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Need some advice for a new build!

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October 25, 2011 7:38:53 PM

Hello everyone,

I'm currently trying to decide how to build my new pc, designed exclusively for gaming, with ultra settings in mind. I live in France, so I apologize in advance for my bad English, and for any components i refer to by their European name.

I'm looking for the best quality/price ratio, I'm a student, so relatively poor =p (pasta for 3 months in order to upgrade my computer ^^)

Thanks for all the help and advice! Here's what I have so far:

Proc: Intel Core I7 960 (i'm not sure why everyone is raving about the 2500k.. is it better? kind of hesitating on this)

Case: Antec Twelve hundred v3 (has some minor overheating problems on my old NZXT, so the fans in this case are what convinced me)

PSU: Corsair AX - 1200w

Sound card: Creative X-FI Titanium Fatal1ty Champion

Ventirad: Noctua NH-D14 (proc cooling)

Graphics card: EVGA GTX580 (and planning on getting a second one later on to SLI) Possibly a Accelero Xtreme Plus II to cool the GTX580

Memory: Corsair DDR3 Kit 2 x 4 Go Dominator GT - PC16000 - 2000 MHz - CAS 9

Hard drive for OS and games: Crucial M4 128Go SATA revision 3.0
Hard drive for storage: reusing my old velociraptor 10.000 rpm, since I have 4 1TB externals for real storage.

Getting a blu-ray player/burner as well, and reusing my two dvd players/burners from my old computer.

Is there anything missing? wrong? Am I dumping too much money in useless upgrades? Is this the best "bang for my buck"? I'll take any comments and help you can give me :p 

Thanks again!

More about : advice build

October 25, 2011 8:03:34 PM

Bump because I forgot the motherboard!!!!

Here it is: Asus Rampage III Extreme
October 25, 2011 9:46:31 PM

People are raving about the i5 2500K because it is:

1. Latest generation Intel CPU, and latest generation is usually the way to go with CPUs.

2. The 2500K has an unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking. Over the life of your PC, you will have the option to overclock the CPU to get more life and power out of it. Considering that overclocking is free unless you pay someone to do it, buying an unlocked CPU is always the best choice, because it provides you options later.
Related resources
October 25, 2011 9:49:35 PM

So would an I5 2500k really be better than a I7 960? Seems kind of strange..
October 25, 2011 11:52:34 PM


Edit: and what about the 2700k? Wouldn't it be better to go directly to 1366 socket, so I won't have to change my motherboard down the line?
October 25, 2011 11:59:05 PM

The 1366 socket is dead. No more new processors on this platform will be released. The sucessor is the LGA2011, which will become available on November with only 3 differents CPU : a locked quad-core (no overclocking at all), an unlocked six-core (600$) and the flagship unlocked 6 cores high frequency at 1000$ per chip.

Prices are ridiculous. You are a lot better with a 1155 platform.
October 26, 2011 12:49:47 AM

Ok, fair enough, I'll try and look all that up. I thought the future was in the 1366 socket.

Is the I7 2700k a step up from the I5 2500k, or is the added performance not worth the price increase?
October 26, 2011 12:58:05 AM

the i7 2700k is basically just a slight frequency increace + hyperthreading, somewhat useful for workstations & professional apps, some say a better rated piece of silicon therefore better overclocking ability, but the i5 2500k is the prize for gaming price vs performance 4 superfast threads on 4 physical cores with excellent overclocking ability to 4.5ghz+ with a decent cooler, perhaps 5ghz & beyond on water :D 
October 26, 2011 1:07:10 AM

Fair enough.. So I'm heading on to a 2500k/2700k (not sure yet) coupled with a ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z Mobo... What about the rest of the components? Any input on that? :p 
October 26, 2011 1:15:39 AM

any particular reason for the ROG motherboard? personally i never put much stock in the ROG products, normally just aim for the top end of the standard asus range & the products have always served me well. i think my personal choice would probably be the P8Z68-V PRO - over $100 cheaper, still overclocks like a beast + all the good features from the maximus without any of the rog bullcr*p.
October 26, 2011 1:26:57 AM

