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New Gaming Build ($2K budget - Australian) - Thoughts?

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October 3, 2011 9:35:44 AM

Hi. I would appreciate some advice and thoughts on my new gaming build. I'm building this rig purely for gaming. More specifically, upcoming games like BF3, Skyrim, Diablo3 and SWtOR. I've got a budget it mind- about $2,000.00, but am willing to (+/-) about $150. I'll be ordering from MWave- I've heard good things about them (http://www.mwave.com.au). Please note that prices are in $AUS.

I've mainly been a Mac user for the past 5 years- have not been gaming at all but would like to get back into it, hence the new PC. That being said, I haven't been keeping track of all the new processors, chip sets, graphic cards, etc. I tried doing my own research and asked a few mates for advice and this is the build I came up with:

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Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer (SGC-1000-KWN1) – $99.99

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO – $235.10

Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K – $339.00

Graphic Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 (1536MB 384-bit GDDR5) – $529.00

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB(2x4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit – $78.00

Power Supply: Corsair AX Series 850W ATX Power Supply (AX850) – $245.00

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB – $169.00

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Fan Cooler – $43.70

Blu-ray Drive: Samsung SH-B123A 12x Blu-ray/DVD Combo Drive – $93.50

Monitor: Samsung BX2450 24" Slim Full HD Widescreen LED Backlight Monitor – $199.00

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium – SP1 (64-Bit – DVD Single Pack OEM) – $109.00

Total Cost: $2,140.29

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1. Firstly, I'm worried about compatibility. Will all these components work together? I've matched what I could, ie. LGA1155 MB w/ the 2600K CPU and have downloaded the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro manual to see the list of compatible memory modules (Corsair Vengeance 8GB – CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 is listed on there)- but I suppose it would not hurt getting advice from professionals such as yourselves!

2. Will all these things fit inside the case? I've had a look at specifications for the case in online reviews. From my understanding, everything should fit. The CPU Cooler is the one I'm concerned about the most, but according a review I found, here were the maximum dimensions:

CPU cooler maximum height: 175mm
VGA card maximum length: 270mm (with HDD cage)
PSU maximum length: 190mm

3. Please note that I intend to Crossfire/SLI in the future. I understand that the motherboard I have chosen could be a bit of an overkill, especially at the moment with the parts I've chosen. The way I see it however, is that I can probably save about $80 and get a motherboard that would suffice, but I'm looking into future-proofing the system and I'm willing to spend extra on the motherboard because quite frankly, it never hurts to have a decent one as opposed to one that would just about get you by. I'm also willing to spend extra on the PSU. I remember my old PC having some serious power issues and I really don't want to deal with that any more. Will a gold-certified 850W suffice if I intend to Crossfire/SLI in the near future?

4. Speaking of graphic cards, I've read that a single GTX580 should just about be able to max out BF3. A mate of mine told me to spend an extra $70 and get the Superclocked version of this. Is this worth it?

5. As you can probably see, I have not included a SSD in this build. It's not that I can't afford it or sacrifice a few things to get one. It's simply because I am not very fussed about load times and such. I'm a patient guy (I think) and I've read that there's not much difference in terms of FPS between HDD and SSD's when it comes to gaming. Sure, load times would be quicker but I just feel as though SSD's are a bit too pricey at the moment and will probably come down in price and go up in reliability if I wait another year or so. Elaborating on the HDD, I did some digging on which drive to choose. I was tossing up between dual Samsung F3's (1GB) or the Cavier Black (2GB) and found that the Cavier Black was a better drive to have the Operating System installed on. I won't be switching to a SSD anytime soon, so I figured I'd go with the Cavier Black. My mate swears by the Samsung F3's though, but I don't know, I've never had any problems with WD when it comes to storage. Thoughts on this?

6. What do you think of the monitor? Don't think I can go wrong when it comes to Samsung and LED, and a 2ms response time should be good for gaming shouldn't it? If you guys can think of a better one to go for at a similar price range, please feel free to tell me.

I think that's pretty much it. I apologize for the long post but I do have a lot of questions! Would you guys make any changes to this build? Any thoughts/advice/help would be greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.
a b 4 Gaming
October 3, 2011 10:29:47 AM

1) Compatibility wise they are compatible. Correct socket & memory etc.

