zalman x11 in Canada... they do have the noctua NH-D14. I deliberating between the D14 and the Silver Arrow 4, which is more easily bought from DirCan.
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