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First build since 2003. Any tips?

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October 13, 2011 5:35:59 AM

This is the first time I will be building a computer since 2003. I'm a little rusty, but for the most part I know how things go together. I know about the heatsink and mobo bracket, keeping the mobo from touching the case, thermal grease, keeping the inside clutter free, and for the most part the pieces snap in together. Just wondering if, besides the basics, there was anything important that I need to keep in mind? I'm going to use WD's Acronis software to make a back-up of my Windows so I don't waste activations when I format (which I generally do every 3-6 months).

I just placed the order yesterday for the parts:
Case: Coolermaster Haf X RC-942-KKN1
Mobo: ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3
PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W
CPU: i5 2500k
GFX: EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB
SSD: Patriot Pyro 120GB SataIII
HDD: WD Caviar Black 2TB 64MB cache 7200RPM
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866
Monitor: ASUS VG236HE Black 23" 1920X1080 2ms (3D ready and 120Hz)
Burner: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
Sound: ASUS XONAR_DG 5.1
Wifi: Linksys WMP600N (I'm in the basement)
Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO
Mouse: Razer DeathAdder (It is very light, which I like)
Keyboard: Logitech G110 (Won't be using the audio/usb ports built in)
3D Vision Kit
Zalman mic to go with my headphones (DT770 Pro)
Some cheap-o $5 speakers (I always use my headphones)

I ordered an HDMI cable for the monitor, in case I ever get a BD drive. I'm assuming all other cables (like SATA) and the drive adapter (for the SSD) didn't need to be purchased separately. Anything I'm missing? Parts should be in by Saturday so I'll build it then. Any advice is appreciated.

I'll prob upgrade to IvyBridge and a 6xx series card(s) sometime late next year. I'm assuming the rest of the stuff will last me a few years.

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a b B Homebuilt system
October 13, 2011 7:45:17 AM
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SATA cables come with your motherboard. Or at least they should.

Your overall build looks good, the sound card was probably unnecessary but that's about my only thought.

Those new Patriot Pyro SSD's look pretty darn good too. Nicely priced, although I haven't had chance to check any reviews yet.
October 13, 2011 2:35:18 PM

Well, onboard audio usually underpowers my headphones, and this sound card has a built-in headphone amp. A lot of people at head-fi found the SQ to be drastically improved with this card. It was either that, or buy a separate DAC w/ a built-in amp. This was cheaper.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 13, 2011 2:41:33 PM

If you feel its necessary, fair enough. I just don't know many builders out there that aren't happy with on-board audio on new motherboards and generally differences aren't noticeable unless you've spent some serious money on a speaker system.
October 13, 2011 3:09:24 PM

if you find your pc missing one morning when you wake up, it wasn't me. seriously. no really...
a b B Homebuilt system
October 13, 2011 3:55:28 PM

looks very nice.

One note I'll make: the HAF X is *humongous* many people buy it not realizing just how huge it is. Its for 5+ drives, triple or quadruple SLi/Crossfire, and similar overkill.

You might find the slightly smaller HAF 932 or 922 more to your liking in size (and wallet), and they'll still accommodate your 580.
October 13, 2011 6:15:17 PM

I was actually planning on running a tri-sli with tri-monitor set-up in the future, so I wanted a case that had more than enough space. I currently have only an SSD/HDD/DVD for the drives, but I'm going to add in another HDD and BD drive later on, and maybe another SDD to raid. I figure with the space this thing has, I won't ever be left wanting more.

Also, UPS guy just dropped it off. The box isn't quite as big as I thought it would be :)  First full size ATX case I saw was in 2002, and it looked monstrous. I guess in my head I had an exaggerated image of what this would look like, so I'm pretty happy with it.

Although it def won't fit under my current desk :) 
October 13, 2011 9:43:55 PM

I read online that the Asrock and the Haf X have an issue. The cut-out in the back isn't large enough to reach your mounting screws. Any workaround for this, or will I be stuck with stock cooling?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 14, 2011 11:04:37 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
looks very nice.