2) It will be a tight fit, but the video card is 10.5" long (264mm) and there is 270mm of space.
If you one with a custom hsf it might be too long. Cooler Master HAF 932 or 942 would probably fit them all, but they do cost more.

3) I would get a 950-1000W PSU just in case. The Mobo is not overkill, it's a pretty solid motherboard.
If you can afford it Corsair AX1200 is one of the best PSU's out there, so you can't really go wrong getting it.

4) I doubt it is worth that much, you can generally overclock the cards yourself as well. However if you can get on with a nice custom HSF for a bit more, those are worth it.
Such as the MSI 580 GTX Lightning that uses TwinFrozrIII HSF. Unfortunately those cards tend to be slightly longer than the standard GTX580 so they will go up to 12" in length like the MSI 580 GTX Lightning. So clearance will be an issue, so some other case might be better for you.

5) I have a bunch of the F3's and they are nice. But it's not a massive difference, so take your pick.
As for SSD's they are really nice, but you have obviously put some thought into this and don't want one at the moment.

6) Lots of choices at that price range, pretty much pick what feels good for you. 2ms is nice but anything under 5ms works.
Samsungs have been good at our house, same with Asus, Viewsonic as well, so whatever feels good for you.
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October 3, 2011 10:33:32 AM

PSU is fine unless you gonna sli, i am in aus to, get an antec 902 it is same price (i think) and fits the gpu, also if it is just for gamin get a i5 2500k, in game benchmarks no difference
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October 3, 2011 10:35:16 AM

Motherboard suggestion; ASRock Extreme4 GEN3 - same price range as ASUS board you listed, but its GEN3 (PCI 3.0 ready).

PSU: 1000w for SLI 580's. Recommended brands include: Corsair, SeaSonic, XFX, Antec.

CPU: You could save yourself $100 and get an i5-2500k, for gaming, the outcome is the same as the i7.

HDD: Caviar Blacks are the higher quality, despite the F3 apparently having better performance (although i dont think this will be at all noticeable in real-world application, only synthetic benchmarks). Getting two 1TB WD Blacks and running them in RAID0 would be a great set up.

And as previously mentioned, double check the card length can fit into the case your looking at. A full-tower-ATX case might be a better option, although at the same time, might not be "necessary" - just check before you buy :) 

Monitor: As you said, Samsung, LED and very low (2ms) response time, you cant really go wrong. LG is another brand i've personally always had great past experience with.

GPU: Getting the superclocked version is unlikely to be worth it, you can download MSI Afterburner and OC the card yourself. Cooling is the only thing to be aware of. Generally cards with 2/3 fans will keep cooler and quieter than single fan cards - especially when overclocking and running SLI. Gigabyte and MSI cards recommended :) 



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October 3, 2011 1:22:19 PM

Could i suggest www.PcCaseGear.com? They are very good, have lower prices and a larger availability (spelling?). Also with the case you want, it has a removable hdd cage which increases air flow and allows a 300+mm tpu to be installed.
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October 3, 2011 1:58:16 PM

Thank you for your comments thus far.

After careful consideration, I have refined my build. I've actually decided that I don't need a 2600K and have gone with the 2500K instead- saving some $. Have also considered to switch my MBoard to the ASRock one. Since I've saved a bit there, I'm willing to go for a SSD, despite my earlier thoughts/comments. Removed the WD Carvier Black and decided to go for the Samsung F3/Crucial M4 SSD combo. Also decided that I wouldn't need a Blu-ray drive. Would appreciate feedback on the new build:

Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K
Graphic Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 Super Overclock GDDR5 1536MB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB(2x4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit
Power Supply: Corsair AX Series 850W ATX Power Supply (AX850)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
SSD: Crucial M4 - 128GB
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Fan Cooler
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-B3ST Internal 24x DVD±RW Burner
Monitor: Samsung BX2450 24" Slim Full HD Widescreen LED Backlight Monitor
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium – SP1 (64-Bit – DVD Single Pack OEM)

Got a lot of my ideas from another thread/build on these forums, hence why the build is very similar. Also, I realized that I would save a bit by purchasing items from other stores as opposed to the one I linked earlier. All-in-all, this new build works out about $140~ cheaper than my previous one.

I am still worried about the GPU fitting inside that case. I've gone for a higher-end GPU which I assume would be slightly larger too, but haven't done too much research on it yet.

Thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks again.
-caek
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October 3, 2011 2:16:31 PM

Nice build but either push to 1000w PSU or drop to 650-700w PSU. 850w is more than you need for a single card and not enough for SLI. Either save your money, or spend a little more for a purpose.

CM Enforcer Max Support:
CPU cooler height: 175mm
VGA card length: 270mm (with HDD cage); 390mm (without HDD cage)

"Measuring 275mm in length, Gigabyte's trademark blue PCB is fractionally longer than NVIDIA's default 267mm board, and Gigabyte's making good use of the space by implementing all of its usual enthusiast-orientated goodies."

By the sounds of it you might have to take out the HDD cage in order to fit the card in. It might be do-able without but its going to be a tight squeeze.
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October 3, 2011 9:41:46 PM

Hmm. What exactly is the HDD cage and is it important?

I would imagine that it'd be handy to not have it- to increase airflow/cooling.

Can anyone recommend any other cases at a similar price range and decent reviews? The CM Storm Enforcer has generally positive reviews and also has a decent cooling system it would seem.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 3, 2011 10:06:45 PM

"Motherboard suggestion; ASRock Extreme4 GEN3 - same price range as ASUS board you listed, but its GEN3 (PCI 3.0 ready). " < totally agree with this, if your buying a z68 MB make sure its pcie3/ivy bridge ready. you should also look here for your parts http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf they will be cheaper than anywhere else in Australia.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 4, 2011 12:08:58 AM

The HDD cage is the part of the case where you normally attach the hard drives. In some cases this cage is removable to fit in large video cards.
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October 4, 2011 2:00:43 AM

Hmm. If I remove the HDD cage, where would I attach the HDD then?

Sorry- I know this must seem like a silly question but I'm new to this!

Thanks in advance.
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October 4, 2011 2:35:16 AM

my reply to all of you saying to get a "ASRock Extreme4 GEN3" board my thing will be the current CPUs do not support enough lines of bandwidth for PCIe 3.0 in any slot length and it will be treated as 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots instead of a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. Also Ivy Bridge is to be on a different socket then Sandy bridge so any motherboard bought now will not be compilable with the intended socket for any Ivy Bridge CPU.
I do agree with the person saying to get a 1000W PSU instead of a 850W PSU you select as you say you are planning on doing SLI / CrossfireX in the future and 850W will barely cut it if even that as it wont if you are OCing to many components. 80PLUS GOLD and PLATINUM are good as 85%+ with GOLD and 88%+ efficiency with PLATINUM will help but it will also have nothing to do with how well it supplies your computer with power just how efficient it is with what it gets from the wall socket. I have install Windows 95 - Vista and none of them supported installing them from a Blu-ray drive so you will need a CD/DVD drive for the install but it doesn't have to stay with the computer just for the length of the install. For the OS i would go with Windows 7 Professional for the few extra abilities in it that Home Premium does not have stick with a 64-bit version though that is needed for anything over 3328MB of RAM to be usable in the machine.
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October 4, 2011 2:41:52 AM

yumri said:
my reply to all of you saying to get a "ASRock Extreme4 GEN3" board my thing will be the current CPUs do not support enough lines of bandwidth for PCIe 3.0 in any slot length and it will be treated as 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots instead of a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. Also Ivy Bridge is to be on a different socket then Sandy bridge so any motherboard bought now will not be compilable with the intended socket for any Ivy Bridge CPU.
I do agree with the person saying to get a 1000W PSU instead of a 850W PSU you select as you say you are planning on doing SLI / CrossfireX in the future and 850W will barely cut it if even that as it wont if you are OCing to many components. 80PLUS GOLD and PLATINUM are good as 85%+ with GOLD and 88%+ efficiency with PLATINUM will help but it will also have nothing to do with how well it supplies your computer with power just how efficient it is with what it gets from the wall socket. I have install Windows 95 - Vista and none of them supported installing them from a Blu-ray drive so you will need a CD/DVD drive for the install but it doesn't have to stay with the computer just for the length of the install. For the OS i would go with Windows 7 Professional for the few extra abilities in it that Home Premium does not have stick with a 64-bit version though that is needed for anything over 3328MB of RAM to be usable in the machine.

ivy bridge will be on the same socket soooo....
windows home premium is perfect for gamers. professional is a waste.
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