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Compatibility Check / Fan Question For Gaming Build (~$1,000)

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October 27, 2011 2:14:51 PM

Hi All,

I've been working on a ~$1,000 gaming PC build and would like a few final sets of eyes before I submit my order. The public wishlist for my build can be seen here: New Gaming Build

1) Are all of my components compatible? Will they fit in my case? I'm confident that everything looks good here, but can never have enough assurance.

2) I do not intend to overclock or crossfire. In spite of this, I have had a few folks still push a 3rd party CPU fan. Given my current build, is this fan upgrade a necessity? This is my first build, so the whole thermal paste aspect of adding a 3rd party fan scares me a bit.

3) Is any part of this build particularly unreasonable, from either a "You're spending too much for that" or "That component is too powerful for the rest of your build to keep up" perspective?

Thanks for your input, folks!
October 27, 2011 2:39:18 PM

Nope, everything seems fine. And to be honest, unless you're overclocking, no you dont need an aftermarket heatsink.

But, dont be scared about them... They are helpful and do give great performance. I strongly suggest Corsairs Hydro Series coolers for anyone picking up an aftermarket cooler. They are completely enclosed and maintenance free with no risk of leaking, yet, they still give the best cooling hands down...

I would however check out the mobo's manufacture website and double check the RAM. Make sure it's on its qualified vendor RAM list.

You should be able to find it here

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...

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a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2011 2:40:53 PM

It's pretty good but it's not something you need.

You don't want to OC.

Get an i5-2500. The K series is for overclocking
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Use the promo code for i5-2500

Get this combo. i5-2500 and 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Your psu is too overkill for a single 6870. Get this popular CX500 + your case combo! SAVE $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Get an this z68 gen3 mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Upgradable to IVy bridge ( supposedly)

Get this Ram. Cheaper and better performance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've saved you $50. Spend it on charity or just take your girl out.

Edit: SAVED YOU $55
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October 27, 2011 3:33:26 PM

rozz: Great call on the memory check. The sticks I had selected were not compatible. I'll make sure to look out for that in the future. I may be on board with the hydro coolers. Will I still have to worry about thermal paste or can I just bolt that sucker in?

cutebeans: Hero. I've gone with quite a few of your suggestions, which are not only more cost effective but also better suited to my plug-and-play non-tweaking needs.

New Wishlist

Lookin' good?


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October 27, 2011 4:07:46 PM

Corsairs hydro series has thermal paste already on the block so technically, yeah,, just throw it on.. Now keep in mind, if you remove it, you will need to clean the block and re add a drop of thermal paste before reusing it.
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October 27, 2011 4:14:12 PM

btw.. i dont see your new RAM on that compatibility list...

F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 <- is the model you picked (the sniper series)

This one may be a good alternative.. same speed and size, just a lower model and a little cheaper:

F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 27, 2011 4:46:35 PM

From what I saw, everything looks pretty good. I will add my 2 cents of advice from building gaming computers. I know opinions are cheap and everybody's got one!

I would caution against the amd 6870 graphics card, especially if you plan on using or upgrading to resolutions like 1080p and beyond. I think that right now, the gaming "value" end of things is at the amd 6950/nvidia 460 level.

I had a quick peek, and they can be found at around 200-220 dollars for the 6950.

I realize that you want to build under a 1000, but I would seriously think about shaving a couple bucks from other components to come up with the cash for one of those cards... IF it were me!


On to the topic of aftermarket cooling: the stock heatsink will work fine, especially for non-overclocked computers. What it will not do, is cool a gaming computer quietly. This may or may not be an issue to you, but there are so many good air-to-air and like the poster rozz mentioned, there are some water to air options available as well.

Personally, I wouldn't go with a hydro series (although I'm a big fan of corsair products) - because their cooling efficiency can be beaten by several air-to-air coolers, but the GOOD thing about the corsair hydro's is that they have a very small footprint over the cpu socket.

Many of the air-to-air coolers have enormous heatsinks, which can become limitations in space. I built a computer not long ago for a friend who was in much the same position as you - and he too didnt want to spend egregious dollars on a heatsink when he wasn't intending to overclock.

I suggested that we take a look, and we found a decent aftermarket cooler that was on sale for 20 bucks, with a 10 dollar rebate. It was quiet, and after 3 months he decided to overclock his cpu a bit, just because he had the headroom!

