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First Gaming Computer build

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August 13, 2011 11:55:48 AM

Hi all,

After a few months of reading, I've decided on my gaming PC.

OS: Windows 7 64-bit (Home Premium)

GPU: HIS Radeon 6870 ICEQ X Turbo X
I was planning on getting a 560 ti or a 6950, but seeing as how late I am building in the year, I'll be going for these cheaper 6870 and use the extra money to buy an intel 510 instead of a crucial m4. Also, I went for these cheaper ones because I'm thinking of buying a kepler nvidia gpu early next year (or w/e they arrive), or maybe the southern islands AMD ones.
I don't mind paying for these at $200 now and changing them in a few months. I can use this card for something else.

Processor: Intel i5 2500k

Power Supply : Corsair AX850
Edit: Oh, 850w for SLI/CF (again, early 2012)

Motherboard to match: ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3
Gigabyte had so many choices, I don't know which one is comparable to this ASRock model. I had a look at the "best" one (that I thought) from Gigabyte, and it was $100 or so more than ASRock. Asus had something comparable, the 'pro', but it doesn't have a 2xPCIE2.0 running at x16 (both), no PCIE3.0, and, to a smaller extent, less USB3.0 ports.

RAM: g.skill F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL
I couldn't find other 8gb sticks on the motherboard compatible rams list. I checked a few, but they all said 4gb, and going by the list, it doesn't say how much gb of ram there are so I don't wanna have to go through the whole 1333hz list to find an 8gb one...

Hardrive: 1x Intel 510 120gb
1x Seagate Barracuda 1TB
In the past, I've never needed more than 400-500gb, so 1TB should be enough for me (I'll buy more as I need them).
I was initially thinking of getting the Crucial m4 128gb, but tomshardware did a test on it, and the intel 510. The 510 apparently had better garbage collection and the speed was reduced less after it. So I downgraded my GPU to a 6870 from 6950. I don't mind this trade-off, as I will be replacing the GPU later (early 2012).

Case: CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer
I can't find any other case with the features of this one, for this price. Dust filters for the intake fans (front and bottom psu fan); removable HDD bay; big 200mm fan at the top (or two 120mm) and rear 120mm fan; the front fan is 200mm. Also, USB3.0 front I/O.
The only comparable one is the Corsair Carbide 400R. It's got plenty of fans and got dust filters on the intake ones (the side don't have filters though), as well as USB3.0 on the front. The only downside is it's price at $139, compared to $99 for the CM Storm Enforcer. Plus I like the enforcer look, and I can cut a hole on the side window for a 200mm fan and use the extra $40 on another fan.

Monitor: BenQ E2420HD monitor
Nice and cheap, good for it's price (from what I've read of it). Will be upgrading onto a 120hz next year along with new Kepler/Southern Island GPU.

So...

All up, it's around $1500-1600.

I'll be using the computer mainly for gaming and watching movies.

I've already got speakers, but will be buying a headset w/ mic and dedicated sound card later.

Optical drives - I plan on getting quotes from various retailers (online and on the street). W/e is the best offer, I'll take, and go with w/e optical drives they can offer along with the parts I want.

Now, fellow computer enthusiasts, is there anything I should change in my build? I've checked that the parts are compatible with each, though I might be wrong. Any suggestions, tips, advice, or criticisms? I'm open to whatever needs to change.

Edit: I keep saying corsair, sorry, i mean crucial m4, lol
Edit2: I've change from
Mobo - Extreme7 to Extreme4
PSU - XFX 850W Black Edition
RAM - from G.skill to Kingston HyperX 8GB
GPU - MSI 560 Ti Twin Frozr II
SSD - Intel 510 to Crucial m4

More about : gaming computer build

August 13, 2011 1:32:38 PM

Reading up Anandtech's review of the crucial m4, the ssd seems to have delayed garbage collection.

Hmm...

Anand's "tortures" the SSD. I don't think in my normal usage, I'll be doing that to the SSD. I'll have to TRIM the SSD once a week, or so, maybe once every two weeks.

My friend says he'll be getting the intel 510. I guess I'll get the crucial m4 and we can compare (over time) their performance.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2011 1:44:41 PM

I wouldn't say Intels SSDs are garbage. The M4 is better per/gig though. I think getting a SF-2200 SSD would be faster but anySSD is a good SSD. Even my crappy 64GB Kingston in mah laptop is pretty fast at booting.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cheaper and still just as fast as Sandforce has proved the 2nd gen can perform.

Cheaper PSU and still just as good.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Here's the review:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/06/20/lepa_b_series...

