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October 30, 2011 4:19:01 PM

Hi, all.

The past few days I have been scanning through the site in search for all kinds of information related to building a new gaming PC.

Since I am no technical-savvy person, searching information for components [especially video cards] was particularly hard and even more to the point that I am now completely lost on what a good "bang for your buck" component is.

Approximate Purchase Date: two to three months.
Budget Range: $650 - $700
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Its sole purpose is to run World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, but also Mists of Pandaria [within 1-2 years] at high to ultra settings.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, windows 7
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I am a Dutch guy living in the Philippines. Just seeking for advise on parts and the research on prices I can do here locally.
Country of Origin: Philippines
Parts Preferences: by brand or type Preferably Intel core [i3 or i5] processor with matching motherboard/video card
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: Intention to play on 1600x900, currently have a 19" LED that can run 1366 x 768 max resolution.
Additional Comments: Quiet PC and as long as it can run WoW on high - ultra settings in busy area's as a raiding environment.

I am aware that my budget of $650 - $700 might not be able to cut it, especially since I am in need of a new monitor, I would be able to stretch the budget over to $900 maximum.

P.S.: I only want to spread my budget to $900 if some components really seems to be making such a big difference compared to a $700-build PC.


This is what I came up with in my research of the past days: [feel free to change or completely revise below build if necessary]

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz 3MB Cache Processor
GPU: MSI HD6850 OC 1gb ddr5 256bit
Motherboard: Asus P8H61-M LE
Power supply: Silverstone ST50F 500w modular cable
RAM: Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333 / PC3-10600 Desktop Memory
HDD: Samsung 1TB SATA2 32MB 7200RPM 3 Platter Hard Disk Drive
ODD: ASUS DRW-2014L1T 20X Black DVD Writer with LightScribe
Case: Antec Three Hundred
Monitor: 20” LG E2040/41T LED 1600x900
CPU Fan: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 cpu fan
Cables: Any


Many thanks in advance for all the help and advise! :wahoo: 

More about : gaming

October 30, 2011 4:50:26 PM

solid. you won't need an aftermarket cooler. If you are hell bent on getting one... well the CM XT 3 is more than enough and it is dirt cheap.
The monitor... mmm. :D  perhaps a bigger one. LG gives me shivers.
You can shave off another 20$ from the antec 300 and get the gamma classic. Put this money you saved in getting a 6870 now (or a 6950)
ATM the hdds are sky-rocketed in price. Wait with what you got for them to drop and get a 500gb.
What else? A couple of bucks off your memory... just get whichever 1333 4gb credible kit you can find.
All that matters in the end is the best result on screen. And that means bigger monitor and better gfx card.
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October 30, 2011 5:09:48 PM

here are my thoughts, in order of your listed components.
the i3-2100 is perfect. as world of warcraft only takes advantage of two cores. and is more gpu dependent anyways.

the video card should do great on highest settings. my 5770 does max settings if i turn shadows down and i play with 3 monitors at a resolution of 5770x1080. so that card with one monitor and a res of 1600x900 will be smooth as silk.

get another motherboard. the P68 is better for using dedicated video. one day when you want better graphics it will be a cheap upgrade if you a p68 board with two PCI-E slots with at least 8x or higher lanes avail. the 2 xtra slots for ram will help if you ever find you want another 4GB. a side note is that you get more usb ports and sata ports.

im not familiar with silverstone for power supplies but 500w will be enough for your system.

for ram 4GB is all i recommend for light users. playing wow and surfing the net is light in my opinion. you could get faster ram but you would only get 1 maybe 2 more FPS. so not worth the money.

i perfer western digital black drives. they are faster and have 2 more years to their warranty. often at the same price.

i own several antec cases including your choices big brother the nine hundred. and i now feel that antec overcharges for theirs. the inside of an antec case is cheap and basic until your spending a few hundred. lately ive been a fan of NZXT. not the best looking front of the case but the insides are well layed out with holes for hiding cables. and they are cheaper than antec.

i always recommend a bigger monitor but that really up to personal preference.

you wont need that cpu fan. the stock cooler on a 2100 keeps it cool and its really quiet. like unless your ear is right next to the case you wont hear it.
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October 30, 2011 5:26:13 PM

farrengottu said:
here are my thoughts, in order of your listed components.
the i3-2100 is perfect. as world of warcraft only takes advantage of two cores. and is more gpu dependent anyways.

the video card should do great on highest settings. my 5770 does max settings if i turn shadows down and i play with 3 monitors at a resolution of 5770x1080. so that card with one monitor and a res of 1600x900 will be smooth as silk.

