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Seeking advice/changes to my first build ~$1200 - $1500

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September 5, 2011 6:25:44 AM

Okay, so I've never even thought about building my own pc until a short time ago, and now that I'm attempting it there is... well there sure is a lot to research and learn. So I decided to try and take the easy route using one of the prebuilt computer guides in Tecmo's Recommended builds by usage - I started out with the ~$1300 enthusiast build in the second post, but then noticed it had been quite a few months since the guide was updated.

So, realizing parts were probably cheaper or simply outdated at this point, I started looking at recent posts and ended up with some frankenstein's monster of a computer - parts ruthlessly ripped from one build and coupled with parts from my original. So, now that I've thrown my life story at you, here's my stuff.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within two weeks, hopefully. Give me a good reason to wait and I'll probably do it. Probably. :D 

Budget Range: ~$1200 - ~$1500 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, surfing internet. (But mostly gaming).

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Monitor (although feel free to throw in suggestions; I'll be heading to a local store today/tomorrow to see what choices I've got - but I might end up buying online anyway if I don't like their choices. I'm looking for a 1920 x 1200 or so screen resolution.)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I don't really know enough about the differences between Intel and AMD to have a real preference, although it looks like Intel is generally a better choice: I5's seem to get suggested quite a bit, and there's a bit of talk about the Ivy Bridge.

Overclocking: Maybe? I'll be doing more research as I have time and need, but the last time I heard about over-clocking I think I was about twelve, and it seemed like a risky operation that could end up doing more damage then good. Although glancing about the forums makes it sound like this is a thing of the past, if it ever was actually a risky thing to begin with.

SLI or Crossfire: SLI maybe?

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1200.

Additional Comments: A quiet computer would be nice - my roomate sleeps ungodly hours, and I hate waking people up if I don't have to. Although it really isn't that important, as long it's quieter than a jet engine.

Edit: Final Build at this point. Looking for any final ideas; the GPU is a replacement for the msi gtx580 twin frozr which is out of stock at the moment, not sure if I should just wait for it or not; it's being a pain in the ass to find on other sites (not that I haven't found it; just not at a price I like).

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $59.99

GPU: EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $489.99

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $207.98 combo this + RAM

Thermal Compound: MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material $4.99

Ram: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B $207.98 combo with PSU

MOBO: ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $279.99

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K $304.98 Combo with OS

HSF: Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid Cooling System $61.13

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $99.99

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM Combo with CPU $304.98

Case Fans: COOLER MASTER R4-L4S-10AB-GP 140mm Blue LED Case Fan $9.99
COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AR-GP 200mm Red LED Case Fan $19.99

DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $20.99

Monitor: ASUS VH236H Black 23" Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers $179.99

Total Before Rebates/shipping: $1730.00 (And dear god, shipping hurts the wallet.)

So, with that said, thanks for the help everyone, looking forward to being told I'm an idiot and completely wrong about everything. Also, since I took stuff from here and some from there, I'm not completely sure that everything is compatible.
September 5, 2011 7:01:58 AM

Jgreer8 said:
Okay, so I've never even thought about building my own pc until a short time ago, and now that I'm attempting it there is... well there sure is a lot to research and learn. So I decided to try and take the easy route using one of the prebuilt computer guides in Tecmo's Recommended builds by usage - I started out with the ~$1300 enthusiast build in the second post, but then noticed it had been quite a few months since the guide was updated.

So, realizing parts were probably cheaper or simply outdated at this point, I started looking at recent posts and ended up with some frankenstein's monster of a computer - parts ruthlessly ripped from one build and coupled with parts from my original. So, now that I've thrown my life story at you, here's my stuff.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within two weeks, hopefully. Give me a good reason to wait and I'll probably do it. Probably. :D 

Budget Range: ~$1200 - ~$1500 before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, movies, surfing internet. (But mostly gaming).

