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Extensive Research = New Gaming Build

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September 2, 2011 8:01:49 PM


Hello,

I am by no stretch of your imagination a desktop expert, in fact I have been only researching into desktops in the past few days and I must say half the fun on buying a desktop is research... it brings out the geek in me.. I love it haha

My budget is around £1300.00 or $2,108.24.

The build is mostly for gaming/movies and for my University studies. I may also do some video editing as I'm pretty beast at Crysis 2 and may want to upload some to youtube.

Here is my current build.

Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked Core i5 Quad-Core Processor (3.30GHz, 6MB Cache, Socket 1155) 
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory Two Module Kit
Palit GeForce GTX 580 NVIDIA Graphics Card with 3D Surround Ready (3GB,PCI-E 2.0, GDDR5)
60Gb OCZ Agility 3 SSD Read 525MB s Write 475MB s
Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB internal Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache 7200RPM – OEM
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P Z68 Motherboard
Coolermaster HAF 922 Mid Tower Chassis
Corsair TX Series, 650 Watt, ATX, PS/2, Power Supply, UK Version
Samsung Blu-ray Combo Drive
Genuine Windows 7 Home Edition x64

It comes to £1149.87. All parts are from Amazon.co.uk.

I will tell you my reasons for a few of them.

I chose the i5 instead of the i7 because it is cheaper and also I have read dozens of posts and there is no advantage in the i7 hyper-threading capabilities in gaming so I may as well save £70.00 or put it elsewhere. I want a 60GB SSD to install my OS for quicker boots, applications and general use.

I also choose Windows 7 Home Premium because it's cheaper and apparently the functions available in the Pro and Ultimate have no importance to me whatsoever. I am not running a business or server.

Questions, if you would be so kind;

1) Can anyone confirm if the PSU is good enough and will it support SLI in a couple of years time if I need it?
2) Is there any point in Arctic Silver Thermal Paste or liquid cooling or any other type of cooling? The case has 3 fans and lots of ventilation.
3) Do I need a wireless adaptor as I need wireless? Could someone recommend me a good one if needed?

Lastly, could please throw any tips, better purchases and advice my way? I really want to order the components this weekend but want to know I am getting the cheapest and best deal I can get.

Thank you

Beresford



September 2, 2011 9:07:51 PM

Beresford said:

Questions, if you would be so kind;

1) Can anyone confirm if the PSU is good enough and will it support SLI in a couple of years time if I need it?
2) Is there any point in Arctic Silver Thermal Paste or liquid cooling or any other type of cooling? The case has 3 fans and lots of ventilation.
3) Do I need a wireless adaptor as I need wireless? Could someone recommend me a good one if needed?

Lastly, could please throw any tips, better purchases and advice my way? I really want to order the components this weekend but want to know I am getting the cheapest and best deal I can get.

Thank you

Beresford


First off the build looks solid for the most part, which brings me to:

1) Your PSU is fine for now but if you plan to run SLI later I wouldnt get a PSU under 800W.. infact

From Guru3d:

GeForce GTX 580 in SLI

A second card requires you to add another 250 Watts. You need a 900+ Watt power supply unit if you use it in a high-end system (1 KiloWatt recommended if you plan on any overclocking).

I personally believe this is excessive but the numbers dont lie.


2)The artic silver thermal paste is what connects your cpu to your heatsink. You need the paste or you will fry your CPU.. Look up a video on youtube on how to put the paste on, its pretty simple.

- you may want to consider getting a better heatsink for your rig
Cooler Master 212 Heat Sink: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
should do the trick.

You wont need any other cooling I dont believe, unless you plan to do a good amount of over clocking

3) If you need to be wireless then, yes, you need an adapter. I never really look for these since I dont need wireless so someone else may have a better idea of a good 1. However I will look up a few and post back shortly.


September 2, 2011 9:14:48 PM

do you need to connect wireless N or G?
Related resources
September 2, 2011 9:22:11 PM

he psu is a quality unit but it is not enough to SLI two GTX 580's
For that you will need a minimum of 850 watt

But on a two year turn around for SLI its not worth spending extra now . By then there will be at least two more generations of graphics card and even the midrange cards of 2013 will beat a GTX 580 while using probably half as much power
You would be better off with the 650 watt psu , and simply buying one current 2013 card to replace the GTX 580
September 2, 2011 9:26:35 PM

I would recommend the step up to a 750 watt, and I say this only because your rig and my rig are VERY similar. I have access to amp meters ( thanks to my workplace ) and I have to say that I am very much stressing out my PSU.

You DO NOT need any thermal paste unless you plan to overclock. If you are planning on overclocking at all, it would be good to note that you should get the thermal past and I would recommend a Corsair Water Cooler, as the two work very well for me, but If you do not plan on overclocking (which I might add I only did for fun anyway, no practical use in it) the stock Thermal paste is absolutely fine.

And yes, you will need some sort of wireless switch if you want to hook to wireless internet, and a good one if you plan to play online. Make sure it is a gigabit switch. D-Link makes very good switches.

Also, I may recommend either buying a second hard drive and using it for backup, or even better, buying another Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB internal Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache 7200RPM – OEM and RAID 1 the thing together, as I am assuming all sensitive data will be stored on the TB drive and things easily redownloaded and reinstalled will be on the SSD. My advice though if you go this path with the RAID 1, that you set up your libraries to be on the 1TB drive, so that way they are correctly backed up.
September 2, 2011 9:31:57 PM

+rep for the Blu-Ray drive. Im using a Samsung Blu-Ray myself and have been very impressed with it :) 

Other than the PSU only meeting the requirement for a single card, rather than SLI, you've done your research well and got a solid build there :D 
September 2, 2011 9:39:34 PM

This is a great tool for finding the low end for the power supply that you need http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

While the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K does come with a stock HSF (heatsink/fan) that will work fine at stock speeds; if you are going to overclock you are going to want to add good 3rd party cooler. I am using the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ but you use a water cooler or even the Noctua NH-d14 which is about as good as you are going to get.