get another motherboard. the P68 is better for using dedicated video. one day when you want better graphics it will be a cheap upgrade if you a p68 board with two PCI-E slots with at least 8x or higher lanes avail. the 2 xtra slots for ram will help if you ever find you want another 4GB. a side note is that you get more usb ports and sata ports.

im not familiar with silverstone for power supplies but 500w will be enough for your system.

for ram 4GB is all i recommend for light users. playing wow and surfing the net is light in my opinion. you could get faster ram but you would only get 1 maybe 2 more FPS. so not worth the money.

i perfer western digital black drives. they are faster and have 2 more years to their warranty. often at the same price.

i own several antec cases including your choices big brother the nine hundred. and i now feel that antec overcharges for theirs. the inside of an antec case is cheap and basic until your spending a few hundred. lately ive been a fan of NZXT. not the best looking front of the case but the insides are well layed out with holes for hiding cables. and they are cheaper than antec.

i always recommend a bigger monitor but that really up to personal preference.

you wont need that cpu fan. the stock cooler on a 2100 keeps it cool and its really quiet. like unless your ear is right next to the case you wont hear it.

The difference in price between h61 and p67 is some 50$. That money is best spent on a better gfx card.
I agree that this system lacks future-proofing, but the budget is so narrow we would need another 300$ to say the least to future proof it with gen3, better PSU, better ram etc.
As for the caviar black, well, the warranty is the only thing good in them. The Samsung F3 is in fact the fastest mechanical hard drive in the world.
The only possible upgrades i see that will come in cheap is:
-i5 2400 (won't need a heatsink)
-HD 6950

As stated before, the problem with this whole build is that when it gets outdated in one department it needs to go, like all of it.
New processor with capability to OC means new PSU and mobo
Dual card setup means again new PSU and mobo
More ram means throwing away what you already got

Generally, this system will be "as is" until you decide to get a new one. Upgrading GPU/CPU/Ram after your initial purchase is also silly, since the performance gains will be limited. The only option i see atm, if you intend to stay bellow 700$ is squeezing #1 squeezing a 6950 in there, #2 i5 2400
The only money i can shave off is case, cooler, hdd. Add the fact that an lg 20inch is terrible (you are better off staying with your 19 if you are going to lg 20)... very tight...
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October 31, 2011 2:35:17 AM

Thank you very much for the interesting feedback on my build, both of you.

I took some of your considerations and changed some components and decided to lose the screen altogether, for now. There is one screen "23 from HP / Philips but that would increase my budget by another 200$ or so.

The new build for a slightly lower price:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 (3.1G) 6mb 32nm
GPU: PowerColor HD6950 2gb ddr5 PCS+
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Pro3-M Z68 VSL/Virtu/ISRT
Power supply: Silverstone ST50F 500w modular cable
RAM: Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333 / PC3-10600 Desktop Memory
HDD: 500gb WDigital Blue Sata3
ODD: ASUS DRW-2014L1T 20X Black DVD Writer with LightScribe
Case: Thermaltake V4 black mesh (no psu)


However, if you say that even this build has no potential to upgrade I don't mind to add the budget to something that proofs more valuable than what I currently have as set-up. [I'd rather spend $1000 now and be happy than spending $700 dollar now and knowing I have to completely change it if ever I want upgrades later on]

So I can change the budget to $1000 instead, could you provide me with the best components for that price and that are also somewhat future proof? [still in mind that all I want it to do is having high settings on World of Warcraft in current and upcoming expansions]

P.S.: Budget is without the monitor.

Since I am in a different time zone, I will be responding later again. Probably when it is morning in America.

Thanks for all your help so far, guys. :wahoo: 
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October 31, 2011 7:58:10 AM

new mobo changes everything. I would say asrock z68 pro3 gen3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 is also nice though not gen3. They seem to have the same price on newegg, don't know about Philippines.
The PSU is going to be ok i guess. OCZ 600watt are also budget. Compare prices between the two.
Since we are talking about z68 now, there is little need for 1333 ram, lets go to 1600. Geil has nice prices and you won't mind the huge heatsinks (you might even say they are cute)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
if we went too high...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 31, 2011 8:21:31 AM

Hi, vx53c.

Thanks for your quick response. Since I am at work right now, I shall check this out later when I get home. You'll be hearing from me!
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October 31, 2011 3:36:49 PM

To come back on your advice, vx53c.

