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~$1000-$1500 pc build

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November 23, 2011 10:49:30 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm busy assembling a rig that I'll be using for gaming for a long time and would like some opinions on the components I've chosen, namely the PSU, Case and what sort of cooling I should consider for this build. Some advice on suitable SSDs would also be helpful. Any personal experience with any of the components is also welcomed!
From the sticky:

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Watching HD videos (interested in Hi10P videos. Don't know much about them yet)

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Hard Drives (except an SSD)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: pccasegear.com

Country: Australia

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (Dell ST2210)

Case:
Liancool PC-K59

CPU:
i5 2500K

Motherboard:
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3

Power supply:
Corsair HX-850W

Graphics card:
MSI Radeon HD6850 Cyclone Power Edition OC

RAM:
G.Skill Ripjaws (8gb)

SSD:
Corsair Force Series 3 120GB

More about : 1000 1500 build

November 23, 2011 11:19:32 AM

You should decide if you want to SLI/Crossfire in the future (or even if you want to leave this path open)
If not, this PSU is EXTREMELY overpowered
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Best solution

November 23, 2011 11:52:30 AM

Are you sure you wanna go with a 6850? Does this system add up to even 1000?

Methinks with that budget you should be able to afford a GTX 580.

CPU: $229 Intel Core i5 2500K - Your Link

Mobo: $145 ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

RAM: $55 G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB - Your Link

SSD: $199 Corsair Force Series 3 120GB - Your Link

GPU: $549 MSI GeForce GTX 580

ODD: $22 Samsung SATA, Double Layer, Internal 22X DVD±RW Drive, OEM

PSU: $209 Silverstone Strider Plus 1000W

PSU: $115 Corsair TX-650 V2 - Non SLI option

Case: $57 CoolerMaster Elite 430

Total: $1465 with the SLI PSU. $1371 with the smaller one.

I don't know about Hi10p videos, but the aforementioned system is pretty much by far the best single GPU gaming system you can build from what I saw over at pccasegear.
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November 23, 2011 7:10:23 PM

vitornob said:
You should decide if you want to SLI/Crossfire in the future (or even if you want to leave this path open)
If not, this PSU is EXTREMELY overpowered


I'd like to keep that path open for the future but I don't plan on SLI in the very near future unless my budget suddenly increases.

@calguyhunk
My budget is more of a rough estimate. I'd like to keep it as low as possible. Last time I checked it added to about $1300 but I've changed things since then so I suspect it's closer to $1500 now.

Would both of you recommend the Corsair TX-650 rather than my PSU I selected for my build and then an upgrade down the line when I decide on upgrading some more? Power is something I'm unsure about. I'd like SLI eventually but don't know if by the time I want to upgrade whether it would be a good idea to SLI or just get a better discrete card.

Also, I've been pretty picky with cases. I really liked that Lian Li case that I had seen because of the neat tool-less design and overall look but it is a little more than I wanted to pay for a case. I had the Antec Three Hundred in mind at one point until I discovered that it didn't have an intake underneath for the power supply. Air flow and cooling will probably be a big thing for this machine since I live in Australia where summer occasionally reaches into the 40 degrees C range.

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November 24, 2011 3:02:18 AM

Nvidia recommends 600Watts for the GTX 580. Anything more than a quality 650 for a single 580 is overkill even in an OC'ed system with 2x hard drives in RAID.

Cases are a matter of personal preference and as for the one I selected, that is the best budget case from a top brand with side window, black interiors, good airflow, tool-less installation and accommodates 12" long gfx cards.

Has a bottom fan mount as well like you mentioned. The front intake comes as standard. Just add the rear, top, bottom and side ones as and when you want. TBH, the rear and top exhausts are the only ones you'll need. The bottom and side intakes are overrated. Others may have a different opinion, but I've found they add to the noise levels without doing anything significant on the temp front.

