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Triple Monitor Gaming Build ~$2-3K

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November 11, 2011 12:43:31 AM

Hi All,

With the latest look at the crystal ball showing HD7000 won't be out until next year I've decided it is time to put my triple monitor system together. I've picked out the following items and would like to get the community's opinion before I push the button on this. My goal is a solid gaming system, with a mild OC that is not noisy.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 weeks depending on sales/component availability

Budget Range: ~$2-3K

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming only (Skyrim, SW:TOR, LOTRO)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, case, sound card(thanks for the Forte recommendation everyone!)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel based system.

Overclocking: Mild OC

SLI or Crossfire: Yes. If there is a single card solution that will get the triple monitor job done, then that is great, but otherwise I am fine with x-fire/SLI.

Monitor Resolution: I'd prefer 1920x1200 monitors but 1920x1080 is acceptable if the cost savings/performance is there.

Additional Comments: Looking to keep things quiet. I'm willing to pay more for parts that will keep the noise down. e.g. more expensive HSF that I can run at a lower speed, or quieter fans.

Motherboard:
ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $184.99
I was originally looking at the Asus gen3 board but it is out of stock on newegg and pricey on Amazon.

CPU:
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ... $214.99

HSF:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R1 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel ... $31.99
I'm also looking at the Noctua NH-D14, but since I won't be doing any extreme OC'ing I didn't want to deal with the hassle of such a large cooler. On the other hand, if it is going to save me a few decibels I'll go for it. I also considered a closed loop liquid cooler (e.g H70) as a potential, quieter, smaller, cooling solution.

Video Card:
2 X HIS IceQ H697QM2G2M Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $759.98
It looks like Eyefinity has better game support than Nvidia Surround so I went with the AMD cards. I could also go for dual 570's if the Nvidia Surround support in games is as robust as Eyefinity.

PSU:
CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC ... $169.99
Looks like enough to power the dual cards. I want to stick with at least a silver certified PSU.

SSD:
Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $376.99

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM $64.99

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $99.99

Monitors:
3 X Dell UltraSharp U2412M (469-1137) Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor $1,079.97
These are a more expensive than I want to spend, but they match the features I am looking for. Definitely willing to look at other options here.

Total: $2,983.88

Optional

Case:
I currently have a Thermaltake Armor that I am planning on reusing to save some money, but with keeping my quiet requirement in mind I have been looking at the HAF X and Raven RV03 as potential options to improve airflow and reduce noise. A new case is not required, but if there is an advantage here I'll add it in.

Any thoughts the community has to improve my build/reduce cost are greatly appreciated.
November 11, 2011 12:50:34 AM

Build looks pretty solid, you could knock down the ssd to a 128 unless you feel that u really need the 256

As far as the rest of the build my only input would be 2x 6950s which you could just clock to 6970 and it would save some cash

you should check out this monitor also
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 11, 2011 1:00:30 AM

You could drop down to the Dell U2312HM T $280 a piece for a total of $840
They do have a 1980x1080 res, bit is a significantly cost savings.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could look at starting with a 128GB SSD and when HDDs drop again in a few months getting a 1 TB 7200 RPM mechanical HDD for some cost savings and cost deferral. But this depends on your preference more than anything.

Otherwise, I like the build, especially the choice of PSU. Case is more of a personal preference than anything, although Lian Li cases are always nice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 1:30:15 AM

Changes you should make!...
SSD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This SSD is faster plus it is the top 5 best SSD, What are you going to install that needs more than 128GB? If it's just games, than 128GB is all you need because you ain't ganna install 10 games...

Memory:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Get this 16GB because RAM ganna raise in price pretty soon such as HDD which is just my opinion but if you dont want 16GB than get 8 GB on the second link...

PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
In my opinion(Don't think wrong/get mad) the Antec 850w(New PSU) link above is better than Corsair 850W that you picked...

HSF:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I Personal think this is the best CPU Cooler at it price range which should cool down better than CM212+

Fans:
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11638/fan-746/Aerocoo...
or
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12204/fan-795/Aerocoo...

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2466/fan-161/AeroCool...

