Review, Critique, Approve my rig before I buy?

So I'm new to this forum and have never built a computer before, so go easy on my potential inadequacies. I have spent that last month or so researching articles, benchmarks, and forums to put together a decent gaming rig for the first time. My budget is anything between 1100-1400 but before I buy everything I just want to get more experienced approval or critique from all the geniuses I see posting here. So this is what I have in store:

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
Price: $100
Shipping: Free

Motherboard: GA-Z77X-UD5H
Price: 190.00
Shipping: $8.50

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570-k
Price: $230.00
Shipping: Free

GPU: Geforce GTX 680
Price: $520.00
Shipping: $free

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series (2x4gb)
Price: $47.00
Shipping: Free

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue (7200rpm/500gb/SATA 6.0gb/s)
Price: $80.00
Shipping: Free

Power Supply Unit: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 (650W)
Price: $110.00
Shipping: $6.00

Case: Rosewill Challenger
Price: $50.00
Shipping: $4.00

Optical Drive: Asus CD/DVD Burner DWR-24B1ST
Price: $18.00
Shipping $5.00

This computer will specifically be for gaming. I am really looking for something that I can use max/ultra settings on but without spending immensely too much. I have a laptop for all my other needs so keep that in mind. Please let me know any concerns I should have or anything that could be relevant. Thanks in advanced.
12 answers Last reply
More about review critique approve
  1. Hello aevancho;

    Give the guys over in the Systems > New Build section of the forums a chance to look this over too. They usually do a couple dozen of these type post every day over there.
  2. The only thing I'm not seeing is a CPU cooler?

    Everything else is looking very good. And should do exactly what you want it to do.
  3. Awesome. I'll try the new build section.

    I'm nearly certain this is a noob question, but is a CPU cooler 100% necessary? I've heard for SLI/Crossfire or OCing that a cooler is needed but what if I don't plan on doing that any time soon?
  4. It's not necessary. But even if you don't plan to overclock right away it's easier to install an aftermarket cooler during the initial build.
    Saves you from having to take the system apart when you eventually do want to overclock, mabye 12-18 months down the road when you're upgrading the graphic card(s) and want a bit extra CPU power.

    It also keeps the CPU cooler than the stock HSF even without overclocking.
  5. Yeah I would like that convenience. So if I am installing a cooler, does this just replace the fan/heatsink that comes stock with the CPU or is it additional? And what are some quality brands and reasonable prices for coolers?
  6. It's a replacement of the small stock Intel heat sink with a bigger fan and heftier heatsink.


    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Direct Contact 120mm CPU Cooler $35 is a very popular modest priced cooler.

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler Review
  7. You should get a bigger case, I don't think the 680 will fit or have breathing room.
  8. I was hoping to save money on the case. Is a mid size tower really too small for that gpu? And I saw that CPU cooler is somewhat large. Is a full size tower kinda of mandatory?
  9. Hyper 212 is known to fit in that Challenger case.
    And so do 10.5" long graphics cards. As long as your GTX 680 is the standard 10.0" size it will fit.
  10. While WR2 is right that 10.5" cards fit in the Challenger case, it could be tight, and if you get one longer it may not fit at all. Here are a few cases to check out that will provide a little more wiggle room in terms of cooler clearance and GPU length, in case you want to consider more options.

    Cooler Master HAF 912 ($60):
    Antec Three Hundred Two ($70);
    Corsair 300R ($80, before MIR):
    Corsair 400R ($90, before MIR):
  11. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $30 plus $10 rebate. It's the older version - but still a huge improvement over the stock Intel HSF.

    That $15 savings could move you up into a better case.
  12. Like the HAF 912! It can fit cards such as the radeon 5970, which is longer than the 680!
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