Anyhow, have fun pricing things out... remember if you have questions about something (like thermal paste) there are millions of sites like this one, and plenty of informative videos to show you how it's done.

Best

Eric
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October 27, 2011 4:48:11 PM

Hey rozz,

I unintentionally tricked ya there by switching over to cutebeans' recommended motherboard. You should see my F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 on their list.

(He had suggested the F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR, which I didn't find on the list, but they did in fact have the 8GBSR2 on there)
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a b 4 Gaming
October 27, 2011 4:56:31 PM

Hey, get a Seagate barracuda 1tb. It's only $65. That WD black is about $100. You don't need any coolers btw. Your case is pretty cool already and you don't OC.

Why you change rams! Seriously, it works with any z68 motherboard.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 27, 2011 5:14:37 PM

Oh you trickster :)  that's cool. good thing i was just pointing it out to ya.. the z68 is a better board imho..

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October 27, 2011 8:01:14 PM

I had to switch, beans! I need the comfort of the exact model number being on the memory support listing, which the 8GBSR is not.

Alright I did add back in a fan. It's not a hydro for now. I also added in a beefier video card. Thanks for the tip on that, Eric.

Final thoughts? Anyone back up what beans is saying, that even though the 8GBSR is not listed on the support list, the details listed in the newegg confirm that it could be used on the Pro3 Gen3 board?
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October 27, 2011 8:02:59 PM

Most likely it will work.. the support list is just a good reference of known good RAM that works on that specific board.
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October 27, 2011 9:03:35 PM

1TB Caviar Black 64MB cache is $120 on amazon same price as that WD green...
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October 27, 2011 9:36:51 PM

cutebeans said:
Hey, get a Seagate barracuda 1tb. It's only $65. That WD black is about $100. You don't need any coolers btw. Your case is pretty cool already and you don't OC.

Why you change rams! Seriously, it works with any z68 motherboard.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


hard drives have gone up a lot since the flooding in thailand

but seriously spend 40 bucks more and get a 6950 they are exponentially better then the 460
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October 27, 2011 9:39:56 PM

keep in mind - the green is slower than the black.. just an FYI
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October 27, 2011 9:40:14 PM

mauler184 said:
switch the gpu for this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only 30 bucks more.

And you can save 20 with this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


get neither. the 560ti is worse in most games then the 6950 and at 235 bucks your essentially in the 6950 price range.
see for yourself http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=331

also dont get that hard drive it is a slow 5400rpm drive compared to the conventional 7200rpm
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October 27, 2011 10:03:54 PM

Alright, folks. I've scrapped the NVIDIA card in favor of a 6950 and am back to the Caviar Black. We're in about the third revision of the day, but I think all of your input is really helping to get me the best (Non-Overclocked) performing gaming PC at this price point. Thanks!


If we can mostly agree on my hardware, I've thought of a few more questions:

1) Is there any risk of the 3rd party cooler taking up too much space in my case, thus blocking some other part?

2) Is the Corsair 500W going to be able to push all of this, or do I need to upgrade to a higher wattage?

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October 27, 2011 10:07:29 PM

500w I would say is fine since you are not overclocking.
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October 27, 2011 10:30:53 PM

you would have enough even if you were overclocking
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October 27, 2011 10:43:09 PM

that ram works with the gen 3 extreme 3 version of that board, (the one that is 124.99 on newegg) I have just installed it into system, and the mobo recognizes it just fine.

The a70 is a large aftermarket cooler (just installed that too). It covers two ram slots, the a70 probably would not work with large heatsink ram. The sniper ram has enough of a low profile that you can install both the heatsink and the ram. Although it is slightly (and I mean slightly tricky)
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October 27, 2011 10:44:48 PM

I don't think that ripjaw version of ram will work if you have the a70, You will need low profile ram for that cooler.

If the ripjaws is as short as the sniper than it will work, but it looks like the jaws is taller.
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October 27, 2011 10:56:29 PM

Thanks snappy. Since this is my very first build, I'd like to have 0 trickiness. Is there a comparable after market cooler that will not threaten my memory slots?

Edit: Also, I was hoping to nab a modular power supply so I can keep my insides more tidy. Would this Corsair TX550M suit my needs without being overkill?
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October 27, 2011 11:07:31 PM

just get a non modular one. they are just as good and since your not overclocking tidyness inside doesnt really matter all that much.
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October 27, 2011 11:57:20 PM

the cm 212+ is a 20-30 dollar cooler that probably wont block any of your memory slots. It is similar to the a70 but the a70 out performs the 212+. everybody recommends the 212+. It is much smaller than the a70 and should suit your needs.