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/4280/fan-242/SilenX_1...
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 1:54:50 AM

PSU: Seasonic X850 Gold - $210.99
Motherboard; Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD7 - $349.99
CPU: 3.40GHz Intel Core i7-2600K - $319.99
Cooler: Corsair H100 - $109.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600MHz 1.5V - $109.99 ($48.99 each)
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $114.99
HD: Seagate 2TB - $349.99
Video card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 - $349.99
Optical: LG Super Multi - $79.99
Monitor; 3 x Asus VS248H-P Black Edition 24" LED 1080p - $204.90 each

Total: $2833
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 2:01:49 AM

g-unit1111 said:
PSU: Seasonic X850 Gold - $210.99
Motherboard; Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD7 - $349.99
CPU: 3.40GHz Intel Core i7-2600K - $319.99
Cooler: Corsair H100 - $109.99
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600MHz 1.5V - $109.99 ($48.99 each)
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $114.99
HD: Seagate 2TB - $349.99
Video card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 - $349.99
Optical: LG Super Multi - $79.99
Monitor; 3 x Asus VS248H-P Black Edition 24" LED 1080p - $204.90 each

Total: $2833

He's gaming and he dont need Extreme OC lol... Liquid CPU Cooler is too overpriced/performance for the 2600k and he dont need 2600k since he dont use CS5.5/CS5 or other encode/render stuff... Why get a $300 MoBo? a $200 is already good enough, any higher wont improve anything but gives Useless features such as 3D BIOS Touch or somethin' and It doesn't really help gaming performance... Asus' ROG Maximus $170 is one of the best gaming MoBo for Z68 so i dont see what the $300 mobo can do lol.... He need 2 video card because 2GB ain't enough for all 3 monitor... at and over 1920x1080 will requires higher than 1GB VRAM, 3-way SLI/CFx w/1.2GB+ is needed for each monitor for extreme overkill in each game lol...
November 11, 2011 3:06:46 AM

Thanks for the suggestions all. I'm going to dig into the monitors to see if there is a better option there. (So tough to select a good monitor when you can't see it live!)

I'm going with the larger SSD out of pure laziness, I don't want to spend time moving files around/uninstalling to get space back.

The Antec PSU looks nice. I'll go check some reviews out. I currently have a corsair so I am comfortable with the brand, but I don't mind changing up for something better.

I selected the crucial over the Vertex due to reliability. I know the firmware update is out for Sandforce but I'd rather wait to see if everything really is fixed.

16G of memory seems like overkill, but a couple of folks have suggested it. I haven't seen any game touch my 8G right now, is there a gaming benefit to 16G?

I looked at the Scythe cooler, but didn't see much of a benefit for the additional cost. Is it quieter than the 212 Evo?

I was originally looking at the Seasonic PSU, but it didn't seem very cost effective for over $200. (Especially with the Antec at $164.)

The gigabyte UD7 has a lot of features on it I'll never use. Nice board, just a lot more than what I'll need.

I stayed away from the i7-2600K since I won't be using any applications that can take advantage of it.

Everything I've seen on the H100 has it being noisy and not providing a huge cooling benefit over some other air coolers. If it is quieter than other cooling solutions I'm all for it. Like I said, I will not be doing any extreme OC'ing so I am not looking for anything fancy, just something that can support a mild OC and maintain a relatively low noise level.
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 5:02:43 AM

Quote:
I selected the crucial over the Vertex due to reliability. I know the firmware update is out for Sandforce but I'd rather wait to see if everything really is fixed.


Good choice.

Quote:
The Antec PSU looks nice. I'll go check some reviews out. I currently have a corsair so I am comfortable with the brand, but I don't mind changing up for something better.

I was originally looking at the Seasonic PSU, but it didn't seem very cost effective for over $200. (Especially with the Antec at $164.)


Then try the Corsair HX850 - should be around the same price.

Quote:
The gigabyte UD7 has a lot of features on it I'll never use. Nice board, just a lot more than what I'll need.

I stayed away from the i7-2600K since I won't be using any applications that can take advantage of it.

Everything I've seen on the H100 has it being noisy and not providing a huge cooling benefit over some other air coolers. If it is quieter than other cooling solutions I'm all for it. Like I said, I will not be doing any extreme OC'ing so I am not looking for anything fancy, just something that can support a mild OC and maintain a relatively low noise level.


I do realize some of the hardware I included is pure overkill but I was just throwing together a bunch of random high end components to see how I could put together a system like that for ~$3K. :lol: 
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 6:04:06 AM

culgor said:
Thanks for the suggestions all. I'm going to dig into the monitors to see if there is a better option there. (So tough to select a good monitor when you can't see it live!)

I'm going with the larger SSD out of pure laziness, I don't want to spend time moving files around/uninstalling to get space back.

