First Build. Please critique!

So I've been doing some research for about 4 months or so and I think I've finally found the build that I want. I'm aiming for a mid-upper gaming rig. I want as much criticism as you can give me. I'm trading in my 360 and PS3 and going solely PC. Any help in my build would be much appreciated

Games I Plan On Playing: Star Wars: The Old Republic, Skyrim, Battlefield 3. With this system what kind of FPS am I going to get?

Case: Cooler Master Haf X Blue Edition

CPU: Intel i5 2500k

GPU: HIS 6950 Iceq turbo

Mobo: Asus P67 Sabertooth with assist fan

RAM: Corsair Dominator 8 gb 1600

PSU: Seasonic 80+ gold 850w modular

Aftermarket Cooler: Corsair H60 push/pull config

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1tb 7200

Drive: Asus blue ray drive

Monitor: 3 asus 23" 1920x1080 lcd led backlit for eyefinity setup ( I also have the active adapter for the third monitor)

Peripherals: Razer Naga, Razer Nostromo, Razer Lycosa, Razer Carcharias ( I like razer)

Here's a few questions I have:

I do plan on overclocking but not until later on down the road, is there any good guides out there for beginners on it?

On the H60, should I use the preapplied thermal paste or buy some arctic silver 5?

Im going to use the NZXT sentry 2 for a fan controller cause I'm going to max out on my fan compacity in my case. Where's the best place for probes that doesn't destroy good cable managment?

I don't plan on burning blu-rays or dvd's so I shouldn't need a blu ray burner, but when I'm installing games do I need a burner or just will the reader do?

Thanks for the replies in advance!
11 answers Last reply
More about first build critique
  1. Well first off I would say smart move trading in those consoles! They're a waste haha. I haven't touched my PS3 for anything other then watching blu ray's since I purchased it.

    It looks like you have an awesome build to me. However I noticed you don't have a Solid State Drive picked out. Have you considered adding one to your build?

    Since I'm a total n00b here the only question I can answer is about the optical drive. Yes you can go with just a reader but I don't even know if they make those. A DVD R/W is only about 20 dollars.
  2. I would consider getting 2 of those video cards for an x-fire setup to push the 3 monitors for eyefinity.

    For the H60, if you want to replace the thermal paste it comes with, I would go with Noctua NT-H1....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608008&Tpk=nt-h1
  3. Overall, nice build. A few things that you should consider changes:

    MoBo: The one you chose is great, but for a few bucks cheaper, you can do better. I would recommend these:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128506

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131771

    CD/DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

    As for the case, I think a mid tower would be fine, but that's your choice. If you do consider getting a mid tower, you can choose a few from Cool Master if your into their cases (the HAF 912 and 922 are great choices and much cheaper than the HAF X).

    Your cooler is great, but a cheaper, yet effective option is the Hyper 212+:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    If you want the H60, the AS5 is worth getting. It shouldn't be too expensive.

    I know I should have asked this first, but whats your budget?
  4. no, you don't need a burner unless you are going to burn discs.

    your 8GB Dominator ram seems a little expensive. You can buy quality RAM for half the price of that. Also, I was under the impression that with the intel 2500k and overclocking you should use the 1.5v RAM, but I could be wrong. You could get this instead - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428 - it has all the same specs, just doesn't cost as much or have as fancy heat spreaders. Only reason you'd need big heat spreaders is if you are going to overclock the RAM.

    For the thermal paste, I've heard that the stock thermal paste vs. Arctic 5 is a very minor difference. Unless you plan on doing extreme over-clocking I don't see the benefit of buying the Arctic 5.

    Also, as pointed out you don't have a SSD which would be nice, but isn't necessary. I would almost consider scaling back on the accessories and mobo along with saving $50 on the RAM and you could get a good SSD at almost no increase in cost. (comparable mobo for $25 less - ASUS P8P67 EVO (REV 3.0) after rebate)

    Other than that it looks like a solid build.
  5. nordlead said:
    no, you don't need a burner unless you are going to burn discs.

    your 8GB Dominator ram seems a little expensive. You can buy quality RAM for half the price of that. Also, I was under the impression that with the intel 2500k and overclocking you should use the 1.5v RAM, but I could be wrong. You could get this instead - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428 - it has all the same specs, just doesn't cost as much or have as fancy heat spreaders. Only reason you'd need big heat spreaders is if you are going to overclock the RAM.

    For the thermal paste, I've heard that the stock thermal paste vs. Arctic 5 is a very minor difference. Unless you plan on doing extreme over-clocking I don't see the benefit of buying the Arctic 5.

    Also, as pointed out you don't have a SSD which would be nice, but isn't necessary. I would almost consider scaling back on the accessories and mobo along with saving $50 on the RAM and you could get a good SSD at almost no increase in cost. (comparable mobo for $25 less - ASUS P8P67 EVO (REV 3.0) after rebate)

    Other than that it looks like a solid build.


    Just wondering, doesn't a burner READ discs as well, or is that just a CD/DVD Drive? If so, he will need it if he plans on installing anything from a CD such as an OS. I agree with scaling back, though the AS5 is worth buying. I've used it in all my PCs. Idle temps would be around the 40C with no OC on stock cooler. With the AS5, it dropped to about 26C (not sure how effective it is when used with OCed CPUs.
  6. My apologies for not putting my budget in there. It's $2000-2500. I went with the Haf X just for future proofing sake, graphics cards aren't getting any shorter. But would a mid tower get it done just as well? I plan to go crossfire 3 months after I buy it. I want really cool temps. I didn't want an air CPU cooler just because I don't like how bulky they are, even if it cools better, it's a personal choice kind of thing. I havent gone SSD because price wise I can wait 6 months and they will be 100 bucks for 120gb, at least that's what everyone's been saying.
  7. AbdullahG said:
    Just wondering, doesn't a burner READ discs as well, or is that just a CD/DVD Drive? If so, he will need it if he plans on installing anything from a CD such as an OS. I agree with scaling back, though the AS5 is worth buying. I've used it in all my PCs. Idle temps would be around the 40C with no OC on stock cooler. With the AS5, it dropped to about 26C (not sure how effective it is when used with OCed CPUs.


    A burner both writes and reads discs. When installing software you only need a reader. He listed a drive and asked if he needed a burner and I said he didn't. I'm not sure what the confusion is all about.

    Anyways, I've said this before in other threads, but just because you have a high budget doesn't mean you should spend it all. You can save it for a future build. Better to spend on parts that meet your requirements than to spend just for spending sakes.

    Only reason you'd need a full tower is if you are going to use all of the available vertical space. Unless you plan on having 8 HDDs and 1-2 optical drives it is generally overkill. The mid-tower suggested is actually deeper (outside dimensions), but it is shorter. Besides, spending money to future proof is generally a waste of money.
  8. Since you want to do 3-way crossfire later on, I would get a full tower then. However, get a cheaper one, such as the NZXT Phantom or something else. With an 850W PSU, don't expect 3 way crossfire with a high CPU OC. Your system will use a lot of power.
  9. Not three way, just two graphics cards
  10. AnEagerStudent said:
    Not three way, just two graphics cards

    May bad, not sure how I read 3-way in there...
  11. ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    $20.99


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


    3x Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
    $569.97


    XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply
    $154.99


    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
    $12.98


    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
    $52.99


    ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.1) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    $159.99


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


    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
    $99.99

    2x XFX HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    $559.98

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

    Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case
    $99.99

    CORSAIR CWCH50-1 High Performance CPU Cooler
    $81.99

    I believe the price for all this would be $2,215. This doesn't not include the Razer stuff you wanted, sorry. You can see if it'll fit in the budget though.
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