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Critique my build, please?

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July 30, 2011 12:28:00 PM

Alright guys. I'm a bit of a beginner at this, so sorry if I've made any big mistakes.
Could you guys take a look at my prospective build and tell me if anything is incompatible; point out any rubbish products I've chosen or any bad design choices I've taken.

I'm looking for a decent gaming PC really. Something that'll play new games on higher settings for a year or two at least.

Anyway, the build:

Processor: i5 2500k (I'll probably want to overclock it in the future when I upgrade again and I've heard this is a good processor to do this with)

GPU: Asus GeForce GTX 560Ti DirectCU II 1024MB (Here's a link just in case I haven't put the full name in)

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3 (Rev3) (I'm not sure about this one to be honest, its just the cheapest Z68 I can find and I'm a filthy student so I'm a bit stingy, also link)

Memory: 4GB Kingston HyperX Blu (2x2GB) 1600MHz (Link)

Hard Drive: 1TB Samsung Sata II (Link)

Power Supply: Once again I'm uncertain about this one I've read that 500W should be enough, and I reckon I'll just buy a new one later on when I want to upgrade by SLI'ing the GPU, but for now do you reckon this will do? Going to get corsair. I've heard bad things about non-standard brands.

Case: I have an old PC that I'll salvage the case from, it only fits ATX though. If things don't fit I have no qualms about getting a new one as I wont have spent any money on it.

DVD Drive: LiteOn IHAS124-19 24x DVD+/-RW SATA (Link)


Thanks in advance, I know you must get loads of people like me joining and getting you to critique their build.

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July 30, 2011 12:53:47 PM

Corsair is defiantly an overhyped overpriced brand. They cost more than Antec units and Lepa units which both are on par in performance.

If you plan to SLI go with this PSU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cost less than a 750w Corsair that isn't modular, with practically the same efficiency and it is modular.

As for if you plan to not SLI.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the case, what case do you have exactly?

Also finally what is your budget? It looks good so far.
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July 30, 2011 1:13:28 PM

Budget is around £520/550 which basic conversion means around $850/900, which unfortunately is probably wildly inaccurate when you take into account US prices, I think components are cheaper for you guys. Though frankly I can go up to 580/600 at a push

The case is a pretty retro one, got my first pc in time for Half Life 2 so its a good 7 years old. The brand is iCute, which I have never seen on the internet before.

Thanks for the PSU advice btw, could save me a few pounds.
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July 30, 2011 4:06:07 PM

Ahh prices are pretty different, and I think you may have to replace the case. But worth a shot.
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July 30, 2011 6:22:58 PM

The links don't seem to work for me but here are some of my suggestions and comments:

Processor: Great choice. If you plan to overclock, you should get an aftermarket cpu cooler. aftermarket cpu coolers will keep temps low when overclocked and are quieter.

gpu: great choice. the asus cooler is one of the best around. Other 560ti's I like are the msi twin frozr II.

mobo: that gigabyte mobo doesn't take advantage of the z68's chipset capabilities - namely the ability for you to use your sandy bridge's 2500k integrated graphics. SO you will need a graphics card at all times.

memory: seems fine to me.

hard drive: get the samsung spinpoint f3 1tb (best 1 tb drive on the market)

power supply: corsair, seasonic, antec are the brands people choose the most. For corsair, get the hx or ax models as they are the best. the hx-750 is a great psu - quiet, modular, and very stable.

case: antec, haf, silverstone all make great cases.

dvd drive: it's a dvd drive :) 


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July 31, 2011 10:27:27 AM

Thanks for the advice guys, its really useful.

Now I look at UK retailers the selection of PSU's on sale here seems really limited, its a bit of a pain.

Also I was looking at this mobo as a P67 rather than a Z68. It's a Gigabyte GA-P67-DS3, I'll post the url so as to avoid link failures:

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Giga...

Also there's a sale on on the Gigabyte GTX560Ti OC at the moment which brings it into my price range, reckon that's a better choice than the ASUS?

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
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July 31, 2011 11:36:39 AM

Just searched up the price of the Z68A-D3, get the Z68A-D3 instead. The P67-DS3 is overpriced and not worth it compared to the Z68A-D3.