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Monitor (although feel free to throw in suggestions; I'll be heading to a local store today/tomorrow to see what choices I've got - but I might end up buying online anyway if I don't like their choices. I'm looking for a 1920 x 1200 or so screen resolution.)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I don't really know enough about the differences between Intel and AMD to have a real preference, although it looks like Intel is generally a better choice: I5's seem to get suggested quite a bit, and there's a bit of talk about the Ivy Bridge.

Overclocking: Maybe? I'll be doing more research as I have time and need, but the last time I heard about over-clocking I think I was about twelve, and it seemed like a risky operation that could end up doing more damage then good. Although glancing about the forums makes it sound like this is a thing of the past, if it ever was actually a risky thing to begin with.

SLI or Crossfire: SLI maybe?

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1200.

Additional Comments: A quiet computer would be nice - my roomate sleeps ungodly hours, and I hate waking people up if I don't have to. Although it really isn't that important, as long it's quieter than a jet engine.

Parts so far:

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $59.99

GPU: MSI N580GTX Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $494.99

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $169.99

Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM $12.98

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBRH $54.99

MOBO: ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $279.99

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

HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 $27.99

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case This and OS are $224.98 combo.

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM

So, with that said, thanks for the help everyone, looking forward to being told I'm an idiot and completely wrong about everything. Also, since I took stuff from here and some from there, I'm not completely sure that everything is compatible.


Honestly your not an idiot or wrong. Thats a very solid build and I dont have any recommendations for changing anything to be honest.

My only suggestion is buy some of the fans for the slots that dont come with the case (you get 3 fans and there is room for many more)

http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6638

a little ways down the page it shows you were all the fan slots are.

I would also suggest O/Cing as you can easily do it with this build with out a problem. But you would need more fans for sure to OC
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September 5, 2011 4:16:20 PM

Would it be a reasonable idea to look at water cooling over a half dozen fans in the case? Or are there any fans in specific that anyone can recommend that could help keep the noise level down a bit - it looks like I've got room for at least three more 140mm fans, and then around five more fans of varying sizes (from 80mm to 120mm) - the exact details are on the page CGleckman posted. http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6638

Thanks for the help so far CGleckman.
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September 5, 2011 4:29:52 PM

things i would change are the ram to this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and that PSU doesn't make sense to me, if you plan to SLI then why not go with this better Antec PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

unless you really like corsair:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

herck even this fantastic seasonic PSU is cheaper/better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 5, 2011 4:44:34 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
things i would change are the ram to this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and that PSU doesn't make sense to me, if you plan to SLI then why not go with this better Antec PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

unless you really like corsair:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

herck even this fantastic seasonic PSU is cheaper/better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



The psu chosen was 850 because according to GURU3D the max consumption for a GTX 580 is 447 add a little for OC and different maker so say at most (WAY WAY WAY Conservatively) 500W max power.. leaving 350W *so way more then needed* for everything else.

The psu's you listed are all over kill less the OP plans to OC but they are all good PSU's as well.

Also i chose the 1 i did because its modular so he can mix and match what he needs for his setup as needed and it also gives him more connectors for the price(which looking at it now doesnt seem like it would matter either way)

OP feel free to go with one of the PSU's above (or the one i posted before) they are all good
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September 5, 2011 4:48:58 PM

ps3: Is there a particular reason you would change the ram to that? I mean, I'll take your word for it - I only picked mine because it was similar to the original build's, except twice the ram for the exact same price. But yours is only a dollar less, and is still the same amount of ram. Do you think you could possibly explain the important differences? If you think it would take too long, feel free to say so.

