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Feedback on $1k-$1.5k "Tomsenstein" build

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September 26, 2011 5:31:25 AM

Hi everyone. With Deus Ex recently kicking my system in the pants and Skyrim on the horizon, I've suddenly gotten the urge to build a new system. I put together the following system mostly by comparing the June/September SBM articles, the recent BestConfig winners, and sprinkling in some Tom's Recommends and Best For The Money picks. I'm basically aiming for something that might feel close to a $1500 SBM if there was such a bracket. I feel pretty good about the system, but would love to get some general feedback on it. I also have a few specific questions that I'll put below.

Edit: Updated to reflect suggestions by Why_Me and change out the case.

Motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155

Graphics:
EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi)

Processor:
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor

Memory:
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600

System Drive:
ADATA S511 Series 120GB

Storage Drive:
Any 7200 >= 1TB I have laying around.

Optical:
ASUS 24X DVD Burner OEM

Case:
Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower
Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T


Power:
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V
XFX Core Edition PRO850W 850W ATX12V 80 PLUS BRONZE

Heat Sink:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

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Approximate Purchase Date:
One week, maybe two.

Budget Range:
$1500 max, but the closer to $1000 the better (without skimping on obvious upgrades).

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
gaming, movies, programming, internet, etc.

Parts Not Required:
Pretty much anything that's not going to go in the case. I have an ASUS VH242H 23.6" HDMI 1080p monitor and a Logitech speaker system I'm not looking to replace. I also a hard drive laying around that I intend to use for the storage drive. However, I am planning on downgrading my Das keyboard for a MS Sidewinder X4 (LOVE the Das for typing, but never quite enjoyed gaming on it), upgrading my glitchy Ikari mouse for a Logitech G500, and replacing my worn out headphones with a pair of SteelSeries Sibera v2. If anyone has any opinion on those products, I'd love to hear it.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
newegg.com, amazon.com (Prime member)

Country of Origin:
United States

Parts Preferences:
Intel and Nvidia. Not totally locked on Nvidia, but it'd take a really compelling argument to move me.

Overclocking:
Maybe. I've never bothered with it in the past, generally being so floored with the relative performance of a new system I never saw much point, but after reading articles on this site it seems that the accessibility and risks are about at a level I'm comfortable with, so I'll probably give it a try. This will be my first build using a third party CPU cooler (though I have used third party thermal compound in the past).

SLI or Crossfire:
Maybe, but not initially. Had a pretty bad intro to SLI a couple years ago and have always preferred a faster single card since. Seems that's a pretty common recommendation anyhow, so I don't see any reason to switch. Don't want to rule it out if I decide I want to double up down the road, though.

Monitor Resolution:
1920x1080

Additional Comments:

I'm not trying to build a silent PC by any means, but sound is a big priority. I share a studio apartment with my girlfriend and she sometimes has trouble sleeping between the overworked 120mm fans in my current system and my Das keyboard (the other reason I'm looking to replace it). This is also part of the reason I upgraded the case from the HAF 912 to the HAF 922. I'm really hoping the dual 200mm fans will help the situation.

Speaking of the HAF 922, it looks like the 120mm fan in the back can be replaced with a 140mm. Can anyone confirm this? Also, will that make a worthwhile difference to noise and/or cooling? I've never given much thought to fans or cooling in my previous builds beyond "is this sufficient?".

I'm also questioning my choice of motherboard. The Gigabyte got a Tom's Recommends, but then performed poorly when overclocking in the September SBM ($2000). Is this something I should be concerned about, or was it more likely to have to do with the specifics of that build? ASUS boards seem to have really good word-of-mouth, so I was considering taking a closer look at their stuff.

I guess that's about it. Again, any thoughts would be appreciated.

More about : feedback tomsenstein build

September 26, 2011 6:29:01 AM

You want an 850w psu if you ever plan on pushing two of those cards in SLI and have headroom for o/c, fans, drives, etc... Also you don't want that RAM with those giant cake cutter heat spreaders for the fact they impede the cpu h/s. That RAM + cpu combo saves you $15, and that XFX psu down below is manufactured by Seasonic as are most Corsair psu's.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99 - $89.99 after mail-in rebate
XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-NLB9) 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $263.98 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9B

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre... <----- A better look at that board

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/ <----- PCI-E 3.0
September 26, 2011 2:21:12 PM

These look like great suggestions, thanks! I think I had actually considered that mobo before being lured away by the Toms Recommends and extra USB ports on the Gigabyte.

Why_Me said:
You want an 850w psu if you ever plan on pushing two of those cards in SLI and have headroom for o/c, fans, drives, etc... Also you don't want that RAM with those giant cake cutter heat spreaders for the fact they impede the cpu h/s.


I'm especially glad you mentioned the PSU and the RAM. I figured the PSU would be decent for the stock system, but wasn't sure what to expect when it came to OC'ing. And it hadn't even occurred to me that the RAM sinks could cause problems or that there could be a similar model without the fins.
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September 26, 2011 2:44:17 PM

thirstbot said:
These look like great suggestions, thanks! I think I had actually considered that mobo before being lured away by the Toms Recommends and extra USB ports on the Gigabyte.



I'm especially glad you mentioned the PSU and the RAM. I figured the PSU would be decent for the stock system, but wasn't sure what to expect when it came to OC'ing. And it hadn't even occurred to me that the RAM sinks could cause problems or that there could be a similar model without the fins.

650w should be able to handle an overclocked single card setup. but in the future if you want to add another gtx 570 in sli you will need 850w
September 26, 2011 3:16:49 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
650w should be able to handle an overclocked single card setup. but in the future if you want to add another gtx 570 in sli you will need 850w


Good to know. I think I'll go with the 850. I'm definitely in "better safe than sorry" mode, and I'd hate to have to replace the PSU at the same time I'd be spending on an additional GPU.
!