Well, I wasn't really looking at 1155 socket mobos at first, so my decision was kind of rushed after you convinced me to switch to a 25/6/700k processor. The reviews I read put the Maximus IV at the very top, overclocking wise, with the extra ports, and bundled software.
October 26, 2011 1:30:46 AM

don't get me wrong, rog mobo's are nice, just you pay a hell of alot extra for that rog badge + the colour sceme. kinda product you buy for bragging rights really. the upper end of the "standard" asus range serves just fine if you don't care about having the rog label & the $100-$150 you save can be better invested in other useful areas
October 26, 2011 1:32:48 AM

Fair enough, again ;)  I'll keep that in mind. So now that the processor and motherboard are settled, anything about the rest? Should I still get dual channel memory (2x4go), or get some more? maybe 3x4? Will the case fit everything? Any better cases for looks/cooling? What about the proc ventirad, is the Noctua NH-D14 able to cope with a big OC? :p 
October 26, 2011 1:41:47 AM

cases - i'm an antec lover myself, still rocking one of the very first edition 300's (modded to hell now tho, so easy to slice & dice) keeps an oc'd i7 870 + a pair of gtx 260's nice & cool all day long, so i'm sure an antec 1200 would have zero issues with a sandy bridge cpu + a gtx580.

memory - it's dual channel arcitecture, so go for dual channel kits, 8gb is p*ss cheap now & ram oc'ing on sandy is moot as you can't adjust baseclock more than a few mhz, tis all about multiplier oc'ing with the k series cpu's. recent article on tom's about ram for sandy bridge cpu's - http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/corsair-vengeance-crucial-ballistix-kingston-hyperX,review-32168.html

nh-14 will deffo do the trick for a hell of an oc - just is the case big enough to handle it + does it interfere with any of the mobo components & ram?
October 26, 2011 1:48:49 AM

Perfect, so I'm basically all set, the only question that remains is the memory. I'll definitely go with a 2x4gb setup (8gb should be more than enough, I'll only be gaming on this pc ;)  ). I just need to find the correct sticks to put in.

Oh, and would the GTX580 need some extra cooling? An Accelero Xtreme Plus II is pretty cheap considering.. my old gtx260 often goes up to 85+ celsius under full load, and i'd like to run a lot cooler =p

Then everything else is perfect :) 

Thanks a lot for all your help!
October 26, 2011 1:52:24 AM

I think the GTX 580 will be fine. It shouldn't need anymore cooling. If you were really worried about it, just get the MSI GTX 580. Shouldn't be an issue though.
October 26, 2011 1:54:56 AM

yarr, to hell with voiding a card's warranty applying your own 3rd party cooler, if you feel the need for some extra chilly, plump an extra $30 for one with a decent cooler already fitted rather than the standard nvidia box cooler. probably get yourself a nicer card with longer warranty & a mild overclock for the extra money too :D 
October 26, 2011 2:02:38 AM

Yeah, gonna go for the MSI N580GTX Twin Frozr II/OC 1536 MB ;) 

Well, I think I'm set.. now all I need to figure out is what kind of memory stick is most suitable for the build =p (I'm reading the link you sent).

Then pick out a couple extra internal storage HDD's, and order the lot!
October 26, 2011 2:33:41 AM

Well... Just found out that the Antec twelve hundred v3 doesn't support eATX motherboard format :( 

So I'm back to seeking the best air cooling case in the ~200$ ish range =p ... that accepts eATX!
October 26, 2011 3:03:49 AM

Dude your English is like perfect, just thought you would like to know.
October 26, 2011 3:17:30 AM

Haha.. my written English, maybe.. my accent is a different matter =p
October 26, 2011 5:24:37 PM

Bump with the new specs ^^

Here's what I have so far:

Proc: Intel Core I7 2700k

PSU: Corsair AX - 1200w

Ventirad: Noctua NH-D14 (proc cooling)

Graphics card: MSI N580GTX Twin Frozr II/OC

Memory: Corsair DDR3 Kit 2 x 4 Go Dominator GT - PC16000 - 2000 MHz - CAS 9 (or is there a better memory stick for this build?)

Hard drive for OS and games: Crucial M4 128Go SATA revision 3.0


Case and Motherboard: Now here's where I'm still hesitating. I was dead
set on the Antec twelve hundred v3, but then opted for the Asus Maximus IV extreme-z mobo, which is eATX format, and not supported by the case.
So I'm pretty much stuck here, wondering if the Maximus IV extreme-z is really necessary, or if the P8Z68 deluxe more than enough (intense OC'ing in mind). If the
Maximus IV extreme-z is really better, then I need a full-tower eATX case with very good air cooling =p

Oh, and is a sound card really necessary? I have a 5.1 surround
sound system, and usually plug in my headphones when gaming, so will
the mobo support that, or do I need to buy an extra card?