One note I'll make: the HAF X is *humongous* many people buy it not realizing just how huge it is. Its for 5+ drives, triple or quadruple SLi/Crossfire, and similar overkill.

You might find the slightly smaller HAF 932 or 922 more to your liking in size (and wallet), and they'll still accommodate your 580.


Couldn't agree more, I'm so fed up of seeing HAF X suggested for every single build. It's unnecessary in 99% of builds and people are over-paying for space they will never see filled. There's so many equally good case's out there that are just a more realistic size.

MOST MID-TOWER-ATX cases are plenty big enough for any Standard ATX build without water-cooling. Drop an e-ATX motherboard or a few radiators, and THEN start considering full-size cases.

Note: I've no issue with people buying a HAF X if they have some kind of burning desire for it, but when its suggested for mid-range $1000 builds, its just not worth dumping such a large portion of the budget on a case that's just "unnecessary".

EDIT: For TRI-SLI your going to need at least ASRock Extreme7 GEN3 or better motherboard.
October 14, 2011 3:40:36 PM

I suppose, but it is such a nice case! I'm def planning on taking advantage of a lot of its features. And I'm not getting rid of it for several years to come. I can upgrade my entire system and keep this case. My only concern right now is the backplate to install the 212. Someone suggested to use a dremel, but I don't own one, and really don't want to drill into a new case I just bought that I thought would handle everything I could throw at it.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
October 14, 2011 4:31:08 PM

The one thing I'd suggest is to take a good look at the power supply you've chosen - make sure that it's UL certified and rated at least 80+ bronze or greater, the better the rating the less likely it is to fail, and trust me, you do not want to get a bad PSU, I've had that happen twice (Ultra sucks for that reason), and I'll always double check the ratings on my PSU every single time from now on.

Oh and another thing - Asus DVD burners are terrible! I keep saying that I've had one nearly explode on me - and that is no joke! Go with Lite-On, Sony, or LG, you will not regret it.
October 14, 2011 4:41:17 PM

It is rated 80plus silver. And I believe the company, as well as this PSU series, is highly reputable. Your experience with the DVD burner sounds terrible! Did it take any of the computer with it? It has good ratings on newegg (5 eggs with 2382 total reviews). I almost never use dvd drives anyway. I install most of my games from steam, I download all programs and drivers, and I instant stream with netflix anyway. I was going to get a 3d BD drive for this computer down the line, and that would need to be good quality.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
October 14, 2011 7:34:53 PM

Sovelin said:
It is rated 80plus silver. And I believe the company, as well as this PSU series, is highly reputable. Your experience with the DVD burner sounds terrible! Did it take any of the computer with it? It has good ratings on newegg (5 eggs with 2382 total reviews). I almost never use dvd drives anyway. I install most of my games from steam, I download all programs and drivers, and I instant stream with netflix anyway. I was going to get a 3d BD drive for this computer down the line, and that would need to be good quality.


I've heard good things about PCPAC but I've never used any of their products. I might be upgrading my PSU soon for OC'ing purposes and I've been doing some research into new ones.

But yeah that experience I had was horrible with the Asus burner. I put the drive in my machine, ran three test burns - the first one failed to complete, the second one didn't even recognize the disc, on the third it made a whirring noise so loud you could hear it throughout the room. I shut my machine off ASAP, took the disc out of the drive - and the drive out of my machine - the disc looked like it was melting, and the drive was so hot you could fry an egg on it. I immediately sent it back to Newegg for an RMA and have never used them since.

Thankfully it didn't take any other hardware with it, but for $20 those things are throw-away items anymore anyways. Which is funny because my first CD burner I bought in '96 and it was like $400.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 14, 2011 7:37:25 PM

PC Power & Cooling is a top-shelf PSU maker. On par with Seasonic.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
October 15, 2011 12:29:57 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
PC Power & Cooling is a top-shelf PSU maker. On par with Seasonic.


I'm definitely considering Seasonic for my next PSU but I'll really look into PCPAC as well.
October 20, 2011 5:02:01 PM

Best answer selected by sovelin.
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