See here the revised build:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 (3.1G) 6mb 32nm
GPU: PowerColor HD6950 2gb ddr5 PCS+
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H Z68/Virtu/ISRT
Power supply: Silverstone ST50F 500w modular cable
RAM: 4gb Vengeance (Z4GX3M1A1600C9/B) 4x1
HDD: 500gb WDigital Blue Sata3
ODD: ASUS DRW-2014L1T 20X Black DVD Writer with LightScribe
Case: Thermaltake V4 black mesh (no psu)


Quote:
I would say asrock z68 pro3 gen3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] ro3%20gen3
Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 is also nice though not gen3.


It does not seem that the Philippines is selling the Pro3 Gen3 board. That or I can not find it. Anyway, Is this link the same Z68MA that you mentioned? http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/components/motherboard/...

What about the Asrock P67 Extreme 4 or the Asrock Z68 extreme 4? Aren't they better boards? Do advise where possible.

Quote:
The PSU is going to be ok i guess. OCZ 600watt are also budget. Compare prices between the two.


Same as with the motherboard, it doesn't seem to be selling the brand OCZ. Only some unknown brands.

Quote:
Since we are talking about z68 now, there is little need for 1333 ram, lets go to 1600. Geil has nice prices and you won't mind the huge heatsinks (you might even say they are cute)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820144486
if we went too high...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820144485


And also the brand "geil" is unknown here. Would a corsair 4 GB vengeance achieve the same? [although it has no heat sink]

http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/components/memory/4gb-v...




1) Coming back on this build, would I be needing additional coolers to keep the machine cool enough?
2) Is the current case that I choose sufficient enough to have everything fit in?
3) Would a 500watt power supply still be good enough or should I be upgrading this one?


Also, the current build is worth roughly $890. Is this a good bang for my buck or is there something that I could still upgrade to a better level? Budget would be $1000 - so an additional $110 left for spending/upgrading.


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October 31, 2011 3:36:59 PM

To come back on your advice, vx53c.

See here the revised build:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 (3.1G) 6mb 32nm
GPU: PowerColor HD6950 2gb ddr5 PCS+
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H Z68/Virtu/ISRT
Power supply: Silverstone ST50F 500w modular cable
RAM: 4gb Vengeance (Z4GX3M1A1600C9/B) 4x1
HDD: 500gb WDigital Blue Sata3
ODD: ASUS DRW-2014L1T 20X Black DVD Writer with LightScribe
Case: Thermaltake V4 black mesh (no psu)


Quote:
I would say asrock z68 pro3 gen3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] ro3%20gen3
Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 is also nice though not gen3.


It does not seem that the Philippines is selling the Pro3 Gen3 board. That or I can not find it. Anyway, Is this link the same Z68MA that you mentioned? http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/components/motherboard/...

What about the Asrock P67 Extreme 4 or the Asrock Z68 extreme 4? Aren't they better boards? Do advise where possible.

Quote:
The PSU is going to be ok i guess. OCZ 600watt are also budget. Compare prices between the two.


Same as with the motherboard, it doesn't seem to be selling the brand OCZ. Only some unknown brands.

Quote:
Since we are talking about z68 now, there is little need for 1333 ram, lets go to 1600. Geil has nice prices and you won't mind the huge heatsinks (you might even say they are cute)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820144486
if we went too high...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820144485


And also the brand "geil" is unknown here. Would a corsair 4 GB vengeance achieve the same? [although it has no heat sink]

http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/components/memory/4gb-v...




1) Coming back on this build, would I be needing additional coolers to keep the machine cool enough?
2) Is the current case that I choose sufficient enough to have everything fit in?
3) Would a 500watt power supply still be good enough or should I be upgrading this one?


Also, the current build is worth roughly $890. Is this a good bang for my buck or is there something that I could still upgrade to a better level? Budget would be $1000 - so an additional $110 left for spending/upgrading.


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October 31, 2011 8:28:38 PM

Yes that is the board. Very nice board. Asrock extreme4 gen3 is fantastic. The only problem with it is that it only gives you +2 usb3 and +2 sata3 for a considerable more money. See if they got the gigabyte Z68xp-ud3. That one offers the extra 2+2 slots + more pci-e x16 slots. En-par with the extreme4 gen3 for less money but without real gen3 support (yes it is gen3 native, meaning it will run your future cards and all with a bios flash, but not at it's top speed)

As for the memory, the corsair will do perfectly.

PSU. I took a look at the site you got there. http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/components/power-suppli...
Absolutely <3 Enermax. I have yet to see a bad psu from enermax.
Then again the site really confuses me and so does the currency and i may just have thrown you off budget.