CGleckman: If you posted a PSU idea, I'm sorry - I can't seem to find it in your post. Unless you were just advising that the one I found was a decent choice. Yeah, I was wondering about the PSU's. I couldn't tell you if the ones he listed were better than mine, although they are cheaper, but they did seem a bit excessive. I threw the build (Very Roughly) into the power calculator http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp and it looked like even 850w was a bit overkill. But I'm not sure how over-clocking will affect that. I'd stick with my current PSU unless over-clocking would require a bit more than 850.
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September 5, 2011 4:51:28 PM

Jgreer8 said:
ps3: Is there a particular reason you would change the ram to that? I mean, I'll take your word for it - I only picked mine because it was similar to the original build's, except twice the ram for the exact same price. But yours is only a dollar less, and is still the same amount of ram. Do you think you could possibly explain the important differences? If you think it would take too long, feel free to say so.


high frequency ram (1600Mhz vs 1333Mhz ram) can be useful for overclocking, didn't kno0w your not planning to OC, in that case you could go with a 650W and OC like crazy and still be safe.
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September 5, 2011 4:56:58 PM

Jgreer8 said:
ps3: Is there a particular reason you would change the ram to that? I mean, I'll take your word for it - I only picked mine because it was similar to the original build's, except twice the ram for the exact same price. But yours is only a dollar less, and is still the same amount of ram. Do you think you could possibly explain the important differences? If you think it would take too long, feel free to say so.

CGleckman: If you posted a PSU idea, I'm sorry - I can't seem to find it in your post. Unless you were just advising that the one I found was a decent choice. Yeah, I was wondering about the PSU's. I couldn't tell you if the ones he listed were better than mine, although they are cheaper, but they did seem a bit excessive. I threw the build (Very Roughly) into the power calculator http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp and it looked like even 850w was a bit overkill. But I'm not sure how over-clocking will affect that. I'd stick with my current PSU unless over-clocking would require a bit more than 850.


Sorry i do ALOT of builds every day and sometimes I forge that I use the OP items for some of mine for a build (if i think the OP has good ideas for parts).. Anyway i ment the PSU you chose is solid IMO and i dont see a need to change it..


I disagree with ps3hacker and i dont feel as if a 650w would be way to low and a 850 is probably a bit much but gives him future upgrade ability (even to do SLI with the GPUs if he wanted)
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September 5, 2011 4:59:06 PM

Alright, I'll go ahead and change out the ram for what ps3 suggested, but I think I'll stick with my chosen PSU for now.
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September 5, 2011 5:00:13 PM

Twin 900 MHz 560 Ti's are $50 cheaper than your 580 and are about 25% faster than the single 580.

A $1500 machine deserves a MoBo w/ an industry standard 3 year warranty

The Hyper 212 is a great budgey cooler for a $800 - $1,000 machine, not a $1,500 machine. Check out the Hyper 612 or the Silver Arrow.....if ya like the self contained water jobs, the Antec is easily the best in its price range. Either will easily get you a 4.8Ghz OC on most CPU's .... if ya can't, it will be the CPU not heat that's the problem.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Read AS5's home page about the curing issues. Shin Etsu matches AS5's thermal performance but no curing issues which some reviewers estimate takes a full year to fully cure .

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd opt for DDR3-1600

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September 5, 2011 5:34:20 PM

Alright, I grabbed the Shin Etsu thermal paste and added one case fan I found that looked good. Still looking around for others, but if you know of any fans in particular that are decently quiet but still effective, I'd appreciate any ideas.

I'm looking at the Antec Kuhler 620 H2O , but still thinking about it.

Edit: I grabbed the Antec Kuhler H2O 620, and so I'm looking to finish up the build. So, I guess I'll just wait a couple days to see if there are any last minute suggestions, then end up ordering the parts. Thanks for the help everyone, definitely one of the best forums I've used.
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September 6, 2011 12:53:18 AM

So I was going about buying fans, but then I started thinking about it; how many fans will I really need to keep this thing going as it currently is? The case comes with three stock, and I have another four on the list, currently waiting to be purchased. Is that over-kill for the current set-up?
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Best solution

September 6, 2011 1:40:26 AM

Jgreer8 said:
Would it be a reasonable idea to look at water cooling over a half dozen fans in the case? Or are there any fans in specific that anyone can recommend that could help keep the noise level down a bit - it looks like I've got room for at least three more 140mm fans, and then around five more fans of varying sizes (from 80mm to 120mm) - the exact details are on the page CGleckman posted. http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6638

Thanks for the help so far CGleckman.