Personally, I like to save on the case and put the extra money in the stuff that goes inside it but ymmv :) 
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November 27, 2011 2:47:22 AM

Thanks for the tip. I'll scale back the PSU in that case.

I see you've also recommended the Extreme3 gen3 instead of the Extreme4. Looking at them now, there really isn't much that justifies the extra $40. I don't actually see much difference between them apart from the Extreme4 has an extra usb 3 panel. On that topic, how difficult would it be to replace the front usb ports on that case with usb 3 ports? I imagine I'd like some usb3 ports eventually.
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November 28, 2011 8:18:51 AM

USB 3.0 ports are no reason to buy a case IMHO. The front ports are gonna be slower in general than the rear ones in any case. For a large amount of data transfer, you're better off using the rear panel ports.

But you can always get a USB 3.0 hub like this, this, or this.
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November 29, 2011 4:09:11 AM

Yeah, I agree.
Thanks for all the replies, calguyhunk.
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November 29, 2011 8:31:03 AM

Big plus to Calguyhunks build. Amazing what you can get for under $1500AUD these days :) 

It really is hard to argue with the CM Elite 430 with the price you pay for it. If you did have a bit extra check out:

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

It's a bit nicer than the 430... but if you're on a budget.
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November 30, 2011 5:59:07 AM

Brendy said:
Yeah, I agree.
Thanks for all the replies, calguyhunk.
Cheers mate :) 

@ Formata - The storm series from CM is great actually and so is the HAF line but cases really are a matter of personal choies and for the exact same price, while some people may like THIS, others may like THIS.

I guess one has to just go with the one that catches your fancy and fits your wallet :) 
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November 30, 2011 8:06:24 AM

calguyhunk said:

I guess one has to just go with the one that catches your fancy and fits your wallet :) 


Amen to that. Those XClio cases look crazy. Nothing too subtle there. I haven't seen them anywhere in Aus yet... guessing they won't be far away :) 
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December 2, 2011 3:34:24 AM

Agreed. I'd love a case like that. That fan in front is monstrous!

I didn't mention it in my OP but I may need a new mouse as well. Do you guys have any recommendations? I was looking at the Logitech G500, Gigabyte M6980 and the Corsair Vengeance M60 .

Don't worry about budget, I'd just like to hear some recommendations.
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December 2, 2011 9:35:54 AM

Mouse recommendations are a tough one. A lot depends on the sort of games you play...if you care about being able to adjust sensitivity on the fly... if you like mapping out extra controls to more buttons. If you find one that has the features you are looking for, I'd just search reviews and make sure no one is saying it's a piece of junk. Those new Corsair ones look interesting, and aren't over the top priced.

My personal fav of all time:

Logitech MX518
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Hehe... it's pretty old school now though and you can probably do better. My hand/brain is so use to it though.
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December 2, 2011 9:40:47 AM

Formata said:
Mouse recommendations are a tough one. A lot depends on the sort of games you play...if you care about being able to adjust sensitivity on the fly... if you like mapping out extra controls to more buttons. If you find one that has the features you are looking for, I'd just search reviews and make sure no one is saying it's a piece of junk. Those new Corsair ones look interesting, and aren't over the top priced.

My personal fav of all time:

Logitech MX518
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Hehe... it's pretty old school now though and you can probably do better. My hand/brain is so use to it though.


The G500 is pretty similar to the MX518 in look and feel. I'll get that if no other mice change my mind. I played on both and they're solid mice.
I have been having trouble deciding on a mouse. I play a range of games, I guess FPS being my most played though. I really just need a mouse to replace my failing one (which isn't a gaming mouse at all).

What's your favourite mouse, Calguyhunk?
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December 3, 2011 4:37:26 AM

Brendy said:
What's your favourite mouse, Calguyhunk?
I'm not a gamer, Brendy. Just a Tech student and a hobbyist amateur (sometimes pro ;) ) system builder. A Logitech M100 does just fine for me :) 

A couple of gamer friends of mine though, use the Logitech G500 and are apparently pretty happy with it.