This motherboard and save some money. You don't need that board.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This RAM. Newer and I would say better.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With the money saved get this GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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August 14, 2011 3:06:44 AM

Hmm...

I didn't go with a cheaper PSU, because I want one with better components (quality-wise) as well as high efficiency (88% and up). I would've gone for a platinum rated PSU, but I can't find any at 700-800w. The rating is done at a low temp (23 I think?) so it's not much of a medium compared to PC's an average user might use. The one you linked uses 40 degrees, which is good (I think), but I don't want PSU's with (comparably) low efficiency.

The motherboard, I had a look at, but it seems to use 4+1+1 phase (I can't find it from the specs, but someone from a forum posted that). It also only has 1 PCIEx16 running at x16. The PCIE3.0 from ASRock is for "future-proofing". The ASRock has 2 PCIE2.0 running at x16 as well.

The only thing detering me from other boards, is that they don't have PCIE3.0.

The ram, I chose because it's the only one that is "compatible" with my ASRock mobo (using the list at the site).

Hmm... The GPU, I'm going to stick to the $200 range. I'll use the extra $50 or so to buy a fan, or some other peripheral that I'll be using for a few years. The GPU is something I'll change early next year and use it for something else.

Thank you for your reply.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 4:43:10 AM

O.o From Gold to Bronze the effiency difference is about 2-5% I can't remember the exact number. But you wouldn't even notice it at all. Also if your airflow is good in your case the heat wouldn't matter.

As for the PCI3 I don't expect to see that until Maxwell (2014), I think the next generation is still going to be PCI-E 2 specially since NO other motherboard uses PIC-E 3.

Usually motherboards give you a list but that doesn't mean other ram kits don't work. You just have to set the timings. I used a completely random Patriot ram kit for my MSI 790FX-GD70 and it works just fine.

As for the GPU, get the 560 Ti. You don't need to get a fan, it'll void the warranty. Well either the 560 Ti or the 6950 would be fine. Both are good here are a few to choose from.
Sapphire Dirt3 Edition 6950 2GB $265 (+MIR):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HIS IceQ X Turbo H6950 1GB $240:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI Twin Frozr II 560 Ti OC $245 (+MIR):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 6:08:54 AM

todaytomorrow said:
Hmm...

I didn't go with a cheaper PSU, because I want one with better components (quality-wise) as well as high efficiency (88% and up). I would've gone for a platinum rated PSU, but I can't find any at 700-800w. The rating is done at a low temp (23 I think?) so it's not much of a medium compared to PC's an average user might use. The one you linked uses 40 degrees, which is good (I think), but I don't want PSU's with (comparably) low efficiency.

The motherboard, I had a look at, but it seems to use 4+1+1 phase (I can't find it from the specs, but someone from a forum posted that). It also only has 1 PCIEx16 running at x16. The PCIE3.0 from ASRock is for "future-proofing". The ASRock has 2 PCIE2.0 running at x16 as well.

The only thing detering me from other boards, is that they don't have PCIE3.0.

The ram, I chose because it's the only one that is "compatible" with my ASRock mobo (using the list at the site).

Hmm... The GPU, I'm going to stick to the $200 range. I'll use the extra $50 or so to buy a fan, or some other peripheral that I'll be using for a few years. The GPU is something I'll change early next year and use it for something else.

Thank you for your reply.

There's only the slightest of difference in the psu you linked and the one aznshinobi linked. You have a ton of money sunk into a mobo that's meant for running tri vid cards and that psu, and you have totally shorted yourself on the gpu, which in regards to a gaming build is not smart. It's all about FPS.

That psu aznshinobi linked is made by Seasonic as is that Corsair psu you have.

For a cheaper mobo that's every bit as good for gaming...unless you plan on running three vid cards, which is a waste of $ then look at this own down below which should be on the shelves in the next week or two. It should sale for somewhere around $150

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre...
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $266.98 save: $13.00 - $20.00 Mail In Rebates FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory with heatshield Model PSD38G1600KH

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $185.98 $10.00 Mail In Rebates
CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 - $109.99 after mail-in rebate
XFX PRO750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus Silver 750 Watt Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $239.99 - $219.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card3

or...



