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[New Build] i5 Gaming Build

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November 19, 2011 1:13:18 AM

Hi guys, I'm helping my friend with building a new computer and wanted to check to see if this looks alright.

Approximate Purchase Date: A month or two

Budget Range: Around $2000-$2500 NZD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, dvd drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.pricespy.co.nz, www.playtech.co.nz, www.computerlounge.co.nz

Country of Origin: New Zealand

Overclocking: Maybe at a later date

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe at a later date

Processor
Intel Core i5 2500K Unlocked Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz 6MB Cache Quad-Core Processor

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD4 INTEL Z68 $319

Case
COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case

PSU
CORSAIR Professional Series AX750 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Graphics Card
EVGA 012-P3-1577-KR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD DS 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

RAM
CORSAIR CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8 VENGEANCE 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL8 $199

SSD
OCZ AGILITY 3 90GB 2.5" SANDFORCE SSD SATA3

More about : build gaming build

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November 19, 2011 2:35:19 AM

It all looks pretty good and it's all compatible, but I've got a few suggestions.

The ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 is probably a better gaming motherboard but they're pretty close.

Your PSU is a little bit of overkill. 750W is the right wattage but you can definitely get away with a TX750 (Enthusiast Series) which will save you some money. The TX750 will provide the same wattage to the system as the AX750 but the TX750 might be a little less efficient and so will draw a little more from the wall.

The RAM you chose is CL8. RAM with CL9 will perform the same but will probably be noticeably cheaper. You also want 1600mhz and 1.5V. One warning about the Vengance RAM, too, is that the heat sinks are extremely large and can interfere with larger aftermarket heat sinks. If you're going with the Vengance RAM (which is a good choice) you'll want to get the low profile version. Basically you want RAM at 1600mhz and 1.5V with CL9 from Corsair, G.Skill, Mushkin, or Kingston and if you get the Corsair Vengance then try to get the low profile version.

The OCZ Agility 3 doesn't have a good reputation. They're lightning fast drives, but they're unreliable compared to other models. For reliability I'd go with the Crucial M4, the Intel 510, or the newer Samsung 830. For all-around performance I'd recommend the Crucial M4.

The HAF X is a great case, but it's biggest feature is great airflow and with a single GTX570 you don't have to worry so much about heat dispersal. Like I say, it's a great case but you can get away with something a little cheaper if you want to same some money there.

SSD's make great boot drives, but you might want to add an HDD in addition to the SSD for mass storage. 90GB is fine for a boot drive but it's not much for the total storage of the system.
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November 19, 2011 2:39:32 AM

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November 19, 2011 4:59:07 AM

Thanks for the reply danraies, just a few questions.

What specifically makes the ASRock better for gaming?

What sort of difference in efficiency is there between the AX750 and the TX750, is it substantial?

The SSD was just for a boot drive and to store a few games, I probably should have specified that. He already has another HDD for mass storage.
Do you think the 64GB Crucial M4 would be good enough for this?
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November 19, 2011 5:17:37 AM

750 watter a bit small for twin 570's if you're overclocking

I'd take the HX850 over the AX series, then again I'd take the CP-850 (both the HX850 series and CP-850 get 10,0 performance ratings at jonnyguru) over either. That would require an ANtec case however which , again, after building several boxes with both, I'd personally prefer over the HAF

http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=443405
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=647562

As for the GFX might wanna wait for the new 570 ....er 560 ....which is it now ?

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/21520/nvidia_s_geforce_gt...

RAM - Get the low profile versions of the Vengeance
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=924334
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November 19, 2011 5:37:31 AM

The ASRock overclocks better and supposedly the way it makes use of its PCI lanes is better for the PCIe slots. Basically a gaming mobo should have less "extras" like giant port clusters and too many onboard headers because those things just take data bandwidth away from the graphics cards and the ASRock board does a good job of managing those things. Bottom line is that the ASRock boards have benchmarked better. However, the gigabyte board you mentioned is a quality board and it won't be a huge difference by any means.

Since I can't make claims like "the ASRock boards have benchmarked better" without backing them up, here are some reviews. In a comparison of $200 boards the ASRock Extreme4 Gen3 got the Tom's Hardware recommendation and in a comparison on "enthusiast-class" boards the ASRock Extreme7 Gen3 got the Tom's Hardware recommendation
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-z68-extreme4...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z68a-gd80-p8z68-del...

The AX750 is rated "80 plus gold" and the TX750 is rated "80 plus bronze." You can read more about the different 80 plus ratings below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_PLUS
Bottom line, though, is that the AX750 is rated to be about 5% more efficient than the TX750. At 50% load the AX750 has 90% efficiency and the TX750 has 85% efficiency meaning that when the PSU's have to supply 375W of power to the computer, the AX750 will draw 417W from the wall and the TX750 will draw 441W from the wall. That is not a very big difference and I wouldn't worry about it.

Yeah, one annoyance about the M4 is that there's no size between 64GB and 128GB. 64GB sounds like it should be enough but in reality it's just not quite there. I've found that most people who buy a 60GB or 64GB SSD (including myself) find themselves wishing they'd splurged on a bigger one. You get Windows on there and then a couple of the essentials like Office on there and you can really only fit one or two games before you're just out of space on a 64GB drive - not to mention the fact that SSD's slow down when they get above 80% capacity. If you can afford the 128GB M4 then that's the best choice, but if not then that's definitely an argument in favor of the Agility III 90GB in your case.
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November 20, 2011 8:32:38 AM

Best answer selected by arr0w.
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