ended up spilling glass of water on laptop keyboard and 60% of keys are now dead, using usb keyboard right now hooked up to laptop. figure this time I will get a desktop especially since if I spill I just have to replace the keyboard and not rip apart my computer, but seriously I'm just looking for an excuse to start a new build. on a side note, laptop keys are virtually impossible to put back after you pull them off.

Purchase Date: This week
Use: Gaming, HTPC, may end up doing a dual monitor setup
Overclocking: Yes
Budget: $1000-$1200 (plus monitor, OS, peripherals)
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Source for Parts: Newegg, Amazon

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 $142.77 (cheaper on Amazon) (really like the NZXT Phantom, but won't fit high end air coolers (160mm height) without removing side fan)
MOBO: Asrock Extreme 3 Gen 3 (no onboard USB 3.0) $124.99 or Asrock Gen 4 $174.99 or Gigabyte Z68 UD3P $179.99 or Asus P8Z68 Pro $209.99 (last three include USB 3.0 headers)
CPU: 2500K $219.99
GPU: EVGA 560 Ti Super Clocked $249.99 or EVGA 560 Superclocked (No TI)$199.99
CPU cooler/heatsink: Cooler Master V6 GT $45 or Noctua NH-D14 $84.99 OR Thermaltake Frio $59.99
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $149.99 (price from NewEgg) or WD Caviar Black 1002FAEX 1 TB $171.40 (price from Amazon)
SSD: Crucial C4 64 gb $109.99
PSU: HX650 Modular 80 plus bronze $119.99 or TX 650 NonModular 80 plus Bronze $89.99
RAM: 8gb G Skill Sniper 1.5 V Low Profile Ram (2 x 4 GB) $43.99 or 8gb Low Profile Vengeance $41.99

Below is link to public wish list:


Below is link comparing mobos


Please let me know which parts you think I should go with and if this is a good overall build. thinking about going with noctua for cpu cooler due to hearing about potential wiggling of cooler because of poor bracket support. other sticking points are the psu, I'm wondering if non modular might be better since i have a full size case to hide all the extra cables and I won't need to worry about misplacing any cables with modular if I need them later down the road (adding more fans, hard drives), not sure if HX professional is worth any extra money over TX enthusiast version of Corsair PSU. Should i pay an extra $50 for 560 Titanium versus normal 560. And lastly, as far as motherboards, first time ever considering an AsRock. I hear their CS is nonexistent and am wondering if I should stick with Asus to be on the safe side. Only reason I am considering the more expensive AsRock Gen4, Gigabyte, and Asus is for the onboard USB 3.0 since my case the HAF 932 has usb 3.0 front panel. Don't plan on SLI. also I am getting low profile ram just for the extra clearance due to massive space consumption by Noctua, althought from experience i know the regular ripjaws x will fit.
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  1. We do not condone pirating software here at Tom's Hardware. Please buy genuine copy of Windows. The OEM editions are not very expensive with the Home Premium Windows 7 starting at $100, and if you are a student they are even cheaper :) by obtaining it through Microsoft with your .edu email address.

    As for the build ... Its pretty hard to go wrong with an i5 2500K build. Here are some parts I recommend

    Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68X-UD3H for larger case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128498

    Or MicroATX form factor for smaller tower: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128523

    Power Supply: Seasonic Modular 620 watt at a good price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151095

    Graphics Card: 6950 is good performance for a good price. 7970 is coming out in a couple of weeks so the prices seem to be dropping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125385

    I don't know whether you would want to invest in a Blu-Ray drive for this system if HTPC use is planned. Internet download is really the better option if you haven't already invested in a Blu-Ray.

    Noctua coolers are good, but you cannot beat the price of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. This offers good performance and fits into most ATX form towers.

    Also take a look at the Lian Li Cases. the PC-A05 is excellent if you have a tight space.
  2. You should Buy a custom from Ironside instead of building your own.......they are the sickest gaming desktops I have ever seen..
  3. Gaming Laptops are still expensive but they are worth though
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