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First Build - last check (2500k, z68)

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October 29, 2011 9:12:07 AM

I am hoping that I can get some feedback on this system one last time before I order. I will mainly be using it for gaming and a little bit of photoshop. Some choices are heavily based on some promotional prices so keep that in mind (I am trying to get max value).

I am planning to hold off for the first 22nm gpu's before I decide on a new graphics card. Ultimately, I would like the ability to go SLI/Crossfire as an upgrade option and possibly sooner if 22nm is out of my price range.

I will NOT be oc'ing right away. I don't see a real need given that this stock CPU will be more than adequate for BF3. Again, this is something that I will likely do in the future in order to extend the usefullness of the processor.

I am not sure if 60 GB is large enough for a boot drive? If it is too small I will use it as an SRT cache drive.

Thanks for your help. The prices are all from the local store.

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Versatile Mid Tower Gamer Case
$39.99

CPU & Mobo Combo:
Intel Core™ i5-2500K Processor Bundle w/ Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 Motherboard
$364.99

SSD (boot or cache?):
OCZ Solid 3 Series 2.5in SATA III Solid State Drive, 60GB
$89.99

PSU:
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850W Modular Power Supply
$94.99

Memory:
GSKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB PC3-12800 Dual Channel DDR3 Kit (2 x 4GB)
$50.99

HDD:
Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black 7200rpm SATA II w/ 32MB Cache
$89.99

ODD:
LG Super-Multi 24x DVD Writer, SATA w/ Lightscribe, Black (OEM)
$19.99

Sub Total $750.93

More about : build check 2500k z68

October 29, 2011 10:04:34 AM

system is good enough, but what about your graphics?
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October 29, 2011 10:13:17 AM

Hi, I can tell that you have put a lot of thought into your build - that's good. I have some options for you to consider:

1. Don't go with the 60 GB SSD, get a 120 GB SSD. Right now the Corsair Force 3 120GB SSD is on sale at Newegg for $109.00 after rebates. That is only $20 more than the 60GB card you have chosen and the Force 3 is a good SSD. It did have some early problems but Corsair has worked them out. I know I bought it and I was concerned about it. I called Corsair and the upgraded me to the Corsair GT Force 3 for free. Corsair will take care of you if you have a problem - I can tell you that from first-hand experience.

You have so much more room to play with on a 120GB SSD and they are also much faster than the 60 GB SSDs. Games take up a lot of space and you will want to put your favorite games on your SSD. You don't have to, but with a 120GB SSD you will have the option.

2. I am not familiar with the Gigabyte motherboards but I would strongly recommend that you get a Gen 3 board. I have the AsRock Extreme 4 Gen 3 mobo and it is a solid motherboard. I have not had any problems with it. Right now it is $154 on Newegg and it has several features that $200 + motherboards do not have. It is also Gen 3 and is PCI-E 3.0 compliant. Than will be important to you in just a few months when the Gen 3 video cards start coming out. They will dwarf the current cards in speed.

3. After reading several reviews on Intel's cache system I would not recommend it. It really is not that fast, it is complicated to set up and maintain. I have the Corsair GT Force 120GB SSD for my operating system and important programs and two 1TB HDDs for everything else. My computer is just wicked fast - I will NEVER use an HDD for my operating system again. It is a HUGE difference. This is why SSDs are selling like hot cakes

4. Stay with the 2500K it is perfect for your build

5. If you can afford it I would recommend that you Corsair HX850 PSU. It is superior to the CM PSU for the following reasons:

* It is the most efficient and stable PSU on the market right now - it is the highest rated PSU by professional reviewers you can buy. It even beats their AX850 gold rated PSU. It will run quiet and cool in your case.

* It comes with a 7-year warranty from Corsair, a company with legendary customer service

* It is frequently around $140 on sale. I know that the extra $40 -$50 is a lot of money on your build but it is really worth the difference. I own the HX850 and it is a superb PSU

* It is modular - you won't have jumbled mess of cables in your case after you build.

* It comes with EVERY cable you could possibly need

* It will put out over a 1000W and remain stable. It will run two high-power GPUs if you need it to and you can overclock to your heart's content and not worry if you have enough power

6. You are spending too much on the WD HDD. The Samsung F3 or the Seagate Barracuda hover around $65 and sometimes go on sale for less and they are very fast HDDs

7. Go to 1600 2 x 4gb RAMM, it frequently is on sale at Newegg for the same price you list for 12800 RAM and there is a noticeable performance difference. Better yet go to 1866 RAM - it ifrequently is an sale at Newegg for $65

8. OK be careful of the Newegg combo deals. The Gigabyte motherboard you chose is NOT Gen 3. You can get the 2500K and the AsRock Extreme 4 Gen 3 motherboard separately for about the same price and the AsRock board is better for crossfire or SLI.

Hey you really deserve a lot of credit for putting together a solid build on a budget. I hope that these options are of use to you.



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October 29, 2011 10:04:31 PM

Thanks Flong.

I think I will take your suggestions on mobo and SSD. Definitely good points.

PSU - I am not sure about the power supply - it is 50% more money and I THINK the Cool Master should run SLI without an issue(?). I could probably be convinced but I am leaning towards what I have listed.