The Antec PSU looks nice. I'll go check some reviews out. I currently have a corsair so I am comfortable with the brand, but I don't mind changing up for something better.

I selected the crucial over the Vertex due to reliability. I know the firmware update is out for Sandforce but I'd rather wait to see if everything really is fixed.

16G of memory seems like overkill, but a couple of folks have suggested it. I haven't seen any game touch my 8G right now, is there a gaming benefit to 16G?

I looked at the Scythe cooler, but didn't see much of a benefit for the additional cost. Is it quieter than the 212 Evo?

I was originally looking at the Seasonic PSU, but it didn't seem very cost effective for over $200. (Especially with the Antec at $164.)

Everything I've seen on the H100 has it being noisy and not providing a huge cooling benefit over some other air coolers. If it is quieter than other cooling solutions I'm all for it. Like I said, I will not be doing any extreme OC'ing so I am not looking for anything fancy, just something that can support a mild OC and maintain a relatively low noise level.

First of all on the SSD, What are you going to do that take up more than 100GB? What do you plan to have on it? If it's just BF3 and MW3, it will just take 30GB and your HDD is for storage so it's best to get a storage for it purpose than the SSD as boot drive... Trust me, performance is better when you already got a Storage...

Second of all on the memory, You'll never touch the 8GB due to PageFile(little space on HDD that shared as if it was memory) which can slow you down or give you low FPS/speed on application when memory is filling up to 6GB or so... Get 16GB and disable PageFile and anything to get the maximum performance for whatever using your Memory...

Third of all about the Scythe cooler, The noise is based on the FAN, Get one/two of the fan I listed because it's worth the money to buy for better performance... If you get the CMH212+, get one of those fan because I'll guarantee you'll see 8*C drop on push/pull with one of those fans that i linked

Fourth, the Antec i linked is all about performance-price so it's better than the corsair as it's newer and corsair is older and the panasonic is a pointless PSU as it's too overpriced as the Antec one offer same performance for lower price.

Firth, Dont bother with OEM Pre-Build Liquid cooler because they are junk compare to Air... If you want real Liquid cooling, built it yourself at http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l1/g30/Liquid_Cooling.html...

Best solution

November 11, 2011 6:48:56 AM
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Looks a pretty good build.

I just wanted to say that do not change the monitor choice. I bought it close to $400 when it was released and it just blows away my $200 ASUS VW246H . Whenever I upgrade my monitors, I never see any visual difference (other than resolution). But with this dell, I could actually see a huge difference in colours. It sure is sharp!
And you can rotate the screen with the same stand too.

Good luck with your build!

November 11, 2011 2:11:37 PM

Quote:
First of all on the SSD, What are you going to do that take up more than 100GB? What do you plan to have on it? If it's just BF3 and MW3, it will just take 30GB and your HDD is for storage so it's best to get a storage for it purpose than the SSD as boot drive... Trust me, performance is better when you already got a Storage...

I don't know about you guys, but by the time I get all of my Steam games installed, patches/addons for everything I end up with well over 100G of games easy.

Quote:
Second of all on the memory, You'll never touch the 8GB due to PageFile(little space on HDD that shared as if it was memory) which can slow you down or give you low FPS/speed on application when memory is filling up to 6GB or so... Get 16GB and disable PageFile and anything to get the maximum performance for whatever using your Memory...

Thanks I'll take a look at 16G I run with no pagefile right now and I've never come close to running out of memory (but 16G bragging rights are nice. :??:  )

Quote:
Third of all about the Scythe cooler, The noise is based on the FAN, Get one/two of the fan I listed because it's worth the money to buy for better performance... If you get the CMH212+, get one of those fan because I'll guarantee you'll see 8*C drop on push/pull with one of those fans that i linked

If I am going to spend the money on the Scythe then add an after market fan or two I might as well go for the silver arrow or Noctua. The cost won't be that much more and then I'll know I have the best air cooler (and a decent boat anchor) in my PC.

Quote:

Fourth, the Antec i linked is all about performance-price so it's better than the corsair as it's newer and corsair is older and the panasonic is a pointless PSU as it's too overpriced as the Antec one offer same performance for lower price.

The Antec PSU is very interesting. Only five reviews with four eggs puts me on edge though. I'm going to dig around for some reviews to see what the story is on it. Thanks for pointing it out.

Quote:
Firth, Dont bother with OEM Pre-Build Liquid cooler because they are junk compare to Air... If you want real Liquid cooling, built it yourself at http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l1/g30/Liquid_Cooling.html...