As for the Gigabyte you can't go wrong.
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July 31, 2011 5:02:44 PM

The Asus gpu has a better cooler which means better temps and less noise.
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July 31, 2011 11:42:46 PM

Yeah I've changed my mind on the GPU and I am sticking with the ASUS. I got around to doing some research on the website I was going to order it off and it has some very bad ratings.
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July 31, 2011 11:43:46 PM

Good call on going with the asus
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August 1, 2011 2:45:27 AM

cpu coolers versus gpu coolers are two different things....

GPUs with two fans cool much better than a GPU with one fan which is what I said. I stand by that. I also said that the asus direct cu ii cooler on the gpu is one of the best coolers on a gpu. I also stand by that. Followed by the twin frozr cooler. If the gigabyte cools so well why does it get to 90 degrees C on load.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-grap...

Plus, the original Gigabyte 560 ti SOC cards were unstable as hell that is why they had to reduce the overclock.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-grap...

^^^Gigabyte 560 ti = jet engine
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August 1, 2011 2:48:27 AM

I love hardocp but a paragraph saying "It doesn't seem loud" means nothing to people who are silent gamers.

Tweaktown, Tom's, and SPCR are great places if you want to actually see if equipment is silent.
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August 1, 2011 2:52:20 AM

^ Lets see The MSI TFIII? That has great cooling, but it isn't as quiet as it should've been. So there is something against your theory.
Is that Gigabyte model, the model OP refers too?
Because clearly the HardOCP review shows it doesn't reach that hot. Even after OC.
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August 1, 2011 2:58:58 AM

Yes, the twin frozr II design is actually better than the III design in terms of quietness.

The quietness comes from the ability of the 2 fans to cool so well that you can manually set your fans to not spin over 50% which amounts to quietness

Also, it's a general trend which might have some deviations but I don't think anyone would argue with...better cooling on a gpu amounts to less noise.
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August 1, 2011 1:55:58 PM

^ True, i just don't want to make assumptions that better cooling is quieter.
The Gigabyte also isn't a bad unit. So I don't want to make the assumption that just because the windforce sucks, all other Gigabyte models suck
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August 1, 2011 2:14:54 PM

I would say to try and upgrade to 8GB (2 x 4GB) memory if you can since its a lot cheaper nowadays and worth the little extra money.
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August 1, 2011 4:24:35 PM

mgoon11 said:
I would say to try and upgrade to 8GB (2 x 4GB) memory if you can since its a lot cheaper nowadays and worth the little extra money.


mgoon is correct. 8GB gives you the best performance with a diminishing returns after that....
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August 1, 2011 4:44:52 PM

Nice, knocked it up to 8GB.

My price has gone up £100 more than I thought! I switched to a better PSU which also boosted the price. Not sure I care at the moment. Hopefully it'll all be worth it when it arrives. Also forgot to factor in the price of an OS, plus I did need a new case.

Thanks for all the help guys, it should all be coming tomorrow.

Now comes the joy of putting it all together and hopefully not breaking anything.
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Best solution

August 1, 2011 4:57:56 PM

I only see two things that seem important. Kingston list this memory with the part number you have one is 1.65v when it is HyperX 1600 mode and defaults to 1.5v 1333. Since running the memory at 1.65v can damage your processor's memory controller and void your warranty I would advise that you look at some other memory that is both 1600 and 1.5v. The second thing is that the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K does come with a HSF (heatsink/fan) that will works fine at stock temperatures. I would advise that before you start to overclock the processor that you pick up a good 3rd party HSF to deal with the increased temperatures.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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August 1, 2011 5:03:47 PM

Right then, returning the RAM it seems. Thanks for the tip!

Also I was planning on getting a aftermarket cooler later on, should I choose to overclock it. Probably when I choose to upgrade. Thanks anyway though.
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August 2, 2011 7:23:51 AM

good luck, let us know how it goes
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August 6, 2011 12:31:37 PM

Just thought I'd check back in and tell you all it seems to be running good. Easier to put together than I actually thought!

Thanks for all the help guys, you undoubtedly saved me quite a few headaches with your advice. You're all brilliant poeple!!
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August 16, 2011 1:51:13 PM

Best answer selected by Chow_Mein.
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