With the Intel SRT (Smart Response Technology) if you are going to use the SSD as a cache drive the 60GB size that have selected will work fine.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
September 2, 2011 9:43:52 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
This is a great tool for finding the low end for the power supply that you need http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

While the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K does come with a stock HSF (heatsink/fan) that will work fine at stock speeds; if you are going to overclock you are going to want to add good 3rd party cooler. I am using the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ but you use a water cooler or even the Noctua NH-d14 which is about as good as you are going to get.

With the Intel SRT (Smart Response Technology) if you are going to use the SSD as a cache drive the 60GB size that have selected will work fine.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team


As much as SSD Cache seems like a great feature, more and more people seem to just be going with a boot drive + a few apps. Is there much difference in performance doing caching rather than a specific few apps?
September 2, 2011 9:52:49 PM

To simplify the difference between the cache and separating the two drives is simply that it is much more difficult to select what is cached. The advantage though is that You font have to deal with moving things back and forth from two different Volumes and trying to keep the two working together, which in reality isn't all too bad.

Ive tried both and I hardly recommend not using the cache, simply because you have more control when keeping the two seperate. I have no problem installing nearly everything on the HDD and I even moved documents, music, etc. Libraries over to the HDD. It isn't too hard.
September 3, 2011 12:05:13 AM


IntelEnthusiast - Thank you for the link, it seems my system is using just under 500w, so a 650w PSU is a good sweet spot. have looked slightly into the overclocking potential of the CPU and GPU and I have seen the Intel i5 2500k clocked up to 4.7Ghz and the GTX 580 to 950mhz. In the case of the CPU, apparently all it takes is a tweak of a multiplier? A few minute job apparently.

With the current setup, how much would I be able to overclock these components without requiring additional cooling systems/thermal paste etc? And how much more speed can I expect with a 3rd party cooler? Also, would you personally recommend an overclock? Is it overkill or not worth losing your manufacturers warranty over? Thanks!

Outlander_04 - I agree with you, I think I will be better off just waiting another 2 years and buying a new high-end graphics card than buying a better PSU and another GTX 580.

cgleckman - Do you think that I need the thermal paste and Cooler Master 212 Heat Sink if I don't plan on overclocking and wish everything to remain at stock speeds? If I don't but choose to overclock and buy them then like I asked IntelEnthusiast above, can I expect much overclocking perform from my CPU/GPU and is it worth it considering I lose warranty and games apparently can run at max setting on GTX 580 anyway?

Also, I don't know what you mean by "N or G"

Thanks all for your help :D 
September 3, 2011 12:38:20 AM

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/components/mot... £229.99 inc vat
ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) Motherboard

http://www.ebuyer.com/264750-g-skill-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-160... £35.02 inc. vat
G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/900w-psu-antec-high-curr... £99.74 Inc VAT
Antec HGC-900 High Current Gamer 900W Power Supply (PSU)

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <---- A better look at that board. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page to see the black 2 x 3.0 USB bezel w/2.5" SSD bracket

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/index.html <---- PCI-E 3.0 for Intel Ivy Bridge due out next spring.

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/IntelZ68/index.asp <----- Z68 features

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut... <---- Toms showed with this review here last week that those boards (NF200 bridge x16 & x16) help to reduce micro stutter
September 3, 2011 1:37:01 AM

Why_Me said:
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/components/mot... £229.99 inc vat
ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) Motherboard

http://www.ebuyer.com/264750-g-skill-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-160... £35.02 inc. vat
G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/900w-psu-antec-high-curr... £99.74 Inc VAT
Antec HGC-900 High Current Gamer 900W Power Supply (PSU)

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <---- A better look at that board. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page to see the black 2 x 3.0 USB bezel w/2.5" SSD bracket

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/index.html <---- PCI-E 3.0 for Intel Ivy Bridge due out next spring.

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/IntelZ68/index.asp <----- Z68 features

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut... <---- Toms showed with this review here last week that those boards (NF200 bridge x16 & x16) help to reduce micro stutter


Hi,

Could you briefly explain why you recommend those components over the ones I've listed in my original post?

I think you recommended the 900w for SLI gaming, but I don't know what the difference in RAM and Motherboard is? I think the Motherboard will be able to support better graphic cards? Will it be better to just wait 2 years for a better graphics card and then update to the latest motherboard then rather than buying it now in prep for 2 years time?
September 3, 2011 8:20:22 AM

Beresford said:
IntelEnthusiast - Thank you for the link, it seems my system is using just under 500w, so a 650w PSU is a good sweet spot. have looked slightly into the overclocking potential of the CPU and GPU and I have seen the Intel i5 2500k clocked up to 4.7Ghz and the GTX 580 to 950mhz. In the case of the CPU, apparently all it takes is a tweak of a multiplier? A few minute job apparently.


While this might be true, and i5-2500k has been known to go over 5GHz i dont think you will reach 4.7GHz just by upping the multiplyer. This will more than likely require some voltage tweaking. 4.2-4.3GHz id say would be the stable ceiling before you need to do more than just change the multiplyer.
!