The larger the fans, the quieter. Low RPM, large air movement.

Here's a few changes to that build. That 2500K also combo's with Windows Professional to save $15, and that MSI card vents heat into the case hence the reason for the additional 200mm case fan.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $207.98 save: $15.00 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates
CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $304.98 save: $15.00 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $19.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AR-GP 200mm Red LED Case Fan
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September 6, 2011 1:43:09 AM

ps3hacker12 said:
things i would change are the ram to this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and that PSU doesn't make sense to me, if you plan to SLI then why not go with this better Antec PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

unless you really like corsair:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

herck even this fantastic seasonic PSU is cheaper/better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That Antec CP psu only fits certain models of Antec cases....hence the "CP" on it.
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September 6, 2011 2:07:54 AM

Thanks for the suggestions Why_me; total cost went down a bit, although shipping and handling sure hurts here in Alaska. You live here too? Or do you just like the Aces?

So should I dump some of those smaller fans I threw on there earlier? I'm trying to figure out what fans the cases actually comes with; if it says (optional) then it doesn't come with that one? If so, I can remove those smaller fans I added, because it looks like this new case comes with quite a few fans.
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September 6, 2011 2:26:03 AM

Jgreer8 said:
Thanks for the suggestions Why_me; total cost went down a bit, although shipping and handling sure hurts here in Alaska. You live here too? Or do you just like the Aces?

So should I dump some of those smaller fans I threw on there earlier? I'm trying to figure out what fans the cases actually comes with; if it says (optional) then it doesn't come with that one? If so, I can remove those smaller fans I added, because it looks like this new case comes with quite a few fans.

I live in Dillingham for the next year until my wifes contract is up and then were moving back home (Big Lake) after that. You in Anchorage?
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September 6, 2011 2:30:09 AM

Nah, Fairbanks.
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September 6, 2011 2:39:29 AM

fairbanks in the summer is amazing i went up there last summer. Winter... not so much lol. What do you do up there jgreer?
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September 6, 2011 3:09:46 AM

Right now I'm a student up at UAF - but darnit, I'll find time to play games if it kills me. In the summers/holidays I work as a welder/laborer.

Yeah, I guess it's alright in the summer. Haha, Pretty used to it after nineteen years. I'm not particular about summer/winter; plenty of activities up here for both.
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September 6, 2011 3:24:06 AM

Jgreer8 said:
Right now I'm a student up at UAF - but darnit, I'll find time to play games if it kills me. In the summers/holidays I work as a welder/laborer.

Yeah, I guess it's alright in the summer. Haha, Pretty used to it after nineteen years. I'm not particular about summer/winter; plenty of activities up here for both.

Welder/laborer? I'm going back up to the slope for Udelhoven. I'm in the Ironworkers union out of Anchorage, but they haven't had any work for a long time now.
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September 6, 2011 3:34:09 AM

Well I'm not a trained welder - been learning on the job. So I'm just the Welder if the space is vacant or the main guy is sick; otherwise I'm just out in the yard hauling crap around, helping customers pick up orders.
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September 6, 2011 3:44:30 AM

Jgreer8 said:
Well I'm not a trained welder - been learning on the job. So I'm just the Welder if the space is vacant or the main guy is sick; otherwise I'm just out in the yard hauling crap around, helping customers pick up orders.

You get your certs in stick (7018) for over head and vertical and your good as gold for going up to the slope. It's probably a no go for you if your in school, but the options always there, and hopefully they start that gas line in the next two years.
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September 6, 2011 3:54:59 AM

Well thanks for the info; I'll keep it in mind.
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September 7, 2011 11:15:34 PM

Best answer selected by Jgreer8.
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