I won't be doing any extreme OC'ing so I am not terribly worried about getting that extra .01Ghz out of my cooler. If a closed loop will let me do some mild OC'ing, keep things quiet, and save some space in the case I'll be OK with it.

Thanks for all of the info Legend!

Quote:
I just wanted to say that do not change the monitor choice. I bought it close to $400 when it was released and it just blows away my $200 ASUS VW246H . Whenever I upgrade my monitors, I never see any visual difference (other than resolution). But with this dell, I could actually see a huge difference in colours. It sure is sharp!
And you can rotate the screen with the same stand too.

Thanks for the recommendation perfectblue. My current monitor is a similar model ASUS. It is great to get a glowing review like that.
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 3:39:47 PM

culgor said:
Hi All,

With the latest look at the crystal ball showing HD7000 won't be out until next year I've decided it is time to put my triple monitor system together. I've picked out the following items and would like to get the community's opinion before I push the button on this. My goal is a solid gaming system, with a mild OC that is not noisy.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 weeks depending on sales/component availability

Budget Range: ~$2-3K

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming only (Skyrim, SW:TOR, LOTRO)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, case, sound card(thanks for the Forte recommendation everyone!)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel based system.

Overclocking: Mild OC

SLI or Crossfire: Yes. If there is a single card solution that will get the triple monitor job done, then that is great, but otherwise I am fine with x-fire/SLI.

Monitor Resolution: I'd prefer 1920x1200 monitors but 1920x1080 is acceptable if the cost savings/performance is there.

Additional Comments: Looking to keep things quiet. I'm willing to pay more for parts that will keep the noise down. e.g. more expensive HSF that I can run at a lower speed, or quieter fans.

Motherboard:
ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $184.99
I was originally looking at the Asus gen3 board but it is out of stock on newegg and pricey on Amazon.

CPU:
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ... $214.99

HSF:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R1 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel ... $31.99
I'm also looking at the Noctua NH-D14, but since I won't be doing any extreme OC'ing I didn't want to deal with the hassle of such a large cooler. On the other hand, if it is going to save me a few decibels I'll go for it. I also considered a closed loop liquid cooler (e.g H70) as a potential, quieter, smaller, cooling solution.

Video Card:
2 X HIS IceQ H697QM2G2M Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $759.98
It looks like Eyefinity has better game support than Nvidia Surround so I went with the AMD cards. I could also go for dual 570's if the Nvidia Surround support in games is as robust as Eyefinity.

PSU:
CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC ... $169.99
Looks like enough to power the dual cards. I want to stick with at least a silver certified PSU.

SSD:
Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $376.99

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM $64.99

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM $99.99

Monitors:
3 X Dell UltraSharp U2412M (469-1137) Black 24" 8ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor $1,079.97
These are a more expensive than I want to spend, but they match the features I am looking for. Definitely willing to look at other options here.

Total: $2,983.88

Optional

Case:
I currently have a Thermaltake Armor that I am planning on reusing to save some money, but with keeping my quiet requirement in mind I have been looking at the HAF X and Raven RV03 as potential options to improve airflow and reduce noise. A new case is not required, but if there is an advantage here I'll add it in.

Any thoughts the community has to improve my build/reduce cost are greatly appreciated.

I really like your build. but you can get faster ram (1866mhz>1600 cl9) for the same price- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here is a monitor with a better response time and it still is 1920x1200- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

also to run 3 monitors at that res. you should look into getting 2 gtx 580 3gb cards.- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here is a psu to run them- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... jonnyguru gave this psu a 9.5 and gave the corsair ax1200 a 9.7 (the site thinks the ax1200 is the best psu on the market right now

you might want to drop down to a 128gb ssd to pay for this. 128gb should be ok for a little while until hdd prices come back down
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 3:46:42 PM

culgor said:
Quote:
Quote:
Third of all about the Scythe cooler, The noise is based on the FAN, Get one/two of the fan I listed because it's worth the money to buy for better performance... If you get the CMH212+, get one of those fan because I'll guarantee you'll see 8*C drop on push/pull with one of those fans that i linked

If I am going to spend the money on the Scythe then add an after market fan or two I might as well go for the silver arrow or Noctua. The cost won't be that much more and then I'll know I have the best air cooler (and a decent boat anchor) in my PC.
Quote:

The Scythe cooler in my opinion is the best budget cooler, it got 6 heat pipes with aluminum fins, but, if you want the best air cooler in the world(Not sure but in my opinion it is) is the ZALMAN CNPS12x
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
3 reviews and 2 bad one because of lost parts and tall RAM(one guy retarded for not knowing any experience with tall ram)
If you get RAM, always get low profile heatsink because what do you expect from a high-end heatsink? of course is that it wont fit if memory too tall...
November 11, 2011 4:40:52 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
I really like your build. but you can get faster ram (1866mhz>1600 cl9) for the same price- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here is a monitor with a better response time and it still is 1920x1200- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

also to run 3 monitors at that res. you should look into getting 2 gtx 580 3gb cards.- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here is a psu to run them- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... jonnyguru gave this psu a 9.5 and gave the corsair ax1200 a 9.7 (the site thinks the ax1200 is the best psu on the market right now

you might want to drop down to a 128gb ssd to pay for this. 128gb should be ok for a little while until hdd prices come back down


Thanks for the tip on the monitor. Looks like they are getting good reviews. This is definitely a place where I can save some money. I shied away from Nvidia because the game support for Nvidia Surround doesn't look as robust as Eyefinity. There is no doubt SLI 580's would be a screaming system though!

Quote:

The Scythe cooler in my opinion is the best budget cooler, it got 6 heat pipes with aluminum fins, but, if you want the best air cooler in the world(Not sure but in my opinion it is) is the ZALMAN CNPS12x


I have been keeping my eye on the Zalman, it doesn't yet have the track record of some of the other coolers, but it is nice looking.
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 4:58:31 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
I really like your build. but you can get faster ram (1866mhz>1600 cl9) for the same price- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here is a monitor with a better response time and it still is 1920x1200- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

also to run 3 monitors at that res. you should look into getting 2 gtx 580 3gb cards.- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here is a psu to run them- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... jonnyguru gave this psu a 9.5 and gave the corsair ax1200 a 9.7 (the site thinks the ax1200 is the best psu on the market right now

you might want to drop down to a 128gb ssd to pay for this. 128gb should be ok for a little while until hdd prices come back down



1866 isn't going to do much - there's not a lot of motherboards that support it natively yet. Most only do so through overclocking and even then it's generally not a good idea to run your RAM at faster than the stock speeds - you could fry your motherboard that way.

And I'm not a big fan of OCZ - if you're going with a high end build you'll want to get the most reliable PSU you can - try the Cooler Master Silent Gold series instead, or maybe the PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W. Seasonic, and of course Corsair are always good brands to try in this case.

Quote:
I have been keeping my eye on the Zalman, it doesn't yet have the track record of some of the other coolers, but it is nice looking.


I'm not a big fan of Zalman - they're decent coolers but you can get far better coolers for way less money than their higher end ones go for.
a b C Monitor
November 11, 2011 5:55:30 PM

it has a 5 yr warranty and the cooler master does too. the cooler master was also rated worse than the zx1000 by jonnyguru. i am a big fan of the mkII 950w but for such a big budget one should get a gold rated psu. the ocz zx series psu's are very good. their older psu's are terrible but they are making solid psu's now.
November 12, 2011 2:36:03 PM

Hi All,

I hit the buy button last night! Here is what the final component list looks like. I made some changes based on all the comments, and upgraded some parts for the added headroom. Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3 GHz 6 MB Cache Socket LGA1155 Processor

Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe with 140mm/120mm Dual SSO Bearing Fans CPU Cooler NH-D14 - Retail

ASUS LGA 1155 - Z68 - PCIe 3.0 and UEFI BIOS Intel Z68 ATX DDR3 2200 LGA 1155 Motherboards P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3

Corsair 16 GB Vengeance Blue Low Profile 1600mhz PC3-12800 240-pin Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit 16 Dual Channel Kit - CML16GX3M4A1600C9B

2X MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Corsair Professional Series Gold 1200-Watt 80 Plus Gold Certified High-Performance Power Supply - CMPSU-1200AX

Crucial 256GB m4 SSD 2.5" SATA III CT256M4SSD2

3X Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24-in Widescreen IPS High Performance Monitor (1920 x 1200) with DVI-D With HDCP DisplayPort VGA

Auzentech AZT-FORTE X-Fi Forte 7.1 Sound Card

Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower w/ SuperSpeed USB 3.0 w/ Window w/ Black Interior ATX Case (RC-942-KKN1)

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack
November 12, 2011 2:38:52 PM

Best answer selected by culgor.
!