HDD - I can't find a Samsung for that price online and the store I have been going through doesn't carry Samsung HDDs. Does it really perform better? Shipping would be extra plus having to wait etc..... I will have to think about it.

In regards to the memory, PC3 12800 is actually DDR 3 1600 (unless I am missing something?).

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October 29, 2011 11:08:24 PM

Hmm.. I don't see the ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 for $154 on Newegg...

I'd jump on that.
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Best solution

October 29, 2011 11:16:26 PM

boarderex86 said:
Thanks Flong.

I think I will take your suggestions on mobo and SSD. Definitely good points.

PSU - I am not sure about the power supply - it is 50% more money and I THINK the Cool Master should run SLI without an issue(?). I could probably be convinced but I am leaning towards what I have listed.

HDD - I can't find a Samsung for that price online and the store I have been going through doesn't carry Samsung HDDs. Does it really perform better? Shipping would be extra plus having to wait etc..... I will have to think about it.

In regards to the memory, PC3 12800 is actually DDR 3 1600 (unless I am missing something?).



Here is the link for the Samsung F3 - it is sold out. HDDs have gone up in price in the last two months. I think you should look for $65 - $80 price in the current market. Interestinly, Western Digital does have a 1 TB HDD for $80 right now on Newegg.

Here is the best buy that I could find: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-7200-12-Interna...

It is a Seagate Barracuda for $75 - the Barracuda v.12 is a good drive

The Corsair HX850 is here on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

After rebates it is $150. That is $60 more than the CM.

Here is Hardware Canucks statement on the CM 850:

"Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850W

Honestly, the Silent Pro M isn’t the greatest power supply that we have ever tested but it is far from the worst. When running at the normal loads one would put on an 850W power supply it is actually very well behaved and exhibits passable voltage regulation and good ripple suppression. Unfortunately, things start falling apart when more is asked of it. Its fan speed profile is far too mundane which allows temperatures to rise to worrying levels and thus causes a rapid degradation of performance as load increases. Remember, this Cooler Master unit is only rated at 40°C so things can and will fall apart when internal temperatures reach 50°C+ like we saw.

There are however some resounding qualities here. It carries one of the best warranties we have seen at 5 years and also shows some of the best efficiency of all the 80Plus Bronze rated power supplies in this roundup. Performance isn’t everything and the flat cables Cooler Master used are perfect; they are done perfectly and will help you immeasurably when setting up a clean system. Pricing is also extremely good, especially if you are buying it in the United States.

If you are looking for an extremely inexpensive 850W power supply which you won’t be pushing with an ultra high end dual GPU setup, the Silent Pro M could be an option for you. Otherwise, there are better performing units out there which don’t cost all that much more.

Pros:

- Efficient
- Very well priced
- 5-year warranty
- Quiet until high loads
- Great flat cables


Cons:

- Disappointing performance at higher loads
- Gets extremely hot"


You can see that if you push the CM 850, it will overheat and run loud. As long as you don't push it, it is an OK PSU. With and overclocked SLI or crossfire setup you will push the PSU.

Here is the conclusion from Hardware Secrets:

"Conclusions
Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The new Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850 W is a good power supply, presenting a high efficiency up to 86.8% if you pull up to 80% from the labeled capacity (i.e., up to 680 W), voltages within specs and noise and ripple below the maximum allowed.

The highlight of this product is the presence of six independent cables using six/eight-pin connectors for video cards, allowing you to install up to three very high-end video cards on your system without the need of using any kind of adapter.

If you are looking for an 850 W power supply for a high-end PC, Silent Pro M 850 W is a very good option, providing an excellent cost/benefit ratio for this segment.
"

The Corsair HX850 is 4%-5% more efficient and will run quieter and cooler. (it will run at approximately 91%-92% efficiency up to about 70% capacity) It also easily will supply 1000W and remain stable. It also has better ripple suppression and is more stable.

That being said, the CM 850 is adequate and it will power your system - just not as quietly, efficiently and it will run hot and heat up your case.

Both choices are reasonable choices. I understand that you are on a budget. If you can't afford the $60 for the HX850, get the CM850 it is a fairly good PSU and won't damage your components. It is certainly cheaper. You will probably use this PSU for your next build and that is why I think that the HX850 is the better choice with a 7-year warranty and better performance.

Sorry about the RAM - I did not see it listed as 1600 RAM.

Good luck with your build, I wish you the very best.
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October 31, 2011 2:43:52 AM

Thanks everyone. I ended up staying with the Coolmaster PSU, although the review was very helpful. By the time I will need 2 high end GPU's, I will probably be upgrading the CPU as well... at that point I might as well start from scratch. For the same reason, I decided to pull the trigger on the Gigabyte mobo (mainly so I didn't have to wait for it) since I don't anticipate this build lasting long enough for the PCIe2.0 to hold me back. (although I also read that a bios update will allow PCIe 3.0 compatibility - I will believe that when I see it)

At the end of the day I have spent $1000 including a 24" Samsung LCD + Windows 7; although I wll be watching for a deal on a new HDD and will make a decision on the GPU upgrade once the 22nm cards come out.

Can't wait to get it running....
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October 31, 2011 2:44:31 AM

Best answer selected by boarderex86.
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