Coolers. In a short answer no.
Longer version, make sure your rig has at least one intake near the hard drives and a rear exhaust. Because i am a freak when it comes to technology and i live in Greece where summers are hot i never say no to a cheap aftermarket cooler for processors that don't need them. (i3 2100, i5 2400). And as much as i hate to suggest any CM product, CM TX 3.

The case is fine. It is a little flimsy and it is known for occasional problems like ill fitting pci cards in regards to motherboard placement. It's better brother, the thermaltake MSI commander has none of that. (One of my favorites and host to my 2500k)

The caviar blue also is not such a great performer. http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/components/storage/500g... this is. (sata2 or sata3 don't matter. They won't saturate the controller)

Optimization for 110$. Mmm. You can either future-proof or get an ssd. You could upgrade your cpu and add an aftermarket cooler like the corsair a70 but the benefit in gaming power is very limited.

I vote for a nice ssd, but if you want futureproofing then i guess a psu of 850watts and a motherboard that will support dual gfx later on. The only here and now benefit is the ssd.
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November 1, 2011 2:40:51 AM

Quote:
Yes that is the board. Very nice board. Asrock extreme4 gen3 is fantastic. The only problem with it is that it only gives you +2 usb3 and +2 sata3 for a considerable more money. See if they got the gigabyte Z68xp-ud3. That one offers the extra 2+2 slots + more pci-e x16 slots. En-par with the extreme4 gen3 for less money but without real gen3 support (yes it is gen3 native, meaning it will run your future cards and all with a bios flash, but not at it's top speed)


Just for the reason you just mentioned; I counted down the money and I am going for the Z68 extreme 4. This one is 50% more expensive than the previous board, but I rather have some sort of future proofing rather than some "cheaper" board that has only a slim chance of a future.

Quote:
PSU. I took a look at the site you got there. http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/co [...] -510w.html
Absolutely <3 Enermax. I have yet to see a bad psu from enermax.
Then again the site really confuses me and so does the currency and i may just have thrown you off budget.


Regarding the currency, that is understandable. ;)  FYI, 1 dollar equals 43-45 pesos. So this would be around $130 according to the latest currency rating. [43.18 pesos per dollar]

I took it anyway.

Quote:

Coolers. In a short answer no.
Longer version, make sure your rig has at least one intake near the hard drives and a rear exhaust. Because i am a freak when it comes to technology and i live in Greece where summers are hot i never say no to a cheap aftermarket cooler for processors that don't need them. (i3 2100, i5 2400). And as much as i hate to suggest any CM product, CM TX 3.


I'll let the coolers for what they are right now. Maybe I could get some sort of a deal with the sellers to add them for free. But for now, not wanting to look at the cooling yet.

Quote:
The case is fine. It is a little flimsy and it is known for occasional problems like ill fitting pci cards in regards to motherboard placement. It's better brother, the thermaltake MSI commander has none of that. (One of my favorites and host to my 2500k)


I took your advice and added the thermaltake MSI commander as you suggested. Is this the same as the one you mentioned?

http://www.pcx.com.ph/index.php/peripherals/chassis/tta...



I also took the liberty of upgrading the CPU to the 2500K for the same "futuristic" reasons as upgrading the motherboard.

Current build and added prices:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K-unlocked multiplier $233.00
GPU: PowerColor HD6950 2gb ddr5 PCS+ $315.00
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme 4 $211.00
Power supply: Enermax 625wtwin fan EPR625AWT $130.00
RAM: 4gb Vengeance (Z4GX3M1A1600C9/B) 4x1 $39.00
HDD: 500gb Seagate Barracuda Sata3 $56.00
ODD: LG 24x GSA-H24LS sata lightscribe $22.00
Case: Thermal take Commander MS-I (no psu) $58.00
Cables: Any $12.00
Total price: $1,076.00

So the price is closer to $1100 but that is for my local currency budget what I anticipated for. [calculation error on the $1000 budget as the local currency budget remains the same]

Changes I made are to the CPU, Motherboard, Power supply, HDD, ODD, Casing and added the cables which I will probably need.

Regarding the SSD; those things are way too expensive for my liking for 120GB. Roughly $250 in this country.

Although the benefits are nice for this SSD, I would rather expand on that in a year or so. Since the whole computer is only in concept now and I still need to find a monitor so that would greatly increase all expenses.

Also the current HDD is about 1/5th of the price of a SSD.


Still one question to ask:

1) Is this new set up a kick-ass machine for it's price?


I'll also go and explore more sites locally here to see if I can get better prices than the current prices set per component.