Is there anything missing? wrong? :) 



Thanks again!
October 26, 2011 5:46:00 PM

Your psu wattage is overkill for the amount of hardware that you will be running even running two gtx 590s you would only need 1000watt, you could even probably run them on a good 850 watt psu.

The 2700k is an overpriced 2600k, I would not purchase it, I wouldnt even purchase the I7 because you are building a exclusive gaming pc. the 2500k will serve you in this purpose just as well as the 2700k.

Your "ventriad" is the best air cooler on the market.

As for the case you could take a look at the haf 932 or haf x, most go with the haf 932 as it is cheaper, and quite similar to the x. The x is huge.

Haf 932 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (I really don't know any french websites)
Haf x http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

As for picking a different motherboard, you might want to start a new thread, as motherboard and there differences are quite hard to differentiate. You might get a better answer in the motherboard section forum.

sound card is not necessary.
October 26, 2011 5:50:11 PM

So I should definitely opt for the Maximus IV extreme-z mobo instead of the p8z68 deluxe, and go for the Haf X case? I've read mixed reviews on the Haf X concerning cooling, air flow and so on.

Downgrade my PSU to 1000w then (going to sli my 580 down the road).

October 26, 2011 5:53:17 PM

Sorry for the double post, but it won't let me edit. I was also wondering if the haf x had dust filters for the fans? I tend to get a lot of dust in my apartment, which was a problem in my current NZXT case.
October 26, 2011 10:59:37 PM

If it's only for gaming, I'd also go with the 2500K. Hyperthreading is useless for gaming.

I'd rather go with Mushkin RAM instead of Corsair. Simple preference, but Mushkin is just premium RAM quality offering premium performance for the price.

1600 MHz is also plenty enought. Over this, there might be a risk of incompatibility with the mainbaord. Some motherboards doesn't really like RAM over 1866MHz...

October 27, 2011 11:55:09 PM

Really? I thought that Corsair was THE brand of choice when it came to memory. Never heard of Mushkin, but then again I've been kind of out of the loop for 3 years, since I built my last PC..

As for the frequency, I thought that the Maximux IV extreme-z was perfectly fine with > 1600 MHz memory.. but would I actually notice a performance increase in gaming?
October 28, 2011 6:40:20 PM

Corsair is stil a good brand, but some series failed in offering good performance for the price. The Vengeance series is a good one though.

There won't be any performance increase in every kind of usage if you choose anything over 1600 Mhz. You won't be able to see it, only benchmarks will, and since benchmarks are just numbers, it's not very usefull ;) 
October 29, 2011 5:33:31 PM

So here's the final listing, tell me what you guys think =p

SSD drive: Crucial M4 128Go

Proc: I7 2700k

Mobo: Asus Maximus IV Extreme-z

Case: Haf X

PSU: Corsair AX - 850w (hope it'll be enough to SLI the 580's)

Proc cooler: Noctua NH-D14

Graphic card: Msi's 580gtx Lightning (not the extreme version)

Memory: Still not sure here, but from what I gathered, choose a 1600Mhz from a good brand at 1.5V with the lowest possible timings..

What do you think?
October 29, 2011 7:52:13 PM

SSD : ok

CPU : a 2600K does exactly the same and is about 50 to 60 $ less. Seriously, their is no interest to get a 2700K instead of paying more for the same thing. It is neither not a new stepping/revision nor a higher quality silicon die.

Count 700w continuous power draw for a SLI of 580 GTX. Maybe getting a 1000w PSU should be better if you plan to have multiple HDDs and a great overclock... You'll get a greater margin.

Mobo : I personnally owned until yesterday a Maximus Formula first gen. Seriously, I don't see the interest of getting such a mainboard with the highest price tag ... unless you want to pay more once again. If you want premium quality board, get the P8P67 WS Revolution. Same specs without all the useless ROG features and designed to perform 24/7 in the worst computing conditions.

RAM : Get Mushkin Blackline or Radioactive edition. The Radioactive is the RAM i'm buying right now for my WS Revolution.
!