If your not oc you could just install the stock cpu cooler then there wont be any complications what so ever.

Even with the a70 that sniper ram that you bought should fit underneath the cooler. It is quite large though. Your going to want to install the cpu, then the ram, then the heatsink (a70 comes with a fan splitter, so you can plug the fans into one cpu fan on the mobo).

I literally just built a system that has , nearly the same board as yours, the a70, and the same sniper ram that you have. Still trying to iron things out, but in terms of the relevant hardware installation, everything went together fine.
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October 28, 2011 12:17:03 AM

Thanks for the followup, snappy. I suppose I'll go with my stock fan for now and save myself a bit of money.

That being said, I guess I'm ready to start price shopping! I'd appreciate a final thumbs up or two that all of these parts appear to be compatible.

You guys rock. I very much appreciate all of the guidance.

Final Build
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October 28, 2011 1:03:09 AM

JohnyeRobbles said:
Thanks for the followup, snappy. I suppose I'll go with my stock fan for now and save myself a bit of money.

That being said, I guess I'm ready to start price shopping! I'd appreciate a final thumbs up or two that all of these parts appear to be compatible.

You guys rock. I very much appreciate all of the guidance.

Final Build

price shopping you say?
http://pcpartpicker.com/

also you might consider buy this gigabyte 6950 instead
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it is cheaper after rebate and it is overclocked and it comes with a free dirt 3 code.
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October 28, 2011 3:49:12 AM

everything looks good, you can get an i5-2500k from ncix for 189.99 (192ish for additional shipping insurance) you might want to buy it all from newegg as that seems to be the case.

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=57962&vpn=BX80623I5250...

500 watts seems a bit low for 6950 if you plan to overclock at all, but I don't think you were going to.
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October 28, 2011 4:07:58 AM

Why is everyone avoiding case changes???
Go for HAF 922 cheaper and better then carbide.
U don't need diff cpu cooler as ur cpu multiplier is locked - no oc.
For HDD go with Sammy F3 - they are still reasonably cheap.
Also HD 6950 outperforms 560 Ti in most games and at higher resolution 560Ti overclocks way better and there are models that are superclocked already.
6950 is way bigger I would go with 560Ti
for PSU go with 550-600W preferably silver or gold rated
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October 28, 2011 4:09:30 AM

also u could get that ncix 2500k .. if they are still available :) 
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October 28, 2011 4:17:11 AM

dude I didn't even notice that he didnt have the k series, I just saw 2500 and assumed everyone would go k series and pay the extra 10 dollars.

to the op you should just get the 2500k from ncix as its cheaper and better (has the ability to overclock which you may do in the future) than the cpu you currently have selected.


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October 28, 2011 11:58:48 AM

I originally had the k-series, then backed off since it is true that I won't be planning to OC. But since there's only $5 difference, what the hey. I can grab the k and make a decision at a later point.

I did switch to the HAF 922. That's a nifty case!

Every time I've strayed from the Caviar Black, I've been scolded. I'll keep that one in place for my HDD. I'm also gonna stick with the 6950 over the 560 unless someone can blow my mind with non-OC related data.

More Final-than-the-Last-Final Build


Thumbs up?
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October 28, 2011 1:32:30 PM

you can overclock a 2500 unlike what a previous person stated. it can be OC to as high as 4.1 but still id get the 2500k as someone previously stated.

id stay with the 6950 though and the samsung f3 is/was the best performer vs value for the last year.... idk now cause the prices have soared.
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October 29, 2011 12:53:10 AM

^ how would u oc that ???
raising voltage to 1.45V?? yeah and ur cpu will last u 2 weeks
no 2500 is not ocable more then 200hz
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October 29, 2011 7:24:18 AM

?? don't follow u .. u link to psot that talks about how it can not be oced past 4.1 I know there is a turbo boost .. wich only worls for one core .. and get's lower and so on
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October 29, 2011 7:25:07 AM

why don't u go play bf3 on ur Readon :)  and let us post on the forum
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October 29, 2011 7:28:07 AM

Is something wrong with Readon cards for BF3? I just ordered 2 from XFX
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October 29, 2011 7:58:20 AM

well as long as u like to read ... then u'll be able to read on twice faster
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!