One each use the following - Razer DeathAdder, GIGABYTE GM-M8000X, Logitech G9x and the Logitech G5, for which I couldn't find a listing on pccasegear maybe because it's been discontinued or something.

Between them, they play everything ranging from Crysis, Metro, FIFA, GTA, NFS, BF, Black Ops, MW, WOW, Skyrim, Price of Persia, SC and more maybe :) 
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December 9, 2011 8:50:38 AM

Forgot to mention that my monitor only supports 1920x1080 and I'm not planning on utilising Eyefinity anytime soon. Would the GTX580 still be an ideal card? Considering it's nearly $200 more expensive than the GTX570 and competing 6970, I'm wondering if the performance gains at 1920x1080 in the same games would justify the extra $200 or not.
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December 9, 2011 8:26:28 PM

I was reading through those reviews last night. According to those benchmarks the 6970 wins out at high settings in BF3 when compared to Nvidia's line up but drops back only about 5-10 frames behind the gtx570 which makes it a tempting alternative.
Both are priced quite similarly so deciding between them will come down to overclocking headroom and whatever problems plague each card.

Also, what's with those minimum fps in the metro 2033 benchmark? Looks like some part of the game really hammered those cards!

EDIT: Due to an unexpected gift, my budget is less constrained. I'd still like to keep this build as cheap as possible since I'm not as hardcore a gamer as I was when I had fewer commitments though.

The first thing I'd like some recommendations on is water cooling. It's pretty warm here in Australia during summer so I think air cooling might not be enough. I haven't been able to find any articles on water cooling vs air cooling so I can't really say for sure whether I'm after air or water cooling.

Another thing I might spend a bit on is upgrading my sound system. I've got a little logitech 5.1 system that's been pretty good but it was cheap and isn't as clear as I'd like it to be. I'm not really sure how much I want to spend on this. I do spend a lot of time listening to music and playing games though so it might be something I should think about. I really have no idea with audio though. I'm told Bose make good audio systems and that setting up a surround sound system around my pc would be awkward but other than that I'm open to all recommendations.
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December 16, 2011 1:49:59 AM

Just to update, I've decided to go for the GTX580 that calguyhunk recommended earlier and will be getting the Corsair H100 water cooling system and might even need to get a fan controller so I don't have to run all of my fans at max RPM. Would the 650W PSU still cope with all of this?
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December 16, 2011 11:38:28 AM

Just make sure it's a good quality Antec, Corsair, Seasonic 650w. Not much experience with LCS sorry. My preference is to use air CPU coolers, I guess it depends how far you are planning to OC that processor. I don't really hear a strong argument for going past 4.5, especially if you're mainly gaming. On a 40 degree C day, my CPU at 4.5 under high load still sits around 60-65, and I'm using the CM Hyper 212+ With the increase in budget... and keeping that harsh Aussie summer in mind, I'd opt for a case with better airflow. Helps to keep everything cool:

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

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December 16, 2011 7:03:29 PM

You game in 40 degrees C, Formata? That's intense. I normally turn off my pc and head somewhere cooler by the time it reaches 32 degrees inside.

Well, thanks everyone for all the help! I've ordered everything so hopefully I'll be picking up most of the gear today or the beginning of next week. I went for the 650W Corsair PSU which has been getting good reviews and the Fractal Design Arc Mid tower which has also had a lot of good things said about it.
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December 16, 2011 7:03:52 PM

Best answer selected by Brendy.
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December 16, 2011 9:13:29 PM

Haha 40 outside, high 20s inside. Enjoy your system.. looks like a beast.
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December 18, 2011 1:17:54 PM

Cheers mate and a merry xmas to you guys :) 

BTW, 20's sound really tempting when you're freezing in sub-zero conditions up in the northern winter ;) 

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!