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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 6:12:42 AM

Haha Why_Me the Lepa PSU is made by Sirtec. But equally as good. And cheaper too.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 6:20:57 AM

aznshinobi said:
Haha Why_Me the Lepa PSU is made by Sirtec. But equally as good. And cheaper too.

tbh I didn't click that link, I took it for granted you were linking him to the XFX. I boo booed. But the OP doesn't need that board, and that psu is a hose job imo. A lot of money for a NF 200 board and that psu.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 6:24:23 AM

By "THAT" psu, which one do you mean? Because the LEPA 850w is a solid psu for the price. Plus a good efficiency and modular. Made by Enermax (Lepa)
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 6:39:57 AM

aznshinobi said:
By "THAT" psu, which one do you mean? Because the LEPA 850w is a solid psu for the price. Plus a good efficiency and modular. Made by Enermax (Lepa)

That Corsiar AX. Would you pay that mind of money and the pick up a 6870?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 6:43:59 AM

Well Why_Me you know the answer to that haha. You know I'm a budget builder. I think all Corsair products are a rip-off. Cept the Ram. H70 HAH That thing is only a little better than the H212+ for about $40 more. The AX series, those things are overpriced and even gold isn't that much better than bronze. Corsair cases? LAWL Those things cost more than the HAF's, Storm series, Silverstone, Antec cases but for similar size if you know what I mean.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 6:55:49 AM

aznshinobi said:
Well Why_Me you know the answer to that haha. You know I'm a budget builder. I think all Corsair products are a rip-off. Cept the Ram. H70 HAH That thing is only a little better than the H212+ for about $40 more. The AX series, those things are overpriced and even gold isn't that much better than bronze. Corsair cases? LAWL Those things cost more than the HAF's, Storm series, Silverstone, Antec cases but for similar size if you know what I mean.

+1
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August 14, 2011 9:20:24 AM

Ok guys, thanks for all the replies.

I forgot to mention I live in Australia >.< Sorry all.

Just reading more on PCIE, and it seems even running on x8, most GPU's aren't using all of it.

From another thread, someone suggested Kingston HyperX 8GB. I've been told G.Skill has had compatibility problems, so I'll stay away from them.

I'll change my mobo to that ASRock Extreme3 gen3. You are right, I won't need all those PCI slots. That extreme3 gen3 mobo as less SATAIII ports. Would I be needing more than 2? I plan on getting another SSD somewhere in the future, and one or two more HDD. Won't be using RAID set-ups.

Oh, I'll change the gpu to a HIS 6950. Was looking at that initially, but I thought i'll need the extra $ somewhere else. I don't mind losing 10 or so FPS if I can get better parts that'll last me for more than two years. I've been playing The Witcher 2 on a mobility 5450...

Are the corsair PSU really overpriced.... I had a look at that Lepa one, but I can't find any on Australia. Is there another that you guys suggest? I was initially looking at enermax modu87 800w. What do you guys think of that psu?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 14, 2011 9:34:56 AM

Here in the US the Corsair psu's are usually more expensive than other comparable psu's. In Oz...pccasegear.com for example, look at the Corsairs, Antec, and Silverstone psu's...they usually run about the same in price and all three are good brands.

Two SATA III connections will cover your H/D and SSD, but if you feel you need more, than look at this board down below.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre...
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
Share
August 14, 2011 10:01:01 AM

Ah, ok. I'll change my mobo to gen4. 2 extra SATAIII 6gbs is nice in the future. Only $13 or so more.

Corsair AX850 is $245. The Antec and Silverstone both have comparable ones (850-800W) at $209. The Antec has some problems (Hardocp.com) and I can't find any reviews on the Silverstone. Is $245 too much for a PSU? I don't mind paying extra if the quality is top-notch.
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August 14, 2011 1:31:39 PM

Lol, alright, I'll have a look at the XFX ones tomorrow
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August 15, 2011 11:58:10 AM

Ok, I've had a look at the XFX Black Edition (850W). It's recieved a very good review at johnnyguru so I'm going to go with that one. I like it's radio-active blinding green color scheme as well :D 

After reading up on watts/$ and temperatures, I'll be going with the Gigabyte 560 ti Overclock instead of a HIS 6950.

What do you guys think of the XFX PSU?
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August 15, 2011 3:31:56 PM

todaytomorrow said:
Ok, I've had a look at the XFX Black Edition (850W). It's recieved a very good review at johnnyguru so I'm going to go with that one. I like it's radio-active blinding green color scheme as well :D 

After reading up on watts/$ and temperatures, I'll be going with the Gigabyte 560 ti Overclock instead of a HIS 6950.

What do you guys think of the XFX PSU?

XFX is solid. They are manufactured by Seasonic which is as good as it gets imo.
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August 16, 2011 10:33:49 AM

Ok, cheers, thanks :D  I'll get the XFX.
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August 21, 2011 6:19:47 AM

Best answer selected by todaytomorrow.
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