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My first gaming build

Last response: in Systems
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July 21, 2011 4:08:42 PM

Hello, all, after lurking here and elsewhere for a couple of weeks, I pulled the trigger last night on the components for my first-ever PC build. This is a gaming/media rig; I'm planning to connect it to my 55"HDTV and Dolby 7.1 receiver and watch Hulu listen to streamed music on my B&W speakers, finally. (I'm cancelling cable to justify the expenditure.)

I'm pretty proud of it, but want to ask for opinions. Anything I did wrong? Anything I could have done better? As a note, there are about $75 in mail in rebates, though I may have missed marking some of them below, and about $75 of the total cost is for accessories that I don't really include in the build cost.

I do have a few specific questions:
-The Gigabyte mobo I chose includes as onboard eSATA connector that you can use to install a 20gb SSD directly on the mobo (or so I gather) for the SSD caching supported by the Z68 chipset. Given the presence of an actual SSD boot drive, could I expect to get any performance benefits from doing this?
-I do plan to overclock, though I've never done it before. I'll probably be pretty conservative with that. You will note that I did not opt for any additional cooling packages beyond the case's four fans and the stock CPU cooler. Should I have? Should I wait to OC until I do? If I should go ahead and invest, should I go fan or liquid?
-Given the case's large window, I want to spruce things up with some custom wiring from FrozenCPU. Given the components below, can anyone offer suggestions as to what I should get? This probably has an obvious answer to most of you guys, but I'm a noob!

Here's what I got:


RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WB Black/Silver 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811156063
$69.99 (plus $15 rebate)

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128512
$159.99

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
$219.99

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
Item #: N82E16817341018
$89.99 (plus rebate, $20, I think)

G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2
$79.99 (plus $20 rebate)

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814102948
$174.99 (plus $20 rebate; going to Crossfire this eventually, so I bought a common model)

OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820227737
$142.99 (as boot drive; package with mobo discounted price $30)

HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 (0F12114) 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822145520
$64.99 (data drive)

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AL LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151235
$22.99

NZXT Sentry-2 5.25" Touch Screen fan controller
Item #: N82E16811992005
$24.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116992
$139.99


...and the accessories:

KINGWIN KWCR-331 All-in-one USB 2.0 Micro Memory Card Reader& Writer
Item #: N82E16820137009
Standard Return Policy
$6.99

Rosewill 15 ft. High Speed HDMI Cable Model RC-15-HDM-HS-MM-BK
Item #: N82E16882119009
Standard Return Policy
$9.99

IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel
Item #: N82E16823176018
$39.99 (for couch use!)

Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit
Item #: N82E16899261003
$19.99

DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #689706
-$30.00
Subtotal $1,237.85
Tax $0.00
UPS Guaranteed 3 Day $19.05
Rush Processing (Preferred Account) -$2.99
Rush Processing $2.99
Promo Code -$30.00
Order Total $1,226.90

More about : gaming build

July 21, 2011 11:31:30 PM

I do have a few questions I'd love to has answered, so I'll repeat them here:


-The Gigabyte mobo I chose includes as onboard eSATA connector that you can use to install a 20gb SSD directly on the mobo (or so I gather) for the SSD caching supported by the Z68 chipset. Given the presence of an actual SSD boot drive, could I expect to get any performance benefits from doing this?
-I do plan to overclock, though I've never done it before. I'll probably be pretty conservative with that. You will note that I did not opt for any additional cooling packages beyond the case's four fans and the stock CPU cooler. Should I have? Should I wait to OC until I do? If I should go ahead and invest, should I go fan or liquid?
-Given the case's large window, I want to spruce things up with some custom wiring from FrozenCPU. Given the components below, can anyone offer suggestions as to what I should get? This probably has an obvious answer to most of you guys, but I'm a noob!
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!