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November 1, 2011 5:46:04 AM

Wait wait! Z68 extreme4 GEN3. If you get the vanilla extreme4 you don't futureproof and you are better off with the same performance and high recommendation of the gigabyte z68xp-ud3.
Getting the i5 2500k means you just HAVE to overclock. It is like getting a ferrari to go around the city on 30mph. That being said you need low profile ram for it's aftermarket cooler because you can't OC it on it's stock heatsink. Corsair A70 is perfect for that.
Thing is, OC comes at cost of upping the PSU another 50-100watts.
i) typical system running on stock voltages everywhere with 1gfx card draws from 300 to 400 watts. Big cannon cards like 580 and 6970 need another bump in the watts
ii) System running OCed everywhere with 1gfx card draws close to 600 so 650 is recommended. (Again you add a lil bump of 50-100 watts for the big gun gfx cards)
iii) System running OCed everywhere with 2gfx cards draws close to 800 so you need 850. With two big cannon cards you need 1000watts.

Yesss this is the computer case. Rawr.

So to cap it all up. Your machine looks perfect. If you are looking for final retouches:
Motherboard either cheaper with z68xp-ud3 or futureproof with asrock gen3 boards. I love the processor but it is a ferrari so it needs cooling. The cooling will not clear your rams so pick another model that is low profile.
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November 1, 2011 6:18:50 AM

On a side note, aren't there any other shops with more variety and more reasonable prices? For 130$ you can easily get a 850watt psu. I am not saying you should get a 850watt psu, just get a 650watt psu that would cost about 80-100.
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November 1, 2011 5:43:32 PM

Actually I found a better site than the current one I am checking out.

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K
GPU: PowerColor HD6950 2gb ddr5 PCS+
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen 3
Power supply: Corsair GS700 700W, CMPSU-700GS
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB (2GBx2) CL9
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB Sata 6Gb/s
ODD: LG 24x GSA-H24LS sata lightscribe
Case: Thermal take Commander MS-I (no psu)

Changed the following parts:

Motherboard to Gen3 [http://dynaquestpc.com/index.php/components-2/motherboa...]

Power supply to a 700w from Corsair [http://dynaquestpc.com/index.php/components-2/power-sup...]

Memory from G.Skill ripjaws 4GB 2x2 [http://dynaquestpc.com/index.php/components-2/memory/lo...]

All the other parts were a bit cheaper than my first site so the build is currently at $1,023.


Questions:

1) Can you check if I choose a good power supply?
2) Can you check if the memory is good enough? [low profile?]
3) Is this motherboard really the motherboard you suggested?
4) Can you take a look on below link and see if there is maybe an ever better video card out there?

http://dynaquestpc.com/index.php/components-2/graphic-c...

[current Power color video card is 13,600 php. I still have a budget of 1,000 php or max. 2,000 php]

P.S.: I still did not include a cooler. Should I add another cooler instead of maxing out for a better video card?

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November 1, 2011 6:25:01 PM

The ripjaws are a little tall but not much. I propose flat low profile memory.
My fav is the Corsair A70 cooler.
The card is cool. it even turns into a 6970 with the flip of a switch.
PSU is excelent
This is the motherboard i was talking about ye
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November 2, 2011 9:36:39 PM

Yes the hyper x is perfect. it is almost always my pick since kingston is the cheapest in europe and with so many years on the scene that they are probably the most reliable.
Their "grey" series are optimized for p67 and they sell 8giga at 40euros. Imagine that...
Well if you don't have anything else just get the cm hyper 212. If the A70 is out of the picture there is not another one i can point to that beats the cm in value.
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November 3, 2011 6:55:33 PM

I'm probably pissing you off by now, but I'd like to submit my final build and your final advice if all the components match, the system is cooled enough, the casing has enough space for all the parts etc.

Changes made:

***Nvidia video card [better than the previous HD 6950 or is the memory just that much better than than what the nvidia card has?]

***Changed the power supply to 800 watt


CPU: ntel® Core™ i5-2500K
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD Superclocked 1280MB GDDR5
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen 3
Power supply: Corsair GS800 800W, CMPSU-800G
RAM: Kingston 4GB Dual-Channel HyperX
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB Sata 6Gb/s
ODD: HP dvd1260i 24X Multiformat DVD Writer
Case: Thermal take Commander MS-I (no psu)
Cables: Any
Monitor: Samsung 23" W Led Monitor S23A300B
CPU Fan: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus
Memory Fan: Kingston HyperX Memory Cooler Fan


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November 10, 2011 1:34:26 AM

Best answer selected by lanzer.
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